Knights Templar: Balantrodoch

600

There is little doubt that the Templars had a large number of estates in Scotland. The 1185 inventory of Templar properties only applied to England, and an inventory which took place after their arrest, never took place in Scotland.  In 1312, the Pope decreed the suppression of the Templars, but King Edward II locked in conflict with Scotland had no intention of enforcing it.

King David I of Scotland (1124-1153), granted the manor and chapel of Balantrodoch to the Order of the Knights Templar in 1153, which became their headquarters on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

King Malcolm IV of Scotland (1153-1165) donated a complete homestead within every burgh throughout his kingdom of Scotland.

William the Lion (1165-1214) gave to the Knights Templar, the barony of Maryculter which comprised of 8,000 acres.

It is said Alexander I – II & III along with Robert I & II, James I – III & IV went on to increase Templar Estates from the Royal Exchequer.

When the Templars were outlawed, their lands and buildings were supposed to pass into Hospitalliers hands, whose Scottish seat was at Torphichen in West Lothian.  The Pope’s orders were seldom followed, as was the case here, and it continued to be the parish church for local inhabitants.  As the years and centuries passed by the ‘Chapel of Balantrodoch,’ fell into dis-repair.

To the west of the village, in the valley of South Esk by the River Esk stands the ruined church of Balantrodoch with remnants of Gothic tracery and animals above the windows.  The original church had a round nave, like many Templar churches, a look alike of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  The church roof has long since gone… with some walls still remaining.  The west end was the entrance to the church, with the altar at the east end, with old niches carved into the walls, where once would have housed tombs, but these are long gone now.  Gravestones in the old graveyard bearing the symbols of carved skull and crossbones, one associated with death and the Knights Templar.  Others like the trowel and egg timer, we associate with the Freemasons along with the classic symbol of the compass and set square.

images

To the east of the village, stands the remains of the preceptory arch, out amongst the fields.  This being the original entrance to the Templars Manor House.

One event which involved William a preceptor and Templar of Ballentrodoch and his wife Christiane of Esperston.

William gifted the family home to the Templar Order in return for renting the said property, thus creating a life without financial hardships.

William suddenly died, his wife Christiane was penniless, and now the family home belonged to the Templar Order.  Which led to a Templar preceptor casting poor Christiane and her children from the former family home.  As she clutched at the door, her fingers were cut off by a sword at the hands of a Templar.

A distraught and homeless Christiane went to Newbattle Abbey where Edward I was staying and pleaded her case to him, and he so ordered her property be returned to her.  Not long after, war broke out and she found herself evicted once again. Richard her son, pleaded her case to Brian de Jay of the Templar Order.  Her property was once again returned to her, in return for her son acting as a guide for Welsh troops under the command of Brian de Jay.  It was nothing more than a trap, for Richard was murdered by Welsh troops by order of Brian de Jay.

At the Templar Trials, Brian de Jay was accused of acts of heresy, even though he could not answer the charges, having been killed at the ‘Battle of Falkirk.’  One Thomas Tocci de Thoroldeby claimed he had referred to Christ as being a mere man, and not a God.

Wikipedia Images:
Balantrodoch Chapel
Preceptory Arch

Sources:
In Search of the Knights Templar by Simon Brighton.

Scotland’s Freemasonry

william_st_clair_of_roslin2

William St.Clair

Scottish Freemasonry started with the building of Rosslyn Chapel to the south of Edinburgh.

The Evidence:

  • Rosslyn has links to the Jewish Temple through the Knights Templar and Freemasonry.
  • If one looks at the ground plan of Rosslyn Chapel, it is a copy of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Within Rosslyn Chapel, there exists a stone document showing a First Degree Ceremony conducted by a Knights Templar.

Carvings within Rosslyn Chapel, were cut first from wood, await inspection by the Master of the Works, then cut in stone.

The lower window located in the chapel’s south-west corner, depicts a Freemasonic First Degree.  The figure shown be of a blind man kneeling between two pillars, with a noose around his neck, and a bible in his left hand.  The rope is held by another wearing the mantle of a Knights Templar.

The Seven Points… A Masonic Ceremony:

  • The man be blindfolded, an unusual form of blind justice.
  • The man kneels down.
  • The man holds a bible, many other figures holding books or scrolls can be found in Rosslyn Chapel.
  • The man has a noose about his neck, the only other figure within the chapel with a noose, is the angel Shemhazai wearing one about his feet.The sins of Shemhazai, caused God to send in the flood.  Shemhazai unable to face God hung himself between heaven and earth.
  • The man placed his feet in the posture used by Masonic candidates.
  • The ceremony takes place between two pillars of Masonic Lodge.
  • The noose being held by a knights Templar.

