Knights Templar 16th Grand Master: Armand de Perigord

Armand de Perigord

Armand de Perigord was born in 1178 to parents Helie IV Talairand and Raymonda de Turren, descendants of the Counts of Perigord.

Perigord joins the Order of the Knights Templar and soon after becomes the Master of the Province of Apulia and Sicily from 1205-1232, when he was elected as the 16th Grand Master of the Knights Templar.

In 1236, the Syrio-Cilician border is the stage for a Templar disaster.  Some 120 knights, archers and turcopoles attempt to sieze the city of Darbsak (Terbezek) in a surprise attack.  Templar forces entered by way of the lower town, but were rebelled by Ayubid soldiers from the fortress, as Cavalry from Aleppo closed upon their rear, and slaughtered them.  Less than twenty knights escaped the carnage, returning to the Templar Fortress of Baghras.

The beginning of his Grand Mastery, Perigord had to deal with much conflict, involving the three orders.  We had the Templars wanting to create an alliance with the Sultan of Damascus.  Whilst the Hospitallers and Teutonics sought an alliance with the Sultan of Cairo.

In 1239 the Baron’s Crusade led by the Count of Champagne (Theobald IV) disembarked in Acre.  These Crusaders refused advice from the Master of the Order, or from the Latin State Lords, which ended in their annihilation by Muslim forces.  Templars, Hospitaliers and Teutonics who refused to get involved in the French Crusaders madness, recovered a few survivors and offered them shelter in Acre.

Armand’s skill was the saving grace, as he managed a truce between Templars and the Sultan of Damascus.  The Hospitaliers followed the Templars by agreeing to a truce, with the Sultan of Egypt.

In 1244 Templars, Hospitaliers and Teutonic Orders reconciled their differences, joining with the Sultan of Damascus to confront the Khoresmians who had joined with the Egyptians.  They clashed at the “Battle of La Forbie” in October 1244, where Egyptians and Khoresmian forces triumphed, and hundreds of prisoners were taken to Egypt to receive their fate… death or captivity.  Among those taken prisoner was Armand de Perigord, Grand Master of the Knights Templar.  His fate was never known; execution or life in captivity!