Thursday, March 26, 2020

Maunche Text for Agnes

Agnes is my Laurel grand-child, and I was delighted to put together a scroll text for her Grant-level arts award.   I'll be even more delighted when the COVID-19 quarantine is over and we get to meet in person!

Margarita, Queen of the East, to her sheriffs and bailies and heralds and officers, greetings. Know that for the correction and speeding-up of law and justice, and for the advantage and peace of the people, we have considered certain things should be decreed and sent to you and our other officers through the kingdom, commanding and firmly charging that you and they publicly proclaim them in your and their jurisdictions.  To wit, upon the 29th day of February in the fifty-four year of the Society, Agnes Marie de Calais shall be and hereby is inducted into the Order of the Manche and endowed with all such rights as are possessed by any other members of the aforesaid Order.  And further, the said Agnes shall be and is hereby granted such arms in metal and color as are appropriate to her new station.  And further, all and singular our subjects shall observe inviolably
this our Royal will and wish.  That this decree, justly and legally done, may remain undisturbed in the future, we have had this document marked with the protection of our ensigns manual for the force of perpetual authority.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Pelican Text for Ysmay

Hey!  Someone finally let me write another text!  I missed doing this so much.

It's in Middle English with spellings circa 1500 and, of course, footnotes.

Margarita the Queene to Ysmay de Lynn, right trustie, and righte welbelovid wee greete you well.  Wantynge and wyshyng that the valew and esteeme in whiche yow are beholden bie Us be made both perficte and manyfest to all persouns, Wee do herebie give, graunt and bie thees presents lettirs convaye untow yow the Ordre of the Pellycan with all circumstaunt benefetes, preferrementes, pryvyleges and honnours, and do forther indow yow with armes by lettres patentis as enseueth: Per bende senester gulles and azure, a bende senester cotised itwix[1] two triskelions of legges Or.  And so that thys owre royalle dotacion maie be biknowen withe certytude, we haue merked this lettre with owre syne manuell.  Given under our signet at our mannor of Caer Adamant upon the 22nd daie of Feuerel[2] in the 54th yere of the Societee.

[1]  itwix = between

[2]  Feuerell =  isn't this just the greatest spelling of February?

Saturday, May 11, 2019

A Small Collection of Late 6th Century Merovingian Given Names

Mistress Alys Mackyntoich (Alissa Pyrich)
May 2019

            This set of given names was compiled from multiple letters to and from Brunehild, queen of Austrasia and Burgundy, which are published on Epistol√¶ (, a website maintained by Columbia University collecting writings to and from women in the Middle Ages. The letters are transcribed in the original Latin with translations by Professor Joan Ferrante of Columbia University. 
            The name data in this article are extracted from letters originally written in Latin between 580 and 602 C.E. Since the names are in Latin, their spelling varies depending on the form and tense.  The most common nominative form – in other words, the direct form used in given names – is identified as the bolded header form.  The forms actually appearing in the text are listed below the header.  Where the form appearing in the text is a variant spelling of the nominative form, it is marked with an asterisk (*).
            The source documents did not contain full names, only given names and titles.  Therefore, we are unable to discuss naming patterns specific to this time and place.



Monday, December 10, 2018

Magdalena's Silver Brooch

I was given about a week's notice that Magdalena von Kirschberg was getting a Silver Brooch (AoA-level arts award).  Thanks to Myrun Leifsdottir for having a handy blank that fit the award and the person.  However, the text needed to be SHORT SHORT SHORT to fit in the blank.  The brevity also fit with the style that German charters tended to take.  The Germans were not the believers in multiple forms of the same words that the English were.  :-)

By Wilhelm the King.  By Vienna the Queen.  By our will, Magdalena von Kirschberg is hereby gifted and endowed with the Order of the Silver Brooch, to have and hold the same hereafter by perpetual right, freely, immunely, and honorably.  That this gift may be held firm and remain untroubled, we have strengthened the present document with our ensigns manual upon 8 December in the fifty-third year of the Society.

Lupold's Writ for the Order of Defense

Sometimes these things write themselves.  Both in the SCA and in period practice, writs of summons are fairly short documents.  However, as I was doing research for this one, I found a summons to Parliament issued Henry VI to one of his contentious cousins who had been involved in a rebellion.  Henry wanted his cousin to show up in the court and answer with plainness and frankness from his own mouth about his loyalty and swear fealty.  Since "plainness and frankness" is a thing for which Lupold is well known, the match between text and recipient was perfect.

