Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/443

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INTRODUCTION OF TORTURE.

Torture saved the trouble and expense of prolonged imprisonment; it was a speedy and effective method of obtaining what revelations might be desired, and it grew rapidly in favor with the Inquisition, while its extension throughout secular jurisprudence was remarkably slow. In 1260 the charter granted by Alphonse of Poitiers to the town of Auzon specially exempts the accused from torture, no matter what the crime involved. This shows that its use was gradually spreading, and already, in 1291, Philippe le Bel felt himself called upon to restrain its abuses; in letters to the seneschal of Carcassonne he alludes to the newly-introduced methods of torture in the Inquisition, whereby the innocent were convicted and scandal and desolation pervaded the land. He could not interfere with the internal management of the Holy Office, but he sought a corrective in forbidding indiscriminate arrest at the sole bidding of the inquisitors. As might be expected, this was only a palliative; callous indifference to human suffering grows by habit, and the misuse of this terrible method of coercion continued to increase. When the despairing cry of the population induced Clement V. to order an investigation into the iniquities of the Inquisition of Carcassonne, the commission issued to the cardinals sent thither in 1306 recites that confessions were extorted by torture so severe that the unfortunates subjected to it had only the alternative of death; and in the proceedings before the commissioners the use of torture is so frequently alluded to as to leave no doubt of its habitual employment. It is a noteworthy fact, however, that in the fragmentary documents of inquisitorial proceedings which have reached us the references to torture are singularly few. Apparently it was felt that to record its use

    Iunoc. PP. IV. Bull, Ad extirpanda, & 26.--Concil, Autissiodor. ann. 578 c. 33-Concil. Matiscon. II, ann. 585 c. 19.-Alex. PP. IV. Bull. U negotium, 7 Julii 1250 (Doat, XXXI. 196); Ejusd. Bull. Ne inquisitionis, 19 Apr. 1259. Urban PP. IV. Bull. 7l negotium, 1260, 1262 (Ripol3, I. 430; Mag. Bull. Rom. I. 182)-Clement. PP. 1V. Bull. Ne inguisitionis, 13 Jan. 1266.Bern. Guidon. Pract. P IV. (Doat. XXX.),- Pegne Comment. in Eyneric. p. 593.-Archivio di Napoli, MSS. Chioccarello, T. VIII-Historia Tribulationam (Archiy für Litt. u. Kirch engesclichte, 1886, p. 324)
    The earliest allusion to the use of torture in Languedoc is in 1254, when St. Louis forbado its use on the testimony of a single witness, even in the case of poor persons.-Vaissette, Ed. Privat, VIIL. 1348.