Broad-Sword And Single-Stick
By Rowland George Allanson-Winn Headley

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8 chapters

3 hour read


3 minute read

THE ALL-ENGLAND SERIES. Small 8vo, cloth. Illustrated, price 1s. each. CRICKET. By the Hon. and Rev. E. Lyttelton . CRICKET. By Fred C. Holland . LAWN TENNIS. By H. W. W. Wilberforce . TENNIS, RACKETS, and FIVES. By Julian Marshall , Major Spens , and Rev. J. Arnan Tait . SQUASH-RACKETS AND SQUASH-TENNIS. By Eustace H. Miles . [Double volume, 2 s. ] GOLF. By H. S. C. Everard . [Double volume, 2 s. ] HOCKEY. By F. S. Creswell . Revised by P. Collins (1909). ROWING AND SCULLING. By W. B. Woodgate . ROWING AND SCULLING. By Guy Rixon . SAILING. By E. F. Knight . [Double volume, 2 s. ] CANOEING WITH SAIL AND PADDLE. By Dr. J. D. Hayward . [Double volume, 2 s. ] SWIMMING. By M. and J. R. Cobbett . BOXING. By R. G. Allanson-Winn . WRESTLING. By Walter Armstrong . [New edition.] FENCING....


59 minute read

The favour with which my little brochure on boxing has been received induces me to put together a few ideas on the subject of attack and defence with weapons other than those with which nature has endowed us. A glance at the table of contents will suffice to show that the scope of the work has been somewhat extended, and that, though there is of course a vast deal more to be said on the wide subject of self-defence, an attempt has been made to give practical hints as to what may be effected by a proper and prompt use of those common accessories which we may find in our hands at almost any hour in the day. Not having leisure to take in hand the whole of the work myself, I asked my friend Mr. C. Phillipps-Wolley to make himself responsible for that portion of the treatise which deals...


4 minute read

Our neighbours on the other side of the English Channel have been accused of calling us a “nation of shopkeepers.” No doubt the definition is not bad; and, so long as the goods supplied bear the hall-mark of British integrity, there is nothing to be ashamed of in the appellation; still, with all due deference, I think we might more appropriately be called a nation of sportsmen. There is not an English boy breathing at this moment who does not long to be at some sport or game, and who has not his pet idea of the channel into which he will guide his sporting proclivities when he is a man. There are not many grown Englishmen who don’t think they know something about a horse, would not like to attend a good assault-at-arms, or who are not pleased when they hear of their sons’ prowess with the oar, the...


10 minute read

According to Chambers’s “Encyclopædia,” the quarter-staff was “formerly a favourite weapon with the English for hand-to-hand encounters.” It was “a stout pole of heavy wood, about six and a half feet long, shod with iron at both ends. It was grasped in the middle by one hand, and the attack was made by giving it a rapid circular motion, which brought the loaded ends on the adversary at unexpected points.” “Circular motion” and “shod with iron” give a nasty ring to this description, and one pictures to one’s self half a barge-pole, twirled—“more Hibernico”—with giant fingers, bearing down on one. Whether the fingers of our ancestors were ever strong enough to effect this single-handed twirling or not must remain a matter of doubt, but we may rest assured that in the quarter-staff we have, probably, the earliest form of offensive weapon next to the handy stone. If Darwin is correct,...


40 minute read

In the early stages of the world’s history our very remote ancestors were unacquainted with the art of forging instruments and weapons from metals; they were not even aware of the existence of those metals, and had to content themselves with sharpened flints and other hard stones for cutting purposes. Many of these weapons were fashioned with considerable skill, and give evidence that even in the dark days of the Stone Age men had a good idea of form and the adaptation of the roughest materials to suit the particular purpose they had in view. To take an example from the most common forms—the spear and javelin-heads which are found along with the bones and other remains of the cave bear. These are admirably designed for entering the body of any animal; for, though varying greatly in size, weight, and shape, the double edge and sharp point render them capable...


44 minute read

Single-stick is to the sabre what the foil is to the rapier, and while foil-play is the science of using the point only, sabre-play is the science of using a weapon, which has both point and edge, to the best advantage. In almost every treatise upon fencing my subject has been treated with scant ceremony. “Fencing” is assumed to mean the use of the point only, or, perhaps it would not be too much to say, the use of the foils; whereas fencing means simply (in English) the art of of-fending another and de-fending yourself with any weapons , but perhaps especially with all manner of swords. In France or Spain, from which countries the use of the thrusting-sword was introduced into England, it would be natural enough to consider fencing as the science of using the point of the sword only, but here the thrusting-sword is a comparatively modern...


12 minute read

History tells us that firearms of sorts were in existence as far back as the fourteenth century, and that they were probably of Flemish origin. Certain it is that, prior to 1500, there were large bodies of troops armed with what may be called portable culverins , and in 1485 the English yeomen of the guard were armed with these clumsy weapons. Later on, in the middle of the sixteenth century, we hear of the long-barrelled harquebus being used in Spain, and before the close of the century the muschite was in use in the English army. This was a heavier weapon than the harquebus, and the soldiers were provided with a long spiked stake with a fork at the upper end in which to rest the ponderous barrel whilst they took aim. The method of discharging these weapons was primitive in the extreme, as it was necessary to hold...


29 minute read

One remembers reading somewhere, I think in Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” of a certain “grievous crab-tree cudgel,” and the impression left by this description is that the weapon, gnarled and knotty, was capable of inflicting grievous bodily harm. Any thick stick under two feet long, such as a watchman’s staff or a policeman’s truncheon, may be fairly called a cudgel, and it is not so long ago that cudgel-play formed one of the chief attractions at country fairs in many parts of England. A stage was erected, and the young fellows of the neighbourhood were wont to try conclusions with their friends or those celebrities from more distant parts of the country who were anxious to lower their colours. The game was at times pretty rough, and the object of each combatant was to break the skin on the scalp or forehead of his antagonist, so as to cause blood to...