Chief researcher for a new study of Scottish place names, Dr Simon Taylor, says: "Scotland is a country where many different languages have been spoken over the last 1,500 years, and its place names reflect this rich and varied history. What we are doing is giving teachers the tools to explore Scotland's rich heritage."
The following information is being distributed on behalf of Baron Mael Eoin mac Echuid, the EK System Administrator.
Greetings, once more!
Unfortunately, we’ve been notified that the Polling Lists URL -
As such, please just use the links found here.
Any forms filled out previously may not have been successful. Again, an
Filed under: Uncategorized
Kynric de Coventry calls himself "geek orthodox," a trait he chose to flaunt recently at MisCon in Missoula, Montana. Kynric is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and shared his thoughts about the organization with reporter Lilian Langston of KPAX. (video)
Emperor Brennan mac Fearghus and Empress Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain have officially affirmed Dame Isobel Mowbray and Lord Guthfrith Yrlingson as the new Baron and Baroness of Ruantallan. Their Investiture will be on November 29. Isobel and Guthfrith shared a little about themselves with the Gazette.
We both joined the SCA over 20 years ago in Lochac. Our first group (where we met) was the College of St. Ursula in the Barony of Rowany. Fourteen years ago we moved to the Barony of Ruantallan ( East Kingdom ), and have lived there ever since. Isobel has served as baronial A&S Minister in the past, and Guthfrith as Knight Marshal. Currently Guthfrith is joint Tir Mara principality deputy for fencing.
Our personas are firmly rooted in late fifteenth century England these days (despite the C10th Danish name Guthfrith…hmmm). Guthfrith has a wide range of interests including heavy, rapier and siege combat, archery, woodworking, metalworking and miscellaneous A&S. Isobel’s main passion is C15th costuming, but any A&S and particularly anything that creates more C15th ambience is fun (Isobel also looks forward to acquiring a longbow and learning to shoot things more accurately).
We are looking forward to our new roles as Baron and Baroness, and hope to serve the crown and the people of Ruantallan as best we can.
Filed under: Local Groups Tagged: Ruantallan
One for the most challenging tasks of a newcomer in the Society for Creative Anachronism is choosing an SCA name, one that will satisfy both the user and the heralds whose job it is to register it. In a recent article for the blog Wulfhere's Devices, Wulfhere of Eofeshamme of Calontir shares advice for new members on how to choose a good name.
This is a recurring series by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich on whether certain names currently can be documented to period based on existing evidence.. There are a lot of names that people think are medieval, but actually aren’t, and others which people think are modern, but in fact are found in the SCA’s period. If you would like to suggest a name, send an email to the Gazette.
Today’s name is Hamish.
The male name Hamish is one of those names that is generally believed
While it is possible that new information could support Hamish as a
So what should a person who wants to be “Hamish” in the SCA do? Well,
Finally, there are some period and documentable given names that are
 James MacDoual, 7/2000 LoAR, A-Meridies.
 Hammash Munkastle; Male; 27 Jul 1609; St Peter-at-Arches’,
 Eleoner Heymish; Female; Marriage; 05 Nov 1604; West Hendred,
 Magaret Hemish; Female; Marriage; 04 Dec 1626; East Tisted,
Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: names
Vindolanda, a Roman auxiliary fort in Northumberland just south of Hadrian’s Wall, is a huge motherlode of archaeological discoveries, with its nine rebuilds, related civilian communities and near continuous use from 85 A.D. until the 9th century. Most famously, the anoxic waterlogged ground has preserved an unprecedented collection of correspondence written in ink on thin postcard-sized pieces of wood in a cursive Latin. More than 700 have been recovered and transcribed (see the full collection including high resolution pictures on the Vindolanda Tablets Online database). The Vindolanda tablets are the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain and a remarkable primary source of information about life at the northern border Roman Britain before and after the construction of Hadrian’s Wall.
The site has been excavated regularly since 1970. The first tablets were found in 1973 and every year new discoveries are made. The Vindolanda fort has produced the greatest collection of Roman footwear anywhere in the Roman Empire, delicate textiles, altars, brooches, rings, gaming pieces, extensive structures including two bathhouses, one before Hadrian, one after, temples, a granary, officer’s houses and soldier barracks. Thousands of coins have been unearthed by professional archaeologists and by the more than 6,400 volunteers who have dug alongside them since 1970. None of them, however, have been gold.
Until now. On June 3rd, 2014, the first gold coin at Vindolanda was found by a French volunteer.
