The East Kingdom Herald's Handbook
Lord Thomas de Castellon, Treblerose Herald
Lyle FitzWilliam, Eastern Crown Herald (Emeritus)
Intended as a beginning manual of heraldry for the Heralds and Pursuivants of the Laurel Kingdom of the East.
This version of the EK Herald's Handbook is an unofficial revision created by Lyle FitzWilliam, Eastern Crown Herald (Emeritus). It does not delineate policy of the East Kingdom College of Heralds.
"Ok, now we need a herald. You (pointing at you), youíre loud. You can be the herald."
A sad statement, but Iím told it happens. If you are new to SCA heraldry, whether as a new local officer, or someone just getting interested, then this work can serve as your starting point. It will hopefully tell you something about everything you need to know as a herald. Donít worry if it seems like a lot; I have met very few heralds who have thoroughly studied all aspects of heraldry, myself included.
This handbook will go over each of the various things that a herald does, and discuss them a bit. Bear in mind that you do not have to be good at all of them, or even do all of them. Many heralds specialize in one or two areas of study, while others experience a bit of each. There are more detailed works on many of these subjects, and I encourage you to seek them out if you are in need of more information. There are a few things this handbook does not cover. Things such as basic armoury (the study of devices, rules for submitting, etc.) and onomastics (name research and documentation) have been deliberately avoided, as they each fill volumes by themselves. Some good starting sources for such subjects are included in the bibliography. Especially useful for the new herald is a self-paced course, written by Mistress Orianna Fridrikskona (check with your regional herald for more information). What will be covered here are the aspects of being an SCA herald that are seldom written about, with specific emphasis on heralds in the East Kingdom.
As you reach the limits of the information presented here, remember that your best source of information is the College of Heralds itself. Other heralds are the most helpful source I have found, and have always been willing to help. Seek the assistance of your peers, and you will not be disappointed. Indeed, this work would not have been possible without the support of several figures in the college, both for their contributions and for the guidance they gave me when I was a floundering, new herald.
Of all the various functions in the SCA (seneschal, marshall, etc.). I think being a herald covers the most diverse duties of them all. You will perform a great many, seemingly unrelated tasks. The ones we will discuss here are:
You should also remember to read Brigantiaís column each month in Pikestaff, and be aware of Brigantiaís policies in each Law and Policy issue. They will have current information that you, as a herald, should know.
Thereís also another side to being a herald. You are often directly involved in the ceremony and pageantry of the game we play. The herald served a very special role in period society, and you should be familiar with it. He served as neutral messenger, diplomat, and ambassador. A herald could safely be sent into the enemy encampment with a message. He would be unarmed, but protected from all harm. He would be permitted to deliver his message, and would be treated as a guest, and then return to his master. He would not be feared as a spy, for the herald would never disclose any information he learned while in the enemyís midst. A herald was the focus of ceremony and pageantry, and was an advisor on ceremony and proper behavior. Be ready to serve in this role as well. Many of these conventions are used in our Society, and heralds still hold these functions. When acting as a herald, you are protected from harm, you should not be armed in any way. (Of course, this is only a game. Nobody is going to hurt you, even if you are making announcements at 6:30 a.m. at a camping event.) Many mundane books can give you a more thorough feel for this aspect of a herald. What follows is an excerpt from the Middle Kingdomís Pursuivantís Handbook:
Baron Daemon de Folo, Dragon Herald Emeritus
A herald is more than just a person who stands around yelling "OYEZ" and being a mobile bulletin board. ...You can also use your voice as a diplomatic tool, traveling to other shires and baronies, delivering messages and giving presentations. Keep in mind that a herald is the voice of the Crown to the populace, and conversely the voice of the people to the Crown. ...You should strive to be familiar with the myriad ceremonies and titles in the SCA, and be ready to advise on proper behavior in court, and before the nobility.
As you develop your own style and tastes for being a herald, be aware of these concepts. Especially if you are interested in court heraldry, you may be asked to serve in one of these roles.
Letís cover some of these items in more detail.
