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1115 [1115]

K. Henry. 8. The historye of Merindol and Cabriers.

the Court had determined to burne them without any further processe or order of lawe, durst not appeare at the day appoynted. MarginaliaA bloudie decree agaynst the Merindolians.For whiche cause 

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This notorious arrêt of the Parlement of Aix-en-Provence was pronounced on 18 November 1540. The text was included in extenso in the Recueil and in editions of Crespin from 1560 onwards (Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 383-4) condemning 19 Vaudois to be burned, their property confiscated and their village at Mérindol destroyed. The names of those mentioned in the arrêt are rendered by Foxe as best he could, and their orthography differs in the various sources (cf A.-L. Herminjard, Correspondance des réformateurs dans les pays de la langue française [Geneva, 1866-1867], 6, p. 228 and l'Histoire memorable). They included André Maynard, bailli of Mérindol, François Maynard, Martin Maynard, Iacques Maynard, Michel Maynard, Iean Pom and his wife, Facy le Tourneur and his wife, Martin Vian and his wife, Iean Pallenq and his wife, Peyron Roi, Philippon Maynard, Iaques de Sangre, Me Leon Barberoux, Claude Fauyer de Tourves, M. Pomery et Marthe Pomery, his wife, Thomas Pallenq, and Guillaume le Normand.

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the Courte awarded a cruell sentence agaynst Merindol, and condemned all the inhabitantes, to be burned both men and women, sparyng none, no not the litle childrē and infantes: the towne to be rased, & their houses beaten down to the ground: also the trees to be cut down, as wel oliue trees, as all other, & nothyng to be left, to the entent it should neuer be inhabited againe, but remaine as a desert or wildernes.

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This bloudy Arrest or Decree semed so straunge and wonderfull, that in euery place thoroughout all Prouince, there was great reasonyng and disputation concernyng the same, especially among the Aduocates, and men of learnyng and vnderstandyng: in so much that many durst boldly and openly say, that they greatly marueiled, howe that Court of Parlament could be so madde, or so bewitched, to giue out such an Arrest, so manifestly iniurious and vniust, and contrary to all right and reason, yea to all sense of humanitie: also contrary to the solemne othe, whiche all such as are receiued to office in Courtes of Parlament, are accustomed to make, that is to say, to Iudge iustly and vprightly, accordyng to the law of God, and the iust ordinaunces and lawes of the realme, so that God therby might be honoured, and euery mans right regarded, without respecte of persons.

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Some of the Aduocates or lawyers, defendyng the sayd Arrest to bee iust and right, sayd: that in case of Lutheranisme, the iudges are not bound to obserue either right or reason, law either ordinaunce, and that the iudges can not faile or do amisse, what so euer iudgement they doe giue, so that it tend to the ruine and extirpation of all such as are suspected to bee Lutheranes. MarginaliaEuen so the Phariseis proceded agaynst Christ the sonne of God.

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To this the other lawyers and learned men aunswered, that vppon their saynges it would ensue, that the Iudges should now altogether folow the same maner & forme, in procedyng against the Christians accused to be Lutheranes, whiche the Gospell witnesseth that the Priestes, Scribes and Phariseis followed, in pursuyng and persecutyng, and finally condemnyng our Lord Iesus Christ.

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By these and such other like talkes 

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For the story of the Bishop's banquet ('splendissimum convivium') and the subsequent clerical meeting in Avignon, reported in Crespin [1560], fol 91A-B; Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 385-6 and also in Pantaleon, fols 114-5. Those in attendance included Barthélemi Chassené, premier president of the Parlement, the Archbishop (not bishop, as stated by Foxe) of Aix-en-Provence, the Archbishop of Arles ('Aries' - Jean IX de Ferrier), Jacques Reynaud, sieur d'Aillens ('L. of Alenc'), the seigneur de Beaujeu ('Beauieu') and the sieur de Senas, conseiller au Parlement.

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the sayd Arrest was published throughout the countrey, and there was no assemble or banket, where it was not disputed or talked of: and namely, within. xij. dayes after the Arrest was geuen out, MarginaliaThe bishops bancket.there was a great banket made in the towne of Aix, at the whiche banket was present maister Barthelmewe Chassanee, President, & many other Councellers and other noble personages and men of authoritie. There was also the Archbishop of Arles, and the Byshop of Aix, with diuers ladyes and gentelwomen, amongest whom was one which was cōmonly reported to be the Byshop of Aix his concubine. They were scarse well set at the table, but she began thus to talke: My Lord President, will you not execute the Arrest, which is geuē out of late, agaynst þe Lutherans of Merindol? MarginaliaThere is no crueltie to the crueltie of an harlot.The President aunswered nothyng, fainyng that be heard her not. Thē a certein gentlemā asked of her what Arrest that was. She recited it in maner & forme, as it was geuen out, forgettyng nothyng, as if she had a long tyme, studied to cōmitte the same vnto memorye: Wherunto they which were at the banket gaue diligent eare, without any worde speakyng, vntill she had ended her tale.

