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1114 [1114]

K. Henry. 8. The historye of Merindol and Cabriers.
¶ A notable history of the horrible persecution and destruction of the people of Merindol and Cabriers, in the Valley of Angroigne: where, not a few persons, but whole Villages and Towneshippes with the most part of all the foresayd countrey, both men, women, and children, were put to all kindes of crueltie, and suffered martyrdome, for the profession of the Gospell.

MarginaliaThe lamētable storie of Merindol.THey that write of the begynnyng of this people, say that about CC. yeares ago, they came out of the countrey of Piedmont, to inhabite in Prouince, in certaine Villages destroyed by warres, and other desert places: Wherin they vsed such labour & diligence, þt they had abundance of Corne, Wyne, Oyles, Hony, Almons, with other fruites and commodities of the earth, and much cattel. Before they came thether, Merindol was a barren desert and not inhabited. But these good people (in whom God alwayes had reserued some litle seede of pietie) MarginaliaFor the originall of this people, see before in pag. 349.beyng dispersed, and separated from the societie of men, were compelled to dwell with beastes, in that wast and wild desert, whiche notwithstandyng, through the blessing of God, and their great labour and trauell, became excedyng frutefull. Notwithstandyng, the world in the meane tyme, so detested and abhorred them, and with all shameful rebukes and contumelies, railed agaynst them in such despitefull maner, that it semed they were not worthy that the earth should beare thē. For they, of a long continuance and custome, had refused the Bishop of Romes authoritie, and obserued euer a more perfect kynd of doctrine, then others, deliuered to them from the father to the sonne, euer since the yeare of our Lord. 1200.

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For this cause they were often accused & cõplayned of to the kyng, as contemners and despisers of the Magistrates, & rebels. Wherfore they were called by diuers names, accordyng to the countreyes & places where they dwelt. For in the countrey about Lyons, they were called þe poore people of Lyons: MarginaliaPauperes de Lugduno, Waldēses, Turrelupini, Chagnardi, Of Waldo, read before pag. 295.In the borders of Sarmatia 

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Crespin's account glosses these various names: 'Vaudois' from 'Pierre Waldo', their presumed founder; 'Lollard' in England, Poland ('Sarmatia') and Livonia; 'Turelupins' ['Turrelupius'] in Artois and Flanders, Chaignars or Chienars ('Chagnardes') in Dauphiné and Piedmont. Foxe's explanation of the latter 'because they liued in places open to the Sunne, and without house or harborough' is not in the Crespin narrative.

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and Liuonia, and other countreyes towardes the North, they were called Lolards: In Flaūders & Artoys, Turrelupins, of a desert where wolues did haunt: In Dolphine, with great despite, they were named Chagnards, because they lyued in places open to the Sunne, and without house or harborough. But most commonly they were called Waldois, of Waldo, who fyrst instructed them in the word of God: which name continued vntill the name of Lutherans came vp, which aboue all other, was most hated, and abhorred.

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Notwithstandyng, in all these 

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For the Vaudois settlement in and around Mérindol (Vaucluse) in the diocese of Cavaillon, and Cabrières d'Avignon (Vaucluse) in the diocese of Carpentras, see G. Audisio, The Waldensian Dissent. Persecution and Survival, c.1170-c.1570 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 190-193.

most spitefull contumelies and sclaunders, the people dwellyng at the foote of the Alpes, and also in Merindol and Cabriers, and the quarters thereabout, alwayes liued so godly, so vprightly and iustelye, that in all their life & conuersation, there appeared to be in them a great feare of God. That litle light of true knowledge whiche God had giuen them, they laboured by all meanes, to kyndle and encrease dayly more and more, sparyng no charges, whether it were to procure bookes of the holy Scripture, or to instruct such as were of the best and most towardly wittes, in learnyng and godlines: or ells to send thē into other coūtreys, yea euē to the farthest partes of the earth, where they had heard that any light of the Gospell began to shyne.

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For in the yere. 1530. 

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For the despatch of Georges Morel ['Georgus Maurellus'], native of Chanteloube (Saint-Crépin) in Dauphiné, and Pierre Masson ['Petrus Latomus'], native of Burgundy in 1530 on this delicate mission to the leading theologians of the emerging Reformed protestant opinions to Johann Oecolampadius (Basel), Berthold Haller (Bern) and Martin Bucer (Strasbourg), see G. Audisio, The Waldensian Dissent. Persecution and Survival, c.1170-c.1570 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 157-8; E. Cameron, The Reformation of the Heretics: the Waldenses of the Alps, 1480-1580 (Oxford: O.U.P., 1984), pp. 134-138; 180-182. Morel was arrested (10 September 1530) during his return journey and died at Dijon. For the distinctive role of the Waldensian 'barbes', see G. Audisio, Preachers by Night. The Waldensian Barbes (15th-16th Centuries) (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2007).

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vnderstãding that the Gospell was preached in certeine townes of Germany and Switzerland, they sent thether ij. learned mē, that is, Georgius Maurellus borne in Dolphine, a godly preacher of their owne, and wõ they had of their own charges brought vp in learnyng, and Petrus Latomus a Burgundian, to cõferre with the wise & learned Ministers of the Churches there, in the doctrine of the Gospell, and to know the whole forme and maner whiche those Churches vsed in the seruice and worshyppyng of God: and particularly to haue their aduise also, vppon certeine poyntes, whiche they were not resolued in. These ij. after great conference had with the chiefest in þe Churche of God, namely with Oecolãpadius at Basill: at Strausbrough, with Bucer and Capito: and at Berne, with Bartholdus Hallerus: as they were returning through Burgūdie, homeward, Petrus Latomus was taken at Dyion, and cast into prison. Maurellus escaped and returned alone to Merindol, with the bookes and letters whiche hee brought with him, from the Churches of Germanie, and declared to his brethren, all the pointes of his commissiõ, and opened vnto them, how many & great errours they were in: into the which theyr olde ministers, whom they called Marginalia* These were their ministers, for lacke of better, vntill they came to more syncere knowledge: which enstructed them most commonly by night abroade in caues and quarryes, for feare of persecution.* Barbes, that is to say, Vncles, had brought them, leading them from the right way of true religion.

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When the people heard this, 

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This passage, a direct translation from Crespin's 1556 text, has in the past been taken to mean that there was a Vaudois 'synod' in Mérindol. If there was a meeting of some of the Vaudois barbes it should not be taken to mean that it resulted in formal documents such as a 'confession' of their faith. The Vaudois community does not seem to have worked with that kind of organisation, structure, and written documentation. See E. Cameron, The Reformation of the Heretics: the Waldenses of the Alps, 1480-1580 (Oxford: O.U.P., 1984), pp. 137-8.

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they were moued with such a zeale to haue their Churches reformed, that they sent for MarginaliaOf these Calabrians, see before pag. 1073.the most auncient brethren, and the chiefest in knowledge & experience, of all Calabria & Apulia, to consult with them, touching the reformation of the Church. This matter was so handled, that it stirred vp the Byshops, Priestes, and Monkes in all Prouince, with great rage, agaynst them. MarginaliaIoã. de Roma, a wretched persecutor.Amongst other, 
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Foxe follows here scrupulously the account given in Crespin [1560], fol 89A, ignoring later amplifications of the narrative undertaken by Crespin. For the history of Jean de Roma, including confirmation of much of Foxe's narrative, see G. Audisio, Le barbe et l'inquisiteur. Procès du barbe vaudois Pierre Griot par l'inquisiteur Jean de Roma (Apt, 1532) (Ax-en-Provence, 1979), introduction.

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there was one cruell wretch called Iohn de Roma, a Monke, who obteynyng a commission to examine those that were suspected to be of the Waldois or Lutherane profession, forthwith ceased not to afflicte the faithfull with all kynde of crueltie, that hee could deuise or imagine. Amõgest other most horrible tormētes, this was one, which he most delighted in, and most commonly practised: MarginaliaThe crueltie of a Papiste.He filled bootes with boylyng grece, and put them vppon theyr legges, tying them backward to a forme, with their legges hanging down ouer a small fire, and so he examined them. Thus he tormented very many, and in the end, most cruelly put them to death. MarginaliaMichelottus Serra, W. Melius, Martyrs.The fyrst whom he thus tormented were Michelottus Serra, and W. Melius, with a number moe.

