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Re: Query re: A&S/heraldry comp at Pointless
Poster: Michael and MJ Houghton <email@example.com>
Unto all good gentles, greetings from Herveus...
> Poster: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy@abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
> My good Herveus.
> You are a good, and noble man. You are also a man with a hammer... (:-)
> When you start an advisory posting by reminding people that you are
> Principal Herald, I presume you choose to have them consider your words
> as speaking for the Societal or Kingdom Heraldic offices.
You infer correctly.
> If the return was for conflict, then the displayer should not use these
> arms as their own, without the permission of the owner of the conflicting
> arms. Consider that the submitter asked and was told "no". Proceeding to
> display the arms is now a direct affront to the authority of the College
> of Arms. Enforcement of this authority would be ticklish, but in theory
> could involve a Court of Chivalry in an extreme case.
> This is hardly true at all. The College of Arms keeps a list, and has
> disposition over that list. A return for conflict is rubbish.
Let me be direct: Heraldry is inheritable property that conveys personal
identity. This calls for uniqueness within an heraldic jurisdiction, as
defined by that jurisdiction. In period, heraldic jurisdictions were
manifold and relatively small. In the SCA, there is one heraldic
jurisdiction, presently considered independent of other extant or extinct
jurisdictions. (My opinions on this development are irrelevant) Armorial
bearings registered by the College of Arms of the SCA are personal
property of the registrant, which can be conveyed via inheritance.
Displaying the arms registered to another is usurpation of their property,
and as such is actionable. The grievance process laid out by Mistress
Hilary of Serendip provides excellent guidance for steps to take to
resolve a grievance.
That is the staus quo. Refusing to acknowledge it does not make it
My previous missive was intended to provide guidance to allow others
to make informed decisions about the display of unregistered armory.
I could have simply made a blanket statement that you should not or
even must not display unregistered armory, but I know better than to
issue such an opinion when I know it will have no useful effect.
The only cse in which I stated that display would be inappropriate is
the case of a return for conflict. The submitter, by submitting, has
asked the College of Arms for its corporate opinion, and it has said
"No, because that device is too similar to protected armory, under the
standards in effect at the time of the ruling." If the intent was to
use the armory regardless, why bother going through the process?
Tibor did also reply to me:
> Since its earliest days, heraldry has been characterized by several features:
> It identifies an individual
> It is inheritable property
> There are certainly exceptions at certain times and places, but these two
> features are characteristic.
> Not so, my learned friend. Or, as is my rallying cry, "Remember Carminow!"
> Armory eventually became a special class of property, but it was only
> unique within limited areas, it was not always unique to an individual, and
> it was not always heritable, strictly speaking.
Yes, I remember Carminow. He was from a different heraldic jurisdiction.
The general characteristics remain despite exceptions.
> When you oversimplify like that, you rob people of the chance to learn what
> really happened. I've spent more years unlearning "truths the Society
> taught me" than I like.
Yet your positions oversimplify at least as badly.
yours in service,
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