The Linacre School of Defence

The Linacre School of Defence

Studying the historical British martial arts of smallsword, backsword and pugilism.

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William Machrie

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William Machrie was a fencing master who taught in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Scotland in the late 17th, and early 18th centuries.

In 1711 he styles himself Professor of Both Swords, in 1705 a Fencing Master but most impressively, in 1692, he is styled Judge and Arbitrator of all who make any publick Trial of Skill in the Noble Art of the Sword, within the Kingdom of Scotland.

Machrie was a contemporary of Sir William Hope, and wrote letters of support that were published in the Vade Mecum, and New Method.

Machrie also wrote a scathing letter in defence of duelling. The article that prompted him to write was penned by Isaac Bickerstaff, a pseudomyn used by Richard Steele in the Tatler (later the Spectator). Machrie's Essay on Duelling in turn prompted a vicious response from William Mclain, a Dancing Master. We have the pleasure of presenting these works here:

A Letter of Aprobation in Hope's Vade Mecum, 1692

The Postscript to Hope's New Method, 1707

An Essay on Duelling in a letter to Isaac Bickerstaff, late Censor of Great Britain, 1711
Transcribed by Cai Marshall

William Mclain's satirical An Essay on Dancing in a Letter to William Machrie, Professor of Both-Swords, in the City of Edinburgh.

William Machrie also wrote An Essay upon the Royal Recreation and Art of Cocking, 1705. (We hope to complete the transcription of this document soon)

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