The second to last of the medieval Knights Templar was Thibaud Gaudin who was known for his great piety, for attempting to reorganize the order, and for serving less than a year.
Born sometime in 1229 to a noble family around the Chartres or Blois area of France (SW of Paris), but the majority of his life is a mystery and there exists little to no extant records.
By 1260, he was in the Knights Templar because in that year he was taken prisoner during an attack on Tiberias. During his Templar career, he also served as Turcopolier and then Preceptor of Acre. `In 1279, Gaudin was the Commander of the Land of Jerusalem, which is the fourth highest-ranking member of the order and is also the Treasurer.
He took part in the defense of Acre in 1291 where Guillaume de Beaujeu, his predecessor died. When it was clear that Acre was going to fall to the Saracens, Gaudin was put on a boat for Sidon; Acre lies south of Tyre and Sidon is north of Tyre. In August of 1291 in Sidon, Gaudin was elected as Grand Master of the Poor Knights of Christ and the Temple of Solomon. In October of 1291, with a larger convocation gathered, the knights reaffirmed the Gaudin's election, but also elected Jacques DeMolay as Marshal.
After the fall of Acre and the approach of the Saracens on Sidon, Gaudin went to Cyprus to gather more reinforcements. With the decline of fortunes in the Middle East, Gaudin tried to reorganize the order, but was busied with helping protect the Kingdom of Armenia. It is believed that the job was too much for him because on April 16, 1292, he died of exhaustion. Of all things, he is remembered for his great piety which earned him the nickname of "Gaudin Monk."
1. Cobbold, D. (n.d.). Thibaud Gaudin. Retrieved from Project Beauceant: http://www.templiers.org/thibaud-gaudin-eng.php
2. Knights Templar Timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved from Medieval Life and Times: http://www.medieval-life-and-times.info/crusades/knights-templar-timeline.htm
3. Thibaud Gaudin. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thibaud_Gaudin
4. Napier, G. (2014). Pocket A-Z of the Knights Templar: A Guide to Their History and Legacy. The History Press.