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The First Year

The First Coronation Tournament
April 30, 1967 AS I

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April 30, 1967 saw the First Coronation Tournament, held in Cragmont Park, Berkeley. Richard and Anne were crowned King and Queen by Henrik and Wendryn. King Richard declared that the day would be a celebration of his coronation and of the May and that his successor would be chosen at the next tournament. The winner of the day’s lists would earn the right to crown his lady Queen of May. Fulk de Wyvern defeated Sir Henrik of Havn and Steven of the Ashenlands (Sir Steven MacEanruig) and crowned his lady, Mary of Tamar, Queen of May. Fulk instituted the Muckin’ Great Clubbe (MGC) Award for Ferocity on the field (not skill or intelligence, just ferocity) by presenting it to Sir Henrik of Havn and charging him to present it in turn to the fiercest fighter at the next tournament. (Henrik’s Count title and Wendryn’s Countess title date from this day.) This was the end of the first year of the society. May 1 became the first day of the years Anno Societatis. (At this event Edward Bersark received a scroll for excellence in Poetry.)

Editor Note: Examining events, it is obvious that Fulk and Mary's reign was for just this one day, despite Richard and Anne being crowned earlier in the day, and then Fulk and Mary being crowned. Later events note that Richard and Anne (Diana -- who filled in for Anne) reigned until September. This caused some confusion. I have modified the awards list data a hair -- Fulk and Mary's Duke and Duchess titles now date to this date (they were backdated when the titles were created); and Richard's Ducal title is now set for the September tourney/coronation held later in the year, as are Diana and Anne's Countess/Order of the Rose titles. This is just to try to ensure the dates are more accurate for these recognitions, and hopefully lessen confusion (if possible) about these early events.

Richard of Mont Royal
Sable, in saltire a double-bitted
axe and a Celtic cross Or.
Anne of San Anselmo
(No Arms Registered)

Fulk de Wyvern
(Victor of Tournament)
Azure, a fess Or between three
wiverns argent.
Mary of Tamar
(Queen of May)
Or, two levriers rampant addorsed,
tails couped, sable.
Arms drawn by Nicholas Bawcock of Petersfield, used with permission
Arms colored by Aja du Jardin and Beatrix zum Dunklenturm

