As I’ve been asked about this, I thought it might be useful to readers of this blog to have a translation of the study by F. J. M. Raynouard, who (so far as I know) was the last scholar to study the manuscripts of the proceedings of the Templars’ trial in Germany before they were lost. What follows is from: François Juste Marie Raynouard, Monumens Historiques, Rélatifs À La Condamnation Des Chevaliers Du Temple (Paris: Adrien Égron, 1813), pp. 124–27, 268–70
From the edition online at https://archive.org
(After discussing the trial in France, Raynouard moves on to Italy, and then Germany:)
[p. 124] In Germany, a council had been assembled at Mayence/Mainz, to pronounce on the fate of the Templars.
While the council was occupied with this business, suddenly the commander Hugues Sauvage presents himself, accompanied by twenty knights, all in arms and in the habits of the Order; they enter the assembly; the fathers are in astonishment and fear; the archbishop [p. 125] who was presiding politely orders the commander to seat himself, and to explain what he desires.
The commander replies, with a firm and tranquil voice:
“These knights and I, we have learned [p. 126] that, by commission of the Roman Pontif, this synod has assembled to abolish our Order. We are accused, it’s said, of horrible crimes and of vices which would even dishonour the pagans; it would be too painful for us, it would even be unbearable for us, to state them in public; but what we complain about above all is that the Knights are to be condemned without being either heard or convicted. We declare to this assembly that we will appeal to the future pope and his Church. We attest loudly that those of our Order who have been condemned to the flames, on the pretext of such crimes, have constantly denied them, without exception and have suffered torture and death while persisting in their denials.” [Raynouard notes at the bottom of p. 126: ‘He finishes his discourse with these words: “An extraordinary miracle manifested the judgement of God in their favour: the fire which consumed them spared their white habits and their red crosses”. This assertion is bizarre; but at the very least it stems from a spirit convinced of the victims’ innocence.’]
The archbishop admitted this protestation, promising to act on their behalf with the pope to ensure that they would not be disturbed, and sent them away; [p. 127] afterwards he received a new commission from the pope and he proceeded anew.
[note 1, p. 124, gives the Latin source for this, which also tells us that the archbishop’s second commission found them innocent: Comparuit autem in synodo, quemadmodum refert manuscriptus liber, Hugo Comes Silvestris et Rheni, qui morabatur in Grumback prope Meysenheim, cum viginti fratribus sub habitu Ordinis, probe armatis.
Hi omnes non quidem vocati, sed ultro et subito in concessum patrum irrumpunt, omnibus attonitis; archiepiscopus viros considerans ac violentiam timens, placide jubet commendatory ut sedeat; et si quid habeat in medium ad ferendum, ut depromat. [p. 125]. Qui clara et libera voce exorsus, se suosque confratres inquit intellexisse, hanc synodum sui Ordinis delendi gratia potissimum congregatam ex commissione Romani pontifices. Enormia enim quaedam scelera, et plusquam ethnica flagitia illis objecta, quae in privato designarent, quod ipsis sane esset gravissimum et intolerabile; maxime quod non ordinarie auditi, nec convicti condemnarentur.
Quare coram ista partum congregatione se appellare et provocare ad futurum pontificem ejusque universum clerum, publice quoque protestari, eos qui propter talia flagitia alibi igni traditi essent et combusti, constanter pernegasse, sed (nec) quidquam eorum designasse, atque in ea confessione tormenta et mortem perpessos, immo Dei optimi maximi singulari judicio et miraculo, eorum innocentiam comprobatam, quod albae chlamides, ac rubricatae cruces igni non potuerunt absumi.
Archepiscopus, his auditis, ne tumultus suboriretur, protestationem eorum admisit, seque cum romano pontifice, acturum respondit, ut quieti esse possint. Atque ita ad propria sunt dimissi.
Postea vero Petrus aliam commisionem obtinuit; juxta quam procedens, praedictos censuit absolvendos. Serarius, Hist. Preti. Archiep.]
[p. 127: main text continues] Forty-nine witnesses appeared [at Mainz], of which thirty-eight were Templars and the others strangers to the Order, and commendable by the rank that they held in the world or in the Church. All equally testified to the innocence of the Order, and the council pronounced in favour of the accused.
[note 1 on p. 127: Inquisitio facta Moguntiae per Dominos archiepiscopum Moguntiae et Robertum, decanum ecclesiae Sti Servarii ……. inquisitores a sede apostolica deputatos contra ordinem et magnum magistrum seu preceptorem Allamanniae Militiae Templi. Arch. Du Vatican.]
The information taken at Trèves (Trier) also justified the Order and the Knights. Of sixteen witnesses who comprised this, only three were Templars.
[note 2 on p. 127: Inquisitio facta in diocesi Treverensi per Dominum Treverensem archiepiscopum et Dominum Robertum, decanum ecclesiae Sti-Servarii contra Ordinem Militiae Templi et magnum preceptorem regni Allamanniae. Arch du Vatican.
These two unpublished pieces have been known by a historian who has already cited them. M.S. Vatic, sig., no. 92, ex inferior arch. pal. Aven. Romam perlatum.
Judiciariaque acta edita Moguntiae hoc anno atque in memorato archeo palatii avenionensis reperta consignata [p. 128] no. 68, referunt, quadraginta novem testes adductos nil adversos Templariorum Ordinem de sceleribus ipsis impositis respondisse.
