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1113 [1113]

K. Henry. 8. A Table of the Jtalian Martyrs.

PersecutersMartyrsThe Causes.

At Cala-
bria.
an. 1560.

Symon Florillus preacher of
Gods woorde at the Citie Cla-
uenna, among the Rhetians, vn-
to a certeine frende of his named
Guliel. Gratalorus an Ita-
lian, and Doctor of Physicke, in
the Vniuersitie of Basill, which
Gratalorus translated the
same into the Latin tongue, and
it is to be found in the xi. booke
of Pantal. pag. 337. the English
wherof is this as foloweth.

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¶ The end of a certeine letter of maister Symon Florillus,
written in Italian, concerning a lamentable slaugh-
ter of 88. Christian Saintes, in the parties
of Calabria. 
Commentary  *  Close

At the end of the table of Italian martyrs, Foxe turns to a summary account of the gathering persecution of the Waldensian (Fr: Vaudois; It: Valdesi) communities on either side of the Alps. This enables him to create a powerful interlinked narrative, bringing together the targeted elimination of two Waldensian rural communities in Provence in 1545-6 with the parallel campaign in 1560-1 in Calabria. Foxe's objective was, at least in part, to demonstrate that there was an underlying pattern to these events and their chronology. They both involved the state-sponsored terror of innocent individuals and communities. This enabled him to ignore conveniently the difficult question as to whether those being persecuted in Calabria were (in the strict sense that Foxe understood it) protestants. It also enabled him to stretch the otherwise rather strict conventions about the proofs of the status of martyrdom, necessarily based upon individual proof-statements of faith, to encompass the possibility of group martyrdom. 'Divers that suffered in the kingdome of Naples' 'Lxxxviij Martyrs in one day, with one butcherlye knife, slayne like shepe' was a more spectacular kind of bloodshed that Foxe had documented hitherto in his narrative ([1570], p. 1073).

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The Waldensian presence in the kingdom of Naples had existed from the thirteenth of Montalto - San-Sisto, San-Vincenzo, Argentina, etc - were largely founded by them, encouraged by the local nobility. Girolamo Zanchi, a sixteenth-century contemporary in a position to know, spoke of their being around 4,000 Calbrian Waldensians, although some contemporaries put the estimate even higher. The progressive acceptance of reformed doctrines and ecclesiology from 1532 made them much more a subject of likely persecution. When the latter eventually started, it owed a good deal to support within the Neapolitan Hispanic state, working in collaboration with the nobility and senior clergy. The marquis Salvador Spinelli was signor of La Guardia and San-Sisto and it was his decision (at the instigation of his chaplain, Anania) to denounce his Waldensian inhabitants to Cardinal Ghislieri (later Pope Pius V) that was became crucial to the launching of the persecution in 1560, in which contemporaries estimate that around 2,000 individuals were executed. Foxe's estimates of the massacre were cautiously based on the evidence which he had to hand, and heavily under-estimated the extent of the loss of life. For further details, see Crespin/Benoit, 3, p. 34-64; Lombard; Galiffe; Amabile, vol 1, pp. 235-

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Further information about what happened in the persecution of the Waldensians of Calabria, and particularly about the continuing brutality and repression of the following year, 1561, which would be even more severe than that mentioned by Foxe in 1560, continued to emerge in the 1560s and 1570s. Crespin's later editors referred to Job Fincelius [Fincel], Traité des merveilles de notre temps which was well informed and graphic on the subject. André Hondorf, Calendarium historiarum oder der Heilige Märtyrer istorien (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1575) also contributed some further information by which protestant Europe could gradually piece together what had happened. By the time of the last edition to which he was able to contribute, Foxe had seemingly no further energies for pursuing the fate of martyrs whose Protestantism might, if investigated more closely, not have withstood the scrutiny.

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Foxe was very aware of the weakness of his sources for what were, even in 1570, comparatively recent developments in the horn of Italy, culminating in 1560. Once more Foxe relies exclusively on the treatment of the subject in Pantaleon, 11 (p. 337-339 - the end folios of this work being paginated rather than foliated), although there was more material theoretically available to him in Crespin's 1564 edition (Crespin [1564], p. 969 et seq;, further amplified in Crespin [1570], fol 544A et seq.). Crespin, in this instance, was particularly well informed because of the existence of the Italian church in Geneva and its growing links with the Waldensians in Piedmont and elsewhere in the Italian peninsula. Crespin graphically presents the persecution in Calabria through the eyes of those missionaries sent from Geneva as schoolmasters and preachers to minister to them. Because Foxe did not draw on this material, he therefore did not include the rich letters from prison of Giovanni Luigi Pasquale [Fr: Paschal/Pascal], firstly at Fuscaldo, and then at Cosenze and finally in Naples and Rome that Crespin had printed in his edition of 1564 (Crespin [1564], p. 969; Crespin [1570], fols 544). Instead, he concentrated on two pieces of evidence that had been furnished already by Pantaleon.

