Saturday, 6 December 2008


These weapons are from the Royal Armouries collection and are purported to be two of the weapons used by Monmouth's forces in 1685. Mounted on 8 foot poles they bear the armourer's marks and are about 29-30 inches long. These were issued to special scythe companies of a hundred men but their use gave rise to a legend that the Rebels were armed with agricultural implements which in turn gave rise to the term 'Pitchfork Rebellion'. In fact there were very few farmers or labourers amongst the ranks of the rebels - they were mostly clothworkers and the war-scythe was a commonly used weapon in the 17thc in sieges.

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