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.

Knights Templar: Bloodlines

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The Sinclair Clan, the guardians of the Templar Order of Scotland…

So it was in 1128, the Scottish/Templar alliance came into existence when founder of ‘Order of the Knights Templar’ one Hughes de Payens met with King David I of Scotland, at the request of Henry Sinclair.

Following the 1129 Council of Troyes, St.Bernard de Clairvaux integrated Scotland’s Celtic Christian Church, which hid itself within Catholicism.

When King David I ascended to the Scottish throne, he faced a Celtic Christian Church with financial hardships, and so its survival relied on it being part of St.Bernards Cistercian Order.

The Cistercian Order had no direct links with Rome, but was permitted to operate as a separate arm of Rome… Which resulted that all Scotland’s Abbeys became known as Cistercian Abbeys.

King David’s sister, Edith married into the Flemish House of Boulogne, the driving force and founders of the Knights Templar.

The Sinclairs were more than just Templars, for they held membership with the Priory of Sion, they being the inheritors of treasurers of both orders.

Once Christian Crusaders from across Europe had freed Jerusalem, an unanticipated new order was created; The Knights Templar consisting of nine founding members not poor monks or warriors, but members from the European aristocracy, derived from royal Flemish families.

The Templar Order of the Knights Templar was created to protect Christian pilgrims as they journeyed to Jerusalem.  This being an effective cover for this secretive Order, the Priory of Sion and their true mission in Jerusalem.

Rome had charged the order, the Knights of St.John with the responsibility for protection of the pilgrims, many on route to Jerusalem.  The Templar Order was believed by many, using a cloaked disguise, protecting pilgrims, whilst their true agenda was excavation beneath ruined temples.

This leaves us with a question, who be the Masonic Order, who be the Priory of Sion, and what be their true agenda?

The Priory of Sion, a secret organisation with roots older than the Knights Templar.

Known themes of the order being; Arcadia – Black Madonnas and Mary Magdalene, have links to the priory and connected to this underground order.

Members of the Order of the Priory of Sion are divided into two groups:

The Legion, charged with the apostolate.
The Phalange, guardians of the tradition.

Office of Navigator, carries the symbol the boat of Isis.  Holding a sailing boat, with spinning wheel spindle as its mast, and water jug on top, with a serpent shaped handle, indicating Isis steers the bark of life.

The boat of Isis according to Egyptian legends, the vessel represents the female organ of generation.

The ‘Ark of the Covenant,’ believed to have been modelled by ancient Israelites.

Grand Masters/Leaders of the Priory of Sion:

  • Jean Gisors (1188-1220)
  • Marie De Saint-Claire (1220-1266)
  • Guillaume De Gisors (1299-1307)
  • Edouard De Bar (1307-1336)
  • Jeanne De Bar (1336-1351)
  • Jean De Saint-Claire (1352-1366)
  • Blance D’Evereaux (1366-13980
  • Nicolas Flamel (1398-1418)
  • Rene D’Anjou (1418-1480)
  • Lolande De Bar (1480-1483)
  • Sandro Botticelli (1483-1510)
  • Leonardo Da Vinci (1510-1519)
  • Connetable De Bourbon (1519-1527)
  • Ferdinand De Gonzaque (1527-1575)
  • Louis De Nevers (1575-1595)
  • Robert Fludd (1595-1637)
  • Valentin Andrea (1637-1654)
  • Robert Boyle (1654-1691)
  • Isaac Newton (1691-1727)
  • Charles Radclyffe (1727-1746)
  • Charles De Lorraine (1746-1780)
  • Maximillian De Lorraine (1780-1801)
  • Charles Nodier (1801-1844)
  • Victor Hugo (1844-1885)
  • Claude DeBussy (1885-1918)
  • Jean Cocteau (1918-1963)

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Knights Templar: Balantrodoch

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There is little doubt that the Templars had a large number of estates in Scotland. The 1185 inventory of Templar properties only applied to England, and an inventory which took place after their arrest, never took place in Scotland.  In 1312, the Pope decreed the suppression of the Templars, but King Edward II locked in conflict with Scotland had no intention of enforcing it.

