Endowing the Templars
Beginning in the 1120s, men and women all over Western Europe flocked to support the cause in Outremer through donations of self and property to the new military orders—principally the Knights Templar and the Knights of the Hospital of Jerusalem. Just as laymen and laywomen could, and did, affiliate themselves to monasteries as conversi—committed dependents of the order—so did they join the ranks of the new military orders, pledging fiscal support and ultimately full service and obedience. Two such documents are found below: one from a woman (probably a widow) pledging in 1133, the other from a group of men (knights), pledging around 1187. Excerpted from Nathaniel Lane Taylor, Judging Death: The Will and Society in Medieval Catalonia and Languedoc (unpublished), appendix D (sample documents).
1. 1133, 30 July. Adalais donates herself, body and soul, to the order of the Knights Templar, in their commandery of Mas-Deu at Colliure (Roussillon). Source: Archives Départmentales des Pyrenees Orientales, Hp 191, Cartulary of Mas-Deu, f. 135v-136r.
In the name of God the Father. I, Azalaidis, woman, give and commend my body and my soul to the Lord God and to the blessed Militia of the Temple of Jerusalem which is called the Temple of Solomon, to those who are knights there and who will be there in the future in the service of God, under obedience to the master who is now and will be there in the future, without any reservation. This said land is in the county of Roussillon, in the areas of Saint Mary of Anils and Saint Julian of Vila Mulacha. Whatever I have or ought to have within those limits I give in its entirety, without any fraud, to the said order, and in such way that the said knights of the Temple will redeem the said land from Oliba of Candel, because he holds it in mortgage for four pounds of silver.
And this gift I make because my Lord found it worthy to become a pauper for my benefit, and became a pauper for my benefit: so I desire to become a little poorer for him. And so that he might allow me to come to the true pentitance and true confession, and allow me to come to blessed paradise, and so he might have mercy on the souls of my father and mother and of all my relatives, and all my children, that he should cause them to be blessedly obedient to him, so that they come to a good end. And I make this gift with the assent and good will of my children, that is Guillem Gualter, and Ramon, and Bernat. This gift and this estate, as described above, I give and confirm and leave to the lord God and to the blessed order named above. If any one of my sons or of my relatives seize or possess any of this said estate, let him be expunged from the book of life until he come to make amends. And it is done.
This deed done 3 kalends August, in the year of our lord’s incarnation 1133, in the twenty-fourth year of the reign of King Louis.
The mark of Adalais, woman, who had this charter of donation made, and asked the witnesses to sign. The mark of Guillem Gualter. The mark of Ramon. The mark of Bernard, her sons. The mark of Dalmau de Paretz Tortas, her son-in-law, who confirms and signs.
The mark of Hug Rigaud, who serves in the Knights of Christ, who has received this gift. The mark of Pere Bernat of Perpignan, a brother. The mark of Bernat de Peralada, also a brother. The mark of Ponç Adalbert de Tazio. The mark of Jaume de Perpignan; the mark of Guillem Casal; the mark of Ramon Stephan; the mark of Joan Peregrini; the mark of Pere Mancipii, his son; the mark of Oliba de Candel. The mark of Bernat Guillem de Montesquieu. The mark of Ponç de Roca. The mark of Pere de Coneiano. The mark of Berenguer Arnau. The mark of Bernat Utalger, brothers of the said Temple. The mark of Ponç Stephan de Candel.
Pere, monk and priest, who was asked and who wrote this the day and year named above.
2. Apparently after 24 April 1187. Memorandum of statements by Arnau de Vilar, Guillem de Berguedà, and others, in which they bequeath their bodies, horses and arms, and in one case some other goods, to the Templars. Source: Barcelona, Arxiu de la Corona d'Aragó, Cancelleria, Pergamí extrainventari no. 3423. Possibly a fragment of a larger document. Prickings along the top of this vertical parchment suggest it may have been (or may have been intended to be) sewn into a larger roll.
... And I, Arnau de Vila, give and surrender my body in life and in death to the lord God and the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, with my horse and all my arms of wood and iron; and now I, the said Armau de Vilar and my wife Berengaria and our sons, all together, for the salvation of our souls and the souls of our relatives, give and concede and surrender to the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem our borda which Bernat Cabót and his wife Ferréra hold in the village of Santa Eugenia, with all the census and usaticum which they must pay to us for the said tenancy.
And I, Guillem de Berguedà, give and surrender my body in life and in death to the Lord God and the knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, with my horse and all my arms of wood and iron, with that which I have left in my will to the said Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, for the salvation of my soul and of the souls of my relatives.
And I, Bernat de Exencia, give and surrender [my] body in life and in death to the lord God and to the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem with my horse and all my arms of wood and iron.
And I, Pere de Travesseres, give and surrender my body in life and in death to the lord God and the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem, with my horse and all my arms of wood and iron.
And I, Ramon, also of Travesseres, give and surrender [my] body in life and in death to the lord God and to the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem with my horse and all my arms of wood and iron; and if I will not have a horse then, then one of my best beasts.
And I, Pelegrinus, give and surrender my body in life and in death to the lord God and to the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem in life and in death ... with the third part of all my movable and household goods, and with an annual census of a quartal of spelt.
I, Ramon Gauceran, give to the lord God and to the House of the Knights of the Temple, for the remission of my sins, on the day of my death, both my horse and my arms of wood and iron.
I, Vital Zabater d’Ux, give myself to the lord God and the Knights of Jerusalem in life and in death, with all my movable and landed possessions, and in the day of my death let one third part of all my holdings go to the Knights, except the rights of the Church, and annually I will make as a census to the Knights one half a quartal of rye.
I, Pere Ferrer d’Edors, give myself in life and in death to God and the Knights of Jerusalem with all my movable and landed possessions; and annually I will make a census to the Knights of one quartal of rye, and on the day of my death I relinquish two thirds of all my possessions to the Knights, except the rights of the church. And the brothers of the Temple, whenever they want, will receive me as a brother, and if I die before I am made a brother they shall treat me after the fashion of a brother.
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