In the early medieval period the proclamation and organisation of tournaments was the chief function of heralds. They marshalled and introduced the contestants and kept a tally of the score. From this derive both their modern roles of organising ceremonial and of being expert in armory.

The knights taking part in tournaments were recognised by the arms they bore on their shields and the crests they wore on their helmets. Heralds soon acquired an expert knowledge of these and became responsible for recording arms, and then later for controlling their use.

As coats of arms were hereditary heralds soon came to add expertise in genealogy to their skills. The use of arms on the jousting field and in battle became steadily less important but at the same time the civilian, social and antiquarian uses of heraldry grew.

Toppin Aubrey, York Herald

Aubrey Toppin (1881-1969), York Herald

Although many of the ceremonial duties of heralds have disappeared they still carry out and organize under the Earl Marshal, certain extremely ancient and splendid ceremonies.In June each year at Windsor Castle is held the procession and service of the Sovereign and Knights Companion of the Order of the Garter. The State Opening of Parliament, usually in November, is another magnificent ceremony. The Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, is one of the two Great Officers of State and the office is hereditary in his family. He has particular powers of supervision over the heralds and the College of Arms.

The arrangement of State funerals and the monarch's Coronation in Westminster Abbey fall under the jurisdiction of the Earl Marshal, and the heralds have a role in their organization.

At all these ceremonies the heralds wear their highly distinctive medieval uniform, the tabard. This is a coat embroidered on its front, back and sleeves with the Royal Arms.

In medieval times, there were heralds in the service both of the monarch and of certain great noblemen. Heralds were part of the royal household in the thirteenth century and perhaps as early as the twelfth century. From 1420 the Royal heralds had a common seal and acted in some ways like a corporation. In 1484 they were granted a charter of incorporation by Richard III, and given a house in Coldharbour in Upper Thames Street, London to keep their records in. When Henry VII defeated Richard and took the crown in 1485 he wrested Coldharbour from the heralds and gave it to his mother. They received the charter under which they now operate from Queen Mary and her husband Philip of Spain in 1555, together with the site of the present College of Arms on which then stood Derby Place. This building was the College of Arms until it burnt down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The present College building dates from the 1670s. 

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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