Sunday, 26 February 2012

the badlands

The Fort Parker massacre was an event in May 1836 in which members of the pioneer Parker family were killed in a raid byNative Americans.
 In this raid, a 9-year old girl, Cynthia Ann Parker(above), was captured and spent most of the rest of her life with the Comanche, marrying a Chief, Peta Nocona, and giving birth to a son, Quanah Parker, who would become the last Chief of the Comanches. 
Her brother, John Richard Parker, who was also captured, was ransomed back after six years, but unable to adapt to white society, ran back to the Comanches.

waterloo deetail

knights with the lepers curse

One of man's oldest curses, leprosy for centuries defied cure or remedy. To prevent its spread, Moses had separated and isolated Jews afflicted by it from the community. Roman legions and, later, Crusaders brought the disease to Europe
Authorities, having no better remedy than Moses, ordered lepers segregated from the cities and towns. Lepers were ordered to wear bells around their necks to warn people of their approach. By the year 1000, monks had constructed more than two thousand leper hospitals in Europe. They were called Lazar houses after the Gospel's poor leper, Lazarus. Friars often lived in hidden leper settlements, serving the outcasts' physical and spiritual needs. Although the disease ran its course through western Europe, by the turn of the nineteenth century the memory of it remained sunk in the white man's brain like the terror of a nightmare. Even today the word "leprosy" evokes in the minds and hearts of people who have never seen a leper, the strangest sensations of fear and repulsion.Puffing Billy Pub
In Devon there remains whjats known as the Lepers fields, pass the former Torrington station, now the Puffing Billy Pub, and keep on the trail under the road bridge. You pass a set of steps leading left down off the trail, but a short diversion ahead will take you on to the 
Retrace your route to take the steps passed earlier, and now on your right. These lead down to the former Rolle Canal, which ran for seven miles serving various mills and the former creamery.
Shortly you come to a sewage works on your right, where you turn right, making for the river.It's an interesting river, the Torridge It starts near Hartland and comes in a huge horseshoe loop all the way round to Hatherleigh where it meets the Okement coming off Dartmoor and then more or less heads northwards from there onwards.
Over a stile, a path leads upriver to Taddiport, with its attractive stone bridge and a convenient bench from which to sit and admire it.
Cross the road and continue along the canal route briefly, turning left uphill where it says "pedestrian access" on a tarmac lane named Millennium Path.
Looking back to your right as you climb you should spot two distinctive narrow fields.These two narrow fields were set aside for lepers
These,, are known as the "leper fields" and were given to the leper colony at Taddiport to be self-sufficient in growing their own fruit and vegetables.

The climb continues up this steep side of torrington the valley, but you can take the sting out of the hill, by effectively zig-zagging your way up, turning right on to Monument Path and then first left.
You reach the tarmac Millennium Path again and turn right up to the edge of Torrington's main car park, at
Here you really can admire the valley view in all its glory, and if all the climbing has left you with a thirst the town has a good selection of refreshment stops as well as shops and a main centre with much character.
And the 1646 Experience is a must for followers of history – Torrington being pretty much one of the last battles signalling the end of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War.Lady Giffard 1243
Back on the route continue ahead, then right onto George's Path, which takes you down to the Waterloo Monument, a tall narrowing stone pillar erected in 1818 to commemorate the battle with the words "Peace to the Souls of the Heroes".
Pass the monument and keep left downhill to reach the main Torrington to Exeter road. Cross carefully to the footpath in the woods opposite and head left, to pick up a tarmac lane where you keep left.
Turn left at the junction, passing Teapot Cottage on your left, no doubt so named as it's in Caddywell Lane.
You're effectively now looping your way through the town, so pass the primary school on your left and keep straight across at the junction into what's now a pedestrianised road with bollards at the top.
Keep ahead and under the water pipe and then turn right at the next junction into East Street. On reaching the main road turn right towards the roundabout, and first left after the hospital where it's marked Juries Lane.
You pass a new housing estate on your left and keep on this lane until you come to the end, which is shortly after a house on the right called Wellmeadow. Turn right down hill and after a very short way, on the bend take a footpath off to the left which will lead you back on to the Commons.
Keep to the right hand hedge, shortly joining the road to Weare Giffard. Ignore the junctions turning right, and effectively keep straight ahead on the Weare Giffard road, also signposted with a golf course flag.
Just after crossing what's again the commons stream, take the left track – which is called Barmaids Path – and keep on this as it follows the contours around the hill. After less than half a mile it will bring you out below the golf course, on the original Alexander Path that you set out on.
From here it's a short step left down to the stream and up the other side back to the car park, where, if you time it right those bacon butties will be waiting.
Thanks to William de Torrington and David McRoberts, that's the tour of Torrington.After Lord Wentworth's defeat at Bovey Tracey, Hopton was appointed Royalist commander in the west, with Wentworth commanding the horse and Sir Richard Grenville the foot. Grenville refused to recognise Hopton's command and was arrested for insubordination and imprisoned on St Michael's Mount.
Hopton's army, numbering only 2,000 foot and 3,000 horse, advanced into Devon and occupied Torrington, where defensive works were thrown up.The parliamentarians approached from the east on the evening of 16 February 1646. In heavy rain and with night falling, they ran into Royalist dragoons and fighting broken out to the east of Torrington. Farifax decided to wait until morning to reconnoitre the Royalist defences. However, Cromwell's dragoons were sent forward to test the defences and came under fire. Farifax pushed more troops forward in support and a general fight developed.
The fighting at the barricades lasted two hours at push of pike. At last the Cornish infantry gave way and retreated into the town, where bitter fighting continued. A stray spark ignited the Royalist magazine in Torrington church, where eighty barrels of gunpowder were stored. The explosion destroyed the church, killed all the prisoners held there and narrowly missed killing General Fairfax
Leper hospitals started to spring up as the problem was serious.To the alms giving of the faithful was soon added a more permanent landed endowment, and the Cartulary underlines the fact that the leper hospital was supported by all classes in the Latin kingdom.Generally speaking, a cartulary, attested by the signatures or marks of a number of prominent individuals, ranks as a public document possessing greater value than a private letter or the narrative of an annalist.  Fulk, Queen Melisende and Baldwin III (1143—62) all provided gifts, and Amalric I (1162—73), whose son Baldwin was leprous, was a special benefactor. In 1164 he promised a hospital one slave from every ten Moslem captives, and during the next decade gave 72 bezants per annum from the tolls of the Gate of David (1171) and a further 40 from the customs of Acre (1174). Interestingly, the leper king, Baldwin IV (1173—85), does not appear to have specially favoured the order.Baldwin IV was educated by the historian William of Tyre (later Archbishop of Tyre File:William of tyre.jpgand Chancellor of the kingdom), who made a disturbing discovery about the prince: he and his friends were playing one day, attempting to injure each other by driving their fingernails into each other's arms, but Baldwin felt no pain. William immediately recognized this as a sign of serious illness, but it was not conclusively identified as leprosy until a few years later; the onset of puberty accelerated his disease, in its most serious lepromatous form.  
Patrons gave, conventionally, out of concern for the health of their souls, but also because, given the prevalence of leprosy in the Holy Land, they knew that their turn might well come next. Indeed, many important people had personal connections with the order that went beyond mere gifts of land. Raymond of Tripoli was a confrère; Walter, lord of Beirut, considered entering the order; and Eustace, brother of Hugh, lord of Caesarea, abandoned secular life and became a Lazarite, though whether on account of leprosy or piety is not known. Two of the early masters, who by definition had to be lepers, Walter de Novo Castro and Reynald de Fleury, were possibly members of the local aristocracy. As Barber has put it, ‘This close-knit, sometimes xenophobic community favoured St Lazarus because leprosy was endemic in the region and the Latins were therefore far more aware of their susceptibility to the disease than their contemporaries in the West.’
Two documents are arguably particularly important in moulding the future of the order in this respect. First, the Livre au Roi, the legal code of the Latin kings drawn up c.1198—1205, which stated that a knight with leprosy should join the convent of St Lazarus ‘where it is established that people with such an illness should be’.
 Second, the Règle du Temple which provided Templar brothers afflicted with leprosy with the option of transferring to the hospital of St Lazarus.  The knights of St John never made such a rule — we must assume they felt capable of looking after their own sick knights — and the Assises de la Cour de Bourgeois is also silent on the matter.  This draws us to the conclusion that the convent of St Lazarus, perhaps because of its aristocratic connections, became regarded as a convenient receptacle for leprous knights, especially those from among the Templars.  This was to have profound consequences for the future development of the order in the Holy Land and in the West.
The links with the Templars, possibly stemming from the time of Bartholomew, become increasingly evident when the order withdrew from Jerusalem, following the fall of the city in 1187, and resettled at Acre. Here it adopted a mirror image of its earlier position, with a hospital and convent outside the city walls 
 However, when Louis IX (1226—70) extended the fortifications of Acre in the 1250s the hospital became incorporated into the northern suburb of Montmusart, behind the section of the wall protected by the Templars who supported the order by granting it free access to their water cistern. 
 In 1258, during the civil disturbances known as the War of St Sabas, the master of the Temple, Thomas Bérard, took refuge in the tower of St Lazarus when his own stronghold was subjected to crossfire between the Pisans, Genoese and Venetians, and in 1260 it was made compulsory for a leprous Templar to enter the order of St Lazarus.  As Shahar has argued, these were ‘lepers like no others’. To ostracise them would have been unthinkable, so the obvious solution was to provide them with a role; ‘a knight suffering from leprosy remained a knight and his scars and spots did not bring him any closer to other lepers of common birth’.  In this way the hospital confronted what Rawcliffe has termed the problem of ‘high status or “noble” lepers whose rank merited more solicitous treatment’, and it was factors such as these that encouraged the growing militarisation of the order along the lines experienced by the Hospitallers and the order of St Thomas of Acre.
This new role, the origins of which are obscure but which Shahar believes date from the twelfth century, was certainly being clarified by the mid-thirteenth century. In 1234, for example, Gregory IX (1227—41) appealed for aid to help the order pay off its debts contracted in ‘defence of the Holy Land’, and in 1255 Alexander IV (1254—61) spoke of ‘a convent of nobles, of active knights and others both healthy and leprous, for the purpose of driving out the enemies of the Christian name’.  In 1259 Matthew Paris included the Lazarites among ‘defenders of the church fighting at Acre’, and a map of the city, dating from the late thirteenth century, clearly shows the ‘military convent of the brethren of St Lazarus’ at Montmusart, complete with its own fortifications. 
 Indeed, there was also a tower of St Lazarus at Pain Perdu, near Caesarea, where the order had been granted the church in 1235, though Jankrift suggests that this did not have a military purpose and was, in fact, a hostel for itinerant lepers. 
This development was probably not dissimilar to that of the order of St Thomas, which was transformed from a charitable organisation run by regular canons to a military order in the 1220s. 
The idea of leper knights might seem bizarre, but it was logical enough in the circumstances of the military and spiritual needs of the Latin kingdom. As we have seen, the hospital of St Lazarus had long been a refuge for men of the knightly class afflicted with leprosy, particularly Templars who were sworn to fight for the faith. 
The disease has a slow gestation period and can be diagnosed as much as seven years before serious debility begins to set in. 
 Baldwin IV, despite his leprosy, was an intelligent and courageous leader and an excellent horseman, instrumental in the defeat of Saladin at Mont Gisard in 1177. Given the chronic shortage of manpower in the Holy Land, it made perfect sense to exploit the skills of trained fighting men, regardless of their physical condition, especially in the increasingly difficult circumstances of the thirteenth century. In a wider religious context these men brought the ideology of the cloister, charged with the belief that they were God’s elect, onto the battlefield. Who knows what results might have been achieved by this daring strategy? The unusual nature of this extraordinary religious order should never be underestimated, and Shahar has summarised it as:
Knights with leprosy who continued to perform their basic fighting function, an order in which brothers with leprosy lived alongside brothers enjoying good health under the authority of a master, himself suffering from leprosy — all this had never been heard of in the Europe of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 
Thus, the ‘valiant knighthood’ was born, a last line of defence for the Christians of the East, the ‘living dead’ mobilised in a desperate attempt to ward off the inroads of the Infidel. It was an image designed to inspire a medieval mindset moulded by notions of chivalry and the special relationship between God and his chosen sufferers. And this, as Nicholson has pointed out, was a society much preoccupied with public esteem and one in which the military orders, in general, received a good press from the laity.  The order of St Lazarus was to exploit this highly charged public perception of its role throughout its existence and long after it had ceased to be a reality.
It must be said, however, that in starkly practical terms the ‘living dead’ were not notably successful warriors. Every certain record we have of their activities speaks of military failure. Following the defeat of the crusaders at La Forbie in 1244, Robert de Nantes, Patriarch of Jerusalem, reported that ‘all the leper knights of the house of St Lazarus were killed’, and during the crusade of Louis IX (1248—54) knights of the order were present at the disaster at Marsuna in 1250, when the king was captured by the Egyptians.  Joinville describes a particularly unfortunate incident, which occurred soon after in 1252:
While the king was before Jaffa, the master of St Lazarus had spied out near Ramleh, a town some three good leagues away, a number of cattle and various other things from which he thought to collect some valuable booty. 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. But after he had collected his spoils the Saracens attacked him, and so thoroughly defeated him that of all the men he had in his company no more than four escaped. 
