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Knights Templar History and Freemason Mysteries

Updated on October 5, 2010

Knights Templar History

The History of the Knights Templar

If we look at the Knight Templar and Freemasons history, the most widely publicized theory of the origin of Freemasonry stems from the recognition of the Medieval Order of the Poor Soldiers of Christ and Solomons Temple, founded around 1118 and more commonly known as the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar is still known in freemasonry today.

It is widely believed that the Templar Knights were based in or near the original site of the Temple of Solomon and widely spread throughout France in the early 12th century. Being religious templar knights and reporting only to the Church, gave them exemption from many laws and enabled them to receive much land and property throughout the country enabling a network of wealth to be created, which some folk still beleive to be a secret of freemasonry today.

Knights Templar and Freemason History

The Knights Templar and masonic history
The Knights Templar and masonic history

It is thought that the roads to Jerusalem were often patrolled by thieves looking to prey on unaware travelers to the holy city. This gave rise to a need for protection by Templar Knights to the travelers and it is thought that fees were generated by the templar knights in exchange for the protection offered.

This simple Templar system became an exercise of the knights which gave rise to the first form of banking whereby a patron would be able to leave funds with a knights templar preceptory in one city and receive a promisary note which could be exchanged in another city in order to eliminate the risk of having to travel cross country with large sums of money.

Templar Knights crusade

The Knights Templar have historical links to freemasonry and masonic knights templar still exist today
The Knights Templar have historical links to freemasonry and masonic knights templar still exist today

The Knights Templar in France

The Migration of the Knights Templar

In the late 12th century the Christian following ,including Templar Knights, was removed from the holy city and the Knights Templar were no longer needed and thus returned to France where King Philip governed with the Knights still answerable only to the papal authority.

The King of France had been king since the age of 17 and had inherited much debt from his predecessors. This meant that loans were made from the Jews, the Church and the Knights Templar in order to maintain the country. This inevitably led to poor repayment by the monarchy and caused drastic swings in the economy leading to riots and a call for the removal of King Philip. The Knights templar allowed the king to seek refuge within their preceptory for a few days and it is believed that during this time King Philip forged a plot to arrest The Jews on June 24th 1307 and the Knights templar on Friday 13th October 1307 in order to retain their wealth, property and remove all debts that were owed to them by the monarchy, possibly explaining why Friday 13th is deemed unlucky by some people. It is believed that some of the Knights Templar avoided this arrest tactic and made their way to some of their ships in anchor and sailed for Europe to eventually land in Scotland.

Knights Templar regalia

The Knights Templar were often referred to as religious soldiers as depicted in this sketch
The Knights Templar were often referred to as religious soldiers as depicted in this sketch

The Knights Templar and Robert the Bruce

The Knights Templar in Scotland

Arriving in Scotland it seems was a choice by the Knights Templar due to the fact that Robert the Bruce had been excommunicated by the church and papal authority did not apply in Scotland. This meant that the Knights Templar had sanctuary from the reaches of the pope in Scotland.

Robert the Bruce was at war with England and was pleased to have the expertise of such battle qualified knights in his army and it is believed that the Knights Templar were integral in the defeat of the English at the battle of Bannockburn. Robert the Bruce is often credited with forming the Freemasons as a means to hide the fact that there were Knights Templar present in his army. This was because he wanted to return Scotland to a state recognized under Christendom and had informed the church that no Knights Templar existed in Scotland. The Knights Templar were then able to continue as they had previously, but now under the name of Freemasonry.

Medieval Knights

Medieval Knights were intertwined with the Knights Templar at times of war in Scotland
Medieval Knights were intertwined with the Knights Templar at times of war in Scotland

Freemasonry and the steps to Knights Templar

There are various avenues which can be followed in Freemasonry. The three most popular avenues being the Royal Arch, Rosicrucian (Rose Croix) or Knights Templar degrees.

There are 4 world wide accepted degrees which must be completed by a new person deciding to enter freemasonry which shall we say are the basis of understanding to Freemasonry. The other avenues are all different in their teachings and handle different aspects of Freemasonry.

There are many opinions and schools of thought on the dates that speculative Freemasonry came into existence with the most common being 1717.

The Knights Templar were said to have obtained secrets throughout their travels from the ancient mysteries in Alchemy, Magic and Building Techniques scattered through history by the likes of the Greek, Roman and Egyptian civilisations. Perhaps this is myth, however it makes for interesting research reading of the countless number of opinions and conspiracy theories out there in cyberspace.

Well I hope you enjoyed reading my opinion. Please comment and rate this article up if you enjoyed.

Thanks Dale


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    • Dale Nelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Nelson 

      5 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks JByers

    • jbyers profile image


      6 years ago from Wapwallopen, PA

      Well done. Researched and informative - not a wild conspiracy piece.

    • Matthew Weese profile image

      Matthew Weese 

      6 years ago from Auburn

      Great read.

    • Dale Nelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Nelson 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Hi Al Barrs,

      I read your comment with interest. You have a fantastic history of your family tree and references. I agree with you that the history will remain debated for centuries to come. It is difficult to find any documentation that has survived prior to the early twelfth century for the freemasons and the knights templar as well as the Rosicrucians.

    • profile image

      Al Barrs 

      8 years ago

      I have long studied the Knights Templar ever since I discovered a namesake in my family's history was a Grand Master of the Templar. Our surname BARRS was originally de La Barre about 900AD in Old Normandy and later des Barres, which are both French spellings. In Britain it was originally Barres after the Conquest in 1066AD until English replaced French as the official language of Britain.

      Everard des Barres was the 3rd Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1147 to 1149. Needless to say I continue to be interested in their history.

      Everard des Barres also Eberhard von Barres or Eberhard De Bären (died in 1174) was the third Grand Master of the Knights Templar from 1147 to 1151.

      As Preceptor of the Templar 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 des Barres was extremely pious and valiant. He seems to have had a strong influence on Louis. After the failure of the crusade at the Siege of Damascus in 1148, Louis returned to France, followed by Everard des Barres, 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 des Barres abdicated officially in 1151 and became a monk at Clairvaux, despite the protests of the Templar. He was succeeded by Bernard de Tremelay (who actually led the Order since Everard's departure in 1149) and died in 1174.

      I do not believe the entire story of the Knights Templar has ever completely been told... There is an even greater history to be told.

      Al Barrs


    • Dale Nelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Nelson 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      I have now released the hub on the 7 wonders of the world. Makes for some interesting reading. Links below.

    • Dale Nelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Dale Nelson 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks Suzie cat and Jay Jay. I love ancient mysteries and am working on a capstone hub which is still about a week from release that you might enjoy. Thanks for reading.

    • jayjay40 profile image


      8 years ago from Bristol England

      very interesting hub, I love history but didn't know about how the freemasons were formed. Well done on a well written hub

    • suziecat7 profile image


      8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Interesting Hub - thanks. I've always been curious about the Freemasons.


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