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1382 Traveling Camp * The Military Company * The Lady's Entourage * An Aristocratic Household

1382 Travelling Camp

OUR HANDOUT SAYS:

It is the time of the Hundred Years War between England and France. Forty-five years ago, Edward III of England asserted his claim to the throne of France. Despite great victories, including the capture of the French king at the battle of Poitiers, he has been unable to settle the claim and the war drags on. English fortunes on the continent do not fare well. Much of the territory won by Edward has been recaptured by the French, and young King Richard II has not the keenness for the English claim to the throne of France that his father had. English enthusiasm for the war is not as high as in the past, but many still believe that there are fortunes to be won, and the war goes on, through skirmishes and sieges.

Like many men of his class, Sir Geoffrey Peel sees war as an opportunity for glory, wealth, and advancement, and he seeks to profit from it.

To this end he maintains a military company: La Belle Compagnie. His most trusted men are his own retainers, of both high and low degree. The rest of the company is made up of professional soldiers who have signed an indenture, a contract to serve for pay. The company’s troops are typical of English forces, being composed of fully armored men-at-arms and more lightly armored archers armed with the great war bow.

Currently, Sir Geoffrey has taken service with Sir John Stratton, the Constable of Bordeaux, and will serve as garrison commander for a small fort near Taillebourg.

Sir Geoffrey expects to be living at his new holding for some time, and is moving his household. His wife Lady Joan accompanies him. Their entourage includes servants, clerks, and the lady’s women.

A swollen river delays the travelers, and the camp has taken on a domestic air, with daily life not too unlike that led around Sir Geoffrey’s home manor.