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The Fourth Year

Autumn Crown Tourney
October 4, 1969

From The Page (October? 1969):

THE OCTOBER CROWN TOURNAMENT

will be held SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4TH, at the LAFAYETTE RESERVOIR, which is located as per the map below:

(Map excluded)

There will be a toll of 50cents per automobile at the gate (exacted by machine). STARTING TIME for th eTourney will be 10:30 a.m., since sunset will force us to end events by 6:00 p.m. participants are advised to be on time.

Running water, a fire pit, and some picnic benches are available at the site, and the greensward is artificaally water and therefore covered with green grass.

SKIN CONTACT with the water in the Reservoir (swimming, wading, accidental dunking, etc.) is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. This includes dogs (fur contact?), which must therefore be kept leashed-- rope will be provided. So- do not plan to cool off in the public water. On the other hand, boats can be rented on the shore opposite the tourney. NOTE: THe woods between the tourney site and the water and elsewhere abound with Poison Oak, so be warned! We are also required by the authorities not to wreck the place (dig up the turf, damage the sprinking system etc.) and we must clean up after ourselves, therefore in addition to expecting each household, group, etc. to clean up after itself, we are asking volunteers to congregate at the end of the Tourney to police the whole area.

AGENDA OF THE OCTOBER TOURNEY * * * IN THE REIGN OF KING HENRIK THE FIRST, PART IV

10:30 a.m.: GRAND MARCH-- all participants present will participate.
11:00 a.m.: REGISTRATION FOR THE CROWN LISTS-- All who wish to fight will be called before the king and will introduce themselves. Any fighter shall be allowed to fight in the Crown Lists provided that he is sponsored by a belted fighter. A sponsoring fighter must accept responsibility for the fighter he sponsors and make a statement of such to the King or Earl Marshall if necessary. Registration will close at 11:30 so that the number of crown fighters can be estimated and the time of the first crown fight thereby determined. Latecomers will be permitted to register only if time allows, by special petition fo the King. Any fighter entering the Crown Lists must be willing to fight, and must finish each combat with the equipment with which he began, with the exception of broken weapons, which shall be replaced as fast a possible and as provided for by the

ADMISSION FREE: PRE-1650 DRESS REQUIRED FOR ADMITTANCE!

Rules of the Lists of the Society for Creative Anachronism. You can throw away a piece of cumbersome equipment if you do it without interrupting the fight. Know your equipment.
11:00 a.m. AT THE SAME TIME ALL LADIES AND GIRLS over 13 years of age will be invited to join Queen Leanne for conversation and cookies. Please bring cushions on which to sit.
11:30 a.m. A JAVELIN CONTEST open to all with a ready arm to throw a spear (to 12:00).
12:00 noon REGISTRATION FOR CHALLENGE COMBATS opens formally.
12:15 p.m. A MELEE will begin the Tourney fighting for the day. At the same time Archery will begin to one side of the Main Field (until 1:15). When the Melee is over, the Challenge combats will commence simultaneously on two fields until the time for the Crown matches arrives.
AT A TIME (probably between 1:30 & 3:00) when His Majesty has weighed the number of contenders against the eversinking sun, the crown lists will open.
WHEN theCrown Lists are over (by 6:00 hopefully) all will be given until 7:00 to put themselves and their gear in order, ready for a speedy retreat from Darkness, once the
7:00 p.m. PRESENTATION OF AWARDS has taken place.
n.b. As October is nearing Winter we suggest that you bring warm wraps for evening.
(signed) Henrik I, Part IV


From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held at Lafayette Reservoir, Lafayette, California. Sir Stefan de Lorraine was the autocrat. Henrik and Leanne reigned. Crown lists were held. Sir Stefan de Lorraine defeated Houri the Savage. Luise of the Phoenix was Sir Stefan’s lady, Queen Leanne invited all ladies for conversation and cookies. A javelin contest was held, and children’s footraces took place. At final court King Henrik knighted Houri the Savage and Robert de Recoing, and admitted Geraldine of Toad Hall to the Order of the Laurel.

See Photos from this event


Annotations:
“Houri, as you know by now (if you didn't know from personal experience), was my squire. Off on the sidelines, his lady, Sarah, and Luise were holding each others' hands and saying "I don't want to be queen. Do you want to be queen?" Luise lost.
     “My worst fight was actually with Jerome Robert MacKenna, Jerry Pournelle. It was long and iffy on several occasions. We fought in the semi finals, then Houri and I in the finals. A lot of folks were not participating for one reason or another.
     “Houri was actually knighted before the finals, to theoretically break him away from fealty to me before the fight. The name Robert de Recoing means nothing to me. I cannot think who that could be. I think there is a confusion with Hubert de Recoing, a Frenchman who was Caradoc's squire for awhile, who might have been knighted, but I don't think so. Could have been, though. Hubert wandered away around then ...
     “There's more, but it's late and I have to get up in the morning. Perhaps more later.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who remembers that "Omigod I did it," feeling very well.

“While I was still languishing in Germany, I do happen to know that the name was Hubert de Recoing and he did get knighted.” – Steven MacEanruig, who was still languishing, but soon to return.

“Hubert de Recoing was the other semi-finalist, along with Stefan, Houri, & Jerome Robert of McKenna. Houri & Hubert were both knighted at that time. McKenna's fighting ability was certainly up to standard as well (especially impressive since he lived in LA, where the SCA hadn't yet reached, and got no chance to practice) and he would likely have been seriously considered if he hadn't previously managed to personally offend most of the chivalry and their ladies by ill-chosen remarks. Geri & I got along with him fine, but he seemed to have a talent for irking many folks. The Order of Chivalry is of much broader scope than a mere martial arts award.” – Robert of Dunharrow

“Just chiming with Stefan, Steven and Robert to agree that it was Caradoc's squire Hubert (see my comment from a few weeks ago) de Recoing who was knighted the same day as Houri. Hubert promptly disappeared from the SCA thereafter, I don't believe he was ever seen to fight again. As I recall, Hubert really was French, had dishwater blond hair, was of average size and wore a recycled sleeping bag for a gambeson.
     “Houri was completely unforgettable. Until the arrival of Paul of Bellatrix he was considered to be the hardest hitter extant (one could tell if he was fighting by sound alone). I can certainly (v)ouch for his striking ability - he having been my first backyard sparring partner shortly after he became Stefan's squire (before I was anybody's).
     “Meaning no disrespect for my knight (hi Robert!), but it was not just the chivalry who were put out with Jerome at this point in history. Most of the younger fighters felt that he had both a serious attitude problem (he frequently expressed the belief that he was owed knighthood RIGHT NOW [though he hadn't paid the dues that most of us either had paid or were in the process of paying]) and (to be discrete) his sensitivity in detection of impacts on his person was considered to be less than consistent with the consensual standards then in effect. He was also, if possible, more offensive and disrespectful to the ladies of unbelted fighters and non fighters than he was to the ladies of the nobility.
     “This is not to say that things didn't eventually change for the better, but semi-finalist or not knighting Jerome at that place and time would probably have been a big mistake (IMHO). To keep the record straight Jerome and I managed to get along civilly too, for several years he was my chief deputy marshal for CAID and did a superb job.” – Kevin Peregrynne

This was provided by Henrik, who had a copy in his files – it is Stefan de Lorraine’s report on this tournament:

     10/13/70

A report on the Autumn Crown Tourney of the Kingdom of the Mists and the Western Lands, sent to the Board of Directors of the Society for Creative Anachronism, with copies to the King of This Kingdom, His Earl Marshall, and the College of Heralds, written by Stefan de Lorraine, KSCA, MGC, and Seneschal to His Majesty’s Western Realm.

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: The Tourney was big, almost too big. We easily filled a field we once took only a corner of. Too much was crammed into one day, yet things went fairly smoothly, thanks to the preparation involved in the preliminary meeting. However, several points popped up ...

1) The Golden Key is undermanned (underladied, mostly). Father Rivvin, Lady Rima, and Lady Dorcas were almost alone, save for the Chatelaine. Their only assistance seemed to come from Outlanders, such as Karen Arquette, the mainstay of the Province of Shasta. Recruitment is necessary to find some people [who] can spend the time they usually spend sitting in doing something to help the Kingdom grow in an orderly manner. Oh yes, Lady Geraldine also helped, and I don’t think she’s even an official member, though she has supplied most of the material for costumes, etc. This, however, is a job of the Seneschal’s office, and I will work on it.

2) Likewise, the lack of thrones (the King’s was graciously provided by Lady Johanna von Griffenhurst) and belts and chains is the fault of the Seneschal’s office. I am of the opinion that the problem is a matter of communications and little time. I am attempting to improve the first and find some more of the latter.

3) However, it would seem that the lack of ceremonials (part of the problem brought forward by Sir Thomas before the knighting of Sir Charles of Mercury) can be traced to the Historian, Lady Dorothea of Paraval, having the only copies. If I am wrong, and the Heralds have copies as well, why weren’t any brought? If someone will give me copies, I will be glad to bring them along. I believe that, while it is the Herald’s job to create ceremonial, it is the Seneschal’s job to maintain them. I can’t do that if I don’t have the ceremonies. May I ask the Lord Laurel King at Arms to persuade his people in this Kingdom that He Who Speaks for the King (as opposed to He Who Speaks with the King’s Voice) would really do his job better if he knew what the King was supposed to say. Also, since Kings change so often, and the Seneschal doesn’t, it’s a lot easier to supply me with one copy than it is to give each monarch copies.

