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The Eleventh Year

Autumn Crown Tourney
September 18-19, 1976

From The Page (September, 1976):


On September 18 and 19, Big Trees Campground, Oakland, will be the site of this annual early fall event. (Honestly, we can't promise Big Trees, but we will let you know if there are any changes. Hopefully there will be no last minute SNAFU's.)

As usual, the gate will be open Friday evening around 6:00, and again on Saturday at about 8:00.

The main business of the first day will be the Crown Lists, run as was June Crown as double eliminations. No definite times have been set as we go to press, but things can be expected to go off at the usual times.

Also scheduled as we go to press are the Wooden Spoon competition for piroshki, pastries, or the like (pocket-size meals-cooked-in-dough); the Arachne's Web lace competition (a handkerchief with any form of needle-made lace embellishment -- even partially completed work can be judged, as the criterian is quality, not quantity); and the final categories of the Arts Pentathlon: metalwork, woodwork, illumination, and stitchery.

In addition, The PAGE is holding a fund-raising auction. Among those things to be auctioned will be a simple medieval garment, designed and constructed to your specifications by Mistress Janet of Breakstone; a page of text of your choice calligraphed and illuminated by Duchess Sumer Readmaene; two photographs of your choice of subject by Lady Francesca the Bemused; and your horoscope, charted on museum-quality paper and suitable for framing, done by Lady April of the Dales. Other items are planned for the auction, and all donations will be fallen upon with glad cries. Please contact The PAGE if you wish to volunteer your services: you will be much appreciated.

There will also be the usual dancing, singing, and bardic circles at the tourney.

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held in Big Trees Park, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, California. King Kevin and Queen Patrice held court. Michaela de Neuville and Karina of the Far West were the winners in the Order of Arachne’s Web contest for lace. In order to do penance for the treasonous crime of having eaten the King’s Chocolate Chip Cookies, Duke Andrew of Riga (all the while protesting that he had been framed) came forward with a plate of said cookies which he had baked by the ladies of Brian Dritar an Con’s household. Duke Andrew was forced to stand through court, guarding the cookies and not eating any. Sir Steven MacEanruig, Sir William the Lucky, and Tamsin of the Raven Tresses presented a song that was inspired by the deeds performed at the Shasta War. King Kevin instituted the Order of the Bridesmaids for those intrepid fighters “Who Didn’t Win The Crown.” It was a red ribbon that said Second Place, and had a laurel wreath encircling a torch. It was presented to Sir William the Lucky and Sir Steven MacEanruig. Andréi de Sevastopol turned the office of Seneschal over to Cadwalladyr Stone of Stonecroft. King Kevin gave Awards of Arms to Beagle de la Souris Folle, Elliott of Ruxton Hall, Quiauhxochitl and Strider the Persistent. Then King Kevin admitted Joan of Crawfordsmuir, Mark von dem Falkensfenn, and Strider the Persistent to the Order of the Leaf of Merit. The Board of Directors admitted Duchess La Rana to the Society Order of the Pelican. Duke Richard of Mont Real, in his turn, refused the honor, saying that the honor of being the first Duke and the first Master of Arms was sufficient.

Following court, the Crown Lists were held in a double elimination format. In the finals Duke Andrew of Riga defeated Sir Iain of Cawdor for the Crown. Countess Patrice d’Cilla was his lady. A contest for the best challenge was held during the day. The winner was Mary of Uffington, for challenging Duke Richard of Mont Real “because she had been told to pick on someone her own size.” Second place went to Brian Dritar an Con, for persistence. That evening there was a bardic circle.

See photos from this event

[Sir William Gordon of York was announced as the Grand Winner of the Arts Pentathlon ...] “Two things I found amusing about this although I won overall, I did not win a single event! This probably remains a record, of sorts ...
     “The other was the "champions medal" at this time, it had been decided to upgrade the visibility of the Pentathlon, so as winner I not only got a harp medallion, but a gigantic and highly visible wreath of golden poppies. I was told that I was now a member of the Order of the Golden Poppy, an order which I think was intended for Arts Pentathlon winners ...” – William Gordon of York

[Duke Henrik said the same thing and also rejected membership in the Order of the Laurel.] “The event that led to consulting with the candidates BEFORE they are brought into Court becoming nearly mandatory, instead of occasional as it had been up until then. What an embarrassing plague of humility among the Peerage!” – Kevin Peregrynne

