Gualdim Pais was the fourth master of the Templars in Portugal. The following biographical sketch was translated by a friend from the web site of Escola EB de Gualdim Pais, a grade school in Pombal:
He was born most likely in Amares on the outskirts of Braga, in 1118. His father, Paio Ramires, a noble knight from the county of Portugal, supported Afonso Henriques in his rebellion against his mother Dona Teresa, in 1128. Gauldim Pais grew up in the company of Afonso Henriques, who knighted him in the battlefield of Ourique in 1139. Thereafter he set off to Palestine as a crusader, where he remained for five years, distinguishing himself in the siege of Gaza. After he returned, apparently as a Templar, he saw combat action in the territory between Coimbra and Leiria, the then frontier with the Moorish lands, which was under the keep of the Order of the Temple since 1128 when it was granted by Dona Teresa.
In about 1152, Afonso Henriques nominated him commander or master of the house which the Order had in Braga and which was the first headquarters of the Templars. Four years later in 1156, he had become Grand Master of the Order, with the mission of defending and promoting settlement of the region between Soure and the Tejo river frontier. He built and repaired castles and granted lands to settlers. In 1160 he initiated the construction of the castle at Tomar, and two years later granted the settlement its town charter, establishing therein the new headquarters of the Templars. He also founded the castles of Pombal (1161), Almourol, Idanha and Monsanto, and granted town charters to various lands of the Order such as Ferreira (1156), Redinha (1159) and Pombal (1174).
Between 1169 and 1184 by commission of Afonso Henriques, the Master was involved in many and victorious assaults against the Moors. In the Spring of 1190, the Moorish king, Yacub, crossed the Tejo and took Torres Novas and then laid siege to Tomar. Gualdim Pais, then in his seventies, had a predominant role in the defense of the castle, and in dispersing the invader, who had reached as far as Pombal. Five years after this feat, the valiant Master was laid to rest on October 13, 1195, according to the tombstone in one of the chapels at Santa Maria dos Olivais in Tomar.
adapted from: "The 800 years of the death of Gualdim Pais", by Albertino Ferreira, in (the newspaper) Correio de Pombal.