ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – On Friday 13th October, 1307 AD, a date sometimes linked with the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, hundreds of Knights Templar in France were simultaneously arrested by agents of King Philip IV, to be later tortured into a confession of heresy. Once freed of the Inquisitors' torture, many Templars recanted their confessions. Some had sufficient legal experience to defend themselves in the trials, but in 1310 Philip blocked this attempt, using the previously forced confessions to have dozens of Templars burned at the stake in Paris. With Philip threatening military action unless the pope complied with his wishes, Pope Clement finally agreed to disband the Order, citing the public scandal that had been generated by the confessions. At the Council of Vienne in 1312, he issued a series of papal bulls, which officially dissolved the Order. As for the leaders of the Order, the elderly Grand Master Jacques de Molay, who had confessed under torture, retracted his confession and insisted on his innocence. But he was declared guilty of being a relapsed heretic and was sentenced to be burnt at the stake in Paris on 18 March 1314. De Molay reportedly remained defiant to the end, calling out from the flames that both Pope Clement and King Philip would soon meet their end. Pope Clement died only a month later, and King Philip died in a hunting accident before the end of the year.