Patrick (St), Knights of

Patrick (St.), Knights of

is the title of the members of an Irish order of knighthood founded by king George III of Great Britain on Feb. 5, 1783, in honor of the great Irish apostle. As originally constituted, the order consisted of the sovereign, the grand-master (who was always the reigning lord-lieutenant of Ireland), and fifteen knights; but in 1833 the number of knights was increased to twenty- two. The order is indicated by the initials "K. P." Their dress is as follows: The collar (of gold) is composed of roses alternating with harps, tied together with a knot of gold, the roses being enameled alternately white within red, and red within white, and in the center is an imperial crown surmounting a harp of gold, from which the badge is suspended. The badge or jewel is of gold, and oval; surrounding it is a wreath of shamrock proper on a gold field; within this is a band of sky blue enamel charged with the motto of the order, "Quis separabit. mdcclxxxiii," in gold letters, and within this band a saltire gules (the cross of St. Patrick), surmounted by a shamrock or trefoil slipped vert, having on each of its leaves an imperial crown or. The field of the cross is either argent or pierced and left open. A sky-blue ribbon, worn over the right shoulder, sustains the badge when the collar is not worn. The star, worn on the left side, differs from the badge only in being circular in place of oval, and in substituting for the exterior wreath of shamrocks eight rays of silver, four of which are larger than the other four. The mantle is of rich sky-blue tabinet, lined with white silk, and fastened by a cordon of blue silk and gold with tassels. On the right shoulder is the hood, of the same materials as the mantle.

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