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The History of the Knights Templar

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Knight of Jerusalem
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« on: December 26, 2008, 01:35:24 am »

The History of the Knights Templar
by Charles G. Addison
[1842]



This is a mainstream history of the Knights Templars, written in the 19th century. Addison details the rise of the Templars to become, essentially, the first multinational corporation. The Templars were entrusted by the Church and States of Europe to be the spearhead of the crusades. In the process they gained immense wealth and influence, although individual Templars took a vow of poverty. Jerusalem was won and lost several times by the crusaders through the 12th and 13th centuries. Addison notably cites eye-witness descriptions from both the Crusaders and their Moslem opponents to give a well-rounded picture. After the crusades, and the loss of the Holy Land, the Templars began a quick decline from which they never recovered. Accused of heresy and bizarre secret rituals, the Templars were subjected to torture and the stake.

The second portion of the book focuses on Temple Church in London, the English headquarters of the Templars in their prime. Addison details the architecture and history of this edifice. The Temple Church eventually became the center of the legal profession in the City of London, a hostel and school for lawyers. Addison mentions on the title page that he is a member of the 'Inner Temple,' which doesn't mean that he was part of a secret society, but instead qualified to practise law in England.

Addison quotes liberally from contemporary accounts in Latin, Norman French, and Early Modern English (which he thankfully occasionally translates), and includes extensive citations of source documents. If you want to learn the fascinating history of the Knights Templars without any extraneous theorizing, this is an excellent book to start with.


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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2008, 01:36:45 am »

THE HISTORY
OF
The Knights Templars,
THE
TEMPLE CHURCH, AND THE TEMPLE.
BY CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ.
OF THE INNER TEMPLE.
Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans; London
[1842]
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2008, 01:37:35 am »

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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2008, 01:38:03 am »

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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2008, 01:39:42 am »

NOTICE OF ATTRIBUTION
Scanned at sacred-texts.com, May, 2006. Proofed and Formatted by John Bruno Hare. This text is in the public domain in the United States because it was published prior to January 1st, 1923. These files may be used for any non-commercial purpose, provided this notice of attribution is left intact in all copies

TO THE

MASTERS OF THE BENCH OF THE HONOURABLE SOCIETIES

OF THE

Inner and Middle Temple

THE RESTORERS

OF

The Antient Church of the Knights Templars

THIS WORK

Is

RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

BY

THE AUTHOR.

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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2008, 01:40:26 am »

p. vii

PREFACE.

THE extraordinary and romantic career of the Knights Templars, their exploits and their misfortunes, render their history a subject of peculiar interest.

Born during the first fervour of the Crusades, they were flattered and aggrandized as long as their great military power and religious fanaticism could be made available for the support of the Eastern church and the retention of the Holy Land, but when the crescent had ultimately triumphed over the cross, and the religio-military enthusiasm of Christendom had died away, they encountered the basest ingratitude in return for the services they had rendered to the christian faith, and were plundered, persecuted, and condemned to a cruel death, by those who ought in justice to have been their defenders and supporters. The memory of these holy warriors is embalmed in all our recollections of the wars of the cross; they were the bulwarks of the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem during the short period of its existence, and were the last band of Europe's host that contended for the possession of Palestine.

To the vows of the monk and the austere life of the convent,

p. viii

the Templars added the discipline of the camp, and the stern duties of the military life, joining


"The fine vocation of the sword and lance,
With the gross aims, and body-bending toil
Of a poor brotherhood, who walk the earth
Pitied."

The vulgar notion that the Templars were as wicked as they were fearless and brave, has not yet been entirely exploded; but it is hoped that the copious account of the proceedings against the order in this country, given in the ninth and tenth chapters of the ensuing volume, will tend to dispel many unfounded prejudices still entertained against the fraternity, and excite emotions of admiration for their constancy and courage, and of pity for their unmerited and cruel fate.

Matthew Paris, who wrote at St. Albans, concerning events in Palestine, tells us that the emulation between the Templars and Hospitaliers frequently broke out into open warfare to the great scandal and prejudice of Christendom, and that, in a pitched battle fought between them, the Templars were slain to a man. The solitary testimony of Matthew Paris, who was no friend to the two orders, is invalidated by the silence of contemporary historians, who wrote on the spot; and it is quite evident from the letters of the pope, addressed to the Hospitaliers, the year after the date of the alleged battle, that such an occurrence never could have taken place.

