Thin Robert of Lawrence

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Thin Robert of Lawrence, Coronation, 05/31/1980
Preferred title: Not specified
Their Pronouns: Not specified
Status: Inactive
Awards: Visit the Caid Order of Precedence
Sable, two bends gules fimbriated Or, and in pale three doves volant bendwise proper
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Pelican Master Thin Robert of Laurence was the Kingdom Chancellor at the time Caid became a kingdom. In the photograph in the sidebar, he is serving as Chancellor, witnessing the coronation of Martin I and Neptha I, with the kingdom sword of state drawn (this duty is now performed by the Kingdom Seneschal).

SCA History

His first SCA event was the SCA’s first-ever overnight Tournament, a coronation, held on May 17-18 1969, AS IV in Oakdale, California. It was the first of at least 5 events he attended in the West Kingdom ending with the Coronation May 24, 1970 in Tilden Park in Berkeley, CA. He was the part of a contingent from Livermore High School that changed from event to event and included Karen Shearer, who later married Duke Fulk de Wyvern and became a duchess by courtesy.

Rediscovered the SCA at the Garden Theater Festival in Hollywood, 07/10/76 and remained in the SCA until mid-1994. This was his most active period. He rejoined in 1999 and let his membership lapse in 2003.

Thin is still seen at an occasional event, usually an old time tourney, local Dun Or event or where he is appearing in a play.

Offices & Positions

  • Seneschal of Graywinds, 09/07/1977-6/3/1978 (Founding Seneschal)
  • Lord Chancellor, Kingdom of Caid, 6/3/1978-6/1/1985
  • Legal Council to the Board of Directors of the Society, ?-2/1980

Classes Taught

Articles and Publications

As Chancellor, he wrote Ye Boke of Caidan Lawe and most of its amendments during its first seven years of existence.

Thin Robert was a mainstay writer for the Crown Prints for most of his period of peak activity, 1977-1985, writing at least one piece (such as an event chronicle) for most issues in addition to his column, "The Royal Advisor".

He wrote a 12-part history of period money for the Crown Prints, "Ancient and Medieval Pocket Change".

His column, The Royal Advisor had, at one point appeared more often than any other feature in history of The Crown Prints.

In mundane life, Thin Robert (Robert L. Plunkett) is a sometime professional writer. His novel, A California Dreamers in King Henry’s Court is a about a contemporary man sent into 1535-1536 in the court of Henry VIII of England. He has written about a dozen articles in newspapers and magazines professionally, most recently in 2009.

Notable articles written during his last active period (1999-2004) were, “The Origin of the Crown Prints”, for the Crown Prints and “The SCA’s First Overnight Event” for the Tydes.


He was the first Lord Chancellor of Caid, an office he served in, with one short interruption from April 1978 to April 1985, the longest tenure in any kingdom great office.

Thin was the premiere recipient of a Caidan Grant of Arms, one of the few to receive a “naked” Grant, before the Grant came with another award.

He belonged, successively to three prominent and historically significant households. Griffin Freehold, Blackthorne, and Silver Swan. These households included (when he belonged) a total of 32 Caidans, of which 4 were children. Members of these three households include at least: 2 Dukes, 1 Duchess, 1 Countess, 1 Viscount, 1 Viscountess, 5 Knights, 8 Laurels, 4 Pelicans and 7 Landed Barons or Baronesses. One or more members of these households sat on the throne of Caid for at least 11 reigns, a total of between 5 and 6 years.

He was the last person inducted into The Insulter’s Guild.

How thin, Robert? Thin Robert of Lawrence is 5’ 9” unclad. His weight, unclad, during his active SCA periods and last report:

1969-1970: Approx 125 (thin enough to be 4-F)

1976-late 1980’s: 130’s

Late 1999-2004: Low 160’s

2009: High 150’s. The group picture below shows him near his peak weight, high 160's.

He was a judge in Caid's first Court of Chivalry and conducted its proceedings.

His name was originally approved as “Robert of Lawrence, The Thin, called, 'Thin Robert'". The College of Heralds used the approval of this household badge as an excuse to change it to officially “Thin Robert of Lawrence” and establish the rule that a description could precede the name as long as it was not used as a name. As near as we can tell, he is always listed under T and not R.

As seneschal of Graywinds, the canton adjacent to Lyondemere when it became a barony, he was the one who, with the then seneschal of the then canton of Lyondemere drew the original boundary between Angels and Lyondemere.

He resided in a prominent SCA house, Dragonkeep 1977 to 1979, its residents also included: Duke Martin the Temperate, Sir Robear du Bois, Sir Charles of Dublin, Sir Lasarian of Twrynyswr, Lady Ann Christopher of Cheshire, Lady Frances of Dragonsforge and Lady Leonora Dragonsrun.

His talents lay elsewhere: The Dragonkeep men included four knights and Thin Robert. His only experience in SCA single combat as part of an SCA event was in a water balloon list. He lost in the finals to Duke Martin the Temperate. He has finished at least 15 marathons. He had some romantic involvement with over three-dozen Caidan ladies.

He received, simultaneously with several others, the first Order of the Black Thumb, whose medallion then consisted of a disk of chalk hanging from a brown ribbon with a black thumb print on it. Most of his medallion has broken off. It is impossible to glue chalk back together. This award apparently has been given to many others over the years for service to the Crown Prints, but is not listed in this history.

He received his Award of Arms in September 1977 and still has no scroll for it.

He is a (at onetime prolific) writer of parody songs. He was the only performer in the albums Caid Bardic Circle I, II or III to be credited with his mundane name.

He acted in well over a dozen SCA theatrical productions. Mundanely, he has been an amateur, semi-professional and (in one movie) professional actor.

His wife is Frances Talbot of Exeter and his son is Thin Robert the Younger.