Archive for August, 2013

News – Harrington Companye win Best Battlefield Unit award at England’s Medieval Festival

20130827-022521.jpg The Companye has just won the 2013 award at England’s Medieval Festival (Herstmonceux) for Best Battlefield Unit. This prestigious award is judged upon combat prowess, authenticity and tactical awareness and highly contested. Needless to say we’re more than slightly chuffed. Sir William Harrington was unavailable for comment as he was busy pushing the Company of Canterbury back halfway across England, but a full report on the event will follow, though in the meantime we thought we should share the news!

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Bodiam Castle – Event Review

Bodium Castle Grand medieval Weekend 10-11 August

Report by intrepid reporter Loki Lane.


The Harrington Companye was pleased to attend what is undoubtedly a yearly highlight in the events calendar; the Grand Medieval Weekend at Bodium castle.

Alongside us, the spacious grounds of this still impressive moated castle played host to an array of other households within the Medieval Siege Society and the fantastic Destrier jousting group.

The public were able to wander around the Living History encampment, with Kathleen Davies at the Harrington camp demonstrating traditional finger braiding techniques to any keen to learn.

Our first display of the Saturday was the Commission of Array, where troops submit to combat trials to test their worthiness to gain employment by the Lord. This day, Sir Robert was looking for the finest men at Arms to serve him, and the Harrington Companye were pleased to present a fine block of men. With the bold black and white of the Harrington banner fluttering above in the wind, Philip Davies stepped forward to display his skill with sword and buckler in combat with Sir Robert himself. Needless to say, he was well pleased with the combat, and if the expressions on the audience’s faces were anything to go by they were somewhat impressed too!

On the Sunday morning, at the rather early hour of eight o clock, we were lucky enough to be invited to take part in a clout shout from the very top of the castle. Each man was allowed eight arrows, and the task was to shoot up over the moat and onto a flag set in the lawn beyond. This was no easy feat as the trick was not only to get as near to the flag as possible, but also not to lose any arrows in the moat, not damage the ornamental flower pots in front of the Information Centre and furthermore not to attempt entry to the beer tent before opening hours by piercing the canvas with arrows. Helen Bruce did well, landing a neat cluster of arrows near to the flag and the flower pots, at least, were untouched.

In the afternoon battle we were joined by a famous face; Warwick Davies (of Harry Potter and Willow fame) was being filmed for a documentary featuring events to attend with children throughout the summer. He not only gathered a gaggle of admirers posing for photos, but also managed to single handedly bring down Sir Robert on the battlefield; and all of this after sustaining a traditional arrow-tucked-under-the-arm wound!

Warren Mills joined his fellow Harringtons on the field and helped to put on an engaging display for the gathered public. They were impressed by the skilful flat shooting at pavaises and striking boar snout formations being utilised.

As well as this, a determined effort was of course made to feature the Harrington banner in as much of the footage as possible, and for the purpose it was casually move around the field to suit. Even more importantly, it was not captured and remained flying proudly as all on the field were called forward to take a bow for the camera.

All in all, a well supported and relaxed weekend, with the benefit of an archery competition running over both days and the fortune of favourable weather and great public attendance.

Now to shine our armour, dig out our best kit and ready ourselves for three days at Herstmonceux!


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History Live! – Event Review


The calm before the storm – getting ready for battle…

The Companye has returned from English Heritage’s flagship event – History Live!

If you the reader have never attended this then we implore you to do so. It is undoubtedly the best multi period event in the UK, and possibly Europe. EH manages to cram over 2000 years of history into one day.

We were there with others from the Medieval Siege Society, who along with the Beaufort Companye (thanks Allan Harley) and invited guests were re-enacting the 1471 Battle of Tewkesbury. Those of you who have been watching the BBC’s White Queen will know how pivotal this battle was in ensuring the supremacy of Edward IV. Well, at least they got that right if nothing else…


Hanging around at muster.

The re-enactment was an authentic recreation of the original battle, the MSS has been assigned the middle battle on the Lancastrian side under Lord Wenlock, and we were facing a large contingent of Stanleys and Howards coming up the hill towards us. We were fighting alongside some fine fellows from the Woodvilles (yes, we know they are not Lancastrian) whom we were acquainted from our event at Old Sarum earlier in the year. Combat was good natured and everyone had a great time, judging from feedback on T’interweb the public at large appreciated out efforts.


Harrington Companye on the march..

Highlight on the Sunday battle was Sarah attacking her own side during one particularly frantic melee. She has been doing her family history, perhaps she has discovered an American ancestry #blueonblue.