The accounts, even of the best of the antient writers, should not be adopted without examination, and a careful comparison with other sources of information. William of Tyre, for instance, tells us that Nassr-ed-deen, son of sultan Abbas, was taken prisoner by the Templars, and whilst in their hands became a convert to the Christian religion; that he had learned the rudiments

p. ix

of the Latin language, and earnestly sought to be baptized, but that the Templars were bribed with sixty thousand pieces of gold to surrender him to his enemies in Egypt, where certain death awaited him; and that they stood by to see him bound hand and foot with chains, and placed in an iron cage, to be conducted across the desert to Cairo. Now the Arabian historians of that period tell us that Nassr-ed-deen and his father murdered the caliph and threw his body into a well, and then fled with their retainers and treasure into Palestine; that the sister of the murdered caliph wrote immediately to the commandant at Gaza, which place was garrisoned by the Knights Templars, offering a handsome reward for the capture of the fugitives; that they were accordingly intercepted, and Nassr-ed-deen was sent to Cairo, where the female relations of the caliph caused his body to be cut into small pieces in the seraglio. The above act has constantly been made a matter of grave accusation against the Templars; but what a different complexion does the case assume on the testimony of the Arabian authorities!

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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2008, 01:40:46 am »

It must be remembered that William archbishop of Tyre was hostile to the order on account of its vast powers and privileges, and carried his complaints to a general council of the church at Rome. He is abandoned, in everything that he says to the prejudice of the fraternity, by James of Vitry, bishop of Acre, a learned and most talented prelate, who wrote in Palestine subsequently to William of Tyre, and has copied largely from the history of the latter. The bishop of Acre speaks of the Templars in the highest terms, and declares that they were universally loved by all men for their piety and humility. "Nulli molesti erant!" says he, "sed ab omnibus propter humilitatem et religionem amabantur."

The celebrated orientalist Von Hammer has recently brought forward various extraordinary and unfounded charges, destitute

p. x

of all authority, against the Templars; and Wilcke, who has written a German history of the order, seems to have imbibed all the vulgar prejudices against the fraternity. I might have added to the interest of the ensuing work, by making the Templars horrible and atrocious villains; but I have endeavoured to write a fair and impartial account of the order, not slavishly adopting everything I find detailed in antient writers, but such matters only as I believe, after a careful examination of the best authorities, to be true.

It is a subject of congratulation to us that we possess, in the Temple Church at London, the most beautiful and perfect memorial of the order of the Knights Templars now in existence. No one who has seen that building in its late dress of plaster and whitewash will recognize it when restored to its antient magnificence. This venerable structure was one of the chief ecclesiastical edifices of the Knights Templars in Europe, and stood next in rank to the Temple at Jerusalem. As I have performed the pilgrimage to the Holy City, and wandered amid the courts of the antient Temple of the Knights Templars on Mount Moriah, I could not but regard with more than ordinary interest the restoration by the societies of the Inner and the Middle Temple of their beautiful Temple Church.

The greatest zeal and energy have been displayed by them in that praiseworthy undertaking, and no expense has been spared to repair the ravages of time, and to bring back the structure to what it was in the time of the Templars.

In the summer I had the pleasure of accompanying one of the chief and most enthusiastic promoters of the restoration of the church (Mr. Burge, Q.C.) over the interesting fabric, and at his suggestion the present work was commenced. I am afraid that it will hardly answer his expectations, and am sorry that the interesting task has not been undertaken by an abler hand.

Temple, Nov. 17, 1841.

p. xi

P.S. Mr. Willement, who is preparing some exquisitely stained glass windows for the Temple Church, has just drawn my attention to the nineteenth volume of the "MEMOIR ES DE LA SOCIÉTÉ ROYALE DES ANTIQUAIRES DE FRANCE," published last year. It contains a most curious and interesting account of the church of Brelevennez, in the department des Cotes-du-Nord, supposed to have formerly belonged to the order of the Temple, written by the Chevalier du FREMANVILLE. Amongst various curious devices, crosses, and symbols found upon the windows and the tombs of the church, is a copper medallion, which appears to have been suspended from the neck by a chain. This decoration consists of a small circle, within which are inscribed two equilateral triangles placed one upon the other, so as to form a six-pointed star. In the midst of the star is a second circle, containing within it the LAMB of the order of the Temple holding the banner in its fore-paw, similar to what we see on the antient seal of the order delineated in the title-page of this work. Mr. Willement has informed me that he has received an offer from a gentleman in Brittany to send over casts of the decorations and devices lately discovered in that church. He has kindly referred the letter to me for consideration, but I have not thought it advisable to delay the publication of the present work for the purpose of procuring them.

