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THE CODE OF LAWS OF THE KINGDOM OF THE WEST

As proclaimed by order of King Jean I, on the first day of May, Anno Societatus VI, and
amended in the reigns of King Hagen, King James, King Paul, King Andrew and King William II.*

Article I - The Law

Sec. 1     The King's word is Law. Any Proclamation of the Crown of the West is the Law of the Kingdom from the moment it is spoken, subject only to the By-Laws of the Society for Creative Anachronism and the formal decisions of its Board of Directors. However, until such proclamation shall have been presented in writing to the populace of the Kingdom, no subject of the Crown may be considered to be breaking the Law in acting contrary to such proclamation through ignorance.

Sec. 2     Amendments to these Laws shall be presented in the form of specific changes, additions, or deletions to specific articles and sections. Other proclamations shall be understood to have effect only during the Reign of the King and Queen making them and to lapse at the Coronation of the next King and Queen. The only exceptions are the Charters of the several Baronies, Principalities and Organizations within the Kingdom of the West, the Warrants of Appointment of the Officers of the Kingdom and all its parts, and any express written directive from the Crown to its ministers.

Sec. 3     All proclamations of all previous reigns not incorporated herein are rescinding, that there may be but one body of Law in this Realm. Each year at Twelfth Night will be made available copies of the Law updated to include the amendments of the previous twelve months (and all amendments not incorporated therein are understood to be rescinded), in order that all may know the Laws of the Kingdom of the West.

Sec. 4     Within any Principality of the Kingdom of the West, the word of the Prince and Princess of that Principality is Law, subject to the By-Laws of the Society for Creative Anachronism, the formal decisions of its Board of Directors, and the discretion of the Crown of the West.

Sec. 5     In event that any Officer of the Crown of the West shall receive instructions, directions, or orders (saving only routine administrative directives), from anyone not given authority herein to give such, that Officer shall take no action on said instructions, directions, or orders until the King and Queen of the West shall have been consulted as to Their pleasure in the matter.

Article II - The Tournaments and the Crown

Sec. 1      There shall be three Official Crown Tournaments and three Official Coronation Festivals per year in the Kingdom of the West. They shall occur on the weekend nearest to, or if it is a Wednesday, the next following:
6 January - Coronation Festival - Twelfth Night
21 March - Crown Tournament - Vernal Equinox
1 May - Coronation Festival - Beltane and New Year's Day
21 June - Crown Tournament - Midsummer's Day
1 August - Coronation Festival - Lammastide and Purgatorio
21 September - Crown Tournament - Autumnal Equinox
And these six Official events shall occur within the Provinces bordering the Great Bay of St. Francis in the heartland of our Kingdom, except that the Crown may, at the time of the scheduling these events, grant exceptions as to date or place for sufficient cause. The exact dates, and normally the locations, of all events shall be made known to the populace by in the issue of The Page immediately following 1 December for the following twelve months. In addition, firm dates for the following three events shall be made known to the combatants by the beginning of each Crown Lists, if such dates are exceptions to the above schedule.

Sec. 2     Each fighter, upon entering the Crown Lists, must declare that he will be available for the weekend during which his Coronation would occur, the weekend of the next Crown Tournament, and the weekend of the Coronation of his successor; for no one may enter the Crown Lists without intending to win the Crown, and no one may intend to win the Crown without intending to reign.

Sec. 3.1     Should the Crown Prince, through no fault of his own, be unable to attend the Coronation Festival whereat he would have been crowned, such steps shall be taken as seem necessary, and as are acceptable both to the Crown Prince and to the King, that the Crown Prince may achieve his Crown and become King.
Sec. 3.2     Should the Crown Prince fail to intend to reign, and should great and sufficient evidence of this failure be presented to the King, the King shall call Curia Regis to consider the matter.
Sec. 3.3     Should the decision in Curia Regis be that the Crown Prince has not failed in intent, then the King shall take such steps as are necessary and as are acceptable to both the King Crown Prince, that the Crown Prince may achieve his Crown. But should the decision in Curia Regis be that the Crown Prince has failed in intent, then the Crown Prince shall be instructed to attend the Coronation Festival as scheduled or to abdicate.
Sec. 3.4     Should the Crown Prince elect to abdicate, either directly or through his failure to respond or appear, then at the beginning of the Coronation Festival, a Crown Lists shall be called, to be comprised of all fighters present who had participated in the last Crown Lists, whereat the former Crown Prince won, saving the former Crown Prince. And the winner of these Crown Lists shall become Crown Prince and he and his lady will immediately be crowned King and Queen of the Kingdom of the West.

Sec. 4     No King or Queen shall, within their Reign, hold any other Office within the Kingdom of the West; for at the moment of Coronation all other Offices formerly held by the new King and Queen shall be in abeyance for the duration of Their Reign. The new King and Queen shall provide for the temporary filling of such offices during Their Reign, normally by a person already designated as Chief Deputy for that Office.

Sec. 5     In that it is the duty of all belted fighters to provide a proper example of readiness for those who aspire to that rank, any Knight or Master-at-Arms who does not come equipped with helm, shield, and weapon and any other required equipment for his exclusive use at that event, duly examined and passed by the King or his representative, may not fight. Neither shall any fighter bear upon the field any arms or devices of another, nor badge, save by fealty to or affiliation with the holder thereof, unless due to unusual circumstances the King shall personally grant a temporary exception in a specific case.

Sec. 6     All belted fighters have the right to compete for the right to crown their Lady as Queen of Love and Beauty of the Kingdom of the West, unless the King shall find fault with them under the provisions of Rule #14 of the Rules of the Lists, or they shall be otherwise in violation of the Rules of the Lists, the Laws of the Society, or the Laws of the Kingdom of the West.

Sec. 7     The use of horses are tournaments shall be governed by the following rules:
     Sec. 7.1      All persons wishing to ride at tournaments must have the permission of the Master or Mistress of Equestrian Arts.
     Sec. 7.2      Horses within the pavilion area shall be ridden at no gait faster than a walk.
     Sec. 7.3      Horses shall not be used in combat until such time as riders have complied with all of the Rules of the Lists for fighters and have proven sufficiently skilled in the handling of horses; and horses have been proven sufficiently trained and have sufficient armor as to suffer no discomfort or injury.
     Sec. 7.4      Real weapons may not be used for jousting at rings or quintain, and riders need not be qualified fighters in such circumstances.
     Sec. 7.5      No jousting at another person will be permitted.      Sec. 7.6      Helms used for riding must be checked and approved by the Master or Mistress of Equestrian Arts and by the King or His representative.

Article III - Officers and Duties

Sec. 1.1      There shall be seven Great Officers of State of this Kingdom and they shall be the Crown's Ministers and may sit with the King and Queen in Curia Regis. The Great Officers of State shall be: The Lord or Lady Chancellor, the Lord or Lady Seneschal, the Vesper Herald, the Earl Marshal, the Master or Mistress of Arts, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Master or Mistress of Sciences.
Sec. 1.2      These Officers shall be responsible to the Crown to carry out the laws and affairs of the Kingdom and to the national officers of the Society for Creative Anachronism, to conform to the By-Laws of the Society and the formal decisions of its Board of Directors to safeguard the interests and honor of the Society.
Sec. 1.3      These responsibilities shall not conflict, inasmuch as the King and Queen are equally bound to honor the same responsibilities and since the two sets of responsibilities exist in two separate spheres.
Sec. 1.4      All Great Officers of State shall be considered to be equal in rank as the Crown's Ministers.

Sec. 2.1      Great Officers of State shall be appointed by the Crown with the consent of the appropriate national officer of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Sec. 2.2      All deputies of Great Officers, all Lesser Officers of State, and all other Officers and Ministers of whatever position within the Kingdom, shall be appointed by the signed Warrant of the King and Queen.
Sec. 2.3      Any Officer or Minister may be removed by the Crown temporarily, or, for cause, permanently.
Sec. 2.4      Should the King and Queen be absent or unavailable, and should circumstances demand immediate attention, temporary actions may be taken by the appropriate Great Officer of State, or, in a case within a Principality, the Prince. Such temporary actions shall be taken in writing and shall be presented for confirmation to the King and Queen as soon as possible.

Sec. 3      In the event an Office becomes vacant, recommendations and/or comments shall be forwarded to the Crown in the following manner:
     Sec. 3.1      The outgoing Officer shall forward a recommendation to the corresponding Officer at the next higher level. In the event a prompt recommendation is not made, this duty shall become the responsibility of the Seneschal of the area in question. Those receiving such recommendations from their subordinates may add their own recommendations (in which case, copies must be sent to their subordinates), and shall forward them, together with the originals, until, in this manner, they reach the Crown.
     Sec. 3.2      Recommendations shall be expected from the outgoing Officer (unless he/she was removed for cause), the Seneschal of the area, the appropriate Principality officer (if any), the Prince (if he should so desire), and the appropriate Kingdom Officer.
     Sec. 3.3      Anyone, if they so wish, may petition the Crown with a recommendation via the appropriate Kingdom Officer, the Lord Seneschal, or directly to the Crown.
     Sec. 3.4      All recommendations, but not necessarily the reasons for them, shall be made public on request.

     Sec. 4.1      The Lord or Lady Chancellor shall serve as chief legal advisor to the Crown and shall carry out such other duties as are appropriate to the post.
     Sec. 4.2      The Lord or Lady Seneschal shall be the principal legal representative of the Society within the Kingdom, shall have the ultimate responsibility for planning and carrying out the Official Events of the Kingdom, shall receive reports from all other Great Officers and from Lesser Officers of State on the status of their Offices, and shall carry out such other duties as are appropriate to the post.
     Sec. 4.3      The Vesper Herald shall be the Crown's Official Voice upon the field, shall head the Kingdom's College of Heralds, and shall carry out such other duties as are appropriate to the post.
     Sec. 4.4      The Master or Mistress of Arts shall be responsible for the encouragement and development of the Arts within the Kingdom, and shall carry out such other duties as are appropriate to the post.
     Sec. 4.5      The Earl Marshal shall have the primary responsibility for the conduct of combat upon the field and for insuring and promoting the reasonable safety of such combat, and shall carry out such other duties as are appropriate to the post.
     Sec. 4.6      The Chancellor of the Exchequer shall be responsible for the collecting, safeguarding, and disbursement of the monies of the Kingdom, shall receive reports of the funds of the several parts and Offices of the Kingdom, and shall carry out such other duties as are appropriate to the post.

Sec. 5.1      Each Great Officer of State shall have such deputies, assistants, and subordinates as are necessary to the functioning of the office. Such persons shall be appointed as provided in Sec. 2 of this Article.
     Sec. 5.2      The Constable shall be under the Lord or Lady Chancellor.
     Sec. 5.3      The Chatelaine, the Golden Key, the Chronicler, and other appropriate officials under the Seneschal's Office.
     Sec. 5.4      All degrees of heraldic officials shall be under the Vesper Herald.
     Sec. 5.5      The Dance Master or Mistress, the Master or Mistress of Music, the President of the College of Bards, and all other such persons shall be under the Office of the Master or Mistress of Arts.
     Sec. 5.6      The Knights-Marshal and all other marshals shall be under the Earl Marshal.
     Sec. 5.7      The Keeper of the Royal Pavilion shall be under the Master or Mistress of Sciences.
     Sec. 5.8      The Tourney Master or Mistress shall be appointed by the Crown upon join recommendation of the Seneschal, the Vesper Herald and the Earl-Marshal, and shall Be responsible to the foregoing officers in their appropriate jurisdictions; specifically to the Lord or Lady Seneschal for securing dates and places and for general organizing and scheduling of events, to the Vesper Herald in matters of ceremony, and to the Earl Marshal for proper laying out of the Lists.
     Sec. 5.9      The Office of the Master or Mistress of the Lists, the College of Scribes, the Royal Archer, the Master or Mistress of Equestrian Arts, the Royal Chirurgeon and other Lesser Officers of State shall be directly responsible to the Crown, but shall coordinate their activities with the Seneschal and other officials as may be appropriate.

