September 20, 1981 XVI

TO: The Members of the College of Arms

FROM: Master Wilhelm von Schlüssel, Laurel King of Arms


Enclosed is the September Letter of Acceptances and Rejections, consisting of 36 acceptances and 21 rejections, totalling 57 submissions. These were processed at the Fourth Heraldry Symposium, held in Caerthe. Enclosed is also some material on Japanese names that I have compiled. This should be useful in the creation of Japanese names and for avoiding conflicts with famous Japanese persons in history. I am now in the process of rewriting the Rules for Submissions, which I will send to T.I. The Laurel Secretary is in the process of compiling a list of all royal surnames that should be avoided. You will receive copies of these later. My next meeting will be on October 25th, at which time I will process all Letters of Intent dated on or before August 25, 1981.

The Caerthen Heraldic Symposium was a success. Mistress Alison von Markheim did a fine job as autocrat. There were over 50 attendees, and there were almost twenty papers presented, which made for a thick Proceedings. The first printing of these Proceedings is now sold out. I will be reprinting it shortly and next month I will announce the new price.

The first day of the Symposium, Saturday, August 29th, saw us assemble to hear the papers read by those authors who were attending. That evening there was a revel. The next day we had the last of the papers and then I chaired a College of Arms meeting so all could see how I process submissions and so they could all get their two cents' worth in on each submission. It went slowly due to the number of submissions, but we finished them all and had a good time. Monday we had a long discussion on the Rules for Submissions and other matters of interest.

Lord Iathus of Scara has volunteered to edit and publish an SCA Heraldry Quarterly. He will be assisted by Sir Waldt von Markheim, Mistress Alison von Markheim, and Sherilyn von Markheim. He hopes to have a number of articles on heraldry in each issue, plus letters from readers commenting on past articles, so that the magazine can be a forum for heraldic debate. I hereby authorize such a publication and authorize Lord Iathus to charge such subscription fees as shall be needed to break even. I wish him all success and I look forward to contributing to and receiving this publication. You should be hearing from him soon.

So far there has been only one bid for next year's Fifth Symposium, so I hereby award it to the Barony of South Downs in Meridies (Atlanta, Georgia). Mistress Rebecca of Twywn and Mistress Oreta Heineman will be the autocrats. The date is the weekend of April 17/18, 1982 (the weekend after Easter), possibly spreading out into Friday and/or Monday. They should be making further announcements about possible sites and expenses. I urge everyone who didn't finish a paper in time to get it into this year's Proceedings to do so for next year's. This will be the first symposium in the eastern half of the country, so the heralds from the Middle, East, Atlantia, Meridies, and Ansteorra should have a better chance to attend. Anyone desiring to bid for the 1983 Symposium should send a proposal in to me before next year's Symposium. Hopefully, I can then announce the winning bid.

Based upon the discussion at the Caerthen Symposium, I have decided to rescind the original decree on heraldic achievements for scrolls. From now on, it shall be up to each individual kingdom to decide what achievements shall be used on scrolls. The Principal Herald and Chief Scribe of each kingdom should confer and decide. I urge that out-of-period styles be avoided, such as having helments in three-quarters view (trian aspect). One simple system, as an example, would be to use heater shapes for everyone unless somebody specifically wants a lozenge. Holders of Awards of Arms would have the shield and a helmet facing dexter with mantling. Holders of Grants of Arms would have the helmet facing forward (affrontée) with mantling. Holders of Patents of Arms would have coronets or crests appropriate to their titles or orders, as well as an affrontée helm and mantling. If you wish to use supporters, crests, or mottoes, you are free to do so, but the College of Arms will not register them, although an individual kingdom could. I would prefer to see supporters reserved for holders of Patents of Arms. I encourage everyone to exchange information on what achievements are in use in each kingdom and I request from each kingdom a copy of what they finally decide upon,

Based upon the discussion at the Symposium, I have decided to interpret the Corpora to read that titles not listed in the Corpora or specifically authorized by my office for official use are not to be used officially in the SCA. This means that they will not appear on the Order of Precedence, scrolls, or other official documents. Any such title is an unofficial title. These need not be announced in court or accepted for printing in newsletters. On the other hand, as a matter of courtesy and common sense, on a case-by-case basis, heralds or chroniclers may choose to use the titles as courtesy titles, so long as they think that nobody will be offended. Thus, Geoffrey d'Ayr may be announced at court as Bishop of Montalban if the herald feels the populace won't mind. The herald or chronicler must make sure that the impression is not given that these are official titles. They are not. Titles in bad taste, such as Pope, Emperor, Admiral, Patriarch, and the like should not be used or allowed to be used. The key considerations are good sense and good showmanship. Our job as heralds is to keep things running smoothly and enjoyable for everyone. (To give an example as to how one may avoid the appearance of endorsing unofficial titles, Master Geoffrey could be announced as "Master Geoffrey d'Ayr, known as Bishop of Montalban.") The question of the use or non-use of such titles is up to the local heralds.

Each Principal Herald should be receiving a copy of the new bulky Armorial and Ordinary. Master Renfield hopes to have his Apple Computer able to handle the Ordinary by December, at which time we will be able to print up a new Armorial in quantity to sell. I will be going through and correcting all of the errors and bad blazons that I can find before then, so that from then on the Armorial will be a correct, official reference to everyone's arms, devices, and badges. If you find any errors in the Ordinary, please let Master Renfield and me know. I have already found over 500, from years of accumulated errors. Please note that, by changing somebody's blazon to conform to current usage, I am not changing the emblazon, nor am I rendering any scrolls unofficial. Any blazon that has been proclaimed by this office as correct shall remain a correct alternative to any different blazon later adopted by this office. There are a number of correct ways to blazon any given emblazon. It is the emblazon which is protected by the grandfather clause, not the blazon.

I would like to urge each Principal Herald to keep track of how many armigers they have in their kingdom and how many of these have actually registered arms. This can be done by comparing the Order of Precedence with the Armorial. Those armigers who have not submitted arms can then be identified and encouraged to do so. Please send me the figures for each kingdom, so I can have a count of the number of arms in the SCA, as well as armigers, devices, and badges.

Lord Morimoto Koryu has volunteered to check our submissions against a complete Ordinary of Japanese mon that he has. He will also translate the Japanese blazons for these mon. Therefore, I ask each Principal Herald to send him copies of their Letters of Intent. You need not send him Letters of Comment, unless they comment on his comments. His mailing address is do Anthony Ferruci, 12506 N.E. 142nd Lane, #C-103, Kirkland, WA 98033.

Pray believe, my Lords and Ladies, that I remain

Your servant,


Master Wilhelm von Schlüssel

Laurel King of Arms