Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rosslin Rosslyn Chapel

Rosslin or Rosslyn Chapel
Rosslyn Chapel's proper name is the Collegiate Chapel of St. Matthew. It was founded in the mid-15th century. It had four to six ordained canons and two choristers. It is near Roslin Castle, and both are near the village of Roslin, in Midlothian, Scotland.

 Some people believe that the name originates from Gaelic, for a ridge or promontory "ros" and a waterfall "lin". Knight and Lomas believe the origin of the name Roslin is from Scottish Gaelic, "ros" meaning ancient knowledge, and "lin" meaning generations. Together they theorize that they mean knowledge of the generations or passed down through the generations. Author Keith Laidler also points out that it might mean the "Rose Line" which indicates the Jesus bloodline.
Andrew Sinclair thinks it means rosy stream or fall, and the nearest town to Roslin is Rosewell, or well of roses.
The Sinclair family is supposedly part of the Rex Deus Bloodline. Books like The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, say that this bloodline are the Merovingian Bloodline, and have been continually trying to restore their family to ruling over a unified Europe.
It was founded by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness. The Sinclair family have also spelled their name, Sainte Claire, and St. Clair. They are believed to be from Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in France.
The family founded the chapel with the purpose of celebrating Holy Mass for the dead members of the family and to celebrate the Divine Office daily. The chapel was set up with an endowment to support it in perpetuity. William Sinclair received a charter to build it in 1446, but construction did not begin until ten years later, due to the necessity of building housing for the craftsmen who were to build it.
After the Scottish Reformation, in 1560, Roman Catholic Services were discontinued there and it was closed to the public until 1861.
Most recently, it has been the subject of theories associated with the Freemasons and the Knights Templar.
Among the legends associated with Rosslyn Chapel is that concerning the Apprentice Pillar, sometimes refered to as the Prentice Pillar or the Princes Pillar. The legend says that the master mason in charge of the stonework did not believe that his apprentice could carve the column without seeing the original it was to be fashioned after. The master mason went on a journey to see the original. When he returned, the apprentice had already finished the pillar. The master mason was enraged by jealousy and struch the apprentice in the head with a mallet and killed him. As a punishment for this murder, the master mason's face was careved into the opposite corner to look forever at the apprentice pillar.
The chapel is full of carvings with apparent hidden meaning that appear to be Masonic, which gives credence to the idea that if Masonry started at a later date than the chapel was built, that they must be Templar symbols, thereby pointing to a connection between the Templars and the Masons.

One such inscription says Forte est vinum fortior est rex fortiores sunt mulieres super omnia vincit veritas: "Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are stronger still, but truth conquers all" (1 Esdras, chapters 3 & 4).
There is a carving of two riders on one horse which was a Templar symbol on their seal.
Some of the carvings are said to look like corn or maize which came from the Americas. Corn was unknown in Europe at the time that the chapel was built. This would seem to give credence to the legend that Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, made a voyage to the Americas long before Columbus did.
The crypt in the chapel was the family burial place for many generations. It has been sealed off. There are theories that say it contains the mummified head of Jesus Christ, the Holy Grail and the lost treasure of the Knights Templar or the original crown jewels of Scotland.

Walter Scott described the twenty Sinclair knights that are buried in the chapel as "everlasting Knights of the Grail, on sentry duty over the mysteries entrusted to their keeping."

 The first St. Clair to arrive in Scotland, was William the Seemly. In 1057, he supposedly arrived with Ladislaus Leslyn and they were both escorting Princess Margaret to marry King Malcolm Caenmore of Scotland. William was granted the land at Roslin and he also became the queen's cupbearer. One interpretation of the carving in the chapel of two riders on one horse is that it is Leslyn and the princess riding pillion. It is said that she is holding the relic known as the Holy Rood, which is believed to be a piece of the True Cross. The relic was kept in a golden casket, i.e. a Holy Grail. Some people believe this relic is hidden in Rosslyn Chapel. Author Lewis Spence referred to the chapel as the Chapel of the Grail. He also believes that William Sinclair built the chapel with the Chapel Perilous from the grail legends in mind.
Henri St. Clair was the first Sinclair born in Scotland. He went with Godfroi Bouillon to Jerusalem on Crusade. After Jerusalem was taken back from the Muslims, The Knights Templar were formed.
Hughes De Payens was it's first Grand Master, and though it has been disputed, he was said to have married Catherine Sinclair or de St. Clair.

The Sinclair family supposedly testified against the Templars in 1309 at their trial in Edinburgh. But there are some carvings that appear to be Masonic. There is a blindfolded man with a noose around his neck. This is similar to what happens to a candidate being initiated into Freemasonry. Supposedly, the earliest Masonic lodges date to the 16th and 17th centuries, long after the chapel was built. This prompts some to theorize that the Masonic carvings were added at a later date. In the 1860's James St. Clair-Erskine, 3rd Earl of Rosslyn, hired David Bryce an architect and know freemasonr to restore areas of the chapel.
A William Sinclair who was a descendant of the founder of the chapel was the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland and several other members of the family have subsequently held that position.
The chapel has come into the public spotlight due to books like Rex Deus: The True Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau And The Dynasty of Jesus, writen in 2000 by Timothy Wallace-Murphy, and others like The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln. In 2003 ABC did a documentary titled Jesus, Mary and Da Vinci. Niven Sinclair alluded to the fact that Jesus Christ had descendants who were also Sinclairs.
The chapel has been closed for renovations. The stained-glass windows and organ are being restored. There has been work done on the roof and the stone carvings. A visitor center was planned to open in July 2011. The costs of this restoration is expected to be about L13 million and the visitor center L3.7 million.

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