This Commission and Association on Nobility was established in January 2008 to unite and honor in its membership those persons who represent the contemporary Nobility which remains latent but hidden in the shadows. This Association is based on the ideals of chivalry, aristocracy and for the Defense of International Nobility. It also includes a number of Honorary Members.
Membership in the Commission (TICAN) is open to all descendants of the nobility, regardless of their nationality, religion or political affiliation, as long as they support the activities of The International Commission and Association on Nobility. Some members of the TICAN are descendants of the most ancient nobility and have taken a very great interest in the activities of the Commission; amongst its many chivalric and heraldic interests.
Speaking of genealogy, nobility and chivalry today seems almost anachronistic even if it shows interest of particular importance due to historical and cultural sensitivity towards the best traditions of consciousness to live the cult of lineage, feelings of honor, duty and the country, though all this has almost lost its memory in an era in which ideals and values seem definitely confused.The Commission, lover of history, is an organization devoted to the preservation and promotion of the monarchical system of government and the principle of monarchy and to promote and defend the theory of monarchy as a superior governmental form.
The Commission intends to stay neutral on the issue of juridical recognition of reigning and Sovereign Houses, which is of exclusive competence of their respective State Systems and desires exclusively to support their traditional humanitarian commitment at the service of international collaboration.
The Commission supports heraldic research, genealogy, and a promulgation of historic and cultural values. The Commission has no authority to grant coats of arms, but stands ready to help others with petitions.
PURPOSE OF THE COMMISSION
The purpose of this website is to unite and prolong the legacy of the old Noble families spreading now all over the world.
The Commission and Association on Nobility (TICAN) is an international private apolitical body, ecumenical, devoted to the preservation and promotion of the monarchical system of government and the principle of monarchy. The Commission maintains selective members and is governed by its Statutes and By-Laws.
In order to strengthen the cumulative experience and overall knowledge base of TICAN, a group of consultants has been gathered to assist the Advisory Council and provide feedback for relevant issues. These persons are recognized experts in their respective fields of study, or significant leaders in the respective regions in which they are active in the hereditary community.The directing principle of member’s impartiality and the preservation of a coherent standard are fundamental components guiding the resolutions of the Commission.
The Commission is to inform on the legitimacy and claims of reigning and non-territorial sovereign Royal Houses. The Commission only recognizes those organizations that pertain to the system of each Royal House. Legitimate Order of Chivalry or nobility is persons who have achieved Knightly Rank in a recognized international Chivalry or Religious Order and recognized public Royal Houses. See our page "Royal Families.
In the Commission view, some organizations create a false fons honorum in order to satisfy this requirement and give themselves apparent legitimacy; often, the founder or patron of a self-styled order has assumed a false title of nobility as well as supposed current or former sovereignty.
The so called “claimants " are creators of fables. That they gain acceptance on the internet or edit entries in Wikipedia does not make them real. Historical fact is verified through scientific reconnaissance and solid evidence, not via “endorsement " from a self-appointed "authority" or by somebody who happens to be descended from royalty.
The Commission`s systems and honors neither register no certifies grants, nobility or arms for members. The Commission does not render opinions as to the legitimacy of specific titles of nobility claimed by this or that person. It often occurs that one publisher or fount of honor "recognizes" a certain person's title while another does not.
Today, the nobility is very much part of modern European society and do not maintain their former privileges although their family names, titles and coats of arms are still protected. Only sovereigns with legitimate fons honorum (fount of honor – the right to bestow nobility) can and have the solemn right to do so. The Commission welcomes of "Jure Sanguinis" families of European nobility and the class members "on merits" of relevant families, which, though not noble, they share the values and committed to serve the same ideals. Even so, proof of Jure Sanguinis must be backed up solid evidence.
No one can just assume a title of nobility, imperial or otherwise, merely because it is vacant or no one is presently using it. Only a true sovereign, regnant or "de jure," can create, restore or rehabilitate a title or bestow upon a person a real and true knighthood or nobility. All honors must spring from a genuine, authentic source or fountain of honor otherwise it must be rejected as worthless pretense.
Genealogy, being as it is the study of individual people and their relationships within the social unit of the family, parallels and in some degree reflects the history of mankind. Practically every great civilization on earth has found root in the organization of the family, and, thus, each history is composed of many family histories. The royal pedigrees of the Roman emperors and of the European monarchs are but another form of the histories of those civilizations. And even today it may be seen that the history of America is not dissimilar to the history of any of great colonial American families.
The study of family history, or genealogy, is perhaps one of the most ancient of human interests.When a person in search of his ancestors or genealogy, seek to know the origins of their family, perhaps with the hidden personal desire to discover royal blood or the coat of arms of his family.Where genealogical facts are few, and these located in the remote past, reconstruction of family history is often more imaginative than correct.
Whenever a noble, royal, or academic claim is made by a candidate, we are tasked with the obligation and duty to inquire and discover whether the claim is valid or not. This is to protect the good name and reputation of the genuine reigning or not non reigning territorial sovereigns, to protect the reputation of The International Commission and Association on Nobility (TICAN) and its Royal Patrons.
The Executive Committee is composed of the President, the Executive Secretary, World History Special Advisers, Genealogy Special Advisers and Country Delegates. “Royal Patrons” are voluntary heads of reigning or formerly reigning royal houses whose interest is based on the ideals of chivalry, aristocracy and for the Defense of International Nobility.
The Royal Patrons do not promote TICAN news but it must understood the views expressed by TICAN are fully independent of Royal Patrons. Patronage does not mean they endorse or even aware of our messages to members and or on Facebook.
Code of conduct - termination: Any Member of Officer who does not comply with the principles set forth by this organization, who disgrace this organization, whose behavior is construed as unbefitting a MEMBER in good standing, or who is slanderous and misrepresents the principles of this organization may be expelled and shall lose all rights granted a member in good standing.
The aristocratic spirit transcended frontiers. For the nobleman Europe was the homeland. Italian plasterers and painters, German musicians, and French cabinetmakers traveled for high commissions. There were variations reflecting local traditions: the Baroque style was interpreted distinctively in Austria, Italy, Spain, and France. But high style reveals certain underlying principles and convictions. The same is true of the intellectual life of Europe, reflecting as it did two main sources, French and English. It was especially to France that the two most powerful rulers of Eastern Europe, Frederick II and Catherine II, looked for mentors in thought and style. The French language, deliberately purified from the time of Richelieu and the foundation of the Academy, was well adapted to the clear expression of ideas. The salons stimulated the discussion of ideas and engendered a distinctive style. Feminine insights there contributed to a rational culture that was also responsive to the claims of sensibility.
In order for public to better assess the Nobility’s great role in today’s world we will have to briefly mention the Nobility of ancient times. The Italian and Spanish Crown has bestowed Titles on and confirmed Arms for its subjects for what is America, from the middle of the 16th Century until the beginning of the 19th Century or about 1819, it did so directly from the Crown in Spain or through Viceroys and Governors of the Colonies.
Since the Revolution of 1776 America had not Kings or Queens, but has an old European Nobility which the great majority emigrated after the First World War onward, becoming stable and prosperous.
Promotion of Monarchy
The promotion of Monarchy as the most stable form of government and the understanding and exchange of ideas among people of all races and creed. A monarchy is am universal form of organization of the nation that can coexist with most of today's socioeconomic and sociopolitical models.
It is sometimes said that Country can never be a really modern state while it still has a monarchy. This of course ignores countries like United Kingdom, Japan, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, The Netherlands and many others all of which are modern constitutional monarchies in modern countries where majority of the people of those nations have absolutely no intention of removing their monarchy because of the benefits they recognize they derive from it.
Elected presidents are concerned more with their own political futures and power. Constitutional monarchs are not subject to the influences which can corrupt short-term presidents. A monarch can represent centuries of history whereas elected Presidents in their nature devote much energy to undoing the achievements of their predecessors and setting traps for their successors. With monarchs it is the reverse- they build on the achievements of their forebears in order to strengthen the position of their successors. A long-reigning monarch can put enormous experience at the disposal of transient political leaders.
Many nations who have lost their monarchies wish they could restore them, such as Afghanistan, Brazil and others because they can see the value of a non-political unifying symbol above faction and politics and racial and ethnic division.
Nobility in USA
It seems impossible to calculate how many noblemen lost or abandoned their titles and went to America. Probably there were far less than ten thousands of them, as compared to some 10 million German immigrants during the 19th century, so the story may be true in fewer than one in a thousand emigration cases.
However, many Americans are likely descended from European noble families through an illegitimate descent of one of the emigrants' ancestors, which occurred many generations ago and may not even have been known to the emigrant himself.
Many other Nobles have inherited their Titles after becoming US citizens and as of now there is no law that would have the Government base any action against the said Nobles, if one was even taken. Article I Section 9 Clause 8 of the Constitution clearly forbids the Granting or use of Titles in the USA but does not state a way to enforce the above law, quoted below:
The Title of Nobility Clause is a provision in Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, that forbids the United States from granting titles of nobility and restricts members of the government from receiving gifts from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress. This clause is also sometimes called the "federal" Nobility Clause, because a similar clause in Article I, Section 10, Clause 1 bars the states (rather than the federal government) from granting titles of nobility. The Title of Nobility Clause is also one of the clauses that is sometimes called the "Emolument Clause".
Section nine and ten of the Constitution of the United States of America in no way forbids or disallows Titles of Nobility but merely disallows the granting of Titles of Nobility by the government of the United States.
“Therefore, according to the Constitution, the State is not interested whether a person has an ancient or new noble title, and does not forbid the title being born and used in public and private relations, nor is the abuse of noble titles considered a crime”.
2. The constitution of the United States provides that no state shall "grant any title of nobility; and no person can become a citizen of the United States until he has renounced all titles of nobility." The Federalist, No. 84; 2 Story, Laws U. S. 851. 3. There is not in the constitution any general prohibition against any citizen whomsoever, whether in public or private life, accepting any foreign title of nobility. An amendment of the constitution in this respect has been recommended by congress, but it has not been ratified by a sufficient number of states to make it a part of the constitution. Rawle on the Const. 120; Story, Const. Sec. 1346.
The Association of the German Nobility in North American, the Polish Nobility Association, and the Russian Nobility Association in America are examples of groups in this category.
Cardinal Richelieu introduced the Seignuerial System to New France in 1627. Almost all of the early French Canadians who came as officers in the military, or to fill important official positions within the colony, came from the ranks of the French nobility. Under the Ancien Régime, several of these men who had settled in Canada were either elevated or promoted to more senior ranks within the Peerage of France. From the early 1700s, it became customary for the Governors of New France to be given the title 'marquis'. Except for the Marquis de Vaudreuil and the Marquis de Beauharnois, most were in Canada only for a few years before returning to France and are therefore not counted as Canadians.
In Canada, this same phenomenon can easily be seen. The foundation of the United Empire Loyalists, the founders of Upper Canada and New Brunswick, was created by the Crown to give homage to those who fled the thirteen colonies because of their loyalty to the British Crown. Besides these, one can find the Associations of Ontario’s and Nova Scotia’s old families, as well as traditional families who hold coats of arms recognized by the Heraldic Society of Canada. Besides these traditional families, one can even list the many Orders of Nobility and Orders of Knighthood recognized by the Crown whose members can be found in the Dominion of Canada - Ed.)
The Washington Family, painted by Edward Savage
The associations of descendants of certain historic figures and the societies devoted to perpetuating a family name are equally worthy of mention. Such groups were started to commemorate the deeds and the spirit of the founders of families, thus maintaining the familial esprit de corps through the generations. They also act as a social unit ready to assist less fortunate members and help them to maintain their family status. More than two thousand family associations of varying types exist in the United States.
Celebrating our heritage comes through in so many ways--we are who we are somewhat because of where we come from. Although our past doesn't define us, our perspective of the world can largely be shaped by the faith, heritage and traditions we choose to hold on to.
Our past is behind us but if we choose to forget it, we then choose to lessen the many sacrifices made by our ancestors.
We live in an era determined by momentum and convenience. In such a time, it is easy to forget the personalities, lifestyles, events and epoch deeds which forged not only America, but modern civilization as we know it. The study of history and genealogy provides a mode of reflection and acknowledgement of the people, places and processes responsible for the lives we enjoy today.
Heraldry is a vibrant part of American life. It came the country with the first European settlers, was used and appreciated by Revolutionary patriots, and continues to flourish today.
Many families use armorial bearings. Some use the arms brought to America by their early ancestors, while others use arms of more recent creation. The enthusiasm for heraldry among American is so high that many businesses have sprung up to sell “surname” coats of arms to thousands of Americans each year.
Unfortunately, over the centuries, many families have simply assumed arms and crests belonging to other families of the same name, usually without authority and without demonstrating any relationship between the families. It follows that mere usage of a coat of arms, even over a long period, does not necessarily indicate a descent from the family for whom it was first recorded. Indeed, more often than not, there is no such connection. Neither the federal nor the state governments regulate armorial bearings within their jurisdiction. Therefore, one can assume their own Coat of Arms as long as they do not violate another person' copyrighted design.
While there is nothing wrong with designing your own coat of arms for your family, it is unlikely you will discover you are entitled to use an ancient and established on that has been handed down for centuries through the same family. Your family might actually have a legitimate ancient coat of arms, but your branch probably doesn’t hold the right to use it. Only in a very few, exceptional cases will you find you belong to a line that does have the right to use an ancient coat of arms. If you do, display them proudly, because they are part of a rich and lengthy heritage few can claim or prove.
NON EUROPEAN NOBILITY
Globalization has become an inescapable fact of contemporary life. Some leaders, in both the East and the West, believe that human rights are culture-bound and that liberal democracy is essentially Western, inapplicable to the non-Western world. How can civilized life be preserved and issues of human rights and civil society be addressed if the material forces dominating world affairs are allowed to run blindly, uncontrolled by any cross-cultural consensus on how human values can be given effective expression and direction?
Many other non-European nations have had noble or aristocratic classes of various kinds: these are so diverse that it is somewhat misleading to try to translate them all into western feudal terminology.
Royal descent plays an important role in many African societies; authority and property tend to be lineally derived. Among tribes which recognize a single ruler, the hereditary blood line of the rulers (who early European travelers described as kings, queens, princes, etc., using the terminology of European monarchy) is akin to a dynasty. Among groups which have less centralized power structures, dominant clans are still recognized. Oral history would be the primary method of transmitting genealogies, and both nobles and commoners base their status on descent. The royal blood is among the centralized power of all blood groups.
In some Islamic countries, there are no definite noble titles . Persons who can trace legitimate descent from the Prophet Muhammad, as can members of several present or formerly reigning dynasties, are widely regarded as belonging to the ancient, hereditary Islamic nobility.
In Iran, historical titles of the nobility including Mirza, Khan, ed-Dowleh and Shahzada ("Son of a Shah), are now no longer recognized. An aristocratic family is now recognized by their family name, often derived from the post held by their ancestors, considering the fact that family names in Iran only appeared in the beginning of the 20th century. Sultans have been an integral part of Islamic history.
During the Ottoman Empire in the Imperial Court and the provinces there were many Ottoman titles and appellations forming a somewhat unique and complex system in comparison with the other Islamic countries. The bestowal of noble and aristocratic titles was widespread across the empire even after its fall by independent monarchs.
In East Asia the system was often modeled on imperial China, the leading culture. Emperors conferred degrees of nobility, which were not permanent but decreased a rank each generation. Imperial descendants formed the highest class of ancient Chinese nobility, their status based upon the rank of the empress or concubine from which they descend maternally (as emperors were polygamous). Numerous titles such as Taizi, and equivalents of "prince" were accorded, and due to complexities in dynastic rules, rules were introduced for Imperial descendants.
