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Re: MR: bagpipes, AOAs, etc. (fwd)

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

> Poster: blackbow@juno.com (David H Ritterskamp)
> >Jonathan, stop that.  If you bothered to read the text of
> >an AoA scroll, you would know that it specifically states
> >that "X has the right to bear Arms, to wit:  <blazon>,
> >without let or hinderance" PERIOD.  In the case of an AoA
> >the heraldic device is the Arms that are referred to.
> >If the scroll meant that you could bring a sword into
> >court, it would say "X has the right to bear Arms,
> >to wit:  <list of weapons>".  No mention of weapons
> >anywhere....  Alfredo, you ARE correct.
> OK, so why would anybody register and display a coat of arms if they
> don't have an AoA?  It happens all the time.

Because an AoA puts you into the ranks of the nobility, or so
they told me back in the Midrealm, where I got mine. Before you
received your AoA, you were part of the gentry-free born,
theoretically holding land by a form of non-servile tenure, and
therefore worthy of arms, even if you didn't have any. There's a
brief bit of case law in the rolls of the Earl Marshal's Court
that says that such a situation could and did exist.

However, the best sign of belonging to the gentry is possession
of arms. See Gayre's _Nature_ _of_ _Arms_ for this.

There's also some good evidence that townsmen and peasants
adopted arms. However, these arms were rarely considered to be of
the same quality as the arms of the well-born, except in Italy,
where the nobility and the urban upper class melded into a single
class, more or less. In any case, the arms of townsmen and
peasants were displayed differently from those of the well-born,
and penalties existed for playing loose and fast with heraldic
display. Again, see Gayre's work.

> General opinion question - is it considered poor taste to display arms
> before being granted an AoA??  I've NEVER heard that one.

Given the two hypotheses above, I say no problem. Certainly, the
townsmen and peasants didn't wait around.

However, the SCA, by severing the link between awarding arms,
registering arms, and protecting arms, has made issues of
heraldic law in the SCA rather more tricky than they were in
period. In general, the legal thinking of the time was that
"awarded" arms were of a better quality than arms one adopted for
oneself, even if one was well-born. I believe I've posted about
that before.
Craig Levin
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