- "King Philip, no punishment is too heinous for the great evil you have inflicted upon the Temple. I curse you! Curse you to the thirteenth generation of your blood! You shall be cursed!"
- ―Jacques de Molay to Philip IV of France at the former's execution, 1314.[src]
Philip IV (1268 – 1314), also known as Philip the Fair, was King of France from the Capetian dynasty that reigned from 1285 until his death in 1314. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, and King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305 by virtue of marriage. He was notable for exterminating the public Templar Order.
Philip rose to the French throne on 5 October 1285, determined to restructure the kingdom's economy. The French crown had become indebted to the Templar Order, which had grown rich through banking. Despite his financial worries, Philip had the Palais de Justice constructed in 1296. There, he secured the dispensation of justice, although the judges soon became known for their corruption.
In order to carry out the reform of the kingdom, Philip hired civil servants such as Guillaume de Nogaret. However, Nogaret was secretly the Mentor of the French Brotherhood of Assassins, and used his influence to manipulate Philip into disbanding the Templar Order. With the poisoning of Pope Benedict XI, the French-aligned Clement V succeeded him. Supported by the Papacy, Philip dissolved the Order to seize its fortunes and crush the political influence it held, urging other European monarchs to do the same.
Philip ordered the arrest of all Templars in France, and several raids were performed on 13 October 1307. One these took place at the Temple in Paris, the Order's headquarters. Led by Esquieu de Floyrac and the Master Assassin Thomas de Carneillon, Assassins disguised as Flemish mercenaries arrested Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the Templar Order.
As the Grand Master and his fellow Templars were imprisoned, they were charged with heresy and worship of the idol Baphomet. Under torture by Nogaret, Philippe de Marigny and William of Paris, several of them admitted to these charges. On 18 March 1314, de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney were burned at the stake. As Philip and Clement watched, the Grand Master cursed them, claiming that they would be punished by God for their actions against the Templars. Later that year, Philip died of a stroke.