Below are the results of the January 2004 Letter of Acceptance and Return from the Laurel King of Arms. This website is not authoritative, but is an accurate reproduction of the text of the January 2004 LoAR. On the January 2004 LOAR, Laurel considered items from the August 2003 and September 2003 Outlands Letters of Intent.

August 2003 Letter of Intent
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(summaries of Cover Letter items provided by Sorcha Weel)

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Angus Montgomery the Forrester. Badge. (Fieldless) An arrow Or and overall a hound passant ermine.
Ástriðr of Dragonsspine. Holding name and device (see RETURNS for name). Or, a popinjay vert and a chief doubly-enarched azure.

Submitted under the name Ástriðr Ketilsdóttir.

Birgitta Andersdotther. Name and device. Azure, a dance argent between two natural seahorses respectant and a handbell Or.
Briana of Nahrun Kabirun. Holding name and device (see RETURNS for name). Per chevron azure and argent, a dove displayed argent and a tree blasted and eradicated sable.

The name was submitted as Briana Bronwen Du Bois.

Caer Galen, Barony of. Badge. Per pale Or and azure, a harp counterchanged.
Cailte Caitchairn. Name change from Caoilte Caitchairn.

Her previous name, Caoilte Caitchairn, is released.

Caitilín inghean Sheáin. Name and device. Per chevron azure and argent, a wolf's head erased and a dumbek counterchanged.

Submitted as Caitilín inghean Seáin, the patronym was not lenited in the byname, as is required by Gaelic grammar. We have made this correction.

The wolf's head was originally blazoned as ululant, a term used in SCA heraldry for a wolf in some posture with its head pointed to chief and howling. In this emblazon, the muzzle of the head is tilted to dexter chief, which is a reasonable artistic variant for a plain wolf's head. We do not believe that it is necessary to blazon a charge consisting only of a head in profile as ululant.

Citadel of the Southern Pass, Barony of the. Order name Order of Arquites Australes.

Submitted as Order of Arquites Australis, based on the documentation, this order name basically means 'Order of Southern Bowmen'. No documentation was presented and none was found that an adjective meaning 'Southern' would have appeared in an order name in period. However, the barony has previously registered Order of the Lux Australis (registered in November 1993), Order of the Flos Australis (registered April 1988), and Order of the Astrum Australis (registered March 1985). Roughly translated, these order names mean 'Order of the Southern Light', 'Order of the Southern Flower', and 'Order of the Southern Star', respectively. Therefore, this basic construction is grandfathered to the barony so long as the noun in the order name is within the rather wide group of 'light', 'flower', and 'star'.

The submitted order name was intended to mean 'Order of the Southern Bowmen', based on the documentation provided in the LoI:

Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898) ( Under 'arquites', it says to look under 'sagitarii', which says "The bowmen of the Roman armies. These were generally raised by levy or furnished by the allies. The Cretan, Balearic, and Asiatic bowmen were especially celebrated." The Barony already has other Order names using 'Australis', meaning 'southern'.

In this case, the grammar of the order name is not quite correct. Metron Ariston explains:

A quick look at the big Lewis and Short confirms my initial impression that arquites does appear in a classical gloss for sagittarii but also confirms my recollection that this form is plura[l]. That being the case, I would expect the plural form of the adjective: australes. That would make the nominative form arquites australes. However, if they really want a Latin form, it should be Ordo followed by the genitive: Ordo Arquitum Australium.

Based on Metron Ariston's information, we have changed the adjective in this order name from the singular Australis to the plural Australes in order to match the plural Arquites referring to bowmen (rather than a single bowman).

While Arquites 'bowmen' does not fall into the same category of 'star', 'flower', and 'light' used in the barony's previously registered order names, a word meaning 'bowmen' is reasonable based on examples of period order names referring to plural groups of people such as Militia, Knights, Preachers, etc., listed in Meradudd Cethin's article "Project Ordensnamen OR What do you mean that the Anceint[sic] and Venerable Order of the Most Holy and Righteous Wombat's Toenail isn't period?" ( As a result, the order name Order of Arquites Australes violates the RfS (due to lack of documentation of 'Southern' in an order name) in the same manner as the previously registered order names. While the word grandfathered via these order names is the singular form Arquitis, it is reasonable to allow the grandfathering to extend to the plural form Arquites because construction of this order name omitting Australes ('Order of the Bowmen') otherwise follows period construction examples.

