Don't feed, er, PAY, the heralds

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Steven Mesnick ('Steffan ap Cennydd')

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Apr 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/2/96
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>This
>whole problem can be satisfied by one simple change: eliminate ALL fees
>for heraldic submissions.

Lord Stephan seems unaware of the expenses involved in the heralds'
office (which is odd considering he's a retired pursuivant). How
shall the office be funded, then? The Brigantia office, when I was in
it, received no stipend whatsoever -- and consider that the EK then
stretched from Pittsburgh to Berlin, and from Iceland to Georgia. Who's
going to pay the postage? Not to mention the phone bills?

Steffan ap Cennydd

Kiteh

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Apr 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/4/96
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In article <316203...@tiac.net>, "Steven Mesnick ('Steffan ap
Cennydd')" <ste...@tiac.net> writes:

Greetings,

While heraldry isn't actually my thing, SCA beauracracy in any form is of
great interest to me.(reducing it that is)

Like most things in the society, heraldry started out because people
thought it would be fun, the best reason in the world for doing anything
in the SCA. However, over the years the CoA (and the Chieurgeons (sp))has
formed into a HIVE MIND(tm).

What is a HIVE MIND(tm) you may ask?

The HIVE MIND(tm) is a multi faced, green, one eyed, worm-monster that is
formed whenever two or more individuals from the 'base pool' get together
to consort. (For the Heraldic HIVE MIND(tm) the term is to 'consult'). The
HIVE MIND(tm) will consume anyone who unwarily enters it's domain or what
it percieves as it's sphere of influence.
The intersting thing about the HIVE MIND(tm) is that if you lock it in a
room, reach in with a well armoured hand and pluck out one member, that
member is a generally likable person. Hardworking, helpful and
trustworthy. Pushing that person back to saftey you state,"You're safe
now, stand back!"

You then reach into the room and pull out another kind and helpful person.
Thank goodness, another helpless soul saved from the terrible HIVE
MIND(tm)! On and on you toil, convinced that eventually you will retrieve
the dasterdly villain that is clearly the evil heart of the beast. Finally
you reach into the room and there is no one left! How can this be? Perhaps
some of these wonderful people you've just rescued from the evil coils of
the HIVE MIND(tm) know whats happening. As you slowly turn (que the
ominous Friday the 13th music)There! Behind you! The HIVE MIND(tm)!!!
KERRR-FUBiWABA!!! (pan to a blood splattered-court report form....)

But seriously folks....

I truly believe that the CoA merely needs to be Downsized(tm?). The system
would work fairly well if there were some deadlines imposed and the number
of people allowed to comment were severely limited. No peice of business
should remain at any level for more than 2 months. Period. After that it's
sent up the line and assumed passed. If Kingdom notices dreck bubbling up
from the local level they should investigate. In areas where there are
groups not within the bounds of a Principality all Shire level business
should pass over a Baronial Herald's desk. Kingdom has 2 months to pass or
fail all business or it is assumed passed. The only people who should be
allowed to consult at Laurel level should be the 13 Kingdom Heralds.

That's it. Saves money, time, and assures that all submissions are passed
or failed in 10 months OR YOUR MONEY BACK!. Laurel should appoint a deputy
in charge of digitizing all business in a black and white (or color
format, whatever...) as soon as possible and sould conduct as much new
business as possible electronically to save money. $8,000 dollars a year?
Stay off the phone(voice) and save up for your own copy machine, scanner,
modem and serious computer. Better yet, ask the Corporation to match funds
or something. We're talking about the CoA lays out $2,500, the SCA matches
it, $5,000 dollars buys all the hardware you need, the CoA keeps it up by
selling copies of electronic O&A's. Why is this so hard?

Me, my device has been 'in the proccess of submission' for 7years 'at the
local level'. Gosh I just keep forgetting to save up to send all that
paperwork in...


Thegn Dan

Blue shield, white ram with gold horns and hooves, standing on one back
foot, breathing fire. Oh yeah, a small crecent moon at the bottom.

I'm thinking about changing it into a black ram though...


E. L. Wimett

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Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
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"Steven Mesnick ('Steffan ap Cennydd')" <ste...@tiac.net> wrote:

>Who's going to pay the postage? Not to mention the phone bills?
>

Now, now, Steffan, you know that EK law of long ancestry banned
reimbursement for phone bills (an "Aonghais law") when I took over from
you as Brigantia and a lot later. . .

I know some national officers did get reimbursed for phone calls, but I
never was when I was Laurel. (My successors may have been.) When I was
Laurel, the only costs I imposed on the bank account were postage for
LOAR's and general mailings to the college and subscribers, photocopying
costs for same and office supplies including file folders and labels (the
bulk of that item) and additional file cabinets. . .


rosalyn rice

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Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
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In article <4k1bvv$n...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, Kiteh <ki...@aol.com> wrote:

>The intersting thing about the HIVE MIND(tm) is that if you lock it in a
>room, reach in with a well armoured hand and pluck out one member, that
>member is a generally likable person. Hardworking, helpful and
>trustworthy. Pushing that person back to saftey you state,"You're safe
>now, stand back!"

ROTFL. You're absolutely right. Beyond a certain level the more
people you add to a project, the stupider everyone associated with the
project gets.

>I truly believe that the CoA merely needs to be Downsized(tm?). The system
>would work fairly well if there were some deadlines imposed and the number
>of people allowed to comment were severely limited.

There are three degrees of reform that have been proposed:

1) Pitch the CoA entirely.
2) Turn the CoA into an optional, educational guild separated
from the registration process (assuming the registration process should
still exist).
3) Various forms of downsizing.

My method of "downsizing" is to have people working in parallel
rather than serial. The CoA doesn't need 50+ members all looking at the
same devices (even with the "share the work" policy they've got, they
still have too many eyes looking at the same stuff) but politics makes it
virtually impossible to drop CoA members even if they aren't pulling their
full weight. The cost of commenting makes the CoA reluctant to expand
beyond 50 or so members, even if there are more qualified candidates out
there. So, why not create two or more "CoAs" which would handle different
aspects of conflict and style checking?



> No peice of business
>should remain at any level for more than 2 months. Period. After that it's
>sent up the line and assumed passed.

I like this idea, since it means that even if you've got
"deadwood" heralds at any level, they still have to send things on.
Unfortunately, the practical effect of this policy is that the next layer
of the bureaucracy has to deal with crap. Also, since, in its current
form the CoA relies upon prepared "letters of intent" which list the
blazons and emblazons of all the devices, a deadwood herald at the
submissions level can still stall the process.

> If Kingdom notices dreck bubbling up from the local level they should
> investigate.

Investigation doesn't mean that anything can be done about the
problem, even if the kingdom heralds are skilled enough to know dreck
when they see it.

> In areas where there are groups not within the bounds of a Principality
> all Shire level business should pass over a Baronial Herald's desk.

This doesn't make sense. Principalities are much larger areas
than Baronies and it doesn't follow that a shire is part of a barony. In
areas that have cantons some cantons do send a Cc: to the baronial
herald, but most just send their arms directly to the kingdom level.
A good case could be made though for making heralds an optional
office (currently they are required by corpora). Members of shires without
heralds could avail themselves of the services of a herald in a nearby
group, a herald on kingdom staff, or else submit arms at a consulting
table.

> Kingdom has 2 months to pass or fail all business or it is assumed
> passed.

For the problems inherent in this approach, see above.

> The only people who should be allowed to consult at Laurel level
> should be the 13 Kingdom Heralds.

This assumes that the Kingdom herald wants to consult at Laurel
level (some don't since they've got lots of other duties) and is
qualified to do so (the qualities that make a person a good Principal
herald - organizational and political ability - don't necessarily
guarantee that a person is a good researcher).
Be aware that currently the two best name researchers in the SCA
(and the CoA) are *not* Kingdom heralds, and neither are several of the
best armorial researchers or conflict checkers.
Also, the CoA currently gets approximately 100-300 submissions a
month (depending on the season and other factors). That's a lot of work
for 14 people who also have lives, jobs, and other volunteer duties.
I'm not disagreeing with your essential point, but I think that
the ideal number on the CoA could be a bit larger.
From what I saw when I was looking at CoA correspondence about a
year ago, the CoA could easily lose about a third of its members without
serious organizational damage. It sure doesn't need to add any more members
except for specialists in certain language groups who don't comment
otherwise. (One of the reasons that I decided to not join the CoA is
because while I'm a decent armory researcher, I don't have much
experience with onomastics, and I am not as good a conflict checker as I
might be. At the time I was considering joining the CoA it already had
five fair to excellent armorial researchers and plenty of conflict
checkers. I would have been redundant.)
Politically, it would be a bloody cat fight to drop members of the
CoA in long standing even if they weren't pulling their weight or were
incapable of interpreting the RfS. It would also set a bad precedent where
a future Laurel could "pack" the CoA with people who would parrot his/her
opinions.

>That's it. Saves money, time, and assures that all submissions are passed
>or failed in 10 months OR YOUR MONEY BACK!.


Some kingdoms can get your arms registered in 5 months. They are
small kingdoms with an excellent cadre of experienced heralds who can
directly consult with virtually every client in the kingdom. Their
geography also makes it easy for them to accept submissions from a client
on a "walk-in" basis. You just show up at the monthly kingdom
consultation session, fill out the forms, and your submission is on its
way to Laurel the next day.
My suggestions for reform of the CoA at least partially revolve
around the notion that a the consulting herald should also be the
submitting herald (or at least in on the submissions process) and,
ideally, should also be able to take part in CoA discussions. When this
happens the quality of heraldry improves dramatically, client
satisfaction goes up, and customer service is excellent.
In its crudest form, what should happen is that big kingdoms
should allow direct submission of arms to Laurel from the regional level,
and create the regions around large population centers with good road
access from outlying areas. This keeps "deadwood" submissions heralds from
blocking all submissions out of a kingdom (because people could just
submit names or arms out of a different region) and it would hopefully
recreate the good aspects of small kingdom heraldry.

> Laurel should appoint a deputy
>in charge of digitizing all business in a black and white (or color
>format, whatever...) as soon as possible and sould conduct as much new
>business as possible electronically to save money. $8,000 dollars a year?

This has already happened to a certain extent. Laurel is trying
to handle as much internal paperwork via disk and email as he can, and
there seems to be a project underway to scan in the files.
Currently the SCA has two heraldic mailing lists (SCAHRLDS and
College of St. Gabriel) and its own alt. newsgroup (alt.heraldry.sca) and
a plurality of the CoA is online. It would be really nice if name and
device submissions could be "officially" sent via fax or email, directly
to Laurel, but this doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon.
(Of course, nothing would prevent a *kingdom* from taking submissions
electronically.)
It is possible to get some first-class heraldic advice online, but
it's still not possible to do all business electronically, since not
everyone has access to a computer, or even wants access to a computer.
IMO, net access and the ability to use a word processor should be minimum
requirements for admission to the CoA and/or to be a kingdom herald, but
I'm biased. Also, it's unfair to expect every client to be able to use
email. Give it a generation.

>Stay off the phone(voice) and save up for your own copy machine, scanner,
>modem and serious computer.

Sometimes phones are good. If you call someone up then they more
or less have to talk to you. Letters and email are much less likely to be
answered.
Laurel has a computer, a flat-bed scanner, a copy machine, and,
of course, a modem. Many kingdom heralds have similar set ups. Again,
give it some time. (It's also worth noting that you don't need a
"serious" computer to get onto the net. $250-$500 will buy you an older,
used computer and a fast-enough modem. I've logged onto the net using an
old Apple II with a 1200 baud modem. It's slow, it doesn't do the web,
but it's a net connection...)

> Better yet, ask the Corporation to match funds
>or something. We're talking about the CoA lays out $2,500, the SCA matches
>it, $5,000 dollars buys all the hardware you need, the CoA keeps it up by
>selling copies of electronic O&A's. Why is this so hard?

The problem here is that the SCA Ordinary and Armorial is sold by
a not-for-(much)-profit outfit called "Free Trumpet Press West", which is
a semi-official adjunct to the CoA, but which is privately run. Currently
it is run by the same person who also maintains the SCA armorial, but
this is not always the case. Given that Iulstan has to give up a bedroom
to store the FTP-W stock, I don't begrudge him what tiny profit he makes.
He does an excellent job and should be encouraged.

