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Hugues de Payens

Hugues de Payens, also Hughes de Payns, Hughes de Pagan (English: Hugh of Payens or ""Hugh Pagan"") (c. 10701136), a French knight from the Champagne region, was the co-founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templar. With Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, he created the Latin Rule, the code of behavior for the Order.
Hugues de Payens

There is no contemporary biography in existence and no later writers ever cite one that is now lost. Information is therefore extremely scanty and any embellishments often rely on people writing decades or even centuries after De Payens' death. He was probably born at Chteau Payns, about 10 km from Troyes, in Champagne. Hugo de Pedano, Montiniaci dominus is mentioned as a witness to a donation by Count Hugh of Champagne in a record dated to 1085-90, indicating that the man was at least sixteen by this datea legal adult and thus able to bear witness to legal documentsand so born no later than 1070. His name appears on a number of other charters up to 1113 also relating to Count Hugh, indicating that De Payans was almost certainly part of the Count's court and allowing speculation that he was related to the Count. Within this period he also married, to a woman recorded as Elizabeth de Chappes (or by later chroniclers as Catherine St. Clair), and fathered at least one childThibaud, later abbot at La Colombe. Some sources suggest the Count went on the First Crusade in 1096, other c.1070 sources do not. If he did it is reasonable to believe De Payans accompanied Born Payns him and therefore it is likely that Hugues served in the army of Godfroi de c.1136 Boullion during the Crusade. Count Hugh did make a pilgrimage to the Died Kingdom of Jerusalem Holy Land in 1104-07 and visited Jerusalem for a second time in 1114-16. Champenois Nationality It is probable that he was accompanied by Hugues, who remained there First Grand Master of Known for after the Count returned to France as there is a charter with "Hugonis de the Knights Templar Peans" in the witness list from Jerusalem in 1120 and again in 1123. In 1125 his name appears again as a witness to a donation, this time accompanied by the title "magister militium Templi". Later chroniclers write that De Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem with eight knights, two of whom were brothers and all of whom were his relatives by either blood or marriage, in order to form the first of the Knights Templar. The other knights were Godfrey de Saint-Omer, Payen de Montdidier, Archambaud de St. Agnan, Andre de Montbard, Geoffrey Bison, and two men recorded only by the names of Rossal and Gondamer. The ninth knight remains unknown, although some have speculated that it was Count Hugh of Champagne himselfdespite the Count returning to France in 1116 and documentary evidence showing that he joined the Knights on his third visit to the Holy Land in 1125. As Grand Master, De Payens led the Order for almost twenty years until his death, helping to establish the Order's foundations as an important and influential international military and financial institution. On his visit to England and Scotland in 1128, he raised men and money for the Order, and also founded their first House in London and another near Edinburgh at Balantrodoch, now known as Temple, Midlothian. He died in Palestine in 1136May 24 is often statedand was succeeded as Grand Master by Robert de Craon.

In popular culture
It has recently been claimed that the wife of Hugues de Payens was Catherine St. Clair within the context of the alternative histories of Rosslyn.

A biography of Hugues de Payen by Thierry Leroy identifies his wife and the mother of his children as Elizabeth de Chappes. The book draws its information on the marriage from local church cartularies dealing chiefly with the disposition of the Grand Master's properties, the earliest alluding to Elizabeth as his wife in 1113 and others spanning Payen's lifetime, the period following his death and lastly her own death in 1170.

Robert de Craon
Robert de Craon (died January 13, 1147) was the 2nd Grand Master of the Knights Templar, from June 1136 until his death. He was born around the turn of the 12th century, the youngest of the three sons of Renaud de Craon. He settled in Aquitaine and was engaged to the daughter of the lord of Angoumois, but gave up his fiance and travelled to Palestine after learning of the foundation of the Templar Order by Hughes de Payens. He soon showed his military valour and his piety, and in 1136, after the death of Hughes, he was chosen as the new Grand Master. He proved to be a brilliant organizer and legislator, and turned the Order Coat of Arms of into a major force in the Crusader states. On March 29, 1139, Pope Innocent II issued the Robert de Craon. bull Omne Datum Optimum, which exempted the order from tithes and made them independent of any ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The Templars were also granted the habit of a red cross over a white tunic, which has since become the popular image of any crusader. He was less fortunate as a military leader. As soon as he had been elected, he defeated Zengi, the emir of Aleppo and let his knights plunder the enemy camp; Zengi returned and destroyed the unorganized pillagers. Robert authorized the Spanish Templars to lead a naval expedition of about 70 ships against Lisbon, but this also ended in defeat. In 1140 the Templars resisted a numerically superior Turkish army at the Battle of Tecua. In 1143, after protracted negotiations between Raymond Berenguer IV (the Count of Barcelona and a Templar) the order's mission on the Iberian peninsula was defined. According to William of Tyre, Robert participated in the Council of Acre during the Second Crusade in 1148, but according to the Obituary of Reims, he died in January of 1147, and was succeeded by Everard des Barres in April of that year.

Everard des Barres

Everard des Barres (died 1174) was the 3rd Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1147 to 1151. As Preceptor of the Templars in France from 1143, he was one of the highest dignitaries of the Order when Robert de Craon died in 1147. He was chosen to succeed Robert, and as soon as he was elected, he accompanied Louis VII of France on the Second Crusade, and was among those sent ahead to Constantinople before Louis' arrival there. He later saved Louis during a battle with the Seljuk Turks in Pisidia. According to the chronicler Odo of Deuil, Everard was extremely pious and valiant. He Armoiries of Everard des seems to have had a strong influence on Louis. After the failure of the Crusade at the Barres Siege of Damascus in 1148, Louis returned to France, followed by Everard, who was in charge of the King's Treasury. Everard's Templars stayed behind and helped defend Jerusalem against a Turkish raid in 1149. Back in France, Everard abdicated officially in 1151 and became a monk at Clairvaux, despite the protests of the Templars. He was succeeded by Bernard de Tremelay (who actually led the Order since Everard's departure in 1149) and died in 1174.

Bernard de Tremelay
Bernard de Tramelay (died August 16, 1153) was the 4th Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He was born in the castle of Tramelay near Saint-Claude in the Jura. According to Du Cange, he succeeded a certain Hugues as Master of the Temple, although this Hugues is otherwise unknown. He was elected Grand Master in June of 1151, after the abdication of Everard des Barres, who had returned to France following the Second Crusade. King Baldwin III of Jerusalem granted him the ruined city of Gaza, which Bernard rebuilt for the Templars.

In 1153 the Templars participated in the Battle of Ascalon, a fortress at that time controlled by Egypt. The Templars constructed a siege tower, which was burned down by the Egyptian soldiers inside Ascalon. The wind caught the flames and part of the walls of Ascalon burned down as well.

Coat of Arms of Bernard de Tramelay.

According to William of Tyre, knights of the Order rushed through the breach without Baldwin's knowledge while Bernard prevented other crusaders from following, as he did not want to share the spoils of the city with the king. Bernard and about forty of his Templars were killed by the larger Egyptian garrison. Their bodies were displayed on the ramparts and their heads were sent to the sultan. Other more modern accounts say that William of Tyre's version may have been distorted, since it may have been based on the defensive accounts given by the army's commanders as to why they did not follow the Templars into the breach. In yet another differing account by a Damascene chronicler in the city, the breach of the wall is mentioned as a precursor to the fall of the city; he makes no mention of the incident with the Templars. Regardless of which account is believed, Bernard was killed and beheaded during the fighting. A few days later, Baldwin captured the fortress; shortly thereafter, the Templars elected Andr de Montbard as their Grand Master.

Andr de Montbard
Andr de Montbard (c. 1103 January 17, 1156) was the 5th Grand Master of the Knights Templar and also one of the new founders of the Order. The Montbard family came from Hochadel in Burgundy, and Andr was an uncle of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, being a half-brother of Bernard's mother Aleth de Montbard. He entered the Order in 1129 and went to Palestine, where he quickly rose to the rank of Seneschal, deputy and second-in-command to the Grand Master. After the Siege of Ascalon on August 22, 1153, Andr was elected Grand Master to replace Bernard de Tremelay, who had been killed during an assault on the city on August 16. He died on January 17, 1156, in Jerusalem and was succeeded by Bertrand de Blanchefort.

Coat of Arms of Andr de Montbard.

Bertrand de Blanchefort
Bertrand de Blanchefort or Blanquefort was the 6th Grand Master of the Knights Templar, from 1156 until his death in 1169. He is known as a great reformer of the order.

Personal life
He was born around 1109, although no exact date is recorded. The Obituary at Reims gives his death as 2 January 1169. He was the youngest of a family of boys, the children of Lord Godfrey de Blanchefort of Guyenne. He trained in combat from a young age, but during his time as Grand Master, placed more emphasis on reform and negotiation. This helped to foster the Templars image as guardians, not brutes.

Military record

Coat of Arms of Bertrand de Blanchefort.

His earliest action as Grand Master was with Baldwin III of Jerusalem, with whom he fought against Nur ad-Din. However, he was taken prisoner after Baldwin was defeated at Banyas in 1157. The defeat allowed an ambush to be set for Blanchefort, who had dismissed his Frankish soldiers after battle ceased. He was held in captivity for three years in Aleppo before being released to Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus when the Emperor made peace with Nur ad-Din. Bertrand accompanied King Amalric I during the expedition against Egypt in 1163. The expedition ended in failure, despite the considerable numbers the Christians could draw upon. Bertrand refused to participate in a second expedition in 1168, as heavy losses were almost certain.

Blanchefort petitioned the Pope to use the title, "Master by Grace of God", which fitted the Templar's position as rising stars in the church, a favor which Rome gladly granted. His internal reforms were more important however. He wrote the "Retraits", which established structure within the order. This meant knights had clearer roles and protocols. He also established checks within the leaderships of the order, which stopped future Grand Masters deciding the direction of the Templars, without the backing of the knights. His work on creating negotiating roles within the order is also worth noting. After the failed expedition to Egypt, it was the Templars that helped draw up a peace treaty.

In popular culture
From the 1960s onwards it has erroneously been asserted that Bertrand de Blanchefort was related to a family of the same name located near Rennes-le-Chteau. This erroneous assertion was first discredited in France in 1984.

Philip of Milly
Philip of Milly, also known as Philip of Nablus (c. 1120-April 3, 1171) was the 7th Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Philip was the son of Guy of Milly, a knight, probably from Normandy, who participated in the First Crusade, and his wife Stephanie of Flanders. Guy and Stephanie had three sons, all born in the Holy Land, of whom Philip was probably the oldest. He was first mentioned as Guy's son in 1138, and must have become Lord of Nablus sometime between that date and 1144, when his name appears with that title. By this time he had also married his wife Isabella.

Coat of Arms of Philip of

Milly. As Lord of Nablus, Philip became one of the most influential Barons in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1144, Queen Melisende sent him to relieve the Siege of Edessa, but he arrived after the city had already fallen. In 1148, upon the arrival of the Second Crusade, Philip participated in the council held at Acre, where he and the other native Barons were overruled and the ill-fated decision to attack Damascus was made.

Along with the powerful Ibelin family, into which his half-sister Helvis had married, Philip was a supporter of Melisende during her conflict with her son Baldwin III. In the division of the Kingdom in 1151, Melisende gained control of the Southern part of the Kingdom, including Nablus. Despite this arrangement, Philip seems to have been

completely loyal to Baldwin, participating in the King's capture of Ascalon in 1153 and the relief of Banyas in 1157. After the victory at Banias, Philip and his troops returned home, and were not present at Nur ad-Din's subsequent ambush of Baldwin at Jacob's Ford. In July of 1161, as Melisende lay dying, Philip exchanged the Lordship of Nablus with Baldwin III in order to become Lord of Oultrejordain. This allowed Baldwin to regain control of the Southern half of the Kingdom while his mother was in no condition to oppose him, but he was probably also aiming to strengthen Oultrejordain with a powerful and loyal Baron. Baldwin died in 1163 and was succeeded by his brother Amalric, who was a friend of Philip and a fellow supporter of Melisende during the earlier struggle in 1151. Philip joined Amalric's invasion of Egypt in 1167. The Ibelin family later recalled an event during the siege of Bilbeis, in which Philip saved the life of Hugh of Ibelin, who had broken his leg when his horse fell in a ditch. The Templars as a whole refused to support Amalric's invasion, and the King blamed them for the failure of the expedition. After the death of their Grand Master Bertrand de Blanchefort in January of 1169, Amalric pressured them to elect Philip in his place in August of that year. With the election of Philip, Amalric regained Templar support for the invasion of Egypt, although by the end of the year Amalric was forced to retreat. For unknown reasons he resigned as Grand Master in 1171, and was succeeded by Odo de St. Amand. Philip accompanied Amalric to Constantinople as Ambassador to the Byzantine Empire in order to restore good relations with them after the failure of the Egyptian invasion. He probably died on April 3, before reaching Constantinople. Philip's personal life is largely a mystery. William of Tyre describes him as one of the "brave men, valiant in arms and trained from their earliest years in the art of war" who accompanied Amalric to Egypt. Sometime after he became Lord of Oultrejordain, he made a pilgrimage the monastery of St. Catherine's on Mount Sinai. With his wife Isabella he had a son, Rainier (who predeceased him), and two daughters, Helena and Stephanie. Isabella died probably in 1166, which may have led to Philip's decision to take vows as a brother of the Knights Templar. His lands were inherited by his elder daughter, Helena, wife of Walter III of Brisebarre, lord of Beirut, and after Walter's death, by Stephanie and her husbands.

Odo de St Amand
Odo de St. Amand (or Eudes or Odon) was the 8th Grand Master of the Knights Templar, between 1171 and 1179.