Mr. Willement has also drawn my attention to a very distinct impression of the reverse of the seal of the Temple described in page 106, whereon I read very plainly the interesting motto, "TESTIS SVM AGNI.



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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2008, 01:49:41 am »

p. xiii

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Origin of the Templars--The pilgrimages to Jerusalem--The dangers to which pilgrims were exposed--The formation of the brotherhood of the poor fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ to protect them--Their location in the Temple--A description of the Temple--Origin of the name Templars--Hugh de Payens chosen Master of the Temple--Is sent to Europe by King Baldwin--Is introduced to the Pope--The assembling of the Council of Troyes--The formation of a rule for the government of the Templars Page 1

CHAPTER II.

Regula Pauperum Commilitonum Christi et Templi Salomonis.

The most curious parts of the rule displayed--The confirmation of the rule by the Pope--The visit of Hugh de Payens, the Master of the Temple, to England--His cordial reception--The foundation of the Order in this country--Lands and money granted to the Templars--Their popularity in Europe--The rapid increase of their fraternity--St. Bernard takes up the pen in their behalf--He displays their valour and piety 15

p. xiv

CHAPTER III.

Hugh de Payens returns to Palestine--His death--Robert de Craon made Master--Success of the Infidels--The second Crusade--The Templars assume the Red Cross--Their gallant actions and high discipline--Lands, manors, and churches granted them in England--Bernard de Tremelay made Master--He is slain by the Infidels--Bertrand de Blanquefort made Master--He is taken prisoner, and sent in chains to Aleppo--The Pope writes letters in praise of the Templars--Their religious and military enthusiasm--Their war banner called Beauseant--The rise of the rival religio-military order of the Hospital of St. John 36

CHAPTER IV.

The contests between Saladin and the Templars--The vast privileges of the Templars--The publication of the bull, omne datum optimum--The Pope declares himself the immediate Bishop of the entire Order--The different classes of Templars--The knights--Priests--Serving brethren--The hired soldiers--The great officers of the Temple--Punishment of cowardice--The Master of the Temple is taken prisoner, and dies in a dungeon--Saladin's great successes--The Christians purchase a truce--The Master of the Temple and the Patriarch Heraclius proceed to England for succour--The consecration of the TEMPLE CHURCH AT LONDON 60

CHAPTER V.

The Temple at London--The vast possessions of the Templars in England--The territorial divisions of the order--The different preceptories in this country--The privileges conferred on the Templars by the kings of England--The Masters of the Temple at London--Their power and importance 81

CHAPTER VI.

The Patriarch Heraclius quarrels with the king of England--He returns to Palestine without succour--The disappointments and gloomy forebodings of the Templars--They prepare to resist Saladin--Their defeat and slaughter--

p. xv

[paragraph continues] The valiant deeds of the Marshal of the Temple--The fatal battle of Tiberias--The captivity of the Grand Master and the true Cross--The captive Templars are offered the Koran or death--They choose the latter, and are beheaded--The fall of Jerusalem--The Moslems take possession of the Temple--They purify it with rose-water, say prayers, and hear a sermon--The Templars retire to Antioch--Their letters to the king of England and the Master of the Temple at London--Their exploits at the siege of Acre 114

CHAPTER VII.

Richard Cur de Lion joins the Templars before Acre--The city surrenders, and the Templars establish the chief house of their order within it--Cur de Lion takes up his abode with them--He sells to them the island of Cyprus--The Templars form the van of his army--Their foraging expeditions and great exploits--Cur de Lion quits the Holy Land in the disguise of a Knight Templar--The Templars build the Pilgrim's Castle in Palestine--The state of the order in England--King John resides in the Temple at London--The barons come to him at that place, and demand MAGNA CHARTA--The exploits of the Templars in Egypt--The letters of the Grand Master to the Master of the Temple at London--The Templars reconquer Jerusalem 141

CHAPTER VIII.

The conquest of Jerusalem by the Carizmians--The slaughter of the Templars, and the death of the Grand Master--The exploits of the Templars in Egypt--King Louis of France visits the Templars in Palestine-He assists them in putting the country into a defensible state--Henry IL, king of England, visits the Temple at Paris--The magnificent hospitality of the Templars in England and France--Benocdar, sultan of Egypt, invades Palestine--He defeats the Templars, takes their strong fortresses, and decapitates six hundred of their brethren--The Grand Master comes to England for succour--The renewal of the war--The fall of Acre, and the final extinction of the Templars in Palestine 165

p. xvi

CHAPTER IX.

The downfall of the Templars--The cause thereof--The Grand Master comes to Europe at the request of the Pope--He is imprisoned, with all the Templars in France, by command of king Philip--They are put to the torture, and confessions of the guilt of heresy and idolatry are extracted from them--Edward II. king of England stands up in defence of the Templars, but afterwards persecutes them at the instance of the Pope--The imprisonment of the Master of the Temple and all his brethren in England--Their examination upon eighty-seven horrible and ridiculous articles of accusation before foreign inquisitors appointed by the Pope--A council of the church assembles at London to pass sentence upon them--The curious evidence adduced as to the mode of admission into the order, and of the customs and observances of the fraternity. 193

CHAPTER X.

The Templars in France revoke their rack-extorted confessions--They are tried as relapsed heretics, and burnt at the stake--The progress of the inquiry in England--The curious evidence adduced as to the mode of holding the chapters of the order--As to the penance enjoined therein, and the absolution pronounced by the Master--The Templars draw up a written defence, which they present to the ecclesiastical council--They are placed in separate dungeons, and put to the torture--Two serving brethren and a chaplain of the order then make confessions--Many other Templars acknowledge themselves guilty of heresy in respect of their belief in the religious authority of their Master--They make their recantations, and are reconciled to the church before the south door of Saint Paul's cathedral--The order of the Temple is abolished by the Pope--The last of the Masters of the Temple in England dies in the Tower--The disposal of the property of the order--Observations on the downfall of the Templars. 239

CHAPTER XI.

THE TEMPLE CHURCH.

The restoration of the Temple Church--The beauty and magnificence of the venerable building--The various styles of architecture displayed in it--The

p. xvii

discoveries made during the recent restoration--The sacrarium--The marble piscina--The sacramental niches--The penitential cell--The ancient Chapel of St. Anne--Historical matters connected with the Temple Church--The holy relics anciently preserved therein--The interesting monumental remains 289

CHAPTER XII.

THE TEMPLE CHURCH.

THE MONUMENTS OF THE CRUSADERS--The tomb and effigy of Sir Geoffrey de Magnaville, earl of Essex, and constable of the Tower--His life and death, and famous exploits--Of William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, Protector of England--Of the Lord de Ross--Of William and Gilbert Marshall, earls of Pembroke--Of William Plantagenet, fifth son of Henry the Third--The anxious desire manifested by king Henry the Third, queen Eleanor, and various persons of rank, to be buried in the Temple Church 309

CHAPTER XIII.

THE TEMPLE.

Antiquities in the Temple--The history of the place subsequent to the dissolution of the order of the Knights Templars--The establishment of a society of lawyers in the Temple--The antiquity of this society--Its connexion with the antient society of the Knights Templars--An order of knights and serving brethren established in the law--The degree of frere serjen, or frater serviens, borrowed from the antient Templars--The modern Templars divide themselves into the two societies of the Inner and Middle Temple 342

CHAPTER XIV.

THE TEMPLE.

The Temple Garden--The **** of new buildings in the Temple--The dissolution of the order of the Hospital of Saint John--The law societies become lessees of the crown--The **** of the magnificent Middle Temple Hall--The conversion of the old hall into chambers--The grant of the inheritance

p. xviii

of the Temple to the two law societies--Their magnificent present to his Majesty--Their antient orders and customs, and antient hospitality--Their grand entertainments--Reader's feasts--Grand Christmasses and Bevels--The fox-hunt in the hall--The dispute with the Lord Mayor--The quarrel with the custos of the Temple Church 373

 

 

 

ERRATA.

In note, page 6, for infinitus, read infinitis.
29, for carrissime, read carissime.
42, for Angli, read Anglia.
79, for promptia, read promptior.
79, for principos, read principes.
80, for Patriarchs, read patriarcham.
 

 




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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2008, 01:52:59 am »

p. 1

THE
KNIGHTS TEMPLARS.
CHAPTER I.

Origin of the Templars--The pilgrimages to Jerusalem--The dangers to which pilgrims were exposed--The formation of the brotherhood of the poor fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ to protect them--Their location in the Temple--A description of the Temple--Origin of the name Templars--Hugh de Payens chosen Master of the Temple--Is sent to Europe by King Baldwin--Is introduced to the Pope--The assembling of the Council of Troyes--The formation of a rule for the government of the Templars.


"Yet ’midst her towering fanes in ruin laid,
The pilgrim saint his murmuring vespers paid;
’Twas his to mount the tufted rocks, and rove
The chequer’d twilight of the olive-grove:
’Twas his to bend beneath the sacred gloom,
And wear with many a kiss Messiah's tomb."

THE extraordinary and romantic institution of the Knights Templars, those military friars who so strangely blended the character of the monk with that of the soldier, took its origin in the following manner:--

On the miraculous discovery of the Holy sepulchre by the Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine, about 298 years after the death of Christ, and the consequent ****, by command

p. 2

of the first christian emperor, of the magnificent church of the Resurrection, or, as it is now called, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, over the sacred monument, the tide of pilgrimage set in towards Jerusalem, and went on increasing in strength as Christianity gradually spread throughout Europe. On the surrender of the Holy City to the victorious Arabians, (A.D. 637,) the privileges and the security of the christian population were provided for in the following guarantee, given under the hand and seal of the Caliph Omar to Sophronius the Patriarch.

"From OMAR EBNO ’L ALCHITAB to the inhabitants of ÆLIA."

"They shall be protected and secured both in their lives and fortunes, and their churches shall neither be pulled down nor made use of by any but themselves." *

Under the government of the Arabians, the pilgrimages continued steadily to increase; the old and the young, women and children, flocked in crowds to Jerusalem, and in the year 1064 the Holy Sepulchre was visited by an enthusiastic band of seven thousand pilgrims, headed by the Archbishop of Mentz and the Bishops of Utrecht, Bamberg, and Ratisbon. † The year following, however, Jerusalem was conquered by the wild Turcomans. Three thousand of the citizens were indiscriminately massacred, and the hereditary command over the Holy City and territory was confided to the Emir Ortok, the chief of a savage pastoral tribe.

Under the iron yoke of these fierce Northern strangers, the Christians were fearfully oppressed; they were driven from their



p. 3

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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2008, 01:54:13 am »

churches; divine worship was ridiculed and interrupted; and the patriarch of the Holy City was dragged by the hair of his bead over the sacred pavement of the church of the Resurrection, and cast into a dungeon, to extort a ransom from the sympathy of his flock. The pilgrims who, through innumerable perils, had reached the gates of the Holy City, were plundered, imprisoned, and frequently massacred; an aureus, or piece of gold, was exacted as the price of admission to the holy sepulchre, and many, unable to pay the tax, were driven by the swords of the Turcomans from the very threshold of the object of all their hopes, the bourne of their long pilgrimage, and were compelled to retrace their weary steps in sorrow and anguish to their distant homes. * The melancholy intelligence of the profanation of the holy places, and of the oppression and cruelty of the Turcomans, aroused the religious chivalry of Christendom; "a nerve was touched of exquisite feeling, and the sensation vibrated to the heart of Europe."

Then arose the wild enthusiasm of the crusades; men of all ranks, and even monks and priests, animated by the exhortations of the pope and the preachings of Peter the Hermit, flew to arms, and enthusiastically undertook "the pious and glorious enterprize" of rescuing the holy sepulchre of Christ from the foul abominations of the heathen.

When intelligence of the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders (A.D. 1099) had been conveyed to Europe, the zeal of pilgrimage blazed forth with increased fierceness; it had gathered intensity from the interval of its suppression by the wild Turcomans, and promiscuous crowds of both sexes, old men and children, virgins and matrons, thinking the road then open and the journey practicable, successively pressed forwards towards the Holy City, with the passionate desire of contemplating the original monuments of the


p. 4

[paragraph continues] Redemption. * The infidels had indeed been driven out of Jerusalem, but not out of Palestine. The lofty mountains bordering the sea-coast were infested by bold and warlike bands of fugitive Mussulmen, who maintained themselves in various impregnable castles and strongholds, from whence they issued forth upon the high-roads, cut off the communication between Jerusalem and the sea-ports, and revenged themselves for the loss of their habitations and property by the indiscriminate pillage of all travellers. The Bedouin horsemen, moreover, making rapid incursions from beyond the Jordan, frequently kept up a desultory and irregular warfare in the plains; and the pilgrims, consequently, whether they approached the Holy City by land or by sea, were alike exposed to almost daily hostility, to plunder, and to death.

