Knights Templar: Temple Bruer

Temple Bruer

Temple Bruer Church and Buildings

Temple Bruer emerged in the middle of the vast Lincoln Heath, which spread out southwards from the city of Lincoln.  The heath sparsely populated, and during the Templar times, would have been desolate and forbidding.

The Order of the Knights Templar, were bequeathed the land by William of Ashby in the mid 12th century.  The Templar’s with their renowned vigour and enterprise built a great preceptor and established a productive estate.

As the Templar’s built their property, rumours spoke of a tunnel running under the heath, from the preceptor to the village of Wellingmore, some two miles away.  Templar properties were often associated with such clandestine features.

Temple Bruer Church Plan

Church Plan

The Temple Bruer estate would have been some 4,000 acres in size, featuring a round church, with a number of smaller buildings huddled around it, complete with a defensive wall and gatehouse.   The people living within would fall into four categories: Knights – Sergeants – Servants – Chaplains.

The village of Temple Bruer did not exist before the Templar’s arrived; it was built to house the workforce needed by the Order; labourers, builders along with their families, who would become the Templar’s tenants.  In 1259, the village was granted a charter to have its very own market.

The original Templar estate extended to the west, to an area known as Lincoln Cliff, where the knights typically exploited the climate and built a windmill.  They were in fact the first recorded users of windmills in Europe.

Ermine Street, the old Roman road, runs along the top of the cliff and would have been used by the Templar’s as they travelled up from London, and onto Lincoln and York.  It also follows the same route they would have taken to and from their training grounds at Byard’s Leap, which marks the southernmost limit of their property.

Lincolnshire Longwool Sheep

Lincolnshire Longwool Sheep

Temple Bruer made the change from arable farming to sheep farming, with the breeding of Lincolnshire Longwool sheep.  All wool produced on Templar farms in the immediate area, was collected at Temple Bruer, shipped in Templar vessels, from eastern ports, bound for the continent.  An extremely efficient system had been created, and Temple Bruer evolved into a wealthy preceptor in England.

Byard’s Leap, located to the south of Bruer’s estate, with sizeable stretches of level heath land, provided the Templar’s with tournament areas.  It was here they held war games… engaging forces would take part in simulated battles.

When the Knights Templar were dissolved, Temple Bruer passed to the Hospitaller’s who retained it until the Dissolution of the Monasteries, by King Henry VIII, who then sold the estate to the Duke of Suffolk.

Temple Bruer Tower

Temple Bruer Tower

Temple Bruer remains consist of a square, three-storey tower with a spiral staircase, constructed out of Lincolnshire oolitic limestone.  The tower underwent partial restoration in the early 20th century.  Interior walls consist of inscriptions, believed to be associated with the Templar’s.

(Image) Temple Bruer Church: Papa Donkey
(Image) Temple Bruer Tower: Papa Donkey
(Image) Temple Bruer Chauch Plan: Papa Donkey
(Image) Longwool Sheep: Wikipedia

 

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Templar Trials

Justice

The Templar’s had defended Christendom against Islam in the Holy Land, protected pilgrims on route to Jerusalem and other holy sites.

In October of 1307, Templar’s in France were arrested on mass, and charged with acts of heresy.

French Templar’s, admitted charges of heresy under torture.  Pope Clement V, is said to have tried to block said trials, but was outmanoeuvred by King Philip IV of France, who stated if they admitted their guilt, they were guilty.  Any Templar who recounted his confession, claiming they gave a false statement under torture, found it mattered not, as they were still burned at the stake as relapsed heretics.

For British Templar’s they had King Edward II on their side, he being reluctant to arrest these individuals, questioning the legality of being told by France, what to do.

Edward found himself in a difficult position, his father Edward I had left him a kingdom in debt, he could not oppose his French counterpart.

Edward needed all the support he could muster, and as such had to comply by Pope Clement’s decree, if he wanted papal support.

