The Lord Protector and Rosslyn Chapel

According to the writings of Reverend Dyer, Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England reigned (1653-1658).  It is said he would roam the lands of England, with his Parliamentary army, during the English Civil War (1642-1649) causing much damage to papist churches.  Yet when he came across Rosslyn Chapel, not so much as a scratch was laid upon this building.  It is said Oliver Cromwell was a senior Freemason of high standard, and Rosslyn Chapel was a Masonic Shrine.

In 1650, General Monk’s forces utterly destroyed Rosslyn Castle, and yet again Rosslyn Chapel was left untouched.  Had the chapel been viewed as Catholic, it would surely have been destroyed, as it was Rosslyn Chapel was a shrine.

Numerous Masonic graves can be found in the graveyard, many sporting the symbol (pick and shovel) of the Royal Arch Degree, and the (skull and crossbones), the Templar symbol of resurrection.

Templar Knights

knights-templar-2a

Soldiers and knights, dressed to kill
ready to die, for King and country
with sword and axe in hand.

Battled scarred lands and rivers
run red with soldiers blood,
many a knight dies, for his beliefs.

Rosslyn Chapel, Templar Knights
laid to rest, in dead man’s mail
secret chamber, secret wealth
hidden from prying eyes.

Wikipedia Image

The Holy Grail Mystery

last-supper

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

What is the Holy Grail?  The cup or vessel used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, and possibly the vessel which captured his blood, as he hung upon the cross.  What a mystery, that is some two-thousand years old, which has fascinated; archaeologists, knights Templar, historian and treasure hunters seeking the hiding place of the Holy Grail.

The history of the Holy Grail, the cup associated with Jesus Christ, takes us back to the Kingdom of Judea.  Historical excavations over the centuries, puts forward, Galilee, homeland of the Messiah, was of predominately Jewish descendants.

holy-grail

The Holy Grail

Jesus is crucified at Calvary, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and Joseph of Arimathea, used the vessel, which we understand to be the Holy Grail to collect the blood of Jesus.

Following the crucifixion, Pontius Pilate granted Joseph’s request to entomb the body in a nearby cave… The tomb is called the Holy Sepulchre, a site visited by many pilgrims.

When the body of Jesus rose from the dead, many at that time believed Joseph had stolen the body.

Joseph was thrown into prison along with the Holy Grail, by order of the Jewish authorities who believed he had moved the body, and remained there for forty-two years until released by Emperor Vespasian.

Joseph of Arimathea travelled to Glastonbury, England where he planted the Holy Grail, and marked it by a staff, from which grew the Glastonbury Thorn.

Around 1140, William of Malmesbury, a monk and historian from Malmesbury Abbey, wrote of Joseph of Arimathea, who brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury.

glastonbury-abbey

Glastonbury Abbey

In 1539, Glastonbury Abbey is destroyed during the “Dissolution of the Monasteries,” during the reign of King Henry VIII.

History tells us, the Holy Grail was taken by Monks of the Abbey, as they fled, seeking safety.

So where is the Holy Grail?  A question which has remained unanswered for many a year…

If the Knights Templar had in their possession the Holy Grail, this would have been considered a priceless treasure, which would require a secure hiding place.

Apprentice Pillar

Apprentice Pillar

Rosslyn Chapel has often been cited as the resting place of the Holy Grail.  It is believed the Apprentice Pillar had been constructed with a hollow section, to hide the Holy Grail within.

Other Rosslyn Chapel hiding places includes the vaults below the chapel, where it is said the Templar Knights dressed in their armour surrounded by their treasure, lie for all eternity.

Located upon the wall of Rosslyn Chapel, is a gargoyle depicting a Templar Knight holding what is believed to be the Holy Grail… one has to ask, is the true Holy Grail hidden within.

If one walks round Rosslyn Chapel and observes the intricate stonework upon the interior walls, it is possible the Holy Grail could be placed in plain view, but no amount of searching would reveal it.

In 1546, Mary of Guise (Mother to Mary Queen of Scots) wrote to Lord William Sinclair referring to a great secret hidden within the walls of Rosslyn Chapel.  What she was referring to, died with her… Was she referring to the Holy Grail.

If we believe the history surrounding the Holy Grail, that Joseph of Arimathea brought the Holy Grail to Glastonbury, then the fact that it was in the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem during the ninth century, brings doubt into the equation.

