Philip IV (April–June 1268 – 29 November 1314), called Philip the Fair (French: Philippe le Bel), was King of France from 1285 to 1314. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Philip I from 1284 to 1305, as well as Count of Champagne.
Philip IV, byname Philip the Fair, French Philippe le Bel, (born 1268, Fontainebleau, France—died November 29, 1314, Fontainebleau), king of France from 1285 to 1314 (and of Navarre, as Philip I, from 1284 to 1305, ruling jointly with his wife, Joan I of Navarre).
- Consolidation of The Royal Demesne
- War with The English
- Drive For Income
- in Flanders
- Suppression of The Knights Templar
- Expulsion of The Jews
- Tour de Nesle Affair
- Crusades and Diplomacy with Mongols
A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of Fontainebleau at Seine-et-Marne to King Louis IX's eldest son Philip the Bold and Isabella of Aragon. Two years later, his elder brother Louis became heir apparent when his grandfather died and his father ascended to the throne as King Philip III. When Louis died in May 1276, Philip became heir apparent. Philip's younger brother Robert also died in May 1276, leaving Philip and his younger brother Charles. Their stepmother, Marie of Brabant, was suspected of poisoning the two young boys; her first son, Louis, was born in the same month the two boys died. The prince was nicknamed the Fair (le Bel) because of his handsome appearance, but his inflexible personality gained him other epithets, from friend and foe alike. His fierce opponent Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, said of him, "He is neither man nor beast. He is a statue." His education was guided by Guillaume d'Ercuis, the almonerof his father. As a prince, just...
Philip ascended to the throne and became King at age 17, although according to the publication titled "The Life And Times Of Jacques de Molay", Philip was 16. As a king, Philip was determined to strengthen the monarchy at any cost. He relied, more than any of his predecessors, on a professional bureaucracy of legalists. Because to the public he kept aloof and left specific policies, especially unpopular ones, to his ministers, he was called a "useless owl" by his contemporaries, among them Bishop Saisset.His reign marks the French transition from a charismatic monarchy – which could all but collapse in an incompetent reign – to a bureaucratic kingdom, a move, under a certain historical reading, towards modernity. Philip married queen Joan I of Navarre (1271–1305) on 16 August 1284. The primary administrative benefit of this was the inheritance of Joan in Champagne and Brie, which were adjacent to the royal demesne in Ile-de-France and became thus effectively united to the king's own...
As Duke of Aquitaine, the English king Edward I was a vassal to Philip, and had to pay him homage. Following the Fall of Acrein 1291 however, the former allies started to show dissent. In 1293 following a naval incident between the Normans and the English, Philip summoned Edward to the French court. The English King sought to negotiate the matter and sent ambassadors to Paris but they were turned away with a blunt refusal. Negotiation was for Kings, Edward was addressed by Philip as a Duke, a vassal and nothing more, despite the incident having been an international one between England and France and not an internal one involving Edward's possessions within the kingdom of France. Attempting to use their family connections to achieve what open politics had not, Edward sent his brother Edmund Crouchback (who was both Philip's cousin and step-father-in-law) to come negotiate with the French Royal family and avert war. Also, Edward was at that time betrothed by proxy to Philip's sister...
In the shorter term, Philip arrested Jews so that he could seize their assets to accommodate the inflated costs of modern warfare, expelling 100,000 of them from his French territories on 22 July 1306 (see The Great Exile of 1306). At this point in his reign Philip was faced with extensive financial liabilities, partially inherited from his father's war against Aragon and partially incurred by the cost of his own campaigns against the English and their allies in Flanders. His financial victims also included rich abbots and the Lombard merchants who had earlier made him extensive loans on the pledge of repayment from future taxation. Like the Jews, the Lombard bankers were expelled from France and their property expropriated. In addition to these measures Philip debased the French coinage by measures which by 1306 had led to a two-thirds loss in the value of the livres, sous and denirsin circulation. This financial crisis led to rioting in Paris which forced Philip to briefly seek re...
