Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the April 2011 meetings, printed Tuesday, June 7, 2011
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Elisabeth Laurel, Istvan Wreath, and Juliana 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 April Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath roadshow at Ęthelmearc Heralds & Scribes on Saturday, April 2, 2011, at the Wreath meeting on Saturday, April 9, 2010, and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, April 10, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Middle (16 Jan, 2011), Middle (17 Jan, 2011), Ęthelmearc (19 Jan, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Jan, 2011), Calontir (21 Jan, 2011), Ęthelmearc (27 Jan, 2011), Ansteorra (28 Jan, 2011), Drachenwald (28 Jan, 2011), Lochac (28 Jan, 2011), An Tir (31 Jan, 2011), Artemisia (31 Jan, 2011), Ealdormere (31 Jan, 2011), Gleann Abhann (31 Jan, 2011), Meridies (31 Jan, 2011), Northshield (31 Jan, 2011), and West (31 Jan, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, March 31, 2011.
The May Laurel decisions were made at the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, May 14, 2011 and at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, May 22, 2011. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Caid (27 Jan, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet) , Laurel LoPaD (08 Feb, 2011), East (09 Feb, 2011), Atenveldt (15 Feb, 2011), Middle (22 Feb, 2011), Caid (27 Feb, 2011), Lochac (27 Feb, 2011), An Tir (28 Feb, 2011), Ansteorra (28 Feb, 2011), Drachenwald (28 Feb, 2011), Gleann Abhann (28 Feb, 2011), Outlands (28 Feb, 2011), Trimaris (28 Feb, 2011), and West (28 Feb, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, April 30, 2011.
The June Laurel decisions will be made at the Wreath meetings held on Saturday, June 4, 2011, at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, June 19, 2011, and at the Known World Heraldic & Scribal Symposium roadshow on Sunday, June 26, 2011. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Meridies (28 Feb, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet), Laurel LoPaD (10 Mar, 2011), West (15 Mar, 2011), Atenveldt (20 Mar, 2011), Ęthelmearc (21 Mar, 2011), Atlantia (23 Mar, 2011), Atlantia (24 Mar, 2011), East (24 Mar, 2011), Ansteorra (26 Mar, 2011), Calontir (27 Mar, 2011), Lochac (28 Mar, 2011), An Tir (31 Mar, 2011), Artemisia (31 Mar, 2011), and Outlands (31 Mar, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, May 31, 2011.
The July Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in July 2011. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Caid (29 Mar, 2011) (pushed due to lack of packet) Drachenwald (03 Apr, 2011), West (08 Apr, 2011), Atenveldt (15 Apr, 2011), Trimaris (20 Apr, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (23 Apr, 2011), Ansteorra (26 Apr, 2011), Meridies (27 Apr, 2011), Gleann Abhann (28 Apr, 2011), Laurel LoPaD (29 Apr, 2011), Lochac (29 Apr, 2011), Middle (29 Apr, 2011), Atlantia (30 Apr, 2011), Calontir (30 Apr, 2011), Drachenwald (30 Apr, 2011), and Outlands (30 Apr, 2011). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Thursday, June 30, 2011.
The August Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in August 2011. These meetings will consider the following letters of itent: [Caid (30 Apr, 2011)] (pushed due to lack of packet), Northshield (09 May, 2011), [An Tir (11 May, 2011)], Ęthelmearc (12 May, 2011), [West (15 May, 2011)], Atenveldt (20 May, 2011), [East (21 May, 2011)], Middle (23 May, 2011), [An Tir (27 May, 2011)], [Meridies (27 May, 2011)], [Ansteorra (28 May, 2011)], [Lochac (29 May, 2011)], [Outlands (29 May, 2011)], [Artemisia (30 May, 2011)], [Gleann Abhann (30 May, 2011)], [Atlantia (31 May, 2011)], [Drachenwald (31 May, 2011)], and [Ealdormere (31 May, 2011)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Sunday, July 31, 2011.
Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of posting 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.
