Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/535

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515
THE BISHOPS OP ALBI.

though it had already been shorn of nearly half of its territory by Boniface VIII. to form the see of Pamiers.[1]

The bishops of Albi were especially active and fortunate in this saturnalia of plunder. During the confusion of the wars and the settlement they assumed rights, including haute justice and

the confiscations, which led to contests with the representatives of the crown, lasting for thirty years. They were specially active in the pursuit of heretics, which they thus found profitable as well as praiseworthy. In 1247 Bishop Bertrand procured from Innocent IV. a special deputation of inquisitorial power, probably to strengthen his claims, and the next year he drove a thriving business in selling commutations for confiscation to condemned and repentant heretics — an expedient more lucrative than regular, for when Alphonse of Poitiers, in 1253, endeavored to speculate in the confiscations in the same way, he was compelled to desist by the Archbishop of Narbonne and the Bishop of Toulouse, who declared that it would lead to the scandal of the faithful and the destruction of religion. Finally, to settle the claims of the bishop on the confiscations, St. Louis, in December, 1264, made with Bernard de Combret, the incumbent of the see, a convention, promptly confirmed by Urban lY., by which the prelate was entitled to one half of all confiscations of realty and personalty within the diocese, with the further advantage that the king's share of the real estate passed into possession of the bishop if it was not sold within a twelvemonth, and became his absolute property if not sold within


  1. MSS. Bib. Nat, fonds latin, No. 14930, fol. 224.— Livres de Jostice et de Plet, Liv. I. Tit. iii. § 7.— Vaissette, HI. 391.— Les Olim, I. 317.— MSS. Bib. Nat., fonds latin, No. 11847. — Concil. Insulan. ann. 1251 c. 3.— Teulet, Layettes, II. 1G5.— Concil. Biterrens. ann. 1246 c. 4.— Vaissette, Jfid. Privat, VIH. 975.— Baluz. Concil.Narbonn. Append, pp. 96-99.— Coll. Doat, XXXV. 48. Cf. Berger, Registres d’Innoc. IV. No. 1543-4, 1547-8.— Vaissette, IV. 170.— Baudouin, Lettres inédites de Philippe le Bel, Paris, 1886, p. xl.
    In spite of the general sense of equity manifested by St. Louis, he was by no means indifferent to acquisitions justified by the spirit of the age. In 1246 there seems to have been a raid made upon the Jews of Carcassonne, who were thrown into prison. In July St. Louis writes to his seneschal that he wants to get from them all that he can ; they are, therefore, to be held in strict duress, while the amount which they can be made to pay is to be reported to him. In August he writes that the sum proposed is not satisfactory, and the seneschal is instructed to extort all that he can. — Vaissette, Éd. Privat, VIII. 1191-3.