Volunteer Marcel Albert, from Nantes, France, who has been taking part at the Vindolanda dig since 2008, described his discovery simply as “magnifique,” and with the knowledge that although 1000’s of coins had already been discovered at Vindolanda but none of them were gold he said “I thought it can’t be true, it was just sitting there as I scrapped back the soil, shining, as if someone had just dropped it.”
The well worn coin was soon confirmed by the archaeologists as an aureus (gold coin) which although found in the late 4th century level at Vindolanda bears the image of the Emperor Nero which dates the coin to AD 64-65. This precious currency, equating to over half a years’ salary for a serving soldier, had been in circulation for more than 300 years before being lost on this most northern outpost of the Roman Empire.
The coin features the laureate head of Nero in right profile with the inscription “NERO CAESAR” on the obverse. On the reverse is an image of Nero standing radiate, holding a branch and a globe on which stands a small figure of Victory. It bears the legend “AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS.” Nero had these aurei issued in the wake of his monetary reform of 64 A.D. To make a dollar out of fifteen cents, Nero reduced the weight of the gold in the coins so he could mint more with less. Silver coins fared worse, being not just shortweighted but also less pure. Bronze, copper and brass coins he cranked out in vast quantities. Nero was the first emperor to debase the coinage, but he wouldn’t be the last.
You can tell from its condition that the aureus went through a great many hands in its long life as legal tender. It was unearthed at the fort itself, not in the village that grew next to it. Gold coins are very rare in Roman military sites. They were just far beyond the level of currency exchanged in military outposts. Chances are, this is the only aureus that will ever be found at Vindolanda.
The coin will be studied in greater detail, along with the panoply of other artifacts discovered during this season’s dig (April 7th – September 19th). Once it has been researched and documented, the aureus will likely go on display at the site’s Roman Army Museum.
Precious metals were scarce during the decline of the Roman Empire in Germanic Europe, which would explain the recent discovery of a hoard of "gold coins and pieces of silver tableware which had been deliberately cut up (hacksilver)" in a field near Limburg in the Netherlands. (photos)
Sixth grade teacher Patricia Bastia of Warwick, Rhode Island has a favorite quote from Ben Franklin: "Tell me, I forget. Show me, I’ll remember. Involve me, I’ll understand." This is why Bastia invites members of the SCA each year to involve her students in learning about the Middle Ages. Reporter Ryan D. Murray of the Warwick Beacon spoke with Bastia about the event.
The rarest stamp in the world, the only known surviving example of the 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, sold for a record $9,480,000 (including buyer’s premium) at a Sotheby’s auction in Manhattan on Tuesday. The pre-sale estimate was $10 – $20 million, so they were expecting the new bar to be set significantly higher, but still leaves the previous record-holder — the Swedish Treskilling Yellow sold in 2010 for an undisclosed amount that was at least as much as the $2.3 million record it set in 1996 — in the dust. At one-thousandth of an ounce and 1 5/32 x 1 1/32 inches, the stamp is now the most valuable object in the world by weight, volume and size.
This rather plain stamp printed in black ink on magenta paper was an emergency issue by the postmaster of British Guiana when an expected shipment of English postage failed to arrive on time. The printers of the Royal Gazette newspaper in Georgetown ran a small contingency supply of stamps: one-cent magentas, four-cent magentas and four-cent blues. They were printed with a simple outline design of a three-masted ship and the colony’s Latin motto “Damus Petimus Que Vicissim” (We give and expect in return).
About 200 of the four-cent stamps have survived, but the only one-cent known to exist was rescued by a 12-year-old boy who found it among his uncle’s papers in 1873. He collected stamps, so when he saw this one that he didn’t have in his collection, he cut it off the envelope and put it in his album. Because it wasn’t a pristine copy (the original issue was square; this one has cut corners), young L. Vernon Vaughan sold it another collector, Neil McKinnon, to buy some newer, prettier issues. The One-Cent Magenta left British Guiana in 1878 when McKinnon sent it to Scotland for appraisal.
The stamp passed through several hands after that, including those of Count Philippe la Renotière von Ferrary of Paris, a legendary philatelist, and textile magnate Arthur Hind of Utica, N.Y. Hind bought it in 1922 at auction for $35,250, a record at that time, and reportedly outbid avid stamp collector King George V for the little red stamp.
“Arthur Hind had never intended to even bid on the British Guiana,” the Sotheby’s catalog said.
