Online Biblical studies Rise of the Hugenots 2

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France in the Sixteenth Century 3

Extent at the Accession of Francis I. 3

Gradual Territorial Growth 4

Subdivision in the Tenth Century 5

Destruction of the Feudal System 5

The Foremost Kingdom of Christendom 6

Assimilation of Manners and Language 8

Growth and Importance of Paris 9

Military Strength 10

The Rights of the People overlooked 11

The States General not convoked 12

Unmurmuring Endurance of the Tiers État 13

Absolutism of the Crown 14

Partial Checks 15

The Parliament of Paris 16

Other Parliaments 17

The Parliaments claim the Right of Remonstrance 17

Abuses in the Parliament of Bordeaux 19

Origin and Growth of the University 20

Faculty of Theology, or Sorbonne 22

Its Authority and Narrowness 23

Multitude of Students 24

Credit of the Clergy 25

Liberties of the Gallican Church 25

Pragmatic Sanction of. St. Louis (1268) 26

Conflict of Philip the Fair with Boniface VIII. 27

[Pg xiv]The "Babylonish Captivity" 28

Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges (1438) 29

Rejoicing at the Council of Basle 31

Louis XI. undertakes to abrogate the Pragmatic Sanction 32

But subsequently re-enacts it in part 33

Louis XII. publishes it anew 35

Francis I. sacrifices the Interests of the Gallican Church 35

Concordat between Leo X. and the French King 36

Dissatisfaction of the Clergy 37

Struggle with the Parliament of Paris 37

Opposition of the University 39

Patronage of the King 41

The "Renaissance" 41

Francis's Acquirements overrated 42

His Munificent Patronage of Art 42

The Collége Royal, or "Trilingue" 43

An Age of Blood 44

Barbarous Punishment for Crime 45

And not less for Heresy 46

Belief in Judicial Astrology 47

Predictions of Nostradamus 47

Reverence for Relics 49

For the Consecrated Wafer 50

Internal Condition of the Clergy 51

Number and Wealth of the Cardinals 51

Non-residence of Prelates 52

Revenues of the Clergy 52

Vice and Hypocrisy 53

Brantôme's Account of the Clergy before the Concordat 54

Aversion to the Use of the French Language 56

Indecent Processions—"Processions Blanches" 59

The Monastic Orders held in Contempt 60

Protests against prevailing Corruption 61

The "Cathari," or Albigenses 61

Nicholas de Clemangis 63

John Gerson 64

Jean Bouchet's "Deploration of the Church" 65

Changes in the Boundaries of France during the 16th Century 66

The Reformation in Meaux 67

Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples 67

Restores Letters to France 68

[Pg xv]Wide Range of his Studies 68

Guillaume Farel, his Pupil 68

Devotion of Teacher and Scholar 69

Lefèvre publishes a Latin Commentary on the Pauline Epistles (1512) 70

Enters into Controversy with Natalis Beda (1518) 71

The Sorbonne's Declaration (Nov. 9, 1521) 71

Briçonnet, Bishop of Meaux 72

His First Reformatory Efforts 72

Invites Lefèvre and Farel to Meaux 73

Effects of the Preaching of Roussel and others 74

De Roma's Threat 76

Lefèvre publishes a Translation of the New Testament (1523) 77

The Results surpass Expectation 79

Bishop Briçonnet's Weakness 80

Forbids the "Lutheran" Doctors to preach 81

Lefèvre and Roussel take Refuge in Strasbourg 84

Jean Leclerc whipped and branded 87

His barbarous Execution at Metz 88

Pauvan burned on the Place de Grève 89

The Hermit of Livry 92

Briçonnet becomes a Jailer of "Lutherans" 92

Lefèvre's Writings condemned by the Sorbonne (1525) 93

He becomes Tutor of Prince Charles 94

Librarian at Blois 94

Ends his Days at Nérac 95

His Mental Anguish 95

Michel d'Arande and Gérard Roussel 96

Francis I. and Margaret of Angoulême—Early Reformatory Movements and Struggles 99

Francis I. and Margaret of Angoulême 99

The King's Chivalrous Disposition 100

Appreciates Literary Excellence 101

Contrast with Charles V. 101

His Religious Convictions 102

His Fear of Innovation 102

His Loose Morality 103

Margaret's Scholarly Attainments 104

Her Personal Appearance 105

Her Participation in Public Affairs 106

Her First Marriage to the Duke of Alençon 106

Obtains a Safe-Conduct to visit her Brother 106

[Pg xvi]Her Second Marriage, to Henry, King of Navarre 107

Bishop Briçonnet's Mystic Correspondence 108

Luther's Teachings solemnly condemned by the University 108

Melanchthon's Defence 109

Regency of Louise de Savoie 109

The Sorbonne suggests Means of extirpating the "Lutheran Doctrines" (Oct. 7, 1523) 110

