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RE: Order of the Banda

Poster: E L Wimett <SILVERDRAGON@Charleston.Net>

Tournaments: Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages by Richard Barber (a well-known mundane heraldic writer) and Juliet Barker has a lot of interesting material about the medieval tournament society, including a lot about the Spanish tourneys which tend to be ignored in much chivalric literature which tends to focus on the French, English and German traditions.

On pp.95-96, they note:

We first hear of the tournaments in Castile in the shape of béhouards at Seville to welcome Alfonso XI in 1324; but the earlier existence of tournaments can be deduced from the fully-fledged tournament provisions in the statues of teh Order of the Banda, founded by Alfonso in 1330 at Vitoria.  This was one of the earliest secular orders of knighthood, predating the Order of the Garter by more than a decade, and the rules about tournaments are unique: no other such order acutally specified that knights should enter the lists as a duty.  It was envisaged that each meeting of the order should include a tournament; but in addition to this, the king could summon the knights to any tournament which he had proclaimed, and they were expected to attend such events which took place within a day's ride of wherever they might be.  We know of two occasions when the knights held tournaments: the first was in 1332, when the king was at Santiago de Compostela awaiting his coronation:

"Moreover they maintained two tablas for jousting, and the knights of the Banda, whom the king had made and ordained a short time before, remained all day, four of them arrived in each tabla, and would joust with all who sought to joust with them."

The second occasion was at Valladolid at Eastertide in 1334.  The chronicler describes how Alfonso was always involved in 'tournaments and round tables and jousting' (if he was not out hunting), and how he regarded such occasions as a valuable means of ensuring that 'the knights would not lose the use of arms, and would be prepared for war when the need arose'.  The knights of the Banda fought together as a team against an equal number chosen from all comers, the king being incognito as a member of the Banda.  Two tents were pitched at either end of the lists, and the tournament began under the supervision of four judges.  It was fiercely fought, and the king, because he was incognito, received heavy blows in the thick of the press.  The judges, seeing that the contest was becoming too heated, entered the lists and forced them to part.  The two sides charged each other twice more and the fighting moved to a little bridge over a river outside the town gate, where the combat con!
tinued until after noon.  The judges parted the two sides, and they went to eat in their respective tents.  After dinner, the knights who formed the all comers' team went to visit the knights of the Banda and the king, to hear the judges' verdict as to who had performed the best; and they talked at length of the days doings.

There is only one further occasion when we hear of the Order of the Banda in connection with tournaments: in 1375, at Christmas, Enrique II held a 'famous tournament' at Seville 'in which the knights of the Banda distinguished themselves; the order had declined somewhat since its institution, but he wished to encourage the work begun by his father king Alfonso.

The order of the Banda was a short-lived institution, surviving for little more than a century; despite Enrique's attempt to revive it, its heyday was certainly past with Alfonso's death in 1350, and even in 1338, when we know that Alfonso held a great cortes at Burgos, followed by a tournament, we hear nothing of the Banda.   . . .

Barber and Barker offer as sources for this information the following resources:

Boulton, The Knights of the Crown (Woodbridge, 1987), pp. 53-54 and 84
Cronicas de los Reyes de Castilla, I, 231-232
and Diego Ortiz de Zuniga, Anales eclesiasticos y seculares de Sevilla (Madrid, 1795), II, 202.

Actually, this discussion sounds awfully like the SCA: marshalls, mock wars getting out of hand and the marshalls separating the fighters, feasts and post-revels of which the highlights were "no shit" stories. . .  They even had bridge battles!!!

Alisoun, the once and future historian

-----Original Message-----
From:	Diane Stevens [SMTP:nolarec@hwy5.net]
Sent:	Tuesday, April 21, 1998 12:41 PM
To:	atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
Subject:	Order of the Banda

Poster: Diane Stevens <nolarec@hwy5.net>

Help!  I would like info and I hope someone out there in the wide world
of nets can help me.

In the past, my lord and I have done some research on Knightly Orders,
specifically in the region that came to be known as Spain.  (Since my
lord is a knight from the 1250's in that region, it was our major
focus.) We found a reference to the Order of the Banda, which seems to
have been a secular Order of Knighthood which fit the bill.  The focus
of this Order was tournaments.  Other than this slim bit of information,
we could find nothing else.  Has anyone else out there in their
historical researches found reference to this Order, or have information
which might help us learn more?

I would appreciate it.  Thanks.

Duchess Luned
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