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. Perhaps the leper knights traditionally undertook a foraging or scouting role, which would have distanced them from the main body of troops and helped to minimise the spread of infection. It would be over-harsh to apply Nicholson’s judgement that the order was ‘suicidally reckless’ but, nevertheless, it is clear that the cumulative effect of these disasters was extremely serious. As John, bishop of Jerusalem, put it in 1323, ‘Brother knights and others of the aforesaid hospital have many times been horribly killed and their house in Jerusalem and in many other places in the Holy Land wholly devastated.’
In 1253, immediately after the fiasco at Ramleh, Innocent IV (1243—54) altered the rules of the order at the request of the brothers to permit ‘any healthy knight from amongst the brothers of the house’ to be appointed master-general ‘since all the leper knights of the said house have been miserably killed by the enemies of the faith’. This was an important turning point, illustrating a clear movement away from the founding principles of the order. In 1255 Alexander IV spoke of ‘active knights and others both healthy and leprous’, and it seems that in the late thirteenth century, with leprosy less of a problem than it had been, fighting men were joining up on much the same terms as those attracted to the Templars, Hospitallers and Teutonic Knights. 77 And, of course, alongside these military activities the hospitaller vocation of the order went on much as before. Donations were still being made to the mézeaux of St Lazarus at Acre during the 1260s. When the sultan of Cairo besieged the city in 1291 the order of St
Lazarus was able to muster a force of 25 knights.  On the night of 15/16 April a foray was made out of the St Lazarus Gate under William de Beaujeu, master of the Temple, to attempt to destroy the siege engines of the enemy, but the crusader force, which probably included troops of the order, came to grief when their horses tripped over the tent ropes of their opponents in the dark. After a bitter siege the sultan ordered the final assault on 14 May, and Acre fell amidst scenes of unprecedented carnage. All of the knights of St Lazarus perished.  It was effectively the end of the crusader presence in the Holy Land and another watershed of immense significance for the order
These military and hospitaller activities were supported, in part, by privileges granted by the papacy, which became particularly important as the landed endowment of the order in the Holy Land ‘melted away’ because of the successes of the Moslems after 1187.  It is not clear when the granting of these privileges began, but in his charter of confirmation, dated 1323, John, bishop of Jerusalem, said that 25 Popes had already contributed to them.  Counting back from the current Pope, John XXII (1316—34), we arrive at Urban III (1185—87) as the first supporter, which may not be too far wide of the mark since his pontificate preceded the crisis that gave rise to the Third Crusade. It can be deduced from the same document that the years between 1227 and 1285 represented a peak in the granting of papal privileges.  Gregory IX offered a 28-day indulgence to those giving alms (1234);  Innocent IV permitted the master to absolve brothers excommunicated for violent acts (1247);  Alexander IV provided a 100-day indulgence and income from the remission of crusading vows (1255); and Urban IV (1261—64) released the order from episcopal control, putting it under the sole authority of the Patriarch of Jerusalem (1262). 
But it was Clement IV (1265—68), who in his younger days had been in the service of Louis IX, who was the most enthusiastic patron. In April 1265, following complaints that the secular clergy were not providing appropriate support for the activities of the order, the Pope issued a thoroughgoing confirmation of its privileges; and in August of the same year he promulgated a further bull putting all of the leper-houses of the West under its protection and government.  This latter measure has been widely quoted by historians in England and France, who have taken the papal decree at face value and have assumed that it was implemented. The confusion has been made worse by the fact that some of them have mistakenly believed that all hospitals bearing the dedication of St Lazarus belonged to the order, and this is certainly not the case. 
Despite the fact that it was a genuine attempt to assist the order to improve its financial position, Clement IV’s measure was fraught with problems because the Lazarites did not have the capacity to cope with sudden and dramatic expansion, and diocesan bishops and patrons were resentful about such ambitious schemes in any case. 
