Robin of Gilwell
|Order of Precedence|
Ermine, on a chief double-arched to base gules a moustache Or.
- 1 His Excellency, Master Robin of Gilwell, OL, OP, MOD, Defender of the Dream
- 1.1 Additional Registered Heraldry:
- 1.2 Offices:
- 1.3 Persona History:
- 1.4 Interests:
- 1.5 Timeline of Activity:
- 1.6 Populace Provided Information:
- 1.7 Trivia:
- 1.8 Notable Contributions or Accomplishments:
- 1.9 Affiliations:
- 1.10 Mundane Information:
His Excellency, Master Robin of Gilwell, OL, OP, MOD, Defender of the Dream
Previously Known As:
Additional Registered Heraldry:
- Local Offices Held
- Prior Baron of the Steppes
- Prior Baronial Knight Marshal
- Prior Baronial Herald
- Prior Deputy Baronial Exchequer
- Regional Offices Held
- Central Region Arts and Sciences Officer
- Central Region Herald
- Kingdom Offices Held
- Prior Deputy Kingdom Earl Marshal (Kingdom Rapier Marshal)
- Prior Deputy Kingdom Rapier Marshal
- Prior Asterisk Herald (deputy Kingdom Herald)
- Prior Zodiacus Herald (kingdom precedence herald)
- Prior Golden Staff Herald (kingdom field/court herald)
- Rapier Herald Extraordinary
- Principal – Queen’s College of Bards
Elizabethan in London - 1590s (originally, Robin was pegged as "400 years ago". But in 1601 that became post-period, so I've been stuck in the 1590s ever since.
No specific persona story. I had a rather elaborate one when I started. But the richness of the persona story is inversely related to the richness of the person. (Your persona story is what you make up. Your persona is how you act and what you say when you're in persona.)
- Fencing & Fencing Research
Timeline of Activity:
My first SCA activity was a baronial meeting in 1975, and I instantly knew I wanted nothing to do with these weirdos. But I fenced with my college fencing buddy at the SCA compund at the Texas Renaissance Festival, and started getting active locally in early 1978.
Then on March 10, 1979, Prince Simonn and Princess Tessa established the order that became the White Scarf, and I was committed.
- Event Review - Thirtieth Year White Scarf Celebration - by Robin of Gilwell
- The Tale of a Defeat to Beat all Victories
- Event Review - Queen's Champion 2021 - by Robin of Gilwell
Videos From The Ansteorran Book of Chivalry Discussion:
- Robin introduces himself and tells a story from before he joined the SCA.
- Robin discusses the Ansteorran Embassy at Gulf Wars created to briefly allow fencing.
- Robin talks of the first Queen to embrace the rapier community.
Guest: Live From CAID:
The Challenge of Unusual Styles:
Last Saturday, at War of the Rams (November 17, 2018), I finally held my C.O.U.S. – Challenge of Unusual Styles.
[Briefly, I challenged all comers while never repeating a combination. For the purposes of this challenge, two combinations are different if I need to fight them differently. So a 42” rapier is different from a 38” rapier, and a short, light cloak is different from a long, heavy one, etc.]
I have a lot of weapons collected over 40 years of SCA rapier combat, including many versions of what we use today (heavy rapiers in 5 different lengths, for instance, and several versions of bucklers), what we used to use (two varieties of schlager, three of epee, and two of foil), some experiments (polypropylene and fiberglass weapons), and some silly toys (mug, bottle, fish), etc.
I had over 450 different combinations I could use. I gave complete choice of my weapons and my opponents to my opponent, with the sole condition that I would not repeat any.
My sincerest thanks to Mistress Aethelyan Moondragon, who shuffled cards all day so I could fight all day It was wonderful. I fought 33 challenges (which came to 39 fights, since three early ones were 2 out of 3).
- Ten styles of sword: sidesword, longsword, 45” Rapier, 42” rapier, 38” rapier, 30” rapier, 35” epee, 35” foil, 30” epee, 30” foil.
- Seven styles of dagger: ring flexidagger, 18” ring dagger, 14” ring dagger, maingauche flexidagger, non-crosshilt flexidagger, polypropylene maingauche, and rattan maingauche
- Five styles of buckler or shield: wavy buckler, flat buckler, boss buckler, large target, warboard
- Three flexible parry-objects: Capelet, hip cloak, hat
- And mail glove, open hand, cane, baton, jester’s bauble, mug, bottle, and fish
Duke Gabriel brought a warboard for me as well as himself. Tivar provided additional arms.
My thanks to the other fighters: Aldonza, Ceallach, Etienne, Gabriel, Guyon, Lorelei (Osprey), Mahdi, Maybe, and Tivar. Each one brought something delightful to the field:
Guyon showed up first, and faced me with three different C&T combos.
