History

The earliest reference to Knight Templar (K.T.) activity in the British Isles can be found in Ireland. Earliest references in England were minuted at Portsmouth in 1777 and were worked under the authority of Royal Arch Chapters as appendant Degrees. In 1791 a Grand Conclave was formed comprising seven appendant ’Encampments’ with Thomas Dunckerly as Grand Master. Now, around 650 Preceptories are listed. The Order is administered by Great Priory from the Chancery of the Orders, St. James’s St, London.This Province was created in 1849, the eighth in the country, the first being the Province of Dorset in 1836.

The Province of Staffordshire has at various times been linked with six other geographical counties, namely, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. It has been linked with five but never all six at the same time.
In 1890 the Godefroi de Bouillon Preceptory presented to Lichfield Cathedral a magnificent statue of Godefroi Bouillon which is still there today. It can be seen externally on the South Transept. It cost £35!!

In 1869, 20 years after the Province of Staffordshire was formed it was resolved to form a combined Province of Staffordshire and Warwickshire.

In 1884 a new Preceptory was consecrated in Leicestershire, namely, Rothley Temple Preceptory No. 152 and the former Province of Staffordshire and Warwickshire now became the new Province of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire.

In 1893 Peveril Preceptory No. 159 was consecrated in Derby and the Province extended to embrace this Preceptory to become the Province of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Derby.

In 1895, a Preceptory was formed in Nottingham which decided to join our Province.
1899 was the 50th Anniversary of the foundation of the Province of Staffordshire and the year in which the Boer War started. It was also the year in which Bernard de Tremelay Preceptory No. 170 was warranted and it was consecrated in Walsall in 1900.

In 1905 (halfway through the reign of King Edward VII 1901-1910), Abbey Chapter (Nottingham), Rothley Temple (Leicestershire) and Peveril (Derby) detached themselves from the Province which reverted to its old style of Staffordshire and Warwickshire. Two years in later in 1907 the Province of Worcestershire which contained two Preceptories got into difficulties. It would seem that, to the considerable displeasure of the Worcestershire Knights, Great Priory decided that they should be added to the Province of Staffordshire and Warwickshire which then became Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

In 1910 King George V ascended to the throne. In 1912 the first Shropshire Preceptory, St. Chad Preceptory No. 193 of Shrewsbury was consecrated and Shropshire became added to the Province now creating the combined Province of Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

In 1924 was the 75th Anniversary of the formation of the Staffordshire Province, the anniversary was marked by shedding the grumbling Worcestershire Preceptories who had added a third Preceptory at Kings Heath and now became a Province in its own right, leaving behind what was now the Province of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Shropshire.

In 1966 Warwickshire became a separate Province and took with it 6 Preceptories with a combined strength of 187 Knights, leaving the reduced Province of Staffordshire and Shropshire with 6 Preceptories and a combined strength of 198 Knights.

The Province with 6 Preceptories containing 198 Knights in 1966 has grown to 16 Preceptories and has increased its Muster Roll of Knights to 500.

In January 2011 a Preceptory for the current and former members of the Body Guard was consecrated bringing the current total to 17 Preceptories in the Province and makes us the 7th largest Province in the country.