El Cerrito, CA
From The Page (March, 1997):
The spring's sun shines upon the field and pennons flutter In a breeze as the heralds cry out the challenges! The Company of St. George invites all to attend a tournament to be held April 26th at Camp Herms in El Cerrito. The Companions have chosen a stout bridge over which they will hold a grand pas d'armes which they will defend to honor the memory of that great hero Horatius, The two sides will fight over the Chasm of Disrepute, wlrere they meet a la plaisance for the pleasure of combat, exhorting one another to ever greater deeds of prowess and courtesy. Combatants who fall into the 'chasm' must retire to the gallery, where the ladles may set a martial task for them to be accomplished during the day. Perhaps they must fight tlie next engagement with only their left, or sinister hand; or with one eye covered, in the manner of the Cyclops, Or perhaps they must press over the bridge and attain the beachhead of the other side. Combatants who arrive late must expect to cliallenge into the field; they must win three successive fights on the bridge to be allowed to Join their more timely fellows, unless the gallery Intervenes on their behalf.
The first pass: combatants choose their opponent and shall fight with spears or poleaxes over the chasm. The second pass: combats will be fought with spears or poleaxes over the cliasm, each combatant allowed three good blows before they are eliminated. All spears must be nine feet or less in length. The third pass: combat over the bridge, the tenans vs the dedans, where all must wield only a single sword into the press, fighting until they have been struck three times. After each strike they must retire to the gallery and seek their leave to rejoin the fighting. The fourth pass: another single combat, where the each combatant will fight singly, using single swords or sword and shield, according to their pleasure, on the bridge. The fifth pass will be done by all combatants at once in a Grand Melee. It will be fought single sword only, and only over the bridge. Combatants fight until they succeed in reaching the other side of the bridge. If they are slain in the attempt, then they must retire once more to their camp, cry their war-cry, and return for another attempt. Combatants must reach the other side without wounds. Great honors are to be won for the first man across; the last man across is out of the lists for the remainder of the day, unless the gallery takes pity upon him. The sixth pass is a champion's engagement. Each man will step forward, making his way to the bridge armed with only with a greatsword, where they fight to 'first blood' against the challenger. The defeated knight retires to his side, while the victor continues to hold the bridge until defeated. All combatants may have three such attempts; the heralds will record the number of fights won by each in a single string. The 'winner' shall be known as 'Horatius' for the remainder of the day and into the evening, leading the nine worthies in a grand battle over the bridge using spears and poleaxes.
The site will open at 9AM, the fighting will commence at 10AM. Fighters are reminded to bring both sets of arm armour, gauntlets, and such weapons as are listed above.
That evening, a grand feast will be held, crafted from Her Grace, Juana Isabella de Montoya y Ramierz's kitchens. First remove — Whole roast lamb with sour cherry sauce; chicken with ginger and almond sauce; fava bean puree; asparagus with shallots; mushrooms stuffed with pancetta and garlic; and almond pastries. Second remove — Chicken stuffed with spinach, figs and pine nuts in a honey glaze; stuffed sardines; turnip cake; broccoli and fennel; chick peas with herbs; and fruit stewed in red wine.
There will be questions of chivalry to feed your spirit as you feast upon this fine banquet. Following the feast, there will be dancing and revelry for all to enjoy.
Site Fees: The cost for such a day is divided thusly: tournament only: $5/person, for the feast and the event: $12 if paid in advance and if reserved ahead and paid at the event itself: $15.
Steward for the event: Ceridwen MacAoudhegain (contact info omitted).
Description of this event (if any), taken from The Page, or from memory of at least one person who attended the event.
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).