East Kingdom Gazette

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Covering the Eastern Realm of the SCA
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Pennsic A&S War Point

Wed, 2015-08-19 12:22

Work of Naomi bat Avraham. Photo courtesy of Naomi bat Avraham

The Gazette thanks Mistress Amy Webbe for writing the following account of the A&S War Point at our request.

On a bright, sunny morning, far too early for Pennsic time, a diverse group of SCAdians waited anxiously outside of the Aethelmaerc Royal encampment, hoping Hospitality would soon let them in.

Work of Osazuwa nKante. Photo Couresy of Naomi bat Avraham

They had gathered for an unusual reason, this war: they were competitors and coordinators for the A&S War Point, only the second in Pennsic history. The war point was the brainchild of Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle of Aethelmaerc, and indeed, they had done something similar when they last sat the Eastern Throne during the summer reign. Assisted by the enthusiastic support of Our Majesties Etheldreda and Omega, and Their Majesties Ragnvaldr III and Arabella III of the Middle Kingdom, they wished to give the Society Artisans a place to shine.
The rules were simple: bring 7 artisans from your Kingdom, let them set up in a 4 foot space, and let Laurels and Mauches (or your Kingdom’s equivalent) vote.

Work of Lissa Underhill. Photo courtesy of Naomi bat Avraham

The seven representatives from the East were: Agatha Wanderer; Lissa Underhill; Naomi bat Avraham; Katheryn Fontayne; Osazuwa nKante; Rosina von Schaffhausen; and Guthfrith Yrlingson. Our artisans represented a variety of interests- fiber arts, historical clothing, casting, armoring, woodblock printing, and lampworking beads. As coordinator for the East, I still admit to being fully biased in favor of the skill of our artisans, and was completely confident that

Work of Rosina von Schaffhausen. Photo courtesy of Naomi bat Avraham

they could out score any artisans from any other Kingdom, any time, any place. However, as other artisans began to set up, I did feel a little less confident. Creative displays from an amazing variety of areas soon filled the tents- embroidery, sugar work, paintings and illumination…One of the most eye-catching displays was a large, hand made spinning wheel, from an artist in Atlantia- and that was the ALTERNATE offering from Atlantia! I knew we had our work cut out for us.

Work of Katheryn Fontayne; Photo courtesy of Katheryn Fontayne

Over 400 voters came through the door- each was given three glass beads to put in the cup of their top three choices, and it was amusing and touching to see how thoughtfully they carried out their voting- it was not uncommon to see someone an hour after they had first come in, still clutching one or two beads, completely torn over where to place it! Exhibits were intended to be anonymous- no names on anything, and the artisans were not present with their work, so the voting was as blind as we could make it.

Work of Agatha Wanderer Photo courtesy of Naomi bat Avraham

Finally, the voting time was over- which meant the tallying of over 1200 (sometimes teeny tiny) beads. Their Majesties East, Mid, and Aethelmaerc assembled, and each spoke encouraging words about the skill and knowledge displayed there today. They also spoke of the need for the A&S War Point to continue, something they plan to discuss with Their Heirs’ Heirs.

Work of Guthfrith Yrlingson. Photo courtesy of Guthfrith Yrlingson

The final results were in: The East-Mid alliance dominated the War Point, 721 votes to 521 votes. Two of the top three artisans on the East-Mid team came from the East: Naomi bat Avraham with her printing, and Lissa Underhill, with her lampwork beads. All of our Artisans carried themselves well, and represented the East proudly. I could breathe easily again, knowing the Eastern Skill had carried the day!


Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Pennsic

Call for Applicants – President, SCA, Inc.

Tue, 2015-08-18 14:47

President, SCA. Inc.
Leslie Vaughn, President of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., has announced that the SCA Board of Directors is now accepting applications for the position of President of the SCA Inc.
The Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. is currently accepting applications for the position of President of the SCA Inc. This is a position requiring approximately 10-20 hours per week and includes a stipend.
The President is the principal spokesperson for the SCA, Inc. This officer is a liaison between the SCA, Inc. and outside professionals such as attorneys, accountants and insurance representatives. This officer is a contact for the SCA, Inc. for law enforcement, government agencies, and claimants against the SCA, Inc.

The President works with the Vice President of Corporate Operations to coordinate much of the day-to-day modern operation of the Corporation, and supervises and facilitates communication between many of the Society Officers.

The President is required to execute contracts necessary to properly conduct the SCA’s business, and may delegate similar responsibilities. The President is also responsible for such legal matters as contracts and merchandising. The President advises the Board of Directors on areas of corporate governance and policy issues. The President may be assigned other duties by the Board.

Qualifications for the position include excellent written and oral communication skills, the ability to work independently to prioritize tasks and meet deadlines, and strong computer skills. Experience in a modern business setting, organizational ability and problem-solving skills are a must. Experience in a modern non-profit organization and prior experience at the Corporate or Society level of the SCA are desirable, but not required.

Applicants must be available to attend quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors, typically held over a Friday and a Saturday. They must also be available for approximately four conference call meetings per year, typically during weekday evenings. As a great deal of the Board’s business occurs via the Internet, familiarity and basic skills with a computer, MS Office software (specifically Microsoft Word and Excel), and e-mail are required. The successful applicant must have reliable access to the Internet.

Hard copies of résumés (both professional and SCA, including offices held and awards received) must be sent to the attention of the Board and the President at the SCA Corporate Office, P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, CA 95036-0789. Résumés must be received by Oct 1, 2015. 

Questions regarding this position may be directed to Scott Berk, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SCA Inc. via e-mail at chairman@sca.org, or to Leslie Vaughn, President, via e-mail at president@sca.org.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to: SCA Inc. Box 360789 Milpitas, CA 95036

Filed under: Uncategorized

Period or Not…Names

Mon, 2015-08-17 11:07

This is a recurring series by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich on whether certain names currently can be documented to period based on existing evidence..  There are a lot of names that people think are medieval, but actually aren’t, and others which people think are modern, but in fact are found in the SCA’s period.  If you would like to suggest a name, send an email to the Gazette.

Today’s name is Victoria.

I was asked recently about the female name “Victoria.”  Victoria is, in fact, a period name in multiple cultures.  It can be documented in 16th century Spain[1], Portugal[2], Italy[3], Germany[4] and, of course, England.[5]  The variant Victoire is found in France.[6]  We also find Victory as a female name in 16th century English.[7]

[1]  Victoria Roldorar; Female; Christening; 17 Nov 1599; Malgrat, Barcelona, Spain; Batch: C89273-4 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F5VL-Y52).

[2]  Victoria Ros; Female; Marriage; 20 Apr 1550; Espírito Santo, Calheta, Madeira, Funchal, Portugal; Batch: M88009-1 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F2ZC-N6L).

[3]  “Names from an Early 16th C Census of Rome” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/names/italian/leofemfreq.html) and “Early 16th C Names from Naples” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/names/italian/frattaminore.html).

[4]  Victoria Bainhardt; Female; Marriage; 23 Sep 1583; Brackenheim, Württemberg, Germany; Batch: M95512-1 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NCJ6-V6Y).

[5]  Victoria Marshall; Female; Christening; 08 Jun 1589; Darrington,  York, England; Batch: P00759-1 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NP5X-Q56).

[6]  “Late Period French Feminine Names” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/names/french/latefrench.html).

[7]  Victory Milles; Female; Christening; 22 Mar 1553; Wartling, Sussex, England; Batch: C14798-1 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NY45-LY1).

Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: heraldry, names

On the Scheduling of Awards

Sun, 2015-08-16 22:05
In response to a question on the East Kingdom Facebook group, I wrote the following post about how awards are scheduled, at least for Caoilfhionn’s and my time on the Throne. Here is the process when we give an award. It may vary slightly reign to reign, but I believe that this is a good general outline.
  1. We set our Royal Progress calendar. It is based around required events, visiting several parts of the Kingdom, events we really want to attend, and our availability (in that order).
  2. We make decisions about who we will give various awards to (after pollings if applicable). This is usually started by a recommendations. So, if you feel someone deserves an award, write a recommendation.
  3. We send these off to our Royal Scheduler. This job is essential, difficult, and totally under-appreciated. The scheduler reaches out to people around the award recipient to figure out at what event the award(s) should be given, based on some of the following:
    1. What events are left of the Royals’ calendar?
    2. Which of those events will the recipient be attending?
    3. What is the closest event to the recipient?
    4. What event is the most appropriate to the award?
    5. How full is the docket for the event in question.Often times, step #3 involves a great deal of back and forth, and plans often change.
  4. Once the schedule is set, the scheduler works with the Signet’s office to make sure that a scroll is being created.
The last piece that is hardest to codify is who are we communicating with to schedule? Is it the right person? Let’s say Caoilfhionn and I chose to give Squire Bob an AoA. If we know that Squire Bob is squired to Sir Kickass, then we would likely have our scheduler talk to Sir Kickass to figure out the best option. If we don’t know that a) Bob’s a squire or B) Who Bob is squired to, then that makes the job tougher. In that case, we usually start with the person writing the recommendation. That’s why we ask for your contact info when you write a recommendation. I hope this helps you understand the general process, and we welcome further questions. -Brennan, Princeps
Filed under: Court Tagged: awards

Coronation Date and Site Announced

Sat, 2015-08-15 11:06

Photo by Raziya Bint Rusa.

Their Highnesses Brennan and Caoilfhionn announced that they accepted a bid for their upcoming Coronation.  It will be held in the Barony of Concordia of the Snows on October 3 at the same site where St. Kenric of Blessed Memory was laid to rest.
Filed under: Announcements

Remembrance of Countess Adrienne of Toledo

Fri, 2015-08-14 18:13

Let all who dwell in The Known Worlde who would do honour to the memory of Countess Adrienne of Toledo, First Queen of the East, be advised that there will be at 6 PM on this coming Sunday the 16th of August a Service for that purpose at Greyhaven, 90 El Camino Real in Berkeley, California.  Please RSVP and/or send reminiscences to Countess Diana Listmaker (diana@westria.org).

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: community

Pennsic’s Volunteer War Point

Thu, 2015-08-13 21:21

Our thanks to Thane Alexander Makcristyne, the East Kingdom’s Volunteer War Point Representative, for providing the following information at The Gazette’s request. 

The Volunteer War Point, or VWP, happened this year and many people put in a combined total of over five thousand hours in various areas of Pennsic. Some of the highest registered hours came from Pennsic University and Herald’s point.  The total hours per warring faction broke down as follows:
East/Mid/Acre – 3,181 hours
AEthelmearc /Allies – 2,308.

The VWP staff consisted of one representative and a deputy from the Middle Kingdom, one representative from the East Kingdom, and one neutral counter.  They put in a combined total of four hours distributing the VWP packets, collecting them, and counting/verifying hours. Once hours were counted and verified by three different people, the staff broke to inform their kingdoms of the results, however there was no representative for AEthelmearc/Allies available at that time to go report the results.

The VWP is a valuable War point because everyone has a chance to aid in the war and help the war continue.  Many hand make light work. I want to thank everyone who even gave up one minute of their time to help the war.

East Kingdome VWP representative: Thane Alexander Makcristyne

Filed under: Pennsic

Pennsic War Point Tally / Sommaire des Points de Guerre

Thu, 2015-08-13 20:52

En français

During closing ceremonies, the war was declared a tie by Their Majesties of the East, Middle and AEthelmearc.  The following are a detailed list of how the war points were divided.

15 Points for Armored Combat
Unbelted Champions – 1 point – East/Mid
Belted Champions – 1 point – AEthelmearc/Allies
Matched Champions – 1 point – East/Mid
Century Champions – 1 point – AEthelmearc/Allies
Armored Castle Battle – 2 points – AEthelmearc/Allies took 2
Armored Bridge Battles – 3 points – AEthelmearc/Allies took 3
Armored Woods Battles – 3 points – AEthelmearc/Allies took 3
Armored Field Battles– 3 points – East/Mid took 2, AEthelemearc took 1

10 Points for Rapier
Rapier Manor Battle – 1 point – East/Mid
Rapier Village Battle – 1 point – AEthelmearc/Allies
Rapier Champions Battle – 1 point – AEthelmearc/Allies
Rapier Heroic Champions – 1 point – Tie; point was split evenly.
Rapier Woods Battle – 3 points – East/Mid took 2, AEthelmearc/Allies took 1
Rapier Field Battles – 3 points – East/Mid took 3

7 Points for Archery
Archery Champions Shoot – 1 point – AEthelmearc & Allies
Populace Archery Shoot – 6 points – East/Mid

1 Point for Service  – neither side

A&S- 1 Point – East/Mid won the point

Siege and Combat Archery Battle – 1 point – AEthelmearc/Allies
Thrown Weapons Tournament – 1 point – AEthelmearc/Allies

En français  par Sir Pellandres dit Le Frère

Lors des cérémonies de clôture, la grande guerre a été déclarée nulle par leurs majestés de l’Est, du Milieu, et d’Aethelmearc. Ci-bas nous incluons la description de comment les points se sont ventilés entre les belligérants.

