Fencing Familiarized, 1805, by Thomas Mathewson.
This is a source for British Military Swordsmanship in the Napoleonic era, contemporary with Angelo and Roworth.
Thomas’ Mathewson’s ‘Fencing Familiarized’ was published in 1805 during the height of the threat of invasion of the British Isles by Napoleon. Mathewson was clearly a skilled and knowledgeable swordsman who was well travelled and acquainted by may swordsmen of his day. This work not only covers the use of cut and thrust military swords, but also how to oppose the bayonet and spear.
Roworth’s Art of Defence on Foot, Fourth Edition
Roworth’s Art of Defence is one of our primary resources for the practice of British military sabre and swordsmanship of the Napoleonic era. Here is the complete fourth edition, published in 1824, transcribed and restored by the AHF. It is for the practice of swordsmanship on foot with the Broadsword, sabre and spadroon. The fourth edition was published in the United States, but is a re-print of the 1804, third edition.
The Art of Defence on Foot (PT) – A translation to Portuguese of Roworth’s “The Art of Defence on Foot” 4th edition.
Roworth’s Art of Defence on Foot, Second Edition
Roworth’s Art of Defence is one of our primary resources for the practice of British military sabre and swordsmanship of the Napoleonic era. Here is the complete second edition, published in 1798, restored and made available by the AHF. It is for the practice of swordsmanship on foot with the Broadsword, sabre and spadroon.
‘The Rules and Regulations for the Infantry Sword Exercise’ by Henry Charles Angelo.
This is a scan of the first edition (1817) of the first manual officially adopted by the British army as a standard and regulated method of infantry sword practice. This work, and revised editions of it, remained the standard of the British army until almost the end of the 19th century. Based heavily on his father’s military system, the Angelo’s methods of infantry sword practice lasted almost one hundred years.
Printed cotton handkerchief, ‘The New Broad Sword Exercise’, published by William Hanson and Sons, Manchester, 1798.
Owned by the National Army Museum, Chelsea, London.
Pringle Green’s Instruction for training a ship’s cew in the use of arms in attack and defence
Pringle Green’s manual provides a unique and incredible insight into close quarters naval combat in the Napoleonic era. It is primarily focused on group tactics and strategies, but also gives insight and instruction into simple methods to be used by individuals.
Presented by the Academy of Historical Fencing
Transcribed by Nick Thomas, Alex Timmerman & Esther Gibson
AHF Rapier Workbook
The rapier is the iconic sword of the renaissance, but it is often misunderstood due to poor representation in popular culture. The reality of the rapier is that it was a brutal and efficient killer. So much so that in Britain it was often considered a bullies or murderers weapon. Because to use a rapier against a person is to attempt to kill them, and not just defend oneself. A result of the heavy emphasis on point work and the horrendous internal damage that such thrust work inflicts.
Rapier teachings were first brought to Britain in the 1570’s, and soon became the dominant weapon for civilian wear. Of course many weapons that were not so different were also used in the military, featuring the same guards and slightly lighter and broader blades.
The rapier was very commonly used with offhand weapons, and Capo Ferro covers a range of them. However for this work book, we will focus on single sword, which is the foundation of the system. This workbook will give a solid overview and intro to the system for newcomers, and will be updated and improved periodically. Updated to version 1, 30th Nov 2016.
Workbook rapier pt – A translation to Portuguese of the AHF Rapier Workbook with added illustrations.
AHF Messer Workbook
This PDF workbook is based on a booklet produced for fencing events in 2011. It is a basic guide, but provides everything needed to make a start. Can be printed to A5 as a handy guidebook. Updated version 1, 2011.
AHF Longsword Workbook
This PDF document is a complete training system for longsword, with the source material coming from the longsword component from the 1570 edition of Meyer’s book, the Art of the Sword. The workbook includes all the basic information, techniques and mechanics required to study Meyer’s longsword. The file will be updated and expanded, to finally include notes and training assistance. Updated version 0.7, 29th Nov 2016.
AHF Sabre Workbook
This PDF combines all of the information shown in the Angelo posters into one useful document, including a lot of common questions and extra information. It forms the core framework for the AHF broadsword/sabre classes. Updated to version 4, 28th Nov 2016.
An English translation of the Portuguese Naval Sabre manual from 1878 to be used by the Portuguese Navy.
An English translation of the Portuguese Fencing manual of 1895 that bridges the gap between military fencing and sport fencing as this manual not only encapsulates the three modern sport fencing weapons but is meant for both civil military instruction with strong foundations on French Military systems as described by the author.
Method of Handling the Pike (EN/PT)
An English translation, and Portuguese transcription, of an 1809 pike and spear manual to be used by Portuguese militias during the Napoleonic period.
Imperial Roman Fencing
This research paper by Tim Jones investigates how gladiatorial combats were staged in the Roman arenas, with evidence taken from the depictions of gladiators on Gaulish samian. Tim is one of the AHF’s fencing instructors, with a background in historical swordsmanship, archaeology and Classics.
The Angelo Broadsword/Sabre Lesson Posters
These posters were published in 1799 and give a fantastic insight into military swordsmanship at the time, and are especially useful for those working from manuals such as Roworth’s. These posters were restored by AHF club instructor Nick Thomas.
Notice that despite using the terms ‘Highland Broadsword’ on these posters, the system is intended for all British soldiers using the sword on foot, and the ten divisions poster displays the ‘Dismounted troops of the London and Westminster Light Horse Volunteers. For more information on the type of swords that would expect to be used under this system, see the Workbook pdf.
Angelo was a highly respected swordsman whose family taught both civilian and military swordsmanship throughout the 18th and 19th century. Angelo was also master to the light horse unit mentioned above, the same unit that John Taylor (who introduced the ten lessons) taught previously, and the same one that Charles Roworth served in, who published ‘The Art of Defence on Foot, with Broadsword and Sabre’.