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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Trena Alloway
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« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2009, 11:39:23 pm »

p. 190

in, and hence they styled themselves the Soldiery of the Temple (Militia Templi), and Templars. They attracted such immediate consideration, owing in great part, no doubt, to the novelty of their plan, that the very year after their establishment (1120), Fulk, Count of Anjou, who was come on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, joined their society as a married brother, and on his return home annually remitted them thirty pounds of silver in furtherance of their pious objects, and the example of the Count of Anjou was followed by several other princes and nobles of the West.

The English historian, Brompton, who wrote in the 12th century, asserts that the founders of the order of the Temple had originally been members of that of St. John. We know not what degree of credit this may be entitled to *, but it is certain that there had been as yet nothing of a military character in this last, and that its assumption of such a character was an imitation of the society of the Temple; for, urged by the praise which they saw lavished on the Templars for their meritorious conduct, the Hospitallers resolved to add the task of protecting to that of tending and relieving pilgrims, and such of their members as were knights resumed their arms, joyful to employ them once more in the cause of God. The amplitude of their revenues enabled them to take a number of knights and footmen into their pay--a practice in which they had probably been preceded by the Templars, who thus employed the money which was remitted to them from Europe. But during the lifetime of Raymond Dupuy the order of the Hospital did not become completely a military one; he always


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bore the simple title of director (procurator) of the Hospital, and it was not till some time afterwards that the head of the society was, like that of the Templars, styled master, and led its troops to battle. At all times the tendence of the poor and the sick formed a part of the duties of the brethren of the Hospital, and this was always a marked distinction between them end the rival order of the 'Temple, whose only task was that of fighting against the infidels.

During the first nine years which elapsed after the institution of their order the knights of the Temple lived in poverty, religiously devoting all the money which was sent to them from Europe to the advantage of the Holy Land, and the service of pilgrims. They had no peculiar habit, their raiment was such as the

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« Reply #61 on: January 04, 2009, 11:39:53 pm »

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« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2009, 11:40:12 pm »

p. 192

charity of the faithful bestowed upon them; and though knights, and engaged in constant warfare against the infidels, their poverty and moderation were such that Hugh des Payens and his companion, Godfrey, of St. Omer, had but one war-horse between them--a circumstance which they afterwards, in their brilliant period, commemorated by their seal, which represented two knights mounted on the one horse, a device chosen with a view to inculcating humility on the brethren, now beginning to wax haughty and insolent.

A chief cause of the extraordinary success of the first Crusaders had been the want of union among their enemies. The Saracens and Turks mutually hated each other, and would not combine for a common object, and the Turks were, moreover, at enmity among themselves, and one prince frequently allied himself with the Christians against another. But they were now beginning to perceive the necessity of union, and were becoming every day more formidable to their Christian neighbours. King Baldwin II., who had been a prisoner in their hands, made every effort when he had obtained his freedom to strengthen his kingdom, and, among other means for this purpose, he resolved to gain for the Templars, whose valour, humility, and single-mindedness were the theme of general applause, additional consideration, by obtaining from the Holy Father the confirmation of their order. With this view he despatched, in the year 1127, two of their members, named Andreas and Gundemar, to Rome, with this request to the Pope, to whom they were also to make a strong representation of the perilous state of the Holy Land. The king, moreover, furnished them with a letter of recommendation to St. Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, whose influence was then all-powerful in the Christian world, and who was nephew of the envoy Andreas.

p. 193

[paragraph continues] Shortly afterwards Hugh de Payens himself arrived in Europe with five others of the brethren.

Nothing could be more advantageous to the new order than the favour and countenance of the illustrious Abbot of Clairvaux, who had been for some time past an admirer of its objects and deeds. Three years before this time he had written a letter to the Count of Champagne, who had entered the order of the Templars, praising the act as one of eminent merit in the sight of God. He now, on occasion of the visit of the Master *, wrote, at his request, an eloquent work, exhorting the brethren of the new order to persevere in their toilsome but highly laudable task of fighting against the tyranny of the heathens, and commending their piety to the attention of all the faithful, setting in strong opposition to the luxury of the knights of his time the modesty and simplicity of these holy warriors. He extolled the unlimited obedience of the Templars to their Master, both at home and in the field. "They go and come," says he, "at a sign from their Master; they wear the clothing which he gives them, and ask neither food nor clothing from any one else; they live cheerfully and temperately together, without wives and children, and, that nothing may be wanting for evangelical perfection, without property, in one house, endeavouring to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, so that one heart and one soul would appear to dwell in them all. They never sit idle, or go about gaping after news. When they are resting from warfare against the infidels, a thing which rarely occurs, not to eat the bread of idleness, they employ themselves in repairing their clothes and arms, or do something which the command of the Master or the common need enjoins. There is with


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them no respect of persons; the best, not the noblest, are the most highly regarded; they endeavour to anticipate one another in respect and to lighten each other's burdens. No unseemly word or light mocking, no murmur or immoderate laughter, is let to pass unreproved, if any one should allow himself to indulge in such. They avoid games of chess and tables; they are adverse to the chase, and equally so to hawking, in which others so much delight. They hate all jugglers and mountebanks, all wanton songs and plays, as vanities and follies of this world. They cut their hair in obedience to these words of the apostle, 'it is not seemly in a man to have long hair;' no one ever sees them dressed out; they are seldom ever washed; they are mostly to be seen with disordered hair, and covered with dust, brown from their corslets and the heat of the sun. When they go forth to war they arm themselves within with faith, without with iron, but never adorn themselves with gold, wishing to excite fear in the enemy, and not the desire of booty. They delight in horses which are strong and swift, not in such as are handsomely marked and richly caparisoned, wishing to inspire terror rather than admiration. They go not impetuously and headlong into battle, but with care and foresight, peacefully, as the true children of Israel. But as soon as the fight has begun, then they rush without delay on the foes, esteeming them but as sheep; and know no fear, even though they should be few, relying on the aid of the Lord of Sabaoth. Hence one of them has often put a thousand, and two of them ten thousand, to flight. Thus they are, in union strange, at the same time gentler than lambs and grimmer than lions, so that one may doubt whether to call them monks or knights. But both names suit them, for theirs is the mildness of the monk and the valour of the knight. What remains to be said but that this is the Lord's doing,

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and it is wonderful in our eyes? Such are they whom God has chosen out of the bravest in Israel, that, watchful and true, they may guard the holy sepulchre, armed with swords, and well skilled in war."

Though in these expressions of St. Bernard there may be perceived some marks of rhetorical exaggeration, they prove incontestably the high character and sincere virtue of the founders pf the society of the Templars, and that it was organized and regulated with none but worthy objects in view. They also offer, if such were required, an additional proof that the crusade was no emanation of chivalry; for those to whom St. Bernard throughout sets the Templars in opposition were the chivalry of the age.

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« Reply #63 on: January 04, 2009, 11:40:39 pm »

This epistle of the Abbot of Clairvaux had been circulated, and every other just and honest mean employed to conciliate the public favour for the Templars, when, on the 31st January, 1128, the Master, Hugh de Payens, appeared before the council of Troyes, consisting of the Archbishops of Rheims and Sens, ten bishops, and a number of abbots, among whom was St. Bernard himself, and presided over by the Cardinal of Albano, the papal legate. The Master having given an account of the principles and exploits of the Templars, the assembled fathers approved of the new order, and gave them a new rule, containing their own previous regulations, with several additions drawn from that of the Benedictines, and chiefly relating to spiritual matters. The validity of this rule was made to depend on the approbation of it by the Holy Father and by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, neither of whom hesitated to confirm it. By the direction of the Pope Honorius, the synod appointed a white mantle to be the distinguishing dress of the brethren of the Temple, that of those of the Hospital being black. This mantle was plain, without any cross, and such it remained till the pontificate

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of Pope Eugenius III., who, in 1146, appointed the Templars to wear a red cross on the breast, as a symbol of the martyrdom to which they stood constantly exposed: the cross worn on their black mantles, by the knights of St. John, was, as we have seen *, white. The order now assumed, or were assigned, a peculiar banner, formed of cloth, striped black and. white, called in old French, Bauseant †, which word became the battle-cry of the knights of the Temple, and often struck terror into the hearts of the infidels. It bore on it the ruddy cross of the order, and the pious and humble inscription, Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed nomini tuo, da gloriam, (Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to thy name give the glory!)

Several knights now assumed the habit of the order, and in a progress which Hugh de Payens, accompanied by some of the brethren, made through France and England, he acquired for it universal favour. He did not neglect the charge, committed to him by the king of Jerusalem, of invoking aid for the Holy Land, now so hard bested, and his exhortations were not without effect. Fulk, Count of



p. 197

[paragraph continues] Anjou, now rejoined his Master and brethren; but as he had gotten an invitation to repair to Jerusalem, and espouse the only daughter of the King, he set out before them to the East.

Hugh de Payens would admit no knight into the order who did not terminate all his feuds and enmities, and amend his life. Thus, when a knight, named Hugh d’Amboise, who had oppressed the people of Marmoutier, and had refused obedience to the judicial sentence of the Count of Anjou, was desirous to enter the order, he refused to admit him to take the vows till he had given perfect satisfaction to those whom he had injured.

Honour and respect awaited the Templars wherever they appeared, and persons of all ranks were eager to do what might be grateful to them. When the Templar who came with the seal of Godfrey of St. Omer, as his credential to the governor of that place, to demand his goods which Godfrey had given the order, he met with a most favourable reception, not only from the governor, but from the bishop; and on their applying, as was necessary in this case, to the Count of Flanders and Alsatia, that prince was so far from throwing any impediments in the way, that, in a very short space of time, the buildings which had belonged to Godfrey were converted into a church and a temple-house. Many Flemish gentlemen followed the example of Godfrey, and bestowed a part or their property on the Templars. King Henry I. of England, who met and conversed with Hugh de Payens in Normandy, was so pleased with his account of the new order, that he presented him with many rich gifts, and gave him strong recommendations to the principal of the English barons. The Emperor Lothaire bestowed in 1130 on the order a large part of his patrimony of Supplinburg. The old Count Raymond Berenger, of Barcelona and Provence, weary of the world and of the toils of government,

p. 198

became a Templar, and took up his abode in the temple-house at Barcelona; and, as he could not go personally to combat the infidels in the Holy Land, he continually sent rich gifts to the brethren at Jerusalem, and he complied rigorously with all the other duties of the order. In 1133 Alfonso, king of Arragon and Navarre, a valiant and warlike monarch, who had been victor in nine and twenty battles against the Moors, finding himself old and without children, made a will, by which he appointed the knights of the Temple and of the Hospital, together with the canons of the Holy Sepulchre, to be his joint-heirs, deeming, perhaps, that the most gallant defenders of the Holy Land would best prosecute his favourite object of breaking the power of the infidels. The aged monarch fell the following year in the battle of Fraga, against the Moors; and, negligent of his disposition of the realm, the nobles of Arragon and Navarre met and chose sovereigns out of his family. The orders were not strong enough to assert their rights; and this instance, therefore, only serves to show the high degree of consideration to which they had so early attained.

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« Reply #64 on: January 04, 2009, 11:41:07 pm »



Seal of the Templars.
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« Reply #65 on: January 04, 2009, 11:41:17 pm »

Footnotes
190:* The other writers of that century agree in the account given above. Brompton's authority has been preferred by some modern writers, who probably wished to pay their court to the order of Malta.

193:* Wilken I. 28, gives 1135 as the year in which this piece was written.

195:* See p. 187. Sir W. Scott describes his Templar in Ivanhoe, as wearing a white mantle with a black cross of eight points. The original cross of the Hospitaliers, we may observe, had not eight points. That of the order of Malta was of this form.

195:† Bauseant, or Bausant, was, in old French, a piebald horse, or a hoi se marked white and black. Ducange, Roquefort. The word is still preserved with its original meaning in the Scotch dialect, in the form Bawsent:


"His honest, sonsie, baws’nt face
Aye gat him friends in ilka place,"

says Burns, describing the "ploughman's collie," in his tale of the "Twa Dogs;" and in the Glossary, Dr. Currie explains Baws’nt as meaning "having a white stripe down the face" As, however, some notion of handsomeness or attractiveness of appearance seems to be involved in the epithet, Bauseant, or Beauséant, may possibly be merely an older form of the present French word, Bienseant.



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« Reply #66 on: January 04, 2009, 11:47:08 pm »

p. 199

CHAPTER III.

Return of the Templars to the East--Exoneration and Refutation of the Charge of a Connection with the Ismaïlites--Actions of the Templars--Crusade of Louis VII.--Siege of Ascalon--Siege of Nassir-ed-deen--Corruption of the Hospitallers--The bull, Omne Datum Optimum--Refusal of the Templars to march against Egypt--Murder of the Ismaïlite Envoy.

IN the year 1129 Hugh de Payens, accompanied by 300 knights of the noblest families in Europe, who had become members of the order, and followed by a large train of pilgrims, returned to the Holy Land. Shortly after his arrival, the unlucky expedition to Damascus above narrated *, was undertaken, and the Templars formed a portion of the troops which marched, as they fancied, to take possession of that city. As has been observed, this is the first occasion on which we find the Christians in alliance and connection with the Ismaïlites; and as Hammer, the historian of the last, makes the grave charge against Hugh de Payens, of having modelled his new society on the plan of that deadly association, and of having been the chief planner and instigator of the treacherous attempt on Damascus, we will suspend the course of our narration, to discuss the probability of that opinion, though in so doing we must anticipate a little respecting the organisation of the Order of the Temple.