King David I of Scotland (1124-1153), granted the manor and chapel of Balantrodoch to the Order of the Knights Templar in 1153, which became their headquarters on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

King Malcolm IV of Scotland (1153-1165) donated a complete homestead within every burgh throughout his kingdom of Scotland.

William the Lion (1165-1214) gave to the Knights Templar, the barony of Maryculter which comprised of 8,000 acres.

It is said Alexander I – II & III along with Robert I & II, James I – III & IV went on to increase Templar Estates from the Royal Exchequer.

When the Templars were outlawed, their lands and buildings were supposed to pass into Hospitalliers hands, whose Scottish seat was at Torphichen in West Lothian.  The Pope’s orders were seldom followed, as was the case here, and it continued to be the parish church for local inhabitants.  As the years and centuries passed by the ‘Chapel of Balantrodoch,’ fell into dis-repair.

To the west of the village, in the valley of South Esk by the River Esk stands the ruined church of Balantrodoch with remnants of Gothic tracery and animals above the windows.  The original church had a round nave, like many Templar churches, a look alike of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  The church roof has long since gone… with some walls still remaining.  The west end was the entrance to the church, with the altar at the east end, with old niches carved into the walls, where once would have housed tombs, but these are long gone now.  Gravestones in the old graveyard bearing the symbols of carved skull and crossbones, one associated with death and the Knights Templar.  Others like the trowel and egg timer, we associate with the Freemasons along with the classic symbol of the compass and set square.

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To the east of the village, stands the remains of the preceptory arch, out amongst the fields.  This being the original entrance to the Templars Manor House.

One event which involved William a preceptor and Templar of Ballentrodoch and his wife Christiane of Esperston.

William gifted the family home to the Templar Order in return for renting the said property, thus creating a life without financial hardships.

William suddenly died, his wife Christiane was penniless, and now the family home belonged to the Templar Order.  Which led to a Templar preceptor casting poor Christiane and her children from the former family home.  As she clutched at the door, her fingers were cut off by a sword at the hands of a Templar.

A distraught and homeless Christiane went to Newbattle Abbey where Edward I was staying and pleaded her case to him, and he so ordered her property be returned to her.  Not long after, war broke out and she found herself evicted once again. Richard her son, pleaded her case to Brian de Jay of the Templar Order.  Her property was once again returned to her, in return for her son acting as a guide for Welsh troops under the command of Brian de Jay.  It was nothing more than a trap, for Richard was murdered by Welsh troops by order of Brian de Jay.

At the Templar Trials, Brian de Jay was accused of acts of heresy, even though he could not answer the charges, having been killed at the ‘Battle of Falkirk.’  One Thomas Tocci de Thoroldeby claimed he had referred to Christ as being a mere man, and not a God.

Wikipedia Images:
Balantrodoch Chapel
Preceptory Arch

Sources:
In Search of the Knights Templar by Simon Brighton.

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.

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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

Scotland’s Freemasonry

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William St.Clair

Scottish Freemasonry started with the building of Rosslyn Chapel to the south of Edinburgh.

The Evidence:

  • Rosslyn has links to the Jewish Temple through the Knights Templar and Freemasonry.
  • If one looks at the ground plan of Rosslyn Chapel, it is a copy of Herod’s Temple in Jerusalem.
  • Within Rosslyn Chapel, there exists a stone document showing a First Degree Ceremony conducted by a Knights Templar.

Carvings within Rosslyn Chapel, were cut first from wood, await inspection by the Master of the Works, then cut in stone.

The lower window located in the chapel’s south-west corner, depicts a Freemasonic First Degree.  The figure shown be of a blind man kneeling between two pillars, with a noose around his neck, and a bible in his left hand.  The rope is held by another wearing the mantle of a Knights Templar.

The Seven Points… A Masonic Ceremony:

  • The man be blindfolded, an unusual form of blind justice.
  • The man kneels down.
  • The man holds a bible, many other figures holding books or scrolls can be found in Rosslyn Chapel.
  • The man has a noose about his neck, the only other figure within the chapel with a noose, is the angel Shemhazai wearing one about his feet.The sins of Shemhazai, caused God to send in the flood.  Shemhazai unable to face God hung himself between heaven and earth.
  • The man placed his feet in the posture used by Masonic candidates.
  • The ceremony takes place between two pillars of Masonic Lodge.
  • The noose being held by a knights Templar.

In 1440 William St. Clair renowned as one of the most powerful men in Scotland.

The building of Rosslyn Chapel was to house the treasures he had inherited from the Templars and establish a seat of spiritual authority to rival King James II who was dabbling in English politics and killed during the War of the Roses.

Formation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland:

1440 Masons given the Mason word by William to preserve the secret of the Templars.

1483 Masonry is starting to spread out as lodges initiate Candidates and give the ‘Mason Word.’

1599 Earliest surviving lodge just minutes from Edinburgh.

1601 James VI made a Mason at Lodge of Scoon and Perth.

1602 William Schaw sets up the modern lodge system in Scotland upon the instructions of James VI.

The Lodges of Scotland affirm William St. Clair of Roslin as hereditary Grand Master Mason of Scotland.

1603 James VI takes Freemasonry to England where he becomes King James I of England.

1641 Sir Robert Moray becomes the first Mason recorded to be born on English soil.

1715 First Jacobite Rising, lodges begin to disclaim their Scottish roots.

1717 Formation of Grand Lodge of London denies Jacobite heritage.

1725 First National Grand Lodge formed in Ireland.

1736 Grand Lodge of Scotland formed as a counter measure to London’s expansion.

William St. Clair of Roslin made First Grand Master Mason of Scotland and signs away his hereditary rights in favour of elected officers.

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French Templar Escapees…

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The French Monarchy was in debt to the Order of the Knights Templar, and King Philip IV saw French assets dwindling away.

Philip had to come up with a plan of action, one which would destroy the Order of the Knights Templar, and see their wealth confiscated by the French Monarchy.

Any plan of action; had to be undertaken by legal means, and that is where his puppet; Pope Clement V, came in.  Philip convinced Pope Clement that these Knights Templar were committing acts of heresy.

With the Knights Templar disbanded, and many put to death, burnt at the stake on trumped up charges of heresy.  King Philip IV believed the Order of the Knights Templar was destined to come to an end, however that was not to be…  For some leading members of the Order of the French Templar Knights were to escape…

One Humbert Blanc (Humbertus Blancus) an old knight of forty years.  He had seen active duty in the Holy Land, returned to his homeland of France, where he received the appointment of Lieutenant to the master of Auvergne, and in 1299 appointed to the post of Master of Auvergne.  By the time the trials of the Knights Templar had started in France, Humbert Blanc was in England.  In 1308 he was arrested according to Canterbury records, and in 1309 was brought forward to testify at the trials against Templar’s in London.  Depositions made by French Templars in Clermont, reached English shores, and Humbert Blanc was accused of Blasphemy, a charge he denied, but the Judges didn’t believe his claim to innocence.  His sentence saw him sent to prison and clapped in irons.

Knights Templar; Pierre de Boucle (Pierre de Bouch) brother of Petrus de Bocli, who had escaped justice.  This young twenty-five-year-old knight, attempted to evade capture by French forces, by changing his clothes, removing his beard, yet his pursuers caught and arrested this Lieutenant of the Order.

One Renaud de la Folie, a Knight Templar was brought to trial in 1309.  We know little of him, other than he be a member of the Templar Order, who had initially escaped large round ups, and was captured shortly thereafter.

Guillaume de Lins (Gillierm de Lurs), and it is believed he fled the order in 1307, before the roundup of members of the Templar Order in 1308.  It is believed he opposed the action of spitting on the cross.  Once he held the position of Lieutenant of the Visitor Hugues de Pairaud, and if captured could be a valuable witness, if turned by the French against the Knights Templar.

Hugues Daray (Dares) an official within the Temple, who in 1306 was responsible for the acceptance of new recruits into the Order at La Fuilhouse (Fulhosa), Auvergne.

His name was not mentioned in the trials of the French Templars, and as such we have to assume his flight from capture had been a success.

Templar Knight Barral de Gauzignan, Preceptor of Le Puy in Provence.  As Daray and Lurs, played their part in the recruitment of new members, and unlike them he held an important position within the order.  In 1296 he held the post of Preceptor in Saint-Giles, and from 1298 was Lieutenant to the Master of Provence.  The presence of the Provence Templars aroused much interest, for this region was under the reign and jurisdiction of Charles II of Anjou and Count of Provence… and arrests followed Gauzignan flight to safety.  Like others who tried to escape he was caught and arrested and brought to trial, where he admitted that questionable rituals took place within the Temple, and denied taking part in said rituals.

