Below you will find scans of the 12th Night Roll used as the script for the court ceremonies at the 2nd SCA 12th Night held on January 6, 1968. Essentially, having made a transcription of the 12th Night Roll, I thought it was a good idea to make a scan of the document for posterity, 1) so people could still look at it, despite the fact that its real home is a filing cabinet belonging to the Vesper Principle Herald's office, and 2) if it were damaged or destroyed, then there would be at least these scans preserving its image.
I've been asked many times why I had possession of the 12th Night Roll of AS 2. What happened is this: when Alison von Markheim was Vesper Principle Herald of the West and I was Banner Herald, one of Vesper's deputies, she gave me a small box inside of which were the surviving pieces of the 12th Night Roll plus a second roll that was a slightly later version of just the knighting ceremony. We unearthed them while I was helping Alison with straightening up the Vesper files one afternoon. The reason I took these home with me was to make a transcription of the text, something Alison was sure had never been done. A first partial version of this transcription was posted to the Rialto in 1991.
At that time, though most of the 12th Night Roll had been transcribed, there was still some material waiting for transcription. It wasn't much, but I did want to get all of the text transcribed before returning the Rolls to Vesper.
It never happened - I had gone off to grad school and homework always seemed to take precedence for some unfathomable reason. Mistress Thyri, a friend in Three Rivers (St. Louis) and a future Principle Herald for Calontir, finished the transcription for me. I posted the completed transcription and then promptly forgot about returning the original during the vast confusion of writing my dissertation. By the time grad school was winding down for me, my friend Mistress Mary Elizabeth was Vesper, and since the transcription was finished, we discussed the return the 12th Night and Knighting Rolls, that is if I ever managed to remember to bring the Rolls with me to events where I might see Mary Elizabeth.
After filing my dissertaion, I thought I'd have a couple of months to goof off, relax and catch up with all the things that didn't get done when in grad school, but much to my surprise, I got the first job I applied for and the folks who hired me wanted me right away. It was a very busy time for me since I filed my dissertation, got married and moved to Idaho, all in the same week.
So there I was unpacking my possessions in Idaho, when I spotted the box with the 12th Night and Knighting Rolls in it. I started keeping the box in the car so I'd have it with me on the occasions when I drove back to California to visit relatives and/or to attend West Kingdom events - but for some reason, every event I went to in the West was one where Vesper was not attending.
I made the scans you see here right before the Known World Heraldic Symposium in Three Rivers (June 2003). It was my intent to return the Rolls to Vesper at the event, but the current Vesper, Sir Gaius Auklandus (or whatever name he's using this year...), was a no-show at the symposium. So now I am plotting as to which West Kingdom events I will be going to soon. The Rolls are back in the car, in their sturdy little box, packed inside a ziplock for added protection. I don't know why, but I just can't bring myself to mail them. The thought of losing or damaging them in the mail, while probably not entirely rational, is the one thought that keeps the Rolls in the car, waiting for a ride home to the West.
Concerning 12th Night Roll:
This document was originally constructed as one continuous scroll to be read by the herald during court. After 12th Night, the 12th Night Roll was sometimes used as the script for knighting and laurelling ceremonies, where the names of previous recipients were crossed out and new names written in. You will see evidence of this on the roll fragments themselves. A transcription (which I'm pretty sure is the one that Thyri and I made, used without attribution) and the history of the construction of the 12th Night Roll can be found on the West Kingdom History website.
When Alison handed me the two rolls, the 12th Night Roll had been separated into 4 pieces: the 12th Night intro speech, the knighting ceremony, the ducal ceremony and the laurelling ceremony. The edges of where the roll was cut into 4 pieces match perfectly with one another - so we can put the 12th Night Roll back together and see the original order of business for the 12th Night court: knights then dukes then laurels.
As Duke Siegfried mentioned in his short intro to the transcription of this roll, there are some pieces of business that appear to be conspicuous by their absence. First, there is no fealty oath anywhere in the roll. Second, the timeline on the West Kingdom History site indicates that the Order of the Rose was also created at this event - yet there is no text for it on the 12th Night Roll. Last, if fealty and the Order of the Rose were included in the court business at 12th Night AS 2, then how can we reconcile this with the fact that the four surviving pieces of the Roll fit together to make a coherent whole? If you look at the bottom of the last of the 4 pieces, the paper edge is perfectly straight, unlike the other top and bottom edges which are a little ragged for having been cut. The smooth uncut edge at the bottom of the Laurel Fragment suggests that what I've scanned is actually the entire document with no missing text! There are two logical explanations for this: 1) the fealty oath and the Order of the Rose texts were on separate documents; or 2) that fealty oaths and the creation of the Order of the Rose were not done at this event, but at some other event. Duke Siegfried favors the latter, but also says he can't remember all the specifics of what happened at the event.
Mistress Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin once told me that the traditional West Kingdom fealty oath didn't need to be written down, since it was almost word for word the oath that Pippin swore to Denethor - so all you needed there was your copy of the _Return of the King_ in order to swear your oath. I've never had much problem with this explanation, since to the this day, the West Kingdom fealty oath sworn by individual peers is still straight out of Tolkien, though with some minor changes. I do find it interesting that the Knighting Roll, which served as the official ceremony text until the time that the West shifted to using a ceremony book, also lacks the text for a fealty oath, though it at least mentions where fealty is sworn in the course of the ceremony.
At some point, the 12th Night Roll was retired from being used as the ceremony script for laurels, dukes and knights. In the case of the knights, some one calligraphed the Knighting Roll to replace the 12th Night Roll as the ceremony script. My scan of the Knighting Roll follows the scan of the 12th Night Roll below. I do not have any sort of date for the Knighting Roll, though I suspect that is was made within a year or two of the 12th Night Roll.
Concerning 12th night, AS 2:
This event was the second 12th Night held in the Society. My 2002 TI article on scrolls is incorrect in asserting that 12th Night AS 2 was the first such celebration, though this is what I believed when I wrote my article. 12th Night AS 2, however, was the first 12th Night where there was a king to preside over it and hold court. People forget, and many probably don't even know, that the institution of Kings and Queens as we know them today did not exist during AS 1, when there was a panel of three "Autocrats" who presided over the earliest events. As far as I can tell, there was no reigning king and queen presiding at the first 12th Night.
The Images of the 12th Night Roll (AS 2)
Though the 12th Night Roll is cut up into four pieces, each of these is still quite long lengthwise. What this means is that each of the four fragments required several scans. Each scan is labeled by whichever fragment it came from, and is numbered sequentially from top to bottom. There is usually some overlapping of the text from one scan to the next. There are also what appear to be blotches in places on the 12th Night Roll. These are stains on the other side of the paper which look like they have bled through on to the text, but this is an illusion caused by the very strong light in my scanner. It doesn't help that the paper is translucent. In normal light, most of these blotches are light brown in color and are much fainter than the scans suggest.
The 12th Night Roll: Intro Fragment, scan 1. On the back side of the first fragment, at the very top edge, are the remains of a gold-colored paper adhesive seal.
The 12th Night Roll: Intro Fragment, scan 2
The 12th Night Roll: Intro Fragment, scan 3
The 12th Night Roll: Intro Fragment, scan 4
The 12th Night Roll: Intro Fragment, scan 5
Here the scissor-cut bottom of the Intro Fragment scan 5 matches the scissor-cut top of the Knighting Fragment scan 1. The scans clipped one or both of these edges so it is not possible to see the edges match up in the images shown here.
The 12th Night Roll: Knighting Fragment, scan 1
The 12th Night Roll: Knighting Fragment, scan 2
Here the scissor-cut bottom of the Knighting Fragment scan 2 matches the scissor-cut top of the Ducal Fragment scan 1. The scans clipped one or both of these edges so it is not possible to see the edges match up in the images shown here.
The 12th Night Roll: Ducal Fragment, scan 1
The 12th Night Roll: Ducal Fragment, scan 2
The 12th Night Roll: Ducal Fragment, scan 3
Here the scissor-cut bottom of the Ducal Fragment scan 3 matches the scissor-cut top of the Laurel Fragment scan 1. The scans clipped one or both of these edges so it is not possible to see the edges match up in the images shown here.
The 12th Night Roll: Laurel Fragment, scan 1
The 12th Night Roll: Laurel Fragment, scan 2
The 12th Night Roll: Laurel Fragment, scan 3
The Images of the Knighting Roll
Unlike the 12th Night Roll, the Knighting Roll is still in one piece.
The Knighting Roll scan 1
The Knighting Roll scan 2
The Knighting Roll scan 3
The Knighting Roll scan 4
The Knighting Roll scan 5
The Knighting Roll scan 6
The Knighting Roll scan 7
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