Regency Era Fencing

Scarlett Osborne

Although before the Regency era, fencing was a means of protecting yourself, during it, it officially became a sport. People didn’t simply fence to “work out”, but also for entertainment

Back then, fencing was an essential part of a gentleman’s education and many men even traveled abroad to learn it. 

But as the importance of it rose, so did the demand for resources. A lot of schools were built and they were used as places for the Aristocats to meet and train freely. 

Not everything is as nice

Although the sport was known amongst royals, half the population was excluded. And that is; women. 

Women did not fence. They had no need to, according to what they believed back then, so they wouldn’t participate in it. On top of that, the gowns and dresses women wore back then deemed it impossible for them to train in combat. 

Completely unfair if you ask me!

But of course and like always, women are rule breakers and they practiced it regardless. But that’s an article for another time 😉 

Equipment for Fencing

Although fencing masks were starting to become acceptable, the old style of having the head back was still practiced. Because of that, all the fencer’s support was on the front leg and this lowed the performance. And as you know, no one wanted that. 

By the 1850s however, the mask had become substantial. The jacket had turned more practical by making it larger in size, in comparison to the Regency skin tight ones. 

The trend of upgrading continued and new equipment appeared, which was the knee-breeches. 

It was adopted by the French after the 1850s. And by the start of the new century, it had fully turned into the Italian fencing saber. 


Fencing had no age limits, experience limits or anything of that sort. No matter how old you were, you could participate. (Of course, if you were a woman, you apparently weren’t worthy enough)

And people back then took it seriously since it was so deeply rooted in their culture. 

Victorian Fencing Society: The Study of Fencing in the 19th Century by the Victorian  Fencing Society

Needles to say, it seems more than interesting! I’ve never tried fencing, but this pushed me to give it a try. 

What about you, my sweetie?

-Written by Scarlett Osborne

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