Greetings unto all who read these words from Lord Alan Fairfax, Rouge Scarpe Herald,

This is the Middle Kingdom Letter of Acceptances and Returns for Escutcheon's June 1998 Letter of Intent. 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.

I would like to thank Lord Thorvald Redhair and Lord Percival ap Gwilym Trefanwy, who have resumed commenting this month, as well as Lord Eirik Banna, Lady Mhorag nighean Dhuibhghiolla, Master John ap Wynne, Lady Aryanhwy Prytydes merch Catmael Caermyrdin, Lord Mikhail of Lubelska Lady Ælfreda æt Æthelwealda, and Doré van der Zee. I would also like to thank Lady Phebe Bonadeci, Lord Kevin Ambrjzwski, and Lady Andra de Louvain for helping in the preparation of the letter.

It may come as a surprise to see 26 items on the LoAR when there were only 18 on the IloI. Some of these come from items that were pended in previous months. Also, we are receiving Ealdormere's submissions from Green Mantle Herald and putting them onto this letter. If you haven't seen a submission before, it comes from Ealdormere.

Whenever I have an odd number of pages, I will include some bit of information to fill up the last page. This month, it's a list of 13th-century French names for men and women.

1) Aislinne of Alainmor--New Device

Argent vetu vert, on a pomme a dove statant guardant maintaining a threaded needle argent.

The client's name was registered 2/90.

We realize that the pomme is rather small. This was originally blazoned Vert, on a rustre a dove…. Since the corners of the "rustre" touch the edges of the field, we have reblazoned it.

{2) Artemisia of Nicaea--Device Resubmission

Purpure, on a sun Or eclipsed purpure a rose slipped and leaved argent.

The client's name was registered 9/96. Her previous submission, Purpure, on a sun Or a natural dolphin hauriant contourny azure, was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 5/96 for conflict.

This was blazoned as a sun voided. A voided sun would show just the outline of the sun, and would be prohibited since only simple geometric charges can be voided.

This is a sun eclipsed, which is allowed. However, according to a precedent from 8/93, a sun eclipsed cannot be charged. (Precedents of Bruce Draconarious of Mistholme, s. Sun). Therefore, we are returning this device.}

3) Ashford-on-Avon, Canton of--New Group Name and Device

Per bend sinister wavy argent and azure, in chief an ash sprig within a laurel wreath vert, in base a swan naiant argent.

The client's documentation includes a picture of an ash sprig, which appears as they have drawn it.

4) Christiana de Avochelie--Device Resubmission

Argent, a stone sable and on a bordure argent six crosses fleury argent.

The client's name was registered by Laurel in 8/97. {Her previous device, Azure, a shakefork between a Celtic cross in chief, a length of chain, and a fleur-de-lys Or was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 4/97 for slot-machine and incorrect depiction of a shakefork.}

While there is reason to be concerned about the identifiability of the stone, it was difficult to imagine what a submitter with average drawing ability and a set of markers could have done to make this more obviously a stone. The drawing in the PicDic takes advantage of shading which would be difficult for most people to do on a black charge!

{This is clear of Blaise de Clairvaux, Argent, a crane in its vigilance sable and a bordure azure semy-de-lys argent, because a stone is completely different from a crane.}

5) Conal Ó hAirt--Device Resubmission

Gyronny arrondi of six argent and gules, a winged wolf sable maintaining a sword inverted proper.

The client's name was registered in 9/96. His original device, Gyronny arrondi of six argent and gules, in dexter chief a hart sable, was returned by Laurel in 9/96 for redrawing.

{It is true that the blade of the sword has no contrast at all with the field. However, since the sword is not considered to be a significant element in the arms, this should not be a problem.}

6) David de Lindsay--New Name {and Device

Per pale embattled azure and vert, a badger sejant contourny argent maintaining a thistle Or.}

David is dated to 1196 in Withycombe, 80. Lindsay is found in Black, 430 and Reaney & Wilson, 280.

{We are returning the device for poor contrast. When a field is divided with a complex line between two colors or two metals, we have to make something of a judgment call. In this case, the badger obscures the line of division almost completely, so that it is almost impossible to see that the division line is embattled.

We assume that the badger is holding a thistle to indicate that the client is Scottish. The thistle was a royal badge of the King of Scotland, and was not associated with "Scottishness" in general until well after our period. Thistles are actually extremely rare in Scottish heraldry. In general, national symbols weren't incorporated into individual heraldry in period.}

7) Ealusaid inghean Fathaigh a Glascu--New Name

{This submission was pended on the 7/98 LoAR.}

Originally submitted as Ealasaid Fahy a Glescu. The client provided no documentation for this name. Ealusaid can be found in a 15th-century Gaelic manuscript in the Scottish National Library, shelf-marked 72.1.1. Fahy can be found in Maclysaght, 102, as the English form of the Gaelic Ó Fathaigh, which can be feminized as inghean ui Fathaigh. The standard patronymic inghean Fathaigh should also be acceptable. Glascu is listed as the Gaelic form of Glasgow in Hogan, Onomasticon Goedelicum.

Although the client does not allow any changes on the form, we have contacted her and she has approved these changes.

8) Eric mac Ewen--New Name and Device

Per pale sable and argent, a theatrical mask within a bordure counterchanged.

Originally submitted as Erc mac Ewen. Erc is a Gaelic name, and so the submission combines Gaelic and English forms within the same name. The client originally desired Eric mac Ewen, and so we have restored the original form.

9) Frederich Holstein der Tollhase--New Device.

Per bend sinister purpure and vert, a cow rampant ermine rising from flames proper.

{These arms were pended in the 7/98 LoAR because the intended tincture of the field was not clear.}

The client's name was submitted to Laurel in 7/98. The blazon on the forms reads per bend sinister azure and vert, but the client has made it clear that he wishes to use the color shown on the large emblazon, which is much closer to purpure.

{9) Frederich Holstein der Tollhase--New Device.

Per bend sinister azure and vert, a cow rampant ermine rising from flames proper.

The blazon on these arms read purpure, and the client actually wants purpure and vert rather than the azure and vert of the large emblazon.

Therefore, we're returning these arms for redrawing.}

10) Gaston d'Aubrecicourt--Device Resubmission

Or, a bear rampant and a bordure sable semy-de-lys Or.

The client's name was submitted to Laurel in 7/98.

{These arms were returned by Rouge Scarpe in 4/98 because the client's original name was returned. Now that the name is in process, we can send this device to Laurel.}

{11) Geniveve Rose D'Glendalough--New Name and Device

Per bend sinister purpure and vert, three roses in bend sinister argent, barbed and seeded proper, and a catamount Or.

The usual spelling Genevieve is found in Withycombe, 127-8. Rose is dated to 1316 in ibid., 258. Glendalough is documented from a modern map of 8th-century towns and monasteries in Ireland.

The client said that she cared most about spelling, but also allowed minor changes to spelling and grammar. Without other evidence, the spelling of the first name and of de will have to be modified to documentable period forms. Because her submission form is ambiguous, we will pend this letter while we contact the client.}

{12) Gwendoline de Lindsay--New Name and Device

Or, a unicorn rampant guardant sable.

Gwendoline is an undocumented spelling variant of Gwendolen, which is found in Gruffudd, 49. Lindsay is found in Black, 430 and Reaney & Wilson, 280.

Gwendoline was registered as recently as 7/93, and it is not an impossible variant. However, since the client does not allow changes to spelling, we are going to pend this submission while we try to get evidence for the spelling, or permission to modify the spelling of the name.

Unfortunately, we must return the device for conflict with Charles Edward Alexander Everman, Ermine, a unicorn rampant sable, armed crined, tufted on the hocks, and unguled gules. There is one CD for the tincture of the field.}

13) Jamie Blackrose--Device Resubmission

Gules, fretty Or, a stag's head caboshed argent and on a chief Or a rose sable, barded and seeded proper.

The client's name was registered in 9/92. The client's original submission, Gules fretty Or, a stag's head cabossed argent and in chief a double rose argent and sable barbed vert, was returned by Laurel in 9/92 for conflict with Audley, Gules fretty Or. Those arms are no longer protected by the SCA, but the redesign would clear that conflict.

According to the precedent set by Laurel in that return, fretty is treated as a charge--which means that this device has a complexity count of nine. However, since the vert of the leaves is insignificant, and a standard element in the heraldic depiction of a rose, we do not feel that the arms are excessively complex.

14) Katherine de Lindsay--New Name and Device

Per pale dovetailed sable and purpure, a unicorn countourny guardant and a thistle argent.

The spelling Katherine is dated to the 16th century in Withycombe, 186. Lindsay is found in Black, 430 and Reaney & Wilson, 280.

Although the field is low-contrast, it is unobstructed and all of the commenters were able to identify it.

15) Micheline Elphinstone--New Device

Azure, a pale between six roses Or.

The client's name was submitted to Laurel in 5/98.