Wide Circulation of Luther's Treatises 112

François Lambert, of Avignon 112

Life among the Franciscans 113

Lambert, the first French Monk to embrace the Reformation 113

He is also the First to Marry 114

Jean Châtellain at Metz 114

Wolfgang Schuch at St. Hippolyte 115

Farel at Montbéliard 117

Pierre Caroli lectures on the Psalms 118

The Heptameron of the Queen of Navarre 119

Increased Severity—Louis de Berquin 122

Captivity of Francis I. 122

Change in the Religious Policy of Louise 123

A Commission appointed to try "Lutherans" 124

The Inquisition heretofore jealously watched 125

The Commission indorsed by Clement VII. 126

Its Powers enlarged by the Bull 128

Character of Louis de Berquin 128

He becomes a warm Partisan of the Reformation 129

First Imprisonment (1523) 130

Released by Order of the King 130

Advice of Erasmus 131

Second Imprisonment (1526) 131

Francis from Madrid again orders his Release 132

Dilatory Measures of Parliament 132

Margaret of Angoulême's Hopes 133

Francis violates his Pledges to Charles V. 134

Must conciliate the Pope and Clergy 135

Promises to prove himself "Very Christian" 137

The Council of Sens (1528) 138

Cardinal Duprat 138

Vigorous Measures to suppress Reformation 139

The Councils of Bourges and Lyons 139

[Pg xvii]Financial Help bought by Persecution 140

Insult to an Image and an Expiatory Procession 141

Other Iconoclastic Excesses 143

Berquin's Third Arrest 143

His Condemnation to Penance, Branding, and Perpetual Imprisonment 145

He Appeals 145

Is suddenly Sentenced to Death and Executed 146

Francis Treats with the Germans 147

And with Henry VIII. of England 148

Francis meets Clement at Marseilles 148

Marriage of Henry of Orleans to Catharine de' Medici 148

Francis Refuses to join in a general Scheme for the Extermination of Heresy 149

Execution of Jean de Caturce, at Toulouse 150

Le Coq's Evangelical Sermon 151

Margaret attacked at College of Navarre 152

Her "Miroir de l'Ame Pécheresse" condemned 152

Rector Cop's Address to the University 153

Calvin, the real Author, seeks Safety in Flight 154

Rough Answer of Francis to the Bernese 155

Royal Letter to the Bishop of Paris 156

Elegies on Louis de Berquin 157

Melanchthon's Attempt at Conciliation, and the Year of the Placards 159

Hopes of Reunion in the Church 159

Melanchthon and Du Bellay 160

A Plan of Reconciliation 160

Its Extreme Concessions 161

Makes a Favorable Impression on Francis 162

Indiscreet Partisans of Reform 162

Placards and Pasquinades 163

Féret's Mission to Switzerland 164

The Placard against the Mass 164

Excitement produced in Paris (Oct. 18, 1534) 167

A Copy posted on the Door of the Royal Bedchamber 167

Anger of Francis at the Insult 167

Political Considerations 168

Margaret of Navarre's Entreaties 168

Francis Abolishes the Art of Printing (Jan. 13, 1535) 169

[Pg xviii]The Rash and Shameful Edict Recalled 170

Rigid Investigation and many Victims 171

The Expiatory Procession (Jan. 21, 1535) 173

The King's Speech at the Episcopal Palace 176

Constancy of the Victims 177

The Estrapade 177

Flight of Clément Marot and others 179

Royal Declaration of Coucy (July 16, 1535) 179

Alleged Intercession of Pope Paul III. 180

Clemency again dictated by Policy 181

Francis's Letter to the German Princes 182

Sturm and Voré beg Melanchthon to come 182

Melanchthon's Perplexity 183

He is formally invited by the King 184

Applies to the Elector for Permission to go 184

But is roughly refused 185

The Proposed Conference reprobated by the Sorbonne 187

Du Bellay at Smalcald 188

He makes for Francis a Protestant Confession 189

Efforts of French Protestants in Switzerland and Germany 191

Intercession of Strasbourg, Basle, etc. 191

Unsatisfactory Reply by Anne de Montmorency 193

Calvin and Geneva—More Systematic Persecution by the King 193

Changed Attitude of Francis 193

Occasioned by the "Placards" 194

Margaret of Navarre and Roussel 195

The French Reformation becomes a Popular Movement 196

Independence of Geneva secured by Francis 197

John Calvin's Childhood 198

He studies in Paris and Orleans 199

Change of Religious Views at Bourges 199

His Commentary on Seneca's "De Clementia" 200

Escapes from Paris to Angoulême 201

Leaves France 202

The "Christian Institutes" 202

Address to Francis the First 203

Calvin wins instant Celebrity 204

The Court of Renée of Ferrara 205

Her History and Character 206

Calvin's alleged Visit to Aosta 207

[Pg xix]He visits Geneva 208

Farel's Vehemence 209

Calvin consents to remain 210

His Code of Laws for Geneva 210

His View of the Functions of the State 210

Heretics to be constrained by the Sword 211

Calvin's View that of the other Reformers 212

And even of Protestant Martyrs 212

Calvin longs for Scholarly Quiet 213

His Mental Constitution 214

Ill-health and Prodigious Labors 214

Friendly and Inimical Estimates 214

Violent Persecutions throughout France 216

Royal Edict of Fontainebleau (June 1, 1540) 218

Increased Severity, and Appeal cut off 218

Exceptional Fairness of President Caillaud 219

Letters-Patent from Lyons (Aug. 30, 1542) 220

The King and the Sacramentarians 221

Ordinance of Paris (July 23, 1543) 221

Heresy to be punished as Sedition 222

Repression proves a Failure 222

The Sorbonne publishes Twenty-five Articles 223

Francis gives them the Force of Law (March 10, 1543) 224

More Systematic Persecution 224

The Inquisitor Mathieu Ory 224

The Nicodemites and Libertines 225

Margaret of Navarre at Bordeaux 226

Francis's Negotiations in Germany 227

Hypocritical Representations made by Charles, Duke of Orleans 228

Campaign against the Vaudois of Mérindol and Cabrières, and Last Days of Francis I. 230

The Vaudois of the Durance 230

Their Industry and Thrift 230

Embassy to German and Swiss Reformers 232

Translation of the Bible by Olivetanus 233

Preliminary Persecutions 234

The Parliament of Aix 235

The Atrocious "Arrêt de Mérindol" (Nov. 18, 1540) 236

Condemned by Public Opinion 237

Preparations to carry it into Effect 237

President Chassanée and the Mice of Autun 238

[Pg xx]The King instructs Du Bellay to investigate 239

A Favorable Report 240

Francis's Letter of Pardon 241

Parliament's Continued Severity 241

The Vaudois publish a Confession 242

Intercession of the Protestant Princes of Germany 242

The new President of Parliament 243

Sanguinary Royal Order, fraudulently obtained (Jan. 1, 1545) 244

Expedition stealthily organized 245

Villages burned—their Inhabitants murdered 246

Destruction of Mérindol 247

Treacherous Capture of Cabrières 248

Women burned and Men butchered 248

Twenty-two Towns and Villages destroyed 249

A subsequent Investigation 251

"The Fourteen of Meaux" 253

Wider Diffusion of the Reformed Doctrines 256

The Printer Jean Chapot before Parliament 256

Henry the Second and the Organization of the French Protestant Churches 258

Impartial Estimates of Francis the First 258

Henry, as Duke of Orleans 259

His Sluggish Mind 260

His Court 261

Diana of Poitiers 262

The King's Infatuation 262

Constable Anne de Montmorency 263

His Cruelty 264

Disgraced by Francis, but recalled by Henry 265

Duke Claude of Guise, and John, first Cardinal of Lorraine 266

Marriage of James the Fifth of Scotland to Mary of Lorraine 268

Francis the Dauphin affianced to Mary of Scots 268

Francis of Guise and Charles of Lorraine 268

Various Estimates of Cardinal Charles of Lorraine 270

Rapacity of the new Favorites 272

Servility toward Diana of Poitiers 273

Persecution to atone for Moral Blemishes 274

"La Chambre Ardente" 275

Edict of Fontainebleau against Books from Geneva (Dec. 11, 1547) 275

Deceptive Title-pages 275

The Tailor of the Rue St. Antoine 276

[Pg xxi]Other Victims of Intolerance 278

Severe Edicts and Quarrels with Rome 278

Edict of Châteaubriand (June 27, 1551) 279

The War against Books from Geneva 280

Marshal Vieilleville refuses to profit by Confiscation 282

The "Five Scholars of Lausanne" 283

Interpositions in their Behalf ineffectual 284

Activity of the Canton of Berne 286

Progress of the Reformation in Normandy 287

Attempt to establish the Spanish Inquisition 287

Opposition of Parliament 288

President Séguier's Speech 289

Coligny's Scheme of American Colonization 291

Villegagnon in Brazil 292

He brings Ruin on the Expedition 293

First Protestant Church in Paris 294

The Example followed in the Provinces 296

Henry the Second breaks the Truce 297

Fresh Attempts to introduce the Spanish Inquisition 298

Three Inquisitors-General 299

Judges sympathize with the Victims 300

Edict of Compiègne (July 24, 1557) 301

Defeat of St. Quentin (August 10, 1557) 302

Vengeance wreaked upon the Protestants 302

Affair of the Rue St. Jacques (Sept. 4, 1557) 303

Treatment of the Prisoners 304

Malicious Rumors 305

Trials and Executions 307

Intercession of the Swiss Cantons and Others 308

Constancy of Some and Release of Others 311

Controversial Pamphlets 311

Capture of Calais (January, 1558) 312

Registry of the Inquisition Edict 312

Antoine of Navarre, Condé, and other Princes favor the Protestants 313

Embassy of the Protestant Electors 313

Psalm-singing on the Pré aux Clercs 314

Conference of Cardinals Lorraine and Granvelle 315

D'Andelot's Examination before the King 317

His Constancy in Prison and temporary Weakness 318

Paul IV.'s Indignation at the King's Leniency 320

Anxiety for Peace 321

Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (April 3, 1559) 322

Sacrifice of French Interests 323

Was there a Secret Treaty for the Extermination of Protestants? 324

The Prince of Orange learns the Designs of Henry and Philip 325

Danger of Geneva 320

Parliament suspected of Heretical Leanings 329

[Pg xxii]The "Mercuriale" 330

Henry goes in Person to hear the Deliberations (June 10, 1559) 332

Fearlessness of Du Bourg and Others 334

Henry orders their Arrest 335

First National Synod (May 26, 1559) 335

Ecclesiastical Discipline adopted 336

Marriages and Festivities of the Court 338

Henry mortally wounded in the Tournament (June 30, 1559) 339

His Death (July 10, 1559) 340

"La Façon de Genève"—the Protestant Service 341

Farel's "Manière et Fasson" (1533) 342

Calvin's Liturgy (1542) 343

July, 1559-May, 1560.
Francis the Second and the Tumult of Amboise 346

Epigrams on the Death of Henry 346

The Young King 347

Catharine de' Medici 348

Favors the Family of Guise 350

Who make themselves Masters of the King 351

Constable Montmorency retires 352

Antoine, King of Navarre 354

His Remissness and Pusillanimity 355

The Persecution continues 359

Denunciation and Pillage at Paris 360

The Protestants address Catharine 362

Pretended Orgies in "La Petite Genève" 365

Cruelty of the Populace 366

Traps for Heretics 367

Trial of Anne du Bourg 368

Intercession of the Elector Palatine 370

Du Bourg's Last Speech 371

His Execution and its Effect 372

Florimond de Ræmond's Observations 374

Revulsion against the Tyranny of the Guises 375

Calvin and Beza discountenance Armed Resistance 377

De la Renaudie 379

Assembly of Malcontents at Nantes 380

Plans well devised 381

Betrayed by Des Avenelles 382

The "Tumult of Amboise" 383

Coligny gives Catharine good Counsel 384

[Pg xxiii]The Edict of Amnesty (March, 1560) 385

A Year's Progress 386

Confusion at Court 387

Treacherous Capture of Castelnau 388

Death of La Renaudie 389

Plenary Commission given to the Duke of Guise 389

A Carnival of Blood 391

The Elder D'Aubigné and his Son 393

Francis and the Prince of Condé 393

Condé's Defiance 394

An alleged Admission of Disloyal Intentions by La Renaudie 394

May-December, 1560.
The Assembly of Notables at Fontainebleau, and the Close of the Reign of Francis the Second 397

