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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 377



of the grant of the honour of knighthood for services purely civil, and the professors of the common law, who had the exclusive privilege of practising in that court, assumed the title or degree of FRÈRES SERJEKS or PEATREs SERVITUDES, so that knights and serving-brethren, similar to those of the antient order of the Temple, were most curiously revived and introduced into the profession of the law. It is true that the word serviens, serjen, or Serjeant, was applied to the professors of the law long before the reign of Edward the Third, but not to denote a privileged brotherhood. It was ap plied to lawyers in common with all persons who did any de scription o f work for another, from the serviens domini regis aa legem, who prosecuted the pleas of the crown in the county court, to the serviens or serjen who walked with his cane before the concubine of the Patriarch in the streets of Jerusalem.* The priest who worked for the Lord was called serjens de Dieu, and the lover who served the lady of his affections serjens d'amour.* It was in the order of the Temple that the word frères serjens o r fratres servientes signified an honorary title or degree, and denoted a powerful privileged class of men. The fratres ser vientes armigeri or frères serjrns des armes, of the chivalry o f the Temple, were of the rank of gentlemen. They united in their own persons the monastic and the military character, they were allotted one horse each, they wore the red cross of the order of the Temple on their breasts.t they participated in all the privi leges of the brotherhood, and were eligible to the dignity o f Preceptor. Large sums o f money were frequently given by seculars who had not been advanced to the honour of knight '*"Aiite,p. tin. Mace-bearers, bclt-ringere, thief-takers, gaolers, bailiffs, public exe cutioner?, and all persons who performed a specific task for another, were called ser- TÎentes, aerjena, or Serjeants.—Dueange Gloss, fatgvier** Researches, liv. viii, cap. IS. t Will. 7yr„ lib. i. p. SO, lib. xii. p. 814.


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