The Templar Grand Masters

Overview and entourage

Within the Templar hierarchy, the Grand Master was absolute ruler of the Order and answerable only to the pope. Although his position was a powerful one, he was still obliged to live by the same Rule of Order that those under him swore to obey. However, the Rule did grant him a fairly extensive entourage:

4 horses
1 Chaplain Brother
1 clerk with 3 horses
1 Sergeant Brother with 2 horses
1 gentleman valet with 1 horse
1 farrier
1 Saracen scribe
1 turcopole
1 cook
2 foot soldiers
1 turcoman
2 knight brothers as companions

Source: The Rule of the Templars Upton Ward p. 39

Base of Operations

From the Order’s foundation in 1119/1120 until the fall of Jerusalem the Grand Master was headquartered in Jerusalem. From 1191 until 1291, he was stationed at Acre and after the loss of the port city in 1291 was stationed on the Island of Cyprus.

List of Grand Masters From 1118 – 1314

While historians generally agree on the names of the men who led the Order over its nearly 200 years of existence, there is considerable disagreement in the dates that some individual Grand Masters held their post. The list below has been compiled from the works of Malcolm Barber.

1119-1136   Hugues de Payens

1136-1149  Robert de Craon

1149-1152  Everard des Barres

1153-1153  Bernard de Tremeley

1154-1156  Andrew de Montbard

1156-1159  Bertrand de Blancfort

1169-1171  Philip de Milly (Nablus)

1171-1179   Odo de St Amand

1181-1184   Arnold de Torroja

1185-1189  Gerard de Ridefort

1191-1192/3 Robert de Sable

1194-1200    Gilbert Erail

1201-1209   Philip de Plessis

1210-1218/9 William de Chartres

1219-1230/2 Peter de Montaigu

1232-1244/6 Armand de Perigord

Not Listed    Richard de Bures

1247-1250 William de Sonnac

1247-1250

1250-1256 Reginald de Vichiers

1250-1256

1256-1273   Thomas Berard

1256-1273

1273-1291   William de Beaujeu

1291-1292/3   Theobald Gaudin

1293-1314   Jacques de Molay

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