Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

16308 SE 165th St
Renton, WA 98058-8221
+1-425-277-0763
herald@sca.org

For the May 2007 meetings, printed 22 August, 2007

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

Items listed below in square brackets have not been scheduled yet. For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at http://oscar.sca.org/index.php?action=137

The May Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held Sunday, May 13, 2007 and the Wreath meeting held Sunday, May 20, 2007. These meetings considered the following Letters of Intent: West (17 Jan 2007), Atenveldt (19 Jan 2007), Drachenwald (20 Jan 2007), Lochac (22 Jan 2007), Ansteorra (23 Jan 2007), Calontir (23 Jan 2007), Caid (24 Jan 2007), Artemisia (24 Jan 2007), Ęthelmearc (25 Jan 2007), Ealdormere (26 Jan 2007), Outlands (27 Jan 2007), Atlantia (28 Jan 2007), Meridies (29 Jan 2007), East (30 Jan 2007), An Tir (31 Jan 2007) and Laurel (31 Jan 2007). Original commentary on these letters should have been in the College's hands no later than March 31, 2007. Responses and rebuttals to commentary should have been in the College's hands no later than April 30, 2007.

The June Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held Sunday June 10, 2007 and at the KWHSS roadshow on Sunday, June 17, 2007. These meetings considered the following Letters of Intent: East (6 Feb 2007), [Drachenwald (19 Feb 2007)], Gleann Abhann (20 Feb 2007), Lochac (20 Feb 2007), Meridies (21 Feb 2007), West (21 Feb 2007), Calontir (22 Feb 2007), Laurel LoPaD (23 Feb 2007), Laurel LoI (23 Feb 2007), Atlantia (26 Feb 2007), Ansteorra (27 Feb 2007), Atenveldt (27 Feb 2007), Outlands (27 Feb 2007), and Trimaris (28 Feb 2007). Original commentary on these letters should have been in the College's hands no later than April 30, 2007. Responses and rebuttals to commentary should have been in the College's hands no later than May 31, 2007.

The July Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held Saturday, July 21, 2007 and the Wreath meeting held Sunday, July 15, 2007. These meetings considered the following Letters of Intent: East (6 Mar 2007), Middle (11 Mar 2007), Artemisia (20 Mar 2007), Lochac (20 Mar 2007), Laurel (23 Mar 2007), Caid (24 Mar 2007), [Drachenwald (24 Mar 2007)], Ęthelmearc (25 Mar 2007), Atenveldt (26 Mar 2007), Calontir (26 Mar 2007), Meridies (26 Mar 2007), Atlantia (27 Mar 2007), Outlands (27 Mar 2007), Ansteorra (27 Mar 2007), Ealdormere (29 Mar 2007), West (30 Mar 2007), and An Tir (31 Mar 2007). Original commentary on these letters should have been in the College's hands no later than May 31, 2007. Responses and rebuttals to commentary should have been in the College's hands no later than June 30, 2007.

The August Laurel decisions were made at the Pennsic roadshow held on Monday, August 6, 2007, at the Pelican meeting held at Pennsic, and at the Wreath meeting held on August 19, 2007. These meetings considered the following Letters of Intent: East (3 Apr 2007), Northshield (6 Apr 2007), Ęthelmearc (15 Apr 2007), [Middle (15 Apr 2007)], [Drachenwald (21 Apr 2007)], Caid (25 Apr 2007), Meridies (25 Apr 2007), West (25 Apr 2007), Ansteorra (27 Apr 2007), Atenveldt (25 Apr 2007), Laurel LoPaD (27 Apr 2007), Outlands (27 Apr 2007), Atlantia (29 Apr 2007), An Tir (30 Apr 2007), and [Trimaris (30 Apr 2007)]. Original commentary on these letters should have been in the College's hands no later than June 30, 2007. Responses and rebuttals to commentary should have been in the College's hands no later than July 31, 2007.

The September Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held Sunday, September 23, 2007 and at the Wreath Meeting held on Sunday, September 30, 2007. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Calontir (06 May 2007), [Lochac (13 May 2007)], Ęthelmearc (15 May 2007), [Drachenwald (20 May 2007)], Laurel LoPaD (21 May 2007), [East (21 May 2007)], [Artemisia (22 May 2007)], [An Tir (23 May 2007)], [Lochac (27 May 2007)], [Atlantia (28 May 2007)], [Ansteorra (29 May 2007)], [Atenveldt (29 May 2007)], and West (31 May 2007). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by August 31, 2007.

The October Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in October 2007. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Middle (03 Jun 2007)], [Outlands (03 Jun 2007)], Laurel LoPaD (14 Jun, 2007), West (19 Jun 2007), [Gleann Abhann (20 Jun 2007)], Calontir (20 Jun 2007), East (24 Jun 2007), [Drachenwald (25 Jun 2007)], Lochac (25 Jun 2007), [Outlands (27 Jun 2007)], [Ęthelmearc (28 Jun 2007)], An Tir (28 Jun 2007), [Atlantia (28 Jun 2007)], [Meridies (28 Jun 2007)], [Trimaris(28 Jun 2007)], [Atenveldt (29 Jun 2007)], Palimpsest Rules Letter (29 Jun 2007), [Ansteorra (30 Jun 2007)], [Caid (30 Jun 2007)], Ealdormere (30 Jun 2007), and Northshield (30 Jun 2007). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by September 30, 2007.

The November Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in November 2007. These meetings will consider the following Letters of Intent: [East (03 Jul, 2007)], [Gleann Abhann (05 Jul, 2007)], Loyall (10 Jul, 2007), Laurel (15 Jul, 2007), [Drachenwald (20 Jul, 2007)], [West (27 Jul, 2007)], [Meridies (25 Jul, 2007)], Calontir (26 Jul, 2007), [Atlantia (26 Jul, 2007)], [Atenveldt (28 Jul, 2007)], [Outlands (30 Jul, 2007)], [Lochac (30 Jul, 2007)], [Ansteorra (31 Jul, 2007)], Siren (31 Jul, 2007), [An Tir (31 Jul, 2007)], [Artemisia (31 Jul, 2007)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by October 31, 2007.

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 - Saving More Trees

In last month's cover letter I mentioned that discontinuing publication of the LoAR in hard copy was discussed at this year's KWHSS, and the overwhelming consensus was that this would be a good thing. Opinions received since then have also been very much in favor. I have been informed by the Board that to do this is within the purview of my office, and no Corporate policies would be thus violated.

Therefore, the June 2007 LoAR will be the final printed issue.

My sincerest thanks, and I am sure those of my several predecessors, go to Master Symond and Mistress Marta, who have been printing and mailing the LoAR for lo these many years now. Their patience with sliding deadlines and last-minute changes has truly been above and beyond.

From Laurel - Price Reduction at Laurel

Now that all Letters of Intent and CoA commentary are distributed on OSCAR, the cost of doing heraldic business has gone down drastically. Therefore, the Laurel Office would like to encourage the Kingdom Colleges to reduce their submission fees by being the first to do so.

Starting with Letters of Intent issued in October 2007, the price per chargeable item at Laurel will be reduced from $4.00 US to $3.00 US

Kingdoms are urged to follow suit to whatever degree they are financially able. An earlier query sent out to the Principal Heralds indicated that this would not cause undue hardships, and I think the public relations gain would be significant.

From Laurel - On the Cross of Caid

This month several submitters from the Kingdom of Caid appealed Crescent's decision to blazon their augmentations of arms as four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward rather than as a cross of Caid.

Over the years, Laurel has declined to use the term cross of Caid or Caidan cross, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly (by changing the blazon that appeared on the LoI without comment). The first return was when Jaelle Laurel in July 1986 wrote

To quote Baldwin in his April 1986 LoAR: "Spring is in the air, and the fit is upon me - let me name but one Cross before I die!" While it is indeed quite tempting to call the four crescents conjoined in saltire a "Cross of Caid", we feel that named SCA motifs make reconstruction of blazons more difficult for heralds and scribes.

The letter of appeal stated:

We feel that the cross of Caid is not an obscure charge, not as obscure as many period charges that the College routinely registers. The charge is 25+ years old. Naming a cross for the person or territory that bears it was a common period practice, the cross became known by its association.

The charge is known almost exclusively within the kingdom as a cross of Caid, or a Caidan cross. Further, this usage has spread throughout the Known World, due to the emigration of Caidans. With this in mind & given the widespread computer usage within the SCA, a herald or scribe could easily determine what a cross of Caid is.

