Waterloo British Named Infantry Officer's
This is almost 100% certain to be the sword held at Waterloo by
Volunteer officer, later General Montague Burrows of the 14th (Buckinghamshire)
Regiment of Foot, who appears on page 124 of the Waterloo Roll Call.
This sword almost certainly was at Waterloo. With strong provenance,
this sword came from the Burrows estate, a famous army and navy
family. Made by Osborne Gunby who adopted that trading style in
1806, it was bought by then Captain Montague Burrows of the 14th
(Buckinghamshire) Regiment of Foot. It came with a period label
from a Burrows family member stating it to be the sword of General
Montague Burrows, as he later became.
Montague Burrows resigned his commission (left the army) some
time before the 100 Days War and then joined up again in haste as
a volunteer and to the same regiment when Napoleon managed to end
his first exile. Page 124 of the Waterloo Roll Call shows Montague
Burrows as being with the 14th Regiment of Foot as a volunteer.
So it is likely he grabbed the sword he last had, being an earlier
1796P and carried that to play his part in defeating the French.
Crucially, the Burrows estate did not include an 1803 pattern (later
model) infantry officer's sword. In fact, this was the only sword
in their collection for Montague Burrows and has a label stating
it belonged to him when he was a general. So, not only can you be
pretty sure this is the sword he wore at Waterloo but also that
he kept it, either because he was frugal or that he was so fond
of the sword, throughout his military career. Unlike many 1796 pattern
infantry swords we have held, this one is solidly built and clearly
intended for battlefield rather than dress use.
The 32 3/4 inch blade is in good condition, though with patches
of light pitting and patina. Some of the etching is still clear.
The blade is firm in the hilt. The gilt brass hilt / guard has lost
most of its gilt; this is a folding guard version of the sword.
The silver metal grip wire appears to be original and is in good
order generally. The leather and golt metal scabbard has lost its
top fitting and is in aged condition, though the sword still sheathes
and draws pretty well.
All indications are this was the sword then Captain Montague Burrows
held at Waterloo and as such is a very evocative piece to hold.
A steal. Please quote item reference L06. Further / full sized
photos available upon request.