Et voila les détails :
15 Points pour le combat en armure, soit :
– Les champions dit “Unbelted” – 1 point – East/Mid
– Les champions de la chevalerie -1 point – Aethelmearc/Alliés
– Le défi des champions – 1 point – East/Mid
– Les cent champions – 1 point – Aethelmearc/Alliés
– Bataille dans le château – 2 points – Aethelmearc/Alliés pour 2
– Bataille sur les ponts – 3 points – Aethelmearc/Alliés pour 3
– Bataille dans les bois – 3 points   Aethelmearc/Alliés pour 3
– Champ de bataille classique – 3 points- 2 points pour East/Mid et 1 pour Aethelmearc/Alliés

10 Points pour les escrimeurs, soit :
– Bataille dans le manoir – 1 point – East/Mid
– Bataille dans le village – 1 point – Aethelmearc/Alliés
– La mêlee des champions – 1 point – Aethelmearc/Alliés
– Le défi des champions – 1 point – Nul, le point a été partagé de facçon égale..
– La bataille dans les bois – 3 points – 2 points pour East/Mid et 1 pour Aethelmearc/Alliés
– champ de bataille classique – 3 points – East/Mid gagne les trois.

7 Points pour les archers, soit :
– Les rondes des champions – 1 point – Aethelmearc/Alliés
– Les rondes populaires – 6 points – East/Mid.

1 Point pour le Service – Ce point n’a pas été attribué à ni un ni l’autre des partis.

Arts et Sciences- 1 Point – Remporté par le East/Mid

Battaille d’archerie de combat et d’armes de siège – 1 point – Aethelmearc/Alliés

Touirnoi de tir d’Arme de jet – 1 point – Aethelmearc/Alliés


Filed under: Archery, Arts and Sciences, En français, Fencing, Heavy List, Pennsic, Thrown Weapons

Volunteers Needed for SCA Demo at the Great Falls Balloon Festival

Wed, 2015-08-12 17:10

Home from Pennsic and feeling like you want to help promote the SCA to even more people? Or just haven’t had quite enough camping, fencing, fighting, and fun?

Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23 the Incipient Riding of Ravensbridge will be hosting a weekend-long demo and medieval encampment at the Great Falls Balloon Festival in Auburn, Maine. This festival draws over 100,000 people annually to view the hot air balloons and learn about and support a variety of local nonprofit organizations — this year, including the SCA!

The schedule for the weekend will include armored and rapier combat demos, live demonstrations of a wide variety of period crafts and arts, and education to festival attendees about what the SCA is and how they can get more involved. There will also be a “medieval village” period encampment. All Scadians are welcome to come to help promote the SCA – whether you can attend for the weekend or just for an afternoon, your help is needed!

The medieval village portion of the demo will be a walk-through medieval encampment that includes the live arts demonstrations. Currently there are 26 period tents in the village (with room for a few more), and arts demonstrations of the following crafts: Spinning, card weaving, archery, brewing, games, heraldry, enameling, embroidery, blacksmithing, soapmaking, medieval confections, bardic, and scribal arts.

The demo coordinator, Lady Sigrida Arnsdottir, is still looking for additional artisans to participate in all or part of the live arts demonstrations, particularly in the areas of armoring, stained glass, and medieval foods.

If you would like to attend and camp in the medieval village, please contact Lady Sigrida to reserve space. Campers must be in period tents, must pre-reserve space, and must be prepared to have their camp open to the public during the day. Campers should be prepared to be set up from Friday afternoon through 5 pm Sunday. Above ground fire rings only! Carry in, Carry out. No alcohol is allowed as it is a public park. Public hours for the medieval village walk through are Friday 4 – 9 pm, Saturday 10 am – 8 pm, Sunday 10 am – 5 pm.

For those not able to spend the entire weekend at the Festival, there are many other opportunities to get involved. Many hands are needed to man the information tables, and the demo staff welcomes all authorized fighters and fencers to come and show your stuff.

