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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 685 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KNIGHTHOOD AND CHIVALRY, while descriptions of the collars of the other principal orders are also given. The collar of the Thistle with the thistles and rue-sprigs is as old as the reign of James II. The Bath collar, in its first form of white knots linking closed crowns to roses and thistles issuing from sceptres, dates from 1725, up to which time the knights of the Bath had hung their medallion from a ribbon. Founding the order of the Saint Esprit in 1578, Henry III. of France devised a collar of enflamed fleur-de-lis and cyphers of H and L, a fashion which was soon afterwards varied by Henry his successor. Elephants have been always borne on the collar of the Elephant founded in Denmark in 1478, the other links of which have taken many shapes. Another Danish order, the Dannebrog, said to be " re-instituted " by Christian V. in 1671, has a collar of crosses formy alternating with the crowned letters C and W, the latter standing for Waldemar the Victorious, whom a legend of no value described as founding the order in 1219. Of other European orders, that of St Andrew, founded by Peter of Russia in 1698, has eagles and Andrew crosses and cyphers, while the Black Eagle of Prussia has the Prussian eagle with thunderbolts in its claws beside roundels charged with cyphers of the letters F.R. Plain collars of Esses are now worn in the United Kingdom by kings-of-arms, heralds and serjeants-at-arms. Certain legal dignitaries have worn them since the 16th century, the collar of the lord chief-justice having knots and roses between theletters. Henry IV.'s parliament in his second year restricted the free use of the king's livery collar to his sons and to all dukes, earls, barons and bannerets, while simple knights and squires might use it when in the royal presence or in going to and from the hostel of the king. The giving of a livery collar by the king made a squire of a man even as the stroke of the royal sword made him a knight. Collars of Esses are sometimes seen on the necks of ladies. The queen of Henry IV. wears one. So do the wife of a 16th century Knightley on her tomb at Upton, and Penelope, Lady Spencer (d. 1667), on her Brington monument. Since 1545 the lord mayor of London has worn a royal livery collar of Esses. This collar, however, has its origin in no royal favour, Sir John Alen, thrice a lord mayor, having bequeathed it to the then lord mayor and his successors " to use and occupie yerely at and uppon principall and festivall dayes." It was enlarged in 1567, and in its present shape has 28 Esses alternating with knots and roses and joined with a portcullis. Lord mayors of York use a plain gold chain of a triple row of links given in 1670; this chain, since the day when certain links were found wanting, is weighed on its return by the outgoing mayor. In Ireland the lord mayor of Dublin wears a collar given by Charles II., while Cork's mayor has another which the Cork council bought of a silversmith in 1755, stipulating that it should be like the Dublin one. The lady mayoress of York wears a plain chain given with that of the lord mayor in 167o, and, like his, weighed on its return to official keeping. For some two hundred and thirty years the mayoress of Kingston-on-Hull enjoyed a like ornament until a thrifty council in 1835 sold her chain as a useless thing. Of late years municipal patriotism and the persuasions of enterprising tradesmen have notably increased the number of English provincial mayors wearing collars or chains of office. Unlike civic maces, swords and caps of maintenance, these gauds are without significance. The mayor of Derby is decorated with the collar once borne by a lord chief-justice of the king's bench, and his brother of Kingston-on-Thames uses without authority an old collar of Esses which once hung over a herald's tabard. By a modern custom the friends of the London sheriffs now give them collars of gold and enamel, which they retain as mementoes of their year of office. (O. BA.)

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