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MarginaliaNewes out of Italie. an. 1560.AS concernyng newes, I haue nothyng to write 
Commentary  *  Close

The first piece of evidence was an extract from a letter written by Simon Fiorello ('Simon Florellus'), an evangelical preacher at Chiavegna ('Citie Clauenna') to Guilelmus Gratalorus, an Italian professor of medicine at the University of Basel. Fiorello was a native of Caserte who had gained a doctorate in 1553. Taking up exile in Geneva for his protestant views, he became the first catéchiste of the Italian Genevan church in 1556 before becoming a minister at Chiavegna (or possibly Tirano). See J.-B. G. Galiffe, Le refuge italien de Genève aux XVI et XVIIe siècles (Geneva and Paris: H. Georg and G. Fischbacher, 1881), p. 162. Pantaleon had presumably had the letter from Gratalorus, his colleague in Basel, and printed the extract (fol. 337A). The letter mentions the publication of an account of the Calabrian repression in Rome and Venice. This was the pamphlet, written by the Genevan pastor from Naples, Scipio Lentulo, who was preaching in the Grisons and Vaudois valleys in 1559-60 and in active contact with protestant elements in the Italian peninsula at that time. For an edition of the pamphlet, see T. Gay (ed.), Scipio Lentolo. Historia delle grandi e crudeli persecutioni fatte ai tempi nostri (Torre Pellice, 1906).

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,
but onely, that I send you a copy of certaine letters
imprinted either at Rome, or at Venyce, concernyng
the Martyrdome or persecution in ij. seuerall townes
of Calabria, eight Italian myles frō þe borders of Cō-
sentia: 
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Consentia - Cosenza.

the one called Sainct Sixtus 
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Sainte Sixte - 'San-Sisto'

within ij. myles of
Montalte, vnder þe Segniorie of þe duke of Montalte: 
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'Montalte' - Montalto


the other called Guardia, situate vpon the sea coste,
and xij. myles frō Sainct Sixtus: the which ij. townes
are vtterly destroyed and viij. C. of the inhabitauntes
there (or as some write frō þe citie of Rome) no lesse thē
a full thousand. He that wrote þe letter, was seruant to
Ascanius Caracciolus. 
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'Ascanius Caracciolus' - Galeas Caracciolo, marquis de Vico, the pre-eminent figure and patron of the Italian church in Geneva.

The countrey & people there
I well knewe, to take the first Originall of their good
doctrine, and honest lyfe, from the Valdenses. For be-
fore my departure frō Geneua, at their request, I sent
thē ij. Scholemasters, & ij. preachers. The last yeare þe
ij. preachers were martyred: the one at Rome named
MarginaliaIoan. Aloisius Paschalis, Iames Bouell, preachers and Martyrs.Ioānes Aloisius Paschalis, a Citizen of Cunium: the
other at Messina named Iames Bouell both of Pied-
mont: This yeare the residue of that godly felowshyp
were martyred, in the same place. I trust this good seede
sowen in Italie, will bryng foorth good and plentyfull
fruite. Nowe followeth the Copye of the letters sent
from Montalte, a towne in Calabria 8. myles distant
from Consentia, bearyng date the xi. of Iune. 1560.
The writer of the which letters, as ye may perceaue,
was one of them which call them selues Catholickes,
and folowers of the Pope. The wordes of the letter be
these, as here vnder foloweth.

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¶ Here foloweth the Copye, of a letter sent from Mon-
talte in Calabria, by a Romaniste, to a certein frend
of his in Rome, conteinyng newes of the per-
secution of Christes people in Calabria,
by the new Pope Pius the fourth. 
Commentary  *  Close

The second piece of evidence is a copy and translation of a letter sent from Montalto to Rome containing news of the persecutions in Calabria. Like Pantaleon, where he found the source text, he did not know to whom it was addressed, or from whom it had come, but he followed him in dating it to 11 June 1560. In reality, the letter was from Acanio Caraccioli, the nephew of the marquis di Buccianico, signor di Montaltro (mentioned by Foxe in his text as 'Buccianus'), one of the agents of the viceroy of Naples, writing to the duke of Urbino. Pantaleon had mistranscribed the date (it was in fact a year later - 1561) and had been printed in Rome, where the progress of the repression in Naples was followed with intense interest by those close to the new pontiff, Pope Pius IV. The letter is reproduced in Giovanni Pietro Vieusseux (ed.), Archivio Storico Italiano vol 9 ('Narrazioni e documenti sulla storia del regno di Napoli dall'anno 1522 al 1667, raccolti e ordinati... da Francesco Palermo') (Florence, 1846), p. 193.

