Knights Templar

Discussion in 'York Rite' started by KSigMason, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar

    Lodge:
    Oriental Lodge #60, AF&AM, ID
    Deriving my inspiration of this thread from Terry S's question on the Crusading Templars.

    In the year 1118, nineteen years after the freeing of Jerusalem, the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (commonly called and hereafter referred to as the Knights Templar) were formed with Hugh de Payens as their first Grand Master. They were housed in an enclosure of what was said to be the ruins of Solomon's Temple, but was now held the structure of the Al Aqsa Mosque (Dome of the Rock). Their goal was to protect the pilgrims on route from Europe to the Holy Land.

    The founding members numbered only nine and no record is known to exist today that for the first nine years the Templars ever protected the routes to the Holy Land. In 1127 they returned to France where they were given their first donation of land. A year later, Hugh de Payens along with a few other Templars and his nephew, the Cisterian monk, Bernard of Clairveaux traveled to Rome where Pope Honorius gave official recognition to the Order. In 1130, Bernard drew up the official Rule of the Order.

    In 1139 a Papal Bull was issued stating that the Templars report to no one, but the Pontiff himself.

    The Templars were holy warrior monks. They were zealous fighters and well respected by their Muslim counter parts. They also established a banking practice that is still practiced in modern times; the checking system. This system allowed pilgrims to deposit money in Europe and withdraw an amount (minus some rent aka interest) in the Holy Land from the Templars.

    Towards the end of the 12th century the Templars were struck a hard blow with several defeats on the battlefield. Eventually the Templars even lose the foothold of Acre and with these losses the reputation and purpose of the Templars starts to fade, and gives way to rumor and speculation of their said initiation rituals.

    Phillip IV of France was indebted to the Templars and motivated by greed sought to destroy the Order. After a Pope had been placed on the Throne of Christ that was more a puppet of the French King than anything he pounced. Using testimony of expelled members and trumped up charges he recieved approval from the Pope to arrest the Templars. The French King invited the Grand Master to a meeting to discuss possible merger of other Orders with the Templars and while the leadership was divided were the Templars attacked. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, French troops around the country rounded up as many Templars as could be captured.

    The Templars were tortured whereupon they are said to have confessed to homosexual acts, spitting/walking on the cross, idolatry, and denying Christ. Even the Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay is said to have confessed, but later renounced this confession. In 1312, the Templars were officially dissolved. In 1314, Jacques DeMolay and other Templars were burned (or rather slowly cooked) on the island near Notre Dame whereupon their ashes were strewn into the river. This cruelty was done for his recanting his confessions. As he burned he is said to have cursed King Phillip and Pope Clement asking both men to join him in death within a year. Both did indeed die within the same year.
  2. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar

    Lodge:
    Oriental Lodge #60, AF&AM, ID
    In modern times there are various Templar Orders.

    The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, founded in 1804, has achieved United Nations NGO status as a charitable organization. From the SMOTJ website, I will post an excerpt of their "About Us"

    For members of Freemasonry, depending on where you are, you can find either a Priory or Commandery of Masonic Knights Templar. For US Brothers, you find the Knights Templar in the York Rite branch. You have a local commandery under a State's Grand Commandery who owes allegiance to the Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, of the USA. The Grand Encampment also presides over Italy, Germany, Portugal, Romania and the Philippines.

    For Frequently Asked Questions, see here.
  3. Terry S

    Terry S New Member

    Lodge:
    Pythagoras #41
    So is it true that after the attack on the Templars, the remaining Knights went to England and Scotland and thats where the roots of the connection between the Templars and Freemasonry began?

    Also, it seemed to me that a lot of the early traditions (officers and proceedings of the order) of the Knights Templars reflected that of the Masons. Is that accurate?
  4. Terry S

    Terry S New Member

    Lodge:
    Pythagoras #41
    Thanks for posting that, by the way. It helps tie things together for me and makes a little more sense.
  5. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar

    Lodge:
    Oriental Lodge #60, AF&AM, ID
    No problem at all. In the last year I've become very passionate about the Templars.
  6. DavisB

    DavisB Member

    Lodge:
    Hiram #7
    Just thought I would add a little bit:

    Pope Clement V was unable to find the Templars guilty of anything. He dissolved the order because it was becoming too difficult to control and seemed the more diplomatic solution to try to appease the very powerful Philip IV. This judgement is lined out in the recently (i believe 2005) discovered Chinon Parchment. This document, previously lost in the Vatican Secret Archives, details the final judgement of the leaders of the Knights Templar. The Pope's men found the Knights guilty of some of the lesser crimes they were accused of. But because the Templars confessed and asked for forgiveness, they were forgiven and given back their full status within the Church. The highest leaders of the Order were given a prison sentence by the pope for their part in the crimes. However, many historians feel that they probably would not have served their full life sentence but would have been released.

