An Account Of The Persecutions In The Marquisate Of Saluces
The Marquisate of Saluces, on the south side of the valleys of Piedmont,
was in A. D. 1561, principally inhabited by protestants, when the
marquis, who was proprietor of it, began a persecution against them at
the instigation of the then pope. He began by banishing the ministers,
and if any of them refused to leave their flocks, they were sure to be
imprisoned, and severely tortured; however, he did not proceed so far as
to put any to death.
Soon after the marquisate fell into the possession of the duke of Savoy,
who sent circular letters to all the towns and villages, that he
expected the people should all conform to go to mass.
The inhabitants of Saluces, upon receiving this letter, returned a
general epistle, in answer.
The duke, after reading the letter, did not interrupt the protestants
for some time; but, at length, he sent them word, that they must either
conform to the mass, or leave his dominions in fifteen days. The
protestants, upon this unexpected edict, sent a deputy to the duke to
obtain its revocation, or at least to have it moderated. But their
remonstrances were in vain, and they were given to understand that the
edict was absolute.
Some were weak enough to go to mass, in order to avoid banishment, and
preserve their property; others removed, with all their effects, to
different countries; and many neglected the time so long, that they were
obliged to abandon all they were worth, and leave the marquisate in
haste. Those, who unhappily staid behind, were seized, plundered, and
put to death.