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The military-religious orders in Ireland: their patrons and their purpose

Nicholson, Helen J. ORCID: 2022. The military-religious orders in Ireland: their patrons and their purpose. Coleman, Edward, Duffy, Paul and O'Keeffe, Tadhg, eds. Ireland and the Crusades, Dublin: Four Courts Press,

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Of the military religious orders linked to the ‘crusader states’ of the Levant, three – the Templars, the Hospitallers and the Order of St Thomas of Acre – held property in Ireland. Although the precise date of their arrival is unclear, it is most likely that their first acquisitions of property in Ireland were linked to the Anglo-Norman invasion. The bulk of their properties lay within areas under Anglo-Norman control. The presence of these institutions in Ireland suggests that their patrons in Ireland had an interest in crusading and hoped to contribute towards the crusade through their support of the military religious orders. Certainly, the proceedings against the Templars in Ireland, 1308–11, reveal that some of the non-Templar witnesses in Ireland had some direct knowledge of events in the eastern Mediterranean: possible evidence for pilgrimage or trading connections if not crusading. Some of these orders’ patrons were involved in the crusades, in particular Hugh II de Lacy, a patron of the Hospitallers, who fought with Simon de Montfort in the Albigensian Crusade, and King Henry II, who gave the Templars their most significant properties in Ireland and who also sent significant financial contributions to the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. From the early fourteenth century the Hospitallers in Ireland certainly did make financial donations to the order’s headquarters on Rhodes. Yet, despite their links with crusading, these orders’ main function in medieval Ireland appears to have been as agents for the English king and his government in Ireland. This chapter surveys the evidence for the military religious orders’ arrival in Ireland, their relations with their patrons, and their activities and function in medieval Ireland.

Item Type: Book Section
Book Type: Edited Book
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Additional Information: pages 107-120
Publisher: Four Courts Press
ISBN: 9781846828614
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 11:56

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