Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

The Third Year

The Creation of the SCA, Inc.
July, 1968 AS III

It was at this time that the Society for Creative Anachronism became a non-profit corporation. Jon de Cles, Diana Listmaker, and Harold Breakstone were the first members of the Board of Directors. Jon de Cles was the Steward, Chronicler, and Editor of TI. Diana Listmaker was Mistress of the Arts. Siegfried von Hoflichskeit was the first Chancellor of the Exchequer, but turned the office over to Jon de Cles in August. Harold Breakstone was Laurel King of Arms and head of the national College of Heralds. Siegfried von Hoflichskeit was the Registrar. David of Ilwherlane (mundanely an attorney) was the Society’s legal counsel and saw to the incorporation of the Society, but then resigned to become Chancellor for the Kingdom of the West. At this time the offices of the Kingdom of the West were separated from those of the Society. Jon De Cles was Seneschal for the Kingdom of the West. Robert of Dunharrow was Chancellor of the Exchequer. Edwin Bersark was Earl Marshal. Randall of Hightower was Clarion Principal Herald for the Kingdom. Karina of the Far West was Banner Pursuivant. Alfonso de Castile was Master of Music. Diana Listmaker was Mistress of the Lists. Johanna von Griffenhurst was Artist to the College of Heralds.

From Tournaments Illuminated, Vol. I, Issue 8, The Red Baron (Jon de Cles):

SECOND ORDER OF BUSINESS is the little "Inc." which appears after Society for Creative Anachronism in the above paragraph. This may surprise some of you, but it will not surprise anyone who has ever volunteered to be a Supreme Autocrat. The responsibilities inherent in that illustrious position are such that incorporation has become a necessity; either that, or let the Red Baron continue to do all the signing of papers and take all financial and legal responsibilities unto himself, which, unprotected by the law, I can assure you, he is not willing to do! Hence, the Society will, by the time this issue of T.I., is in your hands, be a non-profit corporation under California legal codes. --And it will no longer be necessary for a person to take his entire financial welfare into account if and when he volunteers to stage a single event on behalf of the Society; as has been the case for the past three years.

OF COURSE, the incorporation costs something. Nothing that is done with regard to the law is free. However, thanks to the fact that one of our members is a lawyer, we are getting it done at the lowest possible cost. (When will he get to the point? I can hear them asking.) My wife and I have already put up $50.00 toward the costs, part of which, at least, we are hoping to get back through contributions at a later date. But right now, in the next couple of months, we will need to amass another $65.00. Therefore: PLEASE SEND MONEY. You'll have to look on it as a contribution, and as yet we can't even offer you tax exemption on it (though we are looking into that as well), but we've already gotten several small contributions, so we don't anticipate too much difficulty in collecting it. Thank you all for your generosity, and here's hoping!

Of interest, scanned May 2016: A Prejdudiced History of the Board of Directors

“Just a question - Who was Marshal of the SCA? - or was the office created later?” – Kevin Peregrynne

“I believe Siegfried may have been SCA Marshall briefly, but Edwin was soon essentially in both Kingdom and SCA posts until he passed the Kingdom office over to Caradoc. So, at the beginning, both the Kingdom and SCA had the same Seneschal/Steward and same Marshal. I think there was no official SCA Marshal for a short time.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who relieved Don of the job of Kingdom Seneschal – I believe it took awhile longer before Edwin turned over the Marshallate to Caradoc.
“One item of fallout from incorporating that took place several years later ... Being a non profit corporation, with its federal tax implications, was one of the reasons that I cited when we opened the lists to both genders. (I for one had no intention of laying the Kingdom or corporation open to litigation over civil rights violations).
     “Besides Trude was badgering me unmercifully.” – Kevin Peregrynne

“When Don/Jon came around at a tourney and announced that he needed $100 to incorporate the SCA, most everyone all but rolled on the ground laughing at the apparent absurdity of the SCA being able to cobble together anything like A HUNDRED DOLLARS!!! We had until then used only free sites and occasional collections for odd expenses drew mostly small coin. However, later that day Jerry Pournelle asked if I would make him a helm like mine. (I had made 3 more for penniless teen-aged fighters as well, but Pournelle was far from poor.) So I said I would for $50, but give the money to Don to incorporate the SCA and perhaps he can raise the other $50 somehow. Well, Henrik loaned the SCA $25 (which it still owes him, I believe) and I guess Don begged enough from others to make the needed amount. It seemed like a reasonable idea at the time. I was in favor of growing the SCA beyond the SF Bay Area (in contrast to a small faction that didn't want it too big for everyone to know everyone else) and thought that having a national HQ as a coordinating structure would help. So I'm partly to blame for that.
     “I didn't become the first West Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer in July III. Don took the existing funds ($1.50 annual TI subs) to the Corporate level of course, and the West had not a penny to its name, nor an officer to be concerned about it until the following Spring (just after March Crown, III) when King Caradoc, at Crown Prince Siegfried's recommendation, appointed me Kingdom Ch. of Excheq. I then had to create all the rules and procedures for the office and had to teach the populace to put real paper money into the helm so we could afford overnight sites that cost $25 to rent (and it soon went way up after Prop. 13 hit the East Bay Regional Parks very drastically).” – Robert of Dunharrow

“Pournelle has told this story for years, with the minor change that he alone paid for the entire incorporation expenses (which over the years have become a tad more) and he has always felt the SCA was extremely ungrateful in not knighting him for his efforts.” – Flavia Beatrice Carmigniani

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).