Cathars and Cathar Beliefs in the Languedoc
Interrogation of Jacqueline d'en Carot of Ax




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Source Documents: Interrogation of Jacqueline d'en Carot of Ax

Jacqueline doubted the Catholic doctrine of the bodily resurection of the dead. This would have been enough to have her burned alive as a heretic, if she had maintained her position.

She had the sense to affirm that her doubts had passed, and that she now firmy believed in the doctrine. This, along with her fingering others for another crime (practicing magical arts) would have been enough to save her life.


Witnesses against Jacqueline d'en Carot concerning the crime of heresy.  

The year of the Lord 1319 and the 3rd of March. Barthélemy de Lagleize, priest of Sorgeat, a sworn witness, interrogated against Jacqueline d'en Carot concrning the accusation of heresy:


About 12 years ago, I heard from a young girl, who lives with Pierre Rouch, the curé of Mérens in his house at Ax, that during that year she was at the mill of My Lord the count one day, to see about getting some flour, and Jacqueline, who is called d'en Carot, was there to grind some grain. The said Jacqueline and Guillaume Caussou, who was also there, exchanged words and he said, "May God grant that we will see each other in the other world and be in Paradise!" And Jacqueline said then that men and women will never see each other again in the next world, and asked him if he himself believed it. He replied that he believed it, because the curés affirmed it to be so. And she said, swearing by the flour of the wheat, "There will never be another world but this one, and men and women who have died will never rise again."

Other than this, the said witness knew nothing, as he said, except for what he had heard reported by this girl. And he said nothing more concerning the said Jacqueline.  
The same year and day as above, Guillaume Caussou, miller of Ax, a sworn witness and asked about that which precedes, said:  

That year, after the assassination of Valentin Barra of Ax, in the cemetery of that same place, I was at the mill of My Lord the count one day, and Jacqueline d'en Carot and 4 other women whose names I have forgotten were present. We were tallking together of the tumult one could hear, they said, at night in the cemetery of Ax after the assassination of this Valentin, to the point that, out of fear, the curés did not dare to rest and sleep in that church at night. And we were wondering, amongst ourselved who were then in the mill, if men would know each other in the other world and if they would rise up at Judgement Day. And I said and affirmed that it would be so, because this was what the curés and clerics say and preach, and I myself believed it.


The said Jacqueline d'en Carot said in the mill to the 4 women present, when we were talking of this Valentin, "St. Mary, is it so, that when we are dead, we will recognize our fathers and mothers, and return from death to life, and rise up in the same bones and flesh that we have now?" She said this in such a way that she seemed to doubt it. Hearing this, I said "Indeed, we shall see, because I have heard thus from both the curés and the Friars Minor, and one finds it written in charters and books, as the curés say." Having said this, I left those women to go to the mill and I did not hear if the said Jacqueline said anything else.


Gaillarde, daughter of Pierre de Canals de Saurat, sworn witness and interrogated concerning the preceding, said:


The Thursday or Friday before Lent of this year (13-14 February 1320) I was staying at Ax, begging for my sustenance from door to door and I went from the mill with two wheels to the mill with three wheels, asking for flour. When I was in this mill, also there were Jacqueline d'en Carot of Ax and Guillaume Caussou the miller. They were talking together of the other world and Jacqueline said, and I heard it, that if one were dead, one remained so, and one would never rise up or come again, nor have flesh and bone, that no one after death would know his parents, friends or acquaintances. Guillaume said that, on the contrary, men would live again and rise in the same flesh and bones that they had before, saying he had heard it said by curés and everyone, except the said Jacqueline. The same Jacuqeline swore by the flour of the wheat which she took from the branteleria (unidentified part of a mill) with a half-quart measure (demi-quartaut, medio carterio), that men would never rise again in flesh and bone, nor live again, nor know one another after this life, but that when one was dead, one remained so. Guillaume said as well to this Jacqueline that she was speaking evil, and he had never heard anyone except her say this. That said, I left the mill.


Who was present?

There was only myself, Guillaume and Jacqueline.

Did you reveal this to anyone?

The following Tuesday, I was at Pierre Rouch's shoue, the rector of Mérens, near whose house I was living; we were warming ourselves by the fire and the rector was talking with Barthélemy de Sorgeat, vicar of Ax, about people condemned to wear the yellow cross. I asked these curés if what I had heard this Jacqueline say was true, and explained to them in deatil what she had said. They replied that it was not true, and that the church said otherwise. When it became known in the village that I had denounced her I was despised in the town.


Asked if in saying this, she had been moved by prayer, money, hatred, love or fear or if she had been induced or suborned, she said no, but only spoke for the sake of the truth.

Asked if she hated the said Jacqueline she said no. She said nothing else relevant.  

Messire Pierre Rouch, rector of the church of Mérens, a sworn witness and diligently questioned, concerning the denunciations brought against the said Jacqueline, said:


The Thursday before Lent of this year I was in the town of Ax and later, because of the cold that persisted I remained there until the following Sunday when I celebrated Mass at Ax. I still remained there and the next day when the morning Mass was celebrated by Barthélemy of Sorgeat, priest vicar of that church, we two went together to my house to get warm. And, in doing this, we fell to talking about those condemned to wear the cross, who were doing their penance badly. Barthélemy said to me that these people marked by the cross did not have the appearance of true converts, but seemed to be of the same disposition they held previously. Gaillarde, a poor beggarwoman, who lived with me, heard these words and said, "Indeed, when Jacqueline d'en Carot, the other day was talking to Caussou the miller, in the mill, the miller said that men would rise again in the other world in the same flesh and bones that they had now and would know each other. She said to him that they would not rise again, and they would not know each other, but that whoever was dead, remained dead. The said Caussou contradicted her and said that the curés say the opposite of what she said. The said Jacqueline, who was just taking the flour from the branteleria , swore, putting her hand on the flour. "By this good thing, there will be no resurrection of the body and men will not know each other in the other world."


Did this girl tell you if there were any other people present when these words were spoken in the mill, with the exception of the two of which you just spoke?

She said that no one was present, to her knowledge, but Jacqueline and Caussou.

And she said nothing else pertinent.  
And I, Rainaud Jabbaud, cleric of Toulouse have faithfully transcribed this text and corrected it against the original.  



Confession of Jacqueline d'en Carot of Ax


The year of the Lord 1319, the 4th of March. Since Jacqueline d'en Carot had been denounced for having said certain things against the Catholic faith, she was cited by letters from the Reverend Father in Christ My Lord Jacques, by the Grace of God, Bishop of Pamiers. The tenor of these letters is as follows:

Brother Jacques, by divine mercy Bishop of Pamiers, to our dear beloved in Christ, curé of Ax or to his vicar, greetings in the Lord.  

Because of likely cause and strong suspicion we suspect Pons Meriana and Jacqueline d'en Carot of heresy and since we wish and intend, as this concerns our office, to speak with them concnerning matters of faith, we command you to cite them, at once, to appear in person before us next Tuesday, that they may give a reasoned response and explanation of the preceding facts concerning the Catholic faith, and to tell them that if they do not appear before us on the appointed day, we will proceed against them as against those suspected of heresy, notwithstanding their absence.

Given at our episcopal seat, the Wednesday after the Feast of Saint Mathew the Apostle (26 February 1320) the year of the Lord 1319. Sealed as a sign of execution of the mandate.  

On the day mentioned in these letters, the said Jacqueline appeared before my said Lord Bishop, assisted by Brother Gaillard of Pomiès, substituting for My Lord the Inquisitor of Carcassonne, and she was simply questioned without oath by My Lord the Bishop. He asked if she had ever, and particularly during this year, expressed doubt or spoken in a skeptical tone concenring the following proposition "that the dead will know each other in the next world, and the dead shall live again, and they will rise up in the same flesh and bones that they have where they are now" or if she had ever said and affirmed by oath that there is no other world, but the present one.


The said Jacqueline responded by denying everything. She also said she had never heard such things spoken of anywhere.


And my said Lord Bishop, wishing that she might reflect on the above, and reply after some deliberation gave her a reprieve until the following Thursday, at the hour of 3 o'clock (tierce), provided that in the meantime she would not leave the city limits of Pamiers and Mas-Saint-Antonin.


After this, the same year as above, the 7th of March, the day which was fixed above, the said Jacqueline appearing before my said Lord Bishop in the Bishop's Chamber took an oath to tell the truth purely and simply concerning the denunciations against her concerning the Catholic faith. She said that if it was true that she was in the mill of My Lord the count, she did not know if she had ever said, there or anywhere else, words resembling those of which she was accused. On the contrary she had never said that, and if she had said any words like those they were "May God grant and Saint Mary, that we may all know one another in the joy of Paradise!" She denied all the rest of the account above.


And since it was apparent that this Jacqueline had several witnesses against her, she was arrested by the said Lord Bishop who wished to seek the truth concerning the preceding.


After this, the year of the Lord 1320, in the month of April, the said Jacqueline, brought into the presence of my said Lord Bishop of the bishopric of Pamiers, was once again asked to tell more completely the truth concerning the denunciations brought against her. She said that she did not wish to say anything more, because she knew nothing more. My Lord the Bishop retained her still, because, it seemed, she had many witnesses against her.


After this, the same year as above, the 3rd of May, the said Jacqueline, appearing in the bishop's chamber before my said Lord Bishop, assisted by Brother Gaillard of Pomiès, said and avowed, on faith of an oath taken preceding:


A year ago, Valentin Barra was assassinated in the cemetery of Ax and people in town said that one could hear a loud tumult in the cemetery where he had been assassinated, to the point that the curés did not dare to leave the presbytery, which was next to the cemetery, at night. One day, I don't remember exactly when, I went to the mill of My Lord the Count of Foix, who is in this town, to grind some grain and I ground it at the millstone of the mill. While doing this, Guillaume Caussou the miller and I spoke of the noise that one could hear in the cemetery where Valentin had been assassinated. And I said to him (in Occitan) "St. Mary! If we come again in flesh and bones will we then be in Paradise?"(Sancta Maria, si ja tornarem en carn e en ossa, mes puis que sirem en l'autre secle?) The miller said yes to me, and this, said, I left the hopper where I had been standing on one side and the miller on the other.


Were there any further words between you and the miller concerning this matter?



Did you believe at any time and especially when you said "Sancta Maria, si ja tornarem en carn e en ossa, mnes puis que sirem en l'autre secle?", since you spoke in the form of a question, that there will not be a resurrection of the human body?



Have you ever doubted this?



Did you, after the miller responded to you in the affirmative, say that there will be no resurrection of the body, and did you swear this by the flour that you held'



Have you ever heard anyone say that there will be no resurrection of the body?



Who was present when you said this?

Myself, the miller, and a young beggarwoman who was among the sacks, whose name I do not know.


And since it seemed to My Lord Bishop that she was not speaking the plain truth, he asked her again to speak. She said that she would not say anything more.

After this, the same year as above, the 21st of June, the said Jacqueline, brought into the presence of my said Lord Bishop and Brother Gaillard of Pomiès at the chateau of Allemans for questioning was interrogated by My Lord the Bishop concerning the witchcraft or "art of St. Gerorge" which it was said had been practiced in the solier (upper, half-timbered room) of her house at Ax by Berenger Gasc, notary of Tarascon, with herself consenting, having cognizance, giving aid and participating. She said and avowed what follows under an oath taken preceding:

There had clearly been some off-the record conversation here - presumably a deal by which Jacqueline can save herself by incriminating others

It was two years ago, near the Feast of St. Michael in September, it seems to me, that Arnaud Mondon of Ax, my son-in-law, had lost two woolen cloths at the fair at Foix, and he was very upset. One day he brought with him a cleric, whom my son-in-law said could see who had these cloths, because he knew certain "arts". And Arnaud asked me to go look for the daughter of Arnaud Pellicier of Ax because they wished to use this young girl in the "art", so that she could see who had these cloths. I left her with them and came down from the solier (upper room) because I did not wish to see them perform this "art". Shortly thereafter, my son-in-law Arnaud told me they had performed this "art".


