The Order of St Thomas of Acre was re-established in 2005 and is dedicated to both St Thomas of Acre and St Thomas of Canterbury. The original Hospitaller’s of St Thomas of Canterbury at Acre were founded by King Richard I (the Lionheart) of England (1157-1199) in Acre in 1190 while he was on the third crusade. They were later re-organised into a military order during the fifth crusade. It is usually referred to as the Knights of St Thomas. Membership was restricted to Englishmen. The Knights of St Thomas were dissolved by Henry VIII (1491-1547) in 1538. The current Order has adopted the habit of the original – a white mantle with a red cross with a scallop shell at its centre. The Order of St Thomas of Acre are an ‘ecumenical society concerned with fostering of the values of traditional chivalry’, and their website includes a ‘Chivalric Code’. The inclusion on the website of a section on the stained glass windows at St Thomas’ Anglican Church in the Victorian town of Werribee suggests that someone from the town leads the order.
St Thomas of Canterbury (Thomas Becket) (1118-1170) was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Henry II (1133-1189) of England, father of Richard I. After a series of disputes with Henry he was martyred in Canterbury Cathedral by the king’s followers.
For their website see http://www.osta.org.au/Welcome.htm