Change and fragmentation

Following the expulsion of the Christian forces from the Holy Land, the Order of Saint Lazarus stationed its headquarters at Boigny near Orléans in France. The property at Boigny was originally donated to the Order by King St. Louis VII after his return from the Crusade in 1154 and erected as a barony in 1288. The other houses in other European lands were initially subservient to the mother house in France.

By the 15th century, the scourge of leprosy in Europe had markedly diminished and the Order of Saint Lazarus had slowly lost its raison d’etre and the general management of the Order gravitated towards three centres: the main centre at Boigny with subservient houses extending through France, Central Europe, and Hungary; a southern Italian centre at Capua assuming independent responsibility for the holdings in the Kingdom of Sicily; and an English centre at Burton Lazar assuming independent responsibility for holdings in England. Pope Innocent VIII in 1489 attempted to transfer the holdings of the Order of Saint Lazarus to the Order of Saint John then stationed in Rhodes. However, the Lazarite knights in the three centres strongly objected and refused to recognise the validity of the Papal Bull. The 1489 Bull was reversed by Pope Leo X by the third decade of the 6th century when specific bulls separately re-confirmed the magistries of the three centres.

The English branch of the Order was eventually abolished by King Henry VIII in 1544; though not by Papal consent. The second half of the 16th century was to see the remaining two factions of the Order follow different courses in their subsequent history. The Capuan House was in 1572 amalgamated by Pope Gregory XIII with the Order of St Maurice eventually united the new Order – now named the Order of St. Lazarus and St. Maurice -  with the House of Savoy and the Grand Mastership was assumed by the Duke of Savoy Emmanuelle Filberto.