Hammer argues an identity between the two


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orders, as he styles them, of the Ismaïlites and the Templars, from the similarity of their dress, their internal organisation, and their secret doctrine; and as the two societies existed in the same country, and that of the Ismaïlites was first instituted, he infers that this was the original, and that of the Templars the copy.

First, with respect to the outward habiliment, the dress of the order. Nothing, as appears to us, can be weaker than to lay any stress on so casual a circumstance as similarity of forms or colours, more especially when a true and distinct cause for the assumption of them on either side can be assigned. The colour of the khalifs of the house of Ommiyah was white; hence the house of Abbas, in their contest with them, adopted black, as their distinguishing hue; and hence, when the Abbasides were in possession of the supreme power, all those who, under pretence of supporting the rights of the family of Ali, or on any other pretext, raised the standard of revolt against them, naturally selected white, as the sign of their opposition. Hassan Sabah, therefore, only retained the use of the colour which he found already established. When he formed the institution of the Fedavee, or the Devoted to Death, what more suitable mark of distinction could he assign them than a red girdle or cap, which indicated their readiness to spill their own blood or that of others? With respect to the Templars, the society of the Hospitaliers was already existing when Hugh de Payens and his companions resolved to form themselves into a new association. The mantle worn by the members of the Hospital was black: what colour then was so natural for them to adopt as its opposite, white? and when, nearly thirty years after their institution, the pope appointed them or gave them permission to wear a cross on their mantle, like the rival order, no colour could

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present itself so well suited to those who daily and hourly exposed themselves to martyrdom, as that of blood, in which there was so much of what was symbolical.

With respect to internal organisation, it will, we apprehend, be always found that this is, for the most part, the growth of time and the product of circumstances, and is always nearly the same where these last are similar. The dominion of the Assassins extended over large tracks of country; hence arose the necessity of appointing lieutenants. In like manner, when the Templars got large possessions in the West and the East, they could not avoid, after the example of the Hospitaliers, appointing persons to manage the affairs of the society in different countries. Hence, then, as the Ismaïlites had their Sheikh-al-Jebal, with his Dais-al-Kebir of Kuhistan and Syria, so the Templars had their Master and their Priors of different provinces. The resemblance is so far exact, but, as we see, easily accounted for. That which Hammer goes on to draw between the component parts of each society is altogether fanciful. To the Refeek, Fedavee and Lazik of the Ismaïlites, he sets as counterparts the knights, esquires, and serving-brethren of the Templars. It is needless to point out the arbitrariness of this comparison. The chaplains of the Templars, we may see, are omitted, and it was, perhaps, they who bore the greatest resemblance to the Refeeks, while neither knights nor esquires had the smallest similarity to the Fedavee.

As to a secret doctrine, we shall hereafter discuss the question whether the Templars had one or not. Here we shall only observe, that the proof of it, and of the ultimate object of the Templars being the same with that of the Ismaïlites, namely, the acquisition of independent power, adduced by Hammer, is by no means satisfactory. He says.

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that it was the object of both societies to make themselves masters of the surrounding country, by the possession of fortresses and castles, and thus become formidable rivals to princes; and he sees, in the preceptories or houses of the Templars, the copies of the hill-forts of the Ismaïlites. That such was the design of this last society is quite apparent from the preceding part of our work; but what resemblance is there between such formidable places of defence as Alamoot and Lamseer, and the simple structures in which a few knights and their attendants dwelt in the different parts of Europe, and which were hardly, if at all, stronger than the ordinary baronial residences? and what resistance could the Temple of London or that of Paris offer to the royal strength, if put forth? Hammer has here again fallen into his usual error of arguing too hastily from accidental resemblances. The preceptories of the Templars were, as we shall show, the necessary consequence of the acquisition of property by the order, and had nothing hostile to society in their nature.

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« Reply #67 on: January 04, 2009, 11:47:34 pm »

When we reflect on the character of the first crusaders, and particularly on that of the first Templars, and call to mind their piety, ignorance. and simplicity, nothing can appear more absurd than to ascribe to them secret philosophical doctrines of impiety, imbibed from those whose language they did not even understand, and whose religion and manners they held in abhorrence, and to suppose that the first poor knights of the Temple could have had visions of the future power of their order, and have looked forward to its dominion over the Christian world. "But this is a common mistake with ingenious men, who are for ever ascribing to the founders of empires, religions, and societies, that attribute of divinity which sees from the beginning the ultimate end, and forms all its plans and projects with a view to it. It .is thus that some

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would fain persuade us that Mahommed, in his solitary cave at Mecca, saw clearly and distinctly the future triumphs of Islam, and its banners floating at the Pyrenees and the Oxus; that Cromwell, when an obscure individual, already in fancy grasped the sceptre of England; and that Loyola beheld the members of his order governing the consciences of kings, and ruling an empire in Paraguay. All such results are in fact the slow and gradual growth of time; one step leads to another, till the individual or the society looks back with amazement to the feeble commencement."

The Templars and the Ismaïlites are mentioned together by history in only one more relation, that is, on occasion of the tribute paid to the former by the Syrian branch of the latter, and the murder of the Ismaïlite ambassador above related *. As this act was very probably committed by order of the Master of the Temple, who, it might be, doubted the ability or the future inclination of the kin; to pay the 3000 byzants a year, it testifies but little for any very friendly feeling between the Templars and the Ismaïlites. Yet Hammer opines that the 3000 byzants were paid, not as the tribute of the weaker to the stronger, but by way of pension for the secret services which the Templars were in the habit of rendering their cause; such, for example, as refusing on one occasion to join in the expedition against the khalif of Egypt, the great head of the society of the Assassin s.

To narrate the various exploits of the knights of the Temple would be to write the history of the Crusades; for, from the time that the order acquired strength and consistency, no action with the Infidels ever was fought in which the chivalry of the Temple


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did not bear a distinguished part. Their war-cry was ever heard in the thickest of the fray, and rarely was Bauseant seen to waver or give back in the conflict. The knights of St. John fought with emulative valour; the example of the rival orders stimulated all parts of the Christian army; and to this influence may be, in great measure, ascribed many of the most wonderful triumphs of the Cross during the twelfth century.

In the year 1147, when Pope Eugenius III. came to Paris to arrange the proposed crusade with Louis VII., both the pope and the king honoured with their presence a general chapter of the order of the Temple, which was holden at that place. It was probably on this occasion that the supreme pontiff conferred on the order the important privilege of having mass said once a year in places lying under interdict. The newly-elected Master of the Temple, Eberhard de Bar, and 130 knights, accompanied the king on his march for the Holy Land; and their valour and their skill greatly contributed towards the preservation of the crusading army in their unfortunate march through Lesser Asia. The siege of Damascus, which was undertaken after the arrival of the French and German kings in the Holy Land, miscarried, as is well known, through treachery. The traitors were doubtless the Pullani, as the Latins of Syria were called, who were at this time capable of every thing that is bad. Some writers most unjustly charge the Templars with this guilt; but those who are the best informed on the subject make no accusation against them. The charge, however, while it shows the power and consideration of the Templars at that time, may be considered to prove also that they had degenerated somewhat from their original virtue; for otherwise it could never have been made.

The Christian army laid siege in 1153 to the town

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of Ascalon, which the Saracens still held, and would have taken it, but for the cupidity of the Templars. A large heap of wood had been piled by the besiegers against a part of the wall, and set fire to. The wind blew strong towards the town during an entire night, earning the smoke and heat into the town, so that the garrison was forced to retire from that quarter. The Christians fed the flames with pitch, oil, and other inflammable substances, and the wall next the pile, cracked by the heat, fell down, leaving a considerable breach. The army was preparing to enter at this opening when Bernard de Tremelai, the Master of the Temple, taking his station at it with his knights, refused all ingress. It was the law of war in those days, among the crusaders, that whatever house or spoil any one took when a town was stormed, became his property. The Templars, therefore, were eager to have the first choice; and having kept off all others, Tremelai, with forty of his knights, boldly entered a strongly-garrisoned town. But they paid the penalty of their rashness and cupidity; for the garrison surrounded and slew them all, and then closed up the breach.

One of the most disgraceful acts which stain the annals of the Templars occurred in the year 1155, when Bertrand de Blancford, whom William of Tyre calls a "pious and God-fearing man," was Master of the order. In a contest for the supreme power in Egypt, which the viziers, bearing the proud title of Sultan, exercised under the phantom-khalifs, Sultan Abbas, who had put to death the khalif his master, found himself obliged to fly from before the vengeance of the incensed people. With his harem, and his own and a great part of the royal treasures, he took his way through the Desert. A body of Christians, chiefly Templars, lay in wait for the fugitives near Ascalon; the resistance offered by the

p. 206

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« Reply #68 on: January 04, 2009, 11:48:30 pm »

[paragraph continues] Moslems was slight and ineffectual; Abbas himself was either slain or fled, and his son Nassir-ed-deen and the treasures became the prize of the victors. The far larger part of the booty of course fell to the Templars; but this did not satisfy their avarice; and though Nassir-ed-deen had professed his desire to become a Christian, and had begun, by way of preparation for that change, to learn the Latin language they sold him to his father's enemies for 60,000 pieces of gold, and stood by to see him bound hand and foot, and placed in a sort of cage or iron-latticed sedan, on a camel, to be conducted to Egypt where a death by protracted torture awaited him.

The Hospitaliers were at this time become as corrupt as the Templars; and in this same year, when the patriarch demanded from them the, tithes which they were bound to pay him, they treated the demand with scorn; raised, to show their superior wealth, stately and lofty buildings, before the humble church of the Holy Sepulchre; and whenever the patriarch entered it to exhort the people, or pronounce the absolution of sins, they rang, by order of their Master, the bells of the Hospital so loud, that, with the utmost efforts, he could not succeed in making himself heard. One day, when the congregation was assembled in the church, the Hospitaliers rushed into it in arms, and shot arrows among them as if they were robbers or infidels. These arrows were collected and hung up on Mount Calvary, where Christ had been crucified, to the scandal of these recreant knights. On applying to the Pope Adrian IV. for redress, the Syrian clergy found him and his cardinals so prepossessed in favour of their enemies,--bribed by them, as was said,--that they had no chance of relief. The insolence of the Hospitaliers became in consequence greater than ever.

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In fact, as an extremely judicious writer * observes, valiantly as the knights of the spiritual orders fought against the heathens, and great as was their undoubted merit in the defence of the helpless pilgrims, it cannot be denied that these knights were, if not the original promoters, at least active participators in all the mischiefs which prevailed in the Holy Land, and that they were often led to a shameful dereliction of their duties, by avarice and thirst after booty.

The year 1162 is conspicuous in the annals of the Templars, as the date of the bull Omne Datum Optimum, the Magna Charta of the order, and the great key-stone of their power. On the death of Adrian IV. two rival popes were elected,--Alexander III. by the Sicilian,--Victor III. by the Imperial party. The Templars at first acknowledged the latter; but at a synod, held at Nazareth, in 1161, they took the side of his rival. Alexander, who came off victor, was not ungrateful; and on the 7th January, of the following year, the aforesaid bull was issued. By this document, which would almost appear to be the dictation of the order, the Templars were released from all spiritual obedience except to the Holy See; they were allowed to have peculiar burial-grounds at their houses, and to have chaplains of their own; they were freed from the obligation to pay tithes, and could, with the consent of the bishop, receive them. It was also prohibited to any one who had once entered the order, to leave it, unless it were to enter into a stricter one. These great privileges necessarily awakened the envy and enmity of the clergy against the Templars and the Hospitaliers, which last were equally favoured by the pontiffs; but these artful prelates, who were now aiming at universal power, knew well the advantage which they might derive from attaching firmly to them


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these associations, which united the valour of the knight to the obedience of the monk, whose members were of the noblest families in Europe, and whose possessions were extensive and spread over all parts of the Christian world.

In 1167 occurred one of the few instances of cowardice, or rather, we might say, treachery, which the annals of the Templars present. Almeric, king of Jerusalem, had committed to the Templars the charge of guarding one of those strong fortified caverns which were on the other side of the Jordan. Here they were besieged by the Turks. and, though the king was hastening to their relief; they capitulated. Almeric, incensed at their conduct, though he was a great friend of the order, and particularly of the Master, Philip of Naploos, instantly had twelve of the cowardly or treacherous knights hanged, and he experienced no opposition whatever on the part of the order. Philip, we may observe, was the first Master of the Temple who was a born Syrian; but he appears to have been a man of fair and honourable character. He was lord of the fortress of Krak and Montreal in the Stony Arabia, which he had obtained with his wife. It was not till after her death that he became a Templar. Alter holding the dignity of Master for three years he resigned it. The cause of his resignation is unknown; but he was highly honoured and respected during the remainder of his life, and was employed on various important occasions.

It was during the mastership of Philip of Naploos, that King Almeric, at the instigation of the Master of the Hospital, and in violation of a solemn treaty, undertook an unprosperous expedition into Egypt. The Templars loudly protested against this act of perfidy, and refused to take any share in the war, either, as William, the honest Archbishop of Tyre, observes, "because it was against their conscience, or

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because the Master of the rival order was the author and projector of it." The prelate seems to regard the more honourable as the true cause. Perhaps we should express ourselves correctly if we said that in this, as in many other cases, duty and prejudice happily combined, and the path which was the most agreeable was also the most honourable.

In the mastership of Ado of St. Amando, the successor of Philip of Naploos, occurred the treacherous murder of the Ismaïlite envoy above narrated *--an act which brought the Templars into great disrepute with pious Christians, as it was quite manifest that they preferred money to winning souls to Christ.



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Footnotes
199:* See p. 88.

203:* Page 116.

207:* Wilken Geschichte der Kreuzzüge, Vol. iii. pt. ii. p. 39.

209:* Page 116.



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CHAPTER IV. 1

Heroism of the Templars and Hospitallers--Battle of Hittin--Crusade of Richard of England and Philip of France--Corruption of the Order--Pope Innocent III. writes a Letter of Censure--Frederic II.--Great Slaughter of the Templars--Henry III. of England and the Templars--Power of 4 the Templars in Moravia--Slaughter of them by the Hospitallers--Fall of Acre.

THE fall of the Christian power in the East was now fast approaching, and it was not a little hastened by the enmity of the rival orders. The truth of the old sentence, that the Deity deprives of sense those whom he will destroy, was manifested on this as on so many other similar occasions; and while the great and able Saladin was consolidating his power and preparing for the accomplishment of the object which, as a true Moslem, lay nearest his heart, the recovery of the Holy City, discord, enmity, and animosity, prevailed among those who should have been actuated by one soul and by one spirit.

Yet the two orders of religious chivalry had not derogated from their original valour, and the last days of Jerusalem were illumined by some noble feats of prowess. On the 1st of May, 1187, when Malek-el-Afdal, the son of Saladin, was returning from an expedition into the Holy Land, which he had undertaken with the consent of the Count of Tripolis, regent of the kingdom, the Masters of the Temple and of the Hospital, having collected about 140 knights and 500 footmen, met the Moslems, who were

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[paragraph continues] 7,000 in number, at the celebrated brook Kishon. They immediately charged them with the utmost impetuosity; the Turks. according to custom, turned and fled; the Christian knights pursued, leaving their infantry unprotected. Suddenly a large body of the Turks emerged from a valley, and fell on and slaughtered the footmen. Their cries brought back the knights to their aid, but, impeded by the narrowness of the ground, they could neither lay their lances in rest nor run their horses against the enemy, and all fell beneath the weapons of the Turks, with the exception of the Master of the Temple and three of his knights, who were saved by the fleetness of their horses. The Master of the Hospital was among the slain. In this unfortunate fight, James De Mailly, the marshal of the Templars, and a Hospitaller, named Henry, especially distinguished themselves. After all their brave companions had been slain around them, they still maintained the conflict; the Turks, filled with admiration of their valour, repeatedly offered them quarter, but in vain; and they fell at last, overwhelmed with darts flung from a distance, no one venturing to approach them. The historian, Vinisauf, tells us that De Mailly was mounted on a white horse, which, joined with his relucent arms and white mantle, made him appear to the infidels to be St. George, and they exulted greatly in having slain the tutelar saint of the Christians. He adds, what is not an unlikely circumstance, that the Turks covered his body with dust, which they afterwards powdered on their heads, thinking thereby to acquire some portion of his valour.

At the fatal battle of Hittin, where 30,000 Christians lost their lives, where the king and all his princes became captives, and where the Latin power in the East was broken for ever, the Master of the Temple, Gerard of Ridefort, and several of his

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knights and those of the Hospital, were among the captives. Saladin, who bore a particular hatred to the spiritual knights, would spare them on no condition but that of their renouncing their faith. To a man they gallantly refused; and, with the exception of the Master, the heads of all were struck off. Many who belonged not to the orders, smit with desire for the glory of martyrdom, cast the mantles of Templars around them, and went cheerfully to death as such. One Templar, named Nicolaus, evinced such joy and impatience for this glorious fate, that, according to the ideas of those times, heaven was believed to testify its approbation by a visible sign, and during three nights a celestial light illumined the unburied corpse of the Christian martyr.

It was indeed rare for a Templar to renounce his faith: prejudice, or honour, we may style it, or a better principle, always kept him steady in it, whatever the irregularities of his life might be. We recollect but one instance of a brother of the Temple abjuring his faith, and he was unhappily an English knight, named Robert of St. Albans. From some unassigned cause, he flung away the dress of his order, broke his vows, went over to Saladin, and became a Musselman. The sultan gave him one of his female relatives in marriage, and the recreant knight appeared before Jerusalem at the head of an army of the infidels. He had promised to Saladin to reduce the Holy City; but her hour was not yet come; and after wasting all the country from Mont- royal to Jericho with fire and sword, he was forced to retreat before the chivalry of Jerusalem, who came forth with the holy cross, and gave him a signal defeat. This event occurred in the year 1184; and the apostacy of this Templar caused extreme dismay among the Christians, and excited great ill-will against the order in general.

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It had hitherto been the maxim of the order, not to redeem any of their members out of captivity with any higher ransom than a girdle, or a knife, or some other insignificant matter, acting in this on the same principle with the old Romans, who never redeemed prisoners. The Master, Ado de St. Amando, had died in captivity; but to redeem Gerard de Ridefort, no less a ransom was given than the city of Ascalon.--Gerard died of a wound received in battle the following year.

During the memorable crusade of Philip of France and Richard of England to the Holy Land, which their rivalry and animosity rendered utterly ineffectual, we find the Hospitaliers on the side of the king of England, and of course the Templars the warm partizans of the king of France. Yet, when Richard was on his return to Europe, he sent for the Master of the Temple, and said to him, that he knew by many he was not loved, and that he ran great risk of his life on his way to his kingdom; he therefore besought him that he would permit him to assume the dress of the order, and send two of the brethren with him. The Master readily granted the request of so potent a monarch, and the king went on board in the habit of a Templar. It was probably on account of the known enmity of the order to him, that King Richard adopted this expedient, thinking that one would ever suspect him of being with the Templars. His brother John, we may here observe, was, on the contrary, a great favourer of the order, to whom he gave Lundy Island, at the mouth of the Bristol Channel. Throughout his reign, this odious prince attached himself to the Templars as the faithful servants of his lord the pope, reckoning on their aid against his gallant barons, who would not leave the liberties of the nation at the feet of a faithless tyrant. It was now very much the custom for monarchs to

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deposit their treasures in the Temple houses; and in the year 1213 we find King John demanding 20,000 marks which he had committed to the Templars to keep. We meet with no instance of breach of trust on the part of the knights.

