Dunstable Priory Review


The Companye marched forth from Wolfage Manor on campaign once more. This time, we were paying a visit to the splendid Dunstable Priory – which was celebrating the 800th anniversary of its founding. One has to really admire Dunstable for its determination to celebrate it’s history and the fantastic enthusiasm and passion for heritage shown by the council and their Mayoress – it is a shame other councils and local authorities do not do as much.

The event was themed around the Priory, and the MSS tied it into the Second Battle of St Albans from a historical standpoint. A living history encampment was setup by the MSS around the Priory, which we contributed to. Many Companye members were impressed with the adjacent LH layout from the Company of the Silver Arrow (our battlefield allies for this event), which looked fabulous.

The background was that Yorkists fleeing from the battle at St Albans, tired and wounded, were seeking shelter and aid within the Priory. Sir William had been dispatched with a small force to secure the Priory and deny it to them.

Following initial negotiations, battle was joined!


The Companye in fierce hand to hand fighting.

During the battle, Sir William deployed his Companye with a mixed force of billmen, handgunners, archers and coustilliers. The fighting was fierce, and the new billmen in the Companye (Howard, Alan and Marcus) acquitted themselves with distinction, using the feared Langue de Bouef polearm to deadly effect!

Fire support was provided as ever by the handgun team of Steve and Nuala, whose shots rang out and delighted the enthusiatic local crowd.


During the ensuing chaos, the Yorkists managed to get a messenger (Ben of the Bayards, we love the Bayards) through to the Priory. With the Yorkists at the point of defeat, and the their leaders about to be separated from their mortal coils the Prior strode forward and demanded no further blood be spilled on the penalty of excommunication.

An agreement was reached whereupon the captured nobles would be allowed to fight, and put the matter in God’s hand. Single combat ensued, and when the Yorkists had the better of things they were cut down by the Companye handgunners – much to the Prior’s disgust.

The threat of excommunication was lifted following the intervention of the pious Henry VI, and the Medieval Siege Society took their bows to well deserved applause. It was a hard fight, possibly one of the best so far this season!

Away from the battlefield, we had a great time. There were some magic moments – including the best MOP question so far this year, namely ‘Is that a real head..?’. However, nothing will trump young Alec the archer sewing his livery tabard to his trousers by accident…!

We were delighted to see the return of the Companye Chaplain, so that our souls may receive salvation once more. It was great to the newer members of the Companye earning their livery badges.

Shona has a new nickname of ‘Irontoes’. The story behind this is sadly classified, but we look forward to the shiny new crossbow that Rob is going to buy her.

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