Grand Master Jacques deMolay 1244 – 1314

Grand Master Jacques deMolay - Bearded Head of the Templars

Grand Master Jacques deMolay, along with the Order’s founder, Hughes de Payens, is one of the most renowned figures in the two centuries of the Knights Templar’s existence. Born in 1244 in Vitrey, France, little is known about his childhood. At the age of twenty-one, he joined the Knights Templar, seeking the thrill of battle against the infidel. Rising through the ranks quickly, de Molay spent significant time in England, serving as the Grand Preceptor of all England.

After the death of the 22nd Grand Master, de Molay assumed leadership of the Order and relocated to the Templar-owned island of Cyprus. However, a series of unfortunate events, including a revolt sparked by the over-taxation of the populace, led to the island’s return to King Richard. Despite these setbacks, Cyprus remained an essential base for the Templars following the fall of Acre in 1291.

It was in Cyprus that de Molay resided until his summons to France by King Philip IV and Pope Clement V in 1307. The infamous arrest of the Templars followed, during which de Molay and his brethren endured unimaginable tortures. The authorities sought to extract confessions that would condemn the Order in the eyes of the people and the Church. While de Molay confessed to some charges, he vehemently denied accusations of homosexual practices during initiation rituals.

On March 18, 1314, de Molay faced a public confession of sins. To the astonishment of many, he recanted his earlier confessions, asserting that the only crime he was guilty of was lying about his fellow Templars to end his own torment. Subsequently, de Molay and Geoffrey de Charney, the Preceptor of Normandy, were taken to an island on the Seine and burned at the stake.

Accounts of de Molay’s final words vary, but 19th-century historian Charles Addison, a prominent Templar scholar, recorded them as a powerful denunciation of the false accusations imposed upon the illustrious Order. Legend also suggests that de Molay summoned both the King of France and Pope Clement to face divine judgment within a year, and remarkably, both men died within that timeframe.

Whether a historical fact or a captivating part of the de Molay’s mythos, his legacy as the last Grand Master of the Templars endures. His unwavering courage, resilience, and refusal to compromise his integrity in the face of persecution remain etched in history, contributing to the enduring fascination surrounding Grand Master Jacques deMolay and the enigmatic Knights Templar.

About Us was started in the fall of 1997 by Stephen Dafoe, a Canadian author who has written several books on the Templars and related subjects.

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