>Blue shield, white ram with gold horns and hooves, standing on one back
>foot, breathing fire. Oh yeah, a small crecent moon at the bottom.

If you would like suggestions to make the device a bit more
Period in style, email me.

Lothar


Kiteh

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Apr 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/6/96
to

Considered the snipped, snipped.


In article <4k2p6e$e...@usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>,
ror...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (rosalyn rice) writes:

>
>In article <4k1bvv$n...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, Kiteh <ki...@aol.com>
wrote:
>

>


>>I truly believe that the CoA merely needs to be Downsized(tm?). The
system
>>would work fairly well if there were some deadlines imposed and the
number
>>of people allowed to comment were severely limited.
>

> My method of "downsizing" is to have people working in parallel
>rather than serial. The CoA doesn't need 50+ members all looking at the
>same devices (even with the "share the work" policy they've got, they
>still have too many eyes looking at the same stuff) but politics makes it
>virtually impossible to drop CoA members even if they aren't pulling
their
>full weight. The cost of commenting makes the CoA reluctant to expand
>beyond 50 or so members, even if there are more qualified candidates out
>there. So, why not create two or more "CoAs" which would handle different
>aspects of conflict and style checking?

Downsizing by making 2 more CoA's?

>> No peice of business
>>should remain at any level for more than 2 months. Period. After that
it's
>>sent up the line and assumed passed.
>
> I like this idea, since it means that even if you've got
>"deadwood" heralds at any level, they still have to send things on.
>Unfortunately, the practical effect of this policy is that the next layer

>of the bureaucracy has to deal with crap. Also, since, in its current
>form the CoA relies upon prepared "letters of intent" which list the
>blazons and emblazons of all the devices, a deadwood herald at the
>submissions level can still stall the process.

Not so, the 2 month deadline would also apply to the local level.

>
>> If Kingdom notices dreck bubbling up from the local level they should
>> investigate.
>
> Investigation doesn't mean that anything can be done about the
>problem, even if the kingdom heralds are skilled enough to know dreck
>when they see it.

Yes it does. In every Kingdom I've ever heard about, if the Kindom officer
can document that a local or Principality officer is not meeting thier
deadline they can remove that officer. Sometimes they need the Royalty to
countersign, but when faced with reciepts of money being returned as
evidence, I don't think that would prove too difficult.


>> In areas where there are groups not within the bounds of a Principality
>> all Shire level business should pass over a Baronial Herald's desk.
>
> This doesn't make sense. Principalities are much larger areas
>than Baronies and it doesn't follow that a shire is part of a barony. In
>areas that have cantons some cantons do send a Cc: to the baronial
>herald, but most just send their arms directly to the kingdom level.
> A good case could be made though for making heralds an optional
>office (currently they are required by corpora). Members of shires
without
>heralds could avail themselves of the services of a herald in a nearby
>group, a herald on kingdom staff, or else submit arms at a consulting
>table.

It makes sense in the fact that, at least in larger Kingdoms you don't
neccesarily want to deal with submissions directly from someone who
doesen't know his job. Principality (or Baronial, hopefully)can screen out
the obvious bouncers and cut Kingdom's work in half. Remember, Kingdom, in
my brave new little heraldic world, is now going to have a lot more work
to do commenting to Laurel.


>> Kingdom has 2 months to pass or fail all business or it is assumed
>> passed.

>> The only people who should be allowed to consult at Laurel level
>> should be the 13 Kingdom Heralds.
>
> This assumes that the Kingdom herald wants to consult at Laurel
>level (some don't since they've got lots of other duties) and is
>qualified to do so (the qualities that make a person a good Principal
>herald - organizational and political ability - don't necessarily
>guarantee that a person is a good researcher).

The Kingdom heralds quite often employ deputies to take over jobs they
can't or don't want to do. Besides, most heralds I know would love to have
'Bookworm Puirsuvant(sp)', or whatever, after thier names. (Don't even get
me started on "Should the Laurel 'Soverign' at Arms get to wear a
Coronet?")

> Be aware that currently the two best name researchers in the SCA
>(and the CoA) are *not* Kingdom heralds, and neither are several of the
>best armorial researchers or conflict checkers.

Then they would be first on my list for my commenting team if I were a
Kingdom Herald.

> Also, the CoA currently gets approximately 100-300 submissions a
>month (depending on the season and other factors). That's a lot of work
>for 14 people who also have lives, jobs, and other volunteer duties.
>I'm not disagreeing with your essential point, but I think that
>the ideal number on the CoA could be a bit larger.

IF each Kingdom has a deputy (The Griffon's Big Toe Pruisavant or
whatever), with three assistants you actually have 56 people looking at 14
packets. Roughly the same number of lookers but not 50 people reporting on
their own to Laurel. Kingdom Boy, though, is responsible for returning the
comments in less that 2 months.

> Politically, it would be a bloody cat fight to drop members of the
>CoA in long standing even if they weren't pulling their weight or were
>incapable of interpreting the RfS. It would also set a bad precedent
where
>a future Laurel could "pack" the CoA with people who would parrot his/her
>opinions.

Huh? I guess each Kingdom would send a black or white marble with each
piece. White = passed Black = failed and here's why. Laurel only reads the
Blacks and decides if the problem has merit.

>>That's it. Saves money, time, and assures that all submissions are
passed
>>or failed in 10 months OR YOUR MONEY BACK!.
>
>
> Some kingdoms can get your arms registered in 5 months. They are
>small kingdoms with an excellent cadre of experienced heralds who can
>directly consult with virtually every client in the kingdom. Their
>geography also makes it easy for them to accept submissions from a client

>on a "walk-in" basis. You just show up at the monthly kingdom
>consultation session, fill out the forms, and your submission is on its
>way to Laurel the next day.

I guess I should have said 10 months or less OR YOUR MONEY BACK!

----snipped---- (frankly a bunch of stuff an old used Baron just couldn't
understand)

>> Laurel should appoint a deputy
>>in charge of digitizing all business in a black and white (or color
>>format, whatever...) as soon as possible and sould conduct as much new
>>business as possible electronically to save money. $8,000 dollars a
year?
>
> This has already happened to a certain extent. Laurel is trying
>to handle as much internal paperwork via disk and email as he can, and
>there seems to be a project underway to scan in the files.
> Currently the SCA has two heraldic mailing lists (SCAHRLDS and
>College of St. Gabriel) and its own alt. newsgroup (alt.heraldry.sca) and
>a plurality of the CoA is online. It would be really nice if name and
>device submissions could be "officially" sent via fax or email, directly
>to Laurel, but this doesn't seem like it's going to happen anytime soon.
>(Of course, nothing would prevent a *kingdom* from taking submissions
>electronically.)
> It is possible to get some first-class heraldic advice online, but
>it's still not possible to do all business electronically, since not
>everyone has access to a computer, or even wants access to a computer.
>IMO, net access and the ability to use a word processor should be minimum
>requirements for admission to the CoA and/or to be a kingdom herald, but
>I'm biased. Also, it's unfair to expect every client to be able to use
>email. Give it a generation.

So everything except the pictures could be generated with what we have
now. They just need the doohickey that makes CD-ROMs. I'm not saying that
everyone has to do things electronically. There is a certain charm to the
paper O&A's. Just take advantage of the technology available for those who
are capable of benifitting form it.

>
>>Stay off the phone(voice) and save up for your own copy machine,
scanner,
>>modem and serious computer.
>
> Sometimes phones are good. If you call someone up then they more
>or less have to talk to you. Letters and email are much less likely to be

>answered.
> Laurel has a computer, a flat-bed scanner, a copy machine, and,
>of course, a modem. Many kingdom heralds have similar set ups. Again,
>give it some time. (It's also worth noting that you don't need a
>"serious" computer to get onto the net.

But to run one of those CD encoders you probably do...

----snipped---

>> the CoA keeps it up by
>>selling copies of electronic O&A's. Why is this so hard?
>
> The problem here is that the SCA Ordinary and Armorial is sold by
>a not-for-(much)-profit outfit called "Free Trumpet Press West", which is

>a semi-official adjunct to the CoA, but which is privately run. Currently

>it is run by the same person who also maintains the SCA armorial, but
>this is not always the case. Given that Iulstan has to give up a bedroom
>to store the FTP-W stock, I don't begrudge him what tiny profit he makes.
>He does an excellent job and should be encouraged.

We still need someone to produce the 'hard' O&A's


What I see, believe it or not even from you Lotar, is "This is the way
we've always done it." syndrome. This kind of thinking makes it easy to
add something on, (read make it more complicated, costly etc.) but nearly
impossible to chop off any deadwood. Gosh this is only my suggestion I
thought people might listen to. Maybe I'll post Katlin's Pirate College of
Heraldry concept....

>
>>Blue shield, white ram with gold horns and hooves, standing on one back
>>foot, breathing fire. Oh yeah, a small crecent moon at the bottom.
>
> If you would like suggestions to make the device a bit more
>Period in style, email me.

pardon me, but PBBBthhhhbt! I like my device just fine.

>
> Lothar


Thegn (they can have my submission when they pry it out of my cold dead
fingers) Dan

Timothy A. McDaniel

unread,
Apr 7, 1996, 4:00:00 AM4/7/96
to
In article <4k2p6e$e...@usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>,

rosalyn rice <ror...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu> wrote:
> The problem here is that the SCA Ordinary and Armorial is sold
>by a not-for-(much)-profit outfit called "Free Trumpet Press West",
>which is a semi-official adjunct to the CoA, but which is privately
>run. Currently it is run by the same person who also maintains the
>SCA armorial, but this is not always the case. Given that Iulstan has
>to give up a bedroom to store the FTP-W stock, I don't begrudge him
>what tiny profit he makes. He does an excellent job and should be
>encouraged.

1) It is not privately run. Checks to FTPW are written to "SCA --
Free Trumpet Press West". I don't know if Iulstan accounts for the
money directly to the corporate treasurer, or if he goes thru Da'ud.

2) Because of 1), Iulstan doesn't get any money out of it.

3) FTPW had a loss last year. He had to raise the rates at the
beginning of this year.

4) Indeed, Master Iulstan Sigwealding does an excellent, even
stupendous, job.

--
Daniel de Lincoln
Tim McDaniel
Reply-To: tm...@crl.com
Work account is mcda...@cpm.com
Never use mcda...@mcdaniel.dallas.tx.us.

rosalyn rice

unread,
Apr 7, 1996, 4:00:00 AM4/7/96
to
In article <4k6nrv$f...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, Kiteh <ki...@aol.com> wrote:
>Downsizing by making 2 more CoA's?

Not downsizing "right sizing". If more people want to play the
herald game and by adding them customer service could improve, then add
people. If not, then downsizing would probably be a good idea.

>Not so, the 2 month deadline would also apply to the local level.

In theory, local heralds aren't supposed to hang onto submissions
for more than a week, at least in the MK.


>> Investigation doesn't mean that anything can be done about the
>>problem, even if the kingdom heralds are skilled enough to know dreck
>>when they see it.
>
>Yes it does. In every Kingdom I've ever heard about, if the Kindom officer
>can document that a local or Principality officer is not meeting thier
>deadline they can remove that officer. Sometimes they need the Royalty to
>countersign, but when faced with reciepts of money being returned as
>evidence, I don't think that would prove too difficult.

Practically, while Kingdom heralds have this power, they aren't
likely to use it. It's better that someone is sending up utter dreck (it
can theoretically be corrected) than not sending in anything at all.
Also, dreck is usually the result of poor education, not unwillingness to
learn on the part of the local heraldry. Finally, local heralds are
volunteers. You don't go around dismissing large numbers of volunteers
unless you can be certain that you can get replacements for them. Until
the Corpora requirement that each group have a herald is dropped, kingdom
heralds are going to have to put up with largely uneducated local heralds.


>> This doesn't make sense. Principalities are much larger areas
>>than Baronies and it doesn't follow that a shire is part of a barony. In
>>areas that have cantons some cantons do send a Cc: to the baronial
>>herald, but most just send their arms directly to the kingdom level.

