An Tir Internal Letter of Intent

Free to all persons willing to comment on a regular basis

Commentary due on this letter by Friday, May 8th for the May Lion's Blood meeting.

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


April 1998

Greetings unto the An Tir College of Heralds from Maryn Lion's Blood! The office is in transition; here is my first Internal Letter of Intent. With the examples of my worthy predecessors, their help and the help of my Stalwart Deputy, I have attempted to present the An Tir College with a letter both functional and coherent. As in any effort of this type, all errors (and incoherencies) are my own. I do ask commenters, however, to remember that these submissions are from people who care enough to try to register names and devices, instead of just saying, "I don't gots to show you no stinking registration" - so please, a minimum of snarky remarks in your actual written comments.

With this letter is a 'how-to' sheet for submissions packets. Even in my first month of receiving submissions, it has become clear that many people are unaware of many of the rules and conventions for assembling a packet. Of course, most of the people that this letter will reach are not only clear on this subject and enormously capable, but are also the people who have taught me what a packet needs to contain! But I hope that if a 'hand-out' sheet is included here, local heralds will copy it and add it to their stock of forms, so that it may be disseminated, perhaps even far and wide!

Most of us in the heraldic community have heard from one person or another during our years in heraldry about or from submittors who 'waited a whole year' or more, and then found out that no one ever received their original packet! Like the famous letter to the London Times, which arrived at that office with the note, 'Found adhering to a snail', some mail just does go astray. To help counter that sort of frustrating mishap, please suggest to your submittors that if they will include a stamped self-addressed postcard with their submissions packet, on it I will note the date that the packet is received, the month of the Internal Letter in which their submissions will be included, and the month of the meeting at which their submissions will be addressed at Kingdom - and send it back to them. That way, they can know that their packet made it through the Post, and when it will be ruled on.

I think I can say, by the way, that the Heraldic Symposium was a great success, with an extremely active consultation table, a good turnout overall, and lovely food! Particularly noteworthy were the heraldic pie crusts (on quite delicious meat pies, too!).

Remember, comments on the previous letter are due by Friday May 8th, so they may be included in the decisions made at the home of former Black Lion, Wilhelm von Messer (William Safford). That is, 5220 66th Ave. NW, in Olympia, WA.

Directions: From I-5 from the north or south take exit 105 (Highway 101). Then take the Shelton exit onto Hwy 101; then the 1st exit onto Steamboat Island Road, and go three miles to 66th Ave. Turn left, and then into the first driveway on the right.

My sincere apologies, but the June meeting site is not yet confirmed. I'll try to be a little more beforehand in future.

And now for a few words from Ciaran:

Greetings to Black Lion and the College of Heralds of the Kingdom of An Tir from Ciaran Cluana Ferta, sometime Lion's Blood Herald. I am easing into new responsibilities well, and thankful to have a successor to the Lion's Blood job. Please treat Maryn with the same courtesy and assistance you have given me. Here are the results of the March Meeting:

Old Submissions

The following have been sent to Laurel:

Dolcia Ragno new/Name only

(see RETURNS for device)

The listing of documentation was corrected to better reflect the available (and consultant's) evidence.

Ruadhan O'Faol·in new/Name only

(see RETURNS for device)

Submitted as Fionnruadhachain O'Faolain, this was changed (with the submitter's written permission) at Kingdom to reflect period usage. The submitted given name was seen by many commenters as a strung-together group of names. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints 3rd ed. (Oxford Univ. Press, 1978) sub Ruadhan shows this to be the name of an Irish monk, abbot and founder of a monastery at Lothra (in Co. Tipperary), c. 584.

Rhys ap Gwilym new/Device only

Vert, a fess wavy in chief three griffins segreant argent a base wavy barry wavy argent and gules.

Against Ceridwen ferch Dafydd ap Cradog (Vert, a fess wavy between four leeks, three and one, argent) we count a CD for change of type of secondaries (leeks to griffins), another for number of secondaries (4 leeks to 3 Griffins) and a third for the addition of the (bloody?) ford.

Robyrt of Watersyde new/Name & Device

Per fess wavy azure and barry wavy argent and azure a mullet of eight points and an increscent Or.

The device was re-blazoned.

Rosamund FitzGilbert Name & Device

Quarterly gules and sable, a chevron Or and in dexter chief a mullet argent.

