Saturday, December 26, 2015

Alys's Simple Order Name Checklist

So, your group wants to submit its Order names.  What kind of documentation does it need?  This post is a simple checklist for documenting Order names.

BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE: Are you using a language from a culture that had “orders”?

As stated in the April 2011 Cover Letter:

[S]ome times and places are just out of luck for the creation of herald's titles and order names. We have no evidence that either were in use before the 12th century, and only a few patterns were in use before 1300. That means that languages that fell out of use before that time (Old Norse, Old English, Frankish, etc.) cannot be used to create heraldic titles or order names, as there are no patterns for them to follow.

If the answer to the above question is "yes," then move on to documenting the order name:

(1) Document the pattern for the Order name:

Order names need to be based on documented patterns.  Almost all of the currently known documented patterns are found in Juliana de Luna's "Medieval Secular Order Names" (

Precedent allows for a few other Order names not listed in Juliana's article:  (a) the pattern of naming orders after the given names of individuals [Order of Taillefer, 5/2011 LoAR, A-Lochac]; and (b) the pattern of using the names of pagan gods in place of saints. [East, Kingdom of the. Order name Order of Artemis, 6/2013 LoAR, A-East].

For example: The name Order of the Blue Cup follows the pattern of color + heraldic charge found in Juliana de Luna's "Medieval Secular Order Names" (

(2) Document the designator.

Order names contain two parts: the designator and the substantive element.  In "Order of the Pelican," Order is the designator, and Pelican is the substantive element.

Most designators can be documented from Appendix E of SENA.  However, there are some new precedents on designators that have not yet made it into Appendix E:  (a) Company can be used as an Order name designator [May 2013 Cover Letter]; and (b) Fellowship can be used as an Order name designator [Nov. 2014 Cover Letter].

For example, for the Order of the Blue Cup, Order is one of the designators found in Appendix E.

SENA NPN.1.B.2 permits a Lingua Anglica (modern American English) designator to be combined with a substantive element from another language.

When creating an Order name, the preposition matches the language of the designator.   SENA NPN.1.B.2 gives the following examples:

For example, either Order of the Levrier or Ordre du Levrier is registerable for the meaning 'order of the hound', but Order du Levrier and Ordre of the Levrier are not; in each one, the preposition and article do not match the language of the designator.

(3) Document the substantive element

The substantive element(s) of Order names need to be documented.  The type of documentation needed is based on the type of the Order name.

(a) Use the Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry to identify period heraldic charges

If the Order name is one that uses a heraldic charge, the Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry is the best place to look for evidence that a charge was used in period.

For example: To document the Order of the Blue Cup, a cup is a period heraldic charge, "found in the arms of de Argentine c.1244 [Asp2 216]" according to the Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry (

(b)  Use standard naming sources to document personal names used in Order names

Where the Order name is based on a personal name or a saint's name, use standard name resources to document the name.

For example:  For the name Order of Primavera, the personal name Primavera can be documented from "Feminine Given Names from the Online Catasto of Florence of 1427" by Arval Benicoeur (  SENA NPN.1.B.2 permits the Lingua Anglica "Order of" to be combined with the Italian "Primavera."

By precedent, any name documented to period may be treated as a saint's name for the purposes of naming Orders. [Caer Galen, Barony of. Order name Order of Saint William the Cooper, 7/2006 LoAR, A-Outlands].

(c)  Check for consistency of language

The entire Order name can, if the group wishes, be in modern American English under the Lingua Anglica rule.  However, if using a foreign language, then the entire substantive element must be in the same language.

For example:  The Barony of Carillion submitted the Order of Saint Ruprecht, based on the German given name Ruprecht, which was found s.n. Ruprecht dated to c.1390, 1396 in "Medieval German Given Names from Silesia" by Talan Gwynek (  Since the spelling "Saint" was not found in German, the substantive element had to be changed to Sante to be entirely German.

(d)  Use only standard heraldic colors or their common vernacular terms

By long-standing precedent, order names that follow the color + charge pattern "must use the ordinary color term for a heraldic tincture appropriate for the language of the order name." [May 2009 Cover Letter].   More recent precedent now also permits "the use of heraldic color terms in order names as well as the everyday terms." [April 2012 Cover Letter].

Silver is considered the everyday color term for the heraldic tincture argent; Golden or Gold are considered ordinary color terms for the tincture Or.  [May 2008 Cover Letter].

However, to date, no convincing evidence has been presented for the use of non-heraldic color names, including the names for particular shades of a color, like scarlet or crimson. [April 2012 Cover Letter].

Order names using the color + charge pattern are usually put the color first, but, when using heraldic color terms, can put the color after the charge name.  [Stonemarche, Barony of. Order name Order of the Keystone Vert, 8/2012 LoAR, A-East].

For example:  Order of the Blue Cup is registerable using the ordinary color name for the heraldic tincture azure.  Order of the Azure Cup is also registerable, as is Order of the Cup Azure.  Order of the Sapphire Cup or Order of the Teal Cup are not.

(4) Document the words and spellings used

All of the words used in the Order name should be documented to period if possible.  This is most important when the word itself is the substantive element, such as where the Order name is based on a virtue word or personal name.

The Middle English Dictionary is available on line and is searchable.  It is an excellent place to search for period spellings of words.

The OED is also an excellent source, but requires a subscription for on-line use.

