According to tradition, Ruganzu I Bwimba, a Tutsi leader, founded a kingdom in the Bwanacambwe region near Kigali in the 15th or 16th century. What is now central Rwanda was absorbed in the 16th century, and outlying Hutu communities were subdued by the mwami (“king”) Ruganzu II Ndori in the 17th century. In some areas of the country, independent Hutu principalities continued to exist, and in other areas, Tutsi and Hutu lineages lived in interdependent cooperation under the nominal control of the king. The borders of the kingdom were rounded out in the late 19th century by Kigeli IV Rwabugiri, who is regarded as Rwanda’s greatest king. By 1900 Rwanda was a unified state with a centralized military structure (source: Encyclopaedia Britannica).
Upon the arrival of the Belgians in 1916 after the First World War following the defeat of Germany, the Belgians endorsed the Tutsi’s power over the Hutus as a means of controlling the country. The Belgians considered the Tutsis to be superior to the Hutus. They considered the Tutsis as more like themselves. For this reason they supported them to be the upper-class of Rwandan society. Identity cards that distinguished Hutu from Tutsi became mandatory, like the Jews were categorized in during the Nazi regime. Belgium’s worst crime was the introduction of a racial theory aimed at providing proof of the Tutsi’s apparent greater purity and closer ancestry to Europeans. Skull measurements showing larger brain size, greater height, and lighter skin tones all reaffirmed the Tutsis’ superiority over the Hutus.
The final step in Belgium’s racial policy was implementing ‘Corvée’: peasant farmers, for the large part Hutus, were obligated to grow coffee beans on their land for Tutsi officials. Corvée is a system similar to slavery.
When Belgium relinquished power and granted Rwanda independence in 1962, the Hutus took their place. Over subsequent decades, the Tutsis were portrayed as the scapegoats for every crisis. The oppressed Hutus decided to take revenge. During Grégoire Kayibanda’s regime (1961-1973), there was an increasing exodus of Tutsis from Rwanda into neighboring nations. The above mentioned developments culminated eventually in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide that left nearly one million people dead.
In 1961, with the support of the Belgian government, Hutu politician Dominique Mbonyumutwa led a coup d’état that took control of the Rwandan state and abolished the kingdom on 25 September 1961. King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa of Rwanda (1936 – 2016) was the last ruling king (Mwami) of Rwanda, from 28 July 1959 until the abolition of the Rwandan monarchy. Like his ancestors, he was a peacekeeper and preserved the unity in his country under the difficult times of Belgium oppression. Their support to overthrow the king as head of state was the last act of betrayal by the Belgians to the Rwandan people: the destruction of its centuries-old cultural identity.
The last official king of Rwanda led a life in exile for almost 60 years, both as a refugee and a consistent advocate for the immediate, safe and unconditional return home of all Tutsi exiles. One of the first to help the king was the Monarchist League, a 70-year-old British group that campaigns for the preservation and restoration of kingdoms the world over. In order to fund this great achievement, Kigeli V turned to westerners who were willing to support him financially in exchange for noble titles and other honors. Such a practice is not an uncommon business model for monarchs (whether reigning or in exile) to fund their court.
However, the living circumstances of this great man remained far from optimal. In 2013, Washingtonian magazine found the former monarch living in subsidized housing in Virginia and living off food stamps. He told the magazine that Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda and a fellow Tutsi, had permitted him to return to his home country but said that he could not resume the throne. In retrospective, I doubt that this was the right decision.
As the return to monarchy could be instrumental in preserving unity and peace in Rwanda and thus preventing further violence, it is interesting to investigate the question of who can be seen as a legitimate successor to king Kigeli V.
Line of succession
During the colonisation by the Belgians, all legislation governing the country was made by Belgian authorities and the mainstay of criminal and civil legislation was the civil and criminal codes of the then Belgian Congo. Though criminal law had universal application, written civil laws was applied only to whites. Customary law continued to apply to the natives. Hence the current Rwanda Civil Law Legal system is based on German and Belgian civil law systems and customary law. It is important to note that Rwanda is a civil law legal system that in the beginning of the 21st century was undergoing a transformation from purely civil law to a merge between civil law and common law. The evolutionary process has led to the reform of several laws such as the penal code, and the law of evidence among others.
During the time that Rwanda was a kingdom, the central government was manned by the Abiru through a complex and secret polity known as ubwiru. The Abiru were ritual loyalists who lived in the king’s palace. Their purpose was to explain occurrences and forecast the future. For instance, the Abiru alone could secretly determine the next king and define his mission during his reign (source: globalsecurity.org).
In my opinion, there currently is no formal law to derive a successor, since the kingdom has been replaced by a republic. The same cannot be said about the Abiru: this ancient institute cannot be abolished by the president of the Rwandan republic as it is part of the king’s personal entourage. Therefore, in respect to the legitimacy of a claim, customary law adopted to general principles of law that are recognized by civilized nations, should be seen as coming close to a law of succession and it is along these lines that I have formed an opinion about the legitimate successor of king Kigeli V.
There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Boniface Benzinge was a close friend and reliable confidant of the king. In many instances he can be seen by his side in the Kigeli V’ company, for example at the king’s last public interview of 30th August 2016. Mr. Benzinge also accompanied the king on his last visit to the United Kingdom in June 2016. The close relationship both men held, was mentioned by the Washingtonian in the 2013 article. Mr. Benzinge was Kigeli’s boyhood friend (source: Mr. Chris Kamo). He played various roles for the King, including his chancellor, counsellor, secretary and interpreter. He stayed with his friend for nearly six decades when almost all other Rwandans abandoned him and only a handful of Westerners circled around the former king with the sole purpose of obtaining royal titles and awards.
Based on the oral evidence, publicly given by Mr. Benzinge on 9 January 2017, in my opinion, the current claimant, Mr. Emmanuel Bushayija (1960), should be regarded as a legitimate successor to the headship of the Royal House of Rwanda. Bushayija is the son of HRH Theoneste Bushayija and grandson of HM King Yuhi V Musinga. He has assumed the title “Yuhi VI” and should be addressed as His Royal Highness in formal correspondence.
I recommend to form an Abiru, consisting of Rwandans, who are able to act in accordance with the ancient traditions of customary law but are also open to implementing fundamental rules of modern law (for example regarding gender-neutrality). An Abiru, consisting of Westerners is not acceptable, since this would be in breach with customary law.
The composition of the Abiri also needs to be transparent in order not to trigger discussion regarding future successors. The names of the members of the Abiri should be published on the website of the Royal House.
Melvern, L. (2019). A people betrayed: The role of the West in Rwandas genocide. London: ZED Books.
Is there a generally accepted standard regarding the recognition of orders of knighthood?
No, there is not. If this were the case, it would be rather simple to decide whether a given order is legitimate or not. A recognized and accepted standard of what an order of knighthood is does not exist. However, an attempt was made in the 1960’s to establish such a standard; the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry, also known as “ICOC” or in Italian: “Commissione internazionale permanente per lo studio degli ordini cavallereschi“. The organization is a privately run, privately funded, and privately managed entity composed of scholars on chivalric matters and systems of awards. Its purpose is to examine orders of chivalry to determine their legitimacy. Dr. Pier Felice degli Uberti, Baron of Cartsburn, has been its president since 1999. The seat of the organization is in Milan, Italy.
In 2015, the ICOC stated that orders were considered knightly only when they are historical. Other types of orders are listed in appendices in order to inform the public of their existence, but without evaluation. New creations, currently being made by Heads of former ruling Houses, are considered as awarding systems without the designation ‘knightly’. The ICOC uses the below mentioned standard (source: website ICOC) to evaluate whether it is considered ‘knightly’ or not. I have copied the first five standards and added my personal comments. The sixth principle addresses the Sovereign Order of Malta and is not relevant for the questions raised in this article.
Principles involved in assessing the validity of Orders of Chivalry
1) Every independent State has the right to create its own Orders or Decorations of Merit and lay down, at will, their particular rules. But it must be made clear that only the higher degrees of these modern State Orders can be deemed of knightly rank, provided they are conferred by the Crown or by the “pro tempore” ruler of some traditional State.
Comments. An independent state does not need the recognition of the ICOC to decide whether an order is knightly or not. As an example, article 111 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of The Netherlands states that orders of knighthood are constituted by law. Based on this article, Dutch law established two orders of knighthood for civilians: the Order of the Dutch Lion and the Order of Orange-Nassau. Both are explicitly named ‘orders of knighthood’ independent of the issued rank. The first principle of the ICOC is therefore incorrect.
2) The Dynastic (or Family or House) Orders which belong jure sanguinis to a Sovereign House (that is to those ruling or ex-ruling Houses whose sovereign rank was internationally recognised at the time of the Congress of Vienna in 1814 or later) retain their full historical chivalric, nobiliary and social validity, notwithstanding all political changes. It is therefore considered ultra vires of any republican State to interfere, by legislation or administrative practice, with the Princely Dynastic Family or House Orders. That they may not be officially recognised by the new government does not affect their traditional validity or their accepted status in international heraldic, chivalric and nobiliary circles.
3) It is generally admitted by jurists that such ex-sovereigns who have not abdicated have positions different from those of pretenders and that in their lifetime they retain their full rights as “fons honorum” in respect even of those Orders of which they remain Grand Masters which would be classed, otherwise, as State and Merit Orders.
Comments. These two principles have already been established centuries ago by Hugo de Groot (1583-1645), a Dutch jurist (Grotius, Hugo, 1583-1645. (1964). De jure belli ac pacis libri tres / by Hugo Grotius ; trans. by Francis W. Kelsey ; with the collaboration of Arthur E.R. Boak, Henry A. Sanders … [and others]. New York : Oceana). Along with the earlier works of Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili, he laid the foundations for modern international law. They are therefore not original principles of the ICOC, but nonetheless correct principles.
4) Although, at one time – many centuries ago – private people of high standing could and did create some independent Orders of Knighthood, some among which came, in due course, to gain considerable prestige and obtained formal validity from the Church and the Crown, such rights of creation of Orders have long since fallen into desuetude and, nowadays, Orders of Chivalry as we understand the term must always stem from or be – by longstanding uninterrupted tradition – under the protection of Chiefs or of Houses of recognised sovereign rank.
Comments. The Order of the Knights of Rizal is an order of knighthood in the Philippines. The Order has been created in 1911 by Colonel Antonio C. Torres, to honor and uphold the ideals of Philippine national hero and polymath Dr. José Rizal. The ranks and insignia of the order are recognized in the Honors Code of the Philippines as official awards of the Republic. The Order has been granted a legislative charter by President Elpidio Quirino as a non-sectarian, non-partisan, non-racial civic, patriotic, and cultural organization under the Republic Act 646 on June 14, 1951. The Order’s insignia have been approved to be worn by the Philippine diplomatic corps. The fourth principle of the ICOC that only “many centuries ago” private persons could create an independent order of knighthood, is therefore incorrect. The recognition of knighthood depends on the official recognition by a state and not on antiquity.
5) The recognition of Orders by States or supranational organisations which themselves do not have chivalric orders of their own, and in whose Constitutions no provisions are made for the recognition of knightly and nobiliary institutions,cannot be accepted as constituting validation by sovereignties, since these particular sovereignties have renounced the exercise of heraldic jurisdiction. The international “status” of an Order of Knighthood rests, in fact, on the rights of fons honorum, which, according to tradition, must belong to the Authority by which this particular Order is granted, protected or recognised.
Comments. The signing of the treaties of Westphalia in 1648 significantly changed the nature of international relations, since it illustrated the beginning of two important principles: state sovereignty as well as the notion of non-interference. These principles are also part of the United Nations’ (UN) charter which says that “the Organization’s foundation depends on the equal sovereignty of all its members.” As such, state sovereignty has been an undeniable pillar of international relations for decades, and it is essential in the present international community. The fifth principle of the ICOC is incorrect, because it is in breach of the sovereignty of states as generally accepted in international law. The same is true regarding supranational entities like the European Union and the World Trade Organization.
There exist a number of websites that purport to be authoritative bodies, but have proven to be landing pages for medal mills. They trigger the public to make inquiries about orders and decorations, subsequently offering their services as an ‘independent’ intermediary. The final step is to sell the medals of formerly ruling houses in exchange for a so-called ‘passage fee’. In this respect, I would like to mention the following websites.
The ‘Instituto Preste João / Prester John Institute’ is a Facebook page run by the Portuguese “Centro de Informação do Castelo de Ourém“, which, in turn, has a separate web page that has been “under construction” for years. The Facebook page also states that the ‘Institute’ is recognized by the “CIAN-International Confederation of Nobility Associations”, a non-existing entity. It further states that the ‘Institute’ is a “Royal and Imperial Council of Foreign Nobility”. The meaning of this designation remains unclear, but the Facebook page lacks authority in these matters.
I prefer to see the ICOC as a highly respected learned society. Its work and publications cannot be overestimated. I very much appreciate the fact that the ICOC’s knowledge and principles develop constantly. It is this attitude and transparency that make the ICOC an important contributor to the body of knowledge regarding knightly orders. I also hold Dr. Pier Felice degli Uberti, widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in heraldry, reward systems and nobiliary law, in high regards. Due to Dr. degli Uberti’s effort, the ICOC has become the leading learned society regarding knightly orders and nobiliary law. On their website, the ICOC shows that its aim is to genuinely contribute to the body of knowledge:
Today, the Commission considers theRegisteralways open and does not exclude the possibility of modifying its positions or decisions, provided that there is solid documentary scientific evidence to do so. Moreover, the Commission favours open discussions on subjects between persons with differing points of view.
In the twenty-first century the Commission needs to expand its horizons, widening its principles in order to bring them into line with the objective reality of today’s society and the inevitable historical changes. The compilation of the Register cannot be limited to the chivalric material of the past, thus the Commission has to offer, to those who are not scholars in the field of award systems, a valid publication from which one can learn and understand. Above all this publication must open the eyes of the uninitiated to diverse award systems which exist in today’s world.
In de wereld van de orden, decoraties en medailles wordt vaak de term ‘ridderlijk’ gebruikt, in de zin van ‘ridderlijke orde’. Volgens Van Dale (jaargang 1898) betekent ‘ridderlijk’:
wat een ridder of de ridders betreft: de ridderlijke stand, de ridderstand; een ridderlijk landgoed, slot; — als een ridder: zich ridderlijk gedragen; ridderlijke avonturen; dapper, moedig; — ridderlijk antwoorden, bekennen, eerlijk, rondborstig.
Het betreft dus een redelijk brede term, waardoor het vrijwel onmogelijk wordt om van overheidswege over te gaan tot het al dan niet erkennen van ‘ridderlijke orden’. Toch doet de overheid dit wel in het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen (zie onderaan dit artikel). De term ‘ridderlijke orde’ betekent iets anders dan de term ‘ridderorde’. Een ridderorde kan alleen bij wet worden ingesteld (artikel 111 Grondwet). De drie Nederlandse ridderorden zijn de Militaire Willemsorde (ingesteld bij wet van 30 april 1815, Stb. 33), de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw (ingesteld bij wet van 29 september 1815, Stb. 47), en de Orde van Oranje-Nassau (ingesteld bij wet van 4 april 1892, Stb. 55).
In zijn buitengewoon interessante proefschrift over Nederlandse ridderlijke orden, komt jhr. dr. Versélewel de Witt Hamer tot een aantal belangrijke conclusies ten aanzien van de erkenning van de drie ridderlijke orden die zijn opgenomen in het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen (zie hieronder bij de letter D: “Erkende (ridderlijke) orden”. Zijn conclusies (Versélewel de Witt Hamer, p.97) op dit punt luiden als volgt.
Alleen voor de Duitse Orde geldt dat deze orde bij wet is ingesteld en daarmee in juridische zin door de Nederlandse overheid is erkend.
Anders ligt het bij de Johanniter orde en de Orde van Malta (SMOM) die beide als vereniging zijn opgericht en waarvan de statuten bij koninklijk besluit zijn vastgesteld, net als van elke Nederlandse vereniging voor de invoering van boek 2 van het Burgerlijk Wetboek in 1976, waarna de toets van bezwaar tegen de erkenning van rechtspersoonlijkheid verviel.
In deze bijdrage wordt kritiek gegeven op de plaats van ridderlijke orden in het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen. Betoogd wordt dat deze orden daaruit moeten worden verwijderd.
Het Koninklijk Besluit voor de goedkeuring van de statuten is geen erkenning van overheidswege van de Johanniter Orde of de Orde van Malta als ridderlijke orde
Een Koninklijk Besluit was in Nederland in de jaren 1855 tot en met 1976 noodzakelijk als een vereniging verzocht om rechtspersoonlijkheid. Dit laatste is noodzakelijk om registergoederen te kunnen aankopen (bijvoorbeeld een kantoorgebouw). In dat geval dienden de statuten van de vereniging te worden goedgekeurd door het Ministerie van Justitie. Voor verenigingen die korter dan 30 jaar waren aangegaan werd de goedkeuring en daarmee de rechtspersoonlijkheid verleend bij koninklijk besluit, voor een duur langer dan 30 jaar bij wet. Om deze laatste, moeilijker weg te ontlopen werden verenigingen doorgaans voor iets korter dan 30 jaar aangegaan, waarna een verzoek tot verlenging kon worden ingediend.
De goedgekeurde statuten werden in de Staatscourant gepubliceerd en bijgehouden in het Verenigingenregister bij het Ministerie van Justitie. Over de periode 1875-1976 bevat dit register (aanwezig bij het Nationaal Archief) ongeveer 80.000 dossiers, waaronder de in 1968 opgerichte “Ridders van de Soevereinde Orde van de Heilige Johannes van Jeruzalem, Ridder van Malta OSJ“. Naar laatstgenoemde ridderlijke orde hebben het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, het Openbaar Ministerie en de Rijksrecherche onderzoek gedaan wegens het misbruiken van de term “Royal Decree”. Enkele brieven en rapporten van de Nederlandse overheid over deze orde zijn hieronder opgesomd (zie stichtingargus.nl):
De koninklijke goedkeuring kon volgens art. 7 van de Wet van 1855 alleen worden geweigerd op grond van het algemeen belang. De koninklijke goedkeuring verdween bij de invoering van Boek 2 van het Nieuw Burgerlijk Wetboek in 1976. Vanaf dan heeft elke vereniging rechtspersoonlijkheid, met de aantekening dat de bestuurders hoofdelijk aansprakelijk zijn zolang de statuten niet door een notaris in een authentieke akte zijn opgenomen en deze bij de Kamer van Koophandel is geregistreerd. Van een erkenning door middel van een Koninklijk besluit van de Maltezer en de Johanniter Orde is dan ook geen sprake.
Artikel 1:3, eerste lid, Algemene wet bestuursrecht bepaalt dat van een besluit sprake is bij een schriftelijke beslissing van een bestuursorgaan inhoudende een publiekrechtelijke rechtshandeling. Volgens vaste jurisprudentie van de Raad van State, moet de vraag of met een handeling een rechtsgevolg is beoogd en het al dan niet om een besluit gaat, worden onderscheiden van de vraag of degene die de handeling heeft verricht bevoegd was namens een bestuursorgaan dat besluit te nemen. Een gepretendeerde bevoegdheid of het geheel ontbreken van een bevoegdheid staan er niet aan in de weg, dat sprake is van een besluit als bedoeld in artikel 1:3, eerste lid, Awb (bijvoorbeeld: ECLI:NL:RVS:2006:AW1297). Dit betekent dat de opname van het Maltezer en de Johanniter Orde in het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen kan worden aangemerkt als een besluit, maar door het ontbreken van de wettelijke bevoegdheid, wel een onrechtmatig besluit. De onrechtmatigheid geldt ook ten aanzien van andere ridderlijke orden, die een dergelijke erkenning van overheidswege niet hebben gekregen, zoals de oecumenische Orde van Sint Lazarus en de Rooms-katholieke Orde van het Heilig Graf van Jeruzalem. Het wordt een interessante casus als, bijvoorbeeld de Orde van Sint-Lazarus, aan aanvraag doet om te worden opgenomen op de lijst van het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen.
Het voorgaande betekent dat de Maltezer Orde en de Johanniter Orde niet door de Nederlandse overheid als ridderlijke orde zijn erkend, behalve in het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen. Hiervoor is geen wettelijke grondslag.
De erkenning door de regering van de huidige Duitse Orde als ridderlijke orde is twijfelachtig
De Duitse orde, balije Utrecht, is op 27 februari 1811 door Napoleon opgeheven en weer hersteld bij wet van 8 augustus 1815, nr. 55, (zie Stbl. nr. 1815, 43). Het eerste artikel van deze wet luidt als volgt:
De Duitsche Orde, Balye Utrecht, wordt hersteld, zodanig als derzelve, ten tijde van derzelve suppressie, in den jare 1811, heeft bestaan, voorbehoudens nogtans Onze bevoegdheid, om aan derzelve Orde, in tijd en wijle, zoodanige andere en meer doelmatige inrightingen te geven, als Wij zullen goedvinden, en voorts op den voet en onder bepalingen, in de volgende artikelen vermeld.
Koning Willem I wees de titel van hoog- of grootmeester af, maar trok wel het aggregatierecht (de mogelijkheid van om de benoeming van nieuwe leden alle bevorderingen goed te keuren) naar zich toe. Alle benoemingen en bevorderingen in de Duitse Orde vinden sindsdien plaats door middel van een Koninklijk Besluit. Onder de term “Wij” moet worden verstaan: Koning plus Ministers. In het licht van deze Koninklijke Besluiten zou kunnen worden gezegd dat de huidige Duitse Orde van regeringswege is erkend. Het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen heeft dan ook vanuit dit perspectief een wettelijke grondslag om de Duitse Orde op te nemen. Aan de andere kant is de huidige ‘Ridderlijke Duitsche Orde, Balije van Utrecht’ een particuliere vereniging, die is ingeschreven bij de Kamer van Koophandel (inschrijvingsnummer: 40478069). Of met de wet van 1815 ook deze vereniging is erkend (en de erkenning dus zonder meer doorloopt), kan worden betwijfeld omdat ook geredeneerd kan worden dat een nieuwe rechtspersoon is ontstaan.
De Duitse Orde, de Johanniter Orde en de Orde van Malta in Nederland zijn lidmaatschap-orden, die tegen betaling van een jaarlijkse bijdrage recht geven op het bijwonen van een jaarlijkse vergadering en andere bijeenkomsten. Het lidmaatschap is gelimiteerd op grond van een combinatie van (adellijke) geboorte en godsdienstige achtergrond.
Lidmaatschap-orden behoren in het geheel niet van overheidswege te worden erkend, zeker niet in het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen. De overige onderscheidingen die in het Besluit worden genoemd betreffen namelijk zonder uitzondering een eerbetoon voor een persoonlijke, maatschappelijke verdienste ten opzichte van de Nederlandse samenleving. Het zijn geen koopdecoraties voor de maatschappelijk elite. Het is te gek voor woorden dat het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen de ridderlijke orden plaatst boven een belangrijke orde van verdienste als bijvoorbeeld de Gouden Anjer. Deze laatste wordt uitgereikt als blijk van waardering voor personen van onbesproken vaderlands gedrag, die in enigerlei vorm van onverplichte arbeid uitstekende verdiensten hebben verworven voor de Nederlandse cultuur of voor die van de Nederlandse Antillen. In 2018 bijvoorbeeld werd de decoratie uitgereikt aan:
Piet de Boer (Dordrecht, 1942) voor zijn inzet als voorzitter voor het Volendams Opera Koor.
Alice van Romondt (Aruba, 1949) voor haar bijdrage aan de cultuur, de literatuur en de kunsten op Aruba.
Hans van der Ven (Den Haag, 1942) voor zijn hulp aan met name het Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam bij het verwerven van kunstwerken die belangrijk zijn voor het erfgoed van Nederland.
Een tweede punt van kritiek betreft de inconsequentie van indeling door de regering van ridderlijke orden ten opzichte van andere particuliere organisaties. Het is mij niet duidelijk waarom de ridderlijke orden niet gewoon worden gerangschikt onder “F. Onderscheidingen van Nederlandse particuliere organisaties”. Categorie F betreft organisaties met een veel grotere maatschappelijke impact dan genoemde ridderlijke orden. Voorbeelden zijn het Carnegie Heldenfonds en het Rode Kruis. Bovendien is de Orde van Malta een buitenlandse ridderlijke orde en zou om die reden al niet in het Besluit moeten voorkomen.
Een derde kritische opmerking is te maken over de voorkeursbehandeling door de overheid van genoemde ridderlijke orden. Door de overheid is aan deze particuliere orden het voorrecht toegekend van officiële erkenning van de decoraties. Dit geeft deze orden een bijzondere maatschappelijke status, die bijvoorbeeld een Orde van Sint-Lazarus mist. Erkenning geeft deze orden meer aantrekkingskracht en daarmee ook meer mogelijkheden om financiële middelen aan te trekken voor de doelstellingen die zij nastreven, dan de andere ridderlijke (lidmaatschap-) orden in Nederland. Versélewel de Witt Hamer geeft een voorbeeld van het maken van misbruik van het overheidsstempel door de Johanniter Orde ten opzichte van een van de eigen leden, die ook lid was van de Orde van Sint Lazarus (Versélewel de Witt Hamer, p. 152):
Ik werd lid omdat mijn vader lid was. Maar nadat ik een brief kreeg van de Johanniter Orde om dat lidmaatschap te beëindigen omdat het een niet-erkende orde betrof, heb ik dat gedaan. Ik heb toen alle spullen van die orde teruggestuurd.
Typerend voor de discriminerende (door de overheid geïnspireerde) eigendunk van de huidige “ridderlijke orden” is ook de opmerking van jhr. Van Citters, coadjutor van de Johanniter Orde, die in 2016 desgevraagd aan Versélewel de Witt Hamer meedeelde (proefschrift, p. 111):
De Orde van het Heilig Graf is geen ridderlijke orde, de leden zijn immers niet van adel.
De familie Van Citters is een familie van koopmanslieden en bestuurders, die voor het eerst in de archieven verschijnt met Cornelis van Seters, in 1522 burgemeester van Breda. De familie is in 1828 en 1872 verheven in de Nederlandse adel. Met ridders heeft de eigen familie van de coadjutor dus niets uit te staan. Zijn in 1946 nieuw opgerichte Johanniter Orde heeft dat ook niet. Van Citters vergeet dat de door hem als inferieur beschouwde Orde van het Heilig Graf wel zijn oorsprong in de riddertijd heeft (1114), volledig onder pauselijk gezag staat (en dus erkend is) en een belangrijke internationale charitatieve impact heeft; de orde met zijn 23.000 leden is onderverdeeld in 52 commanderijen, gevestigd in meer dan 30 landen (24 in Europa, 15 in de Verenigde Staten en Canada, 5 in Latijns-Amerika en 6 in Australië en het Verre Oosten). Van Citters’ opmerking is daarom ongepast.
Met het voorgaande wil ik aangeven dat het weigeren van bijvoorbeeld de Orde van het Heilig Graf en het opnemen van de Johanniter Orde in de categorie Erkende (ridderlijke) orden in het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen volstrekt willekeurig is en bovendien niet wordt gelegitimeerd door maatschappelijk toegevoegde waarde.
Een vierde punt van kritiek is dat de genoemde Ridderlijke Orden niet van overheidswege dienen te worden erkend omdat zij statuten hebben met discriminatoire bepalingen. Nu is het waarschijnlijk verenigingsrechtelijk toegestaan om personen van adellijke komaf te verenigen en dus personen van niet-adellijke komaf te weigeren (discrimineren), maar het wordt anders als deze verenigingen door de overheid bevoordeeld worden ten opzichte van andere particuliere organisaties bij het dragen van onderscheidingen. Het opnemen in het Besluit van verenigingen waaraan de adellijke status gekoppeld is en die godsdienstige voorwaarden stellen, is strijdig is met nationale en internationale anti-discriminatie bepalingen omdat deze verenigingen en hun discriminerende statuten daarmee van overheidswege worden gepromoot.
In het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen moet categorie D (Erkende (ridderlijke) orden) vervallen en moet Categorie E (Door Z.K.H. Prins Bernhard der Nederlanden ingestelde onderscheidingen) worden toegevoegd aan Categorie B (Huisorden).
Versélewel de Witt Hamer, T. J. (2017). Geloven verplicht: Een elite-onderzoek naar ridderlijke orden in het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (1965-2015). [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
P.L. Dijk P.L. & T.J. van der Ploeg (1997). Van vereniging en stichting, coöperatie en onderlinge waarborgmaatschappij. [Deventer].
De heer Erik Müller, decoratie-deskundige (LinkedIn 23 maart 2019)
Op hoofdlijnen ben ik het met je eens, echter:
de banden van het Koninklijk Huis met zowel de Johanniter Orde (waar altijd een lid van het KH als erecommandeur is geïnstalleerd geweest) en de Orde van Malta (waar meerdere leden van het KH een band mee hebben gehad) hebben hun het voorrecht verworven om al vanaf de eerste draagvolgordelijst in 1952 opgenomen te zijn. Ditzelfde voorrecht is de Orde van Sint Lazarus (waar dan weer wel meerdere ministers en staatssecretarissen lid van zijn geweest) en de Orde van het Heilige Graf nooit gegund. Ik ben het echter wel met je eens dat in ieder geval de laatste gewoon opgenomen zou moeten worden. Voor wat betreft de eerste: welke linie is de oorspronkelijke? Je hebt de Spaanse en de Franse linie, welke beiden claimen de oorspronkelijke orde te zijn. De familie De Bourbon-Parma is verwant aan het Koninklijk Huis, dus ik vermoed dat die de strijd dan wel zullen winnen ;-)
De prinselijke decoraties zijn zeker geen huisorden. Het zijn particuliere onderscheidingen, net als de hofmedailles, die niet door het staatshoofd, maar door een lid van de Koninklijke familie zijn verleend. In het overzicht mist nog de reddingsmedaille die door Koningin Emma werd verleend. Verder zou ik ze inderdaad tussen de herinneringsmedailles en particuliere onderscheidingen laten staan. Ik denk dat er maar één manier is om te achterhalen of het Besluit Draagvolgorde aangepast gaat worden en dat is een request met deze strekking aan de Kanselarij te richten.
Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen
10 oktober 2017
De Kanselier der Nederlandse Orden,
Overwegende dat het wenselijk is het bij zijn besluit van 25 juli 2013 vastgestelde Besluit draagvolgorde van de erkende onderscheidingen te herzien;
Gelet op de instemming van de Minister van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties;
Vast te stellen het herziene Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen.
Indien een persoon de hem toegekende Koninklijke of Ministeriële onderscheidingen draagt, dan worden deze links op de borst gedragen in de in artikel 2 aangegeven volgorde, waarbij de onderscheiding met het laagste rangnummer het dichtst bij het hart wordt gedragen.
De volgorde waarin onderscheidingen worden gedragen, luidt als volgt:
A. Ridderorden en vergelijkbare onderscheidingen
1.1 Ridder Grootkruis
1.3 Ridder der 3e klasse
1.4 Ridder der 4e klasse
Kruis (Medaille) voor Moed en Trouw
Eerepenning voor Menschlievend Hulpbetoon
Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw
6.1 Ridder Grootkruis
Orde van Oranje-Nassau
7.1 Ridder Grootkruis
7.7 Eremedaille, verbonden aan de Orde, in goud
7.8 Eremedaille, verbonden aan de Orde, in zilver
7.9 Eremedaille, verbonden aan de Orde, in brons
Huisorde van de Gouden Leeuw van Nassau
Huisorde van Oranje
9.2 Groot Erekruis
Kruis van Trouw en Verdienste van de Huisorde van Oranje
10.1 in goud
10.2 in zilver
Eremedaille voor Voortvarendheid en Vernuft
Eremedaille voor Kunst en Wetenschap
13.2 Groot Erekruis met plaque
13.3 Groot Erekruis
13.4 Erekruis met rozet
13.6 Eremedaille in goud
13.7 Eremedaille in zilver
13.8 Eremedaille in brons
C. Overige staatsonderscheidingen
C1. Onderscheidingen voor dapperheid
Verzetsster Oost-Azië 1942-1945
Kruis van Verdienste
Eerepenning voor Menschlievend Hulpbetoon
20.1 in zilver
20.2 in brons
C2. Onderscheidingen voor verdiensten
Erepenning voor Verdiensten jegens Openbare Verzamelingen (Museumpenning)
21.1 in goud
21.2 in zilver
21.3 in brons
Onderscheidingsteken ter erkenning van uitstekende daden bij watersnood verricht (Watersnoodmedaille)
22.1 in zilver
22.2 in brons
23.1 in goud
23.2 in zilver
23.3 in brons
Medaille van het Nederlandsche Roode Kruis (Regeringsmedaille)
25.1 in zilver
25.2 in brons
Ereteken voor Verdienste (Defensie)
26.1 in goud
26.2 in zilver
26.3 in brons
Eremedaille voor verdienste politie
C3. Herinneringsonderscheidingen voor militaire operaties
Ereteken voor Belangrijke Krijgsbedrijven (Expeditiekruis)
Medaille voor 10 jaar Trouwe Dienst (Nederlandse Rode Kruis)
F5. Herinnerings- en vaardigheidsonderscheidingen
Kruis van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Bond voor Lichamelijke Opvoeding voor betoonde marsvaardigheid (Vierdaagsekruis)
Nationale Sportmedaille NOC*NSF
(voorheen Vaardigheidsmedaille NSF)
Nationale Vijfkampkruis NOC*NSF
Kruis van de Koninklijke Vereniging van Nederlandse Reserve Officieren (TMPT-kruis)
G. Onderscheidingen van internationale organisaties
Verenigde Naties (VN)
Noord-Atlantische Verdragsorganisatie (NAVO)
West-Europese Unie (WEU)
Multinational Force & Observers (MFO)
Europese Gemeenschap (EG)
Europese Unie (EU)
Baltic Air Policing-Medal
H. Buitenlandse onderscheidingen
In de volgorde van de graden van hoog naar laag. Bij gelijke graad op alfabetische volgorde van de Franse benamingen van land. Bij meerdere onderscheidingen van één land dient de daar gebruikelijke draagvolgorde te worden aangehouden.
1.Dit besluit treedt in werking met ingang van heden.
2.Dit besluit zal worden geplaatst in de Staatscourant.
Aldus vastgesteld te Den Haag, 10 oktober 2017
De Kanselier der Nederlandse Orden,H.Morsink
Het Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen is laatstelijk gewijzigd op 25 juli 2013 vanwege het opnemen van enkele onderscheidingen. Het thans voorliggende besluit dient aan een breed publiek inzichtelijk te maken welke gedachte aan de draagvolgorde ten grondslag ligt. Het besluit kent daarom de volgende wijzigingen:
aanpassing volgorde onderscheidingen in categorie C. Overige staatsonderscheidingen,
aanpassing volgorde onderscheidingen in categorie F. Onderscheidingen van Nederlandse particuliere organisaties,
aanpassing volgorde internationale organisaties in categorie G. Onderscheidingen van internationale organisaties,
toevoegen nieuw ingestelde onderscheidingen,
afvoeren onderscheidingen voor eenmalige gebeurtenissen die niet meer kunnen worden toegekend en waarvan de laatste toekenning meer dan honderd jaar geleden heeft plaats gevonden,
aanpassing nieuwe naam Herinneringsmedaille Vredesoperaties,
Aanpassing volgorde onderscheidingen in categorie C. Overige staatsonderscheidingen
Deze wijziging in de indeling van categorie C (‘Overige staatsonderscheidingen’) beoogt de indeling inzichtelijker te maken, mede met het oog op het rangschikken van eventueel in de toekomst toe te voegen onderscheidingen. Daartoe worden vijf subcategorieën gecreëerd:
C1 Onderscheidingen voor dapperheid,
C2 Onderscheidingen voor verdiensten,
C3 Onderscheidingen voor militaire operaties,
C4 Onderscheidingen voor trouwe dienst,
C5 Herinnerings- en vaardigheidsonderscheidingen.
Binnen de subcategorieën worden de onderscheidingen ingedeeld op basis van de datum waarop de onderscheiding bij Koninklijk Besluit, Algemene Maatregel van Bestuur of ministeriële regeling is ingesteld.
Er is om praktische redenen gekozen om in de subcategorie ‘C5 Herinnerings- en vaardigheidsonderscheidingen’ de herinneringsonderscheidingen te laten prevaleren boven de vaardigheidsonderscheidingen binnen deze categorie teneinde volgorde in het huidige besluit zoveel als mogelijk in stand te houden. De onderscheidingen voor operationele inzet van de Nederlandse krijgmacht (Marinemedaille, Landmachtmedaille, Marechausseemedaille en Luchtmachtmedaille) zullen gelet op de aard van de onderscheiding en de uitvoerbaarheid gehandhaafd blijven in de categorie ‘C5. Herinnerings- en vaardigheidsonderscheidingen’.
Door deze categorisering hebben enkele onderscheidingen een andere positie gekregen in de draagvolgorde. Gelet op de instellingsdatum van de Erepenning voor Verdiensten jegens Openbare Verzamelingen (1817) en de De Ruytermedaille (1907) zijn deze onderscheidingen van plaats gewisseld.
Aanpassing volgorde onderscheidingen in categorie F. Onderscheidingen van Nederlandse particuliere organisaties
Ook de onderscheidingen die worden toegekend door particuliere organisaties zijn opnieuw gerangschikt conform de categorie C. Overige staatsonderscheidingen:
F1 Onderscheidingen voor dapperheid,
F2 Onderscheidingen voor verdiensten,
F3 Onderscheidingen voor bijzondere inzet,
F4 Onderscheidingen voor trouwe dienst,
F5 Herinnerings- en vaardigheidsonderscheidingen.
Binnen de subcategorieën worden de onderscheidingen ingedeeld op basis van de datum waarop de onderscheiding bij Koninklijk Besluit van staatswege is erkend.
Aanpassing volgorde organisaties in categorie G. Onderscheidingen van internationale organisaties
Gelet op de veelvuldige bijdragen van de Nederlandse krijgsmacht en andere organisaties aan vredesoperaties en wederopbouw in internationaal verband is het nodig om deze categorie nader in te vullen om de indeling inzichtelijker te maken. Er is gekozen voor de onderstaande indeling op basis van de oprichtingsdatum van de organisaties of, in het geval van multinationale verbanden, naar de instellingsdatum van de afzonderlijke onderscheiding. Daaruit is deze volgorde af te leiden:
Onderscheidingen van de Verenigde Naties (VN),
Onderscheidingen van de Noord-Atlantische Verdragsorganisatie (NAVO),
Onderscheidingen van de West-Europese Unie (WEU),
Onderscheidingen van de Multinationals Force & Observers (MFO),
Onderscheidingen van de Europese Gemeenschap (EG),
Onderscheidingen van de Europese Unie (EU),
Baltic Air Policing Medal (BAP).
Bij meerdere onderscheidingen van dezelfde organisatie geldt de binnen de organisatie geldende volgorde. Indien deze niet formeel is vastgelegd dienen onderscheidingen te worden gerangschikt, eerst op basis van aard (onderscheiding voor verdiensten of herinneringsonderscheiding) en daar binnen op basis van de instellingsdatum van de onderscheidingen.
Om verwarring te voorkomen zijn onderscheidingen van afzonderlijke militaire missies en bijzondere inzetten onder auspiciën van internationale organisaties niet afzonderlijk vermeld.
Toevoegen en afvoeren nieuwe of erkende onderscheidingen
In de draagvolgorde worden de volgende nieuw ingestelde onderscheidingen toegevoegd:
‘Eremedaille voor verdienste politie’ in goud in categorie ‘C2. Onderscheidingen voor verdiensten’. Op basis van de instellingsdatum is de onderscheiding ingevoegd na het Ereteken voor Verdienste (Defensie),
‘Herinneringsmedaille bezoek in 2013 aan het Caribisch deel van het Koninkrijk’, welke is geplaatst in de categorie ‘C5. Overige herinnerings- en vaardigheidsonderscheidingen’ en op basis van de aard van de onderscheiding ingevoegd na de Inhuldigingsmedaille 2013 en voor de Herinneringsmedaille Buitenlandse Bezoeken,
Het Ereteken voor Verdienste van het Ministerie van Defensie in brons als aanvulling op de reeds bestaande varianten in goud en in zilver.
Uit de draagvolgorde worden de volgende onderscheidingen verwijderd omdat de onderscheiding is ingesteld voor een eenmalige gebeurtenis welke niet langer kan worden toegekend en waarvan de laatste toekenning meer dan honderd jaar geleden heeft plaats gevonden:
Herinneringspenning van de Tweede Haagse Vredesconferentie in 1907.
Tevens zijn de volgende historische onderscheidingen opnieuw opgenomen:
Onderscheidingsteken ter erkenning van uitstekende daden bij watersnood verricht (Watersnoodmedaille),
Ereteken Meester-Kanonnier voor Schepelingen van de Koninklijke Marine.
De naam van de Herinneringsmedaille Vredesoperaties is op grond van het besluit van 2 juni 2016, houdende wijziging van het Besluit Herinneringsmedaille Vredesoperaties, gewijzigd in Herinneringsmedaille Internationale Missies (HIM). De reden was dat de term ‘vredesoperaties’ geen recht deed aan de missies waarin men zich in feite in oorlogsgebied bevindt en in het hoogste geweldsspectrum wordt opgetreden.
Draagvolgorde buitenlandse onderscheidingen
Vanwege een misdruk in de vorige vaststelling van de draagvolgorde is er een misverstand ontstaan over de wijze waarop buitenlandse onderscheidingen dienen te worden gedragen.
De regel is dat buitenlandse onderscheidingen moeten worden gedragen naar de aard van de onderscheiding, d.w.z. eerst de ridderorden gerangschikt aan de hand van de graad en daarna de overige onderscheidingen. Indien een persoon gerechtigd is tot het dragen van twee onderscheidingen van gelijke graad van verschillende landen, dan worden deze gerangschikt op de alfabetische volgorde van de Franstalige benamingen van de landen. Indien de gedecoreerde gerechtigd is tot het dragen van twee onderscheidingen van hetzelfde land, dient hij deze naast elkaar te dragen, ook indien de daaropvolgende onderscheiding van een ander land hoger is in gradatie.
Samenvattend, de draagvolgorde van buitenlandse onderscheidingen wordt eerst bepaald aan de hand van de graad en bij gelijke graad per land op Franse alfabetische volgorde. Heeft een gedecoreerde meerdere onderscheidingen van hetzelfde land, dan moeten deze aansluitend worden gedragen, ongeacht de hoogte van de graad van andere landen.
Graden erkende (ridderlijke) orden
In tegenstelling tot de ridder- en huisorden bevatte categorie D geen nadere vermelding van de bij de in deze categorie opgenomen orden. De afzonderlijke graden zijn alsnog toegevoegd.
