Baronial awards

Tim McDaniel tmcd at
Fri Oct 25 02:11:11 PDT 1996

On Fri, 25 Oct 1996, Vicki Marsh <zarazena at> wrote:
> I do have a question of you and other heralds?  As a new Territorial
> Baron/ness, I understand that my husband and I can develop new
> non-armigerous Baronial awards.  What is your feeling about them?
> Are they listed in the OP? I know these have to be submitted for
> approval.

The easy one first: no, they don't go into the kingdom OP.  Do have
your baronial herald keep track of them, though, since nobody will be
keeping records for you.

Well ... there are some tangled issues here -- stupid assertions of
royal perogative and bad wording in Corpora, for instance.  Corpora
VII.B.3 has

      Other Awards and Orders.  Non-armigerous awards and orders may
      be established by a kingdom, principality or barony, according
      to the laws and customs of the kingdom.  The names and insignia
      of these awards and orders must be ratified by the Laurel
      Sovereign of Arms.  ...

         b. The Crown must approve any non-armigerous award or order
            before it may be recognized by the College of Heralds of a
            kingdom and given a place in its Order of Precedence.

Yet Corpora VI.B.2.c reads

     The privileges, duties, and rights, ceremonial and otherwise, of
     the office of territorial Baron and/or Baroness are established
     by the laws and customs of the kingdom, and shall include the
     right to make such awards as the Crown (or the Coronet, if
     applicable) shall specifically delegate, and to establish and
     present non-armigerous awards specific to the barony.

Because of that "SHALL include", I'd say you can "establish and
present non-armigerous awards" regardless of other law.  Yet I think
it contradicts VII.B.3.b above!  Wait, I guess not: if the Crown
doesn't recognize it, it just doesn't get "recognized by the College
of Heralds" and doesn't get into the OP.  The baron/ess can still
establish unrecognized and unOPed awards.  But still, VII.B.3.b has
"according to laws and customs", and VI.B.2.c has the "shall include",
which seems to be regardless of "laws and customs".

Kingdom law reads, in I.2.a:

    All armigerous and non-armigerous titles, ennoblements, grants,
    awards, etc., recognized by the College of Arms are derived solely
    from the Crown, and may be awarded only with the prior consent of
    the Crown.

I personally think this is the *single* most boneheaded provision of
Ansteorran kingdom law.  (Followed closely by II.3.p, saying that all
officer's handbooks are (if specified) part of kingdom law.  That
means that I can't effectively get a listing of all kingdom law,
unless I know and get all the handbooks.)  Because of "shall include",
I also doubt its lawfulness.

So if you don't register it, it's a violation of the perogatives of
Laurel Queen of Arms (*maybe* of the crown).  Laurel's a long ways
away and has bigger things to worry about -- and what's she gonna do,
take away your birthday?  If you *do* register it, you are supposed to
go to the Crown for approval for each and every time you give the
Glittery Widget of Elfsea.  Also, the Crown may appear in your barony
in their tenure, and putting a submission in could, in theory, bring
unwelcome attention.

In practice, as I understand it, most baronies don't register
non-armigerous awards, do NOT get the Crown involved at ALL!, and
would object strenuously if the Crown gave their *armigerous* award
out, much less a non-armigerous one.  I'd STRONGLY advise following
this practice.

If anyone asks, maybe you could say they're just tokens of personal
appreciation (like a Norse lord would give out rings and cloaks), and
that's your story and you're sticking to it.  In reality, they are
just "cookies", with even less reality than kingdom awards.

Even better: I'd advise against creating a new baronial award.  We've
just gone thru a bit of discussion on the issues.  Basically, I don't
see a need for more than the armigerous baronial award and a
non-armigerous one -- if even that.  The former is for "heaps big good
work" and the latter for "good sustained work".  (Then again, my
Steppes socialization is showing: that's the Oak and the Acorn there,

Can you think of other (more period) ways of showing appreciation?  A
few ideas that come to mind:

- praise in court and/or in the newsletter.

- gifts.  OK, you can't afford gold rings.  Can you get your artisans
  to give you little things to hand out in appreciation?  (*Don't*
  call it baronial property, BTW, lest you fall afoul of that recent
  "gift letter" nonsense.)

- honorary office or title with few or no duties.  This is an idea I
  push, but unfortunately not much of the Society does it.  Baronial
  guard.  Chamberlain.  Esquire of the body / lady in waiting (doesn't
  the Queen of the UK have "Extra Lords of the Bedchamber" or some
  such?).  Freeman of the barony.  Privy counsellor.  Archer, with the
  right to hunt deer within the barony.  Dance instructor to the baron
  / ess by baronial warrant.  These can have pretty charters, and can
  also have expiration dates (so you can give renew them for further
  service, or spread them around).

- establish a fraternal company.  It'd be a household owned by the
  barony, and ain't nuthin' that says you can't do that.  There could
  be goals and criteria for admission, and discussion of new members,
  and projects by the order^H^H^H^H^Hgroup.

If you *do* go ahead and establish an award^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Ha token of
baronial appreciation, please run the proposed name past Da Heralds
here present to see if it sounds plausible and doesn't conflict.  (The
Acorn, for instance, is an award registered to a barony in Caid.)

> Also, what about personal awards like House MountainGate's
> "RingThegns"? Or Baron Robert Simon Fraser's "Baron's Chalice".
> Should these be submitted to the herald's office? I liked these (I
> am a RingThegn) and haven't seen very many like them.

Corpora VII.B.4:

    Authority.  Only royalty and territorial Barons and Baronesses may
    bestow awards.  If an award is established for a specific branch,
    only the royalty or Baron/ess of that branch may bestow the award,
    unless the power is specifically delegated in a manner consistent
    with Corpora and kingdom law and custom.

which *also* seems to annul kingdom law I.2.a.  (That "the royalty or
Baron/ess of that branch may bestow the award" is not well worded,
though.  Read one way, it just means the ruler(s) of the branch can
give that branch's awards.  Read the other way, the Crown and the
baron/ess of a branch can both give that branch's awards.  I dislike a
lot of things about Corpora, its sloppiness of wording not the least.)

So the personal stuff is not an "award" as defined in Corpora.  If
someone wants to give out chalices (are they actual cups, BTW?) or
hand rings to someone he considers a thegn, or keeps a company of
thegns, I'd say that's their business.  They certainly can't register
something called an "award".

Daniel de Lincoln
                             Tim McDaniel
                        Reply-To: tmcd at
    mcdaniel at is wrong tool.  Never use this.

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