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

The Sixth Year

Autumn Crown Tourney
October 16, 1971

From The Page (October, 1971):



8:00 - Gates open. Start Setting up.
10:00 - Qualifications for new fighters. Remember to bring your waiver.
11:00 - Grand March, followed by the Court of King James. Weapons inspection.
12:00 - Deadline for registration for the Crown Lists. Challenge matches. Register your challenges with the Mistress of the Lists before this time. As many challenges as possible will be fought.

1:00 or 1:30 - Start of the Crown Lists. Competition for the Crown of the Kingdom of the West.

dusk - the park must be cleared and cleaned by this time. Dusk occurs around 7:00 at this time of year.

Site: Coyote Creek County Park, Sylvandale Group Area (same location as June Crown Tourney this year).

Directions: (omitted)

Note: Since we are in a county park, be sure to pick up and carry back with you any bottles. Also, pick up all debris in your area and place it in the trash cans before you leave. Finally, by park regulations, dogs must be kept on leash at all times.

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held at Coyote Creek Park, San Jose, California. James and Verena reigned. King James knighted Thomas of the Pines. He made Sir Earl of Morris a Crown Baron. Queen Verena admitted Lyndyre of Valrenor to the Queen’s Order of Grace. Crown Lists were held. Sir Paul of Bellatrix won, defeating Sir Kevin Peregrynne. Carol of Bellatrix was his lady. A competition for Wardlord was held. Andrew of Riga won. The Order of the Wooden Spoon contest, for pickled anything, was won by Demoiselle Alania. Sir Paul of Bellatrix gave the MGC to Sir Thomas of the Pines.

See photos of this event

“I have a lot of pictures of this one, which I'm looking at now. I remember I had made a new shield of plywood with leather facing. No edge, of course, and in my first or second fight in the lists Gordon Monson (William Gordon of York) carved a great notch in it with repeated blows of his rattan sword.
     “Paul had two long fights with Lysander of Sparta in the lists. Lysander was using a light short sword and couldn't hit very hard with it. He also wasn't particularly in Paul's class as a fighter. His defense was pretty good, though, and combined with solid armor and a high pain threshold the fights went on forever.
     “My memory was that both of the fights with Lysander were in the lists, the first being inconclusive and with no end in sight. A break was called and Paul changed to a mace. This seems to be born out by the sequence of my pictures.
     “Lysander also had some other things about his armor. He had a heavy crest on the helmet running from back to front and it made him essentially unkillable from blows on top of his helmet. He also wore a red cloak that tended to muffle blows his back.
     “I also remember Kevin's defensive ability. The fights took awhile. I have 22 pictures of the fights between Paul and Kevin.
     “Interesting shots of Thomas of the Pines with a single plate on his right thigh, nothing on his left leg, nothing on his knees, and bare legs. Ah, the bruises I remember. Also a nice picture of Kevin lying dead after his last fight with his sword neatly up in the air hilt first, making a nice cross over him.” – Steven MacEanruig

“I have noticed the use of the title "Crown Baron" in several postings.
     “Until the second reign of James and Verena, there was no award or title given to a man who had reigned once as King. A woman who reigned one time as Queen was awarded a patent, was referred to as "Mistress," and was admitted to the Order of the Rose. The reason for this was quite logical – it was assumed a man who won was already a knight or MOA, and hence, did not need additional recognition. Further, it was assumed a woman who was likely to become Queen did not have any awards, ranks, or titles, and therefore needed to be elevated to the peerage in recognition of her past service to the Kingdom. In fact, to the best of my memory, up to the second reign of James and Verena, for quite awhile thereafter, no woman who served as Queen was a peer in her own right.
     “Early on, in Atenveldt the tradition evolved of making a former first-time King a Crown Baron, and a former first-time Queen a Crown Baroness.” – Andrew of Riga

