Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/465

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445
REFUSAL OF COUNSEL.

inquisitor was not rendered within a twelvemonth. When to this we add the perpetually reiterated commands to the inquisitors to proceed without regard to legal forms or the wrangling of advocates, and the notice to notaries that he who drew up the revocation of a confession was excommunicated as an impeder of the Inquisition, it will readily be seen that there was no need of formally refusing counsel to the accused, and that there was no practical benefit permitted from the admission of the barren generality that one who believed a heretic to be innocent and endeavored to prove him so was not on that account liable to punishment. Eymerich is careful to specify that the accused has the right to employ counsel, and that a denial of this justifies an appeal, but then he likewise states that the inquisitor can prosecute any advocate or notary who undertakes the cause of heretics ; and a century earlier a manuscript manual for inquisitors directs them to prosecute as defenders of heresy any advocates who take such cases, with the addition that if they are clerks they are to be perpetually deprived of their benefices. It is no wonder, therefore, that finally inquisitors adopted the rule that advocates were not to be allowed in inquisitorial trials. This injustice had its compensation, however, for the employment of counsel, in fact, was likely to prove as dangerous to the defendant as to his advocate, for the Inquisition was entitled to all accessible information, and could summon the latter as a witness, force him to surrender any papers in his hands, and reveal what had passed between him and his client. Such considerations, however, are rather theoretical than practical, for it may well be doubted whether, in the ordinary course of the Inquisition, counsel for the defence ever appeared before it. The terror that it inspired is well illustrated by the circumstance that when, in 1300, Friar Bernard Delicieux was commissioned by his Franciscan provincial to defend the memory of Castel Fabri, and Nicholas d' Abbeville, the Inquisitor of Carcassonne, rudely refused him even an audience, he could find no notary in the city who dared to assist him in drawing up a legal protest ; every one feared arrest and prosecution if he took the least part in an opposition to the dreaded inquisitor, and Bernard had to wait ten or twelve days until he could bring a notary from a distance to perform the simplest formahty. The local ofiicials might well hesitate to incur the wrath of Nicholas, for a few years before he had