An Tir Internal Letter of Intent

Free to all persons willing to comment on a regular basis

Commentary due on this letter at the February 1997 meeting

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1 December AS XXXI (1996 C.E.)

Unto the College of Heralds of the Kingdom of An Tir, and all who read these words, GREETINGS from Ciaran Cluana Ferta, Lion's Blood Designate. As you all know by now, Dame Zenobia will be stepping down from this position at 12th Night, to take a well-deserved rest (REST... yeah, right!). She has amassed an enviable record as Lion's Blood, carrying on from Baron David (now Electrum). With your help, I will continue the monthly production of these Internal Letters (IL's) and the Letters of Intent (LOI's), but I need your commentary to guide the decision-making process. The An Tir College always wants new commenters who may take different lines of reasoning than the "established" heralds. Your comments might Se the difference, so send them to me even if you think they just echo what others will have written. You don't have to comment on every submission to be heard, but the more you comment on, the more opportunity you have to learn.

Please remember that commentary on this letter (and ALL submissions) should be sent to me at the above address.

Commentary on previous Internal Letters (and questions regarding previous submissions) should go to Dame Zenobia Naphtali at:

Are you looking to document a difficult name or heraldic charge for a submitter? If so, perhaps the Academy of St. Gabriel can be of assistance. This group does research on historical names and armory, and their clients receive a letter discussing the name and alternatives appropriate to the client's intended time and place. But remember that while many College of Arms members contribute to this service (including Dame Zenobia and Baron David), you still need to give us documentation (other than telling us: "they said so"). You can contact them via regular post at:

Besides the consulting services they maintain a Web page which contains name lists, articles on naming practices, and a substantial bibliography.


16 November 1996

Unto the An Tir College of Heralds does Dame Zenobia Naphtali, Lame Duck Lions Blood Herald, send greetings!

As you will note from the rest of this letter, HL Ciaran Cluana Ferta has begun to issue the internal letters of intent preparatory to his assumption of the Lions Blood office at Twelfth Night. Treat him well, everyone!

A few people have asked what I will be doing in heraldry after Twelfth Night. I will be commenting in-Kingdom and at the Laurel (Known World) level under the title of Couronne Rouge Herald. I will also be generating all the College of Arms correspondence and letters of notification of Kingdom and Laurel rulings that pertain to the submissions preceding and including the November 1996 Internal Letter of Intent. This means I'm not entirely off the hook until June or so.

I'll be happy to talk heraldry with anyone who wants to call, write or email -- in fact, once I'm done with this office, I will probably go through heraldry withdrawal due to the reduction in dosage, and will very much appreciate people providing me with a heraldry fix :-) Once I step down, please send email for me to since the Lions.Blood account will then go to Ciaran.

Overall Charges: A question was raised about overall charges. Overall charges are charges which overlap other charges but which rest on the field. For example, in the arms "Azure a fess Or and overall a sword argent", the sword is the overall charge and lays on top of the fess, with the point and hilt of the sword lying directly on the field.

The overall charge is not the primary charge in such armory; that would be the underlying charge (in this case, the fess) so this is not clear from Azure a fess Or by rule X. 1 (addition of primary charges), it is only one CD from it by rule X.4.c (addition of overall charge) and thus a conflict.

Charges overlying a line of partition are not "overall" charges. Per fess azure and Or a sword argent has the sword argent as the (only and primary) charge, and no overall charge.

Overall charges are required to have good contrast with the field, and should have a minimal area of overlap with the underlying charge. If the overall charge lies mostly on the underlying charge, it can be returned for style problems.

Overall charges are sometimes blazoned as surmounting. The arms Azure a fess Or overall a sword argent can also be blazoned as Azure a fess Or surmounted by a sword argent. There are other mundane blazon terms for this but these are the most common terms in the SCA.

Note that in period overall charges were almost always ordinaries, and often bends. Thus the arms Azure a fess Or overall a sword argent are much, much less likely to be found in period than the very similar seeming arms of Azure a sword argent overall a fess Or.

Old Submissions

The following submissions were forwarded to Laurel in the November Letter of lntent:

Aleemah al-Shammariyyah (new/device) Azure an open book argent and a bordure rayonny Or. The book is edged with a brown leather binding. This could be explicitly blazoned ("an open book argent bound in leather proper") but we felt that this teeny detail could be omitted from the blazon. (It could also be just blazoned as an open book argent "bound proper" since according to the PicDic, a 'proper' binding is in bound leather.) The tincture of the binding doesn't hurt the identifiability any; this is still clearly an open book even though it has a low-contrast binding.

