Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
1127 [1127]

K. Hen. 8. Persecutiō against the Valley of Angrongne, Luserne, S. Martin, & Perouse.

of late more cruelly thē euer he did before, as manifestly appeareth by the bloudy and horrible persecutions which haue bene, not only in Prouince, against those of Merindoll & Cabriers: also agaynst thē of Prage and Calabria (as the histories afore written do sufficiently declare) MarginaliaVid. sup. pag. 764. 1073.but also agaynst thē in the countrey of Piedmont, remainyng in the valley of Angrongne, and of Lucerne, & also in the Valley of S. Martin, and Perouse, in the sayd countrey of Piedmont. Whiche people of a long tyme, were persecuted by the Papistes, and especially within these fewe yeares, they haue bene vexed in such sorte and so diuersly, that it semeth almost incredible: and yet hath God alwayes miraculously deliuered them, as hereafter shall ensue.

[Back to Top]

Albeit the people of Angrongne 

Commentary  *  Close

Although there had been earlier phases of persecution of the Vaudois of the Hautes-Alpes, notably in the period from 1536-8, the period up to 1555 is more notable for the degree to which the communities had been left to their own devices. No doubt it suited the purpose of a Genevan-based account of these events to begin the story in 1555, since that was the date when a more determined Genevan missionary effort in the valleys began. That was the year when Jean Calvin's supporters finally routed their opponents in the Genevan polity, and the young Genevan church felt strong enough to look outwards. Jean Vernou, originally from Poitiers and an associate of Calvin's journeyed there with a further minister in late 1554 or early 1555, preaching first at Balboutet and then at Fenestrelle, one of the leading Vaudois communities of the middle Angrogna. They went on to the village of Angrogna and established two 'temples' there (E. Cameron, The Reformation of the Heretics: the Waldenses of the Alps, 1480-1580 (Oxford: O.U.P., 1984), pp. 157-8 and refs). The story about 'Iohn Martin' (in reality 'Jean-Martin Trombaut') comes directly from Foxe's main narrative source (see Crespin/Benoit, 3, p. 116).

[Back to Top]
had before this time, certaine to preache the worde of God and minister the Sacramentes vnto them priuatlye: yet in the yeare of our Lorde. 1555. in the begynnyng of the moneth of August, the gospel was openly preached in Angrongne. The ministers and the people entended at the first, to kepe them selues still, as secret as they might: but there was such concourse of people from all parties, that they were compelled to preach opēly abroad. For this cause they built them a Churche in the myddes of Angrongne, where assembles were made, and sermons preached. MarginaliaThe iust hand of God vpon Iohn Martin, a persecutor.It happened about that tyme, that one Iohn Martin of Briqueras, a myle from Angrongne, which vaunted euery where, that hee would slitte the Ministers nose of Angrongne, was assaulted by a wolfe, whiche bitte of his nose, so that he dyed therof madde. This was commōlye knowen to all the townes therabout.

[Back to Top]

At this ceason the Frenche kyng helde these foresayd valleyes, & they were vnder the iurisdictiō of þe Parlament of Thurin. In the ende of December folowyng, 

Commentary  *  Close

The Parlement in Turin issued an arrét in December 1555 ordering the imprisonment of those in the Angrogna valley who had received 'ministers coming from Geneva'. Then, on 22 December 1555 two magistrates (Agostino della Chiesa and Bartolomeo di Termes; the latter was replaced by Bartolomeo Emé, seigneur de St Julien - the 'President of S. Iulian' of Foxe's account) were despatched to conduct inquiries on heretic activities there. Foxe also follows his principal source in referring to the martyrdom of 'Barthelmew' the book-binder, not realising that he had, in fact, already included 'Barthélemy Hector', the individual in question, elsewhere in his table of French martyrs (p. 916 of the 1583 edition).

