In English law. The next personal dignity after the nobility. Of knights there are several orders and degrees. The first in rank are knights of the Garter, instituted by Itichard I. and improved by Edward III. in 1344; next follows a knight banneret; then come knights of the Bath, instituted by Henry IV., and revived by George I.; and they were so called from a ceremony of bathing the night before their creation. Tbe last order are knights bachelors, who, though the lowest, are yet the most ancient, order of knighthood; for we find that King Alfred conferred this order upon his son Atlielstan. 1 Bl. Comm. 403.
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