The Bestowed Peerage of the SCA consists of the members of the Order of Chivalry, the Order of the Laurel,
the Order of Pelican and the Order of Defense. These awards are Society-wide, and are recognized throughout all the kingdoms.
In many kingdoms, the Order of the Rose is also a Peerage-level award, and it is likewise recognized across the kingdoms of the SCA. Roses are those who served their kingdom by ruling as Queen or Consort.
In each kingdom, the Crown consults with their kingdom's members of the Order before creating a new Peer.
The Order of Chivalry consists of the Knights and the Masters of Arms. Members are recognized for their great skill at arms in combat, as well as for qualities of courtesy and grace. Knights swear fealty to the Crown during the knighting ceremony. They are entitled to wear a white belt, and a gold chain as a symbol of their fealty. Knights are addressed as "Sir" (name), or for some female knights, "Dame" (name). Masters of Arms are equal in rank to knights. They may choose not to swear fealty, and wear a white baldric (diagonally from shoulder to hip). They are addressed as "Master" (name) or "Mistress" (name).
Members of the Order of the Laurel are recognized for their great skill in the Arts or Sciences, for their willingness to teach others, and for using their abilities to benefit their kingdom. They are addressed as "Master" (name) or "Mistress" (name). Their insignia is a laurel wreath, usually colored green on a gold background.
Members of the Order of the Pelican are recognized for great service to their kingdom or to the Society as a whole, usually for many years and without thought of reward. They are chosen by the Crown in consultation with the Order. They are addressed as "Master" (name) or "Mistress" (name). Their insignia is a "pelican in her piety," a pelican piercing her breast to feed her young with her own blood.
Members of the Order of Defense are recognized for their great skill at rapier and/or cut-and-thrust combat, as well as for qualities of courtesy and grace, for their willingness to teach others, and for service to the kingdom. They are addressed as "Master" (name) or "Mistress" (name), and are entitled to wear a white livery collar and to bear the badge: Three rapiers in pall inverted tips crossed.
Also see descriptions of Society-wide Peerage orders (Chivalry, Pelican, Laurel, Masters of Defense, Rose).
These articles were originally published in Tournaments Illuminated (the magazine of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.) between 1993 and 1997. The web versions are kept updated with awards created or modified since that time.
Please contact the author, Mistress Jessa d'Avondale, if you know of any awards that should be added, updated, or corrected.Permission is hereby given to SCA participants to reprint individual articles on SCA websites and publications, and for use in SCA classes. Author credit is appreciated!