MAY 2002

This is the May 2002 Middle Kingdom Letter of Acceptances and Returns for Escutcheon’s March 2002 letter. Unless otherwise noted, all clients will accept changes. {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. Thanks to AElfreda aet AEthelwealda, Mikhail of Lubelska, Aryanhwy merch Catmael, Knut, Thorvald Redhair, Etienne le Couteau des Roches, Kevin Ambrozijwski, Phebe Bonadeci, Dunstan Bramblette, and John ap Wynne for their commentary this month.}

Greetings to all of you. I know I am not a new face to anyone, but a few brief words about where I’ve been and where I’m going. I have been a member of the SCA for 19 years and a member of the Midrealm College of Heralds for nearly 10 years. I spent the first couple of years I was in the SCA blissfully unconcerned with heralds and considered them all to be a bunch of “geeks.” But after watching my device submission get mishandled in three different kingdoms over a five year period (and paying my submission fees three times to “enjoy” such a spectacle), I gained a much stronger interest in the heralds. While I could have joined the multitudes of people who complain about SCA heraldry, I decided that the best way to make a difference would be to join them and foment revolution from within. My revolution’s ideology is simple: no one should ever go through what I had to go through to get a device registered. Mistakes and Life certainly do happen, but we all owe our clients a professional 100%. I now return you to your regularly scheduled ILoAR.

Please note that my email address has changed to goldschp@mailbag.com. While I can still check goldschp@yahoo.com, I don’t do so very often.

1) Aylwin Thoraldson. New Device.
Per chevron azure and sable, a celtic cross and in base a decrescent and an increscent argent.

(Name reg’d 5/98)

Device Commentary

Knut: I would prefer to see the cross bolder with more distinct side and top arms. Looks clear.
Etienne, et al: OK

2) Elizabeth de Nevell. New Name and Device. Gules a swan naiant sinister in chief three quills bendwise or.

Elizabeth is found in Withycombe (47) and in Scott, "A List of Feminine Personal Names Found in Scottish Records" (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/talan/scottishfem/), which dates the name to 1467 and 1571. The locative byname is listed in the surnames section of "13th & 14th Century Scottish Names" (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/symonFreser/scottish14/). She care most about the sound and having an authentic 14th-16th century lowland Scots name.

The device was submitted as a “cygnet naiant” (which the client specifically stated was what she wanted it to be) but the drawing is clearly an adult swan and, as we do not register baby animals anyway, we have corrected the blazon. {The “cant” that the client referred to is a reference to the Pict Dict under “swan” that notes that the bird was sometimes blazoned as a “cygnet” for canting purposes – obviously, when the blazon would have been a cant. Apparently, the client misunderstood this to mean that the blazon by itself was a cant. For this reason, I am even more comfortable with changing the blazon to “swan.”}

Name Commentary

Ary: [de Nevell] is indeed listed in the surnames portion of "13th & 14th Century Scottish Names" (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/symonFreser/scottish14/). [Elizabeth] is dated to 1467 and 1571 in "A List of Feminine Personal Names Found in Scottish Records" by Talan Gwynek (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/talan/scottishfem/).
Etienne, et al: Elizabeth is found in Withycombe p.47. The site the client is referring to is: http://www.s-abriel.org/names/symonFreser/scottish14/scottish 14_sur.html.

Device Commentary

Ary: I fail to see how "cygnet" is a cant on [Nevell], which means "new ville/new town." Regardless of whether or not the client wants to keep the blazon, it'll have to be changed for two reasons: one, this is not a cygnet, but a swan, and two, if it was a cygnet, it would not be registerable. From the precedents of Alisoun: "We do not register baby animals: a bear is a bear is a bear, the precise depiction is left to the artist. (LoAR Aug 88, p. 22)".
A+ M: Blazon correction: "Gules, a cygnet naiant and in chief, three quills bendwise sinister Or."
Knut: The gules looks somewhat tenne to me. Considering that the same shade shows up in item 9 below, I am presuming that this is an electronic artifact and doesn't accurately represent the emblazon. Clear.
Thorvald: Suggest reblazoning to Gules, a cygnet naiant and in chief three quills bendwise sinister Or.
Etienne, et al: OK

3) Faílenn ingen Tigernaig. New Name.

Submitted as Failenn ingen Tigernaig, we have added the accent. O'Corráin & Maguire (93) note that there are two saints called Faílenn. It was also the name of a daughter of a king of Cashel, Faílbe Flann (c637/9). Ibid (170) mentions a number of saints called Tigernach, including one who died in 1088. Tigernaig would be the appropriate early-period genitive of the name. She will accept changes and would like to have an authentic 14th century Irish Celt name.

Name Commentary

Ary: The particle [ingen] should not be capitalized. Escutcheon - it's not enough just to state what pages in what books elements are found in, we need to know what the book says about these names, most specifically - are the elements dated? O'Corrain & Maguire (s.n.) Fai/lenn (note accent) say that there are two saints of this name. It is also the name of a daughter of a king of Cashel, Fai/lbe Flann (c.637/9). OC&M s.n. Tigernach mention a number of saints by this name, including one who died in 1088. [Tigernaig] would be the appropriate early-period genitive of the name. According to "Lenition in Gaelic Orthography" (http://www.medievalscotland.org/scotlang/lenition.shtml), lenition in was shown in pre c.1200 orthography, so this name as a whole should be .
Etienne, et al: OK
John: Failenn: see Lareto Todd, Celtic Names for Children (114), Woulfe (18).
Tigernaig: see O’Corran/Maguire (170-171), Woulfe (37), Todd (158), Conway (159), MacLysaght (286)

{*) Giles M’Cormick. New Name and Device. Argent, on a chief vert three martlets argent.

The client’s name and device are being pended as the client already has a registered name (Conchobar mac Gabhan [reg’d 10/98]) and device (Vert, a bend sinister between six acorns argent [6/99]) and the client has not indicated how he wishes to dispose of these.

{Giles is found in “ Early 16th Century Scottish Lowland Names” by Sharon L. Krossa http://www.medievalscoitland.org/scotnames/lowland16/menalpha.shtm . M’Cormick is one of the names listed in ‘Papers Relating to the Murder of the Laird of Calder” published by the Scottish History Society. The papers are letters and court dispositions concerning a murder arising from a feud in the area of Lochnell around 1591, and are dated from sometime in 1591 to 1596. http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~grm/calder.htm. He will accept changes and prefers an authentic 16th century lowland Scot name. }

Name Commentary

Ary: Lovely name! It would be nicer to have more solid docs for the surname, though - the URL on the LoI gives a 404 not found error. Black s.n. MacCormack is unfortunately not very helpful: the earliest date that he gives for the [M'-] forms is 1696. The only dated form listed is [McCormok] 1478. However, s.n. MacCorquodale, there is a [M'Corcadill] dated to 1573, so [M'Cormok] by analogy may be a reasonable form. Further evidence for this form can be found s.n. MacCosh, with [M'Cosh] dated to 1513.
Etienne, et al: Wow, primary docs.
John: Giles: actually, it’s Norman French. But, that’s OK. We all know the Normans made it to Ireland. The Gaelic stem “gille” means ‘servant’ or ‘follower’; see any grammar book. At any rate, the client’s source is okay. M’Cormick: the surname wasn’t commonly apostrophied, but it was indeed done at times. As for the name itself, see Robert Bell, Ulster Surnames (145), Black (476), or David Dorwood, Scottish Surnames (206-207)

Device Commentary

Knut: Clear, including against other peripheral ordinaries.
Ary: No conflict. Closest I found was Eleonor von Lu:beck (reg. 06/96 via the West), "Lozengy argent and vert, a chief vert," with one CD for the field, and one for the martletts.
A+M: This device is a simple case, and therefore should be clear of Hathewisse atte Mere (reg 9/96) "Argent ermined vert, on a chief vert three crosses formy argent."
Etienne, et al: OK

4) Kolfinna inn barnakarl. New Name.

Kolfinna is found in Haraldsson (12) and barnakarl (“friend to children”) in ibid (19). She will NOT accept MAJOR changes to the name. One internal commentator noted that the nickname does not require an article. While dropping the element seems like a good choice, we are not sure if dropping the article is “major” or not, so we are kicking it up a level.

