Guillaume de Villaret (Occitan: Guilhem del Vilaret) (died 1305), a native of Languedoc-Roussillon was the 24th Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers, a position he held from 1296 to his death. He was succeeded by his nephew, Foulques de Villaret, whose career he had done much to advance.
Before his position as Master, he had been grand prior of Saint-Gilles. He spent the first few years of his mastership in a reforming tour of the Order's priories (in France proper, the Auvergne and Provence).
De Villaret was successful in obtaining large additions of property and privileges from the Papacy and various European nobles. He also undertook a major reorganization of the Order, and promulgated a series of statutes between 1300 and 1304, the most significant of which was the definition of the powers and status of the admiral, a new great dignitary which had been created in 1299.
Combat in the Holy Land
In 1300, in response to the urgent remonstrances of the knights, he appeared in Cyprus. His Order participated in an ill-fated expedition with other Cypriots, meaning the Knights Templar, the Teutonic Knights, and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, to launch coastal raids along the Egyptian, Palestine and Syrian coasts in 1300. The Cypriots, under King Henry II, then sent a land-based source to the island of Arwad, in an attempt to retake the coastal city of Tortosa. There had been some attempt to do this in concert with forces from the Mongol Ilkhanate; however the promised Mongol troops did not arrive, the Cypriots eventually had to retreat from Ruad, and the island was re-taken by the Egyptian Mamluks a year later.
De Villaret, and other Grand Masters of the Order, have been represented in series of postage stamps. As of late 2003 stamps were being issued in denominations of grani, tari, and scudi.
- "Guillaume de Villaret - 24th grandmaster of the Order of Malta (SMOM)". www.smom-za.org. http://www.smom-za.org/grandmasters/24.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "hospitaller knights". www.crusades-history.com. http://www.crusades-history.com/Hospitaller-Knights.aspx. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- G. Long, ed. The penny cyclopædia. p. 479.
- "Portraits of the Grand Masters: No 24. Guillaume de Villaret". www.netpages.free-online.co.uk. http://www.netpages.free-online.co.uk/gms/gm024.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
Odon de Pins
|Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller
Foulques de Villaret
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