>It makes sense in the fact that, at least in larger Kingdoms you don't


>neccesarily want to deal with submissions directly from someone who
>doesen't know his job. Principality (or Baronial, hopefully)can screen out
>the obvious bouncers and cut Kingdom's work in half. Remember, Kingdom, in
>my brave new little heraldic world, is now going to have a lot more work
>to do commenting to Laurel.

Yes, but you got your geographic sizes wrong Shire/Barony (or Shire
< Barony) < Region/Principality (or Region < Principality) < Kingdom < SCA.

In some cases shires fiercely retain their independence from
nearby baronies.
Other than that, I agree that decentralization is a good idea.

>The Kingdom heralds quite often employ deputies to take over jobs they
>can't or don't want to do. Besides, most heralds I know would love to have
>'Bookworm Puirsuvant(sp)', or whatever, after thier names. (Don't even get
>me started on "Should the Laurel 'Soverign' at Arms get to wear a
>Coronet?")

What you have described here is exactly the current CoA system.
Most of the heralds on the mailing list, except those who are Laurel
staff are appointed at the recommendation of the Kingdom Principal
Herald. The also get nifty titles in most cases.

(Side argument: It is extremely Period for Kings of Arms to wear
crowns as a symbol of their authority. Laurel's crown is modelled on the
crown worn by Garter King of Arms in Great Britain. Let's not muck up
historical practice any more than necessary with another silly sumptuary
law especially since Laurel's coronet usually isn't used.)

>> Be aware that currently the two best name researchers in the SCA
>>(and the CoA) are *not* Kingdom heralds, and neither are several of the
>>best armorial researchers or conflict checkers.
>
>Then they would be first on my list for my commenting team if I were a
>Kingdom Herald.

But, one lives in the Midrealm, and the other lives in the West.
Given that their value to the SCA is to the SCA as a whole, it makes
sense that they shouldn't limit themselves to submissions from just one
kingdom, unless they wish to do so.

>IF each Kingdom has a deputy (The Griffon's Big Toe Pruisavant or
>whatever), with three assistants you actually have 56 people looking at 14
>packets. Roughly the same number of lookers but not 50 people reporting on
>their own to Laurel. Kingdom Boy, though, is responsible for returning the
>comments in less that 2 months.

This works nicely in regions where all the heralds can get
together for face to face research sessions, where the heralds are spread
out over a large area, it's easier to use paper to communicate, and this
adds *lots* of time. A better system would be to break down the CoA into
groups that can get together on a regular basis for face to face research
sessions, that way you can take advantage of the extra people at kingdom
level.

>> Politically, it would be a bloody cat fight to drop members of the
>>CoA in long standing even if they weren't pulling their weight or were
>>incapable of interpreting the RfS.

>Huh? I guess each Kingdom would send a black or white marble with each


>piece. White = passed Black = failed and here's why. Laurel only reads the
>Blacks and decides if the problem has merit.

You don't get it. Currently the CoA has approximately 50 people.
13 of them have to be there, even if they don't comment. A further group
of heralds who make up the external letters of comment also have to be
there even if they don't comment. In theory that's 26 people before you
even get to people who are there by merit alone. As of last year, I
estimated that about 25% of commenters could have been dropped from the
rolls without hurting quality of commenting. Unfortunately, some of that
25% includes very powerful people or people from areas who don't have
representation on the CoA otherwise. It would be easier to restructure
the CoA so that nobody is cut out of the process who wants to be involved
in the process, but so that processing speed is improved.

>> Some kingdoms can get your arms registered in 5 months.

>I guess I should have said 10 months or less OR YOUR MONEY BACK!

Why not figure out what the 5 month kingdoms are doing right and
try to emulate it in the other kingdoms? Doesn't "5 months or your money
back!" sound better? Or, maybe, it could be "Two weeks or your money back!"

>So everything except the pictures could be generated with what we have
>now. They just need the doohickey that makes CD-ROMs. I'm not saying that
>everyone has to do things electronically. There is a certain charm to the
>paper O&A's. Just take advantage of the technology available for those who
>are capable of benifitting form it.

I agree entirely. It would be very nice indeed if clients could
submit names and arms "officially" via email.

>We still need someone to produce the 'hard' O&A's

You misunderstood me. Free Trumpet *does* produce paper O&A's and
Iulstan sells them for the cost of printing and overhead.

>What I see, believe it or not even from you Lotar, is "This is the way
>we've always done it." syndrome.

Lord forfend! I think that there are ways in which the CoA could
be radically changed for the better, they just have to evolve from the
current system (as I see it, admittedly).

> Maybe I'll post Katlin's Pirate College of
>Heraldry concept....

Actually, this is an excellent suggestion. The CoA does need
reform, and I'm not so arrogant as to think that I have a monopoly on
ideas on how to reform it.

>> If you would like suggestions to make the device a bit more
>>Period in style, email me.
>
>pardon me, but PBBBthhhhbt! I like my device just fine.

No need to be rude. I realize that most people in the SCA want a
given name or heraldic design for reasons other than authenticity.

Lothar


BLACKBOARP

unread,
Apr 7, 1996, 4:00:00 AM4/7/96
to
Good mlords & mladies, gentles all,

I think me the Comment to change "downsizing" to "rightsizing" is among
the best Comments I've seen in all these heraldry Threads.

In Tir Ysgithr, my deputies and I gather Submissions which are then
reviewed for known Conflicts at a monthly Meeting where we are also
reviewing Submissions for the Kingdom. You see, we assist and thereby
expidite the Process of approving Submissions as well as we can.

By reviewing the Barony's Submissions here, we can usually find any
potential Conflict and correct it before these Submissions are snailmailed
to the Pricipality Herald. By doing this, we can prevent a large Number
of Conflicts and speed up the Acceptance of the Submissions.

At the same Time, by helping the higher Level of the Process, we ease the
Workload of an individual Herald. This again reduces the Time it takes
for a Submission to be processed and approved.

At these Meetings, we check the Armorial, the valid Books of Names and any
other Resources that we can find.

I then take the Submissions, now ready for processing and mail them to the
Principality Herald, also emailing a Copy of the Monthly Report. The
Submissions need to be snailmailed as I have no other Devices to
electronically submit them.

My Suggestion, then, to those Heralds who are not already doing this, is
to have such a monthly Meeting to check the local Submissions for any
Conflicts and to change them before sending these Submissions up to the
next Level to help speed up the Process.

Ld Llyweyn MacLamont
Black Boar Persuviant
Herald, Barony of Tir Ysgithr
\\\\\__________________________\
///// | | | /
0 0 0

Kiteh

unread,
Apr 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/8/96
to
In article <4k817t$o...@usenet.ucs.indiana.edu>,
ror...@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu (rosalyn rice) writes:

-----snipped-----

> Not downsizing "right sizing". If more people want to play the
>herald game and by adding them customer service could improve, then add
>people. If not, then downsizing would probably be a good idea.

>In theory, local heralds aren't supposed to hang onto submissions
>for more than a week, at least in the MK.

> Practically, while Kingdom heralds have this power, they aren't
>likely to use it. It's better that someone is sending up utter dreck (it
>can theoretically be corrected) than not sending in anything at all.
>Also, dreck is usually the result of poor education, not unwillingness to

>learn on the part of the local heraldry. Finally, local heralds are
>volunteers. You don't go around dismissing large numbers of volunteers
>unless you can be certain that you can get replacements for them. Until
>the Corpora requirement that each group have a herald is dropped, kingdom

>heralds are going to have to put up with largely uneducated local
heralds.

>>It makes sense in the fact that, at least in larger Kingdoms you don't


>>neccesarily want to deal with submissions directly from someone who
>>doesen't know his job. Principality (or Baronial, hopefully)can screen
out
>>the obvious bouncers and cut Kingdom's work in half. Remember, Kingdom,
in
>>my brave new little heraldic world, is now going to have a lot more work
>>to do commenting to Laurel.
>
> Yes, but you got your geographic sizes wrong Shire/Barony (or
Shire
>< Barony) < Region/Principality (or Region < Principality) < Kingdom <
SCA.
>
> In some cases shires fiercely retain their independence from
>nearby baronies.
> Other than that, I agree that decentralization is a good idea.

> What you have described here is exactly the current CoA system.

>Most of the heralds on the mailing list, except those who are Laurel
>staff are appointed at the recommendation of the Kingdom Principal
>Herald. The also get nifty titles in most cases.

OK, maybe I'm not making myself clear.

#1 I'm only advocating shires passing thier submissions by baronial
heralds IF THEY ARE NOT ALREADY A PART OF A PRINCIPALITY. I guess I should
have included if they're not part of a region as well. Presumably this
would allow someone with a bit more experience to look everything over
before it makes it directly up to Kingdom.

#2 'My' system, as opposed to the current system, entails Laurel mailing
out only 14 packets. 1 per Kingdom. If Kingdom wishes to delegate to a
deputy (and his assistants) to review these packets then they may so so.
Each Kingdom returns each packet after 2 months. Then laurel reviews the
comments for 2 months.

#3 On one hand, people have spoken of wanting to work at Laurel level to
help, but the real problem is that by the time submissions reach Laurel
there should be an only one in ten chance that the previous three levels
missed something. I'm not a republican, and I don't play one on TV, but we
need to switch the responsibility from the (inter)national level and back
down to a more localized level.

>
> (Side argument: It is extremely Period for Kings of Arms to wear
>crowns as a symbol of their authority. Laurel's crown is modelled on the
>crown worn by Garter King of Arms in Great Britain. Let's not muck up
>historical practice any more than necessary with another silly sumptuary
>law especially since Laurel's coronet usually isn't used.)

(Side reply: In the SCA I think you should wear a coronet only if a King
tells you you can. Not if the BoD says so, and certainly not as a badge
of office for a bureaucrat.)


>
>>> Be aware that currently the two best name researchers in the SCA
>>>(and the CoA) are *not* Kingdom heralds, and neither are several of the

>>>best armorial researchers or conflict checkers.
>>
>>Then they would be first on my list for my commenting team if I were a
>>Kingdom Herald.
>
> But, one lives in the Midrealm, and the other lives in the West.
>Given that their value to the SCA is to the SCA as a whole, it makes
>sense that they shouldn't limit themselves to submissions from just one
>kingdom, unless they wish to do so.

You've missed it. I said they should be on their Kingdom's staff for one
of the 14 packets passed back down to the Kingdoms.

----snipped-----

> This works nicely in regions where all the heralds can get
>together for face to face research sessions, where the heralds are spread

>out over a large area, it's easier to use paper to communicate, and this
>adds *lots* of time. A better system would be to break down the CoA into
>groups that can get together on a regular basis for face to face research

>sessions, that way you can take advantage of the extra people at kingdom
>level.

These packets get mailed directly to the Kingdom herald (or his designated
deputy). That person (and thier team) should get his act together and
comment. Ok, how about 3 months at both the 14 consulting packets and
then three months at Final Laurel level. Since these two levels are
dealing with so many more pieces of paper it would only be fair to give
them some more time. That's still you device back in 12 months or you
money back!

Local (2months)----->Principality/regional/(baronial)
2months------>Kingdom (2months)------>14 Kingdom packets
(3months)------>Laurel final (3months)=12months/1 calendar year or you
money back.


>
>>> Politically, it would be a bloody cat fight to drop members of
the
>>>CoA in long standing even if they weren't pulling their weight or were
>>>incapable of interpreting the RfS.
>
>>Huh? I guess each Kingdom would send a black or white marble with each
>>piece. White = passed Black = failed and here's why. Laurel only reads
the
>>Blacks and decides if the problem has merit.
>
> You don't get it. Currently the CoA has approximately 50 people.
>13 of them have to be there, even if they don't comment. A further group
>of heralds who make up the external letters of comment also have to be
>there even if they don't comment. In theory that's 26 people before you
>even get to people who are there by merit alone. As of last year, I
>estimated that about 25% of commenters could have been dropped from the
>rolls without hurting quality of commenting. Unfortunately, some of that
>25% includes very powerful people or people from areas who don't have
>representation on the CoA otherwise. It would be easier to restructure
>the CoA so that nobody is cut out of the process who wants to be involved

>in the process, but so that processing speed is improved.

Powerful People? Nonsense, Laurel says from now on 14 packets, one per
Kingdom. If you still want to comment, be a Kingdom herald or be on their
'Laurel commenting team'. If they have a problem take it to the board.

