War of the Roses

The Jolly Roger

Jolly Roger

Jolly Roger

The origin of the Jolly Roger begins with the tale of Baldwin, as recounted by Walter Mapp, in the twelfth century AD. Although the story at this time is not connected with the Templar Knights, at the time of their trials 1307-1314, it was well woven into the Templar legend. In fact it was called upon during the actual trials of the Templars.

According to the legend, this anonymous “Lord of Sidon” was in love is a “great lady of Maraclea [Marash in Cilician Armenia]”.[1] Baldwin married Arda of Armenia, from the Rubinian Royal House of Armenia, founded by her grandfather, Ruben of Cilicia. Ruben was descended from a daughter of I-Buzir Khagan of the Khazars and Priset, who married Constantin II of Abkhazia.[2] Armenia had became vulnerable to the Seljuk Turks, under Alp Arslan, in the latter half of the eleventh century AD. To escape death or servitude Gagik II, King of Armenia, and his son, named Ruben I, with some of his countrymen, went into the gorges of the Taurus Mountains, and then into Tarsus of Cilicia, where they were given shelter by the local Byzantine governor.

Map of Cilician Armenia

Cilician Armenia

Soon after, the members of the first Crusade appeared in Asia Minor. Baldwin, who along with the rest of the Crusaders, was passing through Asia Minor, bound for Jerusalem, left the army, and was adopted by Thoros of Edessa, Ruben’s grandson. Being enemies to both the Seljuk Turks, and the Byzantines, the Armenians readily accepted the rule of Baldwin, who was made ruler of the new crusader County of Edessa, when Thoros was assassinated. It seems that, in general, the Armenians enjoyed the rule of Baldwin, and a number of them fought alongside the crusaders. When Antioch was taken in 1097 AD, Constantine, Thoros’ father, received from the crusaders the title of baron.

According to Walter Mapp, Baldwin’s wife would have died suddenly. On the night of her burial, he supposedly crept to her grave, dug up her body and violated it. Then a voice from beyond ordered him to return nine months later, when he would find a son. He returned at the appointed time, opened the grave again, and found a head on the leg bones of the skeleton: a skull and crossbones.

Roger II of Sicily, aka "Jolly Roger"

Roger II of Sicily
"Jolly Roger"

The same voice then apparently commanded him to “guard it well, for it would be the giver of all good things”, and so he carried it away with him. It became his protecting genius, and he was able to defeat his enemies by merely showing them the magic head. In due course, it passed to the possession of the order.

The inquisitors would have picked up on the fact that the woman of the piece was Armenian by background. This they would have connected with the Armenian Church and its Paulician sects. The Paulicians and the Bogomils were practitioners of Catharism which the church had all but wiped out during the Albigensian Crusade. Since the church believed the Cathari to be practitioners of the Black Mass and necromancy, the woman’s Armenian background would make the story guilty by association.[3]

In 1113, Baldwin then married Adelaide del Vasto. Under the marriage agreement, if Baldwin and Adelaide had no children, the heir to the kingdom of Jerusalem would be Roger II of Sicily, Adelaide’s son by her first husband Roger I Guiscard. This Roger was to become the “Jolly Roger” of history, having flown the skull and crossbones on his ships.[4] Roger married married Elvira, daughter of Alfonso VI of Castile and his Ismaili wife, Zaida.




Within a century, the heirs of Rubenid dynasty were further rewarded by the grant of a kingdom known as Cilicia or Lesser Armenia, to be held as a vassal government of the Holy See and of Germany. This kingdom lasted till 1375 AD, when the Mamelukes of Egypt destroyed it.[5] Continuing intermarriage between the aristocracy and the Templars produced the influential house of Lusignan. The lords of Lusignan were counts of La Marche. The province of France called Marche was originally a small border district, partly of Limousin and partly of Poitou. Marche first appeared as a separate fief about the middle of the tenth century when William III, duke of Aquitaine, gave it to one of his vassals named Boso, the great-grandson of Bernard Plantevelue, who had married Constance of Arles and Vienna.[6]

In the twelfth century it passed to the family of Lusignan, in Poitou, at that time a part of the French duchy of Aquitaine, held by Queen Eleanor of England, her third son Richard, and her husband the English king Henry II. The Lusignans were among the French nobles who made great careers in the Crusades. The family originated at the Château de Lusignan, near Poitiers, a château-fort that is still the largest castle in France.

