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Militi Templi Scotia

@ John Ritchie

We are grateful to John Ritchie of the Militi Templi Scotia for providing this article and history of the Scottish Order of Templars. It is printed here with the permission of the order.

An Introduction To Scottish Knights Templar:
Militi Templi Scotia

Templar History in Scotland:

This history is not a definitive history of the Order of the Temple, it is a the history of the Order seen through the Scottish Archive of the Temple, many of the facts you are about to read are not available in many of the modern histories that have been written recently. Their source is the Archive of the Temple in Scotland. Which is founded on original documents, and not on hearsay or speculation. Material that has been protected, and handed down through our Order over a very long period, and is only available to Members of our Order. We care little for the opinion of the sceptic or the so-called academic experts. We know the Temple, did not die with G.M.Jaques de Molay, that its lineage continued albeit in altered form. We give you the gift of Knowledge, but be warned this knowledge is not for financial profit.


In order to look at the history of the founding history of the Knights of the Temple we must look at the first crusade and particularly the Liege Lords who were involved,the house of Henry of Champagne, Baldwin and the leading families who made the first Crusade successful.We must also look at a strange mystical man, called Peter the Hermit.


1112. Hughes De Payen visits the Holy Land with a letter of introduction to Baldwin the king of Jerusalem, from Count Henry De Champagne.


1118. The Knights Templar were founded to protect pilgrim routes in the Holy Land by Hugh de Payens in the reign of Baldwin II who granted quarters in Jerusalem on the site of the Temple of Solomon; hence the name Knights of the Temple. The secular overlord was the Count of Champagne with spiritual leadership given by St. Bernard of Clairvaux.350 Cistercian houses are created in his name.

Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint (1090-1153), born near Martiney, the village where Hugues De Payen was the Leige Lord holding his title from Bernards Uncle, the Count of Champagne. In 1113 he became a monk and joins the Order, with 20 of his family and friends, in the Cistercian monastery of Cīteaux, a small village south of Dijon, and in 1115 he became abbot of a monastery at Clairvaux, north of Dijon. Under his rule the monastery at Clairvaux became the most prominent of the Cistercian order. Reputed miracles and the eloquent preaching of Bernard attracted numerous pilgrims. Bernard becomes the patron and writes the code of the Templar Order In Praise of the New Knighthood. Between 1130 and 1153, more than 90 monasteries were founded under the auspices of the one at Clairvaux, and Bernard's influence in the church spread throughout the world.


1120. The rise of the Champagne fairs. And the development of the Artisan.


1128. Hugues de Payen visits Scotland, Balentrodach is created from a bequest by David 1, to be followed by Bequests by future Scottish Kings see Regis Scotum.


1129. Council of Troyes under the guidance of St. Bernard of Clairvaux


1136. The creation of the Cistercian Abbey of Melrose. Scotland


1137. A Lodge of Stonemasons working on Melrose Abbey is created in St John lane, Newstead.


1140. The creation of Newbattle Abbey,four miles from Balentradoch.in Midlothian.


1147. Use of the red cross of the Order initiated,By Pope Eugenius III.


1153. St.Bernard of Clairvaux dies.His feast Day becomes the 20th of August.


1154. Sovereign authority of the Grand Master recognised by Louis VII of France


1187. Jerusalem Falls and is lost to the Christians.


1203. 6th of April the sacking of Constantinople. Important relics are looted and fall into Templar hands, including the Mandylion. The Orkney crusade,Scottish Templar Families including the Sinclairs join the crusade.


1265. The Temple sets the Gold and silver standards for coin weight, throughout the whole of Europe,the Templar cross can still be seen on British coinage today used as a proof mark.


1274.Robert the Bruce is Born.


1291. With the fall of Acre the Templars found themselves distanced from the Holy Land and lacking support from some European kings.


1297.The Battle of Stirling Bridge. Scottish Army under William Wallace defeats a superior English force.


1297. The decline of the Fairs of Champagne.


1298. Battle of Falkirk, Brian Le Jay The English Templar preceptor is killed by Scottish archers while fighting for Edward 1,the English king which would have been considered a breach of the rule of the Order. The treachery of some of the Scottish Lords, loses the Battle for Wallace and the Scots.


