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cattle, wherewith strangers were greatly relieved and holpen. Besides
that, before they came into the country to dwell, the place of Merindol
was taxed but at four crowns, which before the last destruction paid
yearly unto the lord, for taxes and tallages, above three hundred and
fifty crowns, beside other charges.

The like was also reported of Lormarin, and divers other places of xhecrodiy
Provence ; whereas there was nothing but robbery before they came f?"^'eifa-

• 1 1 • 1 111 1 • 1 tionoftlie

to m habit there, so that none could pass that way but m great danger. Merindo-
JNIoreover, they of the country of Provence affirmed, that the inhabi-
tants of Merindol, and the others that were persecuted, were peaceable
and quiet people, beloved of all their neighbours, men of good be-
haviour, constant in keeping their promise, and paying their debts
without traversing or pleading of the law : that they were also chari-



Provence, tablc iiicn, giviiig alms, relieving tlic poor, and tliat they suffered none
, jj amongst them to kick, or be in necessity. Also they gave alms to
1541. strangers, and to the poor passengers, harbouring, nourishing and

■ helping them in all their necessities, according to their power. ]^Iorc-

ovcr, that they were knoAvn by this, throughout all the country of
Provence, that they would not swear, nor name the devil, nor easily be
brought to take an oath, except it Avcre in judgment, nor making some
solemn covenant. They were also known by this, that they could
never be moved nor provoked to talk of any dishonest matters ; but
in what company soever they came, where they heard any wanton talk,
swearing, or blas]:)liemy, to the dishonour of God, they straightway
departed out of that company. Also they said, that they never saw
them go to their business, but first they made their prayers. The
Crimea Said pcoplc of Provcncc furthermore affirmed, that when they came
a''^inst *^ ^^y ^"^^^^ ^^ markets, or came to their cities by any occasion, they
the Me- ncvcr in a manner were seen in their churches ; and if they were, when
they prayed they turned away their fliccs from the images, and neither
offered candles to them, nor kissed their feet ; neither would they
worshi]) the relics of saints, nor once look u])on them. And more-
over, if they passed by any cross or image of the crucifix, or any other
saint by the way, as they went, they would do no reverence unto them.
Also the priests did testify, that they never caused them to say any
Ar^tx. masses, neither diriges, ' Libera me' or ' De profundis,' neither would
they take any holy water; and if it were carried home unto their
houses, they would not say once 'Gramercy,' yea they seemed
utterly to abhor it. To go on pilgrimage, to make any vows to saints,
to buy pardons or remission of sins with money, yea, though it might
be gotten for^a halfpenny, they thought it not lawful. Likewise when
it thundered or lightened, they would not cross themselves, but casting
up their eyes to heaven fetch deep sighs ; and some of them would
kneel down and pray, without blessing themselves with the sign of
the cross, or taking of holy water. Also they were never seen to offer,
or cast into the bason any thing for the maintenance of lights, brother-
hoods, churches, or to give any offering either for the quick or the
dead. But if any were in affliction or poverty, those they relieved
gladly, and thought nothing too much.

This was the whole tenor of the report made unto ^Monsieur do
Langeay, touching the life and behaviour of the inhabitants of Merin-
dol, and the other who were ])crsecuted : he Avas also informed as
touching the arrest, and that which ensued thereupon. Of all those
things the said Monsieur de Langeay, according to the charge that
11, c was given him, advertised the king, who, understanding these things,
'.''.'doii ^^ ^ good prince moved Mith mercy and pity, sent letters of grace and
vrocured pardou, uot ouly for those who were condemned for lack of appearance,
dllwnVdr but also for all the rest of the country of Provence, who were accused
Jimiou" ^"^^ suspected in like case ; expressly charging and commanding the
a»s- said parliament, that they should not hereafter proceed so rigorously
as they had done before against this people ; but if there were any that
could be found or proved by sufricient information to have swerved
from the christian religion, that then he should have good demon-
stration made unto him by the word of God, both out of the Old and
of the New Testament : and so, by the sword of the word applied


with gentleness he should be reduced again unto the church of Christ. Frovence.
Declaring also, that the king's pleasure was, that all such as should be ~a~D~
ifonvict of heresy in manner aforesaid, should abjure; forbidding 1541*.
also all manner of persons, of what estate or condition soever they
were, to attempt any thing against them of Merindol, or other that
were persecuted, by any other manner of means, or to molest or trouble
them in person or goods : revoking and disannulling all manner of
sentences and condemnations of what judges soever they were, and
commanding to set at liberty all prisoners who either were accused or
suspected of Lutheranism.

