(Le Moyen Age)
The National History of France
Frantz Funck-Brentano
Translated from the french by
Elizabeth O’Neill
London :  William Heinemann 1922
Chapter 17

. . . .
page 404

The False-
We have followed up to this point only a part of the political activity of Philip the Fair.  Witness how he united to the French Crown the town of Valenciennes, the County of Bar, the bishoprics of Toul and of Verdun, Viviers, and the whole of Franche-Comté.

Benedict XI was succeeded on 5th June 1305 by a French Pope, the Archbishop of Bordeaux, Bertrand de Got, who took on the pontifical throne the name of Clement V and transferred the seat of the Papacy to France.  On all sides Philip the Fair strengthened French influence.

For this vast and complex work, and for the organization of the kingdom, he required financial resources.

In a century and a half the expenses of the monarchy had been tripled, but the sources of the revenues of which the King disposed had remained the same.  If the King wished to levy some new contribution what outcries there were !  The clergy appeal to the Pope, the nobles form a league, in the towns popular risings break out.  In 1306 in Paris the life of the King is even in danger :  he is obliged to take refuge in the precincts of the Temple.

The disasters of 1302 in Flanders necessitate new contributions.  Philip the Fair adopts the tax proportional to the income.  He attempts to show the people that it is in their own interest that he has been inspired to decide upon this form of tax, which was, moreover, softened by the manner in which it was collected.

“ Deal amicably,” writes the King to his collectors, “ with the people of big and small towns ;  show how in this affair, which touches the interest of all, each is bound to give of his goods according to his power.  The King does not wish that his subjects should be exposed to the perils of war ;  he wishes, on the contrary, to arrange everything so as to cause them the smallest injury.  He has taken counsel with wise and prudent men, who have sought to discover the best way for the people, and they have decided that the people should give subsidies to the King for four months, that if the campaign should drag on longer they would pay no more, but the subsidies should be proportionally diminished if the campaign should be shorter.”  “ For each sergeant,” continued the King, “ only two sous would be paid, although he costs more to the King ;  and during the whole war neither customs, the fiftieth, nor any other subvention shall be demanded.”

The King ended with these words :  “ Item, if you cannot make a good agreement with the towns taken together, treat with each separately and see how much each should pay ;  estimate what could be derived from this method and from the other, and see which would yield the greater profit ;  but the King inclines to that which shall appear best to the people.”

At other times the King called to Paris the representatives of the big towns, the prelates, and lords of the realm.  An assembly of this sort took place on 1st April 1314 in the garden of the Palace.  Some supplies were necessary for the war of Flanders.  Enguerran de Marigny, “ coadjutor of the realm,” stood up beside the King :  “ Preaching to the people, he explained the complaint of the King.”  He described the origins of the conflict, the vicissitudes of the war, and the treaty of peace which the Flemish did not wish to observe.  “ Against these rebels will not the faithful subjects of the King of France consent to assist their lord ? ”  At these words the King rose and approached the edge of the platform in order to receive the engagements of those who were disposed to come to his assistance.  The first who responded was Etienne Barbette, burgess of Paris.  In the name of the Parisians he said that all would help their King in the measure of their power.  The King thanked him for his assurance.  And after him, one by one, the delegates from other communes of France spoke in the same sense.  And the King thanked them.  And then, after this parliament, a subvention was levied . . . for which the said Enguerran fell under the hatred and malediction of the common people.

Enguerran Le Portier de Marigny was the greatest figure of the reign after Pierre Flote.  He came of a modest family of Norman origin.  In 1298 we find him pantler of Queen Jeanne of Navarre, who was his patron at Court.  He became chamberlain of the King.  In these functions he displayed his administrative powers.  At the end of the reign he could boast that he was the only one who understood the finances of the kingdom.  He was equally well informed as to the resources of the neighbouring peoples and the resources of foreign courts.  He writes to Simon of Pisa :  “ Know, Brother Simon, that I am aware as well as a man of Flanders of the power of the Flemings, of the money they can strike, and that I know as well as you who have been there the agreements which the German nobles make, what they do and what they think.”

To these gifts of administration he added oratorical powers already useful to those who wished to acquire influence in France.  Geoffroi de Paris calls him “ the finest speaker of all in France.”  He exercised a considerable influence on Philip the Fair during the last years of the reign.  “ He was key and lock of the kingdom.”  Foreign sovereigns overwhelmed him with gifts and sought his favour.  The Pope offered him a rose of gold.  Ministers, Kings, and Pope, says the popular chronicler, were puppets in his hands of which he held the wires :

“ He had them all on his line.”

In this rapid rise, Marigny appeared not to have maintained necessary moderation.  His house at Paris had a golden gable ;  his luxury overshadowed the King’s brothers ;  in the city court of justice, whose reconstruction he directed, he caused his statue to be erected at the side of that of Philip the Fair.  “ One sees him when one mounts to the chapel,” writes Geoffroi de Paris, “ at the right of the King in white head-dress.”

Some contemporaries understood the necessity of the contributions which the King levied ;  but their number was small and the needs were pressing.  It was thus that Philip the Fair was brought to the changes in the currency for which he has been so much reproached.

In order to grasp what constituted in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the false currency of the Kings, it must be noted that in the Middle Ages there was a double currency—a real money and a nominal money.  One reckoned by livres, sous, and deniers, a way of reckoning which passed into England, where the initials have been preserved :  £ = pound, livre ;  s = shilling, sou ;  d = penny, denier.  The golden florin of the middle of the thirteenth century was worth 12 sous 6 deniers, and the groat of Tours was equal in value to a sou.  But these ratios were not fixed ;  they could vary either by the natural changes of currency or by order of the King.  He could ordain, for example, that the groat of Tours should for the future be received for two sous instead of one.  The King could also, without altering the nominal value of the Tours groats, reduce their weight and standard, so that in reality their value was the half of what they were previously worth, at the same time maintaining their value in exchange.  In this consisted the debased coining of Philip the Fair.  In his urgent needs, he declared that the money leaving the coffers should have a value superior to that which it had in reality ;  or indeed he reckoned the money in them, giving an inferior weight and standard.  He did not alter the pieces in order to deceive the people, as is generally believed ;  he warned the public of the diminution in weight which he caused in the Tours groats and the golden florin while imposing on them a forced currency.  This is the exact word.  Such is our paper-money.

At the time of the great alteration of 1295, necessitated by the war against England, the King expressed himself in this way :  “ We have been obliged to have a coinage struck which lacks something of the weight and of the alloy that our predecessors put into it.”  But, adds the King, “ I shall accept myself this money in payment of that which is due to me, and later I shall indemnify those who shall have suffered any loss from this cause ” ;  and to this effect he engaged the revenues of his domains.

Finally, as soon as he could, the King invited the holders of “ feeble ” money to report themselves at his workshops, so that he could cause them to be refunded in “ good and ancient money.”  It was then a form of loan such as the economic condition of the time permitted, and which the King repaid when the state of his finances gave him the means to do so.  Notice, for example, a Bull of Benedict XI, the successor of Boniface VIII, which grants to the King (11th May 1305) a year of prebends and two years of the ecclesiastical benefices in France, in order that he should be able to raise his coinage to the standard it possessed under Saint Louis.

Modern times have seen the assignats, forced currency notes, and loans which the organization of great financial concerns permit, resources which were wanting to Philip the Fair.  When in our days the Government issues forty or fifty milliards’ worth of paper-money, bank-notes, guaranteed by five or six milliards of gold or silver in the cellars of the Bank of France, it also issues false money—indeed, much more false than that of Philip the Fair, and exposed, like it, to sudden changes and variations in value ;  but the progress realized since the thirteenth century in monetary circulation, the control of credit and the introduction of a fiduciary money, make the inconveniences no longer as great as in former times.

The Templars.
It is certain that if Philip the Fair had had the disposal of the financial organization which the Knights of the Temple had developed for themselves, he would not have dreamed of debasing the coinage.

This Order, religious and military, founded in 1119 by a knight of Champagne, Hugue de Payns, had rapidly attained an extraordinary prosperity.  In 1128 the Council of Troyes, at the suggestion of St. Bernard, gave to the “ Poor Soldiers of the Temple ” a rule inspired by that of Citeaux.  The end of the order was to protect the Holy Land against the attacks of the Infidels.  It courageously fulfilled its mission, and at the end of the thirteenth century, those who took in hand the cause of the Temple could say that 20,000 Brothers had died in Palestine with their arms in their hands.  But while combating the Infidel and assuring for themselves eternal life, the Poor Soldiers of the Temple fostered their worldly interests.  They became the owners of so much property that the Council of the Lateran in 1179 already demanded that they should abandon what they had acquired during the ten preceding years.

They founded “ houses ” in the West, more particularly in France.  On 16th June 1291 the Mohammedans seized St. Jean d’Acre, the last foothold of Christendom in the Holy Land.  The Templars returned to their original country.  At this moment the order should have been dissolved.  It had no longer any raison d’être.

The property of the Temple at the end of the thirteenth century was immense.

In 1229 the Emperor Frederick II was obliged to hunt them out of Sicily.  The number of knights at the period when Philip the Fair ascended the throne was 15,000 in round numbers.  Each of them was a tried soldier.  Towards the middle of the thirteenth century, Matthew Paris attributed 9000 castles and manors to them :  the number given by the Chronique de Flandre is even larger.  Each of these manors was the nucleus of a fief, a centre of influence.  In the archives of the commanderies of the Temple were preserved by hundreds the titles of the revenues granted to the tenants of the neighbourhood, which involved the obligation of fidelity and of feudal service.  The ecclesiastical and lay lords constantly complained to the King that their vassals refused them the service that was due to them on the pretext that they were men of the Temple.  Consider the new town of the Temple at Paris, the territory of the Temple near Ypres, and so many others ;  each of these domains was a veritable feudal lordship, with rights of high, middle, and petty justice, annual fairs, privileges, and franchises and numerous “ manants.”  Among other franchises the Templars claimed that of not being amenable judicially except to the Pope, after the fashion of other religious orders.

Not content to exercise their authority over the territories subject to them, the Templars attempted to acquire new rights, in which they were particularly favoured by the troubles of the war in Aquitaine under Philip the Fair.  Their patronage, moreover, was very much sought by the people of the country, who thus armed themselves against the power of the seigniorial bailiffs.  Michelet notes that in the seneschal’s jurisdiction of Beaucaire alone the order had bought 10,000 pounds’ worth of revenues vested in land ;  and this did not only represent at the epoch a considerable property, but a great territorial power.  The Prior of St. Gilles had under him alone fifty-four commanderies.  In most of the countries of Europe the Brothers had fortresses ;  in the kingdom of Valencia they possessed seventeen of them.  They had been seen to attack crowned heads—the King of Cyprus and the Prince of Antioch—dethrone a King of Jerusalem, ravage Greece and Thrace.

The origin of their financial power was the immense treasure which they had brought back to the West :  150,000 golden florins, which a skilful financial administration soon increased tenfold.  As the Templars had houses in every country, they carried out the financial operations of the international banks of to-day ;  they were acquainted with bills of exchange, orders payable at sight ;  they arranged annuities and pensions on paid-up capital, made advances of funds, lent against pledges, managed private deposits, and undertook the levy of taxes for lay and ecclesiastical lords.  They lent money to kings.

From the year 1290, Philip the Fair was uneasy on the subject of the power of the Temple.  By letters of 29th June he ordered his seneschals and baillis to send him the list of the properties acquired by the Brothers of the Temple during the last forty-five years.  The same year the Parliament forbade them to extend their patronage over individuals.  On 22nd April 1293, Philip the Fair reminded his officials of this decree, ordering them to see to its execution.

