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 November 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.

Thanks to those who commented this month (despite the holidays!)--Amilia Herteshorn, Lord Mikhail of Lubeska, Lady Ælfreda æt Æthelwealda, Lady Aryanhwy verch Catmael, Lord Godwig Eafrithig, Lord Musa Ibrahim al-Athir, and Lady Julia Argent.

Due to computer problems, I was not able to send out the December 1998 LoAR to commenters until a few days ago. However, the letter was sent to Laurel and the submissions are in process.

{1) Aeron of Martlett's Lair--New Name and Device

Per bend sinister argent and sable, a martlet displayed and a hog statant counterchanged.

Aeron is an undocumented spelling variation of Ahren, which the client documents from Kenyon's Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook. Kenyon's book has numerous errors and no dates, and it is not acceptable documentation--even though the "about the author" blurb states that she "has spent her life studying languages." Beyond that, I wasn't able to find any evidence for either of the spelling changes. On top of that, this name is intended to be 8th-century Irish!

Martlett's Lair is a constructed place-name. (A martlet is a heraldic charge--a small bird without feet). I was unable to find either Martlett or Lair in an English placename, much less an Irish one.

The armory is probably registerable, although it should be noted that martlets in period heraldry are depicted from the side, not displayed.}

2) Aldiana Dragonetti--New Name

Aldiana is dated to 1285 in Mittleman, "Feminine Given Names in Thirteenth Century Perugia," http://www.panix.com/~mittles/names/perugia/perugiaFemAlpha.html. Dragonetti is dated to 1427 in Herlihy & Klapisch-Zuber, "Online Castato of 1427," http://www.stg.brown.edu/ projects/castato. The name was truncated to 10 characters, but since the large majority of names from the Castato end in i, it is highly likely that the name is complete as given. The client wants an Italian name and will not allow major changes.

3) Arabella Jennet Davidson--New Name

Arabella is dated to 1255 in Withycombe, with a comment that it was used at an earlier date in Scotland. The names Gennet and Jonet are both dated to 1521 by Krossa, "Early 16th Century Scottish Town Women's Names" at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/~his016/scotnames/scottownwomen16.html. These two forms demonstrate that Jennet is a plausible construction. Davidson is in Black, 202.

4) Azure Vale, College of--Group Name Resubmission

The client's original name submission, Dragon's Crossing, was returned by Laurel in 10/97. This name is intended to mean "blue valley" in French. The clients will accept any changes to the name in order for it to pass, and have indicated that they would accept any of the following names as alternates if no form of "Azure Vale" is acceptable: Stallion's Crossing, Azure Haven, Lion's Haven, Stallion's Gate, and Azure Stallion.

5) Brigit ingen Thighernáin--New Name

Brigit is in Ó Corráin & Maguire, 36. Thighernáin (pronounced roughly \EE-yer-nan\) is a reasonable attempt at an 11th-century genitive form of Tighearnán. The client wants the name corrected for Irish from around 1100.

6) Christina de Avochelie for Domus Amicorum--New Household Name

This name, literally translated, means "House of Friends" in Latin. There are probably more authentic ways to get across this concept, but I expect the name is registerable.

{7) Clarel the Innocent--New Name and Device

Per bend azure and purpure, a dragon dormant bendwise argent.

Clarel is documented to 1219 at http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/reaneyAG.html. Innocent is an undocumented byname. The client's form is confusing, since it both asks for corrections and forbids them. Instead of guessing about the client's intentions, we will pend this submission and contact the client.

The device is unusual, but the motif of a monster standing on a line of division may be documentable--there are, at least, examples of beasts standing on ordinaries. However, the combination of the background divided azure and purpure, and the unusual pose of the dragon (dormant), make this a very unlikely design even if we can document a dragon sitting on a line of division. As long as we're pending the name, we will investigate this design further as well.}

8) Diarmait Ó Corragáin--New Name and Device

Or, a portcullis gules and on a chief sable three open books Or.

Diarmait is in Ó Corráin & Maguire, 73. Ó Corragáin is in MacLysaght, 61, under Corrigan. A Pennsic worksheet (signed by me) is enclosed.

The device does not conflict with Heinrich von Salza, Or, a portcullis gules with chains conjoined to a chief embattled sable, with 1 CD for the addition of the books and one for the change from a chief to a chief embattled.

9) Duvessa of Movilla--New Name

The client wishes to have the name corrected for 14th-century Irish, but will only allow minor changes. Since the name uses English spellings and an English form, it makes sense to treat this as an Anglicized Irish name.

Duvessa is documented from Coghlan, Book of Irish Names, who says, "the death of one Duvessa O'Farrell was recorded in 1301." Coghlan is not a reliable source, but Ó Corrain & Maguire, 78, say that Dub Essa was a common name in the 13th century.

Normally I would just ignore Coghlan's information, but this is one of the few cases where he provides a date. Based on what we have, it's clear that some form of Duvessa is entirely appropriate for the 14th century, but I'm not sure what it is, or whether we can get to it without making a major change. Therefore, I'm not making any changes to it.

