Britain's Royal Garter a witches' badge?
http://www.wilsonsalmanac.com/book/jun24.html 1348 The exact day is not known, but some time between this day and August 6, King Edward III of England (1312 - '77) instituted the Order of the Garter, with St George as the patron.
During a festival at court, a lady happened to drop her garter. King Edward picked it up, and noticed that the others were giggling. He said, with displeasure, "Honi soit qui mal y pense" – "Shame to him who thinks ill of it". In the spirit of gallantry, perhaps to prevent any further impertinence, he put the garter around his own knee. Or, so it is said.
Traditionally, the lady was the Countess of Salisbury. The garter was an object of note in the year preceding June 24, 1348. Garters with the motto embroidered on were common, as were banners and couches with the motif, and a surcoat provided to the king in 1348 was covered with garters.
The Australian folklorist, Rabbi Dr Rudolph Brasch, says the story is hardly convincing. "Fourteenth-century ladies, even those attending royal functions, were not so finicky or modest that the mere loss of a garter would have caused them to blush or feel uncomfortable," he writes.
The choice of the garter may also owe something to the princess's girdle in the article on St George in The Golden Legend (Aurea Legenda, 1275), compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, which she used to lead the monster once St George had speared it with his lance.
British anthropologist and folklorist, Margaret Murray (1863 - 1963), advanced a different theory. In the 14th Century the garter symbolized witches. To lose it was to give away her allegiance to Satan and was an acute danger ...
Categories: uk, folklore, legend