the International
of Anysetiers



ORGANIZATION › What is the Order


... In the Middle Ages, the guilds, gathering together people engaged in the same profession, were numerous and formed very powerful Brotherhoods. By order of King Louis 9th (Saint Louis), their customs and traditions were recorded in the Great Book of Trades.

Because of this we know that in addition to rules specific to each Guild, these Brotherhoods imposed a number of moral codes upon their members allowing them to assure the protection of their just professional interests. Following this, a requirement of mutual assistance, both morally and materially, was imposed on them. Similarly, they had to promise to practice honesty in every respect, i.e. both to each other and towards others.

In the year of grace 1263, the Guild of Anysetiers was registered in the Chatelet in the Great Book of Trades by Etienne Boileau, Provost of Paris. Its members were physicians and apothecaries who used their thorough knowledge of the properties of anis in the service of an ideal: to help others.

At that time, caravans brought anis from China up to Alexandria, whence the valuable seeds were shipped through the ports of Genoa and Marseille, before being routed to Paris. They were entrusted to Anysetiers who officiated in the street Vielle-du-Temple under the orders of Sir Antoine Gil, their Grand Master whose role authorised him to do so.

They crushed the seeds of anis with a rounded pestle shaped like a hammer. After distillation and maceration of the pulp obtained, they used it for the manufacture of drugs, ointments and liqueurs which they provided to Kings and nobles, but also to the common people. Through this they enjoyed very great fame both amongst the nobility and the common folk.

But fraud and fraudsters already existed, and the Anysetiers suffered extensively, until July 26, 1582, when the Prosecutor of the King made the following proclamation :

"It is forbidden to alter, falsify, or dilute liqueurs, extracts or spirits sent for sale as if it were good and honest merchandise from the Maistres Anysetiers, under penalty of a 30 pound fine for offenders".

The text was in fact a privilege given by the king to the Master Anysetiers in recognition of all the good works that they had carried out with generosity wherever they were, in particular among wounded soldiers during the crusades. In common with all royal privileges, it was abolished by the Revolution of 1789. This abolition was to mark the end of the Guild of Anysetiers.

In 1955, a group of high-level personalities from the world of arts and culture, encouraged by Paul Ricard, undertook the revival of the ancient traditions of the Guild of Anysetiers in creating the Association of Anysetiers du Roy. Its aims were to defend and promote those cultural and moral values which constitute the foundations of our civilization.

Long and careful historical research allowed them to define the exact characteristics of the emblems, coats of arms, banners and ceremonial robes of the Maistres Anysetiers of today. In the Middle Ages, the ceremony of handing over weapons to a young man when being knighted was imbued with a solemn and moral character. It was this ceremony of dubbing which, both in form and spirit, was to serve as the model for the induction ceremony of a Maistre Anysetier...


In 1968, wishing to become known beyond the borders of France, the Association of Anysetiers du Roy was transformed into the International Order of Anysetiers, an Association governed by the law of 1 July 1901 (which governs the constitution and conduct of charities) whose Board of Directors was called the Grand Council of the Order.

Animated by a desire for decentralization, the Grand Council quickly created Commanderies in the various regions of France, as well as in several other countries. In order to give them all a specific character linked to the history of their territory, it corresponded roughly to a former Province as defined in the Middle Ages.

Each Commandery was headed by a Grand Master chosen and appointed by the Grand Council (of the Commandery) for a term of three years, renewable. He was assisted by a chapter of members, whose number depended on the size of the Commandery, these were appointed, on the proposal of the Grand Master, by their Grand Council for a term of three years, renewable.

The members of the Grand Council of the Order were co-opted by the latter for a term of three years, renewable. Half were representatives of the manufacturers of aniseed-flavored drinks providing assistance to the Order (the Brands), and the other half, former Grand Masters or notables.

It was the Grand Council of the Order which, in conjunction with Grand Masters, took on the difficult task of the guidance and coordination of the action of each of the Commanderies.

In 1990, the manufacturers of aniseed-flavored drinks no longer wished to participate in the financing and management of the Order, so the order had to renew its constitution. Still regulated by the Act of 1 July 1901, it became a Federation of autonomous Commanderies in conformity with that law.

In order to respect this autonomy, the members of the chapter of a Commandery are now elected by the Maistres Anysetiers of the Commandery for a mandate of three years, renewable, whereas the distribution of responsibility within the Chapter is a result of a vote of its members.

Those Commanderies which are geographically adjacent or possessing linguistic or cultural affinities, are grouped into Anysetier Regions disregarding national boundaries. Each Region is represented at the Grand Council by a Chancellor, elected for a term of three years, renewable, by the Grand Masters of its Commanderies. The candidates for this function must be, or have been, Grand Masters of a Commandery of the Region. In addition, the Grand Council is supplemented by the same number of members as those regionally elected, who are directly elected by the General Assembly of the Grand Masters, for the same term of office.

In order to facilitate its development, any Commandery can create Bailiwicks which can become Commanderies when their size and level of activity merit it. This process of creation of new Commanderies ensures an orderly, harmonious and continuing expansion of the International Order of Anysetiers. The current statutes governing the order today result from the most recent revision dating from 1995 which mainly concerned the composition of the Grand Council. At the moment, the latter is composed of the chancellors from each of the Anysetiers Regions, and four members of the management sub committee (a President, a vice-President, a Secretary and a Treasurer General) elected by the Chancellors for a term of three years renewable. The candidates must have exercised over a period of at least three years the responsibility of being Grand Master of a Commandery.

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