The J.K. Rowling Index

List of all J.K. Rowling's writings.

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Order of Merlin

Index ID: OMPM — Publication date: December 23rd, 2014

The Order of Merlin (sometimes abbreviated to O.M.) is awarded by the Wizengamot, an organisation that predates the Ministry of Magic and nowadays functions as a combination of court and parliament. The Order comprises a handsome golden medal on a green ribbon (First Class), purple ribbon (Second Class) or white ribbon (Third Class).

The Order of Merlin, commemorating the most famous wizard of his time, has been given since the fifteenth century. Legend says that the green ribbon, on which the First Class Order hangs, is to reflect Merlin’s Hogwarts house.

The First Class Order is awarded ‘for acts of outstanding bravery or distinction’ in magic, the Second Class is awarded for ‘achievement or endeavour beyond the ordinary’ and the Third Class is given to those who ‘have made a contribution to our store of knowledge or entertainment.’

As often happens with such highly coveted awards, Ministry of Magic favourites seem to receive the Order of Merlin, especially the higher classes, more often than one might expect. While nobody argued when Albus Dumbledore received his O.M. (First Class) for defeating the Dark wizard Grindelwald, there was a good deal of muttering in the wizarding community when Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, awarded himself an O.M. (First Class) for a career that many considered less than distinguished. Other less worthy recipients of the highest class of order include Arcturus Black, Sirius Black’s grandfather, who was widely believed to have bought it by loaning the Ministry a large amount of gold.

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Ministers of Magic

Index ID: MSMPM — Publication date: October 31st, 2014

The Ministry of Magic was formally established in 1707 with the appointment of the very first man to hold the title ‘Minister for Magic’, Ulick Gamp.* The Minister for Magic is democratically elected, although there have been times of crisis in which the post has simply been offered to an individual without a public vote (Albus Dumbledore was made such an offer, and turned it down repeatedly). There is no fixed limit to a Minister’s term of office, but he or she is obliged to hold regular elections at a maximum interval of seven years. Ministers for Magic tend to last much longer than Muggle ministers. Generally speaking, and despite many a moan and grumble, their community is behind them in a way that is rarely seen in the Muggle world. This is perhaps due to a feeling, on the part of wizards, that unless they are seen to manage themselves competently, the Muggles might try to interfere.

The Muggle Prime Minister has no part in appointing the Minister for Magic, whose election is a matter only for the magical community themselves. All matters relating to the magical community in Britain are managed solely by the Minister for Magic, and he has sole jurisdiction over his Ministry. Emergency visits to the Muggle Prime Minister by the Minister for Magic are announced by a portrait of Ulick Gamp (first Minister for Magic) that hangs in the Muggle Prime Minister’s study in number 10 Downing Street.

No Muggle Prime Minister has ever set foot in the Ministry of Magic, for reasons most succinctly summed up by ex-Minister Dugald McPhail (term of office 1858-1865): ‘their puir wee braines couldnae cope wi’ it.’

*Prior to 1707, the Wizards’ Council was the longest serving (though not the only) body to govern the magical community in Britain. After the imposition of the International Statute of Secrecy in 1692, however, the wizarding community needed a more highly structured, organised and more complex governing structure than they had hitherto used, to support, regulate and communicate with a community in hiding. Only witches and wizards who enjoyed the title of ‘Minister for Magic’ are included in this entry.


Ulick Gamp

Term of Office: 1707 – 1718

Previously head of the Wizengamot, Gamp had the onerous job of policing a fractious and frightened community adjusting to the imposition of the International Statute of Secrecy. His greatest legacy was to found the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Damocles Rowle

Term of Office: 1718 – 1726

Rowle was elected on a platform of being ‘tough on Muggles’. Censured by the International Confederation of Wizards, he was eventually forced to step down.

Perseus Parkinson

Term of Office: 1726 – 1733

Attempted to pass a bill making it illegal to marry a Muggle. Misread the public mood; the wizarding community, tired of anti-Muggle sentiment and wanting peace, voted him out at the first opportunity.

Eldritch Diggory

Term of Office: 1733 – 1747

Popular Minister who first established an Auror recruitment programme. Died in office (dragon pox)

Albert Boot

Term of Office: 1747 – 1752

Likeable, but inept. Resigned after a mismanaged goblin rebellion.

Basil Flack

Term of Office: 1752 – 1752

Shortest serving Minister. Lasted two months; resigned after the goblins joined forces with werewolves.

Hesphaestus Gore

Term of Office: 1752 – 1770

Gore was one of the earliest Aurors. Successfully put down a number of revolts by magical beings, although historians feel his refusal to contemplate rehabilitation programmes for werewolves ultimately led to more attacks. Renovated and reinforced the prison of Azkaban.

Maximilian Crowdy

Term of Office: 1770 – 1781

Father of nine Crowdy was a charismatic leader who routed out several extremist pure-blood groups planning Muggle attacks. His mysterious death in office has been the subject of numerous books and conspiracy theories.

Porteus Knatchbull

Term of Office: 1781 – 1789

Was called in confidentially in 1782 by the Muggle Prime Minister of the day, Lord North, to see whether he could help with King George III’s emerging mental instability. Word leaked out that Lord North believed in wizards, and he was forced to resign after a motion of no confidence.

Unctuous Osbert

Term of Office: 1789 – 1798

Widely seen as too much influenced by pure-bloods of wealth and status.

Artemisia Lufkin

Term of Office: 1798 – 1811

First female Minister for Magic. Established Department of International Magical Co-operation and lobbied hard and successfully to have a Quidditch World Cup tournament held in Britain during her term.

Grogan Stump

Term of Office: 1811 – 1819

Very popular Minister for Magic, a passionate Quidditch fan (Tutshill Tornados), established Department of Magical Games and Sports and managed to steer through legislation on magical beasts and beings that had long been a source of contention.

