Provenance: By family tradition, The Hereditary Sword of The Marquesses of Ely. The line descended from The Tottenhams of Barrington, Cambridgeshire, of which John, settled in Ballyduffe, Co. Wexford, Ireland before 1632. The line continued to Charles Tottenham of Tottenham Green (M.P. for New Ross 1727-1758, High Sheriff and Mayor of Wexford). Thence to the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tottenham, created Baron Loftus of Loftus Hall, Co. Wexford and created 1st Marquess of Ely in 1800.
The present family line continueing through the Loftus-Ely branch and the sword descending from the 7th Marquess to the present owners.
For a discussion of Highland Scottish two-hand swords of this distinctive type see the guide of The London Park Lane Arms Fair, Spring 2009, Tony Willis, Three Claymores from Warwick Castle. The present sword compares most closely to that described in the article as Warwick III. It is also comparable to another in The National Museum of Scotland (LA 89).
The Loftus-Ely sword was presumably acquired by the family in Ireland, presumably in either the 18th or 19th century but also possibly through their 17th century antecedents.