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These quotes are gleaned from Helen Nicholson’s The Knights Templar, A New History, with interpolations from other texts as noted. They are intended as background to other pages found on this website.

Notes on the Knights Templar
The myths
Pope Clement V [Bibliotèque nationale]
"There are many popularly believed myths about the Order of the Temple. The first is that there is very little evidence surviving about the Order. In fact, a great deal of evidence survives. It is true that the central archive of the Order is lost: this was originally held at the Order’s headquarters, at first in Jerusalem, then at Acre, then (after 1291) on Cyprus. After the dissolution of the Order by Pope Clement V in 1312 the archive passed into the possession of the Hospital of St John. Presumably it remained on Cyprus and was destroyed when the Ottoman Turks captured the island in 1571." [p. 8.]
"...a good deal of material about the Templars remains. The Order is far from being a mystery." "Other myths about the Templars abound, It is not true, for example, that the Templers were found guilty as charged in 1312; Pope Clement V actually declared the charges not proven, but dissolved the Order because it had been brought into so much disrepute that it could not continue to operate. The Templers were not monks...." [p. 12.]
"The Order of the Temple was not destroyed because it had outlived its purpose, because it was corrupt, or because it was in decline." [p. 236.]
"Historians from the Middle Ages to the present day have developed a 'model' of the rise and fall of the Templars: the pure ideals of the first knights became contaminated as the Order grew rich and became involved in politics; the Order became corrupt and greedy and increasingly unpopular, and meanwhile the West lost interest in the Crusades; so when Philip IV of France attacked the Order for its money, no one defended it and the Order fell. This 'model' has gained wide acceptance despite the fact that it is false, because it provides an attractively simple explanation for the otherwise unjust and inexplicable fall of the Order." [p. 240.]
"[Walter] Scott and [George] Macdonald misused the Templars for literary effect, but some writers deliberately developed the myth of the Templars for political or religious purposes, even fabricating physical evidence in order to 'prove' their arguments. The German Freemasons claimed that the Templars were a secret society with esoteric knowledge, and that they were destroyed because of this knowledge, which Philip IV wanted to obtain. In 1796 Charles Louis Cadet de Cassicour portrayed the Templars as part of a secret conspiracy which was behind the French Revolution and the execution of Louis XVI, in revenge for the death of James de Molay in 1314. Such writers were following the example of those who had contrived the original charges against the Templars: projecting their own fantasies and interests on to their victims. Most influental of these writers with a historical-religious purpose was Joseph von Hammer Purgstall, who in 1818 published a work called The Mystery of Baphomet Revealed. Hammer wanted to discredit the Freemasons, and attacked the 'Templar masons' in order to undermine the whole movement. He argued, using archaeological evidence faked by earlier scholars and literary evidence such as the Grail romances, that the Templars were Gnostics and the 'Templars' head' was a Gnostic idol called Baphomet. He did not realise that Gnostics did not have idols and that Baphomet is simply the Old French word for the name Mohammad." [p. 242.]
"Recently the Templars' supposed secret knowledge has become associated with the Turin shroud, the relic held by the cathedral of Turin, which some believe to be the shroud of Christ. In 1978 it was suggested that this shroud, which shows an image of Christ’s head, could have been the famous 'Templars' head'. Modern scientific analysis, published in 1989, has dated the shroud to the fourteenth century, probably to the 1320s or 1330s — after the dissolution of the Templars." [p. 244.]
"The Templers were not particularly secretive — no more so than other religious Orders of their period, and certainly no more so than the other leading Military Orders, the Hospital of St John and the Teutonic Order." [p. 13.]
"Perhaps the Templars were particularly insistent about evicting non-members of the Order from chapter-meetings, but there is no evidence for this." [p. 14.]
Chroniclers of the Order
"This book does not attempt to replace the great scholarly works on the Order by Marie Luise Bulst-Theile, Alain Demurger, Alan Forey and Malcolm Barber." [p. 15.]
