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La Réforme en France et en Italie

 | 
Philip Benedict
, 
Silvana Seidel Menchi
, 
Alain Tallon

Session II. Les réseaux et leur organisation

French evangelical networks before 1555: proto-churches?1

Jonathan A. Reid

Texte intégral

  • 1 The author wishes to thank East Carolina University for granting him a generous Summer Research Aw (...)
  • 2 So asserts an eminent scholar of the popular appeal of the Reformation in the Empire, Peter Blickl (...)

1Over eight hundred Reformed churches sprang into existence in France between 1555 and 1562. Their advent occurred after a thirty-five year period of buildup, during which evangelical doctrines gained adherents throughout the kingdom and local networks formed out of which those churches would coalesce. While their birth came late and although they remained a minority, these churches were the final upshot of the largest popular reform movement in Europe outside of the Empire. Yet why and how these conventicles grew and then suddenly metamorphosed into well-organized churches remains largely a mystery2.

2This paper seeks chiefly to reexamine the evolution of religious dissent in France before the rise of the Reformed churches by addressing two fundamental questions. How did those local networks form? What did those evangelicals do? The second question is a regrettable but necessary substitute for the ones we really want answered: What did such religious dissenters believe? What did they want reformed? The surviving sources are very scanty and reveal little about their thoughts and desires. Faced with persecution, French evangelicals covered their tracks. French courts, for their part, unlike the Holy Office in Italy, systematically destroyed the detailed trial records of the heretics they condemned lest their memory persist and poison spread. The evidence that remains to us - traces scattered in judicial registers and other documents as well as accounts in Genevan sources - nevertheless reveals a profile of the early evangelicals’ deeds from which we can infer something about their beliefs and intentions; enough, in fact, to speculate about when and why they finally organized separate churches.

A partial picture: the stock image of French conventicles

3The answer to what evangelical dissenters did would seem to be obvious. Most modern histories repeat what the official Genevan account of the Reformation in France tells us about the cautious thousands who would eventually join the Reformed Church. Summarizing the short section devoted to the era before 1555, the Histoire ecclésiastique (1580) sketched this enduring image:

  • 3 Histoire ecclésiastique des églises réformées au royaume de France, G. Baum et al. (ed.), III, Par (...)

Il n’y avoit encores proprement aucune Église dressée en toutes ses parties, estans seulement les fideles enseignés par la lecture des bons livres, & selon qu’il plaisoit à Dieu de les instruire quelques fois par exhortations particulieres, sans qu’il y eust administration ordinaire de la parole, ou des Sacremens, ny consitoire establi; ains on se consoloit l’un l’autre comme on pouvoit, s’assemblant selon l’oportunité pour faire les prieres, sans qu’il y eust proprement autres prescheurs que les Martyrs; hormis quelque petit nombre tant de moines qu’autres, preschans moins impurement que les autres; tellement qu’il se peut dire que jusques alors le champ du Seigneur avoit esté seulement semé et avoit fructifié par cy par là3.

4According to this source, underground proto-churches, «églises plantées», had formed throughout France. Small groups of the faithful gathered irregularly in private to pray, console one another, read edifying books, and hear biblical exhortations by lay brethren. They lacked the three marks of true churches: ministers of the word, a communal sacramental life, and corporate discipline. If a few mendicants provided some far-from-pure preaching, only martyrs gave unadulterated public witness to the faith.

5This paper argues that while judicial records amply prove such conventicles existed and operated much as described they were not the principal forum of religious dissent before 1555. The Histoire ecclésiastique and modern accounts that follow it fundamentally distort the matter by giving us only half the picture. Careful examination of recent studies of local reforms and major sixteenth-century sources indicates that, although bitterly contested, evangelical religious dissent was often public, popular, and articulated within the established church. Public preaching by fully accredited evangelical priests and friars appears, in fact, to have been a key catalyst in the formation of such local conventicles. These groups’ activities ranged from supporting the regular parish ministry of such evangelical clerics to gathering in private for devotions as described by the Histoire ecclésiastique in parallel with their active church life. Very rarely, however, did they seek the administration of the sacraments outside the church before 1555. Indeed, circumstantial evidence suggests that such groups only resorted to establishing and joining separate Reformed churches in the late 1550s once Catholic authorities had succeeded in silencing the clerics who had been providing them with both evangelical doctrine and even, in some cases, Eucharistic celebrations transformed along evangelical lines.

6This thesis springs from new archival research on an important test case, the city of Bourges, and a survey of the few other well-documented or studied local reforms in the rest of France. In order to provide a scale for measuring the findings of this two-part analysis, let us review what is known about the growth patterns of religious dissent and of the Reformed churches in France.

The uneven evolution of dissent

  • 4 See his Le protestantisme en France au xvie siècle, Paris, 1959, p. 38-49, 63100, esp. 48-49, 90-1 (...)

7Three sets of data exhibit the irregular rise of heterodox belief and of the Reformed churches. Each reveals a growth curve that starts slowly and then accelerates rapidly. The first measures the spread of heterodox ideas in France from 1520 to 1555. Based on data in the Histoire ecclésiastique, Crespin’s martyrology, and local histories, Samuel Mours has calculated that evangelical dissent touched only a handful of places in the 1520s, had spread to some 40 urban centers by 1535, and by 1555 had reached hundreds if not thousands of towns throughout France4.

  • 5 Data complied from his lists in Les églises réformées de France: tableaux et cartes, Paris, 1958, (...)

8The second and third data sets trace the establishment of the Reformed churches from 1555 to 1562. Based on further information supplied by Mours, the number of churches «églises dressées» founded in France follows a similar exponential pattern5:

  • 6 R. Kingdon, Geneva and the Coming of the Wars of Religion in France, 15551563, Geneva, 1956, p. 1- (...)

9The logarithmic growth curve of these figures correlates with the number of pastors sent from Geneva to France calculated by Robert Kingdon6:

  • 7 Ibid., p. 79, 106.
  • 8 Ph. Benedict, Christs Churches Purely Reformed, New Haven, 2002, p. 134 and 137 s.

10While these figures do not add up to the 2,150 churches Huguenot leaders claimed to represent in 15627, they do approach the 1,240 churches comprising some 1,2 to 2 million people Philip Benedict estimates existed by 15708. The obvious inference to be drawn from this data is that while large numbers of French people were committed to evangelical ideas by 1555, the overwhelming majority (85%) of Reformed churches founded before 1562 were not established until Henry II’s sudden death in 1559 created favorable conditions. As will emerge below, even where such churches did take shape before 1559, the great majority of their future members did not join them until after that date.

Bourges: a long history of public dissent

  • 9 Many of these clerics, of course, spent portions of their careers outside Bourges. They have been (...)

11Our main findings about the development of the Reformation at Bourges stem from the startling realization that the new evangelical doctrines had highly visible public proponents from their first airing by Michel d’Arande in his Advent sermons of 1523 to the outbreak of the Religious Wars. From 1523 to 1558, a succession of mendicant friars and priests provided a fairly sustained ministration of evangelical beliefs. At least twenty-four evangelical members of the Catholic clergy operated at Bourges over this period, including four Benedictines, thirteen mendicants, six priests, and a hermit9.

