Re: [SCA-Archery] A few words about James Cunningham - From whom he wasapprenticed to
Could you get me Master Emrys permission to post this on the SCA-4Peerage list?
Sir Jon Fitz-Rauf
> The following was written Master Emrys Eustice, to whom James Cunningham
> had apprenticed. I am quite proud of my teacher and mentor. He is very
> much a second father and I felt it appropriate to help spread these words.
> To alle noble ducs, erles, comtes, vicomtes, barons and alle suche peeres
> and noble peoples unto whom thise lettres come, Emrys Eustace maister of
> the ordre of the laure recomaund hym to your gode lordeshippes. And to the
> noble companyes of the grenewoode, the bronze ryng, and the whit launce,
> especial gretyngs.
> Nota bene: On saturday the .xxviij. day of June, Anno Societatus .xxxvij.,
> in the .lxvij. day of the regne of hir roial maiestees of the Midel, at
> Midreaume court during the warre the heraudes hight "Border Raides", kyng
> Valharic and quene Alys saw fit to set my prentice baron James Cunningham,
> forester of the grenewood companye, upon vigil for the moost noble ordre of
> the laure for his skille at archery and at huntsmanshippe.
> Or, in plainer terms, Their Royal Majesties of the Midrealm have offered to
> make James Cunningham a Master of the Laurel by reason of his skill at arms
> in archery, and also in period huntsmanship. At this point, I hope to have
> the attention of every archer, fencer, mounted competitor, and thrown
> weapons enthusiast: the path has been cleared, at least within the
> Midrealm, for mastery-level excellence to be recognized in those fields
> that do not fit neatly into any of our existing peerages.
> James & I agreed to sign an indenture of apprenticeship earlier this year,
> to take place at "Push for Pennsic" on June 15, making him my first
> apprentice. He told me then that his reason for seeking this relationship
> with me, and for eventually achieving the recognition of Master of the
> Laurel, was to enable him to aid other archers reach the recognition he
> felt they deserved.
> I never felt that I had aught to /teach/ James, but that from my position
> as a laurel, I would be able to introduce his name into the right people &
> places, return to him useful feedback, and encourage him to guide his
> efforts into the most productive paths. He already displayed all the
> attributes of nobility, generosity, eagerness & skill in teaching,
> leadership, thoughtfulness, self-discipline, and so on that I expect of a
> peer. In essence, I expected to be a mentor, but not a teacher or
> "father-figure" in the SCA.
> Apparently, my high esteem of James was not unique! A short time later, his
> name was introduced into Midrealm laurel discussions by other admirers, and
> his name shot like a proverbial arrow towards its mark.
> Thus, a mere fortnight after the ink was set on the indenture, I begged the
> Crown that my first apprentice be released from his contract, to be
> recognized as my peer. It was not without a mixture of feelings that I did
> this. Both James & I had been looking forward to this developing
> peer/dependent relationship, cementing old friends tighter, and offering us
> both the chance to grow in our roles & our knowledge of the other.
> I have heard but one single detractor of James' worthiness to this honor -
> James himself. As is often true of laurel-bound artisans, James is never
> satisfied with his works, and never ready to admit that he has met "the
> bar". We had discussions on this the day after I made him my first
> apprentice. James made me promise that I would do what I could to ensure
> that he was not elevated before I thought he was ready, and others were
> sure of it, and he was ready inside.
> As I told James on Saturday: we are not free men, those of us who swear on
> bended knee. Of course, it is the privilege of the Crown, and not the
> Laurelate in whole (nor especially just one!), to make a laurel. However, I
> kept my promise, calling her roial maiestee Alys as soon as I left his
> company, and warned her of his doubts about his readiness.
> Our queen is a thoughtful woman, but firm in her resolve: it was time we
> had recognized a peer by skill in archery, and the first would be James
> Cunningham. And who better to be the first? His character, I say with no
> little bias, is as worthy and admirable as any who shoot as well or better.
> And, her roial maiestee is right in saying: few of us who are peers "felt"
> we were ready, when suddenly we heard our names called to join our order.
> His scores on the IKAC speak for themselves - there is no other sport in
> our Society that is so easily ranked! But scores alone could never make a
> peer. I need not describe to any true archery enthusiasts of this kingdom
> how much time and service James puts into the fields of our kingdom and at
> Pennsic. His woods-walk style archery "hunts" at Harvest Day in Flamyng
> Gryphon are legendary.
> James works a red-tailed hawk and hound together (in Europe, Kali is termed
> a "buzzard"). His hound Sugar is better trained than many human hunters.
> The hawk is newly in his hands, but eagerly learning; the hawk is already
> quite keen on her little four-legged friend's tendency to flush mice! James
> also makes arrows - ask to see my "sheef of pecok arwes" he made as a gift
> when I was Flamyng Gryphon's Baronial Champion, years ago - and crossbows,
> and combat crossbows (the Cunningham Crossbow plans are available from
> either of us), and in his spare time, an immense, two-story-plus-basement
> woodworking barn (which isn't remotely period, but it's impressive,
> nonetheless!). He's tending a small herd of "heritage breed" cattle for his
> sister, and has taken up forging. His skill at huntsmanship (James' opinion
> aside) is so high that any who might disagree with the making of a laurel
> in the skill of archery, should not protest calling him a master of the art
> of huntsmanship. In short, if a period hunter did it or used it, James has
> studied it, or tried it, or made it, and probably done well by it.
> James is not without faults, and one of them is simply that he finds it
> hard to accept honors for himself (a fault that also serves as a whetstone
> for his abilities). However, in accepting this honor, however early he
> might feel it will be, he is opening the door for a legion of worthies,
> whether archers or fencers or tilting champions, to be recognized for their
> greatness within and without. And, in the end, that is what every award is
> ' | Broom IAmBroom@...
> ' | on the Allegheny: 412-828-9802
> ' | 30 Huston Rd, Oakmont PA 15139
> '\|/ "Discere et docere", which means:
> '/|\ "After the game, the king and pawn go into the same box."
> //|\\ - Italian proberb
> Permission is given by the author to repost this message in its entirety.
> Brought to you YahooGroups Ad Free in 2002 by Medieval Mart
> Get Medieval at Mad Macsen's http://www.medievalmart.com/
> [Email to SCA-Archeryemail@example.com to leave this list]
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/