July 30, 1984 A.S. XIX

TO: The Members of the College of Arms

FROM: Master Wilhelm von Schlüssel, Laurel King of Arms


I am pleased to see that Master Baldwin is now communicating with the College, commenting, and announcing his schedule. When, last month, in response to complaints from several Principal Heralds, I commented on Master Baldwin's silence, I fear I may have been overly harsh, and certainly my phrasing could have been better on some of the points, for which I apologize. The account of the phone conversation was typed from memory, and any inaccuracies were unintentional. In reassuring the College that Master Baldwin was not planning to make any immediate changes, I certainly was not trying to imply, as some have said, that he was instead planning to wait out his six-month probationary period and then change everything. Now that Master Baldwin is communicating with the College, I hope that further misunderstandings and uncertainties can be avoided or minimized. Master Baldwin is certainly capable of doing a good job as Laurel, and I hope he succeeds in doing so. I ask the rest of the College to, as I will, assist him by sending in comments and letting him know when he is right and doing a good job, and informing him when he is wrong and what he can do to correct the problem. (The College has certainly been diligent in doing this for me during my tenure.)

Enclosed is the July LOA&R, with 151 acceptances and 30 returns, for a total of 181, a 83% acceptance rate. By August 4, 1934, I will need all LoCs on the following 8 LoIs (which will be processed at my August 12, 1984 meeting): Ansteorra (5/7), Atlantia (5/7), Meridies, (5/10), West (5/14), Middle (5/19), Middle (5/21), Caid (5/23), and East (5/24), totalling 203 submissions. The summer crush is back again.

By August 12, 1984, Master Baldwin and I will need all LoCs on the 2 LoIs to be processed at the August 26, 1984 CoA meeting at the Symposium. These are Atenveldt (4/29) and Ansteorra (5/25), totalling 41 submissions.

By September 1, 1984, Master Baldwin will need all LoCs on the following 8 LoIs (to be processed at his September 16, 1984 meeting): Atenveldt (5/17), Caid (6/19), Middle (6/19), West (6/20), An Tir (6/25), Ansteorra (6/25), Atenveldt (6/25), and Meridies (6/28), totalling 167 submissions.

By October 6, 1984, Master Baldwin will need all LoCs on the following 8 LoIs (plus any other July LoIs sent out in July) (to be processed at his October 21, 1984 meeting): Calontir (7/4), Caid (7/17), West (7/17), Atlantia (7/21), East (7/22), Ansteorra (7/24), East (7/25), Middle 726), and East (7/28), totalling 181 submissions so far.

Enclosed is a newly revised Roster of the College of Arms. As always, there have been changes. Lord Gustav is no longer Silver Quill and has resigned from the Mailing List to concentrate on the Symposium. Obelisk has a new address. I am adding Clarion to the Mailing List, as he has decided to comment on LoIs. I grant an extension of time to Virgule, granting him another three months in which to comment. Lanner Herald is removed from the Mailing List for not commenting for four months. There is a new Northern Regional Herald in Atlantia, who is not on the Mailing List for the time being. There is a new address for Hilary Fairehaven, the Central Regional Herald in Atlantia, and also for Thomas Wakefield, the Southern Regional Herald in Atlantia. Mistress Minowara Kiritsubo is now Ibis Herald, but will not be on the Mailing List. The new Triton will remain on the Mailing List. I have yet to receive a LoC from Third Shield Herald. The Lochae and Stellanordica titles have changed hands. Everyone should examine the CoA roster and let me know if there are any corrections, such as warrant expiration dates.

The Steward informs me that, at the July Board of Directors Meeting, the use of rosters instead of individual warrants was authorized for all kingdoms. Each Principal Herald should keep a roster of all heralds in the kingdom, similar to the CoA Roster with the appointment and expiration dates of each herald's term of office listed on the roster, along with Society name, mundane name, address, telephone number, heraldic title and/or rank, and branch. Copies of this roster should be sent to all warranted heralds, the Crown, and Laurel. The roster should be signed by the Principal Herald and the current King and Queen.

A warranted herald would receive a copy of the roster with his or her name on it, rather than an individual warrant, although kingdoms may also give out individual warrants or official letters as well, if that is desired. The Principal Herald must have a signed statement from each warranted herald indicating acceptance of that position on the roster. The roster should be updated and signed by the Crown at least once per reign, preferably twice for six-month reigns. The roster does not invalidate existing warrants, as the warrant expiration date is listed on the roster. Heralds must still be SCA members and submit their Society names to be places on the roster.

The new update for the Armorial & Ordinary is ready and will be printed and sold through the Middle Kingdom College of Heralds, along, with the A&O itself. Included with it is a newly revised listing of heraldic Titles in the SCA and the mundane world, and a listing of Orders, Awards, and Titles in the SCA and the mundane world. It should be ready by Pennsic. All Principal Heralds will get free copies. Total page count is 63 pages.