"But why canít I have two twelve-headed dragons and a machine gun on my device?"
Consulting is the art (and it is an art) of helping a submitter register a name or a device with the College of Arms. This can be done at varying levels, depending on the amount of heraldic knowledge and reference material you have available, but there are some things that stay constant and should be remembered.
|What you shouldnít say||What you should say instead|
|"You canít have lions. Everybody has lions."||"Lions are a very common charge. We may have to make adjustments to make sure it passes."|
|"You canít put color on color."||"We need to change those colors somehow so it conforms to the rules." Explain contrast rules.|
|"Thatís so ugly."||(Unless there is a genuine style problem, say nothing. You are not an art critic.)|
|"Thatís NPS."||"The way these lightning bolts are drawn is not really a period style. Is this type of picture ok?"|
Try to remember the following:
- Donít insult the submitter or what they have designed; they arenít heralds.
- Offer constructive suggestions for change.
- Speak English, not Heraldese.
- Donít make him feel like itís him against the Mean Olí College; make him feel like you are on his side, and that the College is not a tyrannical dictatorship.
These ideas can help make a submission go much smoother for the submitter and the herald. More importantly, you help build a good relationship between the submitter and the College, and between you and the submitter. He might be King someday....
"I have a comment on everything. Whether itís useful or not is another question."
In order to understand commenting, letís review the process a submission goes through before it is accepted. The submitter and the local herald submit the item. The submission is sent to the Eastern Crown Herald. The Eastern Crown Herald collects all the submissions for that period (one month to 6 weeks) and creates an Internal Letter of Intent, or ILoI. This includes any relevant documentation, condensed down to a paragraph, for each submission, along with pictures of the devices and badges. The ILoI is sent to commenting groups (which donít necessarily have to live in the East Kingdom). The groups meet and review the letter, checking each submission to see that it conforms to the Rules for Submissions, providing additional documentation from their sources where necessary, and checking for conflict (if a new device is too similar in appearance to previously registered device). They send their comments back to the Eastern Crown Herald, who looks at all the commentary and rejects any submissions he feels needs more work before it would pass Laurel. (Laurel Sovereign of Arms is the chief herald of the Society, just as Brigantia is the chief herald of the East Kingdom.) The remaining submissions are sent to Blue Tyger Herald, who compiles an External Letter of Intent, or XLoI, which is sent to the XLoIs commenters across the Known World. These commenters repeat the process, and add their interpretations and opinions on borderline cases. These comments are sent to Laurel, who reviews the commentary and makes decisions. These decisions are sent back to the Kingdom on the Letters of Acceptance and Return, or LoAR. The Eastern Crown Herald then informs the submitters of the fate of their submission. The average time for a submission to be processed has been about nine months to one year (circa 1994). Add extra time for submissions taken at or near the Pennsic War.
External commentary (comments on the XLoIs) is beyond the scope of this work, so we will discuss Internal commentary. Internal commentary is an invaluable experience and service for any herald to perform. You will gain an understanding of what is good and bad, and your comments will help the submissions reach their final destination. To start, try to find a commenting group that is operating near you, and join up with them. If you canít find one, you may have to start your own. Check with the Eastern Crown Herald for more information on nearby groups. Being in a group is better than doing the letter by yourself, since it divides the workload nicely, and is a wonderful learning and social opportunity. It also lets you access the reference materials of all the commenters. Also, remember to compare your comments with the decisions from the regionals, so you know if you were on track or if you missed something.
The following article provides some wonderful advice on commentary. My thanks to Mistress Allison MacDermot, Badger Herald, for so wonderfully summing up this important job.
Commenting on heraldic submissions is one of the least-defined jobs in the SCA. Corpora says that the duty of the College of Arms is "registering and authenticating names and armorial devices," and to do this "has the right to call for documentation in the case of names, devices, or titles which are obscure or questionable, and to determine disputed issues of fact . . ." It does not specify how this is done.
What the College has done to meet this obligation is to set up a staff of intrepid irregulars, who offer advice to Laurel and do research ad hoc. Having been both a commentor and a submission herald myself, I know very well that Laurelís job would be impossible without the commentors - after all, Laurel processes about 400 submissions a month, which touch on many specialties in onomastics and heraldry. Even if Laurel had the expertise necessary to do good research in Japanese naming practices, German field divisions, rare charges, and everything else we deal with, the time to do so would still be lacking.
Therefore, Laurel asks the commentors to do as much research as they can, and then makes a decision based on what the found.
Besides, itís great fun. I assume you already know how to have fun; this article is intended to help you write useful and informative comments while youíre having fun.
So what is the job of the commentor? There are three-and-a-half duties:
What should a LoC contain?
A commentor "does his duty" in the Letter of Comment (LoC). The most important part of an LoC is comments on current submissions. Some commentors include replies to othersí comments, comments on submissions that have already been decided on, stray inclusions and cartoons, etc. I like the format:
The comments themselves consist of several different things, all of which are intended to help the submissions herald do his or her job. These are:
The SCA has traditionally tried to prevent the names and devices adopted by its members from being to easily mistaken for those of other people (both SCA and real-world). The process of looking for too-close names and arms is called "checking for conflict." In the case of names, commentors scan the SCA Armorial and a few reference books for the names of significant real-world people. For devices, specialized books called "ordinaries", which are listings of arms arranged by what they look like, are checked. If a too-close match is found, a "conflict call" is made.
How to be effective: For names, give the potential conflict name in full, and (if itís a non-SCA person) explain why he or she is significant. For devices, blazon completely, then give the armiger and the source. I like to "count points" after that, both because it helps make my point and because I may prove to myself that something I thought was a conflict actually wasnít. Itís a sort of mental proofreading.
Comments on Style
In the RfS are several rules that give a thumbnail sketch of what the SCA considers to be acceptable, registerable names and armoury. In general, they restrict submissions that are excessively complex, modern, or offensive.
How to be effective: Go easy on style comments at first; watch other commentors to see what gets a reaction and what doesnít. "I donít like it" is not a valid objection. Something like "The Irish and Chinese did not interact with each other in Period a name mixing the two shouldnít be registered" or "The koala bear was unfamiliar to Europeans throughout our period, as Australia was discovered in 1606; by Rule ..., it cannot be used" is much more like it. Supporting comments, like "this motif was used in at least 10 French coats in Period, for example ...; it should be acceptable" are also nice, because they serve as supplemental documentation for the submission. It is also acceptable to comment on unusual spellings and renditions; care should be taken not to go overboard, however.
Given that this is whatís needed, what can you do to make yourself as effective as possible?
Play to your strengths
If you know a lot about a particular area (like Polish armoury or Scottish names), then by all means focus on that! You have information that the rest of the College doesnít. You can, of course, comment on areas outside our specialty. Many commenting groups have two or three specialists in different areas.
If you donít have a specialty, thatís OK, but you might enjoy doing research in an area that interests you on the side. If you really get into it, you may suddenly look up one day to discover that youíve become more knowledgeable on the topic than most CoA members. The flip side is that no one expects you to comment in an area where youíre clueless. I, for example, know literally nothing about medieval Chinese naming practices. When a submission comes through with a Chinese name,, I generally skim over it to check for any obvious misstatements of fact, but I almost never comment. I know that I cannot add anything of value. I the time I have saved and apply it to commenting on something in my specialties. In the College, we have both generalists and specialists; at this writing, we have an "adjunct commentor" who works on only Russian names! I think this is a fine thing, so donít let unevenness in your knowledge scare you away from being a commentor.
Plug the holes (or, The Dutch Boy Herald)
If the submitter, the consulting herald, or the submissions herald asks a question, see if you can answer it. If you see a hole in someoneís documentation, try to fill it. We are all backups for each other. It is also appropriate to ask a question about a submission, thereby pointing it out to others for special attention, although I try to do this only when I have exhausted my own resources trying to answer the question myself. It is less helpful to ask a bald question without trying to research it first; that simply shifts the burden of answering it to someone else.