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Wherfore Frances the French kyng beyng informed of the straunge and outragious crueltie of this hellishe Monke: sent letters to the highe Court or Parlament of Prouince, that forthwith he should bee apprehended, and by forme of proces and order of law, he should bee condemned, and aduertisement sent vnto him with all spede, of his condemnation. The Monke beyng aduertised hereof by his frendes, conueyed him selfe to Auinion, where he thought to enioye the spoilynges, which he, like a notorious thefe, had gotten by fraude & extorcion, frõ the poore Christians. But shortlye after, he whiche had so shamefullye spoyled other, was spoyled of altogether, by his owne housholde seruauntes: MarginaliaThe iust iudgment of God agaynst a cruell persecutor.Wherupon, shortly after, he fell sicke of a most horrible disease, straunge and vnknowen to any Phisition. So extreme were the paynes and tormentes, wherewith hee was continually vexed in all his body, that no oyntment, no fomentation, nor any thyng els, could ease him one minute of an houre. Neither was there any man that could tary neare about him: ne yet would any of his owne frendes come neare him: so great was the stinch that came frõ him. For the whiche cause he was caryed from the Iacobines, to an hospitall, there to be kept: But the stinch and infection, so encreased, that no man durst there come neare him: no nor he him selfe was hable to abyde the horrible stinch that ishued from his body, full of vlcers and sores, and swarming with vermine, and so rotten, that the fleshe fell away from the bones, by peecemeale.

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Whiles he was in these tormētes and anguishe, he cryed out often tymes in great rage: Oh who will deliuer me? Who will kill me and rydde me out of these vntolerable paynes, whiche I know, I suffer for the euils and oppressions, that I haue done to the poore men? And he hym selfe went about diuers tymes, to destroy him selfe, but he had not the power. MarginaliaA spectacle to all persecutors.In these horrible tormentes and anguishe, and fearefull dispayre, this blasphemer and most cruell homicide, most miserablie ended his vnhappy dayes and cursed life, as a spectacle to all persecutours, receauing a iust reward of his crueltie by the iust Iudgemēt of God. When hee was dead, there was no man that would come neare hym to burye him: but a yonge Nouyce newly come to hys order, in stede of a more honorable sepulture, caught holde with a hooke vpon his stinking carian, and drewe him into a hole hard by, whiche was made for him.

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MarginaliaThe Byshop of Aix, Perionet hys Officiall, Meiranus, cruell persecutors.After the death of this cruell monster, 

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This passage was not included in the reprinted Crespin text, but was incorporated into Pantaleon's narrative from the original Crespin edition of 1554. It was the briefest of indications that the ecclesiastical prosecution of the Vaudois had been active through much of the 1530s. The archbishop of Aix-en-Provence in this period was Pierre Filhol ['Philholi'].

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the Bishop of Aix, by his Official Perionet, continued the persecution, and put a great multitude of them in prison: of whom some by force of tormentes, reuolted frõ the truth: the others whiche cõtinued cõstant, after he had condemned thē of heresye, were put into þe handes of þe ordinary iudge, which at that tyme, was one Meiranus, a notable cruell persecutor: who, without any forme of proces or order of law, such as the Officiall had pronounced to bee heretickes, he put to death, with most cruell tormentes: But shortly after, he receiued a iust reward of his crueltie, in like maner.

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MarginaliaAn other example of Gods terrible iudgement vpon a persecutor.After þe death 

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The careers of the magistrates in the Parlement of Aix-en-Provence mentioned in this passage are evoked in F. Vindry, Les parlementaires français au XVIe siècle 2 vols (Paris: H. Champion, 1909-1912). For Barthélemi Chassané [var: Chasseneuz - Foxe refers to him as 'Barthellemewe Chassane' in the 1563 edition], nominated premier president there in 1531, see Fleury Vindry, 1, p. 20. For Thomas Cuisinier [var: Cuissinier; Cousinier], sieur de Beaujay, also premier president at the Parlement, Ibid., 1, p. 20. Nicolas de Mathieu, sieur du Revest et de Riez is probably the 'Lord of Revest' to whom the account refers.

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of þe good President Cuisinetus, the Lord of Reuest beyng chief President of the Parlament of Aix, put many of the faithfull to death. Who afterward beyng put out of his office, returned to his house of Reuest, where hee was strookē with such an horrible sicknes, that for the fury and madnes whiche he was in, his wife or any that were about him, durst not come nere him, and so he dying in this fury and rage, was iustly plagued for his vnmercifull and cruell dealyng.

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MarginaliaAn other example of Gods iudgemēt vpõ Chassaneus, a bloudy persecutor.After him succeded Bartholomeus Chassaneus, likewise a pestilent persecutour, whom God at length strooke with a fearefull & sodein death. In the time of this Tyranne, those of Merindol, in the person of ten, were cited personally to appeare before the kynges Atturney. But they hearyng that

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