The Larmenius Charter or Carta Transmissionis ("Charter of Transmission") is a manuscript purportedly created by Johannes Marcus Larmenius (Fr.: Jean-Marc Larmenius) in February 1324, giving in Latin a list of 22 successive Grand Masters of the Knights Templar after Jacques de Molay, ending in 1804, the name of Bernard-Raymond Fabré-Palaprat appearing last on the list (who revealed the existence of the Charter in 1804). The document is written in a supposed devised ancient Knights Templar Codex. Actually in Freemason custody, the document is kept at the Mark Masons Hall in London. Based on analysis of the deciphered code as well as of the circumstances of the finding of the charter, most researchers have concluded that it is a forgery.
An English translation of the Larmenius Charter was published in 1830.
In the document, Larmenius, then a very aged man in his 70's, states that the Grand Mastership of the Knights Templar Order was verbally transmitted to him ten years earlier (March, 1314) by the imprisoned Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. Larmenius was a Palestinian-born Christian who became a member of The Order of the Temple during the waning years of the Crusades. He was later the Templar Preceptor on the island domain of Cyprus after the Templar exodus from the mainland of the Holy Land to Cyprus after the fall of Acre in 1295. In this position, Larmenius was left in charge as Templar Seneschal (second highest rank in the Order) of the large remaining "exited" Templar forces in the Mediterranean in 1305 when de Molay was tricked into coming to Paris for meetings with Philip IV of France and the Pope Clement V.
In the document, Larmenius states he has become too aged to continue with the rigorous requirements of the Office of Grand Master, and "transfers" his Grand Mastership of the Templar Order to Franciscus Theobaldus, the Prior of the Templar Priory still remaining at Alexandria, Egypt. With this declarative Charter, Larmenius protects the Order for perpetuity by continuing the legitimate line of Grand Masters of the Templar Order, which continues the "Second Phase" of the Order through the "Dark Period" through to its semi-private unveiling at the Convent General of the Order at Versailles in 1705 by Philippe, Duke of Orléans, elected Grand Master of the Templar Order, and later also Regent of France.
The Charter has long been suspected to be a forgery - it was suggested it was the work of a Jesuit named Father Bonani, who assisted Philippe II, Duke of Orléans in 1705 to fabricate the document, to re-establish the 'Societé d’Aloyau' ("Society of the Sirloin"), who claimed to be a continuation of the Knights Templar, and also an attempt to gain recognition with the Order of Christ in Portugal. This Order was dissolved in 1792 during the French Revolution by the death of its Grand Master, the Duke Timoléon de Cossé Brissac, massacred at Versailles. An item of his furniture was bought by Brother Ledru, the son of Cossé Brissac's physician, whereupon he discovered the Charter of Larmenius hidden inside it, and showed it to Fabré-Palaprat in 1804. Peter Partner believes the document was fabricated by Ledru.
While the charter actually is written in some code, a number of researchers have claimed that the codex, once deciphered, appears to be a more modern, scholarly Latin, and not ecclesiastical Latin used during the period of its supposed origin.
- Hodapp, Christopher; Alice Von Kannon (2007). The Templar Code for Dummies. For Dummies. p. 176. ISBN 978-0-470-12765-0.
- Manual of The Knights of the Order of The Temple, pages 38-44. Translated by Henry Lucas (Liverpool: David Marples, 1830)
- George Kenning, Kenning's Masonic Encyclopedia and Handbook of Masonic Archeology, History and Biography, pages 108-109 (Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2003; originally published in 1878). ISBN 0-7661-6526-4
- George Kenning, Kenning's Masonic Encyclopedia and Handbook of Masonic Archeology, History and Biography, page 109 (Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2003; originally published in 1878). ISBN 0-7661-6526-4
- William Moseley Brown, Highlights of Templar History: Includes The Knights Templar Constitution and Abbreviated By-Laws, page 53 (The Book Tree, 2003; originally published in 1944). ISBN 1-58509-230-4
- Albert G. Mackey, H. L. Haywood, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, revised and enlarged by Robert I. Clegg. With supplemental volume by H.L. Haywood, Volume 2, pages 1024-1026 (Chicago: Masonic History Co., 1956).
- Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians: The Templars and Their Myth, page 135 (Barnes & Noble books, 1993). ISBN 1-56619-494-6
A. E. Waite, The Masonic Charter of Larmenius (Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2010). ISBN 1-162-83530-3, ISBN 978-1-162-83530-3. Extracted from Volume 1 of his book The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry (Rebman: London, 1911).