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Coronation Thanks from Their Majesties

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-04-13 08:28

Unto the people of Æthelmearc, and all those who read these words, do Byron and Ariella, King and Queen of Sylvan Æthelmearc, Send Greetings.

Words of Thanks and Praise are due to all those gentles who assisted in making Our Coronation the most glorious Day, the most Medieval Day, of our time in the Society.

First, to the Shire of Gryffyn’s Keep: You came together and created a venue that was unparalleled. I think that everyone who sat in that sanctuary will remember the spectacle for years to come. Although the weather wasn’t the most cooperative, everything else seemed perfect. The site, the staff’s courtesy, the food and table setting, the scheduling and communication: they were all we could have hoped for. It was clear that the people of the Shire had put in a wholehearted effort that made the event a success.

But particular Thanks are due to our autocrat, the good and Honorable Lord Thomas LeStrange. We called him to Us, and told him of Our need, and he responded in the most Noble of ways, creating a day that will always be a source of pride and pleasure for Us. Even as Thomas spreads his thanks to those that served, he speaks for Us, and Our thanks go with his.

The site token from the Coronation of Byron and Ariella, designed by Master Duncan Blackwater. It measures ~1.5″ in diameter.

We would note a special Thanks to Master Duncan Blackwater, who designed the site tokens. They were the most amazing, most medieval site tokens that We have ever received at an SCA event. If any gentle has the token of the Day, and has not yet compared it to the original coin of Edward III, take a moment and look at them side by side.

Our Thanks, and the Thanks of all Æthelmearc, are given to Master Steffan ap Kennydd of the East Kingdom, for his knowledge of medieval coronation ceremonies was the cornerstone of Our Coronation. We advise all gentles in Our Kingdom and abroad to receive him with honors, as he is a man of depth and learning. The details of the Coronation ceremony have been freely published online, and we hope to have video soon to match.

Also critical to Our Ceremony was the Choir, led by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope. The singing (in Latin) of the Roll of Kings and Queens was a lovely addition that brought tears to many eyes.

To all those who participated in the Ceremony, as Escorts, Heralds, Order representatives, or Pages, We thank you. Know that 600 years ago, those same words were spoken, and those same steps trod, by those we try to emulate in our Society. To Our reign staff, retainers, and guards, we know that the wonderful Service you rendered Us this Day will continue throughout Our Reign.

And to those who braved the cold and snow to witness Our ascension to the Sylvan Thrones, we thank you as well. We hope that the memory is precious to you, as it is so very much to Us.

Byron, Rex AEthelmearc

Ariella, Regina AEthelmearc

King Byron and Queen Ariella. Photo by Duchess Siobhán inghean uí Liatháin.

Categories: SCA news sites

Event Report: Ice Dragon 40

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-11 16:26

The Fortieth Festival of the Ice Dragon, once again held on April 2nd at the Connecticut Street Armory in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael, was packed with its usual heavy fighting, youth fighting, fencing, Arts and Sciences Pentathlon, meetings, and courts. Lord Wolfgang Starcke, on his fourth stint as Ice Dragon autocrat, reports that about 650 gentles were in attendance.

Morning Courts and Curia

Morning court saw three gentles sent to contemplate elevation to the peerage: Baroness Laurencia of Carlisle was sent to vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Laurel for her skill in costuming; Don Anias Fenne was sent to vigil and to play the prize in preparation for being admitted to the Order of Defense, and THLord Marek Viacheldrago was sent to vigil for elevation to the Chivalry.

Click to view slideshow.

Anais, Marek, and Laurencia are sent to vigil. Photos by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Baron Athos is sent to vigil for the Chivalry. Photo by Master Fridrikr Tomasson.

After court, the Imperator held a Curia where the Award of the Golden Escarbuncle was officially entered into Kingdom Law. This award is to be given to gentles who impress the Crown on a specific occasion, whether for martial, artistic, or service activities.

Later, before the start of the Heavy Weapons Tournament, Augustus Tindal summoned the Order of Chivalry to him and then called forth Baron Aquila d’Athos, sending him to vigil to contemplate elevation to that Order.

Heavy Weapons Tournament

The Heavy Weapons bear pit tournament, run by Sir Sextus Plinius Callidus, commenced with 86 fighters lining up to test themselves against other combatants. Points were given for wins only, and any fighter who held a list for 5 rounds without being defeated was required to leave the list and join the line to return. The tournament ran for two hours, with the wait time in line averaging 2 minutes. Once again, Duke Maynard von dem Steine dominated the field, emerging from the tournament with 127 points. The next closest competitor, Sir Evander MacLachlan of the Kingdom of Ealdormere, accumulated 54 points. Duke Sven Gunarrsson was third. Duke Maynard has won the Ice Dragon Bear pit at least 8 times over the years.

Duke Maynard vs. Sir Dephinus. Photo by Michael Davis.

Rapier Tournaments

The Rapier list, run by Don Berhend von Elmendorf, held two tournaments. The first was a Pool Round Robin, where the fencers were divided into four lists of 10-11 fighters who fought round robin, and then the top two fencers in each list went on to a double-elimination final. The victor was Don Lodovic of Gray’s End, with Mistress Eyrny Ormarsdottir of the Kingdom of Ealdormere coming in second.

Photo by Michael Davis.

The second rapier tournament was a Bear Pit in which fencers were limited to a dagger and parry object. It was won by Master Will Parris with a total of 92 points. Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc and Doña Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen were tied for second with 65 points each.

Master Will vs. Lord Jan ten Walde. Photo by Michael Davis.

The fencers also voted for who had made the “prettiest” kill. Don Po Silvertop nominated Duchess Dorinda Courtenay for slaying him in a particularly artistic manner, and the other fencers apparently agreed as she was named the winner of that honor.

Youth Combat and Youth Rapier

The Youth Combat list, run by Baron Edward Harbinger with MIT Baroness Anastasie Lamour, was busy with about 10 youth fighters. Many were new to youth combat so there was no tournament, but first-time fighters armored up with loaner gear and got to spar with more experienced youth fighters. All had fun and learned a lot.

Youth fighters marshaled by Baroness Anastasie. Photo by Michael Davis.

There was also youth rapier combat, with one young gentle, Simon Fjarfell, authorizing as a Division 1 youth fencer and then winning the three-person youth rapier tournament.

Wentliana authorizing as a youth fencer against Lady Gytha. Photo by Michael Davis.

Arts and Sciences Pentathlon

The Arts and Sciences Pentathlon, run by Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin and Mistress Juliana Delamere with assistance from Mistress Filipia Cupbreaker, attracted a goodly number entries ranging from ceramics to fiber arts, scribal entries and woodworking, as well as soap-making and music. Many of the entries can be viewed in the slide show below.

Click to view slideshow.

Judging the culinary entries. Photo by Tiercelin

Although entries have always been divided into levels (from novice to Laurel), this year the levels were only judged against each other since there were places at each individual category level as well as for the Pent itself (in past years all entries had been judged together with scores only counting for the Pentathlon at the different levels, and the judges unaware of whether they were judging a beginner or more advanced artisan). The levels were novice (Sycamore or no arts award), artisan (Fleur or other grant level award) and Laurel. There was also a category for youth entries. To create more time for judges to give in-depth comments, the Pent eliminated the complicated scoring sheets and went back to the original ribbon system of awarding first, second and third places.

There were over 115 individual entries, more than double that of the previous year.

The Pent winners were:

  • Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen for the Laurel category

Mistress Fredeburg, Laurel winner. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

  • Mistress Irene von Schmetterling for the Artisan category

Mistress Irene, Artisan winner. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

  • Lady Elska Fjarfall for the Novice category.

Lady Elska, Novice winner. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

  • Simon Fjarfall for the Youth category, who impressed everyone with a wicker pack basket that he made, including woven straps.

Simon, Youth winner. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

Various nobles also chose their favorites to single out for recognition:

  • King’s Choice: Kalishka
  • Prince’s Choice: Lord Ruslan Igotavich Voronov
  • Princess’ Choice: Lady Arianna dal Vallone
  • Baron and Baroness’ Choice: Simon Fjarfall
  • A&S Officers’ Choice: THLady Rachel Dalicieux

In addition, the Imperator gave Golden Escarbuncles to Lady Edana the Red and Lord Ruslan Igotavich Voronov in recognition of the outstanding quality of their entries.

A full list of Pent category winners, with photos of all the first prize category entries, will be forthcoming this week.

Princess Ariella’s Favor Design Competition

Also in the Pentathlon room was Princess Ariella’s contest to choose the favor design for her reign. The design submitted by Lady Maggie Rue of the Shire of Hunter’s Home was chosen by both Her Highness and the populace as the favorite. Information on how to assist in making favors for Her Highness is available here.

Other Activities

While the rest of the site buzzed with activity, dancers made use of the court hall for dancing, and Lady Cordelia Colton ran children’s activities.

Of course no Ice Dragon is complete without the salons and merchants. Many of the usual merchants were there, including Mistress Gabrielle d’Auvergne with her fiber arts, Master John Michael Thorpe with an assortment of weapons and related goods, and other vendors selling items like jewelry and feast gear. Many of the salons offered displays and food themed to their group, including Clan Yama Kaminari’s Japanese salon. As always, the Scribes of Æthelmearc had a table where gentles could pick up completed backlog scrolls.

The Tavern was ably run by Lord Ursus Epicurius, and featured both meat- and vegetarian-based dishes.

As if all this activity was not enough, there were also numerous meetings, including one for autocrats and exchequers to explain the new terminology around what was previously referred to as the non-member surcharge, the first meeting of the new Æthelmearc Cooks’ Guild being formed by Lady Arianna dal Vallone of the Shire of Sylvan Glen, and meetings of various Orders and Marshals’ groups.

Afternoon Court

Afternoon court was long but many gentles stayed to the end to see their friends and family recognized for their accomplishments and skills. In addition to the tournament and pentathlon prizes listed above, numerous awards were bestowed on worthy gentles, notably a Fleur on Lady Katerina das Vögelein in absentia, Gage on Lord Garreth Whytbull, a Millrind on Baron Magnus de Lyons, and a Scarlet Guard on Baron Edward Harbinger.

Court ended with the elevation of the four new peers.

Baron Aquila d’Athos was first, with Barak Sir Carthalo (formerly of the Rhydderich Hael and now of Atlantia), speaking on behalf of his former squire for the Chivalry; Duke Timothy of  Arindale as a Royal Peer, Master Fergus for the Order of Defense, Mistress Alison of the Many Isles on behalf of the Order of the Laurel, and Countess Caryl Olesdottir for the Pelican. Sir Michael of Northwood and Duke Khalek Shurrag Od buckled the spurs of a knight on his feet, and his lady, Baroness Bronwyn nic Gregor, placed the white belt of a Knight around his waist. The Imperator delivered the traditional buffet and then hugged Sir Aquila in congratulations.

Sir Aquila d’Athos is dubbed a knight. Photo by Master Fridrikr.

Next, Don Anais Fenne processed in, preceded by the cutest sword-bearer in the Kingdom, his three-year-old son Elijah. For Don Anais, Count Isenwulf Thorolfeson spoke on behalf of the Royal Peers, Sir Tristen Sexwulf for the Chivalry, Master Quinn Kerr for the Laurels, Mistress Aleea Baga for the Pelicans, and Master Iago Benitez for the Order of Defense. Augustus Tindal placed the white livery collar around Don Anias’ neck and proclaimed him a Master of Defense.

Then the Silver Buccle Herald called forth Baroness Laurencia of Carlisle to be elevated to the Order of the Laurel. Master Llewelyn ap Goddodin of the East Kingdom spoke on behalf of the Chivalry, Duchess Dorinda Courtenay spoke on behalf of the Masters of Defense, Duchess Liadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh spoke as a Pelican, and Mistress Cori Ghora spoke on behalf of the Laurels. Her Excellency was invested with an ornate hood made by Mistress Elisabeth Johanna von Flossenburg and received a Laurel wreath crafted by Mistress Geirny Thorgrimsdottir. His Majesty pinned a Laurel brooch to her hood and named her Mistress Laurencia.

Baroness Laurencia is made a Laurel. Photo by Arianna.

Last came the elevation of THL Marek Viacheldrago. Having already surrendered his squire’s belt to his liege, Sir Tristen, at morning court, he pronounced himself ready. Dukes Maynard von dem Steine and Khalek Shurrag Od spoke as Royal Peers, Mistress Dorinda once again as a Master of Defense, Duchess Liadain once more represented the Pelicans, Mistress Chrestienne de Waterden spoke on behalf of the Laurels, and Sir Alric of the Mists spoke emotionally on behalf of the Chivalry. Sir Tristen bestowed upon His Lordship the Knight’s Chain of the West, which he proclaimed had been worn by 40 Knights, who had among them sat a throne 80 times. Sir Tristen and Sir Alric affixed the spurs to his boots, and his lady, Sybilla Julianna Detwyller, tied the white belt around his waist. Augustus Tindal delivered the buffet, and the populace cheered the new Knight, Sir Marek.

Sir Marek receives his spurs from Sir Alric and Sir Tristen. Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

The Augusta being absent, it fell to the Imperator to choose His inspiration of the day. He called forth THLady Zofia Kowalewska and thanked her and the scribes of Æthelmearc for their work completing backlog scrolls, many of which had been on display in the scribal booth.

THLady Zofia is recognized as the Augustus’s inspiration. Photo by Arianna.

With that, court was closed and another Festival of the Ice Dragon came to an end. Alas, the Ice Dragon itself was not through, and many gentles had long slogs home that night through a raging snowstorm. We can only hope that the Ice Dragon retreats soon to leave us to our long-awaited spring!



Categories: SCA news sites

Crown Tourney Letters of Intent – Deadline Extended

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-11 15:53
Due to the Crown Tourney Letters of Intent website inadvertently closing early, it has been reactivated and will remain active until approximately 6:00 PM EDT on Tuesday April 12th.


The address is

Mercedes Vera de Calafia East Kingdom Senechal
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, Letter of Intent

Artisan Profile: Angellino the Bookmaker

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2016-04-10 19:18

The next in our series of Æthelmearc Artisan Profiles, from Meesteres Odriana vander Brugghe: Lord Angellino the Bookmaker.

For this month’s Artisan Profile, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lord Angellino the Bookmaker. During his years in the SCA, Angellino has done a little bit of everything: Fighting, marshaling, archery, thrown weapons, shopping, dancing (at least once), bardic arts, and the scribal arts. Despite his diverse experiences, his focus is on the scribal arts and running the Inter-Kingdom Scribal Guild (INKS Guild) with Lady Ylaire Sainte Claire and THL Ursula of Rouen.

What is your background? Specifically, did you attend school to learn your art or did you come to your art through the SCA or some combination of the two?

I mostly scribbled with pen and pencil back in high school in favor of actually applying myself. (don’t just stay in school kids but pay attention, it’s worth it). I had all but left art that behind in my adult life prior to joining the SCA. I had gone to a couple of scriptorium events in the Shire of Sylvan Glen when Marija Kotok mentioned that AE was always looking for new blank templates and I thought “I can do that”. I owe being a scribe entirely to her because she was the person who set me on the path. My first tentative steps were quaint, looking back. Each time I’d finish a template, like it or not, I’d paint it anyway (just to prove it could be turned into a scroll) then think “I can do better than that.”  The process still holds to this day.

Can you tell me a little bit about the INKS Guild?

This is a group that I had the idea of creating and my wife, Lady Ylaire, supported me in creating. THL Ursula is the administrator for the guild and is an essential part in its success. It’s a collective of scribes from 3+ Kingdoms that do scroll blanks for whatever Kingdom needs them. We use a facebook group to coordinate with each other.

Currently we’re finishing up a package for Atlantia but instead of blanks we’re doing 10 backlogs for Atlantian kids.

What inspires you?

All kinds of stuff. I comb through art both modern and historic. It’s surprising sometimes what I pick up and think “I can use that.”  Sometimes it’s just the way they turned a small line, added a brush stroke, two colors sitting next to each other or even how they went from nose curvature to eyebrow on a face. It’s all about breaking down what I’m looking at, how they layered the paint, spatial relations, shading or not, blending, any and all combinations of everything on the canvas. Taking it as a whole then drilling down and examining the pieces.

What work do you most enjoy doing?

All of it. Creating something from nothing scratches a very special itch for me that nothing else can compare. I know we’re a historical re-creation based society but I’m in it for the art part WAY more than I’m in it for the historical part.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

For the most part, I don’t get a lot of feedback/responses to my work and I kind of like it that way. I like my art to speak for itself and I’m not doing this for recognition. All I ever want to hear about a scroll going out is if the recipient liked it and I can usually get that from a friend who was in court when it was given out.

I will say though, as part of the INKS guild, I had a scroll end up being awarded to a lady in The East Kingdom (Connecticut). I’d never had a scroll go so far before and she sought me out (with no real connection between us) through the web to ask if I would blazon her AoA and paint her device on it. She’d been in the SCA for quite some time and had never gotten her AoA [scroll]. She was excited and pleased with my work and wanted me to complete the scroll so she sent it back to me to put her device on it. It was like having a pen pal in another country! (which I guess it was when you think about it)

What research do you do?

I’m more obsessed with the art part than the historical part. I comb over picture after picture looking for new and unusual things to make something different for the recipient. Rarely a day goes by that I don’t squirrel something away in a folder on my computer with a thought of “I think I can take that style and make something new out of it”.

 How have your work practices changed over time?

I’m a structured planner sort of person. So, when I first started, I sat down and logically thought out how best to take something digital and move it to a finished state on paper. My general process has changed little since I’ve started; mostly what I change is style, pushing myself to draw stuff I’m not good at drawing (people and animals!) and try to put something new into every piece I do.

Who inspires you (either inside or outside of the SCA)?

Everything and everyone. I’m always looking through what other people are doing (both in and out of the SCA scribal circles). Deconstructing, trying to see what someone did to create an end piece. Everyone comes at scribal differently, everyone has something to bring to the table.

What is your dream project?

My next project, definitely. Have I shown you pictures? I’ve got this crazy idea and I’ll get it done in two weeks!!! Honestly, I drive everyone around me nuts talking about “my next big thing” that will never live up to the expectations in my head but darnit, in my head at least, it’s gonna be the freakin’ Mona Lisa! Only to mope at every errant brush stroke or every paint mix that didn’t dry to the color I wanted or didn’t have the right shading but that’s ok cause have I told you about my next project? It’s going to be 3-D and have unicorns and one hundred and seventy different colors.

If you would like to see Lord Angellino’s work, please visit his Deviant Art page.

If you would like to participate with the INKS Guild or learn more about it, please visit their Facebook page.

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Ice Dragon

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-04-08 21:51

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain II, basileos kai basilissa Æthelmearc: the Business of The Emperor’s Court at The Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon, 2 April Anno Societatis L, in the Barony of Rhydderich Hael, accompanied by Their Highnesses Byron and Ariella, Prince and Princess of Æthelmearc; Their Highnesses Nigel and Adrielle, Prince and Princess of Ealdormere; and Their Excellencies Magnus and Miriel, Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, with the assistance of Baroness Miriel du Lac; Baroness Helena Mützhasenin, Fleur d’Æthelmearc Herald; Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful; THL Gytha Oggesdottir; and THL Sophie Davenport, Seedling Pursuivant.

In the morning:

The Imperator called for Baroness Laurencia of Carlisle, who had been served at Rhydderich Hael Investiture with a Writ of Summons to contemplate elevation to the Imperial Council of the Laurel. Confirming that it was her intent to sit vigil, the Imperator convened the said Council and directed them to conduct Her Excellency to the place that had been prepared for her.

Baroness Laurencia is sent to vigil for the Laurel.

The Imperator then summoned THL Marek Viacheldrago, who had been served at Gulf Wars with a Writ of Summons to contemplate elevation to the Imperial Council of Chivalry. Confirming that he too was prepared to sit vigil that day, he returned his belt of servitude to his Knight, Sir Tristan Sexwulf, who released Marek from his oath of fealty. The Imperator then convened the said Council and directed them to conduct His Lordship to the place that had been prepared for him.

THLord Marek is sent to vigil for the Chivalry. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

The Imperator next called for Don Annanias Fenne, who had also been served with a Writ of Summons at Gulf Wars, his to contemplate elevation to the Imperial Council of Defense. Confirming as well that he was prepared to hold the field in contemplation, the Imperator convened the Council and directed them to conduct His Lordship to the field that was prepared for him.

Don Anias is sent to vigil for the Order of Defense. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

The Imperator announced that following Morning Court, the Royal Curia would be convened to approve the addition of the Award of the Golden Ecarbuncle to Kingdom Law, and following Curia, Imperial business that had not been completed would be conducted.

At Curia:

The Kingdom Officers approved the addition of the Award of the Golden Escarbuncle into Kingdom Law.

Following Curia:

Lady Elsa Taliard was inducted into the Order of the Cornelian in absentia.

Ayleth of Stormsport was Awarded Arms in absentia.

Edwynne of Casa Valdez, called Lairdbreaker, was Awarded Arms in absentia.

Elva the Evil was Awarded Arms in absentia.

Lady Tomassa Isolana was inducted into the Order of the Golden Alce in absentia.

Master Ian Muir was inducted into the Order of the Golden Stirrup in absentia.

Count Sir Andreas Morgan was inducted into the Order of the Keystone in absentia.

Lady Laurentia of Caledonia was inducted into the Order of the Keystone in absentia.

Lady Maggie Rue was inducted into the Order of the Keystone.

Lord TW of Livonia was inducted into the Order of the Sycamore in absentia.

Before the heavy weapons tournament:

The Imperator had words for His Excellency, Baron Aquila d’Athos, whose skill on the field was matched by his service to the heavy weapons community and to the Kingdom at large. Thus is was decided that, instead of marshalling the day’s tournaments, His Excellency should instead sit vigil in contemplation of elevation to the Imperial Council of Chivalry. The Council was convened, and His Excellency was escorted from the field to a place that had been prepared for him.

Baron Aquila d’Athos is sent to vigil for the Chivalry. Photo by Master Fridrikr Tomasson.

In the evening:

The children of the Kingdom were assembled, and excused from the business of Court that they might be better entertained.

The Imperator granted leave to Their Excellencies to conduct the business of their Baronial Court.

During Baronial Court, the Imperator called for THL Ruslan Igorovich Voronov and Lady Edana the Red, and awarded them the Golden Escarbuncle for being his two finalists for King’s Choice in the Arts and Sciences Pentathlon.

Her Highness Ariella announced that of the many designs that had been submitted for her Queen’s Favor competition, she had chosen Lady Maggie Rue‘s design, and decreed that 700 of them should be made immediately. Any interested in assisting in this venture should contact Her Highness.

Cassandra MacTire of Norwich was Awarded Arms for her skill in leatherworking and her assistance in preparing for events, regardless of whether or not she would be attending. Scroll by Lady Vivienne of Yardley.

