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History (Continued)

William Marshall

1st Earl of Pembroke unknown - 1219
Webmaster: Chev. Dr. A. R. Webber ( all rights reserved)
Richard the Lionheart's altar at All Hallows by the Tower, London
Knights   Templar   are   not   new   to   England.      There   has   been   a   strong   Templar   presence   in   this   country   since   the   early   years   of   the   Order, and   the   Templars   played   a   pivotal   role   in   the   history   of   mediaeval   England.      Indeed,   in   June   1215   the   Master   of   the   English   Templars, Aymeric   de   St   Maur,   was   a   key   person   involved   in   the   production   and   sealing   of   Magna   Carta   –   the   Great   Charter   –   at   Runnymede,   by King John.  
An   unequivocal   statement   of   the   rights   and   liberties   of   freeborn   Englishmen,   Magna   Carta   is   generally   acknowledged   to   be   the   world’s very   first   “Bill   of   Rights”.   Only   four   copies   of   the   1215   Magna   Carta   have   survived   –   two   are   held   in   the   British   Library,   the   others   are   in Lincoln and Salisbury cathedrals.
Both   Aymeric   de   St   Maur   and   Sir   William   Marshal   were   buried   in   London’s   Temple   Church   where   effigies   of   Sir   William,   his   son   (also William)   and   other   knights   can   be   seen.      Before   his   death   Sir   William   had   become   a   Templar.      The   Temple   area   of   the   City   was   the headquarters of the English Templars from 1160 until the Order’s suppression.
Another   patron   of   the   English   Templars   at   this   time   was   the   powerful   Sir   William   Marshal,   the   1st   Earl   of   Pembroke,   who   brokered   the peace   between   King   John   and   the   barons,   and   who   played   a   vital   role   alongside   the   Archbishop   of   Canterbury,   Stephen   Langton,   in preparing Magna Carta.
In   addition,   the   church   of   All   Hallows-by-the-Tower   (the   oldest   church   in   the   City   of   London)   is   of   huge significance   to   the   Order.      Beneath   the   modern   main   altar,   in   the   ancient   crypt,   is   another   altar   which   is made   of   large   blocks   of   stone   which   were   brought   back   by   Knights   Templar,   from   one   of   their   castles   in the Holy Land.  It was Richard the Lionheart's altar.
In   2012,   the   Grand   Priory   of   England   was   at   last   fully   restored,   having   been   first   established   in   1960   when the Grand Master recognised the need for a priory in England which was not exclusively Roman Catholic.
Today    we    have    members    from    many    different    denominations    -    Anglican,    Baptist,    Congregationalist, Pentecostal,   Salvation   Army,   Roman   Catholic,   United   Reformed   -   and   so   on,   all   keen   to   demonstrate   our Unity   in   Christ.      More   about   the   Restoration   can   be   found   on   the   pages   entitled   Latest   Investiture   and Grand Priory Restoration.