  • 10 The length of their ministry at Bourges is not known for Espine, the anonymous hermit, Loquet, and (...)
  • 11 Arande, Bodin, Bouquin, Bournonville, Bronosse, Chaponneau, Du Bois, Espine, the unnamed hermit, L (...)
  • 12 HE I, p. 58-59.
  • 13 The six future ministers were Bouqin, Du Bois, l’Espine, Locquet, Marlorat, and Vauville. Bodin, C (...)
  • 14 Including six doctors Bouqin, Bronosse, Chaponneau, Lardin, Philip, and Simon, and two with licens (...)

12Seventeen of these men resided in the city for a more or less extended period of time; two were visiting preachers; and one was an absentee but involved abbot10. Sixteen of twenty-four are known to have preached evangelical doctrines from pulpits in Bourges11. The remaining eight likely propagated the new doctrines in some fashion: one had done so actively elsewhere before his stay at Bourges, two were indicted for unspecified heresy while there, another two eventually converted, and another fled to Geneva. While many of these clerics came under suspicion of heresy during their careers, only one, Jean Michel, was executed for it while in orders12. Furthermore, eleven of them subsequently joined the Reformed Church. Six became ministers13. Notable among these twenty-four were eight with university training in theology14 as well as two of Theodore Beza’s future colleagues at the 1561 Colloquy of Poissy, Augustin Marlorat and Pierre Bouquin, and a third who would join the Reformed camp there, Jean de l’Espine.

  • 15 Soon after he took the pulpit during Lent, the cathedral canons ordered a revision of their saints (...)

13In examining their collective career at Bourges, one feature stands out: these clerics often preached strident evangelical sermons, which attracted large audiences as well as the ire of conservatives. What exactly they preached is difficult to determine, since their conservative accusers only registered their attacks against traditional beliefs and practices, not the positive doctrines of salvation that animated them. Thus in 1523 and 1524 while Marguerite, sister of Francis I, had urged authorities to embrace the «doctrine évangélique» of her almoner Michel d’Arande during his Advent and Lenten sermons, conservatives only reacted to his attacks on the cult of the saints and their faulty textual foundations15. D’Arande would most likely have been preaching, as he already had done at the royal court, the doctrine of salvation by faith in Christ’s sole saving sacrifice apart from works, the aid of the saints, or observance of church traditions.

  • 16 HE I, p. 58-59.
  • 17 For Calvin’s 1540 letter concerning Jean Michel, see A. J. Herminjard, Correspondance des réformat (...)
  • 18 7 Mar. 1544, SHPF MS 4881.
  • 19 The outcome of this case is unknown, N. Weiss, La réforme à Bourges...cit. n. 9, p. 336.
  • 20 5 February 1546 an unnamed Dominican, possibly Jean Dubois, made honorable amendment at the cathed (...)
  • 21 21 May 1558, SHPF MS 4881.

14From 1533 onward, Jean Michel propounded doctrines so heterodox that the Inquisitor General of France, Matthieu Ory, targeted him with particular zeal, leading to his condemnation, exile, and, after an ill-fated return, his eventual execution in 1539 as a recidivist16. His precise teachings are unknown but easily surmised since Calvin, who had come to know Michel while the monk took refuge in Geneva, was confident he died as a martyr to their common beliefs17. In 1544, authorities pursued several Carmelites, Dominicans, and laymen «stinking of heresy» at Bourges who had mocked the sacrament of the altar and confession18. In 1545, the Carmelite Jean Bodin had to retract the blasphemy and errors he had preached concerning the holy sacrament, saints, faith, and traditions of the church19. Again in 1546, 1550, 1551, and 1554, a trail of evidence reveals that friars and priests continued to air such doctrines in public20. As late as 1558, an Augustinian, Jean de Launay, was condemned for his sermons on the sole sufficiency of grace apart from good works21.

  • 22 Bodin, Bouquin, Coignet, Loquet, Marlorat, and Vauville.

15Notably, all these figures taught heterodox doctrines while remaining in orders and serving as licensed ministers of the Church. Most of these men were active from the mid 1530s onward, but by 1555 almost all had been either silenced or driven into exile. Between 1548 and 1555, six of the most strident abandoned their habits and fled to Geneva, Strasbourg, and London22. They only made this jump, one should note, after long careers as Catholic clerics attempting to dispense evangelical doctrines.

  • 23 15 Feb. 1524, AD Cher 8 G 161, f. 330.
  • 24 HE I, p. 57-58.

16Their preaching, moreover, was enormously popular. The cathedral chapter recorded that d’Arande’s 1524 sermons attracted large crowds23. In 1536, Jean Michel’s followers were so enthusiastic that they drove Mattieu Ory from the cathedral pulpit when he tried to denounce their preacher24.

  • 25 In 1541 Augustin Marlorat won the battle with the Dominican Ygot for the right to preach Lent. In (...)
  • 26 HE I, p. 57-62.
  • 27 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 45-46, 47, 92-93.
  • 28 P.-F. Geisendorf, Livre... cit. n. 9, lists 45 inhabitants hailing specifically from Bourges and d (...)
  • 29 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 43. In 1548, the Parlement of Paris had ordered communio (...)

17As a result of the success of these clerics’ preaching, by the mid-1530s evangelical doctrines had recognized exponents and become the object of a popular struggle played out in episodes of public theatre and power politics. In 1541 and 1554, evangelicals and conservatives battled for control of the cathedral chair during Lent25. Late in the reign of Francis I, conservative Catholic clerics trumpeted several supposed miracles - notably a saint’s statue that bled and a young peasant girl blessed with a gift for speaking in biblical tongues and revealing secrets - as warnings from God against the heretics troubling Bourges, only to have a local official, an evangelical, reveal the wonders to be frauds26. The departures of town notables, such as the Colladon brothers, for Geneva in 1550 and after were widely noted27. Like the six Catholic clerics who apostatized from 1548 to 1554, the flight of scores lay of people in the 1550s for Protestant havens abroad indicates that maintaining an evangelical identity within the church, which had been hotly contested, was becoming untenable28. Notably, in 1550, the Parlement ordered for the first time that priests keep records of those who communed at Easter, evidently, in order to make it easier to identify heretics who abstained29.

  • 30 1 Dec. 1525, AD Cher 8 G 162, f. 96r.
  • 31 4 Oct. 1526, AD Cher 8 G 162, f. 155r.
  • 32 J. Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, 1798, XXXII, cols. 1141-1142, items I (...)
  • 33 In 1539 Anthoine Chaignal, a bookseller, did «amende honorable» for heresy in front of the Cathedr (...)

18What was the connection between this preaching and the formation of the evangelical community at Bourges? From the 1520s onwards we have some evidence that private circles of evangelicals gathered for devotions and to read heretical literature in the wake of such preaching. A year after d’Arande’s 1524 Lenten sermons, the cathedral chapter discovered that Lutheran books were being read publicly in his patron’s ducal palace30. In 1526, the chapter minutes record that a cloth worker was caught with a sack full of heretical works intended for distribution31. In 1528 the Archiepiscopal Synod of Bourges targeted the circulation of Lutheran books, especially in the vernacular, as a cause of the spread of the sect32. Thereafter from 1539 to 1562 some dozen booksellers can be identified in and around Bourges who either suffered condemnation for heresy or fled to Geneva33. What texts these booksellers sold, who bought and read them, in which settings, and, more importantly, what readers took from them, however, remains largely a mystery.

