Le Parlement de Metz et les protestants de 1633-1735

Abstract : The study deals primarily with the application of the king's edicts, declarations and ordinances regarding the practice of the protestant faith and the life of the protestants themselves within the jurisdiction of the metz parliament which has been set up in 1633. The study is based almost exclusively on the court archives kept in the departement de la moselle archives. Over 400 court hearing are detailed, which took place either in the parliament or in the bailliages of metz and sedan: they involve about 900 people in various level and positions. We have discovered that some of the constraints applied in the rest of the kingdom had been eased, more specifically in the area of the forbidden professions and also with respect of the parents sending their children abroad; this however not going as far as the most favored status enjoyed by alsace. Fugitives, those leaving the kingdom after the revocation of the nantes edict have been found to have a strong religious faith, as is the case with the opiniated (opiniatres), those who refuse the catholic sacraments on their death bed; the same can be said of those who marry in foreign countries. The blasphemers and the irreverentials (irreverencieux) often appear as mere provokers and are seldom to be found when the struggle againts "heresy" gets stronger, as if their demonstrations appear somewhat childish and purposeless. As for relapsors, it is self-evident that they act on short-term interest grounds only two cases of sacrileges are described, of which one is highly questionnable. Real estates (farms, land, vineyards and houses) left behind by fugitives are rented in public auctions for periods of three years; only removable property (such as furnitures) and perishable goods are imediateley sold. Money obtained through such rents and sales is allocated by the king to the caisse des conversions for the catholic religion propagation and for the welfare of some pastors who have abjured. In 32 cases only, properties are sold when the debts which have been claimed by third parties, cannot be covered by the available money assets after the king's fine has been deducted. Nowhere does it seems that actual properties have not changed hands, aside from a few sporadic donations granted directly by the king. Consequences are studied here from several standpoints: legally (the phrase "religion prétendue réformée" or RPR, is coined), religiously and philosophically (general desacration, indifferentism, deisme, anticlericalism and laicism), demographically (los of 75% of the reformed population, of which almost 40% took place during the three years following the trade). However, we believe that a city as Metz which lost 11% of its total population took only a few years to recover. This brings us to the conclusion that the dire economic consequence which have to be attributed to the revocation have been greatly overplayed, mostly due to the protestant propagande against Louis XIV and his tough policies. The french kingkom lost however, those who had the strongest capacity to innovate ; this is where the main loss reside and by way of consequence where the again is for the countries which welcomed the fugitives
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Martial Villemin. Le Parlement de Metz et les protestants de 1633-1735. Histoire. Université Paul Verlaine - Metz, 1997. Français. ⟨NNT : 1997METZ001L⟩. ⟨tel-01777242⟩

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