Heraldry of the Order

The Origins and the Evolution of the Cross of the Order


While in Palestine and during the first two centuries which followed their retreat to Europe the members of the Order wore only a simple cross of green fabric sewn to the front of their robe or tunic as well as on the left side of their mantle. It was in all likelihood at the beginning of the 12th century that the Hospitallers of Saint Lazarus adopted this badge to differentiate themselves from the warrior monks of the Order of the Temple, who wore a red cross moline; the Hospitallers of Saint John, who wore a white cross of the same general shape, but which in the course of time sharpened its extremities to become the familiar eight-pointed cross later known as that of Malta; and the Teutonic Order, the black cross of which is the ancestor of the martial Prussian iron cross.

Some have seen a symbolic challenge to the infidels in the Order's choice of green, the colour identified with the prophet Mohammed. There is no harm in accepting this tradition which would transform the colour of the Order's cross into a "prize of war" in the fashion of a flag captured from the enemy. As I have stated before, however, a more symphathetic explanation for the use of the colour green is found in the tradition that its adoption waqs a sign of respect and gratitude toards Saladin fter the fall of Jerusalem.


In 1314 Sigried de Flatte, Commander of Seedorf, imposed a rule on his knights which prescribed they would wear on the front of their habit, on their mantle and on their harness a square green cross. The chapel of the commandery at Boigny, unfortunately destroyed in the 17th century, contained the tombs of some of the Masters, specifically those of Thomas de Sainville (1312) and Jehan de Paris (1349), both of whom wore the square green cross sewn to their mantles. On 15 April 1419, Robert le Conte, Commander of the commandery of Saint-Antoine-de-Grattemont, received the visit to the commandery of King Charles VI. In his welcoming address, he mentioned the rule by which the tenants, domestics and commandery servants were required to wear a green cross on their habit. Thus, the badge of the Order was not reserved exclusively for its members, but in fact had to be worn by all associated with it, regardless of their condition, thus making up what might be described as a Saint Lazarus "clan". Precious though mutilated relics of the Order can still be seen in this Norman commandery. These relics, which have survived the civil and religious wars, the Revolution of 1789 and the fighting which followed the June 1944 landings, are eloquent enough to give an excellent lesson in heraldry. The effigies erected to the memory of Pierre Pottier (c. 1485), also known as Conflans, Commander of Grattemont, and La Lande Daron, Vicar-General of Grand Master Guillaume Desmares, bear witness to the shape of the cross, the fashion of wearing it on clothing and on armour, the arms of the Order and its incorporation into the blazon of one of its dignitaries. The existence in the second half of the 15th century of a cross dependent from a ribbon around the neck foreshadows the insignia which would become so important two hundred years later.


While on the subject of the shape of the cross, we note that c. 1480 it was interchangeably a Latin or Greek one, that its branches were either cut off squarely or were slightly potent or patty. These nuances are often barely perceptible and might be attributed to the hesitation of the hand of the artist were it not for other documents of those times and of the following centuries which confirmed that the "primitive" square cross had a tendency to become more stylised.


An important occurence in the history of the Order was to speed-up this evolution. The Bull issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1489 joined the Order of Saint Lazarus to that of Saint John of Jerusalem. After more than half a century of passive resistance, the Order of Saint Lazarus agreed to be led by Grand Masters belonging to the Order of Saint John (1557). Membership in both Orders obliged the knights to wear both crosses simultaneously, and it was decided, as much for the sake of convenience as for elegance, to combine them into one, superimposing the slightly smaller cross of Saint Lazarus on the larger cross of Saint John, thus resulting in an eight pointed cross vert with a bordure argent. It seems, however, that this new insignia was for a while reserved for the Grand Masters, because when François Salviati held a chapter at Boigny in 1578, he described the cross to be worn by the knights as "an eight-pointed cross vert", without mentioning the white border.


In 1608, when the Order of Saint Lazarus was joined to that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the octagonal cross was quartered of the colours of each Order, that is amaranth (purple) and green, and it remained so until 1778 when it was changed back to the original green, the colour which to this day remains the distinctive mark of the Order. The only vestige of the colour of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in the Order of Saint Lazarus is the broad ribbon of the grade of knight commander which is green with a amaranth border.


