By David Marcombe
Probably the most strange contributions to the crusading period was once the assumption of the leper knight - a reaction to the scourge of leprosy and the dearth of combating males which beset the Latin nation within the 12th century. The Order of St Lazarus, which observed the belief develop into a fact, based institutions throughout Western Europe to supply crucial aid for its hospitaller and armed forces vocations. This publication explores the real contribution of the English department of the order, which by way of 1300 controlled a substantial property from its leader preceptory at Burton Lazars in Leicestershire. Time proved the English Lazarites to be either difficult and tenacious, if now not continually preoccupied with the care of lepers. Following the autumn of Acre in 1291 they persevered a interval of sour inner clash, simply to emerge reformed and reinvigorated within the 15th century. even though those overdue medieval knights have been very assorted from their twelfth-century predecessors, a few ideologies lingered on, notwithstanding subtly readapted to the necessities of a brand new age, till the order was once ultimately suppressed via Henry VIII in 1544. the fashionable refoundation of the order, a charitable establishment, dates from 1962. The e-book makes use of either documentary and archaeological facts to supply the 1st ever account of this little-understood crusading order.DAVID MARCOMBE is Director of the Centre for neighborhood historical past, collage of Nottingham.
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Extra info for Leper Knights: The Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem in England, c.1150-1544 (Studies in the History of Medieval Religion)
So being a man of no standing in the army, and who therefore did exactly as he pleased, he went off to that place without saying a word to the king. 73 To try to save the situation, a troop of Templars and Hospitallers was obliged to go to the rescue under the command of Joinville. The comment about the master ‘being a man of no standing in the army’, who was able to act as he pleased, is interesting and suggests that the order may have been functioning as a group of volunteers rather than regulars.
86. 129 By doing this he was continuing the patronage shown by Louis VII and Louis IX, but it was a significant move in terms of public relations coming, as it did, at the peak of Philip IV’s campaign against the Templars, with whom the Lazarites were traditionally associated. From the king’s point of view it demonstrated that he was not opposed to crusading orders per se and that, when the circumstances were right, he was prepared to work in the laudable tradition of St Louis by supporting them.
41–2, Bagdonas, Order of St Lazarus, pp. 21–2. 146 LOSJ, Ms K 27/7. 147 Although during the twentieth century the ‘new’ order of St Lazarus spread across the world, being particularly active in the United States, Canada and Australia, it was not a period without difficulties. There has been tension between French and Spanish groups; misunderstandings between Catholics and Protestants; and disagreement over the influence of freemasons. 149 Although there are moves afoot to resolve these difficulties, no solution has as yet been arrived at.