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Swords History

Sword of Mercy

Friday, 29 July 2016

The Sword of Mercy is a famous weapon that once belonged to Edward the Confessor.  Edward the Confessor was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England before the Norman Conquest of 1066.  He ruled from 1042 to 1066 and his reign has been characterized by the crumbling disorganization of royal power in England.  Shortly after Edward the Confessor’s death, the Normans began to expand into England, led by the infamous William the Conqueror.

Sword of Mercy

The Sword

The Sword of Mercy has a broken blade, which is cut off short and square.  In 1236, the weapon was given the name curtana and has since been used for royal ceremonies.  In ancient times it was a privilege to bear this sword before the king.  It was considered a merciful gesture.  The story surrounding the breaking of the weapon is unknown, but mythological history indicates that the tip was broken off by an angel to prevent a wrongful killing.

The Sword of Mercy is part of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and is one of only five swords used during the coronation of the British monarch.  The weapon is rare and is one of only a small number of swords to survive the reign of Oliver Cromwell.  Cromwell is known for ordering the melting down of ancient artifacts for scrap gold and metal.  During the British coronation, the Sword of Mercy is wielded as the monarch bestows knighthood upon the recipient of honor.