Our third A&S Research Paper comes to us from Master Donovan Shinnock, of the Shire of Quintavia, and is drawn from his study of the historical masters of rapier fighting. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)
A Small Comparison of the Rapier Styles of Ridolfo Capo Ferro and Salvator Fabris
Salvator Fabris and Ridolfo Capo Ferro are two of the most recognizable names in Italian rapier. Fabris’ manual, “Lo Schermo, overo Scienza d’Arme” (“On Fencing, or Knowledge of Arms”) was printed in 1606, sponsored by the King of Denmark. Capo Ferro’s manual, “Gran Simulacro dell’Arte e dell’Uso della Scherma” (“Great Representation of the Art and Use of Fencing”) was published in 1610, in Siena, Tuscany. While Fabris and Capo Ferro both drew on the same basic underpinnings of Italian rapier theory and applied them to the same ends, the application of these principles looks very different. However, despite these visual and mechanical differences, the end results are similar. But even with the similarity of the end results, some interesting differences between the two masters can be found.
Last year we ran an amazing event for novice heavy fighters. It was held a little later in July, but offered new fighters a last weekend to authorize. It was Very Good Day ™. It was something I was very proud to be a part of. This year we are opening it up to more activities including, rapier and A&S. An entire day of activities and competition for those people with 2< years of experience in their disciplines. I am running Rapier.
So what does this mean for you?
We will be running a tournament for novice rapier fighters. It will in the format of the type tourney we run for KQ Rapier Championship. You need to have less than 2 years experience in rapier. This means any heavy cross overs that are just getting into rapier, this day is for you too. If you are interested in understanding what rapier is all about, experienced fighters will be on hand to answer your questions about rules, gear and game play.
We will be doing all the authorizations. Novices get first run of the marshals, but there will be folks on hand to run secondaries or reauths as well. It will be the last day to get authorized before Pennsic. If you are interested in helping marshal, shoot me an email. MITs this is a great event to get more experience in authorizations and running/marshaling tournaments. alesone.gray @ gmail.
We are growing our future. Come be a part of it.
Baroness Alesone Gray of Cranleigh
This is one of a series of Q&A articles with East Kingdom Officers. The Gazette thanks Don Frasier MacLeod, the Kingdom Marshal of Fence, for answering our questions.
Please describe your job responsibilities.
The office of Kingdom Rapier Marshal is, as the name implies, responsible for Rapier activities in the East. In its simplest terms, my job is to make sure the game we play is safe for everyone who wants to play. Some of the duties I am responsible for are the reviewing and writing of Rapier rules and conventions, overseeing Rapier activities at the Pennsic war (every other year at least), and overseeing a staff of both Regional marshals as well as Experimental and Youth deputies.
Do you have a goal for your term?
After 25 years in the Rapier community, the vast majority spent as a marshal at large and local marshal, I felt it was time to step up into the Kingdom Rapier Marshal position. I very much love the community which fostered me, and this is an incredible opportunity to give back to that community. During my term I hope to get a set of rules in place for Two Handed Rapiers, I am contemplating a complete rewrite of the Rapier Marshal’s Handbook, and I would like to implement a Marshalate Training Program Kingdom-wide.
What was your first event? And what made you stay?
For me my first official event was Duello II, held in the Barony of Carolingia in November 1989 (if I remember the month correctly). I had found the SCA through the University of Maine Blade Society and Master Gregory Finche, and fell in love with Rapier combat immediately. After 25 years I have never once looked back and wished I’d done anything else. I had found my home, both with the SCA and the sword.
Which people made an impact on you in the SCA and why?
Undoubtedly the most influential person on my life in the SCA was Master Gregory Finche. Gregory brought me into the SCA, taught me how to fence, and guided me along the path to where I am today. But more than that he taught me Honor, Dignity, Chivalry, and the responsibility that were all lacking in my life. Gregory made Frasier the man he is, and I can never thank him enough for that.
Could you share with us a moment – or several moments – that describe what makes the SCA special for you?
