The Templars And The Crusades
Relations with other orders
The Knights Hospitallers, or the Order of St John of Jerusalem, had started as a small group of men attached to a hospital in Jerusalem, founded by Blessed Gerard in 1023. On the taking of Jerusalem in 1099, the order became a military and religious order under its own charter, taking a particular concern in the wellbeing of the sick. Like the Templars the Hospitallers’ primary concern was the crusades, and they too were exempt from tithes and owned considerable property.
Despite their common goal, relations between the two orders was often fraught with difficulty. At the end of the crusades it had been the Pope’s hope to merge the two orders, but that failed to materialise. When the Templars were disbanded, their members were permitted to join the Hospitallers, many of whom agreed.
The Order of the Teutonic Knights was formed in 1197 when German crusaders newly arrived in Outremer joined a field hospital set up by merchants from the same country to care for the sick and wounded. The first base was the coastal port at Acre. Soon after, the crusaders formed an order of knights that adopted the Templar Rule and adorned a similar white mantle though with a black cross replacing the red of martyrdom.
In addition, several smaller orders existed. They included: The Hospital of St Lazarus, a hospital for lepers; The Knights of Our Lady of Montjoie, later the Order of Trufac, was founded by a Spanish Knight; The Hospitallers of St Thomas of Canterbury, a hospital for Englishmen founded in the 1190s.