Job Description -- Local (Branch) Heralds

The Purpose

Local heralds are officers designated to help the populace in the local branch in whatever ways the local herald can. This can include being a court herald (particularly for a Barony), field herald, duty herald, and/or a submissions herald. Much depends on your local branch, and its activity level.

Up until recently all local branches were required to have a herald, but SCA's Corpora has been changed so that Baronies and higher-level (Principalities, etc.) are required to have a herald, but smaller branches are not (shires, etc.).

Local Heralds are officers of the SCA, and as such should be paid members (getting the Kingdom Newsletter, etc.).


At Events
The local branch herald is responsible for ensuring that heraldic announcements are made, that field heralds are available and working the field, and to ensure that there is a court herald to handle any court duties that may be necessary for the event.

The local branch herald has many resources available, including the West Kingdom Herald's Website, the West Kingdom Herald's Handbook, and the West Kingdom Ceremony Book. The handbook has articles on how to do field, organize field heralds, and a lot more, and the local herald should familiarize him or her self with these.

Heraldic Consultation (Names, Devices, etc.)
The local branch herald is not expected to be an expert in "Book" heraldry, but should attempt to learn what they can, in order to assist members of their branch in preparing forms for heraldic submission to the Kingdom office. Again, there are many resources available to the herald, and they should familiarize themselves with them.

Note that if you are willing to accept submissions of forms for the College of Heralds, you are required to send them to the Matins Herald in a timely fashion (maximum of 30 days of receipt) – in other words, don't hold onto the paperwork any longer than necessary. The reasons are several, but first and most important, if you hold onto those submissions you are slowing down your client's paperwork, and the process is not a short process already – any delay caused by you makes things more difficult for your client. Note that holding onto submission paperwork longer than 30 days is considered in the West Kingdom College of Heralds as a "firing" offense, meaning that the Vesper Principal Herald may fire you from this office if he/she feels it is the right thing to do.

Other Duties
The local branch herald may find that since he or she is an officer of their local branch, people expecting them to handle duties that have little or nothing to do with heraldry. There is an excellent article in the Herald's Handbook on this very topic – Section III, Article 7, "The Herald As a Local Officer" (set link with updated handbook article once done)

Heraldic Titles for Branches: Heraldic titles have been historically granted only to those groups of Baronial and Provincial size and larger. This is because these groups are larger, and tend to be more stable, than Shires, Cantons, etc. Since the number of branches has grown so large, it would not be practical to register an heraldic title for each branch, nor would it be desirable to tie up that number of titles. It is also contrary to College of Arms policy. The branch pursuivant titles currently in use in the West are:

Tarnmist (Barony): Blue Heron Pursuivant
Allyshia (Barony): Sea Lion Pursuivant
Far West (Barony): Golden Peach (?) Pursuivant
Principality of the Mists:
Southern Shores (Province): Silvergull Pursuivant
Westermark (Barony): Black Mark Pursuivant
Calderium (Shire): Peacock Pursuivant
Vinhold (Shire):: Puncheon Pursuivant
Mists (Province): Nebuly Pursuivant
Darkwood (Barony): Pinnacle Pursuivant
Principality of Cynagua:
Fettburg (Barony): BentcastlePursuivant
Rivenoak (Barony): (?)
Silver Desert (Shire): Snowbound Pursuivant
Principality of Oertha:
Eskalya (Barony): Peregrine Pursuivant
Winter's Gate (Barony): Estoille Pursuivant
Selviergard (Barony): ?
Earngyld (Shire):: Sea Eagle Pursuivant

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