Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

16308 SE 165th St
Renton, WA 98058-8221

For the June 2005 meetings, printed September 2, 2005

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Elisabeth Laurel, Gwenllian Wreath (outgoing), Jeanne Marie Wreath (incoming) and Margaret Pelican, greetings.

The June Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, June 18, 2005 and at the Wreath meeting held in two parts; the incoming Wreath on Sunday, June 19 and the current Wreath on Saturday, June 25, 2005. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Gleann Abhann (3 Feb 05), Calontir (14 Feb 05), Middle (20 Feb 05), Drachenwald (22 Feb 05), West (22 Feb 05), Ansteorra (23 Feb 05), Artemisia (23 Feb 05), Atlantia (24 Feb 05), Atenveldt (25 Feb 05), Ealdormere (25 Feb 05), Outlands (25 Feb 05), An Tir (26 Feb 05), Lochac (28 Feb 05), and Northshield (28 Feb 05).

The July Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, July 17, 2005 and at the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, July 17 2005. There was also a roadshow at KWHS on Sunday July 24, 2005. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Middle (20 Mar 05), Ćthelmearc (24 Mar 05), Ansteorra (24 Mar 05), Atlantia (24 Mar 05), Drachenwald (25 Mar 05), East (25 Mar 05), An Tir (28 Mar 05), Caid (28 Mar 05), Lochac (28 Mar 05), Outlands (28 Mar 05), Northshield (29 Mar 05), Atenveldt (30 Mar 05), West (30 Mar 05), Meridies (31 Mar 05), and Trimaris (31 Mar 05).

The August Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, August 5, 2005 and the Wreath decision meeting held on Sunday, August 28, 2005. The meetings considered the following letters of intent: Artemisia (20 Apr 05), Atenveldt (20 Apr 05), Middle (20 Apr 05), Atlantia (21 Apr 05), Drachenwald (22 Apr 05), West (26 Apr 05), Caid (27 Apr 05), Lochac (27 Apr 05), Outlands (27 Apr 05), Calontir (28 Apr 05), Northshield (28 Apr 05), and Ealdormere (29 Apr 05).

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: One Hot Symposium

The KWHSS in the Outlands was delightful, even with the record-breaking temperatures outside. I would again like to thank our hosts in the Outlands and all their staff who made our stay so productive and enjoyable. I put a great many names to faces, spent hours talking to interesting people (thanks to the kindly folks who kept the lady from sea level hydrated through it all) and will not soon forget the Da'ud Bob Rap. Pity yourself if you missed that last.

From Laurel: Vale atque Ave

This month sees the retirement of Dame Gwenllian ferch Maredudd as Wreath Queen of Arms (see her missive below.) I know the College will join me in expressing heartfelt thanks for her acceptance of this demanding position in a time of transition, and her well considered, timely decisions. We wish her well in her retirement and eagerly anticipate her emergence from it. I have plans...

At the same time we welcome her successor, Baroness Jeanne Marie Lacroix, formerly Crescent Principal Herald, as Wreath Queen of Arms. Along with Margaret Pelican and me she was duly created a Queen of Arms at KWHS, in a ceremony that included all the Principal Heralds present as well as two former Laurels. I am very happy and no little relieved to have this office pass into such capable hands as hers.

From Laurel: Divers announcements

Those who receive the electronic version of the LoAR, please note -- my ever-resourceful staff are now sending this at the same time that the printed form is mailed. I hope that this more timely receipt of the electronic LoAR will be helpful to you.

Attached to this month's Letter please find a copy of the Roster of the College of Arms. This will now be issued on a regular basis, with the June and the January LoARs. If it seems necessary or desirable I am open to publishing it on a quarterly basis. As always, anyone listed on the Roster may have a copy of it from me on request.

From the outgoing Wreath

I would like to express my appreciation to my wonderful staff, without whom the last six months would have been very difficult:

I would also like to express my thanks to Master Evan da Collaureo, my predecessor, who was very helpful in ensuring a smooth transition when I took over the office, and to Master Francois la Flamme, who taught me the very little I know about XML and held my hand during the moments when I questioned my sanity in accepting this office.

I plan to take a short break from things heraldic but will return to heraldry and to the College of Arms very soon.

Yours in service, Gwenllian ferch Maredudd

From Wreath: On Willows and Weeping Willows

Research this month for Lachlan MacLean's submission provided some information on various willow trees.

The period heraldic willow tree was the white willow (Salix alba), as shown in the canting arms of von Salis (Siebmacher, plate 204), Per fess Or and argent, a willow tree eradicated proper and two pallets gules. The emblazon matches the examples of white willows found on-line (e.g., the foliage takes up half the height of the full tree, and the branches have a slight droop.

This is opposed to the weeping willow (Salix babylonica), which is native to China and was brought to America as an ornamental. The weeping willow has branches with a considerable droop -- the branches are more like vines in some cases -- and the foliage reaches nearly to the ground. Despite being the willow tree most familiar to Americans (i.e. most of our submitters), it wasn't known in period Europe.

Of the willows currently registered, the majority of trees blazoned simply as "willows" are weeping willows, not white willows. In nearly every example, the foliage comes almost to the ground, or is depicted as long drooping branches, or both. This makes a difference as weeping willows get a CD from an oak or generic tree. Laurel has ruled "There is a CD between a willow tree and a standard round shaped tree, just as there is a type CD between a pine tree and a standard round shaped tree. [Aleyn More, 09/02, A-Caid]". This precedent applies to a weeping willow tree; not a willlow tree. The compiled precedents do not note that Aleyn's tree is a weeping willow tree, a fact made clear in the device's balzon.

We will follow the medieval and modern heraldic convention and use the white willow as the default willow. The registered armory with weeping willows have been reblazoned to reflect the emblazons.


From Pelican: On Registering Reverse Order Hungarian Names

This month, the name Miklós Magdolna name raised the question of proper name order in Hungrian naming practices. While Hungarian names are generally registered using the constructions surname + given name, for names using unmarked patronymics, precendent holds that the order should be given name + surname:

The question was raised as to which is the appropriate form for Hungarian names, with the given name first or the byname first. Hungarian names may be registered with either the given name or byname as the first element, except when the byname is an unmarked patronym or metronym. In that case, the byname should follow the given name; this is consistent with Hungarian practice through the mid 16th century, and should help to avoid future confusion. [István Nyiregyhazi, August 1998]

Rede Booke and Kolosvari Arpadne Julia argue that while given name + surname is found in Hungarian names when the name is in a Latin context, and when the given name (although not necessarily the surname) is written in Latin. However, she argues, when the full name is rendered in Hungarian, the order is always reversed. Furthermore, she argues, such rendering a fully Hungarian name in given name + surname order yields a name with a meaning different than that intended by the submitter:

In Latin-language contexts, names were Latinized to varying degrees, depending on time period and level of formality. Earlier or more formal documents typically write names entirely in Latin, which would yield in this case <Magdalena filia Nicolai> (see 1237-40: <... filii nepotis Nicolai>, among others, in Fehértói s.n. Nicolaus). As they became more common, scribes started leaving bynames in the vernacular, yielding <Magdalena Miklos> (see <Andream Myklos> 1458 etc., Kázmér s.n. Miklós). In this pattern, the given name is written in Latin, declined according to the rules of Latin grammar; and the name as a whole follows Latin name order.

"This translation of name order along with given name is taken for granted in Hungary...The pattern shows up often in late-period legal records from eastern Transylvania. (These records switch from Latin to Hungarian and back, without warning, sometimes mid-paragraph or even mid-sentence.) An example: "Attestationes Stephani Nagy ... contra Albertum Lengelj"(1590). In the Hungarian-language testimony of the various witnesses, the defendant is named "Lengelj Albert". (Székely Oklevél-tár p. 203.)

The other side of the question is the unmarked patronymic, and the confusion it can cause...a side effect of the standard way to Latinize names is that the SCAdian practice of simply switching the order can yield names with the wrong meaning. For example, "Antonius Miklos" and "Miklos Antal" are the same person, Anthony the son of Nicholas (1591, Sz. Okl. p. 219), but "Antal Miklos" (1591, ibid p. 235) is Nicholas, the son of Anthony."

We note that it is not easy for the everyday herald, or even for the Sovereign of Arms to recognize Hungarian forms and recognize the name order. This raises a specter of conflict checking names both backwards and forwards -- how do you tell if a which element is the given name and which the byname. Allowing registeration in surname + given name order does make conflict checking considerably more difficult against other Eastern European names.

So, what to do? In this case, we return to first principles. RfS 1.1 says

The Society for Creative Anachronism studies pre-Seventeenth Century Western Culture. The period of the Society has been defined to extend until 1600 A. D. Its domain includes Europe and areas that had contact with Europe during this period. Usages documented to have occurred regularly prior to that date within that domain shall be automatically considered compatible unless they have been specifically declared incompatible by these rules, Laurel precedent, or a policy statement of the Board of Directors.

In this case, neither the rules, nor a policy statement of the Board of Directors have declared this pattern to be incompatible. Laurel precedent declares it so, but only because information showing this practice was not available at the time the precedent was made. It is unfair and contrary to Corpora and to the scholarly aims of the College of Arms to refuse to register a name correctly simply because it makes our job harder. Therefore, we are overturning the precedent that forbids registering Hungarian names using unmarked patronymics in surname + given order because we now have evidence that such names are found in period Hungarian documents. Names combining a Latinized given name with a Hungarian surname must still be registered in given + surname order.

Given this, we remind the submitters and heralds, when a name is submitted as a Hungarian name, to check for conflict in both forward and reverse order.

Roster Changes

A copy of the updated roster is attached.

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 Roster.

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, at Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 4N400 Church Rd., Bensenville, IL 60106-2928.

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

For a paper copy of a LoAR, please contact Laurel, at the address above. The cost for one LoAR is $3. 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.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Elisabeth de Rossignol
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms

Created at 2005-09-15T02:18:37