As for a possible three-dimensional problem, this is vastly improved from last time. The drawing is in the standard heraldic posture for an open book. It does appear to 'tilt into the page' a bit but we think this is within allowable artistic parameters. Ideally the open book would appear to be facing the viewer without any 'slant', however.

Alessandra da Pavia (new/device) Per pale azure and Or an owl affronty counterchanged perched on a broach fesswise gules in chief a roundel between an increscent and a decrescent counterchanged argent and azure. The charges in chief are not a 'slot machine' group (with three types of charge in a single group) but are considered to be a two-type charge group, of the design style of an <A> between two <B> respectant. There is precedent for this in the registration of Mredyth y Linx Gwyn (registered in September 1994, under the then-holding name of Sheron of Three Mountains) which

are Azure a winged lynx rampant in chief a mullet between a decrescent and an increscent argent. Although Laurel registered this without comment there was commentary which raised the 'slot machine' charge against the charge group (as well as commentary arguing for this being a two-type symmetrical charge group). The registration presumably argues for the two-type interpretation.

The 'broach' is an embroidery implement. This is drawn just like the broach in the PicDic. (It is not the same thing as a 'brooch.') It seemed identifiable as such in the large sized emblazon.

This is somewhat complex but since the number of types and tinctures does not exceed 8 (it equals eight) and the overall design is symmetrical this should be acceptable. The submission would be much more visually simple if the argent portions of the charges in chief were replaced by Or, like on the field.

Horned owls tend to be the default depiction of an owl. The distinction between horned and non-horned owls is not generally blazoned but is left to the artist.

Alienor Beatrice Lucrezia (new/name, device) Azure four fleur de lys in cross bases to center argent. The overall pattern of this name is a double-given name + single surname Italian Renaissance name, of which the first element is in a standard French spelling rather than a standard Italian spelling. Alienor is documented in Withycombe, where AliÈnor is said to be the ProvenÁal form of the name. The spelling Alienor is found in England in the 12th c. The standard Italian form of name would more likely be Eleanora, but given the cultural commerce between France (especially southern France) and Italy, the borrowing seems plausible. The other two elements are standard Italian spellings of those given names.

In the matter of Lucrezia as a surname, it seems plausible to use an unmodified female name as a metronymic surname. De Felice's Cognomi shows several other women's names used as unmodified metronymics: Lucia (p. 154), Caterina (p.98) and Maria (p. 162.)

Please note that the submitter's membership in Master Eduardo's household is immaterial. The documentation in Master Eduardo's file does not support Lucrezia as a surname in the Middle Ages or Renaissance on its own. It is possible that additional documentation was provided in the letter of Intent or College of Arms commentary (such as we provided, documenting Lucrezia as compatible with a period Italian surname formation practice.) It is also possible that the less stringent requirements for name documentation back when his name was registered allowed his name to be registered even though it appeared to be a string of four given names.

The "grandfather clause" does allow items which are not currently documentable or registerable to be registered by the submitter who already has those items, their close blood relatives, and their spouses. However, it does not allow general 'household members' to register these items without providing appropriate documentation.

It is necessary to blazon the fleurs-de-lys as in cross bases to center. An unmodified in cross would have all the fleurs-de-lys in their default upright (palewise) posture.

Blatha an Oir (new/badge) (Fieldless) In saltire two daffodils Or slipped and leaved vert. I received correspondence from the Baroness supporting this badge. It was suggested that there should be a Baronial show of support for this badge, even though this is not required. Kingdom very rarely requires such shows of support unless required by Laurel (the exceptions generally being for 'regional' submissions to be registered to the Kingdom.) It was noted at the Lions Blood meeting that the Barony has used this badge for many many years (only now attempting to register it) so it is likely that the Barony approves of the submission.

The fretting of the stalks and leaves can be left to the artist.

Christiana Rowena Yonge (new/device) Argent three piles palewise and on a chief vert three suns in glory Or. This submission was redrawn slightly after the meeting to make the arms clearly a charged chief with three piles issuing from it, rather than the way it was originally drawn, as a transition between a chief indented and a chief issuing three piles.