 There is no evidence that the Pope’s grand design ever became a reality. Charles of Anjou (1266—85), for example, encountered serious difficulties when he attempted to enforce it in the kingdom of Sicily between 1268 and 1272. Not only did he propose that all lepers be confined in Lazarite houses but also that their property should pass to the order as well, a suggestion ‘violently resisted’ by their families. Clement IV’s initiative was the last attempt by the papacy to mobilise widespread support for the order, and its very limited success may well indicate that, by then, more negative attitudes were beginning to prevail about the Lazarites and what they stood for. 

The Pope probably regarded the leper hospital at Acre as the template alongside which others should be measured, and he was no doubt aware that some patrons had already placed charitable institutions under the supervision of the Lazarites. Many of these were returning crusaders, such as the Emperor Frederick II (1220—50) in Italy and lesser noblemen in Germany and Switzerland. outstanding example was the hospital of St Mary Magdalene, Gotha, founded in 1227, which was given to the order by Queen Elizabeth of Hungary, the widow of the crusader Louis IV, landgrave of Thuringia. Elizabeth, well known for her piety and austerities, was canonised as St Elizabeth of Marburg in 1235, and her virtues were extolled for subsequent generations in The Golden Legend: ‘She cared for a woman with dreadful leprosy ... bathing her, putting her in bed, cleansing and bandaging her sores, applying her salves, cutting her fingernails, and kneeling at the sick woman’s feet to loosen the laces of her shoes.’  Also in the imperial territories, a leper hospital at Sangerhausen was in the custody of the Lazarites from 1262.  In France an almshouse for the poor dedicated to St Thomas at Fontenay-le-Comte, Vendée, was staffed by brothers of ‘Saint Ladre d’Outremer’ in 1234;  and in 1235 the leper hospital of La Lande d’Airou, Manche, was given to the order by the local lord who had joined the crusader army at Acre.  The hospital of St Lazarus at Capua, in Naples, was not founded by the order but given to it in about 1226 on condition that lepers were supported there, and it is recorded that the brothers of Capua were tending to five lepers at Theanis in 1273.  Finally, the leper hospital of St Agatha, Messina, was described as being part of the order in 1266. 102
Some of these hospitals, for example St Mary Magdalene and La Lande d’Airou, were associated with patrons who were crusaders, making their gifts easier to understand. No doubt they had an expectation that the order would take care of lepers in Europe just as it did in the Holy Land. The Pope, by endorsing this belief, evidently wished to support the Lazarites and to rationalise an untidy situation, but he was building his edifice on very slender foundations. Despite the belief of Charles of Anjou that the order was principally hospitaller, its involvement with the sick and suffering in western Europe was, in fact, relatively slight, both before and after Clement IV’s decree. It seems that the order did not always share the enthusiasm of some of its patrons in this respect. Indeed, Hyacinthe has reassessed the hospitaller role of the Lazarites, outside Jerusalem and Acre, as ‘modest’ and has argued that ‘we are above all talking about a land network providing a logistical support for the Crusade’. Jankrift takes a similar view, and states that although there were more leprosaria in the West than in the Holy Land, the Lazarites had a much smaller share of them. They did not have the resources to replicate the work of the Jerusalem hospital outside of the Latin kingdom, and their European possessions were seen to fulfil a different purpose in any case. 104Leprosy may have been the initial inspiration of the order in the Holy Land, but, as time went on, it became less and less the reality in Europe.
