Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms
For the August 2017 meetings, printed October 18, 2017
To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Emma outgoing-Laurel, Juliana incoming-Laurel, Alys Pelican, and Cormac Wreath, greetings.
My brief tenure as Laurel is now at an end, and I welcome Dame Juliana as my oh-so-capable successor. I certainly enjoyed my run working with the Laurel office staff and with all of the Principal Heralds, and thank you all again for your service to the College of Arms.
One last item of business before I duck out the door: The College of Arms has a rank of Herald Extraordinary that has a long and honored history. The rank was formally created and defined in the July 1981 Cover Letter by Wilhelm Laurel. The intent of the rank is to recognize and reward "... those heralds who have greatly served the College of Heralds and/or the College of Arms and have achieved the highest level of competence in heraldry."
Master Andrewe Bawldwyn served honorably and well as my predecessor as Laurel King of Arms. I hereby confer upon him the rank and style of Herald Extraordinary, and charge him to register a title of his choosing.
Thanks to Master Andrewe for his hard work, and to Mistress Emma for stepping in when it became necessary. Both of you have inspired me. Emma, who was previously granted the Herald Extraordinary title of Temperaunce for her earlier work as Wreath, has graciously agreed to continue as post-meeting clerk and as my drop-dead deputy. Andrewe has agreed to take on some writing projects.
I'm looking forward to getting started as Laurel and to working with all of you: the other Sovereigns, Alys and Cormac; the Principal Heralds; Laurel staff; and the rest of the College of Arms. I am at your service. As I start my work as Laurel, I'll be focusing on a group of projects that will sound familiar, including OSCAR 2.0, electronic submisssions, and getting precedents up to date. I'm going to be working on increasing communications from the Laurel office and among members of the College as well. Please feel free to reach out to me with your ideas -- it's gonna be fun!
On the July 2017 Letter of Acceptances and Return, Wreath concluded that tusks are not period heraldic charges and that "we will cease further registration of tusks of any kind effective as of the January 2018 decision meeting." [Bowen Doyle, 7/2017 LoAR, R-An Tir]. In addition, effective as of the January 2018 decision meeting, Pelican will no longer allow the word tusk to describe a heraldic charge in names, including order names, household names or heraldic titles.
My esteemed predecessors established this series of Cover Letter articles about name resources and I am pleased to be able to continue it. Not surprisingly, I am writing my first installment about a source for Scottish names: Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (http://www.rps.ac.uk/), usually abbreviated as the "RPS." The RPS contains transcriptions of the proceedings of the Scottish parliament from the first surviving document (from 1235) through 1707, when Scotland and England were unified. The transcriptions are in modern English and in the original source language -- Latin, Scots or French. Examples of names found in the original source language document can be used as documentation. Examples found only in the modern English translations are not.
Both sets of transcriptions are searchable. When searching for a specific name, I find it easiest to search for the modern form of the name by searching the "Translation" rather than the "MSS." I then toggle between the modern translation and the original transcription by clicking on the date of the document. Doing this gives me the various period forms of that name.
The RPS is best for finding Scots and Anglo-Norman names. Although some Gaelic names appear in the documents, they do not appear in Gaelic; they appear as they were rendered by a non-Gaelic speaking scribe in either Latin or Scots. For example, a Latin document from 1293 refers to Angusium filium Douenaldi in Latin, not Áengus mac Domnaill. Researchers should also bear in mind that not all Latin spellings in these documents are the nominative (base) form of the name. Name spellings in Latin change depending on how the person's name is used in the sentence. For example, because of how it is used in the sentence, Angusium filium Douenaldi is not an example of the nominative form; it is the accusative form, which cannot be used to form a given name in the SCA. The nominative form of Angusium is Angusius. If you are not 100% sure that the form someone wants is the nominative form, make sure that all changes are allowed so that we can correct the grammar as needed.
