Political Artefacts from Britain during the
19th Century on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh
The sword was presented to Major William Murray of Polmaise of the Stirlingshire Yeomanry. The Yeomanry were cavalry units established to help keep law and order in Britain during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1820 was in command when his unit clashed violently with weavers. They were marching on the Carron Iron Works to seize weapons for a planned radical uprising in Scotland.
The badge and whistle belonged to a special constable in the Burgh of Calton, Glasgow in 1817. Extra policemen were recruited in response to mass anti-government demonstrations in Glasgow.
The pike head was stored as a weapon to be used by the political reform society the People of Kilsyth. Such societies were inspired by the French Revolution and operated in secret against the land owning classes.
Photographs taken by myself