Shakespeare's plays are also good sources for documenting words to period and are searchable on line at

For French terms, Cotgrave's 1611 Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues is also searchable on line at

A similar searchable dictionary for Italian from 1598 is also available on line at 

(5)  Clearing conflicts the easy way

Designators are "transparent" for the purposes of conflict.  Thus, the Fellowship of Valor would conflict with the registered Order of Valor (August 1987, West).

Under S.E.N.A. NPN.3.C, the addition of a local group name to the substantive element clears conflicts.  Therefore, the Order of Valor of the East did not conflict with the Order of Valor and was registered in November 2013.

(6) Putting it all together

For the Order of the Silver Hour-glass:

This name follows the pattern of color + heraldic charge found in Juliana de Luna's "Medieval Secular Order Names" (

Order is a standard designator found in Appendix E.

The May 2008 Cover Letter permits "the use of Silver as the ordinary color name of argent." The spelling silver is dated to c. 1330 in the Middle English Dictionary s.v. aughte.

An hourglass is a period heraldic charge found in the arms of White, 1534 [Parker 335] and of von Kerstlingerode, 1605 [Siebmacher 179] according to the Pic Dic (  The spelling hour-glass appears in Shakespeare's Henry V (c. 1599), in the Prologue, scene 1.

For the Company of Saincte Yolente:

This Order name follows the pattern of naming orders after saints, found in  Juliana de Luna's "Medieval Secular Order Names" (

Company is a permitted designator for Order names per the May 2013 Cover Letter. 

SENA NPN.1.B.2 permits a Lingua Anglica designator to be combined with a substantive element from another language.

Saincte is found in Cotgrave's 1611 French-English Dictionary as the word for a female saint (

Yolente is a female French given name found in "Names from Artois, 1601"  by Aryanhwy merch Catmael  (

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Period or Not . . . Holiday Names

In several countries (but particularly in England), it was common practice to name children for holidays.  It is believed that these given names were applied to children born on these particular days, but that’s not certain.  Examples of documentable period given names based on holidays include:


Noel[ii], Noelle[iii] or Nowell[iv]



Pascall[vii] or Pascual[viii]

The English also had a large number of surnames for people born on or near certain holy days or holidays.  Examples of documentable English surnames based on holidays include:

Christmas[ix], Cristemesse[x] or de Cristemasse[xi]

Noel[xii], Nowel[xiii] or Nowell[xiv]

Yule[xv], Yoel[xvi] or Youle[xvii]



Candelmes[xx] (for someone born on Candlemas)

Paskes[xxi] (for someone born on Easter)

Myglemas[xxii] (for someone born on Michaelmas)

[i] Christmas Pell; Female; Christening; 22 Dec 1594; Quadring, Lincoln, England; Batch: C03102-2 (
[ii] Found as a given name in English, Scots, Dutch and French sources, including “French Names from Paris, 1421, 1423, & 1438” by Sara Uckelman (SCA: Aryanhwy merch Catmael) (
[iii] “Names from Antwerp, 1443-1561” by Sara L. Uckelman and Kym Banoczi (SCA: Aryanhwy merch Catmael and Kymma Godric) (
[iv] “Index of Names in the 1582 Subsidy Roll of London” by Sara Uckelman (SCA: Aryanhwy merch Catmael) (

[v] Dated to 1221 and later in C.W.E. Bardsley, Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature, p. 98.
[vi] Dated to 1595 in Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature, p. 96.
[vii] Dated to 1553 and later in Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature, p. 96.
[viii] “16th Century Spanish Names” by Kathy Van Stone (SCA: Elsbeth Ann Roth) (
[ix] Tannekyn Christmas; Female; Burial; 10 Apr 1561; St. Botolph Aldgate, London, England; Batch: B02101-3 (
[x] Dated to 1185 and 1191 in P.H. Reaney & R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Christmas
[xi] “Middle English Bynames in Early Fourteenth-Century London” by Sara Uckelman (SCA: Aryanhwy merch Catmael) (, p. 72.
[xii] Dated to 1155 in A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Noel
[xiii] Dated to 1248 in A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Noel
[xiv] Dated to 1587 in C.W.E. Bardsley, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, s.n. Nowell
[xv] George Yule; Male; Marriage; 23 Jun 1589; Polstead, Suffolk, England; Batch: M06302-2 (
[xvi] Dated to 1297 in A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Youle
[xvii] Dated to 1379 in A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Youle
[xviii] Dated to c. 1248 in A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Midwinter
[xix] Dated to 1224 in A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Midwinter
[xx] Dated to 1379 in A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Christmas
[xxi] “Middle English Bynames in Early Fourteenth-Century London” (, p. 77.
[xxii] Dated to 1547 in A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, s.n. Michaelmas

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Another not-award text

The Carolingian Company of Calivers  (yes, Calivers.  Not Calipers.  Or Cavaliers) is a melee unit headed up by +Justin Aucoin.  As with the Commander of the Rapier Army from Pennsic, +Brennan mac Fearghus wanted to acknowledge them without necessarily giving them an SCA award.  So I wrote up this:

Manifesting our royal pleasure for the establishing of companies for the practice of arms in defence of the Realm, and having understood and been credibly informed that the Carolingian Calivers have studied the arts of warfare and practiced those same arts with exceptional and notable diligence during the late Pennsic War; therefore We, Brennan, King of the East, do now, as a mark of our singular favor, give, grant and accord to the company aforenamed license as the King’s Own Company of Calivers, with the right and privilege to bear arms and weapons in the Royal Presence, and freedom from all rents, taxes and monetary duties otherwise appertaining, the said rights, licenses, privileges and freedoms to be observed for the duration of our reign.  Done at [place] upon [date].