In February, I was asked to rule whether Meridian Order of the Blade could be registered with a letter of permission to conflict with the registered Brotherhood of the Blade. I ruled that it could - that the addition of the adjective Meridian in the designator of an order name could be a sufficient difference to allow the registration of the item with a letter of permission to conflict. This is the same situation as the addition of the same adjective (or other forms of a branch name) in the substantive part of the order name.
I was probably not as careful in my wording as I might have been, as apparently the decision is being read by some as a more sweeping ruling that would allow the addition of adjectival forms of SCA branch names in the designator to allow the registration of a new submission without a letter of permission to conflict. This would be different than the current treatment of the same adjectival forms in the substantive portion of the name (which are registerable only with permission to conflict). I assure all that such a reading of the decision was not my intent and will not be upheld. In point of fact, the precedent says "Therefore, we rule the use of a kingdom name (here in an adjectival form) in the designator is sufficient to allow the registration of an item with permission to conflict, just as the addition of it to the substantive element is" (emphasis editorial).
Branch names, whether used in the substantive portion of an order name or in the designator, only contribute enough to difference to allow the registration of an item with a letter of permission to conflict. Let me apologize for any confusion that may have arisen because of the phrasing.
This month, commentary on the request for reconsideration of the names Og the Red and Dagmar Halvdan made it clear that there are misunderstandings about the process.
Requests for reconsideration give submitters the right to appeal Laurel decisions when a submission was registered with changes. Before this policy was established, submitters whose names were changed in ways they did not like were forced to pay to fix the problems, while submitters whose names were returned were given the right to appeal those decisions without charge. In January 2003, submitters whose names were changed as the result of an authenticity request were given the right to request reconsideration. Often, this entailed dropping the authenticity request, but the policy also allowed for the presentation of data showing that a change was made in error.
In the 2009 rewrite of the Administrative Handbook, the decision was made to extend this privilege to all submissions. The goal is to allow submitters whose names are registered the same right to question Laurel's decisions as those submitters whose names are returned. The hope was that it makes it easier for submitters to allow changes, knowing that if they get a result they're unhappy with, they have recourse.
The language in the Administrative Handbook regarding requests for reconsideration explicitly parallels the language for appeals, with a few minor alterations. One important aspect of this policy is that there is no time limit to requests for reconsideration; the request does not need to be timely. New evidence that a change was made in error may be presented years or decades later (though we do not encourage waiting that long). However, requests to change a name to a form suggested by Laurel or by kingdom will not be honored if the request for reconsideration is not made in a timely manner. The one major difference between appeals and requests for reconsideration is that requests for reconsideration are treated like resubmissions for money purposes. That means that kingdoms may charge for them (after a year), but Laurel does not.
As with appeals, requests for reconsideration based on evidence that a change was made in error require the submitter to supply evidence that the decision should be changed (whether it's by citing a Laurel decision that says the name is registerable, by dropping an authenticity request, or by providing new documentation). However, as with appeals, we do not allow kingdoms to return requests for reconsideration: they must be forwarded in a timely manner with or without recommendation to Laurel. So even if the evidence seems flimsy, kingdoms are required to send them up to Laurel and let the College of Arms sort them out.
Documenting order names and heraldic titles is one of the frustrating jobs which falls to every kingdom and many baronial heralds. The standards for these non-personal names at this time are tighter than they historically were, but we also have better resources available.
Let's start with the resources. This is going to sound a little self-absorbed, but I got annoyed with the available resources a few years ago (all right, a decade ago) and started researching herald's titles and order names. It took a while, but finally came to fruition as two articles that substantially improved our knowledge of period practice.
For order names, we have "Medieval Secular Order Names" at http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/names/order/new/ or at http://www.medievalscotland.org/jes/OrderNames/ (they're identical in content, but formatted differently). Someday I'll get the religious order names done; for the moment I'll note that most were named for places. This article gives an analysis of patterns (noting that "other" isn't a pattern; it simply groups items that don't fit neatly in larger categories), standardized forms, and documentary forms.
