September the 26th, AS XXIII (1988).
Unto the Heraldic Officers of the Crown Principality of Ealdormere,
Greetings from Lord Brenainn O'Murchadha de Ros Comain, Trillium Herald.
Good Gentles All:
Our beloved Sovereigns have recently graced our fair land with the status of a Crown Principality. We must now begin in earnest to design Arms for this newly created state. The Lord and Lady Lieutenant shall soon make a public call for the submission of proposed Arms. It shall be our responsibility to solicit, gather and analyze these proposals, and then submit the final selection to the
The timetable for this process shall be roughly as follows:
early October - proposals for Arms solicited fron the people
October 22nd - October Faire, Greyfells - heralds meeting to discuss those proposals collected to date
November 12th - Feast of the Hare, Skraeling Althing - Council meeting; heraldically acceptable proposals presented for the Council's viewing
early December proposals circulated to all group seneschals for viewing by the people; further proposals solicited
January ?th – Twelfth Night, Septentria – heralds meeting to discuss any new proposals; acceptable ones shown to the Council
January - February - proposals circulated to the seneschals for voting by the people
March - successful proposal submitted to the
Some fears have been expressed to me as to the advisability of the selection of Arms by the (generally) heraldically ignorant populous. As all of the proposals put before the people will have been thoroughly vetted by us first, nothing heraldically incorrect will be available for selection. This is thus not a problem.
The role of the local pursuivants in all of this shall be to collect any proposals offered by members of the populous, scan them for any obvious breaches of armorial rules (ie, tincture misuse, blatant conflicts, lack of a laurel wreath, extreme complexity, unsubtle offensiveness, etc.), and send them on to me. Do not spend too much time in discoursing with people about their proposals. Please ensure that the proposees all know that their suggestions may be subject to alteration by the Heraldic Officers of Ealdormere (ie, if a proposal contains one or more good ideas, but is generally unacceptable, it will not be tossed out, but rather adjusted to rneet armorial standards).
The most important rule governing our future submission of Arms is AR5, the Good Example Rule; "the armery of Society branches and officers shall set a good example." To my mind this means that our future Arms should appear as mediaeval as possible. Nothing listed as a Discouraged Practice should be used in a proposal. Practices such as "mirror-image" symmetry, the implication of motion , and unbalanced design should be avoided, as should charges and design elements created within the Society (such as wreaths "in bordure" or fields "maily"). However , do not worry too much about this at the local level; those proposals that do not set a good example will, be weeded out long prior to voting.
Another relevant rule is AR9, the Charge Requirements. Part "a" states that "territorial branch arms shall contain at least one laurel wreath as a significant part of the design." The keyword here is "significant;" a tiny wreath off in a corner won't do. Part "b" sets out that "principalities may bear a coronet in their arms if they wish, but are not required to." Crowns and coronets are identical; the difference is entirely one of blazon.
Proposals should be submitted on standard heraldic emblazon forms, one coloured and one not, with no writing in any of the spaces provided. Well drawn proposals would be preferred, of course, but redrawing can be arranged. As well as the emblazen, the proposal should include a letter explaining the reasoning behind the proposed design. Please give the collection of proposals top priority among your duties; I don't think people will mind any possible delays if it's for the service of Ealdormere (however, I still expect your quarterly report on time!).
On wolves: I am of the opinion that wolve s should be discouraged as a part of our Arms, for two reasons:
a) mediaevally, the wolf was a creature of considerable ill-repute; it is not very symbolic of the excellent qualities of the Ealdormerean peoples, and
b) I find the wolf rather dull; I'd rather see some more unusual creature as our totem.
