The History of the Original Principality Awards of Northshield
(by Gwyneth Felton, first Princess of the Principality of Northshield)
In order to become a Principality, Northshield had to submit the basis for at least two awards with the package to the Middle Kingdom and the Board. The two awards were the Saltire, named in honor of Sir Angus Ulrich, who had passed away during the Principality process, and what became the Constable, though it was actually submitted as a non-specific fighting award.
We worked along with the Stallari to come up with other awards. One of the things we were trying to do was to recognize things that, at least at the time, were NOT recognized within the award structure of the Middle Kingdom. Some of the more interesting ones were:
Northshield already had a strong culture of bardic and performing arts, and so, in the beginning, we chose to recognize and encourage that tradition with the Crwth, as opposed to a generic A&S award. The Crwth is a welsh stringed instrument, and can also mean crowd.
Originally named the Heathstone, this was given to groups who consistently (or specifically) excel at showing hospitality and hosting events. We felt that none of the existing awards really recognized the good will and hospitality that groups could show to other groups and/or people within the Principality, so we created this one. The imagery was that of the comfort of a warm hearth on a cold night.
Given for putting forth great effort at researching, creating and maintaining a period persona and atmosphere. At the time, there was nothing else that recognized people who made a greater attempt at researching and presenting a more accurate persona, representing the ideal of the SCA. The Pyxis name comes from the latin, where it means a mariner’s compass, indicating the direction that people should be following.
The Sheriffs and Constables were intended to encourage martial activities, leadership, participation on behalf of the Principality, and to show that all forms of martial activity – rattan, rapier, archery, equestrian, etc. – were valued equally in our eyes, because the awards could be given equally for any of them. We looked at several other kingdom’s awards structures, and tried to incorporate some of the requirements and meaning of those other awards.
(Heraldic Note: As the orders are closed, the arms are still registered to the Kingdom; but since the orders' names were never registered, the badges are registered to the KINGDOM, not any particular order. By custom, but not by law, they remain reserved for companions of those former orders.)
Scroll of Honor:
This was an idea I completely stole from another Kingdom – maybe Ealdormere? I thought it was a good way to be able to recognize people who did something spiffy that didn’t fit into any other category
The History of non-armigerous awards in the Kingdom of Northshield
The Great Bear:
(by Fina ingen A'eda, second queen of the Kingdom of Northshield, and co-creator of the award)
X-1165 There shall be in Northshield an Order into which the Crown may enter those who embody the spirit of the Kingdom. No more than one person may be admitted into this Order during any reign. Members of this Order may style themselves “Bears of Northshield.”
This Order is different from all other honors that Northshield confers in two ways. First it has no name, and second it can only be given to one person per reign. The reason that it has no name is that Tarrach and Fina were frustrated at the slow pace of approvals for award names, and by the fact that names were changing more than once before approval was granted, making it hard for people to remember which awards were which. The award was intended to remain without an official name and badge. However, should a future reign wish to name the honor, the hope is that the name would be submitted and approved before it is used or written into Northshield law.
This Order is meant to honor those who are such an integral part of the Kingdom that their participation helps to define the character and spirit of the Realm.
Members may style themselves ‘Bears of Northshield’ as a reminder of the Barony of the Great Bear, which was the first Barony in Minnesota – see The History of Northshield for more information.
Information coming soon….
Bonus history tidbit:
Why do we cheer Vivat? by Gwyneth Felton (first Princess of the Principality of Northshield)
In the early days of the Principality, we thought it was important to help guide and establish a culture for Northshield that, while not completely separate from the Middle Kingdom, was still unique and distinctive to Northshield. One of the things that came up was the cheer to be used in Court. The Middle Kingdom uses “hoobah”, which is, as far as anyone was able to tell me, a made-up word. We decided we wanted to use something that was appropriate to the medieval period, and so after some research decided on Vivat! (singular) and Vivant! (Plural).
Why Vivat? Here is a description (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vive,_Viva) that explains it well.
“Vive, Viva and Vivat are interjections used in the Romance languages. Vive in French, Viva in Italian, Portuguese and Spanish, and Vivat in Latin and Romanian are subjunctive forms of the verb “to live”. They literally mean, “live!” (imperative form), and are usually translated to English as “long live”. . . . . Additionally, in monarchical times the king of France would be wished “Vive le Roi!” and the king of Italy “Viva il Re!”, both meaning “Long live the King!”.
“The acclamation “Vivat” is still used in the British coronation ceremony, and when Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey in 1953 she was hailed with the words “Vivat Regina”.”
“ The medieval university Latin anthem De Brevitate Vitae has verses like: Vivat academia! Vivant professores! Vivat academia! Vivant professores! Vivat membrum quodlibet Vivant membra quaelibet Semper sint in flore.”
The tradition also began to use the cheer of “Skol” during feasts, when toasting Royalty or other Noble personages, as it is traditionally a Norse/Scandinavian drinking toast.