Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large Gothic abbey church in the City of Westminster, England, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs; the building itself was a Benedictine monastic church until the monastery was dissolved in 1539. Between 1540 and 1556, the abbey had the status of a cathedral. Since 1560, the building is no longer an abbey or a cathedral, having instead the status of a Church of England "Royal Peculiar"—a church responsible directly to the sovereign. According to a tradition first reported by Sulcard in about 1080, a church was founded at the site in the seventh century, at the time of Mellitus, a Bishop of London. Construction of the present church began in 1245, on the orders of King Henry III. Since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066, all coronations of English and British monarchs have been in Westminster Abbey.
There have been 16 royal weddings at the abbey since 1100. As the burial site of more than 3,300 persons of predominant prominence in British history, Westminster Abbey is sometimes described as'Britain's Valhalla', after the iconic burial hall of Norse mythology. A late tradition claims that Aldrich, a young fisherman on the River Thames, had a vision of Saint Peter near the site; this seems to have been quoted as the origin of the salmon that Thames fishermen offered to the abbey in years – a custom still observed annually by the Fishmongers' Company. The recorded origins of the Abbey date to the 960s or early 970s, when Saint Dunstan and King Edgar installed a community of Benedictine monks on the site. Between 1042 and 1052, King Edward the Confessor began rebuilding St Peter's Abbey to provide himself with a royal burial church, it was the first church in England built in the Romanesque style. The building was completed around 1060 and was consecrated on 28 December 1065, only a week before Edward's death on 5 January 1066.
A week he was buried in the church. His successor, Harold II, was crowned in the abbey, although the first documented coronation is that of William the Conqueror the same year; the only extant depiction of Edward's abbey, together with the adjacent Palace of Westminster, is in the Bayeux Tapestry. Some of the lower parts of the monastic dormitory, an extension of the South Transept, survive in the Norman Undercroft of the Great School, including a door said to come from the previous Saxon abbey. Increased endowments supported a community increased from a dozen monks in Dunstan's original foundation, up to a maximum about eighty monks; the abbot and monks, in proximity to the royal Palace of Westminster, the seat of government from the 13th century, became a powerful force in the centuries after the Norman Conquest. The Abbot of Westminster was employed on royal service and in due course took his place in the House of Lords as of right. Released from the burdens of spiritual leadership, which passed to the reformed Cluniac movement after the mid-10th century, occupied with the administration of great landed properties, some of which lay far from Westminster, "the Benedictines achieved a remarkable degree of identification with the secular life of their times, with upper-class life", Barbara Harvey concludes, to the extent that her depiction of daily life provides a wider view of the concerns of the English gentry in the High and Late Middle Ages.
The proximity of the Palace of Westminster did not extend to providing monks or abbots with high royal connections. The abbot remained Lord of the Manor of Westminster as a town of two to three thousand persons grew around it: as a consumer and employer on a grand scale the monastery helped fuel the town economy, relations with the town remained unusually cordial, but no enfranchising charter was issued during the Middle Ages; the abbey became the coronation site of Norman kings. None were buried there until Henry III, intensely devoted to the cult of the Confessor, rebuilt the abbey in Anglo-French Gothic style as a shrine to venerate King Edward the Confessor and as a suitably regal setting for Henry's own tomb, under the highest Gothic nave in England; the Confessor's shrine subsequently played a great part in his canonization. Construction of the present church began in 1245 by Henry III; the first building stage included the entire eastern end, the transepts, the easternmost bay of the nave.
