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chiv-orders-msg - 4/8/08


Chivalric Orders, Orders of Chivalry.


NOTE: See also the files: K-Ord-o-Spain-art, chivalry-msg, Chivalry-art, fealty-art, fealty-msg, knighthood-msg, squires-msg, courtly-love-bib.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: ches at tristero.io.com

Date: Wed, 28 Feb 96 07:03:33 PST

Subject: FW: Re: Orders of Knighthood

To: ansteorra at eden.com


This a post from another list. I was wondering if Ansteorra has such a system:


> There is also Master at Arms which is for those of knightly mein and virtue

>who are unable to swear oath of allegiance to a crown.


>   In Meridies there is also one Knight Bachelor (KbSCA) created as a

>compromise and to better reflect the Medieval usage of Knight Baronet (one

>owing fealty and service for peerage) and Knight Bachelor (one not owing such



>   The major practical differences between the two are that the Knights

>(KSCA) wear Belt, Spurs and Chain and the Knight Bachelor (KbSCA) wears only

>Belt and Spurs.


>   The other difference is that when the Peers of the Realm are called forth

>to swear fealty the Knights swear to the Crown of Meridies and the Knight

>Bachelor swears to the Kingdom of Meridies.   Notice that there is Fealty

>sworn in both cases and that the Knight Bachelor in return for the honor of

>the peerage returns service to the Kingdom.


>Tirion, aka Sir Starhelm Warlocke KbSCA


Ciao    at }\

Ches at }----`--,-- http://www.io.com/~ches/

       at }/



From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

To: bryn-gwlad at eden.com

Date: 5 Mar 1996 13:42:03 -0500

Subject: Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Facets of Knighthood


Greetings from Arval!  britcomhmp at aol.com (No name given) writes:


> Small technical point here, there is no such thing as'The Order of

> Chivalry' unless the SCA has invented it. There are several Orders of

> Chivalry, The Garter, Bath, Golden Fleece even the Legion d Honneur.


For the modern world -- by which I mean anything from the Renaissance

onward -- you are quite correct.  But the Middle Ages is a different story.


"Orders of chivalry" in the modern sense did not arise until the late 14th

century and did not become at all prominent until the late 15th century.

Yet writers discuss the "order of chivalry" as early as the 12th century.

It was not a formalized body, but it was viewed by the chivalric class as a

very real order, parallel to holy orders.  


An excellent examination of orders of chivalry, in both senses, can be

found in "Knights of the Crown" by J. D'arcy Boulton.


Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

To: bryn-gwlad at eden.com

Date: 5 Mar 1996 17:07:47 -0500

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC

Subject: Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Facets of Knighthood


Greetings from Arval!  Symon Frasier wrote:


> It is ironic, though, that the proliferation of "orders of chivalry" was

> contemporary with the decline and demise of the military and political

> institutions of "chivalry"...


Ironic in retrospect, yes; but not at all surprising.  The motivations for

the creation of formalized orders of chivalry were complex, but they

included several elements which were direct reactions to the decline of

those institutions.


The orders were, in part, an effort to revitalize chivalry by giving

knights a new ideal to which to aspire.  As military technology changed,

there was less need for the armored knight as a tool of state; but

something was needed to replace the social bonds which had accompanied the

military organization of old.  Knighthood was a traditional unifying

structure; monarchs made it more attractive by making it more prestigious

and bolstered their own power by focussing the new knighthood on themselves

as heads of orders.


Knighthood had also become an important tool of government finance.  A

large fraction of knights paid money fees in place of military service, a

practice which the crowns tended to encourage, since it enabled them to

maintain standing armies rather than having to rely on feudal levies.  But

in the 14th century, the proportion of eligible noblemen taking knighthood

had dropped alarmingly.  We have evidence of several efforts in several

kingdoms to impose knighthood on gentlemen of sufficient income.  The

orders had the secondary effect of increasing the overall glamor of

knighthood, thereby making it more attractive.  It was no accident that

Edward's Order of the Garter mixed the great lords of the land with lesser



The choice of the "order of chivalry" was also inspired.  It carried echos

of romance -- the first attempt to found an order in England was actually

called the "Order of the Round Table" -- and it harkened to the greatest

achievements of the Crusades by recalling the religious orders of chivalry.


Orders were powerful political tools as well: Kings and princes bound

themselves to their most influential vassals by oaths of mutual support

that went far beyond customary fealty.  The kings guaranteed the loyalty of

their companions, while the barons cemented relationships to the crown that

would advance their own interests in many ways.  The order formed an elite

combat unit in some cases, an inner circle of advisors in others.


Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



From: mittle at panix.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)

To: bryn-gwlad at eden.com

Date: 6 Mar 1996 12:10:13 -0500

Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC

Subject: Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Facets of Knighthood


Greetings from Arval!  Tim Pickles wrote:


> I must go back to my original point that whilst the concept of 'chivalry'

> most certainly existed there was no such thing as 'The Order of

> Chivalry'.


If you use that phrase in the limited sense of a formalized organization

with officers and a Rule, then you are correct that there was never a

universal order of chivalry.  But it is simply incorrect to say that "there

was no such thing as 'The Order of Chivalry'.  I refer you to Chretien de

Troyes, Honore Bonet, Ramon Lull, etc., all of whom wrote about a universal

order of chivalry, its rules and ethics.  


> The first secular Order of Chivalry in the modern sence was the Order of

> the Golden Fleece created by the Duke of Burgundy and imitated in the

> Garter...


Your chronology is wrong.  The Garter pre-dates the Golden Fleece; by about

a century, if I recall aright.  Other orders -- with officers, rules,

regalia, and all the other trappings of formal orders -- also pre-date the

Golden Fleece: The Spanish Order of the Band, the Hungarian Order of St.

George, the French Order of the Star, etc.  The best scholarship on the

subject can be found in "Knights of the Crown" by J. Darcy Boulton.  His

introduction is an excellent summary of the origins and roots of chivalric

orders of all kinds.


Arval d'Espas Nord                                         mittle at panix.com



From: britcomhmp at aol.com (BritcomHMP)

To: bryn-gwlad at eden.com

Date: 7 Mar 1996 13:33:45 -0500

Organization: America Online, Inc.

Subject: Re: ANNOUNCEMENT: Facets of Knighthood


Greetings and 'Mea maxima culpa'. I did indeed transpose the founding of

the Garter (1344) and the Fleece (1430) and while there is no doubt that

the one copied the other and the first was founded on the TRADITION of the

round table there is no FACTUAL EVIDENCE that that such an organisation

EVER existed. Good heavens scholars (and others) are still arguing about

the location of Camelot and even if such a place actualy existed. On that

basis one might as well base the idea on the traditions of Atlantis!


Seriously I didn't want to get off track here merely to point out that how

Knighthood came about,and what constitutes an Order is not a matter of

speculation, it is a KNOWN FACT, thoroughly researchable. That certain

founders of Orders (including King Edward) said that they baised their

organisation on some long gone institution is rater like Egyptian Pharoes'

claiming decent from the Sun God Ra, it gives a new organisation an

instant ancestry.


Some of the other "Orders" mentioned are in fact 'Knightly Associations'

which could probably be likened to a modern pro Football team. One did not

become a knight by joining but one had to BE a knight before being ALLOWED

to join, many of these associationd did not outlive their founders.

I realy did not intend to get so deeply into this and I am truely just

trying to be helpfull if I may refer any inerested parties to Peter Bander

van Duren's book ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD AND OF MERIT I am shure you will be

facinated. It chronicals not only the origins of Knighthood but its

continuing role in the world which is considerable.

Please beleve me when I say that I am not trying to attack or belittle any

individual or society its 'just the facts Mam'.


Kind regards. Tim Pickles



From: ballywoodn at aol.com (BALLYWOODN)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca


Date: 30 May 1996 12:34:02 -0400

Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)



International Distributors of Publications Relating to Chivalry & Heraldry





Report of the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry



Rapport de la Commission Internationale d Etudes des Ordres de Chevalerie




        The Principles involved in assessing the validity of Orders of

Chivalry with a list of Orders which have been scrutinised by the

Commission and pronounced to be valid. Incorporating corrections

sanctioned by the Meetings of the Commission in 1964, 1966, and 1967, as

collated (with additions in italics) at the meeting held in Munich

5.9.1970; and with the inclusion of the list of noble corporations arrived

at by the Commission held in Vienna 21.9.1970, and of other nobiliary

bodies agreed at Washington in 1984 and in subsequent sessions of the


       The Commission, which has existed now for some 30 years, is widely

regarded as the most competent authority in assessing the validity of

Chivalric and Nobiliary Orders.



US$12.50 postpaid within the U.S. / US$15.00 postpaid outside the U.S.

Advance orders being taken nof 300 copies

16 pages, 9   X 6   Cardstock covers





History and International Roll 1996


From the Preface by The Rt. Hon. The Lord Borthwick of that Ilk, NN, GCLJ,

President of the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry ...


        The Niadh Nask is without doubt one of the most ancient nobiliary

honours in the world, if not the most ancient! Its origins are shrouded in

the mists of time. According to Gaelic historians, writing in the

fifteenth century, it was founded almost a thousand years before the birth

of Christ! Whether this is true or not we cannot say, but it is evident

that the Order is at least pre-Chivalric in origin if not pre-Christian.

       Its members are knightly, as the Samurai of Japan are, or the

Roman EQUES were, but do not bear Chivalric designations. The Order has

divisions but no Grades as such. All Niadh Nask are in fact equal, wear

virtually identical insignia, and bear the same postnominal initials.

       When, in 1984, after several years of scrutiny, the International

Commission for Orders of Chivalry recognized The Niadh Nask, or Military

Order of the Golden Chain, as a perfectly valid and legal Dynastic Honour

of the ancient Irish Royal House of Munster, under the Chiefship of The

MacCarthy M r, Prince of Desmond, it had to devise the entirely new

category of  OTHER NOBILIARY BODIES  to list it under, not because it was

less important  than the great and ancient Dynastic Orders of Chivalry,

but because it was even more ancient in its origins!

       The year 1996 marks the Quatercentenary of the death of His

Majesty King Donal IX MacCarthy M r, last regnant sovereign of Desmond and

titular King of Munster. Both the Dynasty and its House honour have

survived the collapse of Gaelic Ireland and remain a real  Golden Chain

linking the present with the past. Whilst these  Chains  remain unbroken,

Gaelic Ireland survives!


The Niadh Nask History and International Roll 1996 contains not only a

listing of all current members of this nobiliary body, but details:

History of The Niadh Nask ... The current Grand Council of The Niadh Nask,

including an Armorial of these individuals ... In Memoria Roll of

Companions of The Niadh Nask who have died since the accession of the

current MacCarthy M r ... Jurisdictions of The Niadh Nask internationally

... Listing of recipients of the King Donal IX MacCarthy M r

Quatercentenary Medal Roll


US$17.50 postpaid within the U.S. / US$20.00 postpaid outside the U.S.

Advance orders being taken now for limited initial press run of 300 copies

76 pages with illustrations, 8   X 5   Cardstock covers


Make all checks or money orders  (do not send cash) [Sorry, credit cards

not accepted at this time] payable in US FUNDS ONLY [US banks tend to

charge hefty currency conversion fees which can result in lengthy delays -

if you are ordering from outside the United States, please ask your bank

to write a check or money order for you in U.S. dollars] to:



PO Box 1899, Little Rock, AR 72203-1899 USA, Facsimile: (501) 834-4038

David Robert Wooten of Ballywoodane                    

The American College of Heraldry  


Gryfons Publishers and Distributors

(fax 501-834-4038)        



From: Aline Swynbrook <alineswynbrook at yahoo.com>

Date: January 27, 2008 8:44:48 PM CST

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] On knighthood in America


Actually, there are a number of Americans who hold

honorary knighthoods for good works and chivalric

endeavors or military service from foreign monarchies.


A number of famous members of the Order of the

British Empire include Bob Hope, Steven Spielberg,

George H.W. Bush, Wesley Clark, Rudy Guiliani, Alan

Greenspan, Sen. George Mitchell, Bill Gates, Paul

Getty, Colin Powell, and Gen. Tommy Franks.  Bush Sr.

and Ronald Regan are also members of the British

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.  Regan

also held the Grand Cordon of the Order of the

Chrysanthemum, the highest order of knighthood for the

Japanese Imperial Family. Additionally, there are two

Catholic orders of knighthood which are very active in

the United States, The Sovereign Military Hospitaller

Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of

Malta, and The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre

of Jerusalem.


On a local note, there is one currently active SCA

member in Ansteorra and one formerly active SCA member

who are Knights in an Ethiopian order.  I would be

happy to put anyone with further questions in touch

with them.


In Service,

Ly Aline Swynbrook

Who Mundanely is an Esquire.


<the end>        

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org