Sunday, December 5, 2010

This is the personal web blog of Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable of ye Phasiani lacus Manerium an interest household group in the Tudor Era from 1457 to 1603 and is a life time member of the Arch Duchy of Connacht of the Adrian Empire. This is not an official web site or blog of the Adrian Empire, or and any other creative anachronism group of Medieval ages

I Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable have left one anachronism group and have joined the Arch Duchy of Connacht as of march 2011. In 2005 - September I was introduced to a creative anachronism group in the South Okanagan, and had for awhile, enjoyed the pleasure of playing the Medieval anachronism theme, from archery to rapier tournaments, but as one natures, one looks to other inspirations, and ideas that would lead the way for Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable to join the Arch Duchy of Connacht. It was with heavy heart that I Christiana made this decision along with a few Phasiani lacus Manerium members to leave the creative anahronism group and join in March of 2011 to the Arch Duchy of Connacht do to many reasons, some been of mundane nature and some related to the anchronism group we use to belong to.

It was a decision that was not taken lightly, but would lead us down an interesting trail, and to new friendships with the same interest that we have. In the Society of Creative Anachronism one can achieve the title of Lord or Lady, by means of an award of arms, and at the time that this web blog, along with other blogs that are under Lady Christiana's control reflected this as the blogs were formed in November 2009. Since than a lot changes have been made, and one of these changes was joining with a group known as the Arch Duchy of Connacht (Adrain Empire) in March and April of 2011. Since than Phasiani lacus Manerium has going through a healing process, and is been well welcome within the ranks of the Arch Duchy of Connacht. (Adrian Empire). Some of Phasiani lacus Manerium do to reasons of their own choose not to join, but most did, and we have gained members while going through the transition.

For those that wish to join Phasiani lacus Manerium please contact Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable of ye Phasiani lacus Manerium, for information in reguards to joining Phasiani lacus Manerium and Arch Duchy of Connacht. If you reside in Western Canada and if so travel to events which usually happens within the Okanagan Valley, either be wars, demos, or events. You may contact her at (cut and paste the address) or proceed to the web blog Phasiani lacus Manerium at or for futher infornation go to

Phasiani lacus Manerium is a group of like individuals that enjoy creative anachronism from 1457 to 1603; the Tudor era, but we of Phasiani lacus Manerium will accept others with medieval personas from 1066 onward to 1603 of the Western European culture. No one within Phasiani lacus Manerium will be known by the title of Lord or Lady, but under Connacht rules may use the title of either M'Lord or M'Lady, and or Master or Mistress other than the Lady or Lord of the household. Lady Christiana is the head of the household of Phasiani lacus Manerium and the household was recongized by their graces of the Arch Duchy of Connacht December 10th 2011.

And in so speaking of the changes that is occurring in Phasiani lacus Manerium, so is our members. In order to join these practices, within Phasiani lacus Manerium one must be a paid up member in the Adrian Empire, and be of should be a member of the Arch Duchy of Connacht before joining. Please keep in touch with the Phasiani lacus Manerium web blog for these updates and chat room information.

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Phasiani lacus Manerium Househouse founder: Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable

Persona Documentation

Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable - Golden Swan persona challenge 2010 (Shire of Appledore - Society of Creative Anachronism) This is the documentation report that was used, except for most of the photos, that was required to enter the Golden Swan Person Challenge and been accepted as a candiate. At the time Christiana was known by the title as lady under the Society of Creative Anachronism and the challenge was held by the Shire of Appledore in 2010.

This is a personal web blog dedicated to M'Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable's persona Golden Swan 2010 challenge on a Elizabethan wealthy lady's persona from the years of 1540 to 1593 - Born in 1540 she would survived past two husband to 1593. The documentation is from her childhood to her later life as a lady of her merchant husband in the drapery business. This is a fictional character based on historical information from the 1500s 

Persona in Brief.

Christiana Elizabeth Constable

Christiana Elizabeth Constable, born in the year of our lord September 17th 1540 as per the Gregorian calendar at the household of Michel Richard Constable to his wife Mary Fisher at the town of Beverley, Yorkshire England. Christiana was baptized at the Beverly Minister a week later, youngest to the two boys birthed by his wife.The town of Beverly was originally known as Inderawuda (meaning “in the wood of the men of Deira”) and was founded by Saint John Beverly during the time of the Angle kingdom Northumbria. A midwife, wet nurse was appointed by Mary Fisher who raised Christiana, until her education, which began at the age of five. During her early years before the age of five Christiana was versed in manners and proper behavior becoming that of a girl raised in her class in society. Her society dictated that she would learn the mannerism, for the up bringing of a wealthy class lady. Learning how to eat properly, address her parents, relatives and guest. If Christiana got it wrong than punishment was the course to correct her problems in behavior.

Mary would make it a policy that when a girl reach a certain age, it was time to send them on to a relative or a friend of theirs that was a higher level of class to learn, first as a servant, but later to elevate herself to level of society dictated by the sponsor’s class level. Christiana would be taking this route when she turned five years of age. When Christiana reach the age of four the midwife begun instructing the basics of the English language in writing: Christiana was already speaking the language, but was not able to write the language. Her two brothers the youngest five years older than she was, was already reading and writing English, Latin, and during arithmetic: The eldest seven years older than she was, was looking at going to Oxford, to continue his studies in medical science. Boys were to have schooling, taught by the guilds, while girls, unless of nobility were just to have a very basic education to make do. Most girls of non-nobility were taught enough to run the household, or and act as a servant. Women did not have the rights that men had, and were consider a little better position than domestic animals. Christiana would receive her education from her Uncle, who was an importer of goods in London.

The day came when her clothes were packed, and a servant appointed to her while on travels to her uncle’s place, by ship. This would be the first time that she would leave home, and will not return until she was a young lady. From Beverley to Hall her servant escorted her to the ship, of which her father paid the fair to depart to London. It was rather a cool fall when she left. Christiana had never being to the city, and this was a time of curiously to see what the big city had to offer. Arriving in October during the rein of King Henry VIII, on the Thames River she was escorted to her Uncle Thomas where she would reside until the age of fourteen, consider the age of an adult to that of Thomas household.

Walking and or horseback was the method of travel, and when Christiana arrived at port in London it was a half days walk to her uncle’s estate, therefore, her uncle had two horses saddled and brought along with him. A servant would bring a cart down to the harbor and pickup the chests that belong both to Christiana and her servant, of which the servant would return back to Beverley within a week. After arriving at the estate located north of London, Christiana was made comfortable in the servant’s wing, where she would begin receiving her training within the next couple of days. She was to learn cooking, sewing, embroidery, and common ever day household chores. The only day she would receive off was Sunday and the morning was to be spent at Church. Her schedule was setup to work with the servants during the day, but in the afternoon she would begin her education with her uncle Thomas. At first she did not like being away from her hometown, but became accustom to Thomas, although she ready did not like him to much as he was strict, but understanding.

If it were not for Thomas, Christiana would had not develop an appetite for learning, and as soon as she was able to read better, than she was taught at home, she begun reading books that were at her uncles estate. Guild books on carpentry, and literate, political law sheets and understanding the bible, and also the ability to write and do arithmetic. Christiana was able to learn writing and lettering skills, and arithmetic using a horn board, which contained the 24-letter alphabet, and the Lord’s prayer, and using Roman numerals and how to read them, and eventually how to work with the currencies of England and was beginning to learn Latin, but was not required during the time of King Henry the VIII as English was the spoken language in Church. Her chores would start in the kitchen contained at the back of the house, where she would act as a scour maid, than progress to the preparation of food and cooking the same. She hated cleaning dishes, but she did love to cook, and developed an attitude of preparing lovely feast.

She learn the art of preparing the menus for Thomas’s guest, and learned how to serve the same, but her favorite pastime was embroidery and sewing, as she love the feel of the texture and the colors of the cloths that she love to work on. The wife of Thomas known as Catherine would teach Christiana the methods of embroidery, and sewing. As night drew in and a few candles were lit it was time for Christiana to retire to the servant’s quarters. There was no separate room for her, but she did have a bed, and table beside the bed, and a chest to hold her personal belongings.

This would be her room for the next four years, after which she would become a lady in waiting to Thomas’s wife Catherine. At ten years of age, it was now time for Christiana to become a lady, and to learn what is involved in being a lady. The duties of a common servant, became less and less during her time of four years, until she was not expected to wash dishes, bring in the wood for cooking, and during the cooking. She was now to learn the proper behavior of being a lady herself, and what better way than from Catherine. Catherine was well known in the upper class, and she was determine to keep her status, and thus, her young lady in waiting, Christiana, was to begin her climb. When she reaches the age of fourteen she would be a fine catch for some gentleman, but that was to be determine by her father back in Beverley. Thomas would keep Michel informed on the progress of his daughter in the learning process of being a lady.

Michel did give permission when Christiana reach the age of thirteen to fine a husband thus increasing her chance of being married off in a pre-arrange marriage and a dowry. She would learn the art of music, and dancing, when a dance partner was available. Her favorite dances were those of court, but holiday celebrations would be country dancing, although later in her life she would learn the court dances. Her favorite instrument for music was a Celtic Harp, but she had trouble holding a tune, but she did like to puck the strings to relaxed herself. She did learn how to read music, and she did like reading sonnets to Thomas’s friends when they were at Thomas’s house. Thomas’s friends loved the sonnets that Christiana would read to them from parchment.

On Christiana’s fourteenth birthday, she received a very beautiful gift from Catherine, which was a lovely dress; a dress was consider several pieces that were worn. Christiana’s dress would be made of velvet and silk brocade, along with silk and linen undergarments. To complete the gift she received a wool cloak that was fur lined. As a last gift Thomas made arrangements to have her own bedchamber away from the servants but near Catherine’s bedchamber. Thomas the next day sent a message to Michel informing him that Christiana has now become a young lady, and that he has found an elder gentleman that would look after her if he could marry Christiana. A dowry would have to set up for Christiana so that the gentleman known as William could marry her. Michel within a couple of months after Thomas set the message, replied with the dowry which was about two hundred pounds and permission to Thomas to arrange the wedding.