Rosamund is shown from Withycombe (3rd ed.)p. 258 sub Rosamund where it is dated in England to 1176. FitzGilbert is shown in Reaney (3rd ed., p. 189, sub Gilbert) where it speaks of Richard fitz Gilbert (the Earl of Pembroke), who was known in Ireland as Strongbow, who made an agreement with Dermot MacMurrough (King of Leinster) in 1166 .

Rose Scarlett Slade Device only

Per pall argent, gules and sable, in chief a rose proper in sinister a sword inverted proper.

While many commenters complained of the unbalanced nature of the device, it is not unregisterable.

SĘunn HrafnsdÛttir Name only

This drew comments of "Good documentation!"

These have been returned for further work:

Arlindis of Gordon Badge only

(Fieldless) A quatrefoil Knot per pale sable and argent.

This was returned for conflict with Eilis ni Roibeard O'Boirne ([Tinctureless] A quatrefoil knot). We will help the submitter get in touch with Eilis, who has been known to allow conflict, on a case-by-case basis.

Damian Thorne Name & Device

Argent, a phoenix head to sinister gules on a chief azure three bezants.

The name is being returned because the name conflicts with the name of the main character of a published work of fiction (the OMEN movies and books) [see the Administrative Handbook section 3.A.4]. Although the device was reblazoned, it appeared clear of conflicts, but since only Laurel can create a holding name, it must be returned along with the name.

Dolcia Ragno Device only

Argent, pendant from dexter chief corner a spiderweb sable a candle sable flamed Or marked gules.

This was returned for use of four "weirdnesses". period examples of the use of the spider web show it centered on the shield, not "issuant" from a corner. Also, the web (as shown) was argent fimbriated sable. The candle was flamed Or with a small (internal) area that is marked gules, and lastly, the candle was sable on a sable charge. It has long been the policy of Lion's Blood that we don't "fix" emblazons, but return them with suggestions for the submitter to remedy problems.

na Laoich an Oir Branch name only

This was, apparently intended to be the name of a new (not yet incipient) stronghold in the Barony of Blatha an Oir. But the documentation didn't include any supporting information, and we had no corroboration from the Kingdom Seneschal's office that such an incipient branch was forming. Since no petition was to be had, we are forced to return this until such documentation is obtained.

Ruadhan O'Faolain Device only

Azure a wolf rampant argent maintaining a Celtic harp Or in chief a compass star all within a bordure embattled argent.

This had some artistic problems (too thin bordure, "pinking-shear" embattling, and a mullet that was hard to see) but was withdrawn by the submitter at the meeting.

New Submissions:

1. Catriona nic Theýrlaigh Device Change

(Glymm Mere)

Vert and azure, a bend wavy sinister argent.

Her name was registered in the West Kingdom in 1993. Her previous device, registered in Meridies in 1995, Vert, an increscent between three mullets Or is to be released upon registration of this device.

2. Catriona Stiubhard Device resub/Kingdom

(Coeur du Val)

Per fess undly argent and sable a dolphin haurient in chief and haurient inverted in base, both counterchanged.

This seems like a good place to note that I intend to present the blazons as submitted, and let the college straighten them out. Her name was registered in April of 1997. Her previous submission, Azure, a narwhal haurient argent armed Or, was returned for conflict; this design is quite different.

3. Caversgate, Incipient Shire of Device resub/Kingdom


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

This group's name and device were mistakenly sent to Laurel without the required petitions, and were returned for that reason. Because this return threatened their incipient status, Laurel agreed to rule on their name as a hardship case, and the paperwork (plus petition) has already been sent to her. However, Laurel stated that the device must go through Kingdom again. This device resubmission is accompanied by a petition signed by nine people, all paid members of the Society.

4. David Visdelu le Wrothe Name & Device resub/Kingdom

(Valley Wold)

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

The submittor's previous name submission, <David Wolffury>, was returned because none of the commenters were able to document the use of <-fury> or <-fiery> as a deuterotheme in Anglo-Saxon. His previous device submission, Argent, a wolf's head cabossed sable issuing from the ears and mouth flames vert was returned for multiple conflicts.

This name resubmission provides a copy of the submittor's birth certificate for the name <David>, and documents the other elements as <Visdelu> from Reaney and Wilson's Dictionary of English Surnames 2nd edition; on page 127 under 'Fidler' is listed Visdelou from 1160 and Videlu from 1198. From the same source comes <le Wrothe>, page 394 under 'Wroth', dated 1221. He wishes to retain the meaning of 'David Wolf Face the Fierce'. His local herald also cites Withycombe, pp. 79-80.

