Report on the Great Muster 1597

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

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.

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.


The cooks did prepare our meals upon an open hearth and expressed satisfaction with the kitchen’s accommodations


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

Butter was churned,

The Company fed well,

I know not this “chipotle”

and all had a Very Fulsome and Satisfying Dinner.


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.

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

a fine 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…OWW!


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,

…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

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

De-hatted him, she did


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

So, when’s the gambling start?

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

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.

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.

The Happie Obtaining of the Great Galleazzo

The Happie Obtaining of the Great Galleazzo

by Thomas Deloney, who is mysteriously absent at sea

To the tune of Monseurs Almaigne


O Noble England, Fall downe upon thy knee,

And praise thy God with thankfull hearte, Which still maintaineth thee.

The forraine forsce, that seeke thy utter spoile,

Shall then through His especiall grace, Be brought to shamefull foile.

With mightie pow’r they come unto our coast,

To overrun our Countrie quite, They make their brags and boast.


In strength of men, they set their onley stay,

But we, upon the Lord our God, Will put our trust alway.


This great Galleazzo, which was so huge and hye,

That like a bulwarke on the sea, Did seeme to each man’s eye.

There was it taken, unto our great reliefe,

And divers Nobles, in which train, Don Pietro was the chief.

Strong was she stuft, with Cannons great and smalle,

And other instruments of warre, Which we obtained all.

A certaine sign, of good successe we trust,

That God will overthrow the reste, As He hath done the firste.


Then did our Navie pursue the rest amaine,

With roaring noise of Cannons great, Till they neere Calais came.

With manly courage, they followed them so faste,

Another muightie Gallion, Did seeme to yield at last.

And in distresse, for safeguard of their lives,

A flag of truce they did hand out, With manie mournefull cries.

Which, when our men, did perfectly espie,

Some little Barkes they sent to her, To board her quietly.


This mightie vessel, was threescore yards in lengthe,

Most wonderfull to eache man’s eye, for making and for strength.

In her was placed, an hundreth Cannons greate,

And mightily provided eke, with bread-corne wine and meat.

There were of Oares, two hunderedth I weene,

Threescore foote and twelve in length, well measured to be seene.

And yet subdued, with manie others more,

And not a ship of ours was lost, the Lord be thankt therefore.


Lord God Almightie, which hath the heartes in hand,

Of ev’ry person to dispose, defend this Englidh land.

Bless Thou our Soveraigne with long and happie life,

Indue her Counsel with Thy Grace, and end this mortall strife.

Give to the rest, of Commons more and lesse,

Loving heartes, obedient minds, and perfect faithfullnesse.

That they and we, and all with one accord,

On Sion Hill may sing the prayse of our most mightie Lord.

The Cat’s Perch Inn

(More Gardiner’s music for the upcoming Muster)

The Cat’s Perch Inn

(A song whereas Master Robert Bedingfield doth Prayse the Inn.)

When returning from sea, I’m longing to see

A beautiful face so fine,

And I crave to partake of the finest of steaks,

And drink the sweetest of wines.

Where the music is beautiful,

And the alewives are dutiful,

And the prices are, oh, so fair

You’ll not find their kin at the Cat’s Perch Inn

‘Cause they have not a one of them there

Oh, the Cat’s Perch is not much to look at,

          A broken down inn, we confess.

          The music is rough

          And the women are tough

          But, oh Lord, the beer is the best.


Not one friendly face you’ll find in that place,

An inn for the hard-drinking man,

The inside is rank, and the outside is dank,

And we go there as oft as we can.

Good folks won’t go near it,

And constables fear it,

But we cherish it’s halls without fail

No power can stay us,

Or dare to delay us,

From drinking her God-blessed ale.

  Oh, the Cat’s Perch is not much to look at, &c.


When the thirst of the ages inside of us rages

Our gullet’s as dry as sand,

We follow the route to the brew that’s without

Compare in all of the land.

No matter the crop,

Oat, barley or hop

What comes from her kegs is quite sound.

To he that says “Fie it” I say he should try it

‘Ere his wife puts him in the ground.

Oh, the Cat’s Perch is not much to look at, &c.


When Gardiner’s had come  with pike, shot, and drum

To the Cat’s Perch to Muster thereby,

Sweet Fanny assailed them, and wined, dined, and aled them

And fed them on cake and cheese pie.

Master Robert had paid a fair muster’s wage,

James Hamilton’s cards led the deal,

The Reverend bewailed them, and the Gentlemen tailed them,

And all had a very fine meal.

Oh, the Cat’s Perch is not much to look at, &c.


Oh, the Cat’s Perch is not much to look at.

A decrepit old inn, there’s no worse.

The patrons are wary, And the women are scary,

But they have the best beer on this earth.

Gardiner’s at Pennsic 43

Gardiner’s Company had a fun camp this year at Pennsic, in the back of Vair and Ermine on Battle Road. In addition to cooking, sewing, fighting, and general frivolity, Gardiner’s members participated in three main events.

On Sunday, Gardiner’s members set-up and staffed a table at the Pennsic Arts and Sciences Display in the Great Hall. We had a great selection of goods from woodworking and armour to embroidery and clothing. We tried to share the love of late Sixteenth Century English life and goods to any who dropped by to take a look. Ester was our driving force in reserving space for herself and Gardiner’s Company, as well as arranging for a good host of members to staff the table and talk about the arts on display.

Isobel, Eleanor, and Ester with with the display of arts.

