What is a Noble Company?
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.
I have never heard of The Noble Company of St. Mary of Walsingham.
What is it?
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.
Who is "Our Lady"? Who was St. Mary of Walsingham?
"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.
How long has the Noble Company been around?
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
What is the Noble Concept?
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.
What is a "Noble"?
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.
Do all the Companions know each other?
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.
How do you determine Nobility, Royalty, etc?
"We" do not as a Company. Yet, each of us does so, by the
sum of the story of our life.
Do you publish a public list or roll of members?
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.
Why are Companions
granted a Hereditary Collar of Collarette?
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 Companions
Aide-de-Camp, while Hereditary Companions use the collarette.
Is the Noble Company just another dubious group of pseudo-Knights?
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.
What mainly makes the Noble Company "noble"?
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.
What makes a Noble Companion "noble"?
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.
Under what conditions might the rights to a Hereditary Collar become revoked?
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.
How do I join the Noble Company?
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.
When and where does the Noble Company meet?
We meet when and where the Grand Master decrees.
How many members and companies are there?
Our Noble Company is limited to 100 members. Other Companies exist
and have existed.
Is the Noble Company formally a Catholic organization?
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.