An Tir Internal Letter of Intent

Free to all persons willing to comment on a regular basis

Commentary due on this letter by the second week of September 1998

This letter is also available by subscription for $12.00 U.S./year

Email: pwallace@linknet.kitsap.lib.wa.us

July 1, 1998 A.S. XXXIII


Greetings unto the An Tir College of Heralds from Maryn Lion's Blood! News: Black Lion says that he means the new forms to be in the hands of the heralds by the time the August Crier comes out; as soon as they're ready, we'll be doing a massive mail-out. Laurel says that they expect to see the new forms in use by the November Letters of Intent; that means that we need to be using them here by (let's see, that would be the September Letter of Intent, so that means…) August!

Also in the heraldic news is Laurel's decision to no longer register what is sometimes called the 'Norse twisty-beastie'; from the May LoAR, "Finally, after the October 1998 Laurel meeting we will no longer register zoomorphic beasts of any kind."

I also note a number of returns in several Kingdoms for issues that do not involve conflicts. There was one device returned for using non-heraldic tinctures; the gules was held to be orange, not red. Some things were returned because the charges were not clearly one thing or another, or because the posture was not clear. Please pass along to anyone with whom you consult that these things - inaccurate drawings, use of other than clear primary tinctures - are grounds for return from Laurel, and therefore will be returned in Kingdom.

The July Lion's Blood meeting will be held on Sunday, July 12, in Olympia, at the Honorable Lady Natasha's house at 1:00 in the afternoon. (Directions follow) This means that commentary on the May Internal Letter will be due by July 10 for inclusion in that meeting.

And here's how you get to HL Natasha's house: From I-5, take exit 109 (Martin Way). Turn east as though to go to the Thurston County Fairgrounds. Turn right on Kinwood street, which is one block PAST Carpenter Road (the one that DOES go to the Fairgrounds). Turn left on 4th Way, which will be the second left. Turn left into the first cul de sac. The house number is 6820. Knock on the side door by the driveway.

Commentary on the June letter will be due by August 14th for inclusion in decisions made at the August Lion's Blood meeting. That meeting will be held on August 15th at Countess Elisabeth de Rossignol's home, at 12 o'clock noon. Note, the meeting will be ending promptly at 2:30.

Following the meeting, after a short break for everyone to go and find themselves some lunch, those interested are invited to proceed to the local library (directions available at the Lion's Blood meeting) to attend Dame Zenobia's presentation, beginning at 4:00, of the work that she and Baron David have done on Late Medieval Scottish Heraldic Design. The work consists of an analysis of tincture use, charge use and armorial composition, based on five collections of Scottish arms from the 14th through the 16th centuries.

This is a working session to refine a presentation for a mundane academic conference, so please, bring only serious questions and attitudes if you attend. The session will consist of a half-hour presentation, a question and answer session and (if the first presentation needs work) a second pass through the presentation.

And for the August meeting, here are directions to Countess Elisabeth's house. From the south--take I-5 to Highway 18. Go east to Highway 167 and follow it north to the SW 43rd/S 180th St exit. Exit right onto Petrovitsky. Follow this east to the stoplight at Petrovitsky and 140th St. Go straight through this light to the next light about a block farther along, at the Texaco station. Turn left at this light. Follow this street until it comes to a stopsign. Go straight through the stopsign. Now in half a mile or so you want to be looking for a cross street marked 160th Place SE, Division 15-17. Turn left here. This will now put you onto a winding residential street. Follow it until it dead ends. The house is the second from the dead end on the left, house number 16308. It is a gray split level with a white minivan in the driveway.

From the north--go south on 405 to Highway 169 exit, Renton/Maple Valley Highway. This will put you onto a street you will have to follow through a couple of lights that runs parallel to the freeway. Finally you will see the light at 169, turn left (east). Follow this past the community center on the right, the golf course on the left, until you come to a light at 140th. Turn right here. Follow this winding road up the hill until you come to a light at Fairwood Boulevard. Turn left there into an area called Fairwood Greens. Follow Fairwood Boulevard through its twists and turns until it dead ends at a stopsign. Turn left at the stopsign. The street you have just turned left onto has now metamorphosed into Fairwood Boulevard. Now in half a mile or so you want to be looking for a cross street marked 160th Place SE, Division 15-17. Turn left here. This will now put you onto a winding residential street. Follow it until it dead ends. The house is the second from the dead end on the left, house number 16308. It is a gray split level with a white minivan in the driveway.

The September meeting is not yet set, but plan to have commentary on this letter to me before the second weekend in September for it to be included in the decision making.

