Memories of Master Eadweard Boicewright

Nearly a month ago, my lord husband told me that Master Eadweard Boicewright, one of my dearest mentors and friends, had passed away. He said that he had suffered a cardiac event.

It broke my heart.

Papa, as those who learned from him call him, was a pillar, not just in our kingdom, but in the Society at large. He was a keeper of our memories, he dispensed wisdom to kings and peasants, and he gave of himself whenever and where ever he saw a need, without any expectation of praise or reward.

The first time we met was at Valor, in 2011. I was mending a friend’s trousers when he sat down across from me at the table. We talked about my SCA name, about trouser seam stability (he told me how his trousers were split when he was called into court to receive a Calon Cross), and mundane things. In retrospect, I see now how he was sizing me up and getting a feel for the kind of person I am.

I guess he liked what he saw because a few months later, he sponsored me in my first Queen’s Prize Tournament and introduced me to Marcella (Mama), his lady wife. She taught me how to make cloth buttons, finger loop braid, lucet, and heddle weave.  It became a habit during my first year in the SCA: I’d go hang out in Papa’s wood wright shop and make tools then go upstairs and ask Mama to teach me how to use them.

Since I moved away, I’ve missed that bond and rapport. Not many people will drive twenty-thirty minutes to take a broke college student out for a nice lunch because she spent the bulk of her much-need Spring break bedridden with Strep Throat, but Papa did. Not many laurels would steer apprentices that could be stars in their belts toward other peers because they see how they could flourish in that relationship, but Papa did.

To be clear, Papa was not the sort of man who brandished his title. I still remember the grin that spread across his face when he finally told me he was a laurel and saw my face pale as I shrunk away a little. I was still new enough to have Peer Fear and had been talking easily  with him for over an hour at that point, so I was a more than a little intimidated. More importantly, though, what he said to me about being a laurel gave me the first inkling that it was something I could aspire towards. He told me that being a laurel meant being a teacher and teaching is something to which I have always been drawn. That seed has remained with me eight years later.

Papa was also one of the most insightful people I have ever known and the most honest. He was the man he always aspired to be, like the Kipling poem he was fond of quoting: a man who talked with crowds without losing his virtue and walked with kings without losing the common touch. I wasn’t done learning from him and I’ll always miss our talks.

Cooking Classes at Lilies by Mistress Giraude and Master Tosten

From Mèstra Giraude Benet:


Küche mit Kachelofen, aus: Kuchenmaistrey, erstmals erschienen 1485 bei Peter Wagner. V

I’d like to share some info about the cooking classes that Master Tosten will be teaching at Lilies this year. They are under my name in the site book, but while I will be helping, he is the main instructor! You can sign up in advance to reserve a spot, which will help him know how much supplies to bring in. Both classes will be held at my cooking table setup across from The Harp!

Cooking in Clay – Baked Apples
Mèstra Giraude Benet
Private Encampment
Sunday, June 9 – 1:00 pm for 1 hour
Audience: Adults Skill Level: Beginner
Age Limit: 8 Fee: $30 (Fee includes a clay pipkin to keep) Max Size: None

Class Description: With Master Tosten du Calais. Explore the process of cooking in clay in the fire. Participate in the history of cooking, and go home with yummy yummy baked apples and your own pipkin. Cut up the fruit, season, and cook to perfection. Class is open to student 8 and above, with parental attendance in the class as well. You may sign up and pre-pay in advance at Tosten’s Pots

Cooking in Clay – Main Dish
Mèstra Giraude Benet
Private Encampment
Sunday, June 9 – 9:00 am for 2 hours
Audience: All Skill Level: Beginner
Age Limit: 8 Fee: $40 (Fee includes a small cooking pot to keep) Max Size: None

Class Description: With Master Tosten du Calais. Explore the process of cooking in clay in the fire. Participate in the history of cooking and go home with hearty main dish and a small cooking pot. Using period ingredients, create a unique combination for you and to share. Simmer your meal in the coals. And share with others, your interest in cooking and period life. You can sign up in advance on Facebook at Tosten’s Pots.  Anyone who might be interested in signing up for the class but who is not on Facebook can email Master Tosten at Dougv@gryph.com , and he will send a PayPal invoice.

Review: The Knowne World Bardcast Features the Music of Calontir

 

Unknown Artist. Minstrels with a Rebec & a Lute.
13th c. Manasseh Codex. El Escorial, Madrid. Public domain in the US

The Knowne World Bardcast is a podcast of bardic performances from across the Society. The typical format is familiar to listeners of radio and podcasts for generation; a playlist of recordings gathered from bards who have recorded their songs and made them available. The production levels of the recordings are spotty, of course, but Lord Gideon ap Stephen does a good job of editing the program and making it interesting. It is a pleasant way to be introduced to the music of other kingdoms, and a good way to pass the time on road trips to foreign wars. Please consider subscribing on your favorite podcatcher.

Lord Gideon is on a quest to publish episodes that showcase each particular Kingdom. His goal is to have episodes for all 20 Kingdoms, and he has done several of them so far. At the time of this article, he had recently posted an episode for Calontir and, for the first time, had to split the episode into two parts.

The Calontir Episode, Part One:  In the Key of Army

“Part One: In the Key of Army” is a documentary-style episode recorded at Gulf Wars. Gideon recorded Calontir singing as a kingdom at the Calontir Party. Standards such as the Battle of Maldon, Benevento, In Praise of a New Knighthood, and many other Calon favorites. Will make any Calontiri heart skip a beat, and long to join the chorus at the earliest opportunity.

The Calontir Episode, Part Two:  The Heart, The Land

This is a more typical episode of The Knowne World Bardcast. After being impressed by Calontir’s group singing, Gideon received messages reminding him that Calontir has its own share of solo bards, songwriters, poets and performers. The call went out and many answered and  “Part Two:  The Heart, The Land” was born. From across time and space, recordings of Calontir bards were gathered and assembled into a playlist:

Lord Gideon’s “The Knowne World Bardcast” is a great addition to the wealth of SCA culture, and this close look at Calontir’s culture of song is most welcome. We will be adding KWB to our SCA Links page under “Arts and Culture”

Where the Falcon Soars Above the Heartland

Tacuina sanitatis 14th C. Public domain in the US

At Gulf Wars XXVIII Lady Elaisse de Garrigues won the A&S Champions Battle, with a project titled “Where the Falcon Soars Above the Heartland:  Musical Compositions Exploring the Development of Polyphonic Organum”

Here are the documentation and accompanying recordings for that winning entry:

 

Ninth Century Parallel Organum:

 

Eleventh Century Free Organum:

 

Twelfth Century Florid Organum:

 

Organum Triplum:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

800 Medieval Manuscripts

A few months ago the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France made 800 Medieval manuscripts available online. These manuscripts are from the period 700 CE to 1200 CE.

The Bibliothèque nationale de France’s trilingual website allows users to search manuscripts in English, French and Italian.

The British Library website presents a curated selection of these manuscripts.

 

Bibliothèque nationale de France:

https://manuscrits-france-angleterre.org/polonsky/en

 

British Library:

https://www.bl.uk/medieval-english-french-manuscripts?_ga=2.30759167.1156243152.1542793825-416360822.1467021830