Garter, Order of the

Founded in 1348 by Edward III, the purpose of the order was to honour the king's most trusted companions. The order's motto is well known: *Honi soit qui mal y pense. Originally there were 24 members with the king and prince of Wales. The induction ceremony was almost mystical, involving a vigil in a church through the night, and the taking of a bath to wash the knight's sins away. The blue of the robes was the blue of the French crown, which Edward claimed. They were made of wool, a way of affirming the importance of the wool trade to England. -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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