In a thoughtful meditation ranging widely over several civilizations and historical eras, Wm. Theodore de Bary, the West's leading scholar of classical Asian thought, has written an elegant and thoughtful essay on the essence of true leadership and political virtue as expounded in the classics of Confucianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Japanese thought. Instead of treating the classical writings of Asia as mere relics of "traditional" thought that will be replaced by more "modern" thinking, he demonstrates that the great books of Asia contain within them valuable concepts and insights for preserving civilized life in an age of materialistic globalization. By respectfully exploring what the Asian classics say about learning and leadership, virtue and civility, and nobility and the common good.
Today, almost all countries have a working government that is preside over by Presidents and or Prime Ministers. There are many monarchs around the world who hold important government posts or military commands, even tough they no longer rule over their subjects.
The institution of Thailand’s monarchy is in several ways unique. Not only does it have a history going back more than seven hundred years, but it also continues to function with extraordinary relevance and vitality in the contemporary world. Indeed, although the Revolution of 1932 brought an end to the monarchy in its absolute form, the institution has remained powerful in the sense of providing a unifying element for the country, a focal point that brings together people from all backgrounds and shades of political thought and gives them an intense awareness of being Thai.
Even if some monarchy has been long abolished, there are 48 royal families of the world that exist and are treated with respect and honor. Some royal families like the French, Greek, Chinese, Russian and Scottish are known as 'Pretender to the Throne'. The pretender is a claimant to an abolished throne or to a throne that has been occupied by someone else.
Although a democratic republic since 1946, Italy boasts two non-regnant royal families as well as three non-regnant grand ducal houses, each of which bestows honors upon Italian citizens. Three sovereign governments exist entirely within Italian borders, and each bestows honors as well. few Italians are hereditary knights bachelor, forming a kind of Italian baronet age. Indeed, for a nation having no throne, and entertaining no serious plans for the re institution of a monarchy, the Italian Republic is endowed with a plethora of gentlemen entitled to the ancient address "Cavaliere" (Knight).
Nobility live today. In present times we, like our forefathers, strive to take part in the life of society, bring up young people in the spirit of unselfishness.
Unfortunately, a number of non-regnant royal families are divided by dynastic disputes. Those of France, Russia and the Two Sicilies (Bourbons of Naples) readily come to mind. As no authority is empowered to adjudicate such a dispute, these often span generations. Headship disputes may indeed be a normal symptom that plagues royal families which no longer reign, much like the frequent disputes over nobiliary titles between brothers or cousins whose country is no longer a monarchy. As regards the House of Savoy, while an outsider may entertain an opinion, it is important to bear in mind that the present dispute can only be settled “in famiglia” (within the family).
Having mentioned all this for the purpose of clarity in explaining what fuels the engine of this dispute, we would be remiss if we didn't reiterate that in the twenty-first century dynastic law, rather than personalities, forms the basis of determining who would be king, even if no competent court exists to resolve disputes. The Holy See would not arbitrate unless asked to do so, and this is highly unlikely nowadays. Neither the heads of other royal families nor the European Union or Italian courts, nor the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, wish to play the role of kingmaker, but a number of men would be more than happy to do so (for their own benefits).
The circumstances that determine the legitimacy and general acceptance of an individual’s claim to Head of the House of a non-regnant dynasty must be based on more than a pseudo researcher justification presented outside the jurisdiction of a competent authority.
Anyone who closely examines not only the legalistic ideas advanced by the self-proclaimed “expert” in dynastic and chivalric law, but also their ethnic and religious backgrounds, may find it peculiar that some of the most dialogue of these “experts” have absolutely no ancestral connection to a country they advocate.
A nation`s decision to grant such recognition is based on the advice of informed scholar`s expert in such matters, as opposed to theories espoused by self-styled “scholars” in a foreign country.
The general opinion is to consider as authentic nobles only those who are effectively registered into the Almanch de Gotha. But that is not exact, as this and other registers were partial and incomplete in the past as they are today.
The opinion that prevails that considers authentic nobles only those who are enrolled in the various repertories are totally unfounded, because they are, definitely, partial and incomplete.
It is absurd that a self-styled "expert" who proclaims that "such-and-such family is not noble because it is not listed in this-or-that book." In documentary, archival records, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Accurate history is based on reality, not publication by a self-appointed "authority." History, like science, has experts but no authorities. Politics is sometimes a factor in interpreting history.
» It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.« (Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes)
The almanac came to be regarded as an authority in the classification of monarchies and their courts, reigning and former dynasties, princely and ducal families, and the genealogical, biographical and titulary details of Europe's highest level of aristocracy. It was published from 1785 annually by Justus Perthes Publishing House in Gotha, until 1944.
The Almanach provided detailed facts and statistics on nations of the world, including their reigning and formerly reigning houses, those of Europe being more complete than those of other continents. It also named the highest incumbent officers of state, members of the diplomatic corps, and Europe's upper nobility with their families. Although at its most extensive the Almanach de Gotha numbered more than 1200 pages, fewer than half of which were dedicated to monarchical or aristocratic data, it acquired a reputation for the breadth and precision of its information on royalty and nobility compared to other Almanac's of that time.
Moreover, other deposed European dynasties (e.g. Arenberg, Biron, Dadiani, Boncompagni-Ludovisi, Giray, Murat) did not benefit vis-a-vis the almanac from a similar interpretation of their historical status. Many princely or ducal families were listed only in its third, non-dynastic sectionor were excluded altogether, evoking criticism in the 20th century from such genealogists as Cyril Toumanoff, Jean-Engelbert d'Arenberg and William Addams Reitwiesner,the latter commenting that the changes displayed "pan-German triumphalism" and even a "fairly nasty bit of Germanic chauvinism."
Several genealogies of Italian noble houses were not included in the Almanch de Gotha. Titular princely county connected to nominal territories were also excluded from the Gotha since they were not mediatized. Aristocrats of non-mediatized houses with a line of titular princely county were registered within their country of origin.
The Congress of Vienna. It is a mistake to believe that royal families medialized in the Congress of Vienna are the only ones to be noble. The main concern of the Congress was to redistribute conquered territories, create a balance of power, restore the pre-Napoleonic order through King Louis XVIII, return the power to families who were ruling in 1789, and to return the Roman Catholic Church to its former power.
Besides, the main decisions of the Congress of Vienna were made by the Four Great Powers (Britain, Austria, Prussia, and Russia) and not all the countries of Europe could extend their rights at the Congress. The Italian peninsula became a mere "geographical expression" as divided into seven parts: Lombardy–Venetia, Modena, Naples–Sicily, Parma, Piedmont–Sardinia, Tuscany, and the Papal States under the control of different powers. Poland remained partitioned between Russia, Prussia and Austria, with the largest part, the newly created Kingdom of Poland, remaining under Russian control.
It is a surprising but none the less authentic fact that there is no standard history of the Congress of Vienna.
For more information visit our page "Who is noble in Gotha". Or a 206 pages booklet (TICAN Publishing).
No Recognition needed
We do not consider requesting some Royal Family that they should be registered /certified with us or to any Commissions on Nobility to be considered genuine, there is NO need for any genuine Royal, Noble or Order to need any kind of registration/certification with any organization to be considered genuine, as International Law covers them, along with many laws of countries that they are still or once ruled over. If they are genuine or not, that comes with Birthright and the knowledge of who they are and their places in history.
Traditional ranks among European royalty, peers, and nobility are rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although they vary over time and between geographic regions, for example, one region's prince might be equal to another's grand duke.
It is worth mentioning also that the princely families, with the sovereign attributes, requires NO RECOGNITION by the government of their country of origin, or submit any record in countries where its members settle in residence.
The dynastic and political independence is based on the sovereignty itself, which guides their social existence and regardless OF ANY LEGAL RECOGNITION, with respect to dynastic and private affairs. "
The lack of recognition does not mean that an Order (whether governmental, secular, religious, dynastic, or private) is not valid or valued.
Quote from Heraldica Org. on legal recognition of Order of Knighthood: "....Of course, one can well imagine a modern-day nobiliary association committed to some pious or charitable activity, perhaps placed under the invocation of some saint, using badges, mantles, holding ceremonies, and so forth. As I have argued, it would be anachronistic to call them orders of knighthood (and they would not have been called so in medieval times either), but otherwise there seems to be nothing to dispute about their nature. They are what they are. Some may also be revivals of historical institutions, and as long as they do not claim to be more than revivals, there is no sense in which they are not legitimate associations. Whether they are "the same" in some substantial (as opposed to historical) sense depends on how one views the importance of the context in defining the substance of such associations. In my mind, the context is paramount, but it is a matter of judgment".
The term "bogus" was so abused by Arthur Fox-Davies, who thought that any arms which were not delivered on parchment by a royal official were "bogus"; thus relegating 90% of heraldry into inexistence. There is no good reason why anyone could not create "orders of chivalry" today; how seriously such associations would be taken will depend on many factors, such as their membership, stated goals and veritable activities; but also on what they claim to be. Only people who would reject as "bogus" any such organization might be offended by the choice of certain orders. It is considered valid and undisputable from a legal point of view only a grant of honors or nobiliary titles coming from a Sovereign on the throne or a State sovereign. Creation of orders and decorations, in a way, is a much less objectionable way of rewarding services and of fund-raising. Those awarded such orders and decorations can wear them privately or on any occasion where they would be socially acceptable.
Arthur Charles Fox-Davies (28 February 1871 – 19 May 1928) was a British author on heraldry. By profession, he was a barrister but he also worked as a journalist and novelist. Born in Bristol, he was the second son of Thomas Edmond Davies (later Fox-Davies) of Coalbrookdale, Shropshire.
Fox-Davies' writing on heraldry is characterized by a passionate attachment to heraldry as art, history and also as law. He was something of a polemicist, and issued one of his most controversial works, The Right to Bear Arms, under the pseudonym X. However, he always supported his arguments with specific historical and manuscript evidence. He was the editor of the Genealogical Magazine from 1895-1906.
In today world, the Commission needs to expand its horizons, widening its principles in order to bring them into line with the objective reality of today’s society and the inevitable historical changes. The compilation lists of Chivalric Orders and Nobility Houses of some Private Organizations cannot be limited to the chivalric material of the past, thus Associations must adapt to the diverse award systems that exist today; the twenty first century.
Take a look around: the world has changed, and thus the political scene has changed from the time of the origin and the history of these orders...
Whereas national laws aim to provide definitions or criteria, their validity extends only to their own borders. One country may well be indifferent to, or even recognize, what another calls bogus. A case in point is the various orders of Saint John recognized by their national governments (Britain, Germany, Netherlands) but not by others (France) or, until the early 1960s, by the Catholic Order itself.
The Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem. Mons. Cardinale decided in 1981 that it would be in the interest of all concerned to declare the Order of St. Lazarus non existent. He was provoked into doing so by one person who claimed to be a leading figure in the Order, and whose conduct towards Archbishop Igino Eugenio Cardinale (Oct. 14, 1916 - March 24, 1983) and the Holy See was objectionable.
The Holy See has repeatedly stated that it does not regard the present-day Order of Saint Lazarus as the continuation of the historical order by that name.
The criteria upon which chivalric orders are judged are being questioned inside the Roman Curia. The fact that the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem has members belonging to various Christian denominations, makes it impossible to judge it solely on Catholic criteria, in spite of the fact that the Order has had a Catholic Patriarch as its Spiritual Protector since 1841, and today a number of Cardinals and high dignitaries of the Roman Curia are Spiritual Counselors to various Grand Priories.
Due to disputes and schisms between the Obedience (Branches), there are now three major organizations that claim the mantle of the Order of Saint Lazarus. For many decades the Malta and Paris obedience feuded over the Grand Magistry of the revived order, eventually reconciling as a united order.However, dissatisfied members of the Paris obedience broke away and formed the Orleans Obedience under a rival Grand Master. The UK based Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus has rejected the entire premise that the revived order is a continuation of the historic military order, and styled itself as a purely humanitarian hospitaller organization.
One of the arguments brought forward to bolster the claim of authenticity of an 'order' is the importance of its hospitaller works throughout the world. Is it necessary to state that support given to charitable activities, as worthy as that may be, does not constitute in any way proof of the historical legitimacy of an order of chivalry. Should philanthropy be a criterion of legitimacy, then the Shriners,or the Knights of Columbus and others could also raise the same pretensions.
There are a number of orders of knighthood, such as the Knights of Columbus, which have no background in chivalry, but are nonetheless worthwhile organizations. These are usually fraternal organizations. People in these organizations can be called knights, but it is not quite the same thing as being granted a title by monarch or historical order of chivalry.
There are more than 1.8 million members in 15,000 councils, with nearly 200 councils on college campuses. Membership is limited to "practical Catholic" men aged 18 or older
In the United States, as in other republics, the government awards decorations for valor and meritorious service but has no legal provision for orders of knighthood as such. Chivalric bodies are treated as private associations, registered as such with the state in which they have headquarters. The most sought-after status for American groups is that of a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable institution. Such status ignores whether or not a body is an authentic chivalrous order. In these circumstances it is easy to see why there has been indiscriminate use and abuse of the term, order of knighthood.
No private Organization has the authority to recognize titles of nobility. No private organizations has the authority to recognize titles of nobility on behalf of Italy's royal dynasties or the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. This includes the "Corpo della Nobiltà Italiana" which, contrary to a popular misconception, is not a "college of arms," court of chivalry or "legal successor to the Consulta Araldica," and whose "decisions" are no longer recognized by the Order of Malta. Italy has no "college of arms" or other government agency empowered to recognize titles of nobility or personal coats of arms. It should be remembered that historical fact is ascertained through scientific reasoning and solid evidence, not via "approval" from a self-appointed "authority" or by somebody who happens to be descended from royalty.
There is no mechanism, via a notarial act, an adoption or a last testament (will) for a titled Italian to cede or will his title to a person he designates, be that person related (cousin, nephew) or not. Furthermore, it is impossible to buy or sell an Italian title of nobility. The only way for an adoptive child to succeed to a nobiliary title was via a royal rescript, and there is no longer a king of Italy or its predecessor states to issue such a rescript or decree.
In theory, and certainly in law, the heads of Italy's extant royal dynasties (Savoy, Bourbon-Sicilies, Bourbon-Parma, and Hapsburg-Tuscany) may recognize titles of nobility. In practice, they rarely do.
Order of Chivalry. No private and incompetent arbitrary judgments of any discriminatory group of individuals, though scholarly, can recognize any Orders of Chivalry especially when those judgments carry no legal weight not recognized by any governments of a Sovereign with genuine “fons honorum”.
Undeniably there are various experts in chivalric activities with the possibility to build up a board of experts who are united in an organization because their valuation happens to coincide in part with a particular institutional viewpoint all such experts are members of the orders of which the organization “supports”. Some of these experts, in occasions, use self-styled titles of nobility claiming to be something that they are not but ready to attack anyone using titles of nobility or preposterously censuring certain organizations or persons (Nobility, Family Associations, etc.) is of disputable reputation but praise those organizations they belong.
Amusing though, some of the attackers are themselves phony "nobles" but well positioned in their nobility communities. It is particularly ironic considering that some of them had authored publication on nobiliary orders where, among other things, decries all the “fake” orders of knighthood.
A well-informed scholar is conscious that different authorities may attain different conclusions on the same subject and generally precise themselves in a discreet manner. Concerned in contributing to a field of knowledge in which their work both rests upon past sources and forms the foundation for future scholars.