Movilla is a little more complicated. Coghlan says that it is derived from the Gaelic Maghbhile. However, it isn't clear whether this particular Anglicization is period, or whether Coghlan's information is correct. If it is, then this might be a plausible Anglo-Irish name.

Since the client has asked that it be corrected, suggestions for improvements are welcome.

10) Gwendolen de Lindsay--Name and Device Resubmission

Per bend sinister Or and sable, a unicorn rampant guardant and a butterfly counterchanged.

{The client's previous name, Gwendoline de Lindsay, was returned by Rouge Scarpe for spelling changes in 8/98. Gwendolen {is a non-period name that} has been ruled SCA-compatible, {but spelling variants of SCA-compatible names are not registerable.} De Lindsay was dated to 1086 from Moncreiffe of that Ilk, The Highland Clans, in the client's original submssion.

{The client's previous device submission, Or, a unicorn rampant guardant sable, was returned by Rouge Scarpe for conflict in 8/98.}

11) Hakim al-Rashid--Name {and Device} Resubmission

Gules, a mullet argent, on a chief sable two mullets between the horns of two increscents argent.

{The client's previous name, Hassan al-Rashid, was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 11/97 for conflict. This submission clears the conflict.} Hakim is documented from CA #51, The Islamic World, 40. Al-Rashid is documented from ibid., 42.

{The client's previous device, Gules, an increscent and a mullet between sarawil al-futuwwa, was returned by Rouge Scarpe for slot-machine design in 11/97. This design is color-on-color, and must be returned.}

12) Isabella de Corbie--Change of Registered Name and Device

Or, a corbie, wings elevated and addorsed, proper within a bordure embattled per pale sable and gules.

The client is changing her name from the currently registered Madgalen Fairchilde of Corbie Glen (and we are glad!) Isabel is dated to 1273 in Withycombe, 164. De Corbie is dated to 1292 at http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/names/paris.html.

If her device is registered, she would like to release her current device, Per pale ermine and gules, a corbie close sable beaked and membered Or and in chief two roses counterchanged gules and argent. We will instruct the client to feed the bordure.

13) John Black--New Name

Black is a heading in Reaney & Wilson, 46, but this particular spelling is not dated.

14) John le Browne--New Name and Device

Checky gules and argent, three maunches sable.

le Browne is dated to 1318 in Reaney & Wilson, sn "Brown." The client's mundane name is John Brown, but the addition of le is sufficient to differentiate between the two.

{I don't say it often, but--nice armory.}

15) Kurdun þe Pilegrim--Device Resubmission

Gules, on a quadruple mount couped argent, a peregrine falcon rising, wings inverted and addorsed, maintaining in its dexter talon an open book argent.

The client's previous submission, Azure, a peregrine falcon argent, beaked and legged Or, maintaining in its dexter talon an open book argent, was returned by Laurel in 5/98 for lack of forms. The client has chosen to make an entirely new submission.

She documents the quadruple mount with 10 examples from the Züricher Wappenrolle, http://people.delphi.com/ivanor/zroaen0.htm, which dates to the 14th century. She includes an illustration which shows a charge drawn exactly as she has depicted it.

Some internal commenters thought that the quadruple mount looked too much like a crown, and that the device should be returned for that reason. I cannot disagree more strongly. The client documents the nature of her charge quite convincingly. As she says, "since it [the mount] is commonly associated with names ending in stein and burg, it can be assumed to represent a stone or a hill--a mount." She also references Fox-Davies, The Art of Heraldry, 409, to support her argument. She has made a solid case that the charge she's using has nothing to do with a crown.

The scope of SCA heraldry is not limited to English heraldry or artistic design. Her mount is a commonplace charge in German heraldry, and returning it because it looks strange to us would essentially be penalizing the client for our ignorance. That would be both unfair and counter to our stated purpose of encouraging research into medeival heraldry. {I am not only passing the device (if you didn't guess by now) but I think it's an example of the kind of work we are meant to encourage.}

16) Merideth ni Shionnaigh--New Device

Vair, a fox passant gules.

The client's name was registered 5/98. {Her previous device, Per pale azure and argent, a fox's mask counterchanged, was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 12/97 for conflict. It could concievably conflict with Olwen of Trereen Dinas, Ermine, a wolf courant gules, but I do not think that it does.

The precedents of Da'ud ibn Auda say, "We feel that the second CVD can be gained from the change from courant to passant [sic - should be statant as in blazon], as it changes dramatically the position of all the legs. (Much as a CVD is granted for the change from statant to couchant, which effectively only removes the legs.)" (LoAR 11/90 p.9). So there is a difference between courant and statant. Since we don't consider there to be a clear difference between statant and passant, it seems logical to me that we would be consistent and allow a CD for the change in posture from courant to passant.

{Apparently this is the month of good armory.}

17) Morwenna Llyn Llydaw--New Name and Device

Or, on a hurt, a seahorse haurient rising contourney argent.

