Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Banners of the Knights of St Patrick

As today is St Patrick's Day it seems appropriate to the context of this blog to post this picture of the choir of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, complete with the banners of the Knights of the Order of St Patrick.


The banners of the Knights of St Patrick.
Facing the Sovereign's banner on the south side is, on the north, that of the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn who was appointed to the Order in 1869. That of the Prince of Wales appears to be behind that of the Sovereign.

Image: Panoramio

The cathedral dates from the early thirteenth century, and there is a history of it here. I have seen the suggestion that the then Archbishop of Dublin having attended the consecration of Salisbury cathedral modelled his new, second, cathedral on what he had seen in England. It is the largest, and in many ways the most impressive of Irish medieval cathedrals

I posted about the Order a year ago in The Order of St Patrick. From its foundation in 1783 until the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland in 1871 the choir of the cathedral served as the chapel of the Order; after that date installations took place in St Patrick's Hall in Dublin Castle. One of last such installations was that of the Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, on the eve of Disestablishment. Modelled on the practice of the Order of the Garter at St George's Chapel in Windsor, the Knights' banners and helmet, crest and mantling were placed over the stall, and those which were there in 1871 remained at the request of Queen Victoria. There are also some stall plates for Knights, but not a complete series comparable to those at Windsor.

Prior to 1871 the Arcnbishop of Armagh was Prelate of the Order, an office which has been vacant since the death of the last holder of both posts in 1885, and the Archbishop of Dublin was Chancellor of the Order, that post falling to the Chief Secretary for Ireland in 1886.

There is more about the history, insignia and administration of the Order of St Patrick here.

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