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WALTER G. GREEN III, PH.D. MAITRE D’ARMES AAI MAITRE D’ARMES HISTORIQUE USFCA PRESENTATION TO THE 10 TH ANNUAL HISTORICAL SWORDSMANSHIP SUMPOSIUM The Masters.

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Presentation on theme: "WALTER G. GREEN III, PH.D. MAITRE D’ARMES AAI MAITRE D’ARMES HISTORIQUE USFCA PRESENTATION TO THE 10 TH ANNUAL HISTORICAL SWORDSMANSHIP SUMPOSIUM The Masters."— Presentation transcript:

1 WALTER G. GREEN III, PH.D. MAITRE D’ARMES AAI MAITRE D’ARMES HISTORIQUE USFCA PRESENTATION TO THE 10 TH ANNUAL HISTORICAL SWORDSMANSHIP SUMPOSIUM The Masters of Defence ca

2 Objective Preliminary report of research focused on Sloane MS Topics:  Sources  Population  Prizes  Core weapons  Ranks and their progression

3 The Sources Berry’s transcription of Sloane MS Royal warrant of 1540 Royal warrant of 1605 George Silver 1599 G. H George Swetnam 1617 J. D. Aylward’s The English Master of Arms

4 Sloane MS A partial record 1540 CE to 1590 CE  Record of 85 prizes, 7 challenges  Instructions for playing prizes  Credentialing letters  Oaths sworn by Masters and Provosts  Covenant for management of guild  Example school rules

5 What Is Missing Membership rosters Dates of death or retirement Records of failed prizes Records of who the Ancient Masters were Who judged prizes What the criteria were The content of the play

6 The Environment Plague  , 1563, , 1593, 1603, 1625, 1636, 1665 Fire  1633 and 1666 One Civil and two World Wars

7 Royal Warrant 1540 Henry VIII Perennial problem – unqualified teachers 9 Masters, 11 Provosts Establishes:  Existence of an organization prior to 1540  Method of making Masters and Provosts  Existence of sworn relationship between Masters and students  Early dates for MS entries

8 Willyam Hunt Played with Hamcotts for Provost Hamcotts is not in the 1540 warrant Hunt is a Provost in 1540 warrant Suggests that:  Hunt plays for Provost before 1540  Hamcotts may no longer have been active Berry - career extends well back in reign of Henry VIII ( )

9 Royal Warrant 1605 James I Again the problem of unqualified teachers 11 Masters Establishes that many of the Masters identified in MS were still practicing 15 years later

10 Swetnam’s Evidence 1617 Swetnam lists a number of Masters Some he notes as of his time - 4 Some he notes as of this latter time - 2 Some are dead - 6 The record:  MS – 2  Warrant of 1605 – 3  Only in Swetnam - 7

11 The Guild Clearly defined body of members Sworn relationship Clear requirements for promotion Governance structure Professional integration as a community of practice Control of competition Ability to enforce regulation Control of the mysteries

12 The Sworn Relationship The new Scholar is sworn to his Master New students of Provosts are sworn to the Provost’s Master Financial component Provisions for deaths We know of 8 cases where changed Master

13 Gregorie Grene Had 2 Masters Played Provosts Prize with 2 Provosts 7 students (1 Master, 4 Provost, 2 Free Scholars) Played 9 in Masters prizes Played with 46 against candidates (10 unique, 27 multiples) Played in presence of 6 (2 unique) Total of 72/32 professional contacts

14 Lineage MS 2530 unfortunately has a short scope with missing years But we can establish Master-Student relationships For example: WILLIAM JOYNER FFRAUNCIS CALVERT ANDREW BELLO

15 How Many Were There? Very difficult to estimate population size But there are hints:  Warrant of 1540 – 9 Masters, 11 Provosts  James Cranydge 1587 – 9 Masters played, 4 of their brethern present  John Mathewes 1588 – 7 Masters played, rest of the Masters present 5  Warrant of 1605 – 11 Masters

16 How Many Were There? From approximately 1530 to 1617 we can identify:  61 Masters  23 Provosts  15 Free Scholars 1579/1585 – 17 Masters, 6 Provosts, 5 Free Scholars The Scholars  Possible as many as 42 played in one prize  20s and 30s common