Rise of the Name of the Huguenots 397

Their Sudden Growth 399

How to be accounted for 400

Progress of Letters 400

Marot's and Beza's Psalms 402

Morality and Martyrdom 402

Character of the Protestant Ministers 402

Testimony of Bishop Montluc 403

Preaching in the Churches of Valence 404

The Reformation and Morals 406

Francis orders Extermination 406

Large Congregations at Nismes 407

Mouvans in Provence 407

A Popular Awakening 408

Pamphlets against the Guises 409

Catharine consults the Huguenots 409

Edict of Romorantin (May, 1560) 410

No Abatement of Rigorous Persecution 411

Spiritual Jurisdiction differing little from the Inquisition 411

Chancellor Michel de l'Hospital 412

Continued Disquiet—Montbrun 414

Assembly of Notables at Fontainebleau (Aug. 21, 1560) 415

The Chancellor's Address 416

The Finances of France 416

Admiral Coligny presents the Petitions of the Huguenots 416

Bishop Montluc ably advocates Toleration 418

Bishop Marillac's Eloquent Speech 420

Coligny's Suggestions 421

[Pg xxiv]Passionate Rejoinder of the Duke of Guise 422

The Cardinal of Lorraine more calm 423

New Alarms of the Guises 424

The King of Navarre and Condé summoned to Court 425

Advice of Philip of Spain 426

Navarre's Irresolution embarrasses Montbrun and Mouvans 427

The "Fashion of Geneva" embraced by many in Languedoc 428

Elections for the States General 430

The King and Queen of Navarre 431

Beza at the Court of Nérac 432

New Pressure to induce Navarre and Condé to come 433

Navarre Refuses a Huguenot Escort 434

Disregards Warnings 435

Is refused Admission to Poitiers 435

Condé arrested on arriving at Orleans 436

Return of Renée de France 437

Condé's Intrepidity 437

He is Tried and Condemned to Death 439

Antoine of Navarre's Danger 440

Plan for annihilating the Huguenots 441

Sudden Illness and Death of Francis the Second 442

The "Epître au Tigre de la France" 445

December, 1560-September, 1561.
The Reign of Charles the Ninth, to the Preliminaries of the Colloquy of Poissy 449

Sudden Change in the Political Situation 449

The Enemy of the Huguenots buried as a Huguenot 450

Antoine of Navarre's Opportunity 451

Adroitness of Catharine de' Medici 452

Financial Embarrassments 453

Catharine's Neutrality 453

Opening of the States General of Orleans 454

Address of Chancellor L'Hospital 455

Cardinal Lorraine's Effrontery 457

De Rochefort, Orator for the Noblesse 457

L'Ange for the Tiers État 458

Arrogant Speech of Quintin for the Clergy 458

A Word for the poor, down-trodden People 459

Coligny presents a Huguenot Petition 461

The States prorogued 461

[Pg xxv]Meanwhile Prosecutions for Religion to cease 462

Return of Fugitives 463

Charles writes to stop Ministers from Geneva 463

Reply of the Genevese 464

Condé cleared and reconciled with Guise 465

Humiliation of Navarre 466

The Boldness of the Particular Estates of Paris 467

Secures Antoine more Consideration 467

Intrigue of Artus Désiré 468

General Curiosity to hear Huguenot Preaching 468

Constable Montmorency's Disgust 469

The "Triumvirate" formed 471

A Spurious Statement 471

Massacres of Protestants in Holy Week 474

The Affair at Beauvais 474

Assault on the House of M. de Longjumeau 476

New and Tolerant Royal Order 476

Opposition of the Parisian Parliament 477

Popular Cry for Pastors 479

Moderation of the Huguenot Ministers 479

Judicial Perplexity 481

The "Mercuriale" of 1561 481

The "Edict of July" 483

Its Severity creates extreme Disappointment 484

Iconoclasm at Montauban 485

Impatience with Public "Idols" 487

Calvin endeavors to repress it 487

Re-assembling of the States at Pontoise 488

Able Harangue of the "Vierg" of Autun 489

Written Demands of the Tiers État 490

A Representative Government demanded 492

The French Prelates at Poissy 493

Beza and Peter Martyr invited to France 494

Urgency of the Parisian Huguenots 496

Beza comes to St. Germain 497

His previous History 497

Wrangling of the Prelates 498

Cardinal Châtillon communes "under both Forms" 499

Catharine and L'Hospital zealous for a Settlement of Religious Questions 499

A Remarkable Letter to the Pope 500

Beza's flattering Reception 502

He meets the Cardinal of Lorraine 503

Petition of the Huguenots respecting the Colloquy 505

Informally granted 507

Last Efforts of the Sorbonne to prevent the Colloquy 508

September, 1561-January, 1562.
The Colloquy of Poissy and the Edict of January 509

The Huguenot Ministers and Delegates 509

Assembled Princes in the Nuns' Refectory 510

The Prelates 511

Diffidence of Theodore Beza 512

Opening Speech of Chancellor L'Hospital 512

The Huguenots summoned 513

Beza's Prayer and Address 514

His Declaration as to the Body of Christ 519

Outcry of the Theologians of the Sorbonne 519

Beza's Peroration 520

Cardinal Tournon would cut short the Conference 521

Catharine de' Medici is decided 522

Advantages gained 522

The Impression made by Beza 522

His Frankness justified 524

The Prelates' Notion of a Conference 526

Peter Martyr arrives 527

Cardinal Lorraine replies to Beza 528

Cardinal Tournon's new Demand 529

Advancing Shadows of Civil War 530

Another Session reluctantly conceded 531

Beza's Reply to Cardinal Lorraine 532

Claude d'Espense and Claude de Sainctes 532

Lorraine demands Subscription to the Augsburg Confession 533

Beza's Home Thrust 534

Peter Martyr and Lainez the Jesuit 536

Close of the Colloquy of Poissy 537

A Private Conference at St. Germain 538

A Discussion of Words 540

Catharine's Premature Delight 541

The Article agreed upon Rejected by the Prelates 541

Catharine's Financial Success 543

Order for the Restitution of Churches 544

Arrival of Five German Delegates 544

Why the Colloquy proved a Failure 546

Catharine's Crude Notion of a Conference 547

Character of the Prelates 547

Influence of the Papal Legate, the Cardinal of Ferrara 548

Anxiety of Pius the Fourth 548

The Nuncio Santa Croce 549

[Pg xxvii]Master Renard turned Monk 551

Opposition of People and Chancellor 551

The Legate's Intrigues 552

His Influence upon Antoine of Navarre 554

Contradictory Counsels 555

The Triumvirate leave in Disgust 556

Hopes entertained by the Huguenots respecting Charles 557

Beza is begged to remain 559

A Spanish Plot to kidnap the Duke of Orleans 559

The Number of Huguenot Churches 560

Beza secures a favorable Royal order 560

Rapid Growth of the Reformation 561

Immense Assemblages from far and near 562

The Huguenots at Montpellier 563

The Rein and not the Spur needed 565

Marriages and Baptisms at Court "after the Geneva Fashion" 565

Tanquerel's Seditious Declaration 566

Jean de Hans 567

Philip threatens Interference in French Affairs 567

"A True Defender of the Faith" 568

Roman Catholic Complaints of Huguenot Boldness 570

The "Tumult of Saint Médard" 571

Assembly of Notables at St. Germain 574

Diversity of Sentiments 575

The "Edict of January" 576

The Huguenots no longer Outlaws 577



[Pg 3]



Extent of France at the accession of Francis the First.

When, on the first day of the year 1515, the young Count of Angoulême succeeded to the throne left vacant by the death of his kinsman and father-in-law, Louis the Twelfth, the country of which he became monarch was already an extensive, flourishing, and well-consolidated kingdom. The territorial development of France was, it is true, far from complete. On the north, the whole province of Hainault belonged to the Spanish Netherlands, whose boundary line was less than one hundred miles distant from Paris. Alsace and Lorraine had not yet been wrested from the German Empire. The "Duchy" of Burgundy, seized by Louis the Eleventh immediately after the death of Charles the Bold, had, indeed, been incorporated into the French realm; but the "Free County" of Burgundy—la Franche Comté, as it was briefly designated—had been imprudently suffered to fall into other hands, and Besançon was the residence of a governor appointed by princes of the House of Hapsburg. Lyons was a frontier town; for the little districts of Bresse and Bugey, lying between the Saône and Rhône, belonged to the Dukes of Savoy. Further to the south, two fragments of foreign territory were completely enveloped by the domain of the French king.[Pg 4] The first was the sovereign principality of Orange, which, after having been for over a century in the possession of the noble House of Châlons, was shortly to pass into that of Nassau, and to furnish the title of William the Silent, the future deliverer of Holland. The other and larger one was the Comtât Venaissin, a fief directly dependent upon the Pope. Of irregular shape, and touching the Rhone both above and below Orange, the Comtât Venaissin nearly enclosed the diminutive principality in its folds. Its capital, Avignon, having forfeited the distinction enjoyed in the fourteenth century as the residence of the Roman Pontiffs, still boasted the presence of a Legate of the Papal See, a poor compensation for the loss of its past splendor. On the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the Spanish dominions still extended north of the principal chain of the Pyrenees, and included the former County of Roussillon.

Territorial development.

But, although its area was somewhat smaller than that of the modern republic, France in the sixteenth century had nearly attained the general dimensions marked out for it by great natural boundaries. Four hundred years had been engrossed in the pursuit of territorial enlargement. At the close of the tenth century the Carlovingian dynasty, essentially foreign in tastes and language, was supplanted by a dynasty of native character and capable of gathering to its support all those elements of strength which had been misunderstood or neglected by the feeble descendants of Charlemagne. But it found the royal authority reduced to insignificance and treated with open contempt. By permitting those dignities which had once been conferred as a reward for pre-eminent personal merit to become hereditary in certain families, the crown had laid the foundation of the feudal system; while, by neglecting to enforce its sovereign claims, it had enabled the great feudatories to make themselves princes independent in reality, if not in name. So low had the consideration of the throne fallen, that when Hugh Capet, Count of Paris, in 987 assumed the title of king of France, basing his act partly on an election by nobles, partly on force of arms, the transaction elicited little opposition from the rival lords who might have been expected to resent his usurpation.[Pg 5]

Excessive subdivision in the tenth century.

France contained at this time six principal fiefs—four in the north and two in the south—each nearly or fully as powerful as the hereditary dominions of Hugh, while probably more than one excelled them in extent. These limited dominions, on the resources of which the new dynasty was wholly dependent in the struggle for supremacy, embraced the important cities of Paris and Orleans, but barely stretched from the Somme to the Loire, and were excluded from the ocean by the broad possessions of the dukes of Normandy on both sides of the lower Seine. The great fiefs had each in turn yielded to the same irresistible tendency to subdivision. The great feudatory was himself the superior of the tenants of several subordinate, yet considerable, fiefs. The possessors of these again ranked above the viscounts of cities and the provincial barons. A long series of gradations in dignity ended at the simple owners of castles, with their subject peasants or serfs. In no country of Europe had the feudal system borne a more abundant harvest of disintegration and consequent loss of power.[3]

Decline of the feudal system.

The reduction of the insubordinate nobles on the patrimonial estates of the crown was the first problem engaging the attention of the early Capetian kings. When this had at length been solved, with the assistance of the scanty forces lent by the cities—never amounting, it is said, to more than five hundred men-at-arms[4]—Louis the Fat, a prince of resplendent ability, early in the twelfth century addressed himself to the task of making good the royal title to supremacy over the neighboring provinces. Before death compelled him to forego the prosecution of his ambitious designs, the influence of the monarchy had been extended over eastern and central France—from Flanders, on the north, to the volcanic mountains of Auvergne, on the south. Meanwhile the oppressed subjects of the petty tyrants, whether within or around his domains, had learned to look for redress to the sovereign[Pg 6] lord who prided himself upon his ability and readiness to succor the defenceless. His grandson, the more illustrious Philip Augustus (1180-1223), by marriage, inheritance, and conquest added to previous acquisitions several extensive provinces, of which Normandy, Maine, and Poitou had been subject to English rule, while Vermandois and Yalois had enjoyed a form of approximate independence under collateral branches of the Capetian family.

The conquests of Louis the Fat and of Philip Augustus were consolidated by Louis the Ninth—Saint Louis, as succeeding generations were wont to style him—an upright monarch, who scrupled to accept new territory without remunerating the former owners, and even alienated the affection of provinces which he might with apparent justice have retained, by ceding them to the English, in the vain hope of cementing a lasting peace between the rival states.[5]

France the foremost kingdom of Christendom.

The same pursuit of territorial aggrandizement under successive kings extended the domain of the crown, in spite of disaster and temporary losses, until in the sixteenth century France was second to no other country in Europe for power and material resources. United under a single head, and no longer disturbed by the insubordination of the turbulent nobles, lately humbled by the craft of Louis the Eleventh, this kingdom awakened the warm admiration of political judges so shrewd as the diplomatic envoys of the Venetian Republic. "All these provinces," exclaimed one of these agents, in a report made to the Doge and Senate soon after his return, "are so well situated, so liberally provided with river-courses, harbors, and mountain ranges, that it may with safety be asserted that this realm is not only the most noble in Christendom, rivalling in antiquity our own most illus[Pg 7]trious commonwealth, but excels all other states in natural advantages and security."[6] Another of the same distinguished school of statesmen, taking a more deliberate survey of the country, gives utterance to the universal estimate of his age, when averring that France is to be regarded as the foremost kingdom of Christendom, whether viewed in respect to its dignity and power, or the rank of the prince who governs it.[7] In proof of the first of these claims he alleges the fact that, whereas England had once been, and Naples was at that moment dependent upon the Church, and Bohemia and Poland sustained similar relations to the Empire, France had always been a sovereign state. "It is also the oldest of European kingdoms, and the first that was converted to Christianity," remarks the same writer; adding, with a touch of patriotic pride, the proviso, "if we except the Pope, who is the universal head of religion, and the State of Venice, which, as it first sprang into existence a Christian commonwealth, has always continued such."[8]

France contrasted with England.

Other diplomatists took the same view of the power and resources of this favored country. "The kingdom of France," said Chancellor Bacon, in a speech against the policy of rendering open aid to Scotland, and thus becoming involved in a war with the French, "is four times as large as the realm of England, the men four times as many, and the revenue four times as much, and it has better credit. France is full of expert captains and old soldiers, and besides its own troops it may entertain as many Almains as it is able to hire."[9][Pg 8]

Assimilation of language and manners.

Meantime France was fast becoming more homogeneous than it had ever been since the fall of the Roman power. As often as the lines of the great feudal families became extinct, or these families were induced or compelled to renounce their pretensions, their fiefs were given in appanage to younger branches of the royal house, or were more closely united to the domains of the crown, and entrusted to governors of the king's appointment.[10] In either case the actual control of affairs was placed in the hands of officers whose highest ambition was to reproduce in the provincial capital the growing elegance of the great city on the Seine where the royal court had fixed its ordinary abode. The provinces, consequently, began to assimilate more and more to Paris, and this not merely in manners, but in forms of speech and even in pronunciation. The rude patois, since it grated upon the cultivated ear, was banished from polite society, and, if not consigned to oblivion, was relegated to the more ignorant and remoter districts. Learning held its seat in Paris, and the scholars who returned to their homes after a sojourn in its academic halls were careful to avoid creating doubts respecting the thoroughness of their training by the use of any dialect but that spoken in the neighborhood of the university. As the idiom of Paris asserted its supremacy over the rest of France, a new tie was constituted, binding together provinces diverse in origin and history.

The nobles flock to Paris.

The spirit of obedience pervading all classes of the population contributed much to the national strength. The great nobles had lost their excessive privileges. They no longer attempted, in the seclusion of their ancestral estates, to rival the magnificence or defy the authority of the king. They began to prefer the capital to the freer retreat of their[Pg 9] castles. During the reign of Francis the First, and still more during the reign of his immediate successors, costly palaces for the accommodation of princely and ducal families were reared in the neighborhood of the Louvre.[11] It was currently reported that more than one fortune had been squandered in the hazardous experiment of maintaining a pomp befitting the courtier. Ultimately the poorer grandees were driven to the adoption of the wise precaution of spending only a quarter of the year in the enticing but dangerous vicinity of the throne.[12]

The cities.

The cities, also, whose extensive privileges had constituted one of the most striking features of the political system of mediæval Europe, had been shorn of their exorbitant claims founded upon royal charters or prescriptive usage. The kings of France, in particular, had favored the growth of the municipalities, in order to secure their assistance in the reduction of refractory vassals. Flourishing trading communities had sprung up on the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and of the ocean, and on the banks of the navigable rivers emptying into them. These corporations had secured a degree of independence proportioned, for the most part, to the weakness of their neighbors. The policy of the crown had been, while generously conferring privileges of great importance upon the cities lying within the royal domain, to make still more lavish concessions in favor of the municipalities upon or contiguous to the lands of the great feudatories.[13]

The capital.

No sooner, however, did the humiliation of the landed nobility render it superfluous to conciliate the good-will of the proud and opulent citizens, than the readiest means were sought for reducing them to the level of ordinary subjects. Paris especially, once almost a republic, had of late learned submission and docility.[14] By the change, however, the capital[Pg 10] had lost neither wealth nor inhabitants, being described as very rich and populous, covering a vast area, and wholly given up to trade.[15] In the absence of an accurate census, the number of its inhabitants was variously stated at from 300,000 souls to nearly thrice as many; but all accounts agreed in placing Paris among the foremost cities of the civilized world.[16]

Military resources.

With the military resources at his command, the king had the means of rendering himself formidable abroad and secure at home. The French cavalry, consisting of gentlemen whose duty and honorable distinction it was to follow the monarch in every expedition, still sustained the reputation for the impetuous ardor and the irresistible weight of its charges which it had won during the Middle Ages. If it had encountered unexpected rebuffs on the fields of Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt, the chivalry of France had been too successful in other engagements to lose courage and enthusiasm. The nobles, both old and young, were still ready at any time to flock to their prince's standard when unfurled for an incursion into Naples or the Milanese. Never had they displayed more alacrity or self-sacrificing devotion than when young Francis the First set out upon his campaigns in Italy.[17] The[Pg 11] French infantry was less trustworthy. The troops raised in Normandy, Brittany, and Languedoc were reported to be but poorly trained to military exercises; but the foot-soldiers supplied by some of the frontier provinces were sturdy and efficient, and the gallant conduct of the Gascons at the disastrous battle of St. Quentin was the subject of universal admiration.[18]

Foreign mercenary troops.