To alleviate the dangers and distresses to which these pious enthusiasts were exposed, to guard the honour of the saintly virgins and matrons, † and to protect the gray hairs of the venerable palmer, nine noble knights formed a holy brotherhood in arms, and entered into a solemn compact to aid one another in clearing the highways of infidels, and of robbers, and in protecting the pilgrims through the passes and defiles of the mountains to the Holy City. Warmed with the religious and military fervour of the day, and animated by the sacredness of the cause to which they had devoted their swords, they called themselves the Poor Fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ. They renounced the world and its pleasures, and in the holy church of the Resurrection, in the presence of the patriarch of Jerusalem, they



p. 5

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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2008, 01:54:45 am »

embraced vows of perpetual chastity, obedience, and poverty, after the manner of monks. * Uniting in themselves the two most popular qualities of the age, devotion and valour, and exercising them in the most popular of all enterprises, the protection of the pilgrims and of the road to the holy sepulchre, they speedily acquired a vast reputation and a splendid renown.

At first, we are told, they had no church and no particular place of abode, but in the year of our Lord 1118, (nineteen years after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Crusaders,) they had rendered such good and acceptable service to the Christians, that Baldwin the Second, king of Jerusalem, granted them a place of habitation within the sacred inclosure of the Temple on Mount Moriah, amid those holy and magnificent structures, partly erected by the christian Emperor Justinian, and partly built by the Caliph Omar, which were then exhibited by the monks and priests of Jerusalem, whose restless zeal led them to practise on the credulity of the pilgrims, and to multiply relics and all objects likely to be sacred in their eyes, as the Temple of Solomon, whence the Poor Fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ came thenceforth to be known by the name of "the Knighthood of the Temple of Solomon." †



p. 6

A few remarks in elucidation of the name Templars, or Knights of the Temple, may not be altogether unacceptable.

By the Mussulmen, the site of the great Jewish temple on Mount Moriah has always been regarded with peculiar veneration. Mahomet, in the first year of the publication of the Koran, directed his followers, when at prayer, to turn their faces towards it, and pilgrimages have constantly been made to the holy spot by devout Moslems. On the conquest of Jerusalem by the Arabians, it was the first care of the Caliph Omar to rebuild "the Temple of the Lord." Assisted by the principal chieftains of his army, the Commander of the Faithful undertook the pious office of clearing the ground with his own hands, and of tracing out the foundations of the magnificent mosque which now crowns with its dark and swelling dome the elevated summit of Mount Moriah. *

This great house of prayer, the most holy Mussulman Temple in the world after that of Mecca, is erected over the spot where "Solomon began to build the house of the Lord at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshing-floor of Oman the Jebusite." It remains to this day in a state of perfect preservation, and is one of the finest specimens of Saracenic architecture in existence. It is entered by four spacious doorways, each door facing one of the cardinal points; the Bab el D'jannat, or gate of the garden, on the north; the Bab el Kebla, or gate of prayer, on the south; the Bab ib’n el Daoud, or the


p. 7

gate of the son of David, on the east; and the Bab el Garbi, on the west. By the Arabian geographers it is called Beit Allah, the house of God, also Beit Almokaddas, or Beit Almacdes, the holy house. From it Jerusalem derives its Arabic name, el Kods, the holy, el Schereef, the noble, and el Mobarek, the blessed; while the governors of the city, instead of the customary high-sounding titles of sovereignty and dominion, take the simple title of Hami, or protectors.

On the conquest of Jerusalem by the crusaders, the crescent was torn down from the summit of this famous Mussulman Temple, and was replaced by an immense golden cross, and the edifice was then consecrated to the services of the christian religion, but retained its simple appellation of "The Temple of the Lord." William, Archbishop of Tyre and Chancellor of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, gives an interesting account of this famous edifice as it existed in his time, during the Latin dominion. He speaks of the splendid mosaic work, of the Arabic characters setting forth the name of the founder, and the cost of the undertaking, and of the famous rock under the centre of the dome, which is to this day shown by the Moslems as the spot whereon the destroying angel stood, " with his drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem." * This rock he


p. 8

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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2008, 01:55:25 am »

informs us was left exposed and uncovered for the space of fifteen years after the conquest of the holy city by the crusaders, but was, after that period, cased with a handsome altar of white marble, upon which the priests daily said mass.

To the south of this holy Mussulman temple, on the extreme edge of the summit of Mount Moriah, and resting against the modern walls of the town of Jerusalem, stands the venerable christian church of the Virgin, erected by the Emperor Justinian, whose stupendous foundations, remaining to this day, fully justify the astonishing description given of the building by Procopius. That writer informs us that in order to get a level surface for the **** of the edifice, it was necessary, on the east and south sides of the hill, to raise up a wall of masonry from the valley below, and to construct a vast foundation, partly composed of solid stone and partly of arches and pillars. The stones were of such magnitude, that each block required to be transported in a truck drawn by forty of the emperor's strongest oxen; and to admit of the passage of these trucks it was necessary to widen the roads leading to Jerusalem. The forests of Lebanon yielded their choicest cedars for the timbers of the roof, and a quarry of variegated marble, seasonably discovered in the adjoining mountains, furnished the edifice with superb marble columns. * The interior of this interesting structure, which still remains at Jerusalem, after a lapse of more than thirteen centuries, in an excellent state of preservation, is adorned with six rows of columns, from whence spring arches supporting the cedar beams and timbers of the roof; and at the end of the building is a round tower, surmounted by a dome. The vast stones, the walls of masonry, and the subterranean colonnade raised to support the south-east angle of the platform whereon the church is erected, are truly wonderful, and may still be seen by penetrating through


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a small door, and descending several flights of steps at the south-east corner of the inclosure. Adjoining the sacred edifice, the emperor erected hospitals, or houses of refuge, for travellers, sick people, and mendicants of all nations; the foundations whereof, composed of handsome Roman masonry, are still visible on either side of the southern end of the building.

On the conquest of Jerusalem by the Moslems, this venerable church was converted into a mosque, and was called D’jamé al Acsa; it was enclosed, together with the great Mussulman Temple of the Lord erected by the Caliph Omar, within a large area by a high stone wall, which runs around the edge of the summit of Mount Moriah, and guards from the profane tread of the unbeliever the whole of that sacred ground whereon once stood the gorgeous temple of the wisest of kings. *

When the Holy City was taken by the crusaders, the D’jamé al Acsa, with the various buildings constructed around it, became the property of the kings of Jerusalem; and is denominated by William of Tyre "the palace," or "royal house to the south of the Temple of the Lord, vulgarly called the Temple of Solomon." † It was this edifice or temple on Mount Moriah which was appropriated to the use of the poor fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ, as they had no church and no particular place of



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abode, and from it they derived their name of Knights Templars. *

James of Vitry, Bishop of Acre, who gives an interesting account of the holy places, thus speaks of the Temple of the Knights Templars. "There is, moreover, at Jerusalem another temple of immense spaciousness and extent, from which the brethren of the knighthood of the Temple derive their name of Templars, which is called the Temple of Solomon, perhaps to distinguish it from the one above described, which is specially called the Temple of the Lord. " † He moreover informs us in his oriental history, that "in the Temple of the Lord there is an abbot and canons regular; and be it known that the one is the Temple of the Lord, and the other the Temple of the Chivalry. These are clerks, the others are knights." ‡

The canons of the Temple of the Lord conceded to the poor fellow-soldiers of Jesus Christ the large court extending between that building and the Temple of Solomon; the king, the patriarch, and the prelates of Jerusalem, and the barons of the Latin kingdom, assigned them various gifts and revenues for their maintenance and support, § and the order being now settled in a regular place of abode, the knights soon began to entertain more extended views, and to seek a larger theatre for the exercise of their holy profession.





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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2008, 01:59:15 am »

Their first aim and object had been, as before mentioned, simply to protect the poor pilgrims, on their journey backwards and forwards, from the sea-coast to Jerusalem; * but as the hostile tribes of Mussulmen, which everywhere surrounded the Latin kingdom, were gradually recovering from the stupifying terror into which they had been plunged by the successful and exterminating warfare of the first crusaders, and were assuming an aggressive and threatening attitude, it was determined that the holy warriors of the Temple should, in addition to the protection of pilgrims, make the defence of the christian kingdom of Jerusalem, of the eastern church, and of all the holy places, a part of their particular profession.

