The Britons known as Celtic Britons or Ancient Britons, were Celtic people who inhabited Great Britain from the British Iron Age into the Middle Ages, at which point their culture and language diverged into the modern Welsh and Bretons. They spoke the ancestor to the modern Brittonic languages; the traditional view that the Celtic Britons migrated from the continent across the English Channel, with their languages and genes in the Iron Age has been undermined in recent decades by the contention of many scholars that Celtic languages had instead spread north along the Atlantic seaboard during the Bronze Age, the results of genetic studies, which show a large continuity between Iron Age and older British populations, suggesting trans-cultural diffusion was very important in the introduction of the Celtic languages. The earliest evidence for the Britons and their language in historical sources dates to the Iron Age. After the Roman conquest of Britain in the 1st century, a Romano-British culture emerged, Latin and British Vulgar Latin coexisted with Brittonic.
During and after the Roman era, the Britons lived throughout Britain. Their relationship with the Picts, who lived north of the Firth of Forth, has been the subject of much discussion, though most scholars now accept that the Pictish language was related to Common Brittonic, rather than a separate Celtic language. With the beginning of Anglo-Saxon settlement and Gaelic Scots in the 5th and 6th centuries, the culture and language of the Britons fragmented, much of their territory was taken over by the Anglo-Saxons and Scots Gaels; the extent to which this cultural and linguistic change was accompanied by wholesale changes in the population is still a matter of discussion. During this period some Britons migrated to mainland Europe and established significant colonies in Brittany, the Channel Islands as well as Britonia in modern Galicia, Spain. By the beginning of the 11th century, remaining Brittonic Celtic-speaking populations had split into distinct groups: the Welsh in Wales, the Cornish in Cornwall, the Bretons in Brittany, the Cumbric speaking people of the Hen Ogledd in southern Scotland and northern England, the remnants of the Pictish people in the north of Scotland.
Common Brittonic developed into the distinct Brittonic languages: Welsh, Cumbric and Breton. The earliest known reference to the inhabitants of Britain seems to come from 4th century BC records of the voyage of Pytheas, a Greek geographer who made a voyage of exploration around the British Isles between 330 and 320 BC. Although none of his own writings remain, writers during the time of the Roman Empire made much reference to them. Pytheas called the islands collectively αἱ Βρεττανίαι, translated as the Brittanic Isles; the peoples of these islands were called the Πρεττανοί, Pritani or Pretani. The group included Ireland, referred to as Ierne "inhabited by the race of Hiberni", Britain as insula Albionum, "island of the Albions"; the term Pritani may have reached Pytheas from the Gauls, who used it as their term for the inhabitants of the islands. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, compiled by the orders of King Alfred the Great in 890, subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th century, starts with this sentence: "The island Britain is 800 miles long, 200 miles broad, there are in the island five nations: English, Scottish and Latin.
The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia, first peopled Britain southward." The Latin name in the early Roman Empire period was Britanni or Brittanni, following the Roman conquest in AD 43. The Welsh word Brython was introduced into English usage by John Rhys in 1884 as a term unambiguously referring to the P-Celtic speakers of Great Britain, to complement Goidel. "Brittonic languages" is a more recent coinage intended to refer to the ancient Britons specifically. In English, the terms "Briton" and British for many centuries denoted only the ancient Celtic Britons and their descendants, most the Welsh and Bretons, who were seen as heirs to the ancient British people. After the Acts of Union 1707, the terms British and Briton came to be applied to all inhabitants of the Kingdom of Great Britain, including the English and some Northern Irish; the Britons spoke an Insular Celtic language known as Common Brittonic. Brittonic was spoken throughout the island of Britain, as well as offshore islands such as the Isle of Man, Scilly Isles, Hebrides, Isle of Wight and Shetland.
According to early medieval historical tradition, such as The Dream of Macsen Wledig, the post-Roman Celtic-speakers of Armorica were colonists from Britain, resulting in the Breton language, a language related to Welsh and identical to Cornish in the early period and still used today. Thus the area today is called Brittany. Common Brittonic developed from the Insular branch of the Proto-Celtic language that developed in the British Isles after arriving from the continent in the 7th century BC; the language began to diverge.
Lothian is a region of the Scottish Lowlands, lying between the southern shore of the Firth of Forth and the Lammermuir Hills. The principal settlement is the Scottish capital, while other significant towns include Livingston, Bathgate, Dalkeith, Prestonpans, North Berwick and Haddington; the term Lothian referred to a province encompassing most of what is now southeastern Scotland. In the 7th century it came under the control of the Anglian kingdom of Bernicia, the northern part of the kingdom of Northumbria, but the Angles' grip on Lothian was weakened following the Battle of Nechtansmere in which they were defeated by the Picts. Lothian was annexed to the Kingdom of Scotland around the 10th century. Subsequent Scottish history saw the region subdivided into three shires—Mid and West Lothian—leading to the popular designation of "the Lothians"; the origin of the name is debated. It comes from the British *Lugudūniānā meaning "country of the fort of Lugus", the latter being a Celtic god of commerce.
Alternatively it may take its name from a watercourse which flows through the region, now known as the Lothian Burn, the name of which comes from either the British lutna meaning "dark or muddy stream", *lǭd, with a meaning associated with flooding, or lǖch, meaning "bright, shining". A popular legend is that the name comes from King Lot, king of Lothian in the Arthurian legend; the usual Latin form of the name is Laudonia. Lothian was settled by Angles at an early stage and formed part of the Kingdom of Bernicia, which extended south into present-day Northumberland. Many place names in the Lothians and Scottish Borders demonstrate that the English language became established in the region from the sixth century onwards. In due course Bernicia united with Deira to form the Kingdom of Northumbria. Important Anglo Saxon structural remains have been found in Aberlady along with various artefacts such as an early 9th century Anglo Saxon coin. Little is recorded of Lothian's history in this time. After the Norse settled in what is now Yorkshire, Northumbria was cut in two.
How much Norse influence spread to the English north of the River Tees is uncertain. Bernicia continued as a distinct territory, sometimes described as having a king, at other times an ealdorman. Bernicia became distinct from other English territories at this time due to its links with the other Christian kingdoms in what is present-day Scotland and seems to have little to do with the Norse-controlled areas to the south. Roger of Wendover wrote that Edgar, King of the English granted Laudian to the King of Scots in 973 on condition that he come to court whenever the English king or his successors wore his crown, it is accepted by medieval historians that this marks the point at which Lothian came under Scottish control. The River Tweed became the de facto Anglo-Scottish border following the Battle of Carham in 1018. William the Conqueror did not re-annex it. At this time Lothian appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle as Loþen; as late as 1091, the Chronicle describes how the Scottish king, Malcolm, "went with his army out of Scotland into Lothian", in the reign of King David, the people living in Lothian are described as "English" subjects of the king.
In the post-Roman period, Lothian was dominated by British-speakers whose language is called Cumbric and was related to Welsh. In Welsh tradition Lothian is part of the "Old North". Reminders exist in British place-names like Tranent and Penicuik. Although one of the few areas of mainland Scotland where the Gaelic language was never dominant, the presence of some Gaelic place-names, e.g. Dalry, Currie and Cockenzie, has been attributed to the "temporary occupation... the presence of a landowning Gaelic-speaking aristocracy and their followers for something like 150–200 years."Over time and due to various factors, the language of Lothian and Northumbria, a northern variety of Middle English, came to displace Gaelic as the language of the Lowlands. The dialects of the modern Lothians are sometimes considered to be part of Central Scots; the Local Government Act 1973 abolished the county councils and burgh corporations, replacing them with regions and districts. Lothian Regional Council formally took over responsibility from the old county councils in May 1975.