Archbishop William of Tyre composed his history of the crusader states between 1165-1184:
"There was nowhere for them to live, so King Baldwin II (1118-31) gave them his palace on the south side of the 'Lord’s Temple' or Dome of the Rock (this palace was the Aqsa mosque, which the crusaders called ’solomon’s Temple')" [p. 23.]
William of Tyre wrote that the concept of the first Military Order sprang from the Church and that they were the equivalent of monks.
Simon, a monk of St Bertin wrote around 1135-7 that the first Templers were crusaders who decided to stay in the Holy Land after the First crusade.
The Anglo-Normon monk Orderic Vitalis (1075-c. 1141) wrote in the 1120s or 30s that they were pious knights but not monks. He does not record their origins.
Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux wrote a letter before 1136 that influenced subsequent writers' view of the Templars as knights who lived like monks. The uncertainty of subsequent writers over how the Order began indicates that its founding was not noticed in the West at the time.
"Abbot Bernard had been present at the Council of Troyes in January 1129 when the Council established the Rule of the Order of the Temple and gave the Brothers a habit." [p. 27.]
"However, Bernard’s role was played only after the Order had come into existence. The survey so far has shown that contemporaries and near-contemporaries were not sure when the Order of the Temple began, or why it began, or who was responsible for its beginning." "Later writers had heard other stories." [p. 29.]
"Describing their deeds after 1150, [William of Tyre] brushed over their successes, minimised their positive role and emphasised their failures." "Yet examination of William’s account and comparison with other, often more contemporary sources, indicates that his picture of the Military Orders was not accurate." [p. 87.]
History of the Order
Two templars on one horse with the banner of Beausant, as illustrated by Matthew Paris. The British Library, BL Royal Ms 14, fol. 42v. [Plate 1.1.The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord. p. 5.]
"It is difficult to say how many Templars there were in the Latin East... but it has been suggested that the Orders of the Temple and the Hospital could each put an army of three hundred Brothers in the field, knights and armed sergeants (non-knights), as well as mercenaries or hired soldiers." [pp. 53-54.] [See Forey, The Military Orders, pp. 68-9, 79.]
"Military Order castles were garrisoned by a small number of Brothers and a large force of hired mercenaries. At the Templars' castle of Safed in Galilee in the 1260s there were 50 knight-Brothers, 30 armed sergeant-Brothers, 50 turcopoles (native lightly armed mercenaries) and also 300 hired archers." [p. 62.] [Forey]
"On 6 April 1291 Acre, the last major European Christian stronghold in the Holy Land came under attack from the troops of Sultan al-Ashraf Khalil. The seige lasted over a month and the Muslims began their final assault on 18 May. [p. 85.]
"The Order’s preference for calling an official 'commander' (Latin: preceptor) causes problems for modern historians trying to work out the Order’s leadership structure." [p. 117.]
"The standard was baucant (piebald), with a black and white section. Contemporary illustrations differ over which part of the banner was white and which was black. Matthew Paris, the chronicler of St Albans Abbey, shows it with the upper section black and the lower section white; the Order’s own frescoes at San Bevignate, Perugia, show it with a white upper section (with cross superimposed) and a black lower section." [p. 118.]
"Most of the poeple living in a commandery in the West would never have fought the Muslims and were not expected to do so." "The non-military sergeants or serving Brothers did manual work, such as carpentry, looking after animals, working as smiths or stonemasons." [p. 128.]
Other people living in commanderies were hermits, servants and pensioners. [p. 136.]
"A Templar commandery was a busy place, a mixture of a secular farm and/or industrial site and/or business centre, plus the daily round of religious observance." [p. 137.]
Seals of the Masters
"Officials of religious Orders had their own seals to validate documents approved by the Order. The Master of the Temple’s great seal was double-sided and showed the circular dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on one side and the Orders’s symbol of two knights on one horse on the other. There was also a smaller, single-sided seal, which showed the circular dome of the Holy Sepulchre." [p. 114.]
