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William Wilson is a former President of the Tattershall School of Defence and is the advisor and coach for the fencing club at Northern Arizona University. In the Society for Creative Anachronism he was known as Barwn Meistr Gwylym ab Owain, OL OP MoD DWS and is the premiere member of the Order of the White Scarf of Atenveldt, formerly the highest award for fencing in the Kingdom.  In the SCA he has also been awarded masters level status for his research in historical swordplay and study of lifestyle of the Elizabethan period.  Mr. Wilson is a prominent researcher in historical swordplay. He has taught seminars internationally on the use of the Italian rapier and the Italian 16th century civilian spada da filo (edged sword/sidesword).

The Tattershall school is devoted to the study and practise of the Art of Defense of the 15th, 16th and early 17th Centuries. This includes not only fencing but wrestling and the use of the dagger.  The former President of the School (William Wilson) is an expert in the use of rapier and sidesword, and has written and published books on the subjects: "The Art of Defense." and "16th Century Single Sword Combat." He has studied many original texts and is in the process of working on translations of Italian fencing manuals.

Mr. Wilson has been fencing for over 30 years and began his fencing instruction under Master Bella from Canada and Mr. Silverberg in Buffalo, New York with further instruction from other masters and instructors including Maestro Sean Hayes of Eugene, OR and Dr Rita Ashcraft of Northern Arizona University. He specializes in teaching beginners either classical foil, epee or saber and teaches beginning and advanced students the art of defence with rapier and sword.  He also teaches beginning Bolognese combat, smallsword and backsword.  Mr. Wilson currently teaches beginning French foil for the FIT department at Northern Arizona University.

If you would like to contact the Mr Wilson with historical fencing questions you may email him at

Specialized InstructionTattershall School of Defense

Typically for specialized instruction with rapier or backsword, it is up to the student to supply their own equipment. Some equipment may be borrowed from the President of the school. Please contact Mr. Wilson if you have any questions.

The School is located in Flagstaff, AZ in the US and is open primarily to students, faculty and staff of Northern Arizona Univerity.  Mr. Wilson is the advisor and coach for the Fencing Club at Northern Arizona University.

Mr Wilson teaches at a number of seminars each year.  The following is a partial list:

Art of Defence Mr. Wilson is scheduled to teach at these upcoming events/seminars:
Mr. Wilson has published his book Art of Defense, a manual on the use of the rapier with Chivalry Bookshelf.  This book covers historical, philosophical and practical information for the rapier enthusiast.