There seems to be a difference of opinion as to when the Templars were founded depending on where you look, some say 1118 and some say 1119. But after this time, 12 months does not matter. I will not subject anyone to another lesson on what I am sure you all ready know, about what their role was.
I have tried to simplify the following. Not because I do not think you will understand. But because the subject goes off in that many tangents it is virtually impossible to follow and type. If I have "skipped over" something or made anything vague or unclear or I am just wrong, please contact me and I can rectify things.
King Phillipe IV of France (Phillipe The Fair, pictured left) had a personal gripe with The Knights. When he was younger they had refused him entry into the Order, he owed them a large sum of money, and the Templars sided with Pope Boniface VIII (whom Phillipe had kidnapped earlier, and charged him with the same concocted allegations he made later against The Templars) when Phllipe was in dispute with him. Boniface died in 1303, and after a short Papal rule of Pope Benedict XI, in 1305 a French Cardinal became Pope Clement V....he proved to be a puppet of the King. On October 1307...Friday 13th!! Phillipe had every Templar that he could arrested. Bringing against them charges of; denying Christ, sodomy and worshipping an idol called Baphomet.The truth being, Phillipe had the Knights wrongly arrested, because he owed them more money than he could pay back, and getting them out of the way seemed the best option. Through intense torture he obtained confessions to these henious crimes.But many Knights chose to die rather than lie and impune the Order. The false confessions he did obtain were then presented to Pope Clement V (the Pope in those days had massive world power). A Papal Bull (order) was then issued ordering EVERY Templar in EVERY country arrested and their property seized. All the kings in Europe quickly seized the opportunity to enforce this Papal Bull, as it meant that they were all free of any debt to the Templars.Who had once been a very prominent money lenders to all the Kings. This money helped them fund their wars and other things.
Meanwhile in Scotland, Robert The Bruce (pictured left) killed John Comyn III (The Red Comyn) his main rival for the throne of Scotland, in GREYFRIARS CHURCH, DUMFRIES. Greyfriars Church was situated across the road (what is now the bus stop) and the present Greyfriars Church was the site of The Maxwell mansion house. The Maxwells were a very powerful family in Dumfries at the time. But that is another story. Having committed murder in a church, Robert The Bruce was excommunicated by Clement V, just six weeks after his coronation as King of Scots in 1306. The Scots cause looked very weak, an excommunicated King, ruled by the English and only a geurrilla army of support. But under Bruces leadership they started to gain the upper hand
Edward II (Son of Edward I, Longshanks, Hammer of the Scots) was the Son-In- Law of Phillipe IV, who married his daughter Isabella of France (pictured right) in an attempt to bolster alliances with France.
He clung to power in Scotland. Heeding The Papal Bull, and ordered all Scottish Templars arrested. They were then tried at Holyrood on 17th of November 1309. But due to the heavy resistance of The Scots Army, the verdict was "not proven". But this was repealed in 1312.
Templars from France and elsewhere fleeing from this Papal Bull, were seeking refuge. Scotland with it's excomminicated King and need for trained soldiers, seemed the obvious choice. So the fleeing Templars joined forces with the few Scottish Templars. (Scottish Templars were mainly clerks and accountants.) This enhanced the numbers greatly. The incoming Templars switched allegiance to the Scots side against the English, and they have a reputed presence at Bannockburn. (this story will follow soon)
Following his defeat at Bannockburn, Edward II (pictured left) seized all propery belonging to the Templars in England.
The Order began to take on a more Scottish character than before and more Scottish Knights are found in it's membership. The Knights acted as clergy in many parishes until the reformation. Families such as Sinclair (St. Clair) Hamilton and Montgomery all have strong Templar associations.
It is reputed that Robert The Bruce was himself a member of The Order.