Personal life
St. Amand was born to a family from Limousin, France. He was Marshal of Jerusalem and later Viscount. He was a headstrong leader of the Order, which earned him praise and resentment in equal measure. An example of this can be found 1172. When a Templar knight, Gauthier du Maisnil, was accused of murdering an Islamic dignitary by King Amaury I, St. Amand refused to hand him over. He cited the Papal Bull which stipulated the only power over the Templars was Rome.

Coat of Arms of Odo de St. Amand

Military career
St. Amand took part in several expeditions during his time as Grand Master. He spearheaded military action in Naplouse, Jericho and Djerach, scoring considerable victories with the Templars. Perhaps his finest hour was at the Battle of Montgisard, where his knights convincingly defeated a superior detachment of Saladin's army. In March 1179, St. Amand oversaw the construction of the Chastellet fortress. Its position and impregnability made it a thorn in Saladin's side and he offered considerable amounts of money to have it destroyed. It was so effective that Saladin's May assault on Jerusalem in 1179 was defeated. His forces broke on the fortress's thick walls, and the fierce fighting of the Templars stationed there scored heavy losses on the Muslims. Trying to capitalize on the victory, an assault on the Islamic forces was organized, the Battle of Marj Ayun. It was spearheaded by King Baldwin IV, Raymond III of Tripoli, Odo de St. Amand and Roger des Moulins. However, Saladin had regrouped and decimated the Christian forces. Baldwin IV escaped the carnage, taking with him the True Cross, but St. Amand was captured and taken hostage.

In August 1179, the new Templar fortress was captured and the knights stationed there were beheaded by the Muslim forces. St. Amand died in one of Saladin's jails sometime during 1180, although no exact date survives. His release was proposed, in exchange for one Saladin's captive nephews, but negotiations came too late.

Gathering Support
Not only were St. Amand's victories important from a military standpoint, but they were vital in gaining fresh pledges of money and resources from homeland countries in Europe. Inspired by the Templar's sensational victory at Montgisard, Renaud, Lord of Margat, donated half of the income from several of his cities to the order's cause.

Arnold of Torroja
Arnold of Torroja (in Catalan, Arnau de Torroja) was the 9th Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1181 until his death in 1184.

Personal life
While no date of birth survives for Torroja, he was very old at his death, being in excess of 70 years when he was elected as Grand Master. He had served in the Order for many years and was the Templar Master in both Crown of Aragon and Provence.

Military Record

Reconquista of Torroja. Torroja's military career had mainly been focused on the Reconquista, fighting Muslims in Crown of Aragon and Portugal. He was principally active in Aragon. His appointment as Grand Master was likely due to his image as an outsider i.e an experienced Templar who's power base was outside the Holy Land. This appealed to the Order as the previous Grand Master, Odo de St Amand, had become embroiled in Jerusalem's politics, but it did mean Torroja was inexperienced in the "political situation of the Latin States". He became the Order's new leader in 1181. Conflict with the Hospitallers During the Grand Master's reign, the Knights Hospitaller reached a new peak in their influence. There had been rivalry between orders previously, but factionalism in the face of renewed Muslim pressure was unacceptable. The two Grand Masters met for mediation with Pope Lucius III and King Baldwin IV and the problems were resolved. In fact, Torroja is recorded as a skilled diplomat himself, acting as a mediator between several political groups in the East. He also conducted successful peace negotiations with Saladin after raids by Raynald of Chatillon in Transjordan. Embassy to Europe In 1184, Torroja set out with Patriarch Heraclius and Grand Master Roger de Moulins of the Knights Hospitaller to gather European support for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. They planned to visit Italy, England and France, but he fell ill and died at Verona on September 30, 1184. He was succeeded as Grand Master by Grard de Ridefort.

Coat of Arms of Arnold

Grard de Ridefort
Grard of Ridefort (died October 1, 1189) was the 10th Grand Master of the Knights Templar from the end of 1184 until his death in 1189. Grard of Ridefort is thought probably to have been of Flemish origin, although some nineteenth-century writers suggested an Anglo-Norman background, apparently through misreading his designation as "of Bideford". It is uncertain when he arrived in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. He appears in the charter record in the service of Baldwin IV of Jerusalem in the late 1170s, and by 22 October 1179 held the rank of Marshal of the Kingdom. It seems that he expected Raymond III of Tripoli to give him the hand of an available

Coat of Arms of Grard de Ridefort.

heiress. However, when Ccile Dorel inherited her father's coastal fief of Botrun in the County of Tripoli, Raymond married her (before March 1181) to Plivain or Plivano, the nephew of a Pisan merchant, for a bride-price of 10,000 bezants. By the mid-thirteenth century, when the Old French Continuation of William of Tyre (the so-called Chronicle of Ernoul) was compiled, the story of the bride of Botrun had evolved into a fanciful legend in which Plivain's uncle put the young lady (there renamed Lucie) on the scales, and offered Raymond her weight in gold, to obtain the marriage. Grard fell seriously ill, after which he took vows as a Templar. By June 1183 he held the rank of Seneschal of the Order. He was elected Grand Master in late 1184 or early 1185, after the death of Arnold of Torroja in Verona. Grard continued to hold a grudge against Raymond of Tripoli, which influenced some of his political maneuverings. In 1186, when Baldwin V of Jerusalem died, Grard took the side of Queen Sibylla and her husband Guy of Lusignan in the ensuing succession struggle. Raymond and his allies the Ibelin family were the leaders of the opposing faction, who supported the claim of Sibylla's younger half-sister Isabella. In the crisis of 1187, Grard used the money sent by Henry II of England and deposited with the Templars in Jerusalem to Jerusalem to hire additional troops for the arrire ban to defend the Kingdom of Jerusalem from Saladin. (Henry had sent the funds for his own future crusading plans, in penance for the murder of Thomas Becket: some of it was deposited with the Templars, some with the Hospitallers, in Jerusalem and Tyre). Grard and fewer than 100 Templars, together with some Hospitallers, attacked Saladin's son al-Afdal at the Battle of Cresson; alAfdal, however, had over 5000 men. The Hospitaller Grand Master Roger de Moulins was killed; Grard, though wounded, was one of the few survivors. Grard's report of the battle was the source for a short narrative written by Pope Urban III to Baldwin of Exeter, Archbishop of Canterbury. In July of the same year Grard led the Templars at the Battle of Hattin. Saladin had captured Tiberias and Guy was contemplating a march on the city to retake it. Raymond advised him to wait for Saladin to come to them, since they were in a well-defended, well-watered position, and would have to cross a dry open plain to reach Tiberias. Grard opposed this, and convinced Guy to continue the march. He was supported by Reginald of Chatillon, a fellow enemy of Raymond. The Crusaders ended up trapped on the dry plain and were defeated on July 4. Raymond and several other nobles escaped, but Grard, Guy, and Raynald were captured by Saladin. The rest of the Templar prisoners were executed. Grard remained a prisoner until 1188, during which time his Order was commanded by Brother Thierry (Terricus) from Tyre. Grard was given the condition by Saladin that, if he could convince a Templar fortress to surrender peacefully, he would be set free. He succeeded and on his release went to Tortosa, where he ably led the Templars' defense of their castle, which held out after the fall of the town to Saladin's siege forces. Having taken back control of his Order from Thierry, he seems to have seized the remainder of Henry II's money which had been left with the Templars in Tyre. This provoked a complaint from the city's defender, Conrad of Montferrat, in letters of 20 September 1188 to Baldwin of Exeter and Frederick Barbarossa: "...graver still, the Master of the Temple has made off with the King of Englands alms". In 1189, he again joined forces with Guy, taking the Templars to the Siege of Acre. He was either killed in battle or executed after being taken prisoner by Saladin again on October 1.

