Lord Neil Benjamin
The Knights Templar and Connection to Lord Gibson

The Knights Templar

Lord Neil Gibson, his family history and lineage were with the founding fathers of the Knights Templar. Gibson,a Scottish and English surname, derived from a patronymic form of the common mediaeval personal name Gib, is a short form of Gilbert. Variant forms of the surname include Gibsoun, Gipson, Gibbson, Gibbons, Gilson, Gibb, and Gibby among others.

Gilbert, the personal name, was introduced into Britain by followers of William the Conqueror, shortly after the Norman Invasion of 1066. The Norman name, originally found as Gislebert or Gillebert, is composed of the Germanic elements Gisil, meaning "hostage" or "noble youth", and berht, meaning "bright" or "famous". The name, Gilbert, became very popular in England during the Middle Ages. It's been rumored that Lord Neil B Gibson's ancestor were  to be part of the group who were believed to be related to Hugh de Payens. Some further even believe Lord Gibson to be a descendent of Hugh de Payens. There are records of a Templar meeting in Belize South America where Lord Neil B Gibson was regressed, by a member of the High commission of Templars and witnessed that Lord Neil Gibson demonstrated the signs of being a  descendant of Hugh de Payens. Many other people have been regressed in the same manner, which displays there connection to other famous Knights Templar leaders. 

Formed in 1118 by Hugh de Payens, the Knights Templar were created in order to protect the road to Jerusalem from the Muslims and Jews. They were a combination of monk and soldier, similar to the Knights Hospitaller as a response earlier to treat the sick from the crusades. Both orders spread rapidly throughout Europe. It was presumed that during the reign of David I that both orders were endowed lands in Scotland. The Knights Templar were granted estates near Drumchapel:- Temple (hence the name, at Anniesland), Jordanhill (named after the middle-eastern land by the Templars) and the surrounding woodland that became known as Knightswood, of which parts are named North and South Templar. Most of the Knightswood estate was a detached portion of Jordanhill, though much had an ancient and honourable history of its own accord. The name commemorates the Knights Templar who had been granted these lands and the wood for their services in the crusades.

Cyprus became the headquarters of the order as the fighting in the middle-east worsened. A hierarchy of order took precedence, with the master of the Scottish Templars answering to the English master; who in turn answered to the French master; who would then answer to the Cypriot grand master. The Templar vocation dominated, causing national patriotism to become second. The Templars became a wealthy international agency, skilled in banking and shipbuilding. It was not unheard of for Scottish knights to be often found in other European countries and English knights frequently managing the Scottish Templar bases.

The Knights Templar history is intertwined with the Wars of Independence between Scotland and England, where the stories of Wallace and Bruce became famous. It's said that Sir William Wallace is to have killed Brian le Jay, the English master, and John de Soutre, the Scottish master, after the battle of Falkirk. Yet, the Templar knights are reputed to be present at Bannockburn fighting alongside Bruce. Their switching of allegiance is a story worthy of recount.

King Philip IV of France, 'the fair', disliked the Knights Templar. The Templars refused King Philip entry into the knighthood when he was younger, sided with Pope Boniface VIII when he was in dispute with the Pope, and eventually owed the Templars money. King Philip later became in need of capital and, upon Boniface's death in 1303 and after the short reign of Benedict XI, a French cardinal based in Avignon became Pope as Clement V in 1305, proving to be puppet of the French king.

Meanwhile, Robert the Bruce killed Comyn in a church at Dumfries, in Scotland.. For this sin, he was excommunicated by Clement V just 6 weeks after his coronation as King of Scots in 1306. Ruled by the English, the Scots cause appeared weak, suffering from an excommunicated King and only a guerrilla army for support. However, under Bruce's leadership the Scots began gaining the upper hand.

In October 1307, Friday 13th, the most acknowledged beginning of the superstition surrounding the date and the phrase 'Unlucky for some', Philip IV had every French Templar knight that he could find arrested. The charges brought against them consisted of denying Christ, sodomy, and worshiping an idol called Baphomet. Through torture he obtained orchestrated confessions, though many knights chose to die rather than lie and impune their order. These confessions were presented to Clement V who issued a bull, ordering the Templar knights be arrested in every country and their property seized.

Edward II now clung to power in Scotland and had the Scottish templars arrested and tried at Holyrood on 17th November 1309. The court resulted in a not proven verdict, largely due to the resistance of the Scottish army, however  the order was eventually 'abolished' in 1312. In reality, the Templar Knights merged with the Hospitallers, and the master of the combined order sat in the Scottish Parliament as the Grand Prior of the Hospital and the Temple.

Fleeing knights from France and elsewhere sought sanctuary. Scotland became the obvious refuge, its king excommunicated by the Pope and in need of trained soldiers. Tradition claims that Bruce himself was a Templar Knight, thus instigating the Templar's switch of allegiance to the Scots side against the English, and their reputed presence at Bannockburn. The defeated Edward II seized the Templar property in England in the following year, due to strong circumstantial evidence of their aiding the Scots cause.

The Temple and the Lodge, written by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, identified a number of Templar graves in Argyll, near the Lennox. They write 'most are the work of a group of sculptors working around Loch Awe in the late 14th to 15th centuries.' Left is an effigy of a knight at Old Kilpatrick Parish Church graveyard in the Lennox. Baigent and Leigh further state 'According to the practice of the time, the dead man's sword would be laid on the stone. Its outline would be incised and chiselled. The carving would thus reflect precisely the dimensions, shape and style of the original weapon.'.

The order began to take on a more Scottish character than before, with more Scots found in its membership. The knights acted as clergy in many parishes until the reformation. Families such as the Sinclairs, Hamiltons and Montgomerys all have strong Templar associations. It therefore comes as no surprise then to find the Hamiltons in possession of many lands around the area of Drumchapel, Law, Cochno and the remaining parts of Lennox, further considering the close proximity of the Knights at Temple, Jordanhill and Knightswood. Montgomerys are discovered as priests of St. Mary's Chapel, Drumry - most likely as a family concern from Gilbert, the first priest noted, but certainly from Thomas Montgomery to the last priest Bartholomew Montgomery.

The church name hints at Templar origins. Dedication to the Virgin Mary is common among Templar churches; Helen Nicholson's The Knight's Templar: A new history notes that the Virgin Mary was seen as the patron and lady of the order. The Sign and Seal, by Graham Hancock, reveals that the Virgin Mary is symbollised through both the Holy Grail and the Ark of the Covenant, of which the Templars are linked:-The knights were originally based in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem which once held the Ark of the Covenant; and traditionally the Knights Templar were the guardians of the Grail, also linked to King Arthur, bringing us back to Nennius' eighth battle.

Taking place in Guinnon fort, Arthur carried the image of the Holy Mary, the everlasting virgin, on his shield during the eighth battle, battling and putting to flight the pagans hordes on that day, victory in their slaughter through the power of Jesus Christ and the virgin Mary.

Thus it may be that through both the Templar origins and the local history of Arthur that the church was so named. It may even have started as a Templar church.

Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, sailing to North America in 1398 - well before Christopher Columbus - adds further glamour to the Templars. A ancient stone found in Nova Scotia with the 14th century etching of the Sinclair crest and map of the coast seem to support this claim (see Scotsman Online for details). Legend has it that Freemasonry was to evolve from Scottish Templars. Whether this is true or not, this only adds to the mystery of the Knights Templar.KNIGHTwww.lordgibson.com