4) The fighting at this Tourney was bad. For various reasons, such as lack of practice, lack of sleep, cockiness, unfamiliar weaponry, the knights and unbelted fighter[s] of this kingdom put on a bad show. However, one aspect of the bad show did not have a direct Connection with the quality of fighting.
     I am talking about the discussion groups which seemed to go along with each fight.
     That there was a need to intercede in the Crown fight between Sir Houri’ the Savage and Charles of Mercury is unfortunate but unquestioned. Unfortunately, the Earl Marshall and his Marshalls-in-Training seemed to take this as carte-blanche to intercede in every fight, whether asked or no. Edgar the Unready died five times before the Knights Marshall saw fit to cease rejuvenating him. As a Knight and former King, I say if a man chooses to die, let him.
     The Earl Marshall has been the foremost proponent of the “The Fighter should judge his own wounds” school of tourney-combat thought. It is sad to see him and his deputies now acting like the referees we repudiated so many years ago.
     Also, the insistence on a “solid blow,” is steadily escalating us towards someone getting killed on the field. Fighters are repeatedly having an opponent not call a blow because, “it wasn’t hard enough,” and then not calling blows upon themselves, for the same reason. This, I think, puts us in the same boat as the controversy between “tussling on the ground” and “weapon-work only.”
     I feel more and more that, if we are truly concentrating on style, then solidness of blow should be discounted in favor of cleanness. The sharp, precise, blow and block of good sword and shield work is beautiful to watch. When people have to put roundhouses into every blow, they don’t have time to be precise.
     As things are, Sir Frederic of the WestTower has a shoulder muscle which may or may not recover (it hadn’t fully recovered when I saw him Sunday night), and Kevin Peregrine may have the nerve trunk to his right arm permanently damaged (I haven’t heard anything on this since the Tourney). Something has to be done, I don’t think armor for all is the answer.

5) Time was an important factor in this tourney. Thanks to the poor quality of fighting and the constant interruptions, the Crown fights dragged on an unfortunate amount of time. Many people (i.e.; the Shasta people, Hal van Rawn ((Ravn?))) Barry of Judah (or whatever he’s calling himself now), and others) got not opportunity to fight at all. I suggest now, for everyone’s careful thought before November first, that making the Crown Tourneys two-day affairs, and the Coronation Festivals one-day, might not be a bad idea. We could run preliminary bouts on the first day, and the main competition on the second, or something similar. There is no real need to have the tourney an overnight affair, for that matter. Everybody merely comes on both days, or on the days they wish.
     Either we do this, or start cutting down the Crown Lists drastically. We are getting too unwieldly for one-day Crown tournaments, and they short-change the Outlander fighters who do not wish to fight for our Crown, but do wish to fight.

6) The Heralds managed to alienate the Master of the King’s Musick by a definite lack of stage-awareness. The interminable commercials for books of poetry and far-flung feasts (Wouldn’t, “The Barony of Madrone is having an All Hallows feast, y’all come!” have been shorter and to the point?) Dragged the time past any chance to do the dancing the Lady Diana had carefully arranged, and thoroughly persuaded Don Alfonso and his musicians that no one in the Kingdom had any regard for them whatever.
     I point out to the College that if they accumulate a reputation for constantly dragging out ceremonies with their own commercials, personal business, and witty repartee, then the people of this Kingdom are going to start figuring that if the Heralds are having a private party, it’s no business of their’s to listen in. A Herald Speaks with the King’s Voice. The Heralds might do well to consider whether the King really wishes to say what they’re saying. Also, the Heralds may well consider whether the people who have to stand in the sun (or stand and shiver while they wonder if they can get their pavilions down in time) really want to hear the King’s words modified and embellished to three times their length, or they just want to hear what the King has to say.
     Remember, it is the People who make this group. We’d all look very silly in our gorgeous cloaks and houpelandes of office if there was no one to pontificate to. We have to keep our audience, good people, so let us take what stagecraft we have to mind and hold our audience, not harry them.

This is not a happy report. Our main problems of keeping from alienating newcomers and getting the Crown Lists over with before dark seem to be solved or on their way to being solved. Still, all the details I have brought out have to be attended to, and now we have time for it with the other problems taken care of.
     Some of these difficulties are new. Most, especially that with the Heralds, have been with the Kingdom for some time. I would like other viewpoints on these subjects and any others. I hope that other officers of this kingdom will see fit to write their own reports. As representative of the Society, I want to see this Kingdom working and coordinating. It won’t do that if nobody tells anyone anything and, more important, no one writes anything down.

My Lords and Ladies, I trust I will hear from you on these matters. Please reply as soon as possible, at least on the matter of two-day Crown Tourneys.

