Baronessa Gina Dragoni is a 14th-century Italian lady born August 22nd, 1338 CE in Spoleto on the Italian Peninsula. She now resides in Portsmouth, England, with her husband Lord Richard of Dragon Castle, a wealthy merchant.
Gina's life in her own words is as follows:
“I was born in Italy in Palazzo Dragoni, which is in the centre of Spoleto next to the Cathedral. The palace, whose most ancient rooms were built in the 9th century over Roman ruins, is located in the highest and most beautiful place of Spoleto, commanding the whole valley down to Assisi. Spoleto is nestled in the hills of the Umbria region.
The city of Spoleto is 79 roman miles from Rome and would take 7 days of hard riding to reach there. But even at that distance Spoleto was always loyal to Rome and the church.
It is the year 1383 in ordinary time during the reign of his holiness Pope Urban VI (since 1378).
My loving father is a fabric merchant. He did not want to get involved in public administration like many of my uncles and brothers; nor was he interested in farming like some of my other uncles. As a fabric merchant, he is very well known and popular in the city for the variety and quality of cloth and his fair prices. He made my dowry 200 measures (arms spans) of fabric. What a generous man he is.
I met a merchant who was traveling from England. He talked to my father at great lengths. They made several good business deals and before he left, he had also asked for my hand in marriage. When I realized that my husband-to-be had the same name as his king, Richard II, I knew that he would be a good man to marry. Alas, Richard of Dragon Castle.
I had never thought of leaving my beautiful Spoleto before, but for my lord, I would travel the world - which I did. It was a very long trip to his home in England, and much more damp than I was used to, but I had much fabric to cover me and keep me warm.
My mother taught me many skills that I might need when I marry. I was instructed on the steps of creating wool from sheering the sheep through spinning the yarn and weaving the fabric. My favourite is actually creating clothes from the woven material, though usually the servants do most of the hard work. She also taught me how to make soap and paper; how to cook; and to keep a watchful eye on the staff, all of which are necessary in the running of a prosperous home.
Our crest has been in the family for years. It is an ancient helm with the Dragon perched on top. The Dragon is a great mythical creature from which the Dragoni family derived their name. It symbolizes strength and security. The legend says that there were two kingdoms that were united under one ruler as determined on the battlefield. That ruler wore the ancient Dragon helm. The legendary dragon only recognized the single ruler (the man who wore that ancient helm) and protected both kingdoms. There was an argument and a single ruler could not be recognized. Without a single ruler both kingdoms perished since the dragon could and would not protect them. Richard’s heraldry is part of that same legend. His banner shows a lion clutching onto a dragon’s golden egg. This is the dragon that would protect the kingdoms. So you see, we were destined to be together.
I now lead a very happy life in my home in the city of London in the country of England with my husband and child. I tried to be a good Catholic and give my love many healthy children, but alas it was not meant to be. I have provided him with a handsome heir who will take care of us in our old age.
My dear gentles, this is the story of my life, as I have unfolded it before you.”
Gina joined the SCA as carded member in 2001, in Caldrithig. Eventually moved over to Canton of Harrowgate Heath to assist in the forming and support of the new canton in January, 2004. With the closure of Harrowgate Heath in 2019, she and her husband moved back to Caldrithig.
* Lunch steward:
Event participation outside of attendance:
* Entered Queen's Prize Tourney with Viking wire weave display(2020)
Gina enjoys learning new skills; creating items that will be enjoyed by others; and providing service to my canton, barony, and kingdom(s) where I enjoy playing.
She also enjoys visiting other cantons, baronies and kingdoms and enjoying their events.
Gina can be reached via email.