The History of the Knights Templar in relation Scottish chronology


Knights Templar Seal

Seal of the Order of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon,

The History of the medieval Order is so well known, and has been published in so many other places, that there seems little point in providing a comprehensive account here. We have, therefore, opted to provide a ‘time-line’ of Scottish history in order that the place of the Knights Templar within it might be might be more easily understood.

Even that option has limited use as there is a major break in the time-line (1312 – 1804) and therefore it must be considered to be two time-lines, one for the original medieval Order of the Knights Templar and the other for the ‘revival’ of the Order as manifest in the creation of the Scottish Masonic version c.1804. The time line below is relative to Scotland.

We have recently incorporated the dates of the foundation of the Scottish Collegiate Churches. We have done so because Rosslyn Chapel and the alleged connections with the Knights Templar and Freemasonry are nearly always considered in isolation, that is, a subject in its own right. However, history is not ‘compartmentalised’ in little boxes and thus ignoring other Collegiate Churches suggests that Rosslyn Chapel was the only such church in Scotland.

In the list below the date of the foundation of the collegiate church is given together with its’ name and the individual or family responsible for its’ foundation.

Date Event
1067 First Mention of the St Clairs in Scotland (In the Genealogie….)
1099 Donald III dies. Last king to be buried on Iona
1113 Selkirk Abbey founded
1118 Knights Templar founded in Jerusalem
1124 David I becomes king. Later grants land to KT
1128 Holyrood and Kelso Abbeys founded
1136 Melrose Abbey established
1138 St Magnus Catherdral, Orkney, begun
1138 Jedburgh Abbey founded
1140 Dryburgh Abbey established
1142 Dundrennan Abbey founded
1151 Founding of Kinloss Abbey
1153 David I dies
1160 Founding of Saddell Abbey
1163 Paisley Abbey comes in to being
1165 Wiilliam I (‘the Lion’) enthroned
1178 An abbey is erected at Arbroath
1214 William the Lion dies, Alexander II king
1227 Balmerino Abbey founded
1248 First Collegiate Church in Scotland established at St Andrews   

(by the church not a family)

1249 Alexander II dies, his son, Alexander III become king
1251 Alexander married Margaret of England
1274 William Wallace and Robert the Bruce both born in this year
1278 Alexander visits Edward I in London
1286 Alexander III dies
1291 Edward I asked to arbitrate between 13 competitors to the throne
1291 Knights Templar suffer a defeat at Acre. As a fighting force they cease to exist.
1292 Edward favours John Balliol who is crowned in November
1295 The ‘Auld Alliance’ created by a ‘mutual defence’ treaty with France
1296 Balliol defies Edward who invades Scotland and steals the Stone of Destiny
1297 Wallace rises and defeats English at Stirling Bridge
1298 Edward invades Scotland and defeats Wallace at Falkirk. The Grand Master of the Knight Templar and his Lieutenant are killed fight with the English forces
1301 Scots in Rome to plead Scotland’s case to the Pope
1302 Robert the Bruce does fealty to Edward I
1302 The new Knights Templar (recruited after Acre 1291) are wiped out at Raud
1303 Scots victorious at the battle of Roslin (24th Feb)
1305 Wallace captured and executed
1306 Robert the Bruce murders John ‘the Red’ Comyn at Dumfries (10th Feb)
1306 Robert crowned king at Scone (25th March)
1306 Battle of Methven, Bruce defeated. (19th June)
1307 Battle of Loudon Hill, inconclusive (May)
1307 Edward I dies (July)
1307 Knights Templar in France arrested by Phillip IV (13th October)
1307 October – the earliest fugitive KT could have come to Scotland/Argyle
1307 Battle of Inverurie (24th December)
1308 Battle of Brander Pass. The MacDougall’s of Argyll defeated (15th August)
1309 Robert I’s first Parliament, held at St Andrews, Phillip of France’s request that the Knights Templar in Scotland be arrested is discussed. Outcome not known
1312 The medieval Order of the Knights Templar dissolved by the Council of Vienne   

Knight Templar property transferred to the Knights of St John (Hospitallers)

1312 Medieval Order of Knight Templar extinct
1314 Scottish forces under Robert I are victorious at the Battle of Bannockburn (23rd – 24th June)
1316 Edward Bruce crowned king of Ireland
1318 Last English stronghold in Scotland, Berwick-on-Tweed, retaken by the Scots
1318 Edward Bruce killed in battle

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