The Harleian Manuscript


The First lesson

The ferste pleyng & begˇnyng of the substansce of ye too honde swerde.
ye ferst gronde begynyth w an hauke beryng inwt ye foote wt a double rownde wt iij fete howtewarde & as meny homward making ende of ye play wt a quarter cros smetyn wt an hauke snach setting down by ye foote.

The first playing and beginning of the substance of the two-hand sword.
The first ground begins with a hawk bearing inward with the feet. Strike a double round with three feet outward and as many homeward, making the end of the play with a quarter cross-smiting. (Strike) a hawk snatch setting down by the feet.

The Second Lesson

The ij. lesson ys. ij haukys wt ij. halfe haukys cleuˇg ye elbowys with ye same . ij. doubylrowndys forsayde wt iij. foote owtward & as meny hamward.

The second lesson: Strike two hawks, and follow your attack with two half-hawks striking the elbows. Finish the play by the same double round aforesaid with three feet outward and as many homeward.

The Third Lesson

The . iij. lesson ys a sprynge vpward . wt an hauke quarter . downe by ye cheke . wt iij. doubylrowndys stondˇg borne on ye hed . wt a doubylrownde born in wt ye foote . w. iij. outwards.

The third lesson: Make an upward spring, and then strike a falling quarter down by the cheek. Strike three double rounds at the head while standing still, and then a final double round with an outwards step.

The Fourth lesson

The . iiij. lesson ys wt a dowbil hauke with . ij . doubil rowndis berˇg inwt a step vp on bothe feete.

The fourth lesson: Strike a double hawk. Then, stepping forward with each foot, strike two double rounds.

The Fifth lesson

The . 5. lesson ys wt an hauke menyd our ye hede. but bere ht vp wt a step . breke of ye erthe wt rŽnyng rowndis on ye hede wt. ij. halfe havkis born wt. ij. koc stappis of ye foete.

The fifth lesson is with a cut guided over the head, but bear it up with a step. Break your opponentís guard with running rounds stricken at the head. Take two short, quick steps and strike two half-hawks.

The Sixth Lesson

The . 6 . lesson bere ovte ye erthe wt. iij. koc stapps & so come home ovte of danger a gayne.

The sixth lesson: Restore your guard by taking three short, quick steps, and so come home out of danger again.

The Seventh Lesson

The . 7. lesson ys. Smyte an hauke cros. cros our ye elbovys wt a bak stop & so smyte ht on ye fet.

The seventh lesson: Smite a hawk cross: Take a back step and cross your wrists and so smite it on the withdrawal.

The Eighth Lesson

The . 8. lesson ys wt. an hauke cros smytˇ wt a bakstep born wt bothe fete & a contrary hauke hamward born wt. ij. steppes.

The eighth lesson: Strike a hawk cross stepping back with both feet. Then smite a contrary hawk while taking two steps forward.

These ben stroke & revle of ye . ij. hondswerd to make hys honde & ys foete a corde.

These comprised the strokes and rules of the two-hand sword to make the hands and the feet accord.

The Paired Drills: Attacker

All information contained within this website is copyright, 2006, the Black Falcon School of Arms and the Mercenaries Medieval Combat Guild. Background image used with permission from Bronwen Hodgkinson.