According to legend the earliest castle was built by the folklore water-spirit Melusine. Melusine was Melusinde, the daughter of Baldwin II and Morphia of Armenia, who married Fulk IV of Anjou. As recounted by Jean d'Arras, in the Roman de Mélusine, written in the fourteenth century, the King of Albany, a meaning Scotland, went hunting one day and came across a beautiful lady in the forest, named Pressyne. He persuaded her to marry him but she agreed, only on the promise, that he must not enter her chamber when she birthed or bathed her children. She gave birth to triplets. When he violated this taboo, Pressyne left the kingdom, together with her three daughters, and traveled to the lost Isle of Avalon.

On her fifteenth birthday, Melusina, the eldest, asked why they had been taken to Avalon. Upon hearing of their father’s broken promise, she sought revenge. She and her sisters captured Elynas and locked him in a mountain. Pressyne became enraged, and Melusine was condemned to take the form of a serpent from the waist down, until she should meet a man who would marry her under the condition of never seeing her on a Saturday.

Melusina now went roaming through the world in search of the man who was to deliver her. She passed through the Black Forest, and that of Ardennes, and at last she arrived in the forest of in Poitou. Just as her mother had done, she laid a condition, that he must never enter her chamber on a Saturday, an allusion to the witches Sabbath. He broke the promise and saw her in the form of a part-woman part-serpent. She forgave him. Only when, during a disagreement with her, he called her a “serpent” in front of his court, did she assume the form of a dragon, provide him with two magic rings and fly off, never to return.[7]

The House of Lusignan were descended from Herbert of Thoüars, who lived from 940 to 988. His great-grandson was Hugh V of Lusignan, who married Almodie de la Marche. Almodie has also been married to Pons III Taillefer Count of Toulouse, through whom she had two sons, Raymond IV of Toulouse, and William IV of Toulouse, whose daughter Philippa married William IX the Troubadour Duke of Aquitaine. Their grandson, Hugh VII of Lusignan married Sarazin of Armenia. They had two children, Aimee of Lusignan and Hugh VIII, a Templar Knight.[8]

Guy de Lusignan

Guy de Lusigna

Hugh VIII “le Brun” Count of Lusignan was succeeded by three sons, Hughes, Guy and Amalric of Lusignan, who arrived in Jerusalem in the 1170s. Guy became King of Jerusalem through his marriage to Sybilla, Queen of Jerusalem, the daughter of Amalric I King of Jerusalem, the son of Fulk V. After he had been married to his first wife, through whom he fathered Georffrey Plantagenet, Fulk V then married Milesende, the daughter of Baldwin II King of Jerusalem. A Templar, Baldwin II married Morfia of Armenia, the sister of Toros and granddaughter of Constantine Rubenid. Baldwin II was on the First Crusade, with Geoffrey de Bouillon, between August 1096 and July 1099. He was named count of Edessa by Baldwin I when the latter became king of Jerusalem in 1100.[9] Sybilla’s mother was Agnes de Courtenay, Princess of Sidon, granddaughter of Templar, Joscelin I, comte d’Edessa, and Beatrice Rupenid, daughter of Constantine I Rupenid.

Guy de Lusignan’s term as king is generally seen as a disaster. He was defeated by Saladin at the Battle of Hattin in 1187, and was imprisoned in Damascus as Saladin reconquered almost the entire kingdom. Upon his release, his claim to the kingship was ignored, and when Sibylla died at the Siege of Acre in 1191, he no longer had any legal right to it. Richard, now king of England and a leader of the Third Crusade, supported Guy’s claim, but in the aftermath of the crusade Conrad of Montferrat had the support of the majority of nobles.

Richard then had Conrad assassinated by a team of Ismaili Assassins.[10] The heiress of Jerusalem was then Isabella of Jerusalem, Queen Sibylla’s half-sister. Isabella was also the daughter of Almaric I King of Jerusalem, but from Maria Komnena, the granddaughter of Alexius I Byzantine Emperor. Eight days after the death of Conrad, she was married to Henry II of Champagne, the son of Richard’s step-daughter, Marie de France, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII King of France.

