Sunday, 30 December 2012

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley,-Dean-portrait-72-Westminster-Abbey-copyright-photo.jpg
The Very Revd Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, Dean of Westminster

Back in November when I profiled Bishop Stanley of Norwich and his family, I promised to blog separately on his son, Dean Stanley.  Here were go...

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley was born on 13 December 1815 at Alderley rectory in Cheshire where his father Edward was then rector (he later became Bishop of Norwich). His mother was Catherine Leycester, daughter of another clergyman. Arthur was educated at Rugby School, where he came under the influence of the headmaster Thomas Arnold, and is supposed to have influenced the character George Arthur in Tom Brown's Schooldays.

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), circa 1852-1860 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London
Stanley photographed in the 1850s by
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)
He went up to Balliol College in 1834, where he was a contemporary of Benjamin Jowett, and in 1839 was elected a Fellow of University College.  He was ordained the same year.  He was an opponent of the Tractarians, then at the height of their powers in Oxford, and took a position in support of the liberal RD Hampden in the controversy that followed his appointment as Regius Professor of Divinity and, later, Bishop of Hereford.  However, he argued in Convocation against the condemnation of Tract XC, and was seen a the leader of the Broad Church movement following Arnold's death in  1842.  He published a best-selling biography of Arnold in  1844.

He was appointed secretary of the Royal Commission on University Reform in 1850, where he came to the attention of the Prince Consort, and a Canon of Canterbury Cathedral in 1851.  In 1852 Stanley travelled to Egypt and Palestine, and produced a popular account of his observations, Sinai and Palestine in Connection with Their History.  In 1862 he was chosen to accompany the Prince of Wales on his tour of the Holy Land.  He remained interested in the historical and archaeological study of the area, and in 1865 was one of the founders of the Palestine Exploration Fund.

In 1856 he was appointed Regius Professor of Ecclesiatical History at Oxford, which came with a canonry of Christ Church.  In this role he continued to further his erastian views - that the State had every right, and the duty, to legislate on matters of Church doctrine and discipline.,-Lady-Augusta-photo-72-1.jpg
Lady Augusta Stanley

On 22 December 1863 in Westminster Abbey he married Lady Augusta Bruce, daughter of the 7th Earl of Elgin (the one who sold the Parthanon Marbles to the British Government) and sister of the Viceroy of Egypt.  As a woman of the bedchamber to Queen Victoria, she was an intimate of the queen, and Stanley's position was further established.

Stanley's name was put forward for the vacant Archbishopric of Dublin, but his views were not acceptable to a conservative church on the brink of disestablishment, so RC Trench, Dean of Westminister was appointed instead. Stanley took Trench's places, and in January 1864 was installed at Westminster.  Here, at the centre of the establishment, Stanley's influence on public life reached a peak.  He tried to make the Abbey a national shrine for all, irrespective of creed. In doing so, he caused some controversy, such as when he invited all the scholars who had produced the Revisised Version of the Bible, including a Unitarian, to receive Communion in the Abbey

Lady Augusta died in 1876 after an illness lasting several years. Stanley died at Westminster on 18 July 1881 and was buried with his wife. They had no children.,-Dean-mt-72-WEstminster-Abbey-copyright-photo.jpg
Dean Stanley's tomb in Westminster Abbey

Friday, 28 December 2012

Books and Stuff

A weekly round-up of my book news (except that today, it covers two weeks).

What I've been reading...

I finished Patrick Moore on Mars and read Julie Summers and Brian Haris, Remembered: The History of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Carried on reading Life Class.

What Father Christmas brought me...

Julie Summers & Brian Haris, Remembered: The History of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Hiliary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies


Back bloggin'...

I'm back after a short off-line break for Christmas.

 Normal service will resume shortly...

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Royals in Medals #10: Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, by Cecil Beaton, 1939 - NPG  - © V&A Images
HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother
by Cecil Beaton, 1939

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was born on 4 August 1900, the fourth daughter and ninth child of Lord Glamis (later 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorn) and his wife Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck.  She spent he childhood in the ancestral home, Glamis Castle (the home of Macbeth), and in London.

The First World War started on her 14th birthday.  Four of her brothers served in the army; one, Fergus, being killed and another becoming a prisoner of war.  Glamis Castle was used as a convalescent home for wounded soldiers, and the young Lady Elizabeth assisted with welfare work.

The Duke and Duchess of York
The Strathmore's were associates of the Royal Family.  In 1922, Lady Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George and Queen Mary.  The following January it was announced that she was engaged to the Duke of York (Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George), their second son. The Duke (known as 'Bertie') had proposed to Elizabeth at least twice but she refused, having reservations about royal life.  Queen Mary, however, was a supporter of the idea, and worked behind the scenes to ensure it went ahead.  The  wedding took place on 26 April 1923 in Westminster Abbey.  Elizabeth became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York.

The couple had two children, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary (later Queen Elizabeth II), born on 21 April 1926 and Princess Margaret Rose, born on 21 August 1930.

As George V's reign drew to a close, questions began to be asked about the suitability of the Prince of Wales to be king.  George himself  is said to have preferred the idea of succession in the York line, and to have commented that 'I pray God that my eldest son will never marry and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne'.

Coronation  portrait, May 1937
George died on 20 January 1936 and Edward ascended to the throne as King Edward VII.  Edward's wish to marry the divorcee Wallis Simpson led to a constitutional crisis, and his attempts to do so while remaining King were opposed by the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, and the Church of England.  Accordingly, after a reign of just 327 days, Edward abdicated on 10 December 1936 and the Duke of York became King, taking the regnal name of George VI.  Elizabeth never forgave Edward for thrusting her husband to the fore, which she believed shortened his life.

On their coronation on 12 May 1937, Elizabeth became the first British-born Queen Consort since Tudor times and the last Empress of India.

On the outbreak of war in September 1939, the royal family became a symbol of the country's defiance.  Queen Elizabeth resisted proposals that she and the princess be evacuated to the safety of Canada or another colony: 'The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave.'   In September 1940 Buckingham Palace was hit by bombs, and the Queen remarked that she could now look the East End of London in the face when she and her husband made one of their many visits to Blitzed areas.

Worn out by the pressures of wartime rule and suffering from cancer after a lifetime's smoking, George VI died at his Norfolk home, Sandringham House, on 6 February 1952.  He was succeeded by his daughter, the current Queen, and Elizabeth began her long period of widowhood, taking the title Queen Mother.  She carried on with public duties, including many tips overseas, until well into her 70s.

In retirement, Elizabeth enjoyed her hobbies of fly-fishing and horse-racing.  She also refurbished Glamis Castle and was a discerning (if discrete) art collector - her extravagent lifestyle led to a large overdraft with the royal bankers.  She was consistently popular with the public - even escaping the backlash against the Windsors following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Queen Elizabeth died on 30 March 2002, six weeks after attending the funeral of her youngest daughter, Princess Margaret.  At 101, she was the longest-lived member of the royal family in history; a record she held until the following year, when she was overtaken by Princess Alice, the Duchess of Gloucester.  She lay in state at Westminster Hall for three days before a funeral in Westminster Abbey, and was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor, alongside her husband.

