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

An exciting new library acquisition…

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 bookRead 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

Illuminating Reading

One of the oldest and most enigmatic treasures in the Royal Armouries archives is a manuscript –  which we refer to as Royal Armouries MSS 1.33 – dated to the latter 13th century. 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. The manuscript is made up of 32 leaves of parchment. The text is in Latin, but the use of German words which haveRead more

Royal Armouries Collections

The Royal Armouries collection consists of some 70,000 examples of arms, armour and artillery dating from antiquity to the present day. It includes royal armours of the Tudor and Stuart kings; arms and armour of the English Civil Wars, including the Armoury from Littlecote House; British and foreign military weapons from the Board of Ordnance and MOD Pattern Room collections; hunting and sporting weapons, as well as an exceptional collection of oriental arms and armour. The Royal Armouries also hasRead more