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Carl Cookson and Hamilton White 'Lost Relics' interview
Following on from the huge success of Lost Relics of The Knights Templar, Sky HISTORY caught up with Carl Cookson and Hamilton White mid-lockdown to talk about the series. What was it like revealing their hoard of Templar treasure to the world for the very first time and how did the show change their lives?
For globe-trotting treasure hunters, their lockdown experience has been just as mundane as everybody else's. Carl admits to being bored and ‘eating loads' while Hamilton reveals he has not been very productive, understandable given Hamilton’s line of work. Being an international rare-artefact dealer is not something that can be done from your front room. And lockdown has meant that Carl hasn’t been able to take any of his beloved collection of classic cars out for a spin.
The timing of lockdown was unfortunate given the amazing response to the show. ‘It’s pulled a lot of people out of the woodwork. People you wouldn’t normally meet. There's an awful lot of knowledge come out,’ Hamilton explains. Carl thinks that the show has taught them both a lot. ‘We’ve readjusted some of our views because of new knowledge coming in.’
It must have been fairly daunting taking part in the show. They have been secretly assembling this treasure trove for several years and to reveal it to the world, must have made them feel a little nervous. Carl agrees, 'It’s a Pandora’s Box we knew we’d have to eventually open, come what may, good or bad. And there was a little bit of reluctance but we didn’t have a choice. It's come out now and it has been very positive.’
Since the show was aired, they’ve been offered assistance
from all quarters as well as ‘the inside track on Rosslyn chapel’ and on other leads. They’ve spoken to some credible sources, ‘some real heavyweight Freemasons and some of the modern chivalric orders,’ Hamilton explains.
They’ve received open invitations from interested parties in Malta, Scotland and across Europe who want to help Hamilton and Carl discover more about the artefacts. Despite the initial trepidation in taking part ‘it has been well worth it in terms of what we’ve pulled out of it’ Hamilton explains.
Nobody's ever seen anything like these items
If you try and question the pair about expert opinion, on the Templar Hoard, Hamilton is adamant, ‘There are no experts. Right now, nobody's ever seen anything like these items, nobody's actually handled them in the flesh.’ Carl offers a useful analogy until King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered there were not Egyptology experts. This puts their discovery and that of Howard Carter in the same league and rightly so if their claims are correct. ‘Nobody can pass any worthwhile comment on the objects until we actually show them to you,’ Hamilton adds.
Another consequence of COVID-19 was the cancellation of the event where Carl and Hamilton planned to unveil the Templars relics. So far, the only chance people have had to experience the items is via the show. While people weren’t able to see the items up close, they have still proven inspirational.
Carl is enthusiastic about the response to the show. ‘We've had a lot of people who said it never had any interest in history whatsoever. And this has got them hooked they've even gone out and bought books. We’ve discovered a methodology by chance, to captivate people’s interest in history and to motivate them to go out to start a journey to look into the medieval era.’