Siobhan Readnait was Awarded Arms for her service in preparing side boards, sitting troll, and event cleanup, as well as her prowess on the archery field. Scroll by THL Eleanore Godwin.

Siobhan Readnit is awarded Arms. Photo by Master Augusto.

Lord Wolfgar Ronaldson was inducted into the Order of the Golden Alce in absentia.

Lady Brigette de Sainte Mere-Eglise was elevated to the Order of the Keystone for her many years of service as Baronial officer, dance mistress, marshal, and mistress of the lists. Scroll illuminated by Baroness Juliana Rosalia Dolce di Siena and calligraphed by Tiarna Ard Padraig Ó Branduibh.

Mistress Liadin ní Chléirigh na Coille was created a Companion of the Order of Keystone for service to the Barony and to the scribal community. Scroll by Lady Vivienne of Yardley.

Mistress Liadin receives a Keystone. Photo by Master Augusto Giuseppe da San Donato.

Lady Edith of Winterton was inducted into the Order of the Sycamore in absentia for her devotion to the research of fiber arts, including the raising of sheep and the spinning and dyeing of thread. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.

Lady Katerina das Vögelein was Granted Arms and inducted into the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc in absentia for her skill in the art of tailoring. Scroll illuminated by THL Isabel Fleuretan and calligraphed by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai.

Lord Garreth Whytebull was Granted Arms and elevated to the Order of the Gage for his skill in sword and shield combat, as well as his extensive travel to both learn and teach others. Scroll by Lady Felice de Thornton and Lady Juliana Stafford.

Lord Garreth is inducted into the Order of the Gage. Photo by Master Augusto.

Baron Magnus de Lyons was named to the Order of the Millrind for his extensive service to his Barony. Scroll by Lady Mary Elizabeth Clason.

Baron Magnus receives a Millring. Photo by Master Augusto.

Baron Edward Harbinger was created a Companion of the Order of the Scarlet Guard for his many years of teaching and leadership in the archery community. Scroll by THL Eleanore Godwin.

Baron Edward is inducted into the Order of the Scarlet Guard. Photo by Baroness Anastasie Lamour.

Baron Aquila d’Athos was called before the Imperator to answer the question that had been set before him earlier that day. Confirming that he had indeed sat vigil and received counsel, he was now ready to take his place among the Council of Chivalry. Duke Sir Timothy of Arindale came forth to thank the Imperator for righting a great wrong that His Grace had committed when he sat the throne and had not elevated Aquila to the Chivalry. Master Benedict Fergus of the Council of Defense recalled Aquila’s strong leadership when he was Baron of Thescorre and testified that he would be a strong defender of the Kingdom. Mistress Alison of the Many Isles of the Council of the Laurel sung the praises of Aquila’s devotion to his arts of metalworking and pouch making. Countess Caryl Olesdatter of the Council of the Pelican called Aquila a paragon of chivalry and service. Sir Barak Carthalo of the Knights of Atlantia, who had once called Aquila squire, praised his passion, heart, and prowess, and was proud to call Aquila “brother.” So moved by this testimony, the Imperator called for the regalia of a Knight: spurs for his heels, a belt for his waist, the Ancestral Chain of the Chivalry of Æthelmearc, and a personal chain to wear once the Ancestral Chain had been passed. The Imperator then used the Sword of State to dub Aquila a Knight and Peer of the Realm and Grant him Arms by Letters Patent. The Imperator then received Sir Aquila’s Oath of Fealty. Scroll by Mistress Gillian Llewellyn of Ravenspur.

Sir Athos is dubbed a knight. Photo by Master Fridrikr.

Don Annanias Fenne was summoned to answer the question that had been set before him. Confirming that he had held the field in the tradition of the Council of Defense of Æthelmearc, he was now ready to take his place among that Council. Count Sir Isenwulf Thorolfssone called him a positive example who balances ferocity on the field with the courtesy of an enjoyable fight. Sir Tristan Sexwulf testified that Annanias always strives for excellence and inspires those around him. Master Quinn Kerr of the Council of the Laurel praised his devotion to his arts, which makes his love for his art, his Kingdom and the Society clear to all those who see him. Mistress Baga Aleea of the Council of the Pelican named Annanias as someone who will help anyone who needs it and who will do so with enthusiasm that is infectious. Master Iago Benitez of the Council of Defense recalled good times with Annanias both on the fencing field and in the kitchen, and named him a master of the blade in all its forms and an inspiration. So moved by this testimony, the Imperator called for the Ancestral Livery Collar of the Defenders of Æthelmearc, placed it around Annanias’s neck and named him a Peer of the Realm and a Councillor of Defense, and Granted him Arms by Letters Patent. He then received Master Annanias’s Oath of Fealty. Scroll wording by Master Quinn Kerr.

Don Anias is elevated to the Order of Defense. Photo by Master Fridrikr.

Baroness Laurencia of Carlisle was recalled before the Imperator to answer the question that had been set before her, and she confirmed that she had received such counsel as to now be prepared to take her place among the Imperial Council of the Laurel. Duke Maynard von dem Steine recalled the skill and passion with which she teaches her art regardless of the distance she must travel to do so. Master Llewellyn ap Gododdin of the Eastern Council of Chivalry, for whom Laurencia had made clothes for his own vigil, spoke of her kindness and generosity. Duchess Dorinda Courtenay of the Council of Defense, likened the precision of Laurencia’s needlework to the skill one may master with a fencing blade, and like that skill, each takes time and devotion. Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh of the Council of the Pelican recalled how, when some new fighters had asked Laurencia to make fighting garb for them, she instead taught them how to create it for themselves, thus better serving them for their careers in the SCA. Mistress Cori Ghora of the Council of the Laurel stated that the Council needed this lady, for she brings new research to the Kingdom. So moved by this testimony, the Imperator placed upon Laurencia’s shoulders a hood, pin, and wreath signifying her as a Councillor of the Laurel, Granted her Arms by Letters Patent and named Her Excellency a Companion of that Council and Peer of the Realm. Finally, Mistress Laurencia was presented with the traditional Fruitcake of the Council of the Laurel of Æthelmearc. Scroll by Duchess Anna Blackleaf, Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, and Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh.

Baroness Laurencia is made a Laurel. Photo by Arianna.

THL Marek Viacheldrago was brought before the Imperator, and stated that he had spent the day preparing to accept elevation to the Council of Chivalry. Duke Maynard von dem Steine called Marek a quiet man who chooses his words wisely, and all who know him are better for it. Duke Khalek Shuraag Od called it the duty of Royal Peers to seek out virtues and nobility in all the populace, and having witnessed Marek’s accomplishments, was convinced that his elevation was right and just. Duchess Dorinda Courtenay of the Council of Defense refrained from regaling the Imperator with stories of Marek’s greater-than-normal courtesy, because “greater than normal” courtesy is normal for Marek. Mistress Chrestienne de Waterden of the Council of the Laurel witnessed his support of the arts, gathering all those who wish to learn the arts of metalwork and wireweaving. Duchess Líadain ní Dheirdre Chaomhánaigh of the Council of the Pelican called Marek an inspiration who embodies service. Sir Alric of the Mists testified that, while the Chivalry may foster prowess above all the other Knightly virtues, it was not necessarily the most important of them, and that Marek excels at all of them. So moved by this testimony, the Imperator called for spurs and a belt, then placed the Ancestral Chain of the Chivalry of Æthelmearc around his neck, followed by a traditional chain from his household, and an ancestral chain worn by more than 40 Knights across the SCA who have ruled as Royalty more than 80 times. So bedecked, the Imperator took the Sword of State and dubbed him a Knight and Peer of the Realm, and on that sword Sir Marek swore his Oath of Fealty. Scroll forthcoming.

Sir Marek is dubbed a Knight. Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

In the tradition of the Imperata, THL Zofia Kowalewska was named Inspiration to the Emperor for her diligence in running the backlog display table.

Lady Zofia is recognized as the Augustus’s inspiration. Photo by Arianna.

There being no further business, the Emperor’s Court was closed.

Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Mudthaw Court Report

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-04-07 21:25

The following is the court report from Mudthaw held by Their Majesties Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri on April 2, AS L.  Court heralds were Master Malcolm Bowman, Mistress Kayleigh MacWhyte, Master Ryan MacWhyte, and Baron Yehuda ben Moshe.

Filed under: Court

Share the Knowledge! How to Turn Your A&S Project Into a Class

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2016-04-07 11:38

From Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor of the Æthelmearc Æcademy:

Were you one of the many artisans who devoted uncounted hours to researching, crafting, and documenting your Ice Dragon entry?

Photo by Lady Aine ny Allane.

So much time and effort went into your piece … Wouldn’t it be nice to have all that work transcend a single event?

Why not have your Pent entry do double duty by using what you’ve created as the basis for a class?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Historical Background Class

The research you did for your entry provides you with the historical background and practices needed to understand who, when, where, why, and how someone in the Middle Ages would have crafted your item.  This information would also be of interest to students in a class.  In a Historical Background class based on your research, you might include information about:
  • the item’s time period, culture, or geographical area
  • the artifact, illustration or painting, historical document, or website that inspired your work
  • how your item would have been produced in the Middle Ages or Renaissance
  • additional books, websites, and other sources you used for researching your project

Sharing this information will speed your students on their way toward creating their own versions.

How-I-Did-It Class Chances are, as you created your item, you had to make decisions along the way.  A class in which you describe in detail the decisions you made — about tools, materials, and procedures — would be of immense help to someone who’s always wanted to try doing what you’ve accomplished.  In a How-I-Did-It class based on your entry, you might include information about:
  • what tools and materials you used to make your item, why you chose them, and where you obtained them (If you made the tools you used, include how you did that as well!)
  • what techniques you used and why you used them
  • any particular steps you would change if you were to do this project again

Especially helpful — in addition to your finished project, of course — would be any practice pieces or missteps.  Sharing problems to avoid or solutions that worked for you would give your students confidence that they, too, can be successful.

Make-and-Take Class

With the knowledge and skills gained by creating your entry, you can help others make their own great thing.  By providing tried-and-tested materials and demonstrating recommended techniques, you can help your students avoid time-consuming and costly mistakes.  In a Make-and-Take class based on your entry, you might provide:
  • (for a reasonable fee) supplies and materials needed to make the item
  • loaner tools needed to make the item
  • step-by-step instructions needed to make the item

If you took progress photos of your entry as you worked on it, these would provide you with a step-by-step format to follow in your class.  Sharing the photos with the class would help visual learners — those who learn best by seeing — understand and remember what you’ve said.  They would also serve as a reminder for students who continue working after the class is over.

You’ve already done so much work to create your piece … in fact, much of the work of putting together a class is already done!

If you have questions about how to turn your Ice Dragon entry into a class, please contact me at

Categories: SCA news sites

Final Reminder: Archery Muster this Sunday

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-04-06 20:42

The Region 2 Archery Muster is being held this Sunday, April 10th, at the Castle of Their Highnesses, 755 Stonegate Drive, Wexford PA 15090.

There will be Archery, Thrown Weapons, Youth Fighting, and Arts & Sciences. The muster begins at 10:00 am and will continue until 5:00 pm.

The archery and thrown weapons ranges open at 10:00 am and archery from the towers, led by THLord Deryk Archer, begins at 1:00 pm.

The Barony’s loaner archery gear will be available. Please bring something for a pot luck lunch.

Their Highnesses have asked that you dress in garb for the day.

