to Roslin Castle, near Edinburgh, Scotland
ere’s a recipe to make a fortune. Mix together extravagant tales involving
Scotland, Freemasonry, and Knights Templar. Season with some ancient Egypt
with the odd lost scroll. Assemble this into the most outrageous story you
can envisage then … get it published. There are already many success stories
using this recipe, why not you?
Masonic history has been described in The Economic History Review as “a
department of history which is not only obscure and highly controversial, but
by ill luck the happiest of all hunting grounds for the light-headed, the fanciful,
the altogether unscholarly and the lunatic fringe of the British Museum Reading
How true is this for the Roslin area and the Knights Templar? Ian Rankin,
world famous thriller writer, says in his novel Set in Darkness … “Roslin
was the home of the ancient and extraordinary Rosslyn Chapel which in recent
years had become the target of a range of millennialist nutters.” A typical
local view of the place.
Unlike most of those “nutters” I was born and educated in Scotland and
lived for many years within a bike ride of Roslin village. There’s a nebulous
connection with my family as my Great Great Grandfather managed a gunpowder-mill
there until it blew up … After that he taught the fiddle.
Let’s begin with Rosslyn Chapel, started by William Sinclair around 1446
and developed by his son Oliver to its present state in the 1480’s, lack of
funds probably stopped the project’s completion. Frankly any claims that this
wonderful building has strong connections with Freemasonry must be taken with
a bucket of salt. I concede however there had to be a settlement of Stonemasons
during the construction of, first the castle, then the Chapel but there are
no reliable records confirming this.
It’s claimed that Cromwell’s General Monck destroyed the Castle but left
the Chapel alone as he and Cromwell were Freemasons. Total bunkum! The Castle
was wrecked due to its strategic importance Cromwell was not into destroying
churches and Monck stabled his
horses in it while some of his senior officers looted the extensive library.
Hardly Masonic acts. There is not the slightest evidence that Cromwell or Monck
Carvings illustrating biblical messages to an illiterate population. are
commonplace in Medieval churches all over Europe, In The Second Messiah Knight
and Lomas claim there are no Christian symbols in the Chapel. They must be
blind! There are several crosses around the place as well as angels and Bible
illustrations in stone. One group they claim as The Turin Shroud” is actually
a portrayal of St Veronica wiping Christ’s face when his image was superimposed
on the cloth. Is this Christian enough? They do not seem to have much knowledge
of Christian traditions.
I have not only visited the Chapel but have been given a conducted tour
by the then Minister, long before they charged the admission admission fee
I had to pay in 2004. He took me round and explained many of the carvings,
making no mention of anything masonic.
Prentice Pillar (Photo: Thomas Mc Rae)
Among other things I saw the famous “Prentice Pillar” which has a fascinating
tale to tell. Legend tells how at the construction of the Chapel the Master
Builder, being confused by plans that included a mysterious pillar, travelled
to Italy to consult with the architect, leaving his apprentice to work on his
own. During his Master’s absence the apprentice thought long and hard about
the pillar and is said to have had a dream where angels showed him its true
form. He managed to complete it but when the jealous Master saw the wonderful
work he killed the poor lad with a mallet. The apprentice’s widowed mother
saw the crime committed and The Master was supposedly hanged.
Some claim the account is allegorical, symbolising the Apprentice passing
to a new life as a Craftsman. Whatever the tale is just a myth also attached
to several churches and cathedrals in Britain and Europe.
It is so easy to find masonic connotations where none exist … as Freud
said “Sometimes a cigar is just that ... a cigar.” Maybe someone should have
told this to Monica Levinsky … In recent times the Chapel has been associated
with Templars, UFO’s, The Holy Grail, The Turin Shroud, only thing missing
so far is an Elvis appearance and I’m working on that. I find it significant
that the official website for the Chapel .rosslyn-chapel.com/ make
no mention whatsoever of Masonic, Templar, or even Elvis connections.
On to the St Clair or Sinclair Family. It is claimed that members were
hereditary heads of Masonry in Scotland, calling an annual assembly of Scottish
Lodges at a small village called Killwinning. David Murray Lyon, Grand Secretary
of The Grand Lodge of Scotland, 1887–1900, demonstrated that claims of the
Family having any territorial rights on Killwinning area in Scotland’s West
are dubious. Remember that Lyon had access to all existing documents. St Clair
lands were in the East and in Orkney.
Masons journeying to Killwinning from all over Scotland would have faced
wild beasts, brigands, disease, and hazardous terrain. Some would also have
had to traverse the huge Selkirk forest long since destroyed. For over a century
the whole area was the scene of almost constant Scots/English wars with attendant
mayhem and travellers would have required armed retainers for protection. We
must also ask where all those Masons stayed in this tiny hamlet and where they
held their Assemblies?
It is claimed that in the15th century James II of Scotland appointed William
St Clair and his descendants hereditary Protectors of Scottish Masons which
probably made them their patrons and arbitrators. Gould and Lyon play the claims
down. As does Robert Cooper the current Grand Librarian of the Grand Lodge
of Scotland. The only evidence supporting this is a letter written in the reign
of James VI by William Schaw his Master of the Royal Buildings making those
claims and requesting the current William to resume that patronage. Said William
did nothing about the appeal being too busy fleeing the wrath of an angry miller
whose daughter he had seduced.
During the reign of Charles II, William’s son received a second appeal
but when he tried to have this appointment confirmed by the King it was speedily
rejected as without foundation.
Nonetheless, in 1736, the William of that time renounced all claim to
this masonic title, and was initiated into Lodge Canongate Killwinning, in
Edinburgh, then elected first Grand Master of Scotland. Obviously he had not
been previously Made Mason. William was the last of his line, had none of
the titles enjoyed by his ancestors, but is reported as being a great gentleman.
He sold both Castle and Chapel for much needed funds but, if the Chapel
really had strong Masonic connections, surely steps would have been taken by
Scots Freemasons of the time to maintain it? In fact no real maintenance took
place until the late 18th century.
Onwards to The Knights Templar or The Poor Knights of The Temple of Solomon
to give them their full title. The Order was founded as a fighting monastic
discipline protecting Pilgrims to Jerusalem. Other Orders including those of
St John, Lazarus, and The Teutonic Knights were among warrior monks dedicated
to this task. These Orders also did great work establishing hospitals for sick
Templar Knights lived under strict discipline, subject to the Pope alone
with no other Church or Civil Authority able to touch them, truly laws unto
themselves. In time the Moslems expelled most Christians from The Holy Land
but The Order had vast land resources in Europe and Cyprus so many of the fighting
men moved to that lovely island.
As well as being warriors the Order organised an efficient system of money
transfer from the Holy Land to various European destinations. In time they
began issuing loans which increased their wealth while reducing that of their
creditors. This, and their arrogance, would lead to the destruction of The
Far From Poor Knights. Allegations of homosexuality and witchcraft had already
been made against the Teutonic Knights, forcing them to move to Prussia. Similar
accusations involved the Templars in France and advantage was taken of these
rumours to begin the Order’s annihilation.
France’s King Phillip the Fair coveted Templar wealth and began illegally
arresting members of the Order. He then induced his puppet Pope Clement V
to start proceedings against them. Mass arrests started in 1307 the same year
that Edward I of England died. Confessions were extracted under the foulest
tortures and this evidence convinced the Pope of their guilt. He dissolved
the Order commanding European rulers to round up all Knights in their domains.
Edward II destroyed the Order in England and in parts of Scotland where
he still occupied large areas of the country. Templar refugees in Bruce’s lands
would hardly have received sympathetic treatment, having helped Edward I
defeat Wallace at Falkirk then Bruce at Turnhouse near Edinburgh. Aye, Bruce
had scores to settle with the English-supporting Knights!
Edward II grabbed most of the Knights’ wealth and lands just as Phillip
had done in France. Tales of vanished Templar treasure are just that, as are
the myths of surviving Templars settling in the Scottish Highlands. The Knights
more probably vanished into continental urban communities. Some may even have
been admitted to other Orders especially in Portugal where they continued under
new names but there are no records of any Post-Persecution Scottish settlement..
