Archive for September, 2012

Flat Skillet Fruit Bread

(All measurements are estimates)
1/2 tsp Dry yeast
1/4 tsp Sugar
1lb Strong Bread Flour (75% white, 25% Granary/Brown)
8oz assorted Dried Fruit (raisins, sultanas, candied peel, dried berries etc.)
4oz Coarsely Chopped Nuts (Almonds, Hazels, Cobs, Pine nuts etc.) (optional)
6oz Ground Almonds
1 tbsp Honey (optional)
Red Wine or Mead (optional)

This recipe is designed to be made over an open fire, but requires that you can control the temperature by racking the coals from warm to hot.

Steep the dried fruit in the wine or mead until it softens, use a little warmth to speed the process if wished. Or if preferred you can use the fruit directly. Make almond milk by heating the ground almonds with water over the fire. At the same time set the dried yeast and sugar in a little pot with a little water to start, in the warmth of the edge of the fire (don’t over heat!). Wait until it is going well with foamy yeasty bubbles.

Mix the flour, nuts, honey and fruit, add the yeast mix in a large earthenware bowl. Use the almond milk and / or the wine / mead to make a slightly damp dough. Kneed well and set the dough in the bowl, by the fire, covered in a cloth, to rise. Knock down at least once and let rise a second time before forming palm sized flattened breads. Allow them to rise a little, then cook them on a hot dry / floured skillet. Turn them at least twice, pressing them slightly to ensure they are cooked through.

Eat hot with perhaps a little butter.

Experiment with different fruits and nuts, honey and flavourings. For example saffron can be added to the almond milk and can lend a delicate flavour to the breads. A spiced version can be made by adding ground clove, cinnamon and allspice. These breads can been made with what ever was available / affordable to flavour them, as required.

They do not keep.


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Was Henry Tudor at Edgecote?

Henry Tudor at Edgecote?
Or an opportunity to do something with scripts?

As you know Henry Tudor was made a ward of William Herbert Earl of Pembroke. He would have been about 13 at the time of Edgcote (1469).

This is from a quote from a petition of Sir Richard Corbet of Morton Corbrt to Henry V11
“after the death of Lord Herbert after the field of Banbury, hee was one of them that brought yr grace out of the danger of yr enemies and conveyed yr grace to ye town of Hereford unto Jasper [Tudor] now duke of Bedford*…
This is the best original evidence I’ve got, but a 19th century history of the Devereux family claims that Walter Devereux (Lord Ferrers) rescued Henry from the field at Edgcote. Sir Richard Corbet of Morton Corbet turns out to be Ferrers son in law (but fought against him at Bosworth). As Pembroke was married to a Devereux this would also reinforce the likelihood of a connection.
Lastly ‘The New Oxford DNB’ Henry VII article says that Henry was with Herbert at Edgecote.

I think he was.

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Livery – True Colours?

True Colours
By Mike Ingram
Studying history is a bit like an episode from the hit U.S. T.V crime series CSI! We start with all the blood and gore, and then have to work backwards to find out what happened. We have dodgy eyewitness statements in the form of chronicles and if we are lucky, evidence at the scene, which is discovered not by CSI’s but archaeologists (even though their methods are similar). From this we then have to piece together a battle. One of the biggest problems is that sometimes a scrap of information leads to more
questions than answers.

