In the course of writing this monograph, the author received valuable assistance from different persons. H. I. M. Kyrille Vladimirovitch, most graciously ordered certain data to be sent to the author. Major-General Theodore Alexanderovitch Lodijensky, formerly of the Russian imperial army, assisted in the translation and kindly allowed the author to examine and measure his own Russian orders and those of his grandfather. Mr. Boris Mihaelovitch Dakserhof ably assisted in the translation. The author also wishes to thank Mr. V. Gsovsky for his assistance in securing certain authoritative books on the subject of Russian orders. Last but not least, the kind co-operation and encouragement of Messrs. Howland Wood, Sydney P. Noe, and Harrold E. Gillingham has guided the author through all his researches.
In gathering material for this monograph, the author has used two Russian books more than any others. Such authors as Burke, Wahlen, Trost, de Montalbo and others have caused much confusion because of mis-statements. The author considered it best to draw his information as far as possible from Russian sources. "Istoritchesky Otcherk Russisky Ordenov y Sbornik Osnovnik Ordenske Statutov" ("Historical Description of the Russian Orders and Complete Original Statutes of the Orders"), published in Saint Petersburg in 1891, by the Chancellor of the Russian Orders, General Adjutant Count I.I. Vorontzoff-Dashkoff; and "Russisky Imperatorsky y Czarsky Ordena" ("Russian Imperial and Royal Orders") published in Saint Petersburg in 1901, by authority of the Grand Chancellor of the Russian Orders, General Aide-de-Camp Baron Fredericks have supplied most of the information.
In all countries, honorary distinctions have been conferred on persons who have rendered services to their sovereigns or to the state. In Russia, during the Muscovite period, these distinctions took the form of gifts of land and presents of many kinds. Cups of precious metals set with gems, furs of high value, finely made weapons, and robes of gold or silver cloth were customary awards.
Not until the reign of Peter the Great were decorations of honor, as we know them today, conferred. After the travels of this great organizer through Europe, the first Russian order of knighthood was instituted. During these travels, Peter had been much impressed with the French Order of the Holy Ghost and the English Order of the Garter. Upon his return to Russia, and after quelling the rebellion of the Strelitzi, Peter founded the Order of Saint Andrew. From that time, Orders of Knighthood and Decorations of Merit were instituted and conferred by the Russian rulers.
In order to clarify what follows, a list of the emperors and empresses of Russia, with the dates of their reigns, follows:
Peter the First, 1682–1725.
Catherine I, 1725–1727.
Peter II, 1727–1730.
Anna Ivanovna, 1730–1740.
Ivan VI, 1740–1741.
Elizabeth I, 1741–1761.
Peter III, 1761–1762.
Catherine II, the Great, 1762–1796.
Paul I, 1796–1801.
Alexander I, 1801–1825.
Nicholas I, 1825–1855.
Alexander II, 1855–1881.
Alexander III, 1881–1894.
Nicholas II, 1894–1917.
Following the abdication of the Emperor Nicholas II, a provisional government functioned for several months, and was replaced by the Soviet government.
That the reader may better understand the political background of the Polish orders which were brought into the Russian system of orders, the following bit of Polish-Russian history is necessary. In 1733, Catherine the Great, by means of bribery and the presence of Russian troops, caused the elevation to the Polish throne of August III, Elector of Saxony. This election caused the Polish Wars of the Succession which were fought between the adherents of the king and certain Polish noblemen. At his death, Catherine placed on the Polish throne her former lover, Stanislaus August Poniatovsky. He reigned from 1764 till 1795. In 1793 the Poles rose against the Russians and Prussians because of the partitioning of Poland. Napoleon I created a Grand Duchy of Warsaw, after the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807. He placed King Frederick Augustus of Saxony upon the Grand-Ducal throne. The defeat of the French in 1812 and 1813, brought about the fall of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw. The Congress of Vienna in 1815, rearranged the partition of Poland. Prussia, Austria and Russia each received parts of Poland. Out of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw, Russia formed a Kingdom of Poland which was to be united with the Russian Empire by making the Emperor of Russia King of Poland also. On November 29th, 1830 a rebellion against the Russian rule was started in Warsaw. The Russian troops in Poland were driven out and a dictatorship established. By September 8th of the next year, however, the Russians had re-taken Warsaw and the Polish "Kingdom" was at an end. From that time until 1917, Poland was merely another Russian province.
Some rather interesting facts regarding the Russian orders should be mentioned before proceeding to the accounts of the orders. The decorations were conferred in conformity with a governmental system of rank, service and merit. The Order of Saint George alone was exempt from this system; this order was awarded for military bravery only. All civil officials were graded in ranks which paralleled those of the military and navy. As a man advanced in rank he was decorated with a higher order or a higher rank of an order he already possessed. In war time, of course, these conditions were not strictly enforced.
Each Russian order had its statutes sanctioned by imperial decree. The originals of these statutes were kept by the Chapter of the Imperial and Royal orders. They were written on parchment and signed by the emperors and empresses themselves. These statutes were similar to the statutes of other nations. Each order had its individual administration until the reign of Paul I. In 1797, he instituted a central administration under the name of The Chancellory of the Orders. In 1798, the name was changed to The Chapter of the Russian Orders of Knighthood. In 1797, the emperor was named by personal decree a member of the Senate of the Chancellory of the Orders. Again, in 1832, the Emperor Nicholas I decided that the Chapter should take the name of the Chapter of the Russian Imperial and Royal Orders. In 1842, the Chancellor of the Chapter was made an official member of the Ministry of the Imperial Court. The Chancellor was the head of the Chapter of the Orders and a knight of the Order of Saint Andrew.
Certain peculiarities regarding the badges of the orders merit attention here. Prior to the reign of the Emperor Nicholas I, the Russian imperial eagle was represented on the decorations with the wings drooping. During the reign of Nicholas I the wings were raised and the eagle took on the appearance with which we are now more familiar.
Two rather interesting stories give the reason for this; the true reasons the author has been unable to discover. One account says that after the Polish rebellion was put down, the emperor stated "The Russian Eagle can never be defeated. It is not fitting that his wings should droop. Raise them." The other version was "The Russian Eagle soars higher than the Masonic Eagle. Let his wings be raised." This saying has reference to the Dekabrist revolution of 1825. This revolt was lead by a group of Free Masons who sought a more liberal form of government for Russia. As a result of this rebellion, the Masonic Order was prohibited in Russia.
The badges of the the orders as awarded to non-Christians had the representations of saints, crosses, and holy mottos replaced by the imperial eagle and by laurel wreaths.
When awarded to foreigners, Tcherkesses, and persons with the orders "with diamonds," no entrance fees were paid.
Although the expression "with diamonds " is used, most of these badges were set with very fine paste jewels. Such badges are very rare as they were seldon conferred.
After the Revolution of 1917, the provisional government continued to award the orders but in its name instead of in the name of the emperor. On February 9, 1919, the Omsk government of Admiral Kolchak issued an order which held in abeyance the Order of Saint Andrew, The Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky, the Order of the White Eagle, and the first class of the Order of Saint Vladimir. This same edict abolished the Order of Saint Stanislav. The remaining orders and decorations were bestowed by that government until its downfall in 1920. The Omsk government and the White Army of General Denekine conferred a variation of the Saint George Order and Decoration, but very little can be ascertained about this variation.
Throughout this monograph the author has used the "old style" of dating. That is, the date May 10th in "old style" is May 23rd in our "new style" of dating. This "old style" of dating has been used so that there would be no mistake regarding dates as most of them have been taken directly from Russian books dated in the "old style." However, the dates in the introduction and notes are in the "new style."
Collectors will sometimes be puzzled by the difference in the sizes of the badges of Russian orders. After studying many contemporary portraits of Russian soldiers and statesmen the author has reached the conclusion that the size of the badges depends in a great measure on the period in which they were made and worn. A further study of the decorations belonging to the grandfather of General Theodore Lodijensky, and a comparison of them with the modern badges and with the above mentioned portraits confirms this conclusion. There is further source of confusion; the first class badge of many orders was worn at the neck when the first class badge of a higher order was worn suspended from the sash. That is, the first class badge of Saint Stanislav might be worn at the neck when the first class badge of the Order of Saint Anna or Saint Vladimir was worn from the sash.
Quite frequently, one finds badges of the Russian orders enamelled in black instead of the prescribed color. This is particularly true of badges of the Orders of Saint Anna and Saint Stanislav. Badges with black enamel are un-official. In modern times "smart" officers had jewellers badges made with black enamel as a bit of swank. It is said that in the early days of the Russian orders the badges were frequently made with black enamel. However, the author can find no official statement to this effect. In general, with modern badges, one can state unqualifiedly that the black enamelled badges are specially made and not those officially issued by the government.
In 1698, upon returning from his tour of Europe, the Czar Peter the First resolved to institute an order of knighthood similar to those existing in England and in the European countries which he had visited. Accordingly, on the 28th day of November, 1698, the Order of Saint Andrew First Called was established in memory of the saint of that name who was the first of the apostles called by Christ.
On the 10th of March, 1699, the first investiture of the order was held in Saint Petersburg. The first person to be made a knight of this order was Admiral and Field-Marshal Count Feodor Alexeevitch Golovine 1, one of Peter’s leading statesmen and officers. At this same time Peter had planned to take the order himself. However, he finally decided to delay his own investiture until he had accomplished some exceptional military achievement.
The second person to be awarded this order was the Little-Russia Hetman, Ivan Mazeppa,2 who was awarded the Saint Andrew by Peter on the 8th of February, 1700, as a reward for his thirteen years of military service, and in recognition of his exploits against the Turks and the Crimean Khan. In 1708, Mazeppa was deprived of the order and was anathematized by the Russian church for treason.
In 1703, Peter accomplished the military exploit for which he had waited before accepting the order. In that year the Czar, ranking as a Captain of Bombardiers, captured two Swedish naval vessels. After this exploit, Admiral and Field-Marshal Count Golovine conferred the order on Peter in a portable field-chapel, following a Mass of Thanksgiving. At the same time, the order was conferred on the Governor of Schisselburg and Schlottsburg, Field-Marshal Menshikov.3 This officer had taken part in the engagement against the Swedes as a lieutenant in the company of Bombardiers commanded by Peter.
Peter the Great was the sixth Knight of the Order of Saint Andrew, the first five being the following:—1). Golovine, 2). Mazeppa, 3). the Ambassador to Russia from Brandenbourg, Prinzen, 4). General-Field-Marshall Count Sheremetieff, and 5). the Chancellor of Saxony, Count Beychling. During the reign of the Emperor Peter the Great there were 38 knights of this order. Of this number 24 were Russians.
It is a peculiarity of this order that no special decree was issued relative to its establishment. It was not until the reign of the Emperor Paul I that the statutes of this order were published. This was done on the 15th of April, 1797. These statutes remained in effect until the Revolution of 1917.
