Minutes of the September, 2002 Herald's Meeting

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At Purgatorio, Gaius M.L. Auklandus assumed the office of Vesper Principal Herald. Magnus Zwerver is now Greencloak Herald and Seawolf Herald for the Mists. At Mists Coronet, the Seawolf position will be transferred to Marguerite du Royon.

MINUTES OF THE MONTHLY MEETING - 8 September xxxvii (2002)

The meeting was held on Sunday, 8 September 2002, at Eilis' house in Berkeley. The meeting started at noon and ended at 2:30 pm. In attendance at this meeting were: Gaius M.L. Auklandus, Vesper; Berengaria de Montfort de Carcassone, Sable Swan; Astrið of Swansvale, Latimer; Frederick of Holland, Brachet; Tangwystl verch Morgant Glasfryn, Harpy; Leticia de Scotia, Acting Baldric; Teleri Tawel, Pursuivant for Crosston; Walraven von Nijmegen, Nebuly; Maxen Dawel ap Morgan, PaL; Wilhelm von Homburg and Geoffrey le Dragon, PE at Large; Annakah of Scammond on Grove, Robert Skallagrimsson, Edith and Talitha von Koepke, Cornets; and Eilis O'Boirne, Matins.


The upcoming meetings are: October 20, November 24, January 5, February 9, March 9, April 13, May 18, and June 15. Meetings are generally held at the home of Eilis O'Boirne, 2322 Russell Street, Berkeley, CA 94705. Call for directions. Meetings start at noon. Note that there is no meeting scheduled for December of 2002! The January meeting will be held at the Modesto Convention Center and will start at 10:30am.

ANYONE WITH WALK-IN SUBMISSIONS SHOULD CONTACT MATINS IN ADVANCE. This is especially important if the submitter has previous submissions, since the files are stored in a remote location (which is the fancy way of saying that we haven't moved them yet…).

We are researching some of the name submissions beforehand some months through an e-mail list, names@synergy.transbay.net. The Names list is open by request to heralds in the West Kingdom who are interested in onomastic (name) research. To join the list, please contact Felix MacAvady at ha.raschid@sinewave.com.

Please send all correspondence (submissions, queries, etc.) to the address for the Matins Herald at the top of the Contacts page of this website! Please do NOT send submissions to Vesper or to any other member of the College.

The meetings now include instruction for voice heralds. If there is anyone present who wants to work on voice heraldry, the voice classes, conducted by Gaius Auklandus, Vesper, will start as soon as the announcements portion of the meeting is concluded. Pass the word to anyone interested in learning field and duty heraldry - the meetings aren't just for book heralds any more!


HERALDS' COLLEGIUM: The next Heralds' Collegium is scheduled for November 23,at the Mechanics Bank Operations Center, 725 Alfred Nobel Drive in Hercules (near Pinole and Vallejo). See the heralds' website for directions. The meeting on the following day will be in Berkeley. This session will focus on the structure of the College and the submission process, book heraldry and conflict research, and court heraldry. There will be a lunch potluck at the site (main dish provided -- refrigerator, microwave and stove available), an organized restaurant visit for dinner in Berkeley (Blue Nile, anyone?), and a court for the Kingdom of the South at the evening revel.

The Spring Heralds' Collegium is scheduled for March 8, the day before the March meeting - it will focus on voice heraldry and the mechanics of running field heraldry at an event.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS: Current submission fees are $10 per name, $10 per device, $10 per badge. There is no fee for resubmission. Submissions require 3 copies of the name form and documentation, 4 colored copies of the device form, and 3 colored copies of the badge form, as applicable. The submission forms for the West Kingdom College are now available from Matins or the Kingdom consultation table or by following the appropriate links at http://heralds.westkingdom.org/Register.htm#Forms. Completed forms should be sent to Matins at the above address.

MAILING LIST: The West Kingdom College of Heralds has a mailing list for internal communication. Any herald is welcome to join by request. To join the list, please contact Matins at baroness_eilis@juno.com.

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES: Many interesting heraldic links can be found through the SCA Heraldry web page at http://www.sca.org/heraldry, including West Kingdom submission forms, the Laurel home page, the on-line armorial and ordinary search and The Academy of St. Gabriel (a heraldic consultation service). Heraldic queries may also be addressed to Eilis at heralds@westkingdom.org -- answers may take a few days.


These meetings comment on heraldic submissions from other Kingdoms. Please consider attending. They are a fast way to learn how the Rules of Submission work and how to research armory. The Brachet meetings are in Berkeley on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, contact the Brachet Herald, Frederick of Holland (Fred Hollander) at 510-653-3652.


West Kingdom College of Heralds Minutes are published on the web, and are not available by subscription. They may be read at or printed from the heralds' website at http://heralds.westkingdom.org/Minutes.htm. There are now both a colored version and a printer-friendly black and white version available.

The tenth edition of the Armorial and Ordinary, along with updates for the previous editions, are available from Free Trumpet Press West along with other useful heraldic publications. Write for a free price list. The address is Free Trumpet Press West, 1613 N. School St. Normal, IL 61761-1240.

A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry as Used in the Society for Creative Anachronism (by Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa Yoshio) is available in the United States by sending $15 to Bruce Miller, 1711 Tenth Street, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, (310) 379-1321.


The LoAR for May and June 2002 have been published. The cover letters, acceptances and returns for the past can be found at http://www.sca.org/heraldry/loar/. If you are interested in responding to some of the calls for commentary put out by Lord Laurel, please be sure to visit the site.

The acceptances for the West from the Laurel May meeting were as follows:

Arthur of Hightower. Device. Per bend sinister gules and sable, a bend sinister argent overall a tower Or.

Gemini de Grendel. Name (see RETURNS for device).

