In 2010, the Society issued a survey to the membership to gather information on a number of topics. One of the items that came out of the survey was that a significant portion of the membership felt that a peerage should be available for rapier activities. The results of the survey were published in 2011 and are available at http://www.sca.org/scacensus2010/. 1
The Board of Directors established the Alternate Peerage Advisory to explore this concept and examine what changes would be needed in Society law to establish such a peerage, as well as evaluate possible names and regalia for such an order. The work of this group was then examined by a second committee composed of representatives from all the kingdoms as well as other respected members of the Society. 1
At the Board of Directors meeting on January 17, 2015 the Board voted on the creation of a new peerage, and voted not to create the new peerage at that time. 1
However, on February 2, 2015 the Board of Directors held a conference call and re-examined the question, and voted for the creation of the new peerage. The Order of Defense would be established and members were able to be inducted beginning on May 1, 2015. 1
The King and Queen of Æthelmearc, Timothy of Arindale and Gabrielle van Nijenrode, elected to initially elevate a member of the fencing community from each of the five administrative regions of the kingdom, so as to ensure that the leadership and notice of the new peerage would be spread evenly throughout the kingdom.
The first of these was Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, who was elevated at an event held for that purpose on the first of May. She was followed by Baron Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Master Quinn Kerr, Don William Parris, and Baron Benedict Fergus atte Mede.