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

The Eighth Year

Twelfth Night Coronation and Revels
January 5, 1974

From The Page (December, 1973):

CONCERNING TWELFTH NIGHT:

The annual Coronation Revel and Twelfth Night Festival will be held on Saturday, January 5, 1974. The First Uniterian Church of Berkeley, (address omitted), will be the site of this year's revels, as it has been for the last three years. Reservations for the festivities of the evening are $1.00 each and should be made in advance.

Schedule (omitted)

FEASTING:

Revelers are once again encouraged to make arrangements to feast elsewhere than in the hall. This is not a command; it is barely a request. However, there is not really enough room for 500 people to sit down to dinner in the hall. If 250 make other arrangements, the other 250 can sit down to enjoy their meal of cold cuts or warm dishes just brought into the hall by a trusty lady in waiting. (Last year's arrangements were that those living in the area went home to dine, leaving the hall for those out-of-province.)

RAFFLE:

Once again a raffle will be held. Tickets will be 10cents each. Artisans submitting handmade items will receive the price of their materials, assuming enough tickets are put into the appropriate box. Any surplus will go directly to the Page.

WEAPONS:

Swords and other weapons projecting from the belt for any distance may be worn during the ceremonies. However, at 5:30 swords, maces, axes, and the like will be removed from the hall or checked.

MASK BALL:

The Committee currently lacks someone to run a Mask Ball. If anyone wishes to volunteer, please contact Sir Stefan de Lorraine immediately. Funds are available for prizes.

ALCHOLIC BEVERAGES:

The Unitarian Church permits beer and wine; no hard liquor.

SMOKING:

There will be NO SMOKING in the Main Hall and fireside room. Smoking will be permitted in the atrium and outside.

BABY SITTERS will be provide.

BANNERS will be hung in the main hall by members of the setup committee. If you wish to have your banner hung in the hall (and we would very much like to have it), please bring to Chaois Manor (address omitted) by January 4, Thursday. We will be hanging banners on Friday.

SOUL CATCHING:

Flash bulbs and flash guns may be used to take photographs of the ceremonies and entertainments. However, sun guns and light bars are prohibited. A lighted area will be provided for those who wish to pose for photographs.

GARBAGE:

At least two large plastic garbage cans will be available for disposing of trash. Please use them to the fullest extent possible. The Church's cans will also be available, but their ecology program is such that careful attention must be given to the signs reading "glass," "paper and burnables," "garbage (food remnants)" and "non-recyclable (plastic)".

GUILD COMPETITIONS:

There will be no guild competition this year, although the guilds have plans for next year.

From The Page (February, 1974):

Twelfth Night Coronation and Revels were held on 5 January in the Kingdom of the West. It has become a tradition in this Kingdom that Twelfth Night should be an occasion of great pomp and circumstance and the giving of many awards; and it was so. At the end of the court, Sir William the Lucky led the populace in cheers for the College of Scribes, who had prepared no less than fifty-three documents for presentation that day. King Henrik and Queen Seitse began by presenting those awards listed below in Roman type [For the purpose of the web page, not-italic -- see below -- Hirsch]. Notable among these was the Order of the Laurel presented to Boncueur, long-suffering Registrar to the Society. The large and impressive document had been in preparation, circulating among the Kingdoms, for some months, and to the great astonishment of Boncueur and the delight of the populace, it was signed by Henrik and Seitse of the West, Angus and Alyson of the East, Merowald and Gwendolyn of the Middle, and Robert and Sequora of Atenveldt, since Boncueur's service has been equally to the benefit of all the Kingdoms.

His Majesty then instituted a new Order of Knighthood within that order already existing, having especial honour but no especial precedence. He named it the Order of the Silver Molet (or spur-rowel), the mark of the Order to be roweled spurs as opposed to the unroweled spurs worn by other Knights. The Order, instituted in memory of Sir John Chandos (companion of the Black Prince and founding member of the Order of the Garter), stresses honour, chivalry, courtesy, gentleness, and service. To this Order His Majesty appointed Sir Béla of Eastmarch and Sir Robert of Dunharrow.

Then Queen Seitse presented Queen's Orders of Grace to Ardys an Dearg and to Huldah von Jäl of Atenveldt.

Then with great ceremony Andrew of Riga and Salomé de las Palomas were crowned King and Queen of the West, and presented those awards which are listed in Italic type. And Queen Salomé presented Queen's Orders of Grace to Paul and Carol of Bellatrix (Lady Carol already had one, but Her Majesty insisted), and to Stefan de Lorraine and Luise of the Phoenix. And His Majesty named Kevin Peregryn a Baron.

THen Steven MacEanruig instituted a non-armigerous order, similar to the Mucking Great Clubbe, to be presented by the former recipient to that fighter most renowned for spectacular deaths on the field. The Battered Helm, being a large blue Jon-the-Lean-style helm with a blade well embedded therein, was presented to Count Stefan de Lorraine.

At the last, Her Majesty, noting that His Majesty is the first King of the West of Hebraic persuasion, instituted a contest for the best Jewish king joke (Why does the King of the West keep heralds off the field? He doesn't care for ham.) And the populace dispersed for dinner, and afterwards reconvened to revel until midnight. (The Board insists we mention that the paid revels were a private party, not a Society event.) Lady Adrienne of Toledo was chosen Queen of Misrule, and occupied her reign by causing Sir William the Lucky, Sir Steven MacEanruig, and their cohorts to sing their infamous and scurrilous "Songs to Kill Your Enemies By."