By virtue of these letters they were now permitted to declare their
cause, and to say what they could in defence thereof; whereupon they
made a confession of their faith, the effect whereof you shall see in
the end of the story. This confession was presented first to the s.e
court of parliament ; and afterwards being declared more at large, with "''''"' ""'
articles also annexed thereunto, it was delivered to the bishop of Ca-
vaillon, who required the same. Also to cardinal Sadolet, bishop of
Carpentras, with the like articles, and also a supplication to this effect :

Supplication of the Inhabitants of Cabriers.

The inhabitants of Cabriers, in the country of the Venaissin, most humbly de-
sired him, that he would vouchsafe to receive and read the confession and deck
ration of their faitli and doctrine,' in the which they, and also their fathers before
them, had been of a long time instructed and taught, which they were per-
suaded to be agreeable to the doctrine contained in the Old and New Testament.
And because he was learned in the holy Scriptures, they desired him that he
would mark such articles as he thought to be against the Scriptures ; and if he
should make it to appear unto them, that there was any thing contrary to the
same, they would not only submit themselves to abjuration, but also to suffer xhe peo-
such punishment as should be adjudged unto them, even to the loss, not only of pie of Ca-
all that they had, but also of their lives. And moreover, if there were any judge '°™r^ re-
in all the country of the Venaissin, who by good and sufficient information should judgment
be able to charge them that they had holden any erroneous doctrine, or main- "f '■a'di-
tained any other religion than was contained in the articles of their Confession, Tet! toucii'-
they desired him that he would communicate the same unto them; and with all ing their
obedience they offered themselves to whatsoever should be thought just and ^'■''<^^'^^-

Upon this request cardinal Sadolet answered by his letters written
by his secretary, and signed with his own hand, the tenor whereof
here ensueth.

The Answer of Cardinal Sadolet.

I have seen your request, and have read the articles of your Confession,
wherein there is much matter contained ; and do not understand that you are
accused for any other doctrine, but for the very same which you have confessed.
It is most true, that many have reported divers things of you worthy of reproof,
which, after diligent inquiry made, we have found to be nothing else but false
reports and slanders. As touching the rest of your articles, it seemeth unto
me, that there are many words therein which might well be changed without
prejudice unto your Confession : and hkewise it seemeth to me, that it is not
necessary that you should speak so manifestly against the pastors of the church.
For my part, I desire your welfare, and would be sony that you should be so

(1) This most godly and christian Confession you shall find more largely set out in Henry Pan-
taleon, and also in the French story, treating of llio destruction of Merindol and Cabriers ; also
touching their faith and confession you shall partly see hereafter.


Provence, spoiled or destroyed, as tlicy do intend. And to tlie end you shall the better

xuidcrstand my amity and friendship towards you, shortly I will be at my house

A. U. by Cabriers, whither ye may resort unto me either in greater or smaller numbers,
1542. as you will, and return safely without any hurt or damage , and there I will ad-
vertise you of all things that I think meet for your profit and health.

The About this time, which was a.d. 1542, the vice-legate of Avignon

ca!a?iion assemblctl a great number of men of war, at the suit of tlie bishop of
ieeketh Cavaillou, to destroy Cabriers. When the army was come within a
riestruc- mile of Cabriers, the cardinal Sadolet went with speed to the vicc-
cabd/rs. legate, aud showed him the request of the inhabitants of Cabriers,
with the articles of their Confession, and the offers that they made ;
Sadolet so that for that present the army retired, without any luirt or damage
army'^^ douc uuto the iidiabitauts of Cabriers. After this, the cardinal Sado-
coining ]et went unto Rome ; but before his departure he sent for divers of
Cabriers. Cabricrs, and certain farmers of his own, whom he knew to be of the
Sise^to' number of those who were called Lutherans, and told them that he
^•'s ^ would have them in remembrance as soon as he came to Rome, and
of ca- communicate their articles and confession unto the cardinals, trust-
briers. ^^^ ^^ g^^ ^ mean to have some good reformation, that God should
«.dii ^^ thereby glorified, and all Christendom brought to imity and con-
cord ; at least, nothing at all doubting but that the foulest abuses
should be corrected and amended : advertising them in the mean
time to be wise and circumspect, to watch and pray, for that they had
many enemies. With this oration of cardinal Sadolet, they of
Cabriers were greatly comforted, trusting that at the suit of cardinal
Sadolet they should have answer of their confession : but at his
return, they understood that he found all things so corrupt at Rome,
that there was no hope of any reformation there to be had, but
rather mortal war against all such as would not live according to the
The ordinances of the church of Rome. Likewise said the treasurer of
weasurer (;^aj.pcntras, who albeit he payed out money to furnish soldiers that
pentras ^y^j.^ hired for the destruction of Cabriers, notwithstanding he did aid

a privy ' ' ■

friend to them sccrctly all that he might. Howbeit he could not do it so
ca^bders. sccrctly, but that it came to the knowledge of the legate ; whereupon
he was constrained to withdraw himself.

On the other part, the bishops of Aix and Cavaillon pursued still

the execution of the arrest of !Merindol. Then it was ordained by

the court of parliament, that, according to the king"'s letters, John

Durandi, councillor of the court of parliament, with a secretary, and

the bishop of Cavaillon, with a doctor of divinity, should go unto

Merindol, and there declare unto the inhabitants the errors and

heresies which they knew to be contained in their confession, and

make them apparent by good and sufficient information ; and having

so convicted them by the word of God, they shoidd make them to

renounce and abjure the said heresies : and if the !Mcrindolians did

refuse to abjure, then they should make relation thereof, that the

court might appoint how they should further proceed. After this

Y^g • decree was made, the bishop of Cavaillon Avould not tarry until the

bishop of time which was appointed by the court for the execution of this

Mmeth " matter ; but he liimself, with a doctor of divinity, came to Merindol,

fo m"- ^^ make tlicm to abjure. Unto whom the Merindolians answered,

xjndoi that he cntorprised against the authority of the ])arliamcnt, and that


it was against his commission so to do. Notwithstanding lie was Pmvence.

very earnest with them that they should abjure, and promised them,

if they would so do, to take them under his wings and protection, ^^^.^

even as the hen doth her chickens, and that they should be no more —-

robbed or spoiled. Then they required that he would declare unto
them what they should abjure. The bishop answered, that the
matter needed no disputation, and that he required but only a
general abjuration of all errors, which would be no damage or pre-
judice to them ; for he himself would not stick to make the like
abjuration. The Merindolians answered him again, that they would
do nothing contrary to the decree and ordinance of the court, or the
king's letters, wherein he commanded that first the errors should be
declared unto them, whereof they were accused : wherefore they were The
resolved to understand what those errors and heresies were, that being 1°^^'^ ^
informed thereof by the word of God, they might satisfy the king's ^''' ^i"®
letters ; otherwise it were but hypocrisy and dissimulation to do as reason-
he required them. And if he could make it to appear unto them by "^^'
good and sufficient information, that they had holden any errors and
heresies,^ or should be convicted thereupon by the word of God, they
would willingly abjure ; or if in their Confession there were any word
contrary to the Scriptures, they would revoke the same. Contrari-
wise, if it were not made manifest unto them, that they had holden
tiny heresies, but that they had always lived according to the doctrine
of the gospel, and that their Confession was grounded upon the same,
then they ought by no means to move or constrain them to abjure
any errors which they held not ; and that it were plainly against all
equity and justice so to do.

Then the bishop of Cavaillon was marvellously angry, and would The
hear no word spoken of any demonstration to be made by the word sore"^
of God, but, in a fury, cursed, and gave to the devil, him that first gr'eved
invented that means. Then the doctor of divinity, whom the bishop heresy^
brought thither, demanded what articles they were, that were pre- thetwd
sentcd by the inhabitants of Merindol, for the bishop of Cavaillon "^ ^°''-
had not yet shoAved them unto him. Then the bishop of Cavaillon
delivered the doctor the Confession, Avhich, after he had read, the
bishop of Cavaillon said, " What ! will you any more witness or
declaration ? this is full of heresy.'' Then they of Merindol
demanded, " In what point ?''" whereupon the bishop knew not what
to answer. Then the doctor demanded to have time to look upon
the articles of the Confession, and to consider whether they were
against the Scriptures or no. Thus the bishop departed, being very
sorely grieved that he could not bring his purpose to pass.