“Well, I don't really know much about why things happened the way they did (in the West) regarding the Crown Baron/ess issue but I can say that after being the second Prince of Atenveldt, while we were the first Principality in the SCA, (and part of the West), I was told I was a Crown Baron, and was given a scroll saying "Crown Baron" on it. Later becoming King the first time I don't remember ever being called a "count" but still Crown Baron. I do remember a time when we were told that "if we wanted to" we could "trade in" the Crown Baron title for "count" (if we had been King or Queen once) but I never did and preferred to keep what I was originally given (I think I was a Duke by then and it didn't seem relevant). As far as I know, I am still a Crown Baron. If one had only been an "ex" prince or princess of Atenveldt in those days, I have no idea what people could have called them. Not count or countess I wouldn't think ... but I don't remember "visc" being used back then either. I don't remember any ex-Kings or Queens down here using the title Crown Baron (but that doesn't mean it didn't happen, I just don't remember it), I only remember it as a title that Robert Roundpounder and I were given after being Prince. He no longer is involved in the SCA and Richard Ironsteed (the first King) is also no longer involved, so I am not sure how they might look at it.” – "Crown Baron" Arthur of Lockehaven
“Like so much else, we did it because we wanted to be different. We wanted one crown winner to have a title, too, and we made it up. Can't remember who, exactly. Didn't have any great lines associated with it, so the memory strays.” – Michael of Moria
“I emailed P. Farmer (for those of you who do not know, she was the first Queen of Atenveldt) and asked her what she know about the subject. She wrote the following:
     “"I retired with the title Crown Baroness, but later after Countess became more the norm I began using that. My scroll says Crown Baroness. I'm not sure I recall the specific reasons we used Crown Baroness."
     “Putting together yours and Pattie's comments, it certainly appears the title of Crown Baron/Baroness was given during the earliest days of Atenveldt to both their former Princes/Princess and one-reign Kings/Queens.
     “Until I read your email I had no idea that specific title also applied to former Aten Territorial Princess/Princesses.” – Andrew of Riga
“When Jean de la Grand' Anse and Ellen of the Gleaming Star were King and Queen, for whatever reason, Jean made his father a (Court) Baron. This created some consternation, for there was no mechanism for granting or using that title. Further, it seemed to conflict with Atenveldt's "proprietary" usage. I also suspect, because Jon de Cles fancied himself with the title "The Red Baron," and no one else used such a title, that also served to stir the pot. (John using that title so very early on is analogous to men showing up at the first tourney and calling themselves Sir Whatever. At the time, there was no rule against it. Much later, I believe in 1974, King William of Houghton made John a Court Baron.)
     “In any event, after the dust settled with Jean, it was determined the King could grant the title of *Court* Baron/Baroness to whoever he pleased – and it was hoped the King would use good judgment in doing so. (The differentiation of "Court" Baron was instituted to respect Atenveldt's tradition.)” – Andrew of Riga
“In response to Andrew's comment about Jean making his father a baron but there being no mechanism for it, and also about Atenveldt having priority use of the title, I must point out again (for anyone who hasn't read all this material from the start of this project) that King Caradoc made Sylvanus Andere the first Court Baron at 12th Night III. No other King made another until 12th Night V, when Jean made his father (Louis de la Grande 'Anse) and myself (head of the household that he & Ellen belonged to) the 2nd & 3rd Court Barons. I think perhaps the title was simply "Baron" (not yet Court Baron, and almost certainly not Crown Baron - I never heard that title except as used by Atenveldt). The term "Court Baron" was later defined to distinguish them (given a permanent rank or honor, not an office) from Territorial Barons, who held that title only while they held the office. (Often the latter were made Court Barons upon retirement from the office.) I think I may have invented the term "Territorial Baron" when I wrote the Corpora section defining the 4 level branch structure. My compulsive nature was disturbed by the haphazard way the Board was handling the creation of new branches. I wrote up a proposed Corpora section defining Kingdoms, Principalities, Baronies/Provinces, Shires/Cantons (using the term "shire" was Geraldine's suggestion) with a required number of subscribing members for each level (100, 50, 15, 3) and a required level of officers & activities. I then asked Diana whether members were allowed to attend Board meetings. She supposed they were, though no one had ever asked before, and no one had attended except the 3 Board members & other Greyhaven residents. So I brought them my proposal & they adopted it, changing only the Kingdom level to 200 members to conform to Post Office mailing permit minima. I think what really made me do it was hearing that Don named someone in Montana with a subscription & 2 friends a Baron of the Barony of Montforet. It seemed like a 3-person branch needed to start out at a little less grand a level. So just like my writing the Kingdom Law Code, this Corpora section worked and with modifications as we grew, it has stuck. (I should also mention again that King Siegfried was the first to proclaim substantial written Kingdom Law, but the expansion of that which I wrote & that Jean had proclaimed was what established a single unified code of laws as the only & entire Kingdom law. )” – Robert of Dunharrow
“Which brings us to James and Verena.
     “During their second reign, they determined the appropriate thing to do was to grant the title of Count and Countess to men and women who served once as King and Queen. At the time, only men and women who had served once and only once were so named and titled. It is my recollection the title was eventually made retroactive, i.e., those men and women who were Dukes and Duchesses were also made Counts and Countesses (Richard, Fulk, Henrik, Siegfried, Mary, Marynel, Leanne).
     “Per usual, the Board of Directors took exception to this, but they backed down. In fact, if you read the early Corporas (I believe it is Corpora I or II), wherein the title of Count(Earl)/Countess is codified, you will notice Atenveldt has a specific exception stating in their Kingdom, and only their Kingdom, the title of Crown Baron/Baroness may be used in lieu of Count(Earl)/Countess. (To the best of my knowledge, all Atenveldt Crown Barons and Baronesses traded in those titles for the more universal Count and Countess; hence the exception no longer exists.) I might be wrong on this, but I seem to remember in the same Corpora the title of Court Baron/Baroness is also legalized.” – Andrew of Riga
“There was a lot of talk before hand about going with Count and Countess, and my remembrance is that pretty much everyone was for it. I clearly remember talking with Jim about it and I believe the idea goes back further than that. The problem was that you needed someone to win the crown twice so he wouldn't appear to be granting himself a title.” – Steven MacEanruig
“That sits well with my memory too - many people wanted something like this to happen, and Verena and I happened to be the ones on the throne at the right time. We did manage to go toe to toe with the BoD though. One fight after another in those days.” – James Greyhelm
“I have to admit to an ulterior motive in pushing the Count and Countess titles. The actual motive should be obvious. Doing something like this was a topic of conversation for a while before it happened, having James do it after he was no longer qualified was my idea.
     “I cannot remember at this point whether James made the proclamation first and the BOD then acquiesced, or whether we went through negotiation with the BOD beforehand. I do remember that the option of claiming the title Earl or Comus, or anything else similar was part of the original proclamation. Caradoc, for one, didn't want to me known as either Earl or Count, but was mulling over some of the more obscure Celtic titles. I think he eventually went with Count as just being easier. Letting folks such as myself and Blackeagle claim the title was part of the original proclamation, can't remember if allowing the Dukes to also claim the title if they wanted was part of the original or not.
     “There's a whole debate about whether the title Count is really necessary and whether there should be a further rank above Duke to honor those who have won many many times, but that's not really a subject for this list.” – Stefan de Lorraine, whose short reign can claim (thanks to the research of William the Lucky) a disproportionate influence on the Chivalry of the early Kingdom ...
“Per my comment regarding the BoD backing down – I do not know if what follows in fact, but I have a suspicion. I might be completely wrong on this, but here goes –
     “The Board loved to meddle in the affairs of Kingdoms – especially the West. Don (John de Cles) genuinely believed he was in charge of the game, and said so quite openly on more than one occasion. When Jim and Jenny created Counts and Countesses, the Directors wanted to create a huff, but they quickly realized (a) it was not a battle worth fighting, and (b) they could not win; hence, if they were destined to come out on what they perceived to be the short end, some sort of modification to the rule needed to be made that had their signature on it, and in so doing would result in a "win," albeit minor. As a result, they allowed the title of Earl to be used as an alternative to Count if so desired by the recipient. Thus, they had a short-term victory and managed to save face.
     “Regarding Earl of Morris – this is an interesting historical side street.
     “Long ago and far away, the definition of a Duke was a man who had won two tournaments. Before Kings and Queens were invented, institutionalized, and codified, Earl "won a tournament" at some sort of a science fiction convention. Hence, some argued, Earl was half way to becoming a Duke, and now that the rules have changed and have been made retroactive, he should therefore have the title and estate of a Count. I would point out, Fulk de Wyvern is a Duke, but has never served as a King. He simply "won two tournaments."” – Andrew of Riga
“I humorously proposed back then that those who had served as King or Queen at least five times be referred to as His or Her Grace Ace (or simply Grrr-Ace).” – Wilhelm von Schlüssel

