February 21, 1984 A.S. XVIII
TO: The Members of the College of Arms
FROM: Master Wilhelm von Schlüssel, Laurel King of Arms
Enclosed is the February LoA&R, with 136 acceptances and 31 returns, for a total of 167. This is a pass rate of 81%. Congratulations, everybody! Keep up the good work. The average pass rate for all of 1983 was 72.5%, so this is a definite improvement.
In looking back over 1983, I find that the West had the best pass rate, at 82.5%, followed closely by the East at 82.2%. The complete figures are, in order of decreasing percentage: West (82.5%), East (82.2%), An Tir (76.7%), Ansteorra (75.8%), Caid (73.6%), Atenveldt (72.1%), Middle (70.1%), Atlantia (69.6%), and Meridies (59.9%). Calontir's first LoI was included in the Middle. By itself it had an 80.0% pass rate. Ansteorra and the West each had one perfect LoI last year; several others came close.
By March 10, 1984, I will need all LoCs on the following 7 LoIs (which will be processed at my March 25, 1984 meeting): Atlantia (12/7), Calontir (12/11), West (12/12), Caid (12/13), Atenveldt (12/14), Meridies (12/16), and East (12/23), totalling 137 submissions.
By April 7, 1984, 1 will need all LoCs on the following 7 LoIs (which will be processed at my April 14, 1984 meeting): Middle (12/28), Ansteorra (12/31), Calontir (1/9), West (1/10), East (1/20), Caid (1/24), and Ansteorra (1/24), totalling 140 submissions.
By May 12, 1984, 1 will need all LoCs on the LoIs I will process at my May 20, 1984 meeting. This includes, so far, Middle (1/26), An Tir (2/1), Calontir (2/6), and West (2/13).
There are a number of changes to the mailing list. Polaris has had to resign from the list for lack of time. The new address for Pale Herald is Dr. J. Patrick Hughes, 122 N. Douglas Avenue, Belleville, IL 62221. The new address for the Aten Principal Herald is Julia Howarth, 5109 West 6435 South, West Jordan, UT 84084, 801/966-7757. Please add to the mailing list Goldwin of Britain, Dolphin Herald (Earl St. Clair, 10435 Lindley, #229, Northridge, CA 91326); Wilhelm von Westfalen, Aestel Herald (Dave Biller, 812 Wetmore Avenue, Everett, WA 98201); Janos a Sovány Barcsi, Obelisk Pursuivant (Jeffrey C. Smith, 3011 E. Gire, Apt. 264, Lawton, OK 73501); and Geirr Bassi Haraldsson, Laurel Staff Advisor (Prof. Jere Fleck, 18801 Rolling Acres Way, Olney, MD 20832). 1 am pleased to announce that nobody is over two months behind.
The SCA Ordinary & Armorial will be printed in April. It will be just under 500 pages and will be typeset, back to back, and three-hole drilled so it can be put into a binder. It should look very professional. The price will be $15, plus $2 book-rate postage or $5 first-class postage (these include insurance). Those persons in Alaska, Hawaii, and APO/FPO addresses should add $1 for first class postage. Those in Australia or other countries should write to ask postal rates. Special arrangements can be made to ship batches of O&As to groups or individuals at a considerable saving in postage. Checks should be made out to "Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.--College of Arms." Send orders to Claire of Lynnwood Keep (Linda E. Duvall, 754 Lambkin, Saline, MI 48176, 313/429-9301). Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
A check having shown fairly good compliance, I am now amending the rule requiring all warranted heralds to submit their names and all titled pursuivants and heralds to submit their devices so that these are required duties of their positions but not such that failure to do so results in their automatic removal. Failure to submit a name or device shall be considered a failed duty, but it shall be up to the Principal Herald what action should result. I am aware that in some cases there may be only one person who can be the herald for a group and that removing him/her would subject the group itself to elimination for lack of a full set of officers.
I therefore leave enforcement of the duties of submission to the Principal Herald. All warranted heralds should know that, as a herald, it is their duty to set a good heraldic example to the membership. They should try to achieve a better-than-average degree of authenticity in their names, devices and badges, and register them promptly so that they will appear as good examples. The same applies to branches. They are already required to submit their names, and those of baronial or provincial status must submit their arms. These names and arms and any badges should follow a better-than-average degree of authenticity so as to set a good example to the membership, as those submissions will be official submissions of the Society. This increased degree of authenticity is not actually mandatory but is highly encouraged and expected, and should be urged by the heralds.
I would like to ask all kingdoms to arrange their submission forms so that the Society name of the submittor is at the top of the sheet and is prominently visible. The name of the assisting herald should be off to one side or at the bottom. As it stands now, in several kingdoms the name of the assisting herald is the most prominent name and lies above the submittor's own name. The result is that it is very difficult for us to process the forms, as we have to carefully pore over the forms to find the submittor's Society name. When you have to process 200 forms a month as we do, that gets to be a real strain. Principal Heralds should also make sure that the final blazon placed in the LoI appears on the picture sheet, and that the name on the LoI, the information sheet, and the picture sheet is the same.
I have not received any bids yet for the 1985 Heraldic Symposium. I would like to receive such bids by May 1, 1984. (At this rate, anybody putting in a bid will win by default.) Anyone can bid for the symposium, although I would prefer to see bids from the West Coast for the sake of rotation. A single bid will win. Multiple bids will be settled by a vote of the complete roster of the College. I encourage bidders to pick dates outside of August so as to avoid conflicting with Pennsic, unless the Middle or East wishes to combine the symposium with the Heralds' Picnic.
Taking into account the opinions of the College, I have decided to adopt Vesper's proposal about arms with simple bordures or chiefs, but not to adopt Vesper's proposal about tertiary charges on ordinaries. The new rule shall be an addition to the rule of complete difference of charge, which states that when a device has one or more charges in a standard arrangement, where the arrangement in itself is not per se distinctive, if every charge is sufficiently different from every charge in a second device or arms, then there is no conflict, even if all tinctures, positions, and arrangement are the same. Two charges are sufficiently different if their outline is completely different. The standard arrangement requirement places a limit of three charges on the complete difference rule. Thus the possible situations are: one charge in center; two in fess, in pale, in bend, or in bend sinister; and three charges, two and one. Three charges in other orientations would be too distinctive an arrangement. A higher degree of difference of outline is required for devices having more than one charge.
The new addition to the above rule is the situation when two devices each have a bordure or chief. If the bordure or chief has a plain line in both devices, or if the line of division is different in the two devices and there are no charges on the bordure or chief, then the two devices do not conflict if there is complete difference of charge of the remaining charges, ignoring the bordure or chief. If the bordure or chief has a complex line of division which is the same in both devices or if the bordure or chief is charged with the same charges in both devices, then there can be no complete difference of charge. If the bordure or chief is charged with different charges of different tinctures in the two devices then complete difference of the remaining charges is sufficient difference. If the tertiary charges share either type or tincture, then complete difference cannot occur.
With respect to tertiary charges (charges placed upon other charges), in all cases tertiary charges will continue to have their differences demoted one step, from major to minor, or from minor to negligible. Secondary charges (those placed around the primary charge or charges) count fully as a group. A single secondary charge counts fully. Differences of part of a set of secondary charges are reduced one step. Thus if you add a charge in dexter chief, that is a full point of difference. If you have Argent, a cross between four anchors azure versus Argent, a cross between in bend two anchors and in bend sinister two mullets azure, then the difference of type of charge counts as a minor point, since only part of the set of four secondary charges was changed. If you have Azure, a mullet within a bordure Or versus Azure, a mullet within an orle Or, there is a full point of difference in type of charge for the single secondary charge.
With regard to SCA badges versus mundane arms, the addition of a single standard mark of cadency shall not constitute sufficient difference. This means the addition of a chief, bordure, flaunches, baton sinister, label, or any of the other English marks for 2nd through 9th sons if such are placed in center or in chief. Other single-charge additions will be judged on a case-by-case basis. Note that the deletion of a chief or bordure is sufficient difference.
Schwarzdrachen proposes that, when branch arms are registered, the arms minus the laurel wreath(s) be automatically registered as a branch badge. This would have the effect of saying that the branch arms would have to avoid all conflicts without counting any points of difference for the laurel wreath. In many cases, the presence of the laurel wreath is the only thing that prevents a conflict and thereby the laurel wreath allows the branch arms to be registered. A badge consisting of the arms without the laurel wreath could easily conflict with an SCA device. I do not feel that this proposal would need to be implemented, as any branch already has the right to submit, along with its arms, a badge consisting of the arms minus the laurel wreath. These would be judged separately. I do not think we should automatically consider such badges. Let the branches decide if they want such a badge and submit it.