17 How Many Were There? An estimate – 30 Masters, Provosts, Free Scholars at any time Implications of the upside down pyramid  A high percentage of Free Scholars become Masters  Or was there diversion  Many schools were probably one man shows

18 Families? We know of three familial relationships Are there others?

19 Social Status You absolutely do not want your daughter to marry one Guild membership as a cover Then tacit acceptance But yet playing before the King/Queen And foreign Kings

20 Their End Individually Swetnam tells us:  assassinated by a client  murdered by someone sworn to him  died of a venereal disease  drank a pint of aquae vitae  committed suicide  died of a wasting disease

21 The Prize Public trial of skill Theoretically against all comers in the rank The mechanics The logistical challenge

22 Numbers Played Total recorded - 95 Number annually – in 1582  2 Free Scholars  6 Provosts  1 Master Opponents for candidates fence in from 1 to 11 additional prizes

23 Where Played Vast majority played in London - 69 Other locations - 15

24 Tarlton and Agreement Henry Naylor? “agreed with the masters” is widely used  Failures  As part of the process  Only notation Possible explanations  Well known expertise  Only a partial record

25 The Breadth Of The Challenge One is not a Master who cannot use all weapons Swords: Two Handed Sword, Back Sword, Sword and Dagger, Sword and Buckler, Bastard Sword, etc. Rapiers: single Rapier, Rapier and Dagger, Rapier and Cloak, Rapier and Targe, Case of Rapiers, etc. Polearms: Polaxe, Battle Axe, Half Pike, Long Pike, Quarter Staff, Welsh Hook, Halberd, etc. Etc. But, out of many, few ways to use

26 The Weapons The instructions for prizes:  Long Sword - S  Back Sword – S, P, M  Two Handed Sword – P, M  Staff - P  Bastard Sword - M  Rapier and Dagger - M  Pike - M

27 What Was Actually Played 34 Scholars played at 2 weapons, 3 at 3, and 3 at 1  10 prizes used the mandated set 22 Free Scholars played at 3 weapons, 2 at 1, 4 at 2, 1 at 4  No prize used the mandated set 9 Provosts play before 1580, 6 at 3, 3 with 4 9 Provosts play after 1580, 9 with 4  No prize used 5

28 What Was Actually Played II Two Handed Sword* Long Sword* Bastard Sword* Back Sword* Sword and Buckler Sword and Dagger Rapier and Dagger* Dagger Staff*

29 Rapiers The Italians introduced the rapier – really? Possible earliest date 1505 Henry VIII’s estate includes 7 rapiers Masters fought challenges with all the rapier combinations in and in 1561 First documented prize 1578 Then common in prizes thereafter

30 Two Handed Swords Distinguished from the Long Sword No prizes with both Almost every prize uses one or the other Entries alternate one or the other Other entries are very precise about weapons terminology

31 The Core Weapons Long Sword – 72 prizes, 375 players Sword and Buckler – 44 prizes, 398 players Back Sword – 49 prizes, 278 players Staff – 24 prizes, 104 players Two Handed Sword – 13 prizes, 94 players Coming – Rapier and Dagger – 9 prizes, 50 players

32 Rank Structure Three professional ranks Set time periods for promotion  Free Scholar 7 years to Provost  Provost 7 years to Master Permissions required  Screening  Master  Ancient Masters Honored in the breech – 5 days to 8 years

33 Provost Licenses and Ushers Additions to the range of Free Scholars Masters or Provosts appoint Ushers These must be known to other Masters as able and honest Consent of two other Masters Usher has a Provost license And plays in Provost prizes

34 Is Scholar A Rank? Scholars not mentioned by name Number disproportionally large No specific charges or duties No requirement for more than one weapon No regulation from the Masters of Defence Specific admission to Free Scholar after prize Use as student in other texts

35 To Do Develop a more comprehensive time line Extend social network mapping Build a better model of the population Answer what is a Two Handed Sword? Discover the character of late English Long Sword and early English Rapier play Parish record research The unqualified ones

36 A Past Life Moment? Walter Grene dyd Agree with the Maisters and so was made provost vnder Willyam Hunt/ Berry attribution 1550s-1572


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