Priory of Sion Grand Master: Isaac Newton

 

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

England was being torn apart by civil war and plague, and amidst this a premature Isaac Newton was being born into this world on the 25th December 1642, with little hope of survival.  Against all odds, Isaac survived, and home was Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire.

1642: Isaac’s father, a farmer died some three months before his son was born.

1645: Isaac’s mother re-married, and he was raised by his grandmother.  He grew up to hate his stepfather, whilst his mother had hoped he would run the family farm.

Newton attended Grantham School, and found an interest in mechanics and technology, which led him down the path of inventing sundials.  Yet his life was set on a different path, an intellectual path.

1661: Newton attended Trinity College, Cambridge.  Isaac Barrow his professor of mathematics and his mentor, steered him towards solving mathematical issues.  For this he used Calculus, explaining how the universe was ruled by mechanical laws.

1665: Cambridge University was forced to shut its doors, as the plague spread across our lands.  Newton had no option but to return home.

1671: Newton, re-designed the humble telescope, with the use of mirrors instead of lenses, which brought praise from the Royal Society.

1679: With his mother on her deathbed, Newton returned to the family home of Woolsthorpe, embarking on a period of self-exposed exile, to carry out his research.  His research led him down the path towards alchemy; the study of nature and life, the medieval forerunner of chemistry.  Alchemists like Nicolas Flamel, sought to turn metal into gold.

1684: German philosopher; Gottfried Leibniz published mathematical articles, how equations could be used to describe the physical world.  Newton claimed he had done this twenty years earlier, yet it was never published.  Newton believed Leibniz had stolen his work, and as a result the two became bitter enemies.

1687: Newton published the “Philosophiae  Naturalis Principia Mathematica” the culmination of twenty years of thought and two years in the writing.  It outlined his theory of universal gravitation which equalled a mathematical description of the universe.

1689: Newton had made his name as a philosopher, and was attracted down a new path, that of a politician.  Newton fought King James II’s religious reforms, which led to him being elected as a member of parliament.

1691: Isaac Newton was elected to the post of Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.

1693: In mid-1693, Newton suffered a nervous breakdown, but he still retained his public reputation, and soon after became warden of the Royal Mint.

1696: 17th century finances lay in crisis, as many coins were forgeries.  Under Newton’s rule, old currency was recalled and a new issue released, and counterfeiters were prosecuted.

1700: Newton was appointed Master of the Mint, a post he held for the rest of his remaining years.

1713: The Royal Society commissioned a committee to decide who invented Calculus; Isaac Newton or his arch enemy Gottfried Leibniz.  The committee voted in favour of Newton, yet Leibniz refused to concede defeat, and the feud would last until the death of both men.

1727: On the 20th March Isaac Newton celebrated philosopher died, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Priory of Sion Grand Master: Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle, Anglo-Irish chemist

Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle was born on the 27th January 1627, in County Waterford, Ireland, the seventh son of the Earl of Cork.  He was educated at Eton, and then travelled across Europe, learning as he went until his return in 1644, with a head full of scientific ideas.  He took up residence in Dorset, where he built himself a laboratory.

In 1654, Robert Boyle took up the post as Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, a post he held until his death in 1691.

Around the mid 1650’s moved to Oxford, and took on assistant Robert Hooke, and together they designed a working vacuum chamber/air-pump.

In those days’ experimentation wasn’t the done thing, it was highly controversial.  The established method was to discuss it with like-minded scientist, using well established rules, which had been put together by the likes of Aristotle and other’s over the previous 2,000 years.

Boyle wasn’t interested in discussions, he wanted to observe what took place, and draw his own conclusions.  He became one of the first scientists to perform experiments, and go on to publish his work with details.  His first publication took place in 1659 on Philosophy – Medicine – Religion.

According to Boyle’s Law, this states that if the volume of gas is decreased, pressure increases proportionally.  Boyle defined what an element be, and went on to introduce the litmus test to tell acids from bases.

In 1660 Robert Boyle who was part of the “Invisible College” of dynamic English & European minds along with eleven fellow scientists formed the Royal Society in London, with King Charles II as its patron and sponsor, of the House of Stuart.  They would meet regularly to witness experiments and discuss their results.

In 1668, Boyle took up permanent residence in London, living with his sister.  In 1680 he was offered the presidency of the Royal Society, which he had played a part in its creation.  He had strong religious principles, and the oath of presidency violated his beliefs, for that reason he refused the post of President.

On the 31st December 1691 Robert Boyle died in London.

Knights Templar 8th Grand Master: Odo de St.Amand

Odo de St.Amand

Odo de St.Amand was born around 1110 AD, to an aristocratic family from Limousin, France.

He served as Marshal of Jerusalem, before joining the Order of the Knights Templar in 1128.  Philip de Milly the 7th Grand Master of the Templar Order resigned in 1171, to become an Ambassador.  Ode de St.Amand was elected the 8th Grand Master of the Knights Templar in 1171.