Armored combat demos will take place on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, combatants muster is at noon, and there will be combat demos (rapier and armored) from 2 to 3 pm and again from 5 to 6 pm. On Sunday, there will be a “vikings invade the village” battle at 1 pm, plus other activities during the “family fun” portion of the festival from 10 am to 1 pm. There will also be a youth combat demo if enough youth fighters and marshals are available.

Scadians from everywhere are encouraged to attend and get involved in telling festival attendees about this great hobby we all enjoy.

The demo coordinator is Lady Sigrida Arnsdottir. Please contact her at sel210@gmail.com or via phone at 207-890-5349 (leave a message).

For questions about the combat demo, please contact Syr Marcus Blackaert at syr.marcus.blackaert@gmail.com.

For more details, including directions, please see the announcement on the East Kingdom Webpage.

Filed under: Events Tagged: demo, demos, festival, Malagentia, medieval village, ravensbridge

How to Join Polling and Discussion Lists

Tue, 2015-08-11 09:52

The following message is from the Duchess Katherine Stanhope, who is the Polling Clerk for the East Kingdom.

Greetings all,

Many, many new awards have been bestowed recently, so there are many people to be added to polling and discussion lists. The link to join these lists is:


Note that the polling and discussion lists are SEPARATE. You receive the polls on the polling list ONLY, and all discussion takes place on the discussion lists.

Because there are so many new award recipients, I haven’t been able to keep track. When you join the lists, please send me an email to polling@eastkingdom.org explaining who you are, and when you received your award. This will help prevent delays to processing your request. Also, the current polling is open until August 23. If you sign up before then, I will send you the link to the poll.

If you think you are subscribed but haven’t received your poll, the first thing you should do is check your spam filter. If you don’t find the polls in there, then go to the link and resubscribe.

Thank you!

Katherine Stanhope
Polling Clerk

Filed under: Uncategorized

Pennsic: Archery Champions Results

Thu, 2015-08-06 16:16

Aethelmearc & Allies took this war point today winning 2 of the 3 parts:

In the 10 station course, the East/Mid team earned 1078 points but the Allies tallied 1185.

The East/Mid team took the Friend & Foe shoot, 191 to 185.

On the long distance Walk-Up shoot, the Allies prevailed with 209 to 200.

Reported by Mistress Ygraine of Kellswood

Filed under: Archery, Pennsic

Court Schedule, Friday, August 7

Thu, 2015-08-06 08:00
Reminder for the East Kingdom Courts scheduled Friday, August 7: Short Battlefield Court  at 12:00 noon Closing Ceremonies at 4:00 p.m.
Filed under: Announcements, Court

Tuesday War Point Update From Pennsic

Wed, 2015-08-05 16:41


There were 5 Pennsic war points decided on Tuesday.

3 points: Armored Bridge battles
1 point: Rapier Village battle
1 point: Seige weapon and combat archery battle.

Aethelmearc and it’s allies won all 5 points.

The weather continues to be fine.

Filed under: Pennsic

A&S Research Paper #2. Inside Blakemere: Notes from the Yearly Accounts of a Late Medieval Household

Tue, 2015-08-04 20:00

Our second A&S Research Paper comes to us from Mistress Aildreda de Tamworthe, of the Barony of Carolingia, and is drawn from her study of the management of medieval households in England. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

Inside Blakemere: Notes from the Yearly Accounts of a Late Medieval Household

The Four Conditions of Society: Nobility (vellum), Jean Bourdichon (1457-1521)

How did medieval people run their households? Those quotidian concerns – of provisions and repairs, staffing and expenses – are always with us, but they are not always easy to tease out of the historical record in detail. Happily, some of the records of larger noble households have survived, at least in the form of yearly accounts, and these accounts can provide us some fascinating glimpses into the day-to-day concerns of households that are both deeply familiar and deeply apart.

C.M. Woolgar’s The Great Households of Late Medieval England is a wonderfully comprehensive overview of life in those households – those linked groups of people who were at the very top of the social pyramid. On a much smaller scale, I would like to consider some specific minutiae of a single estate belonging to a single family, a family that did very well for themselves but never quite reached the dizzy heights of a great figure like John of Gaunt or Thomas of Lancaster.