In France, where the order was always strongest, its ‘land network’ was based on the castle of Boigny, near Orléans, the principal house in France and eventually in Europe too (Plate 3). Louis VII (1137—80) viewed the Second Crusade in terms of a ‘penitential pilgrimage’ and had made a visit to a Paris leper hospital before he set out. 105 Once in Outremer he provided the order with a pension of 10 livres, but ‘at the request and prayer’ of the brothers he agreed to exchange it for the gift of the royal castle of Boigny in 1154, where his marriage to Constance of Castile had been celebrated. Barber believes that this important gift ‘suggests a conscious plan to plant houses in the West’, and in this he is correct since substantial grants in England were made at about the same time. 106 Preceptories were established at Monlioust, Orne, before 1217; 107 at Grattemont, Normandy, in 1224; 108 at Posson, Cantal, before 1282; 109 and at Pastoral, Aveyron, probably also during the thirteenth century. 110 At Esztergom, in Hungary, there were cruciferi of St Lazarus in residence by 1181, and in 1233 land around the town was being administered by a master. 111 In the imperial territories three preceptories grew up around the hospital at Gotha in Thuringia: Braunsroda (1231), Breitenbach (1253) and Wackerhausen (1268). 112 At Meggersheim in Hesse another preceptory was functioning in 1253, the only one outside Thuringia. 113 These properties were supervised by a master of the order in Germany in 1266 who also appears to have had charge of a Swiss preceptory at Schlatt, Fribourg, which had under its authority smaller houses at Seedorf, Uri, and Gfenn, Zurich. 114
The hospital of Capua, which had its own master by the fourteenth century, had churches at Barletta (1185) and Foggia (1233), the latter of which became a preceptory. 115 The main focus of land ownership in southern Italy was in Apulia, and particularly around Barletta, which had a ‘St Lazarus’ quarter of the town and was a major port of embarkation for expeditions to the East. 116 The foothold in Barletta, indeed, must have been an important resource, because it is likely to have been from here that men, money and supplies were shipped to the Holy Land. The scale of this land holding did not compare with that of the Templars and Hospitallers, but the function was similar. 117 Only in Spain, Scandinavia and the Low Countries were the activities of the order conspicuously absent. 118
The purpose of these preceptories, each under its own master, was to return an annual contribution, a responsium orapportum, to the hospital in Jerusalem or Acre whence it could be employed at the discretion of the master-general and chapter. 119 The constitution of the order is extremely sketchy and the development of its hospitaller and landed interests appear to have been fairly random, but there were certainly provincial masters (as in England and Germany) who were accountable for a series of preceptories within their territories. 120 The best picture is provided by the statutes of Seedorf, Switzerland, drawn up between 1253 and 1291 and examined by Jankrift. 121 Though they provide a good deal of detail about day-to-day activities, the degree to which these practices were replicated in other parts of Europe remains uncertain. Two points of general interest do emerge, however. First, it appears that after 1250 leper brothers were in sharp decline and it was probably mainly, or even exclusively, healthy brothers who were admitted at Seedorf. 122 Second, as early as 1287 there was a move towards the recruitment of sisters, so that by 1327 the preceptory was spoken of as a ‘convent of women’. 123
These two factors demonstrate that, even before the fall of Acre, the Lazarite vocation was undergoing significant change, brought about by the beginnings of the decline of leprosy and the difficulty of attracting men to the cause. Just as the order started to detach itself from active involvement with leprosy, the image of the disease began to suffer serious setbacks from the position it had held at the time of the founding of the Jerusalem hospital. As the economic situation deteriorated across Europe in the early fourteenth century, lepers tended to be regarded as scapegoats for the sufferings of mankind rather than living embodiments of Christian suffering. The arrival of the Black Death in 1348 simply deepened this sense of ostracism and marginality, which rapidly became reflected in the writings of moralists and theologians. The extent to which the collapse of the order in the Holy Land contributed to these new, more negative, attitudes is an interesting question but one on which it is impossible to reach a conclusion. Jankrift believes that the response of the order to these changes was to adopt a more spiritual agenda, employing the prayers of its healthy brothers to work for the benefit of society in subtly changing ways. 125This appears to have been what happened at Seedorf, and the English experience was very similar. The fourteenth century was to be a period of profound change, and crisis, for the order of St Lazarus throughout Europe.
The order in Europe, 1291—2000
After the fall of Acre and the loss of all of its bases and properties in the Holy Land, the order was thrown back on its western European possessions. The master-general during this difficult period was a Frenchman, Thomas de Sainville, and it is possible that for a short time after 1291 he followed the example of the Templars by setting up a base on Cyprus.  In 1297 Boniface VIII (1294—1303) issued an indulgence to those who contributed to the rebuilding of the hospital of St Lazarus ‘for the reception of paupers and the infirm’.  Unfortunately it is not stated where the proposed new hospital was to be, but it may have been on Cyprus since there is no evidence to suggest any such initiative in the West. It could well be that the plan was a failure and, with no estates on the island, it was only a matter of time before authority became more closely associated with the realities of landed power and royal support.
In this context the obvious headquarters was at Boigny and at some date after 1291 Sainville transferred the centre of operations to France. 128 This may have happened soon after 1307, the date of Philip IV’s (1285—1314) attack on the Templars, because in the following year the king took the order of St Lazarus under his personal protection. 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. In reality, the small wealth of the Lazarites and the widely dispersed nature of their holdings made them a much less appealing target.