Once Tewkesbury was finished, some of the Companye who are also members of Wryngwyrm (whom we cannot recommend highly enough) took part in the recreation of Hastings 1066. This was a frantic kit change to leap almost 500 years of history and land on your feet ready to go and fight again. Then, for those who had still not had enough the afternoon saw the first ever recreation of Flodden 1513 staged especially for the event in its anniversary year.

Away from the arena displays, of course one of the main draws for this event is the famous Kelmarsh evening beer tent. It is undoubtedly the most surreal experience ever. There are not many places where you can be having a pint with an American Indian one minute, a Gladiator the next, or swapping stories with WW2 American Infantry – arriving suitably late to the party as ever chaps.

Saturday night was Addam of the De Cobham’s stag night. Well, Lobster night really – as he was forcibly placed into a giant red lobster suit and chased around the beer tent by Fisherman forcing him to drink his pint if they caught him in between serenading him with rugby songs. This even made the Battlefields Trust Twitter feed – nice to see it was noticed!


Fisherman, Fisherman, home from the sea…

English Heritage had booked a band – “The Highwasters”, and they were awesome. They played a mix of late 70s/early 80’s punk & ska and after explaining such music, we popped Jo and Sarah’s mosh pit cherry. Queen of the Mosh Pit ™ however, was the Almighty KOF who could lead the charge anytime!

It was also an opportunity for Ant and Justin to catch up with their old friends in Britannia, and especially nice to see Dan Shadrake. Dan was the founder of Britannia, had there been no Britannia forming in 1990, Ant would probably not have took up re-enactment, would probably not have joined the MSS via Phil Fraser, and ergo would not have formed The Harrington Companye. If you throw a stone in a lake, who know where the ripples may go?

The event was great work by English Heritage, especially after the trauma of the cancellation last year (due to flooding) and all involved deserve huge plaudits. EH faced a lot of unfair criticism – and in our opinion unfounded – following the event last year, and it was great to see them answer their critics.

Roll on Bodiam Castle…

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Northampton Social Meet Up

There will be a evening social meet up this Wednesday 7th August starting 7:30pm at The Old England pub in Northampton.

Come along and find out about the Medieval Siege Society and this fantastic hobby over a pint or two! See you there..

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The Will of Sir James Harrington

Our historian Mike Ingram recently acquired the will of Sir James Harrington of Wolfage Manor.


Extracted from the Principal Registry of the Probate Division of Her Majesty’s High Court of Justice. In the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.

