Degradation is the formal term for removal of a knighthood or other honour.

The last knight to be publicly degraded was Sir Francis Mitchell in 1621.[1][2] More recent examples include Sir Roger Casement, whose knighthood was canceled for treason during the First World War,[3] and Sir Anthony Blunt, whose knighthood was withdrawn in 1979.[4]

The most recent degradations centre on the fallout from the banking crisis at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Examples include Sir Fred Goodwin, the former chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who lost his knighthood in 2012 over his role in the bank's near-collapse in 2008[5] and Sir James Crosby, the former chief executive of HBOS.[6]


  1. ^ Chronological Tables of the Private and Personal Acts.Part 2 (1603-1627). Accessed on 4 May 2012. See note 4.
  2. ^ Lee, Sidney and Sean Kelsy (2004). "Giles Mompesson". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography vol. 38. London: Oxford University Press. pp. 569–572.
  3. ^ "No. 29651". The London Gazette. 4 July 1916. p. 6596.
  4. ^ "On This Day: 16 November". BBC. 16 November 1979. Retrieved 18 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Former RBS boss Fred Goodwin stripped of knighthood". BBC. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  6. ^ "Ex-HBOS chief Sir James Crosby asks to return knighthood". BBC. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.

See also