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1129 [1129]

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

swered, that they could not, nor ought not to obey such a commaundement.

MarginaliaProclamation made at Angrongne.A litle while after, proclamation was made in euery place, that no man should receiue any preacher comming from Geneua, but such onely as were appointed by the Archbyshop of Thurin, and other his officers, vpō payne of confiscatiō of their goodes and losse of their lyues, and that euery one should obserue the ceremonies, rites, & religion vsed in the Churche of Rome. Furthermore, if any of the foresayd preachers of Geneua, came into those quarters, that they should immediatly be apprehended, & by no meanes their abode there by any one to be concealed vpō the payne aforesayd: and furthermore, the names of those which should disclose any one of them should be kepte secret, and also for their accusation, they shoulde haue the third part of the goodes confiscated, with a full pardon, if that the sayd accusers were any of those, which priuely did kepe or mainteine the sayd Ministers: & that they and all other, which would returne to their mother the Churche, might frely and safely come and recant before the sayd Commissioners.

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At the same season, the Princes of Germany, 

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Geneva's response to the request from the Vaudois was to solicit further support from other protestant Swiss cantons and elsewhere. Guillaume Farel and Théodore de Bèze made the case before the senate of Berne on 23 April 1557. Berne sent an embassy to Zürich, which resulted in a diet between Berne, Zürich, Basel and Schaffhausen on 10 May which resulted in a conjoint Swiss embassy to the French king to request clemency towards the Vaudois. Meanwhile Farel and Bèze also went on to Strasbourg and secured the support of the duke of Württemberg and the Elector Palatine, who sent their own separate embassy. Henri II met both sets of ambassadors but gave them ambiguous responses. See A. Hollaender, 'Eine Schweizer Gesdantschaftsreise an den Französischen Hof im Jahre 1557', Historische Zeitschrift 33 (1892), 385-410; A. Pascal, 'Le Ambasciere dei cantoni e dei principi protestanti di Svizzera e Germania al Re di Francia in favore dei Valdesi durante il periodo della dominazione francese in Piemonte (1535-1559): contributi ad une storia diplomatica dei Valdesi di Piemonte', Bolletino storico-bibliografico subalpino 18 (1913), pp. 80-119; 316-36; and especially 19 (1914), 26-38. The 'minister of Angrongne named Geffrey Varialla' is Geoffroy Varagle, or Geofredo Varaglio, whom Foxe had already listed in his table of French martyrs.

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and certeine of the Suitzers sent vnto the Frenche kyng, desiryng him to haue pitie on the foresayd Churches, and frō that tyme vntill three yeares after, the people of the foresayd Valleys, were not molested by any of þe kinges officers: but yet they were sore vexed by the Monkes of Pigneroll, and the gentlemen of the valley of S. Martin.

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MarginaliaGeffray Varialla Martyr.About that time, a minister of Angrongne named Geffray Varialla, borne id Piemont, a vertuous and learned man, and fearing God, went to visite certeine Churches in those quarters where he was borne, and commyng homeward, was taken at Berge, and from thence lead to Thurin, where he, after he had made a good confession of his faith, to the confirmation of many, and the terrour of the aduersaries, most constantly suffred.

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A few dayes after, a Minister of the Valley of Luserne, returnyng to Geneua, was takē prisoner at Suse, & soone after, sent to Thurin, and with an inuincible constancie, made his confession before those of the Parlament, and in the end was condemned to be burnt. MarginaliaA notable example of a good hangmā.The hangmā, at the tyme of execution, fayned him selfe to be sicke, and so conueyed him selfe away. And so likewise an other serued them, beyng appointed by the foresayd Court, to execute the poore Minister. It is credibly reported that the hangman, whiche executed certeine Germaines a litle afore, would by no meanes do this execution. Wherupon the Minister was sent to prison agayne, where after lōg and paynefull endurance, seyng the prison doore open, he escaped and returned to his cure.

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Nowe, iiij. yeares beyng past, 

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The peace of Cateau-Cambrésis of 3 April 1559 restored Piedmont to the dukes of Savoy and removed the Parlement of Turin and the other instruments of French overlordship on almost all the eastern flanks of the Alps. The campaign to eliminate the Vaudois in Piedmont that began the following year may well have resulted from the clause in that peace treaty whereby the signatories bound one another to purge their own lands of heresy. Although Savoyard historiography tends to attribute the war to the personal religious zeal of Duke Emanuele Filiberto (1528-1580) it no doubt had its motives in reasons of state, connected to a reestablishment of ducal authority in the Piedmont valleys.

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in such maner as we haue hetherto touched in this story: in the yeare folowyng, whiche was. 1559. there was a peace concluded betwene the Frenche kyng, and the kyng of Spayne. Whereupon, the countrey of Piemont (certein townes excepted) was restored to the Duke of Sauoye: vnder whose regiment, the foresaid Churches, and all other faithfull people in Piemont, cōtinued in great quietnes, and were not molested: and the Duke him selfe was content to suffer them to liue in their religion, knowyng that hee had no subiectes more faithfull and obedient then they were. But Sathan hating all quietnes, by his Ministers stirred the Duke agaynst the sayd Churches of Piemont, his owne naturall subiectes. MarginaliaThe pope styrreth vp the Duke of Sauoye agaynst the Angronians.For the Pope and the Cardinals, seyng the good inclination of the Duke towardes this people, incensed him to do that, whiche otherwise he would not. The Popes Legate also, which then folowed the Court, and other that fauoured the Church of Rome, laboured by all meanes, to persuade the Duke that hee ought to banish the sayd Waldois, which mainteined not the Popes religion: alledging þt he could not suffer such a people to dwell within hys dominion, without preiudice and dishonor to the Apostolicke Sea. Also that they were a rebellious people agaynst the holy ordinaunces and decrees of their holy mother the Churche: and briefly that hee might no longer suffer the sayd people, beyng so disobedient and stubburne agaynst the holy father, if hee would in dede, shew him selfe a louing and obedient sonne.