But an encounter with a stamp dealer in London changed his mind, and owning the stamp changed his life. Mr. Hind later acknowledged that the stamp “had caused him to be ridiculed,” the Sotheby’s catalog said. “A London journalist described the 1856 British Guiana as ‘cut square and magenta in colour’ and himself as ‘cut round and rather paler magenta.’”
Hind was also rumored to have secured a second One-Cent Magenta only to light his cigar and the stamp with the same match, ostensibly to ensure the value and rarity of the one survivor would remain untarnished. The source for this story was an anonymous letter writer, so who knows if it’s true.
The last time the stamp was sold was 1980. The buyer was du Pont chemical fortune heir John E. du Pont who spent a then-record $935,000 for it. In 1997, du Pont was convicted of murdering Olympic gold medalist wrestler Dave Schultz and was sentenced to a term of 13 to 30 years in prison. He died in prison in 2010. It’s his estate that sold the stamp.
For more details on the incredible journey of this wee stamp and the history of British Guiana, see the Sotheby’s catalogue multi-part exploration.
Despite a bandit raid upon the baggage of their Royal Highnesses en-route to their Coronation which resulted in Her Majesties Coronation Gown and Jewelry, as well as the Heirs Coronets of Drachenwald being (at the time of writing) still missing, there was a triumphal Coronation last weekend (13-15th June) in Drachenwald.
With the recent migration to new East Kingdom servers, members have been advised that they need to resubscribe to the various discussion lists. Duchess Katherine would like people to know that resubscription is only required for the discussion lists. There is no need to resubscribe to the polling lists.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: discussion lists
Offa's Dyke, a linear earthwork stretching 177 miles (285 km) in Chirk near the Shropshire border, may be misnamed. Legendarily built by King Offa of Mercia during his reign between 757 and 796, the earthwork may actually be 200 years older.
Due to technical problems with the online registration site in recent days, Coopers Lake Campground has extended the deadline for online Pennsic registration until the last minute of June 18, 2014.
As there has been no appeal lodged to contest the ruling of the High Court that the remains of King Richard III are to be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral, plans for the reburial have been finalized. The Cathedral Fabrics Commission for England have approved the tomb design of architects van Heningen and Haward. There’s no inlaid marble white rose of York underneath the raised platform in this version. Instead, a plinth made of black Kilkenny marble will seal the tomb beneath the Cathedral floor. Richard’s name, dates and motto will be engraved into the sides of the plinth — the nature of the marble will make the lettering appear white in contrast with the dark color of the smooth surface — while his coat of arms is inlaid in marble and semi-precious hard stones at the top foot of the plinth.
On top of the plinth will be a large rectangular block of Swaledale fossil stone, quarried in North Yorkshire, deeply incised with a cross along its full length and breadth. The fossil stone is so called because it is peppered with visible fossils, once-living beings long dead whose remains have been brought to light and immortalized in stone, a metaphorically significant analogy to Richard’s fate.
Underneath the plinth, Richard’s remains will be laid to rest in a lead ossuary which will be placed in an oak coffin which in turn be placed in a brick lined vault under the Cathedral floor. The precise design of the wooden coffin is still being worked out and will be announced at a later date, but the carpenter who will make the coffin has been selected already. It’s Michael Ibsen, Richard’s sixteenth grand-nephew, a direct descendant down the maternal line of Richard’s sister Anne of York whose mitochondrial DNA helped identify the King’s remains. He’s a cabinet and furniture maker by trade, so it’s a fitting commission in every way. Ibsen accepted the work offer with alacrity, calling it “a very appropriate gift to offer to [his] royal ancestor.”
The oak coffin will play an important role in the reburial ceremony. The ossuary will be placed in the coffin at the University of Leicester and the coffin will then be transported to the Cathedral along a public route that will follow what we know of King Richard’s movements on the last days of his life. It will be received formally by Cathedral officials accompanied by the medieval service of Compline. The coffin will then lie in state covered with a pall that will feature scenes from Richard’s life and death. The public will be invited to pay their respects at this time.
The reburial service will not be a funeral as Richard had one of those already. Instead it will be a special service designed according to detailed research of medieval reinterment rites (reburials were quite common back then, and there are extant sources describing the services). The service will conclude with the coffin being lowered into the brick vault. The tomb will be sealed overnight with the stone plinth and the sarcophagus-like Swaledale fossil stone marker.
