The Royal Illustrious Order of Saint Januarius

The Royal Illustrious Order of Saint Januarius (English)      
Written by Guy Stair Sainty   

The comparatively late foundation date the Order of Saint Januarius makes it the last great dynastic Collar Order to be constituted as a Chivalric fraternity, with a limitation to Roman Catholics, and a direct attachment to the dynasty rather than the state. It continues to be given today by the Head of the Royal House of Bourbon of the Two Sicilies.

The founder of the, Carlo VII, King of the Two Sicilies (from 1734-1759, died 1788), was the first reigning Monarch to reside in this kingdom since 1502. As a young Monarch, Carlo was considerably influenced by his father Felipe V, King of Spain, who had proved a capable if erratic ruler, not only bringing peace to his Kingdom but ultimately re-establishing Spanish influence in Italy. Italian historians of the Order, however, have mostly ignored the influence of King Felipe, Carlo's extensive correspondence with his father, and the names of those knights of Saint Januarius whose nominations were made at the instigation of King Felipe. The late D. Achille Di Lorenzo, author of a 1963 partial Roll of the Order, not only omitted these names but in a subsequent publication stated that he could not consider them legal since, in his view, a foreign sovereign could not intervene in the affairs of another Kingdom. The reality is, however, that the correspondence between Carlo and Felipe survives in the Spanish archives and demonstrates the contrary. We learn from this that various nominations to the Order were made at King Felipe's instigation and they are amply documented. Furthermore, King Felipe himself invested many of these knights with their collars personally, at his court in Madrid, acting with the consent of his son, King Carlo. Indeed, the Statutes were published in Madrid in both Spanish and Italian versions at the same time as their publication in Naples.

Carlo first proposed the idea of founding a new Order of Chivalry to his father soon after the successful invasion of Naples in 1735. In a letter from Felipe s Minister, the Count of Santisteban, of 15 June 1735, the new King was advised to wait until after his formal investiture with the Crown of the two Kingdoms. The following month (6 July 1735) Santisteban informed King Felipe that King Carlo intended to go ahead with the foundation of this new Order; appropriately, it was to be named for the patron Saint of his capital, the Bishop-Martyr Januarius [1]. The older Monarch approved the idea but recommended that his son send him the projected constitution and statutes before publication. On 30 August 1735 Santisteban wrote to King Felipe again, informing him that King Carlo had decided it should have sixty knights and suggesting the names of the first nineteen members. His father proposed that he should wait for a suitable occasion, in a reply of 29 October, but that occasion did not arise for another three years.

Carlo ' plans were further advanced by mid-1737 and on 21 June King Felipe wrote to him once again expressing approval of the idea to found a new Order. Carlo had already suggested the formation of a class of Magnates of the Kingdom, paralleling the Spanish Grandeeship, an idea that was supported by King Felipe (letter of 23 December 1736), who later suggested the names of candidates. This project was ultimately abandoned because of disagreements among the Two Sicilies nobility, and the problems this project seemed to foment encouraged Carlo to return to the concept of founding a new Order. In mid-1738 his marriage to Maria Amalia Walburga, eldest surviving daughter of Friedrich August II, Elector of Saxony (August III, King of Poland), proved to be the opportunity he needed.

Little is known of Saint Januarius beyond the fact that he was Bishop of Benevento and was martyred at Pozzuoli with six companions, circa 305. As a finger was cut off during his execution a phial of blood was obtained, which is preserved in the Cathedral of Naples. This relic is exposed to the public on various occasions during the year, when, after an interval of time it liquefies; if it fails to do so then it is considered a portent of ill-fortune for the city. This phenomenon, which has been recorded for the past five hundred years, has been carefully observed and no satisfactory rational explanation has been produced to discount the miraculous nature of the liquefaction. Saint Januarius, who is often invoked against eruptions of Vesuvius, is portrayed on the badge of the Order holding a book with two phials of blood and the motto "In Sanguine Foedus".

With the decision to announce the formation of the Order to coincide with his marriage, a firm date was set for July 1738. King Carlo's Ambassador, the Count of Santisteban informed King Felipe that the first list of members included some forty-six names, of whom thirty nine had already been approved by the Spanish King in earlier correspondence [2]. The Order's Statutes and foundation both date to 3 July 1738 and the first promotions to the Order were made three days later. These limited membership of the Order to sixty Roman Catholic noblemen, although non-Catholics have been admitted by successive Grand Masters in exceptional cases and the total complement of the Order has exceeded sixty on several occasions. As an Order of the Collar and the highest Order of the Kingdom, it was intended to equal in rank that of the Golden Fleece, awarded by his father in Spain, and that of the Holy Spirit, given by his cousin in France. Indeed it was the frequent practice for the Princes of each branch of the House to receive all three Orders [3]. As they had discussed in their correspondence, King Carlo reserved for his father, Felipe V, King of Spain, the right to appoint up to six knights, emphasizing the unity of the House of Bourbon.

The Catholicity of the Order was particularly emphasized in the Statutes.  Article VII laid out the obligations of the knights, beginning with the invocation to the knights to be ready to defend the glory and honour of the Holy Catholic faith at any cost. Knights were required to procure conciliation between members of the Order in dispute with each other; to swear inviolable loyalty to the Grand Master; to try to attend daily Mass, to take Communion at Easter and on the Feast of Saint Januarius; to celebrate a Mass for the souls of deceased knights; not to offer or accept a challenge to a duel but refer the dispute to the Grand Master for his decision; and to attend the chapels of the Order, ranking according to seniority by date of reception. In response to the King s determination to emphasize the Catholic character of the order, the Pope, Benedict XIV, confirmed the foundation of the Order in a Papal Bull of 30 May 1741, whose provisions were then slightly modified in a second Bull of 27 July of the same year. The dynastic and religious character of the Order and the Papal authority given to its foundation served to protect it from the purported abolition by the government of Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy in 1860.

The special status of this Order as a quasi-religious military institution was emphasized by the division of the knights, in a Royal Decree of September 21st 1738, into novice and professed knights; although this distinction was later dispensed with there were differences in the form of reception and the costumes of these two categories. The professed knights were required to make certain promises in addition to proving their lineage. There were also special provisions regarding the reception and investiture of ecclesiastical members laid out in a supplement to the Statutes.

The Order of Saint Januarius was closer in type to the slightly earlier Russian Order of Saint Andrew and the Prussian Black Eagle, however, than to the original conception of the Orders of the Golden Fleece and Holy Spirit, with which it was to be co-equal. Thus the Order that King Carlos VII now established was founded in the image of the contemporary Order of the Golden Fleece, rather than in imitation of its historic past.

In a letter of 26 July 1738, King Felipe wrote to his son nominating for election six noblemen, the Duke of Mirandola, the Duke of Medinaceli, the Duke of Gandia, the Count of Montijio, the Marquess de San Juan de Piedras Albas, and Marquess Scotti. In a further letter of 28 July he asked his son to accord the Collar of Saint Januarius to the Duke of Bournonville, the Prince of Masserano, the Marquess of Bedmar and the Duke of Atrisco. Then, in a separate communication on the same day he informed his son that he had accorded the Spanish knights of the Order the title of Excellency since, although most of the Spanish knights were already so entitled as Grandees of the1st Class, the Marquess of San Juan de Piedras Albas was not hitherto an Excellency . The title of Excellency was attributed to knights of Saint Januarius from its foundation, but this style was given legal formality in Article 9 of the royal decree of 24 March 1817.

The first promotion of the Order, made on 6 July 1738, including those added by the King of Spain, totalled fifty-five in number; to these should be added the names of five other Spanish knights admitted by King Carlo  between 20 October 1738 and 25 January 1739, completing the membership to the sixty knights specified in the Statutes. The most comprehensive list of members of the Order since its foundation was published in Naples in 1963 [4]; but this contained several errors and omissions which were discovered by the Marquess of Villarreal de Alava, who has shown that there were thirty Italians, nineteen Spanish, two French, two Belgians, one Pole and one German [5].

On the first promotion of the Order, the King himself dispensed all his nominees from the need to submit any formal proofs of nobility (although all of them would have been able to make such proofs, had it been required), and the statutes provided that such dispensations could be given in the future. It has been alleged that an informal distinction (in that such differentiation was not prescribed in the Statutes and there was no difference in the badge or regalia) existed between knights of Justice who had to prove four quarterings, and knights of Grace, who were only required to prove two paternal quarters, but these differences were not consistently adhered to and the award of the Order in any case conferred hereditary nobility. The title of "Royal" was accorded the Order in its first statutes but the style of "Illustrious" (Insigne) was never formally attributed to it, appearing for the first time in the Gaceta de Madrid of 6 October 1749 and thenceforth accompanying the designation Royal in official acts with increasing regularity.

These privileges reciprocated those extended to knights of the Golden Fleece in the Two Sicilies and, just as King Carlo was delegated by his father to invest any Neapolitan or Sicilian knights with the Collar of the Spanish Order, so Carlo commissioned his father to invest the Spanish knights of Saint Januarius on his behalf (letter from King Carlo  20 August 1738). When the King was unavailable, investiture could be made by some other authorized person, as happened with the Viceroy of Mexico, the Duke of La Conquista (invested by a Bishop, not identified, in 1739). Spanish records disclose solicitations to both King Felipe V and his successor, Ferdinando VI, for their support for nominations to Saint Januarius, but these were not necessarily successful, some candidates making several requests without ever being nominated.

King Carlos VII inherited the Spanish Crown as King Carlos III on 10 August 1759. By article II of the Treaty of Naples of 3 October of that year, he was required to establish the Infante D. Ferdinando, his second son (third-born since the exclusion of the eldest who was severely retarded) as King of the Two Sicilies. The new Sovereign received the Two Sicilies Crown, as Ferdinando IV of Naples and III of Sicily, by the Pragmatic Decree of 6 October 1759. This ordained that the succession should pass by male primogeniture among the descendants of King Ferdinando, and failing them of his younger brothers, unless the Crown of Spain was united with the Sovereignty of the Two Sicilies, in which case the latter had to be ceded to a son, grandson or great-grandson of the prince who so combined both successions [6]. In the event of the male heirs of King Carlos III becoming extinct, the Two Sicilies Crown would pass to the nearest female heiress of the last King [7].

The first almanach of the Kingdom following Carlo ' departure named Ferdinando as the Grand Master of Saint Januarius but the dowager Queen of Spain (Elisabeth Farnese) immediately wrote to Tanucci pointing out that this was an error. This letter was followed by one from the King, dated 30 September 1760, in which he wrote to his former Minister that "....concerning the Order of Saint Januarius, I did not believe it opportune to renounce this Order in favour of my son the King when I left and I have reserved it for me as Founder, and such renunciation will be made when he has attained his majority" [8]. King Carlo continued to make appointments to the Order after leaving Naples, treating it as the second Order of his new Kingdom while still conferring it upon his former Italian subjects.

Article VIII of the Statutes provided that the Order had four principal officers whose duties were to administer its affairs, a Chancellor (a Bishop of the Church), whose responsibility was to invest the knights with the Collar; a Master of Ceremonies who assisted at the regulation of ceremonies and functions; a Treasurer who had custody of the regalia and collars, maintained records of nobiliary proofs and the Statutes and any amendments; and a Secretary who dispatched diplomas, letters and dealt with the ordinary administration of the Order. The Statutes provided that those officers who were not knights wore a slightly different breast star to the ordinary knights and suspended the Cross from a Ribbon around the neck, rather than from the Collar. These duties were limited by a reform of 17 August 1827, to certain ceremonial roles at the installation of knights (no successors were appointed to the then holders of these offices), and the administration was confided to the Secretary, who, since 1860 has always been a Knight of the Order. In practice, as the principal Secretary of State, Tanucci controlled the Order and, after King Carlo went to Spain, the affairs of the Kingdom, until King Ferdinando attained his majority.

In a letter from Marchese Tanucci to King Carlos III, dated 12 August 1766, the Prime Minister of the Two Sicilies wrote to request that he make some disposition concerning the Grand Magistery of the Order of Saint Januarius. He suggested that if the King of Spain wished to retain the Grand Magistery, as founder of the Order, during his lifetime, then he should concede the title of Grand Master Governor of the Order to his son, the King of the Two Sicilies, since the majority of knights were Neapolitans and Sicilians. Until recently no document was thought to have survived showing when the King actually made this resignation, causing some historians speculatively to date it to 1764; however, it seems that Tanucci's 1765 letter decided King Carlos III to resign the Grand Magistery, which he did on 9 December 1766 [9]. King Ferdinando, who was listed in the Royal Calendar of 1766 as a Knight of the Order with his father as Grand Master, is not listed as the latter until 1768 and did not appoint any knights until 13 May 1768, when he made several admissions to celebrate his marriage to the Archduchess Maria-Carolina.

The Order s importance in court ceremonial was intended to accord the Neapolitan Crown the kind of prestige that the Golden Fleece and Saint Esprit had brought to the courts in Madrid and at Versailles. As in both these other Orders the original intentions of the founder were not followed and the extent and significance of these ceremonies declined. Carlo VII did not even attempt to institute the requirement for regular Chapters of the knights, a feature of the statutes of the Golden Fleece, but which had been informally abandoned by the middle of the 16th century (although there were frequent gatherings of the knights). The Order thus became a privilege and honour, but with minimal obligations, allowing knights of Saint Januarius precedence after members of the royal family and foreign Ambassadors, but ahead of all other members of the royal court, even Cardinals.

The fall of the Neapolitan Monarchy to the French invader in 1798 led to the Order being awarded more often to non-Italians and foreign Sovereigns. The first of the latter to receive the Order was Russian Emperor Alexander I, while two Russian noblemen, Admiral Feodor Ouchakov and Count Vassili Vassilievitch Levachov, were exempted from the limitation to Roman Catholics. During the period of the Napoleonic wars the Order was given to more foreigners than at any time in its history, including several non-Catholics Princes, notably the Landgraf and Prince Ludwig of Hesse-Phillipsthal (nominated in 1802) and Prince Regent George (later King George IV) of Great Britain, while King Carlo Felice of Sardinia, Prince Clement von Metternich-Winneburg and Prince Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, Duke of Dino, were each nominated in 1816 along with a number of British officers, the most notable of whom was Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington (also nominated in 1816). Non-Catholic members were considered extra-numerary and they were not entitled to the spiritual privileges conferred by Pope Benedict XIV.

Following the initial appointments, the Order was rarely at its full complement of sixty knights, although exceptionally, in the last two years of the Monarchy, there were sixty-five appointments, extending its membership considerably, of whom twenty-seven were non-Neapolitans, mainly foreign diplomats. 1861, the year in which the King was forced into permanent exile, saw a further extension of its membership as thirty-four new knights were admitted, most of whom were Neapolitan and Sicilian noblemen who had remained loyal to the King. Many of the other knights had immediately accepted office under the Savoy Kings and may be presumed to have forfeited membership by breaking their oath of loyalty to the Grand Master.

Certain Sovereigns continued to maintain diplomatic relations with the exiled Court, including the Emperor of Austria, the Kings of Bavaria, Wurttemberg and Hanover, the Queen of Spain, the Emperor of Russia and the Pope, all of whose Ambassadors received the Order between 1862 and 1870. From 1870 until the death of King Francesco II, the Order was only rarely awarded, to a few former subjects who had remained loyal, the elder sons of the Count of Caserta, the former reigning Duke of Parma and his brother the Count of Bardi (both nominated in 1883), the reigning Prince of Monaco and Ferdinand, Prince and later Czar of the Bulgarians (nominated in 1891).

The succession of the last King s brother, the Count of Caserta, in 1894 marked a substantial increase in importance of the Constantinian Order, while the Order of Saint Januarius continued to be given sparingly. Between the death of King Francesco II on December 27th 1894 and the death of the Count of Caserta on May 26th 1934, only thirty-one appointments were made, of whom the first four (and a further two) were Cardinals and including those of his sons who had not been nominated by Francesco II, other than Prince D. Gabriele (who was appointed by Prince D. Ferdinando-Pio ). The next Grand Master, Ferdinando-Pio, who died in 1960, only made two appointments to the Order, his youngest brother Prince D. Gabriele of the Two Sicilies and D. Filippo Lancellotti, Prince of Lauro (who died in 1970). Ferdinando-Pio's next brother, Prince D. Carlo, had been appointed a knight of Saint Januarius by his father the Count of Caserta, but Prince D. Carlo's only surviving son, the Infante D. Alfonso had never received the Order. With the death in 1960 of his uncle Ferdinando-Pio, the Infante D. Alfonso was proclaimed Head of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies and Grand Magistery of Saint Januarius; Infante D. Alfonso died in 1964 and was succeeded by his only son D. Carlos, Duke of Noto, as Duke of Calabria. The succession, however, has been disputed since 1960 (see below, appendix) and was also claimed by Prince Ferdinando-Pio s fourth but next surviving brother, Prince D. Ranieri (died 1973), married to Countess Carolina Zamoyska, who was succeeded in his claims by his only son, Prince D. Ferdinando, married since 1949 to Mlle Chantal de Chevron-Villette (they have a son, Charles, married to Camilla Crociani, daughter of an Italian businessman).

The royal house of the Two Sicilies remains closely linked to that of Spain; Prince D. Carlo had married the elder sister and heiress presumptive of Alfonso XIII, Infanta D. Maria de las Mercedes, Princess of the Asturias, who had died in 1904 following the birth of her third child leaving an elder son, the Infante D. Alfonso. Prince D. Carlo remarried in 1907 to Princess Louise of Orléans, daughter of the Orléanist claimant to the French throne and among their four children was the future Countess of Barcelona, mother of King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Infante D. Alfonso married in 1936 Princess Alice of Bourbon-Parma; his uncle, Duke Ferdinando-Pius of Calabria was his principal witness, and with two daughters had a son, D. Carlos, the present Head of the House. The latter married in 1965 Princess Anne of Orléans, daughter of the late Count and Countess of Paris and they have one son, D. Pedro, Duke of Noto (married with three sons), and four daughters, Princesses D. Cristina, D. Maria (married to Archduke Simeon of Austria), D. Ines and D. Victoria. The youngest son of the late Count of Caserta, Prince D. Gabriele, served in the Spanish Army and received the title of Príncipe de Borbón; he left three sons of whom the elder, Prince D. Antonio, married Princess Elisabeth of Würrtemberg and has two sons (the elder, Prince D. Francesco, is married to Countess Alexandra of Schönborn) and two daughters; and the youngest, Prince D. Casimiro, is married to Princess Maria Cristina of Savoy-Aosta (whose mother and grandmother were Princesses of Orléans, the latter a sister of Prince D. Carlo s second wife) and has two sons and two daughters.

The Order has been awarded sparingly and only sixty-four conferrals (including Royal Princes) have been made by the senior line claimant, of whom eighteen were members of Royal Houses and thirty-eight were members of the Deputation of the Constantinian Order. In awarding the Order to some of their closest advisers the Infante D. Carlos, Duke of Calabria and his late father, were following the example of the nineteenth century Sovereigns of the Two Sicilies; the Order has also been given to several heads of royal house. The present roll includes TMs the King of Spain, and the former King of the Bulgarians (now Bulgarian Prime Minister, Mr Simeon Saxe-Coburg), the Archduke Otto (invested in Madrid in November 2002), the Duke of Braganza (Head of the Royal House of Portugal), Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and Montenegro, Archduke Simeon of Austria, Prince D. Pedro-Gastão of Orléans-Braganza, Cardinal Caprio and eighteen knights of several nationalities.

The knights of Saint Januarius wear the badge of the Order suspended from a red Riband ten centimetres in width and worn over the right shoulder across to the left hip. The badge is a gold, eight pointed Maltese Cross in white enamel with red and gold rays extending along the arms, four gold fleur de lys between each arm and the gold image of the Bishop Martyr Saint Januarius in red, white and blue enamel Episcopal vestments rising from a gold cloud and holding in his left hand the open gospels on which rests two phials of his blood. The breast star is a silver, four pointed star with the fleur de lys between the arms and the same image of the Bishop Martyr as on the badge but with the motto (in gold on blue enamel), In Sanguine Foedus instead of the gold clouds.

