Marie le Faivre Laurel Ceremony

(Marie wanted a historically oriented ceremony that was appropriate for her persona. This ceremony is based on two different kinds of installations that have been going on in England since at least the early 13th Century: The creation of a Freeman of the City [of London and other cities], and the creation of a Master of a Livery Company. Elements of both were used as appropriate, because of the unique structure of SCA awards. A Freeman was a full member of the City of London and could practice their trade, whereas a Master of a Livery Company is the professional head of that company. The Freeman aspects that were relevant included the use of six compurgators to attest to character, the swearing of an oath of loyalty, and the freedom to practice their trade. The Master aspects that were relevant were the structure of the ceremony, investment with regalia, and a processional. A part of the traditional introduction to the House of Lords was also used to fill in some gaps.)

Laurel Elevation Ceremony for HL Marie le Faivre

Kris Kinder, 12/8/2018, AS 53

Kingdom of Calontir

Researched and written by HL Saito Takauji (Matthew Parker)

Edited by Aoibheann Pálsdottir, OL

Dramatis Personae:

KING: Xerxis
QUEEN: BelAnna
PROTO-MISTRESS: Marie le Faivre
LE FAIVRE HERALD: Cesare di Lodovico Malefici
SPONSOR: Aoibheann Pálsdottir
BEDLE OF THE ORDER: Katrei Grunenberg
Door Guards: Alan Smyith of Darkdale & Jorrun Eydisardottir
ESCORT LAURELS (2):        Luckie Glasbrenner & Elynor of Glastonbury
GIFT BEARERS: Rhoda Cliftune & Aurelia Paulina
SWEEPERS: Mirabel Wynne & Eva Grimwulfsdottir
PELICAN COMPURGATOR: Rebecca Beaumont (?)
ROYAL COMPURGATOR: Matsunaga Kagetora (?)
POPULACE COMPURGATOR: Derdriu ingen Cholmain /Adelaide
WREATH FITTER: Magdalena vander Meere
CLOAK DRAPER: Kasja Nikolausdottir
MEDALLION GIFTER: Grimwulf Harland


G.C. Williamson, Curious Survivals: Habits and Customs of the Past That Still Live in the Present, Herbert Jenkins Ltd. (1923, rev. 1924).

Arthur Taylor, Ceremonials to be Observed by the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and Officers of the City of London, Court of Common Council (City of London, 1850). Specifically notes the composition of the Court of Common Council (aka the Hustings Court), its statutory requirements and its opening.

Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review, Vol. 1 (July-December 1888).

Transactions of the Philological Society, London Philological Society, 1867.


XERXIS: There is one matter before Our hands that must be dispensed with. An ancient form, well established before the Falcon or the Dragon set foot in these lands.

BELANNA: The privileges and rites of these proceedings were reconfirmed by Chepe and Arwyn,reconfirming those granted by Cariadoc and Diana, in turn extending those granted by William the Silent and Sheryl of Thespis—7th Crown of the Society.[1]

XERXIS: Herald, call forth the Hustings Court in the proper forms.[2]

HERALD: Oyez, Oyez, Oyez. All manner of persons who have been five times by virtue of any exigent directed to the Sheriffs of Calontir, and have not surrendered their bodies to the said Sheriffs, this court doth adjudge them to be outlawed. The Court of Common Council of the Kingdom of Calontir is hereby opened in due and proper forms.[3]

XERXIS: Let all know by these, Our words, of those who would judge these petitions and enter it upon the record of this Court. Xerxis and BelAnna, King and Queen; Donngal and Catalina, Our lawful heirs; Soren and Rowan, Chief Magistrates of Our City of Forgotten Sea.

BELANNA: As these are solemn proceedings, We direct the Bedle of the Order to set two guards at the door bearing maces, as in ancient times, to verify those who seek admission.[4]

The Bedle and guards walk forward.  The guards, with maces, position themselves at the “doors”, roughly 5 & 7 o’clock of the stage.  They should be at least one “step” down from the dais.

BEDLE: By Your Majesties’ command, the guards have been set and the door secured.

