There is a downloadable PDF of the below document.

Shire of Hartwood Customary Revised February 16, 2014

This Customary establishes policies, procedures, rules and laws to better order the affairs of the Shire of Hartwood.

  1. The Lands of the Shire

    We declare these lands are held as the Shire of Hartwood, within the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (hereafter referred to as SCA), in fiefdom to Their Majesties of the Kingdom of An Tir in the Principality of Tir Righ. It includes but is not limited to the following modern jurisdictions: Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Courtenay, Comox, Campbell River, and Port Alberni, BC.

  2. The Arms of the Shire

    Vert, on a roundel argent within a laurel wreath Or a hart's head erased sable.

  3. Customary Supremacy
    1. This Customary is superseded by Federal, Provincial and local Laws and Ordinances, the Governing Documents of the SCA, the Laws of the Kingdom of An Tir, and the Laws of the Principality of Tir Righ.
    2. This Customary and its contents will remain in force and can be modified with the following procedures providing the changes do not conflict with section 3.A.
      1. Any amendment must be publicized to members in all of the official Shire publications
      2. Notice on the amendment must be published at least 21 days in advance of any vote.
      3. At the next meeting of the General Council the vote on the amendment will be held.
      4. The amendment will require a two-thirds majority of paid members who are present to pass.
  4. Shire Officers
    1. All Shire Officers and deputies shall comply with Corpora and Kingdom and Principality Laws regarding their office.
    2. All Shire Officers must have access to a reliable internet and a permanent phone number. All Officers of the Shire will be expected to respond to communications in a timely manner.
    3. Shire Officers are expected to meet, to communicate, and to give training as necessary to new officers.
    4. All Shire Officers will send a copy of their reports to the relevant superior officers, including the Shire Seneschal.
  5. Shire Council
    1. General Council shall meet a minimum of once every quarter barring unforeseen circumstances and emergencies. Every effort will be made to give sufficient notice to changes.
    2. General Council shall include all members of the shire.
      1. Voting members shall all be paid SCA members.
      2. Executive Council shall consist of warranted and/or acting officers which include, but are not limited to, the Seneschal, Herald, Master of Stables, Arts and Sciences, Chatelaine, Chronicler, and Exchequer.
    3. Quorum
      1. Quorum for Executive Council is at least 3 Greater Officers.
      2. Quorum for General Council shall consist of 5 paid members; 3 must be Greater Officers.
    4. Officers missing three consecutive Council meetings shall be considered as having tendered a resignation without prejudice unless the Shire Seneschal is otherwise informed.
    5. Minutes shall be kept by the Shire Chronicler or another designated person. All minutes shall be distributed to council members in a timely manner.
    6. Executive Council meetings may take place behind closed doors (in cabinet) if required. All decisions made by an Executive Council meeting must be ratified at the next General Council meeting.
    7. Emergency Executive Council meetings may be called if needed. All decisions made by an Emergency Executive Council meeting must be ratified at the next General Council meeting.
    8. Decision Process of the General Council is as follows:
      1. All shire members present at the General Council meeting may participate in the discussions; however, only paid members may vote. A vote may be taken by a show of proof of membership. If a show of proof of membership is not appropriate, such as officer selection of a contested office, a secret ballot may be used.
      2. Votes will be counted by the Seneschal and Exchequer. If either the Seneschal or Exchequer is being selected, then another Greater Officer will stand in to count votes for the contested office. Results will be announced immediately. In the case of a secret ballot, the result will be announced as a simple yes/no; the count will not be announced.
      3. Any decisions that are financial in nature shall be done by the Financial Committee as outlined in the Financial Policy.
  6. Officer Changeover
    1. Shire Officers wishing to resign or change office must announce their intention to the Seneschal and the position will be published as vacant in the official Shire publications.
    2. Individuals wishing to apply for a Shire Office are required to submit an application in writing to the Shire Seneschal, with copies to the appropriate Shire Officer.
      1. Application letters must include the following: SCA and Modern names; contact information including home address, phone and email addresses; proof of membership; and an outline of previous experience as well as qualifications and other information pertaining to the Office that they are applying for.
    3. Deputies are not automatically granted the office to which they were deputy, but must apply as all other individuals for a vacant office.
    4. Removal from office is pursuant to Kingdom Law, and the SCA Grievance Procedure. (; Article VIII.B Grievance Procedure) Anyone who believes than an officer is not fulfilling their office may contact that officer's superiors and lodge a complaint.
  7. Shire Territories

    Given the large geographical area of the shire any location within a local telephone calling area, having more than 8 people, may request a deputy Chatelaine to help with local PR. The deputy Chatelaine must be an paid SCA member.

  8. Definition of Official Shire of Hartwood Publications

    Official Shire publications include the Hartwood email list, Hartwood website ( and the Facebook group “Shire of Hartwood”.

Revised February 16, 2014

There is a downloadable PDF of the below document.

Note: Sources for sections may be given... TR = Tir Righ; AT = An Tir; FP = Financial Policy

Shire of Hartwood Financial Policy

  1. Introduction

    The following Shire of Hartwood Financial Policy serves as an addendum and is subject to the requirements set forth by the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA or Society) Financial Policy, SCA Corpora and By-Laws, Kingdom of An Tir (Kingdom) Financial Policy, Principality of Tir Righ (Principality) Financial Policy, and the Laws of the Kingdom of An Tir and Principality of Tir Righ.

    1. In the event of a conflict between this Financial Policy and modern law, SCA governing documents and Policies, the Laws of the Kingdom of An Tir, the Kingdom of An Tir Financial Policy, the Laws of the Principality of Tir Righ, or the Principality of Tir Righ Financial Policy, the modern, SCA, Kingdom or Principality document shall take precedence. (TR intro, AT intro.)
  2. Financial Policy
    1. The Hartwood Financial Policy shall be published, in its entirety, on both print (annually) and internet media.
    2. The Hartwood Financial Policy shall be reviewed by the Financial Committee at least on an annual basis. All changes should be brought forward to the Hartwood Council to be discussed and ratified.
  3. Financial Committee

    The Financial Committee is responsible for the financial health of the shire; therefore, all members of the Financial Committee are informed on the Financial Policies of Society, Kingdom and Principality, as well as Society governing documents and Kingdom and Principality Laws.