Er is om praktische redenen voor gekozen om geen officiële verkorte draagvolgorde vast te leggen. Op basis van het nieuwe besluit kan er in de brochure Draagwijzer (Kanselarij) en het Handboek Onderscheidingen (Defensie) een nader in te vullen verkorte volgorde worden opgenomen.
After the death of King John VI of Portugal in 1826, the Braganzas were devided into three main family-branches: (1) the Brazilian branch, with its chief King John VI’s eldest son, Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, (2) the Constitutional branch, with its chief Emperor Pedro I’s eldest daughter, Queen Maria II of Portugal, and (3) the Miguelist branch, with its chief King John VI’s second eldest son and seventh child, King Miguel I of Portugal. The Brazilian branch became the House of Orléans-Braganza. This branch is divided by the Vassouras branch, led by Prince Luiz of Orléans-Braganza, and the Petrópolis branch, led by Prince Pedro Carlos of Orléans-Braganza. The Constitutional branch of Maria II became extinct with the death of King Manuel II (who’s reign ended with the dissolution of the monarchy in revolution on 5 October 1910) in 1932.
It is generally accepted that the claim to the Portuguese Crown, and therefore to the chieftainship of the House of Braganza, passed to Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza. Another well-known pretender is Pedro, Duke of Loulé. In this article I want to show that the Duke of Loulé has an equally serious claim to the defunct throne of Portugal – both from a historical as a legal perspective – as the Duke of Braganza. Apart from the Portuguese parliament, there is currently no authority to decide who’s claim is the most credible. I think it is interesting to see how the two main claims are derived and which facts are relevant to decide which claim is preferred. My conclusion is that this is a matter of opinion, because both claims are quite transparent and none of the two claiims can be dismissed on grounds that cannot be challenged.
The genealogical relations among the heirs to the throne of Portugal since the late 18th century are shown below:
I. King John VI (1767–1826), King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1816 to 1825. Children:
Emperor Pedro I (fourth child), follow IIa.
King Miguel I (seventh child) , follow IIb.
Queen Maria (ninth child), follow IIc.
IIa. King Pedro I (1798–1834), nicknamed “the Liberator”, was the founder and first ruler of the Empire of Brazil, as King Dom Pedro IV between 1822-1831, he reigned briefly over Portugal in 1826. Daughter:
IIIa. Queen Maria II (1819–1853), reigned as Queen of Portugal from 1826 to 1828, and again from 1834 to 1853. Maria II’s throne was usurped by Dom Miguel (see below, IIb), Pedro I’s younger brother. Sons:
IVa.1 King Pedro V (1837–1861), nicknamed “the Hopeful” (Portuguese: o Esperançoso), was King of Portugal from 1853 to 1861.
IVa.2 King Luís I (1838–1889), King of Portugal from 1861 to 1889. Son of Luís I:
Va. King Carlos I (1863–1908), known as “the Diplomat” (also known as “the Martyr”; Portuguese: o Diplomata and Portuguese: o Martirizado), King of Portugal 1889-1908 (murdered). Son:
VIa. King Manuel II (1889–1932), “the Patriot” (Portuguese: “o Patriota”) or “the Unfortunate” (Portuguese: “o Desventurado”), was the last King of Portugal, ascending the throne after the assassination of his father, King Carlos I, and his elder brother, Luís Filipe, the Prince Royal. Before ascending the throne he held the title of Duke of Beja. His reign ended with the dissolution of the monarchy in the 5 October 1910 revolution. Manuel lived the rest of his life in exile in Twickenham, South London.
IIb. Miguel I (1802 – 1866), “the Absolutist” (Portuguese: “o Absolutista”) or “the Traditionalist” (Portuguese: “o Tradicionalista”), usurper of the Portuguese throne, regent of Portugal from February 1828 and self-proclaimed king from July 1828 to 1834, though his royal title was not recognized everywhere.
Miguel went with the rest of the royal family to Brazil in 1807, escaping from Napoleon’s armies, but returned with them in 1821 to Portugal. He was then—and remained—much under the influence of his Spanish mother, Queen Carlota Joaquina. On his return, King John VI accepted the liberal constitution of 1821, but Queen Carlota refused to take the oath. When in 1823 the French overthrew the radical regime in Spain, Miguel led a military rebellion that dissolved the discredited Cortes in Portugal. His father promised an amended constitution but appointed liberal ministers, and on April 30, 1824, Miguel again led a military rebellion. When it faltered, his father reluctantly exiled him to Vienna (June 1824). When John VI died (March 10, 1826), his elder son, Pedro I, emperor of Brazil, became Pedro IV of Portugal but constitutionally abdicated in favour of his daughter Maria, then seven years of age. She was to marry Miguel, who was to accept Pedro’s constitutional Charter. Miguel swore to accept the Charter, returned to Portugal, and assumed the regency (Feb. 22, 1828); however, he promptly fell under his mother’s influence, settled old scores, and had himself proclaimed king (July 7, 1828). He was so recognized by the Holy See, Spain, the United States, and Russia but not by the liberal monarchies. In 1830 the Duke of Wellington’s government in Britain was about to recognize him, but it fell. In 1831 Peter abdicated in Brazil, returned to Europe, and initiated a civil war. Michael lost Porto, but the struggle was protracted; he was finally forced by foreign intervention to leave Lisbon and surrendered at Évora-Monte on May 26, 1834 (source: Encyclopaedia Britannica).
In December 1834 the Portuguese Cortes banished Miguel and all his descendants from Portugal upon pain of immediate death. Article 98 of the Constitution of 1838 excluded the collateral Miguelist line from the throne. The 1834 ban remained in effect until revoked in May 1950. Son:
IIIb. Miguel Januário de Bragança (1853 – 1927), Miguelist claimant to the throne of Portugal from 1866 to 1920. He used the title Duke of Braganza. Son:
IVb. Duarte Nuno, Duke of Braganza (1907 – 1976). In 1952, when the Portuguese Laws of Banishment were revoked, Dom Duarte Nuno moved his family to Portugal, where he spent the rest of his life attempting, without success, to restore the Brigantine assets to his family and reestablish the image of the Miguelist Braganzas in Portuguese society. Dom Duarte Nuno’s overall aim was to restore the Portuguese monarchy under the Braganzas. Son:
Vb. Duarte Pio, Duke of Braganza (1945 -), claimant to the defunct Portuguese throne, President of the King Manuel II Foundation, married Dona Isabel Inês de Castro Curvello de Herédia.
IIc. Infanta Ana de Jesus Maria of Braganza (1806 – 1857), married Royal Ajuda Palace, 5 December 1827 Dom Nuno José Severo de Mendonça Rolim de Moura Barreto (1804-1875), then Marquis of Loulé and Count de Vale de Reis. As leader of the Historic Party, he was three times appointed President of the Council of Ministers and Prime Minister (1856 – 1859; 1860 – 1865 and 1869 – 1870). Dom Nuno was created 1st Duke of Loulé by Luís I of Portugal in 1862. He was awarded the Grand Cordon in the Order of Leopold (1857) and was Member of the Military Order of Christ and of the Order of the Tower and Sword. Son:
IIIc. Pedro José Agostinho de Mendoça Rolim de Moura Barreto, 2nd Duke of Loulé, 10th Count of Vale de Reis (1830–1909), married Constança Maria de Figueiredo Cabral da Câmara. Daughter:
IVc. Ana de Jesus Maria de Mendoça (1854 – 1922), married João Maria dos Enfermos da Câmara Berquó (1859 – 1934). Daughter:
Vc. Constança Maria da Conceição Berquó de Mendoça (1889 – 1967), condessa de Vale de Reis (11th, 29 May 1932), married Dom Pedro José de Basto Feyo Folque (1888 – 1969), succeeded to the dukedom of Loulé on 20 April 1947. Son:
VIc. Alberto Nuno Carlos Rita Folque de Mendoça Rolim de Moura Barreto (1923 – 2003), 5th Duke of Loulé married Dona Maria Augusta Amelia de Moraes Cardoso de Menezes. Son:
VIIc. Pedro José Folque de Mendoça Rolim de Moura Barreto, 6th Duke of Loulé (1958 -), claimant to the defunct Portuguese throne, entrepreneur, married Margarida Vaz Pinto and lives in Portugal.
Note: The Government of the Order of Saint Sebastian, called the Arrow is entrusted to the Dom Filipe, Count of Rio Grande, brother of VIIc. This Order was revived in January 1994, by Dom Filipe, with express authorization of his father, Dom Alberto, Duke of Loulé (VIc.).
The Duke of Braganza and the Duke of Loulé share a common ancestor: King John VI of Portugal. Both dukes claim the headship of the defunct throne of Portugal. When validating these claims, it should be taken into account that the direct ancestor of Dom Duarte Pio, Miguel I, usurped Maria II’s throne and that the legitimate Portuguese government banished Miguel I and all his descendants (like Dom Duarte Pio) from Portugal, as well as excluded the collateral Miguelist line from the throne. These facts do not contribute to the legitimacy of the claim of the Duke de Braganza.
However, a formal statement by the Portuguese government in 2006 (see below, sources), makes it clear that the Duke of Braganza is seen as the legitimate claimant to the defunct Portuguese throne. The Duke of Braganza even has the right to grant titles and to name new members of the royal dynastic orders of chivalry, although titles granted after 1905 are not recognized by the Republic. The Duke and Duchess of Braganza are entitled to use their royal title and style in Portugal based on the law that permits those who had a noble status prior to 1905 to use their styles and titles in Portugal. Only the Duke and Duchess of Braganza and their eldest son, the Duke of Beira, have the right to use the style of HRH. Very interesting and an act of social recognition is the fact that the document states that it has long been the custom of the Portuguese Republic to invite the head of the House of Braganza to participate in solemn ceremonies and to represent the country abroad as a living symbol of Portuguese history.
The Duke of Loulé descends from King John VI in the female line and from a younger child than the Duke of Braganza. I think these facts might not entirely fit into the traditional lines of succession, but they do not hinder a legitimate claim regarding the defunct throne of Portugal, especially taking into account that the line of succession in the past already included females. The mentioned statement by the Portuguese government does not exclude or dismiss the Duke of Loulé’s claims. The statement only concerns the legitimacy of the claim of mr. Rosario Poidimani, an Italian businessman.
Articles 87 and 88 of the Constitutional Charter of 1826 stated that the throne passed first to the descendants of Queen Maria II, and stipulated that only in the case this line was extinct, the throne succeeded to her collateral heirs. Article 89 of the same Charter stipulated that “no foreigner may succeed to the crown of the kingdom of Portugal”. Maria II had living descendants in 1932, but none of these had the Portuguese nationality. These facts and circumstances make the matter even more complex. The so-called Dover and Paris Pacts (two supposed agreements regarding the line of succession between the Miguelist and the Braganza-Saxe-Coburg branches of Portugal’s royal family in exile) cannot be seen as authoritative in this matter. The existence of both Pacts is a subject of debate (to say the least), since no signed versions have ever been published and Princess Aldegundes de Bragança later announced that the parties had not reached an agreement and that the whole story was just a propaganda stunt with the intention to validate the unsuccessful Miguelist claims. Between 1920 and 1928, Adelgundes acted as the regent-in-absentia on behalf of her nephew and Miguelist claimant to the Portuguese throne, Duarte Nuno (IVb), who was twelve years old when his father Miguel (IIIb) renounced his claim to the throne in favour of his son. These circumstances only contribute to the idea that the last King of Portugal did not want the Miguelist line to succeed him.
Preference for one of the two claims remains either a matter of opinion or a political choice, since there are no absolute legal criteria from which a judgment can be derived. My personal opinion is that both claims are transparent and are based on a reasonably arguable position, but in the end it is for the Portuguese people to decide who has the best claim. Since only about 25% of the Portuguese population wants to return to a monarchy, it is unlikely that the matter will ever be resolved. This is odd because a monarch would create political stability in the country, similar to, for example, The Netherlands. Due to its constant, senseless political quarrels, Portugal saw its credit rating downgraded to junk status. I am certain that this would not have happened when Portugal were a monarchy. In the times of the monarchy, Portugal was an economic super power. Its current status is far from that.
On a German website, focussing on selling titles of nobility, it is stated that German nobility can be obtained by adoption:
Members of Germany’s historical nobility up to the Royal Rank offer the rare opportunity to acquire a genuine title of nobility. If you were not born into the noble class, you can acquire a highly prestigious German nobility title by adoption, marriage or, for your firm or product, licensing by a legal title-holder.
In this article, I will answer the question to what extend this statement is correct.
Article 109 of the Weimar Constitution, inter alia, abolished all privileges based on birth or status and provided that marks of nobility were to be valid only as part of a surname. Pursuant to Article 123(1) of the present Constitutional Law, that provision remains applicable today. It is common ground that under German law a surname which includes a title of nobility continues to vary according to the sex of the bearer if that was the case for the former title of nobility.
Any head of a dynasty who did not reign prior to 1918 but had held a specific title as heir to one of Germany’s former thrones (such as, Erbprinz (“hereditary prince”)). In a similar way the heirs to a title of nobility inherited via primogeniture, and their wives—were permitted to incorporate those titles into elements of the personal surname. These specific titles were not heritable (1). With the death of the last person styled “Kronprinz” (=crown prince) before 1918, the title Kronprinz ceased to exist as a part of German surnames. Traditional titles exclusively used for unmarried noblewomen by birth, such as Freiin, were also transformed into parts of the legal surname. The could be changed after marriage or upon request (2). All other former titles and designations of Nobility are currently inherited as part of the surname, and protected by German family law as such.
Sections 1297 to 1921 of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) (BGB) contain rules regarding family law. The competent court of first instance is the District Court (Amtsgericht) (section 23a, Law on the System of Judicature) (GVG). Court hearings are generally held in private (section 170, GVG). Remedies in family cases go to the regional Courts of Appeal (Oberlandesgericht) (section 119 I a and b, GVG).
Adoption of children is possible if it serves the best interests of the child and it is anticipated that a parent-child relationship will arise between the adoptive parent and the child (section 1741 I, BGB). With adoption, the child becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents/person/couple who receives parental custody by law. The legal relationship to the previous parents, to former siblings, grandparents, great-grandparents or cousins ends. In addition, the child receives the surname of the adoptive family.
Austrian Law (3)
In 1919 the Law on the abolition of the nobility, (Gesetz vom 3. April 1919 über die Aufhebung des Adels, der weltlichen Ritter- und Damenorden und gewisser Titel und Würden (Adelsaufhebungsgesetz), which has constitutional status in accordance with Article 149(1) of the Federal Constitutional Law (Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz) abolished the nobility, secular orders of knighthood and certain other titles and dignities, and prohibited the bearing of the corresponding styles. Under Paragraph 1 of the implementing provisions adopted by the competent ministers (Vollzugsanweisung des Staatsamtes für Inneres und Unterricht und des Staatsamtes für Justiz, im Einvernehmen mit den beteiligten Staatsämtern vom 18. April 1919, über die Aufhebung des Adels und gewisser Titel und Würden), the abolition applies to all Austrian citizens, regardless of where the relevant privileges were acquired. Paragraph 2 indicates that the prohibition covers, inter alia, the right to bear the particle ‘von’ as part of the name and the right to bear any title of noble rank, such as ‘Ritter’ (knight), ‘Freiherr’ (baron), ‘Graf’ (count), ‘Fürst’ (prince), ‘Herzog’ (duke) or other corresponding indications of status, whether Austrian or foreign. Under Paragraph 5, various penalties may be imposed for contravening the prohibition.
This prohibition has been applied by the courts with certain adjustments where those bearing a German surname including a former German mark of nobility were concerned. Where a German citizen bore such a surname and acquired Austrian nationality, that name could not be reinterpreted as including a title of nobility and could not be changed. Moreover, an Austrian woman acquiring such a name by virtue of marriage to a German citizen was entitled to bear the name in its entirety; however, she must bear exactly the same surname as her husband, and not a feminine form of the name.
Under Paragraph 9(1) of the Federal Law on international private law (Bundesgesetz vom 15. Juni 1978 über das internationale Privatrecht (IPR-Gesetz), the personal status of natural persons is determined by the law of their nationality. Under Paragraph 13(1), the name which they bear is regulated by their personal status, regardless of the basis on which the name was acquired. Paragraph 26 provides that conditions governing adoption are regulated by the personal status of each adopting party and of the child, while its ‘effects’ are regulated, when there is a single adopting party, by the personal status of that party.
The ‘effects’ thus regulated extend only to those in family law and not to the determination of the adopted child’s name (which remains governed by Paragraph 13(1)). According to a report drawn up by the International Commission on Civil Status (ICCS) in March 2000 (‘Loi applicable à la détermination du nom’) at which time Austria was a member of that organisation, in response to the question ‘What is the law applicable to the determination of the name of an adopted child?’, Austria stated: ‘The (change of) name of an adopted child is one of the effects of the adoption and is determined according to the national law of the adopting party or parties. When the adopting parties are spouses of different nationality, their common national law, failing which their previous common national law if it is still the national law of either spouse, applies. Formerly, the applicable law was that of the habitual residence‘.
Under Paragraph 183(1), read in conjunction with Paragraph 182(2), of the Austrian Civil Code (Allgemeines bürgerliches Gesetzbuch) a child adopted by a single person takes that person’s surname if the legal ties with the parent of the other sex have been dissolved.
Until a court case in 2018 decided otherwise, the noble prefix “von” was tolerated in Austria when having the meaning of originating from a certain geographical location (thus not designating a noble title). The non-noble designation “van” is still tolerated.
Court cases (4)
Ms Ilonka Sayn-Wittgenstein, an Austrian citizen resident in Germany, following her adoption, in 1991, by Mr Lothar Fürst von Sayn-Wittgenstein, a German citizen, acquired the surname of the latter as her name at birth, with his title of nobility, in the form “Fürstin von Sayn-Wittgenstein” (“Princess of Sayn-Wittgenstein”). The Austrian authorities proceeded to enter this new name in the Austrian register of civil status. They also renewed and issued a passport and certificates of nationality in the name of Ilonka Fürstin von Sayn-Wittgenstein.
In 2003, the Austrian Constitutional Court held, in a similar case, that the 1919 Law on the abolition of the nobility – which is of constitutional status and implements the principle of equal treatment – precluded an Austrian citizen from acquiring a surname which includes a title of nobility by means of adoption by a German national who is permitted to bear that title as a constituent element of his name. Prompted by that judgment, considering that the birth certificate issued to Ms Ilonka Fürstin von Sayn-Wittgenstein following adoption was incorrect, the civil registrar of Vienna corrected the entry of the surname in the register of civil status to “Sayn-Wittgenstein”. The correction was based on Paragraph 15(1) of the Law on civil status, that requires a registration to be rectified if it was incorrect at the time the entry was made.
Mrs. Sayn-Wittgenstein challenged this decision before the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court, arguing that the non-recognition of the effects of her adoption on her name constituted an obstacle to her right to freedom of movement – since this forces her to use different names in two Member States – and interference with her right to respect for family life – on account of the amendment of her name which she had nevertheless used continuously for 15 years.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered that the justification relied upon by the Austrian Government, i.e. the application of the 1919 Law on the abolition of the nobility and more generally the constitutional principle of equality of all Austrian citizens, should be interpreted as reliance on public policy. After having recalled the margin of discretion of the Austrian authorities and the fact that the Union respects the national identities of its Member States, it considers that it is not disproportionate for a Member State to seek to attain the objective of protecting the principle of equal treatment by prohibiting any acquisition, possession or use, by its nationals, of titles of nobility or noble elements which may create the impression that the bearer of the name is holder of such a rank.
Consequently, the ECJ replies that the refusal by the authorities of a Member State to recognise all the elements of the surname of one of its nationals, as determined in another Member State at the time of his or her adoption as an adult by a national of the latter, where that surname includes a title of nobility which is not permitted in the first Member State under its constitutional law, does not unjustifiably undermine the freedom to move and reside enjoyed by citizens of the Union.
Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff
Mr. Nabiel Peter Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff changed his name while living in the United Kingdom to Peter Mark Emanuel Graf von Wolffersdorff Freiherr von Bogendorff. He has dual German-UK citizenship. Mr Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff lived in the United Kingdom between 2001 and 2005. He changed his name under United Kingdom rules and became a citizen of both countries. On his return to Germany, Mr. Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff requested the registry office of the city of Karlsruhe to register his new name, which would allow him to update his German identity papers. The Karlsruhe registry refused.
Mr Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff stated that this has created problems with identity documents, including getting German officials to recognise his passport. He also has trouble convincing people that his young daughter is related to him. Her (United Kingdom) name is Larissa Xenia Graefin von Wolffersdorff Freiin von Bogendorff. Mr Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff took his case to a district court in the town of Karlsruhe, which asked the ECJ for advice.
On 2 June 2016 the ECJ decided that Germany was not bound to recognise the name Bogendorff von Wolffersdorff when he also holds the nationality of another Member State in which he has acquired that name which he has chosen freely and which contains a number of tokens of nobility, which are not accepted by the law of the first Member State, provided that it is established, which it is for the referring court to ascertain, that a refusal of recognition is, in that context, justified on public policy grounds, in that it is appropriate and necessary to ensure compliance with the principle that all citizens of that Member State are equal before the law.
Case study: Schaumburg-Lippe
Schaumburg-Lippe was a county in Germany until 1807 when it became a principality. From 1871 until 1918 it was a state within the German Empire. The current heir apparent of the House of Schaumburg-Lippe (according to the traditional rules that were applied before 1919) is Ernst-August Alexander Wilhelm Bernhard Krafft Heinrich Donatus Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe (1994), the son of Ernst August Alexander Christian Viktor Hubert Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe (1958), head of the dynasty.
The House of Schaumburg-Lippe is an interesting subject to study in this respect because of the adult adoption by Prince Waldemar of Schaumburg-Lippe, a socialite. Officially Prince Waldemar is called Waldemar Stephan Ferdinand Wolrad Friedrich Karl Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe (born 19 December 1940 in Glienicke, Germany). He is a son of Christian Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe and Prinzessin Feodora of Denmark, and the great-grandson of King Frederick VIII of Denmark. Prince Waldemar’s fourth marriage was with Gertraud-Antonia Wagner-Schöppl, a politician, on 20 September 2008 in Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna. He adopted the adult son of his wife: Mag. iur. Dr. iur, Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe, MAS, LLM, a well-known actor and journalist.
Mario-Max Schaumburg-Lippe was born on 23 December 1977 as Mario-Max Wagner, in Salzburg, Austria. His father was Dr. Helmut Wagner, MD. Mario-Max Wagner was adopted in Austria in 2001 by Helga Claire Lee Roderbourg (1911-2005), widow of Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe (nephew of the mentioned Prince Waldemar) and daughter of the German industrialist Dr. Carl Roderbourg. In the process, he changed his surname from Wagner to Schaumburg-Lippe. At the occasion of the mentioned marriage of his mother, Gertraud-Antonia Schöppl to Prince Waldemar in 2008, Mario-Max was adopted again, this time by Prince Waldemar. Due to his (German) adoption by Prince Waldemar he obtained the surname Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe and the German nationality. Mario-Max legally changed his given names to Mario-Max Prince Antonius Adolf Albert Eduard Oliver Gertraud Edith Helga Magdalena.
Under German law adults can be adopted (§ 1770 BGB), but the German law considers this to be a so called “weak adoption”, which means that the relationship is limited between the adopting parents and the adoptee (thereby excluding other familial ties of the adopting parents). This also implies that in general the German citizenship is not passed on to the adult adoptee. According to § 1772 BGB, however, adults can also be adopted according to the rules of the adoption of a minor (full adoption) with the same legal effects. This way, the family name is also inherited. According to his birth certificate, shown on his personal internet page, this type of adoption has taken place in the case of Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe.
I disagree with the negative attitude towards adoptees who have been adopted (being adult or minor) by members of the German nobility when the intensions of such an adoption are genuine. I am convinced that this is the case in the Schaumburg-Lippe situation. During the legal proceedings, this is also tested by the judge who decides whether or not the adoption should be ratified. I therefore do not have any problem with the change of name from Wagner to Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe.
Whether an adopted childcan legally be treated as descendentdependsuponthelaw in theparticularjurisdiction. In America e.g., the States have different rules and statutes. Some allow a person to inherit from both his/her biological parents and the adoptive parents, while others preclude an adoptee from inheriting from his/her biological parents and allow them only to inherit from his/her adoptive parents. Under Florida law e.g., adopted children are considered descendants for the purposes of Probate. Applying these remarks to the Schaumburg-Lippe case, it would be incorrect for Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe (who often resides in America) to e.g. designate Feodora of Denmark as his grandmother or to state that he descends from King Frederik VIII of Denmark, since in everyday language, as well in a legal context, a descendent is a blood relative in the direct line of descent (Black’s Law Dictionary):
One who Is descended from another; a person who proceeds from the body of another, such as a child, grandchild, etc., to the remotest degree. The terms the opposite of “ascendant,” (?. v.). Descendants is a good term of description in a will, and includes all who proceed from the body of the person named; as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Amb. 397; 2 Hil. Real. Prop. 242.
In the context of family law, an adoptee can be treated in the same way as a descendent, but this is a legal construct and therefore not identical to actually being a descendent. Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe is an heir to his adoptive father, but not a descendent. There is no biological relation between the adoptee and the dynasty of Schaumburg-Lippe and the genealogical chart that is presented on the website of Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe is misleading. This observation is without prejudice to Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe’s achievements in life.
Genealogical chart showing that Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe is a descendent of King Frederik VIII.of Denmark. This impression is false. The addition “of Germany” is misleading, since Mario-Max nor the House Schaumburg-Lippe have been rulers over Germany. “from Germany” would be the correct description. Source: https://schaumburglippe.org
Traditionally (especially before 1918), adult adoption has been used as a way to save a noble family from extinction.
Als auch nach 1945 die DAG und mit ihr die Nachfolgeorganisation der APA zu existieren aufhörte, bildete sich nach wenigen Jahren im Jahre 1949 – noch vor der Gründung der Vereinigung der Deut- schen Adelsverbände (VdDA) – der Ausschuss für adelsrechtliche Fragen. Initiator war Hans Friedrich v. Ehrenkrook, der bereits seit 1925 zusammen mit früheren Mitgliedern des aufgelösten Heroldsamtes dem APA angehört hatte und der bis zu seinem Tode 1968 stellvertretender Präsident des ARA war. Er war somit Garant für die erstaunlich kontinuierliche Arbeit in adelsrechtlichen Fragen in einem langen Zeitraum, seit der Auflösung des Heroldsamts bis in die jüngste Vergangenheit, in einer Zeit, die durch ständige Veränderungen geprägt war. Der Ausschuss, der seit 1977 nicht mehr “Ausschuss für adels- rechtliche Fragen der deutschen Adelsverbände” sondern “Deutscher Adelsrechtsausschuß” heißt, wur- de und wird gebildet von Vertretern der einzelnen Deutschen Adelsverbände bzw. historischer deut- scher Landschaften, für die kein Adelsverband besteht.
Für alle diese Fälle, in denen der Adelsname nach dem staatlichen bürgerlichen Recht zurecht geführt wird, ohne indessen eine Zugehörigkeit zum historischen Adel zu begründen, hält sich der ARA als Rechtsnachfolger seiner Vorgänger, der von 1918 bis 1945 bestehenden Spruchorganisationen des deutschen Adels, für befugt, in besonderen Fällen die Führung eines Adelszeichens, die nach früherem Adelsrecht unzulässig gewesen wäre, adelsrechtlich nicht zu beanstanden mit der Folge, dass der Betroffene als zum Adel gehörend angesehen wird, in das Genealogische Handbuch des Adels aufgenommen und Mitglied eines Adelsverbandes werden kann. Hierbei handelt es sich aber um seltene Ausnahmen bei Vorliegen besonderer Umstände. Denn es kann nicht Aufgabe des ARA sein, Neuadel zu schaffen. Es muß sich um Fälle handeln, in denen angenommen werden kann, dass der Monarch früher eine Nobilitierung vorgenommen hätte.
Seit 1949 hat die II. Kammer (bis incl. 2016) 105 Entscheidungen getroffen, davon 49 positiv und 56 negativ. Die Probanden, deren Namensführung adelsrechtlich nichtbeanstandet worden sind, begründen adelsrechtlich eine neue adelige Familie, die im GHdA einen eigenen Artikel erhält.
Without the mentioned consent, adult adoption by a German noble person of a non-noble adoptee as such does not create German nobility in a historical sense. Therefore, these adoptees are not listed in e.g. the Genealogisches Handbuch desAdels that contains the genealogies of these families. The position of Mario-Max Prinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe could change when he would obtain a consent from the head of one of the former reigning German dynasties.
(1) Several heirs filed suits against this regulation. On 11 March 1966 the supreme Federal Administrative Court of Germany ruled, based on Art. 109 of the Weimar Constitution and an earlier decision of the Reichsgericht, that German law on names does not recognise hereditary surname variants for heads of families distinct from the legal surname borne by other family members. (cf., N.N. Primogenitur – Nur eine Silbe (“primogeniture – only a syllable”), in: Der Spiegel, No. 15 (1966), p. 61.
(2) Das Bürgerliche Gesetzbuch mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Rechtsprechung des Reichsgerichts und des Bundesgerichtshofes; Kommentare (=Großkommentare der Praxis (in German); “Civil Law Code with Special Attention to Jurisdiction of the Reichsgericht and the Bundesgerichtshof: Commentaries”), edited by members of the Bundesgerichthof, vol. 1: §§ 1–240, compiled by Kurt Herbert Johannsen, 12th, newly revised edition, Berlin and New York: de Gruyter, 1982, § 12 (p. 54). ISBN 3-11-008973-4.
(3) According to the Advocate General Sharpston, delivered on 14 October 2010, in case C‑208/09 (Ilonka Sayn-Wittgenstein) of the European Courts of Human Rights.
(4) ECJ, Case C-208/09 Ilonka Sayn-Wittgenstein vs. Landeshauptmann von Wien, judgment of 22 December 2010, summery of the judgment, provided by the court.
Officially called the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, the Constantinian Order is an order of knighthood whose origins traditionally date back to Emperor Constantine. According to a legend, he founded the Order following the miraculous appearance of the Cross at Saxa Rubra. Although no evidence exists that meets modern standards, the Constantinian Order is widely considered one of the most ancient among the orders of knighthood. The main purpose of the Constantinian Order is the propagation of the Christian faith and the glorification of the Holy Cross.
The earliest acknowledged document relating to the Order is the Statute of the Byzantine Emperor Isaac IV Angelo Flavio Comneno that dates back to 1190. The Grand Mastership descended from father to son in the Comneno family until the last of his line who, having remained without heirs and yet wishing to continue the tradition of the Order, ceded his rights to Francesco Farnese, Duke of Parma. This transfer was confirmed by Pope Innocent XII who issued the Bull “Sincerae Fidae” on 24 October 1697.
Later, Pope Clement XI, who had been Cardinal Protector of the Order, placed it under the protection of the Holy See in the Bull “Militantis Ecclesiae” on 27 May 1718, granting abbatial privileges to the Grand Prior. Antonio Farnese, last Duke of Parma transferred the Grand Magistry of the Order to Charles of Bourbon, the son of his niece Elisabetta Farnese and Philip V of Spain. When Charles became King of Naples and Sicily, he established there the seat of the Order and later, transferred his rights to his son Ferdinand IV after his succession to the Spanish Throne. Ferdinand was succeeded by Francis I (1825-1830), Ferdinand II (1830-1859), and Francis II (1859-1894), the last King of the united Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. The unification of Italy deprived the Constantinian Order of its territorial possessions but the Royal House maintains the Grand Magistry since the Order is a dynastic institution.
There currently exist three separate (generally accepted) branches (also: claimants) of the Order, following a schisma regarding the succession to the succession as head of the House (1960), a subsequent reconciliation (2014) and a new schisma (2016).
HRH Prince Charles of Bourbon Two Sicilies, Duke of Castro (1963). In 2008, Prince Charles succeeded his father’s claim as head of the House of the Two Sicilies. In this capacity, he is known by the title Duke of Castro. This claim is disputed by the Spanish branch of the House of the Two Sicilies. As claimant to the Headship of the House, he also claims to be Grandmaster of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George as well as the Royal Order of Francis I.
HRH Prince Pedro of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duke of Calabria (1968). Claimant since the death on 5 October 2015 of his father, HRH Carlos de Borbón-Dos Sicilias y de Borbón-Parma, Infante of Spain, who was, at his death, the last infante of Spain during the reigns of his cousins King Juan Carlos I and King Felipe VI.
HRH Prince Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma and Piacenza (1930-2010). In 1979 Carlos Hugo abandoned his claims and became a naturalised Spanish citizen. The following year he left the political arena. In 2002 he donated the archives of the House of Parma to Spain’s national archives; in my an opinion enormously important gesture. On 28 September 2003 the Duke of Parma suddenly reasserted his claim, with declarations of new titles for his children. He is succeeded by his son Prince Carlos, Duke of Parma (1970). The Parmesan Constantinian Order was a new foundation, instituted by Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma in 1817.
In my opinion, none of the current branches and family members have unchallengeable rights to the headship of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Therefore, the Headship of the House remains a political choice or matter of opinion that cannot be determined decisively from a legal perspective. This issue can be illustrated by a an example of two less popular claimants.
In an article on the internet, mr. Sanchez Ramirez de Arellano, discusses the legitimacy of the fons honorum and the genealogy of mr. De Vigo Paleologo, who claims to be the Sovereign Imperial Prince and heir to the Byzantine Throne with the qualification of Royal and Imperial Highness. His conclusion is:
Finally we can not say that Mr. de Vigo is not what he claims to be as well as nobody can say the opposite, because one thing is the recognition or the ability to recognise of a right, another thing is the existence of the right itself. But I believe I have demonstrated that, until now, there is no convincing proofs of the existence of the jus honorarium in his person, and he does not have the implied recognition by other sovereigns that I consider indispensable and the only one really valid.
These remarks are interesting. They suggest that legitimacy of claims regarding the fons honorum can be measured by the acceptance of other Sovereign Houses (of whom the legitimacy is generally accepted). I like this viewpoint, because it offers some guidance to measure the legitimacy of claims like those of mr. De Vigo. As I understand, no general accepted royal dynasty has recognised his claim. Who ever chooses to recognise the historical correctness of the claims of mr. De Vigo is allowed to do so, based on the freedom of opinion and expressing this opinion we have in the Western World. This freedom of expression is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and recognized in international human rights law in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the UDHR states that “everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice“. The same is true for opponents of other more exotic dynastic claimants, as illustrated by the court decision of the Tribunale di Vicenza on 5 August 2004, in a famous dispute between the well-known nobility expert mr. Guy Stair-Sainty and business man mr. Rosario Poidimani. Another example of an opinion opposing a recent claimant of the Constantinian Order is given below.
In a Facebook post, the well-known royalty expert, mr. Rafe Heydel Mankoo criticises the claim of “S.A.I. e R. P.pe Dott. Luigi Maria Picco di Montenero e Pola Lavarello Lascaris Comneno Paleologo Obrenović di Costantinopoli – Serbia Sovrano Gran Maestro“, to the headship of the Constantinian Order:
This (..) Grand Master (…) Ignoring his blatant usurpation of the insignia of the true Constantinian Order, as well as the riband of the respected Luxembourg Order of Merit, his completely made up surname contains all of the familiar ancient *and extinct* dynastic names we come to associate with self-styled Walter Mittys: Lascaris Comneno Paleologo. For some reason (…) the chivalric underworld have a particular fascination with these three names.
The main problem I have with mr. Picco is the modification of his surname on his webpage on the internet. The public is easily confused by the use of the long and distinguished sounding surname that does not officially (that is registered by a state, in e.g. a passport) appear in public records. It is a peculiar combination of names and hereditary backgrounds that is hard to explain. The court decisions on mr Picco’s website do not relate to him (I cannot find his name in the decisions in the decisions of 1945, 1950 and 1964). They establish a judicial truth regarding the use of titles by mr. Marziano Lavarello (born Rome, 17 March 1921 – died Rome, 17 October 1992). Mr. Lavarello belonged to a wealthy family of Genoese shipowners. Later in life he unfortunately lived in reduced circumstances in a small apartment in the Via Sicilia, Rome, where he tried to maintain his imperial splendour. He had no offspring. The private acts dated 13, 25 and 29 October 1992 (the latter two were signed by mr. Lavarello appearantly after his death on 17 October 1992) transferring the titles of mr. Lavarello to mr. Luigi Mario Picco, do not convince me, since I do not see any family relationship between them and I question the authenticity of these documents. In my view, a family relationship is required to historically continue the legacy.
Traditionally, the transfer to a third party of the capacity to issue titles and awards of nobility and knighthood by private act cannot have the intended legal and historical consequences, without a ratification from a relevant authority, e.g. a court decision or governmental organisation. In the past, the last member of the Comneno family ceded his rights to regarding the Constantinian Order to Francesco Farnese, Duke of Parma, which transfer was confirmed by Pope Innocent XII who issued the Bull “Sincerae Fidae” on 24 October 1697. Such a confirmation can hardly be expected regarding the mentioned private acts. The arbitral sentence of 2012 is not enough in this respect. It is legally artificial to create some kind of unrealistic dispute between a claimant and an impressively sounding institute (without serious substance), subsequently have an arbiter (this is not a judge but a private person, often a jurist) draw up an arbitral judgment and finally have a court certifying this judgment as being in accordance with the formalities (but without making any material comments). Such a certification has no material bearing and is this legal route is common practice in some circles. The opposite is true. When claimants make use of such legal detours, it shows the illegitimacy of their claim due to a lack of valid alternatives. On the other hand, everybody is free to believe and form an opinion about mr. Picco’s claim and anyone can (from a legal perspective “claim” the headship of this illustrious and ancient Order. Personally, I do not support mr. Picco’s claim and I accept the legitimacy of the three mentioned claimants who have a family relationship with the original Order.
1) Imperial dispute
In 1952 there was a famous legal dual between two “Emperors”; the famous Neapolitan comic actor known as Totò, who had thought that he was entitled to the former throne of Byzantium, and Marziano Lavarello, who objected to the (in his eyes) usurper’s claims. The decision of one Italian court, recognises Marziano’s titles and his ability to ennoble others (10-09-1948, n. 5143 bis, n. 23828/48 R. G., della VII sezione della pretura di Roma): “Con Sentenza della VII sezione n° 23828/48 R.G. 5143-bis Pretura di Roma 10 settembre 1948 si parla dell’Ordine Costantiniano istituito da Costantino nel 312 e si riconosce a Sua Altezza Imperiale il principe Don Marziano II Lascaris Comneno Flavio Angelo Lavarello Ventimiglia di Turgoville il potere di tutti gli atti di sovranità che competono alla Corona Lascarense quale indiscussa ed indubitabile Sovranità ancor se spodestata, ma che conserva a tutti gli effetti le prerogative di Casa Regnante. Si deliba che spetta il trattamento di Maestà e che tra le proprie facoltà vi è quella di concedere Ttitoli Nobiliari e Gradi Cavallereschi […].”
2) Arbitral treaties
Italy is a party to the following treaties regarding the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards:
1927 Geneva Convention on The Execution of Foreign Arbitral Awards;
1961 European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration; and
1965 Washington Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States.
3) Nonsense recognition
The Calabria-branch of the Constantinian Order (listed above as 2), states that it is recognized by the Kingdom of The Netherlands. This statement is false.
The two letters that should support the recognition are written by the Dutch Ministry of Defense to mr. K. They state that (letter 1) the request by mr. K. (who is not in the military or civil service) for wearing the insignia of the Constantinian Order on the uniform has been received and (letter 2) that there are no objections to the conferring of the Constantinian Order to mr. K. To derive any recognition from these letters is pure nonsense. They prove exactly the opposite. The permission to wear the insignia on the uniform was denied and mr. K. then called with the ministry to obtain a letter that there is no objection to granting him the award. There never is such an objection since Dutch citizens are always allowed to accept foreign decorations, even if they can be categorized as total fake ones. The Dutch Ministry of Defense does not care and is not competent to judge about such issues. The ministry is only competent regarding permissions to wear decorations on Dutch uniforms. The Constantinian Order is not listed in the Handbook of the Minister of Defense that lists the decorations that are allowed to be worn on a Dutch uniform. It is therefore forbidden to wear the Constantinian Order on a Dutch uniform. The Order has been mislead by mr. K. and I advise the Order to remove the “recognition” as soon as possible from their website.
The role of traditional leaders in modern Africa is complex and has many aspects. It is discussed by advocates of “traditionalists” and of “modernists.” The traditionalists regard Africa’s traditional chiefs and elders as the true representatives of their people, accessible, respected, and legitimate, and therefore essential to politics on the continent. “Modernists,” by contrast, view traditional authority as a gerontocratic, chauvinistic, authoritarian and increasingly irrelevant form of rule that is antithetical to democracy (C. Logan, working paper 93, Afro Barometer).
In modern Africa the “traditionalists” represent the more popular view. An Afrobarometer survey of 36 African countries in 2014-15 found that 61% of people trusted local chiefs. Faith in ancient power structures has increased as people have grown more wary of modern and democratic institutions and politicians (The Economist, 19 December 2017); which is more or less the same as in West Europe. One reason is because the state in Africa is often absent. It is far more effective to ask a chief than a far-ocourt to rule in a case. Because the chief is local, his ruling may be better understood and accepted. Another reason may be that traditional leaders are seen as less corrupt, even though they tend to follow unwritten customs rather than written laws (The Economist, 19 December 2017).
These unwritten rules and customs, also called “customary law”, are defined as meaning the customs and practices traditionally observed among the indigenous African people of South Africa, which form part of the culture of those people (Bekker Seymour’s Customary Law in Southern Africa (1989) 11-13). Some African countries have definitions, whereas in other countries only descriptions can be applied and thus rules are more complex to derive. Allott says about the definitions: “Whether these definitions of customary law contribute anything by way of precision or facilitation of choice of laws is an open question.” (Allott New Essays in African Law 1970, 157).
Modern African Legal Systems
Most African legal systems consist of a complex combination of customary law, religious laws, received law (such as common law or civil law) and state legislation. In particular customary law can be hard to define in a set of rules as we know in continental Europe. The complexity becomes apparent when the application of different sources of law leads to different outcomes in specific legal cases. In Bhe v The Magistrate, Khayelitsha; Shibi v Sithole; South African Human Rights Commission v President of the Republic of South Africa, for example, the Constitutional Court declared customary rule of male primogeniture, which allows only an oldest male descendant or relative to succeed to the estate of a Black person, unconstitutional and invalid. It also declared unconstitutional and invalid, section 23(7) of the Black Administration Act which unfairly discriminates against women and others with regard to the administration and distribution of black deceased estates. The court imposed, as an interim measure, the provisions of the Intestate Succession Act on estates previously dealt with under the Black Administration Act. It also made special provision for estates relating to polygynous marriages and that estates previously administered in terms of the Black Administration Act must be administered by the Master of the High Court in terms of the Administration of Estates Act.. (J.C. Bekker and D.S. Koyana, The judicial and legislative reform of the customary law of succession, De Jure, 45 Volume 3 2012 pp 568).
