Knights Templar and the Scottish Sanctuary

Scotland had always been an important location for the Order of the Knights Templar.  The political landscape in Scotland at that time, made it a particularly suitable sanctuary, following the attack against the Templars by King Philip Of France and the Pope.

With the death of King Alexander III of Scotland in 1286, the ancient line of Celtic kings came to an abrupt end.  For there was no brother, sister or children, and his only heir was Margaret: The Maid of Norway, who died on route to Scotland, leaving Scotland with no King or Queen.

The land of Scotland lay in dispute by possible successors, each prepared to take up arms and fight for Scotland’s crown.  The infighting continued, until it was agreed to ask for help from King Edward I of England in choosing Scotland’s new king and ruler.

However, King Edward I had other ideas, he took advantage of the situation by lending support to John de Balliol, one of the contenders for the Scottish throne and kingdom.  In return Edward demanded of Balliol his support, thus he became a vassal of the English King and paid homage for his Scottish Kingdom.  The Scots were not fooled, and he was unpopular and gained the title “Toom Tabard.”  The translated version being “Empty Gown” for he had become the puppet of King Edward I.  Edward had no respect for Balliol, and often publicly humiliated him.

In 1296, John de Balliol refused King Edward’s call for Scottish warriors to fight side by side with English forces against France.  Edward responded the only way he knew, by marching on Berwick, deposing Balliol and exiled him to France.

So, it came to pass, King Edward I of England claimed direct rule over Scotland, without the spilling of any English blood.

Edward ordered that the “Stone of Scone,” a symbol of Scotland’s Independence, that which Scottish Kings were crowned upon was moved to Westminster Abbey.

In the May of 1297, William Wallace killed the Sheriff of Lanark, for the murder of his wife.  This was an affront to the English King; Edward I and punishment was demanded.

William Wallace received much support from rebel Scottish forces, leading to the Battle of Stirling Bridge on the 11th September 1297, where battle hardened English forces were defeated by the Scots.

Edward made peace with the French, leaving him free to sort out William Wallace, whom he defeated at the Battle of Linlithgow in 1298.  Wallace evaded capture and fled to France seeking military support from Edward’s old enemies.  King Philip the Fair, commended Wallace in his cause, in letters sent to Pope Clement V, and support came from the Moray family, they who were linked to Templars and Freemasons.  In 1303 Scots and English clashed at Roslin, which led to Scottish victory thanks to the Templar Knights led by a St.Clair.  William Wallace an outlaw against the English crown created hell for seven years before being betrayed by one of his own.  He was arrested, found guilty, hung, drawn and quartered in London of 1305.  Wallace’s body parts were hung in; Newcastle -On-Tyne, Berwick, Sterling and Perth.

Only two Scots had an undisputable claim upon the Scottish throne; Robert the Bruce the 8th Earl of Carrick and John Comyn.  Robert worked with Edward I, but it wasn’t long before John Comyn informed Edward, that Robert the Bruce was scheming against him.  News reached Robert, that his life was in danger, forcing him to take direct action.

With John Comyn a favourite of the Pope and Edward I, he rose the Battle Standard for the growing Celtic revival which existed in his own ranks.  It was a calculated gamble.  Comyn had been lured to Dumfries Franciscan church, and Robert attacked him on the altar steps and Robert refused aid to a dying man.  Edward and the Pope condemned such an act on holy ground, and Scottish patriots read it as a defiance of the English.  On the 10th February 1305 Robert the Bruce was excommunicated by the Pope.  In 1306 Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scotland by Countess Buchan at Scone.

King Edward I of England died in 1307 and succeeded by his weak and homosexual son Edward II and crowned on the 28th February 1308.  King Philip sprung his trap on the 13th October 1307, arresting Templars across France and seizing their treasures.  He had been foiled, much of the Templar treasure had disappeared, as a Templar fleet slipped anchor the previous night laden with treasures.

Part of the Templar fleet is said to have headed to Argyll and the Firth of Forth in Scotland, where they sought sanctuary.

In March of 1314, Jacques de Molay last Grand Master of the Knights Templar and Geoffrey de Charney were burned at the stake in Paris.

On the 6th November 1314, the Scots greatest victory over the English took place at the “Battle of Bannockburn.”  English forces were over powering the Scots until the intervention of warriors carrying the battle flag of the Templars, ensuring victory for the Scots, led by Sir William St.Clair, Grand Master of the Scottish Templars.

This great victory was the stepping stone to Scotland’s Independence.  For the next fourteen years the Scots fought the English, when in 1328 England formally recognised Scotland as a free nation… Scotland had gained their Independence, and much blood had been spilt.

These Templars who had fled France had been granted sanctuary in Scotland.  This land whose king, Robert the Bruce had been excommunicated by the Pope, had turned Scotland into pagan lands, thus any Christian ruler could mount a crusade against these heathens.  In 1317 Pope John XXII tried to impose a truce between the English and Scots, Robert the Bruce responded by capturing Berwick.  Papal Scottish relations reached an all-time low, when the English lied to the papal court, by claiming Scottish forces were attacking English forces.  In 1320, the Popes response was to send two papal legates to serve further notices of excommunication against Robert the Bruce.  On the 6th April 1320, the Declaration of Arbroath was published by Scottish Barons in reply to these charges.

Based on the words written in the Declaration of Arbroath, the senior Lords of Scotland were Templars.  They would act more like a president than a king.  One of the Templars who signed this document, was one Lord Henry St.Clair of Rosslyn.

An interesting thought, some hundred years before the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Magna Carta was signed by King John under persuasion by a group of armed lords which included Templar Knights.  To this day, it be the only document of the English constitution that can be compared with the Bill of Rights of the United States, that which was inspired by the Masons.

In the October of 1328, Pope John XXII released Robert the Bruce from a ban of excommunication, and on the 3rd June 1329, aged fifty-five; Robert died.  Robert was succeeded by his son King David II aged five, and Lord Randolph of the Moray family was appointed as Regent until the boy came of age.  Before Robert the Bruce died, he had vowed to return to Jerusalem and fight the mighty Saracen, and as a mark of respect, his embalmed heart was taken by Sir William de St.Clair and Sir James Douglas on a final crusade to Jerusalem, they lost their lives on route at the Battle of Andalusia.  Bruce’s heart failed to reach the city of Jerusalem, and was returned for burial at Melrose Abbey.  Sir William de St.Clair was buried at Rosslyn.

Once Scotland was recognised as part of Christendom, the Templar’s chose to disappear from sight, becoming a member of the secret society, now that the Vatican had the power to prosecute its enemies.

A new secret Order of the Templars was created.  So it was, by the time Scotland had reached agreement to pay homage to the Pope, Templars of Scotland had become invisible.  Of course they still existed if you knew where to seek them out… one place being the St.Clair family.

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.

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.

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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Knights Templar: “Rex Deus” Treasure

Holy Land

Jewish elders feared, a Roman invasion led by Titus, would plunder the Holy Land, and seize their priceless treasure which included the Essene and Cabalistic scrolls.

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How right they were for, for Roman General and later Emperor, Titus son of Emperor Vespasian, campaigned in Judea, where he besieged and almost destroyed Jerusalem in 70AD.

These Jewish elders hid their treasure, and fled to Europe, where many married into noble families.  Twenty-four became patriarchs, known as the “Rex Deus” families.

Hundreds of years passed by, and the secret location of the Jewish treasure, was passed down through the families, until the First Crusade.  Knighted members of the “Rex Deus” joined holy warriors, with a dual purpose, defeating Moslems and recovering family treasure.

The original knights of the nine Knights Templar were either born or related to the Rex Deus families.  Godfrey de Boullion was one of these and a French General, who led his forces against the Saracens during the First Crusade.  King Baldwin II of Jerusalem cousin to Godfrey de Boullion, played his part in the retrieval of their family treasure, by granting the Al-Aqsa Mosque, to be used by the Knights Templar.

Information handed down, through the centuries, led the knights to the family treasure, buried under what was Solomon’s stables.  It took nine years to excavate four large trunks of treasure and scrolls.

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Heavenly Jerusalem Print

With the death of King Baldwin II, the knights left the Holy Land, bound for Europe.  They stopped off at St.Omer in Flanders, where the document known as the “Heavenly Jerusalem” was copied, and can now be found at the University of Ghent’s Library in Belgium.

Following a special ceremony taken by Pope Honorius III at the Council of Troyes in 1128.  Hughes de Payen and Andre de Montbard, delivered the four trunks of treasure to Kilwinning in Scotland, home of the Grand Lodge of Freemasonry.

The four trunks of treasure resided at Kilwinning for many years before being moved to Rosslyn Castle, near Edinburgh, home of the Sinclairs.  The Sinclairs were one of the “Rex Deus” families, and legend has it, they became entwined with the Knights Templar when Catherine de Saint Clair married Hughes de Payen, before he took the vows of a monk in 1128.  With a Sinclair Templar bond, one can understand why much knights, treasure ended up in Scotland, and when they fled France in 1307, more treasure made its way to Scotland, and into the coffers of the Sinclair clan.

Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslyn Chapel

When fire broke out at Rosslyn Castle, four trunks of Templar Treasure was moved to Rosslyn Chapel, which was under construction.  One has to ask, was Rosslyn Chapel its planned destination?

Historical information tells us, four large trunks from the Holy Land, have made their way into a vault within the chapel’s crypt.

Rosslyn Chapel’s construction is a copy of Solomon’s Temple.  As such, these trunks have been placed in a copy building which resembles Solomon’s Temple.

Birth of the Rosicrucian Order

Rosicrucian - Christianity

With the Order of the Knights Templar suppressed, rumours spread across Europe that the secret tradition they had chosen to follow, was still being practised.  In the latter years of the Middle Ages, information seeped out, that the Freemasons were connected to the Templar Order.  According to Crusade History, a handful of Syriac Christians, Saracen prisoners were rescued by Knights Templar who granted them protection.

These Christians indebted to the Knights Templar who had saved their lives, wanted to know more of the Templar Order, were initiated into the Order’s innermost circle, where they learnt about their occult mysteries.  When these Syriac Christians left the Holy Land, they travelled across Europe and eventually settled in Scotland.  It is here they founded a new chapter of the Templar Order which would later merge with Freemasons.

In the latter part of the 13th and early 14th century the Templar Order was disbanded, and fearing for their lives, thousand’s joined Masonic guilds.  Through the influence of these newcomers, of which many were occult initiates, esoteric symbolism of Masonic lodges was revived and Freemasonry was established.

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Knights Templar underground cave

The Templar tradition fled underground in the early part of the 15th century, at a time when the Church started a Holy Crusade, seeking out practitioners of witchcraft.

Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, two Dominican Monks, members of an inquisition set up in 1215 to root out and kill heretics, published the evil book; “Malleus Malefiracum” in 1484, which received approval from the Pope.

In 1486, Pope Innocent VIII issued a Papal Bull condemning witches, plunging Europe into an orgy of bloody persecution, which lasted some 250 years, claiming the lives of nearly a million people.

The 15th and 16th century would see a growth of the underground occult tradition.  The Moors, who had invaded Spain from North Africa in the 10th and 11th centuries, had crossed into Southern France.  It was at this time they introduced Arab and Jewish mystical teachings, better known as the Cabbala into Europe, before being driven back by Christian Kings.  Come the early years of the 1500’s a revival had taken place; interest in the occult sciences.

A monk was hired by Cosmos de Medici of the Italian Medici family of Italy to locate rare manuscripts.  In 1460 the “Corpus Hermeticum” was discovered and translated for publication in 1463.  Its publication marked a turning point, the great occult revival, culminating in the flowering of Renaissance when artists, writers and poets inspired by classical paganism produced works of art and literature.