The tomb and marker will be installed in an ambulatory (an open walking space) between the new Chapel of Christ the King and the sanctuary under the tower, the most holy place in the Cathedral where the main altar stands. It will be a peaceful, quiet spot, separated from the main worship area of the Cathedral by the relocated Nicholson screen, an ornately carved screen created in the 1920s by ecclesiastical architect and baronet Sir Charles Nicholson to separate the nave from the chancel.
Cathedral officials hope to start the construction work this summer so the building can be finished by early 2015 in time for a Spring reburial. The total budget for this project is £2,500,000 ($4,240,000). The Diocese of Leicester will contribute £500,000 ($848,000) and £100,000 ($170,000) has already been collected in donations. Much of the rest will come from large grants from trusts, foundations and private donors. There will be a fundraising appeal later this year targeted to the Leicester community, giving local residents the opportunity to fund a specific element of the reburial project. Meanwhile, donations are open. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so online here or you can print out this pdf form for sending in a donation by mail.
Due to the server downtime on the Cooper’s website yesterday, paid Pennsic Registration has been extended through 11:59pm, Wednesday, June 18th.
There is a link to register on the Pennsic War Site. The Cooper’s Site lists registration as closed, but has changed the date, and you are still able to register.
Filed under: Pennsic
Codnor Castle, a 13th century stone keep and bailey fortress, is a fragile ruin in Derbyshire, England about which little is known, but the discovery of a 13th century stone quatrefoil may help experts learn more about the structure.
The Falcon Banner, an online news source for the Kingdom of Calontir, reports that a new work, Hymn for the Soup Kitchen by Andrixos Seljukroctoni, has been added to the website for the CalonSound Project.
Kameshima-ky Zentarou Umakai reports that at the recent War Practice, Their Majesties Tindal and Etain of the Kingdom of AEthelmearc offered elevation to the Peerage to four of Their subjects.
During an archaeological survey before construction of a new hotel at 50 Bowery in New York City, archaeologists unearthed a trove of 19th century bottles from when the space was occupied by a German beer garden. Atlantic Gardens offered beer and live entertainment from 1858 until it closed in 1916, leaving behind all kinds of dishes and bottles. Among the latter were bottles of patent medicine, nostrums made from combinations of herbs and alcohol or even narcotics like opium, that claimed to cure a wide variety of ailments.
One of the bottles was a small green glass cylinder labeled “Elixir of Long Life.” Two bottles of Dr. Hostetters Stomach Bitters were also discovered at the site. With the empty vessels in hand, the experts of contractor Chrysalis Archaeology decided to seek out recipes and recreate the products that once sold briskly at taverns as well as at apothecary shops and from street vendors.
After researching the brands in German, the team found that The Elixir of Long Life is a fairly straight-forward collection of ingredients from the herbalist handbook — aloe, an anti-inflammatory, gentian root, a digestive aid — combined with lots of alcohol. Dr. Hostetters Stomach Bitters went a bit further afield:
The Hostetters recipe is a bit more complex, containing Peruvian bark, also known as cinchona, which is used for its malaria-fighting properties and is still used to make bitters for cocktails, and gum kino, a kind of tree sap that is antibacterial. It also contains more common ingredients, including cinnamon and cardamom seeds, which are known to help prevent gas.
But it too was proportionally dominated by grain alcohol, so even if the herbs didn’t cure what ailed you, the rest of it would make you forget about how sick you were. In fact, although Dr. Hostetters bitters may not be sold as medicines anymore, its cousins like Angostura and Aperol are popular ingredients in cocktails and are often consumed before or after meals because they’re still considered digestive boosts, a hangover from their days of being sold at taverns to quell the stomach demons.
But why should the archaeologists have all the fun? Here are the recipes to make your own Elixir of Long Life and Dr. Hostetters Stomach Bitters in the comfort of your own home.
Elixir of Long Life:
Aloes – 13 grams
Squeeze out the liquid from the aloe and set aside. Crush the rhubarb, gentian, zedoary and Spanish saffron (for a modern twist, use a blender for this part), and mix them with the aloe liquid, water and alcohol. Let the mixture sit for three days, shaking frequently. Then filter it using a cheesecloth or coffee filter, and serve. Be careful with the liquid — the saffron can dye your hands or other kitchen items.
Dr. Hostetters Stomach Bitters:
Gentian root – 1 1/2 ounces
Mash together the gentian, orange peel, cinnamon, anise, coriander, cardamom and Peruvian bark. Mix the crushed ingredients with the gum kino and the alcohol. Let the mixture sit in a closed container for two weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain the mixture, add the sugar and water to the strained liquid and serve.