Order of the Legion of Honor / Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  peter clement 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 38 total)
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  • #13791

    Christophe
    Participant

    What a superb piece it would be…

    Ch.

    #13792

    ed_haynes
    Participant

    Yes, almost as nice (given my interests) as a battered 2nd Punjab War medal in the same sale with an attached note (by a member of the family of the previous British officer — quite a bunch of magpies they seem to have been) stating that he had taken it from the recipient just before "blowing him from the guns" at Allahabad late in 1857 as a "mutineer".

    Rather grisly history, but history none the less.

    #13793

    Christophe
    Participant

    History is made of so many things…

    Ch.

    #13794

    felix
    Member

    Since the beginning the Legion of honour is a military AND civilian order for outstanding achievement. The problem is : what is an outstanding achievement ?

    It’s not the first order not based only on birth, the order of Saint Louis was for everybody, aristocrat or not, but only for officers.

    #13795

    ed_haynes
    Participant

    And could anyone be an officer? Really??

    #13796

    felix
    Member

    A lot of officers were not aristocrats and it was possible without money and birth to became officer, they were known as "officier de fortune" but I agree it was an exeption. St Louis order was awarded for bravery or long service (28 years for a junior officer). It was possible for a NCO to be promoted officer, most of them at the end of their career. That was the first order that could be awarded to non-aristocrats. St Louis order was restricted to catholics, but non catholics were awarded Military merit order.

    Of course St Louis order was not a merit order as we know them today but it was something really new for the time and an inspiration for Napoleon when he created the Legion of Honour.

    #13797

    ed_haynes
    Participant

    True. Ordre Royal et Militaire de Saint-Louis + Liberté, égalité, fraternité = Légion d’honneur. At least as far as the ribbon was concerned. The underlying ideas and ideals were, of course, quite different.

    #13798

    Frank Dutil
    Participant

    Et voilà !

    #13804

    Henk-Willem
    Participant

    And a nice picture:
    96yxj8.gif

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    #13805

    felix
    Member

    On 1st March 1808, Napoleon I re-established nobility in France (Noblesse d’Empire), and the recipients of the Légion d’Honneur became Knights.

    Napoleon III is the first having decorated women, and artists (writers, authors, theatre players…).

    If you don’t mind, some explanations. Recipients of the Legion of honour were called knights but became member of the new nobility only if they ask for it and just a few did it.

    Napoleon III was not the first to give the Legion of Honour to artists. For example, Goethe received it in 1808 and Victor Hugo in 1825 (he was only 23 years old…). Remember that the first Grand chancelor of the order, Lacépède, was a scientist. On 6 april 1814, 30000 members of the LH were soldiers and only 1500 civilians, but in 1815, when Napoléon came back to the power, he chose to honour more civilians.

    #13806

    Christophe
    Participant

    If you don’t mind, some explanations. Recipients of the Legion of honour were called knights but became member of the new nobility only if they ask for it and just a few did it.

    Hi Felix, many thanks for your comments.

    First, I would like to say that in such a small post in a Forum, it is not possible to be exhaustive, and this was not my aim. I just wanted to give our non-French members a flavour of what is and has been the Legion d’Honneur.

    In the official texts, please see the text below, it is not exactly said this :

    From the Decree dated 1st Marc 1808 :

    " Art. 11 : Les membres de la Légion-d’Honneur, et ceux qui à l’avenir obtiendront cette distinction, porteront le titre de chevalier.

    Art.12 : Ce titre sera transmissible à la descendance directe et légitime, naturelle ou adoptive, de mâle en mâle, par ordre de primogéniture, de celui qui en aura été revêtu, en se retirant devant l’archi-chancelier de l’empire, afin d’obtenir à cet effet nos lettres-patentes, et en justifiant d’un revenu net de trois mille francs au moins."

    In two words, except if I’m wrong, this means that "automatically" Knights of the Legion d’Honneur become part of the nobility.

    Now, how much did this ? I don’t know… Do you have figures or statistics ?

    Cheers.

    Ch.

    #13807

    Christophe
    Participant

    Napoleon III was not the first to give the Legion of Honour to artists. For example, Goethe received it in 1808 and Victor Hugo in 1825 (he was only 23 years old…). Remember that the first Grand chancelor of the order, Lacépède, was a scientist. On 6 april 1814, 30000 members of the LH were soldiers and only 1500 civilians, but in 1815, when Napoléon came back to the power, he chose to honour more civilians.

    Can you confirm Napoleon III has been the first to award the Légion d’Honneur to women ? For me, the first woman being awarded the Legion d’Honneur has been Angélique Duchemin, veuve Brulon, on 15 August 1851. I understand that during the Second Empire, Napoleon III awarded the Order to 6 women.

    Ch.

    #13808

    felix
    Member

    Christophe,

    Yes, the first woman was Angélique Duchemin. For the nobility an approbation was needed "afin d’obtenir à cet effet nos lettres-patentes" and apparently just a few asked for it, but I don’t have any figure.

    #14179

    cecawthorne
    Moderator

    This first Legion of Honor is one of two that were picked up by a British Officer present at Waterloo. I need some help identifying the type. My first thought is it is a First Empire Type 2 Fifth Class (1806-1808) badge. It has a swiveling crown with twelve branches with oak leaves at the base of the crown. There appears to be no hallmark on the suspension ring. The obverse and reverse seem to be consistent with this type.

    Can anyone verify if my assumption is correct and add any other relevant comments?

    Best Regards,
    Chris
    Legion of Honor B.jpg

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    #14180

    cecawthorne
    Moderator

    This Legion of Honor is the second of the two that were picked up by a British Officer present at Waterloo. I need some help identifying this type as well. My first thought is it is a First Empire Type 4 Fifth Class (1813-1814) badge as would be consistent with the balls on the cross. It has a swiveling crown with eight branches with oak leaves at the base of the crown. There appears to be no hallmark on the suspension ring on this piece as well. The obverse and reverse seem to be consistent with this type.

    Can anyone verify if my assumption is correct and add any other relevant comments? If I am correct, what are the differences between a First Empire Type 4 (1813-1815) and a 1815 Hundred Days type? Could there be a chance that it could be the Hundred Days type considering where it came from?

    Best Regards,
    Chris
    Legion of Honor – B.jpg

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