Hughes de Payens promotion tour - 1128-1129

In Turning the Templar Key, Robert Lomas summarizes the visit Hughes de Payens, the first grandmaster of the Knights Templar, payed to Europe.

Legend aside, Hugh did eventually venture out, with a view to whipping up practical support for his plans. In 1128 he went on a fund-rising trip to the West. He started in France. First he went to a wedding in Le Mans, and then on to meet the French King Henri I, who (Barber tells us) “received him with great honour and gave him great treasures, consisting of gold and silver.” Then Hugh went on to England and Scotland. 

His visit to England and Scotland took place in the summer of 1128 and ... he returned to Cassel in Flanders by mid September. where, together with Godfrey of Saint Omer, he received the grants of Thierry of Flanders and his vassals.

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 (Templar community house) in the Scottish village now known as Temple. This gift of land by a Scots laird to build support houses in the West for this radical new Order started a trend among the nobility of England. It would soon form the basis of a large commercial empire that would underpin the Order’s military campaigns in the East.

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 (which came to be called “the Latin Rule”) was written by Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux (later St. Bernard) and consisted of seventy-two clauses. It was important for the fledgling Order, as it conferred legitimacy on it.

Early in 1129 Hugh returned to Jerusalem and led his Knights northward to try and take 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.

source: Turning the Templar Key by Robert Lomas (2007) pp 44-45

No comments: