Robert Gayre of Gayre and Nigg, and the “International Commission for Orders of Chivalry”


Readers interested in the world of chivalry may occasionally come across a curious little book, privately printed in Malta in 1974, called “The Knightly Twilight: A Glimpse at the Chivalric and Nobiliary Underworld”[1] by Lt. Col. Robert Gayre of Gayre and Nigg. Since this propagandistic tract makes a number of mistaken and derogatory categorizations concerning the San Luigi Orders and the clergy of the smaller churches it is appropriate that we should provide some form of response to its charges.

The book referenced above was intimately connected with the “International Commission for Orders of Chivalry” (ICOC) which Gayre founded and headed for many years, and which continues to exist today. As will be explained, the ICOC established itself as a self-appointed arbiter on the legitimacy of chivalric orders and published a highly controversial register of those entities of which it approved. The contents of Gayre’s book are largely drawn from correspondence from those orders and associations that found themselves excluded from this register, presented by him for the purpose of denigration and hostile commentary.

We cannot find among our records any indication that Prince-Abbot Edmond II of San Luigi ever corresponded with Gayre or the ICOC, or applied for the inclusion of the San Luigi Orders in the ICOC register. The decision to include them in Gayre’s book would appear therefore on the one hand to be a furtherance of earlier Vatican and Italian propaganda against them[2], and on the other possibly to reflect some other darker aspects of Gayre’s worldview that we will examine below.

The ICOC today has undergone some degree of change, and now describes its register of “approved” chivalric orders as “provisional” in nature. However, its interpretations and their underlying criteria, which ultimately continue to reference its founder, are still in need of fundamental challenge, and reflect the judgements of an institution where African royalty and nobility goes wholly unrepresented among the membership, which is overwhelmingly white and European.

We must conclude that chivalry is simply of too great an importance, especially in a religious context, to be subject to the narrow and arbitrary judgements of any small sectarian group of individuals, however scholarly, particularly when those judgements carry no legal weight and represent a merely private entity. Furthermore, while there are undoubtedly many experts in the various aspects of chivalric affairs, it is entirely possible to build up a panel of experts who are united in an organization not only because of their expertise, but because their opinions happen to coincide in large part with a particular institutional viewpoint. Where most if not all such experts are members of the orders of which the organization “approves”, and are likewise members of the larger churches which have propagandized against the development of Old Catholicism in England and America from the outset, some searching questions must inevitably be asked concerning objectivity and motivation.

The justification for such activity is often put forward as a simple desire to protect the public from various quasi-chivalric organisations that exist to part the unwary from their money, and that claim to be something that they are not. We in the San Luigi Orders endorse this laudable aim and have no interest in defending bogus institutions. However, we will show that the ICOC has during its history not only been ineffective at preventing such activity but indeed has sheltered it at its very heart. Furthermore, it has confused this role of consumer protection with protectionism.

In this paper, we hope, through reference to easily verifiable sources, to shed some light upon our critics and their motivations, and thus to enable the reader to come to a judgement as to whether their position on these matters should be afforded credence.


George Robert Gayre (1907-96), whose surname at birth was Gair, graduated Master of Arts in Geography from the University of Edinburgh and served during World War II as a Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Artillery[3]. After the Second World War he was an educational adviser to the Allied Military Government of Italy and later assisted in establishing the Italo-Indian Institute in India.

GayreAfter his war service, Gayre published a history of his family (1948) and devoted considerable energy to establishing that those of his surname could be considered among the authentic clans of Scotland and that he was heir to the headship of the resultant Clan Gayre. Accordingly, he appended “of Gayre and Nigg” to his surname after the death of his father in 1957. He was able to purchase Minard Castle, a generous mansion on the banks of Loch Fyne, whose lands enabled him to adopt a further style as feudal Baron of Lochoreshyre.

Gayre had been granted an augmentation to his arms by the ex-King Umberto II of Italy, and he was active in heraldic and chivalric circles. The most prominent of his associations was with the Order of St Lazarus, where he was Hereditary Commander of Lochore, and in which he rose to the positions of Grand Bailiff and Commander-General of the English Tongue (1961-63), Grand Referendary (1969-73), Grand Almoner and Grand Commander (1973) and Vicar-General (1985). He was tireless in his work for the Order, overseeing its international expansion and building up its hospitaller activities. He was also a Knight Commander and holder of the Grand Cross of Merit in the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an order which he largely took as the model for his vision of St Lazarus. In addition, he published several works on heraldic matters, was honorary president of numerous heraldic societies and contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica on the subject. In 1959 he founded and became editor of the periodical The Armorial.[4] He was one of the founders of the Augustan Society in the United States in 1957.


Hand-in-hand with Gayre’s interest in heraldry and genealogy went his interest in race. During the early years of the Third Reich, he had been editor of the German journal Folk[5] and has been described by William H. Tucker as “a disciple of Hans F.K. Gunther, the Nazi social scientist obsessed with determining intra-European racial composition from the shape of the skull.”[6] Not unsurprisingly, such interests could easily be applied to finding “scientific” support for racialist views. Gayre in turn opined that “the size of the brain relative to size or weight of the body is of crucial importance in placing each species or subspecies in its proper place in tables of advanced or less advanced stocks…the average brain of the Negro differs in weight, being 100 grams or thereabouts less than the average of the Caucasoid….it is quite impossible to maintain the brains are the same when we find a distinct difference of this kind.”[7]

Graham Richards, in his work “Race, Racism and Psychology: Towards a Reflexive History”, goes so far as to describe Gayre as a “self-professed Nazi,”[8] though Gayre was known to have strongly denied this charge, citing his British military service during World War II as evidence[9]. David Lethbridge tells us that Gayre was “a champion of apartheid and has stated his belief that blacks are worthless.”[10] Meanwhile, Andrew Winston says that “Gayre argued that Black races were genetically suited to humor, music, art, community life, emotional religious experience, boxing, and running, while Whites excelled in intellectual skills.”[11]

In 1945, the New Statesman publically questioned Gayre’s suitability to be in charge of Army Education in France; Gayre’s response – one which would be repeated on several future occasions – was to sue for libel.[12] A former acquaintance of Gayre, providing background evidence for a defence to one such libel writ, said that he had “spent half his time in Berlin and was paid a ‘very handsome salary’ by the Nazis”[13] She also suggested that Gayre had “become unacceptable in Edinburgh and moved to Oxford”.


In 1960, Gayre founded and became editor of The Mankind Quarterly (he was honorary editor-in-chief from 1979). This was to be described by Ashley Montagu as “a notorious journal of “racial history” founded, and funded, by men who believe in the genetic superiority of the white race.”[14]

An illuminating account of Gayre and this publication was provided in Psychology, Racism and Fascism[15] by Michael Billig of the Department of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, and we quote at some length from his profile of Gayre in chapter 3[16]:

“Since it was established in 1960, The Mankind Quarterly has had the same overall editor — Professor R. Gayre, M.A., D.Phil., Pol.D.Sc., D.Sc.[17], a physical anthropologist trained at Edinburgh University[18]. He was formerly Professor of Anthropology at the University of Saugor in India, but now is resident at Edinburgh, where The Mankind Quarterly is published. As well as editing the magazine Gayre has been one of its most prolific contributors of major articles and book reviews. Hardly an issue passes without some contribution from its editor.

Throughout his long academic career[19], Gayre had never wavered in his belief in the importance of race. An early book Teuton and Slav on the Polish Frontier starts with the assumption that in human affairs “racial fundamentals are all-important” (p.12). Gayre’s book is essentially a recommendation for re-drawing Germany’s national boundaries in order to “improve the racial homogeneity” of Germany; in this way, according to Gayre, “Germany would become considerably more Nordic” (p. 12).

To this end, Gayre leans heavily on Günther’s work. In Teuton and Slav Gayre reproduces page after page of photographs purporting to depict ideal ‘racial types’ from Günther’s Rassenkunde Europas. Gayre constantly refers to “Professor Hans F.K. Günther’s authoritative work on German racial science” (p. 30). He also mentions a visit he paid to Günther’s laboratory in Berlin in 1939.

Gayre Teuton and SlavIllustrations from Gayre’s Teuton and Slav

Gunther Rassenkunde EuropasIllustrations from Günther’s Rassenkunde Europas.

Gayre’s contacts with British fascists came to light when five members of the Racial Preservation Society were prosecuted in 1968 at Lewes under the Race Relations Act for publishing racialist material. At the time of the offence the Racial Preservation Society was an independent body, but by the time of the trial it had officially merged into the National Front. The defendants were themselves members of the newly formed National Front.

Gayre was called as an expert witness for the defence. In his evidence to the court he described blacks as being “feckless” and he maintained that scientific evidence showed that blacks “prefer their leisure to the dynamism which the white and yellow races show”. Largely on the basis of Gayre’s ‘expert’ testimony the defendants were acquitted.

Besides Gayre there were two other ‘expert’ witnesses for the defence. One was Dr John Mitchell, a medical practitioner, who had been court-martialled during the Second World War for his pro-Mosley and pro-fascist sympathies. After the war, Mitchell was involved with the openly Nazi Greater Britain Movement. In 1978 he emerged as one of the financial backers for the National Front’s purchase of its new headquarters. The other expert witness was Joy Page, whose main expertise appears to be her longstanding involvement with racist organisations like the Immigration Control Association.

Gayre not only testified on behalf of the defence, but he also donated £25 to the defence fund. He later justified this action by saying: “I think one should be able to discriminate on the grounds of race and colour”. Moreover, he was of assistance to the then chairman of the National Front, A.K. Chesterton, in compiling a booklet about the trial: Not Guilty: an account of the historic race relations trial at Lewes Assizes in March 1968. This booklet is still on National Front booklists. A recent publication of the Young National Front, How to combat Red teachers, states: “This little booklet . . .. should be in the pocket of every young patriot as a handy source of the facts which demolish sociological multi-racialist propaganda on race” (p. 2).

One of the defendants at the Lewes trial was Alan Hancock, a former member of Oswald Mosley’s Union Movement. Hancock was also a member of the Northern League[20]. In fact, he organised the Northern League’s annual meetings in 1969, 1970 and 1971. These meetings are normally only open to members and specially selected guests. Those present included a motley collection of open Nazis, like Colin Jordan[21], members of the clandestine Nazi paramilitary organisation Column 88, ex-SS men, and Martin Webster[22] of the National Front. Also invited to these meetings was Professor Gayre.

The Northlander, the official publication of the Northern League, reported that Gayre declined the invitation in 1970 in “a kind letter”, regretting that he had a previous commitment. Nevertheless, The Northlander reported that Gayre added in his letter “there are racial differences and they are genetic and I think we should say so.”

The following year The Northlander reported that the closed meeting received “best wishes and messages” from, among others, Professor Gayre. Certainly The Northlander has on several occasions referred warmly to Gayre. For instance in August 1968 it described Gayre as “one of the oldest good friends of the Northern League” and the writer described a “nice and interesting day with him and his family”. Again in the February/April issue of 1972 there is a reference to “our good friend . . . the Scottish laird Col. Prof. Dr Gayre”. In the August/October issue of The Northlander it is stated that “we send our best wishes to Prof. Gayre” who is described as “our good connection and friend”.

Gayre is not only a ‘good connection’ of European fascists. He also has good connections in Southern Africa. He is an enthusiastic supporter of apartheid and has paid regular visits to South Africa and Rhodesia. On several occasions he has attended the Congress of the South African Genetic Society. The President of the Society, Professor J.D.J. Hofmeyr, is also on the Honorary Advisory Board of The Mankind Quarterly.

Gayre has also contributed to a South African journal which is written predominantly in Africaan, although it does publish English contributions: Tydskrif vir Rasse-Aangeleenthede (Journal of Racial Affairs). This journal is published by the South African Bureau of Racial Affairs and consists entirely of pseudo-scientific propaganda supporting apartheid. Gayre’s article in 1964 (Vol. 15, pages 141-154) is entitled ‘The races and peoples of Southern Africa: Some notes on their ethnic movements and distributions’; it describes a trip to the Transkei. He was accompanied on this trip by Hofmeyr, A.J. Gregor (who was at that time an Assistant Editor of The Mankind Quarterly: see below) and Professor C.D. Darlington (who is on the editorial board of Neue Anthropologie, see below). Hofmeyr is also a regular contributor to the Journal of Racial Affairs.

Hofmeyr’s political views are extreme even by South African standards. He has contributed to the extreme right-wing magazine South African Observer. For instance he wrote in praise of race prejudice in February 1962: “Race prejudice is just as fundamental to the perpetuation of a race as feeding, propagation and other phenomena.”

In common with many overtly fascist publications, South African Observer mixes its unabashed racism with anti-semitic notions of a ‘Jewish world conspiracy’. It is well to the right of the ruling Nationalist Party. Frequently it criticised former South African Prime Minister, John Vorster, for accepting “the Zionist-communist equality doctrine”.

Gayre has also mixed with this sort of company on his many visits to South Africa. In March 1971, for example, he addressed the National Forum in Durban, which provides a forum for some of South Africa’s most dedicated racists.”

The author goes on to give some idea of the contents of The Mankind Quarterly:

“The racial bias of The Mankind Quarterly has always been evident. The very first issue of the journal made this plain; its introductory editorial statement declared that “the journal has become the more necessary since during the last two decades there has been a decided tendency to neglect the racial aspects of man’s inheritance for the social” (Vol. 1, p.4).

Throughout its career, The Mankind Quarterly has published articles favourable to apartheid. Some of the most blatant material comes from the editor himself. Gayre has written a series of articles with such titles as “Proposals for separate ethnic development in Rhodesia” (The Mankind Quarterly, 1967); “Practical considerations which are fundamental in Bantu affairs in Rhodesia and for an understanding of Negroid-Caucasian problems generally” (1969); “Negrophile falsification of racial history” (1969).

A few quotations from Gayre’s The Mankind Quarterly articles will suffice to show their position. In April 1966 Gayre specifically wrote in favour of “the principle of separate development in Southern Africa”; in a chilling phrase. Gayre explained that “administratively everything is made much easier by separate development” (‘Dilemma of inter-racial relations’, 1966, p.194). He argued against integration in schools because it “unjustly confines the Negro children to scrambling along behind and trying to keep up with white children” (p.195). He also maintained that “The Negroes have never shown interest in invention and creative work” (1966, p.195).

It is small wonder that The Mankind Quarterly receives commendations from open racists and fascists, when it contains statements from its editor such as: “There is no example of a Negro nation that has in any way contributed to Western cultural civilization or to modern man” (1969, p.85).

The standard of Gayre’s articles can be judged by a piece published in July 1962. Gayre describes a trip he took to the “Bantu homelands of Northern Transvaal”, accompanied by the Public Relations Officer for Bantu Administration at Pretoria. The purpose was to look at the racial characteristics of the ‘Bantus’. As a result of his inspections Gayre comes to the conclusion that the ‘Bantus’ are not a pure race: there is a small amount of non-black blood flowing in their veins. One of the proofs offered by Gayre is a photo of an elderly Zulu with a nose “which is distinctly Jewish” (The Mankind Quarterly, 1962, p.112). In an earlier article, Gayre had recommended readers interested in the “genetics of nasal inheritance” (1960, p.112) to consult Kultur und Rasse, published in Berlin, 1939.

Gayre Zulu with a 'Jewish nose'Gayre’s Zulu with a “Jewish nose”

The pro-apartheid bias of The Mankind Quarterly is even more apparent in its book reviews. South African and Rhodesian propaganda publications are frequently given warm reviews. For instance, in 1965 there is a review of The Rhodesian Ministry of Internal Affairs Annual (pp.59-60). In October 1966 Mr White Man, what now?, by G.M. Mes, with a foreword by the Hon. Mr. Justice J.F. Ludorf (published in Johannesburg) was reviewed.

The review of Rhodesia: the jewel of Africa by R.C. Haw (published in Salisbury, Rhodesia) states that the author “leaves little doubt that the Rhodesian cause is overwhelming” (1966, p.124)…

South African and Rhodesian propaganda is not the only type of propaganda to receive favourable reviews in the pages of The Mankind Quarterly. From time to time fascist publications are reviewed warmly.

For instance, Gayre’s connections with the Racial Preservation Society are renewed in the pages of The Mankind Quarterly. The following Racial Preservation Society publications by H.B. Isherwood have been reviewed. Religion and the racial controversy: the false propaganda of the Church (reviewed 1971, p.20); Race and nationhood (reviewed July 1975), Racial kinship (reviewed October 1976).

In his review of Race and kinship, Gayre wrote: “Anything from the pen of Mr H.B. Isherwood must command scholarly respect”. The August 1978 edition of the National Front magazine Spearhead published a letter from H.B. Isherwood which states, inter alia, “I think Spearhead for June is excellent”. The June edition of Spearhead had been one of the most blatantly anti-Semitic issues for a good number of years; it had even included an attributed quotation from the notorious Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion…

In the 1969 issue, Gayre recommended another Britons Publishing Company publication, The religious attitudes of the Indo-Europeans by Hans Günther. Gayre has obviously lost little of his admiration for the Nazi racial theorist. He started his review: “No one could be better fitted to discuss the ideas and religious concepts of the Indo-Europeans than the late Professor Günther” (p.143)…

Perhaps the most revealing comments to emerge from this controversy came from two academics who were initially involved with The Mankind Quarterly. Professor Ehrenfels had an article in the very first issue. However he wrote to Current Anthropology in 1962 complaining that his article had been censored by the editor. Gayre had deleted two paragraphs which were critical of apartheid in South Africa and Rhodesia.

The reactions of Professor Skerlj of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Ljubljana have also been publicly recorded. The first edition of The Mankind Quarterly listed Skerlj as a member of the Advisory Board. However one issue of the magazine was sufficient to convince him of its nature and he immediately wrote a letter of resignation to Gayre. He asked that this letter be published in The Mankind Quarterly. When this request was refused, Skerlj wrote to Man, who published an account of his experiences with The Mankind Quarterly (November 1960, pp.172-173)[23].

Skerlj’s comments are worth reproducing:

“Some of those views appearing in the first issue, which has just reached me, seem to show such little concern for facts and to be so distorted by racial prejudice that I cannot allow them to stand without the most vigorous protest. They are quite incompatible with my conscience as a scientist and an affront to the bitter memories I have of the anguish suffered during World War II by the peoples of Europe and of my own country in particular – not to mention what I personally saw and experienced while a prisoner in Dachau.”

Skerlj also mentioned the letter he received from the Associate Editor Ruggles Gates. In this letter Gates suggested that Skerlj would never have been asked to be a member of the Advisory Board of The Mankind Quarterly had Gates known that Skerlj had been a prisoner in Dachau.”

Nor was this all; Tucker quotes Gayre as opining that to marry someone of a different race was “no more a right of…choice than…to go round shooting policemen,” and that “the Negro…is breeding like rabbits, because all his natural predators have been removed.”[24]


The International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology and Eugenics (IAAEE) was headquartered in Edinburgh and was the first publisher of The Mankind Quarterly. This body boasted Gayre on its Executive Committee during the 1960s in the company of assorted fascists and advocates of racial segregation[25]. The organization was bankrolled by the American Colonel Wickliffe Draper[26], who “sought to fund research that would provide scientific justification for segregation and revive the concept of racial hygiene which had been discredited as a result of the Nazis”[27]

Winston adds to this another explicit connexion between the Mankind Quarterly and the darkest aspects of Nazism:

“Like the IAAEE, the Mankind Quarterly board had one foot in the race science of the 1930s via supporters of Gunther, such as Gayre, and former contributors to the scientific literature of the 1930s, such as Gates and Lundman. In addition, the German geneticist Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer[28], an important race hygienist of the Nazi period, was listed as a member of the honorary advisory board from 1966 to 1978. In a 1941 race hygiene textbook, he called for “a complete solution to the Jewish question”; by 1944 he could publicly declare that “the dangers posed by Jews and Gypsies to the German people had been eliminated through the racial-political measures of recent years” (quoted in Proctor, 1988, p. 211). During the war, in his position at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, von Verschuer had urged his former graduate student and assistant, Josef Mengele, to take up the opportunity for unique research possibilities at Auschwitz (see Kuhl, 1994; Proctor). It is neither trivial nor sensationalistic to mention Mengele in this context. Both Mengele and von Verschuer shared the view that the study of twins was the premier method of genetics. Accordingly, Mengele sent the results of his “experiments” at Auschwitz, including body parts, to von Verschuer for analysis. Despite the highly negative postwar report by a German investigation, von Verschuer obtained a persilschein, a certification of his political acceptability, and his reputation as a “neutral scientist” was restored (see Muller-Hill, 1988; Proctor). Von Verschuer was called to the prestigious chair of human genetics at Munster in 1951, and there is no indication that his views on human genetics and race ever changed.”[29]


At this point, we should, having established beyond doubt the nature of Gayre’s views, activities and associations, now turn to his writings and work concerning chivalry and examine their origins and motivation.

