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The Order of the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
(Spanish: Orden del Toisón de Oro,[1] German: Orden vom Goldenen Vlies) is a Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic
order of chivalry founded in Bruges
Bruges
by the Burgundian duke Philip the Good
Philip the Good
in 1430, to celebrate his marriage to the Portuguese princess Isabella. It became one of the most prestigious orders in Europe. Today, two branches of the Order exist, namely the Spanish and the Austrian Fleece; the current grand masters are Felipe VI, King of Spain, and Karl von Habsburg, grandson of Emperor Charles I of Austria, respectively. The chaplain of the Austrian branch is Cardinal Graf
Graf
von Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna.

Contents

1 Origin 2 Spanish Order

2.1 Living members 2.2 Armorial of the Spanish Golden Fleece

3 Austrian Order

3.1 Living members 3.2 Officials

4 Chapters of the Order 5 Insignia 6 See also 7 References 8 Literature 9 External links

Origin[edit] The Order of the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
was established on 10 January 1430, by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, in celebration of the prosperous and wealthy domains united in his person that ran from Flanders
Flanders
to Switzerland. The jester and dwarf Madame d'Or performed at the creation of the Order of the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
in Bruges.[2] It is restricted to a limited number of knights, initially 24 but increased to 30 in 1433, and 50 in 1516, plus the sovereign.[3] The Order's first King of Arms
King of Arms
was Jean Le Fèvre de Saint-Remy.[4] It received further privileges unusual to any order of knighthood: the sovereign undertook to consult the order before going to war; all disputes between the knights were to be settled by the order; at each chapter the deeds of each knight were held in review, and punishments and admonitions were dealt out to offenders, and to this the sovereign was expressly subject; the knights could claim as of right to be tried by their fellows on charges of rebellion, heresy and treason, and Charles V conferred on the order exclusive jurisdiction over all crimes committed by the knights; the arrest of the offender had to be by warrant signed by at least six knights, and during the process of charge and trial he remained not in prison but in the gentle custody of his fellow knights. The order, conceived in an ecclesiastical spirit in which mass and obsequies were prominent and the knights were seated in choirstalls like canons,[5] was explicitly denied to heretics, and so became an exclusively Catholic
Catholic
honour during the Reformation. The officers of the order were the chancellor, the treasurer, the registrar, and the King of Arms, or herald, Toison d'Or.

Baudouin de Lannoy, c. 1435, one of the first Knights of the Golden Fleece, inducted in 1430

the Marquess of Trazengnies with the Insignia, funeral of Albert VII of Austria

The Duke's stated reason for founding this institution had been given in a proclamation issued following his marriage, in which he wrote that he had done so "for the reverence of God and the maintenance of our Christian Faith, and to honor and exalt the noble order of knighthood, and also ...to do honor to old knights; ...so that those who are at present still capable and strong of body and do each day the deeds pertaining to chivalry shall have cause to continue from good to better; and .. so that those knights and gentlemen who shall see worn the order ... should honor those who wear it, and be encouraged to employ themselves in noble deeds...".[6] The Order of the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
was defended from possible accusations of prideful pomp by the Burgundian court poet Michault Taillevent, who asserted that it was instituted:

Non point pour jeu ne pour esbatement, Mais à la fin que soit attribuée Loenge à Dieu trestout premièrement Et aux bons gloire et haulte renommée.

Translated into English:[7]

Not for amusement nor for recreation, But for the purpose that praise shall be given to God, In the very first place, And to the good, glory and high renown.

The choice of the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
of Colchis
Colchis
as the symbol of a Christian order caused some controversy, not so much because of its pagan context, which could be incorporated in chivalric ideals, as in the Nine Worthies, but because the feats of Jason, familiar to all, were not without causes of reproach, expressed in anti-Burgundian terms by Alain Chartier
Alain Chartier
in his Ballade de Fougères referring to Jason as "Who, to carry off the fleece of Colchis, was willing to commit perjury."[8] The bishop of Châlons, chancellor of the Order, rescued the fleece's reputation by identifying it instead with the fleece of Gideon
Gideon
that received the dew of Heaven.[9] The badge of the Order, in the form of a sheepskin, was suspended from a jewelled collar of firesteels in the shape of the letter B, for Burgundy, linked by flints; with the motto "Pretium Laborum Non Vile" ("No Mean Reward for Labours")[10] engraved on the front of the central link, and Philip's motto "Non Aliud" ("I will have no other") on the back (non-royal knights of the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
were forbidden to belong to any other order of knighthood). Spanish Order[edit]

The Duke of Wellington wearing the Spanish Fleece

Prince Albert wearing the Spanish Fleece in 1842 (portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter)

