English Presentation Sword
- Dated: 1813-1814
- Makers: John Ray, John (cutler), James Montague (cutler)
- Place of Origin: London, England
- Medium and Techniques: gold set with enamelled plaques
- Measurements: blade length: 83 cm, hilt length: 18.5 cm, overall length: 101 cm. Width: 11.3 cm. Depth: 7.3 cm
- Marks and inscriptions: London hallmarks for 1813-14, the makers mark for John Ray and James Montague, the coat of arms for Rowland Hill, and the coat of arms for the City of London
The sword was presented by the City of London to Lieutenant General Rowland Hill for services at the Battle of Vittoria in 1813. The sword was described in the RUSI catalogue as a "dress rapier" and it was one of a number of items associated with Rowland Hill given to RUSI by Caroline, the Viscountess Hill, wife of the 5th Viscount Hill. He died without issue in 1924, so the items were donated to RUSI after 1924, and before the Viscountess died in 1941.
This gold hilted sword is decorated with the arms of Sir Rowland Hill (1772-1842) and the arms of the City of London and is inscribed: 'PRESENTED by the Corporation of the City of London pursuant to a Vote of the Common Council passed the 12th July 1813. The Right Honble George Scholey Mayor To LIEUT GENL SR ROWLAND HILL KB In testimony of the high Sense this Court entertains for his public services in the Skill Bravery and exertions so eminently displayed on the 21st day of June last When the French Army was compleatly defeated AT VITTORIA by the Allied Forces under the Command of Field Marshall the Marquis of Wellington'.
The sword was made by John Ray and James Montague, the esteemed hilt-makers, goldworkers and enamellers who succeeded James Morisset at Denmark Street, Soho, in around 1800. They thrived during the Napoleonic wars due to the prevalence of presentations swords as rewards for service, but lost business following Waterloo, when the demand for such items declined.
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