Josephina Flint

Term of Office: 1819 – 1827

Revealed an unhealthy anti-Muggle bias in office; disliked new Muggle technology such as the telegraph, which she claimed interfered with proper wand function.

Ottaline Gambol

Term of Office: 1827 – 1835

A much more forward-looking Minister, Gambol established committees to investigate Muggle brainpower which seemed, during this period of the British Empire, to be greater than some wizards had credited.

Radolphus Lestrange

Term of Office: 1835 – 1841

Reactionary who attempted to close down the Department of Mysteries, which ignored him. Eventually resigned due to ill health, which was widely rumoured to be inability to cope with the strains of office.

Hortensia Milliphutt

Term of Office: 1841 – 1849

Introduced more legislation than any other sitting Minister, much of it useful, but some wearisome (hat pointiness and so on), which ultimately resulted in her political downfall.

Evangeline Orpington

Term of Office: 1849 – 1855

A good friend of Queen Victoria’s, who never realised she was a witch, let alone Minister for Magic. Orpington is believed to have intervened magically (and illegally) in the Crimean War.

Priscilla Dupont

Term of Office: 1855 – 1858

Conceived an irrational loathing of the Muggle Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, to an extent that caused such trouble (coins turning to frogspawn in his coat pockets, etc.) that she was forced to step down. Ironically, Palmerston was forced to resign by the Muggles two days later.

Dugald McPhail

Term of Office: 1858 – 1865

A safe pair of hands. While the Muggle parliament underwent a period of marked upheaval, the Ministry of Magic knew a period of welcome calm.

Faris “Spout-hole” Spavin

Term of Office: 1865 – 1903

Longest-ever serving Minister for Magic, and also the most long-winded, he survived an ‘assassination attempt’ (kicking) from a centaur who resented the punchline of Spavin’s infamous ‘a centaur, a ghost and a dwarf walk into a bar’ joke. Attended Queen Victoria’s funeral in an admiral’s hat and spats, at which point the Wizengamot suggested gently that it was time he move aside (Spavin was 147 when he left office).

Venusia Crickerly

Term of Office: 1903 – 1912

Second ex-Auror to take office and considered both competent and likeable, Crickerly died in a freak gardening accident (mandrake related).

Archer Evermonde

Term of Office: 1912 – 1923

In post during the Muggle First World War, Evermonde passed emergency legislation forbidding witches and wizards to get involved, lest they risk mass infractions of the International Statute of Secrecy. Thousands defied him, aiding Muggles where they could.

Lorcan McLaird

Term of Office: 1923 – 1925

A gifted wizard, but an unlikely politician, McLaird was an exceptionally taciturn man who preferred to communicate in monosyllables and expressive puffs of smoke that he produced through the end of his wand. Forced from office out of sheer irritation at his eccentricities.

Hector Fawley

Term of Office: 1925 – 1939

Undoubtedly voted in because of his marked difference to McLaird, the ebullient and flamboyant Fawley did not take sufficiently seriously the threat presented to the world wizarding community by Gellert Grindelwald. He paid with his job.

Leonard Spencer-Moon

Term of Office: 1939 – 1948

A sound Minister who rose through the ranks from being tea-boy in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. Oversaw a great period of international wizarding and Muggle conflict. Enjoyed a good working relationship with Winston Churchill.

Wilhelmina Tuft

Term of Office: 1948 – 1959

Cheery witch who presided over a period of welcome peace and prosperity. Died in office after discovering, too late, her allergy to Alihotsy-flavoured fudge.

Ignatius Tuft

Term of Office: 1959 – 1962

Son of the above. A hard-liner who capitalised on his mother’s popularity to gain election. Promised to institute a controversial and dangerous Dementor breeding program and was forced from office.

Nobby Leach

Term of Office: 1962 – 1968

First Muggle-born Minister for Magic, his appointment caused consternation among the old (pure-blood) guard, many of whom resigned government posts in protest. Has always denied having anything to do with England’s 1966 World Cup Win. Left office after contracting mysterious illness (conspiracy theories abound).

Eugenia Jenkins

Term of Office: 1968 – 1975

Jenkins dealt competently with pure-blood riots during Squib Rights marches in the late sixties, but was soon confronted with the first rise of Lord Voldemort. Jenkins was soon ousted from office as inadequate to the challenge.

Harold Minchum

Term of Office: 1975 – 1980

Seen as a hard-liner, he placed even more Dementors around Azkaban, but was unable to contain what looked like Voldemort’s unstoppable rise to power.

Millicent Bagnold

Term of Office: 1980 – 1990

A highly able Minister. Had to answer to the International Confederation of Wizards for the number of breaches of the International Statute of Secrecy on the day and night following Harry Potter’s survival of Lord Voldemort’s attack. Acquitted herself magnificently with the now infamous words: ‘I assert our inalienable right to party’, which drew cheers from all present.

Cornelius Fudge

Term of Office: 1990 – 1996

A career politician overly-fond of the old guard. Persistent denial of the continuing threat of Lord Voldemort ultimately cost him his job.

Rufus Scrimgeour

Term of Office: 1996 – 1997

The third ex-Auror to gain office, Scrimgeour died in office at the hands of Lord Voldemort.

Pius Thicknesse

Term of Office: 1997 – 1998

Omitted from most official records, as he was under the Imperius Curse for his entire term of office, and unconscious of anything that he was doing.

Kingsley Shacklebolt

Term of Office: 1998 – present

Oversaw the capture of Death Eaters and Voldemort supporters following the death of Lord Voldemort. Initially named as ‘caretaker Minister’, Shacklebolt was subsequently elected to the office.

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