Serving from 1250 AD to 1256 AD (the latter part of the 7th Crusade), Renaud de Vichiers was the 19th Grand Master of the Knights Templar. There is a lot of confusion about his tenure as Grand Master and very little extant record to clear it up. What is known is that he was born around 1198 in Champagne region of France.
He served as Preceptor of Saint-Jean-d'Acre, Master of France, and Marshal before he was Grand Master. After the death of the Grand Master, Guillaume de Sonnac, he was elected to preside over the Templar order in 1250 AD, with the help of the King Louis IX of France. He had become friends with King Louis IX when he was Master of France and as Marshal helped secure the funds for the king's release from Mamluk captivity.
The King and the Templars did have a falling out when Renaud ordered his Marshal, Hughes de Jouy, to work out a truce with the Sultan of Damascus without the king's permission or authority. He had the Marshal banned from the Holy Land and had the truce destroyed.
Some tales state that he escorted King Louis IX, after his release from Saracen captivity, to Acre and then used the Templars to fight back against Mamluk raids until his death. Other tales say that Renaud only served as Grand Master until 1252 AD and then resigned from the Templars to live in a monastery until his death on January 20, 1256. It is believed that with this story-line that Renaud had put his friendship with the King ahead of the order and that the Templars pushed for his resignation.
1. Cobbold, D. (n.d.). Renaud de Vichiers. Retrieved from Project Beauceant: http://www.templiers.org/renaud-vichiers-eng.php
2. Napier, G. (2014). Pocket A-Z of the Knights Templar: A Guide to Their History and Legacy. The History Press.
3. Newman, S. (2007). The Real History Behind the Templars. New York: Berkley Books.
4. Renaud de Vichiers. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaud_de_Vichiers
5. Robinson, J. J. (1991). Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades. New York: M. Evans.
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