The Order of Saint Andrew has always been held in the highest esteem. It was very rarely conferred and then only on the highest and most distinguished officials of the empire. This order was bestowed only by the emperor on his own decision. The statutes do not specify the exact nature of the services for which the order might be conferred. All grand dukes and princes of the imperial blood with the title "Imperial Highness" received the order at baptism. Those princes of the imperial blood with the title "Highness" received it upon coming of age, while princes of the blood with the title "Serene Highness" received this order only at the pleasure of the emperor. Although with all other Russian orders, the ministers of the state recommended to the emperor prospective candidates for admission to the orders, this was not so with the Order of Saint Andrew, as the sole decision in this case rested with the emperor.
Anyone made a Knight of the Order of Saint Andrew became automatically a Knight of the Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky, the White Eagle, the first class of Saint Anna, and the first class of Saint Stanislav. This held true even of persons who otherwise did not possess these orders. After the victorious campaign against Napoleon, the Emperor Alexander I conferred the Order of Saint Andrew and, in consequence, the other orders, on His Grace the Duke of Wellington.
An interesting privilege was attached to membership in this order. At Russian military posts it was customary to have an exterior and interior guard.
After the last call of the day, " taps," at nine o'clock in the evening, it was not compulsory to turn out the full interior guard except to salute the emperor or the Minister of War. This honor, however, was also rendered to Knights of the Order of Saint Andrew when wearing either the sash or the collar of the order.
Knights of the Order of Saint Andrew ranked in the third class of court rank. They held the same rank as lieutenant-generals, even if not otherwise of that rank.
The Order of Saint Andrew has but one class. On admission to the order, each knight paid a fee of five hundred roubles. If awarded the order "with swords," an additional fee of two hundred and fifty roubles was paid. When receiving the order "with diamonds," no fee was exacted.
The holiday of the order was celebrated on the 30th of November. A high mass was celebrated on that day in the chapel of the order, the Cathedral of Saint Andrew on Vasiliefsky Island.4
The insignia of the order consists of a badge, a collar and a star.
The BADGE is a blue enamel Saint Andrew’s cross5 superimposed on a triple-crowned doubleheaded eagle. On the cross is a representation of Saint Andrew, crucified. At the end of each arm of the cross is one of the Roman letters "S.A.P.R.," the initials of the words "Sanctus Andreas Patronus Russiae." On the breast of the eagle on the reverse, the motto of the order, “For Faith and Loyalty” in Russian, is inscribed on a scroll. This badge is suspended from a wide light blue sash passed over the right shoulder to the left side, or from the collar. In the collection of Mr. Harrold E. Gillingham there is a fine specimen of this badge. It measures 82 mm. in height by 62 mm. in width.
The COLLAR is composed of three elements; first, the imperial eagle, bearing on its breast the arms of the City of Moscow, and holding the imperial sceptre and orb. The collar commences and ends with this ornament, which is repeated nine times. Second, a red-enamelled disk edged in gold surrounded by petal-formed rays, having a St. Andrew’s cross of sky blue enamel superimposed and in each of the quarterings of the red center one of the Roman letters “S.A.P.R.” This element is repeated seven times. Third, a shield surmounted by an imperial crown, and with the gold cipher of Peter the Great on the blue field of the shield. Behind the shield are grouped green and white regimental banners and other instruments of warfare. This device is also repeated seven times. These three ornaments are connected by oval rings of gold.
The STAR is silver, having in the center, on a golden field, the triple-crowned double-headed eagle with the Saint Andrew’s cross. This center medallion is surrounded by a band of sky-blue enamel, inscribed with the motto of the order in golden letters above two connected laurel branches.
This star is worn on the left breast. A star in the collection of the author measures 90 mm.
For military service, two crossed swords are added to the badge and the star. For the former they are placed between the eagle and the crown and intertwined with the blue enamelled scroll. On the star, they are placed so that the center medallion covers the point at which the swords cross. When a person, already decorated with the Order of Saint Andrew for military services, is also awarded the insignia “with diamonds” for civil services, the swords on the star are placed above the center medallion while those on the eagle remain between the eagle and crown.
Non-Christians receiving the insignia of this order have the representation of the saint, the monogram and the cross replaced by the imperial Russian Eagle, and the motto by laurel leaves.
The collar replaces the sash, on the holidays of the orders, when wearing the sash of another order, and at ceremonies of the imperial court by special order of His Imperial Majesty, and when wearing the sash of the Orders of Saint George, Saint Vladimir, and of Saint Alexander-Nevsky.
In 1711, Peter the Great was engaged in a war against Turkey, for the furtherance of Russian interests on the Black Sea.6 When Peter set out upon this campaign, the Empress Catherine Alexeevna persuaded him to permit her to accompany the army. The end of this war came on the banks of the River Pruth, when thirty-eight thousand Russians found themselves surrounded by two hundred thousand Turks. In this dangerous position the courage and intelligence of the empress was clearly demonstrated. Gathering all the money and jewels in the Russian camp, she sent them as a gift to the Grand Vizier of Turkey. By this action she caused the Grand Vizier to make lenient terms with Peter, and thus saved the entire army.
In commemoration of this, Peter established the "Order of Saint Catherine, or the Liberator” on the name-day of the empress, November 24th, 1714, at Saint Petersburg. On this day, Peter and the empress together with all the imperial court and many high officials, celebrated a special high mass. After this service Peter himself decorated the empress in the presence of the entire court.
The statutes of the order, printed in Saint Petersburg in 1713, were edited in the name of the empress and began as follows:—
“We have resolved to establish an Order of Merit in commemoration of the deliverance of the Army, Our Beloved Husband, and Ourself from the overwhelming force of the Turkish Armies. Through the undaunted bravery, self-control, and ability of Our Husband, inspired by God, who alone was able to save us, We were delivered from the hands of the Infidels. In memory of this Divine Grace, We shall confer this Order of Merit on all married and unmarried women of spotless and religious character, that the remembrance of the Mercies of God may remain with us always.”
An empress of Russia was always the Grand Mistress of the order. There was also a Deputy-Grand Mistress. If a dowager empress was alive she remained Grand Mistress and the reigning empress was her Deputy-Grand Mistress. If there was no dowager empress (or upon the death of the dowager empress) the reigning empress was Grand Mistress. When the reigning empress was Grand Mistress, her Deputy was the wife of the heir to the throne. In case the heir to the throne was unmarried, the Deputy-Grand-Mistress was the first Grand Duchess in rank, either married or single.
Grand Duchesses of the imperial family received the order at their baptism. The other Grand Duchesses received it when they reached the age of twenty-one. Other Ladies of the order were chosen from families of the highest nobility only and from foreign royal families.
The Grand Mistress of the order personally decorated each Lady of the two classes into which the order was divided. In the absence of the Grand Mistress, this ceremony was performed by the Deputy-Grand Mistress. Each Russian lady admitted to the order gave an oath to always be faithful to His Majesty and never to be connected in any way with a plot against him or his autocratic power. This oath was sworn on the New Testament in the presence of the Grand Mistress (or Deputy-Grand Mistress), and the Ladies of the Grand Cross and Lesser Cross who were present in the imperial household. Part of the ceremony of investiture was a special high mass celebrated by the head of the Russian Church. In the case of Russian ladies absent from the court, the same oath was taken where-ever they might be living at the time. Those on whom the order was conferred while children, took the oath at the age of sixteen years.
Upon admission to the grade of Lesser Cross, each Lady paid to the Capital of the Order a fee of two hundred fifty roubles. Ladies of the Grand Cross paid four hundred roubles. This money was used to help maintain some charitable institution.
The Chapel of the order was located in the School of Saint Catherine at Petrograd. This was a very exclusive school for girls of the highest nobility only.
The Order of Saint Catherine is divided into two classes, the Grand Cross and the Lesser Cross. The number of ladies of each class was limited. There were only twelve ladies of the Grand Cross besides members of the imperial family and other royal families. The number of the Ladies of the Lesser Cross was limited to ninety-four.
The insignia of the Grand Cross are a badge, a sash, and a star.
The BADGE is a gold cross. The arms of the cross consist of four rays separated by brilliants. The center of the cross is an oval medallion surrounded by large diamonds. On this medallion Saint Catherine is pictured, seated and wearing a white toga with a red over-mantel lined with ermine. The saint is crowned and holds a palm branch in one hand. In the other hand is a large cross having in its center a small Greek cross. At her feet is a golden wheel. Around her head are the Russian letters “C.B.E.,” (signifying “The Holy Martyr Catherine’), arranged in a gold halo. Between the arms of the large cross are the Roman letters “D.S.F.R.” (Domine Salvum Fac Regem). On the reverse is an eagles’ nest on a rock. At the foot of the rock are two eagles bringing nourishment for the two eaglets in the nest above. Above the aerie is a white semi-circular band bearing the words “AEQUAT MUNIA COMPARIS,” (“Share the Duties of Society”). The ring which holds the cross to the ribbon is decorated with diamonds.
The SASH is a broad band of red ribbon edged with silver. The bow of the sash has the motto of the order, “For Love and Fatherland,” embroidered in silver Russian letters on its four parts. The sash is worn over the right shoulder to the left side and has the badge attached to it.
The STAR is silver. It has eight groups of rays surmounted by a medallion. This center medallion is of red enamel and bears a silver cross above a silver half wheel. Around this device is a red enamel band inscribed with the motto of the order in gold letters (Russian). At the beginning of the motto, (and above the cross), is a small gold imperial crown. This star is worn on the left breast.
The Lesser Cross has a badge of the same form as the Grand Cross, but smaller and with fewer diamonds. This badge is worn on the left breast suspended from a bow of red ribbon edged with silver.
In 1724 the remains of Saint Alexander-Nevsky 7 were removed from the city of Vladimir to Saint Petersburg, and were enshrined there in the Chapel of the Saint Alexander-Nevsky Lavra. At this time, and in honor of the victory of Saint Alexander-Nevsky over the Swedes, Peter the Great conceived the idea of instituting an order of knighthood named after this saint and placed under his protection. However, before this could be done, the Emperor was taken ill and died. His wife, the Empress Catherine the First, carrying out the wishes of Peter, founded the Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky shortly after her coronation. There is almost no doubt that Peter planned the order as a purely military one similar to the French Order o Saint Louis, and intended to make it as different from the Order of Saint Andrew as the Order of Saint Louis differed from the Order of the Holy Ghost. This idea was expressed in the ribbons. The badge of the Order of Saint Andrew hangs from a blue ribbon as does that of the Order of the Holy Ghost. The badge of the Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky hangs from a red ribbon like the Order of Saint Louis, a purely military award.
The Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky was first awarded on May 21st, 1725 on the occasion of the marriage of the Grand Duchess Anna Petrovna, daughter of Peter the Great, and Karl Frederick, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein.8 On August 30th of the same year the empress conferred the insignia of the order upon herself.
The first rules of the Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky are found in the statutes of the four Russian orders formulated by the Emperor Paul I, on April 15th, 1797. The statutes state that when Peter the Great was preparing for the Persian War,9 he planned to confer this order of knighthood in memory of Saint Alexander-Nevsky, who was renowned for his bravery and chivalry. However, as the death of Peter occurred before he could do this, his wife, heiress to the throne, carried out his wishes, giving this order for "Labor for the Fatherland.”
The Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky ranked third in the order of precedence of Russian orders of knighthood, following after the Orders of Saint Andrew and Saint Catherine. The reigning Emperor was Grand Master of the order, of which there is only one class.
The insignia of the order are a badge, a sash and a star.
The BADGE is a gold cross pattée of four arms enamelled red with a gold imperial eagle between each arm. The center of the obverse of the cross is a round medallion having an equestrian figure of Saint Alexander-Nevsky in colored enamel. The center of the reverse bears the initials of the saint, “S.A.,” entwined and surmounted by a princely coronet.
The author has the badge of this order awarded to Cardinal Antonelli.9 This badge measures 54 mm. × 54 mm. The example in the museum of the American Numismatic Society measures 55 mm. × 55 mm.
The SASH is a band of red watered silk 100 mm. wide. It is worn over the left shoulder to the right side and the badge is suspended from it.
The STAR is silver. It consists of eight groups of rays and has a round medallion. The center of this medallion is enamelled white and bears the crowned initials of the saint, “S.A.,” in gold. Around this center is a red enamelled band bearing in gold the motto of the order in Russian letters, (“Labor and Fatherland”). The initials in the center are surmounted by a prince’s coronet. The author has the metal star and an embroidered star of this order, which are companion pieces to the badge. The metal star measures 87 mm., while the embroidered star is 83 mm.
The insignia of the order were sometimes conferred “with diamonds,” which was considered a higher reward than the order “without diamonds.” The star of the Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky “with diamonds” in the collection of the American Numismatic Society measures 95 mm.
When awarded for military deeds against the enemy, crossed swords were added to the insignia. They were placed between the arms of the cross, and on the star, crossed, under the medallion. If, after being awarded the order for military services, the same person received the insignia “with diamonds,” the crossed swords were placed above the center medallion of the star, and above the arms of the cross. The order “with diamonds” was conferred on foreigners as well as on Russians. When the Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky was conferred on non-Christians the monogram of the saint and his picture were replaced by the imperial eagle.
When the Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky was received, a fee of four hundred roubles was paid to the Chapter of the Order, to be used in charitable work. The order “with swords” conferred after the order “without swords” called for an additional fee of two hundred roubles. The order “with diamonds” did not involve a fee.
The special holiday of the order was August 13th. The church of the order is named the “Sabornaya Church in the Troitski Alexander-Nevsky Monastery,” and there the remains of Saint Alexander-Nevsky are buried.
On the day of the general holiday of all the orders, November 8th, the knights of this order were placed between the knights of the Order of Saint Anna and the knights of the Order of Saint Andrew. If, on this same day, there was an official dinner, the knights of the order were placed on the right of the emperor near the knights of Saint Andrew.
Originally the Order of the White Eagle was a Polish order.10 It was founded in 1325 by King Vladislav I, the Short, King of Poland, in order to commemorate the marriage of his son, Casimir, with Anna, Princess of Lithuania.11 It was intended as a reward for the faithfulness of his nobles. The Order of the White Eagle was very seldom conferred. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the Order was conferred from time to time but it was never an active Order. On November 1st, 1705, the Polish King August II, who was also the Grand Duke of Saxony,12 revived the Order. In the small town of Laggo in Mecklenburg, on the 13th of November, 1712, King August II conferred the Order on the Emperor Peter the Great as reciprocation for the Order of Saint Andrew which the Emperor had conferred on him.
After the division of Poland in 1795, the Order of the White Eagle ceased to exist until the formation of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw by Napoleon I.13 At that time the King of Saxony, Frederick-August became Grand-Duke of Warsaw, and re-established all the Polish orders, reserving for himself the Grand Mastership of the Order of the White Eagle.
However, after the Polish Insurrection of 1831, the Emperor Nicholas I associated the Polish orders with the Russian orders and made certain changes in the insignia and statutes. From that time to 1917, the Russian Emperors conferred the Order of the White Eagle on both Poles and Russians. On the 4th of February (new style), 1921, the Diet of the Polish Republic revived the Polish Order of the White Eagle.
The Order of the White Eagle has always had but one class. The insignia, however, have undergone many changes. In 1705, the cross of the order was a gold Maltese cross, red-enamelled with an edging of white enamel. Between the arms of the cross were gold rays. In the center of the obverse was the gold, white-enamelled, Polish Eagle crowned. On the reverse center was an oval bearing a white-enamel cross with the crown and monogram of August II. The star of the order at this period was a silver star of eight points with the cross of the order surmounting it. The eagle did not appear on the star but the motto of the order was inscribed on the arms of the cross. At first this star was embroidered—later it became a metal star.
When the order was made a Russian order in 1831, the insignia were radically changed. They remained unchanged until the fall of the Russian Empire. The insignia are as follows:—
The BADGE of the Imperial and Royal Russian Order of the White Eagle is a gold double-headed, black-enamelled Russian eagle crowned, having on its breast the gold, red-enamelled Maltese cross of the Polish Order, with the crowned white-enamelled Polish eagle in turn surmounting the cross. The heads and claws of the eagle are gold and the wings and tail are edged with the same metal. Each eaglehead is separately crowned, and above the eagle, and connected with it by means of a blue enamelled ribbon, is the Imperial Russian crown enamelled in colors. In the center of the reverse is a white-enamelled gold cross having red-enamelled borders and gold flames between the arms of the cross. In the center of the cross is an oval gold medallion bearing the gold letter “M.” The example of this badge in the collection of the author measures 87 mm. × 63 mm. In the collection of the American Numismatic Society is a badge measuring 90 mm. × 60 mm., and Mr. Harrold E. Gillingham has a badge which measures only 45 mm. × 25 mm. This latter badge is probably the badge of the order which is meant to be worn on the left breast when the wearer possesses and wears the badge of the Order of Saint Andrew. It is possible, however, that it is a small badge made during the middle of the 19th century and meant to be worn at the neck. The author has been unable to examine the badge so cannot definitely judge which it may be. When worn on the left breast it was placed immediately following the badge of the 4th class of the Order of Saint Vladimiro or the badgeo of the 4th class of the Order of Saint George. Duringt he middle of the 19th century it was the custom to wear badges smaller than modern badges. Photographs bear testimony to this practise.
The SASH was originally a wide light-blue band but it was changed in 1831, to dark blue. This sash is worn from the left shoulder to the right side, and from it hangs the badge.
The STAR is gold. It has eight groups of rays and a round medallion. On this gold medallion is placed a white-enamelled cross with red-enamelled edges having at its center a gold rosette, and with gold flames between the arms. Enclosing this center device is a light-blue enamelled band bearing the gold motto of the order," PRO FIDE, REGE ET LEGE." The star in the author's collection measures 89 mm. The American Numismatic Scciety has two stars in its collection, one of which measures 90 mm. and the other 95 mm.
The insignia of the Order of the White Eagle of the Polish Republic are as follows:—
The BADGE is the same as that of the time of August II, except that the reverse bears the legend "Za Ojczyzni Narod" ("For the Fatherland and the Nation").
The STAR is an eight-pointed silver star bearing the same cross as described above, but with the letters "R.P." in place of the rosette.
The badge measures 78 mm. × 70 mm. The star measures 80 mm. × 78 mm. with the superimposed cross measuring 48 mm.
The Russian Order of the White Eagle, when awarded for military deeds, has two crossed swords of gold placed between the eagle and the imperial crown. The star has two crossed swords which meet under the medallion.
When awarded to non-Christians the Imperial eagle replaces the cross.
The insignia of the Order “with diamonds” was sometimes awarded as an especial honor and was considered a higher decoration than the insignia “without diamonds.”
It is interesting to note that Lieutenant F. V. Greene, United States Army, in his book “Army Life in Russia,” published in 1880, says that at that time the order was not held in very high esteem, being conferred on a commanding general who had done his duty in a campaign but had not achieved success.
From the time of its inception until the [Bolshevic] Revolution of 1917, the Order of Saint George the Martyr was the most sought-after of all the Russian orders of knighthood. Except for a short period, it was awarded for one service only—extreme bravery in the face of the enemy. It easily takes rank with the English Victoria Cross and the American Medal of Honor. Even at the present time, the knights of this order who are now émigrés have formed themselves into local societies of the Knights of Saint George, and observe Saint George’s Day as one of their feast days.
The Order of Saint George the Martyr14 was established on the 26th of November, 1769, by the Empress Catherine II. On the same day, the Empress decorated herself with the insignia of the first class. The order was established exclusively for officers of the army and navy, as an incentive and as a reward for meritorious conduct and distinguished service. By the imperial ukase establishing this order, it was divided into four classes, and it was ordered that the decoration be worn at all times.
On September 22nd, 1782, the Council of the Order was founded. This council consisted of Knights of the Order of Saint George only. The council, the archives and the treasury of the order were established in Chesma near Saint Petersburg in a house especially donated for that purpose. The council was ordered to investigate all recommendations for the order, which function had heretofore been performed by the Army and Navy College.
During the reign of the Emperor Paul I, the decoration was not awarded. After the accession Alexander I, the order was re-instated in “its former glory.”
By the statutes given it by the Empress Catherine the Great, the Order of Saint George might be conferred on all officers of the army who had served for twenty-five years, and on all naval officers who had made eighteen sea voyages. Due to the fact that the number of knights of the order rapidly increased, new statutes were issued on the 15th of May, 1855, changing the qualifications necessary to receive the order. These statutes provided that the only qualification for which this order might be conferred was that of extreme bravery on the field of battle. These same statutes ordered that the first and second classes of the order were to be awarded by the personal decree of the emperor, and that the third and fourth classes were to be awarded by the Georgevsky Council. The statutes also emphasized the fact that neither past service nor position nor wounds recived in battle were to influence the decision as to the award of the order.
The decoration was to be conferred solely “for exceptional prowess displayed for the greater glory of the Russian arms.”
In 1801, the Georgevsky Council submitted a petition, to the Emperor Alexander I, asking him to bestow upon himself the Order of Saint George. The emperor replied that he would postpone his decision. Upon the return of the emperor from the campaign of 1805, the Council of Saint George again submitted to His Imperial Majesty the same petition begging him to confer upon himself the first class of the order. The emperor thanked the Council but refused to grant its petition saying that he was not in actual command of the army and had had no occasion to display his personal courage. Later the emperor consented to accept the order, but only the fourth class. As a result of this attitude, the Order of Saint George was held in even higher repute.
In 1838, the Emperor Nicholas I expressed his desire to be awarded the fourth class of the order provided that the council of the order, upon examining the record of his 25 years service, should find him deserving of the award. Apparently the Council found His Imperial Majesty so deserving for the emperor was later awarded the order.
While still Czarevitch, Alexander Nicolaivitch, later the Emperor Alexander II, was awarded the Order of Saint George, fourth class, for the distinguished part played by him in the campaigns against the Tcherkesses.15
In 1877, the Czarevitch Alexander Alexanderovitch, later the Emperor Alexander III, was awarded the second class of the Order of Saint George during the war with Turkey.16
On the 25th of October, 1915, the late Emperor Nicholas II received the fourth class of the order.
By an Imperial ukase of April 11th, 1849, the names of all those who had been members of the Order of Saint George since its foundation, were engraved on marble plaques installed in the Georgevsky Hall of the Grand Imperial Palace at Moscow. By the same ukase all officers decorated with any class of the order were granted the right of hereditary nobility.
All knights of the order, upon retirement, had the right to wear their uniform without having had the ten years of service required of other officers before receiving this privilege.
The Council of the Order of Saint George consisted of all the knights of the first and second classes present, and twelve knights of the third and fourth classes.
Commanders of the army and navy had the right, without asking the imperial permission, of forming a council of not more than seven and not less than three knights of the order, to examine the qualifications of officers who had distinguished themselves. Following the decision of this council, the Commander advised His Imperial Majesty of these qualifications. This temporary council was naturally formed only during war time.
The reigning emperor or empress was always exofficio the Grand Master of the Order.
The Order of Saint George the Martyr was divided into four classes. The insignia of the first class are a badge, a sash and a star.
The BADGE is a gold cross pattée. The arms are white-enamelled. In the center is a gold medallion bearing the mounted figure of Saint George slaying the dragon. The saint and the dragon are of colored enamel. The reverse of the cross is the same as for the obverse except that in the medallion are the initials of the saint in gold letters.
The SASH is a broad ribbon of watered silk having a central black stripe, two orange stripes and a black stripe for each edge.
The STAR is a gold, diamond-shaped plaque. In the center is a raised medallion. The center of this medallion is either yellow enamel or gold with the monogram of the saint in Russian letters. This center is encircled "by a black-enamelled band having in gold letters the Russian words meaning “For Service and for Bravery.” The author has been unable to ascertain the size of the badge and the sash. In his collection is a star of the order, which measures 80 mm.
The insignia of the second class are a badge and a star.
The BADGE is of the same design as the badge of the first class but is smaller, being worn at the neck. The badge of this class in the author’s collection measures 57 mm.
The STAR is exactly the same as the star for the first class.
The insignia of the third class is a BADGE worn at the neck. This badge is exactly the same as for the second class and is of the same size. There is no star worn with the third-class badge.
The insignia of the fourth class is also a BADGE worn on the left breast before all other Russian orders, decorations and medals. This badge although of the same design as that for the third class, is smaller. The author has a badge of this class which measures 35 mm. and which is suspended from a ribbon measuring 25 mm. in width.
The insignia of this order were never decorated with diamonds.
On the insignia awarded to non-Christians the image of the saint and his monogram are replaced by the imperial eagle. In this connection it is interesting to note that the Mahommedan Caucasian knights of the order objected strenuously to this substitution. They said “We are warriors, let us have the picture of a brave warrior on our decoration instead of a black bird.” However, this request was not granted because of the religious feeling of the Russians.
Connected with the Order of Saint George was a decoration known as “The Golden Sword of Saint George.” Under this classification were included sabres, yataghans, swords, and naval dirks. These swords were inscribed “FOR VALOR” and were
1—Saint George’s sword with miniature badge, sword knot, and double inscription “for bravery.”
la—Miniature Saint George's cross used on sword hilt.
2—Saint George’s sword without the miniature badge but with the sword knot and inscription “for bravery.”
3—Combined Saint George’s and Saint Anna’s sword; with miniature Saint George badge, Saint George sword knot, double inscription “for bravery,” Saint Anna miniature sword badge of fourth class and inscription “for bravery.”
4—Saint Anna’s sword with miniature Saint Anna badge of fourth class, Saint Anna sword knot, and double inscription “for bravery.”
4a—Badge of the fourth class of the Order of Saint Anna. This is in the same size as a miniature badge.
5—Sword knot of Saint George. The Saint Anna sword knot is the same shape and size but is composed of the Saint Anna colors (see figure number 4).
6—Saint George’s naval dirk with miniature badge and inscription “for bravery.”
6a—Miniature Saint George badge used on dirk.
7—Combined Saint George and Saint Anna naval dirk; with badge of Saint George, inscription “for bravery,” Saint Anna fourth class badge and inscription “for bravery.”
8—Saint Anna naval dirk with fourth class badge of the Order of Saint Anna and the inscription “for bravery.”
8a—Badge of the fourth class of Saint Anna, as used on naval dirk.
9—Naval dirk “for bravery” and so inscribed.
NOTE—Figure 2 does not bear the Saint George badge but is a variation of the Saint George’s sword. Figure 9 carries either the Saint George or Saint Anna dirk knot. The dirk knots are the same as the sword knots but smaller.
sometimes awarded “with diamonds.” The bestowal of golden swords was originated by the Empress Catherine the Great and at that time had no connection with the Order of Saint George. It was not until the reign of Alexander I that the golden swords were included in the Russian orders. By an imperial ukase of the 28th of September, 1807, it was ordered that all officers awarded the Golden Sword were to be included in the registry of Russian orders. An imperial ukase of March 12th, 1844, ordered that all Golden Swords, except those ornamented with diamonds, be issued by the Capital of the Russian Orders, and not, as formerly, by His Imperial Majesty’s private office. Golden Swords decorated with diamonds were still to be given by His Imperial Majesty’s private office.
Golden Swords “with diamonds” were awarded to officers of the rank of Major-General and higher. With each sword so given was an imperial rescript signed by the monarch. Golden Swords “without diamonds” were awarded to staff and subaltern officers upon the recommendation of His Imperial Majesty, by the Capital of the Russian Orders.
The Golden Swords “with diamonds” were weapons having the hilt set with diamonds. No sword-knot was worn with these weapons.
The Golden Swords “without diamonds” were known as the “Georgevsky Oroogiem” (The Saint George Sword). They were inscribed with the words “For Valor” and had inlaid in them a small Saint George’s cross. This cross was mounted on the hilt in various positions depending on the type of weapon. With this type of Golden Sword was worn a sword-knot made of the same ribbon as that attached to the Order of Saint George.
The Golden Sword “with diamonds” was given as a personal token of the esteem of His Imperial Majesty. The Golden Sword “without diamonds” was awarded for deeds of valor for which the Order of Saint George might not be given.
In 1912, the Golden Sword became the Saint George’s Sword and was issued according to the rules of the Order of Saint George.
On February 13th, 1807, the Emperor Alexander I created the “Insignia of Distinction of the Order of Saint George.” This decoration was to be given to enlisted men for bravery on the field of battle.
According to the statutes of 1807, the pay of all enlisted men decorated with the Insignia of Distinction was to be raised with each class of the decoration. These increases were to be retained as a pension after the soldier had completed his military service.
In 1833, new statutes were issued detailing all the rights and privileges appertaining to the Insignia of Distinction. These same statutes detailed the deeds of valor for which the insignia might be given.
In 1856, the Insignia of Distinction was divided into four classes. These remained unchanged until the revolution of 1917.
The FIRST CLASS BADGE is a gold cross without enamel, the same in design as the cross of the Order of Saint George except that on the reverse is engraved the serial number of the cross and the class number. This cross is suspended from the Saint George’s ribbon with a bow-knot.
The SECOND CLASS BADGE is a gold cross of the same design but with the second class mark on the reverse. There is no bow-knot on the ribbon.
The THIRD CLASS BADGE is a silver cross of the same design as the gold cross but with the mark of the third class on the reverse. This is suspended from a ribbon with a bow-knot.
The FOURTH CLASS BADGE is the same as for the third class but has the mark of the fourth class on the reverse. This is hung from a ribbon without the bow-knot.
All of these badges are the same size. Those in the author’s collection measure 35 mm.
In volume three of “Istoria Kavelargvardoff ” (History of the Chevalier Garde Regiment), on page 132, is a photograph of a badge of the “Insignia of Distinction.” This is the same on the obverse as the crosses already described. The reverse, however, is different. It shows on the top arm the crowned monogram of the Emperor Alexander I, while the left arm has the Russian letter “N” and the right arm the number of the cross. There is no class number.
In 1912, a new decoration known as the Saint George’s Medal was issued.
This decoration was divided into four classes. There are two gold medals, that of the first class suspended from the Saint George’s ribbon with the bow-knot, and that of the second class suspended from the ribbon without the bow-knot. There are also two silver medals. That of the third class is suspended from the ribbon with the bow-knot and that of the fourth class suspended from the ribbon without the bow-knot.
There are apparently two types of the Saint George’s Medal. The author has two silver medals each having on the obverse the head of the Emperor Nicholas II with the inscription of his titles. The reverse on one of these medals has a laurel branch on the left and the inscription in Russian “For Bravery” at the center. The reverse of the other type has the following:
The size of all the medals is the same, 28 mm., although the author has one un-numbered silver medal which measures 25 mm.
The Saint George’s Medals were awarded for deeds of valor not meriting the Insignia of Distinction. The medals were awarded only to enlisted men.
Banners and trumpets decorated with the colors of the Order of Saint George were also awarded.
These were awarded to regiments which distinguished themselves in action. The first Georgevsky banners were awarded to the Tavrovy, Moskow, Smolensk and Archangel Guard Regiments for distinction in the campaign of 1799. The first Georgevsky trumpets were given to the Moscow Grenadiers and the Starodoobsky Dragoons for the same campaign.
An imperial ukase of 1774 ordered that the Third Cuirassier Regiment be changed to the Cuirassier Regiment of the Order of Saint George the Martyr. Prince Potemkin, the vice-president of the Military College, was instructed to select the Knights of the order who were to be appointed as officers of the regiment. In modern times this regiment was known as the "13th Ordensky Regiment.”
The Order of Saint Vladimir was instituted on September 22nd, 1782, the day of the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the reign of the Empress Catherine the Great. The order was created in honor of the canonized Prince Vladimir 17 who introduced Christianity into Russia. The statutes of the order, issued on the same day, divided the order into four classes and specified that the insignia was to be worn with all uniforms.
The original statutes as issued by the Empress Catherine read in part as follows:—
“Because of the fact that many of Our subjects have not had the opportunity of making known their diligence and irreproachable service, We deem it right and just to award the Order of Saint Vladimir to all persons who have served continuously in Our service for 35 years, counting from the day when they were first raised to the classified position.”18
The Council of the order, created at the time of the foundation of the order, was established in a house donated for that purpose in Sophia, near Tzarskoe Selo.
By an imperial ukase of November 26th, 1789. the order, when conferred for valor, was awarded with a bow-knot attached to the ribbon.
In the regulations of the Russian orders, as issued by the Emperor Paul I in 1797, no mention of the Order of Saint Vladimir was made, nor did this Emperor confer the order during his reign. However, upon the accession of Alexander I, the order was re-instated “in all its former glory.”
In 1845, the Emperor Nicholas I issued new statutes which defined the procedure of recommendation, the rights and privileges attached to the order, and the relative rank of seniority of the Order of Saint Vladimir and the Order of Saint Anna.19 According to these statutes, all persons decorated with the Order of Saint Vladimir with the exception of those belonging to the “corporation of merchants,” acquired the right of hereditary nobility. These merchants received only the right of hereditary honorary citizenship. The statutes also specified that all recommendations for the order, whether for long service or for any deed described in the statutes, were to be investigated and approved by the Council of the Order of Saint Vladimir. All recommendations for the order for exploits of unusual significance not mentioned in the statutes, were to be submitted to the emperor for his personal approval.
The order with the inscription “35 years” was awarded to all persons who had occupied classified civilian positions for not less than thirty-five years. With the inscription “25 years” and the addition of a bow-knot to the ribbon, the order was awarded to officers of the army who had served actively for not less than 25 years. The insignia was awarded with the inscription of the number of deep sea voyages and a bow-knot added to the ribbon to all naval officers who had made either eighteen or twenty deep sea voyages. To all chaplains who served with the army for not less than thirty-five years, the order was awarded with the inscription "35 years." Chaplains who had served with the Army for twenty-five years and had participated in at least one battle received the order inscribed "25 years" and the added bow-knot. All deacons who served with the army for thirty-five years were awarded the Order of Saint Anna. However, if they had already received this order during their term of service, they were awarded the Order of Saint Vladimir with the inscription "35 years" upon completion of that length of service.
At court functions, knights of the first and second classes of the order were ranked with officials of the fourth rank of precedence; knights of the third and fourth classes were ranked with officials of the sixth rank.
Upon admission to the order, the knights paid a fee which varied according to the class of the order received. Knights of the first class paid four hundred fifty roubles. Those of the second class paid two hundred twenty-five roubles. Knights of the third class paid forty-five roubles, and those admitted to the fourth class forty roubles. No fees were exacted from those who received the order for twenty-five or thirty-five years of service, nor from those who had made a certain number of campaigns, nor from foreigners.
If awarded the order "with swords" after having received the order "without swords," an additional one-half of the original fee was paid.
When the order was awarded for deeds performed in war, two crossed swords were added to the insignia. These were crossed in opposite angles of the cross and star. A bow-knot was also added to the ribbon of the fourth class cross.
The Order of Saint Vladimir is divided into four classes. The insignia of the first class are a badge, a sash, and a star.
The BADGE is a gold cross pattée. The obverse is red-enamelled with a band of gold outlining the entire cross. Just inside the gold band of the arms is a very narrow black-enamelled band. The center is a round medallion, enamelled black, on which is a red and ermine mantle, crowned, with the Russian monogram of the Saint (Russian Letters "C.B"). The reverse is the same as the obverse exept that the medallion bears the date in Russian, "22 September 1782." In the collection of the American Numismatic Society there is a first class badge which measures 51 mm.
The SASH is a moiré silk ribbon consisting of three equal stripes of black, red and black.
The STAR is of eight groups of rays. The diagonal rays are of gold while the vertical and horizontal ones are of silver.
In the center of the star is a black-enamelled circular medallion bearing a gold cross pattée with the letters "C.P.K.B." in the angles, which stand for "The Holy Apostle Prince Vladimir." Around this black medallion, in gold on a red enamelled band are the words "Usefulness, Honor, and Duty" in Russian. In the collection of the author is a star of this order which measures 90 mm.
The sash is worn over the right shoulder to the left side, and from it is suspended the badge. The star is won on the left breast.
The insignia of the second class are a badge worn at the neck and a star worn on the left breast. The BADGE is exactly the same as for the first class but smaller. The author has a badge of the second class which measures 49 mm. In the collection of the American Numismatic Society is a badge measuring 45 mm. The STAR is exactly the same in design and size as for the first class.
The third class insignia is a BADGE worn around the neck. This badge is exactly the same in size and design as for the second class.
The fourth class decoration is a BADGE worn on the left breast immediately after the fourth class badge of the Order of Saint George. This badge is the same in design as the badges of the higher classes, but is smaller in size. The author has a badge of this class which measures 35 mm. Major-General Theodore Alexanderovitch Lodijensky, formerly of the imperial Russian army, possesses two badges of this class. His own, won in the late war, measures 40 mm., while the other, awarded to his grandfather in 1814 in the campaign against Napoleon, measures 33 mm.
The badges awarded for years of service or for a certain number of campaigns or voyages, have the number of years (or campaigns or voyages) on the left horizontal arm, and the Russian word "years" (or "campaigns" or "voyages") on the right horizontal arm. This inscription is in gold enamel.
On the insignia as awarded to non-Christians, the cross and initials of the saint are replaced with the imperial Russian eagle. The holiday of the order was the 22nd of September of each year. The insignia of the order were never decorated with diamonds.
Karl Frederick, Sovereign Duke of Schleswig-Holstein,20 founded the Order of Saint Anna in 1735, in memory of his wife Anna Petrovna, the daughter of Peter the Great.21 When Peter III, grandson of Peter the Great and at that time Duke of Schleswig-Holstein, came to Russia in 1742, the Order of Saint Anna began to be conferred by the Russian emperors.
On April 15th, 1797, the Emperor Paul I established the Order of Saint Anna as a Russian order. The ukase adopting the order as one of the Imperial orders reads in part as follows:—"When, to Peter III and to his future descendents, were given the rights to the Imperial Throne of All the Russias, from that time the above mentioned Order of Saint Anna was given the prerogatives of all the Russian Orders." At that time the order was divided into three classes. The insignia of the first class were a badge, a sash and a star. The second class cross was worn at the neck, and the third class badge was a cross mounted on the sword.
In 1815, Alexander I added a fourth class to the order, with the following changes. The third class badge was made a cross worn on the left breast, and the fourth class was a cross mounted on the sword. By the ukase of July 6th, 1828, the third class cross was suspended from a ribbon with a bow when the order was awarded for military deeds. On April 14th, 1829, and July 22nd, 1845, new statutes were published.
According to the statute of 1829, an inscription on the hilt of the sword, "For Valor," and a sword-knot of the color of the ribbon of the order, were added to the fourth class. It was also ordered that persons awarded the Saint Anna's sword-knot continue to wear it even after being given higher classes of the Order of Saint Anna. The same statute ordered the formation of the Duma (or Council) of the Order, which was to investigate all recommendations made by the Capital of the Russian Orders and to submit the approved recommendations for the personal sanction of His Majesty.
The statute of 1845 included detailed instructions as to the routine of the bestowal of the order, and also the rights and privileges of the knights of the order.
Up to 1845, all classes of the Order of Saint Anna carried with them the right to hereditary nobility. By the statute of 1845, the privileges attached to the award of this order were considerably curtailed. This was done because many minor government officials had obtained easy access to the ranks of the hereditary nobility through the award of the lower classes of the order. It is difficult for an American thoroughly to understand the feeling towards the rank of hereditary nobility in Russia during the monarchy. To be a nobleman in Russia was the height of personal advancement. Nobility carried with it such exclusive and powerful advantages and prerogatives that every person who could possibly do so strove to attain nobility for himself and his heirs. Failing this, personal nobility (that is nobility which did not descend to the heirs of a man) was the next best reward. The statute of 1845 read in part as follows:—"All persons awarded the Order of Saint Anna of the first class are to be elevated to the rank of hereditary nobility provided that these persons had not formerly had the right of hereditary nobility, either through inheritance or by a special decree. The award of the order of the second, third and fourth classes carry with it the right of personal nobility, provided that the person awarded the decoration has not had this right before."
The supplementary articles, ratified by His Majesty on April 1st, 1847, defined the procedure of recommendations to the order of those persons who had back of them twelve years of blameless service.
The insignia of the four classes of the Order of Saint Anna are as follows. The first class insignia consist of a badge, a sash and a star.
The BADGE is a gold cross pattée, red-enamelled. The edges of the cross are outlined in gold. In the angles between the arms of the cross are gold openwork scrolls. The center of the obverse contains the representation of Saint Anna on a white-en-amelled field with mountains in colored enamel in the background.
This center medallion is surrounded by a gold rim. In the center of the reverse, on a white--enamelled field, is a blue-enamelled monogram consisting of the first letter of each word of the motto. When Karl Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein founded the order he selected for its motto "AMANTIBUS, JUSTITIAM, PIETATEM, FIDEM,"—"To those who love Justice, Piety and Fidelity." This motto was suggested by the initials of the title and name of his wife, "Anna Imperatoris Petri Filia" ("Anna Daughter of Emperor Peter"). The enamelled monogram on the reverse is crowned with a blueenamelled imperial crown. The author has two examples of this badge. The older one measures 58 mm. and the more modern 50 mm.
The SASH is a red moiré ribbon 100 mm. wide and having close to each edge a narrow yellow stripe 3 mm. wide. This sash is worn across the left shoulder to the right side and the cross is suspended from it.
The STAR is silver and has in the center a red-enamelled cross. Around the cross, on a red-enamelled band, is the abbreviated motto in silver Roman letters:—"AMAN. JUST. PIET. FID." and two cherubim supporting an imperial crown. The latter is placed above the cross and between the second and third words. The author has two examples of the star of this order. The older one measures 83 mm. and the modern star 92 mm.
In the Museum of the American Numismatic Society there are two stars, one military and one civil. They both measure 95 mm.
The badge of the second class is a cross the same as for the first class but smaller. It is worn at the neck suspended from a narrower ribbon which measures 45 mm. The author has a specimen of the military and civil branches in this class. They each measure 44 mm. The American Numismatic Society has a badge of this class which measures 40 mm. The author also has two badges of this class made of bronze instead of gold. Major-General Theodore Alexanderovitch Lodijensky has a badge of his own in the second class of this order which measures 50 mm.
The badge of the third class is similar to that of the second but is still smaller. It is worn on the left breast suspended from a ribbon 28 mm. wide. The specimens of this class in the author's collection measure 36 mm. The American Numismatic Society has a badge in this class which measures 35 mm. while Mr. Harrold E. Gillingham has one measuring 40 mm. Major-General Theodore Lodijensky has a badge of the third class of the order as awarded to his grandfather in 1811. This badge measures 30 mm.
The badge of the fourth class is of a type peculiar to Russia. It consists of a red-enamelled cross on a gold field enclosed by a red-enamelled band and surmounted by a gold imperial crown. This badge is fitted to a military dress sword, a saber, a curved cavalry saber, a naval sword, or a naval dirk. It is attached to the top of the hilt. The American Numismatic Society has a specimen of this badge measuring 29 mm. × 20 mm. Sculfort lists one measuring 29 mm. in diameter. With this badge is a sword-knot made of the ribbon of Saint Anna and silver tassels. The hilt of the sword is also inscribed in Russian "FOR BRAVERY."
For deeds of military merit in the presence of the enemy, crossed swords were added to the cross and the star. These swords are placed between the arms of the cross—on the star the place of crossing is under the medallion. Military knights of the third class with the cross "With Swords" suspended the cross from a ribbon and bow.
From the reign of Paul I up to 1828, the order of Saint Anna "with diamonds" was bestowed on both Russians and foreigners. Only the first and second classes were ornamented with diamonds.
By the imperial order of the 26th of December, 1828, the diamond ornaments were replaced by an enamelled imperial crown above the cross. However, according to the statutes of 1829 and 1848, the order could be awarded with or without the crown, but to foreigners the order was still awarded "with diamonds." By an imperial ukase of 1874, the conferring of the order "with the crown" was discontinued. The order either "with diamonds" or "with the crown" was considered of a higher degree than the order without these ornaments. The American Numismatic Society has a star of the Order of Saint Anna which is set with jewels. It measures 72 mm. In the collection of Mr. Harrold E. Gillingham there is a fine old specimen of a first class badge beautifully jewelled. This badge measures 70 mm. The author has a second class civil badge "with the crown" which measures 73 mm. × 45 mm. The American Numismatic Society has a badge of this same class "with the crown," black-enamelled. It measures 51 mm.
The cross and star as awarded to non-Christians had the imperial eagle, enamelled in natural colors, in place of the cross and the representation of the saint.
When awarded the Order of Saint Anna each knight was obliged to pay a fee which varied with the different classes. The first class knights paid one hundred fifty roubles; those of the second class thirty-five roubles; the third class twenty roubles; and those of the fourth class ten roubles. When the order "with swords" was given after the order "without swords" had been received an additional fee of half the. original was charged. The order "with diamonds" or "with the crown" carried no fee. In 1904 an imperial ukase stated that the order "with swords" would carry no fee from that date.
The Order of Saint Stanislav was created on May 7th 1765, by Stanislav August Poniatovsky,22 King of Poland, in honor and in memory of his patron saint, Saint Stanislavn.23 Burke states that the number of knights was limited to one hundred, exclusive of foreigners, and describes the insignia as follows:—
"The BADGE was a red-enamelled cross, attached to a poppy-red ribbon with white borders, worn across the right shoulder towards the left hip: the middle of the cross rested upon the Polish white eagle, and on the obverse appeared the representation of the patron saint of the order in his episcopalian robes, with the initials 'S. S.' (Saint Stanislav) at the side, while the reverse showed the initials of the king. The STAR which the knights wore on the left side of the breast was of silver, and, exhibited in the middle the initials of the king in red, twisted around a lancet, and within a red ring with golden edges, the legend: 'Praemiando incitat' (Encouraged by reward)."
Upon the annexation of the Kingdom of Poland, the Emperor Alexander I conferred this order on persons of Polish birth. By the statute of December 1st, 1815, the order was divided into four classes. A new statute of September 2nd, 1829, defined the rights and privileges attached to the order.
After the Polish Rebellion, the Emperor Nicholas I issued new statutes for this order. These statutes, published on the 17th of November, 1831, provided that the Order of Saint Stanislav was henceforth to be included with the imperial Russian orders. This same statute included radical changes in the insignia of the order.
The statute of 1839, issued by the Emperor Nicholas I, abolished the fourth class of the order and instructed that all recommendations for admission were to be investigated by the council of the order, which consisted of twelve knights of each class. This council was abolished in 1855.
In 1844, the Minister of Justice submitted to the Committee of Ministers the list of candidates for the Order of Saint Stanislav, and also the report of the Senate regarding the persons about to be decorated. Upon an investigation of this report, the committee noted that the statutes of the order created a very easy means of access to the rights of hereditary nobility. Even persons occupying insignificant government postions were thereby able to achieve this dignity. The committee then petitioned the Emperor Nicholas I to revise the statutes, emphasizing the fact that the rights and privileges attached to the rank of an hereditary nobleman were of such value and importance that they should be awarded for unusual services only. The emperor therefore appointed a special committee to review the statutes of the order. This committee recommended that the statutes of the Orders of Saint Stanislav, Saint Vladimir and Saint Anna be compared and revised and that the rank of seniority among these orders be definitely established.
New statutes of these three orders were thereupon issued on July 22nd, 1845.
Up to 1845, all classes of the Orders of Saint Stanislav, Saint Anna and Saint Vladimir had carried with them the right of hereditary nobility. The statutes of 1845 limited this right to all classes of the Order of Saint Vladimir, to the first class of the Order of Saint Anna and to the first class of the Order of Saint Stanislav. To the second, third and fourth classes of the Order of Saint Anna was given the right of personal nobility. The second and third classes of the Order of Saint Stanislav were abolished.
The award of the second and third classes of the Order of Saint Stanislav was revived on July 28th, 1855.
From 1855 until l9l7, the Order of Saint Stanislav had three classes. The insignia of the first class consist of a badge, a sash, and a star, as follows.
The BADGE is a gold, ball-tipped Maltese cross. The obverse is enamelled red, outlined by a narrow edging of gold. Between each arm of the cross is a gold imperial Russian eagle. The points of each arm of the cross are connected by a gold arc somewhat resembling the edge of a rosette. In the center of the obverse is a circular white medallion surrounded by a green-enamelled laurel wreath. In the center of this medallion are the red-enamelled entwined initials "S. S." The reverse of the cross is entirely gold save for the white medallion which is the same as on the obverse. The author has in his collection an example of this badge measuring 60 mm. That in the Museum of the American Numismatic Society measures 62 mm.
The SASH is a red watered silk ribbon 105 mm. in width having two narrow white border stripes. This sash is worn over the right shoulder to the left side and from it is suspended the badge.
The STAR is silver, consisting of eight groups of rays. In the center is a white medallion bearing in its center the red-enamelled entwined letters "S S." which are surrounded by a narrow gold band. This in turn is surrounded by the motto of the order "PRAEMIANDO INCITAT" in gold letters, with a gold leaf before the first word of the motto. Around the white medallion is a green-enamelled gold-edged band bearing four gold laurel wreaths. The specimen of this star in the collection of the author measures 93 mm. The American Numismatic Society has an example of this star measuring only 80 mm.
The BADGE of the second class is the same as for the first class but is somewhat smaller and is hung around the neck from a ribbon only 40 mm. wide. The author has an example of this badge which measures 44 mm., and one 47 mm. Mr. THE RUSSIAN Harrold E. Gillingham has an example of this cross measuring 50 mm. Major-General Theodore Alexanderovitch Lodijensky has a specimen of the second class cross, which was awarded to his grandfather in 1814. This badge measures 48 mm. and has the wings of the eagles, between the arms, turned down.
Foreigners were sometimes awarded a STAR of the second class of this order. The star is the same as for the first class. It could not be awarded to a Russian subject. The star of this class in the author's collection measures 92 mm.
The third class BADGE is the same as that of of the first and second classes but is smaller and is worn on the left breast suspended from a ribbon 32 mm. wide. For military service against the enemy, when the badge is awarded "with swords," a bow-knot is added to the ribbon of this class. The author has a badge of this class measuring 40 mm. In the collection of Mr. Harrold E. Gillingham is a cross of this class which measures 20 mm.
The author has a badge of the second class and one of the third class with enamel on both the obverse and the reverse. This is very unusual as they are of Russian make and marked with the Russian gold markings.
Two swords, crossed in the center of the badge and the star, are added for military deeds in the presence of the enemy.
Non-Christians awarded this order, have the imperial Russian eagle on the insignia in place of the red-enamelled entwined letters "S.S."
From 1831 to 1839, the second class of the Order of Saint Stanislav was awarded with a star. In 1839, the second class was sub-divided into two grades, namely, a cross with a crown added, and a cross without a crown. However, to foreigners the order of the second class was still awarded with the star, by special rescript. By an imperial ukase of February 17th, 1874, the award of the order with the imperial crown was terminated.
The special holiday of the Order of Saint Stanislav was the 25th of April.
Each person awarded the order of Saint Stanislav, excepting foreigners not in the Russian service, was charged a fee which varied according to the class. Those of the first class paid a fee of one hundred and twenty roubles; those of the second class thirty roubles; and knights of the third class fifteen roubles. When the decoration "With Swords" was given after the civil decoration had been received, the recipient contributed an additional fee of one-half the original fee. All such fees were used to form a pension fund for impoverished knights and for the widows of deceased knights.
The Order of the Red Cross was established by the Emperor Alexander the Second, following the Turkish War of 1877–1878. The Order was instituted on February 19th, 1878, and the statutes were published the same day. The order was established to reward women who had devoted themselves to nursing wounded and sick soldiers. The order was awarded by Her Imperial Majesty upon the approval of the emperor and was conferred by special rescript to the Chancellor of the Russian Orders. The Chancellor forwarded the rescript to the Capital of the Russian Orders, which issued the decoration. No fee was paid by the recipient of the order. Those receiving the order were authorized to add the representation of the badge to their coat-of-arms. The order is divided into two classes.
According to the statutes of the order the insignia of the first class is a BADGE. This takes the form of a red-enamelled Geneva cross within a gold ring. On this ring is the inscription in Russian letters, "For Nursing Wounded and Sick Soldiers." This badge is suspended from a red watered-silk ribbon in the form of a knot. It is worn on the left breast.
The insignia of the second class is a BADGE exactly the same as for the first class but with a silver ring instead of a gold one. This badge is also worn on the left breast suspended from a red silk ribbon in the form of a knot. The size of this badge is 32 mm.
It was customary to award the second class of the order before conferring the first class. However, this rule was not always followed.
If the insignia was worn with stars of orders or with the Insignia for the Liberation of the Serfs, the badges of the Red Cross Order were worn below these.
The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem is the oldest Catholic Order. It was founded in 1048, in Jerusalem, in honor of Saint John the Baptist, and had as its primary purpose the assistance of pilgrims to the Holy Land.
In 1099, after the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders, the order became a military and religious brotherhood. It appropriated the title of "sovereign," signifying its absolute freedom from allegiance to any monarch. Members of the order were drawn from the clergy and nobility of all the countries of Western Europe. The first insignia of the order was a white silk cross sewn to the left side of the cloak and to the hat.
The knights of the order constantly fought the Mohammedans and gained an enviable military reputation. In 1187, Jerusalem was recaptured by the Mohammedans and the "Sovereign Order" was forced to move, first to the Island of Cyprus and later to the Island of Rhodes. Here, in 1522, it fought a series of glorious but losing fights against the Turks and was forced out of the island.
The German Emperor Carl V, then presented the Island of Malta to the order. On this island the order established its headquarters and became known as "The Order of Malta."
The knights of the order, with the assistance of the papacy, established throughout Europe many preceptories. In the XVI century the order became instrumental in furthering the Catholic faith and the plans of the papacy. Many Jesuits joined the order. At this time, the knights began to wear black Jesuit cloaks with a white silk cross on the left side.
In Russia the Order of Malta became very influential at the end of the XVIII century. In January, 1797, the Emperor Paul I, concluded an agreement with the Grand Master of the Order of Malta. The proclamation of this agreement reads in part as follows:
"We, by the Grace of God, Paul I, Emperor and Autocrat of all the Russias, etc. etc.
"His Imperial Majesty Paul I, knowing the importance and benefits derived from the institution of the Maltese Order in Russia, and wishing to give those of His subjects who might join this Order every right to do so, decided to call a convention which would discuss such matters as would be of benefit to both the Order of Malta and to the Russian Empire."
For this purpose the following representatives were elected. Acting for His Imperial Majesty were Count Alexander Bezbakodko, His Majesty's Privy Counsellor, Member of the Imperial Council, Past Master General the President of the Orders of Saint Andrew and Saint Alexander-Nevsky, and Knight of the First Class of the Order of Saint Vladimir; and Prince Alexander Karakine, His Majesty's Vice-Chancellor, Member of the Imperial Council, Active Chamberlain, and Knight of the Orders of Saint Andrew, Saint Alexander-Nevsky, the First Class of the Order of Saint Anna. Acting for the Grand Master of the Order of Malta was Julius René Balii, Count Leettii, Grand Cross of the Order of Malta, Knight of the Third Class of the Order of Saint George, Knight of the Polish Orders of the White Eagle and Saint Stanislav, and Honorary Rear-Admiral of the Russian Fleet. These representatives agreed upon the following articles:—
"His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias, following his imperial judgement and showing his benevolence towards the famous Order of Malta, recognizes it as rightful, ratifies and confirms most solemnly for Himself and His heirs, forever, the establishment of the above mentioned Order in His domains. Etc., etc., etc."
At the same time, His Imperial Majesty granted to the order a certain yearly subsidy.
The Island of Malta was captured in 1798 by Napoleon Bonaparte. The knights of the order were very much dissatisfied with their Grand Master, Gompesch, because he did not resist the French with force of arms. They, therefore, forced him to resign and petitioned the Emperor Paul I, to become Grand Master of the Order. The emperor accepted the offer and proclaimed himself Grand Master of the Order of Malta. At the same time, he bestowed upon himself the insignia of the order, the cloak, the crown, the sword, and the cross. The imperial manifesto of 1798, establishing the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem in Russia, reads in part as follows:—
"We, by the Grace of God, Paul I, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and Grand Master of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, etc.
"The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, from its very foundation, by its prudent and commendable efforts, has benefited not only the Christian religion in every state, but Christianity in general. We, always appreciating the true value of this Order, have already established the Grand Russian Priory.
"On this occasion, as the Grand Master of the Order, We, wishing to again make known Our respect and admiration for this noble Order, by Our Imperial prerogative create the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem for the benefit of Our nobility, which was ever the bulwark of Our Throne."
This manifesto was issued on the 29th of November, 1798. In accordance with this ukase, a yearly subsidy of two hundred sixteen thousand roubles was granted to the order. Preceptories were organized for the knights and fifty thousand peasants were assigned to these preceptories. The headquarters of the order was transferred from the Island of Malta to Saint Petersburg and was established in a palace set aside for this purpose. A Catholic church was built in the palace, and dedicated to the memory of Saint John the Baptist. This church is still in existence. The palace was later given to the " Corps des Pages," the highest military academy in Russia, by the Emperor Alexander I. The badge of the Order of Malta was given this academy as a school badge.
The imperial rescript to the Senate on the 15th of December, 1798, included in the title of the Russian monarch the title of "Grand Master of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem."
Sometime later, the order was subdivided into two groups; a Roman Catholic group and a Russian-Orthodox group. Children were admitted to the order as well as adults. The admission fee for adults was twelve hundred roubles and for children twenty-four hundred roubles.
It was specified that every applicant to the order belong to a family enrolled among the nobility not less than one hundred fifty years. It was further ruled that this nobility must originally have come to the family through military exploits. Besides hereditary knights, the Emperor Paul I created Honorary Knights and Commanders. For this rank it was not necessary to be of noble descent. These honorary ranks were awarded for both military and civil services.
Besides state preceptories as established by the Convention of 1797, and the ukase of 1798, the institution of family perceptories was permitted by His Imperial Majesty. In order to obtain this permission, it was necessary for the preceptary to be of a certain size and to bring an income of not less than three thousand roubles per year. Ten per cent of this income went into the treasury of the order. These family preceptories were hereditary and with them went the hereditary right for the heir to wear the insignia and uniform of a commander of the order.
The official Russian account of this order gives but little regarding the insignia of the order while under the Emperor Paul I. It describes the commander's cross as a gold, white-enamelled Maltese cross. From portraits of the time, we can see that this cross was sometimes a plain Maltese cross and sometimes a crowned Maltese cross. It seems to have been worn around the neck suspended from either a black ribbon or a gold chain. On the left breast was worn a white-enamelled gold Maltese cross without any ornamentation. A picture of the famous Marshal Souvoroff shows him wearing a jewelled badge around the neck.
Enlisted men of the Russian army were awarded "donatys," or small copper Maltese crosses with three arms white-enamelled and the upper arm plain metal. These were awarded for twenty years service when the award of the medal of the Order of Saint Anna was not warranted.
The Emperor Paul I, also established a Maltese Insignia of Distinction to be awarded to ladies. This was divided into two classes. Ladies of the first class wore the cross of the order attached to a black ribbon worn across the shoulder. Ladies of the second class wore the cross on the left side attached to a black ribbon bow-knot.
In 1803, the Emperor Alexander I, resigned the dignity of Grand Master of the Order. By a declaration of the cabinet of the emperor, the order in Russia was terminated in 1817, and the preceptories abolished.
After being transferred from place to place, the headquarters of the order was finally located in Rome, under the official protection of the Pope.
The Polish Military Order, or the Order of "Virtuti Militari" as it is better known, was created in 1792, by King Stanislaus August Poniatovsky. It was inspired by the Austrian Order of Maria-Theresa, which was founded by that empress on the 12th of December, 1758. The Order of "Virtuti Militari" was awarded by King Stanislaus August to adherents of the so-called "Polish Patriotic Party," supporters of the constitution of May 3rd, 1791.The order was first conferred after the battle of Zielence, in Volhynia, where the Poles, led by Prince Joseph Poniatovsky, fought the Russians.
The first insignia of the order was an oval gold or silver medal. The obverse bore the crowned monogram of King Stanislaus August. The reverse had the inscription "Virtuti Militari." At the first investiture only twenty of the gold medals and forty of the silver medals were conferred.
The order was soon modified and divided into five classes. The insignia was also changed. The first three classes wore a cross of four arms. At the center of the obverse was a round medallion bordered by a laurel wreath. In this medallion was the Polish White Eagle. The arms of the obverse bore the inscription VIR-TUTI-MILI-TARI. The reverse bore a representation of the Knight of Lithuania, with the date 1792, below. The arms of the reverse had the letters S. A. R. P. (Stanislaus Augustus Rex Poloniae). The badge of the fourth class was an oval gold medal. That of the fifth class was the oval silver medal.
In 1792, the Empress Catherine II forced King Stanislaus Augustus to leave the "Polish Patriotic Party" and join the "Confederation of Targovitz," which was formed by the empress on the 14th of May, 1792. This confederation consisted of Polish noblemen who were pro-Russian. On the 18th of July, 1792, the confederation decided to suppress the order and to prohibit the wearing of the insignia.
The Polish Diet, meeting at Grodno, re-instituted the order on November 23rd, 1793. However,, no distribution of the re-instituted order took place until the 26th of December, 1807, after the constitution of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw by Napoleon I. At this time the Grand Duke Frederick August 24 conferred the order.
In 1808, Alexander I of Russia, compelled the Grand Duke Frederick August to make a change in the insignia. The figure of the Knight of Lithuania was removed from the reverse and the words " Rex et Patria" substituted. The reason for this was that in 1793, at the second partitioning of Poland, Russia secured Lithuania. At this time certain changes were made in the insignia which lasted until the final suppression of the order by the Emperor Nicholas I.
In 1815 the Congress of Vienna made a final distribution of Polish territory. A Kingdom of Poland was to be formed under the domination and government of Russia. The Emperor of All the Russias was also to be King of Poland. As a result of this final division of Poland, the Order of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw (as the Order "Virtuti Militari" was then known), was included in the Russian orders under the title of The Polish Military Order. The Emperor Alexander I was Grand Master of the order from 1815 to 1825, and the Emperor Nicholas I from 1825 to 1832.
In 1831, Poland rose in rebellion against Russia. After the defeat of the Polish armies, the Emperor Nicholas I awarded the order to all officers who took part in the suppression of the rebellion. The ukase to this effect was dated November 7th, 1831. Thus the order was turned to a use exactly opposite to that for which it had been founded. The Commander-in-Chief of the Russian army and all Corps Commanders were awarded the first class of the order. All other general officers were given the second class. The third class was conferred on all Colonels and Lietenant-Colonels. The fourth class was given to all Captains, and the fifth class to all other officers. The Capital of All the Russian Orders was ordered to make a sufficient number of decorations with the date 1831, instead of the date 1792.
On November 19th of the same year the Emperor Nicholas I, ordered the fourth class of the order to be awarded to subaltern officers instead of to Captains as heretofore. The fifth class was to be awarded to soldiers.
As recorded in the archives of the Capital of the Russian Orders, there were distributed the following numbers of decorations of this order between the dates November 12th, 1831 and May 20th, 1835:— First class, 14; second class, 188; third class, 1105; fourth class, 5219; fifth class, 100,000.
By the imperial ukase of January 3rd, 1832, the insignia of the Order of Virtuti Militari (as the Order was then known) were to be worn below all other orders of Russia. The insignia, under the Russian authority, are for the first class, a badge, a sash and a star.
The BADGE is a gold cross of four arms with the sides of the arms shaped concavely. Each arm is double-pointed with gold balls tipping each point. The obverse is black-enamelled and outlined in gold. In the center of the cross is a gold circular medallion bearing the Polish White Eagle. This medallion is surrounded by a laurel wreath. The arms of the obverse bear the following inscription in gold letters: VIR-TUTI-MILI-TARI. The reverse is gold and bears in the center medallion the motto of the order, REX ET PATRIA with the date, 1831, below it. On the arms of the reverse are the letters S. A. R. P. (Stanislaus Augustus Rex Poloniae). The whole is surmounted by the Polish crown in gold.
The SASH is a wide blue silk moiré ribbon having a band of black at each edge. This sash was worn over the right shoulder to the left side. The badge was suspended from it.
The STAR is silver. It has eight groups of rays. Superimposed on the star is the obverse of the badge without the crown. This star is worn on the left breast.
The insignia of the second class is a BADGE the same as for the first class but of a smaller size. This was worn around the neck from a narrower ribbon of the same design.
The BADGE of the third class is the same cross as for the second class but smaller. It was worn on the left breast suspended from a ribbon of the same design and size as for the second class.
The insignia of the fourth class is a BADGE the same as for the third class but without the black enamel on the obverse. This cross was worn on the left breast from a ribbon the same as for the preceding classes but narrower. Major-General Theodore Alexanderovitch Lodijensky has a badge in this class as awarded to his grandfather for the 1831 rebellion. It measures 31 mm.
The fifth class BADGE is the same as that of the fourth class except that it is made of silver instead of gold. It was worn on the left breast suspended from the same ribbon as for the fourth class.
It is of interest to note in connection with this order that on the first of August, 1919, the Diet of the Polish Republic re-installed this order under the name “The Order of Virtuti Militari.” The insignia of the different classes are as described except that the letters “S. A. R. P.” on the reverse have been done away with, and the medallion on the reverse reads “HONOR Y OJCZYZNA” (Honor and Country). Also, the crown which was formerly above the cross has been eliminated.
The Order of St. Nicolas the Miracle-Worker was established by decree July 19th (Old Style Aug. 1st) 1929 by Order of H. I. M. Kyrille Vladimirovitch in memory of the late Emperor Nicholas II, who was in supreme command of the army and navy, and as a memorial of the World War, July 19, 1914 to March 1st, 1917.
