1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/St John of Jerusalem, Knights of the Order of the Hospital of

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 24
St John of Jerusalem, Knights of the Order of the Hospital of by Walter Alison Phillips
26111581911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 24 — St John of Jerusalem, Knights of the Order of the Hospital ofWalter Alison Phillips

ST JOHN OF JERUSALEM, KNIGHTS OF THE ORDER OF THE HOSPITAL OF (Ordo fratrum hospitalariorum Hierosolymitanorum, Ordo militias Sandi Johannis Baptistae hospitalis Hierosolymitani), known also later as the Knights of Rhodes and the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Rhodes and the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta. The history of this order divides itself naturally into four periods: (1) From its foundation in Jerusalem during the First Crusade to its expulsion from the Holy Land after the fall of the Latin kingdom in 1291; (2) from 1309–1310, when the order was established in Rhodes, to its expulsion from the island in 1522; (3) from 1529 to 1798, during which its headquarters were in Malta; (4) its development, as reconstituted after its virtual destruction in 1798, to the present day.

Early Developments.—Medieval legend set back the beginnings to the days of the Maccabees, with King Antiochus as the founder and Zacharias, father of the Baptist, as one of the first masters; later historians of the order maintained that it was established as a military order contemporaneously with the Latin conquest of Jerusalem, and that it had no connexion with any earlier foundation (so P. A. Paoli, De origine). This view would now seem to be disproved, and it is clear that the order was connected with an earlier Hospitale Hierosolymitanum.[1] Such a hospital had existed in the Holy City, with rare interruptions, ever since it had become a centre of Christian pilgrimage. About 1023 certain merchants of Amalfi had purchased the site of the Latin hospice established by Charlemagne, destroyed in 1010 with the other Christian establishments by order of the fanatical caliph Hakim Biamrillah[2] and had there founded a hospital for pilgrims, served by Benedictines and later dedicated to St John the Baptist.[3] When, in 1087, the crusaders surrounded the Holy City, the head of this hospital was a certain Gerard or Gerald.[4] who earned their gratitude by assisting them in some way during the siege.[5] After the capture of the city he used his popularity to enlarge and reconstitute the hospital. If, as M. Le Roulx surmises, he had previously been affiliated to the Benedictines, he now left them and adopted for his order the Augustinian rule. Donations and privileges were showered upon the new establishment. Godfrey de Bouillon led the way by granting to it in Jerusalem itself the casal Hessilia (Es Silsileh) and two bakehouses.[6] Kings, nobles and prelates followed suit, not in the Holy Land only, but in Provence, France, Spain, Portugal, England and Italy: in Portugal a whole province was in 1114 made over to Gerard and his brethren (Cartul. i. No. 34). In 1113 Pope Paschal II. took the order and its possessions under his immediate protection (bull of Feb. 15th to Gerard, Cartul. i. No. 30), his act being confirmed in 1119 by Calixtus II. and subsequently by other popes. Gerard was indeed, as Pope Paschal called him, the “instituter” of the order, if not its founder. It retained, however, during his lifetime its purely eleemosynary character. The armed defence of pilgrims may have been part of its functions, but its organization as an aggressive military force was the outcome of special circumstances—the renewed activity of the, Saracens—and was the work of Raymond du Puy, who succeeded as grand master on the death of Gerard (3rd of September 1120).[7]

Not that Raymond can be proved to have given to his order anything of its later aristocratic constitution. There is no mention in his Rule[8] of the division into knights, chaplains and sergeants; indeed, there is no mention of any military duties whatever. It merely lays down certain rules of conduct and discipline for the brethren. They are to be bound by the threefold vow of chastity, poverty and obedience. They are to claim nothing for themselves save bread, water and raiment; and this latter is to be of poor quality, “since our Lord's poor, whose servants we say we are, go naked and sordid, and it is a disgrace for the servant to be proud when his master is humble.” Finally, the brethren are to wear crosses on the breast of their capes and mantles, “ut Deus per ipsum vexillum et fidem et operationem et obedientiam nos custodiat.”[9] Yet that Raymond laid down military regulations for the brethren is certain. Their underlying principle is revealed by a bull of Pope Alexander III. addressed (1178–1180) to the grand master Roger des Moulins, in which he bids him, “according to the custom of Raymond,” abstain from bearing arms save when the standard of the Cross is displayed either for the defence of the kingdom or in an attack on a “pagan” city.[10]

The statesmanlike qualities of Raymond du Puy rendered his long mastership epoch-making for the order. When it was decided to fortify Ibelin (Beit-Jibrin) as an outpost against attacks from the side of Ascalon, it was to the Hospitallers that the building and defence of the new castle were assigned; and from 1137 onwards they took a regular part in the wars of the Cross. It was owing to Raymond's diplomatic skill, too, , that the order was enabled to profit by the bequest made to it by Alphonso I. of Aragon, who had died childless, of a third of his kingdom. To have claimed the literal fulfilment of this bequest would have been to risk losing it all, and Raymond acted wisely in transferring the bequest, with certain important reservations, to Raymond Berenger IV., count of, Barcelona and regent of Aragon (16th of September 1140).[11] It was probably also during his sojourn in the West for the above purpose that Raymond secured from Pope Celestine II. the bull dated December 7th, 1143, subordinating to his jurisdiction the Teutonic hospice, founded in 1128 by a German pilgrim and his wife in honour of the Blessed Virgin, which was the nucleus of the Teutonic Order (q.v.). This order was to remain subordinate to the Hospitallers actually for some fifty years, and nominally for some thirty years longer.[12] Raymond took part in the Second Crusade and was present at the council of the leaders held at Acre, in 1148, which resulted in the ill-fated expedition against Damascus. The failure before Damascus was repaired five years later by the capture of Ascalon (19th of August 1153), in which Raymond du Puy and his knights had a conspicuous share.

Meanwhile, in addition to its ever-growing wealth, the order had received from successive popes privileges which rendered it, like the companion order of the Temple, increasingly independent of and obnoxious to the secular clergy. In 1135 Innocent II. had confirmed to Raymond the privileges accorded by Paschal II., Calixtus II. and Honorious II., and in addition forbade the diocesan bishops to interdict the churches of the Hospitallers, whom he also authorized, in case of a general interdict, to celebrate mass for themselves alone.[13] In 1137 he gave them the privilege of Christian burial during such interdicts and the right to open interdicted churches once a year in order to say mass and collect money.[14] These bulls were confirmed by Eugenius III. in 1153[15] and Anastasius IV. in 1154, the latter adding the permission for the order to have its own priest, independent of the diocesan bishops.[16] In vain the patriarch of Jerusalem, attended by other bishops, journeyed to Rome in 1155 to complain to Adrian IV. of the Hospitallers' abuse of their privileges and to beg him to withdraw his renewal of his predecessor's bull.[17]

Far different was the effect produced by Raymond du Puy's triumphant progress through southern Europe from the spring of 1157 onward. From the popes, the emperor Frederick I., kings and nobles, he received fresh gifts, or the confirmation of old ones. After the 25th of October 1158, when his presence is attested at Verona, this master builder of the order disappears from history; he died some time between this date and 1160, when the name of another grand master appears.