At the January BoD meeting, Duke Finnvar de Taahe, former Trillium Herald
was admitted as the newest Board member. Congratulations, Your Grace! He is the Ombudsman for both Meridies and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Duke Siegfried von Höflichkeit is now Chairman of the BoD for the next six months. The Deputy Steward resigned and was replaced by Duke Sigmund the Wingfooted, who is also in charge of the 20th Anniversary Celebration. The next BoD meeting is April 15, with a deadline of April 3. The following meeting is July 15, with a deadline of July 3. Both will be in Milpitas, California. The Stock Clerk now has an index for T.I. available for $3. The results of the Board Poll are ready, and a copy of the analysis can be obtained from the Corporate office for $6. The Society Marshal, Chronicler, and Minister of Sciences all had their 6-month warrants extended to 9/30/85. The positions of Steward and Laurel King of Arms, came up for review at the April BoD meeting. So far the candidates are myself and Master Baldwin of Erebor. I urge all of you to write to the Board and give your views as to whether I, or Baldwin, or somebody else should be warranted as Laurel in July. The proposals on Royal Peers and Society names rules will appear in the March T.I., with responses due back by August.
Duke Siegfried reports that the membership voted heavily in favor of requiring membership before somebody could be admitted to the peerage or could submit a name or device or badge to the College of Arms. The BoD will be considering proposals for action at its April meeting based on the results of the Board poll. These proposals will be made by Board subcommittees now studying the Board poll results. Duke Siegfried strongly expects that membership will be required for the above two situations. He asks that the members of the College write to him before the April Board meeting and let him know what problems might arise from such action, and what your opinions, suggestions, and comments are. (Please send me copies of these letters.)
With regard to the idea of requiring membership to submit devices/badges to the College, I see three major problems. These are: 1) a dramatic loss of revenue to the heralds, 2) ill feelings among non-members towards the heralds, and 3) the problem of verifying membership. Taking these in reserve order, we can avoid most of the hassles simply by taking the individual's word that s/he is a member, letting it be known that random spot checks will be made. There could be unfortunate cases of a member ratting on a non-member submitting a device. Difficulty 2) would arise due to the fact that, even if the Board was clearly the agency ordering the rule that membership was required to submit, and this was published in all the newsletters, the heralds would still wind up being the ones to have to tell many non-members (who wouldn't have seen the notice because they don't get the newsletter, because they're a non-member) that they cannot submit a device unless they become a member. There are bound to be many cases where this engenders ill feelings towards the heralds.
But the worse problem, 1) is the fact that such a rule would bankrupt some of the kingdom Colleges that are must making ends meet now. I checked the submissions pending for the March CoA meeting and fully 40% of the submittors are not members. If a membership requirement were in effect, some of these would join so they could submit, but I expect that there would be a revenue loss of up to one-third. Most of the costs of the heralds are relatively independent of the actual number of submissions. You still have to put the 20¢ stamp on, whether the LoI or LoC covers one half of one side of a sheet or both sides of three sheets. The same applies to minutes and general letters. Printing costs would drop a little, and fewer file folders would be used. There would still be a net loss of revenue. A measure that hurts the heralds and provokes unhappiness is not a good measure. If the Board does not require membership for a person to receive an Award or Grant of Arms, then how can we require membership to register those are that were just bestowed.
The membership of the SCA was just as in favor of adding a surcharge to heraldic fees for non-members (77%) as it was in favor of requiring membership (76%). If the Board feels that action is needed in this area, then I feel that the Board should require the College of Arms to raise its fees for non-members, not require membership. This would give the heralds extra revenue, which is sorely needed in several kingdoms, and would provide the incentive to become a member which is desired by the membership. We would consider the non-member rate to be the new rate and give a discount to members to bring their rate down to the old rate. This is better public relations. I would not favor raising the rates for non-members any more than an additional $3 per action, which would make the surcharge on a name-and-device equal to the $6 cost of an associate membership. I personally would favor raising the rate by only $2 per action, with the Laurel Office and the Kingdom Offices splitting the rise. Thus I would charge non-members $2 per action and members $1 per action. The Kingdoms would tack on an additional $1 per action for non-members. A name-and-device submission for a non-member would rise from, say, $6 to $10, with the members now getting a 40% discount back down to the original $6 rate.
