Temple Chronicles Glossary: A Guide to Curious Terms

Temple Chronicles Glossary: A Guide to Curious Terms

Getting the lay of the land in a foreign country can be confusing. Vernacular is as fluid as the Atlantic ocean dividing North America and Scotland. So this blog post offers a few explanation of words sprinkled through the Temple Chronicles and their context in the story in The Häling and the Scottish Templars

Templar Offices, Terminology and Duties

The highest officers of the Order were called Grand Officers. There were seven Provincial Territories divided essentially by language, Scots, English, French, Portuguese, Hungarian, Palestine, Spanish. A Preceptory  was the regional headquarters for knights within a territory. The Commanderies were composed of local manors, farms, military outposts.

There were five classes stated in the original rule. They were called by various names over the centuries and regions. The lowest rank was that of servant, then came squire, chaplain, knight and then bailiff or procurator. There were both permanent and temporary membership types.

The Grand Master was the worldwide spiritual, political and military leader of the Order. Chosen by a complex electoral system, he mostly governed from the Holy Land. Seneschal served as the second highest leader of Templars: deputy to the Grand Master, right hand and who served in the master’s absence. He administered all the lands belonging to the Order and handled the movement of men and armies.

Masters and Commanders were the local authorities of smaller strongholds and manors. Marshal, the third highest office of Templars, was responsible for the individual commanders, horses, arms and equipment. He was often the standard bearer. Visitor, Fourth highest leader of Templars, was the Grand Master’s emissary to the various regions.  Procurator  served as regional Administrative Director in legal matters of the Order. Knights were the noble class armed calvary of the Templar Order, who were also considered monks. Sergeants were foot soldiers and the chief support for the knights. Squires were usually younger men who served under a knight. Chaplains were the priests of the Order, who heard confessions of the knights and maintained the order’s independence from local clerical authorities.

CURIOUS WORDS in the Temple Chronicles

ashlar – hewn stones

Augustinians – Cleric order of canons who ran hospitals and farms throughout Scotland and England, who followed the Rule of St. Augustine.

baldric – Leather belt for carrying a sword, usually strapped across the shoulder.

beauseant – Templar Banner of Black and white

black madonna – Mystic icon that adorned many shrines in Scotland

canon – religious priest

capelet  – medieval hooded cape

Cistercians – monks   Bernard of Clairvaux

clan  – Scottish tribe

cloister – closed area Monastery

closesmall passageway between buildings

coracle – small bark boat

corselet – a piece of armor covering the trunk

cragbluff or cliff

Culdees – members of Celtic Christian monastic communities in early medieval Scotland and Ireland.

dovecot –  small wooden house where doves are kept for breeding

Druids – High ranking professional class in ancient Celtic culture, consisting of great education and wisdom in law, politics, healing, literature.

Häling The word *Häling (pronounced Hā-ling singular or plural) describes a hallowed object, or a collection of treasures, descended from ancient spiritual lineage. It is derived from the Old English adjective *hālig, meaning holy or sacred, and from the German verb *holen, meaning to summon, fetch, or hold. Such a concept is far removed from the modern mind, which registers only faint glimpses of bygone cultures that created these objects. Although most of the treasures mentioned in this book are now lost, the Häling speak through the ages and reflect aspirations of the human spirit.

hart hound –  rough coated and much larger than a greyhound. Could bring the hart down alone. Scottish aristocratic hunting luxury, because of their reputation for treacherous temperament.

High Steward – the innermost adviser to the King of Scots, who managed the King’s household

gatehouse – guard gate of a fortification

glen – valley

granary – place where corn and wheat are stored

grotto – a sequestered area in the woods, sometimes in a cave

hermit cell – small hut where  contemplative lives

hobbin – small stout Scottish horse

Hospitallers – Military Order of Knights of St John who tended the pilgrims on the roads to Holy Land.

Kalein  – A spiritual lineage of a most ancient order, who are born to protect higher learning ~  from Greek ekkalein “to call out.”  kalein “to call” c. 1300, “to call, call out; to ask or demand by virtue of right or authority,” from Old French clamer “to call, name, describe; claim; (compare Sanskrit usakala “cock,” literally “dawn-calling;” Latin calare “to announce solemnly, call out;” Middle Irish cailech “cock;” Greek kalein “to call.”

ken – verb ‘to know’, kent – past tense

khopesh    An Egyptian saber-like sword

kin – relatives / family


lass – young girl

laird – Leader of the Scottish clan who owns large estate, the equivalent of English esquire.

loch – lake

manor house – agricultural estate under the domain of a lord or religious order

moat –  ditch willed with water that surrounds a fortification

oculus – an opening in a roof

palisades – wooden fences

percheron – French war horse

portcullis – a heavy latticed gate used in medieval fortifications.

prior – Head of a Priory

quay – harbor-side commercial sector of a port

Roman road – major road dating back to Roman Empire’s occupation of Britain

Royal Archers – (often times Templars) were Body Guards to the King of Scots

saffron – yellow dye

sarcophagus – coffin

sepulcher – room built of stone in which to lay a dead psepherson.

scriptorium – a place in a library where manuscripts are copied

seigneury – vast feudal lands

squire – Templar rank below Knighthood.

stygian – very dark

Templars – Soldier monks – Poor knights of Solomon,

thatched – reeded roof

tooled – leather-working

tor – hill

weans – young ones

wee – small

wyvern –  legendary creature with the head of a dragon, wings, a slender body, two legs, and a tail. A sea-dwelling variant dubbed the sea-wyvern has a fish tail in place of a barbed dragon’s tail. (See expanded reference in Chapter 20)


You can get your copy of The Häling and Scottish Templars HERE