Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Honi soit qui mal y pense

The Economist has a review of Edward III and the Triumph of England by Richard Barber. Barber claims that the "y" in the above quotation refers to King Edward III's claim to the French throne and that the Order of the Garter, which has Honi soit qui mal y pense as its motto, was created to commemorate Edward's victory against the French at Crecy on 26 August 1346 and the capture of Calais in 1347. Edward sailed over to France with 1000 ships, many of them fishing boats, carrying 13,600 men. Carts were loaded onto the ships to transport the stores once in France and stalls were fitted to transport horses across. The provisions included 130,000 gallons of wine as the water wasn't safe to drink.
On his return to England, Edward founded a society of knights called the Company of the Garter, headed by himself and his eldest son, the Black Prince. 35 knights were appointed companions, 33 of whom had been present at the siege of Calais. These knights went on to be at the core of the next English victory in France: the Battle of Poitiers won by the Black Prince in 1356.
The chief duty of the knights of the Garter was to attend an annual service on St George's Day at St George's Chapel, Windsor and this service is still attended by the present day knights and the monarch 666 years later.


Anonymous kinglear said...

so... the water hasn't changed much since has it?

7:26 pm  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Hi KL - maybe it has after The Vote...?

9:32 am  

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