Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

15910 Val Verde Drive
Houston TX, 77083-4921

For the June 2002 meetings, printed August 31, 2002

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from François Laurel, Zenobia Wreath, and Mari Pelican, health and good friendship.

NOTE: With an early meeting, the responses-to-commentary deadline is advanced for one month: the September deadline for responses to commentary will be Wednesday, September 25.

The following is a table showing the status of Letters of Intent, Laurel Letters of Pend and Discussion, and Letters of Intent to Protect. The header rows are the dates of the meetings that will consider them, the dates when primary commentary is due, and the dates when responses to primary commentary are due. The key follows.

Wreath meeting Jun 15 & 23 Jul 13 Aug 10 Sep 07 Oct 05? Nov 09 or 16?
Pelican meeting Jun 15 & 23 Jul 20 Aug 03 & ? Sep 07 Oct 19 Nov 16 or 23?

Comment by

too late Sep 30
Reply/Respond by

Sep 25 Oct 31

LoIs being considered:

Æthelmearc Feb 15 - Apr 23 - Jun 27 Jul 17
An Tir Feb 26 Mar 28 Apr 29 May 29 Jun 28 Jul 30
Ansteorra Feb 17 Mar 17 - May 19
[P May 28]
Jun 17 (Jul 14
[P Jul 22])
Artemisia - - Apr 29 - Jun 18 (Jul 30)
Atenveldt Feb 01 Mar 01 Apr 01
[P Apr 16]
May 01
[P May 23]
Jun 15
[P Jun 25]
(Jul 15
[P Jul 25])
Atlantia Feb 20 Mar 21 Apr 25 May 28 Jun 27 Jul 18
Caid - - - Apr 05
[P May 01] &
May 10 &
May 15
- -
Calontir - Mar 23 Apr 26 May 25 - -
Drachenwald Feb 15 Mar 15 Apr 23 May 23 Jun 18 Jul 16
Ealdormere Feb 18 - - - - -
East - - Apr 28 May 12 Jun 09 &
Jun 23
Lochac Feb 20 Mar 18 Apr 20
[P Apr 29]
May 17
[P May 28]
Jun 16 -
Meridies Feb 28 Mar 31 Apr 30 May 31 Jun 30 Jul 31
Middle Feb 08 Mar 12 Apr 09
[P Apr 27]
May 12 Jun 17 Jul 12
Outlands Feb 17 Mar 17 Apr 17
[P Apr 29]
May 17
[P May 28] &
May 20
[P May 28]
(Jun 17) (Jul 17)
Trimaris Feb 15 Mar 30 - - (Jun 28) (Apr 29)
(Jul 30)
West Feb 24 Mar 10 Apr 24 May 30 Jun 25 -
Kraken LoItP - - - - - Jul 16
Laurel LoPaD
[LoAR date]
Jan 31 P
[Nov LoAR] &
Feb 28
[Dec LoAR]
- Apr 15
[Feb LoAR]
May 21
[Mar LoAR]
Jun 21
[Apr LoAR] &
Jul 20
[Apr LoAR]
Jul 20
[May LoItP]

Month day: the date on the Letter of Intent, Letter of Pend and Discussion, or Letter of Intent to Protect. The Trimaris March letter had no date, so the postmark date of March 30 is being used.
(Month day): for administrative reasons, this LoI has not yet been scheduled.
[P Month day]: postmarked on that bracketed date, so the LoI is redated or postponed.
"-": no LoI is scheduled for that meeting from that kingdom.
?: tentative.

Due to an error in an internal Laurel office tracking chart, the May LoAR cover letter listed the Trimaris April 24 LoI as being scheduled for the August meetings. It is actually unscheduled due to lack of forms.

Jun: the Wreath and Pelican meetings were on June 15. The sovereigns held the traditional road show on Sunday morning of Known World Heraldic Symposium, June 23.

Aug: Pelican's main meeting was held on August 3, with the usual Pennsic "road show" meeting on August 15.

Sep: Pelican's and Wreath's meetings will both be on September 7. Early secondary commentary deadline.

Oct: Pelican's meeting is tentatively planned for October 5. Wreath's meeting will be October 19. Early secondary commentary deadline.

Nov: Pelican's meeting is tentatively planned for November 9 or 16. Wreath's meeting is tentatively planned for November 16 or 23.

Dec: Pelican's meeting is tentatively planned for December 14 or 21. Wreath's meeting is tentatively planned for December 28.

Jan: Wreath's meeting is tentatively planned for January 18.

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. Additionally, some letters of intent received may not have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, et cetera) have not yet been met.

REMINDER: Until all administrative requirements are met, the letter may not be scheduled.

From Laurel: Regarding Mundane Given Names Used to Create Holding Names

An issue regarding holding names arose in reviewing a submission this month. A holding name occupies a special, purely administrative, status as stated clearly and concisely by Baldwin of Erebor, Laurel King of Arms:

Please remember that a holding name is intended as a temporary measure. It allows us to register a piece of armory now, rather than having to wait for the person to choose a new name and resubmit. There is no fee for changing a holding name. [BoE, cvr ltr, 29 Dec 85, p. 4]

If a submitted name is not registerable for one reason or another and the submitter has also submitted armory that is registerable, then either the armory must be returned for lack of a name or a holding name must be created in order to permit registration of the armory. If the submitted name form indicates that the submitter will accept a holding name, a holding name is usually created.

The Administrative Handbook, section III.1.A, states, "Once registered, an item shall be protected until written notice of release is received by the Laurel Office from the registrant." This policy follows Corpora VI.C.3.b, which states:

Any item once registered shall remain registered unless the owner requests its release, and shall be accepted in the Society for the person for whom it was registered without regard to changes in the rules and standards applied to future submissions, or to the membership status of the owner.

Therefore, when a holding name is registered, a holding name is protected from conflict and will continue to be a registered item until the submitter submits a name change and has that name change registered. Upon registration of a name change, the holding name is automatically released. There is no charge for a name change from a holding name.

The issue that has currently come under discussion is what elements of a holding name may be claimed by the submitter for use in an SCA name under the Grandfather Clause. Section III.1.A of the Administrative Handbook and section VI.C.3.b of Corpora, both cited above, guarantee protection of the registered name, in the complete form in which it is registered, until such time as the submitter shall request release of that item. Since holding names are automatically released upon registration of a submitted name, submission of a name change acts as a request for release of the holding name upon registration of the new submission. The Grandfather Clause is not addressed in these two documents. Rather it is covered in RfS II.5, which states in part (emphasis added):

Registered Names. - Once a name has been registered to an individual or group, the College of Arms may permit that particular individual or group to register elements of that name again, even if it is no longer permissible under the rules in effect at the time the later submission is made. This permission may be extended to close relatives of the submitter if the College of Arms deems it appropriate.

Only the actual name element from the originally registered submission is covered by this permission. For example, if an individual had registered a surname from a fantasy novel that has no relation to period naming before such names were restricted, that surname could be retained if that submitter decided to change his given name, even though it might not be acceptable under these rules. He could not register other surnames from the same novel, however.

Currently at issue are mundane name elements taken from submission forms in order to create a holding name, most notably elements used as given names in the holding name that is created. A holding name is often created using the given name the submitter has listed on their submission form. However, unlike with a given name submitted under the Legal Name allowance (RfS II.4), no documentation is normally provided to support that name as the submitter's legal given name. In most cases, the name listed is likely the name they commonly use. Often this is indeed the submitter's legal given name. In other cases, it may be a nickname or a middle name that they use as their common use name. Grandfathering these undocumented elements creates a situation where documentation requirements have been circumvented.

Therefore, only elements in a holding name that were documented in the original submission will be eligible for reuse without new documentation via the Grandfather Clause. The alternative would be to either (1) not use any mundane name element from the submitter's form in a holding name unless it is accompanied by supporting documentation as required by the Legal Name Allowance, or (2) not register holding names. Either of these options would be unreasonably burdensome on submitters, the majority of whom do not encounter this situation. In the interest of balancing fair application of documentation standards for all submitters, versus ease of submission, we have chosen to limit grandfathering of individual elements from a holding name to those elements that were acceptably documented in the original submission. A submitter wishing to preserve that name element in a resubmission may submit documentation as specified by the Legal Name allowance and may register that item via that rule.

This policy change replaces previous policy, including that covered in the "Holding Names" section of the March 1997 Cover Letter, and will go into effect at the January 2003 decision meeting.

From Wreath: Crowned Animal's Heads and Crowned Animals

In this month's submission for Ástrídr Brandsdóttir, some discussion was presented in commentary suggesting that the addition or deletion of a crown from an animal's head, or from an animal, would be an artist's detail rather than a heraldic difference. Insufficient evidence was presented to allow a ruling on this matter in this LoAR. However, there are a lot of crowned animals and animal's heads in period armory, so perhaps we can use this period evidence to form some good policies for the SCA to follow. Please present your research, and your proposed policies for difference (both for crowned animal's heads and for crowned animals), in time for the December 2002 decision meetings.

From Wreath: Another Rolling Brownout (oh no, not again)

This month's submission for Jaine the Embroiderer used brown human arms, which the submitting kingdom blazoned as a Moor's arms proper. The SCA has not yet registered a Moor proper. The College did not present any evidence that a Moor proper in period would have been brown. Those commenters who addressed this issue were not comfortable with declaring brown to be the correct proper coloration for a Moor. Since the Wreath meeting, we have been able to find a small amount of evidence for brown people in period heraldry, but it is not sufficient evidence to draw any conclusions.

The College is thus requested to provide research and opinions on the following questions. Jaine's submission has been pended until the conclusion of this discussion.

  1. There are a number of distinct types of standard real-world heraldic charges which represent non-Caucasian people. Standard real-world human charges include the Saracen, the Blackamoor, the Turk, and the Moor. There is some confusion in the definition of the real-world non-Caucasian human charges. For example, Brooke-Little's An Heraldic Alphabet distinguishes between the Negroid Blackamoor and the Semitic Moor, but Woodward's A Treatise on Heraldry, British and Foreign indicates that the Moor is Negroid, and only draws the Saracen with Semitic features. What types of humans should the SCA consider to be distinct types of humans?

  2. For each of the distinct types of human, please consider whether the SCA should define a proper tincture, and if so, what the proper tincture should be.

  3. Some of the standard non-Caucasian human charges are distinguished by identifying characteristics other than tincture. These identifying characteristics are often found around the human's head. For example, the Saracen and Moor are both often drawn with cloth torses or wreaths around their temples, and the Turk is often drawn with a distinctive hair style consisting of one long lock of hair. A human arm or leg would not include these identifying characteristics. Would a decision that brown is the correct proper tincture for a type of human charge always justify registering brown arms and legs? Or is it necessary to independently document the use of brown arms and legs in period heraldry in order to register them?

Here follows some period evidence for the use of brown in tincturing human charges:

Fox-Davies' Heraldic Badges, p. 157, gives the badge of Lord Willoughby de Broke (d. 1522) as a Moor's head. A painting of his standard, executed c. 1532, is found in the catalogue of the Heralds' Commemorative Exhibition, 1484-1934, plate XXXIV. The Moor's head badge is displayed as the primary badge on the standard. It has dark brown skin, long black hair and beard, blue eyes, roughly Semitic features, and the identifying torse.

Godinho's 16th C Portuguese Libro da Nobreza gives the crest of the family of Barbalonga as a Moor's head proper on Folio XXVI verso. It has light brown skin (approaching, but not reaching, an Or tincture), long darker brown hair and beard, brown eyes, roughly Semitic features, and a turban. On the same page, Godinho gives the arms and crest of the family of Minas as Argent, three Negro's heads and necks couped proper, each with necklace, earrings and nose ring all Or. The same charge functions as a crest. The Negro's heads have very dark brown skin (verging on black), short black curly hair, no facial hair, black eyes and Negroid features. The blazon terms Moor and Negro for the two coats of arms in Godinho are taken from the modern blazons provided by the editors: the period book just provides emblazons. Both the Moor and the Negro are on the same page, so it appears likely that Godinho was attempting to draw two distinct different types of people.

The dark browns that are used to tincture the Moor in the Willoughby de Broke badge and the Negros in Godinho would unquestionably be considered a "color" rather than a "metal." The brown used to tincture the Moor in Godinho is very light, and does not clearly class as a "color".

Please present your research and opinions for the December 2002 decision meetings.

From Wreath: Palls, Shakeforks, and Couped Ordinaries

Thanks to the College for providing extensive commentary on the question of whether we should give difference between palls and shakeforks. This was a complicated issue, hampered by a lack of period evidence: all commenters noted that the pall and its variants were very uncommon in period in any place in Europe. The commentary showed a fairly strong consensus on how the SCA should address these issues. We therefore rule as follows:

PRECEDENT: As a general rule, ordinaries couped will be given a CD from ordinaries throughout. This general rule does not apply to specific ordinaries for which evidence has been presented that the ordinary and its couped variant were used interchangeably in period. In accordance with RfS X.4.e, if a particular ordinary throughout and its couped variant are both found in period armory, but were not considered to be "separate [charges] in period", no difference will be granted between them. If the ordinary throughout, or its couped variant, were not found in period armory, then it will only "be considered different in type if its shape in normal depiction is significantly different" from the period form of the ordinary.