Seals of Brother Otto of Brunswich, commander of Supplingenburg, shows a lion; that of William, Master of the Temple in Hungary and Slovonia, 1297, depicts a winged griffen; that of Bertram von Esbeck, Master of the Temple in Germany, 1296 depicts an eagle with two six pointed stars. [p. 108-09]
Seals of Brother Widekind, Master of the Temple in Germany, 1271, and Brother Frederick Wildergrave, 1289, showed Christ’s head [p. 119.]
The seal of Templar officials in Yorkshire c.1300 shows a tower with a pointed roof. The seal of Brother Roustan de Comps, commander of the Order of the Temple at Richerenches, 1232, shows a single knight on horseback, bearing a shield with a cross: probably St. George.
The seal of Brother Bertrand de Blancafort, Master of the Temple, 1168, shows two knights on one horse and the reverse with the circular dome. [p. 114, 116.]
The seals of the Masters of the Temple in England: of Aimery de St Maur, 1200, Robert of Sandford, , 1241, Richard of Hastings, 1160-85, and William de la More, 1304, showed the agnus Dei the lamb of God. [p. 177, 180.]
Alliances with Muslims
A possible portrait of Salahuddin Ayyubi (1137-1193) by André Thevet, c. 1584.
"Complaints against the Templars' alliances with Muslims had some basis in fact." "Such diplomatic contacts and a healthy respect for a formidable enemy were essential for the Templars as part of their struggle to defend Chrisendom in the east. Truces and alliances with Muslims enabled the crusader states to live to fight another day. The fact that Muslim writers always rejoiced over the Templars when they were defeated and depicted them as evil enemies of Islam shows that, despite these alliances and friendships, in reality the Templars always remained what they claimed to be — fanatical warriors of Christ." [pp. 79-80;]
"After the Battle of Hattin on 4 July 1187, when Saladin’s army destroyed the army of the kingdom of Jerusalem and captured King Guy and the leading nobles, Saladin bought the Templars and Hospitallers who had been taken prisoner and had every one of them executed." [p. 54.]
"As in the Holy Land, Christian rulers in Spain would also ally with Muslim rulers against other Christians." [p. 90.]
"After 1187 the secular cleric Walter Map made a few remarks on the Templars' vocation." "Map had heard stories which showed that the Templars did not want peace or to convert Muslims; they only wanted to fight." [p. 37.]
Wealth of the Templars
Charitable donations decreased with increased political stability in western Christendom, a shifting pattern of piety to the personal away from the institutional, and a shift in royal policy forbidding donations of land without royal licence.
"All these changes reduced the income enjoyed by all religious Orders by the early fourteenth century, They came at the same time (and partly as a result of) inflation which reduced the value of money rents...." [p. 178.]
"They made money in the countryside not only from farming, but also from rents and from commerce and trade." [p. 188.]
In 1275 William de Beaujeu arrived in Acre to discover that the Order "was in a weaker stare than it had ever been, with many expenses and almost no revenues, as its possessions had all been plundered by the sultan." [p. 83.]
"During the 1260s the people of the Holy Land watched with indignation as European crusaders were diverted to fight papal wars in Sicily at the same time as their castles were falling one by one before Baibars’s inexorable advance." [p. 85.]
"As the thirteenth century progressed the kings of Aragorn complained more and more that the Military Orders were not meeting their military obligations. The Orders were genuinely short of money because of losses in the Holy Land and a fall in pius donations to all religious Orders in western Europe. The resources in their houses were not impressive." The Templars' house at Huesca "with military obligations apparently only expected to have to arm seven knights and three sergeants...." [p. 98.]
["...the survey in 1308 shows that the Templars' property was unkempt and ruinous." "...there is no evidence of the luxuries or wealth that the Templars were accused of possessing." "But when the value of goods is compared with other inventories taken in the fourteenth century it can be seen that the Templars' goods are on the same scale as those found in peasant inventories, rather than what might be expected from a manorial household." The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 96, 43, 98.]
