Collections Online

Prescott and Linzee swords

Prescott and Linzee swords Wooden plaque with crossed swords
Image 1 of 1

To order an image, navigate to the full
display and click "request this image"
on the blue toolbar.

[ This description is from the project: Revolutionary-era Art and Artifacts ]

This plaque displays swords owned by Colonel William Prescott (1726-1795) of the Massachusetts revolutionary army and Royal Navy Captain John Linzee (1743-1798), who fought on opposite sides during the Battle of Bunker Hill, the first major military engagement of the American Revolution. The swords descended through their respective families, until both ended up in the possession of historian William Hickling Prescott, who married a Linzee relation. They were mounted in 1859 for the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Prescott's sword is the one he wore at Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775; Linzee's original sword was lost at sea, after the battle, while he commanded the British sloop-of-war Falcon. This is a replacement, likely dating from the 1780s.The swords cross through a wreath of olive leaves underneath the crests of the two families.