    While in prison in Paris two of the Templar leaders, Jacques de Molay and Geoffoy of Charney, recanted their confessions and claimed that they had done nothing wrong. Philip seized this opportunity and had them executed (something he had no authority to do.
  7. Terry S

    Terry S New Member

    Lodge:
    Pythagoras #41
    So what crimes were they guilty of? Were they actually guilty or were the findings just a sort of appeasement?
  8. DavisB

    DavisB Member

    Lodge:
    Hiram #7
    Probably both. That is where a lot of the debate stems from is whether or not they were guilty. Most of the accusations appear to come from their initiation ritual in which they were allegedly ordered to spit/ walk on the cross, preform illicit kisses, or deny Christ. The Templars defended themselves saying that the ritual was designed to test the initiate and show him what would happen to him if he were captured by the heathen Muslims during battle.

    The Chinon Parchment appears to claim that they were in fact guilty, but were forgiven by the Church and Pope Clement. This leads Me to think that if they were guilty, their crimes were not severe and they were not malicious men.
  9. DavisB

    DavisB Member

    Lodge:
    Hiram #7
    That is a popular theory, and it would be very neat if it were true, but there is little evidence to really support it. I think of it as an urban legend. One that I wish were true.
  10. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar

    Lodge:
    Oriental Lodge #60, AF&AM, ID
    I am slightly embarassed DavisB as I had never researched the Chinon Parchment. This adds to my to do list. :p

    Not all Templars were disbanded either. The Templars in Portugal and Spain changed their name to the Order of Christ and kept the same banner. Fun fact, Christopher Columbus's uncle is said to have been a member of this Order. England's inquisition of the Templars was hardly anything compared to France. In Bavaria, the Knights showed up to a trial in full gear. Somehow they were found not guilty of the crime. :rolleyes: Scotland is indeed a popular theory as a Templar safehaven as Scotland had been excommunicated. There is the story of the Scottish victory at the Battle of Bannockburn over the might English Army. There is also the story of the farmers/civilians were battling against Leopold I of Austria. The Swiss had no Army, but supposedly this band of civilians was supported by a band of white knights where the Austrian force of 5,000.

    I'm currently doing research on torture methods and what those methods would do to the body medically. So far it is creepy and gross as the pain would have been excruciating.
  11. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar

    Lodge:
    Oriental Lodge #60, AF&AM, ID
    Also, on the theory of Scottish Masonry and the Templar myth, Robert Cooper does an interesting paper. Here is the PDF link.
  12. Terry S

    Terry S New Member

    Lodge:
    Pythagoras #41
    So if we aren't linked to them in the way I described before, are we really linked to them at all? Are there other theories or did some ancient Masons get bored and start this as their own form of dragoncon? (hopefully the main idea of what I'm asking isn't lost in my lame attempt at humor)
  13. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar

    Lodge:
    Oriental Lodge #60, AF&AM, ID
    The Masonic Knights Templar commemorate the name "Knights Templar" not out of descendants, but out of commemoration of the ideals of which the original knights were founded upon.

    The romanticist in me wants to say there is a connection, but with the suppression and disappearance of the Templars so did their central archive. Their have been rumors throughout history of "white knights" or Templar intervention of the underdog. Without real evidence though its all speculative.

    There is also the Regius Poem (Halliwell Manuscript) which talks about the establishment of an order combining masons and knights under the rule of King Athelstan and his son Prince Edwin.
  14. Bluetemplar

    Bluetemplar New Member

    Lodge:
    Charles M. Howell Lodge #496 Millersville, Pa
    Verified:
    No
    So much conjecture is out there about a possible relationship with the Templars. for knights to have been made, or to have a legitimate order of chivalry there must be what is a pedigree or a "font' d'honnour" usually the head of state or a sovergien (ie the papacy in cases of the Order of the Holy Sepulchure, or Elizabeth II for Knights of the Garter or the "Venerable Order of St John").

    Masonry has neither, except where Freemasonry enjoys recognition in certain parts of the world where its male nobility or royalty have been its patron or grand master like in the UK.

