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Reports from Pennsic: Writs and Elevations

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-08-05 20:15

Last night at Æthelmearc Kingdom court, Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle bestowed 30 scrolls upon worthy gentles. Among them, Mistress Cunen Beornhelm became Sir Cunen and THLady Hrefna Ulfarinnsdottir, became Mistress Hrefna.

Æthelmearc’s newest Knight, Sir Cunen Beornhelm. Photo by Mistress Arianna

Æthelmearc’s newest Pelican, Mistress Hrefna just after court. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Today, Don William Parris was made a Master of Defense. On the field, THLord Morien McBain was served a writ to contemplate his elevation to the Order of the Pelican for his work with Paladin’s Pantry. Baron Vladisla Nikulich was sent to vigil to contemplate his elevation to the Most Noble Order of the Chivalry.

Don William Parris is called into court to receive his MOD. Photo by Lady Arianna dal Vallone.

Tonight, at the Yama Kaminari Clan dinner Their Royal majesties issued a Writ of Summons for Duke Christopher Rawlins to contemplate his elevation to the Order of the Laurel for his extensive research on 14th century arming jackets. His Grace’s Elevation to occur at the Æthelmearc Kingdom party on Thursday night.

Duke Christopher Rawlins called into court to receive his Writ for Laurel. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Categories: SCA news sites

Tuesday War Point Update From Pennsic

East Kingdom Gazette - 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

Can you decipher the inscription on this sword?

History Blog - Wed, 2015-08-05 14:31

I’m asking for a friend. (The British Library is my friend, right?) On display at the British Library’s Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy exhibition is a medieval double-edged sword made of steel with an inlaid gold wire inscription on one side. The inscription appears to read:


Experts haven’t been able to decipher this mysterious assortment of letters, so the British Library’s phenomenal Medieval Manuscripts blog is opening up the floor to the Internet. Some think it was a religious dedication of some kind using the first initials of words. There are inscribed crosses on the other side and an inlaid crescent near the point on both sides which may be the maker’s mark.

The sword was discovered in the River Witham, Lincolnshire, in July of 1825 by workers widening and deepening the river just below the lock to make room for larger vessels. The Bishop of Lincoln gave the sword to the Royal Archaeological Institute which in 1858 donated it to the British Museum. It dates to around 1250-1330 and has a straight cross guard with a wheel-shaped pommel atop the grip. Weighing 2 lb 10 oz and measuring 38 inches long, the sword was a killer, capable of cleaving a man’s skull in two.

This kind of sword was a classic knightly weapon of the 13th century and is depicted in many an effigy and illustration. Here’s an example from the British Library’s 14th century illuminated manuscript of the Grandes Chroniques de France in which French knights besiege Rouen in 1203/1204 during King Philip Augustus’ invasion of Normandy.

In fact, the sword was believed to have a very close connection to French knights from that turbulent period. When the sword was first discovered, workers found other armature — swords, daggers, chain mail — in the muck of the riverbed leading to speculation that these were the remains of French knights who had drowned in the river after the Second Battle of Lincoln in 1217. When the First Barons’ War broke out between King John and his nobles in 1215 after John refused to abide by the terms of Magna Carta, the barons invited Prince Louis of France to take the throne of England. He accepted and turned up with an army in May of 1216. Louis waltzed into London unopposed and was proclaimed king in a ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral. He doesn’t make the official king list because he was never crowned, but for a while in 1216-1217 the Dauphin of France actively occupied half of England.

The tide turned when King John died in October of 1216. Even though John’s son Henry was only nine years old, barons who had sided with Louis switched sides in droves. William Marshal, “the greatest knight that ever lived,” was Henry’s regent and fought at the head of his army, drawing more knights to abandon Louis for Henry. On May 20th, 1217, forces loyal to the nine-year-old King Henry III of England attacked the city of Lincoln, then held by the French. The English held Lincoln Castle, however, so while Marshall’s army took the north gate of the city, Falkes de Breauté deployed his crack crossbowmen along the castle ramparts to rain a hellfire of bolts into the French occupiers. It was a rout, followed by a very thorough pillaging of the city that has gone down in history as the Lincoln Fair. French knights who weren’t killed or captured fled, some of them sailing down the Witham. Some of the ships, laden with men, arms and armour, sank drowning the flower of French chivalry and, ostensibly, leaving their stuff behind for canal diggers to find 600 years later.

