Lively...illuminating. A refreshing example of scholarly detective work.—Kirkus Reviews
"Born in Blood" attempts to connect the Templars and the Freemasons via the Peasants' Rebellion in England. While Robinson ultimately fails to convince, he raises some interesting points, and I think is pretty convincing concerning Templar links to the Peasants' Rebellion--an intriguing historical hypothesis. Robinson makes several serious mistakes as regards the Freemasons, however, largely due to the fact that he was a newcomer to Masonic research. First, he projects the modern Masonic idea of religious toleration back into the Middle Ages, where it didn't exist, and imagines that the excommunicate Templars could find refuge in, and help shape and mold such an organization. In fact, religious toleration was introduced into Freemasonry by James Anderson and friends at the dawn of the Grand Lodge era in the early 1700s, and was highly controversial even then; a controversy which helped lead to the formation of the rival Antient Grand Lodge. If you read the few surviving Masonic documents from the late Middle Ages, Freemasonry was obviously very much tied in to Holy Mother (Catholic) Church, as were most parts of medieval society.
Second, as he was not a Mason at the time he wrote the book, he makes a serious error in a point of ritual that he uses to back up his claims. He relies heavily on an "exposure" of the degree ritual that is known not to be reliable. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what this error is (wink, wink).
However, it's definitely one of the best books about Freemasonry for the non-Mason, and a fun read besides. It's also much better done than all the Baigent and Leigh nonsense, which are also fun to read, if you don't mind people making things up and calling them "research".
The best book on the controversial origins of Freemasonry, for the Mason and non-Mason alike, is probably Stevenson's "The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century", although it's a serious academic work and perhaps not quite as much fun. Another fine book about the involvement of Freemasons with our own country's founding is Bullock's "Revolutionary Brotherhood".
Is there a Templar-Masonic connection? Quite possibly, especially given the number of legends concerning it, but we'll probably never know for sure. Robinson's theories are interesting, but ultimately inconclusive.