---snipped----

> You misunderstood me. Free Trumpet *does* produce paper O&A's and
>Iulstan sells them for the cost of printing and overhead.

That's fine. What _I_ said was that even if we move to a more electronic
format we will STILL need someone to produce the O&A in hard form. By all
accounts Free Trumpet seems to be doing an admirable job of this.

----snipped----

>
>> Maybe I'll post Katlin's Pirate College of
>>Heraldry concept....
>
> Actually, this is an excellent suggestion. The CoA does need
>reform, and I'm not so arrogant as to think that I have a monopoly on
>ideas on how to reform it.

Okey dokey, you asked. BTW she is VERY serious about this. You should know
she is one of the most highly respected peers in Atenveldt, and the
current Landed Baroness of Loch Salann (Salt Lake City). She's just very
tired of all the silliness that the CoA has draped itself in.

Here's the plan. If you want a device, use it. Mail it into the Pirate
College of Arms if you want. They'll pass it, and even send you a
certificate of authenticity. If you find someone else using your device
the two of you sit down like adults, pop open a beer and figure out what
to do, if anything, about it. That's it. Let's face it, in any country in
period this is how it would have been handled before they had a CoA.
Except they wouldn't have mailed it to anybody.

Thegn Dan

who's device looks really cool when done in knotwork

James of the Lake

unread,
Apr 9, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/9/96
to
In article <4kbiqd$i...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, ki...@aol.com (Kiteh) wrote:


>
> Here's the plan. If you want a device, use it. Mail it into the Pirate
> College of Arms if you want. They'll pass it, and even send you a
> certificate of authenticity. If you find someone else using your device
> the two of you sit down like adults, pop open a beer and figure out what
> to do, if anything, about it. That's it. Let's face it, in any country in
> period this is how it would have been handled before they had a CoA.
> Except they wouldn't have mailed it to anybody.
>

Is there some sort of roll of arms available from this process. I find
the Society O&A a useful reference independent of any utility in conflict
checking.

James
Moucheture
jo...@ridgecrest.ca.us

Randy Martens

unread,
Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
to
BLACKBOARP wrote:

> My Suggestion, then, to those Heralds who are not already doing this, is
> to have such a monthly Meeting to check the local Submissions for any
> Conflicts and to change them before sending these Submissions up to the
> next Level to help speed up the Process.

This certainly was the prectise when I was a local herald, and we had
a LOT of fun doing it. We made sort of a "mini-event" out of it,
met in garb, and had beer & munchies while we were commenting.
There was always a prize of sorts for the herald who found the most hideous
submission.

This way, we plowed thorugh our group & kingdom submission in a timely fashion,
and had fun doing it.

Cheers,
Andreas,
The Herald formerly know as "Hey You!"
--
| "Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me ,for me!" - F. Mercury |

Lyle Gray

unread,
Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
to
Kiteh (ki...@aol.com) wrote:
: #1 I'm only advocating shires passing thier submissions by baronial

: heralds IF THEY ARE NOT ALREADY A PART OF A PRINCIPALITY. I guess I should
: have included if they're not part of a region as well. Presumably this
: would allow someone with a bit more experience to look everything over
: before it makes it directly up to Kingdom.

1) Shires have nothing to do with Baronies in the SCA geographical hierarchy.
Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch ... uh ... sorry, got a little carried
away there. ;-)

Cantons and the like are a different matter.

2) From experience, I can tell you that there is no guarantee whatsoever that
a baronial pursuivant will have any more experience than a shire pursuivant.

Lyle FitzWilliam
--
------------------------------------------------------ NON ANIMAM CONTINE
Lyle H. Gray Internet (personal): gr...@cs.umass.edu
Phone: (860) 728-6777, FAX: (860) 247-0249
--(My opinions are my own, and do not represent my employer's opinions)--


Kiteh

unread,
Apr 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/11/96
to
In article <4kgqjf$4...@kernighan.cs.umass.edu>, gr...@ibis.cs.umass.edu
(Lyle Gray) writes:

>: #1 I'm only advocating shires passing thier submissions by baronial
>: heralds IF THEY ARE NOT ALREADY A PART OF A PRINCIPALITY. I guess I
should
>: have included if they're not part of a region as well. Presumably this
>: would allow someone with a bit more experience to look everything over
>: before it makes it directly up to Kingdom.
>
>1) Shires have nothing to do with Baronies in the SCA geographical
>hierarchy.
>Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch ... uh ... sorry, got a little
carried
>away there. ;-)
>
>Cantons and the like are a different matter.
>
>2) From experience, I can tell you that there is no guarantee whatsoever
>that
>a baronial pursuivant will have any more experience than a shire
pursuivant.
>
>Lyle FitzWilliam

I knew this would be a sore point. Speaking in broad generalities, since
Baronies have larger populations in general, it follows that from this
larger pool a more experienced herald will be chosen than from a smaller
group's populace on average.

Hmmm...

How about this then. The Kingdom herald appoints another deputy (sigh) to
filter any submissions from shires that don't fall under the jurisdiction
of a Principality or region.
Less feudal, easier on the ego.

Thegn Dan

Arval d'Espas Nord

unread,
Apr 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/11/96
to

Greetings from Arval! Dan theorized:

> Speaking in broad generalities, since Baronies have larger populations in
> general, it follows that from this larger pool a more experienced herald
> will be chosen than from a smaller group's populace on average.

I see two flaws in this argument.

It is a lot like arguing that if you only play the lottery when the prize
is over $14 million, you'll win in the long run. It may be true, but
you've got an awfully long run ahead of you. The Society just isn't big
enough for this sort of statistical theory to apply.

And the same argument would tell us that, on average, cities will have
better governments than small towns. Does anyone believe that's true?
Large groups have larger pools of talent, but they also have more
competition for a relatively smaller set of offices. And competition means
politics (authoritative allocation of scarse resources). And politics does
not always select for skill.

===========================================================================
Arval d'Espas Nord mit...@panix.com


Barbara Nostrand

unread,
Apr 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/11/96
to
Noble Cousins!

Thegn Dan wrote:

> #1 I'm only advocating shires passing thier submissions by baronial
> heralds IF THEY ARE NOT ALREADY A PART OF A PRINCIPALITY. I guess I should
> have included if they're not part of a region as well. Presumably this
> would allow someone with a bit more experience to look everything over
> before it makes it directly up to Kingdom.

First of all, some shires have been around for quite a while and have really
wonderful heralds. Second of all, the status of the local group or even
how long a particular herald has been in the society says nothing about the
knowledge of the local herald. Baron Schmuel ben Yitzak had been studying
heraldry for years when he walked into his first event. The herald of the
Barony of Outer Sashkwatch may never have looked at a heraldry book. In
effect, all the above proceedure is gauranteed to do is stretch out the
submissions process. I have heard that entire kingdoms do not have effective
internal screening, and simply pack up all of their submissions and send them
to Lord Laurel.

> #2 'My' system, as opposed to the current system, entails Laurel mailing
> out only 14 packets. 1 per Kingdom. If Kingdom wishes to delegate to a
> deputy (and his assistants) to review these packets then they may so so.
> Each Kingdom returns each packet after 2 months. Then laurel reviews the
> comments for 2 months.

This ignores that fact that the principal coin in heraldry is knowledge,
reference works and work. A kingdom herald may lack the first two and may
not even provide the third. At the same time, some of the most knowledgeable
commenters in the CoA are not currently Kingdom Heralds. Further, I know of
really knowledgeable herlads who are not even in the College of Arms at all.

> #3 On one hand, people have spoken of wanting to work at Laurel level to
> help, but the real problem is that by the time submissions reach Laurel
> there should be an only one in ten chance that the previous three levels
> missed something. I'm not a republican, and I don't play one on TV, but we
> need to switch the responsibility from the (inter)national level and back
> down to a more localized level.

Alas, there are all too often good solid reasons for things to have been
missed at these "lower levels". You can count the active Russian name experts
on the fingers of one hand, and probably have a couple of them left over.
The society has one (count them one) aknowledged Welsh name expert. The list
goes on and on. If the College of Arms were to abandon (as I fervently hope
that it will) SCA-Style in favour of regional style, there will be a limitted
number of armourial experts in any particular ethnic region as well. Yes,
things can be moved down to the grass roots, but the way to do this is not
through compounding the beurocracy, the way to do this is to make more
educational matterials available at the local level and to encourage people
to use them. If this is done, then those wonderful 14th century Iberian arms
could possibly be sent off to an Iberian arms expert for review shortly after
they were designed instead of wending their way through layers of beuroacracy
each of which takes several months to process a submission (and then
mistakenly returns something which is quite authentic causing additional
delay). Adding layers will not shorten processing time or reduce frustration,
it is likely to increase them both.



> (Side reply: In the SCA I think you should wear a coronet only if a King
> tells you you can. Not if the BoD says so, and certainly not as a badge
> of office for a bureaucrat.)

Errh. This is attempting to enforce a sumptuary law which does not even
exist in many of the kingdoms of the Known World. However, would it make
you happier if the IKAC got together and officially as a council of sovereigns
confirmed the sovereigns of arms in their ancient right to wear crowns?
Let's see, I suppose that Mistress Jaella will be at Pennsic along with
the new Pelican Sovereign of Arms. It could be done there at Great Court.
However, how do you know whether or not the crowns of the Knowne World
confirmed Lord Laurel in his ancient right to wear a crown decades ago?

> You've missed it. I said they should be on their Kingdom's staff for one
> of the 14 packets passed back down to the Kingdoms.

Let's see then, Lord Laurel sends off 14 packets to the Kingdom Principal
Heralds who then dupicate them and remail them to the people on their
staff, then collect their returns and send them back to Lord Laurel?
That sounds more expensive in dollar terms and requiring more time than
the present setup.

> These packets get mailed directly to the Kingdom herald (or his designated
> deputy). That person (and thier team) should get his act together and
> comment. Ok, how about 3 months at both the 14 consulting packets and
> then three months at Final Laurel level. Since these two levels are
> dealing with so many more pieces of paper it would only be fair to give
> them some more time. That's still you device back in 12 months or you
> money back!

Last I heard submissions were averaging 9 months provided they were accepted.
This sounds like 3 extra months. Unless, of course, you are actually thinking
of refunding people's money if their names or devices fail the scrutiny of
the College of Arms. That is madness. That means that someone can send
off Snoopy Brown using Peanuts for documetation and expect to get their money
back. Further, the College of Arms is NOT a commercial enterprise. The
people who belong to it are not getting paid, in fact they generally pay money
out of their own pocket each month for the dubious privilage of participating.
Regardless, if the CoA were to return money along with returned submissions
it would rather quickly bankrupt itself. The money will have already been
spent on stationary supplies and postage. Let's see, should feasts be run
this way? The Barony of Big Belch runs a feast and Sir Hollow Leg demands
a full refund at the end of the feast because there were not enough kumkwats
after of course personally consuming three ducks and a leg of lamb.

> Here's the plan. If you want a device, use it. Mail it into the Pirate
> College of Arms if you want. They'll pass it, and even send you a
> certificate of authenticity. If you find someone else using your device
> the two of you sit down like adults, pop open a beer and figure out what
> to do, if anything, about it. That's it. Let's face it, in any country in
> period this is how it would have been handled before they had a CoA.
> Except they wouldn't have mailed it to anybody.

Let's see now, forever why would anyone send anything to this Pirate College
unless, of course, they churn out really outstanding looking certificates?
Other than that, the scheme sounds remarkably like Lord Lothar's scheme for
automatically registering everything. While perceived conflict would very
likely have been settled quite amicably in many cases, there is no real
gaurantee that it would have been done so in all cases.

Now then. Why have a College of Arms at all? Again there are precisiely
three reasons. 1) To provide a list of names, armoury and awards for use
in court, 2) To provide a service which helps people come up with medieval
names and devices for themselves. We don't expect everyone to be an expert
cook, expert fighter, expert archer, expert anything. Generally speaking
we come to events and are as much consumers as producers. Laurel staff members
are basically people who are crazy enough to actually like researching names
and devices, 3) To discourage impersonation and most especially to not give
offical imprimateur to impersonation. People do show up claiming to be Vlad
the Impaler, Robert the Bruce, etc. This is NOT what our beloved society
decided to be about.

