Translated from the French text in Christine de Pisan, Ditié de Jeanne d'Arc, ed. Angus J. Kennedy and Kenneth Varty (Oxford: Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, 1977), trans. L. Shopkow
The Song of Joan of Arc is the only popular piece written about Joan in her lifetime. The author, Christine de Pisan, was a professional writer at the Court of Charles VI of France (1380-1422), an unusual occupation for a woman at that time. Her father, Tommaso, became Charles V's court physician and astrologer in 1365, just after she was born, and she came to France when she was three. Perhaps because her father belonged to the humanist tradition, he insisted on educating her (a new development in educational thought), over the objections of her mother, who thought girls had no need of education. Christine married Etienne de Castel, a nobleman, around 1380. Her happy marriage ended when Etienne died suddenly in 1387, leaving her a widow with small children. Her father had first lost favor at court and then died around 1385.
Faced with financial ruin, Christine turned to her pen to support her household, with felicitous results. She was appointed the official biographer of Charles V and became the first official female court historian (her grandson Jean de Castel was later an official court historian himself), and wrote histories, manuals of warfare, romances, and treatises in poetry and prose, as well as many poems.
Equally important, she was one of the first defenders of women's reputations against a tradition that portrayed women as vice-ridden, fickle, vicious, foul, and disgusting, and which urged men not to marry. In women's defence, Christine wrote several works examining the position society assigned women and arguing that women were of equal moral and social worth as men and that women were capable of all that men could do, although God ordained for them a more restricted (although still valuable) social role. Christine had written about Amazons and other women of unusual attainments, as well as women of heroic sanctity, so Joan was a natural subject for her.
In 1418, Christine retired to the monastery of Poissy, where her daughter was a nun. All her works, except the "Song," predate her retirement.
A word of caution about the translation. Christine used an octosyllabic line (I've used a four-stress English line) and a rather rigid rhyme scheme (ababbcbc). Consequently, even the French is a little forced. I've chosen to translate Christine's poem into verse, which means sacrificing some of the precision of her language, although some of the more startling images (the English not being able to help themselves any more than a dead dog) come from Christine directly. This translation offers a general account of the content of her poem, with some of the rhythmic drive behind her work, without being a precise rendering. Readers who want a more literal translation are advised to consult Kenney and Varty, who include a translation and extensive notes.
I, Christine, for eleven years
I deeply laugh from happiness,
Now it is fourteen twenty-nine,
Thus my song has turned away,
Because the legal first-born child
A gala for his welcoming,
But now I wish to tell you how
Hear a matter marvelous,
No one should therefore be dismayed
Who has yet seen something occur
If of this deed the fame were less,
Oh what an honor for the crown
And you, Charles, now the king of France,
Most quickly worked; one would have thought,
You must believe that such great grace,
For there will be a king of France,
All this is profit to your soul
And I hope you will be fair,
How could your thanks to God suffice,
May you be praised, Oh God on high!
And you, blessed Maid, can we forget,
In a good hour you were born,
What could one sing about the past,
Contemplate your person now,
If God worked many miracles
But people, I have never heard
Gideon is world renowned;
Esther, Judith and Deborah,
God sent her through a miracle,
She was well interrogated,
For Merlin, the Sibyl, and old Bede
But by my faith, her holy life,
Oh! How evident this was
Aha!! What honor for the female
A girl of only sixteen years
She frees France from its enemies,
Oh you the proven fighting men
You who bare your flesh and life,
So, lower your trumpets, Englishmen,
Then you thought that France was won,
Through Joan the English will be beaten;
The Christian faith and Holy Church,
She will assault the Saracens
Forget, then, all heroic men,
For it is her smallest task
As for you, ignoble rebels,
Do you not see, you purblind people,
Was the king not consecrated,
In the greatest triumph and power
And the little Maid stayed by him.
It is true some folk resisted
Although they made a great assembly,
I don't know (for they aren't here)
For complain who will, the king
Paris, oh!, so badly counselled!