The Lothian region was split into four districts: East and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh. The former had more or less identical boundaries to the county council it replaced, but West and Mid Lothian had large amounts of land taken from them to form the City of Edinburgh district; the council was responsible for education, social work, water and transport. The two-tier system was ended by the Local Government etc. Act 1994. Lothian Regional Council was replaced by four unitary councils based on the former districts. Herman Moll's map of the Lothian shires Lothian Buses NHS Lothian
Drambuie is a golden-coloured, 40% ABV liqueur made from Scotch whisky, honey and spices. The brand was owned by the MacKinnon family for a hundred years but was bought by William Grant & Sons in 2014, it has been produced under contract at the Morrison Bowmore Distillers facility at Springburn Bond, Glasgow since 2010. The name "Drambuie" derives from the Scottish Gaelic phrase an dram buidheach, "the drink that satisfies", a claim made by the original manufacturers of the drink. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, Prince Charles Edward Stuart fled to the isle of Skye. There, he was given sanctuary by Captain John MacKinnon of Clan MacKinnon. According to family legend, after staying with the captain, the prince rewarded him with this prized drink recipe; this version of events is disputed by historians who believe it to be a story concocted to boost sales of the drink. The legend holds that the recipe, which at that time had no known name, was given by Clan MacKinnon to John Ross in the late 19th century.
James Ross, his son and a local business man, ran the Broadford Hotel in Broadford on Skye and it was he who, after the death of John in 1879, began to experiment with the recipe at the Hotel. Drambuie is a sweet, golden coloured 40% ABV liqueur made from Scotch whisky, honey and spices. In the 1880s, Ross developed and improved the recipe, changing the original brandy base to one of scotch whisky for his friends and later for hotel patrons. Ross named the concoction'Drambuie' and sold it further afield reaching markets in France and the United States; as the drink became better known, Ross registered the name as a trademark in 1893. When Ross died, his widow, was obliged to sell the recipe to pay for their children's education; the latter MacKinnon family produced the drink until 2014. Drambuie was first commercially produced in Union Street in Edinburgh in 1910. Only twelve cases were sold. In 1916, Drambuie became the first liqueur to be allowed in the cellars of the House of Lords and Drambuie began to ship worldwide to British Army officers' messes.
About 1940, the company moved to bonded premises in Dublin Street Lane where the liquor was compounded. The bottling plant was in the same lane. After a short period at nearby Broughton Market, the operation was moved, in 1955, to premises at the foot of Easter Road in Leith. Further expansion led to a move to purpose-built premises on the western edge of Kirkliston in 1959; these premises were vacated in 2001 and thereafter production was contracted out, in the first instance to the Glenmorangie bottling plant at Broxburn and, in 2010, to Morrison Bowmore Distillers. Since 2007, work has been done to strengthen the reputation of the brand after a downturn in popularity and sales. In 2009, Drambuie launched The Royal Legacy of an upscale malt whisky liqueur; the 40% alcohol by volume spirit won the Drinks International Travel Retail Award for Best Travel Retail Drinks Launch at the TFWA, France in October 2009. To celebrate the centenary of Drambuie's being bottled in Edinburgh, the makers launched a new style of bottle and embarked on a television and print advertising campaign in 2010.
The new bottle, clear, allows the colour of the liqueur to be seen. It has a new interlocking ‘DD’ Drambuie icon behind the brand name which appears on the neck. In September 2014, Drambuie was sold to the makers of Glenfiddich, William Grant & Sons, for an estimated price of about £100 million. Drambuie received the highest possible score, a "96–100", in the Wine Enthusiast's 2008 spirit ratings competition. Glayva List of liqueurs Official website
Edinburgh Airport is an airport located in the Ingliston area of the City of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. It was the busiest airport in Scotland in 2018, handling over 14.3 million passengers in that year, an increase of 6.5% compared with 2017. It was the sixth-busiest airport in the United Kingdom by total passengers in 2018, it is located 5 NM west of the city centre, just off the M9 motorways. It is owned and operated by Global Infrastructure Partners, who are the majority shareholder and lead the management of Gatwick Airport; the airport has one runway and one passenger terminal, employs about 2,500 people. Turnhouse Aerodrome was the most northerly British air defence base in World War I used by the Royal Flying Corps; the small base opened in 1916 and it was used to house the 603 Squadron from 1925, which consisted of DH 9As, Westland Wapitis, Hawker Harts, Hawker Hind light bombers. All the aircraft used a grass air strip. In 1918 the Royal Air Force was formed and the airfield was named RAF Turnhouse and ownership transferred to the Ministry of Defence.
