Minutes of the July, 2012 Heralds Meeting

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The meeting was held on Sunday, 15 July 2012, in Stockton. The meeting started at 1:30PM and ended at 4:00PM. In attendance at this meeting were: Owen ap Morgan, Matins; Moira O’Connor, Vesper; Astrið of Swansvale, Latimer; Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym, Brachet; Caoilinn Rose Maddox, Sable Swan / Exchequer; Aasa Thorvaldsdottir, Greencloak; Frederick of Holland, PaL; and Anne FitzRichard, PEaL.

Remaining 2012 meetings have been scheduled as follows: August 19, September 23, October 21, and November 11. There is no meeting scheduled for December 2012; the January 2013 meeting will be held the Sunday of 12th Night, as usual.

Starting time: As my father has started holding Quaker meetings for worship in our home some Sunday mornings, heraldry meetings will now start at 1:00 PM in order to avoid conflict. Please do not arrive before 12:30 PM.

PLEASE NOTE: For the present, the regular meetings are now taking place in Stockton at the home of Owen ap Morgan, Matins Herald:

2023 Oak Branch Dr
Stockton, CA 95205
(209) 463-6861 (message)
THIS IS SOON TO CHANGE, as the Matins office will be changing hands. Contact Owen for directions. The drive is approximately an hour from Sacramento and an hour and a half from either Berkeley or San Jose via Livermore.

Walk-in submissions are generally permitted but not encouraged, as they do not allow for advance review and prep work.. If you are bringing the paperwork for a submission to a meeting, please plan to arrive by 12:30 PM to allow the file to be pulled or set up. For meetings not held in Stockton (Collegium, 12th Night, etc.) sufficient advance notice to pull any existing file will be required.

WARNING: Recent meetings have seen a high number of walk-in submissions which have seriously delayed the start of the meetings, wasting the time of the heralds attending while Matins and the exchequer prepare those submissions for processing. This is unfair to our volunteers and will not be permitted to continue. Walk-in submissions which have not been pre-processed before the scheduled start of the meeting will be held until the end of the meeting, at which point those in attendance will be given the choice whether to stay and process the walk-ins or to defer them until the next scheduled meeting.

We are conducting some preliminary name research through the West Kingdom heraldic consultation mailing list wkheralds_consults@yahoogroups.com . This list is open to all those interested in West Kingdom book heraldry: both names and devices, and either to contribute or to ask questions. To join the list, please subscribe through Yahoo or at wkheralds_consults-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. If you subscribe by e-mail, you can complete the process by replying to the confirmation e-mail; it is not necessary to log in to Yahoo. Please note that initial posts are moderated and thus may not appear on the list immediately.



Moira, Vesper: During a project, I had looked up a heraldic title and found a whole list attributed to the West College that I had never heard of, so I am researching what they are and if we can use them. Currently looking at two individuals to train to take over the Matins office from Owen. Known World 2013 is in San Antonio, TX, the weekend after June Crown (yay!).

Owen, Matins: The implementation of the new rules (SENA) is proceeding much as expected, i.e., awkwardly. As of the August meeting (when submissions will be ruled on no earlier than November 2012) SENA is required to be applied to all submissions. While this is likely to mean fewer returns for conflict, the standards for style have gotten significantly tighter. In particular, many practices which have been standard in armory will no longer be possible unless one can find period armory examples of them. Consulting heralds need to be aware of this.

I have come to the realization that it's time for me to step down as Matins - and to step away from heraldry for a while. I'm encouraged by the development of a few new book heralds in recent years, but none of them have yet reached a point where they're ready for serious responsibility. This puts a strain on the existing senior heralds; there's a limit to how long we can keep passing the offices (Matins, Latimer, and Brachet) between us, and I'm not the only one feeling the strain. SENA doesn't make it any easier.

We do have two volunteers to take over, however: Frederick and Gwenhwyfaer. Vesper will be making the selection, and the office will change no later than the end of this year. Please watch for further announcements regarding meeting locations, mailing addresses, and any changes in procedure which may be implemented.

Gwenhwyfaer, Brachet: We have about 50 items for June and then we will be caught up. During the last meeting, we found that Cormac had submitted “Kingdom of Caid” as a given/surname to show that the rules did not protect place names as proper names. Much discussion ensued and will continue, I am sure.

Astrið, Latimer / East Bay Brachet: We did a good amount of consultations at June Crown. Looking at October Crown (Oct 12-14) and maybe Mists Coronet (Sept 29) for the next Consultation table.

East Bay Brachet is completely caught up, but will be taking a break through Pennsic.

Eilis, Baldric: Nothing new to report, it’s been a quiet month due to illness.

Ketiley, Banner (Acting): Courts have been happening, and except for one event last year, reports have been filed on time. Our Royals have been requesting their favorite heralds, which is a nice honor.

Aasa, Greencloak (Acting): June Crown happened and the herald sign-up sheet was a PAGE AND A HALF! We did lose two heralds partway through tourney due to one being injured, and her husband had to take her to the hospital, but we managed the fields well without major drama. I will also be the Herald-in-charge at West/Antir. Need to add to the training that mismarked cards to be verified with lists.

