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696 [640]

Actes and Monumentes Of the Churche.

Merindole, came to present them selues to the sayd court, aswell in their owne names, as in the names of all the inhabitauntes of Merindole, whiche were specified by their names & surnames in the procuration: requiring that it would please the sayd court, to shewe vnto thē by good and sufficient information, the errors and heresies wherewith they were charged & suspected, to the intent they myght make aunswere in tyme and place, the which procurers in the name and vertue aforesayde, declared that if they would make it apparant vnto thē by good and sufficient information, that they had spoken any thing contrary to the true and pure doctrine of God, they would be ready willingly to abiure all that, whiche should be declared vnto them by the worde of God, to bee error or heresie. Albeit that they supposed, thei had in no point swarued or gone astraye out of the true path of the faith, notwithstandyng they now presented them selues to vnderstand whereof they were accused, and to haue communication vpon the articles propounded against them, whiche are presupposed to be hereticall. Notwithstandyng this requeste, the Court nothing consyderyng the tenor or intent of the kynges letters aforesayde, neyther hauing any regarde to the offer made by the sayde suppliantes, ordeined that such as wold abiure the sayde errors & heresies, myght come in and present them selues, & enioye the kings fauour and pardon, and that the other whiche woulde not abiure, should be punyshed as conuicte of heresie, without any information communicate vnto them, or other demonstrations made by the worde of God. for this cause, viii. dayes after this ordynance, the sayd suppliāts seyng that it was against al ryght and reason, sent their procurour vnto the sayde courte, to present in their names an other suplication. The whiche so done, the Court ordeined that their request shoulde bee delyuered vnto the kynges attourney and procurour, and that the suppliantes should appeare agayne, viii. days after, to vnderstande the pleasure & ordonance of the court. The same day, the presydent chassaney & the other counsellours, also the kings aduocate and procurour, talked apart with the sayde suppliantes, declaryng vnto them that it was not necessary to informe them of their errours, for euery man knewe wel enough that they did not lyue according to the ordinaunces of the churche, and that they made no more accompt of the holy father the Pope, then of another man. Wherfore it appeareth that they do erre, & ought to make no difficultie to abiure, and in so doyng they should lyue in peace and rest. Wherunto the suppliantes aunswered: that albeit they were ignorant and vnlearned people, notwithstanding if it pleased the President and the Councelours, they would aun-swere and render accompt of their faythe, and of the articles propoūded against them by the sayde Lorde President according to their conscience. Hereunto it was aunswered by the President and Councelours, that they had no commission from the court so to do, but that it shoulde be conuenient within viii. dayes, to delyuer their maner of lyuing and doctrine in wryting, and that they haue speciall procura-ration of all thē in Merindole to declare theyr lyuing, whereunto the sayd suppliantes aunswered, that thei would declare their counsel & aduice vnto the inhabitauntes of Merindole.

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The sayde Procurours beyng returned, aduertysed the inhabitauntes of Merindole of all that which they had done. And of the deliberation and aduice of the sayd President and Coūsellours, showyng them also the copie of the requestes signed by the Notary, whereat, they of Merindole were abashed, for so much as thei could neuer attaine any copies of any proces sentence, or arest geuen against them. Specially because all the Notaries and other officers, commaunded to geue out no copies of execution of any thing, tyll that it was prouided by the kynges letters patentes, strayghtly charging and commaūding, that they should haue copies of all the processes passed against them, to the intent that if any extortion were committed, by the sentences or executions, they myght cause them to appeare, to redresse them in time. Thus the suppliauntes hauing a copie of the sayde letters signed, which commaūdement to all Notaries and other officers to execute the same. Notwithstanding the arests by þe Court of parliamēt geuē out to the cōtrary, which was for that present reuoked. Then they of Merindole went to seke a Notary, vnto whom they declared that according to thaduise of the court of parliament of Prouince, thei would declare to the sayde court frely without any dissimulatiō, the doctrine which they haue bene taught euen since their youth: and the maner of seruing of God, deliuered from the father to þe sonne since þe yere of our Lord 1200.

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The Notary seing the kynges letters & the commaundemēt of the court anexed therunto, made no difficultie to write their articles and the cōfession of their faith in publique form 

Commentary  *  Close

The lengthy and detailed confession, to which Foxe makes reference here is set out, as Foxe says in the gloss to this passage, in Crespin's Recueil of 1556 (p. 862-879), and then reprinted in Pantaleon (fols 130-137). It is summarized in later editions of Crespin's martyrology. Foxe chose to provide the even more succinct précis of it in Sleidan's Commentaries (Commentarii lib. 16, fol 218) which he then placed at the end of the narrative (p. 954) so as not to interrupt the flow of the text. The document was dated 6 April 1541 and carried the names of André and Martin Mainard as leading signatories, two of those cited in the original arrêt against the 19 Vaudois of Mérindol. It joined another confession, apparently submitted by Cabrières d'Avignon ('Cabriers') in the Comtat Venaissin, both of which were sent to the bishops of Cavaillon and Carpentras for their opinion. The documentm itself, at least in the form in which we have it, reflects the increasing influence of Geneva among the Vaudois. It, and the equivalent one from Cabrières, was presented to Jacopo ('Giacomo') Sadoleto, bishop of Carpentras and the vice-legate of Avignon, meeting at Cabrières ('Cabriers') which was part of his diocese. According to the later Histoire Ecclésiastique (1580), Sadoleto's reaction was that the confessions might be accepted as orthodox if some revisions were made to them. It is noticeable that this does not appear in the earlier narratives, upon which Foxe relies. He may have played some part in restraining the vice-legate in Avignon from executing the arrêt of Mérindol in the papal-controlled territories of the Comtat Venaissin in 1542 (as Foxe recounts), but his sympathis for the Vaudois should not be overestimated (see Marc Venard, 'Jacques Sadolet, évêque de Carpentras, et les Vaudois', Bolletino della società di studi valdesi 143 (1978), 44-49).

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, whiche afterwarde was by their Procurours presented vnto the court with a suplication cōteining clauses in such case requisite and necessary &c. After this presentation made, many desired more ample declaration of their fayth: In so muche that they sent their articles at large to Cardinal Sadolet then byshop of Carpentras, & to diuerse other þt required þe same, according as they thought thē selues boūd by þe law of God. Also þe noble kyng Fraūces requyred to know theyr doctine þt the Merindolins folowed. And the other of the countrie of Pro-

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