The Collar of the Order (which, although all the knights are entitled to it, was only rarely awarded, and of which there are eight numbered examples in the possession of H.R.H. the Infante D. Carlos, Duke of Calabria) is composed of eighteen gold links between which alternate eight gold fleur de lys, two ornaments composed of the white enamel letter C (for Carlo) charged on two crossed white enamelled flags (for the Bourbon) on green enamelled leaves, two ornaments composed of a gold and black enamel castellated tower charged on crossed white and red enamelled flags, two ornaments composed of the open gospels in gold on which rest two phials of the Martyr's blood in red enamel and placed upon green palm fronds, two ornaments composed of a crossed Bishop's crosier and chalice with the Blessed Sacrament all in gold, and one ornament (at the back of the Collar) composed of a crowned and armed lion passant mounted on two crossed banners of red and white enamel. In the centre of the Collar is a red enamelled bishop's mitre over a cross and crosier from which is suspended the badge of the Order in gold and enamel. There is also a miniature collar composed of a pair of each of the C, Tower and Gospels ornaments between three pairs of fleurs de lys with the mitre and badge suspended from the centre. The miniature decoration is composed of the badge and mitre suspended from a red ribbon, while there is also a red buttonhole rosette (with the badge mounted in the centre). Officers of the Order who are not knights wear the same decorations but without the Collar and with the image of the Bishop Martyr charged on the Star in silver and enamels, instead of gold. Some antique breast stars and some modern stars, show the image of the Saint in yellow enamel mitre and vestments. Since 24 March 1817, a regulation of the Order has accorded the title of Excellency and D. to all the members.

APPENDIX The Disputed Succession

Since 1960 the succession to the Headship of the Royal House of the Two Sicilies has been disputed; Duke D. Ferdinando Pio, who died in January of that year, wished that his younger brother Prince D. Ranieri, rather than his next brother s son, Infante D. Alfonso, succeed him. The latter s father, Prince D. Carlo, second son of the Count of Caserta, had signed an act of renunciation on the 14 December 1900, in execution of the pragmatic decree of 1759 which, however, was limited only to requiring that any King of the Two Sicilies or his immediate heir who became King of Spain renounce the former to his next heir. Prince D. Carlo was to marry the heiress presumptive to the Spanish throne and there was a possibility that his wife would become Queen, and thus a fear on the part of the Count of Caserta that the claim to the Two Sicilies would be forgotten if combined with the Spanish Crown. This act was signed despite the strict requirement of the Pragmatic Decree, and the later constitutions, that the throne pass exclusively by primogeniture, first to the males, and on the extinction of all the male descendants of Carlos III of Spain, to the nearest female to the last male. Two Sicilies law specifically prohibited the renunciation of future successions. Prince D. Carlo s wife died in 1904, and with the birth of the Prince of the Asturias to King Alfonso XIII in 1907 and then several other sons and daughters, the succession of any descendant of Prince D. Carlo and his late wife became unlikely. His descendants continued to be included in the entries on the Royal House in the Almanach de Gotha, as Princes or Princesses of the Two Sicilies with the consent of both the Count of Caserta and Prince D. Ferdinando-Pio, Duke of Calabria, until it ceased publication.

In 1960, however, Prince D. Ranieri assumed the position of Head of the Royal House with the support of the daughters of the late D. Ferdinando Pio, Duke of Calabria and of his only surviving brother, Prince D. Gabriele and the latter s children. Prince D. Ranieri asserted that the act of Cannes of 1900 was a definitive renunciation of Prince D. Carlo s two Sicilies rights and that Prince D. Carlo and his descendants had lost any claim to the headship or membership of the royal house. Prince D. Ranieri, who assumed the Farnese title of Duke of Castro and conferred that of Duke of Calabria on his only son, meanwhile awarded the Order with care and discretion, and in 1973 at his son, Prince D. Ferdinando Maria, succeeded him in his claims and titles. In 1983, as successor of King Carlos III and VII, King Juan Carlos I of Spain commanded reports from five high institutions of the Spanish State, the Istituto Salazar y Castro, the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation, the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs, and the Council of State. These reports concluded unanimously that the successor to the headship of the dynasty in 1960 was the Infante D. Alfonso, and upon his death, the Infante D. Carlos, present Grand Master. The majority of the recipients of the Order from Princes D. Ranieri and D. Ferdinando have been representatives of the greatest Neapolitan and Sicilian families, in accordance with the eighteenth century tradition of the Order. Among those who have been given the Order by Prince D. Ferdinando are the 77th and 78th Prince Grand Masters of the Order of Malta, Frà Angelo de Mojana and Frà Andrew Bertie.