“Well that is slightly not completely accurate. Fulk did wear the Crown that I was crowned with at my first Coronation in March, 1967, as I processed up to the thrones, as he knighted me (with, one would assume the powers and authority of the King), and as the coronation ceremony proceeded. During the Crowning process he removed the Crown from his own head and placed it on mine. The question then is, was he King for the few minutes he wore the crown? And another part of the same issue is, was I King from the moment I was given the scroll of proclamation at the end of the September tourney 1966, or was I King after the moment the Crown was placed on my head in March, 1967?” – Henrik of Havn

“I am glad the following has come up again. After thinking about it for quite some time I am sure that Fulk and I sat on the throne as King and Queen for at least one afternoon. Henrik remembers it slightly differently. The only difference of opinion seems to be not whether we sat as King and Queen but for how long. I remember clearly sitting on the throne for several hours. I am quite sure it was several hours as I remember being concerned about getting sunburnt as I burn easily. I also remember vaguely some incidents that happened while sitting there that are not necessary to bring forward here. They do serve to get me in a fine mood whenever I remember them.
     “I also somewhat remember that we also expected to reign as King and Queen over another (perhaps the next?) tournament during the day until someone won however were told that the throne would be occupied by the autocrats. I can not clearly remember who the autocrats were, perhaps Siegfried and Marynel or Walter and Marion Breen, that part is too vague. We were rather surprised but did not want to make a fuss over it at the time. There were so many fusses going on and the "way things have always been done" was quite fluid.
     “To say that Fulk was a Duke but never served as King I believe is mistaken.” – Mary of Tamar

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).