The Temple enjoyed insolent prosperity.  Richard Cœur de Lion said that he left his avarice to the Cistercians and his pride to the Templars.  After the catastrophe in which their power was to collapse, the good chronicler, Geoffroi de Paris, drew this portrait of them :  “ The Brothers of the Temple, gorged with gold and silver and who commanded such nobility, where are they ?  What has become of them, those whom no one dare cite in the courts ?  Always buying and never selling, making themselves feared as much as the King’s officers, extending their pride over the world, making themselves richer than the richest :  ‘ So often goes the pitcher to the water that it breaks.’

They came to the point of braving the King and refusing to pay taxes.

Philip the Fair attempted to divert to the royal authority the power of the Temple.  He solicited admission into the Order with a view to becoming the head.  He selected the Grand Master as godfather of one of his children.  These advances were repulsed :  and the destruction of the Temple was decided in his mind.

Imagine what would have become of the power of the King of Bourges in the evil days of the Hundred Years War in the face of an Order counting some thousands of knights, sheltered in some hundreds of fortresses, disposing of infinite resources and of an immense number of vassals and tenants.  We know the history of the Teutonic Order.

The registers of the Trésor des Chartes state that on the 22nd September 1307, in the monastery of Maubisson lès Pontoise, the King gave the seals to Nogaret, and that the matter of the Templars was there directly dealt with.  They were arrested throughout France on 13th October.  The operation was carried out with so much decision that no resistance could be made.  The Templars were prosecuted for heresy.  Already for a long time strange rumours had circulated about the secret practices of the Templars, because they took care that the holding of their chapters and the rules of their Order should remain unknown to the uninitiated.  What had they so serious as to require concealment ?  The Preceptor of Auvergne, one of the dignitaries of the Temple, who was later asked why his Order was always surrounded with such profound secrecy, replied, “ Through folly.”

The crowd spoke of frightful vices and of idolatry.

Philip the Fair proceeded by way of appeal to the people.  In his name Nogaret spoke to the Parisians in the garden of the Palace (13th October 1307).  Popular assemblies were summoned throughout France.  At Tours the States-General met in immense numbers :  the Tiers Etat itself alone counted over 700 delegates (May 1308).  The act of accusation against the Templars was read.  The people had confidence in the person of the King, who was essentially in their eyes the defender of the Church.  With one voice the representatives of the Nobility and of the big towns replied that the Templars deserved death.

On 26th November 1309 the Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, appeared before the judges declaring himself prepared to defend the Temple, although he was only a poor knight, simple and uninstructed.  He spoke with force and emotion :

“ I know no religious Order whose churches had finer ornaments than the churches of the Temple ;  I know no Order in which larger alms were given than in the houses of the Temple, where, three times a week, one gave to all comers ;  I know no Order which has shed so much blood in fighting the enemies of the faith.”

When it was pointed out to him that all this was nothing without a pure doctrine, he said :

“ It is true.  It is true.  But I believe in only one God in three persons and in the whole Catholic faith ;  I believe in one God, one faith, one baptism, one Church, and that at the hour when the soul leaves the body we shall see the good and the wicked, and that then each of us will know the truth of that which is at present a matter of debate.”

It came to pass that this same Jacques de Molay and many of the dignitaries of the Order recognized as well founded the practices of which the Order of the Temple was accused.  Clement V writes that, before him, persons occupying high positions in the Order had admitted freely and without constraint that at the reception of new Brothers they were forced to deny Christ ;  but more often these admissions were extracted by torture or terror.  Ponsard de Gisy declared before the Commissioners :  “During the three months which preceded the admissions that I made before the Bishop of Paris, I was placed in a ditch with my arms bound behind my back, and pressed so strongly that all the blood flowed to the nails ;  I was secured by a cord.  If they put me back again into torment, I should say all that they wished.  I am prepared to submit to limited punishments, to have my head cut off, to be burned or boiled for the honour of the Order ;  but I cannot bear long tortures such as those to which I have been subjected for more than two years.”

