The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Knights Templar

  • E. Castelot
Reference work entry


The leading facts of the history of this military order are well known: at the time of the first crusade they were founded to defend pilgrims to the Holy Land against the infidel; they enjoyed exemptions, granted by special papal bulls, from ordinary ecclesiastical jurisdictions; they acquired immense wealth, became unpopular both in England and in France, and, in the latter country, were suppressed by an unscrupulous stroke of authority of King Philip the Fair, who condemned the grand master Molay and other dignitaries to death, and confiscated, in 1307, a large part of the wealth of the order. Though in England such extreme proceedings were not taken, Edward I., in 1295, carried away by force from the Temple a sum of £10,000, and Edward II, shortly after his accession, seized £50,000 in silver, besides gold and jewels, which had been deposited in their treasury (Cunningham, Growth of English Industry, p. 254).

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Castelot
    • 1
  1. 1.