From the Editor:
Unto all who read this missive, now and in the future, from Pedro de Alcazar, the editor of Heralds' Point, greetings!
I hope that everyone had a satisfactory Pennsic, despite the muggy weather. I had hoped to meet more people at Heralds' Point, but business there was so intense that I hardly had time to do more than handle the workload. The heralds' gatherings on Monday & Tuesday evenings of War Week were suitably festive, though!
Heralds have always been recorders of mighty deeds, but we ourselves are often left out of the tales. At the request of Eogan Triton, I am composing a history of the College of Heralds of Atlantia. I hope to put this history before the readers of Heralds' Point in installments, as such a history would be too large to be presented wholesale.
The kingdom of Atlantia declared its independence in the spring of 1981. At the time, the Triton Herald was Mistress Moira Maureen ua Seamus of the Green Hills. She stayed in the office until that autumn, when Mistress Minowara Kiritsubo was appointed as the next Triton. I was able to briefly talk with her at Storvik's Baronial Investiture this spring and got a description of the state of Atlantian heraldry more than twenty years ago.
One of Mistress Minowara's first tasks was to help the throne institute the Order of the Silver Needle. Membership in this order was restricted to those who displayed uncommon skill in costuming. However, with the assent of its members, this order was closed; the last person to be granted membership in the order received it in 1985.
In the middle of her term, Mistress Minowara experimented with a notion that has been put into practice in the East and the Midrealm: heraldic provinces. Atlantia was divided into three heraldic provinces. Each province was headed by a provincial herald. Maryland, DC, and northern Virginia were the province of Osprey. Southern Virginia and North Carolina were the province of Bright Leaf. South Carolina was the province of Albatross.
At that time, Triton also had the duties that are currently performed by Golden Dolphin. The provincial heralds helped Triton by holding regional meetings at which submissions were either sent on to Triton for possible inclusion in the letter of intent or returned for further work. Triton ruled on the submissions sent up from the provinces. It was possible to appeal a provincial herald's ruling to Triton. A typical August letter of intent ran about 20 to 25 items.
According to Mistress Minowara, the notion of heraldic provinces just didn't feel right for Atlantia, and the experiment came to an end. After that, and until the establishment of the office of Golden Dolphin, submissions went directly to Triton from the local heralds.
In the absence of Unevent, the heralds met twice a year with Triton to disuss matters of gneral importance. Triton also did a "road show" at these assemblies, so that heralds who didn't have a chance to go to the provincial meetings or Triton's other meetings could learn how rulings were made. As the volume of submissions went up, though, this practice ceased.
Court heraldry was beginning to take the form that it has today, with some monarchs opting to use their own herald, & others opting to have Triton as their court herald. The docket order was more fixed. Peerage ceremonies came at the end of court. Vigils seem to have been unusual in Atlantia at that time, but the knighting ceremony was starting to take the more elaborate form that we have now.
At the start of 1985, Mistress Minowara resigned from the office of Triton. Her replacement was Master Alan O'Dubhda, who held the office until 1989.
Point of Fact
The most prominent example of a mediaeval kingdom with heraldic provinces was England. England had two provinces. Each province was overseen by a sovereign of arms. Norroy had everything between the River Trent and the Scottish border. Clarenceux's province, everything south of the Trent, was larger, but much more accessible before the development of modern roads, so they each spent about the same time at their tasks, including recording the family trees of armigers, granting arms to people who had attained the status of gentry, suppressing the arms of those who hadn't, and, at least in princple, holding heraldic conclaves to train the heralds of the province (presumably, these were heralds in the pay of the local gentry and peers). The Trent was a common boundary for administrative purposes in mediaeval England; it was the boundary between the archbishoprics of York and Canterbury.
Wales used to be its own heraldic province, with March as its king of arms. When the office of March disappeared after Henry VII deposed Richard III, Clarenceux and Norroy divvied up Wales.
Heraldry is an art as old as Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and as young as the newest submission. I welcome you to join in exploring it with your colleagues, the heralds of Atlantia-this is your journal. If you have always wanted to write an article that would be read by every Atlantian herald, if you have a question you would like to ask of all the heralds of Atlantia, send me a message at email@example.com! I would prefer that any articles or other messages come as plain text (ASCII), as opposed to HTML or some other format. Thank you!
Pedro de Alcazar
Herald's Point is the newsletter for the members of the College of Heralds of Atlantia. Herald's Point is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA) and does not delineate SCA policies. Herald's Point does delineate policies specific to the Kingdom of Atlantia. Copies of this newsletter are available from: Pedro de Alcazar (Craig Levin), 6700 Belcrest Road #1105, Hyattsville, MD 20782.