My old friend, James Perry, of the Morning Chronicle, who was confined there some months for a libel, was always glad to see me, so that I often partook his fortune de pot, enjoying ourselves, whilst many a distressed object, under the same roof, was loaded with fetters, and perhaps the very next hour might bring his death warrant.
We often went to the top of the prison, as he
found exercise very necessary for preserving his
apartment being confined, far different to the incarceration of my clerical friend in the Bench, for every body knows, that in that prison there is plenty of space to play at racket, which serves for an amusement, as well as to improve the health.
Often we mounted the top of the prison there; nobody could see us where we were on the leads, and we amused ourselves, secure from being seen, with playing the Highland broadsword, at which he
was very expert, being his
favourite national diversion; and often I have seen him at the masquerade, dressed in the true costume of a Highlander, with a party of Scotch lassies, dancing Scotch reels.2
This would have been in 1798, when Perry
(owner of the Morning Chronicle
and native of Aberdeen) was in prison for libeling the House of Lords.
Otherwise Angelo wouldn't refer to Highland broadsword as Perry's
"national diversion," nor would "Roworth" refer to broadsword fencing as the "Scotch Method.
It may be- although this is speculation- that the Ten Lessons of Angelo derive from his Aberdeen training partner James Perry, and that they represent the only surviving record of the Aberdeen Highland Broadsword School.
The tactic of slipping the lead leg frequently- the defining feature of Angelo's method, which has so often been described as English in origin- was actually a known characteristic of Highland Broadsword play, and Angelo may well have learned it from his Scottish training partner James Perry.