Philip suffered a major embarrassment when an army of 2,500 noble men-at-arms (Knights and Squires) and 4,000 infantry he sent to suppress an uprising in Flanders was defeated in the Battle of the Golden Spurs near Kortrijk on 11 July 1302. Philip reacted with energy to the humiliation and a new battle followed at Mons-en-Pévèle two years later, which ended indecisively. Still, in 1305, Philip forced the Flemish to accept a harsh peace treaty, playing out his superior diplomatic skills; the peace exacted heavy reparations and humiliating penalties, and added to the royal territory the rich cloth cities of Lille and Douai, sites of major cloth fairs. Béthune, first of the Flemish cities to yield, was granted to Mahaut, Countess of Artois, whose two daughters, to secure her fidelity, were married to Philip's two sons.
Philip was substantially in debt to the Knights Templar, a monastic military order whose original role as protectors of Christian pilgrims in the Latin East had been largely replaced by banking and other commercial activities by the end of the 13th century. As the popularity of the Crusades had decreased, support for the military orders had waned, and Philip used a disgruntled complaint against the Knights Templar as an excuse to move against the entire organization as it existed in France, in part to free himself from his debts. Other motives appear to have included concern over perceived heresy, assertion of French control over a weakened Papacy and finally, the substitution of royal officials for officers of the Temple in the financial management of French government. Recent studies emphasize the political and religious motivations of Philip the Fair and his ministers (especially Guillaume de Nogaret). It seems that, with the “discovery” and repression of the “Templars' heresy,”...
While King Edward ordered the Jews to leave England in 1290, Philip the Fair expelled the Jews from France in 1306. With the Jews gone, Philip appointed royal guardians to collect the loans made by the Jews, and the money was passed to the Crown. The scheme did not work well. The Jews were regarded to be good businessmen who satisfied their customers, while the king's collectors were universally unpopular. Finally, in 1315, because of the "clamour of the people", the Jews were invited back with an offer of 12 years of guaranteed residence, free from government interference. In 1322, the Jews were expelled again by the King's successor, who did not honour his commitment.
In 1314, the daughters-in-law of Philip IV, Margaret of Burgundy (wife of Louis X) and Blanche of Burgundy (wife of Charles IV) were accused of adultery, and their alleged lovers (Phillipe d'Aunay and Gauthier d'Aunay) tortured, flayed and executed in what has come to be known as the Tour de Nesle Affair (French language:Affaire de la tour de Nesle). A third daughter-in-law, Joan II, Countess of Burgundy(wife of Philip V), was accused of knowledge of the affairs.
Philip had various contacts with the Mongol power in the Middle East, including reception at the embassy of the Turkic/Mongol monk Rabban Bar Sauma. Bar Sauma presented an offer of a Franco-Mongol alliance with Arghun of the Mongol Ilkhanate in Baghdad. Arghun was seeking to join forces between the Mongols and the Europeans, against their common enemy the Muslim Mamluks. In return, Arghun offered to return Jerusalem to the Christians, once it was re-captured from the Muslims. Philip seemingly responded positively to the request of the embassy, by sending one of his noblemen, Gobert de Helleville, to accompany Bar Sauma back to Mongol lands. There was further correspondence between Arghun and Philip in 1288 and 1289,outlining potential military cooperation. However, Philip never actually pursued such military plans. In April 1305, the new Mongol ruler Öljaitü sent letters to Philip, the Pope, and Edward I of England. He again offered a military collaboration between the Christian nat...
Philip IV's rule signaled the decline of the papacy's power from its near complete authority. His palace located on the Île de la Cité is represented today by surviving sections of the Conciergerie. He suffered a cerebral during a hunt at Pont-Sainte-Maxence (Forest of Halatte) and died a few weeks later in Fontainebleau, where he was born. He is buried in the Basilica of St Denis. He was succeeded by his son Louis X.
- Early Life
- Pope Boniface VIII
- The Knights Templar
- Final Year
His desire to always maintain his authority led him into many conflicts. Philip IV was born in Fontainebleu, France in 1268. At the time of his birth, Philip’s father, Prince Philip, hadn’t yet ascended to the throne. However, that all changed when his father, King Louis IX, died on August 25, 1270. Shortly after Louis’s death, Philip III’s wife Isabella also died. Devastated by the deaths of both his father and wife, the king sought refuge in governing. As a consequence, Prince Philip and his siblings grew up neglected by their father. Philip’s unhappy childhood continued to get worse. In 1276, his older brother Louis allegedly died from poisoning. As the family mourned the loss of Louis, Philip became the new heir. Since Philip didn’t see much of his father, he viewed his grandfather as a surrogate father figure. As time went on, the prince became captivated with Louis IX’s saintliness. Due to his admiration, Philip viewed his grandfather as an ideal model of a king. He desired to...