The Pope decreed the Knights of St John were to receive the bulk of Templar
property. Edward and Phillip however held on to their loot for some time before
disbursing portions to the new owners. By 1314 Templar leaders including Jacques
de Molay had been brutally executed and the once great Order was no more. King
Phillip and Pope Clement died shortly afterwards, and Robert Bruce eventually
gained control of Scotland. Those are the facts accepted by competent historians,
yet a convoluted mythology persists.
Gould in his History of Freemasonry tells how Dr Anderson started off
the Templar legend in his Book of Constitutions. Anderson made numerous other
claims making everybody from Moses onward Freemasons, he had a a good imagination.
Mackey’s Encyclopaedia tells how the Chevalier Ramsay elaborated the myth in
his own Rite “to give Freemasonry some sense of nobility” but by the 1800s
the Templar myths had been dismissed, but alas not once and for all.
A later authority, Coil, (Freemasonry Through Six Centuries) dismisses … “the chivalric or military theories, which are detected to be quite fanciful … there was never the slightest evidence of any such element in Freemasonry
until it was added during the multiplication of degrees in the eighteenth century’.
Despite all those disclaimers Templar myths keep coming up like badly cooked
sausages at a barbecue. It really is time they were flushed away for good.
At the time of the French Revolution Templarism re-appeared after a French
eccentric Bernard Raymond Fabré-Palaprat decided he was the living successor
of Jacques de Molay, producing a fake document to prove his claim. Known as
the Larmenius Charter it first made its appearance in 1805 and claimed that
de Molay appointed a Jean Jacques Larmenius as his successor prior to his execution.
How Larmenius managed to visit Jacques in a secure prison to get this appointment
borders on the miraculous.
Out of those dubious claims The Order of the Temple re-appeared and Palaprat
made a fortune in fees. He ended up proclaiming himself Pope...nuff said! His
Order survives to this day but became a Christian charitable organisation which
denies any connection with the Knights Templar. I suspect it was some of those
Templars who guarded a lump of rock in a Scottish church for years, claiming
it was the REAL Stone of Destiny
Aye, crazy claims persist involving the Old Warriors.
Last September at an assembly of Scots Masonic Templars in Stirling a
lecture delivered by a Bro Robert Lomas purported to tell the true story of
the origins of Freemasonry. Lomas and his partner Knight have written idiotic
books. laughing all the way to the bank while filling our minds with nonsense.
Prentice Pillar chapter with angels and the controversial rectangles (Photo: Thomas Mc Rae)
The Hiram Key, The Second Messiah, Uriel’s Machine … Don’t waste your
time or money. Authorities have dismissed them as rubbish.
I do concede however that The Hiram Key and The Second Messiah combine
to give their readers a very important message. Do not try using dictionaries
for languages with which you are unfamiliar to support nebulous theories.
I refer to their allegations that they found Masonic secret words when
perusing Ancient Egyptian dictionaries. In the second book they inform us that
they studied Gaelic dictionaries to find that Rosslyn means “Inherited Wisdom.”
Apart from anything else Lowland Scots was the language of the Scottish Lowlands.
Only in the area of Galloway are there claims of Gaelic being the common language
of a Lowland population.
The two words forming the name are much more probably “Ross” the name
of a person. but with the European Lowlands influences on Scots dialect it
could also be “horse.” “Lynn” is a word used in Scots for a waterfall and occurs
in Burns poem “My Hoggie,” ie “We heard naught but the roarin’ lynn amang the
braes sae scroggy.” In Scots myth we also have the famously randy Tam (o’ the)
Our friends state there are no waterfalls anywhere near the village,
fact is the adjacent gorge was formed by two rivers and a fall remains at their
confluence. Baigent and Leigh mention this in “The Temple and the Lodge.”
The text of Lomas’ lecture is given in full on his Web Site, included
in the references at the end of this paper. He claims surviving Templars, and
their relics, arrived in Scotland and that William St Clair built Rosslyn chapel
to store them on their behalf.
Fallen Angel (Photo: Thomas Mc Rae)
Claims are also made that the Chapel is an exact replica of King Herod’s
Temple and conceals important artifacts, found by Templars in the foundations
of that ancient structure. He continues to state that, with the cooperation
of the St Clairs, Templars founded Freemasonry which therefore did not exist
in England until James VI, a Freemason, went to England in 1603, as James I.
