[Northkeep] [NR] Northern name--ownership question

Jennifer Smith jds at randomgang.com
Thu Sep 30 12:39:50 PDT 2010

Figured this would come up eventually. :)

On Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 12:48 PM, Cisco Cividanes <engtrktwo at gmail.com> wrote:
> How would a name for the northern region be registered as regions are
> not SCA recognized official divisions of a kingdom (as I understand
> them)?
> Furthermore, who (person or entity) have ownership of the name?

You're correct in that Corpora only recognizes colleges, strongholds,
ports, cantons, shires, provinces, baronies, principalities, and
kingdoms as branches. There is nothing in there about "regions".
Therefore, the College of Arms cannot register a name for a region, as
that is not a valid branch.

(In period, there generally weren't 'regions' either; they were
duchies, counties, principalities, baronies, and so forth.)

The Administrative Handbook of the College of Arms states (in summary):

"II. Registerable Items

A. Names Which May be Registered to Individuals
   1. Primary Society Name
   2. Alternate Society Name(s)
   3. Holding Name
   4. Household or Association Names
   5. Heraldic Titles

B. Names Which May be Registered to Branches
   1. Branch Name
   2. Award or Order Names
   3. Household or Association Names
   4. Heraldic Titles
       a. Kingdom and Principality Heralds
       b. Other Branch titles
       c. Staff titles"

Theoretically a name could be registered as a "Household or
Association Name" for an individual, but the name would then be owned
by that individual. I suspect this is not desired.

Turning now to II.B, names that may be registered to a local branch or
to the kingdom, any such name would be owned by that local branch or
the kingdom. Again, I suspect ownership would be best desired at the
kingdom level, instead of by any one particular group.

I've already stated why a region name could not be registered under
II.B.1 "Branch Name". It makes no sense under II.B.2 "Award or Order
Names".  Which leaves us with II.B.3 "Household or Association Names"
and II.B.4.c "Heraldic Titles - Staff Titles" (the "catch-all" group
for kingdom heraldic titles).

What is a Household or Association?   The handbook elaborates a bit
more: The name of an organized group of people other than a branch or
order. Associations include households, guilds, academies, tournament
companies, and other similar groups. Furthermore, the Rules for
Submission III.2.b.iv states "Household names must follow the patterns
of period names of organized groups of people. Possible models include
Scottish clans (Clan Domhnaill ), ruling dynasties ( House of Anjou ),
professional guilds ( Bakers Guild of Augsburg , Worshipful Company of
Coopers ), military units ( The White Company ), and inns ( House of
the White Hart )."

What is a Heraldic Title? Titles for heralds, obviously. The Rules for
Submission III.2.b.iii states "Heraldic titles must follow the
patterns of period heraldic titles. These are generally drawn from
surnames ( Chandos Herald, Percy Herald), place-names ( Windsor
Herald, Calais Pursuivant, Sicily Herald), names of heraldic charges (
Crosslet Herald, Estoile Volant Pursuivant, Noir Lyon Pursuivant),
names of orders of chivalry ( Garter King of Arms), and mottos ( Ich
Dien Pursuivant, Esperance Pursuivant)."

The Middle Kingdom, as has been brought up before, has reserved the
names of its regions by registering them as heraldic titles.  I
presume that they have regional heralds, as do we, that use those
titles. (For reference, we have registered Nordsteorra Herald
(northern), Eclipse Herald (central), Orbis Herald (southern), and
Solstice Herald (coastal).  We still have Equinox Herald (late
lamented western) currently not in use.) Their subsequent use of the
names as names for the regions is a sort of backwards thing: as noted
above, one of the patterns for heraldic titles is those drawn from
place-names. Cute, but not necessarily very period.

It is *plausible* that the kingdom would consent to register a
household/association name or a heraldic title name for a region's
use. This message is by no means meant to indicate that such a
registration attempt would in fact be agreed to by kingdom. That's
another matter for another day.

Now, as for the actual construction, aside from the examples given
above, I would recommend to further limit name possibilities to ones
that are decidedly of the "place-name" variety, as opposed to heraldic
charges, virtues, and the like. The reason for this is IF, in some
far-flung future, the region wanted to become a principality, the name
could only be transferred to the principality if it were a valid

As a practical example of this, the household name "Company of
Hellsgate" was registered to an individual, with "Hellsgate"
documented as a place-name. The name was then transferred to the
group, and the designator changed from "Company of" to "Stronghold
of", and registered as the name of the branch. This was allowed only
because "Hellsgate" was a valid place-name; if it had been "Company of
the Red Flame", unless "Red Flame" could be documented as a plausible
name for a settlement (which I strongly doubt), it would not have been
usable as the name of the branch.

I hope this very long message has been useful and not too difficult to
understand. I would be more than happy to answer any further questions
regarding registerability.


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