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

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Knights Templar and Paris

Ancient Paris

Paris of the Past

Following the historical account of the Knights Templar, it was here on the French soil of Marais, much of their story was played out.

In 1137, King Louis VII of France gave the “Order of the Knights Templar” a house, in the swamp marshland area, in the northern parts of Paris, just outside the city walls.

Large stretches of marshland, remnants of the ancient branch of the River Seine, which once flowed down from Belleville, east of Paris.

Enclos du Temple

Enclos du Temple

In less than a century, these hardy knights had dried out the marshlands, and moved to its north-eastern edge, upon which they built, the “Enclos du Temple,” a fortified compound, consisting of crenellated walls, buttresses, watch towers and a drawbridge.  To accompany the tower, a gothic styled round chapel was built in stages, granted by a papal bull of Pope Honorius in 1217.  The church was consecrated to the Holy Mary, the burial place for Templar high dignitaries who died in Paris.

The church was aligned from west to east, comprising of three parts:

  • The gothic nave was characterised by a clerestory located on the ground floor.
  • The round was built on two floors, encompassed by a circular gallery. The round vault, leant on six pillars, laid out in a circle.
  • The chancel consisted of five bays with tall windows. Access to the bell tower was by way of the south-wall bay.

In the latter part of the 12th century and early 13th century, the preceptor grew larger, and additional buildings were erected, on the six acres of land set aside for the preceptor.  The area was protected by an eight – ten metre high crenellated wall, equipped with buttresses, and flanked by turrets and stone shelters.

The Knights Templar created an International Banking System, which contributed to their increasing wealth.  The Enclos du Temple, became home to their bank, and the European headquarters of the Templar’s.

It is said Philip Augustus made use of their services, by depositing much of his treasures with them in 1190, before departing on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land.

King Henry III

King Henry III

In 1254, King Henry III of England chose to stay at the Knights Templar temple on his visit to France and Paris, instead of the Royal Palace.  One has to ask, how the French King would have felt about that.

The war in the Holy Land had stretched France’s finance’s to breaking point, and the Templar’s had taken control of France’s finances.  In short France was under the control of the Knights Templar, with King Philip IV, nothing more than a puppet king to his people.

The Templar’s had created their own state in France, located within King Philip IV’s own borders.  Philip could no longer stand by watching these Templar’s wealth grow day by day.

During a mass uprising in 1306, King Philip IV accepted the offer of shelter, from the Templar’s.  What he was to discover were rooms full of treasures?  The King became so envious of their wealth; he devised a plan, spreading false rumours, which would lead to their downfall.

On the 12th October 1307, Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was one of the guests at the funeral of Catherine de Courtenay, the wife of Charles de Valois and sister-in-law of Philippe IV.

On the 13th October 1307, the King’s men sent forth to arrest all members of the Knights Templar and seize their assets.

Captured knights were tortured, and brought to trial on false accusations, rumours and slander, and those found guilty were burnt at the stake.

On the 22nd March 1312, the Papal Bull ‘Vox In Excelso’ issued by Pope Clement V, dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar.

On the 2nd May, the Papal Bull ‘Ad Providam’ issued by Pope Clement V, ordered that all assets, property and land to be turned over to the Hospitallers.

Over the next two centuries, the Hospitallers enlarged the church, filled in the ditch around the fortress, and replaced the drawbridge with a stone bridge.

Knights Templar Burnings

Burnt at Stake

On the 18th March 1314, Jacques de Molay, last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burnt at the stake, on false charges of heresy.

Jacques de Molay’s last words were to his God, claiming Pope Clement V and King Philip IV, his accusers should join him… thirteen months later, his accusers had died.

The Order of the Hospitallers stayed in the ‘Enclos du Temple’ until the days of the French Revolution, and were eventually disbanded by Napoleon in the 19th century.

