A “must have” for any collector of British cavalry swords. This 1796 pattern Heavy Cavalry trooper’s sword was made by Thomas Hadley of Birmingham. It is highly likely that it saw service during the Peninsular War (1808-1814).
Thomas Hadley was a gun maker and sword cutler, trading from premises at 47 Bull Street, Birmingham from 1781 until about 1810.
The 880mm single-edged blade has a flat spine above a broad, shallow fuller and terminates in an asymmetric spear point. From 1812 onwards, many heavy cavalry swords had their original hatchet points ground to spear points. A general order to re-point the blades of their swords was also issued to the heavy cavalry prior to the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The blade is in very good condition for its 200+ years of age and almost certain battle service, with a mild spotting of tarnish along its length. The blade was service sharpened and the original hatchet point modified to improve its thrusting capability. The forte of the blade bears a worn Tower inspection stamp, a crown over 3. The spine of the blade is stamped “HADLEY.”
The iron disk guard has had its languets removed (a common period modification), and retains its full disk shape. The iron back strap and grip ferrule are in good condition with a matching patina to the knuckle bow and disk guard. The hilt patina matches that of the blade. The knuckle bow is engraved with the Troop letter and weapon number of the sword, “A” over “14.” The leather covered wooden grip is in fair condition with partial loss to the leather and some old woodworm holes. The ribbed wooden grip remains strong despite the old worm damage and the blade is firm in the hilt.
This is a very nice example of a much sought after Napoleonic Wars 1796 heavy cavalry sword that almost certainly saw action during the Peninsular Wars.