From 1466 to 1526 grand masters of the Order ruled in East Prussia as vassals of Poland.
The brethren of East Prussia, however, still sighed for independence; and they pursued the policy of choosing German princes to be grand masters of the Order, in the hope of regaining liberty by their aid.
The election of elderly Grand Masters became prevalent, the turmoil and chances of frequent elections being acceptable to younger members.
The last but one of the Grand Masters who reigned in Malta, de Rohan, restored good government, abated abuses and promulgated a code of laws; but the ascendancy acquired by the Inquisition over the Order, the confiscation of the property of the knights in France on the outbreak of the Revolution, and the intrigues of the French made the task of regenerating the Order evidently hopeless in the changed conditions of Christendom.
Many of the grand masters of this order lie buried in the 13th-century Gothic church.