I mention evil men, though there
And all you other rebel cities,
So he won't be forced to murder
Alas! The king is so forgiving
Thus I pray God grant you courage,
This poem was written by Christine,
These are excerpted from T. Douglas Murray, Jeanne d'Arc (New York: McClure, Phillips & Co, 1902).
Joan was captured in 1429 by the Burgundians, who then passed her into the hands of their English allies. For some time, the English do not seem to have been certain what to do with her, for her trial only began in 1431. There are not any records of formal interrogations from this period, although we know that Count Philip of Flanders spoke to her, and that she attempted to escape by jumping from a window and was badly injured in the process. If the Burgundians had killed her on the spot, there probably would not have been any difficulty, but once she had been taken prisoner, it would have been contrary to most expectations about the "moral" conduct of war to kill her. There appears to have been no effort on the part of the French to ransom her off, either. The solution to the problem was to try her not for her military activities, but her beliefs. Her trial, therefore, was a trial for heresy. However, although she was tried by the Church, Joan was kept in a secular prison, so it is very clear that the English were in control of the trial. The trial records are mostly in Latin, but a part of the French transcript (Joan would have been interrogated in French, of course, as she would have known no Latin) has survived.
The notes are mostly those of Douglas, although I have added a few, which are enclosed in square brackets. I have Americanized many of the spellings as well and also changed some archaic language into more modern usage. Most important, he refers to her as "Jeanne" throughout (the French version of her name), but I have changed this to "Joan" so as not to confuse you. Other "Jeannes" remain as they were, but keep in mind that they had the same name as "Joan." Something is lost in this, as I have also changed the places where Joan is referred to as "Jeannette" [Joanie], generally by people who knew her.
FIRST PROCESS: THE LAPSE
On Wednesday, February 21st, at 8 o'clock in the morning in the Chapel Royal of the Castle of Rouen. The Bishop and 42 Assessors present.
We did first of all command to be read the Royal letters conveying surrender and deliverance of the said woman into Our hands; afterwards the letters of the chapter of Rouen, making concession of territory for Our benefit. This reading ended, Mtre Jean d'Estivet, nominated by Us as Promoter of the Case, did, in Our presence, show that the aforesaid woman of the name Joan has been, by the Executor of Our Mandate, cited to appear in this place at this hour and day, here to answer, according to law, to the questions to be put her.
The said Promoter did then produce Our Mandate, to which is attached the document confirming its execution, and did read them all. Our said Promoter did then require that the said woman should be placed before us, and, in terms of the citation, questioned by Us on divers Articles concerning the Faith, to the which We did agree. But as a preliminary, because the said woman had asked to hear Mass beforehand, We did show to the Assessors that, by the advice of well-known Doctors and Masters consulted by Us, it hath been decided, considering the crimes of which she is accused, and the impropriety of the dress which she is wearing, that it is right to postpone permission to hear Mass and to assist in Divine Service.
In the meantime, the said woman was brought by the Executor of Our Mandate, and set before Us.
We did then show that the said Joan has been lately taken in the territory of Beauvais;1 that many acts contrary to the Orthodox Faith have been committed by her, not only in Our Diocese, but in many others; that the public report, which imputes these misdeeds to her, has spread in all estates of Christendom; that, in the last place, the most Serene and most Christian our lord the King has sent and given her up to Us in order that, according to law and right, an action may be brought against her in the matter of the Faith; that, acting upon this common report, upon public rumor, and also on certain information obtained by Us, of which mention has already been often enough made, by the advice of men versed in sacred and secular Law, We have officially given commandment to cite the said Joan to appear before Us, in order through her to obtain truthful answers to the questions to be put to her in matters of the Faith, and in order to act towards her according to law and right; which does so appear in the letters that the Promoter has shown.
Then, desiring in this particular the blessed succor of Jesus Christ, Who is concerned in this, and wishing only to fulfil the duties of Our office for the exaltation and preservation of the Catholic Faith, We did first charitably warn and require the said Joan, seated in Our presence, for the more prompt resolution of the Action, and the relief of her own conscience, to speak the whole truth upon all questions which should be addressed to her touching the Faith; and We did exhort her to avoid all subterfuges and shufflings of such a nature as should turn her aside from a sincere and true avowal. And in the first instance we did require her, in the appointed form, her hand on the Holy Gospels, to swear to speak truth on the questions to be addressed to her. To which she did reply:
"I know not upon what you wish to question me: perhaps you may ask me of things which I ought not to tell you."
