The Society College of Arms runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.
An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.
The following results are from the February 2017 Wreath and Pelican meetings. The submissions in this letter are from Herald’s Point at Pennsic 2016.

EAST acceptances

Aoife inghean Donnchaidh. Name.

Benjamin le Rat. Name and device. Sable, in pale a hand inverted Or and a rat statant argent.

The submitter requested authenticity for “English.” While both name elements are in English, they do not appear to have overlapped in time. Thus, this name is not authentic, but it is registerable.

Brannoc of Mountain Freehold. Name and device. Sable, a frying pan fesswise argent and issuant from base a demi-sun Or.

Although the name was submitted as Brannoc_ of Mountain Freehold, no documentation was provided in the Letter of Intent for the requested spelling of the given name. Instead, the only documentation was for Brannock as a 16th century English given name. Fortunately, Lillia Pelican Emerita found examples in 16th century English of names that use the endings -oc and -ock interchangeably. Based on this data, Brannoc_ is a valid variant spelling of the attested Brannock and we can register the given name as submitted.

Mountain Freehold is the registered name of an SCA branch.

Brigid nyn Thomas O’Neill. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for “Irish.” The byname and construction are authentic for 16th century Anglicized Irish. Unfortunately, we were unable to document the given name Brigid in 16th century Anglicized Irish; it was documented on the Letter of Intent in English. Given the overlap in naming pools between 16th century English and 16th century Anglicized Irish, is it possible that a woman from an Anglicized family living in Ireland in the 16th century could have been named Brigid, but we cannot say for sure.

Cailin Macsalny. Badge. (Fieldless) Two arrows inverted in saltire argent, overall a boar’s head erased close Or.

The boar’s head was submitted as simply erased, which would place the severed edge closer to where the neck meets the shoulders. Instead, this head has the severed edge right behind the ears, so we reblazoned this as erased close. No difference is granted for this distinction; it is a purely artistic note.

Christopher of Smoking Rocks. Holding name and device (see PENDS for name). Per pale embattled vert and sable, a winged stag and a wolf combattant, in base two trenkets in fess, blades to center Or.

The charges in base were submitted as two leather worker’s knives. We modified the blazon to use the accepted term for this type of knife.

Submitted under the name Úlflundr Járnhauss, that name was pended as Úlfr Járnhauss.

Conchobar mac Óengusa. Name and device. Per bend vert and azure, in sinister chief a wolf salient argent.

Nice 10th and 11th century Gaelic name!

Cristina da Treviso. Name.

Daithi Dubh. Device. Vert, a dragon between three mullets voided and interlaced, each within and conjoined to an annulet argent.

Submitted as Vert, a dragon segreant between three mullets voided and interlaced within and conjoined to annulets argent, the blazon has been modified to remove the unnecessary posture (as segreant is the default for dragons) and to clarify the relative relationships between the mullets and annulets.

As established in the November 2011 precedent, “mullets of five and six points voided and interlaced are found in period armory so that their voiding and interlacing may be considered part of their definition of type allowing them to be used as non-primary charges.”

Artist’s note: Please instruct the submitter to draw the dragon’s wings in better proportion with its body which should lie in the center of the field.

Donnchadh mac Eóin. Name.

Nice Gaelic name for c. 1200 onwards!

East, Kingdom of the. Heraldic title Golden Lyre Herald.

Edmund Forster. Device. Azure, a camel statant contourny Or, on a chief wavy argent three thistle heads purpure.

There is a step from period practice for the use of thistle heads without slips and leaves.

Artist’s note: Some commenters found the thistle heads difficult to recognize, in part due to their internal detailing. In the future, use fewer hatchmarks to make the thistle heads easier to identify.

Edwyn Le Clerc. Badge. Argent, an open book and in chief a feather fesswise quill to dexter within a bordure wavy azure.

Elspeth Scot. Name and device. Vert, a capital letter E and a gore sinister argent.

This name is clear of the registered Elizabeth Scott under PN3C1, by the difference of two syllables in the given name: El-iz-a-beth vs. Els-peth.

Nice Scots name for the 15th century onwards!

There is a step from period practice for the use of a gore with another charge on the field.

Erin inghean Chonchobhair. Name and device. Per saltire purpure and Or, in saltire a mallet and a needle inverted sable.

This name combines an English given name with a Gaelic byname, an acceptable lingual mix under Appendix C.

Eyfríðr Einarsdóttir. Name.

Fionnghuala Chláirseóir. Name and device. Azure, four swans naiant two and two argent.

This name was submitted as Fionnghuala Cláirseóir, with a request that the byname be changed to a feminine form if one existed. Applying a strict interpretation of standard Gaelic grammar, because the given name is feminine, the byname should be spelled Chláirseóir with the initial C lenited. As the submitter specifically requested a distinctly feminine form, we have changed the byname to add the lenition.

However, as more and more Gaelic documents become available, it has become clear that lenition was applied idiosyncratically in practice; it is omitted far more frequently than we had previously thought. Therefore, the spelling of the byname without the lenition is registerable as well. If the submitter prefers the spelling Cláirseóir, she may make a request for reconsideration.