He added that all the admissions made by him were false.  It was the Prior of Montfaucon and the monk Guillaume Robert who caused the Templars thus to be put to the question.  Thirty-six of his companions had perished at Paris in the tortures.  All that they said before the Bishop of Paris against the Order was false.

Another Templar, Bernard Dugue, said that his feet had been roasted until the flesh became detached and the bones from his heels fell off.  He held in his hand two bones which the torture had removed from his heels.

The Brothers who appeared before the inquisitors declared that they would defend the Order to the death.  Some of them express themselves energetically :  “ Those who have spoken evil of it have lied with their mouth.”  A number of them retracted their declarations previously made before the Pope.  Those who accuse the Temple of heresy or of evil practices are false Brothers who have left the Order or have been driven from it for their misconduct and wish to avenge themselves.

Brother Jean de Montroyal, in his name and in the name of a great number of his Brothers, read a declaration which alone would have been sufficient to justify the Order, at least in general :

“ Our Order is holy ;  it has been approved by the Roman Church.  The Brothers have always lived in the Catholic and Roman faith.  They practise fasts and abstinences, confess and communicate publicly at Christmas, Easter, and at Pentecost.  They die with the rites of the Church.  All the Brothers of our house are bound to say a hundred Paters for the soul of a defunct Brother in the eight days which follow his decease.  The High Altar in our churches is consecrated to the Virgin.  On Friday we bear a silver-gilt cross before the eyes of all the people in honour of the cross on which our Saviour died.  We distribute alms ;  we give hospitality to travellers.  Some Brothers of our Order have become archbishops and bishops.  The Kings of France have selected treasurers and almoners from among our Brothers.  Item, a number of our Brothers have been prisoners among the Infidels for twenty-five years ;  neither through fear of death nor by gifts have they been brought to deny Christ ;  although if the Templars were such as report describes them these prisoners would now be at liberty.  The true cross is in the custody of the Templars ;  if the Templars were what they are said to be the true cross would not suffer itself to be guarded by them.  The crown of thorns does not blossom on Good Friday except when it is in the hands of the chaplain of the Temple ;  and this would not be if the Templars were what they are said to be.  St. Euphemia has worked many miracles in one of the houses of the Temple ;  and this would not have been done if the Templars were what they are said to be.  More than 20,000 Brothers have died beyond the seas for the defence of the faith.”

Jean de Montroyal ends with these words :

“ Item, we have suffered many wounds and hellish imprisonment, and for long periods on bread and water through which many of our Brothers have died ;  and we should not have suffered so much if our religion were not pure and we were not maintaining the truth, and if it were not to remove evil errors from the world which is without reason on the matter.”

The Order of the Temple was innocent.  Were there in practice in some houses certain bad customs, imported from the East, a show of renouncing the teaching of Christ imposed as a proof of extreme docility and obedience ?  It is possible.  The heads of the Order were ignorant of it.

On the other hand, the good faith of the accusers is not less evident.  Fanatics make bad judges, this has been seen at all times ;  but the fanatics are convinced.  To maintain that Philip the Fair executed so many noble victims with no other motive than the desire to seize the property of the Templars is a suggestion as puerile as that which consists in maintaining that the “ patriots ” only cut off so many heads in order to seize the goods of the aristocrats and the émigrés.

On 12th May 1310, fifty-four Templars who persisted in the determination to defend the Order were burned as relapsed at the edge of the Wood of Vincennes.

The story of this punishment, in the chroniclers of the time, is in the tone of “ Père Duchesne,” or of the Revolutions de Paris, describing a cartload of partisans of the old regime led to the guillotine.  On 13th May, Brother Aimeri de Villiersle-Duc, a Templar for fifty-eight years, appeared in his turn before the Commissioners.  “ Pale and terrified,” he heard the act of accusation read.  Brusquely he interrupted :  “ I have admitted certain articles because of the tortures which Guillaume de Marcilly and Hugue de la Celle, knights of the King, caused me to endure.  All that I have said is false.  Yesterday I saw fifty-four of my Brothers in wagons, led to the stake, because they did not wish to admit our alleged errors ;  I thought that I could never resist the terror of the fire.  I shall admit all, I feel it ;  I would declare that I have killed God.”