The June Lion's Blood meeting was, I think, clearly a success. We sat under the apple trees, with a gentle breeze cooling our feverish deliberations… Here are the names of the people who attended the meeting, or (in bold) wrote letters of commentary: Zenobia Naphtali, David of Moffat assisted by Natasha Orionova Zateeva, Tegan Conwy, Frederick Badger, Eglantyne Merryweather, Elisabeth de Rossignol assisted by Jean-Philippe Lours, by Celeste de la Houssaye, by Avicia le Mey, and by Lovell, Ciaran Cluana Ferta, Elonda BlueHaven, and our gracious host, Ruadhan O'Faolain.

I think that it is important for commenters, and especially new or potential commenters, to know how submissions were handled in Kingdom; that is, if the submission was sent to Laurel, what changes did we make, what documentation did we add? If the submission was returned, where were the problems? Without this information, the same errors might be made over and over, and the interesting bits (hey, I didn't know we could do that! I have a submitter who'd really like something like that…) will go unnoticed. So please bear with the length of this letter; I am repeating, roughly, the information that went to Laurel and to the submitters. And if you think that this is a really stinky idea, and I'm just belaboring the obvious, please let me know!

Here are the results of the June meeting.


Old Submissions

The following have been sent to Laurel:

1. Catriona nic Theũrlaigh Device Change (Glymm Mere)

Per bend sinister vert and azure a bend sinister wavy argent

The blazon was corrected from Vert and azure, a bend wavy sinister argent. Her previous device is to be released should this device be registered. If you are helping a submitter with a change, please take care to note whether or not the name or device is to be released; release is the default, so if the submitter wishes to retain the previously registered name or device, it must be so stated in the submission.

2. Catriona Stiubhard Device resub/Kingdom (Coeur du Val)

Per pale embowed counterembowed argent and sable two natural dolphins naiant in annulo counterchanged

The blazon was corrected from Per fess undly argent and sable a dolphin haurient in chief and haurient inverted in base, both counterchanged. "Undly" is not a blazon term, and "undy" is not standard SCA usage. This line is per pale, not per fess, and is embowed counterembowed, although deeper "embowing" would be better. Also, if you just say 'dolphins' your charge will default to heraldic dolphins; 'natural dolphins' have to be specified, and they don't look all that much alike! 'Naiant in annulo' is pretty clearly 'swimming in a circle', and is more precisely descriptive of the position.

We believe her to be clear of JÛfrĖdr ThorbjarnardÛttir of the Westfjord's device, Per fess nebuly argent and sable in pale two bottlenosed dolphins in annulo counterchanged, with 1 CD for the field, and 1 CD for changing half of the tincture of each dolphin.

3. Caversgate, Incipient Shire of Device resub/Kingdom (Caversgate)

Sable, a gate within and conjoined to a stone archway within a laurel wreath Or

This group's name and device were mistakenly sent to Laurel without the required petitions, and were returned for that reason. Because this return threatened their incipient status, Laurel agreed to rule on their name as a hardship case, and the name paperwork (plus petition) has been sent to her and been ruled upon. They are now a full Shire. However, Laurel stated that the device must go through Kingdom again; no conflicts were found. This device resubmission is accompanied by a petition signed by nine people, all paid members of the Society. The group's petition also noted which members held shire offices. It is worth mentioning that although the blazon remains the same, this group's device has been redrawn; the colour copies that went to Laurel were done in a plain, flat yellow, which, though less attractive than the version shaded with orange, is not likely to be returned for tincture violations.

4. David Visdelu le Wrothe Name - see 'Returns' for device (Valley Wold)

The submitter provides a copy of his birth certificate for the name <David>; his local herald also cites Withycombe, pp. 79-80. The other elements are documented as follows: <Visdelu> comes from Reaney and Wilson's Dictionary of British Surnames 2nd edition; on page 127, under 'Fidler', is listed Visdelou from 1160 and Videlu from 1198. The spelling chosen by the submitter, although not directly attested, seems plausible. From the same source comes <le Wrothe>, page 394, under 'Wroth', with 'Walter le Wrothe 1221'. He wishes to retain the meaning of 'David Wolf Face the Fierce'.

One commenter suggested that putting the entire name into French might be better form, as <Wrothe> derives from an Old English word; and this is a very good point. The commenter says, "This would place the whole name into one language". However, the name actually is already in one language. In the 12th and 13th centuries French was used so universally in England that, no matter the origin of <Wrothe> as a word, the attested usage as a name is le Wrothe, a French form.

The name was not considered to conflict with <David Lee Roth>. (!)