The wedding would take place in a Catholic Church as Queen Mary had now taken the reins of power, and she did not want anything to do with the protestant believe. If a person did not show their worship to be Catholic, it was very possible to lose your life. Christiana was protestant and practice the faith, but in order to keep her head, she would practice the Catholic faith, but was not a believer in it. Her husband was a strong Catholic believer, and made his wealth in the renting of flats in and around London.

Christiana was not a very happy person being around with William as William enjoyed his brew and gambling. Although William did make love to Christiana when he wasn’t drunk, he did manage to teach Christiana the ropes in been a landlord, and collecting the fees from his renters. She would once in while traveling outside of London to the farms where she collected the rents owning to her husband, she would enjoy the countryside. Christiana was sixteen during the time of collecting rent and logging in the books of her husband the collected rents. A tax would had to be paid to Queen Mary, if she was to inherit the property, since her husband William was becoming sicker every passing month. He would show yellow on his skin, and would request a breeder come to the residence to let the bad blood out, but this was to no availability, as he would pass away before the end of her sixteenth year. While she was fifteen, making love one night she did get pregnant, and just before William past away, she gave birth to a male heir, but Christiana was also given a large portion of the estate, for looking after his heir to his estate.

The child to William was born shortly before William’s death. William was so weak the day the child was born that he was very able to raise from his bed, thus leaving Christiana to name the child and to have the child baptized within a couple weeks after his birth at St Paul.William left two thirds of his estate to Christiana to care for the child, which included several large tracks of land that were rented out to farmers. Christiana was not a person for the city, but did enjoy being close to the city for its convenience, and thus begun her idea of finding a place outside the city where she could raise her child, and enjoy the open space. Leaving the city of London, she would cross the Thames River by the London Bridge, just off the end of Fish Street, or by be ferry across to the south side, and make her way westward where she would settle into a rather small comfortable yeoman’s house, that would serve her comforts, and would allow her to practice her faith in quietness, away from the prying eyes of Queen Mary’s hench men. London Bridge was a narrow bridge, and crowed with pedestrians, carts and animals making it rather difficult to cross with a cart as buildings were built on both sides of the bridge across the Thames River.

Christiana kept her residence in London, but she also had a small place in the country where she could bring the child up carefully. With rent monies coming in, and with a percentage paid by the farmers from their crops and livestock she was well to do, but she became money wise, as she would not spend money foolishly on entertainment, or other such luxuries. With England, having problems with the Catholic Church and the Protestants, it was an uneasy time for most of its peoples. Christiana was no exception, with the taxes that were brought in by Queen Mary. It was a time of poor crops too as the weather turned cooler, and this began to take an effect of Christiana’s income. However Christiana did enjoy one luxury that cost her about four pounds a year per servant, and that was a ladies servant, and one person for kitchen staff which would eventually find there way to John Willard’s estate. Her first lady servant was rather old, but did manage to look after Christiana’s persona needs, when Christiana was away collecting monies from her tenants.

Some of the tenants could be unruly when it came to collecting rent, and she had written into her diary the names of these people. Being the weaker of the sex, she would take her cook along on these days, which also aided in obtaining food for the table. It was not common for a woman to carry a blade for protection, but Christiana did, as a tool mainly for show, to have certain tenants paid their rent, especially near the Thames River. When William although old and half the time intoxicated, had manage to teach Christiana the art of rapier. Every week would be a drill, and than some practice, until she master the technique. Prior to the marriage to William, Thomas, taught her a few defensive moves with the dagger, as she would occasionally leave Thomas’s estate, unescorted. Thomas an old soldier for a time before King Henry viii, learned his skills, and thus decided that every person should have the mean to protect him or herself. With Christiana, she learned the dagger first, followed with the rapier from William, although she had never used the weapons for self defense except for near chances, she was skilled in the art of defense.

William also believe that every person, man or woman should be able to make a living, and William, before getting into the business of a landlord, and after serving his time in the army, pickup the training from a master in woodcarving. William, decided, once married to Christiana would teach her this skill. Besides learning how to collect rents, she was given an opportunity to learn the skill of woodcarving. Although Christiana would not receive her title as a master from the Woodcarver’s guild, she did become an expert at woodcarving, in during very fine detail relief carving. This trade she would have with her for life, and would on occasion bring in extra income in hard times, although she did not do much carving, but when she did, it was a one of kind piece.

After William passed away Christiana would be a widower for the next few years until she turned thirty five when Queen Elizabeth begun reversing the effects of Queen Mary. Christiana was now a very attractive lady, and had received considerable wealth through rental management of her previous husband as some of the properties were become very important as the City of London grew.

