The An Tir Handbook, 3rd Edition, May XXXIII/1998
Tell Me About...
Being A Baron And Baroness
by Master Trahaearn ap Ieuan and Mistress Janelyn of Fenmere,
Baron & Baroness of Madrone
The exact job description for Baron
and Baroness varies somewhat from barony to barony within An Tir,
depending upon the traditions of each group, and the current
needs of the populace. However, certain elements are common to
The Baron and/or Baroness' prime responsibilities are:
- To serve as the Crown's representative to the Barony, and as
the Barony's representative to the Crown. They attend Noble
Estate meetings at Crown events, and otherwise maintain contact
with the King and Queen so Their Majesties' needs and desires can
be communicated to the populace of the Barony. The Baron and
Baroness communicate the needs of the Barony to Their Majesties
through regular reports, and bring the deeds of deserving
individuals to Their Majesties' attention so they can be
recognized with Kingdom level awards.
- To serve as the ceremonial head of the group. This includes
holding courts, leading the populace in toasts to the Crown, and
other ceremonial tasks which provide a sense of medieval
pageantry to an event. The Baron and Baroness also recognize
excellence with awards, and honor effort with public recognition
and with thanks.
- To serve as a symbol of the ideals of the group, and lead
through example. This includes fostering the arts and sciences
through sponsoring and entering contests, encouraging a period
atmosphere by remaining aware of their own appearance and
actions, and motivating volunteers by jumping in themselves to
get tasks done.
- To create a welcoming and open attitude within the Barony. A
friendly greeting from the Baron and Baroness can go a long way
toward making a newcomer feel welcome and accepted within the
group. They can also help the person become integrated into the
group by introducing them to gentles with similar interests.
(Helpful Hint: Newcomers are encouraged to approach the Baron and
Baroness and introduce themselves!) In large Baronies, the Baron
and Baroness may also work to encourage interaction amongst
different sub-groups of the Barony, keeping them connected as a
whole unit made up of diverse parts.
- To attend to the long-term health of the Barony. They are
charged with long-term planning, with keeping an eye to the
general mood of the group, and with working to make the Barony
what the populace wants it to be. They also serve as mediators in
conflicts, ensuring that a working solution is found.
- To serve as Ambassadors for the Barony, representing it in
the eyes of the Kingdom at large. They support neighboring groups
by attending events, attend kingdom events, and conduct all
dealings with an awareness that they play a big part in
establishing the image of their Barony in the eyes of others.
- To be a source of information. Barons and Baronesses often
serve as an information hub, and need to know a wide variety of
information about upcoming activities and events, both locally
and Kingdom-wide. They also should be well-rounded S.C.A.
participants so they can answer a wide variety of questions, and
know whom to refer people to for more information.
- To work with the seneschal and other officers of the Barony
to ensure the smooth running of affairs. In most groups, the
seneschal is responsible for the mundane business of the group,
and the day-to-day functions of event planning and officer
duties. The Baron and Baroness oversee this, provide advice and
input, and make the decisions that affect the long-term
functioning of the group.