5. Eleanor of Leycestershyre Device resub/Kingdom


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

The submittor also resubmitted her name and the documentation for it (with no changes), but has been advised that it was not necessary, as her name was listed as sent up to Laurel on the January ILoI.

Her previous submission, Or, a phoenix purpure rising from flames proper, on a chief purpure three suns in splendor Or, was returned for the use of proper flames on an Or field. At one time proper flames in the SCA were drawn with red on the outside and gold on the inside, or vice versa, as was required by the field on which they were placed - essentially fimbriated flames. However, for some time now that depiction of flames proper has been a cause for return by Laurel; the medieval depiction (and the SCA depiction, now) of flames proper is of little 'tongues' of flame alternating red and gold. Therefore, on a red or a gold field, half of the flames lying on the field would be indivisible from the field. The lady has rearranged the tinctures of her device submission and made the flames gules. She has also sent documentation for each charge, and for the use of the tincture purpure.

6. Eleanor of Leycestershyre Badge resub/Kingdom


Purpure, a phoenix Or rising from flames gules.

Her previous submission, Or, a phoenix purpure rising from flames proper, was returned for conflict with Ruedeger Guenther Marenholtz, who bears (Fieldless) A phoenix purpure nimbed Or rising from flames proper, with only 1 CD for the field. However, the flames proper problem (see device submission above) would also have obtained here, even had there not been a conflict. Documentation for the charges and for the use of purpure was also included with the badge resubmission.

7. Fabienne l'AccusČe Name & Device New

(Myrgan Wood)

Per saltire azure and sable, a stag courant contourny and in base a demi-sun Or.

The name submitted is French, and the submittor wishes to preserve the general sound. She has included documentation for the masculine name Fabian as the 3rd century pope and as a character in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night from The Facts on File Dictionary of First Names by Dunkling and Gosling, as the pope and from 16th century uses documented by Bardsley from The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names by Withycombe, and again as the 3rd century pope in Dictionary of First Names by Hanks and Hodges, where there is also the listing: Feminine form: French: Fabienne.

She is a member of the Order of the Laurel. As such, she asks if she may add a laurel wreath around the neck of the stag. As an artistic detail, the stag is vulned gules on the body just behind the front leg.

8. Gabrielle Lepinay Name & Device New


Per bend sinister gules and sable, a rabbit rampant to sinister argent, in chief a rapier proper.

Yes, I know, the rabbit is not rampant to sinister. The name is French, meaning 'God gives me strength' and 'Thorn', respectively. The names are documented to Dictionnaire etymologique des noms de famille et prenoms de France by Dauzat; page 273 for <Gabrielle> and page 150 for <Lepinay>. The translations are courtesy of Countess Elisabeth. The client will not accept changes.

9. Gaellis of the Cleverhands Name & Device New


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

The name is said to be in Scottish Gaelic, and to mean 'one who brings things together; literally, congeal' plus a descriptive surname. <Gaellis> is shown from Witchcraft in Europe, 1100 - 1700 by Alan Kors, on the opening page for chapter 25. If possible, the submittor would like to retain both the meaning and the general sound.

10. Jacques Louis de Normandie Device resub/Laurel

(Dragon's Laire)

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

His previous submission, Per saltire sable and azure, a Latin cross formy argent, was returned by Laurel.

11. Kathern Thomas Gyelle Spence Device Change

(Three Mountains)

Per chevron pointed with a Linden leaf sable and vert.

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

12. Madrone, Barony of Badge resub/Kingdom

(Archery Champion of Madrone)

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

Their previous submission was (Fieldless) A madrone tree eradicated gules leaved vert charged with a crossbow argent.

13. Morren Kytte Lauman Name & Device New

(An Tir)

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

The name is documented on pages 314, 267 and 273 of Reaney & Wilson's Dictionary of English Surnames. The submittor would actually prefer the name 'Morlan' to <Morren>, if documentation can be found. <Morren> is found as a surname on the page given, but may be an acceptable spelling variant of the name 'Morin', same page, (under the header 'Morin') which is shown as a given name. <Kytte> is intended to be a nickname; if his submission is ruled to use an incorrect formation, <Kytte> is the name he would choose to do without. The name is English, or perhaps also Scots, and he wishes to preserve the general sound.