This was given out yesterday to the now King's Own Company of Calivers.

License to raise, equip and train troops.

Last Friday, the night before his Coronation (or possibly the very early morning of his Coronation, I'm a little hazy on the precise time), +Brennan mac Fearghus sat down with me and said, "I want to give Malocchio a thing, but not a Thing, you know what I mean?"   Translated out of NJ-speak, Brennan wanted to reward Don Lottieri Malocchio ( +Graham Sternberg ) for his work as commander of the Eastern Rapier Army at this past Pennsic, but did not feel right giving Malocchio an Order of Valor because Brennan was not King at Pennsic.   So he wanted me to come up with something else, preferably period, that he could do to recognize Malocchio.

What we ended up agreeing on was a License for Malocchio to raise, equip and train troops in the Crown's name.  From a couple of sources, I managed to cobble together appropriate language, and then I did a truly horrifying thing:  I calligraphed the License myself using my best attempt at 16th cen. Italian book hand.

For just getting back into calligraphy after 30 years (and that was pre-SCA for me), it only looks slightly like a monkey with a crayon.

Here's what it says:

Brennan the King.   Caoilfhionn the Queen.  Whereas all the subjects of the East are ordained to be sufficiently armed and in readiness for opposing foreign invasion and for preserving the peace; and whereas Lottieri Malocchio did make himself of great use and service as commander of the rapier army, the which service did much appall our foes; Therefore We do hereby endow him with the following rights, privileges and licenses:

Item.  The said Malocchio shall have License to raise troops in the name of the Crown and to bind such troops by contract or indenture;

Item. Each company raised by the said Malocchio shall be provided with colours and drums, and sufficient arms and provisions from the Crowns privy purse; 

Item. the said Malocchio shall have the sole right and use of Royal Lands for the practice and drill of troops hereunder raised.

The said rights, licenses and privielges to endure the length of our reign.
So declared, ordered and ordained by the imprint of our signs manual upon 10 October A.S. 50.

The notion of having drums was met with much enthusiasm on the part of the rapier contingent of the Great Northern Army.   :-)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Irish Boasts for the ascension of Brennan II and Caoilfhionn II

As part of their efforts to do a early Irish Coronation ceremony, +Brennan mac Fearghus and +Meredith Bailin Hull  wanted their herald to lead them in with boasts about each of them and their deeds.  +Murray Blehart was having a little trouble coming up with something with the right "feel" and I offered to do some research into the Irish Annals (books written recording the history of Ireland, interspersed with snippets of poetry honoring people in the news -- sort of an Irish version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or USA Today).

For Brennan, I extracted and adapted the English translation of a poem about a dead Irish king, found in Annals of the Four Masters entry M914.10. (English version) (Gaelic version)   About 90% of the poem could be lifted directly, so with minimal editorial alterations, it became this:

Brennan, Fergus's  son, better than all children, Prince of the East, fierce his valor
It was he that ruled our people in days of good fortune and glad victory.
Flowing flood of great wealth, gift-giver, war-band leader,
Hero who subdued the Dragon, leader of the Tyger's men of august mien,
Pillar of dignity over every head, fair chief of valor, caster of the spears
Sun-flash, noble, pleasant, head of the men of hospitality is Brennan.

And that's what Malcolm proclaimed as they processed into Court to accept their Crowns from Mistress Mercedes, acting as Regent of the Kingdom.

Finding something for a female monarch was harder, but I pieced together bits and pieces from various 10th cen. Irish sources and proposed this for Caoilfhionn.

Hail, the illustrious black-haired lady of the charming face, Caoilfhionn, Faelan’s daughter,
By the hosts of people assembled is she loved, a gem of the full precious stone, 
Fair and lovely, noble in her strength; great is her renown in every good thing.
Wise woman who enforces the law upon all, glorious lady who dispenses peace all round.
Queen of the Easterners, brilliance of the sun, the sun upon her cheek.

The phrases and descriptives are all lifted from various 10th cen. sections of the Annals, but they were not combined to describe one person this way.  (Yes, "black-haired lady of the charming face" is precisely how one Annalist described a woman he was praising).  I think with another day to fiddle, I could have half-assed this one less than I did.

However, as it turned out, my proposal wasn't to Caoilfhionn's taste and it wasn't used, so the only evidence of my half-assed effort will be found here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

1460 Fealty Oath

Alexandre, Prince of Insulae Draconis ( +Jeff Berry ) put me in touch with one of his subjects (Robert de Canterbury, Visct. O.P. & Etc) who also likes playing with words and period legal documents and I've been having a fun time looking over his blog, which can be found at

Among the fun things I found there was a 1460 fealty oath given by the Duke of York and the Earl of Rutland:

 Item, the said Richard duke of York, shall promise and bind him by his solemn oath, in manner and form as followeth:

In the name of God, Amen. I Richard duke of York, promise and swear by the faith and truth that I owe to almighty God, that I shall never do, consent, procure or stir, directly or indirectly, privily or openly, nor as much as in me is and shall be, suffer to be done, consented, procured or stirred, anything that may be or tend to the abridgement of the natural life of king Henry the Sixth, or to the hurt or diminishing of his reign or royal dignity, by violence or any other wise, against his freedom and liberty; but that if any person or persons, would do or presume anything to the contrary, I shall with all my power and might withstand it, and make it to be withstood as far as my power will stretch thereunto; so help me God, and these holy evangelists.

