The Templars in France revoke their
rack-extorted confessions--They are tried as relapsed heretics, and burnt at
the stake--The progress of the inquiry in England--The curious evidence
adduced as to the mode of holding the chapters of the order--As to the penance
enjoined therein, and the absolution pronounced by the Master--The Templars
draw up a written defence, which they present to the ecclesiastical
council--They are placed in separate dungeons, and put to the torture--Two
serving brethren and a chaplain of the order then make confessions--Many other
Templars acknowledge themselves guilty of heresy in respect of their belief in
the religious authority of their Master--They make their recantations, and are
reconciled to the church before the south door of Saint Paul's cathedral--The
order of the Temple is abolished by the Pope--The last of the Masters of the
Temple in England dies in the Tower--The disposal of the property of the
order--Observations on the downfall of the Templars.
Veggio ’l nuovo Pilato sì crudele,
Che cio nol sazia, ma, senza decreto
Porta nel TEMPIO le cupide vele.
Dante. Del Purgatorio. Canto xx. 91.
A.D. 1310. IN France, on the other hand,
the proceedings against the order had assumed a most sanguinary character.
Many Templars, both in the capital and the provinces, had made confessions of
guilt whilst suffering upon the rack, but they had no sooner been released
from the hands of their tormentors, and had recovered their health, than they
disavowed their confessions,
A.D. 1310. maintained the innocence of
their order, and appealed to all their gallant actions, in ancient and modern
times, in refutation of the calumnies of their enemies. The enraged Philip
caused these Templars to be brought before an ecclesiastical tribunal convoked
at Paris, and sentence of death was passed upon them by the archbishop of Sens,
in the following terms:--
"You have avowed," said be, "that the
brethren who are received into the order of the Temple are compelled to
renounce Christ and spit upon the cross, and that you yourselves have
participated in that crime: you have thus acknowledged that you have fallen
into the sin of heresy. By your confession and repentance you had
merited absolution, and had once more become reconciled to the church. As you
have revoked your confession, the church no longer regards you as reconciled,
but as having fallen back to your first errors. You are, therefore,
relapsed heretics (!) and as such, we condemn you to the fire." *
The following morning, (Tuesday, May 12,)
in pursuance of this absurd and atrocious sentence, fifty-four Templars were
handed over to the secular arm, and were led out to execution by the king's
officers. They were conducted into the open country, in the environs of the
Porte St. Antoine des Champs at Paris, and were burnt to death in a most cruel
manner before a slow fire. All historians speak with admiration of the heroism
and intrepidity with which they met their fate.
Many hundred other Templars were dragged from
the dungeons of Paris before the archbishop of Sens and his council. Those
whom neither the agony of the torture nor the fear of
A.D. 1310. death could overcome, but who
remained stedfast amid all their trials in the maintenance of the innocence of
their order, were condemned to perpetual imprisonment as unreconciled
heretics; whilst those who, having made the required confessions of guilt,
continued to persevere in them, received absolution, were declared reconciled
to the church, and were set at liberty. Notwithstanding the terror inspired by
these executions, many of the Templars still persisted in the revocation of
their confessions, which they stigmatized as the result of insufferable
torture, and boldly maintained the innocence of their order.
On the 18th of August, four other
Templars were condemned as relapsed heretics by the council of Sens, and were
likewise burned by the Porte St. Antoine; and it is stated that a hundred and
thirteen Templars were from first to last burnt at the stake in Paris. Many
others were burned in Lorraine; in Normandy; at Carcassone, and nine, or,
according to some writers, twenty-nine, were burnt by the archbishop of Rheims
at Senlis! King Philip's officers, indeed, not content with their inhuman
cruelty towards the living, invaded the sanctity of the tomb; they dragged a
dead Templar, who had been Treasurer of the Temple at Paris, from his grave,
and burnt the mouldering corpse as a heretic. In the
midst of all these sanguinary atrocities, the examinations continued before
the ecclesiastical tribunals. Many aged and illustrious warriors, who merited
a better fate, appeared before their judges pale and trembling. At first they
revoked their confessions, declared their innocence, and were remanded to
prison; and then, panic-stricken, they demanded to be led back before the
papal commissioners, when they abandoned their retractations, persisted in
their previous avowals of guilt, humbly expressed their sorrow and
repentance, and were then pardoned,
A.D. 1310.absolved, and reconciled to the church!
The torture still continued to be applied, and out of thirty-three Templars
confined in the chateau d’Alaix, four died in prison, and the remaining twenty
confessed, amongst other things, the following absurdities:--that in the
provincial chapter of the order held at Montpelier, the Templars set up a head
and worshipped it; that the devil often appeared there in the shape of a cat,
and conversed with the assembled brethren, and promised them a good harvest,
with the possession of riches, and all kinds of temporal property. Some
asserted that the head worshipped by the fraternity possessed a long beard;
others that it was a woman's head; and one of the prisoners declared that as
often as this wonderful head was adored, a great number of devils made their
appearance in the shape of beautiful women . . . . . .!!
We must now unfold the dark page in the history
of the order in England. All the Templars in custody in this country had been
examined separately and apart, and had, notwithstanding, deposed in substance
to the same effect, and given the same account of their reception into the
order, and of the oaths that they took. Any reasonable and impartial mind
would consequently have been satisfied of the truth of their statements; but
it was not the object of the inquisitors to obtain evidence of the
innocence; but proof of the guilt, of the order. At first, king
Edward the Second, to his honour, forbade the infliction of torture upon the
illustrious members of the Temple in his dominions--men who had fought and
bled for Christendom, and of whose piety and morals he had a short time before
given such ample testimony to the principal sovereigns of Europe. But the
virtuous resolution of the weak king was speedily overcome by the ill-powerful
influence of the Roman pontiff, who wrote to him in the month of June,
upbraiding him for preventing the inquisitors
A.D. 1310. from submitting the Templars to
the discipline of the rack. Influenced by the admonitions of the pope, and
the solicitations of the clergy, king Edward, on the 26th of August, sent
orders to John de Crumbewell, constable of the Tower, to deliver up all the
Templars in his custody, at the request of the inquisitors, to the sheriffs of
London, in order that the inquisitors might be able to proceed more
conveniently and effectually with their inquisition.
And on the same day he directed the sheriffs to receive the prisoners from the
constable of the Tower, and cause them to be placed in the custody of gaolers
appointed by the inquisitors, to be confined in prisons or such other
convenient places in the city of London as the inquisitors and bishops should
think expedient, and generally to permit them to do with the bodies of the
Templars whatever should seem fitting, in accordance with ecclesiastical law.
He directs, also, that from thenceforth the Templars should receive their
sustenance at the hands of such newly-appointed gaolers.
On the Tuesday after the feast of St. Matthew,
(Sept. 21st,) the ecclesiastical council again assembled at London, and caused
the inquisitions and depositions taken against the Templars to be read, which
being done, great disputes arose touching various alterations observable in
them. It was at length ordered that the Templars should be again confined in
separate cells in the prisons of London; that fresh interrogatories should be
prepared, to see if by such means the truth could be extracted, and
A.D. 1310. if by straitenings and
confinement they would confess nothing further, then the torture was to
be applied; but it was provided that the examination by torture should be
conducted without the PERPETUAL MUTILATION OR DISABLING OF ANY LIMB, AND
WITHOUT A VIOLENT EFFUSION OF BLOOD! and the inquisitors and the bishops of
London and Chichester were to notify the result to the archbishop of
Canterbury, that he might again convene the assembly for the purpose of
passing sentence, either of absolution or of condemnation. These resolutions
having been adopted, the council was prorogued, on the following Saturday,
de die in diem, until the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, A.D.
On the 6th of October, a fortnight after
the above resolution had been formed by the council, the king sent fresh
instructions to the constable of the Tower, and the sheriffs of London,
directing them to deliver up the Templars, one at a time, or altogether, and
receive them back in the same way, at the will of the inquisitors. The
gaolers of these unhappy gentlemen seem to have been more merciful and
considerate than their judges, and to have manifested the greatest reluctance
to act upon the orders sent from the king. On the 23rd of October, further and
more preremptory commands were forwarded to the constable of the Tower,
distinctly informing him that the king, on account of his respect for the holy
apostolic see, had lately conceded to the prelates and inquisitors deputed to
take inquisition against the order of the Temple, and the Grand Preceptor of
that order in England, the power of ordering and disposing of the Templars
A.D. 1310. and their bodies, of examining
them by TORTURE or otherwise, and of doing to them whatever they should deem
expedient, according to the ecclesiastical law; and he again strictly enjoins
the constable to deliver up all the Templars in his custody, either together
or separately, or in any way that the inquisitors or one bishop and one
inquisitor may direct, and to receive them back when required so to do.
Corresponding orders were again sent to the sheriffs, commanding them, at the
requisition of the inquisitors, to get the Templars out of the hands of the
constable of the Tower, to guard them in convenient prisons, and to permit
certain persons deputed by the inquisitors to see that the imprisonment was
properly carried into effect, to do with the bodies of the Templars whatever
they should think fit according to ecclesiastical law. When the inquisitors,
or the persons appointed by them, had done with the Templars what they
pleased, they were to deliver them back to the constable of the Tower, or his
lieutenant, there to be kept in custody as before.
Orders were likewise sent to the constable of the castle of Lincoln, and to
the mayor and bailiffs of the city of Lincoln, to the same effect. The king
also directed Roger de Wyngefeld, clerk, guardian of the lands of the Templars,
and William Plummer, sub-guardian of the manor of Creasing, to furnish to the
king's officers the sums required for the keep, and for the expenses of the
detention of the brethren of the order.
On the 22nd of November the king condescended
A.D. 1310. the mayor, aldermen, and
commonalty of his faithful city of London, that out of reverence to the pope
he had authorised the inquisitors, sent over by his holiness, to question the
Templars by TORTURE; he puts them in possession of the orders he had sent to
the constable of the Tower, and to the sheriffs; and he commands them, in case
it should be notified to them by the inquisitors that the prisons provided by
the sheriffs were insufficient for their purposes, to procure without fail fit
and convenient houses in the city, or near thereto, for carrying into effect
the contemplated measures; and he graciously informs them that he will
reimburse them all the expenses that may be incurred by them or their officers
in fulfilling his commands. *
Shortly afterwards the king again wrote to the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty
of London, acquainting them that the sheriffs had made a return to his writ,
to the effect that the four gates (prisons) of the city were not under their
charge, and that they could not therefore obtain them for the purposes
required; and he commands the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty, to place those
four gates at the disposal of the sheriffs.
