Who Am I?

The Medieval Home Companion is run by Cynehild Þegnestre, OP, OL.

CynehiDSCN6595ld joined the SCA in 2002 in the Shire of Shadowdale, Kingdom of Calontir, and has been active in the Barony of Eskalya, Kingdom of the West, since 2006. She is an artisan, teacher, and officer, participates in target and combat archery, and is working on getting back into heavy fighting. Cynehild was the first seneschal of the College of St. Guinefort on the campus of UAA. She has served as the Barony’s herald, arts and sciences officer, chronicler, and web minister; as well as serving as the Principality of Oertha’s seneschal, Stellanordica Herald, and arts and sciences officer. Cynehild is an active event steward, having run fifteen events in Oertha and the West at the college, baronial, principality, and kingdom level. Cynehild has been honored by elevation to the Orders of the Pelican and Laurel, as well as receiving awards for fighting, arts, and service. Her full SCA name is Cynehild Cynesigesdohtor, but upon receiving a court barony, she began using Cynehild Þegnestre, which can be translated as Baroness Cynehild

(NB: Þegnestre is not a common word in Old English. Per Bosworth-Toller it translates as “female servant”, though interestingly, they translate the masculine form [Þegen/Þegn] as “retainer, officer, minister” as well as “one who serves”. As the “approved” alternative title for Baron in OE is Þegn, I decided to use the grammatically [if not necessarily historically] correct female form as my appellation in the SCA, rather than the approved “hlæfdige” [which mostly just means the counterpart to a hlaford (lord)]. Besides, I like the connotation of “one who does service for another” much more than I like the connotation of “kneeder of bread”. Other titles I use are Magistra [Latin female form of magister, a title sometimes used as the equivalent of doctor but applied to the Liberal Arts], lærestre [OE for A female teacher, an instructress, preceptress, used to translate the Latin doctrix], and bocestre [an unattested OE word formed by replacing the masculine “do-er” ending -ere with the feminine ending -estre on bocere (translated as: a writer, scribe, an author, a learned man, instructor)]. As far as I have been able to discern, in writing titles followed the name in both Old English, think Tolkein’s “Théoden King” or Æðeldred ealdorman, and Early Medieval Latin, think Karolus serenissimus Augustus a Deo coronatus magnus pacificus imperator Romanum gubernans imperium [Charles, most serene Augustus crowned by God, the great, peaceful emperor ruling the Roman empire (Charlemagne’s preferred title)]. Thus, would my name and title be correctly rendered as Cynehild Þegnestre/lærestre/bocestre or Cynehilda Magistra.).


With this website, I am hoping to share my love of the medieval arts and sciences with others.

NB: this page is not related to Tania Bayard’s delightful translation of Le Ménagier de Paris, A Medieval Home Companion: Housekeeping in the Fourteenth Century. For the title, please blame my love of Lake Woebegon.