The Eglinton Tournament
June 4, 2009 7:06 AM   Subscribe

In 1839, soon after Queen Victoria's accession, the Earl of Eglinton staged a re-enactment of a medieval tournament to mark the beginning of what he hoped would be a new age of chivalry. Despite torrential rain, the Eglinton Tournament was attended by 100,000 people and sparked off a popular craze for all things medieval. A new website tells the story of the tournament and reproduces, for the first time, twenty original watercolours recording the event in all its romantic splendour and absurdity.
posted by verstegan (6 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Huh. So, does this mean I can blame Queen Victoria for the modern Renn fair?
posted by walrus hunter at 7:17 AM on June 4, 2009

Great (Sir Walter) Scot! How wonderful.

I wonder if they had kippers - thugs in pay of the opposition who would find fallen/injured knights, beat them senseless with clubs, and steal their weapons and armor. But that was the early days of tournament, before it became civilized.
posted by stbalbach at 7:48 AM on June 4, 2009

And thus the seeds that would eventually sprout into the SCA were sown.
posted by tommasz at 7:50 AM on June 4, 2009

Dammit, tommasz, I came in to say the same thing.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:26 AM on June 4, 2009

Brilliant, verstegan! My hairy reenactor friends will love this.
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:48 PM on June 4, 2009

I wonder if they had someone who wore a lot of black and said they'd like to fight in the tournament but with all their martial arts training they were afraid that they might accidentally kill someone.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 2:54 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

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