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

Re: MR-Disc: Registration of Arms

Poster: clevin@rci.ripco.com (Craig Levin)

> > Well, -if- I ever had this problem, I would be ticked.  There is a reason
> > you are supposed to register your arms.  This one.
> I agree that you _are_ supposed to register your arms, but
> I must respectfully disagree with your assertion that there
> is any reason for it.

I would respectfully disagree with you, as a fellow researcher in
chivalry. As a part of a process of education in mediaeval names
& arms, registration serves as a fitting end to the process.
People, at least in this country, seem to have a mentality of "if
it's registered at some organization, it's official, & official
equals good." Anyone can choose to use a pseudonym-authors have
used noms de plume for as long as there have been censors-but
what we do with our names in the SCA is different. We don't seek
to evade the rubber stamp or any other nefarious motive, but to
create alter egos that exist in this Secondary World that we've

Hence, after a long bout of research with the sources, and
deciding on a name, you feel like you've put valuable time &
effort into that name. You don't want another person to have it.
So, you register it.

Of course, I'm making some assumptions here, which may or may not
be true. For one, I assume that the local herald & his or her
client are willing & able to do heraldic & onomastic research, &
not just settle for the first names plucked from a book, or a
jumble of design elements that will slide through the style rules
& not conflict. For another, I'm assuming that people are
protective of their personas' names & arms. Such may not be the
case; I don't know the intents & thoughts of every person.
Lastly, I'm assuming that our kings have a different sense of
justice than their mediaeval predecessors; given that the Laurel
Kingdoms are under a joint heraldic jurisdiction (for more
details on a mediaeval parallel, see Keen's _Chivalry_ on the
Kings of Arms of the Ruyers), the outlander has rights to his
arms within not just his homeland, but also in other kingdoms; of
course, in this, I make the assumption that registry equals
ownership, a dubious idea at best, with just emotional backing.

As for me, were I to find someone using my arms in Atlantia, I'd
be a bit ticked; not to the point of tearing down their banner,
like an English herald at a visitation, but enough to ask them
nicely to difference his arms by some means. I might even ask him
how the kinfolk are doing, since it's possible that he's related.
If not, why, we'll laugh about coincidence, and I'll promise to
difference my arms should I travel to his kingdom of residence.

But this all depends on our willingness to admit title to arms in
the SCA. Did mediaeval people believe in title to arms? Sure. The
Scropes went 1 for 2, but the reasoning was that while the
Grosvenors had been _supposedly_ in the same jurisdiction when
the arms first appeared (according to the Scropes, under that of
William I), the Carminow(e)s weren't-they claimed that Arthur (!)
granted them those arms, and boy, it gets weird from there. There
are other suits at the Earl Marshal's Court, to prove title to
arms, and suits at other tribunals over arms on the same issue.
I'm probably going to do some research on all of these suits at
court this term at Catholic U., & I'll post it on my webpage
after it's all done.
Craig Levin
List Archives, FAQ, FTP:  http://sca.wayfarer.org/merryrose/
            Submissions:  atlantia@atlantia.sca.org
        Admin. requests:  majordomo@atlantia.sca.org