Hirsch, Golem: No report.

Aurelia, Seawolf (Acting): No report.

Caoilinn, Sable Swan (Acting) / Exchequer: Investiture happened, and we had a lovely amount of heralds volunteer for both court and duty. Her Highness Mari is very supportive of training new heralds and is actively seeking youngsters to train as well. There well be a reign-long game of “Say Princess and Prince of Cynagua instead of Prince and Princess of Cynagua” and I already have 1 point.

Bianca, Stellanordica (Acting): We are working on devices and otherwise its been a quiet month.


The next Known World Heralds and Scribes Symposium will be held in the Barony of Bjornsborg in the Kingdom of Ansteorra (San Antonio, Texas) on June 28-30, 2013. More information to follow.


VOICE HERALDRY: Greencloak will continue to hold voice heraldry training sessions at the beginning of events to encourage involvement at the event.

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 subscribe at wkheralds-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES: Many interesting heraldic links can be found through the SCA Heraldry web page at http://www.sca.org/heraldry, including the Laurel home page, the on-line Armorial and Ordinary (with search capabilities) and The Academy of St. Gabriel (an onomastic and heraldic consultation service). The West Kingdom Heraldry site and the West Kingdom Awards List can be accessed through the West Kingdom site, http://www.westkingdom.org. Heraldic queries may also be addressed to Moira at herald@westkingdom.org -- answers may take a few days.

West Kingdom College of Heralds Minutes are published on the web. They may be read at or printed from the heralds' website at http://heralds.westkingdom.org/Minutes.htm. There is a colored version and a printer-friendly black and white version available.

These meetings comment on heraldic submissions from other Kingdoms. The meetings are held most Mondays at 7:00 pm at 4317 Alderwood Way, Sacramento, CA 95864. Call Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym (Brachet) for more information, (916) 323-4268 or email her, .

These meetings comment on heraldic submissions from other Kingdoms. Please consider attending – you do not have to be able to attend every week. They are a fast way to learn how the Rules of Submission work and how to research armory. These meetings have changed location and are now in Walnut Creek on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, contact the Latimer Herald, Astrið of Swansvale (Gretchen Lebednik) at .


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 the Laurel Sovereign of Arms, please be sure to visit the site.


Cover letter

From Laurel: Re: New Rules At Last!

In the March 2012 LoAR Cover Letter, we announced that "the new rules for submissions document, which we are renaming 'Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory' (SENA), was approved by the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. at their April meeting." We announced that, starting with the May meetings, items would be registered if they were acceptable under either the previous Rules for Submission or under SENA.

Twelve submissions ruled on in April would be returned for conflict under the RfS but are registerable with no style or conflict issues under SENA. In light of the fact that these submissions would very likely have been resubmitted, we have opted to save submitters' and submissions heralds' time and headaches and are pending these submissions for one month. They will therefore be considered for registration on the May 2012 LoAR.

From Pelican: Norse Capitalization

In October 2002, Laurel ruled (in a Cover Letter Section titled "From Pelican: Regarding Capitalization in Norse Bynames") that we would require most descriptive bynames to be written in lowercase in Old Norse. This upheld precedent that had existed since at least April 2000. The basis of this precedent was the ways in which modern scholarly transliteration treats descriptive bynames in Old Norse.

In January 2012 we asked for further discussion of this issue. The reason for revisiting this issue was based on the ways in which our standards have changed: we register Old Norse documentary forms (though not runic ones) and relatively casual transliterations, as well as modern scholarly transliterations. Additionally, more and more books, documents, and the like are available online, which allows us to look at evidence that was not available when the original decisions were made.

Based on the data found by commenters, we can say that capitalization in period Latin alphabet documents was uneven, with some capitalizing no elements and others capitalizing only given names and bynames derived from given names. Modern transliterations vary as well. Scholarly ones tend to use the convention of capitalizing given names but leaving descriptive bynames in lowercase. Less formal ones vary, with some rendering all name elements in uppercase, with only in(n) "the", son and dottir in lowercase.

Given this evidence, we are removing the requirement that descriptive bynames in Old Norse be registered only in lowercase. Descriptive bynames will be registered either in uppercase or in lowercase. This matches our usage in other languages, where we render most name elements in uppercase, although many documents are written only in lowercase.

We note that submitters whose bynames were changed under the old precedent who prefer the capitalized form may make a request for reconsideration.

From Pelican: Tinctures and Other Descriptive Words in Order Names and Heraldic Titles

In January 2012, we asked commenters to consider the current precedent regarding the use of color words in order names. In February 2003, Pelican ruled that "no evidence has been found that heraldic tinctures (rather than common color terms such as bleu) were used in order names." Since that time, our knowledge of period order names and heraldic titles has expanded considerably, in large part due to articles like my "Heraldic Titles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance" (found at http://medievalscotland.org/jes/HeraldicTitlesSCA/index.shtml) and my "Medieval Secular Order Names" (found at http://medievalscotland.org/jes/OrderNames/ or at http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/names/order/new/).