Documentation from the RPS should be sure to note the kind of name element (given name, surname, place name, etc.), the language of the source document, and the date of the document, along with a link to the RPS. For example: Dowglas is a surname found in a Latin-language record dated January 1488 in the Records of the Parliaments of Scotland (http://www.rps.ac.uk/mss/1488/1/5).
Although the given name Tomoe appears in the second edition of Name Construction in Medieval Japan, more recent research by Solveig Þrándardóttir, the author of that source, indicates that the historical figure modernly known as Tomoe Gozen was not actually known by this name in period. Further, Tomoe does not fit the attested patterns for period female Japanese names; the use of -e as an ending for female names appears to be a modern practice. Based on Solveig's new evidence, we will cease to register this element as of the March 2018 decision meetings without more evidence supporting its use in period.
This month, a submission from the West presented a charged pile inverted between two other charges. Precedent requires that this be reblazoned as per chevron throughout. Due to the narrowness of the lower portion of the field, this would also have been grounds for return. However, when the guidelines provided in the August 2011 Cover Letter are taken to the extreme and made throughout, the result is exactly what was submitted.
Field divisions should generally bisect the field (that is, divide it into two parts of roughly equal area). Per precedent from October 2007, per chevron throughout can trisect, rather than bisect, the field. As such a field division would not meet the standards set forth in the August 2011 cover letter, we are officially amending the ruling to note that a per chevron throughout field division and a chevron throughout as a primary charge should roughly align to the chief, dexter base, and sinister base tick marks on the escutcheon submission form, and trisect the field.
We will also take this opportunity to remind submitters that single piles, piles issuant from anything other than chief, and charged piles are all relatively rare in period heraldry, and as of this writing Wreath is unfamiliar with any example of a single charged pile inverted in period heraldry.
This month, we were asked to consider an appeal from Northshield that attempted to document Chinese dragon heads caboshed in a way that would prove their recognizability and allow for their registration. The submitter provided an example of a 15th century Chinese dragon on a carved lacquer box. The kingdom commentators supplied more examples of Chinese artwork depicting dragon's heads, in an attempt to demonstrate that the motif of a Chinese dragon's head (sans body) is reproducible, recognizable, and exemplified by the submitted artwork.
However, this badge runs into more issues than immediate recognizability. There are only two instances of a Chinese dragon's head in SCA heraldry, both registered to Raymond de Caen. The first was his device, registered in May 1989, and the second was a badge from August 1997, with a note that the same head appears on his device. There is an earlier registration of a Japanese dragon's head to Ryugen Morite in the LoAR of October 1983. As it has been 20 years since this charge was last registered, it must be documented as a charge under SENA's rules. Chinese dragon's heads are not found in European heraldry, and so fall under SENA A2B4, "Elements which are a Step from Period Practice."
Allowed steps from period practice fall under a handful of categories, including non-European armorial elements, non-European plants and animals, other European artifacts, and certain post-period elements. Chinese dragons (and their heads) are neither a European artifact, nor an allowable post-period element, nor a non-European plant or animal, which means that they must be justified as non-European armorial elements.
When Chinese dragons were ruled a step from period practice, our access to and knowledge of Eastern armorial equivalents was severely limited. Since then, we have learned much, and several scholarly books and articles have been published, but we have yet to find any examples of Chinese dragons in any period artwork that may be construed as armorial in nature. They are an artistic motif. We don't have a pattern in SENA or precedents that allow for European artistic motifs, let alone non-European motifs (in fact, SENA A2B5 specifically includes artistic elements that are not found in heraldry i.e. Celtic knotwork and Greek "key" patterns). It would appear that Chinese dragon's heads should likewise fall under this category.
By this ruling, we are explicitly disallowing Chinese dragon's heads, absent evidence which demonstrates use of the motif in an armorial context. Given SENA's rules about steps from period practice, we must also cease consideration of Chinese dragons for all armory submitted after the May 2018 LoAR, unless evidence can be provided of their use in an armorial context.