Elia Stefansdottir. Name and device. Per fess azure and vert, a beaver sejant erect contourny Or.

This device does not conflict with Brighid ní Shirideáin, Per fess azure and vert, a sea-dog rampant Or. There is one CD for changing the posture of the animal and a second CD for the type difference between a sea-dog and a beaver.

One commenter asserted that the sea-dog is "the heraldic depiction of a natural beaver", and went on to reason that, as a result, no difference should be given between a sea-dog and a beaver. No references or documentation were provided to support this assertion. Two questions are begged by this unsupported assertion:

As for the first question, the only source we found saying that the beaver is the origin of the sea-dog is Fox-Davies' A Complete Guide to Heraldry, where the sea-dog is discussed with the other dogs in the chapter titled "Beasts". Parker's A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry mentions a conjecture that the crocodile is the origin of the sea-dog. However, it seems generally agreed that the most likely origin of the sea-dog is the otter (as stated in Parker's A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry, Woodward's A Treatise on Heraldry British and Foreign, and Moule's The Heraldry of Fish).

As for the second question, RfS X.4.e gives clear criteria for when we should, and should not, give difference between two charges. That rule states "Types of charges considered to be separate in period, for example a lion and an heraldic tyger, will be considered different."

In comparing the sea-dog with the most likely animal of origin, the otter, Woodward states explicitly that "The otter may be the original of the heraldic creature known as the sea-dog, but it is quite clear that, as represented, the latter finds a fitting place among armorial monsters. The otter, of whose use in armory The Heraldry of Fish contains a sufficient number of instances both as a charge and as a supporter, is usually drawn proper, and is thus very unlike the heraldic sea-dog." By "drawn proper" it is clear in context that Woodward means "drawn naturalistically" rather than "in its proper tincture": The Heraldry of Fish, pp. 147-149, provides a sizeable discussion of armory using otters, none of which are tinctured proper, but which are illustrated using naturalistic otters.

Visually, the sea-dog is quite distinct in period heraldry from period heraldic otters and from period heraldic beavers. The sea-dog is drawn like a talbot with prominent scales and fins. It often has a paddle-shaped tail, but not always: the sea-hounds dated to 1547 on p. 155 of Dennys' The Heraldic Imagination do not have paddle-shaped tails. The sea-dog's prominent fins often extend to the head of the creature as in the crest circa 1528 for Thomson on the bottom row of figure 13 of Woodcock and Robinson's The Oxford Guide to Heraldry, stated in the index to be a sea-dog.

By contrast, the heraldic otter is drawn as a smooth-furred animal with the shape of an ermine, except with a wider tail, as can be seen in the various arms of Meldrum (a good example is in the 15th C Armorial de Berry). The otter's head is a particularly popular charge in period Scottish heraldry, and is very different from the finned talbot-like head of a sea-dog: the heraldic otter's head has a pointed weasel-like face and small erect round ears, rather than the blunt muzzle, large floppy ears, and finny details of a sea-dog's head.

The heraldic beaver is drawn with a stocky, smooth-furred (not finned or scaled) body, a wide (usually, but not always, paddle-like) tail, and small or nonexistent ears. It is sometimes contorted into an unspeakable posture based on the medieval view of this animal's habits, as noted in Dennys' The Heraldic Imagination, p. 151. As an example of a beaver in a standard heraldic posture, see the family of Biber, Or, a beaver rampant sable, in the 14th C Zuricher Wappenrolle ( Some heraldic beavers did not resemble naturalistic beavers but did maintain the smooth-furred body, wide tail, and small (or nonexistent) ears of the beaver. Note, for example, the arms of the town of Biberach from 1483 (redrawn in Fox-Davies' A Complete Guide to Heraldry from the Concilum von Constanz), also in the chapter on "Beasts". Note also the arms of the same town on f. 219 of Siebmacher from 1605, which depict a less stocky beaver than the other examples, but which still cannot be visually confused with a sea-dog.

The evidence above appears to strongly indicate that a sea-dog and a beaver were considered distinct charges in period and should be given a CD for type difference under RfS X.4.e.

