The Duke of Exeter Sword may look a bit ordinary even with the extra flourishes that Valiant Armoury gives this old design from the Hundred Years’ War. Patterned after actual swords used in the Battle of Agincourt, the 35.5-inch blade, hilt, and pommel are plain and simple, built to pierce armor, catch blades, and break heads rather than impress court followers. The 27.5-inch hammer-forged carbon steel blade brings the total weight in hand of this powerful one-handed longsword to four pounds and an ounce. That’s enough to make us tired, but in the Hundred Years’ War, it was a lightweight.
Named after Thomas Beaufort, an important military leader favored by King Henry V, the Duke of Exeter Sword hides a lot of history. This style of sword became the right blade at the right time on the historically important Agincourt battlefield. An English army of swordsmen and longbowmen — lightly armoured, exhausted after a 250 mile march across France, sick with dysentery, and outnumbered by a confident French army by ten to one — not only survived but won a decisive victory. Swords like this were one of the reasons, light enough to swing without sinking their owners to their knees in mud, and forged with a diamond shaped blade that drove through heavy plate armour.
Hand forged in the Philippines, the Duke of Exeter longsword uses polished macassar ebony as the hand grip, departing a little from the materials of the originals but adding enough flair to make this a beautiful and functional replica sword. One of Valiant’s standard weapons, this sword is not rated combat ready. The build is strong and solid and makes you think that with a little bit of work, it would be.