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Agincourt Banquet, Tallow Chandlers' Hall, 25 October 2023

The Bowyers were delighted to celebrate the battle of Agincourt at our annual white tie banquet on 25th October 2023. We like to hold the banquet as close as we can to the actual anniversary, and this year we did so on the day itself.

We welcomed our guests to the Tallow Chandlers' Hall and a fine and fulsome evening was had by all. We were honoured to have as our principal guest of honour, General the Lord Houghton of Richmond, who was welcomed, together with our other guests, including the Master Tallow Chandler, Mr Julian Hill, by our very own Brigadier Tweedie Brown. The General spoke eloquently about his reflections from his stellar career, in particular regarding three themes: the madness of times, that the work of good people is far from done, and how factual history is changed by everyone's own imagination. Most apt for the current very unfortunate wave of conflicts in Europe and the Middle East about which we are all painfully aware. In response, the Master commented that there was perhaps no selective memory on the part of the Bowyers as far as the battle of Agincourt is concerned! It was also a pleasure to also welcome the Commanding Officer of HMS Northumberland, Cdr Will Edwards-Bannon RN, accompanied by the two Dudley Award recipients for 2022 and 2023.

The evening was also iconic for the Bowyers because at the Court meeting immediately prior to the banquet, in addition to Mr Rashpaul Bahia, Professor Anne Curry was admitted as a freeman of the Company, and on the anniversary of Agincourt itself.

At the dinner a full catalogue of Bowyers' songs was sung, with a particularly impressive solo from baritone James Quilligan of the "Agincourt Carol", before the rest of the diners joined in gusto with "the Roast Beef of Old England" and "Hearts of Oak". Afterwards diners repaired for a stirrup cup in the Hall, and some later adjourned to the Walbrook Club to close the evening.

Nigel Heilpern
Master Bowyer 2022-24

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