1303. The Battle of Roslin,8,000 Scots defeated 30,000 English in 3 battles in the same day. Sir Symon Fraser, Sinclair of Rosslyn and the Red Comyn are the commanders on the Scots side, Bruce at this time was in Ireland. Hence the battle is not well known in Scottish history.


1306. March.27th Robert the Bruce is crowned King at Scone,using the real Stone of Destiny.Which was given by the Abbot of Scone,the Traditional keeper of the Stone.


1307.12th October,Templar ships under the command of the Templar Admiral of the Fleet,leave at midnight from La Rochelle.


1307. Black Friday the 13th October,The arrest of Jaques De Molay,the Grand Master of the Temple by Philip of France.


1309. The Island of Rhodes is bought by the Knights Hospitallers.


1310.12th of May,54 Templars were executed by burning at the stake, a total of 115 knights of the Temple are executed in this way, in France, without any real evidence of guilt being produced.


1311. Adam de Middleton, Preceptor for Scotland is interviewed by Bishop Lamberton of St. Andrews,and given his protection.


1312. 3rd of April.Following false charges the Order is dissolved by Papal decree in Vienne,near Lyon,by ClementV and Philip of France. The Order is subjected to a cruel persecution but not in Scotland where Templars fleeing France found refuge under an Excommunicated King Robert the Bruce.


1312. Bruce welcomes the Templar Order to a divided and excommunicate Scotland.


1314. 18th of March The Grand Master Jaques de Molay and De Charney the preceptor for Normandy, are executed in innocent,by being burned alive in Paris.


1314. Knights Templar fight alongside Bruce at Bannockburn on 24th June, Midsummer's day, the Feast day of John the Baptist. Bruce creates the Order of Heridom and the Brothers of the Rosy Cross.Later to be Kilwinning. - They hold lands in Argyllshire near Sadell Abbey. Part of the Templar Fleet becomes integrated into the Lords of the Isles and the Northern (Sinclair)Fleet. They hold lands in Argyllshire near Sadell Abbey.


1315. Bruce Protects the Order and the Temple keeps its land in Scotland,and the Templars land is administered but not owned, by the Knights Hospitallers.


1314. Balentrodoch comes under the protection of The St. Clairs of Rosslyn.


1320.The Signing of the Declaration of Arbroath. Which was strongly influenced by the Templar ideal. Sinclairs of Rosslyn are signatories.Which principally rids Scotland of serfdom.


1328. February,The treaty of Edinburgh is signed by the Scots and English Kings enshrining Scottish sovereignty.Later ratified by the Treaty of Northampton in October 1328.


1329. King Robert the Bruce dies.and is buried in Dunfermline Abbey,Templar Ritual is used.


1330. A group of Scottish Knights and Templars under the commandership of Sir James Douglas take Bruces Heart to the Holy Land, but make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Spain, and take part in the first great successful battle against the Moors at Teba, Calavatra, (this is where the name Braveheart comes from when Douglas throws the heart of Bruce in a silver casket forward into the Moorish lines, and calls "go Braveheart and we, your Knights will follow"). Only four Knights survive and return to Scotland out of twenty-two.Two Sinclairs of Rosslyn die with the Douglas. Hay who brought back both the heart of Bruce and Douglas.The name of the family becomes Lockhart. In 1990 a member of M.T.S. is present at the 660 year anniversary of the Battle.


1331. Henry de St Clair who fought at Bannockburn is buried at Rosslyn as Grand master of the Temple.


1333. The Battle of Halidon Hill, Adam De Vipont, Knight Templar is captured by Edward III.When the Holy Rood is lost to Scotland and is kept in Durham Cathedral.


1334. David the Second, King of Scots, in exile in The French court, creates The Guarde De Ecosse, Personal Bodyguard to the French(Valios)Kings, in Fealty of Scotland. This was the time of two Kings of Scots, David the second Bruces son, and Alexander Comyn who had given fealty to Edward the Third. It was the time when the Auld Alliance between Scotland and France was formed. The Templar Ideals are kept in the best of the Scottish Nobles. The Scottish nobles from the Bruce Line become the heritors of the Templar Order, and its knowledge; the head of the Jacobite line becomes the Unknown Superior and secret protectors of the Templar Order. The StClairs being the cupbearers, feature prominently.


