The Felding Favor is one of Felding's earliest traditions. It is given each year, traditionally in court at the February/Valentine's event, to that person who not only has done great service for the borough but also displays the seven virtues embroidered upon the favor: humility, diligence, fidelity, honesty, courage, purity, and charity. The secret decision is made by a fair vote of the ladies of the borough; the Aunties are usually notified of the result but have no vote. If there is no suitable candidate, the Favor may be taken back for a year.
At the end of one year, the current holder is called into court and returns the Favor so that it may be presented to the next holder, whose identity has been kept secret until this very moment, even from him. Since the Favor must someday be returned, each new holder is given a scroll along with the Favor which reads:
For excellence in those virtues which best befit a gentleman, the Ladies of Felding present to this token of their esteem and gratitude.
This scroll is his to keep, and he always remains a holder of the Favor. For this reason, no one holds the Favor twice. It should be noted that there is no reason why the Favor cannot be given to a woman - it simply hasn't happened yet.
Lady Lark of Esherwood remembers first giving out the Favor: "The first holder of the Felding Favor was Baron Patri, who was then also dance master and was the person who encouraged people to come all the way out to Felding to do the original demos and get people interested. We also wanted to encourage that style of courtliness.
"The original Favor was a ribbon of black velvet folded in half, embroidered in gold thread with the seven chivalric virtues. The capitals had pearls at all the terminal points.
"We made a big fuss over the presentation. It was presented by all of the ladies together, the whole borough, on a velvet pillow, offered kneeling to the recipient. The recipient, after having it pinned on him, received a kiss from every single lady. That made it something worth having and something you had to live up to!
"The next bearer of the Favor was Cayle of Firwood, who escorted the ladies to and from dance practice and the bus stop across the Cambridge Common to protect them from any violence. The next one was Stephen of Silverwing. Steven's car was vandalized, and all his SCA possessions were taken, including the original Felding Favor. I made a replacement in exactly the same style; the appearance hasn't changed, but it isn't the original piece of cloth."
The Favor pillow currently in use was made by Guendalina for when the Favor was given to Lord Gershom in 1989.