French Censorship Act, Fontainebleau (1547)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22071 n° 9

French Censorship Act, Fontainebleau (1547), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
King's Edict on the books censored by the Faculty of Theology.

Full title original language:
Edict fait par le Roy très-chrestien Henry deuxieme de ce nom, sur les livres censurez par la faculté de Theologie de Paris.

After having been enthusiastically encouraged at first by the Crown, in particular through the earliest privileges whose rationale had been primarily economic, printing in France very soon (from the first half of the sixteenth century onwards) became an instrument to be carefully controlled from above. Following the relatively pragmatic censorship policies of Francis I, the aggravation of religious tensions between Catholics and Huguenots compelled his successor Henri II to introduce a more systematic framework for censorship, notably by a series of legislative acts at the end of the 1540s, amongst which the edicts of 1547 and 1551 stand out as important milestones. They confirmed, by establishing a regime of pre-publication censorship and permissions, the Crown's determination to exert a firm grip on the literary market - a grip which did not slacken right up to 1789. Very soon, indeed before the end of the sixteenth century, the system of privileges too would be coupled with that of censorship, thereby modifying the chiefly economic nature of the requirements that had originally been set for the award of the royal favour.

1 Commentary:


Related documents in this database:
1551: French Censorship Act
1516: Appointment of Andrea Navagero as Literary Censor
1545: Venetian Decree on Author-Printer Relations

Author: N/A

Publisher: N/A

Year: 1547

Location: Fontainebleau

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22071 n° 9

Persons referred to:
Bochetel, Guillaume
Henri II

Places referred to:

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
King's Council of State (France)
Paris Faculty of Theology (Sorbonne)
Parlement of Paris

French royal edict on censorship 1547

Reformation, the
censorship, pre-publication
public good
religious works

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

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