The MOST ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER OF SAINT PATRICK is a dormant British
order of chivalry associated with Ireland. The Order was created in
1783 by George III at the request of the then Lord-Lieutenant, Lord
Buckingham . The regular creation of knights of
Most British orders of chivalry cover the entire kingdom, but the three most exalted ones each pertain to one constituent country only. The Order of St Patrick, which pertains to Ireland, is the most junior of these three in precedence and age. Its equivalent in England, The Most Noble Order of the Garter , is the oldest order of chivalry in the United Kingdom, dating to the middle fourteenth century. The Scottish equivalent is The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle , dating in its modern form to 1687.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Early history * 1.2 Post-1922 * 1.3 Possible revival
* 2 Composition
* 2.1 Members * 2.2 Officers
* 3 Vestments and accoutrements * 4 Chapel and Chancery * 5 Precedence and privileges * 6 See also * 7 Notes * 8 References
Badge of the order of St Patrick The installation dinner
for the founding of the order took place on 17 March 1783 in the Great
The order was founded in 1783, a year after the grant of substantial
autonomy to Ireland, as a means of rewarding (or obtaining) political
support in the Irish Parliament . The
Order of the Bath , founded in
1725, was instituted for similar reasons. The statutes of the Order
restricted membership to men who were both knights and gentlemen , the
latter being defined as having three generations of "noblesse" (i.e.
ancestors bearing coats of arms) on both their father's and mother's
side. In practice, however, only Irish Peers (and occasional foreign
princes with tenuous or no Irish connections) were ever appointed to
the Order. The cross of St Patrick (a red saltire on a white
background) was chosen as one of the symbols of the Order. A flag of
this design was later incorporated into the
Order of St Patrick
The last non-royal member appointed to the order was James Hamilton,
3rd Duke of Abercorn in 1922, who served as the first Governor of
Since then, only three people have been appointed to the Order, all members of the British Royal Family . The then-Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VIII and later Duke of Windsor) was appointed in 1927 and his younger brothers, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester , in 1934 and Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI), in 1936.
It is likely that these appointments were considered possible because the Irish Free State continued to recognise the British monarch as its official head of state. In 1937, however, the Irish Free State adopted a new constitution , rendering the Crown's position in Irish affairs ambiguous. The ambiguity was resolved 12 years later when the Irish Free State formally declared itself a republic and left the British Commonwealth . The basis for such appointments thus ceased and no further ones have been made.
The Duke of Gloucester at his death in 1974 was the last surviving
member of the Order. The last living non-royal member of the Order,
Collar of the
Order of St Patrick
Constitution of Ireland provides, "Titles of nobility shall not
be conferred by the State" (Article 40.2.1°) and "No title of
nobility or of honour may be accepted by any citizen except with the
prior approval of the Government" (Article 40.2.2°). Legal experts
are divided on whether this clause prohibits the awarding of
membership of the
Order of St Patrick
In any case, an
Irish citizen would require the approval of the
Government of Ireland to receive an award from a reigning monarch of
The astronomer The 3rd
The British monarch is Sovereign of the Order of St Patrick. The Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland , the monarch's representative in Ireland,
served as the Grand Master. The office of
The Order originally consisted of fifteen knights in addition to the Sovereign. In 1821, however, George IV appointed six additional knights; he did not issue a Royal Warrant authorising the change until 1830. William IV formally changed the statutes in 1833, increasing the limit to twenty-two knights.
The original statutes, based heavily on those of the Order of the
Garter, prescribed that any vacancy should be filled by the Sovereign
upon the nomination of the members. Each
Order of St Patrick
The office of Prelate was held by the Lord Archbishop of Armagh , the most senior clergyman in the Church of Ireland . The Prelate was not mentioned in the original statutes, but created by a warrant shortly afterwards, apparently because the Archbishop at the time had asked to be appointed to the post. Since the death of the last holder in 1885, the office of Prelate has remained vacant.
The Church of Ireland's second highest cleric, the Lord Archbishop of
Order of St Patrick
The Usher of the Order was "the Usher at Arms named the Black Rod".
The Gentleman Usher of the
Black Rod in Ireland was distinct from the
English officer of the same name , though like his counterpart he had
some duties in the
Irish House of Lords . (The latter continues to
serve as Usher to the
Order of the Garter and as Serjeant-at-Arms of
House of Lords
The offices of Secretary and Genealogist were originally held by members of the Irish House of Commons . The office of Secretary has been vacant since 1926. The position of Genealogist was left vacant in 1885, restored in 1889, but left vacant again in 1930.
