Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the Donnan Party event.
The Donnan Party began around 20 years ago as a way to celebrate the birthday of Master Donnan the Solitary by providing an opportunity for other fencers to give him his traditional fencer’s “birthday smacks.” This year that meant 52 bouts that Master Donnan had to win, which he did while facing a long line of people eager to sing happy birthday to him, hug him, or stab him (or sometimes all three in succession).
The event, hosted by the Shire of Ballachlagan, featured numerous fencing activities, including classes on such topics as footwork by Sir Kadan Chákhilgan Ger on Echen, sword and buckler by Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen, becoming a rapier marshal by Doña Gabrielle de Winter, the body mechanics of cut and thrust by Don Anias Fenne, using a cloak as a parry device by Countess Elena d’Artois, and “Jedi Mind Tricks” by Duke Malcolm MacEoghainn.
Master Donnan also taught a class on the user of the German longsword. At the end of the afternoon, the White Scarves held a workshop for combatants to receive advice and practice against these premier fencers. In addition, there was a cut and thrust tournament and pickup singles fencing throughout the day. Approximately 38 fencers were in attendance. Lady Aemelia Soteria and Grace of Steltonwald served is MOLs for the rapier list.
While the fencers monopolized the main gym, the rattan fighters used the auditorium gym for both singles combat and melee practice.
THLord Arnthor inn Sterki won the round robin tournament, and 33 fighters participated in a variety of melee practices
Æthelmearc’s Warlord, Sir Stefan Ulfkelsson, ran the fighters through melee scenarios with marshaling assistance from Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter, Lord Oliver Sutton, Sir Vladimir Mechnik, and Sir Alonzio of the Peacemakers, while Lady Sabrina Godolphin served as Mistress of the Lists.
In the video below, fighters were grouped into five-man teams. Each team took a turn in the “bullring” at the center of the room, which they had to defend against each other team in quick succession. This video shows just one round; over the course of the drill, each team took a turn in the center, defending against the other four teams.
Other drills included simple formation marching and commands, as well as lots of open field battles, some with one side being told to do something specific to help the other side learn a skill or tactic. The last scenario of the day was a resurrection bridge battle.
Sir Stefan commented: “As an army we continue to grow in skill. Every time we gather I am inspired by the effort which others are putting forth towards building a better army and making themselves better fighters. I have tried hard at each muster to give time for fighters who have traveled (sometimes over seven hours) to meet one another in singles as well as melee. It is a bit of a balancing act but I think it has been pretty good at each one; at least, the comments have been positive. Our Heirs have set a mighty task for our Kingdom at Pennsic, one which I am happy to be a part of and inspired to see others take such joy in. So please, if there ever was a year to dust off your armor, fencing gear, bow, etc., this is the year to do it!”
Those of less martial persuasion (or who wished to take an occasional break from all of the slaying that went on throughout the day) could enjoy the A&S classes offered.
Lady Phelippe “Pippi” Ulfsdottir also taught an embroidery class. Late in the afternoon Don Anias Fenne revealed that it was Pippi’s birthday, at which the assembled gentles sang “Happy Birthday” and cupcakes were distributed.
- All photos and video by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.
A message from the Kingdom Chatelaine.
The Region 5 Deputy Chatelaine, Vrouw Lijsbet de Kuekere, will be stepping
Those interested in becoming the next Region 5 Deputy Chatelaine should
What does a Regional Chatelaine do?
Requirements of the Office:
If you have an interest or questions regarding the Region 5 Deputy
Henry VIII and his wives will be on the minds of New Yorkers as two very different productions have been scheduled: King Henry VIII at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey (Fall 2014) and Wolf Hall: Parts 1 & 2 by the Royal Shakespeare Company (Spring 2015). The latter is an adaption of the books by Hilary Mantel. Michael Sommers of the New York Times has a review. (photos)
March 18th marks the 25th anniversary of the theft of 13 artworks from Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. In the early morning hours of March 18th, 1990, two men dressed as police officers entered the museum on the pretext that they were responding to a call. It was against protocol for the museum’s guard to let anyone past the security doors, but they talked their way in. They then proceeded to bamboozle the security guard so thoroughly that he all but tied himself up and gave them their pick of the priceless artworks on the walls.
Once inside, the thieves asked that the guard come around from behind the desk, claiming that they recognized him and that there was a warrant out for his arrest. The guard walked away from the desk and away from the only alarm button. The guard was told to summon the other guard on duty to the security desk, which he did. The thieves then handcuffed both guards and took them into the basement where they were secured to pipes and their hands, feet, and heads duct taped. The two guards were placed 40 yards away from each other in the basement.
The next morning, the security guard arriving to relieve the two night guards discovered that the Museum had been robbed and notified the police and director Anne Hawley.
The robbery took 81 minutes total. In the end, the thieves made away with:
The total estimated value of the haul is $500 million. The FBI is still on the case. As recently as two years ago they announced they’d narrowed down the suspect list to members of a New England or Mid-Atlantic organized crime family. The also found the thieves had made an attempt to sell some of the artworks in Philadelphia 12 years ago. That’s the last time they appear on the record.
The Gardner’s offer of a $5 million reward for the return of the 13 purloined pieces remains open, and on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the theft, the museum has created a virtual tour in collaboration with Google Art Project. It takes you on a walk through the museum using Google Street View technology and stops at every blank space where the stolen pieces used to be displayed. High resolution images of the artworks and historical photographs of the museum before the theft flesh out the story of the artworks and their loss. It’s a wistfully lovely look at one of the most charming, idiosyncratic and beautiful museums in the world.
Follow the Gardner’s Instagram account for individual images and stories about the stolen works from now until the anniversary.
For centuries, people have been fascinated with stories of vampires, and at the top of the story list is the dark tale of Count Dracula, a medieval prince also known as Vlad the Impaler. Elizabeth Palermo of Live Science has a feature story.
Bards, troubadours, musicians, minstrels, jesters, jugglers, magicians, puppeteers, skalds and other performers from throughout Æthelmearc!
— from the Entertainment Coordinator, THF Dagonell Collingwood of Emerald Lake
Their Majesties have selected Their new Arts & Sciences Champions today:
Queen’s Champion – Lady Agatha Wanderer
King’s Champion – Lady Naomi bat Avraham
Filed under: Uncategorized
The first phase of an archaeological dig at All Saints' Church in York, England has wrapped with the discovery of artifacts from Roman times to the 19th century including "two medieval dice, Roman pottery and a spindle whorl thought to be from the Viking era." Phase two will begin next spring. (photos)
Archaeologists excavating the pre-historic Rimrock Draw Rockshelter outside Riley, eastern Oregon, have discovered a stone scraper underneath a 15,800-year-old layer of ash from an eruption of Mount St. Helens. If the layer can be shown to have been unbroken and that the tool didn’t work its way down through a natural process, the scraper would predate the earliest known sites of human occupation west of the Rockies.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which administers the land where the rockshelter is found, and the University of Oregon
The scraper was found nine feet into a layer of sand and clay that goes 12 feet down from ground level before terminating in a bedrock layer. Near the bottom of the layer above the scraper, archaeologists found a layer of volcanic ash from the ancient eruption. Other objects found in the sand and clay layer above the agate tool include obsidian projectile points and large fragments of tooth enamel that comparisons with specimens in the paleontological collection of the University of Oregon Museum of Natural & Cultural History indicate came from a Pleistocene camel, a species that went extinct about 13,000 years ago.
Dr. Patrick O’Grady, with the University of Oregon Archaeological Field School, has been directing the Rimrock Draw Rockshelter excavations since they began.
“When we had the volcanic ash identified, we were stunned because that would make this stone tool one of the oldest artifacts in North America. Given those circumstances and the laws of stratigraphy, this object should be older than the ash,” said O’Grady. “While we need more
For many years archaeologists believed that the first people to inhabit the Americas were the Clovis people who crossed the land bridge from Siberia around 13,000 years ago when a warm period made some transit space through the previously unsurpassable glaciers covering all of what is today Canada and the northern United States. Recent discoveries, like the 14,300-year-old fossilized feces found in Oregon’s Paisley Caves in 2008, suggest humans may have come over earlier than that, perhaps following a coastal route down the Pacific Northwest that was less ice-choked.
The team will continue the excavation this summer and hope to discover if the ash layer covers the whole area without any breaks. If they can prove that the layer is undisturbed, that will confirm that there were people making tools and eating Pleistocene fauna at the Rimrock Draw Rockshelter 1,500 years before the earliest pre-Clovis site known.
Treasure hunter Stephen Auker is a bit of a metal detector rock star. In recent years, he has discovered more than 100 Roman coins in a field near Silsden in northern England, offering them to a museum in Keighley. More recently, Auker found a merchant's signet ring dating to the 1550's. (photo)
An announcement from the autocrat of The Tournament of the White Hart.
I am sorry to announce that White Hart is canceled. The river has flooded and all access to the site is blocked. They do not expect the water to crest until late tonight. The site is not flooded, but we can not get in. Our current plan is to hold the The Tournament of the White Hart at our June 21st event. More info will be posted as plans are made.