On the 12th of December, all the Templars
in custody at Lincoln were, by command of the king, brought up to London, and
placed in solitary confinement in different prisons and private houses
provided by the mayor and sheriffs. Shortly afterwards orders were given for
all the Templars in custody in London to be loaded with chains and fetters;
the myrmidons of the inquisitors were to be allowed to make periodical visits
to see that the imprisonment was properly carried into effect, and were to be
allowed to TORTURE the bodies of the Templars in any way that they might think
On the 30th of March, A.D. 1311, after some
months’ trial of
A.D. 1311. the above severe measures, the
examination was resumed before the inquisitors, and the bishops of London and
Chichester, at the several churches of St. Martin's, Ludgate, and St.
Botolph's, Bishopsgate. The Templars had now been in prison in England for the
space of three years and some months. During the whole of the previous winter
they had been confined in chains in the dungeons of the city of London,
compelled to receive their scanty supply of food from the officers of the
inquisition, and to suffer from cold, from hunger, and from torture. They had
been made to endure all the horrors of solitary confinement, and had none to
solace or to cheer them during the long hours of their melancholy captivity.
They had been already condemned collectively by the pope, as members of an
heretical and idolatrous society, and as long as they continued to persist in
the truth of their first confessions, and in the avowal of their innocence,
they were treated as obstinate, unreconciled heretics, living in a state of
excommunication, and doomed, when dead, to everlasting punishment in hell.
They had heard of the miserable fate of their brethren in France, and they
knew that those who had confessed crimes of which they had never been guilty,
had been immediately declared reconciled to the church, had been absolved and
set at liberty, and they knew that freedom, pardon, and peace could be
immediately purchased by a confession of guilt; notwithstanding all which,
every Templar, at this last examination, persisted in the maintenance of his
innocence, and in the denial of all knowledge of, or participation in, the
crimes and heresies imputed to the order. They declare that everything that
was done in their chapters, in respect of absolution, the reception of
brethren, and other matters, was honourable and honest, and might well and
lawfully be done; that it was in no wise heretical or vicious; and that
whatever was done was from
A.D. 1311. the appointment, approbation,
and regulation of all the brethren. *
From their statements, it appears that the Master of the Temple in England was
in the habit of summoning a general chapter of the order once a year, at which
the preceptors of Ireland and of Scotland were present. These were always
called together to take into consideration the affairs of the Holy Land, and
to determine on sending succour to their brethren in the East. At the close of
their examination the Templars were again sent back to their dungeons, and
loaded with chains; and the inquisitors, disappointed of the desired
confessions, addressed themselves to the enemies of the order for the
necessary proofs of guilt.
During the month of April, seventy-two
witnesses were examined in the chapter-house of the Holy Trinity. They were
nearly all monks, Carmelites, Augustinians, Dominicans, and Minorites; their
evidence is all hearsay, and the nature of it will be seen from the following
Henry Thanet, an Irishman, had heard
that Brother Hugh de Nipurias, a Templar, deserted from the castle of Tortosa
in Palestine, and went over to the Saracens, abjuring the christian faith; and
that a certain preceptor of the Pilgrim's Castle was in the habit of making
all the brethren he received into the order deny Christ; but the witness was
unable to give either the name of the preceptor or of the persons so received.
He had also heard that a certain Templar had in his custody a brazen head with
two faces, which would answer all questions put to it!
Master John de Nassington declared that Milo de
Stapelton and Adam de Everington, knights, told him that they had once been
invited to a great feast at the preceptory of Templehurst, and were there
informed that the Templars celebrated a solemn festival once a year, at which
they worshipped a calf!
A.D. 1311. John de Eure, knight, sheriff of
the county of York, deposed that he had once invited Brother William de la
Fenne, Preceptor of Wesdall, to dine with him, and that after dinner the
preceptor drew a book out of his bosom, and delivered it to the knight's lady
to read, who found a piece of paper fastened into the book, on which were
written abominable, heretical doctrines, to the effect that Christ was not the
Son of God, nor born of a virgin, but conceived of the seed of Joseph, the
husband of Mary, after the manner of other men, and that Christ was not a true
but a false prophet, and was not crucified for the redemption of mankind, but
for his own sins, and many other things contrary to the christian faith. On
the production of this important evidence, Brother William de la Fenne was
called in and interrogated; he admitted that he had dined with the sheriff of
York, and had lent his lady a book to read, but he swore that he was ignorant
of the piece of paper fastened into the book, and of its contents. It appears
that the sheriff of York had kept this dangerous secret to himself for the
space of six years!
William de la Forde, a priest, rector of the
church of Crofton in the diocese of York, had heard William de Reynbur,
priest of the order of St. Augustine, who was then dead, say, that the
Templar, Brother Patrick of Rippon, son of William of Gloucester, had
confessed to him, that at his entrance into the order, he was led, clothed
only in his shirt and trousers, through a long passage to a secret chamber,
and was there made to deny his God and his Saviour; that he was then shown a
representation of the crucifixion, and was told that since he had previously
honoured that emblem he must now dishonour it and spit upon it, and that he
did so. "Item dictum fuit ei quod, depositis brachia, dorsum verteret ad
crucifixum," and this he did bitterly weeping. After this they brought an
image, as it were, of a calf, placed upon au altar, and they told him he must
kiss that image, and worship it,
A.D. 1311. and he did so, and after all
this they covered up his eyes and led him about, kissing and being kissed by
all the brethren, but he could not recollect in what part. The worthy priest
was asked when he had first heard all these things, and he replied after
the arrest of the brethren by the king's orders!
Robert of Oteringham, senior of the order of
Minorites, stated that on one occasion he was partaking of the hospitality of
the Templars at the preceptory of Ribstane in Yorkshire, and that when grace
had been said after supper, the chaplain of the order reprimanded the brethren
of the Temple, saying to them, "The devil will burn you," or some such words;
and hearing a bustle amongst them, he got up to see what was the matter, and,
as far as he recollects, he saw one of the brothers of the Temple, "brachia
depositis, tenentem faciem versus occidentem et posteriora versus altare!"
Being asked who it was that did this, he says he does not exactly remember. He
then goes on to state, that about twenty years before that time! he was again
the guest of the Templars, at the preceptory of Wetherby (query Feriby) in
Yorkshire, and when evening came he heard that the preceptor was not coming to
supper, as he was arranging some relics that he had brought with him from the
Holy Land, and afterwards at midnight he heard a confused noise in the chapel,
and getting up he looked through the keyhole, and saw a great light therein,
either from a fire or from candles, and on the morrow he asked one of the
brethren of the Temple the name of the saint in whose honour they had
celebrated so grand a festival during the night, and that brother, aghast and
turning pale, thinking he had seen what had been done amongst them, said to
him, "Go thy way, and if you love me, or have any regard for your own life,
never speak of this matter." This same "Senior of the Minorites" declares also
that he had seen, in the chapel of the preceptory of Ribstane, a cross, with
the image of our Saviour
A.D. 1311. nailed upon it, thrown
carelessly upon the altar, and he observed to a certain brother of the Temple,
that the cross was in a most indecent and improper position, and he was about
to lift it up and stand it erect, when that same brother called out to him,
"Lay down the cross and depart in peace!"
Brother John de Wederal, another Minorite,
sent to the inquisitors a written paper, wherein he stated that he had lately
heard in the country, that a Templar, named Robert de Baysat, was once
seen running about a meadow uttering, "Alas! alas! that ever I was born,
seeing that I have denied God and sold myself to the devil!" Brother N. de
Chinon, another Minorite, had heard that a certain Templar had a son who
peeped through a chink in the wall of the chapter-room, and saw a person who
was about to be professed, slain because he would not deny Christ, and
afterwards the boy was asked by his father to become a Templar, but refused,
and he immediately shared the same fate. Twenty witnesses, who were examined
in each other's presence, merely repeated the above absurdities, or related
At this stage of the proceedings, the papal
inquisitor, Sicard de Vaur, exhibited two rack-extorted confessions of
Templars which had been obtained in France. The first was from Robert de St.
Just, who had been received into the order by brother Himbert, Grand Preceptor
of England, but had been arrested in France, and there tortured by the
myrmidons of Philip. In this confession, Robert de St. Just states that, on
his admission to the vows of the Temple, he denied Christ, and spat beside
the cross. The second confession had been extorted from Geoffrey de Gonville,
Knight of the Order of the Temple, Preceptor of Aquitaine and Poitou, and had
been given on the 15th of November,
[paragraph continues] A.D. 1307,
before the grand inquisitor of France. In this confession, (which had been
afterwards revoked, but of which revocation no notice was taken by the
inquisitors,) Sir Geoffrey de Gonville states that he was received into the
order in England in the house of the Temple at London, by Brother Robert de
Torvibe, knight, the Master of all England, about twenty-eight years before
that time; that the master showed him on a missal the image of Jesus Christ on
the cross, and commanded him to deny him who was crucified; that, terribly
alarmed, he exclaimed, " Alas! my lord, why should I do this? I will on no
account do it." But the master said to him, Do it boldly; I swear to thee that
the act shall never harm either thy soul or thy conscience;" and then
proceeded to inform him that the custom had been introduced into the order by
a certain bad Grand Master, who was imprisoned by a certain sultan, and could
escape from prison only on condition that he would establish that form of
reception in his order, and compel all who were received to deny Christ Jesus!
