Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilling

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Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilling

Postby Richard » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:05 pm

So, because its a bit quiet after Christmas, I'm posting this just to get a bit of interest going: below are the two swords of Lt. Col. Fiennes Sanderson Miller of the 6th (or Inniskilling) Dragoons - his 1796 pattern dress and undress swords.

Lieutenant-Colonel Fiennes Sanderson Miller, CB (1783-1862) was originally commissioned as Cornet in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons on 19th December 1799. He rose by promotion to Lieutenant (25th June 1803), Captain (5th October 1804), Major (25th May 1809) and Lieutenant-Colonel (brevet) on 4th June 1814.

The Inniskillings played no part in the Peninsula campaigns of 1808 to 1814 but the regiment distinguished itself at Quatre Bras and at Waterloo on 18th June 1815 where it formed part of the Union Brigade alongside the 1st (Royal) Dragoons and the 2nd (Royal North British) Dragoons (or ‘Scots Greys’) under the command of Major General Sir William Ponsonby. At that time, Miller was second-in-command of the regiment. During the famous charge of the Union Brigade, he was twice wounded by bayonet and also lost his horse. Returning to the rear, he commandeered a captured French Lancer officer’s horse and returned to the fray. Sometime after, he was wounded again, this time severely by canister shot which shattered his thigh. He received a sum from the Waterloo Subscription Fund while convalescing in Brussels after the battle and was awarded a disability pension of £250 per year by the War Office when he returned from Belgium in June 1816. He retired from the regiment on account of his wounds in June 1817.

Miller was a prominent contributor to Siborne’s ‘Waterloo Letters’ compiled in the early 1840s and published in 1891. In particular, Miller advocated that the Inniskillings should also have been awarded an ‘Eagle’ for its standard as was given to both the Royals and the Scots Greys. He recounted the tale that Trooper Penfold of the Inniskillings had also reputedly ‘captured’ a French Eagle standard during the charge of the Union Brigade but that it had subsequently been lost*.

Miller married in 1819 and produced four sons and three daughters. His youngest son, Frederick, born in 1831, joined the Royal Artillery and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour at Inkerman on 5th November 1854. The portrait below probably dates from the late 1840s/early 1850s but he is still wearing his Waterloo uniform with his CB and Waterloo medal. Tough old bird he looks too.

Richard

* The claim that the Inniskillings also captured an Eagle at Waterloo has always been the subject of much controversy. The claim is examined in ‘Waterloo – Myth or Reality’ by Gareth Glover (Pen & Sword 2014) who cites a French account that the French 55th regiment also lost its Eagle during the charge of the Union Brigade but that it was re-captured by Colonel Bro of the French 4th Lancer regiment.
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270&271_2A.jpg
Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller (attributed to Adolphus Robert Venables 1805-1892).jpg
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby sword335 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:13 pm

A great story Richard. Two well used swords brought to life. If only we could do the same with more of them.

What is the provenance ?

Chris.
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby Richard » Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:20 pm

sword335 wrote:A great story Richard. Two well used swords brought to life. If only we could do the same with more of them.

What is the provenance ?

Chris.


Del Mar 30/06/2010 - sold by the Descendant family together with his uniform, shabraque, sabretache, pouch, waist-belt, cocked hat and Waterloo medal.
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby sword335 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:38 pm

Richard wrote:
sword335 wrote:A great story Richard. Two well used swords brought to life. If only we could do the same with more of them.

What is the provenance ?

Chris.


Del Mar 30/06/2010 - sold by the Descendant family together with his uniform, shabraque, sabretache, pouch, waist-belt, cocked hat and Waterloo medal.


So how many of these items do you own ?
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby Bryce » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:10 pm

Great swords Richard. Is there a maker mark on the ladder hilt?

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby Bryce » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:12 pm

I just had a closer look and it looks like a Runkel blade.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby Richard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:30 pm

sword335 wrote:
Richard wrote:
sword335 wrote:A great story Richard. Two well used swords brought to life. If only we could do the same with more of them.

What is the provenance ?

Chris.


Del Mar 30/06/2010 - sold by the Descendant family together with his uniform, shabraque, sabretache, pouch, waist-belt, cocked hat and Waterloo medal.


So how many of these items do you own ?


Only the swords but I do know where everything else resides (and I'll bet you could take a good guess as well)
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby Richard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:31 pm

Bryce wrote:I just had a closer look and it looks like a Runkel blade.

Cheers,
Bryce


Bryce

Yes it is a Runkel blade as with so many of this pattern

Richard
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby Bryce » Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:18 am

G'day Guys,

I had always assumed that boatshell-hilts with steel scabbards were probably used by field or staff officers, rather than as heavy cavalry officers' dress swords. The above example suggests that this may not be the case.

Cheers,
Bryce
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Re: Swords of Lt Col Fiennes Sanderson Miller 6th Inniskilli

Postby Richard » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:12 pm

Bryce
Given that so many swords of this type are not heavy cavalry, it's quite difficult to make any correlation. However, one thing I have noticed is that most (but probably not all) p1796 HC swords have the double-edged blade with central fuller.
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