“The Wars of the Roses” describes a violent, turbulent era in English history. A civil war that raged sporadically between the English Houses of Lancaster and York roughly between the years of 1455 to 1487, over no less than the Crown of England.
When the famous Lancastrian King Henry V died, his infant son, Henry VI, was crowned in his place. Dominated by his Regents, the young and weak Henry VI was not a popular monarch among the English nobility.
The House of York had many who could trace their ancestry back to Edward III and therefore challenged Henry VI’s right to the throne. Henry VI’s wife, Margaret of Anjou, was determined to keep the throne for their son, Edward, Prince of Wales.
Many legendary battles (the Ist and 2nd Battles of St. Albans, Northampton, Towton, and finally Bosworth) and many famous and infamous characters (Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, known as “The Kingmaker;” Richard III; Henry Tudor; and the wily Margaret of Anjou) all put their stamp on this tumultuous time period. Both Houses lost many of their noble members during that bloody 30 year period.
The struggle ended finally with the victory of the Lancastrian Earl of Richmond, Henry Tudor, who defeated the Yorkist King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth. Henry assumed the crown of England as Henry VII and founded the House of Tudor, which ruled England and Wales for the next 117 years.
The Albion Lancaster, classified by Oakeshott as a Type XV, is one of the types of swords you would have found on those famous battlefields. Our Lancaster would be right at home in the early years of the conflict, and would have still seen use towards the end.
Swords of type XV were developed to deliver deep thrusts with ease. Reaching the height of popularity in the mid and late 14th C, it still saw use in the 15th C.
The shape of type XV blades results in a point that is acute, robust and very agile, and allows effective cutting where the blade broadens. By varying the proportions in width and thickness, blades of this type can have rather different character. Some are narrow and thick, resulting in very rigid and stout thrusting swords, while other blades are wider and thinner in proportion, with more emphasis of the edge and the cutting aspect of the sword.
Our type XV blade belongs to the latter category: with its broad base, slim section and strong point it becomes a true "cut & thrust" sword. The edge will easily cut softer mediums, while the rigid point can meet such targets that are resilient against the edge of a sword.
Handy in size, and with a very lively heft (perhaps the quickest in all the NG line up) it is a practical and lethal fighting sword well suited for both melee and self defense. It offers a precise and fluid control of point and edge and seems eager to follow the intent of the swordsman.