When the Second World War broke out, RAF Fighter Command took control over the airfield and a runway of 3,900 ft was paved to handle the Supermarine Spitfire. During the Battle of Britain, 3, 65, 141 Squadrons were present at the airbase; when the war ended the airfield remained under military control, but by the late 1940s the first commercial services were launched. In 1947, British European Airways started a service between Edinburgh and London using Vickers Vikings followed by the Viscount and Vanguard series. In 1952 the runway was extended to 6000 ft to handle the Vampire FB5s operated by the resident 603 Squadron. In 1956 a new passenger terminal was built to provide an improved commercial service. After the disbandment of 603 Squadron in March 1957, the Ministry of Defence transferred ownership to the Ministry of Aviation in 1960 to offer improved commercial service to the airport. Flying was temporarily diverted to East Fortune, which had its runway extended to accommodate the airliners of the period.
The British Airports Authority took over ownership of the airport on 1 April 1971 at a time when the original terminal building was running at about eight times its design capacity. Immediate improvements to the terminal were cosmetic, such as extra seating and TV monitors for flight information, it took two years for plans to be proposed for a new terminal and runway redesign. A public consultation on planning started in November 1971 and ended in February 1972. Initial stages of the redevelopment began in June 1973. Work on the new terminal building, designed by Sir Robert Matthew, started in March 1975, the building was opened by Her Majesty the Queen on 27 May 1977, opening to the public two days later. Although the original main runway 13/31 served the airport well, its alignment had the disadvantage of suffering from severe crosswinds, the other two minor runways were short and could not be extended, so movements were transferred to a new runway in an addition outside the original airfield boundary.
This runway, completed in 1977, is 2,556 m in length, was able to take all modern airliners including Concorde. A new terminal was built alongside the runway to cater for the additional traffic; the old terminal and hangars were converted into a cargo centre. International service from Edinburgh began in 1962 with a direct service to Dublin, but for many years international flights were charter and private only; this started to change during the late 1970s, with direct services to continental Europe. By the mid-1980s direct routes included Paris, Düsseldorf, Brussels and Copenhagen, but direct transatlantic flights were not yet possible as Prestwick was the only "designated gateway" in Scotland under the US-UK Bermuda II Agreement. By the time BAA had been privatised in 1987, Edinburgh Airport handled over 1.8 million passengers each year. RAF Turnhouse was operational near the passenger terminal of the airport for all of the post war period, but was closed in 1997. Since the original terminal upgrade in 1977, there have been major reconstructions, including extensions of the two passenger terminal aprons and a major expansion of car parking facilities, including a multi-storey car park in 2004.
In 2005, a new 57-metre-tall air traffic control tower was completed at a cost of £10m. An extension to the terminal called the South East Pier opened in September 2006; this extension added six gates on a new pier to the south-east of the original building. A further four gates were added to the South East Pier at the end of 2008. On 19 October 2011, BAA Limited announced its intention to sell the airport, following a decision by the UK's Competition Commission requiring BAA to sell either Glasgow Airport or Edinburgh Airport. BAA announced on 23 April 2012 that it had sold Edinburgh Airport to Global Infrastructure Partners for a price of £807.2 million. In 2013, a further extension to the passenger terminal was announced, taking the terminal building up to the Edinburgh Airport tram stop; the opening of the Edinburgh Trams in May 2014 created the first rail connection to Edinburgh Airport. Whilst the number of passengers has increased, the number of flights decreased in 2014 due to plane
The Maltese cross is a cross symbol, consisting of four "V" or arrowhead shaped concave quadrilaterals converging at a central vertex at right angles, two tips pointing outward symmetrically. It is a heraldic cross variant which developed from earlier forms of eight-pointed crosses in the 16th century. Although chiefly associated with the Knights Hospitaller, by extension with the island of Malta, it has come to be used by a wide array of entities since the early modern period, notably the Order of Saint Stephen, the city of Amalfi, the Polish Order of the White Eagle and the Prussian order Pour le Mérite. Unicode defines a character named "Maltese cross" in the Dingbats range at code point U+2720; the Knights Hospitaller during the Crusades used a plain Latin cross. Occasional use of an "eight-pointed cross" by the order begins in the early 14th century; this early form is a cross moline or cross branchée ending in eight points, not yet featuring the sharp vertex of the modern design. The association of the eight-pointed cross with the southern Italy coastal town of Amalfi may go back to the 11th century, as the design is found on coins minted by the Duchy of Amalfi at that time.