The color terms used in order names and heraldic titles are summarized in the May 2009 Cover Letter. They are the everyday terms for heraldic tinctures, mostly in French, but also in German, English, and Spanish.

Several French terms are identical to the terms used for heraldic tinctures, including vert, or, and argent (which is found in sign names but not order names). This means that half the colors used in order names (vert, or and argent) are at least sometimes identical to the heraldic terms. Even vaire is found in French inn signs. Similarly, early blazon seems to have sometimes used the everyday color terms rouge and noir. Given the variability in the use of heraldic and everyday terms, and the confusion this causes for submitters and commenters, we are hereby allowing the use of heraldic color terms in order names as well as the everyday terms. However, no convincing evidence has been presented for the use of non-heraldic color names, including the names for particular shades of a color, like scarlet or crimson.

There was relatively little commentary on the use of terms for posture and orientation. As such, we will not at this time rule on whether the patterns found for such terms in inn sign names should be extended to order names and heraldic titles. The question will be revisited when a relevant submission appears.

From Pelican: Mac and O bynames

In Gaelic and Anglicized Irish, one question that often arises is when bynames constructed using mac can be used to create bynames using O and vice versa (recalling that in Gaelic, mac and O are only used in men's bynames). The reason one cannot simply treat the two as interchangeable is that each type of byname has different limitations.

Bynames using mac "son of" were formed throughout our period. They were formed from given names and from a few types of bynames, most notably occupational bynames. Bynames using O "male descendant (usually grandson)" were formed from the 7th to the 11th century; then they became frozen as inherited family names. These names were formed from a variety of kinds of bynames as well as given names.

So, what does this mean in terms of construction and documentation? Most of our documentation for bynames is from the 16th century. If you have a byname documented using mac and want to use it to justify a byname using O, you need to find evidence that the name was in use by the 11th century. Otherwise, the name came into use too late in period to justify its use in a byname using O. If you have a byname using O and want to use it to justify a byname using mac, you need to know what kind of element it is. If it's a given name, you can make a byname using mac from it. Some occupational bynames can be used to create a byname using mac. Other kinds of bynames using O, including elements that we cannot identify as either a given name or an occupational byname, cannot be used to create a byname using mac.

From Wreath: Crescents and Things

Commenters were asked to discuss how we should blazon the period motif of charges combined with crescents. Placing items between the horns of a crescent is a period heraldic motif. Richard I of England used it as a seal, currently listed in Society armory as the badge (Tinctureless) An estoile between the horns of a crescent, a style of badge that was likely brought back from the East during the Crusades. The family of Percy had as a badge within the horns of a crescent a pair of shacklebolts. Other examples have been found in period armory of other objects set just above or within a crescent.

Discussion on this motif, informed by the recent discussion, past precedent regarding charges within annulets, and precedent set on the February 2012 Cover Letter regarding sustained secondary charges, has led us to make the following rulings. When considering a charge set between the horns or a crescent or encompassed entirely within the crescent:

Whether two charges are conjoined or not does not count for difference, only their relative sizes and position. When a primary crescent and a secondary charge are present in a design where they would be expected to be in a secondary or tertiary charge group, the crescent and charge will both be considered part of the same group.

From Wreath: Mullets and Estoiles, Take Two

Commenters were asked to discuss whether or not we should continue giving difference for the number of points on a mullet or estoile, and how they should be considered versus suns.

Research into period depictions of all three charges was enlightening. While most estoiles are of six wavy rays, some were found with more; none were found with less. Mullets were found with any number of points, most typically between five and eight. Suns were typically found with both wavy and straight rays, but examples were found of suns with only straight rays and of suns with only wavy rays; suns never had less than eight rays. In all cases, various depictions of the same arms in period showed that the number of points or rays largely did not matter.

Past precedent has granted difference between some numbers of points on mullets. Based on the research commenters provided, it seems that this precedent is rather contrary to period armorial style, and in the interest of moving SCA armory closer to period style we are hereby overturning that precedent and making the following rulings:

As this does overturn current precedent, these rulings will take effect as of the November 2012 Laurel meeting.

From Wreath: Labels

A submission this month caused us to reconsider how we blazon labels in SCA armory. Past precedent says:

[a label dovetailed throughout] A peculiarity of SCA blazon is that the standard label is throughout by default, but the dovetailed label is couped by default. The blazon in this submission label is both dovetailed and throughout, and both these details must be blazoned. [Kharra Unegen, 07/2002, A-Atenveldt]

After some research, much provided by Gunnvor silfraharr, we see no reason why the specific details of a label need to be blazoned, as the depictions vary only slightly over different times and cultures. There has never been difference granted between labels throughout or not, or dovetailed or not, and we see no need to change that. Therefore, we will cease blazoning the exact style of label, and leave the specific stylings up to artistic preference.

