In 1100 the Crusaders of every country carried the banner of the Order of Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine.
A Grand Conclave of that Order assembled in Rome, May 11, 19. Emperor Michael Angelo Commenus was chosen Sovereign Grand Master. The Sovereign Grand Council issued an edict limiting the active membership of Knights of the Grand Cross to fifty Sir Knights in each Kingdom or independent country, and that a Grand Cross Knight shall have precedence in all Assemblies of Sir Knights of the Red Cross, immediately after the Sovereign Grand Master.
Pope Innocent III urged the Knights of the Red Cross, Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and Knights of St. John to overthrow the Infidels in Constantinople in 1193. Richard of England in 1195 was proclaimed Sovereign Grand Master of the Knights of Rome and Constantine, and Senior Knight of the Grand Cross by the Duke of Burgundy, for valorous services in front of Jerusalem. After the return of the Crusaders (1200) to about 1654, the history of the Order of the Knights of Rome and Constantine is somewhat uncertain. No General Assembly was held. The Kings of Spain and France and the Emperor of Germany asserted Sovereignty by Divine Authority in their respective countries. The Orders of Red Cross, Holy Sepulchre and St. John were resuscitated in England, the first Conclave being instituted by the German Ambassador to the Court of St. James, February, 1688. The Abbe Guisiniani, a Venetian Priest of great learning, while visiting England, May, 1692, conferred these three Orders of Red Cross, Holy Sepulchre and of St. John on several of the attaches of the English court. Sir Bernard Burke says: "Duke Francis I of Parma, of the House of Farnese was installed (September, 1699) Grand Master of the Knights of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine with much pomp."
Baron Hunde credits the Knights of the Red Cross as the only Order of Christian Knighthood that has had a regular succession since it was instituted in 312.
History by Date of the Red Cross of Constantine
|313 A.D.||Foundation of the Order of Constantine the Great after the battle of Saxa Rubra, October 28, 312, near Rome, and his vision of the Cross before the battle, as related in tradition.|
|1099||Revival of the Order of the Red Cross and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre amonst the Crusaders.|
|1750||The Order of the Red Cross, alluded to in connection with Freemasonry by the Baron Hunde in his Templar System of "Strict Observance."|
|1788||The Order of the Red Cross, Holy Sepulchre and St. John introduced into England.|
|1796||The Right Honorable Lord Radcliffe elected Grand Master.|
|1808||Order of the Red Cross of Constantine recognized in London, May 4, with new Constitution and under the name "Illustrious Order of the Red Cross," and the Chapter General made the governing body of the Order which could confer the Grand Cross. Judge Walter Rodwell Wright elected the Grand Master.|
|1813||His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex installed Grand Master.|
|1865||Order revived, after fifty years of lethargy, and the Grand Imperial Council of England established under a new Constitution which abolished the titles of Chapter General and Grand Master. William Henry White elected Grand Sovereign.|
|1866||Lord Kenlis (Earle of Bective) installed Grand Sovereign of the Grand Imperial Council of England.|
|1870||The Orders introduced into the United States, May 19.|
|1872||Grand Imperial Council of the State of Illinois organized at Chicago, August 30, by five Conclaves chartered by the Grand Council of England.|
|1899||Grand Imperial Council of the Western Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States, organized at Jacksonville, IL, October 13, by all of the Conclaves in the obedience of the Grand Council of Illinois.|
|1907||Grand Imperial Council for the United States of America, organized at Duluth, MN, August 14 by all the Conclaves in the obedience of the Grand Council.|
|1946||Due to the independence of the Phillipines and the existence of Conclaves in Mexico, the name "The Grand Imperial Council of the Imperial, Ecclesiastical and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders, for the United States of America, Mexico, and the Phillipines" was adopted.|
|1958||Grand Imperial Council of the Imperial, Ecclesiastical and Military Order of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine for the U.S.A., Empire of the East and the Grand Imperial Council of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders for the U.S.A., Mexico, and the Phillipines united in Washington, DC, February 18, forming the United Grand Imperial Council of Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders of America, Mexico, and the Phillipines.|
|2002||Grand Imperial Conclave for Italy was established.|
|2008||The Grand Imperial Conclave of the Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Appendant Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and St. John the Evangelist for Croatia was established.|