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Commandery

knights and manderies

COMMANDERY, a species of benefice attached to certain foreign military Or ders, usually conferred on knights who had done them some especial service. According to Furetiere, these Comman deries were of different kinds and de grees, as the statutes of the different orders directed. The name of Coin mandery in the Order of St. Louis was given to the pension which the King of France formerly assigned to twenty-four commanders of that order, of whom eight received 4000, and sixteen 3000 livres each. The Order of Malta had com manderies of justice, which a knight ob tained from long standing ; and others of favour, of which the grand master had the power of disposal.

In England, commanderies were the same amongst the Knights Hospitallers as preceptories had been among the Knights Templars : they were societies of those knights placed upon some of their estates in the country under the government of a commander, who were allowed proper maintenance out of the revenues under their care, and accounted for the remainder to the grand prior at London. At the dissolution of religious

houses, in the time of Henry VIII., there were more than fifty of these corn manderies in England, subordinate to the great priory of St. John of Jerusalem. A few of these held productive estates, and had even the appearance of be ing separate corporations, so much so as to have a common seal ; but the greater part were little more than farms or granges. The Templars' term of pre ceptory was as frequently used to de signate these establishments as the term commandery. (Furetibre, Dictionnaire Universal ; Tanner, Notitia Monastica, edit. 1787, pref. p. xvii. ; Dugdale's Mo nasticon Anglicanum, last edit. vol. vi. pp. 786, 800.)