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Re: Heraldry Fibs (was Re: heraldry rules)

Poster: clevin@ripco.com (Craig Levin)

Theodora von Schmetterlingsvald:

> If we live far apace and only are in contact at things like Pennsic or such
> it may be a long time before either knows about the other.  Of course if
> this mythical other person attains great honors or one or the other moves,
> we are set up for conflict.

Actually, mediaeval people were saddled with the same problem,
only there was no such thing as a central registry for all arms,
even in one kingdom, for much of the existence of heraldry. In
most times and places, arms were assumed. Arms were also used for
many of the same purposes that we use arms in the SCA for, plus
some we don't (I don't know of any deceased SCA member with his
or her coat of arms on a plaque, urn, or tomb). I'm going to
paraphrase here from one of the mediaeval lawbooks which actually
deals with heraldic law, Bartolo of Sassoferrato's On Insignias
and Arms.

Inevitably, because there are some designs that lots of people
like, there are bound to be two armigers in any region who pick
the same arms, but aren't related to each other. One sees the
other, and decides to smack him with an injuction to stop using
those arms. The other, nonplussed, brushes it aside, and goes for
a counter-injunction. The court then moves to see who has
rightful title.

Rightful title is established by the collection of depositions of
witnesses for one or the other of the suitors at court, saying
that they had seen the suitor or his father or grandfather or
other relatives bear those arms without previous complaint, and
that the arms are on public monuments and tombs of their
ancestors. The person who can document a longer period of
undisturbed use is the winner, _except_:

Primus: if either suitor comes from beyond the court's
jurisdiction. [Laurel has taken on certain of the court's
functions-there is no such excuse for us in the SCA-Pedro] In
this case, both have rightful title.

Secundus: if one of the suitors has arms given to him by the
prince, and recorded as such in the prince's herald's records
[Laurel's job-Pedro], then he has rightful title, no matter how
long the other has used them. Neither of these conditions apply
if the suitor has taken up those arms with an intention to
deceive others; in that case, the suitor ought to be charged with

In Service,

Dom Pedro de Alcazar
Barony of Storvik, Atlantia
Storvik Pursuivant
Argent, a tower purpure between 3 bunches of grapes proper
Craig Levin
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