  • 34 HE I, p. 59.
  • 35 N. Weiss, La réforme à Bourges... cit. n. 9, p. 316-317.
  • 36 Jean Calvin, Ioannis Calvini opera quae supersunt omnia, LIX, G. Baum, E. Cunitz, and E. Reuss (ed (...)
  • 37 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 123.

19Circa 1541, immediately after one of the Augustinian Friar Marlorat’s strident sermons, which also earned him the attention of the inquisitor Matthieu Ory, a hermit took up his themes and broadcast them in the street, attacking Rome even more ardently. He was then invited by students into the University to give private exhortations34. A seventeenth-century historian related that Calvin gave similar lessons circa 1533 in the convent of the Augustinians35. Nicolas Colladon and Theodore Beza report in their lives of Calvin that the future reformer also gave private sermons at a nearby village in the home of the local seigneur36. While some scholars have doubted the veracity of the stories of Calvin’s preaching, they deserve a measure of credence for, as we learn from a local journalist, the home of Germain Colladon served after his departure for Geneva in 1550, as it likely had done previously, as the meeting place for such evangelical groups and eventually for the clandestine services of the Reformed Church. The Colladon were in a position to know37. Taken together these examples suggest that public preaching often inspired auditors to explore evangelical ideas further in private and, furthermore, that the resulting conventicles drew together people from the country and city, as well as from across the social spectrum, including nobles, townsmen, academics, and friars.

  • 38 N. Weiss, La chambre ardente: étude sur la liberté de conscience en France sous François Ier et He (...)
  • 39 HE I, p. 103-05, 793-794.

20Beyond the ministrations of licensed preachers and local schoolmen two itinerant, overtly Protestant evangelizers are known to have cultivated the conventicles of Bourges. In the mid-1540s, a self-appointed missionary pastor, Robert Le Lièvre, who went by a self-vaunting code name, «le Séraphin d’Argences», probably held, as he had done elsewhere in the region, secret assemblies during which he preached and administered a Reformed Lord’s Supper38. So too, prior to organizing the Reformed church at Bourges in 1556, Simon Brossier visited several times to exhort the faithful39. Besides these two, no other underground Protestant ministers seem to have operated at Bourges before 1556, nor is anything more known about what went on in those meetings.

  • 40 AD Cher 8 G 354, Chapitre de Saint-Étienne, «Abjurations de Protestants» contains abjurations from (...)

21One thing, however, does seem clear: the establishment of a Reformed church in 1556 initially did little to resolve the dilemma facing evangelicals at Bourges. Very few seem to have joined. A newly recovered list of some 450 Huguenots who abjured their faith at Bourges in the bloody wake of the 1572 St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre records their names, residence, occupation, and often their length of apostasy40. Of the 195 who abjured in the two weeks following the Massacre, 72 of the 149 with their length of apostasy recorded claimed to have joined the Reformed church ten to twelve years previously, that is, circa 1560 to 1562. Only 10 reported having embraced «les erreurs et faulses opinions de la nouvelle secte» for even longer, including one woman who dated her conversion back some twenty years, thus circa 1552, prior to the founding of the church at Bourges in 1556, and a man, Lucas Berthault, who claimed to have converted some twenty-five years previously, thus circa 1547, at Lyon! The balance, 67 or forty-five percent, became Huguenots after 1562. The important implication of this list - if a valid sample of church membership over time - is that just as most Reformed churches across France were founded after 1559, so too most dissenters at Bourges only came to identify themselves as Protestants and join the Reformed church after the death of Henry II.

  • 41 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 52-53.
  • 42 Ibid., p. 93-94.
  • 43 Ibid., p. 122-123.

22Why not earlier? A Reformed church was there! Since very few Huguenots have left written accounts of their conversion, the journal of Jean Glaumeau, a priest who composed a guarded digest of events at Bourges from the era of Luther through the tumult of 1562, including his decision to join the Reformed church in January of that year, deserves special attention. Glaumeau’s exposure to, and evident interest in, Protestant ideas dated back to at least the early 1550s. His mother came under suspicion for heresy in 155241. In 1557, he sent his eldest illegitimate son to live with his brother in Geneva42. He knew about the secret evangelical assemblies held in Germain Colladon’s home and Psalm singing by Huguenots outside the town walls in 1559. Yet he reports that he only joined the Reformed church in 1562 a few days after a former bishop turned Reformed minister, Jacques Spifame, preached and celebrated for the first time in public at Bourges a Reformed Lord’s Supper43.

  • 44 For the singing of the Psalms and growing religions tensions, see ibid., p. 103-104, 114-115, 118- (...)

23The hypothesis I take from the chronology of Glaumeau’s conversion - for lack of any explanation on his part - as well as that of the St. Bartholomew’s Day abjurers is that most potential converts joined the Reformed church not after its mere foundation in secret, but once it emerged from underground as a visible and viable alternative to the established church. The Reformed church proclaimed its presence for the first time at Bourges not through the public celebration of the sacraments, which seems to have triggered Glaumeau’s conversion in 1562, but through the singing of the Psalms in the fields outside the city walls in 155944. These overt displays by the Reformed minority enacted their identity. As had Psalm singing by confreres in Paris and Lyon such manifestations at Bourges led to violent confrontations between the Reformed and their Catholic neighbors in 1560 and 1561. These battles, one surmises, may have signaled to the wavering majority of evangelicals that the kingdom of God was at hand and it was time to enter.

Evangelical Networks in France: Common Patterns

24Was the reformation at Bourges exceptional? Insofar as the fragmentary evidence permits us to tell, it appears not to have been. In the first place, the remarkably large number of heterodox clerics active in Bourges was no anomaly. Evidence from judicial records suggests a great many evangelical friars and priests were active throughout France and likely played a similar role in the formation of the hundreds of local groups out of which the Reformed churches would grow.

  • 45 Statistics complied from W. Monter, Appendix: Heresy Executions Ordered in France, 1523-1560, in J (...)
  • 46 R. Mentzer, Jr., Heresy Proceedings in Languedoc, 1500-1560, Philadelphia, 1984 (Transactions of t (...)
  • 47 Figures complied from Ch. Oursel, Notes pour servir à l’histoire de la réforme en Normandie au tem (...)
  • 48 J. Garrisson-Estèbe, L’histoire des protestants en France, Toulouse, 1977, p. 48.
  • 49 Figures compiled from N. Weiss, La chambre ardente... cit. n. 38.
  • 50 R. Sauzet, Les réguliers... cit. n. 9, p. X-XI.

25William Monter has found 41 clerics throughout France who suffered execution for heresy to 156045. Yet hundreds more were tried. For the same period Raymond Mentzer counts 140 clerics of all types who stood trial for heterodoxy at the Parlement of Toulouse46. Smaller samples yield correspondingly substantial numbers. At Rouen by the early date of 1533 officials had already condemned 7 men in orders for heresy47. At Bordeaux over the period 1541 to 1553 the Parlement indicted 25 clerics for holding evangelical doctrines48. From 1547 to 1550 in Paris the Chambre ardente tried 68 heresy cases involving priests or religious clergy, far more than the 12 cases concerning secret conventicles or private heretical preaching49. As for the mendicant orders in particular, Robert Sauzet and a team of collaborators identified an admittedly incomplete list of 136 friars who converted by 1560, yet one observes that many, perhaps most of them, never stood trial for heresy50.

  • 51 W. Monter argues persuasively that the parlements’ will to prosecute slackened in the 1550s, op. c (...)

26Such scattered data must represent only some fraction of all heterodox clerics, for as leading scholars note, the judicial records are incomplete and, moreover, the authorities’ will to prosecute heretics varied greatly over time and place51. How many evangelical clerics escaped indictment remains unknown. The evidence from the parlements - consider the 140 tried for heresy at Toulouse alone - suggests the total number of unorthodox priests, monks, and mendicants operating across France from 1520 to 1560 reached well into the thousands.

  • 52 5 and 6 July 1542, AN U 2034, f. 314v-315r.
  • 53 Chronique du Parlement de Bordeaux, ed. J. de Métivier, Bordeaux, 18861887, I, p. 467; II, p. 63, (...)

27Parliamentary records also corroborate that as at Bourges heterodox priests and monks agitated by the handful in many towns. During the 1540s, the Parliament of Paris ordered massive investigations in the city as well as in the regions of Poitou, Anjou, Angoulême, and Saintonge to ferret out «plusieurs» Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, and Carmelites, who were reportedly preaching Lutheran doctrines and leading secret assemblies52. Similarly, at Bordeaux from 1547 to 1559, the Parlement put the Carmelites, Franciscans, and Augustinians under increasing scrutiny for their heretical preaching, leading to several trials and imprisonments53.

  • 54 23 June 1547, SHPF MS 4881.
  • 55 14 Mar. 1556, SHPF MS 4881.

28More troubling still for authorities, well into the 1550s they had to contend with the fact that in certain dioceses heterodox preachers enjoyed considerable protection from sympathetic bishops. Jean Du Bellay, Cardinal Bishop of Paris, who himself was investigated for heresy in 1529, went on from 1533 to 1545 to protect the likes of Gérard Roussel, Nicolas Cop, François Landry, and François Perrussel when pursued for their evangelical sermons. In 1547 the Parlement ordered the Bishop of Le Mans to allow four Augustinians to be tried54. In 1556 an inquisitor denounced six more Augustinians for preaching heresy at Angers and accused the Bishop of protecting them, noting that two of the friars had been allowed to flee to Geneva55.

  • 56 See J. Reid, Kings Sister... cit. n. 15, ch. 7. For the appeal of the reform movement to different (...)
  • 57 Crespin records several cases of refugees from Meaux proselytizing in other towns, see II, p. 493- (...)

29As at Bourges, in many cities across France there was a close connection between public preaching and the formation of evangelical lay groups. The most famous case, of course, is the reform at Meaux. There Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and his collaborators developed a program of religious renewal expressly designed to produce lay people well versed in the Scriptures, who would be capable of teaching evangelical doctrine to others. They preached clear sermons expounding the meaning of the Epistle and Gospel readings on Sundays, provided the laity with copies of the New Testament in French, and five members of the group gave daily lessons on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and the Psalms to interested lay groups. Through these efforts, active lay circles formed including town notables and commoners56. By 1525, when the Meaux reformers were silenced, these groups evidently had become trained well enough to perpetuate this system of religious education on their own. From then until well after they formed the first, albeit short-lived, underground Reformed church in the mid-1540s, Meaux produced a steady trickle of lay missionaries, who evangelized other towns and regions57.

  • 58 See the testimony of Christophe Hérault in J. Frederichs, De Secte der Loïsten of Antwerpsche Libe (...)

30After Meaux, Gérard Roussel’s preaching at Paris in 1533 and 1534 is the most fully documented case of public preaching helping to consolidate an evangelical network. Both Crespin’s account and the rare testimony of a fledgling from Paris interrogated at Antwerp in 1535 reveal that a large network of evangelicals, including rich merchants, administrative officials, and more common folk coalesced through attending public preaching and private instruction on the Scriptures by Gérard Roussel and an Augustinian friar, Elie Couraud. Among this group were several of those responsible for the October 1534 placards. Significantly, parlementary officials caught them by specifically targeting for investigation a list of attendees at Roussel and Couraud’s sermons and lessons58.

  • 59 For the following information see Le livre de Podio ou chroniques d’Etienne Médicis, bourgeois du (...)
  • 60 For Alençon: Ch. Oursel, Notes pour servir à l’histoire... cit. n. 47, p. 4452; Grenoble: A. J. He (...)

31Turning to less well-known examples, at Le Puy-en-Velay a conservative Catholic chronicler noted that 25 local priests and monks had thrown off their habits by 1563. The presence of so large a block of heterodox clergy would seem to have been important in eroding support for the traditional church down to a third of the population by the time the town fell to Huguenot troops in 156259. Some evidence exists of a link between preaching and conventicle formation there too. During Advent of 1538 and Lent of 1539 a priest from Picardy gave well attended sermons and private lessons on St. Paul’s epistles to a large, enthusiastic group of clerics, notables, and commoners. Many were unaware that despite appearances - the priest was also selling indulgences - he was, according to the Parlement of Toulouse, inculcating Lutheran doctrines. So too for Alençon, Grenoble, Lyon, Toulouse, Poitiers, and beyond, plentiful evidence exists that clerics preaching in public and conducting Bible lessons, exhortations, and prayers in private helped to galvanize local evangelical groups, ones embracing people from across the social spectrum60.

  • 61 Cf. n. 52.

32Such examples are suggestive. We lack, however, a systematic survey of the extent of evangelical preaching by Catholic clerics across France. Nevertheless, the parlementary records cited above show that authorities were deeply concerned by the large numbers of priests and friars preaching heterodox doctrines and even holding secret assemblies. Whether, as at Bourges, they were succeeding by the mid 1550s in silencing such clerics elsewhere has yet to be determined61.

33Beyond public preaching, four other major factors contributed to the formation and strengthening of evangelical networks: migration and personal proselytization as well as schools and books.

34First, as for migration, much as Catholic authorities described heresy, evangelicals spread heterodox ideas like a communicable disease from place to place through their travels. Some evangelical preachers and teachers, such as Jean Michel and Pierre Bouquin at Bourges and Claude Baduel at Nîmes, had spent formative periods in Protestant lands before returning to France to take up positions of influence. The full extent and importance of this pre-1555 circulation of evangelicals abroad for training and back home for service, which long predates the massive influx of ministers from Geneva following 1560, has yet to be studied.

  • 62 HE I, p. 65-66.
  • 63 HE I, p. 19-20.

35Perhaps most important for the spread of evangelical ideas was internal migration. In particular, the practice in many towns of hiring guest preachers for the Advent and Lenten seasons, evident in most cities cited above, all but ensured that tainted clerics would get into the church’s circulatory system. For instance, two of Marguerite of Navarre’s officers at Issoudun called evangelical preachers from Bourges to preach Lent, helping to establish an evangelical community there62. So too, Jean Michel preached at Sancerre in 1534, which later became one of the strongest Huguenot centers in the region63.

  • 64 D. Hempsall, The Languedoc 1520-1540... cit n. 60, p. 225-244.
  • 65 Fl. de Raemond, L’histoire de la naissance... cit. n. 60, p. 890-895.
  • 66 In Crespin, the first French martyr with some connection to Geneva dates to 1545. From 1549 to 155 (...)

36The voyages of lay evangelizers were also important. Some evidence exists that in the 1530s evangelicals in major centers deliberately attempted to proselytize their surrounding regions. At Toulouse in 1532, the trial records of the dozens of people arrested for attending evangelical meetings at the University reveals that a core group had carried out a campaign to teach their doctrines throughout the region64. The Catholic historian, Florimond de Raemond, who had been a Huguenot during part of his youth, claimed based on eyewitness testimony that in the wake of Calvin’s stay in Poitiers, three men set out methodically to evangelize the town, its university, and the surrounding countryside65. However credible the report, Poitiers indeed became an important early evangelical stronghold. In Crespin’s martyrology over half of those executed for heresy in France between 1545 and 1555, some 27 of 46, were caught while traveling either to or from Geneva or other Protestant centers outside France66.

37Such concerted evangelizing missions shaded into a second conduit: personal proselytization. Crespin’s martyrology is full of examples of individuals who broadcast evangelical beliefs in the usual forums of social interaction: the family, the workplace, noble courts, and the republic of letters. Personal witnessing and public preaching likely reinforced each other. Some lay evangelizers, like those originating from Meaux, clearly had been tutored by evangelical ministers. Whether such clerical instruction was the norm or even a necessary catalyst to produce a cascade of laypeople indoctrinating other laypeople is yet another question for future research.

  • 67 H. Heller, The Conquest... cit. n. 56, ch. 3, esp. p. 77 et infra.
  • 68 G. Huppert, Classes dangereuses: école et réforme en France, 1530-1560, in Les réformes enracineme (...)
  • 69 J. Garrisson-Estèbe, L’histoire des protestants... cit. n. 48, p. 48.

38Third, as at Bourges, throughout France schoolmasters and students as well as book dealers were important agents in the spread of the new doctrines and formation of committed conventicles. Henry Heller has recounted a fascinating case study of how evangelicals at the collège of Agen helped to create a local network and listed 25 other towns where heterodox regents were active before 155067. George Huppert counts many more68. Schools, while hugely influential in training members of the elites, including clerics, probably rank behind parish churches in importance as incubators of a broad-based evangelical movement. Heterodox masters and students appear to have been less vocal in public given that they aroused the suspicions of authorities less often than those with the cure of souls. Compared to the 25 clerics investigated at Bordeaux to 1554, only 10 teachers were indicted69.

  • 70 [Paris, Simon Du Bois, 1525?], «Au fidele liseur,» dated Sept. 1525, A2r.

39Fourth, books clearly played a major role in sustaining local evangelical networks. Happily, other authors in this volume are addressing this important subject. Here, one may simply posit as axiomatic that that people convert people, books rarely do unaided. Rather, books would seem to have helped to perpetuate and fulfill an appetite for evangelical doctrines whetted through personal proselytization. At least this is how some evangelical preachers saw the matter. In the preface to the very first vernacular evangelical tract to be printed in France, the 1525 Brief recueil de la substance [...] de la doctrine évangelique, a minister turned writer announces to his auditors that since he and his fellow preachers were being silenced they had decided to provided spiritual nourishment through the next best means: books70.

40Lastly, returning to the problem of the late formation of Reformed churches, two factors deserve special emphasis for our understanding of the life of local evangelical networks and, moreover, why they did not form separate churches before 1555 or in great numbers until 1560. The first concerns the sacraments. As we have seen at Bourges, evangelical clerics, while often critical of confession and the Eucharist, continued to offer these sacraments to the laity within the church. Indeed, the limited evidence we have indicates that many were trying to reshape the meaning of the mass and confession through their preaching. Some even tried to alter the liturgy.

  • 71 J. Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform in Early Reformation France: The Faculty of Theology of Paris, 1500 (...)
  • 72 Sept. 1548 and again circa Jan. 1550, CO XIII, c. 40-42 and 515-516.
  • 73 R. Sauzet, Les réguliers... cit. n. 9, p. 144-146.
  • 74 See J. Reid, Kings Sister... cit. n. 15, ch. 10.
  • 75 Crespin II, p. 151-156.

41During the early 1530s Étienne Le Court proclaimed the canon of the mass to be a human invention71. Well before casting aside his cowl, Jean de l’Espine wrote to Calvin that he agreed with him that confession should be a public rite and that the canon of the mass was thoroughly vitiated72. During the same period, he is known to have administered the sacrament under both kinds to a woman on her deathbed73. So too, Gérard Roussel composed treatises largely inspired by Calvin on confession and the Eucharist, and celebrated these rites in new liturgical forms corresponding to his evangelical sacramental theology. In them, he denied the power of priests to absolve sin and gave both elements to the laity74. In a similar vein, Crespin reports that a priest in Limousin refused to hear private confession and omitted the words of consecration when saying mass because of his adherence to Reformed doctrines75.

  • 76 Fl. de Raemond, L’histoire de la naissance... cit. n. 60, p. 849-850, 853, 891894, 909-911, and 91 (...)
  • 77 «Ceux qui estoient Prestres disoient la Messe. Mais voyez l’execrable impieté d’aucuns, c’estoit s (...)

42Such alterations of the mass in meaning and form may have been widespread. The Catholic apologist Raemond claims suggestively that circa 1534 Calvin instituted at Poitiers a special celebration called a «manducation» during which participants blessed and consumed both Eucharistic elements without the aid of a priest. Calvin’s new rite, he claims, was widely copied by other evangelical conventicles, including the court of Marguerite of Navarre76. In other passages, he laments that, like the priest from Limousin, many clerics purposefully omitted to say the words of consecration when celebrating the mass77. However, aside from the church at Meaux and the groups led by the Séraphin d’Argences, one finds in the judicial records almost no evidence of Eucharistic celebrations led by laymen. Raemond’s description of the manducation, moreover, is suspiciously similar to the rite Roussel practiced. All this evidence suggests that many clerics, operating well within their canonical rights, were celebrating public and private masses evangelical in spirit and, occasionally, as l’Espine and Roussel did, under both kinds.

43The second point is that the late formation of reformed churches was due not to a lack of leadership but rather to the very directions evangelical leaders were giving. Evangelicals looked up first to Marguerite of Navarre and her network and then Calvin and Geneva. Yet before 1555 neither leader was calling for the establishment of separate Reformed churches. Marguerite and her network set a public example by attempting to effect evangelical renewal from within the church. In a handful of places, such as Meaux, Paris, Alençon, Bourges, Nîmes, Nérac, Pau, and their surrounding regions, her network even exerted extensive influence in creating local evangelical groups by placing and protecting their operatives in positions of power.

