The Company of Ordinance was formed in 1989 by Keith Piggott and Colin Armstrong.
The aim of the Company is to provide a Re-Enactment and Living History group consisting of archers, crossbowmen, hand gunners, gunners craftsmen and camp followers to demonstrate the domestic and military camp life and crafts of the 15th century. This is achieved through the medium of reconstructing soldiers camps, providing narrated displays of weapons skills, the demonstration of related crafts and participating in period battles. Educational (and entertaining) lectures and displays of a historical nature for schools to complement the national curriculum are also possible. The Company dress in authentic period costume made from the materials available in the 15th century (or as near as is possible) and portray a group of Burgundian Mercenary Gunners, Soldiers and followers from the Town of Auxerre. All the equipment used, weapons and armour are as close to being authentic as is possible with the limited amount of research material available. The Duke of Burgundy Charles Valois had a large standing army and made good use of artillery, employing large numbers of specialist gunners. Burgundy was therefore at this time rich with skilled gunners and a lot of mercenaries made good, if short lives in the armies of Burgundy. For the 2002 season we are pleased to welcome the Irish group An Dal Cuinn into the company. An Dal Cuinn are an excellent group specialising in the culture and history of the Irish peoples. Working with us they will be portraying 15th century Galloglass mercenaries with authentic equipment and their usual Celtic flair. This addition greatly expands the companies abilities and adds an exciting new dimension to our displays.
The Company specialises in the time period of the "Wars of the Roses" with many "characters" to bring displays to life. Pictured below is Colin Armstrong the Maître des Cannons. The tabard conceals a harness of armour comprised of: back plate, breast plate, placard, lames and tassets. A rising bevour, and a jawbone sallet in the Italian style complete the armour. Please note that the tabard, arming doublet and hose are grubby looking, this is deliberate as nothing looks more out of place than a re-enactor in bright clean clothes. There was little facility to clean clothes in the 15th century and no detergents. Most peasants had only one set of clothes, artisans and craftsmen if they were doing well might have two sets. Multiple sets of clothes were the prerogative of the rich. All members of the Company are encouraged to wash their costume in water only so as to maintain the authentic look. (but hopefully not the smell)
Name: Colin Armstrong
Position: Maître des Cannons (Company Master)