Taigh Moran Chat
RR 2, Northside Road
Wading River, NY 11792
31 July, 1988
Unto the members of the College of Arms and any others who may read this missive, greetings from Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane, Laurel Queen of Arms!
The enclosed letter contains the actions on letters considered at the Known World Heraldic Symposium in Calontir and at the regular Laurel meeting on 26 June. These included the letters from Atlantia (2/27), Trimaris (2/29), Atenveldt (3/1), Middle (3/9), Ansteorra (3/11), Calontir (3/15), West (3/16), Caid (3/18) and Meridies (3/18). Of a total of 286 actions, 233 were positive, 52 were negative and one involved a pended submission for an overall acceptance rate of 81%.
Due to time and environmental circumstances, the July meeting which began on 16 July had to be completed the following weekend The letters considered at those two meetings included Atenveldt (4/1), Middle (4/3), East (4/7), Caid (4/10), Ansteorra (4/12), Calontir (4/12), West (4/13), Meridies (4/23), An Tir (4/24), Outlands (4/25) and Middle (4/29) as well as the Laurel Letter of Intent. Also included was the March An Tir letter which had inadvertently been left off the previous schedule for this meeting: since most commentors automatically commented on the letter, it did not have to be postponed.
If enough comments on the letters of intent dated in May arrive in time, the August Laurel meeting will be held on 13 August. If not (and several commentors have already indicated that mundane circumstances and/or Pennsic preparations may prevent their commenting until the fourth week in August), the "August" meeting will be held in a marathon session on Labor Day weekend. (Laurel will be at the War on the third weekend of the month and travelling on the fourth). Letters to be discussed at that time include Atenveldt (5/1), Caid (5/1), East (5/13), Meridies (5/15), West (5/16), Ansteorra (5/18), Middle (5/22), Atlantia (5/25), East (5/25), Calontir (5/30), Trimaris (5/30) and Calontir (5/31).
The September meeting is currently scheduled for 18 September and will consider Atenveldt (6/1), Calontir (6/1), Caid (6/12), West (6/13), Ansteorra (6/14), Middle (6/14), An Tir (6/29), Meridies (6/29) and Outlands (6/29).
At this point the tentative dates for the remaining Laurel meetings of 1988 are October 16, November 20 and December 18. As a number of mundane and Society commitments are not yet scheduled firmly at this time, all these dates must remain tentative until at least the beginning of September.
The issuance of a roster seems to have had its usual effect and members of the College of Arms almost immediately started migrating in a lemminglike fashion.
Two Principal Heralds will have changed their addresses by the time you receive this letter. Alison von Markheim, Vesper Principal Herald, has moved to Oakland and consequently has a new mailing address: Alison Douglas, Box 10469, Oakland, CA 94610. Her telephone is now 415-834-8444.
Da'ud ibn Auda, Star Principal Herald, has moved as well. His new address is David Appleton, 9015 Bryson Drive, Dallas, TX 75238. At the time he notified the Laurel Office of this address change, Star was not certain whether his telephone number would remain the same or not.
Alban St. Albans, Morsulus Herald has also moved recently. His new address is Ted Eisenstein, 2307 Fairmont, Columbia, MO 65203. His telephone number is 314-446-1040.
The new address for Roanull Modar, Saker Herald, is Ron Knight, 9112 W. 78th St., Overland Park, KS 66204. The telephone number is 913-642-7139.
Amidst all this migration there are some additions and deletions from the mailing list. Star indicates that Adelicia Alienora of Gilwell should be deleted from the mailing list, although not from the roster. She will continue to comment, but will get her letters of intent from Star.
White Stag asks that you add to your mailing lists two commentors from the Outlands. The Trefoil Herald is Konrad von Greifswald (Roy Conrad), 5461 Kensington, El Paso, TX 79924. His telephone number is 915-821-6012. Wyndylyn Leanb na'doinnean is Puca na n-Adharc Herald. Her address and telephone are Jean E. Hortman, 2562 Grape Street, Denver, CO 80207 (305-355-6598). At the same time Triton asks you to add to the mailing list as well the Brightleaf Herald, Madoc Arundel: Christopher Miller, 5982 Brookcliff Road, Fayetteville, NC 28304 (919-425-7164).
Brigantia asks that you add to your mailing lists Friedrich Tomasson av Knusslig Hamn, Sycamore Herald: Tome Ireland-Delfs, 731 S. Main Street, Newark, NY 14513 (315-331-3788). He also indicates that Elaigne Kerr, Standard Pursuivant has asked to be dropped from the roster since she cannot at present find the time to comment. Aurochs and Schwarzdrachen have also been dropped from the mailing list for non-commentary, although Schwarzdrachen should be retained on the roster.
ON THE HERALDIC SYMPOSIUM
The thanks of the College must go to Charles Stewart O'Connor, Liriel Correll, and all the other folk who did so much to provide a resounding Calontir welcome to the heralds from eleven kingdoms who converged on the Leavenworth, Kansas, area.
Sadly, it was inevitable that the Symposium could not maintain the creative pitch of the previous year's meeting in California, which had widely been praised as the most productive session since the "Rules Revision" Symposium in Caerthe six years before.
Frankly, a considerable amount of the creative tension was missing from some of the discussion meetings which were not as productive as might have been wished. This was probably unavoidable to some extent. Last year's meetings had run at such a high pitch of energy that this could not be sustained. Several "catalysts" from the Berkeley meetings were absent due to financial restrictions and/or the coincidence with the West Kingdom Crown Tourney. In any case, discussions of actual rules and "concrete" proposals are usually less inspiring than debates on "the metaphysics of heraldry".
It was unfortunate that some unavoidable scheduling problems, in themselves minor, abbreviated the time available for some discussions. And, of course, Laurel was a far less competent "chair" than she had been last year, so that far more of the sessions developed into many-on-one question and answer sessions on rules and policy rather than the multi-dimensional debates which would have been ideal.
On the other hand, the workshops were generally well-attended and sincerely applauded and the essential purpose of the Symposium, the opportunity to meet and talk with heralds from far points on the Known World with whom one generally only exchanges letters, was in some ways even more successfully achieved than last year. As virtually all attendees were resident on the St. Mary's College campus, post-revels and discussion groups flourished from Thursday night through Sunday night. Laurel herself can testify to impromptu discussions on consonantal mutation in Welsh, comparative views of ceremonial in eleven Kingdoms, etc. which continued to at least four in the morning for all four nights. A number of junior members of the College go to meet and know others and several relatively inactive "legends" got to meet a whole new generation of heraldic bureaucrats. A good time was had by most...
BIDS FOR 1989 HERALDIC SYMPOSIUM
Perhaps the best tribute to the success of this Symposium and of the concept of the Symposium itself is the fact that before leaving the site, Laurel was informed by the representatives of no less than three kingdoms that they intended to put in formal bids for the 1989 Symposium.
This year we are making a couple of changes in the bid process in an effort to improve further the process of deciding upon the bid most suited to the current needs of the College and of heraldry in the Society in general.
Bids must reach Laurel by November 15, 1988, and should include as much information as possible on available dates, the proposed site, accommodations (including crash space) which would be available for those attending, access to transportation for those coming from outside the immediate area by air, train, car, etc., local program options which the proposal would include (e.g., feast, museum tours, etc.). An overall autocrat must be specified and the bid should go into as much detail as possible on the personnel resources available to the hosting group. Bids which can include solid estimates for the cost will be at a definite advantage.
None of this is new. However, copies of all bids should be sent to the Principal Heralds of all twelve Kingdoms at the same time that they are sent to Laurel. The Principal Heralds are then asked to solicit opinions from their staffs and interested "fellow travelers". Particular focus should be placed on the feasibility of the date and location of each site for the heralds from that Kingdom, how many heralds would be likely to attend if a particular bid were accepted, what features of the bid could or should be modified as well as the overall attractiveness of the bid. Comments on the bids should reach Laurel by December 15, 1988, so that she can make a final decision and notify the bidders of that decision in time for autocrats to make January 1 newsletter deadlines.