The Prince of Wales stands vigil at his grandmother's lying-in-state


Honorary Military Appointments

United Kingdom
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (1927-1968)
  • Honorary Colonel the Hertfordshire Regiment (1930-1961)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards) (1930-1959)
  • Royal Honorary Colonel, The London Scottish (1935-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) (1937-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars (1947-1958)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (1947-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Manchester Regiment (1947-2002)
  • Commandant-in-Chief of the Women's Royal Army Corps (1949-2002)
  • Royal Honorary Colonel of the City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders) (1952-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers (1953-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Army Medical Corps (1942-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Inns of Court Regiment (1957-1961)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the 3rd East Anglian Regiment (1958-2002)
  • Royal Honorary Colonel of the University of London OTC (1958-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the King's Regiment (1958-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Own Hussars (1958-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (1959-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's) (1960-2002)
  • Royal Honorary Colonel of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (1961-2002)
  • Royal Honorary Colonel of the Inns of Court and City Yeomanry (1961-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Anglian Regiment (1964-2002)
  • Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Yeomanry (1967-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Light Infantry (1968-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Own Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) (1993-2002)
  • Royal Honorary Colonel of the King's Own Yorkshire Yeomanry (Light Infantry) (1996-2002)
  • Commandant-in-Chief of the Women's Royal Air Force, (1949-1994)
  • Commandant-in-Chief of the RAF Central Flying School (1960-20020
  • Commandant-in-Chief of the Women, Royal Air Force (1994-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (1953-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Toronto Scottish Regiment (Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's Own) (1938-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada (1947-2002)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (1953-1974)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces Medical Service (1977-2002)
New Zealand
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps (1977-2002)
South Africa
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Witwatersrand Rifles (1947-1961)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Queen's Own Cape Town Highlanders (1947-1961)
  • Colonel-in-Chief of the Transvaal Scottish (1956-1961)
Southern Rhodesia
  • Honorary Commissioner of the British South Africa Police (1955-1965)

Wearing the insignia of the Order of the Garter.
As a lady she wears the garter on her arm

Orders, Decorations and Medals


Order of the Garter
Royal Lady (LG), 1936
Order of the Thistle
Lady (LT), 1937
Queen Elizabeth was the first female member of the order.

Grand Cross: Star
Order of the British Empire
Dame Grand Cross (GBE), 1927
Royal Victorian Order
Dame Grand Cross (GCVO), 1937, and Grand Master, 1937-2002

Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem
Dame Grand Cross (DGStJ), 1926

Order of the Crown of India
Companion (CI), 1931
Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, by Dorothy Wilding, 1937 - NPG  - © William Hustler and Georgina Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, LondonRoyal Family Order of King George V

Royal Family Order of King George VI

Royal Family Order of Queen Elizabeth II

Commonwealth Orders

Officer - female insignia Canada.  Order of Canada
Honorary Companion (CC), 2000

New Zealand. Order of New Zealand
Additional Member (ONZ), 1990


Royal Victorian Chain

Royal Red Cross (RRC), 1936

Canadian Forces Decoration, Elizabeth II issue, attributed

Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) and five bars

Commemorative Medals

GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png   King George V Silver Jubilee Medal, 1935
File:GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png King George VI Coronation Medal, 1937
Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953  
File:Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png  Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977

Foreign Awards

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A New Index

The eagle-eyed among you will see that there is a new entry on the list of indexes to the right of the page.  

This a a link to a page British Orders of Knighthood.  This page will serve as an index and link page to blogs I shall make on British orders.  The links will become live once the posts are made - so far we have the following:-

Knight Grand Commander: Star The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India

The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire

The Imperial Order of the Crown of India

Edward VII: Obverse

The Royal Family Orders

Royal Order of Victoria and Albert

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Order of the Star of India

George Nathaniel Curzon, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, by Bourne & Shepherd, published by  Rotary Photographic Co Ltd, 1903 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London
Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India, wearing the Grand Master's mantle, collar and star of the order

The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India was the senior of the three orders of chivalry, now obsolescent, instituted to mark service to the British Raj in the Indian sub-continent.

Raja Sir Tanjore Madhava Rao, KCSI
Shortly after the transfer of government from the Honorable East India Company to the British Crown in 1858, Queen Victoria wrote to Lord Canning, the first Viceroy, suggesting that an order of chivalry might be a means of making a link between the monarch and the country:-
The Statutes might be similar to those of the Garter, the Thistle & the St Patrick. The number of its members to be few, perhaps 20 or 24 … The members to be invested by the Viceroy in person & thus do personal homage to him … The day for the investiture to be the anniversary of the Assumption of the Gov of India by the Crown of England.
By the beginning of 1860 Prince Albert was drafting statutes, drawing up lists of possible members and working on the design of insignia.  The Order was established in June 1861, with the first investitures held - in India and at Windsor - on 1 November 1861.
The Queen, being desirous of affording to the Princes, Chiefs and People of the Indian Empire, a public and signal testimony of Her regard, by the Institution of an Order of knighthood, whereby Her resolution to take upon Herself the Government of the Territories in India may be commemorated, and by which Her Majesty may be enabled to reward conspicuous merit and loyalty, has been graciously pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to institute, erect, constitute, and create, an Order of Knighthood, to be known by, and have for ever hereafter, the name, style, and designation, of 'The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India'
Sir Umaid Singh Bahadur,
GCSI, GCIE, KCVO, Maharaja of Jodhpur
The order originally had one class of members - Knights Commanders (KSI) - but in 1866 was reconstituted in three classes  - Knights Grand Commanders (GCSI), Knights Commanders (KCSI) and Companions (CSI).  The original KSIs were created GCSIs.  The title 'Knight Grand Commander' was chosen in preference to the usual 'Knight Grand Cross' to avoid embarrassment to non-Christian recipients.

