William Longespee Preceptory and Priory No 322
Warrant dated 29th September 1948. Meets at Freemasons Hall, Crane Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2QD. on the fourth Friday in February, April (Installation), September (Malta) and November
Parking: Crane Street Pay & Display
Three Encampments had previously been warranted in Wiltshire, all in Salisbury - Harmony of Seven
Degrees in 1792 and Science of Seven Degrees in 1794. both disbanded around 1810; and Vale Royal Encampment warranted by the Camp of Baldwyn in 1857 and ceasing work in 1862.
The return of the Order to Wiltshire on the 29th November 1948, when the Earl of Shaftesbury, Provincial Prior for Dorset, consecrated this Preceptory, was a doubly significant event, not only in returning Templar masonry to Wiltshire but leading to the creation of the new Province of Dorset and Wiltshire in January 1949.
The name was probably derived from William Longespee (Longsword) the Younger, a son of the Third Earl of Salisbury, who was born at Old Sarum, raised 200 horse and commanded the English contingent on the Seventh Crusade, under Louis IX. He fell, with 285 Templars and most of his men in 1252 during the battle of Mansurah.
Of the twenty one Founders, twelve were members of Hyde Preceptory and six, including the founding Preceptor, members of Antiquity Encampment No 1 meeting at Bath.
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