Services by the military Orders to Western monarchial powers

The issue of military orders in the service of Western monarchies is a vast, important and still little studied theme. Kirstjan Toomaspoeg elaborates on few main issues. In this blog we focus on the services the Military Orders provided to the Western princess.

"The orders distinguished themselves above all as specialists in maritime warfare, taking care not only of strictly military aspects, but also of naval logistics and the organization of navigation. This was the case of the Temple in the England of Henry III (1207-1272, TN), of the Hospital in the Angevin kingdom of Sicily (after 1265) and in the England of Edward II (1284-1327, TN) and Richard II (1367-1400, TN), as of Santa María de España in Castile under Alfonso X (1221-1284, TN). Another specialty of the orders was the defense of border regions (...) But we still know many examples of their participation in land expeditions, in “internal security” operations or to episodes of civil war where they supported, in principle, the sovereigns in place. (...) Another function regularly exercised by the members of the military orders, (was, TN) that of ambassador, envoy and negotiator (...)
The brothers of the military orders exercised administrative functions (...) in the pontifical, French, English and Castilian courts, appearing in the second half of the 12th century. They rarely exercised similar functions in most other states, such as the kingdoms of Bohemia, Poland or Hungary, or even in Scandinavia and in the Germanic world. This difference can be explained by the various methods of recruiting civil servants (...)
When the crowns did not yet have a sufficient body of professional administrators, the military orders, like other ecclesiastical institutions, served as a basis for recruiting civil servants. Members of military orders often came from dynamic and sometimes well-educated sections of society, such as the urban gentry, and they had acquired good administrative experience by managing their own possessions . Furthermore, from the 15th century at least, these institutions were also concerned with the education of their own staff, sometimes sending brothers to universities to study law and other skills necessary for the administration of heritage. The qualities of administrators from military orders are particularly evident in the areas of finance and treasury management. Several brothers of the Temple were treasurers of the kings of France and England or functionaries of the Aragonese treasury (...) 
Top explain the motivations which drove the kings to use the brothers, it does not seem at all naive to underline the importance of the discretion and the internal discipline of the military orders, therefore their ability to maintain secrecy. The other explanatory factors reside in the capillary presence of the houses of the military orders throughout Europe, the fascination they exerted on the ideological and religious level, finally, the personal capacities and the knowledge of the brothers. The orders were highly regarded by most monarchies, which sometimes even entered into competition for their collaboration (...)"

This blog quotes subsequent sections, translated from French to English bij TN and slightly edited to provide a continuous storyline, from Les ordres militaires au service des pouvoirs monarchiques occidentaux by Kristjan Toomaspoeg, consulted here on 2023-07-25. Illustration  Departure of French King Louis IX to the crusades using a Hospitaller vessel, by Maître De Boucicaut (Actif vers 1408/1420). Louvre Musum Paris. source

Support TemplarsNow™ by becoming a Patrontipping us or buying one of our Reliable Books

No comments: