With no little shame, and for lack of time, I would today just very briefly like to suggest a toast for one of the more colourful, and bad-ass looking HEMA pioneers of the British Empire, Captain Sir Richard Burton, explorer, translator, soldier, fencer, orientalist, ethnologist, spy, diplomat, poet and rebel "sexologist", who died on this very day 1890, with a life time experience enough for ten men.

Sir Richard Burton studied fencing under Professor Charles Pons (1793-1885), Maitre d'Armes in Paris, and he was also a member of the infamous Kernoozer's Club, alongside of men like Baron de Cosson, Egerton Castle and Walter & Frederick Pollock, men with great interest in the arms and armour of days bygone, and several of them taking active part in recreating the lost fighting arts. For us historical fencers he is most known for his work on the Book of the Sword.

Having in 1855 survived a Somalian Warrior's javelin hanging from his face, piercing both cheeks, giving him the scar seen on his left cheek, he died in Trieste on the morning of October 20, 1890 of heart attack. After his death, his wife burned his final manuscript, a translation of The Perfumed Garden, a book on sexual techniques, health and medications for venereal diseases, entitled The Scented Garden. Later she would describe this manuscript as his Magnum Opus but explain that she had burnt it to protect his reputation.

Sir Richard Burton and his wife Isabel now rest in a tomb in the shape of a bedouin tent, in the cemetery of St Mary Magdalen’s Roman Catholic Church Mortlake in southwest London.

Roger Norling
Roger Norling is an instructor on Joachim Meÿer's Halben Stangen (Quarterstaff) with the Gothenburg Free Fencer's Guild (GFFG).

Starting with the Gothenburg Historical Fencing School in 2008, he is since 2015 a member of the GFFG. His main focus in his research is the "Kunst des Fechtens" and primarily the longsword, dussack and polearms. He has been focusing on the works of Joachim Meÿer since 2009. In this he has enjoyed collaborating with the Meyer Frei Fechter Guild and in May 2013 he became a Fechter of the MFFG. Recently, he has begun researching Meyer's dagger quite systematically using the same method he applied to his staff teachings.

Currently, he is writing on a series of books which will explore the teachings of Joachim Meyer, in collaboration with researcher friends in the HEMA community.

The upcoming two years he will be teaching Meÿer quarterstaff, dusack and longsword at various HEMA events in Europe and the USA. For more about this, read his instructor's profile.