Shortly before St Patrick's Day the queen issued an order which intensified this interest, that Irish soldiers might in future wear a sprig of shamrock in their headgear on this national festival.
These may be divided into three classes: first, the sprig of rue in silver, with sundry emblems attached to it, all of which refer to the worship of Diana, whose shrine at Capua was of considerable importance; secondly, the serpent charms, which formed part of the worship of Aesculapius, and were no doubt derived largely from the ancient eastern ophiolatry; and lastly charms derived from the legends of the Sirens.
It was, historically, only a personal nickname of Geoffrey, as was " Beauclerc " of his father-in-law (Henry I.) and " Curtmantel " of his son (Henry II.), and was derived from his wearing in his cap a sprig of the broom (genet) plant, "which in early summer makes the open country of Anjou and Maine a blaze of living gold."