[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index][Search Archives]

Re: Peerage

Bearbuddy - (Not, I assume, your SCA name?  :)

>Pardon a newbie showing his ignorance here.  But I want to learn. Have been
>folowing this
>thread I am new to the dream.  , But could someone Please tell me what a 
>"Peer" is and please to define "peerage"

Please, ask anything you feel the need to know!

Here is a definition - I know others will correct any errors.  These
definitions are colored by my 18 years in An Tir and the West.  Customs in
Atlantia may vary.

A Peer (capital 'P'), as discussed on the list lately, is a person who has
been honored by admittance to either the Order of Chivalry, the Pelican or
the Laurel.

A person admitted to the Order of Chivalry is either a Knight or a Master at
Arms.  Knights must swear fealty to the King and Queen.  They wear white
belts and open-link gold chains.  Only knights can wear these things.

Masters at Arms are not obligated to swear fealty.  Some do, some don't. 
Masters wear a white baldric (a belt worn 'bandolier' style) and, if in
fealty, an open-link gold chain.  Only Masters can wear white baldrics.

A person who has been honored for their expemplerary skill in an art or
science (even, in some kingdoms, their skill in archery or fencing) and/or
for teaching such a skill can be admitted to the Order of the Laurel.  Such
persons wear a medallion with a laurel wreath on it.  Some wear laurel
wreaths on cloaks. I've seen one person who carved a larel wreath out of (I
think) horn and wore it on his head.  I know of some people who have put
laurel wreaths on the brims of their straw hats.  No one who is not a member of
the Order of the Laurel should be displaying a laurel wreath.  (Unless, of
course, they are wearing the arms of a branch of the SCA - all such arms
must have a Laurel wreath and no one confuses branch laurel wreaths with the
Order of the Laurel).

A person who has been honored for their expemplerary service to the Kingdom (
even, in some kingdoms, their service in archery or fencing) can be admitted
to the Order of the Pelican.  Such persons wear a medallion with a 'Pelican
in it's Piety' on it (Greek Orthodox churches use this symbol, too).  Some
wear Pelicans on cloaks.  No one who is not a member of the order of the
Pelican should be displaying a Pelican in it's Piety.

These three orders are 'Polling' orders.  The ruling Monarch must poll, or
ask, the order about each candidate and cannot admit a candidate to the
order without polling it first.  (Mind you, even if every single member of
the order says 'I don't think that person is ready', the Monarch can still
admit a person.  That's NO FUN for either the order, the new candidate or
the Monarch after s/he's off the throne!)

There are other Peerages as well.  These are not polling peerages.  I
suppose you could call them 'entitlement' peerages, as anyone who meets the
qualification is entitled to the peerage.  These are Royal Peers.

Persons who have served one term as the consort to a ruling monarch are
admitted to the Order of the Rose.

Persons who have served one term as King or Queen are entitled to be made
Count (or Earl) or Countess.  They are the only ones who can wear an
embattled coronet.

   __    __    __    __
__|  |__|  |__|  |__|  |__  <--embattled

Persons who have served two terms as King or Queen are entited to be made
Duke or Dutchess.  They are the only ones who can wear a coronet with
strawberry leaves.

In a principality (Atlantia doesn't have any), a person who has served one
or more term as Prince or Princess is entitled to be made Viscount or
Viscountess (pronounced VI-count, not VIS-count)

There are equivalent titles in other languages if a person chooses to use them.

Persons do not HAVE to accept any of these peerages, though almost all do. 
Count William the Lucky, in the West, has been King more than one time, but
he perfers to be called a Count.

One thing that came up to me recently.  ANYONE can MAKE Laurel or Pelican
medallions, open-linked gold chains, white belts, etc.  They just can't WEAR
them.  I've seen them for sale at merchant's booths - even at Science
Fiction conventions!  One can also make them and donate them to the Royalty
to be given in a Peerage Ceremony.  (Though often, in some kingdoms, these
symbols of peerage come from other peers during the ceremony.)

Defining peerage is a WHOLE 'nother can of worms!!  Everyone's definition
varies.  A simplistic definition of peerage is 'one who has the attributes
of a Peer.'  The debate goes on as to what all those attributes are for
which Peerage


        - Anarra Karlsdottir