Within the Templar hierarchy, the Grand Master was absolute ruler of the Order and answerable only to the pope. Although his position was a powerful one, he was still obliged to live by the same Rule of Order that those under him swore to obey. However, the Rule did grant him a fairly extensive entourage:
4 horses 1 Chaplain Brother 1 clerk with 3 horses 1 Sergeant Brother with 2 horses 1 gentleman valet with 1 horse 1 farrier 1 Saracen scribe 1 turcopole 1 cook 2 foot soldiers 1 turcoman 2 knight brothers as companions Source: The Rule of the Templars Upton Ward p. 39
Base of Operations
From the Order’s foundation in 1119/1120 until the fall of Jerusalem the Grand Master was headquartered in Jerusalem. From 1191 until 1291, he was stationed at Acre and after the loss of the port city in 1291 was stationed on the Island of Cyprus.
List of Grand Masters From 1118 – 1314
While historians generally agree on the names of the men who led the Order over its nearly 200 years of existence, there is considerable disagreement in the dates that some individual Grand Masters held their post. The list below has been compiled from the works of Malcolm Barber.
Hugues de Payens 1119-1136Robert de Craon 1136-1149 Everard des Barres 1149-1152 Bernard de Tremeley 1153-1153 Andrew de Montbard 1154-1156 Bertrand de Blancfort 1156-1159 Philip de Milly (Nablus) 1169-1171 Odo de St Amand 1171-1179 Arnold de Torroja 1181-1184 Gerard de Ridefort 1185-1189 Robert de Sable 1191-1192/3 Gilbert Erail 1194-1200 Philip de Plessis 1201-1209 William de Chartres 1210-1218/9 Peter de Montaigu 1219-1230/2 Armand de Perigord 1232-1244/6 Richard de Bures Not Listed William de Sonnac 1247-1250 1247-1250 Reginald de Vichiers 1250-1256 1250-1256 Thomas Berard 1256-1273 1256-1273 William de Beaujeu 1273-1291 Theobald Gaudin 1291-1292/3 Jacques de Molay 1293-1314