Introduction To The Honours Of The Order
To the mind of a typical observer, the concept of some worthy individual being Invested with an `Honour' quite naturally kindles the thought of a `Monarch' or other head of state bestowing upon a subject a title which could vary from an insignificant medal in recognition of an equally insignificant deed, to those honours considered to be the highest available, and whose holders find their place among the Earls, Barons and other Peers of given realms. In the main, this would be a reasonably accurate assumption and, while frequently incorrect, must be forgiven due to the economy of `knowledge in general' concerning the `Honours system'.
From the earliest mists of history, records exist concerning the granting or bestowal of `Honours'. Many, indeed most, were acts of favouritism, patronage and in many cases, bribery. In more recent years however, the Honours system has considerably improved, although it still remains far from perfect.
It is important to understand that while most knighthoods, including many modern versions, are used by certain countries to reward individuals for a wide variety of reasons, a Sovereign for example, does not normally ennoble an individual as such, but rather as the Head of a respective Order. It is important to understand therefore, that while individuals per se do not ennoble, Orders such as The Ancient and Noble Order of The Knights Templar, by virtue of the powers granted by its Constitution, and by the laws of Jerusalem can and do. This form of ennoblement is fully hereditary, totally lawful, and fully recognised.
Arguments are frequent and rarely solved as to whether the granting of honours is a worthwhile activity in modern life or not. The one argument which shall always prevail, and which is emphatically in favour of the honours system, is the argument that there is hardly a better way to reward and recognise a given person whose achievements have proven to be to the benefit of many others, or in the case of the Fellowship of this Noble Order, their commitment to support the aims of The Order.
The Honours system, historically traditional within The Knights Templar Order, is to support exactly the ethic just explained. When recommendations to The Order are made in respect of the most worthy individuals, The Inner Court can recommend and approve, the awarding of legitimate and hereditary Honours with their appropriate titles and privileges.
It must be made clear however, that the Honours which are granted by The Ancient and Noble Order of The Knights Templar, are not in any way linked or connected with any other chivalric Orders, whose honours may be bestowed by various Sovereigns, Principalities and States etc. The Honours are indigenous to The Order, and in fact pre-date in mediaeval origin virtually every other similar surviving ancient distinction of Knighthood.
The Honours List
The names of all successful candidates for Membership in this Noble Order, together with details of his special interests, profession, family details, and of course photographs are published by way of a special supplement on the occasion of each issue of the official Magazine of The Order. Traditionally, this has been a bi-annual publication, although in recent times, and by virtue of a much greater input of information, the publishing frequency of the Magazine can be varied.
The Hereditary Character
The Constitution of this Noble Order decrees that the Honour of Knight Templar, bestowed upon a Member in full and good standing of The Order, shall be in perpetuity, following upon formal Investiture. All honours so bestowed by this Noble Order are fully hereditary.
The Honour, which shall normally descend through the eldest of the male line, shall nonetheless be left to the absolute discretion of the Member, and to his enduring posterity. The exalted honours of Knight Commander and/or Knight Seneschal are however bestowed upon the individual Member personally for the Member's lifetime and not in perpetuity.