What France lacked in cavalry was customarily supplied by the Reiters, whose services were easily purchased in Germany. The same country stood ready to furnish an abundance of Lansquenets (Lanzknechten), or pikemen, who, together with the Swiss, in a great measure replaced the native infantry. A Venetian envoy reported, in 1535, that the French king could, in six weeks at longest, set on foot a force of forty-eight thousand men, of whom twenty-one thousand, or nearly one-half, would be foreign mercenaries. His navy, besides his great ship of sixty guns lying in the harbor of Havre, numbered thirty galleys, and a few other vessels of no great importance.[19]

The rights of the people overlooked.
The States General an object of suspicion.

The power gained by the crown through the consolidation of the monarchy had been acquired at the expense of the popular liberties. In the prolonged struggle between the king, as lord paramount, and his insubordinate vassals, the rights of inferior subjects had received little consideration. From the strife the former issued triumphant, with an asserted claim to unlimited power. The voice of the masses was but feebly heard in the States General—a convocation of all three orders called at irregular intervals. Upon the ordinary policy of government, this, the only representative body, exercised no permanent control. If, in its occasional sessions, the deputies of the Tiers État exhibited a disposition to intermeddle in those political concerns which the crown claimed as its exclusive prerogative, the king and his advisers found in their audacity an additional motive for postponing as long as possible a resort to an expedient so disa[Pg 12]greeable as the assembling of the States General. Already had monarchs begun to look with suspicion upon the growing intelligence of untitled subjects, who might sooner or later come to demand a share in the public administration.

And rarely convoked.
A long break in the history of representative government.
Compensating advantages.

It was, therefore, only when the succession to the throne was contested, or when the perils attending the minority of the prince demanded the popular sanction of the choice of a regent, or when the flames of civil war seemed about to burst forth and involve the whole country in one general conflagration, that the royal consent could be obtained for convening the States General. During the first half of the sixteenth century the States General were not once summoned, unless the designation of States be accorded to one or two convocations partaking rather of the character of "Assemblies of Notables," and intended merely to assist in extricating the monarch from temporary embarrassment.[20] The repeated wars of Louis the Twelfth, of Francis the First, and of Henry the Second were waged without any reference of the questions of their expediency and of the mode of conducting them to the tribunal of popular opinion. Thousands of brave Frenchmen found bloody graves beyond the Alps; Francis the First fell into the hands of his enemies, and after a weary captivity with difficulty regained his freedom; a new faith arose in France, threatening to subvert existing ecclesiastical institutions; yet in the midst of all this bloodshed, confusion and perplexity the people were left unconsulted.[21] From the accession of Charles[Pg 13] the Eighth, in 1483, to that of Charles the Ninth, in 1560, the history of representative government in France is almost a complete blank. So long was the period during which the States General were suspended, that, when at length it was deemed advisable to convene them again, the chancellor, in his opening address, felt compelled to enter into explanations respecting the nature and functions of a body which perhaps not a man living remembered to have seen in session.[22] Yet, while the desuetude into which had fallen the laudable custom of holding the States every year, or, at least, on occasion of any important matter for deliberation, might properly be traced to the flood of ambition and pride which had inundated the world, and to the inordinate covetousness of kings,[23] there were not wanting considerations to mitigate the disappointment of the people. Chief among them, doubtless, in the view of shrewd observers, was the fact that the assembling of the States was the invariable prelude to an increase of taxation, and that never had they met without benefiting the king's exchequer at the expense of the purses of his subjects.[24]

The endurance of the Tiers État.
Absolutism of the crown.

Meanwhile the nation bore with exemplary patience the accumulated burdens under which it staggered. Natives and foreigners alike were lost in admiration of its wonderful pow[Pg 14]ers of endurance. No one suspected that a terrible retribution for this same people's wrongs might one day overtake the successor of a long line of kings, each of whom had added his portion to the crushing load. The Emperor Maximilian was accustomed to divert himself at the expense of the French people. "The king of France," said he, "is a king of asses; there is no weight that can be laid upon his subjects which they will not bear without a murmur."[25] The warrior and historian Rabutin congratulated the monarchs of France upon God's having given them, in obedience, the best and most faithful people in the whole world.[26] The Venetian, Matteo Dandolo, declared to the Doge and Senate that the king might with propriety regard as his own all the money in France, for, such was the incomparable kindness of the people, that whatever he might ask for in his need was very gladly brought to him.[27] It was not strange, perhaps, that the ruler of subjects so exemplary in their eagerness to replenish his treasury as soon as it gave evidence of being exhausted, came to take about the same view of the matter. Accordingly, it is related of Francis the First that, being asked by his guest, Charles the Fifth, when the latter was crossing France on his way to suppress the insurrection of Ghent, what revenue he derived from certain cities he had passed through, the king promptly, replied: "Ce que je veux"—"What I please."[28][Pg 15]

Fruits of the abasement of the people.

Yet it must be noted, in passing, that the studied abasement of the Tiers État had already begun to bear some fruit that should have alarmed every patriotic heart. It was, as we have seen, impossible to obtain good French infantry except from Gascony and some other border provinces. The place that should have been held by natives was filled by Germans and Swiss. What was the reason? Simply that the common people had lost the consciousness of their manhood, in consequence of the degraded position into which the king, and the privileged classes, imitating his example, had forced them. "Because of their desire to rule the people with a rod of iron," says Dandolo, "the gentry of the kingdom have deprived them of arms. They dare not even carry a stick, and are more submissive to their superiors than dogs!"[29] No wonder that all efforts of Francis to imitate the armies of free states, by instituting legions of arquebusiers, proved fruitless.[30] Add to this that trade was held in supreme contempt,[31] and the picture is certainly sufficiently dark.

Checks upon the king's authority.

Yet, while, through the absence of any effectual barrier to the exercise of his good pleasure, the king's authority was ultimately unrestricted, it must be confessed that there existed, in point of fact, some powerful checks, rendering the abuse of the royal prerogative, for the most part, neither easy nor expedient. Parliament, the municipal corporations, the university, and the clergy, weak as they often proved in a direct struggle with the crown, nevertheless exerted an influence that ought not to be overlooked. The most headstrong prince hesitated to disregard the remonstrances of any one of these bodies, and their united protest sometimes led to the abandonment of schemes of great promise for the royal treasury. It is true that parliament, university, and char[Pg 16]tered borough owed their existence and privileges to the royal will, and that the power that created could also destroy. But time had invested with a species of sanctity the venerable institutions established by monarchs long since dead, and the utmost stretch of royal displeasure went not in its manifestation further than the mere threat to strip parliament or university of its privileges, or, at most, the arrest and temporary imprisonment of the more obnoxious judges or scholars.

The Parliament of Paris

The Parliament of Paris was the legitimate successor of that assembly in which, in the earlier stage of the national existence, the great vassals came together to render homage to the lord paramount and aid him by their deliberations. This feudal parliament was transformed into a judicial parliament toward the end of the thirteenth century. With the change of functions, the chief crown officers were admitted to seats in the court. Next, the introduction of a written procedure, and the establishment of a more complicated legislation, compelled the illiterate barons and the prelates to call in the assistance of graduates of the university, acquainted with the art of writing and skilled in law. These were appointed by the king to the office of counsellors.[32] In 1302, parliament, hitherto migratory, following the king in his journeys, was made stationary at Paris. Its sessions were fixed at two in each year, held at Easter and All Saints respectively. The judicial body was subdivided into several "chambers," according to the nature of the cases upon which it was called to act.

Becomes the supreme court.

From this time the Parliament of Paris assumed appellate jurisdiction over all France, and became the supreme court of justice. But the burden of prolonged sessions, and the necessity now imposed upon the members of residing at least four months out of every year in the capital, proved an irksome restraint both to prelates and to noblemen. Their attendance, therefore, began now to be less constant. As early as in 1320 the bishops and other ecclesiastical officers were excused, on the ground that their duty to their dioceses and sacred functions demanded their presence elsewhere. From[Pg 17] the general exemption the Bishop of Paris and the Abbot of St. Denis alone were excluded, on account of their proximity to the seat of the court. About the beginning of the fifteenth century, the members, taking advantage of the weak reign of Charles the Sixth, made good their claim to a life-tenure in their offices.[33]

Provincial parliaments.

The rapid increase of cases claiming the attention of the Parliament of Paris suggested the erection of similar tribunals in the chief cities of the provinces added to the original estates of the crown. Before the accession of Francis the First a provincial parliament had been instituted at Toulouse, with jurisdiction over the extensive domain once subject to the illustrious counts of that city; a second, at Grenoble, for Dauphiny; a third, at Bordeaux, for the province of Guyenne recovered from the English; a fourth, at Dijon, for the newly acquired Duchy of Burgundy; a fifth, at Rouen, to take the place of the inferior "exchequer" which had long had its seat there; and a sixth, at Aix-en-Provence, for the southeast of France.[34]

Claim to the right of remonstrance.

