Difference between revisions of "Fealty"

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==Historical Fealty==
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'''Fealty''' (as distinct from [[homage]]) is the formal swearing of [[oath]]s between a [[liege]] and a [[vassal]], in which both parties enumerate their duties and responsibilities.  It is the central pillar of [[feudalism]]. 
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[[Period]] fealty oaths are often complex, with explicit statements of duties, and which duties take priority in case fealty to multiple lords conflict.  A fine example of this is the acceptance of Theobald, [[Count]] of [[Champagne]] (linked  below) which specifically mentions his vassal's oaths  to [[Duke]] of [[Burgundy]] and Count of [[Auxerre]] as superseding the current oath.
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Fealty then, is a two-way street, a [[medieval]] contract exchanging [[fief-rent|goods]] or services, usually [[leal service|military service]] in exchange for protection.  Or, more accurately, the vassal usually promises military support in exchange for the lord's confirmation and support of him or her in their [[right]]s to their own lands and so on.
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==Fealty in the SCA==
 
Fealty in the [[SCA]] is an oath sworn by peers of the realm to the [[Crown]] and [[Kingdom]], represented by the person of the [[King]] and [[Queen]].  Often, Fealty may be sworn to other powers that be, such as a [[Prince]] or [[Princess]], or an [[apprentice]], [[squire]], or [[protege]] might swear fealty to their [[peer]].
 
Fealty in the [[SCA]] is an oath sworn by peers of the realm to the [[Crown]] and [[Kingdom]], represented by the person of the [[King]] and [[Queen]].  Often, Fealty may be sworn to other powers that be, such as a [[Prince]] or [[Princess]], or an [[apprentice]], [[squire]], or [[protege]] might swear fealty to their [[peer]].
  
In the [[SCA]], all [[Knight]]s are required to swear fealty to the [[Crown]]. Those who choose not to are still royal peers, but are called [[Masters at Arms]] instead. The other peers ([[Laurel]]s and [[Pelican]]s) are given the right to swear fealty if they choose, and will be called the same thing regardless of their choice.  
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In the [[SCA]], all [[Knight]]s are required to swear fealty to the [[Crown]]. [[Master of arms|Masters of Arms]] are also peers of the Order of the Chivalry who reserved the right to swear fealty.
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Generally, [[Territorial Nobility|Landed Barons and Baronesses]] must swear fealty since they hold lands  from the Crown.
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Fealty is sometimes indicated by the wearing of a plain chain of links either as a necklace, or a small linked chain under the peerage badge. In places where this is the custom, it is thus considered slightly out-of-place to wear such a plain chain if you are not a peer and have not sworn fealty.  Note that the customs surrounding the wearing of [[Chain of Fealty|chains of fealty]] is a subject to [[InterKingdom Anthropology]].
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It is also worth noting that ''anyone'' may swear fealty to the Crown (or to anyone for that matter), but public oaths are often limited to knights or peers simply to keep [[Court]] to a reasonable length.
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"Fealty" in the SCA is often more properly [[homage]]. A case could be made that without a [[fief]] there can be no fealty, and that therefore only [[Territorial Nobility]] including [[Prince]]s regnant can properly be said to be swearing fealty, and that others are swearing service or offering homage -- but that is neither here nor there.
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===Kingdom of Lochac===
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In the [[Kingdom of Lochac]], [[Kingdom]] [[Greater Officer]]s are required to swear fealty, whereas [[Kingdom]] [[Lesser Officer]]s are able to swear fealty should they choose. The [[laws]] of the [[Kingdom of Lochac]] prohibit fealty being required to any body lower than a [[Principality]], i.e. [[Baron]]s and [[Baroness]]es may not require that their subjects swear fealty.
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Copies of the oath: See the [[Lochac Ceremony Book]], which can be found at http://www.sca.org.au/herald/
  
In the [[Kingdom of Lochac]], [[Kingdom]] [[Greater Officer]]s are required to swear fealty, whereas [[Kingdom]] [[Lesser Officer]]s are able to swear fealty should they choose.
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===The Middle Kingdom===
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In the [[Kingdom of Middle]], landed [[Baron]]s and [[Prince]]s must swear fealty every reign in person to either the King or his appointed representative.  [[Greater Officer]]s, and [[Knight]]s may choose to swear fealty or not.
  
The [[laws]] of the [[Kingdom of Lochac]] prohibit fealty being required to any body lower than a [[Principality]], i.e. [[Baron]]s and [[Baroness]]es may not require that their subjects swear fealty.
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Copies of the oaths: See the kingdom's [[Laws]] at http://www.midrealm.org/seneschallorum/midrealmlaw.doc
  
The fealty oath in the [[Kingdom of Lochac]] may be found in the [[Lochac Ceremony Book]], which can in turn be found linked from http://www.sca.org.au/herald/
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==Other random notes on fealty==
  
Fealty is generally indicated by the wearing of a plain chain of links either as a necklace, or a small linked chain under their peerage badge. It is thus considered slightly out-of-place to wear such a plain chain if you are not a peer and have not sworn fealty.
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* Period fealty oaths: http://www.dragonbear.com/fealty.html
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* It is a [[Jew|Jewish]] tradition not to swear fealty under any circumstances, as this is prohibited by the [[Kol Nidre]].  Most [[Jew|Jewish]] peers in the [[SCA]] do not swear fealty for this reason.
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* Period text: [[Fitzherbert on Fealty]]
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* Period text: [[Fulbert on Fealty]]
  
Other random notes on fealty:
 
  
* It is a [[Jewish]] tradition not to swear fealty under any circumstances, as this is prohibited by the [[Kol Nidre]].  Most [[Jewish]] peers in the [[SCA]] do not swear fealty for this reason.
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[[Category:Feudalism]]

Latest revision as of 13:30, 18 July 2008

Historical Fealty

Fealty (as distinct from homage) is the formal swearing of oaths between a liege and a vassal, in which both parties enumerate their duties and responsibilities. It is the central pillar of feudalism.

Period fealty oaths are often complex, with explicit statements of duties, and which duties take priority in case fealty to multiple lords conflict. A fine example of this is the acceptance of Theobald, Count of Champagne (linked below) which specifically mentions his vassal's oaths to Duke of Burgundy and Count of Auxerre as superseding the current oath.

Fealty then, is a two-way street, a medieval contract exchanging goods or services, usually military service in exchange for protection. Or, more accurately, the vassal usually promises military support in exchange for the lord's confirmation and support of him or her in their rights to their own lands and so on.

Fealty in the SCA

Fealty in the SCA is an oath sworn by peers of the realm to the Crown and Kingdom, represented by the person of the King and Queen. Often, Fealty may be sworn to other powers that be, such as a Prince or Princess, or an apprentice, squire, or protege might swear fealty to their peer.

In the SCA, all Knights are required to swear fealty to the Crown. Masters of Arms are also peers of the Order of the Chivalry who reserved the right to swear fealty.

Generally, Landed Barons and Baronesses must swear fealty since they hold lands from the Crown.

Fealty is sometimes indicated by the wearing of a plain chain of links either as a necklace, or a small linked chain under the peerage badge. In places where this is the custom, it is thus considered slightly out-of-place to wear such a plain chain if you are not a peer and have not sworn fealty. Note that the customs surrounding the wearing of chains of fealty is a subject to InterKingdom Anthropology.

It is also worth noting that anyone may swear fealty to the Crown (or to anyone for that matter), but public oaths are often limited to knights or peers simply to keep Court to a reasonable length.

"Fealty" in the SCA is often more properly homage. A case could be made that without a fief there can be no fealty, and that therefore only Territorial Nobility including Princes regnant can properly be said to be swearing fealty, and that others are swearing service or offering homage -- but that is neither here nor there.

Kingdom of Lochac

In the Kingdom of Lochac, Kingdom Greater Officers are required to swear fealty, whereas Kingdom Lesser Officers are able to swear fealty should they choose. The laws of the Kingdom of Lochac prohibit fealty being required to any body lower than a Principality, i.e. Barons and Baronesses may not require that their subjects swear fealty.

Copies of the oath: See the Lochac Ceremony Book, which can be found at http://www.sca.org.au/herald/

The Middle Kingdom

In the Kingdom of Middle, landed Barons and Princes must swear fealty every reign in person to either the King or his appointed representative. Greater Officers, and Knights may choose to swear fealty or not.

Copies of the oaths: See the kingdom's Laws at http://www.midrealm.org/seneschallorum/midrealmlaw.doc

Other random notes on fealty