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Charles Austen’s Sword.

October 9, 2012

The Museum has recently been the beneficiary of a very special loan, and we thought you might like to see some photographs of it.

Charles Austen's Sword on show at the Museum

Charles Austen’s Sword on show at the Museum

The object in question is the sword that was presented to Charles Austen, Jane Austen’s youngest brother, by Simon Bolivar in 1827. Charles Austen ( 1779-1852) was one of Jane Austen’s Sailor Brothers: her brother, Francis Austen (1774-1865) was also a serving officer in the Royal Navy.

The decoration on the blade

The decoration on the blade

The inscription on the sword case  reads:

Presented to Charles John Austen R.N. commanding HMS Aurora at the city of Caracas 1st March 1827 by General Simon Bolivar the liberator of his country as a mark of esteem

The Inscription on the Sword Case

The Inscription on the Sword Case

 Charles Austen, on the orders of the British Government, provided naval and political support to Simon Bolivar in Venezuela. The sword is thought to have been presented to Charles as a token of Bolivar’s personal thanks to him as a representative of the British Government.

The beautifully decorated Hilt, with its cannon design

The Sword is now on display in a special display case in the Admirals Room on the first floor of the Museum, and will be on view there for the next five years. We do hope you will come to the House to see it for yourselves.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Aline permalink
    October 9, 2012 1:20 pm

    What a beautiful pieace! I always thought elegant the swords and all this vintage things from an old age. Fights and wars used to be more honest, with gentlemen soldiers.

  2. cathyallen permalink
    October 9, 2012 3:09 pm

    I’m not used to admiring a weapon (obviously, I don’t get around much 🙂 ) but this really is a thing of beauty. Where I live in California, not far from the border with Mexico, and having visited that beautiful country many times, I know that the Mexican people esteem Bolivar greatly. For this to be true so far north of Venezuela and Bolivia, et al, is clear indication of how VERY important he was to the liberation from Spain. To receive such personal recognition from such a man, Jane Austen’s little brother much have been very useful to Bolivar indeed. I had no idea; I shall have to do some more reading about Charles Austen! Thank you, Julie.

  3. Angela permalink
    October 9, 2012 3:48 pm

    How amazing! Thanks so much for the information. This is a really lovely sword. Where is it on loan from?

  4. October 9, 2012 6:14 pm

    How wonderful!

  5. October 9, 2012 10:47 pm

    I saw the sword when I visited in September and was impressed that Charles Austen would have received such personal attention from Bolivar – and it also made me wonder what he would have thought if someone had told him that someday his prize sword would be of importance primarily because of the accomplishments of his stay-at-home spinster sister. Odd how these things turn out!

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