Knights Templar 5th Grand Master: Andre de Montbard

Andre de Montbard

Andre de Montbard was born in the November of 1097 to parents Bernard de Montbard and Humberge de Tonnerre d’Angouleme.  The Montbard family came from Hochadel in Burgundy, France, and Andre was born in the family castle.

Andre de Montbard was the uncle of St.Bernard of Clairvaux, who would champion the rights of the Knights Templar, and wrote the rules, that governed the Order.

Andre was the half-brother of St.Bernard of Clairvaux’s mother; Aleth de Montbard.  She had married Tescelin Sorus, a knight and father of St.Bernard.

Andre entered the Order in 1129, and was sent to Palestine, rising quickly through the ranks to become deputy and second – in command to the Grand Master.  Following the “Battle of Ascalon” on the 22nd August 1153, Andre de Montbard was elected as the new and 5th Grand Master of the Knights Templar, replacing Bernard de Tremelay who had been killed on the 16th August.

Andre de Montbard served as Grand Master to the Knights Templar for less than three years.  He was the last of the founding knights of the Order, who died in Jerusalem on the 17th January 1156.

Knights Templar 4th Grand Master: Bernard de Tramelay

Knights Templar 1b

Bernard de Tramelay was born at Tramelay Castle, towards  the latter years of the 11th century near Saint-Claude, some 50km north-west of Geneva in Switzerland, in the Jura, an administrative region of France.

In the June of 1151, Bernard de Tramelay was elected as the 4th Grand Master of the Templar Order, after the abdication of Everard des Barres who retired to Clairvaux Abbey.

King Baldwin III gave Tramelay the fortified city of Gaza, which was located at the Gateway into Egypt.  Standing between the Muslim controlled city of Ascalon and Egypt.  The new Grand Master of the Templar Order, rebuilt walls and towers, in an effort to make it near impregnable by land or sea.

King Baldwin III, with several recent military victories to his name, gathered his forces and headed to the city of Ascalon, intent on capturing it.  Templars led by the Grand Master; Bernard de Tramelay participated in the “Battle of Ascalon.”  Templars built a siege tower, which was set alight by Egyptian soldiers within Ascalons walls.  Wind caught hold of the flames, the tower and parts of the wall were consumed by fire.

Knights of the Templar Order, saw their chance, and breached the walls.  Bernard de Tramelay led a force of forty Templar warriors through the opening and into the city.

Turkish warriors killed or captured many of these Templar knights, including their Grand Master; Bernard de Tramelay.  These Templar knights along with their leader were decapitated, and their corpses hung by their feet, over the top of the city wall.

The sight of these decapitated bodies provoked anger, wanting revenge.  The city fell within three days to King Baldwin III.

Knights Templar 3rd Grand Master: Everard des Barres

Everard des Barres

Everard des Barres was born of an aristocratic family in 1113, in Meaux, Champagne, France.  He joined the Order of the Knights Templar in his teens, and by 1143, had risen through the ranks to become Grand Preceptor of France.

When Robert de Craon died in 1147, Everard was one of the highest dignitaries of the Order, making him the obvious choice as the next Grand Master of the Knights Templar.  His election to the post, was nothing more than a formality, making him the Order’s third Grand Master.

Everard des Barres, along with 120 Templar Knights met with Pope Eugenius III, with King Louis VII in attendance.  At this time the Order of the Knights Templar received the right to wear the red cross of martyrdom upon their white habits.

Everard who had close ties with King Louis VII, along with his force of Templar Knights, joined Louis on the Second Crusade (1148-1149), to the Holy Land.

Everard and the Templar force, along with diplomats went ahead of Louis to prepare for the King’s arrival at Constantinople, and agree a contract allowing the Frankish army to pass through Byzantine lands.

Whilst journeying through the Pisidia passes in the Cadmus Mountains in south-west Turkey, Everard saved King Louis VII’s life in battle with Seljuk Turks.

An impressed Louis, placed the Frankish army under Templar command.  The army was divided into two forces, with a Templar knight at the head of each force.

King Louis asked for a 2,000 silver mark loan of Everard, claiming he had spent most of his money getting his troops to the Holy Land.

Everard made the journey to Acre, and so the Order of the Knights Templar became bankers and treasurers for Kings in the Holy Land and Europe.

In 1148, Everard des Barres led his force of Templar Knights along with King Louis VII and King Baldwin III on an ill-fated campaign against Damascus.

What should have been a successful campaign ended in disaster.  King Baldwin had promised the city to the Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders.  Christian lords withdrew their troops and the Crusader army fell apart.  Muslim forces saw their chance and attacked Antioch.

Everard des Barres, felt crushed after the ill-fated campaign against Damascus and accompanied King Louis VII back to France at the conclusion of the Second Crusade.

In the April of 1151, Everard des Barres abdicated the office as Grand Master of the Knights Templar, despite protests.  He became a Cistercian Monk at Clairvaux, in order to do penance, for the failure of the Second Crusade, and for the lives lost.  On the 12th November 1174, Everard died in Clairvaux Abbey.

Everard des Barres, made the Order of the Knights Templar, bankers of the French crown.  The seeds had been sown, and France was beholden to the Templars.  So, its not surprising the French Crown rebelled in 1307.

Knights Templar 2nd Grand Master: Robert de Craon

Robert-de-Craon

Robert de Craon

Robert de Craon, was born around the turn of the 12th century in Anjou, France to an Aquitainian family of noble birth; the Craones.  Robert was the third son of Renaud de Bourgoing (Lord of Craon) and Lady Enagen de Vitre.

Robert was engaged to Angoumois, a noblewoman, but fled France abandoning his future wife, to take up arms serving under Hughes de Payens in Palestine of 1125.

Robert de Craon became one of the nine founding members of the Order of the Knights Templar, along with Hughes de Payens their Grand Master.

On the 24th May 1136, Hughes de Payens Grand Master of the Knights Templar died.  Robert de Craon, was elected to the position of Second Grand Master of the Knights Templar in June of 1136.

Robert once elected to the position of Grand Master, chose to flex his strength by defeating Zengi; the Emir of Aleppo, and let his knights plunder their camp.

Not all military operations were successful, for he granted Spanish Templars to lead a naval fleet of seventy ships against Lisbon, which ended in defeat.

Under Robert’s leadership of the Knights templar, three “Papal Bulls” were issued, supporting the Order of the Knights Templar:

  • Omne Datum Optimum was issued in 1139 by Pope Innocent II which allowed Templars to keep their spoils of war.

He praised the Templars for abandoning their old life, and giving up their worldly possessions.  He confirmed upon the Knights, the right to wear upon their uniform; a red cross on a white background.

  • Milites Templi, was issued in 1144 by Pope Celestine II, who gave them ecclesiastical protection as Knights Templar.
  • Militia Dei, was issued in 1145 by Pope Eugene III, which allowed Templar priests to take tithes, build churches, collect property tax from tenants and bury their dead in their own cemeteries.

In 1139, Robert’s forces took part in the “Battle of Teqoa.”  Middle troops were sacrificed to protect retreating Frankish army, and a heavy price was paid, the defeat of Templar and Frankish forces.

In 1140, Knights of the Templar Order, stood their ground resisting the Turkish army at the “Battle of Tecua.”

With the death of King Foulques in 1142, Robert de Craon stepped in to arbitrate between Queen Melissende, and her son Baudouin III.  Both having different goals, for Melissende was only interested in keeping the kingdom of Jerusalem safe.  Whilst her son, a military man like his father was intent in offering protection for the latin states.

Queen Melissende reigned as Queen for five years, until Baudouin III, her son reached the age of nineteen, and ascended to the throne.

In 1143, the Templar Order received six castles and land, granted to them by way of Alfonso’s last will and testament.

King Fulk d’Anjou died in 1143, and Jerusalem fell into decline, mainly due to Fulk’s widow; Queen Melissende’s failure to protect the people of Edesse and Antioch.

Then in 1144, Seljuk Turks massacred some 30,000 Christians in Edesse, with little resistance.

In the July of 1148, Robert took part in the Council of Acre, which was responsible for the diversion of the Second Crusade to Damas.

On the 13th January 1149, after the failure of the Second Crusade, Nikolaos a member of the Hashshashin’s assassinated Robert de Craon.  Nikolaos climbed onto a balcony, thre a rope around Robert’s neck, tied the rope to the balcony, and hanged his target; Robert de Craon.

Templar Survival

French Templar

By order of the Vatican, Templar Assets were passed to the Hospitalliers around 1312.

One wonders what happened to Templars who avoided capture and persecution.  Some were said to join the Knights of Malta.  Large numbers were said to have joined the “Order of the Holy Sepulchre under Vatican rule.  Others joined the “Order of the Teutonic Knights” and the “Franciscan Order.  Whilst others sought refuge in Scotland, offering their sword to Robert the Bruce, in his battle with the English to achieve Independence for Scotland.

King James II of Spain negotiated with the Pope and Vatican, that the Dynastic Order of Montesa be permitted to take over some of the Templar assets in 1317.

Portugal’s Knights Templar were found not guilty of their charges, and changed their name to the “Knights of Christ” and permitted to retain their assets.  Later they would merge with the Spanish Crown dynastic Order.

12th century Knights Templar of Portugal, played their part to create the Rosicrucian Order around 1407.  The Portuguese Templar Headquarters – Convent of the “Order of Christ,” features three artefact’s; a rose positioned central on a cross within an initiation room dated 1530.  This provides evidence that Templars joined the Rosicrucian’s.

From 1804 orders were initiated by Napoleon Bonaparte I, with zero links to the Templar Order. Archaeological inspiration was received from Egyptian expeditions with links to documents held in the Vatican’s Secret Archives.  Using military force, stole copy of the Chinon Parchment which would vindicate the “Order of the Knights Templar.”

Hereditary and cultural Templars independently continued to influence the development of Europe, evidence by Templar advancement in Switzerland and Scotland.  The Knights Templar had successfully survived as an underground network, for centuries and through to the present day.

Priory of Sion: Marie de Saint-Claire

Saint Claire

Marie de Saint-Clair was born in 1192 to parents; Robert the Earl of Saint-Clair de Chaumont and Isabel Levis.  Also a descendant of Henry de Saint-Clair, the Baron of Rosslyn in Scotland.  He who joined Godfroi de Bouillon, on the First Crusade to the Holy Land.

The Chaumont, Gisors and Saint-Clair families were closely linked, with some historical connections, that Marie de Saint-Clair be the second wife of Jean de Gisors.

In the year 1220, Marie de Saint-Clair became Grand Mistress of the Priory of Sion, a post she held until her death in 1266.

During her life she had affairs with the Emperor, Frederick II and her grandson and his consort.

Marie de Saint-Claire’s blood lineage, starts way back in the 1100’s when Richilde the daughter of Henry the Holy and sister to Henry II married French nobleman Robert de Chaumont.  The estate of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte being her marriage dowry.

The youngest son of Richilde and Robert, took his father’s name Robert, inheriting land and title.

The French arm of the Saint-Clairs, linked to the Priory of Sion, the occult branch of the Templars.

Arnault de Saint-Claire, Marie’s grand nephew became a French Knights Templar, and joined his French cousins, fighting alongside William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, for Scottish Independence.

Jauffre de Saint-Clair a French Knight Templar assisted in the removal of Templar treasure from Paris, as King Philip IV of France destroyed the Order in 1307.

Jean de Saint-Clair, descendant of hers by way of her brothers, followed in her footsteps becoming Grand Master of the Priory of Sion from 1351 to 1366.

