Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1750-1802 - Carlisle Street (Soho)

Fencing master Domenico Angelo was born Angelo Domenico Malevolti Tremamondo in Livorno in 1717. His father was a wealthy merchant. Angelo received his initial training in Pisa. After moving to Paris, he studied the classic French style with the foil at the Royal Association of Masters of Yielding Weapons.

In the early 1750s Angelo became infatuated with the Irish actress Margaret [Peg] Woffington, who was on tour in Paris, and accompanied her back to London. Soon after arriving there, he established his School of Arms in Carlisle Street, Soho. As a teacher of swordsmanship he turned fencing from an art of war into an elegant sport. He was instructor to the Royal family. 

In 1763 he published an often reprinted folio called L’École des armes with forty-seven plates after John Gwynn, a founding member of the Royal Academy, with Angelo posing as the main figure. Around 1785, his son Henry Angelo took over the running of the fencing academy (Sheridan, Fox, and Byron were among his many pupils). Looking back at his life, he wrote a series of entertaining Reminiscences (1828) that give a unique insight in London eccentricities of his time. Domenico retired to Eton, where members of his family continued to teach fencing for three more generations. He died in 1802.

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