It is awarded to every person who took part in this war whether in the army or navy.
The cross is four-armed, each arm having two points. The obverse is white-enamelled with a narrow gilt edging and a round medallion of white enamel bearing the gilt effigy of Saint Nicolas the Miracle-Worker. Between the arms of the cross is the Romanoff griffin with a circular shield and raised sword. For non-Christians the medallion is stamped with the crowned monogram of the Emperor Nicholas II. The personnel of the Medical Corps receive the badge with a red cross replacing the image of the saint.
The reverse gilt medallion bears the inscription in Russian, “The Great World War 1914-1917.” The ribbon is white, yellow and black in stripes of equal width (the Romanoff colors). The cross measures 35 mm.
There is also a white metal miniature of this badge, meant to be worn in the buttonhole. It measures 15 mm., is the same as the obverse of the full-size cross but without the enamel, and is backed by a circular rosette of the same ribbon.
The badge is worn at all times immediately after the St. George badge and before all other decorations. The cost of the decoration is borne by the one receiving the award.
The provisions of the statutes are as follows:—
Golovine, Count Feodor Alexeevitch. This officer was the closest friend of Peter the Great. Through his indefatigability and because of the wisdom of his council, he became the leading Russian statesman and diplomat. He was chosen as one of three in the Great Embassy with which Peter travelled through Europe. Upon his return, Golovine was charged with the formation of the Russian fleet. In April, 1699, he was made Admiral and took command of the first Russian squadron in the Sea of Azof. On the 9th of September, 1689, he settled the frontier dispute between China and the Czardom of Moscow. In 1701 Golovine was made head of the School of Navigation at Moscow. He died in 1706.
Mazeppa, Ivan Stefanovitch, was born about 1640. He came of a noble Russian family and was placed as a page in the court of John Casimir, King of Poland. The story of Mazeppa as related in the poem of the same name by Lord Byron is essentially true. Bound naked to the back of his horse, he was sent out into the open country. His horse made for home and Mazeppa was rescued. In shame he fled to the Ukraine where he joined the Zaparagian Cossacks. By means of lies, tricks and turn-coat tactics he rose in military rank until he was finally elected Hetman in 1687. He was held in the greatest esteem by Peter who used him in the Volynia Campaign of 1705-06. Peter loaded him with high honors and created him Prince of the Ukraine. Mazeppa, however, constantly intrigued against Peter as he feared the loss of his independence. At last he joined the army of Charles XII of Sweden, taking with him many of his Cossacks. With 80,000 of his Cossacks, Mazeppa took part in the battle of Poltava against Peter. The Czar stripped him of all his honors and ordered his name to be cursed in all the Russian churches. After Poltava, Mazeppa escaped to Turkey, and died there in poverty in 1709.
Menshikov, Alexander Danilovitch, was born near Moscow in 1673. He came of a modest Russian family. His intelligence attracted the attention of General Lefort, one of Peter’s advisors, who commended him to the czar. Menshikov accompanied Peter in his travels through Europe. In 1702, he took a distinguished part in the capture of the fortress of Notemburg. For this he was made commander of the fortress which was renamed Schlisselbourg. It was Menshikov who discovered Katherine Skavronsky, who later became the mistress of Peter, then his wife, and finally Empress of all the Russias. Menshikov took a leading part in the wars against Sweden and was made a field-marshal on the field of Poltava in 1709. His great avarice and his giving up the fortress of Stettin to Prussia, caused Peter to court-martial him and sentence him to death. Later, the Emperor pardoned him, upon the payment of a large fine. After Peter’s death, Menshikov came into great favor with Catherine I. During the reign of Peter II, he practically ruled Russia. He had even gone so far as to arrange the marriage of his daughter with Peter II, when he suddenly lost favor and was banished to Siberia. He died there on the 12th of November, 1729.
Vasiliefsky Island is one of the islands in the River Neva on which part of Petrograd was built.
Saint Andrew was born in Bethlehem in Galilee. He was a follower of John the Baptist and later became an apostle of Christ. Tradition states that he was crucified on an X-shaped cross.
In 1711, the Turkish government was incited to war against Russia by Charles XII of Sweden, Desaleurs the French Ambassador, and the Khan of the Tartars. Peter welcomed this war and set out against the Turks with an army of 38,000 men. He was confident of an easy victory. Deserted by most of his allies and not waiting for the 30,000 men promised him by Augustus of Poland, Peter found himself surrounded on the banks of the River Pruth by 200,000 Turks. His men fought bravely against overwhelming odds. This bravery caused the Turkish Grand Vizier to hesitate. Finally the strategy of Catherine triumphed and Peter with his army was allowed to return to Russia after making a rather humiliating treaty.
Alexander-Nevski was born at Vladimir. He was the son of Prince Yaroslav of Novgorod. Left with his brother Feodor when his father quitted Novgorod, he fought bravely but vainly against the Mongol hordes. His brother having died, Alexander was forced finally to submit to the Mongols in 1240 A. D. He then set out to defend the western borders against the Danes, the Swedes and the Teutonic Knights. In 1240, he was victorious over the Swedes on the River Neva, near the site on which St. Petersburg was built later. For this action he won the surname Nevski. In 1242, he defeated the Teutonic Knights. After the death of his father in 1246, he became Grand Duke of Kiev and Novgorod, and later became Grand Duke of Vladimir. To the end of his life Alexander remained the vassal of the Mongols. He died on the twenty-fourth of November, 1263. Because of what he achieved for Russia, Alexander-Nevski was canonized and praised in song and writing. A monumental convent was erected in his memory by Peter the Great, close to the scene of his defeat of the Swedes.
Sovereign Duke of Holstein. He was later one of the regents during the minority of the Emperor Peter II.
In 1722, Peter declared war against Persia. The robbery of Russian merchants in Persian territory provoked the war. The Russians captured Baku, and occupied Daghestan, Ghilan, Mazanderan, Recht and Asterabad.
In their accounts of this order, such authorities as Burke and Wahlen ascribe its foundation to George Ossilinsky, Great Chancellor of the Republic of Poland. They state that this nobleman, having been given the title of "Prince” by the Pope, founded the Order of the Immaculate Virgin. From this order they state that the Order of the White Eagle is derived. The author has found nothing to substantiate these statements. Neither the official Russian nor the official Polish histories of this order ascribe such a history to the order.
Vladislav I, The Short, was the son of Casimir, Duke of Cujavia. In 1288, he made himself King of Poland with the help of some of the nobility. As a result of a war with the Duke of Silesia, and the King of Bohemia, he was forced to flee. After the death of the Bohemian King he succeeded in capturing Cracow, and in 1312, he completely crushed his enemies and re-united the Polish territories under his rule. In 1320, the Pope sanctioned his coronation as King of Poland. The marriage of his son Casimir with Anna, Princess of Lithuania, paved the way towards the union of that country with Poland. He died in 1333.
August II, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Saxony was the son of John George III, Elector of Saxony. In 1696, he declared himself a candidate for the throne of Poland. Bidding higher than Prince Conti and adopting the Catholic faith he was crowned King of Poland as August II, at Cracow, on the 15th of September, 1697. Having joined Peter the Great in his wars against Sweden, August was forced to abandon his claims to the throne of Poland. In 1709, after the defeat of Charles XII at Poltava, August again proclaimed himself King of Poland and, with the help of a Saxon army, was seated on the Polish throne. In 1716, he was obliged to make a compact with certain Polish noblemen who were against the employment of a Saxon army in Poland. Thereafter, his court was a scene of splendor. August II died February 1, 1733, of an old wound. He was the father of numerous illegitimate children, the most famous of whom was Marshal Saxe.
Saint George The Martyr is the patron saint of England and Portugal as well as of Russia. Very little is known of his life. Many legends have grown up around him and he has come to be thought of as the warrior saint. He is said to have been born at Lydda or Ramleh in Palestine, and to have embraced Christianity and suffered martyrdom in Nicomedia in April, 303 A. D. He was extremely popular with the English crusaders and the battle cry “Saint George for England” has been handed down through the centuries. The story of Saint George and the dragon first appeared in the LEGENDA AUREA of Jacobus de Voragine. He is a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church as well as of the Church of England. He is also venerated by the Mohammedans as Ghergis or El Khouder.
In 1834, the conquest of the Caucasus, which took 30 years, was begun As a result of this campaign the Russian boundaries were greatly extended in the southeast.
In April 1877, Russia declared war against Turkey. This war was entered into because of the maltreatment of the Bulgarians and the other Christian subjects of Turkey. The war was terminated by the Treaty of San Stefano on March 3rd, 1878, after the Russian armies had nearly reached Constantinople.
Vladimir I, The Great, The Saint, was the first Christian sovereign of Russia. He ruled from 980 to 1015. The accounts of his life must be taken from sagas as no other information has been handed down. As far as can be ascertained he became Ruler of Russia after the death of his brothers. At this time Russia was a loose union of Slavic tribes and Russian principalities without a central organization. In order to consolidate his authority he decided to adopt Christianity. The main reason for this was that a great many of his subjects were Greek Christians and his mother, Olga, had been baptised. This, and his desire for an alliance with the Byzantine Empire, prompted him to ask for the hand of the sister of Constantine IX, the Byzantine emperor. He promised peace and adherence to Christianity. His offer was accepted and in 988 he was baptised and married to Anna, the sister of the emperor. Upon his return to Kiev he destroyed all idols and erected churches and monasteries. He died on the 15th of July, 1015. The Russian Orthodox Church has canonized him and decreed him the “equal of the Apostles.”
For Classified Position, see Introduction.
See the Order of Saint Anna for further data.
See Note 2, Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky.
See Note 2, Order of Saint Alexander-Nevsky.
Stanislaus August Poniatovsky was the last independent king of Poland. He was born in 1732, the son of Count Stanislav Poniatovsky, at Wolczyn. In 1752, he was elected to the Polish Diet. Later he was sent as ambassador to Russia. While there he gained the confidence of the Empress Catherine the Great and became her lover. After the death of Augustus III of Poland, Catherine used her influence to gain the throne for Poniatovsky, who was elected in September, 1764. In 1795, after the third partition of Poland, he laid down his crown. Personally an educated and fine-looking man, he lacked character and permitted his country to fall into anarchy.
Saint Stanislav, a minor saint of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches.
Frederick August, King of Saxony and Grand Duke of the Duchy of Warsaw. He was born in 1750, the son of the Elector of Saxony, Frederick Christian. He succeeded his father in 1763, under the regency of his uncle, Prince Xavier. In 1791, he was offered the crown of Poland but refused it. In December, 1806, he was forced to conclude a treaty with Napoleon I, after having unsuccessfully fought him. By virtue of this treaty he was allowed to assume the title, King of Saxony. In 1807, he was invested with the title of Grand Duke of the Duchy of Warsaw He was never the actual ruler of the country, however, as Napoleon himself exercised the power. After the entry of the allies into Leipzig, in 1813, he was forced to vacate the Dukedom of Poland and cede half of his kingdom to Prussia. He died in 1827.