Baselard with wooden handle: late 14th century
© Museum of London
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Long sword-like dagger called a baselard, with a wooden handle. Most men wore daggers at their belts, partly for protection in the streets but also because it was fashionable. Large daggers like this, with blades as big as those of swords, were known as 'baselards': the fashion came from Basel, in Switzerland. Baselards seem to have been popular with wealthy London merchants. During the Peasants' Revolt in June 1381, the rebels met King Richard II at Smithfield. In the confusion, the mayor, William Walworth, pulled out a baselard and struck the rebel leader, Wat Tyler; then one of the king's followers killed Tyler with a sword blow.
1360 AD - 1400 AD