|Heraldry - Laurel Sovereign of Arms and Laurel Staff|
Laurel Sovereign of Arms and Laurel Staff
Original version by Richenda du Jardin
What is the job of the Laurel Sovereign of Arms? According to the Governing Documents, the Laurel Sovereign of Arms (usually called Laurel) is responsible for fostering the study and practice of heraldry, and for establishing rules and making determinations regarding names and armory, royal and noble titles, and geographical designations to be approved for use in the Society. But what does this mean?
Laurel is the highest ranking herald in the SCA. Laurel supervises and assists the various kingdom colleges of heralds to do all of the things heralds do, including providing voice heraldry services to the Crown and populace, keeping orders of precedence, and dealing with submissions. Not surprisingly, submissions are an important part of Laurel's job, since submissions are processed at the Society level. Laurel determines what name and armory submissions (both for individuals and for groups) are appropriate for the SCA and helps develop heraldic customs throughout the SCA. This is a huge job for just one person, so Laurel has a staff of dedicated heralds to help get it done.
The primary deputies of Laurel are the Pelican Sovereign of Arms (Pelican) and Wreath Sovereign of Arms (Wreath). Other deputies are Chancellor of the Exchequer, Clarion Herald, Codex Herald, Morsulus Herald, Palimpsest Herald, Precedents Editor, Ragged Staff Herald, Sign Heraldry Deputy, and the College of Arms.
Pelican Sovereign of Arms
The Pelican Sovereign of Arms (Pelican) reviews all name submissions for individuals and groups in the SCA and determines if they should be accepted or returned for further work (though Pelican has had other duties in the past). To make these decisions, Pelican relies on commentary supplied by the College of Arms. Once the decisions are made, they are recorded in a Letter of Acceptances and Returns.
Wreath Sovereign of Arms
The Wreath Sovereign of Arms (Wreath) reviews all armory (device and badge) submissions for individuals and groups in the SCA and determines if they should be accepted or returned for further work. To make these decisions, Wreath relies on commentary supplied by the College of Arms. Once the decisions are made, they are recorded in a Letter of Acceptances and Returns.
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Laurel office has its own exchequer, which reconciles the payments received from each kingdom to the payments due from each kingdom. In addition, this office tracks all expenditures for the Laurel office.
Clarion Herald (Clarion), Laurel's education deputy, works to create educational materials about heraldry, including soliciting articles and classes to help educate heralds and the populace on period heraldic design, heraldic use, and naming practices and to help educate heralds and the populace on the SCA application of this knowledge. The primary venues for this information is the Laurel web site, though they also work to assist Known World Heralds and Scribes Collegiums, kingdom collegia, and the Known World Heralds and Scribes Proceedings.
Codex Herald (Codex) is the herald responsible for updating the Laurel web site.
Morsulus Herald (Morsulus) is the herald responsible for maintaining and updating the Ordinary and Armorial (O and A). The Ordinary is the listing of all SCA-registered and SCA-protected armory organized by charges and field division. The Armorial is the listing of all SCA-registered and SCA-protected items organized by owner's name. The O and A is kept in a printed document and a searchable online database.
Palimpsest Herald (Palimpsest) is the "rules herald". Palimpsest is responsible for coordinating discussions about changes to the Administrative Handbook, Glossary of Terms, and the Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory (formerly the Rules for Submission). Changes to these documents are usually proposed by a member of Laurel staff in response to changes in our understanding of period practice or changes in our methods for processing submissions.
The Precedents Editor creates the precedents for Laurel, a listing of important decisions by category for easier use. The editor reviews each Letter of Acceptance and Return for important decisions which provide important interpretations of the Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory; these decisions are included in the listing of precedents. Each Laurel tenure selects a new Precedents Editor.
Ragged Staff Herald (Ragged Staff) is the file clerk for the Laurel office. Ragged Staff ensures that all submission paperwork from each kingdom's submissions herald is present in OSCAR, follows up with kingdom submissions heralds for omissions or discrepancies, checks forms for consistency with LOIs, assists with uploading additional material, and summarizes forms for Pelican and Wreath meetings (at the behest of Pelican or Wreath as needed).
Sign Heraldry Deputy
The Sign Heraldry Deputy is the herald who coordinates efforts and communication among sign heralds throughout the SCA.They are a resource for sign herald programs. In doing so, they work with Kingdoms to improve the organization of sign heraldry and its integration with other court and event heralds and also to improve education regarding sign heraldry, both for sign heralds themselves and the general populace. Sign Heralds in the Society are heralds who express auditory information into visual and/or tactile information used by deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
College of Arms
Members of the College of Arms support Laurel and Laurel's deputies in their duties. This support consists of providing reports on the state of heraldry in each kingdom, forwarding kingdom submissions, and providing commentary about submissions to Laurel, Pelican, and Wreath so that appropriate decisions can be made. Members of the College of Arms include the principal heralds of each kingdom, the submissions herald of each kingdom, and commenting heralds nominated by the principal heralds.
|Maintained by Codex Herald. This page was last updated on Friday, June 23, 2023.
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