This is an interesting piece of armory in that it follows the design evolution of the mundane Young family as described in Roger F. Pye's More pseudo piles in Scottish coats, Coat of Arms NS V #125 Spring 1983. To summarize: the Youngs, like some Grahams and Gordons, evolved piles not out of

pallets "scrunched" at the bottom (the evolution of most sets of piles), but out of chiefs indented that grew longer and longer points until they because piles. The earliest Young seal found is in 1491 and shows a chief charged with three annulets. By 1542 (the Lindsay of the Mount roll) an illustration for "Zoung" (Young) shows Argent on a chief indented sable three annulets argent. A 1521 seal of William Young's shows the chief indented charged with three annulets and an escallop in base -- but the indentations are so deep that we would blazon them as piles were it not for the fact that the top of the chief is still solid (the bottom part of the 'indentations' does not touch the top of the shield.) By 1672 the design is drawn unmistakably as three piles issuant from a chief charged with three annulets.

Because the piles in this case derive from a chief indented, they are never found 'in point' but are palewise (which needs to be blazoned in the SCA; piles are in point by default according to the PicDic.) They also run a bit shorter than usual; Christine's piles are a bit short but are very much like the length of the piles in the 1672 coat as well as the length of the 'deep chief indented'/'proto-piles' in William Young' s 1521 seal. We feel this style is very good for very late period Scotland and that her allusion to the Young family goes well with her Yonge surname, while avoiding any possible conflicts due to the change in pile/chief tincture and the change of type and tincture of tertiary charge.

Christiana Rowena Yonge (resub. L/badge) (Fieldless) A demi-lion gules sustaining in both paws a sun in glory Or. The lion has been blazoned as sustaining the sun because the sun and lion are of equal visual weight (and both worth difference.) The term maintaining is used when an animal holds a small charge which is not considered to be worth heraldic difference (although it will be blazoned.) As of the 10/31/96 Laurel cover letter, sustaining is to be used only for charges which are of equal visual weight to the primary charge. not for charges which are smaller (even if they are the size of a significant secondary charge.)

The consensus of the meeting was that the method of positioning the demi-lion and the sun is compatible with period style (one commenter questioned this.)

Coner ² Draoi (new/name only) Patrick Woulfe's Irish Names and Surnames p. 177 lists Conor as a Gaelic (not anglicized) spelling under Conchobhar as an ancient and very common Irish name. ² Draoi is a Gaelic surname found on p.507 of the same. The name was submitted with o' instead of ². We have corrected the spelling to match standard Irish Gaelic practice.

This is clear of Conner O'Donnghail (pronounced, probably, Conner O'Donnell). Since ² Draoi seems to be pronounced more or less "O Dree" or "O Drew", the second element is distinct by pronunciation and thus the names are

clear by V.4. The two surnames also do not seem to be etymologically related.

DÈsirÈe Aurelia Chiarastella (new/device) Vert two scimitars in chevron inverted respectant on a chief triangular argent a seahorse vert. This is drawn somewhat 'deep' for a chief triangular but it was the overall opinion of the An Tir College of Heralds that it was a good chief triangular design and should be considered acceptable. Yes, the tinctures are argent and vert not argent and vair.

This cannot be blazoned as "per chevron inverted" since a per chevron inverted field division issues from the sides of the field, not the top corners. The scimitar are not conjoined, since that would require that they touch and they do not.

It was suggested that the scimitars be drawn larger to fill the field better; this is a very good idea.

Eoin Mac Cainnigh (resub. L/device) Per chevron indented azure and Or a stag's head caboshed counterchanged. The design still uses a stag's head without internal detailing (somewhat hampering identifiability), but these were used last time and not mentioned by as a contributing factor to the identifiability problems in the previous Laurel return. The indented is somewhat shallower than is ideal but, at 90 degrees, should be acceptable. There were some significant doubts at the meeting concerning the period style of this depiction, between the depictions of the stag's head and of the per chevron indented line, and whether a Laurel return for drawing style was likely. However, the submitter's consulting herald (and spouse) indicated that the submitter would prefer the submission to be forwarded to Laurel if at all possible, so we have done so.

Esperanza Razzolini d'Asolo and Seumas Camshronach an Lochabair for D˜n Drýgon Dubh (new/house name ): Etymological (as in MacLennan's A pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language) means "pertaining to the origin of words." Entomological means "pertaining to the study of insects." Entomological doesn't seem to be an English word. Please remember to make the distinction.

Esperanza Razzolini d'Asolo, for Honorine Maria Steenhouwer (new/alt persona name)

Godric ap Rhys (new/name, device) Sable a dragon sejant contourny Or in chief an arrow fesswise argent a bordure embattled Or. This is clear of Bell Bailey of Kintyre: Sable a dragon dormant Or within a bordure embattled Or semy of maple leaves gules. There is one CD by X4b for adding a group of charges on the field (the arrow), one by X4h for changing the posture of a group of charges on the field (the

dragon) and one CD by rule X4i for removing a group of charges on charges (the maple leaves.)

James Spyke Saunter (new/name only) Saunter is a header spelling in Reaney's DES p.392 under Santer from the epithet sans terre (without land). A close dated spelling is Sauntere (1275). In the matter of his possible alternates, most of them used the name Y, as registered by Sir Y Blackhand. This name is documented in his file as a variant spelling of the Irish name Aodh (presumably, a non-Gaelic spelling, presumably pronounced 'ee' not 'wye.) However, it isn't clear from the file what the source book for this name is, and we did not find another citation supporting this name. Blackhand's registration notification letter was dated 1986, a full 10 years ago, when name documentation criteria were much less stringent. We do not know if the given name Y would still be registerable today However, this is not an active issue since we were able to forward his name as submitted.

Kara B·reksdÛttir (new/name, device) Per fess argent ard gules a reindeer lodged sable. Kara is an Old Norse female given name in Geirr Bassi p.12. B·rekr is a male given name in the same source, p.8. The name was originally submitted as Kyrra Baraksd–ttir. The given name is an Old Norse weak/feminine ending adjective meaning "calm" (with probable connotations of 'placid' and 'bovine' given ON kyr, cow.) We could find no evidence of its use as a name. The submitter has been consulted on the change to Kara and approves it.

Note that, while it is true that Geirr Bassi does indicate on p.5 that "the [Old Norse] given name has a clear meaning to the speaker of Old Norse; it is a common noun or an adjective as well as a personal name", this does not mean that all adjectives (such as Kyrra) make valid personal names. For one thing Geirr Bassi notes that most given names are dithem-atic, and that there is a "problem of limited constructability", implying that the name element pool was probably large but limited.

There are also problems with the grammar of using a weak feminine adjectival form of an adjective as a given name Kyrra is such a form (the strong form being Kyrri.) Weak feminine adjectives need to modify some determiner -- a definite article such as inn (Old Norse for 'the'), or a given name (where the adjective would be used as modifying the given name.) If the weak adjective is used as the given name, it has nothing to use s a determiner.

Barak was a name the submitter absolutely could not document herself except as the registered given name of her liege (who did not provide documentation either.) We were able to find Barak as a biblical character (Judges 4:6), and to find B·rekr. We were not sure if Barakr is a valid alternate spelling of ON B·rekr and rather suspect that it is not. However, we have asked the College of Arms to help

document anything that will make the byname look more Barak-ish.

The name is clear of Kira Asgrimsdottir by rule V4 (the byname is signifcantly changed.)

This seems to be an acceptable drawing of a reindeer. The default deer is a male deer, so the fact that this deer has the typical male antlers rather than female antlers is appropriate. If the female reindeer is significantly visually different from the mail deer it would be blazoned as a reindeer doe, however as a general rule, given heraldic art in period, it is unlikely that different types of antlers would be distinguished in blazon.

We do not blazon the small details of the animal (the eyes, teeth, and toenails) and as a result we have left the tincture of the ungules to the artist.

Krakenfjord, Shire of (new/name) Webster's Geographical Dictionary shows Flekkefjord and Sandeford in modern Norway, so the Shire name is formed in keeping with modern Norse place name construction. We are willing to give it the benefit of the doubt as period place name construction. They will allow changes to preserve the general sound of the name. They have provided an appropriate petition of support, sent since the submission was originally received. The original two-signature petition would not have been sufficient to send the device on.

Owain ap Einar (new/name only) Owain, according to Withycombe, is a common Welsh name, which (in Middle English romances) is often spelled Owain, Owayne, Ywain. Einar is a name which seems to have made it into the Scots name pool from its Old Norse origins. A Jon Einarson is found in the Shetlands in 1407, according to Black p.241 under Einarson. The idea of a Scots given name being used in an overall Welsh name (such as would happen if a Scotsman moved to Wales) seems quite reasonable, especially since Einar is compatible with Welsh orthography, and there is no native version of the name into which Einar would naturally be translated. We were not sure whether a Welsh/Old Norse name combination could be justified since it was the belief of the persons present at the meeting that the Vikings did not make it to Wales.

Randal the Redowtable (resub. L/device) Checky argent and gules a tower and in chief a hawk's bell sable. This is clear of the mundane protected arms of Croatia: Checky gules and argent by addition of primary charge (rule X. 1). These are not "overall charges" as per X4c: Overall charges overlie an actual other charge (such as "Azure a fess Or overall a sword argent.") Charges which lie on top of lines of division on the field (as here) are not considered to be "overall" charges.

