He who knows most, doubts most.  — Jerónimo de Carranza

Dedicated to researching historical Spanish fencing and sharing the knowledge with the public.

Fencing History and Tales

Introduction | Literary Allusions | Famous Duels and Duellists | Women and Combat

Famous Duels and Duellists

Matthews and Westwicke

London June 1, 1663 from the diary of M. de Sorbière

"I with Sir J. Minnes to Strand Maypole, [on the present site of Mary-le Strand] and there light out of his coach and walked to the New Theatre, [in Vere Street, Clare Market, formerly Gibbons' Tennis Court] which, since the King's Players are gone to the Royal one, is this day begun to be employed for the fencers to play prizes at. And here I come and saw the first prize I ever saw in my life, and it was between Matthews, who did beat at all weapons, and one Westwicke, who was soundly cut several times in the head and legs that he was all over with blood; and other deadly blows did they give and take in very good earnest, till Westwicke was in a most sad pickle. They fought at eight weapons, three bouts at each weapon. It was very well worth seeing, because I did till this day think it had been only a cheat, but this being upon a private quarrel they did it in good earnest; and I felt one of their swords and found it little, if at all, blunter on the edge than common swords are. Strange to see what a deal of money is flung to them both upon the stage between every bout. But a woful rude rabble there was and such noises. So, well pleased at the sight, I walked home."

This excerpt is taken from Aylward's The English Master of Arms published in 1956 by Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited