Pastoreaux, or Pastorels, disorderly peasant mobs which overran parts of France in the 13th and 14th centuries. These outbreaks took place: (1) In Berry in 1214. The peasantry pillaged chateaux and religious houses, and proclaimed universal equality and the coming of the Holy Ghost. (2) In 1250; the ostensible objects were the rescue of Louis VII. and the recovery of the Holy Sepulcher. The rising originated in Flanders, under the leadership of a person of unknown name called the Master of Hungary, who, when he reached Paris, was at the head of 100,000 men. Here they not only usurped priestly functions, performed marriages, distributed crosses, offered absolution to those who joined the crusade, but they inveighed against the vices of the priesthood. They separated into three divisions, and marched S., where they were attacked and cut to pieces. (3) In 1320, in the reign of Philip V. This outbreak took place under the pretense of a crusade. The insurgents were excommunicated by Pope John XXII.; and being hemmed in in Carcassonne, numbers perished of disease and famine, and the survivors were put to death.


Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

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