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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The Works of George Silver by Captain Cyril G. R. Matthey, comprising: Paradoxes of Defence and Brief Instructions upon my Paradoxes of Defence

Creative Commons Licence, some rights reserved Image of a page from George Silver's Brief Instructions

Paradoxes of Defence

Wherein is proved the true grounds of fight to be the short ancient weapons and that the short sword has advantage over the long sword or the long rapier. And the weakness and imperfection of the rapier fight-fights displayed. Together with an admonition to the noble, ancient, victorious, valiant, and most brave nation of Englishmen, to beware of false teachers of defence, and how they forsake their own natural fights. With a brief commendation of the noble science or exercising of arms.

Bref Instructions Vpõ My Pradoxes of Defence

For the true handling of all manner of weapons together with the four grounds and the four governors which governors are left out in my paradoxes without the knowledge of which no man may fight safe.

Author: George Silver, Gentleman
Date: Paradoxes 1599, Brief Instructions (1599) first published in 1898, London, UK
Weapons covered: single sword, sword and dagger, sword and buckler, quarterstaff, staff weapons

Use of this work is freely granted subject to the conditions of this Creative Commons Licence.

Cyril Matthey's Introduction: facsimilies, GIF/TIFF
Paradoxes of Defence: facsimilies, GIF/TIFF
Brief Instructions: facsimilies, GIF/TIFF HTML [See also the modern gloss of the same]
Download the whole book as a PDF (12.2 MB) or in epub format.


You may like to look at this project, by Nathan Barnett of the Academia della Spada in Seattle USA, which has similar work.

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