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

The Third Year

Spring Crown
March 23, 1969

From The Tribune, Number One:

ITEM ONE; is the Tourney of late March, our first tourney of the New Year, and therefore an important one. Full information on this tourney is printed on the enclosed poster, but His Majesty, King Caradoc ap Cador, has asked me to include here a request to the Ladies of the Court that they bring with them to the tourney such items of craft and artifice as they have been engaged in constructing over the long winter, and that they arrange such items about themselves upon the green in a pleasing manner, so that all may see what things the Ladies of the Court have wrought: It being our most gracious King's desire that the Ladies be given more chance to display their particular and feminine talents.

[Note: The aforementioned flier is a photocopy of a mimeograph, and really just gives directions and such to the site with some artwork on it ... Hirsch von Henford]

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held at the Douglas St. Playground, San Francisco, California. Harold Breakstone was the autocrat. Caradoc and Amie held court. King Caradoc gave a Grant of Arms to David of Ilwheirlane and an Award of Arms to Ann Parkhurst of Gatehouse. The Crown Lists were held and Sir Siegfried von Hoflichskeit won, defeating Master Edwin Bersark. Ardis an Dearg (Sumer Redmaene) was Sir Siegfried’s lady. King Caradoc admitted Marynel of Darkhaven to the Order of the Laurel. About this time the Tribute, the newsletter for the Kingdom, appeared, with Diana Listmaker as Editress. (The Pennoncel, the newsletter for the East, also appeared at this time, with Elfrida of Greenwalls as Editress.) King Caradoc gave the Order of the Ruby to Master Edwin Bersark.

See photos of this event

From Tournaments Illuminated Issue 10, A Discussion on Chivalry by The Red Baron (Jon de Cles):

THE NAME OF THE GAME IS CHIVALRY, and as other games have purposes, goals, rules and rewards, so has ours, however sketchy they may be. No gentleman, for instance, would ever dream of insulting a Lady, however low her rank. A trollop deserves, and receives, the same deference due a high lady of the court; for in the eyes of Chivalry, all women are Ladies until such time as they prove themselves otherwise.

THE QUESTION THEN ARISES; just what is Chivalrous behaviour? What are the rules of the game, and how is the game played? --No easy question, and one I have neither the space nor the ability to answer in full. However, as my lady Diana has essayed to suggest some answers to similar questions of similar import, I shall essay to polish a few old gems of old wisom, and cast them forth; in the hope of enriching the populace.

A GENTLEMAN IS CONSIDERED Chivalrous if, upon the field of Honour, he allows his opponant an advantage. If, for instance, his opponant loses the shield arm and the gentleman throws away his shield so as to even the odds, it is considered an act of Chivalry. Or, as happened recently, if a gentleman should give his opponant some piece of gear (in this case a guantlet) so that the opponant may continue with the fight.

THE MATTER OF A GENTLEMAN'S WORD is of considerable importance to the concept of Chivalry. No Gentleman would consider giving his word falsely. If he gives his word on something, then it will be his true word; for, if once he gave it falsely, he would be subject to doubt thereafter. Rather than give his word falsely, a Gentleman should decline to give it at all. --Conversely, a Gentleman must extend his credence to all other Gentlemen. He must accept the word of others if he wishes to have his own word respected. For if he is capable (in theory, you understand) of conceiving that another man may be false, then he is perhaps capable of being false himself. The world of Chivalry is one of honesty, with others, and with ones self. --Interms of the Society this has very real meaning; for as fighting improves; judges on the field become impracticle. A man must call the blows that fall upon him. Although he may occasionally not feel blows, and thereby not call them, if he reuses to call honest blows that he does feel, it will soon be noticeable; and, as one may, without dishonor, refuse any fight one wishes (for good reason, presumably to be decided by the King if questioned) the dishonorable man will soon find himself with no one to fight. Unchivalrous behavior more than any other single flaw, cuts one off very effectively from the Crown.

