About Leicester

Leicester has been a member since April 22nd 2012, and has created 16 posts from scratch.

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Food and Your Life Style

In general, people eat two meals a day:

Dinner, at midday say 11:00 or 12:00
Supper, in the evening, about 6:00.
Husbandmen and others whose work is never done may have their supper as late as 9:00.

It is best to refer to having dinner instead of lunch or even luncheon. Invite people to dine with you, or ask “Where shall we dine today?”


Gentlemen Dining
Schoolboys, working people, and housewives get up around 5 or 6 am, or even earlier. These people do not wait till 11:00 to eat.

Breakfast is simply a matter of breaking one’s fast on arising, and is not considered a formal meal. It is also not considered to be “the most important meal of the day.”

At Court, depending on the day’s activities, or last night’s, you probably arise somewhat later, and have a little bread and ale while being fussed over by your servants as they get you dressed and barbered, made-up and perfumed, and so on.

Of course, if (like a personal servant or a Lady of the Bedchamber) you are in charge of getting someone else dressed, you get up before they do. And your servants get up even earlier. Which may be one reason why the kitchens at Court never close.

A gentleman often has his dinner “out”, either eating at an ordinary or buying food at a cook shop and taking it home. An ordinary is both the tavern that serves a daily fixed-price meal—plate of stew, loaf of bread, pot of ale—and the meal itself.

A gentleman who can’t cadge a dinner invitation may say he is “dining with Duke Humphrey tonight.”

In town, many houses have no proper kitchen. You may cook over the hearth, or prepare food and take it to a cook shop, and pick it up later, ready to eat. Few homes have their own oven, so you may make up your own bread but take it to a baker who, for a fee, will bake it for you.

Since we do not yet have tea, we do not yet have Tea Time.


From: A Compendium of Common Knowledge: 1558-1603

14 Tips To Have A Magical Visit To The Central Coast Renaissance Festival

The Central Coast Renaissance Festival will turn San Luis Obispo’s Laguna Lake Park into a Renaissance village on July 16 & 17. This is truly the most unique summer festival in San Luis Obispo County.

So what should you expect? From the moment you arrive you’ll see folks dressed quite a bit differently from today’s dress. From peasants to middle class to nobility, the over 500 costumed participants populating the village represent every level of society from the late 1500s in England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Spain and the Far East.

Four stages of entertainment offer everything from music, singing, and dance of the period to comedy shows, ribald juggling shows, magic, acrobatics, storytelling, Shakespeare, buffoonery and much more.

Here’s some advice to get the most from your visit:

1. Get there early to beat the crowds. You can purchase tickets ahead of time athttp://ccrenfaire.com/get-tickets/.  Of course, you can get tickets when you get there but this saves standing in line.

2. Wear good walking shoes, wear sunscreen and bring a hat. You’ll probably spend many hours outdoors and we want you to be comfortable.

3. Take photos!  These characters have spent countless hours and dollars to get their costumes. No matter how regal they may appear, they are more than happy to pose for a photo. Don’t forget to take photos of yourself, your friends and family too. There are so many wonderful photo opportunities!

4. Watch a show. There are over 25 acts on four stages. All of them repeat at least once so you have a chance to see everything. Look for the posted stage schedules and pick up a program when you enter.

5. Take time to shop. There are over 60 vendors selling period items you will not find anywhere else. From leather goods to pottery, drinking vessels, hats, masks, perfumes, swords, jewelry and full costumes, there is something for everyone.

6. Enjoy the food. By all means try a barbecued turkey leg, the staple of Renaissance Festival food. There are meat pies, bangers, pulled pork sandwiches, tri-tip, ribs, fruit tarts, Thai food, ice cream and much more. You can wash it down with freshly squeezed lemonade, tea, beer, ale, honey mead and fine local wines. There’s even Hawaiian Shave Ice (I know, it isn’t period) to cool you down.

7. Bring the kids. This is a family event. There’s a costume contest at 1:30 on both days for kids. Everyone gets a prize. There are Shetland pony rides for the young ones, face painting, games, storytelling and a magic show they can participate in.

Sunday is Pirate Day and kids can climb aboard a 25-foot pirate ship and enter Buccaneer Boot Camp, where they’ll learn swashbuckling with balloon swords and learn to talk like a pirate. Arrrrr.

There’s also a free pirate’s treasure hunt on Sunday. Kid’s get a booty bag to go about the village collecting treasures from the vendors and guilds.

8. Try the language. When someone greets you with “Good Day My Lord (or Lady),” just say it back. You’ll quickly learn a few phrases that make you feel part of the fantasy.

9. Learn to juggle. The juggling school will have you juggling three balls in 10 minutes. It’s free, fun and good for your brain.10. Wander around. There are twisting trails throughout the forested village. You’ll encounter something enchanting at every turn, whether that’s a roving minstrel, a madrigal group, musicians or a group of fascinating characters.

11. Visit the Royal Court. Queen Elizabeth and her nobles are every bit as impressive as anything you’ve seen in movies and yes, they’ll pose for photos. You’ll see them dancing, entertaining Her Majesty, having a royal feast for lunch, and parading through the village.

Oh, my. The Spanish Armada is sailing to take over England. What will we do? At 4:00 the Queen will address the adoring crowd at the Glorianna Stage to reassure them. You don’t want to miss that.

12. Try something you’ve never tried before. Ever tasted honey mead? We have it. How about handmade root beer and cream sodas, just like in the old days? Yep, we have those too, and they are delightful. Handmade fruit tarts, yes, and have those with some ice cream. It’s heavenly!

13. Get your hair braided. Add some dried flowers. Oh, so pretty. How about a henna tattoo?

14. Really get into the spirit and buy a Renaissance shirt or blouse, a bodice or jerkin, maybe a hat, some leggings, boots… we have it all and are happy to get you properly dressed for the time period.

This is a quick sample of the wide range of things to do, see, eat and enjoy at the festival.

Hours are 10 AM – 7 PM on Saturday and until 6 PM on Sunday. Carpool with your friends and come for the time of your life.

You can purchase tickets ahead of time at http://ccrenfaire.com/get-tickets/ and skip the ticket lines.

Visit http://CCRenFaire.com for more information.

The Shakespeare Book

The ShThe Shakespeare Book - primary imageakespeare Book brings the work of William Shakespeare to life with full-color photography, images, idea webs, timelines, and quotes that help you understand the context of Shakespeare’s plays and poems.

From Shakespeare’s most-famous plays, such as Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar, to less-frequently performed works such as King John and Henry VIII, every play of the Shakespearean canon is collected in this comprehensive guide, along with his major poems and best-loved sonnets.

