How to Create an Order of Precedence
by Baron Modar Neznanich, Volk Herald
 

What is an Order of Precedence?

An Order of Precedence (O.P.) is a listing of individuals and the awards they have received.

What is the purpose of an Order of Precedence?

An O.P. is a tool that can be used to establish the correct March of Precedence for ceremonies (such as calling forth the entrants in Crown Tourney and other pageantries), to help folks determine who to write an award recommendation for (by being able to find what awards someone does and does not have) and help the kingdom keep their recordkeeping in order (by having the award data available for individuals to validate). 

How does someone create an Order of Precedence?

There is no one “true way” to create an O.P.  When starting to create an O.P. for a group, household, etc. there are several factors to consider: 

I.              Method of display
            II.            Information to include
            III.           Date format to use
            IV.           Use of abbreviations

I. Method of Display

This is how you want the information in the precedence to look.  There are different means of doing this, but there are three basic styles:
A) Alphabetical Order, B) Rank Order and C) Award Listing Order.

A.  Alphabetical Order

This format lists individuals in alphabetical order of their SCA name. The advantage of this style of listing is that it easy to determine where a person should be placed in the listing. It also provides a resource for quickly determining whether a gentle in your group has received and award lately. A couple of examples for doing an alphabetical listing follow. NOTE: All names used are fictitious.

Example 1:

Anne of Green Gables (Anne Smith) Torse (04/11/2002); Award of Arms (07/01/1999)
Beatrice Delbimbo (Sharon Williams) Torse (08/12/1998); Award of Arms (12/12/1996)
Colyne MacLean (Ralph Johnson) Leather Mallet (08/14/1997); Award of Arms (02/16/1995)
David the Scout (Donald Drake) Golden Calon Swan (10/13/2003); Award of Arms (11/26/1997)
Edward Longridge (James Jackson) Chivalry (05/22/2001); Iren-Hirth (10/14/1997); Torse (05/18/1997); Iren-Fyrd (10/12/1996); Boga-Fyrd (04/11/1994); Award of Arms (05/12/1992)
Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight) Golden Calon Swan (01/01/2002); Cross of Calontir (03/03/2001); Iren-Hirth (02/10/01); Iren-Fyrd (05/21/2000); Silver Hammer (07/17/1997); Leather Mallet (08/11/1997); Torse (10/10/1995); Award of Arms (03/28/1988)
Stephen Whitebridge (Stan Jones) Chivalry (04/20/2001); Iren-Hirth (1/12/1998); Iren-Fyrd (10/19/1996); Award of Arms (09/01/1992)

Example 2:

Anne of Green Gables (Anne Smith)
        Torse                                              (04/11/2002)
        Award of Arms                               (07/01/1999)

Beatrice Delbimbo (Sharon Williams)
        Torse                                             (08/12/1998)
        Award of Arms                               (12/12/1996)

Colyne MacLean (Ralph Johnson)
        Leather Mallet                                (08/14/1997)
        Award of Arms                              (02/16/1995)

David the Scout (Donald Drake)
        Golden Calon Swan                       (10/13/2003)
        Award of Arms                              (11/26/1997)

Edward Longridge (James Jackson)
        Chivalry                                        (05/22/2001)
        Iren-Hirth                                     (10/14/1997)
        Torse                                           (05/18/1997)
        Iren-Fyrd                                     (10/12/1996)
        Boga-Fyrd                                   (04/11/1994)
        Award of Arms                            (05/12/1992)

Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight)
        Golden Calon Swan                     (01/01/2002)
        Cross of Calontir                          (03/03/2001)
        Iren-Hirth                                     (02/10/2001)
        Iren-Fyrd                                     (05/21/2000)
        Silver Hammer                             (07/17/1997)
        Leather Mallet                              (08/11/1997)
        Torse                                           (10/10/1995)
        Award of Arms                            (03/28/1988)

Stephen Whitebridge (Stan Jones)
        Chivalry                                       (04/20/2001)
        Iren-Hirth                                     (01/12/1998)
        Iren-Fyrd                                     (10/19/1996)
        Award of Arms                            (09/01/1992)

 

B.  Rank Order

This format is what most people think of when the term Order of Precedence is discussed. It lists individuals according to their highest award and the date upon which it was given. Considered by many to be the most historical form of precedence listing, its advantage is that you can quickly identify those members of your group who have received the highest recognition.

The basic formula for rank order lists are:

    1. Each person is listed according to the highest award they have received.
    2. If more than one person has received the same award, list the gentle who received it at the earliest date, first.
    3. If several people received the same award on the same day, list them alphabetically within the same ranking. (Not by who was called
        into court first.)
    4. Two (or more) of the same level award do NOT rank someone above anyone else of that same level with only one award. They are
        listed where the date of the first award of that level places them.