Awards of Arms
Jehan la PelegrineDonna of Rollingwood
Sheila of NaessMiranda of Silvandel
Erzebet TycodiLysander of Sparta
Aurelia de la LicorneAnne Marie Vaara of Helsingør
Richard of ThistleshireCatriona nicChlurain
Linda-Muriall v. Katzenbrasse   John of Woodwose
Irene of the MarshDäwyd Äspärä Suomainen
Kathleen of NorthallEdward of Stonehaven
Conrad v. RegensburgArdys an Dearg, O.L.M.
Matriona du CameliardPatrice du Coeur Fidèle, O.L.M.
John of RavenswolfXimena de Cambria, O.L.M.
Karen, Duchess de WyvernPiers Howells de Cambria, O.L.M.
Sharon the MeekSir Christian of Orange, O.L.M.
Sten av NordenJanây d'Aquitaine, O.L.M.
Friar William of WoodlandAdrienne de Toledo, O.L.M.
Neil of GyrBevin Fraser of Sterling, O.L.M.
Gwendolyn of the ThistleEilonwy de Lyur, O.L.M.
Robert of WestmarchSir Steven MacEanruig, O.L.M.
 
Grant of ArmsPatents of Arms
Ranulf of the North CountryGormflait ni Cuallachta, O.L.
Boncueur, O.L.
Setise, Countess, O.R.
Dorcas Dorcadas, O.L.
Sir Robert of Dunharrow, O.L.
Sir William the Lucky, O.L.


From the History (by Wilhelm):

Held in the First Unitarian Church, Kensington, California. Henrik and Seitse held court. King Henrik gave Awards of Arms to Aurelia de la Licorne, Conrad von Regensburg, Erzebet Tycodi, Irene of the Marsh, Jehan de la Pelegrine, John of Ravenwolf, Karen, Katherine of Northall, Linda-Muriall von Katzenbrasse, Matriona du Cameliard, Patrice di Coeur Fidel, Richard of Thistleshire, Sharon the Meek, Siolaughe Siobhean na Lia Fail, Sten av Norden, and William of Woodland. Then he admitted Ardis an Dearg, Sir Christian of Orange, Giesele-Hildegaard, Patrice du Couer Fidel, Piers Howells de Cambria, and Ximena Aubel de Cambria to the Order of the Leaf of Merit. King Henrik gave a Grant of Arms to Ranulf of the North Country. Then he admitted Boncueur de Myrobolan and Gormflait ni Cuallachta to the Order of the Laurel. The scroll for Boncueur was signed by the Kings and Queens of all four Kingdoms, as his work as Society Registrar benefitted them all equally. Then King Henrik created an order among knights, the Order of the Silver Molet, the symbol of which is the wearing of roweled spurs. The Order admitted those among belted fighters who are noted for honour, chivalry, courtesy, gentleness, and service. King Henrik admitted Sir Bela of Eastmarch and Sir Robert of Dunharrow as founding members. Then Queen Seitse admitted Countess Ardis an Dearg and Huldah von Jäl, Principal Herald in Atenveldt, to the Queen’s Order of Grace. Then Andrew and Salomé were crowned by Henrik and Seitse. King Andrew gave Awards of Arms to Anne Marie Vaarë of Helsingor, Catriona nicChlurain, Däwyd Äspärä Suomainen, Donna of Rollingwood (Donna of Willowwood), Edward of Stonehaven, Gwendolyn of the Thistle, John of Woodwose Hall, Lysander of Sparta, Miranda of Silvandel, Neil of Gyr, and Robert of Westmarch. He admitted Adrienne de Toledo, Bevin Fraser of Sterling, Eilonwy de Lyur, Jana d’Aquitaine, and Sir Steven MacEanruig to the Order of the Leaf of Merit. King Andrew then admitted Dorcas Dorcadas, Sir Robert Dunharrow, and Sir William the Lucky to the Order of the Laurel. King Andrew knighted Edgar the Unready. Queen Salomé admitted Duchess Carol of Bellatrix, Countess Luise of the Phoenix, Duke Paul of Bellatrix, and Count Stefan de Lorraine to the Queen’s Order of Grace (Duchess Carol was already a member, but Queen Salomé insisted). Then King Andrew made Sir Kevin Peregrynne a Crown Baron. Sir Steven MacEanruig instituted a new award, the Order of the Battered Helm, for those fighters who die the best at crown tourneys. He gave it to Count Stefan de Lorraine as the initial holder. Then revels commenced with Lady Adrienne de Toledo being chosen as Queen of Misrule. Duke Paul of Bellatrix won the ducal kissing contest.


Andrew of Riga
Sable, a wivern volant azure
fimbriated argent.
     
