Hughes de Payens promotion tour - 1128-1129

Hugh de Payens, the first grandmaster of the Knights Templar, did in 1128 venture out on a fund-rising trip to the West.

He started in France. First he went to a an important wedding in Le Mans. It was de wedding of the daughter of King Henry I of England Matilda to the son of Count Fulk of Anjou, Geoffrey of Anjou. Fulk later became King of Jerusalem (1131-1143). Fulk went on crusade in 1119 or 1120, and became attached to the Knights Templar. He returned, late in 1121, after which he began to subsidize the Templars, maintaining two knights in the Holy Land for a year. 

In the summer of 1128 Hugh went on to England and Scotland. During his trip to Scotland, Hugh visited Roslin near Edinburgh, and was given land by Henri de St. Clair, Baron of Roslin, to build a Preceptory (Commanderie) in the Scottish village now known as Temple.

In mid September 1128 Hugh returned to Cassel in Flanders. There, together with Godfrey of Saint Omer, he received grants of Count Thierry of Flanders and his vassals.

The climax of Hugh’s fund-raising tour was his appearance before the Council of Troyes in January 1129, at which his new Order was granted a Monastic rule to govern it. This later called "Latin Rule” was written by Bernard Abbot of Clairvaux and inspoired by the Cisterian Rule. It consisted of seventy-two clauses.

Early in 1129 Hugh returned to Jerusalem, only to depart northward to assist the siege of Damascus. The lack of logistic support during the long siege inspired him to think about how he could use the lands his Order had been given in the West to improve its fighting ability. He decided to set up a regular support network in western Europe to provide a steady flow of new Knights, money, food, clothing, and arms. In 1130 he sent one of his Brother founder-Knights, Payen de Montdidier, to England, where King Stephen granted him the right to build a whole string of new Preceptories.

Mainly adapted from Turning the Templar Key. Illustration Temple Church at Temple, Midlothian, Scotland. source


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