Rhiannon MacRuari of Rannoch Moor (new/name only) Rhiannon is a Welsh-derived S.C.A.-compatible name, used in period myth but not, apparently, by period people. John A. Lister's The Scottish Highlands p.41 indicates that Castle Tioram was built in 1353 by Lady Anne MacRauri . Black gives period spellings of Make Rori, Makrore, McRorie, Makreury, and Mc royri. We think this spelling is compatible.

It seems unlikely that this name would imply territorial rights to the Tioram castle, even though the byname includes the same surname as the builder of the castle (MacRuari) in conjunction with the town where the castle is located. It is likely that there were many MacRuaris in the castle itself and in the area around the castle who would not have proprietary rights to the castle; offspring of younger sons, and their offspring and all the other cousins. This name should not therefore be held to conflict with Anne MacRuari by rule V.5 ("Names that unmistakably imply identity with or close relationship to a specific person... will not be registered.")

Richard Tallon (new/name, device) Quarterly sable and gules a phoenix argent issuant from flames within a bordure Or. In this armory the bird part of the phoenix is argent and the flames part is Or.

Thorvald the Gentle (new/name only) Thorvald is a Norse name found before and after the Norman Conquest in England (Withycombe p.281 under Thorold.) Gentle is a header spelling of a surname in Reaney's DES; the form le Gentil meaning 'high-born, noble' is dated to 1202 and 1242. The Gentle can also be interpreted as a English "lingua franca" epithet. The name is clear of Thorvald the Golden and Thorvald the Indomitable by rule V.4 since one phrase (the byname) has significantly changed.

The following submissions were returned for further work:

Folker Elfin Kee Birre McCrorey (new/name, device) Per bend argent and sable a roundel counter-ermine and a tree argent. The name had to be returned for stylistic reasons. Names in period were simple, generally consisting only of a single given name and a single byname of some sort. Names also were almost always from only one language; multiple-language names were generally found on the borders of two different linguistic areas.

As a result, the SCA does not register names with more than four elements unless there is specific documentation for such a practice in the particular language of the name. Similarly, names using different languages should have the languages all be from cultures which share cultural contact due to a border or major trade, and as a rule of thumb, names with more than three languages represented are not considered acceptable. This name has five parts from five different languages. Precedents pertinent to the topic are found in

Laurel's Letter of Acceptance and Return of September 1992 p.41 and January 1993 p.23. Heraldic Rules for Submission III. I on Name Style is also of interest.

The device appears to be acceptable. However, by Laurel Sovereign of Arms policy we may not forward an armorial submission unless there is a name preceding or accompanying it in the submissions process; thus it must be returned at this time.

We have informed the submitter that "many members of the An Tir College of Heralds interpreted the combination of the name and armory to be allusive to the Keebler Cookie elf, a figure used in Keebler cookie advertisements. If you are not interested in such an allusion you may wish to be careful in your name and/or device redesign." Note the carefully designed stodginess of the wording of this admonition. It wasn't easy. Congratulations to Maryn Grey for her comments on this issue, which were colorful, yet polite.

Gareth of Eastbrook (resub. L/device) Per chevron azure and vert a phoenix Or maintaining in its beak a sword argent. Returned for reasons of artistic style and for conflict. Heraldic charges are generally drawn in a very 'static' fashion. Even a rampant lion, on its hind legs and clawing at the air, is drawn to be solidly planted, as if it could be immobile forever. The standard heraldic phoenix is drawn like the top half of an eagle issuing from a roundish burst of flame. It is balanced and static The phoenix in this submission is very attractive, but very dynamic; it appears to be 'taking off with a long 'trail' of flame, rather than being solidly planted in a round ball of flame. It is felt that, given the current precedents of the College of Arms, this would almost certainly be considered an overly modern depiction of a phoenix for registration (overly modern depiction is grounds for return by Heraldic Rules for Submission VIII.4.d.)

In addition, the device has an apparent conflict with the arms of Jessica Llyrindi of Northmarch: Gyronny sable and gules a phoenix Or issuant from flames proper. Two pieces of armory need to have two "clear" or "cadency" differences between them to avoid the appearance of direct blood relation. One of these differences can be gotten from the change of the field tincture, from gyronny sable and gules to per chevron azure and vert. A phoenix Or issuant from flames proper is a charge that is more than half Or (the bird part is Or, and the flames part is about half gules and half Or, resulting (in a standard phoenix depiction) in a phoenix+flame that is about 3/4 Or.) Thus, only 1/4 of the phoenix has changed tincture; given the Rules for Submission section X.4.d, a clear difference can only be obtained if at least half the charge has changed tincture, so there is no second Clear Difference here. Small objects held in the paws or mouths of animals are generally not considered worth a Clear Difference by the SCA heraldic precedents; they are only worth difference if they are very large (of similar visual weight to the animal holding the charge as the ragged staff in the Bear and Ragged Staff badge of the Dukes of Warwick.) As a result there is only one Clear Difference vs. Jessica; a second difference is needed.