By the Bull Vox in excelso, dated 3rd April 1312, Clement V declared the Order of the Temple suppressed.  The Templars dispersed :  some entered convents ;  others married and betook themselves to manual work.  On 18th March 1314, were burned alive the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, and Geoffroi de Charnay, the Preceptor of Normandy, in the Ile des Javiaux, also called the Ile aux Juifs, to-day joined to the Ile de la Cité.  A rough crowd pressed about the two illustrious victims, and, in the crowd, Geoffroi de Paris, who has left a moving account of the last moments of Molay.

When all was ready, the Grand Master stood “ in his shirt.”  As he had some money with him, he wished to distribute it to the poor, whom he saw at his feet :  “ That God might have pity on his soul.”

But he found not any soul
Who wished to hear a word of his ;
They treated him as a dog.

When the executioners bound his hands behind his back he besought them :  “ Lords, at least let me join my hands a little in order to pray to God.”

With a firm voice he proclaimed once more the innocence and purity of the Order ;  he asked to be turned towards the Virgin Mary, of whom our Lord was born—that is to say, towards the church of Notre Dame.

And so sweetly welcomed death
That each one marvelled at it.

When he had given his last sigh, his companion, the preceptor Geoffroi de Charnay, spoke in his turn :

Lords, without a doubt
My master’s way I follow,
You have him as a martyr slain.

The crowd in dispersing discussed the tragedy.  Geoffrey of Paris states this and adds philosophically :

I know not who speaks truth or who the lie,
May that come of it which ought to be.

What became of the possessions of the Temple ?  Philip the Fair decided that they should be handed over to the Hospitallers.  Clement V bears witness that the orders given by the King in this matter were executed.  The very estate of the Temple in Paris, which, up to the eve of the Revolution, was the property of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, bears witness to this up to the threshold of the modern age.

The royal treasury retained certain sums for the expenses of the trial, which were immense.  In 1312 the King assembled the Council of Vienne in order that the teaching of the Temple should there be judged.

The great riches and power of the Temple consisted in the hundreds and thousands of contracts of quit-rent (cens) and rente which all over Christendom attached creditors and tenants to it.  These titles were destroyed by the very fact that the Templars were declared to be heretics, every debt to a heretic being reputed null.  And perhaps it is in this fact one must seek the reason of the hostility which everywhere manifested itself against the knights, and the facility with which, thanks to the complicity of public opinion, all resistance was stifled.

End of the
In these violent conflicts hardly has one been able to catch a glimpse of the legislative work which found its principal expression in the great ordinance of 1303.  Philip the Fair so perfected the judicial institutions that we may see in him the founder of the Parlement.  But here again what obstacles he had to surmount.  In 1306 the King was obliged to give way on an essential point in allowing to be re-established the ordeal by battle, even in grave cases—homicide and witchcraft.

The Abbot of St. Denis bears witness that in the last part of his reign the temper of the King was gloomy.  He became sad and spoke less and less.  To his intimates he confided the anxiety he suffered from the wars, the disturbances and the violences of his reign.  Did he recognize the tortures inflicted on the Templars, he who said in setting free the prisoners of the Inquisition, “ Prisons exist to retain the guilty, not to torture them.”

The death of his wife, Jeanne de Navarre, at Vincennes, 2nd April 1305, in the brilliance of her thirty-two years, had contributed to this sadness.  She was a valiant woman who, in spite of her embonpoint and her rosy complexion, when Henri de Bar invaded her county of Champagne, did not hesitate to take horse to lead the troops, who vanquished the Count de Bar and took him prisoner at Comines.  A cultivated woman, who will always preserve the glory of having instigated the old Sire de Joinville to write his immortal life of Saint Louis.  The humble monk, Bernard Delicieux, in the course of his campaign for the defence of the people of Languedoc against the Inquisition, calls Jeanne “ This other Esther who protects us.”  Many documents bear witness to the great intimacy which united Philip the Fair and his wife.

