Minutes of the January, 2013 Heralds Meeting

Click here for a Printer Friendly (Black and White) version
Minutes Page
Main Herald's Web Page


Start: 10:17 am; End: 2:15 pm

This was a “roadshow” meeting and was held at the Concord Hilton Hotel on the day after 12th Night.

Attendees: Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym, (Acting) Matins; Caoilinn Rose Maddox, Sable Swan/Exchequer; Danaë FitzRoberts, Cornet; Moira O’Connor, Vesper; Astrid of Swansvale, Latimer; Eilis o’Boirne, Baldric; Frederick of Holland, PaL; Aasa Thorvaldsdottir, Green Cloak; Volker von dem Walde, PE; Alizan de la Fontaine, PE; Matilda FitzRichard, Nebuly Pursuivant; Loy Schiemann der Kleine; Aine inghean Tuathail ui Ghallchobhair, Pinnacle; Anne FitzRichard, PE; Maxen ap Morgan, PaL; Allan Menefee; Michelle Menefee; Cynehild Cynesigesdohtor, PE; Sven Gotfriedson; Hirsch von Henford, Golem; Reinald Heldane, Allyshia; Marguerite du Royon, PaL; Kean de Lacy, PaL; Megan nic Alister of Thornwood, PE.

Heralds’ Meetings for 2013: Feb 10, Mar 17, Apr 21, May 19, Jun 16, Jul 14, Aug 18, Sep 22, Oct 20, Nov 24, no meeting in Dec, Jan 5, 2014.

Meetings unless specified otherwise will be held at the home of Eilis O'Boirne in Berkeley, CA. In general, all future meetings will be held at Eilis’ house (2322 Russell Street, Berkeley CA 94705; 510-486-0633 -- call for directions). “Road show” meetings, if any, will be announced well in advance.

Walk-in submissions will be held over until the following month unless they arrive early enough to be processed in before the scheduled start of the meeting. This policy is subject to change when the new Matins takes over.

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.



Golem: The website is running. He has modified the icons to make them more user friendly and taken down the “From the Officers” webpages as they weren’t being used. Any suggestions should be sent to Golem.

Latimer: No consultation tables since the November meeting. We have received a request for consultations at the Northern Wolf Prize Tourney on February 23.

Green Cloak: March Crown is coming. We need voices. Be prepared as the tournament could go until Sunday.

Baldric: Training as local events isn’t working well. Heralds’ Collegium doesn’t work either. We’re going to try having classes at the end of each Heralds’ Meeting. We don’t have a commenting herald at the moment, nor do we have enough senior staff. Local heralds need to have their own copies of the West Kingdom Ceremony Book and their own Principality Ceremony Book. Speak to Banner about training.

Seawolf: No report.

Stella Nordica: No report.

Banner: No report.

Exchequer: We have money. The Domesday report is due at the end of the month. The Exchequer’s bag has just died a grisly death. We need a new one immediately. Purchase was approved by the Financial Committee on the spot.

Sable Swan: Investiture will be on Jan 26, at the Woodland Masonic Hall. Sable Swan has a deputy! Reina O’Donnell.

Vesper: We have new baldrics for court heralds. Roster letters will be out in a week or so. If you do not get yours, send an e-mail to Vesper at herald@westkingdom.org. To be a rostered herald (PE or higher), you must be a member and provide your membership number. KWHSS will be held in Texas in June 2013.


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.

The office of Brachet is currently vacant, no Brachet meetings are being held.

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.

October 2012 LoAR (4 Dec 2012) (Jul 2012 LoI)

Cover letter

From Laurel: So Long and Thanks for all the Fish!

This letter marks the end of the transition between the RfS and SENA. The RfS has had a good run, and we appreciate its long and thoughtful service.

From now on, acceptance and returns of all registrations will be governed using SENA. We will no longer be accepting items that "pass" through the RfS but not SENA (not that there have been that many).

From Pelican and Wreath: Submissions Analysis for October

During the transition period now ending, we are sharing our counts of the results of considering submissions this month under both the Rules for Submissions and the Standards for Evaluation. 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 are 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 is 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 86% success rate. Considered only under the Standards for Evaluation, there would be an 89% success rate.

From Pelican and Wreath: Blanket Letters of Permission to Conflict: Pick One!

Appendix D of the Administrative Handbook has suggested standard form letters for a variety of things. For the Blanket Permission to Conflict for both names and fielded armory, there is a choice in the form letter that needs to be made.

Specifically, the text of the Blanket Permission to Conflict for names contains the sentence "I grant permission to any future submitter to register a name that is (not identical to/at least a syllable different from) my registered name." There is a difference between a name that is "not identical to" and a name that is "at least a syllable different from". To avoid confusion, please make sure only one of these option is selected, not both.

Likewise, the text of the Blanket Permission to Conflict for fielded armory contains the sentence "I grant permission to any future submitter to register armory that is (not identical to|at least one countable step different from) my registered armory." There is a difference between armory that is "not identical to" and armory that is "at least one countable step different from". For the latter, we count a single Distinct Change (DC), but for the former, we count any blazonable difference, regardless of whether the difference is worth a DC or not. To avoid confusion, please make sure only one of these options is selected, not both.

From Pelican: Some Name Resources (an Ongoing Series)

With the passing of the Rules for Submissions, we need to consider the situation with double given names (what Americans today might call a first name and a middle name). There are several languages for which we will register double given names, but consider them a step from period practice. As steps from period practice in names no longer exist, those practices must either be registerable or not.

People with double given names can be found in many different parts of Europe, but people with single given names are the vast majority in every time and place. Double given names coupled with bynames (as opposed to a single given name coupled with a byname that is an unmarked patronymic) are mainly a phenomenon of the later parts of our period.

In the British Isles, double given names are always rare. They're found in late period England. In Wales, double given names are not clearly found, but unmarked patronymic bynames often look like double given names, so a name like Thomas William Jones can be found in Welsh.

Current precedent makes double given names in Scots a step from period practice. In Scotland, there are two late period examples of double given names, both royal. We do not generally use royalty as a model for general naming. However, given the broad overlap between the Scots naming pool and the English one, most combinations of Scots given names could be redocumented as English combinations. Therefore, it makes sense to allow double given names to be registered even when the names are found only in Scots.

There is no evidence of double given names in Gaelic in our period. As such, they are not registerable. This is true for Gaelic in both Ireland and Scotland. Moreover, double given names are not registerable in Anglicized Irish. Unlike Scots, which is a language with its own naming rules, Anglicized Irish remains through the end of our period just a way of writing down Gaelic names using English script. As such, double given names are not registerable without evidence of the practice there either. In some cases, Anglicized Irish names are identical to English names; where the name elements can be documented as English names, they may be treated as English (which has double given names).

We have evidence of double given names for most of the Romance languages of southern Europe, including Spanish, Catalan, and Italian. Italian is the only language in which they're relatively common (though never more than a few percent of names) and the only language in which we've found three given names.

The situation is more complex in northern Europe. Double given names are found in German, but not in Dutch. We have no evidence of double given names in Scandinavia before 1600.

Double given names are found in Russia; the most normal pattern is a Christian name followed by a native Russian name, but Paul Wickenden notes "Semenova (1969: 88-9) notes that there are exceptions to this pattern, with both names being Christian in origin or both Russian, or with the order simply reversed (i.e., Russian -- Christian)." Therefore, any combination of given names is registerable. We have evidence of double given names in Polish as well. We have no evidence that supports double given names for other Eastern European languages. This may reflect a lack of data, but we still require evidence.

We have no evidence of double given names in Arabic or other Middle Eastern languages.

From Wreath: The Shape of Things -- Gouttes

In August 1996, when ruling that gouttes could not be voided, the Cover Letter of the LoAR stated:

While it is true that goutes in period were occasionally drawn like a modern teardrop, that form was the exception, not the rule. The more standard period form looks like a thin drop with a long wavy tail which is not a "simple geometric form".

This ruling apparently was repeating an earlier ruling from the August 1995 LoAR, which said "there are period examples of tear-drop goutes..." An inspection of the commentary at the time, however, provided no actual evidence aside from a statement by one commenter.

We invite commenters to provide information regarding period depictions of gouttes. Specifically, we are wishing to find any attestations of teardrop shaped gouttes, or gouttes shaped in ways other than the standard thin drop with a long wavy tail.

From Wreath: Dastardly Tierces

This month we considered several designs with tierces, one of which used central ordinaries. The resulting design looked off-balanced, and prompted some further research on tierces.

