Navigate the 1563 Edition
PrefaceBook 1Book 2Book 3Book 4Book 5
Critical Apparatus for this Page
Commentary on the Text
Names and Places on this Page
Unavailable for this Edition
684 [628]

Actes and Monuments of the Church.

yet for lacke of grace I haue most wilfully and obstinatly suffered my self to fall to such blindnesse, that I haue not only thought that the byshoppe of Rome hath bene and ought to be taken the chiefe and supreame heade of the vniuersall Churche of Christe heare in earthe, but also like no true subiecte conceiled and fauoured such as I haue knowen or thoughte to be of the opinion. For the whiche mooste detestable treasons and vntruthes. I heare mooste humbly and with all my hart, First of al aske the kinges maiesty forgeuenesse, and secondarely all the world, besechinge all these that eyther now doo, or here after shall heare of these my great transgressions, to take this mine example for an instruction for them to call for grace, that they thereby be staied from falling at any time in suche miserable blindnesse and follye.

[Back to Top]

Moreouer, here afore God and you (good Christian people) I do vtterly and withal my hart, recant and reuoke al mine aforesaid erronious and traiterous opinions. And (as my conscience now doth force) I protest that euen with my hart I firmly thinke and vndoubtedly beleue, that the bishoppe of Rome neyther nowe hathe, nor at anye time hathe hadde, or can haue by anye lawe of God or manne, anye more authoritye without the precincte of hys owne countrye aboute him, then any other bishoppe hathe within his own diocesse. Wherby I assuredly take the abolishing of the pretēsed and vsurped power or autoritye of the Bishop of Rome out of this realm to be done iustly and truely by the lawe of God. And also I take our soueraigne Lord, the kinges highnes to be supreame head immediatlye nexte vnder Christ of the church of England and Ireland, and all other his graces dominions, bothe of the spiritualty and the temporaltye. And I cōfesse not onlye that his maiestye so is by the lawe of God, but also his progenitors kinges of this realme so hathe bene, and his highnesse heires and successors kinges of thys realme so shall be.

[Back to Top]

Thus haue I shewed you my minde as wel as I can but neither so well as I woulde, nor so full as I shoulde, namelye concernynge the multitude of mercy which my moste gratious prince hath shewed towarde me, not onlye for sauing my bodye after worthye condempnation to death as is a fore said, but also for sauing my soule from pearishinge, if my body had perished before the receiuing of suche wholsome councel as I hadde at his highnes most charitable assigment. And of this confession declared vnto you (I saye as farre forthe as I can.) I hartelye praye you all to beare me recorde, and mooste entierly to pray to almighty God, for the long & most prosperous estate of our soueraigne Lorde the kinges maiestye in all hisaffaires and procedinges.¶ By me Ihon Heiwood.

[Back to Top]

Memorandum quod supra scripta assertio sine recantatio suit facta & publice emissa per prenominatum Iohannem Heiwood die dominica Sexto viz. die Iulii. An. millesimo quingētesimo, quadragesimo quarto, apud crucē paulinam tempore Concionis ibidem.

In this yeare of oure Lorde 1545. as there was nothing done in Englande worthy to be noted, so happened there in Fraunce a meruelous memorable and tragicall historye of the destruction of Merindol and Cabriers, which for the worthinesse there of, we haue thoughte good not to omit.  

Commentary   *   Close
Merindol and Cabriers

From the first edition of his martyrology in 1563, Foxe had included an extensive account of the Mérindol and Cabrières affair (1563, pp. 632-652). He had foreshadowed it much earlier in the book (p.46), providing a graphic preview of the affair. It would be his first attempt to deal with mass martyrdom. In that preview, he spoke of 800 people slain in the elimination of these two communities, 40 of them women. He reported that 25 people had died smoke inhalation and fire, locked in a barn that was set alight. He briefly alluded to the young man who was tied to an olive tree and tortured to death. When he returned to deal with the affair properly, it was to juxtapose the evidence for the 'cruelty' of the individual persecutors (on the one hand) with the determination and constancy of the persecuted. His insertion of this piece of text (more or less unchanged) after the narrative of the Calabrian Vaudois was undertaken for a specific purpose. He did not want to interrupt the formal table of French martyrs with too extensive a narrative excursion. Equally, he relished the opportunity to highlight material which demonstrated (as he saw it) 'the furious crueltie' of the French king in an incident which had reverberated widely around western Europe. By placing the narrative adjacent to that of the Waldensians in Calabria he intimated that there was continuity and an underlying pattern to the persecution of the (largely rural) Vaudois. By juxtaposing these two narratives, Foxe was also able somewhat to obscure the more difficult questions about Waldensian beliefs prior to the reformation, and the extent to which they accorded with magisterial Protestantism, as Foxe would have understood it.

[Back to Top]

Foxe was all too aware that there was a considerable literature available on the massacres of the Waldensians of Provence in 1545 and 1546. He explicitly notes that he cannot present all the primary material, or even recount the history at full length because of its bulk. That said, however, he devotes over 25 pages to it, treating it in a major and exemplary fashion. There were already other narratives available of the persecution of the Waldensians in Provence. Jean Crespin had included an abbreviated account of the affair in the initial edition of his martyrology in 1554 (Crespin [1554], pp. 656-666). Elements from this had been incorporated into Sleidan's Commentaries, first published in 1555, and translated into English in 1560 as A famouse cronicle of oure time… As Foxe said, much earlier in the 1563 edition (p.46) this was the account that he would rely on for his primary narrative of this affair. But Crespin already knew in 1554 that there was more to be said about the affair - as he said his account had been inserted then 'pour en toucher comme en passant ce qui est à present le plus necessaire pour l'instruction des fideles, jusqu'à ce que plus amplement toute l'histoire en soit redigee par escrit, comme elle en soit rédigée par escrit, comme elle est tres digne'. Geneva's contacts with the Vaudois communities in Provence had been somewhat strengthened in the aftermath of the persecution by exiles from the region, especially after 1550 - see G. Audisio, 'The first Provençal Refugees in Geneva (1545-1571)' French History 19 (2005), 385-400. It was no doubt on the basis of their information that Crespin was able to publish his extensively documented Histoire memorable de la persecution & saccagement du people de Mérindol et Cabrières in 1556. This was the account that became integrated into later editions of Crespin in extenso (Crespin [1560], fols 88A-117A; Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 381-419), and also into Pantaleon, lib. 5 (fols 111-145). It concentrates our attention on the persecution which began with the legal decision of 18 November 1540 pronouncing the destruction of the village of Mérindol, which reached its claim in 1545-6. In reality, however, the efforts of the ecclesiastical authorities to eliminate the Provençal Vaudois had begun at least a decade earlier. For background accounts to the Vaudois in Provence, see G. Audisio, Les Vaudois du Luberon. Une minorité en Provence (1460-1560) (Mérindol, 1984) ; G. Audisio, Procès-verbal d'un massacre. Les vaudois du Luberon (avril 1545) (Aix-en-Provence, 1992); G. Audisio, Les 'Vaudois': naissance, vie et mort d'une dissidence (xiie-xvie siècle) 2 vols (Turin: Albert Meynier Editore, 1989). Marc Venard, Réforme protestante, Réforme catholique dans la province d'Avignon au XVIe siècle (Paris, 1993). On the massacre itself, see P. Gaffarel, 'Les massacres de Cabrières et de Mérindol en 1545' Revue Historique 101 (1911), 241-64.

[Back to Top]

Mark Greengrass
University of Sheffield

¶ The Preface.

THe Lord God, father of al mercy, hath neuer in such sorte forsaken or abādoned his churche (the which otherwise were to be compared vnto Sodome and Gomorre), but that he hath alwaies left some sede in it, Out of the whiche he hathe afterwarde broughte forth the frute of his knowledge. For in the yere of our Lord 1218. God raised vp a certain personnage, the whiche beinge touched with his sprite did sufficientlye declare howe greate the rebellyon and ingratitude of manne was against the deuine visitation, and also the reward of all such as bestowed their whole industry, laboure and trauaile for the aduauncement of the truth, to the help and profit of the whole churche. This man was named Waldo a rich merchaunt of Lions, he being inspired from aboue, began to consider, yea to sighe and lament for the ruine and desolation of the pore christian people, the whiche were as shepe strayed and skattered abrode wtout any pastor or shephard. For suche as then supplied the places and romes of shepherds were nothing les. Waldo therfore desiring to remedy this great and pitifull wound vnderstode and knew very well in what shop he shuld seke for a medecin or remedi therfore. And for so much as he him self was vnlearned in tonges, & that the word of god was not at þt time in the vulgare tonge. He gaue rewardes vnto certen learned men to translate the holy scriptures for him, and certen other works of þe most auncient and best doctors. By this meanes the knowledge of the truthe had greate increase in the spirite of Waldo, the whiche conferringe the forme of religion in his time to þe infallible rule of þe word of God, he plainly perceiued and saw that they did nothing at all agre, and that the special cause of this discord & disagrement rise and sprang through the only ambition & couetousnes of those, whiche vsurped þe rule & gouernmēt of the church. Wherfore aboue al things he would put this saying of our Lorde in vre. It thou wylte be prefecte

[Back to Top]