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Encyclopedia > Venerable Order of Saint John
HRH The Duke of Gloucester is Grand Prior of the Venerable Order of Saint John. He is shown here at the investiture service of the Priory in the United States of the Order.

The Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, or Order of St John to use its short title, is a British-based royal order of chivalry, and is found throughout the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as the United States of America and Hong Kong. While members are mainly of the Protestant faith, those of other Christian denominations may be honoured with appointment and be accepted into the Order. Honorary membership is also presented to some distinguished adherents of other religions. Membership of the Order is by invitation only, and individuals may not petition for admission. It is perhaps better known through its largest service organisation, St. John Ambulance, whose membership is not limited to any denomination or religion. Baron Vassiliev, a 19th-century Knight Commander The Knights Hospitaller (also known as the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and Chevaliers of Malta) was an organization that began as an Amalfitan hospital founded in Jerusalem in 1080... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 287 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (688 × 1436 pixels, file size: 289 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 287 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (688 × 1436 pixels, file size: 289 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (Richard Alexander Walter George Windsor; born 26 August 1944) is a member of the British Royal Family, a grandson of King George V. He has been Duke of Gloucester since his fathers death in 1974. ... For the documentary series, see Monarchy (TV series). ... Bors Dilemma - he chooses to save a maiden rather than his brother Lionel Chivalry[1] is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood. ... The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2006 Headquarters Marlborough House, London, UK Official languages English Membership 53 sovereign states Leaders  -  Queen Elizabeth II  -  Secretary-General Don McKinnon (since 1 April 2000) Establishment  -  Balfour Declaration 18 November 1926   -  Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931   -  London Declaration 28 April 1949  Area  -  Total... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... For other senses of this word, see denomination. ... St John Ambulance vehicle in a London street. ...

Contents

History

In June 1826, the Council of the French Langues, which was a self-proclaimed revival of the Order of Malta in France, sought to raise money by which to restore a homeland for the Order. The Council had decided upon a private venture, funded by subscription. Essentially they sought to create a mercenary army, attracting into its service some of the large numbers of unemployed English soldiers and utilise the cheap war surplus that was available. Philippe de Castelain, a French Knight, had been appointed to negotiate with suitable people in England. Donald Currie, a Scotsman living in England, was given the authority to raise £240,000. Both financial subscribers to the Scheme, and all Commissioned Officers of the mercenary army had the right to become Knights in the Order. Baron Vassiliev, a 19th-century Knight Commander The Knights Hospitaller (also known as the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and Chevaliers of Malta) was an organization that began as an Amalfitan hospital founded in Jerusalem in 1080... For other uses, see Mercenary (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Knight (disambiguation) or Knights (disambiguation). ... This article is about the country. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... An officer is a member of a military, naval, or if applicable, other uniformed services who holds a position of responsibility. ...


Although new Knights were created, little money was raised. The Greek war had been won without the help of the French Knights. Castelain and Currie were authorised by the so-called Chevalier de Sainte-Croix to form the Council of the English Langue. This was inaugurated on 12 January 1831. The executive power of the Council was given to a person who called himself 'Count' Alexander Mortara. The address for the Council was the "Auberge of St John, St John's Gate, St John's Square, Clerkenwell". This was none other than the public house "The Old Jerusalem Tavern", which occupied what had been the Gatehouse to the mediæval English Grand Priory. is the 12th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... St Johns Gate is one of the few tangible remains from Clerkenwells monastic past, it was built in 1504 by Prior Thomas Docwra as the south entrance to the inner precinct of the Priory of the Knights of Saint John - the Knights Hospitallers. ... Clerkenwell Green and St James church Clerkenwell is an area of central London in the London Borough of Islington. ... Pub redirects here. ...


The Reverend Sir Robert Peat, the absentee Perpetual Curate of St Lawrence in Brentford, Middlesex, and one of the many former Chaplains to the Prince Regent (the future King George IV) was recruited as a member of the English Langue. Peat with other British members of the Langue expelled Mortara, accusing him of selling Knighthoods. The Council of the French Langues backed Mortara, and so from early 1832, there were two competing English Langues, the Langue of which Peat was a member, being the unofficial English Langue. The rival organisations co-existed for five years, until the disappearance of Mortara early in 1837, when his organisation also disappeared. In some denominations of Christianity, the cure of souls (Latin cura animarum), an archaic translation which is better rendered today as care of souls, is the exercise by a priest of his or her office. ...


Peat is credited as being the first Grand Prior of the Order, yet there is no mention of this in any of his obituaries, and this is a claim which is disputed. W.B.H. writes in the Journal ‘Notes & Queries’ January 1919; “His name is not in the knights list, and he was never “Prior in the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem” : he became an ordinary member of that Order on Nov 11, 1830” 12th series V January 1919, page 23.


Following Peat's death in April 1837, Sir Henry Dymoke became Grand Prior, and under his leadership, contact was re-established with the Knights in France and Germany. The British Order sought official recognition from the Roman Catholic Headquarters of the Order of Malta but this was refused by Lieutenant Grand Master Commander Philippe de Colloredo-Mansfeld (1845-1864). Up to this point, the English organisation had only considered itself to be a Grand Priory and Langue of the Order. In response to the Roman Catholic Order's refusal of recognition, the English Priory declared itself to be the Sovereign Order in England, under the title "The Sovereign and Illustrious Order of St John of Jerusalem, Anglia". Thus began the modern myth of the Order's direct succession from the Order of St John founded in the twelfth century. Dymoke, the name of an English family holding the office of kings champion. ... Baron Vassiliev, a 19th-century Knight Commander The Knights Hospitaller (also known as the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta, Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and Chevaliers of Malta) was an organization that began as an Amalfitan hospital founded in Jerusalem in 1080...


The English Order continued in its growth, and had been able to recruit the 7th Duke of Manchester, who became their Grand Prior in 1861. The beginnings of well-established national Hospitaller organisation began when the Order created a corps of Ambulances in the 1860s. In 1871 a new Constitution brought about a further change of name offering a more modest identity; "Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in England". In 1876, the Princess of Wales was recruited into membership, followed by the Prince of Wales. In 1877 the British Priory of the Order established St John Ambulance Associations in large railway centres and mining districts so that railway men and colliers might learn how to treat victims of accidents. This was followed up in 1887 with the creation of the St. John Ambulance Brigade. In 1882 the British Grand Priory founded a Hospice and Ophthalmic Dispensary in Jerusalem. The Duke of Manchester, by Leslie Ward, 1878 William Drogo Montagu, 7th Duke of Manchester KP (October 15, 1823–22 March 1890), known as Lord Kimbolton from 1823 to 1843 and as Viscount Mandeville from 1843 to 1855, was a British peer and Conservative Member of Parliament. ... Edward VII (Albert Edward; 9 November 1841 – 6 May 1910) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death on 6 May 1910. ... St John Ambulance vehicle in a London street. ...


Already to their credit was the very practical and life saving work undertaken by both the Ambulance Brigade and Association. In terms of status, the biggest leap forward was the official recognition conveyed in 1888 by way of the granting of a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria, under the title "The Grand Priory of the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England". The most recent Charter is dated 1955, with a supplemental charter in 1974. The 1974 Charter recognised the world-wide scope of the order by setting its current name and short title. The reigning monarch, at this time Queen Elizabeth II, serves as the Sovereign Head of the Order. Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837, and the first Empress of India from 1 May 1876, until her death on 22 January 1901. ...


While the British Order is ecumenical in membership, and from its early days counted Roman Catholics as members, it is identified with the Reformed tradition, through its Royal Head, who is also Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The British Order received collateral recognition from the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) through a concordat in 1963. The Christian ethos of the order is confirmed in the declaration which potential members must make, and which reads in part "and that I will endeavour always to uphold the aims of this Christian Order" The Church of England logo since 1998 The Church of England is the officially established Christian church[1] in England, and acts as the mother and senior branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, as well as a founding member of the Porvoo Communion. ...


Alliance of Orders of St John of Jerusalem

The "Alliance of the Orders of St. John" consists of the British Order and three other primarily Protestant orders: Badge of the Johanniter Order. ...

Badge of the Johanniter Order. ...

Committee on the Orders of St John

The Alliance of the Orders of St. John and the Catholic Sovereign Military Order of Malta form the "Mutually Recognised Orders of St. John" and none of these five recognise any of the other St John orders (which they describe as "self-styled"), nor their claims to be successors of the original order of St John, nor their historic right to use the name and symbols of the order. By contrast, the other (self-styled) orders sometimes dispute the claims of the Alliance and Catholic orders, particularly those of the SMOM. Like the Alliance itself (preceding section), this Committee represents a collaboration among the various legitimate orders to protect their heritage. As explained by John Brooke-Little decades later, the principal reason for the 1963 concordat was not ecumenism or brotherhood; instead, it was signed because none of the few legitimate orders of St John could effectively shield itself from the claims of the self-styled orders while the legitimate orders themselves continuously debated among themselves which of them was legitimate. It was this concordat which eventually led to establishment of the Alliance. Motto Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum(Latin) Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor Anthem (Latin) Hail, thou White Cross Capital Palazzo Malta, Rome Official languages Italian Government  -  Grand Master Fra Andrew Bertie Currency Scudo The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and... Motto Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum(Latin) Defence of the faith and assistance to the poor Anthem (Latin) Hail, thou White Cross Capital Palazzo Malta, Rome Official languages Italian Government  -  Grand Master Fra Andrew Bertie Currency Scudo The Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and... John Philip Rudolph Dominic Aloysius Mary Brooke-Little[1] CVO, KStJ, FSA, FSG, FHS, FHG (Hon), FRHSC (Hon), FHSNZ (6 April 1927–13 February 2006) was an influential and popular British writer on heraldic subjects and a long-serving officer of arms at the College of Arms in London. ...