Edward instructed his sheriffs in England, and officials in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, to arrest Templar’s on site, but made it known, that they were to be treated well, and comfortably housed, not imprisoned as urged by Pope Clement V.

Templar land became Edward’s lands.  He granted Templar’s a daily allowance of four pence, and two shillings for William de la More, chief official in Britain.  Allowances came from Templar revenue, and any surplus found its way to the royal treasury.  Edward used his windfall, paying off his father’s debts, rewarding his followers, with gifts to his supporters.

In September of 1309, two inquisitors appointed by the Pope; Abbot Dieudonne and Sicard of Vaur arrived in England, to carry out interrogations on the Templar’s.

On the 23rd October 1309, interrogations started in London.  What had been clear cut cases in France, proved anything but in England?  The Templar’s in London denied all charges of heresy.  The inquisitors wanted to use torture as they had done in France, but English common law did not allow the use of torture.

Procedures against possible heretics, allowed for church officials, to seek out those who were employed by the Templar’s.  Some seventeen non-Templar witnesses in November 1309 through to January 1310, came forward, and spoke in their support.

Robert the Dorturer, notary public figure of London, showed hostility towards the Templar’s accusing a former grand commander of sodomy… he was unable to produce any proof of his so called charges.

On the 23rd October 1309, the trial of the Templar’s commenced in London.

The initial interrogations by inquisitors taking place in London revealed some Templar’s had limited understanding.  They were unable to understand the differences; sins against God and infringement of rules as laid down by the order.  Only a priest could absolve a Templar of Sin.  Only a Grand Master could absolve one of infringing regulations.

On the 17th November 1309, Templar interrogations commenced in Scotland, but were cut short by the Anglo-Scottish war.  Those Templar’s who resided in Scotland, were of English origin, and confessed to nothing of a heretical nature.

Lord Henry Sinclair and Lord Hugh of Rydale, whose lands bordered the Templar estates of Midlothian, stated they believed the Scottish Templar’s were good Christians.  However, they could not speak for European Templar’s.

Irish Friar’s believed their Templar’s could be guilty of acts of heresy, but they had no proof to the fact.  It was based on here say.

Lincoln Castle

Lincoln Castle

When inquisitors reached Lincoln in March of 1310, they found similar confusion as in London, limited understanding of the order’s beliefs.  Similar confusion existed in York as well.

Templar Yorkshire priest; Ralph of Ruston declared to all those present, an Abbot can absolve persons of their convent, because he is a priest.

By June of 1310, papal inquisitors were becoming frustrated; for they had found no evidence of heresy among British Templar’s.  They believed torture was the only way, to get answers.

The papal inquisitors contacted Robert Winchelsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, asking for assistance.  They complained King’s ministers were bribing the King, not to assist inquisitors.  Even to the point of buying off officials, who would be called upon to carry out acts of torture.

Tower of London.jpg

Tower of London

In the August of 1310, King Edward II agreed that all Templar’s held in Lincoln Castle, would be moved to London, arriving in the March of 1311, for imprisonment and torture.

In the July of 1311, Church Councils of London and York absolved Templar’s who agreed to swear off all heresy… any who refused, would remain in prison.

In the October of 1311, the Pope summoned a Church Council at Vienne in the south of France, to discuss British Templar’s.  Papal inquisitors only evidence was based on gear say evidence, second or third hand stories.

Only three British Templar’s were ever tortured; Stephen of Stapelbrugge, who had fled to Ireland during the troubles and returned home in June 1311, Thomas Totty who had infuriated Abbot Dieudonne and John of Stoke a priest.  They confessed to some charges, and it was enough to bring the work of the inquisitors to an end.  The Templar’s claim of innocence and evidence in their favour was ignored.  So it was in July of 1311 the Church Council in London, agreed to dissolve the Order of the Temple.

Not a single Templar in Britain was condemned on charges of heresy; no one was burnt at the stake.