After eight days the bishop sent for this doctor, to understand how Articles
he might order himself to make their heresies appear which were in MeJindo-
the said Confession : whereunto the doctor answered, that he was never 'ians, ap-
so much abashed : for when he had beholden the articles of the Con- hy7he
fession, and the authorities of the Scriptures that were there alleged '^°'^^°'^'
for the confirmation thereof, he had found that those articles were
wholly agreeable and according to the holy Scriptures ; and that he
had not learned so much in the Scriptures all the days of his life, as

(I) The bishops condemn the Merindolians for heresy, and yet can show no heresies in them by
ttie word of G-d.


Provence, lie Lad in those eig-lit days, in looking upon those articles, and the
^Y j^ authorities therein alleged.

l.)'^2. Shortly after the bisliop of Cavaillon came unto Merindol, and
' calling before him the children both great and small, gave them

money, and commanded them Avith fair Avords to learn the Pater
Tiie Noster and the Creed in Latin. The most part of them answered,
of t"r tliat they knew the Pater Noster and the Creed already in Latin, but
of"jJer"n- ^hcv could givc HO rcasou of that -which they spake, but only in the
bL'ho" "^^ vulgar tongue. The bishop answered, that it was not necessary they
should be so cunning, but that it was sufficient that they knew it in
Latin ; and that it was not requisite for their salvation, to understand
or to expound the articles of their faith ; for there were many bishops,
curates, yea, and doctors of divinity, whom it would trouble to ex-
pound the Pater Noster and the Creed. Here the bailiff of Merin-
dol, named Andrew Maynard, asked, to what purpose it would serve
to say the Pater Noster and the Creed, and not to understand the
same.'* for in so doing they should but mock and deride God. Then
said the bishop unto him, " Do you understand what is signified by
The these Avords, ' I believe in God .'*''" The bailiff answered, " I should
uiTbal"^ think myself very miserable, if I did not understand it :"" and then
lift- of he began orderly to give an account of his faith. Then said the
doi. bishop, " I would not have thought there had been such great doctors
.j.,,g in Merindol." The bailiff answered, " The least of the inhabi-
'^'■''''ren tants of ]\Ierindol can do it yet more readily than I ; but I

of Menn- . ., •', „, " i-ii i

doitoo pray you, question with one or two ot these young children, that
Koodfor ^,^^^^ jj^^y understand whether they be well taught or no." Put the
bisliop. bishop either knew not how to question with them, or at least he
would not.

Then one, named Pieron Roy, said, " Sir ! one of these children
may question with another, if you think it so good ;" and the bishop
was contented. Then one of the children began to question with
his fellows with such grace and gravity, as if he liad been a school-
master ; and the children one after another answered so unto the
purpose, that it was marvellous to hear : for it was done in the pre-
sence of many, among Avhom there were four religious men, who
^'^"^ h f ^^^^^^ lately out of Paris, of whom one said unto the bishop, I must
jierindoi needs confess that I have often been at the common schools of Sor-
bnmght bonne in Paris, where I have heard the disputations of the divines ; but
"P- yet I never learned so much as I have done by hearing these young
cliildren." Then said one ^yilliam Armant, "Did you never read
tliat which is written in Matthew xi., where it is said, * O Father !
Lord of heaven and earth ! I render thanks unto thee, that thou hast
liidden these things from the sage and wise men of the world, and
hast revealed them unto young infants : but behold, O Father ! such
was thy good will and pleasure.'' " Then every man marvelled at the
ready and witty answers of the children of Merindol.