By the early years of the 17th century, the area known as Marais, had become an aristocratic neighbourhood of Paris.  The Palace of the Grand Prior of the Temple had become the court of the illegitimate sons of royalty.  Philip the Duke of Vendome, grandson of Henri IV and mistress Gabrielle d’Estree, led a life of debauchery, along with literary and artistic brilliance.

The Comtesse de Boufflers mistress of Horace Walpole, reigned supreme over the court.  It was here the ten-year-old Mozart performed in the drawing room, playing the harpsichord.

On the 13th August 1792, the drawing room played host to a dinner where all the guests were the Royal family and their retinue.  They were the prisoners of the Commune of Paris.  Following the meal, the royal couple, two children and King’s sister were locked up in the Tower of the Temple, and the other women transferred to the Prison of La Force.

Execution of Louis XVI

Execution of King Louis XVI

King Louis XVI and his Queen; Marie Antoinette were imprisoned at the Temple, awaiting their execution at ‘Place de la Revolution;’ King Louis XVI on the 21st January 1793 – Queen Marie Antoinette on the 16th October 1793.

Exécution of Marie Antoinette

Execution of Queen Marie Antoinette

The seven-year-old Dauphin, was taken from his parents, and locked in a cell, until his presumed death in June of 1795.  His body was buried at Sainte Marguerite Cemetery.  As far as anyone was concerned, the body in the grave should have been King Louis XVII (1785-1795), the body of the ten-year-old boy.  In 1894 his remains were dug up, and examination of the body, proved without doubt, the remains were those of an eighteen-year-old boy.  So what happened to the young King, the last of an ancient regime?

French and Austrian authorities did an exchange, the French Princess Royal for five Republican prisoners.

In 1796, the Temple became a state prison, and in 1805 was bought by royalists.  On the 16th March 1808, Napoleon ordered its destruction.

In 1823, the Palace of the Grand Prior became the Benedictine Church of the Perpetual Adoration of the Holy Sacrament.  In 1853, Napoleon III ordered its destruction, and with it, the last remnant of Knights Templar died…

Wikipedia Images

Knights Templar: France 1789

Knights Templar Burnings

Jacques de Molay’s Execution

Knights Templar Grand Master; Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake in Paris, on the 18th March 1314, on trumped up charges of heresy.  King Philip IV of France was responsible along with Pope Clement V, for the destruction of this Holy Order… God’s Warriors.

Some 480 years later, Jacques de Molay would have his revenge, as the sons and daughters of the Order of the Templars, would strike a deathly blow at the heart of the French Monarchy.

In 1789, Illuminists manipulated France’s grain market, thus creating shortages of grain.  An intense famine spread across the country, pushing it towards the brink of revolt.  These Illuminists claimed a revolution would benefit its people.  But the truth was far more devious, for food supplies were being blocked; reforms in France’s National Assembly were being blocked, as the people of Paris and France starved.

The prisoner Comte Cagliostro, member of the Illuminati revealed that it was the intention of the Masons; descendants of the Templar Order, to finish what the Templar’s had started many years ago, destruction or control of the Papacy.

Jacques de Molay had been tortured and held prisoner at the Bastille Prison, for a number of years, before his execution, in the shadow of the Sacre Coeur.

bastille

Bastille Prison

The French Revolution, started on the 14th July 1789, when the Bastille Prison was stormed by a force of 1,000 citizens; revenge for de Molay’s life was ever on their mind.

French citizens redesigned the political landscape of their country, and Masons began a campaign of terror across the land.  Some 10,000 royalists and church members are known to have been sent to the guillotine, as France drowned in a sea of blood.

By the end of 1793, this Revolutionary Republic, brought about by hostility towards the French Monarchy and the Church, by Masons and Illuminati, successors of the Templar, faced a new problem.

It was revealed hundreds of thousands of men had no work.  They opted to depopulate France’s population from twenty-five million to sixteen million, as a never ending stream of victims were rounded up, and marched to their death.

freemason-symbolThe Knights Templar became Freemasons, and a by product was the Illuminati, founded in Bravaria, southern Germany by Adam Weishaupt, a Law professor.  His order opposed Monarchies and the Church, with a mission to create a secular Masonic world.

Images: Wikipedia

RELATED ARTICLES:

Storming of the Bastille: 14th July 1789
French Revolution of 1789

Knights Templar: End of a Holy Order

Crusader Wallpaper 1

On the 16th June 1291, marked the end of a Christian presence, in the shape of Crusader’s and Knights Templar in the Holy Land.

The order of the Knights Templar, which had been created to offer protection to pilgrims, left the Holy Land, bound for Cyprus and France.

These pilgrims bound for the Holy Land, to walk in the steps, once trodden by Jesus, were left to the mercy of bandits.

The Knights Templar grew apart from the Catholic Church’s teaching, beliefs and practices.

The war in the Holy Land, had stretched France’s finances, whilst the Knights Templar, had seen theirs grow strength to strength, in property, land and wealth.

France’s finances were under direct control of the Templar’s, making France dependent on them.

King Philip IV of France

King Philip IV of France

Rumours circulated, by the King of France Philip IV, that these Templar’s were devil worshippers.  If proven, Philip IV would have been able to seize their wealth, and take control of France’s finances.

It wasn’t long, before King Philip IV and Pope Clement V, came to the conclusion that these Templar’s, were set on changing the political and religious landscape across Europe.

Orders were issued, that on the 13th October 1307, the King’s men were to carry out arrests, and seize the assets of this decadent and treacherous order.

News must have leaked out; for on the 11th October 1307, twenty-four knights took a fleet of eighteen Templar ship’s from LaRochelle, laden with the bulk of the Templar’s wealth; gold and silver bullion, crown jewels of European countries, sacred artefacts, manuscripts etc.

Knight Templar Ships

Templar Fleet escaping France

Some accounts believe they headed towards Scotland, then on to Canada or America, but her final destination was unknown … there are even suggestions, that some Templar’s took their share, and created the land we now know as Switzerland.  As the treasure moved around, over the centuries, so it grew.

Although Philip IV had succeeded in grabbing the Templar’s land and property, he did not find a single cent or coin of their fabulous wealth.

By order of Philip IV of France, in October of 1307, any Templar found within French lands, would be arrested, sentenced to trial, on charges of homosexual activity and the worshipping of idols etc.  If found guilty, would be burnt at the stake.

In November 1307, orders were sent out by Pope Clement V, across the lands of Europe, that these Templar’s were to be arrested on sight.

In the March of 1312, Pope Clement V dissolved the Knights Templar.  Yet a question has never been resolved, were they guilty of their crimes or not, for they had been tortured, for a yes against the crimes.

Knights Templar Burnings

Burned at the stake

Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, was burned at the stake, on charges of heresy on the 18th March 1314.  He cried out to his God, that Pope Clement V and King Philip IV, his accusers, should join him.

Thirteen months after his persecutors had condemned him to death, his curse became a reality.

Pope Clement V was attacked violently by bouts of dysentery, and quickly sent to his grave.  His dead body was moved to Carpentras, where the court of Rome resided at that time.  His body was placed in a church, which caught fire, and the mortal remains of the pontiff were almost consumed by fire.

He had accrued a vast amount of money and treasure during his lifetime, which had been deposited in a church in Lucca for safe keeping.  Whilst his relations quarrelled over his legacy and their rights, it was stolen.

In the very same year, Philip IV of France died of a disease which baffled his doctors.  Phillip blamed this disease upon the individual, whose information led to the arrest of the Templar’s.  Philip’s informer was hanged.  Philip’s last days, were that of an embittered leader.  He even accused the wives of his three sons with adultery.

