Wednesday, 23 September 2015


A brief survey of some of the imposter Orders
The Modern revivals of the Extinct Order of the Temple - it is not necessary to explore the early history of the great Crusader Order of the Temple in any detail. Founded in Jerusalem circa 1119-20 by two French noblemen it was confirmed by the three Papal Bulls Omne datum optimum (1139), Milites Templi (1144) and Militia Dei (1145) and was one of the dominant military powers of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. It is certain, however, that the Order was abolished "by an inviolable and perpetual decree" [1] in Pope Clement V's Bull Vox in excelso of March 22, 1312. Furthermore, following its dissolution, the Grand Master Jacques de Molay was burnt at the stake on March 18, 1314, unjustly accused of disgraceful crimes, and many of the knights were executed or imprisoned. Contemporary chroniclers concluded that the injustices inflicted on the Templars were revenged by the death of Pope Clement on April 20th, just one month after Molay's execution, and Philip IV of France, who had engineered their downfall, died before the end of the year.

That these events ended the Templars is well-attested; not one single document exists to support claims that it survived. To quote the eminent historian of Orders of Chivalry, Malcolm Barber, "Through the creation of their pseudo-histories, the Freemasons established a second indispensable element in the Templar image, that of the secret society .... it was during the 1760's that German masons introduced a specific Templar connection, claiming that the Order through its occupation of the Temple of Solomon, had been the repository of secret wisdom and magical powers, which James of Molay had handed down to his successor before his execution and of which the eighteenth century freemasons were the direct heirs". [2]

While several branches of international freemasonry still use the name "Order of the Temple" to describe their group, these bodies do not pretend to be Orders of Chivalry. Barber continues, "Lack of evidence has never been a serious problem for such writers, but nevertheless during the nineteenth century some felt a compulsion to consolidate these theories by the miraculous discovery of documents and objects which seemed to authenticate the Templar role. These included a list of Grand Masters of the Temple who had occupied the office since Molay's time; caskets, coins, and medallions supposedly held by the Templars .... and secret 'Rules'...... As most of these documents and objects did not have a provenance earlier than circa 1800 at best, it is not surprising that William of Nogaret and his men were unable to locate any of them at the time of the trial 500 years before". [3]

In the early nineteenth century an attempt to revive the Order of the Temple was made by Augustus, Duke of Sussex (a black sheep son of George III and notorious rake), Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt (uncle of the poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson) and Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, who had participated as a naval captain in the defense of Acre in 1799. According to a letter from Smith he was given a Templar cross purporting to have belonged to Richard I (who was never a Templar knight); this cross had supposedly been in the custody of the Greek Orthodox Archbishops ever since and later Smith's possession of it was sufficient for the French Masonic "Order of the Temple" to confer upon him the title of "Grand Prior of England". Smith was a romantic prepared to accept the most unlikely story and, joining with Tennyson d'Eyncourt, he handed over the title of Grand Prior to the Duke of Sussex. With Smith's death in 1840 and that of Sussex in 1843 Tennyson d'Eyncourt himself lost interest and resigned.

While various Templar groups flourished in the latter part of the century, they seem to have been largely independent of each other. The English branch languished until the various twentieth century revivals on the fringes of the chivalric world; the Temple is one of the most popular self-styled "Order" with less discriminating "collectors" of pseudo-chivalric honours.

Barber (Op. cit.) continues to dismiss the fantasies of Joseph von Hammer-Purstall (1818) and Jules Loiseleur (1872, reprinted 1975), ending his work "the Templar myths have therefore proved extremely durable and their contributions to the modern image of the real Templars arguably as powerful as that of their documented history...... The longevity of these myths perhaps, like Gnosticism, relates to their flexibility, for they have been used by both conservative and radical proponents of the conspiracy theory of history, by romantics imbued with nostalgia for a lost medieval past, by Freemasons seeking a colorful history to justify their penchant for quasi-religious ritual and play-acting, and by charlatans who seek profit in exploiting the gullible". Quoting from Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum, one of the characters, Belbo, when asked how he recognized a lunatic, responded. "For him, everything proves everything else. The lunatic is all idée fixé, and whatever he comes across confirms his lunacy. You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense, by his flashes of inspiration, and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars". [4]

There are various branches of the Templar revival, and so-called "Priories" scattered across the globe. One such, the "Priory of Saint Norbert", apparently including Illinois, Indiana and Missouri, recently held a rather pompous "investiture" and "Solemn Vespers" at Saint James's Cathedral in Chicago, on "October 26, A.D. 1996" (the A.D. just in case someone should suppose they had returned from the pre-Christian era!). Among the luminaries who apparently underwrote this affair were "Her Highness Princess Elisabeth" (of where, one might ask?), and a whole list of gentleman misusing the title of "Sir", including Viktor Foerster, Thomas Glaser, Arstotle Halikais, John Lopez, Ronald Mangun, Russel Parthun, Dr George Podlusky, Terence Quandt, Jerome Radecky, Edward Rosewall, Maj-Gen Richard Stearney, Rev Fr John Tilford, Col Raymond Timmer, Admiral Grant Hollett, "His Excellency" Rev James Parker, and others.

The Ancient and Noble Order of the Knights Templar: yet another organization claiming to be descended from the original knights Templars and perhaps associated with the above. The evident success of this body is demonstrated by their financial requirements - a "benefaction" of $10,000 US dollars on joining and $2500 US dollars thereafter (several times what is required of Knights of Malta, for example, but a substantial reduction from the previous requirement of 45,000 Swiss Francs and $25,000 Swiss Francs respectively). In addition to the ranks of Knight and Dame, this group also had a category of Knight or Dame Chamberlain (limited to 50 in any one year), and Knight or Dame "Savant" (whatever that means), limited to twenty in any one year and a maximum of fifty. There were also ranks of Knight or Dame Fellows and Knight or Dame Chancellors, limited to members of the "Chancellors Court of Benefactors". Knights Fellows are apparently hereditary, in perpetuity, descending through the male or female line with the right to "abdicate" the title in favor of an heir. Apparently this includes the "lawful" right to the titles of "Sir" or "Lady". According to a letter dated 7 October 1996 from "The Chancellor Savant" 40% of their income was to be devoted to charitable purposes (very much less than the amount so dedicated by the vast majority of recognized Orders of Chvialry). This body, in addition to its "Chancellor Savanta", a certain "Sir" Graham Renshaw-Heron, M. Jur, PhD, KST (Via dell Ariete 65, Colle Piuccio, 04016 Sabaudia, Italy; tel), has a "Chief Historian" the "learned Bishop the Reverend Dr Sir Paul Benedek" and a "Chief Archivist" "Dr Sir James Hannon"

This body, in asserting its legitimacy as the successor of the Templar Order, states (letter cited 7 October 1996): "our researchers have attempted to isolate and contact these various claimants [to be successors of the Templars], all but on proved fruitless. This one exception, however, after exhaustive efforts, was also, and most regrettably proven to belong to group of very kind and no doubt well-meaning people, having a common interest in history, overly fertile imaginations, but absolutely no basis of claim. There can never be and doubt, however, that many organizations do exist, and who believe they are either Templar or some other ancient survivor of some medieval Order of chivalry....." The letter goes on to dismiss all these organizations and their claims. The author of this letter claims that the Templars did not exist by Papal "instigation" but the King of Jerusalem - forgetting, of course, that (a) the King of Jerusalem was himself a Papal vassal, and (b) that in fact the Templars were constituted by Papal Bull, and their Rule approved by the Pope - and not by any act of the Kings of Jerusalem.

The subsequent reasoning for the alleged survival of the Order is so laughable in its convoluted reasoning (drawing a mysterious analogy with the discovery of the Cullinan diamond) that it is not worth repeating. This "Order" claims to have made donations to the underprivileged in Indonesia and India, without specifying precisely the objects or the amount of their charity. Apparently a "Dr Sir Carl Shapley" and a "Lady Virginia Lloyd-Thayer" are both presently in India working in the Order's interests, supervising a Templar project at the village of Bodhgaya, assisted by the "resident Charity Commissioner for India, Sir Nan Mohan Lal". The "Order" aspires, however, to admit at least 25,000 people, with a benefit to the Order of $250,000,000!!!, of which an anticipated $100,000,000 would be devoted to charitable and philanthropic endeavour. While one would indeed like to know who are the likely beneficiaries of this munificence, one might want to know even more who would get the remaining $150,000,000! This "Order" does not have a Grand Master, but the senior executive officer is apparently this same "Chancellor Savant" who occupies "a position of Constitutional authority similar to that enjoyed by the original medieval Grand Masters". The recipient of the kind letter of invitation to join this body was told that "make the moves that will put you among your true and noble peers, take the steps that will cause you to be legally known and addressed as Sir ........, and if you are married, your wife to be known and addressed with the honorific of 'Lady' ......and if you have an Heir, he or she will be lawfully entitled to be known and addressed as 'The Honorable', etc etc". The first investiture in the US was held scheduled for Thursday 27th March through Sunday 30th March, 1997. A web site associated with this "Order" could be found in the past at:

There was another large Templar site is at:
Sovereign Military Order of the Temple, Priory of Saint Michael and Saint George. It now has moved to  a more substantial web site combined with some other Templar "priories" at There is also a Priory of St James at 

Other self-styled Templar Orders, all reciting similar invented histories, include one at, another (British group) at while a rival British group describes itself as the only "officially recognised" Order (whatever that means - recognised by whom? Certainly not the UK government) . Their "official recognition" however is challenged by another UK group, also claiming the same "official" status - see

Then there is a Priory of St Louis the Crusader based in St Louis, Missouri, perhaps an unlikely place to find a colony of crusaders!
The Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani Ordo claims to be an "International Knighthood Order founded in 1118 in Jerusalem by Hugues de Payns, the last Statutes are published in the Official Gazette of the State of Brazil, on June 21 1956, Section I, page 12199-12200, and updated on december 27 1956, Section I, page 24718-24719." This facility does not confer any recognition by the Republic of Brazil of this body as an "Order of Chivalry".

"In Italy is approved by the Tribunale di Roma - Pretura di Frascati on January 18 1960, legalized by the Procura Generale della Repubblica - Corte d'Appello di Roma on January 19 1960 at n°840; approved by the Ministro degli Affari Esteri on January 19 1960, validated by the Brazilian State on March 22 1960." This likewise does not mean that the Order is recognized as an "order of Chivalry or Knighthood" in Italy, a status defined by a law of 1951 which emppowers the state to accord recognition to "non-National Orders". This category is the one into which the self-styled Templar Order would fall if it were considered an Order of Knighthood. It is not considered as such, however, except by the members and their associates who are sadly deluded in this regard.

The Grand Preceptory of Italy of this group maintains a web site at: This siteb discloses that the address of the Grand Preceptory is Via Luigi Ronzoni n°41 00151 Roma (ITALY) - tel. 0039-6-58203750 - fax 0039-6-535233. Its fictional successzion of "grand masters" after the execution of Molay names the following: 23 - Jean-Marc de Larmeny (1314-1324); 24 - Francesco Tommaso Teobald d'Alessandria (1324-1340); 25 - Arnaud de Braque (1340-1349); 26 - Jean de Clermont (1349-1357); 27 - Bertrand du Guesclin (1357-1380); 28 - Jean I, Count d'Armagnac (1381-1392); 29 - Bernard, Count d'Armagnac (1392-1419); 30 - Jean II, Count d'Armagnac (1419-1451); 31 - Jean de Croy (1451-1472); R - Bernard Imbault (1472-1478); 32 - Robert de Lenoncourt, Cardinal Arcibishop of Reims (1478-1497); 33 - Galeas de Salazar (1497-1516); 34 - Philippe de Chabot, Conte de Charny (1516-1544); 35 - Gaspard de Saulx et de Tavannes (1544-1574); 36 - Henry de Montmorency (1574-1615); 37 - Charles de Valois, Duc d'Angouleme (1616-1651); 38 - Jacques Rouxel de Grancey et de Medavy (1651-1681); 39 - Jacques-Henry de Durfort, Duc de Duras (1681-1705); 40 - H.M. (??) Prince Philippe, Duc d'Orleans (1705-1723); 41 - Prince Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, Duc de Maine (1724-1736); 42 - Prince Louis-Henry de Bourbon et de Conde (1737-1741); 43 - Prince Louis-Francois de Bourbon et de Conty (1741-1776); 44 - Louis-Hercules-Timoleon de Cosse (1776-1792); R - Claude-Mathieu Radix de Chevillon (1792-1804); 45 - Bernard-Raymond Fabre Palapatri di Spoleto (1804-1838); D' - Charles-Antoine-Gabriel Duc de Choiseul (1813-1813); D - Jules Guignes de Moreton et de Chabrillan (1836-1840); R - Sidney Smith, admiral of England (1838-1840); R - Jean Marie Raoul, magistral lieutenent (1840-1850); R - Narcisse de Valleray, magistral lieutenent (1850-1857); 46 - H.M. George V, King of Hannover (1857-1866); R - Angel Gabriel Maxim Vernois (1866-1873); 47 - H.M. Edward VII, Prince of Wales and King of England (1873-1910); D - Josephin Peladan (1892-1894); 48 - H.M. William II, Emperor of Germany (1910-1915); - "International Secretariat of the Templars" (1915-1920); - "Council of Regence" (1920-1935); R - Theodore Covias (1935-1938); D - Emil Clement Joseph Vandenberg (1935-1942); R - Gustave Joseph Jonckbloedt de Juge (1938-1945); - "Council of Regence" of the General Capitol of France (1945-1956); 49 - Prince Gabriel Jnellas Paleologo (1956-1987); 50 - Sebastiao Simoes de Lima (1988-1996); 51 - Prince Don Inellas Zaccaria (1996-).

This list varies in the last two centuries the names claimed by most other pseudo Templar Orders, each of which claim their own peculiar succession in order to justify the pretensions of their own claimants (generally using fantasy titles). The majority of those named would never have even known that centuries later anyone was pretending that they had somehow been "grand masters" of a non-existent, fictional Order of Knighthood. It is absolutely certain that neither King George V of Hannover, nor King Edward VII of Great Britain, nor the Kaiser Wilhelm II, had anything to do with any such pseudo-Order. Although most of the people named were historical personages, the titles given them are generally given incorrectly (displaying the ignorance of those who compiled the list). It is equally certain that the claims of the two "princes" named as "grand masters" in the scond half of this century are self-assumed.

Mr Rocco Zingari, who apparently asked the Vatican (unsuccessfully) to approve his Order in 1994, has been appointed "Grand Preceptor" by "Prince" Paleologo. The address of the Order is Avenida Paulista, 453, conj. 132, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The most successful of the self-styled Templar Orders is that headed by "Count" Don Fernando Campello Pinto Pereira de Sousa Fontes  as "Grand Master", see  he claims to have succeeded his father, "Count" Antonio Campello Pinto Pereira de Sousa Fontes, who in turn had succeeded  Emile Joseph Isaac Vandenburg. No exoplanation is given as to the preceding Grand Masters, until the end of the 18th century when it is stated that "In 1776, the Duke de Cosse Brissac accepted the Grand Mastership of the Templar Order and remained in office until his execution in 1782 during the bloody French Revolution." The author of this site's ignorance of history is exposed in his dating of the French revolution - this particular Duke of Brissac, a famously irreverent libertine, was actually executed in  September 1792. That this "Order" claims to be disassociated from the Freemasons is particularly interestign as of course Brissac, and the Duke of Orléans, named as his predecessor, were notorious French Freemasons. This body, styled the "Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani", claims to be a Christian organization (despite its evident willingness to present a fictitious and invented history in its published history). On its web site the Order dedicates a paragraph to denouncing those who set up their own Templar Order independently of their own fantasy body, a case of the pot calling the kettle black and characteristic of the schisms that pervade so many of these bodies. The US members of this body have a web site at which they describe as the website of:"The Ancient Order of Knights Templar"... "a true (sic), legitimate 883-year-old Order of Knighthood!"

This body was run by a "Chevalier" Vincent G. Zubras, Jr., KGCTS, KGCTJ, Provincial Preceptor, OPCCTS, and had its headquarters at P.O. Box 600231, Dallas, Texas, 75360-0231, USA

Of course there is a Scottish "Grand Priory" since Rosslyn chapel is the site of many Templar fantasies, stimulated by the historical fiction of Dan Brown - see

Italy has a large and flourishing body of Templar "knights" - see and while France has grand priories of the larger Orders cited above, it also has a spin-off group inspired by the Templars -

The Swedish "Priory" of this so-called "Order" has a web site at, and the inclusion of a number of senior Swedish military officers (Sweden being a neutral country has few opportunities for its military to earn decorations for valor, so its officers are always hungry for more decorations) has enabled this body to obtain permission for its insignia to be worn on military uniform. The site is limited to password access. 

This group takes a harsh anti-Moslem stance with a popup advertisement on their first internet page asking if the visitor believes terrorists are entering the USA along with refugees.

One could find many other such fantasy groups by trawling the internet - the mass murdered Anders Behring Breivik claimed to be a knight Templar while a group of volunteer fighters opposing ISIL have also assumed the name and a version of the Templar badge.
Adapted from an earlier article by Guy Stair Sainty (with permission of the author)

Some facts concerning the Carlist claims of the late Don Hugo di Borbone, Duca di Parma (formerly styled S.A.R Don Carlos-Hugo de Borbón y Borbón-Busset, Príncipe de Asturias, Duque de Madrid y San Jaime, Infante de España, Caballero de la Toisón de Oro, etc).  

5 May 1957 Carlos-Hugo stated” Faithful to my ancestors, faithful to my father the king, you must know that with the held of God, I shall accomplish the hopes and sacrifices that are imposed by the title of prince of the Asturias, which legitimacy has caused to descend to me”.  

At the time the Prince of the Asturias was H.R.H. Don Juan Carlos de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias, later King Juan Carlos I of Spain.  

Meanwhile, on 20 Dec 1957, forty-four Carlist notables visited Estoril to pledge their allegiance to Don Juan, Count of Barcelona (father of the King Juan Carlos), as Carlist heir.  

Carlos-Hugo, in a letter to a friend at this time wrote: “I am convinced that Carlism must make a revolution and change form…… this revolution only I can do.” He and his father then approached Franco to try and gain his support for their cause.  

The Count of Barcelona, in letters to Europe’s royal houses, asked that no-one co-operate with Xavier and his son Carlos-Hugo, pointing out that they could not claim to be Spanish dynasts because of Xavier’s unequal marriage (the Bourbon-Busset are an illegitimate line of a junior branch of the Bourbon family). He also asked the assistance of Elie, Duke of Parma, who wrote (31 July 1958):  

My quality as a Spaniard by naturalization does not permit me to intervene directly in the problems of the future of our dear Spain, and more particularly, the monarchical institution. The ties that unite me to this are such that in certain circumstances and conforming to the laws of primogeniture and legitimacy defended by our ancestors, the rights to the crown could return to me. And that, (I have) preference over every other Prince of Bourbon-Parma, because, I am the head of this House and I am a Spaniard as I have indicated. I do not intend to impose any succession problem and I recall only the facts that give considerable authority to my recognition of the eventual rights of Don Juan de Borbón, in declaring that I consider a usurper anyone who opposes these rights”.  

He died the following year, and his son Robert II succeeded. The latter wrote soon after his succession, “If the Crown of Spain falls one day to the House of Parma, it will come to me as I am the Head and I am Spanish”. His father Élie had not recognized the marriage of Xavier, and had refused to give his wife the title of Royal Highness (because of inequality, not because of the Carlist claim). At a meeting with Xavier in 1960, at the time of the wedding of Princess Françoise to Prince Edouard de Lobkowicz, Duke Robert was asked to unite the family and recognize his marriage, and consequently the succession rights of Xavier’s issue. Robert graciously consented and, in a letter dated 22 Aug 1961 written to (Constantinian Bailiff and former Spanish Ambassador) Albert de Mestas “I am not married and have no issue, my uncle Xavier is indubitably my eventual successor. His children have always born the titles of Prince (or Princesses) of Parma”. He reiterated, however, his belief that Xavier had usurped the Carlist claim and enunciated to his family his sincere regret that Xavier had ignored his pleas to unite behind the Count of Barcelona.  

Carlos-Hugo and his father, however, were not Spanish citizens. Franco tolerated their activities because it suited him politically to encourage disunity among the Monarchists, whom it served him better if they did not unite behind the Constitutionalist Don Juan. Under Spanish law they could not succeed to the Crown unless they were citizens. There was a good argument to be made that they were in fact citizens since the Treaty of Aranjuez of 1801 conferred citizenship on all Princes of the House of Bourbon, but they instead petitioned Franco for citizenship, which he simply postponed deciding upon. The French courts at the time of the lengthy dispute over the inheritance of the Chateau of Chambord, provoked by Xavier and his brother Sixte’s desire to profit financially from the  situation of their older brother, Elie, who had an honorary commission in the Austrian army, had decided that Xavier and Sixte were not French, but Spanish. Neither, however, petitioned for a Spanish passport.   

Meanwhile Xavier’s daughters Princesses Cécile, Marie-Thérèse and Marie des Neiges became more and more active in promoting first Carlism, and then their increasingly left-wing and indeed revolutionary ideas. They moved to Spain, and learnt the language. Princess Françoise, now married, stepped aside in deference to the wishes of Duke Robert and concentrated on her charitable work and raising her family. Carlos Hugo increasingly concerned himself with domestic Spanish politics, raising money to finance his cause and living in an apartment in Madrid, coincidentally in the same building as the leading Francoist Admiral Carrero Blanco (eventually assassinated in the early 1970s by Basque separatists). The building always had police guards, giving a sense of importance to the apparent status of Prince Carlos-Hugo who with the help of some sympathetic journalists managed to get frequent publicity for his activities and anti-Don Juan statements.  

In 1962 Juan Carlos and his family travelled to Athens for his wedding, attended by most of Europe’s royal families. Franco, seeking to counter the massive publicity that reinforced the position of Don Juan, invited Carlos Hugo to their first meeting. Franco now let Don Juan know, in his words, that “I have another candidate”. Encouraged, Carlos-Hugo, his mother and sisters turned up at Montejurra in 1963, Princess Xavier being styled Queen and “Majesty” before a crowd of 24,000 Carlists. They even founded a new “Order”, the Cross of Forbidden Legitimacy, as a dynastic Order! Xavier took the title of “Count of Molina”, while “conferring” that of Duke of Madrid and San Jaime on Carlos-Hugo and Duke of Aranjuez on Sisto, along with the titles of Infante of Spain and the Golden Fleece The latter later enrolled in the Spanish foreign legion as Enrique Aranjuez, because, as a Frenchman (by right of his mother), he could not join the regular army; under Spanish law, however, if he took the oath to the flag he could later legally apply for citizenship (whereupon he resigned from the Legion without actually applying or serving).  

Carlos-Hugo now began to move away from collaborating with Franco, and began to attack Juan Carlos as a Francoist puppet. He presented his side as federalist in spirit, socially and traditionally close to the people, attacking Don Juan as liberal, centralist, favourable to capitalism and the establishment.  

Following a disastrous flood in Catalonia Marie-Therese and Cecile offered their services to Caritas relief, Juan Carlos and his wife attended the funeral service for the victims and visited the site of the disaster where they were pelted with tomatoes by young Carlist enthusiasts, including the two Parma princesses Later, attending another event in Catalonia, they were struck by rotten vegetables. In an event in a theatre, Marie des Neiges appeared in the opposite box to Juan Carlos and Sophie, the theatre erupted when more young supporters of Carlos Hugo shouted slogans, and the Prince of the Asturias and his wife were forced to leave. The Carlist newspaper published an article with photographs of the two princes, describing Carlos-Hugo as “Prince of the House of Borbón, Infant of Spain, but never able to obtain the justice of being legally considered Spanish”, and Juan Carlos as a “Prince who has obtained the quality of legally being Spaniard although born outside Spain”. The fact that Carlos-Hugo was born in Paris was ignored. Juan Carlos was criticized in the article for having been educated at Military academies, but having (purportedly) done badly in school, and for living in a Palace that belonged to the state without the consent of the public or the Cortes or government (while, it was pointed out, Carlos Hugo was living in a simple apartment).  

Carlos-Hugo next announced his marriage to Princess Irene of the Netherlands, whose mother was the wealthiest sovereign in Europe, and who, although a Protestant, announced her conversion to Catholicism. She had been a bridesmaid to Sophie of Greece at her wedding to Juan Carlos. As she had not asked permission from Parliament to marry, the Dutch parliament declared her automatically excluded from the succession. While Prince Bernhard promised Don Juan that unless Carlos Hugo renounced his claims she would not be allowed to marry, the couple ignored her father and were married in Rome on 29 April 1964 in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in front of 5000 Carlist supporters. The Dutch royal family boycotted the marriage as did most royal houses, although the groom’s parents and sisters attended, as did the Empress Zita (his aunt) and, to the surprise of many, Dom Duarte Nuño, Duke of Braganza, who had temporarily fallen out with Don Juan. The Duke of Parma refused to attend; Don Juan had conferred upon him the rank of a Knight of the Golden Fleece two months earlier and it was known that the groom would be wearing the Spanish Order, to which he was not entitled (the photographs of the wedding showing him with the badge of the Golden Fleece).  

On their honeymoon Irene shocked the Spanish public by being photographed in a bikini, then considered indecent and causing much comment in the press (to the amazement of the Princess herself who had worn one without comment in her own country). This did not go down well in conservative Spain, and on their return the announcement of their audience with General Franco described them as “Princess Irene of Holland and her husband”. This represented a final breach with Franco and Carlos-Hugo began to change the political orientation of Carlism towards the left. At the same time the activities of Irene and her husband led to an open breach with Princess Sophia, whom she had known all her life. Carlos-Hugo now also broke with his father, who was still tied to the “traditional” Carlism. Xavier had advised his followers to vote “Yes” in the referendum of 1966, which confirmed the establishment of the Francoist state and allowed the General to nominate the future King. Carlos-Hugo, through his political organization, now issued a proclamation that any Princes who supported this would be deprived of the “legitimacy of the exercise” of their rights, thereby deposing his own father.  

The Parmesan Carlists were now hopelessly divided and Xavier caused further problems by publicly supporting the separatist movement in Catalonia and the Basque provinces. This was a step too far for Franco, who had fought the Civil War in the name of Spanish unity; on 26 December 1967 the Parma princes were expelled from Spain, for “contravening the terms of their temporary residence”.  

On 8 April 1975 Xavier “abdicated” in favor of Carlos-Hugo. The remaining leaders In July 1969 Juan Carlos was proclaimed Prince of Spain and, from his exile in Paris, Carlos Hugo began a series of attacks upon the new Prince of Spain and the future Monarchy they felt he would embody. He was supported in this by his sisters, with the exception of Françoise, while his brother Sisto continued to support the “traditional” Carlism supposedly led by their father. The last occasion on which the whole family was present together was for the baptism of the “Infante” Carlos Javier, heir to the self-styled “Prince of the Asturias,” also attended by Queen Juliana, the child’s godmother, and the rest of the Dutch royal family.  

The Carlists of the Tradition now demanded that Carlos Hugo announce his adhesion to their traditions, but he did not respond and they declared him deprived of his right to lead them. On 24 Jan 1977 he wrote: “I have renounced nothing. These are matters which one cannot renounce because they do not belong to the patrimony of any individual.  

Sisto meanwhile seems to have become more involved with the extreme right and was accused by his elder brother of having sequestrated their father in the monastery of Solêsmes (1977). This provoked an outraged protest from their mother, who published a statement on 7 March 1977 accusing Carlos-Hugo of trying to remove his father from hospital and force him to sign a statement recognizing him as his heir, and of falsely accusing Sisto of keeping him against his will. It is impossible to be sure who was right, but on 4 March Xavier had signed a manifesto condemning his elder son’s increasingly extreme politics, while just three days later (after Carlos-Hugo and his sister removed their father form hospital) he named Carlos-Hugo as his heir in all his “claims”.  

Xavier died on 7 May 1977; Carlos-Hugo in his announcement to the courts of Europe did not mention his Carlist claims, only the title of Duke of Parma – knowing that any other claims would not be acknowledged. The arms on the heading of the paper, however, were those of the Royal House of Spain surrounded by the Golden Fleece. Carlos-Hugo, Cécile, Marie-Thérèse and Marie des Neiges were never forgiven by their mother for what she considered disloyal actions that had hastened their father’s death. Before she died of cancer in 1984 she ordered that these four of her children should not be allowed to enter the château after her death, and bequeathed her estates to Sisto (who inherited Lignières) and Françoise. At her funeral they were forced to stand outside the gates while their mother’s coffin was carried by. Along with the chateau of Lignières and its contents – the legacy of Colbert, from whom Marie-Madeleine descended – were the sixteen collars of the Saint Esprit that Xavier had misappropriated. The last Carlist claimant, Alfonso Carlos, Duke of San Jaime had asked his secretary to deliver these to Alfonso XIII who was unquestionably the senior heir of the House of Bourbon even though not the political heir of Carlism – the secretary had instead handed them over to Xavier, who had not right to their possession.

In 1976 Carlos-Hugo tried to return to Spain but, at the airport, was informed that the decree of expulsion was still in force. The Carlists now divided; the “Traditionalist Communion” was headed by Sisto (Sixte), the “Carlist Party” by Carlos-Hugo.  

In early 1978, nearly three years after Juan Carlos had become King, Carlos Hugo wrote: “I address all Carlists, without any distinction, as your King, and as representative of the legitimate dynasty, to call you to unity and invite you to work to recover our liberties. Carlism has the responsibility of continuing to serve the people; it is the moment for us to regroup around the federal idea that was always the ideal of Carlism”. Shortly afterwards, on 7 March 1978, he was received by the King at the Oriente Palace, in a private audience. He asked the King for Spanish citizenship but the King did not respond directly. On leaving, he stated: “Neither myself, nor my family, nor the political interests which we attribute to ourselves, have, at this time, any ambition to occupy the place occupied by Juan Carlos. The facts are the facts. He is today the head of State and we have not been asked, neither ourselves, nor the people”. On 5 Jan 1979 “Carlos de Borbón-Parma y Borbón” was conceded Spanish nationality in a generous gesture by the King which did not, however, acknowledge the title of Duke of Parma nor the style Royal Highness, not out of hostility to his claim but because to officially recognise a foreign title of pretension for a Spanish citizen was beyond his authority and the recognition of Royal Highness would have required a decree signed by the president of the council of ministers.

Carlos and his family acquired a house outside Madrid and the party he headed became increasingly left-wing in its proposals. On 28 April 1980 he resigned as President and as a member of the Carlist party, stating, in his letter: “Sir, I inform you officially that by the present act I no longer belong to the Carlist party. This is final. Receive my best wishes. Carlos-Hugo de Borbón.” The following year he and Irene divorced. His sisters Marie-Thérèse and Marie des Neiges, both living in Spain, have pursued academic careers; the former was a professor of political science at Madrid University, specializing in the Islamic world of North Africa, the latter has a Doctorate in Biology specializing in Mediterranean island fauna and flora – both continued to adhere to their extremist political views. Princess Cécile interested herself in her family history and volunteered for the Order of Malta. None of them ever publicly expressed any regret for their actions in the 1950-70s. Such was the uncertainty concerning whether Carlos-Hugo still claims his assumed Spanish titles that, in 1987, a royal decree was issued stating: “No other person can be titles Prince or Princess of the Asturias, nor Infante of Spain, nor receive the treatment and honours that are attached to the preceding dignities” other than those authorized by the law.  

In the end it was King Juan Carlos, however, who restored democracy in Spain, who defended the liberties of the people, and who initiated the new Federal constitution which gave autonomy to the regions. It was he who stood up to the military and assured Spain’s future as a democratic constitutional Monarchy. No other expression of regret or withdrawal has ever been offered by the late Carlos Hugo, Duke of Parma for his actions.

One might have thought that the Carlist claim would have expired with the death of Xavier and then his oldest son – Sixte (Sisto) holds views that are as extreme as his sisters, but on the other end of the spectrum and continues to enjoy the support of a small group of Carlist fantasists who seem to be living in a parallel universe. When his first cousin, Chares-Henri de Lobkowicz (only surviving son of His oldest sister, Princess Françoise, organised an event to commemorate the foundation of the Bourbon dynasty at which Louis-Alphonse, Duc d’Anjou, senior representative of the Capetian House (along with an Orleans prince and Two Sicilies princess), Sixte issued the following statement:

HRH Prince Sixte Henri de Bourbon will not be attending a celebration, allegedly of the Bourbon family, at Souvigny Abbey next weekend. He will not join the «family» dinner at Bostz afterwards, either. The Prince has refused the invitation after being informed that another was extended to a certain character who is in the habit of granting and using the patrimonial titles of the French Royal Family.

By those patrimonial titles we mean non-hereditary titles used by members of the Royal Family, which only a reigning King of France may grant to his closest relatives.

Furthermore, the aforementioned individual's paternal grandfather was forced to renounce the titles he had used, for himself and for his descendants.

The said individual issues from a branch of usurpers who seized the throne of the Spains against the fundamental laws of the Spanish Monarchy, and who caused the death of over 400,000 Spanish Legitimists who stood for Religion and the laws of the realm against the Liberals and their anti-Christian aggression. They went as far as to have the Carlist generals' parents and siblings executed.

The presence of such a character would constitute a provocation against true Bourbons celebrating the history of their dynasty.

September 17, 2015.

As if this was not enough, Carlos-Hugo’s son and successor as Duke of Parma, Carlo Saverio, or Carlos Javier as he is also known, has decided to continue the baseless pretensions of his late father. He is a Dutch citizen (and his recently married brother Jaime is now Dutch Ambassador to the Holy See) and thanks to the generosity of his aunt Princess, formerly Queen, Beatrix, he and his family have been incorporated into the Dutch nobility as Princes of Bourbon-Parma and have been accorded the style of Royal Highness. Despite this, and in what seems a gross discourtesy to his aunt who is a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece which she received from King Juan Carlos, he has proclaimed himself King Carlos Javier I of Spain, and conferred Carlist titles on members of his family, along with the pretended title of “Infante of Spain”.


Wednesday, 16 September 2015



Pon des O.Nx d. 69 FD

          J'ai l'honneur d'accuser réception de votre lettre du 6 avril courant et des pièces y annexées, sans oublier le bel ouvrage dû à votre plume dont, par ailleurs, elle s'accompagne aimablement.
          Pour répondre à la question que vous voulez bien me poser, je voudrais vous confirmer que l'association constituant la branche française de l' >>Ordre >> militaire et hospitalier de Saint-Lazare de Jérusalem >> a, depuis 1982 et à la demande expresse de la Grande Chancellerie, pris la dénomination d' >>association des Hospitaliers de Saint-Lazare de Jérusalem >>.
          Ainsi, elle a, en France du moins, renoncé définitivement à la qualification d' >>ordre >> dont elle se parait et qu'elle utilisait indûment au regard de la législation nationale en vigueur.
          Celle-là suppose, en effet et depuis 1853, qu'un ordre authentique relève soit de la République française, soit d'une puissance étrangère souveraine ou encore, constitue un sujet de droit international public >> sui generis >>, tel par exemple le très illustre Ordre Souverain de Malte, ce qui nétait assurément pas le cas de l'association en cause, si honorable puisse-t-elle être au demeurant.
          A la nécessaire substitution d'appellation intervenue ne s'attache évidemment aucun caractère coercitif ou infamant. Le souci de la Grande Chancellerie, en l'espèce, est seulement de veiller, comme elle en a le droit et le devoir, à ce que l'association précitée respecte pleinement les engagements qu'elle a librement souscrits et les décisions qu'elle a elle-même arrêtées pour se conformer aux règles en vigueur dans mon pays et notamment au Livre IV du Code de la Légion d'honneur et de la Médaille militaire issu du décret no 81-1103 du 4 décembre 1981.
          Le respect scrupuleux de ces dispositions pénales, suppose, en particulier, que l'association dont il s'agit s'interdise définitivement d'organiser, en France notamment, des manifestations publiques et d'y conférer des distinctions susceptibles de créer confusion, d'une part avec des cérémonies officielles et d'autre part, avec des remises réglementaires de décorations française ou étrangères véritables.
        Je précise encore que cette administration a, en tant que de besoin, été plusieurs fois amenée à faire valoir ce qui précède au duc de BRISSAC qui préside l'association précitée et s'est personnellement, auprès de moi, en particulier, engagé, à de nombreuses reprises, à honorer scrupuleusement les obligations contractées par son défunt père, voici plus de seize ans et vis à vis de la Grande Chancellerie en l'occurrence.
        J'ajouterai enfin qu'en juillet 1997, j'ai notamment demandé au duc précité de bien vouloir dûment compléter la teneur des feuillets d'information que le réseau >> Internet >> émet à propos de ce qui en France est et ne peut qu'y être, légalement et exclusivement, dénommé >> association des hospitaliers de St Lazare de Jérusalem >>.
        J'estime en effet que cette appellation doit être nécessairement connue, non seulement dans mon pays mais aussi à l'étranger.
        En vous remerciant d'avoir bien voulu m'interroger à ce sujet et en outre très vivement pour le très intéressant livre dont vous êtes l'auteur, que vous m'avez adressé et que je consulterai avec plaisir, je vous prie, Monsieur, d'agréer l'expression de mes sentiments les plus distingués.

Général FORRAY
A U S T R I A N   N O B I L I T Y   S I N C E     1 9 1 8
reproduced by kind permission of the author 

(shortened version of a speech before the Deutscher Adelsrechtsausschuss in September 1997)

ã By Georg (Freiherr von) Froelichsthal
1. Meaning of the expression "Austrian nobility"

Firstly it has to be clarified: what is Austrian nobility, or better: who belongs to the Austrian nobility? Starting from the Austrian nobiliary legal system in 1918 this would mean the whole nobility of the Austrian half of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Taking into consideration that portion of the Austrian half of the Habsburg Empire which is today part of Poland or the Ukraine, it is hard to include noble families of such countries for merely historical reasons among the Austrian nobility. An other example would be families originating in former crown possessions which still belong to Austria, but of which portions belong today to other states: should a familiy whose origins lie in South Tyrol (today part of Italy) or in the former Lower Styria (today part of Slovenia) still belong to the Austrian nobility? A further problem is the Burgenland, which belonged always to Hungary and became part of Austria in 1920: noble families of the Burgenland should be included properly among the Hungarian nobility.
For my topic I have chosen a perhaps a little problematic but nevertheless very simple solution: I consider those persons as a part of the Austrian nobility who are noble and who are Austrian citizens, because the law on the abolition of nobility was applicable only to these persons. As one can see in the end this results in a very broad mixture. 

2. Law on the abolition of nobility
With the proclamation of the republic on 12th November 1918 by the Provisional National Assembly, the legal status of the Austrian nobility did not change. But in the same year initial attempts to abolish the nobility were begun. After discussing different drafts, the new elected National Assembly on 3rd April 1919 passed the "Law on the abolition of the nobility, the secular orders of chivalry, male and female, and of certain titles and dignities". Art. 1 abolished the nobility and other honorary priorities of Austrian citizens, Art. 2 foresaw administrative penal fines for using nobiliary titles. Two weeks later the Ministry of the Interior and Education and the Ministry of Justice issued an instruction how this law should be executed in practice. This instruction went in parts further than it had been foreseen by the Constitutional Committee of the National Assembly and in one point even further than the clear legal text. It outlawed inter alia the use of the following titles and signs of rank: von, Durchlaucht, Erlaucht, Edler, Ritter, Freiherr, Graf, Fuerst, Herzog and foreign class designations. The law on the abolition of nobility has been elevated one year later to constitutional rank, as it was mentioned in Art. 149, para. 1 of the newly created Federal Constitution Act of 1920. Later attempts to abolish or to change this law were unsuccessful.

From a legal point of view there arose some problems from the new situation. The punishment: The maximum amount for a fine was expressed in crowns: because of inflation and the change of the currency this amount was amended a few times, but always on the same basis as "normal" as opposed to constitutional laws. This has never been contested at the Constitutional Court, but I believe a challenge would have had, and still would have, a very good chance of succeeding.
The prohibition against the use of foreign class designations: The Ministry of Interior interpreted it after 1945 to encompass German citizens who obtained Austrian citizenship, so that they had to forfeit their former noble titles. Following the German constitution of Weimar, however, those former titles had become part of the name and were no longer class designations. Therefore the law was applied erroneously by the Ministry of the Interior, as has been demonstrated several times in proceedings before the Administrative Court. One difference with Germany remained: in Germany the former title is used sex-specifically (i.e.. Graf/Graefin or Freiherr/Freifrau/Freiin); this is not the case in Austria, where the form is not changed. If I had chosen my - German - wife's name at the marriage, I would have had to call myself Georg Freiin von Uslar-Gleichen, alphabetically entered under F, as Freiin.

