1492 The “Pergament Fencingbook” of Eberhard I, Duke of Württemberg

In Urach, 1492 Dezember 26, Eberhard I, Duke of Württemberg, dictated his last will and testament. He will be dead on the 24 February 1496 in Tübingen. This testament fills 20 pages and would not be of any interest to the researchers of old European martial arts if there would not be a small note on the top of page 7 (5r). In this paragraph he wrote:

Item wir setzent unnserm lieben herrn und vettern, lantgraff Wilhalmen dem
mitlern, die credentz mit dem ainhorn in der mittin, oben mit ainer grossen
naterzungen an ainem karellin ast, unnden uff dem fuß mit dryen mendlin,
die den schilt habend, darinn Wirtemberg und Mimppelgart ist gezaichent mit
sant Enndris crutz und dartzu unnser permentin fechtbuch.

Duke Eberhard passed the “parchment fencing book” (Pergament Fechtbuch) to William II, 29 April 1469 – 11 July 1509, the Landgrave of Lower Hesse. We have good reason to believe that this is the fencing book for which he paid Hans Talhoffer in 1467. If the Talhoffer Fechtbuch of 1467 ever reached Wilhalm the Middle is unknown. The provenance of that book is incomplete, it is reported to be a part of the late 16th century Alten Hofbibliothek in Munich.

See Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg for more information on the document.

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