A Philadelphia Joust in 1778

The appeal of iron clothing is timeless.

During the American Revolution in British occupied Philadelphia, John Andre (yes, the same Major Andre  who conspired with Benedict Arnold) held a Meschianza, an all-day party on May 18th.

As part of the entertainment there was a tournament of knights. Two seven-member opposing teams had a pretend joust with lances and then another pretend battle with swords.

The knights wore costumes and saluted fourteen young women watching the jousting from an especially built pavilion.

These “knights” apparently didn’t have mail but rather baggy pants, shirts with puffy sleeves and hair ribbons.

See: Andre, John. “Particulars of the Meschianza” letter written May 23, 1778. Printed in Gentlemen’s Magazine, August 1778, pp. 353.357.



About medievalphyllis

I love history and I love writing. I've been working on an historical novel about a medieval viscountess, Ermengarde of Narbonne since 2009. It has been quite a journey and the journey isn't over. Previously I written 6 historical novels for kids, but this is a new challenge.
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