Stock Ref: AST 1777

A very interesting piece of Irish History.

A sword with provenance owned by a Robert Armstrong of Oghill who was a Yeomanry Officer in Sligo at the time of the Irish Rebellion in 1798. Plus documentation.

77cm (30.25”) curved flat backed single fullered blade with hatchet point. The blade is single edged except for the last 5”, and historically has been combat sharpened. The blade has been blued and gilt and on one side depicts the crowned cypher of George III above a standing infantry officer with extensive floral decoration. On the reverse the crowned royal coat of arms, a stand of arms above Warranted and extensive floral decoration.

Gilt stirrup hilt with sword knot slit, rounded langets and rearward facing quillon with rounded finial. Lions head pommel with mane back piece. Ivory cross hatched grip.

Maker: J Lamphrey, 29 Westmoreland Street, Dublin (Traded from this address between 1798-1833)

Dated: 1798

Leather scabbard with brass fittings, two loose rings and a frog stud. The locket stamped on the back with the makers name.

The sword is generally in a good condition given its age. The blade has suffered from earlier rust damage which has left staining to the blue and gilt and towards the point. The steel remains supple. The edge has a number of knicks, some caused by feathering from when the blade was sharpened and other from service use. The hilt is generally in good order although there is wear to the gilt finish. It is firm on the tang. The ivory grip has one crack but is otherwise complete and it is sound. The scabbard has lost its chape and this has been repaired with a piece of leather. The top and middle mounts have lost there gilt finish and are stained. The middle ring is probably a replacement. The leather remains reasonably supple and the stitching is good.

The sword is accompanied by a label, in an envelope marked Irish Sword, dating from 1915 which states:

“This sword belonged to Gilians Great Grandfather Robert Armstrong of Oghill – he was in the Irish Yeomanry at the time of the rebellion in 1798. Signed R S  ..celle 1915.

Robert Armstrong of Oghil, Kilglass, Sligo, Ireland

Robert Armstrong was born in 1775 and died on the 11 June 1830 from Cholera Morbusly. He is recorded as holding a modest estate in the parish of Kilglass in the 18th century. There is a large burial plot in Kilglass graveyard inscribed "Armstrong 1661-1906" from which we can infer that the family were resident in the area since the mid-17th century.

Robert Walton Armstrong, his son was born in 1814, and died in 1906. In March 1847 he is recorded as an early member of the newly formed Freemason Lodge of Ballina No 217. On the 15 August 1854 he married a Sarah Seymour. In 1906 Robert W. Armstrong is recorded as the occupier of property at Oghil, including a mansion house. The Armstrong estate was divided by the Congested Districts Board following its purchase in 1916.

Oghil house is recorded in the OS Name Books as being built in the 1740s, though McTernan states that the existing house dates from the late 1830s. At both the time of Griffith's Valuation and in 1906 it was the property of Robert W. Armstrong and was valued at £17. It later served as the parochial house but is now a family home again.

A Complete Collection of State Trials and Proceedings by Howell has an entry from 8 December 1806 stating:-

In 1803 Patrick Hart, Bartholomew Bighlane, Archibold Biglane, James Kinzy and John Kinzy were indicted, for that they on the 21st of November 1806, at Oghill in the county of Sligo, did feloniously in a forcible manner, demand fire arms from Robert Armstrong, with intent feloniously to rob him thereof, against peace and statute. The prisoners were all convicted and sentenced to be transported for seven years.

The 1798 Irish Revolution was supported by the French, who landed troops, and in the Sligo area gained some minor victories over British Regular troops and local Militia forces loyal to the Crown. As a local Yeomanry Officer it is highly likely that Robert Armstrong was present in these battles and skirmishes.

Further research into this family and Armstrong's involvement is appropriate.


  • Newspaper extract of Robert Armstrong’s death in 1830
  • Census information showing Armstrong family residency at Oghill in 1901
  • Death entry for Robert Walton Armstrong – son of Robert Armstrong
  • Valuation of Property and Tenements for Oghill
  • Thomas Del Mar Catalogue entry December 2005 showing Hammer Price of £2200.

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