Nice device!

Godiva de la Mer. Name and device. Azure, a heart sable irradiated argent.

This name combines an English given name with a French surname, an acceptable lingual mix under Appendix C.

Period examples of irradiation show a pattern of rays having good contrast with the field, regardless of the main charge’s tincture. If more than 2/3 of the edge of the main charge is separated from the field by the rays, the irradiation functions as a form of fimbriation for contrast purposes. Substantial rays such as these also function as a modifier to the main charge, much like adding wings, and add a DC from an unmodified version of the same charge.

Godiva de la Mer. Badge. (Fieldless) Two natural seahorses respectant tails entwined, the dexter azure and the sinister Or.

Gregor the Vigilant. Name and device. Argent, on a bend sable between a brown bull’s head cabossed proper and a cardinal gules, three Maltese crosses palewise argent.

By precedent, the Vigilant is a registerable English byname. [Godfrey the Vigilant, 10/2010 LoAR, A-Æthelmearc].

There is a step from period practice for the use of the cardinal, a New World bird.

Gwenllian ferch Llewellyn ap Henry. Name and device. Purpure, a domestic cat sejant contourny and a chief rayonny Or.

The submitter requested authenticity for Welsh. This name is authentic for Welsh in the 16th century, and possibly earlier as well.

Hallbjorn Tryggvason. Name.

Nice 9th-10th century Icelandic name!

Hallveig Alfarinsdóttir. Name and device. Argent, a reremouse inverted sable maintaining in its feet a spear fesswise and on a chief azure a crescent in sinister Or.

A question was raised in commentary about whether Alfarinsdóttir needed to be Álfarinsdóttir, with an acute accent on the first A. Norse names with the protheme Alf- are recorded both with and without an acute accent on the A. Either form, therefore, is registerable.

Nice 9th-10th century Icelandic name!

Recent precedent states that “there is a step from period practice for the use of a reremouse inverted.” (Emelyn de Chelseye, 3/2010). However, this is at odds with the long-standing and oft-reiterated precedent that states “We do not allow inverted animate charges in SCA heraldry except when in recognized orientation, such as in annulo. (Daibhidh MacRaibert, 2/1999, upheld 6/2016)” To resolve the conflict between precedents, as of September 2017 reremice inverted in any posture will no longer be registerable.

Isaac Klingensmith of Æthelmearc. Name (see RETURNS for device).

John fitz Thomas. Name.

This name does not conflict with the registered Johan Fitztomas. Names must be different in both sound and appearance in order to avoid conflict. SENA permits us to analyze the necessary changes in sound in appearance under two different subsections of PN3C: “Names may be different in sound under one standard and appearance under another standard.”

Here, the name is clear under PN3C1 because there are changes in appearance that affect two syllables: John vs. Johan and Fitz_Thomas vs. Fitztomas. The name is clear by sound under PN3C2 because Johan has one more syllable than John. Therefore, this name is registerable.

The submitter requested authenticity for 14th century England. This name meets that request.

Leonora da Ferrara. Name.

This item was pended from the September 2016 Letter of Acceptances and Returns to discuss whether the name presumes upon the historical Eleanor of Naples, also known as Leonora da Ferrara and Leonora or Eleonora of Aragon, first Duchess of Ferrara.

The fact that she was Duchess of Ferrara (and de facto ruler of Ferrara according to some sources) does not by itself make her important enough to protect. PN4D1 states in relevant part:

Sovereign rulers of significant states are generally important enough to protect. Some historical city-states are not considered significant states. Provinces or regions integrated into larger units like the Holy Roman Empire are not generally considered significant states. Sovereigns of small states that did not give rise directly to modern countries will not be protected under this clause, nor will legendary kings of any state (though these kings may be individually important enough to protect).

Ferrara did not directly give rise to any modern country; it was integrated into modern Italy. Thus, even treating Leonora as a ruler of Ferrara, it is not an entity whose rulers are automatically protected from presumption and Leonara’s significance must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Leonora does not have an article in the Encyclopedia Britannica (not even in the on-line edition). Her Wikipedia article is fairly brief and contains mainly generalizations about her qualities without accompanying citations. Although she patronized artists and authors, she is not linked to any major work that would be familiar to non-specialists. Her portrait is not particularly famous, even among students of Italian Renaissance costuming. She was a member of a famous family and had famous children, but we were presented with no evidence that she herself made any significant historical, artistic, scientific or social contributions. Therefore, Leonora da Ferrara/Eleanor of Naples/Eleonora of Aragon is not significant enough to protect from presumption and this name is registerable.

Molly Blythe. Name change from Maria Alegreza Nicoletti and badge. Sable, a rabbit courant contourny within an annulus of roundels argent.

The submitter’s prior name, Maria Alegreza Nicoletti, is retained as an alternate name.

Submitted as Sable, a rabbit courant to sinister within 13 roundels in annulo argent, the blazon has been modified to remove the number of roundels.

Molly Blythe. Release of name Molle Blythe.

Nivashi Byhari. Name and device. Per pale argent and azure, in pall inverted three peacock feathers conjoined at the quill counterchanged.

