The History of Leith

September 20, 2004

The Knights Templars

The Knights Templars were the earliest founders of the military orders, and are the type on which the others are modelled. They are marked in history (1) by their humble beginning, (2) by their marvellous growth, and (3) by their tragic end.


(1) THEIR HUMBLE BEGINNING

Immediately after the deliverance of Jerusalem, the Crusaders, considering their vow fulfilled, returned in a body to their homes. The defense of this precarious conquest, surrounded as it was by Mohammedan neighbours, remained. In 1118, during the reign of Baldwin II, Hugues de Payens, a knight of Champagne, and eight companions bound themselves by a perpetual vow, taken in the presence of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, to defend the Christian kingdom. Baldwin accepted their services and assigned them a portion of his palace, adjoining the temple of the city; hence their title “pauvres chevaliers du temple” (Poor Knights of the Temple). Poor indeed they were, being reduced to living on alms, and, so long as they were only nine, they were hardly prepared to render important services, unless it were as escorts to the pilgrims on

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