Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/511

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491
PENANCE OF IMPRISONMENT.

who had charge of the prison at Carcassonne, and who was punished for his frauds, made out his accounts at the rate of eight deniers. This extravagance was not a precedent, and in 1337 we find the accounts still made out at the old rate of three deniers. For the accused detained and awaiting trial the Inquisition itself presumably had to provide. In Italy, where the confiscations, as we shall see, were divided into thirds, the Inquisition was self-supporting. In Naples the royal prisons were employed, and a royal order was required for incarceration.[1]

While the penance prescribed was a diet of bread and water, the Inquisition, with unwonted kindness, did not object to its prisoners receiving from their friends contributions of food, wine, money, and garments, and among its documents are such frequent allusions to this that it may be regarded as an established custom. Collections were made among those secretly inclined to heresy to alleviate the condition of their incarcerated brethren, and it argues much in favor of the disinterested zeal of the persecuted that they were willing to incur the risk attendant on this benevolence, for any interest shown towards these poor wretches exposed them to accusation to fautorship.[2]

The prisons were naturally built with a view to economy of construction and space rather than to the health and comfort of the captives. In fact the papal orders were that they should be constructed of small, dark cells for solitary confinement, only taking care that the "enormis rigor" of the incarceration should not extinguish life. M. Molinier's description of the Tour de l’Inquisition at Carcassonne, which was used as the inquisitorial prison, shows how literally these instructions were obeyed. It was a horrible place, consisting of small cells, deprived of all light and ventilation, where through long years the miserable inmates endured


  1. Molinier, op. cit. p. 435. — Vaissette, III. Pr. 536.— Vaissette, fid. Privat, VIII. 1206.-Arch. de I'hôtel-de-ville d'Albi (Doat, XXXIV. 45).— Bern. Guidon. Gravam. (Doat, XXX. 109). — Isambert. Anc. Loix Françaises, IV. 364. — Vaissette, Éd. Privat, X. Pr. 693-4, 813-14.— Les Olim, III. 148.— Hauréau, Bernard Délicieux, p. 19.— Arcliivio di Napoli, Reg. 113, Lett. A, fol. 385 ; Reg. 154, Lett. C, fol. 81 ; MSS. Chioccorello, T. VIII.
  2. Arch, de l'Inq. do Carcassonne (Doat, XXVII. 14, 16). — Muratori Antiq. Dissert, lx. (T. XII. pp. 500, 507, 529, 535).— Lib. Sententt. Inq. Tolos. pp. 252-4, 307.— Tract, de Heeres. Paup. dc Lugd. (Martene Thesaur. V. 1786).