Page images

This Answer was followed with the applause Francis II. of all the Congregation, who lifted up their hands,


Pope affirming that they would be always faithful and Pius

Iv. obedient to God, to the King and the Magistrates. Then one of the Deacons desired the Judge, that to avoid for the future all manner of Offence, and not be obnoxious to the Calumnies of their Enemies, he would be pleased to grant them a Church, where he should think proper, that they might meet together at settled times, and where they themselves might come, and be Witnesses of all that should be said or done.

To this the Judge answered, that he was mighty well pleased with the respect and submission they did shew for his Majesty and his Officers ; but as to their last Petition, far from granting them a Church, he forbad them in the King's Name to assemble any more, since that was contrary to the King's Will, as they knew themselves; and if they did not like such a Prohibition, they ought to niake their Address to the King, in order to have their Grievances redress'd.

Then M. La Chasse replied, that they would defift from bearing Arms, and perform their Duties in such a manner that no body should have occafion to complain, but as to their Conscience they could do nothing against it ; upon which the Judge-Criminal went out of the Arsembly with his Company, and M. La Chasse preached after the usual manner, till the Number of the Reformed being so vastly increased, and the malice of the Catholicks being such, that on purpose to hinder them from hearing the reading of the Scripture or the Prayers and Sermon, they made a continual noise with the ringing of the Bells, while they were assembled, though


Francis II. they had often changed the hours, sometimes 1560.

sooner, sometimes later; they made themselves Pope Pius Iv. by the means of an Officer, Masters of the Church

of St. Michael, which was done with so little noise, that they were assembled already, before any body took notice of what had been done.

But few days after, the Persecution began ; for the Cardinal of Lorrain, thinking himself above all, since he had the Prince of Condé and the King of Navarr in his power, kept no measures ; and being informed by the Bishop of the Place, of the State of Affairs at Montpelier, sent his Orders to spare none of these wicked, heretick, feditious and rebellious People, as he was pleased to stile them, but to destroy them utterly, if they refused to recant. He wrote for that purpose to the Bishop Pelletier by Name, who to get out of the Castle of Beaucaire Prison, where he had been confined by the Count De Villars, because he had married a Woman at Venice, where he had been fent Embaffador, by whom he had several Children, he renounced the Reformed Doctrine which he had embraced, and denied that Woman to be his Wife; he became after that one of the most zealous Persecutors of the Reformed. Every thing tended to their ruin at Montpelier, for they were likewise forsaken by the Gentry of the Neighbourhood, (under fome frivolous pretence ;) who fided with their Persecutors, instead of affording them any Counsel or Comfort.

The Count of Villars, having been sent by the Court to ruin the Resolutions of the particular States of Languedoc, was no sooner arrived at Beaucaire, where they had been appointed for the beginning of October, than he caused three Loads of Books come from Geneva to be burnt ; then he put a Garrison of Horse and Foot in the Cattle and in the Town, stored the Walls with


Artillery ; fent several Officers to list Soldiers, Francis[l* and published by the found of Trumpet in the


Pope King's Name, and in his own as his Lieutenant, Pius IV. that no body should be so bold as to propose any thing about Religion in the Assembly, under pain of being hanged upon the spot, without any other formality.

The Deputies of the Reformed Churches of Languedoc, hearing this Proclamation, went back to their respective Principals to receive new Instructions on this emergency.

Villars having broke their measures, and knowing, that Aiguemortes where Captain Dayfle commanded was able to withstand him, he engaged that Captain by fair words to come to him, arrested him immediately, and delivered him into the hands of the Marshal's Provost. Then he fent with all haste M. De Joyeuse, with some Cavalry, who very easily made themselves Masters of the Place. They took M. Du Bofquet, Minister, with several of the chief Mem. bers of his Church, and pillaged their Goods as if the place had been taken by storm.

M. Du Bosquet, who was about fixty Years of Age, being fedfast in the Faith, was condemned to be hang'd, and was executed before the Church of Aiguemortes the 14th of November, his Wife and Children being forced to be present at his Execution ; his Corps remained hanging for four days, exposed to all manner of insults.

Furthermore, Villars fent full Commission to La Cofte, a Chief Justice of Montpelier, to Cabrioles, Judge of Beziers, and to Chasteran, Judge of Limoux, to inform against the Reformed, and to try them without any regard to Age, Sex, or any Condition foever ; in which he was exactly obeyed. Upon this, though the Reformed at Montpelier had notice that those at Nimes had



Francis II. ceased their Affemblies, after the taking of Ai1560.

guemortes, and that the greatest part of them Pias iv. had retired into the Mountains of Cevennes; they nd met together again on the 15th of October, to

hear the Sermon, and to advise amongst themselves, what they were to do in these fad Circumstances. But the Sermon was not half done when the Judge-Criminal, with the Consuls, came into the Assembly, and reproved them bitterly for what they had done till then, forbidding them to assemble in such a manner and for such a purpose for the future, and exhorting them to thew themselves more obedient to the King. The Minister answered, that they were charged wrongfully with Rebellion ; that they had sent their Deputies to the particular States of the Province, who had been forced to come back by unusual and enormous Threats; that it was a Duty incumbent on a Magistrate, to maintain the true Religion, instead of persecuting it : but all this Rhetorick could not avail. The Judge-Criminal commanded the Minister to go out of the City, to which command he said, that he would send his answer in writing, with which he should be satisfied. Then the Judge went out of the Assembly, which he left in the greatest Consternation ; the Minister made an end of his Sermon, and comforted them the best way he could : at last they came to this Resolution, that they ought to give way to the fury of their Persecutors, since such was the Will of God; and to provide every one for himself, being stedfast in the Faith, and trusting to God unto death. So that very Evening a great Number of the Congregation went out of the City, with their Minister, Deacons and Elders, singing Psalms aloud, and trusting unto God for their Delive




Four days after Captain St. Andrew entered Francis II: the City with five Companies of Foot, who were

Pope lodged in the Reformed Houses, where they Pius IV. committed the greatest Villanies and Cruelties, m to force them to change : they dragged the Women to Church, by beating them with their Halberds, but they left off doing it upon a very odd occasion, which I would not venture to offer to my Reader, if it was not seriously related by M. De Beze ; and it is, that a young Boy having been forced in such a manner to go to Church, was so much terrified, that out of fear he let loose in his Breeches, the smell of which was so noisome, that none could abide it, and the Soldiers went away. This, says my Author, was the reason why they defifted from carrying People to Church by force. The Bishop made a very exact Search of the Children, who had been baptized by the Reformed Ministers, and baptized them again, though against the Canons of the Church of Rome, and against the promise of the Judge-Criminal. This Persecution lasted for about three Months in all that Country, but the King's death brought a great Change in the Affairs.

About the Month of October in the same year, M.De La Rive had begun to preach in the School of Ville Franche, but he was forced to absent himself by the Advice of his Elders, and he went to Geneva, from whence he brought along with him M. John Christian De La Garande.

The Cardinal D'Armagnac Bishop of Rhodes was at Court, while M. Malet settled the Church at Millaut ; the Bishop of Vabres his and M. De Bel-Castel, with about forty others came thither, with intent to destroy what he had done ; and in truth they succeeded better than they expected, for M. Malet having abVol: I.



great Vicar,

« PreviousContinue »