The oldest known European fencing manual in existence.

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this month’s blog, Stuart Ivinson, Librarian at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, explores the history of the treasured manuscript I.33, ahead of the publication of Jeffrey Forgeng’s latest transcription. A jewel of the collection One of the oldest and most enigmatic treasures in the Royal Armouries archives is the Royal Armouries I.33 manuscript, a surviving example of a Fechtbuch, or Fight Book. This particular manualRead more

Object of the Month for July: Hungarian and Highland Broad Sword Manual

In this monthly blog series, our collections team will write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. This month, Stuart Ivinson, librarian, tells us about one of our latest acquisitions, ‘Hungarian and Highland Broad Sword’, a gorgeously engraved fencing manual used by the great and the good of Georgian society. The Artist and the Fencing Master This year we have added a very rare book to our special collection of fencing manuals, Hungarian and Highland Broad Sword,Read more

The School of Fencing: A rare, historical fencing manual.

Stuart Ivinson, Assistant Librarian at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, writes about an exciting new addition to our literary collection.  The library at the Royal Armouries in Leeds has recently acquired a rare and beautiful addition to it’s Special Collection of historical fencing manuals. The book in question is a first edition, published in 1765, of Domenico Angelo’s  The School of Fencing, with a General Explanation of the Principal Attitudes and Positions Peculiar to the Art. (London: Printed for S. Hooper.) The book wasRead more

No sitting on the fence for these Giants!

Clash of the Giants …. Huddersfield Giants’ quartet Jermaine McGillvary, Michael Lawrence, Luke George and Leroy Cudjoe clashed swords at the Royal Armouries in Leeds – thanks to the Royal Armouries Fencing Club. Like Rugby League, fencing requires considerable skill and speed so the Giants’ stars were ideally placed to enjoy one of Europe’s oldest combat sports. The RFL have encouraged all the Super League teams to try their hands at various sports and activities. To see a film clipRead more

Royal Armouries to publish oldest known fencing manual in Western World

Royal Armouries Manuscript I.33 is the oldest known fencing manual in the Western world. In this Olympic year it is being lent for exhibition to The Wallace Collection in London. The Royal Armouries have taken this opportunity to rebind the manuscript and while it is unbound to photograph it so that a unique full scale colour facsimile can be published. The Royal Armouries have teamed up with specialist publishers Extraordinary Editions who have designed a replica early 14th-century binding forRead more

The Royal Armouries MS I.33 Fechtbuch

One of the oldest and most enigmatic treasures in the Royal Armouries archives is a manuscript. Dated to the latter half of the 13th century, the Royal Armouries I.33 manuscript documents historical martial arts techniques through a number of illustrated pages. We don’t know who it was written by or for, or even why it was written, but it is the oldest known European fencing manual anywhere in existence. Contents The manuscript is made up of thirty-two leaves of parchment. The text isRead more