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592
INQUISITION

Kettle or Kyteler and her accomplices, Petronilla of Meath and her daughter Bassilla, who were accused of holding “nightly Ireland. conference with a spirit called Robert Artisson, to whom she sacrificed in the high way nine red cocks and nine peacocks’ eyes.” The lady had powerful connexions, and her brother-in-law, Arnold le Powre, seneschal of Kilkenny, even went so far as to imprison the bishop. But in spite of the refusal of the secular authorities to co-operate with him, the bishop was strong enough to force them in 1325 to burn some of the accused. Dame Kettle herself, however, who had been cited to appear at Dublin before the dean of St Patrick’s, escaped with the assistance of some of the nobles to England. Meanwhile the bishop, who had attempted to involve Arnold le Powre in the same charge, became involved in a quarrel with the administrators of the English government in Ireland; counter charges were brought against him, he was excommunicated by his metropolitan, Alexander de Bicknor, archbishop of Dublin; and in defiance of the king’s commands, after publishing counter charges against the archbishop, he appealed to Rome and left the country. In 1335 Benedict XII. wrote to Edward III. deploring the absence of any inquisition in the king’s dominions, and exhorting him to lend the aid of the secular arm in repressing heresy. Archbishop Alexander, who in 1347 was denounced as an abettor of heresy, died in 1349, and his successor was ordered to chastise those heretics who had taken refuge in the diocese from Richard de Lederede’s violence, and whom his predecessor had protected. Finally, in 1354, Richard de Lederede himself was allowed to return to his diocese, where his zeal for persecution does not, however, seem to have found much further scope. He died in 1360.

The scene of the activities of the monastic Inquisition in France lay chiefly in the south. The repression of the Albigensian heresy (see Albigenses) went on even when its importance had quite disappeared. The chronicle France. of the inquisitor Guilhem Pelhisso (d. 1268) shows us the most tragic episodes of the reign of terror which wasted Languedoc for a century. Guillaume Arnaud, Peter Cella, Bernard of Caux, Jean de St Pierre, Nicholas of Abbeville, Foulques de St Georges, were the chief of the inquisitors who played the part of absolute dictators, burning at the stake, attacking both the living and the dead, confiscating their property and land, and enclosing the inhabitants both of the towns and the country in a network of suspicion and denunciation. The secular authorities were of the utmost assistance to them in this task; owing to the confiscations, the crown had too direct an interest in the success of the inquisitorial trials not to connive at all their abuses. Under the regency of Alphonse of Poitiers Languedoc was regularly laid under contribution by the procureur des encours. There were frequent attempts at retaliation, directed for the most part against the inquisitors, and isolated attacks were made on Dominicans. In 1234-1235 there were regular risings of the people at Albi and Narbonne, which forced the inquisitors to retreat. In 1235 the inquisitors were driven out of Toulouse. These risings were followed by terrible measures of repression, which, in turn, led to violent outbreaks on the part of the relatives, friends or compatriots of the sufferers. During the night of the 28th or 29th of May 1242 the inquisitors and their agents were massacred at the castle of Avignonet. This massacre led to a persecution which went on without opposition and almost without a lull for nearly fifty years. At the beginning of the 14th century the terrified people found a defender in the heroic Franciscan Bernard Délicieux. For a moment King Philip the Fair and Pope Clement V. seemed to interest themselves in the misfortunes of Languedoc, and the king of France sent down reformers; but they had no effect, their activity being restrained by the king himself, who was alarmed at a separatist movement which was arising in Languedoc. The work of repression which followed this moment of hope was carried out, between 1308 and 1323, by the inquisitor Bernard Guy, and completed the destruction of the Catharist heresy, the appearances of which after the middle of the 14th century became less and less frequent. Other heretics, for a time at least, took their place, namely the Spirituals, who had developed out of a branch of the Franciscans, and were remotely disciples of Joachim, abbot of Floris (q.v.), and whom their rigid rule of absolute poverty led, by a reaction against the cupidity of the ordinary ecclesiastics, to repudiate any hierarchy and to uphold the doctrines of Peter John de Oliva against the word of the pope. On the 17th of February 1317 John XXII. condemned all these irregular followers of St Francis, “fraticelli, fratres de paupere vita, bizochi or beghini,” and the Inquisition of Languedoc was at once set in motion against them. Four spirituales were burnt at Marseilles in 1318, and soon the persecution was extended to the Franciscan beguins or tertiarii, many people being burnt about 1320 at Narbonne, Lunel, Béziers, Carcassonne, &c. The persecution stopped for lack of an object, for the small groups of beguins were soon destroyed, and those of the Spirituales who were not sent to the stake or to prison were compelled by the papacy to enter other orders than the Franciscan. The Waldenses (q.v.) were more difficult to destroy: originally less dangerous to the church than the Cathari, they resisted longer, and their dispersal in scattered communities aided their long resistance.

In the north of France the workings of the Inquisition were very intermittent; for there were fewer heretics there than in the south, and as they were poorer, there was less zeal on the part of the secular arm to persecute them. At its outset, however, the Inquisition in the north of France was marked by a series of melancholy events: the inquisitor Robert le Bougre, formerly a Catharist, spent six years (1233-1239) in going through the Nivernais, Burgundy, Flanders and Champagne, burning at the stake in every place unfortunates whom he condemned without a judgment, supported as he was by the ecclesiastical authorities and by princes such as Theobald of Champagne. The pope was forced to put a check on his zeal, and, after an inquiry, condemned him to imprisonment for life. We know that there were inquisitors settled in Île de France, Orléanais, Touraine, Lorraine and Burgundy during the 12th century, but we know next to nothing of what they did. In the 14th century, the Flemish and German heresies of the Free Spirit made their appearance in France; in 1310 a heretic named Marguerite Porette was burnt at Paris, and in 1373 another named Jeanne Daubenton, both of whom seem to have professed a kind of rudimentary pantheism, the latter being the head of a sect called the Turlupins. The Turlupins reappeared in 1421 at Arras and Douai and were persecuted in a similar way. But in the 15th century, with the exception of a few condemnations aimed against the Hussites, the Inquisition acted but feebly against heresy, which, as in the famous case of the “Vauderie” of Arras, was often nothing but fairly ordinary sorcery.

From the middle of the 14th century onward, the parlement had taken upon itself the right of hearing appeals from persons sentenced by the Inquisition. And the University again, by its faculty of theology, escaped the jurisdiction of the Inquisition. It was these two great bodies which at the time of the Reformation took the place of the Inquisition in dealing with heresy.

In Italy heresy not infrequently took on a social or political character; it was sometimes almost indistinguishable from the opposition of the Ghibellines or the communalist spirit of independence. Lombardy, besides a number Italy. of Cathari, contained a certain number of vaguely-defined sects against whom the efforts of the Apostolic Visitors sent by Innocent III. were not of much effect. From the very earliest days of the Inquisition, John of Vicenza, Roland of Cremona and Rassiero Sacchoni directed their persecutions against Lombardy, and especially against Milan. St Peter Martyr, who was conspicuous for his bigoted violence, was assassinated in 1252. On the 20th of March 1256 Alexander IV. ordered the provincial of the friar preachers of Lombardy to increase the number of inquisitors in that province from four to eight. At Florence both heresy and Ghibellinism were alike crushed by the terrible severities of Fra Ruggieri, and indulgences were promised to all who should aid in the extinction of heresy in