The Order in the United Kingdom

Composition

The monarch of the Commonwealth Realms is the Sovereign Head of the Order. The next most senior member of the Order is the Grand Prior, the post being held by The Duke of Gloucester since 1974. Below the Grand Prior is the Grand Council consisting of the five Great Officers and the senior representatives from each of the 8 Priories.[1] Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor; born 21 April 1926) is Queen of sixteen sovereign states, holding each crown and title equally. ... The Commonwealth Realms, shown in pink A Commonwealth Realm is any one of the sixteen sovereign states within the Commonwealth of Nations that recognise Elizabeth II as their respective monarch. ... Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO (Richard Alexander Walter George Windsor; born 26 August 1944) is a member of the British Royal Family, a grandson of King George V. He has been Duke of Gloucester since his fathers death in 1974. ...


The Duchess of Gloucester and The Princess Royal are the two Dames Grand Cross of the Order, by date of appointment. The Sovereign makes all appointments to the Order as she in her absolute discretion shall think fit. Recommendations are made by the Grand Council. Image:Birgitte Van Deurs. ... The Princess Anne, Princess Royal (Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise; born 15 August 1950), is a member of the British Royal Family and the only daughter of Elizabeth II. She is the seventh holder of the title Princess Royal, and is currently ninth in the line of succession to the British...


The Order is divided into the following Classes:

  • Grade I – Bailiffs or Dames Grand Cross (G.C.St.J.)
  • Grade II – Knights or Dames of Justice or Grace (K.St.J. or D.St.J.)
  • Grade III – (a) Chaplains (Ch.St.J) and (b) Commanders (C.St.J.)
  • Grade IV – Officers (O.St.J.)
  • Grade V – Members (M.St.J.), Serving Brothers (S.B.St.J.) and Serving Sisters (S.S.St.J.)
  • Grade VI – Esquires (Esq.St.J.)

Bold textLink title===Officers===


The Order of St. John has at least five officers:

  1. Grand Prior
  2. Lord Prior of St. John
  3. Prelate
  4. Deputy Lord Prior(s) (depending on Grand Prior’s need for one or two)
  5. Sub-Prelate

Other Principal Officers, such as that of the Secretary-General, and Honorary Officers, such as that of the Genealogist, can be appointed by the Grand Prior on the recommendation of the Grand Council. The Principal and Honorary Officers are appointed to hold office for such period not exceeding three years. The Grand Prior may also appoint a Secretary of the Order who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Grand Prior or until resignation.


The Precedence within the Order is as follows:

  1. The Sovereign Head
  2. The Grand Prior
  3. The Lord Prior of St. John
  4. The Prior of a Priory or the Knight/Dame Commander of a Commandery when within the territory of the Establishment
  5. The Prelate of the Order
  6. The Deputy Lord Prior of the Deputy Lord Priors and if more than one in the order of seniority in their Grades
  7. The Sub-Prior of the Order
  8. Bailiffs and Dames Grand Cross
  9. The Prior of a Priory outside the territory of the Priory
  10. The Members of the Grand Council not included above in the order of seniority in their Grades
  11. The Principal Officers in the order of their offices
  12. The Sub-Prelates
  13. The Hospitaller of the Order
  14. Knights and Dames
  15. Chaplains
  16. Commanders
  17. Officers
  18. Serving Brother and Serving Sisters
  19. Esquires

Vestments and accoutrements

Serving Member of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem
Ribbon of the Order

Members of the Order wear vestments on important occasion for the Order, which vary by rank: Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...


The Sovereign Head’s mantle has a train, and is of silk velvet, lined with white silk. The Badge, a 12” diameter, eight-pointed, or Maltese Cross, is on the left breast, and is embellished with gold, and surmounted with an Imperial Crown.


The Grand Prior’s mantle is similar, but has no train or crown.


Bailiffs Grand Cross (and Knights of Justice prior to 1926) formerly wore black silk robes, lined with black silk. Theses are now made, like those of Knights, of black merino. They are faced with black silk, bear a 12” white linen Badge of the Order on the left breast, embellished with gold coloured silk, and with the tongues in red.


