Winterfest 2011

On July 2nd and 3rd, Company of the Staple was once again invited to attend the annual Winterfest show held at Parramatta Park.

A report of the great deeds of arms performed at Winterfest by the noble Order of the Heron, courtesy of Aldyn de Sutton (aka Elden):

Winterfest 2011

Winterfest 2011

In the year of Grace, 2011, during the long reign of King Edward III, on feast of Peter and Paul, in the parish Matta, knights and squires of the Order of the Heron held hastiludes by the permission of the king in those fields. Three lords of the Company of the Staple at Calais, all meaning to journey to the distant lands of Abbeystowe to undertake great deeds of arms, had decided to travel together for their mutual improvement and good company on the road. That all would know them well, they bound their affinities into an Order of the Heron, dressed themselves in livery of gules and azure and prepared themselves for a long expedition to distant lands.

Making his own way to Abbeystowe through parish Matta was Sir James Stallard, knight of England and also Lady Emma of Pioch and Lady Lisa Farrell.

Lady Farrell with falcon

Lady Farrell with falcon.

On receiving Sir Stallard, the lords of the order of the heron arranged to hold hastiludes there before the journey to Abbeystowe. After Sir Stallards affinity had encamped and been shown hospitality, the lords were dressed in their armour by many good and able varlets and all went onto the field to seek glory in deeds of arms.
First did Aldyn de Sutton challenge the lord Russel Carrol to lay three strokes with shields. The lords struck once each before de Sutton laid a blow so forceful on the head of lord Carrol that his helmet sheared loose and reeled down to cover his eyes. Impaired such as he was by this mighty blow, lord Carrol yielded the field.

Russell withstands the blow.

Hugh de Caleys then sought Sir James Stallard to lay three blows with longswords. Both fought gallantly, and with such furious intensity that two blows were quickly struck by de Caleys followed directly by one resounding blow by Sir Stallard. With all honour of the contest carried in the next blow laid, both launched sudden master strokes to each other with no regard for their own defense, and in the coincidence, struck each other dreadfully in the same moment and then fell back. With neither lords or the presiding herald able to rightly say which blow had struck first, the winner could not be decided and the  honourable herald, John Locke, declared that with both  men so shaken by the blows received that to preserve both gallant lords, the next stroke laid would in fact decide the victor. When both could again stand ready, it was Sir Stallard who first struck, and who triumphed of it.

Sir James Stallard

Sir James Stallard

After brief respite could be made, lord de Sutton challenged lord de Caleys to lay blows with longswords until one was forced from the field. They swung stout blows in many gallant assaults until de Caleys, having struck his opponent many times with devastating effect, closed and deftly grappled the arm of de Sutton such that he was compelled to release his own sword and was driven disarmed to the ground and yielded.

At this time it was the pleasure of the noble spectators to view a tilting match in that field at parish Matta and so no more blows were struck on foot until the morrow. In concluding the valiant deeds of the day, Hugh de Caleys was given first place by the pure and honourable ladies, witness to the deeds, for his performance on the field.

On the morrow of the feast of Peter and Paul, the lords Carrol, de Caleys, de Sutton and McKinnon once again took the field with their guest Sir Stallard to do great and valorous deeds of arms.
Russel Carrol began the day’s deeds by challenging de Caleys to three strokes with shields. Lord de Caleys struck his opponent two stout blows before Carrol answered with a resounding blow to the temple, which gave de Caleys much pause. Carrol graciously allowed his opponent a moment to regain his full faculties before they launched fresh assaults and de Caleys landed a third and final blow.
Sir Stallard issued challenge to de Sutton to a match of longswords. Sir Stallard amazed and delighted those present with such blinding assaults that his opponent rarely guessed from whence his next attack might come, and in time he beat de Sutton to the ground and claimed victory.
Lord de Caleys then challenged Sir McKinnon to three strokes with longswords. The gallant lords laid mighty strokes with such force that as de Caleys was struck, the point of his spaulder burst asunder and his armour was knocked off. Undeterred by his being  exposed to great dangers de Caleys only fought harder still, striking his three blows
first to be the victor.
Invigorated by his victory, Lord de Caleys sought no respite or even repair of his harness, but did valiantly challenge Sir Stallard also to meet him with longswords and lay blows until one yielded the field. Eagerly did Sir Stallard meet the challenge, and many blows were exchanged with neither man seeming to get the advantage of the other. Finally Sir Stallard judged that he had caught his opponent misfooted and quickly closed to throw him down. Lord de Caleys resisted the effort and for a long moment none could say whoever of the two might fare the worse, but it was Sir Stallard who in deed lost his feet and tumbled, making de Caleys the victor.
Hugh and James

James (left) takes a hit from Hugh (right).

