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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1695 times)
Trena Alloway
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Posts: 2386

« Reply #90 on: February 01, 2009, 09:00:45 pm »

no papal confirmation: the choice of the chapter was conclusive. Two knights were assigned to him as his companions.

The allowances and train of the Master were suitable to the rank which he was to support in the world, and to the dignity of the order which he represented. He was allowed four horses, and an esquire of noble birth. He had a chaplain and two secretaries; one for managing his Latin correspondence, whom he might, after a time, admit to become a knight of the order; the other, who was called his Saracenic secretary, and who was probably an eastern Christian, for carrying on his Arabic correspondence with the Infidels. He had, moreover, a farrier, a cook, and a Turcopole *, two footmen, and a Turcoman †, to serve as guide. On a march, the Turcoman rode on a horse behind an esquire: during the time of war he was led by a cord, to prevent his escape. On any ordinary journey, the Master might take two beasts of burden with him; but in war-time, or in case of his going beyond the Jordan, or the Dog's Pass ‡, he might extend the number to four, which the statutes thriftily direct to be put into the stable when he arrives at the house where he is going to stop, and to be employed in the service of the house. The Master was finally commander-in-chief

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of the order in the field; and then, like the Spartan kings, he could act in some degree unfettered by the chapter. When he died, he was buried with great solemnity and pomp, by the light of torches and wax tapers--an honour bestowed by the order on no other of its members. All the knights were required to attend the funeral; and the prelates were invited to give their presence at it. Each brother who was present was to repeat 200 Pater nosters within seven days, for the repose of the soul of the deceased; and 100 poor persons were fed at home in the evening, with the same design.

On the other hand, the Master was bound to obey the chapter; and he could do nothing without consulting some of the brethren. He could not nominate to any of the higher dignities of the order; but he might, with the advice and consent of some of the most reputable knights, appoint to the inferior priories and preceptories. He could not sell, or in any other way dispose of, any of the lands of the order, without the consent of the chapter; neither could he make peace or truce without their approbation. Their consent was also required to enable him to make any alteration in the laws of the society, to receive any person into it, or to send a brother beyond sea. He could take no money out of the treasury without the consent of the prior of Jerusalem, who was the treasurer of the society. In fact, the Master of the Temple was so curbed and restrained in every way, and his office made so much an honorary one, that his dignity may best he compared with that of a Spartan king or a Venetian doge. It is rather curious that the Master of the Temple should be thus limited in authority, when the abbot of the Benedictines, whose rules the Templars in a great measure adopted, enjoyed monarchical power.

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