Without identifying marks connected to specific knights, this story is impossible to prove. Still, the design and period of the sword make it relevant as a weapon very much like those used during the battles between the English crown and its unruly barons. It’s neat to think that it may even go a step further and be an actually relict of the First Barons’ War.

If you have any ideas about what the inscription might mean, join the party in the comments on the Medieval Manuscripts blog entry where smart people are saying smart things.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

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

East Kingdom Gazette - 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

Makeup heir buys rare medieval panel for National Gallery

History Blog - Tue, 2015-08-04 18:01

An extremely rare early 14th century panel painting by Giovanni da Rimini has been purchased by the National Gallery with funds donated by cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder. The work is an oil and tempera painting on gilded wood depicting Scenes from the Lives of the Virgin and other Saints by Giovanni da Rimini, an important artist in turn of the 14th century Rimini. It is the left panel of a diptych and is the only work by Giovanni da Rimini in the UK. In fact, there are only two other easel paintings conclusively attributed to Giovanni da Rimini: the right panel from this diptych in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica in Rome’s Palazzo Barberini) and The Virgin and Child with Five Saints in the Pinacoteca Comunale of Faenza.

Giovanni was the leading artist in a group of artists from the northern Italian city of Rimini whose innovative approach combined the devotional intensity and symbolism of Byzantine iconography with the more naturalistic figural depictions that would follow. The works of the Rimini school are therefore important transitional pieces that bridge the gap between late medieval fresco masters like Giotto and the early Renaissance.

This left panel of the diptych is the greatest of the three known works by Giovanni da Rimini. The right panel is more traditional, divided into six squares of equal size which depict scenes from the life of Christ in chronological order. The left panel takes a more creative approach in composition and subject. The top two thirds is divided into two vertical quadrants with the right quadrant divided into two again. That bottom third is divided into two scenes but the border line between them is further to the right than the centered vertical of the top section. This gives the panel a more dynamic design and allows the artist to introduce variety of composition. The double-height section in the upper left depicts the Apotheosis of Saint Augustine. Since there’s so much space, Giovanni was able to create a temple-like empty tomb for Augustine with a heavenly host of angels above and a crowd of astounded onlookers around it. Augustine is in the middle of the angels wearing the mitre.

The two scenes to the right of the Apotheosis are the Crowning of the Virgin up top and a celebratory crowd of saints and angels beneath, a sort of flipped version of Augustine’s scene. Notice the angel with his back to the viewer in the center of holy crowd. Those wings are an early example of foreshortening in medieval art. The left of the bottom third of the panel is dedicated to the Dispute of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, when the Emperor Maxentius deployed 50 of the greatest philosophers in Rome to defeat her in debate. She won and a bunch of the philosophers converted. The last scene on the bottom right shows Saint Francis receiving the stigmata in front of John the Baptist with a seraph above them.

The panel arrived in England from the collection of 19th century Neoclassical painter Vincenzo Camuccini. Considered one of the greatest academic painters in Rome during his lifetime, Camuccini was showered with portrait commissions, appointments and titles during his lifetime. He spent his fortune collecting the 16th and 17th century Italian masters he used to copy when he was a student, accumulating more than 70 highly praised pieces before his death in 1844. In 1853, his heirs sold the entire Camuccini collection to Algernon Percy, 6th Duke of Northumberland, who installed the artworks in the family seat of Alnwick Castle.

Giovanni da Rimini’s panel remained on the walls of Alnwick Castle adorning the boudoir of the duchess until July of last year when the current Duke put it up for auction at Sotheby’s London. The pre-sale estimate was £2-3 million ($3,428,000 – 5,142,000) and the hammer price including buyer’s premium was £5,682,500 ($9,739,237). When the anonymous buyer asked for an export license, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed a temporary export bar on the work to give UK institutions a chance to raise the purchase price and keep the one-of-a-kind piece in the country.

Aidan Weston-Lewis from the [Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest] said:

This jewel-like, exquisitely preserved, seven hundred-year old panel is by a good margin the most important example in the UK of the seminal Riminese school of painting. Although this country can boast impressive collections of early Italian art, there is nothing comparable to this in any British public collection.

With the clock ticking, Ronald S. Lauder, son of beauty industry mogul Estée Lauder, struck an unusual deal with the National Gallery: he’d donate the £4.919 million necessary to for them to buy the painting as long as the museum agreed to loan him the panel for his lifetime. He would then loan it back to the museum for display, first in 2017, then up to once every three years after that. After Lauder’s death (he’s 71 years old), the painting would physically join the National Gallery’s permanent collection. The NG took the deal with alacrity.

This isn’t the first time one of the Camuccini paintings from the Duke of Northumberland’s collection was saved for the nation after a sale that would have taken it out of the country. In 2003 the National Gallery had to scramble to raise a crazy £34.88 million ($54 million) to acquire Raphael’s Madonna of the Pinks after the Duke accepted an exorbitant purchase offer from the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A temporary export bar that was extended several times gave the museum a year to raise the huge sale price from grants and private donations. The hard-won masterpiece has been on loan to the Minneapolis of Arts from the National Gallery since March. The exhibition ends on August 16th, so if you’re anywhere near Minneapolis you should hustle to catch the $50 million Raphael before it returns to London.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

News Flash from Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-08-04 16:41

Mistress Arianna with brief news from the Front.

Gazette Rapier Editor, Don William Parris.

Don William Parris (our Fencing Editor) received a Writ for the MOD this morning. Vigil tonight, elevation tomorrow on the field before the Rapier Champions’ Battle. Current # on site=10,300. Æthelmearc and Allies won two of the champs battles Sunday, and are doing well overall. Weather has been glorious!

Categories: SCA news sites

Pennsic 44 Archery Champions Announced

East Kingdom Gazette - 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!

East Kingdom Gazette - 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

East Kingdom Gazette - 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

Shakespearean treasure found in small French library

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2015-08-04 09:46

Saint-Omer is a tiny French town near Lille, known for its "economic and cultural activity in the Middle Ages." Now it will be known for something else: the discovery of the 231st copy of William Shakespeare's First Folio, the first-ever compilation of the Bard's plays published in 1623. It is only the second copy ever found in France. (photo)

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Schedule, Wednesday, August 5

East Kingdom Gazette - 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

Master John the Pell Elevated to the Order of the Pelican

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-08-03 21:35

John contemplates the words of his supporters.

Meet Master John, the Pell-i-Can
by Dame Aoife Finn.

Countess Caryl chokes up when it comes to certain subjects. Sir Wulfstan the Unshod proclaimed himself an imprinted baby duckling. Count Sir Hasdrubal, the Royal Peer, was late to the party, causing His Majesty Timothy to take his own quite sound advice. But Master Bedwyr, companion of the Laurel, probably stated it best when he spoke in support of Master John the Pell at the elevation ceremony to the Order of the Pelican. After a quarter of a decade of being told by John that he could do, make, or be anything in the SCA (and then being shown how), Bedwyr declared the Kingdom’s favorite Martial Master to be a fitting addition to the Order of the Pel-i-can.

Foreground: Sir Wulfstan the Unshod speaks as a member of the Chivalry.

On this balmy afternoon, after an amazing castle battle, still wet with the sweat of his own brow earned while fighting in service to the crown, and surrounded by several hundred of his most avid supporters, Master John the Pell replied in the affirmative when asked if he would join the order. This sealed his fate as the newest Æthelmearc double Peer, recognized as the longest-running teacher of martial activities, for many years as tactical advisor to the Crown, and for his unrelenting dedication to service off the field. Under a gorgeous sky by the castle on the battlefield, this third day of August, Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle created John their newest member of the Order of the Pelican.

A reception, complete with many flavors of homemade Pelluha coffee liquor, cold beverages, and a sumptuous spread followed the ceremony. Well wishers from several Kingdoms came by to sign the guest book, eat heartily, and have a congratulatory word with John. We at the Gazette also offer our congratulations to Master (squared) John the Pell!

Dame Aoife Finn, Æthelmearc

A small part of the assembly.

Countess Caryl speaks on behalf of John.

Countess Caryl and Lady Christine drape the order cloak on John’s shoulders.

John, greeting his order.

Categories: SCA news sites

Help Her Highness at the Archery Muster!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-08-03 18:59

Gracious subjects and Æthelmearc Pennsic attendees, now is the time to come to the aid of your Kingdom!

To instill maximum fear into the hearts of our frenemies, Her Royal Highness Countess Etain ingen Dalaig announced her intention to lead a band of Æthelmearc archers in a vicious and fear inducing range shoot-in for the Archery war-point. Please join her at 10 AM on the range tomorrow, August 4th, and bring your fiercest war face to shoot for the honor and glory of the war effort!

If, for some reason you are unable to attend, fear not. Our Sylvan Majesties muster at 7:30 AM every morning in Æthelmearc Royal to process to the archery field. Still a problem? You can show up any time the archery butts are open for business, and shoot for the honor of your kingdom. In Gloriam Æthelmearc.

