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

The Sixth Year

August Purgatorio Coronation Festival
July 31-August 1, 1971

From The Page (July, 1971):

Schedule, August Coronation Festival:

Saturday, July 31,
8:00am -  The entrance to the tourney field will be opened. Please try to set up by 11:00. Cars will not be let in after 11:00 until 6:00 pm.
11:00 -  Court of King Hagen; Grand March; Coronation of James Greyhelm and Verena of Laurelin; Court of King James.
12:30 -  Les Grandes Melees
1:00 -  Competition for Defender of the Royal Wards. After the competition the Lists will be open for challenge fights and other entertainments.
3:00 -  at about 3 pm Lady Diana, Mistress of the Arts and a founder of the Society and the Office of the Golden Key, will meet with newcomers and all others who are interested to dsicuss and answer questions concerning the history, purpose and organization of the Society.
6:00 -  (Gates will be opened to allow cars in and out until dark.) Entertainments will cease for the nonce so that dinner may be finished before
dusk Revels, hopefully with a large bonfire, will be held in the ampitheatre area away from the pavilions. There will be dancing, entertainments and general revelry.
11:00pm -  After this time there will be no loud reveling in the pavilion area. While many of our subjects are confirmed night-owls, there are those of us who wish to arise early in the morning.

Sunday, August 1,
9:00 -  Mass will be said by Father Ruthven of Rockridge. Gates will be opened from 9 to 10.
10:00 -  Melees
After which, challenge fighting and entertainments will again begin.
3:00 -  Court of King James
4:30 -  By this time, we hope to have wished you all "God speed and fare thee well."

We have planned numerous games, demonstrations and entertainments which will take place throughout this Festival. There will be games appropriate to our medieval world for both the young and the young-at-heart. There will also be instruction in medieval dances, both European and the more exotic "belly dancing"; in needlework and spinning; and in fighting. There will be available an archery and javelin range for those who wish to polish their skills, and there will be a demonstration of falcnry by the Royal Falconers.

Announcements from their Highnesses

A sunshade will be set up next to the Royal Pavilion at the Coronation Festival for all unattached Ladies of the Kingdom who are, by reason of having no Lord, under the protection of the Crown. A competition of arms will be held on the first day of the Festival to chose the Defender of the Royal Wards, and he will have the honor of championing those Ladies as the representative of the Crown. Only unattached fighters are eligible to enter this competition. If the fighter chosen as the Defender of the Royal Wards should by happy chance find favor with a Lady, he will no longer be eligible to hold this post. We hope, therefore, that this position and title will change hands frequently.

Lady Luise of the Phoenix, our Chatelaine, will be starting a list at the Festival, of Ladies who wish to become ladies-in-waiting. All unattached Ladies are invited to sign this list; all Ladies wishing to have a lady-in-waiting are invited to contact Lady Luise at the Festival. Any Lady and lady-in-waiting pairs formed through this list are not necessarily permanent. We suggest a trial period of some duration before any binding arrangements are made.

From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held at Big Trees Camp, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, California. Hagen and Ruth held court. King Hagen gave Awards of Arms to Nicorlynn of Caer Wydyr and Tarysa of Rivendell. Queen Ruth created the Queen’s Order of Grace, and admitted Crystal and Shima as founding members. Then James and Verena were crowned by Hagen and Ruth. King James gave a Grant of Arms to Rima of Rockridge. He then created the Office of the Protector of the Royal Wards (later called the Wardlord by Lady Rima). A fighting competition was held to fill the position, and Sir Charles of Mercury won. As he stayed ladyless for only a few hours, another competition was held the next day, which was won by Lysander of Sparta. Dorothea of Paravel (Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin) won the Order of the Wooden Spoon competition for cherry pie.

See photos from this event

James Greyhelm
Per bend sinister, argent a
sinister dragon's wing erased
azure, and azure a pair of spears
bendwise sinister argent.
Verena of Laurelin
Azure, in canton a crux
ansata patty Or.
Arms drawn by Nicholas Bawcock of Petersfield, used with permission

“An interesting event. There was a planned abduction of the king (James) by some of the ladies of Henrik's household (including my lady). It turned out very poorly for a variety of reasons including poor planning and, IMHO [”In My Humble Opinion” – ed.], Jim being young, touchy and a bit too full of himself. I remember the abductors finally sort of on trial before the king with me standing behind them, sword in hand, seriously ready to cast down belt and chain and resign my knighthood if necessary. I was probably about as angry as I ever get. Fortunately, things didn't come to quite that pass.” – Steven MacEanruig

“It had more to do with the facts that I did not want to be held against my will by anyone - (too much time being held in jail, OK?) and I really objected to being ridden down from behind, and slammed into the dirt face first by someone on horseback. That really hurt, and that was what pissed me off. I was ok and in fairly good humor up to then ... As it was, I was calmed down enough later that we had a mock trial and everything was ok. Jeez - I had forgotten about that incident ... It was hot, and mostly we had a lot of fun that day.” – James Greyhelm
“It certainly was poorly planned. It wasn't clear at the start whether it was a mock trial or not and, trust me, you wouldn't have forgotten about it if it was your girlfriend on trial. Fortunately it worked out ok afterwards. Suzanne was actually a lot less bothered by it than I was.” – Steven MacEanruig
“I think the reason Suzanne even did the abduction was because she had previously been giving James riding lessons on her Percheron, Alberic. I believe she felt that since James had had some contact with her horse that she could pull off the abduction without Alberic getting out of hand and without Jim getting freaked out by such a massive horse (wide not tall). Horses, however, no matter what size, do not always do what their riders expect or desire. I am sure that Suzanne didn’t intend that Jim would be knocked down hard, face first. Remember in the movies the good guy always succeeds, even on horseback. Reality is generally different in some particulars.” – Henrik of Havn
“I was under the impression that it was Aurelia and her horse that knocked James down, but I may be recalling other problems Aurelia had with her mount at tournies. It was not the most docile and well-behaved of animals.” – Stefan de Lorraine
“Yeah - that was who it was! After I picked myself up, I looked around for a weapon to defend myself, as she looked like she was going to come back for another pass. I picked up a rock or something and she said "Don't you hurt my horse." This after she had just knocked me down! I just walked past her back to camp.” – James Greyhelm
“As she told me, Suzanne thought it would be neat to abduct the King. Didn’t work out as planned, but at least it ended with no casualties, either real or political.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Charles didn't stay ladyless for even that long. He thought the position sounded interesting, so he and his lady broke up before it specifically so he could fight in it and then made up again afterwards.” – Steven MacEanruig

“I have pictures of the grand March and coronation, with Randall and Boncueur handling the grand March and Karina doing the coronation court. James and Verena both wore blue and white. (This was also the first event where I had my own costume, rather than borrowing from Golden Key.)” – Wilhelm von Schlüssel

“One event I missed was the SCA Court of Love held at WesterCon in San Francisco, CA on 7/4/1971. I have some pictures of it. Countess Adrienne of Toledo presided. Gwydion pen Tyrhon sang and played the guitar.” – Wilhelm von Schlüssel

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).