Knights Templar History and the Glastonbury Connection

The Knights Templar or The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici) or the Order of the Temple (French: Ordre du Temple or Templiers), were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders.

The organization existed for approximately two centuries in the Middle Ages and most historians attribute the founding of the Order of the Knights Templar to two noblemen: Hugues de Paynes and Geoffrey de Saint-Omer.

The Order became protectors and took vows of chastity and poverty, a mission written with the help of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of Western religious communal living.

In Jerusalem in 1118, the founders, along with seven other knights, offered their services to the King of Jerusalem to protect the Christians on pilgrimages to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The King of Jerusalem at that time was Godfrey de Bouillon, who according to Dan Brown was the founder of the Priory of Sion. This connection may be why Brown states that the Priory of Sion were responsible for the founding of the Knights Templar for the purpose of recovering the Holy Grail.

According to most sources, the Knights established themselves in order to protect pilgrims as they vowed, not for a secret mission. William of Tyre, a medieval historian who wrote about the Templar's from 1170-1174 states that the primary duty of the Knights was "protecting the roads and routes against attacks of robbers and brigands."

This 12th Century Order originally consisted of three classes:

Knights who had to be of Noble birth, or were knighted by the Grand Master for chivalry conduct, Knights would wear a Bronze Ring.

Sergeants who were drawn from the middle classes and were the grooms, Stewards of the Order and Clerics who were the Chaplains taking charge of the non-military aspects of the Order.

Non-combatant members of the Order managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, inventing or adapting many financial techniques that were an early form of banking, and building many fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.

Officially endorsed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128, the Order became a favoured charity across Europe and grew rapidly in membership and power. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles each with a red cross, were among the best fighting units of the Crusades.

The Biscuit comes from Knights Templar History! From the time of the crusades where the Knights Templar would make a large flat bread and bake it twice to prevent it from going mouldy.

The Templar's success was tied closely to the Crusades, when the Crusaders were defeated and lost the Holy Land, support for the Order faded. Rumours about the Templar's secret initiation ceremony created mistrust, and King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, began pressuring Pope Clement V to take action. In 1307, Pope Clement condemned the Order's members, having them arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and burned at the stake.

Unlucky Friday 13th comes from the Templar history in France when the Pope rounded up all Knights Templar's and accused them of heresy.

In 1312, Pope Clement, under continuing pressure from King Philip, disbanded the Order. The abrupt disappearance of a major part of the European infrastructure gave rise to speculation and legends, which have kept the "Templar" name alive until the present.

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