For Godís sake, document
If you canít cite a source for what youíre saying, think three times before saying it at all. The worst trip-ups Iíve ever made happened because I thought I knew something, and didnít bother to check it. You still might be right, but you might not be - at least express it as "I believe this is so," rather than "I know this is so." If youíre later proven wrong, the first form allows an "oh, I see I was mistaken"; the second only "something I knew just wasnít so." (And you will feel much worse if your error caused someoneís submission to be bounced. Save yourself, and the poor submitter, the grief.)
After you finish your LoC, put it away for at least 24 hours and look at it again. Make sure that the logic is clear, there arenít any typos and everythingís been referenced.
Read your reviews
When the LoAR comes back, compare your comments to what was accepted and returned. This is valuable feedback to see if you missed a conflict call, or if you misunderstood a rule. This will help you make your commenting better. Some submissions heralds include quotes from the commenters when they are particularly relevant. This is a good chance to see what other commenters are thinking.
In short, keep in mind why we have commentors in the first place: to help the College of Arms do its job properly. Donít forget to have fun - after all, this is volunteer work - but be serious about doing a good job, too.
or How to be loud, understood, and alive to tell about it.
The verbal heraldries (as I call them) include crying the camp, field heraldry, and court heraldry. They all share some commonalties, and I will discuss them together. Remember that you do not need to be a warranted herald to perform any heraldic activity except handling submissions, but as a warranted herald, you will probably be asked to do these things.
The single most important thing to do and do well in the verbal heraldries is to be heard. People have to be able to hear you in the back of the hall, across the lists, or across the camp, and they have to be able to understand what you said as if you were right in front of them. You also have to do this without shouting and blowing out your voice. I have seen a great great many heralds who could not do this thing. I have seen several who could, and did their job well, and the people with the cheap seats in court were grateful. I have seen a great many Monarchs who should also learn this lesson. When the King speaks, all should hear him, not just the first two rows. Fortunately, it is easy to do, if you know how. Explaining it is another thing.
The technique is called projecting your voice. It produces excellent results. I figured it out years ago and I can be heard halfway across the camp outdoors. In court, there is nobody who can't clearly hear every word of the scroll I read (or so I'm told). At the end, my voice is not scratchy or hoarse. All this and more can be yours. Since I just worked it out on my own, I have chosen to ask the aid of someone whom I consider an expert in this field. She used to hawk at a Renaissance Faire, and you could hear her from one end to the other. She is also good at explaining how to do it.
This brings up another interesting point: you don't have to be male to do this. Women have a different vocal range than men, and everyone will sound slightly different. Some people will carry better than others because of this, but I think anyone can carry well.
So let me officially thank Bountie for her help with this. Thanks, Bountie. We'll teach them all, yet.
So here's how to do it:
Now this may seem difficult to grasp, but when you do it right, you will know the feeling. And you will be heard for a long long way. And you won't be hoarse later, either. Practice it. Work on it. Don't try to cover Pennsic on your first afternoon. But after a little time, you will surprise yourself, and the people who are listening. They will be very appreciative you took the time to learn. One more thing: you will carry better downwind than you will upwind so stand upwind and yell downwind.
If you need to make announcements, this is all you really need to know. Donít forget to turn around so people in different directions can hear you.
Field Heraldry means announcing who is fighting on the lists, as well as things like who is on deck (donít say Ďon deck,í say Ďarm and make readyí or something), and doing the various honors. Either you or the marshall in the list will also be working with your runner to inform the List Mistress who won. This is the second easiest aspect of heraldry. The difference here is that you are now dealing with peoples names. Names that are often hard to pronounce or understand, and then there are the titles associated with those names. Know how to project your voice, so the fighters know which list they are in next. If you can't handle a name, ask someone or do the best you can. Nobody likes to have their name butchered, but I have found people with tough names to be very understanding, and will usually inform you of the correct pronunciation. As for titles, do the best you can. If your list mistress is kind, they are written on the card for you. Nobody can expect you to know every title for everyone on the list, so when in doubt, Lord or Lady is just fine. Try to always be respectful and helpful and you canít go too far wrong. If there are several lists running, try not to step on other heralds; let them finish their call first, then do yours.
Now for the matter of salutes. Examples are listed for each. In the East, the first salute is to the Crown ("Please do honor to the Crown of the East," bow and point in the appropriate direction.X ) If you are in a Principality, do a similar salute to the Prince and Princess of the Principality. The next salute is to the consort of the fighter ("Please do honor to the gentle who inspires you to greatness this day." Remember, we have lots of female fighters.). You may optionally insert a salute to the crowd ("Please do honor to the crowd herein assembled to witness your bravery." I like to get the crowd involved.) The final salute is to the opponent ("And please do honor to your most noble opponent") You may not have to do salutes before each bout. Sometimes a grand salute is held before the tourney (thus avoiding salutes in the lists) and you may optionally call for salutes to the respective opponents before each bout. For a double-elimination tourney, they may only do salutes for the first round, and dispense with them until the final rounds. Find out whoís in charge, and see what they would like for salutes. Lastly, after the bout is over, announce the winner Do not assume the winner yourself! Let the marshall tell you, or let the marshall announce it. Discuss it with the marshall on your list before starting.
Drink fluids while working a list. Last, and most important, remember to wear sunscreen.
So you want to be a court herald? Boy, are you crazy! But so am I, so I understand. It was a crummy job with a lot of standing, but I loved it to death. All that pageantry and such. First, know that there are no hard and fast rules for doing court, but there are many guidelines. I certainly do not consider myself the definitive authority on doing court, but I have done a few, and I have been told they went pretty well. I have also been fortunate enough to have access to people who I consider true masters. I must honestly say that part of being a good court herald is raw talent. If you have trouble speaking in front of people, then this may not be for you. Also, timing plays a large part in it. Itís kind of like stand-up comedy (my Lady says "game-show host" but thatís not my preferred analogy). It may take talent to hold a truly great court, but with some help and practice, anyone can hold a good court. Here are the guidelines, in rough order of importance.
As I said, these are my guidelines. Get advice from experienced court heralds, work with them, and get their feedback afterwards. You wonít find too many references on this subject. Most people have learned by doing or watching. Try both.
Where would we be without paperwork? Any herald doing a court (Royal, Principality, or Baronial) must submit a court report. The court report contains information about what awards were given to whom, and if the scroll was present. It also includes details like who was holding court and when/where it was held. When making out a court report, be neat and legible. (A sample form is included.) Handwritten is bad. Typed is good. Computer-generated and laser-printed will get you a friend for life. The report must be submitted within two weeks after the court. Pay particular attention to the spelling of the names, because that information is compiled in the Order of Precedence. You need to send copies of the report to the following people:
|Royal Court||Principality Court|
|The Crown||The Prince and Princess|
|Tyger Clerk of the Signet||Principality OP Herald|
|Pikestaff Editor||Shepherdís Crook Herald|
|Shepherdís Crook Herald||Pikestaff Editor|
|and one for your files||Principality Newsletter Editor|
|Principality Clerk Signet|
|Baronial Court||and one for your files|
|The Baron and Baroness|
|Shepherdís Crook Herald|
|Principality OP Herald (if applicable)|
|Local Herald (if not the court herald)|
|Local Newsletter Editor|
|and one for your files|
Baronial awards do carry precedence, so Shepherdís Crook Herald needs to know about them. Shepherdís Crook Herald is responsible for tracking information for the Order of Precedence.
"Precedence? Whatís precedence?"
Precedence is the idea that a Duke outranks a Count, who outranks a Baron, etc. The Order of Precedence serves a very important role. It tells you who has which awards, and from this you can also see who has precedence over whom. Heralds historically tracked such information, and the Eastern College does as well.
The Order of Precedence, or the OP, is a very useful and under-rated document. Its highest value is in telling you if a particular person has a particular award. This is why every local group should have (and does get) a copy. How many times has person X not received an AoA because everyone thought he had one? This is how you can avoid such things.
