The History Of
    The Order of the Temple in Scotland

    Balantrodach Chapel

    Where it all started

                                                                Balantrodach Chapel


    Please be aware there is a false Order operating in the Czech Republic claiming to belong to Scottish Knights Templars, they go by the name of the old Scottish Order Militi Templi Scotia that we were once part of, we declare that they have nothing to do with us and never will whatsoever.

    The Ex Prior and two others were put out of the Order for Gross Misconduct, they broke the Statutes and Bye-Laws, after many complaints from the Members we had to take action to protect the Members. Below is the url to their site they are using our old name that we still own after we told them not to.   Please do not be fooled by them.

    After finding out more of their devious actions which are Criminal we are no longer operating in the Czech Republic or Slovakia.


    The Decendancy Line

    Because historical records pertaining to the Knights Templar are very hard to find in Scotland it is difficult to trace our line of decendancy properly, we are today considered to be a new Order in Scotland which we are I suppose going by dates, but through the lineage of the higher ranking Officers of our Order we do go back to SE. Francis Andrew Sherry. KGCTpl,  we are not saying that we are directly descended from the original Knights Templar or those from 1309.

    We are a properly Chartered Scottish Knights Templar Order in Scotland and recognised worldwide, our Charter was signed by Baron. St.Clair Bonde KOTJ our HQ is in Scotland, we are autonomous meaning we have our own rules but we strive to follow those of the original Knights Templars including the Ritual, our main aim is to upkeep the history of Scotland alive and searching for the Knights Templars that were in Scotland since 1128.

    In Scotland we do not require to be registered by the government like other countries especially Europe, we also do not have to get permission or Charters from what they call higher bodies like OSMTH or OSMTJ to operate in Scotland, it is not compulsory for Knights Templar Orders to join these two large organisations, why should we this is our own country and there are other Templar Orders in Scotland like us.

    The only two higher bodies we answer to are

    God and Jesus Christ

    There are no higher authorities than them.

    1128 – 1313 Prosperity of the Knights Templars in Scotland

    Hugh de Payen
    Hugh de Payen

    1128 Hugh de Payen visits Scotland and meets up with King David I of Scotland and is granted the lands of Balantrodach  in the county of ( Midlothian ) now known as Temple Village, King David's wife Maud was the cousin of Godfrey de Bouillon - 1099 so through Maud we have a direct link to the early Crusaders.The Order had the support of succeeding Scottish kings, Alexander I, II and III, the Order came to posses considerable property, including a second Preceptory at Maryculter in Aberdeenshire, and the Templar houses in Denny, Liston, Thankerton and many more it is suggested that  they had more than 600 lands.

    Balantrodach Grand Priors
    Balantrodach ( Now Temple Village in Midlothian )

    1160. Robert. A Charter was signed by Robert of the Temple the Charter is made out to Balantrodach ( Now Temple Village ).

    1174 - 1199.  Ranulph Corbet.

    1187. William the Lion. grants lands to the Knights Templar at Mary Culter and Peter Culter.

    1221. Walter Bisset. is Prior at Mary Culter ( Aberdeenshire ).

    1233. Hugh de Conyers.

    1278 - 1290. Roger de Akieny.

    1286 - 1292.  Brian le Jay. He was killed at the Battle of Falkirk fighting for the English Army in 1298.

    1296. - 1298. John de Soutre. He was also killed at the Battle of Falkirk fighting for the English Army in 1298.

    1304 - 1396 John de Husflete. He ran away when he heard of the charges.

    1306 - 1309.  Walter de Clifton. is Prior at Balantrodach.

    1309  William de Middleton. is Prior at Mary Cultar.

    1315Pierre d’ Aumont.        

    1340. Thomas.  He is mentioned in a Charter.       

    1418. Thomas Goodwin.  

    1440. Stephen.

    1560. David Seton.                                                   

    In December 1309 three Templars were put on trial at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh they were Walter de Clifton, William de Middleton and Stephen de Stapelbrugge, the Knights were never charged with anything and were sent on their ways. Stephen de Stapelbrugge made his way home to England under disguise but was caught a short time after, he was retried again but again found not guilty, he was sent to another Abbey to see his life out there.