Salomé de las Palomas
Azure, upon a lozenge argent a
rose gules barbed and seeded proper,
a bordure of rose vines argent.
Arms drawn by Nicholas Bawcock of Petersfield, used with permission
Arms colored by Aja du Jardin

See photos from this event


Annotations:
“An interesting event, indeed. I was the autocrat and this was all around the least pleasant event I ever attended in the SCA. I hasten to mention that the only person responsible for making it so was me. Likewise, that it was only totally unpleasant for me, not for anyone else.
     [Salome] “Really nice lady. Not really involved in the SCA, but altogether a really nice person as far as I got to know her.
     [Andrew] “I like Andy a lot and, of course, he's on this list, but I could probably have cheerfully killed him a time or two during this event.
     [Awards given] “All perfectly reasonable awards. Boncueur was always an interesting guy to be around, if a bit weird. He also really did get the registrars office working. Everyone should remember that this was before the days of home computers when such things were mostly done on cards and, sometimes, on main-frames where members worked.
     [Silver Molet] “First big disaster. Lets just say that Henrik had not discussed this with much of anyone before, sprang it on the knights, and split them into two camps. I can't vouch for those who approved of it, because I was definitely and altogether of the other camp. My initial reaction to the order was absolutely negative and never really changed despite having been offered membership and having my best friend (Stefan de Lorraine) become a member. My basic reaction all along was that if you aren't noted for honour, chivalry, courtesy, gentleness and service, you damned well shouldn't be a knight. I was admittedly taking the SCA far to seriously at that time, but I still dislike the order and was very pleased to hear, years later, that it had been disbanded.
     [Andrew gave Steven MacEanruig his Leaf of Merit] “Gee thanks, Andy. In his infinite wisdom, Andy gave me my leaf at the same time he gave one to Bevin and Eilonwy, my last two ex-girlfriends, calling the three of us up at the same time. Bevin and I had never really been that serious and were long over anyway. Eilonwy was a different case. I hadn't seen her since we had split up a few months previously, was by no means over her, and was seriously unhappy. I got a very nice scroll for it, made by the same person who later spent some time cuddled up with Eilonwy at the event, and I was altogether a very unhappy camper by then.
     “The whole thing wasn't helped, probably, by spending half-an-hour outside waiting for the ambulance to come for another lady who had slipped and dislocated her knee in the hall. My friends later claimed it was easy to find me at the event. They just had to look for the black cloud hovering in the hall and there I was under it.
     [Old Battered Helm] “That was probably the only part of the event I enjoyed. We took an old freon gas drum helm, beat it up pretty good (and the thing was tough), hacksawed a slit in it and buried a piece of steel roughly cut in sword shape. Can anyone tell me if the award is still being given. BTW, my remembrance is that it was given jointly by William the Lucky and I. The genesis of the event was the a previous event on the day following the Rieslingshire tourney. I had offered a pair of bayonets for the best death. Bill and I got the idea to try to establish it as a kingdom level award.” – Steven MacEanruig

“12th Night VIII was a memorable occasion for me, of course. I had no idea that Henrik was going to create the Order of the Silver Molet (KSM)- I believe it was the joint idea of Henrik & Siegfried and a surprise to everyone else. When the herald read the founding proclamation, including the criteria for membership in it (stopping barely short of "walks on water"), my immediate thought was "My god, who could meet that?", followed in a split-second by "Of course, it's got to be Sir Bela!" In a moment I was proven correct, but further amazed when my name followed his. Good heavens, was I going to have to live up to the standard of chivalry & total human decency so marvelously exemplified by Sir Bela of Eastmarch (aka Poul Anderson)? Well, it looked like I had better try, since the populace appeared largely to approve. Looking back, a quarter-century later, I'm still not sure whether it was a good idea or not, but we tried to make the most of it.
     “After Andrew's coronation I got another total surprise, the Laurel. (In those days it was not required to tell someone in advance before calling them up in court to give an award, even a peerage.) In August, IX, when the Pelican was first released to the Kingdoms (after the Board had given 3 or 4 to Corporate-level civil servants), I successfully petitioned the Crown & the Board to allow me to exchange the OL for an OP dating from Jan VIII, which is why I have the senior non-Board Pelican in the SCA. Andy still feels that my decade as Exchequer deserved the Laurel, since finance was a period art or science, but then I never kept accounts by period methods. Anyway, I did (and still do) appreciate his consideration in recognizing my efforts for the Kingdom. Later, in May XXII, I received a Laurel for dance, a field in which I felt more comfortable in accepting it, although it was again a total surprise out of the blue, so to speak. However, this time I was asked privately if I would accept it before being called before the Throne.” – Robert of Dunharrow

“I may as well put my two bits about the KSM in here. As one of the two members of the second batch my response was an echo of Robert's described below - ME??? Invited to join with and live up to those two AND Stefan in courtesy, chivalry and water walking? Pinch me so I wake up! On the other hand, it was totally impossible to refuse such an invitation from those individuals and try be worthy, else I might as well turn my belt and chain back in.
     “I have long considered it one of the saddest aspects of my long acquaintance with Steven and William - markedly one of respect and friendship, that we are so deeply divided on this issue. It is especially ironic in light of the fact that, unaware of their strong opposition to the entire concept, that the four of us unanimously wished to have them join the order in the third batch. Stefan and I each quietly sounded them out only to discover that they wouldn't accept induction even if it came with green stamps. I have to admit that it was very difficult to resist taking it personally.” – Kevin Peregrynne