Alterius pariter judiciariae actionis tabulae in Trevirensi archiepiscopatu confectae transmissaeque ad Clementem narrant septemdecim testes interrogatos de flagitiis Templariorum nullum confessos. Odericus Raynaldus, Annales Ecclesiasticae, 1310.]
Chapter 4: Germany
1. Information produced by the Archbishop of Mayence (Mainz).
This information is composed from forty-nine witnesses.
1) Thirty-seven Templars testify in favour of the Order.
The fifteenth, Fleury de Dulguan, received [into the Order] nine years ago, attests that having travelled overseas, having gone to Paris and several other places, he has never seen anything or learned anything about the horrible errors which were brought against the Order. (Note 1, p. 268, gives the original Latin: Quod ix anni sunt elapse vel circiter quod fuit receptus in ordine et quod fuit ultra mare, Parisiis et in pluribus aliis locis, tanquam frater dicti Ordinis, nec unquam aliquid de horrendis erroribus percipere potuit vel audire.)
The sixteenth, Alberic de Vendenge, received twenty-eight years ago, having passed twelve years overseas, and having been present at Chapter meetings, both overseas and at [p. 269] Paris and in many other countries, makes the same declaration. (note 1 on p. 269: xii anni vel circiter stetisset ultra mare tanquam Frater Ordinis Templi et interfuisset capitulis Fratrum tam ibidem quam Parisiis et in aliis multis locis, et dicit se fuisse in Ordine xxviii annis vel circiter, nec aliquid de horrendis defectibus in articulis contentis scire vel percipere potuit quoquo modo.)
Count Frederick, thirty-third witness, master preceptor of the Temple in the parts of the Rhine, has passed, he says, more than twelve years overseas; and he expresses himself like the preceding witnesses. Champion of the Order’s innocence, he offers to undergo the Ordeal and to carry the hot iron.
In the East, this witness has for a long time lived with the grand master, whose official assistant [socius] he was; having returned with him, he has always held him and still holds him to be a good Christian, as good as a person may be. (note 2 on p. 269: Licet fuerit in partibus ultra marinis xii annis et amplius tanquam Frater dicti Ordinis, nunquam tamen aliquid de horrendis erroribus scivit, audivit vel intellexit.
Et super hoc paratus esset experientiam subire et ferrum ardens portare.
Conversatus fuit cum magno magistro Ordinis ultra mare et fuit socius suus et cum ipso reversus fuit de partibus ultra marinis, et tunc tenuit et adhuc tenet eum pro bono christiano, si aliquis bonus christianus esse possit.)
2) The twelve others, among whom were three counts and other persons of distinguished rank, testify equally in favour of the Order.
[p. 270] The fortieth witness, Jean, arch-priest, expresses himself thus:
“I remember one year when there was a great scarcity of grain: the measure which commonly sold for ten sous and less, sold for thirty-three, in these times of scarcity; as long as it lasted, the house of the Templars of Masteire fed each day a thousand people or hardly less.”
[Note 1 on p. 270: Recolit quod magna fuit carestia bladi videlicet quod mensura bladi qui communi estimatione vendi solet pro x solidis vel infra, vendebatur xxxiii, et illo tempore mille vel paulo pauciores pauperes reficiebatur singulis diebus in domo predicta (de Mostaire) dicta carestia durante.]
2. Information produced by the Archbishop of Treves (Trier).
This comprises seventeen witnesses, only three of whom are Templars. All testify in favour of the Order.
* * *
Comments by the translator: Raynouard’s analysis is not necessarily accurate. For example, on p. 200 he refers to the ‘grand prior’ of the Templars of Scotland (Écosse), ‘Henri de la Moore’. No such person was mentioned during the proceedings against the Templars in Scotland, or in the whole of Britain and Ireland (see my edition, translation and analysis, The Proceedings against the Templars in the British Isles, 2 vols, Farnham: Ashgate, 2011). Is ‘Henry de la Moore’ a confusion of Henry Danet, commander in Ireland, and William de la More, grand commander of England & Wales? Incidentally, ‘grand prior’ was a title of the Hospitallers’ provincial commander – not the Templars’. If Raynouard was exaggerating the importance of Scotland within the Templar order for the benefit of the Freemasons, perhaps he also did the same for Germany.
Where the full records of proceedings have survived, it is possible to judge how far Raynouard has reduced them. In his summary of the proceedings in England, Ireland and Scotland, pp. 259–63, he reduced over seventy hostile witness-statements set out in the English proceedings to just over two pages, a third of which is given over to the testimony of Agnes Louekete, which is not representative of the rest. Under Ireland (p. 263) he states that none of the Templars in Ireland had sworn the vows demanded, but does not mention that Brothers Henry Danet and William Kilros did give damaging evidence against the Order, and some of the hostile evidence mentioned names and specific instances. Under Scotland (p. 263) he again states that the evidence against the Order was ‘insignificant’, but as some of it was included in the hostile witness-statements assembled in England the inquisitors clearly did not agree with him. All of this suggests that in his determination to present the Templars as innocent, he understated the hostile witness-statements against them.
If any reader of this blog knows the whereabouts of the manuscripts of the German proceedings against the Templars, do let the rest of us know!