The lack of clarity in the expression "to make use". The Ministerial instruction had stated that it was under the phrase "make use" of a title by which the law on the abolition of the nobility was ignored. The famous conductor Herbert von Karajan - an Austrian - told Austrian officials that he would not conduct concerts in Austria if he would not be allowed to use his "von" on posters - in my eyes a clear case of ignoring the aforementioned law. As Austrian officials naturally were interested in Herbert von Karajan continuing to conduct in Austria, they found a brilliant solution: In Karajan's passport a note was made that his stage name was "von Karajan" - and the problem was solved. Another effect of this unclear meaning of the expression "to make use" is that in wedding announcements nobiliary titles are not normally used by those making the announcement, but are used by all others.

Finally there is the problem of the double names. In many ennoblements there was conferred also a Praedikat, i.e. a second name, i.e. "Mayerhofer v. Grünbühel". After the abolition of the nobility many of these families called themselves with their full name and replaced only the "von" by a hyphen, in our example "Mayerhofer-Grünbühel". The Ministry of Interior fought against this practice and finally the Supreme Court stated that this practice was not legally correct. The public authorities were really "trained" concerning double names and consulted often the Common Administrative Archive which administers also the former Nobility Archive. I shall give a small example of an actual occurrence. One day the telephone rang in the archive and an official asked: "I have here a lady whose name is Habsburg-Lothringen; she is surely noble, isn’t she?"

A final note to the law on names. The opportunities which have arisen under the German law to choose ones name between many possibilities will mean that in Germany there will be many individuals with a noble name who will not be part of the nobility, and I can see no end to this development. The Austrian solution of abolishing titles has a great advantage over the German: when a name has no title the incentive to choose it in preference to a non noble name is much smaller; and also the danger of deception decreases.

What was the effect of the abolition of nobility on the nobility itself? The high nobility, which surely was the first object of the law, was not affected very much because its property was not touched. But the law had a much greater influence on the so called Zweite Gesellschaft (Second Society), to whom belonged inter alia the many ennobled officer - and civil servant-families: they did not have large financial backing, and their names were not well known - thus they became the real victims of the abolition of the nobility. Politically this was nonsense, because the republic created in this ways enemies for the new state who normally would have been loyal subjects. In practice it was still usual to refer to nobles with their titles for many years. After WW II this pattern began to change and it is now only common in rural areas to refer to old families by their titles.

A final comment on the legal situation: Art. 60 para. 3 of the Federal Constitution Act excludes members of reigning or formerly reigning houses for eligibility as Federal President of the Republic of Austria. This includes the entire Part I and II families of the Gotha. When Austria signed the international agreement to eliminate all kinds of racial discrimination it was forced to make a reservation because of this regulation. 

3. Organization of the Austrian nobility

The Austrian nobility is not organized. But it still exists - where can it be found and how has it developed? The Tiroler Adelsmatrikel (Tyrolean Nobility Roll) has to be mentioned first. It is the only one of the old provincial representative bodies which survives in Austria and is probably the oldest extant organization of this kind in German speaking countries. It includes the whole of historic Tyrol, i.e. North- and East-Tyrol, today parts of Austria, South Tyrol and the Italian Tyrol (Trentino), today belonging to Italy.

Secondly the Vereinigung katholischer Edelleute in Oesterreich (Association of Catholic Nobles in Austria). It was founded before the beginning of WW I and started its work in 1922. Art. 1 of its statutes provided inter alia that it would create a roll of the Austrian nobility. In 1937 the Association had 2300 members (with many of them living at least for part of the year outside Austria) which was a large number considering then that 93% of the Austrians were Catholics, so the Association was truly representative of the Austrian nobility. When Austria lost its sovereignty in 1938 the Association was one of the first institutions which were dissolved by the new regime. After 1945 the Association was not re-erected.

There are also the chivalric Orders which are evidently not nobility associations but which had or have only noble members. The first is the (Austrian) Orden vom Goldenen Vliess (Order of the Golden Fleece) whose protecting power is the Republic of Austria. As second there is the Sternkreuzorden (Noble Order of the Starry Cross) which does not enjoy any public legal quality. And finally one might mention the Militaer-Maria-Theresien-Orden (Military Order of Maria Theresia) which promoted members up to 1931. The last knight died about a dozen years ago and from that moment on the Order ceased to exist.

More interesting in this context is the Souveraener Malteser-Ritter-Orden (Sovereign Military Order of Malta), more precisely the Grosspriorat von Oesterreich (Grand Priory of Austria). The Grand Priory has now 420 knights and dames with 68% of them being noble. Looking at the data of the Malteser Hospitaldienst Austria (Maltese Hospitally Service), from which a good portion of the new members of the Order are recruited, one sees that this Service has 1170 members of which 39% are noble; and including the 380 active members of the service, of which only 24% are noble. Therefore it is probable that the percentage of nobles in the Grand Priory will diminish. Nevertheless the Order is one of the main centers for the Austrian nobility and this will not change.

Finally there are two gentlemen’s clubs in Austria. First the once important Jockey Club für Oesterreich (Jockey Club for Austria), which was founded in 1867. It was never limited exclusively to the nobility, but the aristocratic element has always played a decisive role in its history. Its aim is to be authority for the turf and to be a social club. Because of the changes of the last 80 years the latter is the main aim today. The Jockey Club has 195 members of whom 60% are noble.

The second gentlemen’s club is the St. Johanns Club which unites the highest number of noblemen in Austria. It was founded 1954 by a group of gentlemen aged between 25 and 35 years old and is under the protection of the Order of Malta. The founders were children and grandchildren of those who had been leading members in the Association of Catholic Nobles. When the Club was founded there were also discussions about founding a club for the nobility; this was finally abandoned, inter alia perhaps because the Allied Control Commission (at that time Austria was still an occupied country!) probably would not have allowed it. Nevertheless the Club intensively discussed in its first years the role of the nobility and its tasks in the changed world. Members of the St. Johanns Club also took part at the foundation of the CILANE, the European Nobiliary Commission and the Club organized in 1960 the congress of CILANE in Vienna. The St. Johanns Club is a social club whose members have to belong to a Christian denomination. This is an ovious parallel with the Association of Catholic Nobles. The St. Johanns Club has 760 members, and 67%, i.e. more than 500, are noble.

Thus there is no organization in Austria today which exclusively represents the nobility other than the Tyrolean Nobility Roll. I have been asked sometimes if there is any possibility of founding an association of the Austrian nobility, and I would advise against this for two reasons: On the one hand it is - at least in my eyes - very doubtful whether the authority for societies would allow it, for constitutional reasons. On the other hand - and this is a much more valid argument - there is no need for such an association and it probably would not be accepted by society. This decision was made in 1954 and I do not sympathize with the idea of turning the wheel back. 

4. Austrian nobility today

Members of the Austrian nobility have to work like everyone else. Examining the occupations of the nobility there are some concentrations in certain activities: Agriculture and forestry are still an important area; but civil and military service which traditionally attracted nobles do so no longer; the only exception in this field is the diplomatic service. Many nobles have entered the financial services industry, especially banking. Some nobles have become lawyers or accountants, and also entered the advertising industry. Finally it is worth noting that a higher proportion of nobles are becoming Catholic priests.

In the introduction I examined the problem of defining who belongs to the Austrian nobility. When I prepared this speech I considered which noblemen have worked their way up in public life. It should be noted that not one of those I mention originates from a family which is exclusively Austrian and was born in Austria - an unexpected example of the historic international character of the Austrian nobility. I have to add that I did not exclude someone because he did not fit in this example.

The Minister for Science and Traffic is Caspar (von) Einem, nobility of Lower Saxony. His father was the very famous composer Gottfried von Einem and his mother was a born von Bismarck, a Prussian family. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party.

The president of the Constitutional Court is Ludwig Adamovich (de Csepin). The family is originally Croatian.

The leader of the parliamentary members of Austrian Peoples Party (Christian Democrats) is Andreas (von) Khol, a Tyrolean who has been born in the south of the Brenner pass, i.e. in Italy.

