Sunday 18 May 2014

Writing Award Scrolls Based on Period Sources

By THLaird Colyne Stewart (mka Todd Fischer)
Fruits of our Labours (FOOL), May 2014 (AS 49)
Condensed from a 60 page article.

  • The name of the Royals bestowing the award
  • The recipient’s full SCA name
  • The full name of the award being given
  • The reason the award is being given (such as for service, skill in the arts, etc.)
  • The date the award is given
  • The location of the event where the award is given
  • The Address, or opening, proclaims to the populace the impending action,
  • The Intitulation contains the name(s) of the monarch(s) who are bestowing the award,
  • The Notification and Exposition state the reason for the action being proclaimed,
  • The Disposition names the recipient, the award and the reason they are receiving it,
  • The Blazon and Emblazon (words and depiction) of the Arms (on those occasions when Arms are given),
  • The Corroboration affirms the action,
  • The Location and Date (many kingdoms include the modern year as well as the year of the society),
  • The Royal signature block,
 Example broken into these sections (except for the blazon and emblazon, as the recipient already had Arms):

[Address]: TO ALL AND SINGULAR as well Nobles and Gentles as others to whom these presents shall come [Intitulation]: from Trumbrand and Kaylah, King and Queen of the realm of Ealdormere, that stretches from Lacus Ealdormearc in the South to the reaches of the Far North, and from Lacus Pentamerus in the West to the borders of the Kingdom of the East, send greetings in our Grace everlasting.

[Notification and Exposition]: WHEREAS anciently from the beginning the valiant and virtuous acts of worthy persons have been commended to the world with sundry monuments and remembrances of their good deserts. [Disposition]: Amongst these stands the Award of the Orion, which was devised in the beginning to recognize the skill of artisans.

AND being deserved, Ysabeau D’Comport, in the region of the Rising Waters, is hereby so recognized for her skill in the research of clothing and the culinary arts and granted said Award of the Orion.

[Corroboration]: IN WITNESS WHEROF We Trumbrand and Kaylah have set hereunto Our hand, and seal, [Location and Date]: this [ ] day of [ ] in the year of the Society 48, while sitting our Thrones at the Pennsic War.

[Signatures Block]

  • All shall know that
  • Be it known that
  • Come let all know that
  • Do ye all hear and tell others that
  • Each and all shall know that
  • Far and wide though Our subjects may roam, words of their deeds still reach Our ears....
  • Great feats of bravery and skill at arms have been displayed by....
  • Hear ye all that
  • It is the judgment of the throne and the peoples will that great acts shall be rewarded....
  • Joyous is the message of the Angels that shouts great news to the world and listen to their voices and know
  • Know ye that
  • Let all know that
  • May it be known to all throughout the land that
  • Now know that
  • One and all shall know that
  • Pray let all know that
  • Queens joys are many and so are her burdens, when one comes along that lightens that load it should be recognized...
  • Rejoice in the words of the Crown
  • Salutations to all that hear Our words.
  • To all manner of folk let it be known that
  • Unto all who hear or see Our words We give greetings
  • Verily, We the
  • Whereas it has come to our attention that
  • Ye shall know that
  • Zealous are We, that Our words be known that
  • We _________, King by right of Arms and _________, by grace and courtesy Queen,
  • We _________, King by right of Arms and _________, Queen and patroness of courtly graces,
  • We, _________ and _________, rightful Sovereigns of _________
 Notification and Exposition
  • mindful of the steadfast service of our worthy subject
  • it is Our duty and Our pleasure to reward such of Our subjects as do deserve Our favor
  • the service and dedication of Our subject have become apparent to us and to all
  • we have been pleased by the actions of Our esteemed subject
  • advance
  • bestow upon ______
  • confer upon ______
  • elevate
  • <blazon>, to be borne by [him/her] and no other throughout the Known World.
  • <blazon>, as [his/her] distinctive device, with infringement by none.
  • <blazon>, to be borne and displayed by Lord/Lady <first name> and no other in all the lands of the Known World.
  • Bestowed this
  • Done by Our hands
  • To which We have set Our hand and seal
 Location and Date
  • at the ______ of ______ this ______ th day of ______ A.S. ______
  • in the common reckoning of years the ______ th, and of the Society ______ th.
  • Anno Domini ______, which is Anno Societatis ______.
  • in the ______ th year by the Common Reckoning, being the ______ th year from the founding of the Society.
  • Assigned by the Kingdom Signet
  • Contacted by another scribe who is doing the illumination and calligraphy but would like someone else to do the wording.

Researching the Recipient

  • Ealdormere wiki (once its back up)
  • Google search their name
  • Google search for each aspect of their name, to try and at least identify what region their persona was from
  • Contact their local Baron and/or Baroness, who often know—or can find out—their persona
  • Contact their local seneschal
  • The SCA Armorial ( 
Sample questions:

  • their persona’s nationality and time period
  • their activities within the SCA
  • what interests they may have.
Sources Available for Adaptation

