England was a bit sluggish when it came to arresting and interrogating the Knights Templar in 1307. In fact, it took a good year for Yorkshire to come into line with the orders from the Pope and arrest its Templars. But eventually, they obeyed and the knights were finished.
DISCOVER: The origins of the Knights Templar
One Yorkshire Templar preceptory that felt the impact was Temple Newsam – just outside Leeds. The preceptor was a knight called Geoffrey des Arches and he was taken away into custody along with his counterparts at Temple Hirst, Faxfleet and Cowton.
Other Yorkshire Templars rounded up included Thomas de Betterby; a porter at Temple Hirst called Adam Creyte; Henry de Kereton and Roger de Sheffield from Cowton and Stephen de Radenage, a priest from Westerdale. Other names include Henry Craven, Patrick de Ripon and Richard de Ripon and Thomas de Stanford.
Yorkshire accounted for a large chunk of Templar wealth in England which annually came to about £4,720. That doesn’t sound much in today’s money but this is when a pound was a substantial amount of money. Having said that, if I tell you that the value of Temple Newsam at its confiscation in 1308 was £93 17 shillings and 2 pence – it does come across as a bit trifling.
It must have come across to the Templar knights as a terrible twist of fate to have Edward II shutting Temple Newsam down when just eight years earlier, they had put up his father, Edward I, on his way to fight the Scots. And the Knights Templar had fought alongside Edward I in his war against William Wallace – better known as Braveheart.