In 1440 William St. Clair renowned as one of the most powerful men in Scotland.

The building of Rosslyn Chapel was to house the treasures he had inherited from the Templars and establish a seat of spiritual authority to rival King James II who was dabbling in English politics and killed during the War of the Roses.

Formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland:

1440 Masons given the Mason word by William to preserve the secret of the Templars.

1483 Masonry is starting to spread out as lodges initiate Candidates and give the ‘Mason Word.’

1599 Earliest surviving lodge just minutes from Edinburgh.

1601 James VI made a Mason at Lodge of Scoon and Perth.

1602 William Schaw sets up the modern lodge system in Scotland upon the instructions of James VI.

The Lodges of Scotland affirm William St. Clair of Roslin as hereditary Grand Master Mason of Scotland.

1603 James VI takes Freemasonry to England where he becomes King James I of England.

1641 Sir Robert Moray becomes the first Mason recorded to be born on English soil.

1715 First Jacobite Rising, lodges begin to disclaim their Scottish roots.

1717 Formation of Grand Lodge of London denies Jacobite heritage.

1725 First National Grand Lodge formed in Ireland.

1736 Grand Lodge of Scotland formed as a counter measure to London’s expansion.

William St. Clair of Roslin made First Grand Master Mason of Scotland and signs away his hereditary rights in favour of elected officers.

f87b1aeb99841090355b9505b87b9b9f

 

Scottish Templar: Bonnie Prince Charlie

NPG 5517; Prince Charles Edward Stuart by Louis Gabriel Blanchet

Bonnie Prince Charlie was born on the 31stDecember 1720 to James III of Scotland, in Rome, amidst great rejoicing, for Jacobites throughout Western Europe who looked to him to win back the throne for the Stuarts.

Europe became increasingly restless when Emperor Charles VI died in 1740. And tension mounted between Protestant England and Catholic Jacobean Scotland and France.  Charles’ ambition and desire for military success led him to plan an invasion of England, in order to capture the throne for his father, from George II.

After a brief period in France following a failed attempt to gain support, Prince Charles landed in Scotland on the 25thJuly 1745.  He quickly gained support from the highlands, and his army successfully fought General John Cape’s men.  The Battle of Prestonpans was fought on the 21stSeptember 1745, near the town of Prestonpans, a small fishing community in East Lothian.  It was the first major battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising, an attempt by Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) to seize the English throne.

On the 24thSeptember 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie (Charles Edward Stuart) was elected the new Grand Master of the Scottish Knights Templar in Edinburgh.

With victory in their hearts and a strong sword at hand, victorious warriors of the Battle of Prestonpans. Charles and his army started their long road to London.  They were forced to retreat back to Scotland, after receiving reports of overwhelming armies prepared to defend the city.  Much against the Prince’s will, his supporters turned back at Derby.  Pursued by government forces, they won a victory at Falkirk but were finally crushed at the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Charles was forced to spend the next five months as a hunted man, finally escaping Scotland through the Western Highlands to France, spending the rest of his life in exile, sinking ever deeper into depression and alcoholism.  His late marriage in 1772 to the German Louise of Stalberg was childless, and she eventually left him.

After his father’s death, he styled himself in the image of Charles III, but by then all hope of a Jacobite restoration was lost.  He died on the 31stJanuary 1788.

Knights Templar: “Rex Deus” Treasure

Holy Land

Jewish elders feared, a Roman invasion led by Titus, would plunder the Holy Land, and seize their priceless treasure which included the Essene and Cabalistic scrolls.

maxresdefault

How right they were for, for Roman General and later Emperor, Titus son of Emperor Vespasian, campaigned in Judea, where he besieged and almost destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD.

These Jewish elders hid their treasure, and fled to Europe, where many married into noble families.  Twenty-four became patriarchs, known as the “Rex Deus” families.

Hundreds of years passed by, and the secret location of the Jewish treasure, was passed down through the families, until the First Crusade.  Knighted members of the “Rex Deus” joined holy warriors, with a dual purpose, defeating Moslems and recovering family treasure.

The original knights of the nine Knights Templar were either born or related to the Rex Deus families.  Godfrey de Boullion was one of these and a French General, who led his forces against the Saracens during the First Crusade.  King Baldwin II of Jerusalem cousin to Godfrey de Boullion, played his part in the retrieval of their family treasure, by granting the Al-Aqsa Mosque, to be used by the Knights Templar.

Information handed down, through the centuries, led the knights to the family treasure, buried under what was Solomon’s stables.  It took nine years to excavate four large trunks of treasure and scrolls.

51C6ba4G3SL

Heavenly Jerusalem Print

With the death of King Baldwin II, the knights left the Holy Land, bound for Europe.  They stopped off at St.Omer in Flanders, where the document known as the “Heavenly Jerusalem” was copied, and can now be found at the University of Ghent’s Library in Belgium.

Following a special ceremony taken by Pope Honorius III at the Council of Troyes in 1128.  Hughes de Payen and Andre de Montbard, delivered the four trunks of treasure to Kilwinning in Scotland, home of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry.

The four trunks of treasure resided at Kilwinning for many years before being moved to Rosslyn Castle, near Edinburgh, home of the Sinclairs.  The Sinclairs were one of the “Rex Deus” families, and legend has it, they became entwined with the Knights Templar when Catherine de Saint Clair married Hughes de Payen, before he took the vows of a monk in 1128.  With a Sinclair Templar bond, one can understand why much knights, treasure ended up in Scotland, and when they fled France in 1307, more treasure made its way to Scotland, and into the coffers of the Sinclair clan.

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

When fire broke out at Rosslyn Castle, four trunks of Templar Treasure was moved to Rosslyn Chapel, which was under construction.  One has to ask, was Rosslyn Chapel its planned destination?

Historical information tells us, four large trunks from the Holy Land, have made their way into a vault within the chapel’s crypt.

Rosslyn Chapel’s construction is a copy of Solomon’s Temple.  As such, these trunks have been placed in a copy building which resembles Solomon’s Temple.

Knights Templar: Switzerland

switzerland-map

Is there any connection between Knights Templar and Switzerland?

The “Old Swiss Confederation” was born on the 1st August 1291.

In 1280, the French Monarchy was in conflict with the Templar’s, so it was inevitable issues would come to a head.

The Templar’s headquarters in the city of Troyes in France was lost, when the region had come under the control of the French Crown.

The Templars must have got wind, of possible actions being put in place by King Philip IV of France.  Twenty-four hours before the arrest of Jacques de Molay on the 13th October 1307, a fleet of Templar ships sailed from the French port of La Rochelle, laden with treasure and knights.

Knight Templar Ships

Templar Fleet

The French Monarchy, who had expected to confiscate Templar treasure, found empty store houses… it had sailed away from France under the cover of darkness, destination unknown.

When the order went out by the Pope, that all Templar knights were to be arrested.  Thousands were rounded up and arrested on charges of heresy and burnt at the stake, whilst other’s dispersed across Europe, seeking sanctuary.  Some escaped to Spain, joining up with the Caltrava and Alcantra, some moved to Portugal and took on a new name; the Order of Christ.  Others joined the Teutonic knights of Germany, and some joined the Hospitallers, the stepping stone to the Knights of Malta.

knights-templar-2a

Knights Templar

Some Templar knights landed in Scotland and were granted sanctuary by Robert the Bruce.  These knights took up arms and joined Robert the Bruce in his fight against the English, for Scotland’s Independence.  Rosslyn Chapel, home of the Sinclair knights, members of the Templar order.  These warriors were buried along with their treasure in the crypt of the chapel.

With Switzerland located over the border to the east of France.  Hundreds of Knights Templar would have easily slipped across the border with their treasures, into this newly formed country.

The main income of Switzerland was farming… it was a poor country, ripe for a takeover.

In 1315, Duke Leopold of Habsburg attacked several hundred men with his force of 2,000 knights and 9,000 foot soldiers… expecting little resistance.

He was in for a surprise, as the Swiss possessed a new weapon, the “Halberd” which was mounted on a long pole, capable of bringing down horses and used like a lance.  Leopold lost almost 2,000 warriors that day, and was forced to retreat.

halbard-switzerland

Halberd

Therefore in my opinion a primitive farming country had received outside assistance, enabling them to protect their lands from invading warriors.

The only answer that made sense, Templar Knights had escaped from France, crossed the border into Switzerland and granted sanctuary, bringing with them their military expertise and Templar treasure… buying their way into this new country.

The Templar’s were Europe’s bankers from the 11th – 14th century, now the largest banking and financial institutions of Europe are located in Switzerland.

Pope Julius II called upon Helvetian soldiers in 1506, these mercenaries who would shape Italy’s future, and were granted the title “Defenders of the Church’s Freedom.”

On the 22nd January 1506, one hundred and ninety-nine years after the arrest of Jacques de Molay in France, the Vatican created the Pontifical Swiss Guard.

swiss-guard-vatican

The Vatican’s Swiss Guard

One hundred and fifty Swiss soldiers under the command of Captain Kasparvon Silenen of Canton Uri, passed through the Vatican and were blessed by Pope Julius II.

switzerland-flag

Flag of Switzerland

The famous cross associated with the Knights Templar, is incorporated into the flag of Switzerland.

Wikipedia Images

 

 

Templars… Sinclairs…

henry-sinclair

Rosslyn Chapel, and the family lineage responsible for the construction of the “Bible in Stone” takes us first back to Normandy in France, then back even further to the Scandinavian Vikings.

Hrolf also known as Rollo (860-932), was the son of Rognvald, the Earl of More, the Viking warrior who plundered Europe’s coastlines, and went on to create the French Dukedom of Normandy, at the mouth of the River Seine.

Rollo was the great – great- great grandfather of William I of England (William the Conqueror) who fought for the English crown at the “Battle of Hastings” in 1066 and won.

King Edward of England had no heir to succeed him, and William the Duke of Normandy his cousin had been promised the English throne and Harold had promised to support him.  In 1066 upon Edward’s death, Harold claimed the throne backed by nobles.

william-the-conqueror

King William I (William the Conqueror)

An angry William wanted revenge.  He gained support from French nobles and received the Pope’s blessing.

William’s forces crossed the English Channel, landing at Pevensey, without resistance, for Harold was waging war in the north.  William and Harold met at the “Battle of Hastings” where Harold was defeated and William became King of England.

Walderne of St.Clair (1006-1075) was appointed as one of William’s commanders and was granted land on the Medway River.

William Sinclair (1028-1090) son of Walderne also fought at Hastings.  Following William’s victory he became disenchanted with his King’s aggressive side, in expanding his kingdom.  He left England, becoming steward to Queen Margaret and King Malcolm III of Scotland.

Roslin Castle

Rosslin Castle

Rosslin Castle, some 9 miles south of Edinburgh, home to the Sinclairs since 1070, and home of the Knights Templar.  These warriors were formed by Hugues de Payens, after the First Crusade in the Holy Land, offering protection to pilgrims on route to Jerusalem.

Scottish forces led by Sir William Sinclair attacked lands in northern England.  At the “Battle of Castle Alnwick” in 1093, victory was theirs.  The King of Scotland was in the process of receiving the Castle Keys, when a spear flew through the air and killed him.

In the year 1135, King Henry I of England, son of William I and Matilda of Flanders, died.  He had left the English throne to his daughter; Matilda, but the crown had been snatched by Stephen, the grandson of William I.

In 1136 at the “Battle of Allerton” Stephen took on the Scots in an attempt to capture Scottish lands.  Sir William Sinclair defended Scottish lands against these English.  Some years later William Sinclair, Scotland’s Ambassador represented Scotland in England’s disputes over land… victorious as ever, William Sinclair gained the lands in Northumberland for Scotland.

At the “Battle of Largs” in 1263, Scottish forces led by Sir William Sinclair (1190-1270) under orders of King Alexander III of Scotland, won a decisive victory against Norse invaders.

King Henry III objected to the “Provisions of Oxford” act drawn up by Simon of Montfort, which inturn led to Civil War.  At the “Battle of Lewes” in 1265, Henry was taken prisoner.  William Sinclair fought alongside Henry, under orders from King Alexander of Scotland, and managed to escape amid the commotions.

Sir William Sinclair (1260-1305) was one of William Wallace’s army commanders who like his leader, was intent on driving the English from Scottish lands.  In the year 1297, they successfully overpowered the English at the “Battle of Stirling Bridge,” then captured Stirling Castle from the English and finally were successful against the 30,000 strong, English army at Roslin.

william-wallace

William Wallace

William Wallace had been executed by the English and Robert the Bruce, now led a mighty army of Scottish warriors against the English, seeking Independence.  Sir Henry Sinclair (1275-1329) 8th Baron of Roslin was one of the signatories who played his part achieving a declaration of peace between King Robert the Bruce of Scotland and King Edward II of England.

At the “Battle of Halidon Hill,” Prince Henry Sinclair (1340-1402) of Roslin and Orkney, most remembered for his discovery of America, was slain in September 1402.

At the “Battle of Flodden” thirteen Scottish nobles and their men were slain by the English soldiers, along with King James, who left a son and heir barely a year old.

