MIDDLE KINGDOM
LETTER OF ACCEPTANCES AND RETURNS

SEPTEMBER 2001


This is the Middle Kingdom Letter of Acceptances and Returns for Escutcheon's August 2001 letter. Comments in braces {} were removed from the Letter of Intent sent to Laurel and the College of Arms. Names, devices, or badges in braces have been returned or pended; general comments or replies to commentary are also placed in braces.

Many thanks to Hinach ben Josef, Pendar the Bard (Rampart), Mikhail of Lubelska, Ælfreda æt Æthelwealda, Julie Stampnitzky, Etienne le Couteau des Roches, Phebe Bonadeci, Hunydd Wreic Meurik, Dunstan of Grey Gargoyles, and Thorvald Redhair for their commentary this month.





1) Bj{o,}rn Þorkelson - New name & device

Quarterly azure and argent, a raven close wings elevated and addorsed sable maintaining a heart gules.

<Bj{o,}rn> and <Þorkell> are found in Geirr Bassi. <Þorkelson> is the correct patronym formed from <Þorkell>.

Submitted as <Bjorn Thorkelson>, the client cares most about having a Viking name and would like it to be period for that culture. He will NOT accept MAJOR changes. He will NOT accept a holding name.

{As blazoned and as drawn, the field is technically neutral. While there are contrast problems with half the gules heart being on an azure portion of the field, and half the sable raven also being on azure, it is an even enough split that I would be hesitant to return it, so I'm sending it up for Laurel to decide.}



Name commentary



Device commentary

Hinach: The color of the raven appears to me to blend into the azure of the quartered field when looked at from a slight distance. I believe the majority of the sable raven is over the azure part of the field, rather than

the argent, thus forming color on color.



Rampart: Blazon-fu: Quarterly azure and argent, a raven rising wings elevated and addorsed sable, maintaining a heart gules. No conflicts found. The closest were: Sancia Lafond Freyser de Cameron (1/00

An Tir): (Fieldless) An ibis rising wings displayed sable maintaining an ankh Or. 1 CD for fieldless, 1 CD for wings displayed, probably 1 CD for type as well. Alyna Duchez (9/95 Middle): Argent, a raven rising wings elevated and addorsed sable beaked and membered gules maintaining in its dexter claw a heart sable all within a bordure nebuly azure. 1 CD for the field, 1 CD for the bordure, nothing for the maintained object. It's awfully similar and they're both from the Midrealm. Are they related? Padraic the Fierce (8/92 Caid): Per pale and per saltire embowed counter-embowed argent and azure, a raven rising, wings addorsed, and a bordure sable. 1 CD for changes to the field, 1 CD for the bordure. There were others that had 1 CD for changes to the field, 1 CD for type of bird.



Æ&M: We are unsure how to blazon the bird's posture, but our guess is "close, wings elevated and addorsed."



Julie: Reblazon as "Quarterly azure and argent, a raven sable maintaining a heart gules."



Thorvald: This raven's wings look elevated and addorsed to us.





{*) Custance the Whimsical - New name

No evidence was provided and none could be found for <the Whimsical> as an appropriate English byname. The earliest that <whimsical> is found in the OED is 1653, which is beyond even our gray period.

If the client would like to consider a different surname with a similar meaning, we recommend a form of <Mirth>, from the Old English <myrgð> 'joy, pleasure.' It is found as <Mirthe> 1279, <Merthe> 1275, and <Mirthe> 1327 in Reaney and Wilson s.n. <Mirth>.}



Name commentary

Hinach: Custance is dated to 1561 in Withycombe (72). "the Whimsical" is merely identified as a descriptive byname with no citation or dating. Withycombe also dates Custance to 1273 and 1379, as well as the 1561 in the client's documentation. The byname "the Whimsical" appears to be based on usage which did not occur until after 1600. Whimsical appears in the OED, vol. XX, p. 236, with several different definitions, the earliest of which is dated to 1653. A slightly earlier example of whimsey is dated to 1605.



While it might be possible to argue that whimsy and whimsical were used prior to 1600, although not found in documented literature, referring to someone as the whimsical is considerably less plausible.



Rampart: I did find Custance in Withycombe on page 72 dated by citation to 1273. You need to note that it is found under the header Constance. In the text it notes that it was brought to England by the Normans and is anglicized Custance, which was found _as late as_ 1561. The earliest citation of Whimsical in the OED is dated to 1653, just past our grey area. None of the citations use it as a descriptive element for an individual. It is not likely to be registerable as a byname. Reaney and Wilson, page 311, under the heading Mirth, have Alexander Mirthe 1279 RH (C); Peter Merthe 1275 SRWo; William Mirthe 1327 SRY. OE myrgð 'joy, pleasure'. Any of those would go wonderfully with the dated citation from her given name.



Æ&M: The earliest citation of "whimsical" in the OED was dated to 1653. There are related terms "whimsy" and "whimsied", both in period. There is also the somewhat related term "capricious", see meaning #2.



From the Oxford English Dictionary SECOND EDITION 1989 (Online Version) , whimsy, whimsey, n. (a.)

2. A wench. Obs. rare.

1614 B. JONSON Barth. Fair II. iv, And shall we ha' smockes Vrsla, and good whimsies, ha? a1625 FLETCHER Bloody Brother IV. ii, You'l pick a bottle open, or a whimsey, As soon as the best of us.



whimsied, pa. pple. or a. Obs. rare.

Filled with whims; made whimsical.

1624 FLETCHER Rule a Wife II. i, To have a mans brains whimsied with his wealth. 1628 FORD Lover's Mel. II. ii, You are but a little staring there's difference betweene staring and starke mad. You are but whymsed, yet crotchetted, conundroun'd, or so. 1835 WILLIS Pencillings I. xxiii. 162 A whimsied madman.



capricious, a.

1. Characterized by play of wit or fancy; humorous, fantastic, 'conceited'. Obs.

1594 CAREW Huarte's Exam. Wits 153 (L.) The inventive wits are termed in the Tuscan tongue capricious (capriciuso) for the resemblance they bear to a goat, who takes no pleasure in the open and easy plains, but loves to caper along the hill-tops. 1600 SHAKES. A.Y.L. III. iii. 8, I am heere with thee, and thy Goats, as the most capricious Poet honest Ouid was among the Gothes.

2. Full of, subject to, or characterized by caprice; guided by whim or fancy rather than by judgement or settled purpose; whimsical, humoursome.

1605 CAMDEN Rem. 57 A friend of his that knew him to be Caprichious. 1644 Eng. Tears in Harl. Misc. (Malh.) V. 450 The monstrous exorbitant liberty, that almost every capricious mechanick takes to himself.



Julie: The given name is great, but the byname is a problem. The OED only dates "whimsical" to 1653 (and "whimsy" to 1605).





2) Érennach ingen uí Rónaín - Name resubmission {& device resubmission

Argent vetu ploye azure, a domestic cat couchant contourny vert}

The client's previous submission, <Erinn inghean ui Ronain>, was returned by Rouge Scarpe on 6/00 for usually the largely undocumentable given name, <Erinn>. The client has followed Rouge Scarpe's suggestion and adopted <Érennach> instead. It is found in Tangwystyl's "Early Irish Feminine Names Found in O'Brien" (http://www.panix.com/~mittle/ names/tangwystyl/obrien). She has also adopted the grammar suggested by Rouge Scarpe who documented it as follows: The grammar of <ingen uí> is explained in Effrick's "Quick and Easy Gaelic By-Names" (http://ww w.stanford.edu/~skrossa/medievalscotland/scotnames/quickgaelicbynames/). The final element is found in Tangwystyl's "100 Most Popular Men's Names in Early Medieval Ireland" (http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names /tangwystyl/irish100) and is the pre c1200 spelling of the phrase meaning "female descendent of." The client cares most about language and wants to have an authentic 11th century Irish name.

{The problems with the original device still stand. As stated, last time, as drawn, the cat violates the precedents of 9/92 and 10/92 barring Celtic knotwork style armory. We suggest that the submitter considers redrawing the cat in a less Celtic style when she resubmits. Making the tail a more normal length for a domestic cat and making the cat more couchant than it is would help clear the problems. Additionally, the cat is missing a hind leg; this should be added.