Wallpaper Images

Chartres Cathedral: Sacred Geometry

saint-bernard-of-clairvaux

St.Bernard of Clairvaux

St.Bernard of Clairvaux, the patron saint of the Knights Templar, clearly regarded their architectural skills with much praise, and was particularly impressed by their soaring roofs and arches… With their distinguishing features of Gothic architecture as expressed at Chartres Cathedral and other 12th century French Cathedral’s.

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral – France

Contained within the walls of Chartres Cathedral, Ancient Hebrew ciphers were added, spelling out obscure liturgical phrases in key positions, in the buildings structure.  Key designs to religious mysteries.

Similarly, sculptors and glaziers concealed texts about human nature, the past and prophetic scriptures, in its sculptural works and leaded glass.

The French Gothic Cathedral of Chartres contains sacred geometry, as used in its construction…

Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth

The Labyrinth

In the nave of the cathedral, we find a labyrinth on the floor made from white stone, set within dark coloured marble.  The labyrinth measures one tenth of the cathedral’s interior length, which equates to the central point of the buildings geometric construction.

Chartres Cathedral - West Front

West Rose Window – Chartres Cathedral

The diameter of the labyrinth is the same size as the West Rose Window.  The distance from the centre of the west rose window to the floor, is exactly the same as the distance from the centre of the labyrinth to the Cathedral’s west portal wall.

Putting it simply, the West Rose Window and the Labyrinth form a perfect equilateral triangle.

Within the Cathedral, distances between pillars and the length of the nave, transepts and choir, are multiples of the Golden Mean, (The Golden Mean is related to the dimensions of a pentagon, a shape much used in the building of Chartres Cathedral).

The ribs supporting the vaults of the quadrangle units of which the cathedral is composed of, are the shape of the golden triangles.

Chartres - Latin Cross Plan

The grand plan view of Chartres Cathedral is in the design of a Latin Cross.  It symbolizes Light of the Cross, where Spirit and Matter converge.

Knights Templar: Grand Masters

 Knights Templar a

1119-1136 Hugh de Payen: One of the nine founding knights of the Order was the first master of the Order of the Temple; Hugh was a vassal of the Count of Champagne from Payns, northwest of Troyes in France. Hugh settled in the kingdom of Jerusalem sometime after 1113, and in 1119, together with Godfrey of Saint-Omer and several other companions, began to patrol the road from Jaffa to Jerusalem in order to protect pilgrims from Muslim attack. The knights were sustained by benefices centred on the Temple complex in Jerusalem. In 1127, Hugh was part of a delegation sent by King Baldwin II of Jerusalem to accompany Fulke V, count of Anjou, to Jerusalem, where he was to marry Melisande, Baldwin’s eldest daughter. While in the West, Hugh travelled extensively in France, Normandy, Flanders, England, and Scotland in order to recruit forces for an attack on Damascus planned for late 1129. In January 1129 the Templars received their rule at the Council of Troyes following an oral explanation of their original customs by Hugh himself. At about the same time, Hugh asked Bernard of Clairvaux to write in their support, a request that resulted in the treatise ‘De laude novae militiae.’

1137-1149 Robert de Craon: Robert, a son of Rainald Burgundio of Craon and Ennoguena of Vitré, belonged to the Angevin high nobility. Robert de Craon was also known as Robert the Burgundian. After several years in the service of the count of Angoulême and at the court of the dukes of Aquitaine, he dissolved his engagement to the heiress of Chabannes and Confolens and traveled to Outremer. By about 1125 he had joined the Templars and became Seneschal of the Order. He travelled to the west, 1132-4, where he received important donations including the castle of Barbera in Spain. Robert became the second grand Master of the Order in 1137 after the death of Hugh de Payen. Robert returned to the West in 1138 and when on 29 March 1139, Pope Innocent II issued the Papal Bull Omne Datum Optimum, the Templars’ most important papal privilege, it named Robert as its recipient. William of Tyre listed Robert among the participants of the Second Crusade’s general curia held in Acre on 24 June 1148 and gave an unusually friendly assessment of him. Robert died on 13 January 1149.