The Arms of the Order


The oldest authentic example of the arms of the Order which has come down to us appears on the seal of Jacques de Besnes. Its matrix was kept in François Cardinal de Zelada's museum in Rome. Today, an impression of it can be found in the Smitmer-Loschner collection in the National Archives in Vienna. The seal was affixed to a document dated 1382 by "Brother Jacques de Abenis (de Besnes), Knight, Master of Saint Lazarus citra and ultra mare". This is a typical example of an equestrian seal depicting a mounted horseman in full harness galloping on a caparisoned horse while holding his sword high and carrying a triangular shaped shield charged with a cross. The field of the shield is lozengy with a point in the centre of each lozenge, but this is only an ornamental design used to break the monotony of the background; heraldically it is "diapered". Though the tinctures are not shown (hatching only came into use in the 17th century) the blazon can be assumed to be "Argent a cross vert".


A second version of the arms of the Order appears a century later at the comandery of Saint-Antoine-de-Grattemont. They may be seen on the pedestal of the statute of the saint bearing and inscription to the memory of Commander Pottier. The shield bears a Latin cross,the extremeties of which are slightly patty and do not reach the edge of the shield. A scroll on each side of the helm indicates that they are the arms of the Order of Saint Lazarus.


The seal used a century later by the Commander of Seedorf illustrates a third variant: a quartered shield in which the equal branches of the cross are clearly patty and join the edge of the shield. Grand Master Salviati, however, during the same period quartered "Argent a cross vert" of classic shape just as Jacques de Besne had done two hundred years before. From the time of the first Nerestang Grand Master to the magistracy of the Count of Provence, amaranth and green are to be seen on the arms of the Order, the former disappearing towards the end of the 18th century.


The Inclusion of the Cross in the Arms of the Knights


No documents are available to us from before the end of the 15th century to show how the knights of the Order indicated their membership in it. If one applies the custom used by the Order of Saint John, members of Saint Lazarus would place the cross in the field of the shield itself, either in the dexrer canton or in the centre-point. The arms of Pierre Pottier, Commander of Saint-Antoine-de-Grattemont show that this custom was in use in 1480. Pottier placed in the centre of the shield between the three flowerpots of his coat of arms a slightly patty Greek cross.


Other examples depict the badge of the Order outside the shield as a crest alone or held by an heraldic animal, such as the lion proudly brandishing the eight-pointed cross in his forepaws on the crest of the Commander of Seedorf.


It was only at the beginning of the 17th century that the Order adopted the use of the "chief of religion" (Argent a cross vert) which the knights placed over their family arms. It must be pointed out, however, some of them did not observe this rule, either because they considered it somewhat high-handed, or because they felt that it marred the aesthetic purity of their arms, especially if these already featured a chief.


Heraldic Usage as practiced by the Grand Masters


According to the description of the tomb of Jacques de Besnes (Boigny, fourteenth century), this Master of Saint Lazarus placed a Cross over his shield as a mark of his dignity. The Armorials of the Order show all the heads of the Order from the beginning up to Jean de Conti superimposing their arms over a simple cross vert. This cross became an eight-pointed cross vert bordered argent as of the magistracy of Jean de Levis. Gautier de Sibert tells us that around 1580 François Salviati had his arms painted or sculpted in various parts of the chateau at Boigny. These were: "Quarterly, I and IV, Argent, a Cross Vert (The Order), and II and III, Gules, three garden Rakes Argent (Salviati)". These were placed under a chief of the Order of Saint John (Gules, a Cross Argent), of which the Grand Master was a knight.


We shall not comment here on the unusual position of the chief of religion of the Order of Saint John, but will limit ourselves to stating that the method of quartering the shield was the most common at the end of the sixteenth century. It is possible that Salviati's immediate predecessors also made use of it, but, if so, we have no evidence of it.


The Commander of Seedorf, a contemporary of Salviati's, used a seal which showed: "Quarterly, I and IV, the arms of the Order, and II and III, a Lion." This might tend to show that quartering was not as yet considered to be the exclusive privilege of the Grand Master, or it could indicate that the said Commander was of an independent nature, not to say somewhat bull-headed. From the magistracies of the Nerestangs to the present day, quartering is the rule. When the Marquis de Louvois was named Vicar-General (not Grand Master), King Louis XIV. stipulated that Louvois would have all the rights and prerogatives of the Grand Master but would not be entitled to the external signs (i.e. the quarterings). A glance at his arms shows that he only bears the chief of religion over those of his family. Privately, however, Louvois had the books in his library stamped with quartered arms.


The quarters were reversed under the magistracies of the Duke of Berry and the Count of Provence in respect of their arms, which are those of France, as it was felt that those of the Order should not precede them. Thus, these Grand Masters bore: "Quarterly, I and IV, Azure, three Fleur-de-lys Or (France), and II and III, Argent, a Cross Vert (The Order)".


Crosses, Cordons and Collars of the Order


As opposed to the royal or dynastic orders, the military and hospitaller orders adopted metal and enamel insignia rather late. While the knights of the Garter, the Golden Fleece, Saint Michael and other illustrious institutions began in the sixteenth century to wear delicately engraved collars from which depended jewelled trinkets, the knights of Saint John and Saint Lazarus only wore a cloth badge in the form of a cross sewn on their monastic robes or tunics.


Effigies of Knights of Saint Lazarus in armour can be seen on the pedestal of the chapel of the commandery at Sainte-Antoine-de-Grattemont. They wear a large cross hanging from a cordon around the neck. Perhaps this cross is the rustic ancestor of the more and more elaborate insignia which were to be worn by the members in the following centuries. In the last third of the sixteenth century, the neck insignia was a Maltese Cross enamelled vert and bordered argent; it was the same type of cross, but without the bordure, which the duc de Savoie joined to the white cross botonny of his Order of Saint Maurice when he swallowed the priory of Capua of Saint Lazarus in 1572.


In 1608, King Henry IV. decided to join the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel to that of Saint Lazarus, and Philibert de Nerestang, Grand Master of the united Orders, had to create new insignia just as Jean de Levis and Emmanuel de Savoie had been forced to do under similar circumstances. When Pope Paul V authorised the foundation of the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, he ruled on the insignia to be worn by the knights. Palliot, the noted French seventeenth century heraldist, described it as follows in 1660: "The knights would wear on their mantle an embroidered satin or velvet eight-pointed amaranth (purple) coloured cross, bordered in silver and surrounded by golden rays and charged in the centre with a couped Virgin holding her Son Jesus. They would also wear hanging from an amaranth ribbon a gold and enamelled cross of the same colours charged in the centre with a medallion of Our Lady". Two years later, the "Estat de la France", the general almanach of the times, described both of these crosses as a cross "moline" rather than a "Maltese" one. This is the cross to which Nerestang will add that of Saint Lazarus. Gautier de Sibbert describes the insignia of the united Orders as "an eight-pointed cross Or, with fleurs de lys at the angles, the obverse enamelled amaranth and charged in the centre with an image of the Blessed Virgin and the reverse enamelled vert and charged in the centre with the image of Saint Lazarus."


Before this model became the official one (under Nerestang IV), the insignia of the Order were to go through a longer period of hesitation. The "Instructions, Rules and Statutes" of 1649 state that the embroidered mantle cross was amaranth with a silver border and that in the centre there would be a medallion of the Virgin surrounded by golden rays. They also state that the cross hanging from the sash (worn from the right shoulder to the left hip) would be "an eight-pointed and pommetted cross Or, in the angles of which would be four fleur-de-lys of the same metal". The text states, however, that this is a "double cross", the first and larger of the two is that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is in amaranth enamel, while the second, smaller in size, is that of Saint Lazarus in green enamel, and it is superimposed on the larger and charged with an oval medallion of the Virgin".


A leather bookbinding of the year 1700 belonging to Grand Master Dangeau shows the arms of Courcillon (his family) on a non-pommetted cross of Saint Lazarus covering a cross almost entirley, which is definitely a cross moline of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. In this case, the more ancient of the two Orders clearly affirms its pre-eminence over the other.


In 1664 Charles-Achilles de Nerestang decided that "a white orle would be placed around the edge of the large cross, that the lesser one placed on the larger would be gold enamelled with green flames and bordered with an amaranth orle, that the figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary would be enamelled white, and that she would appear sitting on a green mount, and that the cordon from which it hung would be white moiréd silk". This model showed a certain lack of aesthetic taste, was foreign to the traditions of the Order and was never implemented. Many knights faithful to these traditions persisted in wearing, in spite of magistral rulings, the simple green Maltese cross with a white bordure, similar to that worn before 1608. These fundamentalists rejected Our Lady of Mount Carmel.


The white bordure became the cause of controversy. The knights of the united Orders had a tendency to make the bordure excessively wide, resulting in the insignia being difficult to differentiate from those of the Royal Order of the Holy Ghost. At a Chapter of this Order held in 1619, it was decided to ask King Louis XIII. to put an end to this impudence. The King's intervention had little lasting effect, because the controversy kept flaring up from time to time, notably at the marquis de Dangeau's funeral in 1720, where members of both Orders confronted each other across the coffin, all on account of the white bordure.


The cross described by Gautier de Sibert has, since the end of the seventeenth century, become the official model, while the emblem sewn on the mantle consisted of an eight-pointed cross bearing the colours of both Orders, ie amaranth and green. As for the ribbon, it dropped the amaranth and became the colour of fire, both of which are equally difficult to describe. In about 1750 the motto "Dieu et mon Roi" was added and a crown was placed over the cross. At the Chapter General held in 1774 at the Church of Saint Louis in Versailles the Count of Provence enjoined his professed knights and commanders to wear the green cross both on their everyday clothing and on their mantles for the ceremonies of the Order. The star which was derived from the fabric cross and which was, until then, amaranth embellished by sequins, was henceforth green. In 1778, Provence decided that senior officers and generals would superimpose a simple silver cross on it bearing the motto "Atavis et Armis" as well as the initals SL and ND.


Before closing the subject of the cross, mention must be made of the "croix d'ecole" (the school cross) which was awarded to the most promising students of the Military School. nitially, it was a reduced size model of the cross worn by the knights, but as of 1779 it became a simple cross of Our Lady of Mount Carmel enamelled amaranth, charged on the obverse with the traditional medallion and on the reverse with three fleur-de-lys.


The history of the collar of Saint Lazarus, as opposed to that of the other insignia of the Order, does not entail a long development. It appeared rather late, was only just accepted by the King and the Royal Orders, and was seldom worn by the knights who preferred to use it as an external additament to their coats of arms. The custom of wearing a decorated chain bearing various symbols from which hung the cross of Saint Lazarus does not seem to have begun before the seventeenth century. There is a stone statue in the chapel of Saint-Antoine-de-Grattemont which, though mutilated, shows a knight in armour of the fifteenth century, wearing a chain with rather large links. One of these of a larger diameter than the others is decorated with a square cross similar to that which the knights of the Order wore sewn on their mantles. The statue is doubtless the effigy of a saint, but it may be asked whether the sculptor employed by the commandery did not sculpt the insignia at the request of the commander and whether this insignia in in fact the precursor of the collar.


At the end of the sixteenth century the metal green enamelled cross was attached to a silk cord, a simple chain or a rosary, the use of which might have been introduced by the Grand Masters who were also of the Order of Malta. The first example of this collar, which appears to date from the middle of the seventeenth century, is a rosary of black pearls with the initials SL, MA surrounded by gold and enamel palms placed in saltire, alternating after every fifth pearl. The waning of the religious character of the Order resulted in the elimination of the rosary and the substitution of symbolic figures soldered one to the other in a heavy chain where gold predominates. As with the embroidered cross on the mantle, one can note here the desire to emulate the sumptuousness of the regalia of the Royal Orders. While the King never forbade the wearing of the collar of the Order neither did he ever give his authorisation for its use. From the time of the magistracy of Dangeau to the end of the eighteenth century, the knights wore the collar with a discretion which honours not only their modesty but also their good sense.

Arms of the Grand Masters


Illustrated and described by Confrere Xavier Bastard, CLJ, Chancellor and Heraldic Officer of the Commandery of New Caledonia, approved by the Judge of Arms, Chevalier Dennis Endean Ivall, GCLJ.


Based on 18th century manuscripts by Chevalier Claude Dorat de Chameuelles and Chevalier Vincent Thomassin in the French National Archives, with additional research by Chevalier James J. Algrant y Cañete and Chevalier Jean de Saint Vincent de Beaugourdon for the Order’s History and Armorial "Ordo Sancti Lazari MCMLXXXIII".


