Society for Creative Anachronism

College of Arms

1194 Firwood Dr.

Pittsburgh, PA 15243


28 September 1999

Unto the members of the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive does Dame Elsbeth Anne Roth, Laurel Queen of Arms, send greetings.

The August Laurel meeting was held Sunday, August 8, 1999 and considered the following letters of intent: Scribe Armarius’ Letter of Intent to Protect (dated February, mailed with the April Caid letter), Atenveldt (April 01), Drachenwald (April 02), Artemisia (April 05), East (April 11), Caid (April 15), Atlantia (April 19), Lochac (April 19), Æthelmearc (April 25), Ansteorra (April 27), and Outlands (April 15). There was also a Laurel road show at Pennsic on August 17 where we considered the following letters of intent: Middle (April 29), and Meridies (April 30).

The September Laurel meeting was scheduled for Sunday, September 5, 1999 and considered the following letters of intent: Atenveldt (May 1), Drachenwald (May 1), An Tir (May 5), Middle (May 13), Outlands (May 15), West (May 18), Atlantia (May 19), Artemisia (May 20), Artemisia (May 21), Ansteorra (May 22), and Meridies (May 30).

The October Laurel meeting is scheduled for Saturday, October 16, 1999 and will consider the following letters of intent: Calontir (May 8) (delayed due to late receipt of paperwork), Ealdormere (May 27) (redated to June 8 based on postmark), An Tir (May 28) (delated due to late receipt of paperwork), Atenveldt (June 1), Drachenwald (June 1), East (June 7), Outlands (June 7), Middle (June 13), West (June 17), Lochac (June 20), Atlantia (June 21), Æthelmearc (June 23), An Tir (June 25), Ansteorra (June 30), and Meridies (June 30). Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College’s hands no later than September 30, 1999.

The November Laurel meeting is scheduled for Sunday, November 14, 1999 and will consider the following letters of intent: Atenveldt (July 1), Saewynn and Clarion’s Letter of Intent to Protect (July 10), Lochac (July 14), Lochac (July 15), Atlantia (July 20), Caid (July 23), Electrum’s Letter of Intent to Protect (July 23), East (July 24), Artemesia (July 25), Middle (July 25), Ansteorra (July 30), Meridies (July 30), Trimaris (July 30), and Outlands (July 31). Original commentary on these LoIs must be in the College’s hands no later than September 30. Responses and rebuttals to commentary must be in the College’s hands no later than October 31.

The December Laurel meeting is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, December 4, 1999 and will consider the letters of intent from August.

Not all Letters of Intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of mailing of the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors may delay consideration of certain Letters of Intent.

REMINDER: Until the packet containing the paperwork is received, the letter may not be scheduled.

Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme’s Letter of Intent to Protect

Bruce Draconarius submitted a letter of intent to protect 63 Scottish clan arms. The arms were chosen by comparing the arms that were in three standard sources on Scottish clans -- Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland, Scotland of Old (Clan Map of Scotland), and Clans and Tartans of Scotland. He proposed protecting only the arms appearing in all three sources. Bruce’s argument is the number of people in the SCA interested in Scotland justifies protecting a greater number of arms in that area. However, we already protect a greater proportion of the arms of the British Isles than we do of other cultural and geographic areas because the British Isles are better known within the SCA.

I am more likely to decide that an item is important enough to protect if it appears in multiple general sources, such as general encyclopedias, than if it appears in multiple sources specializing in a particular culture. In Bruce’s case, because the three books he cites are specifically about clans of Scotland, they are specific enough in subject that the arms of many clans of Scotland can be expected to be included in all three. Being in all three sources does not de facto make the arms as important as the arms we currently protect.

The importance of protecting individuals’ arms is a combination of the "arms" and the "man" schools of thought. The "arms" school contends that we should protect famous arms regardless of the importance of the owner of the arms. One example of arms that fall in this category is arms used as examples of design in heraldry texts. The "man" school maintains that the arms of famous people should be protected regardless of the familiarity of their arms. Past rulings try to balance these two schools of thought. Some of the arms Bruce submitted included additional support for protecting them under these two schools of thought. These arms were subsequently protected. Some of the arms not protected may still be worthy of protection under these schools; however, we did not have sufficient evidence to warrant protecting them at this time.

Mixed language names

One of the submissions on this LoAR (Laertes McBride from Caid) mixed Italian and Scots name elements. We know of no historical examples of such a mixture, but with the amount of contact between these two cultures, this name construction is allowed under rule III.1.

Most cases of submitted mixed-language names fit into one of four categories. These categories are defined by three criteria: amount of contact, evidence of mixing name elements from the two cultures, and, for those languages where there is evidence, the language/orthography used to write these names.

The first category is when name mixes elements of two cultures that have no contact during our period, for example, China and Scotland. Such names have not been allowed for some time.

The second category is when names mixes elements of two cultures that have significant contact, but we have little or no evidence of mixed names, for example, Scots and Italian. The rule III.1 allows such names although the lack of evidence indicates that these mixed names were exceedingly rare at best.

The third category is when names mix elements of two cultures where we know of many cases of names containing both elements, but the name is found in one orthography (i.e., spelling convention) or the other. Gaelic/Norse name mixtures are an example; a name is recorded using either Gaelic conventions or Norse conventions, but we find no example of both conventions used at the same time when recording names. Such names are also currently registerable even with mixed orthographies.

The fourth category is when names mix elements of two cultures and we know of many case of names containing elements of both cultures and of both spelling conventions; for example, English and Welsh. As these names are historical we allow them even when the two languages are used in the same phrase.

I have no intention of changing which names are registerable. Names in the second category, however, will be considered a "weirdness". Names in the third category will be considered a "weirdness" only when the names use mixed orthographies. Names in the fourth category or names in the third category using a single orthography are fine.

Rules discussion

Palimpsest has a new rules letter. It is included in this packet so please look for it. Note that all rostered members are getting the letter; if you are on the roster but not on the mailing list I would still like to hear your comments. Please send all comments to Palimpsest.

Knowne World Heraldic Symposium

The next Knowne World Heraldic Symposium will be held in the incipient Canton of Westgate, in the Barony of Stargate, Ansteorra (Houston, TX), June 23-25, 2000. A flyer for the event is enclosed.

Roster update

A new copy of the roster is included with this letter. It includes a number of changes, so please check it carefully.

Send roster changes, corrections, and LoAR subscriptions to Lord Symond Bayard le Gris, Bruce R. Nevins, 2527 E. 3rd St., Tucson, AZ, 85716-4114, (520) 795-6000, (520) 795-0158 (Fax), Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc. - College of Arms." The cost for an LoAR subscription is $25.00 a year. Send all other administrative requests/payments to Laurel.

Until then, I remain

In service

Elsbeth Anne Roth

Laurel Queen of Arms