Order of the Bath

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Bath, Order of the. Bathing as a symbol of purification was an element in the creation of spotless knights and the practice grew up of dubbing numbers of knights on grand occasions like coronations. By the time of Henry V they were known as knights of the Bath, though no order existed. In 1725 John Anstis, Garter King of Arms, suggested the ‘revival’ of the order. Walpole and George I' agreed, partly to add lustre to the new regime, partly to fend off aspirants. The red ribbon became coveted. The Order was extended in 1815 and 1847. It has a military and civilian division, with three categories in each—the Knights Grand Cross (GCB), Knights Commander (KCB), and Companions (CB). Women members are dames. The dean of Westminster is usually its dean and the chapel of the order is Henry VII's chapel in Westminster abbey.

J. A. Cannon

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Bath, Order of the Second highest order of knighthood in Britain. Founded by Henry IV in 1399, it fell into disuse but was revived by George I in 1725. The sovereign confers the title on members of the armed forces, scientists, artists, scholars and other distinguished citizens. Women were first admitted to the order in 1971. See also Garter, Order of the

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Bath, Order of the (in the UK) an order of knighthood, so called from the ceremonial bath which originally preceded installation. It has four classes of membership, which are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB), Knight or Dame Commander (KCB/DCB), and Companion (CB). (See also Knight of Chancery.)
Bath King of Arms title of the herald or marshal of the Order.