Item, Edward earl of March, and Edmund earl of Rutland, the sons of the said Richard duke of York, shall make like oath.

I am completely stealing this for Saturday  :-)  +Brennan mac Fearghus   +Meredith Bailin Hull , you've been warned.   :-)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

More evidence of jointly-issued charters

SCA award texts tend to be issued jointly by the King and Queen, unless the award is specific to one Royal or another (like the East's Queen's Order of Courtesy).   As I expand my sources for period legal texts, I'm finding more and more evidence that this practice follows period examples.  Many of the examples of jointly-issued texts I'm finding right now are from the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (aka Outremer aka the Crusader Kingdoms of the Middle East), because I'm working on a large article on medieval naming practices in that region.

Here are some more specific examples, for other people interested in this field:

Ego Raimundus, Dei gratia Tripolitanus comes, et Hodierna coniunx mea, eadem gratia Tripolis comitissa, regis Iherusalem filia

I Raymond, count of Tripoli (Tripolitan count) by the grace of God, and my spouse/wife Hodierna, by that same grace countess of Tripoli, daughter of the king of Jerusalem

From a charter issued 1140 (

Notum sit omnibus presentibus et futuris, quod ego Henricus Trecensis comes palatinus assensu et voluntate domine Ysabellis, quondam regis Amalrici filie

Let it be known to all present and future that I, Henry count palatine of Troy, with the consent and will of lady Isabella, daughter of former king Amalric

From a charter issued 1193 (

Notum sit omnibus presentibus et futuris, quod ego Aymericus dei gracia rex Ierusalem nonus et rex Cipri voluntate et assensu domine Ysabellis, uxoris mee, illustris regine et illustris quondam regis Amalrici filie

Let it be known to all present and future that I, Aimeric, by the grace of God ninth king of Jerusalem and king of Cyprus, with the will and consent of lady Isabel, my wife, illustrious queen and daughter of former illustrious king Amalric

From a charter issued 1198 (

Ego Gwido de Lysanan rex nobilis Ierosolimis et Sibilla nobilis regina, uxor mea legittima

 I, Guy of Lusignan, noble king of Jerusalem, and Sibylla noble queen, my legitimate wife

From a charter issued 1186 (

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Collin Monro's Pelican Scroll

Yet another 16th cen. Scots text, this time for +Collin Monro  And, for the record, this is 156 words.

Darius, Kyng of the Eest & Etheldreda the Quene, to all and syndrie our liegeis and subditis quhom it effeiris, to quhais knawlege thir oure lettres sall cum, greting.  For the gudis, trew and thankfull service done by oure lovittis Collin Monro of Tadcaster, We do heirby, with the advys & matture deliberatioun of oure grete council, amplyfie, indow and indote the beforesaid Collin as a Maister of the Pellicane, commaunding the said indewment and dotatione in all tymecomeing to have the full force and strenth of perfyte securitie; and We do furthir assigne and gif by letteris patentes unto the seyd Collin sich armes in mettaill and culloure as maist deulie suld appertene to him, as heirunder is depaintit: Argent, a pithon erect and on a cheyff sabill thre Maltese crosses argent.  The quhilk armes he and his posteritie may lefullie beir without reproche.  Done at Pennsic Warre in the feftieth yeyr of the Societie.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Even Yet More "Mad Libs" for Scribes

Since these seem to be incredibly popular, and I know our scribes are overloaded right now, I've done some more.

Another simple AoA text:

[given name only], King of the East, and [given name only], the Queen, to the good persons of all our land greeting.  Know that, in recompense and satisfaction for his/her notable deeds, we hereby award unto our trusty and well-beloved  ___________ the following arms, _________________________.  Done upon [date] in the ____ year of the Society, in [local group].

For someone who doesn't have arms registered at the time of their AoA, there is also this option:

[given name only], King of the East, and [given name only], the Queen, to the good persons of all our land greeting.  Know that, in recompense and satisfaction for his/her notable deeds, we hereby award unto our trusty and well-beloved  ___________ such arms in metal and color appropriate to his/her station and instruct him/her to consult with our heralds forthwith.  Done upon [date] in the ____ year of the Society, in [local group].

