The Linacre School of Defence

The Linacre School of Defence

Studying the historical British martial arts of smallsword, backsword and pugilism.

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Selected works by Sir William Hope

Figures 3 and 4 from the plate of Sir William Hope's New Method

Sir William Hope (1660-1724) wrote a number of books on fencing, which we are in the process of transcribing. His work is notable for a gradual realisation that the French Small-Sword system he originally trained in was lacking, and that the true Art of Defence lay in the English back-sword method. Although often rather verbose, his books clearly explain his reasoning and the principles and methods of his system.

We consider his most important works to be the New Method, and the Vade Mecum

Spooky! According to The Secret Destiny of America, by Manly P. Hall, Sir William Hope wrote a prophecy that relates to the fate of America. The prophecy was handwritten inside a copy of the Vindication originally from his own library, the copy containing the prophecy is now held by the US Library of Congress.

Although unrelated to fencing, we also have a copy of a representation to His Majesty's High Commissioner PDF (484 kB), by Sir William Hope, against Mr William Gordon. The document concerns a dispute between Hope and some of his tenants.


Thimm, Carl Albert A complete bibliography of fencing and duelling : as practised by all European nations from the middle ages to the present day published 1896.

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