The Lady Chapel built from around 1220 at the extreme eastern end was incorporated into the chevet of the new building, but was replaced. This work must have been completed by 1258-60, when the second stage was begun; this carried the nave on an additional five bays. Here construction stopped in about 1269, a consecration ceremony being held on 13 October of that year, because of Henry's death did not resume; the old Romanesque nave remained attached to the new building for over a century, until it was pulled down in the late 14th century and rebuilt from 1376 following the original design. Construction was finished by the architect Henry Yevele in the reign of Richard II. Henry III commissioned the unique Cosmati pavement in front of the High Altar (the pavement has undergone a major cleani
Gatineau is a city in western Quebec, Canada. It is the fourth-largest city in the province after Montreal, Quebec City, Laval, it is located on the northern bank of the Ottawa River across from Ottawa, together with which it forms Canada's National Capital Region. As of 2016, Gatineau had a population of 276,245, a metropolitan population of 332,057; the Ottawa–Gatineau census metropolitan area had a population of 1,323,783. Gatineau is coextensive with a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality and census division of the same name, whose geographical code is 81, it is the seat of the judicial district of Hull. The current city of Gatineau is centred on an area called Hull, the oldest European colonial settlement in the National Capital Region; this area was not developed until after the American Revolutionary War, when the Crown made land grants to Loyalists for resettlement in Upper Canada. Hull was founded on the north shore of the Ottawa River in 1800 by Philemon Wright at the portage around the Chaudière Falls just upstream from where the Gatineau and Rideau rivers flow into the Ottawa.
Wright brought his family, five other families, twenty-five labourers to establish an agricultural community. They considered the area a mosquito-infested wilderness, but soon after and his family took advantage of the large lumber stands and became involved in the timber trade. The original settlement was called Wrightstown, was renamed as Hull. In 2002, after amalgamation, it was part of a larger jurisdiction named the City of Gatineau. In 1820, before immigrants from Ireland and other parts of Great Britain arrived in great numbers, Hull Township had a population of 707, including 365 men, 113 women, 229 children; the high number of men were related to workers in the lumber trade. In 1824, there were 803 persons. During the rest of the 1820s, the population of Hull doubled, owing to the arrival of Ulster Protestants. By 1851, the population of the County of Ottawa was 11,104. By comparison, Bytown had a population of 7,760 in 1851. By 1861, Ottawa County had a population of 15,671. French Canadians migrated to the Township.
The Gatineau River, like the Ottawa River, was a basic transportation resource for the draveurs, workers who transport logs via the rivers from lumber camps until they arrived downriver. The log-filled Ottawa River, as viewed from Hull, was featured on the back of the Canadian one-dollar bill; the last of the dwindling activity of the draveurs on these rivers ended a few years later. Ottawa was founded as the terminus of the Rideau Canal; this was built under the command of Col. John By as part of fortifications and defences constructed after the War of 1812 against the United States. Named Bytown, Ottawa was not designated as the Canadian capital until the mid-19th century, after the original parliament in Montreal was torched by a rioting mob of Anglo-Canadians on 25 April 1849, its greater distance from the Canada–US border made the new parliament less vulnerable to foreign attack. Nothing remains of the original 1800 settlement of Hull; the downtown Vieux-Hull sector was destroyed by a terrible fire in 1900.
The bridge was rebuilt to join Ottawa to Hull at Victoria Island. In the 1940s, during World War II, along with various other regions within Canada, such as the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Île Sainte-Hélène, was the site of prisoner-of-war camps. Hull's prison was identified only by a number; the prisoners of war were organized by status: civilian or military status. In the Hull camp, POWs were Italian and German nationals detained by the government as potential threats to the nation during the war; as a result of the Conscription Crisis of 1944, Canadians who had refused conscription were interned in the camp. The prisoners were required to perform hard labour, which included lumbering the land. During the 1970s and early 1980s, the decaying old downtown core of Hull was redeveloped. Old buildings were replaced by a series of large office complexes. In addition some 4,000 residents were displaced, many businesses uprooted along what was once the town's main commercial area. On 11 November 1992, Ghislaine Chénier, Mayoress by interim for the city of Hull, unveiled War Never Again, a marble stele monument that commemorates the cost of war for the men and children of the city of Hull.
As part of the 2000–06 municipal reorganization in Quebec, the five municipalities that constituted the Communauté urbaine de l'Outaouais were merged on 1 January 2002 to constitute the new city of Gatineau. They were: Aylmer Buckingham Hull Gatineau Masson-AngersAlthough Hull was the oldest and most central of the merged cities, the name Gatineau was chosen for the new city; the main reasons given were that Gatineau had more residents, this name was associated with the area: it was the name of the former county, the valley, the hills, the park and the main river within the new city limits. Some argued that the French name of Gatineau was more appealing to the majority French-speaking residents. Since the former city of Hull represents a large area distinct from what was known as Gatineau, some people refer to "Vieux Hull"; the name "Hull" was informally use
Windsor Castle is a royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire. It is notable for its long association with the English and British royal family and for its architecture; the original castle was built in the 11th century after the Norman invasion of England by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by the reigning monarch and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe; the castle's lavish early 19th-century State Apartments were described by the art historian Hugh Roberts as "a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms regarded as the finest and most complete expression of Georgian taste". Inside the castle walls is the 15th-century St George's Chapel, considered by the historian John Martin Robinson to be "one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic" design. Designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London and oversee a strategically important part of the River Thames, Windsor Castle was built as a motte-and-bailey, with three wards surrounding a central mound.
Replaced with stone fortifications, the castle withstood a prolonged siege during the First Barons' War at the start of the 13th century. Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the middle of the century, Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace to make an grander set of buildings in what would become "the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England". Edward's core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and centre for diplomatic entertainment. Windsor Castle survived the tumultuous period of the English Civil War, when it was used as a military headquarters by Parliamentary forces and a prison for Charles I. At the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660, Charles II rebuilt much of Windsor Castle with the help of the architect Hugh May, creating a set of extravagant Baroque interiors that are still admired. After a period of neglect during the 18th century, George III and George IV renovated and rebuilt Charles II's palace at colossal expense, producing the current design of the State Apartments, full of Rococo and Baroque furnishings.
Queen Victoria made a few minor changes to the castle, which became the centre for royal entertainment for much of her reign. Windsor Castle was used as a refuge by the royal family during the Luftwaffe bombing campaigns of the Second World War and survived a fire in 1992, it is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, the preferred weekend home of Elizabeth II. Windsor Castle occupies 13 acres, combines the features of a fortification, a palace, a small town; the present-day castle was created during a sequence of phased building projects, culminating in the reconstruction work after a fire in 1992. It is in essence a Georgian and Victorian design based on a medieval structure, with Gothic features reinvented in a modern style. Since the 14th century, architecture at the castle has attempted to produce a contemporary reinterpretation of older fashions and traditions imitating outmoded or antiquated styles; as a result, architect Sir William Whitfield has pointed to Windsor Castle's architecture as having "a certain fictive quality", the Picturesque and Gothic design generating "a sense that a theatrical performance is being put on here", despite late 20th century efforts to expose more of the older structures to increase the sense of authenticity.
Although there has been some criticism, the castle's architecture and history lends it a "place amongst the greatest European palaces". At the heart of Windsor Castle is the Middle Ward, a bailey formed around the motte or artificial hill in the centre of the ward; the motte is 50 feet high and is made from chalk excavated from the surrounding ditch. The keep, called the Round Tower, on the top of the motte is based on an original 12th-century building, extended upwards in the early 19th century under architect Jeffry Wyatville by 30 ft to produce a more imposing height and silhouette; the interior of the Round Tower was further redesigned in 1991–3 to provide additional space for the Royal Archives, an additional room being built in the space left by Wyatville's hollow extension. The Round Tower is in reality far from cylindrical, due to the shape and structure of the motte beneath it; the current height of the tower has been criticised as being disproportionate to its width. The western entrance to the Middle Ward is now open, a gateway leads north from the ward onto the North Terrace.