A NOTE ON 1988 SYMPOSIUM PROCEEDINGS
Charles Stewart O'Connor, Habicht Herald, informs me that at this time only four papers have been received for the Symposium Proceedings. Since logistical proceedings have prevented the timely transcription of the "Rules discussions" from the Symposium, this would make a very thin volume indeed were it to be printed in time for Pennsic. So it will not be thus printed, as previously advertised.
Submittors with papers who missed the initial deadline may contact Habicht directly. If enough papers of adequate quality are received over the next month or so, belated Symposium Proceedings may be published. If not, other paths will be explored for the publication of the papers received thus far.
Towards the end of his tenure as Laurel, Master Baldwin treated himself to a "bombshell" and Laurel felt that after a similar amount of time in office she deserved the same. This was announced during the "Rules discussion" at the Heraldic Symposium. (Hopefully, however, this bombshell will not be quite so cataclysmic as the last!)
In the course of her time in office and in her tenure as Brigantia prior to that, Laurel had come to the conclusion that the sensitivity of the College of Arms was much higher than that of the general populace to non-human names, both those which involved non-human given names which could not be documented as used for humans in period and those which used non-human epithets of origin, e.g. Mungo the Troll. As evidenced by "use names" for many Society members who could not register their desired names, such "non-human" names have wide acceptance in the Society.
In order to come to some demonstrable resolution on this issue, Laurel proposed to poll the populace of the Society, much in the manner the Board polled the populace on the "Cavalier issue". This poll will hopefully appear in the Winter issue of Tournaments Illuminated.
At the same time, weary of more than seven years of rather fruitless debate on the issue of household names, badges, alternate persona names, etc. based on widely differing convictions on the part of members of the College of Arms, of the Board, etc. on what the desires of the populace are, Laurel proposed to poll the populace on those issues as well.
While the response may not be numerically overwhelming, it may be assumed that the respondents are those who have strong feelings one way or another and therefore useful conclusions may be drawn from the poll. Depending on the issue in which space for this short poll actually appears, the responses will be due within three months and appropriate action can be taken soon thereafter.
SUMMARY NOTES FROM THE BOARD MEETING
Information received indicates that the Board has extended for an additional six months the "Moratorium" on the imposition of the requirement that Society heraldry no longer protect mundane heraldry in the same manner which it has in the past. Although the Laurel Ombudsman has not yet been "debriefed" and full information thereby obtained, it seems that the Board of Directors was receptive to the efforts already made by the College of Arms and to the proposed steps to reduce the workload in the upper echelons of the heraldic bureaucracy.
REDUCING THE WORKLOAD
In response to the request for concrete suggestions to present to the Board contained in a previous cover letter, the Laurel staff garnered some well-considered letters with excellent suggestions. To a surprising extent, the suggestions mirrored those which had already been outlined by Laurel and her staff for presentation to the Board, although some expanded upon these in a productive and creative manner.
Attached to this letter is a slightly abbreviated version of the proposal which was presented to the Board. Many of these concepts were discussed at the Symposium. Most have been discussed with many members of the College who could not attend the Symposium. It is our hope that they will have the support of all the members of the College of Arms as well as those gentles so interested in heraldry that they receive these letters although they do not hold a senior heraldic position.
We need more than theoretical support to make this work, however. (Warm fuzzies are nice, but concrete help is even nicer!) Volunteers to help collate resource materials, individuals who are willing to put their necks on the line and commit their learning to papers for publication, helpers on all the tasks and goals outlined in the attached document will be necessary. Without them we cannot succeed in demonstrating to the Board and to the Society at large our determination to make heraldry accessible to all.
JUST A NOTE ON THE RULES
The original intent had been to have the final "for comment" version of the draft rules/guidelines for submissions out in mid-July. However, a great many members of the College have proceeded to make excellent suggestions on issues, concepts and verbiage based on the draft distributed to the College in June. Additionally, due to problems with the availability of the transcripts and/or tapes from the Symposium, verbiage agreed on at the Symposium could not be included in the draft by that date.
In order to incorporate that material, the generation of the final "for comment" draft has had to be delayed. Be assured that at least a full month will be allowed for commentary after the date that the draft is actually mailed to allow all everyone to
We are still aiming at a promulgation date in early autumn, however, with full imposition in the Twelfth Night period. Again, if you help, we can do this.