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British flat-bladed bayonet

ca. 1700-1720
Origin: England, Birmingham (likely)
Overall: 21 9/16"
Iron & steel
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1982-21
Label:As the socket bayonet came into use in the British armed forces at the onset of the 18th century, many different designs were tried. Retaining the double-edged flat blade found on many of the earlier plug bayonets, this type was amongst the first to gain popularity.

While the basic proportions of this rudimentary weapon were retained, a number of improvements were made to the type resulting in the standard "Land Pattern" bayonets used over the ensuing century. The socket received a reinforcing ring at its rear, the shank was thickened, and the blade received a "hollow" triangular cross section (having deep fullers, or grooves). These fullers added strength through an increase of surface area, while reducing the weight of the piece.

Flat-bladed bayonets of this sort have been found at numerous archaeological sites from the Gulf Coast to northern New England, including Fort Ticonderoga (NY) and Fort Frederick at Pemaquid, Maine.
Provenance:This bayonet originated from a stand of identical, numbered bayonets, and their muskets, removed from Ashburnham Place, East Sussex, during the early 1950s.
Mark(s):Socket punched "59"