Name Commentary

Ary: [Kolfinna] is in Geirr Bassi as cited. [barnakarl] is also, but it is listed without the definite article, which should therefore be dropped to match the documented form.
Etienne, et al: OK

5) Llewelyn ap Hywel. New Device. Vert, a fox passant argent, on a chief triangular Or, a mullet of four points sable.

(Name reg’d 6/98)

{To all: the mini is poorly drawn, the chief is meatier in the large emblazon}

Device Commentary

Knut: [a caltrap vs. a mullet of four points] Since a mullet of four points is not a period charge... (Garmon Woodworth, 6/97 p. 11) Precedents - Jaelle under Mullet & Estoile & Sun One step from period practice - Should the mullet of four be considered a weirdness? Clear.
Ary: Device. This needs to be redrawn. The chief is way too small, and not nearly triangular enough. Additionally, a properly drawn passant would have two feet, not just one, off the ground.
Etienne, et al: feed the chief. mullet is too small. put the fox on a diet.

{*) SKerrstrand. New Branch Name.

This is being returned for the lack of a designator.

{ “Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic” http://www.midhnottsol.org/zoega/index.html , sker= rock, strond/ strand= shore. Also Introduction to Old Norse, E.V Gerdan, published by Oxford University Press (1957 edition).}

Name Commentary

Ary: See Admin Handbook Appendix B
(http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/admin.html#APPENDIX_B): "Appendix B - Standard Designations for Society Branches.” The following designations have been defined as standard in Corpora and may be used by Society branches meeting the requirements for that particular type of branch as stated in Corpora:
This branch name doesn't include any of the standard designators, and so one needs to be added or it needs to be returned. Also, is [SKerrstrand] a typo for [Skerrstrand]? Where does the second [r] come in? Do we have evidence that "rock shore" is an appropriate formation for an Old Norse place name?
Etienne, et al: We don't know enough about Old Icelandic naming practices.

6) Terryl MacAodhagáin. New Name {and Device. Per bend purpure and sable, a castle within a bordure embattled argent.}

Submitted without the accent, we have added it. Terryl is the client’s modern name (a copy of their driver’s license was provided). MacAodhagáin is found as a medireview family name in Ó Corráin & Maguire (14). The anglicized name would be Egan, MacEgan or Keegan, but the client prefers the early Gaelic version of the surname.

{The device is being returned for conflict with Der Thommain Breathnach (Per saltire purpure and vert, a tower within a bordure embattled argent [reg’d 5/91]). There is one difference for the field, but none between a tower and a castle.}

Name Commentary

Ary: I take it this client is feminine? It is nice to note on the LoIs what gender the submitter is, or what gender name the client is interested in. The early period Gaelic surname meaning "daughter of Aodhagan" would be [ingen A/educa/in]. [A/educa/n] is listed as the early period form of [Aodhaga/n] in OCM, which notes that "this name was widely used in early Ireland and gave rise to the surname Mac Aodhaga/in (Mc Egan) - the outstanding legal family of medireview Ireland." I'm not entirely sure that even [Terryl ingen A/educa/in] would be registerable, since it has two weirdnesses: 1) using the modern name allowance, and 2) combining Gaelic and anglicized elements in the same name. While both of these on their own are allowable, the two combined might not be. However, [Terryl neyn Egan], a fully anglicized form, would no longer be early period, or Gaelic, and so would be against her wishes. It would be nice if Escutcheon had summarized in the LoI which boxes, etc. had been checked, to help determine what the best route with this name might be.
Etienne, et al: MacAodhagain is found in O'Corran & Maguire p.14. No date is given. It just says "Medireview."
John: Since it’s client’s legal name, he’s entitled to it, see the book of rules. MacAodhagain: see MacLysaght (96).