Dame Aoife Finn

Categories: SCA news sites

Bronze Age knife found on Isle of Wight beach

History Blog - Mon, 2015-08-03 15:47

When Oxfordshire couple Christopher and June Preece vacationed last month on the Isle of Wight, they didn’t just bring sandals and sunscreen with them. Christopher packed his trusty metal detector too, so he and his beloved could take romantic walks on the beach sweeping the sand, yearning for a sweet serenade of loud beeps. The dream came true when they found a few metal artifacts under a slab of clay as they explored Sandown Beach: one wedge-shaped blade and one round token.

Chris said: “We love searching for items with our metal detectors and were walking on Sandown Beach when it buzzed and we noticed that the objects looked unusual.

“I have a keen interest in history and immediately thought they were very old, because the knife has a green colour which is often found on old copper. The shape also gave me an indication it was an historical artefact.

“We decided to take it to the visitor centre in Newport so that it could be passed on and identified.”

The staff at the visitor centre in the Newport Guildhall called the local finds liaison officer, Frank Basford, to examine the objects. He found that the blade was late Bronze Age knife made of copper alloy. It is incomplete and the break is very old so it’s probably been this way a long time. The tang, collars and blade survive identifying it as a chisel-like implement that was used to work leather. Just two inches long from curved cutting edge to the tapered end of the tang and weighing half an ounce, the tool’s small size was practical for the crafting of leather; it wouldn’t have made much of a weapon or chopping blade. It’s a rare piece, but others of similar design have been found before. The style dates it to around 1,000-800 B.C.

The metal button is also made of copper alloy. It was made in one piece with an integral drilled shank (most of which is now missing leaving just the stub behind) that would have been sewn to the garment. The front of the button is stamped or punched with a border of small circles. Inside each circle are incised patterns of parallel lines. In the center of the button is a saltire (a diagonal cross) with a little circle nestled in each angle. This piece too was dated from its style. Other buttons of this type date to the 17th century, so it’s likely this one does too. It is 1.2 inches in diameter, which means the 17th century button is more than half the width of the Bronze Age blade.

Because they’re made of copper alloy rather than gold or silver, it’s likely neither piece would have met the threshold to be declared official treasure at a coroner’s inquest. That means the finders would get to keep the artifacts instead of the Crown claiming them and giving a local museum the chance to acquire the pieces in exchange for a reward to be paid to the finders in the amount of the fair market value of the artifacts. The finders are avid history buffs, however, so they forewent the whole rigmarole and just straight donated the blade and button to the Newport Roman Villa museum.

June added:

“To be told the knife is several thousand years old is just incredible. We never thought what we found was so old.

“As it was found on the Island, we are very keen for residents and visitors to enjoy it and were happy to donate it to the council’s museum’s service so it can go on display.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic War Update

East Kingdom Gazette - 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

The Battle of la Rochelle

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2015-08-03 10:20

"Early Saturday morning, while the ground was still wet with dew, the fencers of the Known World assembled in front of the Fort for one of Pennsic’s favorite rapier battles, the Battle of la Rochelle."

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Categories: SCA news sites

Court Schedule, Tuesday, August 4

East Kingdom Gazette - 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

Don Quinn Kerr vigilled for Master of Defense in AEthelmearc

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2015-08-03 05:50

Kameshima-ky Zentarou Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald, reports that at Their Coronation, Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle of the Kingdom of AEthelmearc placed His Excellency, Don Quinn Kerr, on vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of Defense.

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Categories: SCA news sites

A Not-So-Wet Start to War

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2015-08-02 20:54

In a feature article by Nicolaa de Bracton, the Pennsic Independent reports that pre-Pennsic concerns over a rainy year had less of an impact than had been feared, and that the new early in program for Pennsic War was both popular and successful.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Scenes from Pennsic, Baron Uilleam Given Pelican Writ

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-08-02 20:49

The Gazette brings you some of the happenings at Pennsic, courtesy of Mistress Arianna.

TRM delivered a Writ for the Pelican to Baron Uilleam macanTsaoire at the Debatable Lands Baronial dinner on Sunday, August 2. Elevation TBD.

The Debatable Choir performing at the European Music Expo on Saturday.

Baron Edward Harbinger and Lord Edward of Hunters Home at hospitality.

Baroness Anna, Baroness Elizabeth and Baroness Rynea at Inspection Point.

The oven building session for the Food Lab.

The Whackaroo Tourney.

Categories: SCA news sites