We do note that Fox-Davies, in his discussion of the sea-dog, states that "There has been considerable uncertainty as to what the sinister supporter [of the city of Oxford] was intended to represent. A reference to the original record shows that a beaver is the real supporter, but the representation of the animal, which in form has varied little, is very similar to that of a sea-dog." Certainly the sinister supporter of the city of Oxford in the emblazon used in Fox-Davies' time does not closely resemble a sea-dog, although it does resemble Siebmacher's beaver. A depiction of the emblazon used in Fox-Davies' time (roughly 100 years ago) is depicted at, which site states that the charge is indeed intended to depict a beaver. It is not clear what emblazons Fox-Davies is using to support his assertion that the depictions of the sea-dog and the beaver are "very similar": it is entirely possible that any "very similar" emblazons are found after 1600. Given the other evidence above, we do not feel that Fox-Davies' assertion contravenes the demonstrated general pattern by which sea-dogs were drawn distinctly from beavers before 1600.

Finn mac Dubgaill meic Cuill. Name and device. Per bend sinister vert and azure, an anchor Or sustained by a sea-lion argent.

Submitted as Fionn mac Dubhghaill mhic Cuill, the submitter requested authenticity for the 9th to 12th C and allowed minor changes. The form Fionn mac Dubhghaill mhic Cuill is an Early Modern Irish Gaelic (c. 1200 to c. 1700) form. The corresponding Middle Irish Gaelic (c. 900 to c. 1200) form of this name is Finn mac Dubgaill meic Cuill. We have changed this name to the Middle Irish Gaelic form in order to meet the submitter's request for authenticity.

Floriana de Priego. Name.
Gwentliana filia Iohannes. Name.

Submitted as Gwenlliana  Iohannes, the submitter requested authenticity for Welsh and allowed any changes. Clarion provided commentary regarding an authentic form of this name:

Given the use of both Wen and Gwen in the 13th century guide [Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn, "A Simple Guide to Constructing 13th Century Names",], Gwentliana is probably a reasonable variant of Gwenllian for the 13th century. Taking the suggestion from the LoI that the name be normalized to the 13th century, this form is closer to the submitter's originally desired name. Probably the best for this period would be Gwentliana filia Iohannes.

We have changed this name to the Latinized form suggested by Clarion in order to meet the submitter's request for authenticity. Gwentliana filia Iohannes is a Latinized form, which would have appeared in documents from Wales in the submitter's desired time period.

This is close to, but clear of, Gwenllian ferch Owain (registered in January 1998). While both Owain and Iohannes are forms of John, they are being used in bynames and are in different languages (Welsh and Latin, respectively). As a result, the two bynames must only be significantly different in both sound and appearance, which they are.

Iohannes Kynith. Name.
Ivar Mac Enys. Name.

Submitted as Ivar MacGuiness, the submitter requested authenticity for 10th to 16th C Manx/Irish. The LoI stated that the submitter allowed no changes. However, his form clearly shows that he will allow minor changes.

The documentation provided for MacGuiness in the LoI was: "MacGuiness is listed as a variant of Mag Aongusa, on page 74 of Irish Family Names by Kelly." However, no documentation was provided and none was found to support the spelling MacGuiness as a plausible period form. Metron Ariston explains:

[...] J. J. Kneen's The Personal Names of the Isle of Man [...] (p. 127) does cite forms for Guinness (with two "n's") but they are well out of period: Mac Gennis from 1718 and Guinness from 1812 and 1816. Black (Surnames of Scotland, s.n. MacInnes) gives the same patronymic derivation and shows one Donald McKynes from 1514, Duncan M'Kynnes from 1548, John dow M'Aneiss from 1574, John Dow Mc Inoss from 1583 and Mcynwiss from 1525. Here too, however, the orthographies that we associate with the stout are late: McGinnis and M'Guenis both appear only from 1745.

Kneen (p. 127 s.n. Guinness) indicates that this is a variant of Kinnish. Under Kinnish (p. 155) he dates the forms Mac Enys to 1417 and Mac Inesh to 1511. We have changed the byname to the form Mac Enys in order to make this byname authentic for the submitter's requested time and culture.

Jacques Lambert. Name.

Good name!

Kaleriia Andronikova. Name change from holding name Gail of the Outlands.
Kristana Tancz. Name.
Lorcan Mac Colla. Device. Per chevron argent and purpure, two cows statant respectant sable and a battle axe argent.

Please advise the submitter to draw the per chevron line with a steeper angle and a bit lower on the field.