but the deponent remained inflexible; he refused to deny his Saviour, and
asked where were his uncle and the other good people who had brought him
there, and was told that they were all gone; and at last a compromise took
place between him and the Master, who made him take his oath that he would
tell all his brethren that he had gone through the customary form, and never
reveal that it had been dispensed with! He states also that the ceremony was
instituted in memory of St. Peter, who three times denied Christ! *
A.D. 1311. Ferinsius le Mareschal, a
secular knight, being examined, declared that his grandfather entered into the
order of the Temples active, healthy, and blithesome as the birds and the
dogs, but on the third day from his taking the vows he was dead, and, as he
now suspects, was killed because he refused to participate in the
iniquities practised by the brethren. An Augustine monk declared that he had
heard a Templar say that a man after death had no more soul than a dog. Roger,
rector of the church of Godmersham, swore that about fifteen years before he
had an intention of entering into the order of the Temple himself, and
consulted Stephen Queynterel, one of the brothers, on the subject, who advised
him not to do so, and stated that they had three articles amongst
themselves in their order, known only to God, the devil, and the brethren of
the Temple, and the said Stephen would not reveal to the deponent what those
The vicar of the church of Saint Clement at
Sandwich had heard that a boy had secreted himself in the large hall
where the Templars held their chapter, and beard the Master preach to the
brethren, and explain to them in what mode they might enrich themselves; and
after the chapter was concluded, one of the brothers, in going out of the
hall, dropped his girdle, which the boy found and carried to the brother who
had so dropped it, when the latter drew his sword and instantly slew him! But
to crown all, Brother John de Gertia, a Minorite, had heard from a
certain woman called Cacocaca! who had it from Exvalettus, Preceptor of
London, that one of the servants of the Templars entered the hall where the
chapter was held, and secreted himself, and after the door had been shut and
locked by the last Templar who entered, and the key had been brought by him to
the superior, the assembled Templars jumped up and went into another room, and
opened a closet, and drew therefrom a certain
A.D. 1311. black figure with shining eyes,
and a cross, and they placed the cross before the Master, and the "culum idoli
vel figuræ" they placed upon the cross, and carried it to the Master, who
kissed the said image, (in ano,) and all the others did the same after him;
and when they had finished kissing, they all spat three times upon the cross,
except one, who refused, saying, "I was a bad man in the world, and placed
myself in this order for the salvation of my soul; what could I do worse? I
will not do it;" and then the brethren said to him, "Take heed, and do as you
see the order do;" but he answered that he would not do so, and then they
placed him in a well which stood in the midst of their house, and covered the
well up, and left him to perish. Being asked as to the time when the woman
heard this, the deponent stated that she told it to him about fourteen years
back at London, where she kept a shop for her husband, Robert Cotacota! This
witness also knew a certain Walter Salvagyo of the family of Earl Warrenne,
grandfather of the then earl, who, having entered into the order of the
Temple, was about two years afterwards entirely lost sight of by his family,
and neither the earl nor any of his friends could ever learn what had become
John Walby de Bust, another Minorite, had
heard John de Dingeston say that he had heard that there was in a
secret place of the house of the Templars at London a gilded head, and that
when one of the Masters was on his deathbed, he summoned to his presence
several preceptors, and told them that if they wished for power, and dominion,
and honour, they must worship that head.
Brother Richard de Koefeld, a monk, had
heard from John de Borna, who had it from the Knight Templar Walter le
Bacheler, that every man who entered into the order of the Temple had to sell
himself to the devil; he had also heard from the priest
Walter, rector of the church of Hodlee, who had it from a
certain vicar, who was a priest of the said Walter le Bacheler, that there was
one article in the profession of the Templars which might not be revealed to
any living man.
Gasper de Nafferton, chaplain of the parish of
Ryde, deposed that three years back he was in the employ of the Templars for
about six months, during which period William de Pokelington was received into
the order; that he well recollected that the said William made his appearance
at the Temple on Sunday evening, with the equipage and habit of a member of
the order, accompanied by Brother William de la More, the Master of the
Temple, Brother William de Grafton, Preceptor of Ribbestane and Fontebriggs;
and other brethren: that the same night, during the first watch, they
assembled in the church, and caused the deponent to be awakened to say mass;
that, after the celebration of the mass, they made the deponent with his clerk
go out into the hall beyond the cloister, and then sent for the person who was
to be received; and on his entry into the church one of the brethren
immediately closed all the doors opening into the cloister, so that no one
within the chambers could get out, and thus they remained till daylight; but
what was done in the church the deponent knew not; the next day, however, he
saw the said William clothed in the habit of a Templar, looking very
sorrowful. The deponent also declared that he had threatened to peep through a
secret door to see what was going on, but was warned that it was inevitable
death so to do. He states that the next morning he went into the church, and
found the books and crosses all removed from the places in which he had
previously left them; that he afterwards saw the knight Templar Brother
William deliver to the newly-received brother a large roll of paper,
containing the rule of the order, which the said newly-received brother was
directed to transcribe in private;
A.D. 1311. that after the departure of the
said Brother William, the deponent approached the said newly-received brother,
who was then diligently writing, and asked to be allowed to inspect the roll,
but was told that none but members of the order could be allowed to read it;
that be was then about to depart, when Brother William made his appearance,
and, astonished and confounded at the sight of the deponent, snatched up the
roll and walked away with it, declaring, with a great oath, that he would
never again allow it to go out of his hands.
Brother John de Donyngton, of the order of the
Minorites, the seventy-sixth witness examined, being sworn, deposed that some
years back an old veteran of the Temple (whose name he could not recollect)
told him that the order possessed four chief idols in England, one at London
in the sacristy of the Temple; another at the preceptory of Bistelesham; a
third at Bruere in Lincolnshire; and the fourth in some place beyond the
Humber, (the name of which he had forgotten;) that Brother William de la More,
the Master of the Temple, introduced the melancholy idolatry of the Templars
into England, and brought with him into the country a great roll, whereon were
inscribed in large characters the wicked practices and observances of the
order. The said old veteran also told the deponent that many of the Templars
carried idols about with them in boxes, &c. &c.
The deponent further states that he recollected
well that a private gentleman, Master William de Shokerwyk, a short time back,
had prepared to take the vows of the order, and carried his treasures and all
the property he had to the Temple at London; and that as he was about to
deposit it in the treasury, one of the brethren of the Temple heaved a
profound sigh, and Master William de Shokerwyk having asked what ailed him, he
immediately replied, "It will be the worse for you, brother, if you enter our
order;" that the said Master William asked why, and the Templar
A.D. 1311. replied, "You see us
externally, but not internally; take heed what you do; but I shall say no
more;" and the deponent further declares, that on another occasion the said
Master William entered into the Temple Hall, and found there an old Templar,
who was playing at the game called Daly; and the old Templar observing that
there was no one in the hall besides himself and the said Master William, said
to the latter, "If you enter into our order, it will be the worse for you."
The witness then goes into a rambling
account of various transactions in the East, tending to show that the Templars
were in alliance with the Saracens, and had acted with treachery towards the
christian cause! *
After the delivery of all this hearsay, these
vague suspicions and monstrous improbabilities, the notaries proceeded to
arrange the valuable testimony adduced, and on the 22nd of April all the
Templars in custody in the Tower and in the prisons of the city were assembled
before the inquisitors and the bishops of London and Chichester, in the church
of the Holy Trinity, to hear the depositions and attestations of the witnesses
publicly read. The Templars required copies of these depositions, which were
granted them, and they were allowed eight days from that period to bring
forward any defences or privileges they wished to make use of. Subsequently,
before the expiration of the eight days, the officer of the bishop of London
was sent to the Tower with scriveners and witnesses, to know if they would
then set up any matters of defence, to whom the Templars replied that they
were unlettered men, ignorant of law, and that all means of defence were
denied them, since they were not permitted to employ those who could afford
them fit counsel and advice. They observed, however, that they were desirous
of publicly proclaiming the faith, and the religion of themselves
A.D. 1311. and of the order to which they
belonged, of showing the privileges conceded to them by the chief pontiffs,
and their own depotions taken before the inquisitors, all which they said they
wished to make use of in their defence.
On the eighth day, being Thursday the 29th of
April, they appeared before the papal inquisitors and the bishops of London
and Chichester, in the church of All Saints of Berkyngecherche, and presented
to them the following declaration, which they had drawn up amongst themselves,
as the only defence they had to offer against the injustice, the tyranny, and
the persecution of their powerful oppressors; adding, that if they had in any
way done wrong, they were ready to submit themselves to the orders of the
This declaration is written in the Norman
French of that day, and is as follows:
"Conue chese seit a nostre honurable pere,
le ercevesque de Canterbiere, primat de toute Engletere, e a touz prelaz de
seinte Eglise, e a touz Cristiens, qe touz les freres du Temple que sumes ici
assemblez et chescune singulere persone par sen sumes cristien nostre seignur
Jesu Crist, e creoms en Dieu Pere omnipotent, qui fist ciel e terre, e en Jesu
soen fiz, qui fust conceu du Seint Esperit, nez de la Virgine Marie, soeffrit
peine e passioun, morut sur la croiz pour touz peccheours, descendist e
enferns, e le tierz jour releva de mort en vie, e mounta en ciel, siet au
destre soen Pere, e vendra au jour de juise, juger les vifs e les morz, qui
fit saunz commencement, e serra saunz fyn; e creoms comme seynte eglise crets,
e nous enseigne. E que nostre religion est foundee sus obedience, chastete,
vivre sans propre, aider a conquere la seint terre de Jerusalem, a force e a
poer, qui Dieu nous ad preste. E nyoms e fermement en countredioms touz e
chescune singulere persone, par sei toutes maneres de heresies e malvaistes,
que sount encountre la foi de Seinte Eglise. E prioms pour Dieu e pour charite
a vous, que estes en lieu nostre
A.D. 1311. seinte pere l’apostoile, que
nous puissoms aver lez drettures de seinte eglise, comme ceus que count les
filz de sainte eglise, que bien avoms garde, e tenu la foi, e la lei de seinte
eglise, e nostre religion, la quele est bone, honeste e juste, solom les
ordenaunces, e les privileges de la court de Rome avons grauntez, confermez, e
canonizez par commun concile, les qels priviliges ensemblement ou
lestablisement, e la regle sount en la dite court enregistrez. E mettoms en
dur e en mal eu touz Cristiens saune noz anoisourz, par la ou nous avoms este
conversaunt, comment nous avoms nostre vie demene. E se nous avoms rien
mesprys de aucun parole en nos examinacions par ignorance de seu, si comme
nous sumes genz laics prest sumes, a ester a lesgard de seint eglise, comme
cely que mourust pour nouz en la beneite de croiz. E nous creoms fermement
touz les sacremenz de seinte eglise. E nous vous prioms pour Dieu e pour
salvacioun de vous almes, que vous nous jugez si comme vous volez respoundre
pour vous et pour nous devaunt Dieu: e que nostre examinement puet estre leu e
oii devaunt nous e devaunt le people, solom le respouns e le langage que fust
dit devaunt vous, e escrit en papier. *
"Be it known to our honourable father, the
archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England, and to all the prelates of
holy church, and to all Christians, that all we brethren of the Temple here
assembled, and every of one of us are Christians, and believe in our Saviour
Jesus Christ, in God the Father omnipotent, &c. &c. . . . ."
