The Warwick (Oakeshott Type XVIa)
The Warwick has a blade of well-tempered 6150 high carbon steel with a keenly sharpened edge. The guard and pommel are steel and the sturdy wooden grip is bound in fitted, high quality leather. The sword is robustly peened for a solid and long-lasting overall construction.
Named after Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick KG (22 November 1428 – 14 April 1471), also known as Warwick the Kingmaker, The Warwick is a large sword of war that can be classified as an Oakeshott type XVIa. The blades of this group have a wide fullered base and a strong tapering point: “very clearly – – – to serve the dual purpose of cutting and thrusting,” in the words of Oakeshott. The wider part of the blade has a fuller to reduce weight. As the blade grows more narrow the cross section turns into a diamond shape that ends in a narrow point for superior penetration. They type became popular during the 14th century and with some variations remained in use for as long as long swords were made. However, the classic examples can be dated to 14th and early 15th century. In character the type XVIa blades have cousins in some XVII as well as some XVIIIc blades and could be understood as a mix between these types of swords. The design allows for good stiffness as well as enough width for effient cutting.
The Warwick has a heft that provides authority in attacks and wards, with a smooth swiftness that belies is size. The long grip is a feature that belongs to some of the larger examples of the type. It makes it a supremely versatile and agile weapon for the trained swordsman.
Warwick ‘the Kingmaker’ was a noble military commander in the Wars of the Roses and an influential politician who would – by stealth, cunning and daring – be in virtual control of the country for many years, until his death at the Battle of Barnet in April 1471. The Wars of the Roses, (1455–85), the series of dynastic civil wars whose violence and civil strife preceded the strong centralized government of the Tudors., were fought between the houses of Lancaster and York for the English throne. The wars were named many years afterward from the supposed badges of the contending parties: the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster. We thought that such a strong, nimble blade with a long reach would be a fitting sword to commemorate this renowned English knight.