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The An Tir Handbook, 3rd Edition, May XXXIII/1998



The An Tir College Of Heralds

In each kingdom, it is the duty of the College of Heralds to make announcements, to handle courts and ceremony, to track awards, and to assist in the process of registering the names and devices of Society members. Following the medieval model, heraldic offices often have titles.

The Kingdom Herald (Black Lion)

The Kingdom Herald is the principal herald of An Tir and the Crown's official voice. Black Lion oversees all heraldic offices in the Kingdom and reports to the Crown and the Society Herald.

Submissions Deputy (Lion's Blood) has a triple role:
  • Help the submitter prepare the submission. This includes helping prepare the form, giving advice, documenting the submission, and keeping a file of all submissions.
  • Rule on submissions. Lion's Blood gathers comments from other members of the College of Heralds and uses them to evaluate and pass or fail the submission.
  • After ruling on the submission he/she acts as the submitters advocate, presenting any evidence available to assure the passage at Laurel. This part sometimes means more research and rebutting the arguments against the submission presented by other heralds. The Lion's Blood then explains the ruling made by Laurel.
Submissions Research Deputy (Æstel)
Æstel ('æstel' is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 'bookmark') is the Black Lion deputy specifically responsible for assisting people with name and armory research. Anyone having a problem finding documentation for a name or armory may write Æstel and ask for help.
Æstel also maintains the Kingdom's heraldic library, and upon request will make every effort to bring these books to events to assist with heraldic consultation in person.
Order of Precedence Deputy (Dexter Gauntlet)
Dexter Gauntlet is in charge of maintaining the Kingdom Order of Precedence, the record of who has which awards.
Heraldic Education Deputy (Black Stag)
Black Stag is the kingdom educational herald and is in charge of coordinating heraldic symposiums, heraldic teaching materials, and kingdom herald road trips. NEW INFORMATION
Chief Scribe (Sable Sable)
Lesser Officer of State - See Lesser Offices Below
Drop-Dead Deputy (Queue Forchée)
Queue Forchée is Black Lion's drop-dead deputy and will take over the office if the current Black Lion is unable to complete their term in office. Sometimes Queue Forchée is in charge of special projects.
Heraldic Stock Clerk Deputy (Argent Scroll)
Argent Scroll is the heraldic stock clerk and financial deputy. If someone wants any of the publications that the An Tir College of Arms publishes they should write to this person. Argent Scroll is also in charge of the college's finances.
Principality Heralds
Principality Heralds are responsible for court, voice and book heraldry within their principalities.
There are no regional heralds at the time of this printing. These positions may be activated again in the future.

Branch Herald Job Description

Revised by Master Guerin de Bourgogne

Summary of Duties

Maintain membership in the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and provide proof of membership to Black Lion Herald. Notify Black Lion Herald of address and phone number changes. Notify Black Lion Herald on appointment to office and on resignation. Report quarterly to Black Lion Herald, with copies to your branch seneschal and to your files. Attend meetings of your branch and office. Attend events sponsored by your branch and coordinate field and court heraldry at the event, or arrange for this to be done. Assist individuals with heraldic submissions. Maintain files of reports and correspondence.

Detailed Job Description
  1. Membership

  2. To be a warranted office in the S.C.A. you must be a member of the S.C.A., Inc. You must provide proof of membership to Black Lion Herald when you start your tenure as branch herald and when you renew your membership. A photocopy of your membership card or Crier mailing label is a suitable proof of membership. You will be removed from office if you do not have a current membership.
  3. Change of Address or Phone Number

  4. Black Lion likes to keep in touch with you - help him. Notify him if you move or change your telephone number, and he'll update the roster of officers, ensuring that you receive all the mailings.
  5. Change of Office

  6. The first task of any new officer is to report to his kingdom superior. There are a few reasons for this. First, to allow the kingdom superior to update the roster to make sure that mailings go to the right person. Second, so that your warrant can be issued. Third, so that Black Lion Herald can send you the information packet that comes with the change of office (which includes this document, or its updated descendant).
    Notify Black Lion by sending him a letter including the branch name, your S.C.A. name, your legal name, address, phone number, and e-mail address if you have one. Include a copy of your membership card, and the change of officer's form that your seneschal should have. Take advantage of this letter to ask any questions you might have about the job, or ask about any resources available to help you do your job.
    On leaving office you should write Black Lion, so he can record your resignation. Send a copy to your seneschal and place a copy in your branch herald files. Let your successor know that he should contact Black Lion Herald as soon as possible.
  7. Reports

  8. Reports are due quarterly, postmarked on of before the following dates:
    February 1st -- Reporting on October through December of the prior year (4th quarter)
    May 1st -- Reporting on January through March (1st quarter)
    August 1st -- Reporting on April through June (2nd quarter)
    November 1st -- Reporting on July through September (3rd quarter)
    Send a copy of your report to Black Lion Herald, your branch Seneschal, and place a copy in your branch herald files. You can send your report to Black Lion via electronic mail if you wish, and save the postage.
    A report is a letter that lets Black Lion know that you are still acting as herald and gives a summary of heraldic activity in your branch over the last quarter. Your report should include the date your report was written, which quarter you are reporting for, your modern and medieval names, your branch's name, and your address and phone number.
    Some of the things you may wish to report include any heraldic submissions you consulted on, regular or irregular herald's meetings, heraldry at events, additions to your branch heraldry resources (books, file boxes, whatever), and other active heralds in your branch.
    Feel free to ask any questions you like in your report. Black Lion will try to answer them. In fact, feel free to get in touch with Black Lion at any time regarding questions or any assistance you might need regarding things heraldic. The kingdom herald's office is here to help.
  9. Local Meetings and Events
  10. As a branch herald you are responsible for attending branch meetings and to be available to the populace for heraldic assistance. You are also responsible for organizing court, field, and announcement heraldry at local events. If you can't do it yourself you can arrange for someone else to do so, but you remain responsible. Tournaments need heralds to introduce the fighters and to announce the results of the matches. Courts require a herald to announce the business. Announcements will need to be made throughout events. Volunteers will help you with all of these tasks, but you will have to find them. Treat them nicely and remember to thank them.
  11. Submissions
  12. Part of your job is to help members of your branch choose their names and design their devices. Your assistance is the first line of attack for helping them get names and armory they like and which can be approved by the College of Arms. Do remember that the kingdom herald's office is here to help - we have a number of very good book heralds on staff to help you with consulting about names and devices. Use us.
  13. Correspondence and Files
  14. Whenever you send out a report to Black Lion, or request some information, or receive mail regarding the office, add it to your file so that it will be there for future reference. That file is frequently all that your successor will have to get started from.
    All the same, you do not have to keep files forever. After some years the contents become stale, and you should cull them. Make a note of what you've destroyed, and add that to the files. Your branch may have an archivist --- you might want to give them a crack at the material before you throw it out.
  15. Financial Responsibilities
  16. Branch herald's offices should not have bank accounts. Operating expenses should be handled through your branch Exchequer. Each branch will set its own policies regarding allowable expenses. In any case, remember that they will most likely require receipts for expenses, and pre-approval of large expenditures. Keep an inventory of branch resources, including things like heraldry books and office supplies.
  17. Finding Additional Information
  18. Read Black Lion Herald's column in The Crier. Read the mailings you receive. Feel free to contact Black Lion Herald any time. Attend herald's gatherings. Black Lion Herald holds staff meetings open to all heralds at every crown event. The monthly Lion's Blood meetings to discuss heraldic submissions are open and rotate throughout the kingdom. Offers to host are most welcome.

Resources for Heralds

  • Internal Letter of Intent
  • There are a number of resources available on the Internet (both WWW pages and e-mail lists) for S.C.A. officers. We recommend visiting both the S.C.A. Known World site at and the An Tir Kingdom site at

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