Toi Poisson de Mortagne
Toi Poisson de Mortagne
Azure, in pale three fish and a chief invected argent.
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Lady Toi Poisson de Mortagne. I became involved in SCA in the spring of 2003. After having attended a medieval faire at Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA with my family, we were moved to investigate the possibility of engaging in such frolic on a regular basis. I remembered having heard of such a group many years ago and decided to check this online. Lo and behold the internet was full of opportunity in the SCA. My first event was Boredom War a few weeks later. I met a number of people at that event who were excited for me that this was my first event. I asked lots of questions, had a lot of fun, and came back for more. Since that time I have made many friends and made this hobby a big part of my life.
Mundanely I am a professional Girl Scout at our local Girl Scout Council. I work predominately with adult leaders, however, on rare occasions I get to work with the children. In SCA I particularly enjoy creating activities for children, creating sotelties, wearing big jewelry and making beautiful clothing that I can’t wear anywhere else.
My name is Toi Poisson de Mortagne I was born in 1542 in the shadow of the 13th century portal St Denis in Mortagne au Perche, a country town in France. The Percheron horse originated in this part of France and can be seen on the many farms that dot the surrounding countryside. Mortagne has recently started making cider, pommeau (apple juice with apple brandy) and calvados (apple brandy), but one of its oldest products is Boudin Noir (Black sausage). I was raised eating Salade perche which is composed of Norman cheese, ham and salad greens, black pudding soufflé with baked apples, and pork cooked in a sweet sauce with apples. My breakfast was the traditional bread and hot drink.
Today I live in Richmond upon Thames, and have lived through the reigns of two queens, although I don’t remember Queen Mary for I was too young to care and had no use for such knowledge. I make my living as a laundress with a specialty in the care and cleaning of ruffes. I hear that most recently a Mr. Stubbes has written an account of some criticism of such, but even if I was inclined to agree with him, I would not, as this is the way I make my living. If the nobles of this land want ruffes “like windmil sayles fluttering in the winde” then I say let them, for it gives daily bread to the likes of me
I am a free person of color and I am married to a Richmond Palace court musician. This puts me in an unusual situation. Occasionally because of my work with the ruffes worn by the nobility and my husband’s job as a court musician I can get hand-me-down clothing that is still in very good condition and would not be what a person of my station as a laundress would normally wear. On a day to day basis I wear work clothes of wool or linen but on feast days I wear my very fine hand-me-down clothing, as long as it is not much too fine. Sumptuary laws dictate that I not wear cloth of gold or fine silk and I may only wear humble rabbit or squirrel fur as trim.
I am of the old faith but I hide this fact because one can never know when it would not be wise to commit to one or the other faith. I have been afraid for a long time about this and find it most wise to keep my mouth shut and in agreement with my betters, whoever they may be at the time.
Offices & Positions
- Chatelaine, Quintavia, 2005-present
- Deputy Central Region Chancellor Minor, East Kingdom, 2007-present
- Chancellor Minor, Quintavia, 2008-present
- Co-Autocrat, Quintavia Boredom War, June 2006
- Autocrat, Quintavia Hafla, March 2010
Projects & Publications
- In Service to the Dream, Fall 2005 Pikestaff Arts and Sciences Issue