Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/537

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517
RAPACITY OF THE PRINCES.

families ; but the princes and their representatives were relentless in grasping all that they could lay their hands on. I have mentioned that as soon as a suspect was cited before the Inquisition his property was sequestrated to await the result, and proclamation was made to all his debtors and those who held his effects to bring everything to the king. Charles of Anjou carried this practice to Naples, where a royal order, in 1269, to arrest sixty-nine heretics contains instructions to seize simultaneously their goods, which are to be held for the king. So assured were the officials that condemnation would follow trial that they frequently did not await the result, but carried out the confiscation in advance. This abuse was coeval with the founding of the Inquisition. In 1237 Gregory IX. complained of it and forbade it, but to little purpose, for in 1246 the Council of Béziers again prohibited it, unless, indeed, the offender had knowingly adhered to those who were known to be heretics, in which case, apparently, it was sanctioned. When, in 1259, St. Louis mitigated the rigors of confiscation, he indirectly forbade this wrong by instructing his officials that, when the accused was not condemned to imprisonment, they should give him or his heirs a hearing to reclaim the property ; but, if there was any suspicion of heresy, it was not to be restored without taking security that it should be surrendered if anything was proved within five years, during which period it was not to be alienated. Yet still the outrage of confiscation before conviction continued with sufficient frequency to induce Boniface VIII. to embody its prohibition in the canon law. Even this did not put a stop to it. The Inquisition had so habituated men's minds to the belief that no one escaped who had once fallen into its hands, that the officials considered themselves safe in acting upon the presumption. By an unusual coincidence we have the data from various sources in a single case of this kind which is doubtless the type of many others. In the prosecutions at Albi in 1300, a certain Jean Baudier was first examined January 20, when he acknowledged nothing. At a second hearing, February 5, he confessed to acts of heresy, and he was condemned March 7. Yet his confiscated property was sold January 29, not only before his sentence, but before his confession. Guillem Garric, charged with complicity in the plot to destroy the inquisitorial records of Carcassonne in 1284, was not sentenced until 1319, but in 1301 we find the Count of Foix