Emperor Pedro II of Brazil
Pedro II of Brazil
wearing the Spanish Fleece in 1838

Leonor, Princess of Asturias
Leonor, Princess of Asturias
wearing the Spanish Fleece in 2018

With the absorption of the Burgundian lands into the Spanish Habsburg empire, the sovereignty of the Order passed to the Habsburg kings of Spain, where it remained until the death of the last of the Spanish Habsburgs, Charles II, in 1700. He was succeeded as king by Philip V, a Bourbon. The dispute between Philip and the Habsburg pretender to the Spanish throne, the Archduke Charles, led to the War of the Spanish Succession, and also resulted in the division of the Order into Spanish and Austrian branches. In either case the sovereign, as Duke of Burgundy, writes the letter of appointment in French. The controversial conferral of the Fleece on Napoleon
Napoleon
and his brother Joseph, while Spain
Spain
was occupied by French troops, angered the exiled King of France, Louis XVIII, and caused him to return his collar in protest. These, and other awards by Joseph, were revoked by King Ferdinand on the restoration of Bourbon rule in 1813. Napoleon
Napoleon
created by Order of 15 August 1809 the Order of the Three Golden Fleeces, in view of his sovereignty over Austria, Spain
Spain
and Burgundy. This was opposed by Joseph I of Spain
Spain
and appointments to the new order were never made.[11] In 1812, the acting government of Spain
Spain
conferred the Fleece upon the Duke of Wellington, an act confirmed by Ferdinand on his resumption of power, with the approval of Pope Pius VII. Wellington therefore became the first Protestant
Protestant
to be honoured with the Golden Fleece. It has subsequently also been conferred upon non-Christians, such as Bhumibol Adulyadej, King of Thailand. There was another crisis in 1833 when Isabella II became Queen of Spain
Spain
in defiance of Salic Law
Salic Law
that did not allow women to become heads of state. Her right to confer the Fleece was challenged by Spanish Carlists.[citation needed] Sovereignty remained with the head of the Spanish house of Bourbon during the republican (1931–39) and Francoist (1939–1975) periods and is held today by the present King of Spain, Felipe VI. Knights of the Order are entitled to be addressed with the style His/Her Excellency
Excellency
in front of their name.[12] Living members[edit] Below a list of the names of the living knights and ladies, in chronologic order and, within parentheses, the year when they were inducted into the Order:

King Felipe VI of Spain
Felipe VI of Spain
(1981) – As reigning King of Spain, Sovereign of the Order since 2014 after his father abdicated his rights to him. King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Spain
(1941) – Former Sovereign of the Order as King of Spain
King of Spain
from 1975 to 2014. King Constantine II of Greece
King Constantine II of Greece
(1964) The King of Sweden (1983)[13] Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
(1983)[14] The Emperor of Japan (1985)[15] Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands
Beatrix of the Netherlands
(1985)[16] The Queen of Denmark (1985)[17] The Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms (1989)[18] King Albert II of Belgium
King Albert II of Belgium
(1994)[19] The King of Norway (1995)[20] Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria, 2001–2005 (2004)[21] The Grand Duke of Luxembourg (2007)[22] Javier Solana
Javier Solana
(2010)[23] Víctor García de la Concha
Víctor García de la Concha
(2010)[24] Nicolas Sarkozy, Former President of the French Republic and Co-Prince of Andorra, 2007–2012 (2011) [25][26] Enrique Valentín Iglesias García (2014)[27] The Princess of Asturias (2015)[28]

Armorial of the Spanish Golden Fleece[edit]

Coats of arms of current Knights of the Spanish Golden Fleece

The King of Spain The Princess of Asturias King Juan Carlos of Spain

King Constantine II of Greece The King of Sweden Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg

The Emperor of Japan Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands The Queen of Denmark

The Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth Realms King Albert II of Belgium The King of Norway

Tsar Simeon II of Bulgaria The Grand Duke of Luxembourg Javier Solana

Víctor García de la Concha Nicolas Sarkozy Enrique V. Iglesias

Austrian Order[edit]

Ferdinand I, Emperor of Austria
Austria
as Grand Master of the Fleece

Gala uniform of the emperor, with the insigna around the neck.

Potence or neck collar of the King of Arms
King of Arms
to the Order.