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MarginaliaHorible persecution in Calabria. an. 1560.HEtherto, most noble Lorde, haue I certified you,
what here dailye hath bene done about these here
tickes. Now cōmeth next, to signifie vnto your lordship,
the horrible iudgement begonne this present day, being
the xi. of Iune, to be executed very earlye in the morning
agaynst the Lutherans. Whiche when I thinke vpon, I
verely quake and tremble. And truly the maner of their
putting to death, was to be compared to the slaughter of
MarginaliaThe christians killed like calues.calues & shepe. For they all being thrust vp in one house
together as in a shepefold, the executioner commeth in,
and amongst thē taketh one and blindfeldeth him with a
muffler about his eyes, & so leadeth him forth to a larger
place nere adioynyng, where hee commaundeth hym to
kneele down: which being so done, he cutteth his throte,
and leauyng hym halfe dead, and takyng his butchers
knife and muffler all of gore bloud (whiche the Italians
call Benda) commeth agayne to the rest, and so leadyng
one after an other, he dispatcheth them all, whiche were
to the number of 88. Thys spectacle, to beholde howe
dolefull and horrible it was, I leaue to your Lordshyps
iudgemēt: for to write of it I me selfe, cannot but weepe.
Neither was any of the beholders there present, whiche

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PersecutersMartyrsThe Causes.

Marginalia88. Martyrs.seyng one to dye, could abyde to behold the death of an
other. But certes so humbly and paciently they went to
death, as is almost vncredible to beleue. Some of them
as they were in dying, affirmed that they beleued euen
as we do. Notwithstandyng the most part of them dyed
in the same their obstinate opinions. All the aged persōs
went to death more cherefully, the yonger were more ti-
morous. I tremble and shake euē to remember how the
executioner held his bloudy knife betwen his teeth, with
the bloudy muffler in his hand, and his armes al in gore
bloud, vp to þe elbowes, goyng to the fold & taking eue-
ry one of them, one after an other, by the hand, and so dis-
patching them all, no otherwise then doth a butcher kill
his calues and shepe.
It is moreouer appointed (and the cartes become all
ready) that all those so put to death, should be quartered
and so to bee conueyed in the cartes to the hethermost
partes of Calabria, where they shalbe hanged vpō poles
in the hyghe wayes, and other places, euen to the con-
fines of the same countrey. Vnlesse the Popes holynes
and the Lorde Vyceroy of Neaples shall gyue in com-
maundemēt to þe Lord Marques of Buccianus, gouerner
of the sayd prouince, to stay his hand, and go no further,
he will procede, with the racke & torture, examining all
other, and so encrease the number in such sorte, that hee
will nye dispatche them all.
This day it is also determined that an hundreth of the
more auncient women, should appeare to bee examined
and racked, and after to be put to death, that the mixture
may be perfecte, for so many men, so many wemen. And
thus haue you þt I cā say of this iustice. Now it is about
ij. of the clocke in the afternoone: Shortly we shall heare
what some of them sayd, when they went to execution.
There be certeine of them so obstinate, that they will not
looke vppon the crucifixe, nor bee confessed to the Priest,
and they shall be burned alyue.
The heretickes þt bee apprehended & condemned, are
to the number of. 1600. but as yet no more but these fore-
sayd lxxxviij. are already executed. This people haue
their originall of the valley named Angronia neare to Su-
baudia, & in Calabria, are called Vltramontani. In the king
dome of Neaples there are iiij. other places of the same
people, of whom, whether they liue well or no, as yet we
know not: For they are but simple people, ignorannt,
without learnyng, wodgatherers, and husbandmen: but
as I here, much deuout and religious, gyuing them sel-
ues to dye for religions sake. From Montealto, the xi. of
Iune. And thus much writeth this Romaniste.
¶ Here moreouer is to bee noted, that the foresayd
Marques Buccianus aboue specified, had a sonne or bro-
ther, vnto whom the sayd new Pope (Pius the fourth be-
lyke) is reported to haue promised a Cardinalshyp at
at Rome, if al the Lutherans were extirped and rooted out
in that prouince. And lyke enough that the same was the
cause of this butcherly persecution and effusion of Chri-
sten bloud, in the sayd countrey of Calabria, beyond Nea-
ples, in Italy.

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Besides these godly Italiā Martyrs, in this Table a-
boue cōteined, many other also haue suffered in þe same
coūtrey of Italie, of whom some before haue bene spe-
cified: some peraduenture omitted. But many moe
there be, whose names we know not, wherof as soone
as knowledge may be geuē vnto vs, we purpose God
willing, to imparte þe same (louyng reader) vnto thee.