Eight-pointed crosses appear on coins minted by the Grand Masters of the order, first shown embroidered on the left arm of the robe of the kneeling Grand Master on the obverse of a coin minted under Foulques de Villaret In 1489, the statutes of the oder require all knights of Malta to wear "the white cross with eight points". Emergence of the sharp vertex of the modern "four-arrowhead" design is gradual, takes place during the 15th to 16th century; the "Rhodian cross" of the early 16th century had but not quite, achieved the "sharp arrowhead appearance". The modern design is found on a copper coin dated 1567, minted by Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette. In 1577, Alonso Sanchez Coello painted Archduke Wenceslaus of Austria as Grand Prior of the Order of Malta wearing the emblem on his robes; the design appears. It is shown on a copper coin dated 1693, minted under Grand Master Adrien de Wignacourt. From the end of the 17th century, it is occasionally displayed as alternative heraldic emblem of the order.
Its depiction on the facade of San Giovannino dei Cavalieri dates to 1699. The Maltese cross as defined by the constitution of the Order of St. John remains the symbol of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, of the Order of Saint John and its allied orders, of the Venerable Order of Saint John, of their various service organisations. Numerous other modern orders of merit have used the eight-pointed cross. In Australia, the eight-pointed cross is part of the state emblem of Queensland; the eight points of the eight-pointed cross have been given a number of symbolic interpretations, such as representing the eight Langues of the Knights Hospitaller. Or alternatively the "eight obligations or aspirations" of the knights:Websites operated by both the German Order of Saint John and the British Venerable Order of St John associate the eight points with the Eight Beatitudes. An undated leaflet published by The Venerable Order's main service organisation, St John Ambulance, has applied secular meanings to the points as representing the traits of a good first aider: The Maltese cross is displayed as part of the Maltese civil ensign.
The Maltese euro coins of 1- and 2-euro denomination carry the Maltese cross. It is the trademark of Air Malta, Malta's national airline; the Maltese cross was depicted on the two-mils coin in of the Maltese lira, on the reverse of one- and two-Euro coins introduced in January 2008. Austria's two highest decorations, the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art, have the eight-pointed cross as their basis. In Belgium, the eight-pointed cross is the basis of two of the country's royal orders of merit, the Order of Leopold and the Order of Leopold II; the Order of Bravery is the highest military decoration of the Kingdom of Bulgaria and of the Republic of Bulgaria and the most esteemed Bulgarian order. The Pour le Mérite, Imperial Germany's highest award for military valor, was a blue-enameled, eight-pointed cross with golden eagles between the arms, it was founded in 1740 by the francophile Prussian King Frederick the Great, was adorned with the French legend Pour le Mérite in gold.
Awards of the military class ceased with the dissolution of the Hohenzollern monarchy at the end of World War I in November 1918. The coats of arms of the former duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and the former Mecklenburg-Strelitz district contained an eight-pointed cross. Several towns in Northern Germany have an eight-pointed cross on their coats of arms, including Malchin, Moraas, Sülstorf. Heitersheim and Bad Dürrheim in Southern Germany have an eight-pointed cross on their arms. In the Netherlands, the eight-pointed cross forms the basic form for the three highest royal orders of merit: the Orders of the Netherlands Lion, Orange-Nassau and the Gold Lion of the House of Nassau. In Norway, the eight-pointed cross is the symbol used in the Order of St. Olav. In the Philippines, the eight-pointed cross is a part of the pendant of the Quezon Service Cross, the highest honor that can be conferred in the republic, it is found in the Order of Sikatuna, Order of the Golden Heart. In Poland, the eight-pointed cross forms the basis for the country's four highest awards
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem known as the Order of Saint John, Order of Hospitallers, Knights Hospitaller, Knights Hospitalier or Hospitallers, was a medieval and early modern Catholic military order. It was headquartered in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, on the island of Rhodes, in Malta and St Petersburg; the Hospitallers arose in the early 11th century, at the time of the great monastic reformation, as a group of individuals associated with an Amalfitan hospital in the Muristan district of Jerusalem, dedicated to John the Baptist and founded around 1023 by Gerard Thom to provide care for sick, poor or injured pilgrims coming to the Holy Land. Some scholars, consider that the Amalfitan order and hospital were different from Gerard Thom's order and its hospital. After the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the organisation became a military religious order under its own Papal charter, charged with the care and defence of the Holy Land. Following the conquest of the Holy Land by Islamic forces, the knights operated from Rhodes, over which they were sovereign, from Malta, where they administered a vassal state under the Spanish viceroy of Sicily.