In this context some traditional African leaders have started to issue ancient European titles of nobility to westerners in order to help their people fund health care and education. The question arises to what extend such titles can be regarded as legitimate, both from a historic and legal perspective. I will discuss two cases in this respect.
Ghana has a mixed system of English common law and customary law. Article 11(3) of the 1992 Constitution defines customary law as the rules of law which by custom are applicable to particular communities. Customary law is now a question of law to be determined by the courts. In Muslim communities, the reference to customary law is a reference to Islamic law or the Sharia. Customary law is not codified. Under Sections 42 and 43 of the Ghana Chieftaincy Act, 1971 (Act 370), as amended by Chieftaincy (Amendment) Decree, 1973(NRCD 166), Chieftaincy (Amendment) (No. 2) Decree, 1973 (NRCD 226), Chieftaincy (Amendment) Law, 1982 (PNDCL25) and Chieftaincy (Amendment) Law, 1993 (PNDCL 307), the National House of Chiefs and/or a Regional House of Chiefs, can draft their declaration of customary law for approval and publication as a legislative instrument by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice (V. Essien, Researching Ghanaian Law, Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law, 2005).
I have not discovered in Ghana’s common law nor in Ghana’s customary law (as determined by the courts) a rule or basis that makes it possible to issue European-style titles of nobility. In particular, Ghana’s Constitution makes no mention of such a practice. Therefore, it seems to be the case that this practice has no legal basis. From a historical perspective, the mentioned practice has never occurred. Does this mean that such titles are not legitimate? More specifically, the question is: are there any objections regarding the issuance of western titles by Togbe Osei III and what is their value? I already addressed this question in my article about the former King Kigeli of Rwanda. That case involved a former head of state. In the Ghana-case it concernes a ruling traditional chief, as legally embedded in Ghana’s constitution.
It could be hard to embed a local nobility in Ghana’s regions, since there is no legal basis for it. Nobility can even be seen as unlawful. The President of the National House of Chiefs, the Agbogbomefia of the Ho Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV, recently said one of the objectives of his administration would be to restore the nobility and reverence of the chieftaincy institution to enable it to effectively play its roles in society as expected (Ghanaweb, 2 February 2017, Do not meddle in politics. Togbe Afede tells chiefs). Issuing European-style titles may currently be the only safe way to bestow honours, since Ghana law is neutral about them in the same way as e.g. Italian law.
Like other major Western noble titles, baron is sometimes used to render certain titles in non-Western languages with their own traditions (e.g. the Indian equivalent Rao and the Székely equivalent primor, historically used among a specific population of Hungarians in Transsylvania). From a historic perspective these titles are unrelated and thus hard to compare. They are considered comparable in relative rank. Even in Western Europe the term Baron can hardly be compared among the different European countries or even among different regions within a country. Therefore, when using the title in public, the source of the title should be mentioned; although the word is the same, internationally it has a different meaning.
In my opinion, European-style titles and honours might be unconventional, but can be accepted. There is no authority to forbid the Togbe (literally meaning “grandfather”, the Ewe (1) reference for a chief) to style Europeans and Americans in a European manner. I think the Togbe simply wants to make his titles more attractive to westerners, which is understandable. Issuing original Ghanese-style titles to westerners would be unconventional as well and could even be unlawful. On the other hand, at least one example exists that contradicts the latter suggestion. Therefore, it remains an open question to what extend it is legitimate to issue European titles. I tend to see them as legitimate, but only when used in proper circumstances as described below.
African leaders might not have enough insight regarding the intentions of westerners that want to be involved in charity in Africa in exchange a title of some kind. Frankly, these intentions are not important as long as the titles are bestowed upon worthy individuals and the passage fee is used for the good. However, not taking into account the character and behaviour of the recipients might lead to situations in which the issuer is disgraced. Low passage fees will contribute to attracting gold diggers. More importantly, it also designates low value.
Today’s internet facilities attract numerous title hunters that make ridiculous appearances on the internet, thus jeopardising the reputation of the honour- or award-issuer. Such persons also decrease the value of the titles that are awarded. It is not easy to spot such title and medal hunters from an African perspective. Therefore, African leaders, that choose to issue titles to fund their regional charities are advised to carefully select a western intermediary of high reputation to represent them in such matters. Appointing the first person who comes knocking on the door is unwise.
The use of the title should not lead to confusion and irritation with European title holders. Therefore, on social media (e.g. the “Awards” section on LinkedIn) mentioning the title should e.g. read as: Baron of Todome (13 November 2016), title issued by the Togbe Osei III, 25th Togbe of Godenu. Extravagant use of the title should be avoided: less is more.
I have a problem with use of the terms “King” and “Royal”, without any further explanation. In the context of antiquity and contemporary indigenous peoples, the title can refer to tribal kingship. Germanic kingship is cognate with Indo-European traditions of tribal rulership (c.f. Indic rājan, Gothic reiks, and Old Irish rí, etc.), but it differs from the modern use of the term “King” (head of a state). It needs to be explained that the terms “King” and “Royal” refer to tribal kingship. I suggest that this explanation is put on the website of the House of Godenu.
I also have a problem with creating all kinds of “Royal” institutions, without any real substance. Some representatives of African Houses have e.g. created non-accredited Royal Universities, Honorary Guards, a Hall of Fame, a Royal Society, a Royal Warrant Holder Society, a Royal Commission of Nobility and Royalty, a Royal College of Technology Foundation, a Royal General Register of All Arms and Bearings and other institutions that try to mimic those of reigning European monarchs. All these institutions are presented in a manner that immediately shows a lack of good taste. In my opinion, these institutions are – to put it in a diplomatic manner – not appropriate and therefore should be avoided. African chiefs have their own identity and should not try to become European because of possible commercial gain. The result of these creations without any substance will be that ancient historic African families are again disgraced by westerners. They will be regarded as fake and ridiculous by the public. An example of a genuine and modest presentation, with a focus on history, research and good intentions, is the website of the House of Rwanda. I suggest this website is used as an example.
Comments and different points of view regarding this article are most welcome.
(1) Ewe (Èʋe or Èʋegbe [èβeɡ͡be]) is a Niger–Congo language spoken in southeastern Ghana by approximately 6–7 million people as either the first or second language.
Door de heer mr E.J. Wolleswinkel, voormalig secretaris van de Hoge Raad van Adel, wordt in Virtus, Jaarboek voor Adelsgeschiedenis 16, p. 210 (De boekstaving van distinctiegedrag) een vraag gesteld die mij al geruime tijd bezig houdt. Wolleswinkel uit zich terecht kritisch ten opzichte van de stelling dat er in Nederland een recht zou bestaan om zich “heer/vrouwe van/in” een bepaalde voormalige heerlijkheid te noemen. Zijn bedenkingen zijn correct: wat voor recht dit is, wordt in het door hem besproken werk niet duidelijk omdat deze hoedanigheden niet in de burgerlijke stand worden opgenomen. In deze bijdrage doe ik een poging om hierover duidelijkheid te geven.
In de achttiende eeuw, toen heerlijkheden nog bestonden, was het gebruik om aan de naam de betiteling “heer/vrouwe van [naam heerlijkheid]” toe te voegen. Professor J.P. de Monte ver Loren schrijft hierover in De Nederlandsche Leeuw van november 1961 (kolom 398):
“Vanouds was het gebruik, dat de bezitter van een heerlijkheid de naam daarvan achter zijn geslachtsnaam voegde ter aanduiding van het feit, dat hij heer van de betreffende heerlijkheid was. Ook tegenwoordig wordt dit gebruik soms nog gevolgd.“
Aan de ambtenaar van de Burgerlijke Stand werd bij de invoering en daarna vaak de naam van de heerlijkheid ten onrechte als deel van de geslachtsnaam opgegeven en vervolgens door de ambtenaar ingeschreven. Aan deze onjuiste opgave kon de betrokkene geen rechten ontlenen. De circulaire die de minister van justitie in 1858 rond liet gaan, dat in officiële stukken een naam van een heerlijkheid nooit als deel van een geslachtsnaam mocht worden opgenomen, werd in de praktijk vaak genegeerd, maar bewijst wel dat het hier om een gewoonte ging. In Nederland’s Adelsboek en Nederland’s Patriciaat zijn talloze voorbeeld te vinden die deze praktijk bewijzen met concrete voorbeelden. Ook een recent artikel van mr J. van Wassenaer bevestigt dit.
Een belangrijke bijdrage aan de inventarisatie van de combinatie geslachtsnaam/heerlijkheid is geleverd door de heer C.E.G. ten Houte de Lange in zijn werken: Het Dubbele Namen Boek en Heerlijkheden in Nederland : welke namen van heerlijkheden worden nog gevoerd sinds 1848?.
Met andere woorden, er kan worden gesteld dat er een gewoonte bestond en bestaat binnen de groep van (voormalige) heerlijkheid bezitters om (1) de betiteling heer/vrouwe van/tot [naam (voormalige) heerlijkheid] te voeren en (2) aan de geslachtsnaam de naam van de heerlijkheid toe te voegen, voorafgaand door een “van” of “tot”.
In de uitspraak van de Hoge Raad van 20 februari 2015 (ECLI:NL:HR:2015:395) is overwogen dat het karakter van oude zakelijke rechten kan wijzigen en dat hiervoor aansluiting kan worden gezocht bij hetgeen met voldoende zekerheid kan worden vastgesteld met betrekking tot de daadwerkelijke uitoefening van het recht gedurende de meest recente periode (r.o. 3.5.2):
Oude zakelijke rechten als dat van de dertiende penning worden, bij gebreke van een wettelijke regeling, beheerst door het gewoonterecht. Weliswaar moeten deze rechten krachtens art. 1 van de Wet van 16 mei 1829, Stb. 29, worden geëerbiedigd, maar dit betekent niet dat de sedertdien ingevoerde algemene regels van het Burgerlijk Wetboek ten aanzien van die rechten niet van belang zijn. Voorts lenen die rechten zich voor verdere ontwikkeling op grond van zich wijzigende maatschappelijke omstandigheden. Ingeval onzekerheid bestaat omtrent wat gewoonte is, kan aansluiting worden gezocht bij hetgeen met voldoende zekerheid kan worden vastgesteld met betrekking tot de daadwerkelijke uitoefening van het recht gedurende de meest recente periode (vgl. onder meer HR 1 juli 1994, ECLI:NL:HR:1994:ZC1414, NJ 1995/547 en HR 20 juni 1997, ECLI:NL:HR:1997:ZC2394, NJ 1999/302).
Naar mijn mening is het gevolg van voorgaande jurisprudentie dat het voeren van de betiteling en de toevoeging van de naam, moet worden gezien als een gewoonterecht. Dit recht is in de loop van de tijd van karakter veranderd. Er zijn immers geen eigenlijke heerlijke rechten meer. Dat de betiteling waarde heeft, blijkt uit het feit dat er in het economisch verkeer waarde aan gehecht worden: er worden nog steeds voormalige heerlijkheidsrechten en -titels verhandeld. IJdelheid is hiervoor de voornaamste drijfveer, denk ik. Er is sprake van een recht omdat het gebruik van titel en naam een bepaalde relatie met het goed impliceert die een inbreuk kan maken op de rechten van de eigenaar van dat goed en zodoende leidt tot een onrechtmatige daad, als hiervoor geen juridische grondslag is. Tot een vergelijkbare conclusie kwam mr W. Lunsingh Tonckens al een eeuw geleden (De Nederlandsche Leeuw, jaargang 39, kolommen 285-286):
“Heerlijkheden bestaan hier te lande dus niet meer. Daar het onmogelijk is om eigenaar te zijn eender niet bestaande zaak, kan men heerlijkheden niet erven of koopen”
“Hij, die ten onrechte den naam eener heerlijkheid als deel van een geslachtsnaam opgeeft of draagt, valt niet onder het bereik onzer strafwet en loopt alleen in het weinig waarschijnlijke geval, dat daardoor aan een ander nadeel wordt toegebracht, gevaar, dat eene burgerlijke rechtsvordering tegen hem wordt ingesteld (artikel 1401) van het Burgerlijk Wetboek).”
De conclusie is dus dat er sprake is van een immaterieel vermogensrecht dat ontstaan is door gewoonte. Het betreffende recht is een absoluut recht – dat kan worden geldend gemaakt tegenover in beginsel willekeurig welke derde – op het betreffende immateriële voorwerp (gebruik titel/benaming) en het geeft de rechthebbende een exclusief gebruiksrecht op dat immateriële voorwerp.
Vanaf het moment van het ontstaan van het recht wordt het in beginsel geabstraheerd van de persoon van de originaire rechthebbende en leidt het gewoonterecht een eigen leven dat niet meer beïnvloed wordt door omstandigheden waarin de originaire rechthebbende in de toekomst komt te verkeren. Zoals het eigendomsrecht op een fiets los staat van de wederwaardigheden van de oorspronkelijke eigenaar, maar enkel door de lotgevallen van de fiets wordt bepaald, zo staat het gewoonterecht los van de verdere levensloop van de eerste rechthebbende en is het voortbestaan van het recht hooguit afhankelijk van de lotgevallen van het immateriële voorwerp zelf. Een beetje vergelijkbaar met een auteursrecht dus.
Commentaar/alternatieve denkwijzen zijn van harte welkom.
Dr. Olaf van Hees (FB 26 juli 2018)
Na de afschaffing van de heerlijkheden in 1848 hebben de leden van de familie Van Hees (Van Berkel en Rodenrijs en den Tempel) familiebreed besloten de naam Van Hees van den Tempel te voeren, ook door de 2e en 3e graad leden, immers afkomstig van eenzelfde stam. Het gebruik van de toevoeging is sinds het begin van de 20e eeuw zodanig verwaterd dat niemand dit meer gebruikt.
Mr Dries-Jan van Huykelom van de Pas (E-mail 26 juli 2018)
“Naar mijn mening is het gevolg van voorgaande jurisprudentie dat het voeren van de betiteling en de toevoeging van de naam, moet worden gezien als een gewoonterecht. Dit recht is in de loop van de tijd van karakter veranderd. Er zijn immers geen eigenlijke heerlijke rechten meer”.
Ik heb bezwaar tegen de opvatting dat er geen heerlijke rechten meer zouden bestaan. Toonaangevende wetenschappers, waaronder Ketelaar, zijn van mening dat enkele, nog bestaande, heerlijke rechten een regale oorsprong hebben. Zo is het visrecht afgeleid van het stroomregaal. Ketelaar neemt afstand van het onderscheid dat De Blécourt aanvankelijk maakte tussen eigenlijke en oneigenlijk heerlijke rechten. Hij schrijft: “het heerlijk karakter is juist een wezenlijk aspect van de ambachtsgevolgen” (F.C.J. Ketelaar, “Oude zakelijke rechten, vroeger, nu en in de toekomst”, Universitaire Pers Leiden, Tjeenk Willink 1978, p. 12-13.). Met andere woorden, heerlijke rechten bestaan nog steeds.
“De conclusie is dus dat er sprake is van een immaterieel vermogensrecht dat ontstaan is door gewoonte”
Deze conclusie deel ik. In de vroege Middeleeuwen konden alleen edellieden eigenaar zijn van een heerlijkheid. De titel ‘heer van’ (dominus) is van oorsprong de aanspreektitel voor een ridder. Hoewel het dus geen adellijke titel is duidde het gebruik van de aanspreektitel er destijds wel op dat de geadresseerde van adel was. In de oudste charters uit de Middeleeuwen wordt daarom iedere eigenaar van een heerlijkheid ‘heer van’ genoemd. Als het in de latere Middeleeuwen niet langer verplicht is om van adel te zijn om eigenaar van een heerlijkheid (met uitzondering van Zeeland) te zijn, wordt het woord ‘heer van’ niet genoemd in de charters, terwijl de eigenaars wel ‘heer van’ werden genoemd en als dusdanig werden erkend. Het ridderlijke ‘heer van’ is aldus in de loop van de tijd los komen te staan van het zijn van ridder en duidt sindsdien op het bezit van een heerlijkheid. Daarmee is een heerlijkheidstitel toen vooral een functie-aanduiding geworden voor de eigenaar van de heerlijke rechten, en met name van het recht op jurisdictie.In al mijn onderzoek naar (de status van) heerlijkheden ben ik nergens een bepaalde vorm van codificatie van het recht tot het voeren van de titel tegengekomen. Er zijn ook geen historici, noch rechtswetenschappers die van een wettelijke of anderszins juridische grondslag gewag maken. In dit licht is artikel 24 uit de staatsregeling van 1798 van belang, waarin – zonder enige onduidelijkheid – de heerlijke rechten en titels zijn afgeschaft:
Alle eigenlijk gezegde Heerlijke Regten en Tituls, waardoor aan een bijzonder Persoon of Lichaam zou worden toegekend eenig gezag omtrent het Bestuur van zaken in eenige Stad, Dorp of Plaats, of de aanstelling van deze of gene Ambtenaaren binnen dezelve, worden, voor zoo verr’ die niet reeds niet de daad zijn afgeschaft, bij de aanneming der Staatsregeling, zonder eenige schaêvergoeding, voor altijd vernietigd.”
Hiermee is zeer waarschijnlijk het recht tot het voeren van de titel ‘heer van’ afgeschaft, aangezien de revolutionairen uit die tijd sterk gekant waren tegen het feodalisme. Heerlijkheden, meer nog dan briefadel, waren hier een belangrijk onderdeel van. Zeker is wel dat met artikel 15 van de staatsregeling van 1801 artikel 24 van de staatsregeling van 1798 werd ingetrokken:
Alle algemeene Wetten en bepalingen, welke sedert het begin van den Jare 1795 gederogeerd hebben aan de waarde van Eigendommen of wettig verkregen Bezittingen, zyn aan herziening onderworpen. Een ieder die door dezelve benadeeld is geworden, kan zich deswegen aan het Staats-Bewind vervoegen, het welk, naar bevind van zaken de afschaffing of verbetering van die Wetten, alsmede eene billyke schadeloosstelling, voordraagt aan het Wetgevend Lichaam.“
Heerlijkheden, c.q. heerlijke rechten, als verhandelbare vermogensrechtelijke zaak/zaken vallen hier onder. De titel, als die al was afgeschaft in 1798, is daardoor nog bestaand: er is na 1798 geen enkele wettelijke bepaling die er op ziet om (het gebruik van) de titel af te schaffen.
“De conclusie is dus dat er sprake is van een immaterieel vermogensrecht dat ontstaan is door gewoonte. Het betreffende recht is een absoluut recht – dat kan worden geldend gemaakt tegenover in beginsel willekeurig welke derde – op het betreffende immateriële voorwerp (gebruik titel/benaming) en het geeft de rechthebbende een exclusief gebruiksrecht op dat immateriële voorwerp.”
Zeer juist. Tot slot wil ik je nog op het volgende wijzen:
In 1814 zijn er een aantal Soevereine Besluiten uitgevaardigd door Willem I, waarmee een aantal heerlijke rechten werden hersteld. Je hebt daar een mooi artikel over geschreven, dus daarover zal ik niet uitweiden. Wel van belang is de tekst van deze artikelen. Hierin wordt namelijk vrijwel altijd gesproken over “ambachtsheeren”, “heeren”, slechts in één enkel geval ook over “voormalige heeren”. Uitgaande van een redactionele wetsinterpretatie zou ik durven stellen dat de titel inderdaad 1798 heeft overleefd en in deze artikelen wordt bevestigd.
In Italy a person may call him/herself by any title of nobility desired. Titles of nobility are not forbidden, nor recognized by the Italian state. The Italian judicial system does not forbid the use of titles of nobility, but remains totally indifferent regarding its use. This means that Italian law does not attribute any value (neither value nor disvalue) to noble titles (see e.g. a recent ruling by the Italian court of Reggio Emilia (Tribunale di Reggio Emilia) of 12 December 2017, translated here). In other countries, like e.g. The Netherlands, it is forbidden to use a national title of nobility without being entitled to it. The use of foreign titles is not prohibited. Does this mean that in Italy a person can use/issue any title he likes? And does this mean that in The Netherlands any foreign title of nobility can be used freely? In this article I will show that this is not the case and that the legal protection of titles in various legal systems can be very effectively pursued.
With some exceptions, in most jurisdictions it is not unlawful to impersonate someone per se. In numerous countries however, it a criminal offence to dishonestly make a false representation with the intention of making a gain or causing a loss. Very often a false representation has the intention of causing some kind of tangible gain or loss. Gain or loss can be loss of money or property. Loss to reputation can have incalculable damage in this regard. It is very difficult to impersonate someone without then going on to commit another offence (either civil or criminal). Those who communicate with a impersonator, and share personal or confidential information, may have very serious damages claims.
One of the most common claims against an impersonator is passing off. In commerce, an example is where an individual misrepresents himself as a representative of a company, or his services to be those of company. In more personal cases, the result is the same, for example when someone falsely suggests that such a high-profile person has endorsed him. Impersonation takes place if any part of a person’s identity is used in a way that does not fit with the characteristics of the actual person concerned. Depending on the legal system, impersonation can result in a criminal offense and/or in civil liability.
Case study: impersonating and its consequences
Publicly impersonating being a descendent from a monarch and beloning to a specific royal family, thus not having a legitimate historical claim to a so called fount of honor, in my opinion, can lead to both criminal and civil liability. One example would be when someone pays a fee to a illusionary royal descendent in order to obtain a noble title. Another example would be when a reputation is damaged if it turns out that a title of nobility has no historical background, such as in the case of Mrs Pamala Anderson, a famous actress and animal rights campaigner. Mrs Anderson was “officially” declared Countess de Gigli at a ceremony in Genoa (Italy) in 2015. The deed was carried out by the self-declared Prince of Montenegro, a man called Stefan Cernetic. The deed was a horrible act of abusing the trust of a vulnerable lady. Cernetic has been charged with impersonation by the Italian police in 2017. Mr Cernetic is not in any way related to Nikola II Petrović-Njegoš, Crown Prince of Montenegro (born 7 July 1944), who is the legitimate Head of the House of Petrović-Njegoš, which reigned over Montenegro from 1696 to 1766 and again from 1782 to 1918. A third example of impersonation would be to use a title that is connected to an existing family of noble descent, e.g. Count Bismarck, thus giving the impression that the impersonator is part of that noble family.
It should be remembered that historical fact-finding is achieved through scientific reasoning and solid evidence, not via “approval” from a self-appointed “authority” or by somebody who happens to be descended from royalty. Violating these conditions and subsequently issue noble titles may lead to a impersonation. The recipient of the title is deceived. That impersonators gain social acceptance on the internet or edit entries in Wikipedia does not make them real. The recipient believes that the title has a historical background, but in fact this background is fabricated. In contrast, the mentioned criminal court ruling of the Italian court of Reggio Emilia (Tribunale di Reggio Emilia) of 12 December 2017 shows that Prince Thorbjorn Paternò Castello (see below) is not impersonating recipients of his honorific accessories, because the prince has a legitimate claim regarding such honors. This does not mean that such a claim cannot be challenged, only that the claim is reasonable (meaning: not fabricated or false), like in the Cernetic-case.
Breach of Intellectual Property rights
In most countries it is also a civil and criminal offense to falsely claim that someone is the author of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work. It might seem odd to think of title of nobility as being included. Copyright can be seen as a law that gives a person ownership over the things created by that person (the author). As defined by the Berne Convention, the moral rights of the author include: the right to claim authorship of the work (1); the right to object to any distortion, mutilation or modification of the work (2) and the right to object to any derogatory action that may damage the authors honor or reputation (3). It is not always easy to establish whether a work falls within the definition of artistic works. Therefore, the question whether or not a title of nobility cannot be solved by detailed definitions of artistic works without creating the opposing problem that such a definition is too narrow. Cited in the 2011 ruling by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom in Lucas films vs. Ainsworth, Judge Mann believes that in many cases it is only the artistic purpose of the artist which makes an otherwise banal object an “artistic work”. I believe that this factor for determining whether or not a work is an artistic work is crucial. It avoids judges becoming the arbiter of “what is an artistic work” and instead places the onus on the intentions of the artist. A title of nobility can be intended as a artistic work when its specific elements, which alone do not need to attract copyright, together form a ‘unity’ with an own, original character (compare Court of Appeal of Amsterdam 27 June 2002). The latter meaning that it carries the personal character of the maker.
Case study: IP-law protection of legitimate titles
To demonstrate originality, the question should be answered whether the author has made use of the creative space to produce an intellectual creation that can be considered the author’s own (Van Gompel 2014, p. 138). This is the case with titles created by Mr Thorbjorn Paternò Castello, in his capacity as claimant to the dynastic rights of the ancient Royal House of Valencia and Aragon. With the creation of the title, the prince becomes the author of the artistic work, consisting of a written description of the historic background, a description and a color image of the coat of arms that is connected to the title, a chosen and unique combination of words that are designated as a noble title (e.g. Count of Vall de Almonacid of the Sovereign House of Valencia) and can be used as a honorific accessory to a person’s name/identity, and the subsequent courtesy by the relevant community of addressing the person by his noble title. It can be said that the creation of such a title is intended to be an artistic work by both the issuer and the recipient, since it is intended to be a unique honorific accessory to the recipient’s name, based on the personal historical background of the issuer. The title has commercial value because the recipient often pays a fee for the transfer, that is used to fund charity projects of the prince.
The IP-rigths are transferred in the diploma from the prince to the recipient with the right to transmit them perpetually from male to male in order of primogeniture, and, in the absence of heirs, to the first born of the closest line, and, in the absence of males, una tantum to females. Both male and female collaterals have the title of “Noble of the”, as is the custom, and in any case, the title of “Don” and “Donna” (letter of patent issued to John Wayne Rinkle, 28 September 2010).
In countries where there does not exist a direct protection against illegitimate issuance or use of titles of nobility, the law still offers a serious degree of protection against misuse. Historical legitimacy is required. Therefore, only under this condition, issuers and recipients of noble titles can claim legal protection as described above.
Een opinie-artikeltje met deze naam wilde ik al langer schrijven. Toevallig zag ik, voordat ik er aan begon, dat er al een boek was met dezelfde titel: Juliana, een onderschatte vorstin, door journalist Bert van Nieuwenhuizen. De auteur heeft veel artikelen op zijn naam staan, die de Nederlandse monarchie als onderwerp hebben.
In zijn boek legt Van Nieuwenhuizen de nadruk op de rol die Juliana heeft gespeeld bij de wederopbouw en het sociale gezicht van Nederland. Koningin Juliana heeft vaak gezegd dat zij graag maatschappelijk werkster was geworden als zij niet tot vorstin was geroepen. De biografie van Van Nieuwenhuizen is vooral interessant omdat hij deze mede heeft gebaseerd op biografieen van politici met wie Koningin Juliana nauw heeft samengewerkt, zoals Willem Drees en Louis Beel.
Anderen zijn kritischer over de koningin en noemen haar een goede actrice: ‘Juliana hoefde alleen maar in te stappen.’ en ‘Juliana is van alle vorsten die we hebben gehad de beste actrice geweest.’ (M.G.Schenk en M.van Herk, Juliana, vorstin naast de rode loper). Naar mijn mening is dit onjuist. Makkelijk instappen en aan boord blijven was er niet bij. Denk aan het moeilijke huwelijk met Prins Bernhard, de uitdagingen van de wederopbouw, de Greet Hofmans-affaire en het huwelijk van haar dochter Beatrix, waar een deel van Nederland (achteraf volkomen misplaatst) zo veel moeite mee had. Koningin Juliana heeft het allemaal weten te doorstaan.
Een prima voorbeeld van politieke behendigheid, is de rol die Koningin Juliana speelde bij de totstandkoming van het kabinet Den Uyl. Uit recent onderzoek van politicoloog Wilfred Scholten blijkt dat de koningin deze ultra linkse politicus in het zadel heeft geholpen. Koningin Juliana was namelijk de initiatiefnemer voor de zogenaamde “inbraak van Burger”. Met deze term wordt de succesvolle poging van PvdA-informateur Jaap Burger in 1973 aangeduid om de anti-revolutionaire prominenten Boersma en De Gaay Fortman te winnen voor een progressief kabinet-Den Uyl. Daarmee legde Burger de basis voor het beruchte kabinet-Den Uyl. Hiervoor was geen parlementaire meerderheid. Burger had kans gezien Boersma en De Gaay Fortman zover te krijgen dat zij wilden toetreden tot dit kabinet. De ARP-fractie, die van niks wist, stond perplex. Boersma kreeg als ‘verrader’ een stortvloed aan verwijten over zich heen. Het beeld van de simpele ziel aan de zijde van de flashy Prins Bernhard is dus onjuist. Net als het beeld van Den Uyl overigens (maar dan omgekeerd). Terwijl Nederland de jaren zeventig in de krant las dat ‘Joop en Liesbeth’ met de caravan naar het zuiden waren afgereisd, zagen mijn ouders en ik het echtpaar in een duur hotel in Zweden de meest exclusieve gerechten naar binnen werken.
Een wederdienst van de van huis uit koningsgezinde Den Uyl was op zijn plaats. Onderzoeker Anet Bleich ontdekte dat Den Uyl in 1976 van de ’Commissie van drie’ (1) sterke aanwijzingen ontving dat Prins Bernhard zowel van vliegtuigbouwer Lockheed als van concurrent Northrop steekpenningen had aangenomen. Den Uyl heeft die informatie echter achter gehouden. Hij was bang voor een koningscrisis en natuurlijk ook voor het feit dat zijn eigen positie daarin meegezogen zou worden. Hoewel Den Uyl met zijn torenhoge belastingen ons land op de rand van de afgrond heeft gebracht, moet ik hem nageven dat hij ten aanzien van de monarchie de juiste keuzes heeft gemaakt. De politiek van Den Uyl was een “afschrikwekkend voorbeeld van socialistisch beleid” (premier Rutte op BNR Radio, 25 augustus 2012), maar Den Uyl heeft (uit dankbaarheid) de monarchie wel gered.
Bij mij roept dit alles de vraag op waarom Koningin Juliana zo graag Den Uyl aan het roer wilde. Ik kan er geen eenduidige verklaring voor vinden. Ik denk dat Koningin Juliana oprecht geloofde in de linkse ideeën van Den Uyl. Zij vond het mooi om Koningin te zijn maar hechtte ook veel waarde aan een sociale samenleving. Uiteindelijk ben ik van mening dat Koningin Juliana onder de meest moeilijke omstandigheden haar rol als staatshoofd op een prima wijze invulling heeft gegeven.
W. Scholten, Mooie Barend. Biografie van B.W. Biesheuvel 1920-2001 (Uitgeverij Bert Bakker; Amsterdam 2012)
A. Bleich, Joop den Uyl 1919-1987. Dromer en doordouwer (Uitgeverij Balans; Amsterdam 2008)
B. van Nieuwenhuizen, Juliana, een onderschatte vorstin (Uitgeverij Oorsprong; Deventer 2010)
(1) Voorzitter van de Commissie van Drie was mr. A.M Donner, rechter bij het Europees Hof van Justitie. De overige leden waren dr. M.W. Holtrop (voormalig president van De Nederlandsche Bank) en de president van de Algemene Rekenkamer, drs. H. Peschar.
Holtrop (1902 – 1988) was op 30 aug. 1926 gehuwd met Josina Juchter (1901-1965). Uit dit huwelijk werden twee zoons en een dochter geboren.
PvdA-man-Peschar was in 1965 een van de vier leden van de PvdA-fractie die tegen de Toestemmingswet voor het huwelijk van prinses Beatrix en Claus van Amsberg stemden. Peschar had echter minder moeite met het accepteren van een koninklijke onderscheiding. Hij was Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw en Grootofficier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau.
De prinsen-titel voor Pieter van Vollenhoven stuitte destijds op politieke bezwaren. Op 25 maart 1966 schrijft minister-president (14 april 1965 tot 22 november 1966) Jo Cals ‘Allen tegen titel Prins der Nederlanden,’ behalve minister van Defensie De Jong, ‘die overigens geen uitgesproken voorkeur heeft.’ Verder zijn de bewindslieden tegen de verheffing van Pieter in de adelstand. De Hoge Raad van Adel was voor verheffing. Koningin Juliana was ook tegen: ‘Kwalificatie Prins der Nederlanden te hoog’, wel mag Pieter ‘lid van ons Huis’ worden. De koningin wijst een compromisvoorstel af om Pieter dan toch ‘Graaf van Buren’ te laten worden: ‘Dat is een on-Hollandse oplossing.’ (bron: Nationaal Archief). Enige decennia later werd daar gelukkig anders over gedacht bij de verlening van titels aan zijn kinderen.
This article (San Francisco Call, Volume 102, Number 121, 29 September 1907) has been transcribed from the original scan. I have added comments and biographical notes to provide more information about the titled persons. The article gives insight in the social background of the new nobility.
The Papal Nobility of America
Mrs. THOMAS FORTUNE RYAN has been made a countess by Pope Pius X. This announcement comes close on the heels of the report that her husband is to be made a prince of the church. It has been whispered in high church circles in New York and in Rome that for the flrst time in years the red hat of a cardinal would be bestowed upon -a man of the world – and an American. While this report may be groundless, the fact has come to light that during the last few years what may possibly be termed a papal nobility has been created in the United States. Theoretically Pope Plus IX was a friend of the United States and an admirer of the church in this country, but not until the reign of Leo XIII and of the present pontiff has there been any acknowledgment of the high standing of the church in this country other than the creation of two cardinals in a hundred years. “Nobility lies not in heritage alone, but in the deeds of the living generations.” was one of the epigrams of Leo XIII. Taking this for his maxim, he placed the ancient titles of Rome upon men and women whose lives distinguished them among the good doers of the generation. Pius X has followed his policy. During the four years of his reign he has created an unprecedented number of nobles in recognition of both scientific achievement and – philanthropic work. While Pope Pius has accepted the precedent set by Leo XIII, which accorded to Cardinal Gibbons the distinction of being “the American cardinal,” and has intimated that during the life of his eminence no other prelate will be given the red hat, he has in every other way possible elevated the standing of the American church.
Thomas Fortune Ryan (1851–1928) was an American tobacco, insurance and transportation magnate. Although he lived in New York City for much of his adult career, Ryan was perhaps the greatest benefactor of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond in the decades before the Great Depression. In addition to paying for schools, hospitals and other charitable works, Ryan’s donations paid for the construction of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Virginia. Ryan also made significant donations to Catholic institutions in New York City and Washington, D.C. (source: Wikipedia). As her husband’s wealth grew exponentially, Ida Barry Ryan began making large benefactions to Catholic charitable organizations in New York, Virginia, and across the country. The Ryans funded churches, convents and hospitals in Manhattan, including the architecturally important St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church on the Upper East Side. In Washington, D.C., they paid for a gymnasium and dormitory at the Jesuit-founded Georgetown University. Pope Pius X recognized the couple’s generosity by naming him to the papal nobility and giving Ida Ryan the cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice for her work in the Diocese. The couple’s lifetime contributions to Catholic charities around the country totalled $20 million.
The raising of Mrs. Ryan (1854-1917) to the Catholic nobility was expected by many prelates in this country during Pops Leo’s administration. Decorations and privileges were accorded to her, but the rank of countess was held in the country only by Mils Annie Leary. Mrs. Ryan, the builder of churches and iiospitals and schools, the story of whose remarkable life was recently told in the Herald, never has sough any recognition for her deeds. While it Is known that she gives away $1,000,000 a year for charitable purposes, little Is known of her philanthropy. She has built more churches and schools in the United States than any other person in the entire world. The number of these gifts alone exceeds 30 and there is hardly a Catholic church or Institution In the eastern states or in the southwestern section to which she has not lent material aid. In placing the title of “Countess Ida” upon Mrs. Ryan Pope Pius is said to have remarked that it was not alone for the cathedrals and churches and public institutions with which Mrs. Ryan has enriched the church in this country that she has been made a member of the Vatican nobility, but more especially because of the daily Christian life she leads. Few religious orders require from their nuns more of abstinence and labor and prayer than Mrs. Ryan gives every day of her life. She begins her morning by attending mass, and from that time until she retires at night her mind and her hands are ever busy in some good work. She is a lover of working men and women, and her munificence has done much to relieve the burdens of hundreds In New York and In the far west, where she has materially aided destitute consumptives. She gave to Virginia Its cathedral at Richmond, which cost $ 1.000.000.
The only other papal countess la the United States is the Countess Annie Leary, whose title was ctven by Pope Leo XIII, and expired at the pontiffs death. One of the first acts of Pope Pius’ administration waa to renew the Countess Leary’s title, with that of from other temporary nobility. Countess Leary received the title because of her extensive work for the “Welfare of working girls and emigrants. Years ago, when she very young girl, before the emigrants bureau was as well organized as it is now and prior to the time when State street was lined with homes for emigrant girls, terrible stories of the snares and temptations which were laid In the way of young girls coming as strangers to this land reached the ears of Miss Leery. She was horrified at such conditions and determined to try to find a remedy for the evil. She possessed an ample fortune and she resolved to share it with her less fortunate sisters. She gave freely to the support and management of the Irish emigrants’ home, at No. 7 State street, and also aided the German and Italian homes around Castle Garden, where a housed that steady stream of friendless girls coming to these shores to seek true honest living. But even those homes where the girls were taken on their arrival here did not solve the problem. Places of employment were found for them, and yet too often they went out Into a world they so little understood, unlearned of the ways of the world, unfitted to cope with the conditions friendless girl has to meet. Many ol those girls were of simple faith and trusting natures, and the stories which reached the ears of the clergy and those interestet in the question necessitated some action.
Countess Leary learned some of these facts from her own servant girls. She became Interested, made Investigations and then resolved upen a line of action. She was the mind and often the means of establishing working girls’ clubs and homes, there being a regular network of them throughout, the east and lower west sides. She has devoted most of her life to this work, giving her personal attention and encouragement to these institutions. She goes, among the girls and hears their stories, their little problems and their great troubles. Any woman’s heart oppressed finds eympathy and encouragement from Countess Leary. Her heart has a b!g place in it for all wage earning women.
Countess Leary is a stanch American and, realizing that the future of the state lies In the children of today, she spends much of her time and her wealth for the boys and girls of the poor. She has established boys’ clubs and gymnasiums and girls’, clubs and reading rooms and sewing clubs and playrooms for the youth of the other half. At Christmas and New Year’s and Thanksgiving and national feast days the countess arranges celebrations In the various Institutions she is interested in. Christmas eve of every year she assembles several hundred little tots and gives to each of them a warm, pretty cap and coat, besides candies and a book of some kind. “The Man Without a Country” Is one of her favorite books for boys, and she has given many copies of it. In addition to her charities among children and working women, Countess Leary has lent much aid to hospital work for the poor. She Is a patron’ of all the children’s hospitals and goes often with flowers and dainty foods and pleasing toys to visit the unfortunate young folk. Countess Leary presented to Bellevue-hospital the fine chapel which was built there several years ago. Another pretty charity of hers is to send a beautiful quantity of pure, rich cream for the ward patients at various hospitals on hot days.
Annie Leary (1832 – 1919) was the daughter of the hatter James Leary who was a childhood friend of William Backhouse Astor Sr., then, later bought many beaver pelts from William’s father John Jacob Astor and operated a shop in the basement of the original Astor House Hotel across from New York City Hall. She had three brothers Arthur, Daniel, and George who made a fortune in shipping during the U.S. Civil War. Arthur was a bachelor who Annie accompanied to society functions in New York City as well as Newport, Rhode Island. It has been suggested that James friendship with the Astors is what led to Arthur and in turn Annie’s being the only Catholics to be included on Caroline Astor’s “The 400”. When Arthur died she inherited his fortune as well as his social prominence and recognition via the aforementioned 400 list. Coming into large sums of money Annie Leary soon became an ardent philanthropist. Among her notable bequests was the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at Bellevue Hospital (dedicated 1897 – razed 1938 in order to make way for a Bellevue administration building which encompasses a new chapel where the original stained glass panels including nine made in Munich remain today) the first Catholic chapel at Bellevue. It was dedicated in memory of her late brother Arthur (source: Wikipedia).
To Archbishop Farley, whom Pope Pius greatly esteems, the pontiff has given a court of monsignor, which lends to any diocesan ceremony a dignity of splender which is found nowhere outside Rome. At the consecration of the cathedral, which occurs, it is planned, soon after the work is entirely finished on the Lady chapel, there will be, in addition to the archbishop and his coadjutor, Bishop Cusick, the archbishop’s seven diocesan bishops, 25 purple robed monsignori and seven lay nobles around the episcopal throne.
The only papal duke the United States has ever claimed is the duke de Loubat., the last son of the aristocratic family of that name. The title was conferred by Pope Leo in recognition of the duke de Loubat’s generous support of Catholic and nonsectarian schools and colleges. Duke de Loubat lent his aid to every Catholic college in this country and to many in France. He gave a million dollar endowment to Columbia university at the time when is was in financial straits. He also added much to Columbia library. He was made duke in 1898. He decides his time between New York and Paris and swell known in France as a man of great learning and philanthropy. Is a graduate of the University of Paris.
Joseph Florimond Loubat (January 21, 1831 – March 1, 1927) was a French and American bibliophile, antiquarian, sportsman, and philanthropist. He was ennobled as Duc de Loubat by Pope Leo XIII in 1893 (source: Wikipedia).
John D. Crimmins has recently made a count by Pope Pius X. Mr Crimmins is a trustee of St. Patrick’s cathedral and is a member of nearly all the boards of importance in archbishop’s Farley’s diocese. The scarlet cloak of the Knight of St. Gregory was given to Mr. Crimmins as a token of the pope’s of his work for the church in New York. Count Crimmin’s most distinguished gift in the diocese is the splendid monastery at Hunts point, where he established the Dominican Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. These nuns devote their lives to prayer, and some one of their order kneels every hour of the night and day before the chapel alter in the monastery.
Born in New York City to Irish immigrant parents, John Daniel Crimmins attended the College of St. Francis Xavier (now Xavier High School). After graduating he took a job at his father’s contracting firm, eventually taking over the business. His firm employed some 12,000 workers. It built more than 400 buildings in New York City and most of the elevated railways. He was also involved in local politics, serving as New York City Parks Commissioner. Crimmins was one of the few Catholic millionaires of his time and he was an active benefactor of the Archdiocese of New York. Among the building projects he aided was that of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers. Crimmins was named a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great and a Papal Count. He was active in Irish-American organizations, particularly the American-Irish Historical Society. He wrote two books on Irish-American history (source: patheos.com). Pictures of his house van be found here.
