SCA Organizational Handbook (Corpora) on Peerage and the Order of the Laurel

The SCA's Corporate and Governing Documents can and do change over time - if in doubt, always refer to the most current published version. The excepts presented here come from the August 17, 2015 PDF revision of the SCA Governing Documents found on the SCA, Inc. website. Below are excerpted the sections of these documents dealing with peerage and specifically with the members of the Order of the Laurel.

IV. ROYALTY (p. 19)

G. The Crown

2. The Crown may elevate subjects to the Peerage by granting membership in one of the Orders conferring a Patent of Arms, after consultation with the members of the Order within the Kingdom, and in accordance with the laws and customs of the kingdom. Restriction: to advance a candidate to the Order of Knighthood, a Knight of the Society must bestow the accolade.


A. Patents Of Arms

1. General Requirements:
Candidates for any order conferring a Patent of Arms must meet the following minimum criteria. Additional requirements may be set by law and custom of the kingdoms as deemed appropriate and necessary by the Crown.
a) They shall have been obedient to the governing documents of the Society and the laws of the kingdom.

b) They shall have consistently shown respect for the Crown of the kingdom.

c) They shall have set an example of courteous and noble behavior suitable to a peer of the realm.

d) They shall have demonstrated support for the aims and ideals of the Society by being as authentic in dress, equipment and behavior as is within their power.

e) They shall have shared their knowledge and skills with others.

f) They shall have practiced hospitality according to their means and as appropriate to the circumstances.

g) They shall have made every effort to learn and practice those skills desirable at and worthy of a civilized court. To this end they should have some knowledge of a wide range of period forms, including but not limited to literature, dancing, music, heraldry, and chess, and they should have some familiarity with combat as practiced in the Society.

h) They should participate in Society recreations of several aspects of the culture of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

2. Order of Precedence Within the Peerage:
The Crown may establish the order of precedence within the peerage according to the laws and customs of the kingdom. However, the Chivalry, the Laurel, and the Pelican are of equal precedence and must be considered as one group.

3. Departure from the Peerage:
Any member of an order conferring a Patent of Arms may resign from that order. To leave a Patent Order, the member must send a written resignation to the Crown, the Principal of the Order (if any), the Principal Herald, and the Board. The Crown bestows membership in Patent Orders. No 'interchangeability' exists from one order to another (as Knight to Master or Laurel to Pelican), and the acceptance of a person who has so resigned an order into any other order is solely at the discretion of the Crown according to the laws and customs of the kingdom.

4. Patent Orders:
The following institutions are established for all kingdoms in the Society. A Patent of Arms may be conferred only upon a person being admitted into one of these orders. Each candidate for a patent order must satisfy the general requirements listed above in A.1., as well as the specific requirements listed here.
b. The Order of the Laurel: (i) Members of the Order of the Laurel may choose to swear fealty, but are not required to do so. The candidate must have attained the standard of excellence in skill and/or knowledge equal to that of his or her prospective peers in some area of the Arts or Sciences. The candidate must have applied this skill and/or knowledge for the instruction of members and service to the kingdom to an extent above and beyond that normally expected of members of the Society.

(ii) The duties of the members of the order are as follows:

a) To set an example of courtesy and chivalrous conduct.

b) To respect the Crown of the kingdom; to support and uphold the laws of the kingdom and Corpora.

c) If in fealty, to support and uphold the Crown of his or her kingdom.

d) To enrich the kingdom by sharing his or her knowledge and skills.

e) To advise the Crown on the advancement of candidates for the Laurel.

C. SANCTIONS (p. 39)

4. Reservations

c. Degradation from the Peerage
The Board reserves the right to degrade a person from the Peerage. However, kingdom law may define conditions and procedures under which a recommendation for such action may be made to the Board. Unless stipulated otherwise by the Board, the Board’s decision in such a case applies only to the matter at hand. Nothing prohibits a person who has been degraded from any order of the peerage from being elevated to the peerage at a later date, should the Crown determine that the person in question now meets the requirements of the order to which he is being elevated.

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