"Sophia Menache pointed out in her article ‘Contemporary attitudes concerning the Templars’ affair’ (1982) that local chroniclers in England ‘supported the French version of the Templars’ heresy’, although King Edward II and his prelates did not. This raises the question of whether local chroniclers were aware of irregularities in the Templars’ religious beliefs that were not known to the higher authorities.
The records of the Templars’ estates in Britain and Ireland at the time of the Templars’ arrests early in 1308 include inventories of their chapels, offering an insight into the Templars’ religious practices. Is there anything in these inventories to suggest that there was substance behind the charges against the Templars?
Drawing on unpublished and published inventories and estate records from the National Archives of the UK, this chapter argues that, far from revealing irregularities, these records show that the Templars’ beliefs were entirely orthodox. However, although the chapels of their major houses were sumptuously equipped, those at smaller, more remote houses contained little equipment and must have relied on the services of hired priests. Such reliance on outside spiritual services meant that the Templars’ religious practices must have been closely linked to those of the society in which they operated."
This blog quotes the summary of the paper (2018) by Helen Nicholson (Cardiff University, UK) entitled "Evidence of the Templars' religious practice from the records of the Templars' estates in Britain and Ireland in 1308", published in Communicating the Middle Ages: Essays in Honour of Sophia Menache. Crusades Subsidia 11, ed. Irish Shagrir, Benjamin Z. Kedar and Michel Balard, 2018 and on academia.edu. Illustration engraving by Tommaso de Vivo showing ClementV interrogating Knights Templar, source osmth.it