The Orders of Knighthood and the Formation of the British Honours System, 1660-1760

The Orders of Knighthood and the Formation of the British Honours System, 1660-1760

Antti Matikkala

Hardback
$165.00

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

A detailed analysis of the political, social and cultural aspects of the British orders of knighthood in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
`Sheds considerable new light on the nature, development and functions of the orders in a key phase of their history, and goes a long way to explaining how such archaic institutions could flourish in a culture that is commonly thought anti-traditional and especially hostile to the "middle ages"'. Professor JONATHAN BOULTON, University of Notre Dame.

This is the first comprehensive study to set the British orders of knighthood properly into the context of the honours system - by analysing their political, social and cultural functions from the Restoration of the monarchy to the end of George II's reign. It examines the revival of the Order of the Garter and the proposals to establish the Orders of the Royal Oak and the Esquires of the Martyred King at the Restoration, the foundation (1687) and the revival (1703-4) of the Order of the Thistle as well as the foundation of the Order of the Bath (1725). It establishes just how central a part the orders played in the British high political life and its comprehensive and multidimensional approach carefully contrasts the idealistic discourse of virtue and honour to the real workings of the honours system; it also makes the case for the 'Chivalric Enlightenment'. The 'orders over the water', the Garter and the Thistle conferred by the Jacobite claimants, are discussed for the first time in the context of the established British honours system. Overall, the comparison between the socially very restricted British and the increasingly meritocratic Continental orders highlights the isolation of the British honours system from the European tendencies.

Details

November 2008
20 colour, 30 black and white illustrations
498 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
ISBN: 9781843834236
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BIC HBJD1, 1DBK, 2AB, 3JD
BISAC REF013000
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Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION
THE IDEAS OF THE HONOURS
TWO REVIVALS, TWO FOUNDATIONS
PATTERNS OF APPOINTMENTS - AND DISAPPOINTMENTS
THE DYNASTIC AND DIPLOMATIC ROLE OF THE ORDERS
THE ADMINISTRATION, THE OFFICE-HOLDERS AND THE RELIGIOUS ASPECTS
THE 'SYMBOLIC CAPITAL' OF THE ORDERS
CONCLUSION
APPENDICES
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Reviews

This is an extraordinarily detailed and deeply researched account of a much neglected subject. HISTORICAL JOURNAL

Will be an invaluable source of reference for decades to come. JOURNAL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY HISTORY

A lavishly illustrated and detailed survey. JOURNAL OF MODERN HISTORY

The detail the author goes in to is simply astonishing. (...) An interesting account of the revival of these three great orders (Orders of the Garter, Thistle and Bath) which had fallen into a kind of desuetude before the period in question. MEDAL NEWS