Page 2

The Trial of the Templars in the British Isles

We introduce you to key players
with our exclusive cut-out-and-keep cards


 Name Deodatus, abbot of Lagny (France)

 Occupation Inquisitor
 Last known address Lagny Abbey
 He says The lord pope sent us to Scandinavia and the British Isles to investigate these charges of heretical depravity that have been brought against the Templars. But we discovered that there are no Templars in Scandinavia, so we’re concentrating on the British Isles.
We’ve had a lot of trouble with the lord king being totally uncooperative and the Templars simply failing to admit that they’re guilty. But I’ll get the truth out of Brother Thomas Totty if it kills me -- or him!
 We say Keep on taking the tranquilisers.
 Name Brother Thomas Totty of Thoroldby

 Occupation Templar undercover agent; breaking out of Lincoln jail; walking on water (that’s his story, anyway)
 Last known address Diocese of Winchester
 He says I’m a very scared man. That abbot really scared me, you know? So I broke jail: slipped a bribe to the sheriff and legged it. I’ve been in the order of the Temple 28 years; no, 16 years. I was received at a place in Chester diocese -- no, Lichfield diocese -- I’m not a renegade, I’m wearing my Templar clothes under these everyday clothes. I’m a secret agent for the Templars. Honest I am! I’m telling you the truth!
 We say Abbot Deodatus has a point.
 Name Brother Ralph of Ruston

 Occupation Templar priest
 Last known address Yorkshire
 He says Now, you’ve heard a lot of rubbish about the absolution of sins in Templar chapter meetings, but I can set you right. It’s like this: the grand commander and the visitor absolve brothers from any general sins acknowledged in Chapter and for other sins they send them to the brother-priest. I don’t know what the difference is between the general sins and the others, but that’s not my concern. Some brothers who have been absolved by the master later confess to a brother-priest and some don’t. It’s just like an abbot in a monastery can absolve the people in his monastery; just like that, the master can absolve the people in his convent. And I think you’ll find all the other brothers agree with me on this.
 We say You don’t know what you’re talking about, mate.
 Name Brother Roger of Dalton

 Occupation Templar sergeant brother in charge of a grange
 Last known address A remote grange somewhere in Cambridgeshire
 He says To join the Order and go overseas I paid 60 marks. And what happened? I get sent to this hole in the back of beyond in the fens, where I never see a soul. No, I’ve never been to a Chapter meeting. I don’t see any other Templars. No, I haven’t the faintest idea what they do! No, I don’t know anything about the Order! Can I go home now, please?
 We say Don’t worry, Roger: the Hospitallers will give you a nice job at Ashley in the back of beyond somewhere in Cambridgeshire...
 Name Brother Roger of Edelincton

 Occupation Carmelite friar
 Last known address House of the Carmelite Order in Lincoln
 He says I met this woman in the Carmelite church in Lincoln, don’t know her name, and she told me a sick Templar told his servant not to undress him, but when the Templar died the servant sent for the Templar’s sister to organise the funeral, and she undressed the body to wash it and found a cross on his underpants. And this means the Templars are blasphemers.
 We say What was a strange woman doing wandering about the friary church?
 Name Agnes Lovecata

 Occupation Wife of Robert Lovecata
 Last known address In the London suburbs, that nice house by the elms on the street going towards St Giles on the right hand side. Drop in for a cuppa any time you’re passing, luv.
 He says Fourteen years ago, this lad, Rob, who was servant to the commander of New Temple, he told my old man that his mate Walter and some mates of his snuck into a Templar chapter meeting at Dinsley, and the Templars all went into a secret room where they opened this secret cupboard in the wall and got out this black idol with glowing eyes and they all kissed its bum, and one brother who wouldn’t do it, they opened up this hole in the floor over this deep pit and threw him in and covered it over, and then all the Templars, those big muscular men with their strong masculine bodies seized each other in passionate embrace and C E N S O R E D
 We say Read more of Agnes’s exclusive revelations next week in your favourite tabloid newspaper.
 Name Brother Nicholas de Chinon

 Occupation Friar minor
 Last known address Wandering about the roads of England
 He says My colleague Robert told me he heard from a woman whose name he didn’t know that some Templar secretly killed his son who had secretly spied on a secret chapter meeting.
 We say If this was all so secret, how did the woman know?
 Name Ralph Baldock

 Occupation Bishop of London; judge in the trial of the Templars
 Last known address The episcopal palace, London
 He says I protest! I did not intend to be present at the aforesaid cross-examinations of the Templars against the master or the order as an interrogator but only as a witness to ensure that all proper procedures are being followed.
 We say Carry on protesting, your grace.
 Name Brother William de la More

 Occupation Grand commander of the Order of the Temple in England
 Last known address New Temple, just off Fleet Street, London
 He says I refuse to repent of sins I never committed! That would be lying to God, and making a mockery of repentance!
 We say You’re too honest for your own good, Brother.
 Name John Langton

 Occupation Bishop of Chichester; judge in the trial of the Templars
 Last known address The episcopal palace, Chichester
 He says Well, I’m glad to say that this trial is almost over. We’ve had a lot of trouble because the Templars simply won’t confess to anything even though we know they’re guilty because the Templars who were tortured in France say so. Anyway, I think we’ve hit upon a good old British compromise. The Templars will abjure all heresies, without having actually to admit to any of them, and we can then give them penances as if they were guilty.
 We say British compromise? What about the Templars in Ireland?
 He says Oh, I’ve no idea what’s going on in Ireland.

Now turn to page 3 for an interview with the commander of the Temple in Ireland, Brother Henry Danet, or Tanet, or Hanet, depending on your handwriting.

Page content by Helen J. Nicholson, page design by N²productions, 13 April 2004

© Helen J. Nicholson 2004