“This tourney was actually a watershed tourney for more reasons than it being the first May coronation tourney.
     “Richard, at the time, was acting as a sort of Resident Assistant (as they were called at San Francisco State, I dunno what his official title was) at a school and brought several of his residents along. He had been giving them some training and, among other things, they brought along some pikes. We had some melees in which the utility of pikes in defense was proven, but their problems in offense were also pointed out.
     “Richard also instituted the first attempt at chivalry by appointing seven warriors (myself and Sir Steven among them) as his Champions, and making it necessary for others to successfully challenge the champions to get into the lists. As it happened, Jon de Cles and I were the only ones to fail to hold our places. Jon was challenged by two pre-adolescents and decided to take them both on at once. They elegantly double-teamed him. I was challenged by Sir Ardral and one of Richard's proteges who went by the name Dale of Wales and looked more like it should be Dale the Whale (or perhaps Orca would be more exact). Not having Jon's flair, I took them on one at a time and Dale knocked me out of the competition in the first fight, then proceeded on to defeat Sir Ardral. He was then defeated by someone like Henrik or Steven. The two youngsters (who I believe were brothers) let their discipline fall apart when they fought each other after defeating Jon and were both summarily dismissed from the competition when they turned the fight into a flailing match (as I recall--one may have actually gone on to be defeated by another Champion).
     “I don't know of Dale ever showing up again, tho he might have once or twice. One of those natural jocks who picked up the sword stuff real quick.
     “The most important watershed of the this tourney, however, was the attempt of Nora to play with the boys. Having been rebuffed as a fencer at the last tourney, she showed up in something approximating armor (no worse than anyone else was wearing at the time) and weapons and wanted to fight like everyone else.
     “Henrik accepted the challenge, they fought, Henrik hit her. She fell, then complained that "He shouldn't have hit me so hard, I'm a girl." Henrik had, of course, not hit her any harder than he hit anyone else.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“Actually, I pulled the blow which struck her upper ribcage under her raised left arm.” – Henrik of Havn
"Nora Hewittson, or Huitson - I never saw it in print, and only heard the story after I joined in 68.” – James Greyhelm
“This set back women fighting in the SCA about six years.
     “By the way, I think someone like Steven should regale the assemblage with stories of the early practice sessions. I didn't go to a lot of them but Steven did and stories such as ‘How Steven Almost Deprived Henrik of an Eye’ should be told.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who wonders why no one got an eye put out in those early days...
“Divine Intervention! (Aka Dumb Luck!)” – Henrik of Havn
“Okay, since MacEanruig has not taken me up on my suggestion that he tell the story, if anyone takes a look at Henrik’s eyes, he might notice a scar over one of them (or the scar might finally be gone, it has been 30+ years).
     “During one of the early practice sessions, after the traditional breaking of the swords, Henrik and Steven squared off with short swords, which were made from the leftover plywood from some shields – no padding or anything. The fighting got hot and heavy, Henrik thrust at Steven, who blocked and said to himself “Oh, we can thrust, can we?” and thrust straight out for Henrik’s face guard. Henrik had a very open weave catcher’s mask over his spangenhelm for face protection. The not-very-blunt point of the shortsword went right through the weave (possibly breaking some welds, I’m not sure) and hit Henrik very hard just above his eye. There was much blood and Henrik might have been stunned or knocked out, I can’t remember the story and wasn’t there.
     “As he says, ‘Divine Intervention.’” – Stefan de Lorraine
“Pretty close to it. There Henrik, Richard, Fulk (I think) and I and perhaps some others were at a practice at San Anselmo. Henrik and I were fighting and neither one of us was having much luck hitting each other. I happened to fake a thrust (still legal) at his leg and noticed that he got wildly out of position. ‘Great’, I thought, ‘fake a thrust again and hit him.’ I faked another thrust and then, instead of swinging, I thrust at his head and put the point of the bokkan into his eye slit, catching him just about on the eyebrow. Stopped the fight. Henrik and I ended up going to the emergency room where I recall he got several stitches from someone who didn’t really believe our story of how it happened.” – Steven MacEanruig
“I seem to recall 2 different rooms – a lady nurse at the school infirmary who confirmed the need to go to Marin General Hospital Emergency where Dr. Chester Noyes did the stitching. (I later worked at Ross General Hospital so I remember Dr. Noyes.)” – Henrik of Havn
“By the time I joined, only a year or so later, this story had changed greatly. I was told it was a fight with a sharpened oak short sword, and Richard the Short was wielding it. Glad to hear the right of it.” – James Greyhelm
“See. I don’t get no credit. I recall myself as using my boken, however. I think I made both feints, but I could be wrong about that. Henrik wasn’t knocked out or even particularly stunned, but he definitely felt it. I have some memory of Henrik wanting to continue and being stopped by someone’s comment about blood running down his face, but I might be confusing it with something else.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Now that you mention it, I remember you saying something similar the first time you told me the story, right after it happened (I wasn’t at the practice session). As for the boken instead of shortsword, it’s entirely possible. I remembered the story as being shortswords, but I didn’t even remember whether you had the bokken at the time. I’m sure your kinesthetic memory is better than my faltering memory of a story you told me in the first place.”
     “Any other stories of interest from those sessions? Perhaps something involving Richard which might have given rise to the confusion of the stories?” – Stefan de Lorraine, who thought actually practicing for these exotic parties was taking dedication a bit too far, and who didn’t really fight at all until we started getting ready for the 4th tourney ...
“Well actually, Steven was using the previously mentioned boken - the blade length of these is typically around 30" +/- and the handle is an additional 10" or so (total of 40"). Not really a short sword. I don’t remember what weapon I had. Steve may have remembered correctly about my using a plywood short sword.
     “My face mask had a horizontal 2" high by 10" wide clear open space at eye socket level. Vertical bars were welded above and below (by the manufacturer) with about 1 1/2" spacing. The top of Steven’s boken (which was about 9/16" wide and about 1" height – give or take) struck the upper edge of the 2"x10" opening - which was defined by two 3/8" diameter horizontal bars, and slid above and past the upper one striking my left eyebrow/brow ridge.
     “The impact I felt was not really hard but certainly quite strong. I didn’t feel any pain and was certainly not stunned or even knocked out. I was puzzled at the odd looks Steven and others were giving me as they quickly came up to me and asked if I was all right. Sweat was running down from my forehead/brow and getting in my right eye brow and eye lid as they spoke. They asked about my eye, and when I felt with my fingers, I first became aware that it was blood and not sweat on my eye lid. I could see fine from both eyes. I went to a bathroom and washed the blood away and found a tear in the eyebrow skin. I went to a hospital and had only 4 stitches.” – Henrik of Havn
“Thinking back on this, Henrik did do the first thrust and I realized that I had been way out of position. I did the second one and then nailed him above the eye. Personally I thought I had got him in the eye and I was scared. I do recall Henrik being pretty lackadaisical until he realized that it was blood. I don't remember at all what weapon Henrik was fighting with.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Yes, I was expecting to continue, since at first I didn’t know that I was bleeding. I had felt the impact but no pain and assumed I was undamaged. It was the stunned look on other people’s faces (I guess as the blood starting flowing from the skin tear in my left eyebrow) that I first noticed.” – Henrik of Havn
“The practice was held in a covered parking area I believe, at a boy’s military school in San Rafael that Richard was a Resident Assistant counselor at. (It’s now Marin Academy, a college prep high school, and before that it was the Ali Akbar Kahn School of Music.) Richard autocratted the practice, and was there but it was Steven MacEanruig that I was fighting. The boken is a gently curved practice sword used for studying kata (types of attack or defense patterns in several Japanese Martial Arts including Kenjutsu and Naginata) and is typically made out of white or red oak. It is not normally used to strike a person’s body with full force – usually a light tap or slow pressure if it all. Normally it is used 2 handed and strikes the opponent’s weapon in defense and/or attack, the only armor being worn in Naginata is padded kote (hand and wrist protection/gauntlets) in case of a slip. Steven’s boken was white oak and was being wielded one handed as we fought. The tip is not sharp per se but is profiled to represent a very thick version of a single edged Japanese sword and so features angular surface intersections.” – Henrik of Havn
“And then there was the time at Cragmont when Caradoc in a fencing-mask had the left lens knocked out of his glasses. It was found undamaged and the fighting went on.” – Karina of the Far West