                                                               1314 – 1533 Order of St. John and the Temple

    In Scotland, the Order has never been banned or abolished. On the contrary, it remained under the protection of the King of Scotland as an Autonomous Grand priory. The Order had been publicly operating in connection with the Order of St. John as The Order of St John and Knights of the Temple (Scotland 1314) nevertheless, it maintained its autonomy.
    We can see by a Charter signed by King James IV of Scotland that the Knights Templars held on to their lands in one way or another, this is why it was very difficult for the Knights Hospitaller to get their hands on the lands.

    King James IV ( 1473 - 1513 ) of Scotland made out a Charter reconfirming Grants made by previous Scottish Kings to the Knights Templar and the Knights of the Hospital, it is by this Charter we learn that the King has handed over full control of the Knights Templar lands to the Knights Hospitaller, both Orders are now united under one Commander being off the Knights Hospitaller.

    1533 – 1689 Secret Functioning

    1560.  This branch of the Order was considered defunct when the Preceptor of the Order, Sir James Sandilands, who by now had converted to Protestantism.

    Ratisbon.                David Seton is given the order from Sir James Sandilands to leave and take the Knights Templar and Hospitallers with him, but did they all leave, no, some stayed behind or went to France and Germany to continue the Order, David Seton died in in 1581 and is buried in the Church of the Scottish convent at Ratisbon ( Regensburg ), Bavaria Germany.

    This is the satirical poem of the time

    Haly Kirk and her theeves

    Fye upon the traitor then
    Quhas has brocht us to sic pass
    Greedie als the knave Judas!
    Fye upon the churle quhat solde
    Haly erthe for heavie gold;
    Bot the tempel felt na loss
    Quhan David Setoune bare the crosse 


    Bonnie Dundee
    John Graham                                            1689 – 1804 Scottish Knights Templar

    However the reality was different. The Order did not dissolve, it only drew back from the public and its next operation remained hidden for more than a hundred years mainly because it became purely Templar again. This secret functioning had not been compromised until 1689 when John Graham of Claverhouse known as, " Bonnie Dundee “ was killed in the battle of Killiecrankie. The Cross of the Order had been found under the breast plate of his armour. Graham of Claverhouse was a Grand master of the Jacobite “convent” of Templars in the area of Montrose under the authority of Dom Calvet. After his death, the office passed on to Mar and subsequently on to Atholl.

    Abbot Dom Calmet

    1672 - 1757

    A testimony from Abbot Calmet stating he was given the Cross that John Graham wore from his brother David Graham, the Abbot states further that " Il etoit Grand Maitre de L'order des Templiers en Ecosse " in English " He was the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar in Scotland ".

    John Erskine - Earl of Mar

    1690.  John Erskine the Earl of Mar ( A Jacobite ) takes over as Grand Master, he died in 1732.

    James Murray the Duke of Atholl

    1736.  James Murray the Duke of Atholl takes over as Regent and attends to the affairs of the Order he Inaugurated Prince Charles Edward Stuart as Grand Master as below, the Duke died in 1764.

    Andrew Michael Ramsay

    1737.  Although he is not in our line of decent he is worthy of mention, Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay became a Catholic in 1709, in 1723 he was inducted in to the Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and he was also a Jacobite, he was Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s tutor. Ramsay had a public speech in Paris, In his speech, he claimed that Freemasonry had spread among Crusaders and that they founded Lodge of St John. Chevalier Ramsay was born in Ayr near Kilwinning he died at St Germain-en-Laye (Île-de-France) on 6 May 1743.

    Chevalier Ramsay states that he had heard that the Knights Templar were active in Scotland at around 1700.

    William Boyd

    1742. William Boyd - Lord Kilmarnock and other exiled Stuart participants showing that the Jacobite Templar link still existed receive Karl Gotthelf, Baron Von Hund into the Order of the Temple in Paris.

    Lord Boyd was at first on the side of King George II but later joined the Jacobite Forces and fought on the side of Bonnie Prince Charlie, he fought at the Battle of Falkirk and Culloden he was taken prisoner, and was beheaded on Tower Hill on 18 August 1746.

