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Pinerolo [Pigneroll]
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Pinerolo [Pigneroll]

Turin, Piedmont, Italy

Coordinates: 44° 53' 0" N, 7° 20' 0" E

978 [954]

K. Hen. 8. Persecution against Angron. Luserne, S. Martin, & Perouse.

ans with others, of whom now it foloweth likewise (God willing) to discourse. MarginaliaWaldenses how and of whom they first began.They which were in the countrey of Tolouse, of the place where they frequented, where called Albij, or Albigenses. Against the which Albigenses, MarginaliaDominicus Patriarch of the blacke Fryers, enemie to the Waldenses.Frier Dominicus was a great doer, labouring and preaching against them 10. yeres together, and caused many of them to be burned, for the which he was highly accepted, and rewarded in the Apostolicall Court, and at lengthe by Pope Honorius the 3. was made Patriarch of the blacke gard of the Dominicke Friers. Ex Antonino part. 3. tit. 19. cap. 1.

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These Albigenses, against the Pope of Rome, had set vppe to them selues a Bishop of their owne, named Bartholomæus, remaining about the coastes of Croatia, and Dalmatia, as appeareth by a letter of one of the Popes Cardinals, aboue specified, MarginaliaVid. supra pag. 261.pag, 261. For the which cause the Sea of Rome tooke great indignation against the sayde Albygenses, and caused all their faithfull Catholickes and obedienciaries to their Churche to rise vp in armour, and to take the signe of the holy crosse vpon them, to fight against them. An. 1206 by reason wherof great multitudes of them were pitifully murdered, not onely of them about Tolouse, & Auinion in France (as is afore to be seene, pag. 273.) but also in al quarters, miserable slaughters and burnings of them long continued, from the raigne of Fridericke 2. Emperour, almost to this present time, through the instigation of the Romane Popes.

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Paulus Æmylius the French Chronicler in his 6. booke, MarginaliaEx Paul. Aemylio lib. 6 wryting of these Pauperes de Lugduno, and Humiliati, and deuiding these two orders from Albigenses, reporteth that the two former orders were reiected of Pope Lucius 3. And in their place, other two orders were approued, to witte, the order of the Dominicke Friers, and of the Franciscanes. Which seemeth not to be true, for somuch as this Pope Lucius was 20. yeres, before Innocent 3. and yet neither in the time of Pope Innocent, the order of the Dominicke Friers was approued, but in the time of Pope Honorius the 3. who was 40. yeres after Pope Lucius. Again, MarginaliaEx Bernard Lutzenberg.Bernardus Lutzenbergensis, in Catal. hæret affirmeth, that these Pauperes de Lugduno, or Waldenses began first. an. 1218. Which if it be true, then must the other report of Æmylius be fals, wryting of the sect of Pauperes Lugdunenses, to be refused by Pope Lucius the 3. who was long before this, in the yeare of our Lord. 1181.

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Among other authours which wryte of these Waldenses, Ioan. Sleidan. Lib. 16. MarginaliaSee the story of Sleidan. intreating of their continuance and doctrine, thus wryteth of them. There be (sayeth he) in the French Prouince a people called Waldoys. These of an auncient trade and custome among them, doe not acknowledge the Bishop of Rome, and euer haue vsed a manner of doctrine somewhat more pure, then the rest, but especially since the comming of Luther, they haue encresed in more knowledge and perfection of iudgement. Wherefore they haue beene oftentimes complained vppon to the kinge, as though they contemned the Magistrate, and would moue rebellion, with other suche matter falsely surmised against them, more of despite and malice, then of any iust cause of truthe. There be of them certaine Townes and Villages, among which Merindoll is one. Against these Merindolians sentence was geuen, fiue yeares past, at Aix, being the high tribunall seate or iudgement place of Prouince, that all should be destroied without respecte of age or persone, in such sort, as that the houses being pluckt downe, the Village shoulde be made plaine, euen with the grounde, the trees also should be cut downe, and the place altogether made desolate and desert. All beit, though it were thus pronounced, yet was it not then put in execution, by the meanes of certaine that perswaded the king to the cōtrary, namely one William Bellay, who was at the same time, the kings Lieutenaunt in Piedmont. But at the last, the 12. day of April. an. 1545. Iohn Minerius President of the Counsell of Aix, calling the Senate, reade the kings letters, commaunding them to execute the sentence giuen &c.

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Moreouer, concerning the confession, MarginaliaThis confession worthy of perpetual memory, you shall see more largely set out, in Henr. Pantaleon, wryting of the destruction of Cabriers and Merindoll, and also in the French storye. and the doctrine of the sayde Merindolians receiued of auncient time from their forefathers the Waldenses, thus it followeth in the sayd boke and place of Iohn Sleidan.

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At last (sayeth Sleidan, MarginaliaEx Ioan. Sledano. Lib. 16. after he had described what great crueltie was shewed against them) when the reporte hereof was bruted in Germanie, it offended the mindes of many: and in deede, the Suitzers, who were then of a contrary Religion to the Pope, entreated the King, that he woulde shewe mercy to suche as were fled. Whereunto the saide king Fraunces, made aunswere in thys wise: pretending that he had iust cause to doe, as he did, inferring moreouer, that they ought not to be carefull, what he did within his dominions, or how he punished his offendours, more then he was about their affaires. &c, Thus hard was the king against them notwithstanding (sayeth Sleydan) that he, the yere before, had receaued from the sayde his subiectes of Merindoll, a confession of their faith and doctrine. The Articles whereof, were, that they, according to Christian faith, confessed, first God the father, creator of all things: The sonne, the onely Mediatour and Aduocate of mankinde The holy spirite, the comfortour, and instructour of all truth. They confessed also the Church, which they acknowledged to be the felowship of Gods elect, wherof Iesus Christ is the head. The ministers also of the Churche they did allowe, wishing thatsuch which did not their duety, should be remoued.

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MarginaliaThe confession & faith of the Waldenses in Merindoll.And as touching Magistrates, they graūted likewise the same to be ordeined of God, to defend the good, & to punish the transgressours. And how they owe to him, not loue onely, but also tribute, and custome, and no man herein to be excepted, euen by the example of Christ, who paied tribute himselfe. &c.

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Likewise of Baptisme, they confessed the same to be a visible, and an outwarde signe, that representeth to vs the renuing of the spirite, and mortification of the members.

Furthermore, as touching the Lordes Supper, they sayde and confessed the same to be a thankesgeuing, and a memoriall of the benefite receaued through Christ.

Matrimonie they affirmed to be holy and instituted of God, and to be inhibited to no man.

That good workes are to be obserued & exercised of all men, as holy Scripture teacheth.

That false doctrine, which leadeth men away from the true worship of God, ought to be eschewed.

Briefly, and finally, the order and rule of their faith, they confessed to be the olde and newe Testament, protesting that they beleeued all such things as are contained in the Apostolike Crede: Desiring moreouer, the King to geue credite to this their declaratiō of their faith, so that whatsoeuer was informed to him to the contrary, was not true, and that they would well prooue, if they might be heard.

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And thus much concerning the doctrine and confession of the Merindolians out of Sleidan: and also concerning their descent and ofspring from the Waldenses.

The Historie of the persecutions and warres against the people called Waldenses or Waldois in the valleis of Augrongne, Luserne, S. Martin, Perouse, and others, in the countrey of Piemont, from the yere 1555. to the yere of our Lord. 1561. 
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Having dwelt extensively on the fate of the Vaudois in Calabria, and then Provence, it was natural for Foxe to turn to that of the Vaudois of the Hautes-Alpes. The habitation of the region was dictated by the steeply-sided mountain valleys which furnished passes through the Alps from France to Italy. The majority of the Vaudois communities in the later middle ages were concentrated to the east of the passes on the Italian (Piedmont) side, in the middle and upper reaches of the Chisone, and further south in the valleys of the Germanesca, the Pèllice, the Anrogna and the Luserna. The Piedmont was part of the duchy of Savoy although, during the period in question (from 1536 to 1559) it had fallen to a French invasion. The French kingdom set about creating its own institutions for the duchy, especially a Parlement (senior legal tribunal) in Turin. There were no changes, however, to the ecclesiastical jurisdictions. Foxe does not seem to have had a very clear sense of the geography of the region from his account.

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Foxe had not included any of this material in the 1563 edition. His usual repertoire of sources (Pantaleon, Sleidan, Crespin (1560)) for the Vaudois had not alerted him to the graphic recent history of those in the High Alps. By the appearance of the 1570 edition, however, he had access to the main source upon which he would rely for the whole of this long section. The Histoire des persecutions & guerres faites depuis l'an 1555 iusques en l'an 1561. contre le peuple appelé Vaudois, qui est aux valées d'Angrongne, Luserne, saint Martin, la Perouse & autres du païs de Piemont had been published in 1562, probably in Geneva. It was then translated into Italian (see Storia delle persecuzioni e guerre contro il popolo chiamato valdese... ed. E. Balmas and C.A. Theiller (Turin, 1975) and also Latin (Historia memorabilis persquutionum, etc. gallice primum in lucem edita - the translation being undertaken by Christophe Richard 'de Bourges'). The preface to the original French edition made it clear that the work was based on the narratives which had become current in Geneva through its growing contacts with the area, especially after the beginning of its missionary activity there in c.1555. The anonymous author emphasised that he had wanted to provide an unvarnished truth, replicating the accounts as they had been provided and without too much authorial intervention: 'Cette histoire a esté escrite en langage le plus simple qu'on a peu. Elle a esté recueillie par gens craignans Dieu, qui n'ont point amplifié les matières [….] On s'est contenté de vous reciter fidelement et en toute simplicité comment les choses se sont passées'. Foxe's narrative retains some of that quality.

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Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

Persecutours.Martyrs.The Causes.
MarginaliaPersecution in the valley of Angrongne, Luserne, S. Martin, Perouse, in Piedmont.To procede now fur-
ther in the persecu-
tion of these Waldois,
or Waldenses, you haue
herd hitherto, first how
they deuiding themsel-
ues into diuers Coun-
The Parlia-The Martirstreis, some fled to Pro-
ment of Thu-of the val-uince, and to Tolouse,
rinley of An-of whom sufficient hath
The Presidentgrogne.bene sayd. Some went
of S Piedmont, and the
valley of Angrogne, of
Iacomellwhom it foloweth now
Monke, an In-The Mar-to entreat God willing.
quisitonr.tyrs of theThus these good men
valley ofby long persecution, be-
Monsieur driuen from place
la place, were grieuou-
slye in all places afflic-
ted, but yet could neuer
The Gentle-be vtterly destroied, nor
men of theThe Mar-yet compelled to yeelde
Valleyes.yrs of the superstitious and
Martin.false religion of þe church
Charles Tru-of Rome: but euer ab-
chet.steined from theyr cor-
Bonifaceruption and Idolatrie, much as was possi-
ble, & gaue themselues
The Collate-to the worde of God, as
rall of Corbis.The Mar-a rule both truely to ser-
tyrs of Pe-ue him, and to directe
The Collateralrouse, andtheir liues accordingly.
de Ecclesia.others.They had many bookes
of the old and new Te-
stament translated into
The Duke oftheir language. Theyr
Sauoy.Minysters instructed
In the coū-them secretely, to auoyd
Monkes oftrey ofthe furye of theyr enne-
Pigneroll, andPiemont.mies, whyche could not
many otherabide the light: all be it
moe, enemiesthey did not instruct thē
of God, andwyth suche puritie as
ministers ofFrom thewas requisite. They li-
Sathan.yeare 1555.ued in great simplicity,
vnto 1561.and with the sweate of
theyr browes. They
were quiete and peace-
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