BELANNA: Summon those lawfully entitled to appear before this court, and who have business with it at this time.

HERALD: Their Royal Majesties invite before Their Court all those free men and women installed as Masters and Mistresses of the Company of the Laurel of Calontir; and all those so lawfully named in their own lands as guests.[5]

Laurels join the Crown in Court, save for three: Aoibheann, and the escort Laurels Luckie and Elynor.

XERXIS: We have received the petition of Aoibheann Palsdottir, freewoman and Mistress of this Company, and will hear it.

HERALD: Their Royal Majesties call before this court Mistress Aoibheann Palsdottir, granted the Freedom of Calontir and installed as Mistress August 26, Anno Societatis 41 by Semjaka and Xorazne.

BELANNA: Mistress Aoibheann, is it still your desire to nominate your apprentice Marie le Faivre for the Freedom of these lands and installation as a Mistress of this ancient Company?

AOIBHEANN: It is, Your Majesty.

XERXIS: Is she a good and lawful woman, not subject to fine or forfeit, nor outlawed or waived in these lands?[6]

AOIBHEANN: Yes, Your Majesty.

BELANNA: Are there six witnesses to serve as compurgators[7]of her character and fitness to receive this honor, here present and prepared to testify?[8]

AOIBHEANN: Yes, Your Majesty.

XERXIS: Has she been prepared by vigil in accordance with the customs of this Company, under the sign of the rose as was given to Harpocrates to not betray the amours of Venus?[9]

AOIBHEANN: Yes, Your Majesty.

XERXIS: Then call before this court she who has been nominated, so that we may render lawful verdict and dispose of her according to Our laws and customs.

HERALD: Their Royal Majesties command before them their subject, Marie le Faivre, sworn to them under fealty and the law.

Le Faivre Herald proceeds in to Court, bows to their Majesties, and steps to the side to announce Marie in to court.

LE FAIVRE HERALD:(Words he chooses or…) Appearing under these lawful summons I present before this noble court and all the Masters and Mistresses, Aldermen and Alderwomen of the Ancient and Honorable Company of the Laurel, Marie le Faivre. Raised to the station of Lady in Anno Societatis 45 in the reign of Ashir and Maerwynn; honored as a Journeyman of Order of the Leather Mallet in AS 49 by Martino IV and Ariel; and passed among those fellows of the Silver Hammer by Matsunaga and Elena in Anno Societatis 50.

Marie processes in to court, escorted by Luckie and Elynor. For extra period touch, she is proceeded by people sweeping the way.

All non-Laurel Compurgators and gift bearers proceed behind Marie.  The non-Laurel members of the party should try to stay “outside” the door guards. All party members should try to not block the view of those in the audience.

BELANNA: Your Ladyship, you have been nominated for inclusion as a free member and Mistress of this Company, and elevation as a Peer of Calontir. This court will judge your worthiness by testimony, affirmation, and oath.

AOIBHEANN: Your Majesties, for years Marie le Faivre has labored under my instruction as a good and faithful student. Before you judge if she is worthy, I would have her stand free of any obligation save those to this Kingdom.

Aoibheann releases Marie from her service/fealty in her own words.

XERXIS: Marie, you stand before us without obligation or hindrance, but not yet with the freedom of Our lands or elevation to this Company. Listen well to these words and consider well whether it is your desire to assume these responsibilities.

BELANNA: Mistress Aoibheann, as befits this Company and Our custom call those six compurgators who will swear to the character of your nominee. Let them speak now of her virtues, knowing they are sworn to truth and wise counsel before this court.

Aoibheann announces each of the speakers (Compurgators). Each should speak not only to Marie’s skill but her leadership and generosity—how she has given to the greater good of the kingdom.

Royal Compurgator: Speaks their words

Chivalry Compurgator: Speaks their words.

Pelican Compurgator: Speaks their words.

Defense Compurgator: Speaks their words.

Laurel Compurgator: Speaks their words.

AOIBHEANN: Your Majesties, each one of these Peers has spoken of Marie’s virtues. It behooves us to also hear from the populace.

Populace Compurgator: Speaks their words.