Tierces do not seem to have been used in period armory at all, although they can be found in some heraldic tracts shown on plain fields. Without further evidence as to how tierces affect the field, we will treat them as we treat chiefs. That is to say, that the rest of the field should be centered in the space remaining to it. Given the lack of evidence of their actual use, and the fact that they make the field unbalanced, there is a step from period practice for the use of any other charges with a tierce.

From Palimpsest: Update to Appendix A of the Admin Handbook

There are two sections of the Governing Documents of the SCA (known colloquially as "Corpora") which directly reference Laurel and/or the College of Arms: Section VI. Society Officers, subsection C and Section VIII.B. Other Awards, subsections 2 and 4. However, only the first one (VI.C.) is currently listed in Appendix A of the Administrative Handbook. This occasionally causes some confusion when heralds are looking in the Admin Handbook for a citation of the rule in the other one (VIII.B.2. and VIII.B.4.). Therefore, effective immediately, we are making the following changes to Appendix A: dropping "(From Section VI. Society Officers)" from the title, adding "Section VI. Society Officers" before "C. Laurel Sovereign of Arms and the College of Arms", and adding the full text of both VIII.B.2. and VIII.B.4. from the Governing Documents to the end of Appendix A.

Please note that this does not represent any change in policy or rule on the part of the Laurel office - we are simply making this information available in a location that heralds are likely to look for rules.

From Palimpsest: Updates to Appendices D, F and L of SENA

The Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory Appendix D, Acceptable Transliteration Systems for Non-Latin Scripts, section F. Arabic, currently reads, in part:

For each, we will register a simplified form that omits macrons (long marks) over letters and replaces emphatic (dotted) consonants with undotted ones. We also allow transliterations that omit `ayn (`) and (') hamza or that use ' for both, but only if they also omit the macrons and emphatic marks.

To clarify the intent that simplified forms are not the only registerable forms, effective immediately, we are changing this portion to read:

For each, we will also register a simplified form that omits macrons (long marks) over letters and replaces emphatic (dotted) consonants with undotted ones. We also allow transliterations that omit `ayn (`) and (') hamza or that use ' for both, but only if they also omit the macrons and emphatic marks.

The Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory Appendix F, Some Armorial Elements that Do Not Need Further Documentation, currently reads, in part:

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.

Effective immediately, we are changing this portion to read:

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

The Standards for Evaluation of Names and Armory Appendix L, A Partial List of Postures and Orientations, currently does not describe how the body parts of animate charges are categorized. They should be categorized with "Other Animate Charges" in section G. That section currently reads, in part:

G. Other Animate Charges: Animate charges with postures that do not fit into these categories may be classified into one of those categories on a case by case basis, or may be ruled to receive complete change of posture against none of them.

Effective immediately, we are changing this portion to read:

G. Other Animate Charges: Animate charges with postures that do not fit into these categories, including the body parts of animate charges, may be classified into one of those categories on a case by case basis, or may be ruled to receive complete change of posture against none of them.

In all cases, the bold text indicates additions.

West Kingdom acceptances

Ciaran Mac Sithigh. Name.

Submitted as Ciaran MacSithigh, there is a space between the relationship word and patronym in Gaelic (though not necessarily in Anglicized forms). We have added that space in order to register the name.

Elianora le Fey. Name and device. Purpure, a domestic cat couchant contourny maintaining an open book and on a chief argent two butterflies azure.

Nice 14th century English name!

While depicting charges in trian aspect is generally cause for return, some perspective may be allowed on a case-by-case basis, for example with charges that are largely unidentifiable without perspective, or that are depicted in period armory with perspective. In this case, while an open book itself does not need to be drawn in perspective to be identifiable, its use here in the context of a maintained charge being held as if being read allows for some bending of the rule. As maintained charges do not count for difference, this amount of perspective is allowable.

Kenric Maur. Name.

Submitted as Kennric Maur, the spelling with nn was justified as an interpolation between spellings like Kenric and Kenneric. Unfortunately for the submitter, all the spellings with nn had a vowel between the n and the r. Barring evidence of any spelling that has the cluster nnr, this spelling cannot be registered. Therefore we have changed the byname to the documented Kenric in order to register the name.

