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War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week

Presentation Sword, Scabbard and Belt of Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Battersby

Parks Canada: X.71.261.1A-C

This spectacular presentation sword, scabbard and sword belt were given to Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Battersby of the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencible Regiment in 1816 by the Upper Canada Legislature. The sword is highly decorated with gold indented on the blued steel blade. The scabbard and hilt are gilt and the sword grip is of ivory. The sword belt is covered in gold bullion embroidery and has gilt lion-head fittings. Prominent on the blade is the dedication to Battersby. This sword is one of the most impressive military objects in our collection.

Presentation swords are very decorative, and were most often presented as gifts for impressive achievements, and were worn on special occasions. Incredibly ornate and made of the finest of materials, this “100 guinea sword” (a guinea was a British gold coin worth 1 pound 1 shilling) was, at the time, one of the highest honours that could be bestowed upon an individual. The sword was made in England and presented to Battersby after he had returned to his home in Ireland.

Battersby served with distinction during the War of 1812 as the commanding officer of the Glengarry Fencibles from the regiment’s founding in February 1812 until the unit’s disbanding in 1816. The Glengarries drew recruits from across British North America and fought at numerous battles during the war.

For more information, visit the Parks Canada Website.

Sword Hilt Sword Hilt
© Parks Canada