This angle on the French Reformation pits immovable object - the French appellate courts or parlements - against irresistable force - the most dynamic forms of the Protestant Reformation. The work investigates systematically the judicial history of the French Reformation. It examines the myriad encounters between Protestants and judges in French parlements, extracting information from registers of official criminal decisions both in Paris and in provincial capitals, and identifying more than 425 prisoners condemned to death for heresy by French courts between 1523 and 1560. The author notes the ways in which Protestants resisted the French judicial system even before the religious wars, and sets their story within the context of heresy prosecutions elsewhere in Reformation Europe, and within the long-term history of French criminal justice.
William Monter is Professor of History, Northwestern University. He is the author of numerous works on Calvin's Geneva, witchcraft, and the Spanish Inquisition, including Frontiers of Heresy: The Spanish Inquisition from the Basque Lands to Sicily.
Introduction Criminal Justice in Sixteenth-Century France Heresy Trials in Reformation Europe Parlementary Initiatives and Public Scandals, 1523-1539 Royal Escalation and the Crisis of Nicodemism, 1540-1548 The Limits of Prosecution and the Challenge of Geneva, 1549-1554 From Confessionalization to Decriminalization, 1555-1560 Martyrology and Jurisprudence From Heresy to Sedition: The Eclipse of Parlements, 1560-1590 Retrospective Appendix: Heresy Executions Ordered in Frnace, 1523-1560 Abbreviations Notes Index TABLES Burnings for "enormous" crimes at Rouen, 1550s-1590s Heresy executions in Europe, 1525-1564 Heresy cases at Paris Parlement, 1540-1544 Paris and Toulouse heresy cases, 1545-1554 Crespin and French heresy executions, 1540-1559 MAP Locations of French heresy executions, 1523-1560