What Does the Brigantia Herald Do?

On April 25, 2020, as part of the East Kingdom Officer Schola online event, Master Malcolm Bowman led a session reviewing the role of two kingdom-level heraldic positions he holds, including that of Brigantia Herald.

I am attaching my notes from this session below in hopes that they might be of interest to other members of the community, but please be aware that this is not an official transcript and may contain errors or omit relevant details.

The Brigantia Herald has overall responsibility for all heraldic activity in the kingdom, including courts, events, and submissions.

Malcolm has been a court herald for twenty years, but only had a year and a half of involvement as a kingdom officer before taking the role of Brigantia.

He has held the office of Brigantia Herald for three and a half years, and will continue in that position through the end of this year.

Brigantia serves for an initial two-year term, followed by two optional one-year extensions. Generally people stay for all four years, which is why there have only been eighteen people in this office so far.

Brigantia’s core activities are administrative: appointing the other heraldic officers and deputies of the kingdom, collecting and assembling their reports, and making sure they’re all properly fulfilling their responsibilities.

Deputies include:

  • Five Regional Deputies, who supervise the individual branch heralds.
  • Blue Tyger Herald and their deputies (Mural, Diademe, Mosaic, Pantheon) who handle name and armory submissions; this is a big team and the process is time consuming, because the rules are complicated and lots of things need to be checked.
  • Shepherd’s Crook Herald, who maintains the Order of Precedence with the list of titles and awards; we put less emphasis on this here in the East than some other kingdoms do, but it’s still important as it helps you identify who’s eligible for which awards.
  • Various specialized deputies, like Elmet (education), Silent (ASL), etc.
  • Dextrochere Herald is Brigantia’s emergency deputy; this position is also a good spot for an understudy who aims to succeed Brigantia when their term is up.

Brigantia is also responsible for a few specific events:

  • Oversees all coronations; Malcolm has often taken the lead in writing the ceremonies for these.
  • Must be present at crown tourney, and has the prerogative of calling the final round.
  • Handles opening and closing ceremonies at Pennsic every summer.

Brigantia also has the prerogative of reading a particular award scroll in royal court if they would so wish.

As a Kingdom officer, Brigantia also has a voice in Curia and can provide feedback on changes to kingdom law. Need to either attend these in person or send a deputy who has been briefed to represent you.

Audience Question: Have past Brigantia Heralds mostly come from the court-heraldry side rather than from book heraldry?

Yes, because in early years, Brigantia was always also responsible for acting as the royal court herald. However, we have since split that responsibility out to a separate deputy position of Eastern Crown Herald, and so they need not follow this pattern in the future.

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