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New Peerage? (fwd)
Poster: Scott Silvers/James of Westmorland <email@example.com>
I am forwarding this letter to the Merry Rose because I found it
to be an interesting proposition. Besides it will provide a different
topic of discussion from the "Escorting Ladies/Boring Court" discussion
that we've become entrenched in.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 10:04:52 +22300454 (EST)
From: Karen Stegmeier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [SCA Equestrian] New Peerage?
Greetings, I am about to post a letter I recieved a month
or so ago. By posting this I do not say that I agree or disagree,
that comes later, but I do think that it is an issue that needs to
be discussed and this household's proposition is as good a place to
start as any. and we will see where it takes us. Please know that
I copy this letter in its entirety unabridged and unedited, I am
not a member of this household, nor do I speak for them-Isabeau
The Order of the Courtier: A Proposal
We have heard alot of talk lately about fencing and equestrian
activities and how they should fit into the SCA hierarchy.
We have noticed that the fencers are going through many of the
growing pains that archers went through not very long ago. We also
notice that the fencers won't be the last. The equestrians and the
hound coursers are already growing in popularity, and we may see falconry
take its place in the SCA (if it hasn't already in some places!).
Indeed, Where do these activities fit in? All are good and noble
activities, and each have many talented gentles involved. Some of these
gentles are reaching (or have reached) the mastery and range of skills
and attributes that call for peerage recognition. One can achieve
such recognition in almost any area of expertise. Therefore, it should be
that fencers, equestrians, etcetera should be able to become peers of one sort
But what order would suit these noble activities? The Laurel?
These activities do not really fit in as an art or a science, and their
practice certainly does not fall under A+S Criteria. They require
authorization to participate and Marshal-type supervision to practice.
The Pelican would not be appropriate, either. The Pelican
serves for those gentles who give their all to the running of the
machinery that is the SCA-the day to day, behind the scenes work,the
polotics, the pain behind the pageantry. These noble activities DO
serve, but they serve differently.
What about the Chivalry? They require authorization and
supervision, and they practice a physical activity that these noble
activities would compliment well. And Horse-mastery is where the
term "chivalry" came from! We have heard knight-hood suggested by some
for fencers. However, we do not feel that this is quite appropriate,
either. Even though we have heard talk of a "fencing king" or a
"fencing crown tourney" we do not think that this would ever be considered
the equal of a heavy weapons crown. The SCA has been forged with a
heavy weapons Crown, and to alter this might be too much of a fundamental
It seems to us that there is a gap between knighthood and the
Laurelate. between the practice of war and the arts and sciences, and
in this gap is where we feel these noble and courtly activities fit.
In the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the nobles serving at court
would practice at activities for recreation and to keep their minds and
bodies sharp. They would go hunting-ussually on horseback and using
hounds or falcons. They would course the hounds for enjoyment.
They would shoot Bow and arrow, either in contest or to hunt.
They would fence, for enjoyment or to settle a dispute. These were
all Noble activities that the people at court-or courtiers, would practice.
We believe an Order of the Courtier would fill the gap that seems,
to us, to exist between the peerages. It could be given to those
gentles that have shown a mastery in any of these courtly activities:
archery, fencing, equestrian, hound coursing, falconry.
This would give these courtly activities a chance to shine on their
own, instead of being a "secondary" activity under another Peerage. It
would also make it clear to all what type of activity these gentles have
mastered. With their own order, separate but equal, these gentles could
share and continue the Dream that grows and makes room for all.
Please share this idea, and if you believe it truly holds merit,
help it become reality.
This idea was formulated by members of Clan Beinn Caladh. If
you have questions, wish clarification, or want to express comments, please
Lord Ceanntighern Macillechallum
Lady Niamh nighean Lachlainn
James K. Wright
2160 Nicholasville Rd. Apt. C-11
Lexington, KY 40503
ph. (606) 277-3510
From: email@example.com (Karen Stegmeier)
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