It is difficult to say exactly when precedence is used. When the final two participants enter the lists, you might use precedence to determine who goes first. At a feast, the person with the highest precedence gives the first toast. (This can be turned into a dinner game.) Generally, if youíre not sure of who to do first in a group, you can always use precedence as a guideline. Here are the awards listed by their order of precedence. Some categories donít always apply. Many thanks to Mistress Caitlin Davies for this information.
If you donít know the age of a barony or some other detail, ask someone or bluff. Not too many people will know all the details, and nobody expects you to, either. When comparing precedence between two people, the person with the highest award has precedence. If two people have the same level of award (for example, a Knight and a Pelican) the person who received their award first has precedence.
"Well, I went to the bathroom, and when I came back they told me I had been elected herald."
Being a local heraldic officer has some distinct responsibilities beyond those of a Pursuivant-at-large, and those responsibilities deserve some discussion. Whether in service to a Canton, Shire, or Barony, you have a higher profile job, and everyone in the area will know you are the herald (or at least they should). Many of these things are equally valid for the Pursuivant-at-large, but an officer should go to even greater efforts.
Now, arenít you glad you took the job?
"Whether you want to be a herald, or just look like one...."
This is a collection of some miscellaneous information you might need.
A tabard is the symbol of office for the herald. Every local group should have a tabard with the groupís arms on it, and the local herald should wear it when performing heraldic duties. The arms on a tabard are the arms of the person or group that that herald serves. A baronial herald wears a tabard with the baronial arms on it, for he serves the barony. Brigantia Herald wears a tabard with the East Kingdom arms on it, for he serves the King, as do any other heralds who are acting in the name of the King and Queen.
A basic tabard design is shown below.
Please note that the golden crossed trumpets included in this tabard design is purely for illustration purposes. In general, the East Kingdom College of Heralds discourages wearing the golden crossed trumpets (the traditional badge of the SCA herald) on a tabard. Instead, try to obtain a tabard bearing the arms of the person or branch that you are representing.
Previously, if you are using or borrowing a tabard, and you do not hold that office (for example, using a baronial tabard when you are not the baronial herald, or using an East Kingdom tabard when you are not Brigantia), it was advised that you should wear the tabard athwart (turned 90 degrees sideways, so the long part is over your sleeves, and the short part in front and back). This is no longer practiced in the East Kingdom. Wearing the tabard athwart was done in some places to indicate the rank of the herald, not whether the herald actually holds the official office in question.
A heraldís library can rapidly consume all his available space and money. There are so many different cultures and styles that no single work or even group of works adequately covers them all. There are several fine bibliographies listing a great many books (and some of that information is included here). What I am presenting here is a modest collection of books that have distinguished themselves by their value and usefulness. There is a brief description of what each one is good for, so you can decide how valuable it would be to you. Some local groups may want to try to acquire some of these invaluable references for use of their residents. Armoury sources pertain to devices and badges, while onomastic sources deal with the research of names. If you are strongly interested in name research, you may want to pick a particular culture or area to specialize in. One important note: there is currently a proposal that is in the process of being implemented. In a nutshell, this proposal would mean we would no longer have to be worried about checking for conflict against mundane armoury sources.
Check with your regional herald for more current information before buying any source that you wanted for mundane conflict checking (such as Papworth, Combo 1 and Combo 2.)
Armorial and Ordinary of the Society for Creative Anachronism. The SCA O&A is probably the most important work a herald can have access to. Every group should consider buying one. (The Armorial sorts by the name of the person, while the Ordinary sorts by the description of the picture. They can be purchased separately.) It is updated periodically with new information, either in the form of updates added on, or a whole new version. A full O&A costs around $60 in 1994, plus the cost of any current updates (around $6 each). The updates may or may not be useful to you, but the O&A is a must-have book. Be prepared to get some LARGE three-ring binders to hold it together. It can tell you what someoneís arms are, as well as serve for conflict-checking.
Compleat Anachronist, #22, Heraldry, by Lord Arval Benicoeur and Master Marten Broker. Available from the SCA stock clerk, this is the first source I recommend to someone who wants to learn the difference between vert and vair. It is well done and easy to understand, and lays the groundwork for other, more in-depth sources.