AOIBHEANN: YourMajesties, as Marie’s nominator and on behalf of these witnesses, I swear Marie le Faivre does not seek rank or office to deprive the Crown or its officers of their rights, customs, and advantages; but that she will pay her scot and lot.[10]  What is Your judgment on her worthiness for elevation as Companion and Peer?

BELANNA: Marie le Faivre: Having heard the words of these witnesses, and been informed of the duties and obligations of this rank, is it still your desire to be raised as a Mistress of this Company and a Peer of Calontir?

MARIE: Yes, your Majesty. And as sign of the steadfastness of my heart and the seriousness with which I undertake this task, I beg your leave to make a presentation to this court.

MARIE waves forward the gift bearers from outside the “doors.”  They present the gifts to Marie who passes them to Their Majesties with her own hands.

XERXIS: The law requires many things for membership in this company. That she be set on vigil and spoken to in wisdom; that she be free of burden and encumbrance; that she be of good and true character. We find that Maire le Faivre has satisfied all of these, and is worthy of admission.

BELANNA: Only your word and oaths remain between you and this Company. If it is still your desire to join this Company, will you sign a declaration of your will, to seal your steadfast resolution?

MARIE: I will.

Marie signs the writ, which the Herald reads:

HERALD: “I do solemnly swear that I will be good and true to Our Crown; that I will be obedient to the Officers and Barons appointed by Their hands; that I will maintain the Franchises and Customs thereof, and will keep these lands harmless, in that which in me is; that I will also keep the Crown’s Peace in my own person; that I will know no Gatherings nor Conspiracies made against the Crown’s Peace, but I will warn the Seneschal thereof, or hinder it to my power; and that all these points and articles I will well and truly keep, according to the Laws and Customs of Calontir, to my power.”[11]

The writ is set aside (Marie will keep it, in addition to her scroll).

XERXIS: Marie le Faivre, you have signed and signaled your desire and your will. Kneel now and receive from the Crown that which you have earned, that your name may be signed in the Roll of Peers as a Companion of the Order of the Laurel.

Marie kneels.

XERXIS places his scepter on Marie’s right shoulder.

XERXIS: May your  skills ever be increased and offered in service to Crown and Kingdom.

BELANNA places her scepter on Marie’s left shoulder.

BELANNA: May your gentle demeanor serve always as an exemplar of courtesy to all who would observe you.

XERXIS and BELANNA cross their scepters on Marie’s head.

BOTH: And may your spirit ever follow the goals your heart sets before you.

MARIE: Your Majesties, as my first act as a member of this Company I would swear my fealty to you.


Here do I swear fealty to the Crown and Kingdom of Calontir,

                              And herewith give my solemn oath:

                              To take you as liege of life and limb and truth and earthly honors.

                              To defend with all my power the rightful laws and customs,

                              Of the Crown, the Kingdom, and the Society.

                              To bear you faith by deed, word, consent, and counsel,

                              Champion justice, foster knowledge, and strive ever to be worthy,

                              Of the Laurel Wreath.

                              Against all who love, move, or die, swear I,

                              Marie le Faivre, Mistress of the Laurel


                              We hear your fealty freely given,

                              And by Our word confirm that We

                              Will never sacrifice you needlessly.

                              We swear to judge your oaths with mercy,

                              Your words with honor, and your deeds with justice.

                              We will it and grant it and swear it so,

                              Xerxis, King.

                              Belanna, Queen.[12]

XERXIS: As with many ancient orders, those named Mistress of this Company are known by certain  symbols that only they may bear. Is there a wreath, that all may know she stands as a member of this order?

WREATH FITTER:Your Majesties, I have here the wreath of a Mistress of this Order. I have tried to fit it to many heads, to no avail. There are none here whose head it fits upon, save for that of Marie le Faivre. And so it must be that it is meant for her, and no other, to be elevated this day.[13]

Wreath Fitter says words about the symbolism of the Wreath.

BELANNA: The law says that upon being made a member of this Company, that a candidate be clothed in a cloak in the proper shape, color, and characteristics. Is there a cloak,that the law may be followed?