Architecture of the Templars
"From the 1250s the Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic knights were given or sold many castles by the secular nobility of the crusader states, who could no longer afford to maintain and garrison them." [p. 59.]
The Templars held fourteen fortifications and two other properties in the Iberian peninsula during the 12th and 13th centuries. [p. 92.]
The Templars held five fortresses and fourteen other properties in Eastern Europe. [p. 104.]
"...for the most part [Templar churches] were built in the local style, even when the Order built from scratch. Clearly these Orders did not bring in their own architects and masons from outside when they wanted to build, but hired local workers on the spot." [p. 158.] ["One characteristic of Templar architecture was the church with a round nave, presumed to have been modelled on Solomon’s Temple. This does not mean that all Templar churches had round naves, or that all churches with round naves once belonged to Templars." The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 25.] ["The list of expenses [for the London temple in 1308] included the wages of those employed by the Order up to the time of the arrests. Adam the Mason received 4d a day. As he alone is recorded as a mason, he was probably employed for repairs to the fabric rather than any major building work." The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 26.]
The Templars as bankers
"The Templars in particular also provided a range of financial services for rulers. This could vary from making loans and looking after valuables to running the royal treasury, as in France. The Templars were not a bank in the modern sense of the word as their financial operations were merely a sideline, a result of their need to store and move large quantities of cash about Christendom. Money deposited with them was not pooled and reinvested, but remained in its owners' strongboxes within the Order’s treasury, and could not be accessed without the owner’s permission." [p. 162.]
"All religious Orders were used by lay people as a safe deposit for valuables, and were asked to lend money when lay people needed cash. The Templars in particular became well known for providing these sort of financial services for the same reason that they were used by kings as almoners, treasurers, and money carriers: the Order had developed systems for the collection, safe storage and transport of large sums of cash and other valuables in the West for carrying to the East." [p. 188.]
"All religious Orders lent money, but as Christians were not allowed to levy interest (this practice was called 'usury') they had to find other ways of covering the cost of the loans. There were various ways in which this could be done. Some Templar loans from southern France included a clause in the loan agreement that if the coin depreciated in value between the time of the loan and the repayment then the borrower must add a fixed sum to compensate the lender. As the fixed sum would remain the same however much the coin depreciated, it is likely that an interest charge lay buried in this fixed sum. Again, if land was given as the pledge for the debt, it might be stipulated in the loan conditions that the produce from the land did not count towards the repayment of the loan. Complaints of Templar greed could conceivably have sprung from such clauses, but the complainers did not specify loans as a particular cause of grief." [pp. 189-90.]
The Templar Fleet
"The Templers did have ships to carry personnel, pilgrims and supplies across the Mediterranean between the West and East and back, but if the Hospital after 1312 is any guide they did not have more than four galleys (warships) and few other ships, and if they needed more they hired them. They certainly could not spare ships to indulge in world exploration — in any case, their ships were not sturdy enough to cross an ocean and could not carry enough water for more than a few days. The Order had vast resources in land, but was always very short of liquid capitol, which was needed to invest in fortifications and personnel in the east." [p. 12.] [The Falcon and the Templar Rose are mentioned by name in Malcolm Barber’s The New Knighthood. Piers Paul Read, in The Templars p. 271, claims eighteen galleys, without citation.]
"When the Templars had made their money in the West, they had to get it out to the East. There has been some debate among scholars as to whether any actual transfer of coin took place, but the latest view is that coin was actually carried from the West to the East. This meant that the Templars needed ships to carry their coin, as well as agricultural produce, horses and personnel for the east. They also provided a secure carrying service for pilgrims — safer and cheaper than hiring a commercial carrier. These would have been heavy transport vessels rather than warships. Much of the surviving evidence for Templar shipping comes from the relevant port records or royal records giving permission for the export of produce. At La Rochelle on the west coast of France during the twelfth century the Templars were given several vinyards and produced wine for their own consumption and for export; although the cartulary of their house is lost, the records of the port of La Rochelle show that the Templars were exporting wine by ship. This was not a fleet in any modern sense: again, those would have been transport vessels rather than warships, and the Templars probably hired them as they needed them, rather than buying their own.
