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to be rescinded), in order that all may know the Laws of the Kingdom of the West.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
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:
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.
|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|
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
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:
All persons wishing to ride at tournaments must have the permission of the Master or
Mistress of Equestrian Arts.
Horses within the pavilion area shall be ridden at no gait faster than a walk.
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.
Real weapons may not be used for jousting at rings or quintain, and riders
need not be qualified fighters in such circumstances.
No jousting at another person will be permitted.
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
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.
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.
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.
All Great Officers of State shall be considered to be equal in rank as the Crown's Ministers.
Great Officers of State shall be appointed by the Crown with the consent of the
appropriate national officer of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
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.
Any Officer or Minister may be removed by the Crown temporarily, or, for cause, permanently.
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.
In the event an Office becomes vacant, recommendations and/or comments shall be
forwarded to the Crown in the following manner:
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.
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
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.
All recommendations, but not necessarily the reasons for them, shall be made public on request.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Constable shall be under the Lord or Lady Chancellor.
The Chatelaine, the Golden Key, the Chronicler, and other appropriate
officials under the Seneschal's Office.
All degrees of heraldic officials shall be under the Vesper Herald.
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.
The Knights-Marshal and all other marshals shall be under the Earl Marshal.
The Keeper of the Royal Pavilion shall be under the Master or Mistress of Sciences.
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.
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.
There shall be a Council of Arms, consisting of five fighters
chosen for their interest in authenticity, safety, and innovation in weaponry
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.
The Earl Marshal's Commission on Weapons and Standards shall be appointed
from members of the Council of Arms.
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.
Ex officio members shall not be one of the three basic members of the Earl Marshal's
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.
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.
This Council shall meet between the Coronation of each King and Queen and the next
Crown Tournament to determine the budget for that reign.
This Council shall also meet whenever else is necessary.
All requests for monies and proposals for use of the Kingdom's funds
must be submitted in writing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
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
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.
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.
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.
Decisions of the Court shall be by the King and Queen after hearing the advice
of Their Ministers.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
In addition to the Great Officers of State, the following persons may be given
Grants of Arms:
Landed Barons and Baronesses, at the pleasure of the Crown.
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;
Lesser Lords of State who head large Offices, at the pleasure of the Crown.
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.
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
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.
Blows at or below the knee or wrist need not be counted.
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.
No person shall be present upon the field of combat during combat carrying, or
under the influence of, alcoholic beverages.
There shall be no smoking upon the field.
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.
Article VI - Arms and Armor
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.
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 ...
It's a reference to an old Stan Freberg routine - St George and the Dragonet. -- Christopher of Hoghton
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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by
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