Members of the Order of the Grades I and II wear black merino mantles, faced with black silk, and bearing a 12” white linen Badge of the Order on the left breast. The Badges of the Knights of Justice are embellished with gold coloured silk, those of Knights of Grace, or Associate Knight, with white silk embellishments.


Commanders, and Officers in the Chapter-General, also wear black merino mantles faced with black silk. Their Badges however are smaller, 9” and 6” respectively, of which linen, embellished in white silk.


A white enameled Star of eight points without embellishment, worn on the left. The Secretary of the Order, and of the priories and commanderies, wear mantles similar to those of Officers, with the Badge superimposed upon two goose quill pens embroidered saltire-wise in white silk. The Medical Officer of the St John Ophthalmic Hospital, Jerusalem, may wear a mantle of special pattern. Women have worn mantles since 1974. Esquires wear the mantle of an Officer. In New Zealand the mantle is worn by Bailiffs and Dames Grand Cross, Knights and Dames, Commanders, and Officers in the Priory Chapter.


A riband of black watered silk, worn over the right shoulder, carries the Badge of Bailiffs and Dames Grand Cross on the left hip. A similar, narrower riband carries the Badge of Knights and Dames of Justice and of Grace round the neck. Commanders wear the Badge round the neck, but women Commanders wear it from a bow on the left breast. Officers wear the Badge on the left breast, and Serving Brothers and Sisters wear the Badge on the left breast in plain silver (an older style of the medal for Serving Brothers and Sisters is circular, black enamel background, bearing the cross of the Order in white enamel). The embellishment of the Badge for the third, fourth and fifth class members is silver.(12)


Beneath the mantle, in 1248 the knights were allowed a surcoat of black, with a white cross, and worn over armour. In 1259 this was changed to a red surcoat. By the fourteenth century surcoats had become shorter, more tight-fitting, and were called a jupon.


The modern sopra (or supra)-vest, formerly called a surcoat or under mantle, is a long coat of thin black cloth buttoning close down the neck and down one side, falling to the ankles. It is cut so as to entirely cover the tie, shirt, waistcoat and trousers. It is similar to a cassock, though it is a survival of the surcoat worn of the Order in ancient times (the supra vestis), rather than of the black fur-lined cassock or pellicea.


In the centre of the sopra-vest worn by Bailiffs Grand Cross is a plain eight-pointed cross of white cloth 12" in diameter.


Knights, Chaplains, or Commanders wear the sopra-vest plain, but the Badge is suspended from its riband so that it hangs about 6" below the Collar of the sopra-vest.


The sopra-vest is rarely worn in Australia or New Zealand.


The Prelate wears the Cope of the Order. Chaplains may wear a black silk full-sleeved robe bearing a 6" linen cross on the left breast, of gold embellished silk.


Clerical members of the Order may, when officiating, wear a tippet of black with red lining and edging and with red buttons. A 3" Badge is carried on the left breast. The tippet is worn over their cassock and surplice, or their non-conformist equivalent. Over the tippet a chaplain's Badge is worn around the neck. Meriwether Lewis wearing a tipped presented to him by Sacagaweas brother, Cameahwait. ...


A square black velvet cap with red edges and buttons may also be worn.


Precedence and privileges

The Order of St. John of Jerusalem is not a State Order, but a Royal Order of Chivalry. Its decorations can be worn on military uniform of a commonwealth state, and announcements of appointments or promotions are made in the official government periodical, the London Gazette, as with any other Order. However, no grade confers any title or social precedence outside the order. Thus a "Knight of Grace" or a "Knight of Justice" is not entitled to use the title "Sir" which a knight of the State Orders of Chivalry uses, but are eligible to register coats of arms with heraldic authorities. New knights of the Order receive the accolade from the Grand Prior when they are touched on the shoulder with a sword and receive their robes and insignia. Though the above Grades of the Order are given specific post-nominal letters, they only show that the recipient has been honoured unlike State Orders or Decorations which indicate precedence. A modern coat of arms is derived from the medi val practice of painting designs onto the shield and outer clothing of knights to enable them to be identified in battle, and later in tournaments. ... Post-nominal letters also called Post-nominal initials or Post-nominal titles are letters placed after the name of an individual to indicate that that individual holds a position, educational degree, accreditation, office, or honour. ...


See also

The following were the Lord Priors of St John of Jerusalem in England, the Knights Hospitallers, until it was stripped of its properties and income by Henry VIII: Gabnabius, (or Gabnebius) of Naples, the first prior. ... The Museum of the Order of St. ... St John Ambulance vehicle in a London street. ...

References

  1. ^ [1]

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Venerable Order of Saint John

 
 

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