The Austrian Order did not suffer from the political difficulties of the Spanish, remaining (with the exception of the British prince Regent, later George IV) an honour solely for Catholic
Catholic
royalty and nobility. The problem of female inheritance was avoided on the accession of Maria Theresa in 1740 as sovereignty of the Order passed not to herself but to her husband, Francis. Upon the collapse of the Austrian monarchy after the First World War, King Albert I of Belgium
Albert I of Belgium
requested that the sovereignty and treasure of the Order be transferred to him as the ruler of the former Habsburg lands of Burgundy. This claim was seriously considered by the victorious allies at Versailles but was eventually rejected due to the intervention of King Alfonso XIII of Spain, who took possession of the property of the Order on behalf of the dethroned emperor, Charles I of Austria. Sovereignty remains with the head of the House of Habsburg, which was handed over on 20 November 2000 by Otto von Habsburg
Otto von Habsburg
to his elder son, Karl von Habsburg.[29] Living members[edit] Below a list of the names of the living knights, in chronological order, followed in parentheses by the date, when known, of their induction into the Order:

The Duke of Bavaria (1960) [30][31] Count Johann Larisch of Moennich (1960) [30] Archduke Karl of Austria
Austria
(1961) [30] – Sovereign (Grand Master) of the Order since 2000 Archduke Andreas Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany [30][32] Archduke Carl Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany [30][33] Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este
Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este
[30][34] Archduke Michael of Austria
Austria
[30][35] Archduke Michael Salvator of Austria, Prince of Tuscany [30][36] Archduke Georg of Austria
Austria
[30][37] Archduke Carl Christian of Austria
Austria
[30] Archduke Joseph of Austria
Austria
(born 1933) [30][38] King Albert II of Belgium
King Albert II of Belgium
[30] Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg
[30][39] Prince Albrecht of Hohenberg [30][40] The Duke of Württemberg [30][41] The Prince of Lobkowicz [30] Count Johann of Hoyos-Sprinzenstein [30] The Prince of Liechtenstein [30][42] Prince Clemens of Altenburg [30][43] The Duke of Braganza [30][44] Count Josef Hubert of Neipperg [30][45] The Duke of Hohenberg [30][46] The Prince of Schwarzenberg [30][47] Archduke Joseph of Austria
Austria
(born 1960) [30] The Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg [30][48] Count Gottfried of Czernin of Chudenitz [30] Mariano Hugo, Prince of Windisch-Graetz
Mariano Hugo, Prince of Windisch-Graetz
[30][49] Baron Johann Friedrich of Solemacher-Antweiler [30] Baron Nicolas Adamovich de Csepin [30] Bernard Guerrier de Dumast (fr) (2001) The Prince of Panagyurishte (2002) [50] The King of the Belgians (2008) The Prince of Ligne (2011) Prince Charles-Louis de Merode (2011) Archduke Ferdinand Zvonimir of Austria
Austria
[51] The Margrave of Meissen (2012) [52]

Neck insignia of the Order.

Officials[edit]

Chancellor: Count Alexander von Pachta-Reyhofen (since 2005) Grand Chaplain: Christoph Cardinal Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna (since 1992) Chaplain: Count Gregor Henckel-Donnersmarck (since 2007) Treasurer: Baron Wulf Gordian von Hauser (since 1992) Registrar: Count Karl-Philipp von Clam-Martinic (since 2007) Herald: Count Karl-Albrecht von Waldstein-Wartenberg (since 1997)

Chapters of the Order[edit]

Number Date City Temple Sovereign/Grand Master

I 30 November 1431 Lille Saint-Pierre's Collegiate Church Philip III of Burgundy

II 30 November 1432 Bruges St. Donatian's Cathedral Philip III

III 30 November 1433 Dijon Sainte-Chapelle Philip III

IV 30 November 1435 Brussels Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula Philip III

V 30 November 1436 Lille Saint-Pierre's Collegiate Church Philip III

VI 30 November 1440 Saint-Omer Abbey of Saint Bertin Philip III

VII 30 November 1445 Ghent Saint Bavo Cathedral Philip III

VIII 2 May 1451 Mons Sainte-Waudru's Collegiate Church Philip III

IX 2 May 1456 The Hague Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk Philip III

X 2 May 1461 Saint-Omer Abbey of Saint Bertin Philip III

XI 2 May 1468 Bruges Church of Our Lady Charles I of Burgundy

XII 2 May 1473 Valenciennes St. Paul 's Church Charles I

XIII 30 April 1478 Bruges St. Salvator's Cathedral Maximilian of Austria
Austria
(Regent of the Order)

XIV 6 May 1481 's-Hertogenbosch St. John's Cathedral Maximilian of Austria

XV 24 May 1491 Mechelen St. Rumbold's Cathedral Philip IV of Burgundy (Philip I of Castile)

XVI 17 January 1501 Brussels Chapel of the Carmelite Convent Philip IV

XVII 17 December 1505 Middelburg ? Philip IV

XVIII October 1516 Brussels Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula Charles II of Burgundy (Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor)

XIX 5–8 March 1519 Barcelona Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia Charles II