Rosicrucian Order

Western history stepped forward, revealing to the world, a most influential secret society.  Its aim, the re-establishment of ancient Mysteries, which differed from the Templar Order, one which would be publicly accepted.  The societies earliest writings “The Restoration of the Decayed Temple of Pallas” equals the “Constitution of the Order,” refers to it as the Brotherhood or the Order of the Rosy Cross, started circulating across Europe in 1605.

The “Fama Frateritatis” publication of 1614, tells of the Rosicrucians history, stating within that the Order had been founded in the 1300’s by Christian Rosenkreuz (Pseudonym Name) a German mystic from an aristocratic family.

Christian Rosenkreuz, a German mystic entered religious life within a monastery at a young age.  Almost immediately he showed his disapproval to his parents, by rebelling against clerical life authority, and escaped this life by travelling to the Middle East as a companion to an older monk.  The old Monk died on route to Cyprus, leaving Christian Rosenkreuz with a choice, return home or continue on to Damascus.  He opted to continue on his master’s quest.

Rosenkreuz became a student of Cabbalistic in Damascus, until his return to Europe, by way of North Africa to study with Arabian occultists in Fez and Moorish Spain.  As part of his studies, he learnt the art of conjuring up elemental spirits, taught secrets of alchemy, the transformation of lead into gold.

Rosenkreuz travelled across the Middle East, learning about the Arabian occult, which leads one to believe that the Roscrucian Order was familiar with the teachings of Sufism.  These Rosicrucians have been compared with the Sufi Secret Society, founded in 12th century Bagdad and called the “Path of the Rose.”  Sufi master; Abdelkadir Gilani, founder of the order had the Red Rose as his personal symbol.  The Rosicrucian and Surfi Orders, shared many things, and both were known to practice the art of “Alchemy.”

Upon returning home to Germany, Rosenkreuz shut himself away for five years to continue his studies in the occult, its magical rituals and art of alchemy.  At the end of his chosen period of isolation, he declared to the world his found knowledge, only to be met by hostilities and ridicule.

He was faced with only one option, to create a secret society; “The Rosy Cross.”  He returned to the monastery where he started out as a novice monk, where his journey begun.  It was here he asked of three senior members to join him in his adventure.  They are referred to as the “Three Wise Men.”

They swore an oath of allegiance not to violate his secrets.  Four other Monks joined the order, making a total of eight Monks, the “Fraternity of the Rosy Cross.” Seven set out, spreading their word across Europe.

The Order of the Rosy Cross would follow Six Rules of Conduct:

  • Heal the sick without charge.
  • Wear no garment, revealing their occult beliefs.
  • Meet yearly to report their progress.
  • Each would nominate his replacement upon death.
  • They would take the initials “RC” as their identifying mark.
  • The Order of the Rosy Cross would remain a secret for at least one hundred years.

When one of their order died, he would be secretly buried without ceremony.  When Christian Rosenkreuz died, he was buried secretly, and it would be some 120 years before his tomb was discovered; a seven sided illuminated vault, which preserved his body.

Thutmoses III

Egyptian Pharoah: Thutmoses III

To understand more about the Rosicrucian Order… the “Ancient Mystical Order of the Rose Cross,” one needs to look back at 18th Dynasty Egyptian history and Pharoah Thutmoses III, ruler of Egypt from 1500-1447 BC.  He was a skilled warrior capturing some 350 cities during his reign.

Thutmoses III-warrior

Thutmoses the warrior

It is believed he killed his own sister, to obtain ultimate power over his kingdom, not wanting to share rule with his sister; Queen Halshepsut.

Thutmoses III underwent a spiritual reformation in his later years, giving up the life of a military King, and turned to spiritual teachings.  He gathered together learned scholars, priests and philosophers, forming a secret society.

Rosicrucians - Rose Cross

Rosy Cross

The Rosicrucian Order… “Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis” in its Latin form, which translates to… “Ancient Mystical Order of the Rose Cross.”  The Rose Cross symbol predates Christianity; the cross represents the human body, whilst the rose represents the individual’s unfolding consciousness.

(Images) Rosy Cross: You Tube
(Images) Rosicrucian – Christianity: You Tube
(Images) Templar Underground Cave: Wikipedia
(Images) Thutmoses III: Ancient Egypt
(Images) Thutmoses the warrior: Ancient Egypt

Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant

Ark of the Covenant

One of the most legendary objects in religious history, has to be the “Ark of the Covenant.”  Housed within a wooden box and overlaid with pure gold, containing the “Ten Commandments,” inscribed upon stone tablets.

  • It is believed the Ark, is responsible for bringing victory during battles.
  • Bestowing blessings upon worthy recipients.
  • Sending plagues down upon enemies.

The Ark of the Covenant, stand’s for God’s communion with Moses, when he led out the Israelites, to their own land.

King David conquered Jerusalem in 993 BC, and his son Solomon, built a temple to his God, between 958-951BC.  Solomon’s temple housed the Ark of the Covenant: A wooden casket covered in gold, holding the Ten Commandments, which God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Jerusalem and the history of the Jewish people, play a significant part in their religion.  For it is written in their writings that Abraham would prove himself to God, by sacrificing his own son; Isaac.  God stepped in, and sent a Ram, for Isaac to use, for sacrificial purposes.

Solomon’s Temple was built by Phoenician craftsmen.  The inner walls lined in gold, with marble blocks and fine emeralds adorning the temple.

Rehoboam became King of Israel as successor to his father; King Solomon.  Shishak, the Egyptian king ransacked Solomon’s Temple in the fifth year of Rehoboam’s reign.

In 586 BC, the Babylonians completely destroyed Solomon’s Temple.

A second temple was built upon the site, between 535-515 BC.

Over the next 470 years, Persian rule gave way to the Greeks, then the Romans, with Herod the Great as its ruler.  In 20 BC Herod introduced courts and walls to Solomon’s second temple.

In 70 AD, Jews revolted against the Romans, and General Titus (Caesar) besieged the city and burnt the temple to the ground.

In the year 691, a shrine was built upon the site; “Dome of the Rock.”  By 715, the Al-Aqsa mosque was built alongside and destroyed by earthquakes over the next 300 years.  By 1035 a new mosque was constructed, and in 1118 became the headquarters of the Knights Templar (Holy Warriors) in the Holy Land.

The Knights Templar, dug deep tunnels underneath the Temple, as they sought out religious treasures and the fabled prize of all, “Ark of the Covenant,” one of the most important religious artefacts of all time.

Bas-Relief of the Ark

A bas-relief depicting the “Ark” can be found at Chartres Cathedral in France.  One has to ask, does the Ark of the Covenant, still remain within the Cathedral?

Claims were made by Louis Charpentier (20th century French author) that the original nine members of the Knights Templar, possibly discovered the “Ark” early on in the order’s history, whilst digging under Temple Mount.

A pillar, part of Chartres Cathedral, known as the Portal of the Initiates, features a carving of the Ark upon a wheeled cart.

What could this mean, and many historians have put forward their own interpretations:

The Templars discovered the Ark in Jerusalem, and moved it to France, coinciding with the construction of Chartres Cathedral.  When news of the Templar’s impending arrest in the 14th century leaked out, the Ark was moved from France to Scotland.

Louis Charpentier published: Les Mysteres de la Cathedrale de Chartres (The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral) in France of 1966.

Knights Templar: Switzerland

switzerland-map

Is there any connection between Knights Templar and Switzerland?

The “Old Swiss Confederation” was born on the 1st August 1291.

In 1280, the French Monarchy was in conflict with the Templar’s, so it was inevitable issues would come to a head.

The Templar’s headquarters in the city of Troyes in France was lost, when the region had come under the control of the French Crown.