Leo Diogenes. Device change. Argent, a wolf sejant contourny regardant gules maintaining a lantern sable glazed argent, on a chief embattled sable three bezants.

His previous 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 retained as a badge.

Rauðhrefna Skeggadóttir. Name and device. Argent, a raven migrant to chief gules and on a chief engrailed sable a mullet of eight points Or.

In this case, Rauð- is mostly easily understood as a prepended byname to the existing given name Hrefna (rather than as a compound given name). While Rauða- is the more common form, Gunnvor silfraharr presented evidence that Rauð- was also a possible form for a prepended byname, allowing this to be registered as submitted.

There is a step from period practice for the use of a bird other than an eagle in the displayed posture. As there is no heraldic difference between migrant to chief and displayed, this device has a step from period practice.

Roberto de Fonseca. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for the 11th to 14th century (presumably Spanish). This name does not meet that request, as neither element could be dated to that time. Relatively similar forms of the given name could be found, but no evidence for the byname could be found before the 15th century. The name is authentic, however, for the 16th century; a 15th century form would be Ruberto de Fonseca.

Úlfhildr Sverradóttir. Name and device. Argent, a saltire azure surmounted by a ram's head cabossed sable, a bordure azure platy.

The submitter requested authenticity for Old Norse. Both elements are likely to have been found in Norse England, so this name meets that request.

West Kingdom returns


November 2012 LoAR (31 Dec 2012) (Aug 2012 LoI)

From Laurel: KWHSS 2014 Bids Requested

For those considering bidding on the 2014 Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium, the deadline to have your bid entered into OSCAR is March 31, 2013. This will give the College of Arms time for consideration so that we can announce the bid's award at the 2013 KWHSS in the barony of Bjornsborg, Ansteorra, on June 30 at the Road Show.

Please remember that bids posted to OSCAR are publicly readable. Because of this, all personal information, such as legal names, addresses, phone numbers, and email, should not be included in these bids without signed, written permission. Such information as is necessary should be posted as a comment after the bid is finalized, so that only the College of Arms can read it. Please send a copy of the full unredacted bid to Laurel at laurel@heraldry.sca.org.

As a reminder, there is a KWHSS domain and web hosting space available on the SCA's servers. Please do not register your own.

Please see http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/kwhs/ or contact Laurel if you have any questions.

From Pelican: Da'ud Notation

In this Letter of Acceptances and Returns, we are using a long defined but never used character in Da'ud notation: {eu} is an e marked with a breve (a short mark).

From Pelican: Some Name Resources (an Ongoing Series)

The Standards for Evaluation have multiple appendices that are useful in documenting a name. Appendix A has a summary of name construction for important languages, focusing on patterns that are relatively common and on patterns that are not found in a language. The patterns given in this appendix do not need to be documented beyond at most a mention that the pattern is found in the appendix. Other patterns exist that are not included in this appendix: blank spaces suggest that a pattern could be registered with documentation. "Rare" means that the pattern is found, but that registration of a constructed, as opposed to attested, version of such a byname generally requires the help of an expert in that language to determine if it is plausible. This appendix also suggests some articles that can be used for documentation of construction patterns.

If you need additional information about terms we use and types of bynames, you can find that in Appendix B.

Appendix C is a table of languages that can be combined without further documentation. Other lingual mixes are registerable, but only with evidence that they were combined in medieval names. The appendix intentionally is limited to European and Middle Eastern names, as those are the core of our reconstruction. It does not include languages from cultures with limited contact with Europe. Persian and Mongolian are included in the tables: Persian because it is an important part of the Islamic world (which extends well into Europe) in the Middle Ages and Mongolian because Mongol control spread well into Europe.

There are a few other name-related appendices. Appendix D addresses how we register names for languages that do not use the Roman/Latin alphabet. For registration, we require them to be transliterated into the Latin alphabet. This is simply for the ease of the heralds who have to conflict check names and cannot be expected to read all alphabets. We encourage submitters to use their name in its original writing system.

Appendix E addresses the designators for non-personal names. Many designators are not addressed one way or another in that appendix; that just means that they need to be documented with a submission.

From Wreath: On the Cross of Caid, Yet Again

A submission this month from the Kingdom of Caid requested that the portion of their augmentation of arms, four crescents conjoined in saltire horns outward, be blazoned as a cross of Caid.

