Order of the Thistle

Discussion in 'The Scottish Rite' started by Blake Bowden, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Little article I found online...

    New display of the Order of the Thistle


    A new display celebrating the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland, is now open at the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The Thistle is awarded to Scottish men and women who have made significant contributions to national life. Her Majesty The Queen is Sovereign of the Order, and appointments to the Order, which are her personal gift made for life, are bestowed on St Andrew’s Day (30 November). New Knights are installed at a ceremony at
    St Giles’ Cathedral during The Queen’s annual residence at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in July.

    Visitors to the Palace will see an example of the robes and insignia worn by Thistle Knights and Ladies at the Order’s services and on other ceremonial occasions. The green velvet mantle is lined with white taffeta, and the hat is of black velvet with a plume of white feathers. St Andrew, the patron saint of the Order, is represented on the badge worn from the gold collar of thistles and rue, and on the sash badge set on a broad green ribbon across the left shoulder. The breast star of the Order consists of a silver saltire cross with pointed rays between each of the arms of the cross. In the centre of the star is a gold medallion with an enamelled thistle surrounded by a green border bearing the Order’s motto Nemo me impune lacessit’ (No one harms me with impunity).

    The display also includes historic insignia, such as the diamond-set badge and star given as a wedding present to the future King George V by the people of Scotland, and an early 18th-century collar and sash badge that once belonged to the Earls of Ailesbury and were acquired by
    Her Majesty The Queen.

    There is much debate as to when the Order of the Thistle was established. Legend has it that it was first founded in 809, when King Achaius of Scotland made an alliance with the Emperor Charlemagne. It was James III (r.1460-1488), however, who adopted the thistle as the Royal plant badge, and the Scottish Arms were henceforth surrounded by a collar of thistles. James VII and II (r.1685-1689) officially established an order of chivalry in 1687 to reward Scottish peers who had supported the king, limiting the number of Knights to 12. That year the Abbey Church at the Palace of Holyroodhouse was converted into the Chapel of the Order, but was pillaged by rioters in 1687. It was not until 1911 that the Order once again had its own chapel, at St Giles’ Cathedral.

    Source: http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/default.asp?action=article&ID=602

    The Order fell into temporary disuse after King James went into exile. His daughter, Queen Anne, revived it in 1703, and it continued to be awarded by the Hanoverian kings to the Scottish nobility. George IV famously wore the insignia of the Order of the Thistle during his visit to Scotland in 1822, and in 1827 the number of Knights was increased to 16. Today there are also two Royal Knights – HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Duke of Rothesay (Prince Charles) – and one Royal Lady, HRH The Princess Royal. On St Andrew’s Day 2007, Lord Cullen of Whitekirk and Garth Morrison were appointed Knights of the Thistle and will be installed this summer.
  2. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

    Bro. Blake you find more interesting reads than one can keep up with..thanks for sharing
  3. 4thgenPM

    4thgenPM Guest

    Thanks Blake! Now you give us the opportunity to explain why the "Order of the Thistle" as it exists in the Valley of Austin and several other places outside of the state has a much longer name than that...

    The actual Order of the Thistle from Scotland is still a legal order of knighthood. To make sure that we don't violate any laws, the Order here is actually the "Knights Commander of the Order of the Thistle of the Masonic Knights of Saint Andrew of the Valley of Austin of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America."

    (no wonder we just call it "The Thistle.") You'll also find that most chapters of the Order are styled "Knights of St. Andrew" or "KoSA". All are the same - an honour organization for 32nd degree Masters of the Royal Secret who have distinguished themselves in their service to the Rite, the Fraternity, and/or their Community.
  4. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

    The KoSA at the Valley of Dallas is a service organization that serves the needs of the Valley of Dallas. Like most KoSA groups we are a black hat only group. Just a few of our functions is escorting dignitaries, performing all flag ceremonies, escorting of candidates during reunions, greeters, escorts for all visitors at events outside of stated meetings, Sponsors of the Robert Burns Dinner and in many other ways as need to insure that our meetings, events and reunions run smooth.

    Our official Tartan is the Texas Bluebonnet Tartan (official tartan for the state of Texas btw).
  5. 4thgenPM

    4thgenPM Guest

    Thank you, sir, for this excellent description and inclusion of another principle element of the function of the KoSA that I left out while trying to type a post quickly.

    The tartan used in Austin for Active Knights is the Austin-Keith (modern), while our Past Venerable Masters, Honorary Members, and Emeritus Members wear the ancient version.

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