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In Düsseldorf, Germany, there was the Fürstenhof, a Castle that was built in 1260. Extensionswere carried out for the place functioning as a residential palace of William the Rich (1549), Jan Wellem (John William, late 17thcentury) and Carl Theodor (1755). From 1845 the former Royal Palace was the meeting house of the parliament until it was destroyed by fire in 1872.

On 14 September 1584 John William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg was engaged to the Countess Jakobea of Baden (d. 1597), daughter of Philibert, Margrave of Baden. On 16 June 1585 in the chapel of the Düsseldorf castle the marriage was performed and celebrated with tremendous pomp in the capital dukedom in midsts of the Cologne War (1583-88).

During the celebration a “Fechtschul” a presentation and tournament of arms was held at the Fürstenhof and the following poem was written to a drawing to commemorate that event. You find a high resolution image of that drawing at the Wikipedia.


by Roger Norling of Gothenburg Historical Fencing School

Die Trum die ging geschwindt herumb,
Der meister ist des Swertz der kumb.
Am Fursten hoff all auff dem platz
Ist schöll in namen Gottz

Dar freyt der fechter seine Scholl,
Und gab verwar gar guten zoll.
Haubtschleg, ohrenstreich, und maulschell gutt,
Braachen den fecthren trutz und mudt.

Behört zum Tuch alsolche farb,
Darna handler, darna gewarb.
Der geboren ist nach der lufft.
Draget und scharret solche frucht.

Translation to modern German

Die Trommel, die ging geschwind herum
Der Meister des Schwertes der kommt
Am den Fürstenhof auf den Platz
Ist Schul im Namen Gottes

Da freit der Fecher seine Schule
Und gibt fürwahr gar guten Zoll,
Hauptschläge, Ohrenstreiche und Maulschellen gut,
Brachen den Fechtern Trutz und Mut

Gehört zum Tuch als solche Farbe
Darnach handle, darnach streite
Wer geboren ist nach der Luft
Traget und scharet solche Frucht

Translation to modern English

The drum went quickly around
The Master of the Sword is coming
At the Fürstenhof on the place (the Fürstenhof was  the castle  Düsseldorf today it‘s called Burgplatz)
Is school in the name of God.

The fencer courts his school
And spends forsooth a good toll,
Headstrikes, Earstrikes and slaps on the mouth well
break the fencers resistance and courage

Belongs to the clothes a certain color
To this you trade, for this you fight
Who is born to the air (an easygoing fellow)
wears and gathers such fruits