Rules are rules, to be followed to the letter according to Odo.  An incident of 1172, a Templar knight was accused of taking the life of an Ismaeli dignitary.  King Amalric I demanded justice, that the Templar knight be handed over to him, Odo refused, citing the Papal Bull, which places the Templar Order solely under the Pope’s authority.

On the 25th November 1177, at the “Battle of Montgisard” Templar’s defeated Saladin’s army in Ramia.  Fought between the Templar Christian forces, comprising of 375 knights, 80 knights Templar and several thousand foot soldiers against Saladin’s force of 27,000 men.  Saladin escaped such a deadly and organised assault by a smaller army.

Odo oversaw the construction of Chastellet Fortress, an impregnable build near Jacob’s Ford in Jordan.  In 1179 Saladin’s attack upon Jerusalem was thwarted by Chastellet Fortress.

After Saladin’s defeat, Christian forces inflicted an assault at the “Battle of Marj Ayun” upon Saladin.  By this time Saladin had reorganised his forces, defeating the Christian forces and taking prisoners, including Odo de St.Amand the Grand Master of the Knights Templar.

Odo de St. Amand refused to be ransomed in accordance with the Templar Rule, and so it was he died in captivity in chains in 1180.

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.

Priory of Sion: Jean de Gisors

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Priory of Sion Grand Master: Jean de Gisors

The society’s first Grand Master was Jean (John) de Gisors a French nobleman of the 12th century, born in 1133 and died in 1220.  

A Norman lord of Gisors fortress in Normandy, and a former vassal (who gave military service in return for protection or land) to Henry II and Richard I, Kings of England.

Around 1170-1180, purchased Buckland Manor in Hampshire, and went on to found Portsmouth, thus creating a trading route between England and France.

He donated lands to Augustinian Canons of Southwick Priory, to build a chapel in memory of Thomas Becket ; martyr of Canterbury Cathedral.  

A 12th century elm tree marked the border between Normandy, ruled by the English, and the royal lands of France.  It became a place for negotiations between English and French Kings.

With the fall of Jerusalem, English and French Kings squabbled under the elm tree, and in 1188, the French cut down the tree in question.

With the fall of the elm tree, the Priory of Sion separated from the Knights Templar, and went on their own path, with Jean de Gisors assuming the post of the first Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.

Jean de Gisors supported Prince John’s failed rebellion against King Richard I in1193, and it cost him dearly; the forfeiture of his lands to King Richard I of England.

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References/Sources:
The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln.
The Templar Revelation by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince.

Rex Deus by Marilyn Hopkins, Graham Simmans and Tim Wallace-Murphy.

King Philip IV: Greed and Vengeance

King Philip VI of France

King Philip IV of France

In 1302, Pope Boniface VIII issued a Papal Bull; King Philip IV of France was excommunicated.  King Philip retaliated by having Pope Boniface kidnapped, little did he expect, that the shock of it would kill him.

Pope Benedict XI, successor to Pope Boniface died suddenly, and history believes he may have been assassinated on the orders of the French King; Philip IV of France.

The church found itself under duress from King Philip IV, having two Popes recently die, and King Philip complicit in their deaths. The Vatican felt it had no choice but to elect Bertrand de Goth, childhood friend of King Philip, as “Pope Clement V.”

With the infrastructure and institution of the Vatican, ruled by King Philip, and used by the French King to prosecute the Knights Templar.  So, it came to pass, the “Order of the Knights Templar,” were arrested on Friday 13thOctober 1307, tortured and put on trial.

“Friday the Thirteenth,” became known as a day of evil, based on what the French King had carried out, one based on greed and jealously, a day motivated by pure evil.

Pope Clement V, found himself in a difficult position, having been made Pope by King Philip, former childhood friend, and he questioned the validity of the charges against the Knights Templar, and confessions under torture.  He resented the King’s interference with an Order operated under papal jurisdiction, friend or no friend, he felt it was wrong, and called that they should be released.

The persecution of the Templars was solely driven by one man, King Philip IV, in his desire for their wealth.  The Vatican played an active part in their destruction, ever being controlled by the French King.

King Philip brought down the wrath of theologians from the University of Paris down on him.  They informed their King, he was in violation of Canonical Law in using military forces for their arrest, and interrogations.  Any interrogations should have been undertaken by the Holy Mother Church, and judgements be rendered in ecclesiastical courts only.

In 1308, Pope Clement V issued the “Chinon Parchment,” which exonerated the “Order of the Knights Templar,” and their Grand Master; Jacques de Molay of all charges.

In 1311, the Council of Vienne, voted that the Vatican would actively support the Knights Templar.

This didn’t change anything in the eyes of King Philip, he continued in his quest to rid himself of the Templar Order.

In 1312, Pope Clement V was forced into issuing the Papal Bull – Vox in Excelso (Voices from on High), changing the status of the Knights Templar from an active order to a suspended order.  The Order of the Templars, was only suppressed within the Vatican and its grounds, and purely as a political move, more to satisfy the French King.