This is clear of conflict with Harold Haakonson: Per chevron argent and vert, in base a phoenix Or. There is one CD for field by X4a and another for changing the position of the charge (from in base to in the center of the shield) by rule X4g. The position change is not "forced" because a phoenix Or has acceptable contrast on the center of a field per chevron argent and vert.

Since both the bird and flame part of the phoenix are Or, this can just be blazoned as a phoenix. It does not need to be blazoned as a phoenix issuant from flames or enflamed.

It would be desirable for the sword in the bird's beak to be drawn larger.

Giacinta da Venezia (new/badge) (Fieldless) A lozenge Or charged with a rose proper. Returned for stylistic reasons. A fieldless badge may not consist of a standard shape used for armorial display with charges on it. This is because it is impossible to distinguish (say) a display of the badge "(Fieldless) on an escutcheon azure a Mullet Or" from a display of the arms "Azure a mullet Or" on an escutcheon. Since a lozenge is a standard shape for armorial display (generally used by women in later period and post-period) one cannot have a fieldless badge consisting only of a charged lozenge.

This is clear of the badge of Edward IV of England: A rose en soleil gules. There is one CD by X4a for fieldless vs. fieldless. The main charge here is the lozenge, thus this is clear by rule X.1 for addition of primary charge (the lozenge.) Even if one considers Edward IV's badge to be a sun Or charged with a rose gules, this is clear of Giacinta's badge by X.2 (change of primary charge type in simple armory.)

James Spyke Saunter (new/device) Azure a nail between two peacocks respectant tails sufflexed all within a bordure Or. Returned for reasons of drawing style. With the best will in the world the An Tir College members present at the Lions Blood meeting were unable to identify the peacocks. A heraldic peacock is generally identified by the large tail and prominent 'eyes' in the tail; the depiction used here has neither of these features, instead having pointy tails. Heraldry is a science of identifiability; if the charge cannot be identified from the provided art, it will not be acceptable to Laurel Sovereign of Arms. I have a vague recollection of the submitter perhaps mentioning that he got this stylization from a period textile; we are willing to believe that this is a reasonable Sassanian or Byzantine textile stylization of a peacock, but find that we can't justify it as a heraldic depiction of a peacock (remember, not all period art is valid style for period heraldry). We suggested that he redraw the peacocks, and redraw the nail to have a less "perspective" view, and resubmit.

We also could not justify the depiction as valid for a popinjay, as suggested by the herald at 30 Year consultation table; while popinjays do have pointy tails they do not have the elaborate crest found on these birds.

Owain ap Einar (new/device) Or on a torteau a bezant between a swan naiant and a swan naiant to sinister inverted Or. Returned for stylistic reasons. This device can be interpreted one of two ways. One way is as blazoned: a red roundel charged with a gold roundel and two swans. Unfortunately this falls afoul of the SCA rules against inescutcheons of pretense, which are small shields appearing to be displays of arms on the inside of a piece of armory. A charged charge appears to be an inescutcheon of pretense if (l) the underlying charge is a standard shape used for armorial display, and (2) it is charged with a charge throughout or a group of more than one charge. In this case, a roundel is a shape used for armorial display, and it is charged with three charges.

Another way to interpret this is as a red annulet (ring) charged with two swans. However, annulets in period tend to be thin. They are generally uncharged, and the few cases where annulets are charged generally has them charged by four small charges like a chaplet (an annulet charged with four roses in cross). An annulet charged with charges as large and complex as these swans would tend to make the armory non-period style; especially notable in the degree to which the annulet becomes thickened to accommodate the complex charges upon it.

We explained to the submitter that if his intent is to design something that looks good on a round shield, he should design for the round shield and just put the design on a shield shape for the submission. Thus, a submission such as Gules a roundel between two swans naiant in annulo Or would be very nice on a round shield without appearing to be an inescutcheon of pretense. Note that the rotational symmetry is not ideal for period heraldry; most period Western European heraldry is not rotationally symmetrical, or even bilaterally symmetrical, but repetitively symmetrical. ("Gules three lions rampant Or" was considered symmetrical, not "Gules three lions courant in annulo" or "Gules two lions rampant addorsed and a lion sejant affronty Or")

A suggestion was made to blazon this as a torteau voided, but due to the existence of the very common period charge of an annulet (itself a torteau voided) we would not use that blazon.