Her child David was now nineteen, and was serving in the English navy and had received the one third inheritance from his deceased father when he turned fourteen. It was now time for Christiana to look for a new husband. While at the markets shopping for food with her lady’s servant, and cook in tote, she came across a handsome middle age man, just a couple of years older than she was. It was love at site for the both of them, but at her age, although very attractive was beginning to place her out of childbearing age, which could make the manner of marriage out of the question. It turned out for the best, as John Willard was an understanding gentleman of well means and that his age and Christiana’s age were similar. John Willard was born to very wealthy family that owned merchant ships, that were stationed out of Hall and also was heavily involved in the import, export business, but John himself, did not like the smell of the sea, and rather like to be on land, and headed up the business he liked which was the handling of importing of fabrics and spices and exporting of raw goods. Eventually John decided that the importing of fabrics was too his likings, and sat up shop in London eight years prior to meeting Christiana. John had become a well-known draper to the upper crust of Londoners and nobility.

A number of weeks pasted before Christiana got to know John, and decided on her own to marry, but this time it would be at protestant church. John did not believe in being a Catholic either.

The wedding would take place in the first year of the passing of the apparel law that Queen Elizabeth had passed into law. This law was to restrict the who’s who of what they could spend on clothing as clothing was now consider a status symbol with the classes of England, and Queen Elizabeth believed that this was a waste of resources and importing of luxury from mainland Europe, while the resources of England were not being sold to its people.

When Christiana married to John and with her wealth from the properties that were hers, she was able to make do with all the finery of a wealthy class system. John shortly after the wedding decided that it was time that she was to have an escort when she left the estate, located on a sight hill overlooking the Thames west of London. Knowing of an old friend, John while at a Bear Baiting on the south shore of the Thames asked him if he knew of someone that would serve the purpose. His friend mentions that he knew of such a person, and would consult with him, and if he were interested he would come to John’s estate.

A couple of weeks past, and a strong person well versed in mannerism and the blade, both of which he learned of when in the army, during the time of Queen Mary, came to the door. The doorman of John’s answered the door, and the person asked for John Willard by name, but unfortunately he was at the shop closing down for the day. The fellow that visited was Kasper, and he had seen enough bloodshed in England. When he was young he lived in Norway, and migrated to England with his daughter before Queen Mary came to rein.

While sitting in the great room, John’s servant mention John had company to Christiana. She asked the servant to invite Kasper into the great room, where she and child of one of the servants were waiting. Christiana was sitting during embroidery while the servant child was playing with a few carved wooden toys on the carpet.

Kasper mention that a friend of John’s invited him to the estate to talk about employment. At first Christiana thought that Kasper was looking for a position at the shop, but later found out that he was to be her escort while she was away from the estate, during business for the household or picking up rent from the renters, which took place once a month.

John thought of further protection for her, and when John was in France, where he seemed a mode of transportation, he decided that Christiana should have one. It had a canopy to protect her from the rain, and two seats opposite each other, which held four people, and a seat for the driver, which would also serve as a coachman. John loved the carriage and paid the ten pounds for it and had it sent to London as a Christmas gift for her.

Christiana prefer to sidesaddle, but she was now suffering from morning sickness, as she did with David. She was about a month into been pregnant, although not showing. She was hoping for a daughter, to keep her company, but the Lord would decide that faith. When John arrived in London a couple of days before Christmas, he asked the fairer to find a couple of black horses for Christiana’s coach. The cost was 2 pounds and 20 shillings per horse. John paid the fellow and requested that it be delivered to the estate on Christmas morning. The fairer was not to happy, but with 25 shillings more for a tip, he said he would.

John mounted his horse and made his way to estate, as it was now beginning to darken, and he did not like the idea of going through the lower class areas of London at night. The major streets were paved with cobblestone, and even some have lamps, but a lot of street did not. Some of the streets were so narrow, they were dark all the time account of the fourth story of the flats overhanging the street below, where one could reach out their window and touch the other. Down the middle of these streets sometimes ran a gutter that contained sewerage water dumped from the overhanging floors above. These were the flats of the low class, and John kept clear of these areas as much as possible. Population in London was now over the twelve thousand and still growing, and there were poor people, and there were some that were definitely thieves, and beggars that met business. London by the time of Queen Elizabeth was now beginning to outgrow the walls and had now begun growing outside the walls, with theaters and Inns.

John arrived at the manor where Kasper greeted John, and waited for John to dismount so that the stable keeper could take the horse to the stable where it would be fed and bedded down for the night. Christiana was sitting in the candlelit great room with the fire burning, playing a game of chess with Kasper prior to John’s arrival. Christiana learned the game when she was living with Thomas, but did not have much opportunity to play the game when she was married to William but, John when he had time, would play the game, but he did not know that Kasper could play the game. John asked one of the servants to pour him a drink of wine after John gave him the key to the cellar. When the servant retuned with a silver goblet containing wine, and one for his wife, the servant returned the key of which John gave the key to and, said to Kasper that he could keep the key, as John trusted him, with the protection of his wife.

Because Christiana was over a month pregnant, the discussion was who were they going to find to act as midwife. Christiana lady servant passed away a couple years earlier, from the plague, it was time to find someone new. Kasper, overhearing the conversation mention that he had a daughter living in London, which would serve the requirements, as she already had experience in looking after children and had assisted in delivery. John gave permission to bring his daughter to the estate early in the New Year.

