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 August 1999 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.

Thanks to Lord Konrad Mailander and the new commenting group in Red Spears-- Lady Anna Mailander, Lady Bronwen Torrens, Lady Margarette Catherine Helen de Burgh of Silvermoor, Lord Yamamoto Masatsugi Nobumoto, Lady Aralynne Ruth Bowfort of Rockingham, and Lady Decima De Seta. Thanks also to Master John ap Wynne, Lady AElfreda aet AEthelwealda, Lord Mikhail of Lubelska, Mistress Elena de Vexin, Lady Aryanhwy merch Catmael, Lord Thorvald Redhair, and Lord Anders Olafsson for their comments this month.

THE PENNSIC LETTER--The annual Pennsic letter is coming. This year isn't as bad as some, but it's still pretty hefty--56 numbered items. Your comments will be even more helpful than usual.

1) Alfah Beaufiz de Antioch--New Name

Submitted as Alfa Bevis de Antioco. {This was pended on the 7/99 LoAR while we tried to contact the client; we haven't heard from him so we're sending the name on.} The client asked that the name be corrected for the period 1081-1120, but did not allow major changes. He documented Alfa as a variant of the Greek letter "alpha," which was supposedly used as a Roman name according to Wells, A Treasury of Names. Bevis is described as a name "familiar in early times from the 13th or 14th century" by Room, Dictionary of First Names, 39. The client also documents Antioco as an Italian form of Antioch from Hanks & Hodges, where it is described as a given name, and includes an undated (but probably legitimate) reference to an Englishman named Robert de Antiochus from Bowman, The Story of Surnames.

The documentation for the given name is highly questionable. Even if it accurate, the combination of Classical Roman, English, and Italian in one name is virtually impossible. However, we found Alfah documented to 1086 as a variant of Alphege in Reaney and Wilson, s.n. Alphege. Beavis has two distinct ancestors in period--one is the locative de Beauvais, the other the descriptive Beaufiz or Belfiz ("good son"), all found in Reaney & Wilson s.n. Beaves. Finally, the included documentation for Robert de Antiochus shows that the name de Antioch (to use the English rather than the Latin form) is not impossible for an Englishman in period.

Given all this, we can construct the name Alfah Beaufiz de Antioch, which is would be a plausible, though unusual, name for an Englishman from c. 1100.

2) Alicia MacQuaid--New Name {and Device

Quarterly bendy Or and azure, and Or, two lozenges in bend sinister azure.}

Alicia is dated to 1259 as a Scottish name in Black, s.n. Shiplaw. There are also 19 citations in Scott, "Feminine Given Names in A Dictionary of British Surnames.," part 2 ( http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/reaneyAG.html). Although we don't have a citation for Alicia from Ireland, the fact that it is a common name in England makes it likely that it would show up among English-speaking people in Ireland as well.

MacQuaid is found in MacLysaght, Surnames of Ireland, s.n. MacQuaid. According to MacLysaght the name is an Anglicization of Mac Uaid, "son of Uaid." He says that Uaid is a Gaelic form of the English Wat, which is a common period diminutive for Walter. {So, MacQuaid is an English form of a Gaelic patronymic derived from an English name. Isn't Irish fun?

These arms do have the appearance of marshalling the arms Bendy Or and azure and Or, a lozenge azure, and so we must return them.}

3) Arabella Silvermane--New Name and Device

Per pale gules and sable, a griffin rampant maintaining an axe Or.

Arabella dated to 1295 in Withycombe, 29. Silvermane is a constructed byname intended to mean "silver-haired." The element Silver- is found in a number of names, including Silverlock, which is a header in Reaney & Wilson. The second element -man is documented from the OED, which says that "mane" was used as a word for a human's hair in 1370. This is early enough (but just barely) to justify the creation of the descriptive nickname Silvermane in English, and so we are sending the name on.

{4) Aurich Greim--New Badge

Argent, a vol gules.

The client's name was returned by Laurel in 8/99. We are returning this badge since the client does not have a registered name. If the client resubmits under a new name, he should make sure that his drawing doesn't go outside the lines.

This does not conflict with Peregrin the Lost, Argent, in pale a sheaf of arrows inverted sable and a vol gules. There is 1 CD for a change in the type of primary charges (from a vol to a sheaf of arrows and a vol) and 1 CD for the change in number of primary charges (from 1 to 2).}

{5) Ceridwen verch Gruffydd--New Name

The client found Ceridwen in Hanks & Hodges, Dictionary of First Names, 59. This is not a reliable source, and we have no reason to believe that Ceridwen was ever used by any human being in Wales. However, the College of Arms is still registering it for some reason. The spellings Griffid, Gryffid, and Gryffyd, all forms of the modern spelling Gruffydd, are dated to the 1200's in Jones, " A Simple Guide to Constructing 13th Century Welsh Names."

However, we must return this name for conflict with the registered Ceridwen ferch Gruffudd.}

6) Charles Buchanan--New Name and Device

Per bend vert and argent, semy of lucy bendwise sinister, a boar rampant to sinister counterchanged.

Charles is dated to 1273 in Withycombe, 62-3. Buchanan is dated to c. 1270 in Reaney & Wilson, 54. The client would like an authentic English name, and has one.

The counterchanging of the boar and the fish makes the device rather difficult to identify, but we are sending it on for further comment from the College of Arms.

7) Cynfyn ap Rhiwallon--New Device

Sable, in pale a phoenix Or and an open book argent.

The client's name was registered in 1/96.

8) Darkstone, College of--Branch Name Resubmission and New Branch Device

Per fess indented gules and sable, a laurel wreath and in chief a roundel Or.

{This name was returned last month. It turns out that one set of comments--which provided the required documentation--got delayed in the mail and didn't get to me until after I published the return. Since it turns out that the name can be documented, we're sending it on after all.}

The only documentation the clients have provided for this name is a page from By Oak, Ash, and Thorn: Modern Celtic Shamanism, which says that "dorcha" is the Gaelic word for "dark." The submission form says that the do not want to use this Gaelic word in their name, so the purpose of this information is not clear.

Since the clients have been using this name for so long, we made an attempt to find documentation for it. Smith, English Place Name Elements, s.n. deorc, cites Darklake and derives the element dark- from the Old English "deorc," meaning "dark, gloomy." Ekwall, 446, has a number of names that include the element -stone. Thus, it appears that this name can be registered.

9) Egil Thorkelsson af Bröberg--New Name and Device

Or, an eagle displayed gules, on a chief azure three winged boots Or.

Egill and Þorkell are found in Geirr-Bassi, 9. Geirr-Bassi uses standardized spellings for his names, and we have no doubt that the change from -ll to -l is a reasonable one. The client says that Bröberg is not compatible with Old Norse names, but he claims the right to use it through the grandfather clause because it is an element in his mother's registered name, Thorhalla Carlsdottir Bröberg. Although his mother's name doesn't include the element af, it does use Bröberg as a locative byname and so af Bröberg is probably acceptable. Even if it isn't, the client allows minor changes and so af could be dropped by the College of Arms.

10) Elspeth O'Seaghdha--New Name and Device

Party of six pieces gules and Or, three swans couchant Or and three estoiles gules.

Elspeth is described as a Scottish variant of Elizabeth in Withycombe, 100. It is dated to the 1540's in Scott, "A List of Feminine Personal Names Found in Scottish Records" (http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/scottish fem.html). Ó Séaghdha is found in MacLysaght, 269. The client has modified this spelling somewhat.

Black, 634-42 passim, has a number of names beginning with O' used in Scotland. Some of the references support this type of spelling. Under the entry for O'Brolachain he notes a 12th-century Latin inscription with the name Donaldus O'Brolchan. This suggests that the use of O' with a Gaelic spelling is appropriate for Scotland.

The blazon for this device is based on the registered blazon for Theodoric of Salt Keep, registered 10/96: Party of six pieces per fess nebuly gules and ermine, three anvils argent and three falcons close sable.

{11) Fire Oaks, Barony of--New Branch Name

The client provides extensive documentation for English names using the element Oaks, but doesn't provide anything to support the element Fire. Since we couldn't find any evidence for this element, we must return this name.}

12) Gunther Friedrich von Bodenheim--Device Resubmission

Lozengy azure and argent, a lion's head cabossed gules, on a chief argent three crosses formy sable.

The client's name was registered in 2/99. His previous device, Lozengy azure and argent, a lion's head cabossed gules, was returned for conflict in 2/99.

13) Ia ingen Áeda--New Name

The client documents Ia from Attwater, Names and Name-Days. Attwater says in Butler's Lives of the Saints that Ia was an Irish maiden who came to Cornwall in the 6th century, but also notes that her legend was unknown until the 13th century. Her story contains a lot of legendary elements--supposedly was transported across the sea on a leaf that grew large enough to hold her. Attwater claims that a town was named after her and came to be known as Saint Ives in the 16th century, but Padel, Cornish Place-Names, has citations in a variety of forms from an earlier date: Sancta Ya 1284, Seint Ive (Baye) 1346, Seint Ithe 1347, Sent Ia 1468, St Ies 1602.

This is questionable documentation--the evidence suggests that Saint Ia is a later-period creation--but it isn't quite questionable enough for me to return the name. I send it on for further comment.

14) Jacobus Tallon of Greenwich--New Name

The client documents Jacobus from Withycombe, 169. Tallon is a header spelling in Reaney & Wilson; this spelling is not dated. The client includes tourist guides for Greenwich that date it to the 9th century. It is also a header spelling in Ekwall. The client is interested in having an authentic 16th-century name but will not permit major changes--if the College of Arms can either confirm that the forms he used are accurate for his period or find dated 16th-century forms, we and the client would appreciate the work.

15) Meave de Clare for Vermoncort--New Household Name and Badge

Per pale gules and vert, a Maltese cross Or.

Submitted as Vermoncourt. The client's name was registered in 10/97. She constructs Vermoncourt as a French placename. The element Vermon- is found in Vermonsey, which is dated to 1390 in Morlet, III:465b, 477-8. The element -court is documented from many sources, including Varricort (1201) and Warnuncort (1131-42). The client cares most about sound and is looking for a period 13th-14th century name, and so we have modified the spelling based on the examples of spelling that the client included in her documentation.

