Society level award

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In the SCA a society level award is an award which is recognised throughout the known world. The three armigerous awards are all society level. These are the Award of Arms (AoA), Grant of Arms (GoA) and the Patent of Arms (Peerage).

The Patent of Arms is awarded with induction into one of:

In most Kingdoms, but not all, Royal Peers also receive Patents.

The term "Society Level Award" is a bit awkward, since it is inaccurate in two ways.

  1. They are, despite their names, technically Orders, since one can only receive them once, as opposed to awards which can be received multiple times. In fact, most SCA "awards" are actually memberships in orders.
  2. They are not awarded by the Society, they are simply recognized by the entire Society. They are awarded by Kings and/or Queens of individual Kingdoms. (AoA's may also be awarded by Landed Princes/Princessess.)

Many Kingdoms will tie a Kingdom level award to a Society award. This can be done with either AoAs or GoAs, Patents being reserved to the Peerages alone. Plain AoAs are fairly standard SCA wide, but how and when GoAs are awarded varies a lot from place to place (see InterKingdom Anthropology). In some places a plain "Grant of Arms" is seldom awarded, it is usually granted as part of a Kingdom award that is given for a more specific achievement; in some Kingdoms, GoAs are almost never awarded at all; and in some places naked GoAs are not unusual at all, often being given to folks like ex-Kingdom officers.

It is worth noting that not all Kingdoms have Kingdom Level Awards that carry GoAs, although I believe that all the Kingdoms have AoA level awards.

The William Blackfox Award might, in some ways, be considered a "Society Level Award" but it is not a "Society Level Award" as the term is usually used, since it is not bestowed by the Crown, does not carry membership in an Order and, in fact, has no real place in the medieval structure of the SCA.