14. Rhiannon Makreury Name resub/Laurel


In her documentation she lists the name <Rhiannon> as 'SCA compatible', per the June 1996 LoAR Cover Letter, and the name <Makreury> from Black's Surnames of Scotland, pages 562-563 under 'Macrory'. She also includes the text of a long email conversation with Dame Zenobia Naphtali about this name.

15. Rhonwen McBride Badge resub/Kingdom

(Glymm Mere)

(Fieldless) A hawk's lure argent.

Her name was registered in October 1996. Her previous badge submission, (Fieldless) A moon in her plenitude purpure, was returned on the Internal Letter of March 1997. This is a complete redesign.

16. Richard Armistead Name & Device New

(South March)

Field of azure, lion of argent in passant to the dexter, three fleur-de-lys in Or to the pall.

While this blazon needs a little work, it is clearly descriptive. The name is English, and is intended to mean 'one who lives by an armory'. The general sound is the most important to the submittor. <Richard> is apparently the submittor's modern name, but no documentation is provided. <Armistead> is documented on page 18 of A Dictionary of Surnames by Hanks and Hodges, where the text describes it as a 'topographical name for someone who lived by a hermit's cell, from ME (h)ermite hermit (see ARMITAGE) + stede place (see STEAD 1)'.

17. Seumas Camshronach an Lochabair Badge resub/Kingdom

(Valley Wold)

Sable, a chamfron Or enflamed proper.

His previous badge submission, Sable, a chamfron Or banded gules enflamed proper, was returned for art and identifiability reasons. It was recommended that he remove the banding to make the charge more clearly identifiable, and he has done so here, making it all Or.

18. Seamus Rua Name & Device resub/Kingdom

(Valley Wold)

Gules, ermined Or.

His previous device submission was returned when his name was returned at Kingdom in June 1997, for lack of a name to which to register it. His previous name submission, <Jacomus von de Pontseele>, was returned for numerous problems, including lack of a demonstrable locative. The language for the new submission is Irish Gaelic, with the meaning 'Red James' or 'James the Red'. He wishes to retain the general sound. His name resubmission, <Seamus Rua>, is documented as follows: <Seamus>, The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, 3rd edition, by Withycombe, under 'James', page 266; <Rua>, same source, under 'Rory', page 257. He also cites Book of Irish Names by Coghlan; 'Seamus' is found on page 32.

19. SĖle nic Cionaodha Name & Device resub/Kingdom


A shield vert with two chevronels, in chief a cats face or within a counter compony bordure azure and or.

This lady's previous submissions for name, Sile Kellyn MacCionaodha, and device, Vert, to dexter three chevronels couped, to sinister a cats face Or within a bordure counter compony azure and Or, were returned at Kingdom on the September 1997 ILoI. The name was returned for non-period style; it was also suggested that 'nic' needed to be used in place of 'mac'. The device was returned because none of the commenters could find any historical usage of chevrons couped in just such a fashion.

Documentation included with this name is from A Dictionary of First Names by Hanks and Hodges, page 58, under 'Cecily', where it states 'Cognates: Irish Gaelic: SĖle'. The surname is from Black's The Surnames of Scotland, page 525, under 'MacKenna': "…G. MacCionaodha, 'son of Cionaodh'".

20. Simon von der Eisenhandlung for Zur Roten Wage Household Name & Badge New


A set of scales gules.

The name is German, and means 'at the sign of the red scales'. Per correspondence with Talan Gwynek, attached in full to the submission, are the remarks from Talan, " need the weak adjectival declension, which makes it <zur roten Waage>" and "The housename is a prominent feature of the Germanic bynaming, and you've certainly used a common construction", as well as "…the Middle High German spelling of modern <Waage> was <wage>, so I'd make it <zur roten Wage>". Also listed is 'Drevs van der wage 1350' from Bahlow's Deutsches Namenlexikon. He wishes to retain the meaning.

The badge is on a 'fieldless' form, and uses the main charge from his device; Laurel used the term 'set of scales' in registering the device.

21. Sterling de Seincler Name & Device New

(An Tir)

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

The name is found in Reaney & Wilson's Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd edition, page 425, under 'Starling' as 'Willelmus filius Sterling 1130-60', with the remark 'A nickname from the bird, OE staerling 'starling', used also occasionally as a personal name.' The surname is found on page 411, under 'Sinclair', as 'Richard de Seincler 1194'. The name is English, and the submittor wishes to retain the general sound.

An Tir College of Heralds - Internal Letter - April 1998

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