John Bowyer

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Azure, a lion couchant Or and a chief wavy argent.
John Bowyer and Lilian Bowyer
John Bowyer before Their Majesties being announced for the Chivalry
John Bowyer on his Chivalry scroll
John Bowyer without the gray...
Chivalry scroll: illumination by Tatiana Dieugarde, calligraphy by Winnifred d’Artois, and text by Garick von Köpke.
Chivalry cloak embroidery by Lillian Bowyer

Sir John Bowyer[edit | edit source]

Persona:[edit | edit source]

I follow three persona's all with the same name. My primary is an Archer Captain in 14th Century England. My feast and fancy ego is a 16th Century English wool merchant and my fun ego is as a 8-9th Century Anglo Saxon.

John Bowyer of Framlingham, Suffok, England, would have been born between 1328 and 1332. Born as the third son to William and Anna Bowyer. William was a yeoman holding 100 acres of ground along with sheep, cattle and oxen, while Anna produced breads and cheeses for trade at the market.

In 1339, the sweating sickness struck down William and Anna. John's oldest brother inherited the land and animals, and his sister left to join the Augustinian Nunnery near Flixton, Suffolk. With little left for John, he was packaged off to his grandfather, Godfryd.

Godfryd was a man of the woods. Hired by local nobles to patrol their lands preventing poaching, controlling swineherds and herders amongst the forrest and land. Godfryd was also a veteran of many campaigns and was well regarded as a bowyer and archer. In time, Godfryd took John under his wing and taught him the traits of an archer and the trade of a bowyer.

As the war rumbles in the East between England and France, John takes leave of his grandfather vowing to return with riches from France. In Ipswich, Suffolk, John makes his mark on the rolls and joins a company of archers and enters the Kings Army. In 1346 John stood amongst the archers at the Battle of Crecy during which he was able to capture a minor French noble who he turned over to an English knight in exchange for 50 pounds. This unexpected windfall along with armor scavenged from the Genoese and French allowed John to continue to serve the King's Army.

Shortly after surviving Crecy, the company of Archers were assigned to the Black Prince for his campaign through Gascony. Throughout that campaign John acquitted himself well and by the Battle for Poitiers, he is serving as Sergeant in the company. During the battle, the company captain falls at the hands of German knights, and John is selected after the battle to become the new captain.

History in the SCA:[edit | edit source]


  • When started in SCA:2004
  • Significant events since then:
    • Joined in Drachenwald and moved to Kingdom of Northshield in early 2005, awarded the Queens Glove (AoA Rapier). Moved to Kingdom of the Outlands in 2008 and recieved the Silver Tynes (AoA Rapier) started heavy fighting. Moved to the Kingdom of the West, The Marches, Stronghold of Warrior's Gate. Moved to the Kingdom of Meridies in 2012 and recieved the Argent Rapier (AoA). Moved to Calontir in 2014, and became a Fyrdman, Huscarl, awarded a Torse and became a Cross of Calontir.
      • Honorable Lord John Bowyer was announced to be elevated to the Order of Chivalry at Feast of Eagles 2019.
      • Vigil and elevation - Valor (Labor Day Weekend).

Groups and Affiliations:

  • Current Group: Cum an Iolar and Barony of Forgotten Sea
  • Previous Groups: Shire of Schattentor, Barony of Dragon Spine, Stronghold of Warriors Gate, Shire of Terra Termini
  • Guilds, Households, etc: Crewmember of the Corvus


  • Local Offices: Knight's Marshal for BFS
  • Regional Offices:
  • Kingdom Offices:
  • SCA-wide Offices:
  • Other service:

Other Information[edit | edit source]

Websites, articles, blogs, etc.

Chivalry scroll: illumination by Tatiana Dieugarde, calligraphy by Winnifred d’Artois, and text by Garick von Köpke.

Rat out a Friend[edit | edit source]

Court had some good stuff. Besides getting to swear fealty, my favorite bit was when Sir Duncan of Skeen 'interrupted' the newly sworn Chivalry to talk to the Crown about the Seven Chivalric Virtues, and how Franchise is so essential yet hard to even define that he had taken a squire to help himself, Duncan, learn that elusive art. A squire whose understanding of the other Chivalric Virtues as well as expertise in combat were such that Sir Duncan wished to beg the boon for that squire, John Bowyer.

Who, like his knight before him, just happened to have stepped outside at this critical moment.

So like Duncan of Skeen before him, John Bowyer had to be located - fortunately quickly - and brought into the hall to a screaming standing ovation and the open arms of his knight. It was wonderful. - Jenna of Southwind Dale

A few years ago Astryd and I made our way into the sca. At the first practice we ever attended John Bowyer and I clicked immediately. The military stories and overall life stories were shared as we were introduced into the world in which we play. He had taken us in. He helped to make sure I had armor and quite literally has thrown clothing and books at me to help me. He has gone out of his way to check on my wife and I as we have recently gone through the struggles of real life. We have carpooled and fought on several occasions and I am constantly reminded at how lucky I am to have been introduced into the sca by him. I am a thrilled to be able to witness him being elevated. He is an amazing person and will only help the society that much more!!! Congrats brother!!!! - James Bylewski

As a Society, we often talk of Peer-Like Qualities as a vague abstraction. We can easily point to peers and other members of the populace who, in our eyes, don't live up to those ideals. I'd like to bring word fame to someone who has.

Since I moved to Calontir in 2015, I've seen John Bowyer consistently provide hospitality and advice to all comers. He opens his home for projects and practice and pell work.

I've never seen him publicly be overcome with anger or hear him speak a spiteful word. He moderates his speech and action and is careful about his demeanor.

John has patience, both in dealing with people and the circumstances of life. I have never heard him lament about his long journey through many SCA kingdoms as a member of the Air Force - and the challenges to just recognition of his talents that resulted in. He's also able to handle the idiosyncrasies of many challenging personality types that I'm unable to do.

He encourages and takes time to mentor newcomers to the Society and to the KC-area world of the SCA, both on the rattan field and off. If you have a question, you can ask John. If you need help with a project, you can ask John.

He consistently gives of himself, to the betterment of many of us.

He is conspicuous about his kit, and looks the part of someone who'd be seen on the battlefield long ago - whether that's a 14th century archer captain or Anglo-Saxon warrior.

I cannot speak to his prowess - but the members of the Order of Chivalry have seen to his diligence. I can, however, speak to his Peer-Like Qualities.

If someone asked me what a Peer acts like, I would point to John.

He is man with few equals in that regard, and those who are are real inspirations and luminaries.

John, I am so very happy to see the Chivalry and the Crown recognize your worth by asking you to sit vigil and to be made a Knight. Calontir will be all the better for it.

Congratulations! - Hugo van Harlo