Robert de Sabl
Robert de Sabl was the 11th Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1191 to 1193 and Lord of Cyprus from 1191 to 1192.

Personal life
No exact record of his birth date exists, but it is believed he was relatively old at the time of his death. He was born to a respected military family in Anjou and was "a leading Angevin vassal of the King". His Lordship was based on a cluster of lands in the River Sarthe valley, which he inherited in the 1160s. He married Clemence de Mayenne (died before 1209), the daughter of Geoffroy, Seigneur de Mayenne and Isabelle de Meulan. He was succeeded in Anjou by his daughter Marguerite de Sabl, who by marriage passed the entire honor to William des Roches, also a knight of the Third Crusade. Robert died in the Holy land on 23 September 1193.

Coat of Arms of Robert de Sabl.

Military Record
Angevin Civil War In 1173, Robert supported Henry the Young King in a revolt against Henry II. The uprising was crushed but Robert must have remained in favor with the Angevin Kings, as Richard I would later be instrumental in his appointment as Grand Master. He contributed money to French monastic houses in 1190 as a way of making amends. Third Crusade Despite only having a short tenure, de Sable's reign was filled with campaigning, and successful campaigning at that. The might of Richard the Lion Heart's strategy, seasoned troops and the elite Templar Knights scored many victories. During the 3rd Crusade, they laid siege to the city of Acre, which soon fell. Throughout August 1191, they also recaptured many fortresses and cities along the Palestinian coast, which had been lost previously. The new coalition's finest hour was the Battle of Arsuf, September 7 1191. Saladin's Muslim forces appeared to have become far stronger than the Christians, and a decisive victory was desperately needed. Pooling all of the crusader's strength, the Knights Hospitaller joined the ranks, plus many knights from de Sable's native Anjou, Maine, and Brittany. They met Saladin's troops on the dry plains and soon broke his ranks. Those who stayed to fight were killed, and the remaining Islamic troops were forced to retreat.

Acquisition of Cyprus
At the end of 1191, Richard Lion Heart agreed to sell Cyprus to the Templars for 25,000 pieces of silver. Richard had plundered the Island from the Byzantine forces of a rival Emperor in Cyprus some months earlier and had no real use for it. Whereas the Hospitallers would later establish solid bases in Rhodes and Malta, de Sable failed to do the same with Cyprus. He was Lord for 2 years, until he gave (or sold) the island to Guy de Lusignan, King of Jerusalem, as he was without a Kingdom. De Sable did manage to establish a Chieftain House of the Order in Saint-Jean dAcre, which remained for almost a century.

Delayed Election
De Sable was lucky to have been Grand Master at all, as at the time of Grard de Ridefort's death; he was not even a member of the Templar Order. However, the senior knights had become increasingly opposed to Masters fighting on the front line, and the capture and beheading of Grand Master Grard de Ridefort became the final straw. They delayed elections for over a year so that the rules regarding active service of Grand Masters could be reviewed. During this hiatus, de Sable did join the Order, just in time to be considered for election. When he was made Grand Master, he had been a Templar Knight for less than a year.

In popular culture
Robert de Sabl is the main antagonist in the video game Assassin's Creed.

Gilbert Horal
Gilbert Horal (died December 1200) was the 12th Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He was born an Aragonaise (from Aragon in Spain), and entered the Templars at a young age. He stayed in the provinces of Provence and Aragon, where he took part in the battles of Reconquista, and became Grand Master of the province until 1190. In 1193, after the death of Robert de Sabl, he became Grand Master of the Order, and in 1194, Pope Clstin III gave the Templars more privileges. Horal was known for wanting peace between the Christians and the Muslims, though some disagreed and thought that this showed treason and collusion with the enemy.
Coat of Arms of Gilbert Horal.

During his leadership the quarrel between the Templars and Hospitaliers increased. The arbitration of Pope Innocent III was in favor of the Hospitaliers because the Pope could not forgive the Templars for making the agreements that they had with Malek-Adel, brother of Saladin. Another of Gilbert Horal's accomplishments was that he took the time to organize and consolidate the possessions of the Templars in France and Apulia. In Spain, the Templars took an active part in the Reconquista, and were given the fortress of Alhambra by Alfonso II of Aragon as a reward for their efforts in the battle.

Phillipe de Plessis
Phillipe de Plessis (1165 1209) was the 13th Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He was born in the fortress of Plessis-Mac, Anjou, France. In 1189 he joined the Third Crusade as a simple knight, and discovered the Order of the Temple in Palestine. After the death of Gilbert Horal he became Grand Master. He helped uphold the Treaty between Saladin and Richard I. In the renewal of this Treaty in 1208 he suggested that the Teutonic Order and Hospitallers should make a new peace Treaty offer with MalekAdel. The accord was criticized by Pope Innocent III. There were few military actions during his rule; the Fourth Crusade never arrived in the Holy Land. The German King was in opposition to the Knights regarding the Gastein stronghold. The Templars were initially expelled from Germany, but the pope intervened in the dispute.
Coat of Arms of Philipe de Plessis.

Relations with the Hospitaliers were tense. During his rule the Order of the Temple reached its greatest height in Europe. His name is last documented in 1209. The Obituary of Reims gives the date of his death as November 12, 1209.

Guillaume de Chartres
Guillaume de Chartres (Guillielmus de Carnoto, Willemus de Carnoto), Prince of the Cistercian Principality of Seborga, was the 14th Grand Master of the Knights Templar 1210 26 August 1218. In 1210, he assisted at the Coronation of Jean de Brienne as King of Jerusalem. In 1211, he arbitrated between Leo II of Armenia and the Templars, regarding the Castle of Bagras. During his rule, the Order flourished in Spain, achieving important victories against the Moors. Guillaume died of pestilence, (possibly endemic typhus), secondary to being wounded during the siege of Damietta, in Seborga in the Holy Land.
Coat of Arms of Guillaume de Chartres.

Pedro de Montaigu
Pedro de Montaigu was the 15th Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1218 to 1232. He took part in the Fifth Crusade and was against the Sultan of Egypt's conditions for raising the siege of Damietta. He was Master of the Crown of Aragon from 1211, until his death.

Personal details
A close friend of Guillaume de Chartres, it was most likely the trust the previous Grand Master had in him which meant he himself was elected so quickly in 1218. At the same time, the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller was Guerin de Montaigu, who is likely to have been Pedro's brother. The close relationship between the two military orders during this period was probably a result of this.