The Templars shared in the common dishonesty of the church with respect to false miracles, and they felt no scruple at augmenting their wealth by deceptions calculated to impose on the ignorance and zeal of the laity. In the year 1204 it was given out that an image of the Virgin, in a convent not far from Damascus, had become clothed with flesh, and that there issued from its breasts a kind of juice or liquor of wondrous efficacy in removing the sins of pious pilgrims. As the place was distant, and the road beset with danger, the knights of the Temple took upon themselves the task of fetching the mirific fluid to the part of the coast still held by the Latins, and accommodating pilgrims with it, and the coffers of the order were largely replenished by this pious traffic.

Though, like all other proprietors in the Holy Land, the order of the Temple had been losers in consequence of the conquest of it by Saladin, their possessions in the West were so extensive that they hardly felt the loss. At this very time we find the number of their possessions of various kinds in Europe stated at 7050, principally situated in France and in England. Their arrogance and luxury naturally kept pace with their wealth; and, though writers of the twelfth century, and even the Troubadours--the satirists of the age--always speak of the knights of the Temple with honour, there was a secret dislike of them gaining ground, especially with the clergy, in consequence of the great privileges granted to them by the bull Omne Datum Optimum, and the insolent manner in which these privileges were exercised.

Accordingly we find, in the year 1208, the great

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[paragraph continues] Innocent III. the most ambitious of popes, and one who was a steady friend to the order, under the necessity of passing the first public censure of them, and endeavouring to set, by authority, a limit to their excesses. In his epistle to the Master on this occasion, the holy father says that they abused the privilege of having mass celebrated in places which were under interdict, by causing their churches to be thrown open, and mass to be said every day, with loud ringing of bells, bearing the cross of Christ on their breast, but not caring to follow his doctrines, who forbids to give offence to any of the little ones who believe on him. He goes on to state that, following the doctrines of demons, they affixed the cross of their order on the breast of (i.e. affiliated) every kind of scoundrel, asserting that whoever, by paying two or three pence a year, became one of their fraternity, could not, even though interdicted, be deprived of Christian burial; and that hence, known adulterers, usurers, and others who were lying under sentence of interdict, were honourably interred in their cemeteries; "and thus they themselves, being captive to the devil, cease not to make captive the souls of the faithful, seeking to make alive those whom they know to be dead." The pontiff laments, that instead of, like religious men, using the world for the sake of God, they employed their religious character as a means of indulging in the pleasures of the world. Though, on account of these and such abuses, they deserved to be deprived of the privileges which had been conferred on them, the holy father will not proceed to extremity, relying on the exertions of the Master to effect a reformation.

In this epistle we have all the charges, which, as will hereafter appear, could be at any time brought with justice against the order, whose corruption proceeded

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in the ordinary course of human nature, and no otherwise,--privileges and exemptions producing insolence and assumption, and wealth generating luxury and relaxation of morals. It was the lavish generosity of popes, princes, and nobles, that caused the ruin of the Templars.

The Templars bore a distinguished part in the expedition to Egypt and siege of Damietta, in 1219, as the chief commander on that occasion was the papal legate, whose conduct, under show of obedience, they chiefly directed. But when, in 1228, the Emperor Frederic II., then under the sentence of the church, undertook the crusade which he had vowed, he found nothing but opposition and treachery from these staunch adherents of the pope. Considering the spirit of the age, their opposition is, perhaps, not so much to be blamed; but no principle will excuse the act of their writing to inform the Egyptian sultan of the plans of the emperor. The generous Moslem, instead of taking advantage of this treachery, sent the letter to Frederic, to the confusion of its authors. Frederic checked his indignation at the time, but on his return to Europe he took his satisfaction on those who were most guilty, and he seized the property of the order in Sicily and his Italian dominions. Though he was excommunicated again for so doing, Frederic persisted in his enmity both to them and the Hospitallers; and though, perhaps, the least given to superstition and illiberality of any man of his age, he did not disdain to make friendly intercourse with the Moslems a serious charge against them. "The haughty religion of the Templars," writes he, "reared on the pleasures of the native barons of the land, waxes wanton. . . . . We know, on good authority, that sultans and their trains are received with pompous alacrity within the gates of the Temple, and that the

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[paragraph continues] Templars suffer them to celebrate secular plays, and to perform their superstitious rites with invocation of Mahommet."

The hostility between the Templars and the Hospitallers still continued, though the Christian power was now nearly restricted to the walls of Acre. The Templars were in alliance with the prince of Damascus: the Hospitaliers were the friends of the sultan of Egypt. The Templars extended their enmity against the emperor to the Teutonic knights, whom they deprived of their possessions in Syria. The appearance of a new enemy, however, brought concord for a time among them. The Turks of Khaurizm, on the east of the Caspian, were now in flight before the hordes of the Mongols, and 20,000 of their horsemen burst into the Holy Land. They took and plundered Jerusalem, which was unfortified and open, and then united themselves with the troops of Egypt. The Christians applied to the prince of Damascus for aid, who forthwith sent the required troops, and their combined forces went in quest of the foes. In the battle the Templars and the militia occupied the centre; the Hospitaliers were posted on the left wing, the light horse on the right. The battle lasted two days, and ended in the total defeat of the Christians, a result which is ascribed, though probably with injustice, to the treachery of the Damascenes. The Master of the Temple and the whole chapter, with the knights, in all 300, were slain; only four knights and fourteen esquires escaped.

The improvident and needy Henry III. of England, in general such a dutiful son of the holy father, who, for a share of the spoil, usually aided him in the pious work of robbing his subjects, summoned courage in 1252 to speak of seizing some of the property of the church and the military orders. "You prelates and religious," said he, "especially you

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[paragraph continues] Templars and Hospitaliers, have so many liberties and charters, that your enormous possessions make you rave with pride and haughtiness. What was imprudently given, must be therefore prudently revoked; and what was inconsiderately bestowed must be considerately recalled. . . . I will break this and other charters which my predecessors and myself have rashly granted." But the prior of the Templars immediately replied, "What sayest thou, O king? Far be it that thy mouth should utter so disagreeable and silly a word. So long as thou dost exercise justice thou wilt reign; but if thou infringe it, thou wilt cease to be a king!" These bold words appear to have checked the feeble king, who next year besought the two orders to become his security for a large sum of money which he owed. They refused his request, and Henry thenceforth did them all the injury in his power.

