National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

The Order of the Thistle

The Order of the Thistle


Illustrated manuscript depicting the designs of the 'blue roundels' of the order - the greatest order of chivalry in Scotland. 16 knights - male and female - are members at any one time. Legend says it was founded in 809, when King Achaius made an alliance with the Emperor Charlemagne, however King James VII established the order with new rules in 1687. 

The Order of the Thistle, late 17th - early 18th century

Credit: NRS, GD100/317A/9 (Link to the Online Catalogue entry)