Master Robert Bedingfield’s Report on the Great Muster of Gardiner’s Company of the London Trayned Bandes the fourteenth day of October 1597

Master Bedingfield’s watching

By Order of Captain Gardiner, a Very Great Muster of the Company was held the week before St. Luke’s at the Cat’s Perch Inn, wherein the Company did receive good service and drink.

Mostly done

The Cat’s Perch having been stolen some years before is (still) in a rebuilding year and has recently completed for the most part a Very Great Kitchen, missing only a roof, door, shutters, a proper dresser, shelving, an oven, a brazier, interior walls and floor befitting it.

An abundance of very satisfying and wholesome meat was served, as well as the Cat’s Perch’s well-famous Incredibly Strong Ale, and was admired and consumed in quantities large by the Company.

 

FIRE! Fire, I say!

Hello, My name is Olivia. Serve your own damn self

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The cooks did prepare our meals upon an open hearth and expressed satisfaction with the kitchens accommodations.

Butter was churned,

Makin’ butter while the sun shines

The Company fed well,

I know not this “chipotle”

and all had a Very Fulsome and Satisfying Dinner.

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Drill was the Order of the Day (see what I doth there), with the Pike making a Very Ardent,            if Unskilled show of its prowess, to the Delight of Fanny, the Innkeep.

No, we’re not doing Charge to Horse

Later in the Day, the Pike did hone their skill by trimming the shrubbery.

A lovely hedge

The Company’s Shotte was also Very Well Accounted in practice.

Give…FIRE! Fire, I say!

BANG! Bang, I say!

The practice of Sword was not neglected and the Company acquitted itself in its use Very Respectfully.

The pointy end go in…Oowww!

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There was after the Dinner a competition of a Popinjay Shoot, sponsored by Capt. Gardiner and overseen by Master Bedingfield, who had previously engaged with the Innkeep to procure a Popinjay for this purpose.

When the commissioned Popinjay was determined to have been kept too close to the kitchen fires,

It has ceased to be! This is a dead Popinjay!

…a substitute was offered, with a Very Energetic negotiation as to price and the true nature of its Popinjay-ness being in dispute.

6 Shillings…no, pence! 6 pence! Wait…we’ll pay you!

At the end, a very fine Shoot was held

Volley fire

with Mistress Kate winning the Shoot by detaching the Popinjay from its hat.

De-hatted the fowl, she did

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After a fine Supper, the Company took its ease and a Very Well-earned rest.

So, when’s the gambling starting?

Bet I finish this before Zeke does his

In all a very fine Muster was had with the Company now Proudly to field a Very Formidable force of fine Young Gallants.

Like this fine, downy-cheeked lad

Timeline 1596-1597

*For all to enjoy, and use as conversation starters at Muster:

1596

A flush toilet is illustrated in an English pamphlet, The Metamorphosis of Ajax by John Harrington.

– The Swan Theater opens in Paris Gardens, Bankside.

– 1596 began a three year span of bad harvests that ended in 1598.

– Jan. 27 – Francis Drake dies.

– Feb. 14 – Archbishop  of Canterbury John Whitgift begins building his hospital and school at Croydon (completed in 1599).

– March 23 – Henry Unton, diplomat, dies.

April 9 – Siege of Calais, Spanish troops capture Calais.

– June 30-July 4 – – English troops commanded by Robert Essex sack Cadiz.

– July 23 Lord Hunsdon dies; Lord Cobham appointed Lord Chamberlain.

October 18 – “Second Armada”, a Spanish fleet sent to attack England in revenge to the raid on Cadiz, is wrecked in storms near Cape Finisterre, Spain.

– November – 34 residents of Blackfriars sign a petition asking the Privy Council to stop Burbage’s rebuilt Blackfriar’s theater from opening.

– November 21 – Bartholomew Steer attempts to launch a rebellion on Enslow Hill in Oxfordshire.

 Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge is founded (classes begin in 1598).

 

1597

– The Vagabonds Act 1597 in Parliament (39 Eliz. c. 4) introduces penal transportation as a punishment for the first time.

– Ben Jonson is arrested for staging The Isle of Dogs at the Swan Theater.

– Feb. 2 – James Burbage dies.

