Grand Masters of the Knights Templar

Each man who held the position of Grand Master of the Knights Templar was the supreme commander of the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (also known as the Knights Templar), starting with founder Hugues de Payens in 1118. While many Grand Masters chose to hold the position for life, abdication was not unknown. Some masters chose to leave for life in monasteries or diplomacy. Grand Masters often led their knights into battle on the front line and the numerous occupational hazards of battle made some tenures very short.

Each country had its own Master, and the Masters reported to the Grand Master. He oversaw all of the operations of the Order, including both the military operations in the Holy Land and eastern Europe, and the financial and business dealings in the Order's infrastructure of western Europe. The Grand Master controlled the actions of the order but he was expected to act the same way as the rest of the knights. After the Pope issued a Papal Bull on behalf of the Templars, the Grand Master was obliged to answer only to Rome.

List of Grand Masters

Hugues de Payens, First Grand Master
Jacques de Molay, Last (23rd) Grand Master
# Arms Name Time in office
1. Hugues de Payens 1118–1136
2. Robert de Craon 1136–1147
3. Everard des Barres 1147–1151
4. Bernard de Tremelay  1151–1153
5. André de Montbard 1153–1156
6. Bertrand de Blanchefort 1156–1169
7. Philip of Milly 1169–1171
8. Odo de St Amand (POW) 1171–1179
9. Arnold of Torroja 1181–1184
10. Gerard de Ridefort  1185–1189
11. Robert de Sablé 1191–1193
12. Gilbert Horal 1193–1200
13. Phillipe de Plessis 1201–1208
14. Guillaume de Chartres 1209–1219
15. Pedro de Montaigu 1218–1232
16. Armand de Périgord (POW) 1232–1244
17. Richard de Bures (Disputed) 1244/5–1247 [1]
18. Guillaume de Sonnac  1247–1250
19. Renaud de Vichiers 1250–1256
20. Thomas Bérard 1256–1273
21. Guillaume de Beaujeu  1273–1291
22. Thibaud Gaudin 1291–1292
23. Jacques de Molay 1292–1314

See also


  1. Armand de Périgord was either killed or captured at the battle of La Forbie; authorities differ. Richard de Bures commanded the Templars until the election of Guillame de Sonnac; whether he was Grand Master is disputed. See Armand de Perigord (1178-1247), at
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