Morwenna is in Jones, A Welsh Miscellany, 32. Llyn Llydaw is a lake in Wales, according to "A Journey to the Seven Wonders of Wales #3," http://britannia.com/wales/7wonders/wonder3.html. The client wants her name to be authentic for 10th-century Wales. The construction of the name (given name + place name with no connecting word) is documented in Jones, 26.

18) Red Spears, Barony of for Boars Heart, Order of--New Order Name and Badge

(Fieldless) On a heart Or fimbriated gules, a sheaf of three boarspears gules.

The barony's name was registered 4/91. The clients included no documentation, but mentioned other SCA orders with this form (including the Dragon's Heart and the Boars Eye. The OED does not mention "boar," meaning the animal, as a term until 1671, although the expression is used of boar-meat in 1470. The group pursuivant asked that the apostrophe be removed from the name.

{I have changed the blazon of this badge because a voided charge is one in which the color of the field shows through. Since there is no field, saying that the heart is voided makes little sense.}

I expect that this submission will get returned, either because the fimbriation is extremely wide or because the badge practically has four layers. However, since I was unable to find precedents for returns on either of these issues, I am forwarding the badge to the College of Arms.

19) Red Spears, Barony of for l'Épée Rouge, Order of--New Order Name

The barony's name was registered 4/91. They have constructed a modern French translation of Red Sword, and care most about meaning. I am not familiar enough with French to know whether this is a reasonable construction, but they are willing to accept changes if necessary.

20) Roger de Bar--Device Resubmission

Sable, a scorpion tergiant and in chief five fleur-de-lys Or.

The client's name was registered 4/98. {His previous submission, Sable, on a chief gules five fleur-de-lys Or, was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 7/98 for color-on-color.}

21) Rurik Brattahild--New Name {and Device

Or chausse purpure, overall two stags respectant proper.}

Rurik is dated to 862 in Bailey & Reit, Universal History of the World, VI:457. Brattahild is the name of a Norse settlement according to Jones, A History of the Vikings, 19.

{The contrast of the stags didn't seem to be a problem to us, since they are primarily on the field rather than the chausse. However, the color of the Or is definitely orange, and so we are reluctantly going to have to return this device for redrawing. (I don't like to return devices for color problems like this, but Laurel will not register it and I don't want to waste the client's time.)}

22) Sidric Swano--Name and Device Resubmission

Azure, a pall between three swans argent.

{The client's previous name, Cedric of Swansea, was returned by Rouge Scarpe in 11/97 for lack of documentation.} This is a Germanic name from around 800-1100. The client documents Sid- as the first element in a number of names from Morlet, I:196. He doesn't document the second element -ric, but it's a very common element in Germanic names (on the same page it appears in the name Selbric). The client documents Swano as a diminuitive based on the element Swana-. Although Swano itself isn't documented, the Latinized diminuitive Suaninus is dated to 1042 in Morlet, I:204. A discussion of the name by Talan Gwynek is also included. Although it isn't stated in the letter, Swano is presumably being treated as an unmarked patronymic.

23) Talon Ravensclawe--Device Resubmission

Per pall Or, gules, and vert, two arrows in saltire Or and in chief a claw couped contourny.

The client's name was registered in 3/97. {His original submission, Per pale gules and vert two arrows in saltire, on a chief triangular Or a raven's talon to sinister gules, was returned by Rouge Scarpe on 11/96 for style problems.} The client has included a letter of permission to conflict with Nikolai of Trakai.

24) Tigernach mac Éoghain ua Áeda--New Name and Device

Per pale argent and gules, a cross crosslet counterchanged, on a chief sable three wolves' heads erased argent.

Tigernach, Éoghan, and Aed are all found in http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/tangwystl/irish100 . Éoghan and Áed have been put into genitive form. The client would like his name corrected for 11th century Irish.

{25) Tigernach mac Éoghan Ua Áeda--New Badge

(Fieldless) On a cross crosslet nowy gules, a wolf's head erased argent.

This item has been withdrawn at the request of the client.}

26) Valley of the Three Walls, Canton of the--Group Name Appeal and Device Resubmission

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

This name was returned by Rouge Scarpe for non-period construction in 10/98. They have included documentation showing the validity of the pattern, including the Avenue of a Hundred Fountains (began in Italy in 1569), the Valley of Five Polish Lakes (no date), and the Valley of the Seven Castles (Luxembourg--the oldest castle dates to the 12th century). They've gone through some effort to document their name, but they haven't found any evidence that the names (as opposed to the places they refer to) are period.

I am obligated to pass this appeal on to Laurel, but I would send it on even if I didn't have to. They've put some effort into finding period models of the name--examples which I didn't think they'd be able to find--and it is certainly more reasonable than any number of registered SCA group names. For what it's worth, I'd like to see this registered.

{27) Vonspring, Incipient Canton of--New Group Name

The clients include no documentation, but say that "Vonspring is the place where Fenri the wolf who will eat the sun at the end of the world is imprisoned in Norse mythology." The SCA does not register mythological names (anymore) and so we are returning it.}

Done by my hand this 27th day of January, anno societatis XXIII, being the feast of St. John Chrysostom

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.