During the thirty years of his rule the Hospital, which Gerard had instituted to meet a local need, had become universal. In the East its growth was beyond calculation: kings, prelates and laity had overwhelmed it with wealth. In the West, all Europe combined to enrich it; from Ireland to Bohemia and Hungary, from Italy and Provence to Scandinavia, men vied with each other to attract it and establish it in their midst. It was clear that for this vast institution an elaborate organization was needed, and this need was probably the occasion of Raymond's presence in Europe. The priory of St Gilles already existed as the nucleus of the later system; the development of this system took place after Raymond's death.

Constitution and Organization.—The rule of the Hospital, as formulated by Raymond du Puy, was based on that of the Augustinian Canons (q.v.). Its further developments, of which only the salient characteristics can be mentioned here, were closely analogous to those of the Templars (q.v.), whose statutes regulating the life of the brethren, the terms of admission to the order, the maintenance of discipline, and the scale of punishments, culminating in expulsion (pert de la maison), are, mutatis mutandis, closely paralleled by those of the Hospitallers. These, too, were early (probably in Raymond's time) divided into three classes: knights (fratres milites), chaplains (fratres capellani), and sergeants (fratres servientes armigeri), with affiliated brethren (confratres) and “donats” (donati, i.e. regular subscribers, as it were, to the order in return for its privileges and the ultimate right to enter the ranks of its knights). Similar, too, was the aristocratic rule which confined admission to the first class to sons born in lawful wedlock of knights[18] or members of knightly families, a rule which applied also to the donats.[19] For the serjeant men-at-arms it sufficed that they should not be serfs. Below these a host of servientes did the menial work. of the houses of the order, or worked as artisans or as labourers on the farms.

All the higher offices in the order were filled by the knights, except the ecclesiastical—which fell to the chaplains—and those of master of the squires and turcopolier (commander of the auxiliary light cavalry), which were reserved for the sergeants-at-arms. Each knight was allowed three horses, each serjeant two. The fratres capellani ranked with the knights as eligible for certain temporal posts; at their head was the “conventual prior” (clericorum magister et ecclesie custos, prior clericorum Hospitalis).

In two important respects the Knights of St John differed from the Templars. The latter were a purely military organization; the Hospitallers, on the other hand, were at the outset preponderating a nursing brotherhood, and, though this character was subordinated during their later period of military importance, it never disappeared. It continued to be a rule of the order that in its establishments it was for the sick to give orders, for the brethren to obey. The chapters were largely occupied with the building, furnishing, and improvement of hospitals, to which were attached learned physicians and surgeons, who had the privilege of messing with the knights. The revenues of particular properties were charged with providing luxuries (e.g. white bread) for the patients, and the various provinces of the order with the duty of forwarding blankets, clothes, wine and food for their use. The Hospitallers, moreover, encouraged the affiliation of women to their order, which the monastic and purely military rule of the Templars sternly forbade. So early as the First Crusade a Roman lady named Alix or Agnes had founded, at Jerusalem a hospice for women in connexion with the order of St John. Until 1187, when they fled to Europe, the sisters had devoted themselves to prayer and sick-nursing. In Europe, however, they developed into a purely contemplative order.[20]

The habit of the order, both in peace and war, was originally a black cappa clausa (i.e. the long monastic bell-like cloak with a slit on each side for the arms) with a white, eight-pointed “Maltese” cross on the breast. As this was highly inconvenient for fighting, Innocent IV. in 1248 authorized the brethren to wear in locis suspectis a large super-tunic with a cross on the breast (Cartul. ii. No. 2479), and in 1259 Alexander IV. fixed the habit as, in peace time, a black mantle, and in war a red surcoat with a white cross (Cartul. ii. No. 2928).

The unit of the organization of the order was the commandery (preceptory), a small group of knights and sergeants living in community under the rule of a commander, or preceptor,[21] charged with the supervision of several contiguous properties. The commanderies were grouped into priories, each under the rule of a prior (styled unofficially “grand prior,” magnus prior), and these again into provinces corresponding to certain countries, under the authority of grand commanders. These largest groups crystallized in the 14th century as national divisions under the name of “langues” (languages).[22] At the head of the whole organization was the grand master. The grand master was elected, from the ranks of the knights of justice, by the same process as the grand master of the Templars (q.v.). Alone of the bailiffs (bailivi), as the officials of the order were generically termed. he held office for life. His authority was very great, but not absolute. The supreme legislative and controlling power was vested in the general chapter of the knights, at the periodical meetings of which the great officers of the order had to give an account of their stewardship, and which alone had the right to pass statutes binding on the order The executive power of the grand master, like that of the great dignitaries immediately subordinate to him, was in the nature of a delegation from the chapter. He was assisted in its exercise by four councils: (1) the “convent” or ordinary chapter, a committee of the general chapter,[23] for administrative business; (2) a secret council, for criminal cases and affairs of state; (3) a full council, to hear appeals from the two former;[24] and (4) the “venerable chamber of the treasury” for financial matters. To the general chapter at headquarters corresponded the chapters of the priories and the commanderies, which controlled the action of the priors and commanders.

Immediately subordinate to the grand master were the seven great dignitaries of the order, known as the conventual bailiffs: the grand preceptor,[25] marshal, draper (Fr. drapier) or grand conservator, hospitaller, treasurer, admiral, turcopolier.[26] The grand preceptor, elected by the chapter at the same time as the grand master and subject to his approval, was the lieutenant of the latter in his absence, empowered to seal for him and, in the event of his capture by the enemy, to act as vice-master. The functions of the marshal, draper, treasurer and turcopolier were practically identical with those of the officials of the same titles in the order of Knights Templars. That of hospitaller, on the other hand, was naturally a charge of exceptional importance in the order of St John; he had a seal of his own, and was responsible for everything concerning the hospitals of the order, the dispensing of hospitality, and of alms. The admiral, as the name implies, was at sea what the marshal was on land. The office first appears in 1299 when the knights, after their expulsion from the Holy Land, had begun to organize their new sea-power in Cyprus. As to the equipage and suites of the grand master and the great dignitaries, these were practically on the same scale and of the same nature as those described in the article Templars for the sister order. The grand master had the right himself to nominate his companions and the members of his household (seneschal, squires, secretaries, chaplains, &c.), which, as Le Roulx points out, was such as to enable him to figure as the equal of the kings and princes with whom he consorted.

The grand-mastership of Gilbert d'Assailly was signalized by the participation of the Hospitallers in the abortive expeditions of Amalric of Jerusalem into Egypt in 1162, 1168 and 1169. On the 10th of August 1164 also they shared in the disastrous defeat inflicted by Nur-ed-din at Harran on the count of Tripoli. The important position occupied by them in the councils of the kingdom is shown by the fact that the grand preceptor Guy de Mauny was one of the ambassadors sent in 1169 to ask aid of the princes of the West. Another important development was the bestowal on the order by Bohemund III., prince of Antioch, in 1168, and King Amalric, as regent of Tripoli, in 1170, of considerable territories on the north-eastern frontier, to be held with almost sovereign power as a march against the Saracens (Cartulaire, i. Nos. 391, 411). The failure of the expedition to Egypt, however, brought considerable odium on Gilbert d'Assailly, who resigned the grand-mastership, probably in the autumn of 1170.[27] Under the short rule of the grand master Jobert (d. 1177) the question of a renewed attack on Egypt was mooted; but the confusion reigning in the Latin kingdom and, not least, the scandalous quarrels between the Templars and Hospitallers, rendered all aggressive action impossible. In 1170 the growing power of the two military orders received its first set back when, at the instance of the bishops, the Lateran Council forbade them to receive gifts of churches and tithes at the hands of laymen without the consent of the bishops, ordered them to restore all “recent”[28] gifts of this nature, and passed a number of decrees in restraint of the abuse of their privileges.

A more potent discipline was to befall them, however, at the hands of Saladin, sultan of Egypt, who in 1186 began his systematic conquest of the kingdom. It was the Hospitallers who, with the other religious orders, alone offered an organized resistance to his victorious advance. On the 1st of May 1187 occurred the defeat of Tiberias, in which the grand master Gilbert des Moulins fell riddled with arrows, and this was followed on the 4th of July by the still more disastrous battle of Hittin. The flower of the Christian chivalry was slain or captured; the Hospitallers and Templars who fell into his hands Saladin massacred in cold blood. On the 2nd of October Jerusalem fell. Ten brethren of the Hospital were allowed to remain for a year to look after the sick; the rest took refuge at Tyre. In these straits Armengard d'Asp was elected grand master (1188) and the headquarters of the order were established at Margat (Markab), near the coast some distance northwards of Tripoli. In the interior the knights still held some scattered fortresses; but their great stronghold of Krak[29] was reduced by famine in September 1188 and Beauvoir in the following January.

The news of these disasters once more roused the crusading spirit in Europe; the offensive against Saladin was resumed, the Christians concentrating their forces against Acre in the autumn of 1189. In the campaigns that followed, of which Richard I. of England was the most conspicuous hero, and which ended in the recovery of Acre and the sea-coast generally for the Latin kingdom, the Hospitallers, under their grand master Garnier de Naplouse[30] (Neapoli), played a prominent part. The grand-mastership of Geoffrey de Donjon, who succeeded Garnier in 1192 and ruled the order till 1202,[31] was signalized, not by feats of arms, since the Holy Land enjoyed a precarious peace, but by a steady restoration and development of the property and privileges of the order, by renewed quarrels with the Templars, and in 1198 by the establishment—in face of the protests of the Hospitallers—of the Teutonic knights as a separate order; Under the grand-mastership of the pious Alphonso of Portugal, and of Geoffrey le Rat, who was elected on Alphonso's resignation in 1206, the knights. took a vigorous part in the quarrel as to the succession in Antioch; under that of Garin de Montaigu (elected 1207) they shared in the expedition to Egypt (1218-1221), of which he had been a vigorous advocate (see Crusades: The Fifth Crusade). In 1222, at the instance of the emperor Frederick II., the grand master accompanied the king of Jerusalem and others to Europe to discuss the preparation of a new crusade, visiting Rome, proceeding thence to Paris and, London, and returning to the Holy Land in 1225. The expedition failed of its object so far as the organization of a general crusade was concerned; but the Hospital received everywhere enormous accessions of property.[32] Garin de Montaigu died in 1228, after consolidating by his statesmanlike attitude the position and power of his order, on the eve of Frederick II.'s crusade. In this crusade, conducted in spite of a papal excommunication, the Hospitallers took no part, being rewarded with the approval of Pope Gregory IX., who, in August 1229, issued a bull to the patriarch of Jerusalem ordering him to maintain the jurisdiction of the Hospital over the Teutonic knights, who had dared to assist the German emperor.[33] In 1233, under the grand master Guerin, the Hospitallers took a leading part in the successful attack on the principality of Hamah. The motive of this, however—which was no more than the refusal of the emir to pay them the tribute due—seems to point to an increasing secularization of their spirit. In 1236 Pope Gregory IX. thought it necessary to threaten both them and the Templars with excommunication, to prevent their forming an alliance with the Assassins,[34] and in 1238 issued a bull in which he inveighed against the scandalous lives and relaxed discipline of the Hospitallers.[35]

Events were soon to expose the order to fresh tests. Under the grand-mastership of Pierre de Vieille Bride[36] occurred the brief “crusade” of Richard of Cornwall (11th of October 1240 to 3rd of May 1241). The truce concluded by Richard with the sultan of Egypt was accepted by the Hospitallers, rejected by the Templars, and after his departure something like a war broke out between the two bodies. In the midst of the strife of parties, in which Richard of Cornwall had recognized the fatal weakness of the Christian cause to lie, came the news of the invasion of the Chorasmians. On the 23rd of August the Tatar horde took and sacked Jerusalem. On the 17th of October, in alliance with the Egyptians under Bibars, it overwhelmed the Christian host at Gaza. Of the Hospitallers only sixteen escaped; 325 of the knights were slain; and among the prisoners was the grand master, Guillaume de Châteauneuf[37] Amid the general ruin that followed this defeat, the Hospitallers held out in the fortress of Ascalon, until forced to capitulate on the 15th of October 1247. Under the vice-master, the grand preceptor Jean de Ronay, they took part in 1249 in the Egyptian expedition of St Louis of France, only to share in the crushing defeat of Mansurah (11th of February 1250). Of the knights present all were slain, except five who were taken prisoners, the vice-master and one other.[38] At the instance of St Louis, after the conclusion of peace, 25 Hospitallers, together with the grand master Guillaume de Châteauneuf, were released.[39]

On the withdrawal of St Louis from the Holy Land (April 1254), a war of aggression and reprisals broke out between Christians and Mussulmans; and no sooner was this ended by a precarious truce than the Christians fell to quarrelling among themselves. In the war between the Genoese and Venetians and their respective partisans, the Hospitallers and Templars fought on opposite sides. In spite of so great a scandal and of the hopeless case of the Christian cause, the possessions of the order were largely increased during Guillaume de Châteauneuf's mastership, both in the Holy Land and in Europe.

