Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

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herald@sca.org

For the February 2008 meetings, released July 5, 2008

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 February Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting on Saturday, February 16, 2008 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, March 9, 2008. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (08 Oct, 2007), Middle (14 Oct, 2007), Atenveldt (15 Oct, 2007), Drachenwald (20 Oct, 2007), Caid (26 Oct, 2007), Laurel LoPaD (28 Oct, 2007), Atlantia (29 Oct, 2007), An Tir (30 Oct, 2007), Ansteorra (30 Oct, 2007), Lochac (30 Oct, 2007), Meridies (30 Oct, 2007), Artemisia (31 Oct, 2007), Caid (31 Oct, 2007), Calontir (31 Oct, 2007), East (31 Oct, 2007), Northshield (31 Oct, 2007), Outlands (31 Oct, 2007), and West (31 Oct, 2007). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, January 31, 2008.

The March Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, March 22, 2008 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, March 30, 2008. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Trimaris (31 Oct, 2007) (delayed for administrative reasons), Atenveldt (20 Nov, 2007), Outlands (21 Nov, 2007), East (23 Nov, 2007), An Tir (26 Nov, 2007), Northshield (26 Nov, 2007), Atlantia (27 Nov, 2007), Ansteorra (28 Nov, 2007), Lochac (28 Nov, 2007), Meridies (29 Nov, 2007), West (29 Nov, 2007), Artemisia (30 Nov, 2007), Ęthelmearc (30 Nov, 2007), and Trimaris (30 Nov, 2007). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Friday, February 29, 2008.

The April Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, April 26, 2008 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, April 13, 2008. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Gleann Abhann (03 Dec, 2007), Ealdormere (12 Dec, 2007), East (16 Dec, 2007), Lochac (17 Dec, 2007), An Tir (22 Dec, 2007), Drachenwald (23 Dec, 2007), Ansteorra (24 Dec, 2007), Outlands (24 Dec, 2007), Atlantia (29 Dec, 2007), Calontir (30 Dec, 2007), Meridies (30 Dec, 2007), Artemisia (31 Dec, 2007), Atenveldt (31 Dec, 2007), Caid (31 Dec, 2007), Northshield (31 Dec, 2007), and the Palimpsest Rules Letter (31 Dec, 2007). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, March 31, 2008.

The May Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meetings held on Saturday, May 10, 2008 and Sunday, May 11, 2008, and Wreath meeting held on Sunday, May 18, 2008. These meetings will consider the following Letters of Intent: Laurel LoPaD (03 Jan, 2008), Ealdormere (10 Jan, 2008), East (19 Jan, 2008), Drachenwald (20 Jan, 2008), An Tir (26 Jan, 2008), Calontir (26 Jan, 2008), Artemisia (29 Jan, 2008), Atlantia (29 Jan, 2008), Lochac (29 Jan, 2008), Atenveldt (30 Jan, 2008), Caid (30 Jan, 2008), Gleann Abhann (30 Jan, 2008), Meridies (30 Jan, 2008), Trimaris (30 Jan, 2008), Palimpsest Rules Letter (31 Jan, 2008), and West (31 Jan, 2008). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, April 30, 2008.

The June Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meetings held on Saturday, June 7, 2008 and Saturday, June 28, 2008, and the Wreath meetings held on Sunday, June 29, 2008 and at Lilies War. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (02 Feb, 2008), Outlands (02 Feb, 2008) (Redated from 31 January based on OSCAR posting date), East (18 Feb, 2008), Drachenwald (20 Feb, 2008), An Tir (22 Feb, 2008), Calontir (23 Feb, 2008), Atenveldt (25 Feb, 2008), Ęthelmearc (25 Feb, 2008), Atlantia (26 Feb, 2008), Lochac (28 Feb, 2008), Ansteorra (29 Feb, 2008), Outlands (29 Feb, 2008), and West (29 Feb, 2008). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, May 31, 2008.

The July Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held on Saturday, July 5, 2008 and the Wreath meetings held on Saturday, July 12, 2008 and Sunday, July 13, 2008. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Caid (01 Mar, 2008), Laurel LoPaD (19 Mar, 2008), Albion (20 Mar, 2008), Atenveldt (20 Mar, 2008), Drachenwald (21 Mar, 2008), Gleann Abhann (25 Mar, 2008), Lochac (25 Mar, 2008), Calontir (26 Mar, 2008), Ęthelmearc (28 Mar, 2008), [An Tir (30 Mar, 2008)], Ansteorra (30 Mar, 2008), Atlantia (30 Mar, 2008), [Meridies (30 Mar, 2008)], Artemisia (31 Mar, 2008), and Outlands (31 Mar, 2008). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, June 30, 2008.

