• Short Summary

    THEY'RE TURNING THE CLOCK BACK 400 YEARS IN RURAL SOMERSET WHERE PREPARATIONS ARE BEING MADE FOR THE FIRST PUBLIC JOUSTING TOURNAMENT THE COUNTRY HAS SEEN MORE THAN A CENTURY AND A QUARTER.

  • Description

    THEY'RE TURNING THE CLOCK BACK 400 YEARS IN RURAL SOMERSET WHERE PREPARATIONS ARE BEING MADE FOR THE FIRST PUBLIC JOUSTING TOURNAMENT THE COUNTRY HAS SEEN MORE THAN A CENTURY AND A QUARTER.

    OUR CAMERAMEN WENT DOWN FOR THIS PREVIEW OF THE JOUSTING TOURNAMENT WHICH WILL BE ONE OF MANY HISTORICAL SPORTS ORGANISED AT MONTACUTE HOUSE ON SATURDAY IN AID OF THE NATIONAL TRUST -- A BRITISH SOCIETY WHICH PRESERVES PLACES OF HISTORICAL INTEREST.

    THE ORIGINS OF THE JOUSTING TOURNAMENT PROBABLY LIE IN BARONIAL GANG FIGHTS AND PRIVATE BATTLES BETWEEN KNIGHTS AND LANDOWNERS WHICH WERE COMMON IN THE 11TH CENTURY. LATER THEY BECAME CLEARLY STAGES CONTESTS BUT WERE STILL VERY BLOODY AND DEATH USUALLY RESULTED. IT WAS THE CUSTOM FOR BEATEN KNIGHTS TO FORFEIT THEIR ARMS AND HORSES TO THE VICTORS AND SOON KNIGHTS BEGAN TO MAKE A PROFESSION BY MOVING FROM TOURNAMENT TO TOURNAMENT.

    THE CHURCH TRIED TO PREVENT THE JOUSTING TOURNAMENT AND WILLIAM THE CONQUER FORBADE TOURNAMENTS IN BRITAIN ALTOGETHER. LATER ON, UNDER RICHARD I. THEY WERE SANCTIONED AGAIN AND WITH IMPROVED ARMOUR AND BLUNTED INSTRUMENTS THE JOUSTING TOURNAMENT LOST ITS BLOODY ELEMENT AND BECAME JUST A DANGEROUS SPORT. IT WAS IN ORDER TO AVOID CASUALTIES THAT A BARRIER WAS PUT BETWEEN THE TWO KNIGHTS. ANOTHER SAFETY INNOVATION WAS LANCES THAT WOULD BREAK EASILY.

    BY THE END OF THE 16TH CENTURY THE JOUSTING TOURNAMENT, RATHER LIKE FENCING TODAY, HAD DEVELOPED VERY STRICT RULES. THE CONTESTANTS WERE ONLY ALLOWED TO STRIKE CERTAIN POINTS ON THEIR OPPONENT'S BODY OR SHIELD AND IT WAS A FOUL TO STRIKE THEM OUTSIDE THE TARGET AREA. POINTS WERE GAINED FRO STRIKING THEIR OPPONENT'S SHIELDS OR BY BREAKING THEIR LANCES AGAINST THEIR OPPONENTS.

    HOWEVER, REFINED JOUSTING MEANT A LOSS OF BLOODSHED AND A LOSS OF POPULARITY AND BY THE END OF THE 17TH CENTURY THE SPORT HAD ALMOST DISAPPEARED. THE LAST BIG TOURNAMENT WAS HELD IN 1839 BUT STORM RUINED THE OCCASION
    BIG CROWDS ARE EXPECTED AT SATURDAY'S TOURNAMENT, PROVIDED THE WEATHER HOLDS, AND THEY SHOULD BE IN FOR SOME GOOD ENTERTAINMENT. THE KNIGHTS ARE CHEATING A BIT -- USING WEAPONS OF BLUNTED METAL, WOOD, AND HEAVY RUBBER -- BUT ALTHOUGH THEY'LL BE WEARING THE HEAVY ARMOUR OF THE 16TH CENTURY, THEY'LL BE JOUSTING IN THE 14TH CENTURY MANNER, WITH NO PROTECTING BARRIER BETWEEN THEM AND USING LIGHT, FAST HORSES -- UNLIKE THE CART-HORSES OF FORMER TIMES.

    SEVEN OF BRITAIN'S LEADING HUNTSMEN ARE COMPETING IN THE TOURNAMENT AND ALTHOUGH EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO AVOID BLOODSHED A FIRST-AID TEAM WILL BE STANDING BY.

    AWARDS TO THE WINNER WILL BE PRESENTED FROM A MOCK-ROYAL BOX WHERE DISTINGUISHED GUESTS IN ELIZABETHAN COSTUME WILL BE CHEERING THEIR CHAMPIONS.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5ZH8VFSCUJ55Z8O6WT50VAFP
    Media URN:
    VLVA5ZH8VFSCUJ55Z8O6WT50VAFP
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    25/06/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:53:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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