"And we believe all that the holy church
believes and teaches us. We declare that our religion is founded on vows of
obedience, chastity, and poverty, and of aiding in the conquest of the Holy
Land of Jerusalem, with all the power and might that God affordeth us. And we
firmly deny and contradict, one and all of us, all manner of heresy and evil
doings, contrary to the faith of
A.D. 1311. holy church. And for the love of
God, and for charity, we beseech you, who represent our holy father the pope,
that we may be treated like true children of the church, for we have well
guarded and preserved the faith and the law of the church, and of our own
religion, the which is good, honest, and just, according to the ordinances and
the privileges of the court of Rome, granted, confirmed, and canonized by
common council; the which privileges, together with the rule of our order, are
enregistered in the said court. And we would bring forward all Christians,
(save our enemies and slanderers,) with whom we are conversant, and among whom
we have resided, to say how and in what manner we have spent our lives. And
if, in our examinations, we have said or done anything wrong through ignorance
of a word, since we are unlettered men, we are ready to suffer for holy church
like him who died for us on the blessed cross. And we believe all the
sacraments of the church. And we beseech you, for the love of God, and as you
hope to be saved, that you judge us as you will have to answer for yourselves
and for us before God; and we pray that our examination may be read and heard
before ourselves and all the people, in the very language and words in
which it was given before you, and written down on paper."
The above declaration was presented by Brother
William de la More, the Master of the Temple; the Knights Templars Philip de
Mewes, Preceptor of Garwy; William de Burton, Preceptor of Cumbe; Radulph de
Maison, Preceptor of Ewell; Michael de Baskevile, Preceptor of London; Thomas
de Wothrope, Preceptor of Bistelesham; William de Warwick, Priest; and Thomas
de Burton, Chaplain of the Order; together with twenty serving brothers. The
same day the inquisitors and the two bishops proceeded to the different
prisons of the city to demand if the prisoners confined therein wished to
bring forward anything in defence of
A.D. 1311. the order, who severally
answered that they would adopt and abide by the declaration made by their
brethren in the Tower.
It appears that in the prison of Aldgate there
were confined Brother William de Sautre, Knight, Preceptor of Samford; Brother
William de la Ford, Preceptor of Daney; Brother John de Coningeston, Preceptor
of Getinges; Roger de Norreis, Preceptor of Cressing; Radulph de Barton,
priest, Prior of the New Temple; and several serving brethren of the order. In
the prison of Crepelgate were detained William de Egendon, Knight, Preceptor
of Schepeley; John de Moun, Knight, Preceptor of Dokesworth; and four serving
brethren. In the prison of Ludgate were five serving brethren; and in Newgate
was confined Brother Himbert Blanke, Knight, Grand Preceptor of Auvergne.
The above declaration of faith and
innocence was far from agreeable to the papal inquisitors, who required a
confession of guilt, and the torture was once more directed to be applied. The
king sent fresh orders to the mayor and the sheriffs of the city of London,
commanding them to place the Templars in separate dungeons; to load them with
chains and fetters; to permit the myrmidons of the inquisitors to pay
periodical visits to see that the wishes and intentions of the inquisitors,
with regard to the severity of the confinement, were properly carried into
effect; and, lastly, to inflict TORTURE upon the bodies of the Templars, and
generally to do whatever should be thought fitting and expedient in the
premises, according to ecclesiastical law. *
A.D. 1311. with these orders, we learn from
the record of the proceedings, that the Templars were placed in solitary
confinement in loathsome dungeons; that they were placed on a short allowance
of bread and water, and periodically visited by the agents of the inquisition;
that they were moved from prison to prison, and from dungeon to dungeon; were
now treated with rigour, and anon with indulgence; and were then visited by
learned prelates, and acute doctors in theology, who, by exhortation,
persuasion, and by menace, attempted in every possible mode to wring from them
the required avowals. We learn that all the engines of terror wielded by the
church were put in force, and that torture was unsparingly applied "usque
ad judicium sanguinis!" The places in which these atrocious scenes were
enacted were the Tower, the prisons of Aldgate, Ludgate, Newgate,
Bishops-gate, and Crepelgate, the house formerly belonging to John de Banguel,
and the tenements once the property of the brethren of penitence. *
It appears that some French monks were sent over to administer the torture to
the unhappy captives, and that they were questioned and examined in the
presence of notaries whilst suffering under the torments of the rack. The
relentless perseverance and the incessant exertions of the foreign inquisitors
were at last rewarded by a splendid triumph over the powers of endurance of
two poor serving brethren, and one chaplain of the order of the Temple, who
were at last induced to make the long-desired avowals.
On the 23rd of June, Brother Stephen de
Stapelbrugge, described as an apostate and fugitive of the order of the
Temple, captured by the king's officers in the city of Salisbury, deposed in
the house of the head gaoler of Newgate, in the presence of the bishops of
London and Chichester, the chancellor of the archbishop of Canterbury, Hugh de
Walkeneby, doctor of theology,
A.D. 1311. and other clerical witnesses,
that there were two modes of profession in the order of the Temple, the one
good and lawful, and the other contrary to the christian faith; that he
himself was received into the order by Brother Brian le Jay, Grand Preceptor
of England at Dynneslee, and was led into the chapel, the door of which was
closed as soon as he had entered; that a cross was placed before the Master,
and that a brother of the Temple, with a drawn sword, stood on either side of
him; that the Master said to him, "Do you see this image of the crucifixion?"
to which he replied, "I see it, my lord;" that the Master then said to him,
"You must deny that Christ Jesus was God and man, and that Mary was his
mother; and you must spit upon this cross;" which the deponent, through
immediate fear of death, did with his mouth, but not with his heart, and he
spat beside the cross, and not on it; and then falling down upon his knees,
with eyes uplifted, with his hands clasped, with bitter tears and sighs, and
devout ejaculations, he besought the mercy and the favour of holy church,
declaring that he cared not for the death of the body, or for any amount of
penance, but only for the salvation of his soul.
On Saturday, the 25th of June, Brother Thomas
Tocci de Thoroldeby, serving brother of the order of the Temple, described as
an apostate who had escaped from Lincoln after his examination at that place
by the papal inquisitors, but had afterwards surrendered himself to the king's
officers, was brought before the bishops of London and Chichester, the
archdeacon of Salisbury, and others of the clergy in St. Martin's Church in
Vinetriâ; and being again examined, he repeated the statement made in his
first deposition, but added some particulars with regard to penances imposed
and absolutions pronounced in the chapter, showing the difference between sins
and defaults, the priest having to deal with the one, and the Master with the
He declared that the little cords were worn from honourable motives, and
relates a story of his being engaged in a battle against the Saracens, in
which he lost his cord, and was punished by the Grand Master for a default in
coming home without it. He gives the same account of the secrecy of the
chapters as all the other brethren, states that the members of the order were
forbidden to confess to the friars mendicants, and were enjoined to confess to
their own chaplains; that they did nothing contrary to the christian faith,
and as to their endeavouring to promote the advancement of the order by any
means, right or wrong, that exactly the contrary was the ease, as there was a
statute in the order to the effect, that if any one should be found to have
acquired anything unjustly, he should be deprived of his habit, and be
expelled the order. Being asked what induced him to become an apostate, and to
fly from his order, he replied that it was through fear of death, because the
abbot of Lagny, (the papal inquisitor,) when he examined him at Lincoln, asked
him if he would not confess anything further, and he answered that he knew of
nothing further to confess, unless he were to say things that were not true;
and that the abbot, laying his hand upon his breast, swore by the word of
God that he would make him confess before he had done with him! and that
being terribly frightened he afterwards bribed the gaoler of the castle of
Lincoln, giving him forty florins to let him make his escape.
The abbot of Lagny, indeed, was as good as his
word, for on the 29th of June, four days after this imprudent avowal, Brother
Thomas Tocci de Thoroldeby was brought back to Saint Martin's Church, and
there, in the presence of the same parties, he made a third confession, in
which he declares that, coerced by two Templars with drawn swords in their
hands, he denied Christ with his mouth, but not with his heart; and spat
beside the cross, but not on it; that he was required to spit upon the
A.D. 1311. the Virgin Mary, but
contrived, instead of doing so, to give her a kiss on the foot. He declares
that he had heard Brian le Jay, the Master of the Temple at London, say a
hundred times over, that Jesus Christ was not the true God, but a man, and
that the smallest hair out of the beard of one Saracen was of more worth than
the whole body of any Christian. He declares that he was once standing in the
presence of Brother Brian, when some poor people besought charity of him for
the love of God and our lady the blessed Virgin Mary; and he answered, "Que
dame, alez vous pendre a vostre dame"--"What lady? go and be hanged to
your lady," and violently casting a halfpenny into the mud, he made the poor
people hunt for it, although it was in the depth of a severe winter. He also
relates that at the chapters the priest stood like a beast, and had nothing to
do but to repeat the psalm, "God be merciful unto us, and bless us," which was
read at the closing of the chapter. (The Templars, by the way, must have been
strange idolaters to have closed their chapters, in which they are accused of
worshipping a cat, a man's head, and a black idol, with the reading of the
beautiful psalm, "God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and show us the light
of thy countenance, that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving
health among all nations," &c. Psalm lxvii.) This witness further states, that
the priest had no power to impose a heavier penance than a day's fast on bread
and water, and could not even do that without the permission of the brethren.
He is made also to relate that the Templars always favoured the Saracens in
the holy wars in Palestine, and oppressed the Christians! and he declares,
speaking of himself, that for three years before he had never seen the body of
Christ without thinking of the devil, nor could he remove that evil thought
from his heart by prayer, or in any other way that he knew of; but that very
morning he had heard mass with great devotion, and since then had thought only
of Christ, and
A.D. 1311. thinks there is no one in the
order of the Temple whose soul will be saved, unless a reformation takes
Previous to this period, the ecclesiastical
council had again assembled, and these last depositions of Brothers Stephen de
Stapelbrugge and Thomas Tocci de Thoroldeby having been produced before them,
the following solemn farce was immediately publicly enacted. It is thus
described in the record of the proceedings:
"To the praise and glory of the name of the
most high Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, to the confusion of
heretics, and the strengthening of all faithful Christians, begins the public
record of the reconciliation of the penitent heretics, returning to the
orthodox faith published in the council, celebrated at London in the year
"In the name of God, Amen. In the year of the
incarnation of our Lord 1311, on the twenty-seventh day of the month of June,
in the hall of the palace of the bishop of London, before the venerable
fathers the Lord Robert by the grace of God archbishop of Canterbury, primate
of all England, and his suffragans in provincial council assembled, appeared
Brother Stephen de Stapelbrugge, of the order of the chivalry of the Temple;
and the denying of Christ and the blessed Virgin Mary his mother, the spitting
upon the cross, and the heresies and errors acknowledged and confessed by him
in his deposition being displayed, the same Stephen asserted in full council,
before the people of the City of London, introduced for the occasion, that all
those things so deposed by him were true, and that to that confession he would
wholly adhere; humbly confessing his error on his bended knees, with his hands
clasped, with much lamentation and many tears, he again and again besought the
mercy and pity of holy mother church, offering to
A.D. 1311. abjure all heresies and errors,
and praying them to impose on him a fitting penance, and then the book of the
holy gospels being placed in his hands, he abjured the aforesaid heresies in
"I, brother Stephen de Stapelbrugge, of the
order of the chivalry of the Temple, do solemnly confess," &c. &c. (he repeats
his confession, makes his abjuration, and then proceeds;) "and if at any time
hereafter I shall happen to relapse into the same errors, or deviate from any
of the articles of the faith, I will account myself ipso facto
excommunicated; I will stand condemned as a manifest perjured heretic, and the
punishment inflicted on perjured relapsed heretics shall be forthwith imposed
upon me without further trial or judgment!!"
He was then sworn upon the holy gospels to
stand to the sentence of the church in the matter, after which Brother Thomas
Tocci de Thoroldeby was brought forward to go through the same monstrous
ceremony, which being concluded, these two poor serving brothers of the order
of the Temple, who were so ignorant that they could not write, were made to
place their mark (loco subscriptionis) on the record of the abjuration.
"And then our lord the archbishop of
Canterbury, for the purpose of absolving and reconciling to the unity of the
church the aforesaid Thomas and Stephen, conceded his authority and that of
the whole council to the bishop of London, in the presence of me the notary,
specially summoned for the occasion, in these words: 'We grant to you the
authority of God, of the blessed Mary, of the blessed Thomas the Martyr our
patron, and of all the saints of God (sanctorum atque sanctarum Dei) to
us conceded, and also the authority of the present council to us transferred,
to the end that thou mayest reconcile to the unity of the church these
miserables, separated from her by their repudiation
A.D. 1311. of the faith, and now brought
back again to her bosom, reserving to ourselves and the council the right of
imposing a fit penance for their transgressions!' And as there were two
penitents, the bishop of Chichester was joined to the bishop of London for the
purpose of pronouncing the absolution, which two bishops, putting on their
mitres and pontificals, and being assisted by twelve priests in sacerdotal
vestments, placed themselves in seats at the western entrance of the cathedral
church of Saint Paul, and the penitents, with bended knees, humbly prostrating
themselves in prayer upon the steps before the door of the church, the members
of the council and the people of the city standing around; and the psalm,
Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness," having been chaunted
from the beginning to the end, and the subjoined prayers and sermon having
been gone through, they absolved the said penitents, and received them back to
the unity of the church in the following form:
"In the name of God, Amen. Since by your
confession we find that you, Brother Stephen de Stapelbrugge, have denied
Christ Jesus and the blessed Virgin Mary, and have spat beside the
cross, and now taking better advice wishest to return to the unity of the holy
church with a true heart and sincere faith, as you assert, and all heretical
depravity having for that purpose been previously abjured by you according to
the form of the church, we, by the authority of the council, absolve you from
the bonds of excommunication wherewith you were held fast, and we reconcile
you to the unity of the church, if you shall have returned to her in sincerity
of heart, and shall have obeyed her injunctions imposed upon you."
Brother Thomas Tocci de Thoroldeby was then
absolved and reconciled to the church in the same manner, after which various
[paragraph continues] (Gloria Patri,
Kyrie Eleyson, Christe Eleyson, &c. &c.) were sung, and prayers were offered
up, and then the ceremony was concluded. *
On the 1st of July, an avowal of guilt was
wrung by the inquisitors from Brother John de Stoke, chaplain of the order,
who, being brought before the bishops of London and Chichester in St. Martin's
church, deposed that he was received in the mode mentioned by him on his first
examination; but a year and fifteen days after that reception, being at the
preceptory of Garwy in the diocese of Hereford, he was called into the chamber
of Brother James de Molay, the Grand Master of the order, who, in the presence
of two other Templars of foreign extraction, informed him that he wished to
make proof of his obedience, and commanded him to take a seat at the foot of
the bed, and the deponent did so. The Grand Master then sent into the church
for the crucifix, and two serving brothers, with naked swords in their hands,
stationed themselves on either side of the doorway. As soon as the crucifix
made its appearance, the Grand Master, pointing to the figure of our Saviour
nailed thereon, asked the deponent whose image it was, and he answered, "The
image of Jesus Christ, who suffered on the cross for the redemption of
mankind;" but the Grand Master exclaimed, "Thou sayest wrong, and are much
mistakened, for he was the son of a certain woman, and was crucified because
he called himself the Son of God, and I myself have been in the place where he
was born and crucified, and thou must now deny him whom this image
represents." The deponent exclaimed, "Far be it from me to deny my Saviour;"
but the Grand Master told him he must do it, or he would be put into a sack
and be carried to a place which he would find by no means agreeable, and there
were swords in the room, and brothers ready to use them, &c. &c.; and the
deponent asked if such was the custom of the order, and if all the brethren
A.D. 1311. same; and being answered in the
affirmative, he, through fear of immediate death, denied Christ with his
tongue, but not with his heart. Being asked in whom he was told to
put his faith after he had denied Christ Jesus, he replies, "In that great
Omnipotent God who created the heaven and the earth." *
Such, in substance, was the whole of the
criminatory evidence that could be wrung by torture, by a long imprisonment,
and by hardships of every kind, from the Templars in England. It amounts
simply to an assertion that they compelled all whom they received into their
order to renounce the christian religion, a thing perfectly incredible. Is it
to be supposed that the many good Christians of high birth, and honour, and
exalted piety, who entered into the order of the Temple, taking the cross for
their standard and their guide, would thus suddenly have cast their faith and
their religion to the winds? Would they not rather have denounced the impiety
and iniquity to the officers of the Inquisition, and to the pope, the superior
of the order?
"Ainsi que la vertu, le crime a see degrés
Et jamais on n’a vu la timide innocence
Passer subitement à l’extreme licence.
Un seul jour ne fait point d’un mortel vertueux
Un perfide apostat, un traitre audacieux."
Phedre, Acte iv. Scene
On Saturday, the 3rd of July, the archbishop of
Canterbury, and the bishops, the clergy, and the people of the city of London,
were again assembled around the western door of Saint Paul's cathedral, and
Brother John de Stoke, chaplain of the order of the
[paragraph continues] Temple, made
his public recantation of the heresies confessed by him, and was then absolved
and reconciled to the church in the same manner as Brothers Thomas de
Stapelbrugge and Tocci de Thoroldeby, after which a last effort was made to
bend the remaining Templars to the wishes of the papal inquisitors.
On Monday, July 5th, at the request of the
ecclesiastical council, the bishop of Chichester had an interview with Sir
William de la More, the Master of the Temple, taking with him certain learned
lawyers, theologians, and scriveners. He exhorted and earnestly pressed him to
abjure the heresies of which he stood convicted, by his own confessions and
those of his brethren, respecting the absolutions pronounced by him in the
chapters, and submit himself to the disposition of the church; but the Master
declared that he had never been guilty of the heresies mentioned, and that he
would not abjure crimes which he had never committed; so he was sent back to
The next day, (Tuesday, July the 6th,) the
bishops of London, Winchester, and Chichester, had an interview in Southwark
with the Knight Templar, Philip de Mewes, Preceptor of Garwy, and some serving
brethren of the New Temple at London, and told them that they were manifestly
guilty of heresy, as appeared from the pope's bulls, and the depositions taken
against the order both in England and France, and also from their own
confessions regarding the absolutions pronounced in their chapters, explaining
to them that they had grievously erred in believing that the Master of the
Temple, who was a mere layman, had power to absolve them from their sins by
pronouncing an absolution in the mode previously described, and they warned
them that if they persisted in that error they would be condemned as heretics,
and that as they could not clear themselves therefrom, it behoved them to
abjure all the heresies of which they were accused. The Templars replied that
they were ready to abjure the error they
A.D. 1311. had fallen into respecting
the absolution, and all heresies of every kind, before the archbishop
of Canterbury and the prelates of the council, whenever they should be
required so to do, and they humbly and reverently submitted themselves to the
orders of the church, beseeching pardon and grace.
A sort of compromise was then made with most of
the Templars in custody in London. They were required publicly to repeat a
form of confession and abjuration drawn up by the bishops of London and
Chichester, and were then solemnly absolved and reconciled to the church in
the following terms:--
"In the name of God, Amen. Since you have
confessed in due form before the ecclesiastical council of the province of
Canterbury that you have gravely erred concerning the sacrament of repentance,
in believing that the absolution pronounced by the Master in chapter had as
much efficacy as is implied in the words pronounced by him, that is to say,
'The sins which you have omitted to confess through shamefacedness, or through
fear of the justice of the order, we, by virtue of the power delegated to us
by God and our lord the pope, forgive you, as far as we are able;' and since
you have confessed that you cannot entirely purge yourselves from the heresies
set forth under the apostolic bull, and taking sage counsel with a good heart
and unfeigned faith, have submitted yourselves to the judgment and the mercy
of the church, having previously abjured the aforesaid heresies, and all
heresies of every description, we, by the authority of the council, absolve
you from the chain of excommunication wherewith you have been bound, and
reconcile you once more to the unity of the church, &c. &c."