According to historical documents, the Pope faced a situation not of his making.  On one hand, he had no sufficient reasons for a formal condemnation of the Order of the Knights Templar.

Historical Treasures

Whilst on the other hand, he had King Philip IV who hated them so much, who had taken them to trial on charges of heresy.  He wanted their assets; property, land, gold and money.

All official Vatican statements, highlighted pressure and interference from the French King, and it was noted any Papal Bull issued in favour of the Knights Templar, would not be accepted as a legal document by the French King.

The Vatican had already granted the Order of the Knights Templar permanent and independent sovereignty in its own right, on the basis of its own ecclesiastical authority of the Templar Priesthood, per the Papal Bull “Omne Datum Optimum” of 1139.  Thus, the Pope had no formal ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Templar Priesthood.  Under Customary and Canon Law, the Pope had no power to assert any sovereignty over the Templar Order.

By definition the Pope could only exercise Vatican sovereign power over his own institution, known to us as the Vatican itself.

By 1312, French persecution had effectively suppressed the Order of the Knights Templar, and forced them to survive as an underground network.

Based on the terms of the Chinon Parchment, Templars who had been pardoned and absolved from any acts of heresy, would be legally acquitted.

Jacques de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney had confessed to three Cardinals, acts of heresy at Chinon Castle, and were given absolution.  Within months they retracted their confessions which had been obtained through torture.

In a rage King Philip IV of France condemned to death these two Templar’s, to be burnt at the stake in the centre of Paris on the 18th March of 1314.  Their ashes were gathered up by holy men and carried away for burial in holy places.

Knights Templar Burnings

18th March 1314: Jacques de Molay

de-molay-and-rosenkreutz

Jacques de Molay

The Grand Master of the Knights Templar was the spiritual, political and military leader of the order.  He ran the order from Jerusalem, then Acre, Cyprus and the final years from France.

Jacques de Molay was born in 1244 in Franche-Comte, a region within Burgundy, France and related to the Lords of Longwy.  Around 1265/66 entered the Order of the Knights Templar at the Preceptory of Beune, according to his Chinon confession, and was received by Humbert de Pairaud.

In 1291 fought at the siege of Acre which fell to the Saracens, and some two years later was appointed Grand Master of the Order, taking up his new post in 1293.

De Molay pushed for recovery of the Holy Land, and to this end visited Rome, Paris and London in 1294, gathering support for a new Templar force.  He sought an alliance with the Mongols and Arwad.  He purchased six war galleons from Venice with invasion in mind and re-established a Christian foothold in Syria.  However, his proposed operation was a failure.

In 1306 Jacques de Molay was summoned from Cyprus by Pope Clement V to meet with Fulk de Villaret, his opposite number in the Hospitallers, to discuss plans for a new Crusade and proposals to amalgamate the two orders. De Molay conceded that there were some advantages, but on the whole, it was a bad idea as such rivalry existed between the two orders.  Fulk de Villaret Grand Master of the Hospitallers agreed with Jacques de Molay, that such a merger was doomed to failure.

The Grand Masters of Knight Templar and Hospitallers agreed a large force could be successful in re-establishing the Christian kingdom in the Holy Land.

Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templar travelled next to Paris.  For on the 12thOctober 1307 he acted as pallbearer to Queen Catherine of Valois funeral.

On the 13thOctober Jacques de Molay Grand Master of the Knights Templar along with 5,000 French Templars were arrested by order of King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V, charged with blasphemous crimes and heresy.  He underwent interrogation and torture by Royal agents of the crown in the Templars own dungeons in the Paris Temple.

Finally, he confessed on the 24thOctober to some accusations; spitting on the cross and denial of Christ.  However, he would never confess to homosexual practices.

On the 25thOctober, Jacques de Molay had to make a public confession to the masters of the University of Paris, and urge his followers to do likewise.

Jacques de Molay, Raymbaud de Caron, Hugues de Pairaud, Geoffroi de Charney and Geoffroi de Gonneville were moved to Chinon Castle. It was here they confessed to three Cardinals sent by the Pope, who bestowed absolution upon them.  All except Raymbaud de Caron returned to Paris to testify before the Papal Commission.

Within months, Jacques de Molay retracted his confession which had been obtained through torture.  He was held in captivity before being brought before lawyers, theologians and the public on the 18thMarch 1314, to hear his sentence, one of never-ending imprisonment.

Jacques de Molay supported by Geoffroi de Charney stunned their prosecutors by making a passionate last-minute defence of the Order of the Knights Templar.

The rebellious Templars were flung back into jail to await their sentence.  King Philip IV in a rage ordered that these two Templars be condemned to death, burnt at the stake as heretics before the day was out, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

According to the Chronicler; Giovanni Villani friars and holy men gathered up the ashes of these two Templar martyrs, and carried them away for burial in holy places.

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