I can do no better than to quote the May 2007 Cover Letter on this very topic, which reads:

Over the years, Laurel has declined to use the term cross of Caid or Caidan cross, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly (by changing the blazon that appeared on the LoI without comment). The first return was when Jaelle Laurel in July 1986 [sic, should be 1996] wrote

To quote Baldwin in his April 1986 LoAR: "Spring is in the air, and the fit is upon me - let me name but one Cross before I die!" While it is indeed quite tempting to call the four crescents conjoined in saltire a "Cross of Caid", we feel that named SCA motifs make reconstruction of blazons more difficult for heralds and scribes.

The letter continues on to discuss the issue, and emphasizes the decision to follow period practice in blazon whenever possible:

The usage of the terms cross of Caid and Caidan cross is perfectly acceptable, outside of blazons. These terms will not be used in blazons unless we find support in period blazonry for named crosses (and not just a single instance). If such evidence is presented, this issue may be revisited.

The College of Heralds of Caid appealed to the College of Arms for new evidence of named crosses in period blazonry, given the number of period armorials and rolls that have become available in the past several years. Unfortunately, no such new evidence was found. Therefore, we reaffirm the past decisions, and will continue to bar the use of the terms cross of Caid or Caidan cross in blazon.

From Wreath: No More Standing Balances

In June 2011 we ruled the use of a standing balance to be a step from period practice. All evidence provided so far supports hanging balances, but standing balances appear to be post-period. Given that the hanging balance is an appropriate and very similar period charge that can be used instead of the standing balance, we will no longer register a standing balance after the May 2013 decision meeting.

From Wreath: Blazoning Fun -- Non-Eagles Displayed

We have long held that the use of any bird other than an eagle in the displayed posture is a step from period practice. The January 2000 Cover Letter stated that "with vanishingly rare exceptions the eagle is the only bird found displayed in period heraldry. Therefore any other bird displayed will arguably be visually similar to an eagle..." This visual similarity affects how much difference we can grant when considering conflict between a non-eagle displayed and an eagle displayed. In the case of a raven displayed, a fairly popular charge lately, versus an eagle displayed, there is neither a substantial nor a distinct change.

There is, however, a blazonable difference between a non-eagle displayed and an eagle displayed. It is important to remember that we register the picture, the emblazon, not the words, the blazon. The blazon must be able to accurately describe the submitted emblazon. If we cannot tell from the submitted emblazon that a displayed bird is not an eagle, it will be reblazoned as an eagle. Ravens will typically have a long straight beak, no crest on the head, and occasionally shaggy or hairy feathers. In order for a raven displayed to be identified as such, it is suggested that as many non-eagle attributes as possible be used.

From Wreath: Blazoning Fun -- Kitchen Pots and Pans

Turning now to the subject of kitchen wares, a submission this month required us to look more closely at cauldrons and similar pots. In period armorials, the cauldron is the most common cooking pot type of charge. It is typically depicted without legs, although occasionally with three legs, but always with a transverse bail handle (a single arched handle). Another cooking pot found in period armory is the so-called flesh-pot, a similarly shaped pot with three legs and two rounded or angular handles at the rim.

We have received several submissions in the recent past that resemble a cauldron, only without the bail handle. As we have not yet found this depiction of a pot in period armory, we must turn to period artifacts to see if it is attested and thus registerable. A quick perusal of period woodcuts and paintings showing kitchen equipment shows that most cooking pots were cauldrons, with or without feet, either hanging from the bail handle or set directly into the fire.

As for pots without the transverse bail handle, Saint Vitus is commonly depicted with a pot, or in a pot, as a reference to his manner of death. Most typically this is a three-legged pot with handles, or a flesh-pot (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flein-st-veit.jpg). One period woodcut showed several cauldrons, with three legs, bail handles, and lids, set next to an identically-shaped pot with three legs but no obvious handle (http://godecookery.com/afeast/kitchens/kit007.html). Band 13 of the manuscripts of the Baden State Library in Karlsruhe (URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:31-8660), on page 175 (http://digital.blb-karlsruhe.de/blbihd/content/pageview/93912) has a figure drawn in the margin of a mid-12th Century fragment of someone retrieving food from a three-legged pot with no visible handles.

As all three forms of cooking pot are attested in period, all are registerable in armory. We will henceforth blazon pots with transverse bail handles, regardless of legs, as cauldrons. Pots with no bail handle, but with obvious handles at the rim, we will blazon as flesh-pots. Pots without handles but with legs will be blazoned three-legged pots. Pots with no handles or legs will be send back for redraw, unless evidence is presented of that form of cooking pot in period. There is no difference between any form of cooking pot.

From Wreath: Marshalling Loophole

A submission this month was ruled to not be in violation of the prohibition on marshalling by impaling. The design in question had two charge groups in one section of the field, and nothing in the other section of the field. Under the Rules for Submission, this was illegal: "No section of the field may contain...more than one charge unless those charges are part of a group...." Precedent set on the December 2007 Cover Letter did allow for maintained charges in a section, but not sustained charges.

However, while section A6F of the Standards for Evaluation, which governs marshalling, is far more detailed than the Rules for Submissions were, it does currently allow for designs in which one section of the field has multiple charge groups. A6F2c concerns multiple types of primary charges, but not multiple charge groups in a single section. A6F2d concerns multiple charges in a section, but specifies only multiple charges of the same type, not multiple charge groups.

Palimpsest will be issuing a rules letter in the near future to address changing A6F2d to include a prohibition on multiple charge groups in a section.

From Wreath: Unified Posture and Orientation, Take 2

Section A3D2c of the Standards for Evaluation states:

c. Unity of Posture and Orientation: 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.

The examples given concern groups of identical charges, but do not directly address how to handle mixed-type charge groups. Precedent set on the May 2012 Cover Letter stated:

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.

The phrase "in which postures for different charges must be blazoned individually" seems to be tripping people up. To clarify, we emphasize that when charges in a group are in different categories according to SENA A5G7 and SENA Appendix L, they do not have comparable postures/orientations and may be blazoned independently. The charge group as a whole must still be in a standard arrangement.

We looked at several period armorials to find out what sorts of posture/orientation combinations and arrangements we find in period armory for mixed-type charge groups. Keeping in mind that our core style is based on Anglo-Norman armory, there is an emphasis on those armorials; the full list of sources is below.

In period armory, when there are two or three dissimilar charges in the same group, they typically have identical postures only in some cases. Examples:

Most frequently, a mixed-type group consists of both animate and inanimate charges, occasionally two different types of inanimate charges, and less commonly two different types of animate charge. The vast majority of dissimilar charges in a group are all in their typical default posture/orientation, which in most cases is essentially palewise. Judging from the few examples listed above where that is not the case, our precedent appears to be consistent with period practice. While we found no examples of mixing inanimate compact charges with inanimate long charges in different orientations, for example in pale a fleur-de-lys and a sword bendwise, we feel that allowing such a combination is acceptable at this point in time.

A3D2c mentions combattant as "an arrangement that includes posture/orientation". What other sorts of arrangements are possible?

Period armory draws charges to take up the most space possible. With two charges, typically we find both charges placed side by side in fess, with their long axes vertical. There are therefore three posture/orientation cases possible, all of which we see in period armory: both charges facing the same direction, charges addorsed, or charges respectant/combatant. There is also the far less common case of two horizontal charges placed in pale: both charges facing the same direction, or charges facing in opposite directions. Examples:

With three charges in a group on the field, the default arrangement is "two and one". The vast majority of these arrangements all face in the same direction, but the upper two charges may be addorsed or respectant/combatant. No examples were found where the bottommost charge did not face in the same direction as at least one of the uppermost charges. Examples:

Other posture/orientation combinations of comparable charges will need to be documented before they are registerable.

From Wreath: Arrangements -- Charge Groups Doing the Splits

Now that we've covered the posture/orientation of individual charges in a group, we turn to their placement upon the field. SENA A3D2c only peripherally covers this topic when it references SENA Appendix K, which lists some standard arrangements. However, Appendix K is primarily intended for determining if a DC for change of arrangement exists when comparing two groups from two pieces of armory. It does not list all of the possible standard period arrangements for charges in a single group on the field.

When considering a group of charges split over a divided field or separated by a central ordinary, period armory typically draws and places such charges in whatever way allows them to best fit and take up the most space possible. Examples:

Therefore, charges in a single group split in two by a field division or a central ordinary that are placed to reasonably fill the space available to them and that are similar to period patterns will be considered to be in a default arrangement, and they do not require their exact positioning to be blazoned. This is similar to our policy of allowing and not distinguishing various period-style arrangements of strewn charges, and in general not blazoning period-style artistic variations. Note that this applies only to arrangement, not to posture or orientation.

Many thanks to Yehuda ben Moshe for bringing many of these examples to light in a short timeframe, and to Daniel de Lincoln for pointing out the excellent Luttrell Psalter example. Sources cited:

West Kingdom acceptances

Finna k{o,}ttr Goðormsdóttir. Name (see RETURNS for device).

Katherine Gotehird. Name and device. Per chevron indented azure and vert, a goat dormant regardant erminois.

Nice English name for around 1300!

Please advise the submitter to draw the ermine spots larger to aid in their identification.

Klement St. Christoph. Reblazon of badge. Azure, on a pale between two trefoils slipped argent a trefoil slipped azure.

Blazoned when registered in November 1985 as Azure, a pale argent, in fess three trefoils slipped counterchanged, we are clarifying that this is a charged pale between two trefoils.

Sean a' Claidheamh. Reblazon of device. Sable, on a plate a hound crouching to sinister upon a point pointed sable.

Blazoned when registered in July 1979 as Sable, on a plate a hound crouching to sinister upon a pile inverted sable, the hound is actually crouching on a point pointed. The point is substantial enough that it and the hound are effectively co-tertiary charges.

William Melrose. Name.

Nice late period Scots name!

West Kingdom returns

Finna k{o,}ttr Goðormsdóttir. Device. Per pale wavy sable and argent, a nude woman statant affronty and a domestic cat sejant counterchanged, on a chief vert three pawprints argent.

This device is returned for offensive vulgarity, as a violation of SENA A7B1 which states "Depictions of monsters and human beings who are partially nude or the depiction of the genitals on beasts will not generally be considered vulgar....Certain depictions may be considered pornographic...even if a standard depiction would not be. This is true even if the design or element can be attested in period armory." In this case, the woman in this device is fully nude, not partially nude. Commenters found a good number of examples of nude women in period armory, some as charges and some as supporters. In the vast majority, however, all were "figleafed" in some manner: by figleaves or other vegetation, hands, upraised legs, (head) hair, scarf, or other strategically-placed objects such as babies, shield corners, unicorns, and even a giant crown. In the two exceptions turned up, one is a lightly-sketched woman whose pubic area is not bare, and the other appears to be a rough woodcut of what we might consider a Barbie doll. While the charge itself is attested in period heraldry, this particular depiction is not. We invite the submitter to resubmit with the woman figleafed in some period manner.

This design has no problem of unity of posture/orientation under SENA A3D2c. Per precedent set on the May 2012 Cover Letter, the cat and the woman do not have comparable postures/orientations.

There is a step from period practice for the use of pawprints.

In Service,
Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym ap Morgan o Erryrys,
Matins Herald

SUBMISSONS – 6 January, XLVII (2013)


Christopher the Quiet – New name (see RETURNS for device)
Christopher – This is the standard modern spelling and is also the submitter’s legal given name.

the Quiet – This is lingua Anglica as a descriptor, however, it is not exceptional. Reaney and Wilson, p.114, show Walter le Coi (1203), from Fr. Coi = quiet, still, shy.

Cynagua, Principality of – Acceptance of transfer of badge from Sorcha Fhionn inghean uí Ruairc

Per pale Or and argent, on a swan naiant, wings elevated and addorsed, sable a needle bendwise sinister Or.
To be used for the Cynaguan Needleworkers Guild.

Elspeth Cameron – New badge

Or, a dragon sejant contourny wings elevated tail nowed maintaining an open book within a mascle vert.
Clear of the device of Taliesin of Nordovest upon the Long Isle (Dec 83 East) “Or, a dragon rampant to sinister vert spined gules breathing flames proper”, with one DC for changing the posture of the dragon and another for adding the mascle. The book is maintained and counts for nothing.

The mascle is on the anorexic side, but we are sending on as it does seem adequate.

Lisette la Serena – New name (see RETURNS for device)
The name elements are to be found in Late Period Feminine Names for the South of France, by Talan Gwynek, on the Laurel website.

Marc de Arundel - New device

Sable, a tree blasted and eradicated between six mullets of four points three and three argent.
The device appears clear of conflict.