VESTMENTS AND ACCOUTREMENTS
Ernest Augustus I of Hanover in the mantle of a
For important occasions, such as Coronations and investitures of new
members of the Order,
* The mantle was a celestial blue robe lined with white silk. The
star of the Order (see below) was depicted on the left of the mantle.
A blue hood was attached to the mantle.
* The hat of the Order was originally of white satin, lined with
blue, but was changed to black velvet by George IV . It was plumed
with three falls of feathers, one red, one white and one blue.
* The collar was made of gold, consisting of Tudor roses and harps
attached with knots. The two roses which comprise the
On certain "collar days " designated by the Sovereign, members attending formal events wore the Order's collar over their military uniform, formal day dress, or evening wear. When collars were worn (either on collar days or on formal occasions such as coronations), the badge was suspended from the collar.
Aside from these special occasions, however, much simpler accoutrements were used:
* The star of the Order was an eight-pointed figure, with the four cardinal points longer than the intermediate points. Each point was shown as a cluster of rays. In the centre was the same motto, year and design that appeared on the badge. The star was worn pinned to the left breast. * The broad riband was a celestial blue sash worn across the body, from the right shoulder to the left hip. * The badge was pinned to the riband at the left hip. Made of gold, it depicted a shamrock bearing three crowns, on top of a cross of St Patrick and surrounded by a blue circle bearing the motto in majuscules , as well as the date of the Order's foundation in Roman numerals ("MDCCLXXXIII").
The Grand Master's insignia were of the same form and design as those of the Knights. In 1831, however, William IV presented the Grand Master with a star and badge, each composed of rubies , emeralds and Brazilian diamonds . These two insignia were designated "Crown Jewels" in the Order's 1905 Statutes, and the designation "Irish Crown Jewels " was emphasised by newspapers when they were stolen in 1907, along with the collars of five Knights; they have not since been recovered.
A number of items pertaining to the
Order of St Patrick
CHAPEL AND CHANCERY
St Patrick's Cathedral was the Chapel of the Order.
The Chapel of the Order was originally in St Patrick\'s Cathedral in
The Order was without a ceremonial home until 1881 when arrangements
were made to display banners, helms and hatchment plates (the
equivalent of stall plates, in the absence of stalls) in the Great
Hall , officially called St. Patrick\'s Hall , in
Dublin Castle . On
the establishment of the
Irish Free State the banners of the living
knights were removed. When the Hall was redecorated in 1962 it was
decided that it should be hung with the banners of the members of the
Order in 1922. The existing banners were repaired or new ones made; it
is these banners which can be seen today. The Hall, which was renamed
St Patrick's Hall from its association with the Order, also served as
the Chancery of the Order. Installation ceremonies, and later
investitures, were held here, often on St Patrick\'s Day , until they
were discontinued. A banquet for the
Unlike many of the other British Orders, the stall plates (or
hatchment plates) do not form a continuous record of the
PRECEDENCE AND PRIVILEGES
A panel recording some members of the
Order of St Patrick
Since the members of the Order were required to be knights, and in practice had higher rank, many of the privileges of membership were rendered moot. As knights they could prefix "Sir" to their forenames, but the form was never used in speech, as they were referred to by their peerage dignities. They were assigned positions in the order of precedence , but had higher positions by virtue of their peerage dignities.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to ORDER OF ST PATRICK .
* List of
* ^ According to Galloway (pp 171–2), the motto was borrowed from
the Order of the Friendly Brothers of St Patrick , but was also
appropriate politically in expressing a desire for unity
* ^ A B "Monarchy Today: Queen and Public: Honours: Order of St
Patrick". Official website of the British Monarchy. Retrieved 3
* ^ 1783 Statutes, Article III, quoted in Nicolas, p. 9. The 1905
Statutes, quoted in Galloway p281ff, remove these restrictions on
* ^ Vincent Morley. "Origin of the St. Patrick\'s Cross Flag".
Flags of the World. Retrieved 17 December 2006.
* ^ See Image:Duke of Leinster coa.png
* ^ "No. 33282".
The London Gazette . 7 June 1927. p. 3711.
* ^ According to Galloway, p155, neither Cosgrave or his government
registered any protest, possibly because they had no objection
* ^ "No. 34065".
