Knights of St. John & Malta

Secret societies

The Knights of St. John and Malta was a Canadian and U.S. chivalric association. Originally a branch of Religious and Military Order of the Knights of Malta in Scotland, it was chartered as an independent organization in 1875 it was chartered as an independent organization under the name Supreme Grand Black Encampment of North America. The name of the organization was changed to Knights of St. John and Malta in 1880.

Members of the Black Association of the Knights of Malta believed they were authentic knights of the medieval Hospitaller Order of St. John in a continuous and unbroken tradition. The implication was that they were heirs though the Priory of Torpichen, although this theory is now generally rejected. Another theory is that they originated through a mixing of Scottish men with French Hospitaller knights in the 18th century.

In 1928 the Order merged with one of its Canadian break-away groups as well as a California group that claimed to have been part of the historic Spanish Order to become the Sovereign Order of St. John and Malta. In 1965 King Peter II of Yugoslavia became patron of the order.

Grand Masters

  • 1874 Robert E. A. Land
  • 1906 Joseph G. Burrows
  • 1910 Edmund B. Collett
  • 1911 William Buckett
  • 1925 John J. Sheridan
  • 1928 Arthur T. Lamson


Note: This text originally prepared as the Overview for a Geni project. Revised May 3, 2020 to repair links.

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