History of the Order

History of the Order

Founded by Elector Frederick Augustus II of Saxony (King Augustus III of Poland) (*1696 - †1763) on 7 October 1736, the Military Order of Saint Henry was a rather rare recognition of military valour until 1807. It was not until after the Napoleonic Wars that the order was re-founded and was given statutes by King Anton of Saxony on 23 December 1829.

In order to continue and preserve the tradition of the order founded in 1736 after the end of the monarchy in Saxony, almost 300 recipients of the Order of St. Henry and the St. Henry Medal who had been decorated in the First World War came together in Bamberg as early as 1959 to form the "Convention of the Royal Saxon Military Order of St. Henry" under the "Grand Master's dignity" of Margrave Friedrich Christian. In 1975 Margrave Maria Emanuel founded the "Verein der St. Heinrichs-Nadelträger" and in 1985 the association "St.-Heinrich-Orden e.V. Bamberg", which still exists today. With the founding of the association, the traditions of the convent of the Kgl. Military Order of St. Henry passed to the bearers of the St. Henry pin and thus also to the Order of St. Henry e.V.


The circle of the Order of St Heinrich is limited to 30 knights and 6 commander knights. Admission to the Order is by decision of the Executive Board. The Order deliberately selects those personalities for admission by personal address who have proven themselves through their actions and their life's journey in accordance with the Order's motto and mission statement.

There is no right to admission to the Order.

St Heinrich's pin

The end of the Kingdom of Saxony in 1918 and the entry into force of the Weimar Constitution in 1919 marked the end of the history of the Military Order of St Henry, which was no longer awarded. It was followed by the "St. Heinrich Pin", which was established on 31 December 1963 on the occasion of Margrave Friedrich Christian von Meissen's 70th birthday as the "Peace Class" of the Order. In keeping with the long tradition of German ruling houses, the patron saint is Henry IV (Duke of Bavaria from 995 to 1004 and 1009 to 1017), who as Henry II was King of the East Franconian Empire from 1002 to 1024 and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation from 1014 to 1024.