The Grand Lodge of Scotland has records going back to the 16th century,
there is no mention in them of James ever having been a masonic initiate. Lomas
next claims that after the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715 the English founded the
first Grand Lodge to dissociate themselves from the rebellious Scots. Ireland
followed suit, then Scotland finally established its Grand Lodge. What a collage
of myth, speculation, and bent history!
Let’s start with the Templar presence in Scotland …
In The Temple and the Lodge Baigent and Leigh claim they found Templar
graves in the Wester Ross area of the Scottish Highlands. How valid is their
discovery? As the gravestones they found have no inscriptions they state this
proves them to be Templar.
In fact most mediaeval people were illiterate so inscriptions on tomb
stones were rare. I concede that some of the stones have swords inscribed on
them but not only Templars had swords. They were scarce, expensive items and
one inscribed on a grave stone showed the high status of the deceased. The
Museum of Scotland states that a sword on a gravestone often denoted A Soldier
of Christ. In one example at the Museum we have a child’s grave from 13th century.
Baigent’s most “convincing” proof is the finding of stone “Templar” crosses
at several sites and even a gravestone showing a Templar “admiral.” No way,
José! Remember Freud’s cigar? Stone crosses of this type are found all over
Scotland and Ireland, some dating from at least the 6th century. They are classic
examples of Celtic art carved long before any Templars appeared on the planet.
The cross on Baigent’s photograph of an alleged stone of a Templar “admiral”
shows typical Celtic knot work predating the Templar era.
The subject’s armour is similar to that on Iona’s 8th century warrior
carvings, while the boat displayed is the longship design used by the local
seagoing people. An alleged Masonic Square is more probably a heraldic chevron
showing the warrior’s nobility, and the subject does not have the mandatory
Devil? No, it's Moses and The Commandments
(Photo: Thomas Mc Rae)
Kiwi Baigent and American fiction writer Leigh’s claims prove just one
thing their ignorance of Scottish culture.
The Medieval Highlands were populated, not by kilt-wearing, haggis-eating,
caber tossers, but by a wild aggressive people who fought at the least provocation.
(Just as they still do in Glasgow and Edinburgh pubs). Strangers tended to
die quickly until after the 1715 Rebellion when law and order finally started
Could a mob of Templar refugees really wander into a glen of Gaelic speakers
and settle in such lawless country? Any influx of strange men would have been
regarded as rivals for attentions of the available women. Outsiders had scant
hope of long-term survival no matter how tough they were in such an environment.
Highland Scots have a long established bardic tradition yet there are no accounts
of an influx of settlers from beyond the sea in the songs or ballads.
So what about the Lowlands? Pretty much the same outside the large towns.
Remember the Scots were only just throwing out the English who the Templars
had supported, I doubt if Scots would have accepted recent enemies as neighbours.
Apart from anything else would people from the warm Mediterranean exist happily
in a cold, wet, misty land like Scotland?
I defy anybody to find the slightest trace of latter-day Templar settlement
in Scotland. Scottish historians and archivists have yet to find anything relevant
despite popular writers making “discovery” after “discovery.” Great play is
made in some masonic traditions of Templars fighting at Bannockburn. In The
Temple and the Lodge Baigent claims their arrival on the field was enough
to send the English running.
The scant accounts available actually tell how the English, already in
deep trouble, fled when large numbers of reinforcements were seen approaching.
This force was probably Bruce’s second Reserve comprised of largely untrained
but keen volunteers. To keep them out of trouble these were assembled some
distance from the main combat zone..
When the so-called Little People saw the English starting to falter they
moved in. and the tired and bloody English soldiers broke and ran. Nary a Templar
in sight! Contemporary records prove this story, there’s no mention of Templars
and the Scots were perfectly capable of defeating the English without the help
of foreigners with no knowledge of the terrain.
In any case by the time of their dissolution most veteran Templar warriors
were slain leaving inexperienced recruits as replacements. William Wallace
killed the Grand Master of the English Templars with ease in single combat
during his resistance to English rule. Latter day Templars were hardly the
formidable warriors of yesterday.
