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.