Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/459

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
439
NAMES OF WITNESSES WITHHELD.

informed by both Eymerich and Bernardo di Como that cases were rare in which risk did not exist; that it was great when the accused was rich and powerful, but graeter still when he was poor and had friends who had nothing to lose. Eymerich evidently considers it much more decent to refuse the names than to adopt the expedients of some over-conscientious inquisistors who furnished, like Cardinal Romano, the names written on a different piece of paper and so arranged that their identification with their evidence was impossible, or who mixed up other names with those of the witnesses so as to confuse hopelessly the defence. Occasionally a less disreputable but almost equally confusing plan was adopted, in swearing a portion of the witnesses in the presence of the accused, while examining them in his absence. Thus in the trial of Bernard Délicieux, in 1319, out of forty-eight witnesses whose depositions are recorded, sixteen were sworn in his presence; in that of Huss, in 1414, it is mentioned that fifteen witnesses at one time were taken to his cell that he might see them sworn.[1]

From this withholding of names it was but a step to withholding the evidence altogether, and that step was sometimes taken. In truth the whole process was so completely at the arbitrary discretion of the inquisitor, and the accused was so wholly without rights, that whatever seemed good in the eyes of the former was allowable in the interest of the faith. Thus we are told that if a witness retracted his evidence, the fact should not be made known to the defendant lest it should encourage him in his defence, but the judge is recommended to bear it in mind when rendering

  1. Bernardi Comens, Luccrna Inquisit. s. v. Probatio, No. 3.-Archidiac. Gloss. sup. c. xi. 1 Sexto v. 2.-Guill. Pod. Laur. c. 40.-Bern. Guidon, Gravamina (Doat. XXX. 102).-Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1244 c. 22,-Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 4, 10.-Arch. de l'Inq. de Carc. (Doat, XXXI. 5).-Innoc. PP. IV. Bull Cum negotium, 9 Mart. 1254; Ejusd. Bul. Ut commissum, 21 Jun. 1254.-Alex PP. IV. Bul. Liret robis, T Dec. 1255; Ejusd. Bull. Pra cunctis, § G, 9 Nov 1250; Ejusd. Bull. Super extirpatione, § 9, 1258.-Clem. PP. TV. Bull. Ticet exomnilus, 17 Sep. 1265.-Ejusd. Bul Pr cunetis, 23 Feb. 1266.-Guid. Fulcod Quast. xv.-MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14980, fol. 221.-C. 20 Sexto v. 2. Bern. Guidon. Practica P. IV. (Doat, XXX.).Responsa Prudentum (Doat XXXVII).Eymeric. Direct. Tnq. pp. 450, 610, 614, 626, 627. Cf. Pegne Comment. pp. 627-8,-MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 4270.--Bernardi Comens, Lucerna Inquisit. s. v. Nomina.Mladenovic Relatio (Palacky Documenta Joannis Hus, pp. 252-3)