On to the Chapel and back to Lomas. An exact replica of King Herod’s Temple?
Have a look at any pictures of the Chapel; see the buttresses? There were no
such things in architecture until medieval times or was Herod a prophet? Frankly
we have little idea of what The Temple looked like apart from Josephus” written
accounts of its massive structure. No drawings exist and the only remaining
trace is Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall which gives some idea of the size of the
maize (corn)? Actually the seed pods of some flower, probably goldenrod
(Solidago virgaurea minuta).
(Photo: Thomas Mc Rae)
Herod’s Temple was razed by the Roman Commander Titus Vespasianus when
he suppressed the Second Maccabean revolt at Jerusalem in 70 AD. Hadrian destroyed
the last traces after the revolt of 135 AD and had the Roman city of Aeolia
Capitolina built on the site. Anything portable was looted by the Romans, as
commemorated on Titus’s Arch in Rome. Christ’s prophecy of the wonderful building’s
destruction proved all too true less than 40 years after He made it.
The Temple was built on solid rock and accounts of networks of foundations
and secret underground labyrinths are figments of the imagination. Rosslyn
Chapel is tiny by comparison and its architecture is classic Mediaeval; buttresses,
vaulted ceilings, arches, and all. I defy anyone to show how this small structure
can be an exact replica of a much larger Jewish Temple, particularly as it
Work on the Chapel started over 100 years after the destruction of the
Templars so where were the Knights and their treasure in the interim? Maybe
a secret Templar ship landed the stuff? In the 1400’s? Even assuming this unlikely
event why transport valuable material from the Coast to remote Roslin? Which
port was the material landed at? The Scottish coast then as now was wild and
Nowadays you can walk to Roslin from Edinburgh in perfect safety, so long
as you stay on the pavement. Then, in the midst of the Pentland Hills, it was
a wild area. Rebels and robbers abounded in the Lowlands and tracks were pretty
Lomas shows a photograph of a badly worn carved group in the Chapel which
he claims portrays a Candidate’s Masonic Initiation by a Templar.
John Hamill, United Grand Lodge of England’s Grand librarian at the time’s statement
that this is coincidental is dismissed by Lomas as English prejudice yet he
himself comes from Manchester. Must we also dismiss the evidence
of Gould and Lyon as English prejudice?
In the carving one man kneels while another stands beside him holding
a rope that is tied round the kneeling person’s neck. The standing figure has
a cross on his tunic while the kneeling one holds a rectangular object with
a cross on it. This allegedly depicts a candidate taking his Obligation on
the VSL? Not so if you know your mediaeval history.
First to The Templar. Sure he bears a cross on his tunic but so did
many men at arms. This is a simple cross not the wide apex type adopted by
the Knights and he does not have the long beard required by Templar Rule. Finally
he and the Kneeler both wear hats, hardly the thing when taking a sacred Obligation.
As to The Candidate, aye, he has a rope around his neck. Lomas reveals
his ignorance when he claims the only other figure of “the period” with such
a cord attached is a famous bronze known as “The Dying Gaul.” In fact The Gaul
is from Ancient Greece and has a bronze torque around his neck, a sculpture
considerably earlier than Rosslyn’s stone carvings. How can anyone fall for
this man’s books when he cannot even get such a simple claim correct?
The Kneeler holds a Bible? … Does he really? Let’s think this out …
Gutenberg had yet to launch his moveable type revolution and books, still
laboriously written out in monasteries, were very valuable The taking of oaths
was done on sacred objects, mainly relics or tombs of holy men. Oath taking
on the Bible probably started in Britain with the introduction of The King
James Bible after 1603..
What does this carving really portray? We’ll probably never know but it
is not a Masonic initiation. It may be an illustration of some Biblical theme,
the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Steal” is a possibility. Or is it part of the
famous series in the Chapel portraying The Seven Deadly Sins.
The so called “Bible” could be a reliquary box for holy relics or some
other precious item the holder has stolen.
