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Firstly, I am sure that there are many others on this list that have a
greater knowledge of the topics you raise.  I hope to provide a brief
response, to intitiate an answer for you.  Others may take it from here.
100% proof is not forthcoming, but we can conclude that different groups did
share certain symbols.
The age old question; did one evolve from another? or did many streams of
thought germinate separately and in parrellel use  this symbol?
One should note that this symbol is often seen in association with other
So that if you were only looking for the skull & cross bones and neglecting
the others depicted with it, you may encounter gaps in following who was
using it and where.  Note it is an easily identifiable sign used by people
timid to public/church/state scrutiny.

Pirates flying the Jolly Roger ensign.

Belguim origins

Templar origins 

Scottish origins

'Indeed, throughout the twelfth century, certain ties had been deliberately
forged between Scotland and Flanders.  During the reigns of David I
(1124-53) and Malcolm IV (1153-65), there obtained a systematic policy of
settling Flemish immigrants in Scotland.  The newcomers were installed in
large organized enclaves in upper Lanarkshire, upper Cldesdale, West Lothian
and the north of Moray at the expense of local aristocracy and church,...'
'Flemish settlers were thus actively encouragred to come to the country and
establish metropolitan centres on the Flemish pattern. (Page 123 The Temple
and the Lodge; by Baigent and Leigh).

'There was much cross fertilization and reciprocal influence between
Scotland and Flanders.  As a result of the influx of Flemish settlers,
Scottish towns assumed certain distinctly Flemish characteristics, while
elements of Scotland's ancient Celtic heritage found their way back to
(Page 124 The Temple and the Lodge; by Baigent and Leigh).

'Accrding to this later tradition, Sir William Sinclair in preparation for
the building of his chapel, imported stone-masons and other artisans from
the Continent.  The town of Roslin itself was supposedly built to house and
accomodate the new arrivals.  ...It is important to note that 'Masonry' in
this context does not imply Freemasonry as we know it today.  On the
contrary, it refers to the guild or guilds of professional workers and
builders in stone'.
(Page 163 The Temple and the Lodge; by Baigent and Leigh).

I hope this adds something.
We must conclude for ourselves as to what to make of it all.


I used Baigent & Leigh only as it was closest on the bookshelf.
I could have grabbed examples from anyone else, apologies to Tim; I should
have thought him first.
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