Nivashi is the submitter’s legal middle name. As Nivashi is a given name by type, it may be used as the submitter’s registered given name.

Rose Sorin. Name.

Nice French name for c. 1300!

Sabat Ocharra. Name.

Uluric Josepsone. Name.

EAST returns

Alianora la Tesserande. Device change. Purpure, on a pile inverted Or, a peacock feather purpure.

From the May 2015 LoAR, “The SCA has a long-standing precedent that says that piles inverted and per chevron are not entirely interchangeable, but each must be considered for conflict against the other, granting no difference between the two. (Return of badge, Canton of Dragonsfire Tor).”

This device must therefore be returned for conflict with the badge of Emelyn Pacok, (Fieldless) A peacock’s plume palewise purpure. Considering this submission as a feather on a per chevron inverted field, there is one DC for the field, but none for placement.

The submitter is advised to draw the pile inverted in such a way that better fills the shield. While the February 2008 precedent on the length of piles allows for as little as 75% of the overall height of the shield based on a single theoretical example from Legh, it does not explicitly apply to piles inverted; we decline to extend the allowance here, and encourage the submitter to use at least 85% of the length, and 33% of the width, of the shield in future depictions.

Ana Ximenez de Hume. Badge. (Fieldless) On a flame gules a dandelion in seed slipped and leaved argent.

This badge is returned for redraw, for violating SENA A2C2 which states “Elements must be drawn to be identifiable.” Commenters were unanimous in their inability to recognize the tertiary charge as a dandelion in seed. Absent period documentation of a dandelion in seed, the submitter is encouraged to draw individual seeds and tufts, relatively few in number, to assist in recognition of the charge. We decline at this time to comment on whether dandelions in seed are registerable if depicted recognizably.

Andreiko Eferiev. Device. Gules, a cloud sable within a bordure Or.

This device is returned for violation of SENA A.3.B.4.a, which states “Charges must have good contrast with the background on which they are placed.” The submitter attempted to document an Individually Attested Pattern for late-period English heraldry. While sable charges on gules fields were sufficiently documented, and evidence of both bordures and clouds in English heraldry were established, the pattern of a low-contrast complex primary charge and a high-contrast secondary charge was not sufficiently documented by the submitter (who provided only two examples), and subsequent examples were not found in commentary.

Removal of the bordure would bring the submission into alignment with the documented patterns, but would create a conflict with the badge of Mell MacAlpin (Fieldless) A cloud sable.. Given how recently the badge was registered, we encourage the submitter to reach out to the heralds of Calontir to seek permission to conflict from Mell MacAlpin.

Isaac Klingensmith of Æthelmearc. Device. Argent, a raven rising sable maintaining with its beak an annulet gules.

This device is returned for conflict with the badge of Stephen Grimfalcon, Argent, a falcon striking sable within a bordure gules. There is only one DC for change to the type of secondary (annulet vs. bordure). There is no DC for the nearly identical postures of the birds.

EAST pends

Giana di Nicholò da Firenze. Device change. Argent, a bend sinister vert, overall a wyvern erect sable.

Commentary on this submission centered around the potential conflict with Charles the Traveler raised in the LoI: Argent, a bend sinister vert, overall a drakkar sable its sail paly gules and argent. There is most certainly one DC for the change in type of overall charge, but there are conflicting precedents over whether the tincture of a ship’s sail constitutes half the charge, which is necessary for the second DC to clear the conflict.

Current precedents state the following:

1. There is no DC for type of ship (lymphad, drakkar, rowboat, etc.). This is based on period practice, which changed the type of ship depicted on a given set of arms depending on when it was being painted.

2. There is no DC for sails furled vs. unfurled. This is largely based on the previous precedent; if lymphads have sails furled by default, drakkars have sails unfurled by default, and rowboats have no sails at all, there is no way to compare the status of the sails in any sort of meaningful way.

3. There is no DC for the tincture of an unfurled sail as half the charge. Also largely based on the first two precedents, if the sail is not consistently half the charge of a boat (or indeed depicted at all) there is no way to provide consistent difference for its tincture.

We seek further commentary on whether unfurled sails should be considered half of a heraldic charge when considering whether there should be a distinct change for tincture between charges.

This was item 20 on the East letter of November 30, 2016.

Úlfr Járnhauss. Name.

Submitted as Úlflundr Járnhauss, the given name was a hypothetical constructed name based on the Old Norse elements Úlf- and -lundr. PN1B2b of SENA permits name phrases to be constructed from attested period elements. However,”[w]e generally require at least three examples to consider something a pattern, as sometimes a single name phrase can create the appearance of a pattern that does not actually exist.” PN1B2b. Only a single example of –lundr as a second element could be found. Thus, this construction is not registerable.

After the Pelican decision meeting and the close of commentary, the submitter gave permission to change the given name to Úlfr, a male name found at p. 15 of Geirr Bassi’s The Old Norse Name. As we did not have adequate time to do so before the release of this Letter, we have pended this name for conflict-checking and commentary on the form Úlfr Járnhauss.

His device is registered under the holding name Christopher of Smoking Rocks.

This was item 33 on the East letter of November 30, 2016.