According to the client, the name Vermoncort originally meant "Warimund's estate". This name is a legitimate one-word household name that includes a designator and a descriptive word. However, the name probably didn't have this literal meaning by the time it This is a reasonable designator, but by the client's period it no longer had this literal meaning. Thus, we're not sure whether Vermoncort qualifies as a name with a designator or not, and we are forwarding the name to the College of Arms for further commentary.

There is a potential conflict with Edmund Cavendish, Per bend azure and gules a cross formy. The two look similar and would probably conflict visually. We're not sure whether they were both used in period and, if so, if they were considered different in period. Thus we're not sure if there is a second CD.

16) Meave de Clare--New Household Badge for Vermoncourt

Per pale gules and vert, a monster composed of the forequarters of a raven and the hindquarters of a rat displayed argent, in chief three Maltese crosses in fess Or.

The client's name was registered in 10/97. It is intended to be a second badge for the household whose name is submitted above.

17) Pawel Blisnecz z Kraja--Name and Device Resubmission

Quarterly argent and sable, a goat's head erased counterchanged.

{Submitted as Pawel Blini od Kraj, Escutcheon suggested a number of modifications in his commentary. The client noticed the suggestions and proposed this version of the name.} Pawel is dated to 1204 in SSNO, IV:201. Blisnecz is dated to 1390 in ibid., I:169. Kraj is a Polish word meaning "region" or "edge," and Kraja is the genitive form of this word. No documentation was provided for its use in a name except an entry in a Polish-English dictionary.

18) Rebekah Tallon of Greenwich--New Name

Rebekah is found in Withycombe, 251. Tallon is a header spelling in Reaney & Wilson; this spelling is not dated. The client includes tourist guides for Greenwich that date it to the 9th century. It is also a header spelling in Ekwall. The client is interested in having an authentic 16th-century name but will not permit major changes--if the College of Arms can either confirm that the forms he used are accurate for his period or find dated 16th-century forms, we and the client would appreciate the work.

19) Ragnvaldr Jónsson--New Name and Device

Per pall argent, sable, and azure, a drakkar argent and in chief a sword inverted and a spear in saltire azure.

The client documents Ragnvaldr from Geirr Bassi, which actually has the spelling Rognvaldr. To support the variant spelling, he quotes a translation of the Heimskringla that refers to a "Ragnvald the Mighty." He documents Jón from Geirr Bassi as well.

{20) Simon Justus for The Church of Saint Thomas and Saint Mary Magdalen--New Household Name

The client's name was registered in 12/98. This submission brings up an interesting question. Although several commenters felt that it was improper to use Church as a household designator, they did not offer a rationale for the decision. To my surprise, I did not find any precedent clearly stating that Church is not acceptable.

RfS VI says that "Names may not claim status or powers the submitter does not possess." The question is, then, whether a household that calls itself a church is claiming special status or powers. My opinion is that is does.

As far as I have been able to determine, everywhere in Europe from the establishment of Christianity to the end of our period (and beyond), a church was an officially sanctioned organization with specific powers within a particular area. The officials of a church were not the rulers of their parish, but they did have legally binding and territorial authority. Secondly, a church could exist only with official sanction. Thus, the designator Church implies an organization that requires legal approval to exist.

Since a church implied official legal sanction, and since a church and its officials had special powers within their territory, a household that calls itself a Church is indeed claiming to have powers and status that it does not posses--namely, the power to perform marriages, baptisms, and funerals (among other rites) and the status of an officially sacntioned place of worship.

This name is not being returned because it uses a specifically religious term. Just as individual SCA members may develop "religious" personas, a SCA household may have a religious persona. The problem here is that the household is laying claim to specific powers and status that it cannot have. In order to register Church as a household designator, the client would have to show that churches without special status or powers existed in the Middle Ages. Barring this, we will talk to the client about possible alternatives.}

21) Ulrich von Landstuhl--Device Resubmission

Vert, a wolf rampant argent, on a chief Or a halberd fesswise sable.

The client's name was registered in 9/98. {This long-suffering gentle has finally found a device that makes it out of kingdom--we fervently hope that it will be registered by Laurel! The client's previous submission, Per chevron vert and azure, a wolf rampant maintaining a halberd within a bordure argent, was returned by Rouge Scarpe for conflict in 6/99. His submission before that, Per chevron vert and azure, a wolf rampant maintaining a halberd within a bordure argent, was withdrawn in 3/99 because of a drawing problem. Before that, his original submission, Per chevron vert and azure, a wolf rampant maintaining a halberd argent, was returned by Rouge Scarpe for conflict in 9/98.}

22) Vladislav de Jaffa--Device Resubmission

Per chevron ermine and sable, a lion's head erased argent.

The client's previous submission, Argent, a paw print counterermine, was returned by Laurel in 1/97 for conflict. This is a complete redesign.

Done by my hand on the xxi day of October, anno societatis xxxv, being the feast of saint Ursula.

Alan Fairfax, Rouge Scarpe

Alan Terlep
92 Ridgemont
Pontiac, MI 48340


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.