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Thistle, Order of the

Thistle, Order of the. The origins of this Scottish order of knighthood are unclear but it seems to have been founded by James III about 1480. It lapsed after the Reformation but was revived by James VII and II in 1687 and again by Anne in 1703. It now numbers sixteen, including the sovereign. The insignia is a star with the cross of St Andrew and a green thistle superimposed. The chapel of the order is in St Giles' cathedral, Edinburgh.

J. A. Cannon

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