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Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 13 Jun 2012 20:03
by Charles Dobbs
Dear forum,

Just wondering if anyone here has had occasion to look at this text:

A Few Mathematical and Critical Remarks on the Sword

Publisher D. Chamberlaine, Dublin 1781. Length 114 pages.

Cheers,
Charles.

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 14 Jun 2012 14:25
by knirirr
It's on ECCO and I have had a quick skim of it. It appears to be around 110 pages of numbered paragraphs making observations about common-method small-sword fencing. The author seems to like quarte and tierce parades, and a guard without bending the elbow.

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 25 Jun 2012 19:25
by Charles Dobbs
Thank you for your reply! Sorry I was distracted, and haven't been back on this topic sooner.

Any interest in working from this material? Would a transcription be worthwhile?

What's the smallsword scene over there like these days?
I wish I could attend your events but sadly am stuck over here stateside for the foreseeable future.

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 26 Jun 2012 08:59
by knirirr
Charles Dobbs wrote:Thank you for your reply! Sorry I was distracted, and haven't been back on this topic sooner.


No problem.

Charles Dobbs wrote:Any interest in working from this material? Would a transcription be worthwhile?


I think that a transcription would certainly be worth having, and if I get chance to do it then I'll put it on the LSD site. That is unlikely to be very soon, though, as the amount of unfinished HEMA stuff (Hope book, Renaud translation) is building up.

Charles Dobbs wrote:What's the smallsword scene over there like these days?
I wish I could attend your events but sadly am stuck over here stateside for the foreseeable future.


I know of two schools specialising in the small-sword, specifically in parts of Sir William Hope's system; one is mine and the other is Mr. Macintyre's. The latter seems to be doing rather well at the moment, and one of the instructors there organises a yearly small-sword symposium which might be worth attending:

http://www.blackboarswordsmanship.co.uk/symposium.html

My school seems to have suffered from an outbreak of work, illness, laziness and general slacking amongst the students, resulting in unusually low turnout for the past couple of months, but we're still operating.

There's not much interest in small-sword overall amongst HEMAists, unfortunately. For example, I know of two who post to this board and live in Oxford but won't come to my sessions, presumably because they're not hard enough for small-sword fencing.

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 26 Jun 2012 10:13
by Dave B
knirirr wrote:There's not much interest in small-sword overall amongst HEMAists, unfortunately.


Indeed, we're trying to get going up here in Cheshire, and a number of people have shown an interest but then lost interest when they find out that we are not doing something medieval. I suspect that part of the problem is that the people who want to do HEMA do not want to do modern fencing, and smallsword looks to much like foil or epee at first glance.

Its a shame because I think smallsword is an excellent place to start, and to get to grips with the basics of time, measure, and intent. Even if ultimately you end up doing something else.

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 26 Jun 2012 10:18
by knirirr
Dave B wrote:Its a shame because I think smallsword is an excellent place to start, and to get to grips with the basics of time, measure, and intent. Even if ultimately you end up doing something else.


Yes, I agree. It also offers the potential to assault without heavy protection (normal fencing gear suffices) and can offer the opportunity to cover grips and disarms as well. Using the New Method one can apply everything one has learned with the small-sword directly to the spadroon and back-sword.

I'm convinced that many aren't just put off by any similarity to sport fencing, instead imagining the small-sword to be somehow effete.

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 26 Jun 2012 11:09
by MugginsToadwort
I've been trying to find somebody for smallsword my end for years, but nobody really seems keen. Rapier yes, smallsword no. Odd..

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 26 Jun 2012 16:36
by The Salmon Lord
knirirr wrote:
Dave B wrote:Its a shame because I think smallsword is an excellent place to start, and to get to grips with the basics of time, measure, and intent. Even if ultimately you end up doing something else.


Yes, I agree. It also offers the potential to assault without heavy protection (normal fencing gear suffices) and can offer the opportunity to cover grips and disarms as well. Using the New Method one can apply everything one has learned with the small-sword directly to the spadroon and back-sword.

I'm convinced that many aren't just put off by any similarity to sport fencing, instead imagining the small-sword to be somehow effete.


Indeed. As if ramming three foot of steel though a mans chest is not "hard enough".

Quality not quantity is the thing. ;-)

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 26 Jun 2012 16:51
by Dave B
I think the interest really picks up when people get into commanding and disarms, but the problem is you really need to learn the basics well before tackling them or you just make a prat of yourself as you rush in and get skewered.

Re: Have you seen this 18thC Irish smallsword book ?

PostPosted: 06 Sep 2018 01:36
by benmiller
I'm not sure if anyone is still paying attention to this thread, but just an FYI, the treatise in question, "A Few Mathematical and Critical Remarks on the Sword", was recently republished/reprinted in the book "Irish Swordsmanship":

https://outofthiscentury.wordpress.com/ ... y-ireland/

All best,
Ben