Chronology The Order of ( St. James) St. Jacob of Holland
The history of the order starts not with the birth of Count Floris V but several years later in
1279. Floris V was born in july 1254 and was the son of
Willem II King of Germany and Count of Holland and Elizabeth van Brunswijk Lüneburg
In the year 1277 he is knighted by Duke Jan van Brabant, this Duke is with the Duke of Gelre the important rulers of the Low Countries at that time,
Floris becomes a knight after a tournament at 's Hertogenbosch.
On july 25th 1279 the Order of St. Jacob of Holland is instituted on the day of St. James the Mayor and is blessed by Bishop elect Jan van Nassau.
The first 12
knights who were installed were:
Diederik , Count of Cleve
Lancelot Lord of Hamilton, the Ambassador of Scotland
Godevaert Lord of Bochholt, the Ambassador of Westphalen
Hendrik Lord of Hennenberg, the Ambassador of
Dirck Lord of Brederode
Jan Lord Heusden
Jan Lord of Arkel
Dierck Lord of Lynden
Otto lord of Asperen
Jaques Lord of Wassenaer
Gijsbrecht Lord of Amstel
Hugo Lord of Vianen
In history is the year of installation 1279 or 1290 a matter of discussion, the last year seemed historically more acceptable because of the political situation those days. It could be a miswriting of MCCLXXIX MCCLXXXX Becoming
a member of an order undre the crown of Holland is becoming a friend and brother for life.
After the institution of the Order more knights were accepted in the Order.
On the Christmas day Floris V Granted 40 members of his household
(huysluiden) knighthood and so we find the name of Lord Anssum van Weer, from Vuurcapelle as knight. The first book that tells us the story of knighthood of Floris V is the Cronyk van Holland written in 1316 by the Clerc of the lage landen by der Zee,
a clergyman who wrote under a pseudonym, the book was first printed in 1740.
Beka (The Cronycks of Joannes van der Beke) and Melis Stoke they are the important witnesses of history at that time. Melis Stoke did not write about the Order and
this could be a political deciscion because after the death of Floris no writings could come from his hand .
Despite of his power and his loyal knights Floris V is vulnerable, there is much jelousy and Floris V a brave diplomatic but tempered
man. His ongoing dispute with Lord Gijsbrecht van Amstel comes to an end when Count Floris V is kidnapped and murdered by van Amstel and his companions Herman van Woerden Gerard van Velzen and Jan van Cuyk close to Muiderberg op june 27 1296. The
first Grand Master is dead but the Order continues.
The year 1304 is important because the Siege at Zierikzee where the Count of Holland fights against Flandres and with the help of the French, Holland wins the war. Rewarding his
effort in the siege Witte van Haemstede, the basterd son of the late Floris V is knighted and also with him 48 companions receive the “”Order of the Count”, or sometimes called "The Order of the Shell”. In a important historical
book called the Reygersberg Croniek ( also Divisie Croniek) published in 1551 Jan Jansz. Reygersberg van Cortgene writes about this story in chapter 31.
Tells us that Gerard van Voorne squire of Floris V becomes viscount of Zeeland.
The Reygersberg Croniek from Zeeland has been twice issued in 1551 and in 1634 ( see booklist ) Jan Reygersberg. In the first and second isuue is written about Jan van Renesse, Dadaijn van Cruningen and Wolfert II van Borselen as the most important
Lords who carried the chain of the Order with the shells The second issue is corrected by Boxhorn who adds severeal items and corrections to it.
In the seventeenth century the famous historian Boxhorn writes
of the Order in his Book Theatrum Sive Hollandiae comitatus et urbium descriptio, 1632 , also Christofor Butkens tells us that there is a Order of St. Jacob founded in 1290. Butkens was a monk and made an study of chivalry and heraldry with a description
of the family Lynden who. His work describes Annales Généalogique de la Maison de Lynden 1626. With the shield mark of Dierk van Lynden with the chain and on a bow St. James on page 88 of the Annales de la Maison de Lynden.
the Rouck writes about this charter on page 162 also with two names of knights of the Order on page 295 and 296, the Lord of Hem, knight of St. Jacob, and Philips, knight in the Order of St. Jacob .
