The Knights took monastic vows, and following the rule of St Augustine, wore a black habit with a white cross.

The Hospitallers arrived in England c.1100. Each Manor or Commandery was under a preceptor who was answerable to the Prior of the Order. The Prior lived at Clerkenwell in great state and ranked as a Baron of the realm. In the middle of the 14th century there were three main classes in the English Commanderies - the knights, the chaplains and the esquires, or serjeants-at-arms.

Hospitality, in accordance with its origins, was always one of the first obligations of the Order.

The accounts of the Prior's establishment at Clerkenwell for the year 1338 include as a general item: "... much expenditure which cannot be given in detail, caused by the hospitality offered to strangers, members of the Royal Family, and to other grandees of the realm who stay at Clerkenwell and remain there at the cost of the house. Thus the expenditure exceeds the receipts by ?21.11.4d"

The total membership in England was only about 120. The Order was suppressed by order of King Henry VIII in about 1540.

Source: "A Dictionary of Chivalry" Grant Uden, published Longmans, 1968