On the 9th of July, Brother Michael de
Baskevile, Knight, Preceptor of London, and seventeen other Templars, were
absolved and reconciled in full council, in the Episcopal Hall of the see of
London, in the presence of a vast concourse of the citizens.
A.D. 1311. On the 10th of the same month,
the Preceptors of Dokesworth, Getinges, and Samford, the guardian of the
Temple church at London, Brother Radulph de Evesham, chaplain, with other
priests, knights, and serving brethren of the order, were absolved by the
bishops of London, Exeter, Winchester, and Chichester, in the presence of the
archbishop of Canterbury and the whole ecclesiastical council.
The next day many more members of the
fraternity were publicly reconciled to the church on the steps before the
south door of Saint Paul's cathedral, and were afterwards present at the
celebration of high mass in the interior of the sacred edifice, when they
advanced in a body towards the high altar bathed in tears, and falling down on
their knees, they devoutly kissed the sacred emblems of Christianity.
The day after, (July 12,) nineteen other
Templars were publicly absolved and reconciled to the church at the same
place, in the presence of the earls of Leicester, Pembroke, and Warwick, and
afterwards assisted in like manner at the celebration of high mass. The
priests of the order made their confessions and abjurations in Latin; the
knights pronounced them in Norman French, and the serving brethren for the
most part repeated them in English. *
The vast concourse of people collected together could have comprehended but
very little of what was uttered, whilst the appearance of the penitent
brethren, and the public spectacle of their recantation, answered the views of
the papal inquisitors, and doubtless impressed the commonalty with a
conviction of the guilt of the order. Many of the Templars were too sick
(suffering doubtless from the effect of torture) to be brought down to St.
Paul's, and were therefore absolved and reconciled to the church by the
bishops of London, Winchester, and Chichester, at Saint Mary's chapel near the
A.D. 1311. Among the prisoners absolved at
the above chapel were many old veteran warriors in the last stage of
decrepitude and decay. "They were so old and so infirm," says the public
notary who recorded the proceedings, "that they were unable to stand;" their
confessions were consequently made before two masters in theology; they were
then led before the west door of the chapel, and were publicly reconciled to
the church by the bishop of Chichester; after which they were brought into the
sacred building, and were placed on their knees before the high altar, which
they devoutly kissed, whilst the tears trickled down their furrowed cheeks.
All these penitent Templars were now released from prison, and directed to do
penance in different monasteries. Precisely the same form of proceeding was
followed at York: the reconciliations and absolution being there carried into
effect before the south door of the cathedral. *
Thus terminated the proceedings against the
order of the Temple in England.
Similar measures had, in the mean time,
been prosecuted against the Templars in all parts of Christendom, but no
better evidence of their guilt than that above mentioned was ever discovered.
The councils of Tarragona and Aragon, after applying the torture, pronounced
the order free from heresy. In Portugal and in Germany the Templars were
declared innocent, and in no place situate beyond the sphere of the influence
of the king of France and his creature the pope was a single Templar condemned
On the 16th of October a general council of the
church, which had been convened by the pope to pronounce the abolition of the
order, assembled at Vienne near Lyons in France. It was opened by the holy
pontiff in person, who caused the different
A.D. 1312. confessions and avowals of the
Templars to be read over before the assembled nobles and prelates, and then
moved the suppression of an order wherein had been discovered such crying
iniquities and sinful abominations; but the entire council, with the exception
of an Italian prelate, nephew of the pope, and the three French bishops of
Rheims, Sens, and Rouen, all creatures of Philip, who had severally condemned
large bodies of Templars to be burnt at the stake in their respective
dioceses, were unanimously of opinion, that before the suppression of so
celebrated and illustrious an order, which had rendered such great and signal
services to the christian faith, the members belonging to it ought to be heard
in their own defence. *
Such a proceeding, however, did not suit the views of the pope and king
Philip, and the assembly was abruptly dismissed by the holy pontiff, who
declared that since they were unwilling to adopt the necessary measures, he
himself, out of the plenitude of the papal authority, would supply every
defect. Accordingly, at the commencement of the following year, the pope
summoned a private consistory; and several cardinals and French bishops having
been gained over, the holy pontiff abolished the order by an apostolical
ordinance, perpetually prohibiting every one from thenceforth entering into
it, or accepting or wearing the habit thereof, or representing themselves to
be Templars, on pain of excommunication.
On the 3rd of April, the second session of the
council was opened by the pope at Vienne. King Philip and his three sons
A.D. 1312. were present, accompanied by a
large body of troops, and the papal decree abolishing the order was published
before the assembly. *
The members of the council appear to have been called together merely to hear
the decree read. History does not inform of any discussion with reference to
it, nor of any suffrages having been taken.
A few months after the close of these
proceedings, Brother William de la More, the Master of the Temple in England,
died of a broken heart in his solitary dungeon in the Tower, persisting with
his last breath in the maintenance of the innocence of his order. King Edward,
in pity for his misfortunes, directed the constable of the Tower to hand over
his goods and chattels, valued at the sum of 4l. 19s. 11d.,
to his executors, to be employed in the liquidation of his debts, and he
commanded Geoffrey de la Lee, guardian of the lands of the Templars, to pay
the arrears of his prison pay (2s. per diem) to the executor, Roger
Among the Cotton MS. is a list of the
Masters of the Temple, otherwise the Grand Priors or Grand Preceptors of
England, compiled under the direction of the prior of the Hospital of Saint
John at Clerkenwell, to the intent that the brethren of that fraternity might
remember the antient Masters of the Temple in their prayers.
A few names have been omitted which are supplied in the following list:--
Magister R. de Pointon. 1
Rocelinus de Fossa. 2
Richard de Hastings, 3 A.D. 1160.
Richard Mallebeench. 4
Geoffrey, son of Stephen, 5 A.D. 1180.
Thomas Berard, A.D. 1200.
Amaric de St. Maur, 6 A.D. 1203.
Alan Marcel, 7 A.D. 1224.
Amberaldus, A.D. 1229.
Robert Mountforde, 8 A.D. 1234.
Robert Sanford, 9 A.D. 1.141.
Amadeus de Morestello, A.D. 1254.
Himbert Peraut, 10 A.D. 1270.
Robert Turvile, 11 A.D. 1290.
Guido de Foresta, 12 A.D. 1292.
James de Molay, A.D. 1293.
Brian le Jay, 13 A.D. 1295.
WILLIAM DE LA MORE THE MARTYR.
The only other Templar in England whose fate
merits particular attention is Brother Himbert Blanke, the Grand Preceptor of
Auvergne. He appears to have been a knight of high honour
A.D. 1313. and of stern unbending pride.
From first to last he had boldly protested against the violent proceedings of
the inquisitors, and had fearlessly maintained, amid all trials, his own
innocence and that of his order. This illustrious Templar had fought under
four successive Grand Masters in defence of the christian faith in Palestine,
and after the fall of Acre, had led in person several daring expeditions
against the infidels. For these meritorious services he was rewarded in the
following manner:--After having been tortured and half-starved in the English
prisons for the space of five years, he was condemned, as he would make no
confession of guilt, to be shut up in a loathsome dungeon, to be loaded with
double chains, and to be occasionally visited by the agents of the
inquisition, to see if he would confess nothing further! *
In this miserable situation he remained until death at last put an end to his
James de Molay, the Grand Master of the
Temple, Guy, the Grand Preceptor, a nobleman of illustrious birth, brother to
the prince of Dauphiny, Hugh de Peralt, the Visitor-general of the Order, and
the Grand Preceptor of Aquitaine, had now languished in the prisons of France
for the space of five years and a half. The Grand Master had been compelled to
make a confession which he afterwards disowned and stigmatized as a forgery,
swearing that if the cardinals who had subscribed it had been of a different
cloth, he would have proclaimed them liars, and would have challenged them to
mortal combat. The other knights had also made
confessions which they had subsequently revoked. The secrets of the dark
prisons of these illustrious Templars have never been brought to light, but on
the 18th of
[paragraph continues] March, A.D.
1313, a public scaffold was erected before the cathedral church of Notre Dame,
at Paris, and the citizens were summoned to hear the Order of the Temple
convicted by the mouths of its chief officers, of the sins and iniquities
charged against it. The four knights, loaded with chains and surrounded by
guards, were then brought upon the scaffold by the provost, and the bishop of
Alba read their confessions aloud in the presence of the assembled populace.
The papal legate then, turning towards the Grand Master and his companions,
called upon them to renew, in the hearing of the people, the avowals which
they had previously made of the guilt of their order. Hugh de Peralt, the
Visitor-General, and the Preceptor of the Temple of Aquitaine, signified their
assent to whatever was demanded of them, but the Grand Master raising his arms
bound with chains towards heaven, and advancing to the edge of the scaffold,
declared in a loud voice, that to say that which was untrue was a crime, both
in the sight of God and man. "I do," said he, "confess my guilt, which
consists in having, to my shame and dishonour, suffered myself, through the
pain of torture and the fear of death, to give utterance to falsehoods,
imputing scandalous sins and iniquities to an illustrious order, which hath
nobly served the cause of Christianity. I disdain to seek a wretched and
disgraceful existence by engrafting another lie upon the original falsehood."
He was here interrupted by the provost and his officers, and Guy, the Grand
Preceptor, having commenced with strong asseverations of his innocence, they
were both hurried back to prison.
King Philip was no sooner informed of the
result of this strange proceeding, than, upon the first impulse of his
indignation, without consulting either pope, or bishop, or ecclesiastical
council, he commanded the instant execution of both these gallant noblemen.
The same day at dusk they were led out of their dungeons,
A.D. 1313. and were burned to death in a
slow and lingering manner upon small fires of charcoal which were kindled on
the little island in the Seine, between the king's garden and the convent of
St. Augustine, close to the spot where now stands the equestrian statue of
Henri IV. *
Thus perished the last Grand Master of the
The fate of the persecutors of the order is not
unworthy of notice.
A year and one month after the above horrible
execution, the pope was attacked by a dysentery, and speedily hurried to his
grave. The dead body was transported to Carpentras, where the court of Rome
then resided; it was placed at night in a church which caught fire, and the
mortal remains of the holy pontiff were almost entirely consumed. His
relations quarrelled over the immense treasures he left behind him, and a vast
sum of money, which had been deposited for safety in a church at Lucca, was
stolen by a daring band of German and Italian freebooters.
