The Order in Scotland


The Order was established in Scotland in 1989 and has grown continually since then. Currently the Lieutenancy comprises over 120 Knights and Dames of the Holy Sepulchre. There are both lay and clerical members and they are drawn from all areas of Scotland. The Lieutenancy is headed by a Lieutenant and a Grand Prior, both of whom are appointed by the Cardinal Grand Master in Rome.

The Equestrian Order itself has its roots in the First Crusade at the end of the eleventh century when the leader of the Crusade, the French knight Godfrey de Bouillon, liberated the city of Jerusalem and established of the Latin Kingdom and Patriarchate of Jerusalem there. As part of his administrative reforms he established the Order of Canons of the Holy Sepulchre, which included not only religious but also knights with a specific command to defend and protect the Holy Sepulchre and the Holy Places. When Saladin defeated the Christians at the end of the 12th century the Order ceased to exist as a religious and military force, though the head of the Franciscan Order in the Holy Land, which was entrusted with the custodianship of the Holy Places, retained the right to create new knights.

This practice continued until 1848 when Pope Pius IX re established the Latin Patriarch and at the same time re-organised the Order. The Order’s new constitution placed it directly under papal protection and established its role as supporting the work of the Latin Patriarch, as well as spreading the faith. Later Popes continued this work. Pope Pius XII gave the Order a Grand Master from among the Cardinals with the Latin Patriarch as its Grand Prior and this has continued to this day. Through the concerns of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II, the Constitution of the Order was re-shaped and consolidated. Today the Order is under the protection of the Holy See and is officially recognised by countries throughout the world.


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© Scottish Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. A charity registered in Scotland Reg No SCO 22356