She was not then near him to soften the terrible blow he received in learning of the conduct of his daughters-in-law.  Isabelle, daughter of Philip the Fair, who had married Edward II, King of England, had given two purses of cloth of gold one to Marguerite of Burgundy, daughter of the Duke of Burgundy, and wife of Louis le Hutin, son and heir of the King of France ;  and the other to Blanche, second daughter of Otto IV, Count Palatine of Burgundy, and wife of Charles IV, third son of Philip the Fair.  On her return to France she was surprised to find these purses at the belt of two young knights who frequented the Court-Philip and Gauthier d’Aunay.  Philip the Fair caused the two brothers d’Aunay to be flayed alive at Pontoise and their corpses dragged through the streets.  Some suspicions having also fallen on Jeanne of Burgundy, the wife of Philip the Tall, the King ordered that she should be imprisoned like her two sisters-in-law.  Marguerite, wife of Louis le Hutin, was shut up in Chateau-Gaillard.  She admitted her misconduct, and soon perished in the dungeon of the cold prison where she had been thrown.

Jeanne of Burgundy, wife of Philip the Tall, never ceased to protest her innocence.  She was taken to the Castle of Dourdan in a four-wheeled car covered with black cloth.  She said with sighs, to those who stopped to see her pass :  “ For God’s sake, tell my lord Philip that I die without sin.”  As a matter of fact, her innocence was recognized, and she returned to her husband.

The third, Blanche of Burgundy, the wife of Charles the Fair, was a child.  She was hardly eighteen years of age when she also was shut up in Chateau-Gaillard.  She had no wish to die.  She protested that she had done no evil.  She had already given Charles the Fair two children, who had died in infancy.  She was questioned several times in the chapel of Chateau-Gaillard in the presence of her ladies.  “The gaiety of her countenance,” we read in one of the reports, “showed that at that moment she was without any fear.”  She allowed herself to be divorced from her husband on the pretext of spiritual affinity.  She was then permitted to take the veil in the Abbey of Maubuisson, where her children were buried.  There she died in 1325.

On the other hand, Philip the Fair already heard the rumble of the reaction which was to sweep away his work, cause the fall of his chancellor, Pierre de Latilly, and of his chamberlain, Enguerran de Marigny.  During the year 1314, in different parts of France, in Brittany, in Normandy, in Picardy, in Champagne, in Burgundy, in Anjou, in Auvergne, in Poitou, in Gascony, and in Languedoc, were formed leagues against the King who “ devours his people.”  “ Let the reigning King beware,” writes a member of the league, the old Sire de Joinville.  “ He has escaped great perils.  It is only time that he should mend his ways in order that God should not strike him and his cruelly.”

The Flemish on their side did not execute the Treaty of Athis.  Very weary of this strife, cropping up again incessantly, Philip equipped a new army, to march, once again, towards the Northern frontier.

Did the silent King cast at this moment an anxious glance over the destinies of the kingdom ?  Did the prediction of Saint Louis recur to his mind ?  His energy is unimpaired ;  he does not allow his courage to fail.  Hiding his projects from his minister selected by himself, Marigny, who, a methodical man concerned with internal affairs, did not like to see the resources of the treasury squandered beyond the frontiers, he engaged in negotiations beyond the Rhine in order to arrange the succession of his brother Charles to the throne of Germany, vacant by the death of Henry VII.  He restored to honour the projects of an expedition to the Holy Land, took the Cross with his three sons, an expedition which in his mind ought to assure perpetual peace by concentrating in his hands all the forces of Christendom.  To these projects of a Crusade the inveterate servant of the royal magnificence, Nogaret, devoted himself passionately.

But Nogaret dies ;  then Clement V ;  and, behold, Philip the Fair is struck down in the strength of his forty-six years.  All three rapidly disappear as though obeying the summons of the Templar of Naples, of whom Ferreti de Vicenza speaks.