PRECEDENT: Because of the period evidence presented concerning pall variants and in light of RfS X.4.e, no difference will be given between the following four pall variants: the pall (throughout), the pall couped, the shakefork, and the pallium. Any of these four charges will be given a CD from a pall with a decidedly different end treatment, such as a pall fleury or a pall potent.

There are three standard versions of the pall in heraldic texts: the pall (a throughout ordinary), the shakefork (couped with pointed ends at all three arms), and the pallium (throughout in chief but couped in some fashion in base).

The shakefork is the least frequently found of the forms mentioned in heraldic texts, and appears to be confined to the Scottish family of Cunningham in period. Because the Cunninghams are the only family so far shown in period to have used shakeforks, the College felt that the history of their armory had particular weight in determining difference for these charges, more so than would be usual for a single family. The Cunningham arms are depicted in sources throughout our period using both the pall and the shakefork, demonstrating that the charges were not "separate in period" from each other. The only period example that has so far been presented of a pall couped is also an emblazon of the Cunningham family arms (found in the Armorial de Berry). As a result, the pall couped is not considered "separate in period" from the standard pall or shakefork.

The pallium is most frequently used by ecclesiastical organizations, where it functions as the heraldic representation of an ecclesiastical vestment. Evidence was presented by the College showing that the treatment of the basemost leg of a pallium could be done in a number of different ways without deriving any heraldic difference from the change. The basemost leg of a pallium is generally couped (plain), but it is sometimes couped with a fringed end, and sometimes couped and pointed like the basemost leg of a shakefork. This indicates that the exact treatment of the basemost arm of this charge is not heraldically significant. The concensus of the College was that the pallium should not be given difference from the pall or those charges which are not "separate in period" from a pall: the shakefork and the pall couped. If the pallium resembles the pall in all respects except for the treatment of the basemost (and least visually significant) arm, and the treatment of the basemost arm is not heraldically significant, then the pallium is effectively heraldically equivalent to a pall. Thus, the pallium is not entitled to a CD from a pall, shakefork or pall couped.

No evidence has been presented that a pall with complex ends, such as fleury, would be considered heraldically interchangeable in period with a pall, shakefork, pallium or pall couped. We will therefore continue to give difference between a pall with complex ends and palls, shakeforks, palliums and palls couped. A pall with complex ends would be at most one step from period practice, and would likely just be a very uncommon, but standard sort of, variant of an uncommon ordinary.

From Wreath: Daffodils

After reading the discussion provided by the College, it seems appropriate to rule that the daffodil, like the lotus, has no default posture. The posture of the flower should be blazoned explicitly, such as affronty or bell to chief. Daffodils addorsed are daffodils with the bells facing away from each other.

Daffodils are not slipped and leaved by default. The flower portion of the daffodil may be referred to either as a daffodil or as a daffodil blossom.

From Pelican: Some Issues Regarding the Lingua Anglica Allowance

In the November 2001 Cover Letter, I called for comments regarding aspects of the Lingua Anglica Allowance. Specifically at issue were:

Much commentary was received on this topic and opinions were split on all of the issues. As Laurel, Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme outlined the purpose behind the Lingua Anglica Allowance (otherwise known as the Lingua Franca Allowance) in the Cover Letter that accompanied the January 1993 LoAR:

A few recent registrations have left some commenters wondering about the exact status of the College's lingua franca rules. Originally, these were simply the acknowledgement of a hard fact: that the grand majority of SCA folk speak modern English, not Russian, Saxon, Latin, Old Norse, or whatever. The principle was first expressed as a Board ruling (after they'd received correspondence written in medieval Latin!), and codified in the 1986 edition of the Rules for Submissions:

"The official language of the Society is and shall be correct modern English ...Simple particles, such as 'of', may be used without necessarily increasing the counted number of languages contained in the name. The formula, whatever the original languages, is acceptable. This is the usual historian's manner, and therefore Otto of Freising is a familiar form, though he would have been Otto von Freising or some other more Geman or Latin version in most contemporary documents." [NR1]

The same allowance for of is found in the current Rules (Rule III.2.a), though not spelled out in such detail. (28 March, 1993 Cover Letter (January, 1993 LoAR), pp. 2-3)

