Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1588-1599 - Blackfriars Lane (Blackfriars)

Swordsman and fencing master Vincentio Saviolo was born in Padua (details are lacking). He may have travelled in Europe before arriving in England. Rocco Bonetti had run a fencing school near Apothecaries Hall at Blackfriars Lane. On the death of Bonetti in 1588/9, Saviolo took control of the school. He enjoyed the patronage of the Earl of Essex and other notable figures. In 1595 he issued Vincentio Saviolo, his practise, in two bookes, the first intreating of the use of the rapier and dagger, the second, of honour and honourable quarrels, the first manual of fencing to be published in England (printed by John Wolfe). The first part of this work was written as a conversation between Saviolo and an imaginary student (a structure common in sixteenth century handbooks) and instructs the reader in the rapier and dagger fencing techniques of his day. The second of the two works given in the title was substantially a translation of an earlier Italian book on the duel, Girolamo Muzio’s Il duello (1551), but it also contained original material by Saviolo. He died in or before 1599.

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