By the beginning of the 15th century, by dint of judicious marriage and political positioning, the Talbot family owned considerable estates in northern and western England. One such estate was Blakemere, located near the small town of Whitchurch in Northern Shropshire.

England, with the County of Shropshire in red

County of Shropshire, England (click on the map to view a larger version; Blakemere Manor is at the very top)

As luck would have it, we have the yearly records of six of the household stewards, dating from between 1392 and 1425. The steward is in charge of all of the consumables in the house, from food to napkins to horseshoes, and all of the logistical questions related to finding them, buying them, transporting them, and making sure they get to where they need to go. He also pays wages and builds up stores of supplies for the household if possible.

Looking at these records, we can find out all sorts of things: how many people lived in the house; what kinds of foodstuffs they ate frequently and rarely; what kinds of consumables a large estate might make and what it might need to purchase; how guests were housed; what staff roles were paid in food and lodging and what roles were paid in cash—and how much; even who gets to keep the rabbit skins from the kitchen.

The yearly accounts track each category of expenditure, and each specific type within the category. Thus, there is a single entry for all of the ale consumed in the year, and a single entry for minstrels. Each line item must be accounted for at the annual review of accounts with the head of the household, and discrepancies could be required to be made up from the steward’s own funds.

These records survive in part because of their durability; the Blakemere records were kept on long rolls of vellum, with a new piece being stitched onto the bottom of the last as the length of the account demanded it. There was also a “household book” that tracked monthly expenses and made additional notes; it is referred to in the yearly records, but since the book was kept on paper it has long since vanished.

14th C. bailiff’s account roll from Essex

The stewards generally track similar sorts of things in their accounts, but each certainly has his own way of recording. The last records, those of Richard Kenleye from 1424-1425, are the most complete and the most “textbook” in the sense of conforming to what was current accounting best practices; the excerpts below are from his accounts.

At the time of Kenleye’s records, John Talbot was Lord (Baron); he married Margaret Beauchamp in early September 1425, after his first wife, Maud de Furnivalle, died in 1423. John succeeded Gilbert, his older brother; both were sons of Richard, 4th Lord Talbot, and Lady Ankaretta Lestrange. John did very well for himself; Henry V appointed him Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1414, where he served for five years, and then again in 1424 for another year. He was considered a daring and agressive soldier and won considerable renown during the Hundred Years War; indeed, Shakespeare mentions him in Henry VI, Part 1. He was also made Earl of Shrewsbury 1442 (a title that is now in abeyance).

It is interesting to compare Kenleye’s records with those from 1392, when Richard, Lord Talbot was lord of Blakemere; Richard was certainly a nobleman of good standing, but not quite so successful as his second son; the expenditures of the latter steward are definitely higher and the tastes a bit richer.

Let us take a peek into the Blakemere household through some interesting notes from the Kenleye records:

The grain purchased is mostly wheat, mostly for bread—more than 37,000 loaves—but also 4 bushels for pastry and one for frumenty. Wheat is also fed to poultry and partridges; 4 bushels for the former and an entire bushel just for the latter. Rye is mostly made into bread, and mostly that for the dogs and even the horses, who also get oats and hay. (Everyone eats bread – it is not a figure of speech at this time to call it the staff of life!) Nearly 600 additional wheat loaves and nearly 150 rye loaves (for dogs) are bought from nearby Whitchurch, but the rest is baked in-house.

More than 13,000 gallons of ale are recorded, 12,000 of which is purchased at 1 penny each from local brewers. Everyone drinks ale—the standard allotment is a gallon a day. Moreover, the supply must be constantly renewed; in the absence of hops, ale sours very quickly and is essentially undrinkable after two weeks. Nearly 3000 gallons of wine are recorded, mostly red, but also white and sweet; this is served to the upper echelon of the household. (The records do not indicate the source of the wine, however, although it is most likely from France, where England still has possessions.) Most of the wine is directly purchased, but some is a gift from peers and some from the lord’s stores in Ireland. (Whence also cometh preserved fish.)