Marquis Maloney, beter known to the political and financial world as Martin Maloney, received his title about six years ago at the request of cardinal Satolli, whom the marquis met when the cardinal was papal delegate for this country. A strong friendship developed here between the prince of the church and the American millionaire. Some time after Cardinal Satolli was called back to Rome, Marquis Maloney went to Italy on a visit and the friendship was renewed. The American when taken to the dilapidated ruins of St. John’s cathedral asked how much it would take to reconstruct the ancient structure.
“How much money?” asked Cardinal Satolli. “Why, who ever thought about that? It would take at least $ 50.000 and that amount might be spent to better advantage.”.
“It might, but it won’t” remarked Martin Maloney, and the very next day saw work begun on the cathedral. It is said that twice $50.000 was spent on the work. While this gift is accredited as the cause of the bestowal of the noble title on Marin Maloney, it is by no means his largest gift to the church.
He has just given to to Pennsylvania a home for aged men and women, the building alone of which will cost $ 150.000. This home will be dedicated to Martin Maloney’s father and mother, who, when they emigrated to this country from Ireland many years ago, made their first humble home in Scranton. It was here that Marquis Maloney spent his boyhood.
At the time of the expulsion of the nuns in France four years ago Marquis Maloney went abroad with a definite purpose in mind. He purchased many of the small convents with the nuns had been ordered to vacate and held them as his private property in order that the religious might not be disturbed. Among the larger convents he purchased was that of the Little Sisters of the Assumption in Paris, where Marquis Maloney’s two daughters, Margaret and Katherine, were educated. After the death of the older daughter, Margaret, Marquis Maloney built near his summer house at Spring Lake N.J. one of the handsomest churches in this country, which he dedicated to his daughter and called St. Margaret’s.
Maloney Hall is the home of the Busch School of Business and Economics at The Catholic University of America. It is located on the southeast corner of Catholic University’s main campus. Maloney Hall was named for Martin Maloney, a Philadelphia philanthropist and papal marquis (a layman who has received a high title of nobility from the reigning pope), who gave $120,000 for the main building and $100,000 for the auditorium. The building originally housed the Martin Maloney Chemical Laboratory, the laboratory where the chemical weapon lewisite was first invented by Julius Nieuwland and later Winford Lee Lewis, with the help of CUA and Army researchers, developed it into a now-banned chemical weapon. It served as a laboratory for Armyresearchers developing chemical munitions for World War I (source: Wikipedia).
Count John Goode of Brooklyn and Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet of New York aro the only two Americans who, have been titled by Rome in recognition of signal scientific achievements. Count Goede, well known as an inventor, was given his title after evolvIng a machine for the making of ropes. Until this time all the rope made was twisted by hand, and for this labor young boys and girls were employed, the wages paid being too small for the employment of men. Count Goode at that time was a very rich man, having amassed a fortune in the cordage business. He used to stand and watch the boys and girls at the hard labor of rope twisting, and determined to evolve a method for lightening this work. The machine he invented resulted in revolutionizing the cordage enterprise In the world. Count Goude Is a very devoted Catholic and has given much of his wealth to the Brooklyn diocese. He enriched Brooklyn by the church of St. John.
Thomas Addis Emmet
Thomas Addis Emmet is the latest member of the papal knighthood. He was vested, with the scarlet cape and sword In Archbishop Farley’s residence last spring and will appear in his regalia at the formal celebration In the cathedral this fall. Dr Emmet is a proud descendant of Robert Emmet. He was Knighted in recognition of his medical research.
Charles Astor Bristed
Charles Astor Bristed, grandson of William Astor has for a ‘number of years been conspicuous at all the state ceremonies at St. Patrlck’s cathedral, where. with his cape and sword he has, according to the privileges of his title, knelt in the sanctuary to participate in the ‘ceremonies. Sir Charles Brlsted was knighted for his widespread philanthropies and his strict adherence to his church.
William J. Onahan
William J. Onahan of Chicago who was made a knight of St. Gregory by Pope Leo, has enjoyed the actual privileges of his title probably more than any other member of the nobility in this country. He spends a great deal of his time abroad and is a frequent visitor at the Vatican. Accordingly to his rank, he can I enter the Vatican at any time without seeking permission for asking an audience. He was in the Vatican at the time of the death of Pope Leo and was in the very room where the late pontiff’s body was carried to be laid in state. According to ancient customs, the gates were locked at that time and Sir William Onahan was cloistered in the Vatican the remainder of the night.
After ,the death of his mother the family struggled along in Liverpool for a while. Then the voice that had called them from Ireland called again. The little home was again broken up and the Onahan family set sail for America. The voyage took six weeks in a sailing vessel and they reached the harbor of New York on St. Patrick’s day. There was a small boyish figure in the prow of the ship, and two little girls by his side all looking eagerly to the land in which their lot was to be cast. Bands were playing, men were marching, the green flag was flying everywhere. It was a happy omen to the young Irish lad whose staunch Americanism was to be all the hardier for the Celtic root from which it sprang.
Arrived in New York he immediately got a job in a lawyer’s office, sweeping and dusting and doing the usual office chores for the munificent sum of $1.00 per month and his board and clothes. Once in later life when he was testifying in a lawsuit the judge said to him: Mr. Onahan, from your answers you must have studied law.” No. your honor,” he replied, ^Hhe only law I ever studied was what I picked up in the sweepings of a lawyer’s office in New York when I was a lad.” But he had the legal mind (source: Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1908-1984) Vol. 11, No. 4 (Jan., 1919), pp. 636-653).
Count John Creighton of Omaha. Neb., who died, last month, was ono of the best known members of the papal nobility. He donated to Nebraska the Creighton university, the largest university In that state, and also gave several hospitals and a number of churches to Omaha.
Count John Andrew Creighton (October 15, 1831 – February 7, 1907) was a pioneer businessman and philanthropist in Omaha, Nebraska who founded Creighton University. The younger brother of Edward Creighton, John was responsible for a variety of institutions throughout the city of Omaha, and was ennobled by Pope Leo XIII in recognition of his contributions to Creighton University, the Catholic community in Omaha, and the city of Omaha in general. From its founding in 1878 to the time of his death in 1907 Creighton was said to have donated at least $2,000,000 to Creighton University. In 1888 Creighton financed the Creighton University Observatory, and in 1898 he gave money towards a medical school, which was named in his honor. In 1904 he created the Edward Creighton Institute.Creighton is also credited with establishing Omaha’s St. Joseph’s Hospital and bringing the first monastery of the Poor Clares in the country to the city. He paid for almost the entire cost of St. John’s Parish at Creighton, where the cornerstone was laid in 1888. Today Creighton University in Omaha is viewed as being named in honor of the entire Creighton family, particularly John and his brother Edward, as well as their wives Sara and Emily.He was named a Knight of St. Gregory on January 15, 1895 by Pope Leo XIII, and in 1898 was titled a Count by the same. In 1900 Creighton received the Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame. Omaha’s John A. Creighton Boulevard was named after him immediately after his death in 1907, as is the existent “John A. Creighton University Professorship” at Creighton University (source: Wikipedia).
Adrin Iselin Is amons the prominent New York men who have received titles from Rome. Mr. Iselin was vested with the cape and sword of the Knights of St. Gregory soon after the beginning of the present administration. One of Sir Adrian Iselin’s most valuable gifts to New York is the $150,000 chapel at New Rochells. This was presented to the diocese after the crest of St. Gregory was bestowed upon him.
Adrian Georg Iselin (January 17, 1818 – March 28, 1905) was a New York financier who invested in and developed real estate, railroads, and mining operations. For many years during his early business career he was engaged in importing with his brother, William Iselin, being one of the most successful merchants of New York in the middle of the century. After retiring from the importing trade, he established the banking house of Adrian Iselin & Co. He is considered the founder of the Iselin family in the United States.
Eleanora O’Donnell Iselin (1821–1897) was born into one of Baltimore, Maryland’s most prominent and wealthy families. In 1845 she married Adrian Iselin, an affluent banker and dry goods merchant. The Iselins lived in New York City, where they were active members of high society and supporters of the city’s cultural centers, including the Metropolitan Opera House, the American Museum of Natural History, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eleanora’s daughters Georgine and Emily commissioned the portrait from Sargent in the spring of 1888, as the artist’s first professional visit to America was nearing its end (source: National Gallery of Art).
According to family tradition, when Sargent arrived at the Iselin home for the sitting, Mrs. Iselin entered the drawing room followed by a maid carrying an armful of ball gowns and asked him which one he wanted her to wear. To her dismay, Sargent insisted on painting her exactly as she stood without even removing her hand from the table. Some art historians have suggested that this interaction explains the sitter’s somewhat severe expression. When late in life Sargent was asked if he remembered Mrs. Iselin, he diplomatically replied, “Of course! I cannot forget that dominating little finger.” (Source: National Gallery of Art).
Richard C. Kerens
Richard C. Kerens of St. Louis, railroadman and politician. Is a chamberlain to Pope Pius-X. Mr. Kerens, who came to America a poor emigrant boy, went west and amassed a fortune, has carried through his life the strong Roman faith instilled to him by his Irish mother. With his Increased prosperity he has given accordingly to his church. He has enriched the St. Louis university, which is under the direction of the Jesuits, and the Catholic university of America, at Washington, and has aided nearly every charitable institution in St. Louis. He has also done much for institutions in his native land and for Irish charitable enterprises in this country. It Is said that Mr. Kerens is trying to purchase a strip of land in Rome which will reach from the Vatican to the sea, in order to give to the pope a greater freedom and to relieve his present restrictions, which forbid him leaving the Vatican grounds. It is understood that Mr. Kerens has offered $5,000,000 for this purpose.
Among the younger members of the nobility in the United States areEugene and Thomas Kelly, sons of the late Eugene Kelly, a New York banker, who gave the white marble Lady Chapel to St. Patrick’s cathedral. Eugene and Thomas Kelly were made Knights of St. Gregory, with the title of sIr.
The Order of the Knights of St Gregory was reorganized by Pope Gregory XVI In 1831 since which time Catholics who are not of the state nobility or aristocracy have been vested with the title.
Ellen Ewing Shermanand Mary Caldwell
The late Mrs. Tecumseh Sherman was decorated several times by pope Leo for her charitable work. Mary Caldwell, the Virginia, beauty, now the Marquise de Merinville (Mary Gwendolen Caldwell, Marquise de Merinville, Laetare Medalist, VOL_0032_ISSUE_0023, 1899), and who before her marriage presented to the hierarchy of the United States the funds for the establishment of the Catholic university at Washington, was also decorated.
Ellen Ewing Sherman (October 4, 1824 – November 28, 1888), was the wife of General William Tecumseh Sherman, a leading Union general in the American Civil War. She was also a prominent figure of the times in her own right. Like her mother, Ellen was a devout Catholic and often at odds with her husband over religious topics. Ellen raised her eight children in that faith. In 1864, Ellen took up temporary residence in South Bend, Indiana, to have her young family educated at the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s College. One of their sons, Thomas Ewing Sherman, became a Catholic priest. She also took an ongoing interest in Indian missions and was credited as the principal organizer of the Catholic Indian Missionary Association. In “the most absorbing and monumental work of her life,” Ellen played an active role in U.S. observances of the Golden Jubilee of Pope Pius IX (May 21, 1877) for which she later received the personal thanks of the Pope (source: Wikipedia).
Mary Elizabeth Breckenridge and Mary Guendaline Byrd Caldwell were the daughters of William Shakespeare Caldwell who made his fortune building and operating gas plants throughout the Midwest. Both daughters married titled European aristocrats. Mary Guendaline was first engaged to the Prince Joachim Murat, the grandson of the King of Naples, who was not only twice her age but an invalid. The engagement was canceled when the couple could not agree on how much of Miss Caldwell’s fortune was to be given to the Prince.
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kulage
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Kulage of St. Louis, Mo, are the latest additions to the Catholic nobility in the country. They were both knighted by Pope Pius X on August 20 with the Order of St. Gregory, and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Mr. Kulage is created a knight commander of the Gregorian Order, a distinction to few men outside of Rome, and Mrs. Kulage is termed a “Matronae” or lady knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. This is the first tlma this honor has been conferred upon a woman.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, is one of the most ancient orders in existence, having been founded in the thirteenth century during the crusades. The pope himself is the supreme master of the noble order. The insignia of the order is a Jerusalem cross, which is really a combination of five crosses In one. The insignia, is almost entirely of gold, but the obverse and reverse sides are overlaid with crimson enamel. In addition to the cross Mrs. Kulage will appear at all state functions in a mantle of white cloth upon which is embroidered in gold the Insignia of her rank. Mr and Mrs. Kulage been elevated to the Catholic nobility in recognition of their charitable and educational work, especially among the children of the poor in Rome. [the original article ends here]
The historical origins of the Order are somewhat obscure, although according to an undocumented tradition they are traced back to the First Crusade. In fact, the first documentary evidence of an investiture of Knights referred to as “of the Holy Sepulchre” dates to 1336. Since this first testament to the Order’s existence, that is, from the XIV century, the popes gradually and regularly expressed their desire to juridically annex the organization to the Holy See.
The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem has always benefited from the protection of the Popes who, over the centuries, have reorganized it, augmenting and enriching its privileges. Clement VI entrusted custody of the Holy Sepulchre to the Franciscan friars in 1342, but that was still during an era when Knights alone had the right to create other members of the Order. Alexander VI declared himself the supreme moderator of the Order in 1496, and delegated to the Franciscans the power to bestow a knighthood upon nobles and gentlemen pilgrims on pilgrimage to the Holy Land (power of investiture). Confirmation of this Franciscan privilege, either verbally or by papal Bull, was renewed by Pope Leo X in 1516, by Benedict XIV in 1746, until the restoration of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem by Pius IX in 1847.
Thus the pontifical delegation was transferred to the Patriarch when, in 1868, Pius IX issued Apostolic letters announcing the restoration of the Order. The Order of Knights opened up with the appointment of the Dames of the Holy Sepulcher thanks to Leo XIII, in 1888. Moreover, in 1907 Pius X decided that the title of Grand Master of the Order would be reserved to the Pope himself.
In 1932 Pius XI approved the new Constitution and permitted Knights and Dames to receive their investiture in their places of origin and not only in Jerusalem. In 1940, Pius XII named a cardinal as Protector of the Order and centralized the organization in Rome, as part of the Grand Magisterium, transferring the title of Grand Master to Cardinal Canali. John XXIII approved the new Constitution presented by Cardinal Tisserant in 1962.
With the renewal of the Second Vatican Council, a new Constitution was approved by Paul VI in 1977. Following this, John Paul II made the Order a legal canonical and public personality, constituted by the Holy See. Today the Order seeks to garner the commitment of its members in local churches hopeful for their sanctification. This is the essential and profound reason that motivated the revision of the Constitution during the “Consulta” that took place in 2013 (source: The Vatican).
Most persons that were ennobled, were of Irish catholic descent. Emigration to the United States increased exponentially due to the Great Famine in the mid 1800s. In the 19th century United States, Irish catholics faced hostility and violence. By the 20th century, Irish Catholics were well established in the United States. The extremely wealthy ones, who were also devoted to catholicism and donated large amounts of money to the church and other good works, were ennobled or obtained a knighthood from the church. In this context it cannot be said that nobility was ‘bought’. Spiritualism and good works, in most cases, led to the rewards. The titles are part of this spiritual experience. Women played an important role in this context.
There are currently five existing Orders of Chivalry in Belgium. Only three of them are currently awarded. The Order of the African Star and the Royal Order of the Lion have not been disbanded, but ceased to be awarded when the Congo gained its independence in 1960.
To unite persons who have been awarded a Belgium national honour, there exists a society, called: Koninklijke Menslievende Vereniging van Dragers van Eretekens en Medailles van België (Royal and Merciful Society of the Bearers of Medals and Awards of Belgium; hereafter: Society).
Persons who were honoured for their acts of either courage, self-sacrifice or charity by the Belgian state or a state recognized by Belgium, can be admitted as full members (article 9a Statutes). They must have an excellent reputation. In addition to the full membership, there are associate members who support the objectives of the Society (article 9b Statutes), benefactors (article 9c Statutes) and honorary members (article 9d Statutes). Only full members are allowed to vote.
The Society was not formed by the King, but enjoys Royal Protection since 1893 (most recently renewed on 3 October 2014 for a period of five years; source: letter of the Royal House, R/TD/A/0330.022). The mayor of Brussels acts as honorary president.
Belgian Orders of Chivalry
The current National Orders are established by the laws of 11 July 1832 and 28 December 1838 and the Royal Decress of 3 August 1832 and 16 May 1839 (Order of Leopold); Decrees of 15 October 1897 and 25 June 1898 (Crown Order); Decree of 24 August 1900 (Order of Leopold II). Today, the exact material differences among the Orders has disappeared.
The Order of Leopold was established in 1832 by King Leopold I and is the most distinguished Order in Belgium. The Order is awarded in three fields – Civil, Maritime, and Military (with each having 5 different classes) for contribution to the military, society or the Belgian State.
The Order of the Crown was established by King Leopold II, as ruler of the Free Congo State, in 1897. It was intended to recognize distinguished service in the Congo Free State. In 1908 the Order was made a national order of Belgium. It is currently the second highest order in Belgium, awarded for service to the Belgian state, as well as distinguished achievements. It was awarded in five classes, as well as two palms and three medals.
The Order of Leopold II was first established by King Leopold II as King of the Congo Free State. In 1908, when Congo became part of Belgium, the order became a Belgian national order. It is awarded for service to the Sovereign, in five classes and three medals.
The Order of the African Star was established in 1888 by King Leopold II as ruler of the Free Congo State. When the Congo was annexed by Belgium in 1908, it became one of the Belgian national orders. The order has not been awarded since Congo’s independence in 1960. It was never discontinued and remains the second highest order in Belgium. The Order was awarded in five classes with three medals.
The Royal Order of the Lion was established in 1891 by King Leopold II as ruler of the Congo Free State. Leopold’s reign in the Congo eventually earned infamy on account of the massive mistreatment of the local population. Just like the Order of the African Star, the Royal order of the Lion became a Belgian national order following the annexation of the Congo Free State in 1908 by the Belgium government. In 1960, after Congo’s independence, the Order ceased to be awarded, although it remains in existence. It is the third highest ranking order in Belgium. It was awarded in five classes with three medals.
Order of Leopold
The history of the Order of Leopold is quite interesting. On 8 June 1832 Count Felix de Mérode, Minister of State, proposes the creation of a national order, called “Ordre de l’Union”. After investigation by a commission it is decided to choose the name of “Order of Leopold” with the device “L’Union fait la Force” / ”Eendracht maakt Macht” (United we stand, divided we fall), a free translation of the device of the 1789 Brabantine Revolution “In Unione Salus”. In its early days, the Order was very much military-focussed. The military tradition remains until the current day. The first knight in the Order of Leopold was the French sapper Ausseil, wounded during the siege of Antwerp (1832).
When King Leopold I inspected the front lines he met a stretcher carrying this soldier whose leg had been ripped off by a canon ball. The King told him : “you are badly wounded, my friend” and Ausseil, who did not know his interlocutor answered: “yes general, but it is my watch, for my country and amidst my comrades” and he shouted “Long live France!”.
The King, who knew what real courage was, immediately made him the very first knight of the newly created Order. When he was taken care off at the Antwerp hospital, the sapper was visited by the Queen, who gave him a gold coin (Louis d’or). After Ausseil had recovered, he was also decorated with the Légion d’Honneur.
The first Belgian military to be decorated as knight of the Order of Leopold was Engineer Captain H. Hallart. He was decorated by the King on 7 January 1833. On 30 January and on 5 February ten more Belgian officers were made knight. On 10 March 1833 no less than 304 French and three Belgian military were rewarded because of their conduct at the siege of Antwerp. The majority of the Belgian servicemen, who had distinguished themselves in the campaigns of 1831 and 1832, had to wait the important nominations of 15 December 1833 before they received a decoration in the Order. No less than 450 crosses were assigned to the army, among those 150 to soldiers and petty officers. The first Belgian military to be decorated as knight of the Order of Leopold was Engineer Captain H. Hallart. He was decorated by the King on 7 January 1833 (source: orderofleopold.be).
At the end of World War I, the Order of Leopold became internationally recognised for its famous members. In 1919 King Albert granted all Lieutenant-Generals of the Belgian Army the Grand Cordon in Brussels. The King bestowed the Major Generals with the Grand Cordon. After the Second World War, the Order of Leopold was bestowed on the several officers of foreign militaries who had helped to liberate Belgium from the occupation of German forces. Most illustrious was the grand Cordons with Palms given by the King to Sir Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1945 (source: wikipedia.com).
Since 1865, the administration of the Society is allowed to design medals of the Society (article 31 Statutes). The Society itself awards four medals: the Honorary Cross for humanitarian merit (Kruis van Eer), the Order of the Belgian Cross (Orde van het Belgisch Kruis), Palms of Mercy (Palmen van Menslievenheid), Medal of the Belgian Crown (Medaille van Gekroond België). These awards are not recognized by the Belgian state and they are not Orders of Chivalry or National Orders. The awards have a purely private character.
Association of the Order of Leopold
The Society differs from the Association of the Order of Leopold. This non-profit association has the following mission: (1) the maintenance of the prestige emanating from the nation’s highest distinction; (2) material and moral assistance between the members, decorated with the Order, who voluntary join the Association. The titular member or patron has to justify that she/he has been awarded the Order of Leopold. In order to become an adherent member, one should prove his/her quality as a not remarried widower or widow, not remarried or new partner living together, or as an orphan under twenty-five, or a deceased member of the Order and be accepted by the board of directors (source: Statutes of the Association). The Association does not issue awards, like the Society. It has strict membership rules and thus remains a distinguished group.
The Society is an important cultural initiative with a solid historical background. In order to adapt the Society to modern standards, I suggest the following:
Upgrade the website to a professional level and delete all the regional websites in order to avoid confusion; create a blog on the website to update members.
Avoid attracting “medal hunters” and allow only Belgian official awards and the Society awards to be worn during official meetings, in order to avoid jeopardizing renewal of the Royal Protection. Require members to have a genuine link to Belgium and its National Orders. Never use non-Belgian titles of nobility in the diplomas to avoid recognising fake-nobility. Attract members with a proven professional background in order to avoid parvenus.
Decrease the number of members of the Regional Boards to three to make it less bureaucratic.
Decrease the number of Society medals to one: the Order of the Belgian Cross. It avoids becoming a “medal shop”.
Andre Charles Borne, Distinctions Honorifiques de la Belgique 1830-1985, ISBN 10: 2802200577 ISBN 13: 9782802200574, Publisher: Groep Bruylant, 1985.
Federale Overheidsdienst van het Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Buitenlandse Handel en Ontwikkelingssamenwerking, Dienst Nationale Orden, Karmelietenstraat 15, B-1000 Brussel. Mrs Rita Vander Zwalmen, Tel.: +32 2-501 36 60.
Law of 1 May 2006 “betreffende de toekenning van eervolle onderscheidingen in de Nationale Orden”, published in the Belgisch Staatsblad on 24 October 2006.
Royal Decree of 13 October 2006 “tot vaststelling van de regels en de procedure tot toekenning van eervolle onderscheidingen in de Nationale Orden”, published in the Belgisch Staatsblad on 24 October 2006.
R. Cornet, Recueil des dispositions légales et réglementaires régissant Les Ordres Nationaux Belges et considérations relatives aux décorations en général, Publisher: U.G.A., Brussels 1982.
Appendix: Statutes of the Society 2016 (in Dutch)
KONINKLIJKE EN MENSLIEVENDE VERENIGING DER DRAGERS VAN ERETEKENS EN MEDAILLES VAN BELGIE VOOR DADEN VAN MOED, VAN ZELFOPOFFERING EN VAN MENSLIEVENDHEID.
Dit najaar verschijnt mijn werkje over de Drentse havezate Oosterbroek. Deze havezate, wordt al in het begin van de 17e eeuw als zodanig genoemd.
Sinds ik met mijn moeder als kind Oosterbroek bezocht, heb ik een interesse in deze “Havezate”. Mijn betovergrootvader was een van de eigenaren en mijn moeder vertelde mij allerlei boeiende verhalen over deze bijzondere man.
Hoewel er het een en ander geschreven is over de Drentse havezaten, is er niet al te veel bekend over de families die op de havezaten woonden. Veelal is de beschrijving beperkt tot een lijst (al dan niet compleet) met eigenaren, soms voorzien van enige achtergrondinformatie over beroep en sociale komaf. Het is echter interessant om wat meer speurwerk te verrichten naar de bewoners en hun gezinnen. Hierdoor wordt meer inzicht verkregen in de sociaal-culturele context waarin de havezate en het bezit hiervan geplaatst kan worden. Ook werpt het soms een licht op de wijze waarop het bezit van de havezate tot stand kwam.
In het licht van het voorgaande, heb ik per opvolgende eigenaar een genealogisch fragment opgenomen, waar mogelijk voorzien van portretten en een familiewapen. Enige korte historische en juridische inleidingen gaan hieraan vooraf. Bij sommige personen of families is een wetenswaardigheid toegevoegd in cursief.
Hoewel havezaten geen heraldische traditie kenden, is in 2016 ter gelegenheid van het 125-jarig bestaan van VNN een wapen ontworpen voor de havezate door de heraldicus P. Bultsma-Vos. Het wapen is hierboven weergegeven en symboliseert het samengaan van de originele oorsprong met het huidige gebruik.
Vanaf 1993 was Bultsma officieel wapentekenaar van de Hoge Raad van Adel (E. Wolleswinkel, Wapentekenaars van de Hoge Raad van Adel, in: Wapenregister van de Nederlandse adel. Hoge Raad van Adel 1814 – 2014. [Zwolle, 2014], pp. 633-640). Hij werd bekend door de wapentekeningen die hij ontwierp voor enkele leden van de koninklijke familie: Máxima Zorreguieta (2002); de kinderen uit het huwelijk van Willem-Alexander der Nederlanden en Máxima Zorreguieta (2003); het grafelijk geslacht Van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg, voor nageslacht van prins Friso van Oranje-Nassau van Amsberg (2005).
In het werk van C.E.G. ten Houte de Lange, ‘Heerlijkheden in Nederland‘ wordt een heerlijkheid beschreven als: “een conglomeraat van rechten en plichten die betrekking hebben op het bestuur van een bepaald territorium en die in particuliere handen zijn“. Door de hoogleraar A.S. de Blecourt wordt een heerlijkheid in subjectieve zin gedefinieerd als het recht om regeermacht uit te oefenen (aanvankelijk van overheidswege, later door particulieren) met daaraan verknochte heerlijke rechten, krachtens een absoluut vermogensrecht. Heerlijkheid in objectieve zin is het grondgebied, waarbinnen heerlijke rechten kunnen worden uitgeoefend. Het is interessant om na te gaan in hoeverre heerlijke rechten momenteel nog juridische waarde hebben.
In de nieuwe rechtsorde van 1795, die in Nederland de Bataafse Republiek invoerde, was het instituut van de ambachtsheerlijkheden moeilijk te verenigen met Liberté, égalité, fraternité. In dat licht beoogde de Staatsregeling van 1798 definitief een einde te maken aan heerlijke rechten. De eigenlijke heerlijkheden in institutionele zin werden direct afgeschaft en de gevolgen werden voor voor onwettig verklaard. Bepaalde rechten werden met name genoemd, maar voor de zekerheid werd alles nog maar een keer samengevat in een soort technisch-juridische formule, die voor waterdicht werd gehouden: “mitsgaders alle andere regten en verplichtingen, hoe ook genoemd, uit het leenstelsel of leenrecht afkomstig, en die hunnen oorsprong niet hebben uit een wederzijdsch, vrijwillig en wettig verdrag”. Iedereen mocht nog wel op zijn eigen grond jagen. De honoraire (“honorabele”) rechten werden afgeschaft zonder enige schadevergoeding. Voor de geldelijke (“profitabele”) rechten moest binnen zes maanden na datum opgave worden gedaan.
In de nieuwe Staatsregelingen van 1801 en 1805 is de grondgedachte uit 1798 geheel overgenomen. Volgens de regeling van 1801 werd het leenrecht volledig afgeschaft. Alle leenroerige goederen werden als allodiaal (= vrije, oorspronkelijke, erfelijke eigendom van de bezitter) bestempeld. De wet zou aan de leenheren (feodaal) een schadeloosstelling toekennen. Dit laatste is in de Staatsregeling van 1805 nogmaals toegezegd, maar met de uitvoering is nooit een begin gemaakt. Deze bepalingen leidden er wel toe, dat de Hoge Raad in 1882 besliste, dat de rechten van de ambachtsheren in 1798 niet vervallen waren, maar dat zij mede door de regelingen van 1801 en 1805, van feodaal tot allodiaal geworden waren. In 1803 bracht de Raad van Binnenlands Bestuur het advies uit, dat een schadevergoeding voor het gemis der “eigenlijk gezegde” rechten (voortkomend uit de jurisdictie) billijk was te achten. Van de andere rechten oordeelde de Raad er een groot deel in strijd met de burgerlijke vrijheid waren. Deze rechten zouden afkoopbaar gesteld moeten worden.
Tot een genuanceerder advies kwamen in 1803 de landsadvocaten in hun rapport aan het Departementaal Bestuur van Holland. Volgens hen bestond er een recht op schadevergoeding, dat trouwens in de wet was vastgelegd. De ﬁnanciën van de staat lieten dit echter niet toe.
Op 9 juni 1806 herstelde de regering de ambachtsheren in een deel van hun oude rechten. Voordat aan de nieuwe wet uitvoering was gegeven, werd Lodewijk Napoleon gekroond tot koning van Holland. De nieuwe koning wilde de afschafﬁng van alle heerlijke rechten tegen een schadevergoeding. Dit ging recht tegen het ontwerp van wet in. De koning droeg de Staatsraad op een nieuw voorstel te formuleren. In 1809 is een ontwerp aangeboden, dat in de grote lijn neerkwam op de afschafﬁng van de jurisdictie en de bevoegdheden, maar de proﬁtabele rechten voor een groot deel wilde handhaven. Aan dit ontwerp onthield Lodewijk Napoleon zijn goedkeuring. Toen in 1810 Holland bij het Keizerrijk werd ingelijfd, besliste de Raad van Ministers het ontwerp tot regeling van de heerlijke rechten aan te houden. De wetten van het Keizerrijk, die sindsdien voor het land van toepassing waren, raakten de vroegere heerlijke rechten nergens direct. Alleen voor het recht van aanwas is een Keizerlijk decreet van betekenis geweest. In 1813, toen het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden ontstond, was in feite nog niets veranderd sinds de onduidelijke Staatsregeling van 1798 (een omvangrijke en ingewikkelde materie) wel was omgeploegd, maar niet geregeld.
Actuele status van heerlijke rechten
Van oudsher zijn aan genoemde goederen verbonden zogenoemde eigenlijke heerlijke rechten en heerlijkheidsgevolgen (accrochementen), ook wel oneigenlijke heerlijke rechten genaamd. De eigenlijke heerlijke rechten waren oudtijds de in de handel zijnde rechten op overheidsgezag. Begunstigd door de omstandigheid dat in het oud-vaderlandse recht ten tijde van de Republiek geen scherp onderscheid werd gemaakt tussen privaat- en publiekrecht, hebben deze rechten zich tot de Bataafse omwenteling onverkort weten te handhaven. Met artikel 24 van de Burgerlijke en Staatkundige Grondregels van de Staatsregeling van 1798 werden zij afgeschaft,¹ maar zestien jaar later bij Souverein Besluit van 26 maart 1814 (Stb. 1814, 46) in getemperde vorm hersteld, namelijk als recht van voordracht voor de vervulling van belangrijke gemeentebedieningen en als recht tot aanstelling in kleinere gemeentebedieningen. Deze rechten werden bij de grondwetsherziening van 1848 afgeschaft ingevolge het eerste lid van het toenmaals ingevoegde additionele artikel. Bij de grondwetsherziening van 1922 werd de werking van deze bepaling uitgebreid tot het kerkelijk collatierecht (het recht iemand in een kerkelijke betrekking voor te dragen of te benoemen). De afschaffing van de in het eerste lid van additioneel artikel I vermelde rechten heeft dus in 1848 respectievelijk 1922 definitief zijn beslag gekregen.
De overige, de zogenaamde oneigenlijke heerlijke rechten, zijn de rechten die de heer kon uitoefenen naast zijn recht op overheidsgezag. Evenals de eigenlijke heerlijke rechten waren dit oudtijds zaken in de handel. De Staatsregeling van 1798 bevatte een drietal bepalingen welke de hier bedoelde rechten limiteerden, namelijk de artikelen 25, 27 en 53 van de Grondregels.²
Als gevolg van de verwarrende redactie van artikel 25 bleef voor tal van rechten grote onzekerheid bestaan. Voor wat betreft een aantal heerlijkheidsgevolgen, bijvoorbeeld het veerrecht, het recht op aanwassen en rechten betreffende dijken en wegen, kan wel als vaststaand worden aangenomen dat zij zijn blijven bestaan. Het eerdergenoemd Souverein Besluit van 26 maart 1814 herstelde onder andere de jacht- en visrechten.
Bij de grondwetsherziening van 1848 werd het niet noodzakelijk geoordeeld de oneigenlijke heerlijke rechten te schrappen, zoals dit met de nog resterende eigenlijke heerlijke rechten geschiedde. De wetgever zou zulks desgewenst later wel kunnen doen. In het tweede lid van het additionele artikel werd dit tot uitdrukking gebracht. Het artikellid maakt tevens gewag van schadeloosstelling van de eigenaren.
Sindsdien heeft de wetgever enige regelingen getroffen (de Verenwet (Wet van 5 juli 1921, Stb. 1921, 838), de eigenlijke heerlijke rechten 1923 (Wet van 2 juli 1923, Stb. 1923, 331) en verschillende opeenvolgende visserijwetten (laatstelijk de Wet van 30 mei 1963, Stb. 1963, 312)). Geheel verdwenen zijn de oneigenlijke heerlijke rechten echter nog niet, al worden zij niet geheel door oud-vaderlands recht beheerst (vgl. HR 20 februari 1931, NJ 1931, blz. 1563, handelend over een heerlijk visrecht). Nog bestaande oneigenlijke heerlijke rechten kunnen in de praktijk worden opgevat als gewone zakelijke rechten (Kamerstukken II 1976-1977, 14 457 (eerste lezing)).
De aard van genoemde rechten staat eraan in de weg dat het kan tenietgaan doordat er het gedurende lange tijd geen gebruik van wordt gemaakt; “non-usus”. De omstandigheid dat het bestaan van de rechten niet kan afleiden uit de openbare registers, brengt niet mee dat aangenomen moet worden dat de rechten niet (meer) bestaan (zie onder meer Gerechtshof Amsterdam 23 maart 2010, ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2010:BM9231 en Gerechtshof Amsterdam 2 oktober 2012, ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2012:BY1161).
Met name na de Tweede Wereldoorlog werd, net als onze “gewone” adellijke titels, het voeren van de titel “Heer van ..” veelal maar beter achterwege gelaten. Ook hier lijkt echter te gelden, dat er zich sinds eind jaren negentig een kentering in de belangstelling voordoet. Zelfbewustzijn en historisch besef zullen hieraan zeker (mede) debet zijn. Leek voorheen het vaste credo: “de Heerlijke rechten zijn afgeschaft!”, sindsdien is het meer een vráág: “zijn die Heerlijke rechten nu eigenlijk afgeschaft?”
Van Wassener meent op basis van een overgangsartikel in het BW het antwoord te hebben gevonden, wat talloze deskundigen kennelijk over het hoofd hebben gezien.
Welnu: ze zijn afgeschaft maar korte tijd later ook weer herboren (…).
Artikel 150, eerste lid, van de Overgangswet Nieuw Burgerlijk Wetboek (van 3 april 1969) verklaart de van vóór 1838 bestaande oude zakelijke rechten tot register- goederen, hetgeen betekent, dat hun bestaan wordt erkend en dat levering (derhalve niet de verkrijging onder al- gemene titel) slechts kan geschieden door een notariële akte, gevolgd door de inschrijving in de openbare registers (kadaster).
Zoals hierboven uiteengezet, is dit onjuist. Het betreft hier alleen de restanten van heerlijke rechten in de vorm van zakelijke rechten. Het kenmerk van de heerlijke rechten, namelijk het overheidsgezag, is niet meer aan de orde. Het zijn dus geen heerlijke rechten meer, maar zakelijke rechten, die hun oorsprong in heerlijke rechten hebben gehad.
In Nederland was het gebruikelijk dat de eigenaar van een heerlijkheid de naam daarvan achter zijn geslachtsnaam voegde om aan te geven dat hij de heer was van de betreffende heerlijkheid. Deze toevoeging maakte geen deel uit van zijn wettelijke geslachtsnaam en is te beschouwen als een eigendomsaanduiding. De circulaire die de minister van justitie in 1858 rond liet gaan, dat in officiële stukken een naam van een heerlijkheid nooit als deel van een geslachtsnaam mocht worden opgenomen, werd in de praktijk vaak genegeerd. Aan de ambtenaar van de Burgerlijke Stand werd vaak de naam van de heerlijkheid ten onrechte als deel van de geslachtsnaam opgegeven en vervolgens door de ambtenaar ingeschreven. Aan deze onjuiste opgave kon de betrokkene geen rechten ontlenen. In de praktijk was de kans groot dat in latere akten de onjuiste naam werd overgenomen, net zolang tot een ambtenaar een onderzoek deed naar de naam. Er zijn dus voorbeelden te noemen van geslachtsnamen waaraan de naam van de heerlijkheid is toegevoegd zonder dat er sprake is geweest van een Koninklijk Besluit.
Het stond mensen wel vrij om zich, zolang het geen officiële stukken betrof, te schrijven en ook te noemen met de naam van de heerlijkheid achter de geslachtsnaam.
Bij de invoering van de Burgerlijke Stand in 1811 was het gebruikelijk dat de eigenaar van de heerlijkheid de naam van zijn heerlijkheid achter zijn geslachtsnaam voegde met daartussen het woord van. Kinderen van de heer lieten tussen hun geslachtsnaam en de naam van de heerlijkheid het woord tot zetten.
Tegenwoordig geldt nog steeds de ongeschreven regel dat iemand die een voormalige heerlijkheid alleen bezit, in het maatschappelijk verkeer de aanduiding van heer of vrouwe van gevolgd door de naam van de heerlijkheid voert. Als er sprake is van een gemeenschappelijk bezit, noemen de eigenaren zich heer of vrouwe in/tot gevolgd door de naam van de heerlijkheid. Volgens het huidige naamrecht maakt de naam van de heerlijkheid geen deel meer uit van de geslachtsnaam. De aanduiding ‘heer/vrouwe van’ of ‘heer/vrouwe in of heer/vrouwe tot’ wordt tegenwoordig met een komma gescheiden van de geslachtsnaam. De eigenaar van een huis/landerij hoeft dus niet dezelfde persoon te zijn die de heerlijkheid bezit. Omdat huizen en heerlijkheden vaak dezelfde naam hebben, en omdat de eigenaren zich er vaak naar vernoemden, kan het zijn dat de twee verschillende eigenaren dezelfde naam voeren.
Bewijs leveren van het bestaan van voormalige heerlijke rechten
Aardig (maar ook niet geheel juist) is Van Wassenaer’s poging om juridische advies te geven met betrekking tot het bezitten van voormalige heerlijke rechten. Van Wassenaer noemt (kort gezegd) onder meer:
vergaar het bewijs dat u de rechtmatige opvolger bent van de “Heerlijke rechten”;
vergaar bewijs van de locatie van de “Heerlijke rechten”;
vergaar het bewijs wat deze rechten inhouden of in hebben gehouden.
Van Wassenaer bedoelt met “Heerlijke rechten”, naar mijn mening de voormalige heerlijke rechten of de resterende zakelijke rechten.
Bijzonder interessant is Van Wassenaer’s advies met betrekking tot het gebruik van voormalige heerlijkheidsnamen in combinatie met de geslachtsnaam (p. 45):
Voer, in de meer offciële stukken, (overlijdensbericht, testament, etc.) de naam (dus X van Amsterdam van Den Haag) en titel (Heer van Amsterdam en Den Haag) en neem een passage in uw testament op, waarin u deze zaken (de rechten, de naam en de titel) uitdrukkelijk benoemt en “doorgeeft”, al dan niet per legaat. Bij het testament zou u kunnen opnemen dat het uw wens is dat, de traditie getrouw, dit alles ook vervolgens telkens aan (bijvoorbeeld en afhankelijk van de bij uw familie levende traditie uiteraard) de oudste zoon en zo verder zal worden overgedragen aan de nazaten binnen de familie.
Ik kan het hier alleen maar mee eens zijn, wel met de aantekening dat hiermee geen zakelijk recht wordt beschermd maar – in juridische zin – eerder een naamsonderdeel. Ik moet erkennen dat ik hier nog niet precies de vinger op kan leggen. Een ander prima advies van Van Wassenaer heeft betrekking op registratie in het kadaster (p. 45):
Hoewel ik in het vorenstaande aangaf dat bij vererving geen inschrijving in het kadaster nodig is (slechts bij verkoop aan derden is dat nu voorwaarde), zou het de rechtszekerheid voor u, uw nakomelingen en derden zeer helpen, indien u deze rechtspositie via een notariële akte daarin zou (doen) registreren. Dan is het maar duidelijk. Bij latere verervingen verdient het dan aanbeveling om het kadaster up to date te houden.
Of dit mogelijk is met een “titel” heer van (….) is naar mijn mening nog maar de vraag omdat niet duidelijk is of sprake is van een recht. Zakelijke rechten kunnen wel in het kadaster worden opgenomen door de notaris. Naar mijn mening moet de titel “heer van (…)” eerder in historische zin worden bezien. Als de titel onterecht wordt gebruikt, kan onder omstandigheden sprake zijn van een onrechtmatige daad in die zin dat ten onrechte wordt gesuggereerd dat er een eigendom of bezit is van een onroerende zaak van dezelfde naam.
Relatie met de familie
Een voorbeeld van een heerlijkheidsrecht is het collatierecht (in het Latijn “præsentatio sive collatio” en in het katholiek kerkelijk recht “jus patronatus”). Deze term houdt in het recht om een geestelijke, een pastoor of een dominee, voor te dragen ter benoeming. Het recht was erfelijk en werd in Nederland in 1922 afgeschaft met de bepaling dat de eigenaar het recht tot zijn of haar dood mocht blijven uitoefennen. In een aantal gevallen was het collatierecht verbonden aan een havezate, zoals bij Oosterbroek (zie: Collatierecht – Encyclopedie Drenthe Online), waarvan A.H. van Bergen eigenaar was.
In de uitspraak van de Afdeling Rechtspraak van de Raad van State van 21 september 1990, nr. R02.88.1390 (p. 4), is bepaald dat een lid van de huidige generatie “in rechte mannelijke lijn afstamt van Anton Quast, die naar de Afdeling is gebleken, rechthebbende was ten aanzien van de heerlijkheid Odenkirchen“. Odenkirchen is gelegen in de omgeving van Mönchengladbach.