The archbishop of Vienna and newly created cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church is Christoph Schoenborn originated in the familiy of the counts of Schoenborn, who was born in 1945 in Bohemia.

The Secretary General of the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs is (Prinz) Albert Rohan; after the family escaped the French Revolution of 1789 they became Bohemian princes.

The author was born 14 January 1960 in Vienna, and after studying law at the University of Vienna, was accorded a Doctorate of Law in 1984. Since 1984 he has worked for the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, and in 1994 was employed at the European Commission in Brussels (Banking Supervision Division). He is an authority on legal matters concerning banking supervision. He has been married since 1989 to Friederike Freiin v. Uslar-Gleichen; and has three daughters. He is a Knight of Grace and Devotion to the SMOM, in the Grand Priory of Austria, and is a Knight Jure Sanguinis of the Constantinian Order of St. George.

Barchetti: Adelsrecht in der Republik Deutschland und in Österreich, in: Zeitschrift Adler, 17. (XXXI.) Band, p. 41 ff (1993); Binder-Krieglstein: Österreichisches Adelsrecht "Einige Einblicke", in: Zeitschrift Adler, 16. (XXX.) Band, p. 281 ff (1992); Brunner: 50 Jahre Aufhebung des Adels in Österreich, in: Juristische Blätter, 8. März 1969, p. 139 ff; Cornaro: Versuch einer Zentraladelsmatrik im Vormärz, in: Mitteilungen des österreichischen Staatsarchivs (MöStA) 25. Band, Wien 1972, p. 295 ff; Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels; Graf Finck v. Finckenstein: C.I.L.A.N.E - Die europäische Adelskommission, in: Deutsches Adelsblatt, 15. November 1992, p. 250; Goldinger: Das ehemalige Adelsarchiv, in: MöStA 13. Band, Wien 1960, p. 486 ff; Höfflinger (H.---r): Leserbrief in: Monatsblatt Adler, VIII. Band, p. 253 f; Jäger-Sunstenau: Statistik der Nobilitierungen in Österreich 1701-1918, in: Österreichisches Familienarchiv Band 1, Neustadt/Aisch 1963; Jahrbuch der Vereinigung katholischer Edelleute in Österreich, Innsbruck/Wien 1928 und 1937; Klecatsky/Morscher: Das österreichische Bundesverfassungsrecht, 3. Aufl., Wien 1983; Malteser Hospitaldienst Austria: Mitgliederverzeichnis Mai 1997; Mitgliederverzeichnis des Jockey Club für Österreich 1997; Mitteilungen der Vereinigung katholischer Edelleute in Österreich, 3. Jahrgang Nr. 3 (1931); Olscher: Alles Recht geht vom Volk aus, in: Siegert, p. 71 ff; St. Johanns Club, Mitgliederverzeichnis August 1996; St. Johanns Club Nachrichten No. 1 (1956) ff; Siegert (Hrsg.): Adel in Österreich, Wien 1971; Souveräner Malteser-Ritter-Orden Großpriorat von Österreich - Verzeichnis der im Großpriorat eingeschriebenen Mitglieder, Stand Jänner 1997; Stratowa: Wiener Genealogisches Taschenbuch, Wien 1924-1937; Waldstein-Wartenberg: Das Adelsaufhebungsgesetz von 1919, in: MöStA 25. Band, Wien 1972, p. 306 ff; Wandruszka: Die "Zweite Gesellschaft" der Donaumonarchie, in: Siegert, 56 ff; Windisch-Graetz: Der Jockey Club für Österreich, Wien 1985.
reproduced by kind permission of Georg Freiherr v. Frolichsthal
Die Landes-Erbämter in den österreichischen Kronländern 
© Georg Frölichsthal
Im Hochmittelalter war es üblich, daß jedes Fürstenhaus Ämter zur Besorgung der Haushaltung hatte; die ursprünglichen vier Hofämter waren Truchseß, Kämmerer, Schenk und Marschall. Im Laufe der Zeit stiegen die damit betrauten ursprünglich Unfreien in Macht und Ansehen; sie behielten zwar Titel und Würden, mit der Arbeit wurden aber untergeordnete Organe betraut. Die Dienste erlangten den Charakter von Ehrendiensten und wurden schließlich nur noch bei besonders feierlichen Anlässen wie Erbhuldigungen ausgeübt. Weiters lösten sich die Hofämter nach und nach von der Person des Fürsten und verwandelten sich in Landes-Erbämter, die lehenbar wurden. Meist war eine Familie zur gesamten Hand belehnt, die Würde ging üblicherweise im Wege der Primogenitur vom Vater auf den ältesten Sohn über. Die Anzahl der Landes-Erbämter wurde – auch zur Belohnung verdienter Familien – immer mehr erhöht; am meisten gab es in Österreich ob und unter der Enns (je 17; als letztes wurde das Oberst-Erbtürhüteramt für Österreich ob der Enns erst von Kaiserin Maria Theresia geschaffen). Die Lehen durften ausschließlich an inländische ständische Familien verliehen werden.
In den Lehenbriefen des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts finden sich die Bezeichnungen nur mit „Oberst“ und „Erb“ (wie Oberst-Erbmarschall - und für die übrigen Mitglieder der belehnten Familie nur Erbmarschall), während im 19. Jahrhundert zur Bezeichnung meistens noch der Ausdruck „Land“ hinzutrat (im Beispiel Oberst-Erbland-Marschall). Der Rang innerhalb der Würdenträger scheint von Land zu Land unterschiedlich gewesen zu sein. Während in Österreich ob der Enns der Oberst-Erbland-Hofmeister den Vorrang vor allen anderen hatte, stand in Tirol der Oberst-Erbland-Marschall an der Spitze der Tiroler Adelsmatrikel; auch die Schematismen der einzelnen Kronländer haben abwechselnd den Hofmeister oder den Marschall an oberster Stelle angeführt. Die Reihung der Ämter in der Tabelle erfolgt alphabetisch.
Folgende Dinge verdienen es, näher erwähnt zu werden:
*     Leider verfügen die Wiener Bibliotheken bei weitem nicht über alle in Frage kommenden Provinzialschematismen, und leider haben diese Schematismen auch nicht immer die Landes-Erbämter aufgezählt; für Görz und Gradisca waren nur Angaben aus dem Jahr 1808 verfügbar (der letzte bezughabende Akt im Allgemeinen Verwaltungsarchiv stammt aus 1816), während für Salzburg überhaupt kein Amtskalender mit Angaben über die Landes-Erbämter aufzutreiben war.
*     Nicht alle Kronländer kannten Landes-Erbämter, sondern nur jene, die in der folgenden Tabelle angeführt werden.
*     Österreichisch-Schlesien hatte keine Landes-Erbämter, Preußisch-Schlesien jedoch sehr wohl (so z.B. die Henckel v. Donnersmarck als Erboberlandmundschenken). Da zu vermuten ist, daß die Landes-Erbämter in (Preußisch-)Schlesien aber nicht erst nach der endgültigen Trennung des Landes im Jahr 1763 geschaffen worden sind, wäre es interessant, die näheren Umstände genauer zu untersuchen.
*     In Galizien und Lodomerien wiederum wurden durch Kaiserin Maria Theresia und Kaiser Josef II. sogenannte Landes-Erzämter geschaffen, die nicht lehenbar und nicht erblich waren und auf Lebenszeit verliehen wurden.
*     Die Einordnung des Postmeisteramtes unter die Landes-Erbämter ist umstritten. Die Paar waren in Ungarn, Böhmen und Innerösterreich damit belehnt; später wurde das Oberst-Hof- und General-Erblandpostmeisteramt als Ehrenamt aufgefaßt, deshalb zählen auch die Amtskalender und Schematismen es in der überwiegenden Mehrheit nicht auf (und deswegen fehlt es auch in der folgenden Tabelle).
*     In Salzburg erfolgt nach 1815 keine Neubelehnung mit dem Kämmereramt. Der Siebmacher für Salzburg vermutet dazu, dass die Grafen v. Toerring einen Rechtsanspruch auf Neubelehnung mit diesem Amt gehabt hätten, wenn sie darum eingekommen wären.
*     Eindeutiger „Rekordhalter“ sind die Lamberg, die es immerhin in drei Kronländern auf insgesamt vier verschiedene Landes-Erbämter gebracht haben.
*     Eine einzige österreichische Familie übte auch im Hl. Römischen Reich ein Erbamt aus: die Althann waren seit 1714 Reichserbschenken.
*     Von den insgesamt erfaßten 80 Familien sind innerhalb der letzten 150 Jahre über ein Viertel erloschen, zuletzt im Mannesstamme die Hohenwarth.
Mit dem Ende der alten ständischen Verfassungen im Jahre 1848 (mit Ausnahme Tirols) haben die Landes-Erbämter, die ja eigentlich nur noch bei den Erbhuldigungen sichtbar in Funktion traten, weitgehend ihren Sinn verloren und wurden daher in den Länderschematismen ab diesem Zeitpunkt mehrheitlich nicht mehr angeführt. Auffälligste Ausnahme hievon ist neben dem Sonderfall Tirol der niederösterreichische Amtskalender, der bis zum Jahr 1919 die Landes-Erbämter aufzählt. Rechtlich gesehen bestanden die Landes-Erbämter jedoch nach 1848 weiter und wurden auch durch die Lehen-Allodisierung (RGBl. Nr. 103/1862) nicht berührt. Dennoch wurde ab diesem Zeitpunkt zumindest bei Erlöschen der belehnten Familie keine neue Belehnung mehr vorgenommen. Mit der Vollzugsanweisung der Staatsämter für Inneres und Justiz, StGBl. Nr. 237/1919, wurden die Landes-Erbämter für aufgehoben erklärt.
Ungedruckt: Allgemeines Verwaltungsarchiv (Wien), Hofkammer IV D 4, Kartons 513 und 517 Gedruckt: Amtskalender für Tirol und Vorarlberg für das Jahr 1914, Innsbruck (1914); Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, 1951 ff; Gondorf, Bernhard: Die alten Reichsämter, in: Der Herold, Vierteljahreszeitschrift, Band 11, 1984/86, 101ff; Gothaische Genealogische Taschenbücher; Handbuch des Herzogthumes Kärnten für das Jahr 1856, Klagenfurt (1856); Handbuch des Herzogthumes Steiermark für das Jahr 1848, Graz (1848); Handbuch des Königreiches Böhmen für das Jahr 1848, Prag (1848); Hof- und Staatshandbuch des österreichischen Kaiserthumes, Wien 1848; Heyer v. Rosenfeld, Friedrich/Bojničić, Dr. Ivan v.: Der Adel in Galizien, Lodomerien und der Bukowina, Nürnberg 1905 („Neuer Siebmacher“); Houwald, A. Freiherr v.: Brandenburg-Preußische Standeserhöhungen und Gnadenakte für die Zeit 1873-1918, Görlitz 1939; Kremer, Johann Heinrich Edler v.: Das langobardisch-österreichische Lehenrecht, Erster Theil, Wien 1838, 161ff; Meiller, Dr. Andreas v.: Zur Geschichte der Obersten-Hof-Ämter in Österreich, in: Zeitschrift Adler 1, 1871, 6ff, 14f, 23f; Mayerhofer, Ernst/Pace, Graf Anton: Handbuch für den politischen Verwaltungsdienst, fünfter Band, fünfte Auflage, Wien 1901, 162ff; Mitis, Dr. Oskar Freiherr v.: Die Erbwürden im Herzogtum Krain, in: Monatsblatt Adler V, 1905, 434ff; Niederösterreichischer Amtskalender für das Jahr 1919, Wien 1919; N.N.: Adelsmatrikel des Herzogthums Krain, in: Monatsblatt Adler IV, 1897, 136; Planck v. Planckburg, Karl: Die Landes-Erbämter und die Erbhuldigungen in Österreich ob der Enns, in: Jahrbuch der Vereinigung katholischer Edelleute in Österreich, Innsbruck/Wien/München 1929, 84ff; Provinzial-Handbuch von Österreich ob der Enns und Salzburg für das Jahr 1848, Linz (1848); Schematismus für Krain und Görz auf das Jahr 1808, Laibach (1808); Tiroler Matrikelstiftung, früher Tiroler Adels-Matrikel-Genossenschaft, Innsbruck 1978, 102; Weitenhiller, Moritz Maria Edler v.: Die Wappen des Adels in Salzburg, Nürnberg 1883 („Neuer Siebmacher“)

