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Armorial Gold's Heraldry Dictionary

This heraldry dictionary is based on the works of Elvin (edited by Marvin Beatty) from his original manuscript of 1879. Corrections have been made, and additions from the Armorial Gold Library have been added. You are welcome to use this heraldry dictionary as a reference tool without fee. This is copyrighted material and as such may not be reproduced in "any way" without the expressed written permission of Armorial Gold. Thank You for your Cooperation.
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Heraldry Dictionary Section K 

Three Roman K's ar. on a field az. are the arms of Knocks.

Kaare. A cat.

Kae-Cornwall. A Cornish chough.

Kangaroo. An animal found in Australia.

Katherine Wheel. See Catherine Wheel.

Kernelled or Kernellated. Same as Crenelle.

Keys. Are variously borne in Coat Armour. Also, the Emblem of St. Peter.

Kid. A young goat.

King of Arms. See Heralds College and Bath King of Arms.

King-Fisher. The Halcyon of the ancients; a bird with beautiful plumage.

Kite. A bird of prey.

Knife. Knives of various kinds are met with in Heraldry, as a Cutting Knife, Butcher's, Pruning, Shredding, etc.

Knight. A Title of Honour next to that of a Baronet, not hereditary. Knights may be divided into two classes. First; those who are invested with some Order, and bear their Arms. Secondly; those who are not so invested, termed Knight Bachelors. The arms of a Knight Bachelor is distinguished by the Helmet.

Knight-Banneret. A Knight who, for good service under the Royal Banner, was advanced by the King to a higher Order of Knighthood on the Field of Battle.

Knight-Errant. One who wanders in quest of adventure.

Knight of St. John of Jerusalem. See Hospitallers.

Knighthood. The character, or dignity of a Knight.

Knighthood, Orders of.

The Most Noble Order of the Garter. This Order was instituted by King Edward III., A.D. 1350. The Original statutes of the Order are lost. By a Statute passed 17th Jan., 1805, the Order was to consist of the Sovereign and twenty-five Knight's Companions, together with such lineal descendants of King George the First as may be elected, but exclusive of the Prince of Wales, who is a part of the original institution. Foreign Sovereigns, and Princes and Extra Knights, have since been added by special statutes. The latter, however, become merged in the twenty-five Companions as vacancies occur. The Garter is of dark blue velvet, edged with gold, bearing the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense" in letters of gold, with buckle and pendant of richly chased gold. It is worn on the left leg below the knee. The George. An enamelled figure of St. George on horseback, encountering the Dragon. It is worn as a pendant to the collar. The collar is of gold. composed of twenty-six pieces (in allusion to the original number of Knights) in the form of Garters and Gold Knots. The Garters are enamelled azure, within the Garters alternately placed is a Red and White rose, barbed and seeded ppr. surmounting each other. The star of eight points silver, in the centre of which, is the Cross of St. George, gules, encircled with the Gartoi and Motto. The mantle of blue velvet lined with white taffeta, on the left breast the star embroidered. The hood of crimson velvet. The sub-coat of crimson velvet lined with white taffeta. The hat of black velvet lined with white taffeta, to which is fastened by a band of diamonds, a plume of white ostrich leathers, in the centre of which a tuft of black heron's feathers. Ribbon of the Order. Blue. Motto. Honi soit qui mal y pense. "Dishonoured be he who thinks ill of it."

The Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle. It is said this Order was instituted by James V. of Scotland, A.D. 1540. It was revived by King James II. of England, 29th May, 1687, subsequently by Queen Anne, 31st Dec., 1703, and by a statute passed in May, 1837, the Order is to consist of the Sovereign and Sixteen Knights. The badge, worn pendant to the Collar, or to a dark green ribbon over the left shoulder and tied under the arm, consists of a radiant star or, charged with the figure of St. Andrew ppr. of gold enamelled, with his gown green, and the surcoat purple, bearing before him the cross Saltire argent, standing upon a mount vert, upon which the cross is resting. The collar is of golden thistles, intermingled with sprigs of rue enamelled ppr. The jewel, worn attached to a green ribbon, consists of an oval plate ar. charged with the same figure as the Badge, within a border vert, fimbriated (both internally and externally) or, and inscribed in letters of the same, "Neino me impune lacessit". The star is worn on the left side of the Coat, or Cloak, and consists of St. Andrew's Cross of silver embroidery, with rays emanating from each angle; in the centre is a Thistle of green, heightened with gold, upon a field of gold, surrounded by a circle of green, bearing the motto of the Order in golden characters. Ribbon of the Order. Green. Motto. Nemo me impune lacessit. No one provokes me with impunity.

The Most Illustrious Order of St. Patrick. This Order was instituted by King George III., 5th February, 1783, and consists of the Sovereign, a Grand Master, and Twenty-two Knights. The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland pro. tempore, being Grand Master. The badge, pendant from the Collar, is of gold, surrounded with a wreath of Shamrock or trefoil, within which is a circle of Blue Enamel containing the Motto of the said Order in letters of gold, viz., Quis Separabit, with the date MDCCLXXXIII, being the year in which the Order was founded, and encircling the Cross of Saint Patrick Gules, surmounted with a trefoil slipped vert, each loaf charged with an Imperial crown or, upon a field argent. The collar, of gold, is composed of six harps and five roses, three alternately, joined together by twelve golden knots; the roses are enamelled alternately by white leaves within red and red leaves within white, and in the centre of the Collar is an Imperial crown surmounting a harp of gold. The mantle made of rich sky-blue tabiret lined with white silk, and fastened by a cordon of blue silk and gold with tassels. The star consists of the Cross of Saint Patrick Gules, on a field argent, charged with a trefoil as on the Badge, surrounded by a sky-blue enamelled circle, containing the motto and date, and is encircled by four greater, and two lessor rays of silver. Ribbon of the Order. Sky-blue. Motto Quis Separabit. Who shall separate us.

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath. The Order of the Bath was probably instituted by King Henry IV, 1389, although Selden and Ashmole are of opinion that the said King did not institute, but rather revive it. After the coronation of Charles II., the Order was neglected until the year 1725, when George I. revived and remodelled it. However, several alterations have since been made, and on the second day of January, 1815, it was enlarged and divided into three classes, in commemoration of "the auspicious termination of the long and arduous contest in which this empire has been engaged". On the 14th April, 1817, it was further increased by the addition of Civil Divisions of the second and third classes, when new Statutes were made for the Government of the Order, which have since been revised and the Order now consists of the following members, viz; 1st Class - Knight's Grand Cross - for the military service, fifty, exclusive of the Sovereign and princes of the blood royal, and such distinguished foreigners as may be nominated Honorary Knights Grand Cross, and twenty five for the Civil Service. By Royal Warrant, 2nd June, 1725, all Knights Grand Cross are entitled to a grant of supporters. 2nd Class - Knight's Commanders - for the military service, one hundred and twenty-three, and for the civil service eighty, exclusive of foreign officers, who may be admitted as Honorary Knights Commanders. In the event of actions of signal distinction, or of future wars, the numbers of this, as well as of the third class, may be increased. The members of the second class are entitled to the distinctive appellation of Knighthood, after having been invested with the Insignia. 3rd Class - Compaiuons of the Order - six hundred and ninety, and for the Civil Service two hundred and fifty; they take precedence of Esquires, but are not entitled to the appellation or style of Knights. No officer can be nominated to the military division of the third class of the Order, unless his services have been marked by special mention of his name as having distinguished himself in action against the enemy. This class has never bean conferred upon any officer below the rank of Major in the Army, and Commander in the Navy. The badge for the Military Classes of the Order is a gold Maltese cross, of eight points, enamelled argent; in each angle a lion passant-guardant or; in the centre, the rose, thistle and shamrock, issuant from a sceptre between three imperial crowns or, within a circle guiea, thereon the motto of the Order, surrounded by two branches of laurel, proper, issuing from an escrol azure, inscribed Ich Dien (I serve) in letters of gold. It is worn by the Knights Grand Cross pendent from a red ribbon across the right shoulder, by the Knights Commanders around the neck, and by the Companions suspended from the left breast. The collar is of gold (weight 30oz. Troy), is composed of nine imperial crowns, and eight roses, thistles and shamrocks, issuing from a sceptre, enamelled in their proper colours, tied or linked together with seven- teen gold knots, enamelled white, having the Badge of the Order pendent therefrom. The star of the Grand Cross of the Military Division is formed of rays or flames of silver, thereon a gold Maltese cross, and in the centre, within the motto, branches of laurel, issuant as in the Badge. The badge and star of the Knights Grand Cross of the Civil Division are the old badge and star of the Order. The Star is of silver, formed with eight points or rays, charged with three imperial crowns, proper upon a glory of silver rays, surrounded with a red circle, upon which is the motto of the Order. The Badge is of gold, composed of a rose, thistle, and shamrock, issuing from a sceptre between three imperial crowns, encircled by the motto. The Knights Commanders of the Civil Division wear the like badge, of a smaller size, round the neck by a red ribbon, and the Companions of the same division the same, but of a still smaller size, from the left breast, pendent from a red ribbon. The Star is a cross-pattée silver, charged with three imperial crowns proper upon a glory of silver rays, surrounded with a red circle, upon which is the motto of the Order. The Star of the Knights Commanders Civil Division is of the same form and size, omitting the laurel wreath and the escroll, and is worn embroidered on the left side. Ribbon of the Order - pale red. Motto - Tria Junota in Uno. Three joined in one.

The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. This Order was instituted by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, 23rd February, 1861, and enlarged 28th March, 1866, and in 1875, and 1876. The Order consists of the Sovereign, the Grand Master, and 205 Ordinary Companions or Members, together with such Extra and Honorary Members as Her Majesty, her heirs and successors, shall from time to time appoint. The 205 Ordinary Members are divided into three classes. The first Class are styled Knights Grand Commanders, and consists of thirty members (eighteen Natives and twelve Europeans); the second class of seventy-two members, styled Knights Commanders; the third class of one hundred and forty-four members, styled Companions. Her Majesty's Viceroy and Governor-General of India is Grand Master. The Statutes enable the Sovereign to confer the dignity of Knight Grand Commander of the Order upon such of Her Majesty's British subjects as have, by important and loyal services rendered by them to the Indian Empire, merited the Royal favour; and the second and third classes upon persons who, by their conduct or services in the Indian Empire, have merited the Royal favour. The badge - an onyx cameo of Her Majesty's effigy, set in a perforated and ornamented oval, containing the motto of the Order "Heaven's Light our Guide," surmounted by a Star all in diamonds. The Collar of the Order is sky-blue, having a narrow white stripe towards either edge, and is worn from the right shoulder to the left side. The collar is composed of the Lotus of India, of palm branches, tied together in saltire, and of the united Red and White Rose. In the centre is an imperial crown; all richly enamelled on gold, in their proper colours. The star is composed of rays of gold issuing from the centre, having thereon a Star in diamonds, resting upon a light blue enamelled circular riband, tied at the ends, inscribed with the motto of the Order, viz.: "Heaven's Light our Guide," also in diamonds. The mantle - Light blue satin, lined with white, and fastened with a cordon of white silk, with blue and silver tassels, on the left side a representation of the Star of the Order. The motto, "Heaven's Light our Guide".

The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Instituted by King George IV., when Prince Regent, 27th April, 1818, by Letters Patent, under the Great Seal of Great Britain, in commemoration of the Republic of the Ionian Islands being placed under the protection of Great Britain. The Order was enlarged and extended 4th December, 1868, and 30th May, 1877, for the natural born subjects of the United Kingdom as may have held, or shall hold, high and confidential offices within Her Majesty's colonial possessions; and again, 1879, by the admission of persons rendering good service to the Crown in relation to the Foreign Affairs of the British Empire. The Members of the Order take rank and precedency immediately after the corresponding classes of the Order of the Star of India, that is to say, the Knights Grand Cross, after Knight Grand Commanders of the Star of India; the Knights Commanders, after the Knights Commanders of the Star of India; and the Companions, after the Companions of the Star of India. The Grand Master is the First and Principal Knight Grand Cross. The Knights Grand Cross are entitled to bear supporters, and to encircle their arms with the collar, ribbon, and motto, of the Order. The Knights Commanders also encircle their arms with the ribbon and motto, and the Companions suspend the Badge of the Order from their escutcheon. The Order is to consist of not more than fifty Knights Grand Cross, exclusive of Extra and Honorary Members, one hundred and fifty Knights Commanders, and two hundred and sixty Companions. The badge is a gold cross of fourteen points of white enamel, edged with gold, having in the centre, on one side, the Archangel St. Michael, encountering Satan, and on the other St. George on horseback, encountering a dragon, within a blue circle, on which the motto of the Order is inscribed. The Cross is surmounted by the Imperial Crown, and worn by the Knights Grand Cross attached to the Collar, or to a wide Saxon-Blue-Ribbon, with a scarlet stripe from the right shoulder to the left. Knights Commanders wear the badge suspended to a narrow ribbon from the neck. The companions wear the small cross of the Order from a still narrower ribbon at the button-hole of their coats. The star of a Knight Grand Cross is composed of seven rays of silver, having a small ray of gold between each of them, and over all the Cross of St George, gules. In the centre is a representation of the Archangel St. Michael encountering Satan, within a blue circle, inscribed with the motto, Auspicium Melioris Ævi. The collar is formed alternately of lions of England, of Maltese crosses, and of the cyphers S.M. and S.G., having in the centre the imperial crown, over two winged lions, passant guardant, each holding a book and seven arrows. At the opposite end of the collar are two similar lions. The whole is of gold except the crosses, which are of white enamel, and it is linked together by small gold chains. The mantle is of Saxon-blue satin, lined with scarlet silk, tied with cordons of blue and scarlet silk and gold, and has on the left side the Star of a Knight Grand Cross. The chapeau is of blue satin, lined with scarlet, and surmounted with white and black ostrich feathers. The ribbon of the Order - Saxon - blue with a scarlet strip. Motto. Auspicium Melioris Ævi. A pledge of better times.