Therefore, we request that Wreath and the Laurel office grant our appeal, and reblazon our augmentations as a cross of Caid argent.

We agree that that the term cross of Caid is not an obscure charge and that heralds and scribes can easily determine that it is four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward. We also agree that a cross of Caid is much less obscure than a number of period charges which we register without question.

That being said, we are trying to recreate medieval heraldic design, including blazonry. The last few Wreaths/Laurels have been diligent in reblazoning old, old registrations to bring them in line with patterns of period usage, which were more recently documented.

For the usage "cross of Caid" to be acceptable, we'd need to show it too matches a pattern of period usage.

As Crescent notes, many national emblems were given names... the cross of St. George being the prime example. However, we have yet to find any instances of period blazons using such terms. While we do use such terms (e.g., cross of Jerusalem) in SCA blazon, we are not inclined to introduce a new named crosses at this time when such can easily be blazoned by its parts (as four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward).

The usage of the terms cross of Caid and Caidan cross is perfectly acceptable, outside of blazons. These terms will not be used in blazons unless we find support in period blazonry for named crosses (and not just a single instance). If such evidence is presented, this issue may be revisited.

Given that we are not inclined to introduce the term cross of Caid into SCA blazon at this time, we are not considering what bearing, if any, the fact that the crescents are in saltire rather than in cross has on the issue.

From Wreath - Concerning Wells

The well is a period heraldic charge, found in arms from England (Hodiwell, mid-16th C), Italy (da Fontana, mid-15th C) and Germany (Pronner von Tahlhausen, 1605). (Bedingfeld & Gwynn-Jones, p.58; Stemmario Trivulziano 149; Siebmacher 98) The well is essentially a stonework enclosure around a hole in the ground... usually round (as shown in Parker, p.615), sometimes square or hexagonal. But in all period examples we've found, the well is an open enclosure: it has no cover, and no roof.

This is in contrast to the well as frequently found in modern (and Society) armory, which is covered by a raised roof, and has a windlass for drawing up a bucket. This is the well as described in Franklyn & Tanner, p.346; but we've found no period examples of its use. Pending examples of its use in period, the covered well must be considered registerable but a step from period practice.

There have been ten registrations of wells in the Society, some explicitly blazoned "roofless" or "covered", and some left unspecified. Given that both types of well have been registered, we hereby declare that there is no default type of well: a well must be explicitly blazoned as a "covered well" (the modern form, with a roof) or a "roofless well" or "open well" (the period form). In this month's LoAR, we have reblazoned the few unspecified wells to conform to this policy.

While period heraldic wells are uncovered, we are unsure when covered wells came into existence. As it is possible that they are period artifacts, we see no reason to overturn the long-standing SCA practice allowing the registration of covered wells.

From Wreath - Concerning Maltese Crosses

We've recently had submissions containing Maltese crosses, where the crosses haven't been easily identifiable. Properly drawn, a Maltese cross should have four deeply notched arms, converging to a central point (or very nearly); and each arm should take up an angle as wide as the space between the arms. This doesn't need mathematical precision: the arms can be a bit narrower, or a bit wider, but they should be roughly the same as the space between the arms. The illustration below is taken from Parker, p.166; Neubecker's Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning, p.217, has some examples as well.

By contrast, our problem submissions have had crosses whose arms didn't converge to a point, and which were considerably less wide than the space between the arms: one-third to a quarter of the width, in some cases. They were more reminiscent of the Society's cross swallowtailed, but weren't that, either: the arms of a cross swallowtailed have parallel sides, not converging. Even if no heraldic difference is granted between a Maltese cross and a cross swallowtailed (and there's yet been no firm ruling on that point), we must still be able to distinguish the two - as well as the cross fourchy and the cross double-fitched. Unidentifiability of charges has always been grounds for return.

Please advise submitters to draw their Maltese crosses correctly; anything less risks a return. An example of a correctly drawn Maltese cross is included with this letter.

Send What to Whom

Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent.

Submission packets (one copy of each name form plus documentation, including petitions; two colored copies of each armory form plus two copies of any associated documentation, including petitions) to the SCA College of Arms, PO Box 31755, Billings, MT 59107-1755.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to: 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 herald@sca.org. The electronic copy is available free of charge.

For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Elisabeth de Rossignol
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms


Created at 2007-09-02T11:09:57