www.trapaud.org

Religion and Politics

Meanwhile, to understand the times in which these men lived, we must cast a look at the political and religious movements of the XV and XVI centuries. The date of 1471 takes one back to the reign of Louis XI, the hypocrite. In 1440, Gutenberg invented printing and paper replaced parchment. In 1492, the New World was discovered. Everywhere men's eyes were being opened, their thoughts spreading and soaring. Liberty was unfolding her wings. Louis XII was succeeded by Charles VIII and France was engaged in long wars with Italy. Francis I began to reign in 1515. Patron of the arts and sciences, founder of the College of France, and of "l'Imprimerie nationale" he helped on the great movement, the re-birth, the Renaissance, which, with her sister, the Reformation, started a new era for the medieval world.

In Guyenne, and greatly in the regions inhabited by the quiet family of the Trapaud, the Reformation was marching onward with steady tread. The reformed religion was preached at Sainte-Foy, a village not far from Castillon, by a young and zealous preacher, Aymon de la Voye, from Noyon in Picardy, Calvin's country. What was preached at Ste-Foy could not fail to reach the surrounding hamlets of Gardegan, Tourtirac, St-Magne, Ste-Colombe, St-Etienne de Lisse and Mangot, all within such a narrow circle. We can well imagine the Trapaud in 1538-154? having come under the influence of Aymon de la Voye. The whole family, with its different branches, is protestant in the course of two generations. De la Voye did not at first preach publicly, owing to the rigourous edicts against heretics. His meetings were held in a cellar belonging to a schoolmaster, "Grenier", and, when his converts increased, he preached more openly. In 1541 he was imprisoned and after nine months of terrible trial and torture he was burnt at Bordeaux in front of the "Tour de la Grosse Cloche" on the "Place de l'Echafaud-neuf" as it was then called, it being at that time the town moat.

Tour de la Grosse Cloche

Bordeaux - Tour de la Grosse Cloche

In Guyenne, and greatly in the regions inhabited by the quiet family of the Trapaud, the Reformation was marching onward with steady tread. The reformed religion was preached at Sainte-Foy, a village not far from Castillon, by a young and zealous preacher, Aymon de la Voye, from Noyon in Picardy, Calvin's country. What was preached at Ste-Foy could not fail to reach the surrounding hamlets of Gardegan, Tourtirac, St-Magne, Ste-Colombe, St-Etienne de Lisse and Mangot, all within such a narrow circle. We can well imagine the Trapaud in 1538-154? having come under the influence of Aymon de la Voye. The whole family, with its different branches, is protestant in the course of two generations. De la Voye did not at first preach publicly, owing to the rigourous edicts against heretics. His meetings were held in a cellar belonging to a schoolmaster, "Grenier", and, when his converts increased, he preached more openly. In 1541 he was imprisoned and after nine months of terrible trial and torture he was burnt at Bordeaux in front of the "Tour de la Grosse Cloche" on the "Place de l'Echafaud-neuf" as it was then called, it being at that time the town moat.

(Hist. de la Reformation. Gaulthier. p. 60.)

In 1547 the country road round Ste-Foy was in a very excited condition; persecutions had increased to such an extent that the spirit of the victims could bear it no longer and reprisals began. At La Force, Montcaret, Saint-Antoine, Pessac, Gensac, Montravel, Castillon excitement reached its pitch, for in those towns protestantism had not been obliged to hide itself.

In 1551, on the 27th of June the Edict of Châteaubriant was promulgated, containing the severest of articles against heretics. In September of the same year, the pope granted "all heretics, lutherans and others two months to abjure publicly." (See Arch. Dep. de la Gironde, Serie B Parlem. Enregistrement des Edits.)

But a stronger power than man's crept in where man was silenced. Olivetan's translation of the Bible (1517) and Lefebvre's of the New Testament were hawked all over France by men called "contre-porteurs."

One of Lefebvre's disciples brought, amongst others the gospel of Reform into Guyenne. i.e. Guillaume Farel, born in 1489 at the village of Farels near Gap. And numbers of others followed in his footsteps.

Olivetan

Guillaume Farel

Image courtesy of Bibliorama.fr

Image courtesy of NNDB.com

In the next stage of the tour we shall go to the seventeenth century to discover the seven roots of the Trapaud family.

CONTINUE THE TOUR (The Seven Roots of the Trapaud Family)