Laurel Ceremony: Hugo van Harlo

Hugo Laurel Elevation Ceremony

Clothier’s Symposium – January 28, 2023

Researched and Written by Saito Takauji (Matthew Parker)

Edits by Mistress Jorunn Eydisardottir

Introduction: The goal of this ceremony is to create a plausible ceremony of appointment for a professor at the University of Leiden in the late 16th century; or, in the alternative, a Dutch installation of a 16th century professor at the Royal University of Calontir. Some of the privileges and appointments are from sources related to the University. Others, especially structural, are borrowed from non-university sources in order to establish a ceremonial framework.

The reason for these borrowings is that there does not appear to be a large, formal ceremony for the installation of a professor; but there are late period European ceremonies for similar installations or promotions to draw on that can be fitted for purpose. Thus, the goal of the ceremony is to strike a balance between period appropriate elements and the necessity of a ceremony suitable for an SCA peerage. Any choices which have been made herein should be viewed through that lens.

Citations are provided in end note format to avoid breaking the flow of the ceremony. A copy without endnotes will also be provided. Citations are, where possible, in the Bluebook format used in the legal profession.


Willem Otterspeer, Het bolwerk van de vrijheid. De Leidse universiteit, 1575-1672, Prometheus (2000)

William of Orange, De Prins Stelt de Oprichting Voor Van Een Universiteit (The Prince Proposes the Establishment of a University), 28 December 1574.

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

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

P. C. Molhuysen, Bronnen tot de geschiedenis der Leidsche universiteit, 1913.


The ceremony begins with the Crown seated, and the Beadle of the Order off to the side in waiting.

HERALD: Hear now the words of Logan and Ylva, by strength and grace Rex et Regina Calontiriae, sovereigns of the endless plains and of the falcon, Count and Countess of law and honor, Baron and Baroness emeritus of the Barony of Forgotten Sea.[i]

KING: In the 19th year of the Society, at the Barony of Three Rivers, a good, friendly, and illustrious[ii] Royal University was established by Our ancestors Chepe l’Orageux and Arwyn Antaradi.[iii]

QUEEN: In their wisdom, our ancestors granted certain privileges to the faculty and students of the University: To be exempt from shooting duties, to recommend the appointment of new professors, and enjoy the privilegium fori in matters of trials.[iv]

KING: In accordance with the statutes and regulations of the University, We now grant the recommendation of the Rectors, Professors, Curators, and all staff and officers of the University regarding an appointment to their ranks.

QUEEN: We direct the Beadle of the Order, appointed for these proceedings, to bring those with statutory rights to advise us on this matter.

BEADLE: Their Royal Majesties call all those admitted as doctors and professors of the Laurel of or in this Kingdom to attend them in these solemn engagements. They also invite any with testimony or evidence regarding these proceedings to attend them, and enter it into the record.

The Order of the Laurel enters, and takes positions. Ideally, they will bring chairs and sit to give this the air of a lecture or council meeting.

HERALD: Their Majesties and the Faculty of the University invite before them their Professor Extraordinary Jonkheer Hugo van Harlo, for examination and instruction.

KING: Mistress Jorunn, is it still your desire to petition for the appointment of Jonkheer Hugo van Harlo as a Professor Ordinary?

BEADLE: It is.

QUEEN: Has he demonstrated the virtues of a scholar, excelled at research in his field, and taught those classes expected of the Faculty of the Laurel?

BEADLE: He has.

KING: Are there those who will attest to his character, swearing their honor to his reason and merit?[v]

BEADLE: There are.

QUEEN: Has he been prepared by vigil in accordance with the customs of this Kingdom, under the sign of the rose as was given to Harpocrates to not betray the amours of Venus?[vi]

BEADLE: He has.

KING: Then in Our name and according to the charter and statutes granted to this honorable institution, proceed with the convocation.

QUEEN: By the law will this matter proceed, and with justice shall it be conducted. You may present your petition.

BEADLE: Your Majesties, I have mentored and advised the honorable Jonkheer Hugo van Harlo for these years, through his time as a private docent and a professor extraordinary. Before he is made a full member of this faculty, I wish to release him from our contract of service.

