The most distinguished Sword used in a Mummers’ play
Article type: Correspondence
In the last issue of the Forum, Peter Robson wrote a piece under this title in the hope that somebody may be able to come up with additional information. Well, Darryl Plumridge replied very promptly. It is satisfying to discover the extent to which we can be a conduit in a matter as interesting as this.
Browsing the internet (research) I have found your site with a reference to the Duke of Monmouth’s sword. Your contributor, Peter Robson of Dorset, might like to know that I can solve the whereabouts of the sword. To be exact, I am looking at it!
The description of the sword in the Thomas Hardy short story, The Duke's Reappearance, is extremely accurate. According to an original document in my possession (dated 13 October 1863) written by the owner of the sword, it was indeed purchased from a group of Mummers performing at Woodyates Inn in the 1840's but the document reveals that the Mummers Play was being performed by the local villagers of Handley.
I am currently researching the history of the sword for a book. If any of your contributors can add anything more to the story of this sword I would be only to happy to correspond with them. In a similar vein, I also have in my possession the pair of pistols (together with their holster) gifted by Monmouth to his friend Edward Strode. These were acquired from an American descendant of the Strode family. Again, if any of your contributors can add to the story of these pistols I would be happy to hear from them.
Peter Robson (2005) The most distinguished sword used in a mummers' play
Traditional Drama Forum, March 2005, No.12
Internet URL: www.folkplay.info/Forum/TD_Forum_12_News.htm