Words for Alys Mackyntoich’s Writ for the Laurel

Alys Writ Scroll

Calligraphy by Mistress Eleanor Catlyng; Photo by Countess Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain

So I’m driving home from an event in Havre des Glaces (Quebec City, QC) to home (Bhakail, Philadelphia, PA), and I see an email requesting words for a scroll. I’m pretty sure I turned colorless and was both thrilled and terrified. The person who the scroll text was for, is someone I look up to in the SCA, and someone who is getting the award for precisely what I was being asked to create, in addition to her research on onomastics.

So, of course I took the gig, and planned to write words as soon as I finished my 11.5 hour drive home… instead I passed out and woke up the next morning, got to digging for sources, and within a few hours had written this and sent it off to the amazing scribe that penned the words:

The which day, regarding the articles proposed by our lord King and our lady Queen touching the dispatch of their herald named in the conduct sent by their Order of the Laurel, Peers of this Realm, to pass towards them to treat, commune, contract, and conclude upon the inclusion of Their Majesties’ herald into the aforesaid order, forevermore, and until the end of all times, and likewise to commune, treat, conclude, and contract upon induction of the said herald, and on behalf of their Majesties; the Peers of the articles, after they had heard their Majesty’s mind in that behalf, having consideration of the adversity of times bygone and of the dangerous appearance of vacancy at the present time and similarly to come, have concluded that one ample commission be made and sent with the aforesaid herald that is to appear at Their Majesties’ Bardic Championship for taking, treating, and concluding of inclusion into the Order of the Laurel, forevermore, and until the end of all times, and similarly another commission be made to the said herald to commune, treat, conclude, and contract the said induction with such restrictions and conditions as shall be given to her by Their Majesties, with the advice of the Peers to be chosen by Them thereto, and as they devise to produce the same again before the lords of articles, that they may consult thereupon, of which the tenor follows:

The instructions to the herald to be sent to the Order of the Laurel for contracting of inclusion and induction, be extended at large

In the first, the arrangement be made at length answering the Order of the Laurel’s writings, the writings of the other three estates of this realm, and all others in short and brief sent since then shall be devised.

Item, the commission for contracting the said induction being amply conceived and read to the Order of the Laurel or its commissioners, it is supposed they will desire certain points and security for keeping the said contract, to the which it shall be answered by the said herald and shall be desired by her for the part of the East as follows after:

And first, if it is asked on the King and Queen of the East’s behalf that their herald, Alys Mackyntoich, be delivered to them to be kept until the completing of the said induction, it is to be answered that it is a right high and right great inconvenience to the realm of the East to grant thereof for such reasons and causes as the herald has heard declared by the Crown of the East and as she can show particularly by herself, not believing that the Crown of the East’s majesty is of such high wisdom that she will never deface the same; therefore, it cannot be granted by reason, but that her nobility may remain and be kept in Their presence until such time as she may be able to complete induction.

Item, in case it shall happen that the said Order should become engrossed in their passion for the said inclusion and induction of the said herald, it shall be answered with the most noble and virtuous replies as to generously reflect on the wisdom, majesty, honor, and privilege of the Crown of the East.

Item, it is thought expedient that the induction be perpetually contracted between the Crown and the Order after the form of tradition to be taken with the proviso.

Edward Rex        Thyra Regina


Of course, I didn’t just create those words out of nothingness, not for someone who is being inducted into the Laurelate for her period wordsmithing. Nope, I needed to use one of her own sources to craft the text, because that’s some Herald-Class shenanigans to pull on a fellow herald. So, I went to the records of the Parliament of Scotland from the 16th Century, because that also happens to fit in with Alys’ persona, and be one of the sources I’ve seen her refer to most often in discussion about cool texts.

So I did some digging, somewhat at random, somewhat based on the fact that I wanted something from the Mary Queen of Scots time, and I settled on the 13 March 1543 Commission: Instructions to the Scottish Ambassadors with the English Concerning Peace and the Marriage of Mary Queen of Scots. Its a hefty text, so I won’t post it here, but I’ve put a link below, with more commentary from me to follow.

The Original Document from Scottish Parliament in Modern English

So, I had a fantastic skeleton in this document to work with, and I set about filling in the fleshy-bits. First things first, it had to be from the King & Queen of the East, and not a chancellor, and it had to concern Alys’ joining of the Laurelate. Easy-peasy. Fill-in King and Queen bits, and then come up with two different terms about making Alys a Laurel… because this document is dealing with creating peace AND the marriage of Mary Queen of Scots. So, I went with inclusion into the order and induction, referring to two separate things: A) Alys is not currently a member of the Laurel, and needs to figure out where she will fit in the Laurelate, there aren’t a lot of Heraldic Laurels out there to begin with, either, so this is an uncommon thing; B) Alys isn’t going to be “elevated” per-say, since she is already a Peer and has her Patent from her Pelican circa 15 years ago, so elevation didn’t sit right with me here, so I went with induction, because protocols are important, and Peerage ceremonies often have a level of planning beyond the norm, so I felt that would tie in with some of the bits about marriage.

That took care of the big introduction to the much shorter, more intense “Items” in the instruction list provided by Their Majesties. I decided on only three points, because 1) I was already being really mean to a scribe, it was Monday and this scroll was going out on Saturday 2) People throughout the Medieval and Renaissance Periods were obsessed with three’s, especially Catholics, and the Scots were definitely Catholics, and 3) I was given an amazing third point when I was having trouble finding one (note: crowd-sourcing is usually the answer on how to find inspiration, its occasionally also the answer you’re looking for).

So first, we discuss how people need to be brief, which is no way meant to be ironic in this scroll text at all. Nope, not at all.

Then we get to the items, the first is about how Alys isn’t required to go on Vigil, since she is already a Peer. I really liked this bit from the original text, and this was the only way I could see to modify it and keep it in, I unintendedly started up a dialogue about vigils for second Peerages, but really, it was just a way for me to keep some sweet 16th century text in this document.

The second item, was the last one created, it was crowd-sourced as, “Item: she can not run away screaming and must submit herself to the Laurel when we chant ‘one of us! one of us!'” Which was given entirely in jest, but provided the inspiration for both the second item:

Item, in case it shall happen that the said Order should become engrossed in their passion for the said inclusion and induction of the said herald, it shall be answered with the most noble and virtuous replies as to generously reflect on the wisdom, majesty, honor, and privilege of the Crown of the East.

Finally, a bit at the end taken from the original source and modified to state that these changes should be made permanent when they happen, and it even included a cool word: proviso which is a cool way of notating a condition attached to an agreement from the original text.

Finally, because I was rushing to get this text out, and because I was giggling quite a bit about it, I thought it would be fun to include a “translation” of the text, to be shown to Alys afterwards. Instead, my faithful carpool partner happened to be heralding, and happened to read the text that said, “Do not read.” It was hopefully well received and not too out of line. I’ve included it here, as it’s made its way out into the wide world:

Translation: King Edward & Queen Thyra have exchanged words with the Order of the Laurel. Both Their Majesties and the Order believe that Mistress Alys should be inducted into the Order of the Laurel. Their Majesties wish for Alys to come to Bardic Champions to address this issue. Their Majesties have carefully provided instructions for Their Herald:

Communicate effectively, thoroughly, and briefly.

Item, Alys is already a Peer, and therefore is not required to be sent on vigil at the event.

Item, Alys cannot run away screaming and should probably considering submitting herself to the Laurelate when they chant “One of us! One of us!”

Item, we should probably make this thing permanent.

In the end, I’m very thankful for the opportunity I was given to write this text for a friend who has taught me a lot about creating period-appropriate scroll texts, and is the largest inspiration behind how I create my scroll texts. It was an honor and a privilege in the truest sense of both words.

The only major regret I have about this text is not having the time to have translated it into 16th century Scots, or at least give it some quality 16th-century spelling, but time was of the essence.

Many thanks to both Eleanor and Caoilfhionn for sharing their arts to enhance my blog.

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Words for Wolfgang Gruenwald’s Award of the Burdened Tyger

Calligraphy & Illumination by Lady Astrid Faelin

Calligraphy & Illumination by Lady Astrid Faelin


I was asked by Lady Astrid Feilan to create words for Lord Wolfgang’s Award of the Burdened Tyger for his work on the Coronation feast of Brennan and Caoilfhionn. I used a format called Terza Rima which was first used in Dante’s Divine Comedy in the 14th Century, and was also used by Chaucer. It follows the form: ABA BCB CDC DED…. until such time as the poem ends. Here is what I created, following a brief introduction:



Unto all do We, Brennan and Caoilfhionn, Emperor and Empress of the East send greetings to Our Lord Wulfgang Gruenwald


The feast upon Our Coronation day,

Twas mighty to behold and filled with joy.

Tray after tray flew from the kitchen bay.
Armed with spoon and ladle he did employ,
An army to fill trays brought to tables,
All filled with dishes to delight, enjoy.
A feast fit for all to recall, fabled,

As grand feasts of a time long, long ago.