"Swear," We did then say to her, "to speak truth on the things which shall be asked you concerning the Faith, and of which you know."
"Of my father and my mother and of what I did after taking the road to France, willingly will I swear; but of the revelations which have come to me from God, to no one will I speak or reveal them, save only to Charles my King; and to you I will not reveal them, even if it cost me my head; because I have received them in visions and by secret counsel, and am forbidden to reveal them. Before eight days are gone, I shall know if I may reveal them to you."
Again did We several times warn and require her to be willing, on whatsoever should touch on the Faith, to swear to speak truly. And the said Joan, on her knees, her two hands resting on the Missal, did swear to speak truth on that which should be asked her and which she knew in the matter of the Faith, keeping silence under the condition above stated, that is to say, neither to tell nor to reveal to any one the revelations made to her.
After this oath, Joan was interrogated by Us as to her name, and surname, her place of birth, the names of her father and mother, the place of her baptism, her godfathers and godmothers, the Priest who baptized her, etc., etc.
|1It is agreed by all authorities that Joan was not captured in the Diocese of Beauvais, which ended at the Bridge of Compiègne. Joan was taken north of the Bridge, on the right bank of the river, and either in the Diocese of Noyon or Soissons, which of the two has not been determined. The Bishop's assertion is distinctly untrue. [It mattered what diocese Joan was captured in, because that bishop would have had legal jurisdiction over her trial. The Bishop of Beauvais was willing to cooperate with the process.]|
"In my own country they call me Jeannette; since I came into France I have been called Jeanne [English: Joan]. Of my surname I know nothing. I was born2 in the village of Domremy, which is really one with the village of Greux. The principal Church is at Greux. My father is called Jacques d'Arc; my mother, Ysabelle. I was baptized in the village of Domremy.3 One of my godmothers4 is called Agnes, another Jeanne [Joan], a third Sibylle. One of my godfathers is called Jean Lingué, another Jean Barrey. [That several of her godfathers were named "Jean" (John, the male form of Jeanne/Joan, and one of her godmothers was named Jeanne/Joan was common. Either they helped choose the name or they were asked because they shared the name. In any event, it was a very common girl's name in the period.] I had many other godmothers, or so I have heard from my mother. I was, I believe, baptized by Messire Jean Minet; he still lives, so far as I know. I am, I should say, about nineteen years of age. From my mother I learned my Pater, my Ave Maria, and my Credo. I believe I learned all this from my mother."
"Say your Pater."
"Hear me in confession, and I will say it willingly."
To this same question, which was many times put to her, she always answered: "No, I will not say my Pater to you, unless you will hear me in confession."
2On January 6th, 1412. "In nocte Epiphiniarum Domini." (Letter from Boulainvilliers to the Duke of Milan. Quicherat, vol. v., 116.)
3The Font and Holy water stoup in the old Church at Domremy are said to be those in use in the 15th century.
4Joan appears to have had a great many godparents. In the Enquiry made at Domremy in 1455, eight are mentioned, viz.: Jean Morel, Jean Barrey, Jean de Laxart, and Jean Raiguesson, as godfathers; and Jeannette Thévenin, Jeannette Thiesselin, Beatrix Estellin, and Edith Barrey, as godmothers.
"Willingly," We said to her, "We will give you two well-known men, of the French language, and before them you shall say your Pater."5
"I will not say it to them, unless it be in confession."
And then did We forbid Joan to go out of the prison which has been assigned to her in the Castle without Our permission, under pain of the crime of heresy.
"I do not accept such a prohibition," she answered; "if ever I do escape, no one shall reproach me with having broken or violated my faith, not having given my word to any one, whosoever it may be."
And as she complained that she had been fastened with chains and fetters of iron, We said to her:
"You have before, and many times, sought, We are told, to get out of the prison, where you are detained; and it is to keep you more surely that it has been ordered to put you in irons."
