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Crowdfunding campaign for Roworth's 1798 fencing treatise

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:18 pm
by KeithFarrell

The Academy of Historical Arts has just launched its first online crowd funding campaign through Indiegogo. Please take a minute to check it out.

An original copy of Roworth's 1798 "The Art of Defence on Foot" has become available. However, our Academy doesn't quite have the budget to purchase it ourselves, and so we are turning to the international community to help us rescue this book. We are looking to raise £550 of the cost from the international European martial arts community and we will contribute the remaining balance (a not insubstantial amount).

This is a short campaign, due to the need for the purchase to happen sooner rather than later. As such, we need any and all help as soon as possible. Once the book is acquired, we will make it available for viewing at the Glasgow Centre for Historical Arts, and we will produce a facsimile through Fallen Rook Publishing.

Please share this campaign with anyone you feel would be interested and help us rescue this beautiful book.

The official campaign link:

Re: Crowdfunding campaign for Roworth's 1798 fencing treatis

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 1:18 pm
by KeithFarrell
Yesterday the Academy of Historical Arts launched its first crowdfunding campaign to purchase a 1798 edition of Roworth's "The Art of Broadsword on Foot".

Within 4 hours, we had reached and exceeded our goal due to the generosity of our various contributors. The treatise has now been bought and will be with us in Glasgow by the end of the week.

This morning, Ben and Keith met to discuss what to do with the rest of the campaign, and we have decided to pursue an 1804 edition of Roworth's "The Art of Broadsword on Foot", which has the benefit of the additional 10 Lessons by Taylor. Our new goal is £1250 and we are currently sitting at £840, so only a further £410 and we will be able to make the second text available.

If the campaign is able to surpass this goal, then we will pursue another two broadsword treatises, and likewise will make them available to the community as paperback facsimiles. More information will follow about this if we manage to reach our goal of £1250.

All those who have contributed to the campaign, or who will contribute, will be asked upon the completion of the campaign which facsimile they wish their perks to apply to, with the default option being the 1798 edition of Roworth's text.

Please share this campaign with any you feel would be interested and help us rescue these beautiful books.

The official campaign link:

Re: Crowdfunding campaign for Roworth's 1798 fencing treatis

Posted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:49 am
by KeithFarrell
I will post a few updates rolled into one here, since things moved very swiftly over the last few days and I haven't had a chance until now to disseminate the information.


I am very happy to say that our campaign to purchase the 1798 copy of Roworth's "The Art of Defence on Foot" has been extremely successful. We have managed to also achieve our £1250 stretch goal and acquire the 1804 copy as well. We set out to rescue a single text, and due to the generosity and support of the community, we have rescued two, and will now set to creating facsimiles of both.

Tonight Keith and I discussed the future of this campaign and we have decided not to create any further stretch goals. There were a couple of options for other texts we could pursue, but we felt that we had accomplished what we set out to do, and we have learned a lot about running such campaigns in future. We are extremely taken aback by the generosity and support, not only from those who contributed but also from those who sent messages of encouragement and continuously shared links on our behalf. It truly was a crowd effort.

The campaign officially has another 9 days to run and Indiegogo does not allow campaigns to end early. As a result, we will let it continue to run, and we would encourage people still to contribute and share the campaign link. Along with the acquisition costs for these two treatises, there are other costs such as maintenance, insurance and handling equipment costs for such items, so that they can be made as available as possible without great risk. Therefore, further contributions will help the charity to cover these costs, along with the costs of producing the facsimiles. Any left over money after the completion of the project will be put into the charity's antique acquisition budget to allow for further acquisitions in future.


We have added a set of new perks to make it possible for people to receive a copy of both facsimiles and to apply the name perk to both facsimiles if desired.

As a reward for those who gave a £50 contribution, we will send you a copy of both facsimiles to thank you for your generosity. However, if you wish to have your name added to the paperwork for BOTH facsimiles, please note that this requires upgrading to the £100 perk. If you leave your donation at £50, then you will still receive both facsimiles, but your name will be added to the list of contributors only for the 1798 treatise.

All contributors will be contacted towards the end of the campaign to select which edition you want your perk applied to (this will default to the 1798 if you do not let us know in a timely fashion).

Thank you again. We really could not have done this without all of your help, and we are excited about helping to make the facsimiles available to the community.

Please do consider sending a donation to the campaign if you have not yet done so, since there are further costs that we must bear to look after the treatises once they arrive, even if they are less glamorous than the initial purchase!


A couple of days ago, Ben collected the parcel with the 1798 treatise, and decided it was only fair to make this video when he brought it home: we hope you all enjoy and thank you again. Remember, there is still plenty of time to contribute and share the campaign. There are a lot of expenses still to consider and any help would be appreciated.

Video of the unwrapping:

The official campaign link:

Re: Crowdfunding campaign for Roworth's 1798 fencing treatis

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:02 pm
by KeithFarrell
Our second purchase arrived, and here is another video! Albeit, rather unscripted.

Thank you very much for your generosity in contributing to the campaign. We have managed to achieve our initial goal of purchasing the 1798 Art of Defence on Foot by Charles Roworth, and have also managed to acquire a second item. The intention had been to buy an 1804 version of Roworth's treatise, so that we could compare and contrast, but unfortunately the Collinge and Clark booksellers were very unprofessional in their service, and not only that, they ended up losing their 1804 copy and sent us another 1798, in much worse condition than the one we bought originally.

So, instead, we managed to acquire a set of five posters from Rowlandson's September 1798 illustrations of Angelo's system for broadsword and sabre on foot, and a copy of Rowlandson's January 1799 poster of "The Guards and Lessons of the Highland Broadsword". We believe that this purchase will be a perfect companion to the 1798 Roworth treatise, as it will provide us with an excellent snapshot of the British military understanding of the use of the broadsword and sabre on foot at the end of the 18th century.

For those who claimed a perk involving a second facsimile, we will be producing a photo book of the posters, that will show the different elements on the posters in details.

We will need to spend the next couple of weeks (at least) on the process of making a good quality Roworth facsimile and Angelo photo book, so further updates will come as we are able to announce progress on this matter.

Again, thank you very much for your generosity and donations.