Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why

Heralds and Heraldry

What Kind of Herald is That?

The following is abridged from "What Kind of Herald is That?" by Master Baldwin of Erebor (article in October 1979 Southwind). Most is still good, but some is quaint and outdated, and is included partly as an historical document.

The SCA College of Arms recognizes a number of different ranks which a herald may hold. A herald's rank is dependent partly on his (or her) skill as a herald, and partly on the heraldic office (if any) which he holds. The ranks are as follows:
  • Sovereign of Arms - highest heraldic rank in the Society
  • Principal Herald - head of a Kingdom College of Heralds (the Aten Herald, in Atenveldt's case)
  • Titled Herald - there are four in Atenveldt: the Principality heralds, the Chaplet Herald, and the chief deputy of the Aten Herald [1]
  • Titled Pursuivant - in Atenveldt there are five which are deputies to the Aten Herald (kingdom-level pursuivants in charge of various fields such a precedence, device submissions ...) and the herald of each of the baronies is a titled pursuivant.
  • Untitled Pursuivant or Pursuivant at Large - This is a person who is reasonably competent as a field, court, and device herald, or has considerable expertise in one area, and is at least familiar with the other two. An untitled pursuivant may be at large, or may be attached to a specific office or group as an advisor.
  • Pursuivant Extraordinary - a PE is competent enough in some area of heraldry to function as a member of the college, but does not yet have the knowledge or experience to become a pursuivant.
  • Cornet - A cornet is a raw recruit, trainee, or temporary assistant. Cornets are not warranted.

When a herald is performing his duties, he is a representative of the King. When a herald is making an announcement there should be silence. Other officers should help by example and by educating those in local groups.



[1] There are probably more now.
Copyright © by Sandra Dodd, 1991
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