Sainville died in 1312 after a long period in office that had seen the order undergo fundamental change, but, to his credit, it had at least survived during a dangerous and highly charged period. But Sainville and his successors were much less successful in carving out a new niche for themselves in the context of the continuation of the Crusade or in developing their hospitaller activities. They did not, for example, follow the lead of the order of St John in setting up a Mediterranean base or fitting out galleys to pursue a naval war against the Infidel; nor did they act purposefully to create a fresh start around the proposals of Clement IV’s bull. Instead, they dug into their European preceptories and became what Moeller has termed ‘veritable parasites’, a role that the Templars might well have emulated had they been allowed to do so.  Demoralised because of their expulsion from the Holy Land and no doubt vilified by some because of the events of the lepers’ plot of 1321, the Lazarites staggered on. 
It was undoubtedly a difficult time for them. In 1320, in response to repeated complaints about injuries, injustices and the unlawful seizure of their possessions, John XXII issued a bull threatening their detractors with excommunication. But, in these circumstances, it was clear that this order without a purpose would soon begin to fragment, and schism became the abiding theme of the centuries that followed. With no uniting cause or focus to hold it together, apart from its monastic tradition, it was only a matter of time before the whole operation fell apart.  The French orientation became deeply resented by the English, and Capua was simply too far away, too culturally distinct, for effective management from Boigny. It seems that in the fourteenth century both Boigny and Capua claimed leadership and that the other provinces simply went their own way amid the general confusion.  In these circumstances it was undoubtedly the English province that proved the most tenacious in establishing a new independence and identity for itself in the fifteenth century.
The late Middle Ages, of course, was a period that saw the birth and development of the cult of chivalry all over western Europe, and in many ways France provided the cultural dynamo that drove these developments on.  The earliest crusaders had not, at first, been characterised by a noble ideology. Rather they were men ‘who massacred helpless Jews . . .and . . .could boast of riding up to their horses’ knees in blood’.  However, with the passage of time and the achievement of the religious goals for which they had fought, these attitudes began to mellow, especially when their exploits passed into the pages of romantic literature. In the thirteenth century knighthood became more overtly religious and moral, ‘when aspirants should be consecrated to knightly arms by fasting, vigil and solemn rites’.  Nowhere was this changing image more clearly displayed than among the military orders who, with their emphasis on charity and chastity, came to epitomise many of the burgeoning chivalric values. Even after the fall of Acre the aura of knightly virtues continued to glow, and in the fourteenth century they found a practical outlet in the Crusades of the Teutonic order in Lithuania: ‘The Crusade to the Holy Land in the twelfth century had involved going and winning. In the fourteenth it was sufficient merely to go in order to guarantee oneself a name in the annals of knighthood.’ 
With the defeat of the Teutonic order at Tannenburg in 1410, closing off this last possibility of ‘holy war’ outside Spain, and the continuing development of the myth by authors such as Froissart and Malory, the fifteenth-century knight was a far cry from his twelfth-century counterpart. Though uncompromising conflicts still raged across Europe, the brutal warfare of earlier times was now complemented by highly regulated tournaments with blunted weapons. Moncreiff characterises this ‘nobler aspect of chivalry’ with just a touch of cynicism: ‘The wonder is that, what with tournaments, perilous quests, and chance encounters, any of these knights could ever reach a good old age, who, for all their martial vigour, seem to have been much given to swooning away, to shedding floods of tears, and to going mad under stress of sorrow.’  It cannot be imagined that the order of St Lazarus remained immune from such a culture shift. Detached from active crusading — and from leprosy — it was free to absorb the myth and, indeed, to become part of it. There can be little doubt that the order’s continued survival in the late Middle Ages set it out on a path on which the code of romantic chivalry was gradually to envelope its identity and any sense of reality that remained from the past. Later members of the order may well have identified strongly with the charge given to Tristram’s son at the tomb of Lancelot: ‘Knight, be cruel to thine enemies, kind to thy friends, humble to the weak, and aim always to sustain the right and confound those who do wrong to widows, poor ladies, maidens, and orphans; and love the poor always and with all thy might, and withal love always the Holy Church.’  It pointed the way to the future.
After the capture of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, the papacy tried to initiate some schemes of reform in the hope of fanning the flames kindled by such romantic notions. In 1489 Innocent VIII (1484—92) ordered an amalgamation with the Hospitallers but, with the support of Charles VIII (1483—98), this was resisted by a powerful faction of French knights of St Lazarus, and the bulls were finally annulled by Pius IV (1559—65). Despite this, the German branch was merged with the order of St John in 1490 and the Hungarian properties were swallowed up by the incursions of the Turks in 1540. At about the same time, the Reformation dealt a further body blow to the order and led to its activities in England and Switzerland being suspended.  Thus, of the old provinces, only France and Italy still survived in 1572 when Gregory XIII (1572—85) ordered a union with the order of St Maurice, but once again, in token of the old rivalry, the French proved obstinate. However, the Capuans agreed to accept the Pope’s proposal and thereafter the mastership of the Italian branch became linked to the house of Savoy.