1398. Earl Henry Sinclair voyage from Orkney to Nova Scotia using Templar Knowledge and ships.He is buried as the Master of the Temple.


1431. Earl William Sinclair Becomes a Knight of the Golden Fleece and Knight of the Cockle,The Santiago de Compostello, where two of his grand uncles had visited with Bruces heart.


1445. Earl William Sinclair starts to build Rosslyn Chapel to hold some of the Templar Mysteries,and to create a book in stone to enshrine for posterity the Templar ideals. The Chapel is built using the Golden Mean. The Templar order is never proscribed in Scotland ,its lands are not confiscated they are administered by the Hospital,but ownership is never transferred to the Hospitallers The Principality of Drem is created. The Guarde De Ecosse still draws its members from Scottish Templar Families.


1640. The Lands of the Hospital are dissolved by the last master, Sandilands with the permission of Mary, Queen of Scots.


1650. The vault at Rosslyn is sealed after the burial of Earl William Sinclair, who is killed at the Battle of Dunbar.


1689. July 27th, James Grahame of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, died at the battle of Killiecrankie wearing the Grand Cross of the Order.


1705. General Statutes and Election Charter


1738. Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay's Paris Oration.


1742. Lord Kilmarnock and other exiled Stuart participants showing that the Jacobite Templar link still existed receive Karl Gotthelf, Baron Von Hund into the Order of the Temple in Paris.


1745. 24th,September Prince Charles Edward Stewart, himself a senior Templar gives a soiree for the Chivalry of the Order in Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh. It is recorded in a letter from the Duke of Perth to Lord Ogilvie.


1754.Meeting at College of the Jesuits in Clermont.


1796. Alexander Deuchar becomes the Heritor to the Jacobite Templar legacy.


1807. January, Deuchar holds a meeting of Knights Templar in Edinburgh.


1808. 28th of March, Abbot Clovet, pronounced the funeral oration of the Martyrs of the Order of the Temple at Church of St Paul in Paris.


1810. Alexander Deuchar becomes Master of Militi Templi Scotia and the heritor of the Stuart line of the Temple, an office he was to hold until 1835.


1825. Guzet published the manual of the Order of the Chevaliers of the Temple.


1838. Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith was elected Grand Master in Paris.


1840. Headquarters of the Magisterial Legation of the Order (SMOTJ) were established in Brussels.


1853. Napoleon III acknowledges the Order as a Sovereign Power and Grants the right to carry decorations on French territory.


1871. On the 15th of August Regent General,Dr Verois deposited the Archives of the Order into the National Archives of France,Paris ABXIX boxes 125/158.


1894. Reinstatement of the Regency,and the Establishment of an International Secretariat of the Templars,with magisterial powers.


1934. 1st of October Regency Council of the Order,SMOTJ, six Officers HQ.Brussels.


1935. 8th of August Emile Clement Joseph Isaac Vandenburg, KGC, assumed the Office and Guardian of the Order with all its rights and Privileges.SMOTJ. Baron Anton Leuprecht moves offices and Archives to the safety of Portugal, because of the war.


1942. 23rd December Count Antonio Campbell Pinto de Sousa Fontes,GC becomes Regent by Magisterial Degree.


1960. Grand Regent, dies. Regency is assumed by his son Fernando Campello Pinto Pereiro de Sousa Fontes.


1961. 21st of April,the Regent General confirmed his Excellency Baron Anton Leuprecht as Mondial Chief of all Autonomous Grand Priories as had his Father earlier.


1962. The Scottish and American Autonomous Grand Priories are created by C.M.Baron Anton Leuprecht.


1963.Militi Templi Scotia becomes an officiated brother of S.M.O.T.J. But retains its separate historical identity.


1995. Representatives of the Grand Priories of Germany and Austria are granted an audience with His Holiness the Pope. Major International Conclaves in London and Salzburg with Scotland represented produce a full democratic re-structuring of Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani ready for service in the 21st century.

The Motto of the Order is:

Non nobis Domine, non nobis sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam

Not for us O Lord, not for us but in Your Name is the Glory


The Order incorporates Militi Templi Scotia, which is the historical Scottish title of the Order. The Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem, which is the International name