In October 1285, Philip III died. Consequently, the 17-year-old prince became King Philip IV. The young king’s initial focus was on reforming his government. To ensure that laws were being followed, Philip dispatched his administrators throughout France. Despite his good intentions, the king alienated many French citizens in the process. The French didn’t appreciate Philip strictly enforcing the government’s laws since it wasn’t the normal precedent.
Until the late 1290s, Philip IV had genuinely followed Louis IX’s Christian example. The king donated to religious organizations, adhered to church policies, and considered church official’s advice. Philip also strongly supported the French church and, it in turn, supported him. However, the king refused to have anyone, including a pope, challenge his authority.
After the papacy’s move to Avignon, European Christians felt scandalized. The struggle between Philip IV and Boniface VIII had been distasteful. However, Clement V’s willing capitulation to please Philip damaged France’s reputation. Despite the damage, the French king wasn’t yet done. Instead, Philip began to focus on the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar were a military order of knights founded in 1118. Their original purpose involved protecting Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land. After the collapse of Jerusalem in 1291, the order became more of a bank. Throughout the years, the order accumulated vast amounts of wealth and land. By the early 1300’s, the Knights Templar predominantly resided in France. Originally, Philip IV approved of the Knights Templar and protected the organization’s privileges. He even entrusted them with guarding the royal treasury. However, by 1307, the relationship between king and order turned hostile. Philip owed a large debt to the Templars and cou...
After the Knights Templar fell, Philip IV gained possession of their wealth and lands. The king justified his actions by claiming the order had committed heresy and deserved to be destroyed. In turn, a weak Clement V defended Philip’s actions. During 1314, the king fell from his horse and broke his leg. The injury became infected, and Philip’s health rapidly declined. On November 26, Philip died from his wound.
Philip IV began his reign by attempting to emulate Louis IX’s example. However, his desire to always maintain his authority made him stray. Instead of seeking peace, Philip indulged in conflict. Instead of being an ally of the church, Philip sought its submission to him. By the end of his reign, Flanders had been subjugated, the papacy resided in Avignon, and the Knights Templar broken. As possible retribution for his actions, Philip was rapidly succeeded by his three sons: Louis X, Philip V, and Charles IV.
Bradbury, J. (2010). The Capetians: Kings of France, 987-1328. London: Hambledon Continuum. Brown, E. A. R. (2020, January 1). Philip IV. Retrieved February 7, 2020, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Philip-IV-king-of-France Daugherty, G. (2019, February 21). In 1303 the French King Sent Goons to Attack and Kidnap the Pope. Retrieved February 12, 2020, from https://www.history.com/news/french-king-kidnapping-pope-philip-iv-boniface-vii
Philip IV, also known as Philip the Fair, was the king of France from 1285 to 1314 and became the king of Navarre and the count of Champagne through his marriage to Joan I of Navarre.
Philip IV of France was an enigma. He was tall, blonde and handsome (hence the nickname ‘Fair’) but aloof. He was born in Fontainebleau in 1268, the second son of Philip III. His childhood was not...
Aug 10, 2020 · Philip IV (April–June 1268 – 29 November 1314), called the Fair (French: le Bel), son and successor of Philip III, reigned as King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was King of Navarre (as Philip I) and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.
- Jeanne I, Queen of Navarre
His tentative overtures to Clement V were fruitless, but, with the support of Nogaret and his own Dominican confessor—who was also the papal inquisitor in France—Philip decided in September 1307 to seize all Knights Templar in France and to exhort his fellow rulers to follow his lead.
Feb 21, 2019 · Philip IV the Fair (1268-1314), King of France.
- Greg Daugherty
At the age of 11, Joan married the future Philip IV of France on 16 August 1284, becoming queen consort of France in 1285 a year later. Their three surviving sons would all rule as kings of France, in turn, and their only surviving daughter, Isabella, became queen consort of England.