Im Jahr 1848 belehnte Familien
Österreich ob der Enns
Österreich unter der Enns
Görz und Gradisca (1808)
Gfen v. Thürheim
Gfen v. St. Julien
Frhrn v. Waid­mannsdorff
Frhrn v. Otten­fels-Gschwind
Gfen v. Lanthieri
Gfen v. Cobenzl
Frhrn v. Stern­bach
Propst des Chor­herrenstiftes St. Florian
Propst des Chor­herrenstiftes Klosterneuburg
Gfen v. Ungnad-Weißenwolff
Gfen v. Kheven­hüller-Metsch
Gfen v. Trautt­mansdorff
Fsten u. Gfen v. Orsini u. Rosen­berg
Gfen v. Thurn u. Valsassina
Fsten Porcia
Trapp Gfen v. Matsch
Fsten u. Gfen Kinsky
Fsten u. Gfen v. Lamberg
Gfen v. Baudis­sin-Zinzendorf-Pottendorf
Fsten u. Grafen v. Dietrichstein
Gfen v. Platz
Gfen u. Herren v. Gallenberg
Gfen v. Strassoldo
Gfen v. Thun (Zweig Castel Fondo)
Fsten u. Gfen v. Lamberg
Gfen v. Breuner-Enckevoirth
Gfen v. Attems
Gfen v. Herber­stein
Fsten u. Gfen v. Auersperg
Gfen v. Breuner
Frhrn v. Cles
Nach 1815 keine Neubeleh­nung erfolgt
Frhrn v. Stiebar
Frhrn v. Stiebar
Gfen v. Wurm­brand
Gfen v. Seilern
Frhrn v. Wolkens-
Gfen v. Perlas
Gfen v. Welsperg
Gfen Wratislaw v. Mitrowitz
Fsten u. Gfen v. Starhemberg
Fsten u. Gfen v. Starhemberg
Gfen v. Wagens­perg
Fsten u. Gfen v. Auersperg
Gfen v. Thurn u. Valsassina
Fsten v. Auers­perg
Gfen v. Lodron
Gfen Barth v. Barthenheim
Gfen v. Hardegg
Gfen v. Stuben­berg
Fsten u. Gfen v. Dietrichstein
Gfen Coronini v. Cronberg
Gfen zu Spaur
Gfen v. Küen­burg
Gfen Czernin v. Chudenitz
Gfen v. Pergen
Gfen v. Pergen
(OÖ u. NÖ:
Panier und Fähnrich)
Gfen v. Abens­perg u. Traun
Gfen v. Abens­perg u. Traun
a) Herrenstand: Gfen Chorinsky
b) Ritterstand: Frhrn
v. Wor
Fsten v. Lobkowicz
Gfen v. Kuefstein
Gfen v. Kuefstein
Gfen v. Wicken­burg
Frhrn v. Erberg
Gfen zu Brandis
Altgfen v. Salm-Reifferscheidt
Gfen v. Fuchs
Gfen v. Fuchs
Frhrn v. Mandell
Gfen v. Goess
Frhrn v. Egkh zum Hungerspach
Gfen v. Stürgkh
Gfen v. Welsperg
Gfen v. Harrach
Gfen v. Harrach
Fsten u. Gfen v. Windisch-Graetz
Fsten u. Gfen v. Lamberg
Gfen v. Wolken­stein
Gfen v. Schön­born-Buchheim
Gfen v. Schön­born-Buchheim
Gfen v. Hardegg
Gfen v. Herber­stein
Gfen v. Hohen­warth
Gfen v. Cobenzl
Gfen v. Künigl
Fsten u. Gfen v. Lamberg
Fsten u. Gfen v. Colloredo
Gfen v. Chotek
Gfen v. Chotek
Frhrn v. Mladota
Vorschneider (OÖ u. NÖ: Schildträger, Kampfrichter u. V.)
Gfen v. Althann
Gfen v. Althann
Frhrn v. Hammer-
Gfen v. Stürgkh
Gfen v. Wolken­stein
Gfen v. Waldstein-Wartenberg