Nonetheless, the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry (ICOC), which is a private organization, is regarded as a reliable academic authority on the conventional rules of customary law for Chivalric Orders, and all authentic historical institutions should be guided by its established rules.
It will probably be impossible to stop people from starting and operating organizations from attracting members thereto and raising funds. No State can validly declare that some Organization is recognized as chivalric, if this Organization has no valid fons honorum. A State can also not declare that a certain Organization is legitimate, if this is not the case. The sole fact of the act of recognition, express or implied, does not make an Organisation more legitimate, if it already is legitimate. The act of recognition can at the most only be a confirmation of that fact. It can never be a constitutive element for being legitimate or have declaratory effect. Having valid fons honorum can be regarded as having received recognition from this Sovereign. Fons honorum by nature is a sovereign, discretionary right.
Many Americans are fascinated by Coats of Arms but seldom understand that a coat of arms is usually granted, certified, registered or otherwise recognized as belonging to one individual alone, and that only his direct descendants with proven lineage can be recognized as eligible to inherit the arms.
Neither the federal nor the state governments regulate armorial bearings within their jurisdiction. Therefore, one can assume their own Coat of Arms as long as they do not violate another person' copyrighted design.
The American College of Heraldry is an unofficial body that registers arms for Americans. The College registers and publishes arms of persons who have borne unregistered or unregulated arms in their family for some extended period.
It is unfortunate that there is no reputable international body of experts in history, nobiliary law, and orders of chivalry, even though without official status, and special interest in protecting or promoting that which is to one's own personal advantage, positioned to set out criteria for the recognition of orders as of good reputation. The absence of such a body amongst bogus chivalric and nobiliary parties is evidence of the relinquishment of respect for historical elements previously held to diffuse significant moral and social values.
TITLES OF NOBILITY
The general opinion is to consider as authentic nobles only those who are effectively registered. But that is not exact, as these registers were partial and incomplete in the past as they are today. We must remember that each ruling Sovereign House obliged its subjects of noble status to submit to certain regulations regarding the recognition of their noble titles, and were only confirmed if they fulfilled certain conditions, which were usually not very economically or ideologically favorable for the person concerned. This meant, that the payment or otherwise of the tax became the discriminating factor to recognize a title, despite the full right to it, and therefore it was frequent that persons were excluded from the lists, which are still published by private associations.
Nevertheless, the only way to be certain of your family heritage is to have your family line researched by a professional genealogist.
Genealogists may encounter family traditions that they are of royal or noble descent. Such traditions are often vague and frequently false. Researchers are encouraged to trace their ancestry systematically backwards in time generation by generation. If in that process you discover an ancestor for whom there is good evidence of royal or noble descent, you should continue to investigate that line of research.
Many people are of the mistaken belief that a particular family coat of arms/crest is theirs just because their surname is the same or they come from the same country. This is not always true. For example the surname "Smith" has over 100 different coat of arms for that surname. This surname can be derived from several origins; for example the occupation of a person such a occupation of a black smith, tin smith, and silver smith and so on. Or the surname can be from the place a person came from, or even a description of a person.
Recent decades have witnessed an increasingly widespread interest in coats of arms and titles of nobility, especially among Italian descendants abroad, many of whom have been deceived by heraldic or genealogical research into believing themselves to be armigerous or even titled.
It must be emphasized that, no matter what can be found on certain web sites or elsewhere, a true title of nobility cannot be bought. Those buying a title of nobility given by a more or less fantastic non reigning king or prince, have to know that the title is worthless. These kinds of titles will not increase any social status of the holder and will be seen among the true nobility and high society as ridiculous and odd. The feudal titles (such as Lord of the Manor) can be bought legally but they will not give any noble status. A true title of nobility can only be obtained if granted by an active head authority of the country such as a Monarch, President, etc).
Although bona fide orders have been created out of private initiative for charitable, military or religious purposes, since the 19th century there have been a large number of orders created either to satisfy personal vanity, or to enrich a group of people (or both). Not all recently created orders of chivalry need be rebuked by such an assertion, but caveat emptor remains the rule.Fons Honorum
What is “fons honorum” (fount of honor – right to grant honors)? The extent and contents of fons honorum (according to particular traditions, epochs, places and customs, include honorary distinctions of merit or other titles) encompasses orders of knighthood, nobility, titles of nobility linked or not to a peerage, noble titles devoid of nobility stricto sensu, recognized coat of arms, etc…(More at "Nobiliary Law" page).
It is not the intention of the International and Association on Nobility to be neither a competitor to nor a replacement for existing Heraldry Societies or any existing Nobility Associations. We welcome their contributions and efforts to promote the ideals of monarchy, nobility, royalty and chivalry.
One of the most important goals of this International Commission and Association on Nobility is to educate the general public about the International Nobility, topics related to it, and with representatives around the world. Another important goal is to support in everyday possible noble, royal, and imperial Houses by promoting activities to unite the members and non-members and thus struggle together for our most noble cause.
We are living in a world of phantasy titles, illegitimate pseudo-sovereigns and self-styled orders. Almost every day you go to a formal meeting without seeing at least one person wearing an "Order". Almost invariably, the wearer will tell you it was given to him by Prince "This" or Prince "That", the last surviving scion of a Royal House which you are convinced became extinct centuries ago.