5. Eleanor of Leycestershyre Device - see 'Returns' for badge (Aquaterra)

Purpure, a phoenix Or rising from flames gules, on a chief Or three suns in splendor purpure

Several people commented that this was an illegal use of colour on colour, with the gules flames on the purpure field. However, a phoenix is defined by its flames; the flame portion of the phoenix is considered to be half of the charge. Therefore, this phoenix is half Or, half gules and thereby a neutral charge. So it's legal to put it on a colour field. For everyone who was unsure about this one - so was I, and had to ask!

6. Fabienne l'AccusČe Name & Device New (Myrgan Wood)

Per saltire azure and sable, a stag salient contourny argent and issuant from base a demi-sun Or

We have used 'citation only' docs for the given name, replacing the documentation sent with the submission. The masculine name 'Fabien' is found on page 243 of Dauzat's Noms de famille et prenoms de France. We also mention that the practice of adding an '-ne' to a masculine name ending in '-n' is not an uncommon means, in French, of producing a feminine form, and show an example (e.g. Jean-Jeanne, page 343, op.cit.)

The discussion concerning the byname was lively. The byname is formed using the word 'accusČ', which dates to the 13th century, according to Dauzat's Dictionnaire Etymologique et historique du Francais. We are aware of the fact that participle bynames (like 'the Browneyed') in English are considered to be non period style and reason for return. However, the College in An Tir was uncertain about the applicability of that ruling as applied to other languages - in this case, French.

Aestel Herald found some support for the byname. We sent up reference to an article by Colm Dubh, from Proceedings of the KWHS in Meridies, 1996, entitled "An Index to the Given Names in the 1292 Census of Paris", which mentions a 'Lancelot l'Angoisseus', or 'Lancelot the Anguished', translation by Talan Gwynek. It may be an isolated example, but it is a period byname with the past participle form. We decided that this was an interesting and important piece of information, and a decision for Laurel.

We have changed the blazon from Per saltire azure and sable, a stag courant contourny and in base a demi-sun Or. The lady asked if it was possible to use a laurel wreath on her device, since she is a member of the Order of the Laurel, but most commenters were clear on the rule that only branches may use such wreaths. (I thanked her for letting us include this point in our discussions.) I made a rather nasty error on the April letter here; I left the blazon as sent to me (for everyone's practice in blazoning), but did not mention in the text that the stag was argent. There then had to be hasty - but thorough - double checking for conflict, as the College naturally would have checked for conflict with the stag Or. Happily, we found none. The argent stag was not in a clearly courant posture, so it was sent up as salient. The sun is more correctly described as issuant from base, since otherwise it would be couped and in base.

7. Gabriel Mousebane Name Appeal to Laurel (Three Mountains)

This is the appeal that we sent up to Laurel; I am including the whole thing on the theory that these letters are also meant to be learning tools. Many, especially new, heralds may never have seen an appeal, and wonder what goes in one. It was written by Aestel Herald; the position of the An Tir College on this appeal (the College must take a position, either support, not support or no position) is support.

It is the opinion of the An Tir College of Heralds that the return of the name <Gabriel Mousebane> on the January 1998 Letter of Acceptance and Return was in error, based on insufficient information. This name was not intended to represent an Anglicization of a Norse epithet, actual or constructed. It was intended to be a constructed Middle English descriptive byname formed from elements used in the same time and place, and in the same language.

Jonsjo records several bynames using the element <Bayn>--Starkbayn (strong legs) and Hardbayne (hard legs), Pultbayn (chicken legs), Bridbayn (bird legs) as well as Stygbane (climb legs). The use of <bane> (to use the

submitter's spelling) as a second element in a Middle English byname seems very clear. Note, this is Middle English, not Norse. This element may have originally derived from an Old Norse word, but it is no longer being used in that context. Also note particularly the examples of 'Pultbayn' and 'Bridbayn'. Both of these are formed on the pattern (animal) + (bane). On this same pattern see, from Reaney and Wilson 3rd, page 181, under 'Gaitbane', 'William Gaytebane 1301'; and although their translation sees <bane> as 'bone' instead of 'legs', it is derived from OE bn, and supports the (animal) + (bane) formation.

Jonsjo also records the Middle English byname 'Musey', meaning 'mouse eye'. The LoI gives examples of other bynames from Reaney using 'mouse', i.e. 'Mousetonge' and 'Museberd', thus establishing the pattern (mouse) + (body part).

All the above examples, both from Jonsjo and from Reaney, date from the 12th through the 14th centuries, all in England and within the Middle English period.

Having established (animal) + (bane) as a documentable pattern of byname formation, and (mouse) + (body part) as well, we believe that <Mousebane> should be an acceptable form. It is a constructed byname but demonstrably uses elements that were contemporary, and conforms to patterns on which such names were formed in period.