Under the grand-mastership of Hugues de Revel, elected probably in 1255, the menace of a new Tatar invasion led to serious efforts to secure harmony in the kingdom. In 1258 the Templars, Hospitallers, and Teutonic knights decided to submit their disputes in Syria, Cyprus and Armenia to arbitration, a decision which bore fruit in 1260 in the settlement of their differences in Tripoli and Margat. The satisfactory arrangement was possibly affected by the result of a combined attack made in 1259 on the Hospitallers by the Templars and the brethren of St Lazarus and St Thomas, which had resulted in the practical extermination of the aggressors, possibly also by the crushing defeat of the Templars and the Syrian barons by the Turcomans at Tiberias in 1260. However achieved, the concord was badly needed; for Bibars, having in 1260 driven back the Tatars and established himself in the sultanate of Egypt, began the series of campaigns which ended in the destruction of the Latin kingdom. In 1268 Bibars conquered Antioch, and the Christian power was confined to Acre, Chateau Pélerin, Tyre, Sidon, and the castles of Margat, Krak and Belda (Baldeh), in which the Hospitallers still held out. The respite afforded by the second crusade of St Louis was ended by his death at Tunis in 1270. On the 30th of March 1271 the great fortress of Krak, the key to the county of Tripoli, surrendered after a short siege. The crusade of Prince Edward of England did little to avert the ultimate fate of the kingdom, and with it that of the Hospitallers in the Holy Land. This was merely delayed by the preoccupations of Bibars elsewhere, and by his death in 1277. In 1280 the Mongols overran northern Syria; and the Hospitallers distinguished themselves by two victories against enormous odds, one over the Turcomans and one over the emir of Krak (February 1281). The situation, however, was desperate, and the grand master Nicolas Lorgne, who had succeeded Hugues de Revel in 1277, wrote despairing letters of appeal to Edward I. of England. On the 25th of May 1285, Margat surrendered to the sultan Kalaun (Mansur Saifaldin). Not even the strong character and high courage of Jean de Villiers, who succeeded Nicolas Lorgne as grand master in 1285, could do more than stave off the ultimate disaster. The Hospitallers assisted in the vain defence of Tripoli, which fell on the 26th of April 1289. On the 18th of May 1291 the Mussulmans stormed Acre, the last hope of the Christians in the Holy Land. Jean de Villiers, wounded, was carried on board a ship, and sailed to Limisso in Cyprus, which became the headquarters of the order. For the remaining two years of his life Jean de Villiers was occupied in attempting the reorganization of the shattered order. The demoralization in the East was, however, too profound to admit a ready cure. The knights, represented by the grand dignitaries, addressed a petition to Pope Boniface VIII. in 1295 asking for the appointment of a permanent council of seven difinitores to control the grand master, who had become more and more autocratic. The pope did not consent; but in a severe letter to the new grand master, Eudes de Pin, he sternly reproved him for the irregularities of which he had been guilty.[40] In 1296 Eudes was succeeded by Guillaume de Villaret, grand prior of St Gilles, who for three years after his election remained in Europe, regulating the affairs of the order. In 1300, in response to the urgent remonstrances of the knights, he appeared in Cyprus. In 1299 an unnatural alliance of the Christians and Mongols gave a momentary prospect of regaining the Holy Land; in 1300 the Hospitallers took part in the raid of King Henry II. (de Lusignan) of Cyprus in Egypt, and gained some temporary successes on the coast of Syria. Of more advantage for the prestige of the order, however, were the immense additions of property and privileges which Guillaume de Villaret had secured in Europe from the pope and many kings and princes,[41] and the reform of the rule and drastic reorganization of the order promulgated in a series of statutes between 1300 and 1304, the year of Guillaume's death.[42] Of these changes the most significant was the definition of the powers and status of the admiral, a new great dignitary created in 1299.

The grand-mastership of Foulques de Villaret, Guillaume's nephew and successor,[43] was destined to be eventful for the order. On the 5th of June 1305 Bertrand de Got became pope as Clement V. The new pope consulted the grand master of the Templars and Hospitallers as to the organization of a new crusade, and at the same time raised the question of the fusion of the military orders, a plan which had already been suggested by St Louis, discussed at the council of Lyons in 1274, and approved by the pope's patron Philip IV. of France. The proposal broke down on the opposition of Jacques de Molay, grand master of the Temple; but the desired result was obtained by other and more questionable means. In October 1307 Philip IV. caused all the Templars in France, including the grand master, to be arrested on charges of heresy and gross immorality; Pope Clement V., a creature of the French king, reluctantly endorsed this action, and at his instance the other sovereigns of Europe followed the example of Philip. The famous long-drawn-out trial of the Templars followed, ending at the council of Vienne in 1314, when Pope Clement decreed the dissolution of the order of the Temple and at the same time assigned the bulk of its property to the Hospital.[44] (See Templars, Knights)

Meanwhile an event had occurred which marks an epoch in the history of the order of the Hospital. In 1306 Foulques de Villaret, anxious to find a centre where the order would be untrammelled by obligations to another power as in Cyprus, came to an agreement with a Genoese pirate named Vignolo de Vignoli for a concerted attack on Rhodes and other islands belonging to the Greek emperor. The exact date of their completed conquest of the island is uncertain;[45] nor is it clear that the grand master took a personal part in it. By command of the pope he had left Cyprus for Europe at the end of 1306 or the beginning of 1307, and he did not return to the East till late in 1309. He returned, however, not to Cyprus but to Rhodes, and it is with 1310, therefore, when its headquarters were established in the latter island, that the second period of the history of the order of the Hospital opens.[46]

The Knights in Rhodes.—The history of the order for the next fifty years is very obscure. Certain changes, however, took place which profoundly modified its character. The most important of these was its definitive division into “langues.” The beginnings of this had been made long before; but the system was only legalized by the general chapter at Montpellier in 1330. Hitherto the order had been a cosmopolitan society, in which the French element had tended to predominate; henceforth it became a federation of national societies united only for purposes of commerce and war. To the headship of each “langue” was attached one of the great dignitaries of the order, which thus came to represent, not the order as a whole but the interests of a section.[47] The motive of this change was probably, as Prutz suggests,[48] fear of the designs of Philip IV. of France and his successors to which point had been given by the fate of the Templars, and the consequent desire to destroy the preponderance of the French element.[49]

The character and aims of the order were also profoundly affected by their newly acquired sovereignty—for the shadowy over lordship of the Eastern emperor was soon forgotten—and above all by its seat. The Teutonic order had established its sovereignty in Prussia, in wide and ill-defined spheres beyond the north-eastern marches of Germany. The Hospitallers ruled an island too narrow to monopolize their energies, but occupying a position of vast commercial and strategic importance. Close to the Anatolian mainland, commanding the outlet of the Archipelago, and lying in the direct trade route between Europe and the East, Rhodes had become the chief distributing point in the lively commerce which, in spite of papal thunders, Christian traders maintained with the Mahommedan states; and in the new capital of the order representatives to every language and religion of the Levant jostled, haggled and quarrelled.[50] The Hospitallers were thus divided between their duty as sovereign, which was to watch over'the interests of their subjects, and their duty as Christian warriors, which was to combat the Infidel. In view of the fact that the crusading spirit was everywhere declining, it is not surprising that their policy was henceforth directed less by religious than by political and commercial considerations. Not that they altogether neglected their duty as protectors of the Cross. Their galleys policed the narrow seas; their consuls in Egypt and Jerusalem watched over the interests of pilgrims; their hospitals were still maintained for the service of the sick and the destitute. But, side by side with this, secularization proceeded apace. In 1341 Pope Clement VI. wrote to the grand master denouncing the luxury of the order and the misuse of its funds; in 1355 Innocent VI. sent the celebrated Juan Fernandez de Heredia, castellan of Amposta and grand commander of Aragon, as his legate to Rhodes, armed with a bull which threatened the order with dissolution if it did not reform itself and effect a settlement in Turkey. In 1348, indeed, the Hospitallers, in alliance with Venice and Cyprus, had captured Smyrna; but the chief outcome of this had been commercial treaties with their allies. Such treaties were, in fact, a matter of life and death; for the island was not self-supporting, and even towards the Infidel the attitude of the knights was necessarily influenced by the fact that their supplies of provisions were mainly drawn from the Mussulman mainland. By the 15th century their crusading spirit had grown so weak that they even attempted to negotiate a commercial treaty with the Ottoman sultan; the project broke down on the refusal of the knights to accept the sultan's suzerainty.

