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.
Aonghais Dubh MacTarbh was active in Caid in the Principality and early Kingdom days. Duke Aonghais was knighted and stripped of his knighthood twice.
Twice King of the East Kingdom, Anghois moved to Caid in 1976 (AS XI).
Anghois' 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
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