There was, indeed, a minor renaissance along the lines the revivalists hoped for. In the seventeenth century the order of St Maurice and St Lazarus maintained a house of knights at Turin, dedicated to land combat, and another at Nice, for naval warfare, but enthusiasm diminished in the eighteenth century and the order was suppressed at the time of the French Revolution. Revived as a secular order of knighthood by the king of Sardinia in 1816, it finally ceased to exist in 1946. The order in France eventually found a new beginning thanks to Henry IV (1589—1610). Keen to make amends for his Huguenot background, Henry founded the military order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and in 1609 merged it with the French branch of St Lazarus under the mastership of the marquis de Nerestang.  Like its Italian counterpart the new French order enjoyed something of a revival in the seventeenth century. Louis XIV (1643—1715) was a special patron, and during the 1660s its ships were operating out of St Malo against the English. Indeed, between 1673 and 1691 the king’s minister of war, the marquis de Louvois, was vicar-general with full authority over the affairs of the order in France.  But, again, the eighteenth century proved to be a period of relative stagnation. Louvois’ successor, the marquis de Dangeau, directed his energies into the design of new and esoteric regalia and blunted his enthusiasms with protracted and pointless wrangles, such as whether or not the knights of St Lazarus shared with the Hospitallers the privilege of taking communion without removing their swords. Suppressed by Clement XIV (1769—74) as a religious order in 1772, the whole lumbering edifice was swept away during the Revolution.
There followed a shadowy period in the order’s history, when some have argued it ceased to exist altogether and others have alleged a thread of continuity, but after 1910 it re-emerged, apparently redefined and reinvigorated. 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. The upshot of this was that in 1969 the order divided between the ‘Malta Obedience’ and the ‘Paris Obedience’, each with its own grand-master, and on a national level even further fragmentation appears to have taken place.  taddiport a. Scotland, for example, has three branches of the order, each of them claiming ‘authenticity’. Although there are moves afoot to resolve these difficulties, no solution has as yet been arrived at. Virtually all of the branches of the contemporary order are dedicated to charitable work of one sort or another, some of it involving leprosy, and it seems clear that a sense of history, tradition and pageantry looms large in persuading these present-day ‘knights’ to become involved and do what they do.  As the order’s website explains, ‘Its appeal lies in its long history, its strong religious affiliation and its heartfelt commitment to alleviating suffering.... Dedication to those high ideals binds these men and women together in the ancient tradition of chivalry.’ The order takes particular pride in the contribution it made during the 1990s to the restoration of Christianity in eastern Europe, and, in terms of the alleviation of suffering, its efforts have been manifest in the distribution of considerable quantities of food, clothing and medical supplies in the former Communist bloc. 
The order in England was revived in 1962 when the grand-master appointed Lord Mowbray, a direct descendent of Roger de Mowbray, the order’s principal English patron, as grand-prior of England and Wales.  The present grand-prior is the duke of Westminster, and the honorary chaplains are the archbishop of Canterbury and the cardinal archbishop of Westminster, illustrating that the ( the people of taddiport think its funny, leprosy.)contemporary order is more firmly embedded in the ‘establishment’ than ever its medieval predecessor was. A marshal, from a military background, and two hospitallers, who are members of the medical profession, maintain links with the founding ideology in the Holy Land. Prospective members are invited to measure themselves against the following requirements:
Membership of this order of chivalry is an honour, and one that can be shared by all who are deemed worthy. Membership is ecumenical, and open to all practising Christians, regardless of denomination and sex, and currently includes many married couples. Members are drawn from a wide range of professions and callings, but all who join make the provision to give service to the order. Membership requires a firm commitment to work for the good of the order by supporting its activities to the extent of one’s abilities, whether this be by raising funds, devoting time to the order’s charitable works, or by prayer. 

The order of St Lazarus, therefore, has proved to be exceptionally tenacious, not only in terms of its survival, but also by including in its present aims and objectives distinct echoes of the various phases of its past which have made it what it is today. From a national perspective it is curious that the English order should have been reborn as part of the continental tradition from which its medieval predecessor fought so hard to detach itself.