Freemason: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang-Amadeus-Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

On the 27th January 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the son of Leopold and Maria Mozart from Bavaria, was born in Saltzburg, Austria.  On the 28th January, the young Mozart was baptised with the names; Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart at St.Rupert’s Cathedral.  Mozart came from a musical heritage, for his father Leopold was a composer and violinist, serving as an assistant concert master in the Salzburg court.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his sister, Maria Anna came under the musical tutorage of their father; Leopold.  Wolfgang’s introduction into the world of music started when he was three and Maria was seven.  Wolfgang excelled quickly in the world of music, and by five, had written his first composition, and went on to demonstrate his abilities on harpsichord and violin.

With Wolfgang aged six, and Maria aged eleven, these child prodigies went on European tours.  Their father took them to the court of Bavaria, Paris, London, The Hague and Zurich in 1762.

In 1763, Leopold Mozart became Vice-kappelmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg.  In the latter part of 1763, the Mozarts toured Germany, France, England, Switzerland and the low countries, promoting their child prodigies, and returning home in 1766.  Towards the end of 1766, the Mozarts travelled to Vienna, where Wolfgang Mozart composed two operas.  In 1768, the young and talented Mozart, wrote a Mass and a collection of Serenades, and in the October of 1769 became honorary “Konzertmeister “at the Salzburg court.

These concert tours, would promote this child genius; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a possible prospect for employment by the noble courts of Europe, as a musician or court composer.

With Wolfgang’s sister having reached the age of 17, her musical career was all but over, for the custom of that time, no longer permitted her to show off her artistic talent in public.  It was now her time, to prepare for marriage.  With sadness in their heart, Wolfgang and his father, departed Salzburg bound for Italy in December of 1769, leaving his sister and mother behind.

Tours across Italy intensified to secure Wolfgang permanent employment, as they visited Verona, Mantua, Milan, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Naples.  Wolfgang composed the opera “Mitridate Re di Ponto,” which established his reputation in the world of opera.

Aged just 13, Wolfgang Mozart had made his mark, when Pope Clement XIV made him a “Knight of the Golden Spur,” and at Bologna admitted to the “Accademia Filarmonica.”

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart along with his father returned from Italy in the March of 1773.  Leopold’s benefactor, Archbishop von Schrattenbach had died during their absence, and been succeeded by Hieronymus von Colleredo, who appointed the young Mozart as assistant concert master.  This gave Wolfgang the chance to experiment on different musical genres; symphonies, sonatas, serenades and operas.  It was during this experimental period he developed a passion for Violin Concertos, and during his life wrote five.  In 1776, he changed direction, and started writing piano concertos.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had much success with his compositions, but he wanted more, than be known as a mere assistant concert master in Salzburg.

In the August of 1777, departed Salzburg for Mannheim, Paris and Munich, accompanied by his mother seeking out better employment.  On the 3rd July 1778, Wolfgang’s mother died, and he was left along in a foreign country, to find his way home, whilst his father negotiated a better court position for him.  Mozart returned home, to take up the position of Court Organist.

Wolfgang was commissioned to write an opera, for the Court of Bavaria.  In November 1780 travelled to Munich to complete the work and conduct the “Idomeneo.”

In the March of 1781, Wolfgang was summoned by Colleredo to join his entourage in Vienna.  Treated much like a servant, and rolled out to perform chamber concerts in houses of nobility, did not go down well, and he often voiced his opinions to the fact on several occasions.

A heated argument erupted between Archbishop von Colleredo and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, resulting in Mozart’s resignation being accepted.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart settled in Vienna, at the home of Fridolin Weber, becoming a music teacher, writing music and performing concerts.

On the 4th August 1782, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart married Constanze Weber, with the approval of his mother, but his father believed his music was far more important, which led to difference of opinions regarding his forthcoming marriage.  Yet he finally gave way, and gave his son his blessing.  The couple were blessed with two children who survived infancy; Karl Thomas and Franz Xaver.

In the latter part of 1782 and early 1783, Wolfgang was influenced by the works of Johannes Sebastian Bach and George Frederic Handel, resulting in several Baroque styles compositions… (The Magic Flute).

He became friends with Joseph Haydn and often performed together, and went on to write six quartets dedicated to Haydn.

The opera “Die Entfuhrung” became popular, bolstering Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s name throughout Europe.

In 1784, he became a Freemason, and was well regarded by the secret society.  Freemasonry influenced much of his compositions.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart went on to compose some 600 works or more, lived an extravagant lifestyle, more associated with nobility.  By the latter part of the 1780’s Wolfgang and Constanze found themselves falling into serious financial difficulties.  To turn his finances about, he needed court appointment, as he had been borrowing from fellow Freemasons to retain his extravagant lifestyle.

In 1785 Wolfgang collaborated with Lorenzo da Ponte, composing “The Marriage of Figaro” which premiered in Venice and Prague in 1786.  With such success the pair wrote “Don Giovanni” which premiered in 1787.

In the December of 1787, Emperor Joseph II appointed Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as chamber composer.  This income was most welcomed, as he was struggling with debt.

On the 18th November 1791, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart conducted the dedication for the new Masonic Temple.  Just a few days later, on the 5th December he died in Vienna, Austria.

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Knights Templar: Temple Bruer

Temple Bruer

Temple Bruer Church and Buildings

Temple Bruer emerged in the middle of the vast Lincoln Heath, which spread out southwards from the city of Lincoln.  The heath sparsely populated, and during the Templar times, would have been desolate and forbidding.

The Order of the Knights Templar, were bequeathed the land by William of Ashby in the mid 12th century.  The Templar’s with their renowned vigour and enterprise built a great preceptor and established a productive estate.

As the Templar’s built their property, rumours spoke of a tunnel running under the heath, from the preceptor to the village of Wellingmore, some two miles away.  Templar properties were often associated with such clandestine features.

Temple Bruer Church Plan

Church Plan

The Temple Bruer estate would have been some 4,000 acres in size, featuring a round church, with a number of smaller buildings huddled around it, complete with a defensive wall and gatehouse.   The people living within would fall into four categories: Knights – Sergeants – Servants – Chaplains.

The village of Temple Bruer did not exist before the Templar’s arrived; it was built to house the workforce needed by the Order; labourers, builders along with their families, who would become the Templar’s tenants.  In 1259, the village was granted a charter to have its very own market.

The original Templar estate extended to the west, to an area known as Lincoln Cliff, where the knights typically exploited the climate and built a windmill.  They were in fact the first recorded users of windmills in Europe.

Ermine Street, the old Roman road, runs along the top of the cliff and would have been used by the Templar’s as they travelled up from London, and onto Lincoln and York.  It also follows the same route they would have taken to and from their training grounds at Byard’s Leap, which marks the southernmost limit of their property.

Lincolnshire Longwool Sheep

Lincolnshire Longwool Sheep

Temple Bruer made the change from arable farming to sheep farming, with the breeding of Lincolnshire Longwool sheep.  All wool produced on Templar farms in the immediate area, was collected at Temple Bruer, shipped in Templar vessels, from eastern ports, bound for the continent.  An extremely efficient system had been created, and Temple Bruer evolved into a wealthy preceptor in England.

Byard’s Leap, located to the south of Bruer’s estate, with sizeable stretches of level heath land, provided the Templar’s with tournament areas.  It was here they held war games… engaging forces would take part in simulated battles.

When the Knights Templar were dissolved, Temple Bruer passed to the Hospitaller’s who retained it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, by King Henry VIII, who then sold the estate to the Duke of Suffolk.

Temple Bruer Tower

Temple Bruer Tower

Temple Bruer remains consist of a square, three-storey tower with a spiral staircase, constructed out of Lincolnshire oolitic limestone.  The tower underwent partial restoration in the early 20th century.  Interior walls consist of inscriptions, believed to be associated with the Templar’s.

(Image) Temple Bruer Church: Papa Donkey
(Image) Temple Bruer Tower: Papa Donkey
(Image) Temple Bruer Chauch Plan: Papa Donkey
(Image) Longwool Sheep: Wikipedia

 

Templar Trials

Justice

The Templar’s had defended Christendom against Islam in the Holy Land, protected pilgrims on route to Jerusalem and other holy sites.

In October of 1307, Templar’s in France were arrested on mass, and charged with acts of heresy.

French Templar’s, admitted charges of heresy under torture.  Pope Clement V, is said to have tried to block said trials, but was outmanoeuvred by King Philip IV of France, who stated if they admitted their guilt, they were guilty.  Any Templar who recounted his confession, claiming they gave a false statement under torture, found it mattered not, as they were still burned at the stake as relapsed heretics.

For British Templar’s they had King Edward II on their side, he being reluctant to arrest these individuals, questioning the legality of being told by France, what to do.

Edward found himself in a difficult position, his father Edward I had left him a kingdom in debt, he could not oppose his French counterpart.

Edward needed all the support he could muster, and as such had to comply by Pope Clement’s decree, if he wanted papal support.

Edward instructed his sheriffs in England, and officials in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, to arrest Templar’s on site, but made it known, that they were to be treated well, and comfortably housed, not imprisoned as urged by Pope Clement V.

Templar land became Edward’s lands.  He granted Templar’s a daily allowance of four pence, and two shillings for William de la More, chief official in Britain.  Allowances came from Templar revenue, and any surplus found its way to the royal treasury.  Edward used his windfall, paying off his father’s debts, rewarding his followers, with gifts to his supporters.

In September of 1309, two inquisitors appointed by the Pope; Abbot Dieudonne and Sicard of Vaur arrived in England, to carry out interrogations on the Templar’s.

On the 23rd October 1309, interrogations started in London.  What had been clear cut cases in France, proved anything but in England?  The Templar’s in London denied all charges of heresy.  The inquisitors wanted to use torture as they had done in France, but English common law did not allow the use of torture.

Procedures against possible heretics, allowed for church officials, to seek out those who were employed by the Templar’s.  Some seventeen non-Templar witnesses in November 1309 through to January 1310, came forward, and spoke in their support.

Robert the Dorturer, notary public figure of London, showed hostility towards the Templar’s accusing a former grand commander of sodomy… he was unable to produce any proof of his so called charges.

On the 23rd October 1309, the trial of the Templar’s commenced in London.

The initial interrogations by inquisitors taking place in London revealed some Templar’s had limited understanding.  They were unable to understand the differences; sins against God and infringement of rules as laid down by the order.  Only a priest could absolve a Templar of Sin.  Only a Grand Master could absolve one of infringing regulations.

On the 17th November 1309, Templar interrogations commenced in Scotland, but were cut short by the Anglo-Scottish war.  Those Templar’s who resided in Scotland, were of English origin, and confessed to nothing of a heretical nature.

Lord Henry Sinclair and Lord Hugh of Rydale, whose lands bordered the Templar estates of Midlothian, stated they believed the Scottish Templar’s were good Christians.  However, they could not speak for European Templar’s.

Irish Friar’s believed their Templar’s could be guilty of acts of heresy, but they had no proof to the fact.  It was based on here say.

Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle

When inquisitors reached Lincoln in March of 1310, they found similar confusion as in London, limited understanding of the order’s beliefs.  Similar confusion existed in York as well.

Templar Yorkshire priest; Ralph of Ruston declared to all those present, an Abbot can absolve persons of their convent, because he is a priest.

By June of 1310, papal inquisitors were becoming frustrated; for they had found no evidence of heresy among British Templar’s.  They believed torture was the only way, to get answers.

The papal inquisitors contacted Robert Winchelsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, asking for assistance.  They complained King’s ministers were bribing the King, not to assist inquisitors.  Even to the point of buying off officials, who would be called upon to carry out acts of torture.

Tower of London.jpg

Tower of London

In the August of 1310, King Edward II agreed that all Templar’s held in Lincoln Castle, would be moved to London, arriving in the March of 1311, for imprisonment and torture.

In the July of 1311, Church Councils of London and York absolved Templar’s who agreed to swear off all heresy… any who refused, would remain in prison.

In the October of 1311, the Pope summoned a Church Council at Vienne in the south of France, to discuss British Templar’s.  Papal inquisitors only evidence was based on gear say evidence, second or third hand stories.

Only three British Templar’s were ever tortured; Stephen of Stapelbrugge, who had fled to Ireland during the troubles and returned home in June 1311, Thomas Totty who had infuriated Abbot Dieudonne and John of Stoke a priest.  They confessed to some charges, and it was enough to bring the work of the inquisitors to an end.  The Templar’s claim of innocence and evidence in their favour was ignored.  So it was in July of 1311 the Church Council in London, agreed to dissolve the Order of the Temple.

