St. George’s Faire – The Lysts & Rules

The Ordinaunces, Statutes and Rules of St George Faire
To all honourable Men at Armes, and Knight Adventurers of hereditarie Note, & examplarie Noblesse, that for most memorable actions doe wield either Sword or Launce in Quest of glorie: A general Challenge, at Tilt, Tourney, and Barriers, these Ordinaunces & Statutes , In defence of these Propositions:

That in Service of Ladyes, Knights have no free will.
That it is Beautie which maintains the World of Valour.
That no fare Ladie was ever false.
(Harleian ms. Vol. III, p. 215, cod. 4888, Art. 20, 1612)

Crested Helms are the Heart of the Faire
The lists at St. George are based upon the Baston Course, or Kolbenturnier of the 15th Century. The object of the Lists is to batter off the crest of an adversary. Probably developed from the Judicial Combats, on foot, for the lower classes using the Kolben or Baston (club). Based on 14th century sources, the Ladies play an integral part in the Lists at St. George Faire. In the Procession onto the field the Fighters are led by their Ladies on chains or cords. And, in 13th century fashion, these same Ladies act as judges and present the Prizes. As well did they judge the Crests in the Helmschau.

Crest Construction
Period helm crests were ribbed, fanlike, feathers, bird wings, banners, branches, horn, sculpted animals or human forms, often only the upper part of the body or without the forelegs or arms. The herauldic crest apeared in the last quarter of the 13th century, generally after 1325.

Rules of the Lysts

  • All Crests will be inspected prior to each Lyst and must be acceptable to the Justiciar and List Marshal. Crests will be combat-tested by the List Marshal. Crest size, construction, and attachments will be rigorously tested. Any Crest that does not present a substantial target that can not be stricken and removed will be disallowed. The decisions of the List Marshal and Justiciar will be final.
  • Crests must be attached to the helm in such a manner that they can be removed with one “killing” blow.
  • Test blows will be administered.
  • Crests must be constructed of durable materials that can withstand multiple blows and falls.
  • Paper-mâché is not recommended.
  • No mundane or commercially stuffed items are to be used as crests.
  • Any weapon style is allowed, NO thrusting. Only cutting/striking edge can be used to remove a crest. This assumes that the cutting/striking edge is identifiable.
  • Crests must extend a minimum of 6 (six) inches from the top of the helm, and be 3-dimentional, 3 to 4 inches in depth and width.
  • Crests must be rigid and substantial enough to present a fair target. Use leather (cuir-bouille was frequently used in period), boning, or wire to prevent their collapse.
  • For the Crested Helm Lyst each fighter must have a consort present at the list.
  • Tourney styles will be selected by the Marshal, Syr Cadwyd, and the Justiciar, Baron Taliesynne, dependent upon the number of fielded fighters: Round Robin, Single or Double Elimination. Each bout is won by a single “kill,” unless it is a draw.Prizes, for the List, are claimed, one at the time, first by the Winner, then number 2, etc. This order will be continued until all prizes have been selected. In the past there has always been more than one round of selection.
  • There will be MANY PRIZES. Customarily the fighters’ Ladies choose the prizes. All entrants must have completed Event Registration before the Lysts.

Prize donations solicited
We will be most appreciative of any contributions. Artisans, and others – it need not be your own work. For those who wish to donate any SCA-related items as prizes, please contact the Autocrat.