However, by now this beast is probably inseparable from the concept of Ealdormere in many people's hearts. I propose that the Arms be lacking in wolves, but that a wolf badge of some kind, for the general use of the folk of Ealdormere (after all, only the Prince and Princess of Ealdormere will have the use of the Arms), be simultaneously registered. I like "argent, a demi-wolf rampant gules issuant from flames azure," based on an idea (I don't know whose) which I overheard at an event. It incorporates the people's wolf motif, the primary tinctures from the Arms of Septentria, Skraeling Althing, and Noergate, and also relates a bit of our Principality's history. Keep in mind that in mediaeval times badges rarely had any relation to the arms borne by those who used them; it would be a "good example" if Ealdormere followed suit.
On the name: if anyone out there has reason to dislike the name Ealdormere, or thinks they have a better idea, they are welcome to submit a properly documented name proposal. However, I would not offer much for their chances of success; our name is even more ingrained than the wolf symbol. There is no harm in their trying, however.
Should anyone wish to submit proposals for award titles and/or badges, they are welcome to do so. These will not be considered until some future time, and are not yet a priority. Any such proposals will be stored and studied until needed.
On to more commonplace matters.
When a submission. is sent to me, the monies to cover expenses should be in the form of a cheque or money order payable to the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. Cash, or cheques/money orders payable to me, are an inconvenience and an extra expense for me: I have to change them into an acceptable money order and send this on to Kingdom level. I do not get to keep any of the submitters money, it all goes to Dragon Herald. Please find with this letter an updated listing of my resources. My thanks for your cooperation in these matters. Best wishes to you all!
Your Servant as Ever,
Brenainn O'Murchadha, Trillium Herald.
[contact information removed]
December the 7th, AS XXIII (1985).
Unto the Group Seneschals of the Crown Principality of Ealdormere, and All Other Gentles to Whom this missive may come, Greetings from Lord Brenainn O'Murchadha de Ros Comain, Trillium Principality Herald.
Most August Lords and Ladies:
This letter is for the purpose of acquainting the citizens of Ealdormere with the current selection of possibilities for our Principality Arms. Please allow the good gentlefolk of your group to view and (I hope) discuss this letter and the accompanying emblazons as soon as you may. Please colour the illustrations, perhaps with the aid of your local pursuivant.
The arms proposals herein depicted have all been checked for conflict t0 the best of my current ability (with one exception). They are all heraldically correct.
a) Gules, a wolf passant argent within a laurel wreath, in chief a coronet or.
b) Argent, a laurel wreath gules, overall on a fess wavy azure, a coronet argent.
c) Or, a fountain within a laurel wreath azure, in chief a coronet gules.
d) Argent, a pale gules, overall a wolf rampant or holding in the forepaws a laurel wreath vert, in chief a coronet or.
e) Gules, a trillium flower proper within a laurel wreath, in chief a coronet argent.
f) Argent, on a fess gules between three laurel wreaths vert, a coronet or.
g) Per bend. sinister argent and gules, a compass-star counterchanged, in canton a coronet gules within a laurel wreath vert.
h) Azure, a laurel wreath and on a chief wavy or, a coronet gules.
i) Vert, a shakefork fleury between in chief a coronet and in base two laurel wreath or.
j) Quarterly gules and azure, a horse statant, armed and caparisoned, in base a laurel wreath argent.
k) Argent, a demi-wolf rampant gules issuant from flames azure (a badge).
The only one of the above which has not yet been checked is j); it was included because my brother drew one extra escutcheon on the emblazon sheet, and also because it is the only submission thus far to attempt to cant on the name Ealdormere (older-mare; a grey horse). I have a goodly number of other proposals on hand which yet require checking. Further suggestions will be accepted until January.
Item k) is not an arms proposal, but rather a badge for the use of the people at large. Keep in mind that the Principality Arms will be for the use of the Prince and Princess; use by other citizens will be most uncommon.
Please be sure that your group is aware that anyone can send me their proposals, and that I must have them by January, the earlier, the better. My address can be found below. Great thanks for your cooperation in this matter!
Your Humble Servant,
Lord Brenainn O’Murchadha.
[contact information removed]