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.
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.