Dordrecht was a important city during
the reign of Floris V for their trade and stratigical position and in the history of the City of Dordrecht we find a few lines written about the Order of St. Jacob (Beschryvinge der stad Dordrecht 1677 page 722.)
In 1677 publishes Adriaan
van Schoonebeek a book called History of all Orders of Chivalry. Again he tells us of the chain of the Order in gold with 6 shells ( according Chr. Butkens ) later it becomes a chain with 7 shells. The Investiture is in The Haque in de Ridderzaal. In this
same year a famous tournaiment is given for the members of the Order; with champions Dirk van Brederode, Jan van Heusden, Dirk lord of Lynden , and Arend lord of IJsselstein.
It is a pity that other writings of Holland about
the insitution of the Order noted by Elias Ashmole, English armorist (1617-1692) besides the information of Butkens is never found (1626.) Butkes stays disputed up till now , but no opponent of the Order can tell why he would fake an armorial for an
important noble family of Lynden who would absolute not accept any falsification in history.Butkens was a monk of the Salvator Cloister in Antwerpen and made a vow the the Holy Church.
Chain and cross
In the middle of the 18th
century most Orders of Chivalry changed their decorations to get a uniform cross. In 1744 in the Beschreibung alter Geist und Weltlichen Ritterorden is written that in these years the medaillon is changed in a eight pointed cross suspended under a shell( a
coquille) as a neck ribbon. From this time it is possible to find writings about the Order in different countries, besides Germany, as written above Lancelot Lord Hamilton ambassador from the king of Scots was one of the twelve first knights. Hugh
Clark is the author of the Concise History of Knighthood( London 1784)and he even shows a complete chain with 12 cockle shells and a medallion of St. James.
Et Dambreville publishes in 1807 a work of orders of chivalry in which
he writes of the diplomatic works of Floris V and his notes are from Aubert Mirée, discribed by Boxhorn in 1632 as Professor Aubertus Myraeus. Myreaus was one of the most importand late Medieval heraldics and historians.
19 th century
With the return of the King of Holland, William I, the Order does not become a royal order but stays independent, and calls herself Sovereign. After that time a lot of discussions are made in writings about the genealogie and the acceptance
of the coat of arms, and almost every 20 years the order appears in a work or essay. And it seemed what historical was accepted in the 17th century needed to be dicusessed again in the 19th century. In the first half the discussion with
the High Court of Heraldry between Max . L. Baron D’Yvoy van Mijdrecht and Baron Lijnden van Hemmen in presentation and letters, while the second half of this century a romatic revival shows in writings about the installation of the Order by Beloo and
the feast of knights by Jongbloed 1845, and the Maskerade and a Charter of Floris V Meylink e.o.appear.
Mr. de Roever and Dozy documented the Order in school books from 1906.
The status of the order
changes, from a catholic order it becomes a independent order under the authority of a Grand Master and not always a priest or nobleman. During World War II the order lost his Grand Comander Rev.L.M. Penders from and his Grand Master Rev. E.A.G.
Boorn the rector of the Ursulinde Cloister in Posterholt as a victem of the nazi occupation.
With them a lot of information and archive was lost, but the order could survive through al this misery, and florishes these days with new members and gains.
Thanks to the effort of Grand Master E.A. Ates in 1990 the Muiderslot accepted a plaquette from the Order of St. Jacob which is situated in the Floris Room. In 1996 the museum in Rijsburg opens a exposition of The Order and in 2001 a statue of Count Floris
V is unvealed in the same city.
Under the leadership of H.E. drs. A.H.Chr. de Bruijn, G mSJ, the Order will continue her works and charity and is stays in international contact .
The Chancery is very proud that in 2003 the order received
a place in one of the most importing books of the last years about the dutch decorations written by J.A. Zelm van Eldik.
We continue our search to the roots of the Order and accept humble our position in history.