As structured in 1866, the order consisted of the sovereign, the Grand Master (the Viceroy and Governor-General of India), 36 GCSIs (18 British and 18 Indian), 85 KCSIs and 170 CSIs. GCSIs were drawn from ruling princes and the top tier of the British administration.  KCSIs and CSI were included members of the Indian Civil Service and army who had given at least 30 years' service.

Women were eligible to be members of the order if they were the princely rulers - the Begum of Bhopal was a founder member in 1861. The statutes were specially amended to permit the admission of Queen Mary as a Knight Grand Commander in 1911.

The order lapsed in 1948, following the independence of India and Pakistan.  The the last surviving member of the order, the Maharaja of Alwar, died in 2009.


The insignia was exceptionally splendid.  The last GCSI set, made in 1947, cost £3,500 to produce.

Knights Grand Commanders
Sash, badge and star insignia of a GCSI

A GCSI's insignia consisted of a gold collar and badge, a mantle of light blue satin with a representation of the star on the left and tied with a white silk cord with blue and silver tassles.

The mantle was only worn on special state occasions - in ordinary full dress uniform, a GCSI wore the star on the left breast and the badge on the left hip from a broad sash of light blue edged in white. 

The collar consisted of alternating figures of lotuses, red and white roses and palm branches, with an imperial crown in the centre.  Queen Victoria's collar can be seen here.

The badge was a central onyx cameo of a youthful Victoria set within an openwork and ornamental oval border of gold bearing the motto of the order ‘Heaven’s Light Our Guide’, surmounted by, and pendant from, a five-pointed star with large gold suspension loop, the whole badge being lavishly set with diamonds. 

The breast star had a central five-pointed star of silver set with diamonds and set upon a gold and enameled ribbon bearing the motto of the order in silver and also set with diamonds,

Knights Commanders

Knight Commander's insignia
KCSIs wore a badge round the neck and a star on the left breast.

These were similar to those of GCSIs, but smaller and less lavishly decorated.


Companion's breast badge
Companions originally wore a breast badge, but from 1917 these were worn at the neck.

The Order of the Crown of India

Alexandria, Princess of Wales
she wears the insignia of a CI and Lady of the Order of Victoria and Albert

At the same time as the establishment of the Order of the Indian Empire, a third Indian order was established, this was the Imperial Order of the Crown of India.  It too was established by letters patent of 31 December 1877, following the adoption by Queen Victoria of the title 'Empress of India' in 1876.

Princess Thyra of Denmark
This order was
to be enjoyed by the Princesses of Our Royal House and the Wives or other female relatives of Indian Princes and others to be by Us selected, upon whom We shall from time to time think fit
These other persons were generally the vicereine and wives of the Governors of Madras, Bombay and Bengal, the Principal Secretary of State for India and the Commander-in-Chief in India.  Women who were ruling members of Indian princely houses were eligible for membership of the Orders of the Star of India and the Indian Empire.

There was one class of membership: Companions (CI).

The insignia was a badge consisting of the royal and imperial monogram VRI in diamonds, turquoises and pearls, surrounded by an oval frame and surmounted by a jewelled imperial crown.


The order went into abeyance on the granting of independence to India and Pakistan.  The last companions appointed were the then Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret on 12 July 1947.  The Queen is the last surviving member of the order.

The last surviving Companion of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India

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