The earlier history of the Hospitallers bristles with obscure questions on which modern scholarship (notably the labours of Delaville Le Roulx) has thrown new light. From 1355 onward, however, the case is different; the essential facts have been established by writers who were able to draw on a mass of well-ordered materials.

Their history during the two centuries of the occupation of Rhodes, so far as its general interest for Europe is concerned, is that of a long series of naval attacks and counter-attacks; its chief outcome, for which the European states owed a debt of gratitude but ill acknowledged, the postponement for some two centuries of the appearance of the Ottomans as a first-rate naval power in the Mediterranean. The seaward advance of Osman the Turk was arrested by their victories; in 1358 they successfully defended Smyrna; in 1365 under their grand master Raymond Béranger (d. 1374), and in alliance with the king of Cyprus, they captured and burned Alexandria. The Ottoman peril, however, grew ever more imminent, and in 1395, under their grand master Philibert de Naillac, the Hospitallers shared in the disastrous defeat of Nicopolis. The invasion followed of Timur the Tatar, invited to his aid by the Eastern emperor. Sultan Bayezid, the victor of Nicopolis, was overthrown; but Timur turned against the Christians and in 1402 captured Smyrna, putting the Hospitallers who defended it to the sword. It was after this disaster that the knights built, on a narrow promontory jutting from the mainland opposite the island of Kos, the fortress of St Peter the Liberator. The castle, which still stands, its name corrupted into Budrun (from Bedros, Peter), was long a place of refuge for Christians flying from slavery.[51] Some years later the position of the order as a Mediterranean sea-power was strengthened by commercial treaties with Venice, Pisa, Genoa, and even with Egypt (1423). The zenith of its power was reached a few years later, when, under the grand master lean Bonpar de Lastic, it twice defeated an Egyptian attack by sea (1440 and 1444). A new and more imminent peril, however, arose with the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, for Mahommed II. had announced his intention of making Rhodes his next objective. The attack was delayed for twenty-seven years by the sultan's wars in south-eastern Europe; and meanwhile, in 1476, Pierre d'Aubusson (q.v.), the second great hero of the order, had been elected grand master. Under his inspiration, when in June 1480 the Turks, led by three renegades, attacked the island, the knights made so gallant a resistance that, in July, after repeated and decisive repulses, the Turks retreated. In 1503 Pierre d'Aubusson was succeeded by Aymar d'Amboise, who directed a long series of naval battles. In 1521 the famous Philippe de Villiers de l'Isle d'Adam was elected grand master, just as the dreaded sultan Suleiman the Magnificent directed his attack on Rhodes. In 1522 he besieged the island, reinforcements failed, the European powers sent no assistance, and in 1523 the knights capitulated, and withdrew with all the honours of war to Candia (Crete). The emperor Charles V., when the news was brought to him, exclaimed, “Nothing in the world has been so well lost as Rhodes!” But he refused to assist the grand master in his plans for its recovery, and instead, five years later (1530), handed over to the Hospitallers the island of Malta and the fortress of Tripoli in Africa.

The Knights in Malta.—The settlement of the Hospitallers in Malta was contemporaneous with the Reformation, which profoundly affected the order. The master and knights of the bailiwick of Brandenburg accepted the reformed religion, without, however, breaking off all connexion with the order (see below). In England, on the other hand, the refusal of the grand prior and knights to acknowledge the royal supremacy led to the confiscation of their estates by Henry VIII., and, though not formally suppressed, the English “langue” practically ceased to exist.[52] The knights of Malta, as they came to be known, none the less continued their vigorous warfare. Under Pierre du Pont, who succeeded Villiers de l'Isle d'Adam in 1534, they took a conspicuous part in Charles V.'s attack on Goletta and Tunis (1535). In 1550 they defeated the redoubtable corsair Dragut, but in 1551 their position in Tripoli, always precarious, became untenable and they capitulated to the Turks under Dragut, concentrating their forces in Malta. In 1557 Jean Parisot de la Vallette (1494-1548) was elected grand master, and under his vigorous rule strenuous efforts were made to put the defences of Malta into a fit state to resist the expected Turkish attack. On the 18th of May 1565 the Ottoman fleet, under Dragut, appeared before the city, and one of the most famous sieges in history began.[53] It was ultimately raised on the 8th of September, on the appearance of a large relieving force dispatched by the Spanish viceroy of Sicily, after Dragut and 25,000 of his followers had fallen. The memory of La Vallette, the hero of the siege, who died in 1568, is preserved in the city of Valletta, which was built on the site of the struggle. In 1571 the knights shared in the victory of Lepanto; but this crowning success was followed during the 17th century by a long period of depression, due to internal dissensions and culminating during the Thirty Years' War, the position of the order being seriously affected by the terms of the peace of Westphalia (1648). The order was also troubled by quarrels with the popes, who claimed to nominate its officials (a claim renounced by Innocent XII. in 1697), and by rivalry with the Mediterranean powers, especially Venice. In Malta itself there were four rival claimants to independent jurisdiction: the grand master, the bishop of Malta, the grand inquisitor, whose office was instituted in 1572, and the Society of Jesus, introduced by Bishop Gargallo in 1592. The order, indeed, saw much fighting: e.g. the frequent expeditions undertaken during the grand-mastership of Alof de Vignacourt (1601-1622); the defence of Candia—which fell after a twenty years' siege in 1669—under Nicholas Cottoner, grand master from 1665 to 1680; and, during the grand mastership of Gregorio Caraffa (1680-1690), a campaign (1683) with John Sobieski, king of Poland, against the Turks in Hungary, and the attack in alliance with Venice on the Morea in 1687, which involved the Hospitallers in the defeat at Negropont in 1689. The decline of the order was hastened by the practice of electing aged grand masters to ensure frequent vacancies; such were Luiz Mendez de Vasconcellos (1622-1623) and Antonio da Paula. (1623-1636) and Giovanni Paolo Lascaris (de Castellar), in 1636, who died twenty-one years later at the age of ninety-seven. The character of the order at this date became more exclusively aristocratic, and its wealth, partly acquired by commerce, partly derived from the contributions of the commanderies scattered throughout Europe, was enormous. The wonderful fortifications, planned by French architects and improved by every grand master in turn, the gorgeous churches, chapels and auberges, the great library founded in 1650, were the outward and visible sign of the growth of a corresponding luxury in the private life of the order. Nevertheless, under Raymond Perellos de Roccaful (1697-1720) and Antonio Manoel de Vilhena (1722-1736), the knights restored their prestige in the Mediterranean by victories over the Turks. In 1741 Emmanuele Pinto de Fonseca, a man of strong character, became grand master. He expelled the Jesuits, resisted papal encroachments on his authority and, refusing to summon the general chapter, ruled as a despot.