Christmas had come, a trip to St Paul Cathedral for service and back, and there behold on the flesh snowfall stood two back mares, and the coach that John bought. Christiana thought they had company, but once John mentioned that it was a gift from him to her, she was surprised. A coach that she could ride in, with her own servants, and the luxury of being a find lady. John could easily afford this luxury as he was now making over 1200 pounds a year, and with Christiana’s rent monies that added another 450 pounds a year. January’s 12th Night of 1575 was coming soon, and this would be a celebration after church as John invited his friends over for a celebration. Christiana was now growing accustoms to this style of life, but she was responsible for preparing the menu, the entertainment and games for the guess.

She knew of a few play rights, and a few waits and musicians. This event was to have dancing and sonnets preformed. Although being in her condition, and she did love dancing, she decided that for her baby she would sit this one out other than the pavane. Christiana loved the pavane, as this dance she could show off her finery of clothes. Dances that took place at John’s estate were the Branle, the Galliard, the Allemande, and the Volta, but the one she loved was the Pavane but there were some English dances she love also.

Christiana also loved music, although not good at it herself, she may join in with the harp, or even a small percussion instrument, she left the dance music to the waits (professional musicians). They would play for the dances, and even sometimes accompany music to the sonnets, but for entertainment outside of John’s parties, there were a couple of servants that could play, but it happen that Kasper could play the lute, which got away from the flute player.

The major parties that John would have friends over were held in February known as St. Valentines’s Day a festival celebrating love, with singing, dancing and pairing games. On October 25th on St. Crispin’s Day was revels and bonfires with some of the people acting the part of King Crispin, and 12th night in January which was a religious festive, but followed afterwards with a feast to celebrate the visit of the wise men, following the birth of Jesus.July came, and Christiana was now in the state of delivery. Karla, Kasper’s daughter was assisting in the birth, on which after a few hours gave birth to a daughter. David was now living in Devon, and received the news of the birth from a messenger that John sent to inform him. The child was Christiana’s pride and joy, but it would be another two years before she would give birth to a male heir for John. This delivery would almost kill the both of them, as it was a rather difficult delivery. The midwife was called in to assist, and both were inform that if Christiana was to become pregnant again, it could cost her, her life. The delivery took a number of hours, and the difficulty of delivery made for complication. Her daughter was now two years old, and was always in trouble with the household servant staff, but to Christiana’s eyes, it was her favorite child. Karla would be busy looking after Anne and Christiana

After Christiana became well after delivery and received her strength back, John’s love grew closer, but John decided that it would not be a bad idea to have her learn the business. On the odd day, she would go down to the shop, examine the fabric, and she would go over the books that John kept, as she had knowledge of during books when it came to collecting rents. The year in contrast was 1579, and tension was growing between Spain and England, but soon there would be bad news coming for John.

On a September day, while John was at the shop, and Christiana was in the garden collecting herbs to dry for her use, a messenger came to John’s estate with the bad news. His father had past away, and had left five ships and his other holdings to John.

John now had a hard decision to make, and it was a choice of closing the draper business down and re-locate to Hall, or to sell off his father’s ventures. David, while in Devon, wasted his inheritance, and was looking for an income, thus forcing David to return to London, shortly after the death of John’s father looking for income. John was not to keen on hiring David, but he knew that it was Christiana’s child, and decided to hire him, but he would have to work for a living and learn the business. John decided to keep both operations, but he would head to Hall to run his father’s operations, and have a new estate built for Christiana and himself. The move would be a couple of years later after John relocated to Hall.During the two years, Christiana had many things that had to be done, from packing to selling off holdings of her, although she did keep the farms and wealthier homes on her roles, but she trained David on how to manage these holdings. David was a fast learner, and soon gasped the concept for both the rental operations, and the draper business, but his likings were in the rental operations. As a result of this John appointed one of his senior people to the position of manager to oversee the draper operations.

The day came when it was time to leave London, but an accident had happen to Kasper. While loading a chest in a cart to be transported to the harbor for loading, a noise or a smell spooked the horse, which forced the cartwheel over Kasper’s foot, and broke his ankle.

Passing out from the pain he came to when awaken by Christiana and the bonesetter while lying on his tick. Kasper would be in splints to his ankle healed, but that would be at least several months. Kasper would recover, but he would not be able to walk properly and would be handicap in defending Christiana.Christiana’s daughter, Anne who was six at the time of the accident, and Richard who is the son now four were preparing for an adventure. The day came, when John’s estate was rented, to a wealthy merchant family and Christiana, the family, and servants prepared to leave London. John had sent a ship to London to pick them up, along with the last of the belongings, and to set forth to Hall. Kasper was on a stretcher for the journey, but was in good spirit and company. Christiana was going back to her home region, where she loved the smell of the wild flowers, and the sounds of the brook, and the morning air, and warm afternoons during the summer, as a child with the sheep grazing in pastures nearby.

For two weeks on the sea, Christiana became sea sick at first, but soon was able to get over the sickness, and when the weather was not raining, she would be on deck watching the shoreline. The ship’s crew was good to her and her servants, but she was not sure what she was going to find when she arrived at Hall as she was gone from the region for about forty years.

It was a lovely fall day when they had made it to harbor in Hall where there was John waiting for them. John was so happy to see the children, and Christiana, who he had missed so much for a period of two years, while the new home was been constructed on his father’s estate that he had inherited. John had manage his father’s business and had made it grow, with the increase business of shipping raw materials south to the southern ports of England, where in exchange would bring back goods, although privateers would cause some problems, but were not of much concern. The part that bother John was the uneasiness of England and Spain, and what effect, that this would have on his business.

Once Christiana was settle in the estate, it wasn’t to long before she got down to business, and one of the interest she had gained was doing the drapery business. She had a keen interest in fabrics, and with John’s connections would not be long in setting one up. She would ask her husband to see if it was all right with him to set the business up, as she would have to look after it. It was not that well known for the fairer sex to run a business of there own, but it did happen through inheritance, that some ladies did as they were the main force behind their husband that would sometimes run the business, although their husband own the business. Christiana could have gone back into woodcarving, but she wasn’t recognized by the woodcarving guild, and would be on her own, although she did carve the odd piece for sale, on her own time. Christiana found that carving would take her away from every day life problems, and help her in developing an artist skill. Kasper also was a carver from Norway when he was young, and remember the techniques, and would sometimes instruct Christiana in the more different techniques, and found Christiana to be a natural. Although she would not make much of an income during carving, she would make monies at the draper business, as many a person of the wealthy would come to shop to purchase textiles for their garments.

She was given permission from her husband to set up the draper business, and to work it from a room just off the side of the dock storage buildings, near the main street, where John could keep an I on her, and they were close together. She would sell fabric and keep the books, but her husband would own the business. The business would open shortly after sunrise, and close by mid afternoon, allowing her to return to the estate, and run the household. Her daughter Ann was now becoming of age to also learn, and would receive private tutoring of language and arithmetic. Anne was a bright young girl willing to learn, and on special days would tag along with Christiana to the business, where she would amuse herself, while Christiana got down to business.Richard, Johns love of his eyes, when born had a disability, of not being able to walk properly, and was slow at learning now the age of 4 going five, when one day at the estate, he started to become very ill. Christiana was at home the day it happen, and order Kasper, to fine a doctor that could help try to cure the sickness. Once a doctor was available and returned to the estate, Richard was near death, and the doctor knew there was no hope. The child had developed an extreme fever from an infection; received from a cut earlier that week from a fall, onto some sharp rocks protruding from the ground out near the edge of the property, and later died that night. John was devastated, from Richard’s death, but they still had one child left.

This would be the beginning of Christiana’s grieving process, but it would take the next decade before she would recover from it. Anne learned extremely fast, and became a valuable asset to her mother in the operations of the business and the household, but she was growing in age, and was becoming a very attractive young lady. For most marriage would be pre-arrange for the age of 12, but Christiana believed that the child should be 14. After moving to Beverley some 7 years earlier, it was time for another wedding. Anne was to marry to a wealthy son of a wealthy moneylender. (1589) The estate now became quiet, as there were no children to look after, and now it was time to let some of the staff go. At its peak there were at least fourteen servants on staff, but now it was time to row back the number. For the months that follow afterwards, John grew closure in love to Christiana, as now they would take in more hunts, and it was time for John to invite his friends for a stag hunt, and maybe a wild boar hunt. Christiana also a hunter, would stage a hunt for the ladies of the hunters, but not as dangerous. The hunt they would be during would be a carrel hunt of a red deer. A couple of days before the hunt was staged, John and some of the servants would carrel a red deer and bring it back to the estate alive, for the ladies hunt.

Christiana developed a taste for falconry while in London, and when she and her husband went hunting she would take her bow and her sparrow falcon, which she had trained. While John enjoyed the boar or stag hunt, Christiana was more into smaller game. In archery it would be the red deer, maybe the odd rabbit, and occasionally setting the falcon onto smaller prey. She enjoyed this as a past time, but she enjoyed archery, and had the servants set stoops of hay up with a target to practice on.

Once mounted on her horse she would have the servant hand over the falcon. John weeks before the hunt informed Christiana of his hunting party coming in down to the estate in mid September. John was at his height of enjoyment, but Christiana, this was something new however she had heard of them. It was now up to her to plan the entertainment, and the feast menu before the party was to arrive. The servants the week before were busy making the manor look its best, and everyone would have to be on their best behavior. Christiana, although during the reception feast for her daughter Anne, Christiana was not ready for the hunting event, although during the decade before she did attend these events with John. She would have a couple of weeks to prepare, but the week before would be the most busy of all in preparation. With aid of Kasper and the head cook, would go to the local market in Beverley and fine foods, and the gardener selecting herbs and a few vegetables, begun the preparation of the feast. Christiana was determined that this would be a six course removed with entertainment to keep all the company happy. First on her quest was to secure the entertainment, as Christiana knew that John’s friends loved bardic and even dance, and some of the ladies including Christiana loved theatre. This would be a challenge, but with connections that she had acquired both in London and Beverley, she sent a message to the local acting troop to come to the manor, along with musicians and waits. Another task was to plan the evening for both ladies and gentleman to enjoy themselves that were not involve in the hunt. The days were just a moving, no time for leisure, as every servant and everyone else has a job that must be done. The floors must shine with brightness there must be coal in the buckets for heating, along with flesh linens for the bedchambers, and a general cleanliness throughout the manor. Even the horse stables never looked so clean since the time they were built.

