Philip IV King of France
|Death||29 OCT 1314|
Philip IV (of France), called The Fair (1268-1314), king of France (1285-1314), known for his conflict with the papacy. The son and successor of King Philip III, he was born in Fontainebleau. Through marriage he became the ruler of Navarre and Champagne. Between 1294 and 1296 he seized Guienne, in southwestern France, a possession of Edward I, king of England. In 1297 war ensued with England and with Flanders, England's ally. Under the terms of a truce made in 1299, Philip withdrew from Guienne and Edward withdrew from Flanders, leaving it to the French. A revolt broke out at Bruges, however, and at the Battle of Courtrai in 1302, the French army was disastrously defeated by Flemish burghers. The great event of Philip's reign was his struggle with Pope Boniface VII, which grew out of Philip's attempt to levy taxes against the clergy. By the bull Clericis Laicos (1296) Boniface forbade the clergy to pay taxes to a secular power, and Philip replied by forbidding the export of coins, thereby depriving the pope of French revenues. A temporary reconciliation was ended by a fresh outbreak of the quarrel when Philip arrested the papal legate in 1301 and summoned the first French Estates-General. This assembly, which was composed of clergy, nobles, and burghers, gave support to Philip. Boniface retaliated with the celebrated bull Unam Sanctam (1302), a declaration of papal supremacy. Philip's partisans then imprisoned Boniface. The pope escaped but died soon afterward. In 1305 Philip obtained the election of one of his own adherents as pope, Clement V, and compelled him to reside in France. Thus began the so-called Babylonian Captivity of the papacy (1309-77), during which the popes lived at Avignon and were subjected to French control. In 1307 Philip arrested Grand Master Jacques de Molay of the Knights Templars, and in 1312 he forced the pope to suppress the religious and military order. Their wealth was confiscated by the king, and many members were burned at the stake. Also, as a result of his financial needs, Philip greatly increased taxes, debased the coinage several times, and arrested the Jews and the Lombards (Italian bankers), appropriating the assets of the former and demanding large subsidies from the latter. He died October 29, 1314, at Fontainebleau.