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English Plug Bayonet by William Hoy ca. 1690
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English plug bayonet by William Hoy, made free of the of London Cutlers Company October 30, 1686. Introduced in the 1660s, plug bayonets were issued in limited quantities, but privately purchased by many colonels of infantry regiments and became increasingly common by the 1680s when the Board of Ordnance also began to purchase them, procuring some 48,000 from 1689 to 1702. Even from that point, when Ordnance turned its attention to acquiring some socket bayonets, troops continued to be supplied with plug bayonets for the next decade, many (perhaps most) of Marlboroughs infantry carrying them throughout the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714.) In America independent companies, regular troops, provincial troops and colonial militia followed the same pattern in wars with Indian tribes and the French. Records are sparse, but Maryland will serve as example: On 24 September 1694 the Council of Maryland resolved to send an order for arms to, "Captain Pagan merchant in London" that included powder, grenades, "slung fusees" and "Byonets fit for the bore of these fusees..."

This is an example of a "non-Ordnance pattern" plug bayonet, very much like the one pictured in Plate 10, page 16, of Goldstein's "The Socket Bayonet in the British Army 1687-1783," with plainer quillons and pommel, but clearly struck "CROWN/ROSE" marks of William Hoy, a cutler made free of the London Company of Cutlers on Oct. 30, 1687. Other plug bayonets by Hoy are at the Victoria and Albert and in the Royal Trust Collection at Windsor Castle.

Overall the bayonet is an impressive 18 inches, with an 11 5/8 inch blade having a 6 inch back edge. The blade is clean, smooth metal, steel gray in color with a few darker gray areas, with no edge nicks and a good point. Hoy's stamps are crisp on both sides of the blade. The guard and pommel are iron. The wood grip appears to be oak and original. There are a couple of engraved flourishes on inside of the quillon block and just the slightest play to the crossguard.

A very, very nice example from a documented English maker.

I show some modern artist renderings of English troops of the period. The left and center figures represent independent companies stationed in America. The last illustration is an early portrait of a grenadier officer, grenade in one hand, plug bayonet on his belt.

Shipping $25 insured. NY addresses add sales tax. Checks or money orders only on this please. Email is good to reserve it; phone calls are better. First come, first served. Thanks!