Officer Roles

Officer Roles

Sometimes the SCA can be a confusing place for newcomers. Even veterans and other officers don’t necessarily know everything about what the officers of the Barony do. This page gives information as to the roles of each of the Barony’s officers as well as links to the Kingdom level offices and historical notes related to the offices.

At the Kingdom level, ten offices are “Great Officers of State” (GOofS): Seneschal, Herald, Marshal, Minister of the Lists, Exchequer, Chronicler, Minister of Arts and Sciences, Chirurgeon, Webminister, and Chatelain.

Table of Contents

Baron and Baroness

The Baron and Baroness are Their Royal Majesties’ governors of the Barony of Lochmere.

Did you know…? The first proprietors of the Maryland colony, George and Cecilius Calvert, were barons. George Calvert was the First Baron Baltimore; his son Cecilius Calvert was the Second Baron Baltimore and first governor of Maryland. The title came from Baltimore Manor in County Longford, Ireland (part of the modern Republic of Ireland). The title of Baron Baltimore reverted to the crown in 1771 when Frederick Calvert, the Sixth Baron Baltimore, died without a legitimate heir.

—Top—

Seneschal

The Seneschal acts as “prime minister” and legal representative for the Barony.

“The seneschal is the chief administrative officer of an SCA recognized branch, whose primary responsibility is the smooth operation of the branch. The seneschal typically runs the local meetings, and administers the operation of the branch, reporting on branch activities as required to the other officers of the kingdom. More simply, they become the branch’s representative to the outside world, both modern and SCA.”

—from the Kingdom of Atlantia Seneschal’s website.

—Top—

Exchequer

The Exchequer—short for Chancellor of the Exchequer—is the treasurer of the Barony.

“The Society has a system of financial reporting in which all parts of the organization participate. The person in charge of financial reporting for any part of the Society is known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is a period term for Treasurer.”

—from the SCA Chancellor of the Exchequer Branch Officer‘s Reference Handbook October 2007 available via the Kingdom of Atlantia Exchequer’s website.

Did you know…? While the statement from the Reference Handbook above may lead one to conclude this title is obsolete in modern days, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is a currently existing office in the government of the United Kingdom. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is one of the four Great Offices of State and the second most important position in Her Majesty’s government after the Prime Minister. The position dates back to the 12th Century.

—Top—

Chronicler

The Chronicler is the editor of the branch newsletter. In the Barony of Lochmere, this is called The Dredgings.

The job of a chronicler is enormously satisfying. Although it involves a recurring monthly task of preparing the Barony of Lochmere’s newsletter, each month I have the satisfaction of seeing that work come to life.

It requires the individual in the position be warranted and familiar with policies. It also involves publishing the Business Meeting minutes, and, as mentioned above, production of a monthly newsletter. This newsletter must contain required information, and importantly, accurate, relevant information.

The Dredgings is the best way for Baronial Officers to communicate with the populace. As often as possible I plan to include not only administrative matters, but day-to-day information such as classes, schedule of fighter practice, A&S night, Newcomers gatherings, etc. I hope The Dredgings will be informative and, along with the Business Meeting minutes inform those who cannot attend the meetings.

—Baroness Medb ingen Brain, “Chronicler,” The Dredgings 20:6 (June 2010).

For more information on the Chronicler office, see the Kingdom of Atlantia Chronicler’s website.

Did you know…? The office of Chronicler is one of the oldest verifiable positions represented by the society. Records of official chronicles of kings and other rulers date back into the Fourth Millennium BCE!

—Top—

Minister of Arts & Sciences

The Minister of Arts & Sciences is the point person for getting people involved in the Arts & Sciences. She does not know everything about every art and science, but she knows the people who do.

The MoAS is the officer responsible for encouraging and organizing Arts and Sciences activities within the Barony. This includes:

  • Collaborating with Autocrats to organize Arts and Sciences competitions, displays, and classes at local events
  • Encouraging artisans to conduct classes and workshops on various arts and sciences topics throughout the year
  • Encouraging members of the Barony to learn and document new skills
  • Referring novice artisans to those with expertise in their area of interest who can help them learn
  • Recommending artisans for recognition to the Baron and Baroness, polling orders, or the King and Queen as appropriate
  • Collaborating with other officers such as the Chatelain, Herald, and the Baron and Baroness, etc., on incorporating Arts and Sciences with their respective areas of responsibility, e.g. tailoring Arts and Sciences classes specifically to newcomers, organizing classes to encourage heraldic displays at events, incorporating the ideas and wishes of the Baron and Baroness in arts and science activities both at events and throughout the year, etc.
  • Submitting quarterly reports and event reports to the Kingdom Minister of Arts and Sciences, and maintaining Baronial Arts and Science files and,
  • Soliciting and training deputies in the practices of the local office to serve the populace and ensure a smooth transition when it is time for the office to change hands.

As with the other officers, the MoAS reports directly to their counterpart at the Kingdom level, the Minister of Arts and Sciences for the Kingdom of Atlantia.

—Mistress Arianna Morgan, MP, “Roles and Responsibilities of the Minister of Arts and Sciences (MoAS),” The Dredgings 20:7 (July 2010).

For more information on the Ministry of Arts & Sciences, see the Kingdom of Atlantia Minister of Arts & Sciences website.

Did you know…? Arts and sciences are both ancient traditions. According to Judeo-Christian beliefs, the first artisan and the first artist both date to the 8th generation. The oldest surviving poem is The Epic of Gilgamesh dating to the Third Millennium BCE.

—Top—

Chatelain

The Chatelain is the officer who helps new members learn about the Society.