Lucas de Caid. Device. Azure, a chevron and in chief two stag's heads cabossed Or.
Mac Con mac Conaill. Name and device. Per bend sinister azure and argent, in bend three wolves passant counterchanged.
Milo Sohnovich. Name (see RETURNS for device).
Otto von Aken. Name and device. Per pale argent and sable, a chevron and in base a tower counterchanged.

Listed on the LoI as Otto van Aaken, this name was submitted as Otto von Aachen and changed at Kingdom to better match available documentation. The submitter requested authenticity for 1350 - 1400 German (Rhineland area).

Bahlow (p. 1 s.n. Aaken) dates Heinrich Aken to 1484 and notes that "around 1300, de Aken meant the city of Aachen as a place of origin". Orle notes that

[Name] What [Kingdom] actually did was change it to a Low German spelling. Since the Rhineland is closer to Middle High German for that period I would use von Aken.

Based on the citations in Bahlow and the information provided by Orle, we have changed this byname to the form von Aken to match documented period spellings and to make this name authentic for the submitter's requested time and culture.

Armorial designs of the form A chevron... and in base a [charge] are often drawn with the chevron higher on the field than normal, to best fill the space: "[Per chevron gules and vert, a chevron and in base a Latin cross parted and fretted Or] Though, as a number of commenters noted, the field division and chevron were drawn higher on the field than normal, in a design like this the chevron will normally be enhanced. It is not necessary to blazon the fact" (LoAR of December 1994). Even given this period tendency, please advise the submitter to draw the chevron lower on the field: it is drawn quite high on the field in this emblazon, even for this sort of armorial design.

Rebekah Tynker. Name and device. Per pale azure and ermine, a dove displayed within an orle counterchanged.

Note: Rebekah is her legal given name.

Rois inghean Domhnaill. Name change from holding name Danette of the Outlands.

Good name!

Samuel Tynker. Name.

Note: Samuel is his legal given name.

The LoI noted that the submitter originally submitted the form Sam rather than Samuel. As that is the case, the submitter may wish to know that a period diminutive Samme was found by the College. Aryanhwy merch Catmael explains:

If he'd really prefer a diminutive, Reaney & Wilson s.n. Sam says that "<Samson Fullon'> 1265 is also called <Samme> (c.1260)." While it's not a diminutive of <Samuel>, it's closer to <Sam> than <Samuel> is.

Sveinn Grímarsson. Device. Per chevron vair and Or, in base a raven displayed sable.
Thalia Ruggenall. Name and device. Per chevron argent and vert, two dragonflies vert and an oak tree fructed and couped Or.

There was some controversy regarding the registerability of the given name Thalia. Thalia was registered with an English byname in 1995:

In Greek mythology Thalia 'bloom; good cheer, wealth, plenty' was the Muse of comedy and one of the three Graces; the other two Graces were Euphrosyne 'cheerfulness, mirth, merriment' and Aglaia 'splendor, beauty, brightness'. Evidence for period use of the names of the Muses is slight [...] De Felice mentions several saints Eufrosina and indicates that Aglaia was used during the Italian Renaissance, while Withycombe notes a legendary saint Aglaia. Thus, the names of at least two of the three Graces were in use in Europe toward the end of our period; [...] we are willing to grant the possibility that the remaining name, Thalia, might have been used then. [Thalia Woodhall, 09/1995, A-An Tir]

Additionally, De Felice Dizionario dei nomi Italiani (p. 160 s.n. Euterpe) indicates that the name Euterpe, also the name of a Muse, came into use in the Italian Renaissance. Based on this evidence, it is reasonable to give the submitter the benefit of the doubt that the name of the third Grace could have been used in Italy during the Renaissance. We do not know the form it would have taken, but the spelling Thalia is a reasonable Latinized form.

Lacking evidence that any of the names of the Muses or Graces were used in England during the Renaissance, Thalia is not registerable as an English name. As English and Italian are registerable in the same name with one weirdness, this name is registerable.

There was a question raised during commentary regarding the what exactly the documentation was that was referenced in the ruling:

Note: documentation was presented for the use of Thalia by humans in our period. [Thalia Baroncelli, 09/1998, A-Middle]

A check of the submitter's file indicates that a commenter found the name Thalia as a 1st-2nd C A. D. Greek feminine given name in P. M. Fraser and E. Matthews, A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (volume IIIA, p. 197 s.n. [theta-alpha-lamda-eta-iota-alpha]), which lists Thalia as a Latin form.