The name of the “International Commission for Orders of Chivalry” (ICOC) might give the impression that it is a body with some form of official standing. In fact, it is purely a private association. It was founded at Gayre’s instigation at the Fifth International Congress of Genealogy and Heraldry at Stockholm in 1960 with Gayre as its chair. This Congress had previously during the latter part of the 1950s heard “strongly worded statements” against orders of chivalry judged by the speakers to be “illegitimate” (Velde).

François Velde[30] reports that this commission presented its findings at the 1962 Congress in Edinburgh, where the Congress “voted to establish the Commission on a permanent basis” while “the plenary session unanimously resolved that “the question of legitimacy of orders of chivalry is excluded from the activities of the international congresses of genealogical and heraldic sciences.” This resolution was solemnly renewed in the plenary session of the 7th congress in 1964 (see the acts of that congress).” As Velde opines, “Whether the Congress established the commission as permanent because it thought it was doing a great job, or whether this was the most tactful way for the Congress to extricate itself from the subject of orders of chivalry, is open to question.”[31]

According to Velde, “Hervé Pinoteau (see also an article by Vicente y Cadenas in Hidalguia 178-9, 1983) has claimed that the commission, composed of various individuals in large part unqualified for the task, had claimed the patronage of heads of formerly sovereign families, but also of individuals of more doubtful identity and claims. The heads of authentic families, some of whom had not even been consulted, issued a public denial and rejected any link with the ICOC.”[32]

The account of the ICOC given by James J. Algrant, its former Secretary-General,[33] is illuminating as to the underlying motivation for this new entity:

“It was at about this time that Gayre was appointed Commissioner-General of the English Tongue of the Order of St. Lazarus which was at the time the object of the hostile attention of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and those close to it[34]. Many viewed Gayre’s creation of the Commission as a ploy to justify the existence of the Order of St. Lazarus, a view borne out by the appearance of that order in the Commission’s Register as a “semi-independent” one along with such bodies as the Spanish military orders, the Teutonic, the various Johanniters and the British Order of St. John. It is not clear how Gayre managed to convince his distinguished colleagues to back him initially, especially as the Third International Congress of Genealogy and Heraldry in Madrid in 1955 had condemned the Order of St.Lazarus of which Gayre was a high official and assiduous promoter. Inclusion of St Lazarus in the Register resulted in a number of members quitting the Commission. Their places were taken by individuals who were members of the Order of St. Lazarus and loyal to Gayre.

The effect of the resignations from the Commission was negligible as the Register was published with a list of its original members, including the departed illustrious names, and with St Lazarus among the approved orders. The implication the unsuspecting reader was likely to draw was that all the original members agreed that the Order of St. Lazarus was no different than any of the other semi-independent orders listed. Since there was a long period of time before a new edition of the Register in which the prestigious names did not appear, the Commission enjoyed a certain authority for a number of years.

Gayre, now supported by a loyal following on the Commission, set criteria for the acceptance of orders that were arbitrary and ignored the different historical development of honors systems in different countries. For instance, he had the Commission endorse the proposition that, “Every independent State has the right to create its own orders or decorations of merit and lay down, at will, their particular rules. But it must be made clear that only the higher degrees of these modern state orders can be deemed of knightly rank, provided they are conferred by the Crown or by some pro tempore ruler of some traditional State.”

Gayre gave no reason for imposing this criterion which was in effect an attempt to impose the structure of the Order of the British Empire on those of the rest of the world. By so doing, he reversed a very different but perfectly logical position he had taken in his “The Heraldry of the Knights of St. John” in which he had attacked the British system stating, in effect when referring to the Venerable Order of St.John, that the British Order had unfortunately broken away from the international character which had always been that of the Order till 1871. “This is reflected also in many other aspects of its organisation which are of British rather than ancient international usage. For instance, (by its Royal Charter of 1926) it has arranged its ranks in the same way as the Royal Victorian Order and the Order of the British Empire, by the quite illogical system which makes a commander’s rank lower than a knight’s, instead of by the ancient usage (still general in continental orders of knighthood) of making the commander’s the higher rank as it most certainly ought to be.”

According to Pinoteau, the Congress served as a meeting-place for Gayre and members of the Order of St Lazarus, “their suitcases full of mantles and medals”, to carry out their activities of recruitment and swearing-in.


Algrant’s commentary on Gayre’s “legitimacy criteria” is of key importance[35]. It is those criteria that have continued to be asserted by the ICOC and its defenders even since Gayre’s death[36]. However, these criteria are, as Algrant says, arbitrary; they were purely the invention of Gayre and not in any sense a codification of existing chivalric practice or a consensus of the chivalric world in toto (despite the strenuous attempts of the ICOC to present them as if they were such). Kings and princes have a decided tendency to act as they wish within the law; they are not bound by the precepts of a self-appointed commission, and the sight of that commission lecturing the heads of Royal Houses on their supposed lapses of protocol is all the more comical for the seriousness with which the task is pursued by those “experts” involved. Once all this is made clear, it is obvious that the position and authority of the ICOC to pronounce judgement upon others is fatally weakened.

Velde puts the position quite simply, “I may safely assert that…a recognized and accepted standard of what an order of knighthood is, does not exist.”[37]

Furthermore, the ICOC then as now drew its membership overwhelmingly from members of those orders which it considered “legitimate”; this conflict of interest seems not to have been considered a potential problem by the Commission.

Algrant tells us that,

“Following the publication of the Register, the Commission was deluged by requests for recognition by various “chivalric” bodies, each more apocryphal than the next. The Commission conscientiously examined and turned down all of these petitioners. It was as if Gayre were saying, “Now that we’re on board pull up the ladder.”

From the outset, the Commission had not merely observed and commented, but actively interfered in chivalric affairs. Algrant relates how it made a wholly unnecessary determination concerning the pretendership to the throne of France and the headship of the House of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. Most controversially, Gayre also became friendly with a member of the Pennsylvania-based Order of St John that claimed descent from the Russian Grand Priories. Having initially refused to admit this order to the ICOC register, Gayre agreed with this member that he would admit the order if he found a reigning or former monarch to be its fons honorum. The member proceeded to split his order and led those loyal to him into a new body under the protection of King Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was a member of the Pennsylvania order[38]. Yet this was not enough, and Gayre eventually persuaded King Peter to proclaim the new body a Royal Yugoslav Order shortly before his death. This complete change in character outraged the Russian emigrés who were running the order. In due course, King Peter’s successor eventually disclaimed all association with the body.