Do you wish to say anything more concerning the heresy of which you are accused'

No, I persist in my preceding deposition. During the time of that conversation between Guillaume and myself, which lasted as long as a stone flies when thrown from a man's hand, I doubted, and asked myself if men could return after death in the flesh and bones they had before. But I never at all believed that there would not be a resurrection of the human body. I doubted it and vacillated concerning this question.

Did you ever doubt on any other occasions but this one?


Have you ever heard anyone say that there will be no resurrection of the body?

No. My thoughts and my doubt arose from my stupidity and I said those doubting words because of the doubt I had in my heart.


Have you said then or later that there will be no resurrection of the body?



Now and since the time you spoke doubting words concerning the resurrection, as you yourself have said, or before the time when doubt arose in your heart, do you believe and have you believed firmly that men will rise again for universal Judgement in the same flesh and bones that they had when they were alive in this present life?

Yes, well and firmly.

And she said nothing else of significance, although interrogated diligently.  

And the above said Jacqueline, wife of the late Raimond d'en Carot, abjured all heresy, belief, complicity, defense, reception and apology for the sect, the life and the faith and all other participation in heresy or with heretics, by whatever names they may be called, and especially the heresy that denies the resurrection of the human body after death, and that which says that men will not rise again in the same flesh and bones in which they existed and lived in the present life, a heresy into which she fell by doubting, as she avowed. She swore also to hold and preserve the Catholic faith which the sacrosanct Roman Church holds, teaches and preaches and that she herself and through others would pursue heretics, their believers, deceivers, defenders, aiders, abetters, intermediaries and friends, as well as fugitives for heresy, and seek them out, arrest, denounce, bring forth and turn them over to our power, or that of our successors and that of the Inquisitors, or that she will have them brought forth and turned over by others according to her means. Moreover she swore to follow and obey the orders of the Church, to ours and those of our successors or the Inquisitors and to do and fulfill all penance, punishment, satisfaction or charge which we ourselves, the Inquisitors or our successors may judge good to enjoin or impose upon her. She swore also in the future that she would no longer use witchcraft, sorcery nor to frequent the casters of lots, sorcerers and diviners, and if she knew any she would denounce them to my said Lord Bishop and that she would accomplish her penance for what she had done.


And she asked for absolution from the sentence of excommunication under which she had fallen by reason of the above reported facts and was absolved by my said Lord Bishop, if indeed she had completely and fully avowed, as much conerning herself as others, and if she repented of them. Without this it was not the intention of the bishop that she be absolved.


After this, the same year as above, the 7th day of March (7 March 1321) the said Jacqueline, cited and appearing for questioning before my said Lord Bishop and the religious My Lord Brother Jean de Beaune, Inquisitor of the kingdom of France named by the Apostolic See in the chamber of the bishop's palace, attested and avowed under the faith of an oath taken previously that the summary of her confession, which was read to her clearly and in the vulgar tongue was indeed the confession made by her before My Lord the Bishop as contained above, and that it was true in fact and contained the truth, and that she wished to hold and persist in the said summaries, confession and deposition, nor ever to oppose it, nor to propose any defenses by which this summary, confession and deposition could be broken or made void in any way. And she submitted herself to the will and mercy of the said lords bishop and Inquisitor and renounced and concluded the present affair.


And the said lords bishop and Inquisitor assigned her a day to hear the definitive sentencve concerning the facts of her avowals, the following Sunday, the 8th of the Ides of March (8 March 1321) in the house of the Preaching Friars of Pamiers.


Written the same year and day as above, in the presence of My Lord Germain de Castelnau, archdeacon of the church of Pamiers, of Brothers David, monk of Fontfroide, Bernard de Centelles, monk of the same order, and Arnaud du Carla of the order of Preachers of the convent of Pamiers, and of us Guillaume Peyre-Barthe and Barthélemy Adalbert, notaries, who have received the above mentioned. And I, Guillaume Peyre-Barthe, notary, have written all that precedes.


And I, Rainaud Jabbaud, cleric of Toulouse, on the order of my above said Lord Bishop have faithfully corrected the above confession against the original.




Translation by Nancy Stork, San José State University - to whom many thanks for permission to reproduce this text.

























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