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The Agincourt Livery Dinner 27th October 2010, Armourers' Hall

Armourers' Hall, adjacent to London Wall, was the chosen venue for the Company's annual Agincourt Livery Dinner on the 27th of October 2010. The hall has had a charmed life with regard to the great City conflagrations escaping both the Great Fire in 1666 and, through the quick wittedness of a fireman, the blitz of December 1940. It was believed to be the first time that the Company had visited this impressive hall with its suits of armour, pikes, shields and helmets adorning the walls. A more apt setting for a dinner celebrating a famous battle of the middle-ages could hardly be found.

The attendance at the dinner was first rate, "a sell-out", with a waiting list. Thus 83 Liverymen and their guests enjoyed a Champagne reception in the elegant Court Room followed by an excellent diner. The menu consisted of a terrine of Smoked Salmon, Crayfish and baby leek; Scottish Beef with Oyster Mushroom and Port Wine jus; and in conclusion Treacle Tart and Clotted Cream. Accompanying the meal, in traditional Bowyer fashion, were some most enjoyable wines.

Above left: The Roger Cork Loving Cup - A modern loving cup, the plain bowl on a 'stout' cylindrical stem with two Bow handles, with a lid surmounted by a trio of bows as a finial Engraved...'Roger Cork's Mayoralty' and the Cork Coat of Arms. Hall marked London 1993 by Maker A.G.E (Anthony Elson) 46ozs. Above right: The Masters Goblet, James II style London 1989 12 Ozs. Valued at £850 in Jan 2004. Engraved underneath: "Presented by Colonel N Ireland Smith Master 1970-1972."

At the conclusion of dinner there followed the Loyal and Civic Toasts which preceded the Master drinking to the assembled Company in a "Loving Cup". Thames Fanfare Brass supplied a musical interlude that included a rousing rendition of the 'Post Horn Gallop', much appreciated by all present.

Once the applause died down and having been introduced by the Beadle, Assistant Tony Kench giving a witty and urbane speech proposing the health of the guests. These included Colonel Sir Brian Barttelot, Richard Proctor (Master Wheelwright) and Lieut. Colonel Richard Spiby (Mercian Regiment) as well as many private guests. Sir Brian Barttelot, other than hailing from a famous family (his great Uncle Ted accompanied Henry Stanley on the Emin Pasha Relief expedition and two of his ancestors were at Agincourt), is the Harbinger of The Honourable Corps of Gentlemen of Arms, The Monarch's Body Guard at Ceremonial and State occasions. In his speech responding on behalf of the guests Sir Brian gave an amusing and interesting insight into the workings of this ancient institution that was founded by Henry VIIIth in 1509 and thus celebrated its 500th anniversary in 2009.

The Master's Goblet. After the health of the Company was drunk the Master rose to speak. He gave a brief report on the Court Meeting that had taken place earlier in the afternoon. During the course of this Mr. Richard Wilkinson had stood down from the position of Clerk and Mr Richard Sawyer had been sworn in as the new Clerk. The following gentlemen had been clothed in the Livery: Mr Richard Chalkley, Mr Christian Major, Mr Michael Manns and Mr Bernard Waples. The Master also welcomed Reverend Peter Bernhard who was admitted to the Freedom of the Company at the same meeting. In conclusion the Master invited all to join him in a stirrup cup that rounded off a convivial and successful evening.

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