    Bonnie Prince Charlie
    Bonnie Prince Charlie  

    1745.  Charles Edward Stuart known also as Bonnie Prince Charlie whose full name was Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Silvester Maria Stuart (Born December 31, 1720 – died January 31, 1788) was elected as new Grand Master of Scottish Knights Templar in Edinburgh on the 24th September 1745. He was a Jacobite applicant ( precedent ) for the Throne of England, Scotland and Ireland. He was referred to as a valid King of England, Scotland and Ireland (1766 – 1788) and as such, he used the name Charles III, but officially had never been recognised as a King in Great Britain and unlike his father, he had not been recognised even by the Catholic Church. Only the title Earl of Albany which the Pope allowed him to use belonged to him.

    1788. John Oliphant from Bachilton who became the next Grand master of the Scottish Knights Templar after Prince Charles Edward Stuart, John Oliphant died on the 15th October 1795.

    1795. There was no election held mainly because the Government looked down on what they called " Secret Societies ", this was mainly due to problems the country was facing at that time due to the Napoleonic Wars and the great threat to Britain.

      It would seem that the Cardinal of York ( Henry Benedict Thomas Edward Maria Clement Francis Xavier Stuart, Cardinal Duke of York           (6 March 1725 – 13 July 1807) he was a well known Jacobite he was the brother of " Bonnie Prince Charlie ", it is stated was the last in line to the Stuart family, he is assumed to have called a halt to the elections of a new Templar leader ( Master ).

    The Knights Templar had nowhere to go and carry out their business and of course Rituals, to overcome this they started a friendship with the English and Irish Masonic bodies, this was all it was a friendship and nothing more but at least they could carry out any business they had. Some resisted to this and what they called irregularities but their protests were in vain, they had no authoritative tribunal in which to complain or appeal.

    1807.  The Cardinal of York passed away, this for some reason left the doors open to the Knights Templar in Scotland and they went about their way in holding elections for a new Grand Master.

    1804 – 1836 Connection to the Masonic Lodge

    A new form of Scottish Templarism came from the Knights of the Cross ( Chevaliers de la Croix ), a Mansion Lodge in Paris, in 1804.

    Alexander Deuchar  
    Alexander Deuchar

    1808.  Alexander Deuchar was elected Commander of Edinburgh Templar camp n. 31. He was helped in his efforts by his brother, David Deuchar from the third Battalion of The Royal Regiment ( 1st infantry regiment, The Royal Scots ) Deuchar captured a cross from the Templar Church at Tomar Castle in Portugal, where the regiment performed their military tasks during the war at the Iberian Peninsula.
    Alexander Deuchar at this time at a general Convocation held in Edinburgh, gave his advice and auspices to representatives of all the Templars in Scotland. The first step was to annul the union with the Masonic Templars, secondly to declare their independence, and assert their ancient prerogative.
    At this time it was felt that they should get some support from a higher quarter in order to settle the affairs of the Order, thus having a substantial and lasting foundation. It was determined to approach the Duke of Kent and ascertain if he would become the Patron Protector of the Order, they offered to to submit themselves to His Royal Highness in that capacity, and to accept from him a formal Charter of Constitution. This would confer upon them the same legal protection and prerogative which the Legislature of this country has given to the Masonic Bodies, The Duke of Kent lost no time in complying with their request, the Charter bears the date as the 19th June 1811.  

    1811. Alexander Deuchar was elected the new Grand master; he was a Freemason and also a Herald of the Lord Lyon at his court. His Operating as a Grand master was a great benefit regarding to learning about the history of the Order but the linking between the Order and the Freemasons was not really fortunate for the Order.

    The Order remained Masonic and was officially established as “ The Supreme Conclave of Knights of the Holy Temple and the Holy Sepulchre and St. John of Jerusalem, designated H.R.D.M.X K.D.SH” on the basis of the decree of Duke of Kent from June 19, 1811, Scotland. Deuchar’s Statutory Charter that was published by the Order later on was not Masonic any longer, because it entitled a military camp to establish Knights Templar and Knights of St John of Jerusalem but only if such a camp has no contact or connection with any Chapter, camp or fellowship which would receive such a name and host Templar meetings based on the charter from Masters of Masons. The Order divided into two parts in 1813.

    Contemporary to Deuchar was Chevalier Burness who was appointed Grand Prior of Scotland of l'Ordre du Temple by Grand Master Bernard-Raymond Fabre-Palaprat, although Burness' long residence abroad meant that he could do little to consolidate the Grand Priory on Scottish soil, this line died off by the late 1850's.


    1825.   It was decided that the Knights will wear a white mantle with a red eight-pointed cross on the left part of their chests that symbolises the eight Templar Beatitudes (Spiritual joy, persecution, life without anger, crying over one’s sins, humiliation of those who betrayed you, love for righteousness, mercy, honesty and pure heart.)

    1836 – 1853 Splitting of the Order

    Only after 1836 was the Supreme Conclave of Scottish Knights Templar newly transformed, it abandoned Freemasonry and allowed acceptance of non-freemasons as their members – including Bishop of Aberdeen and Duke of Leeds. The Order had divided into two again in 1833 an 1838.

    1836. Sir David Milne is declared Grand Master

    1838. Admiral Sir William Sydney Smith was elected Grand Master in Paris.

    1853 – 2000 Militi Templi Scotia

    1853.  Napoleon III acknowledged one of the groups that left the Order in 1838. Those branches, however, had perished soon because their legitimacy and independence had not been acknowledged by the rulers of some other countries. The main core lineage of the Order kept operating in Scotland as Militi Templi Scotiae and the name was changed to Militi Templi Scotia after some time.

    The Autonomous Grand Priory of Scotland

    1968- 2012.

    SE. Chev. Francis Sherry KGCTpl

    1968. Francis Andrew Sherry is admitted in to SMOTJ/OSMTH.

    1971. Francis Andrew Sherry is appointed as Preceptor of Scotland and of his elevation to the rank of Knight Commander.

    1972.  SE. Chevalier Francis Andrew Sherry KGCTpl a Scotsman, is Grand Prior of the first Autonomous Grand Priory of Scotland in London.

    1978 SE. Chevalier Francis Sherry. KGCTpl moved back to Scotland and the Order came with him.
    The Charter of the Scottish Priory was given by Baron Anton Leuprecht KGCT in favour of Francis Andrew Sherry of Achaea KGCT.

    1989. On the 17th January a Statutory Declaration declaring the autonomous nature of the Scottish Priory was made by Francis Andrew Sherry of Achaea. By this declaration the independent Chivalric Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem separated from the Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem ( SMOTJ ). The Chivalric Order continues a separate existence.

     Militi Templi Scotia             

    SE. Chev. Colin Campbell KGCTpl

    1992. On the 6th December an Electoral Conclave elected a Grand Council to run the Order on democratic principles with  SE. Chevalier Colin Campbell. KGCTpl as elected Grand Prior. .

    1993. On the 3rd of June F. de Fontes as Magnus Magister et Princeps Regens. Guardian of the Order issued a Charter to operate a Grand Priory of Scotland. Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Heirosolymitani ( OSMTH ) and appointed as Grand Prior for the period 1993 - 94.  SE. Chevalier. Colin William Campbell. KGCTpl.

     1996. SE. Chev. Brendan Burns. KGCTpl becomes Grand Prior of Militi Templi Scotia.

    1997.  SE. Chevalier George Stewart. KGCTpl becomes deputy Grand Prior after SE. Chevalier Brendan Burns had a serious accident, Chevalier George Stewart. KGCTpl continues in this post for a term of two years.

    SE. Chev. George Stewart. KGCTpl.

    1999.  SE. Chevalier George Stewart becomes Grand Prior of Militi Templi Scotia.

    SE. Chevalier Graham Grant. KGCTpl

    2002.  SE. Chevalier Graham Grant. KGCTpl is installed as Grand Prior of Militi Templi Scotia.On the 24/06/2002 Militi Templi Scotia claims it's descendancy from crusading orders, this statement was given to the Press by the then Grand Chancellor of the Order.

