Late Medieval Martial Service Contracts at Pennsic War XL, Part VII – Field Battle

Friday. My last contract.

Once again I was assigned a unit while the gentleman I made the agreement with had other obligations. Count Cellach was a champion and one of the King’s men. I lined up with the other fighters of the Lozengia household: a mix of black and white diamonds, blue and white diamonds, and oddballs like me in other colors and stripes. All too soon the first cannon fired and we were making our way across the field. We were to stick with another unit so we did our best to do that. Once the two armies met it was a little harder to stay in formation. Each of us would yell out and make our best attempt to reform. An opposing spear caught me and I was no longer able to shout out to my friends. We did it again but with a better understanding of our surroundings and goals. It went well as we folded in on the East. The next round was to be the last war point of the week, so I grabbed my polearm I had not yet fought with it this war. Cellach also joined us for the last pass and we ran out with the rest of the steam we had. Nothing epic, but solid fighting from both sides.

After field court His Excellency brought out the payment we agreed on. A particular case of ginger beer looked tasty to him and he insisted I share one of the four. Who was I to argue?

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Count Cellach and I sharing a moment over drinks, which just so happened to be his payment for my services. Photo credit: Janis Hurst.

It was not that easy to be released from this contract however. Lozengia has an annual “Black & Blue” battle which pits Duke Edmund’s troops (black & white lozengy) against Count Cellach’s (blue & white lozengy). This year we had a new knight, Sir Gebhard, who wore blue and gold so we split up into three teams: Black, Blue, and Gold. Because I was a hired sword, and I happened to be wearing some gold on my surcoat that day, I fought with Gebhard’s forces. It was 4 on 4 against each of the other teams. Plenty of smiles and laughter. After that I was officially released of my duties and left to finish off Pennsic in peace.

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My half of the Lozengia contract with a cup containing ginger beer from the last bottle His Excellency paid me.

The contract copy :

This indenture, made between the noble men Lord Arthur Nathaniel Archer, on the one hand, and Count Cellach on the other hand, bears witness that the aforesaid Lord Arthur, along with his arms, armor, and shield, is to remain as a man-at-arms with the aforesaid Cellach, for one day, the twelfth day of August, to go with the said Cellach wherever he wishes to make war, receiving the customary wages at the choice of Cellach, which is to say for himself, a bottle of sensible drink. And the aforesaid Cellach promises that he will pay to the Lord Arthur, before his departure from service, in full, as specified above. And in case the said Count Cellach wishes that he shall have support at court, Lord Arthur, as is specified above, shall advise his lord and pay him the traditional feudal aids required on the knighting of the lord’s eldest son, the marriage of the lord’s eldest daughter, and the ransoming of the lord should he be held captive. And concerning the prisoners which may be taken by the aforesaid Cellach, or by his men, the aforesaid Arthur shall have additional wages drawn of the profits of their ransom. Written at Pennsic, the sixth day of August, anno societatis, the year LI under our great King Cameron.

 And as it was penned in French:

Cet acte, fait entre les hommes nobles Lord Arthur Nathaniel Archer, d’une part, et le comte Cellach d’autre part, témoigne que le susdit Lord Arthur, avec ses armes, armures et bouclier, est de rester comme un homme d’armes avec le Cellach susdit, pour un jour, le douzième jour de Août, pour aller avec le dit Cellach partout où il veut faire la guerre, recevant les salaires usuels au choix du Cellach, ce qui veut dire pour lui-même, un bouteille de boisson sensible. Et le Cellach susdit promet qu’il versera au Lord Arthur, avant son départ du service, en totalité, comme indiqué ci-dessus. Et dans le cas où ledit Cellach comte souhaite qu’il aura le soutien à la cour, Lord Arthur, comme il est précisé ci-dessus, doit informer son seigneur et lui verser les aides féodales traditionnelles nécessaires à l’adoubement du fils aîné du seigneur, le mariage du seigneur de fille aînée et le rançonnement du seigneur doit-il être tenu captif. Et concernant les prisonniers qui peuvent être prises par le Cellach susdit, ou par ses hommes, Arthur susdit aura des salaires supplémentaires tirés des bénéfices de leur rançon. Rédigé à Pennsic, le sixième jour de Août, anno societatis, la LI année sous notre grand roi Cameron.

Friday ended up being the last day I was at Pennsic War XL. I have one more post after this one reflecting on my experiences with the martial contracts. Be on the lookout for the final piece of this story in Part XIII.

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