 A couple of examples for doing a rank listing follow. NOTE: All names used are fictitious.

 Example 1:

Stephen Whitebridge (Stan Jones) Chivalry (04/20/2001); Iren-Hirth (1/12/1998); Iren-Fyrd (10/19/1996); Award of Arms (09/01/1992)
Edward Longridge (James Jackson) Chivalry (05/22/2001); Iren-Hirth (10/14/1997); Torse (05/18/1997); Iren-Fyrd (10/12/1996); Boga-Fyrd (04/11/1994); Award of Arms (05/12/1992)
Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight) Golden Calon Swan (01/01/2002); Cross of Calontir (03/03/2001); Iren-Hirth (02/10/01); Iren-Fyrd (05/21/2000); Silver Hammer (07/17/1997); Leather Mallet (08/11/1997); Torse (10/10/1995); Award of Arms (03/28/1988)
Colyne MacLean (Ralph Johnson) Leather Mallet (08/14/1997); Award of Arms (02/16/1995)
Beatrice Delbimbo (Sharon Williams) Torse (08/12/1998); Award of Arms (12/12/1996)
Anne of Green Gables (Anne Smith) Torse (04/11/2002); Award of Arms (07/01/1999)
David the Scout (Donald Drake) Golden Calon Swan (10/13/2003); Award of Arms (11/26/1997)

Example 2:

Stephen Whitebridge (Stan Jones)
        Chivalry                                       (04/20/2001)
        Iren-Hirth                                     (01/12/1998)
        Iren-Fyrd                                     (10/19/1996)
        Award of Arms                            (09/01/1992)

Edward Longridge (James Jackson)
        Chivalry                                        (05/22/2001)
        Iren-Hirth                                     (10/14/1997)
        Torse                                           (05/18/1997)
        Iren-Fyrd                                     (10/12/1996)
        Boga-Fyrd                                   (04/11/1994)
        Award of Arms                            (05/12/1992)

Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight)
        Golden Calon Swan                     (01/01/2002)
        Cross of Calontir                          (03/03/2001)
        Iren-Hirth                                     (02/10/2001)
        Iren-Fyrd                                     (05/21/2000)
        Silver Hammer                             (07/17/1997)
        Leather Mallet                              (08/11/1997)
        Torse                                           (10/10/1995)
        Award of Arms                            (03/28/1988)

Colyne MacLean (Ralph Johnson)
        Leather Mallet                                (08/14/1997)
        Award of Arms                              (02/16/1995)

Beatrice Delbimbo (Sharon Williams)
        Torse                                             (08/12/1998)
        Award of Arms                               (12/12/1996)

Anne of Green Gables (Anne Smith)
        Torse                                              (04/11/2002)
        Award of Arms                               (07/01/1999)

David the Scout (Donald Drake)
        Golden Calon Swan                       (10/13/2003)
        Award of Arms                              (11/26/1997)

In the examples above, Sir Stephen was knighted before Sir Edward, so Sir Stephen has higher precedence than Sir Edward,
even though Sir Edward has more awards than Sir Stephan. Award level takes precedence over number of awards.

 

C.  Award Listing Order

This format lists the awards by name in order of the awards rank/level. Underneath each award name, the recipients are listed.  The advantages of this method are that you can put in a brief explanation of what each award is given for and it is easy to determine who the members of a particular award order are.

Under each award, the recipients may be listed either alphabetically or in order of the date they received the award. A couple of examples for doing an award order listing follow. NOTE: All names used are fictitious.

Example 1:

Order of the Torse     [Given for service to group, office or kingdom]

Anne of Green Gables (Anne Smith)                 04/11/2002
Beatrice Delbimbo (Sharon Williams)               08/12/1998
Edward Longridge (James Jackson)                 05/18/1997
Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight)               10/10/1995

Example 2:

Order of the Torse     [Given for service to group, office or kingdom]

Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight)               10/10/1995
Edward Longridge (James Jackson)                 05/18/1997
Beatrice Delbimbo (Sharon Williams)               08/12/1998
Anne of Green Gables (Anne Smith)                 04/11/2002


When a listing is put together in a format that first notes the names of award recipients then the award titles (such as the Alphabetical Order does), this is generally called a "Who's Who". Some places also refer to this as "Awards by Recipient Name". Some places consider this a type of OP and some places do not, viewing it only as a "Grand List of the Populace".

When a listing is put together in a format that lists the individuals in order of highest awards to lowest awards (such as the Rank Order does), it is considered a "pure OP"  because at a glance you know who has the greatest precedence, then who follows whom.  This is the only format that all places consider to be a true OP.

When a listing is put together in a format that first notes the awards then places the recipient names under that award (such as the Award Listing Order does), it is generally referred to as a "Book of Lists". Some places also refer to this as "Recipients by Award Name". Technically this is not a "true OP" because it is not providing the complete award and rank rating of the individuals but merely the lineage of a particular award.  

 

II. Information to include

What info you wish to include in your Order of Precedence will depend on what you wish to use the O.P. for, how compact space-wise you need to have the O.P. and local custom. The most basic precedence information consists of the person's SCA name, awards they have received and the date of the award. After that, it’s up to you. However, the more info that is provided, the more uses the O.P. can have. Some additional information to consider including:

A.  Modern name. This creates a cross-reference that can help keep any confusion between gentles clear, particularly if the Kingdom
        Office receives information on different gentles who might accidentally be using the same name.
        i.e. Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight)

B.  Titles such as Lord, Lady, His Lordship, Baron, etc.  However, if you do include titles, do NOT list titles in front of names when
      making an O.P. This makes it more difficult to quickly scan a listing. If you want to include titles, put them on a separate line or
      following the name.
      i.e. Giles of Blackwater, His Lordship (Thomas Knight)

C.  Reason the person received the award (service, leatherwork, archery, etc).  This helps to locate folks with similar interests.
      i.e. Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight)
                  Golden Calon Swan (01/01/2002) <for Calligraphy>

D.  Former SCA names. This can keep confusion from happening over whether a gentle has an award or not.
      i.e. Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight) <formerly Ed the Unruly>

E.   Blazon of registered heraldic device. This is helpful for folks who want to “do something heraldic” for a friend and need a source for
       what their heraldry is. It can possibly also help determine who may need heraldic assistance.
       i.e. Giles of Blackwater (Thomas Knight)
                  Golden Calon Swan             (01/01/2002)
                  Award of Arms                    (03/28/1988)
                  Heraldic Device:                   Argent, in pale three swords bendwise gules.

If you added everything, an entry in the listing might look something like:

      Giles of Blackwater, His Lordship (Thomas Knight) <formerly Ed the Unruly>
                Golden Calon Swan                 (01/01/2002)           <for calligraphy>
                Cross of Calontir                      (03/03/2001)           <for extended service>
                Iren-Hirth                                 (02/10/2001)           <for leadership at wars>
                Iren-Fyrd                                 (05/21/2000)           <for fighting skill>
                Silver Hammer                         (07/17/1997)           <for skill in cooking>
                Leather Mallet                          (08/11/1997)           <for promise in cooking>
                Torse                                       (10/10/1995)           <for continued service>
                Award of Arms                        (03/28/1988)           <for service to group>
                Heraldic Device:                       Argent, in pale three swords bendwise gules.

 

III. Date format to use

There are different manners in which the dates used in an O.P. may be displayed. Dates may be numeric in various formats including: month/day/2-digit year, month/day/4-digit year, 4-digit year/month/day, etc. or alphanumeric with the month spelled out. Some prefer to list the date first then the award (to make easier sorting by date), others like to list the award first, then the date.  It really doesn’t matter which style is used, so long as it is used consistently throughout the O.P.  

IV. Use of abbreviations

Some prefer to spell out the award names in an O.P. Others prefer to abbreviate the names to save space. (But if you do use abbreviations, put a record of what the abbreviations stand for at the beginning of your listing.) Either way is fine; merely stay consistent throughout the O.P.  The abbreviations for Calontir awards are:

Armigerous Awards                                                  Abbreviation

Counts/Countess                                                          County
Court Baron/Court Baroness                                        No abbreviation
Duke/Duchess                                                              Duchy
Order of the Boga-Fyrd                                                Boga-Fyrd
Order of the Boga-Hirth                                                Boga-Hirth
Order of the Calon Lily                                                 OCL
Order of the Chivalry – Knight                                      KSCA
Order of the Chivalry – Master of Arms                        MSCA
Order of the Cross of Calontir                                      OCC
Order of the Golden Calon Swan                                  OGCS
Order of the Iren-Fyrd                                                  Iren-Fyrd
Order of the Iren-Hirth                                                  Iren-Hirth
Order of the Laurel                                                        Laurel
Order of the Leather Mallet                                           OLM
Order of the Pelican                                                      Pelican
Order of the Rose                                                         Rose
Order of the Silver Hammer                                          OSH
Order of the Torse                                                        OT
Simple Awards of Arms                                                AoA
Simple Grants of Arms                                                  GoA
Territorial Baron/Territorial Baroness                             No abbreviation
Viscount/Viscountess                                                     Viscounty

