Remembering Our Founder, who Died This Day

Remembering Our Founder, who Died This Day

Hugh de Paynes, the founder and first Grand Master of the Knights Templars, has always been especially remembered and celebrated on 24th May.

Sir Hugh naturally features heavily in the early chapters of our official history of the Order, the weighty and deeply researched Pilgrims of the Sword. Having explained in detail how Sir Hugh worked tirelessly to establish the Templars, and having chronicled his remarkable achievements, the book tells us all that is known of his death:

"With such military clout and the prestige of the Order at an all-time high; with recruits, gifts and land and funds pouring in, de Payns could prepare to face his Maker in the knowledge that few men had done more to defend the True Faith.

"The exact circumstances, and even place, of his death are now shrouded in mystery. Time out of mind, however, we have always commemorated the Founder of our Order on the 24th May every year, so it is believed that he died on this day in 1136.

"He would have been 66, a decent age for a man of his times, hard life and achievements. By some accounts he breathed his last in his humble room in his beloved Temple headquarters."

The chapter then examines, and discounts, more fanciful suggestions that he was buried in Italy or Sweden, before concluding:

"Wherever Hugh de Payns went to his Maker, however, we may be sure that the knights who laid his mortal remains to rest would have spoken together not only of their grief and loss, but also of the words of Matthew 25:23

‘His lord said unto him, well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’"