8. Gabrielle Lepinay Name & Device New (Madrone)

Per bend sinister gules and sable a rabbit rampant argent in chief a rapier fesswise proper

It was not necessary to add to or to change the name or its documentation. The names are documented to Dictionnaire etymologique des noms de famille et prenoms de France by Dauzat; page 273 for <Gabrielle> and page 150 for <Lepinay>.

The blazon was corrected from Per bend sinister gules and sable, a rabbit rampant to sinister argent, in chief a rapier proper. Some commenters were unsure whether, in this sort of case, the blazon (the description) or the emblazon (the picture) took precedence. However, we register the emblazon; the picture defines the submission, and we change the description - the blazon - to match the emblazon.

One commenter wondered whether or not there was enough difference between a rabbit and a fox to make a clear difference. Even though (especially if badly drawn) a fox rampant and a hare rampant might look pretty similar on shields across a field, they are different beasts, and worth difference from each other. A fox does conflict with dogs or wolves, but not with a feline or a rabbit or an equine.

Another commenter was concerned with the position of the rabbit, citing the stiff legs and wondering if it was thereby not 'rampant'; since only one person mentioned this as a problem, I went ahead and sent up the rabbit instead of returning it for a redraw. I will hope that I have not done the submitter a disservice.

We count, against Bronislous of Vilnius who bears Per pale azure and gules a hare rampant ermine and in chief a sword fesswise proper, one CD for the field and one CD for the tincture of the rabbit. One commenter was unsure how many differences were available for the changes to the field; Rfs. X.4.a.i. reads "Charged Fields - If charges other than an uncharged peripheral ordinary are present, at most one clear difference may be counted for changes to the field." So the different line of division OR the change of tincture would give you a CD; but one is all we get.

We also advise the client to draw the sword larger in future.

9. Hlutwige Wolfkiller Badge (Three Mountains)

Per pale Or and vert, upon a roundel per pale embowed counterembowed vert and Or two scorpions in annulo counterchanged

Although I listed this badge as 'new' on the Letter of Intent, it is only technically new. Kingdom failed to inform Laurel that the lady wished to retain her old device for use as a badge, and it was released in January of 1998 when a change to her device was registered. Laurel's advice was to send it up again, quickly; once released, there was little else to be done. A telephone conversation with the submitter provided permission.

10. Jacques Louis de Normandie Device resub/Laurel (Dragon's Laire)

Per saltire sable and azure, on a Latin cross formy argent, a fleur-de-lis sable

The blazon was changed from Per saltire sable and azure, a Latin cross formy argent, a fleur-de-lis sable.

His previous submission, Per saltire sable and azure, a Latin cross formy argent, was returned for conflict with Seth Williamson of Exeter's Lozengy purpure and Or, a cross formy fitchy argent, with only one CD for the change to the field, but nothing for 'fitchy'. We are advising this submitter, also, to draw one of the charges a little larger; the fleur-de-lis should be a little more prominent.

11. Kathern Thomas Gyelle Spence Device Change (Three Mountains)

Per chevron pointed with a Linden leaf sable and vert

Her previous device was Sable, a unicorn's head erased and on a gore argent a Thyrsus bendwise proper, registered in 1991. She would like to retain her previous device for use as a badge if her current submission is registered.

Some discussion was sent up to Laurel with this submission The device is rather similar to that of von Hermbsdorf, found in Siebmacher's 1605 Wappenbuch on folio 81, which might be blazoned Per chevron ployČ pointed with a linden leaf argent and gules. Siebmacher also shows other lines of division using leaves, such as Rumpff, 2nd and 3rd quarter, on folio 24 of the same source; that shows a design which could be blazoned Per bend Or and sable with trefoils counterposed and issuant from the center of the line.

We feel that although the low contrast in Gyelle's arms doesn't seem typical of the complex-with-leaf line armory in Siebmacher, it should be acceptable within the SCA, as the SCA allows low contrast complex field divisions if nothing obscures them and if they are visually clearly identifiable. Both of these conditions are met in this design. In addition, black and green have long been considered relatively high-contrast, for low-contrast tincture combinations.

One commenter asked, "If one CD is for tincture (against Eliza O'Donegan, Per chevron vert and sable), where does the second come from?" The second, in this case, would be for complex line.

