Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

15910 Val Verde Dr
Houston, TX 77083-4921

For the January 2005 meetings, printed April 21 2005

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from François Laurel King of Arms, Gwenllian Wreath, and Margaret Pelican, greetings.

From Laurel: The new boss

At the April 2005 Board of Directors meeting, the directors had a choice between two capable applicants for the next Laurel. At the end of the meeting it was announced that Elisabeth de Rossignol was selected and warranted as Laurel Sovereign of Arms. The appointment was effective immediately at the request and agreement of both the outgoing and new officers.

From François: Pilgrimage

On a more personal note: with the mantle of office removed from my shoulders I am now preparing to depart on pilgrimage. It is my hope that we will meet upon my journey. Thank you all and keep up the good work. Farewell!

Call for Discussion: Patterns of Order Names

Each Barony, Principality and Kingdom in the Society gives awards to its citizens. The names of these awards are modeled on medieval Order names. However, there has, as yet, been little discussion of what syntactic and semantic model to use when forming Order names for registration. This call for discussion is an attempt to address this issue.

At the beginning of such a discussion it is important to define exactly what we are looking at -- what is an Order? The Oxford English Dictionary provides this definitions of an Order, which is what we in the Society try to emulate: An institution, modelled partly on the medieval and crusading orders of knights and monks but usually founded by a monarch or government, which confers an honour or honours for merit on those appointed to it; (hence) the honour conferred by such an institution. Freq. with capital initial and distinguishing word or phrase, as Order of the Bath, Order of the Garter, Order of Merit.

The OED gives two other definitions of Order, and we often consider these definitions when examining Order names: A body of people living by common consent under the same religious, moral, or social regulations and discipline. This, in particular, includes monastic orders; and a fraternity or society of knights bound by a common rule of life, and having a combined military and monastic character. Now hist. Generally applied to those formed in the Middle Ages for the defence or propagation of Christianity, or the defence of the Holy Land.

Another important piece of background information is what the Rules for Submissions say about Order names, and how this statement has been altered by precedent. Rule 3.II.b.ii, Names of Orders and Awards, says

Names of orders and awards must follow the patterns of the names of period orders and awards.

These are often the names of saints; others are similar to sign names (see RfS III.2.a.iii). Some examples are: the Order of Saint Michael , the Order of Saint Maurice and Saint Lazarus , the Brethren of the Sword , the Order of the Garter , La Toison dOr (the Order of the Golden Fleece ), the Order of the Golden Rose , the Order of the Star , the Order of the Swan , La Orden de la Jara (the Knights of the Tankard ), the Order of Lilies.

Precedent has expanded this in a couple of different directions. Specifically, the following items were held to registerable as Order names or parts of Order names:

On the other hand, precedent has held the following items to be unregisterable as Order names or parts of Order names

  1. Gemstones (unless grandfathered to the group)

  2. Plural nouns referring to items (for example, feather is ok, feathers is not)

  3. Order names that are documented only as heraldic titles.

  4. Abstract descriptive adjectives modifying concrete nouns (for example Rising modifying Star)

  5. Order names of the form Order of the X's Y, where Y is not an integral part of X. (For example griffins wing is registerable, while towers mirror is not)

  6. Order names formed from names of items not easily depicted as a distinct entity.

  7. Order names using abstract concepts.

  8. Full names of ordinary people.

Most order names submissions these days are documented from a single source: "Project Ordensnamen" by Meradudd Cethin. This source is linked from the Laurel website; it contains a list of all period Order names so far located and an analysis of the structure of these names. This analysis is a literal word by word description of each word in an order name. Descriptives used in this analysis are adjective, body part, color, creature, group, name, place, quality, and thing. For example, Teutonic Order of the Saint Mary of Jeruselum is analyzed as "Adjective+Group+Name+Place." Make no mistake, this article is a valuable and much needed resource. However, it does have some problems. It appears to take all names by which an Order is know and conflates it with the Order name. In some cases, this may be legitimate, while in others it may be the equivalent of saying that nicknames and formal names always follow the same patterns. Another problem is that most of the names were reaped from sources that provide the standard English translation for the Order name -- the name in the original language is not included. Therefore, it is difficult in many cases to assess whether the translation matches the form found in the original language. Finally, the analysis of Order name patterns is extremely literal. While this is useful in some cases, in others it obscures a more general pattern which may need to be considered and leads to names that while following the literal pattern do not bear much resemblance to period Order names.

In the past year, we have applied a different interpretation of the patterns of Order names from the one used in the article. We have applied the literal syntactic patterns outlined in the "Project Ordensnamen" article as sub-patterns of a larger, more semantic based, set of patterns. We feel it more closely reflects the models actually used as well as those implicitly applied by the College of Arms over the past several years. Under this system, Order names fall into the following types:

  1. Orders named for Christian Saints. These includes saints who are know by a single name, such as Saint George or Saint Anne, as well as saints known by complex names such as Saint John Laternan or Saint Thomas Becket. These types of order names may include placenames where the Saint for whom the order is named had a major shrine.

  2. Orders named for Jesus and Mary, or for holy days in the Church year. These include Orders such as Our Lady of Victory, Supreme Order of the Annunciation, and Order of Jesus and Mary.

  3. Orders named for places. These include the Order of Calatrava and the Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem.

  4. Christian relics or objects of religious veneration. Examples are Shield of Saint George, and the Flag of the Danes, which, according to legend. fell from the sky on June 15, 1219 to the Danish King Valdemar II during his crusade to Estonia as a sign of divine favor.

  5. Orders named for Virtues. These include Silence, and Mercy.

  6. Orders named for their founder. These include one post-period Order name, the Order of Maria-Eleonora (Sweden 1632), and may include the Order of Pius (because we do not know the name in the original language, it is unclear whether this is a correct translation. Given names found in Italian for this Order, Pious Knights may be a more accurate translation.)

  7. Orders named for heraldic charges. In comparing a list of Order named for creatures and objects, every Order so named uses the creature or object whose name it bears as a badge or as part of its regalia. These include the Order of the Garter, the Toison d'Or (Golden Fleece), the Unicorn, and Order of the Ermine and the Ears of Corn.

So, after nearly three pages of background, let me get to the point. There are several issues to research and discuss here. First, most medieval Order names were not originally English. Can we find period references to these Orders in their original languages, particularly in contemporary documents? If so, what are they, and are the standard English translations reasonable? What has been added or removed by time and translation?

Second, does the pattern we have been using follow the patterns for period Order names? If so, what is missing from it? In what ways is it reasonable to expand this pattern? For instance, given the large number of Orders named for Saints, Mary and aspects of Mary, or Jesus, is it reasonable to allow the registration of Orders named for non-Christian Gods, demi-Gods and, for want of better word, Saints? If such names were held to follow a pattern, would they be held one step from period practice? Given the existence of the Order of the Golden Fleece, it it reasonable to extend the pattern to Orders whose names come from ancient myth (as current precedent suggests)? Given at least one Order named for a secular founders, do Orders named in honor of secular people follow the pattern of medieval Order names? What questions do these patterns raise in your mind? Please bring them forward, as they are important to formulating a reasonable statement of what constitutes a pattern for forming a period Order name.

I thank the commenters of the College of Arms for the time and effort this discussion will take. I hope the result will be well defined guidelines of what we now believe are valid period Order name patterns, and a better understanding of those Order names.

Roster Changes

In April the Laurel office has changed. The new Laurel Sovereign of Arms, Elisabeth de Rossignol (Lisa Mohr), 16308 SE 165th ST, Renton, WA 98058-8221, phone: 425-277-0763, is added to the roster and mailing list. The previous Laurel, François la Flamme (Wendel Bordelon) remains on the roster, without a title, but is removed from the mailing list.

Because of the number of updates and corrections that have been made to the roster since the last complete roster was published, a new roster is enclosed. If the information listed for you is incorrect, please contact Jeanne Marie Lacroix at with the correct information.

Send What to Whom

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

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

to the SCA College of Arms, PO Box 31755, Billings, MT 59107-1755.

Send the required electronic copies of all submissions-related files to This applies to all LoIs, LoCs, LoRs, et cetera.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent directly to the Society Chancellor of the Exchequer who is temporarily acting as Laurel's chancellor of the exchequer.

Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.

For subscriptions to the paper copy of the LoAR, please contact Laurel, 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.

Scheduling and Status Information

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 meetingSep 11 & 25-26Oct 23Nov 13, 26, & 28Dec 18 & 27Jan 29Feb 26Mar 19Apr 30May 28Jun 25
Pelican meetingSep 25-26Oct 30Nov 20Dec 18Jan 15Feb 19Mar 26Apr 16May 15Jun 25
Comment by       too latetoo lateApr 30
Respond by       too lateApr 30May 31
Letters of Intent being considered:
AEthelmearcMay 25Jun 24Jul 25-Sep 26Oct 23Nov 26-Jan 25-
An Tir-Jun 29May 27-Jul 30 &
Sep 30 &
Aug 31
[P Sep 04]
---(Jan 21)-
AnsteorraMay 21
[P May 29]
Jun 22Jul 19Aug 19Sep 20-Oct 21 &
Nov 22
Dec 17Jan 20Feb 23
ArtemisiaMay 28Jun 23Jul 17-Sep 20Oct 18-Dec 27-(Feb 23)
AtenveldtMay 20-Jul 25Aug 30Sep 28Oct 28Nov 30Dec 25Jan 23(Feb 25)
AtlantiaMay 27Jun 24Jul 24Aug 27Sep 28 &
Sep 23
Oct 29Nov 25Dec 30 &
Dec 23
Jan 21-
CaidMay 10Jun 30-Jul 30
[P Aug 02]
Sep 30Oct 28--Jan 28-
CalontirMay 28-Jul 22Aug 20--Nov 24--(Feb 14)
DrachenwaldMay 27Jun 28Jul 22Aug 28Sep 23Oct 22Nov 27Dec 23Jan 22(Feb 22)
EaldormereMay 27-Jul 26-Sep 22-Nov 15--(Feb 25)
EastApr 30Jun 28Jul 20Aug 01-Sep 30 &
Oct 21
Nov 27-Jan 24-
Gleann Abhann---------Feb 03
LochacMay 25Jun 22-Aug 28Sep 24Oct 28Nov 17
[P Dec 02]
Dec 28Jan 28(Feb 28)
MeridiesApr 30 &
May 31
Jun 30--Sep 30-Nov 29Dec 19--
MiddleMay 10
[P May 21]
Jun 10
[P Jun 30]
-Jul 11
[P Aug 05] &
Aug 10
[P Aug 27]
Sep 20Oct 20Nov 20
[P Dec 01]
NorthshieldMay 31
[P Jun 07]
Jun 28Jul 29Aug 27Sep 30Oct 30Nov 30Dec 30-Feb 28
[P Mar 07]
OutlandsMay 27Jun 27Jul 27Aug 27Sep 27Oct 27Nov 27Dec 27Jan 27(Feb 25)
TrimarisApr 30--Aug 30
[P Sep 02]
--Nov 30-Jan 31-
WestMay 25Jun 22-Aug 30
[P Sep 02]
Sep 27Oct 26-Dec 28Jan 25Feb 22
Laurel LoPaD
[LoAR date]
----Jun 23
[Mar LoAR] &
Sep 21
[Apr LoAR]
Oct 26
[May LoAR]
Nov 27
[Jun LoAR]
Dec 23
[Jul LoAR]
Jan 20
[Aug LoAR]

Month day: the date on the Letter of Intent, Letter of Pend and Discussion, or Letter of Intent to Protect.
(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.

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.

Pray know that I remain

In service

François la Flamme
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2005-05-15T13:29:51