Not a single Templar in Britain was condemned on charges of heresy; no one was burnt at the stake.

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Chartres Cathedral: Sacred Geometry

saint-bernard-of-clairvaux

St.Bernard of Clairvaux

St.Bernard of Clairvaux, the patron saint of the Knights Templar, clearly regarded their architectural skills with much praise, and was particularly impressed by their soaring roofs and arches… With their distinguishing features of Gothic architecture as expressed at Chartres Cathedral and other 12th century French Cathedral’s.

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral – France

Contained within the walls of Chartres Cathedral, Ancient Hebrew ciphers were added, spelling out obscure liturgical phrases in key positions, in the buildings structure.  Key designs to religious mysteries.

Similarly, sculptors and glaziers concealed texts about human nature, the past and prophetic scriptures, in its sculptural works and leaded glass.

The French Gothic Cathedral of Chartres contains sacred geometry, as used in its construction…

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth

The Labyrinth

In the nave of the cathedral, we find a labyrinth on the floor made from white stone, set within dark coloured marble.  The labyrinth measures one tenth of the cathedral’s interior length, which equates to the central point of the buildings geometric construction.

Chartres Cathedral - West Front

West Rose Window – Chartres Cathedral

The diameter of the labyrinth is the same size as the West Rose Window.  The distance from the centre of the west rose window to the floor, is exactly the same as the distance from the centre of the labyrinth to the Cathedral’s west portal wall.

Putting it simply, the West Rose Window and the Labyrinth form a perfect equilateral triangle.

Within the Cathedral, distances between pillars and the length of the nave, transepts and choir, are multiples of the Golden Mean, (The Golden Mean is related to the dimensions of a pentagon, a shape much used in the building of Chartres Cathedral).

The ribs supporting the vaults of the quadrangle units of which the cathedral is composed of, are the shape of the golden triangles.

Chartres - Latin Cross Plan

The grand plan view of Chartres Cathedral is in the design of a Latin Cross.  It symbolizes Light of the Cross, where Spirit and Matter converge.

Knights Templar: Grand Masters

 Knights Templar a

1119-1136 Hugh de Payen: One of the nine founding knights of the Order was the first master of the Order of the Temple; Hugh was a vassal of the Count of Champagne from Payns, northwest of Troyes in France. Hugh settled in the kingdom of Jerusalem sometime after 1113, and in 1119, together with Godfrey of Saint-Omer and several other companions, began to patrol the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem in order to protect pilgrims from Muslim attack. The knights were sustained by benefices centred on the Temple complex in Jerusalem. In 1127, Hugh was part of a delegation sent by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem to accompany Fulke V, count of Anjou, to Jerusalem, where he was to marry Melisande, Baldwin’s eldest daughter. While in the West, Hugh travelled extensively in France, Normandy, Flanders, England, and Scotland in order to recruit forces for an attack on Damascus planned for late 1129. In January 1129 the Templars received their rule at the Council of Troyes following an oral explanation of their original customs by Hugh himself. At about the same time, Hugh asked Bernard of Clairvaux to write in their support, a request that resulted in the treatise ‘De laude novae militiae.’

1137-1149 Robert de Craon: Robert, a son of Rainald Burgundio of Craon and Ennoguena of Vitré, belonged to the Angevin high nobility. Robert de Craon was also known as Robert the Burgundian. After several years in the service of the count of Angoulême and at the court of the dukes of Aquitaine, he dissolved his engagement to the heiress of Chabannes and Confolens and traveled to Outremer. By about 1125 he had joined the Templars and became Seneschal of the Order. He travelled to the west, 1132-4, where he received important donations including the castle of Barbera in Spain. Robert became the second grand Master of the Order in 1137 after the death of Hugh de Payen. Robert returned to the West in 1138 and when on 29 March 1139, Pope Innocent II issued the Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum, the Templars’ most important papal privilege, it named Robert as its recipient. William of Tyre listed Robert among the participants of the Second Crusade’s general curia held in Acre on 24 June 1148 and gave an unusually friendly assessment of him. Robert died on 13 January 1149.

1149-1152 Everard de Barres: Everard de Barres was for a period in charge of receiving donations to the Templars around Barcelona. Everard de Barres was the Master of the Temple in France at the time of the launch of the Second Crusade (1147). He and his fellow knights from Portugal and Spain accompanied King Louis of France on the overland journey to Outremer. The King relied heavily on the diplomatic and military advice of Everard de Barres to get his forces across Byzantine territory to Outremer and then for financial aid when he got there. In return Louis supported Everard’s subsequent election as Grandmaster. In 1152 Everard de Barres resigned his post as Grand Master of the Temple to become a monk at the abbey of Clairvaux.

1152-1153 Bernard de Tremelay: Bernard was a Burgundian from near Dijon. On the 15th August 1153, during the siege of Ascalon, Bernard was killed leading a group of Templars in an unsuccessful assault on a breach in the walls of the city. The chronicler Walter of Tyre in describing this episode used the occasion to attribute the deaths of the attackers to Templar pride and greed, but then he wasn’t much of a fan of the Templars.

1153-1156 Andrew de Montbard: Andrew was one of the original nine members of the Order; born sometime before 1105 in Burgundy, his father was Bernard I of Montbard, his sister Aleth was the mother of Bernard of Clairvaux. Before being elected Grand Master Andrew served as the Seneschal of the Kingdom of Jerusalem for the Order. According to the fake ‘Dossiers Secrets’ of the Priory of Sion Andrew de Montbard was not a Grand Master of the Templars.  between 1130 and 1135 carried out missions between the West and Outremer for Bernard of Clairvaux and the king of Jerusalem (either Baldwin II or Fulk). After the death of Fulk (1143), Bernard recommended Andrew to Queen Melisende, and by 1148 he had been appointed seneschal of the Templars. He was in charge of the central convent of the order while Master Robert Burgundio took part in the Second Crusade (1148) and while Robert’s successor, Everard of Barres, travelled to France (1149–1151). On the death of Master Bernard of Tremelay during the siege of Ascalon (1153), Andrew was elected master. His career illustrates the strong ties between the Templars’ leadership and the royal court of Jerusalem’. –Jochen Burgtorf – The Crusades; An Encyclopedia

1156-1169 Bernard de Blanquefort: In 1158 Bernard, accompanied by 87 Brother-Knights and 300 secular knights, was ambushed by a force of Saracens while travelling down the Jordan valley. Bernard was taken captive. He was freed in 1159 as a result of a treaty between Emperor Manuel of Byzantium and Nur ed-Din, ruler of Aleppo. In 1168 Bernard refused to join King Amalric of Jerusalem and the Grand  Master of the Hospitallers, Gilbert of Assailly, in a planned invasion of Egypt.  According to the fake ‘Dossiers Secrets’ of the Priory of Sion Bertrand de Blanquefort is not the sixth Grand Master of the Templars but the fourth.

1169-1171 Philip de Nablus: Philip de Nablus was the Lord of Outrejourdain before he joined the order in 1166, bringing fortresses with him.

1171-1179 Odo de Saint-Amand: Before he joined the Order Odo had been a prisoner of the Moslems between 1157 and 1159. He had also served in several important official posts in the royal service. This did not stop him seriously falling out with King Amalric over the attack by a group of Templars, led by Walter of Mesnil, on an envoy to the King from the Assassins. Odo de Saint-Amand was captured in 1179 by Saladin during an attempt to relieve the Templar fortress at Jacob’s Ford. He refused to be ransomed and subsequently died in captivity.

1180-1184 Arnold de Torroja: Arnold had been the Templar Master of Spain and of Provence before his election as Grand Master. Arnold died in Verona while on an embassy with the Grand Master of the Hospitallers, Rogers de Moulin, and Patriarch of Jerusalem Hericlais seeking for support from Europe.

1185-1189 Gerard de Ridefort: A knight of Flemish or Anglo-Norman origin, Gerard entered the service of Count Raymond III of Tripoli in the early 1170s and had risen to be marshal of the kingdom of Jerusalem by 1179.  However, in 1180 he joined the Templars and rapidly rose within the order. By 1184 Gerard de Ridefort was the Knights Templar Seneschal in the Kingdom of Jerusalem  and master by 1185.

‘Gerard supported the claims of Princess Sibyl and her husband Guy of Lusignan to the throne of Jerusalem after the death of the young Baldwin V in 1186; he was thus in opposition to the party led by Raymond of Tripoli. Gerard facilitated the coronation of Sibyl and Guy by surrendering the Temple’s key to the royal treasury (where the crowns were located) and by collecting the key that the master of the Hospital, Roger of Les Moulins, had discarded. The chronicle known as Eracles ascribes Gerard’s actions to his enmity toward Raymond of Tripoli. Raymond had promised Gerard an advantageous marriage, and around 1180 Gerard had expected to marry the heiress of Botron in the county of Tripoli; however, Raymond had given her to a wealthy Pisan merchant instead. It is possible that this disappointment prompted Gerard to join the Templars.

Faced with the growing threat from Saladin, King Guy selected Gerard as one of a delegation that was intended to make peace with Raymond of Tripoli in April 1187. At the Templar castle of La Fève, he and Roger of Les Moulins learned of a large Muslim force in Nazareth. Accounts vary as to whether both masters decided to attack or whether Gerard persuaded Roger against his better judgment. Roger was killed, along with most of the Christian forces, at the ensuing battle of the Springs of Cresson (1 May 1187); Gerard was one of only three Templar knights who escaped. The defeat reduced Christian forces, and Gerard hired mercenaries with the money that King Henry II of England had deposited with the Templars.  When Saladin mounted his great invasion of Galilee later that year, Gerard advised King Guy to fight Saladin, contrary to Raymond of Tripoli’s counsel. Gerard was the only Templar to survive the defeat at Hattin (4 July 1187), and was apparently ransomed in exchange for the Templar castle at Gaza.

Gerard de Ridefort died in battle outside Acre on October 4th 1189.

1191-1193 Robert de Sable: Robert de Sable was both a vassal of and a trusted friend of King Richard the Lionheart. He joined the Templars and was elected Grand Master under the sponsorship of Richard. On behalf of the Templars, Robert de Sable bought the island of Cyprus from King Richard.

1194-1200 Gilbert Erail.

1201-1209 Philip de Plessiez.

1210-1219 William de Chartres: William died of fever outside Damietta during a crusade against Egypt.

1219-1232 Peter de Montaigu.

1232-1244 Armand de Perigord: In 1242 Armand led the Templars in breaking the treaty with Egypt when they attacked Hebron and sacked Nablus. Armand was captured and subsequently died in prison after leading his Templars at the disastrous, for the crusaders, Battle of La Forbie against the Egyptians from which only thirty-three Templars survived from a force of hundreds.

1244-1247 Richard de Burres.

1247-1250 William (Guillaume) de Sonnac: William lost an eye at the ill-fated Battle of Mansurah. He was said to have been one of only two Templar survivors out of 280. William lost his other eye and died on a further day of battle.

1250-1256 Reginald (Renaud) de Vichiers: At the time, 1248, when King Louis IX of France was preparing his Crusade, Reginald de Vichiers was the Temple Preceptor of France. He had arranged the shipping of the troops, was Louis’ Marshal in Cyprus and a friend to the king. Reginald was Marshal of the Templars when King Louis IX of France supported his election as Templar Grand Master. Reginald and the King quarrelled soon after.

1256-1273 Thomas Berard.

1273-1291 William (Guillaume) de Beaujeu: William was born around 1230, the fourth son of Guichard of Beaujeu, lord of Montpensier, and had joined the Templar Order by 1253. William was a career Templar with considerable experience of fighting in Palestine and administering the Order. In 1261 he had been captured in a raid and he was subsequently ransomed becoming the Templar Preceptor in the County of Tripoli in 1271 and was Master of the Province of Apulia in southern Italy / preceptor of the Kingdom of Sicily at the time of his election. However, his elevation almost certainly came about because of his links with the French Crown. His uncle had fought with Louis XI on the Nile, and through his paternal grandmother, Sybil of Hainault, he was related to the Capetian royal family. He retained close ties with Charles I of Anjou, king of Sicily, to whom he was related, until Charles’s death in 1285. William was elected master in 1273 and spent nearly two years travelling through France, England, and Spain, recruiting men and collecting funds, before speaking at Pope Gregory Xs Second Council of Lyons in 1274.

 ‘He returned to the Holy Land in September 1275, and from that time on he was identified with the claim of Charles of Anjou to the kingship of Jerusalem in opposition to Hugh III of Cyprus. This stance contributed significantly to the political divisions within Outremer but also ensured Charles’s continued material support, much needed at this time. William’s partisan role certainly contributed to his lack of credibility in the years 1289 to 1291, when his warnings of impending Mameluke attacks, derived from spies in the Egyptian army, were ignored. William was killed during the siege of Acre by the Mamelukes on 18 May 1291’.

1291-1293 Theobald (Thibaud) Gaudin: Thibaud belonged to a family from the Ile-de-France which had supplied several members of the order in the thirteenth century. His early career as a Templar is unknown but in 1260 he and several other Templars (including the future Master William of Beaujeu, who probably supported his career) were captured by the Muslims during an ill-planned raid in northern Galilee and released upon payment of ransom. Thibaud subsequently served as Commander of Acre. After a spell in France (1279) Thibaud became Commander of Outremer (1283–1291). Thibaud embarked from Acre with the surviving Templars in 1291 and went to the fortress of Sayette in Cyprus where he was elected Grand Master, allegedly having managed to rescue the order’s treasure and relics.

1293-1314 Jacques de Molay: Jacques de Molay was received into the order at Beaune in Burgundy in 1265 by Amaury de la Roche, Master of France, and Humbert de Pairaud, Visitor General of Templar Houses in France, England, France and Provence. Jacques de Molay’s uncle, Guillaume de Molay, was Marshal of the Templars at the time. From around 1275, Jacques served in the East, and in 1292 he was elected Grand Master at the new headquarters in Cyprus from where he organized naval raids against the Palestinian coast. In October 1307, in Paris, Jacques was among the Templars arrested by officials of King Philip IV for a range of heretical crimes. Jacques de Molay after years of imprisonment and torture was finally burned as a relapsed heretic on 18 March 1314.

At the same time, he obtained privileges and material help from the papacy and leading secular rulers.  James twice visited the West for these purposes, in 1293–1296 and in 1306–1307. On the second occasion, he was responding to a request from Pope Clement V for advice on two controversial issues: the union of the military orders and the organization of a new crusade. James wrote short reports on both of these subjects. In October 1307, in Paris, James was among the Templars arrested by officials of King Philip IV for a range of heretical crimes. He confessed to the denial of Christ and to spitting on a crucifix, a confession he repeated before an assembly of university masters. However, at Christmas, in the presence of papal representatives, he recanted, leading Clement to suspend the whole trial. Nevertheless, when the proceedings were restarted in August 1308, James apparently returned to his original confession, and in November 1309, in three appearances before the papal commission appointed to investigate the order as a whole, he failed to offer any convincing defense, instead relying on a personal hearing. It was not until March 1314, when he was brought before three cardinals representing the pope, that he was condemned to life imprisonment. He then denied the charges again, asserting that the order was pure and holy. Handed over to the secular authorities at Paris, he was burned as a relapsed heretic on 18 March 1314…According to The History of the Crusades

England’s Freemasons: Modern Times

Freemason Symbol

The two World Wars had taken their toll on English Freemasonry.  Between 1918-1921 some 350 new lodges were created, and between 1945-1948 a further 600 new lodges came into existence.  Many of the new lodges had been created by servicemen wishing to continue the camaraderie, which they had built up in service to their country.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill

In 1902, Sir Winston Spencer Churchill, was initiated into the Freemason order.  He would be remembered as England’s Prime Minister of the Second World War, seeing us through to victory.  In 1965 he died, the streets of London were crowded, as the people turned out to honour him, with a military funeral, befitting a great statesman of our time.

In 1926, the Salvation Army issued a communication to its officers, expressing opposition to secret societies.

King George VI and Freemason became King of England in 1936, crowned in 1937, and in 1938 invested as Past Grand Master of Freemasonry.

In the English Magazine of 1951, entitled “Theology” the Rev Walton Hannah published an article entitled; “Should a Christian be a Freemason?  The article created a storm within the Anglican Church.  In 1954, he went on to publish his anti-Masonic book; “Masons by Degrees.”

In 1957, the English Court ruled that Freemasonry was not a religion.

On the 14th June 1967, the Grand Lodge celebrated its 250th anniversary.