Instead, Richard sold Guy the island of Cyprus, which he had conquered on his way to Acre. Guy thereby became the first Latin lord of Cyprus. Amalric succeeded Guy in Cyprus, and also became King of Jerusalem in 1197. When Henry II de Champagne died in the same year, when a balcony or gave way and he fell out of a window, Queen Isabella then married Almaric. Sybille, the daughter of Isabella and Almaric, then married Leo II, the son of Stephen I of Armenia, the nephew of Thoros.[11] Their union began a series of reciprocal marriages as a result of which the succession of Lesser Armenia actually passes to the Lusignan, which lasted until 1375 AD, when the Mamelukes of Egypt destroyed it.

The Knight Hospitallers

Knights Hospitallers

Knights Hospitallers

The male line of the Lusignans in the Levant died out in 1267 with Hugh II of Cyprus, Amalric’s great-grandson, though the male line continued in France until 1307. At that point, Hugh of Antioch, whose maternal grandfather had been Almaric’s son, Hugh I of Cyprus, took the name Lusignan, thus founding the second House of Lusignan, and managed to succeed his deceased cousin as Hugh III King of Cyprus.

Hugh III’s mother was the granddaughter of Amalric, and his father was Henry I of Antioch. Henry was the grandson of Bohemund III of Antioch, whose father was Raymond I of Poitiers, the son of William IX the Troubadour of Aquitaine, and whose mother was Constance of Antioch, daughter of Bohemond II Guiscard prince of Antioch, and Alix de Rethel, another daughter of Baldwin II and Morphia of Armenia.

These new Lusignans remained in control of Cyprus until 1489. They were rulers of Jerusalem, or more accurately, Acre, from 1268 until the fall of the city in 1291. Also after 1291 the Lusignans continued to claim the lost Jerusalem, and occasionally attempted to organize crusades to recapture territory on the mainland. The Lusignans also intermarried with the royal families of the Principality of Antioch and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia.

Hugh III’s second son, Henri II recovered possession of Acre, and in 1286 was crowned king of Jerusalem at Tyre. The stronghold of Acre from the time of its capture by Richard, to its final conquest by the Muslims, formed for two hundred years the base of the crusading empire in Palestine. There were headquarted both the orders of the Templars and of the Hospitallers. In 1291, the Muslims attacked Acre with an army of 200,000 men. Of the Templars, including their Grand Master, only ten escaped of five hundred knights. Henry II, the patriarch, and the Grand Master of the Hospitallers, with the few survivors, escaped back to Cyprus.

However, on their return to Cyprus, the Templars conspired to place Henry II’s brother Almaric, Prince of Tyre, on the throne. Henry II was sent in confinement in Armenia. But, it was at this time, in 1306, under pressure from Phillip IV king of France, that the Pope summoned Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master, from Cyprus to answer the charges of heresy. In 1308, Almaric received letters from the Pope directing him to arrest all the Templars in Cyprus. Their property was handed over to the Hospitallers, and after the assassination of Almaric, they supported Henri II’s return to the throne of Cyprus.

Bela III Arpad

Bela III Arpad

Therefore, the arrest of the Templars seems merely to have been a pretext to transfer their property to the Hospitallers. The nobility of Europe had been calling for a unification of the orders of the Templars and the Hospitallers, but Jacques de Molay was resisting the move. Following the fall of Acre, Phillip IV of France was calling for a renewed Crusade, de Molay again refused participation. Phillip IV himself shared not only the lineage of the Guilhemids, but that of the various houses Aragon, Sicily and Castille, that traced their descent to the Piasts and Arpads. Phillip IV own mother was Isabel, Princess of Aragon, the daughter of James I of Aragon and Iolande of Hungary, granddaughter of Bela III. Bela III was descended and Vasul, the son of Michael Arpad and Adelaide the daughter of Mieszko and Dubrawka. Vasul married Katun Kometopoulos, the daughter of Samuil, the Bogomil King of Bulgaria.