In service to the Barony-Marche and the Kingdom,

Mestari Urho Waltterinen
crossbow1953 (at) earthlink (dot) net

Photo by Prince Byron.

Categories: SCA news sites

Call for Resumés for Kingdom Webminister

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-04-06 09:32

Greetings to the kingdom from THL Phelippe “Pippi” Ulfsdotter, Kingdom Webminister.

I am sadly reaching the end of my term as Kingdom Webminister and I would like to call for resumés.

If you are interested in filling this position, please send me your resumé and a few words about yourself and why you want this job.

Please send them by April 30th to with the subject “Webminister Position.”

THL Phelippe “Pippi” Ulfsdotter

Categories: SCA news sites

Macclesfield Psalter Workshop – Get Your Scribal On!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2016-04-05 22:57

An all day scribal workshop focusing on the Macclesfield Psalter will be held in BMDL at The Castle (755 Stonegate Dr, Wexford PA 15090) on Sunday, April 24, from 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Please heed the parking marshal, as the site is on a private street. Questions regarding the Castle or directions to the Castle may be addressed by TRHs Byron or Ariella- they may be reached by telephone (724) 933-4661.

Have you tried your hand at painting a Psalter style scroll? No? Well this is your chance to receive all the instruction and guidance needed to complete a Psalter style scroll. Scribes will be learning new techniques on exercise cards and then immediately applying that new knowledge directly onto the scroll blank.

Overview/Elements of the Psalter-Early period painting/shading techniques,Whitework, Diapering, Gilding and Caligraphy.

Materials fee is $10.00 and will include: Exercise cards for each of the above areas of instruction and hand outs. A hand drawn scroll blank with matching color photocopy of that folio from the book. Palette with enough paint to complete exercise cards AND scroll blank. Gilding supplies to complete scroll (done in class time). Correct caligraphy nib for the manuscript.

Class limit is 20 scribes with 4 wait list spots held per workshop; a total of 6 workshops are being planned for 2016.

~Wait listers~ will be given first choice for the next available workshop or future workshop of their choice and will be placed at the top of that workshop roster. Further, the registration for the next available workshop will open the day _after_ the current workshop is held.

No auditors will be accepted for the 6-8 hour workshop(s) because we want to make it possible for every scribe to participate fully in one of the six 2016 all day workshops and receive the full measure of attention and instruction that is only possible with the scribe as a full student.

Scribes are asked to bring their own scribal boxes w/ brushes, caligraphy pen/nib holder and a scroll case and any other creature comforts they require.

The focus is on scribal arts, there will be no other activities scheduled for the day, garb is optional.

A snack/potluck style table will be set up for participants to bring stuff to share. After the workshop those interested are invited to go out for a local Chinese buffet for dinner.

2016 workshops to include: Macclesfield Psalter(BMDL), A beginner French Illumination workshop (western PA), Visconti Hours (western NY), Gladzor Gospels (Pennsic), Grand Hours of Anne of Brittany (eastern NY) and a workshop in WV – pending site confirmation.

In an effort to make sure we have enough supplies on hand we ask that you send Antoinette an email to let her know that you plan to attend.

Registrations and questions may be sent to 

Mistress Antoinette de la Croix

Categories: SCA news sites

East Kingdom Server Planned Outage Notice

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2016-04-05 19:08

“The East Kingdom Server will undergo a planned upgrade during the late evening of Wednesday, 4/6/2016.

This is the third in a series of planned updates this year. (The second update did not require an interruption of services, and was performed last Thursday.)

We will be migrating from our current level of service “Linode 8GB” to the next tier of service “Linode 16GB” with the same Hosting service, which will appear to be seamless to the populace. This will be expanding our available resources and offer a better user experience.

Time Frame 9:00pm-12:30am Eastern Time

This is expected to run for 144 minutes. (I am giving it extra time in case anything happens and a recover is required.)

During this time frame all East Kingdom services will be unavailable to the populace.  Tools that backbone or pull from the server will also be affected (IE: Email, Help Desk, List Server, etc).”

For more information on the EK Server upgrade, please see the EK Webminister’s notice.

Filed under: Announcements, Official Notices

Princess Ariella Needs Your Help!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-04 23:06

Unto the Good Gentles of Æthelmearc does Ariella, Princess, send Warm Greetings!

The favor contest at Ice Dragon was a great success! We had six beautiful entries; thank you so much to the gentles who took the time to design and submit them. The populace’s choice, which was also my favorite for its simplicity and elegance, is shown here. It was designed by Lady Maggie Rue of the Shire of Hunter’s Home.

For the next step, we need your help!

I would love to have enough favors to give to everyone who requests one for both SCA 50 Year and Pennsic, most especially for those engaged in martial activities or serving as Kingdom Champions. That means hundreds of favors!

If you are willing to assist in the effort to provide Queen’s favors for the populace of Æthelmearc, please contact Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope

Favors can be done in any of the following media: hand or machine embroidery, silkscreen, or stencil on fabric, as well as tooled into leather or as pewter castings. If you have other ideas for favors, please let Mistress Arianna know. While we would like the design to remain essentially the same for all favors, you can feel free to embellish it by filling in the A or adding beads.

Mistress Arianna will be making kits available for those who wish to hand embroider or stencil favors. They will include the design and instructions for making it, as well as a piece of red fabric in the appropriate dimensions. You can get a kit from her at Coronation, the Siege of Harlech, and Æthelmearc War Practice.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Ariella, Princess

Categories: SCA news sites

Æthelmearc: A Great Place to Teach and Learn! (April)

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-04 16:00

Mistress Alicia Langland has compiled this list of opportunities to teach and learn arts and sciences across our Kingdom.

Their Highnesses have aptly named April the A&S month in Æthelmearc!

The Ice Dragon’s Passing signals the beginning of a month of opportunities to teach and learn.  Enjoy!

April 9:  Spring 2016 Æthelmearc Coronation, Shire of Gryffyns Keep

Features an A&S display and an Embroiderer’s Solar, a designated space for embroiderers and needleworkers to work on their latest project, share resources and books, and have fun together!

April 16:  Siege of Harlech IV, Barony-Marche of Debatable Lands

A brewing-only competition, organized by Master Tofi Kerthjalfadsson, to keep besieged spirits cheerful.

April 23:  AEthelmearc A&S Faire, Shire of Hartstone

An exhibition to display the talents of artisans who have a Sycamore or no kingdom A&S award.  Exhibits will be evaluated by teams of 3-4 evaluators, who will discuss the exhibit with the entrant after viewing the documentation and the exhibit.

April 24:  Scribal Workshop, Barony-Marche of Debatable Lands

Limited to just 20 participants, this all-day workshop will focus on the Macclesfield Psalter, a 14th century English manuscript.  After an overview of the Psalter and its elements, participants will learn early period painting/shading techniques, whitework, diapering, gilding and calligraphy.  Registrations and questions may be sent to

April 24:  Regional Scribal Playtime, Shire of Hartstone

BMDL too far to travel on a Sunday?  Join Region 4 scribes for a hands-on gilding workshop hosted by Mistress Sthurrim Caithnes and Mistress Tiercelin.

April 28 – May 1:  Blackstone Raid XXV, Barony of Blackstone Mountain

Classes, an A&S Display, and a Scribal Playtime will offer plenty of opportunities to teach and learn.  To offer to teach, use the on-line form here or contact the event’s Arts and Sciences Coordinator, Lady Kathryn McLuing, at

April 30:  Pen vs. Sword IV, Shire of Angels Keep

This event features two distinct tracks: one for the scribal arts, and another for the science of the sword.  To offer to teach a class, contact Felice de Thornton, E. Harrison, at

Categories: SCA news sites

Event Report: The Donnan Party

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-04-04 10:02

The Shire of Ballachlagan’s Donnan Party event on March 26 had its usual surfeit of heavy weapons and rapier, along with archery and thrown weapons.

Master Donnan MacDubhsithe, photo by Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Tseepori Levi.

The event began as a way to recognize the birthday of Master Donnan MacDubhsidhe by giving him a venue to receive the traditional fencer’s “birthday smacks.” It has evolved to include a heavy weapons muster for fighter to train for Pennsic.

The day started with the Court of the Imperatori, Tindal and Etain. Lady Julianna Ravenshaw explained the history of the event, and noted that while it was not Master Donnan’s actual birthday, it was the birthday of another gentle – Princess Ariella. Her Highness was presented with a cake, and the populace sang to her. The cake was later distributed with the lunch sideboard. The Imperatori then summoned Master Bastiano di Iacopo and asked if was ready to hold his vigil and play the prize for the Order of Defense, as he had received a Writ at Bog Twelfth Night in January. He answered in the affirmative and was escorted by the Masters of Defense to an area where he could meet with fencers and peers for that purpose. His elevation will take place at Coronation.

Court having ended, gentles scattered to don armor or pick up rapiers, bows, or axes and pursue the martial activities of their choice. The day being warm and sunny, the heavy and youth fighters went outside to the field behind the building, while the fencers took over the gyms to do Cut and Thrust training as well as hold classes on various rapier techniques. Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede, Kingdom Rapier Marshal, oversaw the authorization of about a dozen fencers in the new form of two-handed sword by various regional marshals. At noon the “birthday smacks” for Master Donnan began.

Click to view slideshow.

Slideshow photos by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Meanwhile, the heavy fighters outside took advantage of the large field to have pickup fights as well as a round robin novice tournament. The Marshal-in-Charge, Lord Oliver Lengthorn, commented, “The unbelt round robin was a ‘warmup tourney’ thing that occurs at the beginning of each of our Region’s musters. After the round robin was over, many of the Knights in attendance took the field to offer the unbelted fighters a few passes and one-on-one instruction. The rest of the day we worked on small unit maneuvers in field battles and also drilled some tactics for limited front engagements.
We spent the day making our AErmy stronger. Though there is no individual winner to report, the entire Kingdom wins!”

After the tourney and warmups, the heavy fighters held field battles under the watchful eye of Augustus Tindal and Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter.

Video by Arianna.

The youth fighters also enjoyed the fine weather, with the Kingdom Division 2 Champion, Drake, helping to train two brand new youth fighters. Master Liam macanTsaoire and Lord Rouland of Willowbrooke, both youth sparring marshals, took time out to fight against the youth as well.

Youth Combat photos by Arianna. Click to view as a slideshow.

Lunch was a buffet taco bar that also included fruits, veggies, and the Princess’ birthday cake.

In the afternoon the fencers held a Scholar’s Tourney for fencers who did not possess a White Scarf or Master of Defense. It had about 15 participants, and was won by Lord Markus Skalpr Grimsson.

Photo by Arianna.

As the day wound down, the Imperatori held their afternoon court, where they recognized many worthy gentles as noted in the Court Report. Most notably, THLady Fiora d’Artusio was inducted into the Order of the White Scarf for her skill on the rapier field. She was presented with a scarf from her husband, Master Will Parris, which he said was the first scarf he had received and which he had worn into many battles.

THLady Fiora d’Artusio is admitted to the Order of the White Scarf. Photo by Mistress Ts’vee’a.

Congratulations to the Shire of Ballachlagan on another successful Donnan Party!


Categories: SCA news sites


AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-04-01 16:48

Memes, get your memes here! This is what comes of Gazette editors with too much time on their hands…. and access to photos of Æthelmearc peers we love!














Thanks to the many photographers whose pictures we purloined.

This was a conspiracy between Arianna and Ursula with assistance from Hilda. Please don’t hurt us.

More seriously, if anyone does not wish their image used, please email us and we’ll be happy to remove it.

Happy April Fool’s Day!

Categories: SCA news sites

SCA anticipates upcoming "L-ebration" - Fri, 2016-04-01 13:33

Striving to be as period as possible, the SCA has renamed its upcoming anniversary event from "50 Year" to "L Year".

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

Hilarious Heraldic Hijinks

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-04-01 13:07

Every year the heralds of the East (and the Known World) do their best to come up with silly, hilarious, ridiculous and generally foolish – but completely documented – names and armory. We’re pleased to share this year’s efforts with the Gazette and the whole Kingdom.

The names of consulting heralds frequently have been changed to protect the guilty.

Hugs and kisses from the College of Heralds Imaginary, Eastern Branch

1: Bogus Viking – New Name & New Badge  

Per fess argent and sable, a human male affronty armored vert bearing a spear and magic helmet proper

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Sound (BOW-gus) most important.

Consulting Herald: Refr refr

Bogus is a male given name dated to 1222 in Wickenden’s “Russian Names Database”


Viking is the Lingua Anglica form of the Old Norse byname vikingr, found in Geirr Bassi’s The

Old Norse Name at p. 29, where it is marked as coming from the Landnámabók.

Russian and Old Norse can be combined as long as the elements are within 300 years of each other, per Appendix C. As the events of the Landnámabók span between 870 and the 11th century, the submitter should get the benefit of the doubt that the names are within the the necessary time period.


2: Bruce le Hulke – New Name & New Device

Or, a pair of breeches purpure  

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Consulting Heralds: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Bruce is a saint’s name. The Middle English Dictionary s.v. lūt(e) (n.(1) dates the following quote to 1445: “For þis holy daunce, mynstralcy ys goode: Now, Seynt Bruce! helpe with þy sounded lute.”

le Hulke is a surname probably meaning “huge, clumsy fellow” is found dated to 1323 in the

Middle English Dictionary s.v. hulk.


3: Calomaria de Mare – New Name

Submitter desires a feminine name.

Consulting Herald: Octa Pode

Calomaria is a female given name dated to 1003 in “A handful of early southern Italian feminine names” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael


de Mare is an Italian byname dated to 1228 found in “Masculine Names from Thirteenth Century Pisa” by Juliana de Luna (


4: Chilax Doode – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Consulting Herald: Gunðormr Ech Mir ein Herald Imaginary

Chilax is the name of a human character in the play The Mad Lover which was performed at some point prior to 1619. The play is reprinted in Miracle to Masque. Predecessors of Shakespeare. Minor Elizabethan Dramatists at pp. 333-364


Doode is a surname found in “Index of Names in the 1582 Subsidy Roll of London” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (


5: Crafft Beer – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Language (German) most important.

Culture (German) most important.

Consulting Herald: Iwan de Best

Crafft is a German male given name found in “German Names from Nürnberg, 1497” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (

Beer is a German surname found in the Family Search Historical Records: Hans Beer; Male; Marriage; 12 Oct 1579; Neuenbürg, Württemberg, Germany; Batch: M93230-1 (


6: Donn Dona – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Client requests authenticity for 15th century Gaelic.

Consulting herald: Badde Idea Beare

Donn is a Gaelic male given name found in Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada’s “Index of Names in Irish Annals” ( with a relevant Annals date of 1488.

Dona is a Gaelic descriptive byname meaning “[the] Unfortunate/Unlucky/Wretched,” found in Mari’s “Index” ( with an Annals date of 1468.


7: Egon Spengler – New Name & Badge 

(Fieldless) On an open book argent, the phrase “Print is dead” sable

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Consulting Herald: Harold Ramis

Egon is a male given name found in gray-period Germany:

Egon De Weyer; Male; Marriage; 06 May 1640; Sankt Pankatius Roemisch-Katholische, Anholt, Westfalen, Prussia; Batch: M99207-1 ( Spengler is a German byname found in “German Names from Nürnberg, 1497” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (

Although he has submitted a badge, the submitter does not yet have a device design because he is attempting to document whether spores, mold or fungus were used in period armory.


8: Gendulphe Le Gris – New Name & New Device  

Azure, a pilgrim’s staff argent and in chief two fireballs Or enflamed proper

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Language (French) most important.

Meaning (the gray) most important.

Consulting Herald: Gunðormr Ech Mir ein Herald Imaginary

Gendulphe is the name of a French saint, mentioned at p. 31 of “Le Théâtre des antiquitez de Paris” by Jacques Du Breul, published in 1639 (

Le Gris is a surname found in “French Names from Paris, 1421, 1423, & 1438” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (


9: Human de la Place – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Meaning (person from the place) most important.

Consulting Herald: More Cheseandbrede

Human is a male given name found in “Names Found in Commercial Documents from Bordeaux, 1470-1520” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael ( de la Place is a French byname found at p. 5 of “Names from the Rôle des taxes de l’arrière-ban du Bailliage d’Evreux, in 1562,” by Brunissende Dragonette (


10: Ivanna Peach – New Name

Language (Russian) most important.

Consulting Herald: Iwan de Best

Both elements are found in Wickenden’s Russian Names Database.

Ivanna is a given name dated to 1618 s.n. Ioann (m) (

Peach is a surname dated to 1530 s.n. Peach (


11: Jack Harkness – New Household Name & New Badge 

Torchewode Halle

Argent, on a hexagon voided a capital letter T sable

Consulting Herald: Gwen Cooper

The pattern of [place name] + Hall is found in the Middle English Dictionary, with examples including Westmynster Hall dated a.1500 s.v. attǒurnẹ̄ (n.).

Torchewode is a compound English place name based on the pattern of “family name followed by generic toponymic” set out in “Compound Placenames in English” by Juliana de Luna (

Torche is a surname dated to the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) in R&W s.n. Torch.

-wode is a generic toponym referring to a group of living trees, a grove, copse, woods, forest, woodland. The surname atte Wode is found in the MED s.v. wọ̄de (n.(2)) dated to 1346. The MED s.v. wọ̄de (n.(2)) also lists the compound bynames Estwode (1151-54), Cherchwode (1380), Campwode (1380) and Quenewode (1475).

The spelling Halle for “hall” is found in the MED dated to 1225 and later.


12: Jokeford, Shire of – New Branch Name

No major changes.

Language (English) most important.

Culture (English) most important.

Consulting Herald: Gytta Klew

Jokeford is a place name dated to 1203 in the Middle English Dictionary s.v. yōke (n.).

13: Jokeford, Shire of – New Heraldic Title

OSCAR is unable to find the name, either registered or submitted.

Effing Pursuivant

Consulting Herald: Gytta Klew

This heraldic title follows the pattern of creating heraldic titles using English surnames, found in “Heraldic Titles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance: Overview,” by Juliana de Luna ( Effing is an English surname found in the Family Search Historical Records: Richard Effing; Male; Marriage; 1627; Swaffham-Prior, Cambridge, England; Batch: M13535-6 (

14: Justa Doll – New Name

Submitter desires a feminine name.

Culture (Iberian) most important.

Consulting Herald: Rogue Flamenco

Justa is a given name found in “Portuguese Feminine Names from Lisbon, 1565” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (

Doll is a surname found in “Catalan Names from the 1510 census of Valencia” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (

Portuguese and Catalan are both part of the Iberian language group under Appendix C.


15: Kylo Ren – New Alternate Name

Ben Solo

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Both elements are found in the Family Search Historical Records:

Ben Sare – christened 6 April 1578, Fairstead, Essex, England


Robtus Solo – christened 1544, Devon, England



16: Manly Man – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

No changes.

Sound (Man-lee) most important.

Consulting Herald: Badde Idea Beare

Manly Man is found in the gray period, in England, in the Family Search Historical Records: Manly Man; Male; Christening; 13 Jul 1647; SAINT DUNSTAN,STEPNEY, LONDON, ENGLAND; Batch: C05576-7 (


17: More Cheseandbrede – New Name

Submitter desires a feminine name.

Sound (given name like ‘more’) most important.

Meaning (where’s the dayboard?) most important.

More is an Anglicized Irish female given name dated to 1586 and later in “Names Found in Anglicized Irish Documents” by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (

Cheseandbrede is a byname found in the Middle English Dictionary s.v. chẹ̄se (n.) dated to 1303. English and Anglicized Irish are part of the same Language Group under Appendix C and thus can be combined despite the 283-year gap between the elements.


18: Octa Pode – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Sound (given name like Octa) most important.

Consulting Herald: same

Octa is an Anglo-Saxon male name dated to 731 in Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.

Pode is a surname found in R&W s.n. Poad dated to 1230. Because both elements are English, this name just squeaks by with less than 500 years between the given name and the byname.

19: Original Sinne – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Consulting Herald: Eve atte Gardyne

Original is a male given name found in Bardsley’s Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature at pp. 128-129, dated to 1606 and 1619.

Synne is an English surname found in the Family Search Historical Records: Mary Synne; Female; Marriage; 16 Jan 1614; Saint Andrew, Plymouth, Devon, England; Batch: M00183-1 (

The i/y swap is well-established in late-period English.


20: Petit Prince – New Name & New Device 

Azure, on a serpent argent an elephant passant contourny proper

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Consulting herald: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Petit is an English surname dated to 1591 in “English Names found in Brass Enscriptions” by Julian Goodwyn ( Such surnames can be used as given names by precedent. [Alton of Grimfells, 4/2010 LoAR, A-East].

Prince is an English surname found in “Names from 15th Century York” by Karen Larsdatter (


21: Polly Puss – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Client requests authenticity for 16th cen. Baden, Germany.

Language (German) most important.

Consulting Herald: Octa Pode

Polly is a German male given name found in the Family Search Historical Record:

Polly Hauser; Male; Death; 14 Jan 1608; Wintersweiler, Loerrach, Baden, Deutschland; Batch: B06196-4 (

Polly Winter; Male; Marriage; 27 Apr 1594; Evangelisch, Haltingen, Loerrach, Baden;

Batch: M93574-2 (

Puss is a German surname also found in the Family Search Historical Records: Martinus Puss; Male; Christening; 08 Nov 1597; DOMPFARREI KATHOLISCH, FREIBURG, FREIBURG, BADEN; Batch: C93394-1(

As both name elements are found in Baden within 3 years of each other, this name meets the submitter’s authenticity request.


22: Poole Boy – New Name & New Device 

Argent, a cartouche azure

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Language (Anglicized Irish) most important.

Culture (16th cen. Ireland) most important.

Consulting Herald: Frend MacEnemy

Poole is an Anglicized Irish male given name dated to 1601 in Mari ingen Briain meic

Donnchada’s “Names found in Anglicized Irish Documents” ( s.n. Paul.

Boy is a descriptive byname, probably from the Gaelic Buide meaning “yellow.” Mari’s “Names found in Anglicized Irish Documents”

( contains numerous examples of this byname, including:

Teig boy O Mollan (1599)

Tho. boye (1600)

Phelim boye (1598)

Mortagh boy O Birne (1600)

Hugh Boy (1614).


23: Refr refr – New Name

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Meaning (Fox) most important.

Consulting Herald: Badde Idea Beare

Refr is a male given name found at p. 14 of Geirr Bassi’s The Old Norse Name. refr is a descriptive byname meaning “fox” found at p. 26 of Geirr Bassi.


24: Rogue Fave – New Name

Rogue is a Spanish male given name found in the Family Search Historical Records:

Rogue Garcia Rodriguez; Male, Christening; 26 Sep 1593; SANTA MARIA LA MAYOR, TORDESILLAS, VALLADOLID, SPAIN; Batch: C87369-1 (

Fave is a French byname found in the Family Search Historical Records: Marie Fave; Female, Baptism; 09 Mar 1603; Mazamet, Tarn, France ( While there is no batch number, an image of the document is available and the name is visible onthe far right of Line 2, Paragraph 2.

Spanish and French elements can be combined under SENA Appendix C.

This name is well clear of previously registered and/or submitted Rogue Panda, Rogue Espada, and Rogue Flamenco.


25: Studley Greathead – New Name

Submitter has no desire as to gender.

Meaning (the name speaks for itself) most important.

Consulting Herald: Badde Idea Beare

Studley is an English given name found in the gray period in the Family Search Historical


Studley Hawes; Female; 08 Feb 1619; LITTLE BADDOW, ESSEX, ENGLAND; Batch:

C03600-1 (

Greathead is an English surname dated to 1592, 1596 and 1607 in “Surnames in Durham and Northumberland, 1521-1615” by Juetta Copin (


26: Sweinchild in the dich – New Name & New Device 

Per chevron inverted argent and sable, a boar passant gules

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Consulting Herald: Bunny Ditchborne

Sweinchild is a personal name found in the Middle English Dictionary s.v. chīld (n.) dated to 1195. in the dich is a surname found in the MED s.v. dī̆ch(e) dated to 1327.


27: Úlfr inn illi – New Name & New Device  

Sable semy of domed ovens argent vented semy, a wolf dormant Or and in canton a hand one

finger extended to sinister base Or.

Submitter desires a masculine name.

Meaning (Bad Wolf) most important.

Consulting Herald: Roesia Tygheler

Úlfr is a male given name found at p. 15 of Geirr Bassi’s The Old Norse Name.

in illi is a descriptive byname found on p. 23 of Geirr Bassi, meaning “evil, bad.”


28: Victory Lapp – New Name

Submitter desires a feminine name.

Consulting Herald: Ama Panda

Victory is an English given name found in the Family Search Historical Records:

Victory Milles; Female; Christening; 22 Mar 1553; Wartling, Sussex, England; Batch: C14798-1 (

Joanna Lapp; Female; Marriage; 29 Nov 1544; Ugborough, Devon, England; Batch: M05177-1 (


29: Walt de Iseny – New Name

Submitter has no desire as to gender.

Consulting Herald: Butterscotch Crampet

Walt is a given name found in the Middle English Dictionary s.v. bōst dated to 1327. de Iseny is found as part of a manor name, (glossed as “Norton held by the d’Isney family”), dated to 1299 in Watts, s.n. Norton~Disney.


30: Werwulf of London – New Household Name

Hellepit House

No changes.

Sound (‘Hell Pit’) most important.

Consulting Herald: Roland Thompson Gunner

The submitter’s personal name appears on the April 1, 2012 East Kingdom LoI, which is due to be decided “any day now.” The pattern placename + House in English is established in the Dec. 2007 LoAR: “we would recommend late period household names following either of these patterns [surname] + [house or hall], [surname]+s + [house, hall, or lodge], [place name] + [house, hall, or lodge].” [Sythe Blackwolfe, Calontir-R]

Hellepit is a place name dated to 1240 in the Middle English Dictionary s.v. pit (n.)

The spelling house is dated to 1398 in the Middle English Dictionary s.v. hǒus (n.)


31: Yo Dawgs – New Name

Language (16th century English) most important.

Culture (16th century English) most important.

Consulting herald: Supp Doode

Yo is a feminine given name in FamilySearch ( C7Z), but only in an I-batch: Yo Bygges Female Christening Date 02 Feb 1605 Christening Place Brumstead, Norfolk, England Batch: I03226-9

Names found in I-batches are generally not registerable without additional documentation. However, Yoe is also a 16th century English surname found in ‘Henry VIII: July 1535, 1-10’, in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 8, January-July 1535, James Gairdner, editor (pp. 379-402; 16th and early 17th century English surnames are registerable as given names.

Examples of -oe/-o pairs can be found in FamilySearch: Joe/Jo, Fardinandoe/Fardinando, Noe/No, Barbaroe/Barbaro, and Mungoe/Mungo. Therefore, the spelling Yo appears to be a plausible variant of the surname Yoe.

Dawgs is an English surname found in the FamilySearch Historical Records ( Giles Dawgs Male Christening Date 19 Jan 1587 Christening Place CHIGWELL,ESSEX,ENGLAND Father’s Name Wm. Dawgs Batch: C04186-1


Filed under: Heraldry

Fun Medieval “Facts”

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-04-01 12:23

Looking for strange or funny information about the Middle Ages? Stumped on a topic for your next A&S competition entry? Look no further! Here are some websites with all of the “facts” you need!

Odd medieval facts. A catch-all of silly medieval trivia.

Weird medieval medical practices (not for the faint of heart, possibly NSFW). Learn about how our ancestors treated all sorts of ailments… often unsuccessfully.

Medieval nobles with ridiculous nicknames. Find out who people like Ragnar ‘Hairpants’ and Wladyslaw ‘Spindleshanks’ were.

Unusual medieval weapons. Though this list includes some things we wouldn’t consider all that strange, like trebuchets, there are also some true oddities, like a shield with a port for a pistol.

Anglo-Saxon riddles that you can use to keep your campmates amused at War Practice or Pennsic.

Medieval jokes! Take my wife, please…

“Old English” insults. We’re kind of amazed they didn’t spell it “olde” but hey, don’t be a bespawler!

Medieval torture devices. Also not for the faint of heart, and NSFW. Because, well, torture.

Medieval games – bored with Chess, Neftafl and Go? There are all sorts of interesting games from our period that you can try:

  • Stool ball, a little like cricket
  • Pall-Mall. No, not the cigarettes, this is a variant on croquet or possibly golf.
  • Cockstride, which isn’t as naughty as it sounds.
  • Dwyle Flonking. No, we’re not going to explain, just read for yourself.
  • Shove Groat, for those of you who like petty stakes gambling.

Thanks to Master Dagonell the Juggler for many of the articles on medieval games.

The rest is Arianna’s fault.

Categories: SCA news sites

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #8: Matthew Paris and the Volcano

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-04-01 11:40

Our eighth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Sir Michael of York of the Barony of Carolingia. He examines a catastrophic climatological event with both modern and historical records, and in the telling introduces us to a very interesting chronicler. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

Matthew Paris and the Volcano

Self-Portrait by Matthew Paris (c.1200-1259).
Photograph by the British Library. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the middle of the 13th century, a massive volcanic eruption occurred in Indonesia. The effects of this eruption changed the weather around the world for years. Modern climate research combined with recent archeological evidence and the medieval chronicles of Matthew Paris paint a haunting picture of a world-wide disaster that has no parallel for the previous several thousand years.

The Famous 1258 Volcano
Modern Understanding
Matthew of Paris Chronicles The Volcano’s Effect

The Famous 1258 Volcano

In the fall of 2013 (A.S. XLVIII) the scientific world was all aflutter—a new science paper announced that the location of “the famous 1258 volcano” had been determined. First identified in the 1980’s via ice-core and tree-ring data—the location of the 1258 volcanic eruption had been a decades-long puzzle for geologists. This new research showed location of the eruption (Lombok, Indonesia) and documented that it had been one of the largest of its kind, ejecting huge amounts of volcanic dust and gases high into the stratosphere.

My SCA persona is 13th century English, and when I heard this announcement my first question was “what famous 1258 volcanic eruption”?  I’d heard of Krakatoa (1883) and Mount Vesuvius (A.D. 79), but I’d never heard of any other large volcanic eruptions. As a child, I had walked across a volcano in Hawaii and had read about and seen television reports of more modern dramatic eruptions (Mount St Helens 1980, Mount Pinatubo 1991, and Eyjafjallajökull 2010), but apparently, this “famous 1258 volcanic eruption” was something much different.

At the time, for other reasons, I happened to be reading excerpts from a 13th century chronicler’s works. The Illustrated Chronicles of Matthew Paris: Observations of Thirteenth-Century Life had been loaned to me by a friend. In perusing it, I had learned that Matthew Paris was a garrulous monk with lots of opinions, observations and commentary about both the natural world and about every aspect of religious and royal politics. I’d noticed his descriptions of weather, strange events in the sea, eclipses and weird cloud formations alongside all of his various observations about political events, and rants on church and state policies. His Chronicles cover the time from 1235 until his death in 1259.

After hearing about this new volcano—I ran to see what Matthew had to say. I was disappointed to find that this specific book only covered his writings to the year 1250. It took a while to get his complete works—but in the process, I found lots of other news about that specific volcanic eruption: climate data analysis, cemetery burial data, descriptions of how much it changed the global environment et cetera.  Within days, I had the whole tale. It’s an amazing story.
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Modern Understanding

The volcano itself (named “Mount Samalas” by the research team that identified it) is located on the island of Lombok in the Indonesian chain of islands. This island is 770 miles (1240KM) and a couple of islands east of Krakatoa.  Today all that is left is a caldera lake with a small cinder cone in the center—the entire mountain having been blasted away by the eruption.

Volcanic Eruption Types. The left-most image is a Plinian Eruption. Illustration, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online, accessed March 29, 2016,

Like Mount Vesuvius and some other violent eruptions, this eruption was a “Plinian” eruption. The name comes from a description written by the Younger Pliny in A.D. 79. He compared the plume of ash and gasses from Mount Vesuvius to the shape of a “stone pine tree“—a narrow rising trunk with an umbrella-top splaying out immediately. This is the most explosive of the volcanic eruption types and can be responsible for global weather effects. The column of ash from these kinds of eruptions can rise all the way to the stratosphere—over 40 KM above the earth’s surface and then be spread around the globe.  This NASA article highlights the effects of the much smaller Mount Pinatubo eruption (1991) as documented by the SAGE II satellite (even though the article is actually about the SAGE III new effort). According to this report,  “The aerosols in the tropics increased by almost a factor of 100 immediately following the eruption. … had spread into the Earth’s mid-latitudes three months later. … slowly decreased in the atmosphere over several years.”

The effects were immediate and lasted years – and this was for a small eruption. The Mt Samalas eruption was much larger—with much more rock-turned-ash vaulted into the stratosphere.

The Mt Samalas eruption was first detected by examination of ice-cores and tree-ring data during the 1980’s. In various samples, the effects of the eruption were very clearly visible. Ice cores capture dust and ash that falls and is buried by subsequent snowfall. Trees that have a low-growth year have narrow rings in the core of the tree for those years.

The team that determined the location of this volcanic eruption (Dr. Lavigne et al) was able to compare the chemicals in the ice-core deposits to the ash deposits found on Lombok. The samples matched both in composition and date. Their report states that the eruption occurred in the summer of 1257 and that it ejected the most ash and sulfates into the atmosphere of any other volcano in the last 7000 years. Some parts of the island of Lombok are covered by 35 meters of ash—showing that the eruption was huge. Pictures included in their report are astonishing—the ash-fall is clearly visible at the coast where the ocean has eroded the shore.

Their report also mentions that there is evidence (from Indonesian records) of an entire Kingdom buried under all of that ash (like Pompeii). What is most interesting is that they can deduce the time of year of the eruption due to the way the ash from the eruption is spread on the island itself and surrounding areas: the trade winds blow from the east to the west in the summer, and the deposits of ash are much greater to the west of the volcano itself.

Tree ring temperature estimation. Image courtesy of Michael E. Mann, Jose D. Fuentes & Scott Rutherford, Nature Geoscience.