  • 78 Ph. Benedict, op. cit. n. 8, p. 109-114; cf. H. Heller, op. cit. n. 56, ch. 4.
  • 79 Except for this letter and his mention of Jean Michel cit. n. 17, there appear to be no other ment (...)

44Calvin, on the other hand, was largely a symbolic father figure in France before 1555. While his writings had tremendous impact, he had relatively little direct epistolary contact with French evangelicals78. For instance, given Calvin’s close connection to Bourges and his penchant for writing letters of pastoral advice, it is surprising that he had almost no exchange with the faithful gathered there. The effect of Calvin’s only known letter to Bourges before 1556 was negative. In 1550 he wrote to speed the departure of Germain and Leon Colladon for Geneva, thus, in effect, helping to strip local evangelicals of their native leadership79.

45Moreover, when addressing the faithful of France in anti-Nicodemite treatises from 1537 to 1550 Calvin undermined the very idea of forming independent Reformed churches. True believers, he advised, had either to flee Catholic lands or abstain from the mass and risk the consequences. Yet never did he publicly counsel French evangelicals to establish separate churches before 1555. By forbidding believers to attend even Eucharists celebrated by evangelical clerics, he had in effect condemned them to a religious life without the sacraments. It was not a tenable situation.

  • 80 HE I, p. 97-99.

46Two major Genevan sources corroborate the view that Calvin’s leadership retarded the formation of Reformed churches. As is evident in Crespin’s first martyrology of 1554, published one year before the organization of churches began, none of the people encountered in it who were journeying back to France from Geneva were missionaries intending to set up Reformed churches. Such figures only people the post-1555 editions of the martyrology. The Histoire ecclésiastique also provides clear testimony. In its account of the establishment of the first Reformed church in Paris, a nobleman who desperately wants his newborn to be baptized according to a purified, evangelical rite asks his confreres to bind themselves into a congregation and elect from among themselves a minister to perform the sacraments. This happened, so the Histoire relates, providentially without prompting or direction from Geneva. Only in a second stage did this nascent congregation ask Geneva for a trained pastor80.

47When other French conventicles followed suit, Calvin and Geneva were, especially after 1559, in a position to support them by sending out pastors. One of the great mysteries, however, remains why it took until 1555 for French evangelical groups to emulate the experiment in church formation daringly attempted at Meaux in the 1540s. Part of the reason, this paper suggests, is that only in the late 1550s did persecution effectively cut off the comfort and hope many people may have found in the church through the regular administration of word and sacraments by evangelical clerics. Calvin and Geneva were left as the only alternative. Even then, the Genevan model of an independent reformed church was one that relatively few were willing to embrace until the death of Henry II.

Notes

1 The author wishes to thank East Carolina University for granting him a generous Summer Research Award to conduct archival research in Bourges and Paris for this paper.

2 So asserts an eminent scholar of the popular appeal of the Reformation in the Empire, Peter Blickle, «There are no convincing explanations for Calvin’s success in France.» See his The Popular Reformation, in Handbook of European History, 1400-1600, Th. A. Brady, Jr. et al. (ed.), Leiden, 1995, II, p. 181-182, 185.

3 Histoire ecclésiastique des églises réformées au royaume de France, G. Baum et al. (ed.), III, Paris, 1883-1889, I, p. 97 (page references are to the original 1580 edition printed in the margin, hereafter cited as HE I, p. 97).

4 See his Le protestantisme en France au xvie siècle, Paris, 1959, p. 38-49, 63100, esp. 48-49, 90-100.

5 Data complied from his lists in Les églises réformées de France: tableaux et cartes, Paris, 1958, p. 56-107; cf. Id., Le protestantisme... cit. n. 4, p. 101-185.

6 R. Kingdon, Geneva and the Coming of the Wars of Religion in France, 15551563, Geneva, 1956, p. 1-2, 79-80.

7 Ibid., p. 79, 106.

8 Ph. Benedict, Christs Churches Purely Reformed, New Haven, 2002, p. 134 and 137 s.

9 Many of these clerics, of course, spent portions of their careers outside Bourges. They have been identified from the Histoire ecclésiastique, Bibliothèque de la Société d’histoire du protestantisme français (hereafter SHPF) MS 4881, which contains extracts from Archives nationales de France, Tables de Le Nain, Parlement de Paris: hérétiques 1 (1530-1562), documents in the Archives départementales du Cher (AD Cher), and as noted. Eleven of the fourteen mendicants are noted in R. Sauzet, Les réguliers mendiants acteurs du changement religieux dans le royaume de France (1480-1560), Tours, 1984.
Arande, Michel d’, O.S.A., preached during Advent 1523 and Lent 1524. AD Cher 8 G 161, f. 327r, 330r; 8 G 424.
Bodin, Jean, O.C., was pursued in 1545 for blasphemy and errors concerning the holy sacrament, saints, faith, and traditions of the church (in his preaching?), and fled to Geneva in 1547. N. Weiss, La réforme à Bourges au xvie siècle, in BSHPF, 53, 1904, p. 336; P.-F. Geisendorf, Livre des habitants de Genève, 15491560, Geneva, 1957, p. 24.
Bouquin, Pierre, O.C., fled from Bourges to Wittenberg, Leipzig, Basel, landing as Calvin’s successor at Strasbourg in 1541, returned to Bourges in 1542, taught Hebrew, preached at the cathedral, and fled again to Strasbourg in 1555. HE I, p. 616, N. Weiss, La réforme à Bourges..., p. 134, 329, 341.
Bournonville, Jean de, O.S.B., prior of St. Ambroise, preached at Bourges.
HE I, p. 56-62.
Bronosse, Arnaud de, O.S.A., was cited by the Faculty of Theology in Paris for his heretical preaching at Bourges in 1526. J. Farge, Biographical Register of Paris Doctors of Theology, 1500-1536, Toronto, 1980, p. 57-58.
Chaponneau, Jean, O.S.B., canon of St. Ambroise, Doctor of Theology; preached at Bourges after 1533 and probably accompanied Jean Michel to Geneva circa 1537-1538. HE I, p. 18-20, 56-62.
Coignet, Jehan, «clerc, natif de Bourges» arrived in Geneva in 1551. P.-F. Geisendorf, Livre..., p. 18.
Colin, Jacques, absentee Abbot of St. Ambroise [O.S.B.], was the superior of Bournonville and Chaponneau, and a courtier with strong ties to Marguerite of Navarre. V.-L. Bourrilly, Jacques Colin, Paris, 1905.
Du Bois [Bosco], Jean, O.P., was converted by Bouquin at Bourges, preached at Issoudun, could be the the unnamed Dominican, who did penance in 1546 for «many false propositions» preached in the cathedral, and later served as minister at Revel (near Foix), 3 Jan 1562. HE I, p. 56, 65-66, 873-874.
Espine, Jean de l’, O.S.A., preached for a time at Bourges, and joined the Reformed church after Poissy. HE I, p. 56-62.
Glaumeau, Jehan, priest, converted in 1562. Journal de Jean Glaumeau, Bourges 1541-1562, ed. Le Prés. Hiver, Bourges, 1867.
Gramaire, Jean, priest, supported Chapponeau and preached at Bourges. HE I, p. 56-62.
Hermit, anonymous, preached in the street and Law Faculty at Bourges in the wake of Marlorat’s sermons. HE I, p. 59.
Lardin, Jean, O.C., Doctor of Theology, was pursued 2 March 1551 for heresy by the Archbishop of Bourges. SHPF MSS 4881 and 486.
Launay, Jean de, O.S.A., was condemned in 1558 for preaching that grace alone suffices for salvation. SHPF MS 4881.
Loquet, Jean, O.S.A., preached at Bourges, was pursued for heresy by the Augustinian General Seripando, and later served as a minister at Strasbourg in 1553. HE I, p. 56-62.
Marlorat, Augustin, O.S.A., first preached in Bourges circa 1536, was pursued by Seripando for heresy in 1539, preached Lent at the Cathedral in 1541, fled to Geneva in 1549, and later served as minister at Rouen and as part of Protestant delegation at Poissy. HE I, p. 56-62.
Mercier, Pierre, priest and organist of St. Ursin, was forced to do public penance for heresy December 1552. AD Cher 8 G 279 and 8 G 166.
Michel, Jean, O.S.B., was active from at least 1533, preached without intoning the Ave Maria, was investigated and condemned by Matthieu Ory 15331536, fled to Geneva, and returned to Bourges, where he was executed as a recidivist in 1539. HE I, p. 18-20, 56-62.
Nuptiis, Pierre de, O.F.M., fled Toulouse in 1532 after being indicted for heresy, spent time in Bourges as a protégé of Marguerite of Navarre after the Faculty of Theology condemned him in 1534. HE I, p. 12.
Philip, François, O.C., Professor of Theology, was authorized 17 Dec. 1550 to preach following Lent, and was subsequently pursued for preaching heretical doctrines, 20 March 1551. AD Cher 8 G 165.
Robin, Jean, priest, was listed among the 92 Huguenots taxed for reparations after the town surrendered to royal forces in 1562. Journal de Jean Glaumeau, p. 162.
Simon, Michel, priest, Professor of Theology, taught sola scriptura to Jean Michel at the University of Bourges prior to 1539, and held a public debate with a Catholic opponent. HE I, p. 57.
Vauville, Richard, O.S.A., preached at Bourges, was accused in 1542 of heresy at Paris, preached heretical propositions at Montdidier in 1547, fled in 1550 to Strasbourg, then London, where he joined the refugee Reformed congregations. HE I, p. 56-62.