The Templars must have got wind, of possible actions being put in place by King Philip IV of France.  Twenty-four hours before the arrest of Jacques de Molay on the 13th October 1307, a fleet of Templar ships sailed from the French port of La Rochelle, laden with treasure and knights.

Knight Templar Ships

Templar Fleet

The French Monarchy, who had expected to confiscate Templar treasure, found empty store houses… it had sailed away from France under the cover of darkness, destination unknown.

When the order went out by the Pope, that all Templar knights were to be arrested.  Thousands were rounded up and arrested on charges of heresy and burnt at the stake, whilst other’s dispersed across Europe, seeking sanctuary.  Some escaped to Spain, joining up with the Caltrava and Alcantra, some moved to Portugal and took on a new name; the Order of Christ.  Others joined the Teutonic knights of Germany, and some joined the Hospitallers, the stepping stone to the Knights of Malta.

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Knights Templar

Some Templar knights landed in Scotland and were granted sanctuary by Robert the Bruce.  These knights took up arms and joined Robert the Bruce in his fight against the English, for Scotland’s Independence.  Rosslyn Chapel, home of the Sinclair knights, members of the Templar order.  These warriors were buried along with their treasure in the crypt of the chapel.

With Switzerland located over the border to the east of France.  Hundreds of Knights Templar would have easily slipped across the border with their treasures, into this newly formed country.

The main income of Switzerland was farming… it was a poor country, ripe for a takeover.

In 1315, Duke Leopold of Habsburg attacked several hundred men with his force of 2,000 knights and 9,000 foot soldiers… expecting little resistance.

He was in for a surprise, as the Swiss possessed a new weapon, the “Halberd” which was mounted on a long pole, capable of bringing down horses and used like a lance.  Leopold lost almost 2,000 warriors that day, and was forced to retreat.

halbard-switzerland

Halberd

Therefore in my opinion a primitive farming country had received outside assistance, enabling them to protect their lands from invading warriors.

The only answer that made sense, Templar Knights had escaped from France, crossed the border into Switzerland and granted sanctuary, bringing with them their military expertise and Templar treasure… buying their way into this new country.

The Templar’s were Europe’s bankers from the 11th – 14th century, now the largest banking and financial institutions of Europe are located in Switzerland.

Pope Julius II called upon Helvetian soldiers in 1506, these mercenaries who would shape Italy’s future, and were granted the title “Defenders of the Church’s Freedom.”

On the 22nd January 1506, one hundred and ninety-nine years after the arrest of Jacques de Molay in France, the Vatican created the Pontifical Swiss Guard.

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The Vatican’s Swiss Guard

One hundred and fifty Swiss soldiers under the command of Captain Kasparvon Silenen of Canton Uri, passed through the Vatican and were blessed by Pope Julius II.

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Flag of Switzerland

The famous cross associated with the Knights Templar, is incorporated into the flag of Switzerland.

Wikipedia Images

 

 

Templars… Sinclairs…

henry-sinclair

Rosslyn Chapel, and the family lineage responsible for the construction of the “Bible in Stone” takes us first back to Normandy in France, then back even further to the Scandinavian Vikings.

Hrolf also known as Rollo (860-932), was 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 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.

King Edward of England had no heir to succeed him, and William the Duke of Normandy his cousin had been promised the English throne and Harold had promised to support him.  In 1066 upon Edward’s death, Harold claimed the throne backed by nobles.

william-the-conqueror

King William I (William the Conqueror)

An angry William wanted revenge.  He gained support from French nobles and received the Pope’s blessing.

William’s forces crossed the English Channel, landing at Pevensey, without resistance, for Harold was waging war in the north.  William and Harold met at the “Battle of Hastings” where Harold was defeated and William became King of England.

Walderne of St.Clair (1006-1075) was appointed as one of William’s commanders and was granted land on the Medway River.

