The Corsairium Charter
Article I – Purpose
The Corsairium is a guild dedicated to the research, development and teaching of the nautical aspects of history and how it relates to the Society for Creative Anachronisms (SCA). As we are a guild operating within the confines of the SCA, we will keep our focus on the years prior to 1601ce, with our emphasis on all aspects of privateering within that period.
Article II – Membership
A letter of interest and intent to join the guild must be submitted to the current leadership, as it is outlined in Article IV of this charter. All interested parties must have a genuine interest in all aspects of life at sea, as it pertains to the years prior to 1601ce, primarily those areas concerning the life of a privateer. After receiving a letter of intent, the Command of the Corsairium will contact the applicant to have them fill out the appropriate membership forms and assist them in getting started in the guild. If a completely crewed ship is requesting membership into the guild, their letter of intent shall be accompanied by a draft of a Letter of Marque written in period form.
Article III – Administration
In addition to other ranks and positions within the guild, there are several positions of authority to assist with the administration and running of the guild. At the signing of this charter the position of Admiral and Two Commodore positions will be filled. As the guild continues to grow other positions may be added as needed.
Article IV – Rank and Structure
Rank in the guild shall be separated in three ways. The first will be rank gained within the guild as knowledge and skill increase. This shall be determined and evaluated by the leadership of the Corsairium. The second will be rank assigned by the Captains of their individual ships to his or her crew. The third ranking system covers the leadership of the guild.
a. Rank within the guild;
The guild ranking system of the Corsairium will be based on skill and knowledge. It will be signified by a black sash worn around the waist. Rank is gained as follows:
- Corsair 3rd Class – Signified by a Black Sash, the black sash shall be awarded to everyone who has had a letter of intent and request to join the Corsairium accepted.
- Corsair 2nd Class – Signified by the addition of a single silver Seax to the Black Sash. This shall be awarded for successful assessment on basic nautical terminology.
- Corsair 1st Class – Signified by the addition of a second silver Seax to the Black Sash. This shall be awarded for successful assessment of basic ship knowledge, to wit, one shall know the outline and basic statistics of ships of the period. For example the weight,draft, length, speed, gun, crew complement and cargo capacity.
- Corsair – Signified by a (badge awaiting heraldic approval) set above the crossed Seaxs on the Black Sash. This shall be awarded for prowess on the field or the equivalent support off the field by a non-fighting crew member.
b. Rank and Position on Each Ship;
Rank and position on each ship shall be assigned and regulated by the Captain of their own ship.
Article V - Leadership of the Corsairium
This is overall leader of the Corsairium. He or she will be responsible for final decision making and over all responsibility for the actions of the guild as a whole. Each Admiral shall be chosen by a majority vote of the Admirals who came before him or her.
The members of the guild can request in writing to the high council (the Admirals who have stepped down in the past) that an Admiral be removed from their position of leadership. Specific reasons for the replacement of an Admiral must be stated in the letters.
There shall be two Commodores appointed by the Admiral, they will assist with decision making within the guild. In the absence of the Admiral the two Commodores, together, may make decisions that effects the entire guild.
The Commodores may be replaced any time, with valid reasoning, by the Admiral who appointed them. The members of the guild may request that a Commodore be replaced, this will be done in writing, with specific reasons stated and submitted to the Admiral of the fleet.
Other positions shall be created and filled as the guild grows.
The title of Drax is a title created by the founder of this guild and is not, to our knowledge, a period title. For the purposes of this guild we intend to continue to use the title in such a way as to denote members of the high council. As an Admiral is replaced under honorable conditions, they shall assume the title of Drax with an identifier as to denote their proper place within the linage of the Corsairium.
5. Term Limits
Unless otherwise stated there are no term limits for Captains, Commodores or Admirals. They shall continue their post until it is decided by them or the guild that they should step aside.
Article VI – Allies
It being our intent, to protect the shores of our beloved Lady Atlantia, we shall ally ourselves with those who have the same intent.
We, knowing of the Atlantian Trading Company and its goals, shall, in the time of need, assist them in protecting Atlantia’s shores and sail along side them to the shore of any enemy to ensure Atlantia’s victory in war. We also recognize their ships and crews and shall not in turn commission any ship of like name.
At the onset of this guild we shall also consider the members and future members of The Academie d’Espee as allies. We intend to promote the ideals and philosophies of the Academie d’Espee, to wit, we will encourage our members to join the Academie d’Espee in an attempt to foster the growth of the grand art of defense throughout the World as we know it.
Night Shade Fare, as they have stood by our side since the beginning, in our eyes will be considered an ally as long as both groups see fit to travel the same path.
Other allies may be added as it is determined by the leadership of the Corsairium that said ally will help to promote our cause and will not, by intentional actions or words, stand against Atlantia, The Crown or Her peoples.
Each Captain may, with the agreement of their crew, take on allies as they see fit, as long as said allies will do no harm, by word or deed, to Atlantia, the Corsairium, or any of our established allies.
Article VII – Founding Ships
- The Carnage: Captain Yusef ibn Hassan (Draxus Primus)
- The Soul Reaver: Captain Raphael de la Rosa
- The LionSlayer: Captain Otto von Schwyz
- The Black Rose: Captain Ihone Munro
- The Scoundrel: Captain Humfrey Matthew Lovett
- The Alyssa-Lynn: Captain Thorgrimr inn Kyrri
- The Sea Stalker: Captain Ronan MacStalker (Draxus Archonus)
Article VIII - Amendments to the Charter
The leadership shall be able to amend this charter so as to keep up with current issues and so as not to be in conflict with any Society or Kingdom law. This will be done only when all members of the leadership are in agreement.
Appendix A-Code of Conduct
- We shall in all matters uphold the ideals set forth in this Charter.
- Above all else we will conduct ourselves honorably on and off the field of battle.
- In armed combat, no Corsair shall take the life of another Corsair.
- When at all possible, no Corsair shall take the life of any other true Atlantian.
- Allies of Atlantia will be considered allies of the Corsairium and will be treated as Atlantians for as long as an alliance remains in place.
- Treason and conspiracy against Atlantia, The Crown or the Corsairium will not be tolerated. Any person or persons hearing or witnessing any such actions will report it with great speed to their chain of command.
Appendix B-Letter of Marque (sample):
English Letter of Marque - issued by Henry IV
The King to all and singular Admirals &c., Greeting. Know ye that we have granted and given to our well-beloved John Wellys, master of a certain ship called the James of Bristol, and to Philip Taillour, master of another ship, called the Trinity of Bristol, liberty to equip in the port of the town of Bristol, at their own charges, the aforesaid ships with as many mariners, men-at-arms, and bowmen as shall be necessary for their navigation and defence at sea against our enemies, whosoever they may be, and for subduing, capturing, and destroying the same; and liberty to set forth with the same ships, so equipped, upon the sea for the purpose aforesaid. And we will that whatsoever they, John and Philip, succeed in winning, gaining, and having by capture from our enemies aforesaid, they may have and keep for their own proper use, without claim or hindrance by or from us, or our heirs or ministers, or the ministers of any our heirs whatsoever. Provided always that under colour of this licence they, John and Philip, their mariners, men-at-arms, and bowmen aforesaid, neither do nor permit to be done any violence, hindrance, or hurt to any who are in friendship with us. Witness the King at Westminster on the 4th day of February.
Appendix C-Letter of Reprisal (sample):
Letter of Reprisal Against France, 1411
The King to all and singular Admirals &c., Greeting. Our well-beloved lieges, William Bentelee, Stephen Destmaux, John Aubyn, Nicholas Brigges, Gilbert Destmaux, and Thomas Weddesbury, and many others of their company, have informed us, with grievous complaints, that on Good Friday in the eleventh year of our reign, whilst they were at sea in a hulk of Zealand, in company with another vessel, which they were bringing to our realm of England, laden with wines to be sold there in the way of trade, there being then a truce between our adversary of France and ourselves, they, our lieges aforesaid, together with the aforesaid hulk and the wines in her, were captured by certain of our enemies of the parts of Normandy, [namely,] the lord of Pons, in violation of the aforesaid truce; and although of late many applications have been made to those of our adversary whom it concerned for the restoration to our lieges aforesaid of their vessels, wines, and other goods and merchandises, as well by our Admiral of England as by the venerable father in Christ, the bishop of St. Davids, and our well-beloved clerk, master John Catryk, our ambassadors sent of late to France under authority of letters addressed to them under our privy seal, nevertheless our lieges aforesaid have altogether failed to obtain justice in this matter, and hitherto justice has not been done to them, as will more fully appear by a public instrument thereon made; Now we, in consideration of the losses and injuries done, as aforesaid, to our said lieges, have granted unto them letters of marque and reprisal, to the end that they be empowered to capture the bodies and goods of any of our enemies of France, wheresoever they may be found, whereby they may have a reasonable chance of obtaining recompense for the loss of their vessels, wines, goods, merchandise, and other things, or their true value, together with their money losses, costs, and expenses, which, as we hear, are estimated to reach 5250 marks; and that our aforesaid lieges may be empowered to have and hold the bodies and goods of our enemies aforesaid, and to dispose of the same at their will, until restitution shall have been made to them as aforesaid, and that without claim or hindrance being made by us or our heirs, or by the officers or ministers of us, or our heirs, whosoever they may be. In witness, &c.
Letter of Marque from the Crowns of Atlantia
The King and Queen of Atlantia to all and singular, Greeting. Know ye that we have granted and given to our own privateers, liberty to equip and begin this guild, called The Corsairium, within our Kingdom of Atlantia, at their own charges, the aforesaid guild with as many mariners, men-at-arms, bowmen, and armored combatants as shall be necessary for their navigation and defence at sea against our enemies, whosoever they may be, and for subduing, capturing, and destroying the same; and liberty to set forth with the same ships, and any other ship that may be added to the roster of the Corsairium at a later date, so equipped, upon the sea for the purpose aforesaid. And we will that what so ever they, The Corsairium, succeed in winning, gaining, and having by capture from our enemies aforesaid, they may have and keep for their own proper use, keeping within the laws of The Kingdom of Atlantia and The Society for Creative Anachronism, without claim or hindrance by or from us, our heirs or ministers, or the ministers or any other heirs whatsoever. Provided always that under colour of this licence they, The Corsairium, their mariners, men-at-arms, bowmen, and armored combatants aforesaid, neither do nor permit to be done any violence, hindrance, or hurt to any who are in friendship with us.