A Chatelain (feminine), or Chatelain/Castellan (masculine), is the officer responsible for:

  • Recruiting new members;
  • Acting as a central point of contact for newcomers;
  • Educating new members on the culture and traditions of the SCA, the Kingdom of Atlantia, and the local Chapter; and,
  • Assisting newcomers to assimilate into the SCA and their local groups.

Other Kingdoms sometimes refer to this office by the title of Hospitaller or Gold Key.

—from the Atlantian Chatelains Handbook available at the Kingdom of Atlantia Chatelain’s website.

Did you know…? The office of Chatelain reflects the English role of castellan, an individual who served as majordomo of a castle. In modern times, the spouse of the Governor General of Canada (a.k.a. the Viceregal Consort) is known as the Chatelaine of Rideau Hall, and oversees the planning of ceremonies and other state functions at either of the residences of the Governor General.

—Top—

Herald

The Herald is the officer in charge of heraldry in the Barony of Lochmere. Heralds are the individuals who help participants come up with SCA names and armory, makes announcements on the field, act as the voice of the coronets (or crown) in court, educate the populace on matters of heraldry, and maintain the Order of Precedence.

It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun.

In Atlantia, all warranted heralds are members of the College of Heralds and possess a rank and possibly a title if they hold a specific office. The title Partan Herald is the specific special title for Lochmere’s herald, coming from the Scottish Gaelic word for crab. It may be awarded by the Triton Herald in consultation with the Baron and Baroness for excellent service in the office.

Beginning heralds hold the rank of Cornet. Heralds with a basic knowledge of each of the fields of heraldry (education, submissions, ceremony, voice) are called Pursuivants Extraordinary. Heralds who have made special progress in one or more chosen area of study are Pursuivants. Finally those who have mastered all areas of heraldry hold the rank of Herald.

For more information on the College of Heralds, visit the Atlantian College of Heralds website.

Did you know…? The Maryland state flag and the reverse of the Great Seal retain the heraldic arms of the Calverts, including the use of an Earl’s coronet on the Great Seal. Lord Baltimore used an Earl’s coronet in his arms because Maryland was established as a county palatine—Lord Baltimore had authority nearly on par with the sovereign of an independent state.

—Top—

Minister of the Lists

The Minister of the Lists is the officer in charge of keeping track of the paperwork necessary to run tournaments.

A Minister of the List (MoL) is someone who helps organize, complete, and maintain the paperwork needed to track fighters’ authorizations and run combat scenarios at events. They are the people sitting at the table on the side of the list field signing in combatants, checking authorization cards, recording authorizations, and filling out all those lovely forms necessary to keep fighting in Atlantia running smoothly.

—from the Kingdom of Atlantia Minister of the Lists website.

Did you know…? The term “lists” is short for “list field,” a term originating with jousting tournaments. The first recorded jousting tournament took place in 1066 or 1067, organized by Geoffrey I (Godfrey I), Lord of Preuilly…who did not survive the tournament. Jousting has been the state individual sport of Maryland since 1962 (Chapter 134, Acts of 1962; Code State Government Article, sec. 13-308).

—Top—

Chirurgeon

The Chirurgeon (ky-UR-jun) is the officer in charge of first aid at events.

Chirurgeons are first aid certified individuals within the Society for Creative Anachronism. These individuals volunteer their time and services in order to promote and maintain continuing health and safety in all SCA activities.

—from the website of the Atlantian Chirurgeonate.

Did you know…? MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, was founded in 1799 as the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of the State of Maryland. Although the name was officially changed in 1999, the facility on Main Street, Annapolis, still has the old form on their shingle.

—Top—

The Marshallate

Marshals are specially trained persons who oversee combat activities for safety purposes. The Knight Marshal is the officer responsible to the Kingdom Earl Marshal. In Lochmere, the Knight Marshal oversees heavy weapons and armored combat. The Rapier Marshal oversees rapier fighting. The Archer Marshal oversees target archery.

For more information on the various marshallates, visit the website of the Earl Marshal of Atlantia.

Did you know…? The role of Lord Marshal and later Earl Marshal originated in the Twelfth Century in England as one of the officials in charge of the king’s horses and stables. Today, the Earl Marshal is the head of (although not a part of) the College of Arms, equivalent in Atlantia to the College of Heralds.

—Top—

Webminister

The Webminister is the master of all you survey…on the website. More specifically, according to Society policy, the Webminister is responsible for all official electronic communications of a branch. The Webminister’s responsibilities include the following:

  • Content – The stuff you see, including both text and images
  • Organization – The display of that content
  • Accessibility – Ensuring that users of all types of browsers—including screen readers for the visually impaired—are able to access the content
  • Security – Keeping the bad people out of the content
  • Maintenance – Updating the content, the software that runs the pages, and the code that keeps the content in compliance with accessibility and other web standards

Ideally, the role of Webminister is best handled by a team of people with differing skillsets and one team lead.

For more information on the Webministry, see the website of the Kingdom of Atlantia Webminister.

Did you know…? The internet is a great way to learn about the SCA.

—Top—

Minister of Minors

The Minister of Minors is in charge of youth activities at events.

The Kingdom of Atlantia’s Youth Activities Program is a resource for parents, our youth and those who are involved with our youth that encourages the education of our youth about the SCA, Medieval and Renaissance history; and create opportunities for the participation of our youth in age appropriate activities. We want to help our youth and their parents in being active and vital members of the SCA. The Youth Activities Program also assists Autocrats, their volunteers and parents in providing and/or organizing classes, activities, and other opportunities for our youth to become more involved with the SCA.

—from the Atlantian Chancellor of Youth Activities website.

—Top—

Champions and Notables

Champions are those Their Excellencies task with championing their particular field.

—Top—

Leave a Reply