    1. The Financial Committee shall consist of the Seneschal, Exchequer, and all the Greater Officers of Hartwood. (Greater Officers are: Seneschal, Exchequer, Herald, Master of Stables, Chronicler, Minister of Arts & Sciences, Chatelaine, Chirurgeon.)
      1. When an Officer steps down from their office, their term on the Financial Committee ends as well.
    2. A Financial Committee meeting is called and chaired by the Exchequer.
      1. Meetings are to be held two to four weeks before a General Council meeting; if there are time conflicts, all may agree to move the date. Meetings may be in person, via e-conferencing, or a combination thereof.
      2. Decisions are made by consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved, the matter may be tabled to a later date, or all may agree on a simple vote.
      3. Minutes of Financial Committee meetings shall be recorded and published through official Hartwood media.
    3. The Financial Committee will approve in advance annual and event budgets, which will be ratified by the Council at the next Council meeting.
    4. The Financial Committee must approve expenditures exceeding the limits of the budget; any funds remaining at the end of the year will be directed back to the General Fund.
    5. In an emergency, disbursements can be authorized by the Financial Committee through electronic means. These emergency disbursements will be recorded in the minutes by the Financial Committee at the next Financial Committee meeting.
  4. Banking

    The policy set forth in SCA, Kingdom, and Principality Financial Policies shall be accepted as standard policy in regards to bank accounts.

    1. Signatories on all bank accounts must be in accordance with SCA, Kingdom, and Principality Financial Policies.
    2. Signatories on all accounts will include:
      1. Exchequer,
      2. Seneschal,
      3. at least one person in each of the greater Shire population areas,
      4. and, if possible, the Principality Exchequer.
    3. All signatories will ensure membership information is updated as needed, and that required copies of proof of membership and government issued photo identification are in the Exchequer's records.
  5. Financial Records
    1. Financial Records shall be maintained by the Exchequer and the Shire according to Corpora, Society, Kingdom and Principality Financial Policies. (see SCA FP VI.)
  6. Reporting and Disclosure
    1. The Shire Exchequer shall report according to Corpora, Society, Kingdom, and Principality Financial Policies and Laws. (see SCA FP I.)
  7. Budget
    1. The Financial Committee shall be responsible for preparation of the draft of the Shire budget.
      1. All Shire Officers will submit their budget requests prior to the December meeting of the Financial Committee.
      2. All Event Stewards of scheduled events will submit their event proposals/budgets prior to the December meeting of the Financial Committee.
    2. The budget shall be ratified at the January Council Meeting of the year budgeted.
    3. The final budget shall be published in the official shire media.
  8. Expense Authorization
    1. The Financial Committee must approve all expenditures in advance, by pre­approved budget or a written request for funds.
    2. The Financial Committee must approve unbudgeted expenditures. Expenditures without approval may not be reimbursed.
    3. Fully documented receipts must be provided to support all expenditures.
    4. The Exchequer is only obligated to reimburse for receipts presented within 120 days of the expenditure.
  9. Controlling Disbursements
    1. All disbursements will be made by signed cheques or traceable money orders. Disbursements in advance of a purchase must be documented beforehand and will be treated as receivable items until they are reconciled by presentation of receipts and/or cash totaling the amount of the advance. Reconciliation of advances must occur within 60 days of the disbursement. (SCAXI)
  10. Controlling Cash Receipts

    Cash receipts shall include, but is not limited to: event income of all types, donations, money from sale of goods purchased with group funds, and newsletter income.

    1. Deposit of Cash Receipts:
      1. Cash receipts of any type totaling more than $500 must be deposited into the Shire account within 5 calendar days from the close of the event.
      2. Cash receipts of any type totaling more than $50 must be deposited into the Shire account no later than 14 calendar days after receipt by an officer of the SCA.
      3. Cash receipts of any type less than this limit must be deposited in the Shire account no later than 30 calendar days after the receipt by an officer of the SCA.
      4. No exceptions.
      5. Undeposited income of any type is not to be used for refunds, reimbursements or expenses. (AT IX)
  11. Event Financial Procedures
    1. All Event Stewards must submit an Event Proposal (form available online and from the Exchequer) detailing estimated income and expenditures. If approved, the Proposal is released to the Council for ratification.
      1. Advances shall be matched or exceeded by the expected income.
      2. Each event shall be treated as a separate entity for accounting purposes.
      3. Advances shall be the responsibility of the Event Steward, who will sign for money received.
    2. A paid member of the SCA must be in charge of the gate functions at any event where money is collected in the name of the SCA.
      1. Site owners may additionally oversee the gate operations, but the final responsibility for the funds collected in the name of the SCA must remain with an authorized paid SCA member who does not have a financial or material interest in the ownership of the site itself. (see SCA XII.D.)
    3. During an event, all cash receipts are the responsibility of the Event Steward. Recommendations for the Event Steward:
      1. All monies should be locked in a box in either the Event Steward's or Exchequer's possession.
      2. As monies accumulate at Gate, they should be removed to a safe place leaving the original float. Drops are sealed into an envelope with the relevant gate sheets, witnessed by another Financial Committee member and the envelope initialed by both.
    4. The Event Steward, with the assistance of the Shire Exchequer, shall complete within two weeks an Event Financial Report to be submitted to the Financial Committee and the Council.

revised 2013; accepted April 2013

Current -- 2022
  • January Council and AGM
2021 2020 2019 Archives

Here is a collection of useful forms and links for the general running of the shire – Event Bids, cheque requests, and officer applications.

