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1130 [1130]

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

MarginaliaThe rigorous handling of the Waldoys.who in the examination of the prisoners was very rigorous and cruell, for he onely demaūded of them whether they would go to the Masse, or bee burnt within three dayes, and in very dede executed his sayinges. MarginaliaMartyrs.But it is certeinly reported, that he seyng the constancy, and hearyng the confession of the poore Martyrs, felyng a remorse & tormented in conscience, protested that he would neuer medle any more. The third was the prouost De la Iustice, a cruell and craftie wretch, accustomed to apprehend the poore Christiās either by night, or earely in the mornyng, or in the hygh way goyng to the market, and was commonly lodged in the valled of Luserne, or there aboutes. Thus the poore people were alwayes, as the sely shepe in the wolues Iawes, or as the shepe whiche are led vnto the slaughter house.

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At that season, one named Charles de Comptes, of the valley of Luserne, and one of the Lordes of Angrongne, wrote to the sayd Commissioners, to vse some lenitie towardes them of the valley of Luserne. By reason wherof they were a while, more gently intreated then the rest. MarginaliaThe cruell Monks of Pigneroll.At that season, þe Monkes of Pigneroll, & their associates, tormēted greuously þe Churches nere about thē. They tooke þe poore Christians as they passed by the way, & kept thē prisoners within their Abbey. And hauing assēbled a cōpany of ruffians, they sent them to spoyle those of the said Churches, and to take prisoners, men wemen, and children: MarginaliaMartyrs.and some they so tormented, that they were compelled to sweare, to returne to the Masse, other some also they sent to the Galleys, & other some they burnt cruelly. They whiche escaped, were afterwardes so sicke, that they semed to haue bene poysoned. The same yeare, there were ij. great earthquakes in Piemont, & also many great tempestes and horrible thunders.

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The Gentlemen of the valley of S. Martin, 

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The campaigns against the Vaudois protestants in Piedmont were dominated by skirmishes with local landlords, especially the Truchietti ('Truchet') of the Val Germanesca, Carlo and Bonifacio Truchietti, overlords of Le Perrier, a community in the valley.

intreated their tenauntes very cruelly, threatnyng them, and commaundyng them to returne vnto the Masse: also spoylyng them of their goods, imprisonyng them, and vexing them by all the meanes they could. MarginaliaCharles Truchet, and Boniface hys brother, two cruell persecuters.But aboue all the other, two especially, that is to say, Charles Truchet and Boniface his brother, the which, the second day of Aprill before day, with a company of Ruffians, spoyled a village of their owne subiectes, named Renclaret, the which as soone as the inhabitauntes of the sayd village perceyued, they fled into the mountaine couered with snow, naked and without vitaile, & there remained vntil þe third night after. MarginaliaA Minister of Calabria burnt.In the mornyng, certeine of hys retinue tooke a Minister of the sayd valley, prisoner, which was come out of Calabria, and was goyng to visite the poore people of Renclaret, and led him prisoner to the Abbey, where soone after, he was burnt, with one other of the valley of S. Martin.

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MarginaliaGods people rescued.The third night after, they of Pragela hauing pitie vpō þe poore people of Renclaret, sent about iiij. hūdred to discomfite the company of the Truchets, and to restore those whiche were fled, to their houses. They were furiously assaulted by the shot of these enemyes, who notwithstanding, in the end, were put to flight, and but one of the iiij. hundred hurt.

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About a yere before, þe sayd Truchet beyng accōpanyed with a company of Ruffians arrested prisoner the Minister of Renclaret, as he was at his Sermon. But the people was so moued by this outragious dealyng, & specially the wemē, that they had almost strangled þe sayd Truchet, and the rest of them were so canuased, that they had no list to come there agayne any more. By reason wherof, he so vexed them by processe, that they were cōpelled to agree with him, and to pay him xvi. hūdred crownes.

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MarginaliaA Minister of the Valley of Renclaret, taken, and wounded.Soone after, the Lordes of the said valley, tooke an other Minister of the same valley, as hee was goyng to to preach in a parish, a myle from his house: but the people perceiuing that, spedely pursued him & toke him. The enemies seing that they were not able to lead him away, wounded him so sore, that they left him for dead. Whereupon they so persecuted the poore people, that they were almost destroyed.

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Here is not to be forgotten, that the same night, in the whiche the company of Truchet, was discomfited, was so stormy and terrible, and the Gentlemen of that countrey were so terrified, þt they thought they should haue ben all destroyed. Wherfore they vsed more gentlenes towardes the people then before, except Charles Truchet, & hys brother, the which went to the Duke, and made greuous cōplaintes agaynst the Waldoys, not onely for that which was done & past, but also persuaded the Duke, that they went about to builde three Fortresses in the moūtaines, and also entended, to mainteyne certeine Garrisons of MarginaliaFalse cōplaintes brought to the Duke, against the Waldoys.straungers: chargyng them further with diuers other crimes, of the whiche they were in no poynt giltie. The Duke beyng moued by these false surmises, gaue in charge to þe said accusers, that the Fortresse of the valley of S. Martin, the which about xx. yeares before, was rased by the Frenche mē, should be built agayne, and that therin should be placed, a perpetuall Garrison, and that the people should make so plaine & wide, the rugged waies, that horsemen might easely passe, with diuers such other thinges: MarginaliaWhat euill reportes doe.and all this to be done, at the costes & charges of those, that would not submit them selues to the obedience of the Romane Church.