Gemini is the submitter's legal name. There was some question regarding whether Gemini was excessively obtrusive and thus unregisterable due to RfS II.4 which states:

Elements of the submitters legal name may be used as the corresponding part of a Society name, if such elements are not excessively obtrusive and do not violate other sections of these rules.

Cornelian found that a letter from Pliny the Younger (died AD 113) was addressed to a Geminus. Kraken found evidence of an Italian given name Gemino, and "Gemini is the genitive of Latin Geminus and Italian Gemino (de Felice p.181 s.n. Gemello)". Additionally, Gemini appears as a feminine given name in J. W. Garrett-Pegge, A Transcript of the First Volume, 1538-1636, of the Parish Register of Chesham, Buckingham County. Gemini West is the mother in a baptismal record dated to February 22, 1606/7 on p. 99. The burial record for this child appears on April 11, 1611 (p. 300) where his mother is listed as Gemini West widow. She also appears as Gemini West widow in a marriage record on June 14, 1614 (p. 218).

The first two examples show that Gemini is not obtrusively modern. The example of Gemini West shows the form Gemini to have been used as a feminine given name in late period England (since the woman in question had a child baptized in 1606/7). Therefore, this name is registerable as a period name, quite apart from the Legal Name Allowance.

The returns for the West from the Laurel May meeting were as follows:

Gemini de Grendel. Device. Per chevron raguly sable and argent, two death's heads and a Roman numeral two counterchanged.

The device is presumptuous of non-human powers or status when combined with the submitter's name: specifically, presumption to the identity of the mythological Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, who are represented or personified by the constellation Gemini. Current precedent states:

For those names that are well documented as period human names, that also happen to be the names of gods, one armorial allusion to the god will no longer be considered excessive. (LoAR August 1992 p.17)

The device contains two allusions to the constellation Gemini. The Roman numeral two very closely resembles the astrological sign for Gemini, a strong allusion. (The crossbars on the astrological sign for Gemini are drawn slightly embowed towards the center of the sign, and the crossbars of the Roman numeral two are generally drawn straight across, but the visual resemblance is remarkable). The two skulls are also suggestive of twins, a less strong allusion but an allusion nonetheless. The August 1992 precedent indicates that two allusions to a supernatural entity is excessive. As a result, the combination of the name and the armory is not acceptable by RfS XI.2.

The June LoAR is not yet available in electronic form - the excerpts from that letter will appear in the October Minutes. (All the Western submissions considered were accepted…)

In Service,

Matins Herald

SUBMISSIONS - 8 September xxxvii (2002)


Raven of Drachenheim     (Fettberg)     New Name and Device

Sable, a Latin cross crosslet and on a chief argent a fleur-de-lys between two ravens respectant regardant sable.

In Reaney's DBS, on p.290 at Raven, we have Rauen de Engelbi dated to 1185 and William Raven dated to 1133. This spelling should be acceptable for a given name. There are SCA branches - a current Drachensheim in the East and a released Drachenheim in Atlantia. Brechenmacher gives Drackenstein as appearing in 1356 as Trakenstein, which shows Drachen- as an acceptable combining form. Hartheim appears on p.655 at Hartheim(er) and is dated to 1315, which supports -heim as a combining form.

Rosario de la Torre     (Tarnmist)     New Name and Device

Argent, a tower and in chief two roses sable.

The given name is her legal given name - even though this is usually a male form. A copy of her driver's license is attached for Laurel. Torre is given on p.281 of Melcon, with Pedro Torre dated to 1145. This form would mean "of the tower".


Armida la Viajera     (Crystalmist)     New Name and Device Returned

Sable, semy of mullets in a very patterned manner argent, a compass star within a bordure azure.

The given name is the name of a sorceress in a poem by Torquato Tasso published (bootleg) in 1580. This poem was the basis of several operas written out of period. While there is a registration for Armida as a given name in 1974, that is not justification for a current registration. There is no documentation for the byname. Her alternates all include the given names Armida and Airmuide, and we are not able to document Airmuide, which was claimed to be a feminine form of the Irish Airmuid. Airmuid was not in our standard references.

The device is not registerable since it is color on color, and the mullets are clearly not semy, but are arranged in a regular pattern. None of the alternates change the color of the central mullet. In addition, there is a difficulty with there being two different types of star-charge in different charge groups.

Artos Quintus Brittanicus     (Ecorngil)     New Name Change Returned; Device Registered 9/90

If this is registered, his registered name of Uilleam Catach O'Maoilbhreanainn is to be released.

From Tangwystl (part of a six-page document that will be passed on to the submittor): "As currently constructed, the name has what I believe to be an unsurmountable problem in the mixture of Latin and Brittish/Gaulish grammatical forms. I honestly don't know to what extent the College of Arms would consider the various other issues a bar to registration or what other changes short of the suggestions I've come up with above might be considered registerable."

Brenna ni Bethan     (Fettburg)     New Name and Device Returned

Per bend sinister azure and Or, in chief in bend sinister three suns and in base in bend sinister three decrescents counterchanged.

The given name is SCA compatible and a theoretical feminine form of Brennus. Bethan is given on p.71 of Black as a male given name; the Scots form would not carry the particle "ni", which is Irish. We cannot drop the particle without permission. A better form would be Brenna filia Bethan or Brenna inghean Bheatháin.

The device seems clear of conflict - we suggest not specifying the placement of the charges and drawing them to fill the space, or dropping to one of each charge.

Cassandra of Crosston     (Crosston)     Name Registered 1/02; New Device Resubmission to Kingdom

Sable, on a plate a dragon dormant in annulo azure.

The device is too similar to the device registered to Cassandra of the East Winds: Sable, on a plate a flame gules and Sean a'Claidheamh: Sable, on a plate a hound crouching to sinister upon a pile inverted sable.

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