Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

1731A 10th St
Hampton, VA 23665

For the May 2008 meetings, printed October 7, 2008

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Olwynn Laurel, Istvan Wreath, Aryanhwy Pelican, Jeanne Marie Wreath Emeritus, and Margaret Pelican Emeritus, 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

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 considered 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 were made at the Pelican meetings held on Saturday, June 7, 2008 and Saturday, June 28, 2008, and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, June 29, 2008. These meetings considered 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), Æthelmearc (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 were 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), Æthelmearc (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 were made at the Pelican meeting held Sunday, August 17, 2008 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, August 3, 2008 and the Pennsic roadshow. These meetings considered 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 have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, July 31, 2008.

The September Laurel decisions were made at the KWHSS roadshow on Sunday, September 7, 2008, the Pelican meeting held Saturday September 13, 2008, and the Wreath meeting held Saturday, September 13, 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), Æthelmearc (31 May, 2008), Calontir (31 May, 2008), and Meridies (31 May, 2008). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Sunday, August 31, 2008.

The October Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held Saturday, October 11, 2008 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, October 4, 2008 and at the roadshow at Great Western War on Saturday, October 11, 2008. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Artemisia (31 May, 2008) (pushed from September due to lack of payment), Middle (05 Jun, 2008), Æthelmearc (15 Jun, 2008), Ealdormere (22 Jun, 2008), Lochac (24 Jun, 2008), Atenveldt (25 Jun, 2008), Caid (27 Jun, 2008), Atlantia (29 Jun, 2008), Drachenwald (29 Jun, 2008), East (29 Jun, 2008), An Tir (30 Jun, 2008), Ansteorra (30 Jun, 2008), Calontir (30 Jun, 2008), Laurel (30 Jun, 2008), Meridies (30 Jun, 2008), Outlands (30 Jun, 2008), and Trimaris (30 Jun, 2008). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, September 30, 2008.

The November Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican meeting held Saturday, November 1, 2008 and at the University roadshow on Saturday, November 8, 2008 and at the Wreath meeting held Saturday, November 11, 2008. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: West (23 Jun, 2008) (pushed from October due to lack of payment and packet), Laurel LoPaD (05 Jul, 2008), East (15 Jul, 2008), Middle (15 Jul, 2008), Northshield (15 Jul, 2008), Calontir (19 Jul, 2008), [Gleann Abhann (22 Jul, 2008)], Atlantia (23 Jul, 2008), Drachenwald (26 Jul, 2008), Artemisia (30 Jul, 2008)], Atenveldt (30 Jul, 2008), Ansteorra (31 Jul, 2008), An Tir (31 Jul, 2008), [Outlands (31 Jul, 2008)], and Siren LoItP (31 Jul, 2008). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Friday, October 31, 2008.

The December Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in December 2008. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Caid (31 Jul, 2008)] (pushed from November due to lack of packet), Siren LoItP (13 Aug, 2008), Æthelmearc (26 Aug, 2008), [Northshield (26 Aug, 2008)], Atlantia (27 Aug, 2008), [Meridies (27 Aug, 2008)], An Tir (29 Aug, 2008), [Trimaris (29 Aug, 2008)], [Ansteorra (30 Aug, 2008)], [Drachenwald (30 Aug, 2008)], [Atenveldt (31 Aug, 2008)], [Calontir (31 Aug, 2008)], East (31 Aug, 2008), Laurel LoPaD (31 Aug, 2008), Lochac (31 Aug, 2008), and [Middle (31 Aug, 2008)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Sunday, November 30, 2008.

The January Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in January 2009. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: [Ansteorra (22 Sep, 2008)], East (22 Sep, 2008), [Atenveldt (25 Sep, 2008)], [Drachenwald (28 Sep, 2008)], [Middle (28 Sep, 2008)], [An Tir (29 Sep, 2008)], [Atlantia (29 Sep, 2008)], [Trimaris (29 Sep, 2008)], [Artemisia (30 Sep, 2008)], [Caid (30 Sep, 2008)], [Calontir (30 Sep, 2008)], [Gleann Abhann (30 Sep, 2008)], [Lochac (30 Sep, 2008)], [Meridies (30 Sep, 2008)], [Northshield (30 Sep, 2008)], and [Outlands (30 Sep, 2008)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Wednesday, December 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: KWHSS

It is our pleasure to announce that KWHSS 2009 will be held in The Barony of the Lonely Tower in the Kingdom of Calontir September 4-7, 2009. We are looking forward to this opportunity to meet with all of you in a beautiful city. The Barony has lots of fun and educational things planned for us, so keep an eye out for more information as they make it available.

We apologize about the delay in the announcement and the confusion which attended this year's bid provess. The fault, in this case, is with Laurel staff, not the kingdoms.

From Laurel: A Death In The Family

We are saddened to hear of the death of Anebairn MacPharlaine of Arrochar, Barding herald and the second Star Principal Herald. We extend our condolences to all who knew him.

