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18 June 2014
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Myths and Legends
Hertfordshire's Templar mystery

At the beginning of the 19th Century the ideals of the medieval Knights Templar inspired a new organisation in France, supported by the Emperor Napoleon I. At a meeting of its Grand Convent in Paris in 1841, this 19th Century Order of the Temple declared itself to be an ecumenical Christian and chivalric association dedicated to acts of charity.
L: Denys Le Fevre R: Simon Le Fevre
Knights' uniforms today still carry their historic cross
© Courtesy of Stella Bernardi
It counted among its members nobility from Europe, business leaders from the USA, military officers from the colonies and royalty - including HRH the Duke of Sussex, uncle of Queen Victoria, as Grand Prior of England.

But the 19th Century Order of the Temple did not survive the conflicts of the First World War, and by 1917 the organisation had ceased to function and had put its documents into the care of a research association in Brussels. These documents inspired a modern revival in the early 1930's that gathered momentum in Europe after the Second World War under the title: the Supreme Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem (OSMTH in Latin).

Different national and international branches of the modern Order developed, placing emphasis on differing aspects of its traditions and work: military, monastic, cultural and charitable.

Since 1998, a number of Grand Priories in Europe and the USA have come together to form a new umbrella body, OSMTH International, which became a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations in 2002. This body has established working relationships with leaders of the various Christian Churches in Jerusalem and is supporting peace initiatives between the faith communities in the Holy Land, as well as donating to humanitarian aid programmes in Africa and the Middle and Far East.

Taking its cue from the original purpose of the medieval Knights Templar in protecting pilgrims travelling in the Holy Land, the Grand Priory of England & Wales' particular contribution to worldwide Templary today is through its associated registered charity, the Templar Pilgrimage Trust.

The trust provides grants for the young and the disabled to go on pilgrimages to places as far apart as Iona, Walsingham, Taize, Lourdes, Compostella, Assisi, Rome and Jerusalem. The Grand Priory's next major project is to set up a second charitable trust to help conserve buildings, and to promote academic and archaeological research into the cultural heritage of the medieval Knights Templar.

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Your comments

1 A. Stroud from New Orleans, Louisiana USA - 20 January 2004
"In the U.S. the order is named The Sovereign Order of the Temple of Jerusalem. The Templers have no relationship to the Free Masonery. We are an order dedicated to charity. "

2 Leary Hebert from Canada - 16 January 2004
"Where do you stand in relation to the Freemasons? "

3 Phil Sharkey from Royston, Hertfordshire - 16 January 2004
"Royston, some 12 miles east From Baldock along the ancient "Ermine Way", is renowned for its unique cave some 50ft undrground at the intersection of the Roma "Via Devana" London to York road and the Ermine Way. "

"This cave is thought to be a secret hiding pace for the templars and has bas relief carvings of religous and mystical symbols though to be associated with the order. "

4 Ryan from Loughborough - 16 January 2004
"Because of the afore mentiontioned efficient banking system the knights templar developed is it true that a supposed fortune which they left before they were mass executed could possibly exist? "

5 Matt Milledge from London - 16 January 2004
"I have read that the Knights Templar were originally formed not to protect pilgrims to Jerusalem, but to protect and move to safety the Holy Grail. The Grail is also believed to be Mary Magdelene and not a cup as popularly believed. Is this true? "

6 Bob Carey from Washington, DC, USA - 16 January 2004
"To answer Edith Gonzalez, there is no difference, it's just different translations of the Latin work "supremus". The correct translation is supreme. "

7 David Silkroski from Bellevue WA USA - 14 January 2004
"The small site in Lincolnshire is Temple Bruer and it in the vicinity SE of Wellingore. There are some remains left to see, but the site is in disrepair. "

8 Roger Kenyon from Mexico - 13 January 2004
"In Lincolnshire there was always supposed to be the location for the founders of the Knights Templars in a village called Eagle (on the border of Notts and Lincs.) My Professor of Mediaeval History then mentioned that Eagle palyed an early role in the Order. For that reason arounf Lincoln City there are various villages such as Temple Brewer and other villages beginning with Temple ..., that no doubt a study of the Lincoln area map would show. There was always supposed to be some ruins and there is even a strange "Gothic " ruin nearby which was supposed to have some relationship with the Templars. "

9 suzanne from los angelas, ca. - 31 December 2003
"Is there any information regarding mary magdeline and her role in the reassemblege of matriarchial rule? "

10 Edith Gonzalez from Canada - 22 December 2003
"What is the difference between Supreme Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem and Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem other than the first word in their names? Are they the same? "

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Internet Links
Grand Priory of Knights Templar in England and Wales
The Knights Templar International
The Princess Helena College
Richard the Lionheart
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