The Baronet's Badge, Gold Medal (for Baronets of Great Britain, 1929-)
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Baronetcy was established by King James I in 1611 to procure funds for the new settlement in Ulster. The rank of baronet was conferred in exchange for ₤1095, which was used to support 30 soldiers over three years. The baronetcy was extended to Ireland in 1619 and to Scotland and Nova Scotia in 1625. In Nova Scotia, baronets paid a sum of 2000 merks (approximately ₤2000 at the time) which was used to support 6 colonists for two years. The baronetcy effectively granted its members rank, title, and precedence, but did not ensure any special privileges like those of the nobility. Women may also be granted membership in the baronetcy, in which case they hold the title baronetess, but only 4 have existed since 1611.
Following the union of England and Scotland in 1707, baronets of England and Nova Scotia ceased to exist, and new baronetcies were named to Great Britain. Later, when Great Britain was unified with Ireland in 1801, the baronetcies of Ireland ceased to exist, and all baronetcies have since been named to the United Kingdom.
The first medal was created by Charles I in 1629 for baronets of Nova Scotia. Following this decision, baronets of England and Ireland appealed to the King to grant them permission to wear similar medals, but their appeals were ignored. The Medal fell into abeyance in the nineteenth century, and a new design was not instituted until much later in 1929. This new badge is awarded to baronets of England, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom.
The medals differ in design according to the country of the baronetcy. Baronets of England wear a medal with a border of roses, baronets of Ireland wear a medal with a border of shamrocks, baronets of Great Britain wear a medal with a border of thistles and roses, and baronets of the United Kingdom wear a medal with a border of roses, shamrocks, and thistles. All medals feature the arms of Ulster under an Imperial Crown, in a nod to the order’s seventeenth-century roots.
There are numerous versions of the early medal awarded to Baronets of Nova Scotia that differ in design and manufacturer and inscription. There may be additional versions of the medal that differ in composition.
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