Thorvald the Gentle (new/device) Argent two piles inverted in point purpure overall in bend sinister two bear's pawprints in chevron inverted sable. Returned for stylistic reasons. The major problem is with the overall pawprints. The blazon above does not quite describe them, nor could we find an adequate blazon to describe them. Armory which cannot be blazoned cannot be registered.

Matters are made somewhat more difficult by the fact that no one has yet documented bear pawprints (or most pawprints) in period armory -- the continued acceptance of pawprints rests on some slight evidence for a deer's hoofprint in what might well be period armory in Germany. Pawprints are considered an SCA heraldic "weirdness"; a practice so unusual that it might be registerable by itself, but if there were anything else unusual with the armory the armory would be returned. Piles inverted in point are themselves unusual (piles in period are almost always issuant from chief, and when they are found inverted (rarely) they are generally not in point), and the idea of an overall charge group consisting of multiple animate charges (rather than, say, a single ordinary like a bend overall) is also unusual in period armory.

Lastly, one of the pawprints rests almost entirely on the (low contrast) purpure pile. An overall charge should lie more on the field of the arms than on the charge it surmounts. All these factors together make it a virtual certainty that Laurel Sovereign of Arms would return this submission; thus we are returning it for rework.

New Submissions:

1) Aodh an Deoradh·n (Fire Mountain Keep) new/Name & Device

Per chevron sable and vert, on a pile gules fimbriated argent a satyr passant playing a trumpet Or, in chief two comets conjoined at the head argent.

(M) The name is intended to mean: Aodh the Wanderer. Aodh is documented from Hanks & Hodges A Dictionary of First Names (Oxford Univ. 1990, p. 23) "This was a very common personal name from the earliest times." O'Corrain & Maguire's Gaelic Personal Names (Academy Press, 1981, p. 13, sub Aed) lists a number of Irish kings and bishops from the 7th c. with the spelling Aed.

The particle "an" is shown to be the definite article (the), in Dinneen's FoclÛir Gaedhilge agus BÈarla (Irish Texts Sec., Dublin 1927 & 1934, p. 41).

Dinneen (op, cit.. pp.329-30 sub Deora) shows Deoradha: a wanderer. MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland (Irish Academic Press, Dublin 1991, p. 87, sub Doran) says "the earlier form (of O'Deordin) was O'Deoradh·in, the word denoting exiled person.

2) Aodh an Deoradh·n(Fire Mountain Keep) new/Badge

(Fieldless) a comet of two tails fesswise argent surmounted by a trumpet reversed Or.

3) Branuenn Goch (Madrone) new/Name & Device

Sable, on a bend argent, three martlets rising of the first.

(F) The name is intended to be 11th-12th c. Welsh for Branwen the red-headed. To document this she has submitted correspondence with Harpy Herald (Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn) who states that Branwen was not in general usage in period but has been ruled "SCA registerable". Harpy also discusses the mutation of the name from the Brythonic era "Branouinda" through 9th c."Branguenn" to it's likely 10th c. form of "Branuenn" (but says that there is no record of the name prior to the 13th c., where the both "Branwenn" and "Branwen" are documentable).

Goch is asserted (again, by Harpy) to be a descriptive surname referring to a florid complexion or to red hair (mutated from coch). Thus Branuenn Goch may be translated as Red Branwen, or as Branwen the Red-headed. Harpy states that from her population studies, red "is consistently the most popular or second most popular nickname in Welsh. In samples from the 13- 15th c., it appears in 3-6% of all names". She will accept changes to preserve the meaning of the name.

4) Cragmere, Incip. Shire of - new/Name & Device

Argent, a chevron gules, charged with three trumpeter swans naiant. {PROPOSED RE-BLAZON: Argent, on a chevron gules three swans naiant argent, in base a laurel wreath sable.}

Crag is shown in Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dict. (2nd Ed. p.424, Dorset & Baber, [no date or city]): (Middle English) a steep rugged rock that rises above others or projects from a rock mass; a rough broken rock; or a point of a rock.

Mere (in the same source, p. 1127) (Anglo-Saxon) a lake, a pool, the sea.

Black's The Surnames of Scotland, pp. 178-9 lists several entries using crag- (Richardus de Cragbarny [1359], Malcolm de Cragnaston [1434]) or craig- (Bessie Craighall [1585], David Craighead [1546]) among others.

A petition of support for the name and device, signed by 14 people has been received.

