History of the Noble Company
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Q: What is a Noble Company?

A: The common defense is often the paramount common good. It makes human prosperity possible. Throughout recorded world history, like individuals gathered in groups based on shared interests. Earliest among those groups were familial clans, warrior groups, and trade guilds from which sprang the middle, or merchant classes. Noble Companies were an early form of warrior group, uniquely comprised of Nobles of a higher economic class, dedicating their unique skills toward the protection of a singular interest, group, or territory. Over time, some Noble Companies evolved into military Orders of Knighthood that included entry and elevation by military merit. A majority of fraternities and other civic groups also anciently derive their basis from the Noble Company concept.

Q: I have never heard of The Noble Company of St. Mary of Walsingham. What is it?

A: We are pleased by your question because we are not like other groups. We do not seek glory. If you have not heard of us, we satisfy our goal of humility. It is enough to say that the Noble Company of St. Mary of Walsingham, ("the Noble Company"), is a private and select group of distinguished individuals who perpetuate the history and ideals of chivalric honor and nobility through their personal example, such as by unselfish acts of service.

Q: Who is "Our Lady"? Who was St. Mary of Walsingham?

A: "Our Lady of Walsingham" is the title used to describe St. Mary, the mother of Jesus. The title is believed to be derived from a vision of Mary held by an English noblewoman, Richeldis de Faverches. Lady de Faverches had her vision in 1061 in the village of Walsingham, Norfolk, England. She built a holy house at the site which became a place of pilgrimage.

Q: How long has the Noble Company been around?

A: The Noble Company has long existed quietly in various forms, making a positive difference in the background. This particular Company formed naturally and spontaneously evolved from a healthy interchange of ideas and actions involving Noble persons representing a wide array of current organizations worldwide. Such persons seek to evolve the Noble Company beyond the status quo common to other groups in which they once participated. Under the Noble Concept credit for good deeds do not go to a particular person, such as a founder or charter members. For example, if we build a community playground for underprivileged children, we do not place a commemorative plaque crediting ourselves.

Q: What is the Noble Concept?

A: The Noble Concept is simply that the purpose of life is a life of purpose. We recognize that Nobility does not solely derive merely from birth; or a personal pedigree; nor is it validated by a piece of paper; it is derived from strength of character that is demonstrated by sincere and unselfish devotion to the welfare of others.

Q: What is a "Noble"?

A: Nobility does not solely derive merely from a personal pedigree or a piece of paper; nor is it anointed by us. Nobility of character is a way of life; a personal behavior that strives to observe honorable concepts of unselfish service for the welfare of others. Nobility is a concept carried in your heart, not in a badge worn on your chest or in a collar worn around your neck. Rather, a true Noble is a good, strong courteous person. The good and the strong protect the weak and help the poor.

Q: Do all the Companions know each other?

A: No. Many do. A good percentage of Companions will never meet because we do not meet merely to meet. We meet when the Grand Master approves a plan that involves an action.

Q: How do you determine Nobility, Royalty, etc?

A: "We" do not as a Company. Yet, each of us does so, by the sum of the story of our life.

Q: Do you publish a public list or roll of members?

A: No. Our focus is not fame or adulation. Companions know who they are; it is not important that others outside a Company know it. For historical and other purposes, Noble Companions are recorded in the Green Book kept in the Company Archives. Companions have access to the Green Book and are invited to sign the Green Roll.

Q: Why are Companions granted a Hereditary Collar of Collarette?

A: We are the sum of our ancestors. They walk with us in our DNA. The collar represents recognition for the totality of Nobility of Character of the member and his/her ancestors and descendents. It is a reminder of the Noble Concept to be handed down to future generations. The grand collar is conferred on the hereditary Noble Companions, who may also use the collarette.

Q: Is the Noble Company just another dubious group of pseudo-Knights?

A: No. One can usually spot a dubious individual or group by their tendency to publicly tear others down in vain attempts to build themselves up. Ironically, their focus clearly becomes self-centered in a never ending quest to feed an inherent inadequacy others plainly see. True Nobles are confident of their character and mission. They spend their time and energy in far more positive actions, such as heritage- keeping rather than status-seeking.

Q: What mainly makes the Noble Company "noble"?

A: We promote the common good rather than ourselves. We would rather have just one effective member than 99 whom are not. That is why our symbol is a collar and not a mirror.

Q: What makes a Noble Companion "noble"?

A: Those who promote the common good tend to have proven nobility of character in many other ways. Yes, Companions are of proven nobility of quality in the traditional sense suggested - they are 'nobles' of recognized standing by reasonable societal standards (earned academic professional degrees, doctoral degree honoris causa, internationally recognized fellows with honours (Baden-Powell, Nobel, Fulbright, Rhodes, etc.). Some are internationally recognized Flag level military/naval/air officers, knights or dames of an Order of Chivalry, and some are indeed recognized as a hereditary noble by pedigree. They do not stand alone on a single trait. Many of our Companions qualify by multiple criteria. However, it is their personality and upbringing that enable them to far exceed the minimum standard of the pseudo noble based solely on pedigree or accomplishment...for, Companions in good standing are also free from the personality quirks that afflict the self-important.

Q: Under what conditions might the rights to a Hereditary Collar become revoked?

A: Collars are partially funded by the Noble Company; as such they are technically the property of the Company leased to a Companion. There has yet been no cause for revocation. Companions agree to the stipulation that their personal and familiar affiliation with the Noble Company must continue in good standing. The definition of "good standing" is determined by the Grand Master.

Q: How do I join the Noble Company?

A: One does not seek membership in the Noble Company. Those who seek membership tend to seek validation. Those who seek validation will not find it outside themselves.

Q: When and where does the Noble Company meet?

A: We meet when and where the Grand Master decrees.

Q: How many members and companies are there?

A: Our Noble Company is limited to 100 members. Other Companies exist and have existed.

Q: Is the Noble Company formally a Catholic organization?

A: No. The Noble Company is ecumenical and non-sectarian. Other than its original mandate of creation by Rome, it has no direct administrative affiliation with the Catholic Church.



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