Furthermore, suggestions that the Knights Templar removed it from Jerusalem must be false, unless there be many Holy Grails doing the rounds…

Other so-called Holy Grails: READ MORE

(Images) The Last Supper: Leonardo da Vinci
(Images) Glastonbury Abbey – Holy Grail – Apprentice Pillar:Wikimedia

Rosabelle by Sir Walter Scott

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

 O LISTEN, listen, ladies gay
No haughty feat of arms I tell;
Soft is the note and sad the lay
That mourns the lovely Rosabelle.

“Moor, moor the barge, ye gallant crew!
And, gentle ladye, deign to stay!
Rest thee in Castle Ravensheuch,
Nor tempt the stormy firth to-day.

“The blackening wave is edged with white;
To inch and rock the sea-mews fly;
The fishers have heard the water-sprite,
Whose screams forbode that wreck is nigh.

“Last night the gifted Seer did view
A wet shroud swathed round ladye gay;
Then stay thee, Fair, in Ravensheuch;
Why cross the gloomy firth to-day?”

“Tis not because Lord Lindesay’s heir
To-night at Roslin leads the ball,
But that my ladye-mother there
Sits lonely in her castle-hall.

“Tis not because the ring they ride,
And Lindesay at the ring rides well,
But that my sire the wine will chide
If ’tis not fill’d by Rosabelle.”

O’er Roslin all that dreary night
A wonderous blaze was seen to gleam;
‘Twas broader that the watch-fire’s light,
And redder than the bright moonbeam.

Roslin Castle

Roslin Castle

It glared on Roslin’s castled rock,
It ruddied all the copsewood glen;
‘Twas seen from Dryden’s groves of oak,
And seen from cavern’d Hawthornden.

Seem’d all on fire that chapel proud
Where Roslin’s chiefs uncoffin’d lie,
Each baron, for a sable shroud,
Sheath’d in his iron panoply.

Knights Templar Tombs

Knights Vault

Seem’d all on fire within, around,
Deep sacristy and altar’s pale;
Shone every pillar foliage-bound,
And glimmer’d all the dead men’s mail.

Blazed embattlement and pinnet high,
Blazed every rose-carved buttress fair–
So still they blaze, when fate is nigh
The lordly line of high Saint Clair.

There are twenty of Roslin’s barons bold
Lie buried within that proud chapelle;
Each one the holy vault doth hold–
But the sea holds lovely Rosabelle.

And each Saint Clair was buried there,
With candle, with book, and with knell;
But the sea-caves rung and the wild wind sung
The dirge of lovely Rosabelle.

Dedicated to the Roslin’s and Rosslyn Chapel

The Legends of Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

Scotland’s Legendary Rosslyn Chapel

In 1070, William St.Clair was granted the Barony of Roslin.  In 1446, the construction of Rosslyn Chapel, was approved and they received its founding charter from Rome.

Rosslyn Chapel is steeped in history, and many secrets are hidden within its walls.

Rosslyn Chapel Gargoyle - Holy Grail

Holy Grail Gargoyle

Many legends exist; the Knights Templar brought to Scotland the Holy Grail, the chalice as used by Jesus, and it is hidden within the chapel walls.  Upon one wall can be seen a gargoyle of a knight, holding what appears to be a chalice, could it in fact mean the Holy Grail is in fact located within?

A legend talks about descendants of the Prince of Orkney.  If one should die, the whole chapel will give off the impression that it be on fire.

Eerie feelings in the dark confines of the crypt, as cold winds blow, senses that you are not alone.

A ghostly image of a monk, praying at the crypt’s altar surrounded by four guardian knights.  Phantom monks witnessed in the chapel and its grounds.  Eerie sounds, but no one there.

Apprentice Pillar

Apprentice Pillar

One legend states that an apprentice stonemason was murdered in the chapel.  This apprentice carved a pillar, whilst his master travelled to Rome for inspiration.  Upon the master’s return, he found an exquisite pillar, which far surpassed his own abilities, and in a jealous rage, killed his apprentice.

In 1546, Marie de Guise, the French Regent wrote to William St.Clair – Part of letter in original form.

“Likewise we shall be leal and trew Maistres to him, his Counsill and secret shewn to us we sall keep secret.”

“Likewise that we shall be loyal and true Mistress to him, his Council and the Secret shown to us, which we shall keep secret.”

In 1556, William St.Clair went to France at the bequest of Marie de Guise, to obtain support for her daughter; Mary, Queen of Scots.

It makes one wonder what the secret be?