     Sec. 6.1      There shall be a Council of Arms, consisting of five fighters chosen for their interest in authenticity, safety, and innovation in weaponry and armor.
     Sec. 6.2      Two members of this Council shall be recommended by the Master or Mistress of Sciences, and two by the Earl Marshal for appointment by the Crown, the Master or Mistress of Sciences being the fifth member and chairman.
     Sec. 6.3      The Earl Marshal's Commission on Weapons and Standards shall be appointed from members of the Council of Arms.
     Sec. 6.4      The Earl Marshal and the Dukes shall be ex officio members at all times and may be appointed to the Council of Arms at any time to serve as regular members.
     Sec. 6.5      Ex officio members shall not be one of the three basic members of the Earl Marshal's Commission.
     Sec. 6.6      Reports and recommendations of the Council of Arms will be made to the King through the Master or Mistress of Sciences and the Earl Marshal.

     Sec. 7.1      There shall be a Council of the Exchequer. It shall consist of the King, the Queen, the Lord or Lady Seneschal, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer or their representatives. The unanimous consent of this Council is necessary for the disbursement of any monies of the Kingdom.
     Sec. 7.2      This Council shall meet between the Coronation of each King and Queen and the next Crown Tournament to determine the budget for that reign.
     Sec. 7.3      This Council shall also meet whenever else is necessary.
     Sec. 7.4      All requests for monies and proposals for use of the Kingdom's funds must be submitted in writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

     Sec. 8      There shall be a Grand Council meeting of the King, the Queen, the Crown Prince, the Crown Princess, the Great Officers of State, the Lesser Officers of State, and such other Officers as may be appropriate and necessary, between every Crown Tournament and the Coronation, so that the incoming Royalty may meet all of Their Ministers and be informed of the state of the Kingdom.

Article IV - Courts

     Sec. 1.1      The Courts of this Kingdom shall be Curia Regis, the Court of Chancery, and such special courts as the Crown may periodically or occasionally convene. Each Court shall be concerned with those matters delegated to it by the Crown.
     Sec. 1.2      The Curia Regis shall consist of the King, who convenes this Court and presides over it, the Queen, the Lord or Lady Seneschal, the Lord Chancellor, such other Ministers as may be concerned with the subject of the court, and such other persons as the Crown may desire to include at a particular meeting of the Court.
     Sec. 1.3      Any subject of the Crown of the West may attend open sessions of this Court and may petition the Crown upon matters relevant and appropriate.
     Sec. 1.4      Decisions of the Court shall be by the King and Queen after hearing the advice of Their Ministers.

     Sec. 2      The Court of Chancery shall consist of the Lord Chancellor, who shall preside, the Lord or Lady Seneschal, and such other persons as the Lord Chancellor shall determine from time to time. This Court shall decide matters involving interpretation of the Laws of the Kingdom, and such other matters as may be referred to it by the Crown.

     Sec. 3      When the Crown has declared a Kingdom investigation complete and the decision final, no Officer may reopen the investigation or overrule the decision, save at the direction of the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

     Sec. 4      Save for consideration of matters of personnel, no Court or other meeting shall be held in secret without the specific permission of the Crown for great cause and in a specific instance; for the business of the Kingdom is not secret from the subjects of the Crown of the West.