1149-1152 Everard de Barres: Everard de Barres was for a period in charge of receiving donations to the Templars around Barcelona. Everard de Barres was the Master of the Temple in France at the time of the launch of the Second Crusade (1147). He and his fellow knights from Portugal and Spain accompanied King Louis of France on the overland journey to Outremer. The King relied heavily on the diplomatic and military advice of Everard de Barres to get his forces across Byzantine territory to Outremer and then for financial aid when he got there. In return Louis supported Everard’s subsequent election as Grandmaster. In 1152 Everard de Barres resigned his post as Grand Master of the Temple to become a monk at the abbey of Clairvaux.

1152-1153 Bernard de Tremelay: Bernard was a Burgundian from near Dijon. On the 15th August 1153, during the siege of Ascalon, Bernard was killed leading a group of Templars in an unsuccessful assault on a breach in the walls of the city. The chronicler Walter of Tyre in describing this episode used the occasion to attribute the deaths of the attackers to Templar pride and greed, but then he wasn’t much of a fan of the Templars.

1153-1156 Andrew de Montbard: Andrew was one of the original nine members of the Order; born sometime before 1105 in Burgundy, his father was Bernard I of Montbard, his sister Aleth was the mother of Bernard of Clairvaux. Before being elected Grand Master Andrew served as the Seneschal of the Kingdom of Jerusalem for the Order. According to the fake ‘Dossiers Secrets’ of the Priory of Sion Andrew de Montbard was not a Grand Master of the Templars.  between 1130 and 1135 carried out missions between the West and Outremer for Bernard of Clairvaux and the king of Jerusalem (either Baldwin II or Fulk). After the death of Fulk (1143), Bernard recommended Andrew to Queen Melisende, and by 1148 he had been appointed seneschal of the Templars. He was in charge of the central convent of the order while Master Robert Burgundio took part in the Second Crusade (1148) and while Robert’s successor, Everard of Barres, travelled to France (1149–1151). On the death of Master Bernard of Tremelay during the siege of Ascalon (1153), Andrew was elected master. His career illustrates the strong ties between the Templars’ leadership and the royal court of Jerusalem’. –Jochen Burgtorf – The Crusades; An Encyclopedia

1156-1169 Bernard de Blanquefort: In 1158 Bernard, accompanied by 87 Brother-Knights and 300 secular knights, was ambushed by a force of Saracens while travelling down the Jordan valley. Bernard was taken captive. He was freed in 1159 as a result of a treaty between Emperor Manuel of Byzantium and Nur ed-Din, ruler of Aleppo. In 1168 Bernard refused to join King Amalric of Jerusalem and the Grand  Master of the Hospitallers, Gilbert of Assailly, in a planned invasion of Egypt.  According to the fake ‘Dossiers Secrets’ of the Priory of Sion Bertrand de Blanquefort is not the sixth Grand Master of the Templars but the fourth.

1169-1171 Philip de Nablus: Philip de Nablus was the Lord of Outrejourdain before he joined the order in 1166, bringing fortresses with him.

1171-1179 Odo de Saint-Amand: Before he joined the Order Odo had been a prisoner of the Moslems between 1157 and 1159. He had also served in several important official posts in the royal service. This did not stop him seriously falling out with King Amalric over the attack by a group of Templars, led by Walter of Mesnil, on an envoy to the King from the Assassins. Odo de Saint-Amand was captured in 1179 by Saladin during an attempt to relieve the Templar fortress at Jacob’s Ford. He refused to be ransomed and subsequently died in captivity.

1180-1184 Arnold de Torroja: Arnold had been the Templar Master of Spain and of Provence before his election as Grand Master. Arnold died in Verona while on an embassy with the Grand Master of the Hospitallers, Rogers de Moulin, and Patriarch of Jerusalem Hericlais seeking for support from Europe.