Before the close of the same year, king Philip
died of a lingering disease which baffled all the art of his medical
attendants, and the condemned criminal, upon the strength of whose information
the Templars were originally arrested, was hanged for fresh crimes. "History
attests," says Monsieur Raynouard, "that all those who were foremost in the
persecution of the Templars, came to an untimely and miserable death." The
last days of Philip were embittered by misfortune; his nobles and clergy
leagued against him to resist his exactions; the wives of his three sons were
accused of adultery, and two of them were publicly convicted of that crime.
The misfortunes of Edward the Second,
king of England, and his horrible death in
Berkeley Castle, are too well known to be further alluded to.
To save appearances, the pope had
published a bull transferring the property, late belonging to the Templars, to
the order of the Hospital of Saint John, *
which had just then acquired additional renown and popularity in Europe by the
conquest from the infidels of the island of Rhodes. This bull, however,
remained for a considerable period nearly a dead letter, and the Hospitaliers
never obtained a twentieth part of the antient possessions of the Templars.
The kings of Castile, Aragon, and
Portugal, created new military orders in their own dominions, to which the
estates of the late order of the Temple were transferred, and, annexing the
Grand Masterships thereof to their own persons, by the title of Perpetual
Administrators, they succeeded in drawing to themselves an immense revenue.
The kings of Bohemia, Naples, and Sicily, retained possession of many of the
houses and strongholds of the Templars in their dominions, and various
religious orders of monks succeeded in installing themselves in the convents
of the fraternity. The heirs of the donors of the property, moreover, claimed
a title to it by escheat, and in most cases where the Hospitaliers obtained
the lands and estates granted them by the pope, they had to pay large fines to
adverse claimants to be put into peaceable possession.
"The chief cause of the ruin of the Templars,"
justly remarks Fuller, "was their extraordinary wealth. As Naboth's vineyard
was the chiefest ground of his blasphemy, and as in England Sir John Cornwall
Lord Fanhope said merrily, not he, but his stately house at Ampthill in
Bedfordshire was guilty of high
treason, so certainly their wealth was
the principal cause of their overthrow. . . . We may believe that king Philip
would never have taken away their lives if he might have taken their lands
without putting them to death, but the mischief was, he could not get the
honey unless he burnt the bees."
King Philip, the pope, and the European
sovereigns, appear to have disposed of all the personalty of the Templars, the
ornaments, jewels, and treasure of their churches and chapels, and during the
period of five years, over which the proceedings against the order extended,
they remained in the actual receipt of the vast rents and revenues of the
fraternity. After the promulgation of the bull, assigning the property of the
Templars to the Hospitaliers, king Philip put forward a claim upon the land to
the extent of two hundred thousand pounds for the expenses of the prosecution,
and Louis Hutin, his son, required a further sum of sixty thousand pounds from
the Hospitaliers, before he would consent to surrender the estates into their
hands." "J’ignore," says Voltaire, "ce qui revint au pape, mais je vois
evidemment que les frais des cardinaux, des inquisiteurs déléguès pour faire
ce procès épouvantable monterent à des sommés immenses."
The holy pontiff, according to his own account, received only a small
portion of the personalty of the order, but others
make him a large participator in the good things of the fraternity.
On the imprisonment of the Templars in England,
the Temple at London, and all the preceptories dependent upon it, with the
manors, farms, houses, lands, and revenues of the fraternity, were
placed under the survey of the Court of
Exchequer, and extents *
were directed to be taken of the same, after which they were confided to the
care of certain trustworthy persons, styled "Guardians of the lands of the
Templars," who were to account for the rents and profits to the king's
exchequer. The bishop of Lichfield and Coventry had the custody of all the
lands and tenements in the county of Hants. John de Wilburgham had those in
the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and there were thirty-two other guardians
entrusted with the care of the property in the remaining counties of England.
These guardians were directed to pay various pensions to the old servants and
retainers of the Templars dwelling in the different preceptories,
also the expenses of the prosecution against the order, and they were at
different times required to provide for the exigencies of the public service,
and to victual the king's castles and strongholds. On the 12th of January,
A.D. 1312, William de Slengesby, guardian of the manor of Ribbestayn in the
county of York, was commanded to forward to the constable of the castle of
Knaresburgh a hundred quarters of corn, ten quarters of oats, twenty fat oxen,
eighty sheep, and two strong carts, towards the victualling of the said
fortress, and the king tells him that the same shall be duly deducted when he
renders his account to the exchequer of the rents and profits of the said
manor. The king, indeed, began to dispose of the
property as if it was wholly vested in the crown, and made munificent
donations to his favourites and friends. In the month of February of the same
year, he gave the manors of
[paragraph continues] Etton and Cave
to David Earl of Athol, directing the guardians of the lands and tenements of
the Templars in the county of York to hand over to the said earl all the corn
in those manors, the oxen, calves, ploughs, and all the goods and chattels of
the Templars existing therein, together with the ornaments and utensils of the
chapel of the Temple. *
On the 16th of May, however, the pope
addressed bulls to the king, and to all the earls and barons of the kingdom,
setting forth the proceedings of the council of Vienne and the publication of
the papal decree, vesting the property late belonging to the Templars in the
brethren of the Hospital of St. John, and he commands them forthwith to place
the members of that order in possession thereof, Bulls were also addressed to
the archbishops of Canterbury and York and their suffragans, commanding them
to enforce by ecclesiastical censures the execution of the papal commands.
King Edward and his nobles very properly resisted this decree, and on the 21st
of August the king wrote to the Prior of the Hospital of St. John at
Clerkenwell, telling him that the pretensions of the pope to dispose of
property within the realm of England, without the consent of parliament, were
derogatory to the dignity of the crown and the royal authority; and he
commands him, under severe pains and penalties, to refrain from attempting to
obtain any portion of the possessions of the Templars.
The king, indeed, continued to distribute the lands and rents amongst his
friends and favourites. At the commencement of the year 1313, he granted the
Temple at London, with the church and all the buildings therein, to Aymer de
Valence earl of Pembroke; and on the 5th of May of the same year he caused
several merchants, from whom he had borrowed money, to be placed in possession
of many of the manors of the Templars.
Yielding, however, at last to the
exhortations and menaces of the pope, the king, on the 21st of Nov. A.D. 1313,
granted the property to the Hospitallers, *
and sent orders to all the guardians of the lands of the Templars, and to
various powerful barons who were in possession of the estates, commanding them
to deliver them up to certain parties deputed by the Grand Master and chapter
of the Hospital of Saint John to receive them. At this
period, however, many of the heirs of the donors, whose title had been
recognized by the law, were in possession of the lands, and the judges held
that the king had no power of his own sole authority to transfer them to the
order of the Hospital. The thunders of the Vatican were consequently
vigorously made use of, and all the detainers of the property were doomed by
the Roman pontiff to everlasting damnation. Pope John, in one of his bulls,
dated A.D. 1322, bitterly complains of the disregard by all the king's
subjects of the papal commands. He laments that they had hardened their hearts
and despised the sentence of excommunication fulminated against them, and
declares that his heart was riven with grief to find that even the
ecclesiastics, who ought to have been as a wall of defence to the Hospitaliers,
had themselves been heinously guilty in the premises.
At last (A.D. 13.24) the pope, the bishops, and
the Hospitallers, by their united exertions, succeeded in obtaining an act of
parliament, vesting all the property late belonging to the Templars in the
brethren of the Hospital of Saint John, in order that the intentions of the
donors might be carried into effect by the appropriation of it to the defence
of the Holy Land and the
succour of the christian cause in the
East. This statute gave rise to the greatest discontent. The heirs of the
donors petitioned parliament for its repeal, alleging that it had been made
against law and against reason, and contrary to the opinion of the judges;
and many of the great barons who held the property by a title recognised by
the common law, successfully resisted the claims of the order of the Hospital,
maintaining that the parliament had no right to interfere with the tenure of
private property, and to dispose of their possessions without their consent.
This struggle between the heirs of the
donors on the one hand, and the Hospitaliers on the other, continued for a
lengthened period; and in the reign of Edward the Third it was found necessary
to pass another act of parliament, confirming the previous statute in their
favour, and writs were sent to the sheriffs (A.D. 1334) commanding them to
enforce the execution of the acts of the legislature, and to take possession,
in the king's name, of all the property unjustly detained from the brethren of
Whilst the vast possessions, late belonging to
the Templars, thus continued to be the subject of contention, the surviving
brethren of that dissolved order continued to be treated with the utmost
inhumanity and neglect. The ecclesiastical council had assigned to each of
them a pension of fourpence a day for subsistence, but this small pittance was
not paid, and they were consequently in great danger of dying of hunger. The
king, pitying their miserable situation, wrote to the prior of the hospital of
St. John at Clerkenwell, earnestly requesting him to take their hard lot into
.his serious consideration, and not suffer them to come to beggary in the
streets. The archbishop of Canterbury also
exerted himself in their behalf, and sent
letters to the possessors of the property, reproving them for the non-payment
of the allotted stipends. "This inhumanity," says he, "awakens our compassion,
and penetrates us with the most lively grief. We pray and conjure you in
kindness to furnish them, for the love of God and for charity, with the means
of subsistence." The archbishop of York caused many of
them to be supported in the different monasteries of his diocese.
Many of the quondam Templars, however,
after the dissolution of their order, assumed a secular habit; they blended
themselves with the laity, mixed in the pleasures of the world, and even
presumed to contract matrimony, proceedings which drew down upon them the
severe indignation of the Roman pontiff. In a bull addressed to the archbishop
of Canterbury, the pope stigmatises these marriages as unlawful concubinages;
he observes that the late Templars remained bound, notwithstanding the
dissolution of their order, by their vows of perpetual chastity, and he orders
them to be separated from the women whom they had married, and to be placed in
different monasteries, where they are to dedicate themselves to the service of
God, and the strict performance of their religious vows.
The Templars adopted the oriental fashion of
long beards, and during the proscription of the fraternity, when the fugitives
who had thrown off their habits were hunted out like wild beasts, it appears
to have been dangerous for laymen to possess beards of more than a few weeks’
Papers and certificates were granted to men
with long beards, to prevent them from being molested by the officers of
justice as suspected Templars, as appears from the following curious
certificate given by king Edward the Second to his valet, who had
made a vow not to shave himself until he had
performed a pilgrimage to a certain place beyond sea.
