How We Came to Be
The four groups in our barony, the Marches of Alderford, Thistle, Three Towers and Gwyntarian first decided to form a barony in the spring of 1998.
The timeline looked roughly like this: In October of 1997, Baron Thomas ap Llewellyn and Baroness Margaret von dem Schwartzwald of Middle Marches announced at their Baronial Championship event that they were stepping down.
In 1998 the first meeting of the new barony was set for the March 4th meeting of Thistle. Soon after, the initial poll giving our region the option to form its own barony (among other things) was issued. The results showed that the four groups had decided to join together, and step away from the Barony Middle Marches and do something that rarely happens in the Midrealm– form a new, multi-group barony.
Multi-group baronies are not unusual in the Middle Kingdom. What is unusual about Brendoken is that this barony is one of the few baronies to be formed by a confederation of groups from the beginning. In most cases, a single group reaches baronial status, and other groups join later.
In Brendoken, the founding groups will not be absorbed by the barony. Each group will maintain its own identity, joining together several times during the year under the banner of The Barony of Brendoken.
On February 21, 2004, the Barony of Brendoken became a reality, being brought into being by His Majesty, Alasdair MacFhearghuis in the Marche of Alderford at the Masque of Courtly Love.
Why We Came to Be
There were many reasons for our decision to form, chief among them being space and time. Middle Marches was, originally, 59 counties stretching from Akron to Columbus to Zanesville. As SCA member population grew throughout the region, it became apparent that, considering the time and distances involved, this was a rather awkward arrangement. The barony was nearly 5 hours drive time, northern to southern border, and nearly as wide east to west.
Time also applied in a different sense. Of the four foundation groups, Thistle and Gwyntarian have been established for more than two decades. Gwyntarian has been established since 1974; Thistle follows having been founded in 1978. The younger branches of our family tree are the Marche Three Towers, founded in 1992, and the Marche of Alderford, founded in 1994.
With this much experience behind us, we realized that the period of transition in the Middle Marches was also an ideal time to look at ourselves as a region independent of Middle Marches. We were encouraged in this vein by the Kingdom and Regional officers who often remarked at the time that the Middle Marches, by membership count, was one of the largest single regions in the Midrealm.
One might even say that we’re following a period model–creating our own barony as our population grows around our town centers!