Coat of Arms of Pedro de Montaigu.

Military record
His actions against the Muslim forces working for the liberation of Jerusalem were so effective, that they were forced to propose a surrender. In return for the Templars calling off their siege at Damietta, the Islamic forces would return many Frankish soldiers, halt attacks on Jerusalem and most importantly, return the part of the True Cross, captured from the Europeans at the Battle of Hattin. Catholic pressure meant the Muslim terms were refused and the carnage continued. His military victories, aided by the Hospitaller knights, made him a renowned warrior.

Armand de Prigord
Armand de Prigord (or Hermann de Pierre-Grosse) (1178 1247?) was a descendant of the Counts of Prigord and the 16th Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He was Master of the Province of Apulia and Sicily from 1205 to 1232. In 1232, he was elected Grand Master of the Templars. He organized attacks on Cana, Safita, and Sephoria, and against the Muslim positions around the Sea of Galilee. All of these expeditions were failures and diminished the Templars' effectiveness. In 1236, on the border between Syria and Cilicia, 120 knights, along with some archers Coat of Arms of Armand and Turcopoles, were ambushed near the town of Darbsk (Terbezek). In the first phase de Prigord. of the battle, the Templars reached the town but they met fierce resistance. When reinforcements from Aleppo arrived, the Templars were massacred. Fewer than twenty of them returned to their castle in Bagras, fifteen km from the battle. In September 1239, Armand arrived at Acre. He made a Treaty with Sultan of Damascus, in parallel with the Hospitaller Treaty with the Sultan of Egypt. In 1244 the Sultan of Damascus demanded that the Templars help repel the Khwarezmians from Asia Minor. In October 1244, the Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights, together with the Sultan of Damas, confronted with Sultan of Egypt and his Khwarezmian allies at the Battle of La Forbie. The Christian-Muslim coalition was defeated, with more than 30,000 deaths. Some Templars and Hospitallers reached Ascalon, still in Christian hands. Armand de Prigord may have been killed during the battle, but may have been captured and survived until 1247.

Richard de Bures
Richard de Bures may have been seventeenth Grand Master of the Knights Templar, from 1245 to 1247, although many sources make no mention of him. It is likely he simply acted as a Master during Perigord's captivity.

Guillaume de Sonnac
Guillaume de Sonnac was the 18th Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1247 to 1250.

Personal life
Sonnac was born to a noble family in the French region of Rouergue. No date of birth survives for the Grand Master. He was described by Matthew Paris as "a discreet and circumspect man, who was also skilled and experienced in the affairs of war". De Sonnac was an established member of the Order before his election as Grand Master. Coat of Arms of He was the Preceptor of Aquitaine in France for the Templars and arrived in the Holy Guillaume de Sonnac. Land around autumn of 1247, finding "the remnants of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in a precarious state. Grand Master Armand de Prigord had been taken prisoner at the Battle of La Forbie in 1244, and after negotiations for his release failed two years later, De Sonnac was proposed as a replacement. Before his first year in the East was out, he was the Order's new leader.

Military Record
The Seventh Crusade De Sonnac's tenure was a particularly violent one. By 1247, the Christians had lost power bases in Tiberias, Mount Tabor, Belvoir and Ascalon. This prompted a fresh campaign from King Louis IX of France, who landed at Limassol, Cyprus on 17 September 1248. De Sonnac sailed from Acre to meet him and make preparations. Shortly after, the new Grand Master received an Emir from the Sultan, offering the Crusaders a peace deal. De Sonnac related this to the French King, who ordered him to cease any negotiations without gaining Royal permission first. This ensured the new campaign would be concluded with violence, not diplomacy. The Siege Of Damietta On 5 June 1249, the French Crusader army, combined with de Sonnac and his Templar knights, attempted to land in Egypt. They targeted Damietta, just as the Fifth Crusade had years earlier. Fighting on the Egyptian beaches was heavy and the King fought in waist-high water alongside the troops. After a prolonged battle, the Muslims were forced to retreat, leaving the city almost undefended. The next day the de Sonnac wrote to Robert of Sandford, telling how on the morning after the battle, Damietta had been seized with only one crusader casualty At the end of November, de Sonnac and King Louis began their march to Cairo, via Mansurah. Battle of Al Mansurah De Sonnac's next engagement was at the Battle of Mansurah, for the city containing the area's defensive force, the last obstacle to central Egypt. The Muslims had been protected by the swollen Nile, but on 8 February 1250, a local Bedouin showed them where they could cross. De Sonnac, Robert of Artois, the King's brother and William II Longespee, leader of the English troops, launched an assault on the Muslim force without the main Frankish army. Taken by surprise, the Egyptians quickly retreated from the riverbank into the city and the Count foolishly gave chase, outnumbered and with no back-up from the bulk of the French forces. John of Joinville claimed that the Count meant to follow on his own and that the rest of the raiding party did so as to not look cowardly. The Templars "thought that they would be dishonored if they allowed the Count to go before them. However, another source, Matthew Paris, reported that de Sonnac was forced into the assault by the Count. Robert was "bellowing and swearing disgracefully as is the French custom", and blaming the Templars and other religious orders for causing the real downfall of the Kingdom. Disgusted, de Sonnac returned to his men and prepared to chase down the numerically superior enemy. Whatever the fact, the three commanders charged into Mansurah with tired men and no reinforcements and were quickly drawn into heavy fighting. Completely surrounded, "like an island in the sea", de Sonnac refused to surrender and his Templars fought to the last man. Earl Longespee was killed in the fighting, and the Count either fell in combat or drowned fleeing to safety. De Sonnac's escape from the city would make him a famous warrior, when many had considered him more suited to diplomacy. With heavy wounds, only one eye and two remaining knights of the original 280, he fought through the Egyptian army and out of the city, where he found the main

Frankish army. He refused to rest and after receiving medical attention he returned and helped repulse a Muslim raiding party. Battle of Fariskur The Christian forces camped outside the city and were under constant attack. A major assault was launched by the Muslims on 6 April and de Sonnac joined the Frankish charge to meet the enemy. Fighting with an eyepatch he fought along the riverbank until he was finally overwhelmed by the attackers. Blinded fully by a second injury to the head, he was hacked down and killed by Muslim troops. Next to the troops of Walter of Chatillon was brother Sonnac, Master of the Templars, with those few brothers that had survived Tuesday's battle. He had built a defense in front of him with the Saracen engines which we had captured. When the Saracens came to attack him, they threw Greek fire onto the barrier he had made; and the fire caught easily, for the Templars had put a large quantity of deal planks there. And you should know that the Turks did not wait for the fire to burn itself out, but rushed upon the Templars among the scorching flames. And in this battle, Brother William (Guillaume), Master of the Templars, lost an eye; and he had lost the other on the previous Shrove Tuesday; and that Lord died as a consequence, may God absolve him! And you should know that there was at least an acre of land behind the Templars, which was so covered with arrows fired by the Saracens, that none of the ground could be seen.

It was the death of a man who sought peace where possible, but fought ferociously on the battlefield. He was succeeded as Grand Master by Renaud de Vichiers.