10 The length of their ministry at Bourges is not known for Espine, the anonymous hermit, Loquet, and Vauville.

11 Arande, Bodin, Bouquin, Bournonville, Bronosse, Chaponneau, Du Bois, Espine, the unnamed hermit, Launay, Loquet, Marlorat, Michel, Philip, and Vauville.

12 HE I, p. 58-59.

13 The six future ministers were Bouqin, Du Bois, l’Espine, Locquet, Marlorat, and Vauville. Bodin, Chaponneau, Coignet, Glaumeau, and Robin are the others known to have joined a Reformed church.

14 Including six doctors Bouqin, Bronosse, Chaponneau, Lardin, Philip, and Simon, and two with licenses Arande and Nuptiis.

15 Soon after he took the pulpit during Lent, the cathedral canons ordered a revision of their saints’ books, liturgical texts, and bibles to rid them of errors and spurious material, 7 March 1524, AD Cher 8 G 161, f. 334v. Meanwhile, the Archbishop’s procurator sought to indict him as a heretic. See further, J. Reid, Kings Sister - Queen of Dissent: Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) and Her Evangelical Network, Ph.D. thesis, University of Arizona, 2001, ch. 6.

16 HE I, p. 58-59.

17 For Calvin’s 1540 letter concerning Jean Michel, see A. J. Herminjard, Correspondance des réformateurs, VI, Geneva, 1883, p. 222, cited by N. Weiss, Jean Michel, martyr à Bourges, son arrêt de mort (1539), in BSHPF, 39, 1890, p. 633.

18 7 Mar. 1544, SHPF MS 4881.

19 The outcome of this case is unknown, N. Weiss, La réforme à Bourges...cit. n. 9, p. 336.

20 5 February 1546 an unnamed Dominican, possibly Jean Dubois, made honorable amendment at the cathedral for having preached multae propositiones erroneas, AD Cher, 8 G 164, referred to by L. Raynal, Histoire du Berry, III, Bourges, 1844, p. 343-344. In 1550 and 1551 Philip and Lardin were investigated for their heretical sermons, as in note 9. In 1554 the Augustinians were forbidden to preach in the cathedral, Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 61.

21 21 May 1558, SHPF MS 4881.

22 Bodin, Bouquin, Coignet, Loquet, Marlorat, and Vauville.

23 15 Feb. 1524, AD Cher 8 G 161, f. 330.

24 HE I, p. 57-58.

25 In 1541 Augustin Marlorat won the battle with the Dominican Ygot for the right to preach Lent. In 1554, five years after his departure, his former brothers were denied access to the cathedral pulpit, as in note 20, and in 1555 Ygot obtained the chair during Lent. See AD Cher, E 1231 & 1314, f. 43, and 1 March 1555, AD Cher 8 G 213.

26 HE I, p. 57-62.

27 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 45-46, 47, 92-93.

28 P.-F. Geisendorf, Livre... cit. n. 9, lists 45 inhabitants hailing specifically from Bourges and dozens more from nearby towns.

29 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 43. In 1548, the Parlement of Paris had ordered communion registers to be kept at Auxerre, Auvergne, and other dioceses, SHPF MS 4881.

30 1 Dec. 1525, AD Cher 8 G 162, f. 96r.

31 4 Oct. 1526, AD Cher 8 G 162, f. 155r.

32 J. Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, 1798, XXXII, cols. 1141-1142, items I-IV.

33 In 1539 Anthoine Chaignal, a bookseller, did «amende honorable» for heresy in front of the Cathedral of St. Etienne, AD Cher 8 G 278. In 1550 another bookseller was ordered to be burned at Bourges by the Parlement of Paris for heresy and carrying heretical books, J. Crespin, Histoire des martyrs persécutez et mis à morts pour la vérité de l’évangile, ed. D. Benoît, III, Toulouse, 1885-1889, I, p. 548 (hereafter cited as Crespin I, p. 548); HE I, p. 83. In the 1550s two booksellers from Bourges and four from towns in Berry fled to Geneva, P.-F. Geisendorf, Livre... cit. n. 9, p. 11-12, 32, 35, and 107. In 1562 four others figured on a list of Reformed notables, Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 161-164.

34 HE I, p. 59.

35 N. Weiss, La réforme à Bourges... cit. n. 9, p. 316-317.

36 Jean Calvin, Ioannis Calvini opera quae supersunt omnia, LIX, G. Baum, E. Cunitz, and E. Reuss (ed.), Brunschwig, 1863-1900 (Corpus Reformatorum 2987), XXI, c. 55 and 122 (hereafter cited as CO XXI, c. 55).