Monday afternoon manly displays of skill were seen as the men gathered for Pike Drill. Master Hamilton took the lads through a brief reminder of the commands before setting out to march around the Pennsic Market area thereby ensuring the safety of all, clearly driving away all those with ill-intents by the cunning display of ferocity. Zeke provided just enough color commentary to keep the lads entertained, and Adrian/Ian/Nigel/Ester’s brother led the crew in singing Jolly Broome Man and Amarylis to keep time.

We also held an Open Camp Night on Tuesday night that included many interesting and interested people, discussions varied from costumes to games to fighting, and lots of drinking.

Thanks all for a rousing Summer Muster, may we remember it fondly as winter’s chill creeps upon us.

More photos of the Arts and Sciences Display and Pike Drill are available. Alas, I believe we were all in our cups during the Open Camp night and neglected to take photos that evening.


Ruby Joust and Other Divers News

On Saturday the 24th of May, members of Gardner’s Company turned out at the SCA’s Ruby Joust to fence, frolic, share stuff we’ve made, and lure unsuspecting volunteers into the manly art of pike drill.

Zeke explains what's what.
Zeke explains what’s what.
Files fall in for instruction.
Files fall in for instruction.
Did he say "port" or "shoulder"?
Did he say “port” or “shoulder”?
Ah, right, that's better!
Ah, right, that’s better!
Marching off to the privies.
Marching off to the privies.
Ah, nothing like a pleasant afternoon marching about!
Ah, nothing like a pleasant afternoon marching about!
Saluting the assembled
Saluting the assembled mob…eh…populace.
Perhaps the most important pike maneuver: Assume a Lazy Posture.
Perhaps the most important pike maneuver: Assume a Lazy Posture.

A few weeks back, some our members attended Jamestown Day as costumed interpreters. Jane Gravesend was kind enough to grab a few pics of the Governor’s chair in its new home.
For those of you who do Facebook, Ester Pickering has completed an amazing embroidered sweet bag, which was also on display at Ruby Joust.

Yule 1594

Mistress Olivia Carlyle reports that a good time was had by all at the celebration of Yule 1594.  There were many new and delicious dishes served upon the board, and the mystery of Marcus Carlyle’s death has been solved. 

It seems that Nicholas Trent is indeed clumsy, and did strike his halberd upon Master Carlyle’s head!  This occurred whilst they were escaping from a tavern where a group of the Carlyle clan was being arrested for pirating.  In their haste, Master Trent betumbled down the hill and did kill Master Carlyle.  Master Trent feared that no one would believe it was an accident, so he did move the body and escape to the most southern reaches of Ireland.  Master Gamble did determine that Master Carlyle died of a blow from a halberd, based on the wound.  Master Gamble also decided that it was at the hand of Nicholas Trent, since he was nowhere to be found he could take the blame.  Hence, the story we have always known. 

Ezekiel cleverly solved the mystery, finding the confession hidden within the journal found amongst Master Carlyle’s recently returned belongings.

Thanks to all who were able to attend, and adding to the enjoyable evening.

Yule Celebration

Gardiner’s Companie will be gathering for a Yule celebration at a banqueting hall in Southwark (Abingdon, MD), on the 25th of January. Alas our festivities come with a shadow from the past.

Mistress Carlyle has received a letter and a box of things from her dead husband’s Scottish relatives that has her quite puzzled.  The box contains her husband’s personal effects from when he was in Ireland.  A letter was found in the box that doesn’t make any sense and the family is wondering what it means.  At Yule we hope to puzzle out the mystery of Marcus Carlyle (Mistress Carlyle’s late husband) and what exactly happened to him in Ireland.

If you would like to attend and help us solve the mystery, reach out to your Gardiner’s Company friends.

Some Background on The Battle of Smeewick (Smerwick, Smewick…), or also known as the Second Desmond Rebellion

Situation in Ireland leading to the Battle of Smeewick: English settlers confiscated Irish land; English Military Governors; outlawed Irish speech, dress, customs etc.; forced the reformation; remembered atrocities during the earlier rebellion; limited the Earl of Desmond’s powers to raise and maintain troops. In 1580 John of Desmond fought vicious skirmishes against the English. The English, specifically the Earl of Ormonde, in return laid waste to the territory of Desmond. A survivor of the first rebellion solicited gaid from Pope Gregory XIII (who had proclaimed Elizabeth a heretic in 1570) who agreed to finance and supply an invasion of Ireland.

The Pope and King Philip of Spain did send reinforcements in the summer of 1580 at Smerwick, bringing arms and money. The English, however, had knowledge of the Spanish and raced to lay siege to Smeewick also establishing an English naval blockade. The Papal force was caught in a trap hemmed in by the English, the sea and Mount Bandon. The Papal forces numbered about 700 men while the English had a force of around 4,000, including Gardiners Companie.

The siege lasted three days. The Papal commander sought terms. The English may have offered clemency but many say that they did and then betrayed the promise. End result, the entire Papal force, foreign and Irish, men and women, were slaughtered and beheaded. Their heads were thrown into a field and the bodies were tossed into the sea.

Marcus Carlyle was the only casualty on the English side.

Fall Muster

Fall Muster was held on a chilly day, but members and friends of the Company gathered in good spirits, and trained with pikes and shote, and then feasted heartily.

Our head cook hard at work over the fire.


Introduction to the Musket

Firing of hand gonnes


Feasting midday upon the fruits of the cooks’ labors

More pictures are available including the pike drill and the swarming of the peddler’s booth.