Saturday, December 6, 2014

Laurel Ceremony for Jhone of Woodcote

Her Majesty: We have now a matter to attend to, concerning our most noble Order of the Laurel.

Herald: Their Majesties call upon the Order of the Laurel.

The Order enters [except for those who will be acting as Wardens, the beadle, or minstrels].

Her Majesty: We would call before us the prospective new companion.

Herald: Their Majesties summon Jhone of Woodcote, apprentice to Mistress Etaoin O'Fearghail of beloved memory.

Jhone enters, accompanied by other apprentices, protégées and students of Etaoin. [They may want to carry a banner depicting Etaoin’s device or other artifacts in her memory.]

His Majesty: Let now the weighing of merit begin.

Two members of the Order of the Laurel (acting as Wardens) shall enter, bearing with them a garland headdress made of laurel leaves and bearing the symbol of the Order of the Laurel. The garland is given to Her Majesty

Her Majesty: This garland represents the skill of the Masters and Mistresses of the Order of the Laurel, and should be placed upon the brows of those most worthy.

The garland is then passed among the members of the Order (starting with the Wardens, who will retire after donning it) who each don it in turn, until it is returned to Her Majesty, who places it upon her own head.

The Wardens then re-enter, bearing a chalice or cup. They are preceded by a Beadle and minstrels who will play a short piece of music. The cup is presented to Her Majesty. The minstrels and the beadle retire to the side.

Her Majesty: This cup symbolizes the fellowship of the Order. May all who drink from it prosper and thrive.

Her Majesty drinks, then passes the cup to the members of the Order. They all take a turn drinking from it, until it is finally returned to Her Majesty.

Her Majesty: Good Order, as you know we meet here today to recognize the talents of Jhone of Woodcote, an exceptional craftsperson. However, first we would hear from those who would speak on Jhone’s behalf.

[Each person Jhone may like to have speak can then do so.]

[Her Majesty will then speak about Etaoin, and remove Jhone’s green belt, placing it into Jhone’s keeping.]

Her Majesty: Jhone, before titles and tokens of esteem are placed upon you, we would hear your oath.

Their Majesties take hold of their sword. Jhone takes a knee before them, placing one hand on the sword of state.

Jhone: I, Jhone Woodcote, do solemnly and sincerely declare that I will be true unto our Sovereign Lady Queen Adrielle the Second and His Majesty Nigel the Second. I will be also true and faithful to the Mistery and Order of the Laurel as well as the Crown of Ealdormere, as much as in me is, keeping love and charity amongst them; Not stirring or moving any occasion of strife or debate, through which the said Mistery, Order, or Kingdom, or any person of the same, may be hindered or hurt. And that I will be in all things lawful; And all the lawful Rules, Statutes, Orders, Ordinances, made and ordained for the good ordering and governing of the same Order or Mistery or Kingdom, or hereafter to the same intent to be made, truly and duly I will remain, perform, obey and support to my power. So swear I.

[If Jhone is going to swear fealty we can add that here, unless it is adequately covered in the oath above.]

His Majesty: We have witnessed your commitment, as have your companions of the Order of the Laurel. Hear now Our words on the matter.

[The herald then reads Jhone’s scroll.]

Her Majesty: Stand now and be recognized forever after as a Mistress of your art.

Her Majesty hands Jhone the cup, and Jhone drinks.

Her Majesty: Receive now your livery, as marks of your new rank.

Her Majesty will then place the garland on Jhone’s head, and she can be given any other items of livery as required or wanted (medallion, cloak, etc).

Her Majesty: Now greet your fellow companions!

Jhone is then led away by her fellow Laurels. The minstrels could play again here if wanted. The beadle should also depart at this point.

Ceremony written by THLaird Colyne Stewart, based on Samuel Gregory’s notes (a member of the Clothworkers Company) on the 'Ancient Ceremony observed on the election of Master and Wardens' (CL/G/MSS/Gregory/3/61 pages 85-85a) and the voting method and oath of a Freeman of the Dyers’ Company (as described in private correspondence between the author and the Dyers).