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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 299



succour of tlie christian cause in the East.* This statuto gate rise to the greatest discontent. The heirs of the donors petitioned parliament for its repeal, alleging that it had been made against, law and against reason, and contrary to the opinion of the judges ;+ and many of the great barons who held the property by a title recognised by the common law, successfully resisted the claims of the order of the Hospital, maintaining that the parliament had no right to interfere with the tenure of private property, and to dispose of their possessions without their consent. This struggle between the heirs of the donors on the one hand, and the Hospitallers on the other, continued for a lengthened period; and in the reign of Edward the Third it was found necessary to pass another act of parliament, confirming the previous statute in their favour, and writs were sent to the sheriffs (A.D. 1334) commanding them to enforce the execution of the acts of the legislature, and to take possession, in the king's name, of all the property unjustly detained from the brethren of the Hospital.^: Whilst the vast possessions, late belonging to the Templars, thus continued to be the subject of contention, the surviving brethren of that dissolved order continued to be treated with the utmost inhumanity and neglect. The ecclesiastical council had assigned to each of them a pension of fourpence a day for subsistence, but this small pittance was not paid, and they were consequently in great danger of dying of hunger. The king, pitying their miserable situation, wrote to the prior of the hospital of St. John at Clerkeuwell, earnestly requesting him to take their hard lot into his serious consideration, and not suffer them to come to beggary in the streets.'j The archbishop of Canterbury also " Statuiti tit Latpe, vol. ix. Appendix, p. "23. t Rolli ttf J'atliamenl, VOL ii. p. Ί1. No. 5'J. X Menati. AnyL, p. BIO. § Actii Humeri, torn. iii. p. 472.


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