"The hierarchial statutes attached to the Templars' Rule, dating from the twelfth century before 1187, refer to the Order’s ships at Acre (Sectin 119), but do not state how many ships the Order owned. After 1312 the Hospital of St. John was mainly involved in sea-based warfare and had an admiral in command of its marine operations, but only had four galleys (warships), with other vessels. It is unlikely that the Templars had any more galleys than the Hospitallers. The ships would have been very small by modern standards, too shallow in draught and sailing too low in the water to be able to withstand the heavy waves and winds of the open Atlantic, and suited for use only in the relatively shallow waters of the continental shelf. What was more, they could not carry enough water to be at sea for long periods." [pp. 191-92.]
"... the Templars and Hospitallers accompanied [King James I of Aragon (1213-76)] when he set out on crusade in 1269 — although he had to turn back because of poor weather conditions at sea. During the voyage the Templars' ship lost its rudder and James sent over his own ship’s spare rudder, although one of his advisers opposed this, saying that the Templars should have brought their own spare." [p. 97.]
"The earliest references to Templar ships outside the kingdom of Jerusalem come in the first decades of the thirteenth century, when they were operating at Constantinople and in the Bay of Biscay, In 1224 King Henry III of England hired a Templar ship, 'the Great Ship' and its captain, Brother Thomas of the Temple of Spain, for use in his wars in France. Henry later bought the ship from the Master of the Temple in Spain for 200 marks and kept it. Presumably the Templars in Spain had a few ships, if they could spare this one. As mentioned above in the account of his abortive crusade, the Templars of Aragorn accompanied James I of Aragorn as he set sail for the east, but their ship’s rudder broke, and they did not have a spare. This does not indicate great naval expertise or investment." [pp. 192-93.]
Sergeant-Brother Roger de Flor commanded the Falcon, assisting in the evacuation of Acre in 1291. Found guilty of profiteering and sentenced to hang, he left the Falcon at Marsailles. [p. 193.]
"The fact that the Templars' Spanish great ship also came equipped with its own captain, Brother Thomas, who remained with it after Henry III had bought it, indicates that this was the normal form of organization for the Templars' ships. Theoretically they belonged to the Order but were run as individual units under Brothers who were experienced sailers. When they were not being used by the Order, for example for carrying pilgrims or produce, they engaged in privateering and other commercial enterprises." [p. 194.]
"[Pope] Nicholas IV also ordered the Masters of the Temple and Hospital to build up a fleet, and in January 1292 he authorized them to use their ships to assist the Armenians. In 1293 the Templars and Venetians equipped six galleys in Venice to help protect Cyprus against the Muslims: there were four Venetian and two Templar ships. On the basis that this was the maximum number of ships that the Templars could find for this important project, a fleet of two is hardly impressive." [p. 199.]
["The Templar pilgrim fleet was based at Marseilles. In 1233 they were granted the right to dock their ships there and carry pilgrims to the Holy Land, but after protests by local ship owners this was restricted to two ships a year, leaving for Easter and in August. They were allowed to carry 1,500 pilgrims in these, and to keep one ship in the port for their own use." Supplying the Crusader states, Barber. p. 322]
["Their main fleet was at La Rochelle, and it was this fleet, berthed away from the theatre of war, that was part of the maritime network linking the Order in the British Isles with the continent. We know the class and names of at least two of the ships plying between La Rochelle and the south coast. In 1230 Henry III issued a licence to the Templars' ship La Templere from La Rochelle to land, bringing wine and victuals for the brothers. A little later another licence was given to the Master and the brothers of the Temple for the vessel called La Buzzard to come into port. (Calender of Patent Rolls, 1225-1232). The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 120.]
