What did the Knights Templar Do
The Knights Templar were created by the pope to escort and protect "tourists" going to the Holy Land, and to fight Muslims there. There were originally only a handful, but there were thousands by the time they were disbanded in the 1300's. They were the first bankers. A person could deposit money at one Templar institution, receive a voucher, and turn it in at any other Templar institution. Though charging interest was illiegal at the time, the Templars were permitted to get away with charging a "fee" for the transaction. Eventually they became so wealthy, and so many royals owed them so much money, that they became a target. Interestingly, at the time the Templars were disbanded, the Swiss people (right across the border from France, of course) were mainly farmers with little or no military training.