William Sinclair (1440-1513) received a Charter from King James of Scotland, written upon a drum head, renewing the Earldom of Caithness to William Sinclair.  A runner was summoned to carry the Charter to Sir William’s Lady.  Sir William Sinclair lost his life the very next day, and his son John, inherited the Earldom.

At the “Battle of Somersdale” John Sinclair (1490-1529) 3rd Earl of Caithness died in battle in May 1529, the leader of 500 Scots in the defence of the Orkney Islands, assisting fellow kinsman; James Sinclair.

NPG 1766,Mary, Queen of Scots,by Unknown artist

Mary, Queen of Scots

In 1568, Henry Sinclair assisted Mary, Queen of Scots to escape Lochleven Castle.

Sinclair names have been carved into the floor of Holyrood Palace and its Abbey.  They who played a part in Scotland’s history.

The “Battle of Worcester” took place in 1651, during a time of religious Reformation, when Scottish forces came under English attack led by Oliver Cromwell.  Thousands were slain and other’s taken prisoner.

John Sinclair (1612-1700) fought at Worcester alongside John Bean, arrested and sent to Boston.  For several years worked as lumberjacks to work off their indenture’s and gain their freedom.  John Sinclair settled in Exeter, New Hampshire, America.

Wikipedia Images

The Holy Grail Mystery

last-supper

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

What is the Holy Grail?  The cup or vessel used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, and possibly the vessel which captured his blood, as he hung upon the cross.  What a mystery, that is some two-thousand years old, which has fascinated; archaeologists, knights Templar, historian and treasure hunters seeking the hiding place of the Holy Grail.

The history of the Holy Grail, the cup associated with Jesus Christ, takes us back to the Kingdom of Judea.  Historical excavations over the centuries, puts forward, Galilee, homeland of the Messiah, was of predominately Jewish descendants.

holy-grail

The Holy Grail

Jesus is crucified at Calvary, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and Joseph of Arimathea, used the vessel, which we understand to be the Holy Grail to collect the blood of Jesus.

Following the crucifixion, Pontius Pilate granted Joseph’s request to entomb the body in a nearby cave… The tomb is called the Holy Sepulchre, a site visited by many pilgrims.

When the body of Jesus rose from the dead, many at that time believed Joseph had stolen the body.

Joseph was thrown into prison along with the Holy Grail, by order of the Jewish authorities who believed he had moved the body, and remained there for forty-two years until released by Emperor Vespasian.

Joseph of Arimathea travelled to Glastonbury, England where he planted the Holy Grail, and marked it by a staff, from which grew the Glastonbury Thorn.

Around 1140, William of Malmesbury, a monk and historian from Malmesbury Abbey, wrote of Joseph of Arimathea, who brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury.

glastonbury-abbey

Glastonbury Abbey

In 1539, Glastonbury Abbey is destroyed during the “Dissolution of the Monasteries,” during the reign of King Henry VIII.

History tells us, the Holy Grail was taken by Monks of the Abbey, as they fled, seeking safety.

So where is the Holy Grail?  A question which has remained unanswered for many a year…

If the Knights Templar had in their possession the Holy Grail, this would have been considered a priceless treasure, which would require a secure hiding place.

Apprentice Pillar

Apprentice Pillar

Rosslyn Chapel has often been cited as the resting place of the Holy Grail.  It is believed the Apprentice Pillar had been constructed with a hollow section, to hide the Holy Grail within.

Other Rosslyn Chapel hiding places includes the vaults below the chapel, where it is said the Templar Knights dressed in their armour surrounded by their treasure, lie for all eternity.

Located upon the wall of Rosslyn Chapel, is a gargoyle depicting a Templar Knight holding what is believed to be the Holy Grail… one has to ask, is the true Holy Grail hidden within.

If one walks round Rosslyn Chapel and observes the intricate stonework upon the interior walls, it is possible the Holy Grail could be placed in plain view, but no amount of searching would reveal it.

In 1546, Mary of Guise (Mother to Mary Queen of Scots) wrote to Lord William Sinclair referring to a great secret hidden within the walls of Rosslyn Chapel.  What she was referring to, died with her… Was she referring to the Holy Grail.

If we believe the history surrounding the Holy Grail, that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury, then the fact that it was in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during the ninth century, brings doubt into the equation.

Furthermore, suggestions that the Knights Templar removed it from Jerusalem must be false, unless there be many Holy Grails doing the rounds…

Other so-called Holy Grails: READ MORE

(Images) The Last Supper: Leonardo da Vinci
(Images) Glastonbury Abbey – Holy Grail – Apprentice Pillar:Wikimedia