Here are photos of the laurel charter I wrote and did the calligraphy for. The decorative capital and pen work are not mine, but were done by the now Mistress Eleanor’s laurel, Master Alan Smyithe of Darkdale.
A friend of mine in the SCA, Eleanor Deyeson, was announced back at Kingdom A&S for the order of the Laurel, largely for her research. She approached me about writing her scroll text, because a) I have written a few, b) I tend to write in charter style, rather than period poetic form, and c) I am a trained, if not currently practicing, attorney.
What she wanted was a Carta Ejecutoria de Hidalguia, which were late period Spanish documents that essentially recognized someone’s noble status, rather than elevating them to something new. In brief, the Hidalguia class were minor inherited nobles with one big advantage: tax exempt status. The problem was that so many people were claiming Hidalguia status, tax collectors were running short on people to collect on. So it became common for these tax collectors and municipal officials to challenge the status in court. It was then up to the status claimant to prove it through documentation and/or testimony of people who have known their family for years. All of that would get written down and if the court found the person did indeed have the status, a writ was added, signed by the king, confirming it. This would all get bound up in a shiny book and kept by the family as evidence for the future. Eleanor’s initial research can be found at her blog.
I spent about a month combing through to try to find either a transcription or translation of a full period document, with little success, so in the end, I went with what I could find and descriptions of the contents, while keeping Eleanor’s wishes in line. This included documenting her SCA lineage and making sure she had the write of beheading as an execution form, in the event she ever commits treason. The text, combined with testimony from the Calontir Precedence Herald (Blue Hawk Herald) and the words people leave for her vigil book, were combined and then bound on site by another artisan. The text results are below.
Carta Ejecutoria de Hidalguia of Eleanor Deyeson:
Don Martino, by the Right of Arms King of Calontir and Dona Ariel, his true, fierce, and gracious Queen; Master and Mistress of the Baronies of Three Rivers, Forgotten Sea, Vatavia, Couer d’Ennui, Lonely Tower, and Mag Moor; Lord and Lady of the Shires of Grimfells, Deodar, Flinthyll, Heraldshill, Shadowdale, Bois d’Arc, Carlsby, Dun Ard, Spinning Winds, Westumbria, Cúm an Iolair, Amlesmore, Calanish Nuadh, Crystal Mynes, Lost Moor, Oakheart, Standing Stones, and Wyvern Cliffe; Sovereign of the Cantons of Axed Root, Aston Tor, and Loch Smythe; Patrons of the Colleges of No Mountain and Bellewood; and Magnates of the unassigned lands, to all who these patents come, greetings.
Know that in the Spring of Anno Societatis 48, before the Court of our Order of the Laurel appeared Eleanor Deyeson, resident of the Barony of Lonely Tower, on a claim of right of peerage within our realm. The same said Eleanor presented documentation on her lineage, to wit; she is apprenticed to Master Alan Smyith of Darkdale, who was recognized by Their Majesties Valens of Flatrock and Elspeth of Stonehaven, 23rd Crown of the Kingdom, as a Peer of the Order. Master Alan was apprenticed to Duchess Susannah Griffon, who was recognized by Their Majesties William Vatavia and Mamara Leona of Egypt, 7th Crown of the Kingdom, as a Peer of the Order. Her apprentice sister is Mistress Genevieve de Chambery, who was recognized by Their Majesties Valens of Flatrock and Susannah Griffon, 39th Crown of the Kingdom, as a Peer of the Order. Her apprentice brother is Master Eadweard Boisewright, who was recognized by Their Majesties Valens of Flatrock and Comyn Hrothwyn af Guilden Acumen, 35th Crown of the Kingdom, as a Peer of the Order.
Further, the Blue Hawk Herald, keeper of Our Precedence, has given testimony of the honors bestowed by the Crowns of Calontir upon the self-same Eleanor for her good works and great skill. Additionally, many great worthies of our lands have given testimony to her heritage and graces and those qualities that show her true and noble state, appended hereto.
Taken together, We find that the evidence of her right to Peerage as a member of Our Order of the Laurel is beyond dispute, and do recognize her thus. Further, we grant and recognize her right to be free from taxation by local officials in all things, save those which she doth tithe to the Crown and Kingdom of her free will. And we confer upon her the right to be beheaded, as befits her rank and station, rather than hung, in the event she commits treason against Our Persons, or the Persons of our Heirs in Perpetuity. We further grant her the right to give us council in future courts as her rank and station demand.
This so done and given on the 19th day of June, Anno Societatis 49, being the common reckoning year of 2014, at Our War of the Lilies, signed and sealed by our hands.
Martino, Rex Ariel, Regina
And, as a bonus, I also wrote the words, for approval, for the Blue Hawk Herald’s testimony:
Unto all to whom these present come, does Honorable Lady Ailith Bystoune, Blue Hawk Herald and Clerk of Their Majesties’ Precedence Send greetings!
Know that by careful examination of the record of precedence of the Kingdom of Calontir, I hereby testify to the following recognition, done and given by it’s Crowns to their subject, Eleanor Deyeson, currently dwelling in the Barony of Lonely Tower. To wit, that the same said Eleanor was recognized as a Lady of the Court by Award of Arms in the reign of Gabriel II and Hywela II, 14th Crown for Calontir. That the same said Eleanor was entered into the Order of the Golden Calon Swan by Conn and Cadfael, 16th Crown of Calontir for her skill in costuming. That the same said Eleanor was made a companion of the Order of the Torse for her service to the Kingdom by the 47th Crown of Calontir, Llewellyn Lorrell II and Cadfael II. And that the same said Eleanor was elevated to the rank of Honorable Lady by admission to the Order of the Silver Hammer by the 51st Crown, Martino and Ariel, Third of those names. Thus swear I that this is recorded faithfully from the records of the Precedence, by my order and signed by my hand.
Finally, I did the calligraphy on these two pieces. I’ll try to get some pictures of that up as I can.
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