{One commenter raised the issue of a visual conflict with Jeanette of Briarrose, Azure, on a pale between six roses in annulo Or, a white heath tree couped proper, on the grounds that the difference in arrangement between six roses and six roses in annulo would be minimal in this design. We do not think this will be a problem, for two reasons. First, in order for the roses in the other arms to be in annulo, they would have to be much smaller than the roses in this design. Thus, it is highly likely that there is not a great visual similarity between the two. Second, RfX X.5, on visual conflict, says "If the tinctures, shapes, or arrangement of the charges in a submission create an overwhelming visual resemblance to a piece of protected armory, the submission may be held to conflict even if sufficient theoretical difference can be counted between them." We do not see an "overwhelming visual resemblance" between these two devices, and so we are sending this to Laurel.}

16) Midewinde, Shire of--Group Device Resubmission

Per fess azure and gules, an open gate argent and a moon in he plenitude, all within a laurel wreath Or.

The group's name was registered in 2/98. {Their previous device submission, Azure, a castle wall throughout sable, its tower surmounting a bezant, all issuant from a base vert bearing a laurel wreath Or, and in sinister chief a mullet argent, was returned by Rouge Scarpe for numerous reasons in 1/97.}

A petition of support is included.

{This is not slot machine--the laurel wreath is considered to be a secondary charge in this design.}

17) Raffe Scholemaystre-Name Appeal

This client's name was returned in 12/92 for violating RfS VI.1, "Names Claiming Rank." Because Master is a reserved title in the SCA, the name Scholemaystre was ruled to be presumptuous. The text of the rule reads, "Names containing titles, territorial claims, or allusions to rank are considered presumptuous." In that return he quoted his 10/92 return of Sara Annchen Baumeister, in which he wrote, "we will not register any name that claims to be a "Master [anything]."

The client argues that Scholemaystre does not represent a such a claim. He has provided multiple citations for Scholemaystre in various spellings, including one in Courtenay, Schools and Scholars in Fourteenth-Century England, 99. He has also included a quote from Orme, Education in the West of England 1066-1548, which refers to a William Scolemayster and then says, "Whether he was a practicing schoolmaster at the time, or whether 'schoolmaster' was mererly a surname unrelated to his work, is hard to say." This is intended to demonstrate that the name Scholemayster does not make a claim to a title.

He also writes, "I am in NO way making any claim to being a peer; what I wish to do is use my occupation as my surname. The term Scholmaystre was a specific occupational description during period.

I would add that the name Scholemaystre, unlike names such as Baumeister or Master Forester that have been returned by Laurel, does not represent a claim to mastery of an art. In this case, Scholemaystre is, as the client has shown, a neutral occupational term that does not carry any connotation whatsoever of rank or even ability. Given that, it seems entirely reasonable to register the name.

{17) Ramshaven, Barony of--Group Badge Resubmission

Gules, a ram's head caboshed within a bordure argent.

The group's previous badge submission, Gules, a ram's head caboshed argent, was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 4/98 for conflict.

This badge conflicts with Gwyneth verch Macsen Llanon, Gules, a rams head caboshed within a bordure argent charged with mullets gules. There is 1 CD for the addition of the mullets.}

{18) Rebekah d'Achetet--New Name and Device

Per chevron vert and sable, a sword fesswise proper and a standing balance argent.

Rebekah is found in Withycombe, 251. She states that it was not used until after the Reformation, but that is still within our period.

D'Achetet is the client's French translation for "by purchase." For documentation she has provided a page from a French dictionary showing that "acheter" is French for "to buy." However, there is no evidence that Rebekah "by purchase" is a reasonable period name. The intended meaning of the name was not clear to us, and so we can't suggest alternatives.

The device is registerable, but must be returned with the name.}

19) Roland d'Argentan--New Device

Per pale argent and vert, a tower within a bordure counterchanged.

The client's name was submitted to Laurel in 6/98.

20) Rowena of Arundel. New Name and Device

Barry wavy vert and argent, a stag's head erased proper.

{This submission was pended on the 6/98 LoAR.}

Rowena was documented from Withycombe, 259. It is found in Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the British Kings, a well-known medieval "history" of early England. We know that much of the book (including the story of Rowena) is not historical, and there is no evidence that Rowena was used by any real people until the 19th century, when it became popular as the result of its use in Ivanhoe. However, Laurel has ruled that Rowena is "SCA-compatible" and can be registered.

Arundel is recorded in the Domesday Book, although it is not clear under what spelling--commenters using different editions of Domesday found both Arundel and Harundel. Reaney & Wilson, 15, date the spelling Arundel to 1189.

The client asked for corrections to her name. Since Rowena is not a historical name, we cannot offer much in the way of correction.

21) Sigrid Draki--Name and Device Resubmission

Purpure, a dragon countourny Or between three martlets argent.

{The client's original name, Drakka Føroyar was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 12/96 for lack of documentation. Here original device, Purpure, a dragon passant contourny Or, was returned for conflict.}

The client documents her name with citations in a letter from Talan Gwynek. Talan found Sigrid dated to the 14th century in Lind, Norsk-Isländska Dopnamn ock Fingerade Namn, col. 885. Draki is found in Danmarks Gavle Personnavne, part 2, col 220.

The client would like the spelling and grammar of her name corrected for 14th-century Scandinavian practice. She intends Draki to mean "dragon."

22) Simon Justus--New Name and Device

Azure, a saltire couped Or, overall a feather inverted argent tipped sable.

Simon is dated to 1197 in Withycombe, 271. Justus is dated to 1292 in Reaney & Wilson, 258 (s.n. Just).

{The original blazon of the feather was an eagle feather proper. This is not a workable blazon because eagle feathers come in different colors, so that it is not possible to know what is intended by proper. We're not sure whether this blazon will fly, but we'll see what Laurel does with it.}

23) Skallagormr Berserkr--New Device

Per pale sable and azure, a cockroach argent.

The client's name was registered 2/98. The client's current arms, Per pale sable and gules, a frauenadler displayed with human arms maintaining in chief two swords argent, should be released when this is registered.

According to current Laurel precedent, the cockroach is a prohibited charge. In 12/91, the device of Whyt Whey, Argent semy of cockroaches sable, a pomme within a laurel wreath vert, were returned by Laurel under RfS I.2., Offense. At the time Da'ud wrote, "Given the universally negative reaction of the commentors to this semy charge, it is believed that a significant percentage of the populace of the SCA will find this device so offensive as to reduce their enjoyment of and participation in SCA activities."

Although I am not any fonder of cockroaches then the next person (especially since, in my current apartment, I've had the opportunity to encounter them), it is difficult to see how a cockroach meets the criteria of RfS I.2. The rule reads, "no submission will be registered that is detrimental to the educational purposes or good name of the Society, or the enjoyment of its participants because of offense that may be caused, intentionally or unintentionally, by its use." While the cockroach might be unpleasant, is it offensive? Given the mixed response to the original ruling, it seems worthwhile to bring this up again. {We'll see what the College of Arms does with it.}

24) Skallagormr Berserkr for House Red Herring--New Household Name and Badge

A herring naiant gules.

For documentation the client provided the OED, which cites red herring, used as a phrase, to 1460 (it was originally applied to a particular kind of smoked fish).

Normally we would justify a household name of this type by saying that it could be the name of an inn. Red Herring seems like a bit of a stretch as an inn name, but since the phrase is of period origin, we think it is at least possible.

25) TSivia bas Tamara v'Amberview--New Name Change and Device Change Resubmission

Azure, a doe lodged Or gorged of a baronial coronet and chained, on a chief embattled argent a sun in splendor gules.

The client's current name, TSivia bas Tamara of Amberview, were registered in 1/84. She explains that she wishes to use the Hebrew v' rather than the English of in her name.

Her current device, Azure, a camel passant sinister Or, carrying in its mouth three white trilliums proper and chained by the neck to a doe couchant Or, on a chief embattled argent, a sun wavy gules., was registered in 6/82. {Her previous change of device, Azure, a doe lodged proper, collared and chained and on a chief embattled argent a sun in splendor gules, was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 1/98. Unfortunately we do not have a copy of the 1/98 LoAR and so we cannot provide a reason for the return.}

She was made a Court Baroness on 11/12/88.

26) Ursula Johanna Silbernagel--New Name and Device

Purpure, a needle palewise argent threaded Or, a bordure argent.

Ursula is called a common medieval name in Withycombe, 286. Johanna is dated to 1189 in ibid., 177. (We realize that these aren't German sources; the Rouge Scarpe library is still making its way to Chicago.) Silbernagel is dated to 1464 in Brechenmacher, II:614.

{27) Valley of the Three Walls, Canton of--New Group Name and Device

Per fess argent and Or, a fess embattled-counter-embattled between in chief a chalice sable within a laurel wreath vert, and a base embattled sable.

There is no documentation included for this name. We very much doubt that Canton of the Valley of the Three Walls is a plausible place-name. However, Canton of Three Walls should be no problem.

The group does not allow changes, but for most of their unofficial existence they have been commonly referred to as Three Walls, not Valley of the Three Walls. Therefore, we will pend this name, and I'll contact the group to see if they will accept this change.

Congratulations to the commenters who were able to blazon these arms. When I contact the group about the name, I'll talk to them about the arms as well.}

Done the second day of August, being the feast of Saint Eusebius, anno societatis xxxiii.

Alan Fairfax, Rouge Scarpe

Alan Terlep
5401 S. Cornell
Chicago, IL 60615
(773) 324-1366 (after 11am ET)


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.