Eudes de Saint-Amand (11??-1180)

Master of the Order from 1171 to 1180.

Originating from the province of Limousin, Eudes de Saint-Amand was Marshal of the Order when he was elected to succeed Philippe de Milly as Master of the Temple.

The Order needed a vivacious, active and courageous chief. In 1172, Gauthier du Maisnil, a Templar Knight, was accused by King Amaury 1st of killing an Ismaelian dignitary. The King demanded that Eudes de Saint-Amand delivered du Maisnil, but the new Master, asserting the Templars’ freedom from all but the Pope, categorically opposed the move.
The unexpected death of du Maisnil, followed some months later but it was the death of Amaury 1st that put an end to the quarrel.
Throughout the stand-off Eudes de Saint-Amand gained a reputation for being a strong, intransigent and inflexible man.

During his rule, Eudes de Saint-Amand lead several expeditions against Saladin’s armies. These included missions to Naplouse, Jericho and Djerach, where he achieved several victories. The most notable victory in which he participated was without doubt the battle in Montgisard.
After this glorious victory against Saladin’s forces, the Order received important donations, including one by Renaud, Lord of Margat, which attributed half of the income from several cities to the Order.

In March 1179, Templars built the ‘Chastellet’ fortress, at the Jacob Ford. Saladin tried to negotiate the destruction of this fortress, because its building violated the peace treaty he signed with Baudouin IV after the battle in Montgisard.
The Franks refused, despite Saladin’s promise to give 100 000 dinars for the destruction of the fortress.

In May 1179, Saladin wanted to invade the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but the ‘Chastellet’ resisted and the Muslim assaults broke on the walls, fiercely defended by Templars and the men of Constable Onfroi de Toron.
A short time later, King Baudouin IV, Raymond III de Tripoli, Eudes de Saint-Amand and Roger des Moulins, the Master of the Hospital, battled Saladin in the region of Marj’ Ayûn. Despite some Frankish victories, Saladin crushed the Christian armies and captured Eudes de Saint-Amand.

Without taking advantage of his victory at the end of August 1179, Saladin contented himself with besieging and destroying the Templars’ Chastellet fortress. Saladin executed the Templars present and their Turcoples.
Eudes de Saint-Amand died in October 1180 in one of Saladin’s jail. Shortly before his death it was proposed that he be exchanged for Saladin’s nephew who was a prisoner in a Frankish prison.

Previous Master : Philippe de Milly - Next Master : Arnaud de Toroge

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More references... Bibliography
  1. "Armorial des Maîtres de l'Ordre du Temple"
    Bernard Marillier; Editions Pardès 2000
  2. "Histoire des Templiers"
    J.-J.-E. Roy ; Editions Pardes 1999
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Translation : Andrew Zolnai
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