Your Humble Servant
Solveig Throndardottir
Amateur Scholar

Kiteh

unread,
Apr 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/12/96
to
In article <nostrand-110...@larry16.slip.yorku.ca>,
nost...@mathstat.yorku.ca (Barbara Nostrand) writes:

>Noble Cousins!
>
>Thegn Dan wrote:

---snipped----

>> #2 'My' system, as opposed to the current system, entails Laurel
mailing
>> out only 14 packets. 1 per Kingdom. If Kingdom wishes to delegate to a
>> deputy (and his assistants) to review these packets then they may so
so.
>> Each Kingdom returns each packet after 2 months. Then laurel reviews
the
>> comments for 2 months.
>

>(1)This ignores that fact that the principal coin in heraldry is


knowledge,
>reference works and work. A kingdom herald may lack the first two and
may

>not even provide the third.(2)At the same time, some of the most
knowledgeable
>commenters in the CoA are not currently Kingdom Heralds.(3)Further, I


know of
>really knowledgeable herlads who are not even in the College of Arms at
all.

#1 I'm afraid you haven't been reading my prior posts carefully. If a
Kingdom herald is not providing all three, either personally or through
deputies he should be sacked. (and yes he CAN BE SACKED, I don't care if
he's a volunteer or not. GROSS negligence = you're outa' there.

#2 AS I'VE ALREADY STATED, these knowledgeable commenters would be put on
the Kingdom Heralds commenting team or just dropped. If the 14 Kingdom
Heralds (or thier assigned deputies) can't find a flaw with a submisson,
than that should be (I can't believe I using this phrase) Good Enough!

#3 Thank god there are a few heralds out there not on the commenting
staff...


---snipped--- (already addressed)

>
>> (Side reply: In the SCA I think you should wear a coronet only if a
King
>> tells you you can. Not if the BoD says so, and certainly not as a
badge
>> of office for a bureaucrat.)
>
>Errh. This is attempting to enforce a sumptuary law which does not even
>exist in many of the kingdoms of the Known World.

Even in Kingdoms with no Sumtuary Laws they don't allow thier beauracrats
to assume coronets as badges of office. Please correct me if anyone out
there KNOWS otherwise.

> However, would it make you happier if the IKAC

IKAC? InterKingdom Archery Competition/Council?

> got together and officially as a council of sovereigns
>confirmed the sovereigns of arms in their ancient right to wear crowns?
>Let's see, I suppose that Mistress Jaella will be at Pennsic along with
>the new Pelican Sovereign of Arms. It could be done there at Great
Court.
>However, how do you know whether or not the crowns of the Knowne World
>confirmed Lord Laurel in his ancient right to wear a crown decades ago?

Yes, I do know. Laurel has never asked the Kingdoms if it could start
using a crown as a badge of office. And Yes, I would love it if Laurel
went to the Kingdoms and asked them to sign an inter Kingdom treaty
acknowledging the right of Laurel to wear a crown. I've known a lot of
Kings in my time. While I wouldn't presume to speak for them, I would
comfortably predict that fewer than 10% would agree to this. Most would
just laugh...

>
>> You've missed it. I said they should be on their Kingdom's staff for
one
>> of the 14 packets passed back down to the Kingdoms.
>
>Let's see then, Lord Laurel sends off 14 packets to the Kingdom Principal
>Heralds who then dupicate them and remail them to the people on their
>staff, then collect their returns and send them back to Lord Laurel?
>That sounds more expensive in dollar terms and requiring more time than
>the present setup.

No, Laurel mails the packet directly to the 'Kingdom Commentor
Pruisavant', SHE looks at them, showing one or two unusual ones to a
local, aknowledged, 'expert', then sends them back approved, or,
disallowed-and-here's-why. If 14 people, who's only job is to look at
submissions sent to them from laurel, and who are chosen because of their
expertise in these matters, can't find anything wrong with a submission
THEN PASS IT FOR GAWDSAKES! Let's just get on with it! 2&3 years in
consulting is ridiculous!


>
>> These packets get mailed directly to the Kingdom herald (or his
designated
>> deputy). That person (and thier team) should get his act together and
>> comment. Ok, how about 3 months at both the 14 consulting packets and
>> then three months at Final Laurel level. Since these two levels are
>> dealing with so many more pieces of paper it would only be fair to give
>> them some more time. That's still you device back in 12 months or you
>> money back!
>
>Last I heard submissions were averaging 9 months provided they were
accepted.

9 months? You and I are in different SCAs'.

>This sounds like 3 extra months. Unless, of course, you are actually
>thinking of refunding people's money if their names or devices fail the
scrutiny of
>the College of Arms. That is madness. That means that someone can send
>off Snoopy Brown using Peanuts for documetation and expect to get their
money
>back.

Obviously not. Plese don't muddy the waters any more than they are...

> Further, the College of Arms is NOT a commercial enterprise. The
>people who belong to it are not getting paid, in fact they generally pay
>money out of their own pocket each month for the dubious privilage of
>participating.

Wrongo! Your looking at it from the heralds side of it. The rest of it see
it from the 'customer's' side. We pay the money, you guys help us out then
do the majority of the work. With an $8,000+ budget laurel can send out
some SASEs to the 14 Kingdoms. The original copying, in Atenveldt anyway,
(6 I think it is) is absorbed by the person submitting!


>Regardless, if the CoA were to return money along with returned
submissions
>it would rather quickly bankrupt itself. The money will have already
been
>spent on stationary supplies and postage. Let's see, should feasts be
run
>this way? The Barony of Big Belch runs a feast and Sir Hollow Leg
demands
>a full refund at the end of the feast because there were not enough
kumkwats
>after of course personally consuming three ducks and a leg of lamb.

No, but if the Barony of Big Belch advertised three ducks, a leg of lamb,
and kumkwats for a feast and Sir Hollow Leg only got a baloney sandwich,
three weeks after the event, and this is the third time this has happened,
then yes, fire the feastocrat and give Sir Hollow Leg a refund.

>
>> Here's the plan. If you want a device, use it. Mail it into the Pirate
>> College of Arms if you want. They'll pass it, and even send you a
>> certificate of authenticity. If you find someone else using your device
>> the two of you sit down like adults, pop open a beer and figure out
what
>> to do, if anything, about it. That's it. Let's face it, in any country
in
>> period this is how it would have been handled before they had a CoA.
>> Except they wouldn't have mailed it to anybody.

This 'plan' is only sort of a joke, sorta serious.

>
>Let's see now, forever why would anyone send anything to this Pirate
College
>unless, of course, they churn out really outstanding looking
certificates?
>Other than that, the scheme sounds remarkably like Lord Lothar's scheme
for
>automatically registering everything. While perceived conflict would
very
>likely have been settled quite amicably in many cases, there is no real
>gaurantee that it would have been done so in all cases.

Nope, no gaurantee whatsoever. All you would have is trust in you're
fellow (wo)man. In my experience, when you legislate chivalry and honor it
tends to dry up and blow away in the winds of beauracracy.

>Now then. Why have a College of Arms at all? Again there are precisiely
>three reasons. 1) To provide a list of names, armoury and awards for use
>in court,

Or you could just ask the guy's wife, I guess?...

> 2) To provide a service which helps people come up with medieval
>names and devices for themselves. We don't expect everyone to be an
expert
>cook, expert fighter, expert archer, expert anything. Generally speaking
>we come to events and are as much consumers as producers. Laurel staff
>members are basically people who are crazy enough to actually like
researching >names and devices,

I imagine most of these people would continue to do it because it's (to
them) fun.

3) To discourage impersonation and most especially to not give
>offical imprimateur to impersonation. People do show up claiming to be
Vlad
>the Impaler, Robert the Bruce, etc. This is NOT what our beloved society

>decided to be about.

I think we, as a Society can handle that job, and do, with or without the
help of the CoA.

>
> Your Humble Servant
> Solveig Throndardottir
> Amateur Scholar

Thegn Dan

Wow, this windmill looks so much nastier and tougher up close...

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Apr 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/13/96
to
In article <4kmf14$n...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, ki...@aol.com (Kiteh) says:

>Yes, I do know. Laurel has never asked the Kingdoms if it could start
>using a crown as a badge of office. And Yes, I would love it if Laurel
>went to the Kingdoms and asked them to sign an inter Kingdom treaty
>acknowledging the right of Laurel to wear a crown. I've known a lot of
>Kings in my time. While I wouldn't presume to speak for them, I would
>comfortably predict that fewer than 10% would agree to this. Most would
>just laugh...

Thereby demonstrating ignorance of history.... Actually, I believe that
Laurel once wore his fancy hat before the assembled royalty at Pennsic
Great Court without the world coming to an end.

>No, Laurel mails the packet directly to the 'Kingdom Commentor
>Pruisavant', SHE looks at them, showing one or two unusual ones to a
>local, aknowledged, 'expert', then sends them back approved, or,
>disallowed-and-here's-why. If 14 people, who's only job is to look at
>submissions sent to them from laurel, and who are chosen because of their
>expertise in these matters, can't find anything wrong with a submission
>THEN PASS IT FOR GAWDSAKES! Let's just get on with it! 2&3 years in
>consulting is ridiculous!

At any given moment there are kingdoms that apparently don't have even one
person with the level of expertise needed to fill such a post well. It's
rare to have more than one. What do you do when your official commenter
decides that she wants to do something else, or his job suddenly starts
requiring 100-hour weeks? You greatly underestimate the difficulty of
finding and keeping the people needed to make your idea work.

As for items spending 2 and 3 years in consulting, of course it's ridiculous.
And at the Laurel level it doesn't happen: there's a set schedule. If it
takes someone 2-3 years to get something passed, it's almost always because
(1) earlier versions had problems and were returned, or (2) somebody didn't
do his or her job at the local or kingdom level.

>>Last I heard submissions were averaging 9 months provided they were
>accepted.
>
>9 months? You and I are in different SCAs'.

In Caid and, I believe, the West, submissions average considerably less than
9 months. In kingdoms that do internal letters of intent the average is a
bit longer. In the Middle Kingdom a submission should not take more than
9 months unless someone simply isn't doing his job, and I believe that a
similar statement is true of Ansteorra. (This isn't to say that every
local herald actually sends on submissions as quickly as he should, of
course, though some are exemplary.) I believe that the norm in Atlantia
is a bit better than for the Middle, though not so quick as in Caid. I
can't speak for any of the other kingdoms. But if the process routinely
takes more than 9-10 months in a kingdom, something's wrong.

>> Further, the College of Arms is NOT a commercial enterprise. The
>>people who belong to it are not getting paid, in fact they generally pay
>>money out of their own pocket each month for the dubious privilage of
>>participating.

>Wrongo! Your looking at it from the heralds side of it. The rest of it see
>it from the 'customer's' side. We pay the money, you guys help us out then
>do the majority of the work.

I don't care from what side you look at it, most heralds pay to support
their hobby. Most senior heralds - the kind you'd need to make your
proposal work - pay hundreds of dollars a year in costs not covered by
(or for that matter available in) anyone's budget. I'm not complaining;
fighters pay for armor, calligraphers pay for their materials, etc. But
I don't think that you realize how *much* some of us pay.

>No, but if the Barony of Big Belch advertised three ducks, a leg of lamb,
>and kumkwats for a feast and Sir Hollow Leg only got a baloney sandwich,
>three weeks after the event, and this is the third time this has happened,
>then yes, fire the feastocrat and give Sir Hollow Leg a refund.

This comparison makes sense only if you assume that the CoA advertises that
it *will* register the name and device that you propose. It of course does
no such thing. It promises to register them *if* they are sufficiently
close to period style and *if* they don't conflict with something already
registered (or otherwise protected). If someone keeps submitting unworkable
ideas, that person can't legitimately complain when they aren't accepted.

>>Now then. Why have a College of Arms at all? Again there are precisiely
>>three reasons. 1) To provide a list of names, armoury and awards for use
>>in court,
>
>Or you could just ask the guy's wife, I guess?...

Since when is everyone married? And in my experience spouses often don't
have this information.

>I imagine most of these people would continue to do it because it's (to
>them) fun.