On the 18th March 1968, a meeting took place in London, to discuss the relationship between Freemasons and the Roman Catholic Church between Harry Carr and Cardinal Heenan.  The result of the meeting, anti-Masonic tracts sold in London’s Roman Catholic Churches, were removed from its shelves.

In January of 1970, the Scottish Rite released its first issue of the Northern Light Magazine.

King Edward VIII and Freemason died in 1972, he who abdicated England’s throne in 1936, to marry a divorced woman; Wallis Simpson.

On the 10th June 1992, some 12,500 Freemasons gathered to celebrate the 275th anniversary of the Grand Lodge.

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Freemasons: England’s Public Years

Masonic Symbols

On the 24th June 1717, a date in Masonic history, the start of the “Freemasons Public Years,” a date never to be forgotten.  On this day four Masonic London Lodges, which had existed secretly, came together at the Goose and Gridiron Tavern in St.Paul’s Churchyard.  They declared they be the First Grand Lodge, which became known as the Premier Grand Lodge of England, and elected Anthony Sayer as their Grand Master.

John, the Duke of Montague, became Grand Master in 1721.  After his term of office, most Grand Masters were Peers of the Realm.

On the 24th June 1721, the Grand Lodges adopted the regulation, which required all lodges to secure a charter.

In 1723 “The Constitutions of the Free Masons,” was written and published by James Anderson, under the direction of the Grand Lodge.  In 1738 he published “The History and Constitutions of the Most Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and accepted Masons.”

Sir Christopher wren, Architect and Freemason remembered for building St.Paul’s Cathedral and many other churches across London, following the Great Fire of London died.

In 1725, the Grand Lodge of Ireland came into being, in a public diner, reminds one of how the English Grand Lodge was formed.  In 1736, the Grand Lodge of Scotland came into existence, with William St.Clair as its first Grand Master.

Chevalier Ramsay’s Oration of 1737, put forward links between Freemasons and Knights of the Crusades.  He was credited as the founder of Freemasonry’s higher degrees found in York and Scottish Rite’s.

The Antient Grand Lodge of England was formed in 1751, as rival to the Premier Grand Lodge of England.  In 1813 both groups merged, forming the United Grand Lodge of England.

In 1789, HRH The Prince of Wales was elected Grand Master of Freemasons in England, becoming King George IV in 1820, of the Royal House of Hanover.

In 1799, the English Parliament passes the Unlawful Societies act, and Freemasons were exempt from its provisions.

1802, saw the foundation of the Irish Masonic Female Orphan School.

In 1809, the Lodge of Promulgation is formed in England, its purpose to report on differences between the rituals of Moderns and Antients.  This led to one group; The United Grand Lodge of Antients in 1813, and the acceptance of England’s Masons.  This union led to standardisation of ritual procedures and regalia.

In 1816, The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland was formed.

On the 13th September 1821, Pope Pius VII issued his opposition to the Craft (Freemasonry) with his Papal Bull of Ecclesiam.

In 1823, the Irish Parliament passed its Unlawful Oaths Act, directed at many organisations.  Some ten months after it came in, it was announced Freemasons were exempt from the act.

On the 1st August 1824, King Ferdinand VII of Spain, passed a law that all Freemasons were sentenced to death, without trial.

Between 1825-1884, many Papal Bulls were received from Pope, against the Craft (Freemasonry):

13th March 1825 – Pope Leo XII – Quiograviora

21st May 1829 – Pope Pius VIII – Traditi

15th August 1832 – Pope Gregory – Mirari

9th November 1846 – Pope Pius IX – Qui Fluribus

20th April 1849 – Pope Pius IX – Quibus Quantisque Malis

8th December 1864 – Pope Pius IX – Quanta Cura

25th December 1865 – Pope Pius IX – Multiplires

12th October 1869 – Pope Pius IX – Apostolicae Sedis

21st November 1873 – Pope Pius IX – Esti Multa

20th April 1884 – Pope Leo XIII – Humanum Genus

In 1894 Pope Leo XIII established the Anti-Masonic Bureau.

In 1899 Leader Scott (Lady Lucy Baxter) published her book entitled “The Cathedral Builders,” about the so called missing link between Masons of the past and Freemasons of her time.

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Sources:
The Hiram Key by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas
Secret History of Freemasonry by Jeremy Harwood
The Brotherhood by Stephen Knight
Born in Blood by John Robinson