Templar Knight one Hugues de Chalon (Hugo de Cabilone), Preceptor of commandery at Thors, Champagne.  His trial records revealed that he took it upon himself to reduce the alms for the poor.  He was a knight with power, for his uncle was Hugues de Pairaud and as such this contributed to his political career.  In 1302 the Pope summoned leading clerics and religious leaders, and Hugues de Chalon went in place of Hugues de Pairaud.

Hugues de Chalon brother of Gerard de Montclair, together with other accomplices had planned to kill the King of France, an anointed sovereign.

Questions have been asked through history, who is Gerard de Montclair, for his name amongst the Templars does not exist, but one Richard de Montclair, who was in Cyprus around 1304 does.  So could it be, that Richard and Gerard de Montclair be one and the same person.

One of the key figures, a known villain amongst the Knights Templar, is Gerard de Villiers, who in 1297 became Lieutenant to the Master of France, a post held by Hugues de Pairaud.  In 1300 Villiers was appointed Master of France.  He held the second rank in the hierarchy of French Templars, and was often called upon to take the leading role of the ‘Order’ in France.

According to trial records of the Knights Templar, Gerard de Villiers was described as a devil within the Order.  Accusations made under threat of death, demanded that newcomers would deny God and spit upon the cross, as also testified under interrogation by Templat; Nicolas d’Amiens.  Another accusation concerned a mysterious head, which was kept in a leather sack by Hugues de Besancon, Villier’s personal assistant.  Raul de Gizy Preceptor in Lagny-le-Sec, made his deposition in November 1307 concerning this head.  Villiers was accused that in 1302, he fled the island of Rouad with other Templars, which had come under attack by the Mameluks.

One of the most crushing accusations against Gerard de Villier’s was made by Jean de Chalon, Precepto of Namur.  He confirmed total corruption within the Order and blasphemous rites, many of which took place at the Chambers of the French Templars in Paris.  Those who resisted these godless acts would find themselves in the Templar prison in Merlen.  Jean de Chalon, prison guard at Merlon prison witnessed the deaths of nine Templar prisoners.

He further stated that leaders of the Order, feared trouble was at hand, and Gerard de Villiers put to sea with eighteen ships and fifty horses.  One Hugues de Chalon also fled taking with him Hugues de Pairaud’s treasure, which more than likely was the Knights Templar treasure stored at the Templar Temple in Paris.

The Villiers family, noblest within the “Knights Templar.”  Jean de Villiers was Grand Master of the Hospital, who heroically stood by his brothers in defence of Acre in 1291.  Pierce de Villiers another member of the family, held the post of Templar Commander in Aquitaine from 1292-1300.

According to trial records, Templar priest one Guillaume de Villiers, refused to defend the ‘Order of the Knights Templar’ before the papal commission, referring to his old age.  Whilst Bernard de Villiers, Preceptor in Sent-Paul-la-Roche testified against the Knights Templar in 1309 and 1311.

One question one has to ask based on Jean de Chalon’s depositions; How many high-ranking officials of the French Order of the Knights Templar escaped interrogation, prosecution and death?

Knights Templar: Richard the Lionheart

King Richard I

King Richard I of England (Richard the Lionheart

St.Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux had preached in France and Germany, calling for a third crusade upon the request of his Pope.

Wiliam the Archbishop of Tyre, spoke to the English and French, describing to those who would listen, the miserable conditions that existed in Palestine.  He would go on to paint in vivid colours, the horrors which were being committed in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

The result being, English and French Monarchs, would lay aside their animosities and fight under the same flag.

King Richard avenged himself on Isaac Comnenus, ruler of Cyprus for insulting his bride to be: Berengaria Princess of Navarre. English troops stormed the town of Limassol, and in 1190 upon their arrival at Acre, sold it to the Templars.

Richard I married Berengaria, daughter of Sancho VI of Navarre on the 12thMay 1191 at Limassol in Cyprus.

In the second year of the third crusade and the siege of Acre.  Philip August and Richard Coeur de Lion led their royal fleets into the Bay of Acre.

With the arrival of King Richard I of England, the Templars let it be known, they had lost their Grand Master and Brother; Robert de Sable, he who had led part of the English fleet.

Proud and valiant knights were eager to pick up their sword, in the name of their God, and fight under the Knights Templar flag. Secular knights took their position, fighting side by side with military friars, and wore the red cross, emblazoned on their breasts.

The Templars performed acts of valour as their reputation and fame spread, undertaking acts of bravery for their God.  Saints would recount their battles as triumphs over Christ’s enemies.  Knights, Dukes and Princes are known to have cast off their worldly shackles, renounce vanities of life and lust, and join the crusade and follow Christ.

On the 12thJuly 1191 some six weeks after the British fleet arrived, the English and French Kings, Christian chieftains and Turks assembled at the Knights Templar Grand Masters tent for the signing of the treaty, marking the surrender of Acre.

King Richard I, the fiery monarch of England tore down the Duke of Austria’s banner and thrust it into the muddy ditch.  It was left up to the Templar’s to interpose between Germans and Britons, to preserve peace within the Christian army.

King Richard I captured Palestine and defeated Saladin at Arsuuf.

Richard Coeur de Lion and his troops marched from Acre to Ascalon.  Templars led the Christian army with the Hospitalliers bringing up the rear. Saladin forces opposed their progress, on the great plains around Jaffa and Ramleh.  It is said, as far as the eye could see, nothing could be seen but a forest of spears, in the hands of wild Bedouins.  They made rapid movement and assaults upon Christian warriors, but victory was to be the crusaders and Templar Knights led into battle by King Richard I of England.

The Templar’s whilst foraging local areas became surrounded by a force of four-thousand Moslem’s on horse-back. The Earl of Leicester went to their assistance on the orders of Coeur de Lion, but were quickly overpowered and in danger of being cut down, when King Richard I hurried to the scene.

It was nothing short of valour, when the lion-hearted King retook the city of Gaza, the ancient fortress of the order, repaired its fortifications, as the Knights Templar were garrisoned here.

Saladin’s forces retreated to Jerusalem as Crusaders and Templars bore down upon it.

When the Christian forces entered winter quarters, the Templars set themselves at “Gaza” and King Richard at Ascalon.  An arrangement was made between Templars, King Richard and Guy de Lusignan; “here stood a King without a Kingdom.

When winter rains all but subsided, Christian forces consisting of Templars and Hospitalliers advised Coeur de Lion, not to march on Jerusalem.  The English monarchs declared they be guided upon advice from Templars and Hospitalliers, they who knew the country well.

The mighty force headed for the Holy City of Jerusalem, and when they be one day’s journey from their target.  A council would be created consisting of five knights, Hospitalliers, Eastern Christians and Western Crusaders.  It was here, it was decided to abandon their expedition.

Templars attacked the great Egyptian convoy and captured 4070 camels, 500 horses, gold, silver and provisions and then retreated to Acre.

Saladin was hot on their tail as they retraced their steps to the safety of Acre, and opted to lay siege against Jaffa.  The Templars marched by land, with Coeur de Lion travelling by sea.  The town was relieved as the campaign was concluded by the 1192 treaty; Christians were granted access to Jerusalem as pilgrims.

With the treaty concluded, King Richard I left for England on the 25thOctober accompanied by four trusted Templar Knights and attendants.

On route back to England, bad weather forced them to take shelter in Austria.  King Leopold V of Austria, with whom he had fiercely argued with in the Holy Land, took the English King prisoner.  He saw his chance for revenge and handed him over to the Holy Roman Emperor; Henry VI of Germany.

Questions were asked, where is King Richard I, and it wasn’t long before England received the news, he was being held at Trifels Castle in Germany.  The ransom for his release was 100,000 marks, equal to three tons of silver.

On the 20thMarch 1194, King Richard I of England landed at Sandwich, and on the 23rdMarch rode through the streets of London, on route to St.Paul’s Cathedral, lined by many of his subjects who had given generously to free their King.

On the 26thMarch 1199, King Richard I died in battle at Chalus in France, from a crossbow arrow, and was buried at Fontevrault Abbey in France.