Bela III married Agnes of Chatillon, the granddaughter of Bohemund II Prince of Antioch, and Alice, daughter of Baldwin II and Morphia of Armenia. Bela III’s granddaughter, Yolande Arpad, married James I King of Aragon. When James’ father was slain when he took up arms against the Albigensian crusade on behalf of the Cathars, James had been entrusted to Guillen de Monredon, head of the Templars in Spain and Provence.[12]

On his father’s side, Phillip IV was descended from Alfonso VIII, of Galicia, Leon and Castile, and Richeza of Poland, the daughter of Wladislaw II of Poland, a descendant of Mieszko I and Dubrawka. Alfonso VII, grandson of Alfonso VII, married Eleanor of Anjou, daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Their daughter, Blanche of Castile, married Louis VIII King of France. Their sons were Louis IX King of France, and Charles I, King of Jerusalem and Sicily, a Templar. Louis IX’ son, Phillip III, was the father of Phillip IV.

In 1309, after over two years of campaigning, the Hospitallers captured the island of Rhodes, and were then known as the Knights of Rhodes. They were eventually forced from there by the Ottoman Turks, and then settled in Malta, after which they were renamed as the Knights of Malta.

The Order of the Garter

Edward III of England

"Edward III of England

Again, in England, the property of the Templars was also transferred to the Knights Hospitallers, by King Edward II, the son-in-law of Phillip IV. Edward II was married to Phillip IV’s daughter, Isabella of France. But Edward II initially refused to implement the papal order enforced by his father-in-law. Between October 13, 1307 and January 8, 1308 the Templars went unmolested in England. During this period many fugitive Templars, seeking to escape torture and execution, fled to apparent safety there. Although, after the intercession of Pope Clement V, King Edward ordered the seizure of members of the order in England on January 8, 1308. Only handfuls of Templars were duly arrested however. But most Templars in England, as well as elsewhere outside France, altogether escaped arrest, let alone torture and execution.[13]

Rather, the traditions of the Templars seems to have taken on a new guise, under the Order of the Garter, founded by Edward II’s on, Edward III King of England. Edward III himself married Philippa of Avesne, who was descended from Louis IX’s brother, Charles I of Anjou. Charles I was the father of Charles II King of Jerusalem and Sicily, who married Maria of Hungary. Their daughter, Margaret of Sicily, then married Philip IV’s brother, Charles III of Valois. Their daughter Jeanne de Valois was Philipa’s mother.

The inspiration of the order, founded in 1348, as “a society, fellowship and college of knights.” was the King Arthur and the Round Table. Various legends have been described to explain the origin of the Order. The most popular legend involves the “Countess of Salisbury”, possibly Edward’s cousin, Joan of Kent. While the Countess was dancing with or near Edward at Eltham Palace, her garter is said to have slipped from her leg to the floor. When the surrounding courtiers snickered, the king supposedly picked it up and tied it to his own leg, exclaiming Honi soit qui mal y pense, meaning “evil upon he who thinks it”. This phrase has become the motto of the Order of the Garter.

As historian Margaret Murray pointed out, the garter is an emblem of witchcraft. Garters are worn in various rituals as magical properties and are also used as badges of rank. The garter is considered the ancient emblem of the high priestess. In some traditions a high priestess who becomes Queen Witch over more than one coven adds a silver buckle to her garter for each coven under her. According to Murray:

The importance of the lace or string among the witches was very great as it was the insignia of rank. The usual place to carry it on the person was round the leg where it served as a garter. The beliefs of modern France give the clue as to its importance. According to traditions still current, there is a fixed number of witches in each canton, of whom the chief wears the garter in token of his (or her) high position; the right of becoming chief is said to go by seniority. In Haute Bretagne a man who makes a pact with the Devil has a red garter.[14]

Garter emblem

Garter emblem

Margaret Murray believed that all the Plantagenets were witches. She said Edward III founded two covens. As the story is understood, Edward did not wish to have the people think that the Countess was a witch. The incident about the Countess of Salisbury’s blue garter is significant since it wa a symbol of witchcraft. Edward III's actions were to let Lady Salisbury know that her secret of her witch-hood was safe with him, because he himself was a priest of a coven.

According to another legend, King Richard the Lionhearted was inspired in the twelfth century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward III supposedly recalled the event in the fourteenth century when he founded the Order.