In The Shakespeare Book each play includes an at-a-glance guide to story chronology, so you can easily get back on track if you get lost in Shakespeare’s language. Character guides provide a handy reference for casual readers and an invaluable resource for playgoers, and students writing reports on Shakespeare.

Packed with infographics and explanations of plots and including an introduction to Shakespeare’s life and times, The Shakespeare Book is the ultimate guide to understanding the work of William Shakespeare.


“Generous helpings of illustrations, time lines, plot diagrams, and character guides ensure that even readers in their ‘salad days’ will enjoy every dish at the Shakespearean feast.” – Booklist

Order here.

Faire Names For English Folk

From: From: Chris Laning claning@econet.org
Date: July 1999
Subject: (NEW!!) Faire Names for English Folk


Are you tired of people named “Chastity Sweetlips” or “Obadiah Cockswinger”? Do you want a source of REAL names for Elizabethan England?

Here it is! Based on new studies of Elizabethan naming practices, Faire Names for English Folk is the most complete easy-to-use guide to choosing a historical Elizabethan name for your Faire character.

Read it, use it, and pass it on! (Please read the copyright notice at the end.)




There are not many easy sources for people wishing to choose a character name specifically for Elizabethan England. Here is an attempt to provide one. This article contains a list of solidly documented names from 16th century England, along with some insights into how names were chosen and used.


If you were born in Elizabethan England, you would be named by your parents when you were baptized. Usually this was just a few days after your birth It was not, however, your parents who actually presented you at the church; it was your godparents: ideally, two women and a man if you were a girl, two men and a woman if you were a boy. It was very common for parents to try to get godparents who were higher in social status than themselves, such as local nobles or prominent people in town. Many parents also asked the baby’s grandparents, aunts or uncles to serve as godparents.

One reason the choice of godparents was important is that you would most likely be named after one of them. According to Scott Smith-Bannister’s recent study (see Sources section for references) about 75% to 85% of children were given the name of a godparent, in the cases where we know both the children’s and the godparents’ names.

His data also show that if you were not named for a godparent, you would probably be named after a parent or another close relative. You were especially likely to get the name of a particular godparent or relative if they had a lot of money or status. You and the person you were named after were referred to as “namesakes.” Thus, parents clearly did choose a child’s name with care, but usually only a few names were possible, or considered, for any one child.



Your first name, the one given to you at baptism, was your “Christian name” or “given name.” It remained the same all your life, though you might, of course, go by a nickname (Molly for Mary, Tom for Thomas).

An Elizabethan character would NOT use what we now call a “middle name,” which is essentially an extra given name (as in Katherine Anne Cox or John Francis Ferrer). Double given names were slowly spreading on the Continent, but the custom had not yet reached England, and in fact did not become really common in English-speaking countries until much later, as late as the 19th century in places. We know of literally only a couple of dozen cases in all of Elizabethan England (before 1600), and most of them are among the nobles or people who were born abroad, such as Jane Sybilla Grey, who was born in France.



As for last names, the most common type was the kind we use now, a surname or family name inherited from your father; if he was Edward Langley, you would be Mary Langley.

Interestingly, your last name was not quite as fixed as your first name. For instance, occasionally a family name might change. (As with many naming customs, money or status was often involved.) The family of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, was originally named Sutton; when they acquired the Dudley lands and title, most family members began using Dudley as their surname. The change was not quite complete in Robert’s generation, and he was sometimes referred to as “Robert Duddeley alias Sutton”.

You might also be better known, especially in your local village, by a “byname” than by an inherited surname. A baker named Jeremy Staple might be known as Jeremy Baker or Master Baker rather than Master Staple. In some cases this might be passed on to his children and become the new family surname. Or if there were several Jeremys in the area and one was especially tall, short, red-haired, disabled, etc., or came originally from elsewhere, he might be called Jeremy Little, Lame Jeremy, or Jeremy Bristol.



In the twentieth century we draw given names from an unusually large “name pool.” A name pool is a list or concept of what members of the culture feel are appropriate things to name people. For instance, we would probably accept that Alisha or Devin or Jothan or LaShalla are “names.” But while “moon” and “unit” are perfectly okay English words, Moon Unit Zappa doesn’t seem like a person’s name to us; these words are not in our name pool.

The Elizabethan pool of given names was MUCH smaller than ours. There were only about 30 to 40 common names in circulation for each gender, with perhaps another 100 or so that you would run across from time to time. According to Janell Lovelace’s statistics, eventy percent of all women were named Elizabeth, Joan, Margaret, Anne, Alice, Agnes, Mary, Jane or Katherine. More than one out of every four men was named John, and 70% of all men were named John, Thomas, William, Richard, or Robert.

The name pool for surnames was much larger. This booklet lists over 1,000 surnames and is by no means comprehensive. One reason is that while given names traditionally came mainly from a limited number of popular European saints, surnames come from a much greater variety of sources: place names (Nottingham, Boston), occupations (Chandler, Osteller), a father’s or ancestor’s given name (Philips, Johnson), or other bynames (Cristemas, Prowd, White).



People sometimes get the impression that Biblical and “virtue” names were common in England at this time, especially among Puritans. This is only partly true. Smith-Bannister’s study shows that a few names from the Bible, like Mary, John, Elizabeth and Thomas, were indeed common, and had been so for generations. And Charity and Grace do make it into his top 50 women’s names. But the more exotic names, like Bathsheba or Ezra, and most of the “virtue” names like Prudence or Reformation, were not much thought of until the 1630s and 1640s — two generations after Queen Elizabeth. And Smith-Bannister’s studies of individual counties show that even in the most heavily Puritan districts, only about one out of six children was given either of these types of names.