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Such deuilishe instigations 

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The first phase of the Piedmontese persecution opened with the promulgation of the edict of Nice on 15 February 1560, which prevented on pain of a fine and dispatch to the galleys, the hearing of 'Lutheran' preaching in the Luserna and other valleys. Foxe followed his source faithfully in this account of the opening conflict, mentioning the early victims, Mathurin, his wife, and Iehan (also known as 'Joanni delle Spinelle'), all from Carignan in the Luserna valley. The communities affected included Larche, Suse, Meane (near Cherasco) and Merano. Those leading the campaign against them included the Inquisitor General, Tomasso Jacomelli ('Thomas Iacomel') and M. Corbis (a 'Collatéral' or 'junior magistrate'). Charles des Comptes, signor d'Angrogna and governor of Mondovi acted as a mediator for the threatened communities.

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were the cause of these horrible and furious persecutiōs, wherewith this poore people of the Valleys and the countrey of Piemont, was so long vexed. And because they foresawe the great calamities, whiche they were like to suffer: to finde some remedy for the same (if it were possible:) all þe said churches of Piemont, with one common cōsent, wrote to the Duke, declaryng in effect, that the onely cause why they were so hated, and for the whiche hee was by their enemyes, so sore incensed agaynst them, was their religion: whiche was no new or light opinion, but that wherin they and their Anciters had long continued, being wholy grounded vpon the infallible worde of God, conteined in the old and new Testament. Notwithstandyng if it might be proued by the same worde, that they helde any false or erroneous doctrine, they would submit them selues to be reformed, with all obedience. But it is not certeine whether this aduertisement was deliuered vnto the Duke or no: for it was sayd that hee would not heare of that religion. But how so euer it was, in the moneth of March folowyng, there was great persecution raised agaynst the poore Christians, whiche were at Carignan. MarginaliaMathurin & his wife, Iohn de Carquignan, Martyrs.Amongest whom there were certeine godly persons taken, and burnt within iiij. dayes after: that is to say, one named Mathurin and his wife, and Iohn de Carquignan dwellyng in the Valley of Lucerne, taken prisoner as hee went to the market at Pigneroll. The woman dyed with great constancie. The good man Iohn de Carquignan, had ben in prison diuers tymes before for religion, and was alwayes deliuered by Gods singular grace and prouidence. But seyng him selfe taken this last time, incontinent he sayd, hee knew that God had nowe called hym. Both by the way as he wēt, and in prison, and also at his death, he shewed an inuincible cōstancie, and maruelous vertue, aswell by the pure cōfession, whiche he made touching the doctrine of saluation, as also in sufferyng with patience, the horrible tormentes whiche he endured both in prison, & also at his death. Many at that time, fled away: others beyng afrayed of that great crueltie, and fearyng also man more then God: lookyng rather to the earth then vnto heauen, consented to returne to the obedience of the Churche of Rome.

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MarginaliaPersecution beginneth in the Valleys.Within fewe dayes after, these Churches of the sayd Waldois, that is to say, Le Larch, Meronne, Meane, & Suse were wonderfully assaulted. To recite all the outrage, crueltie and vilanye, that was there cōmitted, it were to long: for breuities sake we will recite onely certein of the principall and best knowen. The Churches of Meane and Suse suffred great afflictions. Their Minister was taken amongst other. Many fled away, and their houses and goodes were ransackt and spoyled. MarginaliaThe Minister of Meane, Martyr.The Minister was a good and a faithfull seruaunt of God, and endued with excellent giftes and graces: who in the ende was put to most shamefull and cruell death. The great pacience whiche he shewed in the myddes of the fire, greatly astonished the aduersaries. Likewise the Churches of Larche and Meronne, were maruelously tormēted and afflicted. For some were takē and sent to the Galleys: other some cōsented and yelded to the aduersaries: and a great numbre of them fled away. MarginaliaGods secret iudgements vpō them that shrinke frō hys truth.It is certeinly knowen, that those whiche yelded to the aduersaries, were more cruelly handled then the others whiche continued constant in the truth. Whereby God declareth how greatly he detesteth all such as play the Apostataes, and shrinke from the truth.

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But for the better vnderstandyng of the beginnyng of this horrible persecution agaynst the Waldoys, here note that first of all, proclamations were made in euery place that none should resort to the sermons of the Lutherans, but should lyue after the custome of the Church of Rome, vpon payne of forfaiture of their goods, & to be condemned to the Galleys for euer, or lose their liues. Three of the most cruell persons þt could be founde, were appointed to execute this commission. MarginaliaCruell persecutors.The first was one Thomas Iacomell, a Monke and Inquisitour of the Romishe faith: a man worthy for such an office, MarginaliaThomas Iacomell a cruell Apostate.for he was an Apostata, and had renounced the knowen truth: and persecuted mortally & maliciously, the poore Christians, agaynst his own conscience, and of set purpose, as his bookes do sufficiently witnes. He was also a whoremonger & giuen ouer to all other vilanies and filthy liuyng: and in the horrible sinne of Sodomittie, whiche he commonly vsed, he passed all his felowes. Briefly hee was nothyng els but a mishapen monster both agaynst God and nature. Moreouer he so afflicted and tormented the poore captiues of the sayd Waldoys, by spoylyng, robberie, and extortion, that he deserued not onely to be hanged, but to be broken vpon the wheele a hundreth tymes, and to suffer so many cruell deathes, if it were possible: so great, so many and so horrible were the crimes that he had committed. The second was the Collaterall Corbis,

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