When the bishop saw he could not thus prevail, he tried another
way, and went about, by fair and flattering words, to bring his purpose
to pass. Wherefore, causing the strangers to go apart, he said that
he now perceived they were not so evil as many thought them to be •
notwithstanding, for the contentation of them that were their perse-
cutors, it was necessary that they should make some small abjuration,


■which only the bailiff, ■with two officers, might make generally in his Provence.
presence, in the name of all the rest, without any notary to record ~a~D~
the same in writing ; and in so doing they should be loved and 1542.
ftivom-ed of all men, and even of those who now persecuted them : '
and that they should sustain no infiimy thereby, for there should be
no report thereof made, but only to the pope, and to the high court
of parliament of Provence : and also if any man, at any time to The Me-
cora'e, would turn the same to their reproach, or allege it against them hrns°are
to their hurt or damage, they might utterly deny it, and say they ^^^^'^ '"
made no abjuration at all, because there were no records made thereof^
or Avitnesses to prove the same. For this pm-pose he desired them to
taliv together, to the end there might be an end made in this matter
without any further business.

The bailiff, and the two officers, with divers other ancients of the
toAvn, answered, that they were fully resolved not to consent to any
abjuration, howsoever it were to be done ; except (which was always
their exception) they could make it appear unto them by the word of
God, that they had holden or maintained any heresy ; marvelling
much that he would go about to persuade them to lie to God and to
the world. And albeit that all men by natm-e are liars, yet they had
learned by the word of God, that they ought diligently to take heed j^^^^,
of lying in any matter, were it ever so small. Also, that they ought tep of
diligently to take heed that their children did not accustom or use religion
themselves to lie, and therefore punished them sharply, when they qu^jj^ ^g
took themwitli any lie, even as if they had committed any robbery; benodis-
for " the devil is a liar, and the father of lies." Here the bishop rose tion.
up in great anger and indignation, and so departed.

Within a Avhile after the bishop of Aix solicited Master John Durandi
Durandi, councillor of the court of the parliament of Provence, to byThe"^
execute the commission which was given him ; that is, to go unto the ^'shop to
place of JSIerindol, together with the secretary of the said court, and the com-
there, in the presence of the bishop of Cavaillon, accompanied with ™afns"
a doctor of divinity, to declare the errors and heresies which the l^^^/Jf'
bisliops pretended the inhabitants of Merindol to be infected and itans.
entangled withal ; and, according to their duty, to make it appear by
the word of God; and so they being convicted, to make them abjure
and renounce the said heresies. Whereupon the said councillor
Durandi certified the day that he would be present at Merindol, to
the end and purpose that none of the inhabitants should be absent.

At the day appointed, the said councillor Durandi, the bishop of He com-
Cavaillon, a doctor of divinity, and a secretary, came unto Merindol, MerindoL
where were also present divers gentlemen, and men of understanding
of all sorts, to see this commission executed. Then they of Merindol
Avcre advertised that they should not appear all at once, but that they
should keep themselves apart, and appear as they should be called, in
such order and number as should be appointed unto them. After
that, Durandi, the bishop of Cavaillon, the doctor of divinity, and tlie
secretary, were set in place where justice Avas accustomed to be kept,
there Avere called forth AndrcAV Maynard, the bailiff of Merindol ;
Jenon Romaine, and Micheline Maynard, syndics ;^ John Cabrie, and

(1) Syiidicus is a Greek word, and signifieth an advocate or patron, or deputy sent to plead our


Provexce. Johii PalcHC, ancicnts of Merindol ; and Joliii Bruncral, undcr-bailiff.
]^^^ After tlicy had presented themselves with all due reverence, the
\rA'2. councillor Durandi spake thus unto them:

The Words of Durandi to the Merindolians.

You are not ignorant, that by the arrest given out by tbe high court of Pro-
vence, you were all condemned to be burned, both men, women, and children;
your houses also to be beaten down, and your town to be rased and made deso-
late, &c., as is more larjjely contained in the said arrest. Notwithstanding, it
hath pleased the king, our most gracious prince, to send his letters unto the said
court, commanding that the said arrest should not so rigorously proceed against
you : but that if it could by sufficient information be proved, that you, or any
of you, had swerved from the true religion, demonstration should be made
thereof unto you by the word of God, whereby you might be reduced again to
the flock of Christ. Wherefore it was determined in the said court of parhament
that the bi;;hup of Cavaillon, with a doctor of divinity, should in my presence
declare unto you the errors and heresies wherewith they say you are infected ;
and after good demonstration made by the word of God, you should publicly
and solemnly renounce and abjure the said heresies ; and in so doing, should

Online LibraryJosiah PrattThe church historians of England : Reformation period (Volume 4) → online text (page 17 of 68)