I have completed the first draft of the new Rules for Heraldic Submissions, including the last Rules, the Supplement to those Rules, and all rules changes and interpretations made to date, It is now being proofread and copies will be sent out next month to members of the College. It is tentatively scheduled to be included in the proceedings of the 7th Annual Heraldic Symposium to be held in Slat Lake City on August 25-26. I highly recommend attending the Symposium and/or buying a copy of the proceedings, as both should be quite worthwhile. The first edition of the SCA Order of Precedence should also be ready by the Symposium.

I have issued a charter to the Free Trumpet Press, the joint heraldic publishing venture of the Middle and East Colleges of Heralds, who published the A&O and will be publishing the A&O updates, the Authentic Medieval European Names book, the SCA Herald's Handbook, and such other heraldic publications as they deem worthwhile. They have permission to use the name of the SCA and the College for their checking account, and to use the profits from the sales of the A&O and updates as a publishing fund to be sued as advance money for publication of further heraldic works in the SCA.

Those of you on the Mailing List, and possibly by now all the others receiving these letters, should have received a letter from the Steward, one which I found excessive, uncalled for, and inaccurate, although illuminating. I will not reply in kind, and prefer that the College get back to business, but I feel that I must reply briefly to a few main points. It is clear from her statistics and the results of the questionnaire that the letters received by the BoD were not representative of the College as a whole. I was not and have not been told the exact reasons for the BoD's decision, although I of course knew there were more than just the stated policy of geographical rotation. If, as the Steward says, the BoD had been unhappy with my performance as Laurel for some time, I can only wish that they had informed me of that fact, so I could have done something about it. If, as the Steward implies, the BoD had decided some time ago that I would not be around forever because they were not going to renew my warrant, I can only regret that they did not inform me of that decision, as I would then have spared us all this painful charade by quietly retiring, thereby opening up the position to those members of the College who felt unable to volunteer because I was requesting rewarranting. I requested that the transfer take place at the August 25-26 Symposium because I thought it fitting and because it would give Master Baldwin time to become reacquainted with the College and catch up on College policy and deliberations. I recognize that the BoD's decision is final, and I am preparing the office for transfer. I hope that we can all get back to the business of heraldry and put this matter behind us.

I have received a proposal from Monshō regarding the submission of mon. He says that the submission of mon on a roundel, whether the mon is a device or badge, has had the effect of causing those who want mon to feel constrained to fit the mon into a circular design, which was not always the case in Japan in period. The problem has arisen of whether an outer band is a bordure or an annulet, as the mon is an insignia worn on the kimono and therefore has no real outer edge, as arms do. His proposal is for mon to be submitted on the traditional Japanese shape for mon, which is a square with the corners cut off (either argent charges on sable or sable charges on argent). This would be more authentic, and would take care of the bordure/annulet problem.

On the other hand, we have in the past required all badges to be submitted on a roundel, even when the culture of the persona of the submittor used different shapes. The question is whether the advantage of using the clipped-square shape for mon submissions is sufficient to grant an exception to our rule, and whether the same shape should be used for mon devices and mon badges. Please let the College know your opinions on this so Master Baldwin can make his decision with your input.

I have received a proposal from Pale and from Dragon that Barons, both court and territorial, be granted the right to use coronets on their arms, as the Royal Peers now have the right to do. Let me first explain the history of this rule. Master Harold Breakstone, the first Laurel King of Arms, established the rule, on February 7, 1971, that crowns and coronets were reserved for Kingdoms, Kings and Queens. By January 1973, this had been extended to those who had been Kings and Queens (Dukes, Duchesses, Counts and Countesses) with the registration of crown-bearing arms for Duke Henrik of Havn, Countess Sheryl of Thespis, and Countess La Rana. Duke Henrik's king's-suit badge was registered by Master Ioseph of Locksley, the second Laurel King of Arms, on September 1, 1973.

The right to crowns was extended to royal augmentations through the registration of crown-bearing augmentations to Headless House (9/73), the members of the Order of the Silver Molet (2/75), and to the Dowager Princess Janeltis Karaine Starfollower (12/82). The medallion for the Order of the Silver Crescent bears a crown, and two herald's seals (Tyger Clerk and Star) bear crowns. The West Kingdom's Naval Ensign (5/66), the King's Huscaris badge (West, 8/82), and the Queen's Bard badge (East, 1/80) all bear crowns. These are all official Kingdom badges.

On June 30, 1979, Mistress Karina of the Far West, the third Laurel, extended the right to coronets to Principalities. On May 15, 1980, 1 extended the right to those who had ruled Principalities (Viscounts and Viscountesses), in the same way that Dukes, Duchesses, Counts, and Countesses derived their right from having ruled Kingdoms. Thus all of the Royal Peers have the right. Except for Viscountess Janeltis, who actually got her crown as an augmentation from the Crown of An Tir, none of the Viscounts or Viscountesses in the SCA have exercised their right so far. Four Dukes and four Countesses are listed in the Ordinary as having crowns in their arms.

The SCA has never considered Barons to be peers (something I personally think a mistake in the case of territorial Barons and Baronesses) and treats Baronies differently from Kingdoms and Principalities in that territorial Barons and Baronesses are appointed rather than chosen by combat (except in Western Seas). Barons and Baronesses have always officially been considered ceremonial figureheads only, not rulers, as Sovereigns of Kingdoms and Principalities are considered. Because the Barons are not Royal Peers and have not ruled a branch allowed to have coronets in its arms, I have not extended the right to bear crowns in personal arms to Barons and Baronesses. There is also the fact that Baronial coronets are themselves out of period. Up until the time of Charles II of England (1660-1685), the Barons wore chapeaus of red velvet with ermine lining (Parker's, p. 188). Charles II established the current English Baron's coronet with its six pearls.

The question before the College, then, is whether or not to extend the right to bear coronets in personal arms to Barons and Baronesses, and, if so, whether to allow all Barons and Baronesses to do so, or just territorial Barons and Baronesses, and whether to allow Baronies to add crowns to their baronial arms. Please let the College know your opinions on this matter so Master Baldwin can make his decision with your input.

Brigantia has brought up the question of Viscounty coronets. The current situation is that there is no default viscounty coronet. Each Kingdom or Principality is responsible for designing its own viscounty coronets. The College discussed the question of establishing uniform rank achievements and, therefore, a standard viscounty coronet, back in 1981, and on September 20, 1981, I released the right to design achievements and regalia to the kingdoms and principalities, including the design of coronets for viscounts and circlets for barons. The default designs for ducal coronets (4, 6 or 8 strawberry leaves) and for county coronets (embattled, as in the Mural crown of the mundane world) remained in effect as standard designs, but individuals were free to alter the basic design as they saw fit. There are no SCA-wide sumptuary laws.

One of the factors in the decision on the viscounty coronet is that there are a number of different viscounty coronet designs in the mundane world, and that the English design is out of period, having been instituted by James 1. The English design has 12, 14 or 16 pearls (or silver balls). The French design has four large pearls on points alternating with four small gold balls. The Dutch design has four large pearls alternating with four trefoils, which looks a lot like the English marquis coronet: four large pearls alternating with four strawberry leaf clusters. Brigantia asks whether there should be a standard default viscounty coronet design for the entire SCA. What do you think?

Another problem which has developed is the situation with kingdoms having different sumptuary standards and the cases where people from one kingdom travel to or move to another kingdom. The Middle had, until recently, laws on the size and style of banners allowed to different ranks. Both the Middle and Meridies have laws concerning the designs and materials allowed for coronets and circlets for various ranks. Some people have had their personal coronets questioned when they moved to another kingdom having different standards. Whether or not the College decides to have standard designs for things like viscounty coronets, baronial circlets, armigers' circlets, etc., I would like to make one thing quite clear: anyone who has received an item of regalia according to the customs and laws of the kingdom or principality in which they earned the right to such regalia, whether it be a medallion, a circlet, a coronet, or some other emblem of regalia, has the right to continue to use that regalia wherever else in the SCA they may move or travel to. Kingdom or Principality sumptuary codes apply only to regalia earned in that kingdom or principality or made new while living in that kingdom or principality. Thus, if a court Baron is given a golden circlet by the King when he is made a court Baron he has the right to wear that circlet when he travels to or moves to another kingdom whose custom or law is to have court Barons wear silver circlets. Should that court Baron later wish to make a new circlet, then that new circlet should conform to the customs or laws in the new area of residence. The old regalia legally obtained in the previous kingdom of residence is protected under a grandfather-clause exemption from sumptuary laws in other kingdoms.

To make sure that the Powers That Be are aware that foreign regalia has entered the Kingdom, and to provide a clear indication that the foreign regalia has indeed been granted an exception, I recommend that the custom be established that immigrating armigers with rights to particular regalia check with the Principal Herald of the new kingdom of residence and get such regalia cleared. Such clearance should be relatively routine, except in excessive cases. In period, anyone who could afford the materials and labor to make one (and also to pay the sumptuary tax) could wear a jeweled circlet. The right of all SCA members to wear a simple thin circlet to hold their headdress/hair down should not be abridged in any kingdom of the SCA. For the sake of courtesy and hospitality, visitors from other kingdoms should never be questioned on matters of regalia, beyond a tactful inquiry as to what the regalia is for and whether it is standard in the person's home kingdom. Someone moving to another kingdom should inquire into and be informed of any sumptuary customs or laws in effect in that kingdom, and would be well advised to consider conforming to local customs, but s/he should not be required to throw away legally received regalia.

Pray believe, my Lords and my Ladies, that I remain

Your servant,

Master Wilhelm von Schlüssel

Laurel King of Arms


Enclosures--CoA Roster