The list of the most common men’s given names in England stayed pretty nearly constant from the 1530s through 1700, especially the top four or five names, though the exact order changed a bit. It’s notable how dominant the top few names are; the top five names account for 70% of all men studied. The figures from Janell Lovelace are:

  • John . . . 29%
  • Thomas . . .14%
  • William . . .14%
  • Richard . . . 7%
  • Robert . . . 6%
  • Henry . . . 3%
  • Nicholas . . . 3%
  • Edward . . . 2%
  • Walter . . . 2%

The top 50 men’s names listed by Scott Smith-Bannister for the 1560s and 1570s (a larger sample, with a more specific date ocus) follow this trend fairly well. Reading down from the first column, in order from most common to least, they are:

John Nicholas Leonard Samuel Arthur
Thomas Ralph Martin Allen David
William Christopher Simon Charles Fulke
Robert Anthony Peter Alexander Luke
Richard Matthew Philip Gregory Mathias
Henry Edmund Stephen Nathaniel Tobias
George Walter Lawrence Abraham Isaac
Edward Hugh Roger Barnaby Jerome
James Andrew Daniel Geoffrey Joseph
Francis Humphrey Michael Reynold Rowland

Some additional, slightly less popular names are:

Adam Bartholomew Gerard Lancelot Oswyn
Adrian Benedict Gilbert Mark Piers
Ambrose Bernard Giles Miles Solomon
Avery Cuthbert Julian Oliver Valentine



The top five to ten women’s given names are somewhat more variable from decade to decade, and not quite so dominant. It takes nine names rather than five to account for 70% of all women studied, and Elizabeth, the most common women’s name, is only about half as common as John is for men. The figures from Janell Lovelace are:

  • Elizabeth . . . 15%
  • Joan . . . 12%
  • Margaret . . . 11%
  • Anne . . . 9%
  • Alice . . . 8%
  • Agnes . . . 6%
  • Isabel . . . 4%
  • Katherine . . . 3%
  • Mary . . . 3%
  • Jane . . . 3%
  • Margery . . . 2%

The top 50 women’s names listed by Scott Smith-Bannister for the 1560s and 1570s follow this trend fairly well. In approximate order from most common to least, they are:

Elizabeth Isabel Christian Barbara Julian
Joan Dorothy Edith Rachel Philippa
Margaret Margery Emma Charity Audrey
Agnes Susanna Lucy Mabel Helen
Alice Ellen Martha Millicent Janet
Anne Sarah Marion Rose Sybil
Mary Clemence Cecily Thomasin Ursula
Jane Frances Frideswide Fortune Avis
Catherine Joyce Grace Gillian Beatrice
Elinor Bridget Amy Judith Blanche

Some additional, slightly less common names are:

Ruth Constance Florence Maria Parnell
Wilmot Denise Josian Maud Rebecca
Christina Ellen Lettice Mildred Winifred



I have edited Janell Lovelace’s list of surnames with an eye towards Faire. Some of the spellings have been modernized so the names are recognizable, and so that it’s clear how to pronounce them, since names at Faire are more often spoken than written. I’ve removed duplicates, and a few names have been dropped because they have very strong associations with one or more famous people from Elizabeth’s reign — a theatrical decision, not a historical one. There are still over 1,000 to choose from:    (or you can skip this long table.)

Abell Charlis Fitton Lond Saynsbery
Abery Chase Gage London Scarclyf
Acworth Chatwyn Galey Long Scollfyld
Adams Chauncey Garard Longton Scot
Alard Chaundeler Gardyner Lovell Scrogs
Albyn Cheberell Gare Loveney Scrope
Aldebourne Chechester Garneys Loveryk Sedley
Alfraye Cheddar Garret Lowe Sedlow
Alikok Chelde Gascoigne Lowthe Seger
Alington Chelseye Gasper Lucy Selwyn
Alleine Chernocke Gavell Ludsthorp Sencler
Amcottes Chester Gaynesford Luke Sentjohn
Amondesham Chetwoode Geddyng Lumbarde Serche
Andrews Cheyne Geffray Lupton Sever
Annesley Child George Lyfelde Seymour
Ansty Chowne Gerard Lymsey Seyntaubyn
Archer Chudderle Gerville Lynde Seys
Ardalle Churmound Geste Lyon Sharman
Arderne Chylton Gibbs Lyrypine Shawe
Argentein Chyrche Gifford Lysle Sheffeld
Arnold Claimond Gilbert Lytcott Sheraton
Arthur Clarell Ginter Lyttleburye Sherbourne
Asger Clark Glenham Lytton Sherman
Ashenhurst Clavell Glennon Lyveryche Shevington
Ashtor Claybrook Glover Makepiece Shingleton
Askew Cleffort Goberd Malemayns Shipwash
Asplyn Clement Goddam Malster Shiveley
Assheby Clerk Godfrey Maltoun Shorditch
Assheton Clifton Golde Malyns Shosmyth
Astley Clitherow Golding Manfield Shotbolt
Atherton Clopton Goldwell Manston Shylton
Atkinson Clyfford Gomersall Mapilton Sibill
Atlee Cobbe Gomfrey Marcheford Silvester
Addicock Cobham Gonson Mareys Skipwith
Attilburgh Coblegh Good Markeley Sleford
Aubrey Cockayne Goodenouth Marsham Slyfield
Audeley Cod Goodere Marten Smith
Auldyngton Codington Goodluck Mason Snayth
Aumberden Coffyn Goodnestone Massyngberde Snell
Ayde Coggeshall Goodryke Maudit Snelling
Ayleward Colard Goodryngton Mauntell Sotton
Aylmer Colby Goodwyn Maycot Sparrow
Aynesworth Cole Goring Maydestone Spebynton
Ayshecombe Colkins Gorney Mayne Speir
Babham Colmer Gorste Maynwaring Spelman
Babyngton Colt Gosebourne Mede Spencer
Bacon Complyn Grafton Medeley Spetyll
Badby Compton Greenway Merden Spicer
Bailey Conquest Grene Mereworth Sprottle
Baker Cooke Grenefeld Merstun Sprunt
Balam Coorthopp Greville Merton Stace
Baldwin Copinger Grey Metcalf Stanbury
Ballard Corbett Grobbam Michelgrove Standon
Ballett Corby Grofhurst Millys Stanley
Bamard Cosworth Groston Milsent Stanwix
Barantyn Cossale Grove Moland Staple
Barber Cosyngton Grymbalde Molyngton Staunton
Bardolf Cotton Guildeforde Molyns Staverton
Baret Coulthurst Gyll Monde Stepney
Barfoot Courtenay Gysborne Montacute Stevyn
Barker Covert Gyttyns Montagu Stodeley
Barnes Cowill Hache Moore Stoke
Barre Cox Hackeman More Stokerton
Barrentyne Crane Haddock Morecote Stokes
Barstaple Cranford Haddon Morley Stokey
Bartelot Crawley Hadresham Mortymer Stokton
Barton Crekett Hakebourne Moryet Stocks
Basset Cressy Hale Morys Stone
Batherst Crispe Hall Motesfont Stoner
Battersby Cristemas Halley Mowfurth Stoughton
Battyl Crocker Halshan Mugge Strachleigh
Baynton Crugge Hambard Mullens Strader
Beauchamp Cryppys Hammer Muston Strangewayes
Beaumont Cuddon Hamond Myddilton Strelley
Beaurepaire Culpeper Hampden Myllet Strete
Bedell Cunnyngham Hancock Mylner Stubbe
Bedgbery Curson Hansart Narbrige Styles
Bedingfeld Curteys Harbird Nash Stylle
Beel Daelyngridge Harbotle Neceham Styward
Beer Dagworth Harcourt Nele Sulyard
Bekyngham Dale Hardy Nevinson Sumner
Bell Dalison Harewell Newdegate Swan
Bende Damsell Hargreve Newman Swetecok
Bennet Danet Harlakinden Noke Swetenham
Benthey Danvers Harleston Norbury Switte
Berdwell Darcy Harley Norden Symeon
Berecraft Darley Harpeden Norrys Symons
Beresford Daubernoun Harper North Tabard
Berkhead Daunce Harris Northwoode Tame
Bernard Daundelyon Harryses Norton Taylor
Bernewelt Dauntesay Harte Norwich Tedcastle
Berney Davers Harwood Norwood Theobauld
Berry Davy Hasard Notfelde Thomas
Berwyk Dawne Hatteclyff Notyngham Thornburgh
Best Day Haukesworth Nysell Thorne
Beton Deacons Hawkins Obson Thornton
Bettesthorne Delabere Hawtrey Oke Thorp
Bewforest Delamere Haye Oken Throkmorton
Bewley Dely Hayes Oliver Thursby
Bexley Demoke Hayton Olyngworthe Tibborde
Bigley Dencourt Helme Osborne Tilghman
Bilingford Dene Henshawe Osteler Tiploft
Bischoptree Denton Herleston Osyllbury Topsfield
Bishop Denys Heron Outlawe Torryngton
Bladwell Dericote Hertcombe Oxenbrigg Tothyll
Blakeley Dering Herwy Page Town
Blakewell Deryngton Hewes Pagge Tregonwell
Blaknall Desford Heydon Palmer Treningham
Blakwall Digby Heywood Panshawe Trenowyth
Blakwell Dixton Heyworth Papley Trevet
Blenerhayset Doddle Hicchecok Parker Trumpington
Blexham Dogmersfield Higate Parret Tubney
Blodwell Donnet Higden Parris Turner
Blome Doreward Hille Parsons Twarby
Blondell Dormer Hoare Paston Tweedye
Blount Dove Hobart Pattesley Tyndall
Blundell Dow Hobert Payne Tyrell
Boddinham Downer Hodgeson Peacok Ufford
Bohan Draper Holbrook Pecke Underhill
Boote Draw Holcot Peckham Unton
Boothe Drayton Holes Peele Upton
Borell Driland Holland Pekham Urswic
Borrow Dryden Holsey Peletoot Vass
Bosby Dunch Holt Peltie Vaughan
Bost Duncombe Holton Pemberton Vawdrey
Bostock Dunham Hopton Pen Veldon
Boston Duredent Horman Penhallick Verney
Boteler Dusteby Hornebolt Pennebrygg Vernon
Bothy Dye Hornley Perchehay Vinter
Bouldre Dygenys Horsey Perot Wade
Bourne Dyneley Horthall Perryvalle Wadham
Boville Dynham Horton Petham Wake
Bowcer Echyngham Hosteler Petley Waldegrave
Bowett Edgar Hotham Pettit Waldeley
Bownell Edgcomb Howard Pettwoode Walden
Bowthe Edgerley Huchenson Peyton Walford
Bowyar Edwards Huddleston Phelip Walkden
Bradbridge Egerton Hugeford Philips Walker
Bradshawe Eggerley Hunden Playters Wallace
Bradstane Eglisfelde Hungate Plessi Walley
Bradston Eldysley Hunston Plymmyswoode Walrond
Bramfield Elmebrigge Hurst Poffe Walsch
Brampton Elyot Hussey Pole Waltham
Branche Elys Hyde Polsted Walton
Branwhait Emerson Hyenson Polton Wanteley
Brassie Engeham Hylderley Porter Wappelode
Braunstone Engleford Hyll Portyngton Warbulton
Bray Englysche Inwood Potter Warde
Brayles Epworth Isley Poulet Wardeby
Brecknock Erewaker Jackmann Pownder Wardrieu
Bredham Ermyn Jackson Pratt Wardyworth
Brent Ertham James Pray Warner
Bret Esmund Janner Prelatte Warren
Brewse Estbury Jarman Prophete Wayte
Brewster Estney Jay Prowd Webb
Brewys Estone Jendring Purlles Weekes
Bridgeman Etton Jenney Pursglove Welbek
Briggs Everard Johnson Purvoche Welby
Brinckhurst Everdon Jordan Pygott Wellins
Brodeway Evrenden Joslyne Pylet Wenman
Brodnax Evyngar Joulon Pynnoke Wensley
Brokhill Eyer Jowchet Pynty West
Brocksby Eyston Kekilpenny Quintin Westbrook
Brome Fabyan Kellett Radley Westlake
Brook Faldo Kelly Rampston Weston
Brougham Fane Kemp Ramsey Wetherden
Broughton Faryndon Kent Ratcliff Wexcombe
Brouncker Faylare Keriell Rawlyn Whalley
Brownflet Fayneman Kesteven Rawson White
Brownyng Felbrigg Key Raynsford Whitewood
Browet Feld Kidwelly Rede Whowood
Brown Fenton Killigrew Redman Whytton
Brudenell Ferrer Kinge Reeve Whytyng
Bryan Feversham Knevynton Reynes Wightman
Bryn Ffrewyll Knighton Reynesford Wilkins
Brystowe Fienley Knody Richeman Willardsey
Bulkeley Finch Knoyll Rikhill Williams
Bulstrode Fitzgeffrey Knyvet Risley Willmer
Burgess Fitzherbert Kottow Roberts Willys
Burgh Fitzlewis Kydwelly Robertson Wilson
Burghehyll Fitzralph Kyllyngworth Robins Windham
Burgoyn Fitzwarym Kyrkeby Robynson Wingfield
Burlton Fitzwilliyam Kytson Rochester Wiseman
Burnell Fleet la Barre Rochforth Woodbrygge
Burton Fleming la Hale Roland Woode
Buryngton Fletewoode la Penne Rolleston Woodeward
Bushe Flexney Lacy Rondel Wolrond
Buslingthorpe Flower Laken Ront Wolstonton
Bushbury Fodde Lamber Roper Worsley
Butler Fogg Lambton Rotheley Wotton
Byfield Foliot Langeton Rous Wreke
Byllyng Foljambe Langham Rowdon Wrenne
Byngham Follywolle Langstone Rowe Wright
Byrde Folon Lappage Rowlatt Wulvedon
Byschoppeson Folsham Latham Rowley Wyard
Caley Forde Latton Rudhall Wyatt
Callthorp Fortescue Launceleyn Rufford Wyddowsoun
Campeden Fortey Lave Ruggenale Wyghtham
Canon Fowler Lawnder Ruggeweyn Wylcotes
Canteys Fox le Bone Rusche Wylde
Cantilupe Francey Leeche Russell Wylmot
Carbonall Frankeleyn Leeds Ryall Wymer
Cardiff Fraunces Lehenard Rykeworth Wyncall
Carew Freer Leigh Rynger Wynston
Carlyll Freville Leighlin Ryppringham Wynstryngham
Carter Frilende Leman Sacheverell Wynter
Cary Frilleck Lenton Sackville Wythinghall
Caseberde Frogenhall Lestrange Sadler Wyvil
Cassy Fromond Letterford Salford Yate
Castell Froste Leventhorpe Salle Yaxley
Castletown Frowseloure Leverer Salter Yden
Catesby Frye Leveson Saltonstall Yelverton
Cavell Fryth Lewys Sampson Yerde
Caxaton Fulburne Leynham Samuell York
Cely Fulmer Leynthall Sanburne Yornold
Chamburleyn Funteyn Lichefield Sandes Young
Champneys Furnace Livesey Saunders
Chanceler Fynderne Lloyd Saunterton
Chancey Fyneux Lockton Savill
Chapman Fysher Lodyngton Sayer



Note that if you are from Wales, Scotland, or Ireland, the name pools you draw from may be quite different, along with the common methods of forming names. A few notes may help.

Wales had its own distinctive naming practices and a largely separate name pool. The usual form of surname was a patronymic (derived from your father’s given name). For a man, this is: [given name] ap [your father’s given name] (such as Owein ap Griffith). For women,[given name] verch [your father’s given name] (Myfanwy verch Eynon). There were also some areas of Wales that had been under English law for 100 years or more, where English names and name patterns were more common (such as Owen Tudor, King Henry VIII’s grandfather — an English-pattern name using Welsh components).

Scotland is actually divided into two rather different cultural areas. In the lowland and urban parts of Scotland, your naming practices and name pool would be very similar to the English (though with some regional differences). The common language spoken in these parts of Scotland was Scots, a version of English (or a language close to English) and not Gaelic. In fact, the Scots-speaking culture has in some ways more affinities (dress, customs, etc.) with English culture of the time than with the Gaelic culture in the Highlands.

In the Gaelic-speaking Scottish Highlands, the type of “clans” we usually think of, with fixed, inherited surnames, didn’t appear until long after our period, in fact not till about the 18th century. During the reign of Elizabeth in England, by far the commonest form of surname in Gaelic-speaking areas is a patronymic. For a man, this produces a name like: [given name] mac [possessive form of your father’s given name], such as Eoin mac Donnchaidh. For a woman, [given name] inghean [possessive form of your father’s given name](Dearbhorgaill inghean Dhomhnaill). Patronymics account for the overwhelming majority of the period Gaelic surnames we know or can guess at (though unfortunately, very few Gaelic names are recorded in Gaelic in Scotland).

In Ireland, also a Gaelic-speaking country, these same patronymics were used as well, and were formed in basically the same way.

However in Ireland there was also another common alternative: the clan byname. The pattern for clan bynames for men is [given name] ó [clan ancestor’s given name] (Conmhaol ó Conchobhair). For women, [given name] inghean uí [clan ancestor’s given name] (Siobhán inghean uí Mháille). The clan ancestor referred to would be the man, usually several generations back, after whom the clan was named.

NOTE that both Irish and Scottish Gaelic have a complex grammar that has major effects on how names are pronounced and spelled. Dictionaries and name books are generally not very helpful with this. It’s a very good idea to consult someone knowledgeable about the languages (and about historic naming practices in these languages), in order to get a Welsh, Scottish or Irish name right.


Consider the pattern of names you would expect to find in your Elizabethan village. You would probably meet many Margarets, a few Dorothys, perhaps one Maud, and probably no one named Tamara or Chastity. As twentieth-century humans, we have a natural tendency to pick a name that is “different” in order to emphasize our individuality. But Elizabethans seem instead to have chosen names that were common in their families and communities, apparently as a way of expressing their family and community ties.

This is a very different mind-set and it is worth trying to understand it. It can also be a source of some good theatrical “bits” — Who were your godparents? Who are you named after? How many Catherines are in your guild, and how do you tell them apart? (Here’s where bynames come in handy.)

Also, before you get too attached to one particular name, try your chosen first and last names on several of your friends to see how you like them, whether they’re easy to say, and whether there are any obvious bad jokes on your name that you won’t want to live with. (For instance, William Bates might not like being addressed as Master Bates!)


The names and information in this article come from several very good statistical studies of Elizabethan names.

A good (though rather dry) recent study of given names is Names and Naming Patterns in England 1538-1700, by Scott Smith-Bannister (Oxford Historical Monographs, Clarendon Press, 1997, ISBN 0-19-820663-1).

Name lists that are not from Smith-Bannister are originally from the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology’s index to its brass rubbings collection at Oxford University. The compilation I’ve used is by Janell K. Lovelace and is available on the World Wide Web at <http://www.panix.com/~m ittle/names/arval/brasses/>.

A similar study by Brian M. Scott, titled “Late Sixteenth Century English Given Names,” is available at <http://www.panix.com/~mit tle/names/talan/eng16/>.

The Academy of S. Gabriel at <http://www.s-gabriel.org/> is an excellent name resource, although Elizabethan England falls at the end of their time period. Their focus is on the best possible historical accuracy. The Academy also offers a consulting service if you have in-depth questions about a historically accurate name (they will help you with Welsh or Gaelic names, for instance), although due to their small and completely volunteer staff, a response may take several weeks.

For Scottish and Irish names, before you do anything else please read “Scottish Names 101” and “Quick and Easy Gaelic Bynames”, both by Sharon Krossa, and available at <http://www.stanford.ed u/~skrossa/medievalscotland/> or through links from the S. Gabriel Website.

For Welsh names, Heather Rose Jones has written “A Simple guide to Constructing 16th Century Welsh Names in English Contexts,” also available through the S. Gabriel Website.

All these authors can be contacted through S. Gabriel if you have questions about names in their specific languages and cultures. I am also greatly indebted to them for helping me with this project, although any mistakes are, of course, my own.

I’m also available to field questions about Faire names in general. My focus, like St. Gabriel’s, is on historical accuracy. I can be contacted at <CLaning@igc.apc.org>.


It doesn’t have much to say about naming as such, but for a detailed and fascinating discussion of Elizabethan birth, baptism, and godparents, I recommend David Cressy’s Birth, Marriage and Death: Ritual, Religion and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England. (Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-19-820168-0)

If you are interested in a possible name that is not in this article, probably the best and most easily accessible standard name references that cover this period are the following. Most large libraries are likely to have them.

Withycombe, E.G., The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press.

Reaney & Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames, Oxford University Press, 1995. Or the earlier edition: Reaney, P.H., A Dictionary of British Surnames, 2nd ed., Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1976. This will also tell you correct 16th-century spellings for names in this article’s surname list, some of which are given in their 14th- or 15th-century forms.

Ekwall, Eilert. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names. Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1989. A good source for anyone who wants an English surname taken from a place-name.

Copyright 1999 by Chris Laning. Unlimited reproduction of this article in print or electronic media for nonprofit educational purposes is permitted, provided it is reproduced in full including this copyright notice, and no money is charged beyond the cost of copying. All other rights reserved.


O Chris Laning
| <CLaning@igc.apc.org>
+ “Mistress Christian Ashley,” Guild of St. George, RPFN

This document is warehoused or archived by the SCRIBE Network in agreement with the author. Please respect the copyright arrangement the author has requested. Requested changes to the document should be sent to the author and not the SCRIBE Network.f
July 1999

How To Disguise Your Portable Pavilion for Renaissance Faires and Medieval Events

Get Medieval on Your Pop-Up
How To Disguise Your Portable Pavilion for Renaissance Faires and Medieval Events
by Randall Whitlock

Earlier versions of this article appeared in the January, 2006 Cactus Needles, the January, 2006 Connotations, and in my collection, Yardstick and Chalk: Randwulf’s Ramblings on Costume Volume 2.

This page is a work in progress. I intend to add pictures and descriptions of clever tent disguises as encountered at different faires.

Pop-ups are those simple open-sided pavilions you see at every kind of picnic and street fair. They are based on easy-to-assemble aluminum, plastic or steel frames. The most sophisticated frames collapse along pantograph joints into compact bundles. One person can pop one up in a few minutes, hence the name. For those of us who participate in art fairs, medieval reenactment events and small renaissance faires, pop-ups are a godsend. They are much easier to transport and less expensive than other kinds of tents. They are marvels of modern materials technology. 

That’s the problem! 

Modern is not the right look at the renfaire. With a little work, however, a pop-up can be made to resemble a proper medieval pavilion.

Open-sided pavilions were indeed used in the middle ages. A noble couldn’t be expected to be exposed to the hot sun while enjoying a tournament or directing a battle. One type, called a “baldachinum” was a cloth stretched between four poles. These were seen in period art being carried by four servants over some dignitary’s head in a procession.

What is it about pop-ups that makes them look too modern for us rennies? I see three condemning characteristics:

–Overly sharp or square lines
–Modern framing materials (especially shiny aluminum or steel)
–Synthetic fabric tops.

All of these are fairly easy to disguise.

Table of Contents
The Castle
The Drape
The Over-Shell (my favorite)
-Fabric Considerations
-Leg Covers
Choosing a Pop-Up
Pop-Ups that Aren’t Pop-Ups
The Halfling Pavilion – A Disguise for Small Dome Tents –NEW FOR APRIL, 2008
Seen at The Faires (pictures)
Book Review: “The Pavilion Book” by John LaTorre
About the Author
Links to Faire and Convention Web Sites

The latest update to this page was completed February 11, 2008 by Randall Whitlock.

The Castle

One of the easiest disguises to build (especially if you don’t sew) involves making your pavilion look not like a pavilion at all, but a castle tower. Cut panels of lightweight plywood to cover the lower portions of the tent top. The upper edges of the panels are cut into crenelations like a castle wall. Paint the panels to resemble stonework, apply faux bricks, or start out with faux brick paneling. Support the panels somewhere above the bump-your-head level with wooden legs and bind these legs to the legs of your pavilion, helping to conceal the metal.

For convenience of transport, make the panels in two sections (left to right) for each side of the pavilion, for a total of eight panels on a four-sided pavilion. These flat side panels make a good surface to display signs and heraldry for your business, guild, or performing troupe.

The castle panels work best on a pop-up with vertical legs. It would be much more difficult to fit them to a pavilion with splayed-out legs.

Donovan  Castle

Castle design used by Pat Donovan Designs, makers of dream boxes and other wooden delights. 

The Drape

Another no-sew option is to drape your pavilion with pieces of cloth or greenery pinned together. This can be put together quickly for your first event. I’ve seen a belly dance performing troupe do this with bright colored lamés and satins on the outside of the pavilion and carpets and cushions inside. The result looked kind of like the inside of Jeannie’s bottle. Very effective.

Another performing troupe created a faerie bower effect by wrapping the pavilion legs in flower and leaf garlands and draping the top with artificial leaves and flowers.

sylvanwoods pavilion

Sylvanwoods, purveyors of fairy wings seen at the Two Rivers Renaissance Faire in Yuma, drape their pavilion with special camoflage netting.

The most extreme example of the drape disguise I’ve yet seen involved a merchant who had no pavilion at all. He had signed up for the faire at the last minute and had never done a medieval event before. Fortunately, he was a dealer in oriental rugs. He covered his van and tables with the carpets. I don’t think the guests knew he was hiding an entire vehicle. On the other hand, I don’t think the park staff were very happy with the wheel ruts.

The Over-Shell

My favorite disguise method is to build a new cloth outer shell which covers the original tent frame and shell. The shape of the over-shell should mimic the pyramid shape of the original shell, with four extended triangular side panels.

First, measure your pavilion. You’ll need the total width of each side. Surprisingly a nominal 10-foot pavilion is only about 117 inches on a side, three inches short of ten feet. This is a good thing – it makes suitable fabric easier to find. Take this figure, divide it in half, and add one inch for seam allowances. Call this the base “B”. On my tent 117 / 2 + 1 = 59.5 inches, conveniently just less than a standard 60-inch bolt of fabric. I rounded my B figure up to 60 inches to make cutting simpler.

Measure the distance up the middle of one side of the roof from its horizontal support to the peak of the tent. Call this the altitude of the triangle “A.” On my tent this is 67 inches.

Measure the length and circumference of the legs. Save these figures for later.

Lay out four layers of fabric. Each layer’s length should be equal to A plus one yard. The extra yard allows the panel to hang down below the edge of the triangular portion of the tent roof, completely concealing the original tent roof.

Measure one-half yard from each end of the fabric and draw a diagonal line as shown. Cut through all four pieces of fabric along the diagonal line as shown. You now have eight pieces of material shaped like a triangle with one extended side.

Sew the pieces together straight-side to straight-side and bent-side to bent-side to form a pyramid-shaped tent top.

Finish the bottom edge of your new tent roof. This provides an opportunity to make the tent look much more medievalish. You can finish the edge with a fringed trim, available from upholstery stores.

My favorite edge finish is to cut the edge along curves to form “dags.” There’s nothing that looks more medieval. Dags can be any shape and those found on clothing became very complicated indeed. I make my dags by building a half-circle pattern about 12-inches wide, then using the pattern to lay out cuts evenly spaced along the tent edge, as shown. Once the dags are cut, finish the tent edge by turning under and sewing.

Mount grommets in pairs at the corners of the corners of the tent shell. Suitable grommet kits are available at upholstery supplies stores and camping stores. Pass cords through the grommets to tie the tent over-shell to the tent legs.

Fabric Considerations

The pyramid-shaped over-shell described above requires about 11.5 yards of 60-inch wide fabric to make. You have many choices of fabric. If you leave the tent’s original shell in place (concealed by the over-shell) your fabric does not have to be very heavy since it does not have to support all of its own weight. My first over-shells were made from used bedsheets and lasted for years. There’s an old SCA trick that involves building a pavilion from a military surplus training parachute.

Your fabric should have a natural look. The whole point is to cover up that plastic-looking material the tent came with. Broadcloths, twills, and triggers are suitable. I’ve done well with the sportswear solids that turn up in spring clearance sales. Your material should be able to take some sun and rain without the colors fading or running.

Machine-washable is a good characteristic for you fabric, but may bow to other considerations. For example, I know a greyhound adoption group that uses a beautiful shell built from two contrasting colors of upholstery brocade with the same weave pattern. The use of two or more colors for adjoining panels is called “particoloring.” It’s another feature that screams medieval. I used alternating panels of blue and yellow to achieve this effect on my own pavilions.

What do you do if your favorite fabric is not available in 60-inch widths? You’ll have to alter the pattern. You can insert a triangular gusset in the middle of each side of the roof, or you can run the fabric sideways and divide each panel into top and bottom portions. This will take a bit of strategy, different for every project. You will need to apply the measurements specific to your tent and fabric width. It’s best to do the math before you buy the fabric.

Leg Covers

If they look too metallic, the legs of your pavilion should be covered. The simplest way to do this is to build “leg warmers.” Cut four pieces of fabric equal in length to the legs and a bit wider than the circumference of the leg. Finish the ends of the fabric strips and sew the sides together to form a long tube. Add some cord to one end so the leg warmer can be tied to the tent frame.

Some types of pop-up have long extensions to the shell that run down the legs. If your tent has these, you should mimic their shape by making long rectangular extensions at the corners of your over-shell. These are tied around the outside of the legs with cords.

As mentioned above, you can cover your tent legs with leaf and flower garlands from florist supply companies.

I don’t worry very much about the portion of the frame covered by the tent roof, but others choose to conceal these frame parts by draping fabric inside the tent. I would not recommend this if you use hot lanterns inside the tent.

The MoiRandall’s pavilion, seen at the Devonshire Renaissance Faire in 2005.


While your pop-up was built to be open, there are often good reasons to close off one or more sides. You may wish to form a blank display wall; to separate your pavilion from the next one down the row; or to provide extra shade when the sun is low.

To make a sidewall, you can use the same material you used for your over-shell. Cut two segments of 60-inch wide fabric to a length equal to the height from the ground to the edge of your tent frame. If you particolored your over-shell, you should particolor the sidewalls with the same color. Sew the long sides of the material together to form one panel. Finish the raw edges by turning under and sewing.

I suspend the sidewall from the inside of the tent frame using medium or large-size binder clips, which are available from office supply stores. You can also mount grommets in the top edge of your sidewall and hang it from the tent frame with segments of cord or shower curtain rings.

Tablecloths and sturdy window drapes can also be used for sidewalls. I made one sidewall from a tapestry brocade with a repeating pattern of gypsy caravans, troubadours and maidens in towers. (Quite appropriate for the faire). The fabric is not quite broad enough to reach the ground, so I use it along with a plain fabric sidewall.

Beware: Sidewalls are like sails. They grab the wind and exert pressure against the tent frame. Your pop-up probably doesn’t have guy lines for horizontal bracing like a tent meant to have sides. I deal with this by not staking down the bottom edges of my sidewalls. If the wind picks up, the sidewalls simply rise and relieve the pressure.

Choosing a Pop-Up

There are a tremendous variety of pop-ups available these days at a wide range of prices. The following are strictly my personal opinions. Your mileage may vary.

You can have a small plastic-framed unit for as little as twenty dollars. In my opinion, these low-end plastic and aluminum frames are not worth the trouble. They’re okay for a beach trip, but not for the faire. They will not last long and will break if subjected to very much wind.

My favorite pop-ups have enameled steel frames connected with clever pantographic joints that allow them to be collapsed into a single bundle. The steel has more mass than an aluminum frame, which improves its stability in the wind. On the downside, the steel-framed tents are heavier to carry. Some of the current models have wheels built into their carrying cases to help with this. Prices on these range from about $80 up to about $300. Generally, the price has come down over the past few years.

I prefer frames with solid rails up from their corners to the top, rather than a single center pole. This arrangement places less stress on the canvas and droops less in the rain.

I prefer a minimal number of joints in the side rails I’ve seen the sides that look like a row of X’s torque over in the wind and cause one corner of the tent to collapse. On the other hand, that tent owner may not have set it up properly.

Pop-up tents are easy to find. You can purchase them at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes; sporting goods stores like Big 5 and Sports Authority; discount stores like Kmart and Wal-Mart; general department stores like Sears; and membership warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. Even the larger supermarkets carry them seasonally. You will find the most choices in the spring, when people are gearing up for picnics.

There are many sizes to choose from. Other portions of this page focus on the 10 by 10-foot nominal size, which is a good choice for typical-size faire spaces.

In recent years, some of the manufacturers seem to have caught on to the needs of their renfaire customers. At least one model now comes with a natural-looking tan shell material and dagged edges.

Pop-Ups That Aren’t Pop-Ups

There are several other kinds of tents that can be adapted for renfaire pavilions:

Lawn Gazebos

These have pyramid-shaped canvas roofs like pop-ups, but they have heavier frames without the folding joints. They are meant to be set up in your back yard for months at a time. The side frames are made of ornamental twists of metal with oxide or enamel finishes. They look good enough for the fair without any alterations, but they are more expensive and take longer to assemble.

One variation I saw recently is called a “Barzebo” from D.C. America. It has a built-in counter and shelves. This could be a ready-made shop for a perfumer, jeweler, or other dealer in small goods.