“I'm afraid that I stand firmly with William and Steven on this one. I thought that the Order was a bad idea, and was a step in the wrong direction. I would have much rather had the effort into improving the Order of Chivalry as a whole.
     “In addition, I was also sounded out, and not only did I find it easy to refuse, I wouldn't have taken it with green stamps, either.
     “I wish to make it clear that I am not discussing the relative merits and worthiness of those who were in the Order. My problem is with the Order, itself.” – Paul of Bellatrix
“Actually, I would agree with you totally about this, though obviously not from quite the same perspective. It was never personal from my point of view with any of the members of the order. Indeed, I regard all of the ones so far mentioned with a great deal of respect. The one thing that I could never quite understand was their inability to see that dividing the chivalry into (as you say below) the knights and the knighted was a bad thing. I realize that Kevin didn't quite mean it that way, but that's the way I saw it.” – Steven MacEanruig
“I won't put words in Henrik's mouth, but I believe his intent was to say as I once did to William (or he to me, I'm vague on which one was writing to the other but it was in our frequent official correspondence when I was Earl Marshal and he Seneschal) - "There are the Knights and then there are the knighted." To this day I don't know which individuals' attention Henrik was seeking to get (in the manner of the proverbial 2"x4") but I'm positive that neither Steven nor William were on his list.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“I also understood it, possibly incorrectly, to be Henrik's intention. And, of course, the 2"X4" approach was exactly what I objected to the most. I admit that I tend to overreact when people want to mess around with the chivalry, whether to change the order or change the oath of fealty. I've mellowed quite a bit since then, but I still feel that my stand on this one was correct.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Internally our biggest problem was that no one could have deliberately chosen a group of people who were more likely to consider all sides of a question to death and eventually put making the decision off until next time. This is the primary reason that the order grew so slowly - each new member decreased our ability to elect the next one (unanimously remember) because the process was exponentially more slow and difficult.
     “Sir Robert is his usual tactful self when he describes the Order's interaction with Geoffrey. My perception was that it was more in the nature of an ultimatum "Fix the Order or lose it ... here's OUR ROYAL SUGGESTION as to how." (Though I also thought the idea imminently sensible too). There was also continuous pressure for the Order to DO SOMETHING in order to justify its continued existence (no other order has had that demand made of it). Oh well! It's all over now ... just another footnote in history.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“Yeah, that's about how I remember it, too. (I also remember several long sessions with him about the virtues of closing an order over disbanding it.)” – Frederick of Holland
“It's a bit sad in many ways. I don't suppose it matters so much at this remove, but I do feel it weakened us at the time. I admit, I think a fair amount of the blame should go to Henrik (and no, I don't hold it against him at all now). In general, though, in the SCA it is better not to spring major changes on people. If you let everyone know what you want to do and discuss it, you can generally get away with it even if people don't like it much at the time. I still regard the KSM as a bad idea, but the creation of it was done with bad tactics as well.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Steve’s right about that. I should have talked to more people and given them a chance to tell me what they thought. The BOD’s Major P.R. disasters tend to revolve around the same thing.” – Henrik of Havn
“Shifting focus back on the event ... I don't think Andrew realized how much confusion making me a Court Baron would cause. Golden Rivers had only a month before petitioned for Baronial status, and for most of the shire's people Twelfth Night was only their first or second kingdom level event (i.e., they were clue impaired about honors and politics). I spent a good part of the remainder of the evening explaining over and over that NO King Andrew had NOT appointed me as Founding Baron of Golden Rivers in place of David of Castlewhyte as we all expected, it was just a Royal Whim award with no responsibilities or powers.
     [Later] “Just to avoid misconceptions about the Knights/knighted quote - at the time the remark passed between Bill and I (to be honest I've always claimed it, but it grew a life of its own) I had not been inducted as a KSM and, if memory serves, the order hadn't been created yet. In that letter, if I recall, I was commiserating with William about the fact that some Knightly people hadn't been through the ceremony (or even noticed) and that some of those who had been knighted were notoriously letting down the Knight-team behavior-wise.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“I suspect that you invented it, since I don't recall ever hearing it before. It does sum things up nicely. Both you and Bill have a good sense for a well turned phrase, however.” – Steven MacEanruig
“As far as ‘... inability to see that dividing the Chivalry ... was a bad thing.’ I only wish to offer in defense that (as noted above) I was for some time rather upset at occasions where the Chivalry image was being frayed at the edges by individuals. (Steve, lots of us took/take the Full Chivalry Monty seriously elsewise why the hell are we here?) When Henrik created the order, please remember that only he and Siegfried were in on it. (By the way I agree that the tactics [don't consult the affected group and use a 2"x4" upside the head] in the long view were not good ... reminds me of the reason we started asking people if they wanted to be inducted into a Peerage Order). The main thing is to repeat what Robert said - we couldn't refuse even though we didn't feel arrogant about being invited.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“We were all a bit upset, as I recall, and I certainly always took the Full Chivalry Monty (I like that phrase) seriously, as did Bill. I never doubted that others did as well. At this remove, I tend to view the whole thing as a textbook case of how not to do things. I don't think I would have ever liked the order but springing it on us made for a good kick-start towards real hatred.
     “I did eventually tone down my comments a bit, since many friends of mine were in it. My dislike of the order in no way extends to any members of it.” – Steven MacEanruig
“The other thing is that I have always preferred the carrot to the stick - reward good behavior, and people will try to earn that reward as opposed to punishing bad behavior (which in the SCA was always hard to manage). Henrik pulled off his coup, Bela and Robert accepted and I have to lay my soul on the line and admit that I felt" ‘od, please make me a good enough Knight to earn that one!’" – Kevin Peregrynne
“The carrot is generally nicer. I would have liked to have seen what we could have done if we had been given a chance to discuss the whole thing openly. In a way, it was a great lost opportunity.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Poul, Bob, Steve (P), Steve (H), Bill, whoever else gives a damn - I saw a goal not a division. It wasn't until I talked to the two of you after I became a KSM that I realized there was a "Loyal Opposition" (for whom I never lost respect).
     “For all of the rest of you, I apologize for involving you in our psychodrama.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“Hey, it's an interesting segment of West Kingdom history and I feel that it's actually good for us to finally discuss it out in the open.” – Steven MacEanruig
“If I were to note the real negative impact that this whole container of worms had it was that it divided the WK SCA knights, at the time, who should have all been agreeing that there was a problem (no question I think ... and what should be done [big disagreement]). That we were then and are still now cordial and civil just goes to prove that it hasn't gone away as a problem, but we've all figured out that it was a just ways and means issue we disagreed over. If we could reinvent the order with full advice and consent I hope that the original and intended members would all belong ... (as should every KSCA).
     “Is it possible to feel proud and sad at the same time - that's how I've felt for a couple of decades now.
     “We all wanted to do it right, and I'm ashamed to say it the 'knighted' never had a clue and probably still don't.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“Yeah, I feel that way too.” – Henrik of Havn

“Thought I'd step in with a couple of observations.
     “After a bit of thought on just why I accepted the Molet and supported the Order, I think my attitude was that it was an award for being a knight that did not involve winning a tournament. It was an acknowledgment by the Kingdom for doing things that did not depend on your fighting skill.” – Stefan de Lorraine

“It's a theory, although not the one I subscribe to. It's interesting to me that only at this remove are the bunch of us talking about what we actually felt at the time. My own attitude was, as far as I recall, that it was clearly created to make some knights better than others. In retrospect, I don't think that my theory was correct and that it was more intended as a carrot than divisive move. I would still oppose it, however, since I feel we need more togetherness and group effort than we do divisiveness.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Given that I felt that (1) I had no chance of ever winning the Crown again and (2) that I had done things for the Kingdom and for the Order of Chivalry that there was no in place way of rewarding/acknowledging, I thought the Order was a damn fine idea. And, having now given it some thought, I still think so.” – Stefan de Lorraine
“Fair enough. Needless to say, I disagree about it being a fine idea. I do regret that we had no chance to consider it in council and come up with something that might have been more workable. In essence, I have the same feelings about it that I do about things like Stephen Blackeagle’s Arch-Duke announcement long before.” – Steven MacEanruig
“It should have come out of the massed Chivalry of the Kingdom, but it didn't. Perhaps there should have been some criteria established for entry, but I think if you look at the membership you'll see that any criteria that would have been established was, in fact, followed. The membership took their responsibility to create new members very seriously, perhaps too seriously. If we had acted less like an exclusive order, perhaps it would still be a viable concern.” – Stefan de Loraine, who still feels a pride in having been chosen to walk with the Knights of the Silver Molet
“Purely in my opinion, I felt that the membership of the order mirrored exactly that of the general group of knights. I agree that the members took their responsibility very seriously. I don't agree that they always made the right choices.” – Steven MacEanruig

“Sir Robert has mentioned (perhaps not in these pages yet) that the Order grew slowly intentionally. I don’t recall that to be part of the original design. I think if it had grown more quickly it may not have been viewed as an exclusive Order as much.” – Henrik of Havn

“I don't believe I ever viewed it as an exclusive order. I was troubled by its existence, not its membership.” – Steven MacEanruig
“It comes to my mind that a lot of the beginning of the SCA was not by mutual consent, but rather through individual pronouncements, some became accepted and ultimately custom and/or tradition, others were ‘bombs’ and sooner or later faded from sight, or changed.” – Henrik of Havn

“Ok. The can of worms [The Order of the Silver Molet] has been opened, so I figure I might as well throw out some questions.
     “Not having been around when all this happened, and never having been involved with the Order of Chivalry directly (as an Order), but having heard things when I moved to the central part of the West Kingdom (from Alaska/Oertha) 12+ years ago ...
     “The rumors or stories I heard, and I know others heard them as well were that the KSM was really an attempt at having an "inner circle" within the Order of Chivalry ... (we don't like him, but he's a knight -- how can we have a special group he's not part of ..?) I never heard a name (or names) of those who the Order was supposedly created to "keep out" ...
     “Now, I know several of the members of the order, and I happen to like the folk I know who are in the order, and while I suppose anything's possible, I have never been comfortable with this particular concept.
     “So ... I guess the question is, is there any truth to this?” – Hirsch von Henford

