No records exist that show the Knights Templar in Europe fleeing to the West Coast
of Scotland, to Argyll. The McDonalds who command the seas, help to hide Robert The
Bruce in the Islands from the forces of Edward 1st. Bruce beats his enemies, The
McDougalls, at the Battle of Brander, probably with the help of Campbells. The Bruce
“Parliament” at Ardchattan Priory in 1309 or thereabouts celebrates Bruce’s final
victories in The West. Angus Og would be present, with his McDonalds, so would the
Campbells. Robert the Bruce’s final fight for Scotland’s freedom was possibly planned
at Ardchattan Priory, Argyll. You can see the ruined 13th century walls of the Priory
The Knights Templar facts
The Knights who fought and led the Crusades to win Jerusalem in the 12th century, had become extremely rich. They lent vast sums of money to the Kings of Europe. By in 1291 they had lost the Holy Land and their reputation was weak. They were a spent force by the time of Bannockburn.
They charged no interest on loans, but they charged “rents”. To avoid carrying huge sums of money around Europe to pay their troops, they issued letters of credit which could be redeemed locally from their funds.
The French King persuaded the Pope to excommunicate the Templars and to try them in Paris on October 13th 1307 on jumped up charges of heresy. This meant that all European Kings were free of debts. Dirty game politics. Always has been, always will be. The Templars in Europe went on the run.
(It is reported that the Catholic Church to-
The Knights Templar hid in Scotland. No they did not, and the web stories you read are wrong
The Templars had been granted lands in Scotland 100 years before by the great King David 1st. They were given about 100 properties from which they collected rents. Despite the trial of the Templars in Paris these lands were not seized by the Scottish government of Robert the Bruce as far as we know.
In Scotland at this time, very few of them were fighting Knights, the others were accountants and clerks administering vast sums of money. They were individually poor however.
The source of the following rumour is disputed vigorously by Scottish mediaeval historians. Two days before the Paris trial of the leading Templars it is supposedly recorded in French Masonic history a couple of hundred years later that Templar ships left at midnight from La Rochelle, heading to Scotland. Scotland was apparently designated as the place of refuge for the fugitive Templars and their relics. Scotland was the only country in Europe where the Papal bull did not run, since Bruce was excommunicated himself, and the whole country was under a Papal interdict. So the rumour goes that fleeing knights would have come up the West Coast. No records exist of this rumour. It was probably invented by the romantic Victorian novelists, such as Sir Walter Scott.
King Robert the Bruce needed to keep in with the King of France and with the Pope and would have done nothing to jeopardise his position with either of them.
The shadowy associations between the Bruce and the Knights
There are odd associations pointed out by later historians between the Knights and the Bruce. While Bruce was King, two Scottish Knights were ordered to an Inquisition at Holyrood Palace. No one seems to have been arrested, nor found guilty of anything. In 1311 it is recorded that Bishop Lamberton of St. Andrews, Scotland’s leading cleric, gave the Knights his protection. Why? Bruce’s heart was carried after his death to the Spanish crusade, by his friend James Douglas, and the leading Knight Templar in Scotland. Both Bruce and the Knights would want to keep any association between them secret.
Castle Tioram in Ardnamurchan is reputed by some to have been the castle where Angus Og his Robert the Bruce. It is virtually impossible to attack from the land or the sea.
The Ardchattan Priory “Parliament”
The parliament at Ardchattan, maybe not much more than a conference, on the North side of Loch Etive, was held around 1309. From 1306 Bruce, a Gaelic speaker from his mother’s side, had been on the run, excommunicated by the Pope, hunted by Edward 1st of England. He had been protected by his friend Angus Og, and his Gaelic McDonald clansmen who were the masters of the seas. There was civil war in Scotland, and Edward 1st ruled with a rod of iron from his castles.
But in 1308, The Bruce’s lifelong enemies, the powerful McDougalls of Lorn -
The Ardchattan “Parliament” must have been a celebration of victory. Each party would have warmly welcomed the other. It signalled the beginning of the end of the Civil war in Scotland, certainly in the West. After the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 where they all came together once more to finally defeat the English, Bruce finally stripped the McDougalls of their lands and gave them to the Campbells and the McDonalds. That’s how the McDonalds got into Glencoe.
Templar gravestones in Argyll
There are scholarly doubts about the gravestones found in Kilmartin, supposedly those of Templar Knights. The dating is confused.