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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ. The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple

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CHARLES G. ADDISON, ESQ.
The history of the Knights Templars, Temple Church, and the Temple
page 294



king of England, and his horrible death in Berkeley Castle, are too well known to be further alluded to. To save appearances, the pope had published a bull transferring the property, late belonging to the Templars, to the order of the Hospital of Saint John,* which had just then acquired additional renown and popularity in Europe by the conquest from the infidels of the island of Rhodes. This bull, however, remained for a considerable period nearly α dead letter, and the Hospitallers never obtained a twentieth part of the antient possessions of the Templars. The kings of Castile, Aragon, and Portugal, created new military orders in their own dominions, to which the estates of the late order of the Temple were transferred, and, annexing the Grand Masterships thereof to their own persons, by the title of Perjtetual Administrators, they succeeded in drawing to themselves an immense revenue,f The kings of Bohemia, Naples, and Sicily, retained possession of many of the houses and strongholds of the Templars in their dominions, and various religious orders of monks succeeded in installing themselves in the convents of the fraternity. The heirs of the donors of the property, moreover, claimed a title to it by escheat, and in most cases where the Hospitallers obtained the lands and estates granted them by the pope, they had to pay large fines to adverse claimants to he put into peaceable possession.! "The chief cause of the ruin of the Templars," justly remarks Fuller, " was their extraordinary wealth. As Nahoth's vineyard was the chiefest ground of his blasphemy, and as in England Sir John Cornwall Lord Fanhope said merrily, not he, but his stately house at AmpthtU in Bedfordshire was guilty of high * Acta Rymeri, torn. iii. p. 323,4,5, ad ana. 1312. t Zurita, lib. r. c 101. Institut, milit. Chriati apud Henrique*, p. 634. £ Annules Minortun. Gall. Christ, nor. Aventinwt, Annal. Be Vertot,tiV. 3.


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