The Hospitallers were the smallest group to colonise parts of the Americas: they acquired four Caribbean islands in the mid-17th century, which they turned over to France in the 1660s. The knights were weakened in the Protestant Reformation, when rich commanderies of the order in northern Germany and the Netherlands became Protestant and separated from the Roman Catholic main stem, remaining separate to this day, although ecumenical relations between the descendant chivalric orders are amicable; the order was disestablished in England, Denmark, as well as in some other parts of northern Europe, it was further damaged by Napoleon's capture of Malta in 1798, following which it became dispersed throughout Europe. In 603, Pope Gregory I commissioned the Ravennate Abbot Probus, Gregory's emissary at the Lombard court, to build a hospital in Jerusalem to treat and care for Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. In 800, Emperor Charlemagne added a library to it. About 200 years in 1005, Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah destroyed the hospital and three thousand other buildings in Jerusalem.
In 1023, merchants from Amalfi and Salerno in Italy were given permission by the Caliph Ali az-Zahir of Egypt to rebuild the hospital in Jerusalem. The hospital, built on the site of the monastery of Saint John the Baptist, took in Christian pilgrims travelling to visit the Christian holy sites, it was served by the Order of Saint Benedict. The monastic hospitaller order was founded following the First Crusade by Gerard Thom, whose role as founder was confirmed by the papal bull Pie Postulatio Voluntatis issued by Pope Paschal II in 1113. Gerard acquired territory and revenues for his order throughout the Kingdom of Jerusalem and beyond. Under his successor, Raymond du Puy, the original hospice was expanded to an infirmary near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem; the group cared for pilgrims in Jerusalem, but the order soon extended to providing pilgrims with an armed escort, which soon grew into a substantial force. Thus the Order of St. John imperceptibly became military without losing its charitable character.
Raymond du Puy, who succeeded Gerard as Master of the Hospital in 1118, organised a militia from the order's members, dividing the order into three ranks: knights, men at arms, chaplains. Raymond offered the service of his armed troops to Baldwin II of Jerusalem, the order from this time participated in the crusades as a military order, in particular distinguishing itself in the Siege of Ascalon of 1153. In 1130, Pope Innocent II gave the order a silver cross in a field of red; the Hospitallers and the Knights Templar became the most formidable military orders in the Holy Land. Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor, pledged his protection to the Knights of St. John in a charter of privileges granted in 1185; the statutes of Roger de Moulins deal only with the service of the sick. In the latter a marked distinction is made between secular knights, externs to the order, who served only for a time, the professed knights, attached to the order by a perpetual vow, who alone enjoyed the same spiritual privileges as the other religious.
The order numbered three distinct classes of membership: the military brothers, the brothers infirmarians, the brothers chaplains, to whom was entrusted the divine service. In 1248 Pope Innocent IV approved a standard military dress for the Hospitallers to be worn during battle. Instead of a closed cape over their armour, they wore a red surcoat with a white cross emblazoned on it. Many of the more substantial Christian fortifications in the Holy Land were built by the Templars and the Hospitallers. At the height of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Hospitallers held seven great forts and 140 other estates in the area; the two largest of these, their bases of power in the Kingdom and in the Principality of Antioch, were the Krak des Chevaliers and Margat in Syria. The property of the Order was divided into priories, subdivided into bailiwicks, which in turn were divided into commanderies; as early as the late 12th century the order had begun to achieve recognition in the Kingdom of England and Duchy of Normandy.
As a result, buildings such as St John's Jerusalem and the Knights Gate, Quenington i