– (early) – First Quarto editions of Richard III, Richard II, and Romeo and Juliet published.

– March – Lord Cobham dies.

– probable first performance of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

April 23 – Probable first performance of Shakespeare ‘s The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Conversation subjects for Muster (Humor)

Presenting to you today, selected excerpts from the newest edition of the pre-eminent 16th century bird-watcher’s manual that describes many of the birds to be found in Surrey, home of the Cat’s Perch Inn!  (I am told that all those within the Bandes have a keen eye for the birds.)

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Part III – Sparrows

Known to alle, the most common sparrowe, passer domesticus.

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Part V – Robins

The common Redbreasted Robin, erithacus rubecula (ordinarily seen in the company of other winged creatures).

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Part VII – Owles and divers other raptors

 

The Breasted Owle, athene boobicans, is observed only at night, due to its solitary and wandering nature.  Usually seen in pairs.

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Part IX – Flightless Birds

Rarely seen, and oft misunderstood, England’s only flightless bird, the Prickly Warbler, spinictus philosophicus.

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Part XIV – Somewhat Naked Birds

The fortunately elusive Bird-Man of Putney.  Seen late at night, singing off-key. Pictured: We think it might be a mating display, we’re not sure.

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Part XXIV – Inordinately Large Birds

The Common Sussex Widgeon, calamitus palumbus. Often seen sitting below trees.  Not flightless, it just needs a boarding pass.

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Part CXXXIX – The Popinjay

 

Seen here without its customary head and neck plumage.

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Thank you all, the book is not available for sale at this time.

 

Popinjay Shoot for 2017 Muster

We will have a Popinjay shoot at October Muster in less than a week!

The popinjay was a sport, and a way for militias to practice shooting.  A beautiful image of such a shoot is in the watercolour album of a Dutch artist named Adriaen van de Venne:

(source: Adriaen van de Venne’s Album, Martin Royalton-Kisch, British Museum, 1988)

This picture shows three men shooting with guns at the popinjay.  The prize went to the man who shot the last of the popinjay off the pole, using target guns (doelroeren).  The bird is made of wood, and the man who shot the last piece off was declared “king”.

We will not be using guns, but boffer arrows, so that no-one gets hurt, either by ammunition gone astray, or flaming wooden bird bits falling to the ground.

Master Robert Bedingfield has declared for this muster that all who wish to shoot with the bow shall demonstrate their skill by hitting the popinjay.  There will be a prize of a quarter angel for the first person to shoot our popinjay hard enough to make it spin, and a couple of other small prizes to those with the most interesting hits upon the bird.

Governor’s Clothes Documentation

The Governor Handout -updated

Attached (linked above) is the process documentation for creating the Governor’s new clothes (Jamestown project).  Carla Bauer, Tammy Jones, and I all worked on the garments, and tried to document as we went, but we had a hard and firm deadline; much was written after we were finished.  We really need to write the documentation for each part of the process such as the fingerloop braided trim, patterning, fabrics, etc.  There’s so much we could show for each part.

It was a fun project, and the three of us learned a lot in the process.

 

Foods and Feasts, 2016

This Thanksgiving several Gardiner’s Company members and friends gathered at Jamestown Settlement to meet and talk to visitors about food and life in early 17th Century Virginia. Isobel and Robert staffed the Governor’s Row House with a fine spread fit for Lord de la War himself. Tom and Jeff participated with the shot, demonstrating musket drill to the visitors and startling those not prepared for the noises of a military fort. Scott spent most of the days helping to process the hogs, from butchering to making sausage, while Elisabeth and Drea worked in the Barracks and out at the Devon Oven making a variety of tasty dishes on site.

The Infamous Stargazy Pie

The Infamous Stargazy Pie adorns the Governor’s table

Preparing to make sausage

Preparing to make sausage

Isobel and Drea at the Governor's House

Isobel and Drea at the Governor’s House

Robert prepares for a day of visitors

Robert prepares for a day of visitors

Elisabeth shows off her new red kirtle

Elisabeth shows off her new red kirtle

Tom and Jeff in musket drill

Tom and Jeff in musket drill

The Governor's Table display

The Governor’s Table display

The Governor’s table was laid with an impressive feast to include roast duck, stargazy pie, spinach fritters, coffin pie filled with roast rabbit and root vegetables, a fine pork pie, striped pease pudding, fresh cheeses, penney loaves of bread, fig pudding, brandied cherries, banbury tarts, and sugar cakes.