To Etienne & crew: The ban on Celtic-style knotwork comes from the fact that we have absolutely no evidence that this motif was used in period armory; barring such evidence, we will not register it. Knots, on the other hand, such as Cavendish knots, weaver's knots, and other forms of knots are different beasts of their own. Such knots are found as charges in period armory, and they are that: charges, not artistic license.}



Name commentary

Etienne & crew: Name is OK.



Device commentary

Hinach: The tail is way too long for a domestic cat. It is obviously being used for some sort of decorative pattern. With the green color and the association with the name, some sort of celtic pattern can be presummed.



Rampart: That's contourny, not countourney. The cat is not at a tournament. :) No conflicts found. The

closest was: Khurrem of Manisa (7/97 Meridies): Or vetu ployé vert ermined Or, a cat sejant to sinister vert. 1 CD for changes to the field, 1 CD for posture of the cat. I do not believe this particular cat is reproducable from the blazon. I'd call it statant...but it's missing a hind leg. And the way the tail is interwoven with the front legs is also not blazonable. Return for a redraw.



Æ&M: The cat appears to be closer to statant than couchant, as the body is not on the ground, and the legs, although bent, are still being stood upon.



Etienne & crew: Device is Knot. Knotwork has been banned per a previous Laurel Precedent. Client should be advised to resubmit without the knotwork and after it passes, add it as "artistic embellishment." Incidentally, why is there a ban on knotwork and why didn't this apply to the Award of the Cavandish Knot?



Thorvald: Because of the tail, we doubt this emblazon could be reproduced from the blazon.  The cat also looks more statant than couchant.





3) Leolin Gofar - New badge.

[Fieldless] An otter head couped gules, muzzled argent

Name reg'd 7/99



Badge commentary

Rampart: Hrmmm. I'm not positive that I'd identify that as an otter's head from across the field, so I checked under Head-Beast-Badger, -Cat, -Dog, and -Marten. The closest was a lion's head, which is visually distinct from this. Just to be thorough I also looked under ship parts for Drakkar prows. No conflicts found.





{*) Mertyn Wolfger von Hillesheim - Device resubmission

Argent, in fess a spearhead gules between two wolves combatant sable, a chief embattled azure.

Name reg'd 11/00

The client's previous submission, "Argent, a spearhead gules between two wolves combatant sable, a chief embattled and a base embattled azure," was returned by Rouge Scarpe on 7/00 for redrawing and conflict with Ian Grandchamp, "Azure, on a fess embattled counter-embattled argent, a castle sable." The client has removed the base to clear the conflict.

Unfortunately, this needs to be returned for redrawing again. The embattlements on the chief are far too small and numerous. A properly drawn embattled chief on an escutcheon this size should have at most four or five embattlements.}



Device commentary

Rampart: The wolves and the spearhead clearly have equivalent visual weight, so reblazon: Argent, in fess a spearhead gules between two wolves combatant sable, a chief embattled azure. This makes the wolves and the spearhead co-primaries and significantly reduces the number of possible conflicts. No conflicts found. You have to put the "in fess" in the blazon. Otherwise the spearhead is assumed to be the primary charge group and the wolves the secondary. Including "in fess" gives them all equivalent weight.



Æ&M: If a spearhead follows the same default as an arrowhead, i.e. point to base, this should be blazoned "a spearhead inverted".



Julie: The wolves are drawn almost as large as the spearhead, so I think they must be co-primaries. Reblazon "Argent, in fess a spearhead gules between two wolves combattant sable, a chief embattled azure."



Etienne & crew: Agree that embattling needs to be larger





4) Rowena de Montacute - Device resubmission

Per chevron throughout ploye vert and argent, in pale three oak leaves fesswise vert

Name reg'd 2/98

The client's previous submission, "Per chevron throughout ploye argent and vert, three oak leaves counterchanged," was returned by Laurel on 1/01 for conflict with Aldrydd Ffestiniog, "Per chevron argent and vert, two oak leaves and a war-hammer counterchanged."



Device commentary

Rampart: I have to assume that you got the tinctures on the field wrong, otherwise you'd have green leaves on a green field. Per chevron throughout ploy{e'} vert and argent, in pale three oak leaves fesswise vert. No conflicts found.