Blessed Gerard (108? - c 1118)

Master of the Hospital of Jerusalem. Also known as Gerard de Tum, Tom, Thoms, Tunc, Tenque, all of which are in error and are derived from a faulty reading of a XVIth century manuscript. His name is much more likely to have been Gerard de Martigues, from the locality in Provence where he was born. The arms attributed to him by the heraldist, Dorat de Chameulles, are those of the family of Saint Didier. A XVIth century historian claims, without an iota of proof, that Gerard is issued from this family. Azure, a Lion rampant Argent. Other authors whimsically attribute Gules, a Mountain Or to him.

  Boyant Roger (1120 - 1131)

Rector of the Hospital of Saint John (1120) then Master of the Hospitallers of Saint Lazarus. There are several noble families named de Roger, Rosiers, Rousiers who have taken roses as a charge for their canting arms. Those of Boyant Roger, however, do not allow us to link him to any of them. They are: Azure, three Roses Or, leaved Vert.


Jean (... 1131 ....)

Surname and arms are unknown.


Barthélémy (... 1153 ....)

Surname and arms are unknown.


Itier (... 1154 ....)

Surname and arms are unknown.

Hughes de Saint-Pol (... 1155 ...)

The authors who mentioned him seem to have ignored his arms. He came from the family of de Candavène who were counts of Saint-Pol in Artois. Their arms were: Azure, five Garbs crosswise Or.

Raymond du Puy (1157-1159)

He followed Gerard de Martigues as head of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. He allegedly contracted leprosy and became Master of Saint Lazarus. He came from the family of du Puy Montbrun which bears: Or, a Lion rampant Gules.


Rainier (... 1164 ...)

He is not found in the armorials of the Order and his surname is unknown.

Gerard de Montclar (... 1169 ...)

Came from the de Montclar family in Auvergne which bore: Azure, a Chief Or.



Surname and arms are unknown.

Gautier de Neufchâtel or de Châteauneuf (... 1228)

Like his nine predecessors his arms for not appear in Dorat de Chameulles' armorial. He may have been Commander of Burton Lazars before becoming Grand Master of the Order. There is an ancient Burgundian family of Neufchâtel also known as Châteauneuf which bore: Gules, a Bend Argent; however, this family does not seem to have seen service in the Holy Land. On the other hand, the house of Châteauneuf de Rochebonne in the Forez region of France supplied many Crusaders and Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem including Guillaume de Châteauneuf who was Grand Master of that Order. Gautier most likely comes from this family of the Forez and bore: Gules, three Castles Or.

Raynaud de Flory (1234 - 1254)

The Florys were notables in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, but the origin of their arms is unknown. There wasa Flory family in the French region of Cambrai which bore: Gules, a Lion rampant Argent, on a Chief Or, three Roses Sable. A Flory de Fouqueroi who was Prior of France of the Hospitallers of Saint John circa 1200 bore: Azure, a Chevron Or between two Mullets in chief and in base an Acorn Or. One might be tempted to see in this Prior a relative of Raymond but in this case it appears that Flory is a baptismal name rather than a surname.

Jean de Meaux (... 1267 ...)

Titled Preceptor-General of the Order. The original arms of the de Meaux family were: Argent, a Fess Gules.Several members of this family were known to have taken the Cross and one of these may have been Jean (?) who escorted Our Lord's Crown of Thorns from the Holy Land to the Sainte Chapelle in Paris. As a reward, King Louis IX of France awarded the de Meaux: Argent, five Crowns of Thorns Sable, two, two and one.

Thomas de Sainville (1277-1312)

Titled Master General of the Order, he bore: Or, a Bear rampant Sable, muzzled and buckled Gules.

Adam de Veau (... 1314 ...)

He bore: Or, a Lion rampant Azure.

Jean de Paris (1342-1349)

He bore: Argent, three Boars passant Sable.

Jean de Coaraze (... 1354 ...)

He was erroneously known as de Couras and as de Couraze. He bore: Quarterly, I and IV, Gules, an Annulet Argent (Coaraze), II and III, Or, two Cows passant in pale Gules, horned, belled and hooved Azure (Bearn).

Jean le Conte (... 1355 ...)

He bore: Argent, an Ermine Spot between three Eagle's Heads Sable (2 and 1).

Jacques de Besnes or de Baynes (1368-1384)

He bore: Argent, a Lion rampant Sable, overall a Bendlet Gules. The Dorat de Chameulles armorial of the Order gives the following blazon for de Besnes: Quarterly: I, Azure, a Baton in bend Gules between three Fleur de lys Or; II, Or, a Cherry Tree Gules; III, Lozengy Gules and Argent; IV, Checky Or and Gules. On an inescucheon, Argent, a Lion rampant Sable and overall a Bendlet Gules. It must be noted that in the XIVth century Jacques only wore the first blazon mentioned above. The presence of the other quarters is an anachronism. The quartered shield belongs to the de Besnes line known as l'Estendart marquis de Bully, which was the only branch not extinct when the armorial of the Order was published in 1753.

There is an interesting impression of Jacques de Besnes' seal in the Smitmer-Loschner collection in the Vienna Historical Archives which seals a document dated 1382. It shows the Master of the Order mounted and in war-harness galloping while holding his sword high and bearing a shield charged with a cross. The seal is interesting because it confirms the Order's military character after it left Palestine.

Pierre des Ruaux (1413-1454)

Several variants of this family's arms are known. A shield belonging to Pierre's branch of the family may be seen in the church of Boësses near Puiseaux, in the region of Orléans. They are: Argent, on a Fess Gules three Annulets of the field. Dorat de Chameulles' armorial gives: Argent, ten Roundels Sable (3,3 and 4) between two Fesses Gules.

Guillaume des Mares (... 1460 ...)

This Master of Saint Lazarus originated in Normandy. The family of des Mares de Bellefosse which claims Guillaume bears: Azure, three Crescents Gules. According to Dorat de Chameulles, Guillaume bore: ....a Cross moline....a Bend....overall. The colours and metals were unknown but Dorat de Chameulles' illuminated manuscript (MS Français 31795 Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) shows: Azure, a Cross moline Or, a Bend Gules overall.

Jean le Cornu (1469 - 1493)

He bore: Or, a Stag's Head caboshed Gules and in chief a bicephalous Eagle Sable.

François d'Amboise (1493 - 1500)

He was the nephew of Aimery d'Amboise, Grand Master of the Order of St John. He bore: Paly of six, Or and Gules.

Agnan de Mareul (1500 - 1519)

He bore: Gules, five Barrulets Or.

François de Bourbon, Count of Saint-Pol (1519 - 1521)

His inclusion in the list of Grand Masters is only due to the fact that his name appears on a document dated 1521 which describes him as Commander of Boigny. He belonged to the Bourbon-Vendôme branch and became Duke d'Estouteville by marriage in 1535. He bore: Azure, between three Fleur de lys Or, a Baton placed in bend Gules.

Claude de Mareul (1521 - 1524)

He was the nephew of Agnan de Mareul and bore the same arms.

Jean Conti (1524 - 1557)

He bore: Or, on a Lion rampant Gules, three bendlets Vairy.

Jean de Levis (1557 - 1564)

He was a Knight of Saint John. He was made head of the Order of Saint Lazarus under the provisions of the papal bull "Nos igitur" of 1489, which had never heretofor been applied. He was given the title of Grand Master and he bore: Or, three Chevrons Sable.

Michel de Seure (1564 - 1578)

He was also a Knight of Saint John and along with his successors Salviati and de Clermont de Chastes was one of the most remarkable Grand Masters of Saint Lazarus. His arms seem to have been unknown to the editors of various armorials. The de Seure family bore: Argent, a Cross Azure charged with a Cross Crosslet of the field between four Fleur de lys Sable.

François Salviati (1578 - 1586)

He was also a Knight of Saint John and ambassador of that Order. He was a relative and adviser to Catherine de Medici. He bore: Gules, three Rakes Argent (2 and 1).

Michel de Seure (1586 - 1593)

When he resigned as Grand Master in favour of Salviati he kept some of the magistral privileges, and when François died he reassumed the Grand Magistracy.

Armand de Clermont de Chastes (1593 - 1603)

Marshal of the Order of Saint John and Vice-Admiral of France. He bore: Quarterly: I and IV, Gules, a Key Argent placed in bend, II and III, Azure, a Fleur de lys Or. According to certain authors, including Dorat de Chameulles who cites him in his armorial, de Clermont de Chastes' immediate successor was Hughes Catelan de Castelmore, whose magistracy was very brief, and who bore: Azure, three Porcupines passant Or.

Charles de Gayand de Monterolles (1603 - 1604)

He was a nephew of Armand de Clermont de Chastes and, according to Gautier de Sibert, assumed the office of Grand Master in 1599. He bore: Azure, a Chevron Or between in chief two Half Moons Argent and in base a bicephalous Eagle of the second.

