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Reign of Edward II. Part 2 page 4


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In England and Ireland they were all in like manner arrested by sealed orders on a particular day, and their property of all kinds, as well ecclesiastical as temporal, was confiscated. In this country, however, they were treated with great lenity: the witnesses brought against them refused to declare that they knew anything to their discredit, or, indeed, anything of their secret principles or practices. The Pope, incensed at this lenity, wrote strongly to Edward, exhorting him to try torture. A threat of treating them as heretics induced all but the grand master, William de la More, to confess their heresy; and they were sent to pass the remainder of their lives as prisoners in different monasteries, the revenues of their immense estates being conferred by king and Parliament on the Hospitallers, or Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Their chief seat was the Temple, in Fleet Street, which they erected in 1185; but as early as the reign of Stephen they were established in the old Temple on the south side of Holborn, near the present Southampton Buildings.

So fell this mighty order. Matthew of Paris asserts their manors or estates throughout Christendom to have amounted to 9,000, and their income to be not less than 6,000,000 sterling. With the exception of Spain and Portugal, their property, as in England, was given to the Knights of St. John. Much has been written on the secret principles of this famous order, which is affirmed still to exist in Paris, possessing the original registers, and an unbroken succession of grand masters from De Molay to the present time. A society of this name certainly exists in Paris; and in England, and also in Germany, the Freemasons are said to be the representatives of the ancient Templars.

King Edward II. left four children, two sons and two daughters. Edward succeeded him; John, Earl of Cornwall, died early at Perth; Jane was married to David Bruce, King of Scotland; and Eleanor to Reginald, Count of Gueldres.

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Berkeley Castle
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Deposition of Edward II
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