    Which brings us to Chevalier Ramsey, a Freemason Scottish tudor to the Scottish/Polish Young Pretender in exile, in what was at the time an allied country to the kingdom of Scotland under the provisions of the Auld Alliance, France. An Alliance by the way which granted citizenship to both the French and the Scots as subjects of thier respective nations, and render aid in times of war. ie England. As such many Clan Families in Scotland and in turn even in France have strong family ties to the other country.

    So thus by establishing such a foundation and a reason for Chevalier/Sir Andrews situation in France we can make a better determination about possible chivalric origins in the first APPENDANT orders of Freemasonry. I would not be dismissive in Ramsey's influence on the chivalric orders, and it seems the French venerated him enough to have titled him "Chevalier" a term like that of "Sir" in English. A title which if used falsely by the wrong person would have ment considerable time in the jails of the Bastile or even death.

    What body is Sir Andrew responsible for? York Rite or the Ancient and Accepted Rite (Scottish Rite)?. How do we draw parallels to both or one or the other. I can say without going into any ritualistic work that the two are not dissimilar. The messages conveyed in the York Rite System are similar in phiosophy and even in biblical story to some of the obigatory degress of the Scottish Rite with differences only being in presentation. Is Ramsey responsible for both? Well see.

    These are several questions I am putting forth in a work I am publishing on the early Colonial History of Europe, Elizabeth I to The Treaty of Paris, the 100 yrs war, the American and French Revolutions, and the Scottish Wars for Independance the last battle of which took place only thirty years before the US Revolution.

    While such a work is not specifically "Templar" in origin it would make the case for alot of political explanations for the "higher" degrees. Which would shed some light on why even in europe (which unlike the US accepts only legitimate orders of chivalry) we as modern Templars can call ourselves "knights".
  15. KSigMason

    KSigMason Traveling Templar

    Lodge:
    Oriental Lodge #60, AF&AM, ID
    The Templar Uniforms

    I thought you'd all like this:

  16. removed12612

    removed12612 Guest

    Very cool.... thanks for sharing
  17. PatrickWilliams

    PatrickWilliams I could tell you ...

    Lodge:
    Racine-Belle City Lodge #18
    Could you give us a citation on that one, KSig? I own a facsimile copy of the Regius and would like to read that section, but would rather not re-read the whole thing to find that segment. I've searched the online version (more than once) and can find no reference to the word "knight".
  18. PatrickWilliams

    PatrickWilliams I could tell you ...

    Lodge:
    Racine-Belle City Lodge #18
    I have found another, more searchable version of the Halliwell online! Regius / Halliwell Manuscript | FmI – Masonic Traveler Yay!!!

    King Athelstan is mentioned by name only twice. In neither instance is anything said regarding an order of Knighthood. The word 'knight' is also only used twice (in both instances mentioning that knights might be part of Grand Lodge). I find no mention at all of King Athelstan's children (or the word 'Edwin' or 'prince').

    I'm obviously missing the citation somehow. Help!!!
  19. Duncan1574

    Duncan1574 Lodge Chaplain & arms dealer Staff Member

    Lodge:
    Ozaukee 17
    Staff:
    Moderator
    Verified:
    Yes
    Origins of 'knight'

    The word knight, from Old English cniht ("boy" or "servant"),[2] is a cognate of the German word Knecht ("servant, bondsman").[3] This meaning, of unknown origin, is common among West Germanic languages (cf: Old Frisian kniucht, Dutch knecht, Danish knægt, Swedish knekt, Middle High German kneht, all meaning "boy, youth, lad", as well as German Knecht "servant, bondsman, vassal").[2] Anglo-Saxon cniht had no particular connection to horsemanship, referring to any servant. A rādcniht (meaning "riding-servant") was a servant delivering messages or patrolling coastlines on horseback. Old English cnihthād ("knighthood") had the meaning of adolescence (i.e. the period between childhood and manhood) by 1300.[2]
    A narrowing of the generic meaning "servant" to "military follower of a king or other superior" is visible by 1100. The specific military sense of a knight being a mounted warrior in the heavy cavalry emerges only in the Hundred Years' War. The verb "to knight", i.e. to make someone a knight appears around 1300, and from the same time, the word "knighthood" shifted from "adolescence" to "rank or dignity of a knight".
    Knight - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  20. Duncan1574

    Duncan1574 Lodge Chaplain & arms dealer Staff Member

    Lodge:
    Ozaukee 17
    Staff:
    Moderator
    Verified:
    Yes

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