This evening is the 700th anniversary of the burning at the stake of Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Order of the Temple, and Geoffrey de Charnay, the Master of the Order in Normandy in Paris. There is an online life of the Grand Master here, and there is one of Geoffrey de Charnay here. The Charnay family in later generations had custody of the Shroud of Turin as set out in Ian Wilson's book The Holy Shroud, which links its transmission to the west to the Templars.
There is an illustrated online blog post today on the Daily Telegraph website by Dominic Selwood about the events in the years 1307-1314 that occurred leading to the suppression of the Order of the Temple and the deaths of Molay and Charnay. It can be viewed here.
These days I tend to ignore anything about the Knights Templar that is not solid history like the work of historians like Barber, or clear dramatic recounting of specific events such as in Druon's books. Whatever the Templars did do - and they did much that was certainly good - or did not do - the allegations against them appear to be a mixture of some truth, falsehood, misunderstanding and very serious political manipulation - they do not deserve their continuing current fate of attracting so many loopy theories and associations.
The downfall of the Templars is a far from edifying episode - and really is so for all concerned. The Papacy was weak and vacillating, the French Crown cynical and mercenary, the Templars had perhaps lost something of their origibal vision as well as purpose - possible or actual abuses by a few of them could be made to besmirch the whole Order, which seems a rather contemporary point.