Algrant relates that,

“By this time the Commission bore little semblance to the original body. It was now made up entirely of members of the Order of St.Lazarus who were loyal to the Chairman and for the sake of convenience it met once every two years at the same time as the Grand Magistral meeting of that Order for the purpose of turning down the applications for recognition received from various outlandish organizations.”

It is interesting to note that the ICOC seems not to have met with approval from all quarters. From 1953 onwards, the Italian Republic periodically issued a list of proscribed Orders, and that list as published in Hidalguia of no 177, 1983, includes among the names “International commission for Orders of Chivalry” (sic) as well as the Order of St Lazarus and the San Luigi Orders.[39]


When Gayre published “The Knightly Twilight” in 1974 and sought in it to comment upon the San Luigi Orders, along with many other chivalric and quasi-chivalric bodies, his agenda appears again to have been to legitimize the Order of St Lazarus, which is omitted from consideration, as well as to attack publically the unsuccessful applicants to the ICOC and thereby increase his status as an expert arbiter on these matters.

Given the foregoing, it is self-evident why he should have taken exception to the San Luigi Orders. Their history in Bunyoro meant that they were a rare example of co-operation between Europeans and Africans, and not entirely in a colonialist context, but in one where an African monarch had himself been a benefactor of significance to a group of white Europeans and was the fons honorum responsible for bestowing the title of Mukungu upon the Prince-Abbot of San Luigi. Moreover, the San Luigi Orders had under Prince-Abbot Joseph III appointed a number of prominent black members, notably Archbishop George McGuire, the first Patriarch of the African Orthodox Church who had been consecrated by the Prince-Abbot and was a close associate of Marcus Garvey and the Black Nationalist Universal Negro Improvement Association.

It is no surprise, then, that this demonstration of racial equality should have incurred Gayre’s displeasure, and indeed the ICOC has throughout its history shown a disregard for non-European traditions of chivalry, whether old-established or newly-created, that must cause similar awkward questions to be raised today. To individuals sharing this mindset, it seems that African kings cannot truly be kings, and African chivalry cannot truly be chivalry, simply because it is promulgated by Africans and does not necessarily follow either European protocols or the precepts of “legitimacy” established by the ICOC. According to their determination, the African fons honorum truly cannot win. If he acts within indigenous tradition, it is claimed that his actions do not constitute “true” chivalry according to the European concept. Yet if he adopts European tradition as a model, he is accused of mere tawdry imitation.

It is perhaps Gayre’s comments upon the heads of the smaller churches in this work that show his prejudice and lack of balanced judgement most clearly[40]. The tone he adopts is vitriolic and condemnatory, describing them as a “social underworld syndrome”[41], as if he were writing in the grip of some outraged passion that these people dared even to exist, let alone defy his almighty judgement. Anyone who has previously come across Fascist literature will be all too familiar with this hectoring, humourless tone. Gayre even lectures the Eastern Patriarchs, who, he alleges “seldom understand the Western concept of nobility or chivalry”[42]. It does not occur to Gayre that there may be an equally valid Eastern concept of these qualities.

Unfortunately, it is obvious that when writing of the Church, Gayre was thoroughly ignorant of his subject-matter and simply accepted wholesale the account of propagandistic Anglicans and Roman Catholics[43], though he goes further than most of these in his dismissiveness of those facts at hand that do not serve his cause; it is equally obvious that he presented his opinion as dogma without feeling any need to investigate and produce supporting evidence or to allow for the possibility of alternative interpretations. Doubtless Gayre’s choice of a foreign publisher and infamously litigious reputation stood him in good stead; just as with those polemics that he had drawn upon, one could hardly imagine such a work being passed by a publisher’s lawyer today. Again, we note that the ICOC has shown the same negative attitude towards those smaller churches that have developed from Roman Catholic or Anglican roots as it has towards African chivalry. To the ICOC’s membership, which is composed wholly if not entirely of members of the larger churches, a default position of hostility to the smaller churches reveals again an ignorance that is born both of vested interest and of religious bigotry.

One might reflect that it is interesting that Gayre’s position was seemingly so insecure that he felt that his targets – which were mostly of a minor and harmless nature – constituted a threat to be destroyed (or indeed a means by which to build up his reputation as an expert on issues of legitimacy). Doubtless there were indeed among those targets some individuals whose claims were openly fraudulent and whose desire was simply to make money from the gullible public by illegal means, but there are few nations that do not have effective legal measures in place against criminal acts of this type, as witness the various scandals that have come to public attention over the years. The police are certainly not in need of the assistance of self-appointed experts in pursuing their work, however much the fictional genre of the amateur detective may pretend otherwise, nor do their determinations extend to the arcane ground that forms the backdrop for much chivalric controversy. Gayre’s difficulty seems to have been that he was incapable or unwilling to make a proper distinction between actual fraudulent deception and those entities that had merely incurred his disapproval or failed to meet the ICOC “legitimacy criteria” that he had devised, instead condemning all outright. Such a dearth of objective judgement was to have serious consequences for the ICOC in the years following Gayre’s death.


We should continue our consideration of the ICOC with a look at some of its more recent history. Algrant relates the events that took place after his first meeting as its Secretary-General in July 1984:

“The first item on the agenda was the consideration of a number of applications for recognition which were, as usual, turned down. Next, Major Patrick O’Kelly de Conejera, a member of the Commission who was very close to the Chairman, presented a paper urging recognition of a body called the Niadh Nask, headed by an Irish gentleman, the McCarthy Mor who had put forward a claim to the headship of the Irish House of Munster which had reigned many centuries ago. [Velde: “by pure coincidence, Gayre was made Constable of the Niadh Nask about that time.”]

The body was described as “an order of Gaelic nobility” and “a dynastic and military order of non-chivalric knighthood”. The presentation failed to impress me, mainly because I found the notion of a “Gaelic nobility” as it was presented to be historically unconvincing. The Niadh Nask did not fall within the usual categories of chivalric orders nor meet the Commission’s criteria for noble corporations.

Still, I did not want to get off to a bad start with the Chairman and I therefore suggested that a new category be established for “nobiliary associations” with criteria less stringent than those defined for “noble corporations” and that the Niadh Nask be put into the new category. I now regret having made such a proposal which rather than assisting in clarifying matters of nobiliary authenticity resulted in muddying the waters. The McCarthy Mor, of course, would have other feelings. He became Vice-President of the Commission, which had been reactivated largely due to his endeavors, following the death of Gayre in February 1996.