De Sonnac was the first Grand Master to formerly record the intricacies of the Templar hierarchy. He added this to existing archives, codified them and stored them in a safe place so that the Order would have accurate records in future years. It is certainly ironic that, for a man responsible for creating the Order's most in-depth records, there is no indication of when he was born.

Renaud de Vichiers
Renaud de Vichiers was the 19th Grand Master of the Knights Templar, from 1250 to 1256. He was a supporter and comrade-in-arms of Louis IX of France, who helped him be elected Grand Master. He shortly quarreled with Louis, though, over a diplomatic mission of Hugues de Jouy, the Templar Marshal, to Damascus. In 1252 Hugues was banished from the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
Coat of Arms of Renaud de Vichiers.

Thomas Brard
Thomas Brard (also Braud or Brault) was the 20th Grand Master of the Knights Templar, from 1256 to 1273. He wrote several letters to the King Henry III of England describing miserable situation in the Holy Land. He initiated cooperation with other two military orders since there had been much rivalry among them before. This was agreed upon by their Grand Masters: Hugo de Revel of Hospitaliers and Anno von Sangershausen of Teutonic Knights. In 1266 the large Templar fortress Safed was besieged by Egyptian Mamlooks (or Mameluks) after a failed attempt to conquer Pilgrim's Castle. It appears that the garrison was betrayed by a hired Syrian soldier. All Templars (Hospitallers as well) were beheaded after they refused to convert to Islam. Coat of Arms of Thomas Other fortresses fell next, among them Beaufort, only recently acquired by the Templars. Brard. Also, the city of Antioch fell to Baybars (the Mamluk commander) and was never again held by Christian forces. The fall of Antioch left Templar fortresses in Amman's mountains easily accessible to attackers. Gaston, an immensely strong fortification on the road to Syria, was defended only by a small Templar garrison. Nevertheless they decided to hold the fortress. They were betrayed by one of the brothers. Meanwhile the Grand Master Thomas Brard sent a messenger carrying an order to retreat to La Roche Guillaume. In February 1271, Chastel Blanc surrendered on orders of the Grand Master Thomas Brard with permission to retreat to Tortosa. In June, however, Montfort, the last inland fortification of Christians in the Holy Land, was yielded.

Guillaume de Beaujeu
Guillaume de Beaujeu, aka William of Beaujeu, was the 21st Grand Master of the Knights Templar, from 1273 until his death during the siege of Acre in 1291. At one point during the siege, he dropped his sword and walked away from the walls. His knights remonstrated. Beaujeu replied: "Je ne m'enfuis pas; je suis mort. Voici le coup." ("I'm not running away; I am dead. Here is the blow.") He raised his arm to show the mortal wound he had received.
Coat of Arms of Guillaume de Beaujeu.

Thibaud Gaudin
Thibaud Gaudin (1229? April 16, 1292) was the 22nd Grand Master of the Knights Templar from August 1291 until his death in April 1292. The history of Thibaud Gaudin within the Order is rather mysterious. Born to a noble family in the area of Chartres or Blois, France, he entered the Knights Templar well before 1260, because on that date he was taken prisoner during an attack on Tiberias. His great piety was deemed worthy of the nickname of "Gaudin Monk". In 1279, Sir Thibaud fulfilled the function of "Commander of the Land of Jerusalem" Coat of Arms of Thibaud (unconfirmed), the fourth most important function in the Templar hierarchy. In 1291, he Gaudin. rode at the side of Guillaume de Beaujeu to defend the town of Acre, besieged by the formidable army of Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil. On 18 May, upon the death of Guillaume de Beaujeu, Gaudin remained in the city of Acre. The remaining knights of the Order, men, women and children found shelter in the Temple, the great fort of the Templars. Pierre de Sevry, Marshal of the Order, Thibaud Gaudin, treasurer of the Order, and their knights were the last to defend Acre. After trying to break in for a whole week without success, AlAshraf Khalil offered the Marshal of the Order to embark for Cyprus with all their possessions. Pierre de Sevry agreed. An Emir and 100 Mameluks were permitted to enter the fort, but they began to molest some women and boys. Furious at this act, the knights slaughtered the Mameluks and barricaded themselves again. That night Pierre sent the treasure of the Order with its commander, Thibaud Gaudin and some non-combatants, by boat to Sidon. Acre fell the following day.

Thibaud Gaudin arrived with some knights at Sidon, where he was elected Grand Master. The Templars were determined to stand, but because they lacked numbers to properly defend the large city, they evacuated the city and moved to the castle of the sea. Thibaud Gaudin went to Cyprus in the hope of gathering reinforcements. To many, this was regarded as an act of cowardice. The Templars fought bravely, but once the engineers started building a causeway, they sailed away to Tortosa. July 14, 1291 emir Al-Shuji entered the castle and ordered its destruction. The reinforcements never came. Beirut was taken on July 21, the castle of Ibelins and its walls completely destroyed. The Sultan occupied Haifa on July 30, and the monasteries of Carmel destroyed. In early August, the Franks held nothing more than two fortified towns, both occupied by Templars. However, the garrisons were too weak to face a siege, so Tortosa was evacuated on August 3 and Athlit on August 14. They left for the sea fort of Ruad, two miles off the coast of Tortosa, which would remain in their hands until 1303, when the future of the Order was in jeopardy. In October 1291, a general chapter of the Order met in Cyprus. This meeting confirmed the election of Thibaud Gaudin as Grand Master and named new dignitaries in the important positions within the hierarchy of the Order. On that occasion, Jacques de Molay was named Marshal, to succeed Pierre de Sevry, who died at Acre. Thibaud Gaudin tried to reorganize all the Templars after the devastation of the recent battles. Moreover, it was necessary for him to defend the Kingdom of Armenia from the encircled Turkish Seldjoukides and the Island of Cyprus, occupied by a multitude of refugees. Apparently the task proved daunting for Thibaud Gaudin; he died in 1292, leaving an enormous rebuilding task for his successor.

Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay (est. 12445/124950 18 March 1314) was the 23rd and officially last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, leading the Order from approximately 1292 until the Order was dissolved by order of the Pope in 1312. He is probably the best known Templar, along with the Order's founder and first Grand Master, Hugues de Payens (1070-1136). His goal as Grand Master was to reform the Order, and adjust it to the situation in the Holy Land during the waning days of the Crusades. With no Crusader States remaining to protect, and with other problems surfacing, the right of the Order to exist had come into question. King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the organization, had De Molay and many other French Templars arrested in 1307 and tortured into making what is generally believed to have been mainly false confessions. When De Molay later retracted his confession, Philip had him burned at the stake on the le des juifs, next to the Ile de la cite an island in the Seine river in Paris, on 18 March 1314.
Jacques de Molay

Jacques de Molay was born into, most likely, a family of minor nobility, as most of the Templar knights were, at Molay (Haute-Sane) in the county of Burgundy, at the time ruled by Otto III. He was received into the Order at Beaune by Humbert de Pairaud, the Visitor of France and England in 1265. Independently of Guillaume de Beaujeu, who was elected grand master in 1273, Jacques de Molay went to the East (Outremer) around 1270. He spent his entire career as a Templar in the East.