Annotations by Henrik of Havn in email (October 24, 2014) based on the History Document produced for the 50 Year event:

"The Mucking great Clubb was presented by King Fulk'  Fulk was not King and calling him so doesn't sound right. He didn't win a Crown Tourney and as you say Richard was still King at the following Tourney which I won in June.  At the t ime Ken and Mary lived in a very small studio apartment on Fox Court. They had a large coffee table to eat at while sitting and it had to be moved out of the way for their bedding on the floor, to sleep at night. For them to even keep the Klubbe in there would have been a burden and I suspect  it was a "White Elephant" in Ken's mind and he wanted a way to get rid of it and save face with Dave who gave it to him. Making it an award did it. I would suggest just using Fulk's name with out title is the best form for this entry, or if you feel the need, say as his official act as Victor ( or as Consort to the Queen of Love and Beauty) was to present or create and present this award to me." -- Henrik of Havn

Description of this event, © Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
This is from The History of the West Kingdom, Volume 1 (the only volume produced). When reading this text, please keep in mind the following disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This history may have errors in it, as much of the detail is “remembered” history, or as one of the cover pages of the original type-written manuscript states “The material within is derived from the information printed in The Crown Prints and in The Page, and from the memories of the participants.” The original document was typed on onion-skin paper, with hand-written notes (often in the margins). All attempts have been made to reconcile the notes with the original document.

Annotations, when they are added, are from The Annotated History of the West, Volume 1, which is the same text as Master Wilhelm's mentioned above, with commentary from members of the SCA who were active at the time of the event, and are added to help clarify questions and expand on what happened and why. This volume is copyright © Ken Mayer (Hirsch von Henford).

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