By the King.  By the Queen.  Unto Lupold Haas, right trusty and well-beloved we greet you well.  We have conceived a great desire to speak with you and to hear from your mouth whether you will accept elevation to the Order of Defence; and for that purpose we have addressed these letters unto you, by which we command you as our true and faithful subject, for so We do repute you, with all possible diligence, to attend upon Our Own Persons, at our Court in the Barony of Dragonship Haven upon the 13th day of February in the fifty-third year of the Society, there to give honest answer to the question put before you.  We trust that, upon your access to Our Presence, you will use such plainness and frankness in all things that We shall demand of you, and that We may have cause to reward your fidelity towards us and the Realm.  Given under our signet at our manor of Quintavia, the 8th day of December in the fifty-third year of the Society.

Colin's Pelican

Another fine old friend was finally inducted into the Order of the Pelican on Saturday, after we spent a year smacking all the people who were sure he already had one.   I really wished I could have done this in mid 16th century spellings, but I'm told that makes it hard for people who aren't me to read the scroll and that I should share more.

A comment on the length of the text, since people never get tired of complaining about the lengths of my texts:  In this case, the scribe was trying to emulate a specific period example of an illuminated Grant of Arms.  The scribe asked me to produce as long a text as I could to make his product look like the period exemplar.  Also, the scribe wanted to start with a big illuminated A, which limited my options for text styles.

All and singular the below-written was done in the 53rd year of the Society, in the Shire of Quintavia, upon 8 December; and their gracious and most excellent Majesties, Wilhelm and Vienna, King and Queen of the East, have approved, ratified and confirmed for themselves and their heirs the said gift and endowment in all of its points, and in witness thereof they have set their ensigns manual below.

Upon the petition of the Order of the Pelican, the barons and other nobles, and the community of the Realm of the East, the good King Wilhelm and Vienna his lawful wife and Queen summoned into the court their faithful and ever-obedient subject Colin Ursell; whereupon their most excellent Majesties took testimony from honored persons of good repute concerning the said Colin, his great and infinite labours for the good weal of the Realm, his benign countenance and faultless, virtueful heart; and most especially they heard words of the said Colin’s diligence, industry and devotion to the practice of archery, the which exertions have been of great advantage to the realm;  and upon hearing the same testimony, Their most excellent Majesties commanded, instructed and ordained that the said Colin be invested and endowed with the Order of the Pelican, the said honor to be held and had by the same Colin freely, peacefully, fully, integrally and honourably, with all manner of liberties, profits, easements or lawful pertinents such as many member of the aforesaid Order possesses.  And further, on that same day and date, before the assembled court, the said Colin was gifted and endowed with Arms in the form following: Azure, a barrel fesswise Or and on a chief triangular argent a bear's head couped sable.  And so that the aforestated gift and grant remain forever lawful, stable and certain, their Majesties caused these present letters patents to be created, signed and read aloud to the body of their court upon the same day and date, and for a copy of the same to be remitted to the custody of the said Colin Ursell.

Mercedes' Master of Defense

I had the chance to do some scroll text work again.  This one is for Mercedes Vera de Califia's Master of Defense.  I left the Spanish terms that had no English equivalent in Spanish.   I would have liked to have gotten the whole thing in medieval Spanish but time and availability of my 16th century Spanish expert did not work out.

On the other hand, Mercedes' persona is explicitly a Spanish woman living in England, so the mixed English and Spanish works out just fine.

Wilhelm, by right of arms, King of the East, and Vienna, by agency of the same right the Queen, to all prelates, dukes, duchesses, counts, countesses, ricos homes, priors of the Orders, Knight-commanders, alcades of castles and fortified as well as unfortified places, adelantados, merinos[1], lieutenants of all cities, towns and places, presidents and Auditors of our Council and our tribunals and our chanceries, town councilors, and the jurados, officers and omes buenos of the cities, towns and other places of our Kingdom, and all other vassals and subjects of whatever estate, condition and dignity you may be, and every one of you, health and greetings.  Considering our veneration for the greatness, the excellence, the nobility and the eminent virtues of our servant Mercedes Vera de Califia, and having taken testimony from persons of good repute and witnessed with our own eyes the excellence of the said Mercedes in all matters of the rapier, and considering also the great benefit and advantage that our Realm has received from the labors of the said Mercedes in the government of rapier combat among our people, it is our great pleasure to direct and ordain that the said Mercedes be gifted, invested, and endowed with the Order of Defence, with all privileges, benefits, usages, liberties, profits, easements and rightful pertinents in and by all ways pertaining thereunto, to have and hold the same perpetually and as freely and quietly, fully and honourably as any other member of the Order aforenamed.  In witness whereof we have ordered this instrument to be drawn up, marked with our ensigns manual, and countersigned by the Brigantia Herald, whom we have commanded to cause the said instrument to be read aloud in our Court.  Given in the city of Quintavia upon the 8th of December in the fifty-third year of the Society, being the first year of our reign.

[1]  No, not the sheep.  You're clearly thinking of someone else's scroll.