Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the July 2007 meetings, printed October 28, 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 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 were 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 have been entered into OSCAR by August 31, 2007.
The October Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, October 27, 2007, and at the Wreath meeting held Sunday, October 14, 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 have been entered into OSCAR by September 30, 2007.
The November Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, November 17, 2007 and at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, November 9, 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)], and [Artemisia (31 Jul, 2007)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by October 31, 2007.
The December Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, December 15, 2007 and at the Wreath meeting held Sunday, December 10, 2007. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Middle (04 Aug, 2007)], [Northshield (09 Aug, 2007)], East (10 Aug, 2007), East (16 Aug, 2007), [Ęthelmearc (17 Aug, 2007)], [Drachenwald (20 Aug, 2007)], Laurel LoPaD (22 Aug, 2007), Calontir (25 Aug, 2007), [Outlands (27 Aug, 2007)], Atlantia (28 Aug, 2007), [An Tir (30 Aug, 2007)], [Lochac (30 Aug, 2007)], [Meridies (30 Aug, 2007)], and [Caid (31 Aug, 2007)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Friday, November 30, 2007.
The January Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in January 2008. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Atenveldt (2007 Sep, 01)], [East (2007 Sep, 06)], [Caid (2007 Sep, 20)], [Gleann Abhann (2007 Sep, 20)], [Drachenwald (2007 Sep, 24)], [Northshield (2007 Sep, 27)], [West (2007 Sep, 27)], [Ansteorra (2007 Sep, 29)], [Calontir (2007 Sep, 29)], [Outlands (2007 Sep, 29)], [An Tir (2007 Sep, 30)], [Atlantia (2007 Sep, 30)], [Ęthelmearc (2007 Sep, 30)], [Calontir (2007 Sep, 30)], [Meridies (2007 Sep, 30)], and the Siren LoItP (2007 Sep, 30). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Monday, December 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.
The Admin Handbook V.A.2. presently reads as follows: "Timely Notification of Submitters - The Principal Herald, either directly or through designated deputies, shall ensure that all submitters are notified of the results of the submissions process without undue delay at any level. Notification of registration by the College of Arms or of return at any level must be made in writing to the individual submitter. Printed notices in kingdom newsletters do not meet this requirement, although they are encouraged for public relations purposes."
In the past this has been interpreted to mean that notification of registration or return must be done by post. This view was specifically upheld the cover letter of June 2004, in which Master Franēois stated "E-mail is not sufficient for final notification of acceptance or return of a submission."
Since becoming Laurel in April 2005 I have been repeatedly asked to reconsider this policy, usually by those citing the notification backup in many Kingdoms, mounting postal costs and the ever-increasing use of e-mail throughout the Known World. The availability of the LoAR online, to anyone, has made exact names, blazons and dates of registration public knowledge; submitters no longer have to rely on receipt of that letter to know their heraldic fate.
There are, of course, reasonable objections to e-mail notification, including changeability of e-mail addresses, uncertainty of receipt and the lack of hard-copy documentation of notification. It has also been mentioned that notification via post is a long-standing Laurel Office policy and is expected by submitters. Finally, not everyone has e-mail. Any change in policy must address such concerns.
After long consideration and receipt of much advice, I have decided that, with the proper procedures in place, e-mail may be used as a means of notifying submitters of "registration by the College of Arms or of return at any level." Note well the wording -- a means, not the means. If a submitter's forms include no e-mail address, a hard-copy letter must, of course, be sent. If any Kingdom wishes to continue to issue hard-copy notification letters sent via post, they may certainly do so.
If, however, a Kingdom wants to use e-mail to for submitter notification, they must go to reasonable lengths to ensure that this notification is received. E-mail notifications should include a request for response or automatic notification of receipt, to be printed out and retained in the submitter's file. If an e-mail notification bounces, a valid address may be sought (keeping in mind the 'without undue delay' provision in AH V.A.2. cited above), but ultimately a hard-copy notification via post must be sent if electronic means fail.
AH section X.B.2. already states "Submissions Correspondence - A clean copy of each piece of correspondence dealing with submissions shall be retained in the kingdom files. Such correspondence may include internal and external letters of intent, letters of commentary, letters of response, letters of notification and any other correspondence referring to submissions (emphasis mine.)" This will not change. A hard copy of the notification letter must still be printed out and retained in the submitter's file. Other ways of recording that notification has taken place may appear in the upcoming Admin Handbook revision, suggestions welcome.
The general populace has been recently notified via publications in Kingdom newsletters and various e-mail lists of the impending change in Laurel Office policy, and invited to comment. Those who have done so have been very much in favor.
This change has been undertaken with the aim of improving service to our submitters, cost containment and helping reduce time demands on Kingdom heraldic staff. Again, no Kingdom must change to e-mail notification, but any may, so long as the above considerations of timeliness, documentation of notification and hard-copy backup are addressed.
A submission this month raised the issue of the quality of documentation available from MacLysaght, Irish Surnames. This book is about modern names and provides modern forms of both Gaelic and Anglicized spellings. At one time, this book was the best reference we had for Irish names, but this is no longer the case. Because MacLysaght provides few if any dates, and because the forms given in this work are explicitly modern, it is no longer acceptable as sole documentation for Irish names.
This month a number of armory submissions have been returned as the mini-emblazon shown in OSCAR does not match the emblazon on the forms sent to the Laurel office. The Administrative Handbook section V.B.2.e requires "An accurate representation of each piece of submitted armory shall be included on the letter of intent. Such emblazons must be clearly labelled and large enough that all elements of the design may be clearly distinguished." We have consistently returned armory when the mini-emblazon has not matched the emblazon on the LoI.
Emblazons in OSCAR must still meet this requirement: they must be accurate representations of the emblazons sent to Laurel. Yes, there are scanner issues and tinctures may sometimes be in question (especially azure/purpure). However, the outlines must match.
At the July Wreath meeting it appeared that a significant number of emblazons were created by methods other than by scanning the form. In some cases the differences were minor; in other cases they were significant. In all cases they denied the commenters the opportunity to give reasoned opinions on the emblazon actually being registered. All such armory is being returned.
Submissions heralds, please resist the temptation to improve a questionable emblazon by "tweaking" it or cutting-and-pasting from another source of heraldic art. Even if the result is a marked improvement (and we concede it may well be), it's not what the client has submitted. As we register the emblazon, not the blazon, we need commentary on the drawing that will be in the files -- which means that drawing must match what's displayed in OSCAR.
In returning Cassandra von Schwabing's device in November 2000 Laurel ruled, "There is no default color for the seeds of sunflowers: sometimes they are black, sometimes brown. Therefore, we cannot register a sunflower proper." However, over the years we have registered several sunflowers proper. Some of these had black seeds, some brown seeds. We hereby overturn the November 2000 precedent and allow sunflowers proper to be registered. Just as a thistle proper can have its tuft either gules or purpure, a sunflower proper may have either brown or sable seeds. For purposes of conflict checking, the tincture of a sunflower's seeds is not worth a difference. The presence of these seeds does not count as a tertiary charge.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The electronic copy is available free of charge.
For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.
Pray know that I remain,
Elisabeth de Rossignol
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms
Created at 2007-10-31T00:58:17