Sunday, December 28, 2014


This Order (Nos. 1 to 6) was founded on the 27th November, 1838, by Duke Paul Frederick, in memory of his father, who, the patent says, had himself resolved upon the foundation of a similar Order, as reward to subjects or foreigners for distinguished merit in the arts and sciences, or in the more humble pursuits of domestic and civil life.

The reigning Grand Duke is always Grand Master. The Order consists of Capitulars and Honorary Members. Both divisions are equal in rank, and have four classes : Knights Grand Cross, Great Commanders, Commanders, and Knights Small Cross.

Only natives and citizens of Oldenburg can be received amongst the Capitulars. The Capitular of a lower class may, at the same time, belong to a higher class as Honorary Member. The Princes in direct male line from the Ducal House of Peter Frederick Louis are, by birth. Honorary Members of the Grand Cross. The heir presumptive to the Grand Duchy, bears the title of Grand Prior.

Proofs of valour and distinction in military service entitle to the nomination into the fourth class. The division of Capitulars consists of :

Two Knights Grand Cross with an annual pension of 500 gold thalers (£75).
Two Great Commanders 400 (£60).
Four Commanders 300 (£45).
Eight Knights Small Cross 200 (£40).

The number of Honorary Members in the Grand Duchy, is, exclusive of the Ducal Princes, limited to four Knights Grand Cross, four Great Commanders, eight Commanders, and sixteen Knights Small Cross. In time of war, the latter class may be augmented as regards the military.

The insignia consist, for the first class, of a star worn on the left breast, and of a cross worn across the right shoulder towards the left hip by a dark blue watered ribbon, with a narrow red stripe near each border (Nos. 1 and 2). For the second class, of a star worn on the right breast, and of a small cross worn round the neck by a similar ribbon about two inches wide. For the third class, of a small cross also worn round the neck by a similar ribbon about one inch and a half wide. For the fourth class, of a small cross, worn at the buttonhole of the left side, and suspended by a similar ribbon about one inch and a half wide.

Military persons who have received the small cross in war, wear, in addition, upon the ribbon of the Order, a round cockade formed of the same ribbon.

The Capitulars wear, besides, a particular decoration, varying with every class (Nos. 3 to 6).


The Chapter is usually held on the 17th January, the birthday of Duke Peter Frederick Louis. The middle of the star and obverse of the cross contain the initials of the Duke Peter Ferderick Louis.

The inscriptions upon the four white enamelled wings of the cross indicate the birth-day (17th January, 1755), the date of the accession to the throne (6th July, 1785), and of the death (2nd May, 1829) of that Duke, as also the day when the Order was founded (27th November, 1838).

The additional special decoration of the Capitulars consists of a medal surrounded by an oaken wreath. It is for the first class, of gold, and adorned with a golden crown ; for the second class, of silver, with a silver crown ; for the third class, of gold, without a crown ; and for the fourth class, of silver, also without a crown. It is worn, suspended by a ribbon, round the neck.

Source : the book of orders of knighthood and decorations of honour of all nations, sir Bernard BURKE, 1858

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