    2003. Militi Templi Scotia after a democratic vote by the Supreme Conclave of Knights decides to leave OSMTH, at the same meeting the Chancellor of the Order is thrown out of the Order by a democratic vote because of a serious matter, he then joins OSMTH Inc.

    SE. Chev. Euan MacPherson KGCTpl

    2005.  SE. Chevalier Euan MacPherson KGCTpl on the 28th May 2005 becomes new Grand Prior of Militi Templi Scotia.  After a short duration in his Office as Grand Prior Militi Templi Scotia ceases to exist properly and folds.

    2006 – 2012. 

                                         The Commandery of Jacques de Molay 1314

    In 2005 seven Knights including the Grand Prior Emeritus SE. Chev. George Stewart. KGCTpl decided to leave the Order due to differences occurring within it at that time, a short time later Militi Templi Scotia really ceased to exist properly. The seven Knights rallied together and after various meetings had been held it was decided to form the Commandery of Jacques de Molay 1314. OSMTH Inc tried to stop the Order being formed.


    SE. Chev. George Stewart. KGCTpl.
    Originally a Grand Prior of Militi Templi Scotia
    He was also Grand Prior of the Autonomous Grand Priory of Scotland.

    2006.  The Inauguration of the Commandery was set to be held at Rosslyn Chapel the date chosen was the 20th May 2006 where the seven Founder Knights mustered along with their Patron Chev. Baron St Clair Bonde KCT. Prior to the Inauguration a vote was held and it was decided that SE. George Stewart. KGCTpl would be the best Knight to take command.

    The New Order
     The Autonomous Grand Priory of Scotland

    2009.  Eventually due to the numbers rising within the Commandery it was decided that the time had come to start the new Order called The Autonomous Grand Priory of Scotland, we were advised not to use the Latin name of Militi Templi Scotia but to change it to what we use now, once again meetings were held and this time it was decided that the Inauguration would take place at Balgonie Castle on the 9th May 2009, the Order had now taken over M.T.S.

    SE. Chevalier George Stewart. KGCTpl becomes Grand Prior of the Order on the day of the Inauguration, amongst the witnesses were The Laird of Balgonie SE. Chev. Raymond Morris. KGCTpl and his son The Younger of Balgonie SE. Chev. Stuart Morris. KGCTpl.

    George Stewart resigns from the Order in 2013. He no longer functions within in the Order

    The Order resides at Hamilton in Scotland and the ceremonies take place at Balgonie Castle, the Order considers this to be its HQ.

    Balgonie Castle 
    Balgonie Castle

    Grand Prior

    HSE. Chev. Archibald A. Young KGCTpl.
    Originally a Knight Officer of Militi Templi Scotia.

    In May 2012 after a democratic vote by the members of the Order, the Supreme Conclave of Knights announced that SE. Chev. Archibald A. Young. KGCTpl was voted in to be the new Grand Prior. He was ceremonially introduced as the new Grand Prior ( Elect ) by Grand Prior SE. Chev. George Stewart. KGCTpl.

    HSE. Chev. Archibald A. Young KGCTpl was sworn in to office at Balgonie Castle on the 1st September 2012 by SE. Chev. George Stewart. KGCTpl ( Grand Prior Emeritus ), in front of the home based Scottish Knights, Scottish Knights from the Czech Republic and Scottish Knights from Germany, family and friends were present as well.
    Amongst the witnesses were The Laird of Balgonie HSE. Chev. Raymond Morris KGCTpl and his son The Younger of Balgonie HSE. Chev. Stuart Morris KGCTpl, H.S.H. Prince. Chev. Petr Vojtisek knize von Hahn. KCTpl, H.S.H. Prince. Chev. Svatopluk von Haugwitz. KOTpl and Chev. Hanus Trykar KOTpl. Chev. Ian Morrison. KTpl, Chev. Stuart Mills. KTpl, Chev. Kevin Dixon. KTpl. Chev. David Young. KTpl. HSE. George Stewart. KGCTpl.

    As part of its international activities, the Autonomous Grand Priory of Scotland is founding new offshoots as Commanderies or Preceptories of the Order all around the world.