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¶ Now in the meane tyme 
Commentary  *  Close
Merindol and Cabriers

From the first edition of his martyrology in 1563, Foxe had included an extensive account of the Mérindol and Cabrières affair (1563, pp. 632-652). He had foreshadowed it much earlier in the book (p.46), providing a graphic preview of the affair. It would be his first attempt to deal with mass martyrdom. In that preview, he spoke of 800 people slain in the elimination of these two communities, 40 of them women. He reported that 25 people had died smoke inhalation and fire, locked in a barn that was set alight. He briefly alluded to the young man who was tied to an olive tree and tortured to death. When he returned to deal with the affair properly, it was to juxtapose the evidence for the 'cruelty' of the individual persecutors (on the one hand) with the determination and constancy of the persecuted. His insertion of this piece of text (more or less unchanged) after the narrative of the Calabrian Vaudois was undertaken for a specific purpose. He did not want to interrupt the formal table of French martyrs with too extensive a narrative excursion. Equally, he relished the opportunity to highlight material which demonstrated (as he saw it) 'the furious crueltie' of the French king in an incident which had reverberated widely around western Europe. By placing the narrative adjacent to that of the Waldensians in Calabria he intimated that there was continuity and an underlying pattern to the persecution of the (largely rural) Vaudois. By juxtaposing these two narratives, Foxe was also able somewhat to obscure the more difficult questions about Waldensian beliefs prior to the reformation, and the extent to which they accorded with magisterial Protestantism, as Foxe would have understood it.

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Foxe was all too aware that there was a considerable literature available on the massacres of the Waldensians of Provence in 1545 and 1546. He explicitly notes that he cannot present all the primary material, or even recount the history at full length because of its bulk. That said, however, he devotes over 25 pages to it, treating it in a major and exemplary fashion. There were already other narratives available of the persecution of the Waldensians in Provence. Jean Crespin had included an abbreviated account of the affair in the initial edition of his martyrology in 1554 (Crespin [1554], pp. 656-666). Elements from this had been incorporated into Sleidan's Commentaries, first published in 1555, and translated into English in 1560 as A famouse cronicle of oure time… As Foxe said, much earlier in the 1563 edition (p.46) this was the account that he would rely on for his primary narrative of this affair. But Crespin already knew in 1554 that there was more to be said about the affair - as he said his account had been inserted then 'pour en toucher comme en passant ce qui est à present le plus necessaire pour l'instruction des fideles, jusqu'à ce que plus amplement toute l'histoire en soit redigee par escrit, comme elle en soit rédigée par escrit, comme elle est tres digne'. Geneva's contacts with the Vaudois communities in Provence had been somewhat strengthened in the aftermath of the persecution by exiles from the region, especially after 1550 - see G. Audisio, 'The first Provençal Refugees in Geneva (1545-1571)' French History 19 (2005), 385-400. It was no doubt on the basis of their information that Crespin was able to publish his extensively documented Histoire memorable de la persecution & saccagement du people de Mérindol et Cabrières in 1556. This was the account that became integrated into later editions of Crespin in extenso (Crespin [1560], fols 88A-117A; Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 381-419), and also into Pantaleon, lib. 5 (fols 111-145). It concentrates our attention on the persecution which began with the legal decision of 18 November 1540 pronouncing the destruction of the village of Mérindol, which reached its claim in 1545-6. In reality, however, the efforts of the ecclesiastical authorities to eliminate the Provençal Vaudois had begun at least a decade earlier. For background accounts to the Vaudois in Provence, see G. Audisio, Les Vaudois du Luberon. Une minorité en Provence (1460-1560) (Mérindol, 1984) ; G. Audisio, Procès-verbal d'un massacre. Les vaudois du Luberon (avril 1545) (Aix-en-Provence, 1992); G. Audisio, Les 'Vaudois': naissance, vie et mort d'une dissidence (xiie-xvie siècle) 2 vols (Turin: Albert Meynier Editore, 1989). Marc Venard, Réforme protestante, Réforme catholique dans la province d'Avignon au XVIe siècle (Paris, 1993). On the massacre itself, see P. Gaffarel, 'Les massacres de Cabrières et de Mérindol en 1545' Revue Historique 101 (1911), 241-64.

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Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

it foloweth (accordyng to
my promise made before) nexte after this lamentable
slaughter of Calabria, here to inserte also the tragicall
persecution and horrible murder of the faithful flocke
of Christ inhabityng in Merindole in Fraunce, and in
other townes adiacēt neare vnto the same, in the tyme
of Franciscus. I. the French kyng. The furious cruel-
tie of whiche miserable persecution, although it cā not
be set forth to much at large, yet because we will not
werye to much the reader, with the full length ther-
of, we haue se contracted the same, especially the princi
pall effect therof we haue cōprehended in such sorte, þt
as we on þe one part haue auoyded prolixitie: so on the
other we haue omitted nothyng, whiche might seme
vnworthy to be forgotten. The story here foloweth.

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