A la veille des grands bouleversements: l'épître envoyée au roy Henri Second par l'évêque de Nevers
On the eve of the great troubles: Th e letter sent to the king Henry the Second by the bishop of Nevers
One of the important sources, introducing in many aspects the Civil wars of the 16th century, is the treatise written at the beginning of 1559 and stored in the Paris library of Sainte Genevieve, the “Letter, sent to king Henry the second by Bishop of Nevers. A message from may, 1559”. Its author, with very high probability, was Jacques the Bishop of Nevers Spifame and the text was written in spring of 1559 after his escape from France.
This article is to analyze this little-known source-text. In an address to the monarch the author announces his intention to give advice, how to distinguish the false Church from the true, to explain why and how exactly to cut back on numerous Church benefi ces for the common good, and fi nally to show the path to the cessation of troubles. Despite the subsequent and scandalous fame of Jacques Spifame, the letter was not widely known and was not published. Th is is not surprising, because it very quickly became irrelevant due to the death of the addressee, the French king Henry II.