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

The Fourth Year

Summer Crown Tourney
June 22, 1969

From The Page (August, 1969):


Firstly, let me give attendees at the June Crown Tourney my most heartfelt thanks. I went over to the park bright and early Monday morning to clean up. There were exactly two paper cups (I have since heard that there was considerable comment around City Hall about how little litter we left).

Secondly, a financial report. The rent of the field came to $48. Contributions from the folk came to $49.36. I had not expected to collect the whole amount, since many of our folk cannot afford to spend a whole lot on anything not concerned with food, clothing, and shelter, so this too was an extremely pleasant surprise (in a few paragraphs I'll tell you what I plan for the extra $1.36).

Third, one bit of unpleasantness. It has come to my ears that someone drew steel on a pair of civilians (we haven't been able to find our who). Please remember the following points:
1) as was pointed out to my son later that evening, there are only three honorable reasons for drawing steel; a- to show the weapon off, b- in honor of the king, c- if and only if you fully intend to skewer the person you have drawn against. Any other show of steel is dishonorable. Bullying unarmed folk with it is doubly an insult to your sword.
2) Although we in the Society may enter fully into our medieval thing, civilians probably cannot. Thus, a show of steel may frighten and anger them to the point of lodging a complaint with the police. This incident, which I am sure was an unthinking response to the civilians' lack of cooperation, could have resulted in our being thrown out of the park,not to mention the possibility of arrests; the police don't think in the medieval mode either. Luckily Harold of Breakstone and the people with him were able to pacify the angry civilians however for the rest of the afternoon those who knew of the incident were uneasy. When the two uniformed officers showed up there was considerable apprehension (as it turned out, they were unoffficial sightseers too... they left with the remark, "We're not supposed to have fun while we're working.").

So, whoever you are who drew that sword, you not only frightened the civilians unnecessarily and dishonored your sword, but you made the afternoon considerably less pleasant for many of your own folk.

I would like to give special thanks before you all Terrence son of Adam, of Mayhem House, who did such a good job of keeping-his-Chatelaine-moving that I'm appointing him Steward of my House (I hope he can keep it up from Pasadena, where he has just moved). I'm the world's champion procrastinator, and without Terry there might not have been a tourney. ((The Lord MedioKrates, formerly Stward of the House, has been advanced to the post of patron saint. If this seems overly irreverent to some of you, Piet Heins says with much wisdom, "Taking fun as only fun/And earnestness in earnest/Shows how thoroughly thou non/Of the two discernest."
Now about that extra $1.36  This tourney has made it clear to me that trying to use the public parks leaves too much to be desired. El Camino Park is a pretty place and the most isolated of the Palo Alto parks, but between the fee, the dragons roaring by, and the impossibility of fencing out onlookers -- !
Getting a site seems to be the chief and most aggravating task of an Autocrat.
     While talking to the Red Baron on the electric telephone, before the tourney,
     I said, "Milord, we need our own land."
     "Milady, you're right," he answered. "How would you like to be Treasurer
     of the Land Fund?"     So be it.....

There are many uses to which the Kingdom of the West could put a few acres of land. Besides being a permanent Tourney site, we could build on it a Mead Hall in which to hold our revels afterwards. The building could also contain Society offices, and perhaps could hold the more bulky items, like pavilions, which folk now have to carry back and forth with them. There are prefabricated mountain cabins which are not terribly expensive and would od nicely. Between tourneys, Society folk could use the land for smaller Society parties, for weekend camping, and the like. Possibly the Society could lease parcels to members for a nominal fee. The possibilities, if not endless, are certainly attractive.

Cost of the land would depend on how close to the Bay Area it was. My neighbors have some land about 3 hrs. drive from here which they just bought for $540.00 an acre. Thus for between $5,000 and $10,000 we might find a suitable piece of land. This isn't beyond the reach; the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society has raised $5,000+ for its Building Fund in 3 1/2 yrs. We would be able to use the land as soon as we had made the down payment, about 30%, though we couldn't buildion it until we had an equity of 20-30% of the land/building combination. I understand that someone is already looking for suitable land (would he please contact me?) When he finds it, we will need to have the money.

Therefore, I'm going to take the extra $1.36 and add a donation of my own to total $10, and open a Land Fund account (might as well have the banks contributing interest, as well). I will keep careful records, so that if we can't pull it off, everybody will get his money back. I envision a series of fundraising events: an annual appeal for money; an annual crafts fair; wherein various people donate goods and goodies and the receipts (after costs) go to the fund (this to be an internal fun day, not public like the Pleasure Faire); possibly sale of costume pieces that the owners are tired of and wish to donate; tournament slide and film shows around the Bay Area, etc. etc. Any suggestions are welcome, however far-out.

Since there is no way to convoke the Society, the following method of voting on the FUnd idea will be used-- if you don't approve, don't send money! If you do, do, and we';; need services and labor too. If and when we get the land, I suggest that we still have one or two public tourneys a year for recruiting purposes.
          -- Send suggestions, questions, etc. to: Felice Rolfe

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held at El Camino Park, Palo Alto, California. Joe and Felice of Mayhaven House were the autocrats. Siegfried and Ardis held court. King Siegfried knighted Thumas na Leabar O’Conaire. Crown lists were held. Duke Henrik of Havn won, defeating Sir Thumas na Leabar O’Conaire. Leanne of Maywood was Duke Henrik’s lady. Houri the Savage gave the MGC to Sir Thumas. King Siegfried introduced the custom of ransoming a new knight’s arms by ransoming the helm and shield of Sir Robert of Dunharrow. Hugh ap Llewelyn made his first appearance as Greencloak Pursuivant. At this time Kerry the Rock became the editor of TI, replacing Jon De Cles, who remained Chronicler.

View photo of Ransoming of Robert of Dunharrow's Arms
View photos of the tournament

“You know, I was at this tournament. I remember bits and flashes of it, but mostly it is a big blank to me. It was the last gasp of Mayhem House, I think. Somewhere around here Joe and Felice split up. You will also note that Henrik won this tourney. If you look back, you'll see that he won the previous summer tourney. It became a tradition for three years or so that Henrik would win the summer tourney. It was fairly constant until James and Paul began trading back and forth.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“My helm ransoming is also in the films, but as best I recall, I came forward with the four other fighters of the Dunharrow Eored surrounding me in a square. (I had gathered a fair force in a month, but with Geri feeding folks, our household tended to grow.) Included were: my squires, Dai of the Tulips & Kevin Peregrynne, my man-at-arms, Jean de la Grande 'Anse, and my son, Richard Bandersnatch (who fought in the tourney after 5 days training, having just come from Pennsylvania for the Summer.) (In my day, only fighters under 21 were called squires, older fighters were men-at-arms, but the relationship was essentially the same. Jean was in his mid-thirties, while Kevin was about 19, Dai & Rick were 16.) One of them carried my banner, another, my shield, another, my helm, and I guess the fourth had my sword. Anyway, it made a decent ceremony, but the custom only continued a little while.” – 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).