History of the Order

Graham Miles / 16/10/2015

The Provincial Priory of North and East Yorkshire

The full title of the order is "The United Religious, Military and Masonic Order of the Temple and St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta in England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas". It is a masonic military order, but there is no documented direct link between the present day knights and the original Knights Templar who's initial purpose was to protect pilgrims visiting the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

On 15th July 1099 the city walls of Jerusalem were breached and the city captured by the Crusader army of the 1st crusade but it was not until 1118 that nine knights under the leadership of Hughes de Payen, approached the patriarch of Jerusalem (King Baldwin II); having decided to dedicate their lives to the service of the Holy land. The patriarch subsequently assigned them a portion of the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount (said to have been built on the original Temple of Solomon). This group of knights subsequently took their name from this and were known as: Pauperes commiltones Christi Templi Salomonis (the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon). Thus becoming known as the Knights of the Temple, and later, Knights Templar.

The earliest references of the Knights Templar order activity in the British Isles can be found in Ireland. The earliest references in England were minuted at Portsmouth in 1777 and were worked under the authority of Royal Arch Chapters as appendant degrees. in 1791 a Grand Conclave was formed comprising seven apendant Encampments with Thomas Dunckerley as Grand Master.The oldest Knight Templar unit in Yorkshire is based in Hull (although originally in York) and it can demonstrate a continuous existence from 1778. (Although it now operates under a warrant granted in 1791 following the establishment of the Grand Conclave).This is the Ancient York Conclave of Redemption ’B’ Time Immemorial.

At this time Freemasonry had a Christian base and was worked in five degrees under a single Lodge warrant. The fist three degrees were what is to day known as Craft masonry, the forth Chapter and the fifth Knights Templar. In due time the Craft and Chapter lost their Christian base but the historical connections between all the degrees can still be found in parts of the present day K.T. ceremonies.In the Province of North and East Yorkshire, we have 13 Preceptories and several hundred members, called Sir Knights and Brother Knights who operate under the direction of the Provincial Prior, Right Eminent Knight Paul Martyn Darley BEM. A newly Installed Knight will go through an extremely interesting ceremony; taking him through a pilgrimage and then knighthood as a Templar. There is also a Mediterranean Pass and Malta degree; which is usually conferred at a meeting once in every year. For details of how to become a memberof the Order please view our "Membership " page.

Priors of the Province

William Henry Forrester Denison (Lord Londesborough) KCT 1864-1888
John Woodall Woodall, MA., FRS.,KCT. 1889-1905
William Thomas Orde Powlett (Lord Bolton)KCT 1905-1924
Lt. Col. Miles John Stapylton, OBE., MC., DC.,KCT 1924-1934
Llewellyn Kitchen KCT. 1934-1949
Major Henry Wintersladen  TD., KCT. 1949-1959
Col. Innes Noel Ware OBE., TD., GCT 1959-1973
Harry Beckett Raylor KCT. 1973-1986
Col. Innes Noel Ware OBE., TD., GCT. 1986-1989
Rev. Neville Barker Cryer MA., KCT. 1990-1995
Ernest Peter Donnison KCT 1995-2003
Geoffrey Arthur Howard Salter KCT  2003-2008
Paul Martyn Darley BEM  2008-