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The Fourth Year

Royal Proclamation
August 5, 1969

King Siegfried issued a Royal Proclamation which consolidated all past proclamations and laws. He established the post of Tourneymaster and appointed Sir Bela of Eastmarch and Karina of the Far West to hold it jointly.

First Proclamation of the Laws of the West

WE, SIEGFRIED REX, on this, the 80th day of Our Reign, being the 5th day of August, Nineteen-hundred sixty-nine, Anno Domini, in consultation with Henrik, Duke of Havn, Crown Prince of the Realm; Sir Caradoc ap Cador, Our Predecessor; David of Illwheirlane, Lord Advocate; and divers of Our subjects and advisors in Privy Council, assembled and elsewhere, to better provide for the maintenance and conduct of the affairs of this, Our Kingdom of the West, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM:

A) That the King’s Word is Law, and any Proclamation of the King is the Law of the Kingdom, from the moment it is spoken. However, until such proclamation shall have been presented in writing to the populace of the Kingdom in the Page, Tournaments Illuminated, or other document issued generally to the populace of the Kingdom, no subject of the Kingdom may be considered to be breaking the King’s Law in acting contrary to such proclamation.

B) That there are six Official Crown Tournaments and Coronation Festivals per year in the Kingdom of the West and that they shall occur on the weekend nearest to or on one weekend either side of the weekend nearest to:

6 January - Coronation Festival (Twelfthnight)
21 March - Crown Tournament (Spring Equinox)
1 May - Coronation Festival (May Day)
21 June - Crown Tournament (Summer Solstice)
6 August - Coronation Festival (midway between June and Sept events)
21 September - Crown Tournament (Autumn Equinox)
And, should the specified date as given above fall on a Wednesday, then the weekend following shall be considered to be nearest.

And the six Official Events specified above must occur within the five Bay Area counties.

And persons desirous of specific exceptions to the above may present petitions to the King as far in advance as possible, but should bear in mind that the King has as his foremost concern, the welfare of the entire Kingdom and the populace thereof, and will not easily make such exceptions.

C) That no King or Queen shall, within their Reign, hold any other Office or Title within the Kingdom of the West or the Society. A Crown Prince or Crown Princess, should they already hold or have arranged to hold any such Office or Title which would have been effective during their Reign, shall select and appoint such persons as seem pleasing to them to perform and hold all duties, authority and responsibility pertaining to said Office or Title for the duration of their Reign. For, at the moment of Coronation, all other titles and posts formerly held by the new King or Queen shall be held to be in abeyance for the duration of their Reign.

D) That each fighter, upon entering the Crown Lists, must declare that he will be available for all three weekends during which his Coronation could occur; for no man may enter the Crown Lists without intending to win the Crown and no man may intend to win the Crown without intending to Reign as King.

And, should the Crown Prince, through no fault of his own, be unable to attend the Coronation Festival whereat he would have been crowned, such steps shall be taken as seem necessary and as are acceptable both to the Crown Prince and the King, that the Crown Prince may achieve the Crown and become King.

But, should the Crown Prince fail in intent to Reign and should great and sufficient evidence of this failure be presented to the King, the King shall call Curia Regis to consider the matter.

And, should the decision in Curia Regis be that the Crown Prince has not failed in intent, then the King shall take such steps as are necessary and as are acceptable both to the Crown Prince and to the King, that the Crown Prince may achieve his Crown.

But, should the decision in Curia Regis be that the Crown Prince has indeed failed in intent, then the Crown Prince shall be instructed to attend the Coronation Festival as scheduled or to abdicate.

And should the Crown Prince elect to abdicate, then at the beginning of the Coronation Festival, a Crown Lists shall be called, to be comprised of all fighters present who had participated in the last Crown Lists whereat the former Crown Prince won, saving the former Crown Prince.

And the winner of these Crown Lists shall become Crown Prince and he and his lady will immediately be crowned King and Queen of the Kingdom of the West.

