The Esgarts, or Judgements, were decisions that had been taken by the Chapter General of the Hospitallers in specific cases which were then applicable to the brethren at large. The cases were principally concerned with misconduct within the Order, such as what should occur if a brother stole from the Order, if he wrongly accused another brother in public, or lesser offenses such as if he rode his horse after a wild animal or let a woman wash his head and feet. Along with the Usances, many of the Esgarts were collected in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries and preserved in two manuscripts, both of which first appeared in French and were subsequently translated into several different languages. The later manuscript (Paris, BN 6049) contains additional case studies where individual brothers committed specific offenses, and where the judgements rendered offered precedent for future behavior within the Order.
Rome, Vatican Library, lat. 4852.
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, fr. 6049.
Le Roulx, Delaville. J.Cartulaire. Général de l’Ordre des Hospitaliers de S. Jean de Jérusalem. vol 2. Paris, France: Ernest Leroux, 1894-1906. 548-561.
King, E.J. (trans). The Rule Statute and Customs of the Hospitallers 1099-1310. London, UK, 1934. 174-201.
Burgtorf, Jochen. The Central Convent of Hospitallers and Templars. History, Organization and Personnel, 1099/1120-1310. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill, 2008.