The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1934. p.
* ^ "No. 34265".
The London Gazette . 17 March 1936. p. 1738.
* ^ Galloway, pp152–6
* ^ A B Devlin, Hannah (13 November 2005). "Focus: Does Ireland
need its own awards?". Sunday Times Ireland. London. Retrieved 7
* ^ "Seanad Éireann – Volume 148 – National Cultural
Institutions Bill, 1996: Second Stage". Office of the Houses of the
Oireachtas. 17 October 1996. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
* ^ 1783 Statutes, Article II, quoted in Nicolas, p. 9
* ^ Galloway, p. 103
* ^ Preamble to 1783 Statutes, quoted in Nicolas, p. 9. According
to Galloway, p. 17, it was intended that there be 16 knights in
addition to the Sovereign, but George III decided to take one of the
16 stalls which had been allotted in the chapel for himself.
* ^ Nicolas, p. 37
* ^ Galloway, p. 269
* ^ Galloway, p26
* ^ For example Thomas O\'Hagan, 1st
* ^ 1783 Statutes, article VII, quoted in Nicolas, p. 11 * ^ Galloway, p. 67 * ^ Galloway, p. 70 * ^ Galloway, p. 202 * ^ "Inauguration and removal of the President". Comhairle. 2006-11-14. Retrieved 6 December 2006. * ^ Galloway, pp. 201–209 * ^ The 1783 statutes only mention encircling the arms with the collar and badge of the Order. The 1905 Statutes, article XX (quoted in Galloway, p. 282) mention the circlet and supporters as well. * ^ 1905 Statutes, article XXI, quoted in Galloway, p282 * ^ Woodcock and Robinson, p93
* Galloway, Peter (1999). The most illustrious Order: The Order of
St Patrick and its knights. London: Unicorn. ISBN 0-906290-23-6 .
* Statutes of the Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick. To which is
Added the Ceremony of the First Installation, in 1783. Dublin: G.
* Statutes and Ordinances of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint
Patrick. Dublin: G.A. and J.F. Grierson (published 1833). 1831.
* Viceregal Commission to investigate the circumstances of the loss
of the regalia of the Order of
* v * t * e
Orders, decorations, and medals of the
* St Michael and St George
* Royal Victorian
* Distinguished Service
* St Patrick * Royal Guelphic * Crown of India * Star of India * Indian Empire * Indian Merit * British India * Burma
ROYAL FAMILY ORDERS
* Constabulary Medal (Ireland) * Sea Gallantry Medal (SGM) * Queen\'s Gallantry Medal (QGM) * Royal Victorian Medal (RVM) * British Empire Medal (BEM) * Queen\'s Police Medal, for Distinguished Service (QPM) * Queen\'s Fire Service Medal, for Distinguished Service (QFSM) * Queen\'s Ambulance Service Medal (QAM) * Queen\'s Volunteer Reserves Medal (QVRM) * Queen\'s Medal for Chiefs * Polar Medal (PM) * Imperial Service Medal * Overseas Territories Police Medal (CPM) * Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service
* Mentioned in Despatches * Queen\'s Commendation for Bravery * Queen\'s Commendation for Bravery in the Air * Queen\'s Commendation for Valuable Service
Order of Merit
* Albert Medal (2nd class) (AM) * Edward Medal (2nd class) (EM) * Union of South Africa King\'s Medal for Bravery, Gold
Order of British India (First Class) (OBI)
Order of British India (Second Class) (OBI)
Order of Merit
* Union of South Africa Queen\'s Medal for Bravery (Silver) * Kaisar-i-Hind Medal (Gold, Silver, Bronze) * Indian Police Medal, for Gallantry * Ceylon Police Medal, for Gallantry * Sierra Leone Police Medal, for Gallantry * Sierra Leone Fire Brigades Medal, for Gallantry * Colonial Police Medal, for Gallantry (CPM) * Canada Medal (CM) * Indian Police Medal, for Meritorious Service * Ceylon Police Medal, for Merit * Sierra Leone Police Medal, for Meritorious Service * Sierra Leone Fire Brigades Medal, for Meritorious Service
* King\'s/Queen\'s Commendation for Brave Conduct * King\'s/Queen\'s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
* See also: * British campaign medals * Revocations * Orders, decorations and medals * Campaign medals
* v * t * e
General and events
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Irish House of Lords and Irish House of
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* Trinity College,