Berquin, Louis De

Berquin, Louis de, a French nobleman, was born in 1489. His friend Erasmus states that he was highly respected at the French court, and that he was a religious man, but hated the monks on account of their ignorance and fanaticism. When he translated Luther's work, De Votis Monasticis, he was denounced by the Sorbonne as a heretic. In 1523 the Parliament of Paris had his books seized, and ordered Berquin to abjure his opinions, and to pledge himself neither to write nor to translate any more books against the Church of Rome. On his refusal he was sent before the ecclesiastical tribunal of the diocese. Francis I liberated him from prison, and submitted his case to the chancellor of his council, who demanded of Berquin the abjuration of some heretical opinions, with which the latter complied. In 1525, two councillors of the court of Rome denounced him as having relapsed into heresy, but he was again set free through the interposition, of Francis I. In 1528 he was again arrested, and tried before a commission of twelve members of the Parliament, which decreed that his books should be burned, his tongue pierced, and that he should be imprisoned for life. From this judgment Berquin appealed to Francis I; but the commission, considering this appeal as a new crime, ordered him to be burned, but, in consideration of his nobility, to be previously strangled. This sentence was executed on April 22, 1529. — Hoefer, Biographie Generale, 5, 658.

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