  • Officer Application: taking the mystery out of just what information council would like to see in an application, this quick form covers all the essentials.
  • Change of Officer Form: this form goes through many hands – from outgoing officer, to new officer, to council, to the Seneschal, to Principality and Kingdom.
  • Financial Officer Warrent: And if you're the Exchequer, you get TWO forms!
  • Extension of Warrent: a standard term is 2 years, but it is allowable to extend as many as 3. Use this form to do so.
  • Token Recommendation: do you know someone who deserves recognition for their work and accomplishments? Perhaps you'd like to recommend them for a Shire Token. A full description of the tokens we offer can be found below in the heraldry section.
  • Cheque Request: Used anytime one asks for funds or re-imbursement.

Event Forms

Event Proposal
Hartwood In-Person Events
Hartwood Online Events
Principality Event Bid
Kingdom Event Bid
Event Registration with Calendar
Date Reservation Form/Event Information Form (DRF/EIF): The Seneschal must fill out part A, the Steward part B.
Kingdom Calendar FAQ
In-Person Event Request Form: The Seneschal must fill this out.
Online Event Request Form: The Host can fill this out.
Crier Event Copy: This should be filled out by the event Steward once the EIF has been recieved by Kingdom.
Request Facebook Event: Email the Webminister with details.
Waivers & Gate Files
Bullying & Harrassment Poster: Must be displayed at all events.
Standard Gate Sheet
Adult Waiver, Roster
Minor Medical Waiver: Must be filled by parents in advance of event.
Minor Consent to Particpate
Minor Consent to Participate in Combat
Equestrian Waiver
Other Documents
Cheque Request: Used anytime one asks for funds or re-imbursement.
Marshal In Charge information for Event Stewards
Event Financial Report
NMR Submission
Waiver Submission
Marshal In Charge Report
Incident Report

Hartwood is one of several branches within greater regional areas. Below you will find links to our neighbors and regional districts.

  • Kingdom of An Tir: includes Oregon, Washington, the northern tip of Idaho, British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Northwest territories.
  • Principality of Tir Righ: includes most of the province of British Columbia and Bellingham, WA.
  • Barony of Seagirt: Centred in Victoria, Seagirt is our closest neighbour and governs the land from Duncan south. Together with Hartwood and False Isle, we are collectively referred to as 'Insula Magna'. You will often find Seagirtians and Hartwood events, and vice versa. Their spring-time Daffodil event draws gentles from all over the Principality, and they are the biennial host of Sealion War.
  • Shire of Fjordland: One of the newest branches in Tir Righ, Fjordland is located on the Sunshine Coast reaching from Port Mellon to Earl's Cove. They host Tides Turning and Fjordland Rising which have quickly gained reputations for being wonderful ways to spend a weekend.
  • Barony of Lions Gate: This Barony sits across the water, covering Metro Vancouver / Lower Mainland and Sea-to-Sky areas. The largest branch in Tir Righ, they host hundreds at their annual Tournament of Armies. They are the biennial host for Sealion War, and host impressive banquets.
  • Shire of Lionsdale: Located in the Fraser Valley, Lionsdale is most famous for the unmissable Odin's Playground; a highland-games type event, but norse themed.

These are just a few of the branches located nearby; for a full listing of the branches of Tir Righ, head over to the Principality of Tir Righ's page.

Written by Mistress Cecille de Beumund

(Cunegonda asked Mistress Cecille to write a little on this topic for our Activities page; it became a longer article of worth, so it resides here in it's fullness. This is why you might recognize the first paragraph.)

Competitions come in a wide variety of formats. They range all the way from fun and silly to serious, from most popular to most historically accurate, and from complete novice to very experienced. While there is not necessarily something for everyone in each competition, there is always another competition coming along that will meet your needs and tickle your fancy.

To best match up your expectation with the competition, do two things: a) read the competition copy carefully and, b) speak with the organiser. Find out if you need documentation: spoken (oral), written, how many copies? What time do you need to be ready and how long does the competition last? If your entry needs support stuff (table, electrical outlet, etc.) make arrangements for that now.

What is documentation? It's answering the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why + How. Apply these questions to your project, the people who would have made or used it, and also to yourself. How did your creat this and why did you make the choices you did? How is what you did similar or different to the item and what people did 'back then'? Add a museum photo or copy of a painting showing the item and that's it, you're done!

Getting all of this on 1 page, 2 pages if you're going for a Championship, or extra enthusiastic, would be excellent documentation for a Shire-level branch like Hartwood. Remember, not all competitions will require this amount, so check with your competition organiser!

So why participate in competitions? You meet some really cool people. You have a good time challenging yourself with the interesting ways that the fighters, archers, and rapier folks have put their field or shoots together. You can see, hear, and even participate in some amazing crafts, cooking, and bardic from our artisans. Plus, it's fun. You could compete for bragging rights, for a prize, to demonstrate a new skill you've learned, as part of a Principality or Kingdom or even SCA-wide Guild challenge.

Or you could compete for the honour of being one of Hartwood's (#) Champions and represent the branch for a year. (Add rights and responsibilities).

In the end, there's a competition for everyone. From the person in their first month in the SCA to our Peers. From someone who wants something silly to do for their Saturday evening to someone who wants to work hard for months to achieve a long-held dream. From the folks who think documentation is scary and only want to talk about their projects to those who have no problems whipping out an essay. Hartwood has people who can answer questions and mentor you if you need it, or leave you be and watch you bloom. Come, compete!

Many people get into the SCA and make a persona based on certain period of time or a certain style of clothing and then decide they want to get into the combat arts. Suddenly they realize their persona wouldn’t fight in that style. What do I do now? Don’t worry about it if this happens. One is not necessarily linked to the other.

However, if you decide you want to make a persona based on a fighting style and period of history, great. Do some research for what was going on in your time period. Talk to fighters who fight your style, eg if you want to do a late 1500s rapier fighter, talk to the rapier fighters in the shire. They will be able to tell you a little about what masters were teaching during that time and what styles were popular (both fighting styles and clothing/armour).

Do I have to go out and spend a thousand dollars to get all the armour and weapons I need to fight? Most of the time the shires have what is called iron key, which is loaner gear. This is a great way to start out fighting and finding out what style you want to do without shelling out a bunch of money right up front.

