Jacques de Molay
Jacques de Molay was born in Vitrey, Department of Haute Saone, France in 1244. At the age of 21, de Molay joined the Order of the Knights Templar, fought in Syria, and after 1291 was at Cyprus. He was elected Grand Master of the Templars about 1298. On 13 October 1307, all the Templars in France, including de Molay, were arrested and interrogated by command of Philip IV, who was intent on crushing the Order and seizing its wealth. On 24 October 1307, de Molay, under torture, confessed that some of the charges brought against the order were true. De Molay and many of his subjects retracted their statements, saying they had been exacted by torture. In November 1309 and in March 1310, de Molay appealed for a personal judgment by the pope. Clement decided to suppress the Order (March 1312), and on 18 March 1314, a commission of three cardinals condemned de Molay and other dignitaries of the Order to perpetual imprisonment. On hearing this sentence, de Molay again retracted his confession, and as a final punishment he was burned at the stake by Philip IV’s officers the same afternoon.
The Order of DeMolay, of whom most of the Lodge members are affiliated with, was named after him.