12. Madrone, Barony of Badge resub/Kingdom (Archery Champion of Madrone)

(Fieldless) A madrone tree eradicated gules, leaved vert, overall a bow fesswise Or

Discussing overall charges on a badge, the (Laurel) Cover Letter of 15 January 1992, page 3, states:

"…Cases are those where one or both of the charges were long and slender, making the area of intersection small, e.g. a sword blade surmounted by an anvil. Such a badge would have all its charges identifiable and be well in keeping with period style."

We believe that this design meets those criteria.

13. Morren Lauman Name & Device New (An Tir)

Argent a unicorn rampant sable and on a chief azure a plate between an increscent and a decrescent argent

This was submitted as <Morren Kytte Lauman>. The submittor would actually prefer the name 'Morlan' to <Morren>, if documentation can be found for that name's use as a given name; we were unable to do so at Kingdom, but we have asked the College of Arms to help if they can. <Morren> is found as a surname on page 314 of Reaney and Wilson 3rd edition, but we believe it to be a plausible spelling variant of the name 'Morin', same page, (under the header 'Morin') which is shown as a given name. <Kytte>, submitted as a 'middle' name or nickname was removed at Kingdom, since we believe that to retain it would be a formation so uncommon as to be incorrect; however, we would happily stand corrected. The surname, <Lauman>, is found on page 273 of the same source, under 'Lawman', as Geoffrey Lauman 1214.

The blazon has been changed from Argent, a unicorn rampant sable and on a chief azure an increscent, plate and decrescent argent. There is unhappiness at the Known World level about the charges that appear on this chief, in this particular arrangement. However, at this time they should still be registerable, since they are inherently the same thing as, for example (thank you, Couronne Rouge), 'a mullet between two lions combatant'.

14. Rhiannon Makreury Name resub/Laurel (Ambergard)

Her previous submission, Rhiannon MacRuari of Rannoch Moor, was returned from Laurel on the letter of March 1997, as the spelling of <MacRuari> could not be documented to period and the submitter would not accept changes. Be very careful about the 'no changes' box on forms that you help people with; people have lost nice devices before now because they would not permit their names to be very slightly tweaked, and conflict developed before they could resubmit.

The name <Rhiannon> is considered 'SCA compatible', per the June 1996 LoAR Cover Letter, and the name <Makreury> is found in Black's Surnames of Scotland, pages 562-563 under 'Macrory'.

15. Rhonwen McBride Badge resub/Kingdom (Glymm Mere)

(Fieldless) A hawk's lure argent

One cannot expect the holder of (Fieldless) A hawk's lure Or, who lives in this same area, to be best pleased about this; but the two do not technically conflict. Remember, one clear difference for (Fieldless) against any other field, including other (Fieldless) badges, and one for tincture makes this clear against the cited example, (Fieldless) A hawk's lure Or and one other mentioned by commenters, (Fieldless) A hawk's lure sable.

16. Richard Armistead Name - see 'Returns' for device (South March)

The comment "This is a very good name" was made. <Richard> is found on page 253 of Withycombe. <Armistead> is documented on page 14 of Reaney and Wilson, 3rd, under 'Armistead'. We mentioned to Laurel that although this spelling is dated to 1642, the submitter would prefer it to the earlier 'Armetsted' from 1379.

17. Sarasi Candrah Device Appeal to Laurel (Glymm Mere)

Per fess and per bend sinister wavy azure and ermine on a roundel counterchanged an increscent double enarched sable

This appeal was pended in Kingdom, awaiting a letter from the submitter's mother, stating the relationship, and that the device referenced was in fact registered to her (the mother), Hastini Chandra, mka Vana Wesala. Such a letter has been received and copies are included in the packet. Following is the text of the letter of appeal from the submitter, Lady Sarasi Candrah, mka Elizabeth A. Wesala Fink.

"Unto Jaelle of Armida, Laurel Sovereign of Arms, and to all others to whom these presents do come, does Lady Sarasi Candrah (AKA Kassandra der Mond Schwert) send Greeting:

This is an appeal of the return of my device submission in the June 1995 LoAR, where Lord Laurel returned this submission with the comment:

While the unusual counterchanging and obscuring tertiary charge are presumably grandfathered to you, the "increscent double enarched" is not a period charge and cannot be reliably reproduced from the blazon. The most recent registration (of only two) in the Armorial and Ordinary was decades ago. As has been noted by many who held this office before, we are not bound by the mistakes of the past. We need documentation for the use of this charge before we register it.

He is correct that the "unusual counterchanging and obscuring tertiary charge" are grandfathered to me, by most recently registered device, Per fess and per bend sinister wavy azure and argent on a roundel counterchanged a mullet Or. Therefore, the field, roundel and obscuring tertiary charge are not problems with this submission. The increscent double enarched is also grandfathered to me, having been registered to my biological mother, Viscountess Hastini Chandra, MKA Vana Wesala in Jan 1980, with her household badge, blazoned as Argent, within a wall-less onion-domed pavilion an increscent double arched sable. Under these circumstances, I am entitled to register this unusual and unique charge also."