From Laurel: May Decisions

Historically, during a team transition, separate LoARs were issued by each team. Since the current transition is being done in two separate steps, and over a three month period, we have decided to issue a single combined letter. Because of this, we will list the responsibility for decisions here.

The May name decisions for the kingdoms of An Tir, Artemisia, Atenveldt, Atlantia, Caid, Calontir, and Drachenwald were made by Margaret Pelican Emeritus; name decisions for Ealdormere, East, Gleann Abhann, Lochac, Meridies, Trimaris, West, and LoPaD were made by Aryanhwy Pelican. The May armory decisions were made by Jeanne Marie Wreath Emeritus.

From Laurel: Packets and Scheduling

It has come to our attention that there has been some concern over the enforcement of Laurel policy with regard to copies and payment, which was set forth on the March 2008 cover letter. Please be assured that we have every intention of being reasonable about this. We will not return an entire letter until and unless all options to avoid it have been explored. A single missing piece of paper will not cause an entire letter to be returned, and there are extensions written into policy to allow for missing bits and pieces to catch up with the main body of the letter. Please understand that we do not have the luxury of allowing this policy to slide. Pelican does not have the staff or the connectivity guarantees that previous sovereigns have had.

Communication, however, is essential. You will notice that the May Outlands LoI is not yet pushed, though it should have been were we rigidly enforcing the policy. White Stag, since she became aware of the issue, has kept us completely informed as she investigates, and we are giving them the leeway that we can while the issues are resolved. Permission, in this case, is easier than forgiveness.

From Pelican: SCA-Compatible Names

On the January 1996 cover letter, Talan Gwynek, Pelican King of Arms, outlined the definition of SCA-compatibility for names which we continue to use today:

This month's submission of the name Rhonwen Briana MacLean (Atlantia) raised in almost its purest form the question of just what is meant by 'SCA-compatibility' of a name. (Ceridwen Rhiannon MacLean might have posed the question a little more bluntly.) Does 'SCA-compatibility' give a name the same status as an attested period name, or does it represent a kind of second-class onomastic citizenship?

In actual usage the term SCA-compatible, when applied to a name, appears to mean 'not used by human beings in period (so far as we know), but too popular in the SCA to be disallowed'. Thus, use of one of these names is (on the best available evidence) a non-period practice. We allow many practices that were non-existent or nearly so in period, both in our names and in our armory, but in general we stigmatize them as 'weirdnesses' and do not allow too many of them to be combined in a single name or armory. They are 'compatible' in the sense that they are not completely disallowed, but they are still not considered fully acceptable. It is consistent with this approach to allow a name to include a single 'SCA-compatible' element but no more; each such element added to a name further removes it from the realm of authentic period practice. Indeed, we see no reason to distinguish between 'SCA-compatible' names and other non-period names permitted under the provisions of RfS II.4 (Legal Names): both are allowed as concessions to modern sensibilities despite their inauthentic nature.

On the January 2008 LoPaD, we asked for commentary on a question last raised on the August 1994 cover letter:

A number of commenters have stated over the past several of months that the SCA has learned a lot since its early days, and it may be time now to put away some of the "mistakes" we have heretofore continued to register. So I put it to you all now -- Should we discontinue the registration of "SCA-compatible" names that were not used by humans in period...

When the question was asked previously, the answer was "no". However, another 14 years have passed, and in that time the number of submissions which use an SCA-compatible element that have reached Laurel-level have been steadily decreasing; in the last five years names which use a SCA-compatible element have comprised about 75 (out of over 4000). (We have no information about how many of such submissions were returned in kingdom.) Additionally, both our knowledge of medieval naming practices and the number of reliable sources which are easily available to the general public, through such places as the Medieval Names Archive and the Laurel education website, have increased and so it seemed reasonable to revisit the issue.

We asked the College's opinion on two points:

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts on this issue. While the commentary was, as expected, not unanimous, the majority opinion (both heralds and non-heralds) was that the time has come to do away with the practice of SCA-compatible names. The strongest argument in favor of this, voiced in various forms by many people, is based on fairness. SCA-compatible names are, as the precedent quoted first above indicates, names which, so far as we know, were not used by human beings in our period but have a high popularity level in the SCA. However, there are many names which, so far as we know, were not used by human beings in our period, but which are not given the status of SCA-compatible because they do not have a similar level of high popularity. A number of the commenters noted that it is in principle unfair, and to some extent arbitrary, to say to one submitter, "You can register this name which we have no pre-1600 evidence for because it is a popular non-period name", and say to another submitter, "You cannot register this name which we have no pre-1600 evidence for because it is an unpopular non-period name". As Effrick neyn Kennyeoch put it, "[Registering] Rhiannon because Rhiannon and her friends will be unhappy if we do not, while disallowing the equally inauthentic Garwen even though Garwen and her friends will be unhappy, is not internally consistent." It is also not consistent with our practice of ruling unregisterable other practices for which we have no period evidence, (e.g., double given names in Dutch), and allowing non-period names because they are popular unfairly penalizes people who have chosen unpopular non-period names.

