« Breyfogel, Sylvanus Charles Briconnet, Guillaume Brictinans »

Briconnet, Guillaume

BRICONNET, brî´´sen´´nê´, GUILLAUME: French prelate; b. at Paris 1470; d. at Esmans (near Montereau, 20 m. e.s.e. of Melun) Jan. 24, 1534. He was a descendant of a noble family of Touraine, and, after completing his theological studies at the college of Navarre, was appointed bishop of Lodève and was also made abbot of St. Germain-des-Près in 1507. Four years later he attended the Council of Pisa, and during his absence a spirit of licentiousness spread among his monks, whom he was unable to control. Francis I then appointed him bishop of Meaux and sent him on a mission to Rome, where he remained two years. On his return, he sought to improve the morals and customs of his diocese, and accordingly convoked several synods, and also extended invitations to a number of evangelical preachers, such as Lefèvre, Roussel, and Farel, who preached in thirty-two different places in his diocese, and introduced French translations of the Gospels and Epistles. When Farel attacked Rome, however, Briconnet deprived him of his office and convoked two synods, the first condemning the teachings of Luther and forbidding the purchase or the reading of his works, and the second prohibiting all heterodox interpretations of the Gospel. Briconnet found himself between two factions; one turning against Rome by denying the authority of the pope, the worship of the Virgin and of the saints; and the other clinging to the old traditions. In his effort to avoid extremes, he published certain proclamations between Dec., 1524, and Jan., 1525, threatening to excommunicate those who had burned the bull 265 of Clement VII and destroyed images of the Virgin. Notwithstanding this, he was charged by the Cordeliers before the Parliament of Paris with being in sympathy with the Lutherans (Mar., 1525–Oct., 1526), whereupon a commission ordered that Lefèvre's translations be burned, and forbade evangelical preaching. The preachers accordingly fled to Strasburg, although Briconnet himself was acquitted. Taking advantage of the absence of Francis I, who was held captive in Madrid, the Cordeliers renewed their charges, and two of the new preachers, Jacobus Pauvan and Matthæus Saunier, were convicted of heresy by the Sorbonne and burned at the stake. Briconnet wrote a letter of submission to the Parliament, and Francis quashed the case. His works were as follows: Synodalis oratio (Paris, 1520); Synodalis oratio (1552); and a correspondence with Margaret of Navarre, some of which, with other fragments, is contained in Génin, Lettres de Marguerite d’Angoulême (1841) and Nouvelles lettres de la reine de Navarre (1842), and Herminjard, Correspondance des réformateurs (Geneva, 1878).

G. Bonet-Maury.

Bibliography: G. Bretonneau, Histoire généalogique de la maison des Briconnet, Paris, 1620; M. T. C. Duplessis, Histoire de l’Église de Meaux, ib. 1731; V. Duruy, Histoire de France, i, 575 sqq., ib. 1856; A. L. Herminjard, Correspondance des réformateurs, vol. i, ib. 1878; E. and É. Haag, La France protestante, ed. H. L. Bordier, ib. 1877 sqq.; Lichtenberger, ESR, ii, 423–429; S. Berger, in Bulletin de la société du protestantisme français, 1895.

« Breyfogel, Sylvanus Charles Briconnet, Guillaume Brictinans »
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