Catholic Activism in South-West France, 1540–1570 (St. by Kevin Gould

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By Kevin Gould

Analyzing Catholic activism within the south-west of France throughout the center many years of the 16th century, this ebook argues - opposite to winning perspectives - that the phenomenon used to be either common and militant even prior to the formation of the Catholic League in 1576. while contemporary learn has supplied a better realizing of the Huguenot fight for protection and legitimacy, there has now not been a correspondingly thorough research into the grass-roots Catholic response to this, and by way of pushing aside episodes of pre-League Catholic militancy as constrained and ephemeral, a distorted photo of French confessional clash and competition is painted. using surviving fabric from the provincial information at Bordeaux, Toulouse, Agen, and on the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, this publication presents considerable facts for putting the beginning of Catholic activism within the interval previous the Wars of faith, highlighting the confessional tensions that exploded during the 1540s and 1550s. As competing bands of non secular fans, and municipal and court docket officers, fought first with phrases, then with guns, for supremacy of the group within the cities of the south-west, a gentle escalation of war of words might be traced. inside of this surroundings of emerging rigidity, it's proven how Catholic militancy reflected the organisational and fund-raising capability in their Protestant competitors, and the way the neighborhood army elite rose to aid their co-religionists on the outbreak of formal hostilities in 1562. The ascendancy of Catholic militants in key city centres by way of 1570 may deal a deadly blow to Protestant plans for supremacy of the south-west.

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Each présidial was officiated by a président, seven conseillers, a procureur and an avocat du roi. 29 Powis has shown that many of these discrepancies centred on the lieutenant-criminel of the présidial at Bordeaux, whose leniency in cases of ‘scandal and illegal assembly’ forced the parlement to review and revise many decisions: Powis, The Magistrates of the Parlement of Bordeaux, pp. 77–8. 30 Boscheron-Desportes, Histoire du parlement de Bordeaux, p. 104; Géralde Nakam, Montaigne et son temps.

64 AMB, ms 766, fos 452–8. 65 BMB, ms 367, fo. 213. 66 AMB, ms 766, fos 461–6. 67 Yet difficulties remained. 69 Matters intensified in February 1561, when the incumbent roi de la basoche, Charles Amussat, marched a large force of armed basochiens to the gates of the collège, intent on gaining entry and attacking the écoliers. 70 The beleaguered magistrates were now compelled to act. On 15 February they issued an arrêt censuring the activities of both parties. 72 Denied recourse to armed pursuits, the écoliers continued to vex the Catholics of Bordeaux by gathering on street corners and within the corridors of the parlement building itself to chant the psalms of Clément Marot.

47 As stated above, the searching of houses traditionally fell within the category of policing the town, and as such was a prerogative of the civic authorities, not the parlement. The expanding Catholic intelligence network soon had its first bigname victim, though, with the arrest of Mathieu le Berthou, the captain of the guard at Bordeaux, in September 1561. Berthou was accused of allowing several Protestant prisoners to escape from prison, and was arrested and imprisoned on the order of the parlement.

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