Patricia Blakethorn – New Device (Resub Device to Kingdom)

Per pale sable and argent, two harts combatant counterchanged, in base a rose barbed and seed proper, a chief embattled vert.
This was previously submitted to Kingdom as “Per pale sable and argent, two harts combattant counterchanged each gorged of a county coronet vert and a rose barbed and seeded proper, a chief embattled vert.” The submitter was asked to make the chief much larger and to simplify the design. This design is her resubmission. She has doubled the size of the chief, reduced the rose to half its original size and removed the county coronets. We think it is lovely.

There appear to be no conflicts.

Sextus Valerius Cruscillus – Name change from Connor Elphinstone
Sextus – Latin praenomen found in Names and Naming Practices of Regal and Republican Rome, Meradudd Cethin (http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names/roman/ )

Valerius - Latin nomen found in Names and Naming Practices of Regal and Republican Rome, Meradudd Cethin (http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names/roman/ )

Cruscillus - Latin cognomen found in Latin Cognomina by IiroKajanto. This citation lists <Crus>, <Cruscellio>, and <Cruscillus>. He deriveds all three from the word for “shin”. (http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names/roman/ )(?)

Sorcha Fhionn inghean uí Ruairc – Transfer of badge to Principality of Cynagua
see above


Christopher the Quiet – New Device

Sable, on an open book argent a mullet of ten points pierced, each point tipped with an annulet, vert.
Piercing is considered equivalent to charging with a roundel. This is a tertiary charge charged with a plate. It may be argued that a “mullet pierced” could be a period charge. This would need further consultation and research. Commentors also felt that this is a non-standard depiction of a spur rowel. It could also be confused with an escarbuncle. The submittor will be advised to omit the writing in the book as there is a tertiary charge present. The submittor should seek further consultation.

This appears clear of the badge for St Bartholomew, (01/91) Sable, on an open book argent, a bee sable banded Or, with 2 DCs for change to type and tincture of the tertiary under SENA.

Duibhleamhna Ó Súileabháin – New name & New device

Per bend argent and gules, a bend dovetailed between a rose slipped and leaved inverted sable and a wolf sejant ululant argent.
Duibhleamhna – OCM has this spelling dated to 943.

Ó Súileabháin – We could find no date for this spelling. As O’Sullivan, McLysaght dates this name to 1560.

There is more than 300 years between these two names and they are different languages, to boot. As the submitter allows no major changes, this must be returned for further consultation.

As the device also needs further work. Garden rosebuds have not been allowed by Laurel for many years and garden roses are frowned upon. A heraldic rose slipped and leaved should be used instead. In addition, the dovetailing needs to be much deeper and more evenly divided.

Lisette la Serena – New device (see SUBMISSIONS for name)

Purpure, a snake coiled to sinister erect Or, a bordure per bordure, sable and Or.
A bordure cannot be divided per bordure. This must be returned for further work.

Michael Ó Súileabháin – New name & New device

Gules, a boar statant to sinister and on a chief embattled argent three trident heads and overall a bordure embattled sable.
Michael – from OCM.

Ó Súileabháin – We could find no date for this spelling. As O’Sullivan, McLysaght dates this name to 1560. The surname needs to be changed to the Anglicized version, but the submitter does not allow major changes. This must be returned for further consultation.

This is a best guess at a blazon and is not a particularly good one.

Use of a sable bordure on a gules field violates the rule of tincture which necessitates a return of this submission for further consultation. In addition, the embattlements are thicker than the bordure itself. The submittor provided no documentation for the bordure extending over the chief. There is very little room for the trident heads. In all, the armory is being returned for further work.

Titus Octavius Singinius – New Name & New Device

Per pale sable and argent, two wings displayed and a bordure all counterchanged.
Titus – Latin praenomen found in Names and Naming Practices of Regal and Republican Rome, Meradudd Cethin (http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names/roman/ )

Octavius – Latin nomen found in Names and Naming Practices of Regal and Republican Rome, Meradudd Cethin (http://heraldry.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names/roman/ )

Singinius – No documentation was provided and none could be found in the material available to the researchers, including a search on the internet.

The armory cannot be submitted without a valid name. However, there appear to be no conflicts for it.

Minutes Page
Main Herald's Web Page