baroness

Royal Etiquette 101

This is a very limited guide, which I wrote a few years ago. It has been requested that it be published again, and that does seem a good idea.  There is much more which could be said, but if you are looking for a basic plan for how to behave at fancy events, this will do.  Hope it is helpful to someone!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Considering the Royal Visit coming up VERY soon, here are a few words on SCA etiquette…

In the SCA, we have various levels of hierarchy, from Kings, nobles and merchants, right down to those who portray themselves as peasants. We all play at being medieval, and knowing how to behave in a medieval setting is part of that.

Deference towards one’s social superiors was basic to medieval culture. It was very important to understand your place in the hierarchy, and your place was confirmed by the way people behaved towards you. There were many rules and customs about the way people should speak and move in each other’s presence. In essence, it comes down to this – you served those more important than yourself, and expected service from those less important.

The peasant served the lord served the knight served the earl served the duke served the king. There was no shame in serving those higher up than yourself; in fact, it was an honour, and the road to honours.

Nowadays we all feel far more equal to each other, and there is much less formality in our dealings with other people. To recreate medieval life, we have to adjust our modern mindset. We don’t expect everyone to behave perfectly. Just do your best to know the guidelines and observe them as much as you can.

In the SCA, we show respect to the holders of various positions. Some of these have obvious medieval status, such as Baronesses or Kings. Other positions are administrative, such as Seneschals and Reeves. All the people filling these positions are working very hard to make the game better for all of us, and they deserve our respect. However, the ceremonial ranks get extra deference at events, because that enhances the game for everyone.

If you met a real live king, would you jostle him out of the way to get at the food? Certainly not! That would just be rude.

As a newcomer to the SCA, it can be hard to know what is expected, especially if you haven’t been to ‘important’ events before, where formal courts are happening and everyone is on their best behaviour. So, for those who may be a little unsure, here are some basic notes on SCA etiquette…

The King and Queen are top of the heap (followed by the Crown Prince and Princess if they have been chosen). Under them come the landed Barons and Baronesses – that’s Joan and Crispin for Politarchopolis. There are some other levels, but they are much less of an issue.

The King and Queen are addressed as “Your Majesty”, the B&B as “Your Excellency”. Everyone else can generally be addressed as “my Lord” or “my Lady”, and you won’t go too far wrong.

There are conventions about how people behave around the ‘Pointy Hats’ – that’s anyone with a crown or coronet (coronets are like crowns, but less so). Whenever you pass near these people, you should bow or curtsey. When you approach them (or they approach you), curtsey again before conversation begins.

Anywhere there is an official spot set up for the Pointy Hats, bow when you pass it. Even if no one is there! This includes their dinner table – if you are passing within about ten feet of it, bow to the pointy hatted ones. Even if no one is sitting there, bow just the same. (If they are there, be extra polite!) The same goes for thrones, indoors and outdoors.

Remember that Pointy Hats have a lot of work to do at an event – they’re not just standing about looking pretty and receiving curtseys! They have to attend meetings, arrange courts, deal with all kinds of problems while you are having fun. And look good at the same time. And keep their tempers. So…

If Pointy Hats are talking to someone, don’t interrupt – it’s quite likely they are having a vital meeting. Wait and see if it’s okay for you to join the conversation. Pointy Hats usually have various people looking after them at an event – guards, ladies in waiting, chamberlains, pages. If you want to ask something, hand something over, or just socialize, try approaching one of their attendants. The attendants may be able to solve your problem, and will have some idea whether the Pointy Hats have time to talk to you just then.

Give the Pointy Hats precedence – this means they get first go at the food (they probably have people to arrange this). They also go through doors ahead of ordinary folk, and are seated first. It is polite to wait for permission before seating yourself in their presence. It is okay to ask for that permission.

Give them some privacy – if there is a room or a tent set up for their use, keep out unless you are asked in. Find somewhere else to dump your gear. If you are invited in, don’t overstay your welcome. They may need to chat privately with somebody, or just get away from everyone for a short time.

During court, or at the beginning of a meal, everyone will stand until the Pointy Hats are in place. As they pass through the hall, everyone bows. After the Pointy Hats are seated, the populace will be told they can also sit. Likewise at the end of the meal or court, everyone should stand (and bow) while the bigwigs leave the area. During the event, there should be lots of bowing and scraping every time anyone goes near a Pointy Hat – or near their thrones.

It’s not so hard really. Just take note of anyone with a crown or coronet, remember to bow any time you are near them, and give them some space to do their jobs.

In service,

Joan Sutton

 

By: baroness | Baron and Baroness, Events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Direct Link

Midwinter taxes

Greetings, Politarchopolis!

As Midwinter approaches, the Barony is preparing to play host to the Crown and Kingdom. It is customary to offer taxes to the Royals on such occasions, and in true feudal style, we would like to collect these taxes from among our populace. :)

If you are relatively new to the Society, ‘taxes’ usually take the form of small gifts which the Crown can re-gift at their pleasure. They should be easy to store and transport – not too heavy, not too bulky, not too fragile, non-perishable. They can be any small medieval thing you have made or purchased.