Here is a brief summary of the Board Poll results. About 20% of the membership mailed in their answer sheets. The membership favored regional representation on the BoD, with BoD members selected by the Board after nominees' names are published for comment by the membership. All methods of impeaching BoD members were favored, with the BoD making the final decision at an open BoD meeting. Holding most meetings at Corporate HQ, with one or two rotated among the regions, was favored. The BoD should intervene in kingdom affairs unasked only in cases of violation of mundane law or Corpora or Bylaws. Interkingdom affairs should be settled by an Inter-Kingdom Council of Crowned Heads and Kingdom officers. The Chronicler had by far the best rating, at 4.25 out of S. and the Librarian had the worst, at 3.15. The rest were tightly clustered around 3.50 ± 0.20. As expected, my office rating was controversial. The Laurel Office is the only office that directly interacts with individual members on a large scale wherein a certain fraction of the actions is perforce negative. Those whose submissions were turned down are not likely to feel kindly towards this office. The Laurel Office rating was 3.302, with the highest standard deviation of any office. This office had the second highest favorable vote (31% favorable) and the highest unfavorable vote (17%), along with the second lowest "don't know/no opinion" vote (23%).
On paying officers, 81% of the respondents felt that line officers should be paid when their job was large enough to warrant it, and 73% felt that staff functions should be paid. Preferred payment method was a competitive wage with salary based on size of job. The offices that were approved for payment were: Registrar (96%), Steward (84%), Exchequer (80%), Laurel (65%), Stock Clerk (61%), T.I. Editor (59%), Board Clerk (52%), and Corporate Secretary (52%). All officers should be reimbursed for office expenses. By a vote of at least 90%, the membership felt that membership should be required for the following: Board Member, Corporate Officer, King, Queen, Kingdom Officer, enter Crown Lists, Prince, Princess, Principality Officer, enter Coronet Lists, Landed Baron/ess, Local Officer. By lesser votes membership requirements were approved for the following: register devices (76%), receive a peerage (79%), receive a grant or award of arms (66%), keep a peerage (56%), be an autocrat (52%), and fight on the field (50%). Membership requirements were rejected for the following: keep a grant or award of arms, receive a local award, keep a local award, enter an Arts/Sciences competition, and attend an event.
Membership revocation was approved for Violation of Mundane Law (88%), Alleged Violation of Mundane Law (79%), Conviction in a Court of Chivalry (73%), and Violation of SCA Law (50%). Membership denial was approved for Previous Revocation (94%) and Actions Equivalent to Revocation Grounds (76%). The approved implications of membership revocation were: Banishment (62%), Loss of Awards/Titles (59%), Regain Same on Reinstatement (57%), Formal Process Required (61%). The membership agreed to sell the mailing list (53%) with individual names being excluded if so desired (86%), to continue the rebate to the kingdoms (96%), and to encourage membership (87%). The approved means of encouraging membership were to require a surcharge for non-members' registration of devices (77%), give a discount to members in the Stock Clerk's Office (81%), and give a discount to members on site fees (64%). The membership felt that a person's kingdom was his/her legal residence by default (51%), with the mailing address being an option (62%). The membership approved residency requirements for Kingdom Office (85%), Principality Office (84%), Local Office (60%), Crown Lists (74%), and Coronet Lists (74%). The membership favored a prior written agreement between monarchs for a monarch to give an award to a resident of another kingdom. The membership preferred both continuing the BoD Minutes and putting a quarterly summary in T.I. The membership preferred to have notification in T.I., with more time for responses. T.I. should continue to be an automatic part of a subscribing member- ship. 50% of the membership had been in the SCA less than 4 years. 61% had held some level of office and 55% were armigerous.
In order to have the College's opinions on a number of questions that have come up, which opinions I would like to have before the Board meeting in April, I will be sending out a questionnaire to the members of the College. Please fill out the questionnaire and mail it back to me by MARCH 30th. I can then just barely make the BoD deadline of April 3. This gives the members of the College a month to answer the questionnaire, which should be plenty of time. I am asking for your personal opinion, not the opinion of your subordinates. I will be asking about a number of possible loosenings of name rules in particular cases, as a means of showing the Board that we can ease up without changing our entire rules structure.
Pray believe, my Lords and my Ladies, that I remain
Master Wilhelm von Schlüssel
Laurel King of Arms