XX 3 December 1531 Tournai Cathedral of Our Lady Charles II

XXI 2 January 1546 Utrecht St. Martin's Cathedral Charles II

XXII 26 January 1555 Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady Philip V of Burgundy (Philip II of Spain)

XXIII 29 July 1559 Ghent Saint Bavo Cathedral Philip V[53]

Insignia[edit]

Collar (Spanish and Austrian Branches)

Spanish Branch Austrian Branch

Sovereign's Neck Insignia Knight's Neck and Dame's Ribbon Insignia Neck Insignia

See also[edit]

List of Knights of the Golden Fleece Jean Le Fèvre de Saint-Remy, first King of Arms
King of Arms
to the Order

References[edit]

^ Vellus aureum Burgundo-Austriacum sive Augusti et ordinis torquatorum aurei velleris equitum ... relatio historiaca. Ed.I., Antonius Kaschutnig, Paulus-Antonius Gundl ^ The Anglo American. 1844. p. 610.  ^ "Origins of the Golden Fleece". Antiquesatoz.com. September 8, 1953. Retrieved May 3, 2012.  ^ Buchon, Jean Alexandre (1838). Choix de chroniques et mémoires sur l'histoire de France: avec notices [Selection of chronicles and memoirs on the history of France: with notices] (in French). 2. Paris: Auguste Desrez. pp. xj–xvj (11–16).  ^ Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages (1919) 1924:75. ^ Doulton, Op. cit., pp.360–361 ^ Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages [1919] 1924:75). ^ "qui pour emportrer la toison De Colcos se veult parjurer." ^ Huizinga 1924:77. ^ "Search object details". British Museum. February 22, 1994. Retrieved May 3, 2012.  ^ Rey y Cabieses, Amadeo-Martín – La descendencia de José Bonaparte, rey de España y de las Indias, slide 22 ^ Satow, Ernest Mason, Sir – A Guide to Diplomatic Practice, page 249 ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 20 abril 1983 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 22 junio 1983 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 28 febrero 1985 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 8 octubre 1985 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 24 octubre 1985 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 6 mayo 1989 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 17 septiembre 1994 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 25 abril 1995 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 2 octubre 2004 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 14 abril 2007 (accessed on June 9, 2007) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 23 enero 2010 (accessed on January 23, 2010) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 23 enero 2010 (accessed on January 23, 2010) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 26 noviembre 2011 (accessed on October 23, 2016) ^ "iafrica.com news world news Sarkozy to get Golden Fleece". News.iafrica.com. November 25, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2012.  ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 29 marzo 2014 (accessed on March 30, 2014) ^ Spanish: Boletín Oficial del Estado, 31 octubre 2010 (accessed on October 31, 2015) ^ "Schatz des Ordens vom Goldenen Vlies". Die Wiener Schatzkammer. Retrieved September 11, 2016.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Chevaliers de la Toison d'Or, Toison Autrichienne". Retrieved September 11, 2016.  ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVIII (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2007), 4. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 111. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 113. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 95. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 119. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 112. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 94. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 117. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVIII (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2007), 80. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1997), 605. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVIII (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2007), 122. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVIII (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2007), 50. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XVI (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2001), 564. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1991), 122. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIX (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2011), 279. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1997), 602. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XV (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 1997), 424. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIX (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2011), 271. ^ Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser XIX (Limburg an der Lahn: C.A. Starke, 2011), 436. ^ "The Habsburg Most Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece: Its Potential Relevance on Modern Culture in the European Union" ^ Bild.de ^ Prince Alexander of Saxony Duke of Saxony ^ Livre du toison d'or, online, fols. 4r-66r

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Literature[edit]

Weltliche und Geistliche Schatzkammer. Bildführer. Kunsthistorischen Museum, Vienna. 1987. ISBN 3-7017-0499-6 Fillitz, Hermann. Die Schatzkammer in Wien: Symbole abendländischen Kaisertums. Vienna, 1986. ISBN 3-7017-0443-0 Fillitz, Hermann. Der Schatz des Ordens vom Goldenen Vlies. Vienna, 1988. ISBN 3-7017-0541-0 Boulton, D'Arcy Jonathan Dacre, 1987. The Knights of The Crown: The Monarchical Orders of Knighthood in Later Medieval Europe, 1325–1520, Woodbridge, Suffolk (Boydell Press),(revised edition 2000)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Order of the Golden Fleece.

The Society of the golden fleece, an association of people interested in the Order The Most Illustrious Order of the Golden Fleece
Golden Fleece
at a reference site on chivalric orders.

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 153630848 LCCN: n82120497 ISNI: 0000 0001 2188 7219 GND: 1705599-4 SELIBR: 214561 SUDOC: 02902062X BNF: cb120734043 (data) NLA: 35554350 NKC: j

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