This book explores how conceptions of episcopacy (government of a church by bishops) shaped the identity of the bishops of France in the wake of the reforming Council of Trent (1545–63). It demonstrates how the episcopate, initially demoralised by the Wars of Religion, developed a powerful ideology of privilege, leadership and pastorate that enabled it to become a flourishing participant in the religious, political and social life of the ancien regime. The book analyses the attitudes of Tridentine bishops towards their office by considering the French episcopate as a recognisable caste, possessing a variety of theological and political principles that allowed it to dominate the French church.
the justice and the attendant question of judicial integrity. Like many office-holders in the AncienRegime,
the judges of England’s ecclesiastical courts depended upon court fees for their
basic incomes. And the records of individual trials that were fully recorded,
customarily included the payment of court fees, of which judges took a share.30
Litigants paid for libels, for commissions to examine witnesses, for sentences,
for documents of appeal; indeed they paid for all the paper produced during
trials. Part of the money paid for these items went to the judges
and practice of episcopacy. It had a profound impact on the episcopate and its relationship with the Tridentine papacy
and the French crown, and ultimately shaped the French church for the
remainder of the ancienrégime. At its heart stood its keenest participants, the
body of prelates that formed the French episcopate.
Historians have long understood that to grasp the nature of early modern
catholicism, one must attend to its bishops. In the traditional ‘confessional’
accounts of the Counter-Reformation, they assumed pivotal positions in the
violence and authority, and the difference between Revolutionary violence and violence under the ancienrégime.3 While the politics of popular violence still provokes
debate, there is greater consensus on the latter point, and the difference between
Revolutionary violence and earlier forms of Franco-French conflict remains critical
to our understanding of the Revolution as a rupture with the past.
With little in the way of technological innovation to distinguish Revolutionary
violence from that which preceded it, the basis for that distinction is primarily one
order and a key site of resistance.
‘Post-Marxist’ or revisionist historians of the ‘classic’ revolutions,
especially of the French and Russian Revolutions, have since the
1970s tended to emphasise the limitations of radical movements to
effect a root-and-branch change in the deeper social structures of the
ancienrégime, structures which tended to survive underground only to
resurface later. From the 1920s onwards several states engaged in the
authoritarian, ‘top-down’, modernisation of Muslim societies, and in
particular of the role of women and marriage law. The
eighteenth-century international ‘deist movement’, which has been considered ‘especially strong in Britain and
France’.3 It has consequently been noted that amongst some historians there has been an ‘obsessive iteration of “modernity” as a
watchword of Enlightenment’.4
In his Christianity under the AncienRégime 1648–1789
(1999), Ward has suggested that the number of deist writers was
‘immense’.5 Herrick (The Radical Rhetoric of the English Deists,
1997) has claimed that English deists were so numerous that they
posed a threat to the social and religious order.6 In his
, Christianity under the AncienRégime 1648–1789 (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 159, on Bayle’s active membership of the
reformed church while writing the Dictionnaire.
K. Sandberg, At the Crossroads of Faith and Reason. An Essay on Pierre Bayle
(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1966), p. 2.
Ibid., pp. 38–9.
W. Rex, Essays on Pierre Bayle and Religious Controversy (The Hague:
Martinus Nijhoff, 1965), p. x.
Sandberg, At the Crossroads of Faith and Reason, pp. 99, 103.
E. Labrousse, Pierre Bayle (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press,
1983; 1st edn
applicable for serious crimes. 87
In the Southern Netherlands, the only provision for ‘crimes of passion’ was that traditionally, ancienrégime justice allowed a husband to kill a man he found having intercourse with his wife, given that the lover was not a nobleman (the reverse – a wife killing her adulterous husband’s concubine – was not legal). That this did not (explicitly) have to do with impulses of love or jealousy, but rather with honour, propriety and entitlement, is apparent by the fact that the married woman’s father had the same right. 88
, vol. 2 (Paris: Seuil, 2003); Jean-Pierre Bois,
De la paix des rois à l’ordre des empereurs, 1714–1815: Nouvelle histoire
des relations internationales, vol. 3 (Paris: Seuil, 2003); Matthew Smith
Anderson, The Origins of the Modern European State System, 1494–1618
(London: Longman, 1998); Jeremy Black, A History of Diplomacy (London:
Reaktion Books, 2010). See, however, Lucien Bély, ‘Subsides’, in Dictionnaire
de l’ancienrégime, ed. by Lucien Bély (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France,
1996), pp. 1178–1179.
Subsidies, diplomacy, and state formation
-à-vis Emperor Leopold
I, who promoted the territory of Braunschweig-Lüneburg to a new
electorate in 1692. By this act, the new elector finally became a part
of the imperial alliance against France. Lucien Bély mentioned this
specific case in an overview over subsidies in the AncienRégime
as an example of just how unpredictable the outcomes of subsidies
were with regard to political calculations.17 Moreover, in this case it
was the emperor’s decision that brought the Wolfenbüttel branch of
Braunschweig to accept French subsidies and thereby join a French