Knights Templar 7th Grand Master: Philip de Milly

Philip de Milly

7th Grand Master: Philip de Milly

Philip de Milly of Nablus was born to parents Guy of Milly, a knight and Stephanie a Flemish noblewoman.  Philip inherited his father’s Nablus estate, and in the years leading up to 1144, he married Isabella a noblewoman, related to Maurice, the Lord of Oultrejordain.

Philip’s name first appeared in a royal charter of 1138.  Philip’s name was missing from witnesses of royal charters in the 1130’s, indicating he could not secure his father’s position, whilst Fulk of Anjou reigned.  Fulk seized the throne by way of marriage to Melisende of Jerusalem.

Philip’s career started following the death of Fulk, and Melisende became the new ruler of Jerusalem.  In 1144, Philip was called Lord of Nablus, and later that year appointed as Prince of Galilee and Manasses of Hierges.  Philip led an army to Edessa, but upon arrival found Imad ad-Din Zengi had beaten them to Edessa, and captured it.  In the following years he participated seizing lands of Nablus and Tyre.  1148 saw the arrival of the Second Crusade and Philip played his part within Acre council.

Philip supported Queen Melisende during her conflict with Baldwin III, over the division of the kingdom in 1151, where Melisende gained control of lands including Nablus.

Philip played a dangerous game, on one hand he supported Queen Melisende against Baldwin III, and also supported Baldwin in the siege of Ascalon in 1153.

Baldwin charters from 1155, included Philip within his list of witnesses.

Philip a supporter of Baldwin III left him to the mercy of Nur ad-Din’s forces, as they ambushed him at Jacob’s Ford in the June of 1157.

Philip exchanged his Lordship of Nablus with Baldwin III for Oultrejordain on the 31st July 1161.  In the 1160’s Philip de Milly went on a pilgrimage to Saint Catherine’s Monastery.

In the January of 1166, Philip de Milly joined the Order of the Knights Templar, and gifted to the Order, parts of Oultrejordain, which also included Castle Ahamant.  In 1167 Philip acted against the Templars by joining Amalric’s invasion of Egypt.

In January of 1169, Bertrand de Blanchefort current Grand Master of the Knights Templar died, and Amalric put pressure upon them to elect Philip as their new Grand Master.

In the year 1171 Philip de Milly Grand Master of the Knights Templar resigned his post, becoming Royal Envoy to Constantinople, as Ambassador of the Byzantine Empire.  This restored good relations, following the failure of Amalric’s Egyptian invasion of 1167.

On the 3rd April 1178, Philip de Milly former Knights Templar Grand Master, now Ambassador to the Byzantine Empire, died on route to Constantinople.