VOLUME III - [continued]
POLITICAL HERESY UTILIZED BY THE CHURCH.
THE identification of the cause of the Church with that of God was no new thing. Long before the formulation of laws against heresy and the organization of the Inquisition for its suppression, the advantage had been recognized of denouncing as heretics all who refused obedience to the demands of prelate and pope. In the quarrel between the empire and papacy over the question of the investitures, the Council of Lateran, in 1102, required all the bishops in attendance to subscribe a declaration anathematizing the new heresy of disregarding the papal anathema, and though the Church as yet was by no means determined on the death-penalty for ordinary heresy, it had no hesitation as to the punishment due to the imperialists who maintained the traditional rights of the empire against its new pretensions. In that same year the monk Sigebert, who was by no means a follower of the antipope Alberto, was scandalized at the savage cruelty of Paschal II. in exhorting his adherents to the slaughter of all the subjects of Henry IV. Robert the Hierosolymitan of Flanders, on his return from the first crusade, had taken up arms against Henry IV. and had signalized his devotion by depopulating the Cambresis, whereupon Paschal wrote to him with enthusiastic praises of this good work, urging him to continue it as quite as pious as his labors to recover the Holy Sepulchre, and promising remission of sins to him and to all his ruthless soldiery. Paschal himself became a heretic when, in 1111, yielding to the violence of Henry V., he conceded the imperial right of investiture of bishops and abbots, although when Bruno, Bishop of Segni and Abbot of Monte Casino, boldly proved his heresy to his face, he deprived the audacious reasoner of the abbacy and sent him back to his see. In his settlement with Henry, he had broken a consecrated host, each tak- ing half, and had solemnly said, "Even as this body of Christ is divided, so let him be divided from the kingdom of Christ who shall attempt to violate our compact;" but the stigma of heresy was unendurable, and in 1112 he presided over the Council of Lateran, which pronounced void his oath and his bulls. When Henry complained that he had violated his oath, he coolly replied that he had promised not to excommunicate Henry, but not that he should not be excommunicated by others. If Paschal was not forced literally to abjure his heresy he did so constructively, and the principle was established that even a pope could not abandon a claim of which the denial had been pronounced heretical. When, not long afterwards, the German prelates were required at their consecration to abjure all heresy, and especially the Henrician, the allusion was not to the errors of Henry of Lausanne, but to those of the emperor who had sought to limit the encroachments of the Holy See on the temporal power. *
As heresy, rightly so called, waxed and grew more and more threatening, and the struggle for its suppression increased in bitterness and took an organized shape under a formidable body of legislation, and as the application of the theory of indulgences gave to the Church an armed militia ready for mobilization without cost whenever it chose to proclaim danger to the faith, the temptation to invoke the fanaticism of Christendom for the defence or extension of its temporal interests inevitably increased in strength. In so far as such a resort can be justified, the Albigensian crusades were justified by a real antagonism of faith which foreboded a division of Christianity, and their success irresistibly led to the application of the same means to cases in which there was not the semblance of a similar excuse. Of these one of the earliest, as well as one of the most typical, was that of the Stedingers.
The Stedingers were a mixed race who had colonized on the lower Weser the lands which their industry won from the overflow of river and sea, their territory extending southward to the neighborhood of Bremen. A rough and semi-barbarous folk, no doubt--hardy herdsmen and fishermen, with perhaps an occasional
* Concil. Lateran. ann. 1102 ( Harduin. VI. II. 1861-2).--Epist. Sigebert. (Mart. Ampl. Coll. I. 587-94).--Chron. Cassinens. IV. 42, 44. (Cf. Martene Ampl. Coll. I. 627.)--Hartzheim III. 258-65.--Martene Ampl. Coll. I. 659.
tendency to piracy in the ages which celebrated the exploits of the Vikings of Jomsburg. They were freemen under the spiritual care of the Archbishops, of Bremen, who in return enjoyed their tithes. This tithe question had been immemorially a troublesome one, ever since a tincture of Christianity had overspread those regions. In the eleventh century Adam of Bremen tells us that throughout the archiepiscopate the bishops sold their benedictions and the people were not only abandoned to lust and gluttony, but refused to pay their tithes. The Stedingers were governed by judges of their own choice, administering their own laws, until, about 1187, trouble arose from the attempts of the Counts of Oldenburg to extend their authority over the redeemed marshes and islands, by building a castle or two which should keep the population in check. There were few churches, and, as the parishes were large, the matrons were accustomed to carry their daughters to mass in wagons. The garrisons were in the habit of sallying forth and seizing these women to solace their solitude, till the people arose, captured the castles, slew the garrisons, and dug a ditch across a neck of their territory, leaving only one gate for entrance. John Count of Oldenburg recovered his castles, but after his death the Stedingers reasserted their independence. Among their rights they included the non-payment of tithes, and they treated with contumely the priests sent to compel their obedience. They strengthened their defences, and their freedom from feudal and ecclesiastical tyranny attracted to them refugees from all the neighboring lands. Hartwig, Archbishop of Bremen, when on his way to the Holy Land in 1197, is said to have asked Celestin III. to preach a crusade against them as heretics, but this is evidently an error, for the Albigensian wars had not as yet suggested the employment of such methods. Matters became more embroiled when some monks who ventured to inculcate upon the peasants the duty of tithe-paying were martyred. Still worse was it when a priest, irritated at the smallness of an oblation offered at Easter by a woman of condition, in derision slipped into her mouth the coin in place of the Eucharist. Unable to swallow it, and fearing to commit sacrilege, the woman kept it in her mouth till her return home, when she ejected it in some clean linen and discovered the trick. Enraged at this insult her husband slew the priest, and thus increased the general ferment. After his return Hartwig en- deavored, in 1207, to reduce the recalcitrant population, but without success, except to get some money. *
Yet the Stedingers were welcomed as fully orthodox when their aid was wanted in the struggle which raged from 1208 till 1217, between the rival archbishops of Bremen, first between Waldemar and Burchard, and then between Waldemar and Gerhardt. Ranged at first on the side of Waldemar, after the triumph of Frederic II. over Otho their defection to Gerhardt was decisive, and in 1217 the latter obtained his archiepiscopal seat, where he held his allies in high favor until his death in 1219. He was succeeded by Gerhardt II., of the House of Lippe, a warlike prelate who endeavored to overthrow the liberties of Bremen itself, and to levy tolls on all the commerce of the Weser. The Stedinger tithes were not likely to escape his attention. Other distractions, including a war with the King of Denmark and strife with the recalcitrant citizens of Bremen, prevented any immediate effort to subjugate the Stedingers, but at length his hands were free. His brother, Hermann Count of Lippe, came to his assistance with other nobles, for the independence of the Weser peasant-folk was of evil import to the neighboring feudal lords. To take advantage of the ice in those watery regions the expedition set forth in December, 1229, under the leadership of the count and the archbishop. The Stedingers resisted valiantly. On Christmas Day a battle was fought in which Count Hermann was slain and the crusaders put to flight. To celebrate the triumph the victors in derision appointed mock officials, styling one emperor, another pope, and others archbishops and bishops, and these issued letters under these titles--a sorry jest, which when duly magnified represented them as rebels against all temporal and spiritual authority. †
* Schumacher, Die Stedinger, Bremen, 1865, pp. 26-8.--Adam. Bremens. Gest. Pontif. Hammaburg. c. 203.--Chron. Erfordiens. ann. 1230 (Schannat Vindem. Litt. I. 93).--Chron. Rastedens. (Meibom. Rer. Germ. II. 101).--Albert. Stadens. Chron. ann. 1207 (Schilt. S. R. Germ. I. 299).--Joan. Otton. Cat. Archiepp. Bremens. ann. 1207 (Menken. S. R. Germ. II. 791). † Albert. Stadens. Chron. ann. 1208-17, 1230.--Joan. Otton. Cat. Archiepp. Bremens. ann. 1211-20.--Anon. Saxon. Hist. Impp. ann. 1229 (Menken. III. 125).--Chron. Rastedens. (Meibom. II. 101).
There is considerable confusion among the--authorities with regard to these events. I have followed the careful investigations of Schumacher, op. cit. pp. 219-23.
It was evident that some more potent means must be found to overcome the indomitable peasantry, and the device adopted was suggested by the success, in 1230, of the crusade preached by Wilbrand, Bishop of Utrecht, against the free Frisians in revenge for their slaying his predecessor Otho, a brother of Archbishop Gerhardt, and imprisoning his other brother, Dietrich, Provost of Deventer, after their victory of Coevorden. It was scarce possible not to follow this example. At a synod held in Bremen in 1230, the Stedingers were put to the ban as the vilest of heretics, who treated the Eucharist with contempt too horrible for description, who sought responses from wise-women, made waxen images, and wrought many other works of darkness. *
Doubtless there were remnants of pagan superstition in Steding, such as we shall hereafter see existing throughout many parts of Christendom, which served as a foundation for these accusations, but that in fact there were no religious principles involved, and that the questions at issue were purely political, is indicated by the praise which Frederic II., in an epistle dated June 14, 1230, bestows on the Stedingers for the aid which they had rendered to a house of the Teutonic Knights, and his exhortation that they should continue to protect it. We learn, moreover, that everywhere the peasantry openly favored them and joined them when opportunity permitted. It was simply an episode in the extension of feudalism and sacerdotalism. The scattered remains of the old Teutonic tribal independence were to be crushed, and the combined powers of Church and State were summoned to the task. How readily such accusations could be imposed on the credulity of the people we have seen from the operations of Conrad of Marburg, and the stories to which he gave currency of far-pervading secret rites of demon-worship. Yet the preliminaries of a crusade consumed time, and during 1231 and 1233 Archbishop Gerhardt had all he could do to withstand the assaults of the victorious peasants, who twice captured and destroyed the castle of Schlütter, which he had rebuilt to protect his territories from their incursions; he sought support in Rome, and in October, 1232, after ordering an investigation of the heresy by the Bishops of Lubeck, Ratzeburg, and Minden, Gregory IX. came to
* Emonis Chron. ann. 1227, 1230 (Matthæi Analecta III. 128, 132).-- Schumacher , p. 81.
his aid with bulls addressed to the Bishops of Minden, Lubeck, and Verden, ordering them to preach the cross against the rebels. In these there is nothing said about tithes, but the Stedingers are described as heretics of the worst description, who deny God, worship demons, consult seeresses, abuse the sacrament, make wax figurines to destroy their enemies, and commit the foulest excesses on the clergy, sometimes nailing priests to the wall with arms and legs spread out, in derision of the Crucified. Gregory's long pontificate was devoted to two paramount objects--the destruction of Frederic II. and the suppression of heresy. The very name of heretic seemed to awake in him a wrath which deprived him of all reasoning powers, and he threw himself into the contest with the unhappy peasants of the Weser marshes as unreservedly as he did into that which Conrad of Marburg was contemporaneously waging with the powers of darkness in the Rhinelands. In January, 1233, he wrote to the Bishops of Paderborn, Hildesheim, Verden, Münster, and Osnabrück, ordering them to assist their brethren of Ratzeburg, Minden, and Lubeck, whom he had commissioned to preach a crusade, with full pardons, against the heretics called Stedingers, who were destroying the faithful people of those regions. An army had meanwhile been collected which accomplished nothing during the winter against the steadfast resolution of the peasants, and dispersed on the expiration of its short term of service. In a papal epistle of June 17, 1233, to the Bishops of Minden, Lubeck, and Ratzeburg, this lack of success is represented as resulting from a mistaken belief on the part of the crusaders that they were not getting the same indulgences as those granted for the Holy Land, leading them to withdraw after gaining decisive advantages. The bishops are therefore ordered to preach a new crusade in which there shall be no error as to the pardons to be earned, unless meanwhile the Stedingers shall submit to the archbishop and abandon their heresies. Already, however, another band of crusaders had been organized, which, towards the end of June, 1233, penetrated eastern Steding, on the right bank of the Weser. This district had hitherto kept aloof from the strife, and was defenceless. The crusaders devastated the land with fire and sword, slaying without distinction of age or sex, and manifesting their religious zeal by burning all the men who were captured. The crusade came to an inglorious end, however; for, encouraged by its easy success, Count Burchard of Oldenburg, its leader, was emboldened to attack the fortified lands on the west bank, when he and some two hundred crusaders were slain and the rest were glad to escape with their lives. *
Matters were evidently growing serious. The success of the Stedingers in battling for the maintenance of their independence was awakening an uneasy feeling among the populations, and the feudal nobles were no less interested than the prelates in subduing what might prove to be the nucleus of a dangerous and farreaching revolt. The third crusade was therefore preached with additional energy over a wider circle than before, and preparations were made for an expedition in 1234 on a scale to crush all resistance. Dominicans spread like a cloud over Holland, Flanders, Brabant, Westphalia, and the Rhinelands, summoning the faithful to defend religion. In Friesland they had little success, for the population sympathized with their kindred and were rather disposed to maltreat the preachers, but elsewhere their labors were abundantly rewarded. Bulls of February 11 take under papal protection the territories of Henry Raspe of Thuringia, and Otho of Brunswick, who had assumed the cross--the latter, however, only with a view to self-protection, for he was an enemy of Archbishop Gerhardt. The heaviest contingent came from the west, under Hendrik, Duke of Brabant, consisting, it is said, of forty thousand men led by the preux chevalier, Florent, Count of Holland, together with Thierry, Count of Cleves, Arnoul of Oudenarde, Rasso of Gavres, Thierry of Dixmunde, Gilbert of Zotteghem, and other nobles, eager to earn salvation and preserve their feudal rights. Three hundred ships from Holland gave assurance that the maritime part of the expedition should not be lacking. Apparently warned by the disastrous outcome of his zeal in the affair of Conrad of Marburg, Gregory at the last moment seems to have felt some misgiving, and in March, 1234, sent to Bishop Guglielmo, his legate in North Germany, orders to endeavor by peaceful means to bring about the reconciliation of the peasants,
* Hist. Diplom. Frid. II. T. IV. p. 497.--Albert. Stadens. Chron. ann. 1232, 1234.--Raynald. ann. 1232, No. 8.--Hartzheim III. 553.--Joan. Ottonis Cat. Archiepp. Bremens. ann. 1234.--Anon. Saxon. Hist. Imperator. ann. 1229.--Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann. 1233.--Epistt. Select. Sæcul. XIII. T. I. No. 539 (Pertz).
but the effort came too late. In April the hosts were already assembling, and the legate did, and probably could do, nothing to avert the final blow. Overwhelming as was the force of the crusaders, the handful of peasants met it with their wonted resolution. At Altenesch, on May 27, they made their stand and resisted with stubborn valor the onslaught of Hendrik of Brabant and Florent of Holland; but, in the vast disparity of numbers, Thierry of Cleves was able to make a flank attack with fresh troops which broke their ranks, when they were slaughtered unsparingly. Six thousand were left dead upon the field, besides those drowned in the Weser in the vain attempt at flight, and we are asked to believe that the divine favor was manifested in that only seven of the crusaders perished. The land now lay defenceless before the soldiers of the Lord, who improved their victory by laying it waste with fire and sword, sparing neither age nor sex. Six centuries later, on May 27, 1834, a monument was solemnly dedicated on the field of Altenesch to the heroes who fell in desperate defence of their land and liberty. *
Bald as was the pretence for this frightful tragedy, the Church assumed all the responsibility and kept up the transparent fiction to the last. When the slaughter and devastation were over, came the solemn farce of reconciling the heretics. As the land had been so long under their control, their dead were buried indistinguishably with the remains of the orthodox, so, November 28, 1234, Gregory graciously announced that the necessity of exhumation would be waived in view of the impossibility of separating the one from the other, but that all cemeteries must be consecrated anew to overcome the pollution of the heretic bodies within them. Considerable time must have been consumed in the settlement of all details, for it is not until August, 1236, that Gregory writes to the archbishop that, as the Stedingers have abandoned their rebellion and humbly supplicated for reconciliation, he is
* Emonis Chron. ann. 1234 (Matthæi Analecta III. 139 sqq.).--Potthast No. 9399, 9400.--Epistt. Select. Sæcul. XIII. T. I. No. 572.--Meyeri Annal. Flandr. Lib. VIII. ann. 1233.--Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann. 1234.-- Schumacher, pp. 11617.--Chron. Erfordiens. ann. 1232.--Sachsische Weltchronik No. 376-8.--H. Wolteri Chron. Bremens. (Meibom. Rer. Germ. II. 58-9).--Chron. Rastedens. (Ib. II. 101).--Joan Otton. Cat. Archiepp. Bremens. ann. 1234.--Albert. Stadens. ann. 1234.--Anon. Saxon. Hist. Imperator. ann. 1229.
authorized to reconcile them on receiving proper security that they will be obedient for the future and make proper amends for the past. In this closing act of the bloody drama it is noteworthy that there is no allusion to any of the specific heresies which had been alleged as a reason for the extermination of the heretics. Perhaps the breaking of Conrad of Marburg's bubble had shown the falsity of the charges, but whether this were so or not those charges had been wholly supererogatory except as a means of exciting popular animosity. Disobedience to the Church was sufficient; resistance to its claims was heresy, punishable here and hereafter with all the penalties of the temporal and spiritual swords. *
It is not to be supposed that Gregory neglected to employ in his own interest the moral and material forces which he had thus put at the disposal of Gerhardt of Bremen. When, in 1238, he became involved in a quarrel with the Viterbians and their leader Aldobrandini, he commuted the vow of the Podestà of Spoleto to serve in Palestine into service against Viterbo, and he freely offered Holy Land indulgences to all who would enlist under his banner. In 1241 he formally declared the cause of the Church to be more important than that of Palestine, when, being in want of funds to carry on his contest with Frederic II., he ordered that crusaders be induced to commute their vows for money, while still receiving full indulgences, or else be persuaded to turn their arms against Frederic in the crusade which he had caused to be preached against him. Innocent IV. pursued the same policy when he had set up a rival emperor in the person of William of Holland, and a crusade was preached in 1248 for a special expedition to Aix-laChapelle, of which the capture was necessary in order to his coronation, and vows for Palestine were redeemed that the money should be handed over to him. After Frederic's death his son Conrad IV. was the object of similar measures, and all who bore arms in his favor against William of Holland were the subject of papal anathemas. To maintain the Italian interests of the
* Potthast No. 9777.--Hartzheim III. 554.
As the contemporary Abbot Emo of Wittewerum says, in describing the affair--"principalior causa fuit inobedientia, quæ scelere idololatriæ non est inferior" (Matthæi Analect. III. 142).
papacy, men slaughtered each other in holy wars all over Europe. The disastrous expedition to Aragon which cost Philippe le Hardi his life in 1284 was a crusade preached by order of Martin IV. to aid Charles of Anjou, and to punish Pedro III. for his conquest of Sicily after the Sicilian Vespers. *
With the systematization of the laws against heresy and the organization of the Inquisition, proceedings of this nature assume a more regular shape, especially in Italy. It was in their character as Italian princes that the popes found the supreme utility of the Holy Office. Frederic II. had been forced to pay for his coronation not only by the edict of persecution, but by the confirmation of the grant of the Countess Matilda. Papal ambition thus stimulated aspired to the domination of the whole of Italy, and for this the way seemed open with the death of Frederic in 1250, followed by that of Conrad in 1254. When the hated Suabians passed away, the unification of Italy under the triple crown seemed at hand, and Innocent IV., before his death in December, 1254, had the supreme satisfaction of lording it in Naples, the most powerful pope that the Holy See had known. Yet the nobles and cities were as unwilling to subject themselves to the Innocents and Alexanders as to the Frederics, and the turbulent factions of Guelf and Ghibelline maintained the civil strife in every corner of central and upper Italy. To the papal policy it was an invaluable assistance to have the power of placing in every town of importance an inquisitor whose devotion to Rome was unquestioned, whose person was inviolable, and who was authorized to compel the submissive assistance of the secular arm under terror of a prosecution for heresy in the case of slack obedience. Such an agent could cope with podestà and bishop, and even an unruly populace rarely ventured a resort to temporary violence. The statutes of the republics, as we have seen, were modified and moulded to adapt them to the fullest development of the new power, under the excuse of facilitating the extermination of heresy, and the Holy Office became the ultimate expression of the serviceable devotion of the Mendicant Orders to the Holy See. From this point of view we are able to appreciate the full signifi-
* Epistt. Selectt. Sæc. XIII. T. I. No. 720, 801.-- Berger, Registres d'Innocent IV. No. 4181, 4265, 4269.-- Ripoll I. 219, 225.-- Vaissette, IV. 46.
cance of the terrible bulls Ad extirpanda, described in a previous chapter.
It was possibly with a view thus to utilize the force of both Orders that the Inquisitions of northern and central Italy were divided between them, and their respective provinces permanently assigned to each. Nor perhaps would we err in recognizing an object in the assignment to the Dominicans, who were regarded as sterner and more vigorous than their rivals, of the province of Lombardy, which not only was the hot-bed of heresy, but which retained some recollections of the ancient independence of the Ambrosian Church, and was more susceptible to imperial influences from Germany.
With the development of the laws against heresy, and the organization of special tribunals for the application of those laws, it was soon perceived that an accusation of heresy was a peculiarly easy and efficient method of attacking a political enemy. No charge was easier to bring, none so difficult to disprove--in fact, from what we have seen of the procedure of the Inquisition, there was none in which acquittal was so absolutely impossible where the tribunal was desirous of condemnation. When employed politically the accused had the naked alternative of submission or of armed resistance. No crime, moreover, according to the accepted legal doctrines of the age, carried with it a penalty so severe for a potentate who was above all other laws. Besides, the procedure of the Inquisition required that when a suspected heretic was summoned to trial, his first step was humbly to swear to stand to the mandates of the Church, and perform whatever penance it should see fit to impose in case he failed to clear himself of the suspicion. Thus an immense advantage was gained over a political enemy by merely citing him to appear, when he was obliged either to submit himself in advance to any terms that might be dictated to him, or, by refusing to appear, expose himself to condemnation for contumacy with its tremendous temporal consequences.
It mattered little what were the grounds on which a charge of heresy was based. In the intricate intrigues and factional strife which seethed and boiled in every Italian city, there could be no lack of excuse for setting the machinery of the Inquisition in motion whenever there was an object to be attained. With the organization of the Hildebrandine theocracy the heretical character of simple disobedience, which had been implied rather than expressed, came to be distinctly formulated. Thomas Aquinas did not shrink from proving that resistance to the authority of the Roman Church was heretical. By embodying in the canon law the bull Unam Sanctum the Church accepted the definition of Boniface VIII. that whoever resists the power lodged by God in the Church resists God, unless, like a Manichæan, he believes in two principles, which shows him to be a heretic. If the supreme spiritual power errs, it is to be judged of God alone; there is no earthly appeal. "We say, declare, define, and pronounce that it is necessary to salvation that every human creature be subjected to the Roman pontiff." Inquisitors, therefore, were fully justified in laying it down as an accepted principle of law that disobedience to any command of the Holy See was heresy; so was any attempt to deprive the Roman Church of any privilege which it saw fit to claim. As a corollary to this was the declaration that inquisitors had power to levy war against heretics and to give it the character of a crusade by granting all the indulgences offered for the succor of the Holy Land. Armed with such powers, it would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of the Inquisition as a political instrument. *
Incidental allusion has been made above to the application of these methods in the cases of Ezzelin da Romano and Uberto Pallavicino, and we have seen their efficacy even in the tumultuous lawlessness of the period as one of the factors in the ruin of those powerful chiefs. When the crusade against Ezzelin was preached in the north of Europe he was represented to the people simply as a powerful heretic who was persecuting the faith. Even more conspicuous was the application of this principle in the great
* Th. Aquinat. Sec. Sec. Q. 11, No. 2-3.--C. 1, Extrav. Commun. I. 8.--Zanchini Tract. de Hæret. c. ii., xxxvii.
It was probably as a derivative from the sanctity of the power of the Holy See that the Inquisition was given jurisdiction over the forgers and falsifiers of papal bulls--gentry whose industry we have seen to be one of the inevitable consequences of the autocracy of Rome. Letters under which Frà Grimaldo da Prato, Inquisitor of Tuscany in 1297, was directed to act in certain cases of the kind are printed by Amati in the Archivio Storico Italiano, No. 38, p. 6.
struggle on which all the rest depended, which in fact decided the destiny of the whole peninsula. The destruction of Manfred was an actual necessity to the success of the papal policy, and for years the Church sought throughout Europe a champion who could be allured by the promise of an earthly crown and assured salvation. In 1255 Alexander IV. authorized his legate, Rustand, Bishop of Bologna, to release Henry III. of England from his crusader's vow if he would turn his arms against Manfred, and the bribe of the Sicilian throne was offered to Henry's son, Edmund of Lancaster. When Rustand preached the crusade against Manfred and offered the same indulgences as for the Holy Land the ignorant islanders wondered greatly at learning that the same pardons could be earned for shedding Christian blood as for that of the infidel. They did not understand that Manfred was necessarily a heretic, and that, as Alexander soon afterwards declared to Rainerio Saccone, it was more important to defend the faith at home than in foreign lands. In 1264, when Alphonse of Poitiers was projecting a crusade, Urban IV. urged him to change his purpose and assail Manfred. Finally, when Charles of Anjou was induced to strive for the glittering prize, all the enginery of the Church was exerted to raise for him an army of crusaders with a lavish distribution of the treasures of salvation. The shrewd lawyer, Clement IV., seconded and justified the appeal to arms by a formal trial for heresy. Just as the crusade was bursting upon him, Clement was summoning him to present himself for trial as a suspected heretic. The term assigned to him was February 2, 1266; Manfred had more pressing cares at the moment, and contented himself with sending procurators to offer purgation for him. As he did not appear personally, Clement, on February 21, called upon the consistory to declare him condemned as a contumacious heretic, arguing that his excuse that the enemy were upon him was invalid, since he had only to give up his kingdom to avert attack. As but five days after this, on February 26, Manfred fell upon the disastrous field of Benevento, the legal proceedings had no influence on the result, yet none the less do they serve to show the spirit in which Rome administered against its political opponents the laws which it had enacted against heresy. *
* Th. Cantimpratens. Bonum universale, Lib. II. c. 2.--Matt. Paris ann. 1255 III.--13
This was the virtual destruction of the imperial power in Italy. With the Angevines on the throne of Naples and the empire nullified by the Great Interregnum and its consequences, the popes had ample opportunity to employ the penalties for heresy to gratify hatred or to extend their power. How they used the weapon for the one purpose is seen when Boniface VIII. quarrelled with the Colonnas and condemned them as heretics, driving the whole family out of Italy, tearing down their houses and destroying their property; though after Sciarra Colonna vindicated his orthodoxy by capturing and causing the death of Boniface at Anagni, Benedict XI. made haste to reverse the sentence, except as to confiscation. * How the principle worked when applied to temporal aggrandizement may be estimated from the attempt of Clement V. to gain possession of Ferrara. When the Marchese Azzo d' Este died, in 1308, he left no legitimate heirs, and the Bishop of Ferrara was Frà Guido Maltraverso, the former inquisitor who had succeeded in burning the bones of Armanno Pongilupo. He forthwith commenced intriguing to secure the city for the Holy See, which had some shadowy claims arising under the donations of Charlemagne. Clement V. eagerly grasped at the opportunity. He pronounced the rights of the Church unquestionable, and condoled with the Ferrarese on their having been so long deprived of the sweetness of clerical rule and subjected to those who devoured them. There were two pretenders, Azzo's brother Francesco and his natural son Frisco. The Ferrarese desired neither; they even
(p. 614).-- Ripoll I. 326.--Raynald. ann. 1264, No. 14.-- Arch. de l'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXII. 27).
Clement IV. (Gui Foucoix) was regarded as one of the best lawyers of his day, but in the severity of his application of the law against Manfred he was not unanimously supported by the cardinals. On February 20 he writes to the Cardinal of S. Martino, his legate in the Mark of Ancona, for his opinion on the question. Manfred and Uberto Pallavicino had both been cited to appear on trial for heresy. Manfred had sent procurators to offer purgation, but Uberto had disregarded the summons and was a contumacious heretic. To the condemnation of the latter there was therefore no opposition, but some cardinals thought that Manfred's excuse was reasonable in view of the enemy at his gates, even though he could easily avert attack by surrender.-- Clement PP. IV. Epist. 232 (Martene Thesaur. II. 279).
* C. 1, Sexto V. 3.--C. 1, Extrav. Commun. V. 4.
manifested a disregard for the blessings promised them by Clement and proclaimed a republic. Frisco sought the aid of the Venetians, while Francesco secured the support of the Church. Frisco obtained possession, but fled when Francesco advanced with the papal legate, Arnaldo di Pelagrua, who assumed the domination of the city--as a contemporary chronicler observes, Francesco had no reason to be disappointed, for ecclesiastics always act like rapacious wolves. Then, with the aid of the Venetians, Frisco regained possession, and peace was made in December, 1308. This was but the commencement of the struggle for the unhappy citizens. In 1309 Clement proclaimed a crusade against the Venetians. March 7 he issued a bull casting an interdict over Venice with confiscation of all its possessions, excommunicating the doge, the senate, and all the gentlemen of the republic, and offering Venetians to slavery throughout the world. As their ships sailed to every port, many Venetian merchants were reduced to servitude throughout Christendom. The legate assiduously preached the crusade, and all the bishops of the region assembled at Bologna with such forces as they could raise. Multitudes took the cross to gain the indulgence, Bologna alone furnishing eight thousand troops, and the legate advanced with an overwhelming army. After severe fighting the Venetians were defeated with such slaughter that the legate, to avert a pestilence, offered an indulgence to every man who would bury a dead body, and the fugitives drowned in the Po were so numerous that the water was corrupted and rendered unfit to drink. All the prisoners taken he blinded and sent to Venice, and on entering the city he hanged all the adherents of Frisco. Appointing a governor in the name of the Church, he returned to Avignon and was splendidly rewarded for his services in the cause of Christ, while Clement unctuously congratulated the Ferrarese on their return to the sweet bosom of the Church, and declared that no one could, without sighs and tears, reflect upon their miseries and afflictions under their native rulers. In spite of this the ungrateful people, chafing under the foreign domination, arose in 1310 and massacred the papalists. Then the legate returned with a Bolognese force, regained possession and hanged the rebels, with the exception of one, who bought off his life. Fresh tumults occurred, with bloody reprisals and frightful atrocities on both sides until, in 1314, Clem- ent, wearied with his prize, made it over to Sancha, wife of Robert of Naples. The Catalan garrison excited the hatred of the people, who in 1317 invited Azzo, son of Francesco, to come to their relief. After a stubborn resistance the Catalans surrendered on promise of life, but the fury of the people would not be restrained, and they were slain to the last man. From this brief episode in the history of an Italian city we can conceive what was the influence of papal ambition stimulated by the facility with which its opponents could be condemned as heretics and armies be raised at will to defend the faith. *
John XXII. was not a pope to allow the spiritual sword to rust in the sheath, and we have seen incidentally the use which he made of the charge of heresy in his mortal combat with Louis of Bavaria. Still more characteristic were his proceedings against the Visconti of Milan. On his accession in August, 1316, his first thought was to unite Italy under his overlordship, and to keep the empire beyond the Alps, for which the contested election of Louis of Bavaria and Frederic of Austria seemed to offer full opportunity. Early in December he despatched Bernard Gui, the Inquisitor of Toulouse, and Bertrand, Franciscan Minister of Aquitaine, as nuncios to effect that purpose. Neither Guelfs nor Ghibellines were inclined to accept his views--the Ferrarese troubles, not as yet concluded, were full of pregnant warnings. Especially
* Barbarano de' Mironi, Hist. Eccles. di Vicenza II. 153-4.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. III. pp. 354 sqq.; T. IV. pp. 426 sqq., pp. 459 sqq.; T. V. p. 412. (Ed. Benedictin., Romæ, 1886-7).--Chron. Estense ann. 1309-17 ( Muratori S. R. I. XV. 364-82).-- Ferreti Vincentini Hist. Lib. III. (Ib. IX. 1037-47).-- Cronica di Bologna, ann. 1309-10 (Ib. XVIII. 820-1).-- Campi, Dell' Histor. Eccles. di Ferrara, P. III. p. 40.
Even the pious and temperate Muratori cannot restrain himself from describing Clement's bull against the Venetians as "la piu terribile ed ingiusta Bolla che si sia mai udita" (Annal. ann. 1309). We have seen in the case of Florence what control such measures enabled the papacy to exercise over the commercial republics of Italy. The confiscation threatened in the sentence of excommunication was no idle menace. When, in 1281, Martin IV. quarrelled with the city of Forli and excommunicated it he ordered, under pain of excommunication not removable even on the death-bed, all who owed money to the citizens to declare the debts to his representatives and pay them over, and he thus collected many thousand lire of his enemies' substance.-- Chron. Parmens. ann. 1281 (Muratori S. R. I. IX. 797)
recalcitrant were the three Ghibelline chiefs of Lombardy, Matteo Visconti, known as the Great, who ruled over the greater part of the region and still retained the title of Imperial Vicar bestowed on him by Henry VII., Cane della Scala, Lord of Verona, and Passerino of Mantua. They received his envoys with all due honor, but found excuses for evading his commands. In March, 1317, John issued a bull in which he declared that all the imperial appointments had lapsed on the death of Henry, that until his. successor had received the papal approval all the power of the empire vested in the Holy See, and that whoever presumed to exercise those powers without permission was guilty of treason to the Church. Papal imperiousness on one side and Ghibelline stubbornness on the other rendered a rupture inevitable. It is not our province to trace the intricate maze of diplomatic intrigue and military activity which followed, with the balance of success preponderating decidedly in favor of the Ghibellines. April 6, 1318, came a bull decreeing excommunication on Matteo, Cane, Passerino, and all who refused obedience. This was speedily followed by formal monitions and citations to trial on charges of heresy, Matteo and his sons being the chief objects of persecution. It was not difficult to find materials for these, furnished by refugees from Milan at the papal court--Bonifacio di Farra, Lorenzo Gallini, and others. The Visconti were accused of erring in the faith, especially as to the resurrection, of invoking the devil, with whom they had compacts, of protecting Guglielma; they were fautors of heretics and impeders of the Inquisition; they had robbed churches, violated nuns, and tortured and slain priests. The Visconti remained contumaciously absent and were duly condemned as heretics. Matteo summoned a conference of the Ghibelline chiefs at Soncino, which treated the action of the pope as an effort to resuscitate the failing cause of the Guelfs. A Ghibelline league was formed with Can Grande della Scala as captain of its forces. To meet this John called in the aid of France, appointed Philippe de Valois Imperial Vicar, and procured a French invasion which proved bootless. Then he sent his son or nephew, Cardinal Bertrand de Poyet as legate, with the title of "pacifier," at the head of a crusading army raised by a lavish distribution of indulgences. As Petrarch says, he assailed Milan as though it were an infidel city, like Memphis or Damascus, and Poyet, whose ferocity was a proof of his paternity, came not as an apostle, but as a robber. A devastating war ensued, with little advantage to the papalists, but the spiritual sword proved more effective than the temporal. May 26, 1321, the sentence of condemnation was solemnly promulgated in the Church of San Stefano at Bassegnano, and was repeated by the inquisitors March 14, 1322, at Valenza. *
Strange as it may seem, these proceedings appear to have had a decisive influence on public opinion. It is true that when, in the seventeenth century, Paolo Sarpi alluded to these transactions and assumed that Matteo's only crime was his adherence to Louis of Bavaria, Cardinal Albizio admitted the fact, and argued that those who adhered to a schismatic and heretic emperor, and disregarded the censures of the Church, rendered themselves suspect of heresy and became formal heretics. Yet this was not the impression at the time, and John had recognized that something more was required than such a charge of mere technical heresy. The Continuation of Nangis, which reflects with fidelity the current of popular thought, recounts the sins of Matteo and his sons, described in the papal sentence, as a new heresy arisen in Lombardy, and the papalist military operations as a righteous crusade for its suppression. Although this was naturally a French view of the matter, it was not confined to France. In Lombardy Matteo's friends were discouraged and his enemies took fresh heart. A peace party speedily formed itself in Milan, and the question was openly asked whether the whole region should be sacrificed for the sake of one man. In spite of Matteo's success in buying off Frederic of Austria, whom John had bribed with gold and promises to intervene with an army, the situation grew untenable even for his seasoned nerves. It is, perhaps, worthy of mention that Francesco Garbagnate, the old Guglielmite, association with whom was one of the proofs of heresy alleged against Matteo, was one of the efficient
* Preger, Die Politik des Pabstes Johann XXII., München, 1885, pp. 6-10, 21.--Petrarchi Lib. sine Titulo Epist. xviii.-- Raynald. ann. 1317, No. 27; ann. 1320, No. 10-14; ann. 1322, No. 6-8, 11.-- Bernard. Corio, Hist. Milanese, ann. 1318, 1320, 1321-22.
A bull of John XXII., Jan. 28, 1322, ordering the sale of indulgences to aid the crusade of Cardinal Bertrand, recites the heresy of Visconti and his refusal to obey the summons for his trial as the reason for assailing him.-- Regest. Clem. PP. V., Romæ, 1885, T. I. Prolegom. p. cxcviii.
agents in procuring his downfall, for Matteo had estranged him by refusing him the captaincy of the Milanese militia. Matteo sent to the legate to beg for terms, and was told that nothing short of abdication would be listened to; he consulted the citizens and was given to understand that Milan would not expose itself to ruin for his sake. He yielded to the storm--perhaps his seventy-two years had somewhat weakened his powers of resistance --he sent for his son Galeazzo, with whom he had quarrelled, and resigned to him his power, with an expression of regret that his quarrel with the Church had made the citizens his enemies. From that time forth be devoted himself to visiting the churches. In the Chiesa Maggiore he assembled the clergy, recited the Symbol in a loud voice, crying that it had been his faith during life, and that any assertion to the contrary was false, and of this he caused a public instrument to be drawn up. Departing thence like to one crazed, he hastened to Monza to visit the Church of S. Giovanni Battista, where he was taken sick and was brought back to the Monastery of Cresconzago, and died within three days, on June 27, to be thrust into unconsecrated ground. The Church might well boast that its ban had broken the spirit of the greatest Italian of the age. *
The younger Visconti--Galeazzo, Lucchino, Marco, Giovanni, and Stefano--were not so impressionable, and rapidly concentrated the Ghibelline forces which seemed to be breaking in pieces. To give them their coup de grâce, the pope, December 23, 1322, ordered Aicardo, the Archbishop of Milan, and the Inquisition to proceed against the memory of Matteo. January 13, 1323, from the safe retreat of Asti, Aicardo and three inquisitors, Pace da Vedano, Giordano da Montecucho, and Honesto da Pavia, cited him for appearance on February 25, in the Church of Santa Maria at Borgo, near Alessandria, to be tried and judged, whether present or not, and this citation they affixed on the portals of Santa Maria and of the cathedral of Alessandria. On the appointed day they were there, but a military demonstration of Marco Visconti disturbed them, to the prejudice of the faith and impeding of the
* Sarpi, Discorso, p. 25 (Ed. Helmstadt). -- Albizio, Risposto al P. Paolo Sarpi, p. 75.--Continuat. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1317.--Bern. Corio, ann. 1322.-Regest. Joann. PP. XXII. No. 89, 93, 94, 95 (Harduin. VII. 1432).
Inquisition. Transferring themselves to the securer walls of Valenza, they heard witnesses and collected testimony, and on March 14 they condemned Matteo as a defiant and unrepentant heretic. He had imposed taxes on the churches and collected them by violence; he had forcibly installed his creatures as superiors in monasteries and his concubines in nunneries; he had imprisoned ecclesiastics and tortured them--some had died in prison and others still lingered there; he had expelled prelates and seized their lands; he had prevented the transmission of money to the papal camera, even sums collected for the Holy Land; he had intercepted and opened letters between the pope and the legates; he had attacked and slain crusaders assembled in Milan for the Holy Land; he had disregarded excommunication, thus showing that he erred in the faith as to the sacraments and the power of the keys; he had prevented the interdict laid upon Milan from being observed; he had obstructed prelates from holding synods and visiting their dioceses, thus favoring heresies and scandals; his enormous crimes show that he is an offshoot of heresy, his ancestors having been suspect and some of them burned, and he has for officials and confidants heretics, such as Francesco Garbagnate, on whom crosses had been imposed; he has expelled the Inquisition from Florence and impeded it for several years; he interposed in favor of Maifreda who was burned; he is an invoker of demons, seeking from them advice and responses; he denies the resurrection of the flesh; he has endured papal excommunication for more than three years, and when cited for examination into his faith he refused to appear. He is, therefore, condemned as a contumacious heretic, all his territories are declared confiscated, he himself deprived of all honors, station, and dignities, and liable to the penalties decreed for heresy, his person to be captured, and his children and grandchildren subjected to the customary disabilities. *
This curious farrago of accusations is worth reciting, as it shows what was regarded as heresy in an opponent of the temporal power of the papacy--that the simplest acts of self-defence against an enemy who was carrying on active war against him were gravely treated as heretical, and constituted valid reasons for inflicting all the tremendous penalties prescribed by the laws for lapses
* Ughelli, Italia Sacra, IV. 286-93 (Ed. 1652).
in faith. Politically, however, the portentous sentence was inoperative. Galeazzo maintained the field, and in February, 1324, inflicted a crushing defeat on the papal troops, the cardinal-legate barely escaping by flight, and his general, Raymondo di Cardona being carried a prisoner to Milan. Fresh comminations were necessary to stimulate the faithful, and March 23 John issued a bull condemning Matteo and his five sons, reciting their evil deeds for the most part in the words of the inquisitorial sentence, though the looseness of the whole incrimination is seen in the omission of the most serious charge of all--that of demon--worship--and the defence of Maifreda is replaced by a statement that Matteo had interfered to save Galeazzo, who was now stated to have been a Gualielmite. The bull concludes by offering Holy Land indulgences to all who would assail the Visconti. This was followed, April 12, by another, reciting that the sons of Matteo had been by competent judges duly convicted and sentenced for heresy, but in spite of this, Berthold of Nyffen, calling himself Imperial Vicar of Lombardy, and other representatives of Louis of Bavaria, had assisted the said heretics in resisting the faithful Catholics who had taken up arms against them. They are therefore allowed two months in which to lay down their pretended offices and submit, as they have rendered themselves excommunicate and subject to all the penalties, spiritual and temporal, of fautorship.*
It is scarce worth while to pursue further the dreary details of these forgotten quarrels, except to indicate that the case of the Visconti was in no sense exceptional, and that the same weapons were employed by John against all who crossed his ambitious schemes. The Inquisitor Accursio of Florence had proceeded in the same way against Castruccio of Lucca, as a fautor of heretics; the inquisitors of the March of Ancona had condemned Guido Malapieri, Bishop of Arezzo, and other Ghibellines for supporting Louis of Bavaria. Frà Lamberto del Cordiglio, Inquisitor of Romagnuola, was ordered to use his utmost exertions to punish those within his district. Louis of Bavaria, in his appeal of 1324, states that the same prosecutions were brought, and sentences for heresy pronounced, against Cane della Scala, Passerino, the Marquises of Montferrat, Saluces, Ceva, and others, the Genoese, the Lucchese,
* Raynald. ann. 1324, No. 7-12.-- Martene Thesaur. II. 754-6.
and the cities of Milan, Como, Bergamo, Cremona, Vercelli, Trino, Vailate, Piacenza, Parma, Brescia, Alessandria, Tortona, Albenga, Pisa, Aretino, etc. We have a specimen of Frà Lamberto's operations in a sentence pronounced by him, February 28, 1328, against Bernardino, Count of Cona. He had already condemned for heresy Rainaldo and Oppizo d' Este, in spite of which Bernardino had visited them in Ferrara, had eaten and drunk with them, and was said to have entered into a league with them. For these offences Lamberto summoned him to stand trial before the Inquisition. He duly appeared, and admitted the visit and banquet, but denied the alliance. Lamberto proceeded to take testimony, called an assembly of experts, and in due form pronounced him a fautor of heretics, condemning him, as such, to degradation from his rank and knighthood, and incapacity to hold any honors; his estates were confiscated to the Church, his person was to be seized and delivered to the Cardinal-legate Bertrand or to the Inquisition, and his descendants for two generations were declared incapable of holding any office or benefice. All this was for the greater glory of God, for when, in 1326, John begged the clergy of Ireland to send him money, it was, he said, for the purpose of defending the faith against the heretics of Italy. Yet the Holy See was perfectly ready, when occasion suited, to admit that this wholesale distribution of damnation was a mere prostitution of its control over the salvation of mankind. After the Visconti had been reconciled with the papacy, in 1337, Lucchino, who was anxious to have Christian burial for his father, applied to Benedict XII. to reopen the process. In February of that year, accordingly, Benedict wrote to Pace da Vedano, who had conducted the proceedings against the Visconti and against the citizens of Milan, Novara, Bergamo, Cremona, Como, Vercelli, and other places for adhering to them, and who had been rewarded with the bishopric of Trieste, requiring him to send by Pentecost all the documents concerning the trial. The affair was protracted, doubtless owing to political vicissitudes, but at length, in May, 1341, Benedict took no shame in pronouncing the whole proceedings null and void for irregularity and injustice. Still the same machinery was used against Bernabo Visconti, who was summoned by Innocent VI. to appear at Avignon on March 1, 1363, for trial as a heretic, and as he only sent a procurator, he was promptly condemned by Urban VI. on March 3, and a crusade was preached against him. In 1364 he made his peace, but in 1372 the perennial quarrel broke out afresh, he was excommunicated by Gregory XI., and in January, 1373, he was summoned to stand another trial for heresy on March 28. *
In the same way heresy was the easiest charge to bring against Cola di Rienzo when he disregarded the papal sovereignty over Rome. When he failed to obey the summons to appear he was duly excommunicated for contumacy; the legate Giovanni, Bishop of Spoleto, held an inquisition on him, and in 1350 he was formally declared a heretic. The decision was sent to the Emperor Charles IV., who held him at that time prisoner in Prague, and who dutifully despatched him to Avignon. There, on a first examination, he was condemned to death, but he made his peace, and there appeared to be an opportunity of using him to advantage; he was therefore finally pronounced a good Christian, and was sent back to Rome with a legate. †
The Maffredi of Faenza afford a case very similar to that of the Visconti. In 1345 we find them in high favor with Clement VI. In 1350 they are opposing the papal policy of aggrandizement in Romagnuola. Cited to appear in answer to charges of heresy, they refuse to do so, and in July, 1352, are excommunicated for contumacy. In June, 1354, Innocent VI. recites their persistent endurance of this excommunication, and gives them until October 10 to put in an appearance. On that day he condemns them as contumacious heretics, declares them deprived of all lands and honors, and subject to the canonical and civil penalties of heresy. To execute the sentence was not so easy, but in 1356 Innocent offered Louis, King of Hungary, who had shown his zeal against the Ca-
* Martene Thesaur. II.743-5.--Wadding. ann. 1324, No. 28; ann. 1326, No. 8; ann. 1327, No. 2.-- Ripoll II. 172; VII. 60.--Regest. Clement. PP. V., Romæ, 1885, T. L. Proleg. p. ccxiii.-- Theiner Monument. Hibern. et Scotor. No. 462, p. 234.--C. 4, Septimo v. 3.--Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 204.--Baluz. et Mansi III. 227.-Ughelli IV. 294-5,314.--Raynald. ann. 1362, No. 13; ann. 1363, No. 2, 4; ann. 1372, No. 1; ann. 1373, No. 10, 12.
In spite of the decision of Benedict, Matteo and his sons, Galeazzo, Marco, and Stefano, were still unburied in 1353, when the remaining brother, Giovanni, made another effort to secure Christian sepulture for them.--Raynald. ann. 1353, No. 28.
† Raynald. ann. 1348, No. 13-14; ann. 1350, No. 5.-- Muratori Antiq. VII. 884, 928-32.
thari of Bosnia, three years' tithe of the Hungarian churches if he would put down those sons of damnation, the Maffredi, who have been sentenced as heretics, and other adversaries of the Church, including the Ordelaffi of Friuli. Frà Fortanerio, Patriarch of Grado, was also commissioned to preach a crusade against them, and succeeded in raising an army under Malatesta of Rimini. The appearance of forty thousand Hungarians in the Tarvisina frightened all Italy; the Maffredi succumbed, and in the same year Innocent ordered their absolution and reconciliation. *
It would be easy to multiply instances, but these will probably suffice to show the use made by the Church of heresy as a political agent, and of the Inquisition as a convenient instrumentality for its application. When the Great Schism arose it was natural that the same methods should be employed by the rival popes against each other. As early as 1382 we find Charles III. of Naples confiscating the property of the Bishop of Trivento, just dead, as that of a heretic because he had adhered to Clement VII. In the commission issued in 1409 by Alexander V. to Pons Feugeyron, as Inquisitor of Provence, the adherents of Gregory XII. and of Benedict XIII. are enumerated among the heretics whom he is to exterminate. It happened that Frère Étienne de Combes, Inquisi-
* Werunsky Excerptt. ex Registt. Clem. VI. et Innoc. VI. pp. 37, 74, 87, 101.-Wadding. ann. 1356, No. 7, 20.--Raynald. ann. 1356, No. 33.
This abuse of spiritual power for purposes of territorial aggrandizement did not escape the trenchant satire of Erasmus. He describes "the terrible thunderbolt which by a nod will send the souls of mortals to the deepest hell, and which the vicars of Christ discharge with special wrath on those who, instigated by the devil, seek to nibble at the Patrimony of Peter. It is thus they call the cities and territories and revenues for which they fight with fire and sword, spilling much Christian blood, and they believe themselves to be defending like apostles the spouse of Christ, the Church, by driving away those whom they stigmatize as her enemies, as if she could have any worse enemies than impious pontiffs."-Encom. Moriæ. Ed. Lipsiens. 1829, II. 379.
That the character of these papal wars had not been softened since the horrors described above at Ferrara, is seen in the massacre of Cesena, in 1376, when the papal legate, Robert, Cardinal of Geneva, ordered all the inhabitants put to the sword, without distinction of age or sex, after they had admitted him and his bandits into the city under his solemn oath that no injury should be inflicted on them. The number of the slain was estimated at five thousand.-- Poggii Hist. Florentin. Lib. II. ann. 1376.
tor of Toulouse, held to the party of Benedict XIII., and he retaliated by imprisoning a number of otherwise unimpeachable Dominicans and Franciscans, including the Provincial of Toulouse and the Prior of Carcassonne, for which the provincial, as soon as he had an opportunity, removed him and appointed a successor, giving rise to no little trouble. *
The manner in which the Inquisition was used as an instrument by the contending factions in the Church is fairly illustrated by the adventures of John Malkaw, of Prussian Strassburg (Brodnitz). He was a secular priest and master of theology, deeply learned, skilful in debate, singularly eloquent, and unflinching even to rashness. Espousing the cause of the Roman popes against their Avignonese rivals with all the enthusiasm of his fiery nature, he came to the Rhinelands in 1390, where his sermons stirred the popular heart and proved an effective agency in the strife. After some severe experiences in Mainz at the hands of the opposite faction, he undertook a pilgrimage to Rome, but tarried at Strassburg, where he found a congenial field. The city had adhered to Urban VI. and his successors, but the bishop, Frederic of Blankenheim, had alienated a portion of his clergy by his oppressions. In the quarrel he excommunicated them; they appealed to Rome and had the excommunication set aside, whereupon he went over, with his following, to Clement VII., the Avignonese antipope, giving rise to inextricable confusion. The situation was exactly suited to Malkaw's temperament; he threw himself into the turmoil, and his fiery eloquence soon threatened to deprive the antipapalists of their preponderance. According to his own statement he quickly won over some sixteen thousand schismatics and neutrals, and the nature of his appeals to the passions of the hour may be guessed by his own report of a sermon in which he denounced Clement VII. as less than a man, as worse than the devil, whose portion was with Antichrist, while his followers were all condemned schismatics and heretics; neutrals, moreover, were the worst of men and were deprived of all sacraments. Besides this he assailed with the same unsparing vehemence the deplorable morals of the Strassburg clergy, both regular and secular, and in a few weeks he
* MSS. Chiocarello T. VIII.--Wadding. ann. 1409, No. 12.-- Ripoll II. 510, 522, 566.
thus excited the bitterest hostility. A plot was made to denounce him secretly in Rome as a heretic, so that on his arrival there he might be seized by the Inquisition and burned; his wonderful learning, it was said, could only have been acquired by necromancy; he was accused of being a runaway priest, and it was proposed to arrest him as such, but the people regarded him as an inspired prophet and the project was abandoned. After four weeks of this stormy agitation he resumed his pilgrimage, stopping at Basle and Zurich for missionary work, and finally reached Rome in safety. On his return, in crossing the Pass of St. Bernard, he had the misfortune to Jose his papers. News of this reached Basle, and on his arrival there the Mendicants, to whom he was peculiarly obnoxious, demanded of Bishop Imer that he should be arrested as a wanderer without license. The bishop, though belonging to the Roman obedience, yielded, but shortly dismissed him with a friendly caution to return to his home. His dauntless combativeness, however, carried him back to Strassburg, where he again began to preach under the protection of the burgomaster, John Bock. On his previous visit he had been personally threatened by the Dominican inquisitor, Böckeler--the same who in 1400 persecuted, the Winkelers--and it was now determined to act with vigor. He had preached but three sermons when he was suddenly arrested, without citation, by the familiars of the inquisitor and thrown in prison, whence he was carried in chains to the episcopal castle of Benfeld and deprived of his book and papers and ink. Sundry examinations followed, in which his rare dexterity scarce enabled him to escape the ingenious efforts to entrap him. Finally, on March 31, 1391, Böckeler summoned an assembly, consisting principally of Mendicants, where he was found guilty of a series of charges, which show how easily the accusation of heresy could be used for the destruction of any man. His real offence was his attacks on the schismatics and on the corruption of the clergy, but nothing of this appears in the articles. It was assumed that he had left his diocese without the consent of his bishop, and this proved him to be a Lollard; that he discharged priestly functions without a license, showing him to be a Vaudois; because his admirers ate what he had already bitten, he was declared to belong to the Brethren of the Free Spirit; because he forbade the discussion as to whether Christ was alive when pierced with the lance, he was asserted to have taught that doctrine, and, therefore, to be a follower of Jean Pierre Olivi. All this was surely enough to warrant his burning, if he should obstinately refuse to recant, but apparently it was felt that the magistracy would decline to execute the sentence, and the assembly contented itself with referring the matter to the bishop and asking his banishment from the diocese. Nothing further is known of the trial, but as, in 1392, Malkaw is found matriculating himself in the University of Cologne, the bishop probably did as he was asked.
We lose sight of Malkaw until about 1414, when we meet him again in Cologne. He had maintained his loyalty to the Roman obedience, but that obedience had been still further fractioned between Gregory XII. and John XXIII. Malkaw's support of the former was accompanied with the same unsparing denunciation of John as he had formerly bestowed on the Avignonese antipopes. The Johannites were heretics, fit only for the stake. Cologne was as attractive a field for the audacious polemic as the Strassburg of a quarter of a century earlier. Two rival candidates for the archbishopric were vindicating their claims in a bloody civil war, one of them as a supporter of Gregory, the other of John. Malkaw was soon recognized as a man whose eloquence was highly dangerous amid an excitable population, and again the Inquisition took hold of him as a heretic. The inquisitor, Jacob of Soest, a Dominican and professor in the university, seems to have treated him with exceptional leniency, for while the investigation was on foot he was allowed to remain in the St. Ursula quarter, on parole. He broke his word and betook himself to Bacharach, where, under the protection of the Archbishop of Trèves, and of the Palsgrave Louis III., both Gregorians, he maintained the fight with his customary vehemence, assailing the inquisitor and the Johannites, not only in sermons, but in an incessant stream of pamphlets which kept them in a state of indignant alarm. When Cardinal John of Ragusa, Gregory's legate to the Council of Constance, came to German, Malkaw had no difficulty in procuring from him absolution from the inquisitorial excommunication, and acquittal of the charge of heresy; and this was confirmed when on healing the schism the council, in July, 1415, declared null and void all prosecutions and sentences arising from it. Still, the wounded pride of the inquisitor and of the University of Cologne refused to be placated, and for a year they continued to seek from the Council the condemnation of their enemy. Their deputies, however, warned them that the prosecution would be prolonged, difficult, and costly, and they finally came to the resolution that the action of the Cardinal of Ragusa should be regarded as binding, so long as Malkaw kept away from the territory of Cologne, but should be disregarded if he ventured to return--a very sensible, if somewhat illogical, conclusion. The obstinacy with which Gregory XIII. and Clement VIII. maintained their position after the decision of the Council of Constance prolonged the struggle in southwestern Europe, and as late as 1428 the remnants of their adherents in Languedoc were proceeded against as heretics by a special papal commissioner. *
When the schism was past the Inquisition could still be utilized to quell insubordination. Thomas Connecte, a Carmelite of Britanny, seems to have been a character somewhat akin to John Malkaw. In 1428 we hear of him in Flanders, Artois, Picardy, and the neighboring provinces, preaching to crowds of fifteen or twenty thousand souls, denouncing the prevalent vices of the time. The hennins, or tall head-dresses worn by women of rank, were the object of special vituperation, and he used to give boys certain days of pardon for following ladies thus attired, and crying "au hennin," or even slyly pulling them off. Moved by the eloquence of his sermons, great piles would be made of dice, tables, chessboards, cards, nine-pins, head-dresses, and other matters of vice and luxury, which were duly burned. The chief source, however, of the immense popular favor which he enjoyed was his bitter lashing of the corruption of all ranks of the clergy, particularly their public concubinage, which won him great applause and honor. He seems to have reached the conclusion that the only cure for this universal sin was the restoration of clerical marriage. In 1432 he went to Rome in the train of the Venetian ambassadors, to declaim against the vices of the curia. Usually there was a good-natured indifference to these attacks--a toleration born of contempt--but the moment was unpropitious. The Hussite heresy had commenced in similar wise, and its persistence was a warning
* H. Haupt, Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, 1883, pp. 323 sqq.--Vaissette, Éd. Privat, X. Pr. 2089.
not to be disregarded. Besides, at that time Eugenius IV. was engaged in a losing struggle with the Council of Basle, which was bent on reforming the curia, in obedience to the universal demand of Christendom, and Sigismund's envoys were representing to Eugenius, with more strength than courtliness, the disastrous results to be expected from his efforts to prorogue the council. Connecte might well be suspected of being an emissary of the fathers of Basle, or, if not, his eloquence at least was a dangerous element in the perturbed state of public opinion. Twice Eugenius sent for him, but he refused to come, pretending to be sick; then the papal treasurer was sent to fetch him, but on his appearing Thomas jumped out of the window and attempted to escape. He was promptly secured and carried before Eugenius, who commissioned the Cardinals of Rouen and Navarre to examine him. These found him suspect of heresy; he was duly tried and condemned as a heretic, and his inconsiderate zeal found a lasting, quietus at the stake. *
There are certain points of resemblance between Thomas Connecte and Girolamo Savonarola, but the Italian was a man of far rarer intellectual and spiritual gifts than the Breton. With equal moral earnestness, his plans and aspirations were wider and of more dangerous import, and they led him into a sphere of political activity in which his fate was inevitable from the beginning.
In Italy the revival of letters, while elevating the intellectual faculties, had been accompanied with deeper degradation in both the moral and spiritual condition of society. Without removing superstition, it had rendered scepticism fashionable, and it had weakened the sanctions of religion without supplying another basis for morality. The world has probably never seen a more defiant disregard of all law, human and divine, than that displayed by both the Church and the laity during the pontificates of Sixtus IV. and Innocent VIII. and Alexander VI. Increase of culture and of wealth seemed only to afford new attractions and enlarged opportunities for luxury and vice, and from the highest to the lowest there was indulgence of unbridled appetites,
* Monstrelet, II. 53, 127.-- Martene Ampl. Coll. VIII. 92.-- Altmeyer, Précurseurs de la Réforme aux Pays-Bas, I. 237. III.--14
with a cynical disregard even of hypocrisy. To the earnest believer it might well seem that God's wrath could not much longer be restrained, and that calamities must be impending which would sweep away the wicked and restore to the Church and to mankind the purity and simplicity fondly ascribed to primitive ages. For centuries a succession of prophets--Joachim of Flora, St. Catharine of Siena, St. Birgitta of Sweden, the Friends of God, Tommasino of Foligno, the Monk Telesforo--had arisen with predictions which had been received with reverence, and as time passed on and human wickedness increased, some new messenger of God seemed necessary to recall his erring children to a sense of the retribution in store for them if they should continue deaf to his voice.
That Savonarola honestly believed himself called to such a mission, no one who has impartially studied his strange career can well doubt. His lofty sense of the evils of the time, his profound conviction that God must interfere to work a change which was beyond human power, his marvellous success in moving his hearers, his habits of solitude and of profound meditation, his frequent ecstasies with their resultant visions might well, in a mind like his, produce such a belief, which, moreover, was one taught by the received traditions of the Church as within the possibilities of the experience of any man. Five years before his first appearance in Florence, a young hermit who had been devotedly serving in a leper hospital at Volterra, came thither, preaching and predicting the wrath to come. He had had visions of St. John and the angel Raphael, and was burdened with a message to unwilling ears. Such things, we are told by the diarist who happens to record this, were occurring every day. In 1491 Rome was agitated by a mysterious prophet who foretold dire calamities impending in the near future. There was no lack of such earnest men, but, unlike Savonarola, their influence and their fate were not such as to preserve their memory. *
* Burlamacchi Vita di Savonarola (Baluz. et, Mansi I. 533-542).-- Luca Landucci. , Diario Fiorentino, Firenze, 1883, p. 30.--Steph. Infessuræ Diar. ( Eccard. Corp. Hist. Med. Ævi II. 2000).
Villari shows ( La Storia di Gir. Savonarola, Firenze, 1887, I. pp. viii.--xi.) that the life which passes under the name of Burlamacchi is a rifacimento of an unprinted Latin biography by a disciple of Savonarola. I take this opportunity
When, in his thirtieth year, Savonarola came to Florence, in 1481, his soul was already full of his mission as a reformer. Such opportunity as he had of expressing his convictions from the pulpit he used with earnest zeal, but he produced little effect upon a community sunk in shameless debauchery, and in the Lent of 1486 he was sent to Lombardy. For three years he preached in the Lombard cities, gradually acquiring the power of touching the hearts and consciences of men, and when he was recalled to Florence in 1489, at the instance of Lorenzo de' Medici, he was already known as a preacher of rare ability. The effect of his vigorous eloquence was enhanced by his austere and blameless life, and within a year he was made Prior of San Marco--the convent of the Observantine Dominicans, to which Order he belonged. In 1494 he succeeded in re-establishing the ancient separation of the Dominican province of Tuscany from that of Lombardy, and when he was appointed Vicar-general of the former he was rendered independent of all authority save that of the general, Giovacchino Torriani, who was well affected towards him. *
He claimed to act under the direct inspiration of God, who dictated his words and actions and revealed to him the secrets of the future. Not only was this accepted by the mass of the Florentines, but by some of the keenest and most cultured intellects of the age, such as Francesco Pico della Mirandola and Philippe de Commines. Marsilio Ficino, the Platonist, admitted it, and went further by declaring, in 1494, that only Savonarola's holiness had saved Florence for four years from the vengeance of God on its wickedness. Nardi relates that when, in 1495, Piero de' Medici was making a demonstration upon Florence, he personally heard Savonarola predict that Piero would advance to the gates and retire without accomplishing anything, which duly came to pass. Others of his prophecies were fulfilled, such as those of the deaths of Lorenzo de' Medici and Charles VIII. and the famine of 1497, and his fame spread throughout Italy, while in Florence his influence became
of expressing my thanks to Signore Villari, for his kindly courtesy in furnishing me with the second volume of the new edition of his classical work in advance of publication. My obligations to it will be seen in the numerous references made to it below.
* Processo Autentico ( Baluz. et Mansi IV. 529, 551),-- Burlamacchi ( Baluz. et Mansi I. 534-5, 541-2).-- Villari, op. cit. Lib. I. c. 5, 9.
dominant. Whenever he preached, from twelve to fifteen thousand persons hung upon his lips, and in the great Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore it was necessary to build scaffolds and benches to accommodate the thronging crowds, multitudes of whom would have cast themselves into fire at a word from him. He paid special attention to children, and interested them so deeply in his work that we are told they could not be kept in bed on the mornings when he preached, but would hurry to the church in advance of their parents. In the processions which he organized sometimes five or six thousand boys would take part, and he used them most effectively in the moral reforms which he introduced in the dissolute and pleasure-loving city. The boys of Frà Girolamo were regularly organized, with officers who had their several spheres of duty assigned to them, and they became a terror to evil-doers. They entered the taverns and gambling-houses and put a stop to revelry and dicing and card-playing, and no woman dared to appear upon the streets save in fitting attire and with a modest mien. "Here are the boys of the Frate" was a cry which inspired fear in the most reckless, for any resistance to them was at the risk of life. Even the annual horse-races of Santo-Barnabo were suppressed, and it was a sign of Girolamo's waning influence when, in 1497, the Signoria ordered them resumed, saying, "Are we all to become monks?" From the gayest and wickedest of cities Florence became the most demure, and the pious long looked back with regret to the holy time of Savonarola's rule, and thanked God that they had been allowed to see it. *
In one respect we may regret his puritanism and the zeal of his boys. For the profane mummeries of the carnival in 1498 he substituted a bonfire of objects which he deemed immodest or improper, and the voluntary contributions for this purpose were supplemented by the energy of the boys, who entered houses and palaces and carried off whatever they deemed fit for the holocaust. Precious illuminated MSS., ancient sculptures, pictures, rare tapestries, and priceless works of art thus were mingled with the gew-
* Landucci, op. cit. pp. 72, 88, 94, 103, 108, 109, 123-8, 154.--Memoires de Commines Liv. vIII. c. 19.-- Marsilii Ficini opp. Ed. 1561, I. 963.-- Nardi, Historie Fiorentine, Lib. II. (Ed. 1574, pp. 58, 60).-- Perrens Jérome Savonarole, p. 342.-Burlamacchi (loc. cit. pp. 544-6, 552-3, 556-7).
gaws and vanities of female attire, the mirrors, the musical instruments, the books of divination, astrology, and magic, which went to make up the total. We can understand the sacrifice of copies of Boccaccio, but Petrarch might have escaped even Savonarola's severity of virtue. In this ruthless auto de fé, the value of the objects was such that a Venetian merchant offered the Signoria twenty thousand scudi for them, which was answered by taking the would-be chapman's portrait and placing it on top of the pyre. We cannot wonder that the pile had, to be surrounded the night before by armed guards to prevent the tiepidi from robbing it. *
Had Savonarola's lot been cast under the rigid institutions of feudalism he would probably have exercised a more lasting influence on the moral and religious character of the age. It was his misfortune that in a republic such as Florence the temptation to take part in politics was irresistible. We cannot wonder that he eagerly embraced what seemed to be an opportunity of regenerating a powerful state, through which he might not unreasonably hope to influence all Italy, and thus effect a reform in Church and State which would renovate Christendom. This, as he was assured by the prophetic voice within him, would be followed by the conversion of the infidel, and the reign of Christian charity and love would commence throughout the world.
Misled by these dazzling day-dreams, he had no scruple in making a practical use of the almost boundless influence which he had acquired over the populace of Florence. His teachings led to the revolution which in 1494 expelled the Medici, and he humanely averted the pitiless bloodshed which commonly accompanied such movements in the Italian cities. During the Neapolitan expedition of Charles VIII., in 1494, he did much to cement the alliance of the republic with that monarch, whom he regarded as the instrument destined by God to bring about the reform of Italy. In the reconstruction of the republic in the same year he had, perhaps, more to do than any one else, both in framing its structure and dictating its laws; and when he induced the people to proclaim Jesus Christ as the King of Florence, he perhaps himself hardly recognized how, as the mouthpiece of God, he was inevitably assuming the position of a dictator. It was not only in the
* Landucci, p. 163.-- Burlamacchi, pp. 558-9.-- Nardi, Lib. II. pp. 56-7.
pulpit that he instructed his auditors as to their duties as citizens and gave vent to his inspiration in foretelling the result, for the leaders of the popular party were constantly in the habit of seeking his advice and obeying his wishes. Yet, personally, for the most part, he held himself aloof in austere retirement, and left the management of details to two confidential agents, selected among the friars of San Marco--Domenico da Pescia, who was somewhat hot-headed and impulsive, and Salvestro Maruffi, who was a dreamer and somnambulist. In thus descending from the position of a prophet of God to that of the head of a faction, popularly known by the contemptuous name of Piagnoni or Mourners, he staked his all upon the continued supremacy of that faction, and any failure in his political schemes necessarily was fatal to the larger and nobler plans of which they were the unstable foundation. In addition to this, his resolute adherence to the alliance with Charles VIII. finally made his removal necessary to the success of the policy of Alexander VI. to unite all the Italian states against the dangers of another French invasion. *
As though to render failure certain, under a rule dating from the thirteenth century, the Signoria was changed every two months, and thus reflected every passing gust of popular passion. When the critical time came everything turned against him. The alliance with France, on which he had staked his credit both as a statesman and a prophet, resulted disastrously. Charles VIII. was glad at Fornovo to cut his way back to France with shattered forces, and he never returned, in spite of the threats of God's wrath which Savonarola repeatedly transmitted to him. He not only left Florence isolated to face the league of Spain, the papacy, Venice, and Milan, but be disappointed the dearest wish of the Florentines by violating his pledge to restore to them the stronghold of Pisa. When the news of this reached Florence, January 1, 1496, the incensed populace held Savonarola responsible, and a crowd around San Marco at night amused itself with loud threats to burn "the great hog of a Frate." Besides this was the severe distress occasioned by the shrinking of trade and commerce in the civic disturbances, by the large subsidies paid to Charles VIII., and
* Villari, Lib. II. cap. iv. v.; T. II. App. p. ccxx.-- Landucci, pp. 92-4,112.-Processo Autentico,( Baluze et Mansi IV. 531, 554, 558).
by the drain of the Pisan war, leading to insupportable taxation and the destruction of public credit, to all which was added the fearful famine of 1497, followed by pestilence; such a succession of misfortunes naturally made the unthinking masses dissatisfied and ready for a change. The Arrabbiati, or faction in opposition, were not slow to take advantage of this revulsion of feeling, and in this they were supported by the dangerous classes and by all those on whom the puritan reform had pressed heavily. An association was formed, known as the Compagnacci, composed of reckless and dissolute young nobles and their retainers, with Doffo Spini at their head and the powerful house of Altoviti behind them, whose primary object was Savonarola's destruction, and who were ready to resort to desperate measures at the first favorable opportunity. *
Such opportunity could not fail to come. Had Savonarola contented himself with simply denouncing the corruptions of the Church and the curia he would have been allowed to exhale his indignation in safety, as St. Birgitta, Chancellor Gerson, Cardinal d'Ailly, Nicholas de Clemangis, and so many others among the most venerated ecclesiastics had done. Pope and cardinal were used to reviling, and endured it with the utmost good-nature, so long as profitable abuses were not interfered with, but Savonarola had made himself a political personage of importance whose influence at Florence was hostile to the policy of the Borgias. Still, Alexander VI. treated him with good-natured indifference which for a while almost savored of contempt. Aroused at last to the necessity of silencing him, an attempt was made to bribe him with the archbishopric of Florence and the cardinalate, but the offer was spurned with prophetic indignation--"I want no hat but that of martyrdom, reddened with my own blood!" It was not till July 21, 1495, after Charles VIII. had abandoned Italy and left the Florentines to face single-handed the league of which the papacy was the head, that any antagonism was manifested towards him, and then it assumed the form of a friendly summons to Rome to give an account of the revelations and prophecies which he had from God. To this he replied, July 31, excusing himself
* Landucci, pp. 110, 112, 122.-- Villari, I. 473.-Mémoires de Commines, Liv. vIII. ch. 19.--Processo Autentico (loc. cit. pp. 524, 541).-- Perrens, p. 342.
on the ground of severe fever and dysentery; the republic, moreover, would not permit him to leave its territories for fear of his enemies, as his life had already been attempted by both poison and steel, and he never quitted his convent without a guard; besides, the unfinished reforms in the city required his presence. As soon as possible, however, he would come to Rome, and meanwhile the pope would find what he wanted in a book now printing, containing his prophecies on the renovation of the Church and the destruction of Italy, a copy of which would be submitted to the holy father as soon as ready. *
However lightly Savonarola might treat this missive, it was a warning not to be disregarded, and for a while he ceased preaching. Suddenly, on September 8, Alexander returned to the charge with a bull intrusted to the rival Franciscans of Santa Croce, in which he ordered the reunion of the Tuscan congregation with the Lombard province; Savonarola's case was submitted to the Lombard Vicar general, Sebastiano de Madiis; Domenico da Pescia and Salvestro Maruffi were required within eight days to betake themselves to Bologna, and Savonarola was commanded to cease preaching until he should present himself in Rome. To this Savonarola replied September 29, in a labored justification, objecting to Sebastiano as a prejudiced and suspected judge, and winding up with a request that the pope should point out any errors in his teaching, which he would 'at once revoke, and submit whatever he had spoken or written to the judgment of the Holy See. Almost immediately after this the enterprise of Piero de' Medici against Florence rendered it impossible for him to keep silent, and, without awaiting the papal answer, on October, 11 he ascended the pulpit and vehemently exhorted the people to unite in resisting the tyrant. In spite of this insubordination Alexander was satisfied with Savonarola's nominal submission, and on October 16 replied, merely ordering him to preach no more in public or in private until he could conveniently come to Rome, or a fitting person be sent to Florence to decide his case; if he obeyed, then all the papal briefs were suspended. To Alexander the whole affair was simply one of politics. The position of Florence under Savonarola's influence
* Guicciardini Lib. III. c. 6.-- Burlamacchi, p. 551.-- Villari T. I. pp. civ.-cvii. -- Landucci, p. 106.
was hostile to his designs, but he did not care to push the matter further, provided he could diminish the Frate's power by silencing him. *
His voice, however, was too potent a factor in Florentine affairs for his friends in power to consent to his silence. Long and earnest efforts were made to obtain permission from the pope that he should resume his exhortations during the coming Lent, and at length the request was granted. The sermons on Amos which he then delivered were not of a character to placate the curia, for, besides lashing its vices with terrible earnestness, he took pains to indicate that there were limits to the obedience which he would render to the papal commands. These sermons produced an immense sensation, not only in Florence, but throughout Italy, and on Easter Sunday, April 3, 1496, Alexander assembled fourteen Dominican masters of theology, to whom he denounced their audacious comrade as heretical, schismatic, disobedient, and superstitious. It was admitted that he was responsible for the misfortunes of Piero de' Medici, and it was resolved, with but one dissentient voice, that means must be found to silence him. †
Notwithstanding this he continued, without interference, to preach at intervals until November 2. Even then it is a significant tribute to his power that Alexander again had recourse to indirect means to suppress him. On November 7, 1496, a papal brief was issued creating a congregation of Rome and Tuscany and placing it under a Vicar-general who was to serve for two years, and be ineligible to reappointment except after an interval. Although the first Vicar-general was Giacomo di Sicilia, a friend of Savonarola, the measure was ingeniously framed to deprive him of independence, and he might at any moment be transferred from Florence to another post. To this Savonarola replied with open defiance. In a printed "Apologia della Congregazione di San Marco," he declared that the two hundred and fifty friars of his convent would resist to the death, in spite of threats and excommunication, a measure which would result in the perdition of their souls. This was a declaration of open war, and on November 26
* Villari, I. 402-7.--Landucci, p. 120.--Diar. Johann. Burchardi (Eccard, Corp. Hist. II. 2151-9).
† Villari, I. 417, 441-5.-- Landucci, pp. 125-9.-- Perrens, p. 361.
he boldly resumed preaching. The series of sermons on Ezekiel, which he then commenced and continued through the Lent.of 1497, shows clearly that he had abandoned all hope of reconciliation with the pope. The Church was worse than a beast, it was an abominable monster which must be purified and renovated by the servants of God, and in this work excommunication was to be welcomed. To a great extent, moreover, these sermons were political speeches, and indicate how absolutely Savonarola from the pulpit dictated the municipal affairs of Florence. The city had been reduced almost to despair in the unequal contest with Pisa, Milan, Venice, and the papacy, but the close of the year 1496 had brought some unexpected successes which seemed to justify Savonarola's exhortations to trust in God, and with the reviving hopes of the republic his credit was to some extent restored. *
Still Alexander, though his wrath was daily growing, shrank from an open rupture and trial of strength, and an effort was made to utilize against Savonarola the traditional antagonism of the Franciscans. The Observantine convent of San Miniato was made the centre of operations, and thither were sent the most renowned preachers of the Order--Domenico da Poza, Michele d' Aquis, Giovanni Tedesco, Giacopo da Brescia, and Francesco della Puglia. It is true that when, January 1, 1497, the Piagnoni, strengthened by recent successes in the field, elected Francesco Valori as Gonfaloniero di Giustizia, he endeavored to stop the Franciscans from preaching, prohibited them from begging bread and wine and necessaries, and boasted that he would starve them out, and one of them was absolutely banished from the city, but the others persevered, and Savonarola was freely denounced as an impostor from the pulpit of Santo-Spirito during Lent. Yet this had no effect upon his followers, and his audiences were larger and more enthusiastic than ever. No better success awaited a nun of S. Maria di Casignano, who came to Florence on the same errand. †
The famine was now at its height, and pestilence became threatening. The latter gave the Signoria, which was now composed of Arrabbiati, an excuse for putting a stop to this pulpit warfare, which doubtless menaced the peace of the city, and on May 3
* Villari, I. 489, 492-4, 496,499, cxlii.; II. 4-6.
† Processo Autentico, pp. 533-4.-- Perrens, pp. 189-90.-- Landucci, pp. 144-6.
all preaching after Ascension Day (May 4) was forbidden for the reason that, with the approach of summer, crowds would facilitate the dissemination of the plague. That passions were rising beyond control was shown when, the next day, Savonarola preached his farewell sermon in the Duomo. The doors had been broken open in advance, and the pulpit was smeared with filth. The Compagnacci had almost openly made preparations to kill him; they gathered there in force, and interrupted the discourse with a tumult, during which the Frate's friends gathered around him with drawn swords and conveyed him away in safety. *
The affair made an immense sensation throughout Italy, and the sympathies of the Signoria were shown by the absence of any attempt to punish the rioters. Encouraged by this evidence of the weakness of the Piagnoni, on May 13 Alexander sent to the Franciscans a bull ordering them to publish Savonarola as excommunicate and suspect of heresy, and that no one should hold converse with him. This, owing to the fears of the papal commissioner charged with it, was not published till June 18. Before the existence of the bull was known, on May 22, Savonarola had written to Alexander an explanatory letter, in which he offered to submit himself to the judgment of the Church; but two days after the excommunication was published he replied to it with a defence in which he endeavored to prove that the sentence was invalid, and on June 25 he had the audacity to address to Alexander a letter of condolence on the murder of his son, the Duke of Gandia. Fortunately for him another revulsion in municipal politics restored his friends to power on July 1, the elections till the end of the year continued favorable, and be did not cease to receive and administer the sacraments, though, under the previous orders of the Signoria, there was no preaching. It must be borne in mind that at this period there was a spirit of insubordination abroad which regarded the papal censures with slender respect. We have seen above (Vol. II. p. 137) that in 1502 the whole clergy of France, acting under a decision of the University of Paris, openly defied an excommunication launched at them by Alexander VI. It was the same now in Florence. How little the Piagnoni reeked of the excommunication is seen by a petition presented September 17 to
* Landucci, p. 148.-- Villari, II. 18-25.
the Signoria, by the children of Florence, asking that their beloved Frate be allowed to resume preaching, and by a sermon delivered in his defence, October 1, by a Carmelite who declared that in a vision God had told him that Savonarola was a holy man, and that all his opponents would have their tongues torn out and be cast to the dogs. This was flat rebellion against the Holy See, but the only punishment inflicted on the Carmelite by the episcopal officials was a prohibition of further preaching. Meanwhile the Signoria had made earnest but vain attempts to have the excommunication removed, and Savonarola had indignantly refused an offer of the Cardinal of Siena (afterwards Pius III.) to have it withdrawn on the payment of five thousand scudi to a creditor of his. Yet, in spite of this disregard of the papal censures, Savonarola considered himself as still an obedient son of the Church. He employed the enforced leisure of this summer in writing the Trionfo della Croce, in which he proved that the papacy is supreme, and that whoever separates himself from the unity and doctrine of Rome separates himself from Christ. *
January, 1498, saw the introduction of a Signoria composed of his zealous partisans, who were not content that a voice so potent should be hushed. It was an ancient custom that they should go in a body and make oblations at the Duomo on Epiphany, which was the anniversary of the Church, and on that day citizens of all parties were astounded at seeing the still excommunicated Savonarola as the celebrant, and the officials humbly kiss his hand. Not content with this act of rebellion, it was arranged that he should recommence preaching. A new Signoria was to be elected for March, the people were becoming divided in their allegiance to him, and his eloquence was held to be indispensable for his own safety and for the continuance in power of the Piagnoni. Accordingly, on February 11 he again appeared in the Duomo, where the old benches and scaffolds had been replaced to accommodate the crowd. Yet many of the more timid Piagnoni abstained from listening to an excommunicate: whether just or unjust, they argued, the sentence of the Church was to be feared. †
* Villari, II. 25-8, 35-6, 79; App. xxxix.--Processo Autentico, p. 535.-- Landucci , pp. 152-3, 157.
† Landucci, pp. 161-2.-- Machiavelli, Frammenti istorici (Opere Ed. 1782, II. 58).
In the sermons on Exodus preached during this Lent--the last which he had the opportunity of uttering--Savonarola was more violent than ever. His position was such that he could only justify himself by proving that the papal anathema was worthless, and this he did in terms which excited the liveliest indignation in Rome. A brief was despatched to the Signoria, February 26, commanding them, under pain of interdict, to send Savonarola as a prisoner to Rome. This received no attention, but at the same time another letter was sent to the canons of the Duomo ordering them to close their church to him, and March 1 he appeared there to say that he would preach at San Marco, whither the crowded audience followed him. His fate, however, was sealed the same day by the advent to power of a government composed of a majority of Arrabbiati, with one of his bitterest enemies, Pier Popoleschi, at its head as Gonfaloniero di Giustizia. Yet he was too powerful with the people to be openly attacked, and occasion for his ruin had to be awaited. *
The first act of the new Signoria was an appeal to the pope, March 4, excusing themselves for not obeying his orders and asking for clemency towards Savonarola, whose labors had been so fruitful, and whom the people of Florence believed to be more than man. Possibly this may have been insidiously intended to kindle afresh the papal anger; at all events, Alexander's reply shows that he recognized fully the advantage of the situation. Savonarola is "that miserable worm" who in a sermon recently printed had adjured God to deliver him to hell if he should apply for absolution. The pope will waste no more time in letters; he wants no more words from them, but acts. They must either send their monstrous idol to Rome, or segregate him from all human society, if they wish to escape the interdict which will last until they submit. Yet Savonarola is not to be perpetually silenced, but, after due humiliation, his mouth shall be again opened. †
This reached Florence March 13 and excited a violent discussion. We have seen that an interdict inflicted by the pope might
* Landucci, p. 164.-- Perrens, p. 231.-- Villari, II. App. lxvi.
† Perrens, pp. 232-5, 365-72. Cf. Villari, II. 115.
The obnoxious appeal to God had really been made by Savonarola in his sermon of February 11 ( Villari, II. 88).
be not merely a deprivation of spiritual privileges, but that it might comprehend segregation from the outside world and seizure of person and property wherever found, which was ruin to a commercial community. The merchants and bankers of Florence received from their Roman correspondents the most alarming accounts of the papal wrath and of his intention to expose their property to pillage. Fear took possession of the city, as rumors spread from day to day that the dreaded interdict had been proclaimed. It shows the immense influence still wielded by Savonarola that, after earnest discussions and various devices, the Signoria could only bring itself, March 17, to send to him five citizens at night to beg him to suspend preaching for the time. He had promised that, while he would not obey the pope, he would respect the wishes of the civil power, but when this request reached him he replied that he must first seek the will of Him who had ordered him to preach. The next day, from the pulpit of San Marco, he gave his answer-"Listen, for this is what the Lord saith: In asking this Frate to give up preaching it is to Me that the request is made, and not to him, for it is I who preach; it is I who grant the request and who do not grant it. The Lord assents as regards the preaching, but not as regards your salvation." *
It was impossible to yield more awkwardly or in a manner more convincing of self-deception, and Savonarola's enemies grew correspondingly bold. The Franciscans thundered triumphantly from the pulpits at their command; the disorderly elements, wearied with the rule of righteousness, commenced to agitate for the license which they could see was soon to be theirs. Profane scoffers commenced to ridicule the Frate openly in the streets, and within a week placards were posted on the walls urging the burning of the palaces of Francesco Valori and Paolo Antonio Soderini, two of his leading supporters. The agents of the Duke of Milan were not far wrong when they exultingly wrote to him predicting the speedy downfall of the Frate, by fair means or foul. †
Just at this juncture there came to light a desperate expedient to which Savonarola had recourse. After giving Alexander fair warning, March 13, to look to his safety, for there could no longer
* Perrens, pp. 237, 238.-- Landucei, pp. 164-66.
† Landucci, p. 166.-- Villari, II. App. pp. lviii.-lxii.
be truce between them, Savonarola appealed to the sovereigns of Christendom, in letters purporting to be written under the direct command of God and in his name, calling upon the monarchs to convoke a general council for the reformation of the Church. It was diseased, from the highest to the lowest, and on account of its intolerable stench God had not permitted it to have a lawful head. Alexander VI. was not pope and was not eligible to the papacy, not only by reason of the simony through which he had bought the tiara, and the wickedness which, when exposed, would excite universal execration, but also because he was not a Christian, and not even a believer in God. All this Savonarola offered to prove by evidence and by miracles which God would execute to convince the most sceptical. This portentous epistle, with trifling variants, was to be addressed to the Kings of France, Spain, England, and Hungary, and to the emperor. A preliminary missive from Domenico Mazzinghi to Giovanni Guasconi, Florentine Ambassador in France, happened to be intercepted by the Duke of Milan, who was hostile to Savonarola, and who promptly forwarded it to the pope.*
Alexander's wrath can easily be conceived. It was not so much the personal accusations, which he was ready to dismiss with cynical indifference, as the effort to bring about the convocation of a council which, since those of Constance and Basle, had ever been the cry of the reformer and the terror of the papacy. In the existing discontent of Christendom it was an ever-present danger. So recently as 1482 the half-crazy Andreas, Archbishop of Krain, had set all Europe in an uproar by convoking from Basle a council on his own responsibility, and defying for six months, under the protection of the magistrates, the efforts of Sixtus IV. and the anathemas of the inquisitor, Henry Institoris, until Frederic III., after balancing awhile, had him thrown into jail. In the same year, 1482, Ferdinand and Isabella, by the threat of calling a council, brought Sixtus to renounce the claim of filling the sees of Spain with his own creatures. In 1495 a rumor was current that the emperor was about to cite the pope to a council to be held in
* Villari, II. 129, 132-5; App. pp. lxviii.-lxxi., clxxi. -- Baluz. et Mansi I. 584-5.-- Perrens. pp. 373-5.-- Burlamacchi, p. 551.--In his confession of May 21, Savonarola stated that the idea of the council had only suggested itself to him three months previously ( Villari, II. App. cxcii.).
Florence. Some years earlier the rebellious Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere, who had fled to France, persistently urged Charles VIII. to assemble a general council; in 1497 Charles submitted the question to the University of Paris, and the University pronounced in its favor. Wild as was Savonarola's notion that he could, single-handed, stimulate the princes to such action, it was, nevertheless, a dart aimed at the mortal spot of the papacy, and the combat thereafter was one in which no quarter could be given. *
The end, in fact, was inevitable, but it came sooner and more dramatically than the shrewdest observer could have anticipated. It is impossible, amid the conflicting statements of friends and foes, to determine with positiveness the successive steps leading to the strange Sperimento del Fuoco which was the proximate occasion of the catastrophe, but it probably occurred in this wise: Frà Girolamo being silenced, Domenico da Pescia took his place. Matters were clearly growing desperate, and in his indiscreet zeal Domenico offered to prove the truth of his master's cause by throwing himself from the roof of the Palazzo del Signori, by casting himself into the river, or by entering fire. Probably this was only a rhetorical flourish without settled purpose, but the Franciscan, Francesco della Puglia, who was preaching with much effect at the Church of Santa-Croce, took it up and offered to share the ordeal with Frà Girolamo. The latter, however, refused to undertake it unless a papal legate and ambassadors from all Christian princes could be present, so that it might be made the commencement of a general reform in the Church. Frà Domenico then accepted the challenge, and on March 27 or 28 he caused to be affixed to the portal of Santa-Croce a paper in which he offered to prove, by argument or miracle, these propositions: I. The Church
* Landucei, p. 113.--Chron. Glassberger ann. 1482.-- Raynald. ann. 1492, No. 25.-- Pulgar, Cronica de los Reyes Catolicos, II. civ-- Comba, La Riforma in Italia, I. 491.-- Nardi, Lib. II. (p. 79).
The contemporary Glassberger says of Andreas of Krain's attempt,
"Nisi enim auctoritas imperatoris intervenisset maximum in ecelesia schisma subortum fuisset. Omnes enim æmuli domini papse ad domini imperatoris consensum respicicbant pro concilio celebrando."
A year's imprisonment in chains exhausted the resolution of Andreas, who executed a solemn recantition of his invectives against the Holy See. This was sent with a petition for pardon to Sixtus IV., who granted it, but before the return of the messengers the unhappy reformer hanged himself in his cell (ubi sup. ann. 1483).
of God requires renovation; II. The Church is to be scourged; III. The Church will be renovated; IV. After chastisement Florence will be renovated and will prosper; V. The infidel will be converted; VI. The excommunication of Frà Girolamo is void; VII. There is no sin in not observing the excommunication. Frà Francesco reasonably enough said that most of these propositions were incapable of argument, but, as a demonstration was desired, he would enter fire with Frà Domenico, although he fully expected to be burned; still, he was willing to make the sacrifice in order to liberate the Florentines from their false idol. *
Passions were fierce on both sides, and eager partisans kept the city in an uproar. To prevent an outbreak the Signoria sent for both disputants and caused them to enter into a written agreement, March 30, to undergo this strange trial. Three hundred years earlier it would have seemed reasonable enough, but the Council of Lateran, in 1215, had reprobated ordeals of all kinds, and they had been definitely marked with the ban of the Church. When it came to the point Frà Francesco said that he had no quarrel with Domenico; that if Savonarola would undergo the trial, he was ready to share it, but with any one else he would only produce a champion--and one was readily found in the person of Frà Giuliano Rondinelli, a noble Florentine of the Order. On the other side, all the friars of San Marco, nearly three hundred in number, signed the agreement pledging to submit themselves to the ordeal, and Savonarola declared that in such a cause any one could do so without risk. So great was the enthusiasm that when, on the day before the trial, he preached on the subject in SanMarco, all the audience rose in mass, and offered to take Domenico's place in vindicating the truth. The conditions prescribed by the Signoria were, that if the Dominican champion perished, whether alone or with his rival, Savonarola should leave the city until officially recalled; if the Franciscan alone succumbed, then Frà Francesco should do likewise; and the same was decreed for either side that should decline the ordeal at the last moment. †
* Burlamacchi, p. 559.-- Landucci, pp. 166-7.-- Processo Autentico, pp. 535-7. -- Villari, II. App. lxxi. sqq.
† Landucci, pp. 167-8.-- Processo Autentico, pp. 536-8.-- Villari, II. App. xci.-xciii.
The Signoria appointed ten citizens to conduct the trial, and fixed it for April 6, but postponed it for a day in hopes of receiving from the pope a negative answer to an application for permission--a refusal which came, but came too late, possibly delayed on purpose. On April 7, accordingly, the preparations were completed. In the Piazza de' Signori a huge pile of dry wood was built the height of a man's eyes, with a central gangway through which the champions were to pass. It was plentifully supplied with gunpowder, oil, sulphur, and spirits, to insure the rapid spread of the flames, and when lighted at one end the contestants were to enter at the other, which was to be set on fire behind them, so as to cut off all retreat. An immense mass of earnest spectators filled the piazza, and every window and house-top was crowded. These were mostly partisans of Savonarola, and the Franciscans were cowed until cheered by the arrival of the Compagnacci, the young nobles fully armed on their war-horses, and each accompanied by eight or ten retainers--some five hundred in all, with Doffo Spini at their head. *
First came on the scene the Franciscans, anxious and terrified. Then marched in procession the Dominicans, about two hundred in number, chanting psalms. Both parties went before the Signoria, when the Franciscans, professing fear of magic arts, demanded that Domenico should change his garments. Although this was promptly acceded to, and both champions were clothed anew, considerable time was consumed in the details. The Dominicans claimed that Domenico should be allowed to carry a crucifix in his right hand and a consecrated wafer in his left. An objection being made to the crucifix be agreed to abandon it, but was unmoved by the cry of horror with which the proposition as to the host was received. Savonarola was firm. It bad been revealed to Frà Salvestro that the sacrament was indispensable, and the matter was hotly disputed until the shades of evening fell, when the Signoria announced that the ordeal was abandoned, and the Franciscans withdrew, followed by the Dominicans. The crowd which had patiently waited through torrents of rain, and a storm in which the air seemed filled with howling demons, were enraged
* Perrens, pp. 379-81.-- Burlamacchi, pp. 560, 562.-- Landucci, p. 168.-- Processo Autentico, pp. 540-1.
at the loss of the promised spectacle, and a heavy armed escort was necessary to convey the Dominicans in safety back to San Marco. Had the matter been one with which reason had anything to do, we might perhaps wonder that it was regarded as a triumph for the Franciscans; but Savonarola had so confidently promised a miracle, and had been so implicitly believed by his followers, that they accepted the drawn battle as a defeat, and as a confession that he could not rely on the interposition of God. Their faith in their prophet was shaken, while the exultant Compagnacci lavished abuse on him, and they had not a word to utter in his defence. *
His enemies were prompt in following up their advantage. The next day was Palm Sunday. The streets were full of triumphant Arrabbiati, and such Piagnoni as showed themselves were pursued with jeers and pelted with stones. At vespers, the Dominican Mariano de' Ughi attempted to preach in the Duomo, which was crowded, but the Compagnacci were there in force, interrupted the sermon, ordered the audience to disperse, and those who resisted were assailed and wounded. Then arose the cry, "To San Marco!" and the crowd hurried thither. Already the doors of the Dominican church had been surrounded by boys whose cries disturbed the service within, and who, when ordered to be silent, had replied with showers of stones which compelled the entrance to be closed. As the crowd surged around, the worshippers were glad to escape with their lives through the cloisters. Francesco Valori and Paolo Antonio Soderini were there in consultation with Savonarola. Soderini made good his exit from the city; Valori was seized while skirting the walls, and carried in front of his palace, which had already been attacked by the Compagnacci. Before his eyes, his wife, who was pleading with the assailants from a window, was slain with a missile, one of his children and a female servant were wounded, and the palace was sacked and burned, after which he was struck from behind and killed by his enemies of the families Tornabuoni and Ridolfi.
* Landucci, pp. 168-9.-- Processo Autentico, p. 542.-- Burlamacchi, p. 563.-Villari, II. App. pp. lxxv.-lxxx., lxxxiii.-xc.-- Guicciardini, Lib. III. c. 6.
The good Florentines did not fail to point out that the sudden death of Charles VIII., on this same April 7, was a visitation upon him for having abandoned Savonarola and the republic.-- Nardi, Lib. II. p. 80.
Two other houses of Savonarola's partisans were likewise pillaged and burned. *
In the midst of the uproar there came forth successive proclamations from the Signoria ordering Savonarola to quit the Florentine territories within twelve hours, and all laymen to leave the church of San Marco within one hour. Although these were followed by others threatening death to any one entering the church, they virtually legalized the riot, showing what had doubtless been the secret springs that set it in motion. The assault on San Marco then became a regular siege. Matters had for some time looked so threatening that during the past fortnight the friars had been secretly providing themselves with arms. These they and their friends used gallantly, even against the express commands of Savonarola, and a melée occurred in which more than a hundred on both sides were killed and wounded. At last the Signoria sent guards to capture Savonarola and his principal aids, Domenico and Salvestro, with a pledge that no harm should be done to them. Resistance ceased; the two former were found in the library, but Salvestro had hidden himself, and was not captured till the next day. The prisoners were ironed hand and foot and carried through the streets, where their guards could not protect them from kicks and buffets by the raging mob. †
The next day there was comparative quiet. The revolution in which the aristocracy had allied itself with the dangerous classes was complete. The Piagnoni were thoroughly cowed. Opprobrious epithets were freely lavished on Savonarola by the victors, and any one daring to utter a word in his defence would have been slain on the spot. To render the triumph permanent, however, it was necessary first to discredit him utterly with the people and then to despatch him. No time was lost in preparing to give a judicial appearance to the foregone conclusion. During the day a tribunal of seventeen members selected from among his special enemies, such as Doffo Spini, was nominated, which set promptly to work on April 10, although its formal commission, including power to use torture, was not made out until the
* Landucci, p. 170.-- Processo Autentico, pp. 534, 543.-- Burlamacchi, p. 564.
† Landucci, p. 171.-- Processo Autentico, pp. 544, 549.-- Burlamacchi, p. 564. -- Nardi, Lib. II. p. 78-- Villari, II. 173-77; App. pp. xciv., ccxxv., ccxxxiii.
11th. Papal authority to disregard the clerical immunity of the prisoners was applied for, but the proceedings were not delayed by waiting for the answer, which, of course, was favorable, and two papal commissioners were adjoined to the tribunal. Savonarola and his companions, still ironed hand and foot, were carried to the Bargello. The official account states that he was first interrogated kindly, but as he would not confess he was threatened with torture, and this proving ineffectual he was subjected to three and a half tratti di fune. This was a customary form of torture, known as the strappado, which consisted in tying the prisoner's hands behind his back, then hoisting him by a rope fastened to his wrists, letting him drop from a height and arresting him with a jerk before his feet reached the floor. Sometimes heavy weights were attached to the feet to render the operation more severe. Officially it is stated that this first application was sufficient to lead him to confess freely, but the general belief at the time was that it was repeated with extreme severity. *
Be this as it may, Savonarola's nervous organization was too sensitive for him to endure agony which he knew would be indefinitely prolonged by those determined to effect a predestined result. He entreated to be released from the torture and promised to reveal everything. His examination lasted until April 18, but
* Landucci, pp. 171-2.-- Villari, II. 178; App. p. clxv.-- Processo Autentico, pp. 550-1.
Violi ( Villari, II. App. cxvi.-vii.) says that the torture was repeatedly applied --on one evening no less than fourteen times from the pulley to the floor, and that his arms were so injured that he was unable to feed himself; but this must be exaggerated in view of the pious treatises which he wrote while in prison. Burlamacchi says that he was tortured repeatedly both with cord and fire (pp. 566, 568). Burchard, the papal prothonotary, states that he was tortured seven times, and Burchard was likely to know and not likely to exaggerate (Burch. Diar. ap. Preuves des Mémoires de Commines, Bruxelles, 1706, p. 424). The expression of Commines, who was well-informed, is "le gesnèrent à merveilles" ( Mémoires, Lib. VIII. ch. 19). But the most emphatic evidence is that of the Signoria, who, in answer to the reproaches of Alexander at their tardiness, declare that they had to do with a man of great endurance; they had assiduously tortured him for many days with slender results, which they would suppress until they could force him to reveal all his secrets--"multa et assidua quæstione, multis diebus, per vim vix pauca extorsimus, quæ nunc celare animus erat donec omnia nobis paterent sui animi involucra" ( Villari, II. 197).
even in his complying frame of mind the resultant confession required to be manipulated before it could be made public. For this infamous piece of work a fitting instrument was at hand. Ser Ceccone was an old partisan of the Medici whose life had been saved by Savonarola's secretly giving him refuge in San Marco, and who now repaid the benefit by sacrificing his benefactor. As a notary he was familiar with such work, and under his skilful hands the incoherent answers of Savonarola were moulded into a narrative which is the most abject of self-accusations and most compromising to all his friends. *
He is made to represent himself as being from the first a conscious impostor, whose sole object was to gain power by deceiving the people. If his project of convoking a council had resulted in his being chosen pope he would not have refused the position, but if not he would at all events have become the foremost man in the world. For his own purposes he had arrayed the citizens against each other and caused a rupture between the city and the Holy See, striving to erect a government on the Venetian model, with Francesco Valori as perpetual doge. The animus of the trial is clearly revealed in the scant attention paid to his spiritual aberrations, which were the sole offences for which he could be convicted, and the immense detail devoted to his political activity, and to his relations with all obnoxious citizens whom it was desired to involve in his ruin. Had there been any pretence of observing ordinary judicial forms, the completeness with which he was represented as abasing himself would have overreached its purpose. In forcing him to confess that he was no prophet, and that he had always secretly believed the papal excommunication to be valid, he was relieved from the charge of persistent heresy, and he could legally be only sentenced to penance; but, as there
* Landucci, p. 172.-- Processo Autentico, p. 550.-- Perrens, pp. 267-8.- Burlamacchi , pp. 566-7-- Villari, II. 188, 193; App. cxviii.-xxi.
It is part of the Savonarola legend that Savonarola threatened Ser Ceccone with death within a year if he did not remove certain interpolations from the confession, and that the prediction was verifled, Ceccone dying within the time, unhouselled, and refusing in despair the consolations of religion ( Burlamacchi, p. 575-- Violi ap. Villari, II. App. cxxvii.).
Ceccone performed the same office for the confession of Frà Domenico ( Villari, II. App. Doc. XXVII.).
was no intention of being restricted to legal rules, the first object was to discredit him with the people, after which he could be judicially murdered with impunity. *
The object was thoroughly attained. On April 19, in the great hall of the council, the confession was publicly read in the presence of all who might see fit to attend. The effect produced is well described by the honest Luca Landucci, who had been an earnest and devout, though timid, follower of Frà Girolamo, and who now grieved bitterly at the disappearance of his illusions, and at the shattering of the gorgeous day-dreams in which the disciples had nursed themselves. Deep was his anguish as he listened to the confession of one "whom we believed to be a prophet and who now confessed that he was no prophet, and that what he preached was not revealed to him by God. I was stupefied and my very soul was filled with grief to see the destruction of such an edifice, which crumbled because it was founded on a lie. I had expected to see Florence a new Jerusalem, whence should issue the laws and the splendor and the example of the holy life; to see the renovation of the Church, the conversion of the infidel, and the rejoicing of the good. I found the reverse of all this, and I swallowed the dose"--a natural enough metaphor, seeing that Landucci was an apothecary. †
Yet even with this the Signoria was not satisfied. On April 21 a new trial was ordered; Savonarola was tortured again, and further avowals of his political action were wrung from him,‡ while a general arrest was made of those who were compromised by his confessions, and those of Domenico and Salvestro, creating a terror so widespread that large numbers of his followers fled from the city. On the 27th the prisoners were taken to the Bargello and so tortured that during the whole of the afternoon their shrieks were heard by the passers-by, but nothing was wrung
* Processo Autentico, pp. 551-64, 567.-- Villari, II. App. cxlvii. sqq.
Violi states that the confession as interpolated by Ceccone was printed and circulated by the Signoria as a justification of their action, but that it proved so unsatisfactory to the public that in a few days all copies were ordered by proclamation to be surrendered ( Villari, II. App. p. cxiv.).
† Landucci, p. 173.-- Burlamacchi, p. 567.
‡ This confession was never made public. Villari, who discovered the MS., has printed it, App. p. clxxv.
from them to incriminate Savonarola. The officials in power had but a short time for action, as their term of office ended with the month, although by arbitrary and illegal devices they secured successors of their own party. Their last official act, on the 30th, was the exile of ten of the accused citizens, and the imposition on twenty-three of various fines, amounting in all to twelve thousand florins. *
The new government which came in power May 1 at once discharged the imprisoned citizens, but kept Savonarola and his companions. These, as Dominicans, were not justiciable by the civil power, but the Signoria immediately applied to Alexander for authority to condemn and execute them. He refused, and ordered them to be delivered to him for judgment, as he had already done when the news reached him of Savonarola's capture. To this the republic demurred, doubtless for the reason privately alleged to the ambassador, that Savonarola was privy to too many state secrets to be intrusted to the Roman curia; but it suggested that the pope might send commissioners to Florence to conduct the proceedings in his name. To this he assented. In a brief of May 11 the Bishop of Vaison, the suffragan of the Archbishop of Florence, is instructed to degrade the culprits from holy orders, at the requisition of the commissioners who had been empowered to conduct the examination and trial to final sentence. In the selection of these commissioners the Inquisition does not appear. Even had it not fallen too low in popular estimation to be intrusted with an affair of so much moment, in Tuscany it was Franciscan, and to have given special authority to the existing inquisitor, Frà Francesco da Montalcino, would have been injudicious in view of the part taken by the Franciscans in the downfall of Savonarola. Alexander showed his customary shrewdness in selecting for the miserable work the Dominican general, Giovacchino Torriani, who bore the reputation of a kind-hearted and humane man. He was but a stalking-horse, however, for the real actor was his associate, Francesco Romolino, a clerk of Lerida, whose zeal in the infamous business was rewarded with the cardinalate and archbishopric of Palermo. After all, their duties were only ministerial
* Landucci, p. 174.-- Processo Autentico, p. 563.-- Villari, II. 210, 217.-- Nardi, Lib. II. p. 79.
and not judicial, for the matter had been prejudged at Rome. Romolino openly boasted, "We shall have a fine bonfire, for I bring the sentence with me." *
The commissioners reached Florence May 19, and lost no time in accomplishing their object. The only result of the papal intervention was to subject the victims to a surplusage of agony and shame. For form's sake, the papal judges could not accept the proceedings already had, but must inflict on Savonarola a third trial. Brought before. Romolino on the 20th, he retracted his confession as extorted by torture, and asserted that he was an envoy of God. Under the inquisitorial formulas this retraction of confession rendered him a relapsed heretic, who could be burned without further ceremony, but his judges wanted to obtain information desired by Alexander, and again the sufferer was repeatedly subjected to the strappado, when he withdrew his retraction. Special inquiries were directed to ascertain whether the Cardinal of Naples had been privy to the design of convoking a general council, and under the stress of reiterated torture Savonarola was brought to admit this on the 21st, but on the 22d he withdrew the assertion, and the whole confession, although manipulated by the skilful hand of Ser Ceccone, was so nearly a repetition of the previous one that it was never given to the public. This mattered little, however, for the whole proceedings were a barefaced mockery of justice. From some oversight Domenico da Pescia's name had not been included in the papal commission. He was an individual of no personal importance, but some zealous Florentine warned Romolino that there might be danger in sparing him, when the commissioner carelessly replied "A frataccio more or less makes no difference," and his name was added to the sentence. He was an impenitent heretic, for with heroic firmness he had borne the most excruciating torture without retracting his faith in his beloved prophet. †
* Landucci, p. 174.-- Nardi, Lib. II. p. 79.-- Wadding. ann. 1496, No. 7.-Perrens, p. 399.-- Processo Autentico, p. 522.-- Burlamacchi, p. 568.-- Brev. Hist. Ord. Prædicat. (Martene Ampl. Coll. VI. 393).
† Landucci, p. 176.-- Nardi, Lib. II. pp. 80-1.-- Burlamacchi, p. 568.--Violi ( Villari, II. App. cxxv.).-- Villari, II. 206-8, 229-33; App. clxxxiv., cxciv., cxcvii.
There was one peculiarity in this examination before Romolino which I have not seen recorded elsewhere. During the interrogatory of May 21 Savonarola
The accused were at least spared the torment of suspense. On the 22d judgment was pronounced. They were condemned as heretics and schismatics, rebels from the Church, sowers of tares and revealers of confessions, and were sentenced to be abandoned to the secular arm. To justify relaxation, it was requisite that the culprit should be a relapsed or a defiant heretic, and Savonarola was not regarded as coming under either category. He had always declared his readiness to retract anything which Rome might define as erroneous. He had confessed all that had been required of him, nor was his retraction when removed from torture treated as a relapse, for he and his companions were admitted to communion before execution, without undergoing the ceremony of abjuration, which shows that they were not considered as heretics, nor cut off from the Church. In fact, as though to complete the irregularity of the whole transaction, Savonarola himself was allowed to act as the celebrant, and to perform the sacred mysteries on the morning of the execution. All this went for nothing, however, when a Borgia was eager for revenge. On the previous evening a great pile had been built in the piazza. The next morning, May 23, the ceremony of degradation from holy orders was performed in public, after which the convicts were handed over to the secular magistrates. Was it hypocrisy or remorse that led Romolino at this moment to give to his victims, in the name of Alexander, plenary indulgence of their sins, thus restoring them to a state of primal innocence? Irregular as the whole affair had been, it was rendered still more so by the Signoria, which modified the customary penalty to hanging before the burning, and the three martyrs endured their fate in silence. *
The utmost care was taken that the bodies should be utterly consumed, after which every fragment of ashes was scrupulously gathered up and thrown into the Arno, in order to prevent the preservation of relies. Yet, at the risk of their lives, some earnest disciples secretly managed to secure a few floating coals, as well
was subjected to fresh torture as a preliminary to asking his confirmation of the statements just made under repeated tortures ( Villari, II. App. cxcvi.).
* Landucci, pp. 176-7.-- Processo Autentico, p. 546.-- Villari, II. 239; App. cxcviii.-- Cantù, Eretici d'Italia, I. 229.-- Burlamacchi, pp. 569-70.-- Nardi, Lib. II. p. 82.
as some fragments of garments, which were treasured and venerated even to recent times. Though many of the believers, like honest Landucci, were disillusioned, many were persistent in the faith, and for a long while lived in the daily expectation of Savonarola's advent, like a new Messiah, to work out the renovation of Christianity and the conversion of the infidel--the realization of the splendid promises with which he had beguiled himself and them. So profound and lasting was the impression made by his terrible fate that for more than two centuries, until 1703, the place of execution was secretly strewed with flowers on the night of the anniversary, May 23. *
The papal commissioners reaped a harvest by summoning to Rome the followers of Savonarola, and then speculating on their fears by selling them exemptions. Florence itself was not long in realizing the strength of the reaction against the puritanic methods which Savonarola had enforced. The streets again became filled with reckless desperadoes, quarrels and murders were frequent, gambling was unchecked, and license reigned supreme. Nardi tells us that it seemed as if decency and virtue had been prohibited by law, and the common remark was, that since the coming of Mahomet no such scandal had been inflicted upon the Church of God. As Landucci says, it seemed as if hell had broken loose. As though in very wantonness to show the Church what were the allies whom it had sought in the effort to crush unwelcome reform, on the following Christmas eve a horse was brought into the Duomo, and deliberately tortured to death, goats were let loose in San Marco, and in all the churches assafœtida was placed in the censers; nor does it seem that any punishment was visited upon the perpetrators of these public sacrileges. The Church had used the sceptics to gain her ends, and could not complain of the manner in which they repaid her for her assistance in the unholy alliance. †
* Landucci, p. 178.-- Perrens, p. 281.-- Processo Autentico, p. 547.-- Nardi, Lib. II. p. 82.-- Villari, II. 251.
Burlamacchi's relation (pp. 570-1) of the manner in which an arm, a hand, and the heart of Savonarola were preserved for the veneration of the faithful, has the evident appearance of a legend to justify the authenticity of the relies.
† Nardi, Lib. II. pp. 82-3.-- Landucci, pp. 190-1.
Savonarola had built his house upon the sand, and was swept away by the waters. Yet, in spite of his execution as a heretic, the Church has tacitly confessed its own crime by admitting that he was no heretic, but rather a saint, and the most convenient evasion of responsibility was devoutly to refer the whole matter, as Luke Wadding does, to the mysterious judgment of God. Even Torriani and Romolino, after burning, him, when they ordered, May 27, under pain of excommunication, all his writings to be delivered up to them for examination, were unable to discover any heretical opinions, and were obliged to return them without erasures. Perhaps it might have been as well to do this before condemning him. Paul III. declared that he would hold as a heretic any one who should assail the memory of Frà Girolamo; and Paul IV. had his works rigorously examined by a special congregation, which declared that they contained no heresy. Fifteen of his sermons, denunciatory of ecclesiastical abuses, and his treatise De Veritate Prophetica, were placed upon the index as unfitted for general reading, donec corrigantur, but not as heretical. Benedict XIV., in his great work, De Servorum Dei Beatificatione, includes Savonarola's name in a list of the saints and men illustrious for sanctity. Images of him graced with the nimbus of sanctity were allowed to be publicly sold, and St. Filippo Neri kept one of these constantly by him. St. Francesco di Paola held him to be a saint. St. Catarina Ricci used to invoke him as a saint, and considered his suffrage peculiarly efficacious; when she was canonized, her action with regard to this was brought before the consistory, and was thoroughly discussed. Prospero Lambertini, afterwards Benedict XIV., was the Promotor fidei, and investigated the matter carefully, coming to the conclusion that this in no degree detracted from the merits of St. Catarina. Benedict XIII. also examined the case thoroughly, and, dreading a renewal of the old controversy as to the justice of Savonarola's sentence, ordered the discussion to cease and the proceedings to continue without reference to it, which was a virtual decision in favor of the martyr's saintliness. In S. Maria Novella and S. Marco he is pictured as a saint, and in the frescos of the Vatican Raphael included him among the doctors of the Church. The Dominicans long cherished his memory, and were greatly disposed to regard him as a genuine prophet and uncanonized saint. When Clement VIII., in 1598, hoped to acquire Ferrara, he is said to have made a vow that if successful he would canonize Savonarola, and the hopes of the Dominicans grew so sanguine that they composed a litany for him in advance. In fact, in many of the Dominican convents of Italy during the sixteenth century, on the anniversary of his execution an office was sung to him as to a martyr. His marvellous career thus furnishes the exact antithesis of that of his Ferrarese compatriot, Armanno Pongilupo--the one was venerated as a saint and then burned as a heretic, the other was burned as a heretic and then venerated as a saint. *
* Wadding. ann. 1498, No. 23.-- Lanclucci, p. 178.-- Perrens, pp. 296-7.-- Processo Autentico , pp. 524, 528.-- Cantù, Eretici d'Italia, I. 234-5.-- Benedicti PP. XIV. De Servorum Dei Beatificatione, Lib. III. c. xxv. §§ 17-20.-- Brev. Hist. Ord. Prædic. ( Martene, Ampl. Coll. VI. 394).-- Reusch, Der Index der verbotenen Bücher, I. 368.
A goodly catalogue of miracles performed by Savonarola's intercession will be found piously chronicled by Burlamacchi and Bottonio ( Baluz. et Mansi I. pp. 571-83).
POLITICAL HERESY UTILIZED BY THE STATE.
IT was inevitable that secular potentates should follow the example of the Church in the employment of a weapon so efficient as the charge of heresy, when they chanced to be in the position of controlling the ecclesiastical organization.
A typical illustration of this is seen when, during the anarchy which prevailed in Rome after the death of Innocent VII. in 1406, Basilio Ordelaffi incurred the enmity of the Colonnas and the Savelli, and they found that the easiest way to deal with him was through the Inquisition. Under their impulsion it seized him and two of his adherents, Matteo and Merenda. Through means procured by his daughter, Ordelaffi escaped from prison and was condemned in contumacian. The others confessed--doubtless under torture--the heresies attributed to them, were handed over to the secular arm, and were duly burned. Their houses were torn down, and on their sites in time were erected two others, one of which afterwards became the dwelling of Michael Angelo and the other of Salvator Rosa. *
Secular potentates, however, had not waited till the fifteenth century to appreciate the facilities afforded by heresy and the Inquisition for the accomplishment of their objects. Already a hundred years earlier the methods of the Inquisition had suggested to Philippe le Bel the great crime of the Middle Ages--the destruction of the Order of the Temple.
When, in 1119, Hugues de Payen and Geoffroi de Saint-Adhémar with seven companions devoted themselves to the pious task of keeping the roads to Jerusalem clear of robbers, that pilgrims might traverse them in safety, and when Raymond du Puy about
* Ripoll II. 566.-- Wadding. ann. 1409, No. 12.-- Tamburini, Storia Gen. dell' Inquis. II. 437-9.
the same time organized the Poor Brethren of the Hospital of St. John, they opened a new career which was irresistibly attractive to the warlike ardor and religious enthusiasm of the age. The strange combination of monasticism and chivalry corresponded so exactly to the ideal of Christian knighthood that the Military Orders thus founded speedily were reckoned among the leading institutions of Europe. At the Council of Troyes, in 1128, a Rule, drawn up it is said by St. Bernard, was assigned to Hugues and his associates, who were known as the Poor Soldiers of the Temple. They were assigned a white habit, as a symbol of innocence, to which Eugenius III. added a red cross, and their standard, Bauséant, half black and half white, with its legend, "Non nobis Domine," soon became the rallying-point of the Christian chivalry. The Rule, based upon that of the strict Cistercian Order, was exceedingly severe. The members were bound by the three monastic vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, and these were enforced in the statutes of the Order with the utmost rigor. The applicant for admission was required to ask permission to become the serf and slave of the "House" forever, and was warned that he henceforth surrendered his own will irrevocably. He was promised bread and water and the poor vestments of the House; and if after death gold or silver were found among his effects his body was thrust into unconsecrated ground, or, if buried, it was exhumed. Chastity was prescribed in the same unsparing fashion, and even the kiss of a mother was forbidden. *
The fame of the Order quickly filled all Europe; knights of the noblest blood, dukes and princes, renounced the world to serve Christ in its ranks, and soon in its general chapter three hundred knights were gathered, in addition to serving brethren. Their possessions spread immensely. Towns and villages and churches and manors were bestowed upon them, from which the revenues
* Jac. de Vitriaco Hist. Hierosol. cap. 65 ( Bongars II. 1083-4).-- Rolewinck Fascie. Tempor. ( Pistorii R. Germ. Scriptt. II. 546).-- Regula Pauperum Commilitonum Templi c. 72 ( Hardnin. VI. II. 1146).-- Règle et Statuts secrets des Templiers, §§ 125, 128 ( Maillard de Chambure, Paris, 1840, pp. 455, 488-90, 494-5).
Since this chapter was written the Société de l'Histoire de France has issued a more correct and complete edition of the Rule and Statutes of the Templars, under the care of M. Henri de Curzon.
were sent to the Grand Master, whose official residence was Jerusalem, together with the proceeds of the collections of an organized system of beggary, their agents for which penetrated into every corner of Christendom. Scarce had the, Order been organized when, in 1133, the mighty warrior, Alonso I. of Aragon, known as el Batallador and also as el Emperador, because his rule extended over Navarre and a large portion of Castile, dying without children, left his whole dominions to the Holy Sepulchre and to the Knights of the Temple and of the Hospital in undivided thirds; and though the will was not executed, the knights were promised and doubtless received compensation from his successor, Ramiro el Monje. More practical was the liberality of Philip Augustus, in 1222, when he left the two Orders two thousand marks apiece absolutely, and the enormous sum of fifty thousand marks each on condition of keeping in service for three years three hundred knights in the Holy Land. We can understand how, in 1191, the Templars could buy the Island of Cyprus from Richard of England for twenty-five thousand silver marks, although they sold it the next year for the same price to Gui, King of Jerusalem. We can understand, also, that this enormous development began to excite apprehension and hostility. At the Council of Lateran, in 1179, there was bitter strife between the prelates and the Military Orders, resulting in a decree which required the Templars to surrender all recently acquired churches and tithes--an order which, in 1186, Urban III. defined as meaning all acquired within the ten years previous to the council. *
This indicates that already the prelates were beginning to feel jealous of the new organization. In fact, the antacronism which
* Jac. de Vitriaco loc. cit.-- Robert de Monte Contin. Sigeb. Gembl. ( Pistorii, op. cit. I. 875).-- Zurita Añales de Aragon, Lib. I. c. 52-3.-- Art de Vérifier les Dates V. 337.-- Teulet, Layettes, I. 550, No. 1547.-- Grandes Chroniques, IV. 86. -- Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium Dist. I. c. xxiii.-- Hans Prutz, Malteser Urkunden, München, 1883, p. 43.
A curious illustration of the prominence which the Templars were acquiring in the social organization is afforded in 1191, when they were made conservators of the Truce of God, by which the nobles and prelates of Languedoc and Provence agreed that beasts and implements and seed employed in agriculture should be unmolested in time of war. For enforcing this the Templars were to receive a bushel of corn for every plough.-- Prutz, op. cit. pp. 44-5.
we have already traced in the thirteenth century between the Mendicant Orders and the secular clergy was but the repetition of that which had long existed with respect to the Military Orders. These from the first were the especial favorites of the Holy See, whose policy it was to elevate them into a militia depending solely on Rome, thus rendering them an instrument in extending its influence and breaking down the independence of the local churches. Privileges and immunities were showered upon them; they were exempted from tolls and tithes and taxes of all kinds; their churches and houses were endowed with the right of asylum; their persons enjoyed the inviolability accorded to ecclesiastics; they were released from all feudal obligations and allegiance; they were justiciable only by Rome; bishops were forbidden to excommunicate them, and were even ordered to refer to the Roman curia all the infinite questions which arose in local quarrels. In 1255, after the misfortunes of the crusade of St. Louis, alms given to their collectors were declared to entitle the donors to Holy Land indulgences. In short, nothing was omitted by the popes that would stimulate their growth and bind them firmly to the chair of St. Peter. *
Thus it was inevitable that antagonism should spring up between the secular hierarchy and the Military Orders. The Templars were continually complaining that the prelates were endeavoring to oppress them, to impose exactions, and to regain by various devices the jurisdiction from which the popes had relieved them; their right of asylum was violated; the priests interfered with their begging collectors, and repressed and intercepted the pious legacies designed for them; the customary quarrels over burials and burial-fees were numerous, for, until the rise of the Mendicants, and even afterwards, it was a frequent thing for nobles to order their sepulture in the Temple or the Hospital. To these complaints the popes ever lent a ready ear, and the favoritism which they manifested only gave a sharper edge to the hostility of the defeated prelates. In 1264 there was a threatened rupture between the papacy and the Temple. Étienne de Sissy, Marshal of the Order and Preceptor of Apulia, refused to assist
* Rymer, Fœdera, I. 30.--Can. 10, 11, Extra. III. 30.-- Prutz, op. cit. pp. 38, 46, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 56-61, 64, 76, 78-9.
in the crusade preparing against Manfred, and was removed by Urban IV. When ordered to resign his commission he boldly replied to Urban that no pope had ever interfered with the internal affairs of the Order, and that he would resign his office only to the Grand Master who had conferred it. Urban excommunicated him, but the Order sustained him, being discontented because the succors levied for the Holy Land were diverted to the papal enterprise against Manfred. The following year a new pope, Clement IV., in removing the excommunication, bitterly reproached the Order for its ingratitude, and pointed out that only the support of the papacy could sustain it against the hostility of the bishops and princes, which apparently was notorious. Still the Order held out, and in common with the Hospitallers and Cistercians, refused to pay a tithe to Charles of Anjou, in spite of which Clement issued numerous bulls confirming and enlarging its privileges. *
That this antagonism on the part of temporal and spiritual potentates had ample justification there can be little doubt. If, as we have seen, the Mendicant Orders rapidly declined from the enthusiastic self-abnegation of Dominic and Francis, such a body as the Templars, composed of ambitious and warlike knights, could hardly be expected long to retain its pristine ascetic devotion. Already, in 1152, the selfish eagerness of the Grand Master, Bernard de Tremelai, to secure the spoils of Ascalon nearly prevented the capture of that city, and the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem was hastened when, in 1172, the savage ferocity of Eudes de Saint-
* Prutz, op. cit. pp. 38-41, 43, 45, 47-8, 57, 64-9, 75-80.-- J. Delaville le Roulx , Documents concernant les Templiers Paris, 1882, p. 39.-- Bini, Dei Tempieri in Toscana, Lucca, 1845, pp. 453-55.- Raynald. ann. 1265, No. 75-6.-- Martene Thesaur . II. 111, 118.
The systematic beggary of the Templars must have been peculiarly exasperating both to the secular clergy and the Mendicants. Monsignor Bini prints a document of 1244 in which the Preceptor of Lucca gives to Albertino di Pontremoli a commission to beg for the Order. Albertino employs a certain Aliotto to do the begging from June till the following Carnival, and pays him by empowering him to be on his own account from the Carnival to the octave of Easter (op. cit. pp. 401-2, 439-40). For the disgraceful squabbles which arose between the secular clergy and the Military Orders over this privileged beggary, see Faucon , Registres de Boniface VIII. No. 1950, p. 746.
Amand, then Grand Master, prevented the conversion of the King of the Assassins and all his people. It was not without show of justification that about this time Walter Mapes attributes the misfortunes of the Christians of the East to the corruption of the Military Orders. By the end of the century we have seen from King Richard's rejoinder to Foulques de Neuilly that Templar was already synonymous with pride, and in 1207 Innocent III. took the Order to task in an epistle of violent denunciation. His apostolic ears, he said, were frequently disturbed with complaints of their excesses. Apostatizing from God and scandalizing the Church, their unbridled pride abused the enormous privileges bestowed upon them. Employing doctrines worthy of demons, they give their cross to every tramp who can pay them two or three pence a year, and then assert that these are entitled to ecclesiastical services and Christian burial, even though laboring under excommunication. Thus ensnared by the devil they ensnare the souls of the faithful. He forbears to dwell further on these and other wickednesses by which they deserve to be despoiled of their privileges, preferring to hope that they will free themselves from their turpitude. A concluding allusion to their lack of respect towards papal legates probably explains the venomous vigor of the papal attack, but the accusations which it makes touch points on which there is other conclusive evidence. Although by the statutes of the Order the purchase of admission, directly or indirectly, was simony, entailing expulsion on him who paid and degradation on the preceptor who was privy to it, there can be no doubt that many doubtful characters thus effected entrance into the Order. The papal letters and privileges so freely bestowed upon them were moreover largely abused, to the vexation and oppression of those with whom they came in contact, for, exclusively justiciable in the Roman curia, they were secure against all pleaders who could not afford that distant, doubtful, and expensive litigation. The evils thence arising were greatly intensified when the policy was adopted of forming a class of serving brethren, by whom their extensive properties were cultivated and managed without the cost of hired labor. Churls of every degree, husbandmen, shepherds, swineherds, mechanics, household servants, were thus admitted into the Order, until they constituted at least nine tenths of it, and although these were distinguished by a brown mantle in place of the white garment of the knights, and although they complained of the contempt and oppression with which they were treated by their knightly brethren, nevertheless, in their relations with the outside world, they were full members of the Order, shrouded with its inviolability and entitled to all its privileges, which they were not likely by moderation to render less odious to the community. *
Thus the knights furnished ample cause for external hostility and internal disquiet, though there is probably no ground for the accusation that, in 1229, they betrayed Frederic II. to the infidel, and, in 1250, St. Louis to the Soldan of Egypt. Yet Frederic II. doubtless had ample reason for dissatisfaction with their conduct during his crusade, which he revenged by expelling them from Sicily in 1229, and confiscating their property; and though he recalled them soon after and assumed to restore their possessions, he retained a large portion. Still, pious liberality continued to increase the wealth of the Order, though as the Christian possessions in the
* Guillel. Tyrii Hist. Lib. XVII. c. 27; XX. 31-2.-- Gualt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium Dist. I. c. XX.- Innoc. PP. III. Regest. x. 121. Cf. xv. 131.--Règle et Statuts secrets, § 173, p. 389.-- Michelet, Procès des Templiers, I. 39; II. 9, 83, 140, 186-7, 406-7 (Collection de Documents inédits, Paris, 1841-51).
When, in 1307, the Templars at Beaucaire were seized, out of sixty arrested, five were knights, one a priest, and fifty-four were serving brethren; in June, 1310, out of thirty-three prisoners in the Chateau d'Alais, there were four knights and one priest, with twenty-eight serving brethren (Vaissette, IV. 141). In the trials which have reached us the proportion of knights is even less. The serving brethren occasionally reached the dignity of preceptor; but how little this implies is shown by the examination, in June, 1310, of Giovanni di Neritone, Preceptor of Castello Villari, a serving brother, who speaks of himself as "simplex et rusticus" ( Schottmiller, Der Ausgang des Templer-Ordens, Berlin, 1887, II. 125, 130).
The pride of birth in the Order is illustrated by the rule that none could be admitted as knights except those of knightly descent. In the Statutes a case is cited of a knight who was received as such; those who were of his country declared that he was not the son of a knight. He was sent for from Antioch to a chapter where this was found to be true, when the white mantle was removed and a brown one put on him. His receptor was then in Europe, and when he returned to Syria he was called to account. He justified himself by his having acted under the orders of his commander of Poitou. This was found to be true; otherwise, and but that he was a good knight (proudons), he would have lost the habit ( Règle, § 125, pp. 462-3).
East shrank more and more, people began to attribute the ceaseless misfortunes to the bitter jealousy and animosity existing between the rival Orders of the Temple and the Hospital, which in 1243 had broken out into open war in Palestine, to the great comfort of the infidel. A remedy was naturally sought in a union of the two Orders, together with that of the Teutonic Knights. At the Council of Lyons, in 1274, Gregory X. vainly endeavored to effect this, but the countervailing influences, including, it was said, the gold of the brethren, were too powerful. In these reproaches perhaps the Orders were held to an undeserved accountability, for while their quarrels and the general misconduct of the Latins in Palestine did much to wreck the kingdom of Jerusalem, the real responsibility lay rather with the papacy. When thousands of heretics were sent as crusaders in punishment, the glory of the service was fatally tarnished. When money raised and vows taken for the Holy Land were diverted to the purposes of the papal power in Italy, when the doctrine was publicly announced that the home interests of the Holy See were more important than the recovery of the Holy Sepulchre, the enthusiasm of Christendom againts the infidel was chilled. When salvation could be gained at almost any time by a short term of service near home in the quarrels of the Church, whether on the Weser or in Lombardy, the devotion which had carried thousands to the Syrian deserts found a less rugged and a safer path to heaven. It is easy thus to understand how in the development of papal aggrandizement through the thirteenth century recruits and money were lacking to maintain against the countless hordes of Tartars the conquests of Godfrey of Bouillon. In addition to all this the Holy Land was made a penal settlement whither were sent the malefactors of Europe, rendering the Latin colony a horde of miscreants whose crimes deserved and whose disorders invited the vengeance of Heaven. *
* Matt. Paris. ann. 1228, 1243 (Ed. 1644, p. 240, 420).-- Mansuet le Jeune. Hist. des Templiers, Paris, 1789, I. 340-1.-- Prutz, op. cit. pp. 60-1.--Mag. Chron. Belgic. ann. 1274.-- Faucon, Registres de Boniface VIII. No. 1691-2, 1697.-- Marin. Sanuti Secret. Fidel. Lib. III. P. ix. c. 1, 2 ( Bongars, II. 188-9).
The Hospital was open to the same reproaches as the Temple. In 1238 Gregory IX. vigorously assailed the Knights of St. John for their abuse of the privileges bestowed on them--their unchastity and the betrayal of the cause of
With the fall of Acre, in 1291, the Christians were driven definitely from the shores of Syria, causing intense grief and indignation throughout Europe. In that disastrous siege, brought on by the perfidy of a band of crusaders who refused to observe an existing truce, the Hospital won more glory than the Temple, although the Grand Master, Guillaume de Beaujeu, had been chosen to command the defence, and fell bravely fighting for the cross. After the surrender and massacre, his successor, the monk Gaudini, sailed for Cyprus with ten knights, the sole survivors of five hundred who had held out to the last. Again, not without reason, the cry went up that the disaster was the result of the quarrels between the Military Orders, and Nicholas IV. promptly sent letters to the kings and prelates of Christendom asking their opinions on the project of uniting them, in view of the projected crusade which was to sail on St. John's day, 1293, under Edward I. of England. At least one affirmative answer was received from the provincial council of Salzburg, but ere it reached Rome Nicholas was dead. A long interregnum, followed by the election of the hermit Pier Morrone, put an end to the project for the time, but it was again
God in Palestine. He even asserts that there are not a few heretics among them. -- Raynald. ann. 1238, No. 31-2.
A sirvente by a Templar, evidently written soon after the fall of Acre, alludes bitterly to the sacrifice made of the Holy Land in favor of the ambition and cupidity of the Holy See--
"Lo papa fa de perdon gran largueza Contr' Alamans ab Arles e Frances; E sai mest nos mostram gran cobreza, Quar nostras crotz van per crotz de tornes; E qui vol camjar Romania Per la guerra de Lombardia? Nostres legatz, don yeu vos dic per ver Qu'els vendon Dieu el perdon per aver."--
Meyer, Recueil d'anciens Textes, p. 96.
It is also to be borne in mind that indulgences were vulgarized in many other ways. When St. Francis announced to Honorius III. that Christ had sent him to obtain plenary pardons for those who should visit the Church of S. Maria di Porziuncola, the cardinals at once objected that this would nullify the indulgences for the Holy Land, and Honorius thereupon limited the Portiuncula indulgence to the twenty-four hours commencing with the vespers of August1.-- Amoni Legenda S. Francisci Append . c. xxxiii.
taken up by Boniface VIII., to be interrupted and laid aside, probably by his engrossing quarrel with Philippe le Bel. What was the drift of public opinion at the time is probably reflected in a tract on the recovery of the Holy Land addressed to Edward I. It is there proposed that the two Orders, whose scandalous quarrels have rendered them the object of scorn, shall be fused together and confined to their eastern possessions, which should be sufficient for their support, while their combined revenues from their western property, estimated at eight hundred thousand livres Tournois per annum, be employed to further the crusade. Evidently the idea was spreading that their wealth could be seized and used to better purpose than it was likely to be in their hands. *
Thus the Order was somewhat discredited in popular estimation when, in 1297, Jacques de Molay, whose terrible fate has cast a sombre shadow over his name through the centuries, was elected Grand Master, after a vigorous and bitter opposition by the partisans of Hugues de Peraud. A few years of earnest struggle to regain a foothold in Palestine seemed to exhaust the energy and resources of the Order, and it became quiescent in Cyprus. Its next exploit, though not official, was not of a nature to conciliate public opinion. Charles de Valois, the evil genius of his brother Philippe le Bel, and of his nephews, in 1300 married Catherine, granddaughter of Baldwin II. of Constantinople, and titular empress. In 1306 he proposed to make good his wife's claims on the imperial throne, and he found a ready instrument in Clement V., who persuaded himself that the attempt would not be a weakening of Christianity in the East, but a means of recovering Palestine, or at least of reducing the Greek Church to subjection. He therefore endeavored to unite the Italian republics and princes in this crusade against Christians. Charles II. of Naples undertook an expedition in conjunction with the Templars. A fleet was fitted out under the command of Roger, a Templar of high reputation for skill and audacity. It captured Thessalonica, but in place of actively pursuing Andronicus II., the Templars turned their
* Mansuet, op. cit. II. 101, 133.-- "De Excidio Urbis Acconis" ( Martene Ampl. Coll. V. 757).-- Raynald. ann. 1291, No. 30, 31.-- Archives Nat. de France, J. 431, No. 40.-- Chron. Salisburg. ann. 1291 ( Canisii et Basnage III. II. 489).-- Annal. Eberhard. Altahens. (Ib. IV. 229).-- "De Recuperatione Terræ Sanctæ" ( Bongars, II. 320-1).
arms against the Latin princes of Greece, ravaged cruelly the shores of Thrace and the Morea, and returned with immense booty, having aroused enmities which were an element in their downfall. In contrast to this the Hospitallers were acquiring fresh renown as the champions of Christ by gallantly conquering, after a four years' struggle, the island of Rhodes, in which they so long maintained the cause of Christianity in the East. In 1306 Clement V. sent for de Molay and Guillaume de Villaret, Grand Master of the Hospitallers, to consult about a new crusade and the often discussed project of the union of the Orders. He told them to come as secretly as possible, but while the Hospitaller, engrossed with preparations for the siege of Rhodes, excused himself, de Molay came in state, with a retinue of sixty knights, and manifested no intention of returning to his station in the East. This well might arouse the question whether the Templars were about to abandon their sphere of duty, and if so, what were the ambitious schemes which might lead them to transfer their headquarters to France. The Teutonic knights in withdrawing from the East were carving out for themselves a kingdom amid the Pagans of northeastern Europe. Had the Templars any similar aspirations nearer home? *
* Raynald. ann. 1306, No. 3-5, 12.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. (Ed. Benedict. T. I. pp. 40-46; T. II. p. 55, 58. Romæ, 1885-6).-- Mansuet, op. cit. II. 132.-- Raynouard , Monuments historiques relatifs à la Condamanations des Chevaliers du Temple, Paris, 1813, pp. 17, 46.
The summons to the Grand Master of the Hospital is dated June 6, 1306, ( Regest. Clem. PP. V. T. I. p. 190). That to de Molay was probably issued at the same time. From, some briefs of. Clement, June 13, 1306, in favor of Humbert Blanc, Preceptor of Auvergne, it would seem that the latter was engaged in some crusading enterprise ( Ibid. pp. 191-2 ), probably in connection with the attempt of Charles of Valois. When Hugues de Peraud, however, and other chiefs of the Order were about to sail, in November, Clement retained them (Ib. T. II. p. 5).
It has rather been the fashion with historians to assume that de Molay transferred the headquarters of the Order from Cyprus to Paris. Yet when the papal orders for arrest reached Cyprus, on May 27, 1308, the marshal, draper, and treasurer surrendered themselves with others, showing that there had been no thought of removing the active administration of the Order.--( Dupuy, Traitez concernant l'Histoire de France, Ed. 1700, pp. 63, 132). Raimbaut de Caron, Preceptor of Cyprus, apparently had accompanied de Molay, and was arrested with him in the Temple of Paris ( Procès des Templiers, II. 374), but with this exception all the principal knights seized were only local dignitaries.
Suspicions of the kind might not unnaturally be excited, and yet be wholly without foundation. Modern writers have exercised their ingenuity in conjecturing that there was a plot on hand for the Templars to seize the south of France and erect it into an independent kingdom. The Order had early multiplied rapidly in the provinces from the Garonne to the Rhone; it is assumed that they were deeply tinctured with Catharism, and held relations with the concealed heretics in those regions. All this is the sheerest assumption without the slightest foundation. There was not a trace of Catharism in the Order, * and we have seen how by this time the Cathari of Languedoc had been virtually exterminated, and how the land had been Gallicized by the Inquisition. Such an alliance would have been a source of weakness, not of strength, for it would have brought upon them all Europe in arms, and had there been a shred of evidence to that effect, Philippe le Bel would have made the most of it. Neither can it be assumed that they were intriguing with the discontented, orthodox population. Bernard Délicieux and the Carcassais would never have turned to the feeble Ferrand of Majorca if they could have summoned to their assistance the powerful Order of the Temple. Yet even the Order of the Temple, however great might have been its aggregate, was fatally weakened for such ambitious projects by being scattered in isolated fragments over the whole extent of Europe; and its inability to concentrate its forces for either aggression or defence was shown when it surrendered with scarce an effort at self-preservation in one country after another. Besides, it was by no means so numerous and wealthy as has been popularly supposed. The dramatic circumstances of its destruction have inflamed the imagination of all who have written about it, leading to a not unnatural exaggeration in contrasting its prosperity and its misery. An anonymous contemporary tells us that the Templars were so
1887, I. 66, 99; II. 38) sufficiently proves the incredibility of the story of the immense treasure brought to France by de Molay, and he further points out ( I. 98) that the preservation of the archives of the Order in Malta shows that they could not have been removed to France.
* Perhaps the most detailed and authoritative contemporary account of the downfall of the Templars is that of Bernard Gui ( Flor. Chronic. ap. Bouquet XXI. 716 sqq.). It is impossible to doubt that had there been anything savoring of Catharism in the Order he would have scented it out and alluded to it.
rich and powerful that they could scarce have been suppressed but for the secret and sudden movement of Philippe le Bel. Villani, who was also a contemporary, says that their power and wealth were well-nigh incomputable. As time went on conceptions became magnified by distance. Trithemius assures us that it was the richest of all the monastic Orders, not only in gold and silver, but in its vast dominions, towns and castles in all the lands of Europe. Modern writers have even exceeded this in their efforts to present definite figures. Maillard de Chambure assumes that at the time of its downfall it numbered thirty thousand knights with a revenue of eight million livres Tournois. Wilcke estimates its income at twenty million thalers of modern money, and asserts that in France alone it could keep in the field an army of fifteen thousand cavaliers. Zöckler calculates its income at fifty-four millions of francs, and that it numbered twenty thousand knights. Even the cautious Havemann echoes the extravagant statement that in wealth and power it could rival all the princes of Christendom, while Schottmüller assumes that in France alone there were fifteen thousand brethren, and over twenty thousand in the whole Order. *
The peculiar secrecy in which all the affairs of the Order were shrouded renders such estimates purely conjectural. As to numbers, it has been overlooked that the great body of members were serving brethren, not fighting,-men--herdsmen, husbandmen, and menials employed on the lands and in the houses of the knights, and adding little to their effective force. When they considered it a legitimate boast that in the one hundred and eighty years of their active existence twenty thousand of the brethren had perished in Palestine, we can see that at no time could the roll of knights have exceeded a few thousand at most. At the Council of Vienne the dissolution of the Order was urged on the ground that more than two thousand depositions of witnesses had been taken, and as these depositions covered virtually all the prisoners
* Wilcke, Geschichte des Ordens der Tempelherren, II. Ausgabe, 1860, II. 51, 103-4, 183.-- Chron. Anonyme ( Bouquet, XXI. 149).-- Villani Cron. VIII. 92.-Mag. Chron. Belgie. ( Pistor. III. 155).-- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1307.-Règle et Statuts secrets, p. 64.-- Real-Encyklop. XV. 305.-- Havemann, Geschichte des Ausgangs des Tempelherrenordens, Stuttgart, 1846, p. 165.-- Schottmüller, op. cit. I. 236, 695.
examined in France, England, Spain, Italy, and Germany, whose evidence could be used, it shows that the whole number can only have been insignificant in comparison with what had been generally imagined. Cyprus was the headquarters of the Order after the fall of Acre, yet at the time of the seizure there were but one hundred and eighteen members there of all ranks, and the numbers with which we meet in the trials everywhere are ludicrously out of proportion with the enormous total popularly attributed to the Order. A contemporary, of warmly papalist sympathies, expresses his grief at the penalties righteously incurred by fifteen thousand champions of Christ, which may be taken as an approximate guess at the existing number; and if among these we assume fifteen hundred knights, we shall probably be rather over than under the reality. As for the wealth of the Order, in the general effort to appropriate its possessions it was every one's interest to conceal the details of the aggregate, but we chance to have a standard which shows that the estimates of its supereminent riches are grossly exaggerated. In 1244 Matthew Paris states that it possessed throughout Christendom nine thousand manors, while the Hospitallers had nineteen thousand. Nowhere was it more prosperous than in Aquitaine, and about the year 1300, in a computation of a tithe granted to Philippe le Bel, in the province of Bordeaux, the Templars are set down at six thousand livres, the Hospitallers at the same, while the Cistercians are registered for twelve thousand. In the accounts of a royal collector in 1293 there are specified in Auvergne fourteen Temple preceptories, paying in all three hundred and ninety-two livres, while the preceptories of the Hospitallers number twenty-four, with a payment of three hundred and sixty-four livres. It will be remembered that a contemporary writer estimates the combined revenues of the two Orders at eight hundred thousand livres Tournois per annum, and of this the larger portion probably belonged to the Hospital. *
* Procès des Templiers, I. 144.-- Raynald. ann. 1307, No. 12; ann. 1311, No. 53.-- Schottmüller, op. cit. I. 465.-- Ferreti Vicentini Hist. ( Muratori s. R. I. IX. 1018).-- Matt. Paris. ann. 1244 (p. 417).-- Dom Bouquet, XXI. 545.-- Chassaing, Spicilegium Brivatense, pp. 212-13.
An illustration of the exaggerations current as to the Templars is seen-in the assertion, confidently made, that in Roussillon and Cerdagne the Order owned
Yet the wealth of the Order was more than sufficient to excite the cupidity of royal freebooters, and its power and privileges quite enough to arouse distrust in the mind of a less suspicious despot than Philippe le Bel. Many ingenious theories have been advanced to explain his action, but they are superfluous. In his quarrel with Boniface VIII., though the Templars were accused of secretly sending money to Rome in defiance of his prohibition, they stood by him and signed an act approving and confirming the assembly of the Louvre in June, 1303, where Boniface was formally accused of heresy, and an appeal was made to a future council to be assembled on the subject. So cordial, in fact, was the understanding between the king and the Templars that royal letters of July 10, 1303, show that the collection of all the royal revenues throughout France was intrusted to Hugues de Peraud, the Visitor of France, who had narrowly missed obtaining the Grand Mastership of the Order. In June, 1304, Philippe confirmed all their privileges, and in October he issued an Ordonnance granting them additional ones and speaking of their merits in terms of warm appreciation. They lent him, in 1299, the enormous sum of five hundred thousand livres for the dowry of his sister. As late as 1306, when Hugues de Peraud had suffered a loss of two thousand silver marks deposited with Tommaso and Vanno Mozzi, Flor entine bankers, who fraudulently disappeared, Philippe promptly intervened and ordered restitution of the sum by Aimon, Abbot of S. Antoine, who had gone security for the bankers. When in his extreme financial straits he debased the coinage until a popular insurrection was excited in Paris, it was in the Temple that he took refuge, and it was the Templars that defended him against the assaults of the mob. But these very obligations were too great to be incurred by a monarch who was striving to render himself absolute, and the recollection of them could hardly fail to suggest that the Order was a dangerous factor in a kingdom where feudal
half the land, while an examination of its Cartulary shows that in reality it possessed but four lordships, together with fragmentary rights over rents, tithes, or villeins in seventy other places. A single abbey, that of St. Michel de Cuxa, possessed thirty lordships and similar rights in two hundred other places, and there were two other abbeys, Arles, and Cornella and Conflent, each richer than the Templars.--Allart, Bulletin de la Société Agricole, Scientifique et Littéraire des Pyrénées Orientales, T. XV. pp. 107-8.
institutions were being converted into a despotism. While it might not have strength to sever a portion of the provinces and erect an independent principality, it might at any moment become a disagreeable element in a contest with the great feudatories to whom the knights were bound by common sympathies and interests. He was engaged in reducing them to subjection by the extension of the royal jurisdiction, and the Templars were subject to no jurisdiction save that of the Holy See. They were not his subjects; they owed him no obedience or allegiance; he could not summon them to perform military service as he could his bishops, but they enjoyed the right to declare war and make peace on their own account without responsibility to any one; they were clothed in all the personal inviolability of ecclesiastics, and he possessed no means of control over them as he did with the hierarchy of the Gallican Church. They were exempt from all taxes and tolls and customs dues; their lands contributed nothing to his necessities, save when he could wring from the pope the concession of a tithe. While thus in every way independent of him, they were bound by rules of the blindest and most submissive obedience to their own superiors. The command of the Master was received as an order from God; no member could have a lock upon a bag or trunk, could bathe or let blood, could open a letter from a kinsman without permission of his commander, and any disobedience forfeited the habit and entailed imprisonment in chains, with its indelible disabilities. It is true that in 1295 there had been symptoms of turbulence in the Order, when the intervention of Boniface VIII. was required to enforce subjection to the Master, but this had passed away, and the discipline within its ranks was a religious obligation which rendered it vastly more efficient for action than the elastic allegiance of the vassal to his seigneur. Such a body of armed warriors was an anomaly in a feudal organization, and when the Templars seemed to have abandoned their military activity in the East, Philippe, in view of their wealth and numbers in France, may well have regarded them as a possible obstacle to his schemes of monarchical aggrandizement to be got rid of at the first favorable moment. At the commencement of his reign he had endeavored to put a stop to the perpetual acquisitions of both the religious Orders and the Templars, through which increasing bodies of land were falling under mainmorte, and the fruitlessness of the effort must have strengthened his convictions of its necessity. If it be asked why he attacked the Templars rather than the Hospitallers, the answer is probably to be found in the fact that the Temple was the weaker of the two, while the secrecy shrouding its ritual rendered it an object of popular suspicion. *
Walsingham asserts that Philippe's design in assailing the Templars was to procure for one of his younger sons the title of King of Jerusalem, with the Templar possessions as an appanage. Such a project was completely within the line of thought of the time, and would have resulted in precipitating Europe anew upon Syria. It may possibly have been a motive at the outset, and was gravely discussed in the Council of Vienne in favor of Philippe le Long, but it is evident that no sovereign outside of France would have permitted the Templar dominions within his territories to pass under the control of a member of the aspiring house of Capet. †
For the explanation of Philippe's action, however, we need hardly look further than to financial considerations. He was in desperate straits for money to meet the endless drain of the Flemish war. He had imposed taxes until some of his subjects were in revolt, and others were on the verge of it. He had debased the currency until he earned the name of the Counterfeiter, had found himself utterly unable to redeem his promises, and had discovered by experience that of all financial devices it was the most costly and ruinous. His resources were exhausted and his scruples were few. The stream of confiscations from Languedoc was beginning to run dry, while the sums which it had supplied to the royal treasury for more than half a century had shown the profit which was derivable from well-applied persecution of heresy. He had just car-
* Du Puy, Hist. du Differend, Preuves, pp. 136-7.-- Baudouin, Lettres inédites de Philippe le Bel, p. 163.-- Maillard de Chambure, p. 61.-- Grandes Chroniques, V. 173.-- Raynouard, pp. 14, 21.-- Rymer, I. 30.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. I. p. 192 (Ed. Benedict. Romæ, 1885).-- Prutz, pp. 23, 31, 38, 46, 49, 59, 76, 78, 79, 80.-- Règle et Statuts, § 29, p. 226; § 58, pp. 249, 254; § 126, pp. 463-4.-- Thomas, Registres de Boniface VIII. T. I. No. 490.-- Baudouin, op. cit. p. 212.
Schtottmüller ( Der Untergang des Templer-Ordens, Berlin, 1887, I. 65) conjectures that the loan of five hundred thousand livres to Philippe is probably a popular error arising from the intervention of the Templars as bankers in the payment of the dowry. † D'Argentré I. I. 280.-- Wilcke, op. cit. II. 304-6.
ried out a financial expedient of the same kind as his dealings with the Templars, by arresting all the Jews of the kingdom simultaneously, stripping them of their property, and banishing them under pain of death. A memorandum of questions for consideration, still preserved in the Trésor des Chartres, shows that he expected to benefit in the same way from the confiscation of the Templar possessions, while, as we shall see, he overlooked the fact that these, as ecclesiastical property, were subject to the imprescriptible rights of the Church. *
The stories about Squin de Florian, a renegade Templar, and Noffo Dei, a wicked Florentine, both condemned to death and concocting, the accusations to save themselves, are probably but the conception of an imaginative chronicler, handed down from one annalist to another. † Such special interposition was wholly unnecessary. The foolish secrecy in which the Templars enveloped their proceedings was a natural stimulus of popular curiosity and suspicion. Alone among religious Orders, the ceremonies of reception were conducted in the strictest privacy; chapters were held at daybreak with doors closely guarded, and no participant was allowed to speak of what was done, even to a fellow-Templar not concerned in the chapter, under the heaviest penalty known--that of expulsion. That this should lead to gossip and stories of rites too repulsive and hideous to bear the light was inevitable. It was the one damaging fact against them, and when Humbert Blanc, Preceptor of Auvergne, was asked on his trial why such secrecy was observed if they had nothing to conceal, he could only answer "through folly." Thus it was common report that the neophyte was subjected to the humiliation of kissing the posteriors of his preceptor--a report which the Hospitallers took special pleasure in circulating. That unnatural lusts should be attributed to the Order is easily understood, for it was a prevalent vice of the Middle Ages, and one to which monastic communities were espe-
* Guill. Nangiac. Contin. ann. 1306.-- Vaissette, IV. 135.-- Raynouard, p. 24.
† Villani, Cron. VIII. 92.-- Amalr. Augerii Vit. Clem. V. ( Muratori S. R. I. III. II. 443-44).-- S. Antonini Hist. ( D'Argentré I. I. 281).-- Trithen. Chron. Hirsang. ann. 1307.-- Raynald. ann. 1307, No. 12.
The best-informed contemporaries, Bernard Gui, the Continuation of Nangis, Jean de S. Victor, the Grandes Chroniques, say nothing about this story.
cially subject; as recently as 1292 a horrible scandal of this kind had led to the banishment of many professors and theologians of the University of Paris. Darker rumors were not lacking of unchristian practices introduced in the Order by a Grand Master taken prisoner by the Soldan of Babylon, and procuring his release under promise of rendering them obligatory on the members. There was also a legend that in the earl days of the Order two Templars were riding on one horse in a battle beyond seas. The one in front recommended himself to Christ and was sorely wounded; the one behind recommended himself to him who best could help, and he escaped. The latter was said to be the demon in human shape who told his wounded comrade that if he would believe him the Order would grow in wealth and power. The Templar was seduced, and thence came error and unbelief into the organization. We have seen how readily such stories obtained credence throughout the Middle Ages, how they grew and became embroidered with the most fantastic details. The public mind was ripe to believe anything of the Templars; a spark only was needed to produce a conflagration. *
* Règle et Statuts secrets, § 81, p. 314; § 124, p. 448.-- Wilkins Concilia II. 338.-- Procès des Templiers, I. 186-7, 454; II. 139, 153, 195-6, 223, 440, 445, 471. -- S. Damiani Lib. Gomorrhian.-- Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1120.-- Alani de Insulis Lib . de Planctu Naturæ.-- Gnalt. Mapes de Nugis Curialium I. XXIV.-- Prediche del B. Frà Giordano da Rivalto, Firenze, 1831, I. 230.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. V. p. 259 (Ed. Benedictin. Romæ, 1887).-- Alvar. Pelag. de Planet. Eccles. Lib. II. Art. ii. fol. lxxxiii.- Mémoires de Jacques Du Clercq, Liv. III. ch. 42; Liv. IV. ch. 3.-- Rogeri Bacon Compend. Studii Philosopliæ cap. ii. (M. R. Series I. 412).
Unnatural crime was subject to ecclesiastical jurisdiction and the punishment was burning alive ( Très Ancien Cout. de Bretagne, Art. 112, 142 ap. Bourdot de Richebourg, IV. 227, 232.-- Statuta Criminalia Mediolani e tenebris in lucem edita, cap. 51, Bergomi, 1594). An instance of the infliction of the penalty by secular justice is recorded at Bourges in 1445 ( Jean Chartier, Hist. de Charles II. Ed. Godefroy, p. 72), and another at Zurich in 1482, ( V. Anshelm, Die Berner Chronik, Bern, 1884, I. 221), though in 1451 Nicholas V. had subjected the crime to the Inquisition ( Ripoll III. 301). D'Argentré says "Hæc pœna toto regno et vulgo statutis Italiæ indicitur per civitates, sed pene irritis legibus" ( Comment. Consuetud. Duc. Britann. p. 1810). In England it was a secular crime, punishable by burning alive ( Horne, Myrror of Justice, cap. IV. § 14) and in Spain by castration and lapidation ( El Fuero real de España, Lib. IV. Tit. ix. 1. 2).
The gossiping experiences in Syria and Italy of Antonio Sicci da Vercelli, as
Philippe's ministers and agents--Guillaume de Nogaret, Guillaum de Plaisian, Renaud de Roye, and Enguerrand de Marigny --were quite fitted to appreciate such an opportunity to relieve the royal exchequer, nor could they be at a loss in finding testimony upon which to frame a formidable list of charges, for we have already seen how readily evidence was procured from apparently respectable witnesses convicting Bonifaco VIII. of crimes equally atrocious. In the present case the task was easier: the Templars could have been no exception to the general demoralization of the monastic Orders, and in their ranks there must have been many desperate adventurers, ready for any crime that would bring a profit. Expelled members there were in plenty who had been ejected for their misdeeds, and who could lose nothing by gratifying their resentments. Apostates also were there who had fled from the Order and were liable to imprisonment if caught, besides the crowd of worthless ribalds whom the royal agents could always secure when evidence for any purpose was wanted. These were quietly collected by Guillaume de Nogaret, and kept in the greatest secrecy at Corbeil under charge of the Dominican, Humbert. Heresy was, of course, the most available charge to bring. The Inquisition was there as an unfailing instrument to secure conviction. Popular rumor, no matter by whom affirmed, was sufficient to require arrest and trial, and when once on trial there were few indeed from whom the inquisitorial process could not wring conviction. When once the attempt was determined upon the result was inevitable. *
Still, the attempt could not be successful without the concurrence of Clement V., for the inquisitorial courts, both of the Holy Office and of the bishops, were under papal control, and, besides, public opinion would require that the guilt of the Order should
related before the papal commission in March, 1311, show the popular belief that there was a terrible secret in the Order which none of its members dared reveal ( Procès, I. 644-5).
It is perhaps a coincidence that in 1307 the Teutonic Order was likewise accused of heresy by the Archbishop of Riga. Its Grand Master, Carl Beffart, was summoned by Clement, and with difficulty averted from his Order the fate of the Templars.-- Wileke, II. 118.
* Procès des Templiers, I. 36, 168.--Chron. Anonyme ( Bouquet, XXI. 137).-Joann. de S. Victor. ( Bouquet, XXI. 649-50).
be proved in other lands besides France. To enable Philippe to enjoy the expected confiscations in his own dominions, confiscation must be general throughout Europe, and for this the cooperation of the Holy See was essential. Clement subsequently declared that Philippe broached the subject to him in all its details before his coronation at Lyons, November 14, 1305, * but the papal bulls throughout the whole matter are so infected with mendacity that slender reliance is to be placed on their statements. Possibly some allusion may have been made to the current reports defaming the Order, but Clement is probably not subject to the imputation which historians have thrown upon him, that his summons to de Molay and de Villaret in 1306 was purely a decoy. It seems to me reasonable to conclude that he sent for them in good faith, and that de Molay's own imprudence in establishing himself in France, as though for a permanence, excited at once the suspicions and cupidity of the king, and ripened into action what had previously been merely a vague conception. †
If such was the case, Philippe was not long in maturing the project, nor were his agents slow in gathering material for the accusation. In his interview with Clement at Poitiers, in the spring of 1307, he vainly demanded the condemnation of the memory of Boniface VIII., and, failing in this, he brought forward the charges against the Templars, while temporarily dropping the other matter, but with equal lack of immediate result. Clement sent for de Molay, who came to him with Raimbaud de Caron, Preceptor of Cyprus, Geoffroi de Gonneville, Preceptor of Aquitaine and Poitou, and Hugues de Peraud, Visitor of France, the principal officers of the Order then in the kingdom. The charges were communicated to them in all their foulness. Clem-
* Bull. Pastoralis præeminentiæ ( Mag. Bull. Rom. Supplem. IX. 126).-- Bull. Faciens misericordiam (Ib. p. 136).--The Itineraries of Philippe and the record of pastoral visitations by Bertrand de Goth ( Clement V.) sufficiently disprove the legendary story, originating with Villani, of the conditions entered into in advance at St. Jean d'Angely between Philippe and Clement (see van Os, De Abolitione Ordinis Templariorum, Herbipoli, 1874, pp. 14-15). None the less, however, was Clement practically subordinated to Philippe.
† Schottmüller's theory ( Der Untergang des Templer-Ordens, I. 91) that Clement summoned the chiefs of the two Military Orders to arrange with them for the protection of the Holy See against Philippe appears to me destitute of all probability.
ent subsequently had the audacity to declare to all Europe that de Molay before his arrest confessed their truth in the presence of his subordinates and of ecclesiastics and laymen, but this is a manifest lie. The Templars returned to Paris evidently relieved of all anxiety, thinking that they had justified themselves completely, and de Molay, on October 12, the eve of the arrest, had the honor to be one of the four pall-bearers at the obsequies of Catharine, wife of Charles de Valois, evidently for the purpose of lulling him with a sense of security. Nay, more, on August 24, Clement had written to Philippe urging him to make peace with England, and referring to his charges against the Templars in their conversations at Lyons and Poitiers, and the representations on the subject made by his agents. The charges, he says, appear to him incredible and impossible, but as de Molay and the chief officers of the Order had complained of the reports as injurious, and had repeatedly asked for an investigation, offering to submit to the severest punishment if found guilty, he proposes in a few days, on his return to Poitiers, to commence, with the advice of his cardinals, an examination into the matter, for which he asks the king to send him the proofs. *
No impression had evidently thus far been made upon Clement, and he was endeavoring, in so far as he dared, to shuffle the affair aside. Philippe, however, had under his hands the machinery requisite to attain his ends, and he felt assured that when the Church was once committed to it, Clement would not venture to withdraw. The Inquisitor of France, Guillaume de Paris, was his confessor as well as papal chaplain, and could be relied upon. It was his official duty to take cognizance of all accusations of heresy, and to summon the secular power to his assistance, while his awful authority overrode all the special immunities and personal inviolability of the Order. As the Templars were all defamed for heresy by credible witnesses, it was strictly according to legal form for Frère Guillaume to summon Philippe to arrest those within his territories and bring them before the Inquisition for trial. As
* Villani Chron. VIII. 91-2.-- Raynald. ann. 1311, No. 26.-- Ptol. Lucens. Hist. Eccles. Lib. XXIV. ( Muratori S. R. I. XI. 1228).-- Contin. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1307. -- Raynouard, pp. 18, 19.-- Van Os De Abol. Ord. Templar. p. 43.-- Procès des Templiers, II. 400.-- Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 131.-- Procès, I. 95.-- Du Puy, Traitez concernant l'Histoire de France, Paris, 1700, pp. 10, 117 .
the enterprise was a large one, secrecy and combined operations were requisite for its success, and Philippe, as soon as Clement's letter had shown him that he was not to expect immediate papal co-operation, lost no time. He always asserted that he had acted under requisition from the inquisitor, and excused his haste by declaring that his victims were collecting their treasures and preparing to fly. On September 14 royal letters were sent out to the king's representatives throughout France, ordering the simultaneous arrest, under authority from Frère Guillaume, of all members of the Order on October 13, and the sequestration of all property. Frère Guillaume, on September 20, addressed all inquisitors and all Dominican priors, sub-priors, and lectors, commissioning them to act, and reciting the crimes of the Templars, which he characterized as sufficient to move the earth and disturb the elements. He had, he said, examined the witnesses, he had summoned the king to lend his aid, and he cunningly added that the pope was informed of the charges. The royal instructions were that the Templars when seized were to be strictly guarded in solitary confinement; they were to be brought before the inquisitorial commissioners one by one; the articles of accusation were to be read over to them; they were to be promised pardon if they would confess the truth and return to the Church, and be told that otherwise they were to be put to death, while torture was not to be spared in extracting confession. The depositions so obtained were to be sent to the king as speedily as possible, under the seals of the inquisitors. All Templar property was to be sequestrated and careful inventories be made out. In undertaking an act which would shock public opinion in no common fashion, it was necessary that it should be justified at once by the confessions wrung from the prisoners, and nothing was to be spared, whether by promises, threats, or violence, to secure the result. *
* Du Puy, pp. 18-19, 86.-- Stemler, Contingent zur Geschichte der Templer, Leipzig, 1783, pp. 36-50.-- Pissot, Procès et Condamnation des Templiers, Paris, 1805, pp. 39-43.
Clement V., in his letters of November 21 to Edward of England, and November 22, to Robert, Duke of Calabria, describes Philippe as having acted under the orders of the Inquisition, and as presenting the prisoners for judgment to the Church ( Rymer III. 30; MSS. Chioccarello T. VIII.). The Holy Office was recognized at the time as being the responsible instrumentality of the whole affair
This was all strictly in accordance with inquisitorial practice, and the result corresponded with the royal expectations. Under the able management of Guillaume de Nogaret, to whom the direction of the affair was confided, on October 13 at daybreak the arrests took place throughout the land, but few of the Templars escaping. Nogaret himself took charge of the Paris Temple, where about a hundred and forty Templars, with de Molay and his chief officials at their head, were seized, and the vast treasure of the Order fell into the king's hands. The air had been thick with presages of the impending storm, but the Templars underrated the audacity of the king and had made no preparations to avert the blow. Now they were powerless in the hands of the unsparing tribunal which could at will prove them guilty out of their own mouths, and hold them up to the scorn and detestation of mankind. *
Philippe's first care was to secure the support of public opinion and allay the excitement caused by this unexpected move. The next day, Saturday, October 14, the masters of the university and the cathedral canons were assembled in Nôtre Dame, where Guillaume de Nogaret, the Prévôt of Paris, and other royal officials made a statement of the offences which had been proved against the Templars. The following day, Sunday the 15th, the people were invited to assemble in the garden of the royal palace, where the matter was explained to them by the Dominicans and the royal spokesmen, while similar measures were adopted throughout the kingdom. On Monday, the 16th, royal letters were addressed to all the princes of Christendom announcing the discovery of the Templar heresy, and urging them to aid the king in the defence of the faith by following his example. At once
( Chron. Fran. Pipini c. 49)ap. Muratori S. R. I. IX. 749-50). The bull Faciens misericordiam of August 12, 1308, gives the inquisitors throughout Europe instructions to participate in the subsequent proceedings ( Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 136).
In fact, the whole matter was strictly inquisitorial business, and it is a noteworthy fact that where the Inquisition was in good working order, as in France and Italy, there was no difficulty in obtaining the requisite evidence. In Castile and Germany it failed; in England, as we shall see, nothing could be done until the Inquisition was practically established temporarily for the purpose.
* Dom. Bouquet, XXI. 448. -- Vaissette, IV. 139. -- Chron. Anon. ( Bouquet, XXI. 137, 149).-- Cont. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1307.-- Joann. de S. Victor. ( Bouquet, XXI. 649).-- Procès des Templiers, I. 458; II. 373.
the Inquisition was set busily at work. From October 19 to November 24 Frère Guillaume and his assistants were employed in recording the confessions of a hundred and thirty-eight prisoners captured in the Temple, and so efficacious were the means employed that but three refused to admit at least some of the charges. What these methods were the records of course fail to show, for, as we have seen, the official confession was always made after removal from the torture - chamber, and the victim was required to swear that it was free and unconstrained, without fear or force, though he knew that if he retracted what he had uttered or promised to utter on the rack he would be liable to fresh torture, or to the stake as a relapsed heretic. The same scenes were enacting all over France, where the commissioners of Frère Guillaume, and sometimes Frère Guillaume himself, with the assistance of the royal officials, were engaged in the same work. In fact, the complaisant Guillaume, in default of proper material for labor so extensive, seems occasionally to have commissioned the royal deputies to act. A few of the reports of these examinations have been preserved, from Champagne, Normandy, Querci, Bigorre, Beaucaire, and Languedoc, and in these the occasional allusions to torture show that it was employed whenever necessary. In all cases, of course, it was not required, for the promise of pardon and the threat of burning would frequently suffice, in conjunction with starvation and the harshness of the prison. The rigor of the application of the inquisitorial process is shown by the numerous deaths and the occasional suicides prompted by despair to which the records bear testimony. In Paris alone, according to the testimony of Ponsard de Gisiac, thirty-six Templars perished under torture; at Sens, Jacques de Saciac said that twenty-five had died of torment and suffering, and the mortality elsewhere was notorious. When a number of the Templars subsequently repeated their confessions before the pope and cardinals in consistory, they dwelt upon the excessive tortures which they had endured, although Clement in reporting the result was careful to specify that their confessions were free and unconstrained. De Molay, of course, was not spared. He was speedily brought into a complying state of mind. Although his confession, October 24, is exceedingly brief, and only admits a portion of the errors charged, yet he was induced to sign a letter addressed to the brethren stating that he had confessed and recommending them to do the same, as having been deceived by ancient error. As soon as he and other chiefs of the Order were thus committed, the masters and students of all the faculties of the university were summoned to meet in the Temple; the wretched victims were brought before them and were required to repeat their confessions, which they did, with the addition that these errors had prevailed in the Order for thirty years and more. *
The errors charged against them were virtually five: I. That when a neophyte was received the preceptor led him behind the altar, or to the sacristy or other secret place, showed him a crucifix and made him thrice renounce the prophet and spit upon the cross. II. He was then stripped, and the preceptor kissed him thrice, on the posteriors, the navel, and the mouth. III. He was then told that unnatural lust was lawful, and it was commonly indulged in throughout the Order. IV. The cord which the Templars wore over the shirt day and night as a symbol of chastity had been consecrated by wrapping it around an idol in the form of a human head with a great beard, and this head was adored in the chapters, though only known to the Grand Master and the elders. V. The priests of the Order do not consecrate the host in celebrating mass. When, in August, 1308, Clement sent throughout Europe a series of articles for the interrogation of the accused, drawn up for him by Philippe, and varying according to different recensions from eighty-seven to one hundred and twenty-seven in number, these charges were elaborated, and varied on the basis of the immense mass of confessions which had meanwhile been obtained. The indecent kisses were represented as mutual between the receptor and the received; disbelief in the sacrament of the altar was asserted; a cat was said to appear in the chapters and to be worshipped; the Grand Master or preceptor presiding in a chapter was hold to have power of absolving from all sin; all brethren
* Joann. de S. Victor ( Bouquet, XXI. 649-50).-- Contin. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1307. -- Chron. Anon. ( Bouquet, XXI. 137).
-- Schottmüller, op. cit. I. 131-33.-Zurita, Añales de Aragon, Lib. v. c. 73.-- Procès des Templiers, II. 6, 375, 386, 394.
-- Du Puy, pp. 25-6, 88-91, 101-6.-- Raynouard, pp. 39-40, 164, 235-8, 240-5.-Procès des Templiers, I. 36, 69, 203, 301; II. 305-6.-- Ptol. Lucens. Hist. Eccles. Lib. XXIV. ( Muratori S. R. I. XI. 1230).-- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1307.-Chron. Anon. ( Bouquet, XXI. 149).
were instructed to acquire property for the Order by fair meansor foul, and all the above were declared to be fixed and absolute rules of the Order, dating from a time beyond the memory of any member. Besides these, it was reproached for the secrecy of its proceedings and neglect in the distribution of alms. Even this, however, did not satisfy the public imagination, and the most absurd exaggerations found credence, such as we have so frequently seen in the case of other heresies. The Templars were said to have admitted betraying St. Louis and the stronghold of Acre, and that they had such arrangements with the Soldan of Babylon that if a new crusade were undertaken the Christians would all be sold to him. They had conveyed away a portion of the royal treasure, to the great injury of the kingdom. The cord of chastity was magnified into a leather belt, worn next the skin, and the mahommerie of this girdle was so powerful that as long as it was worn no Templar could abandon his errors. Sometimes a Templar who died in this false belief was burned, and of his ashes a powder was made which confirmed the neophytes in their infidelity. When a child was born of a virgin to a Templar it was roasted, and of its fat an ointment was made wherewith to anoint the idol worshipped in the chapters, to which, according to other rumors, human sacrifices were offered. Such were the stories which passed from mouth to mouth and served to intensify popular abhorrence. *
It is, perhaps, necessary at this point to discuss the still mooted question as to the guilt or innocence of the Order. Disputants have from various motives been led to find among the Templars Manichæan, Gnostic, and Cabalistic errors justifying their destruction. Hammer-Purgstall boasted that he had discovered and identified no less than thirty Templar images, in spite of the fact that at the time of their sudden arrest the Inquisition, aided by the eager creatures of Philippe, was unable to lay its hands on a single one. The only thing approaching it was a metal reliquary in the form of a female head produced from the Paris Temple, which, on being opened, was found to contain a small skull preserved as a relic of the eleven thousand virgins. †
* Pissot, pp. 41-2.-- Procès des Templiers, I. 89 sqq.-- Mag. Bull. Roman. IX. 129 sqq.-- Raynouard, p. 50.-- Grandes Chroniques V. 188-90.-- Chron. Anon. ( Bouquet, XXI. 137).-- Naucleri Chron. ann. 1306.
† Wilcke, II. 424.-- Procès des Templiers, II. 218.--The flimsiness of the evi-
This fact alone would serve to dispose of the gravest of the charges, for, if the depositions of some of the accused are to be believed, these idols were kept in every commandery and were employed in every reception of a neophyte. With regard to the other accusations, not admitting thus of physical proof, it is to be observed that much has been made by modern theorists of the
dence which suffices to satisfy archæologists of this kind is seen in the laborious trifling of M. Mignard, who finds in a sculptured stone coffer, discovered at Essarois in 1789, all the secrets of gnostic Manichæism, and who thereupon leaps to the conclusion that the coffer must have belonged to the Templars who had a preceptory within eight or ten miles of the place, and that it served as a receptacle for the Baphometic idol ( Mignard, Monographic du coffret de M. le duc de Blacas, Paris, 1852.--Suite, 1853).
It is impossible to listen without respect to Professor Hans Prutz, whose labors in the archives of Valetta I have freely quoted above, and one can only view with regret the efforts of such a man wasted in piecing together contradictory statements of tortured witnesses to evolve out of them a dualistic heresy --an amalgamation of Catharan elements with Luciferan beliefs, to which even the unlucky Stedingers contribute corroboration ( Geheimlehre u. Geheimstatuten des Tempelherren-Ordens, Berlin, 1879, pp. 62, 86, 100). It ought to be sufficient to prevent such wasted labor for the future, to call attention to the fact that if there had been ardor and conviction enough in the Order to risk the organization and propagation of a new heresy, there would, unquestionably, have been at least a few martyrs, such as all other heretical sects furnished. Yet not a single Templar avowed the faith attributed to them and persisted in it. All who confessed under the stress of the prosecution eagerly abjured the errors attributed to them and asked for absolution. A single case of obstinacy would have been worth to Philippe and Clement all the other testimony, and would have been made the pivotal point of the trials, but there was not one such. All the Templars who were burned were martyrs of another sort--men who had confessed under torture, had retracted their confessions, and who preferred the stake to the disgrace of persisting in the admission extorted from them. It does not seem to occur to the ingenious framers of heretical beliefs for the Templars that they must construct a heresy whose believers will not suffer death in its defence, but will endure to be burned in scores rather than submit to the stigma of having it ascribed to them. The mere statement of the case is enough to show the fabulous character of all the theories so laboriously constructed, especially that of M. Mignard, who proves that the Templars were Cathari--heretics whose aspiration for martyrdom was peculiarly notorious.
I have not been able to consult Loiseleur "La Doctrine Secrète des Templiers" ( Orleans, 1872), but from Prutz's references to it I gather that it is grounded on the same false basis and is open to the same easy refutation. Wilcke's speculations are too perversely crude to be worth attention. fact that the rules and statutes of the Order were reserved exclusively for its chiefs, and it has been assumed that in them were developed the secret mysteries of the heresy. Yet nothing of the. kind was alleged in the proceedings; the statutes were never offered in evidence by the prosecution, although many of them must have been obtained in the sudden seizure, and this for the best of reasons. Sedulously as they were destroyed, two or three copies escaped, and these, carefully collated, have been printed. They breathe nothing but the most ascetic piety and devotion to the Church, and the numerous illustrative cases cited in them show that up to a period not long anterior to the destruction of the Order there were constant efforts made to enforce the rigid Rule framed by St. Bernard and promulgated by the Council of Troyes in 1128. Thus there is absolutely no external evidence against the Order, and the proof rests entirely upon confessions extracted by the alternative of pardon or burning, by torture, by the threat of torture, or by the indirect torture of prison and starvation, which the Inquisition, both papal and episcopal, know so well how to employ. We shall see, in the development of the affair, that when these agencies were not employed no admissions of criminality could be obtained. * No one who had studied the criminal juris-
* Writers unfamiliar with the judicial processes of the period are misled by the customary formula, to the effect that the confirmation of a confession is not obtained by force or fear of torture. See Raynald. ann. 1307, No. 12, and Bini, Dei Tempieri in Toscana, p. 428. Wilcke asserts positively (op. cit. II. 318) that de Molay never was tortured, which may possibly be true ( Amalr. Auger. Vit. Clem. V.ap. Muratori III. ii. 461), but he saw his comrades around him subjected to torture, and it was a mere question of strength of nerve whether he yielded before or after the rack. Prutz even says that in England neither torture nor terrorism was employed ( Geheimlehre, p. 104), which we will see below was not the case. Van Os ( De Abol. Ord. Templ. pp. 107, 109) is bolder, and argues that a confession confirmed after torture is as convincing as if no torture had been used. He carefully suppresses the fact, however, that retraction was held to be relapse and entailed death by burning.
How the system worked is illustrated by the examination of the Preceptor of Cyprus, Raimbaud de Caron, before the inquisitor Guillaume, Nov. 10, 1307. When first interrogated he would only admit that he had been told in the presence of his uncle, the Bishop of Carpentras, that he would have to renounce Christ to obtain admission. He was then removed and subsequently brought back, when he remembered that at his reception he had been forced to renounce
prudence of the later Middle Ages will attach the slightest weight to confessions obtained under such conditions. We have seen, in the case of the Stedingers, how easy it was to create belief in the most groundless charges. We have seen, under Conrad of Marburg, how readily the fear of death and the promise of absolution would cause nobles of birth and station to convict themselves of the foulest and most impossible offences. We shall see, when we come to consider persecution for witchcraft, with what facility the rack and strappado procured from victims of all ranks confessions of participating in the Sabbat, and of holding personal intercourse with demons, of charming away harvests, of conjuring hail-storms, and of killing men and cattle with spells. Riding through the air on a broomstick, and commerce with incubi and succubi rest upon evidence of precisely the same character and of much greater weight than that upon which the Templars were convicted, for the witch was sure of burning if she confessed, and had a chance of escaping if she could endure the torture, while the Templar was threatened with death for obstinacy, and was promised immunity as a reward for confession. If we accept the evidence against the Templar we cannot reject it in the case of the witch.
As the testimony thus has no intrinsic weight, the only scientific method of analyzing the affair is to sift the whole mass of confessions, and determine their credibility according to the internal evidence which they afford of being credible or otherwise. Several hundred depositions have reached us, taken in France, England, and Italy, for the most part naturally those incriminating the Order, for the 'assertions of innocence were usually suppressed, and the most damaging witnesses were made the most of. These are sufficiently numerous to afford us ample material for estimating the character of the proof on which the Order was condemned, and to obtain from them a reasonable approximation to the truth requires only the application of a few tests suggested by common-sense.
There is, firstly, the extreme inherent improbability that a rich,
Christ and spit on the cross, and had been taught that the gratification of unnatural lust was permissible. Yet this confession, so evidently the result of torture, winds up with the customary formula that he swore it was not the result of force or fear of prison or torture.-- Procès, II. 374-5.
worldly, and ambitious body of men like the Templars should be secretly engaged in the dangerous and visionary task of laying the foundations of a new religion, which would bring them no advantage if they succeeded in supplanting Christianity, and which was certain to lead them to destruction in the infinite chances of detection. To admit this is to ascribe to them a spiritual exaltation and a readiness for martyrdom which we might expect from the asceticism of a Catharan or a Dolcinist, but not from the worldliness which was the real corroding vice of the Order. Secondly, if the Templars were thus engaged in the desperate enterprise of propagating a new faith under the eyes of the Inquisition, they would be wary in initiating strangers; they would exercise extreme caution as to the admission of members, and only reveal to them their secrets by degrees, as they found them worthy of confidence and zealously willing to incur the risk of martyrdom. Thirdly, if a new dogma were thus secretly taught as an indispensable portion of the Rule, its doctrines would be rigidly defined and its ritual be closely administered. The witnesses who confessed to initiation would all tell the same story and give the same details.
Thus evidence of the weightiest and most coherent character would be requisite to overcome the inherent improbability that the Templars could be embarked in an enterprise so insane, in place of which we have only confessions extracted by the threat or application of torture, and not a single instance of a persistent heretic maintaining the belief imputed to him. Turning to the testimony to see whether it comports with the conditions which we have named, we find that no discrimination whatever was exercised in the admission of neophytes. Not a single witness speaks of any preliminary preparation, though several intimate that they obtained entrance by making over their property to the Order. * Indeed, one of the charges was, that there was no preliminary probation, and that the neophyte at once became a professed member in full standing, which, as explained by a knight of Mas Deu, was because their services were considered to be at once required against the Saracens. † Youths and even children of tender years were admitted, although in violation of the statutes of the Order, of ages ranging from ten or eleven years upward. * High-born knights, priding themselves on their honor, priests, laborers, husbandmen, menials of all kinds were brought in, and, if we are to believe their evidence, they were without notice obliged, by threats of death and lifelong imprisonment, to undergo the severest personal humiliation, and to perform the awful task of renouncing their Saviour and spitting on, or even more outrageously defiling, the cross which was the object of their veneration and the symbol of their faith. Such a method of propagating heresy by force in the Europe of the Inquisition, of trusting such fearful secrets to children and to unwilling men of all conditions, is so absurd that its mere assertion deprives the testimony of all claim to credence.
Equally damaging to the credibility of the evidence is the selfcontradictory character of its details. It was obtained by examining the accused on a series of charges elaborately drawn up, and by requiring answers to each article in succession, so that the general features of the so-called confessions were suggested in advance. Had the charges been true there could have been little variation in the answers, but in place of a definite faith or a systematic ritual we find every possible variation that could suggest itself to witnesses striving to invent stories that should satisfy their torturers. Some say that they were taught Deism--that God in heaven alone was to be worshipped. † Others, that they were forced to renounce God. ‡ The usual formula reported, however, was simply to renounce Christ, or Jesus, while others were called upon to renounce Notre Sire, or la Profeta, or Christ, the Virgin, and the Saints. § Some professed that they could not recollect whether their renunciation had been of God or of Christ. ? Some-
* Procès, I. 241, 412, 415, 602, 611; II. 7, 295, 298, 354, 359, 382, 394.-- Règle, § 7, p. 211.
§ Procès, I. 254, 417; II. 24, 62, 72, 104.-- Bini, Dei Tempieri in Toscana, pp. 463, 470, 478.
† Procès, I. 213, 332; II. 388, 404.-- Raynouard, p. 281.--In this and the following notes I can only give a few references as examples. To do so exhaustively would be to make an analytical index of the whole voluminous mass of testimony.
‡ Procès, I. 206, 242, 302, 378, 386, etc.; II. 5, 27, etc.
II Procès, II. 42, 44, 59.
times we hear that instruction was given that they should not believe in Christ, that he was a false prophet, that he suffered for his own sins, but more frequently that the only reason alleged was that such was the Rule of the Order. * It was the same with the idol which has so greatly exercised the imagination of commentators. Some witnesses swore that it was produced whenever a neophyte was received, and that its adoration was a part of the ceremony; others that it was only exhibited and worshipped in the secrecy of chapters; by far the greater number, however, had never seen it or heard of it. Of those who professed to have seen it, scarce two described it alike, within the limits suggested by the articles of accusation, which spoke of it as a head. Sometimes it is black, sometimes white, sometimes with black hair, and sometimes white and black mixed, and again with a long white beard. Some witnesses saw its neck and shoulders covered with gold; one declared that it was a demon (Maufé) on which no one could look without trembling; another that it had for eyes carbuncles which lighted up the room; another that it had two faces; another three faces; another four legs, two behind and two before, and yet another said it was a statue with three heads. On one occasion it is a picture, on another a painting on a plaque, on another a small female figure which the preceptor draws from under his garments, and on another the statue of a boy, a cubit in height, sedulously concealed in the treasury of the preceptory. According to the testimony of one witness it degenerated into a calf. Sometimes it is called the Saviour, and sometimes Bafomet or Maguineth--corruptions of Mahomet--and is worshipped as Allah. Sometimes it is God, creating all things, causing the trees to bloom and the grass to germinate, and then again it is a friend of God who can approach him and intercede for the suppliant. Sometimes it gives responses, and sometimes it is accompanied or replaced by the devil in the form of a black or gray cat or raven, who occasionally answers the questions addressed to him, the performance winding up, like the witches' Sabbat, with the introduction of demons in the form of beautiful women. †
* Procès, I. 206-7, 294, 411, 426, 464-533; II. 31, 128, 242, 366.
† Procès, I. 190, 207, 399, 502, 597; II. 193, 203, 212, 279, 300, 313, 315, 363, 364.-- Du Puy, pp. 105-6.-- Raynouard, pp. 246-8, 279-83, 293.-- Bini, pp. 465,
Similar contradictions are observable in the evidence as to the ritual of reception. The details laid down in the Rule are accurately and uniformly described, but when the witnesses come to
474, 482, 487, 488.-- Wilkins, Concilia, II. 358.-- Schottmüller, op. cit. II. 29, 50, 68, 70, 127, 410, 411.-- Vaissette, IV. 141.-- Stemler, pp. 124-5.
It is in this multiform creature of the imagination that Dr. Wilcke ( II. 131-2) sees alternately an image of John the Baptist and the triune Makroposopus of the Cabala.
Among the few outside witnesses who appeared before the papal commission in 1310-11, was Antonio Sicci of Vercelli, imperial and apostolic notary, who forty years before had served the Templars in Syria in that capacity, and had recently been employed in the case by the Inquisition of Paris. Among his Eastern experiences he gravely related a story current in Sidon that a lord of that city once loved desperately but fruitlessly a noble maiden of Armenia; she died, and, like Periander of Corinth, on the night of her burial he opened her tomb and gratified his passion. A mysterious voice said, "Return in nine months and you will find a head, your son!" In due time he came back and found a human head in the tomb, when the voice said, "Guard this head, for all your good-fortune will come from it!" At the time the witness heard this, Matthieu le Sauvage of Picardy was Preceptor of Sidon, who had established brotherhood with the Soldan of Babylon by each drinking the other's blood. Then a certain Julian, who had succeeded to Sidon and to the possession of the head, entered the Order and gave to it the town and all his wealth. He was subsequently expelled and entered the Hospitallers, whom he finally abandoned for the Premonstratensians ( Procès, I. 645-6). This somewhat irrelevant and disconnected story so impressed the commissioners that they made Antonio reduce it to writing himself, and lost no subsequent opportunity of inquiring about the head of Sidon from all other witnesses who had been in Syria. Shortly afterwards Jean Senandi, who had lived in Sidon for five years, informed them that the Templars purchased the city, and that Julian, who had been one of its lords, entered the Order but apostatized and died in poverty. One of his ancestors was said to have loved a maiden and abused her corpse, but he had heard ing of the head (Ib. II. 140). Pierre de Nobiliac had been for many years beyond seas, but had likewise never heard of it (Ib. 215). At length their curiosity was gratified by Hugues de Faure, who confirmed the fact that Sidon had been purchased by the Grand Master, Thomas Berard ( 1257-1273), and added that after the fall of Acre he had heard in Cyprus that the heiress of Maraclea, in Tripoli, had been loved by a noble who had exhumed her body and violated it, and cut off her head, a voice telling him to guard it well, for it would destroy all who looked upon it. He wrapped it up and kept it in a coffer, and in Cyprus, when be wished to destroy a town or the Greeks, he would uncover it and accomplish his purpose. Desiring to destroy Constantinople he sailed thither with it, but his old nurse, curious to know what was in the coffer so carefully preserved, speak of the sacrilegious rites imputed to them, they flounder among almost every variation that could suggest itself to their imaginations. Usually renunciation of God or Christ and spitting on the cross are both required, but in many cases renunciation without spitting suffices, and in as many more spitting without renunciation. * Occasionally spitting is not sufficient, but trampling is added, and even urination; indeed some over-zealous witnesses declared that the Templars assembled yearly to perform the latter ceremony, While others, while admitting the sacrilege of their reception rites, say that the yearly adoration of the cross on Good Friday, prescribed in the Rule, was also observed with great devotion. † Generally a plain cross is described as the object of contempt, but sometimes a crucifix is used, or a painting of the crucifixion in an illuminated missal; the cross on the preceptor's mantle is a common device, and even two straws laid crosswise on the ground suffices. In some cases spitting thrice upon the ground was only required, without anything being said as to its being in disrespect of Christ. ‡ Many witnesses declared that the sacrilege was performed in full view of the assembled brethren, others that the neophyte was taken into a dark corner, or behind the altar, or into another room carefully closed; in one case it took place in a field, in another in a grange, in another in a cooper-shop, and in another
opened it, when a sudden storm burst over the ship and sank it with all on board, except a few sailors who escaped to tell the tale. Since then no fish have been found in that part of the sea (Ib. 223-4). Guillaume Avril had been seven years beyond seas without bearing of the head, but had been told that in the whirlpool of Setalias a head sometimes appeared, and then all the vessels there were lost (Ib. 238). All this rubbish was sent to the Council of Vienne as part of the evidence against the Order.
* Procès, I. 233, 242, 250, 414, 423, 429, 533, 536, 546, etc.
† Procès, I. 233; II. 219, 232, 237, 264.-- Raynouard, 274-5, 279-80.-- Bini, pp. 463, 497.
At the feast of the Holy Cross in May and September, and on Good Friday, the Templars all assembled, and, laying aside shoes and head-gear and swords, adored the cross, with the hymn--
Ador to Crist et benesesc te Crist
Qui per la sancta tua crou nos resemist.--
( Procès, II. 474, 491, 503.)
‡ Procès, I. 233, 250, 536, 539, 541, 546, 606; II. 226, 232, 336, 360, 369.-Raynouard, p. 275.
in a room used for the manufacture of shoes. * As a rule the preceptor was represented as enforcing it, but in many cases the duty was confided to one or more serving brethren, and in one instance the person officiating had his head hidden in a cowl. † Almost universally it formed part of the ceremonies of reception, sometimes even before the vows were administered or the mantle bestowed, but generally at the conclusion, after the neophyte was fully committed, but there were occasional instances in which it was postponed until a later hour, or to the next day, or to longer intervals, extending, in one or two cases, to months and years. ‡ Some witnesses declared that it formed part of all receptions; others that it had been enforced in their case, but they had never seen it or heard of it in other receptions at which they had been present. In general they swore that they were told it was a rule of the Order, but some said that it was explained to them as a joke, and others that they were told to do it with the mouth and not with the heart. One, indeed, deposed that he had been offered the choice between renouncing Christ, spitting on the cross, and the indecent kiss, and he selected the spitting. § In fact, the evidence as to the enforcement of the sacrilege is hopelessly contradictory. In many cases the neophyte was excused after a slight resistance; in others he was thrust into a dark dungeon until he yielded. Egidio, Preceptor of San Gemignano of Florence, stated that he had known two recalcitrant neophytes carried in chains to Rome, where they perished in prison, and Niccolò Regino, Preceptor of Grosseto, said that recusants were slain, or sent to distant parts, like Sardinia, where they ended their days. Geoffroi de Charney, Preceptor of Normandy, swore that he enforced it upon the first neophyte whom he received, but that he never did so afterwards, and Gui Dauphin, one of the high officers of the Order, said virtually the same thing; Gaucher de Liancourt, Preceptor of Reims, on the other hand, testified that he had required it in all cases, for
* Procès, I. 530, 533, 536, 539, 544, 549, 565, 572, 622; II. 24, 27, 29, 31, 120, 280, 362, 546, 579.-- Schottmüller, II. 413.
§ Procès, I. 407, 418, 435, 462, 572, 588; II. 27, 38, 67, 174, 185, 214. III.--18
† Procès, I. 386, 536, 539, 565, 572, 592.
‡ Procès, I. 413, 434, 444, 469, 504, 559, 562; II. 75, 99, 113, 123, 205.-- Raynouard , p. 280.-- Schottmüller, op. cit. II. 132, 410.
if he had not he would have been imprisoned for life, and Hugues de Peraud, the Visitor of France, declared that it was obligatory on him. *
It would be a work of supererogation to pursue this examination further. The same irreconcilable confusion reigns in the evidence as to the other charges--the cord of chastity, the obscene kiss, the mutilation of the canon of the mass, † the power of absolution assigned to the Grand Master, the license for unnatural crime. It might be argued, as these witnesses had been received into the Order at times varying from fifty to sixty years previous to within a few months, and at places so widely apart as Palestine and England, that these variations are explicable by local usages or by a gradually perfected belief and ritual. An investigation of the confessions shows, however, that no such explanation will suffice; there can be no grouping as to the time or place of the ceremony. Yet there can be a grouping which is of supreme' significance, a grouping as to the tribunal through which the witness passed. This is often very notable among the two hundred and twenty-five who were sent to the papal commission from various parts of France, and examined in 1310 and 1311. As a rule they manifested extreme anxiety that their present depositions should accord with those which they had made when subject to inquisition by the bishops--doubtless they made them as nearly so as their memories would permit--and it is easy to see how greater or less rigor, or how concert between those confined in the same prison, had led to the concoction of stories such as would satisfy their
* Procès, I. 404; II. 260, 281, 284, 295, 299, 338, 354, 356, 363, 389, 390, 395, 407.-- Bini, pp. 468, 488.
It is not easy to appreciate the reasoning of Michelet ( Procès, II. vii.-viii.), who argues that the uniformity of denial in a series of depositions taken by the Bishop of Elne suggests concert of statement agreed upon in advance, while the variations in those who admitted guilt are an evidence of their veracity. If the Templars were innocent, denials of the charges read to them seriatim would be necessarily identical; if they were guilty, the confessions would be likewise uniform. Thus the identity of the one group and the diversity of the other both concur to disprove the accusations.
† Incontrovertible evidence that the Templar priests did not mutilate the words of consecration in the mass is furnished in the Cypriote proceedings by ecclesiastics who had long dwelt with them in the East.-- Processus Cypricus ( Schottmüller, II. 379, 382, 383).
judges. Thus the confessions obtained by the Ordinary of Poitiers have a character distinct from those extorted by the Bishop of Clermont, and we can classify the penitents of the Bishop of Le Mans, the Archbishop of Sens, the Archbishop of Tours, the Bishops of Amiens, Rodez, Macon, in fact of nearly all the prelates who took part in the terrible drama. *
Another feature indicating the untrustworthy character of the evidence is that large numbers of the witnesses swore that they had confessed the sacrilege committed to priests and friars of all kinds, to bishops, and even to papal penitentiaries, and had received absolution by the imposition of penance, usually of a trifling character, such as fasting on Fridays for a few months or a year. † No ordinary confessor could absolve for heresy; it was a sin reserved for the inquisitor, papal or episcopal. The most that the confessor could have done would have been to send the penitent to some one competent to grant absolution, which would only have been administered under the heaviest penance, including denunciation of the Order. To suppose, in fact, that thousands of men, during a period of fifty or a hundred years, could have been entrapped into such a heresy without its becoming matter of notoriety, is in itself so violent an assumption as to deprive the whole story of all claims upon belief.
Thus the more closely the enormous aggregate of testimony is examined the more utterly worthless it appears, and this is confirmed by the fact that nowhere could compromising evidence be obtained without the use of inquisitorial methods. Had thousands of men been unwillingly forced to abjure their faith and been terrorized into keeping the dread secret, as soon as the pressure was removed by the seizure there would have been a universal eagerness to unburden the conscience and seek reconciliation with the Church. No torture would have been requisite to obtain all the evidence required. In view, therefore, of the extreme improba-
* Procès, I. 230-1, 264-74, 296-307, 331-67, 477-93, 602-19, 621-41; II. 1-3, 56-85, 91-114, 122-52, 154-77, 184-91, 234-56, 263-7.
† Procès, I. 298, 305, 319, 336, 372, 401, 405, 427, 436, etc.
It is not easy to understand the prescription of Friday fasting as a penance for a Templar, for the ascetic rules of the Order already required the most rigid fasting. Meat was only allowed three days in the week, and a second Lent was kept from the Sunday before Martinmas until Christmas ( Règle, §§ 15, 57).
bility of the charge, of the means employed to obtain proof for its support, and the lack of coherence in the proof so obtained, it appears to me that no judicial mind in possession of the facts can hesitate to pronounce a sentence, not merely of not proven, but of acquittal. The theory that there were inner grades in the Order, by which those alone to be trusted were initiated in its secret doctrines, is perfectly untenable. As there is no evidence of any kind to support it, it is a matter of mere conjecture, which is sufficiently negatived by the fact that with scarce an exception those who confessed, whether ploughmen or knights, relate the sacrilege as taking place on their admission. If the witnesses on whom the prosecution relied are to be believed at all, the infection pervaded the whole Order.
Yet it is by no means improbable that there may have been some foundation for the popular gossip that the neophyte at his reception was forced to kiss the posteriors of his preceptor. As we have seen, a large majority of the Order consisted of serving brethren on whom the knights looked down with infinite contempt. Some such occasional command on the part of a reckless knight, to enforce the principle of absolute obedience, in admitting a plebeian to nominal fraternity and equality, would not have been foreign to the manners of the age. Who can say, moreover, that men, soured with the disillusion of life within the Order, chafing under the bonds of their irrevocable vow, and perhaps released from all religious convictions amid the license of the East, may not occasionally have tested the obedience of a neophyte by bidding him to spit at the cross on the mantle that had grown hateful to him? * No one who recognizes the wayward perversity
* This would seem not unlikely if we are to believe the confession of Jean d'Aumônes, a serving brother who stated that at his reception his preceptor turned all the other brethren out of the chapel, and after some difficulty forced him to spit at the cross, after which he said "Go, fool, and confess." This Jean at once did, to a Franciscan who imposed on him only the penance of three Friday fasts, saying that it was intended as a test of constancy in case of capture by the Saracens ( Procès, I. 588-91).
Another serving brother, Pierre de Cherrut, related that after he had been forced to renounce God his preceptor smiled disdainfully at him, as though despising, him (Ib. I. 531).
Equally suggestive is the story, told by the serving brother Eudes de Bures, of human nature, or who is familiar with the condition of monasticism at the period, can deny the possibilities of such occasional performances, whether as brutal jokes or spiteful assertions of supremacy, but the only rational conclusion from the whole tremendous tragedy is that the Order was innocent of the crime for which it was punished.
While Philippe was seizing his prey, Clement, at Poitiers, was occupied in the equally lucrative work of sending collectors throughout Germany to exact a tithe of all ecclesiastical revenues for the recovery of the Holy Land. When aroused from this with the news that Philippe, under the authority of Frère Guillaume the inquisitor, had thus taken decided and irrevocable action in a matter which was still before him for consideration, his first emotion naturally was that of wounded pride and indignation, sharpened perhaps by the apprehension that he would not be able to secure his share of the spoils. He dared not publicly disavow responsibility for the act, and what would be the current of public opinion outside of France no man could divine. In this cruel dilemma he wrote to Philippe, October 27, 1307, expressing his indignation that the king should have taken action in a matter which the brief of August 24 showed to be receiving papal consideration. Carefully suppressing the fact of the intervention of the Inquisition which legally justified the whole proceeding, Clem-
a youth of twenty at the time, that after his reception he was taken into another room by two of the brethren and forced to renounce Christ. On his refusing at first, one of them said that in his country people renounced God a hundred times for a flea--perhaps an exaggeration, but "Je renye Dieu" was one of the commonest of expletives. When the preceptor heard him weeping he called to the tormentors to lot him alone, as they would set him crazy, and he subsequently told Eudes that it was a joke (Ib. II. 100-2).
What is the real import of such incidents may be gathered from a story related by a witness during the inquest held in Cyprus, May, 1310. He bad heard from a Genoese mamed Matteo Zaccaria, who bad long been a prisoner in Cairo, that when the news of the proceedings against the Order reached the Soldan of Egypt be drew from his prisons about forty Templars captured ten years before on the island of Tortosa, and offered them wealth if they would renounce their religion. Surprised and angered by their refusal, he remanded them to their dungeons and ordered them to be deprived of food and drink, when they, perished to a man rather than apostatize.-- Schottmüller, op. cit. II. 160.
ent sought a further ground of complaint by reminding the king that Templars were not under royal jurisdiction, but under that of the Holy See, and he had committed a grave act of disobedience in seizing their persons and property, both of which must be forthwith delivered to two cardinals sent for the purpose. These were Berenger de Frédole, Cardinal of SS. Nereo and Achille, and Étienne de Suissi of S. Ciriaco, both Frenchmen and creatures of Philippe, who had procured their elevation to the sacred college. He seems to have had no trouble in coming to an understanding with them, for, though the trials and tortures were pushed unremittingly, another letter of Clement's, November 30, praises the king for putting the matter in the hands of the Holy See, and one of Philippe's of December 24 announces that he had no intention of infringing on the rights of the Church and does not intend to abandon his own; he has, he says, delivered the Templars to the cardinals, and the administration of their property shall be kept separate from that of the crown. Clement's susceptibilities being thus soothed, even before the trials at Paris were ended he issued, November 22, the bull Pastoralis præeminentiæ, addressed to all the potentates of Europe, in which he related what Philippe had done at the requisition of the Inquisitor of France, in order that the Templars might be presented to the judgment of the Church; how the chiefs of the Order had confessed the crimes imputed to them; how he himself had examined one of them who was employed about his person and had confirmed the truth of the allegations. Therefore he orders all the sovereigns to do likewise, retaining the prisoners and holding their property in the name of the pope and subject to his order. Should the Order prove innocent the property is to be restored to it, otherwise it is to be employed for the recovery of the Holy Land. * This
* Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. II. p. 95.-- Du Puy, pp. 117-18, 124, 134.-- Sehottmüller , I. 94.-- Rymer, Fœd. III. 30.--MSS. Chioccarello T. VIII.--Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 126, 131.-- Zurita, Lib. v. c. 73.
Apparently there was a general expectation that the Hospitallers would share the fate of the Templars, and a disposition was manifested at once to pillage them, for Clement felt obliged, December 21, 1307, to issue a bull confirming all their privileges and immunities, and to send throughout Europe letters ordering them to be protected from all encroachments
(Regest. Clem. PP. V. T. III. pp. 14, 17-18, 20-1, 273; T. IV. p. 418).
was the irrevocable act which decided the fate of the Templars, as we shall see hereafter when we consider the action of the princes of Europe outside of France.
Philippe thus had forced Clement's hand, and Clement was fairly committed to the investigation, which in the hands of the Inquisition could only end in the destruction of the Order. Secure in his position, the king pushed on the examination of the prisoners throughout the kingdom, and the vigilance of his agents is shown in the case of two German Templars returning home, whom they arrested at Chaumont and delivered to the Inquisitor of the Three Bishoprics. One was a priest, the other a serving brother, and the inquisitor in reporting to Philippe says that he had not tortured the latter because he was very sick, but that neither had admitted that there was in the Order aught that was not pure and holy. The examinations went on during the winter of 1308, when Clement unexpectedly put a stop to them. What was his motive we can only conjecture; probably he found that Philippe's promises with regard to the Templar possessions were not likely to be fulfilled, and that an assertion of his control was necessary. Whatever his reasons, he suddenly suspended in the premises the power of all the inquisitors and bishops in France and evoked to himself the cognizance of the whole affair, alleging that the suddenness of the seizure without consulting him, although so near and so accessible, had excited in him grave suspicions, which had not been allayed by the records of the examinations submitted to him, for these were of a character rather to excite incredulity-though in November he had proclaimed to all Christendom his conviction of their truth. It shows how completely the whole judicial proceedings were inquisitional that this brought them to an immediate close, provoking Philippe to uncontrollable wrath. Angrily he wrote to Clement that he had sinned greatly: even popes, he hints, may fall into heresy; he had wronged all the prelates and inquisitors of France; he had inspired the Templars with hopes and they were retracting their confessions, especially Hugues de Peraud, who had had the honor of dining with the cardinal-deputies. Evidently some intrigue was on foot, and Clement was balancing, irresolute as to which side offered most advantage, and satisfied at least to show to Philippe that he was indispensable. Philippe at first was disposed to assert his indepen- dence and claim jurisdiction, and he applied to the University for an opinion to support his claims, but the Faculty of Theology replied, March 25, 1308, as it could not help doing: the Templars were religious and consequently exempt from secular jurisdiction; the only cognizance which a secular court could have over heresy was at the request of the Church after it had abandoned the heretic; in case of necessity the secular power could arrest a heretic, but it could only be for the purpose of delivering him to the ecclesiastical court; and finally the Templar property must be held for the purpose for which it was given to the Order. *
Philippe, thus foiled, proceeded to bring a still stronger pressure to bear on Clement. He appealed to his subservient bishops and summoned a national assembly, to meet April 15 in Tours, to deliberate with him on the subject of the Templars. Already, at the Assembly of Paris in 1302, he had called in the Tiers-État and had learned to value its support in his quarrel with Boniface, and now he again brought in the communes, thus founding the institution of the States-General. After some delay the assembly met in May. In his summons Philippe had detailed the crimes of the Templars as admitted facts which ought to arouse for their punishment not only arms and the laws, but brute cattle and the four elements. He desired his subjects to participate in the pious work, and therefore he ordered the towns to select each two deputies zealous for the faith. From a gathering collected under such impulsion it was not difficult, in spite of the secret leaning of the nobles to the proscribed Order, to procure a virtually unanimous expression of opinion that the Templars deserved death. †
With the prestige of the nation at his back, Philippe went from Tours, at the end of May, to Clement at Poitiers, accompanied by a strong deputation, including his brothers, his sons, and his coun-
* Du Puy, pp. 12-13, 84-5, 89, 109, 111-12, 134.- -D'Achery Spicileg. II. 199.-- Raynouard, p. 238, 306. Jean de S. Victor gives the date of the declaration of the University as the Saturday after Ascension (May 25, ap. Bouquet, XXI. 651), but Du Puy describes the document as sealed with fourteen seals, and dated on Lady Day (March 25).
† Archives Administratives de Reims, T. II. pp., 65, 66.-- Chassaing Spicilegium Brivatense , pp. 274-5.-- Du Puy, pp. 38-9, 85, 113, 116.--Contin. Nangiac. ann. 1308.--Joann. de S. Victor. (Bouquet, XXI. 650),.-- Raynouard, p. 42.
cillors. Long and earnest were the disputations over the affair, Philippe urging, through his spokesman, Guillaume de Plaisian, that the Templars had been found guilty and that immediate punishment should follow; Clement reiterating his grievance that an affair of such magnitude, exclusively appertaining to the Holy See, should be carried on without his initiative. A body like the Order of the Temple had powerful friends all over Europe whose influence with the curia was great, and the papal perplexities were manifold as one side or the other preponderated; but Clement had irrevocably committed himself in the face of all Europe by his bull of November 22, and it was in reality but a question of the terms on which he would allow the affair to go on in France by removing the suspension of the powers of the Inquisition. The bargaining was sharp, but an agreement was reached. As Clement had reserved the matter for papal judgment, it was necessary that some show of investigation should be had. Seventy-two Templars were drawn from the prisons of Paris to be examined by the pope and sacred college, that they might be able to assert personal knowledge of their guilt. Clement might well shrink from confronting de Molay and the chiefs of the Order whom he was betraying, while at the same time they could not be arbitrarily omitted. They were therefore stopped at Chinon near Tours, under pretext of sickness, while the others were sent forward to Poitiers. From the 28th of June to July 1 they were solemnly examined by five cardinals friendly to Philippe deputed for the purpose. The official report of the examinations shows the care which had been exercised in the selection of those who were to perform this scene in the drama. A portion of them were spontaneous witnesses who had left, or had tried to leave, the Order. The rest, with the terrible penalty for retraction impending over them, confirmed the confessions made before the Inquisition, which in many cases had been extracted by torture. Then, July 2, they were brought before the pope in full consistory and the same scene was enacted. Thus the papal jurisdiction was recognized; Clement in his subsequent bulls could speak of his own knowledge, and could declare that the accused had confessed their errors spontaneously and without coercion, and had humbly begged for absolution and reconciliation. *
* Ptol. Lucens. Hist. Eccles. Lib. XXIV. ( Muratori S. R. I. XI. 1229-30).--
The agreement duly executed between Clement and Philippe bore that the Templars should be delivered to the pope, but be guarded in his name by the king; that their trials should be proceeded with by the bishops in their several dioceses, to whom, at the special and earnest request of the king, the inquisitors were adjoined--but de Molay and the Preceptors of the East, of Normandy, Poitou, and Provence, were reserved for the papal judgment; the property was to be placed in the hands of commissioners named by the pope and bishops, to whom the king was secretly to add appointees of his own, but he was to pledge himself in writing that it should be employed solely for the Holy Land. Clement assumed that the fate of the Order, as an institution, was too weighty a question to be decided without the intervention of a general council, and it was decided to call one in October, 1310. The Cardinal of Palestrina was named is the papal representative in charge of the persons of the Templars--a duty which he speedily fulfilled by transferring them to the king under condition that they should be held at the disposition of the Church. Clement performed his part of the bargain by removing, July 5, the suspension of the inquisitors and bishops, and restoring their jurisdiction in the matter. Directions were sent at the same time to each of the bishops in France to associate with himself two cathedral canons, two Dominicans, and two Franciscans, and proceed with the trials of the individual Templars within his diocese, admitting inquisitors to participate at will, but taking no action against the Order as a whole; all persons were ordered, under pain of excommunication, to arrest Templars and deliver them to the inquisitors or episcopal officials, and Philippe furnished twenty copies of royal letters commanding his subjects to restore to the papal deputies all property, real and personal, of the Order. *
Joann. de S. Victor (Bouquet, XXI.650).-- Raynouard, pp. 44-5, 245-52.-- Du Puy, pp. 13-14.-- Schottmüller, op. cit. II. 13 sqq.--Bull. Faciens misericordiam, 12 Aug. 1308 ( Rymer, II. 101.--Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 136).
* Du Puy, pp. 15-17, 20, 39, 86, 107-8, 118-19, 121-22, 125.--Contin. Nangiac. ann. 1308.-- Raynouard, pp. 46, 49.--Joann. de S. Victor (Bouquet, XXI. 651).-D'Achery Spicileg. II. 200.
Guillaume de Plaisian, who had been Philippe's chief instrument in these transactions, received special marks of Clement's favor by briefs dated August 5 (Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. III. pp. 216, 227).
Although Clement declared in his bulls to Europe that Philippe had manifested his disinterestedness by surrendering all the Templar property, the question was one which gave rise to a good deal of skilful fencing on both sides. It is not worth while to pursue the affair in its details, but we shall see how in the end Philippe successfully cheated his partner in the game and retained the control which he apparently gave up. *
The rival powers having thus come to an understanding about their victims, proceedings were resumed with fresh energy. Clement made up for his previous hesitation with ample show of zeal. De Molay and the chief officials with him were detained at Chinon until the middle of August, when the Cardinals of SS. Nereo and Achille, of S. Ciriaco and of S. Angelo, were sent thither to examine them. These reported, August 20, to Philippe, that on the 17th and following days they had interrogated the Grand Master, the Master of Cyprus, the Visitor of France, and the Preceptors of Normandy and Poitou, who had confirmed their previous confessions and had humbly asked for absolution and reconciliation, which had been duly given them, and the king is asked to pardon them. There are two things noteworthy in this which illustrate the duplicity pervading the whole affair. In the papal bulls of August 12, five days before this examination was commenced, its results are fully set forth, with the assertion that the confessions were free and spontaneous. Moreover, when, in November, 1309, this bull was read over by the papal commission to de Molay, on hearing its recital of what he was said to have confessed he was stupefied, and, crossing himself twice, said he wished to God the
* Bull. Faciens misericordiam.--Raynald. ann. 1309, No. 3.-- Du Puy, pp. 64-5, 86-88, 127, 207-9.-- Procès des Templiers I. 50-2.-- Raynouard, p. 47.--Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. IV. pp. 433-4.
Clement appointed six curators in France to look after the property for the Holy See. By letters of January 5, 1309, he gave them an allowance from the Templar property of forty sons parisis of good money each for every night which they might have to spend away from home, at the same time cautioning them that they must not fraudulently leave their houses without necessity (Regest. T. IV. p. 439). A brief of January 28, 1310, transferring from the Bishop of Vaison to the canon, Gerard de Bussy, the custody of certain Templar houses, shows that Clement succeeded in obtaining possession of a portion (Ib. T. V. p. 56).
custom of the Saracens and Tartars were observed towards persons so perverse, for they beheaded or cut in two those who thus perverted the truth. He might have said more had not Guillaume de Plaisian, the royal agent, who pretended to be his friend, cautioned him as to the risk which he ran in thus constructively retracting his confession, and he contented himself with asking for time for consideration. *
On August 12 Clement issued a series of bulls which regulated the methods of procedure in the case, and showed that he was prepared fully to perform his part of the agreement with Philippe. The bull Faciens misericordiam, addressed to the prelates of Christendom, recited at great length the proceedings thus far taken against the accused, and the guilt which they had spontaneously acknowledged; it directed the bishops, in conjunction with inquisitorial commissioners appointed by the pope, to summon all Templars before them and make inquisition concerning them. After this provincial councils were to be summoned, where the guilt or innocence of the individuals was to be determined, and in all the proceedings the local inquisitors had a right to take part. The results of the inquisitions, moreover, were to be promptly transmitted to the pope. With this was enclosed a long and elaborate series of articles on which the accused were to be examined--articles drawn up in Paris by the royal officials--and the whole was ordered to be published in the vernacular in all parish churches. The bull Regnans in cœlis, addressed to all princes and prelates, repeated the narrative part of the other, and ended by convoking, for October 1, 1310, a general council at Vienne, to decide as to the fate of the Order, to consult as to the recovery of the Holy Land, and to take such action as might be required for the reformation of the Church. By another bull, Faciens misericordiam, dated August 8, a formal summons was issued to all and singular of the Templars to appear before the council, personally or by procurators, on a certain day, to answer to the charges against the Order, and the Cardinal of Palestrina, who was in charge of them, was ordered to produce de Molay and the Preceptors of France, Normandy, Poitou, Aquitaine, and Provence to receive sentence. This was the simplest requirement of judicial procedure, and the
* Du Puy, pp. 33-4, 133.--Bull. Faciens misericordiam.-- Procès, I. 34-5.
manner in which it was subsequently eluded forms one of the darkest features in the whole transaction. Finally there were other bulls elaborately providing for the payment of the papal commissioners and inquisitors, and ordering the Templar possessions everywhere to be sequestrated to await the result of the trial, and to be devoted to the Holy Land in case of condemnation. Much, it was stated, had already been wickedly seized and appropriated, and all persons were summoned to make restitution, under pain of excommunication. All debtors to the Order were summoned to pay, and all persons cognizant of such debts or of stolen property were required to give information. The series of bulls was completed by one of December 30, to be read in all churches, declaring all Templars to be suspect of heresy, ordering their capture as such and delivery to the episcopal ordinaries, and forbidding all potentates and prelates from harboring them or showing them any aid or favor, under pain of excommunication and interdict. At the same time another bull was directed to all the princes of Christendom, commanding them to seize any Templars who might as yet not have been arrested. *
The prosecution of the Templars throughout Europe was thus organized. Even such distant points as Achaia, Corsica, and Sardinia were not neglected. The large number of special inquisitors to be appointed was a work of time, and the correspondence between Philippe and Clement on the subject shows that they virtually were selected by the king. In France the work of prosecution was speedily set on foot, and, after a respite of some six months, the Templars found themselves transferred from the improvised inquisitorial tribunals set on foot by Frère Guillaume to the episcopal courts as provided by Clement. In every diocese
* Rymer, III. 101.--Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 134, 136.--Harduin. VII. 1283, 1289, 1321, 1353.-- Schmidt, Päbstliche Urkunden und Regesten, Halle, 1886, pp. 71-2.--Raynald. ann. 1308, No. 8.--Contin. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1308.-- Raynouard , p. 50.--Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. III. pp. 281 sqq., pp. 363 sqq., 386 sqq.; T. IV. pp. 3, 276 sqq., 479-82.
The Master of England and the Master of Germany were reserved for papal judgment. The bull Faciens misericordiam, addressed to Germany, contained no command to assemble provincial councils (Harduin. VII. 1353).
In spite of all that had occurred, this bull seems to have taken the public by surprise outside of France. Walter of Hemingford calls it "bullam horribilem contra Templarios" (Chron. Ed. 1849, II. 279).
the bishops were soon busily at work. Curiously enough, some of them doubted whether they could use torture, and applied for instructions, to which Clement answered that they were to be governed by the written law, which removed their misgivings. The papal instructions indicate that these proceedings only concerned those Templars who had not passed through the hands of Frère Guillaume and his commissioners, but there seems to have been little distinction observed as to this. Clement urged forward the proceedings with little regard to formality, and authorized the bishops to act outside of their respective dioceses, and without respect to the place of origin of the accused. The sole object evidently was to extract from them satisfactory confessions, as a preparation for the provincial councils which were to be summoned for their final judgment. Those who had already confessed were not likely to retract. Before the papal commission in 1310, Jean de Cochiac exhibited a letter from Philippe de Vohet and Jean de Jamville, the papal and royal custodians of the prisoners, to those confined at Sens at the time the Bishop of Orleans was sent there to examine them (the archbishopric of Sens was then vacant), warning them that those who revoked the confessions made before "los quizitor" would be burned as relapsed. Vohet, when summoned before the commission, admitted the seal to be his, but denied authorizing the letter, and the commission prudently abstained from pushing the investigation further. The nervous anxiety manifested by most of those brought before the commission that their statements should accord with what they had said before the bishops, shows that they recognized the danger which they incurred. *
The treatment of those who refused to confess varied with the temper of the bishops and their adjuncts. The records of their tribunals have mostly disappeared, and we are virtually left to gather what we can from the utterances of a few witnesses who made to the commission chance allusions to their former experiences. Yet the proceedings before the Bishop of Clermont would show that they were not in all cases treated with undue harshness. He had sixty-nine Templars, of whom forty confessed,
* Du Puy, pp. 110, 125.-- Raynouard, p. 130.--Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. IV. pp. 453-55, 457-8.-- Procès, I. 71-2, 128, 132, 135; 463, 511, 540, etc.
and twenty-nine refused to admit any evil in the Order. Then he assembled them and divided them into the two groups. The recusants declared that they adhered to their assertion, and that if they should subsequently confess through fear of torture, prison, or other affliction, they protested that they should not be believed, and that it should not prejudice them, nor does it appear that any constraint was afterwards put upon them. The others were asked whether they had any defence to offer, or whether they were ready for definitive sentence, when they unanimously declared that they had nothing to offer nor wished to hear their sentence, but submitted themselves to the mercy of the Church. What that mercy was we shall see hereafter. All bishops were not as mild as he of Clermont, but in the fragmentary recitals before the commission it is not always easy to distinguish the action of the episcopal tribunals from that of Frère Guillaume's inquisitors. A few instances will suffice to show how, between the two, testimony was obtained against the Order. Jean de Rompreye, a husbandman, declared that he knew nothing but good of the Order, although he had confessed otherwise before the Bishop of Orleans after being thrice tortured. Robert Vigier, a serving brother, likewise denied the accusations, though he bad confessed them before the Bishop of Nevers at Paris, on account of the fierceness of the torture, under which he understood that three of his comrades, Gautier, Henri, and Chanteloup, had died. Bernard de Vado, a priest, had been tortured by fire applied to the soles of the feet to such an extent that a few days afterwards the bones of his heels dropped out, in testimony of which he exhibited the bones. Nineteen brethren from Périgord had confessed before the Bishop of Périgord through torture and starvation--one of them had been kept for six months on bread and water, without shoes or upper clothing. Guillaume d'Erré, when brought before the Bishop of Saintes, had denied all the charges, but after being put on bread and water and threatened with torture, had confessed to renouncing Christ and spitting at the cross--a confession which he now retracts. Thomas de Pamplona, under many tortures inflicted on him at St. Jean d'Angely, had confirmed the confession made by de Molay, and then, upon being put upon bread and water, had confessed before the Bishop of Saintes to spitting at the cross, all of which he now retracts. These instances might be multiplied out of the few who had the hardihood to incur the risk of martyrdom attendant upon withdrawing their confessions. Indeed, in the universal terror impressed on the friendless and defenceless wretches, we cannot condemn those who yielded, and can only admire the constancy of those who endured the torture and braved the stake in defence of the Order. What was the general feeling among them was voiced by Aymon de Barbara, who had thrice been tortured, and had for nine weeks been kept on bread and water. He pitifully said that he had suffered in body and soul, but as for retracting his confession, he would not do so as long as he was in prison. The mental struggles which the poor creatures endured are well illustrated by Jean de Cormèle, Preceptor of Moissac, who when brought before the commission hesitated and would not describe the ceremonies at his own reception, though he declared that he had seen nothing wrong at the reception of others. The recollection of the tortures which he had endured in Paris, in which he had lost four teeth, completely unnerved him, and he begged to have time for consideration. He was given until the next day, and when he reappeared his resolution had broken down. He confessed the whole catalogue of villainies; and when asked if he had consulted any one, denied it, but said that he had requested a priest to say for him a mass of the Holy Ghost that God might direct him what to do. *
These instances will illustrate the nature of the work in which the whole episcopate of France was engaged during the remainder of the year 1308 and through 1309 and 1310. All this, however, concerned merely the members of the Order as individuals. The fate of the Templar possessions depended upon the judgment to be rendered on the Order as a body corporate, and for this purpose Clement had assigned for it a day on which it was to appear by its syndics and procurators before the Council of Vienne, to put in its defence and show cause why it should not be abolished. Seeing that the officers and members were scattered in prison throughout Europe, this was a manifest impossibility, and some method was imperatively required by which they could, at least constructively, be represented, if only to hear their sentence.
* Raynouard, pp. 52-3. -- Procès, I. 40, 75, 230, 506-9, 511-14, 520-1, 527-8; II. 13, 18.
Among the bulls of August 12, 1308, therefore, there was one creating a commission, with the Archbishop of Narbonne at its head, authorized to summon before it all the Templars of France, to examine them, and to report the result. Subsequent bulls of May, 1309, directed the commission to set to work, and notified Philippe concerning it. August 8, 1309, the commission assembled in the abbey of Sainte-Genevieve, and by letters addressed to all the archbishops of the kingdom cited all Templars to appear before them on the first working day after Martinmas, and the Order itself to appear by its syndies and procurators at the Council of Vienne, to receive such sentence as God should decree. On the appointed day, November 12, the commissioners reassembled, but no Templars appeared. For a week they met daily, and daily the form was gone through of a proclamation by the apparitor that if any one wished to appear for the Order or its members the commission was ready to listen to him kindly, but without result. On examining the replies of the prelates they were found to have imperfectly fulfilled their duty. Philippe evidently regarded the whole proceeding with distrust, and was not inclined to aid it. A somewhat peremptory communication on November 18 was addressed to the Bishop of Paris, explaining that their proceedings were not against individuals, but against the whole Order; that no one was to be forced to appear, but that all who so chose must be allowed to come. This brought the bishop before them on November 22, with explanations and apologies; and a summons to Philippe de Vohet and Jean de Jamville, the papal and royal custodians of the Templars, brought those officials to promise obedience. Yet the obstacles to the performance of their task did not disappear. On the 22d they were secretly informed that some persons had come to Paris in lay garments to defend the Order, and had been thrown in prison. Thereupon they sent for Jean de Plublaveb, prévôt of the Châtelet, who said that by royal order he had arrested seven men said to be Templars in disguise, who had come with money to engage advocates in defence of the Order, but on torturing two of them he had found this not to be the case. The matter proved to be of little significance except as manifesting the purpose of the king to control the action of the commission. *
* Joann. de S. Victor ( Bouquet, XXI. 654).-- Procès, I. 1-31.
At length the commission succeeded in securing the presence of de Molay, of Hugues de Peraud, and of some of the brethren confined in Paris. De Molay said he was not wise and learned enough to defend the Order, but he would hold himself vile and miserable if he did not attempt it. Yet he was a prisoner and penniless; he had not four deniers to spend, and only a poor serving brother with whom to advise; he prayed to have aid and counsel, and he would do his best. The commissioners reminded him that trials for heresy were not conducted according to legal forms, that advocates were not admitted, and they cautioned him as to the risk he incurred in defending the Order after the confession which he had made. Kindly they read over to him the report of the cardinals as to his confession at Chinon; and on his manifesting indignation and astonishment, Guillaume de Plaisian, who seems to have been watching the proceedings on the part of the king, gave him, as we have already seen, another friendly caution which closed his lips. He asked for delay, and when he reappeared Guillaume de Nogaret was there to take advantage of any imprudence. From the papal letters which had been read to him he learned that the pope had reserved him and the other chiefs of the Order for special judgment, and he therefore asked to have the opportunity of appearing before the papal tribunal without delay. The shrewdness of this device thus made itself apparent. It separated the leaders from the rest; de Molay, Hugues de Peraud, and Geoffroi de Gonneville were led to hope for special consideration, and selfishly abandoned their followers. As for the brethren, their answers to the commission were substantially that of Géraud de Caux--he was a simple knight, without horse, arms, or land; he knew not how, and could not defend the Order. *
By this time Philippe seems to have been satisfied that no harm could come from the operations of the commission. His opposition disappeared, and he graciously lent them his assistance. November 28, a second summons was sent to the bishops threatening them with papal indignation for a continuance of their neglect, and, what was far more efficacious, it was accompanied with orders from Philippe directing his jailers to afford to the episcopal officials access to the imprisoned Templars, while the baillis were
* Procès, I. 28, 29, 41-5, 88.
instructed to send to Paris, under sure guard, all Templars desiring to defend their Order. *
February 3, 1310, was the day named in this new citation. By the 5th Templars began to pour in, nearly all eager to defend their Order. They accumulated until the commission was embarrassed how to deal with them, and finally, on March 28, five hundred and forty-six who had offered to defend were assembled in the garden of the episcopal palace, where the commissioners explained to them what was proposed, and suggested that they should nominate six or eight or ten of their number to act as procurators; they would not again have an opportunity of meeting, and the commission would proceed on the 31st, but the procurators should have access to them in their several prisons, and should agree with them as to what defence should be offered. A promiscuous crowd, whose differences of dialect rendered intercommunication impossible, abandoned by their natural leaders and thus suddenly brought together, was not fitted for deliberation on so delicate an emergency. Many hesitated about acting without orders from the Master, for all initiative on the part of subordinates was strictly forbidden by the Rule. The commissioners seem to have been sincerely desirous of getting the matter into some sort of shape, and finally, on the 31st, they ordered their notaries to visit the houses in which the Templars were confined and report their wishes and conclusions. This was a process requiring time, and the reports of the notaries after making their daily rounds are pitiful enough. The wretched prisoners floundered helplessly when called upon to resolve as to their action. Most of them declared the Order to be pure and holy, but knew not what to do in the absence of their superiors. There was a general clamor, often on bended knees, for readmission to the sacraments. Many begged to be assured that when they died they should be buried in consecrated ground; others offered to pay for a chaplain out of the miserable allowance doled to them; some asked that the allowance be increased, others that they should have clothes to cover their nakedness. They were urgent in the impossible request that they should have experts and learned men to advise with and appear for them, for they
* Procès, I. 47-53.
were simple and illiterate, chained in prison and unable to act; and they further begged that security should be given to witnesses, as all who had confessed were threatened with burning if they should retract. A paper presented April 4 by those confined in the house of the Abbot of Tiron is eloquent in its suggestiveness as to their treatment, for the houses in which they were quartered had apparently taken them on speculation. They assert the purity of the Order and their readiness to defend it as well as men can who are fettered in prison and pass the night in dark fosses. They further complain of the insufficiency of their allowance of twelve deniers a day, for they pay three deniers each per day for their beds; for hire of kitchen, napery, and cloths, two sols six deniers per week; two sols for taking off and replacing their fetters when they appear before the commission; for washing, eighteen deniers a fortnight; wood and candles, four deniers a day, and ferriage across from Nôtre Dame, sixteen deniers. It is evident that the poor creatures were exploited relentlessly. *
The outcome of the matter was that on April 7 nine representatives presented a paper in the name of all, declaring that without authority from the Master and Convent they could not appoint procurators, but they offer themselves one and all in defence of the Order, and ask to be present at the council or wherever it is on trial. They declare the charges to be horrible and impossible lies fabricated by apostates and fugitives expelled for crime from the Order, confirmed by torturing those who uphold the truth, and encouraging liars with recompenses and great promises. It is wonderful, they say, to see greater faith reposed in those corrupted thus by worldly advantage than in those who, like the martyrs of Christ, have died in torture with the palm of martyrdom, and in the living who, for conscience' sake, have suffered and daily suffer in their dungeons so many torments, tribulations, and miseries. In the universal terror prevailing they pray that when the brethren are examined there may be present no laymen or others whom they may fear, and that security may be
* Procès, I. 103-51.--It must be borne in mind that the allowance was in the fearfully debased currency of Philippe le Bel. According to a document of 1318 the livre Tournois still was to the sterling pound as 1 to 4 1/2 ( Olim, III. 1279).
Other Templars subsequently offered to defend the Order, making five hundred and seventy-three up to May 2.
assured them, for all who have confessed are daily threatened with burning if they retract. In reply the commissioners disavowed responsibility for their ill-usage, and promised to ask that they be humanely treated in accordance with the orders of the Cardinal of Palestrina, to whom they had been committed by the pope. The Grand Master, they added, had been urged to defend the Order, but had declined, and claimed that he was reserved for the pope. *
Having thus given the Templars a nominal opportunity for defence, the commissioners proceeded to take testimony, appointing four of the representatives, Renaud de Provins, Preceptor of Orleans, Pierre de Boulogne, procurator of the Order in the papal court, and Geoffroi de Chambonnet and Bertrand de Sartiges, knights, to be present at the swearing of the witnesses, and to do what might be requisite without constituting them formal defenders of the Order. These four on April 13 presented another paper in which, after alluding to the tortures employed to extort confessions, they stated it to be a notorious fact that to obtain testimony from Templars sealed royal letters had been given them promising them liberty and large pensions for life, and telling them that the Order was permanently abolished. This was evidently intended as a protest to pave the way for disabling the adverse witnesses, which, as we have seen, was the only defence in the inquisitorial process, and with the same object they also asked for the names of all witnesses. They did not venture to ask for a copy of the evidence, but they earnestly requested that it should be kept secret, to avert the danger that might otherwise threaten the witnesses. Subject to the interruption of the Easter solemnities, testimony, mostly adverse to the Order, continued to be taken up to May 9, from witnesses apparently carefully selected for the purpose. On Sunday, May 10, the commissioners were suddenly called together, at the request of Renaud de Provins and his colleagues, to receive the startling announcement that the provincial Council of Sens, which had been hastily assembled at Paris, proposed to prosecute all the Templars who had offered to defend the Order. Most of these had previously confessed; they had heroically taken their lives in their hands when, by asserting the purity of the Order,
* Procès, I. 165-72.
they had constructively revoked their confessions. The four Templars therefore appealed to the commissioners for protection, as the action of the council would fatally interfere with the work in hand; they demanded apostoli, and that their persons and rights and the whole Order should be placed under the guardianship of the Holy See, and time and money be allowed to prosecute the appeal. They further asked the commissioners to notify the Archbishop of Sens to take no action while the present examination was in progress, and that they be sent before him with one or two notaries to make a protest, as they can find no one who dares to draw up such an instrument for them. The commissioners were sorely perplexed and debated the matter until evening, when they recalled the Templars to say that while they heartily compassionated them they could do nothing, for the Archbishop of Sens and the council were acting under powers delegated by the pope. *
It was no part of Philippe's policy to allow the Order any opportunity to be beard. The sudden rally of nearly six hundred members, after their chiefs had been skilfully detached from them, and their preparations for defence at the approaching council promised a struggle which he proceeded to crush at the outset with his customary unscrupulous energy. The opportunity was favorable, for after long effort he had just obtained from Clement the archbishopric of Sens (of which Paris was a suffragan see) for a youthful creature of his own, Philippe de Marigny, brother of his minister Enguerrand, who took possession of the dignity only on April 5. The bull Facciens misericordiam had prescribed that, after the bishops had completed their inquests, provincial councils were to be called to sit in judgment on the individual brethren. In pursuance of this, the king through his archbishops was master of the situation. Provincial councils were suddenly called, that for Sens to meet at Paris, for Reims at Senlis, for Normandy at Pont de l'Arche, and for Narbonne at Carcassonne, and a demonstration was organized which should paralyze at once and forever all thought of further opposition to his will. No time was wasted in any pretence of judicial proceedings, for the canon law provided that relapsed heretics were to be condemned with-
* Procès, I. 173, 201-4, 259-64.
out a hearing. On the 11th the Council of Sens was opened at Paris. On the 12th, while the commissioners were engaged in taking testimony, word was brought them that fifty-four of those who had offered to defend the Order had been condemned as relapsed heretics for retracting their confessions, and, were to be burned that day. Hastily they sent to the council Philippe de Vohet, the papal custodian of the Templars, and Amis, Archdeacon of Orleans, to ask for delay. Vohet, they said, and many others asserted that the Templars who died in prison declared on peril of their souls that the crimes alleged were false; Renaud de Provins and his colleagues had appealed before them from the council; if the proposed executions took place the functions of the commission would be impeded, for the witnesses that day and the day before were crazed with terror and wholly unfit to give evidence. The envoys hurried to the council-hall, where they were treated with contempt and told that it was impossible that the commission could have sent such a message. The fifty-four martyrs were piled in wagons and carried to the fields near the convent of S. Antoine, where they were slowly tortured to death with fire, refusing all offers of pardon for confession, and manifesting a constancy which, as a contemporary tells us, placed their souls in great peril of damnation, for it led the people into the error of believing them innocent. The council continued its work, and a few days later burned four more Templars, so that if there were any who still proposed to defend the Order they might recognize what would be their fate. It ordered the bones of Jean de Tourne, former treasurer of the Temple, to be exhumed and burned; those who confessed and adhered to their confessions were reconciled to the Church and liberated; those who persisted in refusing to confess were condemned to perpetual prison. This was rather more humane than the regular inquisitorial practice, but it suited the royal policy of the moment. A few weeks later, at Senlis, the Council of Reims burned nine more; at Pont de l'Arche three were burned, and a number at Carcassonne. *
* Fisquet, La France Pontificale, Sens, p. 68.-- Procès, I. 274-5, 281.-- "Contin. Chron. G. de Fracheto" ( Bouquet, XXI. 33).-- "Chroll. Anon." ( Bouquet, XXI. 140).-"Amalr. Auger. Hist. Pontif:" ( Eccard II. 1810).-- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1307.-- Bern. Guidon. "Flor. Chron." ( Bouquet, XXI. 719).-- Joann. de S. Victor
This ferocious expedient accomplished its purpose. When, on the day after the executions at Paris, May 13, the commission opened its session, the first witness, Aimery de Villiers, threw himself on his knees, pale and desperately frightened; beating his breast and stretching forth his hands to the altar, he invoked sudden death and perdition to body and soul if he lied. He declared that all the crimes imputed to the Order were false, although he had, under torture, confessed to some of them. When he had yesterday seen his fifty-four brethren carried in wagons to be burned, and heard that they had been burned, he felt that he could not endure it and would confess to the commissioners or to any one else whatever might be required of him, even that he had slain the Lord. In conclusion he adjured the commissioners and the notaries not to reveal what he had said to his jailers, or to the royal officials, for he would be burned like the fifty-four. Then a previous witness, Jean Bertrand, came before the commission to supplicate that his deposition be kept secret on account of the danger impending over him. Seeing all this, the commission felt that during this general terror it would be wise to suspend its sittings, and it did so. It met again on the 18th to reclaim fruitlessly from the Archbishop of Sens, Renaud de Provins, who had been put on trial before the council. Pierre de Boulogne was likewise snatched away and could not be obtained again. Many of the Templars who had offered to defend the Order made haste to withdraw, and all effort to provide for it an organized hearing before the Council of Vienne was perforce abandoned. Whether Clement was privy to this high-handed interruption of the functions of his commission is perhaps doubtful, but he did nothing to rehabilitate it, and his quiescence rendered him an accomplice. He had only succeeded
( Bouquet, XXI. 654-55).-- Contin. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1310.-- Grandes Chroniques, V.187.-- "Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann." 1310 ( Martene Ampl. Coll. V. 158).-Bessin, Concil. Rotomagens. p. iii.-- Raynouard, pp. 118-20.
It was not all bishops who were ready to accept the inquisitorial doctrine that revocation of confession was equivalent to relapse. The question was discussed in the Council of Narbonne and decided in the negative.-- Raynouard, p. 106.
The number of those who refused to confess was not insignificant. Some papers respecting the expenses of detention of Templars at Senlis describe sixtyfive as not reconciled, who therefore, cannot have confessed.--Ib. p. 107.
in betraying to a fiery death the luckless wretches whom he had tempted to come forward. *
On April 4, by the bull Alma Mater, Clement had postponed the Council of Vienne from October, 1310, until October, 1311, in consequence of the inquisition against the Templars requiring more time than had been expected. There was, therefore, no necessity for haste on the part of the commission, and it adjourned until November 3. Its members were long in getting together, and it did not resume its sessions until December 17. Then Guillaume de Chambonnet and Bertrand de Sartiges were brought before it, when they protested that they could not act for the Order without the aid of Renaud de Provins and Pierre de Boulogne. These, the commission informed them, had solemnly renounced the defence of the Order, had returned to their first confessions, and had been condemned to perpetual imprisonment by the Council of Sens, after which Pierre had broken jail and fled. The two knights were offered permission to be present at the swearing of the witnesses, with opportunity to file exceptions, but they declared themselves unfitted for the task and retired. Thus all pretence of affording the Order a chance to be heard was abandoned, and the subsequent proceedings of the commission became merely an ex parte accumulation of adverse testimony. It sat until June, industriously hearing the witnesses brought before it; but as those were selected by Philippe de Vohet and Jean de Jamville, care was evidently taken as to the character of the evidence that should reach it. Most of the witnesses, in fact, bad been reconciled to the Church through confession, abjuration, and absolution, and no longer belonged to the Order which they had abandoned to its fate. Among the large number of Templars who had refused to confess, only a few, and these apparently by accident, were allowed to appear before it. There were also a few who dared to retract what they had stated before the bishops, but with these slender exceptions all the evidence was adverse to the Order. In fact, it frequently happened that witnesses were sworn who never reappeared to give their testimony, and that this was not accidental is rendered probable by the fact that Renaud de Provins was one of these. Finally, on June 5, the commission closed its labors and
* Procès, I. 275-83.
transmitted without comment to Clement its records as part of the material to guide the judgment of the assembled Church at the Council of Vienne. *
Before proceeding to the last scene of the drama at Vienne, it is necessary to consider briefly the action taken with the Templars outside of France. In England, Edward II., on October 30, 1307, replied to Philippe's announcement of October 16, to the effect that he and his council have given the most earnest attention to the matter; it has caused the greatest astonishment, and is so abominable as to be well-nigh incredible, and, to obtain further information, he had sent for his Seneschal of Agen. So strong were his convictions and so earnest his desire to protect the threatened Order that on December 4 he wrote to the Kings of Portugal, Castile, Aragon, and Naples that the accusations must proceed from cupidity and envy, and begging them to shut their ears to detraction and do nothing without deliberation, so that an Order so distinguished for purity and honor should not be molested until legitimately convicted. Not content with this, on the 10th he replied to Clement that the reputation of the Templars in England for purity and faith is such that he cannot, without further proof, believe the terrible rumors about them, and he begs the pope to resist the calumnies of envious and wicked men. In a few days, however, he received Clement's bull of November 22, and could no longer doubt the facts asserted by the head of Christendom. He hastened to obey its commands, and on the 15th elaborate orders were already prepared and sent out to all the sheriffs in England, with minute instructions to capture all the Templars on January 10, 1308, including directions as to the sequestration and disposition of their property, and this was followed on the 20th by
* Harduin. VII. 1334.-- Procès, I. 286-7; II. 3-4, 269-73.-- Raynouard, pp. 254-6.--A notarial attestation describes the voluminous record as consisting of 219 folios with forty lines to the page, equivalent to 17,520 lines.
How close a watch was kept on the witnesses is seen in the case of three, Martin de Mont Richard, Jean Durand, and Jean de Ruans, who, on March 22, asserted that they knew of no evil in the Order. Two days later they are brought back to say that they had lied through folly. When before their bishops they had confessed to renouncing and spitting, and it was true. What persuasions were applied to them during the interval no one can tell.-- Procès, II. 88-96, 107-9.
similar commands to the English authorities in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Possibly Edward's impending voyage to Boulogne to marry Isabella, the daughter of Philippe le Bel, may have had something to do with his sudden change of purpose. *
The seizure was made accordingly, and the Templars were kept in honorable durance, not in prison, awaiting papal action; for there seems to have been no disposition on the part either of Church or State to take the initiative. The delay was long, for though commissions were issued August 12, 1308, to the papal inquisitors, Sicard de Lavaur and the Abbot of Lagny, they did not start until September, 1309, and on the 13th of that month the royal safeconducts issued for them show their arrival in England. Then instructions were sent out to arrest all Templars not yet seized and gather them together in London, Lincoln, and York, for the examinations to be held, and the bishops of those sees were strictly charged to be present throughout. Similar orders were sent to Ireland and Scotland, where the inquisitors appointed delegates to attend to the matter. It apparently was not easy to get the officials to do their duty, for December 14 instructions were required to all the sheriffs to seize the Templars who were wandering in secular habits throughout the land, and in the following March and again in January, 1311, the Sheriff of York was scolded for allowing those in his custody to wander abroad. Popular sympathy evidently was with the inculpated brethren. †
At length, on October 20, 1309, the papal inquisitors and the Bishop of London sat in the episcopal palace to examine the Templars collected in London. Interrogated singly on all the numerous articles of accusation, they all asserted the innocence of the Order. Outside witnesses were called in who mostly declared their belief to the same effect, though some gave expression to the vague popular rumors and scandalous stories suggested by the secrecy of proceedings within the Order. The inquisitors were nonplussed. They had come to a country whose laws did not recognize the use of torture, and without it they were powerless to
* Rymer, Fœdera, III. 18, 34-7, 43-6.
† Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. III. pp. 316, 477.-- Rymer, Fœd. III. 168-9, 173, 179-80, 182, 195, 203-4, 244.
The pay assigned to the inquisitors was three florins each per diem, to be assessed on the Templar property (Regest. ubi sup.).
accomplish the work for which they had been sent. In their disgust they finally applied to the king, and on December 15 they obtained from him an order to the custodians of the prisoners to permit the inquisitors and episcopal ordinaries to do with the bodies of the Templars what they pleased, "in accordance with ecclesiastical law"--ecclesiastical law, by the hideous perversion of the times, having come to mean the worst of abuses, from which secular law still shrank. Either the jailers or the episcopal officials interposed difficulties, for the mandate was repeated March 1, 1310, and again March 8, with instructions to report the cause if the previous one had not been obeyed. Still no evidence worth the trouble was gained, though the examinations were prolonged through the winter and spring until May 24, when three captured fugitives were induced by means easily guessed to confess what was wanted, of which use was made to the utmost. At length Clement grew impatient under this lack of result. On August 6 he wrote to Edward that it was reported that he had prohibited the use of torture as contrary to the laws of the kingdom, and that the inquisitors were thus powerless to extract confessions. No law or usage, he said, could be permitted to override the canons provided for such cases, and Edward's counsellors and officials who were guilty of thus impeding the Inquisition were liable to the penalties provided for that serious offence, while the king himself was warned to consider whether his position comported with his honor and safety, and was offered remission of his sins if he would withdraw from it--perhaps the most suggestive sale of an indulgence on record. Similar letters at the same time were sent to all the bishops of England, who were scolded for not having already removed the impediment, as they were in duty bound to do. Under this impulsion Edward, August 26, again ordered that the bishops and inquisitors should be allowed to employ ecclesiastical law, and this was repeated October 6 and 23, November 22, and April 28, 1311--in the last instances the word torture being used, and in all of them the king being careful to explain that what he does is through reverence for the Holy See. August 18, 1311, similar instructions were sent to the Sheriff of York. *
* Wilkins, Concil. Mag. Brit. II. 329-92.-- Rymer, III. 195, 202-3, 224-5, 227-32, 260, 274.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. V. pp. 455-7.
Thus for once the papal Inquisition found a foothold in England, but apparently its methods were too repugnant to the spirit of the nation to be rewarded with complete success. In spite of examinations prolonged for more than eighteen months, the Templars could not be convicted. The most that could be accomplished was, that in provincial councils held in London and York in the spring and summer of 1311, they were brought to admit that the were so defamed for heresy that they could not furnish the purgation required by law; they therefore asked for mercy and promised to perform what penance might be enjoined on them. Some of them, moreover, submitted to a form of abjuration. The councils ordered them scattered among different monasteries to perform certain penance until the Holy See should decide as to the future of the Order. This was the final disposition of the Templars in England. A liberal provision of fourpence a day was made for their support, while two shillings was assigned to William de la More, the Master of England, and on his death it was continued to Humbert Blanc, the Preceptor of Auvergne, who, fortunately for himself, was in England at the time of arrest, and was caught there. This shows that they were not regarded as criminals, and the testimony of Walsingham is that in the monasteries to which they were assigned they comported themselves piously and righteously in every respect. In Ireland and Scotland their examinations failed to procure any proof against the Order, save the vague conjectures and stories of outside witnesses industriously gathered together. *
In Lorraine, as soon as news came of the seizure in France, the Preceptor of Villencourt ordered the brethren under him to shave and abandon their mantles, which was virtually releasing them from the Order. Duke Thiebault followed the exterminating pol-
* Wilkins, II. 314, 373-83, 394-400.-- Rymer, III. 295, 327, 334, 349, 472-3.-Procès des Templiers, II. 130.- D'Argentré I. I. 280.
That the allowance for the Templars was liberal is shown by that made for the Bishop of Glasgow when confined, in 1312, in the Castle of Porchester. His per diem was 6d., that for his valet 3d., for his chaplain five farthings, and the same for his servant ( Rymer, III. 363). The wages of the janitor of the Temple in London was 2d., by a charter of Edward II. in 1314 ( Wilcke, II. 498).
icy of Philippe with complete success. A large number of the Templars were burned, and he managed to secure most of their property. *
In Germany our knowledge of what took place is somewhat fragmentary. The Teutonic Order afforded a career for the German chivalry, and the Templars were by no means so numerous as in France, their fate was not so dramatic, and it attracted comparatively little attention from the chroniclers. One annalist informs us that they were destroyed with the assent of the Emperor Henry on account of their collusion with the Saracens in Palestine and Egypt, and their preparation for establishing a new empire for themselves among the Christians, which shows how little impression on the popular mind was made by the assertion of their heresies. For the most part, indeed, the action taken depended upon the personal views of the princely prelates who presided over the great archbishoprics. Burchard III. of Magdeburg was the first to act. Obliged to visit the papal court in 1307 to obtain the pallium, he returned in May, 1308, with orders to seize all the Templars in his province; and as he was already hostile to them, he obeyed with alacrity. There were but four houses in his territories: on these and their occupants he laid his hands, leading to a long series of obscure quarrels, in which he incurred excommunication from the Bishop of Halberstadt, which Clement hastened to remove; by burning some of the more obstinate brethren, moreover, he involved himself in war with their kindred, in which he fared badly. As late as 1318 the Hospitallers are found complaining to John XXII. that Templars were still in possession of the greater portion of their property. †
The bull Faciens misericordiam of August, 1308, sent to the German prelates, reserved, with Clement's usual policy, the Grand Preceptor of Germany for papal judgment. With the exception of Magdeburg, its instructions for active measures received slack
* Procès, II. 267.-- Calmet, Hist. Gén. de Lorraine, II. 436.
† Gassari Annal. Augstburgens. ann. 1312 ( Menken. Scriptt. I. 1473).-- Torquati Series Pontif. Magdeburg. ann. 1307-8 ( Menken. III. 390).-- Raynald. ann. 1310, No. 40.--Chron. Episc. Merseburgens. c. xxvii. § 3 ( Ludewig IV. 408).-Bothonis Chron. ann. 1311 ( Leibnitz III. 374).-- Wilcke, II. 242, 246, 324-5.-Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. V. p. 271.-- Schmidt, Päbstliche Urkunden und Regesten, Halle, 1886, p. 77.-- Havemann, p. 333.
obedience. It was not to much purpose that, on December 30 of the same year, he wrote to the Duke of Austria to arrest all the Templars in his dominions, and commissioned the Ordinaries of Mainz, Trèves, Cologne, Magdeburg, Strassburg, and Constance as special inquisitors within their several dioceses, while he sent the Abbot of Crudacio as inquisitor for the rest of Germany ordering the prelates to pay him five gold florins a day. It was not until 1310 that the great archbishops could be got to work, and then the results were disappointing. Trèves and Cologne, in fact, made over to Burchard of Magdeburg, in 1310, their authority as commissioners for the seizure of the Templar lands, and Clement confirmed this with instructions to proceed with vigor. As regards the persons of the Templars, at Trèves an inquest was held in which seventeen witnesses were heard, including three Templars, and resulting in their acquittal. At Mainz the Archbishop Peter, who had incurred Clement's displeasure by transferring to his suffragans his powers as commissioner over the Templar property, was at length forced to call a provincial council, May 11, 1310. Suddenly and unbidden there entered the Wild- and Rheingraf, Hugo of Salm, Commander of Grumbach, with twenty knights fully armed. There were fears of violence, but the archbishop asked Hugo what he had to say: the Templar asserted the innocence of the Order; those who had been burned had steadfastly denied the charges, and their truth had been proved by the crosses on their mantles remaining unburned--a miracle popularly believed, which had much influence on public opinion. He concluded by appealing to the future pope and the whole Church, and the archbishop, to escape a tumult, admitted the protest. Clement, on hearing of these proceedings, ordered the council to be reassembled and to do its work. He was obeyed. The Wildgraf Frederic of Salm, brother of Hugo and Master of the Rhine-province, offered to undergo the red-hot iron ordeal, but it was unnecessary. Fortynine witnesses, of whom thirty-seven were Templars, were examined, and all swore to the innocence of the Order. The twelve non-Templars, who were personages of distinction, were emphatic in their declarations in its favor. Among others, the Archpriest John testified that in a time of scarcity, when the measure of corn rose from three sols to thirty-three, the commandery at Mostaire fed a thousand persons a day. The result was a verdict of acquit- tal, which was so displeasing to the pope that he ordered Burchard of Magdeburg to take the matter in hand and bring it to a more satisfactory conclusion. Burchard seems to have eagerly obeyed, but the results have not reached us. Archbishop Peter continued to hope for some adjustment, and when, after the Council of Vienne, he was forced to hand over the Templar property to the Hospitallers, he required the latter to execute an agreement to return the manor of Topfstadt if the pope should restore the Order. *
In Italy the Templars were not numerous, and the pope had better control over the machinery for their destruction. In Naples the appeal of Edward II. was in vain. The Angevine dynasty was too closely allied to the papacy to hesitate, and when a copy of the bull Pastoralis præeminentiæ, of November 21, 1307, was addressed to Robert, Duke of Calabria, son of Charles II., there was no hesitation in obedience. Orders were speedily sent out to all the provinces under the Neapolitan crown to arrest the Templars and sequestrate their property. Philip, Duke of Achaia and Romania, the youngest son of Charles, was forthwith commanded to carry out the papal instructions in all the possessions in the Levant. January 3, 1308, the officials in Provence and Forcalquier were instructed to make the seizure January 23. The Order was numerous in those districts, but the members must have mostly fled, for only forty-eight were arrested, who are said to have been tried and executed, but a document of 1318 shows that Albert de Blacas, Preceptor of Aix and St. Maurice, who had been imprisoned in 1308, was then still enjoying the Commandery of St. Maurice, with consent of the Hospitallers. The Templar movables were divided between the pope and king, and the landed possessions were made over to the Hospital. In the kingdom of Naples itself, some fragmentary reports of the papal commission sent
* Harduin. VII. 1353.-- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. IV. pp. 3-4; T. V. p. 272. -- Du Puy, pp. 62-3, 130-1.-- Schmidt, Päbstliche Urkunden, p. 77.-- Raynald. ann. 1310, No. 40.-- Raynouard, pp. 127, 270.--Jo. Latomi Cat. Archiepp. Moguntt. ( Menken. III. 526).--H. Mutii Chron. Lib. XXII. ann. 1311.-- Wilcke, II. 243, 246, 325, 339.-- Schottmüller, I. 445-6. Even Raynaldus (ann. 1307, No. 12) alludes to the incombustibility of the Templars' crosses as an evidence in their favor.
in 1310 to obtain evidence against the Order as a whole and against the Grand Preceptor of Apulia, Oddo de Valdric, show that no obstacle was thrown in the way of the inquisitors in obtaining by the customary methods the kind of testimony desired. The same may be said of Sicily, where, as we have seen, Frederic of Aragon had admitted the Inquisition in 1304. *
In the States of the Church we have somewhat fuller accounts of the later proceedings. Although we know nothing of what was done at the time of arrest, there can be no doubt that in a territory subjected directly to Clement his bull of November 22, 1307, was strictly obeyed; that all members of the Order were seized and that appropriate means were employed to secure confessions. When the papal commission was sent to Paris to afford the Order an opportunity to prepare its defence at the Council of Vienne, similar commissions, armed with inquisitorial powers, were despatched elsewhere, and the report of Giacomo, Bishop of Sutri, and Master Pandolfo di Sabello, who were comissioned in that capacity in the Patrimony of St. Peter, although unfortunately not complete, gives us an insight into the real object which underlay the ostensible purpose of these commissions. In October, 1309, the inquisitors commenced at Rome, where no one appeared before them, although they summoned not only members of the Order, but every one who had anything to say about it. In December they went to Viterbo, where five Templars lay in prison, who declined to appear and defend the Order. In January, 1310, they proceeded to Spoleto without finding either Templars or other witnesses. In February they moved to Assisi, where they adopted the form of ordering all Templars and their fautors to be brought before them, and this they repeated in March at Gubbio, but in both places without result. In April, at Aquila, they summoned witnesses to ascertain whether the Templars had any churches in the Abruzzi, but not even the preceptor of the Hospitallers could give them any information. All the Franciscans of the place were then assembled, but they knew nothing to the discredit of the Order. A few days later, at Penna, they adopted a
* Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 131-2. -- Archivio di Napoli, MSS. Chioccarello T. VIII.-- Du Puy, pp. 63-4, 87, 222-6.--Raynouard, pp. 200, 279-84.-- Schottmüller , II. 108 sqq.
new formula by inviting all Templars and others who desired to defend the Order to appear before them. Here two Templars were found, who were personally summoned repeatedly, but they refused, saying that they would not defend the Order. One of them, Walter of Naples, was excused, owing to doubts as to his being a Templar, but the other, named Cecco, was brought before the inquisitors and told them of an idol kept for worship in the treasure chamber of a preceptory in Apulia. In May, at Chieti, they succeeded in getting hold of another Templar, who confessed to renouncing Christ, idol-worship, and other of the charges. By May 23 they were back in Rome issuing citations, but again without result. The following week they were back at Viterbo, resolved to procure some evidence from the five captives imprisoned there, but the latter again sent word that none of them wished to appear before the inquisitors or to defend the Order. Five times in all they were summoned and five times they refused, but the inquisitors were not to be balked. Four of the prisoners were brought forward, and by means which can readily be guessed were induced to talk. From the 7th of June to the 19th, the inquisitors were employed in receiving their depositions as to renouncing Christ, spitting on the cross, etc., all of which was duly recorded as free and spontaneous. On July 3 the commissioners were at Albano issuing the customary summons, but on the 8th their messenger reported that he could find no Templars in Campania and Maritima; and a session at Velletri on the 16th was similarly fruitless. The next day they summoned other witnesses, but eight ecclesiastics who appeared had nothing to tell. Then at Segni they beard five witnesses without obtaining any evidence. Castel Fajole and Tivoli were equally barren, but on the 27th, at Palombara, Walter of Naples was brought to them from Penna, the doubts as to his membership of the Order having apparently been removed. Their persistence in this case was rewarded with full details of heretical practices. Here the record ends, the industrious search of nine months through these extensive territories having resulted in finding eight Templars, and obtaining seven incriminating depositions. * Even making allowance for those who may have succeeded in escaping, it shows, like the rest of the Italian proceedings, how scanty were the numbers of the Order in the Peninsula.
* Schottmüller, II. 406-19.
In the rest of Italy Clement's bull of 1307, addressed to the archbishops and ordering an inquest, seems to have been somewhat slackly obeyed. The earliest action on record is an order, in 1308, of Frà Ottone, Inquisitor of Lombardy, requiring the delivery of three Templars to the Podestà of Casale. Some further impulsion apparently was requisite, and in 1309 Giovanni, Archbishop of Pisa, was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in charge of the affair throughout Tuscany, Lombardy, Dalmatia, and Istria, with a stipend of eight florins per diem, to be assessed on the Templar property. In Ancona the Bishop of Fano examined one Templar who confessed nothing, and nineteen other witnesses who furnished no incriminating evidence, and in Romagnuola, Rainaldo, Archbishop of Ravenna, and the Bishop of Rimini interrogated two Templars at Cesena, both of whom testified to the innocence of the Order. The archbishop, who was papal inquisitor against the Templars in Lombardy, Tuscany, Tarvisina, and Istria, seems to have extended his inquest over part of Lombardy, though no results are recorded. Papal letters were published throughout Italy, empowering the inquisitors to look after the Templar property, of which the Archbishops of Bologna and Pisa were appointed administrators; it was farmed out and the proceeds remitted to Clement. Rainaldo of Bologna sympathized with the Templars, and no very earnest efforts were to be expected of him. He called a synod at Bologna in 1309, where some show was made of taking up the subject, but no results were reached, and when, in 1310, his vicar, Bonincontro, went to Ravenna with the papal bulls, he made no secret of his favor towards the accused. At length Rainaldo was forced to action, and issued a proclamation, November 25, 1310, reciting the papal commands to hold provincial councils for the examination and judgment of the Templars, in obedience to which he summoned one to assemble at Ravenna in January, 1311, calling upon the inquisitors to bring thither the evidence which they had obtained by the use of torture. The council was held and the matter discussed, but no conclusion was reached. Another was summoned to meet at Bologna on June 1, but was transferred to Ravenna and postponed till June 18. To this the bishops were ordered to bring all Templars of their dioceses under strict guard, the result of which was that on June 16, seven knights were produced before the council.
They were sworn and interrogated seriatim on all the articles as furnished by the pope, which they unanimously denied. The question was then put to the council whether they should be tortured, and it was answered in the negative, in spite of the opposition of two Dominican inquisitors present. It was decided that the case should not be referred to the pope, in view of the nearness of the Council of Vienne, but that the accused should be put upon their purgation. The next day, however, when the council met this action was reversed and there was a unanimous decision that the innocent should be acquitted and the guilty punished, reckoning among the innocent those who had confessed through fear of torture and had revoked, or who would have revoked but for fear of repetition of torture. As for the Order as a whole, the council recommended that it should be preserved if a majority of the members were innocent, and if the guilty were subjected to abjuration and punishment within the Order. In addition to the seven knights there were five brethren who were ordered to purge themselves by August 1, before Uberto, Bishop of Bologna, with seven conjurators; of these the purgations of two are extant, and doubtless all succeeded in performing the ceremony. It was no wonder that Clement was indignant at this reversal of all inquisitorial usage and ordered the burning of those who had thus relapsed--though the command was probably not obeyed, as Bishop Bini assures us that no Templars were burned in Italy. The council further, in appointing delegates to Vienne, instructed them that the Order should not be abolished unless it was found to be thoroughly corrupted. For Tuscany and Lombardy, Clement appointed as special inquisitors Giovanni, Archbishop of Pisa, Antonio, Bishop of Florence, and Pietro Giudici of Rome, a canon of Verona. These were instructed to hold the inquests, one upon the brethren individually and one upon the Order. They were troubled with no scruples as to the use of torture and, as we shall presently see, secured a certain amount of the kind of testimony desired. Venice kindly postponed the inevitable uprooting of the Order, and when it eventually took place there was no unnecessary hardship. *
* Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. IV. p. 301. -- Bini, pp. 420-1, 424, 427-8.-Raynald. ann. 1309, No. 3.-- Raynouard, pp. 273-77.--Chron. Parmens. ann. 1309 (Muratori S. R. I. IX. 880).-- Du Puy, pp. 57-8.--Rubei Hist. Ravennat. Ed.
Cyprus was the headquarters of the Order. There resided the marshal, Ayme d'Osiliers, who was its chief in the absence of the Grand Master, and there was the "Convent," or governing body. It was not until May, 1308, that the papal bull commanding the arrest reached the island, and there could be no pretence of a secret and sudden seizure, for the Templars were advised of what had occurred in France. The had many enemies, for they had taken an active part in the turbulent politics of the time, and it had been by their aid that the regent, Amaury of Tyre, had been placed in power. He hastened to obey the papal commands, but with many misgivings, for the Templars at first assumed an attitude of defence. Resistance, however, was hopeless, and in a few weeks they submitted; their property was sequestrated and they were kept in honorable confinement, without being deprived of the sacraments. This continued for two years, until, in April, 1310, the Abbot of Alet and the Archpriest Tommaso of Rieti came as papal inquisitors to inquire against them individually and the Order in general, under the guidance of the Bishops of Limisso and Famagosta. The examination commenced May 1 and continued until June 5, when it came abruptly to an end, in consequence, doubtless, of the excitement caused by the murder of the Regent Amaury. All the Templars on the island, seventy-five in number, together with fiftysix other witnesses, were duly interrogated upon the long list of articles of accusation. That the Templars were unanimous in denying the charges and in asserting the purity of the Order shows that torture cannot have been employed. More convincing as to their innocence is the evidence of the other witnesses, consisting of ecclesiastics of all ranks, nobles, and burghers, many of them political enemies, who yet rendered testimony emphatically favorable. As some of them said, they knew nothing but good of the Order. All dwelt upon its liberal charities, and many described the fervor of the zeal with which the Templars discharged their religious duties. A few alluded to the popular suspicions aroused by the secrecy observed in the holding of chapters and the admission of neophytes; the Dominican Prior of Nicosia spoke
1589, pp. 517, 521, 522, 524, 525, 526.-- Campi, Dell' Hist. Eccles. di Piacenza, P. III. p. 41.--Barbarano dei Mironi Hist. Eccles. di Vicenza, II. 157-8.-- Anton, Versuch einer Geschichte der Tempelherrenordens, Leipzig, 1779, p. 139.
of the reports brought from France by his brethren after the arrest, and Simon de Sarezariis, Prior of the Hospitallers, said that he had had similar intelligence sent to him by his correspondents, but the evidence is unquestionable that in Cyprus, where they were best known, among friends and foes, and especially among those who had been in intimate relations with the Templars for long periods, there was general sympathy for the Order, and that there had been no evil attributed to it until the papal bulls had so unqualifiedly asserted its guilt. All this, when sent to Clement, was naturally most unsatisfactory, and when the time approached for the Council of Vienne, he despatched urgent orders, in August, 1311, to have the Templars tortured so as to procure confessions. What was the result of this we have no means of knowing. *
In Aragon, Philippe's letter of October 16, 1307, to Jayme II. was accompanied with one from the Dominican, Fray Romeo de Bruguera, asserting that he had been present at the confession made by de Molay and others. Notwithstanding this, on November 17 Jayme, like Edward II., responded with warm praises of the Templars of the kingdom, whom he refused to arrest without absolute proof of guilt or orders from the pope. To the latter he wrote two days later for advice and instructions, and when, on December 1, he received Clement's bull of November 22, he could hesitate no longer. Ramon, Bishop of Valencia, and Ximenes de Luna, Bishop of Saragossa, who chanced to be with him, received orders to make in their respective dioceses diligent inquisition against the Templars, and Fray Juan Llotger, Inquisitor-general of Aragon, was instructed to extirpate the heresy. As resistance was anticipated, royal letters were issued December 3 for the immediate arrest of all members of the Order and the sequestration of their property, and the inquisitor published edicts summoning them before him in the Dominican Convent of Valencia, to answer for their faith, and prohibiting all local officials from rendering them assistance. Jayme also summoned a council of the prelates to meet January 6, 1308, to deliberate on the subject with the inquisitor. A number of arrests were effected; some of the brethren shaved and
* Schottmüller, I. 457-69, 494; II. 147-400.-- Du Puy, pp. 63, 106-7.-- Raynouard , p. 285.
threw off their mantles and succeeded in hiding themselves; some endeavored to escape by sea with a quantity of treasure, but adverse storms cast them back upon the coast and they were seized. The great body of the knights, however, threw themselves into their castles. Ramon Sa Guardia, Preceptor of Mas Deu in Roussillon, was acting as lieutenant of the Commander of Aragon, and fortified himself in Miravet, while others occupied the strongholds of Ascon, Montço, Cantavieja, Vilell, Castellot, and Chalamera. On January 20, 1308, they were summoned to appear before the Council of Tarragona, but they refused, and Jayme promised the prelates that he would use the whole forces of the kingdom for their subjugation. This proved no easy task. The temporal and spiritual lords promised assistance, except the Count of Urgel, the Viscount of Rocaberti, and the Bishop of Girona; but public sympathy was with the Templars. Many noble youths embraced their cause and joined them in their castles, while the people obeyed slackly the order to take up arms against them. The knights defended themselves bravely. Castellot surrendered in November, soon after which Sa Guardia, in Miravet, rejected the royal ultimatum that they should march out with their arms and betake themselves by twos and threes to places of residence, from which they were not to wander farther than two or three bowshots, receiving a liberal allowance for their support, while the king should ask the pope to order the bishops and inquisitors to expedite the process. In response to this Sa Guardia addressed Clement a manly appeal, pointing out the services rendered to religion by the Order; that many knights captured by the Saracens languished in prison for twenty or thirty years, when by abjuring they could at once regain their liberty and be richly rewarded-seventy of their brethren were at that moment enduring such a fate. They were ready to appear in judgment before the pope, or to maintain their faith against all accusers by arms, as was customary with knights, but they had no prelates or advocates to defend them, and it was the duty of the pope to do so. A month after this Miravet was forced to surrender at discretion, and in another month all the rest, except Montço and Chalamera, which held out until near July, 1309. Clement at once took measures to get possession of the Templar property, but Jayme refused to deliver it to the papal commissioners, alleging that most of it had been de- rived from the crown, and that he had made heavy outlays on the sieges; the most that he would promise was that if the council should abolish the Order he would surrender the property, subject to the rights and claims of the crown.
Clement seems to have sought a temporary compromise. In letters of January 5, 1309, he announces that the Templars of Aragon and Catalonia, like faithful sons of the Church, had written to him offering to surrender their persons and property to the Holy See, and to obey his commands in every way; he therefore sends his chaplain, Bertrand, Prior of Cessenon, to receive them and transfer them to the custody and care of the king, taking from him sealed letters that he holds them in the name of the Holy See. Whether Jayme assented to this arrangement as to the property does not appear, but he was not punctilious about the persons of the Templars, and on July 14 he issued orders to the viguiers to deliver them to the inquisitor and ordinaries when required. In 1310 Clement sent to Aragon, as elsewhere, special papal inquisitors to conduct the trials. They were met by the same difficulties as in England: in Aragon torture was not recognized by the law, and in 1325 we find the Cortes protesting against its use and against the inquisitorial process as infractions of the recognized liberties of the land, and the king admitting the protest and promising that such methods should not be employed except for counterfeiters, and then only in the case of strangers and vagabonds. Still the inquisitors did what they could. At their request the king, July 5, 1310, ordered his baillis to put the Templars in irons and to render their prison harsher. Then the Council of Tarragona interfered and asked that they be kept in safe but not afflictive custody, seeing that nothing had as yet proved their guilt, and their case was still undecided. In accordance with this, on October 20, the king ordered that they should be free in the castles where they were confined, giving their parole not to escape under pain of being reputed heretics. This was not the way to obtain the desired evidence, and Clement, March 18, 1311, ordered them to be tortured, and asked Jayme to lend his aid to it, seeing that the proceedings thus far had resulted only in "vehement suspicion." This cruel command was not at first obeyed. In May the Templars prayed the king to urge the Archbishop of Tarragona to have their case decided in the council then impending, and Jayme accordingly addressed the archbishop to that effect, but nothing was done, and in August he ordered them to be again put in chains and harshly imprisoned. The papal representatives were evidently growing, impatient, as the time set for the Council of Vienne was approaching, and the papal demands for adverse evidence remained unsatisfied. Finally, on the eve of the assembling of the council, the king yielded to the pope. September 29 he issued an order appointing Umbert de Capdepont, one of the royal judges, to assist at the judgment, when sentence should be rendered by the inquisitors, Pedro de Montelus and Juan Llotger, along with the Bishops of Lerida and Vich, who had been especially commissioned by the pope.
We have no knowledge of the details of the investigation, but there is evidence that torture was unsparingly used, for there is a royal letter of December 3 ordering medicaments to be prepared for those of the Templars who might need them in consequence of sickness or torture. At last, in March, 1312, the Archbishop of Tarragona asked to have them brought before his provincial council, then about to assemble, and the king assented, but nothing was done, probably because the Council of Vienne was still in session; but after the dissolution of the Order had been proclaimed by Clement, and the fate of the members was relegated to the local councils, one was held, October 18, 1312, at Tarragona, which decided the question so long pending. The Templars were brought before it and rigorously examined. November 4 the sentence was publicly read, pronouncing an unqualified acquittal from all the errors, crimes, and impostures with which they were charged; they were declared beyond suspicion, and no one should dare to defame them. In view of the dissolution of the Order the council was somewhat puzzled to know what to do with them, but after prolonged debate it was determined that until the pope should otherwise decree they should reside in the dioceses in which their property lay, receiving proper support from their sequestrated lands. This decree was carried out, and when the property passed into the hands of the Hospitallers it was burdened with these charges. In 1319 a list of pensions thus payable by the Hospitallers would seem to show that the Templars were liberally provided for, and received what was due to them. *
* Allart, Bulletin de la Société des Pyrénées Orientales, 1867, Tom. XV. pp. 37-42, 67-9, 72, 76-8, 94-6.-- Zurita, Añales de Aragon, Lib. v. c. 72, Lib. VI. c.
Jayme I. of Majorca was in no position to resist the pressure brought upon him by Philippe le Bel and Clement. His little kingdom consisted of the Balearic Isles, the counties of Roussillon and Cerdagne, the Seignory of Montpellier and a few other scattered possessions at the mercy of his powerful neighbor. He promptly therefore obeyed the papal bull of November 22, 1307, and by the end of the month the Templars in his dominions were all arrested. In Roussillon the only preceptory was that of Mas Deu, which was one of the strongholds of the land, and there the Templars were collected and confined to the number of twentyfive, including the Preceptor, Ramon Sa Guardia, the gallant defender of Miravet, who after his surrender was demanded by the King of Majorca and willingly joined his comrades. We know nothing of what took place on the islands beyond the fact of the arrest, but on the mainland we can follow with some exactness the course of events. Roussillon constituted the diocese of Elne, which was suffragan to the archbishopric of Narbonne. May 5, 1309, the archbishop sent to Ramon Costa, Bishop of Elne, the articles of accusation with the papal bull ordering an inquest. The good bishop seems to have been in no haste to comply, but, pleading illness, postponed the matter until January, 1310. Then, in obedience to the instructions, he summoned two Franciscans and two Dominicans, and with two of his cathedral canons he proceeded to interrogate the prisoners. It is evident that no torture was employed, for in their prolonged examinations they substantially agreed in asserting the purity and piety of the Order, and their chaplain offered in evidence their book of ritual for receptions in the vernacular, commencing, "Quan aleum proom requer la compaya de la Mayso." With manly indignation they refused to believe that the Grand Master and chiefs of the Order had confessed to the truth of the charges, but if they had done so they had lied in their throats--or, as one of them phrased it, they were demons in human skin. With regard to the cord of chastity, an humble peasant serving brother explained not only that it was procured wherever they chose, but that if it chanced to break
61 .--Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. IV. pp. 435 sqq.-- La Fuente, Hist. Ecles. de España, II. 369-70.--Ptol. Lucens. Hist. Eceles. Lib. xxiv. (Muratori S. R.I. XI. 1228).--Concil. Tarraconens. ann. 1312 ( Aguirre, VI. 233-4).
while ploughing it was at once temporarily replaced with one made of reeds. The voluminous testimony was forwarded, with a simple certificate of its accuracy, by Bishop Ramon, August 31, 1310, which shows that he was in no haste to transmit it. It could have proved in no sense satisfactory, and there can be little doubt that the cruel orders of Clement, in March, 1311, to procure confessions by torture were duly obeyed, for Jean de Bourgogne, sacristan of Majorca, was appointed by Clement inquisitor for the Templars in Aragon, Navarre, and Majorca, and the same methods must unquestionably have been followed in all the kingdoms. After the Council of Vienne there ensued a rather curious controversy between the archbishops of Tarragona and Narbonne on the subject. The former, with the Bishop of Valencia, was papal custodian of Templar property in Aragon, Majorca, and Navarre. He seems thus to have imagined that he held jurisdiction over the Templars of Roussillon, for, October 15, 1313, he declared Ramon Sa Guardia absolved and innocent, and directed him to live with his brethren at Mas Deu, with a pension of three hundred and fifty livres, and the use of the gardens and orchards, the other Templars having pensions ranging from one hundred to thirty livres. Yet, in September, 1315, Bernard, Archbishop of Narbonne, ordered Bishop Ramon's successor Guillen to bring to the provincial council which he had summoned all the Templars imprisoned in his diocese, together with the documents relating to their trials, in order that their persons might be disposed of. King Jayme I. had died in 1311, but his son and successor, Sancho, intervened, saying that Clement had placed the Templars in his charge, and he would not surrender them without a papal order --the papacy at that time being vacant, with little prospect of an early election. He added that if they were to be punished it belonged to him to have them tried in his court, and to protect his jurisdiction he appealed to the future pope and council. This was effectual, and the Templars remained undisturbed. A statement of pensions paid in 1319 shows that of the twenty-five examined at Mas Deu in 1310 ten had died; the remainder, with one additional brother, were drawing pensions amounting in the aggregate to nine hundred and fifty livres a year. On the island of Majorca there were still nine whose total pensions were three hundred and sixty-two livres ten sols. In 1329 there were still nine Templars receiving pensions allotted on the Preceptory of Mas Deu, though most of them had retired to their houses, for they do not appear to have been restricted as to their place of residence. By this time the indomitable Ramon Sa Guardia's name had disappeared. One by one they dropped off, until in 1350 there was but a single survivor, the knight Berenger dez Coll. *
In Castile no action seems to have been taken until the bull Faciens misericordiam of August 12, 1308, was sent to the prelates ordering them to act in conjunction with the Dominican, Eymeric de Navas, as inquisitor. Fernando IV. then ordered the Templars arrested, and their lands placed in the hands of the bishops until the fate of the Order should be determined. There was no alacrity, however, in pursuing the affair, for it was not until April 15, 1310, that Archbishop Gonzalo of Toledo cited the Master of Castile, Rodrigo Ybañez, and his brethren to appear before him at Toledo. For the province of Compostella, comprising Portugal, the archbishop held a council at Medina del Campo, where thirty Templars and three other witnesses were examined, all of whom testified in favor of the Order; a priest swore that he had heard the confessions of many Templars on their deathbeds, as well as others mortally wounded by the infidel, and all were orthodox. No better success attended inquests held by the Bishop of Lisbon at Medina Celi and Orense. The only judicial action of which we have notice was that of the Council of Salamanca for the province of Compostella, where the Templars were unanimously acquitted, and the cruel orders to torture them issued the next year by Clement seem to have been disregarded. After the Order was dissolved the Templars for the most part continued to lead exemplary lives. Many retired to the mountains and ended their days as anchorites, and after death their bodies remained incorruptible, in testimony of the saintliness of their martyrdom. †
I have met with no details as to the treatment of the Templars of Navarre; but as Louis Hutin, son of Philippe le Bel, succeeded to that kingdom in 1307, of course the French methods prevailed there, and the papal Inquisitor, Jean de Bourgogne, had full opportunity to procure testimony in what manner was most effective.
* Allart, op. cit. pp. 34, 42, 66, 69, 72-4, 79, 81-4, 86, 93-8, 105.-- Procès, II. 424515.-- Vaissette, IV. 153.
† Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. III. pp. 289, 299.-- Llorente, Ch. III. Art. 2, No.
Portugal belonged ecclesiastically to the province of Compostella, and the Bishop of Lisbon, commissioned to investigate the Order, found no ground for the charges. The fate of the Templars there was exceptionally fortunate, for King Diniz, grateful for their services in his wars with the Saracens, founded a new Order, that of Jesus Christ, or de Avis, and procured its approval in 1318 from John XXII. To this safe refuge the Templars and their lands were transferred, the commander and many of the preceptors retaining their rank, and the new Order was thus merely a continuation of the old. *
The period finally set for the Council of Vienne was approaching, and thus far Clement had failed to procure any evidence of weight against the Templars beyond the boundaries of France, where bishop and inquísitor had been the tools of Philippe's remorseless energy. Clement may at the first have been Philippe's unwilling accomplice, but if so he had long since gone too far to retract. Whether, as believed by many of his contemporaries, he was sharing the spoils, is of little moment. He had committed himself personally to all Europe, in the bull of November 22, 1307, to the assertion of the Templars' guilt, and had repeated this emphatically in his subsequent utterances, with details admitting of no retraction or explanation; he, as well as they, was on trial before Christendom, and their acquittal by the council would be his conviction. He was, therefore, no judge, but an antagonist, forced by the instinct of self-preservation to destroy them, no matter through what unscrupulous methods. As the council drew near his anxiety increased, and he cast around for means to secure the testimony which should justify him by proving the heresy of the Order. We have seen how he urged Edward II. to introduce torture into the hitherto unpolluted courts of England, and how he succeeded in having the brethren of Aragon tortured in violation of the liberties of the land. These were but specimens of a series of bulls, perhaps the most disgraceful that ever proceeded from a vicegerent of God. From Cyprus to Portugal, prince and prel-
6, 7.-- Mariana, Lib. xv. c. 10 (Ed. 1789, p. 390, note).-- Raynouard, pp. 128, 26566.-- Aguirre, VI. 230.-- La Fuente, Hist. Ecles. II. 368-70.
* Raynouard, pp. 204, 267.-- Raynald. ann. 1317, No. 40.-- Zurita, Lib. vI. c. 26.-- La Fuente, II. 872.
ate were ordered to obtain confessions by torture; in some places, he said, it had been negligently and imprudently omitted, and the omission must be repaired. The canons required that in such cases those who refused to confess must be submitted to a "religious torturer" and the truth thus be forced from them. So earnest was he that he wrote to his legate in Rhodes to go to Cyprus and personally see that it was done. The result in such cases was to be sent to him as speedily as possible. *
How much of human agony these inhuman orders caused can never be known. It was not merely that those who had hitherto been spared the rack were now subjected to it, but, in the eagerness to supplement the evidence on hand, those who had already undergone torture were brought from their dungeons and again subjected to it with enhanced severity, in order to obtain from n them still more extravagant admissions of guilt. Thus at Florence thirteen Templars had been duly inquisitioned in 1310, and some of them had confessed. Under the fresh papal urgency the inquisitors again assembled in September, 1311, and put them through a fresh series of examinations. Six of them yielded testimony in every way satisfactory--the adoration of idols and cats and the rest. Seven of them, however, were obstinate, and testified to the innocence of the Order. The inquisitors showed their appreciation of what Clement wanted by sending him only the six confessions. The other seven brethren, they reported, had been duly tortured, but had stated nothing that was worth the sending, as they were serving brethren or newly initiated members who, presumably, were ignorant--although elsewhere the most damaging evidence had been obtained from such brethren and utilized. Clement evidently knew his man when he selected the Archbishop of Pisa as the head of this inquisition. We happen to have another illustration of the results of Clement's urgency in preparing for the council. In the Château d'Alais the Bishop of Nîmes held thirty-three Templars who had already been examined and confessions extorted from some of them, which had mostly been retracted. Under Clement's orders for fresh tortures twenty-nine survivors of these (four having meanwhile died in prison) were brought out in August, 1311. Some of them had
* Raynald. ann. 1311, No. 53.-- Raynouard, pp. 166-7.-- Schottmüller, I. 395.
already been tortured three years before, but now all were tortured again, with the result of obtaining the kind of testimony required, including demon-worship. *
In spite of all these precautions it required the most arbitrary use of both papal and kingly influence to force from the council a reluctant assent to what was evidently regarded by Christendom as the foulest injustice. It is, perhaps, significant that the acts of the council vanished from the papal archives, and we are left to gather its proceedings from such fragmentary allusions as occur in contemporary chroniclers and from the papal bulls which record its results. Good orthodox Catholics have even denied to it the right to be considered (Ecumenic, in spite of the presence of more than three hundred bishops from all the states of Europe, the presidency of a pope, and the book of canon laws which was adopted in it, no one knows how. †
The first question to be settled was Clement's demand that the Order should be condemned without a hearing. He had, as we have seen, solemnly summoned it to appear, through its chiefs and procurators, before the council, and had ordered the Cardinal of
* Bini, p. 501.-- Raynouard, pp. 233-5, 303.-- Vaissette, IV. 140-1.
† Hefele, Conciliengeschiehte I. 66.-- Franz Ehrle, Archiv f. Litt.- u. Kirehengeschichte , 1886, p. 353.--The apologetic tone in which it was felt necessary to speak of the acts of the council with regard to the Templars is well illustrated by a Vatican MS. quoted by Raynaldus, ann. 1311, No. 54.
Only fragments have reached us of the vast accumulation of documents respecting the case of the Templars. In the migrations of Clement V. doubtless some were lost ( Franz Ehre, Archiv für Litt.- u. Kirchengesch. 1885, p. 7); others in the Schism, when Benedict XIII. carried a portion of the archives to Peniscola ( Schottmüller, I. 705), and others again in the transport of the papers of the curia from Avignon to Rome. When, in 1810, Napoleon ordered the papal archives transferred to Paris, where they remained until 1815, the first care of General Radet, the French Inspector-general of Rome, was to secure those concerning the trials of the Templars and of Galileo ( Regest. Clement. PP. V., Romæ, 1885, T. I. Proleg. p. ccxxix.). During their stay in Paris Raynouard utilized them in the work so often quoted above, but even then only a few seem to have been accessible, and of these a portion are now not to be found in the Vatican MSS., although Schottmüller, the most recent investigator, expresses a hope that the missing ones may yet be traced (op. cit. I. 713). The number of boxes sent to Paris amounted to 3239, and the papal archivists complained that many documents were not restored. The French authorities declared that the papal agents to whom they had been delivered sold immense quantities to grocers ( Reg. Clem. V. Proleg. pp. ccxciii.-ccxcviii.).
Palestrina, whom he had appointed their custodian, to present them for that purpose; he had organized a commission expressly to listen to those who were willing to defend it, and to arrange for them to nominate procurators, and he had uttered no protest when Philippe's savage violence had put an end to the attempt. Now the council had met and the chiefs of the Order were not brought before it. The subject was too delicate a one to be trusted to the body of the council, and a picked convocation was formed of prelates selected from the nations represented--Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Hungary, England, Ireland, and Scotland--to discuss the matter with the pope and cardinals. On a day in November, while this body was listening to the reports sent in by the inquisitors, suddenly there appeared before them seven Templars offering to defend the Order in the name, they said, of fifteen hundred or two thousand brethren, refugees who were wandering in the mountains of the Lyonnais. In place of hearing them, Clement promptly cast them into prison, and when, a few days later, two more, undeterred by the fate of their predecessors, made a similar attempt, they were likewise incarcerated. Clement's principal emotion was fear for his own life from the desperation of the outcasts, leading him to take extra precautions and to advise Philippe to do the same. This was not calculated to make the prelates feel less keenly the shame of what they were asked to do, for which the on reason alleged was the injury to the Holy Land arising from the delay to be anticipated from discussion; and when the matter came to a vote only one Italian bishop and three Frenchmen (the Archbishops of Sens, Reims, and Rouen, who had burned the relapsed Templars) were found to record themselves in favor of the infamy of condemning the Order unheard. They might well hesitate. In Germany, Italy, and Spain provincial councils had solemnly declared that they could find no evil in the Order or its members. In England the Templars had only confessed themselves defamed of heresy. In France alone had there been any general confession of guilt. Even if individuals were guilty, they had been condemned to appropriate penance, and there was no warrant for destroying without a hearing so noble a member of the Church Militant as the great Order of the Temple. *
* Bull. Vox in excelso ( Van Os, pp. 72-4).-- Du Puy, pp. 177-8.-- Ptol. Lucens.
Clement vainly used every effort to win over the Council. The most that he could do was to prolong the discussion until the middle of Febraury, 1312, when Philippe, who had called a meeting of the Three Estates at Lyons, hard by Vienne, came thence with Charles de Valois, his three sons and a following numerous enough to impress the prelates with his power. A royal order of March 14 to the Seneschal of Toulouse to make a special levy to defray the expenses of the delegates sent by that city successively to Tours, Poitiers, Lyons, and Vienne, "on the business of the faith or of the Templars," shows how the policy, begun at Tours, of overawing the Church by pressure from the laity of the kingdom was unscrupulously pursued to the end. Active discussions followed. Philippe had dexterously brought forward again the question of the condemnation of Boniface VIII. for heresy, which he had promised, a year previous, to abandon. It was an impossibility to grant this without impugning the legitimacy of Boniface's cardinals and of Clement's election, but it served the purpose of affording an apparent concession. The combined pressure brought to bear upon the council became too strong for further resistance, and the Gordian knot was resolutely severed. In a secret consistory of cardinals and prelates held March 22, Clement presented the bull Vox in excelso, in which he admitted that the evidence did not canonically justify the definitive condemnation of the Order, but he argued that it had been so scandalized that no honorable men hereafter could enter it, that delay would lead to the dilapidation of its possessions with consequent damage to the Holy Land, and that, therefore, its provisional abolition by the Holy See was expedient. April 3 the second session of the council was held, in which the bull was published, and Clement apologized for it by
Hist. Eccles. Lib. xxIv. ( Muratori S. R. I. XI. 1236).-- Raynouard, p. 187.--Cf. Raynald. ann. 1311, No. 55.
If Schottmüller's assumption be correct as to the
"Deminutio laboris examinantium processus contra ordinem Templi in Anglia," printed by him from a Vatican MS. (op cit. II. 78 sqq.)--that it was prepared to be laid before the commission of the Council of Vienne, it shows the unscrupulous manner in which the evidence was garbled for the purpose of misleading those who were to sit in judgment. All the favorable testimony is suppressed and the wildest gossip of women and monks is seriously presented as though it were incontrovertible.
explaining that it was necessary to propitiate his dear son, the King of France. If the popular belief was that the sentence was rendered by Philippe's command, it was not without justification. Thus, after all this cruelty and labor, the Order was abolished without being convicted. There can be little doubt that the council acquiesced willingly in this solution of the question. The individual members were thus relieved of responsibility, and they felt that the Order had been so foully dealt with that policy required injustice to be carried out to the bitter end. *
The next point to be determined was the disposition of the Templar property, which gave rise to a long and somewhat bitter debate. Various plans were proposed, but finally Clement suc-
* Jo. Hocsemii Gest. Episcc. Leodiens. ( Chapeaville, II. 345).-- Baudouin, Lettres inédites de Philippe le Bel, p. 179.-- Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann. 1307 ( Martene Ampl. Coll. V. 154).-- Bull. Vox in excelso ( Van Os, pp. 75-77).-- Bern. Guidon. Flor. Chron. ( Bouquet, XXI. 721).-- Wilcke, II. 307.-- Güleri Hist. Templarior. Amstel. 1703, p. 365.-- Vertot, Hist. des Chev. de Malthe, Ed. 1755, Tom II. p. 136.-- Contin. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1311-12.-- Martin. Polon. Contin. ( Eccard. I. 1438).-- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1307.
When, in 1773, Clement XIV. desired to abolish the Order of Jesuits by an arbitrary exercise of papal power, he did not fail to find a precedent in the suppression of the Templars by Clement V.--as he says in his bull of July 22, 1773,
"Etiamsi concilium generale Viennense, cui negotium examinandum commiserat, a formali et definitiva sententia ferenda censuerit se abstinere."
-- Bullar. Roman. Contin. Prati, 1847, V. 620.
The wits of the day did not allow the affair to pass unimproved. Bernard Gui cites as current at the time the Leonine verse, "Res est exempli destructa superbia Templi." Hocsemius quotes for us a chronogram by P. de Awans, possibly alluding to the treasure which Philippe gained--
"Excidium Templi nimia pinguedine rempli
Ad LILIVM duo C consocianda doce."
To minds of other temper there were not lacking portents to prove the anger of Heaven, whether at the crimes of the Order or at its destruction--eclipses of sun and moon, parahelia, paraselenæ, fires darting from earth to heaven, thunder in clear sky. Near Padua a mare dropped a, foal with nine feet; flocks of birds of an unknown species were seen in Lombardy; throughout the Paduan territory a rainy winter was succeeded by a dry summer with hail-storms, so that the harvests were a failure. No Etruscan haruspex or Roman augur could wish for clearer omens: it reads like a page of Livy.-- Albertini Mussati Hist. August. Rubr. x. xi. ( Muratori S. R. I. X. 377-9).--Cf. Ptol. Lucens. Hist. Eccles. Lib. xxIv. ( Ib., XI. 1233); Fr. Jordan. Chron. ann. 1314 ( Muratori Antiq. XI. 789).
ceeded in procuring its transfer to the Hospitallers. It may not be true that they bribed him heavily to accomplish this, but such a belief prevailed extensively at the time, and sufficiently illustrates the estimate entertained of him by his contemporaries. May 2 the bull Ad providam announced that, although in view of the proceedings thus far had the Order could not legally be suppressed, it was provisionally and irrevocably abolished by apostolic ordinance; it was placed under perpetual inhibition, and any one presuming to enter it or to assume its habit incurred ipso facto excommunication. All the property of the Order was assumed by the Holy See, and was transferred to the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, saving in the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Majorea, and Portugal. As early as August, 1310, Jayme of Aragon had urged his brother monarchs to unite with him in defending their claims before the papal court; and though he disregarded Clement's invitation to appear in person before the council to state his reasons, the three kings took care to have their views energetically represented. Elsewhere, all who occupied and detained such property, no matter what their rank or station, were required, under pain of excommunication, to hand it over to the Hospitallers within a month after summons. This bull was sent to all princes and prelates, and the latter were instructed to enforce the surrender of the property by a vigorous use of excommunication and interdict. *
The burning question as to the property being thus settled, the less material one as to the persons of the Templars was shuffled off by referring them to their provincial councils for judgment, with the exception of the chiefs of the Order still reserved to the Holy See. All fugitives were cited to appear within a year before their bishops for examination and sentence; failure to do so incurred ipso facto excommunication, which if endured for another
* Contin. Guill, Nangiac. ann. 1312.-- Raynald. ann. 1312, No. 5.-- Hocsemii Gest. Episcopp. Leod. ( Chapeaville, II. 346).-- Chron. Fr. Pipini c. 49 ( Muratori S. R. I. IX. 750).-- Chron. Astens. c. 27 ( Ib. XI. 194).-- Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann. 1310 ( Martene Ampl. Coll. V. 160).-- Walsingham ( D'Argentré I. 1. 280). Raynouard, pp. 197-8.-- Bull.Ad providam ( Rymer, III. 323.-- Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 149.-- Harduin. VII. 1341-8).-- Bull. Nuper in generali ( Rymer III . 326. Mag. Bull. Rom. IX. 150).-- Zurita, Lib. v. c. 99.-- Allart, op. cit. pp. 71-2.-- Schmidt, Päbstliche Urkunclen, p. 81.
year became condemnation for heresy. General instructions were given that the impenitent and relapsed were to be visited with the utmost penalties of the law. Those who, even under torture, denied all knowledge of error afforded a problem insoluble to the wisdom of the council and were referred to the provincial councils to be treated as justice and the equity of the canons required: to those who confessed, the rigor of justice should be tempered with abundant mercy. They were to be placed in the former houses of the Order or in monasteries, taking care that no great number should be herded together, and be decently maintained out of the property of the Order. Interest in the subject, however, passed away with the alienation of the property, and few provincial councils seem to have been held save those of Tarragona and Narbonne already mentioned. Many Templars rotted to death in their dungeons; some of the so-called "relapsed" were burned; many wandered over Europe as homeless vagabonds; others maintained themselves as best they might by manual labor. In Naples, curiously enough, John XXII. in 1318 ordered them to be supported by the Dominicans and Franciscans. When some attempted to marry, John XXII. pronounced that their vows were still binding and their marriages void, thus admitting that their reception had been regular and not vitiated. He likewise assumed their orthodoxy when he permitted them to enter other Orders. A certain number of them did so, especially in Germany, where their fate was less bitter than elsewhere, and where the Hospitallers welcomed them by formal resolution of the Conference of Frankfurt-am-Mayn in 1317. The last Preceptor of Brandenburg, Frederic of Alvensleben, was received into the Hospital with the same preferment. In fact, popular sympathy in Germany seems to have led to the assignment to them of revenues of which the Hospitallers complained as an in supportable burden, and in 1318 John XXII. ordered that they should not be so provided for as to enable them to lay up money and live luxuriously, but should have merely a living and garments suited to spiritual persons. *
* Bern. Guidoin. Flor. Chron. ( Bouquet, XXI. 722).-- Godefroy de Paris, v. 6028-9.-- Ferreti Vicentin. Hist. ( Muratori S. R. I. IX. 1017).-- Le Roulx, Documents, etc.,p. 51.-- Havemann, Geschichte des Ausgangs, p. 290.-- Fr. Pipini Chron. c. 49 ( Muratori IX. 750).-- Joann. de S. Victor. ( Bouquet, XXI. 658).-- Vaissette,
There remained to be disposed of de Molay and the other chiefs reserved by Clement for his personal judgment--a reservation which, as we have seen, by inspiring them with selfish hopes, led them to abandon their brethren. When this purpose had been accomplished Clement for a while seemed to forget them in their drear captivity. It was not till December 22, 1313, that he appointed a commission of three cardinals, Arnaud of S. Sabina, Nicholas of S. Eusebio, and Arnaldo of S. Prisca, to investigate the proceedings against them and to absolve or condemn, or to inflict penance proportionate to their offences, and to assign to them on the property of the Order such pensions as were fitting. The cardinals dallied with their duty until March 19, 1314, when, on a scaffold in front of Nôtre Dame, de Molay, Geoffroi de Charney, Master of Normandy, Hugues de Peraud, Visitor of France, and Godefroi de Gonneville, Master of Aquitaine, were brought forth from the jail in which for nearly seven years they had lain, to receive the sentence agreed upon by the cardinals, in conjunction with the Archbishop of Sens and some other prelates whom they had called in. Considering the offences which the culprits had confessed and confirmed, the penance imposed was in accordance with rule--that of perpetual imprisonment. The affair was supposed to be concluded when, to the dismay of the prelates and wonderment of the assembled crowd, de Molay and Geoffroi de Charney arose. They had been guilty, they said, not of the crimes imputed to them, but of basely betraying their Order to save their own lives. It was pure and holy; the charges were fictitious and the confessions false. Hastily the cardinals delivered them to the Prévôt of Paris, and retired to deliberate on this unexpected contingency, but they were saved all trouble. When the news was carried to Philippe he was furious. A short consultation with his council only was required. The canons pronounced that a relapsed heretic was to be burned without a hearing; the facts were notorious and no formal judgment by the papal commission need be waited for. That same day, by sunset, a pile was erected on a small island in the Seine, the Isle des Juifs, near the palace garden. There de Molay and de Charney were slowly burned to death, refusing all
IV. 141.-- Stemler, Contingent zur Geschichte der Templer, pp. 20-1.-- Raynouard, pp.213-4, 233-5.-- Wilcke, II. 236, 240.-- Anton, Versuch, p. 142.
offers of pardon for retraction, and bearing their torment with a composure which won for them the reputation of martyrs among the people, who reverently collected their ashes as relics. It remained for a modern apologist of the Church to declare that their intrepid self-sacrifice proved them to be champions of the devil. In their death they triumphed over their persecutor and atoned for the pusillanimity with which they had abandoned those committed to their guidance. Hugues de Peraud and the Master of Aquitaine lacked courage to imitate them, accepted their penance, and perished miserably in their dungeons. Raimbaud de Caron, the Preceptor of Cyprus, had doubtless been already released by death. *
The fact that in little more than a month Clement died in torment of the loathsome disease known as lupus, and that in eight months Philippe, at the early age of forty-six, perished by an accident while hunting, necessarily gave rise to the legend that de Molay bad cited them before the tribunal of God. Such stories were rife among the people, whose sense of justice had been scandalized by the whole affair. Even in distant Germany Philippe's death was spoken of as a retribution for his destruction of the Templars, and Clement was described as shedding tears of remorse on his death-bed for three great crimes, the poisoning of Henry VI. and the ruin of the Templars and Beguines. An Italian contemporary, papalist in his leanings, apologizes for introducing a story of a wandering outcast Templar carried from Naples to the presence of Clement, bearding him to his face, condemned to the stake, and from the flames summoning him and Philippe to the judgmentseat of God within the year, which was marvellously fulfilled.
* Raynald. ann. 1313, No. 39.-- Raynouard, pp. 205-10.-- Contin. Guill. Nangiac. ann. 1313.-- Joann. de S. Victor. ( Bouquet, XXI. 658).-- Chron. Anon. ( Bouquet , XXI. 143).-- Godefroy de Paris v. 6033- 6129.-- Villani Chron. vIII. 92.-Chron. Cornel. Zantfliet ann. 1310 ( Martene Ampl. Coll. V. 160).-- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug ann. 1307.-- Pauli Æmylii de Reb. Gest. Franc. Ed. 1569, p. 421. -- Van Os, p. 111.
In his haste Philippe did not stop to inquire as to his rights over the Isle des Juifs. It happened that the monks of St. Germain des Près claimed haute et basse justice there, and they promptly complained that they were wronged by the execution, whereupon Philippe issued letters declarity that it should work no prejudice to them ( Olim, II. 599).
These tales show how the popular heart was stirred and how the popular sympathies were directed. *
In fact, outside of France, where, for obvious reasons, contemporary opinion was cautious in expression, the downfall of the Templars was very largely attributed to the remorseless cupidity of Philippe and Clement. Even in France public sentiment inclined in their favor. Godefroi de Paris evidently goes as far as he dares when he says:
"Dyversement de ce l'en parle, Et ou monde en est grant bataille-- --L'en puet bien décevoir l'yglise Mès l'en ne puet en nule guise Diex décevoir. Je n'en dis plus: Qui voudra dira le seurplus."
It required courage animated by a lofty sense of duty when, at the height of the persecution, the Dominican, Pierre de la Palu, one of the foremost theologians of the day, voluntarily appeared before the papal commission in Paris to say that he had been present at many examinations where some of the accused confessed the charges and others denied them, and it appeared to him that the
* Pauli Langii Chron. Citicens. ann. 1314 ( Pistorii I. 1201).-- Chron. Sampetrini Erfurtens. ann. 1315 ( Menken III. 325).-- Naucleri Chron. ann. 1306.--Ferreti Vicentin. Hist. (Muratori S. R. I. IX. 1018).
Clement's reputation was such that this was not the only legend of the kind about his death. While yet Archbishop of Bordeaux, he had a bitter quarrel with Walter of Bruges, a holy Franciscan whom Nicholas III. had forced to accept the episcopate of Poitiers. On his elevation to the papacy he gratified his grudge by deposing Walter and ordering him to a convent. Walter made no complaint, but on his death-bed he appealed to the judgment of God, and died with a paper in his hand in which be cited the papal oppressor before the divine tribunal on a certain day. His grip on this could not be loosened, and he was buried with it. The next year Clement chanced to pass through the place; he had the tomb opened, found the body uncorrupted, and ordered the paper to be given to him. It terrified him greatly, and at the time specified he was obliged to obey the summons. -- Wadding. ann. 1279, No. 13.-- Chron. Glassberger ann. 1307.
Guillaume de Nogaret, who was Philippe's principal instrument, was the subject of a similar story. A Templar on his way to the stake saw him and cited him to appear within eight days, and on the eight day he died.-- Chron. Astens. c. 27 (Muratori S. R. I. XI. 194).
denials were worthy of confidence rather than the confessions. * As time wore on the conviction as to their innocence strengthened. Boccaccio took their side. St. Antonino of Florence, whose historical labors largely influenced opinion in the fifteenth century, asserted that their downfall was attributable to the craving for their wealth, and popular writers in general adopted the same view. Even Raynaldus hesitates and balances arguments on either side, and Campi assures us that in Italy, in the seventeenth century, they were regarded by many as saints and martyrs. At length, about the middle of the seventeenth century, the learned Du Puy undertook to rehabilitate the memory of Philippe le Bel in a work of which the array of documentary evidence renders it indispensable to the student. Gürtler, who followed him with a history of the Templars, is evidently unable to make up his mind. Since then
* Godefroi de Paris, v. 6131-45. Cf. 3876-81, 3951-2.--Procès des Templiers, II. 195. Some of the contemporaries outside of France who attribute the affair to the greed of Philippe and Clement are--Matt. Neoburg. ( Albert Argentinens.) Chron. ann. 1346 ( Urstisii II. 137).-- Sächsische Weltchronik, erste bairische Fortsetzung, ann. 1312 (Mon. Germ. II. 334).-- Stalwegii Chron. ann. 1305 ( Leibnit. III. 274). -- Bothonis Chron. ann. 1311 ( Leibnit. III. 374).-- Chron. Comitum Schalwenburg ( Meibom. I. 499).-- Jo. Hocsemii Gest. Episcc. Leodiens. ( Chapeaville, II. 345-6).-Chron. Astens. c. 27 (Muratori S. R. I. XI. 192-4).--Istorie Pistolesi (Ib. XI. 518). -- Villani Chron. VIII. 92.
Authorities who assume the guilt of the Templars are -- Ferreti Vicentini Hist. (Muratori S. R. I. IX. 1017-18).-- Chron. Parmens. ann. 1309 (Ib. IX. 880). -- Albertin. Mussat. Hist. August. Rubr. x. (Ib. X. 377).--Chron. Guillel. Scoti ( Bouquet, XXI. 205).-- Hermanni Corneri Chron. ann. 1309 ( Eccard. II. 971-2). The old German word Tempelhaus, signifying house of prostitution, conveys the popular sense of the license of the Order. ( Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1307).
Henri Martin assumes that the traditions of the north of France are adverse to the Templars, and that those of the south are favorable. He instances a Breton ballad in which the "Red Monks," or Templars, are represented as ferocious debauchees who carry off young women and then destroy them with the fruits of guilty intercourse. On the other hand, at Gavarnie (Bigorre), there are seven heads which are venerated as those of martyred Templars, and the popular belief is that on the night of the anniversary of the abolition of the Order a figure, armed cap-a-pie and bearing the white mantle with a red cross, appears in the cemetery and thrice cries out, "Who will defend the holy temple; who will liberate the sepulchre of the Lord?" when the seven heads answer thrice, "No one, no one! The Temple is destroyed!"-- Histoire de France, T. IV. pp. 496-7 (Éd, 1855). the question has been argued pro and con with a vehemence which. promises to leave it one of the unsettled problems of history. *
Be this as it may, Philippe obtained the object of his desires. After 1307 his financial embarrassments visibly decreased. There was not only the release from the obligation of the five hundred thousand livres which he had borrowed of the Order, but its vast accumulations of treasure and of valuables of all kinds fell into his hands and were never accounted for. He collected all the debts due to it, and his successors were still busy at that work as late as 1322. The extensive banking business which the Templars had established between the East and the West doubtless rendered this feature of the confiscation exceedingly profitable, and it is safe to assume that Philippe enforced the rule that debts due by convicted heretics were not to be paid. Despite his pretence of surrendering the landed estates to the pope, he retained possession of them till his death and enjoyed their revenues. Even those in Guyenne, belonging to the English crown, he collected in spite of the protests of Edward, and he claimed the Templar castles in the English territories until Clement prevailed upon him to withdraw. The great Paris Temple, half palace, half fortress, one of the architectural wonders of the age, was retained with a grip which nothing but death could loosen. After the property had been adjudged to the Hospitallers, in May, 1312, by the Council of Vienne with Philippe's concurrence, and he had formally approved of it in August, Clement addressed him in December several letters asking his assistance in recovering what had been seized by individuals--assistance which doubtless was freely promised; but in June, 1313, we find Clement remonstrating with him over his refusal to permit Albert de Châteauneuf, Grand Preceptor of the Hospital, to administer the property either of his own Order or that of the Temple in France. In 1314 the General Chapter of the Hospital gave unlimited authority to Leonardo and Francesco de Tibertis to take possession of all the Temple property promised to the Order, and in April an arrêt of Parlement recites that it had been given to the Hospital at Philippe's special request, and that he had invested Leonardo de Tibertis with it; but there was
* Raynald. ann. 1307, No. 12. -- D'Argentré I. I. 281.-- Campi, Dell' Hist. Eccles. di Piacenza, P. III. p. 43, Piacenza, 1651.-- Feyjoo, Cartas I. xxviii.
a reservation that it was liable for the expenses of the imprisoned Templars and for the costs incurred by the king in pushing the trials. This was a claim elastic both in amount and in the time required for settlement. Had Philippe's life been prolonged it is probable that no settlement would have been made. As it was, the Hospitallers at last, in 1317, were glad to close the affair by abandoning to Philippe le Long all claim on the income of the landed estates which the crown had held for ten years, with an arrangement as to the movables which virtually left them in the king's hands. They also assumed to pay the expenses of the imprisoned Templars, and this exposed them to every species of exaction and pillage on the part of the royal officials. *
In fact, it is the general testimony that the Hospitallers were rather impoverished than enriched by the splendid gift. There had been a universal Saturnalia of plunder. Every one, king, noble, and prelate, who could lay hands on a part of the defenceless possessions had done so, and to reclaim it required large payments either to the holder or to his suzerain. In 1286 the Margrave Otto of Brandenburg had entered the Order of the Temple and had enriched it with extensive domains. These the Margrave Waldemar seized, and did not surrender till 1322, nor was the transfer confirmed till 1350, when the Hospital was obliged to pay five hundred silver marks. In Bohemia many nobles seized and retained Templar property; the chivalrous King John is said to have kept more than twenty castles, and Templars themselves managed to hold some and bequeath them to their heirs. Religious orders were not behindhand in securing what they could out of the spoils -- Dominicans, Carthusians, Augustinians, Celestinians, all are named as participators. Even the pious Robert of Naples had to be reminded by Clement that he had incurred excommunication because he had not surrendered the Templar property in Provence. In fact, he had secretly sent orders to his seneschal not to
* Ferreti Vicentini, loc. cit. -- Raynald. ann. 1307, No. 12. -- Havemann, p. 334. -- Wilcke, II. 327, 329-30.-- Raynouard, pp. 25-6. -- Vaissette, IV. 141.-- Du Puy, pp. 75, 78, 88, 125-31, 216-17. -- Prutz, p. 16.-- Olim, III. 580-2. Even as late as 1337, in the accounts of the Sénéchaussée of Toulouse there is a place reserved for collections from the Templar property, although the returns in that year were nil. -- Vaissette, Éd. Privat, X. Pr. 785.
For the banking business of the Templars, see Schottmüller, I. 64. deliver it to the Archbishops of Arles and Embrun, the commissioners appointed by the pope, and before he was finally obliged to make it over he realized what he could from it. Perhaps the Hospital fared better in Cyprus than elsewhere, for when the papal nuncio, Peter, Bishop of Rhodes, published the bull, November 7, 1313, the Templar possessions seem to have been made over to it without contest. In England, even the weakness of Edward II. made a feeble attempt to keep the property. Clement had ordered him, February 25, 1309, to make it over to the papal commissioners designated for the purpose, but he seems to have paid no attention to the command. After the Council of Vienne we find him, August 12, 1312, expressing to the Prior of the Hospital his surprise that he is endeavoring under the color of papal letters to obtain possession of it, to the manifest prejudice of the dignity of the crown. Much of it had been farmed out and alienated to Edward's worthless favorites, and he resisted its surrender as long as he dared. When forced to succumb he did so in a manner as self-abasing as possible, by executing, November 24, 1313, a notarial instrument to the effect that he protested against it, and only yielded out of fear of the dangers to him and his kingdom to be apprehended from a refusal. It may be doubted whether his orders were obeyed that it should be burdened with the payment of the allowances to the surviving Templars. He succeeded, however, in getting a hundred pounds from the Hospitallers for the London Temple; and in 1317 John XXII. was obliged to intervene with an order for the restitution of lands still detained by those who had succeeded in occupying them. *
* Contin. Guillel. Nangiac. ann. 1312. -- Villani Chron. VIII. 92. -- Matt. Neoburg. (Albertin. Argentin.) Chron. ann. 1346 ( Urstisii II. 137). -- H. Mutii Chron. Lib. XXII. ann. 1311. -- Chron. Fr. Pipini c. 49 (Muratori S. R. I. IX. 750.).-- Havemann , p. 338. -- Vertot, II. 154. -- Hocsemii Gest. Episcc. Leodiens. ( Chapeaville, II. 346). -- Trithem. Chron. Hirsaug. ann. 1307.-- Naucleri Chron. ann. 1306. -- Raynald. ann. 1312, No. 7; ann. 1313, No. 18. -- Van Os, p. 81. -- Wilcke, II. 340-1, 497.-Gassari Annal. Augstburg. ann. 1312 ( Menken. I. 1473).-- Schottmüller, I. 496; II. 427-9. -- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. IV. p. 452. -- Rymer, III. 133-4, 292-4, 321, 337, 404, 409-10, 451-2, 472-3. -- Le Roulx, Documents, etc., p. 50.
We happen to have a slight example of the plunder in an absolution granted February 23, 1310, by Clement to Bernard de Bayulli, canon and chancellor of the Abbey of Cornella in Roussillon, for the excommunication incurred by him for taking a horse, a mule, and sundry effects, valued in all at sixty livres Tour-
The Spanish peninsula had been excepted from the operation of the bull transferring the property to the Hospital, but subject to the further discretion of Clement. As regards the kingdom of Majorca he exercised this discretion in 1313 by giving King Sancho II. the personal property, and ordering him to make over the real estate to the Hospital, under condition that the latter should be subject to the duties which had been performed by the Temple. Even this did not relieve the Hospitallers from the necessity of bargaining with King Sancho. It was not until February, 1314, that the lands on the island of Majorca were surrendered to them in consideration of an annual payment of eleven thousand sols, and an allowance of twenty-two thousand five hundred sols to be made on the mesne profits to be accounted for since the donation was made. All profits previous to that time were to remain with the crown. No documents are extant to show what was done on the mainland, but doubtless there was a similar transaction. In addition to this the pensions of the Templars assigned on the property were a heavy burden for many years. *
In Aragon there was less disposition to accede to the papal wishes. Constant struggle with the Saracen had left memories of services rendered, or sharpened the sense of benefits to come from some new Order devoted wholly to national objects, which could not be expected of a body like the Hospitallers, whose primary duty was devotion to the Holy Land. The Templars had contributed largely to all the enterprises which had enlarged the boundaries of the kingdom. They had rendered faithful service to the monarchy in the council as well as in the field; to them was in great part attributed the rescue of Jayme I. from the hands of de Montfort, and they had been foremost in the glorious campaigns which had earned for him the title of el Conquistador. Pedro III. and Jayme II. had scarce had less reason for gratitude to them, and the latter, after sacrificing them, naturally desired to use their forfeited property for the establishment of a new Order from which he might expect similar advantages, but Clement's engagements with the Hospitallers were such that he turned a deaf
nois, from the preceptory of Gardin, in the diocese of Lerida. -- Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. V. p. 41.
* Raynald. ann. 1313, No. 37. -- Allart, loc. cit. pp. 87, 89.
ear to the king's repeated representations. On the accession of John XXII., however, matters assumed a more favorable aspect, and in 1317 Vidal de Vilanova, Jayme's envoy, procured from him a bull authorizing the formation of the Order of Nuestra Señora de Montesa, affiliated to the Order of Calatrava, from which its members were to be drawn. Its duties were defined to be the defence of the coasts and frontier of Valencia from corsairs and Moors; the Templar property in Aragon and Catalonia was made over to the Hospitallers, while the new Order was to have in Valencia not only the possessions of the Temple, but all those of the Hospital, except in the city of Valencia and for half a league around it. In 1319 the preliminaries were accomplished, and the new Order was organized with Guillen de Eril as its Grand Master. *
In Castile Alonso XI. retained for the crown the greater part of the Templar lands, though, along the frontier, nobles and cities succeeded in obtaining a portion. Some were given to the Orders of Santiago and Calatrava, and the Hospitallers received little. After an interval of half a century another effort was made, and in 1366 Urban V. ordered the delivery within two months of all the Templar property to the Hospitallers, but it is safe to assume that the mandate was disregarded, though in 1387 Clement VII., the Avignonese antipope, confirmed some exchanges made of Templar property by the Hospitallers with the Orders of Santiago and Calatrava. † Castile, as we have already seen, was always singularly independent of the papacy. In Portugal, as mentioned above, the property was handed over as a whole to the Order of Jesus Christ.
In the Morea, where the Templar possessions were extensive, Clement had, as early as November 11, 1310, exercised rights of proprietorship by ordering his administrators, the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Archbishop of Patras, to lend to Gautier,
* Bofarull y Brocá, Hist. de Cataluña, III. 97. -- Zurita, Lib. II. c. 60; Lib. III. c. 9; Lib. VI. c. 26.-- Mariana, Ed. 1789, V. 290. -- La Fuente, Hist. Ecles. II. 370-1. Ilescas ( Hist. Pontifical, Lib. VI. c. 2), in the second half of the sixteenth century, remarks that there had been fourteen Masters of Montesa and never one married until the present one, D. Cesar de Borja, who is married.
† Mariana, V. 290. -- Garibay, Compendio Historial Lib. XIII. cap. 33. -- Zurita, Lib. VI. c. 26.-- Le Roulx, Documents, etc., p. 52.
de Brienne, Duke of Athens, all the proceeds which they had collected, and all that they might collect for a year to come. *
Thus disappeared, virtually without a struggle, an organization which was regarded as one of the proudest, wealthiest, and most formidable in Europe. It is not too much to say that the very idea of its destruction could not have suggested itself, but for the facilities which the inquisitorial process placed in able and unscrupulous hands to accomplish any purpose of violence under the form of law. If I have dwelt on the tragedy at a length that may seem disproportionate, my apology is that it affords so perfect an illustration of the helplessness of the victim, no matter how high-placed, when once the fatal charge of heresy was preferred against him, and was pressed through the agency of the Inquisition.
The case of the learned theologian, Jean Petit, Doctor of Sorbonne, is of no great historical importance, but it is worth noting as an example of the use made of the charge of heresy as a weapon in political warfare, and of the elastic definition by which heresy was brought to include offences not easily justiciable in the ordinary courts.
Under Charles VI. of France the royal power was reduced to a shadow. His frequently recurring fits of insanity rendered him incapable of governing, and the quarrels of ambitious princes of the blood reduced the kingdom almost to a state of anarchy. Especially bitter was the feud between the king's brother, Louis, Duke of Orleans, and his cousin, Jean sans Peur of Burgundy. Yet even that age of violence was startled when, by the procurement of Jean sans Peur, the Duke of Orleans, in 1407, was assassinated in the streets of Paris--a murder which remained unavenged until 1419, when the battle-axe of Tanneguy du Châtel balanced the account on the bridge of Montereau. Even Jean sans Peur felt the need of some apology for his bloody deed, and he sought the assistance of Jean Petit, who read before the royal court a thesis--the Justificatio Ducis Burgundiæ--to prove that he had acted righteously and patriotically, and that he deserved
* Regest. Clement. PP. V. T. V. p. 235 ( Romæ, 1887).
the thanks of king and people. Written in the conventional scholastic style, the tract was not a mere political pamphlet, but an argument based on premises of general principles. It as a curious coincidence that, nearly three centuries earlier, another Johannes Parvus, better known as John of Salisbury, the worthiest representative of the highest culture of his day, in a purely speculative treatise had laid down the doctrine that a tyrant was to be put to death without mercy. According to the younger Jean Petit, "Any tyrant can and ought properly to be slain by any subject or vassal, and by any means, specially by treachery, notwithstanding any oath or compact, and without awaiting judicial sentence or order." This rather portentous proposition was limited by defining the tyrant to be one who is endeavoring through cupidity, fraud, sorcery, or evil mind to deprive the king of his authority, and the subject or vassal is assumed to be one who is inspired by loyalty, and him the king should cherish and reward. It was not difficult to find Scriptural warrant for such assertion in the slaying of Zimri by Phineas, and of Holofernes by Judith; but Jean Petit ventured on debatable ground when he declared that St. Michael, without awaiting the divine command and moved only by natural love, slew Satan with eternal death, for which he was rewarded with spiritual wealth as great as he was capable of receiving. *
That this was not a mere lawyer's pleading is shown by the fact that it was written in the vernacular and exposed for sale. Doubtless Jean sans Peur circulated it extensively, and it was doubtless convincing to those who were already convinced. It might safely have been allowed to perish in the limbo of forgetfulness, but when, some six years later, the Armagnac faction obtained the upper hand, it was exhumed from the dust as a ready means of attacking the Burgundians. Jean Petit himself, by opportunely dying some years before, escaped a trial for heresy, but in November, 1313, a national council was assembled in Paris to consider nine propositions extracted from his work. Gérard, Bishop of Paris, and Frère Jean Polet, the inquisitor, summoned the masters of theology of the University to give their opinions,
* Johann. Saresberiens. Polycrat. VIII. 17. -- D'Argentré I. II. 180-5. -- Monstrelet , Chroniques, I. 39, 119.
which solemnly condemned the propositions. The council debated the question with unwearied prolixity through twenty-eight sessions, and finally, on February 23, 1314, it adopted a sentence condemning the nine propositions to be burned as erroneous in faith and morals, and manifestly scandalous. The sentence was duly executed two days later on a scaffold in front of Nôtre Dame, in presence of a vast crowd, to whom the famous doctor, Benoist Gencien, elaborately explained the enormity of the heresy. Jean sans Peur thereupon appealed to the Holy See from this sentence, and John XXIII. appointed a commission of three cardinals-Orsini, Aquileia, and Florence--to examine and report. Thus Jean Petit had succeeded in becoming a European question, but in spite of this a royal ordonnance on March 17 commanded all the bishops of the kingdom to burn the propositions; on March 18, the University ordered them burned; on June 4 there was a royal mandate to publish the condemnation; on December 4 the University came to the royal court and delivered an oration on the subject, and on December 27 Charles VI. addressed a royal letter to the Council of Constance asking it to join in the condemnation. Evidently the affair was exploited to the uttermost; and when, on January 4, 1315, the long-delayed obsequies of the Duke of Orleans were performed in Nôtre Dame, Chancellor Gerson preached a sermon before the king and the court, the boldness of which excited general comment. The government of the Duke of Orleans had been better than any which had succeeded it; the death of the Duke of Burgundy was not counselled, but his humiliation was advocated; the burning of Petit's propositions was well done, but more remained to do, and all this Gerson was ready to maintain before all comers. *
It was in this mood that Gerson went to Constance as head of the French nation. In his first address to the council, March 23, 1415, he urged the condemnation of the nine propositions. The trial of John XXIII., the condemnation of Wickliff and of communion in both elements, and the discussion over Huss for a while monopolized the attention of the council, and no action was taken
* D'Argentré, I. II. 184-6. -- Religieux de S. Denis, Histoire de Charles VI. Liv.xxxiii. ch. 28. -- Juvenal des Ursins, ann. 1413. -- Gersoni Opp. Ed. 1494, I. 14 B, C. -- Von der Hardt, T. III. Prolegom. 10-13.-- Monstrelet, I. 139.
until June 15. Meanwhile Gerson found an ally in the Polish nation. John of Falckenberg had written a tract applying the arguments of Jean Petit to the slaying of Polish princes, of which the Archbishop of Gnesen had readily procured the condemnation by the University of Paris, and the Polish ambassador joined Gerson in the effort to have both put under the ban. On June 15, Andrea Lascaris, Bishop of Posen, proposed that a commission be appointed to conduct an inquisition upon new heresies. Jean Petit was not alluded to, but it was understood that his propositions were aimed at, for the only negative vote was that of Martin, Bishop of Arras, the ambassador of Jean sans Peur, who asserted that the object of the movement was to assail his master; and he further protested against Cardinal Peter d'Ailly, who was put on the commission with Orsini, Aquileia, and Florence, as well as two representatives of the Italian nation and four each of the French, English, and German. On July 6, after rendering judgment against Huss, the council condemned as heretical and scandalous the proposition Quilibet tyrannus, which was virtually the first of the nine condemned in Paris. This did not satisfy the French, who wanted the judgment of the University confirmed on the whole series. During the two years and a half that the council remained assembled, Gerson was unwearied in his efforts to accomplish this object. These heresies he declared to be of more importance than those of Huss and Jerome, and bitterly he scolded the fathers for leaving the good work unfinished. Interminable was the wrangling and disputation, appeals from Charles VI. and the University on the one side, and from the Duke of Burgandy on the other. John of Falckenberg was thrown into prison, but nothing would induce the council to take further action, and the affair at last died out. It is difficult for us at the present day to understand the magnitude which it assumed in the eyes of that generation. Gerson subsequently felt himself obliged to meet the jeers of those who reproached him with having risked a question of such importance before such a body as the council, and he justified himself by alleging that he had acted under instructions from the king and the University, and the Gallican Church as represented in the province of Sens. Moreover, he argued, when the council had manifested such zeal in condemning the Wickliffite doctrines and in burning Huss and Jerome, he would have been rash and unjust to suppose that it would not have been equally earnest in repressing the yet more pernicious heresies of Jean Petit. To us the result of greatest interest was its influence on the fate of Gerson himself. On the dissolution of the council he was afraid to risk the enmity of the Duke of Burgundy by returning to France, and gladly accepted a refuge offered him in Austria by Duke Ernest, which he repaid in a grateful poem. He never ventured nearer home than Lyons, where his brother was friar of a convent of Celestinian hermits, and where he supported himself by teaching school till his death, July 14, 1429. *
Criticism would doubtless ere this have demonstrated the meteoric career of Joan of Are to be a myth, but for the concurrent testimony of friend and foe and the documentary evidence, which enable us with reasonable certainty to separate its marvellous vicissitudes from the legendary details with which they have been obscured. For us her story has a special interest, as affording another illustration of the ease with which the inquisitorial process was employed for political ends.
In 1429 the French monarchy seemed doomed beyond hope of resuscitation. In the fierce dissensions which marked the reign of the insane Charles VI. a generation had grown up in whom adherence to faction had replaced fidelity to the throne or to the nation; the loyalists were known not as partisans of Charles VII., but as Armagnacs, and the Burgundians welcomed the foreign domination of England as preferable to that of their hereditary sovereign. Paris, in spite of the fearful privations and losses entailed by the war, submitted cheerfully to the English through the love it bore to their ally, the Duke of Burgundy. Joan of Are said that, in her native village, Domremy on the Lorraine border, there was but one Burgundian, and his head she wished were cut off; but Domremy and Vaucouleurs constituted the only Armagnac spot in northeastern France, and its boys used to have frequent fights with the Burgundian boys of Marey, from which they
* Von der Hardt, III. Proleg. 13; IV. 335-6, 440, 451, 718-22, 724-8, 1087-88, 1092, 1192, 1513, 1531-2. -- D'Argentré, I. II. 187-92.--Gersoni Opp. III. 56 Q-S, 57 B.
would be brought home wounded and bleeding. Such was the allpervading bitterness of discord throughout the kingdom. *
Even the death of the brilliant Henry V., in 1423, had seemed to check in no degree the progress of the English arms. Under the able regency of his brother, the Duke of Bedford, seconded by such captains as Salisbury, Talbot, Scales, and Fastolf, the infant Henry VI. appeared destined to succeed to the throne of his grandfather, Charles VI., as provided in the treaty of Troyes. In 1424 the victory of Verneuil repeated the triumph of Agincourt. From Dauphiné alone three hundred knights were left upon the field, and but for the fidelity of the provinces won by the Albigensian crusades, Charles VII. would already have been a king without a kingdom. Driven beyond the Loire, he was known by the nickname of the Roi de Bourges. Vacillating and irresolute, dominated by unworthy favorites, he hardly knew whether to retreat farther to the south and make a final stand among the mountains of Dauphiné, or to seek a refuge in Spain or Scotland. In 1428 his last line of defence on the Loire was threatened by the leaguer of Orleans. He was powerless to raise the siege, and for five months the heroic city resisted till, reduced to despair, it sent the renowned knight, Pothon de Xaintrailles to the Duke of Burgundy to ask him to accept its allegiance. The duke was nothing loath, but the acquisition required the assent of his English ally, and Bedford scornfully refused--he would not, he said, beat the bush for another to win the bird. Two months more of weary siege elapsed: as the spring of 1429 opened, further resistance seemed useless, and for Charles there appeared nothing left but ignominious retreat and eventual exile. †
Such was the hopeless condition of the French monarchy when the enthusiasm of Joan of Arc introduced a new factor in the tangled problem, kindling anew the courage which had been extinguished by an unbroken series of defeats, arousing the sense of
* Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris ann. 1431.--Epist. de Bonlavillar (Pez, Theasaur. Ancecd.VI. III. 237).--Procès de Jeanne d'Arc, p. 474. (When not otherwise defined, my references to this and other documents concerning Joan are to the collection in Buchon Choix de Chroniques et Mémoires, Paris, 1838.)
† Thomassin, Registre Delphinal ( Buchon, p. 536, 540).-- Görres Vie de Jeanne d'Are , Trad. Boré, Paris, 1883, p. 108.-- Chronique de la Pucelle ( Buchon, p. 454).
loyalty which had been lost in faction, bringing religion as a stimulus to patriotism, and replacing despair with eager confidence and hopefulness. It has been given to few in the world's history thus to influence the destiny of a nation, and perhaps to none so obscure and apparently so unfitted. *
Born January 6, 1412, in the little hamlet of Domremy, on the border line of Lorraine, she had but completed her seventeenth year when she confidently assumed the function of the saviour of her native land. † Her parents, honest peasants, had given her such training as comported with her station; she could, of course, neither read nor write, but she could recite her Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and Credo; she had herded the kine, and was a notable sempstress--on her trial she boasted that no maid or matron of Rouen could teach her anything with the needle. Thanks to her rustic employment she was tall and strong-limbed, active and enduring. It was said of her that she could pass six days and nights without taking off her harness, and marvellous stories were told of her abstinence from food while undergoing the most exhausting labor in battle and assault. Thus a strong physical constitution was dominated by a still stronger and excitable nervous organization. Her resolute self-reliance was shown when she was sought in marriage by an honest citizen of Toul, whose suit her parents favored. Finding her obdurate, he had recourse, it would seem with her parents' consent, to the law, and cited her before the Official of Toul to fulfil the marriage promise which he alleged she had made to him. Notwithstanding her youth, Joan appeared undaunted before the court, swore that she had given no pledges, and was released from the too-ardent suitor. At the age of thirteen she commenced to have ecstasies and visions. The Archangel Michael appeared to her first, and he was followed by St. Catharine and St. Margaret, whom God had specially commissioned to watch over and guide her. Even the Archangel Gabriel some-
* Though the name Joan of Arc has been naturalized in English, Jeanne's patronymic was Dare, not D'Arc.--Vallet de Viriville, Charles du Lis, pp. xii.xiii.
† So close to the border was Joan's birthplace that a new delimitation of the frontier, made in 1571, transferred to Lorraine the group of houses including the Darc cottage, and left a neighboring group in France.--Vallet do Viriville, ubi sup. pp. 24-5.
times came to counsel her, and she felt herself the instrument of the divine will, transmuting by a subtle psychical alchemy her own impulses into commands from on high. At length she could summon her heavenly advisers at will and obtain from them instructions in any doubtful emergency. In her trial great stress was laid upon an ancient beech-tree, near Domremy, known as the Ladies' Tree, or Fairies' Tree, from near the roots of which gushed forth a spring of miraculous healing virtue. A survival of tree and fountain worship was preserved in the annual dances and songs of the young girls of the village around the tree, and the garlands which they hung upon its boughs, but Joan, although she joined her comrades in these observances, usually reserved her garlands to decorate the shrine of the Virgin in the church hard by. Extreme religious sensibility was inseparable from such a character as hers, and almost at the first apparition of her celestial visitants she made a vow of virginity. She believed herself consecrated and set apart for some high and holy purpose, to which all earthly ties must be subordinate. When she related to her judges that her parents were almost crazed at her departure, she added that if she had had a hundred fathers and mothers she would have abandoned them to fulfil her mission. To this selfconcentration, reflected in her bearing, is probably be attributed the remark of several of her chroniclers, that no man could look upon her with a lascivious eye. *
At first her heavenly guides merely told her to conduct herself well and to frequent the church, but as she grew to understand the desperate condition of the monarchy and to share the fierce passions of the time, it was natural that these purely moral instructions should change into commands to bear from God the message of deliverance to the despairing people. In her ecstasies she felt herself to be the chosen instrument, and at length her Voices, as she habitually called them, urged her several times a week to hasten to France and to raise the siege of Orleans. To her parents she feared to reveal her mission; some unguarded revelation they must have had, for, two years before her departure,
* Procès, pp. 469, 470, 471, 473, 475, 476, 477, 483, 485, 487, 499.--Chron. de la Pucelle, ann. 1429, pp. 428, 435-6, 443.-- L'Averdy (Académie des Inscriptions, Notices des MSS. III. 373).
her father, Jacques Dare, had dreams of her going off with the soldiers, and he told her brothers that if he thought that his dreams would come true he wished they would drown her, or he would do it himself. Thenceforth she was closely watched, but the urgency of her celestial counsellors grew into reproaches for her tardiness, and further delay was unendurable. Obtaining permission to visit her uncle, Denis Laxart, she persuaded him to communicate her secret to Robert de Baudricourt, who held for the king the neighboring castle of Vaucouleurs. Her Voices had predicted that she would be twice repulsed and would succeed the third time. It so turned out. The good knight, who at first contemptuously advised her uncle to box her ears, at length was persuaded to ask the king's permission to send the girl to him. She must have acquired a reputation of inspiration, for while awaiting the response the Duke of Lorraine, who was sick, sent for her and she told him that if he wished a cure he must first reconcile himself with his wife. On the royal permission being accorded, de Baudricourt gave to her a man's dress and a sword, with a slender escort of a knight and four men, and washed his hands of the affair. *
The little party started, February 13, 1429, on their perilous ride of a hundred and fifty leagues, in the depth of winter, through the enemy's country. That they should accomplish it without misadventure in eleven days was in itself regarded as a miracle, and as manifesting the favor of God. On February 24 they reached Chinon, where Charles held his court, only to encounter new obstacles. It is true that some persons of sense, as we are told, recognized in her the fulfilment of Merlin's prophecy, "Descendet virgo dorsum sagittarii et flores virgineos obscurabit;" others found her foretold by the Sibyl and by the Venerable Bede; others asked her whether there was not in her land a forest known as the Bois. Chênu, for there was an ancient prediction that from the Bois Chênu there would come a wonder-working maiden--and they were delighted on learning that it lay but a league from her father's house. Those, however, who relied on worldly wisdom shook their heads and pronounced her mission an absurdity--in fact, it was charitable to regard her as insane. It shows, indeed, to what depth of despair the royal cause had fallen, that her pre-
* Procès, pp. 471, 485.--Chronique, p. 454.-- L'Averdy (ubi sup. III. 301).
tensions were regarded as of sufficient importance to warrant investigation. Long were the debates. Prelates and doctors of theology, jurists and statesmen examined her for a month, and one by one they were won over by her simple earnestness, her evident conviction, and the intelligence of her replies. This was not enough, however. In Poitiers sat Charles's Parlement and a University composed of such schoolmen as had abandoned the anglicized University of Paris. Thither was Joan sent, and for three weeks more she was tormented with an endless repetition of questioning. Meanwhile her antecedents were carefully investigated, with a result in every way confirming her good repute and truthfulnes. Charles was advised to ask of her a sign by which to prove that she came from God, but this she refused, saying that it was the divine command that she should give it before Orleans, and nowhere else. Finally, the official conclusion, cautiously expressed, was that in view of her honest life and conversation, and her promising a sign before Orleans, the king should not prevent her from going there, but should convey her there in safety; for to reject her without the appearance of evil would be to rebuff the Holy Ghost, and to render himself unworthy the grace and aid of God. *
* Procès, pp. 471, 475, 478, 482, 485.--Chronique, pp. 428, 454.-- Görres, pp. 37-9.-Thomassin, pp. 537, 538.-- Christine de Pisan ( Buchon, p. 541).-- Monstrelet , Liv. II. ch. 57.--Dynteri Chron. Due. Brabant. Lib. VI. ch. 234.
Much has been recorded in the chronicles about the miracles with which she convinced Charles's doubts--how she recognized him at first sight, although plainly clad amid a crowd of resplendent courtiers, and how she revealed to him a secret known only to God and himself, of prayers and requests made to God in his oratory at Loches (Chronique, pp. 429, 455; Jean Chartier, Hist. de Charles VII. Ed. Godefroy, p. 19; Görres, pp. 105-9). Possibly some chance expression of hers may have caught his wandering and uncertain thoughts and made an impression upon him, but the legend of the Pucelle grew so rapidly that miracles were inevitably introduced into it at every stage. Joan herself on her trial declared that Charles and several of his councillors, including the Due de Bourbon, saw her guardian saints and heard their voices, and that the king had notable revelations (Procès, p. 472). She also told her judges that there had been a material sign, which under their skilful cross-examination developed, from a secret revealed to him alone (p. 477), into the extraordinary story that St. Michael, accompanied by Catharine and Margaret and numerous angels, came to her lodgings and went with her to the royal palace, up the stairs and through the doors, and gave to the Archbishop of Reims, who handed it to the king, a
Two months had been wasted in these preliminaries, and it was the end of April before the determination was reached. A convoy was in preparation to throw provisions into the town, and it was resolved that Joan should accompany it. Under instructions from her Voices she had a standard prepared, representing on a white field Christ holding the world, with an angel on each side--a standard which was ever in the front of battle, which was regarded as the surest guarantee of success, and which in the end was gravely investigated as a work of sorcery. She had assigned to her a troop or guard, but does not seem to have been intrusted with any command, yet she assumed that she was taking the field as the representative of God, and must first give the enemy due notice of defiance. Accordingly, on April 18, she addressed four letters, one to Henry VI. and the others to the Regent Bedford, the captains before Orleans, and the English soldiers there, in which she demanded the surrender of the keys of all the cities held in France; she announced herself ready to make peace if they will abandon the land and make compensation for the damages inflicted, otherwise she is commissioned by God, and will drive them out with a shock of arms such as had not been seen in France for a thousand years. It is scarce to be wondered that these uncourtly epistles excited no little astonishment in the English camp. Rumors of her coming had spread; she was denounced as a sorceress, and all who placed faith in her as heretics. Talbot declared that he would burn her if she was captured, and
golden crown, too rich for description, such as no goldsmith on earth could make, telling him at the same time that with the aid of God and her championship he would recover all France, but that unless he set her to work his coronation would be delayed. This she averred had been seen and heard by the Archbishop of Reims and many bishops, Charles de Bourbon, the Due d' Alençon, La Trémouille, and three hundred others, and thus she had been relieved from the annoying examinations of the clerks. When asked whether she would refer to the archbishop to vouch for the story, she replied, "Let him come here and let me speak with him; he will not dare to tell me the contrary of what I have told you "--which was a very safe offer, seeing that the trial was in Rouen, and the archbishop was the Chancellor of France (Procès, pp. 482-6, 495, 502). His testimony, however, could it have been had, would not probably have been advantageous to her, as he belonged to the party of La Trémouille, the favorite, who was persistently hostile to her.
the heralds who brought her letters were only saved from a similar fate by a determined threat of reprisals on the part of Dunois, then in command at Orleans. *
Some ten days later the convoy started under command of Gilles de Rais and the Maréchal de Sainte-Sevère. Joan had promised that it should meet with no opposition, and faith in her was greatly enhanced when her words proved true. Although it passed within one or two bow-shots of the English siege-works, and though there was considerable delay in ferrying the cattle and provisions across the Loire into the city, not an attempt at interference was made. The same occurred with a second convoy which reached Orleans May 4, to the surprise of the French and the disgust of the Parisians, who watched the affair from a distance, and were unable to understand the paralysis which seemed to have fallen on the English arms. Joan had impatiently awaited these last reinforcements, and urged immediate offensive measures against the besiegers. Without consulting her, on the same day an assault was made on one of the English works on the other side of the Loire. Her legend relates that she started up from slumber exclaiming that her people were being slaughtered, and, scarcely waiting for her armor to be adjusted, sprang on her horse and galloped to the gate leading to the scene of action. The attack had miscarried, but after her arrival on the scene not an Englishman could wound a Frenchman, and the bastille was carried. Hot fighting occurred on the following days. On the 6th she was wounded in the foot by a caltrop, and on the 7th in the shoulder by an arrow, but in spite of desperate resistance all the English works on the farther bank of the Loire were taken, and their garrisons slain or captured. The English loss was estimated at from six thousand to eight thousand men, while that of the French was not over one hundred. On the 8th the English abandoned the siege, marching off in such haste that they left behind them their sick and wounded, their artillery and magazines. The French, flushed with victory, were eager to attack them, but Joan forbade it--" Let them go;
* Monstrelet, II. 57.-- Procès, p. 478.-- Thomassin, p. 538.-- Chronique, pp. 430-33.
Joan's letters, when produced on her trial, were falsified--at least according to her statement.-- de Charmettes, Histoire de Jeanne d'Are, III. 348.
it is not the will of Messire that they should be fought to-day; you will have them another time"--and by this time her moral ascendency was such that she was obeyed. So marvellous was the change in the spirit of the opposing forces, that it was a common remark that before her coming two hundred English would rout five hundred Frenchmen, but that afterwards two hundred French would chase four hundred English. Even the unfriendly Monstrelet admits that after the raising of the siege of Orleans there was no captain who so filled the mouths of men as she, though she was accompanied by knights so renowned as Dunois, La Hire, and Pothon de Xaintrailles. The Regent Bedford, in writing to the English council, could only describe it as a terrible blow from the divine hand, especially "caused of unleyefulle doubte that thei hadde of a Desciple and Lyme of the Feende called the Pueelle that used fals Enchauntements and Sorcerie." Not only, he says, were the English forces diminished in number and broken in spirit, but the enemy was encouraged to make great levies of troops. *
In the chronic exhaustion of the royal treasury it was not easy for Charles to take full advantage of this unexpected success, but the spirit of the nation was aroused and a force could be kept spasmodically in the field. D'Alençon was sent with troops to clear the Loire valley of the enemy, and took Joan with him. Suffolk had fortified himself in Jargeau, but the place was carried by assault and he was captured with all his men who were not slain. Then want of money caused a return to Tours, where Joan earnestly urged Charles to go to Reims for his coronation: she had always claimed that her mission was to deliver Orleans and to crown the king; that her time was short and that the counsel of her Voices must not be disregarded, but prudence prevailed, and it was felt that the English power in the central provinces must first be crushed. A second expedition was organized. Beaugency was besieged and taken, and on June 18 the battle of Patay gave some slight amends for Agincourt and Verneuil. After feeble resistance the English fled. Twenty-five hundred of them were left upon the
* Monstrelet, II. 57-61.--Thomassin, p. 538.--Chronique, pp. 430-7.-- Jean Chartier , pp. 22-4.--Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, ann. 1429.--Rymer, X. 408.
field, and large numbers were captured, including Talbot, Scales, and others of note. Thus in little more than six weeks all the leading English captains were slain or in captivity, except Fastolf, whose flight from Patay Bedford avenged by tearing from him the Order of the Garter. Their troops were dispersed and dispirited, their prestige was gone. It was no wonder that in all this one side recognized the hand of God and the other that of the devil. Even the Norman chronicler, P. Cochon, says that the English would have abandoned France if the regent would have allowed it, and that they were so dispirited that one Frenchman would chase three of them. *
A letter written from the court of Charles VII. to the Duke of Milan three days after the triumph of Patay, recounting the marvels of the previous weeks, shows how Joan was regarded and how rapidly her legend was growing. At her birth the villagers of Domremy were joyously excited, they knew not why, and the cocks for two hours flapped their wings and uttered a song wholly different from their ordinary crowing. Her visions were described in the most exaggerated terms, as well as her personal prowess and endurance. The relief of Orleans, the capture of Jargeau, Mehunsur-Loire, and Beaugency, and the crowning mercy of Patay were all attributed to her: hers was the initiative, the leadership, and the success; no one else is alluded to. We are told, moreover, that she was already predicting the deliverance of Charles of Orleans, a prisoner in England for fifteen years, and had sent a notice to the English to surrender him. †
It could no longer be doubted that Joan was under the direct inspiration of God, and when at Gien, on June 25, there was a consultation as to the next movement, though Charles's councillors advised him to reduce La Charité and clear the Orleannais and Berri of the enemy, it is no wonder that he yielded to Joan's urgency and gave his assent to a march to Reims. The enterprise seemed a desperate one, for it lay through a hostile country with strong cities along the road, and the royal resources were inadequate to equipping and provisioning an army or providing it with siege-
* Chronique, pp. 438-41.-- Jean Chartier, pp. 26-7.--Chron. de P. Cochon (Éd. Vallet (de Viriville, p. 456).
† Epist. P. de Bonlavillar (Pez, Thes. Anecd. VI. III. 237).
trains. But enthusiasm was rising to fever heat, and human prudence was distrust of God. Volunteers came pouring in as soon as the king's intentions were noised abroad, and gentlemen too poor to arm and mount themselves were content to serve as simple archers and retainers. La Trémouille, the royal favorite, thinking his own position endangered, caused the services of multitudes to be rejected, but for which, it was said, an army sufficient to drive the English from France could readily have been collected. On went the ill-conditioned forces. Auxerre, though not garrisoned, refused to open its gates, but gave some provisions, and in spite of Joan's desire to take it by assault the king went forward, induced, it was said, by La Trémouille, who had received from the town a bribe of two thousand livres. At Troyes there was a strong English and Burgundian garrison; it could not be left behind, and the army encamped before it for five or six days, with no artillery to breach its walls. There was neither money nor victual, and the only subsistence was ears of corn and beans plucked in the fields. The situation was discouraging, and a council of war under the impulse of the Chancellor Renaud de Chartres, Archbishop of Reims, advised retreat. Joan was sent for and declared that within two days the town would surrender. She was given the time she asked, and at once proceeded to gather material to fill the trenches, and to mount some small culverins. A panic seized the inhabitants and they demanded to surrender; the garrison was allowed to march out, and the city returned to its allegiance.†
When Joan entered the town she was met by a Frère Richard, whom the people had sent to examine her and report what she was. The worthy friar, doubtful whether she was of heaven or hell, approached her cautiously, sprinkling holy water and making the sign of the cross, till she smiled and told him to come boldly on, as she was not going to fly away. This Frère Richard was a noted Franciscan preacher who had recently returned from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and in April had made the deepest impression on Paris with his eloquence. From April 16th to the 26th he had preached daily to audiences of five and six thousand souls, and had excited such a tempest of emotion that on one day a hundred
* Chronique, pp. 442-5.-- Jean Chartier, pp. 29-31.-- Jacques le Bouvier (Godefroy, p. 378).
bonfires were built in the streets into which men threw their cards and dice and tables, and women their ornaments and frippery. Over this man Joan obtained so complete a mastery that he devoted himself to her and followed her in her campaigns, using his eloquence to convert the people, not from their sins, but from their disloyalty to Charles. When the good Parisians heard of this they resumed their cards and dice to spite him. Even a tin medal with the name of Jesus which he had given them to wear was cast aside for the red cross of Burgundy. In the passion of the hour on both sides religion was but the handmaid of partisanship. *
After this the march to Reims was a triumphant progress. Chalons-sur-Marne sent half a day's journey in advance to submit and took the oath of allegiance. At Septsaux the garrison fled and the people welcomed their king, while the Dukes of Lorraine and Bar came to join him with a heavy force. Reims was held for Burgundy by the Seigneur de Saveuse, one of the doughtiest warriors of the day, but the citizens were so frightened by the coming of the Pucelle, whose reported wonders had impressed their imaginations, that they declared for Charles, and Saveuse was obliged to fly. Charles entered the town on July 16, and was joyfully received. The next day, Sunday, July 17, he was crowned King of France. During the ceremony Joan stood by the altar with the standard: her judges on her trial seemed to imagine that she held it there for some occult influence which it was supposed to exercise, and inquired curiously as to her motive; when she answered simply, "It had been in the strife, it had a right to be in the honor." †
Joan might well claim that her mission was accomplished. In little more than three months she had made the intending fugitive of Chinon a conquering king, to whom his flatterers gave the title of the Victorious. A few months more of such success would establish him firmly on the throne of a reunited France, and no one could doubt that success would grow more rapid if only with its own momentum. Negotiations were on foot with the Duke of Burgundy, which were expected to result in detaching
* Procès, p. 479.--Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1429, 1431.
† Chronique, p. 446.-- Monstrelet, II. 64.-- Buchon, p. 524.-- Procès, p. 494.
him from the English cause. Joan had written to him some weeks earlier asking him to be present at the coronation, and on the day of the ceremony she addressed him another letter, summoning and entreating him to return to his allegiance. In a few days Beauvais, Senlis, Laon, Soissons, Château-Thierry, Provins, Compiègne, and other places acknowledged Charles as king and received his garrisons. There was universal exultation and a contagious delirium of returning loyalty. As he marched the peasantry would gather with tears in their eyes to bless him, and thank God that peace was at hand. All men admitted that this was Joan's work. Christine de Pisan, in a poem written about this time, compares her to Esther, Judith, Deborah, Gideon, and Joshua, and even Moses is not her superior. A litany of the period contains a prayer recognizing that God had delivered France by her hand. A Burgundian chronicler tells us that the belief was general among the French soldiery that she was an envoy of God who could expel the English; even after the enthusiasm of the time had passed away Thomassin, who wrote officially in a work addressed to Louis XI., does not hesitate to say that of all the signs of love manifested by God to France, there has not been one so great or so marvellous as this Pucelle--to her was due the restoration of the kingdom, which was so low that it would have reached its end but for her coming. That she was regarded as an oracle of God on other subjects is seen in the application to her by the Comte d'Armagnac to tell him which of the three popes to believe in; and her acceptance of the position is shown by her answer, that when she is relieved from the pressure of the war she will resolve his doubts by the counsel of the King of all the world. If on the one hand her dizzy elevation turned her head to the extent of addressing threatening letters to the Hussites, on the other she never lost her kindly sympathy with the poor and humble; she protected them as far as she could from the horrors of war, comforted and supported them, and their grateful veneration shown in kissing her hands and feet and garments was made a crime to her by her pitiless judges. *
* Buchon, pp. 539, 545.-- Bernier, Monuments inédits de France, Senlis, 1833, p. 18.-- Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1429.--Chronique, pp. 446-7.-Mémoires de Saint-Remy, ch. 152.--Thomassin, p. 540.--Nider Formicar. v. viii.-- Procès, p. 479.
Christine de Pisan says of her:
With all this it does not seem that Joan had any definite rank or command in the royal armies. Christine de Pisan, it is true, speaks of her as being the recognized chief--
"Et de nos gens preux et habiles
Est principale chevetaine"--
but it does not appear that her position had any other warrant than the moral influence which her prodigious exploits and the belief in her divine mission afforded. Charles's gratitude gave her a handsome establishment. She was magnificently attired, noble damsels were assigned to her service, with a maître d'hotel, pages, and valets; she had five war-horses, with seven or more roadsters, and at the time of her capture she had in her hands ten or twelve thousand francs, which, as she told her judges, was little enough to carry on war with. Shortly after his coronation, Charles, at her request, granted to Domremy and Greux the privilege of exemption from all taxes, a favor which was respected until the Revolution; and in December, 1429, he spontaneously ennobled her family and all their posterity, giving them as arms on a field azure two fleurs-de-lis or, traversed by a sword, and authorizing them to bear the name of Du Lis--in all a slender return for the priceless service rendered, and affording to her judges another count in the indictment on her trial. *
"Que peut-il d'autre estre dit plus Il tira sans estre lassez
Ne des grands faits du temps passé: Le peuple Israël hors d'Egypte;
Moysès en qui Dieu afflus Par miracle ainsi repassez
Mit graces et vertus assez; Nous as de mal, pucelle eslite."
Buchon, p. 542.
The question which troubled Armagnac was a last struggle of the Great Schism. Benedict XIII., who had never submitted to the Council of Constance, died in 1424, when his cardinals quarrelled and elected two successors to his shadowy papacy--Clement VIII. and Benedict XIV. In 1429, the Council of Tortosa suppressed them both, but at the moment it was a subject on which Armagnac might imagine that heavenly guidance was desirable.
* Görres, pp. 241-2,273.-- Procès, p. 482.-- Buchon, pp. 513-4.--Dynteri Chron. Duc. Brabant. Lib. VI. ch. 235. In the register of taxes every year was written opposite the names of Domremy and Greux, "Neant, la Pucelle." The grant of nobility to her family had the very unusual clause that it passed by the female as well as the male descendants, who were thus all exempt from taxation. As matrimonial alliances extended among the rich bourgeoisie this exemption spread so far that in 1614 the
All Europe was aroused with so portentous an apparition. It was not only statesmen and warriors that watched with astonishment the strange vicissitudes of the contest, but learned men and theologians were divided in opinion as to whether she was under the influence of heavenly or of infernal spirits, and were everywhere disputing and writing tracts to uphold the one opinion or the other. In England, of course, there was no dissent from the popular belief which Shakespeare puts in the mouth of Talbot--
"A witch by fear, not force, like Hannibal,
Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists."
So general, indeed, was the terror that she excited that when, in May, 1430, it was proposed to send Henry VI. to Paris for coronation, both captains and soldiers in the levies appointed for his escort deserted and lay in hiding; and when, in December, after Joan lay a prisoner in Rouen Castle and the voyage was performed, the same trouble was experienced, requiring another proclamation to the sheriffs for the arrest of those who were daily deserting, to the great peril of the royal person and of the kingdom of France. Elsewhere the matter was not thus taken for granted, and was elaborately argued with all the resources of scholastic logic. Some tracts of this character attributed to Gerson have been preserved, and exhibit to us the nature of the doubts which suggested themselves to the learned of the time--whether Joan is a woman or a phantasm; whether her acts are to be considered as divine or phitonic and illusory; whether, if they are the result of supernatural causes, they come from good or evil spirits. To Joan's defenders the main difficulty was her wearing male attire and cutting her hair short--an offence which in the end proved to be the most tangible one to justify her condemnation. Even her advocates in the schools felt that in this the case was weak. It had to be admitted that the Old Law prohibits a woman from wearing man's garments, but this, it was argued, was purely juridical, and was not binding under the New Law; it had merely a moral object, to prevent indecency, and the circumstances and objects were to be considered, so that the law could not be held to prohibit manly and military vesture to Joan, who was both manly and
financial results caused its limitation to the male lines for the future ( Vallet de Viriville , Charles du Lis, pp. 24, 88).
military. The cutting of her hair, prohibited by the Apostle, was justified in the same manner. *
For a few weeks after the coronation Joan was at the culmination of her career. An uninterrupted tide of success had demonstrated the reality of her divine mission. She had saved the monarchy, and no one could doubt that the invader would shortly be expelled from France. Possibly she may, as has been represented, have declared that all which God had appointed her to do had been accomplished, and that she desired to return to her parents and herd their cattle as she had been accustomed of old. In view of what followed, this was the only way to uphold the theory of divine inspiration, and such a statement inevitably formed part of her legend, whether it was true or not. In her subsequent failures, as at Paris and La Charité, Joan naturally persuaded herself that they had been undertaken against the counsel of her Voices, but all the evidence goes to prove that at the time she was as confident of success as ever. Thus a letter written from Reims on the day of coronation, evidently by a well-informed person, states that the army was to start the next day for Paris, and that the Pucelle had no doubts as to her reducing it to obedience. Nor did she really consider her mission as ended, for she had at the commencement proclaimed the liberation of Charles of Orleans as one of her objects, and on her trial she explained that she proposed either to invade England to set him free or to capture enough prisoners to force an exchange: her Voices had promised it to her, and had she not been captured she would have accomplished it in three years. †
* Nider Formicar v. viii.-- Rymer, X. 459, 472.--Gersoni Opp. Ed. 1488, liii. T-Z.--M. de l'Averdy gives an abstract of other learned disputations on the subject of Joan (ubi sup. III. 212-17).
† Chronique, p. 447.-- Buchon, p. 524.-- Pez, Thesaur. Anecd. VI. III. 237.-Procès, p. 484.-- L'Averdy, III. 338.
The popular explanation of Joan's career connected her good-fortune with a sword marked with five crosses on the blade, which she had miraculously discovered in the church of St. Catharine de Fierbois, and which she thenceforth carried. On the march to Reims, finding her commands disregarded as to the exclusion of prostitutes from the army, she beat some loose women with the flat of the blade and broke it. No smith could weld the fragments together; she was obliged to wear another sword, and her unvarying success disappeared.-- Jean Chartier , pp. 20, 29, 42.
Be this as it may, from this time the marvellous fortune which had attended her disappears; alternations of success and defeat show that either the French had lost the first flush of confident enthusiasm, or that the English had recovered from their panic and were doggedly resolved to fight the powers of hell. Bedford managed to put a respectable force in the field, with the assistance of Cardinal Beaufort, who made over to him, it was said for a heavy bribe, four thousand crusaders whom he was leading from England to the Hussite wars. He barred the way to Paris, and three times the opposing armies, of nearly equal strength, lay face to face, but Bedford always skilfully chose a strong position which Charles dared not attack, showing that human prudence had replaced the reckless confidence of the march to Reims. We catch a glimpse of the intrigues of the factions surrounding Charles in the attempted retreat to the Loire, frustrated at Braysur-Seine, when the defeat of the courtiers who assailed the English guarding the passage of the river was hailed with delight by Joan, Bourbon, Alençon, and the party opposed to La Trémouille. Charles, perforce, remained in the North. Towards the end of August, Bedford, fearing an inroad on Normandy, marched thither, leaving the road to Paris open, and Charles advanced to St. Denis, which he occupied without resistance, August 25. On September 7 an attempt was made to capture Paris by surprise, with the aid of friends within the walls, and this failing, on the 8th, the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, an assault in force was made at the Porte St. Honoré. The water in the inner moat, however, was too deep and the artillery on the walls too well served: after five or six hours of desperate fighting the assailants were disastrously repulsed with a loss of five hundred killed and one thousand wounded. As usual Joan had been at the front till she fell with an arrow through the leg, and her standard-bearer was slain by her side. Joan subsequently averred that she had had no counsel from her Voices to make this attempt, but had been over-persuaded by the eager chivalry of the army; but this is contradicted by contemporary evidence, and her letter to d'Armagnac promises him a reply when she shall have leisure in Paris, showing that she fully expected to capture the, city. *
* Chronique, pp. 446-50.-- Jean Chartier, p. 33-36.-- Görres, p. 215.--Moustre-
From this time her checkered career was rather of evil fortune than of good. If at St. Pierre-les-Moustiers the old enthusiasm made the forlorn hope imagine that it ascended the breach as easily as a broad stairway, the siege of La Charité, to which it was a preliminary, proved disastrous, and again Joan averred that she had undertaken this without orders from her Voices. It was freely said that La Trémouille had sent her on the enterprise with insufficient forces and had withheld the requisite succors. During the winter she was at Lagny, where occurred a little incident which was subsequently used to confirm the charge of sorcery. A child was born apparently dead; the parents, dreading to have it buried without baptism, had it carried to the church, where it lay, to all appearance, lifeless for three days; the young girls of the town assembled in the church to pray for it, and Joan joined them. Suddenly the infant gave signs of life, gaped thrice, was hurriedly baptized, died, and was buried in consecrated ground, and Joan had the credit of working a miracle, to be turned subsequently to her disadvantage. Probably about the same time, there was trouble about a horse of the Bishop of Senlis, which Joan took for her own use. She found it worthless for her purposes and sent it back to him, and also caused him to be paid two hundred saluts d'or for it (the salut d'or was equivalent to twentytwo sols parisis), but on her trial the matter was gravely charged against her, showing how eagerly every incident in her career was scrutinized and utilized. *
As the spring of 1430 opened, the Duke of Burgundy came to the assistance of his English allies by raising a large army for the recovery of Compiègne. The activity of Joan was unabated. During Easter week, about the middle of April, we hear of her in the trenches at Melun, where her Voices announced to her that she would be a prisoner before St. John's day, but would give her no further particulars. Before the close of the month she attacked the advancing Burgundians at Pont-l'Évêque, with her old
let, II. 66-70.-- Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1429. Procès, pp. 486, 490.-Mémoires de Saint-Remy, ch. 152.-- Buchon, pp. 524, 539.
* Görres, pp. 292-5.-- Jean Chartier, pp. 39-40.-- Jean le Bouvier, p. 381.-Martial d'Auvergne, Vigiles de Charles VII.-- Buchon, p. 544.-- Procès, pp. 480, 488, 490.
comrade-in-arms Pothon de Xaintrailles, and was worsted. Then she had a desperate fight with a Burgundian partisan, Franquet d'Arras, whom she captured with all his troop; he had been a notorious plunderer, the magistrates of Lagny claimed him for trial, and after an investigation which lasted for fifteen days they executed him as a robber and murderer, for which Joan was held responsible, his death being one of the most serious charges pressed against her. About May 1 Compiègne was invested. Its siege was evidently to be the decisive event of the campaign, and Joan hastened to the rescue. Before daylight on the morning of the 5th she succeeded in entering the town with reinforcements. In the afternoon of the same day a sally was resolved upon, and Joan as usual led it, with Pothon and other captains by her side. She fell upon the camp of a renowned knight of the Golden Fleece named Bauldon de Noyelle, who, though taken by surprise, made a gallant resistance. From the neighboring lines troops hastened to his assistance, and the tide of battle swayed back and forth. A force of a thousand Englishmen on their way to Paris had tarried to aid Philip of Burgundy, and these were brought up between the French and the town to take them in the rear. Joan fell back and endeavored to bring her men off in safety, but while covering the retreat she was unable to regain the fortifications, and was taken prisoner by the Bâtard de Vendôme, a follower of Jean de Luxembourg, Comte de Ligny, second in command to the duke. There was naturally talk of treachery, but it would seem without foundation. Pothon was likewise captured, and it evidently was but the fortune of war. *
Great was the joy in the Burgundian camp when the news spread that the dreaded Pucelle was a prisoner. English and Burgundians gave themselves up to rejoicing, for, as the Burgundian Monstrelet, who was present, informs us, they valued her capture more than five hundred fighting men, for there was no captain or chief of whom they were so afraid. They crowded around her quarters at Marigny, and even the Duke of Burgundy himself paid her a visit and exchanged some words with her. At once the question arose as to her possession. She was a
* Procès, pp. 481, 482, 488.--Mémoires de Saint-Remy, ch. 158.-- Monstrelet, II. 84-86.--Chronique, p. 456.-- Jean Chartier, p. 42.
prisoner of war, belonging to Jean de Luxembourg, and, in those days of ransoming, prisoners were valuable property. Under existing customs, Henry VI., as chief of the alliance, had the right to claim the transfer of any captured commanding general or prince on paying the captor ten thousand livres--a sort of eminent domain, for in the wars of Edward III. Bertrand du Guesclin had been held at a ransom of one hundred thousand livres, the Constable de Clisson at the same, and in 1429 it had cost the Duc d'Alençon two hundred thousand crowns to effect his liberation from the English. In the exhausted state of the English exchequer, however, even ten thousand livres was a sum not readily procurable. It was a matter of absolute necessity to the English to have her, not only to prevent her ransom by the French, but to neutralize her sorceries by condemning and executing her under the jurisdiction of the Church. To accomplish this the Inquisition was the most available instrumentality: inside the English lines Joan was publicly reported to be a sorceress, and as such was judiciable by the Inquisition, which therefore had a right to claim her for trial. Accordingly, but a few days had elapsed after her capture when Martin Billon, Vicar of the Inquisitor of France, formally demanded her surrender, and the University of Paris addressed two letters to the Duke of Burgundy urging that she should be promptly tried and punished, lest his enemies should effect her deliverance. We have seen how by this time the importance of the Inquisition in France had shrunken, and Jean de Luxembourg was by no means disposed to surrender his valuable prize without consideration. Then another device was adopted. Compiègne, where Joan was captured, was in the diocese of Beauvais. Pierre Cauchon, the Count-bishop of Beauvais, though a Frenchman of the Remois, was a bitter English partisan, whose unscrupulous cruelty at a later period excited the cordial detestation even of his own faction. He had been driven from his see the previous year by the returning loyalty of its people under the impulse given by Joan, and may be assumed to have looked upon her with no loving eye. He was told to claim her for trial under his episcopal jurisdiction, but even he shrank from the odious business, and refused unless it could be proved that it was his duty. Possibly the promise of the reversion of the bishopric of Lisieux, with which he was subsequently rewarded, may have assisted in onvincing him, while the authority of the University of Paris was invoked to quiet his scruples. July 14, the University addressed letters to Jean de Luxembourg reminding him that his oath of knighthood required him to defend the honor of God and the Catholic faith, and the holy Church. Through Joan, idolatries, errors, false doctrines, and evils innumerable had spread through France, and the matter admitted of no delay. The Inquisition had earnestly demanded her for trial, and Jean was urgently begged to surrender her to the Bishop of Beauvais, who had likewise claimed her; all inquisitor-prelates are judges of the faith, and all Christians of every degree are bound to obey them under the heavy penalties of the law, while obedience will acquire for him the divine grace and love, and will aid in the exaltation of the faith. When furnished with this, Pierre Cauchon lost no time. He left Paris at once with a notary and a representative of the University, and on the 16th presented it to the Duke of Burgundy in the camp before Compiègne, together with a summons of his own addressed to the Duke, Jean de Luxembourg, and the Bâtard de Vendôme, demanding the surrender of Joan for trial before him on charges of sorcery, idolatry, invocation of the devil, and other matters involving the faith-trial--which he is ready to hold, with the assistance of the inquisitor and of doctors of theology, for the exaltation of the faith and the edification of those who have been misled by her. He further offered a ransom of six thousand livres and a pension to the Bétard de Vendôme of two or three hundred livres, and if this was not enough the sum would be increased to ten thousand livres, although Joan was not so great a person as the king would have a right to claim on giving that amount; if required, security would be furnished for the payment. These letters the duke transferred to Jean de Luxembourg, who after some discussion agreed to sell her for the stipulated sum. He would not trust his allies, however, even with security, and refused to deliver his prisoner until the money was paid. Bedford was obliged to convene the states of Normandy and levy a special tax to raise it, and it was not till October 20 that Jean received his price and transferred his captive. *
* Monstrelet, II. 86.-- Jean Chartier, p. 25.-- Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1435.-- L'Averdy (ubi sup. III. 8).-- Chronique et Procès, pp. 462-4.
During all this long delay Charles, to his eternal dishonor, made no effort to save the woman to whom he owed his crown. While her prolonged trial was under way he did not even appeal to Eugenius IV. or to the Council of Basle to evoke the case to their tribunal, an appeal which would hardly have been rejected in a matter of so much interest. It is true that her recent labors had not been so brilliantly successful as those of the earlier period: he may have recognized that after all she was but human; or he may have satisfied his conscience with the reflection that if she were an envoy of God, God might be trusted to extricate her. Besides, the party of peace in his court, headed by La Trémouille, the favorite, had no desire to see the heroine at large again, and the weak and self-indulgent monarch abandoned her to her fate as, twenty years later, he abandoned Jacques Coeur.
Meanwhile Joan had been carried, strictly guarded to prevent her escape by magic arts, from Marigny to the Castle of Beaulieu, and thence to the Castle of Beaurevoir. In the latter prison she excited the interest of the Dame de Beaurevoir, and of the Demoiselle de Luxembourg, aunt of Jean. The latter earnestly remonstrated with her nephew when she learned that he was treating with the English, and both ladies endeavored to persuade Joan to adopt female habiliments. They must have impressed her with their kindness, for she subsequently declared that she would have made the change for them rather than for any other ladies in France. Her restless energy chafed at the long captivity, and twice she made attempts to escape. Once she succeeded in shutting her guards up in her cell, and would have got off but that her jailer saw her and secured her. Again, when she heard that she was to be surrendered to the English, she despairingly threw herself from her lofty tower into the ditch, careless whether it would kill her or not. Her Voices had forbidden the attempt, but she said that she had rather die than fall into English hands--and this was subsequently charged against her as an attempted suicide and a crime. She was picked up for dead, but she was reserved for a harsher fate and speedily recovered. She might well regret the recovery when she was carried to Rouen, loaded with chains and confined in a narrow cell where brutal guards watched her day and night. It is even said that an iron cage was made, into which she was thrust with fetters on wrist, waist, and ankles. She had been delivered to the Church, not to the secular authorities; she was entitled to be kept in an ecclesiastical prison, but the English had paid for her and would listen to no reclamations. Warwick had charge of her and would trust her to no one. *
Pierre Cauchon still was in no haste to commence the iniquitous work which he had undertaken. After a month had passed, Paris grew excited at the delay. The city, so ardently Anglicized, had a special grudge against Joan, not only on account of believing that she had promised her soldiers on the day of assault to allow them to sack the city and put the inhabitants to the sword, but because they were exposed to the greatest privations by the virtual blockade resulting from the extension of the royal domination caused by her successes. This feeling found expression in the University, which from the first pursued her with unrelenting ferocity. Not content with having intervened to procure her surrender to the English, it addressed letters, November 21, to Pierre Cauchon, reproaching him with his tardiness in commencing the process, and to the King of England, asking that the trial be held in Paris, where there are so many learned and excellent doctors. Still Cauchon hesitated. Doubtless when he came to consider the evidence on which he would have to act he recognized, as irresponsible partisans could not, how flimsy it was, and he was busy in obtaining information as to all the points in her career--for the interrogatories showed a marvellous familiarity with everything that could possibly be wrested against her. Besides, there were indispensable preliminaries to be observed. His jurisdiction arose from her capture in his diocese, but he was an exile from it, and was expected to try her not only in another diocese, but in another province. The archbishopric of Rouen was vacant, and he adopted the expedient of requesting of the chapter permission to hold an ecclesiastical court within their jurisdiction. The request was granted, and he selected an assembly of experts to sit with him as assessors. A number came willingly from the University, whose expenses were paid by the English government, but it was more difficult to find accomplices among the local prelates and doctors. In one of the early sessions, Nicholas de Houppeland
* Monstrelet, II. 86.-- Chronique, p. 462.-- Procès, pp. 478, 480-1, 486, 487, 488, 489.-- de Charmettes, Histoire de Jeanne d'Arc, III. 182-3.
plainly told Cauchon that neither he nor the rest, belonging to the party hostile to Joan, could sit as judges, especially as she had already been examined by the Archbishop of Reims, who was the metropolitan of Beauvais. For this Nicholas was imprisoned in the Castle of Rouen, and was threatened with banishment to England and with drowning, but his friends eventually procured his liberation. Undoubtedly every man who sat on the tribunal had the conviction that any leaning to the accused would expose him to English vengeance, and it was found necessary to impose a fine on any one who should absent himself from a single session. Eventually a respectable body of fifty or sixty theologians and jurists was got together, including such men as the Abbots of Fécamp, Jumièges, Ste. Catharine, Cormeilles, and Préaux, the Prior of Longueville, the archdeacon and treasurer of Rouen, and other men of recognized position. On January 3, 1431, royal letters-patent were issued ordering Joan to be delivered to Pierre Cauchon whenever she was wanted for examination, and all officials to aid him when called upon. As though she were already convicted, the letters recited the heresies and evil deeds of the culprit, and significantly concluded with a clause that if she was acquitted she was not to be liberated, but to be returned to the custody of the king. Yet it was not until the 9th that Cauchon assembled his experts, at that time eight in number, and laid before them what had been already done. They decided that the informations were insufficient and that a further inquest was necessary, and they also protested ineffectually against Joan's detention in a state prison. Measures were at once taken to make the investigations required. Nicholas Bailly was despatched to obtain the details of Joan's childhood, and as he brought back only favorable details Cauchon suppressed his report and refused to reimburse his expenses. The inquisitorial method of making the accused betray herself was adopted. One of the assessors, Nicholas l'Oyseleur, disguised himself as a layman and was introduced into her cell, pretending to be a Lorrainer imprisoned for his loyalty. He gained her confidence, and she grew into the habit of talking to him without reserve. Then Warwick and Cauchon with two notaries ensconced themselves in an adjoining cell of which the partition wall had been pierced, while l'Oyseleur led her on to talk about her visions; but the scheme failed, for one of the notaries, unfamiliar with inquisitorial practice, pronounced the whole proceeding to be unlawful, and courageously refused to act. Then Jean Estivet, the prosecutor and canon of Beauvais, tried the same expedient, but without success. *
It was not until February 19 that the articles of accusation were ready for submission to the assessors, and then a new difficulty arose. Thus far the tribunal had contained no representative of the Inquisition, and this was recognized as a fatal defect. Frère Jean Graveran was Inquisitor of France, and had appointed Frère Jean le Maitre, in 1424, as his vicar or deputy for Rouen. Le Maître seems to have had no stomach for the work, and to have kept aloof, but he was not to be let off, and at the meeting of February 19 it was resolved to summon him, in the presence of two notaries, to take part in the proceedings and to hear read the accusation and the depositions of witnesses. Threats are said to have been freely employed, and his repugnance was overcome. Another session was held in the afternoon, at which he appeared, and on being summoned to act professed himself willing to do so, if the commission which he held was sufficient authorization. The scruple which he alleged was ingenious. He was Inquisitor of Rouen, but Cauchon was bishop in a different province, and, as he was exercising jurisdiction belonging to Beauvais in the "borrowed territory," le Maître doubted his powers to take part in it. It was not till the 22d that his doubts were overcome, and, while awaiting enlarged powers from Graveran, he consented to assist, for the discharge of his conscience and to prevent the whole proceedings from being null and void, which by common consent seems to have been assumed would be the case if carried on without the participation of the Inquisition. It was not until
* Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1429.-- de Charmettes, III. 201-7, 210-12, 215, 224-6.-- Procès, pp. 465-7, 477.-- L'Averdy, pp. 391, 475, 499.
At least one of the assessors, Thomas de Courcelles, was a man of the highest character and of distinguished learning. Immediately after the trial of Joan he played a distinguished part at the Council of Basle, in opposing the claims of the papacy. Æneas Sylvius says of him, "Inter sacracum literarum doctores insignis, quo nemo plura ex decretis sacri concilii dictavit, vir juxta doctrinam mirabilis et amabilis, sed modesta quadam verecundia semper intuens terram" ( Æn. Sylv. Comment. de Gestis Concil. Basil. Lib. I. p. 7, Ed. 1571).--He died in 1469 as Dean of Notre Dame ( Le Brun, III. 235).
March 12 that he received a special commission from Graveran, who declined to come personally, after which he presided in conjunction with Cauchon; sentence was rendered in their joint names, and he was duly paid by the English for his services. *
At length, on February 21, Jean Estivet, the prosecutor, demanded that the prisoner be produced and examined. Before she was introduced Cauchon explained that she had earnestly begged the privilege of hearing mass, but, in view of the crimes whereof she was accused and her wearing male attire, he had refused. This prejudgment of the case was acquiesced in, and Joan was brought in with fetters on her legs. Of this cruelty she complained bitterly. Even the Templars, as we have seen, had their irons removed before examination, but Joan was only nominally in the hands of the court, and Cauchon accepted the responsibility for the outrage by telling her that it was because she had repeatedly tried to escape, to which she replied that she had a right to do so, as she had never given her parole. Then Cauchon called up the English guard who accompanied her and went through the farce of swearing them to watch her strictly--apparently for the futile purpose of asserting some control over them. †
It would be superfluous to follow in detail the examinations to which she was subjected during the next three months, with an intermission from April 18 to May 11 on account of sickness which nearly proved mortal. The untaught peasant girl, enfeebled by the miseries of her cruel prison, and subjected day after day to the shrewd and searching cross-questions of the trained and subtle intellects of her carefully selected judges, never lost her presence of mind or clearness of intellect. Ingenious pitfalls were constructed for her, which she evaded almost by instinct. Questions puzzling to a theologian of the schools were showered upon her; half a dozen eager disputants would assail her at once and would interrupt her replies; the disorder at times was so great that the notaries finally declared themselves unable to make an intelligent record. Her responses would be carefully scrutinized, and she would be recalled in the afternoon, the same ground would be gone over in a differ-
* Ripoll III. 8.-- Procès, pp. 467-8, 470, 509.-- de Charmettes, III. 188, 192, 219, 407-8.-- L'Averdy, p. 391.
† Procès, pp. 468-9.
ent manner, and her pursuers would again be foiled. In the whole series of interrogatories she manifested a marvellous combination of frank simplicity, shrewdness, presence of mind, and firmness that would do honor to a veteran diplomat. She utterly refused to take an unconditional oath to answer the questions put to her, saying, frankly, "I do not know what you will ask me; perhaps it may be about things which I will not tell you:" she agreed to reply to all questions about her faith and matters bearing upon her trial, but to nothing else. When Cauchon's eagerness overstepped the limit she would turn on him and warn him, "You call yourself my judge: I know not if you are, but take care not to judge wrongfully, for you expose yourself to great danger, and I warn you, so that if our Lord chastises you I shall have done my duty." When asked whether St. Michael was naked when he visited her, she retorted, "Do you think the Lord has not wherewith to clothe his angels?" When describing a conversation with St. Catharine about the result of the siege of Compiègne, some chance expression led her examiner to imagine that he could entrap her, and he interrupted with the question whether she had said, "Will God so wickedly let the good folks of Compiègne perish?" but she composedly corrected him by repeating, "What! will God let these good folks of Compiègne perish, who have been and are so loyal to their lord?" She could hardly have known that an attempt to escape from an ecclesiastical court was a sin of the deepest dye, and yet when tested with the cunning question whether she would now escape if opportunity offered, she replied that if the door was opened she would walk out; she would try it only to see if the Lord so willed it. When an insidious offer was made to her to have a great procession to entreat God to bring her to the proper frame of mind, she quietly replied that she wished all good Catholics would pray for her. When threatened with torture, and told that the executioner was at hand to administer it, she simply said, "If you extort avowals from me by pain I will maintain that they are the result of violence." Thus alternating the horrors of her dungeon with the clamors of the examinationroom, where perhaps a dozen eager questioners would bait her at once, she never faltered through all those weary weeks. *
* Procès, pp. 468, 472, 473, 476, 486, 487, 489, 501.-- L'Averdy, pp. 107, 395.
In this she was sustained by the state of habitual spiritual exaltation resulting from the daily and nightly visions with which she was favored, and the unalterable conviction that she was the chosen of the Lord, under whose inspiration she acted and whose will she was prepared to endure with resignation. In her prison her ecstatic raptures seem to have become more frequent than ever. Her heavenly visitants came at her call, and solved her difficulties. Frequently she refused to answer questions until she could consult her Voices and learn whether she was permitted to reveal what was wanted, and then, at a subsequent hearing, she would say that she had received permission. The responses evidently sometimes varied with her moods. She would be told that she would be delivered with triumph, and then again be urged not to mind her martyrdom, for she would reach paradise. When she reported this she was cunningly asked if she felt assured of salvation, and on her saying that she was as certain of heaven as if she was already there, she was led on with a question whether she held that she could not commit mortal sin. Instinctively she drew back from the dangerous ground--" I know nothing about it; I depend on the Lord." *
Finally, on one important point her judges succeeded in entrapping her. She was warned that if she had done anything contrary to the faith she must submit herself to the determination of the Church. To her the Church was represented by Cauchon and his tribunal; to submit to them would be to pronounce her whole life a lie, her intercourse with saints and angels an invocation of demons, herself a sorceress worthy of the stake, and only to escape it through the infinite mercy of her persecutors. She offered to submit to God and the saints, but this, she was told, was the Church triumphant in heaven, and she must submit to the Church militant on earth, else she was a heretic, to be inevitably abandoned to the secular arm for burning. Taking advantage of her ignorance, the matter was pressed upon her in the most absolute form. When asked if she would submit to the pope she could only say, "Take me to him and I will answer to him." At last she was brought to admit that she would submit to the Church, provided it did not command what was impossible; but, when asked to de-
* Procès, p. 487.
fine the impossible, it was to abandon doing what the Lord had commanded, and to revoke what she had asserted as to the truth of her visions. This she would submit only to God. *
The examinations up to March 27 had been merely preparatory. On that day the formal trial commenced by reading to Joan a long series of articles of accusation based upon the information obtained. A lively debate ensued among the experts, but at last it was decided that she must answer them seriatim and on the spot, which she did with her wonted clearness and intrepidity, declining the offer of counsel, which Cauchon proposed to select for her. Sundry further interrogatories followed; then her sickness delayed the proceedings, and on May 12, twelve members of the tribunal assembled in Pierre Cauchon's house to determine whether she should be subjected to torture. Fortunately for the reputation of her judges this infamy was spared her. One of them voted in favor of torture to see whether she could be forced to submit to the Church; another, the spy, Nicholas l'Oyseleur, humanely urged it as a useful medicine for her; nine were of opinion either that it was not yet required, or that the case was clear enough without it; Cauchon himself apparently did not vote. Meanwhile a secret
* Procès, pp. 489, 491, 494, 495, 499, 500, 501.
When, in 1456, the memory of Joan was rehabilitated, and the sentence condemning her was pronounced null and void, it was of course necessary to show that she had not refused to submit to the Church. Evidence was furnished to prove that Nicholas l'Oyseleur, in whom she continued to have confidence, secretly advised her that she was lost if she submitted herself to the Church; but that Jean de la Fontaine, another of the assessors, visited her in prison with two Dominicans, Isambard de la Pierre and Martin l'Advenu, and explained to her that at the Council of Basle, then sitting, there were as many of her friends as of enemies, and at the next hearing, on March 30, Frère Isambard de la Pierre openly repeated the suggestion, in consequence of which she offered to submit to it, and also demanded to be taken to the pope, all of which Cauchon forbade to be inserted in the record, and but for the active intervention of Jean le Maître, the inquisitor, all three would have incurred grave peril of death ( L'Averdy, pp. 476-7.-- de Charmettes, IV. 8-13.-- Buchon, pp. 518-19). The rehabilitation proceedings are quite as suspect as those of the trial; every one then was anxious to make a record for himself and to prove that Joan had been foully dealt with. As late as the nineteenth interrogatory, on March 27, 1431, Jean de la Fontaine was one of those who voted in favor of the most rigorous dealings with Joan ( Procès, p. 495).
junto, selected by Cauchon, had reduced the articles of accusation to twelve, which, though grossly at variance with the truth, were assumed to have been fully proved or confessed, and these formed the basis of the subsequent deliberations and sentence. We have seen, in the case of Marguerite la Porete, that the Inquisition of Paris, in place of calling an assembly of experts, submitted to the canonists of the University a written statement of what was assumed to be proved, and that the opinion rendered on this, although conditioned on its being a true presentation of the case, was equivalent to a verdict. This precedent was followed in the present case. Copies of the articles were addressed to fifty-eight learned experts, in addition to the Chapter of Rouen and the University of Paris, and their opinions were requested by a certain day. Of all those appealed to, the University was by far the most important, and a special mission was despatched to it bearing letters from the royal council and the Bishop of Beauvais. In view of the tendencies of the University this might seem a superfluous precaution, and its adoption shows how slender was the foundation on which the whole prosecution was based. The University went through an elaborate form of deliberation, and caused the faculties of theology and law to draw up its decision, which was adopted May 14 and sent to Rouen. *
On May 19 the assessors were assembled to hear the report from the University, after which their opinions were taken. Some were in favor of immediate abandonment to the secular arm, which would have been strictly in accordance with the regular inquisitorial proceedings, but probably the violent assumption that the articles represented truthfully Joan's admissions was too much for some of the assessors, and the milder suggestion prevailed that Joan should have another bearing, in which the articles should be read to her, with the decision of the University, and that the verdict should depend upon what she should then say. Accordingly, on May 23, she was again brought before the tribunal for the purpose. A brief abstract of the document read to her will show, from the triviality of many of the charges and the guilt ascribed to them, how conviction was predetermined. The University, as
* Procès, pp. 496-8, 502.-- L'Averdy, pp. 33, 50.-- Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 62-3, 94-5.
usual, had guarded itself by conditioning its decision on the basis of the articles being fully proved, but no notice was taken of this, and Joan was addressed as though she had confessed to the articles and had been solemnly condemned.
I. The visions of angels and saints.--These are pronounced superstitious and proceeding from evil and diabolical spirits.
II. The sign given to Charles of the crown brought to him by St. Michael.--After noting her contradictions, the story is declared a lie, and a presumptuous, seductory, and pernicious thing, derogatory to the dignity of the angelic Church.
III. Recognizing saints and angels by their teaching and the comfort they bring, and believing in them as firmly as in the faith of Christ.--Her reasons have been insufficient, and her belief rash; comparing faith in them to faith in Christ is an error of faith.
IV. Predictions of future events and recognition of persons not seen before through the Voices.--This is superstition and divination, presumptuous assertion, and vain boasting.
V. Wearing men's clothes and short hair, taking the sacrament while in them, and asserting that it is by command of God.--This is blaspheming God, despising his sacraments, transgressing the divine law, holy writ, and canonical ordinances, wherefore, "thou savorest ill in the faith, thou boastest vainly and art suspect of idolatry, and thou condemnest thyself in not being willing to wear thy sex's garments and in following the customs of the heathen and Saracen." VI. Putting Jesus, Maria, and the sign of the cross on her letters, and threatening that if they were not obeyed that she would show in battle who had the best right.--"Thou art murderous and cruel, seeking effusion of human blood, seditious, provoking to tyranny, and blaspheming God, his commandments and revelations."
VII. Rendering her father and mother almost crazy by leaving them; also promising Charles to restore his kingdom, and all by command of God.--"Thou hast been wicked to thy parents, transgressing the commandment of God to honor them. Thou hast been scandalous, blaspheming God, erring in the faith, and hast made a rash and presumptuous promise to thy king." VIII. Leaping from the tower of Beaurevoir into the ditch and preferring death to falling into the hands of the English, after the
Voices had forbidden it.--This was pusillanimity, tending to desperation and suicide; and in saying that God had forgiven it, thou savorest ill as to human free-will."
VIII. Saying that St. Catharine and St. Margaret had promised her paradise if she preserved her virginity, feeling assured of it, and asserting that if she were in mortal sin they would not visit her.--"Thou savorest ill as to the Christian faith."
IX. Saying that St. Catharine and St. Margaret spoke French and not English because they were not of the English faction, and that, after knowingly that these Voices were for Charles, she had not loved the Burgundians.--This is a rash blasphemy against those saints and a transgression of the divine command to love thy neighbor.
X. Reverencing the celestial visitants and believing them to come from God without consulting any churchman; feeling as certain of it as of Christ and the Passion; and refusing to reveal the sign made to Charles without the command of God.--"Thou art an idolater, an invoker of devils, erring in the faith, and hast rashly made an illicit oath."
XI. Refusing to obey the mandate of the Church if contrary to the pretended command of God, and rejecting the judgment of the Church on earth.--"Thou art schismatic, believing wrongly as to the truth and authority of the Church, and up to the present time thou errest perniciously in the faith of God." *
Maître Pierre Maurice, who read to her this extraordinary document, proceeded to address her with an odious assumption of kindness as "Jehanne ma chere amie," urging her earnestly and argumentatively to submit herself to the judgment of the Church, without which her soul was sure of damnation, and he had shrewd fears for her body. She answered firmly that if the fire was lighted and the executioner ready to cast her in the flames she would not vary from what she had already said. Nothing remained but to cite her for the next day to receive her final sentence. †
* Procès, pp. 503-5.-- L'Averdy, pp. 56-97.
† Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 102-4, 106.-- Procès, p. 506.
In considering the verdict of the University and the Inquisition it must be borne in mind that visions of the Saviour, the Virgin, and the Saints were almost every-day occurrences, and were recognized and respected by the Church. The
On the 24th preparations for an auto de fé were completed in the cemetery of St. Ouen. The pile was ready for lighting, and on two scaffolds were assembled the Cardinal of Beaufort and other dignitaries, while on a third were Pierre Cauchon, Jean le Maître, Joan, and Maître Guillaume Erard, who preached the customary sermon. In his eloquence he exclaimed that Charles VII. had been proved a schismatic heretic, when Joan interrupted him, "Speak of me, but not of the king; be is a good Christian!" She maintained her courage until the sentence of relaxation was partly read, when she yielded to the incessant persuasion mingled with threats and promises to which she had been exposed since the previous night, and she signified her readiness to submit. A formula of abjuration was read to her, and after some discussion she allowed her hand to be guided in scratching the sign of the cross, which represented her signature. Then another sentence, prepared in advance, was pronounced, imposing on her, as a matter of course, the customary penance of perpetual imprisonment on bread and water. Vainly she begged for an ecclesiastical prison. Had Cauchon wished it he was powerless, and he ordered the guards to conduct her back whence she came. *
The English were naturally furious on finding that they had overreached themselves. They could have tried Joan summarily in a secular court for sorcery and burned her out of hand, but to
spiritual excitability of the Middle Ages brought the supernatural world into close relations with the material. For a choice collection of such stories see the Dialogues of Cæsarius of Heisterbach. As a technical point of ecclesiastical law, moreover, Joan's visions had already been examined and approved by the prelates and doctors at Chinon and Poitiers, including Pierre Cauchon's metropolitan, Renaud, Archbishop of Reims.
* Procès, pp. 508-9.-- Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, in 1431.-- Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 110-41.
There are two forms of abjuration recorded as subscribed by Joan; one brief and simple, the other elaborate ( Procès, p. 508; Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 135-7). Cauchon has been accused of duplicity in reading to her the shorter one and substituting the other for her signature. She subsequently complained that she had never promised to abandon her male attire--a promise which was contained in the longer but not in the shorter one. Much has been made of this, but without reason. The short abjuration is an unconditional admission of her errors, a revocation and submission to the Church, and was as binding and effective as the other.
obtain possession of her they had been obliged to call in the ecclesiastical authorities and the Inquisition, and they were too little familiar with trials for heresy to recognize that inquisitorial proceedings were based on the assumption of seeking the salvation of the soul and not the destruction of the body. When they saw how the affair was going a great commotion arose at what they. inevitably regarded as a mockery. Joan's death was a political necessity, and their victim was eluding them though in their grasp. In spite of the servility which the ecclesiastics had shown, they were threatened with drawn swords and were glad to leave the cemetery of St. Ouen in safety. *
In the afternoon Jean le Maître and some of the assessors visited her in her cell, representing the mercy of the Church and the gratitude with which she should receive her sentence, and warning her to abandon her revelations and follies, for if she relapsed she could have no hope. She was humbled, and when urged to wear female apparel she assented. It was brought and she put it on; her male garments were placed in a bag and left in her cell. †
What followed will never be accurately known. The reports are untrustworthy and contradictory--mere surmises, doubtless-and the secret lies buried in the dungeon of Rouen Castle. The brutal guards, enraged at her escape from the flames, no doubt abused her shamefully; perhaps, as reported, they beat her, dragged her by the hair, and offered violence to her, till at last she felt that her man's dress was her only safety. Perhaps, as other stories go, her Voices reproached her for her weakness, and she deliberately resumed it. Perhaps, also, Warwick, resolved to make her commit an act of relapse, had her female garments removed at night, so that she had no choice but to resume her male apparel. The fact that it was left within her reach and not conveyed away shows at least that there was a desire to tempt her to resume it. Be this as it may, after wearing her woman's dress for two or three days word was brought to her judges that she had relapsed and abandoned it. On May 28 they hastened to her prison to verify the fact. The incoherence of her replies to their examination shows how she was breaking down under the fearful
* Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 141.
† Procès, pp. 508-9.-- Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 147.
stress to which she had been subjected. First she merely said that she had taken the dress; then that it was more suitable since she was to be with men; nobody had compelled her, but she denied that she had sworn not to resume it. Then she said that she had taken it because faith had not been kept with her--she had been promised that she should hear mass and receive the sacrament, and be released from her chains; she would rather die than be kept in fetters--could she hear mass and be relieved of her irons she would do all that the Church required. She had heard the Voices since her abjuration, and had been told that she had incurred damnation by revoking to save her life, for she had only revoked through dread of the fire. The Voices are of St. Catharine and St. Margaret, and come from God: she had never revoked that, or, if she had, it was contrary to truth. She had rather die than endure the torture of her captivity, but if her judges wish she will resume the woman's dress; as for the rest she knows nothing more.*
These rambling contradictions, these hopeless ejaculations of remorse and despair, so different from her former intrepid selfconfidence, show that the jailers had understood their work, and that body and soul had endured more than they could bear. It was enough for the judges; she was a self-confessed relapsed, with whom the Church could have nothing more to do except to declare her abandoned to the secular arm without further hearing. Accordingly, the next day, May 29, Cauchon assembled such of his assessors as were at hand, reported to them how she had relapsed by resuming male apparel and declaring, through the suggestion of the devil, that her Voices had returned. There could be no question as to her deserts. She was a relapsed, and the only discussion was on the purely formal question, whether her abjuration should be read over to her before her judges abandoned her to the secular arm. A majority of the assessors were in favor of this, but Cauchon and le Maître disregarded the recommendation. †
At dawn on the following day, May 30, Frère Martin l'Advenu and some other ecclesiastics were sent to her prison to inform her
† Procès, p. 509.-- Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 175-8.
† Procès, p. 508.-- Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 166-70.-- L'Averdy, p. 506.
of her burning that morning. She was overcome with terror, threw herself on the ground, tore her hair and uttered piercing shrieks, declaring, as she grew calmer, that it would not have happened had she been placed in an ecclesiastical prison, which was an admission that only the brutality of her dungeon had led her to revoke her abjuration. She confessed to l'Advenu and asked for the sacrament. He was puzzled and sent for instructions to Cauchon, who gave permission, and it was brought to her with all due solemnity. It has been mistakenly argued that this was an admission of her innocence, but the sacrament was never to be denied to a relapsed who asked for it at the last moment, the mere asking, preceded by confession, being an evidence of contrition and desire for reunion to the Church. *
The platform for the sermon and the pile for the execution had been erected in the Viel Marché. Thither she was conveyed amid a surging crowd which blocked the streets. It is related that on the way Nicholas l'Oyseleur, the wretched spy, pierced the crowd and the guards and leaped upon the tumbril to entreat her forgiveness, but before she could grant it the English dragged him off and would have slain him had not Warwick rescued him and sent him out of Rouen to save his life. On the platform Nicholas Midi preached his sermon, the sentence of relaxation was read, and Joan was handed over to the secular authorities. Cauchon, le Maître, and the rest left the platform, and the Bailli of Rouen took her and briefly ordered her to be carried to the place of execution and burned. It has been assumed that there was an informality in not having her sentenced by a secular court, but this, as we have seen, was unnecessary, especially in the case of a relapsed. On her head was placed a high paper crown inscribed "Heretic, Relapsed, Apostate, Idolator," and she was carried to the stake. One account states that her shrieks and lamentations moved the crowd to tears of pity; another that she was resigned and composed, and that her last utterance was a prayer. When her clothes
* Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 180-4.-- L'Averdy, p. 488, 493 sqq.
A week after Joan's execution a statement was drawn up by seven of those present in her cell to the effect that she acknowledged that her Voices had deceived her and begged pardon of the English and Burgundians for the evil she had done them, but this is evidently manufactured evidence, and does not even bear a notarial attestation.-- Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 220-5.
were burned off the blazing fagots were dragged aside, that the crowd might see, from her blackened corpse, that she really was a woman, and when their curiosity was satisfied the incineration was completed, the ashes being thrown into the Seine. *
It only remained for those who had taken part in the tragedy to justify themselves by blackening the character of their victim and circulating false reports as to the proceedings. That the judges felt that, in spite of sheltering themselves behind the University of Paris, they had incurred dangerous responsibility is shown by their obtaining royal letters shielding them from accountability for what they had done, the king pledging himself to constitute himself a party in any prosecution which might be brought against them before a general council or the pope. That the regency felt that justification was needed in the face of Europe is seen in the letters which were sent to the sovereigns and the bishops in the name of Henry VI., explaining how Joan had exercised inhuman. cruelties until the divine power had in pity to the suffering people caused her capture; how, though she could have been punished by the secular courts for her crimes, she had been handed to the Church, which had treated her kindly and benignantly, and on her confession had mercifully imposed on her the penance of imprisonment; how her pride had burst forth in pestilential flames, and she had relapsed into her errors and madness; how she had then been abandoned to the secular arm, and, finding her end approaching, had confessed that the spirits which she invoked were false and lying, and that she was deceived and mocked by them, and how she had finally been burned in sight of the people. This official lying was outdone by the reports which were industriously circu-
* Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 188-210.-- Procès, pp. 509-10.-- Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1431.
When the excitement which led to Joan's condemnation passed away, and she was found to have been a useless victim, there was an effort made to shift the responsibility from the ecclesiastical to the secular authorities: it was claimed that there had been an irregularity in her execution without a formal judgment in the lay court. Two years afterwards, Louis de Luxembourg, then Archbishop of Rouen, and Guillaume Duval, vicar of the inquisitor, condemned for heresy a certain Georges Solenfant, and in delivering him to the Bailli of Rouen they gave instructions that he should not be put to death, as Joan had been, without a definitive judgment, in consequence of which there was a form of sentencing him.-- L'Averdy, p. 498.
lated about her and her trial. The honest Bourgeois of Paris, in entering her execution in his journal, details the offences for which she was condemned, mixing up with the real articles others showing the exaggerations which were industriously circulated. According to him she habitually rode armed with a great staff with which she cruelly beat her people when they displeased her, and in many places she pitilessly slew men and women who disobeyed her; once, when violence was offered her, she leaped from the top of a lofty tower without injury, and boasted that, if she chose, she could bring thunder and other marvels. He admits, however, that even in Rouen there were many who held her to be martyred for her lawful lord. * It evidently was felt that in her dreadful death she had fitly crowned her career, and that sympathy for her fate was continuing her work by arousing popular sentiment, for, more than a month later, on July 4, an effort was made to counteract it by a sermon preached in Paris by a Dominican inquisitor-probably our friend Jean le Maître himself. At great length he expatiated on her deeds of wickedness, and the mercy which had been shown her. She had confessed that from the age of fourteen she had dressed like a man, and her parents would have killed her could they have done so without wounding their consciences. She had therefore left them, accompanied by the devil, and had thenceforth lived by the homicide of Christians, full of fire and blood, till she was burned. She recanted and abjured, and would have had as penance four years' prison on bread and water, but she did not suffer this a single day, for she had herself served in prison like a lady. The devil appeared to her with two demons, fearing greatly that he would lose her, and said to her, "Wicked creature, who through fear hast abandoned thy dress, be not afraid, for we will protect thee from all." Then at once she disrobed and dressed herself in her male attire, which she had thrust in the straw of her bed, and she so trusted in Satan that she said she repented of hav-
* Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1431.--August 8, 1431, a monk named Jean de la Pierre was brought before Cauchon and le Maître charged with having spoken ill of the trial of Joan. This was a perilous offence when the Inquisition was concerned. He asked pardon on his knees, and excused himself on the ground that it was at table after taking too much wine. He was mercifully treated by imprisonment on bread and water in the Dominican convent until the following Easter.-- L'Averdy, p. 141.
ing abandoned it. Then, seeing that she was obstinate, the masters of the University delivered her to the secular arm to be burned, and when she saw herself in this strait she called on the devils, but after she was judged she could not bring them by any invocation. She then thought better of it, but it was too late. The reverend orator added that there were four of them, of whom we have caught three, this Pucelle, and Péronne and her companion, and one who is with the Armagnacs, named Catharine de la Rochelle, who says that when the host is consecrated she sees wonders of the highest secrets of the Lord. *
This last allusion is to certain imitators of Joan. The impression which she produced on the popular mind inevitably led to imitation, whether through imposture or genuine belief. The Péronne referred to was an old woman of Britanny who, with a companion, was captured at Corbeil, in March, 1430, and brought to Paris. She not only asserted that Joan was inspired, but swore that God often appeared to her in human form, with a white robe and vermilion cape, ordering her to assist Joan, and she admitted having received the sacrament twice in one day--Frère Richard being the person who had given it to her at Jargeau. The two were tried by the University; the younger woman recanted, but Péronne was obstinate, and was burned September 3. Catharine de la Rochelle was another of the protegées of the impressionable Frère Richard, who was much provoked with Joan for refusing to countenance her. She came to Joan at Jargeau and again at Montfaucon in Berri, saying that every night there appeared to her a white woman clad in cloth-of-gold, telling her that the king would give her horses and trumpets, and she would go through the cities proclaiming that all who had money or treasure should bring it forth to pay Joan's men, and if they concealed it she would discover all that was hidden. Joan's practical sense was not to be allured by this proposition. She told Catharine to go home to her husband and children, and on asking counsel of her Voices was told that it was all folly and falsehood. Still, she wrote to the king on the subject and accepted Catharine's offer to exhibit to her the nightly visitant. The first night Joan fell
* Le Brun de Charmettes, IV. 238-40.-- L'Averdy, p. 269.-- Monstrelet, II. 105.-- Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1431.
asleep and was told on waking that the apparition had shown itself during her slumber. Then she took a precautionary sleep during the day, and lay awake all night without seeing the white lady. Catharine was probably an impostor rather than an enthusiast, and seems to have escaped the Inquisition. *
During Joan's imprisonment her place for a time was taken by a peasant, variously known as Pastourel or Guillaume le Berger, who professed to have had divine revelations ordering him to take up arms in aid of the royal cause. He demonstrated the truth of his mission by exhibiting stigmata on hands, side, and feet, like St. Francis, and commanded wide belief. Pothon de Xaintrailles, Joan's old companion-in-arms, placed confidence in him and carried him along in his adventurous forays. Guillaume's career, however, was short. He accompanied an expedition into Normandy under the lead of the Maréchal de Boussac and Pothon, which was surprised and scattered by Warwick. Pothon and the shepherd were both captured and carried in triumph to Rouen. Experience of inquisitorial delays in the case of Joan probably caused the English to prefer more summary methods, and the unlucky prophet was tossed into the Seine and drowned without a trial. His sphere of influence had been too limited to render him worth making a conspicuous example. †
Thus Joan passed away, but the spirit which she had aroused was beyond the reach of bishop or inquisitor. Her judicial murder was a useless crime. The Treaty of Arras, in 1435, withdrew Burgundy from the English alliance, and one by one the conquests of Henry V. were wrenched from the feeble grasp of his son. When, in 1449, Charles VII. obtained possession of Rouen he ordered an inquest on the spot into the circumstances of her trial, for it ill comported with the dignity of a King of France to owe his throne to a witch condemned and burned by the Church. The time had not come, however, when a sentence of the Inquisition could be set aside by secular authority, and the attempt was abandoned.
* Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, an 1430. -- Nider Formicar. v., viii. -Procès, p. 480.
† Monstrelet, II. 101.-- Journal d'un Bourgeois, in 1430.--Mémoires de SaintRemy ch. 172.-- Abrégé de l'Hist. de Charles VII. ( Godefroy, p. 334).
In 1452 another effort was made by Archbishop d'Estouteville of Rouen, but though he was a cardinal and a papal legate, and though he adjoined in the matter Jean Brehal, Inquisitor of France, he could do nothing beyond taking some testimony. The papal intervention was held to be necessary for the revision of a case of heresy decided by the Inquisition, and to obtain this the mother and the two brothers of Joan appealed to Rome as sufferers from the sentence. At length, in 1455, Calixtus III. appointed as commissioners to hear and judge their complaints the Archbishop of Rouen, the Bishops of Paris and Coutances, and the Inquisitor Jean Brehal. Isabelle Dare and her sons appeared as plaintiffs against Cauchon and le Maître, and the proceedings were carried on at their expense. Cauchon was dead and le Maître in hiding-concealed probably by his Dominican brethren, for no trace of him could be found. Although the University of Paris does not appear in the case, every precaution was taken to preserve its honor by emphasizing at every stage the fraudulent character of the twelve articles submitted to its decision, and in the final judgment special care was taken to characterize them as false and to order them to be judicially torn to pieces, though it may well be doubted whether they were any more deceptive than innumerable reports made habitually by inquisitors to their assemblies of experts. Finally, on July 7, 1456, judgment was rendered in favor of the complainants, who were declared to have incurred no infamy; the whole process was pronounced to be null and void; the decision was ordered to be published in Rouen and all other cities of the kingdom; solemn processions were to be made to the place of her abjuration and that of her execution, and on the latter a cross was to be erected in perpetual memory of her martyrdom. In its restored form it still remains there as a memorial of the utility of the inquisition as an instrument of statecraft. *
* Le Brun de Charmettes, Liv. xv.
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