SUCH A CONCEPT AS A MAN'S "Word" would, I think we are all aware, be viewed with contempt in the Twentieth Century. It is, admitedly, a rather Romantic concept. But in terms of the Middle Ages, of the attitudes of the people of the past, such a concept, the whole body of Chivalry in fact, is rather an intensely Realistic approach to the problem of the condition of the world of Man in general. Chivalry implies a change in the world, approached from the only practical vantage point: Man himself, and the individual man in particular. The Knight of the Middle Ages was every bit as devoted to bettering the world as a whole as was the monk in his cell. And the Knight's methods were not terribly different. --Whereas the monk took upon himself the task of praying and fasting and living the 'holy' life, the Knight took upon himself the task of improving the conditions of life to the extent that he, as an individual, was capable. The monk lived the 'holy' life, the Knight lived the 'good' life. In carefully following the code of Chivalry the knight was, in addition to following an ideal, improving his own lot immensely. For, keep in mind, without the individual adherence to the code of Chivalry the knight's world would be a pretty sordid place. All the beauty, colour, romance, in short, all the things that we remember (and which made the knight's life more than kill-or-be-killed) existed because the knight, as an individual, forced them to exist. In short, the code of Chivalry was an idealistic dream world which the KNight of the Middle Ages made to exist by living as though it did exist. Which seems something of a paradox, since by living as thought it existed, he made it exist.

WHICH BRINGS ONE off the battlefield and into the parlour, or, in the Middle Ages, into the Mead Hall of the Castle. Though Chivalry may take its most shining examples from the field of honor, its underpnning lies securely at the feed of the Lady, without whom it could not exist. For the knight, battle was more than hacking and slashing and winning or losing a battle. It was more than the aquisition of lands or the necessary defense of lands already held. It was the opportunity to gain honor, to present his lady with another accomplishment. It was... Well, there is a book on that subject, just waiting to be written. Suffice to say, the mechanism is fairly clear. What was necessary (going out and taking your enemy's castle if the wheat didn't come out quite right) became an ideal, a joy, a game. It always improves the world to find pleasant reasons for doing what you have to do.

CHIVALRY AT HOME: Treating your lady like a fragile flower, although you know perfectly well that she can run the whole castle and command your troops in time of siege (and she would not have landed such a fine husband as Lord so-and-so, your close friend, he she could not). Writing poems to your lady, although you and she both know that you are a terrible poet; and seeing the reaction of pleasure that she gets from a deed which takes more bravery than you've ever needed in battle.

PERHAPS it's easiest to say that Chivalry is the set of rules for a gigantic game. A game that made life beautiful and meaningful at a time when, in terms of material comfort, there was not much that was beautiful or meaningful. If, for the sake of the arguement, we accept this thesus, then perhaps we can understand better what we in the Society are doing. For it is fairly eash to understand that a game has rules: otherwise it's not much of a game. We can look at teh deference paid a King and realize that it is not the power the King wields that demands a bow, but rather, the form and beauty of the game. The bow, the ceremony, is, in fact, one of the few things that divides a King from an Executive. One might also say that a King is an Executive with a sense of style, or artistry.

THUS, after meandering all over creation, we somehow get back to the original question, and find it a little easier to answer. Chivalrous behavior, we can define, is playing the game by the rules. The Rules of the Game are Chivalry, the Code of Chivalry, and take many volumns to express. The four Cardinal Virtues of this code are 1( Fortitude: (The Chief knightly virtue, equaling prowesse) including magnanimity, faithfulness, safety, dependibility, magnificence, constancy, tolerance, and firmness. 2(Prudence. 3(Temperance. And 4(Justice. There are lots of other things to be discussed, but if you think about the age of Chivalry, whatever, however little you know about it, you're bound to draw conclusions on your own.

-- The Red Baron, Chronicler

From Tournaments Illuminated Issue 10, A Discussion on Ladyship by Diana Listmaker:


Positions in the Society tend to evolve, and usually exist for some time before they are officially recognized and titled. For example, it has recently dawned on me that I am de factor Ladie's Editor, therefore I have decided to address myself to the problem of the position of the Lady (and incidentally of any non-fighter) at Tournaments and in the Society in general. The existence of this problem was brought to my attention when my lady-in-waiting, the demoiselle Joanne, came to me at one of the parties which make up what has come to be known as the 14th century cocktail circuit asking just what a lady-in-waiting is supposed to do. This is a question I have not noticed many of the squires asking; the contemporary application of the medieval relationship -- to serve his knight and be trained by him-- is quite apparent. A knight got that way by being a fighting man, and that is what he teaches his squire to do; he also teaches him the care and construction of armour and weapons, and how to act with chivalry upon the field.

However, in teaching her lady-in-waiting, the noblewoman has two tasks: the first is to teach her all those skills which creat the total environment of current medievalism, and the second is to teach her not only what a Lady does but what a Lady is.

There are three areas in which the non-fighter can function, in which, in fact someone must function for the Tournament to be a success. These are Preparation, Administration, and Entertainment. Preparation includes everything that has to be done before one arrives at the Tourney field-- creating clothes, weapons and armour, building pavilions, cooking and brewing and lunch-packing, and the organization of all these supplies. It is in the areas of sewing and cooking in particular that outstanding artistry can be displayed by the lady. The tournament serves as her showcase, at which her masterpieces can be tasted, tested, and admired. The ladies of the Kingdom of the West have recently discovered embroidery, which provides them with some handiwork to do at the tournament itself, in addition to being worn and displayed in the Royal pavilion. An artisan's Guild, such as has also been developed in the West, serves as a means of exchanging information and instruction in various skills.

With the exception of those tasks having to do with the fighting itself (and even here there are exceptions, such as and the Lady Herald Pursuivant in the Kingdom of the West), a lady can do almost any job the administration of the Society requires. The numbers and types of positions available will depend of course on the size and complexity of the kingdom in question. The King's personal officers will probably be male, but on the other hand the Queen will have her court of ladies, and both should be liberally supplied with pages of either sex. The Queen in the West has a permanent lady seneschale of her own as well as her Demoiselle d'honneur, who acts as her social secretary, her pages, and a Council composed of all the noblewomen of teh kingdom and their ladies-in-waiting, who accompany her on her Royal Progresses around the field. The Queen's Progress is an institution stemming from the principle that the men should be left free of other cares so that they can devote their attention to the really important things in life, such as fighting. Therefore the Queen and her ladies have taken it upon themselves to make a tour of the field at each tournament, greeting newcomers and introducing them to older members of the Society, and admiring whatever handiwork may be in progress. The Queen is also less bound by the formal rules of the Society, and can give tokens of honor and appreciation to whomever she may please.

One of the things for which she is likely to express such approval is entertainment, and this is the third area in which a non-fighter can be effective. The tournament itself is of course no tthe place for a full-scale presentation, since there are neither the acoustics or the time for such. However a piper to lead the processional is a grand thing, and either King or Queen will often call a musician to perform for their ear alone. Where entertainment comes into its own is the Revels, where singing, dancing, dramatics, etc. prevail.

The above ought to pretty well cover what a lady does; there remains the other aspect of Joanne's question-- what a lady is...... First, a lady is the reason a tournament is different from a bashing session. When there are no ladies concerned, men avery content to kill each other without ceremony! As a result of winning a tournament the warrior becomes King, but the event himself he is fighting for the privilege of placing the wreath of roses upon the head of his chosen lady. However athletic a girl may be in private life, at a tournament no lady would think of letting on that she knows (except in theory) which end of a sword is which. Women have other weapons.

The Lady's is the hand which has created the knight's splendor; the Lady's presence changes the lists from a battlefield to a field of honor; the Lady's hand soothes the bruises her warrior may have received in fighting for her name; and the Lady gives the kiss which rewards him whether he win or lose.

Diana Listmaker of Rivendell,
Lady Seneschale to the Queen of the West

[Editor Note: these two articles were added in November, 2014, and placed here as this was the event closest to the publication dates ("Spring of 1969") ... and seemed germaine to place them here based on the topics ... they are also only here because I thought the discussions were of interest, 45 years later -- I have not attempted to place all of each issue of T.I. online, as the amount of typing (Issue 9 was 65 pages!!) and the fact that much of the material on costuming, cooking, fighting techniques, etc. is outdated.

The article by Diana is fascinating in retrospect, because of course over the years there have been female sovereigns-by-right-of-arms both in the West and other Kingdoms ... and attitudes about women have changed a bit (most brought about by women themselves).