The An Tir College of Heralds takes no position on this appeal.

18. Seamus Ruadh Name & Device resub/Kingdom (Valley Wold)

Gules, ermined Or

His name was submitted in Kingdom as <Seamus Rua>, documented as <Seamus>, The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, 3rd edition, by Withycombe, under 'James', page 266; <Rua>, same source, under 'Rory', page 257. We have changed it in Kingdom to <Ruadh>, since we consider MacLysaght's Surnames of Ireland, under 'Roe' a better source than Coghlan (also cited by the submitter); but as I believe I have mentioned before, I am happy to stand corrected by Laurel.

We think that the arms are beautiful. We find the device clear of that of Charles d'Arnaud, who bears Gules mailed Or; the rules read:

"If the fields of the two pieces of field primary armory have no tinctures in common they are completely different and do not conflict irrespective of any other similarities between them.

The ermine fields and their variants are considered to be different tinctures, so Per bend ermine and azure is completely different from Per bend erminois and gules and from Per bend argent ermined gules and sable. The addition of a field treatment is also a change of tincture, so Per fess argent and gules is completely different from Per fess argent masoned gules and sable."

Therefore, gules ermined Or is completely different from gules mailed Or, and the two do not conflict.

We are aware that a plain tinctured field is not protected. Although the language above is suggestive, we believe that neither the phrase 'considered to be of different tinctures,' said of the ermine fields and their variants, nor the phrase 'the addition of a field treatment is also a change of tincture' is meant to define either of these fields/field treatments as plain tinctured fields. However, even though we are inclined to think a fur is not a plain tinctured field, we must ask Laurel to make that determination.

19. Seumas Camshronach an Lochabair Badge resub/Kingdom (Valley Wold)

Sable, a chamfron Or enflamed proper

Against Sable, two tilting lances in saltire and in chief a chamfron Or (SCA Equestrian Marshallate) we consider that X1: " Addition of Primary Charges - Armory does not conflict with any protected armory that adds or removes the primary charge group" is the relevant rule. The order of blazon is the indicator here. In the Marshallate's armory, the primary, which is blazoned first and would be drawn larger than the secondary, is the tilting lances; these are removed in Seumas' device, so there is no conflict.

20. SĖle nic Cionaodha Name & Device resub/Kingdom (Wealdsmere)

Vert two chevronels in chief a cat's face Or within a bordure counter compony Or and azure

Submitted as 'SĖle nic Cionaodha', the name was changed in Kingdom to aspirate the feminine form of patronym. <SĖle> is found in ˛ Corrain and Maguire on page 165. The surname is from Black's The Surnames of Scotland, page 525, under 'MacKenna': "…G. MacCionaodha, 'son of Cionaodh'".

The blazon was corrected from A shield vert with two chevronels, in chief a cats face or within a counter compony bordure azure and or. Incidentally, the 'azure and Or' for the bordure was changed to 'Or and azure', since the first square in the dexter chief corner was (yeah, you ALL already knew this… oh, well, just trying to help ) Or; I suppose this sort of thing can only be corrected at the Lion's Blood meetings, since that's where we look at the colour emblazons.

20. Simon von der Eisenhandlung Household Name & Badge New for Haus zur Roten Wage (Briaroak)

(Fieldless) A set of scales gules

This household name is German, and was submitted as 'zur Roten Wage', which means 'at the sign of the red scales'. It was changed in Kingdom to include a designator, per Rfs. III2b, with the permission of the submitter, to create <Haus zur Roten Wage>. The documentation incurred no other additions or amendments in Kingdom.

The blazon was changed from A set of scales gules.

21. Sterling de Seincler Name & Device New (An Tir)

Vert, goutty d'eau, a winged unicorn passant argent

No changes were made to the name in Kingdom; however, the winged unicorn was redrawn in a more firmly passant position before the submission left An Tir. If not redrawn, the unicorn would have to have been considered salient, as the nearest heraldic posture, and as such would have been in conflict. This unicorn was drawn from a popular series of templates, and although a handsome artwork, with this example in front of us I have to say that this particular template should be used with some caution. Some guide such as Fox-Davies can be very useful establishing just how a posture should look; I myself favor von Volborth, as most of his pictures are, well, pretty.