A few would; many would not. What proportion of artists would continue
to do calligraphy and illumination without the stimulus of scroll production?
How many people would continue to make period clothing if we held all of
our events in mundanes? How many armorers would continue to make armor if
we outlawed SCA combat? I'm sure that in each category some would; I'm
also sure that many would not. I have no idea what the percentages are,
and I doubt that you have, either. But I'm pretty sure that it's safe
to guess that most would not.

Talan Gwynek

Barbara Nostrand

unread,
Apr 16, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/16/96
to
Noble Cousins!

The Pelican King of Arms wrote:

> Thereby demonstrating ignorance of history.... Actually, I believe that
> Laurel once wore his fancy hat before the assembled royalty at Pennsic
> Great Court without the world coming to an end.

I believe that was during the tenure of Da'ud I. Regardless, it was Master
Da'ud and it was at Great Court. I was there.

> A few would; many would not. What proportion of artists would continue
> to do calligraphy and illumination without the stimulus of scroll
production?
> How many people would continue to make period clothing if we held all of
> our events in mundanes? How many armorers would continue to make armor if
> we outlawed SCA combat? I'm sure that in each category some would; I'm
> also sure that many would not. I have no idea what the percentages are,
> and I doubt that you have, either. But I'm pretty sure that it's safe
> to guess that most would not.

As a side note. The Ryuugatani decision significantly discouraged me viz.
working on a place name section for any possible second edition of my pamphlet.
The tomoe decision has discouraged me viz. working on an armourial guid. Both
of these decisions discouraged me viz. going to Finland for the year. You
don't have to have a big splendiferous venue like crown to feel motivated, but
it really is nice to have something. Incidentally, I just ran across a nice
source for lots and lots of period-specific Japanese titles. So I suppose I
should write up the thing that I promissed Master Da'ud even though I do not
really have a great source for kabane.

Marla Lecin

unread,
Apr 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/18/96
to SCA
Talan Gwynek wrote:

>In article <4kmf14$n...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>>, ki...@aol.com (Kiteh) says:

>>Yes, I do know. Laurel has never asked the Kingdoms if it could start
>>using a crown as a badge of office. And Yes, I would love it if Laurel
>>went to the Kingdoms and asked them to sign an inter Kingdom treaty
>>acknowledging the right of Laurel to wear a crown. I've known a lot of
>>Kings in my time. While I wouldn't presume to speak for them, I would
>>comfortably predict that fewer than 10% would agree to this. Most would
>>just laugh...

>Thereby demonstrating ignorance of history.... Actually, I believe that

>Laurel once wore his fancy hat before the assembled royalty at Pennsic
>Great Court without the world coming to an end.

I was at that Pennsic, and I know personally of one queen who was very perturbed
that Laurel was wearing a Crown, no matter what the historical precedent for
it might be. I think he may have also been wearing it earlier in the week,
since otherwise she would have only been upset from Saturday night to
Sunday, and I wouldn't have had much chance to hear about it.


Jessa d'Avondale


Thomas W. Ireland

unread,
Apr 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/18/96
to
Marla Lecin (00039...@mcimail.COM) wrote:
:

I was there, also, and saw and heard the whole ugly scene. I believe
that both the Queen in question and the Laurel in question were in a
confrontational mood that Saturday (ie, He Cannot wear that in My court
..... I will wear my Badge of Office as I am Laurel Sovereign and this is
a court of the Royalty of the Known World). Unfortunately, the bad
feelings went much farther than they should have. Even today, some 6 (?)
years later, the incident still makes my stomach queasy. It was most
unpleasant for all of us.

Now does Laurel have the "right" to wear his crown at Pennsic (or
elsewhere)? I believe he does -- as an exemplar of period practice.
However, he should wear it only on tthe most formal of occasions, in my
opinion. And, by the way, it was given by the Board of Directors at KWHS
in Dallas, with their recognition of the Laurel _Sovereign_ of Arms.

FRIDRIKR (way too old to ever attain the Laurel Throne, he fears)

Arval d'Espas Nord

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Apr 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/18/96
to

Greetings from Arval! Jessa d'Avondale wrote:

> I was at that Pennsic, and I know personally of one queen who was very
> perturbed that Laurel was wearing a Crown, no matter what the historical
> precedent for it might be.

Forgive me if I'm overly blunt, but why should we care? Is one lady's
personal preference more important than a wonderful piece of historical
re-creation and a magnificant work of art?

If that good lady believed that heralds didn't wear crowns, then she was
wrong. If she believed that crowns are necessarily a mark of rank, then
she was wrong. If she believed that all tokens of rank must be granted by
the crown, then she was wrong.

Should our game be determined by ignorance or knowledge?

Kiteh

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Apr 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/18/96
to
In article <4l68bn$c...@panix.com>, mit...@panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)
writes:

>If that good lady believed that heralds didn't wear crowns, then she was
>wrong. If she believed that crowns are necessarily a mark of rank, then
>she was wrong. If she believed that all tokens of rank must be granted
by
>the crown, then she was wrong.
>
>Should our game be determined by ignorance or knowledge?
>
>=========================================================================
==
>Arval d'Espas Nord
mit...@panix.com
>
>

Forgive my ignorance but...

In period did heralds just spontainiously start wearing Crowns? Or did
THEIR Soverigns grant them permission to start doing so. I suspect it was
the latter, and if so OUR college should be in the same position as the
Historical college was BEFORE this right was granted them. We are not
England or France, OUR college has not been granted the right to assume
any regalia, so far.

Thegn Dan

Arval d'Espas Nord

unread,
Apr 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/19/96
to

Greetings from Arval! Dan asked:

> In period did heralds just spontainiously start wearing Crowns? Or did
> THEIR Soverigns grant them permission to start doing so.

We have the wrong idea about what crowns meant in period. The Society
teaches us that a crown or coronet is a symbol of rank and that the rank
and regalia can only be granted by the Sovereign. This theory is wrong in
every detail.

Crowns, coronets, and coronels were jewelry in our period. They were worn
at very formal occasions by whomever could afford them, just like fancy
jewelry today.

===========================================================================

Kiteh

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Apr 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/20/96
to
In article <4l8a35$6...@panix.com>, mit...@panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)
writes:

>We have the wrong idea about what crowns meant in period. The Society


>teaches us that a crown or coronet is a symbol of rank and that the rank
>and regalia can only be granted by the Sovereign. This theory is wrong
in
>every detail.
>
>Crowns, coronets, and coronels were jewelry in our period. They were
worn
>at very formal occasions by whomever could afford them, just like fancy
>jewelry today.
>
>=========================================================================
==
>Arval d'Espas Nord
mit...@panix.com
>
>

Therefore it follows that if Laurel is the chief herald of the SOCIETY
then he should follow the traditions of the SOCIETY. No one wears a crown
unless THEIR sovereign grants them that right. The BoD has NO right, as
was earlier posted, to elevate someone to the rank of King because (s)he's
an efficient bureaucrat. Or because the other bureaucrats say (s)he
should.

It just rubs me the wrong way.

Thegn Dan

BTW at TFYC there were a LOT of Royalty who commented on the
inappropriateness of a herald wearing a crown as a badge of office in
THEIR Grand Court.

Timothy A. McDaniel

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Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
In article <4l9u6j$j...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, Kiteh <ki...@aol.com>
wrote:

>Therefore it follows that if Laurel is the chief herald of the
>SOCIETY then he should follow the traditions of the SOCIETY. No one
>wears a crown unless THEIR sovereign grants them that right.

So when the traditions of the Middle Ages conflict with traditions of
the modern SCA, the medieval traditions should be tossed out?

I believe that, when given a choice between a more medieval way of
doing things and a less medieval way, where they're both about as easy
and safe, the more medieval way ought to be the one chosen.

In this case, the more medieval way was "research Garter King of Arm's
crown and make a spiffy one like it", and the less medieval way was
"regulate who can wear what headdress". I am glad the Laurel crown
was made.

Barbara Nostrand

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Apr 21, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/21/96
to
Noble Cousins!

Meistari Fridrikr Tomasson av Knugslig Hamn wrote:

> FRIDRIKR (way too old to ever attain the Laurel Throne, he fears)

NAY! NAY! I say! Put away such foolish thoughts. Yes! The most esteemed
former Brigantia Principal Herald and the (hopefully) soon to be Principal
Herald of AEthelmaerc is most worthy of the Laurel Sovereign's Crown! I
say that the most industrious and worthy Meistari Fridrikir should succeed
Mistress Jaella in that esteemed office and estate.

Arval d'Espas Nord

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Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
to

Greetings from Arval! I wrote:

me> We have the wrong idea about what crowns meant in period. The Society
me> teaches us that a crown or coronet is a symbol of rank and that the rank
me> and regalia can only be granted by the Sovereign. ... Crowns, coronets,
me> and coronels were jewelry in our period. They were worn at very formal
me> occasions by whomever could afford them, just like fancy jewelry today.

Dan replied:

> Therefore it follows that if Laurel is the chief herald of the SOCIETY
> then he should follow the traditions of the SOCIETY.

I don't see why that follows, Dan. I understand that it is your opinion,
shared by some others. If you'd like to convince me that unhistorical
Society customs ought to override accurate re-creation, I'll be happy to
think about your arguments.

> The BoD has NO right ... to elevate someone to the rank of King...

Laurel is not claiming the rank of King; he is displaying proper historical
regalia for his rank of King of Arms. The word "king" was used in many
ways in our period, not just for a feudal sovereign.

> BTW at TFYC there were a LOT of Royalty who commented on the
> inappropriateness of a herald wearing a crown as a badge of office in
> THEIR Grand Court.

That may be; but the question is whether they had any right to consider
it inappropriate.

If they were complaining because it was a piece of regalia that none of
them had granted, then they had no grounds for complaint: Not all regalia
is granted by royalty and each king or queen is bound to recognize valid
regalia whether or not s/he granted it.

If they were complaining because they felt that the crown usurped the
regalia of royalty, then they were simply wrong.

===========================================================================

Bryan J. Maloney

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Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
to
In article <4lgb08$e...@panix.com>, mit...@panix.com wrote:

> Laurel is not claiming the rank of King; he is displaying proper historical
> regalia for his rank of King of Arms. The word "king" was used in many
> ways in our period, not just for a feudal sovereign.


Let's put it this way: "Satan is the King of this world.", according to
part of the New Testament. I believe this reading was known in the Middle
Ages. Does that mean that our "kings" must swear fealty to Satan as "King
of this world"?

Like Arval said, "king" had a lot of meanings...

Kiteh

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Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to
In article <4l8a35$6...@panix.com>, mit...@panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)
writes:

>We have the wrong idea about what crowns meant in period. The Society


>teaches us that a crown or coronet is a symbol of rank and that the rank

>and regalia can only be granted by the Sovereign. This theory is wrong
in
>every detail.
>

>Crowns, coronets, and coronels were jewelry in our period. They were
worn
>at very formal occasions by whomever could afford them, just like fancy
>jewelry today.
>
>=========================================================================


==
>Arval d'Espas Nord
mit...@panix.com
>
>

It seems to me I have never seen an illistration of anyone in period
wearing a crown except members of the nobility. I ask again, when did
Laurel start wearing crowns in period? In what countries. I Hate to sound
like Bryan but please supply some documentation for this practice.

I should warn you however, that I feel the SCA has it's own code of
conduct that is not neccessarily documentable. We have strong traditions
based more on Camelot and Ivanhoe than anything you would commonly find in
period. One of them is our 'award system' which includes, in every
Kingdom, some allowance for who should and should not wear an actual
'Crown'.

Every Laurel so far has come from the populace of one of the 13 or so
Kindoms that make up the society. Each officer in service to the Society
belongs to some Kingdom somewhere. If they feel that they are entitled to
wear a Crown, style themselves Sovereign, and refer to themselves as (for
instance) Da'ud II, then they should only do so if their Sovereign
acknowledges their right to do so. For that matter, only if ALL Sovereigns
acknowledge their right, probably by treaty.

For a group who is so concerned with possible 'impersonation' the CoA is
seems anxious to drape themselves in the trappings of Landed (or formerly
Landed) Royalty.

Open minded, but so far unconvinced,

Thegn Dan

Brian M. Scott

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Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
to
In article <4ljjpd$o...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, ki...@aol.com (Kiteh) says:

>It seems to me I have never seen an illistration of anyone in period
>wearing a crown except members of the nobility. I ask again, when did
>Laurel start wearing crowns in period? In what countries. I Hate to sound
>like Bryan but please supply some documentation for this practice.

