Thibaud Gaudin (1229? – April 16 1292) was the Grand Master of the Knights Templar from August 1291 until his death in April 1292.

The history of Thibaud Gaudin within the Order is rather mysterious. Born to a noble family in the area of Chartres or Blois, France, he entered the Knights Templars well before 1260, because on that date he was taken prisoner during an attack on Tiberias. His great piety was deemed worthy of the nickname of "Gaudin Monk".

In 1279, Sir Thibaud fulfills the function of "Commander of the Land of Jerusalem", the fourth most important function in the Templar hierarchy. In 1291, he rides at the side of Guillaume de Beaujeu to defend the town of Acre, besieged by the formidable army of Mamluk Sultan Al-Ashraf Khalil. On 18 May, upon the death of Guillaume de Beaujeu, Gaudin remains in the city of Acre in garrison with some 500. Thibaud Gaudin and Pierre de Sevry, Marshal of the Order, are the last two knights of the Temple who continue to defend Acre. Al-Ashraf Khalil sends messengers to the defenders of the castle of the Temple in order to negotiate an honorable outcome. Thibaud Gaudin and Pierre de Sevry agree to yield to the conditions dictated by the sultan and let a detachment of Moslem riders into their enclosure. As soon as the soldiers entered, they caught some French women. Thinking that to be a treasonous act, Thibaud Gaudin and Pierre de Sevry ordered the Moslems be thrown of the walls. The two dignitaries decide that Thibaud Gaudin will leave the city by sea, carrying the treasures of the Temple, while Pierre de Sevry will continue the combat. Acre falls the following day.

Thibaud Gaudin arrives at Sidon with some knights where he is elected Master and decides to defend the city as long as possible. Just before the arrival of emir Al-Shujâ' I, the inhabitants evacuate the city and take refuge behind the walls of the Templar castle. With the assistance of Cypriots, the majority of the inhabitants and garrison evacuate the fortress to take refuge in Cyprus. Arriving at Cyprus, Thibaud Gaudin tries to gather reinforcements but they never reach the Holy Land. Sidon falls to the Moslems on July 14, 1291. The last French strongholds in the Kingdom of Jerusalem fall one by one. Beirut is taken on July 21, the area of Kaifa is invaded and the monasteries of Carmel destroyed on July 30. In early August, the Franks hold nothing more than two fortified towns, both occupied by Templars. Tortose is evacuated on August 3 and Castle-Pélerin on August 14. By then, all Templars are located in Cyprus in Ruad in the south of Tortose, which will remain in their hands until 1303.

In October 1291, a general chapter of the Order meets in Cyprus. This meeting confirms the election of Thibaud Gaudin as Grand Master and names new dignitaries in the important positions within the hierarchy of the Order. On that occasion, Jacques de Molay was named Marshal, to succeed Pierre de Sevry, who died at Acre. Thibaud Gaudin tried to reorganize all the Templars after the devastations of the recent battles. Moreover, it was necessary for him to defend of the Kingdom of Armenia from the encircled Turkish Seldjoukides and the island of Cyprus, occupied by a multitude of refugees. Apparently the task proved daunting for Thibaud Gaudin; he died of exhaustion at the beginning of the year 1292, leaving an enormous rebuilding task for his successor.

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.