Andre Paurnfeind – a Freifechter, fencing master, and personal guard

Little is told by the current state of research about the author of of the first known printed book explaining Liechtenauer’s teaching: Andre Paurnfeind (Pawrnfeyndt, Bauernfeind, Paurenfeint). In the first article of this series on his fencing with a single handed weapon I will provide some background about the man.

In current literature up to 2016 Andre Paurnfeind is listed as to stem from Ernstbrunn (or is at least related to the village near Vienna), and that he had been enlisted in the Vienna University for 1513.

But I have not found any document proving that the Freyfechter lived and studied in Vienna in 1513 or stems from Ernstbrunn. This was brought into the science literature by Friedrich Wilhelm Karl Waßmannsdorf at the end of the 19th century.  Up to today there had been no new research done on the man himself. [see Bauer ACTA]

There are Pawrnfeind (or people with a similar name enlisted in the Vienna University). The name is quite common in the 15th and 16th century. It is even found in the latin form of Rustiminicus. (Markus Bauernfeind of Mondsee, who studied 1496 in Vienna and 1498 in Kraków, who lived in Vienna from 1510-1528).

By the preface of his book we know that Andres Pauernfeind called himself a “Freyfechter czu Vienen in Oſterreich / nach kaislerlicher begreiffung vnd kurczlicher verſtendnuſzn”. His book was also printed 1516 in Vienna. So Paurnfeind had indeed connection to the capital of Austria. But he probably never lived there for a longer time.

Continue reading