From the Archives: A Barba of San Martino (1451)
Having been interrogated on the charges which had been read to him for his full knowledge, he answered that it was true that he had once made his confession to a barba at his home, a teacher of the sect called the Waldenses, who had been introduced in his house by Stefano Rigotti, of the parish of Usseglio. Asked what was the name of that barba, he answered that he was called “Big Michael” from Freyssinieres; asked if he had seen other barba beside that one, he said that he had: one from Meana, near Susa. Asked the name of the man, he answered that he did not remember. Asked if during his life he had seen other barba, he replied yes: one who was from Puglia, whose name he did not know, but from what he had heard he was from Manfredonia.
Interrogated as to how he knew they were barba of the so-called Waldensian sect, he said that every year they came to the valley, and that the people of the valley were making their confession to them, and that when they were leaving the valleys the barba named him as their delegate, together with Francesco Aydetti of Val Perousa and Val San Maffino. In their name he carried out the task of representing them in this valley, together with Francesco above, receiving confessions from men and women of the so-called Waldensian sect … and that they had collected money from these Waldensians and given it to this teacher of Manfredonia in Puglia.
Interrogated concerning when—month and day—and where he had gone in Puglia and how much money he had brought, he answered that it was in March of 1443 and 1449, and that the sum was 300 ducats. Asked how they had gone to Puglia and managed not to be recognized, he answered that the aforementioned Francesco disguised himself as a merchant, that he was his helper ...