Lomas in his website uses some very bent probability statistics to prove
his claims. The same data can be used to prove the contrary, that the carving
predicts the coming of Elvis, or just about anything else you want There are
lies, damned lies, statistics, and Lomasian mathematics. Check his website
for yourself, don’t take my word for it..
What about English masons distancing themselves from the Scots after
the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion? “The 15” was a small Highland uprising soon put
down at the Battle of Sheriffmuir. Many Scots clansmen fought against the rebels
while Lowlanders, where masonry was strongest, were less involved.
Knight and Lomas claim that the English were concerned at Scots Masons
stockpiling arms to use against England. In other words Scottish Brethren were
traitors to their King and Country,. What an outrageous piece of libel! The
dynamic duo give an extract from an Edinburgh Lodge’s records (in Scots) concerning
a levy to buy such weapons. As usual they misunderstand the truth and show
poor knowledge of the period’s history.
British Trade Guilds traditionally maintained “Trained Bands” of citizen
soldiers for defence in times of crisis. Members of city trade guilds, or incorporations,
united in such bands. The Edinburgh Incorporations, for example, marched behind
a banner “The Blue Blanket” The bands evolved, first into local yeomanry regiments,
then into the Territorial Army in Britain, the CMF in Australia and The National
Guard in the USA. The enemies the Scots Masons were arming against were the
Jacobite rebels and the French. Our old Scots Brethren were in fact most loyal
subjects of the Crown.
The records of the London Grand Lodge give detailed reasons for its formation,
no mention is made anywhere of breaking away from a Scots parent body. Ireland
also formed a grand lodge soon afterwards yet many Irish Brethren were of Scots
descent, are you telling me they were also anti-Scots?
Much imaginative material is woven around the Sinclairs. For example
we have Sir Henry discovering America c.1395. This comes from a handwritten
book in the Vatican library, written two centuries later by a descendent of
the expedition’s supposed Venetian navigator .
Historians reject this account but, be warned, a recent book claims a
lost Masonic scroll in an Orkney Lodge is a contemporary account of Sinclair’s
American voyage. In fact it Is just a Masonic Tracing Board with some English
symbolism not used in Scotland.
It is on record that Sir Henry Sinclair, Jarl of Orkney, made a long voyage
somewhere. Soon after his return he, and many of his retinu, were killed in
a surprise invasion by unknown raiders. Allow me do some speculation. I make
no claims to its veracity but it is more plausible than the America’s tale.
For once I must agree with Baigent who states that Sinclair probably located
Iceland, but what could he have found in this area, what was he doing there?
At the time, and for long afterwards, salt cod was an important staple in the
European diet. The merchants of The Hanseatic League were the only people who
knew its source and it is on record that sailors locating it were killed by
crews of Hanseatic ships.
Rather than sail for months trying to find a nebulous land I believe that
Jarl Henry’s voyage was an attempt to locate the cod source and make his fortune
and probably he sought something else of importance. Iceland is a volcanic
area where very pure sulphur from eruptions lies for the taking. Such pure
sulphur was needed to make efficient gunpowder. I speculate that Henry found
both cod and sulphur but vengeful agents of the Hanseatic League killed him
on his return to his home base. Even in the mid 20th century Britain and Iceland
fought over cod.
An earlier William St Clair, so Lomas says, was entrusted with taking
Bruce’s heart to The Holy Land in 1329. In fact The Black Douglas was entrusted
with the task although St Clair was one of an escort of Scots nobles accompanying
him. All save one of the Douglas Party died fighting bravely against the Moors
Lomas makes this William Grand Master of the Scottish Templars although
they were not only celibate but extinct by that time. Any member of the banned
Templar’s would have been arrested as he travelled through Christendom en-route
A recently made marble plinth in Rosslyn Chapel bears a worn image of
an armoured warrior. The modern inscription states this is William St Clair
Knight Templar. A dubious claim if ever there was one, being only about a metre
in length St Clair must have been a midget. It is more probably from a child’s
The Sinclairs were a truly noble family and there’s no need to pile rubbish
and myths on their heads. Let it suffice that one of their number was first
Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Scotland. Let him, his Family, and the Da
Vinci Code rest in peace.
I shall now let my Readers do the same. Thank you for travelling this
far with me.
