Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Merit, Order of
MERIT, ORDER OF, instituted in London, Jan. 26, 1902, by King Edward VII. to confer distinction on persons who have won prominence in science, army and navy, art, literature, and professional services, excepting political. The order consists of the sovereign and members, and initials, after the Bath, have precedence over all other knightly orders. Among distinguished men on whom the order was conferred were Lord Kitchener, Admirals Seymour, Wilson, and Lord Fisher, representing the navy. Sir William Crookes, Lord Raleigh, and Sir Archibald Geikie in science, and literature has been so honored in Viscount Morley, Lord Cromer, Sir George Trevelyan, and Thomas Hardy. Sir Edward Elgar received the honor for music. Honorary membership in the order has been conferred on distinguished men of other nations.