In 1984, the Commission accepted my suggestion and the Niadh Nask became the first, and to my knowledge, the only body to be placed into the new class. Later the name was to be changed to “Other Nobiliary Bodies” and such entities as “The Standing Council of Irish Chiefs and Chieftains” (revived in 1991), “The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs”, and the “Royal Company of Archers” were to be added to it. The Niadh Nask has now spread to the United States and is recruiting eligible individuals willing to pay $850.00 for admission and is planning some Irish cultural activities. About a third of the membership is drawn from members of the Order of St Lazarus.

As to restoring credibility to the Commission, my first move was to send a detailed project outlining the changes I was proposing to each member of the Commission with a YES or NO for them to check after each item. The most important proposed change was to withdraw the Commission’s recognition of the Malta-based Yugoslav Order of St.John until such time as there was only one such body claiming to Yugoslav royal high protection instead of the several which continued to claim that privilege. This proposal, along with the several other measures, was overwhelmingly approved by ten out twelve members of the Commission including Gayre. There could have been no clearer mandate and I was delighted to see that I had such wide support. Shortly thereafter, I wrote a letter to the Chancellor of the Yugoslav Order informing him as diplomatically as possible of the Commission’s decision. He did not receive the news well and forthwith protested to the Chairman, who then wrote me to say that I had gone too far. Personally very fond of the Chairman, I had by then acquired considerable knowledge of Gayre and his ways, his reaction came as no surprise and I resigned as secretary general.

Gayre subsequently picked a successor but the latter, as a result of financial “setbacks,” disappeared from the scene as indeed did the Commission which entered a state of suspended animation. [Velde: “The ICOC last sat in 1986, and its president died in 1996.”] Gayre remained President until his death in February 1996. In the previous month the Commission, now heavily Irish in composition, was reanimated and issued a new edition of its Register. Now under the Vice-Presidency of the McCarthy Mor, Head of the Niadh Nask, it has Major Patrick O’Kelly de Conejera as Secretary General.

The membership of the revived Commission and the kind of bodies which it has recognized indicate that while it has taken on renewed life, it has become no more credible as an arbiter of chivalric and nobiliary authenticity than the body with which I was briefly associated. On the other hand I must concede that it has made an attempt to treat the question of disputed headships of certain orders of chivalry more equitably than heretofore but I cannot understand why it persists in endorsing a notably contentious order of St.John for entirely specious reasons.”

The MacCarthy Mor, Prince of Desmond, who is mentioned above was one Terence McCarthy, who had obtained courtesy recognition in that title from the Irish Genealogical Office in 1992 along with confirmation from that office of his right to bestow feudal titles. He was to become President of the ICOC by 1997, having previously been Vice-President.

Terence McCarthyThe website maintained on his behalf stated that “The current Prince of Desmond holds more than a dozen orders and decorations from various Royal Houses and States, including: Grand Officer of the Royal Albanian Order of Scanderbeg (conferred by His Majesty King Leka I of the Albanians); Knight Commander of the Royal Italian Order of Saint Maurice and Saint Lazarus (conferred by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Victor Emmanuel of Italy); Knight of Justice of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George of Naples (conferred by H.R.H. The Infante Don Carlos, Duke of Calabria, Head of the Royal House of Bourbon-two-Sicilies); Knight of the Military Order of the Vitez of Hungary (conferred by His Imperial and Royal Highness the Archduke Josef Arpad von Hapsburg); Grand Collar of the Order of Saint Ignatius of Antioch conferred by His Beatitude Patriarch Mar Ignace Anthony Ilhayeck, Uniate-Syrian Catholic Patriarch of Antioch; and Knight of the Royal Portuguese Order of Saint Michael of the Wing (conferred by His Royal Highness Dom Miguel, Duke of Braganza, Head of the Royal House of Portugal). The MacCarthy Mór is a substantive Colonel in the South Carolina State Guard and an honorary Colonel in Alabama.”[44] In addition, he was a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Lazarus and a member of the Order of St Stanislas.

Unfortunately for the ICOC, it was exposed in due course that the recognition of Terence McCarthy as The MacCarthy Mor had been based on a series of audacious falsehoods[45]. In a statement issued in August 1999, the Irish Genealogical Office declared that,

“(i) the 1992 decision to grant courtesy recognition to Mr. McCarthy as MacCarthy Mór must be regarded as null and void;

(ii) the decision in 1979 to ratify and confirm arms to Mr. McCarthy must be regarded as invalid; and

(iii) the pedigree registered for Mr. McCarthy in 1980 is without genealogical integrity.”

The account provided in the statement was damning:

“The Office finds the reasons given by Mr. McCarthy for his decision to base his original claim on succession from Samuel Trant McCarthy, and for deciding in more recent times to advance a different set of facts, to be entirely unconvincing…The fact is that he has declared that the factual basis on which he sought courtesy recognition, and was granted recognition in 1992, was false. By doing so, he has clearly invalidated the decision to grant him that recognition. The records of the Genealogical Office have, therefore, been amended accordingly and the decision made in 1992 has been declared null and void…

It has now become evident that the genealogical information submitted by him in 1979 in connection with a formal application for a confirmation of arms was incomplete and misleading in a number of important respects and that he failed at that time to produce to the Office all of the information which is now stated to have been in his possession at the time. The net effect was to induce the Genealogical Office to grant a confirmation of arms in December 1979 based on, and actually incorporating, incomplete and/or inaccurate information. That confirmation of arms must therefore be regarded as invalid, and the records of this Office have been amended accordingly.

In 1980, when making a submission to the Genealogical Office for the purpose of having a pedigree registered, Mr. McCarthy presented a set of facts in relation to the early generations of his family which differed considerably from those contained in his 1979 application for a confirmation of arms. The discrepancies do not appear to have been detected and pursued with him at the time. In addition, serious gaps and inconsistencies exist in the chain of evidence in relation to that pedigree and, while Mr. McCarthy has made detailed submissions in relation to these, the gaps and the inconsistencies still are not explained satisfactorily.

The Office has therefore advised Mr. McCarthy of its belief that the information supplied by him in 1980 in requesting registration of his pedigree was seriously deficient and insufficient to warrant registration of the pedigree. It appears that reliance was placed at that time to an excessive degree on uncorroborated statements and uncertified copies, transcriptions, or summaries of documents, the originals of which were not produced or were said to have been destroyed by fire, flood or explosion. The Office takes the view, therefore, that the registered pedigree is without genealogical integrity and a notation to that effect has been made in the records of the Office.”[46]

The ICOC, an entity that wished to present itself as the arbiter of legitimacy, would appear to have been the victim of its own conceit, with Terence McCarthy resigning as its President on 1 October 1999. Such were the ramifications of the “bogus MacCarthy Mor” affair that the Irish Genealogical Office would end the practice of granting courtesy recognition to chiefs entirely in July 2003.

As might have been expected, a statement was also forthcoming from the ICOC, whose chairman and incoming president, Dr Pier Felice degli Uberti, wrote as follows:

“I had agreed to take part in the International Commission for Orders of Chivalry and (a short time before the publication of 1998 Register) to become the Chairman solely with scientific spirit, and willing to make this ORGANIZATION, which I consider totally PRIVATE (as are the others, such as the International Institute for the Study of Chivalric Orders, the Académie Internationale d’Héraldique, the Académie Internationale de Généalogie and the Confédération Internationale de Généalogie et de Héraldique), SOMETHING TRULY SCIENTIFIC AND SUPRA PARTES (without warfare or polemics, but in a continuous, reciprocal and educated exchange of ideas), in other words, a small and modest help to non-experts, or to those who became interested in the subject of chivalry, so that they might not make errors in that area.

I wish to say this precisely: I will NEVER consider the Register (and I NEVER have considered) an official text, or a “bible” for scholars…

As a consequence of this resignation I must take the direction and, in the meanwhile I may again render operating the Executive Committee and the whole Commission, as my first action I have the scientific duty to apologize to all those who consider themselves scientific expert, serious and “supra partes” in chivalric orders matters about that part of work which was made in the past according to a superficial, non-scientific or partisan behavior in favor of some specific organizations.

But in conclusion, the ICOC is a Body which (even if it is contested and if many times it has shown incompetence – as in my opinion showed numerous experts, including members of the official organizations of certain States…) has more than 40 years of history, is a very good ideal that is worthy of continuing to live and realizing at last its purposes…”[47]


Whilst one must commend the laudable aims indicated in the statement above, there seems to be limited evidence of genuine change at the ICOC. Notably, the African nations remain conspicuous by their absence from its supposedly representative body of members, and the orders established by their reigning or ex-regnant monarchs are likewise absent from the ICOC register, which recognizes only European bodies. It goes without saying that the smaller churches are also ignored when they are not directly or indirectly condemned.

Notwithstanding this, there is some honesty in the admission that (our italics),

“Although it may be true that numerous attacks were made on the Commission due to the inclusion of orders or positions in favour of one or other claimants in dynastic disputes, it should also be mentioned that the study of chivalric orders and awards systems is open to manifold interpretations, mainly because there is no supreme authority (except for the Holy See whose authority is limited to Catholic orders of chivalry), which is able to resolve definitively and without controversy the various protests and disputes. Even among specialists personal opinions sometimes conflict and, at times, radical revisions were made, without these revisions necessarily being determined by serious analysis or changing circumstances…

The Commission is a private body, the worth of whose decisions depends upon the qualifications and scholarly reputation of its component members.”[48]

In addition, as of September 2001, a rule was introduced that stated that members of bodies whose “present status, legitimacy or governance has been the subject of past controversy and which may at some time be subject to examination by the Commission and considered for inclusion in the International Register of Orders of Chivalry cannot be involved in determining the status of any Order or institution of which they are an officer.” This, however, fails to address the wider issue of a conflict of interest whereby those who are members of bodies that have not been subject to such controversy or examination are accorded elevated status by this provision.

Impartiality cannot be achieved unless the judge and the subject of judgement are not intimately connected. To argue that no-one disputes the legitimacy of this or that long-established European order is to miss the point. An institution that applies for membership of the ICOC is by virtue of this position not applying to a disinterested panel of scholars for consideration, as it would seem on a first reading of its website; it is instead applying to a panel largely made up of members of existing orders who have a very clear vested interest in ensuring that their status and that of the bodies to which they belong remains exclusive and is not diluted by the admission of chivalric newcomers. This is in fact exactly the same problem that the ICOC faced during the Gayre era, with the exception that the bias is now entirely in favour of the “chivalric establishment” and not the Order of St Lazarus!

We should observe that in any group that seeks to promote a protectionist status in favour of its members, there are three elements that are constant. The first is that those who enter the group at or near its founding date are subject to a lower standard of scrutiny than those admitted subsequently. The second is that the group maintains exclusivity by ensuring that there is a larger group of “outsiders” seeking admission compared to the smaller number who are permitted to become members. The third is that the justification for rejection or, at times, attacks upon those outsiders is always that of maintaining “quality” or “standards”, however subjectively these are defined. The resulting situation is more comparable to the aggressive practices of the commercial world than anything resembling the historic values of chivalry.

Those members who fall from favour in such a group are likely to be discarded for no better reason than that the rules have changed (not so difficult when they are arbitrary) and that they no longer benefit from the patronage that secured their favour in the first place. Thus, in the wake of the death of Gayre and the resignation of McCarthy, the Order of St Lazarus has now found its recognition by the ICOC withdrawn[49], as has the “King Peter” Order of St John and McCarthy’s Niadh Nask. Indeed, all editions of the register of orders published since 1964 have now been rescinded, and even the 1964 register has had to be “corrected”![50] The ICOC describes the recognition of the three bodies above – in the case of St Lazarus for some forty years and for the King Peter Order almost as long – as “serious mistakes”[51]. If they were indeed such, one must question the length of time for which they were permitted to be perpetuated, and the resultant credibility of an organisation that, were that period to be omitted from its history, would find itself very young indeed.

It is also relevant that the definitions of legitimacy adopted by the ICOC proclaim that chivalry is essentially an ossified entity incapable of all but the most limited growth and development beyond its currently-deemed “legitimate” bounds – and importantly, that should remain in the exclusive control of the chivalric establishment that it itself defines, and whose members constitute almost all of its membership.

Notwithstanding this, the twentieth and twenty-first century have seen periods of considerable interest in chivalric matters, both in terms of the modern-era revival of dormant historic orders and in the creation of new entities that have elements of the chivalric tradition in their makeup, often directing their efforts towards charitable endeavour. Much of this initiative has come from individuals outside establishment circles. This is hardly a surprise when, in modern times, to side with the establishment is increasingly to accept the secularist, egalitarian state and the meagre, marginalized role accorded to nobiliary and chivalric matters within such a status quo. The alternative – a traditionalist counter-establishment working within the boundaries of the law but in opposition to the prevailing order in its values and actions, and particularly in its unashamed promotion of traditional Christianity – is readily visible in many of those entities that the ICOC has condemned.

The ICOC seems to regard the evolution of chivalry outside its control as something that it, Canute-like, can arrest in its tracks by occasionally issuing bad-tempered statements and forbidding its members from joining any unapproved entity[52]. In practice, these gestures are supremely ineffective except as a means of self-validation for the ICOC itself and those who support it. As the old saying has it, les chiens aboient, la caravane passe.

We should also note that all mention of the MacCarthy Mor is omitted from each of the available official histories of the ICOC – which are presented on their website in no fewer than three historical rescensions[53]. These are likewise silent as to the organization’s position on the views and associations of its founder Gayre which we have outlined earlier in this paper. Such omissions speak for themselves. They are certainly not the actions of a body that considers itself publically accountable, but rather, to repeat its own words, of “a private body, the worth of whose decisions depends upon the qualifications and scholarly reputation of its component members,” and, which one might add, has a clear vested interest in keeping silent regarding those facts that detract from its credibility and that might well cause others to regard association with such a body as unwise or undesirable.