West Kingdom acceptances

Dondra du Baranduae. Reblazon of device. Azure, within a decrescent argent a lily gules.

Blazoned when registered in January 1973 as Azure, a dondril blossom proper within a decrescent argent, this is a primary decrescent and a maintained flower. The term "dondril" is ambiguous; this flower best resembles a lily, and is gules.

Eriod of Eire. Reblazon of device. Sable, in pale a bezant between the horns of a crescent, all within nine mullets in annulo argent.

Blazoned when registered in June 1981 as Sable, a bezant between the horns of a crescent, all within nine mullets in annulo argent, we are clarifying the primary charge group.

Ivan Vladimir Belogorskoi. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for 14th century Russian. The given names meet that request (including the double given name). The byname possibly can be constructed with earlier elements, but is not documented before the 16th century. Thus we cannot be sure that this name meets the submitter's request, but it is registerable.

John Comyn of Westley. Name change from Anthony Westley.

The submitter's previous name, Anthony Westley, is released.

Sophie Hebenstreit. Name change from Valeria Tertia Alexandrina.

The submitter's previous name, Valeria Tertia Alexandrina, is released.

Thorsteinn Raudskeggr. Name change from Ivan Ivanovitch Serebrenikov.

Submitted as Thorsteinn Raudskeggr, the name was changed at kingdom to Thorsteinn raudskeggr. As the Cover Letter discusses, we have removed the requirement that descriptive bynames in Old Norse be capitalized. Thus we can restore this to the submitted form.

The submitter's previous name, Ivan Ivanovitch Serebrenikov, is retained as an alternate name.

Viviana de Castelloza. Reblazon of device. Argent, within and issuant from a crescent a demi-fleur-de-lys vert, an orle sable.

Blazoned when registered in June 1989 as Argent, a demi-fleur-de-lis within and conjoined to a crescent vert, all within an orle sable, this is a primary crescent and a maintained demi-fleur-de-lys.

West Kingdom returns


West Kingdom pends

Caitríona de Skrevyn. Name.

Under the current Rules for Submissions, this conflicts with the registered name Katarina Scryvener. Under the newly approved Standards for Evaluation, these names will be clear of conflict. Under these standards, the sound and appearance of the entire names are compared. In each case, two syllables or more are changed in sound and appearance, making them clear of conflict. Therefore, this name is pended until the new standards take effect.


Cover letter

From Laurel: Letters of Permission to Conflict

While we are certainly pleased to accept Letters of Permission to Conflict, we must remind submitters that permission must be granted to a specific individual or individuals that we will later be able to identify. Likewise, Blanket Letters of Permission to Conflict may limit their Blanket Permission only to specific individuals that we will later be able to identify. Specifying such things as "members of the household" or "members of the barony" leaves Laurel with the unenviable task of determining membership in those groups, something we cannot do.

With regards to the new Standards for Evaluation, Blanket Letters of Permission to Conflict that grant permission for an item that is "one countable step (CD)" from the registered armory will be understood under the new Standards to mean the equivalent, a distinct change (DC).

From Pelican and Wreath: Notes on Terminology in Rulings

This month marks the first of a several-month phase-in period, where we will consider submissions under both the old Rules for Submissions and the new Standards for Evaluations, and register the submission if possible under whichever rule set is most favorable to the submission. While both rule sets are in effect, we will strive to be clear in our decisions as to which rule set is applied. If there is no decision text in an acceptance, one may assume the registration was allowable under both rule sets. This will continue through the October 2012 decision meetings, after which only the Standards for Evaluation will be in effect.

For armory, with few exceptions, anything previously considered a significant change, or clear difference (CD), is the same sort of thing that is worth a distinct change (DC). Some decisions will be written with this in mind. For example, "a CD/DC for the change of field," describes the situation in which a CD is granted under the old Rules for Submissions and a DC is granted under the new Standards for Evaluation for the exact same type of change.

From Pelican and Wreath: Submissions Analysis for May

As we are considering submissions under both the Rules for Submissions and the Standards for Evaluation, we thought back to the last time we had a major change of rules, in late 1989 through early 1990. Like with those decisions done under "parallel processing", we have decided to keep records of the results to share. These counts include registered or returned items only; no administrative actions such as transfers or acceptances, associations of existing armory, heraldic wills, or other such letters will be included in these counts.

"Armory style" and "armory conflict" indicate if a submitted item could only be passed under one rule set or the other due to conflict or style issues. For example, a submission that could not be registered under the old rules due to conflict but could be registered without conflict under the new standards will be counted as "passed under the new standards, but not old" as armory conflict.

If math is not your thing, it may be interesting to note that if all submissions were considered only under the Rules for Submissions, there would be an 81% success rate. Considered only under the Standards for Evaluation, there would be an 88% success rate.

From Pelican: The Legal Name Allowance and Hyphenated Family Names

This month, we were asked to determine if part of a hyphenated surname was eligible for the legal name allowance. Normally, we require the entire name phrase to be used in the legal name allowance. However, hyphenated surnames are a special case, as they invariably represent a combination of two distinct family names rather than a single name phrase. This can be seen in the way these names are formed and inherited; the combinations tend to change from generation to generation. Thus, the name phrase on either side of a hyphenated surname is considered an independent name phrase and is eligible for the legal name allowance.

From Pelican: Some Names Resources (a series): Marital Names Part 2

In March, we began a discussion of marital bynames: how husbands and wives share (or fail to share) bynames. While it's typical in the modern world for a married couple to share a surname, this was not true in many areas of Europe in the Middle Ages.

One common type of medieval byname is a patronymic byname, which names a person as their father's child (less frequently, there are matronymic bynames, which indicate a person's mother, or other bynames of relationship). In period, many of these bynames are quite literal (as opposed to inherited family names). These literal bynames are not shared by spouses; having the same patronymic byname would suggest that they have the same father.

There are a few late period cultures and languages in which women sometimes take on their husband's family name (there are no languages or cultures in which this always happens). This is true for English and for French. In German, there is an interesting variant: married women often use a femininized version of their husband's surname (see Aryanhwy merch Catmael's "Women's Surnames in 15th- and 16th-Century Germany" http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/names/german/womenssurnames.html for more details about constructing these names).

In those languages that are recorded by English scribes, we also see women's names recorded with their husband's bynames. We are not sure whether this is an accurate recording of how those women would have written or said their names. However, in late period Anglicized Irish and Welsh names recorded by English scribes, we see women using their husband's bynames.

From Wreath: Unified Posture and Arrangement

Section A3D2c of the Standards for Evaluation, Unity of Posture and Orientation, states:

The charges within a charge group should be in either identical postures/orientations or an arrangement that includes posture/orientation (in cross, combatant, or in pall points outward, for example). A charge group in which postures for different charges must be blazoned individually will not be allowed without period examples of that combination of postures. Arrangements of charges which cannot be blazoned will not be allowed. Some standard arrangements for period charge groups are discussed in Appendix K.

All of the examples given are of groups with the same charge type. But what about groups of mixed charge types?

It seems to us best to apply the concept of "comparable postures", as described in section A5G7, which references Appendix L. In short, if the charges in a single charge group do not have comparable postures, they are not in violation of the "identical postures/orientations" part of the rule. The charge group as a whole must still be in a standard arrangement.

For example, two lions and an eagle is in a standard two-and-one arrangement for a group of three charges, and is a mixed-type charge group consisting of quadrupeds and birds. Quadrupeds and birds do not have comparable postures, so this is allowable under A3D2c. For example, two lions and a bear sejant is a mixed-type charge group consisting of quadrupeds; as quadrupeds do have comparable postures and the lions and bear are not in identical postures, this is not allowable under A3D2c. For example, two swords in saltire and a lion is a mixed-type charge group consisting of inanimate charges and animate charges, which do not have comparable postures. However, the entire group is not in a single unified arrangement, but instead has the swords and the lion arranged separately. This is not an allowable arrangement under A3D2c, without further documentation of its use in period.

From Wreath: Ermine Variants

Section A3B1 of the Standards for Evaluation, Tinctures, states:

Furs are a group of named patterns used as tinctures. For the purposes of tincture, ermined furs are grouped in the same way as their background color. Ermine (a white background with black tails) and erminois (a yellow background with black tails) are metals. Counter-ermine (a black background with white tails) and pean (a black background with yellow tails) are colors.

This, along with lack of other ermine variants listed in Appendix F, has been frequently interpreted to mean that "non-standard" ermine variants are no longer allowable under the Standards for Evaluation. However, that was not the intent of Palimpsest. As the rule is written, it is describing what the specifically-named patterns represent; it makes no mention good or ill of other ermine variants, which we blazon as X ermined Y.

Research on period examples of ermine variants was mixed. We have found several examples, unfortunately undated. Woodward's A Treatise on Heraldry, British and Foreign, Vol. 1, p. 76, lists quite a few examples as "foreign variations". Most can be found repeated in Rietstap. Woodward cites Roux, which is repeated in Rietstap as Roux alias Roulx du Chesnot, Azure, semy of ermine spots argent, an eagle Or armed gules. Woodward and Rietstap cite Van Leefvelt, Gules, semy of ermine spots Or, Beuville, Gules, semy of ermine spots, a fleur-de-lys argent, and Schleiden, Azure, semy of ermine spots Or, a lion argent. Woodward goes on to cite examples of ermine spots used as discrete numbered charges, including Baysse with Gules, six ermine spots Or. All of these examples are likely post-period, although they could just as easily date to late period.

Closer to period, we have Abbrege' methodique des principes de la science heraldique, by Jean-Claude Favre, 1647, which on p. 30 gives the specific example of "11. Monsieur tel porte d'hermine, d'azur & d'argent".

And finally, for a definite period source, we have Les Blason des armoiries, by Hierome de Bara, 1581, which on p. 9 says "Car l'Hermine est d'argent & de sable, & le Vair d'argent & d'azur. Toutesfois en blasonant, on ne les specifie pas, mais en vn mot on dit: Tel Seigneur porte d'Hermines, ou de Vair, excepté quand ils sont d'autre metal & et couleur, car alors on doit dire: Tel Seigneur porte d'Hermines, ou de Vair, d'Or, Synople, Gueulles, ou autre." On p. 13 de Bara gives the specific example of Gules, three ermine spots Or. Brunissende Dragonette was kind enough to give the following translation: "Ermine is argent and sable, and Vair is argent and azure. However, one doesn't specify when blazoning, but just says: This Lord bears Ermine or Vair; unless they are of another metal and color, as then one must say: This Lord bears Ermine or Vair Or, Vert, Gules or other."

The latter two sources are heraldic treatises, which are not always to be trusted for actual practice, as opposed to theoretical. However, they do give us a guide as to the sorts of things period and just-post-period heralds felt were suitable for use in armory.

The SCA is its own heraldic jurisdiction; as section A1A1 of the Standards for Evaluation states, "Our core style is not identical to the style of any single specific place and time, although it is based on the dominant style in medieval Western Europe, the Anglo-Norman style" At worst, ermine variants are post-period, but a logical and unremarkable extension of period heraldic style; at best, they are indeed period. Therefore, we hereby clarify that ermine variants in all tincture combinations are allowable without a step from period practice so long as the rule of contrast is followed.

We propose a wording change to Appendix F of the Standards for Evaluation. It currently reads:

The main heraldic tinctures are listed in A.3.B.1. Other heraldic tinctures may only be registered as part of an Individually Attested Pattern.

We would like commentary on the following proposed change:

The main heraldic tinctures are listed in A.3.B.1. Furs are treated as a single tincture; a fur may combine any color with any metal (for example, gules ermined Or, vairy argent and sable). Other heraldic tinctures may only be registered as part of an Individually Attested Pattern.

West Kingdom acceptances

Andrew of Wiklund. Name and device. Vert, three triangles conjoined one and two and a chief embattled Or.

Please advise the submitter to draw the chief wider.

Anton Barsuk. Name.

Nice 16th century Russian name!

Brigid O'Connor. Name (see RETURNS for device).

Submitted as Brigid O'Connor, the name was changed by kingdom to Brigid O Connour to match the forms that they could find. Alderyne was able to date O Connor to 1602-3 in the Fiants; O'Connor is a reasonable variant. Therefore, we have restored the name to the submitted form.

Caitríona de Skrevyn. Name.

This item was pended from the April 2012 Letter of Acceptances and Returns, until the Standards for Evaluation came into effect. This name does not conflict with the registered Katarina Scryvener. Under the current Rules for Submissions, the names conflict, as neither the given names or bynames are significantly different in sound and appearance. Under the newly approved Standards for Evaluation, these names are clear of conflict. Under these standards, the sound and appearance of the entire names are compared. In each case, two syllables or more are changed in sound and appearance, making them clear of conflict. As items which are registerable under either set of regulations may be registered, this may be registered.

Carrick MacBrian. Name.

Submitted as Carrick McBrian, the name was changed by kingdom to Carrek Mac Brian to match the documentation they could find. Dolphin was able to date the English family name Carrick to 1577 and 1599. As there is a pattern of creating masculine given names from family names in late period England, the given name can be restored to the submitted form. Additionally, the space between Mac and Brian is unnecessary; as the submitted form did not have a space, we have removed it to bring the submission closer to the submitted form.

Gareth Hadley. Device. Quarterly azure and vert, a lion between three lozenges argent.

Nice device!

Hubert de Recoing. Reblazon of device. Vert, a sword bendwise sinister inverted argent, gripped and pommeled azure, between an open scroll argent handled azure and a loaf of bread proper.

Blazoned when registered in January 1973 as Vert, a sword bendwise sinister, point in base argent, gripped and pommeled azure, between a scroll argent, inscribed and rubicated and handled azure, and a breadloaf proper, the scroll is an open scroll, and we are taking this opportunity to tidy the blazon all around.

Hunith Hen. Name.

This does not conflict with the registered Hunith Wen. Under the Rules for Submissions, the bynames are not substantially different and they conflict. Under the Standards for Evaluation, single syllable names are different enough if a single consonant cluster is different. As the initial consonant of the bynames is different, these names do not conflict. Items that are registerable under either set of rules can be registered.

The submitter requested authenticity for 12th to 14th century Welsh. This name is authentic for 13th century Welsh.

Mina Wynter. Device. Per chevron inverted vert and sable, a bear rampant and an ivy vine argent.

Pompeia of Flanders. Reblazon of device. Vert, in cross two tortoises tergiant bendwise argent and two poppies slipped and leaved Or.

Blazoned when registered in December 1971 as Vert, in fess two poppies Or, between in pale two turtles tergiant argent, the poppies and turtles are co-primary charges.

Sabrina de la Bere. Reblazon of device. Or, a bend sinister azure between a rose gules slipped, leaved, and singly thorned vert and a natural leopard couchant sable.

Blazoned when registered in September 1973 as Or, a bend sinister azure between a half-bloomed garden rose gules slipped and singly thorned proper and a leopard couchant sable, the leopard is a natural leopard, and we no longer blazon the specific details of the type of rose.

West Kingdom returns

Brigid O'Connor. Device. Argent, a wolf sejant ululant contourny sable between three dogwood blossoms purpure seeded argent.

This device is returned for conflict with the device of Harald de Sort Ulv af Danelaw, Argent, a wolf sejant contourné, sinister forepaw raised, sable. Under both the Rules for Submissions and the Standards for Evaluation, there is one CD/DC for adding the secondary charge group, but nothing else.

This device is also returned for having two steps from period practice, a violation of section VII of the Rules for Submissions, and section A2B4 of the Standards for Evaluation. There is a step from period practice for the use of the non-period ululant posture, and there is a step from period practice for the use of New World dogwood blossoms. The dogwood blossoms here are also in neither a palewise nor a bendwise orientation, which is also cause for return.

Sabrina de la Bere. Augmentation of arms. Or, a bend sinister azure between a rose gules slipped, leaved, and singly thorned vert and a natural leopard couchant sable and for augmentation, the bend sinister charged in chief with a quatrefoil Or.

This augmentation was withdrawn by the submitter.

In Service,
Owen ap Morgan
Matins Herald

SUBMISSONS – 15 July, XLVII (2012)


Ciaran MacSithigh - New Name

Being uncertain whether the capitalization and concatenation of the patronymic elements is compatible with the Gaelic spelling Sithigh, we are passing this along as submitted in trust that the College will supply such adjustment as is necessary (if any.)

Ciaran is a masculine Irish given name found in the "Index of Names in Irish Annals: Ciarán" by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan (Kathleen M. O'Brien) at http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/AnnalsIndex/Masculine/Ciaran.shtml with dated examples of this unaccented spelling from 784, 921, 928, and 1061.

MacSithigh is a transliteration of the masculine Irish patronymic Mac Síṫiġ found as a header in Woulfe, who states "The name is first mentioned in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 1367".

Elianora le Fey - New Name and Device

Purpure, a domestic cat couchant contourny maintaining an open book and on a chief argent two butterflies azure.
Submitted as Elianora Le Fey, we have found no support for capitalizing the article.

Elianora is a feminine English given name. Withycombe (s.n. Eleanor(a)) attests this spelling from 1303 and 1346.

le Fey is an English byname. Reaney & Wilson (s.n. Fay) attest a Margaret le Fey from 1332.

Regardless of the way this shows up on some monitors, on the paper form the field really is purpure.

Kennric Maur - New Name (see Returns for device)

Kennric is a constructed spelling variant of a masculine Welsh given name. The article "A Simple Guide to Constructing 13th Century Welsh Names" by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn (Heather Rose Jones) at http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/welsh13.html (s.n. Cynwrig) attests the masculine given name Kenneric as appearing in the Merioneth Lay Subsidy Roll of 1292-3. In e-mail correspondence with Tangwystyl she further attests the names:

from the transcription of the Lleyn roll in an appendix to:

Williams-Jones, Keith. 1976. The Merioneth Lay Subsidy Roll 1292-3. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

The spelling Kennric seems a plausible interpolation between the attested kenric and Kenneric. Should it be ruled otherwise, however, we suppose that Kenric would be the preferred choice based on the submitter's preference for the sound of the name.

Maur is a Welsh descriptive byname attested in the "Simple Guide" supra (s.n. Mawr) as appearing in the Merioneth Lay Subsidy Roll of 1292-3.

Leo Diogenes - Resub device change to kingdom (Apr. 2012)

Argent, a wolf sejant contourny regardant gules maintaining a lantern sable glazed argent, on a chief embattled sable three bezants.
His former device, Argent, a lion sejant contourny gules crined and maintaining in his paw a hammer between three anvils reversed, on a chief embattled sable three bezants., is to be retained as a badge.

The previous version, which differed from this only in the details of the maintained lantern, was returned in April 2012 for failure to provide an artist's signature and use of an unrecognizably non-standard rendition of a lantern. It was the sense of the meeting that the lantern is now recognizable as such.

The black-and-white form was photoenlarged and recolored at kingdom to ensure that it met the minimum size requirement.

Rauðhrefna Skeggadóttir - New Name and Device
Argent, a raven migrant gules and on a chief engrailed sable a mullet of eight points Or.
Rauðhrefna is a constructed feminine Norse given name based on the prefix Rauð- "red" + Hrefna, the latter a feminine Norse given name attested in Geirr Bassi. Geirr Bassi also gives examples of this prefix being used (Bjǫrn to Rauðbjǫrn, Úlfr to Rauðúlfr) and the addition of prefixes to feminine root names (e.g., Katla to Hallkatla, Hildr to Úlfhildr, Gerðr to Oddgerðr.) In view of these the submitted construction seems reasonable.

Skeggadóttir is a feminine Norse patronymic formed from the given name Skeggi, the latter attested with 15 instances in Geirr Bassi. Per Geirr Bassi p.17, the feminine patronymic is formed from the genitive Skegga + -dóttir.

Roberto de Fonseca - New name (see Returns for device)

Client requests authenticity for 11th-14th century (culture unspecified but a priority), but allows no changes.

Roberto is a masculine given name. It can be found in period Italian; e.g., the "Online Catasto of 1427" at "http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/catasto/newsearch/sqlform.php?referred=yes&search_field_1=name&ope rator_1=%3D&contents_1=Roberto&logic_1=AND&search_field_2=sex&operator_2=%3D&contents_2=&logic_2=AN D&search_field_3=age&operator_3=%3D&contents_3=&logic_3=AND&return_fields_1[]=name&return_fields_1[]=patronymic&return_fields_1[]=family_name&order_by_1=name&order_by_2=patronymic&limit=60 returns the 15 results:

At least similar names are found in period Spanish; the article "Spanish Names from the Late 15th Century" by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith) at http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/names/isabella/MenFullNames4.html attests Ruberte Alexandre (also Ruberto) from the Account Books of Isabel la Catolica (1477-1504, mostly 1483-1504), while Diez Melcon attests Martin Ruberte 1171, Juan Ruberte 1264 (both p.56 s.n. Robertus), Martin Rubert 1176, and Pero Robert de Medina 1245 (both latter p.67 s.n. Robertus.)

de Fonseca is a Spanish locative surname. The article "Spanish Names from the Late 15th Century" by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith) at http://heraldry.sca.org/laurel/names/isabella/MenFullNames1.html attests an Alfonso de Fonseca from the Account Books of Isabel la Catolica (1477-1504, mostly 1483-1504).

While the combination of (at worst) an early 15th C Italian given name with a late 15th C Spanish locative is registerable, clearly this does not yet meet the submitter's request for authenticity for the 11th-14th C. We were unable to find anything better, however, and the submitter himself gave no documentation whatsoever. We place it in the hands of the College to see what can be accomplished, noting meanwhile that the point is entirely moot in view of the submitter allowing no changes whatsoever.

Úlfhildr Sverradóttir - New Name and Device

Argent, a saltire azure debruised by a ram's head cabossed sable, a bordure azure platy.
Client requests authenticity for Old Norse language and/or culture.

Úlfhildr is a feminine Old Norse given name attested twice in Geirr Bassi.

Sverradóttir is a feminine patronymic formed from the given name Sverri according to the rules stated in Geirr Bassi, i.e., to form the genitive as Sverra and add -dóttir. The submitter's source for the spelling Sverri, however, appears to be the Viking Answer Lady's article "Old Norse Men's Names" at http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ONMensNames.shtml#s, which in turn cites Lena Peterson's "Nordiskt Runnamnslexikon" s.n. Sværri. Each of these claims its respective spelling to be a "Weak side-form of OW.Norse Sverrir, related to the Norwegian dialect word sverra 'to whirl, spin around.'" Peterson's work, which cites Assar Janzén's "De fornvästnordiska personnamnen" Personnamn. Utg. av Assar Janzén, København-Oslo-Stockholm (Nordisk kultur 7), does not give the spelling Sverri nor a specific date. The stated root name Sverrir is attested in Geirr Bassi, but would form the genitive Sverris rather than Sverra according to that work. The spelling Sverri is given in Lind (s.n. Sverrir) with reference to "St2 I 5236, Flb II 53614", the former reference being to the "Sturlunga saga udg. af det kgl. Nord. oldskr. selsk. I, II. Københ. 1906-11."

To quote Tom Lehrer, "This I know from nothing. What I'm going to do?" It seems plausible from all this that the name is registerable as submitted, but I have no idea whether it is authentically Old Norse. The College has been invited to sort things out.

The prevailing opinion at the meeting was that the ram's head is adequately recognizable. This is a documented Appendix J arrangement: "A primary charge group, any type of secondary charge group, and an overall charge (a label only can be overall and in chief), with a tertiary charge group on any ordinary". (And citing those in full, lacking any short identifier, is going to get old very quickly.)


Kennric Maur - New device

Or, a chevron ploye gules between two ravens addorsed regardant and a Thor's hammer sable.
Under either the RfS or SENA, this is in conflict with the device of Lukas Mesmer (Aug. 2002 Calo) "Or, a chevron gules between three ermine spots sable." There is just one point of difference for the type of the secondary charges, regardless of whether you term it a CD or a DC (the SENA equivalent.)

Roberto de Fonseca - New device

Per pale azure and argent, a cockatrice statant and in chief three mullets of eight points pale grey.
The charges appear to have been done in colored or light pencil, which is grounds for return in itself. As drawn they appear light gray, which is considered equivalent to argent and thus cannot be used on an argent background. In addition, no line outline copy was provided.

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