MACKIE J.D. A History of
Scotland (1970 edition) Mackie was Professor of Scottish History at Glasgow
University for 27 years and the Royal historiographer for Scotland from
onwards. The book is still in print and remains a standard work.
MICHAEL LYNCH A
of Scotland (1992 edition) Lynch is a Senior Lecturer
(Associate Prof) in Scottish History at Edinburgh University with several
standard books behind him
BROWN The Black
Douglases (1998) Brown is a Lecturer in Scottish
History at The University of St Andrews, Scotland’s oldest. He has also written
a standard work on James I
M. BARRELL Medieval
Scotland (2000) Lecturer in Later Medieval
History, University of Belfast
ROBERT FREKE GOULD History
Freemasonry (1887). A good Scot and brilliant scholar
ALBERT G MACKEY Encyclopedia
of Freemasonry (1946) Mackey put together the first really comprehensive
collection of masonic lore.
BERNARD E JONES Freemason’s
Guide and Compendium (1977) Masonic scholar, member of the elite Quatuor
Coronati Research Group.
HARRY CARR “The Freemason at
Work” (1976) The doyen of English Masonic research until his death. Travelled to
Brisbane to deliver a lecture when in his eighties.
KNIGHT & LOMAS
The Second Messiah (1999) The most abominable New Age writers I have come across,
out crazy theories based on speculation, spurious claims, and twisted history.
I would rather undergo the tortures of The Inquisition than plough my way through
this rubbish again!
BAIGENT & RICHARD LEIGH
(1989) The Temple and the Lodge. Well researched, well referenced, but the
conclusions are highly imaginative and inaccurate.
SEWARD The Monks of War (2000 Folio Society Edition) The book on all main Knightly
up to the present day. The Knights Templars’ 14th
century demise is detailed but no mention is made of any Scottish settlements.
GERVAISE PHILLIPS (1999)
Anglo Scottish Wars.
KURLANSKY (1999) Cod. Honestly: there is such a book and it is very dramatic
PERIODICAL “Scots” An excellent
glossy magazine published four times a year that sticks to authentic Scottish
lore. You should find it at any good newsagent.
Scots Magazine The first and oldest magazine ever published. Excellent source of information
Scots lore although some historical articles substitute sensationalism for fact.
Hard to find in Brisbane newsagents those days.
ACADEMIC JOURNAL The
History Review, November, 1977, page 103.
Since writing this paper I have obtained a Folio Society Edition of Dr
Barber’s excellent work The Trial of the Templars.
First published in 1973 by The Cambridge University Press. Folio used
the 1993 revision of this work in producing their beautiful edition of 2003.
Barber’s bibliography is vast, incorporating Avignon Papal records of the time,
records from Rome’s grim Castello de St Angelo, and many documents and books
from the 1300’s until around the mid 1990’s in many languages.
scholarship demonstrates just how pathetic works of New Agers such as Knight & Lomas
really are. In his Preface to this edition he goes over the vast amount of
work that has been done on the subject since 1973 and sums up thus … “This
work has led to a new wave of interest in the history of the Temple and its
final fate, an interest which had waned since the early 20th century. However,
not all this enthusiasm can be described as academic or even historical. The
revival of serious work has been accompanied by a burgeoning of the market
for solutions to “the mystery of the Templars,” a whole subsection of the publishing
industry in which the fraudulent and the opportunistic compete for the attention
of the credulous.
too has deep roots particularly in the masonic lodges of the eighteenth century,
the conspiracy theories of the period of the French Revolution, and
the romantic novelists of the nineteenth century of which Sir Walter Scott
is the great exemplar. Peter Partner’s The Murdered Magicians provides a
serious historical context for this and Umberto Ecco’s novel, Foucault’s Pendulum,
an appropriately ironic commentary.”
regard this well referenced and superbly written book to be yet another nail
in the coffin of Templar mythology.
2006 Robert Cooper Grand Librarian of the Grand Lodge of Scotland totally demolished
the accrued nonsense of centuries with the publication of his book
The Rosslyn Hoax? This brilliant piece of academic writing should finally
end the claims of Templars, Freemasons, etc being associated with Rosslyn