To their judicial functions, the Parliament of Paris, and to a minor degree the provincial parliaments, had insensibly added other functions purely political. In order to secure publicity for their edicts, and equally with the view of establishing the authenticity of documents purporting to emanate from the crown, the kings of France had early desired the insertion of all important decrees in the parliamentary records. The registry was made on each occasion by express order of the judges, but with no idea on their part that this form was essential to the validity of a royal ordinance. Presently, however, the novel theory was advanced that parliament had the right of refusing to record an obnoxious law, and that, without the formal recognition of parliament, no edict[Pg 18] could be allowed to affect the decisions of the supreme or of any inferior tribunal.

Indulgence of the crown.
The Chancellor's oath.

In the exercise or this assumed prerogative, the judges undertook to send a remonstrance to the king, setting forth the pernicious consequences that might be expected to flow from the proposed measure if put into execution. However unfounded in history, the claim of the Parliament of Paris appears to have been viewed with indulgence by monarchs most of whom were not indisposed to defer to the legal knowledge of the counsellors, nor unwilling to enhance the consideration of the venerable and ancient body to which the latter belonged. In all cases, however, the final responsibility devolved upon the sovereign. Whenever the arguments and advice of parliament failed to convince him, the king proceeded in person to the audience-chamber of the refractory court, and there, holding a lit-de-justice, insisted upon the immediate registration, or else sent his express command by one of his most trusty servants. The judges, in either case, were forced to succumb—often, it must be admitted, with a very bad grace—and admit the law to their records. We shall soon have occasion to note one of the most striking instances of this unequal contest between king and parliament, in which power rather than right or learning won the day. In spite, however, of occasional checks, parliament manfully and successfully maintained its right to throw obstacles in the way of hasty or inconsiderate legislation. In this it was often efficiently assisted by the Chancellor of France, the highest judicial officer of the crown, to whom, on his assuming office, an oath was administered containing a very explicit promise to exercise the right of remonstrance with the king before affixing the great seal of state to any unjust or unreasonable royal ordinance.[35][Pg 19]

Abuses in the administration of justice.

Not that either the Parliament of Paris or the provincial parliaments were free of grave defects deserving the severe animadversion of impartial observers. It was probably no worse with the Parliament of Bordeaux than with its sister courts;[36] yet, when Charles the Ninth visited that city in 1564, honest Chancellor L'Hospital seized the opportunity to tell the judges some of their failings. The royal ordinances were not observed. Parliamentary decisions ranked above commands of the king. There were divisions and violence. In the civil war some judges had made themselves captains. Many of them were avaricious, timid, lazy and inattentive to their duties. Their behavior and their dress were "dissolute." They had become negligent in judging, and had thrown the burden of prosecuting offences upon the shoulders of the king's attorney, originally appointed merely to look after the royal domain. They had become the servants of the nobility for hire. There was not a lord within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Bordeaux but had his own chancellor in the court to look after his interests.[37] It was sufficiently characteristic that the same judicial body of which such things were said to its face (and which neither denied their truth nor grew indignant), should have been so solicitous for its dignity as to send the monarch, upon his approach to the city, an earnest petition that its members should not be constrained to kneel when his Majesty entered their court-room! To which the latter dryly responded, "their genuflexion would not make him any less a king than he already was."[38][Pg 20]

The University of Paris.

Among the forces that tended to limit the arbitrary exercise of the royal authority, the influence of the University of Paris is entitled to a prominent place. Nothing had added more lustre to the rising glory of the capital than the possession of the magnificent institution of learning, the foundation of which was lost in the mist of remote antiquity. Older than the race of kings who had for centuries held the French sceptre, the university owed its origin, if we are to believe the testimony of its own annals, to the munificent hand of Charlemagne, in the beginning of the ninth century. Careful historical criticism must hesitate to accept as conclusive the slender proof offered in support of the story.[39] It is, perhaps, safer to regard one of the simple schools instituted at an early period in connection with cathedrals and monasteries as having contained the humble germ from which the proud university was slowly developed. But, by the side of this original foundation there had doubtless grown up the schools of private instructors, and these had acquired a certain prominence before the confluence of scholars to Paris from all quarters rendered necessary an attempt to introduce order into the complicated system, by the formation of that union of all the teachers and scholars to which the name of universitas was ultimately given.

If the origin of the University of Paris, like that of the greater number of human institutions, was insignificant when viewed in the light of its subsequent growth, the meagreness of the early course of instruction was almost incredible to those who, in an age of richer mental acquisitions, listened to the prelections of its numerous and learned doctors. The Trivium and the Quadrivium constituted the whole cycle of human knowledge. Grammar, logic, and rhetoric were embraced in the one; music, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy in the other. He was indeed a prodigy of erudition whose compre[Pg 21]hensive intellect had mastered the details of these, the seven liberal arts, or, to use a familiar line of the period,

Qui tria, qui septem, qui omne scibile novit.

But the ignorant pedagogues of the eleventh century gave place, in the early part of the twelfth, to instructors of real merit—to Peter Abelard, among others, and to his pupil Peter Lombard, the fame of whose lectures attracted to Paris great crowds of youth eager to become proficient in philosophy and

The four nations.

Hitherto there had been but one faculty—the Faculty of Arts; but among the students a distribution into four "nations" had been effected. The Nation of France embraced the students coming from the royal dominions, which then comprised a limited territory, with Paris as its capital, together with the students of Italy, Spain, and the east. The Nation of Picardy consisted of students from the province of that name and from the neighboring County of Flanders. The Nation of Normandy received youths belonging to the rich provinces of Normandy and Brittany, and to the west. The Nation of England gathered those who came from the British Isles, as well as from the extensive territories in southwestern France long held by the kings of England. After the reconquest of Guyenne, however, the German students became the controlling element in the fourth nation, and the designation was changed to the Nation of Germany. The Rector of the university and the four Procurators of the nations were entrusted with the administration of the general interests of the vast scholastic community.

The faculties.
Chancellor and rector.

With the rise of new branches of science to contest the supremacy of the old, the institution of other faculties was called for. The demand was not conceded without a determined struggle of so serious a character as to require the intervention of two popes for its settlement. Nevertheless, before the end of the thirteenth century, the three new faculties of theology, medicine, and law had assumed their places by the side of the four original nations. The faculties were represented in the rector's council by three Deans,[Pg 22] invested with power equal to that enjoyed by the procurators of the nations. While the rector, always chosen from the faculty of arts, was the real head of this republic of letters in all that concerned its inner life and management, the honorable privilege of conferring the degrees that gave the right to teach belonged to the chancellor of the university.[40] The former, elected every three months, began and ended his office with solemn processions, the first to invoke the blessing of heaven upon his labors, the second to render thanks for their successful termination. The chancellor, holding office for life, was an ecclesiastic of the church of Paris, originally the bishop or some one appointed by him, who, if he enjoyed less direct control over the scholars in their studies, was yet the chief censor of their morals,[41] and the representative of the university in its dealings with foreign bodies, and especially with the Roman See.[42]

The Sorbonne.

No other mediæval seat of learning attained so enviable a reputation as Paris for completeness of theological training. From all parts of Christendom students resorted to it as to the most abundant and the purest fountain of sound learning. In 1250, Robert de Sorbonne, the private confessor of Louis the Ninth, emulating the munificence of previous patrons of letters, founded a college intended to facilitate the education of secular students of theology. The college took[Pg 23] the name of its author, and, becoming famous for the ability of its instructors, the Sorbonne soon engrossed within its walls almost the entire course of theological teaching given in the University of Paris. Although the students in the colleges of Navarre and Plessis devoted themselves to the acquisition of the same science, they had little public instruction save that for which they resorted to the Sorbonne. By reason of the prominence thus gained as the seat of the principal instruction in theology, the Sorbonne became synonymous with the theological faculty itself.[43]

Its great authority.

A body of theologians of admitted eminence necessarily spoke with authority. In France the decisions of the Sorbonne were accepted as final upon almost all questions affecting the doctrine and practice of the Church. Abroad its opinions were esteemed of little less weight than the deliberate judgments of synods. Difficulties in church and state were referred to it for solution. In the age of the reformation the Sorbonne was invited to pronounce upon the truth or falsity of the propositions maintained by Martin Luther, and, a few years later, upon the validity of the grounds of the divorce sought by Henry the Eighth of England. But, unhappily, the reputation of the faculty was tarnished by scholastic bigotry. Slavish attachment to the past had destroyed freedom of thought. With a species of inconsistency not altogether without a parallel in history, the very body which had been active in the promotion of science during the Middle Ages assumed the posture of resistance the moment that the advocates of substantial reform urged the necessity of immediate action. Abuses which had provoked the indignation of Gerson, once Chancellor of the University of Paris, and employed the skilful pen of the bold Rector Nicholas de Clemangis, met with no word of condemnation from the new generation of theologians.