Burdened Tyger giv’n to chef most able.
Done by hour hands this 28th day of June, AS XLIX in Our Barony of Carillion at Our Southern Region War Camp.
The scroll was created by Lady Astrid Feilan and was given out at Southern Region Melee Extravaganza on XX June 2014.
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Words for Rowen Cloteworthy’s King’s Cypher from Kenric II

Mistress Kayleigh MacWhyte asked me to create words for a King’s Cypher being given out by HRM Kenric II to Master Rowen at the Coronation of Brennan & Caoilfhionn. I only had a short time, and decided to go with a 16th century poem format, in iambic pentameter even, with 16th Century spelling to boot.

I had originally intended to go with what’s called Rhyme Royal, used often by Chaucer with the form ABABBCC, but discovered the English Sestet, used by Shakespeare and others in the 16th Century, often in sonnets, following the form ABABCC.

These are the words I created:

Rex Orientalis am I, Kenric.
Oure loyal seervant Rowen has allways been,
Oure court heerault, managing time and shtick.
Oure King’s cypher for work both seen and unseen.
     He has made his trade into a fine arte.
     Because Rowen is, of course, wicked smart.
Given under Our signet in Our Barony of Settmour Swamp the vth daie of Aprile, in the xlviijth yeere of the Societie.
Kenric Rex
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Words for Rowen Cloteworthy’s Pelican Scroll

I was asked by Master Jonathan Blæcstan to compose words for Rowen Cloteworthy’s Pelican scroll. I totally based this on this cool 15th century document I found… and can’t find now, 10 months down the road… but will hopefully find in the morning and update this entry with a link or two.  Credit for the second paragraph goes to Baroness Theodora Bryennissa, called Treannah.

I’ll keep searching for my documentation and update this post once I’ve found it.

Here is the final version I sent off to be calligraphed:

Kenric, by right of arms, King of the East, and Avelina, by grace and beauty, Queen of the East, to all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting.

Oft times many have heard the deep resounding voice of Our well beloved Rowen Cloteworthy ring throughout the hall.  Blue Tyger, Vox Regis, Troubadour, and Brigantia Herald has he been, long in service to the Crown. Tall and stoic, he has oft times stood between Our thrones, and those of Kings and Queens of blessed Eastern memory since the time of Balfar IV and Luna IV.

Service to Crown, College, Barony, and Shire have been present throughout the well-known Rowen’s path, but most importantly to Us, has been the number of heralds who’s voices have been lifted with the said Rowen’s guidance and support. The roster of heralds with an understanding of Eastern traditions with the aforesaid Rowen’s mark upon them is both lengthy and illustrious. This Herald Extraordinary has, with great certainty, become a foundation for generations of heralds who have already served in Our courts and on Our tourney fields. The nuances of his teachings and the effects of his generous support and encouragement toward his fellow heralds shall most undoubtedly reach forward from here at present into time unknown.

We do therefore, of Our own certain knowledge, from the plentitude of Our Royal Authority, and with the advice and consent of the venerable Peers of Our realm, do will and ordain that the aforementioned Rowen be endowed and established by these Letters Patent, with Companionship in Our Order of the Pelican and in the manner set forth hereafter: fusilly argent and sable, a chief gules.

It is now that We, Kenric and Avelina, storied King and Queen of the East Kingdom, command that this letter be read out in a clear voice to Our court, and be made known thereafter throughout Our kingdom.  Let no one infringe upon this, Our will; if anyone shall presume to attempt this, let him know that he will most assuredly incur Our Royal indignation and wrath.

Signed joyously by Us, Kenric and Avelina, revered King and Queen of the glorious East Kingdom, on the twenty-second day of March, being the feast day of Saint Paul of Narbonne, as we sit upon the thrones at the thawing of the mud, in our Barony of Settmour Swamp, in the forty-eighth year of the Society.

The scroll was given out at Mudthaw on the 22nd of March 2014.

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Words for Arastorm the Golden’s Laurel Scroll

Arastorm's Laurel CharterMaster Jonathan Blæcstan reached out to me to create word’s for Hlæfdige Arastorm the Golden’s Laurel Scroll. For those that do not know her, Hlæfdige Arastorm is a great authority on many topics tied in with Anglo-Saxon culture. Being that she’s an Anglo-Saxon expert, naturally when Jon asked for some feedback on what she’d want in her Laurel scroll, Arastorm had some great ideas on how to make a persona-appropriate scroll. The Anglo-Saxon Charter.