It is well understood that the ice-core data provides atmospheric composition changes, and that tree-ring data shows environment changes that affect plant growth. Modern evidence from modern volcanic eruptions (e.g., Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Pinatubo) demonstrates that lower world-wide temperatures occur when such Plinian eruptions occur. The blocking of sunlight caused by the ash and chemicals inserted into the atmosphere reduces the strength of the sun’s warming radiation. By comparing the ice-core data and the tree-ring data from modern (well recorded events), scientists can extrapolate and estimate the world-wide temperature of the Earth for historic events. The data shows that 1258 and the period just afterwards were substantially colder than usual on a global scale.  Both sets of data (tree-ring, ice-core) show that the world-wide temperature was reduced between 0.75 and 2.5 degrees Celsius depending on how you read the data and which prediction model you use. (For those of you that are in America, this is 1.0 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit.)

What is most interesting is that further study shows localized weather effects that are contrary to global averages. For instance, this study shows that Plinian eruptions, when they occur in the tropics, make Northern Europe warmer in winter and cooler only in the summer. Another study shows that when this happens, the weather in Northern Europe is wetter and the Southern European climate is drier. This is due to changes in the heating of the Atlantic Ocean and the resulting effects on weather patterns caused by the atmospheric pollution. Look up the term “North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)” for more information.

What this means is that different parts of the world get vastly different effects from the injected ash and sulfates from the eruption. Northern Europe gets hammered with weird weather – wetter warmer winters, colder wetter summers. Southern Europe gets drier than average weather with general cooling overall. You can imagine what this does to the farming industry which depends on specific “wet periods” and “dry periods” and specific temperatures.

In my searches for information about this volcano, I ran across stories about an archeological site that was linked with the “famous 1258 volcano”. The links pointed to burial data from a 1991-2007 archeological dig done in London by the London Museum of Archeology at the site of the SpitalFields Market. Their research demonstrates that in the middle of the 13th century, decades before the Black Death (1340’s) there was a period of mass-burial sites in one cemetery in London belonging to St Mary Spital, an Augustine Priory and hospital just north of the Tower of London. According to the report, the priory was in active use from the 1100’s through 1539 AD.  Although the data is not precisely datable, it is clear that in the late 1250’s and early 1260’s there was a period where some burial pits had as many as 20 sets of remains—a very unusual pattern, as normally, burials were singular or perhaps two remains in one site. In addition, the research shows that the likely cause of the deaths was not violence. This suggests that famine or diseases are the major causes of death in this era. The images that are available are haunting.

Excavations at St. Mary Spital. Image courtesy of the Museum of London Archaeology.

One data point from the burial site suggests that as many as 4000 bodies were recovered from this short period (late 1250’s, early 1260’s) for this one hospital – mostly in mass burial graves. There were other priory hospitals in other parts of England at the time, and several in London alone. If the burial data for any of those other active 13th century hospitals shows the same pattern, we can deduce that something was very wrong.

So—today we know that there were immediate world-wide effects of the volcanic eruption that occurred during the summer of 1257, and that the effects changed the weather, blocked the sunlight and covered the globe with a volcanic haze in the atmosphere. We see burial data suggesting massive deaths, as well as plant evidence (tree-rings) showing reduced growing seasons and cooling.
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Matthew of Paris Chronicles The Volcano’s Effects

What can we learn about what happened in the Middle Ages? How did all of this effect their lives and events in their times? What happened and what can we see?

Matthew of Paris only lives till 1259, but his words describe this event very clearly from what happens to his world. He doesn’t have the slightest idea that there’s this volcano half-a-world away. He just writes what he can see – and with this new view from scientific research, we can understand what he says all too well.

What follows here is a brief set of quotes from his Chronica Majora that illustrate what he saw at the time. Matthew of Paris’ writings are sometimes confusing because he apparently had a practice of taking notes and then entering them into his chronicles at some later time. There are some sections where events that happen months apart are put together in one sentence or two simultaneous sentences. This makes finely-detailed chronology hard to understand from his writings. Sometimes dates appear incorrect—and it appears that he exaggerates—although, now that I have read the science literature, I believe that he was not exaggerating when he wrote these entries.

One other note concerning chronology! Matthew’s “year” runs from the end of October through to the end of October because he uses Royal Year dates—Henry III was first crowned King on October 28th in 1216.  But oddly, Matthew uses the following year—so the year 1257 starts in October of 1256. There is a confusing aspect to the seasons as well since the calendar is 10 days off from our calendar (they were using the Julian Calendar, not the newer 18th-century Gregorian Calendar). Matthew also appears to use the planting cycle for his seasons. “Winter” is the end of September through Christmas. “Spring” is January through March.

Read on to see it in his own words. I’ve added personal notes in italics to illuminate essential points. The text is that of the Reverend James Giles’ 1883 translation.

1253 – This year throughout was abundant in corn and fruit; so much so that the price of a measure of corn fell to thirty pence.

Things are going well.

1254 – This year throughout was abundantly productive in fruit and corn, so that the price of a measure of corn fell to two shillings; and like proportion oats, and all other kinds of corn and pulse fell in price to the benefit of the poor plebeians.

Lots of good produce.

1255 – [This year] was throughout so productive in corn and fruit, that a measure of wheat fell in price to two shillings and the same quantity of oats to twelvepence.

Note the prices—two shillings for a measure of wheat and 12 pence for a measure of oats.

1256 … (on 10 Aug), an extraordinary storm, or succession of storms of wind and rain, accompanied by hail, thunder, and lightning, alarmed men’s heads, and caused irreparable damage. One might see the wheels of mills torn from their axles and carried by the violence of the wind to great distances, destroying in their course the neighbouring houses; and what the water did to the water-mills, the wind did not fail to do to the wind-mills. Piles of bridges, stacks of hay, the huts of fisherman with their nets and poles, and even children in their cradles, were suddenly carried away, so that the deluge of Deucalion seemed to be renewed. Not to mention other places, Bedford, which is watered by the Ouse, suffered incomputable damages, as it had done a few years before. Indeed, in one place, six houses immediately adjoining each other were carried away by the rapidity of the torrents, their inhabitants having much difficulty in saving themselves; and other places contiguous to that river were exposed to similar perils.

This is a major event—he described it using a reference to “Deucalion”, the son of Prometheus, who survived a flood brought by Zeus by building a chest with his father and staying afloat till the storm passed.

1256 – Then closed this year, which had been tolerably productive of fruit and corn. … It was beyond measure stormy and rainy, so that, indeed, the times of Deucalion seemed to be renewed. From the day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (Aug 15) to the anniversary of her Purification (Feb 2), the rain ceased not to fall daily in deluges, which rendered the roads impassable and the fields barren. Hence at the end of autumn, the corn was rotted in the ear.

Note that there was good produce, but the summer corn crop was lost to the rain. Note also that the dates here are confusing.  If the rain starts in August 1256, then it has to continue till February 1257.  This demonstrates that his entries are made long after the fact.

1257 – Of the extraordinary fall of rain, and the thunder during the winter. On the Innocents’ Day in this year such a quantity of rain fell that it covered the surface of the ground, and the times of Deucalion seemed to be renewed. The furrows looked like caves or rivers, and the rivers covered the meadows and all the neighbouring country, so that it presented the appearance of a sea. That from one case other similar ones may be understood, I may mention, that one river alone in the northern parts of England carried away seven large bridges of wood and stone, the mills, too, and the neighbouring houses, were carried away by the violence of the torrent-swollen streams and destroyed.

There are two possible interpretations of “Innocents Day”. One is the end of December – where the “Innocents” are the children. It is also the case that July 28 is “St. Innocent’s Day” (St Innocent was a Pope). This latter choice matches the likely eruption date for the volcano (summer).

On the aforesaid day, too, a fierce whirlwind, accompanied by a violent hail-storm, disturbed the atmosphere and obscured the sky with darkness like that of night. The clouds collected together, and from them the lightning darted forth with fearful vividness, followed by claps of thunder. This thunder was clearly a bad omen, for it was mid-winter, and the cold was equal to that generally felt in February. This weather was followed by sickly unseasonable weather, which lasted about three months.

This is a sudden onslaught of cold weather and fierce storms. The word “midwinter” suggests that this was in the late October or early November time frame. (“Winter” is late September through the end of December). The date very confusing because he just said 28-Dec (Innocent’s Day) which is at the end of “winter” but in an earlier note he says the rain started in mid August. My conclusion is that it rained pretty much all the time with lots of stormy weather. If the volcano erupted in the summer – it would take a month or three for the volcanic emissions to get to the northern latitudes, so this fits with the scientific evidence we have.

1257—The Summary of the Year—This year was throughout barren and meagre; for whatever had been sown in winter had budded in spring, and grown ripe in summer, was stifled and destroyed by the autumnal inundations. The scarcity of money, brought on by the spoilation practiced by the king and the pope in England brought unusual poverty. The land lay uncultivated, and great numbers of people died from starvation. About Christmas, the price of a measure of wheat rose to ten shillings. Apples were scarce, pears more so, figs, beechnuts, cherries, plums—in short, all fruits which are preserved in jars were completely spoiled.

Note the price of wheat—ten shillings. Note that fruit and other crops were destroyed by the autumnal rains—this is two years in a row (1256 and 1257) where there was rain that damages the crops in the fall.

…This pestiferous year, moreover, gave rise to mortal fevers, which raged to such an extent that, not to mention other cases, at St Edmund’s alone, more than two thousand dead bodies were placed in the large cemetery during the summer, the largest portion of them during the dog-days. There were old men, who had formerly seen a measure of wheat sold for a mark, and even twenty shillings without the people being starved to death. … This year too generated chronic complaints, which scarcely allowed free power of breathing to anyone labouring under them. Not a single fine or frosty day occurred, nor was the surface of the lakes at all hardened by the frost as was usual; neither did icicles hang from the ledges of houses; but uninterrupted heavy falls of rain and mist obscured the sky until the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This reference to mortal fevers clearly indicates disease (e.g., dysentery, influenza). He mentions a large numbers of deaths. The chronic complaints about breathing suggest air pollution from the volcanic ash, or perhaps mold from the damp weather. The weather is off—The Feast of the Purification is in early February, so this winter is warm.

1258 – Of the arrival in England of some ships laden with wheat. At this same time, too, whilst an extraordinary famine was prevailing to such a degree that numbers pined away in themselves and died, a measure of corn being sold at London for nine shillings or more, about fifty large ships arrived there from the continent, having been sent by Richard, king of Germany, laden with corn, wheat, and bread. … It was stated as positive fact, that any three counties of England united had not produced so much corn as was brought by these vessels.

Richard, the King of Germany is Henry III’s son. Notice the price of corn. Notice the complete loss of crops.

1258—Of the remarkable nature of the season. In this same year, the calm temperature of autumn lasted to the end of January, so that the surface of the water was not frozen in any place during that time. But from about that time, that is to say, from the Purification of the Blessed Virgin till the end of March, the north wind blew without intermission, a continued frost prevailed, accompanied by snow and such unendurable cold, that it bound up the face of the earth, sorely afflicted the poor, suspended all cultivation, and killed the young of the cattle to such an extent that it seemed as if a general plague was raging amongst the sheep and lambs.

The winter started mild and then turned bitter cold in the spring.

1258—Of the great famine which prevailed throughout the whole of England. About the feast of the Trinity (May 19) in this year, an awful and intolerable pestilence attacked the people, especially those of the lower orders, and spread death among them in a most lamentable degree. In the city of London, fifteen thousand of the poor had already perished. … In fact famine prevailed in England to such great extent, that many thousand human beings died of hunger; for the crops only arrived at maturity so late in the autumn, in consequence of the heavy rains, that the harvest was only got in by All Saints’ day in several parts of the kingdom, and a measure of corn was sold for sixteen shillings.

