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Muirhead Sword

Curated Submission
Solingen, Germany
Circa 1780 - 1814
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
Materials & techniques
Steel, brass, leather
J.J. Runkel
Niagara Historical Society and Museum 971.151.1a
This sword belonged to Captain James Muirhead during the War of 1812. The hilt is made of brass with sharkskin, and the blade is steel with embossed decorations, which include the Royal Cipher of King George III and the manufacturer’s name, “J.J. Runkel, Solingen.” Doctor Muirhead arrived in Canada from Scotland around 1790 as a Surgeon’s mate in the 60th Regiment of Foot. He settled in Niagara and established a medical practice in the town while acting as Chairman of the Quarter Sessions of the District. At the outbreak of war in 1812, Muirhead was appointed Surgeon of the Militia, but he was captured during the war and marched to an American prisoner-of-war camp in Greenbush, New York, until his parole in December 1813.
After the war Muirhead received compensation in the amount of £905 and a grant of land in Garafraxa, Ontario. He was appointed Surgeon General to the Militia in 1822 and died in Niagara on March 24, 1834, at age 69.
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