AJM (15/10/2009)Cheerio TheFreemason! :cool:
Well that's torn it! I was looking forward to having a non-Masonic academic on the forum, for an unbiased opinion so to speak. I hope AJM changes his mind, because I really enjoyed his posts and he always seemed to be very well-informed.
I hope that when his book does come out, it is a great success. If it is (and we have no reason to think not), I am sure we will regret some of our comments towards him. This board is about learning and sharing and I believe AJM did just that.
I hope you come back and visit us AJM and best of luck.
I just looked at AJM's website and googled some of the quotes there. Here is a report from The Times:
According to new research by AJ Morton, an authority on masonic history, the town housed a community of Knights Templar in the 14th century who may have possessed the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper.
According to Christian mythology, Joseph of Arimathea received the Grail from an apparition of Jesus and entrusted it to the Knights Templar, who brought it to Britain. Some accounts suggest it was buried in a secret vault in Rosslyn chapel, Midlothian.
However, Morton’s research suggests that, if the Grail exists, it is more likely to have been buried in Kilwinning or Irvine. He has unearthed land records showing 200 Templar properties in southwest Scotland in the 14th century, 30 of them in the Cunningham district of Ayrshire.
“Historians have been searching for a Templar haven, a hideaway where disbanded Templars sheltered after their downfall. Several places have been pinpointed, all of them false. Irvine and Kilwinning had the highest concentration of Templars in Scotland,” he said.
Rosslyn chapel has enjoyed a stream of visitors following Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, which connected the Templars and their treasures with the chapel. However, Morton believes this version of history is no more than a legend. He has used ancient property records and other documents to prove the presence of Templars in the Ayrshire area.
“People like the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, [Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh], Dan Brown, not one of them highlighted the fact that there were just so many Templars in the district of Cunningham in Ayrshire . . . The Templars were Europe’s bankers. When they were destroyed, none of the material was returned, it disappeared, so it is possible that it is in Irvine or Kilwinning somewhere, be-cause it had the largest concentration of Templars possibly in Europe, certainly in Scotland.”
“There were no Templars in Rosslyn. The building was built after the Templars were destroyed while Kilwinning Abbey was built shortly after the Templars were created. Rosslyn chapel is an enigma, it is a beautiful building, but it has nothing to do with the Templars,” Morton said.
Experts on the history of Freemasonry said Morton’s theory was plausible and an interesting starting point to solve the mystery of Templar history in Scotland.
Gerard Carruthers, head of Scottish literature and the Centre for Robert Burns studies at Glasgow University, said: “People go looking for the Holy Grail and the Masonic and Templar connection in Rosslyn. They should actually just do the basic history and look closely at Ayrshire.”
Dr Corey Andrews, assistant professor at Youngstown University in the United States and an expert on Scottish Freemasonry, said: “[Morton] does make a good case for the centrality of Kilwinning, particularly as regards to the amount of Templar lands that were located and re-distributed. As far as the treasure — that is going to be open to inquiry, but he has made a good case for arguing that might be a good place to look.”
Simon Beattie, interpretations manager at Rosslyn chapel, said: “I am not really concerned about this; visitors will still come out to see the building and we still have enough real history here.”