In _British Heraldry from its Origins to c.1800_, compiled and edited by
Richard Marks & Ann Payne, publ. by British Museum Publications Limited
for the British Library, item 103 is the crown of John Anstis the Elder,
Garter King of Arms 1719-44. (There's also a picture of the crown,
obviously the one on which Laurel's is based.) The text gives the motto
on the circlet (MISERERE MEI DEUS SECUNDUM MAGNAM MISERICORDIAM TUAM) and
goes on to say: 'The use of this motto on heralds' crowns goes back to at
least the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.' Evidently English Kings of Arms
were wearing crowns by the end of the 16th c.

Sir Anthony Wagner, in his _Heralds of England_, pp.88-90, says that
William Bruges (Garter) in a petition addressed to Henry V asked that on
solemn days when the King held state in his regalia Garter might wear a
crown as had been done time out of mind. The use of crowns by Kings of
Heralds on their seals in the 14th and even 13th c. indicates that Bruges
was correctly describing historical practice. Chaucer, in 'The Hous of
Fame', wrote of certain heralds who 'crouned were as kinges'.

>Every Laurel so far has come from the populace of one of the 13 or so
>Kindoms that make up the society. Each officer in service to the Society
>belongs to some Kingdom somewhere.

And in matters heraldic their authority supersedes even that of the royalty.
Thus, for example, your Crown may award you an augmentation of arms; but
it is still Laurel who has the final say on the form that it may take.
This is a matter of settled precedent, confirmed by Board rulings.

> If they feel that they are entitled to
>wear a Crown, style themselves Sovereign, and refer to themselves as (for
>instance) Da'ud II, then they should only do so if their Sovereign
>acknowledges their right to do so. For that matter, only if ALL Sovereigns
>acknowledge their right, probably by treaty.

Laurel is styled 'Sovereign of Arms' in Corpora. Pelican holds a Board
Warrant for the office of Pelican King of Arms. This is not a matter
over which one of the territorial sovereigns has any jurisdiction.

>For a group who is so concerned with possible 'impersonation' the CoA is
>seems anxious to drape themselves in the trappings of Landed (or formerly
>Landed) Royalty.

So far as I can tell from my reading of SCA history, the CoA's concern
with 'impersonation' has generally been roughly on a par with that of the
Society as a whole. Some members of the CoA worry very little about such
things, probably less than the average Society member; others are much
more concerned. It is certainly a mistake to regard the CoA as a
homogeneous group in this respect!

Talan Gwynek

Arval d'Espas Nord

unread,
Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
to

Greetings from Arval! Dan wrote:

D> It seems to me I have never seen an illistration of anyone in period
D> wearing a crown except members of the nobility.

Since the nobility were the rich people and since fancy jewelry is
available only to the rich, this would not be particularly surprising. But
for the same reason, it would not demonstrate anything about the meaning
ascribed to crowns in period.

D> I ask again, when did Laurel start wearing crowns in period? In what
D> countries.

The Laurel King of Arms' crown is based on an illustration showing Garter
king of arms (chief herald of England in the latter part of our period)
wearing a rather splendid crown. I believe the picture is 15th century,
but I would have to check to be sure. The picture is reproduced in many
heraldic references.

D> If they feel that they are entitled to wear a Crown, style themselves
D> Sovereign, and refer to themselves as (for instance) Da'ud II...

No one claims that the Laurel King of Arms is a sovereign. He is a king of
arms, which is an official title that dates back to the 12th century.

D> For a group who is so concerned with possible 'impersonation' the CoA is
D> seems anxious to drape themselves in the trappings of Landed (or formerly
D> Landed) Royalty.

No one assuming any "trappings of Landed Royalty", unless you start with
the assumption that a crown is necessarily a mark of high nobility. Since
that assumption is historically incorrect and is the center of this
discussion, it is hardly appropriate to draw conclusions from it.

D> I should warn you however, that I feel the SCA has it's own code of
D> conduct that is not neccessarily documentable.

As I wrote yesterday:

me> I understand that it is your opinion, shared by some others. If you'd
me> like to convince me that unhistorical Society customs ought to override
me> accurate re-creation, I'll be happy to think about your arguments.

If we were discussing a necessary accomodation to our modern world, like
unhistorical rules that protect safety or promote sexual equality, then I
would tend to agree with you: There are many ways in which we cannot or
will not be authentic. But this is purely a matter of adornment. Laurel's
crown harms _no one_ and it is a beautiful piece of re-creation. For that
I reason, I find the arguments for preserving this particular Society
custom to be unconvincing.

===========================================================================

Kiteh

unread,
Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

D=DAN
A=ARVAL
T=TALAN


>D> I ask again, when did Laurel start wearing crowns in period? In what
>D> countries.
>

A>The Laurel King of Arms' crown is based on an illustration showing
Garter
A>king of arms (chief herald of England in the latter part of our period)
A>wearing a rather splendid crown. I believe the picture is 15th century,
A>but I would have to check to be sure. The picture is reproduced in many
A>heraldic references.

T>In _British Heraldry from its Origins to c.1800_, compiled and edited by

T>Richard Marks & Ann Payne, publ. by British Museum Publications Limited
T>for the British Library, item 103 is the crown of John Anstis the Elder,

T>Garter King of Arms 1719-44. (There's also a picture of the crown,
T>obviously the one on which Laurel's is based.)

If Talan is correct, then the crown that Laurel wears is based on an OOP
example?

>D> If they feel that they are entitled to wear a Crown, style themselves
>D> Sovereign, and refer to themselves as (for instance) Da'ud II...

A>No one claims that the Laurel King of Arms is a sovereign. He is a king
of
A>arms, which is an official title that dates back to the 12th century.

T>Laurel is styled 'Sovereign of Arms' in Corpora.

One again I believe Talan has illustrated my point better than I could.

>D> For a group who is so concerned with possible 'impersonation' the CoA
is
>D> seems anxious to drape themselves in the trappings of Landed (or
formerly
>D> Landed) Royalty.
>

A>No one assuming any "trappings of Landed Royalty", unless you start with
A>the assumption that a crown is necessarily a mark of high nobility.
Since
A>that assumption is historically incorrect and is the center of this
A>discussion, it is hardly appropriate to draw conclusions from it.

T>Sir Anthony Wagner, in his _Heralds of England_, pp.88-90, says that
T>William Bruges (Garter) in a petition addressed to Henry V asked that on

T>solemn days when the King held state in his regalia Garter might wear a
T>crown as had been done time out of mind.

It would seem, once again according to Talan, (I'm beginning to feel
guilty for not doing this research myself. Frankly, my area of study runs
more toward the more martial aspects of the middle ages.) that at least
one King of Arms felt he had to get the current King of England's
permission to continue to wear his crown.

>D> I should warn you however, that I feel the SCA has it's own code of
>D> conduct that is not neccessarily documentable.
>
>As I wrote yesterday:
>
>me> I understand that it is your opinion, shared by some others. If
you'd
>me> like to convince me that unhistorical Society customs ought to
override
>me> accurate re-creation, I'll be happy to think about your arguments.

Ok then, in the strictest sense of history our Laurel Sovereign of Arms
has NO period equivalent. The chief Kingdom Heralds of europe didn't have
a central authority to whom they had to answer to on the heraldry of their
Kingdom. At best you've only made a case for the Kingdom-level Heralds to
wear crowns. And you must admit, any regailia for a Kingdom officer would
defintily be strictly the Local King's perogative.

The problem is, that the Heralds, or a subset of them at least, took it
upon themselves to interpret part of a period practice (heralds wearing
crowns). They ignored any references as to where the authority (to wear
crowns) was received from, and decided to invest that regailia on the one
Herald that was not under the jusrisdiction of any one Crown so as to
avoid having the regailia dissallowed. The rest of the Society wasn't
consulted. The BoD wasn't consulted. Certainly the Crowns of the known
world weren't consulted.

You have convinced me that some heralds in period were allowed to wear a
crown. You haven't convinced me that Laurel has the authority to invest
themselves with regailia on his own authority. I still contend that the
only people who think this is a good idea are by and large other heralds.
This point is getting close to the other thread of the heralds playing
thier own game because the heralds all agree that what the heralds are
doing is what's right.

In addition, your point of Laurels crown not hurting anyone is not
entirely accurate. Maybe it's not hurting anyONE (person), but consider
the following. According to your own contentions anyone in period with
enough money could wear a crown. In the SCA only the royalty wears crowns.
Are you then implying that anyone with a persona with enough money can
show up with a crown from an imperial margerine commercial? I know that's
not what you were trying to say but my point is that in the SCA we have
developed customs dealing with who does and doesen't wear crowns. The
right to wear them has a lot to do with the 'magic' of attending an event.
When I was a newcomer it took my breath away when I first entered 'The
Royal Presence'. When someone decides to start wearing a crown who hasn't
done something to deserve it (and NO other officer in the SCA gets to wear
a crown so just being Laurel doesn't constitute earning it) then it's just
that less special.

When *I* get to be King....

Thegn Dan


Barbara Nostrand

unread,
Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
to

Noble Cousins!

Lord Thegn Dan wrote:

> I should warn you however, that I feel the SCA has it's own code of

> conduct that is not neccessarily documentable. We have strong traditions
> based more on Camelot and Ivanhoe than anything you would commonly find in
> period. One of them is our 'award system' which includes, in every
> Kingdom, some allowance for who should and should not wear an actual
> 'Crown'.

The East Kingdom has no sumptuary laws. None, nada, zip, nothing. You
can wear anything you want in the East Kingdom that is not specifically
restricted by Corpora. There are specific pieces of regalia which are
attached to specific estate. The crown of the Laurel Sovereign of Arms
does not conflict with any of these. Interestingly enough, Corpora
explicitely gives the Laural Sovereign of Arms a monopoly on making this
sort of decision. At present, the opinion of any territorial sovereign
is irrelevant.

> Every Laurel so far has come from the populace of one of the 13 or so
> Kindoms that make up the society. Each officer in service to the Society

> belongs to some Kingdom somewhere. If they feel that they are entitled to


> wear a Crown, style themselves Sovereign, and refer to themselves as (for
> instance) Da'ud II, then they should only do so if their Sovereign
> acknowledges their right to do so. For that matter, only if ALL Sovereigns
> acknowledge their right, probably by treaty.

Here you are missing the point. "King of Arms" is a medieval job title.
It isn't the same thing as calling yourself "King of France" which is an
entirely different job title.

> For a group who is so concerned with possible 'impersonation' the CoA is

> seems anxious to drape themselves in the trappings of Landed (or formerly

> Landed) Royalty.

Again. "King" in this case makes no territorial claim either in the
Current Middle Ages or in the historical middle ages. It does make a
claim to a particular kind of estate. But, lots of titles do that.

Brian M. Scott

unread,
Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
to

In article <4lrq74$h...@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, ki...@aol.com (Kiteh)
continued a discussion of the crown worn by the Laurel Sovereign of Arms:

He first quoted his previous question and Arval's and my responses thereto:

Dan:


I ask again, when did Laurel start wearing crowns in period? In what

countries.

Arval:


The Laurel King of Arms' crown is based on an illustration showing

Garter king of arms (chief herald of England in the latter part of
our period) wearing a rather splendid crown. I believe the picture
is 15th century, but I would have to check to be sure. The picture
is reproduced in many heraldic references.

Arval is right. In Wagner's _Heralds of England_ is reproduced a drawing,
made by John Anstis, of the monumental brass of John Cosoun, Clarenceux
King of Arms c.1425. It shows Clarenceux wearing a tabard of England and
a crown. The crown is ornamented with what appear to be eight strawberry
leaves (as in a 'standard' SCA ducal coronet).

Me:


In _British Heraldry from its Origins to c.1800_, compiled and

edited by Richard Marks & Ann Payne, publ. by British Museum
Publications Limited for the British Library, item 103 is the crown
of John Anstis the Elder, Garter King of Arms 1719-44. (There's
also a picture of the crown, obviously the one on which Laurel's
is based.)

Dan now responds:


If Talan is correct, then the crown that Laurel wears is based on
an OOP example?

