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948 [924]

K. Henry. 8. The history of Merindol and Cabriers.

mocke and gyre at all that had bene sayd: wherfore he required the Commissioner to looke vnto the matter. Then the Commissioner was very angry and sharpely rebuked his Secretary, commaundyng hym to sit nearer and to write their aunsweres word for word and he himselfe with a singular memory, repeated their aūsweres, and oftentymes asked if it were not so. The sayd aunsweres beyng thus put in writing the Commissioner asked the baylife if he had any more to aunswere saying that he had done hym great pleasure to shew hym his Secretaryes fault, willyng hym to speake boldly, what he thought good for the defence of their cause. Then the baylife sayd, for so much as it hath pleased you to geue me audience & libertie to speake my mynde frely? MarginaliaThe proceedyng with the Merindolians not after forme of lawe. I say moreouer, that it semeth vnto me, that there is no due forme of processe in this iudgement: for there is no partie here that doth accuse vs. If we had an accuser present, which accordyng to the rule of the Scripture, either should proue by good demonstration out of the old and new Testament, that whereof we are accused, or if he were not able, should suffer punishement due vnto such as are heretickes: I thinke he would be as greatly troubled to mainteine his accusations, as we to aunswere vnto the same.

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MarginaliaIohn Palenc aunswereth. After that the baylife had made this aūswere, Iohn Palenc, one of the auncientes of Merindol, sayd that he approued all that had bene sayd by the Syndiques, and that he was able to say no more then had bene sayd by them before. The Commissioner sayd vnto hym: you are (I see) a very auncient man, and you haue not lyued so long, but that you haue some thyng to aunswere for your part, in defense of your cause. And the sayd Palenc aūswered: seyng it is your pleasure that I should say somethyng, it seemeth vnto me vnpossible that (say what we cā) we should haue either victory or vantage: for our iudges be our enemyes.

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MarginaliaThe vnder Baylife of Merindol aunswereth. Then Iohn Bruneroll vnderbaylife at Merindol, aunswered, that he would very fayne know the authoritie of the Counseller Durandus, Commissioner in this cause, for as much as the sayd Counseller had geuen them to vnderstād, that he had authoritie of the hygh Court, to make them abiure their errours, which should be found by good and sufficient information, and to geue them so doyng, the pardon conteined in the kynges letters, and quyte them of all punishment and condemnation. MarginaliaDurandus the Commissioner, required to shew hys Cōmission. But the sayd Commissioner dyd not geue them to vnderstand, that if they could not be founde by good and sufficient information, that they were in errour, he had any power or authoritie to quyte and absolue them of the sayd sentence and condemnation: Wherfore it seemed that it should be more vauntage for the sayd Merindolians, if it should appeare that they were heretickes, then to be founde to lyue accordyng to the doctrine of the Gospell. For this cause he required that it would please the sayd Commissioner to make declaration therof: concludyng that if it dyd not appeare by good and sufficient informatiō agaynst them, that they had swarued from the fayth, or if there were no accuser that would come forth agaynst them, they ought to be fully absolued, without beyng any more troubled either in body or goodes.

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These thynges were thus in debatyng from seuen of the clocke in the mornyng, vntill xi. Then the Commissioner dismissed them till after dynner. MarginaliaThe Bailife and Syndickes of Merindoll appeare the second tyme. At one of the clocke at after noone, they were called for agayne, and demaunded whether they would say any thyng elles, touchyng that which was propounded in the mornyng, by the sayd Commissioner. They aunswered, no. Then sayd the Commissioner, what do you conclude for your defense? The two Syndiques aunswered: we conclude that it would please you to declare vnto vs the errours and heresies, whereof we are accused. Then the Commissioner asked the Byshop of Cauaillon, what informations hee had agaynst 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 thereof. In the ende, the Commissioner sayd vnto them, that the Byshop of Cauaillon had told hym, that it was not needefull to make it apparaunt by information, for such was the commō report. Hereunto they aunswered: that they required the causes and reasons alleged by the Byshop of Cauaillon, agaynst them, should be put in writyng. 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 lyght.

