About the Knights of St. Andrew

The order of “The Knights of the Temple of Solomon,” or “The Knights of the Temple,” originally called the “Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Jesus Christ,” was established in 1118. Pope Clement V declared it heretical, at the insistence of Philip the Fair of France in 1307. The leadership of the Order in France was arrested and imprisoned, many executed and more tortured, and all impoverished. When the Grand Master had been burned alive, on the 15th of March, 1314, the Templars no longer had a common head, nor could they maintain their organization under their old name, which had become so famous.

In Portugal, where they were pronounced innocent, the name of the Order was changed to that of the Order of Christ. In England, King Edward proscribed them, and forbade them to remain in the realm, unless they entered the Preceptories of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. There is a legend that in Scotland they found protection, and joined the army with which King Robert Bruce met the invasion of his country by Edward II of England.

The battle of Bannockburn was fought on the 24th of June, 1314. In consequence of the assistance reputedly rendered him on that memorable day by the Templars, Bruce created, and received them into, the Order of Saint Andrew du Chardon, meaning “of the Thistle,” of Scotland. King Robert reserved to himself and to his successors forever the title of Grand Master of the new Order. Prince Charles Edward Stuart was the last Grand Master of the Order in Scotland, and exercised his powers in France, by establishing a Chapter Rose Croix of Heredom at Arras. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was finally organized, by men in possession of the Degrees of the Rites of Heredom and Perfection, and of other Rites and detached degrees that had been from time to time established in Scotland, France, Germany and elsewhere. The Order of Scottish Knights of Saint Andrew became the 29th of the new Rite formed by selecting, from the different Rites and Observances, seven Degrees, in addition to the twenty-five of Perfection; and creating the 3 3rd, as the supreme and last Degree, to rule the whole.