Sunday, February 12, 2017

Scroll Text for the new Queen's Bard

It has become a tradition that the outgoing Bardic Champions write the scroll texts for their successors.  I was tempted to do the text in Middle English just because it is fun to work in that language, but it also limits the number of people who can read the scroll in Court.  As it turned out, it would have been particularly appropriate to do the scroll in Middle English, since the new Queen's Bard, +Wendy Gale, performed part of the Canterbury tales in Middle English on her way to victory.

Champions texts are hard to write in a purely period style, because there is simply no comparable model period document for an SCA "champion" position.  As a result, I ended up embroidering this text with language about why it's important to commit important events and deeds to writing.  The need to write stuff down in order to preserve the facts of an event against future uncertainty is a recurring theme in medieval charter-writing.

While it sounds modern, the epithet "excellently honorable and honorably excellent" is taken directly from a period letter to Matilda, Queen of Scotland:  "Excellenter honorabili, et honorabiliter excellenti, reginae Anglorum, Mathildae, T., servorum S. Cuthberti servus, in praesenti, pacis et salutis bonum; et, in futuro, bonorum omnium bonum." (

The text:

Anna, excellently honorable and honorably excellent queen of the East, to all persons of our realm, peace and health in the present, and the good of all goods in the future.  Since through the changeable course of time, which changes its position in various ways on account of the instability of human memory, things which were formerly done openly and solemnly are often rendered unknown, and thus the way lies open to errors, and the truth is very often obscured, good and notable deeds should, in a plenitude of wisdom, be committed to writing.  Thus, all of you shall know that, in our presence and the presence of assembled noble persons of the realm in our Court at Concordia of the Snows, upon February 11 in the fifty-first year of the Society, with the harmonious praise of many, Sabine de Kerbriant was proclaimed and installed as our Queen’s Bard, with all rights and privileges appertaining thereto, to have and hold the said office for the term of one year, according to the most ancient customs of the realm.  In witness whereof, We set our ensign manual below.

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