The Order of the Indian Empire. By Royal warrant, dated India Office, 15th Sept., 1887 - The Queen taking unto her Royal consideration the expediency of making certain changes in the constitution of the Order of the Indian Empire, as well by altering the designation of the Order as by adding thereto additional Classes, so as to enable her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors, to reward a greater number of persons who, by their services, oflicial or other, to her Majesty's Indian Empire, have merited the Royal favour, has been graciously pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdon of Great Britain and Ireland, bearing date the second day of August, 1886, to revoke and abrogate so much of the Royal Warrant bearing date the thirty-first day of December, one thousand eight hundred and seventy-seven, by which the said Order was instituted, as limits the same to the Sovereign, a Grand Master and one class of Members or Companions, and as is inconsistent with or contrary to the provisions of the now recited Letters Patent. And to ordain, direct, and appoint that the said Order of Knighthood shall henceforth be styled and designated in all acts, proceedings and pleadings as "The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire".

The Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire. Instituted 1st January, 1887. Enlarged 1st June, 1887. The Order consists of the Sovereign, Grand Master, and three Classes. The First Class, or Knights Grand Commanders, who have place and precedency next to and immediately after Knights Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George. The Second Class, or Knights Commanders, who have precedency next to Knights Commanders of St. Michael and St. George. The Third Class, or Companions, who have precedency next to Companions of St. Michael and St. George. The badge. A Rose gold enamelled gules, barbed and seeded vert. having in the centre Her Majesty's Royal Effigy within a purple circle edged with gold, inscribed with the Motto of the Order, surmounted by an Imperial Crown both gold. The collar is composed of Elephants, Lotus-flowers, Peacocks in their pride, and Indian roses, in the centre the Imperial Crown from which, The Badge is pendant, the whole linked together by chains of gold. The star of The First Class or Knights Grand Commanders (K.C.I.E.) is composed of five rays of Gold and Silver, issuing from a Gold centre thereon Her Majesty's Royal Effigy, within a purple circle inscribed with the motto of the Order, the circle surmounted by the Imperial Crown both gold. The star of the Second Class or Knights Commanders (K.C.I.E.) is composed of rays alternately bright and chipped, issuing from a gold centre, having thereon Her Majesty's effigy within a purple circled inscribed with the Motto of the Order in letters of gold, the circle surmounted by the Imperial Crown also gold. The mantle - Imperial purple satin, lined with, and fastened by, a cordon of white silk, with purple silk, and gold tassels attached, on the left side a representation of the Star of the first-class of the Order. The ribbon of the Order is blue. For the second-class, is two inches in breadth. The Motto. "Imperatricis Anspiciis".

The Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order. This Order was instituted by King George IV., when Prince Regent, 12th August 1815, and has not been conferred by the British Crown since the death of William IV., when the British Sovereign ceased to be Monarch of Hanover. The Collar, Star and Badge, is the same for a Civil Knight omitting the swords which are crossing each other over the Badge. The Ribbon is light blue, watered. Motto Nee aspera terrent. Difficulties do not daunt.

Knight Templers (soldiers of the pilgrims). The Order of the Knights Templers was founded about A.D. 1117 by Hugh de Paynes. vide Mardment's Templaria. They agreed in profession with the Hospitallers in vowing poverty, chastity, and obedience, and to defend Pilgrims to the Holy Sepulchre. These soldiers wore a white mantle over their armour, as their peculiar habit, to which was afterwards added a red cross, emblazoned on the left breast, identical with the white cross of the Hospitallers. Their helmet had no crest, their great banner was oblong in form and per-fesse sable and argent, ornamented with the Cross of the Order, and the old French word "Beau-Seant", by which name it was commonly known, was also their War-Cry. The Badge was the Agnus Dei.

Knots. Entwined cords, used as Badges. Knots are mostly distinguished by the name of the family who bear them, as the Knot borne by the Family of Bourchier is termed a Bourchier Knot.

Knotted. See Raguly. A limb of a tree knotted.



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The Heraldry Dictionary by Armorial Gold Heraldry Services is provided as a free resource tool for Heraldry enthusiasts. The Heraldry Dictionary and the information contained therein, has been researched through original manuscripts and Armorial Gold’s own sources.  Reproduction in any form is prohibited. All rights reserved.