“I guess that I'm the surviving (vehement) KSM on the History dialog (apologies my siblings), and I guess that in a sense it's my own fault. I experienced and love so much of the history of the SCA and we're right on the event horizon when I was big time. The other thing is that (as Steven M. protests "I take it all [at least making it work {kp}] very seriously).
     “This seems to at the moment to be a dialog between Steven and I. There are a load of other folks who should have stuff to say, but it's probably best if they have a good chunk of inside information about the story.
     “Again, I will wait for Henrik to speak for himself ... but I will say, on my own personal honor (NOTHING was said or implied) that the attitude that Hirsch reports "I'm Knightlier than thou and in the IN GROUP" (yes we were aware of it eventually) never crossed our minds. In the first group of four members of us ... (to quote Steven Stills at Woodstock "We were scared shitless") no way! I beg those of you who have known us for decades to even pretend that we thought we had a slam dunk on everybody else (if you fail, what did I do wrong?). Actually the (innocently believing bunch of us) thought it was an idea worth exporting to other Kingdoms. (Did you know that?)
     “Elsewise I think that Steve and I have set out the philosophical disagreement and its resolution and if you weren't there you're just burnin' powder.” – Kevin Peregrynne
“I'm perfectly willing to believe that there was no intention of an "I'm knightlier than thou" attitude. But that is certainly the way it came across from the outside. And not just to the other members of the Order of Chivalry. I recall hearing at least one non-peer saying to another "Oh, that's an order for knights who fulfill all the requirements for knighthood."” – William the Lucky
“I doubt there was any such intention and I don't think the members in it mostly felt that at all. I know others did, myself to some degree among them. My own perception would be that I don't want elite groups within the order even if I was to be one of them. I realize the order itself is, to some extent, an elite group, but I don't claim consistency in my beliefs.” – Steven MacEanruig
“The perception of an "in group" was enhanced by the fact that we all have slightly different ideas about who would deserve to be part of such an order. Which means that, while some members were unquestionably worthy, it was all too common to know both non-members who should have been included and members of the Order of the Silver Molet who would have been one's last choice for an order of exemplars. So, having seen little correlation between great chivalry and membership, the obvious conclusion is that who your friends are matters more than how you behave.” – William the Lucky
“I will say that there was never anyone in the order who would have been my last choice. There were a couple of later ones that definitely wouldn't have been among my first choices or even high up on my list. Basically, as I said before, I came to the conclusion that the order was pretty much a reflection of the order of chivalry itself.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Keep in mind – “great chivalry” as “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder. I believe there are people whose conduct is unchivalrous according to my set of values, but that same conduct is not unchivalrous according to another’s set of moral values. I can also attest that during discussions of prospective candidates for the KSM that I participated in, there was at times a strong reminder of the difficulty a unanimous agreement was to find with a candidate.” – Henrik of Havn
"As was noted earlier in the discussion, the Order of Chivalry had some problem members. I think virtually all of us who were around at the time would agree that far -- while possibly disagreeing over who they were. But it seems to me that if you have even 20% bad apples, you work on reforming or tossing them out -- you only set up a new order if you have more like 80% bad apples. And I never thought for a minute that we had even 10% bad apples. Well, maybe 11%.” – William the Lucky
“I couldn't have said it better. I note that a good part of what we all thought about it seems to come from our different perceptions of just what the order was. This strikes me as another reason to have public or semi-public discussions about such things before springing them on everyone.
     "Oddly enough, while I felt as strongly as anyone about the KSM, I never considered touching it when I was later king. Partly that was because many of my good friends were in it, but partly it was also because while I felt I was right about it, I was by no means unbiased or in a position to evaluate it dispassionately. In effect, I disqualified myself from any formal actions regarding it.” – Steven MacEanruig
“How does one “reform” bad apples? My approach was an attempt at leading by the example of the best who weren’t “more holy than thou” in attitude as perceived by the chivalry as whole.” – Henrik of Havn
“I’m glad this is being discussed here. I hadn’t gotten to this page when I explained on Steve’s message page – why and how I intended the Order to develop. But keep in mind that the Order was on its own after Sir Bela and Sir Robert were inducted into it. After that point, the Order was independent of any outside direction, be it the Crown’s or anyone else’s.
     “To answer your question – the KSM was not intended to be a special exclusive group that would keep out anyone. There was no “list” of “un-worthies” that I ever heard of. It was to lead by example only. I can very honestly say that when my name was called as a candidate for the Order, I didn’t know it was me being called until I saw people around me turning to look at me and then it started to sink in and my jaw dropped. I didn’t feel I was as worthy as some of the other members of the Chivalry present, and only hoped any example that I might be able to set would be a compliment to the SCA, the West and the Order.” – Henrik of Havn
“My intention for creating the order was several fold (is that a word?)
     “Firstly, I thought the Order of Chivalry was rather 2 dimensional at the time. Once one was a belted fighter, there was no further place to develop - except by improving one’s fighting ability and winning a title. For those not able or willing to win a title, there was always the Laurel and Pelican to strive to earn, but nothing as a Knight. I thought of Bachelor Knights, but that didn’t sound like an incentive to develop within the Order of Chivalry. The Order of the Silver Molet was meant to be like a 2nd Dan in the Order of Chivalry that didn’t rely on better fighting ability. I hoped other Monarchs would create other comparable Orders of Chivalry – to enhance the general Order overall.” – Henrik of Havn
“And there was one of my major problems with the Molet. I never understood why the knights should need anything further to develop in the SCA when the Laurels and Pelicans didn't. The belted fighters already had control of the crown and greater public recognition than the other orders. To give them something additional is kind of like an odd combination of saying that they deserve something more than the other orders while at the same time saying that they need further inducement because they aren't capable of living up to their ideals otherwise.
     “I think I would have been less bothered by the Molet if it had initially been created with members of all three orders (or, for that matter all four if you consider Masters at Arms a different order). By the time that came along, however, it was far to late to mend the order for me.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Duke Siegfried helped me a lot with the wording of the ceremony, and he was the person who suggested Sir John Chandos as the historic model, and using his arms differenced by the Crown of the West as the Orders’ arms.
     “The autonomy of the Order’s structure was designed by me since I felt that some Kings had created Knights who did not satisfy all the requirements of Knighthood, but were just good fighters at the time.” – Henrik of Havn
Not dissimilar from the other orders.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Only those of the Silver Molet could propose new candidates, and only the Crown could admit a candidate to the Order. This way, both the Crown and all the members of the Order had to agree to a candidate, before the candidate could be added to the Order’s membership. True, it might have seemed that the Order was composed of a bunch of “Better than You’s”, but I hoped it wouldn’t be the case.” – Henrik of Havn
“My arguments with the order never extended to the members of it. I was sorry that some of them couldn't see what seemed to me to be quite clear, that the order was basically bad for the knights, but that's the way it goes. And, of course, I have to keep in mind what Steve Perrin said to me recently. It's good to remember that we were all quite young at the time.” – Steven MacEanruig
“Another reason for the Order was that I hoped that a stronger element of color and pageantry would develop at tournaments – with the Order hopefully sponsoring non-title tournaments and other events aimed at Chivalric concepts. I think the current growing popularity of Pas d’Arms movement is part of what I had envisioned.
     “But I was also wanting the Order to promote one of the main goals of the SCA, Inc. – Education. To that end, the Order sponsored in late 1970's and early 1980's weekly fighting practices and a mini-lecture series where guest lecturers gave a 30 to 60 minute talk on a variety of period historical topics, including Chaucer, Falconry, Elements of Historical Costumes, etc.
     “Final Note, the Order of the Silver Molet hasn’t been disbanded, it is just not a Kingdom created order anymore. It’s members are not active as a collective entity, but some continue to wear the Orders’ regalia at events.” – Henrik of Havn

