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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.)
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
Mary of Tamar
(Queen of May)
Or, two levriers rampant addorsed,
tails couped, sable.
Description of this event,
© Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
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).
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by
Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).
“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
“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
“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
“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
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:
Description of this event,
© Copyright 1980 by William R. Keyes (Wilhelm von Schlüssel)
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).
The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).