Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

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Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

Postby acanthus » 25 Nov 2012 23:49

Hi all,

I am presently seeking information on the markings on swords sold by Garden & Son, 200 Piccadilly, London, and Robert Spring Garden 29 Piccadilly, London.

Some swords sold under these names, as well as the blade etching, have the name "Garden" stamped on the back edge of the blade, and at times, this also appears in conjunction with a number also stamped on the back edge of the blade.

There is also some variation of the mark that is actually stamped on the proof slug in the blade.

I would be most grateful to hear from anyone who might be able to provide specific details in relation to swords with these markings, in particular which trading name is etched on the blade, what type of sword/hilt it is, and what is the number on the blade (if so marked), and what appears on the proof slug in the blade.

Any assistance will be very much appreciated.

Gordon
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Re: Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

Postby Matt Easton » 26 Nov 2012 15:45

Hi Gordon,
I've also been interested in the Garden firm for a while, so I did a little digging on them.

Hugh Garden was the father, Robert Spring Garden the son. Both were army accoutrement makers/suppliers at 200 Piccadilly (not sure when Robert moved to 29 Piccadilly) - especially to the East India Company (with family connections - see below!).

In ‘British Gunmakers’ (2004), both Hugh and Robert Spring Garden are listed as army accoutrement and gun makers at 200 Piccadilly, the former being listed there between 1826 and 1851, thereafter apparently being in Robert’s name.

- Hugh Garden's brother was Lieutenant-Colonel William Garden CB, of the 36th Bengal Native Infantry, late Quartermaster-General to the Bengal Army (a post he seems to have held from 1837). He was granted various privileges by the Queen and ultimately became Aides-De-Camp to Queen in 1850.
- Hugh’s wife was said to have been a cousin of Lord Byron! (‘Paul Henry', Kennedy, 2007)
- In 1838 Hugh's eldest daughter, Margaret, married W. Irvine Esq.
- In 1855 the Reverend John Mitchell married Hugh’s daughter Jane.

Robert Spring Garden, of Piccadilly, is listed on 5 November 1855, in ‘The Mechanics Magazine’ (1855) as “army accoutrement maker” and has a copyright protection recorded against certain “improvements in the manufacture of hats.” He is also listed as a hat maker again in a patent office publication of 1861.

The Garden family seem to have run an interesting business and they seem to have been making things in their own workshops and innovating (with patents), not just supplying other makers' products with their name stamped on. Hugh Garden seems to have been regarded as wealthy and well-to-do and the fact that his brother was the Deputy-Quartermaster-General to the Bengal Army and then ADC to the Queen may have been very convenient for business!

Matt
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Re: Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

Postby acanthus » 26 Nov 2012 18:54

Hi Matt,

Interesting information re Hugh Garden and his brother, many thanks; may explain the major role played by Garden in the supply of merchandise to the EIC.

Gordon
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Re: Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

Postby Matt Easton » 23 Jan 2013 15:52

Gordon,
I stumbled upon another detail in this publication of 1853 - apparently the Scinde Horse were getting 'regulation' tulwars made by Garden in England, for equipping the native troopers:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=UWcB ... ar&f=false

I have myself seen what looked like a normal tulwar with 'MOLE' stamped on the blade!

Matt
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Re: Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

Postby acanthus » 23 Jan 2013 19:53

Hi Matt,

Very interesting. The terminology that is used can be deceiving, as in some instances Tulwar was used in a generic sense, and thus describing an Indian pattern sword with a typical Indian steel hilt, as well as a sword with a British style hilt and a blade such as a Paget pattern; having said that, I know for a fact that Mole made complete swords with steel Indian style '"Tulwar Hilts" and an Indian style blades; the particular Mole example I saw, was of good quality, with a swivel loop on the top of the pommel to take a wrist strap. On that basis, it is reasonable to accept that fact that Garden also supplied Indian pattern "Tulwars" to various regiments on request. The arming of Irregular cavalry tended to vary somewhat by comparison with the regular cavalry, which tended to adhere more-so to regulation patterns of a British style.

Gordon
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Re: Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

Postby jmsheard » 18 Jan 2017 21:21

Hi Gordon, I am assuming you are the same gentleman who requested information on the Army Lists concerning George Victor Drogo Montagu (Viscount Mandeville and 8th Duke of Manchester) - way back in August 2013. I've recently done a bit more research on his sword and found he appears in Hart's Army Lists between 1873 and 1889 under the Infantry Militia section which follows the index.
Specific entries from 1873 under the name Viscount Mandeville show:
1871-1877 Lieutenant Huntingdon (Rifles) Militia
1877-1880 Captain Huntingdon (Rifles) Militia
1880-1882 Captain Armagh (Light Infantry) Militia
1883-1889 Captain Princess Victoria's (Royal Irish Fusiliers) 3rd Battalion
This dates the sword No. 726 to 1871 to 1877 (last date for R S Garden at 29 Piccadilly).
I'm a new member of the Victoria Wars Forum and have already posted a request for information in the Zulu Wars section. Our initial correspondence was through the SFI forum which I am no longer able to access. Does it still exist?
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Re: Garden & Son and R. S. Garden

Postby acanthus » 18 Jan 2017 21:46

Hi,

Yes same person, and additional dates etc., are most useful. Have your sword written up with a date of circa 1877, which I consider is most likely in terms of how the sword is marked and commission dates etc. Good to know you're still around.

Lovely sword!
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