A persona is best described as your history – who you are, where you were born, who your parents were, what occupation you have, where you live and other important details.

Gardiner’s Company re-creates a community of lower- and middle-classes in 16th Century Southwark/London society. The time moves between 1584 and 1603. The period year relates to the modern year, starting in 2004 (2004 = 1584; 2010 = 1590, etc.). Once we get to 1603 (in 2023), we’ll re-set and 2024 will be 1584 again. 

It is simpler to re-create the middle-class, as doing an aristocratic persona requires servants, a very high level of clothing, equipment, and furniture. Middle class personas are just more fun and less constrained.  Male personas tend to participate in military activities while female personas would focus on domestic activities.  Most personas within Gardiners company have middle class occupations such as joiner, instrument maker, baker, or rat-catcher.  

The easiest starting point is with a name. The Education Officer can help with resources for period names.  


There were no “Masterless Men”, which is to say that everyone worked forsomeone and had a defined place in Society.

What do you do?
Are you in a guild?
Do you have a license?
Are you an apprentice? A journeyman? Independent? (outside of the City of London)
Are you a servant?
Where do you work?
Income: (Usually given in yearly amounts, but can be a daily rate)

Trained Bands Connection: 

By law all able bodied men were part of the Bandes and musters were social events as well as an opportunities to network

Which unit are you in (pike; counties)?; OR
What sort of support job (cook, clerk, spouse)? What connections to you have with other Bandes members?
Do you see them outside musters?
Would your persona see them on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?


Women did not attend school, but often were trained to help with running the business

Can your persona read? Write? How well?
If your persona is male, did you go to school? (petty school, grammar school, home schooled)How many languages do you speak? Do you have a degree?

Place of Residence:

Where does your persona live in Southwark?
What parish? (St Saviour’s, St. Mary Ovaries, etc.)
What street? Do you know which house? Do you rent? Own?
Do you share living space with others?
Is your persona a member of a household? Which one and what relation?

Place of Origin:

Most members of a Trayned Bandes are English.  It’s more difficult to incorporate a foreign-born persona into an early-modern period English society.  

Where were you born?
Probably in London or closeby
Which village?


Your persona can have imaginary children and a spouse, but real children and spouses are welcome. We suggest keeping young children’s names the same.

Who were/are your parents? (names and father’s occupation)
Are they alive? Where do they live?
Are you married? Do you have children? What are their names?


Trayn’d Bandes of London Publications

  • –  The Englishe Breviat
    –  The Elizabethan Trained Bands
    –  Pious, Bibulous and Rude (song and game book)
    –  The Tudor-Stuart Sourcebook
    –  A Living History Guide to Elizabethan Southwark

Additional Publications

The Elizabethan Handbook, Vox Clamantis Monograph 2

The Elizabethan Language Book, G. Zepeda, Renaissance Entertainment Corp.

Daily Life in Elizabethan England, J. Singman, Greenwood Press

John Strype’s Map of St. Saviour’s and St. George’s parishes in Southwark
John Strype’s Map of St. Olave’s and St. Mary Magdalen’s parishes in Southwark