1185-1189 Gerard de Ridefort: A knight of Flemish or Anglo-Norman origin, Gerard entered the service of Count Raymond III of Tripoli in the early 1170s and had risen to be marshal of the kingdom of Jerusalem by 1179.  However, in 1180 he joined the Templars and rapidly rose within the order. By 1184 Gerard de Ridefort was the Knights Templar Seneschal in the Kingdom of Jerusalem  and master by 1185.

‘Gerard supported the claims of Princess Sibyl and her husband Guy of Lusignan to the throne of Jerusalem after the death of the young Baldwin V in 1186; he was thus in opposition to the party led by Raymond of Tripoli. Gerard facilitated the coronation of Sibyl and Guy by surrendering the Temple’s key to the royal treasury (where the crowns were located) and by collecting the key that the master of the Hospital, Roger of Les Moulins, had discarded. The chronicle known as Eracles ascribes Gerard’s actions to his enmity toward Raymond of Tripoli. Raymond had promised Gerard an advantageous marriage, and around 1180 Gerard had expected to marry the heiress of Botron in the county of Tripoli; however, Raymond had given her to a wealthy Pisan merchant instead. It is possible that this disappointment prompted Gerard to join the Templars.

Faced with the growing threat from Saladin, King Guy selected Gerard as one of a delegation that was intended to make peace with Raymond of Tripoli in April 1187. At the Templar castle of La Fève, he and Roger of Les Moulins learned of a large Muslim force in Nazareth. Accounts vary as to whether both masters decided to attack or whether Gerard persuaded Roger against his better judgment. Roger was killed, along with most of the Christian forces, at the ensuing battle of the Springs of Cresson (1 May 1187); Gerard was one of only three Templar knights who escaped. The defeat reduced Christian forces, and Gerard hired mercenaries with the money that King Henry II of England had deposited with the Templars.  When Saladin mounted his great invasion of Galilee later that year, Gerard advised King Guy to fight Saladin, contrary to Raymond of Tripoli’s counsel. Gerard was the only Templar to survive the defeat at Hattin (4 July 1187), and was apparently ransomed in exchange for the Templar castle at Gaza.

Gerard de Ridefort died in battle outside Acre on October 4th 1189.

1191-1193 Robert de Sable: Robert de Sable was both a vassal of and a trusted friend of King Richard the Lionheart. He joined the Templars and was elected Grand Master under the sponsorship of Richard. On behalf of the Templars, Robert de Sable bought the island of Cyprus from King Richard.

1194-1200 Gilbert Erail.

1201-1209 Philip de Plessiez.

1210-1219 William de Chartres: William died of fever outside Damietta during a crusade against Egypt.

1219-1232 Peter de Montaigu.

1232-1244 Armand de Perigord: In 1242 Armand led the Templars in breaking the treaty with Egypt when they attacked Hebron and sacked Nablus. Armand was captured and subsequently died in prison after leading his Templars at the disastrous, for the crusaders, Battle of La Forbie against the Egyptians from which only thirty-three Templars survived from a force of hundreds.

1244-1247 Richard de Burres.

1247-1250 William (Guillaume) de Sonnac: William lost an eye at the ill-fated Battle of Mansurah. He was said to have been one of only two Templar survivors out of 280. William lost his other eye and died on a further day of battle.

1250-1256 Reginald (Renaud) de Vichiers: At the time, 1248, when King Louis IX of France was preparing his Crusade, Reginald de Vichiers was the Temple Preceptor of France. He had arranged the shipping of the troops, was Louis’ Marshal in Cyprus and a friend to the king. Reginald was Marshal of the Templars when King Louis IX of France supported his election as Templar Grand Master. Reginald and the King quarrelled soon after.

1256-1273 Thomas Berard.

1273-1291 William (Guillaume) de Beaujeu: William was born around 1230, the fourth son of Guichard of Beaujeu, lord of Montpensier, and had joined the Templar Order by 1253. William was a career Templar with considerable experience of fighting in Palestine and administering the Order. In 1261 he had been captured in a raid and he was subsequently ransomed becoming the Templar Preceptor in the County of Tripoli in 1271 and was Master of the Province of Apulia in southern Italy / preceptor of the Kingdom of Sicily at the time of his election. However, his elevation almost certainly came about because of his links with the French Crown. His uncle had fought with Louis XI on the Nile, and through his paternal grandmother, Sybil of Hainault, he was related to the Capetian royal family. He retained close ties with Charles I of Anjou, king of Sicily, to whom he was related, until Charles’s death in 1285. William was elected master in 1273 and spent nearly two years travelling through France, England, and Spain, recruiting men and collecting funds, before speaking at Pope Gregory Xs Second Council of Lyons in 1274.

 ‘He returned to the Holy Land in September 1275, and from that time on he was identified with the claim of Charles of Anjou to the kingship of Jerusalem in opposition to Hugh III of Cyprus. This stance contributed significantly to the political divisions within Outremer but also ensured Charles’s continued material support, much needed at this time. William’s partisan role certainly contributed to his lack of credibility in the years 1289 to 1291, when his warnings of impending Mameluke attacks, derived from spies in the Egyptian army, were ignored. William was killed during the siege of Acre by the Mamelukes on 18 May 1291’.

1291-1293 Theobald (Thibaud) Gaudin: Thibaud belonged to a family from the Ile-de-France which had supplied several members of the order in the thirteenth century. His early career as a Templar is unknown but in 1260 he and several other Templars (including the future Master William of Beaujeu, who probably supported his career) were captured by the Muslims during an ill-planned raid in northern Galilee and released upon payment of ransom. Thibaud subsequently served as Commander of Acre. After a spell in France (1279) Thibaud became Commander of Outremer (1283–1291). Thibaud embarked from Acre with the surviving Templars in 1291 and went to the fortress of Sayette in Cyprus where he was elected Grand Master, allegedly having managed to rescue the order’s treasure and relics.

1293-1314 Jacques de Molay: Jacques de Molay was received into the order at Beaune in Burgundy in 1265 by Amaury de la Roche, Master of France, and Humbert de Pairaud, Visitor General of Templar Houses in France, England, France and Provence. Jacques de Molay’s uncle, Guillaume de Molay, was Marshal of the Templars at the time. From around 1275, Jacques served in the East, and in 1292 he was elected Grand Master at the new headquarters in Cyprus from where he organized naval raids against the Palestinian coast. In October 1307, in Paris, Jacques was among the Templars arrested by officials of King Philip IV for a range of heretical crimes. Jacques de Molay after years of imprisonment and torture was finally burned as a relapsed heretic on 18 March 1314.

At the same time, he obtained privileges and material help from the papacy and leading secular rulers.  James twice visited the West for these purposes, in 1293–1296 and in 1306–1307. On the second occasion, he was responding to a request from Pope Clement V for advice on two controversial issues: the union of the military orders and the organization of a new crusade. James wrote short reports on both of these subjects. In October 1307, in Paris, James was among the Templars arrested by officials of King Philip IV for a range of heretical crimes. He confessed to the denial of Christ and to spitting on a crucifix, a confession he repeated before an assembly of university masters. However, at Christmas, in the presence of papal representatives, he recanted, leading Clement to suspend the whole trial. Nevertheless, when the proceedings were restarted in August 1308, James apparently returned to his original confession, and in November 1309, in three appearances before the papal commission appointed to investigate the order as a whole, he failed to offer any convincing defense, instead relying on a personal hearing. It was not until March 1314, when he was brought before three cardinals representing the pope, that he was condemned to life imprisonment. He then denied the charges again, asserting that the order was pure and holy. Handed over to the secular authorities at Paris, he was burned as a relapsed heretic on 18 March 1314…According to The History of the Crusades

Chartres Cathedral: The Last Judgement

Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral

The Gothic styled cathedral’s originated in 12th century France, during the Knights Templar era.  The Knights Templar, God’s warriors, were formed to protect pilgrims on route to Jerusalem.

This order was formed in 1118, and consisted of nine knights, and became one of the richest and most powerful orders, with the backing of the Pope.  They would build hundreds of Gothic Cathedral’s across Europe, and many still stand to this very day.  These cathedrals with their twin towers faced towards the west, resembling the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem with its two pillars of Jachin and Boaz.

The Last Judgement

The Last Judgement

When a visitor steps across the threshold and enters the cathedral he would be confronted by “The Last Judgement” displayed at the tympanum.  Here, Jesus is surrounded by four beasts of the Apocalypse, the same beasts as mentioned in John’s Revelations, equated with the four apostles; Mathew, Mark, Luke and John.

The four beasts of the Apocalypse have astrological significance:

  • The beast, with human face is Aquarius (Mathew).
  • The lion is Leo (Mark).
  • The ox is Taurus (Luke).
  • The eagle is Aquila (John).

The zodiac sign Aquila is often replaced with Scorpio.

According to Christian art expressions, Christ is portrayed inside a Vesica Pisces along with four zodiac signs, and his head surrounded by a halo depicting the Sun.  As for the image of Jesus inside the Vesica Pisces, contains at each corner one of the signs of the Apocalypse: Aquarius – Scorpio – Taurus – Leo.

The French Gothic Cathedral of Chartres is one of the oldest Cathedral’s and is aligned to the summer solstice.  At the time of the summer solstice, the sun would shine through the “Saint Apollinaire” window, depicting the Roman sun god; Apollo.

Located within the cathedral, one can find a zodiac, but the practice of astrology is regarded as an act of paganism.  The zodiac connects the signs of Aquarius, Scorpio, Taurus and Leo.

It is believed the four signs of the Apocalypse rise before the sun during the Great Celestial Conjunction at the time of the solstices or equinoxes.  They be the symbols of the true Galactic Cross, determined where the ecliptic and Milky Way cross.

The zodiac within Chartres Cathedral consists of two semi-circles, that intersect forming a Vesica Pisces, an ancient symbol to represent Christ.  Vertically depicted, represents fertility and birth.  Symbolism refers to rebirth.

When Vesica Pisces aligns with Pisces-Virgo axis within the zodiac, Vesica Pisces appears to be associated with Pisces (Christ – the fisherman) and Virgo (Mary – the virgin mother).

The symbolism found within Chartres Cathedral, puts forward the Christian doctrine of End Times, and is not the rebirth of Christ, but rebirth of the Sun!

Knights Templar: Portugal

Tomar - Portugal

Scotland appears to have been Freemasonic homeland; Portugal on the other hand represented the Templar’s commercial base, a source of revenue and headquarters.  Portugal is a country that had been founded by the Templar’s.

In 1128, the order of the Knights Templar settled in Portugal, and gradually took over the country’s military and commercial strength.

In that same year Teresa of Portugal endowed upon the knights, the region of Fonte Arcada, granting them many privileges.  In return the Templar’s supported her expansion of her then weak country.

In 1160, a Knights Templar castle was constructed in Tomar, and became the orders headquarters in Portugal.

King Alfonso of Portugal corresponded with Saint Bernard, welcoming his monastic order with open arms.  Monasteries and churches sprung up across the land, along with estates under Cistercian control.

In 1294, the initiative of the Templar’s, led to the signing of the “Treaty of Windsor,” between England and Portugal, and aimed at bestowing military power on both countries.

The anti-Templar movement which had grown in France had little effect in Portugal.

The order of the Knights Templar had been officially dissolved by Pope Clement V in 1312, and its knights, servants and monks considered outlaws.

King Denis of Portugal exonerated the Templar’s and with pressure and opposition to the order from France, came up with a plan which would be of benefit to both parties; King and Templar’s.

A plan was conceived; the order of the Knights Templar would disappear and be re-established under a new name affiliated to the Portuguese monarchy.  Templar assets could not fall into church hands, and they could continue to exist.

So it was the order of the “Knights Templar” faded into the distant past, and rose again as the “Order of Christ.”

The former Knights Templar now known as the Order of Christ could continue carrying out their illegal activities under the protection of the King of Portugal, no longer abiding by church rules.

Templar’s found a more liberal environment in Spain and Portugal under the Order of Christ, and the order received its official recognition in 1319 by Pope John XII, out of his desire to win the Templar’s back to the church.

The church was unwilling to lose the Templar’s who represented a major military, financial and logistical power.

In 1415, Prince Henry the navigator led his forces, in the conquest of Ceuta, in a creation of a Portuguese empire, which stretched out far beyond their coastline.  In 1417 he became Grand Master of the Order of Christ until 1460, undertaking works of evangelism for the Pope and Church.  Henry went on to colonise the Azores and Madeira islands, building two gothic cloisters in the Convent of Tomar during his time as grand master.

By 1492, the order was suffering from declining membership, based on its rules of poverty – chastity – obedience, and things had to change for survival.  Pope Alexander VI commuted vows of celibacy to conjugal chastity, and was withdrawn in 1496.  Poverty was withdrawn in 1505 by order of Pope Julius II.

The order was showing signs of becoming less monastic and more secular.  Brother Antonius of Lisbon, attempted a reform, which brought an end to a religious life among its knights.  Under these changes, the order became an organisation.  Its aim was to achieve commercial and political success, and to redraft the laws of the church in a manner compatible with capitalism.

It was about this time, a new society without religious image, but serving the same function was created.  This new organization had its roots in England, and had taken the name; Freemasonry.  Freemasons represented a most influential power which would survive to the present day.

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Knights Templar: Rise and Defeat

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On the 4th July 1187, Saladin defeated Christian forces at the “Battle of Hattin.”  Many Christian crusaders were slain, many wounded, many thrown into chains.

Guy of Lusignan, the King of Jerusalem, witnessed the fall of the “Cross of Salvation”, he was overcome with pity, rushing forward without thought, as he flung his arms around the cross.

Guy of Lusignan, along with fellow warriors, were taken prisoner, to await the victor’s will, as to their fate.

Saladin so ordered, that all Templar’s with the exception of their master, were to be beheaded.

Guy de Lusignan, became the prisoner of Saladin, and one year later on the anniversary of that battle, was freed after swearing an oath, never to attack Muslims.

England, France and Germany, made the joint decision, that Jerusalem had to be re-taken, and so the Third Crusade was launched.

It was essential they had a base of operations, which to land troops and supplies.  Acre was its harbour, proved to be the best option, and so it was, ships of King Philip of France and King Richard of England, set forth on their journey.

Following King Richard’s capture of Cyprus by his naval forces, the Knights Templar Grand Master; Robert de Sable made a proposal purchase of Cyprus from King Richard I (Richard – the – Lionheart).  The price was agreed, of 100,000 bezants (gold currency of Byzantium), commencing with a 40,000 deposit.

It proved that the Templar’s financial status was strong, being able to raise that amount, shortly after the “Battle of Hattin.”

Acre fell to the Muslims in 1291, bringing the Christian presence in Palestine to an end.

The Knights Templar, robbed of their role as defenders of the Holy Land, saw many take up residence in Cyprus, in the Mediterranean.  The Templar’s had sought their own Kingdom, but been pushed out by Muslim forces.

The Grand Master of the Knights Templar, located in France, had a status on par with European Kings.  These Templar’s owned much land across Christendom, with a warrior army to back their political position.  Europe’s ruling houses, found themselves indebted to these Templar’s, fearing their future was under threat.

The English throne was indebted to the Templar order, for King John had emptied the coffers of the treasury during his reign, to finance military operations.  King Henry III, was faced with similar financial problems, and had no option, but to take out loans with the Knights Templar.

The Knights Templar offices in Paris held the treasury of Templar’s and French government.  The Templar treasurer and the French King’s finance officer were one and the same.  France found itself under Templar control.

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