Frame Kits

Sets of prefabricated joints can be purchased at home improvement stores. These joints are made to fit 2 by 4 or 2 by 2 lumber stock. You can build your own custom frame and a canvas cover to fit. These wooden frames will be heavy, so they’re very stable in the wind but hard to transport. This system might work very well for longer-lasting faires. I bought the frame kit seen above several years ago, but haven’t done anything with it yet.

Prefabricated Carports

Prefabricated enameled steel frames can be purchased at home improvement and discount stores. These usually consist of eight bent “A” shaped frames connected by horizontal bars above head height. Sometimes these come with a plastic canvas skin secured with bungees. The package illustration usually shows these being used to build a weather cover for a car or RV. You can use two, three, or all four frames to build tents of custom length. I suggest building a custom skin for the frame from heavy, natural-looking canvas with dags.

Costumers Designs by Kate started with a prefabricated carport kit, then added wood and canvas stage flats with textured paint to the front wall to create a tudor cottage look.


Beach or market umbrellas suitable for small displays can be purchased at import stores, garden stores, and swimming pool accessory stores, though they usually aren’t any less expensive than pop-ups. These can be used unaltered if they have wooden frames and natural-looking fabric covers. If not, covers and sidewalls can be built around them. Supported from a single center pole, umbrellas can be a bit unstable in the wind. A guy line system might be built into sidewalls for better stability.

I use a four-foot umbrella over my bronze clothing display rack when there isn’t room inside my main pavilion. (See photo under “Leg Covers.”)

Magikal Thinds

Majickal Things, artists who paint upon fabrics and faces, use a specially painted cover over their pop-up (left) and an umbrella fitted with a tent cover (right).

Swap Meet Shades

Finally we have the much-maligned shades built from galvanized steel electrical conduit. These dominate at swap meets and prefabricated joints in many shapes can be purchased from swap meet merchants or tent and awning suppliers. These frames are strong and stable, but can be ugly. They’re okay if you cover or paint all of the metal parts and use natural-fiber fabric covers instead of blue plastic swap meet tarps. The larger-size prefabricated joints can be used with wooden poles instead of steel pipe. Most of the joint systems are designed for a flat roof, which doesn’t turn the rain very well. You can form a pointy roof by building a square outer frame and adding a center pole.

See The Halfling Pavilion for a sample project using these prefabricated joints to cover a small dome tent.

typical frame parts

Seen at the Faires

Here are pictures of some cleverly modified pop-ups seen at events around Arizona. I’ll add more pictures as I visit more events.

If you’ve built your own pop-up disguise, please send pictures!

Seen at the Estrella War in 2001, this is my old pavilion cover. It’s made from used bed sheets and features dags printed with line art. Half of the sheets were dyed brown for a particolored effect. The brown dye faded out after a few seasons. The leg covers are rectangular extensions from the corners of the roof, tied to the tent legs.

For contrast, here is one of my old bedsheet covers, seen next to my new, dagged cover at Renaissance in the Pines in 2004.

This is a beautiful example of a custom-made cover, seen at May in the Meadows in 2004. Note the complex shape of the dags and the scalloped edges of the brown cloth panels used to reinforce the edges of the pyramid-shaped top. The frame is not a pop-up. It’s made of wooden poles with steel pipe joints. The tent belongs to Stonecraft Arts, makers of marvelous cast stone gargoyles, greenmen, goddesses and other statuary.

This cover was seen at Arizona Renaissance Festival in 2006. The tent belongs to Utilikilts, makers of solid kilts with pockets. The disguise consists of a particolored cover, a separate dagged strip of striped fabric around the sides, and triangular leg covers over an EZ-UP brand pantographic frame. The interior frame members, not seen in this view, have been wrapped in cloth.

Here is an example of draped cloth used to conceal frame parts inside the tent. The pavilion belongs to Flying Skwirl, who sell belly dance costume accessories, jewelry, and kaleidoscopes. It was seen at the Estrella War in 2006.

Stefan d’Gascon of the SCA Kingdom of Meridies used a bit of vinyl tape to give the sidewalls of his pavilion a tudor cottage look.

Happy Magpie, creator of custom etched glass designs, seen at the Two Rivers Renaissance Faire in Yuma, Arizona. This is another of Randall’s particolored tent covers.

Eye Scry Designs, seen at the Two Rivers Renaissance Faire in 2008, built a tent cover from a printed tapestry to go with their pirate-themed merchandise.

Book Review
The Pavilion Book: A Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Living in a Medieval-Style Tent
by John LaTorre

Reviewed by Randall Whitlock

Mr. LaTorre is a tentmaker/sailmaker/glider maker with more than thirty years experience building and working with medieval-style pavilions within the Society For Creative Anachronism, where he is known as Master Johann von Drachenfels. This 160-page soft-cover book is his compilation of important concepts, tips, and tricks for your own tent. Even if you are a cheating bastard like me in a disguised mundane popup, you’ll find plenty of useful advice on tools, materials, and troubleshooting. Mr. LaTorre’s prose is as clear as a fine page-turner novel.

Good things I took out of the book immediately include:
–Square tent pegs are easier for teardown. Just give them a quarter-turn and the square peg makes a round hole. They come right up when you want them.
–Fine instructions for washing your tent and preventing mildew.
–Much-needed advice on fireproofing.
–Complete directions for building the “BC Type Sunshade” a very simple pavilion, great for daytime events here in the sunny southwest.

How do you find the book? You can purchase it from MoiRandalls or directly from Mr. LaTorre at  http://midtown.net/dragonwing/default.htm.

The Dragonwing site also includes a fine short article on building your own pavilions at http://midtown.net/dragonwing/diy.htm .

About the Author

Randall Whitlock, known within the Society for Creative Anachronism as Randwulf Witlac of Axed Root, is a part-time costume maker, displaying his creations at faires around Arizona and on his MoiRandall’s web site. Randall designs and publishes the Randwulf’s line of sewing patterns. Randall has served as Newsletter Editor and Webmaster for the Southwest Costumers Guild and has directed the masquerades at several CopperCon science fiction conventions and will direct the “Maskerade” at the first North American Discworld Convention in 2009.


Return to Southwest Costumers Guild Web Site.

Return to Southwest Costumers Guild’s How-To Articles.

Return to the MoiRandall’s Web Catalog.

Check out the Two Rivers Renaissance Faire site.

Check out Medieval Fantasies Company, organizers of renaissance faires in the Virginia area.

Check out Western Gates Faerie Realms, host of the Phoenix Faerie Festival.

Check out the Estrella War web site.

Check out the CopperCon web site.

Check out the LepreCon web site.