Downloading Powell’s Roll

Powell’s Roll is one of the few extant fourteenth-century English illustrated armorials available online. It’s kept at the British Bodley Library, where it is indexed as Bodleian Ms. Ashmole 804, pt. IV.

The library has made their scans available through a “click to pan and zoom” interface, and although it doesn’t seem to be available as a combined download, they do helpfully allow you to download individual images — and as there are only 29 of them, that’s precisely what I have done. Continue reading “Downloading Powell’s Roll”

The Lineage of Morsulus Heralds

The Morsulus Herald is a deputy to the Laurel Sovereign of Arms of the SCA, responsible for maintaining the Society’s record of heraldic registrations, as embodied in various forms of the Ordinary and Armorial.

The title of Morsulus was created by Karina of the Far West as her last official act before stepping down as third Laurel Sovereign, taking her inspiration from Latin: “Morsulus, a small byte.” [Cover Letter, Jun 1979] Continue reading “The Lineage of Morsulus Heralds”

An SCA Ordinary from AS XXXIV

Following my recent conversation with Iulstan Sigwealding, he poked around through his archived files and dug up a copy of the Society’s Ordinary produced in early 2000, covering all armory registrations through the end of 1999.

Although this is obviously out of date and no longer of use as working reference, I thought a few folks might enjoy seeing this snapshot from history. Continue reading “An SCA Ordinary from AS XXXIV”

Memories of Iulstan Sigwealding, Former Morsulus Herald

[Recently, I reached out to Iulstan Sigwealding, who served as the Morsulus Herald of the SCA from 1992 through the end of 1999, and asked him some questions about that experience. His answers provided a glimpse into a different era of the Society’s development, and afterwards he was kind enough to volunteer to rewrite the transcript of our conversation to produce a recollection which he has allowed me to publish here. — Mathghamhain] Continue reading “Memories of Iulstan Sigwealding, Former Morsulus Herald”

A Brief History of Free Trumpet Press

Free Trumpet Press was the name for a small organization that existed in several forms from the mid-1980s through the mid-2000s to publish materials for the College of Arms of the Society for Creative Anachronism.

The story of Free Trumpet Press doesn’t seem to be clearly documented anywhere, so I gathered up some traces from publicly-available sources in an attempt to get an overview of its history.

Continue reading “A Brief History of Free Trumpet Press”

September’s New Traceable Art

Over the last three weeks, 77 new illustrations of charges have been added to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection.

I’m pleased to welcome newcomers Thora BrandsdottirElionora inghen Ui Cheallaigh, and Lily Morgaine, who each sent in illustrations for the first time. Thanks also Jessimond of Emerickeskepe for her continuing contributions of original art, and to Vémundr Syvursson for converting a handful of beasts from the Zurich Roll to vector format. Continue reading “September’s New Traceable Art”

An Overview of Historical Armory Practices in England

The best part of this little booklet from the Heraldry Society in England is that it provides dates for when various types of armorial practices were introduced, along with citations to the reference works they drew those dates from.

Historic Heraldry Handbook
(PDF, 20 pages)

Armorial Achievement for Alaxandair Mórda

An achievement is an integrated display of a person’s armory and honors, including in various combinations, a device, helm, coronet, crest, supporters, motto, order badges, and other elements that differed between individuals and in various times and places.

I don’t have much experience with illustrating armorial achievements, and it’s not something for which we have much established tradition here in the East Kingdom of the SCA, but I’m interested in exploring this area further. Continue reading “Armorial Achievement for Alaxandair Mórda”

Building the O-and-A Search from Source

In a recent post, I described how to install the software that drives the College of Arms’ Ordinary and Armorial on your own web site, but if you’re interested in modifying that software, you’ll need to be able to build it from source.

The O&A web search software is bundled into an open-source package named Morsulus-tools, along with the utilities that are used to manage and update the database. Continue reading “Building the O-and-A Search from Source”

August Additions to the Traceable Art

Over the last six weeks, I’ve added one hundred and fifty new images to the Traceable Heraldic Art collection, which now contains over 3,600 pieces of armorial clip art for use by heralds and scribes.

Some of the additions are drawn from period sources, including batches from Stemmario Trivulziano and the Mamluk Emblems Online Corpus, while others are new original art contributed by artists including Ræv Kolfinnsson and Jessimond of Emerickeskepe.

I’ve divided the “Food and Farming” section into two volumes, both to make it easier to find items related to a particular interest and because the software I use to assemble the collection works more efficiently when individual volumes are less than two hundred pages. Continue reading “August Additions to the Traceable Art”