February 19

February 19, 1431

Decision to summon the Inquisitor

On Monday, February 19th 1431, the following lords and masters appeared before us in our dwelling at eight o’clock in the morning.

  • Gilles, abbot of Fécamp
  • Jean Beaupère
  • Jacques de Touraine,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Pierre Maurice,
  • Gerard Feuillet, doctors of theology;
  • Nicolas de Venderès,
  • Jean de La Fontaine, licentiates in canon law;
  • William Haiton,
  • Nicolas Couppequesne,
  • Thomas de Courcelles, bachelors of theology;
  • Nicolas Loiseleur, canon of the cathedral of Rouen.

We the said bishop informed them that we had commanded a preparatory inquiry into certain articles concerning the words and deeds of this woman whom, as we had formerly said, our lord the king had surrendered and entrusted to us, to discover if there were sufficient cause to proceed against her and summon her in matters of faith. In their presence we read the articles and depositions contained in this preparatory evidence.

When this had been read they were fully considered by the lords and masters in a long and mature consultation.

Finally at their counsel and advice we concluded that we possessed sufficient evidence to proceed against this woman and summon her in matters of faith, and we decreed that she should be cited and summoned to reply to certain interrogations to be addressed to her.

Moreover for the more convenient and salutary conduct of the matter, and in our respect for the apostolic holy see which has especially appointed lord Inquisitors of Heretical Error to correct the evils which arise against the orthodox faith, we resolved at the advice of our experienced counselors to invite and summon the lord Inquisitor of Heretics cal Error for the kingdom of France to collaborate with us in this trial if it were according to his pleasure and interest.

Since however the said lord Inquisitor was then absent from the city of Rouen, we commanded that his deputy, who was present in Rouen, should be summoned and called in his stead.

The afternoon of the same day. The Vicar of the Lord Inquisitor is summoned

The same Monday, at four in the afternoon, we were visited in our house by the venerable and discreet master Jean Le Maistre of the order of Preaching brothers, Vicar of the lord Inquisitor of the kingdom of France and appointed by him to the city and diocese of Rouen.

We summoned and required the said vicar to join with us so that we might proceed in conjunction in the said matter, and we offered to acquaint him with everything which had been or should in future be done therein. Whereupon the said vicar answered that he was prepared to show us his commission or letters of appointment given him by the lord Inquisitor and according to the tenor thereof he would gladly perform all that he was in duty bound to do on behalf of the holy inquisition.

Yet, since he was especially appointed for the diocese and city of Rouen only, he doubted whether his commission could be interpreted to include the present trial, although the territory had been ceded to us, because we had nevertheless undertaken these proceedings in virtue of our jurisdiction in the diocese of Beauvais.

We answered that he should return to us on the next day when we should have taken counsel upon the matter.

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