"Rex, etc. Cum dilectus valettus noster
Petrus Auger, exhibitor præsentium, nuper voverit quod barbam suam radi non
faciat, quousque peregrinationem fecerit in certo loco in partibus
transmarinis; et idem Petrus sibi timeat, quod aliqui ipsum, ratione barbæ sum
prolixæ fuisse Templarium imponere sibi velint, et ei inferre impedimenta seu
gravamina ex hac causa; Nos veritati violentes testimonium pertulere, vobis
tenore præsentium intimamus, quod prædictus Petrus est valettus cameræ nostræ,
nec unquam fuit Templarius, sed barbam suam sic prolixam esse permittit, ex
causa superius annotata, etc. Teste Rege, &c."
240 Joan. can. Sonct. Vict. Contin. de
Nangis ad ann. 1310. Ex secundâ vitâ Clem. V. p. 37.
240 Chron. Cornel. Zanfliet, apud
Martene, tom. v. col. 159. Bocat. de cas. vir. illustr. lib. 9.
chap. xxi. Raynouard, Monumens historiques. [Dupuy, Condemnation des
241 Vit. prim. et tent. Clem. V. col. 57, 17.
Bern. Guac. apud Muratori, tom. iii. p. 676. Contin. Chron. de
Nangis ad ann. 1310. Raynouard, p. 120.
242 Raynouard, p. 155.
243 Inhibuisti ne contra ipsas personas et
ordinem per quæstiones ad inquirendum super eisdem criminibus
procedatur, quamvis iidem Templarii diffiteri dicuntur super eisdem articulis
veritatem . . . . . . Attende, quæsumus, fili carissime, et prudenti
deliberatione considera, si hoc tuo honori et saluti conveniat, et statui
congruat regni tui. Arch. secret. Vatican. Registr. literar. curiæ anno 5
domini Clementis Papæ 5.--Raynouard, p. 152.
243 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. ad ann. 1310,
243 Ib., p. 224, 225. claus. 4. E. 2. M. 22.
244 Et si per hujusmodi arctationes et
separationes nihil aliud, quam prius, vellent confiteri, quod extunc
quæstionarentur; ita quod quæstiones illæ fierent ABSQUE
MUTILATIONE ET DEBILITATIONE PERPETUA ALICUJUS MEMBRI, ET SINE VIOLENTA
SANGUINIS EFFUSIONE.--Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p. 314.
244 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 227, 228.
245 Cum nuper, OB REVERIENTIAM SEDIS APOSTOLICÆ,
concessimus prælatis et inquisitoribus ad inquirendum contra ordinem
Templariorum, et contra Magnum Præceptorem ejusdem ordinis in regno nostro
Angliæ, quod iidem prælati et inquisitores, de ipsie Templariis et eorum
corporibus IN QUÆSTIONIBUS, et aliis ad hoc convenientibus ordinent et faciant,
quoties voluerint, id quod eis secundum legem ecclesiasticam, videbitur
faciendum, &c.--Teste rege apud Linliscu in Scotiâ, 23 die Octobris. Ibid.
tom. iii. p. 228, 229.
245 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 229.
245 Ibid. p. 230.
246 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 231.
246 Ibid. p. 231, 232.
246 Ibid. tom. iii. p. 232-235.
248 Acta contra Templarios, Concil.
Mag. Brit. tom. ii. p. 368-371.
251 Suspicio (quæ loco testis 21, in MS.
allegatur,) probare videtur, quod omnes examinati in aliquo dejeraverunt (pejeraverunt,)
ut ex inspectione processuum apparet.--MS. Bodl. Oxon. f. 5. 2. Concil.
tom. ii. p. 359.
252 This knight had been tortured in the Temple
at Paris, by the brothers of St. Dominic, in the presence of the grand
inquisitor, and he made his confession when suffering on the rack; he
afterwards revoked it, and was then tortured into a withdrawal of his
revocation, notwithstanding which the inquisitor made the unhappy wretch, in
common with others, put his signature to the following interrogatory, "Interrogatus
utrum vi vel metu carceris aut tormentorum immiscuit in
suâ depositione aliquam falsitatem, dicit quod non!"
257 Acta contra Templarios.--Concil. Mag.
Brit. tom. ii. p. 358-364.
259 Concil. Mag. Brit. tom. ii. p. 364.
261 Vobis, præfati vicecomites, mandamus quod
illos, quos dicti prælati et inquisitores, seu aliquis eorum, cum uno saltem
inquisitore, deputaverint ad supervidendum quod dicta custodia bene fiat, id
supervidere; et corpora dictorum Templariorum in QUÆSTIONIBUS et aliis ad hoc
convenientibus, ponere; et alia, quæ in hac parte secundum legem
ecclesiasticam fuerint facienda, facere permittatis. Claus. 4, E. 2. m. 8.
Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 290.
262 M. S. Bodl. F. 5, 2. Concil.
p. 364, 365. Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 228, 231, 232.
266 Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p.
269 Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p. 388,
270 Acta fuerunt hæc die et loco prædictis,
præsentibus patribus antedictis, et venerandæ discretionis viris magistris
Michaele de Bercham, cancellario domini archiepiscopi Cantuar. . . . . et me
Ranulpho de Waltham, London, episcoporum notariis publicis. Acta contra
Templarios. Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p. 387, 388.
273 Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p. 390,
274 Council. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p.
274 Concilia Hispaniæ, tom. v. p. 233.
Zurita, lib. v. c. 73. 101. Mariana, lib. xv. cap. 10. Mutius,
chron. lib. xxii. p. 211. Raynouard, p. 199-204.
275 Ut det Templariis audientiam sive
defensionem. In hac sententiâ concordant omnes prælati Italiæ præter unum,
Hispaniæ, Theutoniæ, Daniæ, Angliæ, Scotiæ, Hiberniæ, etc. etc., ex secund.
vit. Clem. V. p. 43.--Rainald ad ann. 1311, n. 55. Walsingham,
p. 99. Antiq. Britann., p. 210.
275 Muratorii collect. tom. iii. p. 448;
tom. x. col. 377. Mariana. tom. iii. p. 157 . Raynouard, p. 191,
276 Raynouard ut supra. Tertia vita
276 Pro executoribus testamenti Wilielmi de la
More, quondam Magistri militiæ Templi in Anglia, claus 6. E. 2. m. 15. Acta
Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 380.
276 Registr. Hosp. S. Joh. Jerus. Cotton
MS. Nero E. vi. 23. i. Nero E. vi. p. 60. fol. 466.
277 Lansdown, MS. 207. E. vol. v. fol.
277 Ib., fol. 284.
277 Ib., fol. 162, 163, 317.
277 Ib., fol. 467.
277 Ib., fol. 201.
277 Acta Rymeri, tom. i. p. 134, ad ann.
1203. He was one of those who advised king John to sign Magna Charta.--Matt.
Par., p. 253-255.
277 lb., p. 258, 270. Matt. Par., p.
277 Acta Rymeri, tom. i. p. 342, 344,
345. He was employed to negotiate a marriage between king Henry the Third and
the fair Eleanor of Provence.
277 Matt. Par., p. 615, et in
additamentis, p. 480.
277 Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p. 340.
277 Ib., p. 339, 341, 344.
277 Ib., p. 335, 343. Prynne, collect 3,
277 Acts Rymeri, tom. i. part iii. p. 104.
278 In vilissimo carcere, ferro duplici
constrictus, jussus est recludi, et ibidem, donec aliud ordinatum extiterit,
reservari; et interim visitari, ad videndum si vellet alterius aliqua
confiteri!--Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p. 393.
278 Processus contra Templarios.
Dupuy, p. 128, 139. Raynouard, p. 60.
280 Villani, lib. viii. cap. 92. Contin.
Chron. de Nangis, ad ann. 1313. Pap. Mass. in Philip. pulchr.
lib. iii. p. 393. Mariana de rcb. Hisp. lib. xv. cap. 10. Dupuy,
ed. 1700, p. 71. Chron. Corn. Zanfliet apud Martene, tom. v.
col. 160. Raynouard, p. 209, 210.
281 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 323, 4, 5,
ad ann. 1312.
281 Zurita, lib. v. c. 101. Institut.
milit. Christi apud Henriquez, p. 534.
281 Annales Minorum. Gall. Christ. nov.
Aventinus, Annal. De Vertot, liv: 3.
282 Fuller's Hist. Holy War, book v. ch.
282 Dupuy, p. 179, 184.
282 Essai sur les mœurs, &c., tom. ii. p. 242.
282 Nihil ad nos unquam pervenit nisi modica
bona mobilia. Epist. ad Philip, 2 non. May, 1309. Raynouard, p. 198.
De Vertot, liv. iii.
282 Raynouard, 197, 198, 199.
283 The extents of the lands of the Templars
are amongst the unarranged records in the Queen's Remembrancer's office, and
various sheriffs' accounts are in the third chest in the Pipe Office.
283 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 130, 134,
139, 279, 288, 290, 1, 2, 297, 321. Dodsworth. MS. vol. xxxv. p. 65,
283 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 292, 3, 4,
283 Ib. tom. iii. p. 299.
284 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 303.
284 Ib., tom. iii. p. 326, 327.
284 Ib., tom. iii. p. 337.
284 Cart. 6. E. 2. No. 4. 41.
284 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 409, 410.
285 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 451.
285 Ib., p. 451, 454, 455, 457, 459-463.
Dugd. Monast. Angl., vol. vi. part 2. p. 809.
285 Rolls of Parliament, vol. ii. p. 41.
285 Dugd. Monast. Angl., vol. vi. part
2, p. 849, 850. Concil. Mag. Brit., tom. ii. p. 499.
285 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 956-959,
ad ann. 132.2.
286 Statutes at Large, vol. ix.
Appendix, p. 23.
286 Rolls of Parliament, vol. ii. p. 41.
286 Monast. Angl., p. 810.
286 Acta Rymeri, tom. iii. p. 472.
287 Council. Mag. Brit., tom. ii.
287 Walsingham, p. 99.
287 Monast. Angl., vol. vi. part ii. p.
288 Pat. 4, E. 2; m. 20. Dugdale,
Hist. Warwickshire, vol. i. p. 962, ed. 1730.