Author Archives: Helen Nicholson

Glorious Devon

I have uploaded a draft transcription of the sheriff’s accounts for the Templars’ (meagre) properties in Devon here.

This is the account of the late Thomas de Ralegh, recently sheriff of Devon and former custodian of the Templars’ manor of  Chitterley in the Exe valley, and its associated properties at Cherubeer, North and South Combe, Clayhanger and Wallon; it covers the last three quarters of the first year of Edward II’s reign, and the first three quarters of the second year.

Transcriptions: Some accounts for Northumbria and Essex

Dr Myra Born and Mrs Valerie Rudd have generously transcribed some of the records from the Templars’ estates. Myra’s translation of the accounts for Northumbria from 1308-9 are here: and Valerie’s transcriptions of some of King Edward II’s instructions to William le Plomer, custodian of the Templars’ estates in Essex, are here.

The 700th anniversary of the Templars’ demise: continued

In yet another event commemorating the 700th anniversary of the final end of the Templars, next week Theresa Vann, Paul Crawford and I are giving papers on ‘The Aftermath of the Templars’ at the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo ( ), session 244 from 1.30pm on Friday 9 May. My paper, ‘Memories of the Templars in Britain: Templar charters in Hospitaller records after the Dissolution of the Templars’, focuses on the work of Brother John Stillingflete, Hospitaller historian writing in 1434, and asks why he made so much of the Templar Order which had been dissolved in ignominy 120 years before.

The Templar Economy in Britain and Ireland: Workshop report

The workshop last Saturday at Blaydes House in Hull went extremely well. First point: Blaydes house is a beautiful old merchant’s house, with beautiful high-ceiling’d rooms, perfect for a workshop of this sort. Every University should have a resource like this one.  Next point: we had some excellent papers. The first paper was on Templar preceptories in Lincolnshire and asked: What are the characteristics of a preceptory? How did they differ from other properties? Then there was a paper on the recent excavations at the Templars’ former commandery/preceptory at Faxfleet in Yorkshire, and a paper on the Templars’ properties in Scotland and what became of them after the Templars were dissolved — with a great map, locating all the properties! After lunch, there was a paper ‘clearing the ground’ for new research into the Templars and Hospitallers in the north of England, a progress report on research into Templars and Hospitallers in Ireland and their relations with kings and popes, and my own paper on Templars in the south-west margins of Templar property in England and Wales. I was arguing that although the Templars’ lands made a profit in the period 1307-13, when the additional costs of corrodies and pensions are taken into account they may not have been so profitable in the long term.

John Walker and I are now considering a follow-up meeting, to include those who couldn’t get to this workshop, and for further progress reports from those who came this time. We are also thinking about publishing the papers in some form, perhaps online.

(This blog was originally posted to Gawainsmum and reblogged here.)

Templar Lands and Economy Workshop

Templar Lands and Economy Workshop Programme 26 April 2014

Dr John Walker is organising a workshop on recent research into the Templars’ lands and economy in Britain and Ireland. The workshop will take place on Saturday 26 April 2014 at Blaydes House, Maritime Historical Studies Centre, University of Hull, and its purpose is to discuss the state of knowledge on the Templars’ estates and to consider the nature of the available sources and how to develop research in this area. The registration fee for this event is £10. For further information and a registration form please contact Dr John Walker at the University of Hull (

Finding a digital platform — problems

My transcription of the accounts of the Templars’ estates in Herefordshire is now on Wattpad . However, the final part of the accounts was initially blocked  by Wattpad on the basis it’s copyright material. According to the National Archives website, it isn’t restricted material (see ). The National Archives website states: ”You may quote or transcribe from Crown copyright documents freely and without formal permission. However you must give the document reference number and acknowledge The National Archives as custodian of the document” — which I have done.

Wattpad have now resolved the problem, but as a back-up I’ve put my transcriptions of the custodians’ accounts for the Templars’ estates in Herefordshire on to, and have attached the document which offended Wattpad here: Herefordshire accounts in TNA E358_19.

Estate records for Wales, Cornwall and Westmorland

I have put some draft transcriptions from the 1308-13 records of the Templars’ estates in England and Wales on to Wattpad, where they are accessible to all. They are the records for Llanmadoc (South Wales); Temple on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall; Temple Meads at Bristol; Castle Mills at York and Temple Sowerby (Westmorland, now in Cumbria).

Templars in Russian wine magazine

Back October 2012 Tanya Ashcroft, a freelance journalist living in Strasbourg, contacted me for some information. She was writing an article about the Templiers for the “Russian Almanac of Wines” magazine, and wanted to know about what wines the Templars produced, and what they drank. I found her some information, and the article came out — and recently Tanya has sent me a copy. When I get to a scanner I’ll put some of it up here …

New Blog

As my research on the Knights Templars’ estates in England and Wales develops, this is a good moment to expand my long-standing home blog on to the Cardiff University website. There is an RSS feed to that blog on the right hand side of this page.

This blog will feature information about progress on the project, and open-access documents will be uploaded from time to time as the project proceeds.