8. When were inquisitors introduced and what strategies did they follow to eliminate heresy? (II)

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  • 8. When were inquisitors introduced and what strategies did they follow to eliminate heresy? (II)
    • In 1229, we also see start of practices with which the inquisition would be synonymous
      • Trial of the perfectus William Solier at Toulouse
        • Concealed names and evidence of his accusers from the defendant
          • For their prosecution but also as an effective weapon of fear
        • Heretic himself yielded names of numerous further suspects and so net of inquisition fanned out
    • Inquisitors
      • The Dominicans Peter Seilan and William Arnold
        • Became inquisitors for Toulouse and instigated an inquest based at Cahors from 1234 to 1239
        • Peter Seilan was removed from Toulouse in 1235 and William of Arnold moved to Carcassonne to maintain peace with Count Raymond VII
      • The first inquest in the diocese of Albi was that of Arnold Cathala
      • Ferrer and Durand were inquisitors for Archdiocese of Narbonne in 1244 and for dioceses of Albi,  Rodez and Le Puy
    • Inquisition also undertaken by bishops
      • Raymond of Falgar (1232-70)
        • Oversaw period of intensive repression against heresy across much of Languedoc and surrounding regions to north and west of Rhone
        • Until bull of Innocent IV (1234-54) Ad extirpanda (1252) he and his colleagues had a good deal of authority over Domicans
          • Inquisitors could, for example, award sentences of death or life imprisonment without reference to diocese
          • Inquisitors could be suspended from duties and even excommunicated by bishops
    • Dominican inquisitors
      • Answerable primarily to Rome
      • They became specialists, undertaking most systematic investigation, not distracted from other concerns that occupied time of bishops
      • Supported by meticulous record keeping
        • Their registers were not filed away but were working documents providing evidence for further investigations
          • so that it was possible to known whether defendants had appeared before inquisitors previously and recanted their beliefs once already and been reconciled with Church
            • A lapse after this had serious implications for suspect
        • Records themselves were target of violence
          • e.g. Being destroyed by people of Narbonne in 1235 as part of violent response to inquisition of Brother Ferrer in town
      • Inquisitors were physically attacked themselves by populace on several occassions
        • e.g at Albi in 1234, where Arnold Cathala was lucky to escape with his life after attempting exhumation of bodies of people convicted posthumously for heresy
      • Could be successfully resisted by non-compliance
        • e.g. Othon of Beretges
      • Whole communities were efficiently summoned and gave evidence
        • e.g in the Lauragais in inquisition of Bernard of Caux and John of Saint Peter of 1245-6
    • Order of Preachers
      • Began to operate more independently
        • autonomy led to conflict with lay authority too
    • Dealings with Raymond VII
      • Raymond genuine in desire to eradicate heresy
        • In 1233-4, he established his own inquest supported by bishop of Agen, and enacted extensive statutes against heresy and protectors of heretics
          • This was in part an assertion of his own authority in face of Order of Preachers
            • As such, Othon of Beretges, the count's bailli for Moissac and Montcuq, tried in 1244 claimed that he had been instructed to dispute judicial authority of Order of Preachers and forbade anyone convicted from accepting their penance
              • Pope maintained peace with count and maintained climate  of heresy
                • by removing Peter Seilan from Toulouse in 1235 and moving Wiilliam Arnold to Carcassonne in April 1236
                  • Bishop William II of Agen and Count responsible for burning of 80 relapsed credentes at Agen in 1249
    • First stage of inquest
      • People summoned to parish priest and inquistior would tell them to come forward with information within 12 days
        • Majority of deponents came forward as confessing and recanting meant they would not be handed to secular arm for corporal or capital punishment
    • Secrecy of accusations
      • Added to power of inquisition
      • Quite possibly did originate in desire to protect witnesses from vengeance of relatives of implicated person
      • Situation improved to some extent by practice of allowing suspects to name people who might bear them a grudge, and allowing them to provide witnesses to verify this and support their good character
    • Punishments
      • Wearing yellow crosses to uncommon but immediate burning at the stake
        • Burning at stake not often used by inquisitors - usually only for who wouldn't renounce heresy
      • Even minor punishments could be severe, e.g. pilgrimage
        • often barefoot
      • Lea
        • Although it is not made explicit in most sentences involving pilgrimage, flogging on arrival at penitents' destination was so commonplace to be assumed routine
      • Stain of heresy led into family
        • By 1239, a person's property could be confiscated and their heirs disinherited and unable to hold office themselves to two generations
      • Innocent IV's bull Ad extirpanda (1252)
        • Allowed for torture by lay officials and all heretics and relapsed converts burned

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