The household purchases 17 pounds of pepper but only 18 pounds of sugar; 14 pounds of ginger; 17 pounds of raisins; 4 pounds each of mace and canel (akin to cassia); 3 pounds each of saffron, sanders, and cloves. (These vary widely by taste and how and when the family is at Blakemere – the account ten years earlier has 25 pounds of pepper!) Many of the spices are for Christmas, purchased in Shrewsbury or London.The fruit purchased is dried – quinces, currants, dates (36 pounds!), raisins, figs. There are 9 pounds of almonds – most commonly to make milk substitutes in Lent – and 63 pounds of rice, which is recorded as a spice. Not unreasonable considering that it might have to travel nearly as far! As a nod to the value of these spices, they are not kept in the kitchen; instead the bulk of this hoard is kept in the household treasury, along with all the coinage.

Salt is purchased by the bushel, most probably for curing meat and fish; 61 gallons of olive oil are purchased for Lent, most probably to address the limitations on animal fats like butter and lard. The olive oil is most likely from southern France, much like the wine, given English holdings there; it is still fairly dear, at 13 shillings for the whole quantity.

Beef, pork, and birds of various kinds are certainly eaten in quantity (indeed, there is an entry for 334 blackbirds!), but there is an overwhelming amount of fish, with 22,000 salt herrings, among many other salted fish, including salmon from the lord’s stores in Ireland. There is certainly a taste for fresh fish when available, though – the waters of the estate and surrounding environs have pike, pickerel, bream, tench, perch, and roach. Quite a lot of ocean fish as well, as well as salmon and eels; these were probably transported in baskets. 9000 eggs bought and 330 gallons of milk; an interesting note, given that there are also records of poultry and cattle on the estate. Too great a demand, perhaps?

There are pounds and pounds of wax candles purchased (more than 75 pounds), but the mainstay would have been the 1000 tallow candles made from the kitchen process leftovers. As to the fate of other kitchen byproducts, it is interesting to note the entry for 177 rabbit skins “to Thomas Cook as his fee”. Nothing is wasted!

The Talbots kept a tidy table; Kenleye purchased 74 ½ ells (112 ½ yards) of various cloth for napery (napkins and tablecloths).

Many of the horse-related expenses are recorded as from in town (Whitchurch); it seems that travellers’ horses stay there, rather than in the lord’s own stables. There is no record, however, of where travellers’ attendants stay, although the grooms do presumably stay with the horses…

A funeral is recorded for “the lord’s daughter ” (perhaps an infant? I have not found a record of a named child that matches these dates). The supplies needed for a funeral are evidently wax candles, loaves, ale, cheese, an offering, and alms. On the anniversary of Lady Ankaretta’s death, money is likewise paid to various clergy for their services, and also for an oblation, although where it is given is not noted.

Gifts are also listed, mostly from other persons of similar statation, although one is from a tenant: capons, partridges, a doe, fish, a play at Twelfth Night, and oysters. The lord has minstrels, who also receive a single payment.

Stipends are also paid to the estate’s fisherman, a carter, a laundress; a few other persons receive their stipend as a sum deducted from their rent, in lieu of cash. A fisherman gets 26s.8d, a laundress gets 3s.4d, and the household steward gets “the customary payment ”of 66s.8d. Consider this in light of the fact that the household spent 13 shillings alone on olive oil…

What surprises you about these entries?

Some further reading: Texts that either directly reference the household at Blakemere, or provide background on households in England in the late Middle Ages.

Accounts of the stewards of the Talbot household at Blakemere, 1392-1425, translated and edited by Barbara Ross. Keele : Centre for Local History, University of Keele, 2003. – The source material for this article.

The great household in late medieval England, C.M. Woolgar. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999. – An excellent overview of the structure of a medieval household.

Medieval gentlewoman: life in a widow’s household in the later Middle Ages, Ffiona Swabey. Stroud: Sutton, 1999. – A more narrative account of a smaller household in Suffolk, drawn from similar records.

The English Noble Household 1250-1600: Good Governance and Politic Rule, Kate Mertes. New York, NY: Basil Blackwell, 1988. – An overview in the style of Woolgar’s The Great Household, but focusing a notch or two down the social ladder; more detailed, and drawing on dozens of extant records of various kinds.

Standards of Living in the Later Middle Ages: Social Change in England c. 1200-1520, Christopher Dyer. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1989. – A survey of many kinds of record, including archeological, to paint an economic and sociological picture of all three classes of society (lord, priest, peasant) as well as the growing urban population.

