ANST - "Groups" at Coronation (long) (was: RE:

Mitchell, Paul T MTCHPTAA at
Mon Aug 4 08:00:00 PDT 1997

Galen here!

No one's taken a crack at this question, so I will.  Though I don't think
the poster realizes what a big question it is.

From:  ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG
Sent:  Friday, August 01, 1997 9:45 PM
To:  Mitchell, Paul T; ansteorra
Subject:  Re: ANST - Long Courts & Oaths

Sir Burke wrote

> The Chivalry guard the land
> when there is no Crown, the Lions keep the Sable Sword safe from harm   
> the embodiment of the land, the Order of the Rose keeps the crown of   
> consort hidden and safe from harm, etc..

This is something that I have wondered, silently, about for some time. I   
there are several different groups and there is a reason for each, but   
still relatively new to the SCA and I don't have any idea what most of   
for. How about anyone who is a member of a group post the function of the
group? For example, Centurions.... I'm fairly sure its a heavy weapons   
but beyond that I'm lost.

Most of the "groups" you refer to are called "Orders".  Membership in
these orders are granted by the Crown.  It is usually considered some-
thing of an honor, usually carries some sort of rank, and usually
brings with it the responsiblity to teach whatever it was that got
you the honor, and to continue to exemplify the standards, ideals
and values of the Order.

The Order of the Centurions of the Sable Star of Ansteorra is made up of
people chosen by the Crown, after consultation with the Companions of
the Order, to honor them for their expertise in chivalric combat.  I   
believe that they have a specific function in the traditional Coronation
ceremony, but they were very much in evidence at Coronation as new
Companions were added in both the final Court of Mahadi & Valeria as
well as in the first court of Kein and Alisha.  This is the newest of the   

groups to be discussed here.  Membership in this Order carries with it
a Grant of Arms.

In this note, I have to treat with the peerage, which is seperated into
three equal branches.  Each of these carries with it a Patent of Arms,
and their Companions are elected by the Crown, after consultation
with the members of the concerned order.  The three branches are the
Order of the Pelican, the Order of the Laurel, and the Chivalry of the
SCA.  In Ansteorra, peers are considered to the right to swear fealty,
but only the knights are obligated to do so.  The peerage is generally
considered to be the highest of honors in the SCA, and peers rank
above all except Kings, Princes, and former Kings and Princes (and
in Ansteorra, Territorial Barons).  In the Coronation ceremony, those
peers who wish to swear fealty are given time to do so.

The Order of the Pelican is the newest branch of the peerage, created
in A.S. IX, and given to honor service to the SCA.

The Order of the Laurel, created in A.S. II at the same time that the
Chivalry was formalized and Mastery of Arms was created, is that
branch of the peerage given for excellence in the Arts and/or Sciences.

The Chivalry of the SCA has two co-equal Orders, The Order of
Knighthood and the Order of Mastery of Arms.  A lot has been
written about these two orders, and will continue to be.  In law,
the only real difference between these orders is that knights can
be required to swear fealty, and Masters of Arms cannot be required
to swear fealty.  In practice,  there are numerous subtle and obvious
differences between these Orders and the Companions thereof.  In the
Coronation ceremony, the knights receive the Crown from the outgoing
king as his last act, and surrender it to the incoming king; Masters
of Arms come up in court and drink to the incoming king, usually
right after the knights have sworn their fealty.  For the record, 75   
(including the two that were announced at Coronation) have been
elevated to the Chivalry in Ansteorra in the past 28 years, including
only 8 Masters of Arms, of whom four were already knights (and one
of those was subsequently re-knighted).  Membership in these Orders
is mutually exclusive, no one can be a Companion of both simultaneously.   

In Ansteorra, these Orders meet jointly, and are jointly consulted about
candidates for the Chivalry.  A candidate being offered this elevation   
the choice to become a Knight or a Master.

The Order of the Rose is made up of former Consorts.  The Ladies
of the Rose (There's only one Lord of the Rose, the only man in the
SCA to have been a Consort of a Kingdom -- that's Duke Hector,
who ruled with Rowan when she won Crown Tourney.)  receive
the Queen's Crown after she has abdicated, and hold it until they
are called upon to surrender it to the new King, to crown his
new Queen.

The Great Sword of State of Ansteorra was originally a gift to
the Crown from the Companions of the Order of the Lions of
Ansteorra, in time of our second king, Lloyd I.  The tradition
has evolved that the Sword is returned to the Order at the
end of each reign, and bestowed anew by the Lions on
each new king.  Theoretically, they could refuse to so,
but I'd hate to see it.  Lions are made by the Crown,
with the restriction that only one can be made in each
reign.  It carries no rank or precedence, but is considered
one of Ansteorra's most prestigious honors.

The Order of the White Scarf of Ansteorra is given for excellence
in duello combat (also called rapier combat, light weapons or
"swashbuckling") .  The Queen is the patron of this order, and
so at each Coronation they present the new queen with a
white scarf, which she wears through her reign, and which
she returns to them at her final court.  Companions of this
Order receive a Grant of Arms, and use the title "Don".

The Legion of Swashbucklers, unlike the other groups mentioned
here, is a self-electing group.  Basically, anyone who comes
up at Queen's Champion and takes the Legion Oath ("I, Tivar
Moondragon...") is a member.  Membership in this group (one
can't call it an organization) is not recorded, carries with it no
rank, and is wholly unoffical.  Last week, of course, the Queen's
Champion Tourney was combined with Coronation, and so
the Legion Oath was taken during the Coronation ceremony, with
all the other oaths.

Also during the Coronation ceremony, the Great Officers of State
swear their traditional oath of service (_not_ fealty), and the
Barons and Baronesses of the various Baronies renew their

Often at Coronation, the Crown will accept the fealty of those
members of the populace who wish to swear fealty.

For more information on the Orders and Awards in Ansteorra,
visit The Guiding Hand, at

 - Galen of Bristol
pmitchel at (hm)
paul.t.mitchell at (wk)


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