The August Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held Sunday, August 17, 2008 and the Wreath meeting held at Pennsic. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Northshield (02 Apr, 2008), East (05 Apr, 2008), Gleann Abhann (09 Apr, 2008), Middle (12 Apr, 2008), Ealdormere (15 Apr, 2008), Laurel LoPaD (15 Apr, 2008), Lochac (17 Apr, 2008), [An Tir (20 Apr, 2008)], Batonvert LoItP (20 Apr, 2008), [Atenveldt (21 Apr, 2008)], Drachenwald (21 Apr, 2008), Atlantia (28 Apr, 2008), Calontir (29 Apr, 2008), [Ansteorra (30 Apr, 2008)], Meridies (30 Apr, 2008), Northshield (30 Apr, 2008), Outlands (30 Apr, 2008), [Trimaris (30 Apr, 2008)], and [West (30 Apr, 2008)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Thursday, July 31, 2008.

The September Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in September 2008. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Gleann Abhann (20 May, 2008)], [Drachenwald (21 May, 2008)], East (21 May, 2008), Lochac (21 May, 2008), [Outlands (21 May, 2008)], [An Tir (25 May, 2008)], [Atenveldt (25 May, 2008)], Laurel LoPaD (26 May, 2008), Northshield (27 May, 2008), [Ansteorra (30 May, 2008)], Atlantia (30 May, 2008), Laurel (30 May, 2008), [West (30 May, 2008)], Ęthelmearc (31 May, 2008), [Artemisia (31 May, 2008)], Calontir (31 May, 2008), and [Meridies (31 May, 2008)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Sunday, August 31, 2008.

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: OSCAR Commentary And Confidentiality

The question has been raised, how confidential is commentary in OSCAR? That is to say, should the submitter be told anything about its content?

My answer to that is an unequivocal It Depends. Passing on the exact wording of comments without the explicit permission of their writer may be grounds for loss of commenting privileges. If sharing information contained in such comments would have a useful purpose (i.e., starting to look for permission to conflict, finding more supporting documentation), then I see no reason why not. Otherwise, I would examine my motives carefully, and remember that OSCAR privileges are exactly that.

But there's another consideration. Commentary on OSCAR is not the final word; that doesn't happen until Wreath, Pelican or in extreme circumstances I have spoken it. I would very strongly discourage advising a submitter to take any action on their item while that item is still in commentary, as the problem may quite possibly be solved by the time the meeting is held.

I expect all commenters to not only be sensible and courteous in passing on what is happening on OSCAR, but also remind their clients that the decision has not yet been made.

From Laurel: Once Again, With Feeling

Shauna Ragged Staff has had to send out far too many notices lately that she has received forms that are outdated, tampered with, or otherwise unacceptable. This is frustrating to her and is counterproductive to Wreath and Pelican's meetings running smoothly and on time.

The standardization of the forms is not a capricious piece of administrivia; it allows some very overworked people to extract the necessary information from them as quickly and accurately as possible.

Kingdom submissions heralds, you are to scrutinize forms before sending them in, and return them in Kingdom if they are not current or correctly printed out. Failure to do so is grounds for administrative return of possibly your entire Letter of Intent, which no one wants to do and you certainly do not want to have to explain to your submitters and your Principal Herald.

I trust this is clear. Thank you for your cooperation.

From Laurel: Regarding Appendix H

On the October 8, 2007 LoPaD the question was asked, "Should the articles found at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/ be added to Appendix H?".

This question generated considerable commentary for and against, and I would like to thank all those who responded; your comments were very helpful and often illuminating. The suggestions made for other changes to Appendix H were noted by Palimpsest and will be brought up for commentary separately in the future.

After considering the various arguments I have decided that at this time no change will be made to current policy regarding photocopies of articles from the MNA or of St. Gabriel reports. As several people pointed out, once FELIX is up and running the question would be moot anyway, as this will allow us to host articles from the MNA (and elsewhere, of course) at the Laurel web site. (For a detailed explanation of FELIX and its capabilities, please see http://heraldry.sca.org/articles/felix.html) After that happens (and Codex is working on it in his copious spare time) my successor, or hers, can revisit the issue.

