This page is devoted to a simple* explanation of concepts around heralding and heraldry that might be hard to understand, often confused, or generally misunderstood. Essentially, this is a myth-busting and FAQ answering page. Feel free to click on a topic to go straight to that section of the page. There will be links back the top at the end of each topic.

* Simple does not mean short – in fact to be accurate a ‘simple’ answer is longer. We’re sorry for that.


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The College of Heralds

What is the College of Heralds?
In Lochac, those who practice heralding are encouraged to be proud of their work in helping the SCA with authenticity and pageantry. This is done by signing up to the Roster. This is a list of heralds in the Kingdom who indicate there is an aspect of heralding and heraldry they are willing to assist with. The people on this roster are the College of Heralds.

When should someone join the College of Heralds?
At any time. If you tried heralding once and liked it – that’s enough for us. This is a self-selection group – if you feel you’re part of it and are willing to do the minimum to be rostered (fill out the roster details form and sign up for the Blazons mailing list) then you’re in! If you’re a group herald, then you’re required to be on the roster and need to do so before taking on the office.

Where do group heralds fit in?
Group heralds must be rostered so that people can contact them. One of the purposes of the roster is to allow visiting royalty – who might not know people in the local group – to ask for a herald for Court. This is likely to be done by contacting the officer for the group. Group heralds are listed above the general roster and should have a contact email address (for the office – not a personal one) which can be clicked on from the roster. This also applies for Crux Australis and the Crux Staff (their email addresses are available from the roster). Group heralds get an honorary rank, while in office: Herald for Crux Staff and Baronial Heralds, Pursuivant for all other group heralds (see below about ranks).

Why the College of Heralds (if you have officers anyway)?
At the Society level, the College of Arms determines the rules used for heraldry in the Society and applies those rules to name and device registrations to determine if they are suitable. Corpora refers to the “College of Heralds” in each Kingdom which provides a local analog to the College of Arms, and allows more than just group heralds to be officially recognised as part of one entity working together.

How is the College of Heralds structured?
Lochac has chosen to follow the guild structure and have ‘ranks’ in the College. These are: Macer (entry-level), Pursuivant (mid-level) and Herald (top-level). The idea is that someone who is starting in heralding (or doesn’t do much heralding or only does one aspect of heralding) is a Macer. When you start branching out into all parts of heralding, you’re becoming more well-rounded and can be recognised as a Pursuivant (there are a couple of ways that can happen). When you’re recognised as being GOOD at heralding (or excellent in one particular aspect), you can be elevated to the rank of Herald. While it’s not common (especially now the Pursuivant Readiness Portfolio is available), it is possible to go from Macer to Herald if there’s been an oversight. Ranks in the College are personal – a group herald rank is not _your_ rank, it’s the rank of your office. There is also a rank of ‘Herald Extraordinary’ but that is outside the College rank system as it is an award bestowed by agreement of the Crown and the Principal Officer (in Lochac, that’s Crux Australis).

In short:

  • Macer: has tried at least one aspect of heraldry and wishes to be recognised (by completing the Form and subscribing to Blazons).
  • Pursuivant: has shown they understand all aspects of heraldry (usually by completing the Pursuivant Readiness Portfolio).
  • Herald: is recognised (recognised by Crux Australis)¬†as being very good at one aspect of heraldry while at least understanding the rest.

 

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