© The Grand Priory in England of the Knights Templar, 2023
Magna Carta is probably the most important document in English history as it established the concept of individual freedom; that no one Is above the law. It was sealed (not 'signed' as popular myth supposes) at Runnymede on 15 June 1215. One of the reasons for creating this page is because, of the few individuals whom King John names as one of the 'venerable fathers' who advised him in drawing it up, one man was: "fratris Aymerici magistri milicie Templi in Anglia" - Brother Aymeric, Master of the Knights of the Temple in England - the Templars' then Grand Prior of England and, clearly, one of the most important men in the Kingdom. Similarly, the first in the list of the 'illustrious men' mentioned by the King was: "Willelmi Mariscalli comitis Penbrocie" - the Earl of Pembrokeshire, William Marshall - a Templar at heart. And before he died William ensured that he would become a Templar Knight. He was buried next to his great friend Aymeric (who died a few days before William) in front of the main altar in the church associated with the Order in England, namely The Temple Church off Fleet Street, London. Today that church is the church of Inner and of Middle Temple, two of England’s four ancient societies of lawyers - the Inns of Court. An effigy of William Marshall, and others, can be seen in that church.