So I have decided I want to fight. Now do I have to spend a small fortune to have my own gear? You can but it is not necessary. Most of the experienced fighters can help you put together functional armour for a lower cost. For example, the heavy armour does not need to be made out of the shiny stainless steel. Many people fight in armour made out of plastic pickle barrel and cover it up with a nice tunic. Used gear can be bought at a reduced cost to get you started and unless it is coloured up with specific heraldry, no one will know but you.

- Dieterich von Kleinberg

by HL Meredith of the White Cliffs

The difference between the two is not all that great. A 'Revel' is not so formal, more often pot-luck or bring your own meals, likely to be set in an Inn, Tavern, or Picnic type of location. The event copy will give you the details.

A feast is a more formal occasion, including a meal of at least three food courses. With entertainment in between (to let the food settle a bit!) Courts are a often a feature at feasts; the event copy will tell you if the Monarch is going to be in attendance. Frequently, there is dancing (don't worry: beginners are welcome) and many people bring game boards. If you are a performer (acting, singing or instrumental), your performance would greatly enhance the feast.

Sometimes we do Feasts or Revels as a Potluck. A potluck, and what type of dish you should bring, will have been stipulated in the Event copy. Bring a dish to feed about 8-10 people a small serving. Try to make something that COULD have been served in Period even if it is not a period recipe. Have the recipe posted near the dish as people who have allergies appreciate this, as do persons enjoying the dish who would like the recipe.

Children are welcome at feasts. Parents are asked to be sure to bring things to entertain them. (I would rather have a kid playing with modern toys than being miserable as they are forced to 'sit still' or participate in something they have no interest in.) Pricing for Children's seats depends on how large the hall is. IF there are only 30 seats and the event's break-even cash point depends on selling them all, seats are same price for all ages. IF, as is the more usual situation, there is lots of room, Children are usually much cheaper - and very often simpler fare is prepared for them, too. Babes in arms are, of course, free, though you have to be prepared to pass them around for admiration from all! The event copy will give you details on prices.

To prepare to attend a Feast, you will need:

  • Eating equipment - Within this group we all have and bring our own - that way it fits our persona (and the people putting on the feast don't have an overwhelming amount of things they need to bring)
  • A plate, a bowl, a drinking vessel - Many wooden ones are easily found. Be sure the paint or varnish is food safe. Metal dishes look lovely - again, do be sure they are of a food safe material. Metal drinking vessels can be hot to the lips, and also may make a wine 'taste'.
  • Eating Utensils - In period, you would have had a belt knife and perhaps a spoon. In practice, most of us have knives, forks and spoons; we do try to find utensils that are not glaringly modern.
  • A napkin, a Tablecloth, Napkins for your fingers, a Tablecloth to dress up your 'place'.
  • Candles and Candle holders - to light your dinner and help set the stage for your persona. (Editor's Note; many halls no longer permit open flame. Check with the Event Steward beforehand, or opt for a flickering LED candle.)
  • Drinks - The event copy will tell you if you can bring alcohol to the feast ; if it is a dry site, please respect this. Places like the Boy Scouts Sites have NO alcohol tolerance. One can always bring a (carefully disguised) bottle of pop, thermos of coffee or similar beverage, should one wish to. The feast will often have a beverage served with it.
  • A basket to carry all this, and a (carefully tucked away) plastic bag to take home dirty dishes. - There are often dish washing areas at a feast but I find it's easier to take them home than risk getting dishwater on my garb.
  • Your Garb (clothing) - If you only have one set, then it will do!! But it's fun to read the copy and see if this is a Courtly feast or a Peasant feast or any other theme that might have been dreamed up and dress accordingly.
  • Attitude - the RIGHT attitude !! Be willing to leave discussions of movies, computers and other mundanities at home. Here we are setting a stage to re-enact our persona's life, times and attitudes.

These are some ideas to make potlucks more interesting, and perhaps more fun. (Many thanks to Paulus of the Heather, Crickstow-on-Sea, for inspiration.)

Hints and Tips

To participate in the feast you must bring a potluck dish. Every person in your party (excepting very young ones) must bring a dish large enough to serve 8-10 people, and a card listing all the ingredients must accompany it. (For instance, an adult with two teenagers bringing buns and butter will have, in total two to three dozen buns and a pound of butter; the buns will be in a large bowl or basket, and the butter set out on a small plate or bowl.)

Charts are often used to guide feasters. As an example, if your ordinary/modern last name begins with... then bring...

  • A-E: Salad
  • F-J: Side dish (vegetables/grains)
  • K-R: Main dish
  • S-Z: Dessert

If no guideline is given, bring your favourite medieval dish (suggestions and recipe links below).

If you live more than a half-hour drive from the event, consider dishes best served at room temperature, that are not troubled by the travel; bread and cheese fits that category.

Then there is the question: "How much should I spend?" Paulus of the Heather answers this way:

"This can be a ticklish question. Is it fair that someone brings a beef roast and someone else brings a loaf of bread when both people fill their plates from the same table? Instead of comparing the items on the table, a contributor to a potluck has to take a look at their own finances and ask the question, "What would I pay for a ticket to a feast for myself (and my family)?" and budget for their contribution with that amount in mind. Therefore a couple who would normally spend $30 for feast tickets should consider that spending $10 to $20 on a potluck contribution is still a significant savings.

Get medieval: Generosity is a chivalric virtue!"


If you are new to SCA potlucks, or are looking for an update, this may be useful to you.

Regarding your contribution:

  • Medieval recipes or medieval-type food is preferred, if only for the ambiance. Alcohol is not considered a potluck dish.
  • Label all dishes with ingredients (some people being allergic to the durndest things), and with your name (so people can ask you for the recipe).
  • Each person attending the potluck should bring enough to feed 8-10 people. The one-dish-per-person does not apply to young children.
  • Prepare the dish for small servings. For instance, slice the ham before putting it on the buffet; slice the cheese; cut the pie. A 10-serving dish should, if possible, be divided to serve 20 or more, so that everyone has an opportunity to taste it.
  • Bring the serving dishes and utensils. Again, try to aim for medieval ambiance with serving dishes and platters of wood, pottery, or wicker. A trivet will protect the table from hot dishes. Put your name on the utensils so that they go home with you. Caveat: In the interests of food safety, crockpots are allowable; mask with a teatowel draped over the bulk of it.

