Master 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
And 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.