I don't know. This was the first reference that I found clearly indicating
period use of the crown by English heralds. (You snipped that part of my
post, and I haven't bothered to repeat it since I've noted an even better
reference above.) The crown in question apparently dates from c.1719;
whether it in turn is based on earlier designs I do not know.

Dan again quotes his previous post:


If they feel that they are entitled to wear a Crown, style

themselves Sovereign, and refer to themselves as (for instance)
Da'ud II...

Arval:


No one claims that the Laurel King of Arms is a sovereign. He is a

king of arms, which is an official title that dates back to the 12th
century.

Laurel is styled 'Sovereign of Arms' in Corpora.

Dan now responds:

One again I believe Talan has illustrated my point better than I
could.

I really don't think so. I showed that contrary to your assertion, Laurel
does not style *himself* Sovereign; it is Corpora that does so. Are you
perhaps quibbling over the difference between 'King' and 'Sovereign'? If
so, you should be aware that in the Society (whose usages you wish to
uphold) 'Sovereign' is often used as a genderless term equivalent to
'King or Queen'. Da'ud is now Laurel King of Arms; one of his predecessors
many years ago was Laurel Queen of Arms; and they are two of the Society's
past Sovereigns of Arms. No one drops the 'of Arms', so there is no
confusion with Sovereigns by Right of Arms.

Dan again quotes his previous post:


For a group who is so concerned with possible 'impersonation' the

CoA is seems anxious to drape themselves in the trappings of Landed
(or formerly Landed) Royalty.

Arval:


No one assuming any "trappings of Landed Royalty", unless you start

with the assumption that a crown is necessarily a mark of high
nobility. Since that assumption is historically incorrect and is
the center of this discussion, it is hardly appropriate to draw
conclusions from it.

Me:


Sir Anthony Wagner, in his _Heralds of England_, pp.88-90, says that

William Bruges (Garter) in a petition addressed to Henry V asked

that on solemn days when the King held state in his regalia Garter
might wear a crown as had been done time out of mind.

Dan now responds:


It would seem, once again according to Talan, (I'm beginning to feel
guilty for not doing this research myself. Frankly, my area of study
runs more toward the more martial aspects of the middle ages.) that
at least one King of Arms felt he had to get the current King of
England's permission to continue to wear his crown.

I note that you have completely ignored Arval's cogent point, to wit, that
your argument is circular. Your response to my information is almost as
selective, since you ignore the fact that Garter believed that heralds had
long enjoyed the right to wear a crown on solemn occasions. Yes, Garter
apparently felt it necessary (or perhaps politic) to petition Henry for
confirmation of this right. It should, however, be noted that Bruges was
the *first* Garter King of Arms and may therefore have felt it incumbent
on him to ensure the traditional rights for this newly created office. It
should also be noted that English society was quite different in Henry's
time from what it had been in the early days of heraldry and heralds, and
it is also possible that Garter's petition reflects the changing nature of
kingship. At any rate, your conclusion certainly oversimplifies a complex
matter.

Dan again quotes an earlier post:


I should warn you however, that I feel the SCA has it's own code of

conduct that is not neccessarily documentable.

Arval quotes an earlier response:


I understand that it is your opinion, shared by some others. If

you'd like to convince me that unhistorical Society customs ought
to override accurate re-creation, I'll be happy to think about your
arguments.

Dan now responds:


Ok then, in the strictest sense of history our Laurel Sovereign of
Arms has NO period equivalent. The chief Kingdom Heralds of europe
didn't have a central authority to whom they had to answer to on
the heraldry of their Kingdom. At best you've only made a case for
the Kingdom-level Heralds to wear crowns. And you must admit, any
regailia for a Kingdom officer would defintily be strictly the Local
King's perogative.

Actually, I don't believe that this is entirely correct. I see nothing in
principle to prevent the Society from establishing a specific and required
item of regalia for a kingdom principal herald or earl marshal, say; and
if this (admittedly unlikely) event were to occur, the item in question
would not be within the local ruler's prerogative. Your main point is
outside the scope of the discussion. Many exceedingly unhistorical usages
are built into our Society, beginning with our use of titles, but there is
no need to let these prevent us from adopting other usages that are more
historical. I tend to think that it would make better sense to call Laurel
a Principal Sovereign of Arms and to call the kingdom heralds Sovereigns
of Arms, but I can't get terribly worked up over the matter. If we did
things that way, they'd all be entitled to crowns under appropriate
circumstances. The Kings of Arms would presumably wear them in Court when
speaking as the voice of the Crown, and Laurel would wear his on comparably
ceremonial occasions, e.g., at Pennsic Great Court and at the ceremonial
parts of essentially heraldic events like the Known World Heraldic
Symposium. But the fact is that the organization of the Society doesn't
permit our CoA to function on strictly historical lines, so we do the best
we can.

Dan continues:


The problem is, that the Heralds, or a subset of them at least, took
it upon themselves to interpret part of a period practice (heralds
wearing crowns). They ignored any references as to where the
authority (to wear crowns) was received from, and decided to invest
that regailia on the one Herald that was not under the jusrisdiction
of any one Crown so as to avoid having the regailia dissallowed.
The rest of the Society wasn't consulted. The BoD wasn't consulted.
Certainly the Crowns of the known world weren't consulted.

I think that you seriously misrepresent the facts. It should be clear from
my earlier post and from Arval's information on crowns that the early kings
of arms no more needed authority to wear crowns than did kings of minstrels,
kings of archers, or persons of greater estate who were wealthy enough to
afford crowns. By the end of our period, of course, such matters were much
likelier to have been centrally regulated. Your implication that the
decision to give Laurel, and only Laurel, a crown was consciously made in
order to avoid having the regalia disallowed is simply false. Since Laurel
was the *only* King of Arms in the Society, and since mundanely the crown
was associated only with *kings* of arms, it was obvious that Laurel would
be the herald invested with a crown if the custom were ever revived. Those
who revived it presumably thought that it would be a 'neat' thing to do;
it is unnecessary and discourteous to attribute ulterior motives to them.
The crown in question was a splendid gift designed to improve our recreation,
that's all. Finally, I believe that someone pointed out earlier in this
thread that the crown was presented to Laurel by a representative of the
Board.

Dan continues:


You have convinced me that some heralds in period were allowed to
wear a crown. You haven't convinced me that Laurel has the authority
to invest themselves with regailia on his own authority. I still
contend that the only people who think this is a good idea are by
and large other heralds. This point is getting close to the other
thread of the heralds playing thier own game because the heralds
all agree that what the heralds are doing is what's right.

You still don't understand the history involved: in the early days, at least,
no 'allowance' was required. And it appears that the use of the Laurel
crown has at some point enjoyed at least tacit Board approval, so it's
not at all clear that Laurel invested himself with the crown strictly on
his own authority.

Dan continues:


In addition, your point of Laurels crown not hurting anyone is not
entirely accurate. Maybe it's not hurting anyONE (person), but
consider the following. According to your own contentions anyone
in period with enough money could wear a crown. In the SCA only
the royalty wears crowns. Are you then implying that anyone with
a persona with enough money can show up with a crown from an
imperial margerine commercial? I know that's not what you were
trying to say but my point is that in the SCA we have developed
customs dealing with who does and doesen't wear crowns. The right
to wear them has a lot to do with the 'magic' of attending an event.

For some people; perhaps even for many people. But you shouldn't fall
into the trap of attributing to everyone your own views and reactions.

When I was a newcomer it took my breath away when I first entered
'The Royal Presence'. When someone decides to start wearing a crown
who hasn't done something to deserve it (and NO other officer in
the SCA gets to wear a crown so just being Laurel doesn't constitute
earning it) then it's just that less special.

You have apparently arrogated to yourself the right to decide what actions
are required to 'earn' a crown. Is this not exactly your complaint about
what you see, incorrectly, as Laurel's unilateral decision to wear one?

>When *I* get to be King....

I hope that you will recognize that there are many 'right' ways to play
our game.

Talan Gwynek

rudi...@utdallas.edu

unread,
Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
to

> For a group who is so concerned with possible 'impersonation' the
> CoA is seems anxious to drape themselves in the trappings of Landed
> (or formerly Landed) Royalty.

This is not true. The people who made the crown in question were never
Kings of Arms, and so had no intent to drape themselves in the trappings
of that title, the Laurel Queen of Arms knew nothing about the crown
until it was presented to her at a Heraldic Symposium, the successor
Kings of Arms merely inherited the thing, and nobody else in the CoA can
drape themselves in it at all. Two kings were present when it was first
worn, and neither objected.

By the way, is anybody else amused that a thread that started out bashing
the heralds for not following period practice has seamlessly mutated into
bashing them for following it?

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin


Arval d'Espas Nord

unread,
Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

Greetings from Arval! Solveig wrote:

> The East Kingdom has no sumptuary laws.

That is correct; but one should note that the East does have fairly strong
sumptuary customs most of which are consistent with custom across the
Society. We just haven't felt any need to write it into law, and we don't
feel threatened by individual variation.

> You can wear anything you want in the East Kingdom that is not
> specifically restricted by Corpora.

Corpora says absolutely nothing about regalia.

The Board's only action on the question of regalia (as far as I know) was
to determine, several years ago, that the authority to determine regalia
for Society-wide ranks and orders was delegated to the Laurel King of Arms.
But Laurel has made no rulings on the subject since he formally received
that authority, so there are in fact _no_ corporate rules regarding
regalia. (Various earlier holders of the Laurel office _believed_ that
they had the authority to define and reserve regalia, but the Board had
never confirmed that authority.)

Arval d'Espas Nord

unread,
Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

Greetings from Arval!

Dan replied at length to Talan and myself. Talan's answer is quite
thorough; I don't need to duplicate it.

Dan, you are using the evidence very selectively, citing the points that
seem to support your argument and ignoring those that don't.

This discussion basically boils down to this: The evidence shows quite
clearly that it is a proper period practice for Kings of Arms to wear
crowns. You think this is a practice that we shouldn't re-create in the
Society because it conflicts with your ideas about regalia and royal
authority, which you have agreed are derived from Society tradition without
reference to history.

That's a fair opinion, Dan. We disagree. Neither of us has the power to
impose an opinion on the entire Society, which means that people will like
it and some people won't. Can we leave it at that?

I will reply to one specific point.

> In addition, your point of Laurels crown not hurting anyone is not
> entirely accurate. Maybe it's not hurting anyONE (person), but consider
> the following. According to your own contentions anyone in period with
> enough money could wear a crown. In the SCA only the royalty wears crowns.
> Are you then implying that anyone with a persona with enough money can
> show up with a crown from an imperial margerine commercial?

No, that design of crown is not period. But are you asking if I think that
people ought to be free to wear crowns and coronets appropriate to their
personae, without being restricted by unhistorical SCA sumptuary laws? Yes,
I do. Since _all_ SCA sumptuary laws that I've ever seen (and I have made
a particular study of them) are based on out-of-period sources, I think
that they are a particular egregious abuse of royal power.

I don't think that we should have laws that restrict accurate re-creation.
I think that we should abolish all sumptuary laws and forbid kings from
imposing new ones.

Paul E. Kiefer Jr.

unread,
Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

rudi...@utdallas.edu screamed to All about
"Re: Don't feed, er, PAY, the heralds'-HIVE MIND(tm)":


ru> By the way, is anybody else amused that a thread that started out
ru> bashing the heralds for not following period practice has seamlessly
ru> mutated into bashing them for following it?

That's how all conversations usually go.

Johan Kiefer Hayden Paul E. Kiefer, Jr.
Barony of Brynn Gwlad "Weasel" of Manchaca, TX
Kingdom of Ansteorra paul.e.k...@48.ima.infomail.com
"Per bend sinister gules and azure, two owls or."


... Pardon me, but would you have any Blue Poupon?
--
|Fidonet: Paul E. Kiefer Jr. 1:382/91
|Internet: Paul.E..Kiefer.Jr.@91.ima.infomail.com
|
| Standard disclaimer: The views of this user are strictly their own.


rosalyn rice

unread,
May 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/2/96
to

Slightly apropos of this long-running debate, I have unsubscribed
from the SCAHRLDS mailing list. It's safe to come out now.

My presence on the Rialto and SCAHRLDS is inevitably
inflammatory and is ultimately unproductive to all sides, so I am
withdrawing.

Lothar

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