Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/496

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money, which had been divided up among her kindred, and from this pitiful inheritance the inquisitor, on March 7, 1256, demanded forty sous, for the payment of which by Easter the heirs had to give security. Such petty and vulgar details as these give us a clearer insight into the spirit and working of the Inquisition, and of the grinding oppression which it exercised on the subject populations. Even in the case of fautors who were not heretics, the heirs were obliged to perform any pecuniary penance which had been inflicted upon them.[1]

A more legitimate source of income, but yet one which opened the door to grave abuses, was the custom of taking bail, which of course was liable to forfeiture, serving, in such cases, as an irregular form of commutation. This custom dated from the inception of the Inquisition, and was practised at every stage of the proceedings, from the first citation to the final sentence, and even afterwards, when prisoners were sometimes liberated temporarily on giving security for their return. The convert who was absolved on abjuring was also required to give security that he would not relapse. Thus, in 1234, w^e see Lantelmo, a Milanese noble, ordered to give bail in two thousand lire, and two Florentine merchants bailed by their friends in two thousand silver marks. So, in 1244, the Baroni, of Florence, gave bail in one thousand fire to obey the mandates of the Church ; and in 1252 a certain Guillem Roger pledged one hundred livres that he would go beyond seas by the next fleet and serve there for two years. The security was always to be pecuniary, and the inquisitor was warned not to take it of heretics, for their offence implied confiscation, but this was not strictly observed, as in special cases friends were found who furnished the necessary pledges. Forfeited bail was payable to the inquisitor, sometimes directly, and sometimes through the hands of the bishops, and was to be used for the expenses of the Inquisition. The usual form of bond pledged all the property of the principal and that of two sureties, jointly and severally ; and as a general rule bail may be said to have been universal, except

  1. Arch, de I'lnq. de Carcassonne (Doat, XXVII. 236). — Concil. Narbonn. ann. 1244 c. 19. — Concil. Albiens. ann. 1254 c. 25. — Guid. Fulcod. Quaest. vii.— Practica super Inquisit. (MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 14930 fol. 221-2).— Molinier, op. cit. pp. 365, 392. — Bernardi Comens. Lucerna Inquisit. s. v. Inquisitores, No. 18.