MOLAY, JACQUES DE (d. 1314), last grand master of the Knights Templars, was born at Molay (Haute-SaOne), about the middle of the 13th century. He entered the order in 1265 at Beaune in the diocese of Autun, and set out for the East to take part in the defence of the Holy Land against the Saracens. About 1295 he was elected grand master of the order. After the Templars had been driven out of Palestine by the Saracens, De Molay took refuge with the remnant of his followers in the island of Cyprus. Here, he received a summons (in 1306) from Pope Clement V. to go to Paris. De Molay left Cyprus with a retinue of 6o followers, and made a triumphal entry into Paris. On Oct. 13, 1307 every Templar in France was arrested, and a prolonged examination of the members of the order was held. De Molay, probably under torture, confessed that some of the charges brought against the order were true. He was kept in prison for several years, and in 1314 he was brought up with three other dignitaries of the Temple before a commission of cardinals and others to hear the sentence (imprisonment for life) pronounced. De Molay then withdrew his confession. The king immediately gave orders that De Molay and another of the four, who had also recanted, should be burnt as lapsed heretics. The sentence was
carried out on March II (or i9th), For the charges brought against the Templars and the famous process in connexion with them, see TEMPLARS ; J. Michelet, Proces des Temp:iers (1841-51) and Lavocat, Proces des freres et de l'ordre du Temple d'ores des pieces inedites publiees par M. Michelet (1888); E. Besson, "Etude sur Jacques de Molay" in Memoires de la soc. d'imulation du Doubs (Besancon, 1876) ; H. Prutz, Entwickelung and Untergang des Tempelherrenordens (Berlin, 1888).