At one time the titles of baron were fashionable, today the invasion of titles of self-styled dukes and princes seems obstinate, and even the appearance of many pretenders with incredible fantasies of ancient vanished kingdoms, empires, duchies and marquises, claiming sovereignty having fons honorum to award titles of nobility and knighthoods about cities and places that had never been under the sovereignty of their alleged ancestors and predecessors.
Many wearers of such "Orders" rest with the assumption that the average person will have no idea what is and what is not a valid Order, and those who do know would be far too polite to start an argument in public.
There are many "orders of chivalry" on the internet, however not more than a good dozen is doubtlessly legitimate. Many of the so-called sovereign princes and patriarchs make false claims to non-existing thrones and are not a genuine fons honorum. Institutions which claim to be "legitimate" are in fact self-styled and illegitimate. The honors which are awarded by these pseudo-orders to anyone who is willing to pay the fee are completely worthless.
The various heraldic and genealogical agencies and societies cannot grant legal recognition to a title of nobility, though many would have you believe otherwise. Yet, accurate genealogical research is the only mechanism that can prove a valid claim.
Totally private organizations, as are the others, such as the Académie Internationale d’Héraldique, the Académie Internationale de Généalogie, the Confédération Internationale de Généalogie et de Héraldique, La Commission d’information et de liaison associations de noblesse d’Europe aka Cilane or C.I.L.A.N.E. and others. Most of the organizations represented in Nobility Organizations are private initiatives, particularly in nations where titles of nobility are no longer recognized and therefore unregulated by law. They are committees to liaise between associations, foster friendly relations and mutual services, and promote exchanges between members. In modern societies nobles have no obligations and expectations imposed from outside their own circle.
Cultural conventions on the use of honorific titles in Italian
Language allows the transmission of cultural information and it gives the opportunity to pose questions on some uses which belong to a certain nation. In fact, by analyzing some expressions typical of a language, we can understand a lot about what a culture gives importance to, its history and the mentality of that particular culture.
Through the use of some linguistic forms we can understand to which extent Italians give importance to honorifics when recurring to verbal communication. People are used to addressing their interlocutors with the following general nouns: Signore (used for men), Signora (used for married women), Signorina (used for unmarried women).
However, when one knows the status or, even better, the level of education or job of their interlocutor, the use of the right title becomes really important, especially when it comes to formal relationships.
Usually, titles are given according to one's job. You should address people by preceding their name with the following nouns: architetto- architect, avvocato- lawyer, commercialista- chartered accountant, dottore/dottoressa (the first is used for men and the second for women)- doctor, ragioniere- accountant, geometra- surveyor, ingegnere- engineer.
This classification includes the most popular titles, frequently used in Italian, although some others, less frequent, can sometimes be required.
The words "dottore/dottoressa" need an in-depth explanation. Clearly enough, they are used for people who are doctors; however, Italians, unlike other European countries and the US, which use the title "doctor" only for MDs and those who received a PhD, Italians use the title"dottore/dottoressa" also for those having a simple BA. Italy gives importance to honorific titles, when it comes to people who graduated; perhaps we could read it as a way to make a distinction between those who went to University and those who did not.
However, as strange it may sound in the rest of the world, where, as we said, "doctor" is only for MSs and PhDs, in Italy people do it this way.
It is important to underline that this is not a rule; in fact, a lot of graduated people do not define themselves dottore or dottoressa. It also depends much on your personality and on the importance you give to titles and honorific expressions.
Italian Titles for nobles
The Italian Republic does not recognize titles of nobility. The Italian Constitution of 1948 abolished the Consulta Araldica, and with it any official registry of titles of nobility in use up to that time. There is, nonetheless, a private Organization, the Association of the Italian Nobility (Corpo della Nobiltà Italiana), which seeks to promote and continue the work of the former royal Italian heraldic regulatory entity, the Consulta Araldica
In the past, noble ranks were of major relevance: they were a way to mark a specific social status, and to set distinctions among social classes. However, with the introduction of a law into the Italian Constitution, which came into force in January 1948, aristocratic titles were no longer recognized. This signed the end of the Consulta Araldica, the board in charge of the assessment and confirmation of aristocratic ranks.
Italy may sound as the type of country which gives a lot of importance to the image and status of people; perhaps this is partly due to its history, but also to the will to differentiate the types of job. However, being addressed to with titles is not an obligation, but rather a cultural and social convention that foreign people can be exempted from.
DIVERSITY OF OPINION
It is comprehensible that among different nationalities, cultures, social sensitivities and personality there are different opinions on the subject of nobility.
Different opinions depend on which side a commentator is....or which side the commentator receives "favors". Good decision-making depends on people having reliable, accurate facts put in a meaningful context. All truths – even the laws of science – are subject to revision.
To criticize does not necessarily imply "to find fault", but the word is often taken to mean the simple expression of an objection against prejudice, or a disapproval of something. Often criticism involves active disagreement, but it may only mean "taking sides".
Of course, the critics may just want to provoke or vent a bit of hostility, but it might backfire, because the people criticized may make a nasty response. The nasty response may "prove" to the critics, that the criticism was justified, but the critics have brought this on themselves, they have produced their own viciousness.
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