Order of Saint Stanislaus

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Order of Saint Stanislaus
Order św. Stanisława Biskupa Męczennika
Cross of Order of Saint Stanislaus.PNG
Cross of the Polish Order of Saint Stanislaus
Award of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Duchy of Warsaw
Kingdom of Poland
Russian Empire
Type Order of Merit[1]
Royal house Poniatowski(7 May 1765 - 25 November 1795
Wettin(9 June 1807 – 22 May 1815)
Romanov(9 June 1815 - 16 March 1917
Religious affiliation Roman Catholic (7 May 1765 - 22 May 1815)
None from 1815
Status Abolished, 16 March 1917
Established May 7, 1765[2]
Star of the Polish Order of Saint Stanislaus (XVIII century).PNG
Star of the Polish Order of Saint Stanislaus with Latin phrase Praemiando Incitat
Polish Order of Saint Stanislaus

The Order of Saint Stanislaus (Polish: Order św. Stanisława Biskupa Męczennika, Russian: Орден Святого Станислава), also spelled Stanislas, was an Order in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Poland between 1765 and 1831 and of the Russian Empire from 1831 to 1917.[1]

History of the Order of Saint Stanislaus[edit]

Stanisław II Augustus, King of Poland, established the Order of the Knights of Saint Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr on May 8, 1765 to honor the service to the King.[3] Initially, the order was limited to 100 members who were required to prove four generations of nobility.[4]

After the partition of Poland it was recognized in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw in 1807. Since 1815 in the Polish (Congress) Kingdom, the Order, originally in a single class, was retained and divided into four classes. At 25 January 1831 Polish Parliament deposed tsar Nicholas I of Russia (also grand master of this Polish Order) from the throne of Poland. After the downfall of the November Uprising the Imperial House of Romanov created the Royal and Imperial Order of Saint Stanislaus and added it to the awards system of the Russian Empire in 1832, where it remained until 1917. The order was abolished with the fall of the Romanovs in 1917 but, unlike other Polish orders awarded by the Tsars, the Order of Saint Stanislaus was not revived by the newly independent Second Polish Republic (possibly because in its Russian form it was often awarded by the imperial government to those Poles who co-operated with Russia rule making the Order a symbol of subservience to an occupying power).[4] It was replaced by the Order of Polonia Restituta.[1]

The Insignia of the Polish and Russian Orders of St. Stanislaus[edit]

The original Polish badge of the order was a red enameled Maltese cross with white enameled Polish eagles between its arms and with a central medallion bearing an enameled image of Saint Stanislaus in his episcopal vestment surrounded by a gold laurel wreath. In the Russian version of this badge the Polish white eagles are replaced with gold Russian double-headed imperial eagles, their wings parially overlapping the arms of the cross and the central medallion bearing the letters "SS" in red on a white enamel background instead of the original image of the saintly bishop, surrounded by a green enamel laural wreath. There is also a semi-circle of gold rays between each of the points of arms of the Maltese cross. Both the Polish and Russian badges hung from a red ribbon with white strips near its borders (i.e., the colors of the Polish coat of arms and flag), a ribbon which they shared with the modern Order of Polonia Restituta.

The Order also had an eight-pointed star with straight rays with a central medallion bearing the letters "SS" surrounded by the Latin words "Praemiando incitat", which is in turn surrounded by a laurel wreath. The Star has essentially the same design in both its Polish and Russian forms.

In its original Polish form the knights of the Order wore a red, white and silver habit modelled on the traditional dress of a Polish nobleman (i.e., zupan, kontusz, pas kontuszowy and delia).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Duckers, Peter (2008). European orders and decorations to 1945. Botley, Oxford, UK: Shire Publications. pp. 67, 79. ISBN 978-0-7478-0670-7. 
  2. ^ Tagore, Sourindro Mohun (1884). The orders of knighthood, British and foreign: with a brief review of the titles of rank and merit in ancient Hindusthan. Calcutta, India: Catholic Orphan Press. p. 89. Retrieved 30 December 2011. "THE ORDER OE ST STANISLAUS. The Order was fouuded on the 7th May 1765 by Stanislaus Augustus Poniatowsky to procure friends and adherents to his throne. He placed it under the patronage of St Stanislaus, the Patron Saint of his country, as also of his own name. The number of Knights was fixed at one hundred exclusive of foreigners. The entrance fee is 90, 30, or 15 roubles according to the respective classes. Thirty Members of the first class, sixty of the second, and ninety of the third class receive respectively annual pensions of 142, 114, and 85 roubles. Those who advance to a higher class lose their previous pensions and must wait until their turn comes in the new class. Members who turn monks lose their pensions. Widows receive the full pensions of their husbands during the first year of their widowhood. In case of death the Insignia must be returned or the value paid in money. The annual festival of the Order is held on the 23rd April (7th May)" 
  3. ^ Stanisław Łoza, "Kawalerowie Orderu Świętego Stanisława 1765–1813" (Warszawa 1925)
  4. ^ a b Deck-Partyka, Alicja (2006). Poland : a unique country & its people (1. publ. ed.). Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. pp. 142–43. ISBN 978-1-4259-1838-5.