Dit artikel is voor een belangrijk deel ontleend aan de boeken van de heren Delahaye en Ketelaar.
C.E.G. ten Houte de Lange en V.A.M. van der Burg, Heerlijkheden in Nederland, Hilversum, Verloren, 2008.
F.C.J. Ketelaar, Oude zakelijke rechten, vroeger, nu en in de toekomst (Les survivances du ‘système féodal’ dans le droit néerlandais au XIXe et au XXe sciècle) (Leiden/Zwolle 1978).
J.Ph. de Monté ver Loren, ‘Bestaan er nog heerlijkheden en hoe te handelen met aan heerlijkheden ontleende namen?’, De Nederlandsche Leeuw 1961, kol. 394-400.
A. Delahaye, Vossemeer, land van 1000 heren, NV Ambachtsheerlijkheid Oud en Nieuw Vossemeer 1969.
A.S. de Blecourt, Kort begrip van het Oud-Vaderlandsch Burgerlijk Recht I, Groningen-Batavia, 1939, p. 328.
Memorie ter wederlegging der gronden en redeneringen, vervat bij nadere missive van den Raad der Binnenlandsche Zaaken der Bataafsche Republiek op den 11 April 1804 wegens de zaak der heerlijkheden aan het Staatsbewind geschreven van wegens een groot aantal geinteresseerdens bij Stichtse heerlijkheden aan het Wetgevend Lichaam der Bataafsche Republiek overgegeven : met eenige daartoe behorende bijlagen. – Utrecht : Wild en Altheer, 1805. – , 207 p. ; 23 cm – Note: Ex. RGS-GS gebonden bij: Korte verhandeling over de ambachtsheerlijkheeden en derzelver lot, zeedert den jaare 1795.
1. Artikel 24 van de Burgerlijke en Staatkundige Grondregels luidt: “Alle eigenlijk gezegde Heerlijke Regten en Tituls, waardoor aan een bijzonder Persoon of Lichaam zou worden toegekend eenig gezag omtrent het Bestuur van Zaken in eenige Stad, Dorp of Plaats, of de aanstelling van deze of gene Ambtenaaren binnen dezelve, worden, voor zoo verre die niet reeds met de daad zijn afgeschaft, bij de aanneming der Staatsregeling, zonder eenige Schaêvergoeding, voor altijd vernietigd.”
2. Deze artikelen luiden als volgt: Artikel 25.
-1. Alle Tiend-, Cijns-, of Thijns-, Na-koops-, Afstervings-, en Naastings-Regten, van welken aard, midsgaders alle andere Regten of Verpligtingen, hoe ook genoemd, uit het leenstelsel of Leenrecht afkomstig, en die hunnen oorsprong niet hebben uit een wederzijdsch vrijwillig en wettig verdrag, worden, met alle de gevolgen van dien, als strijdig met der Burgeren gelijkheid en vrijheid, voor altijd vervallen verklaard.
– 2. Het Vertegenwoordigend Lichaam zal, binnen agttien Maanden, na Deszelfs eerste zitting, bepaalen den voet en de wijze van afkoop van alle zoodanige regten en renten, welke als vruchten van wezenlijken eigendom kunnen beschouwd worden. Geene aanspraak op pecunieele vergoeding, uit de vernieting van gemelde Regten voordvloeijende, zal gelden, dan welke, binnen zes Maanden na de aanneming der Staatsregeling, zal zijn ingeleverd.
Alle burgers hebben, ten alle tijde, het regt, om, met uitsluiting van anderen, op hunnen eigen of gebruikten, grond te Jagen, te Vogelen en te Visschen. Het Vertegenwoordigend Lichaam maakt, binnen zes Maanden na Deszelfs eerste zitting, bij Reglement, de nodige bepaaling, om, ten dezen opzigte, de openbaare veiligheid en eigendommen der lngezetenen te verzekeren, en zorgt, dat noch de Visscherijen bedorven, noch de Landgebruiker bij eenige Wet of Beding, belet worde, allen Wild op zijnen gebruikten grond te vangen, noch ook, dat een ander daarop zal mogen Jagen of Visschen zonder zijne bewilliging.
Bij de aanneming der Staatsregeling, worden vervallen verklaard alle Gilden, Corporatiën of Broederschappen van Neeringen, Ambagten, of Fabrieken. Ook heeft ieder Burger, in welke Plaats woonachtig, het regt zoodanige Fabriek of Trafiek opterigten, of zoodanig eerlijk bedrijf aantevangen, als hij verkiezen zal. Het Vertegenwoordigend Lichaam zorgt, dat de goede orde, het gemak en gerief der Ingezetenen, ten dezen opzigte, worden verzekerd.
“Heerlijkheden bestaan hier te lande dus niet meer. Daar het onmogelijk is om eigenaar te zijn eender niet bestaande zaak, kan men heerlijkheden niet erven of koopen”
“Hij, die ten onrechte den naam eener heerlijkheid als deel van een geslachtsnaam opgeeft of draagt, valt niet onder het bereik onzer strafwet en loopt alleen in het weinig waarschijnlijke geval, dat daardoor aan een ander nadeel wordt toegebracht, gevaar, dat eene burgerlijke rechtsvordering tegen hem wordt ingesteld (artikel 1401) van het Burgerlijk Wetboek).”
Napoleon is widely seen as a military genius and perhaps the most illustrious leader in world history. Of the 60 battles, Napoleon only lost seven (even these were lost in the final phase). The leading British historian Andrew Roberts, in his 926 pages biography Napoleon: A Life (2015), mentions the battles of Acre (1799), Aspern-Essling (1809), Leipzig (1813), La Rothière (1814), Laon (1814), Arcis-sur-Aube (1814), and Waterloo (1815). Often forgotten is the battle that Napoleon lost in the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). On 18 November 1803, the French army under the command of general Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, vicomte de Rochambeau, and the rebel forces under Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a self-educated slave with no formal military training, collided at the battle of Vertières. The outcome was that Napoleon was driven out of Saint-Domingue and Dessalines led his country to independence. It is interesting to see what Napoleon’s legacy was.
Saint-Domingue was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804. The French had established themselves on the western portion of the islands of Hispaniola and Tortuga by 1659. The Treaty of Rijswijk (1697) formally ceded the western third of Hispaniola from Spain to France. The French then renamed it to Saint-Domingue. During the 18th century, the colony became France’s most lucrative New World possession. It exported sugar, coffee, cacao, indigo, and cotton, generated by an enslaved labor force. Around 1780 the majority of France’s investments were made in Saint-Domingue. In the 18th century, Saint-Domingue grew to be the richest sugar colony in the Caribbean.
Revolution in France
A plantation in the Caribbean was very labor intensive. It required about two or three slaves per hectare. Due to the importation of Africans the slave population soon outnumbered the free population. The slave population stood at 460,000 people, which was not only the largest of any island but represented close to half of the one million slaves then being held in all the Caribbean colonies (Klein: 33).
Conditions on sugar plantations were harsh. During the eight-month sugar harvest, slaves often worked continuously around the clock. Accidents caused by long hours and primitive machinery were horrible. In the big plantations, the slaves lived in barracks. Planters primarily wanted males for plantation work. There were few women as these were only needed for propagation. Families did not exist. The result was a kind of rebelliousness among the slaves which manifested itself in various ways. Planters reported revolts, poisonings, suicides, and other obstructive behavior. These men, women and children did not have a life or history of their own.
Slavery was ultimately abolished in all French colonies in 1848 by Victor Schœlcher, the famous French journalist and politician who was France’s greatest advocate of ending slavery. On 10 May 2001, the French Parliament adopted Law 2001-434, of which the first article reads: “The French Republic acknowledges that the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trade on the one hand and slavery on the other, perpetrated from the fifteenth century in the Americas, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and in Europe against African, Amerindian, Malagasy and Indian peoples constitute a crime against humanity.”
The start of the French Revolution in 1789 was the initiator of the Haitian Revolution of 1791. When the slaves first rebelled in August of 1791 they were not asking for emancipation, but only an additional day each week to cultivate their garden plots.
The French Revolution began in 1789 as a popular movement to reform the rule of Louis XVI. However, the movement became out of control and between 5 September 1793 and 27 July 1794 France was in the grip of a Reign of Terror. This period ended with the death of Robespierre. In the aftermath of the coup, the Committee of Public Safety lost its authority, the prisons were emptied, and the French Revolution became decidedly less radical. In October 1795, the National Convention (the third government of the French Revolution) used Napoleon Bonaparte and the army to crush riots. During the night of 4 October, over 300 royalist rebels were shot dead in front of the Church of Saint Roch. The rest had scattered and fled. Under the Directory that followed between 1795 and 1799 bourgeois values, corruption, and military failure returned. In 1799, the Directory was overthrown in a military coup led by Napoleon, who ruled France as First Consul and after 1804 as Emperor of the French.
Napoleon’s attitude towards slavery
In 1794, during the Terror period of the French Revolution, slavery in France’s colonies was abolished. However, this policy was not fully implemented. When unrest broke out in Saint-Domingue, Napoleon wanted to renew France’ commitment to emancipation, mainly because of political reasons. Napoleon stated that slavery had not been formally abolished, since the abolition had not been realized. His politics aimed at the return of the former French colonists. Napoleon believed they were better able to defend French interests against the British that the revolutionaries. Thus as First Consul, by a decree of May 20, 1802, Napoleon restored slavery and the slave trade in Martinique and other West Indian colonies. The law did not apply to Guadeloupe, Guyane or Saint-Domingue:
Le décret du 30 floréal An X [May 20, 1802]
AU NOM DU PEUPLE FRANÇAIS, BONAPARTE, premier Consul, PROCLAME loi de la République le décret suivant, rendu par le Corps législatif le 30 floréal an X, conformément à la proposition faite par le Gouvernement le 27 dudit mois, communiquée au Tribunat le même jour.
ART. I.er – Dans les colonies restituées à la France en exécution du traité d’Amiens, du 6 germinal an X [March 27, 1802], l’esclavage sera maintenu conformément aux lois et réglemens antérieurs à 1789.
ART. II. – Il en sera de même dans les autres colonies françaises au-delà du Cap de Bonne-Espérance.
ART. III. – La traite des noirs et leur importation dans lesdites colonies, auront lieu, conformément aux lois et réglemens existans avant ladite époque de 1789.
ART. IV. – Nonobstant toutes lois antérieures, le régime des colonies est soumis, pendant dix ans, aux réglemens qui seront faits par le Gouvernement.
Although Napoleon did not believe in the idea of racial equality, later in his life, his attitude towards the African slaves became more ethical. His change of attitude is reveled during his exile on St. Helena. During that time, Napoleon developed a friendship with an old slave called Toby. When Napoleon heard how Toby had been captured and enslaved, he reportedly expressed a wish to purchase him and send him back to his home country. His loyal friend, the French atlas maker and author Emmanuel-Augustin-Dieudonné-Joseph, comte de Las Cases (1766 – 1842) notes in his well-known memoirs (Las Cases 1823: 217):
Napoleon’s kindness of heart was also shown by his attitude toward the Malay slave, named Toby, who had care of the beautiful garden at The Briars. When no one was in it the garden was kept locked and the key was left in Toby’s hands. Toby and Napoleon speedily became friends, and the black man always spoke of the Emperor as “that good man, Bony.” He always placed the key of the garden where Napoleon could reach it under the wicket. The black man was original and entertaining, and so autocratic that no one at The Briars ever disputed his authority. His story was rather pathetic.
and (Las Cases 1823: 383):
What, after all, is this poor human machine? There is not one whose exterior form is like another, or whose internal organization resembles the rest. And it is by disregarding this truth that we are led to the commission of so many errors. Had Toby been a Brutus, he would have put himself to death; if an Aesop he would now, perhaps, have been the Governor’s adviser, if an ardent and zealous Christian, he would have borne his chains in the sight of God and blessed them. As for poor Toby, he endures his misfortunes very quietly: he stoops to his work and spends his days in innocent tranquility…. Certainly there is a wide step from poor Toby to a King Richard. And yet, the crime is not the less atrocious, for this man, after all, had his family, his happiness, and his liberty; and it was a horrible act of cruelty to bring him here to languish in the fetters of slavery.
Napoleon’s war in Saint-Domingue
Napoleon had an obvious personal relation with the colonies. In January 1796, Napoléon Bonaparte proposed to Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie and they married on 9 March 1796. She adopted the name “Josephine” that Napoleon had chosen for her. Josephine was born in Les Trois-Îlets, Martinique. She was a member of a wealthy white planters family that owned a sugarcane plantation, called Trois-Îlets. Josephine was the eldest daughter of Joseph-Gaspard Tascher (1735–1790), knight, Seigneur de la Pagerie, lieutenant of Troupes de Marine, and his wife, Rose-Claire des Vergers de Sannois (1736–1807). The latter’s maternal grandfather, Anthony Brown, may have been Irish. It cannot have been a coincidence that slavery was specifically re-established in Martinique.
In 1791, the slaves and some free people of color in Saint-Domingue started a rebellion against French authority. In May 1791 the French revolutionary government granted citizenship to the wealthier mostly light-skinned free persons of color, the offspring of white French men and African women. Saint-Domingue’s European population however disregarded the law. One of the slaves’ main leaders was François-Dominique Toussaint Louverture, also known as Toussaint L’Ouverture or Toussaint Bréda. At first Toussaint allied with the Spaniards in Santo Domingo (the other half of the island of Hispaniola). The rebels became reconciled to French rule following the abolition of slavery in the colony in 1793, prompting Toussaint to switch sides to France. For some time, the island was quiet under Napoleonic rule. On 1 July 1801 Toussaint promulgated a Constitution, officially establishing his authority as governor general “for life” over the entire island of Hispaniola. Article 3 of his constitution states: “There cannot exist slaves [in Saint-Domingue], servitude is therein forever abolished. All men are born, live and die free and French.”. During this time, Napoleon met with refugee planters. They urged the restoration of slavery in Saint-Domingue, claiming it was essential to their profits.
Jefferson supplied Toussaint with arms, munitions and food. He was seen as the first line of defense against the French. He had already foreseen that Toussaint would put up considerable resistance, and anticipated on Napoleon’s failure in the West-Indies. It would prove to be one of the most important strategic choices in the development of the current United States.
On 25 March 1802 Napoleon signed the Treaty of Amiens. It turned out not be be more than a truce. The Treaty gave both sides a pause to reorganize. In 18 May 1803 the war was formally resumed. During this peace Napoleon made reestablishing France’s control over its colonial possessions a priority. In December 1801 he sent Charles-Victor-Emmanuel Leclerc (1772-1802) to the colony.
Meanwhile Toussaint enforced a hard regime on plantation laborers. By crushing a rebellion of the workers, he isolated himself and weakened his position. Leclerc landed at Cap-Français in February 1802 with warships and 40,000 soldiers. The French won several victories and after three months of heavy fighting regained control over the island. The revolutionary generals led a fanatic guerrilla war against the French troops and in a number of occasions were very successful. However, Toussaint faced a major setback when some of his generals joined Leclerc. Toussaint’s mixed strategies of total war and negotiation confused his generals who one after the other capitulated to Leclerc, beginning with Christophe. Finally Toussaint and later Dessalines surrendered.
Toussaint was forced to negotiate a peace. In May 1802 he was invited by the French general Jean Baptiste Brunet for a negotiation. His safety was guaranteed. On Napoleon’s secret orders Toussaint was immediately arrested and put on ship to France. He died in a prison cell in the French Alps of cold and hunger. It should be mentioned that Dessalines played a significant role in the arrest of Toussaint (Girard). Dessalines obtained 4000 francs and gifts in wine and liquor for him, his spouse and the officers involved (Girard). When in October 1802 it became apparent that the French intended to re-establish slavery, because they had done so on Guadeloupe, Toussaint’s former military allies, including Jean Jacques Dessalines, Alexandre Pétion and Henri Christophe, switched sides again and fought against the French. In the meanwhile disease took its toll on the French soldiers. The revolution was revitalized when Leclerc died of yellow fever in november 1802. The Haitian Revolution continued under the leadership of Dessalines, Pétion and Christophe.
After the death of Leclerc, Napoleon appointed the vicomte de Rochambeau (who fought with his father under George Washington in the American Revolutionary War) as Leclerc’s successor. His brutal racial warfare drove even more revolutionary leaders back to the rebel armies.
The revolutionary ideas spread
The situation in the Caribbean was chaotic. The situation in Europe was the direct cause, but the Haitian revolution contributed to uncertainty as well as illustrated by events that took place on the neighboring island of Curaçao.
Case Study: Curaçao
In September 1799, two French agents from Saint-Domingue, together with a Curaçao-resident French merchant, Jean Baptiste Tierce Cadet, were arrested for conspiring to overthrow Curaçao’s government and to liberate the slaves. They were deported without trial. Tierce Cadet was accused of being the local ringleader. He was accused of being part of a plan originating in Saint-Domingue: the liberation of the slaves in all the colonies in the Caribbean. Eight months after being deported from Curaçao, Tierce, en route to France, arrived in the Batavian Republic. He was travelling with an officer of the Batavian navy, Jan Hendrik Quast. Both men were arrested and questioned. The Batavian authorities intended to put Tierce on trial for trying for overthrowing the Curaçao government and plotting to liberate the slaves. However, it appeared very difficult to produce the necessary evidence against him (Klooster, 148-149).
Saint-Domingue becomes independent
The Battle of Vertières on 18 November 1803 was the final event that stood between slavery liberty in Saint-Domingue. It involved forces made up of former enslaved people on the one hand, and Napoleon’s French expeditionary forces on the other hand. Vertières is situated in the north-east, near the sea. By the end of October 1803, the revolutionary forces fighting the expeditionary troops were already in control over most of the island.
The revolutionary troops attacked the remaining French soldiers at Vertières. After heavy fighting the battle ended when heavy rain with thunder and lightning drenched the battlefield. Under cover of the storm, Rochambeau pulled back from Vertières. At the Surrender of Cap Français, Rochambeau was forced to surrender to the English. He was to taken England as a prisoner on parole, where he remained interned for almost nine years.
Although the fighting in Saint-Domingue during the time of the revolution had horrible moments and both parties committed gruesome war crimes, one particular event in the battle of could be seen as a sign of respect by Rochambeau towards the revolutionaries.
“At 4 a.m. on Nov. 18, 1803, part of the forces began an attack on Breda, one of the outlying forts. Rochambeau surprised, left Cap and took a position with his honor guard on the entrenchments at the fort of Vertieres, between Breda and Cap. To take the objective specifically assigned to him, François Capois and his troops had to cross a bridge that was dominated by the fort at Vertières.
Capois, on horseback, and his men met a hail of fire as they advanced. Despite a bullet passing through his cap, Capois urged his men forward. Even a bullet which leveled his horse and another which again passed through his cap did not stop Capois from flourishing his saber and leading his men onward with his continuing cry of Forward! Observing this, Rochambeau’s guards applauded. Rochambeau caused the firing to be stopped and sent a hussar forward with compliments for Capois! Then the battle recommenced.” (Burton Sellers)
Shortly after the battle, the first declaration of independence was read in Fort-Dauphin on 29 November 1803. It was signed by Dessalines, Christophe and Clerveaux. They all had been generals under Leclerc little more than a year earlier. The declaration did not mention the current name “Haiti”, but still spoke of “Saint-Domingue”. The second Act of Independence was read by Dessalines on the Place d’Armes of Gonaïves on 1 January 1804. The act marked the beginning of independence what from that moment on would be known as the republic of Haiti. It marked the beginning of the end of slavery in the colonies.
Because Napoleon had failed to re-enslave Saint-Domingue he was missing the plantation revenues. As war with England was inevitable and he could not raise enough assets, Napoleon abandoned his colonial policy. France’ immense territory of Louisiana was sold to the United States on 30 April 1803 by means of the Louisiana Purchase Treaty. It was the birth of what now is considered the most powerful nation in the world, as Livingston made clear in his famous statement: “We have lived long, but this is the noblest work of our whole lives…From this day the United States take their place among the powers of the first rank.”
After the declaration of independence, Dessalines proclaimed himself Governor-General-for-life of Haiti. Between February and April 1804 he orchestrated the massacre of the white Haitian minority; between 3,000 and 5,000 people. On 2 September 1804, Dessaline proclaimed himself emperor under the name Jacques I of Haiti. He was crowned on 8 October 1804 (two months before Napoleon) with his wife Marie-Claire Heureuse Félicité at the Church of Champ-de-Mars, Le Cap by Pere Corneille Brelle, later His Grace Monseigneur the Archbishop of Haiti, Duke de l’Anse, and Grand Almoner to King Henry I. Jaques I Promulgated the Constitution of Haiti on 20 May 1805 (Buyers: 2017).
Former revolutionary Henry Christophe succeeded Emperor Jacques I I as provisional Head of State after his death on 17 October 1806. He was installed as Lord President and Generalissimo of the Land and Sea Forces of the State of Haiti with the style of His Serene Highness on 17 February 1807. Christophe was proclaimed as King of Haiti and assumed the style of His Majesty on 26 March 1811. He was Crowned by His Grace Monseigneur Corneille Brelle, Duke de l’Anse, Grand Almoner to the King and Archbishop of Haiti, at the Church of Champ-de-Mars, Le Cap-Henry, on 2 June 1811. Christophe was Grand Master and Founder of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Henry on 20 April 1811. He married at Cap Français on 15 July 1793, H.M. Queen Marie-Louise (b. at Bredou, Ouanaminthe on 8 May 1778; d. at Pisa, Italy, on 14 March 1851, bur. there at the Convent of the Capuchins). Christophe committed suicide at the Palace of Sans-Souci, Milot, on 8 October 1820, having had issue, three sons and two daughters. He was succeeded by another revolutionary general, Alexandre Sabès Pétion, who had as well been one of Haiti’s founding fathers (Buyers: 2017).
In 1825, France demanded Haiti compensate France for its loss of slaves and its slave colony. It threatened with a new invasion. In 1838, France agreed to a reduced amount of 90 million francs to be paid over a period of 30 years. In 1893 the final part of the principal was paid. By 1947 Haiti paid the modern equivalent of USD 21 billion (including interest) to France and American banks as “compensation” for being enslaved for centuries.
In 1849 the Napoleonic style was copied by Emperor Faustin I of Haiti who adopted the style of His Imperial Majesty. Faustin I was proclaimed emperor at the National Palace, Port-au-Prince, on 26 August 1849 and crowned at the renamed Imperial Palace on the same day. He was consecrated at the old Cathedral of Notre Dame de l’Assomption, Port-au-Prince, on 2 September 1849. The emperor promulgated a new Constitution on 20 September 1849 and was crowned at the Champ de Mars, Port-au-Prince, in the presence of the Vicar-General Monsignor Cessens according to Episcopalian (Franc-Catholique) rites, on 18 April 1852. Faustin was styled Chief Sovereign, Grand Master and Founder of the Imperial and Military Order of St Faustin and the Imperial Civil Order of the Legion of Honour 21 September 1849, and of the united Orders of Saint Mary Magdalen and Saint Anne 31 March 1856, all in three classes. Grand Protector of the Franc-Masonic Order 1850-1859. Patron Collège Faustin 1848-1859. He was founder of the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1856 (Buyers: 2017).
Alaux, Gustave D., Maxime Raybaud, and John H. Parkhill. Soulouque and his empire. From the French of Gustave dAlaux. Richmond: J.W. Randolph, 1861.
Burnard, Trevor G., and John D. Garrigus. The plantation machine: Atlantic capitalism in French Saint-Domingue and British Jamaica. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.
Buyers, C. “HAITI – Royal Ark.” Accessed July 8, 2017. http://www.royalark.net/Haiti/haiti6.htm. Website by Christopher Buyers on the genealogies of the Royal and ruling houses of Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas.
Cases, Emmanuel-Auguste-Dieudonné Las. Memorial de Sainte Hélène. Journal of the private life and conversations of the Emperor Napoleon at Saint Helena. Boston: Wells & Lilly, 1823.
Christophe, Henri, Thomas Clarkson, Earl Leslie Griggs, and Clifford H. Prator. Henry Christophe, a correspondence. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968.
Dwyer, Philip. Napoleon: the path to power, 1769 – 1799. London: Bloomsbury, 2008.
Dwyer, Philip G. Citizen emperor: Napoleon in power. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015.
Girard, Philippe R. Slaves who defeated napoleon: toussaint louverture and the haitian war of independence, 1801-1804. Tuscaloosa: Univ Of Alabama Press, 2014.
Klooster, Wim, and Gert Oostindie. Curaçao in the age of revolutions, 1795-1800. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
Klein, Herbert S. The Atlantic Slave Trade. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
“The Louverture Project.” Accessed July 08, 2017. http://thelouvertureproject.org. The Louverture Project (TLP) collects and promotes knowledge, analysis, and understanding of the Haitian revolution of 1791–1804.
I offer this possibility to those who have something to say against the idea of the King Kigeli to grant “honours” using name of “European nobiliary titles” (but I repeat they are not nobiliary titles but only honours): prepare a true study supported by due documentation, historical precedents, footnotes which quote precedent studies on the matter to be published in one of my reviews or better to participate in the next III International Colloquium of Genealogy organized by Institut International d’Etudes Généalogiques et d’Histoire des Families in San Marino from 28 September to 1 October 2007.
[Felice degli Uberti] finds Kigeli V’s trade in titles “very sad”. He has warned the ex-king that the titles do not form part of his historical tradition and should not be awarded. His majesty declined to comment but his secretary-general responded: “Who has the right to question his authorities but God and his countrymen?”
In the same article, the Economist further states that:
(..) titles can be issued for personal or political motives, as well as pecuniary ones. Prince Davit Bagrationi, pretender to the Georgian throne (vacant since 1801) has revived dormant orders. Some go to fellow-royals, such as the late King of Tonga, others to Georgian public figures.
In order to see if Felice degli Uberti raises fair objections, it might be interesting to find examples of non-European monarchies that copy the European system.
Wie mir erklärt wurde, haben schon von altersher in Japan Rang- und Adelstitel bestanden, welche dem Vorbild in allen Dingen, China, entlehnt worden waren und mit chinesischen Buchstaben ausgedrückt wurden. Von den Europäern lernten sie nun die in England und Frankreich gebräuchlichen Titel Prince, Marquis, Comte, Vicomte, Baron kennen und übersetzten nun die chinesisch-japanische erbliche Rangklassifikation in diese Titel, deren Anerkennung bezw. Verleihung auf kaiserlichem Patente beruhte.
Die Japaner verbanden mit den europäischen Titeln ganz bestimmte geschichtliche Abstufungen und Anschauungen, und der Wunsch, diese den europäischen Titeln gleichwertig zu machen, veranlasste sie zur Annahme der uns geläufigen Bezeichnungen, was, ich läugne es nicht, auf Europäer zuerst einen komischen Eindruck machte. In neuerer Zeit sind die Kreierungen von Baronen, ja sogar von Marquis und Vicomtes, häufiger geworden, so dass eine Art napoleonischen Adels, eine Mischung von alten und neuen Familientiteln, in Japan entstanden ist.
Titles of nobility in the Kingdom of Rwanda historically consisted of the rank of Chief and Sub-Chief, but this was expanded by His Most Christian Majesty King Mutara III Rudahigwa. H.M. King Mutara III was in the process of revamping the honors system of Rwanda prior to his untimely death in 1959. As the fons honorum of the de jure Kingdom of Rwanda and an anointed King, His Most Christian Majesty King Kigeli V has the full legal right to create new traditions within his Kingdom and also finish the work previously began by his half-brother, Mutara III.
The example of Japan shows that such reforms are not uncommon. The choice of non-western monarchs (like e.g. the monarchs of Vietnam, Georgia, Ethiopia and Rwanda) to copy European nobility-traditions is sometimes criticized.
The case of Rwanda differs from the Japanese situation. If the King had created honours and awards during his very brief period as king (1959 to 1961), there would not have been a problem. They might have been unconventional but, in my opinion, they would have been widely accepted. There is no authority to forbid the King to style his nobility in a Europen manner. I think the King simply wanted to make his titles more attractive to westerners. Given his situation, I cannot disagree with him. Issuing original Rwandan titles to Americans would by unconventional as well.
The date of creation by special dispensation of the Crown Council was 9th May 1934. Please see http://gallica.bnf.fr/…/f5.image.r=%22Duc%20de%20Harrar… The installation took place on 19th May 1934 at the Cathedral of Medhane-Alem, Dire-Dawa, 19th May 1934. Please see http://gallica.bnf.fr/…/f3.image.r=%22Duc%20de%20Harrar… [Note that Le Courrier d’Éthiopie should be quite reliable as it was printed in Harrar]. I don’t know if you realise that there were earlier creations, though for Europeans. Duc d’Entotto for the former Governor of Djibouti and sometime French Minister and Envoy to the court of Ethiopia, Comte (Leonce) Legarde by Menelik II.
Antoine Marie Joseph Léonce Lagarde (b. at Lempdes-sur-Allagnon, Haute-Loire, France, 10th October 1860; d. at l’Hôpital du Val de Grâce, Paris, France, 15th May 1936, bur. Lempdes), educ. LLB (1878), employed by the Holy Sea in Rome 1881-1882, Sec to Governor of Indo-China 1882-1883, Under-Sec of State for Marine & Colonies 1883, Special Cmsnr for the Delimitation of of the Obock Territory 1883-1884, Cdt of Obock 1884-1887, Governor of Obock and its dependencies 1887-1896, and of French Somaliland 1896-1899, Special Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary to Menelik II 1896-1897, Ambassador to Ethiopia 1897-1907, Officer in Charge of Services to Sailors Killed or Prisoners of War 1907-1914, Dir of Special Mission for Naval Prisoners of War 1914-1918, Permanent Delegate for the Liquidation of Products and Prizes of the Sea 1920, retd 1929, Conductor of the French Negotiating Delegates at Geneva 1920, High Councillor to Ras Tafari Makkonen 1924-1930, General Delegate for Ethiopia at the League of Nations 1934. Author of “Le Comte Arakoff, nouvelle russe” (1880). Granted the papal title of Count Lagarde de Rouffeyroux by Pope Leo XIII in 1881 (after 25th August, apparently by purchase), and Duke of Entotto in March 1897 (on or before 28th March). Rcvd: GC of the Orders of Solomon, and the Star of Ethiopia, Cdr of the Order of the Legion of Honour of France, etc.
Colonel Nikolai Stepanovitch Leontiev (b. at Novogrudok, Grodno, 30th May 1862; d. at Paris, France, 4th July 1910, bur. there at Montmorency Cemetary, later transferred to Tikhvin Cemetery, St Petersburg, Russia), educ. Nikaievsky Military Sch, St Petersburg, Russia. Cmsnd as Ensign Imperial Life Guards Grodno Hussaars, prom Lieut, Leader Russiaan Overland Riding Expedition from Tiflis to India through Persia 1891, transferred Kuban Cossacks 1892, prom Capt on the Staff 1894, Leader Russian Geographical expedition to Ethiopia 1894-1895, Attached to Ethiopian Mission to St Petersburg 1895, Military Adviser to Menelik II during 1st Italo-Ethiopian War 1895-1896, Special Envoy from Emperor Menelik II to Rome Feb 1896. Invested by Menelik II with the title of Count at Wallo in April 1896. The patent of nobility was subsequently delivered in present of Negus Mikael of Wallo at Dese. Special Envoy from Emperor Menelik II to Istanbul Dec 1896, second for Prince Henri d’Orleans in his duel with the Count of Turin Vaucresson Aug 1897, Governor-General of Equatorial Provinces 1897-1899 & 1901-1902, Colonel of Regt of Senegalese Volunteer Rifles 1899, served in Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 with Kuban Cossacks, Caucasian Dvsn. Mbr Russian Geographical Soc, Academy of Sciences, Russian Red Cross Society, etc. Leontiev also received at some point the rank of Dejazmatch, probably when placed in charge of the Equatorial Provinces July 1897. Rcvd: GC of the Orders of Solomon, and the Star of Ethiopia (1895), Knt 4th class of the Order of St Vladimir, 4th class Cross of St George of Russia, etc.
There is no contemporary evidence for such title [Count of Abai], and there is no place in Ethiopia I can find called Abai. Rather it is the name of the father of an Ethiopian who was sent to study in Russia, Piotr Tekle-Hawariate Abai aka Petia Abissinetz. Some Russian writers confused Leontiev to be his father, then reconciled the obvious difference in supposed father’s name by assuming that Abai was Leontiev’s territorial title, and the whole thing appears to have spiralled out of control from there. As far as I can work out, 1) Leontiev was not conferred with the title of Count of Abai, 2) he was not Tekle’s father, 3) neither Tekle nor his actual father Abai received the title of Count, and 4) only one title of Count seems to have been conferred, i.e. Leontiev.
This post was inspired by the article “Granting of Orders and Titles by H.M. King Kigeli V of Rwanda, paper prepared by dr W.H. Jones, Sydney, Australia, BSc (Econ) London, MA, PGCertTESOL, EdD Macquarie, JP NSW, 16 March 2007”. This article was published by me on Nobility News. I have no copy of the original document.
This weekend, I have had the pleasure of attending a very interesting lecture, given by a good friend, regarding the history of the Knights Templar (1119-1307). The lecture mentioned the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH) as a modern successor of the ideology of this ancient and famous Order.
The original order of the Knights Templar was founded by Hugh de Payens, a French nobleman from the Champagne region, along with eight of his companions, in Jerusalem around 1119. In 1307, Philip IV of France arrested the Knights Templar on charges of blasphemy, idolatry, and sodomy. The investigation and trial into the alleged misdeeds of the Knights Templar took place in Rome between 1307 and 1312. On 18 March 1314 the Grandmaster and other knights of the Order were burned alive by order of King Philip. In September 2001, Barbara Frale, an Italian paleographer at the Vatican Secret Archives, found a copy of a document, known as the ‘Chinon Parchment’ in the Vatican Secret Archives. The document explicitly confirms that in 1308 Pope Clement V absolved Jacques de Molay and other leaders of the Order including Geoffroi de Charney and Hugues de Pairaud (Barbara Frale 2004, “The Chinon chart – Papal absolution to the last Templar, Master Jacques de Molay”, Journal of Medieval History 30 (2): 109–134). Another Chinon parchment dated 20 August 1308 addressed to Philip IV of France, stated that absolution had been granted to all those Templars that had confessed to heresy “and restored them to the Sacraments and to the unity of the Church” (Pierre Dupuy, Histoire de l’Ordre Militaire des Templiers Foppens, Brusselles 1751; Étienne Baluze, Vitae Paparum Avenionensis, 3 Volumes, Paris 1693. Nonetheless, the Pope suspended the order (see appendix 1, below for the details).
The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, (Latin: Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani, OSMTH), is a self-styled order founded in 1945 by Antonio Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes (1878-1960), claiming to be a continuation of the self-styled l’Ordre du Temple founded in France, 1705, officially reconstituted in 1804 by Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat, and recognized as an Order of Chivalry by its patron Napoleon Bonaparte in 1805; Fernando Campello Pinto Pereira de Sousa Fontes succeeded his father as the head of the order in 1960.
It is interesting to see to what extend the current OSMTH can be seen as a successor of the ideology of the ancient Templer Order.
An important personality regarding the revival of Templer history was Andrew Michael Ramsay. Raised a Calvinist, Ramsay converted to Catholicism in 1709. Leaving England for Holland in 1709, he soon moved to Cambrai (France) where he lived with the well-known mystical theologian, François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon (1651-1715), Archbishop of Cambrai.
In 1713 or 1714, Ramsay moved to Blois where he was employed as secretary to a co-founder of Quietism (a Christian philosophy), Madame Guyon. In 1716 Ramay moved to Paris, where he spent the rest of his life in and near that city (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, pp. 280-315 vol 81 (1968). Much of Ramsay’s life is only known from Anecdotes de la vie de Messire André Michel de Ramsay a manuscript dictated by Ramsay, and now in the Bibliotèque Méjanes at Aix-en-Provence. Cited AQC, vol 81 (1968). Cf. Mackey’s Encyclopedia for a 1680 birth date).
It was in Paris where Ramsay met the Duc d’Orleans who admitted Ramsay as a member of the Royal and Military Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem. This entitled him to use the prefix of Chevalier. James, the Old Pretender, granted Ramsay a certificate of nobility in 1723. In 1728 he succeeded in having a diploma of nobility registered by the King of Arms in Edinburgh (Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, pp. 280-315 vol 81, 1968). In his famous Oration of 1737, Ramsay suggested that Freemasons were closely connected to the Knights Templar (Gould’s History of Freemasonry – Vol. III, page 11, Compiled and Edited by R.’.W.’. Gary L. Heinmiller, Director, Onondaga & Oswego Masonic Districts Historical Societies):
At the time of the Crusades in Palestine many princes, lords and citizens associated themselves and vowed to restore the temple of the Christians in the Holy Land, to employ themselves in bringing back their architecture to its first institution. They agreed upon several ancient signs and symbolic words drawn from the well of religion in order to recognize themselves amongst the heathen and the Saracens. These signs and words were only communicated to those who promised solemnly, even sometimes at the foot of the altar, never to reveal them. This sacred promise was therefore not an execrable oath, as it has been called, but a respectable bond to unite Christians of all nationalities in one confraternity. Some time after our Order formed an intimate union with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. From that time our Lodges took the name of Lodges of St. John. This union was made after the example set by the Israelites when they erected the second Temple who, whilst they handled the trowel and mortar with one hand, in the other held the sword and buckler.
Ramsay’s statements increased interest in Freemasonry. It also generated a strong desire among Masons to participate in orders with a knightly background. As a result, the Scottish Rite and York Rite branches of Freemasonry incorporated a number of knightly degrees. On 16 July 1782 a Masonic congress was held at Wilhelmsbad, near the city of Hanau in Hesse Cassel. The meeting was chaired by Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, who was at that time the Grandmaster of the Order of the Strict Observance. The meeting lasted for thirty sessions. When the congress was finally closed it concluded that ‘Freemasonry was not essentially connected with Templarism, and that, contrary to the doctrine of the Rite of the Strict Observance, the Freemasons were not the successors of the Knights Templars.” The result of its finding was that very soon many of the other Templars degrees and orders died out (Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter A. Binder, Internationales Freimaurerlexikon. 5. überarbeitete und erweiterte Neuauflage der Ausgabe von 1932. Herbig, München 2006; Ferdinand Runkel, Geschichte der Freimaurerei. 3 Bände. Reprint von 1932, Edition Lempertz, Königswinter 2006, Bd. 1, S. 193 ff.). The current Masonic order of Knights Templar derives its name from the medieval Catholic Order. However, it does not claim any direct lineal descent from the original Templar order.
l’Ordre du Temple
These events have been the seeds for a second important rivival of the Templar Order. In 1804 Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat (29 May 1773 – 18 February 1838) founded the l’Ordre du Temple, The Order of the Temple (see the Manuel des Chevaliers de l’Ordre du Temple).
In 1804 two French Freemasons, Philippe Ledru (1754-1832) and Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat (1775-1838) found the Order of the Temple (l’Ordre du Temple). Fabré-Palaprat was made its grandmaster. Fabré-Palaprat was the son of a surgeon in the Cahors, France. He studied at the diocesan seminary and was ordained a priest. He left the priesthood to study medicine. Fabré-Palaprat was awarded the Legion of Honour for his defence of Paris in 1814. He received the July Medal for his actions during the Three Glorious Days of the Revolution of 1830. Napoleon I, who viewed freemasonry favourably, allowed them to carry on their activities, including solemn processions in the streets of Paris with mantles and toques (see Malcolm Barber (ed): The military orders : fighting for the faith and caring for the sick Aldershot, Great Britain, 1994; Variorum and the Manuel des chevaliers de l’Ordre du Temple. Paris, 1817 (2d ed.: 1825); The manual of Palaprat’s French order). This Order was not a continuity of the Knights Templar, although Fabré-Palaprat fabricated the so-called Larmenius Charter. This document, started in Latin in 1324, listed 22 successive Grand Masters of the Knights Templar from 1324 to 1804, with Fabré-Palaprat’s name appearing last on the list.
In 1815, Admiral Sir William Sidney Smith, GCB, GCTE, KmstkSO, FRS (1764–1840) became associated with the French Order of the Temple. Smith was a British naval officer. Serving in the American and French revolutionary wars, he later rose to the rank of admiral. Napoleon Bonaparte said of him: “That man made me miss my destiny” (Thomas Pocock, “A Thirst for Glory: The Life of Admiral Sir Sidney Smith”, p.114, Pimlico 1998).
As admiral of the British navy Smith successfully defended Acre against Napoleon in 1799, and supposedly was given by the Greek archbishop a Templars’ cross (left in Acre by Richard Lionheart) in gratitude. This cross opened the doors for Sir Sydney who became a Templar and tried to create a branch of the Order in England, for which he was made Grand-Prior. His aim was to send the order to participate in the liberation and pacification of Greece and other areas under Ottoman control. He also tried to establish a base in Malta and taking over the old activities of the order of Saint-John (since Malta was then in the hands of the British). He managed to get Augustus-Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843) interested in the project. The duke of Sussex (6th son of George III) became Grand Prior of England. The duke was the Grand Master of the Premier Grand Lodge of England. In addition the English politician Charles Tennyson d’Eyncourt (uncle of the famous poet Alfred Tennyson) was attracted to the Order. On the death of Fabré-Palaprat, Smith became Regent of the order, but his subsequent death soon followed by that of the duke of Sussex dissipated the order in England. D’Eyncourt himself lost interest and resigned from the order in 1849 (see: François Velde, Heraldica, Revived and Recently Created Orders of Chivalry). The succession of the French branch of the Order is described by Serge Caillet in his important study: Trois siècles de résurgences templières:
Au tout début du XIXe siècle, en France, la légende templière commence à se répandre en marge de la franc-maçonnerie, dans le cadre d’un Ordre d’Orient et de la loge parisienne des chevaliers de la Croix, dirigée par un certain Dr Ledru, qui prétend détenir la succession magistrale du dernier Grand Maître secret de l’Ordre du Temple, le duc Timoléon de Cossé-Brissac (1734-1792) . Élu Grand Maître en 1804 [le 4 nov.], Bernard Raymond Fabré-Palaprat (1773-1838), un ancien séminariste devenu médecin, propage véritablement ce nouvel Ordre du Temple, sous le patronage de l’empereur Napoléon 1er, ce qui lui vaut d’attirer quelques personnages de renom. Fabré-Palaprat revendique en ligne directe la succession de Jacques de Molay, et, pour attester son lignage, produit même une charte, portant la signature de tous les Grands Maîtres depuis le Moyen Âge… C’est un faux, qui sera vite reconnu et dénoncé comme tel. Il n’empêche que l’Ordre eut en France sa période faste, ses notables, son clergé. (…) Peladan passe aussi pour avoir été Grand Maître, de 1892 à 1894 dit-on, de la lignée templière de Fabré-Palaprat. Je ne puis le garantir. (…) Le 19 janvier 1932, des Templiers de la lignée de Fabré-Palaprat (Joseph Cleeremans, Gustave Jonckbloedt et Théodore Covias) fondent à Bruxelles l’Ordre souverain et militaire du Temple, dont l’enregistrement paraît au Moniteur belge, le 20 janvier 1933. (…) En 1934, un Conseil de régence de ce qu’il reste de l’Ordre de Fabré-Palaprat place à sa tête Émile Vandenberg – avec un intermède par un certain Théodore Covias, de 1935 à 1942 – qui, le 23 décembre 1942, transmet ses pouvoirs au Portugais Antonio Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes (1878-1960). En 1945, celui-ci fonde l’Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem (OSMTJ), qui a son siège à Paris. L’OSMTJ s’est divisé en 1970, quand Fernando Campello Pinto de Sousa Fontes, fils d’Antonio Campello Pinto, a fondé l’Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani (OSMTH), qui a son siège à Porto. Nouvelle scission en 1996 quand naît l’Ordre Suprême Militaire du Temple de Jérusalem, dont les membres souhaitent servir, tout comme les chevaliers des origines ont servi. La devise de l’ordre Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam est tirée du Psaume 115, verset 1 ‘Pas à nous, Seigneur, pas à nous, mais à Ton Nom seul donne la Gloire’
Caillet’s study shows that the OSMTH has its roots in 1804. The formal founding took place in Belgium in 1932 and was recorded in the Government Gazette in 1933. A Belgian priory was founded in 1815 by Albert-Francois marquis du Chasteler. After 1840, this Priory split into “Legitimate” and Masonic priories.
