Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/494

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allowing a number of the inhabitants to redeem their penalties for its benefit. The public utility of bridges caused them to be included in the somewhat elastic term of pious uses. Thus, in 1310, at Toulouse, Mathieu Aychard is released from wearing crosses and performing certain pilgrimages on condition of contributing forty livres Tournois to a new bridge then under construction at Tonneins; and in a formula for such transactions given by Bernard Gui, absolution and dispensation from pilgrimages and other penances are said to be granted in consideration of the payment of fifty livres for the building of a certain bridge, or of a certain church, or " to be spent in pious uses at our discretion." This last clause shows that commutations were by no means always thus liberally disposed of, and in fact they often inured to the benefit of those imposing them. We have a specimen of this in letters of the Inquisitor of Narbonne in 1264, granting absolution to Guillem du Puy in consideration of his giving one hundred and fifty livres Tournois to the Inquisition. The magnitude of these sums shows the eagerness of the penitents to escape, and the enormous power of extortion wielded by the inquisitor. If he was a man of integrity he could doubtless resist the temptation, but to the covetous and self-indulgent the opportunity of oppressing the helpless was almost unlimited. The system was kept up to the end. Under Nicholas V. Fray Miguel, the Inquisitor of Aragon, gave mortal offence to some high dignitaries in following certain papal instructions, whereupon they maltreated him and kept him in prison for nine months. It was a flagrant case of impeding the Inquisition, and in 1458 Pius II. ordered the Archbishop of Tarragona to dig up the bones of one of the offenders who had died, and to send the rest to the Holy See for judgment — but he added that the archbishop might, at his discretion, substitute a mulct for the war against the Turks, to be transmitted to the papal camera. It goes without saying that the death-penalty could never legally be commuted.[1]

  1. Arch, de I'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXI. 152). — Archives Nationales de France, J. 430, No. 1 . — Berger, Les Registres d'Innoc. IV. No. 4093. — Vaissette, III. 460, 462. — Molinier, op. cit. pp. 173, 283-4, 391, 396, 397. —Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. p. 40.— Bern. Guidon. Practica (Doat, XXIX. 83).— Coll. Doat, XXXI. 292. — Arch. del'Inq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXXV. 192).— Zanchini Tract, de Haeret, c, xix.