Sunday, December 10, 2017

Margreþe la Fauvelle's Laurel Scroll

Sometimes I think scribes hate me.  :-)

No, not really.  I kid.[1]

Sometimes, the calligraphy and illumination end of the collaboration has ideas that make my life challenging.   When writing a legal charter-style text, there are certain letters that are easy to start with -- B, F, W, I, and S are usually quite adaptable.

Then there's that moment when the scribe says, "The text can be no more than 150 words and it needs to start with a C."

Okay, then.  :-)

Casting about for ideas, I remembered that Saint Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians, and decided to deviate a little from a standard charter text.  It's more SCAdian than period, but not so excruciatingly so that it bugs me.  I like how it came out and the actual finished scroll is truly gorgeous. 

Cecilia, beloved and holy lady of music, we pray you look with favor upon your disciple Margreþe la Fauvelle.  Lend her sweetness of voice and sureness of beat; make her fingers nimble and her ear keen; keep her instruments in tune and bless the choirs she leads.  

And then, upon 9 December in the fifty-second year of the Society, the Tsar and Tsaritsa, Ivan and Matilde, having heard the praises of the said Margreþe sung unto Saint Cecilia by the most noble of their many servants, did invest the said Margreþe with the Order of the Laurel, to have and hold the same freely and fully hereafter, along with the following arms by Letters Patents: Per saltire vert and Or, a sun in splendor counterchanged.  And so declaring, instructing and commanding, the Tsar and Tsaritsa set below their ensigns manual in perpetual memorial.

[1]  In seriousness, working with Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope was a delight.  She was just not as prepared for me doing my crazy thing with words in the way, say Eva or Thyra or Nataliia or Eleanor are.

Guest Post: Harlequin Scroll by Mari Clock van Horne

As more and more people in the East are trying out the work of doing period charter-style texts, I want to promote and encourage their work.  So, from time to time, I'm going to have guest posts show casing certain wordsmiths and texts that catch my fancy.   If you or one of your students have a piece you'd like me to look over and showcase, please contact me at

Today's guest post from Mari Clock van Horne ( +Marietta Messina ).   Her text was written for a Baronial award scroll for the Barony of Bhakail.  She worked from the Gelnhausen Charter, one of my favorite texts for adapting to the SCA. 

Talking about her work, Mari says:  "I liked how it sort of sounded like he was in trouble, but clearly he wasn't. One of the parts of this text I liked most was how it put in the in the presence of but then went on to name nobles that were in attendance. Of course I changed that to be only Majesties and

Here is the text, which was read in Court yesterday.

Memory is short and does not suffice for a crowd of things; therefore, the authority of those who preceded our age has decreed that those things were to be written down which the progress of fleeting time generally removes from the knowledge of men.

Wherefore let the generality of the present as well as the future subjects of our Barony know, that John Marshall atte Forde shall incur the sentence of our will. As he did not desist from frequent kitchening and was often caught preparing magnificent feasts, We call him before our presence, to answer for the repeated allegations; and We, by unanimous decree after consultation with the Order of the Harlequin declare him named thus and adjudge this to be our Will.

We, Rowen and Suba, Baron and Baroness of Bhakail,  hereby confirm that the above-written was done and caused to be done on the ninth day of December on the occasion of this Yule Revel in Renaissance Germany in the presence of Our Royal Majesties and Our Royal Highnesses, and wishing this judgment to remain valid unto all in posterity, we forbid that anyone, with rash daring, infringe it or in any way attempt to violate it; and we validly corroborate this our decree by the present document, signed by Our hands, with witnesses present at this deed.

Mari is also one of those talented people who can calligraph her own words, which always makes things easier.   

Lillia's Silver Rapier

Mistress Fiona, whom I've known for more than 20 years, e-mailed me and told me she had been assigned a Silver Rapier scroll, and did I know this Lillia de Vaux person.    :-)

Despite her French persona, Lillia is extraordinarily knowledgeable in Middle English, and likely doesn't need the footnotes to know exactly what this says.  But I do love footnotes.  All scrolls should have footnotes.

Bi Iuan the Kinge.  Bi Matilde the Quene.  Vheras[1] owr most souereyn auncessours Konrad et Brenwen proclamed & stablisshed the Ordyr off the Syluer Rapȝere[2] wiþ-inne the Estlondes to revard[3] godful[4] and stalworth[5] seruaunts of þe arte of deffence; and Vheras the excelent and inestimable dame Lillia de Vaux, ryȝght trustie and welbeloued, laburd dylygently thyse manye ȝeres to stodie þe swerde, & has done & caused to be done souche dedes as are worthie of renomaunce[6]; Therefor, let it be knowen to the present as well as the future that the name of þe seid Lillia shal be writen in þe rollis off the Ordyr aforseyde, there to remayne perpetually & euyrlastyngely.  And so that thys owre presente charter will be biknowen[7] withe certytude, we haue merked it with owre synes manuell vppon 9 December in þe[8] fifty-second ȝere of the Societie.

[1]  A fascinating attested spelling of "Whereas"

[2]  The ȝ character is called a "yogh."  It's found in Scots and Middle English, and is pronounced like a 'y'.

[3]  Obviously once I used Vheras, I had to use the attested "revard" spelling.

[4] godful = excellent, worthy; secondary meaning of kind, friendly.  

[5]  stalworth = brave, courageous, valiant

[6]  renomaunce = renown, fame

[7] biknowen = acknowledged, recognized, admitted

[8] The þ character is a "thorn."  It's pronounced like 'th.'

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Researcher Word Fame: Judith bas Rabbi Mendel

Judith bas Rabbi Mendel  is another Easterner, living in fact in my own Barony, where she's currently seneschale.   I've had the great pleasure to read and judge many of her research papers and documentation projects over the years.  She has a real flair for research and the willingness to dig deeply into the optics she loves.

Judith's area of research is medieval Jewish life and culture, particularly as it relates to food.  Among other things, Judith has researched

Medieval gefilte fish
Medieval brioche
Raisin wine
Medieval matzah
Medieval challah
Medieval Passover foods

She ran a wonderful event that was a medieval Passover seder, working in all of her then-current state of the art research on the issue.   Her paper on Foods of the Medieval Passover Seder is available on line.

Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to have a blog or a website, but she does have an East Kingdom Wiki Page

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Effing MoD Text :-)

I was delighted to be asked to prepare the words for +Thomas of Effingham 's Order of Defense scroll.  In keeping with his persona, the language is English c.1460-1475.

Bi Iuan the Kinge.  Bi Mathilde the Quene.  For asmuche as oure auncestours off blessid memorie Darius et Eþeldreda ordeyned, proclamed & stablisshed the Order of Deffence with-inne the Est; and for-asmuche as it is nedefull & spedeful[1] for the gode wele of owr Reawme to make & cawse to be maden compayrs of the sayd Order; and for-asmuche as We aperceyueth[2] owr Thomas of Effingham to be a trewe dycyple off the arts of the swyrde, douwty in dedis of armes, and in all waies worshepable[3], auenaunt[4], splendidious[5], and a mervayloust[6] man of the worlde; Therfor, bie this owr present and laufull chartur, we stabull[7] & ordeyn & conferme the forsaide Thomas as a Maister of Deffence, possessing all ryghts and priuyleges as any othur Maister of the Order afor-written, and bering hens-forthward and evirlastyngly arms bi lettres patents in the forme folwyng:  Gules, a bend sinister argent surmounted by a serpent contourny in annulo vorant of its own tail Or all between six crosses crosslet argent.  In witenesse & feyth & affirmacion heroff wee haf subscribed with owr owen handes uppon this charter owr signs manuell. Done at Bergental, uppon Saynte Birstans Daie, 4 Nouembre, in the fifti- secounde ȝere of the Societie.

[1] spedeful = beneficial, profitable, advantageous; also auspicious, favorable

[2]  aperceyueth = aware of, informed of

[3] worshepable = worthy of respect, honorable, estimable

[4]  auenaunt = seemly in appearance or manners, agreeable

[5] splendidious = wonderful, worthy, magnificent

[6]  mervayloust = worthy of admiration, illustrious

[7] stabull = establish

Silver Brooch for Marieta de Charay

Ivan and Matilde, King and Queen, to the dukes, counts, viscounts, barons, justices, peers of the realm, and all others who will see the present writing, future as well as present, greetings.
Forasmuch as Art is the queen of all sciences, whose exercise communicates knowledge to all the generations of the world; and Formasmuch as our dearest servant Marieta de Charay illuminates our realm with pen and ink, embroidery, wood work and metal work; and Whereas the said Marieta’s good works should not go without notice; Therefore, We have given and gifted and confirmed by this our present charter to the said Marieta the Order of the Silver Brooch, with all its appurtenances, freely, wholly, fully, with honor.  And so that this our gift may continue firm and unimpaired in future times, we have reinforced it with the protection of our signs manual.  Dated at Bergental on 4 November in the fifty-second year of the Society.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Word Fame: Elena Hylton

As a Laurel whose area of specialty can best be described as "research" (and language), from time to time, I'm going to start giving shout-outs to other SCA people who are doing excellent research work in their various fields.  I'm going to try to make this a montly thing, but we all know that I don't have a lot of control over my own time.

Today's word fame is for Elena Hylton  +Jeanne Clifton .  Elena has a website Elena's Threads where she talks about her fiber and clothing projects.  In addition to doing amazing clothing work, she's also an exceptional researcher and one of the few people with whom I can discuss medieval philosophy.  She's written a How-to-Research Guide that I highly recommend.