[Back to Top]
newes was brought, that it was ordeined by the sayd Parlament, that certein horsemen and footemē should bee sent to spoyle and destroye Angrongne. Whereupon some whiche pretended great frendship to this people, counselled them not to go forwarde with their enterprise: but to forbeare for a while, and to wayt for better oportunitie. But they notwithstanding, callyng vpon God, determined with one accorde, constantly to persiste in their religion, and in hope and silence, to abyde the good pleasure of God: so that this enterprise agaynst Angrongne, was soone dashed. The same tyme they began also openly to preach in Luserne.

[Back to Top]

In the moneth of March. an. 1556. the Ministers of the valley of S. Martin, preached openly. MarginaliaBarthelmew, a bookebynder, Martyr.At that tyme certeine gentlemen of the valley of S. Martin, tooke a good man, named Barthelmew, a bookebynder, prisoner, as hee passed by the sayd valley, the whiche was sent by and by, to Thurin, and there with a maruelous constancie, after he had made a good confession of hys fayth, he suffered death: in somuch that diuers of the Parlament were astonished and appalled at hys constancie. MarginaliaThe President of S. Iulian and other, sent to the Angrongnians.Yet they of the sayd Parlament, being sore incensed agaynst the Vandois, sent one named the President of S. Iulian, associating vnto hym, one called de Ecclesia, and others, for to hinder their enterprise. These comming fyrst to the Valley of Perouse, where as yet no preachers were, but they were accustomed to resort to the Sermons at Angrongne, very much troubled and feared the poore people there.

[Back to Top]

From thence they went to the Valley of S. Martin, 

Commentary  *  Close

The commissioners Agostino della Chiesa and Bartolomeo Emé, seigneur de St-Julien arrived in the Piedmontese valleys in March 1556. They issued orders to the communities they visited to conform to catholic rites and follow the traditional church. The Vaudois replied with a confession of faith, which Foxe replicates in accordance with his source. The confession reflects the clearly growing Genevan influence in the valleys.

[Back to Top]
and remayned there a good while, tormenting the poore people, and threatning their vtter ruine and destruction. After that, they came to Luserne, troubling and vexing the people there, in like manner. From thence they went to Angrongne, accompanied with many gentlemen, and a great rable of priestes, of the sayd countrey: but by the waye, the President enquired for one dwelling at S. Iohns, neare to Angrongne, and examined hym whether he had not baptised hys childe at Angrongne, & wherfore he had so done. The poore simple man aunswered, that he had baptised his child at Angrongne, because baptisme was there ministred according to the institution of Christ. Then the President in a great rage, commaunded him in the kinges name, to baptise hys childe againe, MarginaliaNote here how the Papistes play the Anabaptistes.or ells hee should be burnt. The poore man desired the President that he myght be suffered to make hys prayer to God, before he should make aūswere therunto. MarginaliaExample of good prayer.Which, after he had done in the hall before all the cōpany there present: he required the President that he would write and signe the same with his owne hand, that hee would disharge him before God of the daūger of that offence, if he should Baptise his child againe, and that he would take the perill vpon him and hys. MarginaliaThe President confounded at the poore mans aunswereThe President hearyng this, was so confounded, that hee spake not one worde a good while after. Then sayd hee in a great fury, away thou vilane, out of my sight: and after that he was neuer called agayne any more.

[Back to Top]