In the Name of our Lord God Jhu. Amen I Sir JAMES HARINGTON of Brixworth in the Counte of North being of hoole mynde and fresh memorie make and ordeyne this my pfit Testament and last Wil in this man and fome following First I bequeth my soule to Alle myghti God and to oure blissid Lady Saint Marye and to alle the glorious Companye of Hevin and my body to be buried in the Parifsh Chirch of Brixworth aforesaid yf I fortune to deceafse iiygh the Countre And if I do not, thenne where myne Executpurs shall seme best Also I will that the coostis and charges of my obsequies and diriges and burying be takin of the ifsues and pfittes of alle my Man? landes and tenements by the haudes of myne Executours And I will that my wife have the ifsues and pfittes of aile my said landes Mans and tenements aftre my said obsequiesand burying to the enteut that w* the ifsues and profitts of the same over there finding and necessarie charge she doo pay my detts as ferre as the same obsequies will extende And aftre hir decesse I will that myne Executours de treuly content and pay the residue of alle my dettis which thenne shal be due And immediately aftre my detts paied I woll that a prest be founde for ever to singe in the Parissh Chirch of Brixworth to pry for my soule my children soules and all cristin Soulis aftre the discrecions of myne Executours And I woll that all my feoffees in alle my said landes Mans and tenements in Preston Thorleigh Bratheeton Thuckley Fifshweke Brokeslande Derby Pulton Magna and Pulton pua suffer myne Executours to take x marcs of the profitts of the same aftre the decesse of my said wife for the exhibicion of the said pSte alle by the advise of Thomas Kebill S’iaunt of lawe and William Cutlard or other in ther absence otherwise shal be orderid for the sure cotinuaunce of the finding of the said Prest for eu taking x marc of the profittz of the said londes and tenements to be paied yerely vnto the said Prest for the tyme being at Brixworth at ij tmes of the yer by the said advice to be limited And I will that the same Pste shall say euy weke iij Mafses of Requiem and iij Placebo and Dirige for the Soules aforesaid And I woll who soeu shal be hereaftre Lord of Wolridge shall have the nominacon of the said Prest Provided alwaies that Sir Robt Ratclif shal be the first pst that that shal haue the said Annuyte yf he life he doing as is aforesaid And I will that these psones folowing haue all such loudes and tenements as 1 graunt vnto them for tme of there lifes that is to say to Robt Hulton a mese lying in Brixleworlh aforesaid in the hold of Richard Skynner to Myles Worsley a mese in Turton in the holding of James Walrnesley to Richard Radclif a mese in Dyukley to Jamys Holcroft a mese in Briklisworth in his owen holding To Nicholas Afshton a mese that he holdith in Briklisworth to Arnold Pennyngton a mese in Fifshweke And I wil that alle fees graunted and to be graunted by my writing to eny p’son or p’sonnes shallbe p’oemed of my said man? londes and tenements according to the trewe entent of my grunt any thing afore not wt standing And after my dettes paied and the decefse of my saide wife I wil that the said man? loudes and tenements whiche be entailed to the heires geuerall so be deptid evinly among them And suche of my man? londes and tenements whiche be entailed to the heires males I wil the same heires males haue them And as for my londes and tenements in Elston and Lancaster I will that my sonne Sir Thomas Aisshton and my dautr Agnes his wife haue the moyte of the said londis and tenements in Elston and alle my landis and tenements in Lancaster And I wil that Anne my daughter haue the other moyte of Elston to hir and to hir heires And I wil that the same Anne shal haue all my landes and tenementis to hir and hir heires in fee simple in Preston Dynkley and Bretherton Also I wil that if any wrongs have been don by me that they be reformed by myn Executou’s and satisfaccion made And I make myn Executours Isabell my wife Sir Thomas Ratclif Robt Ratclif Xpofer Harington preste John Radclif of Horsdale in the Counte of Lancastre sonne and heire of William Radclif of Horsdale afore said brother of the said Isabelle whome I require and charge as they will answer afore God that this my last Will be p formed in ev’y thinge And for the prove that this is my last Will I have subscribed the same with my hand and have setto my scale the last day of Aprill the vi yere of the Reigue of King Henry the vij th Thise being witnefse and Recorde William Cutteler Miles Worsley Arnold Pynnyngton and David Pyndesburye. Probatum fuit suprscriptum Testamentum apud Lamebith Sexto Die mensis Marcij Anno Dni surp diet Juramento Domine Isabelle Relict & Xpofori Harington Executor! fee ac approbatum & insinuate &c Et comifsa fuit Administraco omi & singlorl bonor) et debit &c. dictis Executoribus fee De bene et fideliter Administrand fee Ac de pleno & fideli Inventario &c citra festum Annuuciaconis bte Marie Virginis proximo fee Necnon de fideli compoto calculo &c Reservat ptate comittend: admistracoem aliss coexecutorib} &csi earn in se afsumer voluint fee.

Extracted from the inquisitions of Sir James Harrington, and of Isabella, widow of Sir James Harrington. 14 Henry VII (19th Nov. 1498.) INQUISITION taken at Chorley on Monday 19th of November 14 Henry 7, 1498, after the death of Sir JAMES HARINGTON Kt. The jurors say that long before his death the said Sir JAMES H. was seized in his demesne as of fee of the Manor of Westley Blakerode and certain lands and tenements in Penyngton Preston Chorley Bradertou Dynkley Fysheweke Brokesland Derby Pulton Magna Pulton Parva and Turton in the county of Lancaster viz. to him and his heirs by virtue of divers feoffments and grants thereof made to his ancestors ; and being so seized enfeoffed Thomas Radcliffe of Standish clerk William Radcliffe of Ordsal Esqre and John Radcliffe of the same place son and heir apparent of the sd William Robert Radcliffe William Radcliffe brothers of the said Robert John Norwych Nicholas Gryffyn Esqres Alexander Radcliffe son and heir of John Radcliffe, Robert Longley Esqre Thomas Tydesley of Tyldesley Roger Hylton, Roger his son, Richard Holland Thurstan Holland son and heir apparent of Richard Holland of Denton and others, by his charter dated 10 December 8 Henry 7 (1492) to the use of him the said Sir JAMES H. to fulfil his last Will, by virtue of which feoffment the said Trustees were seized; and afterwards the said Sir JAMES H. by his Will declared that Isabella his Wife should hold for term of her life all and singular the premises and after her death remainder to the right heirs of the said Sir JAMES H. of his body lawfully begotten. That AGNES ELIZABETH ALICE MARGARET ISABELLA ALIANORE JOAN ANNE CLEMENCE and KATHARINE were daughters of the said Sir JAMES H. and his next heirs, and that each and all of them were of the full age of 21 years and upwards. And that the said Sir JAMES died on 26th of June 12 Henry 7 (1497).