In the 18th century, a Breton Knight named Saint-Clair, a pirate employed by King Louis XV, a descendant of the French branch of the Saint-Clairs.  It is believed he fought in the Seven Years War in the French Army.  Later settled in America, and some of his descendants settled in Colorado, and the name changed to Sinclair.

Some Saint-Clairs emigrated to French Louisiana with a founding of a new branch of the family, others sought fortune, heading north to New England.

One Rose Sinclair became an actress during the Civil War, residing in Charleston until her death in 1892, and Rose’s brother Rufus Sinclair disappeared that same year, never to be heard from again.

The Saint-Clairs of Louisiana re-spelt their name to St.Clare.  Alexander St.Clare son of the late Augustine St.Clare, born in 1851 and brought up by New England Sinclairs from Vermont.

Alexander Sinclair became an army officer and military attache.  He married Frieda Jane Bowie, and was blessed with one daughter; Helga Katrina Sinclair, who became an adventurer and died in 1914 in an undersea expedition along with her five sons.

Alexander’s military tradition was carried on by family members; First Lieutenant Luke Sinclair, Second World War US Air Force hero, and his daughter Lt Colonel Sinclair.  Another daughter Alison Sinclair became a police officer and her brother John Sinclair a mercenary.

Dr. Mark Sinclair, a descendant of Alexander Sinclair of Louisana experimented with saurian serum.  Mark’s sister, Debra Sinclair spent her time in the New Orleans casino’s trying to rebuild the family fortune.

John Sinclair son of Alexander, the black sheep of the family was framed for murder of his wife’s lover.

One Sinclair of California, married a Spanish-American woman, fathering Mariano and Orlando Sinclair who grew up in the L.A. ghettos.

The Saint-Clair’s owned estates on both sides of the English Channel; England and France.  It wasn’t long before the English Saint-Clair’s parted from their French counterparts, changing the family name first to St.Clare then Sinclair.

Neville Sinclair changed the family name to Neville St.Clair and in the 1880’s fell into a life of poverty as a beggar.

Nephews of Beatrice Sinclair included Cecily Sinclair, seaside hotel owner.  John C Sinclair who embarked on a life of crime, even to the point of taking the name of A.J.Raffles  who disappeared during the Boer War.

Marty Sinclair, the rich uncle of John C Sinclair became the victim of the true A.J.Raffles.

John C Sinclair dropped his life of crime, and married Ellen Patrick-Baxter.  Their son Neville Sinclair became an actor and worked as a German spy in Hollywood until his death in 1942.  Their other son Buck Sinclair became a British Secret Service agent, best remembered as the 14th Earl of Marnock whose son became Lord Brett Sinclair.

Lord Sinclairs cousin, one Morgan Sinclair engineer worked on the England to France Euro-Tunnel.

Priory of Sion: Rene D’Anjou

Rene d'Anjou

Rene d’Anjou was born on the 16th January 1409 in Angers, France.  Based on ‘Prieure Documents’ the young Rene became Grand Master of the Priory of Sion in 1418 with his uncle; Louis, Cardinal de Bar who created a Regency Grand Mastership which ran until 1428, when Rene had come of age.

In 1420 Rene married Isabella the daughter of Charles II of Lorraine.

Joan of Arc sought an audience with the Duke of Lorraine, Rene’s father-in-law in the spring of 1429.  She informed the Duke she was on a mission from God.  All I require of you, your son in-law Rene d’Anjou, a horse and an army to free France from these English forces.

The Dauphin, convinced by the sincerity of Joan’s words, gave his consent to such a mission, after an ecclesiastical commission proved without doubt, she was not a heretic.

So it was, Rene d’Anjou road alongside Joan, on her horse dressed in white armour at the head of the army.  In the May of 1429, she inspired French defenders of Orleans, under attack by the English, to rise up and follow her to victory, driving the English out of France.

Charles II died in 1431, and Rene claimed the lands of Lorraine by right of marriage to his daughter.  His claim received support from King Charles VII of France.  Not everyone supported his claim to the lands of Lorraine, for Antony of Vaudemont contested his right to these lands.

On the 2nd July 1431, Rene and Antony fought at the Battle of Bulgneville, where Rene was defeated, taken prisoner and handed over to Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy.  In the May of 1432, was released after his sons John and Louis became hostages.  In 1433 Rene agreed to the marriage of his daughter Yolande with Ferry; Antony’s son.  In the April of 1434, Sigismund the Holy Roman Emperor recognised Rene as the Duke of Lorraine and in the November of the same year, Rene went on to inherit the lands of Anjou and Provence from Louis III.  Philip the Duke of Burgundy, felt betrayed and in the December of 1434, Rene found himself a prisoner once again, behind bars, where he would stay until 1437.  His release was only made possible with territorial concessions and a mighty ransom.

Whilst Rene rotted in prison, Joan II of Naples died in February 1435, making Rene her heir.  John son of Rene was promised in marriage to Philip’s niece.

In the spring of 1438 Rene sailed to Naples where his wife Isabella had been defending the city against Alfonso V of Aragon.  In November 1441, lost Naples to Alfonso and abandoned the city in June of 1442, returning to Provence in the October.

Maine had been occupied by British forces since the 1420’s, and Rene sought to recover it for his younger brother Charles, so in the April of 1444 took part in Anglo-French talks at Tours.  Negotiations led to the marriage of his daughter Margaret to King Henry VI of England in 1445.  Promises and agreements were broken, and so it was, Maine had to be taken back by force in 1448.

In 1448, Rene established the ‘Order of the Crescent, which included Francesco Sforza, the Duke of Milan and father of the Count of Lenoncourt, patron to Leonardo da Vinci.  The Order of the Crescent attracted much ecclesiastical displeasure, forcing the Pope to suppress the Order.

King Charles VII of France assisted Rene to pacify Lorraine and the marriage of Yolande and Ferry in the summer of 1445.  Rene would accompany Charles VII during his victorious campaigns against the English in Normandy in the years 1449-1450.

Rene and Isabella of Lorraine were married as children, and had a happy marriage.  With Isabella’s death in 1453, her duchy of Lorraine passed to Rene’s son John.  Rene was inconsolable over her death; his beloved had been taken from him.  He needed a change, and so he answered the call, to pick up his sword and go to war.

In 1466 received the title; King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona from Catalan rebels.

Rene had strained relations with Louis XI of France, and was forced into the position of having to yield Anjou to the French crown.

Rene a known lover of the arts was obsessed with the legend of the Holy Grail, and created an aura of a fairy tale within his own court.  Being an accomplished painter, a skill he developed whilst in prison.

He was a writer and a poet, who would be mocked by Noble Lords.  Rene sought knowledge, and he opened a school of the arts in his own duchy.  He employed Jean de Saint-Reny a Jewish astrologer and physician, the great-grandfather of Nostradamus.

Cosimo de Medici, friend of Rene embarked on a joint venture, sending operatives around the world collecting ancient manuscripts, which would be displayed at the Public Library of San Marco.  The University of Florence, then began teaching Greek, for the first time it had been read – written or spoken in 700 years.

Rene d’Anjou and Cosimo de Medici opened a Philosophical School, teaching Platonic, Neo-Platonic, Pythagorean, Gnostic and Hermetic thinking.  Which combined served as a catalyst for the renaissance and the continuance of power from the Catholic Church begun by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund.

Rene d’Anjou would find love once again in the arms of Jeanne de Laval, a nobleman’s daughter, who brought his fairy tale court alive once again.

Rene d ‘Anjou died on the 10th July 1480 at Aix-la-Chappele, and was buried at the Church of Saint Maurice in Angers.

The symbol of the Free French Forces of the Second World War, derives itself from Rene d’Anjou, when he became the Duke of Lorraine.