On 4th November 1314, while hunting in the woods of Pont St. Maxence, the King felt the first attack of the malady to which he was to succumb.  He was on horseback and was seized with a fainting fit ;  his heart ceased to beat.  Yet he did not fall from his horse.  He was taken by water to Poissy, where he rested ten days.  He was able to go on horseback from Poissy to Essonnes ;  there his illness broke out afresh, and he was carried in a litter as far as Fontainebleau.

On the morning of the 26th, Philip the Fair knew that his end was near.  He confessed, communicated, and then went to bed.  He put in order the details of his will.  From time to time he paused to say, “ Fair Lord God, I commend my spirit into Thy hands.”  Then he received the last sacraments.  He whom the others ought to have consoled, writes an eye-witness of his death, consoled them.  At the last he calls his eldest son :  “ Louis,” he says to him, “ I speak to you before men who love you and are bound to love you ;  for my part, I love you above all others, but may your life be such that you may deserve to be loved.”  He tells him how he ought to rule with dignity and moderation, governing by himself, but taking advice from prudent men, in particular of his two uncles, Charles and Louis.  “ Act so that every one may perceive that you are son of a King, nay more, King of France.”  And many times, adds the chronicler, he said, “ Ponder, Louis, these words :  ‘ What is it to be King of France ? ’ ”

Some moments later the King asked that all should retire.

“ Secretly, before the confessor alone, he taught his eldest son how he ought to act in touching the sick and the holy words he had been accustomed to use when he touched them.  Similarly he told him that it was with great reverence, holiness, and purity that he ought to touch the infirm, clean of conscience as of hands.”

Philip the Fair passed away peacefully at Fontainebleau on 29th November 1314, reciting the office of the Holy Spirit.  He was forty-six years old.

SOURCES.—The contemporary chronicles, notably those published in the Recueil des Historiens des Gaules et de la France, tomes xx.-xxiii. (1840-76), 4 vols. fol. ;  Annales Gaudenses, 1896 ;  Chronique Artesienne, 1898 ;  Regestum Clementis papœ V, 1880-90, 7 vols. ;  Limburg-Stirum, Codex diplomaticus Flandriœ, 1296-1325, Bruges, 1878-89, 2 vols. ;  Thomas Rymer, Fœdera, conventiones ... inter reges Angliœ et alios quosvis, 3rd ed., The Hague, 1739-45, 10 vols. fol. ;  Michelet, Procès des Templiers, Paris, 1841-51, 2 vols. ;  Buegnot, Les Olim, 1839-48, 4 vols. ;  Edelstan du Meril, Poésies populaires latines du Moyen Age, 1847.

HISTORICAL WORKS.—Edgar Boutaric, La France sous Philippe le Bel, 1861 ;  Ch. V. Langlois, Histoire de France, ed. Lavisse, iii. 1901 ;  P. Dupuy, Histoire du differand d’entre le Pope Boniface VIII et Philippe le Bel, 1655 ;  Digard, Les Registres de Boniface VIII, 1884-91 ;  Ernest Renan, “ Guillaume de Nogaret ” in Histoire Litteraire de la France, xxviii., 1877, 233-371 ;  Robert Holtzmann, Wilhelm von Nogaret, Fribourgen-B., 1898 ; P. Funke, Papst Benedikt XI, 1891 ;  C. Wenek, Clemens V u. Heinrich VII, Halle, 1882 ;  G. Lizerand, Clement V et Philippe le Bel, 1910 ;  K. Schottmüller, Der Untergang des Templer-Ordens, 1887 ;  Ch. V. Langlois, “ Le Proces des Templiers,” Revue des Deux Mondes, 15th January 1891, pp. 382-421 ;  L. Delisle, “ Opérations financières des Templiers,” Memoires de l’Academie des Inscriptions, xxxiii. (1889) ;  Warnkönig-Gheldolf, Histoire de la Flandre, 1835-64, 5 vols. ;  H. Pirenne, Histoire de Belgique, tome i., 3rd ed., 1909.