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The Shire of Thornwold - formerly known as the Shire of Shittimwoode (Bellingham - Whatcom County, WA) is located in the Principality of Tir Righ. It is ideally located for an An Tirian branch because of its proximity to several major baronies, such as Lions Gate, Aquaterra, Madrone, and Seagirt, its large population, ease of travel being directly on the I-5 corridor, and access to available land in order to host events.

April 18, 1978 AS 12 by Viscount Edward Zifran of Gendy

Recent and Upcoming Events


Lord Wade inquired:

"Well I know that someone can elucidate, but if I am not mistaken Shittemwoode is the home of the Royal Hunting preserve where the bunnies make their home and you need Royal permission to hunt them. Probably Sir Eddy has something to do with it..."

And Her Ladyship Hélène de Navarre answered:

I consulted with the The History of the Shire of Shittimwoode, written by Meresigha Stonegatta, Megan Althea and others during the early 1990s, as well as my own murky memory to answer your question (at length).

As for the Royal Permission to "Hunt" in the Preserve--yes, there are rules (and history) to playing that "game".

Once upon a time (as all great tails...I mean...tales begin), the Shire was almost entirely comprised of Ladies. The King decided that it was good "hunting ground" for single men, but selfishly wanted to keep it all to Himself, and thus became the Royal Hunting Preserve.

In order to gain Royal Approval to hunt his "game", one must first pay a fee...a Poaching Fee. The fee for one man to hunt in the Preserve was: One Dozen Chocolate Chip Cookies, One Pan of Rice Krispy Squares, or a small Box of Legos.

(The King liked Legos. The King's Word is Law. Who can argue with that?)

The ladies would gather to test the cookies or treats to make sure that his tithe was acceptable before bestowing upon him a favor to wear to indicate that he has paid his tax and has the right to poach on the Ladies of the Shire. Once annually, a portion of the taxes would be given to His Majesty (a fresh batch of cookies or treats; not the old, stale ones) at Twelfth Night.

Some time later, the Shire grew and it was no longer just single women living in the bounds of the Preserve. The Queen said that now that single men were starting to settle in the lands of Shittimwoode (the married men were now called "Game Wardens") it was *unfair* that only the King collected taxes, so she levied her own Poaching Fee.

For WOMEN to hunt the single men of Shittimwoode, the women must pay with either a cheesecake or two strands of beads. The single men, in turn, would test the cheesecake before bestowing a favor for her to proudly display.

Mistress Megan Althea was, and continues to be, the facilitator of this Game, being one of the matriarchs of the Shire. You can refer questions to her if you require a Poaching License or would like more details on the history.

We now turn to the History of Sir Edward.... Once upon a time , there was a young Knight of Lions Gate by the name of Edward Ziffran, the Bastard of Gendy, who moved (with his Green Tennis Shoes) to the Shire of Fairehaven in about AS XI (1977). Edward decided that Fairehaven was a rather mundane name, being also the name of the south side of Bellingham, and needed to be replaced by a branch name that "no one would EVER forget." He consulted a very reliable and period and documentable source...the Holy Bible.

Yes, indeed.

In Exodus 25:10, he found that the ark of the Tabernacle was commanded to be built of acacia wood (2 1/2 cubits by 1 1/2 cubits by 1 1/2 cubits...approximately 45" long, 27" high and 27" deep, covered in pure gold, etc., etc.). In the version of the Bible that he was using, the word "acacia" is written as "Shittimwoode"; that is, the wood of the Shittah tree.

Eddie says, "No one will EVER be able to forget that!"

It was submitted.

And passed.

A few years later we hear that Lord Laurel, chief Herald of the SCA, used the name of our Fair Shire as an example of what NOT to name a branch, as is told to Megan Althea by Edward the Stuffy in 1984, while Megan was Seneschale of Shittimwoode. (Apparently, Edward the Stuffy was trying to get the Shire to consider changing the name, but Megan was thrilled at the news that we were rather notorious, and Edward the Stuffy thought she had completely lost it.)**

In June of AS XV (1980) the blazon was submitted. It was a small Bunny with fangs, symbolic of helplessness, but defensible...or something. Admittedly, considering the times, there was some Monty Python influence ("What, behind the rabbit?"). The Ermine background--which looks like raindrops--is the same as Viscount Sir Edward's. The Shepherd's crook may symbolize leading to knowledge or through dangerous times (or perhaps past the vicious rabbit?). Rising from a gold lake--more water (no, it's not urine). Possibly indicating that we live in a wet shire...or we're all wet. Designed by Constantine Alexius Palaeologus.

In February AS XV (1981) the blazon for Shittimwoode passes.

That Spring is held the second Sir Edward's Tournament, at which Lady Sir Bolverk wins--she is now a Knight of Lions Gate--and is given the title of "Miss Shittim", a title that is proudly passed down to all Shittimwoode Champions.

It was a few years later, at Twelfth Night, AS XXIII (1987), we were accidently gifted to the West. Apparently, there was some confusion over what the "Royal Hunting Preserve" was; I think the current King (Arthur? Loki?) thought it was a dessert that the Shire of Shittimwoode had come to present to Their Majesties of An Tir. His Majesty was in a generous mood, and thus wanted to give him the whole "preserve." The ladies of the Shire thrice protested (in perfect unison) "But, Your Majesty...!" and were told "Go down to the end of the table and speak to your new Soverign!" And so they did. And the King of the West sat back in his chair and said, greedily, "What did I get?" "Um..." mumbled the ladies, "You got the Shire of Shittimwoode..." "The Shire of Shittimwoode?" He mused. "Claims to lands in An Tir...." (rubbing his chin, thoughtfully) "And we have a Yeoman of Lions Gate...." Added one of the ladies. "A Yeoman of Lions Gate, eh? Claims to lands in Lions Gate..." "And we have a Knight of Madrone!" Added another of the ladies. "Claims to lands in Madrone!" Suddenly the King of the West stood noisily, gripping his mug, raising it high in the air and shouted, "A Toast!" and a hush fell on the room. "A toast to his Majesty, the King of An Tir, for giving me LANDS in An Tir!" A hush in the room suddenly became dead silence. "What?" booms the King of An Tir, "I didn't give you lands in An Tir! I gave you the Hunting Preserve!" "But Your Majesty...." wailed the ladies of Shittimwoode, still in perfect unison, "We ARE the Hunting Preserve!" "Oh." He sat and thought. "I'll...uh...I'll kill him. Yeah, I'll kill him! WAR! Yeah, I'll have a WAR!" And thus, the Kingdom of An Tir went to War in July of AS XXIV to win back the Royal Hunting Preserve.

Unfortunately, no one kept score, and thus, no winner was declared, and Shittimwoode remained part of the West.

The next year, they fought over who won the year before, but there was no final court, and thus the winner was not announced.

This went on for several more years until the story of the Shire of Shittimwoode was almost forgotten.


In the Spring of AS XXX, Hwolf Einarsson won the Throne on An Tir, and having been a Champion of Shittimwoode before (proudly bearing the title of "Miss Shittim"), was determined to regain His territory. King Hwolf recounted to me how he won it back at another An Tir - West War. King Hwolf met with His Majesty of the West at a river bank--one-on-one--and addressed His Majesty, "I want my Shire back!" "What?" The West King asked. "I said, 'I want my Shire back!'" "What Shire?" He asked, "What are you talking about?" "The Shire your predecessors stole from my predecessors! The Shire of Shittimwoode!" "The Shire of What?" He laughed. They fought in the wet, sloppy sand of the river's edge, sinking ever deeper but not landing a good blow as the soft sand did not allow for a powerful swing. Finally, King Hwolf sank deep enough into the soft sand until he touched a rock, threw a good snap, and won us back!

I hope you have enjoyed this retelling of Shittimwoode's tales.

In Service,
The Honorable Lady Helene de Navarre
Shittimwoode, GAc, Ac, BC
Principality of Tir Righ, Order of the Red Flame
Kingdom of An Tir, GdS
Chancellor, Borderlands Campus
Apprentice to Ariel de Courtenay, OL

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