The Ancient Scottish Military
Knights Templar

The Black Chapter


t is an eternal verity in the history of mankind that when any structure or institution, in its aspect as a repository for the dedication and aspirations of human beings, becomes disestablished by whatever means, then a residual loyalty and affection will endure upon the foundations of all that has been invested in spiritual and intellectual terms, material outlay notwithstanding.

To Scottish Patriots, whose key focus remains fixed upon a Nation state which has, to all outward appearances, ceased to exist several hundred years ago, such loyalty and affection are patent assumptions of everday life. Ostensibly destroyed by internal and external enemies in 1707, Scotland is lent a continuing and substantive existence by the nourishment of our ongoing patriotic commitment and constant political vigilance. The sovereign state which was Scotland seems to have ceased to exist, and in significant areas of human structuration it largely has. However, as a beautiful, sacred and eternal concept, Scotland has remained very much alive in the hearts and minds of its patriot devotees with the material reflection of all these poignant human desires about to yield the sweetest fruit known to mankind. We believe in Scotland's hidden powers: the present is theirs, but all the past and all the future is ours.

SwordNor is this present humiliating settlement the first occasion on which our people have looked upon the outrage to their country. Between the time of Alexander III and the accession of The Liberator, Robert Bruce, there lived a generation who knew only destruction and loss, an era of unmitigated national grief, the time of the incomparable William Wallace, cornerstone and slaughtered hero whose shining example will live forever in the consciousness of our whole people.

In reflection of the material ruin of The Scottish Nation, the once proud Knights Templar found themselves defenceless in the face of cruel persecution, deprived of substance or estate and denigrated by the pan-European sovereign office which had once extended them recognition. Scotland and The Order of Templar Knights have shared the experience of eclipse in all the palpable areas which had once denoted their singular marks of uniqueness.

However, the bright burning concept of Templarism and the perfervid and yet fully rational belief that human spirituality can and does rise above the things of this earth, in order to make even simple sense of our condition as a species; this concept then has survived all the damage that ill-disposed Princes and their patronage could inflict. All the damage inflicted by successively and concomitantly the ascendant Bourgeoisie with their prerequisite pallid, trite and tedious respectabilities, the crass pseudo-intellectualism of the Gauchist revolutionary tendencies, the modern epidemic of materialism and the remorseless passing of generations. Et in arcadia ego. Thus with our ancient, sacred and enduring Scottish nation; the means to kill it has yet to be devised.

The belief that Templarism has survived in tangible form in Scotland alone, remains a potent and vibrant folkic article of faith. The esoteric tradition which has been built upon that survival, realising in Freemasonry its most vernacular and populist vehicle (though there have also been the shady, secretive and elitist cults which have scarcely broken the surface of common awareness) is evident to those with eyes to see.

Templarism concerns self-sacrifice and a spirituality which transcends materialist priorities and challenges the assumptions upon which these rest. Templarism owes its survival to its Scottish redoubt, and to an extent, the ancient regime of Scotland owed its existence to Templarism. The new Scotland will be our Temple restored upon these earlier solid foundations and crafted from the same durable masonry. The keystone of our patriotic agenda for the new Scotland will concern the fostering of that sense of spirituality and altruism which is the timeless and priceless heritage of the Order of the Temple.


hen the sovereign order of Knights Templar, established in Scotland with the founding of the Preceptory of Balantrodach in Midlothian in the year 1129, fell under the impact of a condemnatory Papal Bull in 1312, this described a powerful parallel with the contemporary destiny of Scotland. As a consequence of the entire country being at that time in a state of excommunication from the Roman Church, the Pope's writ did not run in Scotland. Thus, Templars from all over Europe were able to find sanctuary here and were well disposed and superbly equipped to assist Robert Bruce in his military campaign, participating in the epic final victory of Bannockburn in 1314.

With the success of the Scottish cause and the subsequent withdrawal of the spurious English claims to hegemony over Scotland, national excommunication was lifted. Scotland being thus restored to the mainstream of Christendom, the Templars retired to Argyll in order to preserve their integrity secure in isolation from the centres of political and religious authority, transmitting nonetheless, that strong arcane tradition which remains to this day, an integral strand of the resilient patriotic web which maintained Scottish National Independence throughout four hundred blood stained years and which, submerged by the obscene betrayal of 1707, inevitably reasserted itself through Templar participation in the birth of the modern movement for Scottish self-determination.

During the violent centuries between Bannockburn and the conclusion of this current bizarre and unnatural union with our primary and most consummate enemy, Templars emerge at several crucial junctures, in manifest witness to the survival of the core of the order and its lofty ideals. In 1330 Scottish Templars led by Sir James Douglas set out for the Levant with the heart of Robert Bruce, reaching Spain before falling in battle against the Moslem invaders of Europe.

In 1344 David II founded the Garde Ecossaise, a euphemism under which the Order of Knights Templar sheltered until the reformation of unhappy memory. For over 200 years the Garde Ecossaise enjoyed the membership of the most prominent families in the land, advancing Scotland's National Interest by an unswerving devotion to the French service throughout the Hundred Years War.

In 1440 Sir William St Claire (or Sinclair) began the building of Rosslyn Chapel which has served since that time as an allegory of Templar Wisdom. The Sinclair and Hay families have shared the leadership of the Order of the Temple in Scotland since before the suppression of the order elsewhere and continue in prominence into modern times.

At the time of the Reformation, Templar interests were protected by the submergence of the order into a clandestine existence under the leadership of David Seaton, emerging again in the loyal service of the Stewart Dynasty at the time of Charles I and Charles II. The peerless Marquis of Montrose enjoyed the accolade as did his kinsman, John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, who died wearing his Templar Regalia under his breast armour, at Killiecrankie in 1689.

KnightIn 1705 the Statutes General and Election Charter of the Order were published in Edinburgh in the form still in use today.

Having campaigned arduously against the surrender of 1707, but recognising, nonetheless, the bitter reality of this union with our ancient enemy, Templars have striven ever since in secret and openly to organise and to maintain discipline in anticipation of any opportunity to damage this unconstitutional arrangement and to advance the sacred cause of Scotland.

The 1715 Jacobite Rising was instigated by a confederation of patriotic interests, chief among the Templars, who had been active for eight years beforehand creating the climate for this enterprise by stirring up Jacobite and Scottish Patriotic Fervour. In that year, the oath of fealty of the Order was transmitted in an updated form for the next generation, when it would influence another much more calamitous uprising.

In 1745, during his army's occupation of Edinburgh, Prince Charles Edward Stewart held a reception at Holyrood Palace for Scottish Templars, appearing in their midst in the full regalia of the Order. Following the failure of this campaign and the departure of the Prince for France he was followed by many Templars who continued to agitate, travelling tirelessly between Scotland and France.

In 1752, upon the eve of a further planned Rising, Lord Elibank, a prominent Jacobite and Templar Knight, having secured a post near to the usurper George and secured his favour, was vested with responsibility for the extermination of the Hanoverian congenital idiot. This suicidal commission was withdrawn when the entire venture was confounded by the execution of Dr Archie Cameron, its chief architect.

After the setback of the Jacobite failure, the order fell into a state of hibernation with only a small core to transmit its doctrines through several generations. During this period a leading Scottish Templar of the Sinclair lineage became the only foreign born American ever to become the President of The United States. Napoleon's ethnic Scottish Field Marshall Jacques Mac Donald accepted the accolade while visiting his ancestral homeland and the noteworthy patriot, Sir Walter Scott, held high office in what was at that time, a necessarily clandestine organisation.

The then head of the Order was a major player in the birth of the Society for the Vindication of Scottish Rights in the 19th century and Templars played a significant role in the work of that organisation, and in the later Scottish Home Rule Association.

Templars were instrumental in the foundation of the Scottish Party which emerged with others to form the new Scottish National Party (SNP) in 1934. Templar Knights were influential in the formation of the Siol nan Gaidheal Organisation in 1978 and this organisation, since the death of Chef Mondial, Francis Sherry, now carries the responsibility of articulating continuing Templar concern for the general condition of Scotland and the eternal charge of serving the nation in spirit and substance; the land, the people and their living culture, no matter the cost.

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