After they were come to Angrongne, the Presidēt hauyng visited the ij. temples, caused a Monke to preach in þe one, the people being there assēbled, who pretēded nothing els, but only to exhort thē to returne to the obedience of þe Sea of Rome. The Mōke with þe Presidēt & al his retinue, kneeled down twise, & called vpō the virgin Mary: MarginaliaThe people woulde not kneele to pray to our Ladie.but þe ministers & all þe people stode still, & would not knele, makyng no signe or token of reuerence. As sone as the Monke had ended his Sermon, the people requested instantly, that their Minister might also be suffered to preach, affirmyng that the said Monke had spoken many thynges, whiche were not accordyng to the worde of God. But the President would not graunt their request. MarginaliaThe people of Angrongue, threatned with destruction.After that, the sayd President admonished them in the name of the king, & the Parlament of Thurin, that they should returne to the obediēce of the Pope, vpon payne of losse of goods and life, and vtter destructiō of their towne: and withall he recited vnto thē, the pitious disconfiture of theyr brethren and frendes, whiche had bene done before, in Merindol and Cabriers, and other places in the countrey of Prouince. The Ministers and the people aunswered þt they were determined to liue accordyng to the word of God, & that they would obey the kyng and all theyr superiours in all thynges, so that God were not therby displeased: MarginaliaThe Angrongnians desired to be tryed by the worde of God.And furthermore, if it were shewed vnto them by the word of God, that they erred in any point of religion, they were ready to receaue correction, and to be reformed. This talke endured about vi. houres together, euen vntill night. In the end, the President sayd there should be a disputation appointed for those matters. Wherunto the people gladly agreed. But after that there was no more mention made therof.

[Back to Top]

Here he remained xiiij. dayes, dayly practising new deuises, to vexe and tormente them, with new proclamations, now calling to him the Syndiques MarginaliaThese Syndiques were as Shrieues, Councellers, or Aduocates.and head officers, now seuerally and now altogether, that so for feare he might make them to relent: causing also assembles to be made in euery parish, by such as he appointed, thinkyng thereby to diuide the people. Notwithstandyng he nothyng preuailed with all that he could do: but still they continued constante: In so much that they with one accorde, presented a brief confession of their faith with an aunswere to certeine interrogatories made by the Presidēt, in the which they confessed:

[Back to Top]

MarginaliaThe articles and confession of the Angrongniās exhibited to the President.That the religion wherein both they and their Elders had bene longe instructed and brought vp, was the same, which is conteined both in the olde and the new Testament, the whiche is also briefly comprised in the xij. Articles of the Christian belief.

[Back to Top]

Also that they acknowledged the Sacramentes instituted by Christ, wherby he distributeth aboundantly his graces and great benefites, his heauenly riches and treasures, to all those which receiue the same, with a true and a liuely fayth.

Furthermore, þt they receaued the Credes of the iiij generall Councels, that is to say, of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus and Calcedon, and also the Crede of Athanasius, wherin the mystery of the Christian fayth and religion is playnly and largely set out.

Item, the x. Commaundemētes expressed in the 20. chap. of Exodus, & in the 5. of Deut. in the which the rule of a godly and holy life, and also the true seruice which God requireth of vs, is briefly comprised: and therefore folowyng this Article, they suffered not by any meanes (sayd they) any grosse iniquities to reigne among them, as vnlawfull swearyng, periurie, blasphemie, cursing, sclaunderyng, dissension, deceit, wrong dealyng, vsury, gluttony, drunkennes, whoredome, theft, murther, sorcery, witchcraft, or such lyke: but wholy endeuoured them selues to lyue in the feare of God, and accordyng to his holy will.

[Back to Top]

Moreouer, they acknowledged the superiour powers, as Princes and Magistrates, to bee ordeyned of God, and that who soeuer resisteth the same, resisteth the ordinaunce of God: and therfore humbly submitted them selues to theyr superiours, withal obedience, so that they commaunded nothyng agaynst God.

Fianl-
Go To Modern Page No:  
Click on this link to switch between the Modern pagination for this edition and Foxe's original pagination when searching for a page number. Note that the pagination displayed in the transcription is the modern pagination with Foxe's original pagination in square brackets.
Find:
Type a keyword and then restrict it to a particular edition using the dropdown menu. You can search for single words or phrases. When searching for single words, the search engine automatically imposes a wildcard at the end of the keyword in order to retrieve both whole and part words. For example, a search for "queen" will retrieve "queen", "queene" and "queenes" etc.
in:  
Humanities Research Institute  *  HRI Online  *  Feedback
Version 2.0 © 2011 The University of Sheffield