  • Assizes: a decree or edict rendered at a court session
  • Charters: a grant of authority or rights, allowing the recipient to exercise those rights
  • Chronicles: written histories, such as Froissart’s Chronicles
  • Concessions of Arms: documents granting heraldry
  • Constitutions
  • Declarations: a judgment of the court
  • Decrees: a rule of law issued by a head of state
  • Laws
  • Letters: personal correspondence
  • Letters Patent: a written order granting an office, right or title
  • Masses
  • Ordinances: a law made by a local authority
  • Papal Bulls: a letters patent or charter issued by the pope
  • Poems
  • Prayers
  • Rolls: a term for written records
  • Statutes
  • Treaties
How Documents Were Dated
Specify a week day and/or a nearby religious feast day, and the year of the current monarch’s reign. Examples:
  • Given at Ghent the fifth day of November in the twenty-fifth year of our reign.)
  • In the year of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ 870, on the day before the Nones of March, in the 32nd year of the most glorious king Charles…
  • In the year 1164 from the Incarnation of our Lord, in the fourth year of the papacy of Alexander, in the tenth year of the most illustrious king of the English, Henry II…
There are numerous other conventions for dating used in period sources, including:
  • Kalends: the first day of any  month
  • Nones: nine days before the Ides
  • Ides: the 15th day of any onth with 31 days, otherwise it is the 13th day
  • Vigil: the night before a major feast
  • Saint’s Days: Catholicism associates multiple saints to each day of the year
 Adapting from a Poem, Song or Saga
  • Use poem as introduction to scroll text, or as scroll text (if all required information is included)
Source Poem
Brian Ó Ruairc, my chosen darling,
gentle enough at the bestowal of a jewel;
and hard enough in an enclosure of slim spears,
the nut from the cluster of the Gael of the Gréag.

Another Murchadh mac Brian, a salmon of the Shannon --
Í Ruairc has a likeness to Te's Fort --
or Niall Caille who did not refuse one man,
his face's _____ cliff.

King of Calraighe of the numerous raids,
and also of Tara; plow of Niall;
two words from Bearchán's mouth;
and king on the old plains of Banba -- Brian.

Scroll Text
Corwyn Galbraith, the aiding Raven,
Gentle enough at the bestowal of rings;
And hard enough when upon the fields;
The bear from the gate of the Skelder.

Baron Corwyn, the worker,
Serving always, his king and crown,
Like the maiden he will not say no
When work there is to be done.

Master Corwyn, of the numerous skills,
Chef and cook, steward and baron,
Most worthy of the northern folk,
I bow to him in honour.

Religious Sources
  • The SCA tries to keep religion in the background (since it can cause disputes or hurt feelings) but you are going to come across religious axioms all the time.
  • Leave them in.
  • Take them out.
  • Change them (such as the Lawspeaker instead of an archbishop, or heralds instead of bishops, or Lady Ealdormere instead of God).
Sounding Medieval
  • The “rule of three”: use three verbs or nouns instead of one. Examples:
  • To have, hold, and receive to the aforesaid Earl… (Creation of the King’s Brother, Edmund of Woodstock, as Earl of Kent, R.C.V. 17, by Edward II, 1321)
  • …and do invest him with the style, title and name and honour of the place aforesaid… (Creation of William le Scrope as Earl of Wiltes, R.C.V. 117, by Richard II, 1397)
  • …he and his heirs shall thence have his Earldom as freely, peaceably and honourably as any Earl… (Creation of Alberic or Aubrey de Vers as Earl of Oxford, R.C.V. 3, by Henry II, date unknown)
·          Medieval Armorials,
·          The Aberdeen Bestiary,
·          ASChart: Anglo-Saxon Charters,
·          Cartularium Saxonicum,
·          Charter Resources: Syllabus of Scottish Cartularies,
·          Kemble: Anglo-Saxon Charters,
·          Medieval Genealogy: Charter Links,
·          Monasterium,
·          Royal Charters,
·          Private English Concessions of Arms of the 14th and 15th Centuries,
·          Catholic Online: Saints and Angels,
·          On-line Calendar of Saints Days,
·          Baron Adhemar de Villarquemada’s article on the SCA website (
·          Converting between modern dates and SCA dates,
Documents (Misc.)
·          De Re Militari: Primary Sources (military records),
·          Digital Scriptorium,
·          Documents on the Lord Lyon,
·          English Historical Documents,
·          EuroDocs: Online Sources for European History,
·          Period Russian Scroll Wordings,
·          Scriptorium: Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Online,
Full Texts: Collections
·          Archives, Libraries, Texts and Manuscripts,
·          The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy,
·          Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts (British Library),
·          Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse,
·          Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies - Corpus of Electronic Texts (CELT),
·          From Dawn to Dawn: Troubadour Poetry (trans. into English),
·          Hanover Historical Texts Collection,
·          Internet Medieval Sourcebook,
·          Internet Medieval Sourcebook - Full Text Sources,
·          Irish Scripts Onscreen,
·          Medieval Manuscripts on the Web,
·          Medieval Source Material on the Internet (Particularly Heralds' Visitations and Charters),
·          The National Library of Wales (search function),
·          On-line Russian Manuscripts and Period Sources,
·          Slovak Archives,
Full Texts: Single Titles
·          The Auchinleck Manuscript,
·          The Book of the Order of Chivalry or Knighthood,
·          The Dialogus de Scaccario, or Dialogue concerning the Exchequer, late 12th century, by Richard FitzNeal,
·          The St Albans Psalter,
·          The National Archives - Beginner's Latin,
·          Medieval Scottish Literature,
Masses and Prayers
·          Mass of the Roman Rite (Celebration of the Eucharist) in Latin/English,
·          15th Century English Patents of Arms,
·          Scottish Patents of Arms,
·          Medieval Lyrics and Ballads,
·          Medieval Welsh Poetry,
·          Calendar of Patent Rolls,
·          Chancery Rolls,
·          Henry III Fine Rolls Project (The fine rolls of Henry III 1216-1272),
·          The Scriptorium,
·          Statuta Armorum (The Statutes of Arms), c. 1260,
Writing (Misc.)
·          Byzantine Literature,
·          Corpus of Middle English Prose and Verse,

·          Medieval Writing,

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