Lord de Sutton then challenged Sir McKinnon to lay strokes with longswords until the victor may bear his fellow to the ground. As they laid resounding blows upon one another, Sir McKinnon’s fine belt of plaques was struck from his person. Finding no shame in it, Sir McKinnon rather bade his opponent do worse if he would seek to strike
him bodily.

Alyden and Andrew

Alyden (Left) and Andrew (Right) exchange blows

With more blows struck, Sir McKinnon closed on de Sutton seeking to throw him from his feet but, finding him as if an immovable hillside, was himself borne to the ground by de Sutton. As the herald called a victory, the lord de Sutton rose to declare that he himself
had met the ground with McKinnon, and that the result was indeed a tie. Moved by his humility, the ladies there declared that de Sutton was the champion of the second day.


Aldyn is heralded the victor

The deeds concluded, the lords withdrew to lodgings to pack and provision for the great journey to Abbeystowe and eagerly plan for the honourable challenges that lay ahead of them.

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Blacktown Medieval Fayre 2011

In another first for Company of the Staple, this year we did a joint show with Black Ravens (a multi-period medieval combat group) for Blacktown City’s Medieval Fayre.

Our physician Jon had his surgical tools on display as well as some fresh and dried herbs. Black Ravens had weapons and armour displays, and our new silk painted banner looked very good waving in the breeze. Our brand new silk appliqued banner is almost finished as well, so pictures will be up soon, most likely in the pictures of Winterfest. (2nd and 3rd July at Parramatta Park, Sydney)

Company of the Staple at Blacktown Medieval Fayre

Blacktown Encampment

Here is our encampment, with brave lads getting ready to fight. On the left you can see Jon’s surgical display.

Hugh and Elden battle for glory

Hugh and Elden battle for glory

We also had a special guest fighting with us on the Sunday shows, champion jouster Jeremy O’Neail of Boston, Massachusetts. Full Tilt Jousting brought Jeremy out to Australia for a national tour, and were kind enough to let him join us for some foot combat. Jeremy is the principal instructor of the Academy of Knightly Arts in Massachusetts, and it was instructive to see him in action.

Jeremy and Hugh fight on foot with longswords.

Jeremy takes on Hugh

Blacktown Medieval Fayre is funded by Blacktown City, allowing free entry for many thousands of people from the area to come and immerse themselves in history in a picturesque parkland setting. We are very grateful to the city for the opportunity to share our love of the fourteenth century with so many.

Blacktown City Festival
Full Tilt Jousting
Academy of Knightly Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

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Upcoming Appearances

Company of the Staple will be appearing at the following events in the year 2011

  • Ironfest (Lithgow, New South Wales) – May 14-15
  • Blacktown Medieval Fair (Blacktown, Sydney) – May 21-22
  • Winterfest (Parramatta Park, Sydney) – July 2-3
  • Abbey Medieval Fair (Cabulture, Queensland) – July 9-10
  • Timeline Fair (Berwick Victoria) – November 5-6
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Abbey 2010

For the first time, Company of the Staple also sent up a small contingent to Abbey Medieval Fair – Australia’s largest medieval fair held at the Abbey Museum in Caboolture, Queensland. Here we met some old friends such as the Enterprise of the Black Garter and Eslite d’ Corps and made some new friends, especially amongst the Knights Order Lion Rampant.

Sir Hugh fought in a grand tournament hosted by the Order Lion Rampant, with Elden as his attendant and his lady, Lady Louise.

Knights Order of the Lion Rampant
Enterprise of the Black Garter
Eslite d’ Corps

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Winterfest 2010

For the fourth year, Company of the Staple set up a static display at Winterfest. For the first time, Winterfest was held at Parramatta Park, beside the Parramatta River, which lent a more picturesque and medieval feel to the event.

Another first was our display of a 14th Century Harness fight in the main combat arena. Sir Hugh and Sir Elden engaged in a practical demonstration of how the armour protected them from blows and how a Deed of Arms works, with both fighters setting out the rules by which they wished to abide.

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Ironfest 2010

Company of the Staple performed at Ironfest St George Tournament. This was a static display in which we showed off some surgery instruments as well a display showing the common food of 14th Century. Along with the display, Company of the Staple acted as a retinue for Australian jouster Andrew McKinnon and performed ground crew work for the jousting, which included international jousters Dr Tobias Capwell from England, Arne Koets from Holland and Jeremy Oneail from USA.

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