By Kevin Gould

Interpreting Catholic activism within the south-west of France through the center many years of the 16th century, this booklet argues - opposite to triumphing perspectives - that the phenomenon was once either frequent and militant even sooner than the formation of the Catholic League in 1576. when fresh study has supplied a better knowing of the Huguenot fight for protection and legitimacy, there has now not been a correspondingly thorough research into the grass-roots Catholic response to this, and by means of disregarding episodes of pre-League Catholic militancy as restricted and ephemeral, a distorted photo of French confessional clash and competition is painted. using surviving fabric from the provincial documents at Bordeaux, Toulouse, Agen, and on the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, this publication offers abundant facts for putting the start of Catholic activism within the interval previous the Wars of faith, highlighting the confessional tensions that exploded in the course of the 1540s and 1550s. As competing bands of non secular fanatics, and municipal and court docket officers, fought first with phrases, then with guns, for supremacy of the group within the cities of the south-west, a gradual escalation of war of words will be traced. inside this surroundings of emerging rigidity, it really is proven how Catholic militancy reflected the organisational and fund-raising potential in their Protestant competitors, and the way the neighborhood army elite rose to help their co-religionists on the outbreak of formal hostilities in 1562. The ascendancy of Catholic militants in key city centres by way of 1570 could deal a deadly blow to Protestant plans for supremacy of the south-west.

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Extra resources for Catholic Activism in South-West France, 1540–1570 (St. Andrew's Studies in Reformation History)

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62 AMB, ms 766, fos 433–42. 63 ADG, 1B 214, Arrêt du parlement (3 May 1560), fo. 23. 64 AMB, ms 766, fos 452–8. 65 BMB, ms 367, fo. 213. 66 AMB, ms 766, fos 461–6. 67 Yet difficulties remained. 69 Matters intensified in February 1561, when the incumbent roi de la basoche, Charles Amussat, marched a large force of armed basochiens to the gates of the collège, intent on gaining entry and attacking the écoliers. 70 The beleaguered magistrates were now compelled to act. On 15 February they issued an arrêt censuring the activities of both parties.

See Howard Graham Harvey, The Theatre of the Basoche. The Contributions of the Law Societies to French Medieval Comedy (Cambridge, MA, 1941), p. 17. 44 AMB, ms 759, fo. 869. For the formation of the collège du Guyenne at Bordeaux, see Chevalier, Les bonnes villes de France, p. 231; Zeller, Les institutions de la France, p. 211. 45 See Harvey, The Theatre of the Basoche, p. 14; Gaullieur, Histoire de la réformation à Bordeaux, I, pp. 251–5. 28 CATHOLIC ACTIVISM IN SOUTH-WEST FRANCE, 1540–1570 In their earlier years, the staple of basoche and écolier performances were traditional biblical tales and devotional songs.

687. 11 Malvin frequently represented Catholic plaintiffs before the court, on occasion giving evidence in person to support their defence. See, for example, AMB, ms 767, fos 179–86. Baulon’s most celebrated act would come later in the decade: securing the return of the Jesuits to Bordeaux in 1568. 12 BMB, ms 369, II, fos 304–25. 13 AMB, ms 768, fos 229–31. 14 AMB, ms 767, fos 886–91; BMB, ms 369, II, fo. 331. 8 9 THE BORDEAUX SYNDICATE 37 Throughout this period, relations between Burie and the militants were not helped by the rising number of complaints from Catholic victims of Protestant violence across the Bordelais, many aggrieved at the inability of the lieutenant du roi to secure the hinterland.

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