John would sponsor a hunt in honor of his close business friends, and John would arrange for the gentleman to do a stag hunt. The ladies would have the opportunity to bow and ride hunt for a red deer. This would be done the next day after the feast.The feast was to be Christiana’s event for the hunting party, as she has, had the menu prepared a week before. The dining hall was prepared, with silver and fine linens, chairs properly arranged, and a new utensil placed for each serving called a fork. Gobbet of silver pewter set forth filled with Clarified Wine, with silver pewter plates for the guest to east from and among the table sat forth the fancy dishes of food strictly for show. Between each of the course removed there was entertainment from the waits and the acting troop that would last upwards to fifteen minutes before the next course was served. The first bout of entertainment was presented was from the local acting troop which preformed, a sonnet: follow by the second round of entertainment by the waits, singing and playing their musical instrument and by more sonnet on the third, fourth, and fifth breaks between courses. There was also an exchanged of toast given at the start of the feast.

After the meal was completed, the guest invited to the great room, the servant staff begun cleanup, but that was not the end of the party as the waits have moved to the great room to prepare for dance music. Guest was invited to participate in dance, and those that wish to socialize. Lit candles and lanterns lit the rooms to the late hours of the night before everyone decided to retire to their bedchamber for the night.It was a bright day early in the morning as the men begun waking up from the merriment of the following night’s feast. Many chores had to be done to prepare for the hunt. Horses had to be made ready: the hunting dogs brought out from their kennels under the careful and watchful eyes of their masters. The bows made ready. There was a buzz within the stable yard with a furious amount of activity. Some of the servants were reassigned by John to assist in the hunt. As the men sat around, occasionally one smoking a pipe thanks to tobacco from the new world, others sitting having breakfast, while discussion on what, and where what will be happening during the hunt.

As the day grew later, it was time to mount the horses, pick out their suitable arms for the stag hunt, and began trotting out of the courtyard into the greenery of the forest that ran along the stream where the men would begin the stocking of a stag. It would be a few hours, but soon the dogs would scent out the trail of a stag and the ride would begin. Several of the men pull up near the dogs mounted, when the dog handler, realized that they had picked up the sent, setting them free, with the wailing of there howling. It wasn’t long when the stag crashed out of a thicket of trees and begun the run towards a clearing, making distance between him and the dogs. Three of the riders cut forward to make their attempt at the first blow, and one of these near the lead was John. In jumping the stream, John’s horse stumble on the streambed rocks at the edge of the creek, thus throwing John onto a number of rocks and debris from the spring’s runoff. John landed on the rocks head first thus breaking his neck, thus killing him. He did not suffer long, as the men that were also in the chase realized that something was wrong. It would be about fifteen minutes that they returned back to the stream where they seen John’s horse standing over top of his lifeless body with its head bowed down waiting patiently for John to remount. The first to arrive was John’s best friend Henry from London, and he knew that this was going to have to tell the heart breaking news to Christiana, as she was now by herself. Slowly two men picked John’s lifeless body from the streambed and placed him faced down across the back of his horse and lead the horse back to the stable. The stag, and wild boar hunt next day was off, however the stag did get away with minimal injuries, but the death of John would cause a blow onto Christiana’s life.

As daylight was creeping down the first of the hunters arrived at the courtyard with John’s horse and cargo. A servant from the house came out and assisted Henry in holding the horse at bay, as Henry began removing the body of John. The servant was told by Henry not to inform Christiana, that he would do so when it was convenient to do so.Christiana was entertaining the ladies of the other hunters as they had already completed their hunt of a red deer, which was corral for easier archery kill, but the men wanted more of a sport, and this was an extreme sport, the final blow struck hard on Christiana after Henry told her that John died in a hunting accident, and how it might had happen. Christiana knew that from her husband’s adventures, he was always pushing for more danger, now danger had caught up to him.

It was now night, the fires lit in the fireplace and candles lit to light the house; some of the other ladies helped to comfort Christiana, and Henry standing by her side, as she went through the grievances of her husband. Christiana asked Henry to stay and help in the preparation of his funnel. A messenger was dispatched to the Beverly Minister, to arrange a sermon for her husband and to have her husband bury at the nearby centenary.

After John’s funeral, nothing would be the same at the manor, and she knew that she had many things to be done. The first working day she rode to her husband’s office and informed his staff of the event, and that the business was to keep on working. At the end of the day she rode back to manor, where she and Kasper took a look at the servant staff roster and decided on whom to let go.Henry stayed with her for a week, but he too, left back to London, while Christiana sorted her life out. It would be another month but John’s scrivener would come to see Christiana, with an important document. John had no male heir, but he did have her as his wife, and therefore, Christiana was to inherit her late husband’s business and estate. It would take a few months more until all matters pertaining to estate were settle, and it would be Christmas eve (1592) that she would receive all the properties of John. It was lonely at the estate, and she was about to make plans to see some of her children. David now living near Appledore, and Anne living in London, it was now time to prepare to travel. She consulted a tent maker to make her a pavilion and a cabinetmaker to make some fine chest for her travels. In the months of January to June she appointed one of her senior staff members to run the draper business, and another that knew how to run John’s business. This would bring in an income added to her already income on land management of London.

Mid September on her birthday at high tide she would set sail on one of John’s merchant ships to south England, which would take about two weeks. Christiana would put into port near Appledore and lease a couple of horses and a coach, to begin her journey to David’s residence, but before arriving near Appledore, she was determine to see her daughter in London, and maybe take in a Shakespeare’s play.

Arriving in London, Anne met her at the harbor where she gave Christiana a scroll containing a new sonnet written by Shakespeare. Apparently Anne loved his plays and knew one of the actors, which manage to persuade William to give Anne a copy of one of his works. Christiana would come into possessing one of his works

Pavilion Tent Construction Web Site
12 spoke Medieval center pole pavilion and star pavilion
Designing, construction, and techniques
The 12 spoke Medieval center pole - This is the one, Christiana has completed, based on historical information and documentation and was completed May 2011. The tent set up well, and has very good curve side appeal. Photos of project are posted.

Six and eight star pavilion - these are non historical, but do look very nice at a creative anachronism event

The Norse Viking Tent - Some of the members of ye Phasiani lacus Manerium requested information on the how too to make this style of tent (purposed)
All of the above will contain instructions, step by step, photos and diagrams, calculations for materials required, and the how too of setup.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cabinetry and Joinery (Games of chess)

This started out as a gift from a dear friend of a set of chessmen made of box wood and evony of which lead to making a new chessboard, coffin and stand. In the next photo this is shown in the pack down version ready to take to future events and chess matches. The board is made of tulip wood, and what I believe could be mahongony, the chest made of tulip wood and is velvet lined to hold the chessman. There is carving performed on both the board edges and the chess coffin. The board's carving is oak leaves, and the box, not shown here contains a cross over between a Celtic cross and a rose, with the front side containing rose leaves. The carving was preformed by M'Lady Christiana Elizabeth Constable.

This photo shows the board ready to go to an event.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

M'Lady Christiana is not only limited to furniture making but can also make and design special items like Elizabethan French Hoods and ruffs, including the ruff box. This ruff box is lined of aromatic cedar and contains a ruff worn by Elizabethan man and woman  of the 16th century. The head contains a french hood and a ruff trimmed in lace and fresh water pearls.

Eight Sided Pavilon

This a veiw of the interior of pavilion - frame work and setup are shown below.

Shown here is the exterior view of the six sided and eight sided pavilon taken at Golden Swan event of 2007

Not only limited to costuming and furniture

This photo is the frame work for the roof and walls of the eight sided pavilon, which in 2010 will be replaced with a birch and maple frame, taking less volume in space to store and transport. The following photos to follow will show the different modes of setting up. The frame is made of 2x2 of spruce, and stain to a dark walnut stain. Hinging is done by eye screws and 3 inch x 1/4 inch bolts, wingnuts and fender washers. The next photo shows it in setup with the canvas roof panel less walls and the final photo shows the inner lining.

Below is shown the meeting chamber - one of three rooms designed into the 12 spoke Medieval pavilion. The Gustonbury chairs were made by M'Lady Christiana and they were made of maple lumber. Easy to take down and transport. The brass table was given to Christiana when her friend Kasper moved to Sask. She cleaned it up, and has been using it since at large scale camp out events. The above photo shows the final product of the development of the 12 spoke Medieval pavilion, with room enough for the bed chamber, kitchen and sitting chamber. A porch was later designed and added, and was all setup at Stepping Down Coronet (Connacht) May 2011. The base diameter of the pavilion without porch is 20 ft diameter with an average head height of 6 ft 6 inches, however the overall height without flag staff at top is 14 feet high. With linings, room divider drapes, roof panels, inner and outer, porch, and wall panels including frame, is an estamated weight for shipping of 175 lbs. Although no one would ever lift this amount of weight at once the most would be about 45 lbs when the roof and inner roof and center pole is lifted into vertical position. More photos of this pavilion can be found in the Medieval tent and pavilion link shown above.

Custom Chest Board and Storage Chest

A Customer had brought me in a stand early in the Spring of 2009 and requested a chest board be made for the stand. The board is 2 1/2 inch squares made of birch and black walnut with the frame made of oak and chestnut. The board is shown with no finish, including the storage chest made of birch for the chessmen: Chessmen are commercially supplied by the owner for this photo.

Custom Bed

Custom Furniture:

The bed is design to take apart without to much of the aid of tools. Here the four poster bed is shown without the foam mattress
The headboard is made of four easily to slip together panels, and the rest is bolted to the post to make a stable bed platform. Materials used in this bed is oak and the post are newl post of cedar stain with a dark walnut stain.