A Waldensian Time Line.

2nd Century Manichean heresy – belief in two Gods; later
attributed to Cathari or Albigenses.
314-316 Sylvester Break from Church of Rome.
364 Vigilantius preaching in Cottian Alps.
800 Waldensian forebears in the Valleys of
817- 839   Claude Bishop of Turin; opponent  of
images etc.Taught Justification by Faith alone; Basis for a Waldensian
945 Atto, Bishop of Vercelli near Turin, describes
“Vaudois” as sorcerers.
1028 Countess of Montfort and 27 fellow believers
burnt in Milan. First burning of heretics in Italy.
1057 Victor II  Bull against heretics in diocese of
1097 Urban II Inveighs against Val Louise.
The “Noble Lesson” published.
1100-25 Pierre de Bruis evangelising southern France
and Dauphiny.
Henry the Italian, active in Italy.
de Bruis burnt at St Giles. -his followers, Petrobrussians, persecuted.
1139 Innocent II de Bruis doctrines condemned 2nd Lateran
1147 Death in prison of Henry the Italian.
1155 Arnold of Brescia, leader of the Publicani,
burnt at the stake
30 followers go to Oxford.under Gerard, pursued as heretics.
1173 Peter Waldo converted .; establishes the “Poor
Men of Lyon”.
Produced translations of New and part of Old
Testaments into Provencal patois.
1179 Alexander III Delegation to Third lateran Council,; allowed
to preach if got a licence from the local priest= refusal.
1181 Innocent III Inquisition formed ; first attacks on
1183 Lucius III Excommunicates Poor Men of Lyons, aka “Vaudois”
1190 Waldensian community at Darenth (Dartford) ,
Many sects in Northern Italy, Southern France
(Dauphiny) inc.Cathari, Paterini, Umiliati, Publicani. – loosely called
Cathari..Post 1183  Petrobrussians, `Cathari ` and some `Vaudois`
form the Albigenses in French Valleys.
1207 Innocent III
Lotharius of Signia.
Crusade against the Albigenses for next thirty
years; some escape to join the Waldensians ;”The Poor Men of
1217 Waldo dies in Bohemia.
1275 Inquisitor Reynerius very active against
1297 First Waldensian Martyr, a woman, burnt at
1307-24 Bernard Gui, Bishop of Lodere – Inquisitor.
Left a “Manual for Inquisitors.”.
1315 Waldensian
settlement in Calabria, southern Italy, established and prospers.
1322 John XXII Inquisitors sent to Lucerna and Perosa.
1329 Castalazzo Inquisitor in Angrogna. Martin
Pastre presiding over large meetings. Inquisition hindered by Counts of
John XXII Papal Bull, arrest and demise of Pastre.
1386 Christmas Eve ; Inquisitor Borelli attacks
Pragela; hundreds frozen to death  trying to escape.
1425 St Bernard of Siena ties to convert
1448 Population of Angrona summoned before the
1475 Yolanda Regent of Savoy, commands local lords
to cooperate with the Inquisition.
1483 Economic riots, shortages of food etc.
1486 Innocent VII Papal Bull calling for extirpation of the
1487 Cataneo, Archdeacon of Cremona appointed
Legate. promulgates action against heretics. Lucerna Valley
evacuated, people to Pra del Torno in Angrogna Valley..18000 troops
assembled for the purpose.
1488 La Palu attacks Vale of Loyse, 3000 suffocated
by smoke in cave refuge.
Cateano attacks Valley of Prali;  One ensign only survived from.a
force of  700 troops..
Evacuation to Pra del Torno. Forces under Le Noir de Mondovi beaten..
Cateano forces under Saquet again beaten in frontal attack, hundreds
drowned in the torrents of the Angrogna.
1489 Duke of Savoy suspends attacks. Compromise
peace., no preaching, pass from priest to travel. Spiritual life at low
1517 New Archbishop of Turin, Seysell, visits
Valley of Pragelato, seeks converts by honeyed words. Rejected.
1526 Synod held  in Laus, in Pragelato Valley;
140 barbes attend, including Martin Gonin of Angrogna and Guido of
Calabria with news of the Reformation.
1530 George Morel and Peter Masson envoys to the
Reformers in Geneva; with  form of Confession of Faith.
1532 12 September synod of Chamferan. Attened by
Farel and French representatives.
1535 Piedmont occupied by France. Second synod of
Chamferan. Olivetan Bible  delivered from printers in Neuchatel.
Regular public worship agreed.
Estimated 30 pastors and 40,000 believers in
Piedmont.  First Waldensian Church erected at Angrogna.; parishes
1559 3 April, Treaty of
Cateau-Cambresis. Spain, France
and Savoy agree to extirpate heretics.
1560   13 February, Edict prohibiting
hearing of pastors.and compulsory attendance at the Mass. Revival of
Inquisition under Phillip of Savoy and Inquisitor Jacomel. November 4000
troops under  Count de la Trinita in Valley of Lucerna
Cardinal Ghisleri, Grand Inquisitor descends on Calabria intent on
extermination of Waldensians. Many horrors committed. At Montalto  88
prisoners taken one at a time to  the town square and throats cut.;
bodies quartered and hoisted on poles on the road side. In 11 days 2000
executed, 1600 waiting execution with 100 plus killed in the countryside.
Some men to the galleys, women and children sold as slaves.
1561 January34
deputies- representatives held in Turin prison for 6 weeks. Proclamation
attend mass or be exterminated.
21 January atr Puy, Waldensians vow resistance. Retreat to Pra del 
Toro. The “Flying Company” formed. 27 October Proclamation of Fire and
Sword. Fierce resistance overcomes  Trinita`s attacks.
