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.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Insignia of the Order of St Patrick

I have posted on several occasions about the Order of St Patrick in The Order of St Patrick in 2011, Banners of the Knights of St Patrick in 2012 and The Order of St Patrick in 2013. There is an online account of the Order, its history and insignia at Order of St. Patrick. A new online piece about the Order has appeared only today in The Order of St. Patrick.

I very much regret that it was allowed after 1922 to fall into abeyance, with only Royal Knights being appointed until 1936, and none since, the last one, the late Duke of Gloucester, dying in 1974. I think it should have been revived, and should be revived - why should this not be done with the forthcoming state visit of the President of the Irish Republic and make him an Extra Knight of the Order?

I am not alone in this opion as can be seen from a letter to The Times a decade ago at Time to revive Order of St Patrick , and more recently these Northern Irish blogpost Quis Separabit: Restore the Order of Saint Patrick  and Order of St Patrick as well as some discussion in the southern political scene at Should the Order of St. Patrick be revived? ( the comments suggest a lack of confidence in the ability of southern Irish politicians rather than doubt about the Order...) and there is the Facebook site Order of St Patrick - Revival.

A quick trawl on the internet produced a considerable number of pictures of the insignia of the Order. There is a wonderful collection of images of the insignia, as well as some of the Officers and Knights, here. Some of the others I found I have copied and pasted in this post.

This example of a diamond star  from the Royal Collection appears to have been made in 1838 for Queen Victoria by Rundell and Bridge :

Star of the Order of St Patrick

 Star of the Order of St Patrick

Image:The Royal Collection © 2012,
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
RCIN 441162

King George V's Diamond Star
Made around 1890, the  centre has a shamrock of emeralds, with the Saint's cross in rubies on a diamond background. 'George, Prince of Wales, April 1910' is engraved on the reverse.


 Another jewelled badge of the Order


The website these last three illustrations comes has an interesting section on the Order and on the theft of the Irish Crown Jewels - the insignia of the Lord Lieutenant as Grand Master of the Order - in 1907, which can be seen here.

Two stars of the Order were sold in the Harewood: The Attic sale at Christies South Kensington on  December 9th 2012:

Star of the Order of St. Patrick,
Silver, gold and enamel, 81mm. diam. 
Reverse engraved Storr & Mortimer, Jewellers to the Queen, mid 19th century, some enamel damage

Price realized £8,750 (Estimate £2,000 - £2,500)

The provenance was almost certainly Ulick John de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde (1802 -1874), and by descent to his son,Herbert George de Burgh-Canning, 2nd Marquess of Clanricarde (1832- 1916), and bequeathed to his great-nephew, Henry Lascelles, 6th Earl of Harewood (1882-1947), and by descent at Harewood House, Yorkshire.


Star of the Order of St. Patrick
Silver, gold and enamel, 68mm. diam, reverse engraved Storr & Mortimer. Early to mid 19th century, some enamel damage to shamrock  
Price realized £5,000 ( Estimate £1,500 - £2,000) 


The Most Illustrious Order of St.Patrick, 

A star and badge of the Order
Made by West and Sons Dublin and hallmarked 1852
Offered but withdrawn at Bonhams 2012 



The riband and  badge

Mantle and Collar

The mantle and collar  


No comments: