Catholic Activism in South-West France, 1540–1570 (St. by Kevin Gould

By Kevin Gould

Reading Catholic activism within the south-west of France throughout the center many years of the 16th century, this ebook argues - opposite to winning perspectives - that the phenomenon was once either common and militant even sooner than the formation of the Catholic League in 1576. while fresh examine has supplied a better realizing of the Huguenot fight for defense and legitimacy, there has no longer been a correspondingly thorough research into the grass-roots Catholic response to this, and via brushing aside episodes of pre-League Catholic militancy as constrained 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 booklet 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 courtroom officers, fought first with phrases, then with guns, for supremacy of the group within the cities of the south-west, a gentle escalation of war of words may be traced. inside this surroundings of emerging rigidity, it really is proven how Catholic militancy reflected the organisational and fund-raising ability in their Protestant opponents, 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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134. AMB, ms 767, fo. 495. AMB, ms 767, fos 693–700. AMB, ms 767, fos 711–12. 22 Bordeaux was not exempt from such disturbances. 23 The move was tactically astute, as the château was known to be the key to the town’s defences. For Dupré, this was a seminal moment for Catholicism in the region: if the château fell then so would Bordeaux, with the likelihood that many lesser Catholic satellites of the region would quickly follow. 24 But the fort held firm, thanks to the stubborn resistance of its captain, Vaillac, and his garrison.

18 For Bordeaux’s growing population in the sixteenth century, see Anne-Marie Cocula, Étienne de la Boétie (Bordeaux, 1995), pp. 72–3. 12 22 CATHOLIC ACTIVISM IN SOUTH-WEST FRANCE, 1540–1570 fortified by seven stout gateways, two opening to the countryside and five facing the river Garonne. A decorated central gateway, the porte de Cailhau, provided a ceremonial entrance into the town from the port, while its battlements posed a daunting obstacle to any amphibious assault. Its location at the mouth of the river allowed the town fathers to control all waterway traffic along this important southern artery.

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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