It is said, that the Knights Templar had discovered in the Temple of Solomon, three stones, one which carried the name of God upon it, another which had been used to stand the Ark of the Covenant upon it.  At the Templar’s dissolution all three stones were moved to Scotland.  Could this have been the secret?

Knights Templar Tombs

Templars Vault

The biggest secret of all has to be access to the Knights Templar vault, where Sinclair and St.Clair ancestors lay, dressed in full armour, with their treasures.  The entrance no one knows!!!

Images: Wikipedia

Knights Templar: Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel – Scotland

Henry Sinclair, the Earl of Orkney is a descendant of Rollo, the son of Rognvold a 9th century Norse chief.  Rollo went to war against King Charles of France, and a peace treaty was signed in 912 at St.Clair-sur-Epte, and so the St.Clair name was born with Rollo as the 1st Duke of Normandy.

William “The Seemly” St.Clair descendant of Rollo, founded the Scottish Sinclain clan, and fought alongside his cousin; William the Conqueror at the “Battle of Hastings” in 1066.

In 1068 William St.Clair accompanied Margaret a Saxon princess from a Hungarian royal court to Scotland, where she married King Malcolm III, and in 1070, William was granted the Barony of Roslin.

William St.Clair’s son and heir; Henry St.Clair the 2nd Baron of Roslin answered the public appeal for men of God, Knights and warriors to take up arms and free Jerusalem by Pope Urban II.  So it was he fought in the First Crusade in the Holy Land (1096-1099).

When the Knights Templar were outlawed by the King of France, the orders went out across France, they were to be arrested on site.  Robert the Bruce of Scotland gave them sanctuary, and some 500 of those warriors, laid down their lives and fought alongside Robert Bruce at the “Battle of Bannockburn” on the 23rd and 24th June 1314.  Scotland’s bid for Independence… and they were victorious against the English.

In 1436, William the third and last St.Clair Prince of Orkney, escorted James I’s daughter, Margaret to Tours, where she was married to Louis, son of Charles VII of France.

William Sinclair (1410-1484) held the titles of Ist Earl of Caithness (1455-1476), 3rd Earl of Orkney (1455-1470), Baron of Roslin in 1070, and was grandson of Scottish explorer; Henry Sinclair the 1st Earl of Orkney.  Lord Admiral of Scotland, and Lord Chancellor of Scotland (1454-1456).

On top of that, he had a vision, wanting to remember those he was descended from, and so it was he spent four years exploring French cathedrals and their gothic architectural design, seeking out ideas for Rosslyn Chapel.

In the year 1446, a founding charter was received from Rome, allowing the construction of Rosslyn Chapel: Collegiate Church of St.Mathew, the family church for the St.Clairs.

On the 21st September 1450, the sun rose due east of Rosslyn Chapel, marking the Autumnal Equinox when Rosslyn Chapel was formally dedicated to that of a saint; St.Mathews.

Rosslyn Chapel, an historical monument, a legacy to the Knights Templar, located to the south of Edinburgh, Scotland’s ancient capital city.  It consists of medieval stone chapels, built by William St.Clair, the Prince of Orkney and Knight of the Order of St.James in the 15th century.

The original architectural design of the building was one of a cruciform shape, with a central tower, standing on fourteen pillars, with twelve pointed arches, positioned on three sides of the nave.

Rosslyn Chapel ladychapel

Lady Chapel

A group of three pillars at the eastern end create the link from the nave to the Lady Chapel.  Pillars located at the eastern end, running north to south are; Master Pillar, Journeyman Pillar and Apprentice Pillar.  Pre-Georgian era, these pillars were called; The Earl’s Pillar, The Shekinah and Prince’s Pillar.

barrel-vaulted roof 2

Barrel Vaulted Roof

The chapels barrel-vaulted roof, stand outs, an architectural design decorated with such brilliance.  The ceiling divided into five sections, containing carved flowers and their petals and finally stars.  The final section of stars are mostly laid out in a uniform manner, with the sun, moon and dove with the face of Christ partly hidden.

Each roof section is separated by lines of stones, with sculptures looking downwards.  Central in the roof, is the St. Clair or Sinclair shield and cross, supported by two hands.

Rosslyn Chapel Sacristy

The Sacristy

The Sacristy at Rosslyn Chapel, is located beneath floor level, of a crypt design, located at the eastern point, and carved into the hillside.  It contains an altar and window, and is believed to pre-date the chapel by some 200 years.  It could be part of a former building, as a castle once sat on the existing site; pre 1303.