“I have been very remiss in commenting on your distributions and others' comments -- about as remiss as I could have been given that I haven't responded at all. But the collection of comments on the Silver Molet [interspersed throughout], and poor Henrik twisting in the wind, cause me to make a point which (I must admit) I don't know whether anybody else has made or not.
     “Although I don't know who all Henrik consulted in the process of setting up what we originally called the Order of Chandos and which became the Silver Molet, I know he and I spent a lot of time talking about it. One theme I recall very strongly, and it relates to cultural assimilation. During that period the SCA in the West was going through rapid growth and, as so often happened in SCA groups, consequent acculturation rapid growth was paralleled by the existing structures being unable to absorb and assimilate new people quickly enough. Whenever that happened we wound up with (typically) youngsters who had latched onto some notions (like fighting) as nifty, but who had not really come into contact with or internalized the overall ideals and ideas of the SCA. My strong recollection is that Henrik thought of the new order as one which could visibly be seen as upholding the non-fighting ideals of Knighthood, and thus by example extol and represent those virtues to youngsters who saw Knighthood only as the culmination of fighting ability. In other words, from a P.R. perspective it was largely aimed as aspirant fighters in the hopes that they might broaden their appreciation of the goal towards which they strived, and not intended as a "higher and greater" goal for existing Knights. Certainly that was my understanding of it and why my suggestions were as they were. This isn't to say that its other purposes as identified for better or worse by other contestants -- er, communicants -- were not real; it's only that I didn't notice this (once major) purpose being discussed. Which isn't to say it wasn't just that I missed it.
     “As others have pointed out, of course, the unintended consequences of the OSM, as with so many things in life, had further-reaching and greater ramifications that its original purpose.
     “Having said all that I'm proud I had something to do with its inception; I believed in its stated goals and still do; however detached I still feel its purpose was worthy and its recipients largely worthy as well; and I, as others, still appreciate very much being honored by the invitation to walk with the Order.” – Siegfried von Hoflichskeit

“As Dave [Siegfried] notes, we had some significant assimilation problems in the mid-1970's. We were going through a period when a significant number of members felt that expanding the size of the group was an absolute good.
     “My belief (then and now) is that we were setting ourselves up for trouble because we were taking in people faster than we could absorb then and teach them how the group worked. It is one thing to absorb new people when there are a half dozen old hands for each new one -- there is plenty of time to spend with each one talking about how the group works. What is important. And generally getting the idea across that, while we are very tolerant of people with an odd kick in their gallop, there are some basics which are not negotiable.
     “But we took in enough people to nearly double our numbers every year or two for a while, and it made a mess. One or two individuals who simply don't know and don't care about the things that are important to us can be dealt with as individuals; a dozen or more present enough of a bad example that extreme measures have to be taken -- meaning that sometimes we found ourselves with new knights who simply knew nothing about the Society or the Kingdom outside of how to fight. Other times, we discovered that we had acquired a sub-group which knows only that Society events provide them a great place to party -- and some of them who have come to events for years have made remarks like "You're Queen? How do you get to be Queen?" I submit that any significant number of attendees who, after half a year of coming to events, could ask such a question is an indication that we're in danger of losing something important.
     “Of course, the acculturation problem occurs all the time in new, and outlying, groups. Which is why it is so important that some of us make the effort to travel around the kingdom.
     “In short, the symptom that the Silver Molet was attempting to address was all too real. But the difficulties were that a) it did not succeed in solving the problem -- which is not to say that it shouldn't have been tried, and b) it wasn't clear that that was what it was for. Certainly I have heard lots of comments from those who had a hand in setting it up which reflect ideas which I had never even suspected before. And I was definitely around the whole time.
     “I don't think we are leaving Henrik to twist in the wind (alone or otherwise). I wasn't trying to anyway. Rather, I think we are doing exactly what this forum was set up to do reviewing events and setting out what we did and why we did it. The more different perspectives we can bring, the better. No doubt the discussion may get a little caustic -- we are, after all, a fairly opinionated bunch. But so far nobody has descended from opinion to insult.” – William the Lucky, who would be called the Oblivious if he hadn't locked on to another epithet first (which may discount the last sentence, I suppose).