E) We have established, under the jurisdiction of and reportable to the Earl Marshall, a position to replace the former posts both of Autocrat and Pavilioner, this post to be a position held jointly by one respected fighting man who shall have final say on the suitability and desirability of a field for fighting and one other person to work with him in carrying out the authority, duties, and responsibilities of the former posts of both Pavilioner and Autocrat, said position to be called Tournament Masters Pro Tem. We have appointed thereto Sir Bela of Eastmarch and Lady Karina of the Far West, This post and the incumbents thereof are to hold tenure until such time as the Crown Prince, Henrik, Duke of Havn, who has declared his firm intent to take evaluation of the former posts of Autocrat and Pavilioner and of their duties, their responsibilities, and their authorities in this Our Kingdom of the West, has had sufficient time to solicit opinions, ideas, and advice from divers of his subjects and advisors as he may see fit on the subject of how best permanently to arrange for the efficient management and control of these affairs and problems and has reached his decision on this matter and has issued his proclamation thereof.

And the Tournament Masters Pro Tem shall, in carrying out their responsibilities, take cognizance of any persons who may already have planned or arranged to perform the duties of the former post of Autocrat and shall take note of their plans and shall work with them wherever feasible in arranging such events as these persons may have made plans for.

And such persons are hereby instructed to contact the holders of the post of Tournament Masters Pro Tem and to inform them of any plans or arrangements as they may have made as soon as is convenient prior to the September Crown Tournament.

For the holders of the post of Tournament Masters Pro Tem are required, unless previously relieved of their Office and duties at the establishment of a new post or posts, to make available to be published to the populace of Our Kingdom, by the time of the September Tournament, a calendar of Sites and Dates for the following three Official Events.

And the Tournament Masters may, during their tenure, delegate and appoint under their authority for a specific event or events such persons as they may see fit, to carry out any duties of the post, but must retain final responsibility and authority under the Earl Marshall for this position and its duties until such time as they are replaced by their successors or by the holders of any Office or Offices which His Incipient Majesty may establish.

And, should Henrik of Havn, Crown Prince, during his Reign as King, elect not to take action upon this matter, then the post as established by this proclamation shall continue indefinitely with new holders thereof to be appointed for periods encompassing three Official Events, beginning with the last three Official Events of the year nineteen hundred seventy, Anno Domini. Such persons shall be selected by the Earl Marshall with the approval of the King from supplicants to the post who must present, at the time of supplication, concrete plans and arrangements for such events as would fall within their tenure and must prepare and make available for publication by the last event of their predecessor’s tenure, information such that a calendar can be published informing the populace of Sites and Dates of the events to fall within their tenure.

Given under Our Hand and Seal this Fifth Day of August, Nineteen Hundred and Sixty-Nine Anno Domini,
SIEGFRIED, Rex Regni Occidentalis

“As I recall, this put Bela and Karina in charge of things like the Eric and the Royal Pavilion (though they didn't necessarily have the keeping of it, just the duty of making sure it would show up). Karina should remember more about it. I'm not sure how this office developed and/or how it disappeared. I think the Seneschalate took over most of the function, but I'm not at all sure.” – Stefan de Lorraine, for whom most of this period rather fades into a hazy background as he became the chief Deputy Seneschal and prepared to take over the office. But there was one little hitch ... Wait for it.

“Yes, the words, "The King's Word is Law", and a lot more, were published by Siegfried. It was the first written law in the SCA (other than Rules of the Lists) so far as I know, and he deserves credit for this. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to get established as the exclusive laws of the West. Some people holding important offices still continued to cite oral proclamations of past reigns as binding law (when it suited their argument) even though not included in Siegfried's written code. This is why, when the first member of my household won the Crown (Jean, in Oct V), I asked him if he would proclaim an exclusive law code if I would write it, and he agreed. I included all of Siegfried's work & added a lot more, mostly spelling out current practices in print so everyone could know the same version, but I failed to give Siegfried proper credit for his work. The key final phrase of this code, to end further quibbling over disparate memories, was something like: "All proclamations of all previous reigns not herein included are hereby rescinded. All changes to the Kingdom Laws by future reigns shall be in the form of amendments to this Code." Jean glanced over it and handed it to the heralds to proclaim. Well, after another quarter-century, it seems to have stuck. However, Don & Diana (2/3 of the Board) protested that one thing I included (Courts of Chivalry) were Society-level, not Kingdom-level law. I asked how we were supposed to know that, since they had no written rules beyond the mundane corporate by-laws. This caused Don (Jon de Cles) to invent the Corpora, and in the next reign (Hagen, also of my household) we amended out the offending item from the West Kingdom Law.” – Robert of Dunharrow

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).