In Memoriam: Master Eadweard Boicewright

Courtesy The Knowne World Memorial Shield Project

Word came to us this week of the passing of Master Eadward Boicewright

Memorial services are being planned for the Kingdom and Society at large. Arrangements have also been made for a memento on the Memorial Ship at Pennsic this year.

Come gather ye pipers and long chanters blow
Fetch drum and a tabor and play a march slow.
I raise up my cup and I share drink with thee,
A cup of our tears to quench the dark sea.

I grieve with my cousins of Calontir and the Known World at the passing of Master Eadweard Boicewright, who has touched so many of us. I mourn with his lady wife Marcella, his family, and his household. I feel most keenly the loss of one of my dearest friends.

Courtesy The Calontiri Wiki

There was a time long ago when Queen Alethea asked me to make a strand of beads that would be given as Her Majesty’s token at the upcoming Queen’s Prize Tourney. I made the beads as Her Majesty asked and waited to see who would win them. When the beads were presented, I made it a point to meet the recipient after Court that evening. I’d wanted to know who would be wearing my art.

When I introduced myself to Lord Eadweard Boicewright that evening, I did not know that one day he would be a laurel, a Calontir legend, and one of my best friends. On that day, he was fairly new to the SCA and had just completed his second Queen’s Prize entry. I still hear people talk about the lathe that he entered that year. That day seems so long ago now, yet I still remember it clearly.

In the fullness of time, both of our roles in Calontir grew. Our friendship grew as well. Eadweard Boicewright brought his talent, his knowledge, his generosity, and his hospitality to the realm. He taught any would ask and he welcomed all to his camp. As a merchant, he sold practical wood wares and weaving tools. I have heard of many weavers who got their first loom from Eadweard. Many weaving instructors tell of how he would provide tools for their classes, often by donation. I couldn’t count the times when I would I be sitting in his camp at Lilies and someone would come in with a broken tent pole or other problem and ask “Eadward, can you fix this?” And he could and did.

Courtesy Johann Steinarsson

I spoke for the Order of the Laurel when Eadweard was elevated to the peerage. I spoke of ideals like courtesy and hospitality and how it was a Laurel’s duty to enrich the Kingdom. Eadweard would come to embody those ideals. There was always shade and refreshment at his camp. Many of our folk talk of  how Eadweard welcomed them when they were new to SCA, how he encouraged them, and how he helped them find their path. He was an inspiration to many and example to us all.

I often hear people speak of how the world is a little darker when someone who has touched us like Eadweard has pass. However, it is not. Grief makes us feel this way. When the grief fades and the loss is less keenly felt, we will see that the light has not dimmed. It glows in our memory and in the legacy of our lost friend. Eadweard’s light and legacy will live on in everyone whose life he touched, in Calontir and beyond. When we share that light with those around us, Eadward’s gift to us grows.

It is right and fitting that we mourn. Let Non-Nobis resound through the land. Let glasses be raised in honor and sorrow. Let us cry and feel our loss. Let us comfort one another and support our friends. But let us not forget that while we sorrow, we carry Master Eadweard in our hearts. Let us all strive to keep his example of courtesy, friendship, hospitality, and honor alive in the days and years ahead.

Master Mellitus of Rouncivale

Sing Non Nobis!