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This Commission beyng sealed, the Gentlemen caused the Fortresse, to be built agayne, & put therin a Garrison, and proclaimed the Commission. The poore people beyng therat amased, withstode the Commissioners, and sent certeine to the Duke: and immediatly after, the Commissioners returned to the Dukes Court, beyng at Nice, to inflame his anger more agaynst them. But God soone preuented this mischief: MarginaliaThe iuste iudgement of God vpon the Truchets, for so cruelly vexing, spoyling, & accusing of these poore Waldoys.For the Truchetes, beyng at Nice, went to the Sea, with diuers noble mē, and immediatly they were taken prisoners, by the Turkes, put into the Galleys, sore beaten with ropes, and so cruellye handled, that it was commonlye reported that they were dead: and longe tyme after, denying their nobilitie, were sent home, hauing payed iiij. hundred crownes for their raunsome. Some say, that the Duke him selfe was almost taken, but it is sure, that hee fell sicke soone after.

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In the moneth of Aprill next folowyng, 

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Foxe continued to follow very closely his narrative source for the events in Piedmont, recounting here how, in April 1560, Philippe de Savoie, seigneur de Raconis, the cousin of the reigning duke of Savoy., Emanuele Philiberto, showed his sympathies for the Piedmontese valley communities. In June 1560, he was accompanied by Giorgio Coste, Conte della Trinità on a mission to Angrogna to try and negotiate an end to hostilities which threatened to descend into interminable skirmishes around local rivalries. As Foxe recounts, their efforts did not succeed.

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the Lord of Raconis was present at a Sermon, in a place nere vnto Angrone. The Sermon beyng ended, he talked with the Ministers, and hauyng discoursed, aswell of the Dukes sickenes, as also of his clemencie and gentlenes: he declared to them, that the persecution proceded not of hym, and that hee ment not, that the Commission should haue bene so rigourously executed. After that hee demaunded of them, what way they thought best, to appease the Dukes wrath. They aunswered, that the people ought not to be moued to seeke by any meanes, how to please and appease the Duke, whiche might displease God: But the best way they knew, was the same, wherewith the auncient seruauntes of God, vsed to appease the Pagane Princes and Emperours, in the tyme of the great persecutions of the Church: MarginaliaBy what meanes the Christians in times past, haue appeased the furye of Pagane princes.that is to say, to giue out & present vnto thē in writing, þe confession of their faith, & defence of þe religion which they professed: trustyng that, for as much as the furye of diuers prophane & ethnicke Emperors & Princes, hath bene heretofore appeased by such meanes, the Duke being endued with such singular vertues, as they sayd he was, would also bee pacified by the like meanes: And for that cause the poore people had before sent a supplication, with a confession of their faith, vnto the Duke, but they were not certeine whether hee had receiued it, or no. Wherefore they desired hym to present the same vnto the sayd Duke him selfe. Wherunto he agreed and promised so to do. MarginaliaThe Angronians send forth three supplications.Whereupon they sent iij. supplications: one to the Duke, the seconde to the Duches, and the thyrd to the Dukes Coūsaile: Wherin they briefly declared what their religion was, and the points thereof, whiche they and their aunciters had, of a longe tyme, obserued, beyng wholy grounded vppon the pure worde of God: and if by the same word, it should be proued, that they were in errour, they would not bee obstinate, but gladly bee reformed and embrace the truth. After this, the persecution semed to bee somewhat assuaged for a litle while.

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In the end of Iune next folowyng, the Lord of Raconis, and the Lord of Trinitie came to Angrongne, there to qualifie (as they sayd) the sore persecution, and caused the chief Rulers and Ministers, to assemble together, propoundyng diuers pointes of religion concernyng doctrine, the callyng of Ministers, the Masse, & obedience towardes Princes and Rulers: MarginaliaThe confession of the Angronians sent to the Pope.and furthermore declared vnto them, that their cōfession was sent to Rome by the Duke, and dayly they looked for aunswere. To all these pointes the Ministers aunswered. MarginaliaDemaundes put to the Angronians.After this they demaunded of the chief Rulers, if that the Duke would cause Masse to bee song in their parishes, whether they would withstand the same, or no. They aunswered simply, that they would not. Thē they demaunded of them, if that the Duke would ap-appoynt them preachers, whether they would receyue them. They aunswered that if they preached the word of God purely, they would heare them. Thirdly if that they were content, that in the meane time, their Mini-

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