The Masonic Trinity of the Tower priory lasted until 1930, when it was abolished. In 1932 several former members established a new Grand Priory of Belgium, restored the Catholic tradition, and adopted the name Knights of the Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple (Chevaliers de l’Ordre Souverain et Militaire du Temple). Shortly after, a move was made to restore the International Order with a Magisterial Council led by a regent. The second regent, Emile-Isaac Vandenberg was of jewish descent and used the name of his wife “Vandenberg” to protect himself from the Nazis. He played a key role is the further development of the Order. Vandenberg married on 21 November 1921, to Josefina Vandenberg and with his father-in-law and brother-in-law they founded the company of Vandenberg & Isaac, Furniture Manufacturers, based in Mechelen. Vandenberg was one of the eight founding members of the Sovereign and Military Order of the Temple in 1932, and succeeded Theodore Covias as Regent on 8 August, 1935. On 1 October 1935, he was elected 49th Grand Master of the Order although he occupied this post for only a relatively short time. In 1941 Germany invaded Belgium. On 23 December 1942, he issued a Decree transferring the office and the custody of the archive to Antonio de Sousa Fontes, Grand Prior of Portugal. On 11 April 1943, the day after very heavy bombardments on Martsel, Vanderberg died when the car he was driving left the road and plunged into a small river called “Veste van Berchem,” near Antwerp, but, not being able to swim, he drowned. Vandenberg was buried at Mechelen. Unique documentation regarding his membership of the Order remains in the procession of his descendants.
Vandenberg’s main focus was to re-establish unity, in particular with priories in Italy, Portugal and Switzerland. The International Order became a confederation of Autonomous Grand Priories, known as OSMTH. To ensure Templar survival, Vandenberg made a temporary transfer of the archives to the care of the Portuguese Prior, Antonio Pinto de Sousa Fontes. It is often said that, once the war ended in 1945, de Sousa Fontes refused to return the archives. This cannot be the case, since Vandenberg died in 1943. After the sudden death of Vanderberg, de Sousa Fontes assumed the title of Regent. The International Order (OSMTH) became divided. Some Priories rejected De Sousa Fontes’ leadership. Two years later the Regent issued updated Statutes, in which he described the Order as being “traditionally Catholic, chivalric, cosmopolitan, independent and conservative.” In 1948 De Sousa Fontes designated his son, Dom Fernando de Sousa Fontes as his successor.
On 15 February 1960 De Sousa Fontes died. His son, Fernando de Sousa Fontes, succeeded him, assuming the title of Prince Regent. In the meantime, the Grand Prior of Switzerland, Anton Leuprecht, had been receiving Americans into the Swiss Grand Priory. As more Americans joined the Order, an American Grand Priory was formed. One of them was Crolian William Edelen. He was educated at the University of North Carolina, and was with Signal Intelligence in the India-Burma theatre of World War II. His actively pursued memberships numerous Orders. From 1966 until 1976, under the royal protection of the former King Peter II of Yugoslavia, he was Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta. As Emeritus remained a member of the Supreme Council. Formerly he had been Grand Prior of the U.S. Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, and held the Grand Cross from the autonomous Priory of Switzerland and from the Regent in Operto, Portugal. The Corporate Charter for the American Grand Priory was signed on 4 June 1962 by Edelen, William Y. Pryor, Herschel S. Murphy, Warren S. Hall, Jr., John D. Leet, Lawrence Stratton and George J. Deyo. The Grand Priory was incorporated in the State of New Jersey on 29 June. Edelen was chosen the first Grand Prior. The Prince Regent recognized the Autonomous Grand Priory of the United States (SMOTJ-GPUSA). In April 1964 the former king Peter II, became the Royal Patron of the American Grand Priory. He remained in this office until his death on 3 November 1970.
The International Order continued to have problems. In 1970 the De Sousa Fontes called together a Convent General of the Order to meet in three sessions: Paris, Chicago and Tomar, Portugal. Resolutions were passed that recognized the Order as “universal and not limited to any one nationality or Language”, and that the Order “shall be a Christian Order”. These efforts did not bring back unity to OSMTH.
With increasing opposition from European Grand Priories, De Sousa Fontes turned to the American Grand Priory, appointing members to the Grand Magistry. The situation remained calm until 1993 when de Fontes revised the Statutes so that he could become the “Grand Master”, a title his father previously assumed. Again the Prince Regent called a Convent General to meet in three sessions. At the first session in Santiago, Spain, the revised Statutes were presented, but no decisions were made. The final session held in London. In 1995, a proposed agenda, calling for basic reforms, was sent to De Sousa Fontes, now calling himself Grand Master. De Sousa Fontes cancelled the session. In reaction, the British Grand Prior, Major-General Sir Roy Redgrave, KBE MC (16 September 1925 – 3 July 2011) called for an International Conclave, to explain his objections and concerns. At its meeting in June 1995 a list of reforms were drawn up to be presented to De Sousa Fontes. The Grand Priors agreed to meet in Salzburg, Austria on 3 November 1995 to receive the response. Besides the fate of De Sousa Fontes, during the Salzburg meetings, the future structure of the Order and its administration was discussed. On 2 November 2 1996, a document, known as the “Coordinated Statutes of the Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani” was adopted, stating the goals and structure of the Order as an international confederation of Autonomous Grand Priories. The separation from De Sousa Fontes was settled in New Orleans in 1999, where the Grand Magistral Council approved a previously drawn up Statement of Separation. A Grand Council of Grand Priors was formed to govern the Order, since the office of Grand Master was considered vacant (Source: personal notes from the archives of Sir Roy Redgrave – June 5, 2003). The current Order is therefore structured as a federation.
Conclusions and recommendations
OSMTH’s charitable works are of great importance to society. Therefore, it is essential to preserve a solid foundation of this internationally operating organisation. Despite OSMTH’s general disclaimer that it does not claim a direct heritage to the medieval Knights Templar, its aims, symbols and rites are obviously patterned after the medieval Order. The OSMTH can therefore best be described as a commemorative order. Nevertheless, in spite of these official disclaimers, other neo-templar groups insist that they have direct Templar origins.
The OSMTH cannot be seen as a self-styled or pseudo-order, as its direct predecessor (the Order of the Temple) was approved by Napoleon Bonaparte, by imperial decree in 1807. On 13 June 1853, it was given recognition by Napoleon III. In 1918, the Order was re-registered in France in accordance with French law. The Grandmaster De Sousa Fontes was the direct link with the Order that was founded by Fabré-Palaprat. In my opinion, it is therefore a legitimate commemorative order. Wikipedia’s description of the OSMTH is incorrect.
I recommend the following regarding the future development of the OSMTH.
OSMTH enjoys the Patronage of HH Princess zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg (princess consort to the current Head of the Ducal House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg) and the Religious Protection of His Beatitude the Most Blessed Theodosius, Metropolitan (ret.) of the United States and Canada. The OSMTH could as well seek the patronage of a member of the House of Bonaparte to confirm the continuity with the original Order of the Temple. The headship of this family is in dispute between Charles, Prince Napoléon, (1950) and his son Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon (1986). The only other male member of the family is Prince Jérôme Napoléon (1957). A descendant of Napoleon’s sister Caroline Bonaparte is the American actor and singer René Murat Auberjonois. There are also a number of descendants of Napoleon’s illegitimate, but recognized son Alexandre Colonna-Walewski from his relation with Marie Countess Walewski. DNA studies have also confirmed the existence of descendants (the Clovis family) of Lucien Bonaparte, who was detained at sea by the British when on his way into exile in America. His son, Lucien Louis-Lucien Bonaparte, was a comparative linguist and dialectologist, and was born in England;
Electing a Grandmaster is in accordance with the traditions of the Order. Try to find an honorary (or second) Grandmaster with historical connections to the OSMTH. Legitimate honorary Grandmasters sould be related to the persons mentioned in this article.
Use only one single website (instead of multiple local websites) to promote coherence and avoid confusion.
Appendix 1: Statement by the Vatican regarding the parchment of Chinon
THE PARCHMENT OF CHINON THE ABSOLUTION OF POPE CLEMENT V OF THE LEADING MEMBERS OF THE TEMPLAR ORDER
Chinon, Diocese of Tours, 1308 August 17th-20th
Original document formed by a large parchment folio (700x580mm), initially provided with the hanging seals of the three papal legates who formed the special Apostolic Commission ad inquirendum appointed by Clement V: Brenger Frdol, Cardinal Priest of the titular church of the Most Holy Nereus and Achilleus and nephew of the pope, tienne de Suisy, cardinal priest of St. Cyriac in Therminis, Landolfo Brancacci, cardinal deacon of St. Angelo. In a reasonable state, even though there are some big violaceous stains, caused by bacterial attack. An authentic copy was enclosed to the original document, which is still kept in the Secret Vatican Archives, with the reference number Archivum Arcis Armarium D 218. ASV, Archivum Arcis, Arm. D 217.
The document contains the absolution Pope Clement V gave to the Grand Master of the Temple, friar Jacques de Molay and to the other heads of the Order, after they had shown to be repented and asked to be forgiven by the Church; after the formal abjuration, which is compelling for all those who were even only suspected of heretical crimes, the leading members of the Templar Order are reinstated in the Catholic Communion and readmitted to receive the sacraments. The document, which belongs to the first phase of the trial against the Templars, when Pope Clement V was still convinced to be able to guarantee the survival of the military-religious order, meets the apostolic need to remove the shame of excommunication from the warrior friars, caused by their previous denial of Jesus Christ when tortured by the French Inquisitor. As several contemporary sources confirm, the pope ascertained that Templars were involved in some serious forms of immorality and he planned a radical reform of the order to subsequently merge it into one body with the other important military-religious order of the Hospitallers. The Act of Chinon, which absolves the Templars, but does not discharge them, was the assumption required to carry out the reform, but it remained dead letter. The French monarchy reacted by triggering a true blackmail mechanism, which then urged Clement V to reach the ambiguous compromise ratified during the Council of Vienne in 1312: unable to oppose himself to the will of the King of France, Phillip the Fair, who imposed the elimination of the Templars, the pope removed the order from the reality of that period, without condemning or abolishing it, but isolating it in a sort of hibernation, thanks to a clever device of the canon law. After explicitly declaring that the trial did not prove the charge of heresy, Clement V suspended the Templar Order by means of a non definitive sentence, imposed by the necessity to avoid a serious danger to the Church that banned them, under penalty of excommunication, to use such name or their distinctive symbols.
Appendix 2: Grandmasters OSMTH
1804-1839 Bernard Fabre-Palaprat (Order of the Temple)
1839-1840 Sir William Smith
1840-1850 Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India – George V., King of Hanover
1850 Narcisse Valleray (Regent)
1866 A.G.M. Vernois (Regent)
1892 Joséphin Péladan (Regent)
1894 Secretariat International des Templiers
1934 Conseil de Regence – Joseph Vandenberg (Ordo Supremus Miltaris Templi Heirosolimytani)
1935 Theodore Covias (Regent)
1935-1942 Emile Isaac (Vandenberg) (Regent)
1942-1960 Antonio de Sousa Fontes (Regent)
1960- 1999 Fernando de Sousa Fontes (Regent)
The current Grandmaster of the Order is Patrick E. Rea, Brigadier General – US Army (Ret.)
At the Rootstech 2016 conference, American genealogist James Ison made an interesting remark regarding direct and indirect genealogical evidence. Ison is currently Manager of Strategy and Planning at the Family History Library, an important genealogical research facility in Salt Lake City. The library is operated by FamilySearch, the genealogical arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ison earned a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. He is recognized as an authority in the field of genealogy. Ison stated:
Direct evidence is awesome. A birth certificate will list the name of parents. It’s direct evidence. It answers a question. A marriage license will say what the bride’s maiden name is. A baptismal record will say the dates and the places of birth—just exactly what we want.
Indirect evidence is like a puzzle piece. You can’t answer any particular question just based upon this piece of evidence. You have to fit it together.
Reasonably exhaustive research has been completed.
Each statement of fact has a complete and accurate source citation.
The evidence is reliable and has been skillfully correlated and interpreted.
Any contradictory evidence has been resolved.
The conclusion has been soundly reasoned and coherently written.
Applying the Genealogical Proof Standard does not guarantee that the truth will prevail, but it serves accountability and transparency. In my opinion genealogical proof resembles Lakatos views on the concept of truth. Lakatos’ suggested that in science, a scientific theory should be seen as a succession of slightly different theories and experimental techniques. These theories all share a common hard core, called a research programme. The question of whether a theory is true of false is replaced by the question of whether a research programme is progressive or degenerating. A progressive research programme is characterized by growth and prediction of novel facts and more precise predictions. In contrast, a degenerative program is marked by a lack of growth and does not lead to novel predictions that are later verified (Imre Lakatos, Philosophical papers. Vol I: The methodology of scientific research programmes. I. Science – Philosophy 2. Mathematics – Philosophy. I. Title 11.). Genealogical research can also contain some of these characteristics. After establishing the basic facts (often in the form of a family tree), theories regarding missing facts can be based on indirect evidence. To a certain extend, they can be characterized as a prediction for finding direct evidence (e.g. a marriage certificate). If, for example, someone has lived and worked in England for all his life, it can be predicted that he has married in England and research regarding his marriage should not start in South America. A genealogical progressive research programme elaborates on certain basic findings and develops theories (in the form of predictions) about the missing information.
In some cases, genealogical evidence is used in legal matters. Legal evidence has a totally different character, in particular when court rulings are given. In such cases a progressive research programme can hardly be determined. The case ends in a decision in a relatively short period of time.
The judicial process can be seen as a a kind of black box, within which information from all kinds of sources is processed according to defined rules of evidence in order to produce a new form of truth: the ‘judicial truth’. This type of truth becomes, to a certain extent, simply one more competing version of truth. Like other versions, it can be accepted, refuted, celebrated or simply ignored. This is illustrated in two cases where genealogical evidence was essential for establishing judicial truth. In the first case, the evidence is in particular based on witness statements, with some degree of technical evidence. In the second case, conclusive evidence is given by a DNA-test.
The Tichborne case
The Tichborne case was a well-known legal dispute in Victorian England in the 1860s and 1870s. It concerned the claims by a man called Arthur Orton, later Thomas Castro, to be the missing heir to the Tichborne baronetcy. Orton failed to convince the courts, was convicted of perjury and served a long prison sentence.
Roger Charles Tichborne was born in Paris on 5 January 1829. He was raised mainly in France, although the Tichborne lands and fortune were based in Hampshire, England, where his uncle was the 8th baronet. As a result of his upbringing, Roger spoke English with a strong French accent. At the age of 20, Roger joined the 6th Dragoon Guards in Dublin, but sold his commission three years later in 1852. In 1853, Roger’s father inherited the Tichborne baronetcy after the deaths of his two elder brothers. In the same year, Roger, now the heir to the Tichborne title and fortune, travelled to South America. In 1854, he boarded a ship, the Bella, bound for New York, but less than a week later, the Bella was lost at sea and Roger was declared dead in 1855. The Tichborne baronetcy was passed to Roger’s younger brother Alfred in 1862 when his father died. Alfred died only four years later, just months before the birth of his son, who inherited the title at birth in 1866.
Roger’s mother, Lady Henriette Tichborne, was devastated by the news of her son’s disappearance at sea. She remained hopeful that he had survived the shipwreck and sent out inquiries across the world as to his whereabouts. In November 1865, Australian solicitor William Gibbes sent Lady Tichborne a letter, informing her that a man, claiming to be her son, had contacted him. This man was a butcher from Wagga Wagga, calling himself Tom Castro. Although he was physically larger than Sir Roger, had lighter hair and spoke no French, these discrepancies did not bother Lady Tichborne, who had not seen her lost son for more than ten years.
After Lady Tichborne’s death in 1868, Orton was compelled to continue the pretence, as he needed the Tichborne inheritance to pay off his large debts. This led some of the Tichborne family to take him to court over his claim, beginning one of the most celebrated legal cases of the nineteenth century.
The first trial lasted almost a year, from 11 May 1871 to 5 March 1872. Tichborne v. Lushington was a civil trial to establish Orton’s claim to the Tichborne inheritance. Nearly one hundred people spoke in Orton’s defence, but the holes in his story soon became obvious, particularly his inability to speak French – Sir Roger’s childhood language.
Arthur Orton’s perjury trial, Regina v. Castro, began in 1873 and lasted over six months. This time a jury had to be convinced that Orton’s claim to be the lost Sir Roger Tichborne was false. Again, the evidence against Orton was damning, and in February 1874, he was convicted of two counts of perjury and sentenced to 14 years’ hard labour by Lord Chief Justice Sir Alexander Cockburn (source: State Library New South Wales).
An important issue was the degree of facial resemblance of Orton to the Tichborne family, which fact never has been fully explained. It may suggest that there was some kind of biological relation between Orton and the Tichborne family. In the University College London Galton Papers a document can be found, stating:
2225. [stamped in left margin]University College London Galton Papers 158/2M[end stamp] [underscore]MEMORANDUM We have had submitted to us, for Examination,[end underscore] enlarged authentic [italics]Photographs;[end italics] First, of Mr. Roger Tichborne, (date, 1854): Secondly, of the person claiming to be Sir Roger Tichborne, (date, 1874). [underscore]These Portraits have Geometrically Bisected[end underscore]: and the several divided sections we have ourselves affixed, interchanged, and transferred from one Portrait to another. [underscore]We are of Opinion that the Perfect Combination[end underscore] and Minute Correspondence of the several sections are [italics]bona fide[end italics] and unimpeachable, and fully justify the conclusion that [italics]one and the same person sat for each portrait.[end italics] Fredk. Snary, Photographer, [established, 1856] 26, Castle Street, Bristol. Louis Lowenthall, Photographer, [established, 1858] 14, N. Wine Street, Bristol. John Hayward, Print-Seller, [established, 1840] 1, Corn Street, Bristol. Frederick Bowden, Print-Seller, [established, 1850] 27, U. Arcade, Bristol. H. Gardiner, Ornamental Carver, [30 years] 28, Victoria Place, Clifton. T. Sherwood, Smith, Practical Surveyor and Land Agent [40 years] 30, Corn St. Bristol. [end]
The case however was finally solved by applying classic legal rules of evidence. There was no room for developing a research programme.
The Pringle of Stichill case
The law is a living construct. It develops with society, bringing new challenges and new opportunities into the courtroom. Currently, the law is changing rapidly as a result of the ongoing evolution of digital technology. In one specific field, that of evidence gathering for genealogical purposes, the Pringle of Stichill-case should be seen as a milestone case.
On 5 January 1683 Charles II granted the Baronetcy of Stichill (“the Baronetcy”) to Robert Pringle of Stichill “and the male heirs of his body”. The eighth baronet was Sir Norman Robert Pringle, who lived from 1871 to 1919. He married Florence Vaughan, who gave birth to Norman Hamilton Pringle (“Norman Hamilton”) and subsequently to two more sons, the first of which was Ronald Steuart Pringle (“Ronald Steuart”), who died in 1968. Norman Hamilton was enrolled without opposition as the ninth baronet. When he died in 1961 his son Sir Steuart Robert Pringle (“Sir Steuart”) was enrolled without opposition as the tenth baronet. Sir Steuart died in April 2013.
The two claimants in this matter are Sir Steuart’s son, Simon Robert Pringle (“Simon”), and Norman Murray Pringle (“Murray”), son of Ronald Steuart. Following Sir Steuart’s death, both Simon and Murray registered claims to succeed to the Baronetcy. Simon’s claim is made on the basis that, as Sir Steuart’s male heir, he is entitled to be enrolled as the 11th baronet. Murray, however, claims that Norman Hamilton was not the legitimate son of the eighth baronet and that accordingly the true ninth baronet was his late father, Ronald Steuart. Murray thus claims to be the true tenth baronet.
Murray’s claim relies upon DNA evidence obtained as part of “the Pringle Surname Project”. This was founded by Murray to determine the chieftainship of the clan Pringle, and the late Sir Steuart provided his DNA for the project. Expert opinion on the totality of the DNA evidence was that it provided “very strong support” for the view that the eighth baronet is grandfather to Murray but not Sir Steuart. Simon does not dispute the DNA evidence, but he raises four arguments as to why it should not be admitted on public policy grounds. By this reference the Board is required to advise Her Majesty as to (i) who is entitled to be entered on the Official Roll of the Baronetage as the Baronet of Pringle of Stichill and (ii) whether the DNA evidence should be admitted in order to determine the first question.
The Board finds that there is no legal ground for excluding the DNA evidence, which demonstrates to a high degree of probability that Norman Hamilton was not the son of the eighth baronet. The Board therefore concludes that (i) Simon is not the great grandson of the eighth baronet and is not the heir male of the first baronet; and (ii) Murray is the grandson of the eighth baronet and is, as the heir male of the first baronet, entitled to succeed to the Baronetcy (source: The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Privy Council Reference No 0079 of 2015).
The term ‘evidence’ is widely used in many different ways and in many different contexts. Genealogical evidence is often used for claims regarding the use of titles of nobility. Even when based on so-called ‘direct’ evidence, it is not certain whether these claims are true or not true, as the Pringle case shows. The concept of truth is the core of many philosophical discussions and it is my advice to be careful when claims of nobility or genealogy are either accepted, refuted, celebrated or simply ignored. In numerous cases regarding such claims, truth is no more and no less than a personal choice, often based on the assumption that written statements in official registers correspond with biological facts (see e.g. C.W. Delforterie, Liegen tegen de dominee: drie voorbeelden van het laten dopen van buitenechtelijke kinderen als zijnde tijdens een huwelijk verkregen / door C.W. Delforterie In: Liber Amicorum Jhr. Mr. C.C. van Valkenburg / [met een ten geleide van A. Snethlage en bijdr. van W.J. Kolff … et al.]. – ‘s-Gravenhage: Centraal Bureau voor Genealogie, 1985. – P. 69-80: geneal. tab. Met lit. opg.). One thing is certain. Written statements cannot change biological/genealogical facts but such facts can change written statements.
The principal interest lies in the paradox he explains – that the much used Statutory Declaration proves not that a vendor owns a manorial lordship, but rather that he probably does not.
Numerous manorial lords rely on a statutory declaration for proving that their manorial title is genuine. Does this mean that most of them actually cannot prove the ownership of the manorial title?
In the feudal system all legal and economic power belonged to the lord of the manor or king, who was supported economically from his land and from labour, goods, or coin from tenants under his authority.
Feudal land tenure is the system by which land was held by tenants from their lords. Tenures were divided into free and unfree. Of the free tenures, the first was tenure in chivalry. The second form of free tenure was the spiritual tenure of bishops or monasteries. Their sole obligation was to pray for the souls of the granter and his heirs. In contrast to the free tenants, who’s services were always predetermined, the unfree tenure they were not. The unfree tenant never knew what he might be called to do for his lord. This uncertainty was later limited in a way that the tenant could not be ejected in breach of existing customs of the manor. The land was thus held according to the custom of the manor (written evidence from Dr Paul Stafford, Submission to the Justice Select Committee Inquiry into Manorial Rights). Court Rolls of the manor came to record the title of the tenants of the manor to their properties and the tenants were given a copy of the entry recording their title. A tenant who held land in this way was known as a copyholder (House of Commons Justice Committee, 2015).
The fundamental characteristic of the manorial system was economic. The peasants held land from the lord (French: seigneur) of an estate in return for fixed dues in kind, money, and services. An interesting question is that of the origin of the manorial organization; Roman or German origin. This question cannot be answered decisively because there is not sufficient evidence. Romanists state that during the decline of the Roman Empire, independent estates emerged. Germanists point to the likenesses of the manor to what can be seen as the ancient German system of landholding. It is now generally accepted that both German and Roman influences contributed to the development of the manorial system.
The manorial system was slowly replaced by money-based economies and other agricultural agreements. During the Tudor period many of the civil functions of the manor were removed. It led to a decline of the manorial system. Feudal tenures were formally abolished in 1660. In England, this led to the establishment of absolute property rights for big landowners, and to vociferous demands by Levellers (a political movement during the English Civil War; 1642–1651) and other radicals that copyholders — the majority of the peasantry — should receive equal security for their tenure.
During the nineteenth century the holding of manor courts gradually came to an end, and in 1925 copyhold tenure formally ended in accordance with the Law of Property Acts, 1922 and 1924. Since then the holder was personally free and paid rent in lieu of services. The Manorial Documents Register was established in 1926 to record the location of documents and ensure that they could be traced if they were required for legal purposes. Some manorial courts continued to meet in the 20th century and technically courts can still meet, although they would have no real business to transact. Before the Land Registration Act 2002 it was possible for manors to be registered with HM Land Registry. Manorial incidents (the rights that a lord of the manor may exercise over other people’s land) lapsed on 12 October 2013 if they were not registered by then with HM Land Registry. Distinctive feudal remnants remain in the Isle of Man and in the Channel Islands (three distinct systems for Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney). The island of Sark was a remaining example of a feudal fief. Sark gave up being a feudal fife several years ago under EU pressure. Male primogeniture never applied to manorial or seignuer titles, as Sark has had a female Seignuer in its past. (see: Christine Alice Corcos, From Agnatic Succession to Absolute Primogeniture: The Shift to Equal Rights of Succession to Thrones and Titles in the Modern European Constitutional Monarchy, 2012 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1587, 2014).
Characteristics of Manorial Rights
Manorial rights are part of English property law (the law of acquisition, sharing and protection of valuable assets in England and Wales). As such they can be bought and sold as objects. Manorial Lordships can thus be transferred, conveyed or sold to other people. The lordship of the manor is simply the title by which the lord of the manor is known. In many cases the title may no longer have any land or rights attached to it. Because of its origin and lack of physical substance, it is known as an ‘incorporeal hereditament’. Incorporeal hereditament means ‘an interest having no physical existence’ (see: Walker vs Burton 2012, sub 47; UK Government, Practice guide 22, manors).
The Land Registry describes manorial rights as rights which were retained by lords of the manor when land became freehold. They can include rights to mines and some minerals, sporting rights such as hunting, shooting and fishing, and rights to hold fairs and markets. Manorial rights are “overriding rights” which may affect a property even if they had not previously been protected in the register maintained by the Land Registry.
Following the enactment of the 2002 Land Registration Act, which required manorial rights to be registered before 13 October 2013 if they were to be retained, more than 90,000 applications to enter a notice claiming manorial rights on properties in England and Wales had been made to the Land Registry prior to the deadline.
Lord of the Manor
Whoever owns the lordship of the manor is entitled to refer to themselves as lord of that manor, for example, Lord of the manor of Keswick (source: UK Government, Practice guide 22, manors). The right to use the term “Lord of the Manor of Keswick” should, in my opinion, be seen as a legal custom right (to seek recognition that one is the owner of a specific manorial right) as it meets certain basic requirements in this respect (see e.g.: customary Law in Modern England, W. Jethro Brown, Columbia Law Review Vol. 5, No. 8 (Dec., 1905), pp. 571). The term can be seen as a synonym for ownership with a historical background. The term should not be seen as a titular dignity, but rather as a factual appellation, which – within the feudal social system – was used to describe the relationship between the Lord of the Manor in relation to his own tenants.
It is generally assumed that manorial titles are not titles of nobility. I tend to a more balanced view. In his book, The Constitutional History of England (Cambridge University Press, 1909 [1st Pub. 1908]), Professor F.W. Mailland notes:
Dark as is the early history of the manor, we can see that before the Conquest England is covered by what in all substantial points are manors, though the term manor is brought hither by the Normans. Furthermore, in the interests of peace and justice, the state insists that every landless man shall have a lord, who will produce him in court in case he be accused. Slowly the relation of man and lord extends itself, and everywhere it is connected with land. The king’s thanes then are coming to be the king’s military tenants in chief.
This description characterizes nobility. Shortly after the battle of Hastings in 1066, the invading Normans and their descendants replaced the Anglo-Saxons as the ruling class of England. William the Conqueror divided the land into manors which he gave to his Norman barons. The nobility of England were part of a single Norman culture and many had lands on both sides of the channel. Early Norman kings of England, as Dukes of Normandy, owed homage to the King of France for their land on the continent. The Norman barons were summoned by the king from time to time to a Royal Council where they would advise him. By the mid 13th century, these meetings would form the basis for the House of Lords (professor Marjorie Chibnall, The Normans).
Originally, only a noble could hold a manor (professor Marjorie Chibnall, The Normans). Later, commoners could also own a manor. The current manorial lords may well be seen as a relic of the ancient Norman noble class.
It is essential to buy a manorial lordship from the legal owner. With Lordships, title is generally traced back 50 years or more (source: Manorial Society of Great Britain, Advice on buying a manorial title). Proof of ownership is sometimes found in family or estate documents like assents, probates, wills, mortgages and settlements. Statutory declarations (a written statement of fact that is signed in the presence of a solicitor) are another common way to prove legal ownership. In my opinion it is not correct to say that when a statutory declaration is used in combination with persuasive exhibits from secondary sources, the use of such a statutory declaration is rebutting evidence of the legal ownership of the manorial lordship. When ownership is disputed however, the presence of all deeds, correctly made up since 1189 is required. The absence of correct and complete sets of deeds requires Court approval to confirm ownership (Burton v Walker).
I therefore recommend to obtain a manorial title from a reputable company and consult a lawyer in advance.
Property Law Journal: 24 January 2011. Paul Stafford explains why those who hold a manorial title, or those who challenge it, must examine the foundations on which the particular title stands.
P. G. Vinogradoff, Villainage in England (1892, repr. 1968) and The Growth of the Manor (3d ed. 1920, repr. 1968)
N. S. B. Gras and E. C. Gras, The Economic and Social History of an English Village (1930, repr. 1969)
H. S. Bennett, Life on the English Manor (1937, repr. 1960)
M. Bloch, French Rural History (tr. 1966)
J. W. Thompson, Economic and Social History of the Middle Ages (2 vol., new ed. 1959) and Economic and Social History of Europe in the Later Middle Ages (new ed. 1960).
A spectacular example of a dispute over manorial rights comes from the recent and widely reported case of Burton v Walker. There are four decisions in Burton v Walker: the preliminary issue and substantive hearings before Adjudicators to the Land Registry; an appeal to the Chancery Division and a second appeal to the Court of Appeal. The references are REF 2007/1124 (Mr Edward Cousins, 14 May 2009); REF 2007/1124 (Mr Simon Brilliant, 10 Dec 2010);  EWHC 978 (Ch),  All ER (D) 131 (Mr Jeremy Cousins QC); and EWCA  Civ 1228 (Mummery LJ giving the only substantive judgement).
Crown Estate Commissioners v Roberts (2008) EWHC 1302. The defendant claimed ownership as Lord Marcher of St Davids of historical rights in foreshores in Pembrokeshire. The claimants sought removal of his cautions against first registration.
The claims to the (combined) thrones of Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire are related to the Constitution of the German Empire (Verfassung des Deutschen Reiches)of 1871. According to this constitution, the empire was a federally organised national state of 25 German states. The office of Bundespräsidium was held by the King of Prussia, who had the title of German Emperor.
The Wikipedia article about the line of succession of the former German throne reads:
Did the courts really rule in favour of Prince Georg Friedrich of Prussia as being head of Germany’s last ruling family?
German law of succession to the throne
Wilhelm of Prussia, ex-crown prince, with the participation of former emperor Wilhelm II, named his second son – Louis-Ferdinand prince of Prussia (d. 1994) – as first heir (Vorerb). After his death his eldest son (unborn in 1938) was to be the next heir (Nacherb), or, should that son not survive Louis Ferdinand, in his stead his eldest male offspring; in the absence of male issue his eldest brother (or in his stead his sons). The contract, however, made one exception to the rule on the succession of the next heir: any son or grandson of Louis-Ferdinand was ineligible to inherit if he were not the issue of a marriage made in accordance with the house laws of the house of Brandenburg-Prussia, or if he was in a marriage not in accordance with said laws (so called ineligibility clause).
The legal question, which was a question of civil or private law, was whether the designation was valid, and the exclusion of unequally-married or -born offspring was valid. The matter decided was not “headship of the house” but inheritance of a certain estate; indeed, the phrase “head of house” or some equivalent has not been decided. The issue was a contract which set up a specific rule of transmission. The court decided that the clause which Wilhelm had created in his testament was valid, because of the right to dispose of one’s estate. If Wilhelm had decided to impose a religious requirement, or a height requirement, or to leave his estate to his his dog, the court might well have upheld it as well, because of the right to dispose of one’s estate without infringement of the personal rights of one’s offspring (see the important article of F. Velde, The Hohenzollern Succession Dispute, 1994-present).
The succession rules regarding the throne of Germany have ceased to exist when the Constitution of the German Reich (DieVerfassung des Deutschen Reiches), usually known as the Weimar Constitution (Weimarer Verfassung) came into effect. The constitution declared Germany to be a democratic parliamentary republic with a legislature elected under proportional representation and thus abolished the German empire. Therefore, the courts of the German Federal Republic have no jurisdiction regarding the headship of the House of Hohenzollern. In the mentioned cases, the courts therefore never ruled regarding the headship. The media have not quite understood the rulings.
Louis Ferdinand, Prince of Prussia was the third in succession to the throne of the German Empire, after his father, German Crown Prince William and elder brother Prince Wilhelm of Prussia. The monarchy was abolished in 1918. When Louis Ferdinand’s older brother Prince Wilhelm renounced his succession rights to marry a non-royal from the lesser nobility in 1933, Louis Ferdinand took his place as the second in the line of succession to the German throne after the Crown Prince. Louis Ferdinand married the Grand Duchess Kira Kirillovna of Russia in 1938. The couple had four sons and three daughter. Their sons are listed below:
1. Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia (9 February 1939 – 29 September 2015). Sons:
(a) Philip Kirill Prinz von Preußen (born 23 April 1968).
(b) Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig Ferdinand Kirill (born 16 August 1979).
(c)Joachim Albrecht Bernhard Christian Ernst (born 26 June 1984).
(a) Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia (born 10 June 1976 Bremen).
4. Prince Christian-Sigismund of Prussia (born 14 March 1946). Son:
(a) Prince Christian Ludwig Michael Friedrich Ferdinand of Prussia (born 16 May 1986).
Louis Ferdinand’s two eldest sons (1) and (2) both renounced their succession rights in order to marry commoners. His third son, and heir-apparent, Prince Louis Ferdinand died in 1977 during military manoeuvrers. It is generally accepted that his one-year-old grandson Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia (3a, son of Prince Louis Ferdinand) became the new heir-apparent to the Prussian and German Imperial throne. According to these lines, Georg Friedrich became the pretender to the thrones and Head of the Hohenzollern family upon Louis Ferdinand’s death in 1994.
Traditionally the Agnatic Primogeniture rules have been used to determine the succession of headship of the House of Hohenzollern. These rules do not have any legal binding since 1919. A “headship of the House of Hohenzollern” does not exist under German law. Renouncing the headship of a family or the claim to a non-existing entity (throne), therefore does not have any legal effect in Germany. The only legal fact that German law can determine is the fact that Philip Kirill Prinz von Preußen (1a) is the oldest living relative of the last German emperor. If the head of the House Hohenzollern is defined as the last living male relative according to German law, then Philip Kirill (1a) is head of the House Hohenzollern. If the head of the House Hohenzollern is defined as the man who is selected by some members of the family (holding a certain authority), then Georg Friedrich (3a) is head of the House. The choice of definition is a personal one, not a legal or historical one. Head of the House cannot mean a person who inherits or has a right of inheritance in the property of a family member following the latter’s death, since this can be anyone.
Remembering the past is an important theme in both the Old (e.g. Hebrews 13:2-3) and New Testament (e.g. John 14:26). I am working on a research project that will have a historical focus. In particular, I would like to focus on the history of a specific Christian knightly order from a practical theological (therefore empirical) perspective and examine to what extent its Christian traditions have survived the course of time. These religiously-based Catholic societies, originally established during the medieval crusades and mostly made up of confraternities of knights, were formed to protect the Christians against foreign aggression and persecution, especially against the Islamic conquests and Baltic Paganism in Easter Europe. The original features of these societies consisted of a combination of religious and military actions. Some of the Christian knightly order, in particular the Knights Hospitaller, also cared for the sick and poor.
Since 2007, I am working on a study that focuses on the legitimacy of modern Christian knightly orders. Such orders were originally characterized as orders, confraternities or societies of knights, often founded during or in inspiration of the original Roman Catholic military orders of the medieval crusades (circa 1099-1291). They were inspired by medieval notions of chivalry, being an ethos in which martial, aristocratic and Christian elements were fused together (Stair Sainty 2006; Keen: 2005). In modern days similar (mimic) orders have been established by monarchs (or their descendants) and governments with the purpose of bestowing honors on deserving individuals. Examples of ancient knightly orders that survived in modern times are the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George and the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.
The legitimacy of Christian knightly orders is discussed heavily on the internet and in literature (Stair Sainty’s book of about 2000 pages focusses on the issue). The current study is inspired by a PhD thesis of Hoegen Dijkhof (2006), addressing the legitimacy of a number of knightly orders from a historical and legal perspective. In my study I will address the issue of legitimacy from a Christian perspective. A major and often overlooked problem is the definition of both the terms legitimateand knightly order. This aspect of the problem has been raised by Velde (1996).
Activities of modern knightly orders
Modern knightly orders have abandoned their original military mission and focus on spiritual and charity activities. Normally knightly orders demand of its members that the are living their lives as Christians and remain mindful of their obligations to undertake hospitaller assistance, as well as charitable and other good works. The Spanish Constantinian Order for example stresses that it is important for members to lead a life as “perfect” Christians:
Members of the Order are expected to live their lives as perfect Christians and contribute to the increase of religious principles both by action and example. They must be faithful to the traditional teachings of the Church and regularly participate in the solemn celebration of the Liturgy according to the Ordinary and Extraordinary forms and, when appropriate, the particular local forms (notably the Ambrosian, Latin-Byzantine or Mozarabic Rites).
The hospitaller mission is also considered of great importance. The biggest and most effective knightly order (the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta or SMOM) has developed numerous projects in 120 countries of the world. The order organizes medical, social and humanitarian projects. The SMOM has 13,500 members, 80,000 permanent volunteers and qualified staff of 25,000 professionals, mostly medical personnel and paramedics (SMOM website, 2016). The SMOM’s relief organisation in South Africa, the Brotherhood of the Blessed Gerard, focusses on AIDS patients (mostly children) and runs a hospice in KwaZulu-Natal.
The historical foundations of the knightly orders and their current activities show that the Christian inspiration is one of the most important aspects and characteristic of Christian knightly orders. This inspiration is manifested by the hospitaller activities that Christian knightly orders promote. It is unthinkable that a modern Christian knightly order lacks Christ-inspired hospitaller activities.
The case study in my research will focus on the Military and Hospitaller Orderof Saint Lazarusof Jerusalem, also known as Order of Saint Lazarus. The legitimacy of this Order has been heavily disputed by Stair Sainty (2006). Stair Sainty states:
The Order of Saint Lazarus, although it is to be complimented for its considerable charitable efforts (notably in Germany), need not pretend to an historical continuity to which its claims, at the very least, are unsubstantiated. Were it to assume the character of a private association, founded in 1910, to emulate the traditions of the ancient crusader Order, it could deflect much of the hostility it has attracted from those bodies which can be more properly characterized as Orders of Knighthood, founded by Papal Bull or Sovereign act or charter. Without such authority behind it, it is difficult to find any justification for this body’s claim to be considered an Order of Chivalry. Private individuals do not have the authority to form Orders, at least none that will be generally recognized.
It therefore serves as an interesting case study for the legitimacy of a knightly order from a Christian perspective.
What is the background of the Order of Saint Lazarus and how did its history develop?
Which kind of goals are selected by the most well-known Christian knightly orders to help and support people who are in distress and which goals are specified amd implemented by the Order of Saint Lazarus?
Can the goals of the Order of Saint Lazarus and their implementations be considered effective?
To what extent is the Order of Saint Lazarus’ smart-strategy and its implementation of this strategy, Bible-based and therefore legitimate from a Christian perspective?
Adams, J.E. (1986). A Theology of Christian Counseling, More Than Redemption, Grand Rapids: Zondervan.
Anderson, R.S. (2003). Spiritual Caregiving as Secular Sacrament, A Practical Theology for Professional Caregivers, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Baljon, J.M.S. (1900). Commentaar op het Evangelie van Mattheus. Groningen: J.B. Wolters
Bruggen, J. van (1993), Lucas. Het evangelie als voorgeschiedenis. Kampen: Uitgeverij Kok.
Bruggen, J. van (2004), Matteüs, Het evangelie voor Israël, Kampen: Kok.
The Order of Vitéz, founded in 1678, revived in 1920 by Hungarian Regent Horthy, and abolished by the Soviet-imposed Communist government of Hungary in 1946, has been an important symbol of Hungary’s historic commitment to independence and territorial integrity. It is often assumed that “the Regent had no powers to grant nobility, nor did he try” (e.g Wikipedia) and that therefore the title of vitéz cannot be seen as a title of nobility. Is this assumption correct?