Philibert,Marquis de Nerestang (1604 - 1620)

He was Grand Master of Saint Lazarus and later (1608) of the combined Orders of Saint Lazarus and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. He bore: Or, three Bendlets Gules, on the middle one three Mullets of the field. Other armorials give the following variation: Azure, three Bends Or and three Mullets Argent placed between the first and second.

Claude, Marquis de Nerestang (1620 - 1639)

Son of Philibert and bore the same arms.

Charles, Marquis de Nerestang (1639 - 1644)

Son of Claude and bore the same arms.

harles-Achille, Marquis de Nerestang (1645 - 1673)

Brother of Charles and bore the same arms.

Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois (1673 - 1691)

He was Vicar-General of the Order with rights and privileges of the Grand Master except for the exterior marks of the magistracy. He bore: Azure, three Lizards in pale Argent, on a Chief Gules, three Mullets Or.

Philippe de Courcillon, Marquis de Dangeau (1693 - 1720)

He bore: Argent, a Bend lozengy Gules, in chief a Lion rampant Sable.

Louis d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres, later Duke d'Orléans (1720 - 1752)

He bore: Azure, three Fleur de lys Or, a Label Argent.

Louis de France, Duke of Berry (1757 - 1773)

He abandoned the Grand Magistracy when he became the Dauphin (heir to the throne) and later became King Louis XVI. He bore as Duke of Berry: Quarterly: I and IV, France, II and III, France within a Bordure engrailed Gules (Berry).

Louis Stanislas Xavier de France, Count of Provence (1773 - 1814)

He was brother of King Louis XVI. and later he ascended the throne as King Louis XVIII. He bore: Quarterly, I and IV, France, II and III, Azure, a Fleur de lys Or, in chief a Label Gules (Provence).

Francisco de Paula de Borbón y de la Torre, Duke of Seville, Grandee of Spain (1930 - 1952)

Formerly Grand Bailiff of Spain, he governed the Order from 1930 as Lieutenant General and was unanimously elected Grand Master in 1935. He bore: France within a Bordure Gules (Bourbon-Anjou).

Francisco Enrique de Borbón y de Borbón, Grandee of Spain (1952 - 1967)

He was son of Francisco de Paula de Borbón y de la Torre and bore the same arms. Followed his father, was elected Grand Master 1957 and named Grand Master emeritus in 1967.

Charles Philippe de Bourbon-Orléans, Duke of Aleçon, Vendôme and Nemours, First Prince of the Blood of France (1967 - 1969/70)

He bore: France, in chief a Label Argent.


Obedience of Malta:

Francisco Enrique de Borbón y de Borbón, Grandee of Spain (1973 - 1995)

Called to resume his functions as Grand Master, elected by a Chapter General.

Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Escasany, Duke of Seville, Grandee of Spain (1996 - 2004)

He is son of Francisco Enrique de Borbón y de Borbón and bears the same arms as his late father.


Obedience of Paris:

Pierre de Cossé, Duke de Brissac (1969 - 1986)

1969 proclaimed Grand Master; 1986 named Grand Master emeritus He bore: Sable, four Barrulets indented on their lower surfaces Or.

François de Cossé, Marquis later Duke de Brissac (1986 - 2004)

He is the son of Pierre de Cossé and bears the same arms as his late father, assumed his ducal title after his demise. He uses the title "Supreme Head of the Order"


Since 2004:

with "fons honorum" by the Crown of France

Obedience of Boigny:

Charles-Philippe Prince d'Orleans, Duke of Anjou (2004 - )

Son of Michel Prince d'Orleans, Count d'Evreux, former Coadjutor

As Duke of Anjou he bore: France within a Bordure Gules (Bourbon-Anjou).

Obedience of Malta:

Reginald Saviour Attard (2004 - )

Appointed Vicar General during the vacancy of the Grand Mastership

Charles-Philippe Prince d'Orleans, Duke of Anjou (2004 - )

Supreme Head and Grand Master designate


United (Spanish) Branches without "fons honorum":

François de Cossé, Duke de Brissac (2004 - )

Grand Master emeritus - "acting" Grand Master"

Francisco de Paula de Borbón y Escasany, Duke of Seville, Grandee of Spain (2004 - )

"Grand Master elect", not yet installed


Last updated 01 04 2006