CLOAK DRAPER: Your Majesties, the law is clear. A cloak for a member of this Company shall be known by a laurel wreath in their personal colors and embellished as appropriate to the order.[14]

CLOAK DRAPER explains this cloak, and speaks words about it.

XERXIS: In all lands of the Laurel Kingdoms and since time immemorial in Calontir, a Peer may firstly be known by a medallion of their order born on their person. Is there a medallion?

MEDALLION GIFTER:The Worshipful Company of Girders bear crowns in their processions; the Prime  Warden of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers her cap. The Ancient and Honorable Company of the Laurel is known by a medallion with a wreath, which I have here.[15]

MEDALLION GIFTER explains the Medallion.

AOIBHEANN: Your Majesties, Alderman and Members of the Order. You have heard my petition, and the testimony of the compurgators, Marie has sworn the ancient oaths. She has been clothed and accoutered as the lawdemands.

XERXIS: Arise now, Marie le Faivre, as a free woman and Mistress of this honorable Company.

BELANNA: Calontir, your newest Laurel!

Herald reads the scroll.

[1] Information from William and Sheryl were the Crowns that created the MidRealm.

[2] An ancient Court in England.

[3] Arthur Taylor, Ceremonials to be Observedby the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and Officers of the City of London,Court of Common Council (City of London, 1850). Hereinafter ‘Ceremonials’.

[4] G.C.Williamson, Curious Survivals: Habits and Customs of the Past That Still Live in the Present, Herbert Jenkins Ltd.(1923, rev. 1924). Hereinafter ‘Curious Survivals’. Page 17: “Behind these doors stand the Beadles of the various Companies in their rich and varied costumes,carrying their maces…ready to identify the Liverymen as they pass in, for no one who does not belong to one or other of the City Companies is supposed to enter Guildhall on these occasions.”

[5] This ceremony treats the Laurels of Calontir as being a City (Livery) Company of the Kingdom—thus all Peers are equal as members of the Company, and theo ther Peerage Orders are equal but different Companies.

[6] Ceremonials, above at 3. These were conditions under the law—fine or forfeit referring to having judgment against them. Outlawry was to be declared outside of society and killed at will; waiver was the same thing but for a woman, as she had a different legal status under coverture.

[7] Curious Survivals, 30. “It should be remembered that persons who obtain the freedom of London have still to be warranted for, however exalted may be their position, by six individuals who are termed their compurgators. They testify that the person in question does not desire the freedom of the City whereby to deprive the King or the City of their rights, customs and advantages, but that they will pay their scot and bear their lot.”

[8] Current Literature: A Magazine of Record and Review, Vol. 1 (July-December 1888). “Certain members are appointed, who vouch for the worthiness of the recipient of the honor, and who are called ‘compurgators’.” Compurgators were a medieval form of witness, and dating back to the medieval period a Freeman of the City was entitled to six compurgators in court to testify to their honor and good behavior.

[9]  Curious Survivals, 18. “The City sword is laid in a bed of roses, recalling the old classical legend, when Cupid gave to Harpocrates, the God of Silence, arose, to bribe him not to betray the amours of Venus.”

[10] Transactions of the Philological Society,London Philological Society, 1867. “But in the Freeman’s Oath, already cited under the year 1568, we have seen that what the freeman undertook was not to pay his scot and bear his lot, but to ‘pay his scot and lot’.”

[11] Adapted from: The Declaration, new Freeman signs this Oath even into the modern day, and is given a copy of it.

[12] Adapted from 15th century Oaths of Fealty, previously used by Damien and Issabell for their 2nd reign.

[13] Curious Survivals, 33. “Some of the Companies retain other ceremonies. In more  than one, the fiction is carried out of trying a crown or wreath on to the heads of various persons, and of announcing that it only fits the head of the one who has just been selected for the dignity, and who will therefore be authorized to wear it.”

[14] Curious Survivals, 16. “When a man becomes a Liveryman of the City he is clothed with a fur gown, and the shape, colour and characteristics of these gowns differ in the various Companies.”

[15] See, e.g., Curious Survivals at various points. The language in this section is designed to resemble that of the wreath  fitting earlier.

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