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Ástriðr Ketilsdóttir. Name.

This name conflicts with Estrid Ketilsdottir (registered in April 1997). Estrid is an English form of the Old Norse Ástriðr. Additionally, there is insufficient difference in sound and appearance between these two forms.

Her armory has been registered under the holding name Ástriðr of Dragonsspine.

Briana Bronwen Du Bois. Name.

This name is being returned for a combination of issues.

Briana is a literary feminine given found in Spanish and English in late period (see the Cover Letter for the December 2001 LoAR for details). Bronwen is an SCA-compatible Welsh feminine given name. Regarding Du Bois, the LoI stated:

Du Bois is found in "French Surnames from Paris, 1421, 1423 & 1438" by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (, with this spelling dated to 1421 and 1423.

In fact, the spelling dated to 1421 and 1423 in that source is du Bois not Du Bois.

Therefore, this name has one weirdness for an element (Bronwen) that is SCA compatible. Additionally, this name (at best) combines Welsh, English, and French in a single name. The LoI did not address whether such a combination complies with RfS III.1, which states in part, "Each name as a whole should be compatible with the culture of a single time and place". At best, such a combination is a weirdness. Alternatively, it is not registerable. Regardless, this name has one weirdness for use of the SCA-compatible element and at least one weirdness for the lingual combination, and is, therefore, not registerable.

As the submitter allowed no major changes, we were unable to drop the element Bronwen and register her name as Briana du Bois.

Her armory has been registered under the holding name Briana of Nahrun Kabirun.

Milo Sohnovich. Device. Per bend sinister sable and gules, three bezants in bend sinister between in bend a crescent horns to sinister base argent and a scimitar bendwise sinister blade to base proper.

The primary bezants are drawn very small, even smaller than one would usually expect from a tertiary charge. We cannot construct a blazon that will reproduce the proportions of these charges. This submission therefore violates RfS VII.7.b, which states in pertinent part "Any element used in Society armory must be describable in standard heraldic terms so that a competent heraldic artist can reproduce the armory solely from the blazon."

This submission cannot be made registerable by simply drawing the bezants larger. If the bezants were drawn larger, they would be so close in size to the other charges that this armory would appear to be a single group of co-primary charges arranged two, one, and two, consisting of three types of charge (crescent, roundel, scimitar). Armory using a single group consisting of more than two types of charge is considered overly complex per RfS VIII.1.a.

Sergius Oppius Scaevola. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for 1st C A.D. Rome and allowed minor changes. The standard Roman tria nomina (three element name) is constructed as praenomen + nomen + cognomen. Evidence was found for both Sergius and Oppius as nomen and for Scaevola as a cognomen. Therefore, the submitted name has the form nomen + nomen + cognomen. No evidence was found that this a construction is plausible as a Roman name. Lacking such evidence, this name is not registerable.

Thyra ulfsvina. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for "Norse/Icelandic" and allowed any changes.

The byname ulfsvina 'wolf's friend' was submitted as a constructed byname formed from elements found in Geir T. Zoëga, A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic ( This source is a dictionary, not a name resource. While useful, it must be remembered that not every word in this source was applied to humans or would have been used as descriptive bynames in period. Some adjectives may never have been applied to a living creature. Some may have only applied to gods or mythical beasts in sagas or mythology. Others may have, indeed, been used to describe humans.

Therefore, while the submitted documentation could support the plausibility of ulfsvina as a word in Old Icelandic, it does not necessarily provide evidence that such a word would have been used as a descriptive byname for humans in period.

To determine the plausibility of ulfsvina as a descriptive byname, it must be compared to descriptive bynames known to have been used by humans in period. While the LoI noted that Geirr Bassi lists the descriptive byname barnakarl 'friend to children', no documentation was presented and none was found that a byname constructed as [animal] friend would have been used as a descriptive byname applied to humans in Old Norse. Lacking such evidence, ulfsvina is not registerable.

As the submitter requested authenticity for "Norse/Icelandic", she may wish to know that Thyra is a modern English rendering of the Old Norse feminine given name Þyri. There is some evidence that Thyra may have also appeared in late-period Danish. However, from the information that the College was able to find, the form Thyra is not authentic for the Old Norse period.

Cover Letter | Acceptances | Returns | Pends



Cover Letter | Acceptances | Returns | Pends

September 2003 Letter of Intent
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