["When on official business the Patent Rolls show that the constable of Dover Castle was ordered to provide a ship for the Templars." The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 121.]
Philip IV’s new advisor, William de Nogaret, compiled the accusations against Pope Boniface: he was an heretic, he practised simony, he had been elected by trickery, he was advised by a demon, he practiced sodomy, and he believed the French did not have souls. [p. 201.]
"The original charges of 1307 were framed by one Esquin de Floyran of Béziers, prior of Montfaucon." [p. 214.]
"Esquiu’s original charges fitted the pattern of accusations of devil-worship brought against leading political figures of this period such as Pope Boniface VIII and Walter Langton. Like these his accusations were presumably promoted by a personal grievance which had no obvious connection with the accusations." [p. 215.]
"Yet the history of the Order produced no public sexual scandals, unlike other religious Orders." "In fictional literature the Templars were depicted helping lovers, but this image was based more on their love of God than on their love of women. There were no scandals in the Order of the Temple to compare with events in the Dominican friary and nunnery at Zamora, for instance, where the friars apparently regarded the sisters' house as a source of women for their pleasure. No one wrote stories about the Templars like the French poet Rutebuef’s scandalous story about the Franciscan friars, 'Brother Denise', in which a friar seduces a young girl by telling her she will save her soul by doing everything he tells her. The Templars were never accused of systematically raping women, as were the Teutonic knights." Sexual relations with a man would result in automatic expulsion from the Order of the Temple. The only case of sodomy ever recorded within the Order resulted in the imprisonment of two of those involved, while the third escaped and went over to the Muslims. Even during the trial of the Templars, when Brothers were being actively encouraged to confess to the practice of sodomy, very few were prepared to do so: of all the testimonies during the trial (over nine hundred in all), I have identified only three confessions of sodomy that I would consider as possibly genuine. This is remarkably few for a large international organization, given that contemporaries regarded the traditional monastic Orders such as the Benedictines and Cistercians as being rife with active homosexual practices." [p. 140.]
"Walter Map, who knew plenty of derogatory stories about the Templars, the Hospitallers, the papacy and the Cistercians, also told some stories which implied that the Templars were outstanding Christians." [p. 141.]
"There is no evidence that the Templars were ever involved in heretical movements in Europe." [p. 158.]
"The Templars' innocence of the charges brought against them in 1307-8 has been established since the work of the American historian Henry Charles Lea, published in 1889. Historians now see the charges as an exercise in political propaganda." [p. 207.]
Reference: Henry Charles Lea, A History of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages (3 vols, New York, Macmillan, 1887-9 and reprints), vol. 3 esp. p. 334. See also Malcolm Barber, 'Propaganda in the Middle Ages: the Charges Against the Templars', Nottingham Medieval Studies, 17 (1973), pp. 42-57
"Matthew Paris’s dislike of the Miltary Orders of the Temple and the Hospital stemmed partly from their connection with King Henry III, whom Matthew disliked and whose policies he disapproved of. In the same way, William of Tyre’s and Walter Map’s criticism stemmed partly from the Orders' connections with the papacy and their exemptions from the bishops' authority. As the Orders relied on these rulers for their continuing existence and protection, this was a criticism which they could hardly avoid." [p. 178.]
"Until the eleventh century the Church had not taken witchcraft and magic terribly seriously: once active paganism had died out in western Europe, witchcraft was viewed as little more than a collection of superstitious practices indulged in by deluded old women. It could be dangerous, but it was not a major threat to society as a whole. However with the discovery of the scientific classical Greek and Arabic texts in the library of Toledo (captured by Alfonso VI of León -Castille in 1085), this attitude changed. For part and parcel with this ancient science were magical texts, based on mathamatics and the study of the stars and planets, and on the innate qualities of plants, stones and animals." [p. 209.]