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Then Iohn Bruneroll required the Commissioner, that at the least, he would put in writyng, that the Byshop would speake nothyng agaynst 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 processe. There was great disputation vpon this matter and continued long. Then the Commissioner asked the Merindoli- ans if they had þe Articles of their confession, which they had presented to the hygh Court of Parlament. Then they required that their confession might be read, and by the readyng thereof they might vnderstand whether it were the doctrine, which they held, and the confession which they had presented, or no. MarginaliaThe confession of the Merindolians, exhibited and read. Then the confession was read publickely before them, which they dyd allowe and acknowledged to be theirs. This done, the Commissioner asked the Doctour if he dyd finde in the sayd confession, any hereticall opinions, wherof he could make demonstration by the word of God, either out of the old or the new Testament. Then spake the Doctour in Latin a good while. After he had made an end: Andrew Maynard the baylife desired the Commissioner, accordyng as he had propounded, to make the errours and heresies that they were accused of, apparaunt vnto them by good information, or at the least, to marke those Articles of their confession, MarginaliaWhat were the articles and doctrine of their confession, read Sled. Lib. 16. which the Byshop and the Doctour pretēded to be hereticall, requiryng him also to put in Register their refusall, aswel of the Byshop as of the Doctor, of whō the one spake in his eare, and the other in Latin, so that they of Merindoll could not vnderstand one word. Then the Commissioner promised them to put in writyng all that should make for their cause. And moreouer he sayd that it was not needefull to call the rest of the Merindolians, if there were no more to be sayd to them, then had bene sayd to those, which were already called. And this is the summe of all that was done at the after noone.

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Many which came thether to heare these disputations: supposing 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 fayth: by meanes whereof they were conuerted and embraced the truth, MarginaliaThree Doctors conuerted by the confession of the Merindolians. and namely iij. Doctours, who went about diuers tymes to diswade the Merindolians from their fayth: whose ministery God afterwardes vsed in the preachyng of his Gospell. Of whō one was Doctour Combaudi Prior of S. Maximin, afterwardes a Preacher in the territory of the Lordes of Berne. An other was Doct. Somati, who was also a preacher in the Bayliwicke of Tonon. The other was Doct. Heraudi, pastour & Minister in the County of Newcastle.

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

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Thus the Lord 

Commentary  *  Close

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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repressyng the rage of the aduersaries for a tyme, stayed the violence and execution of that cruell sentence or Arrest geuen out by the Parlament of Prouince, agaynst the Merindolians, MarginaliaMinerius a pestilent persecutor without all reasō and measure. vntill Iohn Miniers, an excedyng bloudy tyranne, began a new persecution. This Miniers beyng Lord of Opede neare to Merindoll, first began to vexe the poore Christians by pillyng and polyng, by oppression and extortion, getting frō them what he could, to enlarge his Segnorie or Lordshyp, which before was very base. For this cause he put fiue or six of hys own tenauntes into a Cisterne vnder the grounde, and closing it vp, MarginaliaVj. Martirs of Oppede. there he kept them, till they dyed for hunger, pretendyng that they were Lutheranes and Vandoys, to haue theyr goodes and possessions. By this and such other practises, this wretche was aduaūced in short space, to great wealth and dignitie, & so at length became not onely the chief President of the hygh Court of Parlament, MarginaliaMinerius made the kyngs Lieutenant of Prouince. but also the kyngs Lieutenaunt generall in the countrey of Prouince, in the absence of the Lord Grignan, then beyng at the Councell of Wormes in Germanie. Now therefore seyng no oportunitie to be lackyng to accomplish his deuilish enterprise, he employed all hys power, richesse, and authoritie not onely to confirme and to reuiue that cruell Arrest geuen out before by the Court of Parlament: but also (as a right minister of Sathan) he exceedyngly encreased the cruelty thereof, which was already so great, that it seemed there could nothyng more be added thereunto. MarginaliaFalse accusations and crimes forged vpon the innocent christians. And to bryng this mischief to passe, he forged a most impudent lye, geuyng the kyng to vnderstand that they of Merindoll & all the countrey neare about, to the number of twelue or fiueten thousand, were in the field in armour with theyr Ensigne displayed, entendyng to take the Towne of Marseille, and make it one of the Cantons of the Suitzers: MarginaliaThe kyng abused by wicked coūsaile. And to stay this enterprise, he sayd it was necessary to execute the Arrest manu militari, and by this meanes he obteyned the

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kynges
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