Order of the Bath N/A

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725.  The name derives from the medieval custom for appointing a knight, which involved bathing him as a symbol of purification.  The Order consists of the Sovereign, the Great Master (the Prince of Wales or other royal Duke), and three classes of members:  Knight Grand Cross (or Dame Grand Cross) of which there are 120; Knight Commander (or Dame Commander) of which there are 355; and 1,925 Companions.  Regular membership is limited to citizens of the United Kingdom and of other Commonwealth countries of which the Queen is Sovereign. Commonwealth citizens not subjects of the Queen and foreigners may be made Honorary Members.  Recipients of the Order are now usually senior military officers or senior civil servants.

Rules and regulations have changed over the years. In 1815 it was restructured to allow admittance to the many officers who had distinguished themselves during the Napoleonic Wars. Further revisions were introduced by Queen Victoria in 1847 and 1859.  In 1971 women were admitted to the Order for the first time.  

The Order requires its members to wear ceremonial dress on formal occasions, held at Henry VII Chapel in Westminster Abbey.  The mantle, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of crimson satin lined with white taffeta.  On the left side is a representation of the star of the Order. The mantle is bound with two large tassels.  The hat, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commander, is made of black velvet adorned by an upright plume of feathers.  The gold collarworn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, consists of depictions of nine imperial crowns and eight sets of flowers connected by seventeen silver knots.  The star that is attached to the mantle for military Knights of Grand Cross is a Maltese Cross atop an eight-pointed silver star. For Knights Commander and Dame Commanders the star is a silver cross patée.  In the centre of each are three crowns surrounded by a red circle bearing in gold letters the motto of the Order – Tria juncta in una, believed to refer to the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.  The circle is flanked by two laurel branches above a scroll with the motto of the Prince of Wales, Ich dien. The star worn by civil Knights and Dames Grand Cross consists only of an eight-pointed silver star, i.e. without the Maltese Cross and the laurel leaves with the words Ich dien.  Knights and Dames Grand Cross wear the badge on a riband or sash, passing from the right shoulder to the left hip.  Knights Commander and male Companions wear the badge from a ribbon worn around the neck.

Seat / Residence(s): Henry VII Chapel Westminster Abbey
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Title: Order of the Bath (Stamp 1)
Arms: Three royal crowns
Order: Bath
Dimensions (height x width): 57mm x 57mm
Impalement: Arms of George I
Heraldic Charges: crowns, imperial (3)
Title: Order of the Bath (Stamp 2)
Arms: Three royal crowns, a rose, and a thistle
Motto: In uno tria juncta
Order: Bath
Dimensions (height x width): 68mm x 60mm
Heraldic Charges: crowns, imperial (3), Heraldic Charges: rose, Heraldic Charges: thistle