"The group most notorious for their involvement in magic during the Middle Ages were the secular priests." "The other group with a particular interest in magic was the literati, the educated officials who provided the backbone of royal government." {p. 212.]
"There is no evidence at all that the Templars had any knowledge of science, and certainly they had no knowledge of magic; medieval magic was a supremely literate science, recorded and performed in Latin, whereas the Templers in general were remarkably illiterate...." [p. 12.]
"Most of the Brothers of the Order came from the lower ranks of knights or were not of knightly descent at all; many were craftsmen, or people who performed ordinary agricultural tasks such as herding sheep and cattle." [p. 2.]
"For the most part these people were not educated; the knights and squires could read their own language but not Latin. [p. 3.]
["In the west the members of the Order were monks adhering to their vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, observing silence within the preceptory precincts, and hearing the offices throughout the day and night." "There is no evidence in the 1308 inventories of any intellectual or literary activity." The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 108.]
"The charge that the Templars venerated [not worshipped] a head was true, since the Order did venerate the heads of at least two female martyrs, St Euphemia and one of St Ursula’s maidens, the former in the East and the latter in Paris. These relics were well known, often seen and fully accounted for." [p. 213.]
"The so-called 'Templars' head' was probably the head of St Euphemia. The Draper of the Order and two knights stated during the trial of the Order on Cyprus that they had not heard of any idols in the Order, but the Order had the head of St Euphemia." [p. 147.]
"Brother William of Arreblay, former almoner to King Philip IV of France, testified that he had often seen on the alter in the Temple of Paris a silver head, and the leading officials of the Order adored it. He understood that this was the head of one of the 11,000 virgins martyred with St. Ursula at Cologne...." [p. 149.]
The trial
"As the charges against the Templars had no basis in previous criticism, and were clearly ’standard' accusations, why did anyone believe them? The answer to this is two-fold. First, hardly anyone outside the domains of France did believe them. Secondly, within France the charges were carefully grounded in the actual activities of the Templars." [p. 213.]
"In short, the charges were ingeniously devised to make the most of the Templars' weak points, to undermine their strong points and to make it impossible for them to escape." [p. 214.]
"Very little third-party evidence was heard during the French trial. On Cyprus, third-party evidence was heard at length and was virtually unanimous: the charges were absolutely false." [p. 216.]
Rosslyn Chapel
"... we have to ask why [Roslin] chapel is associated with the Templars when the Order was suppressed 100 years before it was built. The key to this is the gravestone of William St Clair, who died fighting the Moors in Spain whilst taking Robert the Bruce’s heart to be buried in the Holy Land. This has a floriated cross on it that is thought to be the emblem of the Templars. This ancestor of the St Clairs is thought to have been a Templar. Further back in time there is a tradition that Hugh de Payens, the founder of the Order, was married to a Katherine St Clair." The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 153.
["the heart was removed on his instructions and taken by Sir James Douglas on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Douglas was killed on the way (1330)..." Encyclopaedia Britannica, v. 10, p. 104]
"The Knights Templars in the British Island had little or no experience of open battle and why should they have been supporting Bruce against Edward II when on the whole Edward had been particularly lenient towards them?" The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 154.
"Henry and William St Clair testified against the Templars, reporting that they had heard 'things against the brother’s secret receptions.'" The Knights Templar in Britain, Evelyn Lord, p. 201.

The Knights Templar, A new history, Helen Nichlson. 2001: Sutton Publishing Limited, Phoenix Mill Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire UK. ISBN: 0-7509-2517-5. hb 278pp. Also see The Trial of the Templars in Cyprus, Anne Gilmour-Bryson. University of Melbourne, 2000. For a masonic perspective: "The Knights Templar in Scotland, The Creation of a Myth" by Robert L.D. Cooper, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, vol. 115 (2002) London : Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, 2003. pp. 94-152.

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