The Dutch system of Decorations.
The present Dutch system of decorations finds its origins in the institution of the Military Order of William (Militaire Willemsorde) and the Civil Order of Merit of the Dutch Lion. (Orde der Nederlandse Leeuw). Royal Warrants instituted these orders on 30 April 1815. Both orders were the direct consequence of the establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815, immediately after the end of French rule under Napoleon. However, these awards were not the first awards that were presented on Dutch territory.
The notion of Knighthood is a term that most people have in their imagination. The first written account of a presentation of a Knight's Order in the Netherlands dates back to July 15th 1279. That day Count Floris V awarded a Knighthood to 12 noblemen in the Ridderzaal (Knightís Hall) in The Hague. These noblemen were awarded the Order of Saint Jacob. The decorations belonging to this title were a gilt silver necklace with shells and a medallion with the image of Saint Jacob. The Order of the Golden Fleece (Gulden Vlies) became the next award with some sort of importance. Philips de Goede instituted this award on January 10th...