Born Died Nationality Known for

12445/124950 1314-03-18 Paris, France Burgundian Grand Master of the Knights Templar

Grand Master
After the Fall of Acre in 1291, the Franks who were able to do so retreated to Cyprus, which became the headquarters of the dwindling Kingdom of Jerusalem. Templars there included Jacques de Molay and Thibaud Gaudin, the 22nd Grand Master. During a meeting assembled on the island in the autumn of 1291, Jacques de Molay

spoke and pointed to himself as an alternative and reformer of the Order. Gaudin died around 1292, leaving the Mastership open for Jacques de Molay, as there were no other serious contenders for the role at the time. Once elected, the rapid establishment of the command of the Order was meant to deal with the most serious matters first. Both Cyprus and the Cilician Kingdom of Armenia were under the threat of an attack from the Mamluks. In spring 1293, De Molay began a tour of the West to try and gain more support for a Reconquest of the Holy Land. His goal was to strengthen the defense of Cyprus, and rebuild the Templar forces. However, European support for the Crusades had dwindled, and there was talk of merging the Templars with one of the other military orders, the Hospitaliers. The Grand Masters of both Orders opposed such a merger, but pressure increased from the Papacy. De Molay held two general meetings of his Order, at Montpellier in 1293 and at Arles in 1296, where he tried to make reforms. He also developed relationships with European leaders such as Pope Boniface VIII, Edward I of England, James I of Aragon and Charles II of Naples. In the autumn of 1296 de Molay was back in Cyprus to defend his Order against the interests of Henry II of Cyprus, which conflict had its roots back in the days of Guillaume de Beaujeu. From 1299 to 1303 de Molay promoted cooperation with the Mongols against the Mamluks. The plan was to coordinate actions between the Christian military orders, the King of Cyprus, the aristocracy of Cyprus and Little Armenia and the Mongols of the khanate of Ilkhan (Persia). In 1298 or 1299, Jacques de Molay halted a further Mamluk invasion with military force in Armenia. However, when the Mongol Khan of Persia, Ghzn, defeated the Mamluks in the Battle of Wadi al-Khazandar in December 1299, the Christian forces were not ready to take full advantage of the situation. In 1300, Jacques de Molay and other forces from Cyprus put together a fleet of 16 ships which committed raids along the Egyptian and Syrian coasts. The force was commanded by King Henry II of Jerusalem, the King of Cyprus, accompanied by his brother, Amalric, Lord of Tyre the heads of the military orders, and the Ambassador of the Mongol leader Ghazan. The ships left Famagusta on July 20, 1300, to raid the coasts of Egypt and Syria: Rosette, Alexandria, Acre, Tortosa, and Maraclea, before returning to Cyprus. The raids along the way were directed by Admiral Baudoin de Picquigny, and when the raids took place at Alexandria, they were able to free Christian prisoners who had been captive since the Fall of Acre in 1291. The ships then returned to Cyprus, and prepared for an attack on Tortosa in late 1300. De Molay and other Cypriots sent a joint force to a staging area on the island of Ruad, from which raids were launched on Tortosa. The intent was to establish a bridgehead to await assistance from the Mongols, but the Mongols failed to appear in 1300. The same happened in 1301 and 1302. In September 1302 the Templars were driven out of Ruad by the attacking Mamluk forces from Egypt, and many were massacred when trapped on the island. Ruad was lost in the Siege of Ruad on September 26, 1302, and when Ghzn died in 1304, Jacques de Molay's dream of a rapid Reconquest of the Holy Land was destroyed. Travel to France In 1305, the newly elected pope Clement V asked the leaders of the military orders for their opinions concerning a new crusade and the merging of the orders. Jacques de Molay was asked by the Pope to write two memoranda, one on each of the issues, which he did during the summer of 1306. On 6 June, the leaders were officially asked to come to Poitiers, where the Pope had his seat, to discuss these matters. The meeting at Poitiers was delayed due to the Pope's illness, unbeknownst to de Molay, who had already left Cyprus around 15 October. De Molay arrived in France in late November or early December, but nothing is known of his activities during the first five months of 1307. In the second half of May he was in Poitiers attending the meeting with the Pope. The Grand Master came into conflict with Philippe IV because he rejected the idea of merging the two orders into one with Philippe as leader (Rex Bellator, or War King). This made more difficult the Pope's problem with the King, who wanted at all costs to condemn the memory of Boniface VIII. Also, it furthermore thwarted the attempts to get a new crusade on its way. These conflicts were weakening the Templar Order along with something that would turn out to be far more serious, something Jacques de Molay had discovered during his journey through France: scandalous and perverse rumors and
Coat of Arms of Jacques de Molay.

whispers about the Order had begun to surface. The King and his Councilors, among them Guillaume de Nogaret, exploited this weakness.

Jacques de Molay spoke with the King in Paris on June 24, 1307 about the accusations against his Order and was partially reassured. Returning to Poitiers, he asked the Pope to set up an inquiry to quickly clear the Order of the rumors and accusations surrounding it. When the Pope announced that an inquiry would be convened 24 August, the King acted decisively. On 14 September, in the deepest secrecy, he sent out his orders throughout all of France which resulted in mass arrests of Templars and confiscation of their possessions on Friday, October 13, 1307. Jacques de Molay was arrested in Paris, while he was planning to attend the funeral of Catherine of Valois. During forced interrogation by royal agents on October 24, Jacques confessed that the Templar initiation ritual included "denying Christ and trampling on the Cross". He was also forced to write a letter asking every Templar to admit to these acts. Under pressure from Philip IV, Pope Clement V ordered the arrest of all the Templars throughout Christendom. The Pope still wanted to hear Jacques de Molay's side of the story, and dispatched two Cardinals to Paris in December 1307. In front of the Cardinals, de Molay retracted his earlier confessions. A power struggle ensued between the King and the Pope, which was settled in August 1308, when the King and the Pope agreed to split the convictions. Through the Bull Fasciens misericordiam the procedure to prosecute the Templars was set out on a duality where the first commission would judge individuals of the Order and the second commission would judge the Order as an entity. In practice this meant that a council seated at Vienne was to decide the future of the Temple, while the Temple dignitaries, among them Jacques de Molay, were to be judged by the Pope. In the royal palace at Chinon, Jacques de Molay was again questioned by the Cardinals, but this time with royal agents present. He returned to his admissions made in 1307. In November 1309, the Papal Commission for the Kingdom of France began its own hearings, during which de Molay again recanted, stating that he did not acknowledge the accusations brought against his Order. Any further opposition by the Templars was effectively broken when the Archbishop of Sens, Philippe de Marigny, sentenced 54 Templars to be burnt at the stake on 10-12 May 1310. At the Council of Vienne on 22 March 1312, the Order was abolished by Papal Decree. Almost two years later, on March 18, 1314, three Cardinals sent by the Pope sentenced the Temple dignitaries Jacques de Molay, Hugues de Pairaud, Geoffroy de Charney and Geoffroy de Gonneville to life imprisonment. Realizing that all was lost, Jacques de Molay rose up and recanted. Along with Geoffroy de Charney, he proclaimed his Order's innocence, before challenging the King and Pope to appear before God before the year was out. Philip ordered both to be burned at the stake. On the eve of 18 March 1314, Jacques de Molay and Geoffroy de Charnay were taken to the Isle des Juifs, now incorporated into the le de la Cit, where they were executed. In 2002, Dr. Barbara Frale found a copy of the Chinon Parchment in the Vatican Secret Archives, a document which explicitly confirms that Pope Clement V absolved Jacques de Molay and other leaders of the Order in 1308. This includes Geoffroy de Charney and Hugues de Pairaud. She published her findings in the Journal of Medieval History in 2004. In 2007, the Vatican Secret Archives published a limited-edition book containing the full transcripts of the confessions and trials under the title of "Processus Contra Templarios".