On August 26, 2017, Dubhghall mac Ébhearáird, Koira Herald, and Mór inghean Bhriain, Edelweiss Herald, were invested as Baron and Baroness of Aarnimetsä in the Kingdom of Drachenwald.
On September 16, 2017, at the Province of Mooneschadowe's Triumphe of the Eclipse in the Kingdom of Ansteorra, Their Stellar Majesties Gabriel and Sonja made Reis ap Tuder ap Wyn, Codex, and Emma de Fetherstan, Laurel, Baron and Baroness of the court of Ansteorra.
Please send information about happenings to major heralds and major happenings to all heralds to Laurel, so that it can be published here.
Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent. All submission forms plus documentation, including petitions, must be posted to the OSCAR online system. While black-and-white emblazons must be included in the Letter of Intent, only colored armory forms need to be posted in the forms area.
Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to Stephanie Ray-Solum, Blue Bug Bookkeeping, 2144 Westlake Ave. North Suite F Seattle, WA 98109.
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.
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 August Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Monday, August 7, 2017 and Sunday, August 20, 2017 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, August 13, 2017. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Æthelmearc (16 May, 2017), Caid (22 May, 2017), Ealdormere (23 May, 2017), Lochac (25 May, 2017), Atlantia (27 May, 2017), West (27 May, 2017), Artemisia (28 May, 2017), Avacal (28 May, 2017), Atenveldt (30 May, 2017), Calontir (30 May, 2017), An Tir (31 May, 2017), Drachenwald (31 May, 2017), East (31 May, 2017), Meridies (31 May, 2017), Northshield (31 May, 2017), Outlands (31 May, 2017), and Trimaris (31 May, 2017). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Monday, July 31, 2017.
The September Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, September 10, 2017 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, September 10, 2017. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Gleann Abhann (06 Jun, 2017), Æthelmearc (14 Jun, 2017), Caid (18 Jun, 2017), Laurel LoPaD (22 Jun, 2017), Ealdormere (24 Jun, 2017), Atlantia (26 Jun, 2017), Lochac (26 Jun, 2017), Artemisia (27 Jun, 2017), Drachenwald (27 Jun, 2017), Ansteorra (28 Jun, 2017), Northshield (28 Jun, 2017), An Tir (30 Jun, 2017), Avacal (30 Jun, 2017), Calontir (30 Jun, 2017), East (30 Jun, 2017), Laurel (30 Jun, 2017), Meridies (30 Jun, 2017), Middle (30 Jun, 2017), and Outlands (30 Jun, 2017). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Thursday, August 31, 2017.
The October Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, October 8, 2017 and the Wreath meeting held on Sunday, October 15, 2017. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Ansteorra (06 Jul, 2017), Gleann Abhann (09 Jul, 2017), Atenveldt (11 Jul, 2017), Æthelmearc (17 Jul, 2017), An Tir (17 Jul, 2017), West (18 Jul, 2017), Laurel LoPaD (19 Jul, 2017), Ealdormere (24 Jul, 2017), Lochac (26 Jul, 2017), Middle (28 Jul, 2017), Atlantia (29 Jul, 2017), Caid (29 Jul, 2017), Calontir (29 Jul, 2017), East (29 Jul, 2017), Outlands (29 Jul, 2017), Artemisia (30 Jul, 2017), Atenveldt (30 Jul, 2017), Drachenwald (30 Jul, 2017), Avacal (31 Jul, 2017), Drachenwald (31 Jul, 2017), Meridies (31 Jul, 2017), Northshield (31 Jul, 2017), and Trimaris (31 Jul, 2017). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Saturday, September 30, 2017.
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.
Pray know that we remain,
Emma de Fetherstan
Outgoing Laurel Queen of Arms
Juliana de Luna
Incoming Laurel Queen of Arms
Created at 2017-10-18T17:31:57