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

Knights Templar: God’s Warriors

Knights Templar a

Knights Templar – Warriors for God


In 1118, Hugues de Payens led a group of nine knights; Geoffrey de St.Omer, Rossal, Gondamer, Geoffrey Bisol, Payen de Montdidier, Archambaud de St.Agnat, Andre de Montbard, and Hugh Conte de Champagne.  They saw an opportunity, and offered their services, to protect pilgrims on route to the sacred sites in the Holy Land.

Hugues de Payens

Hugues de Payens

So the Knights Templar were born, with Hugues de Payens as their first Grand Master.  A monastic order of knights, who would take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  In 1128, they were officially recognised by the papacy.  They were given a white habit, which indicated they had taken monastic vows… for white symbolised purity and a red cross on their mantles, showed they be Christ’s Knights.

By 1147, some 700 knights were established at their headquarters in Jerusalem, at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, built upon the site of the former “Temple of Solomon.”

As their numbers grew, so did their wealth, with donations from Monarchs, Barons and Knights across Europe.  By the mid 1100’s they owned some 3,500 castles, along with churches, houses and land.  By the 13th century, they had 160,000 devout followers.

To join the order of the Knights Templar, one would be of good health, single, debt free and not connected to any other order and be prepared to accept the position of a slave or servant if so willed.  Swear an oath of loyalty to the order and his brother, until the day he dies.

Knights Templar Initiation

Knights Templar

The dress code of a Knights Templar consisted of their armour, with a white mantle emblazoned with a red cross.

An initiation ceremony would be held in a domed chamber, which resembled the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and take place in secrecy.  The candidate would be led away during the ceremony to an adjoining room, by three senior members of the Knights Templar, where hardships and expectations of the order will be given to him.  He would then confirm his wish to be admitted, and rejoins the ceremony, where confirmation of his desire to become a slave of the order, is stated by the three senior knights.  The candidate is questioned by other knights.  Once satisfied, the Grand Master would present him with a Tabard of the Knights Templar along with a woven belt, which he must never take off.

As pilgrims from the Christian world, headed to the Holy City of Jerusalem, in order to gain redemption for their sins.  They died in their hundred’s as they became easy prey to robbers, as they attempted to retrace the steps of Jesus from Jerusalem to the River Jordan, the desert and the Sea of Galilee.

Hugues de Payens witnessed many pilgrims being slaughtered on route to Jerusalem.  The need was there, to offer protection, and so it was, a band of soldiers; Knights Templar were formed to offer protection.  They became the first military order approved by the Catholic Church.  They patrolled the lands of the Middle East, between Haifa and Jerusalem, watching and waiting for those who would prey upon defenceless pilgrims from the west.

These knights may have offered protection to pilgrims, but their long term goal was to seek out the secrets of Solomon, as they excavated below Temple Mount.

The Templar’s Rule was based on the principles of the Cistercian Order, that which St.Bernard of Clairvaux was part of.

These Templar’s were only answerable to the Pope, and as such, paid no dues, to any King, ruler or diocese.

Images: Wikipedia