William Sinclair (1028-1090) son of Walderne also fought at Hastings.  Following William’s victory he became disenchanted with his King’s aggressive side, in expanding his kingdom.  He left England, becoming steward to Queen Margaret and King Malcolm III of Scotland.

Roslin Castle

Rosslin Castle

Rosslin Castle, some 9 miles south of Edinburgh, home to the Sinclairs since 1070, and home of the Knights Templar.  These warriors were formed by Hugues de Payens, after the First Crusade in the Holy Land, offering protection to pilgrims on route to Jerusalem.

Scottish forces led by Sir William Sinclair attacked lands in northern England.  At the “Battle of Castle Alnwick” in 1093, victory was theirs.  The King of Scotland was in the process of receiving the Castle Keys, when a spear flew through the air and killed him.

In the year 1135, King Henry I of England, son of William I and Matilda of Flanders, died.  He had left the English throne to his daughter; Matilda, but the crown had been snatched by Stephen, the grandson of William I.

In 1136 at the “Battle of Allerton” Stephen took on the Scots in an attempt to capture Scottish lands.  Sir William Sinclair defended Scottish lands against these English.  Some years later William Sinclair, Scotland’s Ambassador represented Scotland in England’s disputes over land… victorious as ever, William Sinclair gained the lands in Northumberland for Scotland.

At the “Battle of Largs” in 1263, Scottish forces led by Sir William Sinclair (1190-1270) under orders of King Alexander III of Scotland, won a decisive victory against Norse invaders.

King Henry III objected to the “Provisions of Oxford” act drawn up by Simon of Montfort, which inturn led to Civil War.  At the “Battle of Lewes” in 1265, Henry was taken prisoner.  William Sinclair fought alongside Henry, under orders from King Alexander of Scotland, and managed to escape amid the commotions.

Sir William Sinclair (1260-1305) was one of William Wallace’s army commanders who like his leader, was intent on driving the English from Scottish lands.  In the year 1297, they successfully overpowered the English at the “Battle of Stirling Bridge,” then captured Stirling Castle from the English and finally were successful against the 30,000 strong, English army at Roslin.

william-wallace

William Wallace

William Wallace had been executed by the English and Robert the Bruce, now led a mighty army of Scottish warriors against the English, seeking Independence.  Sir Henry Sinclair (1275-1329) 8th Baron of Roslin was one of the signatories who played his part achieving a declaration of peace between King Robert the Bruce of Scotland and King Edward II of England.

At the “Battle of Halidon Hill,” Prince Henry Sinclair (1340-1402) of Roslin and Orkney, most remembered for his discovery of America, was slain in September 1402.

At the “Battle of Flodden” thirteen Scottish nobles and their men were slain by the English soldiers, along with King James, who left a son and heir barely a year old.

William Sinclair (1440-1513) received a Charter from King James of Scotland, written upon a drum head, renewing the Earldom of Caithness to William Sinclair.  A runner was summoned to carry the Charter to Sir William’s Lady.  Sir William Sinclair lost his life the very next day, and his son John, inherited the Earldom.

At the “Battle of Somersdale” John Sinclair (1490-1529) 3rd Earl of Caithness died in battle in May 1529, the leader of 500 Scots in the defence of the Orkney Islands, assisting fellow kinsman; James Sinclair.

NPG 1766,Mary, Queen of Scots,by Unknown artist

Mary, Queen of Scots

In 1568, Henry Sinclair assisted Mary, Queen of Scots to escape Lochleven Castle.

Sinclair names have been carved into the floor of Holyrood Palace and its Abbey.  They who played a part in Scotland’s history.

The “Battle of Worcester” took place in 1651, during a time of religious Reformation, when Scottish forces came under English attack led by Oliver Cromwell.  Thousands were slain and other’s taken prisoner.

John Sinclair (1612-1700) fought at Worcester alongside John Bean, arrested and sent to Boston.  For several years worked as lumberjacks to work off their indenture’s and gain their freedom.  John Sinclair settled in Exeter, New Hampshire, America.

Wikipedia Images

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