“I think it kinds of adds to the drama to have an occasional refusal.” – Steven MacEanruig
“At the weekend's Chivalry council I pulled one of my most cherished dirty tricks. Duke Aonghais got into loud altercation with Sir Martin (I forget what it was about, but Aonghais instigated it). After I had restored order and concluded the meeting, I privily asked Duke Richard if he would, as a favor to his King, explain to Duke Aonghais how one was expected to conduct ones self in a West Kingdom Chivalry Meeting. From the outside it merely appeared that Richard chatted quietly with Aonghais while puffing on and occasionally gesturing with his pipe. When the opportunity occurred he approached the throne and apologized for his conduct (read - groveled theatrically).” – Kevin Peregrynne
“The altercation was about blow counting, as I recall. I seem to recall that Aonghais did most of the talking and the rest of us sort of stood around open mouthed and a little too shocked to do what we should have done which was to tell Aonghais to shut up and go to hell. Martin got a fair amount of commiseration afterwards, but he shouldn't have had to go through it in the place.” – Steven MacEanruig
“My memory of this altercation remains vivid, as this scene made the behavior of Aonghais crystal clear to me. What happened, as I remember, was this: Aonghais had suggested knighting one of the southern fighters. The King quite naturally turned to Martin, who I think was Prince at the time, and asked his opinion. Martin thought it over and then allowed as how he thought the fighter in question needed more time to season before becoming a knight, and the King nodded. Aonghais then stepped forward and volunteered the suggestion that since Martin did not count blows, his opinion should not be asked or heeded on the matter, and a disbelieving hush fell. Many (including myself) were enraged that such a serious accusation was advanced simply to further a knighting, instead of to a marshal’s court (if true) or not at all (if false). I remember that I was the first to speak I stepped up to Martin and said, "How many years have you been with us, Martin?", to which he responded (as I recall) "Seven." I then said to Aonghais, "How many years have you been with us, Aonghais?", to which he responded "One." "I rest my case!" I grated, and stalked off ...
     “Aonghais’ later behavior made it quite clear that his major avocation in life was to cause trouble whenever and however he could. I once told him that I couldn't understand why he had come to one of the West-Caid wars after he was kicked out of Caid, when it would just make trouble for everyone. His response was, "But you're not SILICIAN!", in a manner that made it obvious that the trouble was exactly why he was there ...” – William Gordon of York
“Actually, as I recall, Morven was Prince at this event, Martin's Investiture was in November, so he may have been heir to Caid's coronet at the time (though the history indicates that the Coronet he won was the following weekend). Other than that, the description matches my memory exactly - my main recollection is that I was totally appalled that an actual shouting match was going on in our chivalry council ... THEN I remembered to get Royally pissed off (as opposed to personally).
     “Perhaps siccing Richard on him was too subtle?” – Kevin Peregrynne
“Thanks for the memory. When I first read this, I didn't really remember it as an "altercation" because I was so stunned by it that I didn't think I had responded. (More likely I turned somewhat red-faced in anger/embarrassment.) I do remember trying to calm myself so that I could think of some appropriate response but what could one say without being pulled down to my attacker's level, yet I thought I would have to say something ... when someone (you) came to my defense as you described. (I hope I had the presence to thank you at the time.)
     “Virtually every knight in attendance commented to me on my self control, indicating they would have "hauled off and hit him." (Again thanks for the prompt intervention, who knows what I might have blurted out in the next few seconds.) By the end of the day I was actually happy the incident had occurred because Aonghais had been actively campaigning to discredit me, but behind my back and through innuendo. It was a clear miscalculation on his part to do so openly and in that forum. More importantly, it was the first time he had actually "shown his true colors." I think a lot of people finally began to realize what he was about and "came off the fence" so to speak.
     “To my brother knights,
     “My other important memory from all this is how you and everyone made me feel that day. Forgive me if this lacks the proper eloquence but, never before in my life had anyone outside of my immediate family "come to my defense", never before did I feel so accepted by those around me, never before did I realize how many friends I had. It may be out of place to say this here but I was too young to realize I should have said it then. You'll never really appreciate how much you all mean to me. The life lessons I learned about truth, trust, solidarity, and mostly about friendship. Facets of honor and chivalry. Lessons I've been able to apply to every part of my life.
     “It's all still with me here and now, so again I say, Thanks for the memories.” – Martin the Temperate
“That meeting was definitely not one of the prouder moments of the Chivalry of the West. I don't recall an actual shouting match going on in the council -- more that the candidate's name was put by for the moment (since, as Martin had pointed out, he wasn't ready) and things wound down.
     “I remember talking to Martin afterward, and making some cutting remark about Aonghais' behavior. Martin expressed some surprise, or at least doubt about the universality of my opinion. I assured him that it was damn near unanimous.
     “He said, "I thought since nobody said anything, maybe they agreed with him <Aonghais>."
     “To which I replied "No, everybody was just speechless with shock and amazement." Obviously we should have had a shouting match right at the time, but we blew it.
     “I believe, in retrospect, that even Aonghais knew that the individual was not ready. But it was such a golden opportunity to stir up trouble. Something he clearly regarded as vitally important. We have had others of a similar inclination, but fortunately none who were quite so accomplished at it.” – William the Lucky
“I don’t recall having been present at this event, so I can’t comment about it – but it strikes me that comments about Aonghais liking to stir up trouble – may be a bit presumptuous. My own experience with him over the years of his various controversies (and Kingdom residences) would suggest that he simply did and said whatever he wanted to in order to further his own ends – without regard for others and their feelings, and without consideration or thought of who else may or may not get hurt in the final outcome. Like a kid pushing through a crowd as fast and as hard as necessary to get through in as short a time as possible with toes being stepped upon and some people being knocked down and hurt. He seemed to focus on the end result of what he wanted, not how it would affect others in the process.” – Henrik of Havn
“My own experience with Aonghais tallies with Henrik's - with the addition that his own ends tended to be toward trying to oust the mighty by hook or by crook just so the field would be clear for him. It is my recollection that when he came out here, both Martin & Hugh made him welcome as well as may be - he started with them, not the other way around. I got along well with him, even when he tried to undercut me as Earl Marshal (to me it just meant I had something valuable to him). You see, I am from Brooklyn, too.” – Charles of Dublin
“I was luckier than most. The first three sentences Aonghais spoke to me, were all I needed to know to stay away from him. It the first tournament I fought in, Aonghais was an opponent. I lost. After the tourney, he came to me and said, "You're going to be a good fighter. I've never been hit that hard"" At that he lifted his kilt and showed me a bruise on his left leg from hip to knee. Naively, I asked, "If it was that hard, why didn't you accept it?". He turned and walked off. Several months later, with never a word said to me, the third sentence came. After Lyndia and I were announced as the next Baron and Baroness of Angels, Aonghais came up to me and throwing his arm around me proclaimed, "I can make you a knight!". It was my turn to walk away.” – Fredrick of Woodlyn
“After reading the comments of others, the Aonghais/Martin incident comes back in my memory. However what has always been my primary memory of this event was another Aonghais episode. During the list finals, the sun was going down and it was getting darker and harder to see just what was happening to the combatants. When Andrew killed John (Ian) I thought at the time that it was a double kill [please keep in mind that I didn’t at the time and still don’t believe that Andrew was not honorable and called it as he believed it to be]. At the time I thought that it was a double kill and that they were going to fight again, when out from the ring of knights runs Aonghais yelling congratulations at the top of his lungs and lifting Andrew into the air. Needless to say this exhibition snowballed and the lists ended there. I believed at the time and still do that it was just another example of Aonghais poor taste and toadying ...” – Rand of Dunbar
“Later that evening Aonghais was heard to describe his encounter with Richard along the lines of "He picked me up by my belt walked me backwards into the tree and proceeded to shout 'THIS IS THE WEST!' (pantomime of being slammed into a tree trunk), 'NOT THE EAST!' (another slam), 'THIS IS THE WEST!' (slam), 'NOT THE EAST!' (slam), then he dropped me on my ass and told me to go apologize to the King."” – Kevin Peregrynne
“Richard can sometimes give that impression when he thinks he is being calm and controlled. When he gets angry he can really make an impression. Good choice of someone to talk to Angohais, though. My congratulations.” – Steven MacEanruig

[Sir William the Lucky turned down admission to the Order of the Pelican saying that his membership in the Order of the Laurel was sufficient for his past deeds, and that he had yet to earn membership in the Order of the Pelican. Duke Henrik said the same thing and also rejected membership in the Order of the Laurel.] “This wording is in error. As you will recall in previous communication over this – we clarified that I was offered dual peerage by His Majesty Kevin. My response was “Yes and No!” I accepted the Laurel but felt I didn’t deserve the Pelican and declined it. (I didn’t realize that his majesty had been turned down two times earlier for his offer of Pelicans to Duke Richard and Sir William – since I had missed most of the two courts.)” – Henrik of Havn

Later, in an email from John ap Griffin, dated February 23, 2004:
"The report for 9/18/76 fails to mention (except in Henrik's annotation) that King Kevin attempted to elevate 3 subjects to the Order of the Pelican at that court. The first two, Sir William the Lucky & Duke Richard turned him down. He then turned to the 3rd candidate & said, "You aren't going to refuse this honor, ARE YOU!"
     "I remember this vividly, as I was that third person, and--indeed--did accept the honor." -- John ap Griffin

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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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).