An Tir College of Heralds: Tourney Field Titles

Tourney Field Titles
by Ciaran Cluana Ferta, Goutte de Sang Herald
October 2003

A question that comes up frequently at Herald‚s Point during tournaments is, „What titles are allowed during the introductions for each round?š

Generally, in An Tir, we use only titles earned upon the field. But that can be a bit confusing, since some folks get an AoA for their martial activities. Then there are defenders, sergeants and squires. What about those who have earned several titles? And finally, what do you say when calling the victor?

In An Tir, we have used many different standards over the past twenty-odd years, and never all of them at any single time. And while there are certainly exceptions (due to local practice at specific tournaments), in general, the following norms are used in announcing the combatants at Crown Tournaments:

  1. Lord and Lady are never used, even if the bearer got an Award of Arms for combat.
  2. If the title is of Royal Peerage (Duchy, County or Viscounty) it may be used only if the bearer achieved the title by his/her own hand (consorts may not use the title on the field). An obvious exception would be a Duchy where both persons of the couple have won at least one Crown. (e.g., His Grace Duke David, Her Excellency Countess Jasmine, Her Excellency Viscountess June).
  3. If the title is of the Order of Chivalry (Knighthood or Mastery-at-Arms) it may be used (e.g., Sir Janet, or Master James). A lady member of the Chivalry should be asked privily what her preferred title is.
  4. If the combatant identifies him or her self as Defender/Champion of a branch, that title may be used in conjunction with the name of the Branch.
  5. Sergeantry may be mentioned of courtesy to the landed Baroness, but only if the Baroness the sergeant is in service to is also named (e.g., Calvin Johnson, sergeant to Baroness Corinda, but not Sergeant Calvin).
  6. Like sergeants, squires are noted out of courtesy to their Knight/Master, and only in conjunction with that peer‚s name (e.g., Conall, squire to Master Geoffroi, but not Squire Conall).
  7. Cascading of titles is frowned upon. If the bearer of a Duchy is also a knight, the knighthood is surely eclipsed in importance by the fact of having sat upon a Kingdom throne twice. And although it is not uncommon for an unbelted combatant to become a Viscount, as a Royal Peer she or he certainly ranks above a knight in the Order of Precedence (so not Viscount Squire Quentin, but Viscount Quentin, nor Earl Sir Jonathan but Earl Jonathan, and certainly not Sergeant Squire Francois). This is not only tidier to the ear, but follows near-universal medieval/renaissance precedent.
When announcing the victor the title may be used if it is one of the above Peerages. Otherwise, stick to the whole name only.

Please realize that the above has never been fully implemented all in one place. Someone is bound to complain that they have „never heard of this before.š If someone asks or complains to you about this usage, don‚t argue, but politely direct them to the senior herald in charge of the tournament, who has, among other duties, the task of explaining policy and/or making exceptions to policy.

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Updated: October 20, 2003