Emanuel, prince de Rohan, who was elected grand master in succession to Francesco jimenes de Texada in 1775, made serious efforts to revive the old spirit of the order. Under him, for the first time since 1603, a general chapter was convoked; the orders of St Anthony and St Lazarus were incorporated, and the statutes were revised and codified (1782). In 1782 also Rohan, with the approval of George III. established the new Anglo-Bavarian “langue.” The last great expedition of the Maltese galleys was worthy of the noblest traditions of the order; they were sent to carry supplies for the sufferers from the great earthquake in Sicily. They had long ceased to be effective fighting ships, and survived mainly as gorgeous state barges in which the knights sailed on ceremonial pleasure trips.

The French Revolution was fatal to the order. Rohan made no secret of his sympathy with the losing cause in France, and Malta became a refuge-place for the émigrés. In 1792 the vast possessions of the order in France were confiscated, and six years later the Directory resolved on the forcible seizure of Malta itself. Rohan had died in 1797, and his feeble successor, Baron Ferdinand von Hompesch,[54] though fully warned, made no preparations to resist. In the early summer of 1798, after a siege of only a few days, he surrendered the island, with its impregnable fortifications, to Bonaparte, and retired ignominiously to Trieste, carrying with him the precious relics of the order—the hand of St John the Baptist presented by the sultan Bayezid, the miraculous image of Our Lady of Philermo, and a fragment of the true cross.

With this the history of the order of St John practically ends. Efforts were, however, made to preserve it. Many of the knights had taken refuge at the court of Paul I. of Russia, with whom in 1797 Hompesch had made an alliance. In October 1798 these elected the emperor Paul grand master, and in the following year Hompesch was induced to resign in his favour. The half-mad tsar took his new functions very seriously, but his murder in 1801 ruined any hope of recovering Malta with Russian assistance. A chapter of the order now granted the right of nomination to the pope, who appointed Giovanni di Tommasi grand master. From his death in 1805 until 1879, when Leo XIII. restored the title of grand master in favour of Fra Giovanni Ceschi a Santa Croce, the heads of the order received only the title of lieutenant master. In 1814 the French knights summoned a chapter general and elected a permanent commission for the government of the order, which was recognized by the Italian and Spanish knights, by the pope and by King Louis XVIII. In the Italian states much of the property of the order was restored at the instance of Austria, and in 1841 the emperor Ferdinand founded the grand priory of Lombardo-Venetia.

Present Constitution of the Order.—The “Sovereign Order of Malta” is now divided into the Italian and German langues, both under the Sacred Council (Sagro consiglio) at Rome. The Italian langue embraces the grand priories of Rome, Lombardy and Venice, and Sicily; the German langue consists of (1) the grand priory of Bohemia, (2) the association of the honorary knights (Ehrenritter) in Silesia, (3) the association of Ehrenritter in Westphalia and the Rhine country, (4) the association of English knights (not to be confused with the English order), (5) the knights received in gremio religionis, i.e. those not attached to any of the preceding divisions. At the head of the order is the grand master. Each priory has a certain number of bailiffs (grand commanders, commendatori), commanders, professed knights (i.e. those who have taken the vows), knights of justice (novices), honorary knights, knights of grace, donats and chaplains.

Candidates for knighthood have to prove sixteen quarterings of nobility and, if under age, must be sons of a landowner of the province and of a mother born within its limits. If an Austrian subject, the postulant must obtain the emperor's leave to join the order; the election is by the chapter, and subject to confirmation by the pope. Knights of justice take a yearly oath to fulfil the duties laid on them by the order. After ten years they may take the full oath as professed knights. At any time before doing so, however, they are free to retire from the order and may receive the croix de dévotion as honorary knights, their sole obligation being an annual subscription to the order. The croix de dévotion is also bestowed on ladies of sufficiently impeccable descent. The grand master also has the right, motu proprio, to bestow the cross on distinguished people not of noble birth, who are known as knights of grace. The grand cross[55] of the order is sometimes given, honoris causa, to sovereigns and others, who then rank as honorary bailiffs. This is a gold, white enamelled “Maltese” cross, surmounted by a crown, which is worn suspended round the neck by a black ribbon. Bailiffs, professed knights and chaplains wear in addition a white linen cross sewn on to the left breast. The grand priory of Bohemia has made the nursing of the sick its speciality, and especially the organization of military hospitals. The hospice between Bethlehem and Jerusalem is under the protection of the Austrian emperor.

Protestant Orders.—In addition to the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta, there exist two Orders of St John of Jerusalem which derive their origin from the same source: the Prussian Johanniterorden and the English Order of St John of Jerusalem. Of these the Prussian order has the most interesting history. At the Reformation the master and knights of the bailiwick of Brandenburg adopted the new religion. They continued, however, like other Ritterstifter, to enjoy their corporate rights; they even continued to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the grand preceptor of the German langue, in so far as the confirmation of official appointments was concerned, and to send their contributions to the common fund of the order. On the 30th of October 1810, under stress of the miseries of the Napoleonic occupation of Prussia, the order was secularized and its estates confiscated; in 1812 King Frederick William III. founded the chivalrous order of St John, to which the expropriated knights were admitted as honorary knights. In 1853 Frederick William IV. reversed this action, abolished the new chivalrous order and reconstituted the bailiwick of Brandenburg, on the ostensible ground that its maintenance had been guaranteed by the treaty of Westphalia (1648). The master (Herrenmeister) is elected by the chapter. All members of the order must be of noble birth and belong to the Evangelical Church. The cross worn is of white enamelled gold with four black eagles between the arms; a white linen cross is also sewn on the left breast of the red tunic which forms part of the uniform. The order has founded, and supports, many hospitals, including a hospice at Jerusalem (see Herrlich, Die Ballei Brandenburg, 4th ed., Berlin, 1904).

As already mentioned, the English langue, though deprived of its lands, was never formally suppressed. In 1826–1827 the commission instituted by the French knights in 1814, which was aiming at taking advantage of the Greek War of Independence to reconquer Rhodes or to secure some other island in the Levant, suggested the restoration of the English langue, obviously with the idea of securing the help of Great Britain for their project. Certain eminent Englishmen, e.g. Sir Sydney Smith, had already been affiliated to the order by the grand master Baron von Hompesch; the commission now placed itself in communication with the Rev. Sir William Peat, chaplain to King George IV., and other English gentlemen of position. The negotiations resulted in articles of convention reviving the English langue. In 1834 Sir William Peat, elected prior of the English langue, qualified himself by taking the oath de fideli administratione in the court of King's Bench, under the charter (never repealed) of Philip and Mary re-establishing the order.[56] For fifty years this was all the official recognition obtained by this curious and characteristic sham-Gothic restoration of the Romantic period. The “English langue,” however, though somewhat absurd, did good service in organizing hospital work, notably in the creation of the St John's Ambulance Association, and this work was recognized in high quarters, the princess of Wales (afterwards Queen Alexandra) becoming a lady of justice in 1876 and the duke of Albany joining the order in 1883. In 1888 Queen Victoria granted a charter formally incorporating the order, the headquarters of which had been established in the ancient gate-way of the priory at Clerkenwell. In 1889 the prince of Wales (King Edward VII.) was installed as grand prior.