These items need not cost much, but they should be worthwhile gifts. Think about what you would like to receive, if the King or Queen were to give you a thanks token.

Suitable choices include: small items of jewellery, cords (at least 90 cm long, in all colours), lengths of lace or braid, pouches, buckles, calligraphy tools, small books, beads, trinket boxes…there are lots of ideas.

Taxes should be given direct to your Baron and Baroness – if you wish to contribute but don’t see us regularly, message us and something can be arranged.

We have a few weeks before Midwinter, so we look forward to seeing plenty of tax revenue between now and then!

Regards,
Joan and Crispin. 

By: baroness | Baron and Baroness, Events | Tagged: , , , , , | Direct Link

Baronial Retinue

starting at Fields of Gold 2013

Champions -

Heavy – Lord Gabriel van Dorne
Fencing – Lord Clement Valentin der Spieler
Archery – Lord Sigmund Spelman

Arts and Sciences – Lady Alexandra Hartshorne

Guards -

Baroness Alesia du Cheval Blanc (Sergeant)
Lady Conciata Delacita Delvecchia
Lord Robin of Ambledune

Attendants -

Mistress Isobel le Bretoun
Violet Fleur
Lady Elisabeth Saunders
Isabella ni Paiden

Art – Arthur
Science – Scientia

As at May 2014:

Champions -

Heavy – Lord Ben the Undecided
Fencing – Don Francois Henri Guyon
Archery – Lord Sigmund Spelman

Arts and Sciences – Lady Alexandra Hartshorne

Guards -

Sir Ysambart Courtin (Sergeant)
Lady Conciata Delacita Delvecchia
Lord Robin of Ambledune

Attendants -

Lady Elisabeth Saunders
Violet Fleur
Jack Argent
Saffiya Fiore de Rabatta (Cup-bearer)

Art -Arthur
Science – Scientia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By: baroness | Baron and Baroness | Tagged: , , , , , | Direct Link

Notes from the Rapier Championship

On Saturday last (May 24) we were entertained by a rapier tournament, during which we chose Don François Henri Guyon to replace Lord Clement as our Rapier Champion for the next year.

We were joined by Their Highnesses Elizabeth and Cornelius, as well as a goodly number of our populace, and several newcomers. Several people did a wonderful job talking to passers-by about what we were up to in the park, which is much to be commended.

Two courts were held during the afternoon. New Officers were publicly announced, being Lord Gabriel van Dorne (Hospitaller, with thanks to Countess Liadan who preceded him), Lady Iseldis (Chirurgeon) and Lord Fionghuine (Lists).

Sophia van Dorne was thanked for her exemplary service as A&S Officer, and Lady Anne de Tournais was announced as Acting in this position, as Sophia’s replacement is not currently able to take up the office.

The Baroness and sundry others jumped merrily into a Leaf Pile which appeared on the tourney field.

Mistress Isobel retired from the Baronial Retinue.

Baroness Alesia also retired, being replaced by Sir Ysambart Courtin as Sergeant of our Guard.

Jack Argent and Saffiya swore homage and became members of the retinue. Saffiya has the title of Cup-bearer, while Jack is Lord-in-Waiting.

Lord Ben the Undecided received a Burly Griffin for service, and Lord Owen of Torlyon received one for his prowess on the fencing field.

Lord Lorccan Ruadh was the victor of the tournament, following two rounds of tie-breaking melee between the four top contenders.

The day was fine and the company excellent. The gingerbread was also excellent. We thank Lord Clement as steward of the event, and all those who helped him make the afternoon so enjoyable. We look forward to seeing everyone next time!

By: baroness | Events, Officers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Direct Link

Rapier Championship

Greetings unto the populace

Come this Saturday 24th of May to join with their Excellencies, the Baron and Baroness of Politarchopolis for a Quarter Court and Picnic in the park as they choose their next Rapier Champion. There will a Tournament for all of those who wish to display their skill at arms.

The event will open at 12:00 noon and the Tournament will start at 1:30.

…Admission is $5 for members $10 for non members, no booking is required.

Location: Nara Park, Flynn Parade, behind the Hyatt

Contact Clement on clem.avenell@gmail.com if you have any queries.

By: baroness | Baron and Baroness, Events | Tagged: , , , , , , | Direct Link

Baronial Meeting

Baronial monthly meeting is scheduled for this Sunday, May 4th, between 2 and 3pm at the Ainslie Scout Hall, cnr Ebden and Hassall Street, Ainslie.

Officers who are unable to attend are asked to provide the Seneschal with a brief update.

There will be important info on how we need to manage event financials, so stewards for upcoming events may want to attend, or make sure to check the minutes when available.

Sorry for the late notice! We are all trying to keep meetings regular and well advertised, but Festival happened. Hopefully, from June we will be back on track for meeting on the second Sunday each month.

