In the midst and aftermath of the Hundred Years War, the fifteenth-century bishops of Troyes did not hesitate to make use of episcopal jurisdiction to impose order upon a disordered society. This action took place above all, it seems, by means of the ecclesiastical court, which summoned and processed thousands of suspected offenders in the course of the century.
As I will argue in this paper, these bishops and judicial officers labored with special energy to combat abuses of the sacrament of marriage caused by bigamous unions. For the sacrament of marriage to be protected, and to properly reform married life in the diocese, bigamous marriages, a danger to society and to salvation, had to be detected and invalidated. In examining the synodal statutes and court registers, this paper will explore extensive evidence of a drive to prevent, prosecute, and punish bigamy in the diocese.
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