St. George, the patron saint of England, Georgia and Moscow, the origin of the knightly of rescuing a maiden from a dragon. St. George was a soldier of the Roman Empire who later became a Christian martyr. The traditional account of his life is considered to have originated in the fourth century. George was a Cappadocian, was born in Cilicia, and his mother was from Lydda, Palestine.

According to the legend, a dragon was threatening a town in Libya, and the people were forced to sacrifice their sheep to appease it. However, when their sheep ran out, they starting sacrificing their children, chosen by means of a lottery. Eventually, the kings daughter was chosen. Saint George, then a knight errant, wounds the dragon with his lance. He then instructs the princess to remove her girdle and to use it around the dragon’s neck. The princess then leads the dragon back to the city, and Saint George tells the people he will kill the dragon if the entire town will become Christians. The dragon is killed and the townspeople are all baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

St. George slaying the dragon

St. George slaying the dragon

The legend of Saint George is not a Christian story at all, but is a Christian adaptation of the typical dual of the Middle Eastern dying-god against the Sea-Dragon. The Dragon is Baal, and the reference to child-sacrifices in the legend is an allusion to the practice that was typical of his cult in ancient times. Historians note that the origin of the saint is Cappadocia, and is similar to the ancient god named Sabazios. The rites of Dionysus were the same as those performed in honor of Cybele in Asia Minor. Known as the Magna Mater, the Great Mother, Cybele, was identified with Venus and worshipped as the goddess of fertility. Her consort was Attis, known Adonis. Attis, named after the Phrygian name for goat,[15] became one with Dionysus-Sabazius, or assumed some of his characteristics.[16]

The cult of St. George first reached England when the Templars, who came were introduced to the cult presumably through their contact with the Rupenids of Armenian Cilicia, returned from the Holy Land in 1228. The battle flag of the Templars, known as the Beauseant, in some versions had four quarters, black and white, with a red cross patee in the center. Others, however, say that the red cross had straight arms, like the St. George cross of England.[17] An account known as the Golden Legend, recounts that St. George appeared during the First Crusade, with such a cross, emblazoned on his white armour, as he led the liberation of Jerusalem from the Muslims.[18]

Edward III’s sister, Joanna, married David II King of Scotland, the son of Robert the Bruce. While, in exile in the French court, it was David who created the The Guarde De Ecosse, derived from the Templar faction known as Scots Guard who came to the aid of Robert the Bruce. As the Scots Guard continued through the years, two of the prominent families involved in its history were the Sinclairs and the Stuarts. In France, they become the Personal Bodyguard to the French Kings, in perpetuity.[19]

The War of the Roses

Wars of the Roses

Wars of the Roses

The second chapter of the Song of Solomon, the most important of ancient Kabbalistic texts, begins with, “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” Originally, the fleur-de lis was a common Jewish symbol. Not only are lilies frequently mentioned in the Songs of David, but early Jewish coinage also featured similar lilies.[20] The great Kabbalistic book, the Zohar, begins with an exposition of the mystical significance of the lily, which it describes as being the symbol of the “Jewish congregation”.[21] The fleur-de-lis, a highly stylized depiction of the real flower, which began to be adopted as the heraldic symbol of the House of Capet and the kings of France with King Philip I.

According to the Zohar, so too is the rose, also a symbol of the “Jewish Congregation”, who are in continuing “exile”, longing for redemption, like a bride longing to return to her “beloved”. The Song of Songs is an allegory of the love between the dying-god and the goddess. Often called the “Mystical Rose of Heaven”, it represents the Virgin Mary, who esoterically is understood to represent the goddess, or Venus. The rose was composed of five petals, to recall the five-pointed star, or pentagram of Lucifer.

Fleur de Lis

Fleur de Lis

Red Rose of Lancaster

Red Rose of Lancaster

White Rose of York

White Rose of York

The rose then became a symbol of the House of Plantagenet. The Plantagenets ruled England from 1154 and Ireland from 1185. The primary line of the dynasty is considered to have ended with the deposition of Richard II of England in 1399. Two secondary lines ruled from 1399 to 1485 as the House of Lancaster and the House of York. The House of York was a dynasty of English Kings descended from Richard, Duke of York.

The symbol of the House of York was the White Rose of York. The House of Lancaster, whose symbol was the Red Rose, were opponents of the House of York in the Wars of the Roses, an intermittent Civil war which affected England and Wales during the fifteenth century.