In short, we believe we have now placed sufficient evidenced information before the readers of this paper to allow them to determine for themselves what weight they wish to attach to the determinations of the ICOC and to the writings of its founder.


[1] Union Press, Valletta, 1974. Available at crepuscule&pg=PA15

[2] L’Osservatore Romano had first propagandized against the San Luigi Orders in its edition of 21 March 1952, when it included them in a long list of chivalric bodies not recognized by the Holy See. The Italian Republic published a similar list in 1953 which proscribed Italian citizens from becoming members of the Orders.

[3] The claim is sometimes made that Gayre was an intelligence officer in World War II. The Royal Anthropological Institute enquired as to his war service; they received a “letter from the Treasury Solicitor to which the War Office referred the correspondence; records show that RG sent reports to British Intelligence on his own initiative before the war and during it; his work was unsolicited.” See section 6, note 70.

[4] Biographical details are taken from Who’s Who, London, A&C Black, 1989, p 659.

[5] Tucker, William H. The Funding of Scientific Racism: Wickliffe Draper and the Pioneer Fund, University of Illinois Press, 2002, p 91.

[6] Tucker, ibid.

[7] Quoted at retrieved April 2012.

[8] Richards, Graham Race, Racism and Psychology: Towards a Reflexive History, Routledge, 1997, p 119, note 87.

[9] In correspondence concerning his libel action against Man.

[10] Lethbridge, David Review of Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray: “The Bell Curve” , People’s Voice, March 1995, accessed at April 2012.

[11] Winston, Andrew Science in the service of the far right: Henry E. Garrett, the IAAEE, and the Liberty Lobby – International Association for the Advancement of Ethnology – Experts in the Service of Social Reform: SPSSI, Psychology, and Society, 1936-1996 in Journal of Social Issues, Spring 1998, accessed at;col1 April 2012.

[12] sect. 5, note 1.

[13] Author and poet Mrs N.Katherin Wells, quoted at sect. 5, note 6.

[14] Montagu, Ashley, Race and IQ, Oxford University Press, p 409. The author also on the same page describes Gayre as “a champion of apartheid in South Africa, and belonged to the ultra-Right Candour League of white-ruled Rhodesia.”

[15] Searchlight, 1979.

[16] Interstitial references have been omitted from the quotations.

[17] D.Pol.Sc. 1943, Palermo Univ.; D.Phil. 1944, Messina Univ.; D.Sc. 1944, Naples Univ. All were honorary degrees. It appears that Gayre did not hold an earned doctorate or indeed an earned postgraduate degree. He had studied additionally at Exeter College, Oxford, but had not taken a degree at that university.

[18] However, Gayre’s degree from Edinburgh was in geography rather than anthropology.

[19] A slightly curious statement; his professorship at Saugor was for two years between 1954-56; he appears not to have held another university position after this date. Earlier on, he had apparently held a professorship in the department of anthropology in the Free Church College in Edinburgh.

[20] An organisation founded in 1958 by Dr Roger Pearson (who resigned from it in 1961). This is described at as “an organization promoting Pan-Germanism, Anti-semitism and Neo Nazi Racial ideology“. Pearson was one of the founders of The Mankind Quarterly and succeeded Gayre as its publisher in 1978. See Winston, op.cit. “Gayre acknowledged the help of [Henry] Garrett and Gini in founding Mankind Quarterly and announced that the editorship of the journal would be passed to Pearson and that the publication would now be issued from the Institute for the Study of Man in Washington, which Gayre had helped to found and which had Pearson as its director.”

[21] See


[23] Upon their doing so, Gayre and others – who had elsewhere argued for free speech in discussing matters of race – issued a writ for libel. The case was eventually settled out of court.

[24] Quoted by Tucker, op cit, p 91.

[25] See profiles at retrieved April 2012.

[26] retrieved April 2012.

[27] retrieved April 2012.

[28] retrieved April 2012. “Verschuer was never tried for war crimes despite many indications that he not only was fully cognisant of Mengele’s work at Auschwitz, but even encouraged and collaborated with Mengele in some of his most grisly research.”

[29] Winston, op cit, p 7

[30] Velde, François Legitimacy and Orders of Knighthood retrieved from April 2012.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Algrant, James J., The International Commission for Orders of Chivalry, published online at Caltrap’s Corner:, n.d. Interstitial references have been omitted from the quotation.

[34] The Order of St Lazarus had been included on the various lists of orders condemned by the Holy See, as were the San Luigi Orders. As explained elsewhere, the San Luigi Orders have never accepted that the Holy See has the right to exercise any form of authority over them. Gayre accepted his appointment in the Order of St Lazarus on condition that thereafter Protestants would be admitted to full membership of the order, which had previously only admitted Catholics to this rank (Algrant, James A more measured view of the Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, published online at Caltrap’s Corner accessed April 2012).

[35] A further critical commentary is provided by Cox, Noel, The sovereign authority for the creation of Orders of Chivalry in Arma, the Journal of the Heraldry Society of Southern Africa, accessed at April 2012.

[36] The current wording is at

[37] Ibid.

[38] Admitted 1961 and remained a member until his death.

[39] Quoted at Velde, François Italian Law and Unofficial Orders, published at (retrieved April 2012)

[40] p 14 onwards

[41] Chapter III

[42] p 128

[43] Notably Henry R.T. Brandreth (Church of England) and Peter Anson (Roman Catholic). Of the two, Brandreth was the more informed and responsible writer, who, while he remained a negative polemicist, significantly modified his comments in the second edition of his work (1962) after contact with many of its subjects. Anson’s work is based on Brandreth’s research, but any scholarly merit his work might otherwise have is dispelled by its overwhelming bias and the author’s schoolboyishly flippant tone throughout.

[44] accessed April 2012.

[45] A detailed account of the situation is provided by Sean J. Murphy at retrieved April 2012.

[46] retrieved 2001.

[47] retrieved 2000

[48] retrieved April 2012

[49] See where it is clear that the long-standing opposition of the Holy See to this order has prevailed “Therefore, it has been decided not to include Saint Lazarus in the 2001 Register, although it is based on the 1964 edition, thus following the precise clarifications the Holy See has given on a number of occasions through L’Osservatore Romano.”

[50] retrieved April 2012 “The Commission has, since its inception, published updated Registers of Orders of Chivalry in 1964, 1970, 1978, 1996, the latest being issued July 1998. However, as it has been decided to re-examine all previous material, all post 1964 editions have been abolished. The 1964 edition has been corrected and modified.”

[51] retrieved April 2012

[52] “The seriousness of the Commission is demonstrated by the requirement that Members not “be part of or . . . participate in meetings organised by self-styled Chivalric Orders, award systems, noble corporations, or dubious nobiliary bodies, or hold ecclesiastical decorations etc, not listed in the ICOC Register.” retrieved April 2012.

[53], and