Aldonza deliberately chose to face the hat because she had no idea how it worked. What daring!
Maybe Knott got excited with the possibilities of fighting with daggers without rapiers, and chose several varieties.
Etienne volunteered to be a youth marshal so I could open it up to the youth fighters.
Mahdi was looking over the weapons like a kid in a candy store, and fought more combos than any other opponent.
Ceallach and Aldonza both deliberately chose weapons that gave me a reach advantage.
When Tivar and I fought foil and rattan maingauche, it was the first single fight ever with over three quarters of a century of White Scarf experience (my 37 years and his 39).
And Osprey couldn't get there while the fight was going on. So she came up later and challenged me to thumb wrestling.
It was great fun.
I am so sore today.
May 22, 2022
Well, it’s official. I can no longer fence.
“Kiss today goodbye
The sweetness and the sorrow
Wish me luck, the same to you
But I can't regret what I did for love,
What I did for love.”
My left shoulder won’t take it.
Yes, I had it rebuilt two years ago – but it was re-built out of 64-year-old parts. My shoulder surgeries gave me five more years of active fencing, which included my C.O.U.S., my last triumphant melee action, two Queen’s Champion Tourneys in which I made the quarter-finals, and third one in the semis, and receiving the Queen’s Blade of Honor one more time.
But my shoulders are still 66 years old, with lots of wear and tear. I’ve had three shoulder surgeries in the last five years (two left, one right). They can’t do it any longer.
“Look, my eyes are dry;
The gift was ours to borrow.
It's as if we always knew,
And I won't forget what I did for love,
What I did for love.”
This post is not a bid for sympathy. I don’t need that. But my fencing activity affects other people’s fencing, and you deserve to know.
No, I can’t fight seriously “just one more time”. It took two weeks for my left shoulder to mostly recover from my last tourney, and it hasn’t fully recovered. No, I can’t fence single rapier – my left hand sometimes comes up to parry unbidden, and that’s exactly the quick, sharp movement I need to avoid. (Besides, I don’t want to re-develop pain in my good shoulder as well.)
I will still be going to fencing practice, and I will still be in armor – for drills and slow work. I will attend regional practices and war practices on the same basis. I will certainly be at Toryn’s Queen’s Champion, and later QCs – but as a full-time marshal, herald, and coach, not as an entrant.
I’ve spoken to Mistress Rhiannon and Lord Sean – my currently active provosts / cadets. I will still be working with them – just never again in a full-speed bout.
I’m still going to be active in Ansteorran rapier – just not as a competitor. This is not the end of the story. It’s a new chapter.
“Kiss today goodbye
And point me toward tomorrow
We did what we had to do
Won't forget, can't regret
What I did for love,
What I did for love.”
I've lived in two baronies in four kingdoms - Steppes in Atenveldt and Ansteorra, and a brief spell in Wyvernwood in Meridies and Trimaris (though I was never active in Meridies.)
Populace Provided Information:
- There is a 26 year span between when Robin received his first peerage (Pelican) to his third (Master of Defense).
Notable Contributions or Accomplishments:
- Queen's Champion to Sieglinde II - See Reign page for photo.
- Queen's Blade of Honor for Conal I
- Founding Master of Defense. (Video at link)
- Authored the first fencing rules for Trimaris, and was instrumental in getting fencing started in the Midrealm.
- First person to win Premier Bard twice, and the first to win it three times. I am the only person (so far <July 2018>) to win Queen's Champion and Premier Bard.
- Eight of my cadets are now White Scarves. (Three are Pelicans, two are knights, two are Laurels, and one is a Master of Defense.)
- Member of the SCA Census 2010 committee.
- Chairman of the Additional Peerage Exploration Committee.
Non-Armigerous Awards and Recognitions:
My cadet and provost is Mistress Rhiannon ferch Cian.
My apprentice is Duchess Valeria Richila Navarro.
Serena's and my protégée is Baroness Katheryn Cunningghame.
Eight of my cadets have become White Scarves, and one more is a Blade of Merit. I have seen my cadet become a Pelican. I have seen four of my ex-cadets become a knight, a Laurel, a Pelican, a White Collar, and a Lion. A Pelican/Laurel and a Duke/knight have become my cadets.
My cadets have accumulated 25 grant orders, and 8 baronies.
I have watched two of my ex-cadets win Queen’s Champion; one of them three times. I have seen two of my ex-cadets become Kingdom Rapier Marshal, one cadet and two former cadets win Guardian of the Gauntlet, three former cadets carry the Queen’s Blade of Honor, one former cadet become kingdom seneschal and one cadet become kingdom chronicler.
I have been so honored by all those who have been my cadets.
In Case of Court: