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Established in Jerusalem in 1118 as a small group of knights pledged to protect pilgrims journeying to the Holy Places. In 1128 they gained papal support and a rule was compiled for them by St Bernard of Clairvaux. Their first house in England was established just outside the city of London and moved to a site (the ‘New Temple’) off Fleet Street in 1161. Their wealth (and ultimate military failure) led to accusations of heresy, particularly in France where King Philip IV in association with Pope Clement V brought about the brutal demise of the order, finally suppressed in 1312.

Subjects: History — Christianity.

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