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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1760 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #120 on: February 01, 2009, 11:01:55 pm »

assure the pope that his mandates would be speedily obeyed. The arrests took place accordingly; and the Templars and their property were thus seized in the two countries in which they were most powerful *.

The reluctance of the king of England and his parliament to proceed to any harsh measures against the Templars affords some presumption in their favour, and would incline us to believe that, had Philip been actuated by a similar love of justice, the order would not have been so cruelly treated in France. But Philip had resolved on the destruction of the society, and his privy councillors and favourites were not men who would seek to check him in his career of blood and spoliation. These men were William Imbert, his confessor, a Dominican monk, one of an order inured in Languedoc to blood, and deeply versed in all inquisitorial arts and practices; William Nogaret, his chancellor, the violator of the sanctity of the head of the church; William Plasian, who had shared in that daring deed, and afterwards sworn, in an assembly of the peers and prelates of France, that Boniface was an atheist and a sorcerer, and had a familiar demon. The whole order of the Dominicans also went heart and hand in the pious work of detecting and punishing the heretics. We must constantly bear in mind that the charges made against the Templars, if they may not all be classed under the term heresy, were all such as the Church was in the habit of making against those whom she persecuted as public heretics. And in this, Philip and his advisers acted wisely in their generation; for treason, or any other political charge, would have sounded dull and inefficient in the ears of the people, in comparison with the formidable word heresy.


276:* The proceedings against the Templars have been published from the original documents by Mowdenhaler, in Germany; but the work has been bought up by the freemasons, who fancy themselves descended from the Templars, so that we have been unable to procure a copy of it. Wilike has, however, extracted largely from it.

281:* Sismondi Républiques Italiennes, iv. p. 143.

291:* The arrests were made in England in the same secret and sudden manner as in France. Rymer iii. 34, 43.


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