Today, I continue my new post series: Researching For Romance. Tune in as I share the interesting tidbits I've discovered during the writing process!
The Claymore: Popular Battle Weapon And Oft Wielded Sword Of Romance Heroes...
In Depth Info , a great research site, explains that the claymore was a Scottish weapon used in the late medieval period (1300-1700's). Heavy (a good five pounds), the claymore was wielded with two hands and was an offensive weapon. With a reach up to sixty inches, this weapon was brutal when employed, but could also be disadvantageous if an attacker broke inside the swordsman's stroke arc. Thrusts, swings, and downward hacks were deadly; the combined weight of the sword and body momentum easily penetrated English armor and could even break shields.
The use of the term Claymore can be deceiving as the true sword has definite properties. William Wallace was said to utilize this weapon, but his sword had a more narrow point and lacked the leather wrapping around the ricasso; so in the strictest of terms, it was not a 'true' Claymore. I've read the sword used in the movie was.
Medieval Storm The Castle , another interesting site, tells that while the sword gained greater notoriety during its use against the English during the 1700's, it had been long in use by that time. It remains part of the uniform of the British Highland Division to this day.
The claymore, in its loose interpretation of the name, was used extensively in the back and forth border battles between England and Scotland between the 1400's and 1700's. The Battle of Killiecrankie (1689) was the last documented instance of the sword's use in significant numbers. (wikipedia )
The Claymore seems to have developed from the cross-hilted sword and has been depicted on graves as far back as 1539, although the Claymore widely described in novels is often the Lowland Claymore. No more precise dating can be determined beyond late 16th century for the exact time when the sword came into common use. I was extremely interested in the evolution of the Claymore and discovered that this sword is of German origin. My Armoury offers a more thorough vetting than I will go into.
In my novella, Her Dark Baron, the hero has a Claymore strapped to his back as he rides to his home. Living on the English/Scottish border in the mid 1600's, a time of vicious border raids between the Scots and English, and secretly crossing the border to seek and eliminate key rebels, Baron Gervase Daltrey may well have employed this deadly weapon. Researching the Claymore was definitely an educational experience, growing my knowledge in heaps.
What have you researched recently? Have any great finds to share?