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1123 [1123]

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

gaynst them. The Byshop spake vnto him in his eare, and would not aunswere aloude. This talke in the eare continued almost halfe an houre, that the Commissioner and all other that stode thereby, were weary therof. In the end, the Commissioner sayd vnto them, that the Byshop of Cauaillon had told him, that it was not nedefull to make it apparaunt by information, for such was the common reporte. Hereunto they aunswered: that they required the causes and reasons alleaged by the Bishop of Cauaillon, agaynst them, should be put in writing. The Byshop was earnest to the contrary, and would haue nothyng that either he said or alledged, to be put in writyng. MarginaliaThey that do the workes of darcknes, hate the light.Then Iohn Bruneroll required the Commissioner, that at þe least, he would put in writing, that the Byshop would speake nothing against them, that they could vnderstand, and that he would not speake before the Commissioner but onely in his eare. The Byshop on the contrarie part, defended that he would not be named in proces. There was great disputation vpon this matter and continued long. Then the Commissioner asked the Merindoliās if they had the Articles of their cōfession, which they had presented to the hyghe Court of Parlament. Then they required that their confession might be read, and by the readyng therof they might vnderstand whether it were the doctrine, whiche they held, and the cōfession whiche they had presented, or no. MarginaliaThe confession of the Merindolians, exhibited and red.Then the confessiō was read publickly before thē, which they did allowe & acknowledged to be theirs. This done, the Cōmissioner asked the Doctour if he did finde in the sayd confession, any hereticall opinions, whereof he could make demonstration by þe word of God, either out of þe olde or the new Testament. Then spake the Doctour in Latine a good while. After he had made an ende, Andrew Maynard the Bailiefe desired the Commissioner, accordyng as hee had propounded, to make the errours and heresies that they were accused of, apparaūt vnto them by good informatiō, or at the least, to marke those Articles of their cōfession, MarginaliaWhat were the articles & doctrine of their cōfession, read Oldane, Lib. 16.which the Bishop and the Doctour pretended to be hereticall, requiryng him also to put in register, their refusall, aswell of the Byshop as of the Doctor, of whom the one spake in his eare, and the other in Latine, so that they of Merindoll could not vnderstand one woorde. Then the Commissioner promised them to put in writyng all that should make for their cause. And moreouer he sayd that it was not nedefull to call the rest of the Merindolians, if there were no more to bee sayd to them, then had ben sayd to those, whiche were already called. And this is the sūme of all þt was done at þe after noone.

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Many which came thether to heare these disputatiōs: supposyng that they should haue heard some goodly demonstrations, were greatly abashed to see the Byshop and the Doctour so confounded: which thyng afterward turned to the great benefite of many: for hereby they were moued to require copyes of the confession of their faith: by meanes wherof they were conuerted and embraced the truth, MarginaliaThree Doctors conuerted by the confession of the Merindolians.and namely iij. Doctours, who wēt about diuers tymes to diswade the Merindolians frō their faith: whose ministery God afterwardes vsed in the preaching of his Gospell. Of whom one was Doctour Combaudi Prior of S. Maximin, afterwardes a preacher in the Territorie of the Lordes of Berne. An other was Doctour Somati, who was also a preacher in the Bayliwicke of Tonon. The other was Doctour Heraudi, pastour and Minister in the Countie of Newcastle.

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After this, the inhabitauntes of Merindoll were in rest and quitenes for a space, in so much that euery man feared to go aboute to trouble them, seyng those whiche persecuted them, did receaue nothyng but shame and confusion: as it did manifestly appeare, MarginaliaThe sodeine death of a persecutor.not onely by the suddeyne death of the President Cassanee, but also many other of the chiefest Counsellers of the Parlamēt of Prouince, whose horrible ende terrified many, but specially þe straunge and fearefull example of that bloudy Tyranne Iohn de Roma, set out as a spectacle to all persecutours: wherof we haue spoken before.

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Thus the Lord 

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Here, Foxe refers to the arrival in post of Jehan Meynier, sieur d'Oppède in December 1543 as premier president of the Parlement of Aix-en-Provence. He held lands in the region between Cabrières d'Avignon and Mérindol and, as Foxe was only too keen to emphasise, had material interests (in addition to the fears of the apparently increasing dangers of heresy and division in the province). In addition, however (in a way that protestant accounts did not mention) he was concerned about rumours that the Vaudois were organizing themselves for self-defence, taking advantage of the natural strongholds I the Luberon. There were rumours that they intended to rebel and turn Provence into a canton after the Swiss fashion. Later in 1543, the Vaudois of Cabrières successded in fortifying their village, whilst those of Mérindol pillaged the abbey of Sinanque. The fears of a rebellion akin to the Great Peasants' War of 1524-6 in Germany were important in enabling Meynier to secure the letters-patent of 1 February 1545 by which the original arrêt of 18 November 1540 was to be enforced.

