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Evidence of the Templars' Religious Practice from the Records of the Templars' Estates in Britain and Ireland in 1308

Nicholson, Helen 2018. Evidence of the Templars' Religious Practice from the Records of the Templars' Estates in Britain and Ireland in 1308. In: Shagrir, Iris, Kedar, Benjamin Z. and Balard, Michel eds. Communicating the Middle Ages: Essays in honour of Sophia Menache, Crusades - Subsidia, vol. 11. London: Routledge, pp. 50-63.

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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 Drawing on unpublished and published inventories and estate records from the National Archives of the UK, this chapter argues that far from revealing irregularities these records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.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Uncontrolled Keywords: The Knights Templars' estates in England and Wales, 1308-1311
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781138068193
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2020 14:12

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