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Hartlepool seeks to Acquire Naval Swords Collection

CUTTING EDGE WORLD COLLECTION OF NAVAL WEAPONS BACKED BY HARTLEPOOL BOROUGH COUNCIL

The National Museum of the Royal Navy’s (NMRN) hopes to secure a world class set of over 300 edged naval weapons for its Hartlepool museum, have received a welcome boost after Hartlepool Borough Council committee members unanimously backed releasing earmarked funds to help purchase the collection.

The collection, described in council papers as “the finest collection of naval edged weapons” ever assembled, features Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson’s personal fighting sword, probably given to him by his uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling when Nelson joined the Navy.  It also features the sword carried by Captain Brooke when he boarded and captured the USS Chesapeake in the famous action with HMS Shannon, which was the same class of frigate as HMS Trincomalee.  This collection has been on the NMRN’s wish list for some time, but was reliant on external funding, which had been delayed by the pandemic.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Finance and Policy Committee was asked to approve releasing some of the funding already earmarked for the development of new exhibition space at the museum as part of a wider waterfront development to help purchase the swords.

Professor Dominic Tweddle said: “We are incredibly grateful to the councillors for their foresight in supporting us with this purchase. The rich vein of naval history in the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool will be well served by having the collection on display and make the museum even more of a must-see.  People tend to think of elegant frigates battering each other with gunfire, but most such actions ended with the cut and thrust of boarding.  This collection has every type of weapons used in such desperate encounters.”

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL NAVY

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), established in 2009, tells the story of the four fighting forces of the British Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Fleet Air Arm, the Submarine Service and the Surface Fleet.

Ours is the epic story of the Royal Navy, its impact on Britain and the world from its origins in 625 A.D. to the present day.

The Museum Group includes NMRN Hartlepool (including HMS Trincomalee), the Royal Naval Museum, the Fleet Air Arm Museum, the Royal Navy Submarine Museum with HMS Alliance, Explosion! The Museum of Naval Firepower, the Royal Marines Museum, HMS Victory, HMS Caroline, HMS M33 and HMS Warrior.

Further information is available on www.nmrn.org.uk

IMPACT OF COVID

The NMRN is an MOD-funded national museum but in a normal year 80% of our revenue is derived from admissions and trading income. The Covid-enforced closures led to a loss of the greater part of that revenue and the requirement to furlough 90% of the museum’s staff for six months. The Museum is currently closed but we hope to welcome you back soon when lockdown is lifted.

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