There occurred an event in Moravia in 1252, which may serve to show the power of the order in Europe. A nobleman, named Vratislaf, who had been obliged to fly from that country, became a Templar in France. He made over all his property, among which was the castle of Eichhorn in Moravia, to the order. But his elder brother, Burian, took possession of his property, as having fallen to himself as head of the family. King Winzel, on being applied to, decided in favour of the order. Burian, however, still kept possession. The next year the Templars collected some thousands of men, and marched, under the command of their Great Prior, to take the castle. Burian, assembling 6000 men, 900 of whom he placed in the castle, advanced to give them battle. The engagement was bloody; 1700 men, among them the Great Prior of the Templars, lay slain, when night terminated the conflict. A truce was made for three days, at the end of which Burian and his men

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were driven into the castle, which they defended bravely, till king Attocar sent to threaten them with his wrath if they did not give it up. Burian surrendered it, and Vratislaf, returning to Moravia, became Prior of Eichhorn, in which thirty Templars took up their abode.

Though the Templars were so extremely numerous in Europe, they were little disposed to go out to the East to encounter toil and danger, in the performance of their duties. They preferred living in ease and luxury on their rich possessions in the West; and the .members of the chapter alone, with a few knights, and other persons attached to the order, abode in Syria. It would even seem that the heads of the society were meditating a final retreat from the East, where they probably saw that nothing of permanent advantage was to be achieved. The Hospitaliers, on the other hand, whatever may have been the cause, appear to have been more zealous in their calling, and to have had a greater number of their members in Syria; and it is, probably, to this cause, that we are to assign the total defeat which they were enabled to give their rivals in 1259: for the animosity between the orders had come to such a height, that, in this year, they came to open war. A bloody battle was fought, in which the Templars were defeated, when, such was the bitterness of their enmity, that the victors made no prisoners, but cut to pieces every Templar who fell into their hands, and scarce a Templar remained to carry the intelligence to Europe.

From this period till the capture of Acre and final destruction of the Latin power in the East in 1291, after a continuance of nearly two centuries, the annals of the Templars are bare of events. The rivalry between them and the other orders still continued; and in the opinion of some historians, it was their jealousy that hastened the fall of that last remnant of

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the Christian dominion in the East. Not more than ten knights of the Temple escaped in the storm of the town, and these, with the remnants of the other orders, and the garrison, sought a retreat in Cyprus.

We have now traced the history of the order from its institution to within a few years of the period of its suppression. Of this most important event we shall delay the consideration for some time, and shall occupy the intervening space with an account of the internal organisation of the society, its officers, its wealth, and various possessions. This will, we trust, prove no slight contribution to our knowledge of one of the most curious portions of the history of the world--that of the middle ages--and gratify the reader by the display of manners and institutions which have long since passed away *.



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Footnotes
220:* The organisation and the rules of the Hospitaliers were similar to those of the Templars; but as that order existed down to modern times, the rules, &c., given by Vertot, contain a great number of modern additions.



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CHAPTER V.

Classes of the Templars--The Knights--Their Qualifications--Mode of Reception--Dress and Arms of the Knight--Mode of Burial--The Chaplains--Mode of Reception--Dress--Duties and Privileges--The Serving-Brethren--Mode of Reception--Their Duties--The Affiliated--Causes and Advantages of Affiliation--The Donates and Oblates.

THE founders of the order of the Templars were, as we have seen, knights; and they were the first who conceived the novel idea, and happy one, as we may call it in accordance with the sentiments of those times, of uniting in the same person the two characters held in highest estimation--the knight and the monk. The latter added sanctity to the former, the former gave dignity and consideration to the latter, in the eyes of a martial generation. Hence, the Templar naturally regarded himself as the first of men; and the proudest nobles of the Christian world esteemed it an honour to belong to the order. The knights were, therefore, the strength, the flower, the ornament of the society.

The order of the Templars, when it was fully developed, consisted not of degrees, but of distinct and separate classes. These were the knights, the chaplains, and the serving-brethren; to which may be added the affiliated, the donates, and the oblates, or persons attached to the order without taking the vows.

I. THE KNIGHTS.--Whoever presented himself to be received as a knight of the order must solemnly

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aver that he was sprung from a knightly family, and that his father was or might have been a knight. He was further to prove, that he was born in lawful wedlock, for, like the church in general, the Templars excluded bastards from their society. In this rule there was prudence, though, possibly, it was merely established in accordance with the ideas of the time; for, had a king of France or an emperor of Germany been able to get his natural child into the order, and should he then have been chosen Master of it, as he probably would, it might have lost its independence, and become the mere tool of the monarch. The candidate was, moreover, to declare that he was free from all previous obligations; that he was neither married nor betrothed; had not made any vows, or received any consecration in another order; and that he was not involved in debt. He had finally to declare himself to be of a sound and healthy constitution, and free from disease. When the order was grown great and powerful, and candidates for admission were numerous and of the highest families, it became the custom to require the payment of a large fee on admission.

It was necessary that the candidate for admission among the knights of the Temple should already be a knight; for as knighthood was a secular honour, the order would have regarded it as derogating from its dignity if any of its members were to receive it. The Hospitaliers and Teutonic knights thought differently, and with them the aspirant was knighted on his admission. If the candidate Templar, therefore, had not been knighted, he was obliged to receive knighthood, in the usual manner, from a secular knight, or a bishop, previous to taking his vows.

A noviciate forms an essential and reasonable part of the course of admission into the spiritual orders in general; for it is but right that a person should become, in some measure, acquainted with the rules and

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duties of a society before he enters it. But, though the original rule of the Templars enjoined a noviciate, it was totally neglected in practice; a matter which was afterwards made one of the charges against the order. Perhaps there was in their case little necessity for this preparatory process; the Templars were so much in the world, and those who joined them had been in general so frequently among them, and were consequently so well acquainted with their mode of life, that they hardly required any such preliminary discipline to familiarize them with their duties. The neglect of the practice at the same time gave the Templars an advantage over the rival orders who enjoined it; for a young nobleman would, in all likelihood feel most disposed to join the society into which he could be admitted at once; and perhaps no small part of the corruption of the Templars, in which they undoubtedly surpassed their rivals, may be ascribed to the facility which was thus afforded to unworthy persons entering among them.

With respect to the age at which persons were admitted, it is plain, from the previously required reception of knighthood, that it must have been that of adolescence or manhood. All that is said by the statutes is, that no child could be received; and that the parents or relatives of a child destined to be a member of the order, should keep and breed him till he could manfully and with armed hand extirpate the enemies of Christ out of the land. This formed a marked distinction between the Templars and the mere religious orders, who, even at the present day, we believe, admit children, taking the charge of their rearing and education; whereas, children could only be destined to the order of the Temple, and could not be presented for admission, till able to bear arms, that is, usually in the twenty-first year of their age.

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The reception of a knight took place in one of the chapels of the order, in presence of the assembled chapter. It was secret, not even the relatives of the candidate being allowed to be present. The ceremony commenced by the Master * or prior, who presided. saying, "Beloved brethren, ye see that the majority are agreed to receive this man as a brother. If there be any among you who knows any thing of him, on account of which he cannot lawfully become a brother, let him say it; for it is better that this should be signified beforehand than after he is brought before us."

The aspirant, if no objection was made, was then led into a chamber near the chapter-room; and two or three reputable knights of the oldest in the house were sent to lay before him what it was needful for him to know. They commenced by saying, "Brother, are you desirous of being associated to the order?" If he replied in the affirmative, they stated to him the whole rigour of the order. Should he reply that he was willing to endure everything for God's sake, and to be all his life long the servant and slave of the order, they asked him if he had a wife or was betrothed? if he had made profession or vows in any other order? if he owed to any man in the world more than he could pay? if he was of sound body, and had no secret infirmity, and if he was the servant of any one? Should his answers be in the negative, the brethren went back to the chapter and informed the Master or his representative of the result of the examination. The latter then asked once more, if any one knew any thing to the contrary. If all were silent, he said "Are you willing that he should be brought in in God's name?" The knights then

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said, "Let him be brought in in God's name." Those who had been already with him then went out again, and asked him if he persisted in his resolution. If he said that he did, they instructed him in what he was to do when suing for admission. They then led him back to the chapter, where, casting himself on his knees, with folded hands, before the receptor, he said, "Sir, I am come, before God, and before you and the brethren, and pray and beseech you, for the sake of God and our dear Lady, to admit me into your society, and the good deeds of the order, as one who will be, all his life long, the servant and slave of the order." The receptor then replied, "Beloved brother, you are desirous of a great matter, for you see nothing but the outward shell of our order. It is only the outward shell when you see that we have fine horses and rich caparisons, that we eat and drink well, and are splendidly clothed. From this you conclude that you will be well off with us. But you know not the rigorous maxims which are in our interior. For it is a hard matter for you, who are your own master, to become the servant of another. You will hardly be able to perform, in future, what you wish yourself. For when you may wish to be on this side of the sea, you will be sent to the other side; when you will wish to be in Acre, you will be sent to the district of Antioch, to Tripolis, or to Armenia; or you will be sent to Apulia, to Sicily, or to Lombardy, or to Burgundy, France, England, or any other country where we have houses and possessions. When you will wish to sleep you will be ordered to watch; when you will wish to watch, then you will be ordered to go to bed; when you will wish to eat, then you will be ordered to do something else. And as both we and you might suffer great inconvenience from what you have, mayhap, concealed from us, look here

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on the holy Evangelists and the word of God, and; answer the truth to the questions which we shall put to you; for if you lie you will be perjured, and may be expelled the order, from which God keep you!"

He was now asked over again, by the receptor, the same questions as before; and, moreover, if he had made any simoniacal contract with a Templar or any other for admission. If his answers proved satisfactory, the receptor proceeded, "Beloved brother, take good care that you have spoken the truth to us; for should you have spoken false in any one point, you might be put out of the order, from which God keep you! Now, beloved brother, attend strictly to what we shall say unto you. Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, to be, all your life long, obedient to the Master of the Temple, and to the prior who shall be set over you?"

"Yea, Sir, with the help of God!"

"Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, to live chaste of your body all your life long?"

"Yea, Sir, with the help of God!"

"Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, to observe, all your life long, the laudable manners and customs of our order, both those which are already in use, and those which the Master and knights may add?"

Yea, Sir, with the help of God!"

"Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, that you will, with the strength and powers which God has bestowed on you, help, as long as you live, to conquer the Holy Land of Jerusalem; and that you will, with all your strength, aid to keep and guard that which the Christians possess?"

"Yea, Sir, with the help of God!"

"Do you promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, never to hold this order for stronger or weaker,

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for better or worse, than with permission of the Master, or of the chapter which has the authority *?"

"Yea, Sir, with the help of God!"

"Do you finally promise to God, and our dear Lady Mary, never to be present when a Christian is unjustly and unlawfully despoiled of his heritage, and that you will never, by counsel or by act, take part therein?"

"Yea, Sir, with the help of God!"

"In the name, then, of God, and our dear Lady Mary, and in the name of St. Peter of Rome, and of our father the pope, and in the name of all the brethren of the Temple, we receive to all the good works of the order which have been performed from the beginning, and shall be performed to the end, you, your father, your mother, and all of your family whom you will let have share therein. In like manner do you receive us to all the good works which you have performed and shall perform. We assure you of bread and water, and the poor clothing of the order, and labour and toil enow."

The Master then took the distinguishing habit of the order, namely, the white mantle with the red cross, and putting it about the neck of the candidate, clasped it firmly. The chaplain then repeated the 132d psalm, Ecce quam bonum, and the prayer of the Holy Ghost, Deus qui corda fidelium, and each brother repeated a Pater noster. The Master and the chaplain then kissed him on the mouth; and he sat down before the Master, who delivered to him a discourse, of which the following is the substance.

He was not to strike or wound any Christian; not to swear; not to receive any service or attendance from a woman without the permission of his superiors; not on any account to kiss a woman, even if


p. 228

she was his mother or his sister; to hold no child at the baptismal font, or be a god-father; to abuse no man or call him foul names; but to be always courteous and polite. He was to sleep in a linen shirt, drawers, and hose, and girded with a small girdle. He was to attend divine service punctually, and at table he was to commence and conclude with prayer; during the meal he was to preserve silence. When the Master died, he was, be he where he might, to repeat 200 Pater nosters for the repose of his soul.

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Trena Alloway
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« Reply #74 on: January 05, 2009, 12:09:05 am »

Each knight was supplied with clothes, arms, and equipments, out of the funds of the order. His dress was a long white tunic, nearly resembling that of priests in shape, with a red cross on the back and front of it; his girdle was under this, over his linen shirt. Over all he wore his white mantle with its red cross of four arms (the under one being the longest, so that it resembled that on which the Saviour suffered) on the left breast. His head was covered by a cap or a hood attached to his mantle. His arms were shield, sword, lance, and mace; and, owing to the heat of the East, and the necessity of activity in combats with the Turks and Saracens, his arms and equipments in general were lighter than those used by the secular knights. He was allowed three horses and an esquire, who was either a serving-brother of the order or some layman who was hired for the purpose. At times this office was performed by youths of noble birth, whom their parents and relatives gladly placed in the service of distinguished knights of the Temple, that they might have an opportunity of acquiring the knightly virtues; and these often became afterwards members of the order.

When a knight had become, from age or wounds, incapable of service, he took up his abode in one of the temple-houses, where he lived in ease, and was treated with the utmost respect and consideration.

p. 229

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