Device Commentary

Knut: There's no heraldic difference between a tower and a castle. [See also Irwyn of Hartwich, same leter, pg. 21, Sela nic a'Phearsoin of Clan Chattan, January, 1993, LoAR, pg. 29, and Maelgwn McCain, August, 1993 LoAR, pg. 20] (Konner MacPherson, October, 1992, pg. 27) Precedents - Bruce under Castle and Tower Der Thommain Breathnach -- The following device associated with this name was registered in May of 1991 (via Calontir):Per saltire purpure and vert, a tower within a bordure embattled argent. CD Field, No CD for castle vs tower - Conflict

A+M: Device: From the Precedents of Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme: "There's no heraldic difference between a tower and a castle. [See also Irwyn of Hartwich, same leter, pg. 21, Sela nic a'Phearsoin of Clan Chattan, January, 1993, LoAR, pg. 29, and Maelgwn McCain, August, 1993 LoAR, pg. 20] (Konner MacPherson, October, 1992, pg. 27)" Also, from Dame Elsbeth's armory precedents: "While a castle is not significantly different from either a tower or a bridge, there is little history of identification between a tower and bridge, unlike that between a tower and a castle. Neither is there a strong visual similarity between a tower and a bridge as there is between a castle and a bridge. Thus we find that there is a CD between a tower and bridge. [Michael Gillean of Blackwater Keep, 08/99, A-Æthemearc]"
As such, we find conflict with Der Thommain Breathnach (reg 5/91) "Per saltire purpure and vert, a tower within a bordure embattled argent." There is one CD for changing the field, but none for tower versus castle.

Thorvald: Consider Per saltire purpure and vert, a tower within a bordure embattled argent. (D: Der Thommain Breathnach - May 91) We count a point of difference for the field, but suspect there is no difference between a tower and a castle.
Etienne, et al: OK

{*) Toirdhealbhach Mac an tSionnaigh. Device Resubmission. Per pale azure and gules, an eagle displayed enflamed Or between three crescents argent.

(Name reg’d 6/98)

This is being returned for redrawing. As just about everyone noted, this resubmission does not improve upon the original, but actually makes identifiability even harder.

{Original submission was returned by Rouge Scarpe, because the client had the eagle drawn fimbriated of flame or, which was prohibited by Laurel since May 1995. This resubmission is reblazoned and drawn per Lady Aryanhwy merch Catmael’s suggestion in her letter of return.}

Device Commentary

Knut: [concerning internal detailing] ... A displayed eagle has the profile of the head, both wings, both legs, and the tail all lying directly on the field... Any posture that obscures some limbs (such as sejant), or which does not show the profile of the head (such as guardant) should generally be drawn with some internal details. So should any charge in an uncommon or confusing posture, like a lion sejant erect affronty, or an escallop fesswise. Any charge whose outline identifiability is compromised by some other portion of the design, such as a partially low-contrast field or an overall charge, will benefit from some internal details.[08/01, CL] Online Precedents Wreath under identifiability (http://home.earthlink.net/~mranc/sca/wreath.html) This Eagle is unidentifiable. While ragged depictions of eagles do exist, they are still obviously feathered. The legs are not apparent. The jagged outline combines with poor proportions to further reduce identifiability. The enflaming is not identifiable either. Unfortunately, if the enflaming was shown in a reasonable manner, it would compromise the identifiability of the eagle.
This eagle needs to be well drawn with signifigant internal detailing if it is to be recognizable with enflaming of the same tincture.
Clear but return for redraw.
[returning a fox rampant...its tail flames...] Charges or, as here, parts of a charge "of flames" do not appear to be period style and tend to create the kind of visual confusion which heraldry normally attempts to avoid. (Hannah Cameron, 5/95 p. 11) Precedents - Daúd 2.2 under Flames & Enflamed If this was an attempt to get an eagle of flames, return for violating RfS VII7a - Identifiability.

Ary: Whatever I said back when I was Opinicus, I didn't mean this. The flames are nearly unrecognizable, and this is not a properly drawn enflamed. It needs to, unfortunately, be returned for redrawing again.

Thorvald: Suggest reblazon to Per pale azure and gules, an eagle displayed contourney enflamed Or between three crescents argent. However, we would not really call this enflamed, as that implies an eagle on flames. This has tufts of flames.

Etienne, et al: Brooke-Little describes flames as having tongues. Does the larger version have tongues? Is that enough to return it for a redraw?

Done by my hand this 12th day of May,
Paul Wickenden of Thanet, Rouge Scarpe
Paul W Goldschmidt
3071 Cimarron Trail
Madison WI 53719

-->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 (Angharad Rhos Tewdwr of Pembroke) and the Rouge Scarpe Herald (Paul Wickenden of Thanet) who have based the information published here on publicly-available documentation.