Knights Templar

The Great Priory of the United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders
of the Temple and of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta
of England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas


KT Clement 300According to legend, the Knights Templar was founded in 1118 AD to protect pilgrims heading for Jerusalem and the Christian Holy places, where the small band of warrior monks established a headquarters. In the year 1118 AD King Baldwin II granted the Templars quarters on the Temple Mount and this forms the link to the Royal Arch.

Many men, of noble birth, joined the ranks of the Templar Order. Those who were unable to join often gifted the Templars with land and other valuables.
Modern Masonic association with these medieval defenders of the Christian Holy places is linked by the ceremony of Installation in which the Candidate takes the part of a Pilgrim who, by symbolically embarking on a Crusade, is elevated to Knighthood.

The earliest reference to modern Masonic Knight Templar activity in England can be found in the minutes of the Chapter of Friendship (Royal Arch) in Portsmouth, dated 1778, where it was worked as an Appendant Degree. In 1791 a Grand Conclave was formed comprising seven ‘Encampments’ with Thomas Dunckerley as Grand Master. By 1873 ‘Grand Conclave’ was now known as ‘Great Priory’, and ‘Encampments’ were now known as ‘Preceptories’.

The ceremony is very realistic and the regalia spectacular, based upon that worn by the Medieval Knights.

Prospective Candidates must be a Master Mason, a Royal Arch Mason and Christian.

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Knights Templar

Sesquicentenary of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, No. 101

The ancient city of York has a long and fascinating history so it made a particularly fitting venue to head to in celebration of the Sesquicentenary (150th Anniversary) of Ancient Ebor Preceptory, No. 101 on Thursday 14 February.

Having welcomed the Provincial Prior, Right Eminent Knight Paul Martyn Darley, BEM, K.C.T., and his team, the Eminent Preceptor, Eminent Knight Neil Webster, was pleased to receive the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal, Malcolm Ernest Slater, OStJ, G.C.T., and offer him the Baton, which he was pleased to accept.

Following the reading of the original Warrant of 1868 the Knights present were treated to an excellent history of the Preceptory which took them on a gallop through the last 150 years of its working. The Chaplain then gave an Oration highlighting many key events that had occurred during the Preceptory’s existence. The Knights of the Preceptory were then arranged around the Sepulchre by Right Eminent Knight Timothy John Wheeler, K.C.T., Great Marshal, while the Sesquicentenary Warrant was read.

A pleasant surprise announcement came from the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal who asked that Very Eminent Knight Eric Gordon Thompson be presented to him in order that he, on behalf of the Grand Master, could confer on him a field promotion to the rank of Past Second Great Constable, in recognition of his many years distinguished service to the Order since being Installed as a Knight of the Order in 1974.

This wasn’t the only surprise of the evening though as the Eminent Preceptor and the Provincial Prior made presentations to the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal comprising cheques for the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group, one from the Preceptory for £1500.00 and a further 10 of £150.00 from each of the Preceptories in the Province. The Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal accepted them with gratitude and gave the Knights present a moving insight into his experiences of the work carried out by the Hospital.

After the meeting the Knights moved to the dining room to enjoy a meal and the Knightly conviviality these meetings generate, at which time the celebration cake was cut by the Provincial Prior, the Very High and Right Eminent Great Seneschal and the Eminent Preceptor (pictured left to right).

More information about the St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group can be found here: St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Charity



M.E. & S.Kt. Paul R. Clement, G.C.T.
Grand Master

V.H. & R.E.Kt. Andrew C. Rainbow, G.C.T.
Great Seneschal


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