It was mentioned that winged unicorns were thought to be currently unregisterable. The relevant precedent (thank you, Electrum) says: "Winged unicorns are considered allowable, so long as they are drawn as unicorns with wings and not the modern 'winged unicornate horse'." Cover Letter (1-6-91), page 2. I believe that the fact that wings were added to all sorts of beasts in period, while 'unicorn horns' were not, has something to do with this ruling.

The following have been returned for further work:

David Visdelu le Wrothe Device resub/Kingdom (Valley Wold)

Argent, a wolf head affronty sable issuant of flames from ears and mouth vert within an orle argent on a bordure gyronny sable and vert

This submission caused some fairly lively comment! Several commenters were unsure about the orle on the bordure, but this appears to be perfectly allowable. The reason for return on this device is the bordure; the rules require that fields or charges divided into more than four sections have good contrast between the sections (VIII.2.b.iv "Elements evenly divided into multiple parts of two different tinctures must have good contrast between their parts"). Sable and vert, both being colours, by definition do not have good contrast (VIII.2.a).

There were some points raised about the blazon that might be of use to others in future. First, the wolf's head is 'cabossed'; 'affronty' is only used when some neck is visible. Also, the bordure should appear in the blazon before the orle that is on it. So, Argent a wolf's head cabossed sable issuant flames from the ears and mouth vert on a bordure gyronny sable and vert an orle argent.

Eleanor of Leycestershyre Badge resub/Kingdom (Aquaterra)

Purpure, a phoenix Or rising from flames gules

This badge was returned for conflict with Jessica Llyrindi of Northmarch, Gyronny sable and gules a phoenix Or issuant from flames proper. There is one CD for the field tincture; as Couronne Rouge points out, obviously at one time a gyronny of low contrast tinctures was allowed (see David Visdelu le Wrothe). Flames proper are half gules and half Or, so only half of the flames have changed tincture; therefore, only one quarter of the charge - the phoenix (with flames) - has changed, leaving us with no CD for phoenix tincture.

Gaellis of the Cleverhands Name & Device New (Wittanhaven)

Argent, a luna moth sable marked argent and a demi-sun issuant from base gules

This is being returned for a combination of 'iffy' points about the name. The name is said to be in Scottish Gaelic, and to mean 'one who brings things together; literally, congeal', plus a descriptive surname. <Gaellis> is shown from Witchcraft in Europe, 1100 - 1700 by Alan Kors, on the opening page for chapter 25.

Unfortunately this book is not considered an authoritative source; that means, among other things, that the name may very well have been normalized - that is, not spelled as it would have been in period. The name, or one like it, could not be found by any commenters in any more generally accepted sources for Scottish names, nor in English.

This by itself does not really 'disqualify' the name, although it suggests that it was not a well-known or widely used name (at least). However, combined with <of the Cleverhands> makes it a name that the College feels to be extremely likely to be returned at Laurel; the form "of the X" is not a common attested form, and 'clever' + 'hands' has some "unlikelinesses" as well. I would definitely require some evidence showing use of the "of the" form before I sent it up to Laurel as submitted.

"Clever" is a good word, in and of itself, probably from the Middle English, and meaning "dexterous" originally, so it would seem that <Cleverhands> could be a good name construction. We could make a case for "Gaellis Cleverhands", if perhaps not a great one. However, to create a name or an epithet, there are things that need to be demonstrated.

First, are the words (if separate) old enough? If 'clever' is from Middle English, no real problem there. To make a case for the name <Cleverhands>, I would need to show a naming pattern of (adjective) + (body part); that is, find some names like Proudfoot, Clenehand or Silkenside (all attested surnames). Well, okay. We have something of a case. To make it a better case, we would like to show the word 'clever' having passed into a name of SOME kind; unfortunately, Reaney and Wilson don't give us one, except in a discussion about the names deriving from living by a cliff. Anyway, you see how it works.

So to sum up, the name is being returned for a little more work because a) <Gaellis> comes from a weak source and cannot be supported by better sources, b) the formation "of the X" is uncommon, if ever used in period, and would need examples, and c) <Cleverhands> is an unattested epithet, using a word that did not (apparently) pass into any surnames at all. The device had to be returned with the name.

Richard Armistead Device New (South March)

Azure a lion passant argent between three fleurs-de-lys Or

We corrected the blazon from Field of azure, lion of argent in passant to the dexter, three fleurs-de-lys in Or to the pall. Unfortunately, this handsome device had to be returned for using gold fleurs-de-lys on a blue field. The relevant precedent reads: "Neither France Ancient (Azure semi-de-lys Or) nor France Modern (Azure three fleurs-de-lys Or) may be used in SCA heraldry either as a field (or part thereof) or on a charge. To do so constitutes a claim to connection to French royalty, prohibited under Rule XI.1. (LoAR July 1992, p.23). This is France Modern with a lion added, and had to be returned.


New Submissions:

1. dric Duquesne Device New (Madrone)

Per pale sable and vert, two dogs passant in pale within a bordure Or

His name was registered in 1991. After my error with that stag, I should point out that in this case, the dogs are Or as blazoned.

2. >Christiana Rowena Yonge Device Resubmission to Laurel (Aquaterra)

Quarterly per fess indented argent and vert, in chief three suns counterchanged gules and Or

Her name and badge, (Fieldless) A sun in glory Or sustained by a demi-lion gules were registered in March 1997. Her previous device submission, Argent, on a chief indented vert, three suns Or was returned from Laurel on the same letter. Laurel's comments were:

"Blazoned as Argent, three piles palewise on a chief vert three suns in glory in chief Or, everyone attending the Laurel meeting, upon seeing the emblazon, saw it as Per fess indented vert and argent, in chief three suns Or. Therefore, this is in conflict with Eowyn Rebekah of Windhaven, Per chevron sable and chevronelly Or and gules, in chief three suns Or. There is only one CD, for the change to the field."

3. Gwenllian ferch Rhys Llywelyn Name and Device New (Cold Keep)

Sable, an estoile Or

The name is Welsh, and the general sound is most important to the submitter. The names, <Gwenllian>, <Rhys>, and <Llywelyn> all come from A Simple Guide to Constructing 16th Century Welsh Names (in English Contexts) by Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn, located at http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/welsh16.html . E-conversation with Harpy is also included, defining the standard Welsh spellings of the names selected. The following information also comes from this guide:

"..In contrast to the Welsh patronyms of previous centuries, the most typical pattern is for ap (son of) to be omitted. Thus, patronyms most typically appear to be simply two or three given names in a row. (This last should not be thought of as having a "middle name", however). It is quite rare for a name to have a patronym and any other type of byname. In some cases, what appears to be a patronym may actually be an inherited surname.

For a woman, her given name would be followed by verch instead of ap. Women are less likely to omit this part of the structure than men are."

Since this is an unusual form, it should perhaps be made clear that in the text of her conversation with Harpy, Harpy corrects the submitter's spelling, and says, "… For the patronym, it would be "ferch Rhys Llywelyn"…"

Regarding the device, now, why I am suddenly thinking of Paul of Sunriver?

4. Haukyn Bayard Name & Device Resub to Kingdom (Ambergard)

Vert, between two hawk's bells Or a horse passant sable upon a chapČ Or

I might suggest a possible reblazon of Per chevron throughout vert and Or, two hawk's bells Or and a horse passant sable; while that is an inelegant blazon suggestion (and I expect it to be improved by commenters) I hope it lessens some potential confusion concerning chapČ and tinctures and placements and all...

The name is English, and can be documented from Reaney and Wilson's 3rd edition. <Haukyn> is found, under 'Hawkin' on page 221, as Haukyn Skinner 1332. <Bayard> is on page 33, under 'Bayard', as Godfrey Baiard 1161-2 and as Chaucer's 'Proud Bayard'; the common Y-for-I substitution of the time should make <Bayard> a reasonable form. The cant would be improved if the horse were gules .

5. Mylisant de Sandeforthe Name & Device New (Porte de L'Eau)

Per saltire azure and sable, three chevronels braced and in chief one mill-rind argent

<Mylisant> is shown from Withycombe, on page 220, under 'Millicent'; the submitter's chosen spelling is from the Yorks Poll Tax 1379. The surname <de Sandeforthe> comes from Reaney and Wilson, 2nd edition, page 306, under 'Sandifer', as John de Sandeforthe 1379. As another herald once said, "This is too temporally compatible, and should probably be disallowed"… Seriously, this is an outstanding name.

6. Siobhˇn Ruadh nĖ Mhathghamhna Device Resubmission to Kingdom (Dragon's Laire)

Checky vert and argent, on a bend sinister sable three lions passant regardant argent

Her name was registered in October 1997. Her previous device submission was returned for redrawing; the lions were drawn (a common problem, worse with all-sable animals) in a style that made them look dismembered. This is significant largely because, in heraldry, one can do this on purpose; "dismembered" is a valid heraldic, um, condition.

7. Susanna Felhund Name New (Coeur du Val

<Susanna> is dated to 1200 on page 274 of Withycombe; <Felhund> comes from page 89 of Jonjo's Middle English Nicknames, dated to the time of Henry III. The language is English; the submitter declines to accept changes.


An Tir College of Heralds - Internal Letter - July 1998


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