|Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown|
Verdienstorden der Bayerischen Krone
Star and sash of the order
|Awarded by the King of Bavaria|
|Eligibility||Civil servants, non-nobles, and foreigners|
|Awarded for||Merit deserving the recognition of the state|
|Status||No longer awarded|
|Motto||virtus et honos|
|Established||19 March 1808|
|Next (higher)||Military Merit Order|
|Next (lower)||Order of St. Michael|
Badge of a knight of the order
The Order of Merit of the Bavarian Crown (German language: Verdienstorden der Bayerischen Krone) was an order of merit of the Kingdom of Bavaria established by King Maximilian Joseph I on 19 March 1808. The motto of the order is Virtus et Honos (‘Courage and Honour’). The order first was awarded in three grades: Grand Cross, Commander, and Knight, however in 1855 the grade of Grand Commander grade was added. Two medals for merit in silver and gold rounded out the order's awards.
King Maximilian I Joseph, founded the order to reward civil servants of the state of all classes and other foreigners who were deserving of recognition of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was created as a civil counterpart to the Military Order of Max Joseph. Both the orders brought non-noble recipients in the collection of personal nobility with the title "Ritter von".
The Order of Merit of the Bavarian crown was initially founded with three grades Grand Cross, Commander, and Knight. King Maximilian II added the grade of Grand Commander in 1855. For each grade there was a fixed number of members. Initially membership in the order was limited to 12 Grand Crosses, 24 Commanders and 100 Knights. Statutes of the order from October 1817 list the limits at 24, 40 and 160. Adjustments to the statutes were also made on 16 February 1824, on 12 October 1834, and on 12 January 1835 Oktober 1838. The statutes were further modified in 1855 for the addition of the Grand Commander grade.
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