The antagonism between the two houses started with the overthrow of King Richard II by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, in 1399, who was crowned as Henry IV. Henry V’s short reign was challenged by Richard, Earl of Cambridge, a grandson of Edward III, but he was executed in 1415 for treason. Henry V died in 1422, and Cambridge’s son, Richard, Duke of York, grew up to challenge his successor, King Henry VI.

Richard’s mother was Anne Mortimer, the daughter of Roger 4th Earl of Mortimer, and Eleanor de Holland, who, according to genealogist David Hughes, could claim Davidic descent through the Exilarchs. Eleanor’s great-great-grandmother, a descendant of Pagano “the Hebrew” of Pisa, married Richard Fitzalan, 7th Earl of Arundel.

Richard Duke of York

Richard Duke of York

Richard Duke of York was the great-grandson of Edward III. He was also a member of the Order of the Garter. He was created Earl of March by Henry VI King of England in 1425. The Earls of March derived their titles from the French la Marche, and represented the combined heritage of the House of Brittany and of Lusignan. The sister of Henry VIII of Lusignan, Aimée, married vicomte Guillaume de Thoüars, whose mother was Agnes of Poitiers, the daughter of William IX the Troubadour. Their son was Guy de Thouars, who married Constance Duchess of Brittany, daughter of Conan IV of Britanny, great-grandson of Alain IV of Britanny, thus incorporating the line of Fisher Kings. Alain IV himself married Ermisende of Anjou, the daughter of Fulk IV of Anjou, after she had been married to William IX of Aquitaine. Alain IV’s son, Conan III, married Matilda, illegitimate daughter of King Henry I of England. Conan IV was his grandson. Conan IV’s wife, Margaret of Huntington, was the granddaughter of David I of Scotland.

Guy and Aimee’s daughter, Alix de Thoüars, was the mother of Yolande de Penthièvre, who married named Hugues XI “le Brun”, sire de Lusignan, Comte de la Marche and Angouleme, also Templar. Their son, Hughes XII “le Brun”, was the father of Jeanne de Lusignan, who was the mother of Joan of Geneville.[22] Joan of Geneville married Roger Mortimer, first Earl of March, regent of England during minority of Edward III, and usurper who had supplanted Edward II.[23] Mortimer was also a founding member of the Order of the Garter. Their great-grandson, Edmund de Mortimer, Third Earl of March, married Philippa Plantagenet, whose father was the second son of Edward III king of England. Their grandchild, Anne de Mortimer, married Richard Earl of Cambridge. Their son was Richard Duke of York.[24]

Richard was the first to use the surname Plantagenet since Geoffrey of Anjou, and did so to emphasize that his claim to the throne was stronger than that of Henry VI. With King Henry’ VI’s insanity in 1452, Richard was made Lord Protector, but had to give up this position with the King’s recovery and the birth of his heir, Edward of Westminster. Richard gradually gathered together his forces, however, and the civil wars known as the Wars of the Roses eventually broke out in 1455.

Elizabeth Woodville

Elizabeth Woodville

The House of York was victorious over the Lancastrians, and though Richard had been unable to seize the throne for himself, Parliament did agree to the compromise of making him heir to the throne, in effect recognising the Yorkist claim to the throne as superior to the Lancastrian one. Meanwhile, the Lancastrians, led by Henry’s wife, Margaret of Anjou, continued the war, during which Richard was finally killed in 1460, along with his second son, Edmund, Earl of Rutland. Nevertheless, Richard’s eldest son finally succeeded in putting the Yorkist dynasty on the throne in 1461 as Edward IV of England.

Edward IV, however, disappointed his allies when he married Elizabeth of Woodville. Elizabeth had insisted on marriage, which took place secretly on May 1, 1464, at her family home, with only the bride’s mother and two ladies in attendance. Thus, Elizabeth managed to reintroduce the lost lines of the Lusignans and of Britanny into the Rose lineage. These surviving lines of Lusignan, stemming from Alix of Thouars’ two children, and the descendants of Almaric of Lusignan, culminated in the person of Pierre I Count of St. Pol. Jean I, seigneur de Beaurevoir and de Richebourg, a descendant of Alix’s son, John of Brittany, married Marguerite d’Enghien, comtesse de Brienne, who was descended from Almaric of Lusignan.

