Page images
PDF
EPUB

FrancisII. sented himself with Mons. Vaisse, the Bishop

1560. found very little resistance at Millau. He took Pius Tv. at Cambon two Leagues from Millau, Meff. Ma

let, Vaisse, Montrofier, and four other Inhabitants of Millau, which he tied up with ropes so inhumanly that the Blood gushed out of their Veins, and sent them to Rhodez in great Triumph, Drums beating and Colours flying. They were confined in the Tower of the Bishop's Palace, with heavy Fetters to their Legs. They were try'd at first by the Lieutenent-Criminal and the King's Sollicitor-General, upon a Charge of Rebellion, for having born Arms, as they said.

Asfor their Religion, they pretended to take no notice of it, only they were asked if they were not willing to live according to the Rules of the Church of Rome ; to which Montrosier agreed, and even deliver'd a Catalogue of the Names of as many of the Reformed as he could remember: but Meff. Malet and Vaisse persisted constantly, and refused to name any one.

As the Charge laid against them could not be proved, they were put in the Bishop's Court, but the Official being not able to prevail upon Meff, Malet and Vaisse, the Chief Justice called a Jury of Thirteen to have them condemned, but their Votes being divided, viz. seven for the Gallies, and fix for Death, as the Chief Justice desired to have them condemned to Death, he endeavoured to bring one of the seven to his opinion: but the division was greater than before ; upon which the King's Sollicitor remov'd the Judgment of it to Thoulouse. But as they were going to pass sentence of Death against them, came the Edict of King Charles IX. by which all the Prisoners, for Religion fake, were ordered to be released. Which Edict, as to these, took not its effect till April 1561..

Though Pope

Though the Churches of the Country of Ceo FrancisII. vennes were in such a great number, and openly

1560. countenanced and protected by the Nobility and Pius IV. Gentry of the Country, yet their Enemies Atrove mightily to ruin them; amongst whom, History takes notice of one Dominick du Puy, particularly renowned for two great Crimes; for being a falfe Coiner and an Atheist; uttering usually his horrid Blasphemy, that one ought not to trust in that Sc-rel J. Chrift; nor in his twelve Beggars.

Though he was convicted of both these Crimes, he was employ'd to inform against the Reformed by Prefident Malras and other Commissaries sent by the Parliament of Thoulouse. He led them from house to house to seize upon their Persons or their Goods, and often on both. Meffieurs de Fontavilles and de la Maganelle had a fad Experience of that Man's Wickedness.

Notwithstanding this, the Reformed continued their Assembly. St. John of Gardonnegue, a Town very strong by its Situation, whose Lord was a zealous Protector of the Churches, became the refuge of the Afflicted and Perfecuted; but the Count de Villars refolved to treat that Place and others of the Cevennes with a greater Severity than he had done Montpelier, Aiguemortes, &c. The Lord of St. John who was a brave and experienced Officer, of great Sagacity and Conduct, Having had intelligence of this, and seeing that by no means he could keep the Town of St. John, affembled as many of his Vaffals as were willing to follow his Fortune, and retreated to the frong Holds of the Neighbourhood.

When Villars came to St. John with two Companies of Foot and one of Horse, and found no body there able to refift him, he sent a part of his Troops to reconnoitre where the Lord of St. Bb 2

John

1 !

Pope

[ocr errors][merged small]

FrancisII. John had made his retreat ; and being discovered, 1560,

he put himself in a posture of Defence : but in Pius Tv, stead of attacking him, that Party went back to

make their report to the Count, who being
frighten'd, went to Anduse to receive more Forces,
thinking himself not strong enough to force the
Lord of St. John ;, he sent his Foot back to the
Town of St. John, whose Houses they plunderd
and laid waste.

As St. John got notice that Villars was coming
against him with all the Companies that were at
Anduse and in the Neighbourhood, he exhorted
his small Troop to make their retreat, every
one where he should think proper; which they
did, fome in the Woods, others in Dens. There
were amongst them four Ministers, many Women
and Children, several were frozen to death.
Mean while, Villars's Troops committed a thou-
fand Cruelties and Villanies at St. John and three
miles round about the Town, sparing no body,
forcing Women and Girls, two of whom died in
their hands, burning the Houses to the ground,
amongit which, those of the Lord of St. John
were not spared ; but he had the good luck not
to fall into their hands, though he was not very
far off. This Desolation lasted a fortnight.

The Troops being gone, the Inhabitants came back to St. John, and a few days after the Reformed held a Provincial Synod at Egledines, to consider of proper means to restore what had been destroy'd. "They resolv’d to visit all the Churches, of the lower Languedoc, which had been settled before this terrible Storm, and each of the Ministers had a particular District allotted to him. Mr. Maillard was charged to visit the Churches of Alais, Usez, Baignols, the Bridge of St. Esprit and others adjacent ; Mr. de la Chasse those of Nimes and the Neighbourhood ; Mr. Bourt, An

dufe

dúse and the Neighbourhood ; Mr.Tartas, those Francisli. of Sauve, St. Hypolite, Ganges, le Vigan, and 1560. others of the Cevennes ; Monf. Grignan, those Pius Tv. of Sommieres and the adjacent; Mr. Tardieu, u St. John, Montpelier, Gignac, and others adjacent. This Resolution was cheerfully executed by those Gentlemen, notwithstanding the great Dangers to which they exposed themselves, and it was found by experience that this Persecution had rather served to the Increase than to the Diminution of the Reformed.

At Nonnay, the 18th of August 1560, Lewis Bironis Register of the Town, and four days after Antony Faure the King's Sollicitor and William de Cressonet were arrested by Mr. de Tournon's Order, and they expected nothing better than to be put to death ; when they were set at liberty in virtue of the Edict of King Charles IX. and the Church of that Town increased till the Edict of January 1562.

I have spoke already of the Progresses of the Reformation in Provence, where there were 60 Churches settled in this year, as above said. I have spoken likewise of the Persecutions to which they were exposed.

Such was the wonderful Progress of the Reformation throughout all the Provinces and almost all the Cities of France, under the short but tempestuous Reign of Francis II.without any other Weapons but the Word of God, the Purity and Simplicity of Manners and Life of the Teachers and Professors of it, it gloriously triumph'd over the Malice and Wickedness of its Enemies, the Violence of the Torture, the Fierceness of the Fires, and subdued the Souls of Men to its Discipline with such a prevailing Power, as long as God Almighty only worked upon them, without any help from Men, Bb 3

that 3

FrancisII. that I dare say, that if the whole Kingdom had isho. Pope

not turned Reformed more than once, the Fault Pius Iv. must be ascribed only to the unruly Passions of

Men.

End of the Second Boak.

HISTORY

« PreviousContinue »