Slaying Myths: St George and the Dragon
St George only gained popularity in England in the 15th century and Richard the Lionheart had nothing to do with it, writes Marc Morris.
As is widely appreciated, St George owes much of his popularity in England to the enthusiasm of Edward III (1312-77). In 1348, when the king established the Order of the Garter, his super-select chivalric club, he picked George as its special patron, at the same time designating his birthplace, Windsor Castle, as the order's spiritual headquarters and rededicating the chapel there (formerly devoted to St Edward) in the saint's honour. Just three years later the king was pleased to refer to St George in his letters as 'the most invincible athlete of Christ, whose name and protection the English nation invoke as that of their patron, especially in war'.
This article is available to History Today online subscribers only. If you are a subscriber, please log in.
Please choose one of these options to access this article:
- Purchase an online subscription
- Purchase a print and online subscription
- If you are already a print subscriber, purchase the online archive upgrade
Call our Subscriptions department on +44 (0)20 3219 7813 for more information.
If you are logged in but still cannot access the article, please contact us
- Middle East
- North America
- South America
- Central America
- Early Modern
- 20th Century
- 21st Century
- Economic History
- Environmental History
- Historical Memory
- Science & Technology