Household Accounts from Medieval England (two volumes), Records of Social and Economic History, vol. 17, C.M. Woolgar. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1992. – These are the records themselves; from diet accounts (daily expense and provision records) to wardrobe accounts and accounts for corn. A representative sample from the middle to upper echelons of English society, from the earliest extant records from the middle of the 13th century to the end of the 15th. Please note: the accounts are not translated and are in the original Latin and French.

Walter of Henley’s Husbandry, together with an anonymous Husbandry, Seneschaucie, and Robert Grosseteste’s Rules, ed. Elizabeth Lamond, 1890. (Entire volume available at this link in various formats.) – In the middle of the 13th century, Bishop Robert Grosseteste wrote a list of nearly thirty rules for the Countess of Lincoln on how to maintain a household and behave as its head, touching on everything from how to fill your plate at dinner to how often you should let your staff visit their homes. The other treatises in the volume concern the various ways one should correctly run an estate, from how to tend your sheep to the characteristics of an exemplary dairymaid.

Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

Pennsic 44 Archery Champions Announced

Tue, 2015-08-04 15:38

The archers selected for the East Kingdom’s half of the Champions Team have just been announced by the Captain General of Archers, Baroness Jehannine de Flandres.

The 15 team members are:

  • Colin Ursell
  • Godric of Hamtun
  • Jehannine de Flandres
  • Kieran Bren of Bannockburn
  • Kusunoki Yoshimoto
  • Li Kung Lo
  • Mark Squirrelsbane
  • Miles Boweman
  • Nathaniel Wyatt
  • Phillip Reed the Facetious
  • Rupert the Unbalanced
  • Siobhan Inghean Cormaic
  • Tamsin Whitlocke
  • Treya min Teanga
  • Ygraine of Kellswood

The 5 alternates are:

  • Cathain
  • Macsen Felinfoel
  • Meruit Kieransdottir
  • Nest verch Tangwistel
  • Otto Gottlieb

Reported by Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood

Filed under: Archery, Pennsic Tagged: champions, Pennsic 44, War Points

ABC News at Pennsic!

Tue, 2015-08-04 13:54

ABC News’ Charli James spent August 3rd livestreaming from Pennsic! There are X videos so far, covering everything from a general introduction to Pennsic, fighting, dancing, and the marketplace.

The Pennsic Wars Begin


Castle Battle at the Pennsic Wars


Inside the Pennsic Wars


Inside the Village Marketplace


Pennsic Wars Combat Rules


Pennsic War Participants Ready for the Medieval Ball


Filed under: Uncategorized

Pennsic War Points Update

Tue, 2015-08-04 11:55

Photo courtesy of Sir Michael of York

Yesterday the Pennsic War continued with four more war points decided in three separate events.

The Thrown Weapons Tourney of Champions war point was won by Aethelmearc and its allies.

The armored fighters met over the walls of the fort in the Castle Battle with both points going to Aethelmearc.

The rapier fighters clashed at the fort in the Manor Battle with the Midrealm and Eastern forces winning the war point.

At the end of two days of combat the score is as follows:

Aethelmearc and allies : 5

Eastrealm and Midrealm: 3

Don Malocchio, Captain General of Rapier for the East reported that there were 210 rapier fighters taking the field for the Eastern and Midrealm army and that Aethelmearc fielded 260 rapier fighters. Don Malocchio had this to say about the rapier war point battle “Our troops fought their hearts out and I’m so, so proud of all of them.”

Filed under: Fencing, Heavy List, Pennsic, Thrown Weapons Tagged: Pennsic 44, pennsic war points

Court Schedule, Wednesday, August 5

Tue, 2015-08-04 08:00
Reminder for the East Kingdom Court scheduled Wednesday, August 5

6:00 p.m. in the Barn

Filed under: Announcements, Court

Pennsic War Update

Mon, 2015-08-03 14:15

The war has begun.

The East and the Midrealm are joined by the Holy Kingdom of Acre, while the rest of the known world has chosen to side with Aethelmearc.

On Sunday, the East Mid Alliance took the unbelted champions and the Matched Champions battles, while Aethelmearc took the belted champions and the century champions battle.

Sunday ended with the two sides tied at 2-2.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Court Schedule, Tuesday, August 4

Mon, 2015-08-03 08:00
Reminder for the East Kingdom Court scheduled Tuesday, August 4: Short Battlefield Court  at 12:30 p.m.
Filed under: Announcements, Court