Compleat Anachronist, #50, Armorial Display, by Mistress Eowyn Amberdrake. Also available from the stock clerk, this covers various subjects like making banners, making surcoats, flags, and other topics of armorial display. It is a very useful guide.
The On-line Armorial is not a book, but is a valuable item for the computerized herald. It is a flat text file containing every name, device, badge, title, etc. registered in the SCA. There are several programs available to extract useful information from this file. Locating it may be difficult; ask other heralds. If you have the disk space (over 4MB in 1994) the flat text can be used on almost any platform.
A Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry as Used in the Society for Creative Anachronism, by Master Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Master Akagawa Yoshio (2nd ed). The PicDic is one of the most valuable resources a Society herald has. It can tell you what a charge looks like (every other page is pictures,) what its default posture is, how it was used, and if it shouldnít be used. It is wonderful to have at the consulting table for submitters to get ideas from. Highly recommended, it was $15 in 1994.
The Rules for Submissions. This document is also available from the stock clerk, and contains the rules and regulations regarding the submitting of anything to the College of Arms. There is also a work that contains a wondrous glossary of a variety of heraldic terms. Very inexpensive and nice to have.
Armorial and Ordinary of the Society for Creative Anachronism, see above.
The On-line Armorial, see above.
The Rules for Submissions, see above.
A Dictionary of British Surnames , by P. H. Reaney. This work is a favorite of many heralds. Each entry includes date citations, making this work very valuable. Of course, the down side is that itís hard to find and very expensive.
Irish Names by O'Corrain and Maguire. Originally published as Gaelic Personal Names, this is a new edition. It is the very finest book on Irish names available. It is a dictionary of Irish given names, with modern and ancient forms, derivations, origins, and period citations.
The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names , by E. G. Withycombe. This has been called the Bible of SCA naming. It includes a great deal more than just English Christian names, and is one of the most common name sources in the SCA. It can sometimes be found in bookstores, or they can order it for you. This book is not perfect, but it is cheap, useful, and user-friendly.
Welsh Personal Names by Heini Gruffudd. Normally, a baby-name book is considered very bad documentation, but this is the exception. Where the author gives a period citation, this book is wonderful for documenting Welsh names.
The SCA stock clerk can supply you with some of these items, and Free Trumpet Press can usually supply the rest. For the mundane references, you can try the larger bookstores for the items still in print. Large stores like Borders and Barnes and Noble can order many books for you. As for the more obscure heraldic works, the best source I can point you to is Heraldry Today. It is a small bookshop that strictly deals with heraldry books. They have a mailing list and regularly release a list of books they have in stock. They have also specially reprinted some landmark works, such as Papworthís. I have been there personally, and it was Heraldic Heaven. Unfortunately, the shop is in England, which give you shipping and the exchange rate to contend with. Write or call them for current stock and pricing information.
Nr. Malrborough, Wiltshire SN8 2QH
Phone (0672) 20617
Fax (0672) 20183
|S.C.A. - Free Trumpet Press
c/o Stephen Goldschmidt
704-A Vera Cruz Avenue
Los Altos, CA 94022
"Can you go over all that again?"
After reading this handbook, it must seem like there is no end of things to learn. And thatís true. There is not a single herald in the college who would claim to Ďknow it all.í Heraldry offers a limitless field of study, but anyone can be a useful herald with very little study or training. So donít be intimidated by it; just go ahead and do as much or as little as you see fit. It may seem a lot now, but in the future, you could be the person writing the next Heraldís Handbook.
Of all the resources and references youíve seen here, I want to remind you of your most valuable one: other heralds. They can help you with virtually any question or problem you might have, and with any aspect of heraldry you are interested in. It is a resource you can ill afford to ignore. No herald exists in a vacuum, and no herald has gotten to where they are without help and support from other people. Donít ever hesitate to ask questions.
The Society should be fun. Heraldry is fun, so try it all, and do the parts you like.
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