What We Do

Trade in Medieval Europe - Ancient History Encyclopedia

The Company of Merchant Adventurers and Guardians of Sterling (“GoS”) is a membership support guild of playtrons, craftspeople, performers, and generally those who share a love for the shire of Sterling, also known as the New York Renaissance Faire (NYRF). For varied reasons, most of us are unable to dedicate ourselves to the craft required of the cast and performers – so we look to assist in other ways!

We are a loose re-enactment of a Medieval-era chartered trading company, emulating such historical organizations such as the Company of Merchant Adventurers of York, the Hanseatic League, the Barbary Company, the East India Company, and the Company of Merchant Adventurers to New Lands – just to name a few Companies that existed during these time periods.

These organizations were created to promote trade, exploration, and to provide security for traveling merchants and freefolk. This format allows us to maintain a wide diversity of member characters, representing an array of Medieval and Renaissance period professions and cultures and letting our membership enjoy some degree of freedom of expression.

Many of our members present themselves as simple villagers, tradespeople, laborers, sailors, privateers, craftspeople, explorers, merchants, and the occasional so-called barbarians from foreign lands. Our encampment is our Merchant Adventurers Hall, where we hope to educate visitors on trade and shipping activity during the Medieval periods up to (and a little beyond) Elizabeth’s reign…with a healthy dose of fun and fantasy sprinkled within.

Our main task, however, is to lend support to the shire of Sterling itself – the New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, NY and its ownership, Renaissance Entertainment Productions. This includes assisting with public safety and hospitality, advocacy, marketing and events, and beautification. We are the figures in the background, supporting the Cast and Performers whose job it is to entertain our Faire’s visitors and patrons.

What does this mean? As a member of the Company, you can expect to handle any of the following responsibilities throughout your day at the Faire:

  • Crowd control at select performances, such as the Jousts
  • Guiding visiting patrons with directions and information
  • Hydration runs for Cast performers
  • Front gate “meet and greet” for arriving patrons
  • Seeing to the Cast’s wellness and safety care
  • Responding to Security alerts
  • Helping with Children’s crafts
  • Providing general education on Medieval and Renaissance life
  • Improv entertainment – you too can learn Elizabethan English!
  • Parading
  • Site clean-up and maintenance (pre-season, and post-season)
  • General promotion of the Faire and related activities

Also; some of our members (those with musical talent) occasionally fill in for the Faire’s house band, and those who are more light on their feet have performed as members of Danse Macabre. We’ve also occasionally been known to help out some of the Merchant Vendors at the Faire, filling in for them when they’re in need of temporary assistance.

We’re the “extras”, the stagehands, and the people you see in the out-of-focus background filling in the blank spaces to help our wonderful Cast shine even brighter!

Interested in becoming a member of the Company? Join Us!