“When Henrik created the Silver Molet at 12th Night, VIII, and named Sir Bela and myself to it, he did not give us any detailed instructions on what to do next (beyond what was in the formal proclamation further members had to be knights, had to be nominated by the order and created by the Crown, were supposed to be chosen for exemplifying chivalric values - however that might be interpreted - and that the order would constitute an honor guard for coronations, that being the only actual duty specified.)
     “Naturally, I immediately spoke with Sir Bela about what to do next. He agreed with me that two did not make much of an honor guard and we sought to add two more promptly. I asked around mostly of ladies I knew and Stefan & Kevin were oft mentioned. So were some others who, however, had quietly let me know that they would rather not be considered. So after 4 months, we grew to four. Then at the next 12th Night, it seemed only fitting to add Henrik & Siegfried, whose brainchild it all was, and to whom the inspiration of Sir John Chandos was so taken to heart. After that it got harder, not to find knights who we could unanimously agree were worthy, but to decide who among many worthies should come next. We only considered those who had been knights for at least 2 years, but most had been around for many years. All 6 created in AS 8 & 9 had joined the SCA in AS I or II, I believe. In other words, there was an extensive track record.
     “By AS XX, we had added 6 more (Elriin of Hrassvelg, Lorin sur la Roche, Jon FitzRauf, Mark von dem Falconsfenn, Edward of Southhaven, James Greyhelm) and 7 of us attended the 20 Year Celebration in Ansteorra, where we conducted two seminars on chivalry and led the procession of 11 sets of Kings & Queens at the great May 1 ceremony, as honor guard to their Western Majesties. Henrik & Siegfried carried the historic Original Crowns made by Master Beverly on small cushions.
     “In AS XXIII, King Geoffrey asked us to extend eligibility to Laurels & Pelicans. This had not occurred to me before, but was eminently logical, since the requirements other than fighting, which was NOT a Molet criterion, were identical for all 3 orders. We then added (all at once) Hilary, Annette, Aislinn, and Master Beverly. But before long, some other King (I forget who it was [Jade of Starfall – HvH.]) decided to close the order, so unless some future King re-opens it (which seems unlikely) the membership will remain at 16, or rather 15 now, since Master Beverly's passing.
     “In proposing members, I think I looked for those who gave a lot of themselves to the group as a whole, while of course treating everyone of whatever station with courtesy and consideration. I do not tend to equate chivalry with showy forms of courtly behavior, but more with deeper traits of character. Of the first 12, by the way, 7 were triple-peers, 2 others held two peerages, most had served in various offices & functions and some were prime instigators of whole areas of SCA activity. Siegfried, of course, largely invented current medieval combat, and served extensively at Kingdom & Corporate level. Henrik, more than anyone else, developed tilting at rings & quintain in the SCA and engineered the necessary equipment, among many other services, including the SCA Board. Stefan built the Seneschalate into a well-functioning organization. Kevin, as Earl Marshal & then Society Marshal, created the armor standards that have made it possible to keep doing the heavy combat we do at the scale it is now done without a disastrous casualty rate. Bela headed the College of Bards. Jon almost single-handedly made archery a major SCA-wide activity with his creation of the Royal Round, the IKAC & the IKCAC, and his administering it for years on end. James, along with Verena, got the Land Fund (now Kingdom Historical Trust) going and put much work into it.
     “I regret that we didn't move faster to induct more of the deserving candidates. In some cases, knights who were quite acceptable to all became inactive before we got around to them, and since we did the honor guard thing, I think we tended to go first with those who would be likely to attend all 3 coronations each year.
     “As I approach the 30th anniversary of my knighting this May, I must say that I have largely very good feelings about the Order of Chivalry at present. We seem to have developed a culture that values behavior that might be defined as chivalric in the best sense. With the huge numbers of fighters at present, and the level of expertise among them, it appears that these values are generally pretty well inculcated in fighters well before they reach the level of skill and experience to be knighted. Perhaps the entire Chivalry (and indeed the other peerage orders as well) have largely developed into what Henrik intended to encourage by creating the Silver Molet.” – Robert of Dunharrow

[The scroll for Boncueur was signed by the Kings and Queens of all four Kingdoms, as his work as Society Registrar benefitted them all equally.] “I believe that the all-kingdom scroll was my idea. We wanted a way to recognize Boncueur's contribution to the entire SCA. The Board of Directors had made him the first Master of the Pelican on 10/22/1972 AS VII. That proved to be an unpopular action not because it was undeserved but because people resented the BoD inserting itself into the Current Middle Ages as the Imperial Board of Electors. The Laurels agreed that Boncueur deserved recognition both for his continued efforts and for the art of bookkeeping. (He kept his records by hand in the medieval double-entry bookkeeping ledger style. I had a thorough introduction to this when I went down to help him one afternoon.) My then Lady and wife, Mistress Annette of Faire Monte, was Chancellor of the College of Scribes and she arranged for the scroll to be secretly made and shipped to each pair of monarchs to be signed and sealed. I have a picture of Boncueur at court kneeling with dropped jaw as Mistress Karina of the Far West, then Vesper Principal Herald, read the unique scroll and ended with the four pairs of signatures and seals. Boncueur's surprised expression was priceless!” – Wilhelm von Schlüssel (who is still proud of one idea that really worked)


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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