Regarding your presence:

  • Bring something to drink, as beverages may not be supplied, or not be to taste. Event copy will announce whether beverages are provided. Do have at least water nearby, for when you hear "Please charge your glasses"; you are expected to stand for the toasts that follow.
  • Bring your feast gear. There may only be tables and chairs, so your tablecloth may be handy.
  • There may be an announcement that parents with young children present, and those with limited physical ability, approach the buffet to serve themselves first. Please do so. Parents should bring their children's dishes and dish out their portions; parents with more children than hands will readily find assistance.
  • Take small portions of those dishes that interest you. Look behind you to see how many people have yet to be served, and adjust your portion size so that all may have a similar portion size. You will likely have a chance for seconds. And maybe thirds.
  • Help clean afterwards. Some people carry a plastic bag in their feast kit to drop the dirty dishes into, for washing at home. If you prefer to wash-up at the site, scrape off your dishes into the provided garbage container, and wait for the announcement of the kitchen sinks' availability, or a wash-station; do -not- use the bathroom sinks, as the plugging of drains is an ugly hazard.

Non-cooking ideas

If you shop for your potluck contribution, here are some suggestions to help simplify your choices.

round loaves (and buns); whole wheat, rye, seed, currant; flatbread (pita, chapatis) is also appropriate. (If your pocketbook will allow, also bring the butter or cheese.)
Cheese, sliced:
(there are others, but these definitely were known in medieval times): yoghurt cheese, farmers' cheese, Brie, Caciocavallo, Cantal, Fontina, Dournay, Gruyere, Livarot, Munster, Neufchatel, Pecorina Romano.
apples (small pinkish, yellow or green), pears, apricots, bilberries (blueberries substitute well), grapes (seedless are easier to deal with); dried fruit is also appropriate (apricots, dates, figs).
olives, mushrooms, eggs, marinated vegetables.
Chicken, hot roasted (deli!) and cut for serving:
with Cinnamon sauce, or Ginger-Mustard sauce.
Ham, cold sliced:
with Galyntyne sauce, or Honey Wine Mustard sauce. (for meat or fowl.)
Roast pork, sliced:
with Yellow pepper sauce, or Cinnamon sauce.
Roast beef, sliced:
with Garlic-Pepper sauce, or Ginger sauce.
Sausage, sliced (deli):
gypsy salami, genoa salami, pastrami, etc.

Also consider greens and herbs in salads, with olive oil and vinegar dressing.

Medieval Recipes

These links to medieval recipes barely touch the surface of the recipes available. Not all recipes are complicated, so explore the possibilities fully; many recipes call for less than 6 ingredients!

  • Roasted carrots: chopped, dressed with olive oil, spread on a cookie sheet and baked.
  • Carrot salad: shredded and dressed with oil, vinegar, and a touch of sugar.
  • Savoury rice: cooked with caraway seeds and bay leaf; color with saffron.
  • Bashed 'neeps: rutabagas boiled, mashed with milk, salt, sugar, and nutmeg.
  • Onion soup: onions gently fried olive oil until well-carmelized, covered with vegetable stock and simmered; thicken with breadcrumbs or not.
  • Beef roast: dry rub the roast with pepper, cumin, and salt, and let sit a couple of hours in fridge; roast (see any basic cookbook) in a medium-low oven until medium-done; cool and then refrigerate; slice thinly before serving.
  • Cumin chicken: brown chicken; simmer in a sauce of beer, bread, cumin, salt and pepper.

Suggestions for Camp Food

Being Ideas for the Newcomer to SCA Eventing, the Neophyte Camper, and Those Needing Inspiration; Food for Either Day-Trip Or Weekend

by Halima al-Rakkasa, minimalist

Store cool-ish and dry Cooler; no other prep Cooler; must heat
No other prep Must heat
dinner rolls
uncut bread loaves
bread sticks
flat bread

almonds, other nuts
dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots, raisins)

protein bars
dry cereal
peanut butter
Cheese rolls
cereal bars such as Nutrigrain

tortilla chips (w salsa or in stews)
pretzels (the big soft ones are period)
instant soup
hot chocolate
Oxo cubes

canned soup
canned stew

instant oatmeal
instant couscous (starch for stews)

chapatis can be made with flour, water, a little oil and salt, on a hot, dry cast iron frying pan
cheese; harder is better if a cooler is an issue; gouda, parmesan, brie
fresh fruit (grapes, apples)
fresh veg (carrot, turnip, radishes)
yoghurt (for oatmeal)
pickles(cucumbers, onions, eggs, olives)
cold couscous or rice salad

pepperoni or other preserved meat (kielbasa, salami, Landjaeger, smokies)
hummous or lentil dip
hard-boiled eggs
Lorenz pies
Pies of Paris
beef jerky (can be added to broth or?)
prebaked veg or meat pies
baked or fried chicken
marinated ham strips
sausage rolls
home-prep'd stew/soup

partially-prep'd stew or soup chop and fry an onion in a little olive oil before adding the stew or soup, and be the envy of the camp

pre-cooked rice and/or beans as a base

Freeze pre-cooked stew/soup to help keep other food cold; it will thaw eventually.

Open cooler only as needed, to keep it cold. Consider a separate cooler for beer and similar bevers.

Consider having snacks available for "company": baked goods, easily prepped fresh fruits and veg, tea, hot chocolate, whatever your friends like.

Even if drinking water is supplied, chill some bottled water, or barely freeze a few bottles, to help the cooler ice last longer and give you cool water as needed. Go easy on the soda pop (diuretic) and the fruit juice (insect attractant); if you use fruit juice, pack the concentrate and a container for the diluted juice.