Conquest of Jerusalem In France in the 19th century, false stories circulated that De Molay had captured Jerusalem in 1300, and a painting was even commissioned for the Versailles, entitled "Jacques de Molay Takes Jerusalem, 1299." The exact origin of these rumors is not certain, although they may be related to the fact that a medieval historian, the Templar of Tyre, wrote about a Mongol general named "Mulay" who occupied Syria and Palestine for a few months in early 1300. There are numerous ancient records of Mongol raids and occupations of Jerusalem (from either Western, Armenian or Arab sources), and the Mongols did achieve a victory in Syria which caused a Muslim retreat, and allowed the Mongols to launch raids into the Levant as far as Gaza for a period of a few months in early 1300. During this time,

rumors flew through Europe that the Mongols had recaptured Jerusalem and were going to return the city to the Europeans. However, this may only be an urban legend, as the only activities that the Mongols had even engaged in were some minor raids through Palestine, which may or may not have even passed through Jerusalem, a city which at the time was considered a minor location of no strategic importance, as it was still in ruins from earlier battles. The Shroud of Turin Two Masonic historians, Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, have written a controversial book called The Second Messiah: Templars, the Turin Shroud, and the Great Secret of Freemasonry, which claims that the Turin Shroud is actually an image of Jacques de Molay, not of Jesus Christ as is common belief. They claim that when King Philip IV of France and Pope Clement V seized and dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar, one of the French King's inquisitors, Guillame de Nogaret, tortured and crucified de Molay in a parody of the crucifixion of Jesus. He then put a cloth on de Molay's head, and de Molay's face was imprinted on the cloth. The authors claim that one of the reasons the Knights Templar were suppressed was because they knew a secret true history of Jesus which had been distorted by the Roman Catholic Church. According to Knight and Lomas, Jesus considered himself not God, but a Jewish revolutionary working to establish God's Kingdom on Earth, and that the Templars' initiation ceremony involved a denial of Jesus as God. Apart from Knight and Lomas' suggested scenario, there is a connection in the provenance of the Shroud of Turin and the Templars. Geoffroi de Charny's widow Jeanne de Vergy is the first reliably recorded owner of the Turin Shroud; his uncle, Geoffrey de Charney, was Preceptor of Normandy for the Knights Templar. This uncle is the same Geoffrey de Charney who was initially sentenced to lifetime imprisonment with de Molay, and was burned with de Molay in 1314 after both proclaimed their innocence, recanting torture-induced confessions. Curse It is said that Jacques de Molay cursed Philippe le Bel and his descent from his execution pyre. And, indeed, the rapid succession of the last Direct Capetian Kings of France between 1314 and 1328, the three sons of Philippe IV, led many to believe that the dynasty had been cursed thus the name of "The Accursed Kings" (Les Rois Maudits). Also, de Molay apparently challenged the King and the Pope to meet him before the judgment of God before the year was over, although this story is recorded in no contemporaneous accounts of de Molay's execution. Philip and Clement V in fact both died in 1314. The 300 year old House of Capet collapsed during the next 14 years. This series of events forms the basis of Les Rois Maudits (The Accursed Kings), a series of historical novels by Maurice Druon. King Louis XVI was a descendant of Philippe le Bel by his granddaughter Queen Joan II of Navarre. Quoting Templar Historian Malcolm Barber:
A variation on this story was told by the contemporary chronicler Ferretto of Vicenza, who applied the idea to a Neopolitan Templar brought before Clement V, whom he denounced for his injustice. Sometime later, as he was about to be executed, he appealed 'from this your heinous judgment to the living and true God, who is in Heaven', warning the Pope that, within a year and a day, he and Philip IV would be obliged to answer for their crimes in God's presence. (Ferretto of Vicenza, 'Historia rerum in Italia gestarum ab anno 1250 as annum usque 1318', c. 1328).

In popular culture
The song The Curse of Jacques by heavy metal band Grave Digger (on Knights of the Cross album) tells the story of Molay's execution and cursing both the King and the Pope. Umberto Eco's novel "Foucault's Pendulum" deals with Jacques de Molay and the Knights Templar.

Hugues de Pairaud
Hugues de Pairaud (Visitor of the Temple) was one of the leaders of the Knights Templar. He and Geoffroi de Gonneville (the Preceptor of Aquitaine) were sentenced to life imprisonment on March 18, 1314. They were spared the fate of Jacques de Molay (Grand Master) and Geoffroi de Charney (Preceptor of Normandy), who were both burned at the stake, because they accepted their sentence in silence. In 1297 de Pairaud contested the election of Jacques de Molay as Grand Master.

In 1304 Pairaud supported Philip IV against Boniface VIII. The charges The charges brought against Hugues de Pairaud are similar to those brought against all the others during the Knights Templar Trial. Pairaud was implicated in the worship of false idols by Raoul de Gizy, who claimed to have seen a mysterious head in seven Templar houses, some of them held by Hugues de Pairaud. Pairaud was accused of taking Jean de Cugy "behind an altar and kissing him on the base of the spine and the navel." De Cugy also claimed that Pairaud had threatened him with life imprisonment if he did not deny Christ and spit on a cross, and that Pairaud had told him that it was permissible for brothers to have sexual intercourse with other brothers (sodomy).

Geoffroy de Charney
Geoffrey de Charney, or Geoffroy de Charnay, was Preceptor of Normandy for the Knights Templar, burned alive along with Jacques de Molay in 1314. Charney was accepted into the Order of Knights Templar (at the age of "sixteen, seventeen or thereabouts") by Brother Amaury de la Roche, the Preceptor of France, in tamps of the Diocese of Sens. Present at the ceremony were Brother Jean le Franceys, Preceptor of Pdenac. Geoffrey de Charney was initially sentenced to lifetime imprisonment with de Molay, and was burned with de Molay in 1314 after both proclaimed their innocence, recanting torture-induced confessions. De Charney's nephew was Geoffroi de Charny, whose widow first put the Shroud of Turin on display later in 1357.