Dissolution of the Templars

Desmond Seward describes the abrupt end of a European military and financial institution.

Templars are burnt at the stakePhilip IV, ‘le Bel’, is one of the most successful and, at the same time, one of the most sinister of French Kings. During his long reign from 1285 to 1314, in which he brought the Capetian monarchy to the height of its strength and splendour, he also acquired an unenviable reputation for cruelty. His reserved, phlegmatic manner hid an icy ruthlessness and boundless ambition. He has been compared with Henry VIII, but the comparison is unjustified - the latter never sank to false witness.

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