Jorunn turns to address Hugo directly.

BEADLE: Jonkheer Hugo, years ago I hired you into my house to train you as a private docent. You bore my badge as you were appointed a professor extraordinary. And now you must enter the faculty as my colleague, and do so as your own man. Jorunn adds anything else she wants here.

HUGO: As a bucket carries water, so you have carried wisdom to me when I needed it. You have given me good counsel and guidance, but these steps I must take alone. I return to you the symbol of your house and the trappings of my apprenticeship; but our friendship I will not and cannot ever return. Hugo adds anything else he wants here, and returns the livery badge.

BEADLE: In many guilds and societies, in order to be admitted as a full member one must serve a time of apprenticeship and then be vouched for by knowledgeable sources. These sources, called in some ceremonies Compurgators[vii], must speak to the qualities and qualifications of the candidate. Will you hear the words of those who would judge your worth?

HUGO: I will.

Jorunn announces each of the speakers for Hugo.

BEADLE: On behalf of the military companies and orders of the city, I ask INSERT CHIVALRY NAME HERE to discuss Jonkheer Hugo’s obligations to the Nobility and the People.


BEADLE: On behalf of the government and civil service, I ask INSERT PELICAN COMPURGATOR NAME HERE to discuss Jonkheer Hugo’s dedication to the labor of the University and in service to these lands.


BEADLE: On behalf of the city militia and guards of honor, I ask INSERT DEFENSE COMPURGATOR NAME HERE to discuss Jonkheer Hugo’s service in times of war and unrest, and prowess in defense.


BEADLE: On behalf of our Kings and Queens, heirs to those who granted us our privileges, I ask INSERT ROYAL COMPURGATOR HERE to discuss Jonkheer Hugo’s study of leadership and service.


BEADLE: A professor and doctor does not only serve the University, but the City as well. On behalf of the city and the people, I ask POPULACE COMPURGATOR to discuss Jonkheer Hugo’s commitment to the populace of Calontir.


BEADLE: Finally, if accepted you are being made a Doctor and Professor of the Royal University. You will have rights as well as responsibilities in this role, and testimony must be made to your suitability from one who was not your mentor. I ask LAUREL COMPURGATOR to advise the Crown truly on your fitness for the role we are recommending you for.


BEADLE: Your Majesties, you have heard the testimony of those who know of Jonkheer Hugo’s deeds, wisdom, and dedication. We, the faculty of this University and the Doctors of this Order recommend him to you for appointment as Professor Ordinary. In line with ancient custom and our law, it is for you to decide.

KING: Hugo, Jonkheer van Harlo, born to the nobility in the city of Deventer, and given honors by our ancestors, approach the throne.

Hugo advances to the kneeling cushions and kneels on them.

QUEEN: In being named to the position and honor considered here, you will be granted many privileges. Access to the library, freedom from militia service, trial only in those fora which befit your station, and the right to counsel Us and Our heirs among them. But your responsibilities must increase as well. Knowing this, are you still willing to proceed?

HUGO: I am.

KING: Without our Peers, we could not run our Kingdom. Whether in war, defense, or teaching, they must serve. Our university charges no tuition, for our dues are in labor; and both professor and student must pay. Knowing this, are you still willing to proceed?

HUGO: I am.

QUEEN: We demand that our Peers be students of reason, lovers of science, and seekers of wisdom. In all times have these traits typified the best of us, and those worthy to be Peer of the Crown must display them. Knowing this, and for the final time, are you still willing to proceed?

HUGO: I am.

KING: In accordance with the laws and traditions you have sworn to uphold, we now name you a Doctor of the Kingdom.


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

QUEEN: In accordance with the customs and statutes you have sworn to defend, we now name you a Professor of Our Royal University.


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


CROWN (TOGETHER): And may your spirit ever follow the goals your heart sets before you.

KING: All that remains between you and this appointment is your oath, and your sign. As is long established tradition, you will swear in Latin and the translation will be provided by the Herald.

HUGO: Ego Hugo van Harlo hoc iuramentum professus sum. Occurram cum Domibus Curatorum et Magistratuum Regni. Ego observaturum leges institutaque academiae et regnae, ita uti nunc sunt. Ego neque quidquam in iis aut derogaturum, aut innovaturum facturumve quominus rata inviolataque maneant, nisi si quid ex consilio et decreto Curatorum et Magistratus mutandum videatur. Iuro ex animi mei sententia, et coram his testibus.[viii]

HERALD: I, Hugo van Harlo, have sworn this oath as a professor. I will obey the laws the Curates and the Magistrates of the Crown. I will observe the laws and institutions of the University and the Kingdom, as they are now. I will neither derogate from nor change anything in them so that they may remain intact and inviolable, unless changed by the counsel and decree of the Curates and Magistrates. This I swear from the true feeling of my heart, and in the presence of these witnesses.


BEADLE: In accordance with these ceremonies, your name and appointment has been entered into the Album Studiosorum, the record of all professorial and administrative appointments. In token thereof, you will sign your name under the appointment, that it may be kept forever in the archives of the Royal University.

The Album Studiosorum is produced. This can be either a calligraphied page which Hugo Signs, or the first page of his vigil book. It reads:

Facultas Philosophiae et Artium Liberalium


A° 52 histor. Extraord.

Aº 57 histor. Ordin.

Hugo signs beneath this.

KING: Many appointments and offices are distinguished by signs and symbols which are associated with them. The foremost of these for your new dignity is the medallion. Is there a medallion prepared?

MEDALLION GIFTER: Yes, your Majesty. In ancient times, victors in the arts as well as physical endeavors were crowned with laurel wreaths. In emulation of these ancient signs, we garland those who speak with the spirit of wisdom and with learning in the sciences. SPEAKS WORDS ABOUT MEDALLION.

QUEEN: In the halls of our university there is another symbol for those who have been granted the privileges of a professor—keys, for those granted the Ius Clavum or Right of Keys to access our libraries. Have keys been made for his access, on all days and at all hours?

KEY GIVER: Yes, your Majesty. Heer Dokter Hugo, hear now of the keys. Wisdom is a contradiction, and rationality a riddle. To be of value it must be shared; to be safe, it must be secure. Thus do we weigh the worth of those to whom we would give unfettered access to the halls of knowledge, granting it only to those who have proven themselves. Take these keys, and know that your use of them is not simply to unlock doors; but to unlock the hearts and minds of the seekers of truth who will learn from you henceforth.

KING: Some statutes call for faculty to be given modest stipends to cover the cost of their clothing. Because We know that true wisdom is not found in books alone but in travel, We provide a coat or cloak for Our faculty. Is one prepared?


QUEEN: Dominus Doctor Hugo van Harlo, you now stand before us sworn and garbed as a proper member of Our Faculty and Our Order. May you never stand before any gathering of students or the people as anything less. May reason be your rule, the law your guide, and the people your charge.

KING: Calontir! Your newest Laurel.


[i] From the original Charter of the University, which opens: “Philips by der Gracen Gods Coninck von Castillien van Leon van Arragon van Navarre van Napels van Sicillien van Maillorque van Sardeyne van den Eylanden Indien enden  vasten Landen der zee Occeane,

[ii] William of Orange, De Prins Stelt de Oprichting Voor Van Een Universiteit (The Prince Proposes the Establishment of a University), 28 December 1574. Original Dutch: “…eenen goede, genouchsaeme ende vermaerde schole ofte universiteyt werdde opgericht.”


[iv] Willem Otterspeer, Het bolwerk van de vrijheid. De Leidse universiteit, 1575-1672, Prometheus (2000).

[v] G.C. Williamson, Curious Survivals: Habits and Customs of the Past That Still Live in the Present, Herbert Jenkins Ltd. (1923, rev. 1924). Herinafter ‘Curious Survivals’. Adapted from the late period granting of a Freedom of the City: “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.”

[vi] Id., at 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, a rose, to bribe him not to betray the amours of Venus.”

[vii] 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.

[viii] P. C. Molhuysen, Bronnen tot de geschiedenis der Leidsche universiteit, 1913. Adapted to add references to the Crown and its officers, as well as to take note of the presence of witnesses.

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