"It is true I wished to escape; and so I wish still: is not this lawful for all prisoners?"
|5[The concern here may be witchcraft; those in league with the devil were sometimes believed to be unable to say Christian prayers. The other issue may be whether Joan knows here Paternoster ("Our Father") as all Christians were supposed to.]|
We then commissioned as her guard the noble man John Gris,6 Squire, one of the Body Guard of our Lord the King, and, with him, John Berwoist and William Talbot, whom We enjoined well and faithfully to guard the said Joan, and to permit no person to have dealings with her without Our order. Which the aforenamed with their hands on the Gospels, did solemnly swear.
Finally, having accomplished all the preceding, We appointed the said Joan to appear the next day, at 8 o'clock in the morning, before Us in the Ornament Room, at the end of the Great Hall of the Castle of Rouen.
Thursday, February 22nd, in the Ornament Room at the end of the Great Hall of the Castle of Rouen. The Bishop and 48 Assessors present.
In their presence, We showed that Jean Lemaître, Deputy of the Chief Inquisitor, had been summoned and required by Us to join himself to the present Action, with Our offer of communicating to him all that has been done hitherto or shall be done in the future; but that the said Deputy had replied, that, having been commissioned by the Chief Inquisitor for the City and Diocese of Rouen only, and the actual Process being deduced by Us in a territory which has been ceded to Us by the Metropolitan Chapter, by reason of Our Ordinary jurisdiction, as Bishop of Beauvais, he had thought it right to avoid all nullity and also for the peace of his own conscience, to refuse to join himself with Us, in the quality of judge, until he should receive from the Chief Inquisitor a Commission and more extended powers: that nevertheless, he would have no objection to see the trial continue without interruption.
After having heard Us make this narration, the said Deputy, being present, declared, addressing himself to Us, "That which you have just said is true. It has been, as much as in me lies, and still is, agreeable to me that you should continue the Trial."
Then the said Joan was brought before Us.
We warned and required her, on pain of law, to make oath as she had done the day before and to swear simply and absolutely to speak truth on all things in respect of which she should be asked; to which she answered:
"I swore yesterday: that should be enough."
Again We required her to swear: we said to her, not even a prince, required to swear in a matter of faith, can refuse.
|6John Gris, or Grey, a gentleman in the Household of the Duke of Bedford, afterwards knighted. He was appointed chief guardian to the Maid, with two assistants, all members of the King's Body Guard. They appear to have left her entirely in the hands of the common soldiers five of whom kept constant watch over her.|
"I made oath to you yesterday," she answered, "that should be quite enough for you: you burden me over-much!"7
Finally she made oath to speak truth on that which touches the Faith.
Then Maitre Jean Beaupère, a well-known Professor of Theology, did, by Our order, question the said Joan. This he did as follows:
"First of all, I exhort you, as you have so sworn, to tell the truth on that which I am about to ask you."
" You may well ask me some things on which I shall tell you the truth and some on which I shall not tell it you. If you were well informed about me, you would wish to have me out of your hands. I have done nothing except by revelation."
"How old were you when you left your father's house?"
|7[These frequent requests that Joan swear seem to be intended to rule her out as a particular kind of heretic. Some of those accused by the Church of heresy would not swear oaths (out of fear that they would be foresworn), so one way to prove one was not that sort of heretic was to swear oaths. The repetition was because some of these individuals were believed to permit themselves a certain number of oaths; the idea, then, was to use up the store of oaths.]|
"On the subject of my age I cannot vouch."8
"In your youth, did you learn any trade?"