Almaric of Lusignan had a son by another woman, before marrying Isabeau Queen of Jerusalem, the daughter of Almaric King of Jerusalem, grandson of Baldwin II and Morphia of Armenia. That son was Hughes I King of Cyprus, who married Alix of Jerusalem, the daughter of Isabeau Queen of Jerusalem by another man, Henri II “le Jeune”, comte Palatin de Champagne. The son of Jean I Seigneur de Beaurevoir and Richebourg, and Margerite of countess of Brienne was Pierre Count of St. Pol, the grandfather of Elizabeth Woodville.

Tudor Rose

Tudor Rose

With Edward’s sudden death in 1483, Elizabeth briefly became Queen Mother, but on June 25, 1483, her marriage was declared null and void by Parliament, and all her children were declared illegitimate. Edward’s brother, Richard III, accepted the crown. Elizabeth Woodville was widely believed to have been a witch, and Richard III tried to show there had never been any valid marriage between Edward and Elizabeth, that it was result of love magic perpetrated Elizabeth and her mother.

Elizabeth then conspired with Lancastrians, promising to marry her eldest daughter, Elizabeth of York, to the Lancastrian claimant to the throne, Henry Tudor, if he could supplant Richard. Henry Tudor, whose father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, had been an illegitimate half-brother of Henry VI. However, Henry’s claim to the throne was through his mother, Margaret Beaufort, a descendant of Edward III, derived from John Beaufort, a grandson of Edward III’s who was also the illegitimate son of John of Gaunt.

Henry Tudor’s forces defeated Richard’s in 1485 and Henry Tudor became King Henry VII of England. Elizabeth Woodville’s marriage to Edward IV was declared to have been valid, and thus their children were once again legitimized. Henry then strengthened his position by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and the best surviving Yorkist claimant. Thus, both the Red Rose of Lancaster and the White Rose of York were merged to a single ten-petaled flower, to form the Tudor Rose, that symbolized the union of the two houses.

Genealogical Chart

Lineage of Stuarts and Sinclairs: From King David, Joeeph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalene, Odin and Guillame de Gellone, also featuring the House of Lusignan. [PDF]




[1] Gary Beaver, “The Legend Of The Skull Of Sidon: A Knights Templar Myth”.
[2] Robert Brian Stewart, “Baudouin I, roi de Jérusalem”. Encyclopædia Britannica 2004 Deluxe Edition CD-ROM (U.S.A.: Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 1994-2004)
[3]The Legend of the Skull of Sidon, crystalinks.com.
[4] Childress, David Hatcher. Pirates and the Lost Templar Fleet: The Secret Naval War Between the Knights Templar & the Vatican. p. 60.
[5]History of Armenia”, Wikipedia.
[6] James Allen Dow. “Irene of the Khazars”.
[7]Melisende”, Wikipedia.
[8] Robert Brian Stewart, “Hugues VI "le Diable", sire de Lusignan”; Anselme de Sainte-Marie (augustin déchaussé), Pere Anselme's Histoire, 3rd Ed., IV:191.
[9] Robert Brian Stewart, “Malfia the Armenian”.
[10]Conrad of Monferrt”, Wikipedia.
[11] Robert Brian Stewart, “Isabel, Queen of Cilicia”. Anne Elizabeth Redgate, The Armenians, The Peoples of Europe (Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1998), pg. 257.
[12]James I of Aragon”, Wikipedia.
[13]Templars in England”, Wikipedia.
[14 Murray, Margaret. The God of the Witches. The Priesthood: Chapter III.
[15] Arnobius, The Case Against the Pagans, Book 5.6
[16] Cumont, Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism, p. 48
[17] John Sinclair Quarterman, “Knights Templar”.
[18]Saint George”, Internet Shakespeare Edictions.
[19] John Ritchie. Templar History in Scotland.
[20]Holy Blood Holy Grail, plate 33.
[21] 2: 1-2
[22] Robert Brian Stewart, “Hugues XI "le Brun", sire de Lusignan, comte de la March et d'Angoulême”; Généalogie des rois de France.
[23]Roger Mortimer”, Wikipedia.
[24] Robert Brian Stewart. “Richard, Duke of York”.