Non-Armigerous Awards                                            Abbreviation

Augmentation of Arms                                                   Augmentation
Order of the Keeper of the Flame                                  Keeper of the Flame
Order of the Queen's Chalice                                         OQC                                                      
Order of the Sword of Calontir                                      OSC

The following recognitions convey no position in the Order of Precedence, but should be recorded:

King’s Favor                                                                 No abbreviation
Queen's Endorsement of Distinction                               Q.E.D.
Thegns of Calontir (former)                                            Thegn (King or Queen's last name)

 

Listing Order

Who goes where?  While you should list all the awards an individual has (even the non-armigerous ones), you still need to determine where those awards put the people in the listing. Following is the ranking of the armigerous awards that determine where an individual is placed, based on the date of receiving the award. The awards listed in each line are equal to the others on that line.

Duke / Duchess                                                                                                                                                   
Counts / Countess / Order of the Rose
Viscount / Viscountess                                                      
Knight / Master of Arms / Laurel / Pelican
Territorial Baron / Territorial Baroness
Boga-Hirth / Calon Lily / Cross of Calontir / Iren-Hirth / Silver Hammer / Foreign GoA-bearing Awards
Simple Grants of Arms                                                                       
Court Baron / Court Baroness                                                                                                          
Boga-Fyrd / Golden Calon Swan / Iren-Fyrd / Leather Mallet / Torse / Foreign AoA-bearing Awards
Simple Awards of Arms    
 

Foreign Awards

This refers to awards individuals have received from kingdoms other than your own. How such awards are handled can vary from kingdom to kingdom. In Calontir, the method for inclusion of foreign awards is to place them in the award listing by date received, just as if they were Calontir awards.
 

Who to List

A precedence list is used to keep track of members and to recognize the accomplishments of those who have contributed to your group. It is normally recommended that you list everyone currently active in your group, even if they haven't received an SCA award yet. Some people suggest that you also include everyone who has ever resided in the group, even if they no longer live there. However, more common convention is to keep two Order of Precedent lists; one that is the group's Current Order of Precedent and one that is the group's Historical Order of Precedence. The Current O.P. lists just the individuals currently active in your group. This one will get the most use, as you will use it for helping determine who needs to have award recs written for, to plan any March of Precedence your group wants to do, etc. The Historical O.P. should have a listing for everyone who has been an active part of your group at some point. If you want, you can use symbols or notes in this historical listing to signify if a person has moved out of your group, stopped playing in the SCA or is deceased. An example of how these entries might be done is:

Cecily MacFarlane (Sally Johnson) [now plays in Barony of Seven Wonders]
        Leather Mallet                                (08/14/1997)
        Award of Arms                              (02/16/1995)

John de Loch (John Williams) [moved, status unknown]
        Torse                                             (08/12/1998)
        Award of Arms                               (12/12/1996)

Anne of Westmoreland (Anne Jones) [deceased]
        Torse                                              (04/11/2002)
        Award of Arms                               (07/01/1999)

Raymond the Tall (Ronald Smith) [moved, now in Kingdom of Ansteorra]
        Award of Arms                               (06/01/2003)

 

Getting Award Information

When you are ready to start creating your group’s Order of Precedence, first check to see if your kingdom has an on-line version of an O.P.  If so, start by copying from there the information on your members.  If there is not an on-line O.P., or if you do not have access to it, start instead by creating a list of all the members of your group, then put in what information you know. This is your working copy of the O.P.  Take it to your members, asking them to update their entries. Once this is done, you should have an up-to-date Order of Precedence.  Currently the Calontir Order of Precedence is on-line at:  http://calontir.sca.org/herald/op/index.html 
 

Updating

One thing you have to be aware of, almost as soon as you complete your O.P. it will be out of date. Things are constantly changing. Gentles change their SCA name or get an award. Folks are joining or leaving the SCA. All sorts of changes occur, so you will need to constantly update the O.P. to keep the information accurate. If you are the “Keeper of the O.P.” for your group but you are not the local herald, please be sure they get a copy of the O.P. when it is updated. 

If your kingdom has an on-line version of the Kingdom Order of Precedence, be sure to regularly check your own group O.P. against the kingdom O.P. to see if there are any discrepancies.  If some are found, please report the information to the Kingdom Clerk of the Precedence.

 



2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Ron "Modar" Knight
Baron Modar Neznanich, OPel
e-mail:
modar@everestkc.net

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