One such scrap of information is that in late 1483, Richard III banned the wearing of livery jackets except for his own red coloured jackets. So what were they wearing at Bosworth in 1485? This short statement implies that all Richard’s army were wearing red at the battle. We know that on Richard’s coronation, 13,000 white boar badges were ordered and distributed amongst his people. The contemporary Ballad of Lady Bessy tells us that Lord Stanley’s men wore red at Bosworth as well. As the Stanley colours were blue and white, this means that they must have been wearing the King’s colours too. When the Stanleys joined the battle in Henry’s side, this must have added considerable confusion to the battle, especially if they were wearing Richard’s white boar too! This is ok for the livery men, but what about the troops raised by Commission of Array? Did they wear red or did they stay with their town colours?
And what about Tudor’s army? We know that the King of France Charles VIII paid for clothing for his 500 or so supporters in exile with him. They may have even paid for livery for the French and Scottish mercenaries that were part of the invasion force? The troops under Sir John Savage, commander of Tudor’s right wing were wearing white hoods, according to the Ballad of Lady Bessy. Tudor’s colours were green and white, so does this mean they all wore white hoods? And what colour was their tunic, green? Then we have those that joined Tudor’s army en-route to Bosworth such as Rhys Thomas’ 500 men, did they wear their own livery, Tudor’s or Richard’s?
Questions… Questions… Questions…


Buckingham Training This week!

Regional Men at Arms Training for the Medieval Siege Society

Venue: Indoors!
Buckingham Scout Hut, Adams Close, Buckingham.

8pm start.

Hut is at the end of the road, behind the chain link fence.

Cost is picked up by those attending, for this session it will be £3.

Registered Training Officer: Anthony Farrow


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2012 Banquet Review

Harrington Banquet 2012 – The assembled throng.

The Harrington Companye banquet took place last Saturday evening and it was a great success!

The aim was to reproduce an authentic medieval banquet experience, and was the result of three months of research and planning.

The menu was as follows:

Potted cold sea prawns and fresh water crayfish tails
Prawns from the cold sea and freshwater crayfish served in French butter with spring onion, garlic and black pepper

Potage du Jour
A petit Potage of the chefs choice, freshly made and served at the table

Venison en Croute
Spit roasted Pork
Roasted vegetables
Good fresh Bread

Venison from the Forest of the County, hunted, cleaned and hung by our loyal forester, accompanied by chestnuts and a covering of pastry

Pork from our Lords land, stuffed with apple and onion, rolled and roasted on the spit
A selection of root vegetable roasted in fine oils with a selection of herbs
Good fresh bread from the Households own Master Baker

Pears Poached in Red Wine
A selection of cheese from England and France
News season Pears poached in red wine and lightly spiced, served in a wine and honey sauce with cream from the dairy
A hard cheese, a goat cheese and a soft cheese

We were entertained during the feast by Dale, who played his part of fool very well. In addition to capering around, and generally making a fool out of himself, he set a number of riddles – which the assembled throng were hard pressed to solve.

Next up we were treated to a musical number by Mark and Cheri, who performed a love song between a man and a woman – they kept those singing voices under wraps before now.

Finally, we were treated to a 15th Century mummers play based upon the legend of St George. The cast performed admirably and had everyone in laughter.

Banquet layout 2012

The Mazer was passed around with the gift of mead from Lord Harrington, and it was announced that Peter B had been voted Harrington of the Year by the Companye, for which he was presented with the gift of a fine yew drinking bowl.

As an experiment in recreating a late 15th Century feast the banquet was considered a success – and all were surprised at the depth of flavour in the dishes.

Now, having toasted the campaign season, it is time to preserve the gathered harvest, stockpile the firewood, and to train the troops.

Winter is coming…

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The Banquet is coming..



The Banquet is coming

Frenzied preparations are in full flight for the Harrington Companye’s end of Campaign season banquet. The Companye will be assembling to celebrate the season together and to give thanks for a safe return.

The venison has been shot and hung, the pigs have been nicely fattened and the harvest gathered in ready for the feast! Following a suitable donation, dispensation has even been obtained from the Church to eat both meat and fish on the same day.

Lady Harrington has sent out foresters gathering seasonal foilage to decorate the tables, the musicians are discussing which tunes are most appropriate to accompany each dish and local mead has been sourced from Sir William’s estates near Bedford to fill the Wolfage Manor mazer ( – the physical embodiment of the firm knot which binds us (pictured above).

Sir William & Lady Elizabeth have even commissioned a troupe of mummers to entertain the household and their invited guests.

All will come to fruition on Saturday after evensong.

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