Knight Bachelor

Knight Bachelor

The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It refers to a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry. Knights Bachelor are the most ancient sort of British knight, existing during the reign of King Henry III (1 October 1207 – 16 November 1272), but they rank below knights in the various orders. There is no female equivalent and women deserving an honour of this rank are appointed Dames of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) instead.


It is generally awarded for public service; amongst its recipients are all male judges of the High Court of England and Wales. It is possible to be a junior member of an order of knighthood and a Knight Bachelor without being a knight of that order; this situation has become rather common, especially among those recognised for achievements in entertainment. For instance, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir George Martin and Sir Alex Ferguson are "Commander of the Order of the British Empire" (CBE), and Sir Paul McCartney is a "Member of the Order of the British Empire" (MBE), and thus none of them would normally be entitled to the honorific "Sir." However, all are also Knights Bachelor and thus each may preface his name with that title.

Honorifics and post-nominals

Like other knights, Knights Bachelor are styled "Sir". Since they aren't knight of any order of chivalry, Knights Bachelor don't normally have a post-nominal to be rendered after their name. [cite web| url= |title=Orders of Chivalry |publisher=British Government |accessdate=2007-08-30] However, when the style "Sir" is awkward or incomplete due to a subsequent appointment recipients may sometimes use the word "Knight" or "Kt" (note the lowercase 't', which distinguishes it from "KT", the post-nominals of a Knight of the Thistle) after their name in formal documents to signify that they have the additional honour. This style is often adopted by Knights Bachelor who are also peers, baronets or knights of the various statutory orders (e.g., the Baronet Sir William Boulton, Bt, Kt). [ [ Form of address of a Knight Bachelor] - Website of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor] [cite web |url= |title=Word of the Day: Bachelor, and a note on peerage | |accessdate=2007-08-30]


Until 1926 Knights Bachelor had no insignia which they could wear, but in that year King George V issued a Warrant authorising the wearing of a badge on all appropriate occasions. The Knights Bachelor badge may be worn on all appropriate occasions upon the left side of the coat or outer garment of those upon whom the degree of Knight Bachelor has been conferred. Measuring 2⅜ inches in length and 1⅜ inches in width, it is described in heraldic terms as follows:

Upon an oval medallion of vermilion, enclosed by a scroll a cross-hilted sword belted and sheathed, pommel upwards, between two spurs, rowels upwards, the whole set about with the sword belt, all gilt.

In 1974, Queen Elizabeth II issued a further warrant authorising the wearing on appropriate occasions of a neck badge, slightly smaller in size, and in miniature. In 1988 a new certificate of authentication, a knight's only personal documentation, was designed by the College of Arms.

Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor

The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was founded for the maintenance and consolidation of the Dignity of Knights Bachelor in 1908, and obtained official recognition from the Sovereign in 1912. The Society keeps records of all Knights Bachelor, in their interest.

ee also

* Bachelor
* Knight banneret
* Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood



* [ Insignia of knight bachelors] - Website of the Imperial Society of Knight Bachelors
* [ The UK Honours System] - Website UK Government
* [ Debrett's]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Knight Bachelor — ist eine britische Auszeichnung. Als „Knight Bachelor“ bezeichnet man einen männlichen britischen Staatsbürger, der als „Knight“ (Ritter) in den persönlichen Adelsstand erhoben wurde und das Prädikat „Sir“ als Präfix vor dem Vornamen führen darf …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Knight bachelor — Le badge de Knight Bachelor, 1926 L Insigne de Chevalier (Knight Bachelor’s Badge) est une récompense dont l origine remonte au règne de Henri III d Angleterre (1207 1272) qui est attribuée pour services éminents dans tout domaine d’activité.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Knight bachelor — Knight bach e*lor; pl. {Knights bachelors}. A knight of the most ancient, but lowest, order of English knights, and not a member of any order of chivalry. See {Bachelor}, 4. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • knight-bachelor — see ↑knight • • • Main Entry: ↑bachelor …   Useful english dictionary

  • knight bachelor — n. pl. knights bachelors or knights bachelor a member of the oldest and lowest rank of British knights …   English World dictionary

  • Knight Bachelor — Le badge de Knight Bachelor, 1926 L Insigne de Chevalier (Knight Bachelor’s Badge) est une récompense dont l origine remonte au règne de Henri III d Angleterre (1207 1272) qui est attribuée pour services éminents dans tout domaine d’activité.… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • knight bachelor — pl. knights bachelors, knight bachelors. bachelor (def. 3). [1600 10] * * * ▪ British peerage       most ancient, albeit lower ranking, form of English knighthood, with its origin dating to the reign of Henry III in the 13th century.       The… …   Universalium

  • knight bachelor — noun a knight of the lowest order; could display only a pennon • Syn: ↑bachelor at arms, ↑bachelor • Hypernyms: ↑knight …   Useful english dictionary

  • Knight bachelor — The full title of a gentleman who had been knighted; the lowest order of *knight. He was a knight without a *fee. Frequently a younger son, trained in the skills of war, such men earned their living fighting for a lord. Cf. Knight of the shire;… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • knight bachelor — noun (plural knights bachelor) a knight not belonging to any particular order …   English new terms dictionary

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