I have done day-trips with nothing but cheese, buns, pepperoni and pickles; for a full day or more, add some real food, either hot or cold, and some nibbles such as nuts and fruit. Couscous salads are now readily available in delis, as well as other interesting foods. Do remember that chicken must be either hot or cold, and must spend very little time in between.

Use alcohol wipes in the travel packs. Take Vitamin B1 to help drive away insects, and use DEET.

My thanks to HL Doirean Dechti for re-posting this information gathered from several people over several years. I hope this compilation will become more convenient over the coming tourney seasons!

First Time Feast Gear

Yes, medievally, cutlery and tableware was used; fingers may have come into play, but the manuals of the time are quite specific about which fingers were used for what purposes (and I will not attempt to summarize such compexities). And since we neither waste food, nor wish to sully beautiful garments that we (and perhaps you) have spent hours creating, we like our "feastgear".

We encourage the medieval look, but that can come later...

  • beverage container (heavy glass goblet will hold hot or cold liquids, as will pottery; metal does not work well with hot; wood may warp with heat)
  • bowl (relatively open; most servings will be small and quickly consumed; a salad bowl generally works; a peasant, one-dish meal might require a soup-bowl, but seconds [and thirds] are generally allowed)
  • spoon (round or teardrop shape looks right, but whatever works)
  • knife (steak knife works, especially as it can stab food that needs it... instead of a fork)
  • napkin
  • something to carry it all

Optional feast gear

  • plate (a bowl will handle everything, but sometimes a plate is nicer)
  • fork (if you must, or your persona would use one)
  • tablecloth, extra napkins
  • candle in enclosed glass container
  • salt or other seasoning in small bowl/box
  • additional bowls and cutlery may be useful (bowls will hold any kind of food, and also beverages, and ort)

This is a living document; if you find a new link (or find one of these is dead), please contact the Webminister to have it added (or removed).

We hope that the following links will provide useful information on period food and cooking.

Websites & Collections



The Shire of Hartwood has the following device and badge registered with the College of Heralds:

Vert, on a roundel argent within a laurel wreath Or a hart's head erased sable

Hartwood Arms

Vert, on a roundel argent within a laurel wreath Or a hart's head erased sable

Representing Hartwood, the device is displayed by the Seneschal and worn by the Herald when speaking in the voice of the Shire.

A chevron embattled couped per chevron argent and vert.

Populace Badge

A chevron embattled couped per chevron argent and vert

A badge that indicates someone, or something, belongs to the Shire of Hartwood. Any member of the populace may display the badge.

Hartwood's motto is 'One Hartbeat!'; you will often hear this shouted as a response to 'For Hartwood!'.

For a listing of the devices registered to our members, browse the An Tir Roll of Arms. Likewise, you can browse what awards our populace have recieved on the An Tir Order of Precedence.

If you would like to develop your own personal heraldry, contact our Herald to get started. The PDF forms for submission are: name, device, and badge.

The Shire of Hartwood likes to show it's gratitude towards members who are especially skilled or generous with their time and efforts. While we may not provide awards (as a Barony can), we may offer small tokens of appreciation. Here is a description of what some members have recieved:

Embodying the spirit and virtues our Society holds dear; courtesy, honour, kindness and generosity. An Honour held for one year only, it is then passed from the existing Exemplar onto the next.

Stag Tag
Combat Arts: Armoured, Rapier, Cut & Thrust, Combat Archery, Combat Thrown Weapons, Jousting
Recognition of an individual who, while residing in Hartwood, has fought in the Combat Arts with their own kit under Hartwood’s banner. This specifically means one who has particpated in a group war event, or fought as Champion of Hartwood. This token is not one that requires recommendation, but rather it is earned. The most common event it's earned at is Sealion War.

Raven Tag
Target/Equestrian Arts: Target Archery, Thrown Weapons, Equestrian
Recognition of an individual who, while residing in Hartwood, has competed in the Target/Equestrian arts with their own kit under Hartwood’s banner. This specifically means one who has particpated in a group war event, or competed as Champion of Hartwood. This token is not one that requires recommendation, but rather it is earned. The most common event it's earned at is Sealion War.

Swan Tag
Recognition of a person's active participation in Arts & Sciences such as, but not limited to: competitions, demos, teaching, largesse. This token requires the populace - anyone - to take note of their fellow's achievements and write a recommendation to the Seneschal.

Sable Hound
Recognition of excellence in service by an individual to the Shire of Hartwood. This token requires the populace - anyone - to take note of their fellow's achievements and write a recommendation to the Seneschal.

The Lure
Recognition of excellence in demos, assisting newcomers, inspiring activity and presenting our society in the best possible light. This token requires the populace - anyone - to take note of their fellow's achievements and write a recommendation to the Seneschal.

Argent Hound/Stag's Mark
Recognition of a person living outside the shire who has been of great benefit to Hartwood. This token requires the populace - anyone - to take note of their fellow's achievements and write a recommendation to the Seneschal.

For a listing of all recipients, please see Hartwood's An Tir Culture Wiki entry.

To make a recommendation (something all gentles are encouraged to do), please fill out this short form.

The “How to” by HL Doireann Dechti

This is not a comprehensive lesson, but is meant to help you feel more comfortable in the presence of those we often refer to as Pointy Hats or Hats. These would be the people whose status in the SCA allows them to wear crowns or coronets, and include Barons and Baronesses, Viscounts and Vicountesses, Princes and Princesses, and Kings and Queens. Coronets and crowns usually have points of some type, so are easy to recognize.


The reverance is a bow or curtsy, and can be made as simple as you like. If you like, you can ask someone who has been in the SCA for a while to show you a way to make a reverance. You would make a reverance under the following circumstances:

  • Someone with a crown or coronet is walking past or entering court.
  • You are walking past someone with a crown or coronet.
  • You are approaching someone with a crown or coronet.
  • You are walking past the thrones or baronial seats, even if they are empty.
  • You have been called up to court (we will get into details about entering court a little later).