By: baroness | Officers, Seneschal | Tagged: , , | Direct Link

Baronial Stickers available

Greetings, Polit!

We have laid in a supply of baronial stickers. They are the same as already sported by a number of vehicles around the Barony.

The stickers cost $3.00 each, and are available directly from your B&B.

We will have them at Ainslie hall this afternoon. Profits will be donated to the baronial coffers.

By: baroness | Baron and Baroness | Tagged: , , , | Direct Link

Baronial Meeting March 16 2014

 

Politarchopolis Baronial Meeting
March 16 2014

 Meeting opened 2:10 pm, with apology from Simon who was running late.

 - Baronial reporting completed recently. Yay!

 - process regarding fourth peerage complete, no published results as yet.

 - Other Baronies -
Stormhold – selection process underway.
Rowany – Miles and Ameline announced as successors, invest in May.
Innilgard – Eva and Yevan selected, invest before Festival.

 - Officers -
We have one applicant for each of the open officerships. All current applicants have been found acceptable. Their names will be sent to Lochac Seneschal, and once announced, there will be a commentary period of two weeks for the populace to make any opinions known. Each of the applicants present made a brief introduction to the meeting. Proposed officers are:

Naomi (Muirghein) – A&S
Niall – Marshal
Leta and Alexandra – Chronicler and Webwright
Luke (Gabriel) – Hospitaller/Chandler
Lorcan – Captain of Fence
Catherine Connor – deputy for whoever needs one (possibly Luke at this time)
Shona (Iseldis) – Chirurgeon
 

- Hall issues-
There have been several occasions recently when the hall has been found dirty or not properly locked up after our sessions. There are extra charges to the Barony for cleaning, air conditioners left running etc. Extra vigilance is required!

The last people using the hall or park must take responsibility for leaving the premises as it should be.

Unscheduled visits by other hall users could be contributing to the problem. We need to be certain our group is shutting everything up properly.

Simon is to prepare a checklist poster which will be prominently displayed in the hall.

Suggestion we keep a record each session of the hall status, so we have proof if needed.

 - Baron and Baroness-
Next event is 30th Anniversary Feast of Fools (29th Mar). Come along!

Roll of arms has been updated as far as currently possible. Yay! Thanks to those who have contributed. Keep sending in corrections and updates if you have them.

 - Festival-
Baronial Brunch at Festival – pancakes and basic condiments will be provided for all who wish to take part. Held in Polit Central campsite on the Sunday morning.

Niall is to be knighted on Monday at Festival. Open vigil will be held at Morales Beaumont on Sunday night, after the Fighter Auction.

 Polit Central campsite meeting scheduled for today no longer required, therefore cancelled.

 - Food Safety Legislation -
Members of the Barony who would like to receive training as Food Safety Officers should contact the Seneschal. A number of people will be sponsored, so we have people available for every event.

Interest already indicated by Brigid, Helouys, Catherine Connor.

 - Working with Vulnerable People-
Anyone working with minors (marshalling, running a class etc) will need to have a WwVP card. The check is free for volunteers, but requires filling in a form, providing passport photos and witnessing by a JP.

Use the Seneschal’s details as contact info for volunteer organisation.

Simon to post information and links to paperwork on the website and email list.

 - General Business -
More advertising for meetings needed. This meeting was announced in the minutes from the previous meeting, but was not widely publicised in the leadup to the actual day. Info needs to be sent to email list, website and FB group. Simon undertakes to ensure this is better managed in future.

 Rachel (Liadan) wants volunteers to help with running her A&S event.

 Helouys – thanks for attendees at beginners dance session today. All welcome to future sessions also.

 Ulric – novelty archery shoot coming up, as there is a fifth Sunday in this month. “Winter” archery targets are at 20, 15 and 10 yards. Sunday 30th March, Tuggeranong Archery Club.

 Meeting closed 2:58 pm. 20 people attending. Minutes taken by Joan.

The next Baronial Meeting should be at 2pm, Ainslie Hall, Sunday 13th April.

 

By: baroness | Seneschal | Tagged: , , , , , | Direct Link

Roll of Arms check and update

I have just updated the Roll of Arms as far as I am able. This pretty much means that I’ve added our awards from Valentines’, and a few out of an old post I discovered from Ginevra.

Obviously this still leaves enormous gaps in the record. We’ve decided it may be useful to put out a call, for you all to look at the existing list and see if you can help to fill those gaps.

If your name is incorrect, that’s an easy fix. Send us an email.

If you are sure you have received a certain award, but are not listed, we will need as much info as possible. Give us your name, the current B&B, Herald’s name, event and date – as many of these as you can fill in. We will attempt to cross-check your memory with the appropriate herald and B&B, and hopefully our roll of arms for the last decade will look much less ragged.

Fingers crossed!

Joan.

 

 

By: baroness | Uncategorized | Direct Link

Updated Book of Ceremonies

Minor update from the December 2013 version.

By: baroness | Baron and Baroness | Tagged: , | Direct Link