The objects and constitution of the order are practically the same as those of its Prussian equivalent. The sovereign is its supreme head and patron, the heir to the throne for the time being its grand prior. It is essentially aristocratic, though—for obvious reasons—proof of sixteen quarterings of nobility is not exacted as a condition of membership. The cross is the gold, white-enamelled Maltese cross, differenced by two lions and two unicorns placed between the arms. The order also gives medals to persons of all ranks “for service in the cause of humanity.” Among other good works, it supports an ophthalmic hospital at Jerusalem. Unlike the Prussian order, the members need not be Protestants, though they must profess Christianity.[57]

Authorities.-From the 12th century onwards the knights exercised peculiar care in the preservation of their records, and the vast archives of the order are still preserved, all but intact, at Malta. These include not only those of the central establishment but also a large number of those of the separate commanderies. They include papal bulls, the records of the general chapter, the statutes of the grand masters, title deeds, charters, and from 1629 onwards the special transactions of the Conseil d'état. These materials were exploited by several writers in the 17th and 18th centuries. The first was Giacomo Bosio, the 3rd edition of whose Istoria della ... illustrissima militia di S. Giov. Gierosolimitano was published in 3 vols. at Rome in 1676. This was followed by S. Pauli's Codice diplomatico del sacro militare ordine Geros. (2 vols., Lucca, 1733–1737) and P. A. Paoli's Dell' origine ed istituto del sacra militar ordine, &c. (Rome, 1781). These are still useful sources as containing references to, and extracts from, documents since lost. In 1883 J. Delaville Le Roulx published Les Archives de l'Ordre de Saint-Jean, an analysis of the records preserved at Malta. This was followed in 1904 by his monumental Cartulaire général des Hospitaliers de Saint-Jean de Jérusalem (1100-1310), 4 vols. folio. This gives (1) all documents anterior to 1120, (2) all those emanating from the great dignitaries of the order, (3) all those emanating from popes, emperors, kings and great feudatories, (4) those which fix the date of the foundation of particular commanderies, (5) those regulating the relations of the Hospitallers with the lay and ecclesiastical authorities and with the other military orders, (6) the rules, statutes and customs of the order. Hitherto unpublished documents (from the archives of Malta and elsewhere) are published in full; those already published, and the place where they may be found, being indicated in proper sequence. Based on the Cartulaire is Le Roulx's Les Hosgitaliers en Terre Sainte et en Chypre (Paris, 1904), an invaluable work in which many hitherto obscure problems have been solved. It contains a full list of published authorities. Of English works may be mentioned John Taaffe's History of the Order of Malta (1852); J. M. Kemble's Historical introduction to The Knights Hospitallers in England (Camden Soc., London, 1857); W. Porter, Hist. of the Knights of Malta (2 vols. 1858, new ed. 1883); Bedford and Holbeche, The Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (1902), for the modern order.

 (W. A. P.) 