The eastern exit from the ward is guarded by the Norman Gatehouse. This gatehouse, despite its name, dates from the 14th century, is vaulted and decorated with carvings, including surviving medieval lion masks, traditional symbols of majesty, to form an impressive entrance to the Upper Ward. Wyatville redesigned the exterior of the gatehouse, the interior was heavily converted in the 19th century for residential use; the Upper Ward of Windsor Castle comprises a number of major buildings enclosed by the upper bailey wall, forming a central quadrangle. The State Apartments run along the north of the ward, with a range of buildings along the east wall, the private royal apartments and the King George IV Gate to the south, with the Edward III Tower in the south-west corner; the motte and the Round Tower form the west edge of the ward. A bronze statue of Charles II on horseback sits beneath the Round Tower. Inspired by Hubert Le Sueur's statue of Charles I in London, the statue was cast by Josias Ibach in 1679, with the marble plinth featuring carvings
Kew Gardens is a botanical garden in southwest London that houses the "largest and most diverse botanical and mycological collections in the world". Founded in 1840, from the exotic garden at Kew Park in Middlesex, its living collections include more than 30,000 different kinds of plants, while the herbarium, one of the largest in the world, has over seven million preserved plant specimens; the library contains more than 750,000 volumes, the illustrations collection contains more than 175,000 prints and drawings of plants. It is a World Heritage Site. Kew Gardens, together with the botanic gardens at Wakehurst Place in Sussex, are managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, an internationally important botanical research and education institution that employs 750 staff and is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs; the Kew site, dated as formally starting in 1759, though it can be traced back to the exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Lord Henry Capell of Tewkesbury, consists of 132 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses, four Grade I listed buildings, 36 Grade II listed structures, all set in an internationally significant landscape.
It is listed Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Kew Gardens has its own police force, Kew Constabulary, in operation since 1847. Kew consists of the gardens themselves and a small surrounding community. Royal residences in the area which would influence the layout and construction of the gardens began in 1299 when Edward I moved his court to a manor house in neighbouring Richmond; that manor house was abandoned. Around the start of the 16th century courtiers attending Richmond Palace settled in Kew and built large houses. Early royal residences at Kew included Mary Tudor's house, in existence by 1522 when a driveway was built to connect it to the palace at Richmond. Around 1600, the land that would become the gardens was known as Kew Field, a large field strip farmed by one of the new private estates; the exotic garden at Kew Park, formed by Lord Capel John of Tewkesbury, was enlarged and extended by Augusta, Dowager Princess of Wales, the widow of Frederick, Prince of Wales.
The origins of Kew Gardens can be traced to the merging of the royal estates of Richmond and Kew in 1772. William Chambers built several garden structures, including the lofty Chinese pagoda built in 1761 which still remains. George III enriched the gardens, aided by Sir Joseph Banks; the old Kew Park, was demolished in 1802. The "Dutch House" adjoining was purchased by George III in 1781 as a nursery for the royal children, it is a plain brick structure now known as Kew Palace. Some early plants came from the walled garden established by William Coys at Stubbers in North Ockendon; the collections grew somewhat haphazardly until the appointment of the first collector, Francis Masson, in 1771. Capability Brown, who became England's most renowned landscape architect, applied for the position of master gardener at Kew, was rejected. In 1840 the gardens were adopted as a national botanical garden, in large part due to the efforts of the Royal Horticultural Society and its president William Cavendish.
Under Kew's director, William Hooker, the gardens were increased to 30 hectares and the pleasure grounds, or arboretum, extended to 109 hectares, to its present size of 121 hectares. The first curator was John Smith; the Palm House was built by architect Decimus Burton and iron-maker Richard Turner between 1844 and 1848, was the first large-scale structural use of wrought iron. It is considered "the world's most important surviving Victorian glass and iron structure"; the structure's panes of glass are all hand-blown. The Temperate House, twice as large as the Palm House, followed in the 19th century, it is now the largest Victorian glasshouse in existence. Kew was the location of the successful effort in the 19th century to propagate rubber trees for cultivation outside South America. In February 1913, the Tea House was burned down by suffragettes Olive Wharry and Lilian Lenton during a series of arson attacks in London. Kew Gardens lost hundreds of trees in the Great Storm of 1987. From 1959 to 2007 Kew Gardens had the tallest flagpole in Britain.
Made from a single Douglas-fir from Canada, it was given to mark both the centenary of the Canadian Province of British Columbia and the bicentenary of Kew Gardens. The flagpole was removed after damage by weather and woodpeckers made it a danger. In July 2003, the gardens were put on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. A five-year, £41 million revamp of the Temperate House was completed in May 2018, it opened to the public on May 6. Treetop walkwayA canopy walkway, opened in 2008, takes visitors on a 200 metres walk 18 metres above the ground, in the tree canopy of a woodland glade. Visitors can descend by stairs and by a lift; the walkway floor is perforated metal and flexes under foot. It was designed by David Marks; the accompanying photograph shows a section of the walkway, including the steel supports, which were designed to rust to a tree-like appearance to help the walkway fit in visually with its surroundings. A short video detailing the construction of the walkway is available online.
Sackler Crossing The Sackler Crossing bridge, made of granite and bronze, opened in May 2006. Designed by Buro Happold and John Pawson, it crosses the lake and is named in honour of phil
Lady Margaret Beaufort
Lady Margaret Beaufort was the mother of King Henry VII and paternal grandmother of King Henry VIII of England. She was a key figure in an influential matriarch of the House of Tudor, she is credited with the establishment of two prominent Cambridge colleges, founding Christ's College in 1505 and beginning the development of St John's College, completed posthumously by her executors in 1511. Lady Margaret Hall, the first Oxford college to admit women, is named after her and has a statue of her in the college chapel, she was the daughter and sole heiress of John Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, a great-grandson of King Edward III through his third surviving son, John of Gaunt by Katherine Swynford. Margaret was born at Bletsoe Castle, Bedfordshire, on either 31 May 1441 or, more on 31 May 1443; the day and month are not disputed, as she required Westminster Abbey to celebrate her birthday on 31 May. The year of her birth is more uncertain. William Dugdale, the 17th-century antiquary, suggested that she may have been born in 1441, based on evidence of inquisitions post mortem taken after the death of her father.
Dugdale has been followed by a number of Margaret's biographers. At the moment of her birth, Margaret's father was preparing to go to France and lead an important military expedition for King Henry VI. Somerset negotiated with the king to ensure that in case of his death the rights to Margaret's wardship and marriage would be granted only to his wife; as a tenant-in-chief of the crown the wardship of his heir fell to the crown under the feudal system. Somerset fell out with the king after coming back from France and was banished from the royal court pending a charge of treason against him, he died shortly afterwards. According to Thomas Basin, Somerset died of illness, but the Crowland Chronicle reported that his death was suicide. Margaret, as his only child, was heiress to his fortune. Upon her first birthday, the king broke the arrangement with Margaret's father and granted the wardship of her extensive lands to William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk, although Margaret herself remained in the custody of her mother.
Margaret's mother was pregnant at the time of Somerset's death, but the child did not survive and Margaret remained the sole heir. Although she was her father's only legitimate child, Margaret had two maternal half-brothers and three maternal half-sisters from her mother's first marriage whom she supported after her son's accession to the throne. Margaret was married to John de la Pole; the wedding may have been held between 28 January and 7 February 1444, when she was a year old but no more than three. However, there is more evidence to suggest they were married in January 1450, after Suffolk had been arrested and was looking to secure his son's future. Papal dispensation was granted on 18 August 1450, necessary because the spouses were too related, this concurs with the date of marriage. Margaret never recognised this marriage. Three years the marriage was dissolved and King Henry VI granted Margaret's wardship to his own half-brothers and Edmund Tudor. In her will, made in 1472, Margaret refers to Edmund Tudor as her first husband.
Under canon law, Margaret was not bound by the marriage contract as she was entered into the marriage before reaching the age of twelve. Before the annulment of her first marriage, Henry VI chose Margaret as a bride for his half-brother, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond. Edmund was the eldest son of Catherine of Valois, by Owen Tudor. Margaret was 12 when she married the 24-year-old Edmund Tudor on 1 November 1455; the Wars of the Roses had just broken out. He died of the plague in captivity at Carmarthen on 3 November 1456, leaving a 13-year-old widow, seven months pregnant with their child. Taken into the care of her brother-in-law Jasper, at Pembroke Castle, the Countess gave birth on 28 January 1457 to her only child, Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII of England; the birth was difficult. She never gave birth again. Margaret and her son remained in Pembroke until the York triumphs of 1461 saw the castle pass to Lord Herbert of Raglan. From the age of two, Henry lived with his father's family in Wales, from the age of fourteen, he lived in exile in France.
During this period, the relationship between mother and son was sustained by letters and a few visits. The Countess always respected the memory of Edmund as the father of her only child. In 1472, sixteen years after his death, Margaret specified in her will that she wanted to be buried alongside Edmund though she had enjoyed a long and close relationship with her third husband, who had died in 1471. On 3 January 1458, the teenaged Margaret married Sir Henry Stafford, son of Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham. A dispensation for the marriage, necessary because Margaret and Stafford were second cousins, was granted on 6 April 1457; the Countess enjoyed a long and harmonious marital relationship during her marriage to Stafford and they were given somewhat ruinous Woking Palace where Margaret sometimes retreated and which she restored. Margaret and her husband were given 400 marks' worth of land by Buckingham, but Margaret's own estates were still the main source of income, their marriage bore no children.
In 1471, Stafford
In heraldry, sometimes referred to as attendants, are figures or objects placed on either side of the shield and depicted holding it up. Early forms of supporters are found in medieval seals. However, unlike the coronet or helmet and crest, supporters were not part of early medieval heraldry; as part of the heraldic achievement, they first become fashionable towards the end of the 15th century, but in the 17th century were not part of the full heraldic achievement. The figures used as supporters may be based on real or imaginary animals, human figures, in rare cases plants or other inanimate objects, such as the pillars of Hercules of the coat of arms of Spain; as in other elements of heraldry, these can have local significance, such as the fisherman and the tin miner granted to Cornwall County Council, or a historical link. The arms of nutritionist John Boyd-Orr use two'garbs' as supporters. Letters of the alphabet are used as supporters in the arms of Spain. Human supporters can be allegorical figures, or, more specifically named individuals.
There is one supporter on each side of the shield, though there are some examples of single supporters placed behind the shield, such as the imperial eagle of the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire. The arms of the Congo provide an unusual example of two supporters issuing from behind the shield. While such single supporters are eagles with one or two heads, there are other examples, including the cathedra in the case of some Canadian cathedrals. At the other extreme and rarer, the Scottish chief Dundas of that Ilk had three supporters: two conventional red lions and the whole supported by a salamander; the coat of arms of Iceland has four supporters. The context of the application of supporters may vary, although entitlement may be considered conditioned by grant of a type of augmentation of honour by admission in orders of chivalry or by heraldic authorities, such as in the case of traditional British heraldry. Animal supporters are, by default, as close to rampant as possible, if the nature of the supporter allows it, though there are some blazoned exceptions.
An example of whales'non-rampant' is the arms of the Dutch municipality of Zaanstad. Older writers trace origins of supporters to their usages in tournaments, where the shields of the combatants were exposed for inspection, guarded by their servants or pages disguised in fanciful attire. However, medieval Scottish seals afford numerous examples in which the 13th and 14th century shields were placed between two creatures resembling lizards or dragons; the seal of John, Duke of Normandy, eldest son of the King of France, before 1316 bears his arms as. In Canada, Companions of the Order of Canada, Commanders of the Order of Military Merit, Commanders of the Royal Victorian Order: people granted the style the Right Honourable, corporations are granted the use of supporters on their coats of arms. Further, on his retirement from office as Chief Herald, Robert Watt was granted supporters as an honour. In France, writers made a distinctive difference on the subject of supporters, giving the name of Supports to animals, real or imaginary, thus employed.
Trees and other inanimate objects which are sometimes used are called Soutiens. Knights Grand Companion and Principal Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit are granted the use of heraldic supporters. In England, supporters were regarded as little more than mere decorative and artistic appendages. In the United Kingdom, supporters are an example of special royal favour, granted at the behest of the sovereign. Hereditary supporters are limited to hereditary peers, certain members of the Royal Family, to some chiefs of Scottish clans. Non-hereditary supporters are granted to life peers and Ladies of the Order of the Garter and Order of the Thistle and Dames Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Order of St Michael and St George, Royal Victorian Order and Order of the British Empire, Bailiffs and Dames Grand Cross of the Order of St John. Knights banneret were granted non-hereditary supporters, but no such knight has been created since the time of Charles I. Supporters may be granted to corporations which have a royal charter.
