The Protestant Reformation in Sixteenth-Century Italy

By Salvatore Caponetto; Anne C. Tedeschi et al. | Go to book overview

APPENDIX TO THE TEXT

CHAPTER 16. Recent important archival discoveries add significantly to the discussion of Tuscan heterodoxy in the chapter. I refer especially to Gustavo Bertoli "Luterani e anabattisti processati a Firenze nel 1552," Archivio Storico Italiano 154 ( 1996): 59-122. The study is based on documents of the Florentine Inquisition preserved in the Archivio di Florence Stato ( Auditore delle Riformagioni, 4, n. 72). They are part of a memorandum written by Massimiliano Milanesi, who consigned to Duke Cosimo the papers of his father, Ser Bernardo, a ducal secretary who died on 16 September 1559. Among the many magistracies he served, Bernardo Milanesi was one of the lay members of the inquisitorial tribunal serving as notary in the capacity of Cosimo's representative. The inventory of the documents records a number of trials and mentions many other important documents, but the fascicle itself only contains a list of names of forty defendants, divided in two parts. A number of persons belonging to the governing class appear among the accused alongside artisans, most of whom are foreigners. In an appendix to his study, the author clarifies the position of Bartolomeo Panciatichi, prosecuted beginning in August 1550, after the revelations made by Lorenzo Davidico, the accuser of the Augustinian Giuliano da Colle and of other Florentines, mentioned in a list shown by the "reformed priest" to Lelio Torelli. The duke intervened firmly with the Inquisition in Rome on Panciatichi's behalf and, in fact, the latter was not forced to appear in the 6 February auto da fé and was released after paying a large fine. The duke also came to the support of Bernardo Ricasoli, a rich merchant who trafficked all over Europe from Palermo to Antwerp, and succeeded in voiding his six-month prison sentence received as a confessed but repentant offender.

Another name on the list of the prosecuted from the ranks of the governing circle is Marcantonio Serrerighi, the bargello or chief constable of Pisa, who was condemned to a year's incarceration, but restored to the ranks of the notaries in 1553. Many of the indicted persons are among those betrayed to the Inquisition by the turncoat Anabaptist Pietro Manelfi; others could have been tried after 1552. Two important figures whose names had not appeared previously are Lelio Carani, a literary friend of Domenichi, who, among other works, translated the Proverbs of Erasmus ( DBI 19: 636-37), and Giovanbattista Giovanni, of an ancient Florentine family, who was a consul in the Wool Guild in 1550.

The great novelty emerging from the recently discovered list concerns the arrest of the Anabaptists, Bartolomeo Ducci of Borgo Buggiano, and Lorenzo Nicolucci of Modigliana, singled out by Manelfi as an "Anabaptist bishop," together with their wives, Giovanna and Elisabetta. The third woman was Antonia, married to Francesco dei Gabellieri, a stocking maker. There is no mention of Panciatichi's wife, Lucrezia Pucci. The duke took harsh action against Ducci and Nicolucci and actually

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