37 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 123.

38 N. Weiss, La chambre ardente: étude sur la liberté de conscience en France sous François Ier et Henri II (1540-1550), Paris, 1889, no. 101.

39 HE I, p. 103-05, 793-794.

40 AD Cher 8 G 354, Chapitre de Saint-Étienne, «Abjurations de Protestants» contains abjurations from 1572-1574, f. 1-20r. The large number of abjurers from Bourges is a statistically useful sample since, as Hodges has shown, Bourges only had some 3,300 taxable households and a total population of some 16,000. F. Hodges, War, Population, and the Structure of Wealth in Sixteenth-Century Bourges, 1557-1586, Ph.D. thesis, The University of Tennessee, 1983.

41 Journal de Jean Glaumeau... cit. n. 9, p. 52-53.

42 Ibid., p. 93-94.

43 Ibid., p. 122-123.

44 For the singing of the Psalms and growing religions tensions, see ibid., p. 103-104, 114-115, 118-119, and 120.

45 Statistics complied from W. Monter, Appendix: Heresy Executions Ordered in France, 1523-1560, in Judging the French Reformation, Cambridge (Mass.), 1999, p. 251-269.

46 R. Mentzer, Jr., Heresy Proceedings in Languedoc, 1500-1560, Philadelphia, 1984 (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 74, pt. 5), p. 151-154.

47 Figures complied from Ch. Oursel, Notes pour servir à l’histoire de la réforme en Normandie au temps de François Ier, Caen, 1913, p. 10-28.

48 J. Garrisson-Estèbe, L’histoire des protestants en France, Toulouse, 1977, p. 48.

49 Figures compiled from N. Weiss, La chambre ardente... cit. n. 38.

50 R. Sauzet, Les réguliers... cit. n. 9, p. X-XI.

51 W. Monter argues persuasively that the parlements’ will to prosecute slackened in the 1550s, op. cit. n. 45, p. 246 and passim. Cf. R. Mentzer, Heresy Proceedings... cit. n. 46, p. 161.

52 5 and 6 July 1542, AN U 2034, f. 314v-315r.

53 Chronique du Parlement de Bordeaux, ed. J. de Métivier, Bordeaux, 18861887, I, p. 467; II, p. 63, 82, 85, 223-224, 249, 253, 261, 296. B. Lacheze, O.C., and frère Melchior, O.F.M., were pursued for their preaching. Neither appears in R. Sauzet, Les réguliers... cit. n. 9.

54 23 June 1547, SHPF MS 4881.

55 14 Mar. 1556, SHPF MS 4881.

56 See J. Reid, Kings Sister... cit. n. 15, ch. 7. For the appeal of the reform movement to different segments of society, see also H. Heller, The Conquest of Poverty, Leiden, 1986, ch. 2.

57 Crespin records several cases of refugees from Meaux proselytizing in other towns, see II, p. 493-501, 517, and 527.

58 See the testimony of Christophe Hérault in J. Frederichs, De Secte der Loïsten of Antwerpsche Libertijnen (1525-1545): Eligius Pruystinck (Loy de Schaliedecker) en zijne Aanhangers, Ghent, 1891, and Crespin I, p. 297-298 and p. 302-305.

59 For the following information see Le livre de Podio ou chroniques d’Etienne Médicis, bourgeois du Puy, ed. A. Chassaing, I, Le Puy, 1874, p. 386-387, 502-554, esp. 521 and 551-553.

60 For Alençon: Ch. Oursel, Notes pour servir à l’histoire... cit. n. 47, p. 4452; Grenoble: A. J. Herminjard, Correspondance... cit. n. 17, I, p. 206, 228, 248250, 281, 282 and H. Hours, Procès d’hérésie contre Aimé Maigret (Lyon-Grenoble, 1524), in Bibliothèque d’humanisme et Renaissance, 19, 1957, p. 14-43; Toulouse, see D. Hempsall, The Languedoc 1520-1540: A Study of pre-Calvinist Heresy in France, in Archiv fur Reformationsgeschichte, 62, 1971; and for Poitiers: Fl. de Raemond, L’histoire de la naissance, progrez, et decadence de l’hérésie de ce siècle, Rouen, 1623 (Ist ed., Paris, 1605), bk. 7, ch. 11, and Journal de Guillaume et de Michel Le Riche, avocats du roi à Saint-Maixent, ed. La Fontenelle de Vaudoré, Saint-Maixent, 1846.

61 Cf. n. 52.

62 HE I, p. 65-66.

63 HE I, p. 19-20.

64 D. Hempsall, The Languedoc 1520-1540... cit n. 60, p. 225-244.

65 Fl. de Raemond, L’histoire de la naissance... cit. n. 60, p. 890-895.

66 In Crespin, the first French martyr with some connection to Geneva dates to 1545. From 1549 to 1554 the number of martyrs connected with Geneva, Lausanne, or Strasbourg becomes preponderant: 25 of 32 cases, involving 32 of 45 people.

67 H. Heller, The Conquest... cit. n. 56, ch. 3, esp. p. 77 et infra.

68 G. Huppert, Classes dangereuses: école et réforme en France, 1530-1560, in Les réformes enracinement socio-culturel, XXVe Colloque international d’études humanistes Tours, 1er-13 juillet 1982, Bernard Chevalier et Robert Sauzet (ed.), Paris, 1985, p. 327-335.

69 J. Garrisson-Estèbe, L’histoire des protestants... cit. n. 48, p. 48.

70 [Paris, Simon Du Bois, 1525?], «Au fidele liseur,» dated Sept. 1525, A2r.

71 J. Farge, Orthodoxy and Reform in Early Reformation France: The Faculty of Theology of Paris, 1500-1543, Leiden, 1985, p. 198-199.

72 Sept. 1548 and again circa Jan. 1550, CO XIII, c. 40-42 and 515-516.

73 R. Sauzet, Les réguliers... cit. n. 9, p. 144-146.

74 See J. Reid, Kings Sister... cit. n. 15, ch. 10.

75 Crespin II, p. 151-156.

76 Fl. de Raemond, L’histoire de la naissance... cit. n. 60, p. 849-850, 853, 891894, 909-911, and 919.

77 «Ceux qui estoient Prestres disoient la Messe. Mais voyez l’execrable impieté d’aucuns, c’estoit sans consacrer le pain, ni prononcer les paroles sacramentales. L’Abbé de Clerac, Evesque d’Oleron [G. Roussel], fut accusé de cette meschanceté, mais il s’en purgea...,» Ibid., p. 919.

78 Ph. Benedict, op. cit. n. 8, p. 109-114; cf. H. Heller, op. cit. n. 56, ch. 4.

79 Except for this letter and his mention of Jean Michel cit. n. 17, there appear to be no other mentions of Bourges in the correspondence of Beza or Calvin before 1556. See Calvin to Nicolas Colladon, 13 May 1550, CO XIII, c. 562563.

80 HE I, p. 97-99.

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