I’m Keegan, Sybil Strangewayes in the SCA.

This is mostly a blog for my progress and projects in the SCA, but I’ll probably put a lot of random posts here, too, especially if I need to rant. I’ll probably have a ton of my links for garb research, as well, because I thoroughly approve of sharing everything I have with anyone who wants it.

My interest in historical research is the Tudor period of England (1485-1603)  – I like the aesthetics of the dress, and I love learning about just how nuts Henry VIII, ‘Bloody’ Mary Tudor, and Elizabeth I were.

My persona paper from my Serjeantry Trails (lancer candidate)

Sybil Strangewayes was born in the year 1510, and in the year 1540 is on the margins of Henry VII’s Court. She was the bastard daughter of an important Earl and a Lady of the Court(generously provided for, but ineligible to marry into her fathers social class), and lived in Yorkshire (northern England) with her half sister as a companion and upper servant. She grew up with her half sister, and was educated in a similar manner to Thomas More’s children, as her father wished his heir to have a good education and didn’t wish to waste a tutor on only one child.
On an average day, she would wake at dawn, take a brisk walk on the grounds of her cousin’s estate, and then would eat a small breakfast. After breakfast, she would oversee some of the days labors – washing linens, cleaning rooms, changing bed linens, brewing (as most estates had their own brewery). After the midday meal, she would either attend her Sister in her solar and sew or embroider, or she’d spend time making medicines in the stillroom. After supper, she’d spend time at her devotions (as she paid lip service to the Catholic Church), and then sleep for 3-4 hours, wake and read, sew, or walk for a few hours, then sleep for another 3-4 hours before waking again at dawn.
She lived in a newish Wattle and Daub home, where the frame of the home was built of wood, and thin branches were woven between the framing, and the daub, made from clay, sand, and straw, hair or other fibrous material was pressed to the wattle, and then whitewashed for beautification as well as making the stuff more resistant to rain.
Generally, the morning meal would be simple – Bread leftover from the Previous Evenings meal, with a small beer to wash it down, and maybe leftover beef as well. The midday meal, Dinner, generally consisted of a variety of dishes – Lobster, Eel, Quince Pie, Partrige, Peas, Beef, Partridge, Pasties (generally filled with a mix of meats and vegetables), Cabbage, Turnips, Porridge. The leftovers then went to the servants immediately after the meal. Supper was a simple meal, usually similar dishes to Dinner, but fewer of them. Mostly people didn’t drink water, they drank ale, cider, perry (fermented pear cider), mead and wine, and most larger households had their own breweries for beer on site, as part of a servants benefits was a specified amount of beer a day.
Most meals were supplied by the workers on the estate, and were prepared in large kitchens. Meats were cooked on spits over the fires, Pies in brick ovens, and soups and other dishes in large cauldrons over other cook fires. The Kitchens weren’t the coolest place to be, as all those fires would be hot and miserable.
Herbs that she’d use commonly would be onions, to flavor foods, and if necessary, as a medicine to increase sperm. Wormwood, she’d use to help with Gout. If someone had an old ulcer, nightshade would be good in an ointment. Nightshade, a few drops in an enemies drink, would make said enemy trouble her no longer, but a drop in the eye would make the eye glisten and be more attractive. All three would be common in Herb gardens, and onion would be cultivated for food. Wormwood and nightshade are also common weeds growing anywhere.
When her sister chose to visit London, they rode in a cart, and also would take time riding their horses. When they traveled around the estate, they generally walked, or if the destination wasn’t close enough to be a comfortable walk, they’d ride.
In York, she’d wear a linen smock, high necked and embroidered, with a red wool kirtle (as red was considered a warm color) over it, and as many skirts as needed to keep warm. Over the top of this would be a dark-colored wool dress lined with either more wool, or fur. She’d wear a pair of hose, probably of wool and held up with ribbons at the knee, and a pair of basic square toed leather shoes. Over this would go another dress if it was really cold, and maybe an extra set of sleeves and a wool partlet. On her head, she’d wear a simple linen coif, with a simple wool hood over it.
In London, she’d wear a low necked and embroidered smock made of linen, a highly supportive bodiced kirtle with a lightly stiffened and fancy fabricked skirt, under which would be as many skirts as needed to keep her warm. She’d wear a handed down (from her sister) dress of black silk satin or colored brocade lined with either wool or fur for warmth, and the skirt would open at the front to show off her fancy kirtle, and the sleeves would bell to show off undersleeves. She’d have undersleeves possibly matching the kirtle, but not necessarily. She’d wear linen or silk hose held up with ribbons at the knee, and a pair of shoes with leather soles, but a fine upper made of embroidered wool, linen, or silk or scraps of leftover brocade from her dresses. On her head, She’d wear a coif of linen, over which she’d likely wear a black English gable hood, handed down from a family member, or if she was feeling very fashionable, a black French Hood or a Black Wool flat cap with a highly decorated bottom brim.

You can contact me at Keegan -At- maniacalgleam -dot- com with any questions, answers, or whatever 🙂


  1. Rachel says:

    However, what John says about you is true. You are the kindest person I know, besides my husband. He should be nominated as a Saint for putting up with me. 🙂

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