     Sec. 5      Anyone wishing to register formal complaint against another within this Kingdom shall at minimum send copies of the complaint to the person being complained against, the local Seneschal, the Lord or Lady Seneschal of the Kingdom, and the Crown (via the Lord or Lady Seneschal). Any complaint not conforming to this requirement does not exist and will not be acted upon by the Crown or any Officer of the Kingdom. Complaints against an Officer should be directed to that Officer's immediate superior in addition to the above copies.

Article V - Arms and Orders

     Sec. 1      Membership in any body created by the King and Queen of the West is regulated by the King and Queen. Membership in any organization recognized and chartered by the King and Queen is regulated by that organization.

     Sec. 2      Membership in the Order of the Silver Mullet may be granted by the Crown to Knights who exhibit exceptional Chivalry and Courtesy for a substantial period of time. Recommendations for membership in this Order will come from the Order.

     Sec. 3      The Crown may grant the Order of the Leaf of Merit to those persons who it finds deserving of such honor for whatever reason, but normally involving substantial service to the Kingdom or the Society of a substantial period of time, particularly of a sort that does not inherently attract great public attention. This Order shall carry with it an Award of Arms, and shall rank immediately after Grants of Arms and ahead of all other Awards of Arms.

     Sec. 4      In addition to the Great Officers of State, the following persons may be given Grants of Arms:
          a)      Landed Barons and Baronesses, at the pleasure of the Crown.
          b)      The Chief Deputy Seneschals, the Titled Heralds, the Chief Deputies of the other Great Officers of State, upon the recommendation of their superiors and at the pleasure of the Crown;
          c)      Lesser Lords of State who head large Offices, at the pleasure of the Crown.

     Sec. 5      All Arms, whether by Award, Grant or Patent, are given at the pleasure of the Crown to those who meet the qualifications for them. Anyone may submit recommendations to the Crown, together with the reasons for them, but the actual gift of Arms is the Crown's alone.

     Sec. 6      Notwithstanding Section 5 of this Article, the Crown may grant to the Prince and Princess of a well established Principality the right to give Awards of Arms to Their subjects within that Principality. Such authorization shall last only for the duration of the Reign and shall lapse immediately upon the Coronation of the next King and Queen, who may renew it or not at Their pleasure.

Article VI - The Conduct of Combat

     Sec. 1      No person shall enter the combat field during combat save the combatants, the officiating Marshals, and those who have obtained permission from the Crown for a specific instance.

     Sec. 2      Blows at or below the knee or wrist need not be counted.

     Sec. 3      In case of injury, no person shall enter upon the field save the combatants already present, the officiating Marshals who are already present, the Earl Marshal, the Lady of the injured fighter, that member of the Office of the Royal Chirurgeon who is on duty at the moment, the King, the Queen, or someone specifically granted permission by the Crown for great cause, such as to assist the injured fighter from the field.

     Sec. 4      No person shall be present upon the field of combat during combat carrying, or under the influence of, alcoholic beverages.

     Sec. 5      There shall be no smoking upon the field.

     Sec. 6      If, for reasons acceptable to the King, any fighter on the field does not wish to fight a specific opponent, he may honorably withdraw, or they may, with the approval of the Crown, settle the contest by means other than combat.

     Sec. 412      Overacting. 2

Article VI - Arms and Armor

     Sec. 1      Any shield which has metal within 3/4 inch of the edge of the shield must have the shield edge protected in such a manner as to cover the metal edge and protect swords from excessive damage.

     Sec. 2      All fighters shall be equipped with adequate protection for the neck, hands, kidneys and joints before entering upon the field for combat. Adequacy of such protection, or of other protection which may be required, will be determined by the Earl Marshal.

Twelfth Night, AS X


* As published in the February, 1976 issue of The Page. -- Hirsch von Henford, Historian and person who transcribed this ...

2 It's a reference to an old Stan Freberg routine - St George and the Dragonet. -- Christopher of Hoghton


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