From Laurel: Forms

A submission from Artemisia this month raised some questions: the device was submitted on a lozenge form from another kingdom as Artemisia does not have an approved lozenge form. There was some concern whether or not this was acceptable. It is. As long as the submission is made on a Laurel-approved form, and the form clearly identifies the submitting kingdom (which can be done by crossing out the original kingdom's name and adding the submitting kingdom's name), the form is acceptable at the Laurel level. Kingdoms may require that submissions be made only on their own forms, though we very, very strongly encourage them to make allowance for the generic forms used at multi-kingdom events such as Pennsic. This applies to both armory and name forms.

From Laurel: Some Badges

Among this month's submissions were eight badges, submitted by various Baronies of the Kingdom of Caid. The badges were intended for the use of the former territorial Barons and Baronesses of those Baronies. A good number of former territorial Barons and Baronesses are given the rank of Court Baron/Baroness upon stepping down from the baronial seat; the sole purpose of the badges seems to be to distinguish former territorial Barons/Baronesses from Court Barons/Baronesses who never held a territory.

This is a legal use of a Barony's right to register badges. Nonetheless, the Laurel Office questions the wisdom of registering badges for former territorial Barons and Baronesses.

First of all, it takes up heraldic "space" needlessly. While the badges submitted by Caid's Baronies are very similar (so much so that Letters of Permission to Conflict were included with the submissions), nothing would prevent the Baronies of a Kingdom from submitting wildly different badges, one per Barony, for their former territorial heads. A larger Kingdom could easily have more than a dozen separate badges, each protected from conflict, for the purpose of distinguishing former heads of Baronies. And the distinction, such as it is, for those former heads is minimal: those entitled to bear these badges are not raised in rank by doing so, but retain whatever rank they had before displaying the badge. The badges' only purpose is to differentiate Court Barons who were once territorial heads from Court Barons received at the Crown's will.

Second, it brings the Laurel Office and the Society College of Arms into a matter which should properly involve only the individual Kingdoms. The College of Arms does not regulate the forms of vicomital or baronial coronets, for instance, leaving such regulation to the Kingdoms and whatever sumptuary law they deem necessary. It seems reasonable that the College should likewise not concern itself with the tokens for former territorial Barons and Baronesses.

In the same vein, if such a distinction for former territorial Barons and Baronesses is deemed important, the proper venue for making that distinction is through either sumptuary laws, for those Kingdoms that practice them, or the rules concerning heraldic achievements, which each Kingdom sets for itself through its heralds and scribes. Registering a badge to mark a distinction usually denoted by regalia merely serves to confuse the two functions.

No one disputes the right of Baronies to register badges, or to reserve them for specific purposes or groups. Registering a badge for former territorial Barons and Baronesses is legal. However, we find we cannot encourage it, and would hope that other Kingdoms do not follow Caid's lead in this.

From Laurel: Order of the Pelican

Table 1 of the Glossary of the Terms notes that a chapeau, a pelican in its piety, and a pelican vulning itself are reserved to the "Order of the Pelican". A submission this month (Dorio of the Oaks, East LoI) questioned whether or not a member of the Order of the Pelican could register armory containing a pelican in its piety. They can: prior Laurels have implicitly assumed they might do so (LoAR of June 1988), and there has been no explicit prohibition since then. We hereby state outright that members of the Order of the Pelican may incorporate the symbols of their Order - the pelican and the chapeau - in their personal armory. The Glossary of Terms will be updated to clarify these items are reserved to members of the Order of the Pelican.

From Wreath: Laurel Wreaths and Territorial Arms

Currently laurel wreaths are reserved for - and are a required component of - territorial arms. This topic has been a subject of debate many times. It has long been argued that the requirement that territorial arms have a laurel wreath as a prominent component of the arms is ahistoric. The counter-argument has been that it makes it easy to identify territorial groups which, while not a period practice, is very much part of SCA historical practice. We are considering removing the requirement that territorial arms have a laurel wreath and invite comments from the College of Arms and others. Those who wish to comment but are not commenting members of the College of Arms (and thus unable to post to OSCAR), may send their commentary directly to wreath-herald@sca.org; those comments will then be posted verbatim to OSCAR.

From Wreath: Laurel Wreaths for Laurels?