     I remain, y’r h’mbl’ & ob’t s’v’t,

Sir Stefan de Lorraine, KSCA, MGC, Seneschal to the King of the Kingdom of the Mists and the Western Lands and Legal Representative of the Society for Creative Anachronism in the State of California

(Back to the commentary:)
“My, I was a long-winded sort when I got the wind up, wasn't I?
     “As we can all see, most of my suggestions were ignored. My usual knack for prognostication was working on all 3 1/2 cylinders. Somehow the kingdom manages to cram lists with far more fighters and double elimination into a day, though I'll note that the incidence of non-Crown fighting seems to be nil, from what I have seen. Of course, these days there are a lot of other events in which people can fight without a crown at the end of the battle. At the time, I found it very hard to imagine that people would want to go to one of these events more than six times a year ...
     “And folks can read between the lines to see the hassles I was having with both the Marshals and the Heralds at the time. My comments on the Marshalling stand, the comments on the Heralds mostly had to do with the penchant of Randal of Hightower (Randal Garret) to over-appreciate his own cleverness and to inspire others to emulate him.” – Stefan de Lorraine, who points out that he has acted as both Herald and Marshall and some of his best friends have been one or the other or both. Just not at that point in time...

[Their only assistance seemed to come from Outlanders, such as Karen Arquette ...] “Just for the record - Karen's SCA name was Gonwynlyn of Hrasvelg.” – Kevin Peregrynne

[... and Kevin Peregrin may have the nerve trunk to his right arm permanently damaged ...] “I didn't report back in writing, but according to the folks at Kaiser E.R. my right Brachial Plexus was deeply bruised. Fortunately with October being the end of the fighting season I had time to recover and was fine by Twelfth Night. The whole discussion about blows and marshalling that preceded this is interesting, considering how many cycles of blow strength/counting and hands-on/off marshalling we have seen since. My recollection is not that I was hit particularly harder than usual, but simply collected a shot perfectly placed to knock my entire arm off the air by stunning the nerve plexus (hurt like the dickens too).” – Kevin Peregrynne

“Yet another addendum/correction: Father Ruthven, i.e., Ruthven of Rockridge, who is an ordained Episcopal priest – those masses Sunday mornings at various tourney fields were duly noted in the parish books.” – Rima of Rockridge

From an email, January 18, 2005, by Elyn of Eyrie:
"I was an SCA member and shy Berkeley high school student aged 15 in 1969 and 1970 probably through 1971 as well. I was also a member of Isaac Bonewits’ OWL (the Order of Wizard Lore) within the SCA. My SCA name, not that I recall anyone asking, was Elyn of Eyrie. I was firmly a peasant, being part gypsy. I mostly hung around Toad Hall for meetings, and tried to escape notice…

"Anyhow, that is me in several photos. In “King Henrik places victor's wreath on Crown Prince Stefan de Lorraine.” and “Crown Prince Stefan places wreath on Crown Princess Luise of the Phoenix”,I am the third lady from the left, I have long dark blonde hair and on my left is Pascal/Hubert de Recoing.

"I am barely visible behind two other people, peeping over someone’s shoulder in “King Henrik places Laurel Medallion on Geraldine of Toad Hall, who is hiding from the camera behind the script of the ceremony”

"I am also peeping over Queen Leanne’s left shoulder in “Queen Leanne girds Hubert de Recoing with his Knight's belt.”

"As I recall I went to this event with a fellow whose mundane name was Pascal, you have his name as Hubert de Recoing. In mundane life he had dual French and American citizenship and he was a professional dancer. I remember that Hubert placed second in the tourney... because I vividly recall being very frightened when someone told me I that I was about to become Queen if he won. WHAT???? This was the first tourney I ever attended and I had only met Pascal that morning when some friend drafted him to give me a ride there! It wasn’t even a date! I remember wondering if he had a girlfriend who would then be out for my blood…*grin*

"Anyhow, as for Pascal wandering off, I was told later that his dance career had taken off and as he was now a cast member in some large musical production, too busy for SCA events. I also remember wondering what did happen to him after that. He had told me he was being drafted by both the American and the French armies for service in Vietnam, neither of them recognizing service in the other as an excuse not to show up! He figured if he didn’t get killed during service in Vietnam with the Americans he would end up afterwards in the French Foreign Legion. His case was heading for world court in The Hague.

"As for my recollections of the event, I remember being too shy to involve myself with some ladies holding a tea. I remember a fighter being hit violently in the crotch and everyone being worried for him but he staggered off apparently no worse for wear. I remember a VERY pregnant woman almost in tears worrying over her husband who was fighting and his kindness to her. It was a magical event to me.

"I moved to Vancouver BC in 1971 but I still have family (Nicholas Worthington) in Berkeley.

"Anyhow, thank you SO much for bringing a great memory back to me in living colour!" -- Elyn of Eyrie


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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