Molay, Jacques de

Molay, Jacques de

(zhäk də môlā`), 1243?–1314, last grand master of the Knights TemplarsKnights Templars
, in medieval history, members of the military and religious order of the Poor Knights of Christ, called the Knights of the Temple of Solomon from their house in Jerusalem.
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. He distinguished himself in defending Palestine against the Saracens. After the Templars were driven from the Holy Land, he moved to Cyprus, where he began to organize a new force to recapture the lost territory. He was summoned (1306) to Avignon by Pope Clement VClement V,
1264–1314, pope (1305–14), a Frenchman named Bertrand de Got; successor of Benedict XI. He was made archbishop of Bordeaux by Boniface VIII, who trusted him; surprisingly, he was also in some favor at the court of Philip IV, even though Philip and the pope
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 to discuss a new crusading effort. Philip IVPhilip IV
(Philip the Fair), 1268–1314, king of France (1285–1314), son and successor of Philip III. The policies of his reign greatly strengthened the French monarchy and increased the royal revenues.
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, king of France, was jealous of the Templars' riches and fearful of their power. In 1307 all of the Templars in France were arrested, and their property was confiscated. De Molay and his knights were brought before an inquisitorial court, charged with heresy and other accusations, and tortured. The grand master, thus subjected, admitted certain charges (later recanted) and was burned at the stake in Paris.
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