Created by Royal Charter on 13 September, A.S. 32 by Edward I and Rylyn I, the Ealdormere Academy of Defence is an organization for fencers in Ealdormere, based on the historic London Masters of Defence. Its purpose is to allow those who study the art of the rapier to have a set of long range goals. It has not been uncommon in recent times to see two or even three authorizations in one day by individuals. It is quite possible to attain authorization in all weapons forms in a short period of time. It is hoped that the structure of the Academy will encourage fencers to remain active and interested for long periods of time, as well as build awareness of fencing in Ealdormere.
Within the Academy, there are six ranks, as outlined by Royal Charter:
In addition, there are two Officers of the Academy:
The Praeceptor is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Academy, including supervision of Prize attempts. The current Praeceptor is Lady Merewen de Sweynesheie.
The Proctor is the academic soul of the Academy, guiding and evaluating the research projects of its members. The current Proctor is THL Albrecht Stampfer.
Each rank of the Academy has a number of requirements for advancement to that rank. The requirements have been designed to help our fencers grow into active and vital citizens of Ealdormere. We hop to advocate periodicity and activity in areas of the SCA other than rapier play. Another goal is to encourage research and service for the continuing advancement of the rapier community in Ealdormere.
In keeping with the tradition of the London Masters of Defence, advancement to higher ranks shall be accompanied by the member seeking advancement (the Prizor) calling a Prize. The Prize is a display of skill in which the Prizor shows their prowess in different weapons forms. The Prizor will fence a number of duels to display their skill. When the Prize is completed, if the requirements of the Prize have been met, then the Prizor is invested in the new rank.
It may be noted that there is a requirement for a time period of one year between each rank. It is hoped that this will encourage fencers to become dedicated, regardless of their skill level. This Academy is not based on senior members voting for junior members to advance. The emphasis here is on self improvement, fostering interests beyond rapier play, dedication and fun.
Most of the duties of each rank are presented with the rank. Some are repeated between ranks to emphasize their importance. There is a duty that applies to us all, fencer and non-fencer. We’ll state it here to emphasize it: Honour, Chivalry, Courtesy, Gentility – Learn it, Live it!
Members of all ranks are highly encouraged to do research into the art of rapier play. There are a number of period manuals by rapier masters available. Also encouraged highly is service to your group, and the members of the fencing community as a whole. Assisting in training and marshaling lightens the load on everybody else, and allows all of us more time to have fun! Not to mention the experience you will gain, and the relationships you will forge with other fencers.