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98Period Blades

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  • argh@cogeco.ca
    Apr 9, 2007
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      WARNING: Historical Content

      One of the things about laws like this is that the reason they are instituted is because people are using these longer

      The timing thus is interesting as it is several years before the folklore story of Rowland Yorke bringing rapier into
      England in or around 1587.

      So this adds credence to the idea that there were Spanish masters operating in London, presumably coming over with
      Philip II when he married Queen Mary in 1554/5. Unfortunately I cannot remember where I read this, and thus cannot
      validate it as anything more than hearsay at the moment. The fact that the edict also targets ruffs--if memory
      serves--may well be an edict targeting Spaniards in general. But that is merely supposition as well.

      Needless to say like a majority of laws of this period it is unlikely that it was generally enforced. Lacking paid
      constabulary meant that anyone enforcing the rule had to weigh getting run through to the amount they were being paid as
      volunteers. So the anti-spanish intent is likely as it was perhaps only enforcable at court, or places with large
      bodies of professional guards.

      But there seems to be a number of communities targeted. Bucklers with bosses were more the tools of the lower class
      sword and buckler men that were common is West Smithfield. One of the liberties--the suburbs outside the walls of
      London--where fencing could be practiced as a trade. Actors and prostitutes were confined to these regions as well, and
      the relation between all three trades is very ancient indeed.

      Anyway.... there are some historical notes if anyone wanted more context.


      Aaron Miedema
      Lente autem non celer sum.