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MarginaliaThe Lord of Alenc, a good man.Then the Lord of Alenc, a mā fearyng God, and of great vnderstanding, sayd vnto her: Gentelwomā, you haue learned this tale, either of some that would haue it so, or els it is geuen out by some Parlament of wemen. Then the Lord of Senas, an auncient Counceller, sayd vnto him, no, no, my lord of Alenc, it is no tale which you haue heard this gentlewomā tell: for it is an Arrest geuē out by a whole Senate, and you ought not thus to speake except you would cal the court of Prouince, a Parlament of wemen. Then the Lord of Alenc began to excuse him selfe, with protestation that he would not speake any thyng to blemish the authoritie of that soueraigne Court, notwithstanding he could not beleue all that whiche the sayd gentlewoman had told, that is to say, that all the inhabitantes of Merindoll were condēned to dye by the Arrest of the sayd Court of Parliament of Prouince, and specially the wemen and litle children and infantes: and the towne to be rased, for the faute of x. or. xij. persons, which dyd not appeare before the sayd Court, at the day appointed. MarginaliaThe Lord Beauieu.And the Lord Beauieu also aunswered, þt he beleued not the sayd Court to haue geuen out any such Arrest, for that (sayd he) were a thyng most vnreasonable, & such as the very Turkes & the most Tyrannes of þe world, would iudge to be a thing most detestable: and said further, that he had knowen a long tyme, many of Merindoll, which seemed vnto him, to be men of great honesty: and my Lord President (said he) can certifie vs well what is done in this matter, for wee ought not to geue credite vnto wemens tales. Then the gentlewomā whiche had rehearsed the Arrest, stayed not to heare the Presidentes aūswere, but sodenly loking vpō the bishop of Aix, said: I should greatly haue marueiled, if there had bene none in all this cōpany which would defende these wicked men, and liftyng her eyes to heauen in a great womanly chafe and fume, said: MarginaliaA catholike wishe of a priests harlot.would to God that all the Lutherans, whiche are in Prouince, yea and in all Fraunce, had hornes growyng on their foreheds, then we should see a goodly many of hornes. To whom the Lorde Beauieu sodeinlye aunswered, saying, woulde to God that all Priestes harlots should chatter like Pies. Then sayd the gentlewoman: ha my Lord Beauieu, you ought not so to speake agaynst our holy mother þe Church, for there was neuer dogge that barked agaynst the Crucifixe but that he waxed madde. Whereat the Byshop of Aix, laughed, and clappyng the gentlewoman on the shoulder, sayd, by my holy orders, my Minion, wel sayd, I cunne you thanke. She hath talked well vnto you, my Lorde Beauieu, remember well the lesson that she hath geuen you. Here the Lord Beauieu beyng wholy moued with anger, said, I care neither for her schole, nor yours, for it would be long before a man should learne of either of you both, any honesty or honour: For if I should say that the most part of the Byshops and Priestes are abominable adulterers, blinde Idolaters, deceiuers, theeues, seducers, I should not speake agaynst the holy Churche, but agaynst a heape and flocke of wolues, dogges, and filthy swine, and in speakyng these things, I would thinke a man not to be madde at all, except he be madde for speakyng of the truth.

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Then the Archbyshop in a great fury aunswered, my Lord Beauieu, you speake very euill, and you must geue accoumpt when tyme and place serueth, of this your talke, whiche you haue here vttered agaynst the Churche men. I would, said the Lord Beauieu, that it were to do euen this present day, and I would binde my selfe to proue more abuses and naughtines in Piestes, then I haue yet spoken. Thē sayd the President Chassanee, my Lord Beauieu, let vs leaue of this talke and lyue as our fathers haue done, and mainteine their honour. Then sayd he in great anger, I am no Priestes sonne to mainteyne their wickednes and abuse. And afterward he said, I am well content to honour all true pastours of the Churche, and will not blame them whiche shewe good example in their doctrine and lyuyng: but I demaūde of you my Lord of Arles, and you my Lord of Aix, when as our Lord Iesu Christ called the Priestes deceiuyng hypocrites, blind seducers, robbers and theeues, did he them any outrage or wrong? and they aūswered no, for the most part of thē were such men. MarginaliaThe popes churchmen worse then the olde Pharisies.Then sayd the Lord Beauieu, euen so is it with the Bishops and Priestes which I haue spoken of, for they are such kinde of men, or rather worse: and I so abhorre their filthy and abhominable lyfe, that I dare not speake the one halfe of that which I know, and therfore in speakyng the truth, to coole the bablyng of a harlot, I do them no iniury.

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Then Monsieur de Senas, an auncient Counceller, said, let vs leaue of this contentious talke, for we are here assembled and come together to make good chere. And afterwarde he sayd, Monsieur de Beauieu, for the loue and amitie which I beare vnto you, I wil aduertise you of iij. things, whiche if you will do, you shall finde great ease therein.

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The first is, that you neither by worde nor dede, ayde or assiste those which you heare to be Lutherans.

Secōdly, that you do not entermedle, openly to reproue Ladies and gentlewemen, for their pastime and pleasures.

Thirdly that you do neuer speake agaynst the lyfe and liuyng of Marginalia* Churche men bee they neuer so euill, must not be spoken agaynst.* Priestes, how wicked so euer it be, accordyng to this saying: Do not touche myne annoynted. Marginalia1. Par. 16.

To whō Monsieur Beauieu aūswered: as touchyng þe first point, I know no Lutherans, neither what is ment by this word Lutheranisme, except you do call thē Lutherans, which professe the doctrine of the Gospell. Neither yet will I euer alow any Arrest whiche shall be geuen out to death against mē whose cause hath not bene heard, especially, against wemen and yong infantes: and I am assured that there is no Court of Parlament in all Fraunce, which will approue or alowe any such Arrest. And whereas you say that I should not medle, to reproue Ladyes or gentlewemen, if I knewe any kinsewomā of mine, whiche would abandone her selfe vnto a Priest or Clerke, yea albeit, hee were a Cardinall or Byshop, MarginaliaHow priestes harlots should be handled.I would not do her somuch honour, as to rebuke her therfore, but at þe least I would cut of her nose. And as touchyng Priestes, as I am contented not to medell with

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