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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 all Baronies.

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.

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