Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh
Aonghais at Crown in Dreiburgen in 1978
Sable, semee of flames proper, a stallion salient argent incensed and crined of flames, orbed, unguled, and fetlocked gules, gorged of a ducal crown Or.
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Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh was active in Caid in the Principality and early Kingdom days. He led an influential household called, Clan Creachainn. Duke Aonghais was knighted and stripped of his knighthood twice.
Twice King of the East Kingdom, Anghois moved to Caid in 1976 (AS XI).
Aonghais was instrumental in the formation of the short-lived Grand Army of the West in AS XII: his diplomacy and organizational skills were key to bringing this force into being. At the "Field Maneuvers" held between the West, Caid, and An Tir Vs. Atenveldt at Burro Creek on February 18-20, 1978, the Grand Army won a resounding victory over its Aten opponents.
Offices and Positions
- Twelfth King of the East, 09/16/1973
- Sixteenth King of the East, 10/11/1975
- Knight-Captain of the Princess' Guard of Lorissa du Griffin
Actions prior to Revocation and Denial of Membership
- Letter to His Majesty Martin the Temperate, King of Caid, outlining first charges against Sir Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh, Duke of the Creachainn, 03/1979.
- Court of Inquiry where a petition is signed by a majority of Peers, requesting the Crown to hold a Court of Chivalry, 04/07/1979
- Court of Chivalry; Aonghais does not appear but sends another to conduct his case. A court of eight knights unanimously vote to degrade Sir Aonghais from Knighthood; the Court unanimously votes to banish Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh from the Kingdom of Caid and to abate his arms, 05/19/1979
- The Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. meet in session to consider an appeal on the degradation, 2 against with the chairman claiming a 2/3 vote is needed, so the motion fails, 06/12/1979
- A special meeting of the BOD is called where the voting of June 12 is reversed; observing the 2/3 vote; the degradation of Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh is upheld, 06/19/1979
- Duke Aonghais is made a Knight of An Tir, 07/01/1979
Board of Directors Sanctions
- 1982 or 1983, Refusal of Membership
- 10/18/2003, Revocation and Denial of Membership Official SCA Board Minutes
- 10/18/2003, Degraded from the Order of the Chivalry Official SCA Board Minutes
Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh died in prison in Florida on February 21, 2004, of a heart attack.
Aonghais was arguably the most polarizing figure in Caidan history, a foreign Duke who was, as I recall the only Duke resident in Caid at the time I first came to Caid. He had enormous charisma and an unbounded penchant for alienating people unnecessarily. He was the subject of Caid's first Court of Chivalry, over which I sat as a judge and which ended with a jury of Caidan Knights recommending he be banished from the Kingdom. The then Chairman of the SCA Board of Directors, apparently under Aonghais's spell, sought to overturn that banishment through a parliamentary trick so outrageous that he was removed from office for it.
Aonghais cast a huge shadow even in exhile. One queen in particular acted strangely obsessed by the possibility that he would come back and then seemed to be trying to engineer his return. He presided over a gigantic household which continued even after his banishment and came to include a future King and Queen of Caid. Just when he had what should have been his ticket back into the kingdom, he made a remark that the Queen's recently-born child was really his. That was totally impossible, but killed this opportunity for him.
He inspired a combination of unaccountable devotion and accountable hate among the people around him that I've never seen elsewhere. Sometimes, these two emotions would be expressed by the same people at different times. Similarly, he seemed simultaneously both larger than life and pathetic. Though I was always wary of him, I did, for a while, consider him a friend.
In 1983, four years after his banishment from Caid, Aonghais whose modern name was Paul, along with Robert Wayne Becket, Sr. murdered Susan Hamwi in Florida in a murder for hire (For $14,000). Another man served nine years for that murder before the actual facts became known. Paul was convicted and died in prison.
Duke Aonghais was definitely polarizing. Partly because he was the only Duke in the Principality of CAID for a while, he was often referred to as "The Duke," with an "Il Duce" connotation. I would describe him as a boisterous New York Sicilian portraying a Scottish Laird with the prestige of being a Knight and Duke. His armor and accoutrement were of high order during a time when most CAIDan fighters were wearing carpet armor and freon can helmets. He inspired many to "up their game" both on and off the field. He had an eye for talent which he gathered and nurtured in his Clan Creachainn - of which he was the obvious center. He lavished praise and attention on those he gathered and made sure that they were recognized both personally and for their membership in his Clan. He was an excellent trainer for fighters and was the direct tutor of several later Caidan Kings. Wherever he went he established a presence. In those early days, we still had the Grande March a procession before the Throne according to the Society Order of Precedence, which meant that Aonghais' Clan Creachainn, by Ducal Privilege, typically went first. At Wars, his camp was always huge and his banners among the highest. Although he lived in Lyondemere he gathered to himself many people in my home Barony of Dreiburgen. They, living outside the spotlight of more populated areas of the Kingdom, were happy for his attention. As a squire to the Baron of Dreiburgen, Sir Waldt von Markheim, I was sometimes sent to liaison with The Duke for one issue or another, and he always treated me with the respect due a visiting dignitary - the vassal of a fellow knight. He was very good at this kind of theater. And whatever negative things might be said of him, many people I love and respect loved and respected him. He was a complex man. ~ Eadwynne of Runedun
Memories of Pennsic IV
May 12, 2015, East Kingdom Gazette, by Sir Michael of York, East Kingdom
Pennsic IV was hosted by the Midrealm and held on a farm in Ohio over Labor Day weekend in 1975.
We’d set up the war points so that for the woods battle each King and each Prince was worth a war point, as was the banner. At the start of the battle, the goal was to go find someplace to hide in the woods. Asjborn took his band and deliberately ran deep into the woods and kept moving – thus avoiding capture. Before leaving with his small group, Asbjorn told Prince Aonghais to “stay out of trouble” and not engage the Midrealm. Unfortunately, Aonghais was not able to do that and his band was forced to fight. Aonghais was the last man standing and as he died he fell against a sapling – which threw him forward – face first into the mud. He was wearing his brand new pig-faced bassinet – which got stuck in the mud and began to fill with water. It took his entire band of fighters to get him out of the mud before he drowned.