Æ&M: As blazoned, this is color on color. Conflict was checked as if the leaves were argent. If not, there may be a conflict.



Thorvald: We are assuming that the blazon is a typo, since it indicates vert on vert.





5) Safia al-Zarqa' bint 'abd al-Jaleel - Name & device resubmission

Azure, a lily, a bordure argent semy of crescents

The client's previous submission, <Safia al-Zarqa' bint Jaleel>, was returned by Rouge Scarpe on 7/01 for the incorrect grammar of the last element. The client has adopted Rouge Scarpe's suggested revisions.

<Safia> and <al-Zarqa'> are found in Da'ud's "Arabic Naming Practices and Period Names List," (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/daud/ arabic-naming/). <Safia> is a feminine given name and <al-Zarqa'> means "blue-eyed." <'abd al-Jaleel> means "servant of Ya Jaleel (O Glorious)." This name and construction is found in Mustapha's "One Hundred Most Beautiful Names of God," (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/ mustapha/cnamesofgod.html).

The client's previous identical device submission was returned with the name.



Name commentary



Device commentary

Rampart: You can replace the three words "semy of crescents" with the single blazon term "crescenty". Nice name and device. No conflicts found.



Etienne & crew: Adjust size of bordure. Lilly is too small. It needs mulch.





6) Víkingr Járnhauss inn Hárlangi - New name change & new device change

Per pale gules and vert, a chaine shot Or

Name reg'd 4/91

The client's current name, <Alan Járnhauss inn Hárlangi>, was reg'd 4/91. <Víkingr> is found as a given name in Geirr Bassi. The rest of the name is grandfathered. The client will NOT accept MAJOR or MINOR changes.

The client includes documentation for the charge from the arms of Cumberland, found in Gwillim (which is, itself, dated to 1611). If this device is registered, the client would like his current device, "Per pale gules and vert, two chains in saltire debrusied by a cartouche fesswise Or" [reg'd 2/97], changed to a badge. In Parker's Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry under shot, two types are mentioned, one being the 'star stone, as it is sometimes called from its appearance...possibly the chain shot is synonymous-called by Guillim 'a murdering chain shot.'" One of the commenters with access to Parker says that the picture in the margin is nearly identical to what the client has submitted.



Name commentary



Device commentary

Rampart: The line of division is missing from the mini emblazon. In A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry by James Parker under SHOT http://www04.u-page.so -net.ne.jp/ta2/saitou/ie401/Jpglosss.htmm#Shot, we find "Shot: there are one or two names given to the kinds of shot used. The star stone, as it is sometimes called from its appearance, is figured in the margin. Possibly the chain shot is synonymous--called by Guillim 'a murdering chain shot.'" The picture in the margin is virtually identical to what Vikingr has submitted. More power to him for increasing the SCA's repetoire of charges. No conflicts found.



Etienne & crew: Line of division is not clear. We believe client is a Knight and chain is not presumptuous.





7) Víkingr Járnhauss inn Hárlangi - New badge

[Fieldless] A chaine shot Or

Name reg'd 4/91

The client includes documentation for the charge from the arms of Cumberland, found in Gwillim (which is, itself, dated to 1611). If this device is registered, the client would like his current device, "Per pale gules and vert, two chains in saltire debrusied by a cartouche fesswise Or" [reg'd 2/97], changed to a badge. In Parker's Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry under shot, two types are mentioned, one being the 'star stone, as it is sometimes called from its appearance...possibly the chain shot is synonymous-called by Guillim 'a murdering chain shot.'" One of the commenters with access to Parker says that the picture in the margin is nearly identical to what the client has submitted.



Badge commentary

Rampart: Ditto.



Done by my hand this 10th day of October,

Aryanhwy merch Catmael, Rouge Scarpe

Sara L. Friedemann
150 Langdon #B2
Madison, WI 53703
sfriedemann@students.wisc.edu


Disclaimer: This page is not officially sanctioned by the SCA, Inc., the Middle Kingdom, or the MK College of Heralds. It is a private project of the Escutcheon Herald (Paul Wickenden of Thanet) who has based the information published here on publicly-available documentation.