Tuesday, 14 October 2008

French Facts: 13th October 1307

The Seal of the Knights Templar


On this day in history, agents of King Philip IV of France launched a dawn raid, simultaneously arresting many members of the Knights Templar, and subsequently torturing them into "admitting" heresy after which they were burned at the stake. 

King Philip IV of France, was deeply in debt to the knights and won approval from Pope Clement V to take action against the Order.

Members of the Order managed a large economic infrastructure which was one of the early systems of banking. This was in stark contrast to their seal (left), an image of two knights on a single horse which was meant to symbolise their early poverty.

The destruction or removal of the Knights Templar further contributed to an economic crisis in France at the time (lets call it a "credit crunch").  This crisis helped to pave the way for the invasion of the plantagenets from England and the 100 years war (1337 to 1453) between France and England.

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