Such was the Sorbonne of the beginning of the sixteenth century, when intriguing doctors, such as Beda and Quercu, ruled in its deliberations. An enemy of liberal studies as well[Pg 24] as of the "new doctrines," the faculty of theology was as ready to attack Erasmus for his devotion to ancient literature, or Jacques Lefèvre for establishing the existence of the "three Marys," as to denounce the Bishop of Meaux for favoring "Lutheran" preachers in his diocese. Against all innovators in church or state, the sentiments of the Sorbonne, which it took no pains to conceal, were that "their impious and shameless arrogance must be restrained by chains, by censures—nay, by fire and flame—rather than vanquished by argument!"[44]

Number of students.

Meanwhile, in the external marks of prosperity the University of Paris was still in its prime at the period of which I speak. The colleges, clustered together in the southern quarter of the city—the present Quartier Latin—were so numerous and populous that this portion continued for many years after to be distinguished as l' Université.[45] The number of students, it is true, had visibly diminished since one hundred years before. The crowd of youth in attendance was no longer so great as in 1409, when, according to a contemporary, the head of a scholastic procession to the Church of Saint Denis had already reached the sacred shrine before the rector had left the Church of the Mathurins in the Rue Saint Jacques, a point full six miles distant.[46] Yet the report of Giustiniano, in 1535, stated it as the current belief that the university still had twenty-five thousand students in attendance, although this seemed to be an exaggerated estimate. "For the most part," he added, "they are young, for everybody, however poor he may be, learns to read and write."[47] Another ambassador, writing eleven years later, represents the students, now numbering sixteen or twenty thousand, as extremely poor. Their instructors, he tells us, received very modest salaries;[Pg 25] yet, so great was the honor attaching to the post of teacher within the university walls, that the competition for professorial chairs was marvellously active.[48]

The influence of the clergy fell little short of that of the university in moderating the arbitrary impulses of the monarch.

The Gallican liberties.

The Gallican Church had for many centuries been distinguished for a manly defence of its liberties against the encroachments of the Papal court. Tenacious of the maintenance of doctrinal unity with the See of Rome, the French prelates early met the growing assumption of the Popes with determined courage. At the suggestion of the clergy, and with their full concurrence, more than one French king adopted stringent regulations intended to protect the kingdom from becoming the prey of foreigners. Church and State were equally interested in the successful prosecution of a warfare carried on, so far as the French were concerned, in a strictly defensive manner. The Papal treasury, under guise of annats, laid claim to the entire income of the bishopric or other benefice for the first year after each new appointment. It seized upon the revenues of vacant ecclesiastical offices, which the king specially affected. Every bull or brief needed to secure induction into office—and the number of these articles was almost unlimited—was procured at a heavy expense. Further sums were exacted for pronouncing a dispensation in favor of those appointees whom youth or some other canonical impediment incapacitated for the acceptance and discharge of the requisite functions.

Objects of the Gallican party.

The main objects of both crown and clergy were, consequently, to secure the kingdom from the disastrous results of the interference of Italians in the domestic affairs of France; to preserve the treasure of the realm from exhaustion resulting from the levy of arbitrary imposts fixed by irresponsible aliens, and exacted through the terrors of ecclesiastical penalties; to prevent the right of election to lucrative livings from falling into the hands of those who would use the privilege only as a means of acquiring[Pg 26] riches; and to rescue clergymen themselves from being hurried away for trial beyond the confines of their native land, and possibly from suffering hopeless confinement in Roman dungeons. In a word, it was the aim of the Gallican party to prove that "the government of the church is not a despotism."[49]

Pragmatic Sanction of St. Louis.

It is a somewhat anomalous circumstance that the first decided step in repressing the arrogant claims of the Papal See was taken by a monarch whose singular merits have been deemed worthy of canonization by the Roman Church. Louis the Ninth had witnessed with alarm the rapid strides of the Papacy toward universal dominion. His pride was offended by the pretension of the Pontiff to absolute superiority; his sovereign rights were assailed when taxes were levied in France at the pleasure of a foreign priest and prince. He foresaw that this abuse was likely to take deep root unless promptly met by a formal declaration placing the rights of the French monarch and nation in their true light. For this reason he issued in 1268 a solemn edict, which, as emanating from the unconstrained will of the king, took the name of the "Pragmatic Sanction of Saint Louis."

The preamble of this famous ordinance, upon the authenticity of which doubts have been unnecessarily cast,[50] declares the object of the king to be to secure the safety and tranquillity of the church of his realm, the advancement of divine worship, the salvation of the souls of Christ's faithful people, and the attainment of the favor and help of Almighty God. To his sole jurisdiction and protection had France ever been subject, and so did Louis desire it to remain. The provisions of the Pragmatic Sanction were directed chiefly to guarding the freedom of election and of collation to benefices, and to prohibiting the imposition of any form of taxes by the Pope upon ecclesias[Pg 27]tical property in France, save by previous consent of the prince and clergy.[51]

In this brief document had been laid the foundation of the liberties of the Gallican Church, not under the form of novel legislation, but of a summary of previous usage.

Philip the Fair and Boniface.

Political reasons, not long after the death of Louis, gave new vigor to the policy of opposition to which this king had pledged France. His grandson, the resolute Philip the Fair, found fresh incitement in the extravagant conduct of a contemporary Pope, Boniface the Eighth. The bold ideas advanced by Hildebrand in the eleventh, and carried into execution by Innocent the Third in the thirteenth century, were wrought into the very texture of the soul of Boniface, and could not be concealed, in spite of the altered condition of mediæval society. Intolerant, headstrong, and despotic, he undertook to exercise a theocratic rule, and commanded contending monarchs to lay down their arms, and submit their disputes to his arbitrament. To such a summons Philip was not inclined to submit. The crafty and unscrupulous prince, whose contempt for divine law was evidenced by his shameless practice of injustice, whose coffers were filled indifferently by the confiscation of the rich spoils of the commanderies of the Templars, and by recklessly debasing the national currency, did not hesitate to engage in a contest with the most presumptuous of Popes. He appealed to the States General, and all three orders indignantly repudiated the suggestion that their country had ever stood to the Papacy in the relation of a fief. The disastrous example of the English John Lackland had found no imitator on the southern side of the channel. The Pope was[Pg 28] declared a heretic. Emissaries of Louis seized him in his native city of Anagni, within the very bounds of the "Patrimony of St. Peter," and the rough usage to which he was then subjected hastened his death. His successors on the pontifical throne proved somewhat more tractable.

The Popes at Avignon.

During his short and unimportant pontificate, Benedict the Eleventh restored to the chapters of cathedrals the right of electing their own bishops. Upon his death, Philip secured the elevation to the pontifical dignity of an ecclesiastic wholly devoted to French interests, the facile Clement the Fifth, who, in return for the honor conferred upon him, removed the seat of the Papacy to Avignon. Here for the seventy years of the so-called "Babylonish Captivity," the Popes continued to reside, too completely subject to the influence of the French monarchs to dream of resuming their tone of defiance, but scarcely less exacting than before of homage from other rulers. In fact, the burden of the pecuniary exactions of the Popes rather grew than diminished with the change from Rome to Avignon, and with the institution of rival claimants to the tiara, each requiring an equal sum to support the pomp of his court, but recognized as legitimate by only a portion of Christendom. The devices for drawing tribute from all quarters were multiplied to an almost insupportable extent. So effectual did they prove, that no pontiff, perhaps, ever left at his death a more enormous accumulation of treasure than one of the Popes of Avignon, John the Twenty-second. Much of this wealth was derived from the rich provinces of France.

The Schism.

Close upon the "Captivity" followed the "Schism," during which the generally acknowledged Popes, who had returned to Rome, were opposed by pretenders at Avignon and elsewhere. A double incentive was now given to the monarchs of Europe for setting bounds to the ambition of the Papacy. For while the Popes, through the loss of a great part of their authority and prestige, had become less formidable antagonists, their financial extortions had waxed so intolerable as to suggest the strongest arguments appealing to the self-interest of kings. Hence the frequency with which the demand[Pg 29] for "a reformation in the head and the members" resounded from all parts of the Western Church. And hence, too, those memorable councils of Pisa, Constance, and Basle, which, coming in rapid succession at the commencement of the fifteenth century, bade fair to prove the forerunners of a radical reformation. It does not belong here to discuss the causes of their failure to answer this reasonable expectation. Yet with one of these assemblages is closely connected a very important incident in the history of the Gallican Church.

The Council of Bourges.

The Council of Basle had not yet concluded its protracted sessions when Charles the Seventh summoned the clergy of France to meet him in the city of Bourges. The times were troublous. The kingdom was rent with intestine division. A war was still raging, during the progress of which the victorious arms of the English had driven the king from his capital and deprived him of more than one-half of his dominions. The work of reinstating the royal authority, though well begun by the wonderful interposition of the Maid of Orleans, was as yet by no means complete. Undaunted, however, by the unsettled aspect of his affairs, Charles—the "King of Bourges," as he was contemptuously styled by his opponents—made his appearance in the national council convened in his temporary capital. He was attended by the dauphin, the Dukes of Burgundy and Brittany, the Count of Maine, and many other noblemen, as well as by a goodly train of doctors of civil and canon law. Awaiting his arrival were five archbishops, twenty-five bishops, and a host of abbots and deputies of universities and chapters of cathedrals. In the presence of this august convocation, in which all that was most prominent in church and state was represented, Charles published, on the seventh of July, 1438, an ordinance which has become celebrated under the name of the "Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges"—by far the more important of the two documents of similar nature emanating from the French throne.[52]

The Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges.