The two most distinguished members of the fraternity were Hugh de Payens and Geoffrey de St. Aldemar, or St. Omer, two valiant soldiers of the cross, who had fought with great credit and renown at the siege of Jerusalem. Hugh de Payens was chosen by the knights to be the superior of the new religious and military society, by the title of "The Master of the Temple;" and he has, consequently, generally been called the founder of the order.

The name and reputation of the Knights Templars speedily spread throughout Europe, and various illustrious pilgrims from the far west aspired to become members of the holy fraternity. Among these was Falk, Count of Anjou, who joined the society as a married brother, (A.D. 1120,) and annually remitted the order thirty pounds of silver. Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, foreseeing that great advantages would accrue to the Latin kingdom by the increase of the power and numbers of these holy


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warriors, exerted himself to extend the order throughout all Christendom, so that he might, by means of so politic an institution, keep alive the holy enthusiasm of the west, and draw a constant succour from the bold and warlike races of Europe for the support of his christian throne and kingdom.

St. Bernard, the holy abbot of Clairvaux, had been a great admirer of the Templars. He wrote a letter to the Count of Champagne, on his entering the order, (A.D. 1123,) praising the act as one of eminent merit in the sight of God; and it was determined to enlist the all-powerful influence of this great ecclesiastic in favour of the fraternity. "By a vow of poverty and penance, by closing his eyes against the visible world, by the refusal of all ecclesiastical dignities, the Abbot of Clairvaux became the oracle of Europe, and the founder of one hundred and sixty convents. Princes and pontiffs trembled at the freedom of his apostolical censures: France, England, and Milan, consulted and obeyed his judgment in a schism of the church: the debt was repaid by the gratitude of Innocent the Second; and his successor, Eugenics the Third, was the friend and disciple of the holy St. Bernard." *

To this learned and devout prelate two knights templars were despatched with the following letter:

"Baldwin, by the grace of the Lord JESUS CHRIST, King of Jerusalem, and Prince of Antioch, to the venerable Father Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, health and regard.

"The Brothers of the Temple, whom the Lord hath deigned to raise up, and whom by an especial Providence he preserves for the defence of this kingdom, desiring to obtain from the Holy See the confirmation of their institution, and a rule for their particular guidance, we have determined to send to you the two knights, Andrew and Gondemar, men as much distinguished by


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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2008, 01:59:33 am »

their military exploits as by the splendour of their birth, to obtain from the Pope the approbation of their order, and to dispose his holiness to send succour and subsidies against the enemies of the faith, reunited in their design to destroy us, and to invade our christian territories.

"Well knowing the weight of your mediation with God and his vicar upon earth, as well as with the princes and powers of Europe, we have thought fit to confide to yon these two important matters, whose successful issue cannot be otherwise than most agreeable to ourselves. The statutes we ask of you should be so ordered and arranged as to be reconcilable with the tumult of the camp and the profession of arms; they must, in fact, be of such a nature as to obtain favour and popularity with the christian princes.

"Do you then so manage, that we may, through you, have the happiness of seeing this important affair brought to a successful issue, and address for us to heaven the incense of your prayers." *

Soon after the above letter had been despatched to St. Bernard, Hugh de Payens himself proceeded to Rome, accompanied by Geoffrey de St. Aldemar, and four other brothers of the order, viz. Brother Payen de Montdidier, Brother Gorall, Brother Geoffrey Bisol, and Brother Archambauld de St. Amand. They were received with great honour and distinction by Pope Honorius, who warmly approved of the objects and designs of the holy fraternity. St. Bernard had, in the mean time, taken the affair greatly to heart; he negotiated with the Pope, the legate, and the bishops of France, and obtained the convocation of a great ecclesiastical council at Troyes, (A.D. 11280 which Hugh de Payens and his brethren were invited to attend. This council consisted of several archbishops, bishops, and abbots, among


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which last was St. Bernard himself. The rules to which the Templars had subjected themselves were there described by the master, and to the holy Abbot of Clairvaux was confided the task of revising and correcting these rules, and of framing a code of statutes fit and proper for the governance of the great religious and military fraternity of the Temple.


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