A Brief History of the Duncan Tournament

Illustration of the Battle of Barnet (14 April 1471) on the Ghent manuscript. Public domain in the US

Ed. Note:  HE Duncan Bruce of Logan has provided a couple of short historical articles. The following is an introduction to the Duncan Tournament, and the resulting Duncans, for those who may be unfamiliar with this part of Calontir’s history.



Many years ago, there were several young gentlemen starting in the SCA, and they were discussing names with the heralds. These men were all in different parts of Calontir, and this was before the current days of easy communication between groups. As many people do, they all started at the beginning of the alphabet looking for a good Celtic name. One by one they all came upon the name Duncan. They asked the heralds they were working with if there were any other Duncans of note in Calontir. The answer was invariably “No. There’s Duncan Bruce of Logan, but he goes by Logan, so you should be good.”
Each of those men ended up registering Duncan as part of their SCA name.
Several years later, as all of them became more active at a kingdom level, they came to realize they had inadvertently created a sort of brotherhood. The Duncan Collective was born, and you WOULD be assimilated.
One year, Duncan Fearmac MacLeod decided there were enough Duncans that there should be a Duncan Tournament at Lilies War. The prize was possession of the Duncan Brain (a brain shaped nerf football). To particpate you had to take a Duncan name for the duration. Some of the memorable ones I remember were Duncan Godjira, Isadora’s Duncan, Slam Duncan Sven, and The Old Duncan (Caught Fire). There were many others. The tournament was always fun, and usually quite silly. In fact, when it became a mark of prestige to win, the Duncans decided to end it, giving the brain to Alvira, wife of Duncan 11 of 9.
If you look in the OP you will find 16 gentles with the name Duncan, proving that it is still a popular name, despite our best efforts.
— Duncan Prime —
Sir Duncan Bruce of Logan