Everingham Family History Record Reprint... (c)July 2000

Everingham Connection to
The Knights Templar Templars Cross Symbol

The most famous of Knights, and inventors of Banking!?

Everingham village in Yorkshire lies just off the edge of the river Humber. It is not currently known if the village was known as "Everingham" in the era of the Templar Knights, but it's current location is upon past Templar lands. Initially, the Temple Bruer (A Temple built for the Templar Monks) was built in the 12th century on land donated by William de Ashby, and Robert de Everingham. Robert's donation included the manor of Rowston. The donation from an Everingham gives a strong suggestion to Christian beliefs and Templar alliance, not to mention the wealth that the family must have had at that time.

The Templar Order was founded in Jerusalem in 1118 by Hughes de Payens, Geoffroy de St. Omer and seven other French knights. The Knights Templar were a military order formed at the end of the First Crusade to protect pilgrims traveling on route from Europe to the recently captured city of Jerusalem. The founding knights took monastic vows and were known as "The Poor Knights of Christ". These were most probably the most famous of all warrior "Monks". Within a couple of decades the group became an order with the backing of both the Pope, and the collective European monarchies. Were any Everinghams Templars?... I have found no proof of it, but considering the family's wealth at that time, and connection to the start of Templar holdings in England, it is quite possible.

The original 9 Knights included:Symbol of Knights Templar
  1. Hughues de Payens
  2. Godfroi (Geoffroy)
    de Saint Omer
  3. Andre de Montbard
  4. Geoffrey Bisol
  5. Payen de Montdidier
  6. Archambaud de Saint Aignan
  7. Gundomar
  8. Godfroy
  9. Roral

In a day when a common Knights hair flowed long, the Templars wore their hair short but were forbidden to cut their beards. Templars Cross Symbol They thus appeard as bearded knights in probable white garb. After the late 1140's, their garb was emblazoned with 8 point red crosses.
Everyone has seen the old paintings or drawings of White Knights with red crosses on their coaks.... those were the Templars. They fought alongside Royal Knights in the Crusades. The majority of their wealth probably came from donations, and rewards for their service to nobles. Their wealth grew due to their lack of interest in spending & living the noble's life, their expenses were minimal. Modern day pegans use the Templar's cross as a pegan symbol which is ironic considering that the red cross on the white garb was given to the Templars as their symbol by a Pope!

In circa 1170-74 William of Tyre wrote "They number about 300 knights who wear white mantles, in addition to the brothers, who are almost countless. They are said to have immense possessions both here and overseas, so that there is now not a province in the Christian world which has not bestowed upon the aforesaid brothers a portion of its goods. It is said today that their wealth is equal to the treasures of kings. ". Within two centuries they had become powerful enough to defy all but the Papal throne. Feared as warriors, respected for their power and sought out for their wealth, there is no doubt that the Knights Templar were the key players of the monastic fighting orders. Due to their vast wealth, the Templars are thought to have essentially invented banking, as we know it. Usury; the lending of money for interest, was forbidden by the church in those days, but the Templars were able to avoid the issue and finance even kings.

After the crusades were over, the knights returned to their Chapters throughout Europe and became known as moneylenders to the monarchs. In the process many historians believe they may have invented the Banking System. The Templars fought along side Richard Coeur de Lion (Richard The Lion Hearted) and other Crusaders in the battles for the Holy Lands. After many years of sacrifices and rendering services to both Christianity and civilisation, this very rich and powerful Order excited the envy and greed of others. None more envious than King Philip who was in great need of money.

On October 13th,1307 (Friday the 13th), King Philip, afraid of the influence and power of the Knights, had all the Templars arrested for heresy, since this was the only charge that would allow the seizing of their money and assets, greatly improving the standing of King Philip - who coincidentally needed money after war had depleated his riches. Guilty of growing in wealth and power beyond their original intent, they may have been guilty of some crimes, but most probably not. Their Christian ideals were also a threat to the power of the Pope of that era, and the Roman Catholic church. Their demise can be compared to a precursor of the Salem Witch trials where false charges were dreamed up and they were tortured and hunted down with no actual proof of any wrong doing. Original documents show charges against the Monks, of encouraging and practicing homosexuality, worshipping Baphomet "The Devil" and Cat or Goat headed idols of Baphomet which just happened to be "bearded"-like the Templars, spitting on the cross and sacrilegious acts against Christ, and all sorts of crimes that seem nearly humorous by todays standards. As a result, ridiculous confessions were taken after torture as "proof". Keep in mind, this was a group of Christian Monks founded in Jerusalem who's sole purpose was to protect the travelers from injustice and robbery. In effect, the Templars were being "robbed" of all worldly goods, reputation and life.

Philip was successful in ridding the Templars of their enormous power and wealth and urged all fellow Christian leaders to do the same thing. On March 19th, 1314 the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay, was burned at the stake for his "heresy". De Molay is said to have cursed King Philip and Pope Clement as he burned at the stake asking both men to join him within a year. Clement died only one month later, and Philip IV died within eight months. This sparked curiousity and finger pointing that the Templars really were a cult group who had cursed their opposition. To this day, pegans insist that the Templars were a dark cultist devil worshiping group, to spite the lack of any actual proof. Before his death, De Molay said that the Knights were guilty of only one thing, "Allowing the torture to cause them to lie and confess untruths."

Everingham Family History Archives
Kevin Everingham
July 2000