Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Tournament of the Lily

On November 14th the Tournament of the Lily, a very noble deed of arms was held in the Barony of Ponte Alto of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Several factors conspired to make the event a notable success.

There was a great deal of advance preparation. Planning started 18 months before the event. Five different classes were offered to help attendees prepare for the day. There were an impressive number of 15th c. headdresses on the ladies present

There was clearly a strong effort to create a period ambiance around the field. Not only were all the pavilions and tents around the field reasonably medieval in appearance, but a fabric screen was set up in front of a 20th c. structure near the field to conceal some of its modern details. The wooden fence around the field was based on a medieval design. The principal ladies viewed the combat from an elevated scaffold.

While the setting was the late 15th c., earlier harness was neatly justified as deliberately retro equipment in an antique manner when one of the defenders entered the field as "Godfrey of Bouillon", one of the Nine Worthies. I wish I had known that was going to happen: I still have a banner and pennon with the arms attributed in the Middle Ages to Hector of Troy, created for the Judgment of Paris deed of arms many years ago.

I brought a pair of targes and tapered rattan spears. Several of the tenans had the kindness to meet me with those weapons: Master Kevin of Thornbury, Sir Corby, Duke Cuan and Sir Bryce de Byram, taking the role of Godfrey of Bouillon as aforesaid. The last of these was fought for five pushes of the lance with a runup of seven paces for each pass, measured by a knotted cord as at the combat between Galiot de Baltasin and Phillipe de Ternant in 1446.

The feast reinforced the late 15th c. setting. Service at the high table faithfully followed the etiquette of the era, with water brought for hand washing, trenchers cut from bread laid before each place, and service in messes, with each serving shared by two or three individuals and each pair sharing a napkin. This should happen more often.

My good companions of the Company of St. Michael, Maitresse Muriel and Maitresse Marcele, we also present, and very honorably arrayed.

Here is another thread on the Armour Archive discussing the event.

Sir Corby has a nice album of photos from the event.

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