The Order of Vitéz
This Hungarian Order was initially founded in 1678 by Count Imre Thökölyde Késmárk, (1657-1705), a Hungarian nobleman, who lead a rebellion against Leopold I of Austria. This Holy Roman Emperor suspended the Constitution and placed Hungary under a Directorate headed by the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. Thököly gathered behind him a force of disaffected Hungarians. This group was mainly composed of disbanded soldiers and peasants. Thököly’s followers were known as kuruc (crusaders). This designation was also given to the followers of another rebel leader, György (George) Dózsa (1470-1514).
The treaty signed between the Soviet Union and Hungarian Government of National Unity in Moscow on 20 January 1945, included a list of organisations that were not allowed to be re-established under Soviet rule. The National Council of Vitéz, governing the Order, was placed on this list (Prime Ministerial Edict no. 1945/529).
The word ‘vitéz’ in late 19th and early 20th century Hungarian usage, meant ‘knight’, or ‘hero’. The word “vitez” literally means knight in the South Slavic languages; Bosnian, Croatian, Slovenian, Serbian and Macedonian. In German the title can be compared to “Ritter von” (Orden und Ehrenzeichen – Das Magazin für Sammler und Forscher, BDOS Jahrbuch 2003, p. 24). Therefore, the term “Vitézi Rend’ can be translated as ‘Order of Knights’. During Horthy’s reign, the title was recorded in official papers, for instance in birth, marriage or death certificates, and was usually written as ‘v.’ in front of the surname. In Hungary, the surname precedes the Christian name. In an honourable discharge document of a officer, the vitéz order is not mentioned as an award but as a title added to the name (Erik Naberhuis, The Hungarian Vitéz Order, 2005). Admission into the Order was accompanied by a land grant of 40 cadastral holds to an officer, 8 cadastral holds to other ranks based on need (1 cadastral hold = c. 1.43 acres). The honour of Vitéz was hereditary, and the grants (title, badge and land grant) were to be passed on by the recipient to his eldest son.
Hungarian law regarding noble titles
Horthy was internationally recognised as His Serene Highness the Regent of the Kingdom of Hungary (and addressed as such by e.g. the United States). He was head of state and appointed to administer the state because the monarch was absent. There are – next to Horthy’s vitéz order – other examples of regents who founded orders, such the Royal Guelphic Order (also known as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order) by George, Prince Regent in the name of his father King George III in 1815. In France, nobility and hereditary titles were abolished by the Revolutions of 1789 and 1848, but hereditary titles were restored by decree in 1852 and have not been abolished by any subsequent law. In order to grant noble titles it is not necessary to be a royal head of state. Therefore, theoretically, the President of the Republic could, in his capacity as head of state, create titles of nobility. The same counts for Horthy’s Hungary. It is not relevant that Horthy was not a king. He was head of state of a Kingdom.
In Hungarian law, Act IV of 1947 on the abolition of certain titles and ranks has abolished all Hungarian noble ranks and titles and prohibited their future bestowal. Article 1. § (1) of the Act declares annulment of the Hungarian aristocratic and noble ranks, such as duke, marquis, earl, baron, noble, primor, and primipilus (“lófő“). Article 3. § (1) prohibits the use of rank titles mentioned in 1. §. Furthermore, it explicitly forbids the use of the “vitéz” (“valiant”) title. § (2) prohibits the use of nobiliary particles, coats of arms, insignias or the use of any expressions referring to descent from a noble clan (“de genere“). § (3) forbids the use of honorifics referring to ranks or titles abolished by this Act, such as “főméltóságú” (His/Her Serene Highness), “nagyméltóságú” (His/Her Excellency), “kegyelmes” (His/Her Grace), “méltóságos” (The Honourable), “nagyságos” (The Worshipful), “tekintetes“, “nemzetes” etc.
The Act of 1947 remains in force today, although it does not contain any explicit sanctions in case the law is not observed. Act I of 2010 on the Civil Registry Procedure prohibits the registration of titles and ranks which would be contrary to Act IV of 1947 [55. § (1a)]. The 1947 Act has survived two challenges before the Hungarian Constitutional Court (HCC) in 2008 [Decision 1161/B/2008] and in 2009 [Decision 988/B/2009]. The Court has held in the 2008 decision that the prohibition of ranks and titles is intended to guarantee the equality of Hungarian citizens, as any discrimination based on hereditary titles and ranks would be contrary to the values of a democratic state and society based on equality; the Act itself is based on a firm set of values that forms an integral part of the values deductible from the Constitution [specifically Article 70/A paragraph (1) of the Constitution of Hungary at that time (Act IV of 1949)]. In the 2009 decision the HCC has found that the 1947 Act is not contrary to human dignity (the petitioner had claimed that the right to bear a name, which is deductible from human dignity, had been infringed by the Act), as nobility titles did not form official parts of a name, and that the state had the right to decide what it accepts as part of name and what it does not. The HCC has also referenced these decisions following the entry into force of the Fundamental Law of Hungary (2011, replacing the previous Constitution) in a recent decision [27/2015 (VII. 21.)] (Ágoston Mohay – Norbert Tóth, What’s in a name? Equal treatment, Union citizens and national rules on names and titles, working paper, University of Pécs, 2016, p. 9).
Members of the Vitéz Order are addressed as “nemzetes úr/asszony”, in German: “Edler (-e) Herr/Dame”. Members with non-Hungarian names used to add the nobility suffix “-y” or “-i”. The characteristics of the vitéz capacity (hereditary, estate-related, the touch on the vitéz‘ shoulders with the sword at the bestowing of his knighthood, the title/suffix, the registration as a title instead of award in official papers and the emblem) are in full accordance with a title of nobility as we know it in for example the United Kingdom. The Act IV of 1947 also places the title on the same level as the noble titles. It is therefore not correct to say that the vitéz title is not a title of nobility. In the context of the mentioned Act, the history of the Order, its characteristics, and the recent Hungarian court decisions, the vitéz title should – from a historical perspective – be seen as a noble title. It is not recognized by the Hungarian state.
Hans Kroitzsch, Der stand der Tapferen, der ungarische Vitéz-orden; Rechtsdarstellung und -Vergleich, Dissertation Leipzig, T. Weicher, 1939.
Roman Freiherr von Procházka, Österreichisches Ordenshandbuch, Graf Klenau OHG, München 1974, S. 130.
Vitézek albuma / The Knightly Order of Vitez, 1939. The original that was used for the modern reprint by Pytheas had a turbulent life. The owner of the original used for reproduction was brave enough to save it at least three times by steeling it back during his expulsion from his former home under the communist regime in Hungary, digging it under ground and finally giving it to Pytheas for publishing. The publication includes 5000 portrait photos and 12000 entries of knights.
The Russian Imperial Romanov family (Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina Alexandra and their five young children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei) were brutally murdered in Yekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. The Tsar, his family and some servants were shot, bayoneted and stabbed in a room of the “House of Special Purpose of the Ural Soviet Committee” by Bolshevik troops led by Yakov Yurovsky under the orders of the Ural Regional Soviet. Therefore, the last Tsar does not have any living descendants. There exist however, a number of claimants to the former Russian throne. In this article I will examine the legality of these claims.
Since 1992, the Headship of the Imperial House of Russia has been claimed by two branches of the Romanov family: the Vladimirovichi Branch and the Nikolaevichi branch. The Vladimirovichi branch descends of Tsar Alexander II (1818-1881), the successor son of Tsar Nicholas I. The Nikolaevichi branch descends from Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia (1831–1891), who was the third son and sixth child of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia and Alexandra Feodorovna.
I. Tsar Nicholas I (1796-1855) x Princess Charlotte of Prussia (1798-1860). Nicholas was born in Alexander Palace, Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire, the eldest son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia (formerly Princess Dagmar of Denmark). Emperor Alexander III was born on 10 March 1845 at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg and succeeded this father Emperor Alexander II of Russia. Alexander II succeed Tsar Nicolas I, son of Paul I and Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg.
II a. Tsar Alexander II (1818-1881) x Princess Marie of Hesse (1824-1880). Son: Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich (1847-1909) X Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1854-1920) -> Vladimirovichi branch
II b. Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich (1831-1891) x Princess Alexandra of Oldenburg (1838-1900) -> Nikolaevichi branch
I. Cyril (Kirill) Vladimirovich, (Кирилл Владимирович Рома́нов), born 12 October [O.S. 30 September] 1876 – deceased 12 October 1938), Grand Duke of Russia (assumed the Headship of the Imperial Family of Russia and, as next in line to the throne in 1924).
II a. Maria Kirillovna (1907–1951), eldest daughter of Kirill Vladimirovich (I). She was born in Coburg when her parents were in exile because their marriage had not been approved by Tsar Nicholas II. The family returned to Russia prior to World War I, but was forced to flee following the Russian Revolution of 1917.
III. Emich, 7th Prince of Leiningen (1926-1991), titular Prince of Leiningen from 1946 until his death, x Eilika of Oldenburg.
IV. Prince Karl Emich of Leiningen.
II b. Vladimir Cyrillovich, (Влади́мир Кири́ллович Рома́нов) born 30 August [O.S. 17 August] 1917 – 21 April 1992), claimed the Headship of the Imperial Family from 1938 to his death, Grand Duke of Russia (1938–1992).
III. Maria Vladimirovna (Мари́я Влади́мировна Рома́нова), born 23 December 1953 in Madrid), has been a claimant to the headship of the Imperial Family since 1992 Grand Duchess of Russia (1992–present).
IV. Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia
I. Nicholas Romanov, Prince of Russia (1992–2014)
II. Prince Dimitri Romanovich of Russia (2014–present)
III. Prince Andrew Andreevich (born 1923)
The Russian laws governing membership in the imperial house, succession to the throne and other dynastic subjects are contained in the Fundamental State Laws of the Russian Empire and the Statute of the Imperial Family (codification of 1906, as amended through 1911). These laws, referred to collectively as “the succession laws” in this essay, are sometimes described as “the Pauline law”, because their original version was promulgated in 1797 by Emperor Paul I.
At the present time, not one of the Emperors or Grand Dukes of Russia has left living descendants with unchallengeable rights to the Throne of Russia. When marrying a foreigner of Equal Rank, or member of a Reigning Family, family members were obliged to renounce their and their issue’s rights to the succession to the Throne of Russia.
Since 1917 the Russian Empire and its laws regarding social classes ceased to exist (Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars, Decree on the Abolition of Social Estates and Civil Ranks, 10 November 1917):
All classes and class divisions of citizens, class privileges and disabilities, class organizations and institutions which have until now existed in Russia, as well as all civil ranks, are abolished.
All designations (as merchant, nobleman, burgher, peasant, etc.), titles (as Prince, Count, etc.), and distinctions of civil ranks (Privy, State, and other Councilors), are abolished, and one common designation is established for all the population of Russia-citizen of the Russian Republic.
The properties of the noblemen’s class institutions are hereby transferred to corresponding Zemstvo self-governing bodies.
The properties of merchants’ and burghers’ associations are hereby placed at the disposal of corresponding municipal bodies.
All class institutions, transactions, and archives are hereby transferred to the jurisdiction of corresponding municipal and Zemstvo bodies.
All corresponding clauses of the laws which have existed until now are abolished.
This decree becomes effective from the day of its publication, and is to be immediately put into effect, by the local Soviets of Workmen’s, Soldiers’, and Peasants’ Deputies.
In addition to the abolishment of the public laws regarding social classes, none of the current Romanov family members has unchallengeable rights to the Throne of Russia according to the Pauline Laws. Therefore the headship of the House of Romanov remains a political matter that cannot be determined from a legal perspective. The only authority that can restore the rights to the Russian throne is the Russian Federation. In my opinion, the imperial nobility and the titles it awarded may theoretically remain valid but for the Russian Federation they are quasi foreign.
Oorspronkelijk was het bij de invoering van de Wet op de adeldom de bedoeling om de regels over verwerving van adeldom door afstamming te codificeren zonder daarin enige verandering aan te brengen. Aan een historisch gegroeid instituut, dat zijn wortelen heeft in een traditie die juist ongelijkheid van mensen accentueert, moet men niet gaan sleutelen, aldus de mening van de toenmalige minister Dales. Maar het parlement wilde anders: door middel van amendementen werd bepaald dat ook door adoptie en dat door buiten huwelijk geboren kinderen adeldom kon worden verworven. Een amendement dat voorstelde om het mogelijk te maken, dat ook adellijke dames hun adel aan hun kinderen kunnen doorgeven werd echter verworpen. Een dergelijke mogelijkheid zou het aantal leden van de adel te sterk doen toenemen, zo vond het parlement destijds. Wat hieraan zo erg is, wordt niet duidelijk. Deze kinderachtige opstelling kreeg jaren later een merkwaardig gevolg.
Op 8 juli 2011 veroordeelde de kantonrechter in Maastricht een zoon van een tot de Nederlandse adel behorende adelijke gravin Wolff Metternich tot een geldboete van € 300, subsidiair zes dagen hechtenis voorwaardelijk met een proeftijd van twee jaren. De moeder voerde rechtmatig de titel ‘gravin’ en de zoon verkreeg bij Koninklijk Besluit de naam van de moeder, maar de minister weigerde de titel ook in te schrijven in de filiatieregisters. De rechter vond dat art. 435 Sr. was overtreden:
Artikel 435. Met geldboete van de tweede categorie wordt gestraft: 1 hij die zonder daartoe gerechtigd te zijn een Nederlandse adellijke titel voert of een Nederlands ordeteken draagt; (…)
Het betrof een oude familie die bij besluit van Keizer Ferdinand II van 21 januari 1637 (in de persoon van Johann Adolf von Wolff Mettemich) werd verheven tot baron van het Heilige Roomse Rijk der Duitse Natie. Bij besluit van Keizer Karel VI van 17 mei 1731 werd Franz Joseph von Wolff-Metternich zur Gracht verheven tot graaf van het Heilige Roomse Rijk der Duitse Natie. Bij KB van 8 april 1884 werd Levin Max Paul Maria Hubert graaf Wolff-Mettemich (tak uitgestorven in 1972) en bij KB van 10 december 1925 werd Hermann Joseph Ferdinand Aloysius Hubertus Maria Anna graaf Wolff-Metternich ingelijfd in de Nederlandse adel met de titel van graaf en gravin voor al hun wettige nakomelingen. De laatste van dit Nederlandse adellijke geslacht is Eugenie Maria Mechtildis Huberta Theodora Thaddeus gravin Wolff Metternich (1923). Dat een (biologische) nakomeling-naamsdrager wel beboet kan worden en een geadopteerd kind niet, bewijst dat het Nederlandse systeem eerder een historisch gedrocht is geworden dan een historisch instituut is gebleven.
In het boek van E.J. Wolleswinkel over het Nederlandse adelsrecht en in het betreffende jaarverslag van de Hoge Raad van Adel wordt beweerd dat de zoon de titel ‘graaf ‘ voerde. Dit is een bewuste onwaarheid omdat de heer Wolleswinkel bij de behandeling van de zaak gezapig achterin de zaal zat te genieten en dus goed van de feiten op de hoogte is. In de uitspraak is expliciet de titel ‘Graaf ‘ opgenomen, zoals de zoon ook expres voerde om geen verwarring te laten ontstaan. Dit lijkt op het eerste gezicht irrelevant, maar de schijn bedriegt. ‘Graaf’ met een hoofdletter is immers een Belgische adellijke titel en een Nederlandse voornaam. De Nederlandse adellijke titel ‘graaf’ wordt met een kleine letter geschreven. Dit verschil wordt in het rode boekje altijd gemaakt. De rechter heeft dus in al zijn onnozelheid iemand bestraft die een Belgische adellijke titel in Nederland voerde, terwijl de wet alleen het wederrechtelijk voeren van een Nederlandse adellijke titel strafbaar stelt. Door J.W. Fokkens en A.J. Machielse is het verbod van art. 435 WvSr in het standaardwerk van Noyon, Langemeijer en Remmelink als volgt samengevat: “Reeds het voeren van een Nederlandse adellijke titel op zich zelf zou voldoende moeten zijn, tenzij er nochtans aanwijzingen zijn, dat men een buitenlandse titel voert, hetgeen dus met de in meer talen voorkomende titel baron het geval kan zijn (…)”. Bovendien is het voeren van “Graaf” als Nederlandse voornaam natuurlijk ook niet strafbaar. Een totale misslag dus van een rechter die er niks van snapte. Door Wolleswinkel is deze misslag op een goedkope manier verdraaid, nota bene in een proefschrift. Dit doet niet alleen ernstig afbreuk aan zijn wetenschappelijke en ambtelijke integriteit, maar ook aan zijn deskundigheid.
T.J. Noyon, G.E. Langemeijer, J. Remmelink, Het Wetboek van Strafrecht (voortgezet door J.W. Fokkens en A.J. Machielse), Deventer (art. 435, suppl. 136, juni) 2006
A King of Arms is a principal herald. Originally, a herald is an officer in medieval Europe charged with carrying messages to and from the commanders of opposing armies. In the late 14th century the authority of the heralds was expanded. When the crown ceased to grant arms directly, its powers were delegated to the heralds as commissioners, with authority to issue letters patent. In modern times, a herald is a professional authority on armorial history and genealogy. Heralds in Europe generally record arms and pedigrees, grant arms, take part in high ceremonial, and settle matters of precedence.
The Kingdom of Sicily did not have actual heralds (to grant coats of arms) in recent times, but rather a Commission for Titles of Nobility based in Naples until 1861.
This Royal Commission was established by royal decree of 23 March 1833. By law of 26 April 1848 the responsibility for the Royal Commission was attributed to the ministry of the presidency of the Royal Council. By royal prescript issued by the Minister and royal secretary of state of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of 29 July 1853 it was determined that the Royal Commission was competent to determine, so as to remove all doubt, who among the nearest relatives was eligible to aspire to the succession to a noble title. Therefore, the Royal Commission concerned itself with administration of certain nobiliary institutions and recognition of titles of nobility, with little regulation of armorial heraldry (coats of arms). See also J. Debrett, A Collection Of State Papers: Relative To The War Against France Now Carrying On By Great-britain And The Several Other European Powers, London 1794.
Fernando Muñoz Altea is the current King of Arms of the Royal House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. He is a Spanish/Mexican historian, specialised in the study of the aristocratic Spanish colonial families of the Americas. Muñoz Altea is born in Madrid (Spain) on 22 November 1925.
Muñoz Altea was introduced to the study of heraldry, genealogy and nobility by Don José de Rújula y Ochotorena, Marqués de Ciadoncha, King of Arms of Spain’s king Alfonso XIII, Dean of the Corps of Chronicler King of Arms (Cuerpo de Cronista Rey de Armas), and by Don Julio de Atienza y Navajas, Barón de Cobos de Belchite, author of the well-known work “Nobiliario Español”. Both became his mentors and friends. On 10 November 1962 Muñoz Altea was appointed King of Arms of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies by HRH Prince Ranieri, Duke of Castro, Head of the Royal House. The Kingdom of Sicily did not have actual heralds (to grant coats of arms and issue certificates of nobility) in recent times, but rather a Commission for Titles of Nobility based in Naples until 1861. This commission concerned itself with the administration of certain nobiliary institutions, recognition of titles of nobility and heraldry. The appointment of the King of Arms continues this tradition. Certifications of arms and certificates of nobility issued by Muñoz Altea’s office in the name of the Royal House are, in effect, documents of a dynastic nature.
The King of Arms of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies is the supreme officer of honour and counsel to the sovereign in all matters of armorial, genealogical, and nobility. He represents the Royal family in these matters. He does not have a governmental position but has the status of Private Officer of Arms.
Muñoz Altea is the author of several books, among them, the biographies of the 64 Viceroys of Mexico, The House of Los Pinos History (the Presidencial Residence of Mexico), the biographies of the Signers of the Independence Act, Los Virreyes de la Nueva España.
Muñoz Altea is also the author of Perfiles genealógico-biográficos and Blasones y Apellidos, first and second edition. first published his work which included approximately 250 last names. The books sold out in 10 days. The goal of its republication in 2016 is to preserve the original work and subsequent extensive investigation. The remastered three boxed set includes more than 750 names, genealogy, origin, code of arms, heraldry of Spanish, English, Italian and French settlers in Spain and Latin America. Muñoz Altea has also ordered and cataloged several historic archives of many municipalities in Spain. He is recognized as an important historian and one of the main genealogist in both Spain and Latin America.
1951 Degree in History Hermanos Maristas de Madrid
Appointed Chronicler King of Arms of the Royal House of Borbon Two Sicilies since 1962
It may be safely said that the legitimate claimants to the headship of formerly reigning families can continue the prerogative to award their dynastic Orders and, to the extent that the last constitutions of those particular monarchies so permitted, enjoy the right to create or confirm titles of nobility. From a historical point of view, such creations should be in accordance with the legal requirements established before the fall of the monarchy. This may be a problem because it may not always be possible for a head of a dynasty to comply with the precise requirements of the dynastic law. The disappearance of an historic office or position however, is a fact that does not stand in the way of exercising the ancient dynastic rights, since these rights are connected to a specific family. To the extent that it is possible and practical, such requirements should be met and the various acts properly recorded (see for example: W.H. Jones, Granting of Orders and Titles by H.M. King Kigeli V of Rwanda) in order to make the awards of Orders and titles in accordance with its historical origin and therefore acceptable.
This article examines the Sovereign right (fount of honour or in Latin: fons honorum) to grant noble titles (see appendix) and create and administrate dynastic orders of three members of the well known Sicilian House of Paternò Castello, more in particular of prince Roberto II Paternò Castello and his two sons, the princes Francesco and Thorbjorn Paternò Castello. The House of Paternò claims dynastic rights regarding the ancient kingdoms of Aragon, Majorca, Sicily, Valencia and Sardinia. In an earlier article I studied what is meant by a person having the fons honorum to grant e.g. titles. The research question of this article is: to what extend do Roberto II Paternò Castello and his two sons have the right to grand titles of nobility and the right to administer dynastic knightly orders? My approach will be to examine the relevant documents and literature and to answer the question from both a historical (legitimate) and legal point of view.
2. Family background
The House of Paternò Castello is among the most prominent historical families of Italy. Over the course of the centuries the family held more than 170 main fiefs. The Paternò family were Peers of the Realm in Sicily until 1860, when the Kingdom of Sicily was annexed by the Kingdom of Sardinia to form the Kingdom of Italy in 1861. Since the beginning of the 18th century members of the family possessed five hereditary seats in the Sicilian Parliament.
The House of Paternò traces its origins to Prince Robert of Embrun and to the Sovereign House of Barcelona and Provence. The family arrived in Sicily in 1060 as part of the entourage of King Roger, seizing the castle of Paternò and assumed its name. The family obtained numerous honors and titles of nobility (see: Libro d’oro della nobiltà italiana). Amongst the principal titles of nobility held by the house of Paternò are: Princes of Biscari, Sperlinga (1627), Manganelli, Val di Savoja e Castelforte (1633); Dukes of Carcaci (1723), Furnari (1643), Giampaolo, Palazzo (1687), Paternò, Pozzomauro e San Nicola; Marquises of Capizzi (1633), Casanova, Desera (1806), Manchi, Regiovanni, Roccaromana, San Giuliano (1662), Sessa, del Toscano; Counts of Montecupo (1772); Barons of Aliminusa, Aragona, Spedolotto Alzacuda, Baglia e Dogana di Milazzo, Baldi, Belmonte, Bicocca, Bidani, Biscari, Burgio, Capizzi, Castania e Saline di Nicosia, Cuba, Cuchara, Cugno, Donnafugata, Ficarazzi, Gallitano, Gatta, Graneri, Imbaccari e Mirabella, Intorrella, Manchi di Bilici, Mandrile, Manganelli di Catania, Marianopoli, Mercato di Toscanello, Metà dei Terraggi di Licata, Mirabella, Motta Camastra, Murgo, Nicchiara, Officio di Mastro Notaro della Corte Capitaniale di Catania, Oxina, Placabaiana, Poiura, Porta di Randazzo, Pollicarini, Pozzo di Gotto, Raddusa e Destri, Ramione, Ricalcaccia, Salamone, Salsetta, San Giuliano, San Giuseppe, Sant’ Alessio, Scala, Schiso, Sciortavilla, Solazzi, Sparacogna, Spedalotto, Terza Parte della Dogana di Catania, Toscano; Lords of Baglio, Collabascia, Erbageria, Gallizzi, Mandrascate, Sciari, Sigona, del jus luendi of Camopetro (see: Libro d’oro della nobiltà italiana and real-aragon.org).
The fons honorum of the House of Paternò is heavily challenged by Guy Stair Sainty, stating that as a junior member of a junior branch of the family don Roberto has no right to claim any prerogative pertaining to its chief, whether or not such prerogative actually exists (Guy Stair Sainty and Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, World Orders of Knighthood and Merit 2006).
In 1973 Lt Col Robert Gayre published a booklet in which he states that “certain observations should be made which, in our opinion, destroy completely these historical claims. The Papal legitimation which is brought forward to allow the desired descent was, in itself, insufficient to transfer any title to the Crown of Aragon. Furthermore, as Aragon dit not have the Salic law, the descent of the crown could pass through a female line. Consequently, even if the legitimization had put Don Pedro Sancho into the line of succession, that succession would have gone through a female line on the extinction of the male descent – and so to the house of Paternò would have been out of succession in any case.”. (…) It is clear that no matter how distinguished is the house Paternò, it cannot claim to be the heirs of the Kingdom of the Balearic Isles or of Aragon.” (Lt Col R. Gayre of Gayre and Nigg, A Glimpse of the Chivalric and Nobiliary Underworld, Lochore Enterprises (Malta) Ltd. Valetta, Malta, pp. 27-28).
Therefore, the question arises if the Paternò claims can be taken seriously (both legitimate and legal).
4. Legitimacy of the claims
The Crown of Aragon became part of the Spanish monarchy after the Marriage of Isabella I of Castille and Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1469. This dynastic union laid the foundations for the kingdom of Spain. It is considered a de facto unification of both kingdoms under a common monarch. The Decretos de Nueva Planta (promulgated between 1707 and 1715) ended the kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia and Mallorca and the Principality of Catalonia, and merged them with Castile to officially form the Spanish kingdom (I. Ruiz Rodríguez, Apuntes de historia del derecho y de las instituciones españolas, Dykinson, Madrid, 2005, p. 179; Albareda Salvadó, Joaquim, (2010). La Guerra de Sucesión de España (1700-1714). Barcelona: Crítica. pp. 228–229. ISBN 978-84-9892-060-4). The Decretos de Nueva Planta were a number of decrees issued between 1707 and 1716 by Philip V, king of Spain (grandson of Louis XIV, during and shortly after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession by the Treaties of Utrecht (1713-1714). An important document in this respect is the will of James I.
A family conclave, on the initiative of the Duke of Carcaci Don Francesco Paternó Castello e Sammartino, was called on the 14th of June 1853, and held in Palermo in the palace of the Marchese di Spedalotto, head of one of the more senior branches of the family. After a review of the relevant evidence and a wide-ranging discussion, it was the finding of the conclave that the royal rights, which had been the subject of the debate, should be confirmed as belonging to Don Mario, son of the Duke of Carcaci’s younger brother Don Giovanni and his wife Donna Eleonora Guttadauro of Emmanuel Riburdone, the heiress of the House of Guttadauro. This conclusion which had in fact already received the assent of King Ferdinand II of the Two Sicilies (in whose realm they resided), subject to ratification by the conclave, was reached on the recognition that Don Mario alone had the royal blood of Aragon in his veins from two sources, through the separate descents of both his mother and his father from King James the Conqueror. A family pact was then signed, registered on 16 June 1853 and sealed in the Chamber of Seals and Royal Registers of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It was decreed that during the minority of Don Mario, his father Don Giovanni should be Regent.
The sealing of the family pact was but one of a series of events following the death of the last Prince of Cassano which determined and confirmed the dynastic rights of the House of Paternó Castello Guttadauro. The final endorsement came on 2nd February 1860 when the Royal Commission for Titles of Nobility recommended to the new king Francis II that a petition by the Most Excellent Lord Don Mario Paternó Castello Guttadauro of the Dukes of Carcaci be granted. The petition was that the Prince should receive all confirmation of the Sovereign’s assent for those “chivalrous distinctions” which he wished to bestow. On 11th February 1860 the king approved the recommendation of the Royal Commission and directed the Secretary of State for Sicilian Affairs to give effect to his approval.
The designated Regent, Don Giovanni, worked vigorously to assert the dynastic rights of the family. In doing so he was crowning the work of his elder brother the great Duke of Carcaci who had died in 1854, having spent his life establishing his family’s Royal dynastic rights and regulating the succession.
This series of events shows that a number of members of the family established recognized claims regarding the dynastic rights of ancient independent kingdoms in Italy and Spain.
The line of succession is claimed by the House of Paternò as follows: After the death of the last Prince of Cassano the heads of the different branches of the Paternò family met in family council at Palermo and recognised that the family’s royal rights were vested in Don Mario Paternò Castello Guttadauro d’Emmanuel of Don Giovanni Paternò Castello iure maritale Prince of Emmanuel (son of Don Mario Guiseppe IV Duke of Carcaci) and his wife Eleanor Guttadauro, last of the house of the Princes of Emmanuel and herself a descendant of the Kings of Aragon (real-aragon.org). The succession of the claim follows both the male and the female line:
1859-1906 Mario I Paternò Castello, Prince of Emmanuel, m. Anna Spitaleri e Grimaldi of the Barons of Maglia and had issue:
1. Giovanni (-1900) sp.
2. Felice (-1880) sp.
3. Enrico Prince of Emmanuel d. 1908 and was succeeded by his sister
4. Eleanora who succeeded her brother
Eleanora Paternò Castello, princess of Emmanuel m. 1906 her second cousin Roberto I Paternò Castello, Regent 1908-1934 B. of Francesco Mario I (1850-1915) 9th duke of Carcaci and had issue:
Francesco Mario II Paternò Castello, prince of Emmanuel (1913-1968) succeeded when of age in 1934 m. (1) 1932 Angela Reboulet and had issue:
Roberto Enrico Francesco Mario Gioacchino Paternò Castello (1937-1996) married (1) Maria of the counts Fattori and has issue:
1. Aurora (1962-), Duchess of Palma
2. Francesco Nicola RobertoPaternò Castello (1964-), duke of Gerona m. on Jul 1990 Nob Guiseppina Campesi. Issue:
– Maria b. and d. 17 Mar 1991
– Roberto b. 15 Jul 1992 Duke of Palermo;
– Domenico b. 4 May 2001 Duke of Ayerbe
Prince Roberto m. (2) Bianca Monteforte (1948-1990), marchioness of Montpellier and had issue:
1. ThorbjornPaternò Castello (1976-), duke of Valencia
Don Roberto Paternò Castello abdicated in favor of his first son as well as in favor of his second son. To his first son (Francesco) he left the claims to the prerogatives the ancient kingdoms of Aragon, Majorca and Sicily. To his second son (Thorbjorn) he left the claims to the prerogatives of the ancient kingdoms of Valencia and Sardinia (see documents below).
Following these lines of succession, the legitimacy of the fount of honor of the House of Paternò in present circumstances is backed by the prestige of being a descendant in the female line of the early rulers of the ancient kingdoms of Aragon, Majorca, Sicily, Valencia and Sardinia, as well as the recognition of the fount of honor by the King of the Two Sicilies.
5. Legality of the claims
The pretensions of the House of Paternò Castello where also investigated more than once by various judicial courts in the 20th and 21st centuries. The little known 20th century cases were described as an example of the concept of fons honorum in and important Leiden PhD-thesis of Dr. Hans J. Hoegen Dijkhof. This section of the present article is also based on this thesis.
The Fount of honour and the power to grant nobility played a role in the various Paternò cases in Italy. On 1 April 1952, the ‘Pretura Unificata di Bari’, evidently a court of first instance in criminal cases, had to decide a criminal case against a certain Umberto Z., a resident of Bari, who had publicly presented himself as Count of St. Ilarico. Z. was prosecuted for violating article 496 of the Italian Penal Code, as he was denounced by an anonimous person for having committed this crime.
Retaining the Fons honorum His decisive defense was inter alia that this title had been validly conferred upon him by the ‘Prince Emanuel Francesco Mario Paternò Castello di Caraci’. It appeared after a full investigation of all relevant documents by the Court, that this Prince belonged to one of the first families of Sicily, a family who are descendants of William I, the Conqueror, descendants of the Counts of Gascogne, the Kings of Navarre and Castil and that the Prince was a direct descendant of the Kings of Mallorca and the Baleares and was still Pretender to this throne. The Court found that on these grounds, he had retained his full rights of fons honorum, which meant according to the Court, that he had the power to nobilitate, to grant and confirm coats of arms and to award predicates, taken from places in which his ancestors in fact had exercised sovereign powers, not to mention his right to constitute, resuscitate, reform and exercise the ‘Grand Magistry’ of the chivalric Orders of the dynasty, which are passed from father to son as an insupprimable heredity of birth, which in the ascendants of the Prince had found in fact also a confirmation by Francesco II of Bourbon, King of the Two Sicilies, in 1860. Z. was acquitted.
Legitimate power to grant honours Then it was the Prince’s own turn. He was denounced on 14 July 1958 and prosecuted, as a resident of Brunate, before and condemned on 29 May 1962 by the ‘Pretore of Monsummano Terme’, the competent judge in first instance, to 4 months and 15 days imprisonment for having allegedly conferred false titles to a number of persons (Article 81 of the Penal Code and article 8 of Law 3.3.51 N.178.) but he was acquitted of several connected alleged counts (Articles 81cpv 640, 56, 640 of the Penal Code) for lack of evidence. He appealed with the ‘Tribunale di Pistoia’ and on 5 June 1964, this court of appeals confirmed his acquittal in first instance and annulled his condemnation in first instance. Basically, the Court said that the conferment to and acceptance of foreign honours, the honours conferred being foreign, by Italian citizens, was legal, while only the public use of these honours by Italian citizens was subject to authorisation by the President of the Republic, to properly safeguard the merits reserved to and represented by the honours bestowed by the Italian State. The Court had also investigated the fons honorum of the Prince and had found that he was the legitimate possessor of this faculty, which according to the Court was an expression of the honorific power of his house, which had been conserved by family tradition and had not suffered ‘debellatio’, the forced surrender of power. He was therefore entitled to grant the honours given by him, because the Court deemed that he had the legitimate power to grant these honours.
The quote from the website of the Corpo della Nobiltà Italiana Circolo Giovanilegt, section ‘Alcune domanda sulla nobiltà’, dated 24 December 2004, may further elucidate this point.
The Public Prosecutor did not institute cassation and it was therefore definitively established between the Italian State and the Prince that the Prince or his direct descendants, by using their fons honorum, can validly confer noble titles.
The courts involved had consulted independent experts who provided concurring opinions in arriving at their judgments. In this connection, reference can also be made to the well known legal notion of res judicata (the principle that a matter may not, generally, be relitigated once it has been judged on the merits), which is based on the principle of public order of lites finiri oportet, the policy that there must be an end to litigation.
Some critics regarding the dynastic claims of the House of Paternò lack objectivity. Their statements often do not express the idea that judging the Paternò-claims should not be influenced by particular perspectives, value commitments, community bias or personal interests, to name a few relevant factors. Stair Sainty’s remarks however are fully understandable. The question whether as a junior member of a junior branch of the family don Roberto had the right to claim any prerogative pertaining to its chief can be answered from both a legitimate and a legal point of view. From a legitimate perspective there are a number of cases where a junior branch came to eclipse more senior lines in rank and power, for example the Kings of Prussia and German Emperors who were junior by primogeniture to the Counts and Princes of Hohenzollern, and the Electors and Kings of Saxony who were a younger branch of the House of Wettin than the Grand Dukes of Saxe-Weimar. It is clear that the senior members of the House do not claim the any rights regarding the former kingdoms of Aragon, Majorca, Sicily, Valencia and Sardinia. Therefore it is perfectly legitimate that members of a cadet branch of the House pursue these claims.
Robert Gayre’s remarks concern the succession in the female line. He claims that succession is not possible in the female line. The House of Paternò’s claim is in accordance with the agnatic (or semi-Salic) succession, prevalent in much of Europe since ancient times. This succession is reserved first to all the male dynastic descendants of all the eligible branches by order of primogeniture, then upon total extinction of these male descendants to a female member of the dynasty. Former monarchies that operated under semi-Salic law included Austria (later Austria-Hungary), Bavaria, Hanover, Württemberg, Russia, Saxony, Tuscany, and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Now that it clear that no male successors of the former kingdoms of Aragon, Majorca, Sicily, Valencia and Sardinia exist, the succession in the female line should also be considered as legitimate.
Over the last 60 years at least two independent judicial courts came to the conclusion that the fount of honor of the House is valid. It is very rare that the fons honorum of a family is backed by judicial decisions. As a matter of fact, the House of Paternò is one of the few royal Houses whose pretensions are not only raised by the family but also declared valid by the courts.
It is therefore surprisingly that in the 21st century the claims were again challenged in court in a matter regarding an interlocutory freezing order by an Italian public prosecutor. The seizure was lifted because the court (again) confirmed the fons honorum of the House of Paternò.
Well, on the basis of the voluminous documentation produced by the defense, the attribution to Paternò Castello of the power to confer honors, decorations and chivalric distinctions, cannot be doubted. The suspect is a descendent of the Paterno dynasty, whose consanguinity with the House of Aragon was recognized by numerous judicial findings; (…)
The House of Paternò Castello’s claims regarding the former kingdoms of Aragon, Majorca, Sicily, Valencia and Sardinia are therefore also perfectly legal.
Abate, A. “Esequie del Duca di Carcaci” Catania 1854
Agnello, G. “Il Museo Biscari di Catania nella Storia della Cultura Illuministica del ‘700” in Archivio Storico della Sicilia Orientale, 1957, a. X p. 142
Amico, “Catana Illustrata”, 1741
Amico, “Sicilia Sacra” 1742
Maria Concetta Calabrese, I Paternò di Raddusa, C.U.E.C.M. 1998
G. Carrelli, Hauteville e Paternò, in Rivista Araldica, n.3, 1932
Enciclopedia Treccani Vol. XXVI, voce “Paternò”, curata dal prof. Giuseppe Paladino dell’Università di Catania
Francesco Gioeni, Genealogia dei Paternò, Palermo,1680
G. Libertini, Il Museo Biscari, Milano 1930.
V. Librando, Il Palazzo Biscari in Cronache di archeologia e di storia dell’arte, 3, 1964, p. 104 e ss.
Denis Mack Smith, “Storia della Sicilia Medioevale e moderna”, Universale Laterza (1970) pp. 367 e ss, 376-377.
F. Ughello, Antonius Paternò, nobilis neapolitanus”, Palermo,1729
Bruno Varvaro, Nuove indagini sulla contea di Paternò e Butera nel sec. XII, in Rivista Araldica, n. 4 – dicembre 1931
Bruno Varvaro, Hauteville e Paternò in Rivista Araldica, n. 1 – 20 gennaio 1933 *G.E. Paternò di Sessa, F. Paternò, “Dell’origine regia e aragonese dei Paternò di Sicilia”, in Rivista Araldica Fasxcicolo n. 6, giugno 1913
Salvatore Distefano, Ragusa Nobilissima – Una famiglia della Contea di Modica attraverso le fonti e i documenti d’archivio, contributo alla Historia Familiae Baronum Cutaliae, Ancillae et Fundi S. Laurentii, Richerche (2006), 109-160, a pag.128 si ricorda che Eleonora Paternò e Tornabene, vedova Biscari, sposò Guglielmo Distefano, duca di San Lorenzo.
Librando, V. “Il Palazzo Biscari” in Cronache di Archeologia e di Storia dell’Arte, 1964, n. 3 p. 104 e ss.
Guzzetta, G.: “Per la gloria di Catania: Ignazio Paternò Castello Principe di Biscari” Agorà, Luglio- settembre 2001
Garuffi, Archivio Storico della Sicilia Orientale, anno IX, 1912
Garuffi, Gli Aleramici ed i Normanni, Palermo 1910, Vol. I
La Dinastia Sovrana Paternò-Ayerbe-Aragona – L Pelliccioni di Poli
1956 Rome Nobiliario Internazionale – C Santippolito
1985 RAM Messina Corpus Historiae Genealogicae Italiae et Hispaniae – J.W. Imhof 1702 Nurnberg
Los Condes de Barcelona Vindicados Cronologia y Genealogia – Prospero de Bofarull y Mascaro Secretario de SM Archivero de la Corona de Aragon
1836 Barcelona Rivista Araldica 1922 p295-305, 343-346
Rivista Araldica 1913 p330-335
Anales de la Corona de Aragon by Jerònimo Zurita, Tom 1 libro IV cap.126
J Lee Shneidman, The Rise of the Aragonese-Catalan Empire 1200-1350, New York and London 1970
I wish to thank mr Stephen Screech for his contributions and help.
A diploma of nobility, issued by Thorbjorn Paternò Castello typically contains the following considerations and conditions:
We, Our Royal Highness Thorbjorn I Paternò Castello di Carcaci Guttadauro di Valencia D’Ayerbe D’Aragona D’Emanuel etc… etc… For the grace of God and by right of hereditary succession, Sovereign Prince, Head of Line and Arms of the Royal House of Valencia and Sardinia, by land and by sea, to all those who will read the present paper, under the eternal protection of the Lord, Having evaluated the high merits and the illustrious and distinguished deeds of Faith, Virtue, Compassion, Feats and Intelligence and the worthy and beseeching requests by [name].(…)
We have decreed and proclaim, certain in science and out of our free will, with a decided and resolute spirit, for special grace and in the fullness of Our Royal Authority at every effect of the ius nobilitandi according to civil, religious, noble, heraldic and chivalric laws, and according to the ways and customs of any time and place, every Country and Nation, that We recognize, concede and bestow on [name] The title of [e.g. Count] with the predicate of [geographical name]. (…)
With the right to transmit them perpetually from male to male in order of primogeniture, and, in the absence of heirs, to the first born of the closest line, and, in the absence of males, una tantum to females. Both male and female collaterals have the title of “Noble of the“, as is the custom, and in any case, the title of “Don” and “Donna” to the most beloved Don [name] [title, e.g. Count] of [geographical name]of the Sovereign House of Valencia (…).
Ordinary tribunal of Rome
Section for appeal from attachment measures
Composed by the Messrs. Judges:
Dott. Filippo Steidi President
Dott. Roberta Conforti Judge
Dott. Laura Previti Judge
Gathered in the council chamber, under dissolution of the reservation undertaken at the hearing of 19 December 2013, have pronounced the following
on the appeal from a preventive attachment measure, presented on behalf of Paterno Castello Dei Duchi di Carcaci Principi d’Emmanuel Thorbjorn Francesco Giuseppe Nicola Roberto, dated 9 December 2013, regarding a decree issued with respect to the suspect dated 26 November by the GIP of the Tribunal of Rome
– – – – –
The objection is well founded and is admitted.
