Temple Church London

  Temple Church is the only commanderie in England we have ever visited. Unlike in France, they aren’t so thick on the ground. Only guessing, but the lack of surviving commanderies may be a product of the way their lands were parceled out after the fall of the order, combined with the Reformation, which destroyed many, if not most, religious sites throughout Britain. The Templars in England were disbanded but were allowed to continue living, which is one of the significant differences between what happened to the Templars in England as compared to in France. Initially, the London Templars met at a location that had once been a Roman temple. But because of the rapid growth of the order since its founding in England in 1128, by the 1160s the site was too small, and the Templars established a larger Read more…

The Knights Templar

The Templar Order was formed in 1118, when nine knights took holy vows to defend Jerusalem. In 1128, their founder received a blessing from the pope to formally form a new order of warrior knights. They adopted the order of St. Benedict, remember we talked about them in previous weeks too, and the white robes of the Cistercians and began recruiting. Men flocked to their banner, and were accepted in a hierarchical system of knights, sergeants (who wore black robes), farmers, and chaplains. Within fifty years, the order became one of the largest landowners not only in the Holy Land but in France and England. They became money lenders in the major cities, and were one of the finest fighting forces in the world. On the way to accumulating land, wealth, and the power that came with it, they established Read more…

The Templar Order

The Templars were formed in 1118, when nine knights took holy vows to defend Jerusalem. In 1128, their founder received a blessing from the pope to formally form a new order of warrior knights. They adopted the order of St. Benedict and the white robes of the Cistercians and began recruiting. Men flocked to join, and were accepted in a hierarchical system of knights, sergeants (who wore black robes), farmers, and chaplains. Within fifty years, the order became one of the largest landowners not only in the Holy Land but in France and England. They became money lenders in the major cities, and were one of the finest fighting forces in the world. On the way to accumulating land, wealth, and the power that came with it, they established monasteries throughout Europe, called commanderies. We visited five such commanderies on Read more…

The Fall of the Templars

Other than a few unsuccessful raids on the Syrian and Egyptian coasts, after 1291, the Templar Order deteriorated into one of bankers and moneylenders. A series of verbal attacks was launched against all military orders, the Templars in particular, suggesting they no longer had a purpose for existence since they failed to take steps to regain the Holy Land. Nothing came of these attacks until a renegade Templar, Esquiu de Floyrian, made specific charges of blasphemy, idolatry and sodomy against the Order to Philip the Fair (Philip IV) of France.” http://www.mostly-medieval.com/explore/temphist.htm (for previous discussion on the origin of the Templar Order see: https://sarahwoodbury.com/the-knights-templar/ This was the beginning of the end for the Templars.  On Friday the 13th (and this is the reason the day is said to be unlucky, or so I understand), Philip of France arrested all of the Read more…