The Pragmatic Sanction, as it is often called by way of pre-eminence, is the magna charta of the liberties of the Gallican[Pg 30] Church. Founded upon the results of the discussions of the Council of Basle, it probably embodies all the reformatory measures which the hierarchy of France was desirous of effecting or willing to accept. How far these were from administering the needed antidote to the poison which was at work and threatened to destroy all true religious life—if, indeed, that life was not already too near extinction—may readily be understood when it is discovered that, with the exception of a few paragraphs relating to ecclesiastical discipline and worship, the following comprise all the important provisions:

The Pragmatic Sanction establishes the obligation of the Pope to convene a general council of the church at least every ten years. The decisions of the Council of Basle are declared to be of perpetual force. Far from deriving its authority from the Holy See, the Œcumenical Council, it is affirmed, depends immediately upon Christ, and the Pope is no less bound than all other Christians to render due obedience to its decisions. The right of appeal from the Pope to the future council—a claim obnoxious in the last degree to the advocates of papal supremacy—is distinctly asserted. The Pope is declared incapable of appointing to any high ecclesiastical dignities, save in a few specified cases; in all others recourse is to be had to election. The pontiff's pretensions to confer minor benefices are equally rejected. No abuse is more sharply rebuked and forbidden than that of expectatives—a species of appointment in high favor with the papal chancery, whereby a successor to ecclesiastical dignities was nominated during the lifetime of the incumbent, and in view of his decease.

The Pragmatic Sanction restricts the troublesome and costly appeals to Rome to cases of great importance, when the parties in interest reside at a distance of more than four days' journey from that city. At the same time it prescribes that no one shall be vexed by such appeals after having enjoyed actual possession of his rank for three years. Going beyond the limits of the kingdom, it enters into the constitution of the "Sacred College," and fixes the number of the cardinals at twenty-four, while placing the minimum age of candidates for the hat at[Pg 31] thirty years. The exaction of the annats is stigmatized as simony. Priests living in concubinage are to be punished by the forfeiture of one-fourth of their annual stipend. Finally the principle is sanctioned that no interdict can be made to include in its operation the innocent with the guilty.[53]

So thorough a vindication of the rights of the Gallican Church had never before been undertaken. The axe was laid at the root of formidable abuses; freedom of election was restored; the kingdom was relieved of a crushing burden of tribute; foreigners were precluded from interfering with the systematic administration of the laws. The clergy, both regular and secular, received the greatest benefits, for, while they could no longer be plundered of so large a part of their incomes, their persons were protected from arbitrary arrest and hopeless exile beyond the Alps.

The council had not adjourned when the tidings of the transactions at Bourges reached the city of Basle. The members were overjoyed, and testified their approval in a grateful letter to the Archbishop of Lyons. But their exultation was more than equalled by the disgust of Pope Eugenius the Third. Indeed, the pontificates of this pope and his immediate successors were filled with fruitless attempts to effect the repeal of the Pragmatic Sanction. A threat was made to place France under an interdict; but this was of no avail, being answered by the counter-threat of the king's representative, who proposed to make a practical application of the instrument, by appealing from his Holiness to a future general council. So the Pope, having a vivid recollection of the perils attending a contest with the French crown, wisely avoided the hazardous venture.[54][Pg 32]

Louis XI. consents to its abrogation.

In Louis the Eleventh the papal court seemed to have found a more promising prince to deal with. Animated by hatred of his father, and disposed to oppose whatever had met his father's approval, Louis had, while yet dauphin, given the Pope's agents flattering assurances of his good intentions.[55] On ascending the throne, he permitted his father's memory to be treated with disrespect, by suffering a nuncio to pronounce absolution over the corpse for the heinous sin of originating the Pragmatic Sanction. Later, on receiving the assurance of the Pope's support for the house of Anjou in Naples, he consented to repeal the hateful ordinance. A royal declaration for this purpose was published in 1461, contrary to the advice of the king's council.[56] It met with universal reprobation. The Parliament of Toulouse would register the document only with an accompanying note stating that this had been done "by the most express command of the king." The Parliament of Paris absolutely declined to admit it in its records, and sent a deputation to Louis to set forth the pernicious results that were to be expected from the overthrow of his father's wise regula[Pg 33]tions.[57] The University made bold to appeal to a general council of the Church.

But subsequently re-enacts it.

Meanwhile it happened that Louis made the unwelcome discovery that his Italian friends had deceived him, and that the prospect was very remote of obtaining the advantages by which he had been allured. It was not very difficult, therefore, to persuade him to renounce his project. Not content with this, three years after his formal revocation of the entire Pragmatic Sanction, he even re-enacted some of the clauses of the document respecting "expectatives" and "provisions."

Parliament protests against the repeal.

But a few years later, in 1467, Louis again conceived it to be for his interest to abrogate the Pragmatic Sanction. At the suggestion of Cardinal Balue, the recent enactment against "expectatives" was repealed. The Parliament of Paris, however, refused to record the letters patent. Among other powerful arguments adduced was the fact that a recent investigation had proved that, in the three years of the pontificate of Pius the Second during which the Pragmatic Sanction had been virtually set aside (1461-1464), Rome drew from the kingdom not less than 240,000 crowns in payment of bulls for archbishoprics, bishoprics, and abbeys falling vacant within this term; 100,000 for priories and deaneries; and the enormous sum of 2,500,000 crowns for "expectatives" and "dispensations."[58] 

This startling financial exhibit was accompanied by statements of the indirect injury received by the community from the great number of candidates thrown on the tender mercies of relations and friends, whom they thus beggared while awaiting a long deferred preferment.[59] Even when successful, "they received only lead for gold." Frequently, when they were about to clutch the coveted[Pg 34] prize, a rival stepped in armed with documents annulling those previously given. Cases had, indeed, been known in which ten or twelve contestants presented themselves, all basing their claims upon the pontifical warrant.[60] /  7th day adventist theology,7th day adventist theology,7th day adventist theology, university seventh day adventist church, adventist website, online bible study degree, biblical studies online, online biblical studies, biblical studies, bible studies online, onlinebible, bible videos, the bible online, the end is near, 7th day adventist theology, university seventh day adventist church, adventist website, online bible study degree, biblical studies online, online biblical studies, biblical studies, bible studies online, onlinebible, bible videos, the bible online, the end is near,    

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Rebecca st james 3

Rebecca st james 4

Rebecca st james 5

Recovery from mental illness

Reine margot

Ring of power

Rise of the hugenots book

Rome's chalenge


Salomon movie

Sabbath songs

Samson and delilah

Samson and delilah 2

Sandy patty

Schizofrenia and nutritional therapy



Sex in the Bible


Solomon movie 2

Stephen lewis

Stephen lewis 2

Stephen lewis 3

Stephen lewis 4

Strategic health systems

Stratling proof


Stryper 2

Stryper 3

Stryper 4

Stryper 5

Stryper 6

Steps to Christ book


Switchfoot 2

Tara leigh cobble

The case for the Creator

The chronicles of Narnia movie

The church in the wilderness

The debate

The french revolution history channel

The futur of psychiatry

The great debate

The great debate 2 wilder smith

The great commandment movie

The great controversy book

The health message

The indestructible book

The inquisition files

The inquisition files 2

The life of Jesus

The light of the world

The lost pages of christianity

The money masters

The origin of life

The revolutionary

The sabbath

The sanctuary

The secret of the jesuits

The seventh day

The seventh day 2

The seventh day 3

The seventh day 4

The seventh day 5

The ten commandments movie

The truth about the sabbath

The extreme oath of the jesuits

Theology debates

Thomas movie

Thoughts from the mount of blessing book

Time and creation Wilder smith

Toby mac

Toby mac 2

Toby mac 3

Toby mac 4

Toby mac 5

Tree 63

Twila paris



Visiter le paris protestant

Visiter le paris protestant 2

Visiting paris the bible way

Visiting paris the bible way 2

Voice of prophecy

Voice of prophecy reunion

Walter Veith

Walter veith a woman rides the beast

Walter veith catholic islamic connections

Walter veith final conflict

Walter veith hidden agendas

Walter veith man behind the mask

Walter veith new age agendas

Walter veith origin of variety

Walter veith papacy admits sda truth

Walter veith revolution tyrants

Walter veith strange fire

Walter veith the wine of babylon

Walter veith u.n. and occult agendas

What is creation science?

Who controls the world?

Who has infiltrated the usa?

Why my mother did not become a Jehovah's witness?

Wintley phipps

William miler

World revolution

Yolanda adams

Yolanda adams 2

Your health your choice