  1. Cf. the bull of Pope Celestine Il. to Raymond du Puy, in the matter of the Teutonic order, which describes the Hospital as “Hospitalem domum sancte civitatis Jerusalem, que a longis retro temporibus Christi pauperum usibus dedicata, tam christianorum quam etiam Sarracenorum tempore ....” (Le Roulx, Cartulaire, i. No. 154).
  2. This solution of the much debated question of the connexion of the Hospital with the Benedictine foundation of Sancta Maria Latina is worked out in much detail by M. Delaville Le Roulx in his Les Hospitaliers en Terre Sainte, chap. i.
  3. William of Tyre says that they erected in that place an altar to St John Eleemon, patriarch of Alexandria, renowned for his charities. This mistake led to the widespread belief that this saint, and not St John the Baptist, was the original patron of the order. A passage in the bull addressed by Pope Paschal to Gerard (Cartulaire, No. 30) would seem to leave the dedication in doubt: “Xenodochium, quod ... juxta beati johannis Baptistae ecclesiam instituisti.” The patronage of St John may thus have merely been the result of this juxtaposition, as the Templars took their name from the site of the mother-house.
  4. In spite of his fame, nothing is known of his origin. The surname “Tune” or “Tonque” often given to him is, as Le Roulx points out, merely the result of a copyist's error for “Gerardus tune ...”
  5. According to the legend, he joined the defenders on the walls and, instead of hurling stones, hurled bread at the Christians, who were short of supplies. Haled before the Mussulman governor, his accusers were confounded when the incriminating loaves they produced were discovered to be turned into stones.
  6. “Fours.” So the charter of Baldwin I. (Cartul. No. 20; cf. No. 225). In his Hospitaliers Le Roulx has “tours,” i.e. two towers, probably a misprint.
  7. The existence of a certain Roger as grand master between Gerard and Raymond, maintained by some historians, is finally disproved by Raymond's own testimony: “Reginmundus, per gratiam Dei post obitum domini Giraldi factus servus pauperum Christi” (Cartul. i. No. 46).
  8. The date of this can only be approximately assigned, in so far as it was confirmed by Pope Eugenius III., who died in 1153.
  9. For text see Cartulaire, i. No. 70.
  10. Cartul. i. No. 527.
  11. Cartul. i. No. 136. The arrangement was confirmed by the pope in 1158 (Le Roulx, Hospitaliers, p. 59).
  12. The foundation of the Teutonic Order as a separate organization was solemnly proclaimed in the palace of the Templars at Tyre on the 5th of March 1198. Its rule was confirmed by Pope Innocent III. on Feb. 15th, 1198 (Cartul. i. No. 1072).
  13. Cartul. i. No. 113.
  14. Ib. i. No. 122
  15. Ib. i. No. 217.
  16. Ib. i. No. 226.
  17. This renewal was dated 19th of December 1154 (Ib. i. No. 229).
  18. The knights were ultimately distinguished as “Knights of Justice” (chevaliers de justice) and “Knights of Grace” (chevaliers de grâce). The former were those who satisfied the conditions as to birth, and were therefore knights “justly”; the latter were those who were admitted “of grace” for superlative merits.
  19. An exception was made in favour of the natural sons of counts and greater personages (Statute 7 of 1270; Cartul. ii. 3396).
  20. Their premier house in Europe was at Sigena in Aragon, which they still occupy. It was granted to them by Sancia of Navarre, queen of Aragon, in 1184, the order being definitively established there in 1188. Their rule, which is that of Augustinian Canonesses, and dates from October 1188, is printed by Le Roulx, Cartulaire, i. No. 859. There is no word about nursing in it. In England the most important house was Buckland. The chief Danish house survives in the Lutheran convent of St John the Baptist at Schleswig, a Stift for noble ladies, whose superior has the title of prioress. On solemn occasions a realistic wax head of St John the Baptist on a charger is still produced.
  21. Commander (comandeor, commandeur), with its Latin translation preceptor, came into use as the title of these officials somewhat late. In earlier documents they are styled ospitalarius, bajulus (bailiff), magister (master).
  22. Omitting the Anglo-Bavarian langue, created in 1782, the langues (in the 15th century) were eight in number. They were (1) Provence (grand priories of St Gilles and Toulouse), (2) Auvergne (grand priory of Auvergne), (3) France (grand priories of France, Aquitaine, Champagne), (4) Italy (grand priories of Lombardy, Rome, Venice, Pisa, Capua, Barletta, Messina), (5) Aragon (castellany of Amposta, grand priories of Catalonia and Navarre), (6) England (grand priories of England—including Scotland—and Ireland), (7) Germany (grand priories of Germany or Heitersheim, Bohemia, Hungary, Dacia—i.e. Scandinavia-and the Bailiwnick (Ballei) of Brandenburg), (8) Castile (grand priories of Castile and Leon, and Portugal). Of the grand priories the most ancient and by far the most important was that of St Gilles, founded early in the 12th century, the authority of which extended originally over the whole of what is now France and a great part of Spain. In the 16th century its seat was transferred to Arles. Out of this developed the langues of Auvergne, France, Aragon and Castile, with their subsidiary priories. The date of the creation, of the various grand commanderies differs greatly: that of Italy was established in the 13th century, the langue of Germany in 1422, that of Castile was split off from Aragon in 1462. The castellany of Amposta (founded 1157) ranked as a priory. The bailiwick of Brandenburg, which had long been practically independent of the grand prior of Germany, obtained the right to elect its own bailiff (Herrenmeister) in 1382, subject to the approval of the grand prior. In the Holy Land there were no priors; the commanderies were directly under the grand master. and the commanders (who retained the style of bailli, bailivus) ranked with the grand priors elsewhere.
  23. This seems to have consisted in practice of the great dignitaries of the order. See Le Roulx, Hospitaliers, p. 314.
  24. A peculiarity of the order of St John was the esgart des fréres (esgart, Lat. sguardium=court) which could be demanded by any knight who thought himself wronged by a decision of his superiors, even of the grand master.
  25. To be carefully distinguished from the regional grand preceptors or grand commanders, and also from the grand commander d'outremer, who represented the grand master in the West generally.
  26. To these the grand bailiff (German, langue) and grand chancellor (Castile) were added later.
  27. See Le Roulx, Hospitaliers, p. 76 sqq. The resignation led to bitter divisions in the order. It was urged that the resignation was invalid without the consent of-the general chapter and the pope; and a temporary schism was the result. Gilbert was drowned in 1183 crossing from Dieppe to England, whither he had gone at the invitation of Henry II.
  28. ° The words “tempore moderno” were interpreted by Pope Alexander III. in a bull of the 1st of June 1179 as within ten years of' the opening of the council (Cartul. 1. No. 566).
  29. The stupendous ruins of Krak-des-Chevaliers (at Kerak, S.E. of the Dead Sea) attest the wealth and power of the knights (for a restoration see Castle, fig. 5). The castle had been given to the Hospitallers by Guillaume du Crac in 1142. In 1193 it was again in their hands, and was subsequently greatly enlarged and strengthened. It was finally captured by the Egyptians under Bibars in 1271.
  30. Garnier had been prior of England and later of France.
  31. So Le Roulx p. 119.
  32. Detailed by Le Roulx, Hospitaliers, pp. 149–156.
  33. Cartul. ii. No. 1944. The Teutonic knights refused to obey. In January 1240 Gregory called on them to explain their insubordination (No. 2247) and in March 1241 again ordered them to submit (No. 2270).
  34. Cartul. ii. No. 2149.
  35. Cartul. ii. No. 2186.
  36. Not Villebride. The name is a corruption of Vieille Brioude (Le Roulx, Hosp. p. 183).
  37. It has been generally supposed, on the authority of the chronica majora of Matthew of Paris (iv. 307–311), that the grand-master was killed at Gaza.
  38. See the contemporary letter, Cartulaire, ii. No. 2521.
  39. Cartul. ii. Nos. 2540–2541.
  40. Cartulaire, iii. Nos. 4267, 4293; cf. the letter of the chapter-general to Guillaume de Villaret, iii. No. 4310.
  41. Le Roulx, Hospitaliers, p. 259 sqq.
  42. These statutes are printed in the Cartulaire, iii. Nos. 4515, iv. Nos. 4549, 4574, 4612.
  43. M. Le Roulx dates his election between the 23rd of November 1304 and the 3rd of November 1305 (Hosp. p. 268).
  44. The Templars' property in the Spanish peninsula and Majorca was specially excepted, being subsequently assigned to the sovereigns, who transferred some of it to the native military orders. Nor did the Hospitallers receive by any means all of the rest. Philip IV. charged against the Hospital an enormous bill for expenses incurred in the trial of the Templars, including, as one item, those for torturing the knights. In France at least the Hospitallers complained that they were actually out of pocket. See Finke, Papisttum und Untergang des Tempelherrenordens, i. ad fin. None the less, the great accession of territorial property necessitated the subdivision of the great regional jurisdictions, notably that of the priory of St Gilles, into new grand priories.
  45. The question is discussed in detail by M. Le Roulx, Hospitaliers, pp. 278 sqq. He himself dates the surrender of the castle of Rhodes in 1308. Cf. Hans Prutz, “Anfänge der Hospitaliter auf Rhodos” in Sitzungsber. der K. Bay. Akad. d. Wissenschaften (1908), i. Abhandlung.
  46. Foulques de Vil1aret's head seems to have been turned by his success. His early vigour and statesmanlike qualities gave place to luxury, debauchery and a tyrannical temper. He was ultimately deposed, and died at the castle of Teyran in Languedoc in 1327.
  47. The great dignitaries were distributed as follows: Grand commander of Provence, the grand preceptor; Auvergne, the grand marshal; France, the grand hospitaller; Italy, the grand admiral; Aragon, the grand conservator or draper; England, the turcopolier; Germany, the grand bailiff; Castile, the grand chancellor.
  48. “Die Anfänge der Hospitaliter auf Rhodos.”
  49. Philip IV. strenuously opposed the change for this reason. Prutz, Die geistlichen Ritterorden, p 358 sqq. Compare the division of the general councils of Basel and Constance into “nations.”
  50. See the regulations made, soon after the capture of the island, in the Capitula Rodi, a fragment of a code, published by Ewald in Neues Archiv iv. pp. 265–269
  51. There is a reduction of a photograph of the castle in Bedford and Holbeche's Order of the Hospital, p. 20. The building materials were largely taken from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
  52. The great priory church at Clerkenwell in London was almost wholly destroyed by the Protector Somerset, who used the materials for his palace in the Strand. Only the great gateway, spanning St John Street, now survives above ground of the priory buildings. It is the headquarters of the revived English “langue.” Sir Join Rawson, prior of Kilmainham, the headquarters of the order in Ireland, accepted the royal supremacy and was created Lord Clontarf. In 1679 the duke of Ormonde erected the present hospital on the site of the ancient priory. The preceptor of Torphichen, headquarters of the order in Scotland, was surrendered in 1547 by the preceptor Sir James Sandilands of Calder, who was created Lord Torphichen. As “Lord of St John” he had had precedence of all the barons of Scotland, and this right—originally exercised as a spiritual peer—was retained by him and his successors.
  53. In Protestant England public prayers were offered for the success of the knights. Yet a few years later Queen Elizabeth was seeking the alliance of the sultan against Spain, on the ground of their common religion as against “the idolaters”!
  54. He was the only German in the list of grand masters.
  55. So called because the dignitaries wore a larger cross than the generality of the knights.
  56. See Bedford and Holbeche, Appendix D.
  57. The medieval vows are, of course, not taken.