Additionally, allowing name elements for which we have no evidence that they were used in period solely because they are popular is not consistent with the research and educational goals of the Society. Doing away with SCA-compatible names reflects the growth in our knowledge and standards of authenticity. As Rowel noted, "As the SCA becomes more geared towards historical accuracy in different areas (brewing, garb, etc.), the general historical atmosphere increases and it's not inappropriate for the name authenticity to proceed along with that." The low number of submissions with SCA-compatible elements which reach Laurel-level is an indication that the overall knowledge of historical naming practices in the SCA has increased.

Therefore, as of the May 2009 decisions meetings, we declare that no new name elements or name patterns will be ruled SCA-compatible, that all names previously ruled SCA-compatible are no longer SCA-compatible and that in order for them to be registered, documentation meeting the same standards as for non-SCA-compatible names will be required. We note that such evidence has been provided for the following names which used to be SCA-compatible:

From Wreath: Computer Colorizing

An increasing number of submissions have been placed into OSCAR using color emblazons which are not scans of a colored emblazon; they are a scanned copy of the black-and-white emblazon which has been colorized using a paint program. Beginning at the March 2009 decision meeting, these items will be returned without consideration on their merits, regardless of any commentary on the item. Too many of these colorized emblazons are colored incorrectly and require pending, and, fundamentally, they are a violation of the Admin Handbook, section V.B.2.e which requires that there be "an accurate representation of each piece of submitted armory" on a Letter of Intent. We realize that there may be scanning and monitor issues that cause the colors not to match for all commenters, and will make allowances for this, but anything obviously re-colored will be returned.

Commenters should mention this as a possible issue, but otherwise comment fully, as it may be impossible to distinguish between colorized scans and scans of submission forms which were created using a color printer. Submissions heralds are encouraged to note which items on Letters of Intent were submitted using computer-colored emblazons on the paperwork.

From Pelican Emeritus: On the definition of the term Middle Gaelic in Black, "The Surnames of Scotland"

The question was raised recently what George Black, author of The Surnames of Scotland, means when he refers to Middle Gaelic in this work. Since many of the names he labels as Middle Gaelic are dated in the 15th C, it does not make sense that he is referring to Middle Irish, which is in use from the 9th to the 13th C. While Black does not provide a definition for this term, it is highly likely that he is using the term as defined by Alexander MacBain. Alexander MacBain provides names and timelines for various forms of Gaelic in several of his works; pp. v-vi of his An etymological dictionary of the Gaelic language note these definitions:

Irish is divided into the following four leading periods:--

I. Old Irish: from about 800 to 1000 A.D. This is the period of the glosses and marginal comments on MSS. Besides some scraps of poetry and prose entered on MS. margins, there is the Book of Armagh (tenth century), which contains continuous Old Irish narrative.

II. Early Irish, or Early Middle Irish: from 1000 to 1200 A.D.---practically the period of Irish independence after the supression of the Danes at Clontarf and before the English conquest. the two great MSS. of Lebor na h-uidre, the Book of the Dun Cow, and the Book of Leinster mark this period. Many documents, such as Cormac's Glossary, claimed for the earlier period, are, on account of their appearance in later MSS., considered in this work to belong to this period.

III. Middle Irish: from 1200 to 1500 (and in the case of the Four Masters and O'Clery even to the seventeenth century in many instances). The chief MSS. here are the Yellow Book of Lecan, the Book of Ballimote, the Leabar Breac or Speckled Book, and the Book of Lismore.

IV. Modern, or New Irish, here called Irish: from 1550 to the present time.

As already said, the literary language of Ireland and Scotland remained the same till about 1700, with, however, here and there an outburst of independence. The oldest document of Scottish Gaelic is the Book of Deer, a MS. which contains half a dozen entries in Gaelic of grants of land made to the monastery of Deer. The entries belong to the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the most important being the first---the Legend of Deer, extending to 19 lines of continuous prose. These entries form what we call Old Gaelic, but the language is Early Irish of an advanced or phonetically decayed kind. The next document is the Book of the Dean of Lismore, written about 1512 in phonetic Gaelic, so that we may take it as representing the Scottish vernacular of the time in inflexion and pronunciation. It differs considerably from the contemporary late Middle Irish; it is more phonetically decayed. We call it here Middle Gaelic, a term which also includes the MSS. of the M'Vurich <seanchaidhean>. The Fernaig MSS., written about 1688, is also phonetic in its spelling, and forms a valuable link in the chain of Scottish Gaelic phonetics from the Book of Deer till now. The term Gaelic means Modern Gaelic.

The same abbreviations, OIr, EIr, Ir, MG, and G, occur throughout Black; it seems reasonable that the periods defined by MacBain are the periods he describes when using these terms and abbreviations.

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 The electronic copy is available free of charge.

For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Olwynn ni Chinnedigh
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms

Created at 2008-10-07T20:45:54