There are no crops and this causes disease and death. Notice that 15,000 die in London which at the time had a population of about 45,000 to 50,000. Notice the price of corn.

1258—Of the mortality caused by the famine amongst the people. About the same time, such great famine and mortality prevailed in the country, that a measure of wheat rose in price to fifteen shillings and more, … and numberless dead bodies were lying about the streets. … Unless corn had been brought for sale from the continent, the rich would scarcely have been able to escape death. … the dead lay about, swollen up and there was scarcely any one to bury them; nor did the citizens dare or choose to receive the dead into their houses, for fear of contagion. … if corn could have been sold for a small price per measure, scarcely any one could have been found with the means of buying it.

Notice the price of wheat. The bodies accumulate too fast for normal burial—hence mass burials are likely.

… At this time, too, that is, at the end of July and beginning of August, … such misery, want and famine prevailed, that those who usually aided others were now amongst the unfortunates who perished from want. What alarmed the lower orders more than the nobles, was the continued heavy falls of rain, which threatened destruction to the rich crops which God had given hopes of previously. To sum up briefly, England would have failed in herself, had she not been restored to life by the arrival of some vessels, belonging to traders on the continent, which were laden with corn and bread for sale, brought from Germany and Holland; still many who spent all their money, died of hunger and want.

Even the people who help others are now perishing. Without food imports, there was no chance. Notice it is still raining.

At the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (Aug 15), when generally the barns are filled with the yearly crops of corn, scarcely even a shingle sheaf was ripe; and as the rain increased daily, the hired labourers and their cattle caused a great expense daily, without being able to leave their houses or to do any good in the fields. In consequence, a circumstance hitherto unknown, at the feast of All Saints, the corn was standing about the country ready to be cut down, but useless and spoiled almost. In some places, indeed, although late and the crop of little use, it was cut and carried, whilst in many others it was left altogether in the fields to be used as manure to enrich the soil. It should be known also, that in that year the land produced such an abundant crop, that, had it all been saved, it would have been sufficient for nearly two years’ consumption.

The rain ruins the crops despite wonderful promise (lots of crops—just all spoiled).

1258—Of the general disposition of events during the whole year. This year throughout was very dissimilar to all previous ones, bringing disease and death, and heavy storms of wind and rain. Although in the summer-time a fair promise of abundant crops of corn and fruit was given, yet in the autumn the continual heavy rains spoiled the corn, fruit and all kinds of pulse; and at the Advent of our Lord, in some parts of England, as above stated, the barns remained empty, and the crops remained ready to be cut, but entirely spoiled: for as the corn shot up, the ear and the straw rotted together, and as men died from the want of corn, so the cattle died from the want of fodder; and though England was drained of money on many pretexts, yet the people were obliged, at the instigation of hunger, to pay sixteen shillings for a measure of corn, whilst still moist and shooting; and consequently the poor pined away with hunger, and died.

The yearly summary includes a political stab at the King (England being drained by him of money on many pretexts). The poor don’t have warehouses filled with grain and can’t buy grain—so they perish.

…The dying staggered away into different by-places to yield their last wretched breath; and of these there was such a great number, that the gravediggers were overcome with weariness and threw several bodies into one grave. The people of the middle class, seeing their food failing them, sold their flocks, diminished the number of their household, and left their land uncultivated, whereby all hope of rising from this abyss, which hope generally consoles those despairing, was entirely extinguished. Had not corn been brought for sale from the continent, there is no doubt but England would have perished in herself.

Proof that mass-burials became necessary. A repetition of the import of food from the mainland shows how much worse the UK was affected by this weather.

In the same [year], when the sun was in Cancer (late June thru July), an unexpected pestilence and mortality fell upon mankind; and to say nothing of the great numbers that died in other places, in Paris alone, more than a thousand human beings were consigned to the tomb. Oil, wine, and corn also were spoiled. As the two-handed sword of death, which spares no-one, strikes sometimes one and sometimes another, and hurries from the world the rich and the poor alike, so Fulk, bishop of London, died during that deadly pestilence…

This looks like a repetition of the previous entries except for the mention of Paris. Oil and wine don’t keep long—so what reserves would be spoiled due to age. Bishop Fulk was very-well regarded.
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Matthew Paris died in 1259, probably from old-age – he was nearly 60. It’s also possible that the depredations of the time made survival harder and that he was one of the fatalities from the agricultural and environmental changes wrought by the volcanic eruption. So far, I’ve found no other written records on the mainland or other parts of England that are as detailed as Matthew’s work.

The astute reader will notice that the nasty weather starts almost exactly one year before the volcano erupts and the descriptions sound just like the global cooling effects of the weather one expects from the volcanic eruption. Combined with Matthew’s repeated phrases (e.g., references to the Deucalion and specific dates) one wonders whether there are errors in Matthew’s chronicle (he was getting old) – or translation errors or perhaps errors in the scientific literature.

However, if you read Matthew’s Chronicles, you will find lots of repeated stock phrases and milestone dates. (For instance, he seems to favor dates associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary).  In addition, as noted above, Matthew is noted for poor chronology because he makes notes which are put into the Chronicle long after the events occurred.  I’ve been able to validate some of his dates from other sources so I’m fairly sure that many are accurate.  Given what we know now, the only real conclusion one can draw is that England got a double-whammy of an uncharacteristically bad year followed by the volcanic winter. This makes the events described here all the more tragic.

If you want to know more about the amazing stories of Matthew of Paris, you can find copies of his work in Latin (Henry Richard Luard made the canonical transliteration), or in English (Reverend James Allen Giles made the canonical English translation), or look up the works of Professor Richard Vaughan, a modern historian who wrote several works about Matthew. Look also for Susan Lewis’ work on Matthew’s art.

Matthew’s work is an inspiration for me. His writings contain countless little snippets that become stories for the campfire or other venues. His opinions enlighten our understanding of how that world worked and provide a rare insight into that period. His tales of plots, political shenanigans and the movements of the major actors in that period show us a vital, dynamic, widely aware population of smart people.  Almost every page of his Chronica can be used as a starting point for yet another story or search for understanding.
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If you want another story like this one, look for a book published in 2014 by Gillen D’Arcy Wood (see citations below). The author chronicles an equivalent world-wide volcanic disaster that takes place in 1815 on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa right next to Lombok. The volcano (named Tambora) produced an eruption that was about half the size of the Mt. Samalas eruption. According to the author’s research, that eruption is responsible for many well-known social memories (“the year without a summer”, Frankenstein, Dracula). As I was discovering Matthew of Paris and his story about Mt. Samalas, this story about Tambora was published. The descriptions of events in this book are as chilling as Matthew’s story. It reinforced my belief that indeed, what Matthew reports is very accurate.

Sir Michael can be contacted via email at
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Connell, B., A. G. Jones, R. Redfern & D. Walker (2012), A bioarchaeological study of medieval burials on the site of St Mary Spital: excavations at Spitalfields Market, London E1, 1991–2007, MOLA 2012. ISBN 978-1-907586-11-8

D’Arcy, Gillen, (2015), Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World, Princeton University Press , Princeton, NJ.

Fischer, E. M., J. Luterbacher, E. Zorita, S. F. B. Tett, C. Casty, and H. Wanner (2007), European climate response to tropical volcanic eruptions over the last half millennium, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L05707, doi:10.1029/2006GL027992.

Giles, J.A. (trans.), Matthew Paris’s English History from the year 1235 to 1273. H.G. Bohn, London, 1853, Three Volumes (multiple editions available from various publishers).

Lavigne, F., J. Degeai, J. Komorowski, S. Guillet, V. Robert, P. Lahitte, C. Oppenheimer. M. Stoffel, C. M. Vidal, Surono, I. Pratomo, P. Wassmer, Irka Hajdas, D. S. Hadmoko & E. de Belizal (2013) Source of the great A.D. 1257 mystery eruption unveiled, Samalas volcano, Rinjani Volcanic Complex, Indonesia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110: 16742–16747, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1307520110 .

Mann, M., J. D. Fuentes, S. Rutherford, Underestimation of volcanic cooling in tree-ring-based reconstructions of hemispheric temperatures (2012), Nature Geoscience 5, 202–205 (2012), 2012. doi: 10.1038/ngeo1394  (See image:

NASA Sage III, Verified March 2016

Oppenheimer, C. (2003), Ice core and palaeoclimatic evidence for the timing and nature of the great mid-13th century volcanic eruption. International Journal of Climatology, 23: 417–426. doi: 10.1002/joc.891

Pauling, A., J. Luterbacher, C. Casty & H. Wanner (2006), Five hundred years of gridded high-resolution precipitation reconstructions over Europe and the connection to large-scale circulation, Climate Dynamics 26: 387–405, doi: 10.1007/s00382-005-0090-8

Timmreck, C., S. J. Lorenz, T. J. Crowley, S. Kinne, T. J. Raddatz, M. A. Thomas, and J. H. Jungclaus (2009), Limited temperature response to the very large AD 1258 volcanic eruption, Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L21708, doi:10.1029/2009GL040083.

Vaughan, Richard, (trans.), (1993), The Illustrated Chronicles of Matthew Paris: Observations of Thirteenth-Century Life, Alan Sutton Publishing, Gloucestershire, UK.

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Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

What Your Heraldry Says About You, Take 2!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-04-01 08:47

An SCA device can be viewed as a Rohrschach test to learn more about the Scadian who registered it. Let’s see what these devices tell us about their owners, shall we?

Last year this was one of our most popular articles. Who knew? So since we are all about shamelessly racking up the views, we’re doing it again!

These are some actual registered devices of people in Æthelmearc. Please note that this is all intended in good fun, and since these belong to people we call friends, we hope it’s taken that way!

Stop by later to learn who these arms belong to!

  1. If you’re driving down the road in Calontir and see these things hovering on the horizon, turn around. Fast.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

2. It looks like Dracula was hungry for bat tonight.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

3. Algae problem in your pool? No worries, our unicorn service will take care of it!

Click to see who these arms belong to.

4. Yes, those are bunnies. Playing bagpipes. Wielding swords. Your argument is invalid.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

5. You get a butterfly, and you, and you, and you. Butterflies for everyone!

Click to see who these arms belong to.

6. Someone has it out for the Geiko gecko.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

7. Why did the heron cross the river? You’ll have to ask these guys…

Click to see who these arms belong to.

8. Is it the plague?

Click to see who these arms belong to.

9. If only I could get my cat to help out in the garden like that.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

10. Not taking any chances on our luck, are we?

Click to see who these arms belong to.

11. Why yes, those are her monkeys and her circus.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

12. Owls’ eyes? Glasses? We’re not sure.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

13. Ramming speed!

Click to see who these arms belong to.

14. Kill it! Kill it! Dead, dead, dead! Whew, that was a close one.

Click to see who these arms belong to.

15. Look! Deer swimming toward us! It’s venison for dinner tonight!

Click to see who these arms belong to.

16. When just one Thor isn’t enough….

Click to see who these arms belong to.

17. Levitating wyverns!

Click to see who these arms belong to.


Bonus points if you can identify the owners of these arms!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

It’s all Arianna’s fault.

All images taken from the Æthelmearc Kingdom Roll of Arms, which is maintained by Mistress Alheydis von Körckhingen.

Categories: SCA news sites