West Kingdom
College of Heralds

Scrolls and Seals

You want to work with the West Kingdom Company of Scriveners and Limners (formerly the West Kingdom College of Scribes) to get a nice award scroll commemorating your award. However, you aren't sure what the requirements are for getting the scroll signed and sealed by the College of Arms. Look no further -- this is where we provide the details. Note to Scribes/Illuminators: You should check with the herald (see below) who will be sealing the scroll to see how large the seals are, to make sure your work is not covered in sealing wax. The size may vary from Principality to Principality, and the Kingdom seal is likely difference in size as well.

Purpose of the Signatures

There are up to three signatures on an award scroll:

  1. Granting Royalty -- If the award comes from the King and Queen or Prince and Princess of a Principality, you will have two signatures. These signatures state that indeed, Their Majesties or Their Highnesses gave this award.
  2. Herald -- If the award scroll is an armigerous scroll (one that has a blazon and emblazon -- picture of the armory of the recipient) then the herald for the Kingdom or Principality also signs the scroll if everything is correct. 1

1 Note: In some cases one or both of the Royalty who gave the award may not be reachable for any number of reasons, in those situations the current Royalty should sign with a note along the lines of "for xxx" where "xxx" is the name of the individual being signed for (example: if the person who was Queen is not available, the current Queen should sign for them, not forge their name). It should be noted that no one other than the individual in question should ever sign the name of the Royalty who gave the award -- the West Kingdom Laws state that forging signatures is illegal (in Article IV -- Arms and Orders, Section 1.3, that these signatures shall "not be forged on any scroll or other document.")

Purpose of the Seals

There are two seals that may be placed on an award scroll:

  1. The Kingdom or Principality Seal -- These seals are used to confirm that the signature of appropriate Royalty is the "real" thing. The Vesper Principal Herald, or the primary Herald for your Principality is given charge of the appropriate seal, with the admonition that it be used "as We shall require" (from the West Kingdom Coronation Ceremony). What this means is that the Herald is to only use it in an official capacity, and they swear to do just that.
  2. The Heralds' Seal -- This seal on a scroll states that the heralds have examined the scroll for specific items (see below: "What We Look For") and find that everything is accurate and correct and that the signature of the Herald is confirmed.

What We Look For

For an award scroll to be signed and sealed, it must meet specific criteria:

  1. The Name of the Award Recipient should be as accurate as possible. If it is a name registered with the College of Arms, that is the name that should be on the award scroll. If a different name than what is registered is used, some reference to the registered name should be included ("known to us as ..." or something similar).
  2. The Names and Realm of the granting Royalty (King and Queen of the West, Prince and Princess of (name of Principality)), and these should be correct for the specific reign (in the case of royalty who have reigned more than once).
  3. The name of the award the scroll is for.
  4. The date the award was given, preferably using SCA years (i.e., June 25, Anno Societatus LI -- other wording may be used, but it must be easy to understand). A reference to the modern date might be used, such as " being the year 2016 in the Common Era". You or the scribe creating your scroll might wish to check with the members of the Company of Scriveners and Limners for advice.
  5. If the award scroll shows the armory of the recipient (see below), the blazon (the heraldic description in words of the armory) and the emblazon (the picture) should both be included.
  6. There should be space for signatures and seals as required. For the scribe: the Kingdom and Principality seals require approx: 2.5" square, and the Heralds' seal requires approx: 1" square (this leaves room for the sealing wax to spread a bit when the seal is actually used).

The College of Heralds will check for accuracy for all the information above that concerns the Royalty names, the recipient's name, the award, date, and the blazon/emblazon. They will typically not seal a scroll until it has been signed by the royalty.

The Awards the Heralds are Most Concerned With

Scrolls that should show the armory of the recipient:

Any other award that a scroll is created for may have armory on it, but the ones above are the ones the heralds are most concerned with when we check armory for accuracy, and so on.

The Heralds have no wish to control or dictate how a scroll is worded, as long as the wording includes the items listed earlier on this page, and that the information is accurate.

If there are questions about the information provided here, please feel free to contact us, and also feel free to contact the Company of Scriveners and Limners for help with wording, with design of award scrolls, and more.

Who Do I Contact to Get My Scroll Sealed?

To get a scroll sealed, if the scribe has not already contacted someone and gotten it done, you need to work with the herald for the realm that granted the award. These are listed below (click the link and your email software should start a message to the appropriate Herald):

Heraldic Topics for The General Populace Main Herald's Page