When the military orders were first founded they were only small-scale operations. The Templars were a band of pilgrim knights patrolling the roads to Jerusalem; the order of the Hospital was a xenodocium in the holy city and the Teutonic order began as a hospice sheltering under a ship’s sail. Over time, however, as their reputations grew, these institutions were able to attract the patronage that would fuel their development into international religious orders. For the Templars this process began in part with the advocacy of Bernard of Clairvaux who drew public attention to the merits of their vocation.1 The Teutonic Knights made a name for themselves during the Fifth Crusade.2 From these beginnings these organisations attracted the praise of landowners from across Christendom who then endowed them with the properties that would eventually combine to form commanderies and consequently the financial backbone of such establishments. The papacy also offered its support: initially by granting license for these organisations to pursue their vocation and subsequently by conferring privileges, immunities and wealth. In these ways the military orders were built upon the goodwill of princes and the papacy. This pattern of growth is well known; however, this paper will look at this subject from a different angle and ask the question: what happened when this goodwill was lost? It will examine the consequences of alienating a secular or ecclesiastical benefactor and attempt to provide some context for the greatest expression of this issue: the trial of the Templars.