Since such things seem to be incredibly popular these days, here is a Court Barony with Grant of Arms scroll:

By [given name only] the King.  By [given name only] the Queen.   Know that, by these present letters, we do give, grant and confirm unto our faithful ____________ the status and renown of a Baron/ess of our Court.  And we do further, by our will, grant him/her arms in the form following: ________________________________, to be borne by him/her hereafter freely, fully, wholly, honorably, well and in peace. Done upon [date] in the ____ year of the Society, in [local group]

and, if the person doesn't have arms registered:

We, [given name only] and [given name only], King and Queen of the East, hereby give, grant and confirm unto our faithful ______________ the status and renown of a Baron/ess of our Court.  And we do further grant unto the said [given name only] arms in metal and color appropriate for his/her station, and instruct the said ___________ to consult with our heralds forthwith.  Done upon [date] in the ____ year of the Society, in [local group]

Monday, July 6, 2015

Albert Faulke of Sanford's OGR Scroll

For a good 16th cen. English gentleman upon his elevation to the OGR:

We, Darius and Etheldreda, King and Queen of the East, recognizing that we have taken on taken on the loftiest and pre-eminent duties of the realm, and therefore accepting that we should exalt noble men for their honour and the dignity of the state, and to raise them to higher dignities, so that our other subjects, imitating their exemplary virtue, may prepare themselves for like things; and wishing the virtues of royal munificence, liberality and nobility, to shine out to all men; therefore, for his outstanding faithful loyalty, service and obedience, and his surpassing excellence in all matters touching upon the art of the rapier, we do by these our present letters raise our servant Albert Faulke of Sandford to the renown, station and estate of a Companion of the Golden Rapier, with all pertinents, dependencies, rights and annexes associated therewith.  No person at all is allowed to infringe this our royal will, or recklessly dare to make resistance; however if anyone shall dare to attack the above-stated gift and grant, he will incur the perpetual indignation of ourselves and our successors.  As confirmation whereof, we have caused this public instrument to be made by the hand of another person, and signed by our sign and subscription manual, and we do further command and decree that the said instrument shall be proclaimed aloud in our Court at Glenn Linn, upon 4 July in the fiftieth year of the Society.

Caine Ramsey's Order of Defence Text

This text in 16th cen. Scots was rendered into an amazing scroll by +Jamin Brown and his lovely wife whose SCA name I never did learn.  Due to a confluence of weird circumstances, their names didn't get announced in Court with the scroll, but they deserve all the credit for an amazing 16th cen. grant of arms style Peerage scroll.  Hopefully he has pictures and I can sing their praises everywhere!

Darius, King of the Eest, and Etheldreda the Quene, to our right trustie and right weellbeloved Caine Ramsey, greetings.  Wheras by our royall wisdome and princelie cair for the peace and happines of our dominiones, we have caussit the Ordore of Defens to be constituited in this realme; and wheras diveris of our subjectis have by ther severall petitiones humbly besought us that you should be indewit with the beforesaid Ordore; and wheras you have manifested maniefauld skill and excellence in the practeis of defens, and have shewin noblesse, wisedome and faith in your dedis, we do therefore, by these our presents lettiris, insese, indow and indote you as a Master of Defense, ordeaneing the said indewment and dotatione in all tymecomeing to have the full force and strenth of perfyte securitie.  And we do fwrthir giwe and convey wnto you for all the dayes of his lyftyme all honoures, dignities, proffites, liberties and priviledges which are possest and brookit by Peers of the realmme, and decrie and ordeane that you shall possess and enjoye fully and frely Armes by Lettiris Patentes in the forme herein stated: Per pall inverted sable, argent, and azure, two dogs combatant counterchanged and a tower argent.  And, lykeas, for ourselfes and our successoures, we promeiseth in verbo principis to hold the abounvrettin gyft, indewment and dotatione firme and stable, and to cause it to be trewlie observed by all our leiges according to the tennour and intent therof for now and evir.  In witness wherof, we have caussit these our lettiris to be mad patentes, witness ourselfes at Glen Linn, 4 Jullay in the fiftieth year of the Society.

Pascual's Order of Defense Text

I had such high hopes for this one.  I was going to have it translated into 16th cen. Castillian with a Latin attestation, but the scribe was unwilling to play ball with my "overly complicated" ideas.   So I put together this out of my own head based on extensive reading of 16th cen. English sources.

Sorry +Patrick Panico .  I promise Castillian for your knighting or your Pelican.   :-)

Wherefore we find it just, right, fitting, noble, behoveful and necessary to constitute within our Realm the Order of Defence; and wherefore our subject Pascual del Mar has, by his various deeds at arms and through his studies of the mysteries of the rapier as practiced by our cousins of Spain, caused himself to be possessed of such repute, name and worth as any good and notable man could wish for himself; therefore do we, Darius Rex and Etheldreda Regina, invest, create and endow the said Pascual as a Master of Defence, with all privileges, liberties, honors, and appurtenances attaching thereto, and instruct that he shall bear the same as freely, tranquilly, fully, wholly, honorably, well and in peace, without impediment, revocation or obstacle whatsoever, as any Peer of the Realm; and we do further invest him and his heirs males with Arms by letters patents in the form following:  Per bend gules and azure, two hammerhead sharks naiant in annulo argent; and we do further charge the said Pascual to bear hereafter on his person at all times hereafter and henceforward the ensigns and signacles of the Order of Defence, that he may bring honor and renown upon the Order and our Realm. At Glenn Linn, upon 4 July, in the fiftieth year of the Society.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lorenzo's Apprenticeship Contract

The words to my apprenticeship contract with +Mike Goodman.

This indenture made upon 13 June in the fiftieth year of the Society.  By these present letters, witness that Lorenzo Gorla, a free man of Italy, does hereby bind himself as apprentice to Alys Mackyntoich, Mistress of the Laurel, for a term of years, to study such matters as the said Alys has been deemed fit to teach; and further the said Lorenzo does bind himself to be a true and faithful servant for those years and to keep and abide his Mistress’s counsel in all lawful things; and the said Alys does bind herself by these present letters to give to the said Lorenzo such wages, livery and board as is needful to keep and maintain the said Lorenzo as an apprentice should be kept, and to instruct and support him faithfully and lawfully, withholding no secrets; the aforesaid having been done and agreed upon in the presence of witnesses.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Period or Not . . . Gemstone Names

I was asked by an East Kingdom Gazette reader whether “gemstone” names were used in period.  Broad questions like this are always somewhat hard to answer, because different cultures adopted different naming styles at different time periods.  What I can say is that, in some times and places, parents named their children after gemstones. 

Some examples of gemstone names are below.  Note that these are simply examples.  Not finding a particular time period or culture among these examples does not mean that additional research by a specialist in that language will not turn up evidence of a particular gemstone name.  

The names Ruby[1] and Sapphire[2] are found as female names in late period England.  Pearle appears in late-period England as a male name.[3]

The Italian word for “emerald” is found in records as a male name, Smeraldo[4], and as a female name, Smeralda[5].

Interestingly, “diamond” seems to be the most popular gemstone for period names.  There are 13th and 14th century English examples of Diamanda as a female given name.[6]  Diamond appears as a male given name in 16th century England.[7]  Diamante is found as a female given name in 16th century Germany[8] and 13th century Italy.[9] 

[1] Ruby [no surname]; Female; Marriage; 16 May 1581; Saint Andrew, Plymouth, Devon, England; Batch: M00183-1 (
[2] Sapphire Hill; Female; Marriage; 26 Jun 1638; Morval, Cornwall, England; Batch: M05293-1 (;  Sapphira Norkin; Female; Burial; 12 Oct 1635; St. Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex, England; Batch: B02857-4 (
[3] Pearle Neale; Male; Marriage; 25 Jul 1621; Saint Andrew By The Wardrobe, London, London, England; Batch: M02232-1 (
[4] Names in 15th Century Florence and her Dominions: the Condado by Julia Smith (SCA: Juliana de Luna) (
[5] Late Period Italian Women's Names: Florence by Julia smith (SCA: Juliana de Luna) (
[6] Diamanda is found in Feminine Given Names in A Dictionary of English Surnames by Brian Scott (SCA: Talan Gwynek) ( dated to 1221 and 1349.
[7] Diamond Diamonde; Male; Christening; 08 Aug 1563; Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, England; Batch: C06314-2 (
[8] Diamante Garniche; Female; Christening; 05 Apr 1573; Evangelisch, Frankenthal, Pfalz, Bavaria; Batch: K98429-2 (

[9] Feminine Given Names from Thirteenth Century Perugia by Josh Mittleman (Arval Benicoeur) ( 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Period or Not . . . Valeria and Valerie

Although the name Valeria is often associated with modern fantasy literature and movies, it was a popular female given name in several languages in period.  Valeria is found as a female given name in the 16th century and early 17th century in Spain[1], Germany[2], Switzerland[3], and England[4].  The related name Valerie, although it appears quite modern to our eyes, was also found in late-period England, both as a male name[5] and as a female name[6].

[1]  Valeria Paula Margarida Montras; Female; Christening; 20 Oct 1599; San Felíu, Gerona, Gerona, Spain; Batch: C89274-2 (

[2]  Valeria Wagner; Female; Christening; 23 Feb 1589; KATHOLISCH, BAUERBACH, KARLSRUHE, BADEN; Batch: C95149-1 (

[3] Valeria Gessler; Female; Christening; 17 Sep 1571; Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland; Batch: C73985-8  (

[4]  Valeria Crosse; Female; Christening; 10 Dec 1617; SAINT DUNSTAN, STEPNEY, LONDON, ENGLAND; Batch: C05576-5 (

[5]  Valerie Kettlewell; Male; Christening; 15 Dec 1574; TATTERFORD, NORFOLK, ENGLAND; Batch: C04149-1 (

[6]  Valerie Morgan; Female; Christening; 01 Nov 1620; SAINT MARTIN-VINTRY, LONDON, LONDON, ENGLAND; Batch: C02245-2 (

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Thomas de Castellan's MoD Text

I really have to remember to keep my notes about sources.  I've been lazy about it, and as a result I have no idea what my inspiration for this text was.   Reading it "cold," as it were, I'm fairly certain it was Scottish due to the reference to "market crosses" and the injunction that the decree must be proclaimed and posted publicly.  That's something I tend to find in Scottish, but not English, charters and decrees in the 16th century.

Also note that this is likely the only time that "pure benevolence" and +Thomas Zadlo will be mentioned in the same sentence.   :-)

Darius, King of the East, and Etheldreda the Queen, to all our dukes, earls, barons, officers, sheriffs, provosts, ministers and faithful men, greeting.  Forasmuch as our servant Thomas de Castellan has pursued, promoted and sustained the practice and arte of the rapier these many years; and acknowledging the affection and pure benevolence with which the said Thomas has served our realm and the many travails endured by the said Thomas in that service; therefore, let it be known that, with the advice of our beloved and loyal Peers of the Realm, we do hereby give, grant and convey, and on behalf of ourselves and our successors confirm in perpetuity, in favor of the said Thomas, the style, estate and renown of a Master of Defence.  And we do further, with the assent of the dukes, earls, barons, knights and other good persons of our kingdom decree and ordain that the said Thomas shall bear hereafter all of the rights, privileges and endowments that are fitly and justly borne by a Peer, as fully, completely and perfectly as all other persons so elevated, according to the most ancient rights and customs of the kingdom.  And we do further will and command that copies of the present letters be directed to our officers of arms, charging them to pass and make publication of the matters above-written by open proclamation at the market crosses of the principal burghs within the realm and all other places needful, through which none may pretend ignorance thereof; and to command and charge all and sundry our subjects to reverence, acknowledge and obey our will as above-written in all points and pertinents.  In testimony of which we have caused the present charter to be marked with our ensigns manual upon 30 May in the fiftieth year of the Society, at Carillion.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Apprenticeship Resources

