Monday, 14 October 2013

Nelson's Honours Part 3: Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim 

The Order of St Joachim was created in 1755, with its first Grand Master being Prince Christian Franz, in the German duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld.  It's a charitable Order, and significantly, embraced both Catholic and Protestant members at a time when religion was a cause of great violence in Europe and other chivalric orders would be on one side or the other.  

Nelson was unanimously voted to have the honour conferred upon him on the 14th September 1801, as a reward for the Battle of the Nile.  The Grand Master of the Order, Count Ferdinand Karl III, had seen his father (the previous Grand Master) have his lands confiscated and then taken prisoner by Napoleon.  So he had a particular special reason for wishing to confer such an honour upon the British admiral who had handed Napoleon such a crushing defeat.

The British king granted Nelson permission to wear the insignia in July 1802, and it meant a lot to Nelson to be able to do so.       

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