Geometric drawings scratched into the wall, tell us this was more likely an area used by the stone masons, during the construction of the chapel.  Interestingly though, the steps which one descends to the Sacristy are not all of the same size, and a building which boasts quality and history everywhere you look, one has to wonder why.

The Apprentice Pillar is entwined with carved vines, and its architrave bears the Latin inscription: forte est vinum, fortiori est rex, fortiores sunt mulieres: super omnia vincit veritas, which means “wine is strong, the king is stronger, women are stronger still: (but) truth triumphs over all.”

Apprentice Pillar

The Apprentice Pillar

Located close by, are the carved heads of the master mason, the apprentice and his grieving mother.

The legend, the story, of the apprentice, a tale of caution, told by older craftsmen as a warning to apprentices, to prevent them getting ideas above their station.

The design for the pillar was so intricate, the master mason travelled to Rome to see the original.  Upon his return, his apprentice had completed the pillar.  Out of rage, he killed the apprentice, with a hammer blow to the head.

The punishment to the Stone Mason, his face was carved, located close by, gazing upon his apprentice’s work: The Apprentice Pillar.

Many Green Men surround the chapel walls, starting at the east, representing young face and spring, onto the south and west, ageing faces and autumn, ending at the north, where face are skeletons.

Green Man

The Green Man

The Green Men originated from pre-Christian times, and are associated with Pagan deities.  They symbolise new life and rebirth, themes much associated with Christian life.

Symbols on the walls of the chapel, mainly relate to Old Testament events in the Bible.

Rosslyn Chapel Crypt, burial place for the Sinclairs, with its access via the staircase at the rear of the chapel.  In 1837, the 2nd Earl of Rosslyn died, and it was his wish to be buried in the original vault, alongside his ancestors.  Extensive searches were carried out, but alas, the entrance evaded them, and he was finally buried alongside his wife in Lady Chapel.

Rosslyn Chapel sits close to the remnants of Roslin Castle, some 500 yards away, where in 1303, a battle took place.  Scottish warriors defeated the English Knights, in Scotland’s War for Independence, their bid to set them free from the English.R

Roslin Castle

Roslin Castle Drawing

In 1592, the chapel altars were destroyed as part of the Reformation, and the building fell into decay.

In 1650, Oliver Cromwell’s troops used the old chapel for a stable, whilst laying siege to the castle.

In 1658, the chapel was attacked for what it stood for, blatantly Catholic in origin, and interior carvings were destroyed by an Edinburgh mob.

In 1736, James St.Clair halted its decay, by replacing the stone floor and making the roof watertight.

In 1842 Queen Victoria ordered its restoration, and on the 22nd April 1862, the chapel was re-dedicated.

In 1881, the baptistery and organ loft were added to the west end.

Knights Templar Tombs

Drawing of Templar Tombs

In 1997, ground scanners were used, seeking out anomalies within the stonework, which revealed vaults and staircases, which led to a chamber consisting of the entombed Sinclair Barons in full armour.

Additional discoveries revealed a tunnel, some 500 yards in length, running from the chapel to the ruined castle.

Ghostly sightings have been observed: A monk praying at the altar within the crypt, surrounded by four knights.  Two monks have also been observed wandering the grounds and chapel, one dressed in grey, the other in black.

Since 1997, the chapel has undergone major restoration… undertaken by the Rosslyn Chapel Trust.

Images: Wikipedia + My Own

The St.Clairs of Roslin

Sinclairs

St.Clair Shield

The St.Clairs, later the Sinclair family name, dates back to the Viking Age.

Hrolf also known as Rollo (860-932), the son of Rognvald, the Earl of More, the Viking warrior who plundered Europe’s coastlines, and went on to create the French Dukedom of Normandy, at the mouth of the River Seine.  Rollo was converted to Christianity and baptised by the Archbishop of Rouen in 911AD.

Rollo was the great-great-great grandfather of William I of England (William the Conqueror) who fought for the English crown, at the “Battle of Hastings” in 1066 and won.

Freemasonry was founded in Scotland by Robert the Bruce and William Sinclair, following the “Battle of Bannockburn.”  It was their way of protecting the secrets of the Knights Templar, the so called guardians of the Holy Grail.

The legacy of the Knights Templar and the Masons, is incorporated in the secret symbols and puzzles adorning the walls of Rosslyn Chapel.

Buried vaults, once accessible, below the chapel house the remains of ten Barons of Roslin in full armour, along with their treasures.

