Licet Pridem – 13 Jan 1313
For an everlasting record. Some time ago, in the general council held at Vienne under the Lord’s inspiration, we suppressed the former order of the Temple for certain good reasons as explained in the letter of suppression. After long and careful deliberations with our brothers and the whole council, we bestowed on the order of the Hospital of saint John of Jerusalem, on the Hospital itself and on our beloved sons, the master and brothers of the Hospital, in the name of the Hospital and of the order of these men, who as the Lord’s athletes expose themselves unfailingly to the danger of death in defence of the faith and have borne and still bear heavy loss overseas, the house of the Knights Templar and their other houses, churches, chapels, oratories, cities, castles, towns, lands, granges and all their other movable, immovable and self-moving property, together with all the members and rights and all that belongs to them, beyond and on this side of the sea and in all parts of the world, which the former order and its master and brothers had and comprised at the time when the master himself and some of the brothers were arrested as a body in the kingdom of France, namely in October 1308.
The property includes that which the Templars had of themselves or through others, and anything belonging to them in any way, with all their rights, privileges, indults, immunities, liberties, honours and charges. We donated and united all this forever to the Hospital and incorporated it into the Hospital, with the approval of the sacred council and from the fullness of our apostolic power, for the help of the holy Land. However, whatever rights belonged to kings, princes, prelates, barons, nobles and any other Catholics, before the arrest of the master of the former order of the Temple and of some other brothers, were to remain. We excepted from the said donation, union and incorporation the property of the former order of the Temple in the kingdoms and lands of our beloved sons in Christ, the illustrious kings … of Castile, of Aragon, of Portugal, and of Majorca, lying outside the kingdom of France, which we reserved with good reason for the disposal of the apostolic see.
In the letter of donation, union and incorporation, however, through the carelessness, neglect or engagements of the scribe or secretary, mention was omitted of the non-violation of the rights of kings, princes, prelates and other persons concerned. Lest therefore any doubt arises in the future from such an omission concerning these charges and rights, and any prejudice be generated against the said kings, princes, prelates, barons, nobles and other persons, we, who desire that everyone retains his rights unimpaired, wishing to provide a suitable remedy in the matter for the said kings, princes, prelates, barons, nobles and any other Catholics, declare that we have made the above donation, union and incorporation to the order of the Hospital of saint John of Jerusalem, and to the Hospital itself and its master and brothers, in the name of the said Hospital and order, in the way expressed above. We determine and decree of our certain knowledge that, without violation of the property of the former order of the Temple donated to the order of the Hospital, together with all its privileges, indults, immunities, liberties, rights, honours and charges, for the help of the holy Land, nevertheless whatever rights belonged to kings, princes, prelates, barons, nobles and any other Catholics, at the time of the said arrest of the master and some brothers of the Temple, remain intact, unimpaired and exactly as they would be in everything as if they had been distinctly and expressly mentioned in the said letter of donation, union and incorporation. Let nobody therefore ….
Given at Avignon on 13 January in the eighth year.