1562 Pact of Cavour
– intervention by Margaret of Savoy ( a protestant). Liberty of conscience
allowed; status quo restored.
1565 Castrocaro
governor of the Valleys. 17 year rule of terrorism on inhabitants and
passing travellers alike.
1582 Castrocaro
ousted and dies in prison at Cuneo 15 years later.
1587 Jesuits in
Lucerna, give up after forty years. Replaced by Cappucin monks, they too
depart after thirty years, ejected by the Waldensian women tired of their
harassment and kidnapping of children.
1592 French
occupation of Piedmont for two years.
1622 Society for
the Propagation of the Faith  founded  (Propaganda de Fiede)
1650 added to the title “and for the extermination of the heretics”.
Became a helpmate of the Inquisition.
1630 May, Plague in
Perosa Valley which rapidly spread. 13 of 16 pastors die.. 10,000
Waldensians die , 6000 in Lucerna Valley alone.
Enforcement of
Pact of Cavour- Edict to vacate  environs of Lucerna, San Giovanni
and Torres or must abjure their faith. Delayed by governor Gastaldo until
ordered to implement in 1655.
1655-6   Pianezza`s
expedition ; Torre; Easter Saturday 24 April. Troops in the villages
massacre all and any Waldensians they can find. Over 2000 perished.
Thousands more flee
Giosue Gianavello, respected Waldensian, takes up arms at  Rora –
with army of five men and a boy, then 17 men, guerrilla tactics work. Army
of 40 faced 10,000, unable to prevent 200 massacred at Rume. Valleys lost
to Catholicism. Guerilla war continues under Jahier and Gianavello for
four months. Treaty of Pinerlo or “Patents of Grace” not very successful,
forced Waldensians from the plains.
1663 Drift to Civil
1664 War ends with
Treaty of Turin , Gianavello exiled to Geneva.
1677 Papal Nuncio
urges Victor Amadeus II of Savoy to persecute heretics. Rejected.
1685 Revocation of
the `Edict of Nantes`. French areas of Valley of Pragelato and left bank
of Chisone river evacuated. 2000 to exile in Switzerland.
1686   31 January
edict expunges Waldensian rights and to cease forever the exercise of
their religion. Further edict to surrender arms and go en mase into exile.
Pastor Henri Arnaud of Torre leads resistance.
French army under Gen Catinat invades the Valleys, resistance by each
commune but all overcome; massacres followed in every instance of
surrender. Campaign over in 3 months; 12000 prisoners held; thousands
Invincibles” – about 80 men  stage guerilla attacks and Catinat`s
army returns. Successful campaign by Invincibles draws offer of exile for
them and release of prisoners.
1687 3 January.
Most prisoners released. 500 from Aosta `forgotten` for 3 years – 5 only
left for release. Hundreds of kidnapped children never found.
3324 of original 12,000 inhabitants of the Valleys in the previous year
reached exile in Geneva. The balance perished.
1688 Two
expeditions to return frustrated by Swiss Govt. Henri Arnaud banished from
Neuchatel; Gianavello from Geneva. Gianavello issues his “Instructions”
how a return should proceed.
1689 Night 16
August  force of 1000 under Arnaud set out, 200 left on Swiss shore
by boatmen and arrested. 800 carried on.
Battle of Salbertrand, Waldensians defeat about 2500 French troops and
enter the Valleys. 12th day arrive in Prali. 31 August (15th day) arrived
in Bobbio.
2 May assault by 3800 troops on Castello (Arnauds redoubt). 24 May
Castello falls. 367 survivors, guided by Capt Tron Poulat escape in heavy
mist  Savoy declares war on France; Waldensians relieved and return
to homes.
1690 Treaty of
Alliance between Savoy and protestant countries – kidnapped children to be
allowed to return. Papal Bull issued to declare the agreement void.
1696 Savoy and
France again allied. French protestants refused entry and Waldensians
expelled. Arnaud, six pastors and 3000 Waldensians go to Germany –
Wurtenburg, Baden and Hesse-Darmstadt. Took mulberry bushes for silk
culture and introduced the potatoe to Germany.
1703 Savoy again
fighting France, another respite for the Valleys.
1713 Treaty of
Utrecht. Savoy becomes King of Sicily and whole of Val Prageleto. Secret
pact to exterminate  Waldensians from there. Liberty a flash in the
pan. New edict  ordering children to Catholic schools; protestants
not members of local councils, no gathering of more than ten persons.
1730 Decree 
that all inhabitants of Pragelato would be deemed to be Roman Catholics.
About 1000 exiled to Switzerland.
1735 Dutch fund “Comite
Wallon”  to manage funds in support of Waldensians.
Institute for
kidnapped children  “Institute for Waldensian Catechumens”
transferred from Turin (founded 1679) to Pinerolo. Boys over 12, girls
over 10 remained liable to `kidnapping` by the Church .Closed 1890.
1768 George III
authorised a national fund for the Waldensians – administered by Society
for Propagation of the Gospel .
1789 French
1794 Piedmont
invaded by France; later ceded to France. Liberty of worship and equality
under the law declared. Waldensians finally freed at stroke of a pen. Too
good to be true.
1812 Great
improvements  under Napoleon but return of  Victor Emanuelle I
to Piedmont saw Rome again dominant . His successor King Carlo Felice also
anti Waldensians.
1831 Monsignor
Charvaz Bishop of new diocese  of Pinerolo implacable enemy of
Waldensians, enforced property laws outside the Valleys; reinstated
Institute for kidnapped children.
1848 17 February.
Decree of Emancipation, ancient edicts against Waldensians revoked. But
still lack of certainty in decree meant not equality under the law but toleration.
1919 Mussolini
facist dictator joins with Church. Rome once again obtains restrictions
on Waldensians.