In November 2014, 19 manuscripts written by St. Francis of Assisi travelled outside Italy for the first time for exhibition at the United Nations and Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York. The manuscripts include several poems written by St. Francis, including the saint's Canticle of the Sun and his Canticle of Canticles.
Not content with digging up mass graves under Paris supermarkets, France’s National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) announced Wednesday that archaeologists have unearthed a large princely tomb from the early 5th century B.C. in the Champagne region town of Lavau. Excavations on the site began in October 2014 in advance of construction of a new commercial center. The team found a tumulus 40 meters (130 feet) in diameter that had been used as a funerary complex for more than a thousand years. The earliest tombs are cremation burials and small mounds encircled by moats that date to the end of the Bronze Age (1,300-800 B.C.). Next are early Iron Age inhumations of an adult male warrior buried with an iron sword and an adult woman buried with solid bronze bracelets.
At the center of the tumulus archaeologists found a burial chamber 14 square meters in area containing adult human remains, a chariot and extremely wealthy grave goods. At an angle from the skeletal remains are a group of vessels, a bronze bucket, fine ceramic decorated with a fluted pattern and a knife still in its sheath. At the bottom of the chamber is a bronze cauldron one meter (three feet) in diameter. This is a metallurgic and artistic masterpiece, each of four circular door knocker-like handles decorated with the bearded, behorned, bull-eared and moustachioed visage of the Greek river-god Achelous. Eight lion heads adorn the rim of the cauldron.
Inside the cauldron are more treasures: a perforated silver spoon, likely used to strain wine into drinking cups, smaller bronze vessels, and most signficantly, an Attic black-figure oinochoe (wine jug) depicting the wine god Dionysus sitting beneath a vine across from a comely lass. It would be precious just as the rare Greek vase it is, but someone went above and beyond with this example, gilding the lip and foot of the jug and adding a gold filigree border in a kind of squiggle Meander design. The vase is of either Greek or Etruscan manufacture and its the northernmost discovered to date.
The Champagne-Ardenne region in northeastern France on the border with Belgium marked the westernmost reach of the Hallstatt culture, the Late Bronze Age, Early Iron Age predecessor of the La Tène culture. The presence of Greek artifacts in the wealthiest burials in Hallstat-period Gaul are evidence of a vigorous trade in luxury goods between Greece and its colonies and pre-Roman France. The end of the 6th century and beginning of the 5th saw the city-states of Attic Greece, Etruria and the Greek colonies develop new economic ties to western Europe. Greek traders sought slaves, metals, gemstones, amber and other valuables from the Celts whose elites then acquired artifacts of exceptional quality from Greece.
The city of Massalia, today’s Marseille, was founded as a Greek colony in 600 B.C. and became an important center for luxury imports from Greece like Attic black-figure pottery and massive bronze cauldrons. So valued were these objects that they were buried in monumental tumuli with their owners. The Vix krater is probably the most prominent Greek bronze object found in a Celtic grave from the late Hallstatt, early La Tène period. This massive volute krater is 5’4″ tall and weighs 450 pounds (see the picture to get a sense of its immense scale). It is the largest metal vessel known to survive from antiquity. The krater was discovered in the grave of a woman in Vix, northern Burgundy, about 40 miles south of Lavau, who was buried around 500 B.C.
Just like we have no idea who the Lady of Vix was, we are unlikely to ever put a name to the resident of the princely tumulus. He was a person of august rank and great fortune, that much is made undeniable by the rich contents of his grave and the fact that he was buried in the center of an already sacred funerary complex. His burial and the ones that predate him were only united into one monument in around 500 B.C. when ditches were dug deep around the perimeter to create a single large enclosure. The complex was still in use during the Gallo-Roman era when people were buried in the tumulus’ moat.
Coventry Cathedral, a 14th-century Gothic church, was almost totally destroyed by German bombs in World War II. Now three of its medieval crypts are scheduled to be restored and opened to the public.
A group from our Kingdom traveled to Estrella War last week. The intrepid invasion force consisted of Their Royal Majesties, King Titus and Queen Anna Leigh, Their Head of Court, Mistress Hilderun Hügelmann, Master Alaric MacConnal, THL Ishiyama Gen’tarou Yori’ie, and Lady Hara Kikumatsu. Quoth our Queen, “A small but mighty invasion!” A seventh companion, Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth, was sadly claimed by the fierce Ice Dragon before the journey (she’ll be OK) and could not attend.