Keeping this purpose in mind, the fairest way address the current issues is to not count the use of the Lingua Anglica Allowance as a weirdness and to view it as the original language when examining the name for lingual mixes. This policy upholds the precedent

We have in the past returned such epithets as Fyrlocc, on the grounds that they didn't follow known period models for English bynames. However, given the recent documentation of Pyrsokomos "flame-hair" as a valid Greek epithet, we are now inclined to permit its lingua franca translation -- but only for names where the original Greek epithet would be acceptable. The submitter will have to demonstrate regular period interaction between Ireland and Greece before this name meets that criterion -- or else show the construction follows period English models. [Fiona Flamehair, R-An Tir, LoAR 05/93]

Similarly, there would be no weirdness for use of the byname of Saxony as a Lingua Anglica version of the German byname von Sachsen.

In the case of William of Saxony, this name would be considered a mix of the English William and the German von Sachsen. As mixing English and German in a name is registerable with a weirdness, this name has one weirdness for the lingual mix. Rendering von Sachsen as of Saxony via Lingua Anglica does not carry a weirdness. Therefore, this name has one weirdness and is registerable.

In the case of Wilhelm of Saxony, the name combines the German Wilhelm with the German byname von Sachsen. Rendering von Sachsen as of Saxony via Lingua Anglica does not carry a weirdness. Therefore, the name has no weirdnesses and is registerable.

In the case of Rhys of Saxony, this name combines the Welsh Rhys with the German byname von Sachsen. As mixing Welsh and German in a name is not registerable, this name is not registerable under the Lingua Anglica Allowance.

To quote Bruce's ruling again, this policy "seems to be the best compromise between the needs of authenticity and ease of use." (March 28, 1993 Cover Letter (January 1993 LoAR), pp. 2-3).

From Pelican: Capitalization of Gaelic Particles: mac versus Mac

A submission this month raised discussion regarding whether capitalization of particles in Gaelic bynames carried a particular meaning or not. Given the amount of discussion and varying opinions, a clarification is in order.

Capitalization of name elements in period Gaelic documents was less consistent than it is now, but it was not completely random. Most sources that reference Irish Gaelic names use standardized transliteration rules for rendering Gaelic text. For example, John O'Donovan, Annals of Ireland, by the Four Masters, is a facing page translation. Each left-hand page is a transcription which preserves capitalization as it appears in the original work. Each right-hand page is a 19th C translation of the corresponding left-hand page. The examples listed below (with 19th C translations) are taken from the year 1400 (vol. 4). A period after a letter indicates a punctum delens (which looks like a dot that appears above the preceding letter). A punctum delens is usually transliterated as an h following the letter in question. For example, {m.} is transliterated as mh. The notation e represents a "long e" character. In some cases, it is transliterated as e. In other cases, it is transliterated as ea.

Modern transliteration standards render literal bynames with non-capitalized particles and family names with capitalized particles. For example, mac Néill would indicate that this man's father was named Niall, while Mac Néill would indicate that Mac Néill was his family name. In a period document, mac Néill could indicate that either that his father was named Niall or that his family name was Mac Néill.

Roster Changes

There is a new Vesper Principal Herald (West): Gaius Marcellus Liberius Auklandus (G. Richard Auklandus), 5390 Clayton Rd Apt G, Concord, CA 94521-5238, (925) 676-6785, e-mail The previous Vesper, Mary Elizabeth Fairweather of Prios Hardwick (Mary Seabrook), is removed from the mailing list and roster.

Send What to Whom

For all Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera, send one paper copy to each of Laurel PKoA and Wreath QoA at their mailing addresses as shown on the College of Arms Mailing List.

Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related paper, including

to Kathleen M. O'Brien, 7323 Potters Trl, Austin, TX 78729-7777.

Send Laurel office copies of all submissions-related electronic files to This includes electronic copies of LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, et cetera.

Send roster changes and corrections to Lord Symond Bayard le Gris, Bruce R. Nevins, 2527 E. 3rd St., Tucson, AZ, 85716-4114, 520-795-6000, 520-795-0158 (fax), College of Arms members can also request a copy of the current roster from Symond.

For subscriptions to the paper copy of the LoAR, please contact Symond, above. The cost for an LoAR subscription is $25 a year. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". For subscriptions to the electronic copy of the LoAR, please contact Laurel at The electronic copy is available free of charge.

For all administrative matters, or for questions about whom to send to, please contact Laurel Principal King of Arms, whose contact information heads this letter.

Pray know that I remain

In service

François la Flamme
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2002-09-19T22:13:06