Swords of the Covenanters: Alexander Peden’s Sword #History #Scotland


Peden relics in the NMS

The National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh displays the weapons of the field preacher, Alexander Peden. One appears to be the fragment of a blade in the background. The other, at the front, appears to be a plug bayonet, which is broadly similar in style to one from c.1690. It is known that when Argyll landed in Scotland in May, 1685, that his men had bayonets brought from the United Provinces. Peden joined the Argyll Rising just before it collapsed and was later in the company of some of those involved in it. It is possible that it was in that period that Peden acquired the bayonet, which may be of Dutch or Swedish manufacture. It is not clear why Peden possessed a bayonet, an infantry weapon for close combat.

In the NMS’s list of their collections, the latter is probably the ‘Plug bayonet with wooden hilt which belonged to Alexander Peden, between c. 1626 and 1686’.

The NMS also lists a ‘Basket-hilted broadsword, the blade of which is traditionally associated with Alexander Peden, the Covenanter’. It is not clear if that is the fragment of blade on display behind the bayonet or refers to another sword. I will clarify that with the NMS.

To find Peden’s weapons, snuff mill and famous mask enter the NMS via the round tower, proceed to the main hall (usually with a car on display) and turn right and exit hall at far end, then turn right through a gap into the display on the Covenanters.

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Photograph and Text © Copyright Dr Mark Jardine. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free link to this post on Facebook or other social networks or retweet it, but do not reblog in FULL without the express permission of the author @drmarkjardine

~ by drmarkjardine on October 27, 2016.

2 Responses to “Swords of the Covenanters: Alexander Peden’s Sword #History #Scotland”

  1. Thank you for keeping Covenanter history alive. I am descended from Covenanters who emigrated from Ireland to the US in 1740 and had a tent in Pennsylvania where traveling Covenanters held services. A Mr. Cuthbertson was a well-known visitor who also conducted marriages, etc.
    I was just in Edinburgh to trace my Covenanter ancestry but was not successful. I’ll try again. Best wishes

  2. […] one the most celebrated figures of that period. Since its discovery in the mid-nineteenth century with Peden’s weapons, its purpose has remained an […]

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