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[MR] Cadency and Conflict (fwd)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)


> Senhor Pedro de Alcazar writes:
> > As far as I know, the "new rules" (now 7 years old) no longer do
> > major and minor points of differences. Instead, what we're doing
> > now is based off of what we know about mediaeval cadency, thanks
> > to Robert Gayre's work on the matter. Changing the tertiary
> > charges gets you one cadency step, no matter what.
> I thought that cadency was the system of adding a label to the
> oldest son's arms, a crescent to the second son's, etc. (I have a
> mnemonic song about it, if anyone's interested.)  Does the word
> have a second meaning that relates to judging whether two devices
> are sufficiently different?

That's only one system of cadency, which was developed in England
during the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Even the
Englishmen's neighbors, the Scots, use a different system, with
bordures, complex lines on the bordures and on ordinaries (when
present), and then the addition of small charges to the arms.
Portuguese and Castilian armigers difference their arms by
bordures and charged bordures (like mine). Also, throughout
Europe, changing the number of charges, the tincture of the field or
the charges, the arrangement of the charges, and the addition or
subtraction of charges, were all fairly common ways of cadencing.

At the present time, Laurel will return things that are within 2
cadency steps from another badge or coat of arms. This isn't as
harsh as it sounds:

Let us suppose that somebody is totally stuck on having lions in
his arms, "Because they're English, and I'm English, and...",
and, alas, he has hit on the Plantagenet arms (Gules, in pale
three lions passant gardant Or). These happen to be one of the
few mundane coats of arms which we still protect. Even so, this
can still be done:

"How about making the background black?", I ask.

"Sure. Does that clear?"

"Not yet. How about changing where the lions are-instead of
putting them one on top of another, how about putting one in each
corner of the shield-two and one, as we say? And we'll have them
sitting instead of standing-the word we use is couchant."

"Okay. Good now?"

"Versus the Plantagenets, yeah. One for the change of field,
another for the change in how the lions are arranged on the
field. Lemme check Da Big Book to see if somebody else has the
same coat of arms in the SCA."

<brief pause>


"Nope. The closest I get is a guy who registered a coat of arms
with three African leopards Or in annulo-chasing each other's
tails, you might say. Yours are different in posture and where
they are on the shield."

That's all it takes.

Pedro de Alcazar, AoA
Barony of Storvik, Atlantia
Pursuivant Extraordinary and Junior Minion
Or, six Castles Vert within a Bordure Gules Bezantty

Craig Levin
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