Note, I tried to leave the spelling of words as they were in the originals, so the word "opponant" which was misspelled consistently, which should be spelled "opponent" was left "as is" by myself, as well as a few others ... -- Hirsch von Henford]

“Notable among other things for the sudden proliferation of pavilions. My own household pavilion (never a major one) appeared at this time, as did Marynel's and a few others. I was at this tourney that I acquired my page, Michael Oliver (can't remember his medieval name, mostly he was Michael the Page) when my squire, Houri the Savage, showed up with Michael in his arms saying "Hey, Steve, look what I got!" Michael was about 11 or 12 at the time. His father was a drama professor at Cal Berkeley. A treasured member of my household for many years. He eventually got more involved in theater, the Faire and music.
     “The Order of the Ruby was a short-lived attempt to give awards to people for coming in second and third (I believe the third place was the Order of the Emerald – not sure). These were formed plastic on a ribbon. I think I may have come in 3rd at this tourney, since I have one of them. Absolutely no recollection of who I fought.
     “Houri won a similar award for most chivalrous, which was actually an award for most improved in chivalry.
     “There was also one of the first discussions of conflicting arms that I saw handled. Jon the Lean's initial arms involved crossed maul and pipe or on sable. As you may well recall, this is very close to Richard the Short's device. Richard pointed it out and they pretty much determined Jon's final arms on the spot. Very amicable.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“Minor point. It was a mace not a maul. Though I did enjoy mauling people with my mace. :-)”
     “I remember fighting Siegfried. He fairly quickly took my leg, I just could not seem to block his attacks. Then, as I was on my knees, and the final blow came in, I remembered that he was left handed! It was a learning experience. :-)
     “I believe this was also the event where I first used my one handed fail. Either Edwin or Caradoc tested it quite completely on me. It did no damage, despite many, many blows. Lots of force spread out over a large area” – Jon FitzRolf

“Notes on the tourney, and misc. stuff. I think that the newsletter was called the Tribune. This was my first Crown tourney that I fought in. The bathrooms were locked, and we all had to walk a long way. Miscommunication. At this time, the Queen would give out 'jewels' to the finalist and semi-finalists- Diamond, ruby and emerald. I think that there was a revel afterwards at Randall's house on twin peaks, Hightower, but that may have been another time.” – James Greyhelm

“Regarding the jewels -- when digging through back issues of The Page (The Tribune, and TI) that Wilhelm donated to Aldith and I, I did run across the Order of the Diamond, the Order of the Ruby, and the Order of the Emerald. The only problem is, I only found one recipient of each, and in each case, it was Edwin Bersark. Now, that's not to say that they weren't given out to others, but those were the only ones I could find recorded in the newsletters (although when Henrik came over, I noticed he had some TIs that weren't in the stack Wilhelm had, so it's possible other newsletters are missing as well)” – Hirsch von Henford

“Well, given that Edwin was living in the same house as the editor of the magazine, ... ya think?
     “I doubt the concept lasted more than a year, and I may have gotten mine at some event other than the Spring tourney – I dunno. Once started, the practice just couldn't build momentum. Since Edwin never won the Crown, I don't think the orders listed were all the possibilities, one of them was probably the chivalry award I mentioned earlier. I think I remember Edwin winning that one. Heck, the one I have may be a chivalry award, I just don't remember.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who is planning to grow crops where he has been raking his brain ... Or is that racking?
“My recollection is these “jewels” – transparent plastic resin cast in small star-like jellow molds about 1 3/4" in diameter with a black 3/4" to 1" wide velvet ribbon affixed – I had and may still have a clear white (diamond) one – were given to “the one (fighter) who fought well”, “the one who fought better” (loser to the winner in finals) and “the one who fought best” – the winner of the Crown lists. Since Edwin never won crown, he couldn’t have received the diamond. Diamond was for the winner and I don’t remember for sure but probably ruby was for 1st runner up and emerald was for 2nd runner up.” – Henrik of Havn
“I remember these 'awards' as tokens that were given by the ladies to the people they decided were the most valorous or chivalrous or something similar. I was told at the revel after the tourney that this was a 'tradition'. However, I only remember them being done a couple of times. As I remember - and would certainly believe now - the ladies had a hard time on agreeing on anyone other than their own lords.” – Verena of Laurelin

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).

[Back to Year III]     [Main Page for the History]     [Who's Who]

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