Æthelmearc acquitted herself quite well in the War, staying busy with every type of activity. His Majesty, King Titus, took to both the heavy and rapier fields, and spent time visiting old friends. Master Alaric enjoyed shooting archery at some very inventive shoots. THL Ishiyama displayed his kumihimo braids at Friday’s A&S display. Lady Hara busied herself helping in camp, working as retinue, and creating kumihimo medallion cords for the gifts our Kingdom presented to Atenveldt.
Mistress Hilderun taught a class on Livery Collars, and won the Collars of State category in the A&S competition Saturday with her Lady’s Early 15th Century Livery Collar, receiving a lovely scroll by Lady Ponaria Apalosvna and Hanim Ari Usni, at Great Court. Says Hilda, “Well, there weren’t any other entries, but my scores were pretty good!” The Collar was worn by the Queen to Friday’s State Dinner.
Their Majesties of the East also presented Scrolls of Friendship to all Royalty present at Great Court. Æthelmearc’s scroll was illuminated by Mistress Eleanore MacCarthaigh, written by Teodora Bryennissa, and calligraphed by Lady Henna Sinclair.
Our charming Queen was the soul of diplomacy, attending the Queens’ Tea on Thursday, and arranging for both the Largesse gifts presented to Atenveldt at Friday night’s State Dinner, provided by the talented populace of our Kingdom and Her Majesty’s own hand, and the sewing kits presented to the World’s Queens. The sewing kit project was spearheaded by Countess Kallista Morganova, each consisting of an embroidered biscornu needle case, pin cushion and scissor fob, presented in a painted balsa wood box. Her Majesty reports that all gifts were very warmly received.
His Majesty Titus did his part for diplomacy as well, exhorting the assembled Crowns and crowd at Saturday’s Great Court to side with Æthelmearc against foreign invaders at the Great Pennsic War.
The Æthelmearcers were hosted most generously by the household Hrafnheim, of the Barony of Tir Ysgithr in Atenveldt. Hrafnheim provided friendship, tents, food, drink and bedding to our contingent, as well as adding Æthelmearc’s silk battle standard to the highest pole in their camp’s beautiful banner display. Their Majesties’ abode was provided and richly appointed by Count Thomas, and the retinue tent was provided by Lady Eyvor and Lord Domnall, and furnished by Viscountess Wander. One of the Heads of Household, Countess Ian’ka, also served as herald for our Kingdom during Great Court on Saturday, with a brag that would make our heralds proud. Lady Sigrid and Lord Keane of Hrafnheim served with the retinue during Great Court. Hrafnheim received gifts of thanks, as well.
Æthelmearc had a great time at Estrella War, and the companions will always remember the good times fondly and cherish new friendships made. We’ll be back!
This is one of a series of Q&A articles with East Kingdom Officers. The Gazette thanks Master Ryan Mac Whyte, Brigantia Principal Herald of the Kingdom of the East, for answering our questions.
Please describe your job responsibilities.
The First is the most visible, that of Court Heraldry. Through the Eastern Crown deputy’s office we organize and perform the ceremonial portions of our events. The Brigantia and Eastern Crown deputy work together on a week to week basis on arranging for court and organizing the scrolls on the day of the event and work together with the Shepherd’s Crook Herald to maintain the records of awards in what is called the Order of Precedence. The intricate dance which is Court takes a good portion of every day’s time for the Royalty and the Court Heralds. Most of the time ‘Court’ for the Heralds begins first thing in the morning when they get on site.
The Second broad category which the Herald’s office is broken into is Field Heraldry. Field heraldry includes calling for combatants to enter the lists during a tournament, crying announcements to the event site, and otherwise being Loud. The Troubadour Herald’s office arranges for the organization of heralds for Crown Tournament, K&Q Champions of Fencing, and K&Q Champions of Arms. Being a Field Herald is all about grabbing the attention of distracted people across the fields of a list and managing another dance between the heralds and the Ministers of the Lists and the Marshals in order to keep the tournament moving. There are several deputy heralds who assist the troubadour with the display of heraldry during the tournaments.
The third category of the Heralds’ office is the least visible, but the most intricate and arguably the most important. Book heraldry is broken into Armorial Heraldry, which concerns the regulation and development of coats of Arms, and Onomastics, which is the research of Names. Onomastics and Armory combine to give us a sense of who we are, and who we want to have been in the times we are recreating. They are the basis of our personae and there is a virtual mountain of research which has been done over the last 50 years. Book heralds are not only those who sit in consulting tables on the weekends and assist our members in designing heraldry and selecting names, but also those who during the week, in their spare time, research and document and confirm the authenticity of our heraldry and names. Book Heraldry is led by the Blue Tyger Herald and staff.
