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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 2790 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #150 on: February 04, 2009, 01:16:36 pm »

as unsullied as the knights of St. John *; but they sided with Pope Boniface against Philip the Fair, and a subservient pontiff sacrificed to his own avarice and personal ambition the most devoted adherents of the court of Rome †.

We make little doubt that any one who coolly and candidly considers the preceding account of the manner in which the order was suppressed will readily concede that the guilt of its members was anything but proved. It behoves their modern impugners to furnish some stronger proofs than any they have as yet brought forward. The chief adversary of the Templars at the present day is a writer whose veracity and love of justice are beyond suspicion, and who has earned for himself enduring fame by his labours in the field of oriental literature, but in whose mind, as his most partial friends must allow, learning and imagination are apt to overbalance judgment and philosophy ‡. He has been replied to by Raynouard, Münter, and other able advocates of the knights.

We now come to the question of the continuance of the order to the present day. That it has in some sort been transmitted to our times is a matter of no




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doubt; for, as we have just seen, the king of Portugal formed the Order of Christ out of the Templars in his dominions. But our readers are no doubt aware that the freemasons assert a connexion with the Templars, and that there is a society calling themselves Templars, whose chief seat is at Paris, and whose branches extend into England and other countries. The account which they give of themselves is as follows:--

James de Molay, in the year 1314, in anticipation of his speedy martyrdom,, appointed Johannes Marcus Lormenius to be his successor in his dignity. This appointment was made by a regular well-authenticated charter, bearing the signatures of the various chiefs of the order, and it is still preserved at Paris, together with the statutes, archives, banners, &c., of the soldiery of the Temple. There has been an unbroken succession of grand-masters down to the present times, among whom are to be found some of the most illustrious names in France. Bertrand du Guesclin was grand-master for a number of years; the dignity was sustained by several of the Montmorencies; and during the last century the heads of the society were princes of the different branches of the house of Bourbon. Bernard Raymond Fabré Palaprat is its head at present, at least was so a few years ago *.

This is no doubt a very plausible circumstantial account; but, on applying the Ithuriel spear of criticism to it, various ugly shapes resembling falsehood start up. Thus Molay, we are told, appointed his successor in 1314. He was put to death on the


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