5) Christophe de Lascaux (St. Bunstable) new/Name only

(M) Christophe is in Withycombe p.65-66 (sub Christopher) as the French form of the name (undated). Butler's Lives of the Saints (p.200,vol 4, Ed. Thurston & Attwater, P.J. Kenedy &

Sons, NY, NY [no date]) lists a Christopher of Romagnola (d.1272), a disciple of Francis of Assisi. In another hagiography, The Saints (pp. 110-1, Ed. Coulson, Hawthorn Books, NY,NY [no date]) gives the tale of the legendary 3rd cent, saint. Christophe is documented from Dauzat, Dictionaire Ètymologique des noms de famile et prenoms de France, p.l30.

Lascaux is shown as a corrupted form of the place-name Leschaux (pre-celtic in origin) in Dauzat, Dictionaire etymologique des noms de lieux en France (p.389). Leschaux (dated 1292) is a French village north of the Col de Laschaux according to Toponomie General de la France (p. 75, vol. 1, Ernest NÈgre, Librairie Droz S.A., Geneva, 1990). Lascaux is also shown from Dauzat, Dictionaire Ètymologique des noms de famile et prenoms de France (p. 370).

6) Shire of Cold Keep - new/Device

Per chevron sable mullety Or and azure in pale a tower argent and a laurel wreath Or.

A petition of support is submitted, signed by the seneschale and four (4) other officers. The branch name was registered in April 1994.

7) Esperanza Razzolini d'Asolo (Valley Weld) new/Badge

(Fieldless) on a cross flory azure a cross flory between four fleur-de-lys florency Or.

Her name was registered in April 1994.

8) Gavin Flandry (Dragon's Mist) new/Name & Device

Gules a griffin segreant checky argent and azure.

(M) Black's Surnames of Scotland, (p.292) says: "Gavin was a favorite forename throughout Strathclyde in past times." "It is the Scots form of the English Gawayne...from Geoffiey of Monmouth's Walganus". In the same source, p. 268 (sub Fleming) mentions a Matheus de Flandre. The submitter's herald asserts the -re to -ry is a standard vowel shift, and reminds us of the submission of Lyulf de Flandry (registered 9/93).

9) Gisla Rodumna (Dragon's Mist) new/Name & Device

Purpure three chevronels braced inverted and on a chief doubly enarched Or three triquetra gules.

(F) The name is intended to be 8-10th c. Frankish/French for Gisla from Rodumna.

Gisla is taken from Morlet (p. 110, vol. I) where it is shown to be a female give name in use from before the 9th c. through the 11th c.

Rodumna is shown to be the original name of the town modernly known as Roanne (in SE central France in what is now the Loire Dept.) in Webster's New Geographical Dictionary p. 1018.

Commentary is invited as to the appropriate particle to be used before the surname (if needed).

She wishes to retain the meaning of the name.

10) Kassandra der Moud Schwert (Glymm Mere) appeal to Laurel/Device - change/Name

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

No documentation was received for the name. Her branch herald would appreciate any help you may be able to provide this submission. Her currently registered name and device (Sarasi Candrah [Per bend sinister wavy and per fess azure and argent, on a roundel counterchanged a mullet Or] date from March 1984.

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

She has submitted a letter stating that she is the biological daughter of Hastini Chandra, whose registered household badge (for house Gehe Candra) is: Argent, within a wall-less onion-domed pavilion an increscent double arched sable (Jan. '80). RfS VII,8 allows the College of Arms to "grandfather" previously registered items to the original submitter and her children. I have written the submitter asking for a letter from her mother confirming the relationship.

11) Kateryn Garnett (Aquaterra) new/Name & Device

Gules on a pair of flaunches argent in fess two step cut garnets proper, two Catherine wheels argent.

(F) Kateryn is shown in Withycombe (p. 186-7 sub Katerina) dated to 1456 C.E. in Lincolnshire, England.

She submits a xerox of an unknown rare book catalog advertising a book: Gunpowder Plot: (Henry Garnett, defendant) published in London by Robert Barker, 1606.

12) Laurencia de St. Germain (Porte de l'Eau) resub/Device

Per pale purpure and argent an Arabian horse head erased and a celtic harp, on a chief per pale argent and purpure an arrow fesswise, all counterchanged.

Her name was registered in June 1996.

13) Seumas Camshronach an Lochabair (Valley Weld) new/Badge

(Fieldless) two wolf-hooks contourney sable, overall a lochaber axe couped Or, hafted and hooked gules.

His name was registered in June 1994.

An Tir College of Heralds - Internal Letter - December 1996

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