What do you enjoy about this activity?
Soon after I began my foray into field heraldry I was introduced to Court Heraldry by Malcolm Bowman. He coached me through court procedures and, along with Alys Mackyntoich trained me in the finer points of running a Court. Again Rowen coached me and set a fine example for me to follow for running Coronations. But the greatest thing in enjoy about Court Heraldry, and the real reason I keep doing it, is being able to see the look on a recipient’s face when they get an Award. There is no greater joy in the SCA than seeing a person’s face light up when it happens.
I have long had a fascination with Armory. My family can trace its bloodline, on the fraternal side, back to the 1600s when they left Southern France for Canada. When I was little I used to enjoy seeing the Armory in the family tree, from back in history when it was recorded. When I began in the society I designed my own arms and immediately became fascinated with the rules and with the design elements. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Do you have a goal for your term?
What was your first event? And what made you stay?
Which people made an impact on you in the SCA and why?
Filed under: Interviews Tagged: brigantia, herald
There are no Disney endings for the fairy tales in a newly-released translation of Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jack Zipes, a professor emeritus of German and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. The original stories, written in the early 19th century, have never been directly translated into English.
In the Middle Ages, Rye was one of the towns of the Cinque Ports Confederation providing ships to the crown for coastal defense. Located at the tip of an embayment of the English Channel, Rye was an important shipping center for the iron bloomeries (smelting furnaces) of the Weald and other trade goods. Its tactical importance and close links to the monarchy made Rye a target for French attacks during the Hundred Years’ War. One of those attacks in 1339 during the reign of King Edward III saw French troops burn down 52 houses and one mill. In response, the city began to build permanent defenses, among them the Landgate Arch, a fortified entrance into the medieval city center over the only road that connected Rye to the mainland at high tide.
Landgate was a masonry structure with two towers on either side of an arched gateway. One of four fortified entrance gates to the city, it is the only one still standing today. Today it is still the only through-way for light vehicular traffic to reach the medieval city, but the tower itself is not open to the public. The floors and roofs of the towers are long gone leaving them open to the elements. Said elements include the excrement of pigeons and lots of it.
The fact that pigeons were converting the Landgate Arch towers into massive poop silos was noticed last month by members of the Rother District Council. Since guano is acidic and can eat through stone over time, the council contracted CountyClean Environmental Services to clean out the monument. CountyClean used a combination tanker truck that provides a high pressure jet while vacuuming up the sludge.
Mike Walker, Managing Director for CountyClean Environmental Services said: “Whilst we’ve removed other massive blockages such as giant fatbergs in sewers, we have never seen such a monumental mass of festering faeces before.”
“The build up of pigeon poo behind the doors was so big we had to force the them open. Once inside, it was like walking on a giant chocolate cake and the smell was awful – even through a facemask.”
“The floors of the towers and the steps leading to the top were swamped with 25 tonnes of pigeon poo. We filled our tanker several times over.”
The bird crap was almost three feet deep.
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 Kathleen.
Back in March 2002, the College of Arms ruled that, “[a]t this time, no documentation has been found that Kathleen was used in period.” Fortunately, Kathleen is one of the many names for which we have recently found better evidence, as more and more period records are becoming available on line. Although the name is often associated with the Irish in modern times, Kathleen was used as a given name in England in the late 16th century. A related name, Cathalina, is found in Spain in 1598.
 March 2002 Cover Letter (http://heraldry.sca.org/loar/2002/03/02-03cl.html).
 Kathleen Matts; Female; Christening; 6 May 1571; Clungunford, Shropshire, England; Batch: C037382 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NYP2-6MX)
 Cathalina Abbad; Female; Marriage; 07 Oct 1598; San Andrés, Villanueva De Los Infantes, Ciudad Real, Spain; Batch: M86467-8 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FFZ1-FXX).
Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: heraldry, names
The Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais is deeply honored to once again host the Coronation of Prince Timothy of Arindale and Princess Gabrielle van Nijenrode to the throne of Æthelmearc on Saturday, April 11th, 2015. The event promises to be filled with the very best of what makes Æthelmearc such a shining gem.
To help make the day even better, Countess Doña Elena d’Artois and Doña Gabrielle de Winter will be hosting a White Scarf Meet and Beat. It will be a thrilling day of fencing as the crème de la crème of the rapier community take the field against all who would test their skill. Come join us as the White Scarves offer a day of fencing and one-on-one tutelage!
For complete information regarding the event, please go to the website here.
For questions about the fencing, please contact Lord Andreas Jager von Holstein at acholin (at) comcast (dot) net.