After receiving an email with some of the intended ideas for her scroll, I got to researching Anglo-Saxon charters. Which, are occasionally… very entertaining, but only occasionally. They certainly have an interesting format, and would have the “signatures” of all those present when the document was ‘officiated’ – for lack of a better, more relevant term. I posit that the signatures are actually oft-times just the names of all those present penned by the scribe who created the document, or clerk who was managing the paperwork that day. In many of the actual charters I reviewed online, many of the signatures look very uniform. More research would be necessary to determine if this is actually true.

So I found a text, and I felt I could incorporate the elements that had been requested into the scroll. Here’s the original text I primarily worked off of:

In nomine domini et salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi.

This document declares that King Æthelwulf granted to God and St. Peter and the community at Old Minster in Winchester 20 hides of land at Wanborough, when, with the consent of his councillors, he granted a tenth part of all his lands throughout all his kingdom to holy foundations for the praise of God and the eternal redemption of his soul; and he commanded that in the name of God Almighty and of all his saints, that no king after his time or any other man should ever alter this, but that the property should always belong undisputed to the holy foundation; and if anyone altered it, he should be accursed by God and by St. Peter, both during his life and after his death, unless he amends for it. And this was done in the year after 854 years had passed since the birth of Christ, with the cognisance of the councillors whose names are recorded here below…

So lots of mentions of holy-bits here, and for obvious reason, and not knowing the recipient by more than reputation and a few chance meetings, I decided to try and work around them. In other Anglo-Saxon Charters you find that there’s a tigthe paid on what’s been granted very often, and that was one of the elements that was requested. I pulled a few other elements from other charters in the same source, which also includes the Old English versions. The one I referenced above, is number VIII and is found of the page marked 15.

I spoke with Eorl Kenric æt Essex and Hlæfdige Avelina Keyes about the Charter, and learned from Kenric that titles weren’t really used, because they knew who they were talking about already in the document, so the title wasn’t necessary, and got the tip about the latin titles following sigatures. Many of the virtues perscribed in this scroll come from Arastorm’s own words on the virtues of a Peer.

This document declares that Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn granted to Arastorm companionship in their Order of the Laurel, when, with the consent of their councilors, they granted induction for her many publications and teachings on Anglo-Saxon subjects. They granted this on the condition that she remains every year unto them and their heirs an example of courtesy and chivalry for the kingdom, supports and upholds the laws of the kingdom, enriches the kingdom through sharing her wealth of knowledge, and advises them on the advancement of candidates for the Laurel. And they commanded in the name of the Eastern Crown and of all its entities, that no emperor or empress after their time or any other man should ever alter this, but that this charter should always belong undisputed to Arastorm; and if anyone should alter it, he should be accursed by all things honorable, courageous, loyal, and generous, both during his life and after his death, unless he made amends for it. And this was done in the year after 49 years had passed since the birth of our Society, in the royal manor called Bergental, on the twentieth day of September, with the cognisance of the councillors whose names are recorded here below

[Brennan] Rex

[Keelin] Regina

[Eadweard] Princeps

[Thyra] Principessa

Arastorm's Laurel CharterAnd here’s a finished copy of the scroll, photo courtesy Hlæfdige Arastorm. The Calligraphy and Illumination are by Master Jonathan Blacstean. The signatures are from those present at the ceremony, and really help make the document look like a real Anglo-Saxon Charter in my opinion.

The scroll was given at The Rose Tourney on September 20th, 2014 by TRM Brennan and Caoilfhionn.

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Welcome to Martyn’s SCA Blog!

Unto all to whom these present letters reach, does Lord Martyn de Halliwell send greetings.

I’ll be using my re-claimed wordpress blog to post about projects I’m working on, events as I’ve experienced them, and maybe even my general thoughts on various subjects, who knows?

Anyways, subscribe to be notified whenever I post something new, and check out my other stuff here:

Martyn’s Bard Blog: http://martynsbardbook.wordpress.com/

My Personal SCA website: http://www.halliwell.org

My EK WikiPage: http://www.eastkingdom.org/mediawiki/index.php/Martyn_de_Halliwell

My SCA Youtube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/martyn


Non-SCA Links

My Personal Website: http://www.TJDeLuca.com

My YouTube Blog: http://www.youtube.com/tjdaily

My Instagram: @astarvingsinger

Google+: plus.google.com/tjdeluca

Facebook: facebook.com/tjdeluca

Twitter: @tjdeluca

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