Images: Wikipedia

Hugues de Payens – St.Clair Connection

Henry SinclairHenry “The Holy de Saint Clair” (1060-1110) was born in Scotland, and fought in the First Crusade in the Holy Land (1096-1099), where he met and fought alongside; Hugues de Payens.

Hugues de Payens and his retinue visited Scotland, receiving a land grant for the Templars, part of Henry Sinclairs Rosslyn Estate.

In 1127 Hugues de Payens, married Catherine St.Clair, daughter of Henry St.Clair.

History tells us of the arrest and mass execution of French Knights Templar in 1307, by King Philip IV of France, left many countries, many leaders questioning the acts by the French King.

Descendants of Henry “The Holy de Saint Clair,” one Henry Sinclair (1255-1336) and friend of Robert the Bruce, welcomed these warriors of God, these Knights Templar, fleeing for their lives.  Robert the Bruce gave then sanctuary in Scotland.

In return for sanctuary, these Knights Templar changed the outcome at the “Battle of Bannockburn.”  Mounted Templar knights smashed through Edward’s infantry and cavaliers, with Scottish knights led by Sir Robert Keith coming up behind, forcing the English to retreat from the battlefield.

Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce had achieved Independence for Scotland, aided by these Knights Templar.  He went on to commemorate that day in Scottish history by creating the Order of Heridom and the Brothers of the Rosy Cross (Rosicrucian).  Later would be known as the Order of Kilwinning, Scotland’s first Masonic Order with Robert the Bruce as its first Grand Master.

Images: Wikipedia

First Grand Master: Hugues de Payens

Hugues de Payens

Hugues de Payens

Hugues de Payens was born in 1070, to Theobald of Blois, who had conspired against King Henry I of France, and was defeated in 1044.  Once a noble family, who lost its importance in France, because they chose the wrong side, and were forced to relinquish much of their lands and power, surrendering their titles and accepting a lower noble rank in Champagne.

In 1085, Hugues de Payens was dubbed a French Knight, and in 1096 joined the forces of Godfrey de Bouillon in the First Crusade to the Holy Land, as his vassal.  In 1099, Jerusalem had been captured, and Godfrey de Bouillon was made its first King.  In 1100, Baldwin of Boulogne became the new King of Jerusalem upon the death of Godfrey de Bouillon.

In 1101, Hugues returned home to France, and in 1104 accompanied the Count of Champagne on his pilgrimage to Jerusalem, returning home in 1105.  In 1114 travelled once again to the Holy Land, accompanied by the Count of Champagne.

Hugues de Payens was granted an audience with King Balwin of Jerusalem in 1118, where it was agreed, protection for pilgrims on route to Jerusalem was much needed.  They named themselves the “Order of the Temple” commonly known as “Knights Templar” after Temple Mount, the most sacred site in Jerusalem, which had been gifted to them by King Baldwin.

The Order of the Knights Templar, consisted of: Hugues de Payens (Grand Master), Geoffrey de St,Omer, Geoffrey Bisol, Payen de Montdidier, Archambaud de St.Agnat, Andre de Montbard, Hugh Conte de Champagne, Gondamer and Rossal.

Hugues de Payens and his knights offered protection by patrolling the lands of the Middle East, between Haifa and Jerusalem, watching and waiting for those who would prey upon defenceless pilgrims from Europe.

One man had created a Holy Order offering protection, but the task set before them was massive for a handful of knights.

In 1128, the Knights Templar, were officially recognised by the papacy, and this led to sizeable donations and the resources to expand the order.

Hugues de Payens visited England, Scotland and France, to raise men and money for the order.  Whilst in Scotland took his second wife; Catherine St.Clair, daughter of Henry St.Clair.

He laid down the foundations of a great monastic and military institution, which was destined to spread to the remotest quarters of Christendom.  He returned to Palestine, leading a valiant band of Templars, gathered from England and France.

On the 24th May 1136, Hugues de Payens, the First Grand Master of the Knights Templar died in Israel.

Images: Wikipedia