For herald's titles, we have "Heraldic Titles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance" at http://www.medievalscotland.org/jes/HeraldicTitlesSCA/index.shtml. It again gives an analysis of patterns (noting that "other" isn't a pattern), standardized forms, and documentary forms.
So, what do you do with them? For any submission, you have to argue that the submission follows a particular pattern for creating that kind of name. Patterns are somewhat limited in time and space: a pattern documented for 16th century England is not automatically justifiable in Russia, or for 11th century England. However, there are patterns that were used broadly over Europe from the 14th to 16th century, and those are justifiable for more times and places.
Unfortunately, that means that some times and places are just out of luck for the creation of herald's titles and order names. We have no evidence that either were in use before the 12th century, and only a few patterns were in use before 1300. That means that languages that fell out of use before that time (Old Norse, Old English, Frankish, etc.) cannot be used to create heraldic titles or order names, as there are no patterns for them to follow. Herald's titles and orders were used broadly in Europe, even eastern Europe, but they did not spread further. Therefore, the registration of either a heraldic title or an order name in Russian, Arabic and other Middle Eastern languages, and Asiatic languages is not allowed. I know that it creates a difficult situation for those whose personas are from outside the main European powers, but those European powers are the home of the heraldic/chivalric game we play.
Patterns must be closely followed: evidence of the use of a vernacular color term is not evidence of the use of a heraldic color term, and "other adjective" doesn't mean "any adjective" (it just means that there are some that are hard to classify). Similarly, just because you joke about venerating some item doesn't make it a religious object of veneration for our purposes. Instead you must demonstrate that the object was venerated in period (or that it matches a pattern of objects venerated in period).
Having demonstrated that the submission follows a pattern, you have to demonstrate that the words within it are period and spelled in a period way (or justified as the lingua Anglica version of a foreign language name). Using the lingua Anglica allowance is a way to get modern spellings if you don't like the period spellings; just construct the order name or title in another language (French often does the trick). However, you still must justify the terms as period; the lingua Anglica allowance doesn't get you out of that hard work.
Finally, don't be afraid to get outsiders to help; and please do it before you get attached to an unregisterable name. Too many times, I've seen groups heartbroken when the name they want is ruled to not follow a period pattern.
The following precedent appeared on the December 2010 LoAR:
Lacking evidence that a mullet of four points was used in period heraldry, we are declaring the use of a mullet of four points a step from period practice. [Nasir ibn al-Khazzaz ibn Qadir, A-Atlantia]
A discussion on the SCAHRLDS mailing list provided several pieces of documentation for the mullet of four points in period heraldry. Raneke, in Svenska medeltidsvapen, has examples:
Volume II, p. 739, has "per pale (no tinctures), in the sinister half seven mullets of four points 2, 2, 2, and 1". (It is not the main blazon: it is further down in that section's text)
Volume II, p. 809 has "a chevron and in base a mullet of four points"
Other documentation includes the arms of Richard Slacke, Windsor Herald in the 15th Century: Azure a cross formy throughout per bend sinister ermine & or charged in the center with a mullet of four points counterchanged, which is on page 233 of Joseph Foster's Two Tudor Books of Arms (available through Google Books).
Therefore, the use of a mullet of four points has been shown to be period practice. All precedents saying that it is a 'weirdness' or a 'step from period practice' are overturned.
Even were all of the citations from Raneke, this would not be a regional style exception. The last paragraph of the July 2010 Documented Exceptions ruling reads: "This does not change standards for documenting charges new to SCA heraldry: a single example of the charge used in a period heraldic jurisdiction remains sufficient." All medieval heraldic jurisdictions are treated equally; preference is not granted to any jurisdiction, Anglo-Norman or otherwise.
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 be sent to David Duggar, Attn: Laurel Chancellor of Exchequer, 1705 Holiday Pl, Bossier City, LA 71112-3706.
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". The electronic copy of the LoAR is available free of charge. To subscribe to the mailings of the electronic copy, please see the bottom of http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/lists.html#lists for more instructions.
For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.
Pray know that I remain,
Elisabeth de Rossignol
Laurel Principal Queen of Arms
Created at 2011-06-08T00:26:25