Rosslyn Chapel Gargoyle - Holy Grail

Rosslyn Chapel Gargoyle

Legend has it, the Holy Grail, which is believed to have been brought back from Jerusalem, lies with them, they being its protector…  One has to wonder if there is any truth in the legend?

In 1066 William the Conqueror invades England, resulting in the Norman conquest of England’s Saxons, taking the English throne, and aided by the St.Clair knights.

In 1096 Henry St.Clair joins Godfrey de Bouillon on the 1st Crusade to the Holy Land.  King Malcolm III of Scotland grants Rosslyn to Henry.

In 1156 Henry St.Clair is appointed as Ambassador to England by King David I.

The name Sinclair of Norman descent originated from “Saint-Clair-sur-Elle” was established in Scotland in 1162 when Henry St.Clair was granted lands in Lothian.

William St.Clair the son of Henry is born in 1260.

In 1280 Sir William Sinclair becomes guardian to the heir of Alexander III and gains the Barony of Rosslyn.

In 1296, Sir William Sinclair was taken prisoner at the “Battle of Dunbar” and died in the Tower of London.

In 1297 a Scottish army under the command of William Wallace captures Stirling Castle from King Edward I at the “Battle of Stirling Bridge.”  Sir William Sinclair serves as one of Wallace’s commanders.

In 1303, Scottish forces under the leadership of Henry Sinclair and the Comyn Clan, defeated the English at the “Battle of Roslin.”

In 1307 Robert the Bruce and Henry Sinclair’s forces defeated the English at the “Battle of Loudon Hill.”

In 1314 Sir Henry St.Clair fights alongside Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland at the “Battle of Bannockburn.”  They defeated the English, gaining Scotland’s Independence.

In 1320 The Declaration of Arbroath was drawn up to get the Pope to recognise Scotland’s right of Independence, which had not been accepted by the English.  Sir Henry St.Clair was one of the signatories upon the document, which received approval from the Pope.

In 1330 Sir William St.Clair along with John Sinclair, his brother and Scottish knights carried the heart of Robert the Bruce to the Holy Land.  They died in battle in the Holy Land, and their bodies were returned to Scotland.

In 1345 Prince Henry Sinclair is born at Rosslyn Castle.

In 1358 Sir William Sinclair, Prince Henry’s father dies in battle fighting Lithuanians in Prussia.

In 1366 Prince Henry is knighted.

In 1379 Prince Henry Sinclair is installed as the Earl of Orkney and Lord of the Shetland’s.  The Orkney Earldom is obtained from King Haco VI of Norway.

In 1390 Prince Henry meets Nicolo Zeno. Prince Henry goes to the aid of shipwrecked sailors, and discovers these mariners are Venetians.  Their commander; Nicolo Zeno brother of Carlo Zeno famous admiral of the seas, appoints him as commander of his fleet.

In 1398 Prince Henry Sinclair sets sail for the New World, with a fleet of thirteen ships.

In 1399 after wintering in Nova Scotia Prince Henry’s fleet make land at Massachusetts.

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

In 1446 William Sinclair builds Rosslyn Chapel, and dedicates it to the Knights Templar.

In 1455 William Sinclair, 3rd Earl of Orkney is granted the Earldom of Caithness.

In 1470 the Earl of Orkney and Caithness was compelled to resign Orkney over to James III in exchange for Castle of Ravenscraig in Fife.  For the King was jealous of the semi-royal chief of the Earldom of Orkney, which had been inherited by the Sinclairs from the Norse Sea-Kings.

In 1513, William Sinclair the 2nd Earl of Caithness lost his life at the “Battle of Flodden,” fighting for James IV of Scotland, who also died in the battle.

In 1568, Henry the 3rd Lord Sinclair was one of those who played his part, assisting Mary, Queen of Scots to escape from Lochleven Castle.

William Sinclair of Mey, was knighted by King James VI of Scotland on the 11th December 1592.

In 1651 while fighting in the army of King Charles II of Scotland against the forces of Oliver Cromwell, John Sinclair is taken prisoner.  He is sent to America as a prisoner of war.

In 1658, John Sinclair now a free man, becomes John Sinkler, and settles in Exeter, New Hampshire, America, where he becomes a landowner.

In 1680, the “Battle of Altimarlech” took place between the Sinclairs and Campbells, over internal land disputes.

The Sinclairs supported the Jacobite rebellion in 1715, by 1745 had changed sides, supporting the British Hanoverian government.

Sir James Sinclair commanded the Royal Scots regiment for the British Hanoverians at the “Battle of Culloden in 1746.

Images: Wikipedia