If you have been called up to court, don’t panic! Everyone has a first time, and if you watch, everyone does it differently. It is a good habit to get into approaching court the proper way. I cringe when I see someone who has been in the SCA for a while approach without the reverance. There is usually an aisle of sorts in front of the dignitaries holding court, with the audience sitting or standing along either side. If you are called up to the court, follow these simple steps, and don’t worry at all if you don’t get it perfect – few people do.

  • Approach the center of the aisle.
  • At the center, or about 10 – 15 feet before the dignitaries, make a reverance.
  • Continue on to Their Highnesses, Their Majesties, or Their Excellencies, depending who’s holding court, stop in front of the kneeling cushion and reverance them a second time.

This next section looks like a lot of things to remember, but it covers three different scenarios, so it isn’t as bad as it first appears!

  • If your presence in court is pre-planned by you because you need to make an announcement, there is no need to kneel. You will ask the dignitaries for permission to address the court, then step to the side and address the populace. Don’t turn your back on your dignitaries!
  • If you have been called up because you have won a competition, you will reverance the dignitaries, then face the person who called you up, usually the person running the competition. If they are calling up more than one person at a time, they may ask you to stand to the side for a moment.
  • If this is a surprise to you, after you have reveranced in front of the cushion, you will kneel on it. If you are physically unable to kneel or to get back up again, you can quietly mention this to the dignitaries; they will understand and let you know that it’s alright for you to stand.
  • At this point (if this is a surprise to you), the dignitaries might take your hands, and you will kneel (or stand if you must) quietly while a scroll is being read out, or someone is otherwise speaking about why you are there.
  • Once the scroll has been read, and/or you have been given your award or prize, you will stand (if kneeling), and reverance before you begin to leave the court.
  • Take your first few steps backwards, so that you are facing the dignitaries until you are out of kicking range (remember what we said earlier about turning your back on the dignitaries?), then turn and begin to leave.
  • You will reverance one last time, about 10 – 15 feet away from the dignitaries. Some people do their final reverance at the end of the aisle. Then you will return to your seat.

To simplify, both coming and going, your points of reverance are the center of the aisle, and in front of the kneeling cushion.


Forms of address, regarding dignitaries:

Baron and Baroness
Their/Your Excellencies, His/Her Excellency
Tanist and ban-Banist (about to become Prince and Princess of a Principality)
Their/Your Excellencies, His/Her Excellency
Prince and Princess
Their/Your Highnesses, His/Her Highness
Viscount and Viscountess (have been a prince and princess)
Their/Your Excellencies, His/Her Excellency
Royal Prince and Princess (about to become King and Queen)
Their/Your Highnesses or Their/Your Royal Highnesses
Count and Countess (have been King and Queen once)
Their/Your Excellencies, Her/His Excellency
Duke and Duchess (have been King and Queen more than once)
Your/His/Her Grace
King and Queen
Their/Your Majesty, His/Her Majesty

Some people, dignitaries and otherwise, prefer to be called by a title appropriate to the language of their culture. Alternate titles for such a purpose can be found at

I hope this has helped. If you have any questions, please ask. There are many people here quite able to help as well.

Doireann Dechti

Courtesy and Etiquette In the Current Middle Ages

Mistress Diana Listmaker, 1972

from “The Known World Handbook; Courtesy and Etiquette In the Current Middle Ages” by Mistress Diana Listmaker, and used by gracious permission. The entire Known World Handbook is copyright by The Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and is available from SCA Marketplace, P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, California 95036-0789.
  1. Treat your inferiors in rank, knowledge, or experience in the Society as if they were your equals; treat your equals as if they were superiors; treat officers as representatives of the King; and treat the King and Queen with reverence due your sovereigns.
  2. Use medieval forms of address.
  3. Be faithful to your lord and your word.
  4. Gentlemen, honor all ladies.
  5. Ladies, remain worthy of all honor.
  6. Touch no man’s goods unasked; give and receive with grace.
  7. Be gentle to the stranger.
  8. Raise your sword, but not your voice.
  9. Let the slain man tell if he be slain.
  10. Reverance the King and Queen.

By Halima al-Rakkasa

Ideally, before you begin to paint either scroll or charter, you’ll have a good idea of the gouache colors that are needed to create the desirable medieval effect. With that in mind, I have here compiled a number of collections of color-names to help you find suitable colors. (I am grateful to all those who have shared the information!) At the bottom is my own gouache palette.

Dame Tamlyn has this list of pigments in the Lindisfarne Gospel (8th century):

  • orange-red (minium, red lead)
  • blue (indigo/woad)
  • dk green (vergaut?)
  • blue/green
  • green (verdigris)
  • carbon black
  • red ochre
  • madder lake
  • cochineal
  • yellow ochre

Evidently, in later period, we can add:

  • ultramarine (lapis lazuli)
  • vermillion (12th c)
  • azurite (12th c)

The Summits have a list of colors for painting charters, thanks to Mistress Alainne:

  • black – lamp/carbon black for blending; ivory black for lining
  • red – vermillion or madder red
  • yellow – yellow ochre, brilliant yellow, golden yellow
  • green – sap green or windsor (not emerald; more verdigris or malachite
  • blue – azure, ultramarine, woad
  • white – zinc white for blending; permanent white or titanium white is more permanent (use for whitework)
  • brown – red ochre, raw umber, burnt sienna

Mistress Tegan of Conwy suggests there are differences in cultural preference

  • English – alizarin for red, ultramarine blue
  • French – flame red or cadium red (Winsor and Newton), cobalt blue

The Domesday Boke Materials list (for An Tir’s 40th Year) gave these as period colors:

  • cadmium yellow pale
  • cadmium red pale (substitute for red lead), grenadine (substitute for vermilion), venetian red, red ochre
  • ultramarine, indigo
  • sap green
  • oxide of chromium, naples yellow, yellow ochre, raw sienna, gold ochre
  • burnt sienna, burnt umber, raw umber
  • ivory black, lamp black
  • gold (imitation), silver (imitation) – there is an article forthcoming on this

And these are the heraldic colors to add:

  • cadmium yellow pale
  • cobalt blue
  • mistletoe green

My palette is selected from Winsor and Newton, so color-names may not be found in other brands:

  • yellow – cadmium yellow pale, yellow ochre
  • blue – cobalt blue, ultramarine
  • green – mistletoe green
  • red – grenadine (vermilion)
  • brown – burnt sienna, raw umber
  • black – ivory black
  • white – zinc white (mixing highlights), permanent white (for whiteline)
  • other colors arise from mixing the above!

Do be careful in choosing your brand of gouache. Look for light-fastness and opaque. I prefer Winsor and Newton Designer Gouache, but Daler-Rowney and Holbein also have good products. Avoid watercolors unless they are permanent, light-fast and opaque, with labels stating the degree (rating) of each.

Have fun!

Every Kingdom has it's own scribal handbook; some include advice on hands, and even examples. An Tir's can be found online, and includes examples of Pseudo Arabic, Greek, and Cyrillic hands as well as the Elder and Younger Futhark. The Outlands' has an interesting chart on what pens work with which inks on page 39. The Midrealm's is excellent, and contains this guide on page 5, followed by examples of the alphabets:


Options listed by Period and Geographical Area


  • 600-10th c.: Artificial Uncial. When used, capitals are either large versions of the same or Roman Square Capitals.
  • 600-9th c.: Roman Half Uncial. Capitals are either large versions of the same, Roman Square Capitals or Pre-Caroline Versals.
  • 11th c. onward: Gothic Versals are often used as capitals and especially Display Initials and other Decorated Initials.
  • 11th-13th c.: Early Gothic with Roman Square Capitals within the text, and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters.
  • 13th c. onward: Gothic Littera Bastarda and Bastarda Capitals within the text and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters. Alternatively, formal works would often use Gothic Textura Quadrata, with Gothic Versals for text capitals and all large decorated letters.


  • 7th-9th c: Britain and Ireland: Insular Minuscule or Insular Majuscule with Insular Versals.
  • 10th c. onward: Ireland: Insular scripts survive in modified forms through the SCA period, but take progressively more angular characteristics from the 10th c. onward.
  • 10th-12th c.: Britain: Carolingian Minuscule with Roman Half Uncial or Roman Square Capitals.
  • 11th-13th c.: Early Gothic with Roman Square Capitals within the text, and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters.
  • Late 12th-mid 14th c.: English Gothic Book Hand Minuscules with English Gothic Book Hand Capitals within the text and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters.
  • 13th c. onward: English style Gothic Littera Bastarda and Bastarda Capitals within the text and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters. Alternatively, formal works would often use Gothic Textura Quadrata, with Gothic Versals for text capitals and all large decorated letters.


  • 10th-12th c.: Carolingian Minuscule with Roman Half Uncial or Roman Square Capitals.
  • 11th-13th c.: Early Gothic with English style Gothic Book Hand Capitals or Roman Square Capitals within the text, and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters.
  • 13th c. onward: Regular Gothic Littera Bastarda and Bastarda Capitals within the text andGothic Versals for all large decorated letters. Alternatively, formal works would often use Gothic Textura Quadrata and Gothic Versals for text capitals and all large decorated letters.


  • 10th-12th c.: Carolingian Minuscule with Roman Half Uncial or Roman Square Capital.
  • Late 12th-mid 14th c.: German Gothic Book Hand Minuscules with German Gothic Book Hand Capitals within the text and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters.
  • 13th c. onward: Regular Gothic Littera Bastarda and Bastarda Capitals within the text, and Gothic Versals for all large decorated letters. Alternatively, formal works would often use Gothic Textura Quadrata with Gothic Versals for text capitals and all large decorated letters.


  • 11th-14th c.: Italian book hands are similar to the northern continental European styles.
  • 15th-16th c.: Italian Humanist Minuscules, with Humanist Capitals used in text and for large decorated letters.


Before Christianization around the 10th c., there was little writing on the page in Scandinavia, so missionaries and travellers would use whatever script they brought withthem to the north. Contact with Britain and Ireland meant that the Scandinavians whosettled there would use what scripts existed there already.

Your best bet for “Viking age” scripts would be to follow Anglo-Saxon and German styles. Insular Minuscule, Artificial Uncial, Roman Half Uncial, and Early Gothic are allgood candidates. Runes were not usually used on scrolls or manuscripts. The Eth andThorn letters are used.

From the Gothic age onward, follow Northern European standards. A 14th c. Icelandic Book Hand sample is given for comparison.


  • 600-12th c.: Visigothic Minuscule with Pre-Caroline Versals. (Arabic was used by the Islamic population of the Iberian peninsula until the expulsion in the late 15th c.)


Eastern Europe of the Byzantine Empire used forms of Greek, and in Russia, Greek evolved throughout the Middle Ages into Cyrillic alphabets. The Hebrew alphabet was used in every European nation by the Jewish community with illumination which matched contemporary tastes.

With an eye to period materials and period-result materials
About pens

About Cleaning Pens

About Inks
No iron oak gall ink! (too corrosive).
Approved inks: Calli jet black India, Rotring opaque black, Higgins Eternal, black Sumi stick ink (artists' grade), Sumi professional grade ink (liquid)
For line work and detailing: Pigma Micron, Zig Millenium

About Paper/etc.
Domesday Book: archival-quality Arches 90 pound hot press watercolour paper

About Paint/Gouache

Sealing Wax

This is the recognized web site for Shire of Hartwood of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and is maintained by the Hartwood Web Team. This site may contain electronic versions of the group's governing documents. Any discrepancies between the electronic version of any information on this site and the printed version that is available from the originating office will be decided in favor of the printed version. For information on using photographs, articles, or artwork from this web site, please contact the Webminister at He or she will assist you in contacting the original creator of the piece. Please respect the legal rights of our contributors.

All external links are not part of the Shire of Hartwood web site. Inclusion of a page or site here is neither implicit nor explicit endorsement of the site. Further, SCA, Inc. is not responsible for content outside of

Copyright © 2019 Shire of Hartwood. The original contributors retain the copyright of certain portions of this site.