The Celtic harp is a square harp traditional to Ireland and Scotland. It is known as cláirseach in clàrsach in Scottish Gaelic. In Ireland and Scotland, it was a wire-strung instrument requiring great skill and long practice to play, was associated with the Gaelic ruling class, it appears on Irish and British coins and coat of arms of the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada. The early history of the triangular frame harp in Europe is contested; the first instrument associated with the harping tradition in the Gaelic world was known as a cruit. This word may have described a different stringed instrument, being etymologically related to the Welsh crwth, it has been suggested that the word clàrsach / cláirseach was coined for the triangular frame harp which replaced the cruit, that this coining was of Scottish origin. Three of the four oldest authentic harps to survive are of Gaelic provenance: the Trinity College Harp preserved in Trinity College Dublin, the Queen Mary Harp and the Lamont Harp in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
The last two are examples of the small low-headed harp, are both made from hornbeam, a wood not native to Scotland or Ireland. All three are dated to the 15th century and may have been made in Argyll in western Scotland. Many “Irish” harps from periods have no provenance and could be of Scottish origin; the Norman-Welsh cleric and scholar Gerald of Wales, whose Topographica Hibernica et Expugnatio Hibernica is a description of Ireland from the Anglo-Norman point of view, praised Irish harp music, but added that, in the opinion of many, the Scots had now surpassed them in that skill. Gerald refers to the cythara and the tympanum, but their identification with the harp is uncertain, it is not known that he visited Scotland. Scotland, because of her affinity and intercourse, tries to imitate Ireland in music and strives in emulation. Ireland uses and delights in two instruments only, the harp namely, the tympanum. Scotland uses three, the harp, the tympanum, the crowd. In the opinion, however, of many, Scotland has by now not only caught up on Ireland, her instructor, but far outdistances her and excels her in musical skill.
Therefore, people now look to that country as the fountain of the art. Early images of the clàrsach are not common in Scottish iconography, but a gravestone at Kiells, in Argyllshire, dating from about 1500, shows one with a large soundbox, decorated with Gaelic designs; the Irish Maedoc book shrine dates from the 11th century, shows a harper with a triangular framed harp including a "T-Section" in the pillar. The Irish word lamhchrann or Scottish Gaelic làmh-chrann came into use at an unknown date to indicate this pillar which would have supplied the bracing to withstand the tension of a wire-strung harp. Three pre-16th-century examples survive today. One of the largest and most complete collections of 17th–18th century harp music is the work of Turlough O'Carolan, a blind, itinerant Irish harper and composer. At least 220 of his compositions survive to this day. In construction the Irish and Scottish harps may in general be considered as one. A characteristic feature is the metal strings. Historical sources mention various types including brass and iron.
The wires were attached to a massive soundbox carved from a single log of willow, although other woods including alder and poplar have been identified in extant harps. This harp had a reinforced curved pillar and a substantial neck, flanked with thick brass cheek bands; the strings played with the fingernails, produced a brilliant ringing sound. This type of harp is unique amongst single row triangular harps in that the first two strings tuned in the middle of the gamut were set to the same pitch. In Scottish Gaelic, the names of the components of the clàrsach were as follows: amhach cnagan corr com làmh-chrann teudan cruidhean nan teud urshnaim; the corr had a brass strap nailed to each side, pierced by tapered brass tuning pins. The treble end had a tenon. On a low-headed harp the corr was morticed at the bass end to receive a tenon on the làmh-chrann; the com was carved from a single piece of willow, hollowed out from behind. A panel of harder timber was inserted to close the back. Cruidhean nan teud were made of brass and prevented the metal strings from cutting into the wood of the soundbox.
The urshnaim may refer to the wooden toggle to which a string was fastened once it had emerged from its hole in the soundboard. The playing of the wire-strung harp has been described as difficult; because of the long-lasting resonance, the performer had to dampen strings which had just been played while new strings were being plucked, this while playing rapidly. Contrary to conventional modern practice, the left hand played the right the bass, it was said that a player should begin to learn the harp no than the age of seven. The best modern players have shown, that reasonable competence may be achieved at a age. During the medieval period the wire-strung harp was in demand throughout the Gaelic territories, which stretched from the northern Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland to the south of Ireland; the Gaelic worlds of Scotland and Ire