This is our style and title and you will also notice that the word Masonic is included. This is because we are not directly descended from the original Knights Templar, but we came into being in a wide variety of ritual forms that at first worked under Warrants of Royal Arch Chapters in the British Isles in and around the 1760’s. The present day Templar ritual was introduced in the 1850’s and a few years later the Mediterranean Pass and Malta degree ritual followed.
A direct link with the original Templars is that they were granted their encampment in Jerusalem on the site of King Solomon’s Temple. On 15th July 1099 the city walls of Jerusalem were breached and the city captured by the Crusader army of the 1st crusade. In 1118 nine knights, under the leadership of Hughes de Payen, approached the patriarch of Jerusalem (King Baldwin II); having decided to dedicate their lives to the service of the Holy land. The patriarch subsequently assigned them a portion of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount (said to have been built on the original Temple of Solomon). This group of knights subsequently took their name from this: Pauperes commiltones Christi Templi Salomonis (the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon); thus becoming known as the Knights of the Temple, and later, Knights Templar.
In Hertfordshire we presently have 16 Preceptories, and approximately 400 members known to each other as Brother Knights, who operate under the direction of the Provincial Prior, Right Eminent Knight Tony Lapsley. We pride ourselves on our happy and friendly meetings, and it is often said amongst members that this is their favourite Order.
On becoming a member of Knights Templar, an installed Knight will go through an extremely interesting ceremony; taking him through a pilgrimage and then knighthood as a Templar. Once a Knight has passed through his installation ceremony, he is then eligible to take the Mediterranean Pass and proceed to the degree of a Knight of Malta; this degree is usually worked annually by the Crossed Swords Preceptory and also by the Stuart and Melita Preceptories.
To qualify as a candidate to become a Knight Templar you must be a Master Mason and a Royal Arch Mason. If you are interested in joining us and would like some more information, please contact:
The Provincial Vice Chancellor - E Kt Phillip Hoy
tel: 01279 817792
The Provincial Information Officer - E Kt Darren Bending