Throwing things here so I can find them again:

'Introduction: Apprenticeship', in Calendar of the Plea and Memoranda Rolls of the City of London: Volume 2, 1364-1381, ed. A H Thomas (London, 1929), pp. xxx-xlvii

Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn through 1568:

The Records of the Honorable Society of Lincoln's Inn: 1586-1660

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Davius's Master of Defence Text

I know I said I was going to be taking a break, but it's hard to say "no" to personal requests from the recipients for one's work.

At Davius Sainct-Jacques's request (writs are a wonderful thing), +Mathilde Poussin collaborated on a scroll text for him in 16th cen. French for his elevation today in Trimaris.  Brunissende used the original French from the same source text I used from the English adaptation, a 1603 charter by Henry IV of France.   If all went according to plan, the C&I was also done in 16th cen. French style (but that's not my department).

The French:

Takamatsu par la grâce des armes, roi de Trimaris et Cecilia notre Reine, à nos conseillers fidèles et bien-aimés, nos sénéchaux, hérauts, poursuivants, gens de loi, prévôts et ministres et à chacun d'entre eux dans le contexte de leurs droits et l'étendue de leurs pouvoirs et de leurs juridictions, salutations. Comme nous avons, de notre pleine puissance et autorité Royale, pour beaucoup d'importantes occasions, ordonné, commis et établi  l’Ordre de Défense au sein de notre royaume, et parce qu’après avoir ainsi ordonné et établi cet ordre, il est nécessaire que nous créions des compagnons pour ledit corps; et parce que nous trouvons que notre cher et bien amé sujet Davius Sainct-Jacques est un maitre avéré dans l'art de l’épée, doué d’honneur et de bravoure et en toutes manières unique, excellent, merveilleux et remarquable; pour ces causes et autres considérations à ce nous mouvans, par l’arrêté ci-présent valide à perpétuité, le commettons, ordonnons, faisons, constituons et établissons un Maitre de Défense et ordonnons et décrétons qu'il porte ci-après et dès à présent par lettres patentes les armes ci-décrites: De péan, sur un gant sénestre d'argent, un corbeau au naturel.

Et outre ce, afin que personne ne prétende cause d'ignorance de cette notre intention: de la charge, dignité et autorité que nous lui donnons par ces présentes, mandons et ordonnons à tous nosdits Officiers, de quelque qualité et condition qu'ils soient, que ces présentes lettres ou vidimus dûement collationnés d'icelles par l'un de nos amis et féaux Conseillers, Notaires et Secrétaires, ou autre Notaire Royal, ils fassent, à votre requête, poursuite et diligence, ou de nos Procureurs, lire, publier et registrer ès registres de leurs juridictionés, pouvoirs et détroits, afin que chacun d'eux puisse obéir et se conformer à cela notre volonté car tel est notre plaisir.  Nous mandons, ordonnons, et très expressément enjoignons à tous nos Justiciers, Officiers et sujets, de se conformer et, pour l'assurance et l'acquittement de notre volonté, de saisir, appréhender et arrêter tous les contrevenans à notre présente défense et ordonnance, pour les amener et remettre ès mains de la justice.  

Donné, le 24 de Mai durant la cinquantième année de la société.

And the English:

____ by right of arms, King of Trimaris, and _____ our Queen, to our well-beloved and faithful advisors, our seneschals, heralds, pursuivants, justiciaries, provosts and ministers, and to each one of them in their own right, and in the extent of their powers and jurisdictions, Greetings.  Forasmuch as, from our full power and royal authority, we have, for many important reasons, ordered, commissioned and established the Order of Defense within our Realm; and forasmuch as, so ordering, commissioning and establishing, it is needful that we create Companions of the said Order; and forasmuch as we find our good subject Davius Sainct-Jacques to be a true master in the arts of the rapier, possessed of a full measure of honor and valor, and in all ways singular, preeminent, wonderful and remarkable; therefore, by this our present and ever-valid charter, we create him a Master of Defense, and instruct, ordain and decree that he shall bear hereafter arms by letters patents in the form following: Pean, on a sinister glove argent, a raven proper.
To ensure that our will in this matter is carried out, we command and order you, the officers of our realm, to have the within charter immediately published and read in all the public places of your powers and jurisdictions so that none of our subjects may claim cause of ignorance, so that each one may obey and conform to this our will, since such is our pleasure.  We do further command and order you, for the assurance and acquittal of our will, to seize, apprehend, and arrest all those who go against our present charter, to take and remit them into the hands of our justice.  Given in [place] on the [number] day of [month] in the fiftieth year of the Society.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Frasier's Master of Defence Text

For +Stephen Wright 's elevation as one of the Premiers of the East's Order of Defense, a text based on 16th cen. Scots charters, written in 16th cen. Scots.