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repressing the rage of þe aduersaries for a tyme, stayed the violence & execution of that cruell sentence or Arrest giuen out by þe Parlament of Prouince, agaynst the Merindolians, MarginaliaMinerius a pestilent persecutor without all reason and measure. vntill Iohn Miniers, an excedyng bloudy tyranne, began a new persecution. This Miniers beyng Lord of Opede nere to Merindoll, first began to vexe þe poore Christians by pilling & poling, by oppression and extortion, gettyng frō thē what he could, to enlarge his Segnorie or Lordship, whiche before was very base. For this cause he put v. or vi. of his own tenaūts into a Cisterne vnder the grounde, and closyng it vp, MarginaliaVj. Martyrs of Oppede.there he kept them, till they dyed for hunger, pretendyng that they were Lutherans and Vandois, to haue theyr goodes and possessions. By this and such other practises, this wretch was aduaūced in short space, to great wealth and dignitie, and so at length became not onely the chief President of the hyghe Court of Parlament, MarginaliaMinerius made the kings Lieutenant of Prouince.but also the kynges Lieutenaunt generall in the coūtrey of Prouince, in the absence of the Lord Grignan, then beyng at the Councell of Wormes in Germanie. Now therefore seyng no oportunitie to bee lackyng to accomplishe his deuilish enterprise, he employed all his power, riches, and authoritie not onely to cōfirme and to reuiue that cruell Arrest giuen out before by the Court of Parlament: but also (as a right minister of Sathan) hee excedyngly encreased the crueltie therof, whiche was already so great, that it semed there could nothyng more be added thereunto. MarginaliaFalse accusations and crimes forged vpon the innocēt christians.And to bryng this mischief to passe, he forged a most impudent lye, giuing the kyng to vnderstande that they of Merindoll and all the countrey neare about, to the number of xij. or xv. thousand, were in the fielde in armour with theyr ensigne displayed, entendyng to take the towne of Marseille, and make it one of the Cantons of the Suitzers: MarginaliaThe abused wicked counsAnd to stay this enterprise, he sayd it was necessary to execute the Arrest manu militari, and by this meanes he obteined the kynges letters patentes, through the helpe of þe Cardinall of Tournon, commaundyng the sentence to bee executed agaynst the Merindolians, notwithstandyng that the kyng had before reuoked the sayd sentence and giuen strait commaundement that it should in no wise be executed, as before is mencioned.

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After this he gathered all the kynges armey 

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The execution of the letters patent of 1 February 1545 were delayed until April 1545 to allow the military forces under Antoine Escalin des Aimars, baron de la Garde ( known as 'Poulin de la Garde') to be mustered. From 18 April 1545 the army moved along the southern edge of the Luberon ['Libron']. Mérindol and Cabrières were among the last to be devastated. La Motte, Lourmarin ('Lormarin'), Villelaure, Saint-Martin de Castillon and other villages were caught up in the operation. Its savagery became widely noted through Europe: 'Crudelitas plusquam Scythica' comments the marginal gloss in Pantaleon's account (fol. 144), which Foxe follows closely in his narrative. For details of the military operation, see P. Gaffarel, 'Les massacres de Cabrires et de Mérindol en 1545' Revue Historique 101 (1911), 241-64.

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, whiche was then in Prouince ready to go agaynst the English men, and tooke vp all besides, that were hable to beare armour, in the chiefest townes of Prouince, and ioyned them with the armey whiche the Popes Legate had leuied for that purpose, in Auinion and all the countrey of Venisse, and employed the same to the destruction of Merindoll, Cabriers and other townes and villages, to the number of xxij. geuyng commission to his souldiers to spoyle, ransackt, burne, & to destroy altogether, and to kill man, woman and child, without all mercy, sparyng none: no otherwise thē the infidels and cruell Turkes haue dealt with the Christians, as before in the storye of the Turkes, you may reade. MarginaliaVid. pag. 874.For as the Papistes and Turkes are like in their religion, so are the sayd Papistes like, or rather excede them, in all kyndes of crueltie that can be deuised. MarginaliaViij. townes with the most part of the people destroyed for true religion.But this Archtyranne, before he came to Merindol, ransackt & burnt certeine townes, namely La Roche, Saint Steuens, Villelaure, Lormarin, La Motte, Cabrierettes, Saint Martin, Pipin, and other places moe, notwithstāding that the Arrest extended but onely to Merindoll. Where þe most of the poore inhabitantes were slayne and murdered without any resistance: MarginaliaHorrible crueltie vpon wemen and younge infantes.wemē and maydens rauished: wemen with child and litle infantes borne and to be borne, were also most cruelly murthered: the pappes of many wemen cut of, whiche gaue sucke to their children, which looking for sucke at their mothers brest beyng dead before, dyed also for hunger. There was neuer such crueltie and tyranny seene before.

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The Merindolians seing all on a flaming fire round about thē, left their houses & fled into þe woodes, & remained that night at the village Sanfales & therabouts, in wonderfull feare and perplexitie: for the Byshop of Cauaillon, deputie to the Byshop of Romes Legate, had appointed certeine Captaines to go and slay them. The next day they went a litle further, hydyng them selues in woodes, for there was daunger on euery side, and Miniers had cōmaūded vnder payne of death, that no man should ayde them by any meanes, but that they should bee slayne without pitie or mercie, wheresoeuer they were found. The same proclamatiō was of force also, in the Byshop of Romes dominions therby: and it was sayd that the Byshops of that coūtrey did finde a great part of the armey. Wherfore they went a tedious and a paynefull iorney carying their children vpō their shoulders, and in their armes, and in their swadlyng clothes, and many of thē also beyng great with child, were constrayned so to do. And when they were come to the place appoynted, thether was already resorted a great number whiche had lost their goodes, and saued them selues by flight.

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Not long after, it was shewed them how that Miniers was commyng with all his power, to giue the

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