In the fourth picture: Francesco I (painted by Vicente Lopez) wearing the Collars of San Gennaro and the Golden Fleece, the riband of San Giorgio del Riunione, and (visible) the stars of San Gennaro, San Ferdinando e del Merito and San Giorgio della Riunione.


[1] "... aveva (il Re Carlo) con alcune regole e capitoli, a gloria dell'Onnipotente Iddio, per difesa e propagazione della Cattolica Religione, e per aumento della Cristiana pietà, istituita gia una lodevole Compagnia, o sia un Ordine di Nobili Cavalieri, a somiglianza dell'altro celebre Ordine denominato del Tosone d'Oro, sotto il titolo, invocazione, e patrocinio di San Gennaro, Vescovo e Martire...., del quale Capo e Primate il Re medesimo,e chiunque legittimamente gli succederebbe.... in virtù della presente, coll'Apostolica Autorità, approviamo e confermiamo la prenominata Compagnia ed Ordine, sotto il patrocinio ed invocazione di San Gennaro, aggiungendo alla sua fondazione il vigore di una perpetua ed inviolabile fermezza".

[2] Those Charles appointed without consulting his father were the Prince of Santobuono, the Prince of Montemileto, Marquess Giuseppe Spinelli di Fuscaldo, Constable of the Kingdom Colonna, the Duke of Atri, the Count of Fuenclara, and the Count of Wackerbarth (letter of 8 July 1738).

[3] The Convention of Aranjuez of 1760, confirmed in the Third Family Pact of 1761, between Carlos III and Louis XV provided that the Prince of the Asturias and the Dauphin, the Infantes de España and the Fils de France, could each receive the Collars of the Saint Esprit or Toisón de Oro without the ceremony of reception. While the San Gennaro was not included in this convention (Carlos III had still retained the title of Grand Master at that time), it became customary for this Order to be included in such exchanges.

[4] Insigne e Real Ordine di San Gennaro, by Achille Di Lorenzo, Naples, 1963. This corrected many of the mistakes and omissions in the Roll published at Naples in 1885 by Francesco Bonazzi.

[5] See Villarreal de Alava, La Maison Royale des Deux Siciles, l OrdreConstantinien de Saint Georges et l Ordre  de Saint Janvier, Madrid, 1964, pp. 489-553, in which the first members of the Order, listed in the Roll only by their titles of nobility, are each correctly identified.

[6] The first-born son being mentally retarded, the king's second-born son, Charles, became Prince of the Asturias and, in 1788, Carlos IV of Spain - he was the ancestor of the present Spanish king.

[7] Ten days later King Charles named his son primogenito legittimo farnesiano and as such inheritor of the Farnese succession, which included the Grand Magistery of the Constantinian Order.

[8] Archives of Simancas, State Section, Book 320, folio 136, no. 49.

[9] The Marquess of Villarreal de Alava, Op. cit. 1964, pp.472-473 and 554-562, has shown conclusively that the transfer was made formally on December 9th 1766: "My dear and much beloved son./ When the All Powerful summoned me to the Throne of Spain following the death of King Ferdinando VI, my very dear and much beloved Brother, conforming to the spirit of the Treaties of this century I established, by a solemn act and law promulgated on the 6 October 1759, the succession to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the person of Your Majesty ......... Finding that Your Majesty has almost attained Your majority, I believe that it is necessary that I should explain something which I have had in mind and declare that the Sovereignty and the Grand Magistery of the Order of Saint Januarius pertains to Your Majesty and Your successors as Kings of the Two Sicilies, fully and absolutely, as it pertained to me as Founder. // And in order that immediately Your Majesty is placed in full possession of Your authority that You shall be Head, Sovereign and Grand Master of the aforesaid Order, I ordain this in the form of a most solemn and express declaration by this my decree signed by My hand and witnessed by the undersigned Councilor and First Secretary of State and Dispatch. May Our Lord protect Y.M. my very dear and much beloved son, for as many years as He may grant you. San Lorenzo 9 December 1766. // I THE KING // Geronimo de Grimaldi".

 

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