We, Darius, Kyng of the Est, & Etheldreda the Qwene, with the advys & matture deliberatioun of oure grete councill, recognise that it turnis to the honour & glory of kyngs quhen persouns of nobill race, by nobill encheving, resave preferment to glorious rewairds & dignities, so that thairby, as thay find thaime selfis decorit with greter honours of titill & name, thay may applie thaime selfis to straif with greter feruencie towert fwrthir maistrie, graunder & more verteuous, & towert fwrthir thingis promoting thair own renowne, & the honour & profyt of the realmme & the commoun gude.  Be it thairfore known to all men, both now & in thie futuir, that we haue consideryt the diuers & sundrie labouris, surpassing skill & excellens & unfatigat purpose shewen these many yeirs by Frasier MacLeod in materis of thee rappier, & willyng & wisshyng thie same Frasier to be attendit by greter favours of grace & honor, to schynit moure brichtly with staturis, & we do thairfore by our sure knowledge, fulnes of power & speciall grace, elevate, mak, creat & newlie raise to the Perage the said Frasier, wisshing him to reioyce in & possess perpetuallie thie titill of a Maister of Defence.  And we do fwrthir insese & indow the said Frasier with armes by patentz letteris, to wit: Argent, a gantelatted sinister cubit arme sable mantaning a rose gules, barbyt, slipped & leavit vert, wythin a bordure sable semy of roses argent.  Done upoun 1 Maie in the feftieth yeyr of the Societie at An Dubhaigeainn.

Donovan's Master of Defense Text

This one was largely made up wholly out of my own head, and then put into spelling appropriate for the 1580s, to go with a quite spectacular scoll by +Nataliia Hurd , for Master Donovan Shinnock ( +Timothy Walsh ), one of the three premiers of the East's Order of Defense.

We, Darius the Kyng and Etheldreda the Queene, give greetings to all good men throughout the Reaulme of the East.  Forasmuch as Donovan Shinnock has performed worthie, remarkable, singular and notable dedes of martial valour and prouwess, and forasmuch as the saied Donovan has, by his works and studies advaunced the practise of the arte of the rapier, and forasmuch as the dedes and works above-wrytten find great favour in our eyes, therefore, by our power and authoritie, and by the wording of our pressent charter,we do herebie make, create, elevate and establissh the saied Donovan as a Master of Defence, to hold faithfullie, trulie and in perpetuitie all rights, freedoms, profites, and whatever juste pertinents relate or could relate to a Peere of the Reaulme, as freely as any Peere has been endouwed bye us or our predecessors wythin our reaulme, wythout any revocastioun or contredictioun whatsoeveer.  And we do further investe and endow the saied Donovan with Arms by lettres patentes in the form following:  Per pale sabell and verte, on a chief argent a fox passant gulles.  On our instrucioun this chartere has been seen, rede, inspected and diligentlie exaumined, and is sound and complete, and shall not be reduced, nor cancelled, nor in any respect suspect.  Therefore, we do affyrm, ratifie and approve this chartre in all its points, articles, condictions, modes and circumstaunces whatsoever, in all and through all, in form as in effect as mentioned.  In testimonie of this, we have set our ensygns manual belowe upon 2 May in the fiftyeth yere of the Society, in An Dubhaigeainn.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Augmentation of Arms for Mercedes

Yesterday, +Jody Livingston was awarded an Augmentation of Arms for her twenty-five years and more of serving the Kingdom of the East, including as Kingdom Rapier Marshal, Vicar of Carillion and currently as Seneschale of the East.

I wish I'd had the time to work with some of the folks I know who are willing to try their hand at translating English into period Spanish.

Be it manifest and known to all who shall see this public instrument that, in the city of Bhakail on the eleventh day of the month of April, in the forty-ninth year of the Society, in the presence of witnesses, there being present many very exalted and powerful lords and ladies of the Realm, We, Edward and Thyra, by right of arms King and Queen of the East, did make and cause to be made certain gifts and endowments unto our very dear and well-beloved Mercedes Vera de Califia, the tenor of which, word for word, is as follows:

Item.  Finding the deeds and labors of the said Mercedes to be in all ways singular, preeminent, wonderful and remarkable, not the least of which being her diligence and travails as our Seneschale; and further wishing and desiring that the said Mercedes should know the esteem in which we hold her wise counsel and patient adjuvance in all matters touching upon the good weal of the Realm; and further wishing and desiring that the said Mercedes should enjoy all the honours, graces, concessions, prerogatives, immunities, and other things, which are due to her, we do therefore endow the said Mercedes with an Augmentation of Arms;

Item.  We do further command our heralds, having seen and understood the said endowment above-written, and every part and parcel of it, and being certain and assured of everything set forth therein, and desiring to observe and fulfill it, to advise and aid the said Mercedes in the fulfillment of our will;

Item.  We do further, for ourselves and our successors, and their kingdoms and lordships, forever and ever, affirm, avow and agree to keep, observe, fulfill, effectively, in good faith and without deception, renouncing all fraud, mental reservation, deception, fiction, and dissimulation whatsoever, all that is set forth above; and we will and desire and are content that the within decree shall be observed and fulfilled, just as it stands.

In witness whereof we, Edward and Thyra, set our ensigns manual below.

Based on the Treaty between Spain and Portugal, concluded at Vitoria; February 19, 1524