Jacques de Molay , a minor Burgundian noble, served as the 23rd and officially last Grand Master of the Knights Templar. He is probably the best known Templar besides the order's founder and first grand master, Hugues de Payens. Upon his election before 20 April 1292, he promised to reform the order and adjust it to the situation in the Holy Land. With no crusader states remaining to protect and with other problems surfacing, the right of the order to exist was in question. However, he was unable to lead the Templars through the inquisitions made against them and was burned at the stake on the Île de la Cité, an island in the Seine river in Paris on 18 March 1314. The execution was ordered by Philippe le Bel (Philip the Fair) after Jacques retracted all of his previous confessions, which outraged the French king. Nothing is known about two thirds of his life.

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