Court accounts of sword fights

History and Historical European Martial Arts in the Codex Martialis

Court accounts of sword fights

Postby Galloglaich » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:16 am

Just read an interesting court account of a bar-brawl which turned into a sword fight in Augsburg in 1591.

A baker Caspar Rauner, was drinking and gambling in a pub when he insulted a weaver from Nordlingen (in a very bad way). He then went home and got a sword (in spite of his wife trying to stop him), and came back and challenged the weaver to a fight. The weaver testified that "he attacked Rauner according to sword fighting custom, that is, for his part, jabbing only once and then striking with the flat." Then his sword broke, but Rauner the baker, wounded by a jab in his armpit, had dropped his own sword, so the baker picked that up and hit him again, and Rauner died shortly afterword. A witness said that the weaver's initial attack was "a cut that quickly turned into a jab in the armpit" and that Rauner was able to parry a few cuts before dropping his sword.


The weaver was tried and found guilty of manslaughter with provocation. The captain of the town guard and a priest testified on his behalf as character witnesses. The council decided to spare his life but he was exiled from Ausgburg for 5 years.
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