In the barracks they made a succulent Rabbit boyled in Claret Wine, Stewed Pippins, Sallet of Striked Colewarts and Herbs, Soops of Buttered Carrots, and stewed Fillets of Beef, Marinated Salmon, Manchet bread and a brown bread, and even some last minute Shrewsbury cakes. Everything I tried was very delicious.

More pictures of the food and festivites can be seen here: JYF Foods and Feasts 2016

“Now, in a new tune, new gesture, but old language”

I had occasion to perform in Ben Jonson’s 1610 play The Alchemist at Pennsic this year. In going over the script I found a number of words and phrases that Jonson used that I thought I’d share with the group. You can add these to those you put in your language worksheet in the Impression Workbook. Or just save them up for use whenever.

I’ve divided them up into single words (including insults) and phrases. I’ve also added some commentary.

WORDS

gallants (rich or well-to-do men)

heart (used like “darling”)

pox (we know this one, but Jonson uses it a lot)

treat (verb, used as “deal” I’ll not treat with you)

gull (verb and noun referring to cheating or the cheat-ee)

spittal (short for “hospital”)

how (multi-purpose word, meaning “What?”, “No!”, “Are you f**king kidding me?”, etc.)

Insults

rogue (used a lot)

bawd (sexual insult)

cow-herd

baboon

puck-fist (a miser, or one who boasts)

polecat (not the skunk, but a kind of mink)

rascal

scurvy (adjective, often used with “yellow”)

One of my favorite lines from the play, “my scurvy, yellow, baboon don”.

PHRASES

hang me, yourself

day owls (I got nothing)

fine, young quodling (probably from “codling”, and likely refers to a young or immature man)

brain of a tailor (my fav, used as “holy shit” or the like)

sooty, smoky-bearded (nice alliteration)

hence, away &

flee, mischief (either one is a rude send off)

I fart at thee (my opening line)

 

Kitchen Update — Shaka, when the walls didn’t fall

With the mortaring of the last brick, the Company kitchen wall is now one for the history books.

 

we haz wall

we haz wall!

The wall stands ~6′ 11″ high, and will serve as the hearth and cooking area. A wall oven will be built into the right corner, with a raised hearth to its left, more or less centered on the wall.

hearth & oven base

hearth & oven base

We’ll be laying the block for those next week. The hearth will be done for Muster. To the left of the hearth is a salt niche, that will get some final touch-up grinding.

salt niche

salt niche

The outsides still need to be cleaned; we’ll be using mortar acid cleaner to get the haze off.

Yes, we gots some cleanin' to do

Yes, we gots some cleanin’ to do

Gardiner's has a handball court!

Gardiner’s has a handball court!

Elsewhere on the site, the sawhorses are still frisky, with one of the small ones’ having delusions of grandeur.

overachiever

The next work weekend will entail setting the hearth and oven slabs onto the block supports, layout of the rest of the kitchen and more site clean-up and prep. Also, building corrals for the sawhorses.

 

 

Sweet Bag at the Met

Last month several of us visited the Ratti Textile Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. They were very friendly and accommodating of our visit. Anyone can get an appointment to view textiles, but the items must be in their department – no costumes/clothing unfortunately and the items can not be on view in the Museum. We were allowed to take as many pictures as we wanted as well. Appointments were limited to 2 hours.

We were allowed 10 items and viewed both embroidery and lace items from the 16th and early 17th centuries. It was amazing to see these items in person. They were all laid out on a table with bright lights for easy viewing. We are not allowed to touch anything, but Isobel, our docent, was happy to flip the items over so we could see both sides.

I will gradually post about the items we saw and share my observations. I cannot share my images online but am happy to show them to anyone that is interested at a work weekend or event or if you want to come by for a visit. The images I have posted here are from the Met website. Unfortunately for the first item all they have is B&W, one of the reasons I choose this bag to see in person.

Bag, first half 17th century British, Silk and metal thread; L. 4 5/8 x W. 4 5/8 inches (11.7 x 11.7 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, by exchange, 1929 (29.23.21) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/222248

Bag, first half 17th century
British,
Silk and metal thread; L. 4 5/8 x W. 4 5/8 inches (11.7 x 11.7 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, by exchange, 1929 (29.23.21)
http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/222248

The first item we saw was 29.23.21 a sweet bag. I was overwhelmed by how exquisitely delicate it is. Embroidered on white silk satin, the threads are incredibly delicate and fine; every stitch detailed.

The main motifs were different on each side of the bag. Something I haven’t seen before. The side not shown has a lovely pink/white tudor rose in middle, a blue borage in the upper right, a yellow and white pansy in the upper left, some blue leaf like thing in the lower left and a honeysuckle flower in the lower right corner.

The silk threads are a variety of soft whites, pinks, yellows, blues and more bold greens and blues used in a satin stitch for the motifs.  I am sure there is some fading with age, but I thought the piece in remarkably good condition. The motif on the lower left shown above has an underlying satin stitch fading from dark blue to light blue to white with gold silk threads couched on top to create a grid pattern. Then inside each grid is a tiny french knot.

The pailletes are incredibly tiny, about 2mm in diameter. Each one is secured with a tiny piece of purl. The coiling stems are pieces of couched purl (looks like rough purl – round gilt as opposed to flattened gilt) out-lined with a 3-ply twisted gold thread that is also couched down with a gold silk. The metal threads are a combination of tarnished silver and gold.

I briefly viewed the interior of the bag. The interior pink silk lining is quite pale and deteriorating. The purse string is the Green Dorge pattern I did for my sweet bag, 4 pink silk threads bordering two gold threads in the middle. Seems to be a popular pattern. It was easy to weave.

There are no tassels anywhere. The bead is woven similar to that described in Jacqui Carey’s book on Sweet Bags and that I used to make mine. There are turks head knots as well. The sides just look like they are sewn together and then lined with the 3 ply twisted gilt thread.

I enjoyed viewing this item in person, it was an incredible experience to see it, experience it and take the time to really look at it. Pictures just don’t do it justice.

The Famous Ratketcher

The Famous Ratketcher

with his travels into France, and of his returne to London

(To the Tune of Tom a Bedlam)

 

There was a rare Rat-catcher,

Did about the Country wander,

The soundest blade of all his trade,

Or I should him greatly slaunder.

          For still would he cry, a Tatt tat at tat

          tara ra rat to ever

          To catch a mouse, or to carouse,

         Such a Ratter I saw never.

 

Upon a Poale he carried

Full fourty fulsome Vermine:

Whose cursed lives without any Knives,

To take he did determine.

        And still would he cry, &c.

 

His talke was all of India

The Voyage and the Navie

What Mice or Rattes or wild Plcats,

What Stoates or Weesels have yee.

          And still would he cry, &c.

 

In London he was well knowne,

In many a stately House

He layde a Bayte, whose deadly fate

Did kill both Ratte and Mouse.

          And still would he cry, &c.

 

But on a time, a Mayden,

Did him so fair entice,

That for her a Baite, he layed straight,

Would kill no Rate nor Mice.

          And still would he cry, &c.

 

And on the baite she nibbled

So pleasing in her taste,

She likt so long, that the Poysin strong,

Did make her swell i’the waiste.

          For still would he cry, &c.

 

He subtly this perceiving,

To the Country straight doth hie him,

Where by his skill, he poysoneth still,

Such vermine as come nigh him.

           And still would he cry, &c.

 

He never careth whether

He be sober, lame, or tipsie,

He cab Collogue with any Rogue,

And cant with any Gipsie,

           And still would he cry, &c.

 

He was so brave a bowzer,

That it was doubtful whether

He taught the Rats, or the Rats taught him

To be drunke as Rats, together.

          And still would he cry, &c.

 

When he had tripped this Islande,

From Bristow unto Dover,

With Paineful Bagge and painted Flagge,

To France he sailed over.

          And still would he cry, a Tatt tat at tat

          tara ra rat to ever

          To catch a mouse, or to carouse,

          Such a Ratter I saw never.