Currently laurel wreaths are reserved for territorial arms. A member of the Order of the Pelican may register armory with the symbol of the order, as may a member of the Order of the Chivalry. It has been suggested that members of the Order of the Laurel should also be allowed to registered armory with the symbol of their order. We request opinions on whether or not laurel wreaths should be reserved for members of the Order of the Laurel in addition to territorial arms. Please note that this decision is independent of the decision whether or not to remove the requirement that territorial arms include a laurel wreath. Regardless of the outcome of these two discussions, laurel wreaths will continue to be reserved for territorial arms. Those who wish to comment but are not commenting members of the College of Arms (and thus unable to post to OSCAR), may send their commentary directly to wreath-herald@sca.org; those comments will then be posted verbatim to OSCAR.

From Wreath: Drawing Piles

There have been many calls recently to return piles for not extending almost to the edge of the shield. Often cited is the precedent:

Grimfells, March of the. Change of device. Sable, on a pile within a laurel wreath Or, a spiderweb throughout sable. Unfortunately, as several commentors noted, there is long­standing precedent in the College for banning charges, including laurel wreaths, below piles on the grounds that a properly drawn period pile would not allow space for another charge to rest, in whole or in part, below the pile. [LoAR 02/1990]

Rouland Carre, Owen Herald, noted:

The notion that a period pile necessarily goes all the way to the bottom, or at least very nearly all the way, is simply not true. Early period piles did, but you can find 16th century piles that did not. This is a holdover of the old SCA prejudice against Tudor heraldry. (Like it or don't like it: either has nothing to do with whether or not it is period.) I am a little surprised to see the claim in the Laurel letter as late as 1990.

This is a different question, by the way, from that of allowing a charge below the tip of a pile.

Owen cites the illustration of a pile in Legh's Accedens of Armorie, 1576, fo. 68v, drawn 3/4 the length of the shield. It is, however, the shortest of the Tudor piles we've found, and it is in a heraldic tract, not an actual use of arms. Other tracts of the period (de Bara, p. 28; Bossewell, fo. 76v) show piles which, though still not throughout, are more like 6/7 the length of the shield; and among the Tudor armory as actually used, there are ample examples of piles throughout (e.g. the arms of Jane Seymour, Oxford Guide to Heraldry, plate 19). Given the weight of examples, we encourage piles to extend at least 85% the length of the shield; given the single, theoretical example of Legh, we will permit piles extending as little as 75% the length of the shield, but will consider them a step from period practice. If further examples of such "shortened" piles are found, especially when used in actual arms, we will accept them without treating them as a step from period practice.

We will continue to return piles with charges beneath them, pending period evidence of such use

From Wreath: On Sheaves

A submission this month (Marguerite la fileresse de saie, Artemisia) raised the question whether a sheaf should be considered a single charge or three charges. Recent precedent has been that a sheaf of charges should be considered a single charge. While there may be earlier precedents, the easiest precedent to find is from June 2001: "A sheaf is considered a single charge, therefore there is only a single CD for changing the type of the secondary charges." This was upheld in July 2003 (v. Bjorn Krom Hakenberg, Atenveldt).

Consider two hypothetical cases. First, comparing Argent, a fess between two books vert to Argent, a fess between two sheaves of arrows vert. Second, comparing Argent, a fess between two books vert to Argent, a fess between two pairs of arrows in saltire vert. Given the 2001 precedent, the first case would be a conflict with a single CD for changing the type of secondary charges, but the second would be clear with a CD for changing the type and number of secondary charges. This treatment of charges seems inconsistent and nearly impossible to explain to submitters.

In June 1990 Laurel ruled:

The usage "a sheaf" for "two [charges] in saltire surmounted by a third palewise" is a space-saving Society convention: it does not necessarily mean that the [charges] must be counted for difference as a single unit any more than a sword and a quill in saltire would be considered a single item. (17 Jun 90, p. 13)

This view of a sheaf of charges is more consistent with how we treat other arrangements of charges. The 2001 precedent defining a sheaf of charges as a single charge is hereby overturned: a sheaf of charges shall be considered as three charges in a specific arrangement, not a single charge.

From Wreath: On Grenades and Fireballs

Commentary this month pointed out the fact that proper has never been defined for a grenade or fireball, despite the fact that both have been registered several times.

It is noteworthy that, while Parker (p. 257, s.n. fireball) doesn't give the tinctures of a fireball proper, his cited examples of its use (e.g. the arms of Ball) do use the term fire-ball proper, which means it's defined somewhere. (Papworth, p. 835, gives further examples of proper fireballs and their ilk. Not proven period, but examples of the blazonry term, at least.)

In the Society, both grenades and fireballs proper are hereby defined to be sable, enflamed proper, that is, sable with alternating gules and Or tongues of flame.

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 2008-07-03T23:08:58