Archive for May, 2014

Reminder on Armour weightings

RTO Armour Weighting for Skirmishes & Competitive Combat Circles


Level 1 (1 Hit Point)

Minimum Safety equipment(Jack/helmet/stout gloves)Stout Leather armour comes in this category


Level 2 (2 Hit Points)

As Level 1 above plus Either:

A) Maille Shirt – maille on body trunk and at least upper arms

B) plate arms

C) plate breastplate/plackart/brigandine

D) plate legs / knee cops


Level 3 – Half Harness (3 Hit Points)

Must comprise:

– Helmet

– Plate breastplate /plackart / Brigandine

– plate arms (at least spaulders and gauntlets)

– plate legs (at least plate thighs and knee cops)


Level 4 – Full Harness (4 Hit Points)

Must Comprise:

– Helmet

– Fully enclosed plate legs, MUST include rear of greaves (sabatons optional)

– Fully enclosed plate arms including gauntlets

– Back and breastplate


Level 5 – Full Harness+ (5 Hit Points)

Must Comprise:

– Helmet

– Fully enclosed plate legs (sabatons optional)

– Fully enclosed plate arms including gauntlets

– Back and breastplate

– Maille Voiders

– Maille Skirt / Braies

– Maille Standard / gorget / bevor


Captain of Arms or Lead RTO Decision is final on presenting for assessment at start of combat.


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Delapre Abbey Tournament Teams Announced


The Delapre Abbey event in July will include a Knights Tournament of Foot. The Companye has decided to present local nobles from the 15th Century who would have attended such a tournament at Delapre.

The following teams are currently entered- further updates will be forthcoming as teams assemble for the Tournee..

Sir William Harrington of Wolfage Manor

Livery: White lion charged with a chessrook gules.

Ant F, Justin R, Alec J, Jess D (like Jessie J but with a spear)

Lord Grey of Ruthin

Banner/Livery: Red and Black. Black Ragged Staff, Griffin emblem.

Marcus, Alan, Kevin, Isabella

Sir Mortimer of Grendon

Banner/Livery:Ermine, on a fess Azure three crosses sarcelly Or

Adrian F, Mark S, Cheri S, Corin B.

Sir Woodhall of Odell

Banner/Livery: Or, three crescents Gules

Captain Tight Pants, Lee L, Jo A, Sarah H,

Richard de Vere of Addington
Banner/livery: Quarterly gules and or with a molet argent in the quarter.
Nick H, Howard, Peter, Dean

Jammy de Halfempty
Jammy, Rob A, Stan, Mike P of Windrush

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Don’t forget – June 5th Training at Bedford


Tier 2 Regional Training for Archery, Crossbows and Men-at-Arms in the Bedfordshire region, all welcome.

The training will take place at the Aircraft Research Association, Manton Lane, Manton Industrial Estate, Bedford. MK41 7PF

Where: Manton lane is just off the A6 as it enters Bedford from Rushden, proceed to very end of Manton Lane to Aircraft Research Association, sports hall and free car park are before security gate and access to Aircraft Research Association.
When: 7pm to 10pm
Archery/Crossbow from 7pm on field
MAA 8-10pm

Lead RTOs: Alan Hay, Marcus Booth, Mark Salter, Anthony Farrow, Corin Brearley

£3 per person


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Event Review – The 2nd Battle of St Albans

By Guest Intrepid Reporters Kevin & Izzy (who would appear to have mostly Lancastrian sympathies..)


St Albans – the third event of the season and the first without a hint of rain. A chance to recall the heat of Tewkesbury 2013 with the polite answer to a MOP about whether it was warm in the armour was “yes rather” and the unpublishable one was “like an f***ing microwave oven love”. Saturday’s events drew fewer members than Sunday but it was maybe a chance to get an idea about what was supposed to happen with the admittedly slightly complicated battle scenario. It went like this…

Yorkist villagers engaged the Lancastrians in a skirmish (sadly not actually in the street although the street did feature Sunday) and forced them back. Unbeknown to the hurriedly armouring up and smugly complacent Yorkists the Lancastrians who had got waylaid by the pub dragged themselves to the battle and whooped the arses of said Yorkists. Go Lancaster…To the one True King!

Not the end though (boo hiss – don’t you get the message you Yorkist chancers???).

In the later battle a small probing force of Lancastrians got beaten by the nasty Yorkists but the plucky Lancastrians (bias writing? Never!) went in under pavaise cover to rescue them with the aid of the chuffing noisy gunner contingent and the mighty Windrush longbow men. Meanwhile the much larger armed Lancaster contingent appeared behind the prematurely gloating Yorkists and soundly kicked butt.

The confused and mumbling king was carefully lead out from his happy place amongst the trees by the scheming Yorkists who were once again stopped by the House of Lancaster who reunited him with his queen. Well not actually with his queen on Saturday as there was a slight technical hitch in no one actually remembering to tell the queen she was needed on the field. Oops. Must do better chaps. Luckily on Sunday she was primed and ready and the upshot was the gory beheading of the Yorkist leaders.

Cecil the mighty trebuchet was swinging his mighty pant leather throughout the weekend, although had a slight issue with dressing to the right. Cecil was informed that he should really dress to the left but the minor detail of that being where the crowd was located might have been the reason for the wilful disobedience. A wise man once said never work with children, animals or trebuchets. You don’t know that phrase? Pretty sure it is accurate…

The longbowmen kept up a series of sterling displays throughout the public time and the gunners also got to duet with Cecil along with their battle role. Some rude person said something about needing another man’s cord to help him go off. Medieval Viagra for enhanced performance it seems.

The highlight of the weekend was the armoured march through the streets of St Albans to St Peter’s church where we were to be blessed by the vicar. The march was a series of entertaining stops starts following the skittish horse on which the lady mayoress was sat.

The distinct lack of medieval highway code was demonstrated when arriving at a roundabout. Yorkists went left, Lancastrian went right and then marginal confusion reigned over whether the twain would meet or just go a different way. So everyone stopped and that just seemed easier. Vicious reports from the Yorkist side about Lancaster’s lack of signals. Clearly everyone from the House of Lancaster has a performance car that has no need for this lowly tools of the road. The Yorkists did kick Lancaster’s derrier when it came to marching chants as basically they did and Lancaster didn’t. Come on chaps, there really needs to be some practice there. Too many shouts of “A Cobham A Cobham” or “tissue paper tissue paper” (yes we heard right and no we didn’t understand either) can grate after a while. By the time the Middletons has worked out their chant the horse had really had enough so chanting was off the cards. Sadly Scooby the shirehorse then had to contend with a snap happy photographer who was determined that all the marchers would form a tight horseshoe behind his nether regions for the photo op. Easier said than done when the onlookers would not shift and a certain set of long feathers really seemed to have waved one too many time near Scooby’s nostrils.

The public of St Albans were very pleased to be entertained and very thankful to everyone there. Certain members were overheard to say that they preferred the better class of visitor, not least because there was no need to chase after the thieving scrotebags that had legged it with a sword or two!


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Event Review – Hazelborough Archery Shoot


The Companye had a great Bank Holiday shoot at Hazelborough Forest.
The course was a woodland based shoot of 13 targets, with the final one being a special novelty shoot (more on that later).
The sun shone upon the righteous, and Peter and Corin had been out early the day before preparing the targets. After arriving to find the kettle on the boil and bacon rolls done to a turn, we started the course for a first round.
This was when the swearing started.
The course was a mixture of short and medium range targets, each one with three different marker pegs – the idea being that you have to move between in shot and resposition. This is far more useful to us medieval archers are rarely when shooting at people in the woods do you get the opportunity to stay in one place long enough for a second or even third shot!
Some targets were easier than others but all were great fun and frustrating in equal measures 🙂
After the first twelve targets, we arrived at target thirteen.
Behold, It was a flying pig.
There is a video of this fiendish beast below..

After all missing this with the one arrow we were allowed we broke for lunch in the sunshine and contemplated the round and where we could improve.
Ant went and got his crossbow..
The second round was equally enjoyable, some scores improved, others fell as people’s arms were increasingly tired. At last we came back to the flying pig shoot.
This time, John hit it! However, on inspection he had failed to hit the actual scoring area of the target and had drilled his arrow through a 1 inch gap between the head and the wings. Incredibly unlucky, but thats the rules!
Final Placings (best round submitted) were as follows:

First – Nicky (LongBow)
Second – Ant (Crossbow)
Third – Corin (Longbow)
Note: yet to be verified.

We’d like to thank Peter and his coaches for setting up the course, the wonderful instruction, and of course the food!

It was a great day and we’ll definitely be doing this again.


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Event Review – Kenilworth Castle St George’s Festival


The Companye has returned from our now annual trip to the historic Kenilworth Castle for the St George’s weekend celebrations.

Kenilworth is without doubt, one of the most impressive castles in the country. If you have never been it is well worth a visit. To be encamped within the inner walls and wake up and see the Great Hall and Solarium of John of Gaunt through your tent door is pretty special (see picture above).

In addition to our living history encampment , we were joined by The Buckingham Retinue, – who we found to be a friendly bunch and had a very high standard of living history, and a cannon to drool over.

Undoubted star of the show was Mark Vance grandstanding as St George (Warning – Luvvie alert! 🙂 ) , plus English Heritage’s shiny new dragon costume. Your humble author has attended most of the EH St George’s events across the land over the passing years and Mark’s display really is the best out there and watching it is one of the highlights of the year, especially for the younger members of the Companye. No, we’re not on commission.

Our arena display this year was ‘Arms, Armour and Combat of the 15th Century’. After showing the crowds the various components of a 15th c plate harness and how they were attached and worn, the crowds were treated to the sight of Sir William knocking lumps out of Adrian, his tenant from the Knights Hospitallar. Thankfully Adrian gave as good as he got, and the audience responded accordingly.


Next up, there was a look at the footsoldiers of the later half of the 15th Century, the different armour and weapons of the period, the English use of the lance system (versus the myth of the ‘Bill Block’)  before where to a delighted crowd we threw all of them into a fast and furious tournament to see who would come out on top.



Kenilworth Tournee winners:
Saturday – Master Jammy (Treachery)
Sunday – Master Jammy & Master Rob (tied) (Honour), Alec the Smith (Treachery).

These are being tracked by Sir William and will be taken into consideration when awarding the Harrington Combat award at the banquet later this year.

Following the Tournament, it was the turn of the kids in the audience. The level of punishment taken by the Companye men at arms was enough to make lesser men weep.


The only thing that spoiled the event slightly was the great British weather (well, English if Alec Salmond has his way..) as it rained during setup and just before packdown. Despite this, spirits remained undampened, in part due to the impromptu rendition of ‘Father Harrington’ by the Companye Ladies Voice Choir..

All in all, a really great event.


We’d also like to thank the English Heritage staff on site who were absolutely fantastic. They really are such a great bunch, though on balance we were possibly stood up for Nick and Lauren’s two dogs at the top of their affections. Feedback from English Heritage has been positive, particularly in regard to the arena display, and we look forward to our scheduled return to Kenilworth Castle in July!

Ps. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets to the Summer Solstice Skirmish Showdown – time’s running out!


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