Paterno Castello Dei Duchi di Carcaci Principi d’Emmanuel Thorbjorn Francesco Giuseppe Nicola Roberto has instituted appeal against the decree indicated above, by virtue of which are subjected to preventive attachment the bank accounts with Cariparma in the name of the Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem with Branch 4 of Reggio Emilia and with Banca Intesa in the name of Delio Cardilli with branch Roma Ostia 12, in connection with the crime of forming a criminal association aimed at committing crimes of serious fraud through the constitution of a false chivalric order, of having committed continuous fraud in unison as well as the crime of illicit conferment of decorations under art. 8 of law 178/1951, better described in the provisional indictments which are deemed integrally inserted here.
The defense has contested the existence of suspicion of crimes committed, attaching a voluminous documentation, having examined which, the Court deems the exception well founded.
In the first place it must become clear that the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta O.S.J., according to the accusatory hypothesis mainly organized and promoted by Paterno Castello and used to confuse an indeterminate multitude of subjects, thus as to draw unjust profits through the conferment of false decorations, is a real order and operating at a supranational level falling under the list of the non authorized “non-national Orders”, as appearing from the annex C to f.n. M_D GMIL III 10 4/051891 of the Ministry of Defense, produced by the defense in Annex 7.
To correctly define the question, it is useful to recall the norms issued in the matter of conferment and use of decorations which were introduced after the birth of the republican order with law 178/1951 which, by instituting the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, sanctioned the general prohibition for Italian citizens if not authorized by the President of the Republic at the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to use in the Republic’s territory honors, decorations or chivalric distinctions conferred to them in non-national Orders or by Foreign States (art. 7). The norm maintains the dispositions valid before with regard to the use of honors and chivalric distinctions of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Article 8 of the law cited on the other hand forbids the conferment of honors, decorations and chivalric distinctions on behalf of entities, associations and private parties.
On the basis of a systematic reading of the two norms, it appears that the subject law distinguishes with regard to the penal effects between the activity of conferment of honors and their use. In the case of Non-national Orders or foreign States, the conferment of honors, of which it may not be excluded this can also take place on the national territory, remains indifferent to the Italian national order which is only concerned with the use, which is prohibited, unless, it is repeated, the use is authorized. In all other cases (institutions and private parties) the possibility of conferment, with the measure of the criminal sanction, is fundamentally excluded
From this follows the permissibility, in abstracto, of the conferment of the honors granted by the O.S.J., being a non-national Order.
It remains in concreto to verify the possibility of Paterno Castello to confer these honors, or rather the entitledness of the suspect to the ius honorum (the faculty to create nobles and chivalric arms) which transfers itself iure sanguinis to the proper descendants, in the person of the Head of the Name and Arms of the Dynasty.
Well, on the basis of the voluminous documentation produced by the defense, the attribution to Paterno Castello of the power to confer honors, decorations and chivalric distinctions, cannot be doubted. The suspect is a descendent of the Paterno dynasty, whose consanguinity with the House of Aragon was recognized by numerous judicial findings; the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta, whose Grand Master was H.R.H. Prince Don Roberto II Paterno Castello di Carcaci Ayerbe-Aragona, ascendent of the present suspect, to whom the Grand Mastership was transferred by public act, is a branch historically derived from the original Hospital Order of Malta; from which follows that Paterno Castello as Grand Master of the Order and titulary to the fons honorum (including the ius honorum and the ius maiestatis) had and has the power to confer honors of the same Order.
Furthermore, in view of the existence of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the question might be raised of induction in error of ignorant subjects beneficiaries of the honors, through taking advantage of the similarity (in the symbols and the insignia) with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, whose honors can be used on Italian soil.
However, this hypothesis can already be excluded by reading the document ” list of documents to be annexed to the request for admission” which is furnished to who wishes to become part of the order and wherein the difference between the O.S.J. and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is expressly set out.
In conclusion, the decree objected to, is annulled because of the non existence of suspicion of committed crimes with respect to the alleged crimes.
FOR THESE MOTIVES,
The decree objected to and orders the Chancery to do the necessary
Rome, 19 December 2013
The Editing Judge
Deposited at the Chancery
Rome, 31 December 2013
The order or line of succession is the sequence of members of a royal family in the order in which they stand in line to the throne. The basis for the succession is often determined in the nation’s constitution. As a matter of personal interest, I have examined the line of succesion of the emperors of Haiti, starting with Faustin I.
The Constitution made the Imperial Dignity hereditary amongst the natural and legitimate direct descendants of Emperor Faustin I, by order of primogeniture and to the perpetual exclusion of females and their descendants. The Emperor could adopt the children or grandchildren of his brothers, and become members of his family from the date of adoption. Sons so adopted enjoyed the right of succession to the throne, immediately after the Emperor’s natural and legitimate sons (Les constitutions dHaiti, 1801-1885).
Art. 108. — La dignité impériale est héréditaire dans la descendance directe, naturelle et légitime, de Faustin Soulouque, de mâle en mâle, par ordre de progéniture, et à l’exclusion perpétuelle des femmes et de leur descendance.
Art, 109. — La personne de l’Empereur est inviolable et sacrée.
Art. 110. — L’Empereur Faustin Soulouque est proclamé sous le nom de Faustin 1er.
Art. 112. — L’Empereur pourra nommer son successeur, s’il n’a point d’héritier mâle et s’il n’a point de fils adoptif. Cette nomination devra être secrète et enfermée dans une cassette déposée au palais impérial de la capitale.
Art. 115.— A défaut d’adoption et de nomination par l’empereur, le grand conseil de l’Empire nomme son successeur. Jusqu’au moment où l’élection du nouvel empereur est consommée, le grand conseil exerce le pouvoir exécutif.
Art. 134. — Les princes et les princesses de la famille impériale ne peuvent se marier sans l’autorisation de l’Empereur.
Art. 135. — Les enfants mâles deviennent membres à vie du Sénat lorsqu’ils ont atteint l’âge de 18 ans.
Art. 145. — Il est institué un grand conseil de l’Empire, composé de neuf grands dignitaires choisis par l’Empereur. L’Empereur préside le grand conseil ou en délègue le pouvoir à un de ses membres.
Art. 146. — Les attributions du grand conseil sont :
1° D’exercer l’autorité exécutive dans le cas où il y aurait empêchement pour l’Empereur de l’exercer lui-même;
2° De nommer le successeur de l’Empereur et d’exercer le pouvoir exécutif dans les cas prévus par l’article 115;
3° D’élire le régent dans le cas de l’article 141 ;
4° D’être le conseil de la régence ;
5° De procéder à l’ouverture de la cassette qui renfermera le nom du successeur de l’Empereur, conformément à l’article 112.
In order to see how the line of succession has developed, I have tried to make a fragment of the genealogy of the imperial family.
I. Marie-Catherine Soulouque. b. at Port-au-Prince, Saint-Domingue, 1744. A slave of the Mandingo race. She d. at Port-au-Prince, 9 August 1819.
IIa. H.I.M. Faustin-Élie Soulouque (Faustin I), by the grace of God , and the Constitution of the Empire, Emperor of Haiti. b. at Petit-Goâve, 1782. Freed by Felicite Sonthonax 29 August 1793. Fought in the War of independence as a private soldier 1803-1804, Cmsnd. as Lieut. and ADC to General Lamarre 1806, Lieut. Horse Guards under Presdt. Petion 1810, prom. Capt., prom. Maj. under Presdt. Rivière-Hérard, prom. Col. under Presdt. Guerier 1843, prom. Brig-Gen. and later Lt-Gen. and supreme commander of the guards under Presdt. Riche. Became President of the Republic of Haiti (*1) and took the oath of office 2 March 1847.
Proclaimed as Emperor Faustin I, by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, and assumed the style of His Imperial Majesty, 26 August 1849. Crowned at Port-au-Prince, by the Abbe Cessens according to Episcopalian (Franc-Catholique) rites, 18 April 1852. Attempted to conquer, but failed to take, Santo Domingo in 1856. Founded the Military Order of St Faustin and the Civil Haitian Order of the Legion of Honour, 21st September 1849. Also founded the Orders of St Mary Magdalen and St Anne, 31 March 1856. Deposed 15 January 1859.
Founded the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1856. Fled to the French legation, seeking asylum, but was later taken into exile in Jamaica, aboard a British warship 22 January 1859 (1). Married at Port-au-Prince, December 1849, H.I.M. Empress Adélina (b. ca. 1795), raised to the title of Empress of Haiti with the style of Her Imperial Majesty 26th August 1849, Crowned with her husband at Port-au-Prince 18th April 1852, daughter of Marie Michel Lévêque. After the death of her husband, Adélina fled to the Dominican Republic and then went to Spain, where she was received by the King of Spain himself. She remained at the Royal Palace of Spain in Madrid from 1868 to 1874.
Adélina then left for France and remained there from 1875 to 1877. She ended her days in Rome, Italy in 1879, until her death at the age of about 84 years. She was buried first in Rome near the Vatican and then in Haiti near her husband in 1907, 28 years after his death (*2).
1) H.I.H. Princess Célita Soulouque, m. Jean-Philippe Lubin, Count of Petionville, who was very rich. Together they had four children: three daughters and a son who died at birth.
2) H.S.H. Princess Geneviève Olive [Madame]. b. 1842 (quinze à seize ans in September 1858), d. 1936. Adopted by Emperor Faustin, raised to the title of Princess and granted the style of Her Serene Highness 1850. m. Amitié Lubin (b. ca. 1800), son of Jean Philippe Vil Lubin, Count de Pétion-Ville, by his wife, Elizabeth Ulcénie, née Amitié (*3). Princess Olive travelled around the world: France (1893-1894); Portugal (1894-1899) with her daughter Marie; Canada 1901; America (Philadelphia) (1902-1913); Dominican Republic (1913-1914); France (1914-1918); Dominican Republic (1918-1923); Thailand (1923-1927) as a guest of a friend of the Royal Family; Australia (1927-1929); Haiti 1929-1936) (*4) [Oliva Soulouque, Biografia].
IIb. (Prince) Jean-Joseph Soulouque. He d. after 1850, having had issue, eleven sons and daughters, including:
1. H.I.M. (Prince) Mainville-Joseph Soulouque, pretender under the name Joseph I, m. 1854 with Princess Olive (IIa,2). He did participate in some attempts to restore the monarchy in Haiti, without success and d. in 1891. Children:
a. “S.A.S. la princesse” Maria Soulouque, d. Portugal 1899.
b. H.I.M. (Prince) Joseph Soulouque, “prince impérial”, pretender to the throne as Joseph II, left for France with his mother in 1914, fought for the Allies in WWI, returned to the Dominican Republic in 1918 and lived there until his death on 18 June 1922. In 1930 Princess Geneviève Olive received a letter from the new pretender to the throne, her great grandson of 31 years told her that his wife was pregnant. Their names are unknown to me.
c. “S.A.S. le prince” Faustin-Joseph Soulouque, lived in the United States (Philadelphia) until his death in 1913.
d. Marie Adelina Soulouque, daughter of Mainville-Joseph Soulouque with Marie d’Albert. Daughter: Marie Adelina Soulouque, who married Johan Carl Sictus Weijgel Quast (*1, *5), pharmacist [Santa Domingo].
H.I.H. Princess Célita Soulouque is said to have been the only daughter of Faustin. It has been reported in the Curacaosche Courant of 24 July 1852 that Faustin made preparations for his son “Bobo” to marry the actress Lola Montez. In 1846, the actress arrived in Munich, where she was discovered by and became the mistress of, Ludwig I of Bavaria. Ludwig made her Countess of Landsfeld on his birthday, 25 August 1847. Along with her title, he granted her a large annuity. In 1848 Ludwig abdicated, and Montez fled Bavaria, her career as a power behind the throne at an end. From 1851 to 1853, Lola Montez performed as a dancer and actress in the eastern United States, one of her offerings being a play called Lola Montez in Bavaria.
Interesting comments by mr Christopher Buyers (FB 27 January 2016):
Bobo was actually an escaped galley-slave who had been “candidate” for president several times, but was persuaded to join Soulouque’s cause. After the latter became Emperor, Bobo was ennobled and created a Prince. In April 1851, while serving as Governor and C-in-C of the Northern Province, he was suspected of rebellion and summoned to court. Fearing a certain death, he fled. Later captured and executed along with some other generals the following year. He is mentioned by Helen O’Donnell Holdredge in her biography “The Woman in Black: The Life of Lola Montez”, Putnam, 1955. There, he is described on p 141 as Grand Chamberlain to Faustin I, sent by him to persuade Lola Montez to visit his court in Haiti. Prince Bobo had a son named Alexandre, who was in turn the father of Dr Pierre François Joseph Benoit Bobo aka “Rosalvo”, who was a leading politician, Secretary of State for the Interior, and leader of the revolution which toppled President Sam II in 1915, prompting the US to intervene and occupy Haiti to prevent him becoming president.
(*3) Roman Catholic Church Kingston (Jamaica) Marriages 1839-1869. Act of marriage: Pierre Joseph Amitie Vil Lubin, native of Haiti, lawful son of His Lordship Earl Philippe Vil Lubin and by his wife, Elizabeth Ulcénie. Lord Amitie Vil Lubin, maried on 26 December 1861 HSH Princess Geneviève Olive Soulouque, native of Haiti, lawful daughter of Emperor Faustin Elie Soulouque and Empress Adélina Lévêque. Witnesses: Alexandre Bravo, Charles Grant, widow Lubin, Amitie Lubin, widow of Louis Lubin, Elizabeth Grant, James Male, Jean Baptiste Vil Lubin, George Clermont, A.M. Lhoste, Felicite Faustin, Ameisima Amitie, Elina Mainvaille, L. Bedonet, Elizabeth Bourke, Caroline Crosswell. Source: website of Thierry Jean-Baptiste Soulouque Vil Lubin.
Constitutions of the World from the late 18th Century to the Middle of the 19th Century, The Americas. Multi-volumed work Constitutions of the World from the late 18th Century to the Middle of the 19th Century Sources on the Rise of Modern Constitutionalism / Quellen zur Herausbildung des modernen Konstitutionalismus. Ed. by Dippel, Horst The Americas Vol. 10 Constitutional Documents of Haiti 1790–1860 / Documents constitutionnels d’Haïti 1790-1860 / Verfassungsdokumente Haitis 1790-1860 Ed. by Dubois, Laurent / Gaffield, Julia / Acacia, Michel
Hartog, [dr.] Johan Curaçao; From Colonial dependence to autonomy. Oranjestad, Aruba: De Wit publishers 1968 (Faustin’s exile on the island of Curaçao)
I recently discovered that Faustin I was a member of a Masonic lodge in France. This was in tradition with other Haitian leaders. In 1743, after the death of Louis de Pardaillan de Gondrin , duke of Antin, Louis de Bourbon-Condé (1709-1771), count of Clermont, prince of the blood and future member of the Académie française, succeeded him as “Grand Master of all regular lodges in France”. He remained in office until his death in 1771. Around 1744 there were around 20 lodges in Paris and 20 in the provinces. Lodges in the provinces were most often founded by Masons out of Paris on business or via the intermediary of military lodges in regiments passing through a region – where a regiment with a military lodge left its winter quarters, it was common for it to leave behind the embryo of a new civil lodge there. The many expressions of military origin still used in Masonic banquets of today date to this time, such as the famous “canon” (cannon, meaning a glass) or “poudre forte” (strong gunpowder, meaning the wine).
Today, in the UK and in certain Commonwealth realms and in the Philippines, a number of men are entitled to the prefix of ‘sir’, including knights bachelor, knights of the orders of chivalry and baronets. The dignity of knighthood carries the prefix of ‘Sir’, but unlike a baronetcy it is only held for life. Although in the UK foreign nationals can be awarded these honours, they are explicitly excluded using the prefix. Instead they use the associated post-nominal letters. British nationals who have been awarded an honour by another country including countries of which the Queen is head of state, other members of the commonwealth and by all other foreign countries may not use any associated title, that the award might bestow, in the United Kingdom.
Baronet (Bt.) is a British hereditary dignity, first created by King James I of England in May 1611. The baronetage is not part of the peerage, nor is it an order of knighthood. A baronet ranks below barons but above all knights except, in England, Knights of the Garter and, in Scotland, Knights of the Garter and of the Thistle. In England and Ireland a baronetcy is inherited by the male heir, but in Scotland ladies may succeed to certain baronetcies where it has been specified at the time of their creation.
Knight of the Order of the Garter (KG). The Order of the Garter is the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry and was founded by Edward III in 1348. The Order, consisting of the King and twenty-five knights, honours those who have held public office, who have contributed in a particular way to national life or who have served the Sovereign personally. The patron saint of the Order is St George (patron saint of soldiers and also of England) as well as of all orders of chivalry. The spiritual home of the Order is St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
Knight of the Order of the Thistle (KT). The Order of the Thistle represents the highest honour in Scotland. It is second only in precedence in the UK to the Order of the Garter.The Order honours Scottish men and women who have held public office or who have contributed in a particular way to national life.The date of the foundation of the Order is not known, although legend has it that it was founded in 809 when King Achaius made an alliance with the Emperor Charlemagne.
Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (KCB/GCB). Originally membership comprised the British monarch, a great master of the order, and 36 knights. Membership regulations have undergone numerous changes over the centuries. Three classes of knights were instituted in 1815 to commemorate the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Corresponding classes were added in 1847 for a civilian division. The order currently includes the monarch, members of the royal family, foreigners (known as “honorary members”), and the classes of knights—115 Knights or Dames Grand Cross (GCB), 328 Knights or Dames Commanders (KCB or DCB, respectively), and 1,815 Companions (CB). Investiture into the two highest classes (Knight/Dame Grand Cross and Knight/Dame Commander) means induction into knighthood, if the candidate does not already hold that honour, and the right to the title of “Sir” or “Dame” as appropriate. (Knights and Dames Grand Cross, together with Knights of the Garter and of the Thistle, may be granted the use of supporters with their arms.) The officers of the order are the Dean (usually the Dean of Westminster), Bath King of Arms, Registrar, Usher of the Scarlet Rod, and Secretary. Ladies are admitted to all classes of the order.
In 1725 King George I created a new military Order and called it the Order of the Bath; the civil branch was established in 1847. Broadly speaking, the Order is awarded to officers of the armed forces, and to high-ranking civil servants.
The Order now consists of the Sovereign, a Great Master (presently the Prince of Wales, who was installed in 1975), and three classes of members, each of which is divided into civil and military divisions: Knights and Dames Grand Cross; Knights and Dames Commanders; Companions.
Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG/GCMG). William IV instituted the three classes of knights of the order, which (in descending order of rank) are Knight Grand Cross or Dame Grand Cross (GCMG), Knight Commander or Dame Commander (KCMG or DCMG, respectively), and Companion (CMG). Membership is limited to 120 Knights Grand Cross, 390 Knights Commanders, and 1,775 Companions. Conferment of the two highest classes of the order entails admission into knighthood, if the candidate is not already a knight or dame, and the right to the title of “Sir” or “Dame” as appropriate. (Knights and Dames Grand Cross may be granted the use of supporters with their arms.) The order’s officers are Prelate, Chancellor, Secretary, King of Arms, Registrar, and Gentleman Usher of the Blue Rod.
Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO/GCVO). The Royal Victorian Order is given by The Queen to people who have served her or the Monarchy in a personal way. These may include officials of the Royal Household, family members or perhaps British Ambassadors who have helped organise a State Visit to a particular country. The Order was founded in April 1896 by Queen Victoria as a way of rewarding personal service to her, on her own initiative rather than by ministerial recommendation. The Order was, and is, entirely within the Sovereign’s personal gift. The anniversary of the institution of the Order is 20 June, the day of Queen Victoria’s accession to the throne.There have never been any limits on the number of appointments made. Today, people receive their award either privately from The Queen or another member of the Royal Family, or during an Investiture.
Knight Commander or Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (KBE/GBE). The Order of the British Empire recognises distinguished service to the arts and sciences, public services outside the Civil Service and work with charitable and welfare organisations of all kinds.Today the Order of the British Empire is the order of chivalry of British democracy. Valuable service is the only criterion for the award, and the Order is now used to reward service in a wide range of useful activities. Citizens from other countries may also receive an honorary award, for services rendered to the United Kingdom and its people. There are more than 100,000 living members of the Order throughout the world.
Knight Bachelor (Kt.). A knighthood (or a damehood, its female equivalent) is one of the highest honors an individual in the United Kingdom can achieve. While in past centuries knighthoods used to be awarded solely for military merit, today they also recognize significant contributions to national life. Recipients range from actors to scientists, and from school head teachers to industrialists. A knighthood cannot be bought and it carries no military obligations to the Sovereign. The Queen (or a member of the Royal Family acting on her behalf) confers knighthoods in Britain, either at a public investiture or privately. The ceremony involves the ceremonial dubbing of the knight by The Queen, and the presentation of insignia.
Antigua and Barbuda
In Antigua and Barbuda, Knights Companion of the The Most Distinguished Order of the Nation may use the prefix ‘Sir’ in front of their forename, and their wives may use the title ‘Lady’ in front of their husband’s surname. Similarly, Dames Companion of the Order may use the title ‘Dame’ in front of their forename. No specific privilege exists for their husbands. The Order of the National Hero was first established and constituted by the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda under the National Heroes Act 1994, in 1998 reestablished and most recently amended in 2015.
The honour of the Order of National Hero may be conferred upon any person who was born in Jamaica or is, or at the time of his or her death was, a citizen of Jamaica and rendered to Jamaica service of a most distinguished nature. National Heroes are entitled to be styled “The Rt Excellent” and the motto of the Order is “He built a city which hath foundations”.
Knight Commander, Knight Grand Cross, or Knight Grand Collar of the Order of the Nation (KCN/KGCN/KGN). The honour of the Order of the Nation (ON) may be conferred upon any Governor-General of Jamaica and upon any person who has been appointed as Prime Minister of Jamaica, not being a person upon whom the honour of the Order of National Hero has been conferred. A member of the Order is styled “The Most Honourable” and the spouse of the member is also entitled to be so styled. The motto of the Order is “One Nation Under God”
Members of these orders are not entitled to the prefix of Sir, contrary to my earlier remarks.
Order of Australia (AK; for male Australian subjects only). The Queen is the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia and the Governor-General is the Principal Knight or Dame, as the case may be, and as Chancellor is charged with the administration of the Order. The Official Secretary to the Governor-General is the Secretary of the Order of Australia. From 1976 to 1986 there was provision for the appointment of Knights and Dames in the Order of Australia. On 25 March 2014, Knights and Dames were reinstated as the highest awards in the Order of Australia. Knights and Dames are already included in the Order of Wearing Australian Honours and Awards above Companion. Please note: this gain has been suspended by the current Prime Minister Mr. Malcolm Turnbull and his government in November 2015.
Knight of St. Andrew of the Order of Barbados (KA). The Order of Barbados was instituted by Letters Patent on July 25, 1980, as part of the Barbados National Honours and Decorations System. The Knight or Dame of St. Andrew is the highest order given by the Queen of Barbados, and is awarded for “extraordinary and outstanding achievement and merit in service to Barbados or to humanity at large”.
Knight Companion or Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM/GNZM).The New Zealand Order of Merit was instituted by Royal Warrant dated 30 May 1996. The Order is awarded to those “who in any field of endeavour, have rendered meritorious service to the Crown and the nation or who have become distinguished by their eminence, talents, contributions, or other merits”. On 10 April 2000 it was announced that The Queen had approved the discontinuation of titles (damehoods and knighthoods) within the Order. The new designations were principal companions and distinguished companions. The first appointments to the re-designated levels were made in The Queen’s Birthday Honours on 5 June 2000.
On 8 March 2009 it was announced that The Queen had given approval for the reinstatement of the titles of Knight and Dame Grand Companion and Knight and Dame Companion. The first appointments to the redesignated levels were made in The Queen’s Birthday Honours on 31 May 2009.
Knights of the Order of Knights of Rizal prefix Sir to their forenames and add the relevant post-nominal according to their rank at the end of their names while wives of Knights prefix “Lady” to their first names. The Order of the Knights of Rizal is a fraternal and cultural organization created to honor and uphold the ideals of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal. Established on December 30, 1911, the organization was granted a legislative charter by the President of the Philippines as a civic and patriotic organization on 14 June 1951 by Republic Act 646. Although the Order is not a state entity, it enjoys state recognition. This means the state recognizes the insignia corresponding to its ranks. The sword and kneeling ceremony during dubbing states: “Vested upon the By-Laws of the Order, I dub (name of new member) – By virtue of the Order (he taps left shoulder with sword). Arise, Sir (name of new member).” (excerpt by Sir Justo P. Torres jr., KGCR Supreme Commander, Manila, Philippines, December 30, 1985). The prefix is mentioned in the diploma of the recipient. Some notable members of the Order, such as King Juan Carlos of Spain, former American Foreign Secretary and Nobel peace prize laureate, Henry Kissinger and other noted Filipinos who are recipients of the Order’s decoration certainly give credence and dignity to it. The Archbishop of Manila is also a member of the Order dispelling any notion that the Order could be Masonic. The late Jaime Cardinal L. Sin was honored with the highest degree of the Knighthood. He also blessed the building where the Order established its international headquarters in Manila. Other famous members include:
Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George
The first known British subject to be invested into the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George was Lieutenant Colonel John Pritchard in 1798. Captain Sir William D’Arley was also invested in 1801, receiving the decoration from King Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In the same year, he obtained a Royal Licence from King George III of Great Britain which permitted him to be styled as “Sir William” and to wear the Order’s decoration at Court. However, please note that this is not currently being practiced.
A protocol from Buckingham Palace and the Foreign Office preventing such usage of foreign knighthoods was published in The London Gazette of 1 June 2016. It states that in line with the long-established convention concerning foreign titles, British nationals who have been awarded an honour by another country may not use any associated title, that the award might bestow, in the United Kingdom. Only those British nationals, including dual nationals, awarded a British Knighthood or appointed to a British Order of Chivalry as a Dame, may use the title ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame’ in the United Kingdom.
Comments by mr Christopher Buyers:You may like to check the Antigua & Barbuda section again. Commentary more relevant to Jamaica seems to have crept in. The 2016 Gazette notification does rely on some ‘smoke and mirrors’ and ‘eyewash’ to make its case. Perhaps because the writer knew that the reader would not necessarily understand the finer points of the Law. In English and British law there is, in fact, no such thing as a foreigner. There is only “subject” and “alien”. HM’s subjects from Commonwealth realms, indeed even those citizens of Commonwealth republics of which she is not Head of State, are not aliens in UK law. They are entitled to join the armed forces, be appointed to judicial positions, stand for parliament and take part in elections. The traditional exclusion regarding “foreign” titles is one that applied to aliens only.
I would like to gratefully and sincerely thank mr Christopher Buyers, for his contibutions.
“Nowadays, the Dutch orders of chivalry are the recognized successors of the old religious military orders from the time of the crusades, not to be confused with orders of knighthood, which are state merit orders. Chivalry is a criterion of the Dutch Supreme Council of Nobility. It refers to a noble order which has formulated a clear admission policy in its charter like the Order of Saint John in the Netherlands and the Order of Malta. Any organization in the Netherlands is free to call itself an order of chivalry, although the guidelines of the Supreme Council of Nobility state that it will belong to the unrecognized orders.”
Is dit wel juist, kan men zich afvragen?
Het is in deze blog wat onzinnig om diep in te gaan op de geschiedenis van de verschillende Orden die zich als Orde van Sint Jan presenteren (of iets wat hier op lijkt) omdat hierover al zeer veel is geschreven. Eigenlijk is met betrekking tot oorsprong van de Johanniter Orde in Nederland een enkel feit van belang. De Johanniter Orde in Nederland bij Koninklijk Besluit no. 33 van 5 maart 1946 gesticht, na het verbreken van de banden met de Duitse Johanniter Orde. Een opvolger van de Orde die in de middeleeuwen bekend stond als Orde van Sint Jan is het zeker dus niet. Het is niet integer dat de Orde de illusie propageert een oude Orde te zijn. Eerlijker zou het zijn om te spreken van een Orde die de ridderlijke traditie probeert hoog te houden. Daarvan zijn er echter honderden. Het Koninklijk Besluit geeft het geheel natuurlijk wat meer distinctie, maar niet meer historie.
De “Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta” (Italiaans: “Sovrano Militare Ordine Ospedaliero di San Giovanni di Gerusalemme di Rodi e di Malta”) wordt door de onderzoeker (voorlopig althans) kennelijk ook gezien als een opvolger van de Orde uit de tijd van de kruistochten. Naar de SMOM en andere Orders van Sint Jan is diepgaand onderzoek verricht door mijn collega Hans Hoegen Dijkhof. Hij komt tot de navolgende conclusie in zijn proefschrift: The Legitimacy of Orders of Saint John (p.218):
“The interim conclusion is that the original Order founded around 1050, carried on till 1154, respectively 1798 and in the course of its history, Anglican and Protestant split-offs occurred. In 1798, Napoleon dissolved this original Order. Czar Paul I was then validly elected in 1798 as Grandmaster of what States and Priories have seen as the original Order continued. Then in 1803, a ‘coup d’état’ by Pope Pius VII, facilitated by Czar Alexander I and a marionet provisional Sacred Council, took place and this started a new Papal Order in 1803. The new Order started in 1798 under Czar Paul I, in principle legally remained established in St. Petersburg and carried on somehow in Russia during the rest of the 19 th century.”
Napoleon heeft deze antieke Orde dus in ieder geval in 1798 opgeheven. In 1803 heeft de Paus een nieuwe Orde gesticht met een andere naam. Ook de SMOM is dus geen rechtstreekse opvolger van de oude middeleeuwse Orde. Wel kan worden gesteld dat zij in de traditie hiervan treedt, maar daarin is de SMOM niet exclusief, zoals blijkt uit onderstaande jurisprudentie.
In 2012 verloor de SMOM een belangrijke dispuut (door de SMOM zelf getart) over de rechtmatigheid van het exclusieve gebruik van het witte Maltezer kruis. Inzet was dat de SMOM de oudste rechten op het merk- en beeldrecht had. De US Federal Appeals Court heeft in zijn uitspraak (kort samengevat) bevestigd dat de Russische en de Vaticaanse Orde van Sint Jan, voorafgaande aan 1798 dezelfde wortels hebben en dat de SMOM heeft gefraudeerd bij de registratie van haar merken en schrapte de desbetreffende registraties. De SMOM had dus niet de exclusieve historische rechten; zie:
De Hoge Raad van Adel is ingesteld bij Besluit van de Soevereine Vorst van 24 juni 1814, nr. 10. De Wet op de adeldom van 10 mei 1994 (Staatsblad 360) regelt de samenstelling en bevoegdheid van de Raad. Als vast college van advies over de uitvoering in zaken van bestuur van het Rijk (ingevolge art. 79 van de Grondwet) adviseert de Raad (www.hogeraadvanadel.nl):
de minister van Algemene Zaken over naamgeving, titulatuur en wapenverlening van leden van het koninklijk huis, het Rijkswapen en de Nederlandse vlag;
de minister van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties over adelszaken en de samenstelling en wijziging van de wapens van publiekrechtelijke lichamen;
de minister van Justitie over verzoeken tot naamswijziging, waarbij de namen van adellijke geslachten of van heerlijkheden betrokken zijn;
de minister van Defensie over ontwerpen van emblemen en medailles van de krijgsmachtsonderdelen.
Op het gebied van erkenning van Orden heeft de Raad dus geen enkele wettelijke taak. Het probleem hier is dat er geen enkele staatsautoriteit bestaat. De Kanselarij der Nederlandse Orden gaat hier immers ook niet over, zoals wellicht gedacht kan worden. De Kanselarij is bij Koninklijk Besluit (KB) van 3 juni 1844 ingesteld. Zij is de overheidsorganisatie die adviseert over voordrachten voor Koninklijke onderscheidingen en verantwoordelijk is voor het beheer en de uitgifte van Koninklijke onderscheidingen. De Kanselarij heeft de volgende taken:
adviseren aan de regering over het instellen of wijzigen van onderscheidingen en herinneringstekenen;
ondersteunen van het Kapittel voor de Civiele Orden en het Kapittel der Militaire Willems-Orde bij het adviseren over voordrachten voor Koninklijke onderscheidingen;
registreren en archiveren van verleende onderscheidingen;
verwerven, beheren en verstrekken van orde- en herinneringstekenen en bijbehorende oorkondes;
innemen van ordetekenen en registratie.
Het instellen van Ridderorden is dus geen taak van de Hoge Raad van Adel of de Kanselarij der Nederlandse Orden. Zij hebben dus ook geen autoriteit op het gebied van de erkenning hiervan. Maar wie is dan wel de autoriteit op dit gebied?
Nederland kent twee soorten orden: orden die door de regering en orden die door het hoofd van de regerende dynastie persoonlijk worden toegekend. Bij het verlenen van onderscheidingen uit de eerstgenoemde categorie is het ministerieel contraseign vereist, bij de tweede categorie, de zogenoemde huisorden, niet. Hoewel de tekst dit niet uitdrukkelijk bepaalt, heeft art. 111 Grondwet (“Ridderorden worden bij de wet ingesteld.”) alleen betrekking op de eerste categorie. De drie momenteel bestaande ridderorden in deze zin zijn de Militaire Willemsorde (ingesteld bij wet van 30 april 1815, Stb. 33), de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw (ingesteld bij wet van 29 september 1815, Stb. 47), en de Orde van Oranje-Nassau (ingesteld bij wet van 4 april 1892, Stb. 55).
Behalve ridderorden bestaan er ook andere koninklijke onderscheidingen – niet zijnde ridderorden –, die sinds 1817 zijn ingesteld. Deze onderscheidingen dienen in het algemeen ter beloning van of ter herinnering aan een bepaalde daad of een bepaald feit. Zij worden ingesteld bij koninklijk besluit. Een reëel verschil tussen de bij wet ingestelde ridderorden en de bij koninklijk besluit ingestelde koninklijke onderscheidingen bestaat vooral hierin dat deze laatsten geen ‘ridderorden’ in de zin van de wet zijn (zie www.nederlandrechtstaat.nl).
De Johanniter Orde, de Orde van Malta en de Duitse Orde behoren tot de door de Nederlandse regering erkende ridderlijke orden (zie: Besluit draagvolgorde onderscheidingen van 25 juli 2013). Het zijn nieuw opgerichte Orden, hetgeen destijds door de overheid bij de oprichting uitdrukkelijk werd vermeld (zie: E. Renger de Bruin, p. 599). Het zijn ook geen ridderorden.
Mijn conclusie is dat geen van de hiervoor genoemde Orden eerlijkerwijs kan stellen dat hij een rechtstreekse historische opvolger is van de Orde van Sint Jan uit de tijd van de kruistochten. Dat deze pretentie wel bestaat, is (diplomatiek gezegd) niet correct (www.johanniterorde.nl): “De Johanniter Orde is een Ridderlijke Orde met een protestants-christelijke grondslag. De Orde is bijna duizend jaar geleden door kruisvaarders gesticht als de Ridderlijke Orde van het Hospitaal van Sint Jan en heeft dan ook een rijke historie.”
Naast de officiële ridderorden die door de wet zijn ingesteld, zijn alle “Orden” min of meer in gelijke zin legaal. De veronderstelling in de samenvatting van het onderzoek van Versélewel de Witt Hamer is dus niet correct. De Johanniters en de SMOM zijn geen “erkende” opvolgers van de oorspronkelijke orden uit de kruistochten, hoewel de Johanniter, Maltezer en Duitse Orde door de Nederlandse regering als ridderlijk zijn erkend.
Er zijn – naast de orden met enig indirect historisch fundament – veel fantasie-orden, zonder enige historische grondslag. Deze zijn (vanuit een internationaal perspectief) deels opgesomd in het standaard (maar niet foutloze) werk van Stair Sainty. De vraag naar de historische legitimiteit is dus wel interessant. Wellicht dat Versélewel de Witt Hamer hier op doelt. Het is te hopen dat de onderzoeker de moed heeft om een transparante en vernieuwende kijk op het fenomeen “ridderorde” te geven, zonder te vervallen in het nakwekken van gekleurd onderzoek van anderen. Gelet op de uitstekende reputatie van Versélewel de Witt Hamer, acht ik de kans van slagen groot.
Onlangs is het proefschrift van Versélewel de Witt Hamer uitgegeven door het Koninklijk Nederlandsch Genootschap voor Geslacht- en Wapenkunde. Het is een indrukwekkende studie geworden met veel materiaal dat weinig bekend was. Het boek is prettig leesbaar en opvallend neutraal. Kennelijk heeft Versélewel de Witt Hamer een objectieve houding tot het onderwerp weten te bewaren. Het is hem gelukt om met een zekere afstand naar het fenomeen ‘ridderlijke orde’ te kijken. De studie heeft een flinke diepgang en een goede opbouw.
Ik kan een ieder aanbevelen om dit verfrissende standaardwerk aan te schaffen. Het boek kan worden besteld via de webwinkel van het KNGGW.
Duitsland, dat moet worden beschouwd als rechtsopvolger van het Heilige Roomse Rijk der Duitse Natie, heeft de adel als stand in 1919 bij wet afgeschaft. Artikel 109, derde lid, tweede volzin, van de Grondwet van de Republiek Weimar van 1919 Weimarer Reichsverfassung) luidt immers als volgt: “Öffentlich-rechtliche Vorrechte oder Nachteile der Geburt oder des Standes sind aufzuheben. Adelsbezeichnungen gelten nur als Teil des Namens und dürfen nicht mehr verliehen werden”. Openbare voorrechten van geboorte en stand zijn middels deze bepaling sedertdien blijvend opgeheven. Onder meer de voorheen adellijke titel “Freiherr” maakt vanaf 1919 uitsluitend onderdeel uit van de geslachtsnaam. De overgang van dit onderdeel van de naam wordt in Duitsland niet beheerst door adelrechtelijke bepalingen, maar door regels van naamrecht, zoals geregeld in het Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch. De vraag kan worden gesteld hoe het zit met het onterecht voeren van adellijke titels in Duitsland. Doorgaan met het lezen van “Is het in Duitsland strafbaar om ten onrechte een adellijke titel te voeren?”
In een zaak die in 2012 bij de rechtbank in Haarlem diende (ECLI:NL:RBHAA:2012:BW5042), ging het over de vraag of kinderen binnen hetzelfde gezin met dezelfde achternaam, allemaal hetzelfde adelspredicaat moeten kunnen voeren. Vader en grootvader hadden wel het predicaat maar het (klein)kind (verzoeker) niet.
De grootvader van verzoeker had een verzoek tot inlijving in de Nederlandse adel ingediend in 1994, vijf maanden voordat de Wet op de Adeldom (Woa) van kracht werd. Hoewel de (positieve) beslissing op het verzoek van de grootvader is gegeven na de invoering van deze wet, te weten 3 oktober 1995, was op dat verzoek niet het nieuwe, maar het oude adelsrecht van toepassing. Verzoeker, geboren in 1990, viel als erkende (klein)zoon om die reden buiten de werking van het toen geldende adelsrecht (aldus de Hoge Raad van Adel). Hoewel de Woa overgang van adeldom op buiten huwelijk geboren kinderen momenteel wel mogelijk maakt (artikel 3), heeft dit artikel volgens een uitspraak van de Afdeling bestuursrechtspraak van de Raad van State van 5 januari 2005 geen terugwerkende kracht en geldt daarom alleen voor kinderen geboren na de invoering van de wet, aldus de Hoge Raad van Adel.
Verzoeker had met brief van 17 maart 2008 verzocht om inschrijving in het filiatieregister van de Nederlandse adel, waarop bij brief van 29 april 2008 negatief is gereageerd. Verzoeker verzoekt de rechtbank de ambtenaar van de burgerlijke stand te gelasten zijn geboorteakte aan te vullen in die zin dat op de geboorteakte het predicaat jonkheer wordt aangetekend. Doorgaan met het lezen van “Haarlemse rechter ‘corrigeert’ het Europees Hof”
Als het gaat om de erfopvolging binnen vorstenhuizen, wordt regelmatig een beroep gedaan op de zogenoemde Lex Salica. De Frankische koning Chlodowich I (Clovis) gaf tussen 507 en 511 de opdracht de zogenoemde Lex Salica op schrift vast te leggen. Het is interessant na te gaan in hoeverre een beroep hierop gerechtvaardigd is.
Verspreiding van de Lex Salica
De Salische Franken kwamen in 358 het Romeinse Rijk binnen bij Toxandrië (een gouw die zich uitstrekte van de Kempen in het zuiden tot de Maas in het noorden). In 440 stichtten ze een koninkrijk met als centrum Doornik. Ze breidden hun rijk steeds verder uit naar het zuiden. De Salische Franken leefden voorafgaande aan de Grote Volksverhuizing rond de IJssel, maar zij verplaatsten zich later naar het tegenwoordige Vlaanderen en Frankrijk. Onder Karel de Grote werden stammen in Duitsland, Zwitserland en Noord-Italië onderworpen. Hierdoor kwam een groot deel van West-Europa onder de Salische Wet (zie het proefschrift van W. J. D Boone, De Franken van hun eerste optreden tot de dood van Childerik, Groningen 1954). Doorgaan met het lezen van “Lex Salica”
In de literatuur over adel wordt regelmatig de term “fons honorum” gebruikt. Uitgereikte (adellijke) titels en decoraties worden pas als “echt” gezien als de verlenende persoon of instantie een fons honorum heeft. Mij is nooit geheel duidelijk geworden wat hieronder binnen een juridische context wordt verstaan. In een Italiaanse zaak, de zogenaamde Paterno-case, wordt wel duidelijk dat het al dan niet hebben van een fons honorum van groot belang is als het gaat om misleiding en fraude bij het verlenen van onderscheidende kwalificaties als “baron” en “ridder in de Orde van (…)”.
De term “fons honorum” ben ik niet tegengekomen in nationale of internationale wetgeving. De verschillende definities hebben dan ook geen actuele juridische grondslag. Fons honorum is naar mijn mening gekoppeld aan het internationaal staatsrechtelijke beginsel van soevereiniteit omdat het recht om eerbewijzen te verlenen naar zijn aard een vorm van erkenning impliceert door een staat. Voor een definitie van het begrip staat wordt vaak artikel 1 van de Conventie van Montevideo aangehaald (Convention on the rights and duties of states; Montevideo, 26 december 1933 (165 LNTS p. 19). Het betreft hier de bekendste formulering van de criteria voor het ontstaan van een staat; Werner 2007, p. 166):
The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations.
In de onderlinge relaties tussen staten betekent soevereiniteit dat staten niet in een hiërarchische verhouding tot elkaar staan, maar dat zij in juridische zin aan elkaar gelijk(waardig) zijn (zie ook: art. 2, eerste lid, Handvest van de VN: “De Organisatie is gegrond op het beginsel van soevereine gelijkheid van al haar leden”). Doorgaan met het lezen van “De term “fons honorum””