One morning, many years ago when Great Northeastern War was at the horse farm on the coast, I woke up very early one morning to heed nature’s call. On my way back to my camp, I heard something. I thought I could make it out but wasn’t completely sure what it was. I followed the sound and the further I went the more clear it became that it was bagpipes. This particular morning was very foggy, being right on the ocean. The closer I got the clearer the pipes became until I finally saw what was going on. Someone from camp was standing, facing the ocean, piping out to the sea in the fog. Had I not seen this I would never have believed it possible, the moment was truly right out of a movie, and yet there it was. Moments like that are what make the Society so special for me.
Due to the large amount of information surrounding the additional peerage for rapier and cut and thrust, the Board of Directors decided to participate in a conference call on February 2, 2015. The Board received a large amount of additional comments and suggestions in the two weeks following the January 17 quarterly meeting. This was considered in addition to the first Board call for commentary on this issue.
The following message was sent out Monday evening to the SCA, Inc. Announcements mailing list.
At the January 17, 2015 Board of Directors meeting in Milpitas, CA, the Board voted against revising Corpora to establish a rapier peerage. The Board also voted to delete wording that labeled rapier as an ancillary activity of the SCA and replace it with wording that unambiguously established rattan as the only permitted weapons in a Royal List. The ramifications of the two votes has generated quite a bit of discussion on social media about a number of things, but the Board did not make any decisions concerning anything at all except turning down the rapier peerage proposal and adding a statement that Royal Lists may only be fought with rattan weapons. This letter is intended by the Board to respond to the most prevalent rumors circulating in response to the Board actions of Saturday. Continue reading
From the Kingdom Rapier Marshal:
As many of you are well aware, the East Kingdom Rapier Website is experiencing difficulties right now. The link to the current rules is down. I want to let everyone know that we are working on it as we speak. I have been in touch with Lord Lorenz, the Kingdom Webmaster and we currently have a Webmaster at Large working on the issues and hope to have them resolved soon. I very much appreciate all your patience. I’ll be in touch with updates as they come along.
Don Frasier MacLeod, KRM, East
The East Kingdom’s Marshal of Fence wishes to share the following:
Unto the Kingdom of the East do I, Don Frasier MacLeod send greetings –
I am officially calling for resumes to fill the Northern Regional Rapier Marshal position. If there is anyone interested in taking on this challenge, please forward your SCA resume to me via the Kingdom Rapier Marshal’s e-mail. I will be accepting resumes for this position through December 15th, at which time I will close the window and review the resumes I have received. Also, if you are interested and have questions, please feel free to contact me at the same e-mail and I will be happy to answer whatever questions you may have.
Don Frasier MacLeod, KRM, East
Do you have information to share or a question about a post? Contact the Gazette staff at email@example.com
The SCA released the following announcement this evening. Deadline for comments about this proposal is January 15, 2015.
At the July 2013 Board Meeting, the Additional Peerage Exploratory Committee (“APEC”) proposed that the Board of Directors create a new Patent-bearing Peerage Order parallel to the Orders of the Chivalry, the Laurel and the Pelican. This Rapier Peerage would be for the related martial arts of rapier and all forms of cut & thrust in the SCA. In August of 2013, the APEC’s proposal for name, heraldry and badge was sent out to the membership for commentary, and a second committee was formed of representatives appointed by the Kingdoms of the Known World to review the proposal and represent their interests. After reviewing all commentary received from the membership and the committees, the Board believes there is enough interest to request further commentary on the changes that would be required to Corpora if the Board decides to create such an Order. This will be the final opportunity for the membership to make its opinions and wishes known on this subject as the Board will vote at the January 2015 Board meeting on whether or not to create this Order.
In the event a rapier/cut & thrust peerage is created, the following would be the proposed changes to Corpora (additions in red; deletions in blue and struck out.)
Glossary, page 9.
[• Peerage: Collectively, the members of the Order of Chivalry, the Order of the Laurel, and the Order of the Pelican, are referred to as the Peerage. A member of any of these Orders is a Peer.]
• Peerage: Collectively, the members of the Order of Chivalry, the Order of the Laurel, and the Order of the Pelican, and the Order of Defense are referred to as the Peerage. A member of any of these Orders is a Peer.
VIII. PERSONAL AWARDS AND TITLES
A. Patents of Arms
2. Order of Precedence Within the Peerage
[The Crown may establish the order of precedence within the peerage according to the laws and customs of the kingdom. However, the Chivalry, the Laurel, and the Pelican, and Defense are of equal precedence and must be considered as one group.]
The Crown may establish the order of precedence within the peerage according to the laws and customs of the kingdom. However, the orders of the Chivalry, the Laurel, and the Pelican, and Defense are of equal precedence and must be considered as one group.
4. Patent Orders:
d. The Order of Defense:
(i) Members of the Order of Defense may choose to swear fealty, but are not required to do so. The candidate must be considered the equal of his or her prospective peers with the basic weapons of rapier and/or cut-and-thrust combat. The candidate must have applied this skill and/or knowledge for the instruction of members and service to the kingdom to an extent above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society.
(2) The duties of the members of the order are as follows:
(a) To set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct on and off the field of honor.
(b) To respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the laws of the kingdom and Corpora.
(c) If in fealty, to support and uphold the Crown of his or her kingdom.
(d) To enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.
(e) To enhance the renown and defend the honor of the peer’s Lady or Lord.
(f) To advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Order of Defense
(The section on royal peerage becomes section e, etc.)
4. The titles listed here are considered standard, and may be used by those who have earned or been granted the appropriate rank or award within the Society. The College of Arms publishes a more extensive list of titles and alternative forms, which may also be used freely by qualified persons. In addition, the College of Arms has full approval authority over new alternative titles, which must be added to their list before being released for use in the Society.
Members of the Orders of the Laurel, the Pelican, and Mastery of Arms.]
Members of the Orders of the Laurel, the Pelican, Mastery of Arms, and Defense.
IX. Society Combat
[C. Rapier Fighting in the Society
The Board acknowledges rapier combat as an ancillary activity of the Society when properly supervised by the Marshals and when approved by individual kingdoms. Rapier combat may take place within a kingdom only by rules established by the Marshallate of that kingdom and after the approval of those rules by the Marshal of the Society. The Marshal of the Society will maintain guidelines for rapier combat within the Society. Rapier combat, not having been part of formal tournament combat in the Middle Ages, shall not be a part of formal tournament lists for royal ranks and armigerous titles. ]
C. Royal Lists
Only Chivalric (rattan) combat shall be used for formal tournament lists for royal ranks.
[This last might need some explanation. The current Section IX.C is a holdover from a Governing and Policy decision from October 1979, when the Board decided that rapier combat would be allowed in the SCA as an ancillary activity. Rapier combat is no longer considered an ancillary activity and has not been for many years. Also, the duties of the Society Earl Marshal are properly defined in section VI.D. So this section is reduced to a single clear, unambiguous rule.]
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
Milpitas, CA 95036
You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unto the populace of the Kingdom of the East do I, Don Frasier MacLeod send greetings,
As many of you know, I stepped up into the Kingdom Rapier Marshal position at Crown Tournament. One of the priorities of my early tenure in this position is to find replacements for some of my Regional Marshals. To that end I would like to officially put out the call for resumes from anyone interested in taking on the position of Central Regional Deputy Rapier Marshal. As the previous Deputy, Don Donovan, is now my Kingdom Deputy, I need to fill the void left by his departure for this new position. Anyone interested in taking on this position please send me your SCA resume to the Kingdom Rapier Marshal e-mail listed in Pikestaff. I will be accepting resumes until Thursday, November 27th, at which time I will close the window and review the resumes I have received up to that point. I look forward to hearing from any of you who wish to take this position on.
Don Frasier MacLeod, KRM, East