With these may be connected the Order of Our Lady of Ransom (, also called Mercedarians), founded (1218) in Aragon by St. Including religious knights as well as religious clerics, it was originally considered a military order, but dissensions arose and each rank chose its own grand master.John XXII (1317) reserved the grand-mastership to clerics, with the result of a general exodus of knights into the newly founded military Order of Montesa.
Hence came a whole category of orders justly considered apocryphal.
In the seventeenth century Marino Caraccioli (1624), a Neapolitan nobleman, succeeded in passing himself off as Grand Master of the Order of Knights of St.
Including under this term every kind of brotherhood of knights, secular as well as religious, historians of the military orders have enumerated as many as a hundred, even after eliminating the apocryphal and stillborn.
This great number is explained by the eagerness with which the Middle Ages welcomed an institution so thoroughly corresponding to the two occupations of that period, war and religion.
Anthony of Ethiopia, an imposture almost immediately unmasked by another Oriental, the learned Abraham Echelensis (1646).
At the court of Louis XIV, a negro brought to France from the Gold Coast posed as a prince, even securing the honour of being baptised by Bossuet (1686), and instituted the Order of the Star of Our Lady before returning to his alleged dominions.
Orders of knighthood lacking this official recognition should be expunged from history, even though they figure in the pages of all the old historians of the military orders.
As a matter of fact, more than one rule of this kind, scarcely passing beyond the initial stages, has existed, and such are the orders which may be designated No trace is to be found in the "Bullarium romanum" of the order called the Wing of St.
A regular order of knighthood means a brotherhood or confraternity which combines with the insignia of knighthood the privileges of monks.
This supposes recognition on the part of both Church and State; to belong to the regular clergy, they needed the pope's confirmation; they could not wear the sword of knighthood without the authorization of the prince.
Royalty afterwards utilized this new idea to strengthen its own position or to reward faithful nobles, creating secular orders of knighthood until there was no country without its royal or princely order.