|8[While we all learn our age, it was not uncommon in the Middle Ages for uneducated people not to know their ages. After all, there was only a limited purpose in knowing one's age. If someone's age needed to be ascertained for some kind of legal purpose, there were ways of finding out, generally from the parish records or the neighbors. Joan is being very careful here not to get caught out in an error that can then be represented as a lie; she probably had some idea of how old she was.]|
"Yes, I learnt to spin and to sew; in sewing and spinning I fear no woman in Rouen. For dread of the Burgundians, I left my father's house and went to the town of Neufchâteau,9 in Lorraine, to the house of a woman named La Rousse, where I sojourned about fifteen days. When I was at home with my father, I employed myself with the ordinary cares of the house. I did not go to the fields with the sheep and the other animals. Every year I confessed myself to my own Curé, and, when he was prevented, to another Priest with his permission. Sometimes, also, two or three times, I confessed to the Mendicant Friars; this was at Neufchâteau. At Easter I received the Sacrament of the Eucharist."
|9There is no certain date for this event. By some it is placed between the first and second visits to Vaucouleurs, in 1428; by others, earlier, at the time of the Picard ravages of the neighborhood in the September of 1426.|
"Have you received the Sacrament of the Eucharist at any other Feast but Easter?"10
"Pass that by [Passez outre]. I was thirteen when I had a Voice from God for my help and guidance. The first time that I heard this Voice, I was very much frightened; it was mid-day, in the summer, in my father's garden. I had not fasted the day before. I heard this Voice to my right, towards the Church; rarely do I hear it without its being accompanied also by a light. This light comes from the same side as the Voice. Generally it is a great light. Since I came into France I have often heard this Voice."
"But how could you see this light that you speak of, when the light was at the side?"
|10[All Christians were required to receive the Eucharist (take the communion bread at Mass) at least at Easter and they might receive it more often; however, there was deep suspicion of those who received the Eucharist more often than "appropriate" for non-clerical persons and pious people generally required permission to do it very frequently or daily.]|
To this question she answered nothing, but went on to something else. "If I were in a wood, I could easily hear the Voice which came to me. It seemed to me to come from lips I should reverence. I believe it was sent me from God. When I heard it for the third time, I recognized that it was the Voice of an Angel. This Voice has always guarded me well, and I have always understood it; it instructed me to be good and to go often to Church; it told me it was necessary for me to come into France. You ask me under what form this Voice appeared to me? You will hear no more of it from me this time. It said to me two or three times a week: 'You must go into France.' My father knew nothing of my going. The Voice said to me: 'Go into France!' I could stay no longer. It said to me: 'Go, raise the siege which is being made before the City of Orleans. Go!' it added, 'to Robert de Baudricourt,11 Captain of Vaucouleurs: he will furnish you with an escort to accompany you.' And I replied that I was but a poor girl, who knew nothing of riding or fighting. I went to my uncle and said that I wished to stay near him for a time. I remained there eight days. I said to him, 'I must go to Vaucouleurs.'12 He took me there. When I arrived, I recognized Robert de Baudricourt, although I had never seen him. I knew him, thanks to my Voice, which made me recognize him. I said to Robert, 'I must go into France!' Twice Robert refused to hear me, and repulsed me. The third time, he received me, and furnished me with men;13 the Voice had told me it would be thus. The Duke of Lorraine14 gave orders that I should be taken to him. I went there. I told him that I wished to go into France. The Duke asked me questions about his health; but I said of that I knew nothing. I spoke to him little of my journey. I told him he was to send his son with me, together with some people to conduct me to France, and that I would pray to God for his health. I had gone to him with a safe-conduct: from thence I returned to Vaucouleurs. From Vaucouleurs I departed, dressed as a man, armed with a sword given me by Robert de Baudricourt, but without other arms. I had with me a Knight, a Squire, and four servants,15 with whom I reached the town of Saint Urbain, where I slept in an Abbey. On the way, I passed through Auxerre, where I heard Mass in the principal Church. Thenceforward I often heard my Voices."
"Who counseled you to take a man's dress?"
To this question she several times refused to answer. In the end, she said: "With that I charge no one." Many times she varied in her answers to this question. Then she said:
11Robert de Baudricourt, Squire, Captain of Vaucouleurs in 1428; afterwards knighted and made Councillor and Chamberlain to the King and Bailly of Chaumont, 1454.
12Of the ancient château the "Porte de France" alone survives. From this gate Joan rode out with her escort to visit the King at Chinon. The crypt of the chapel remains, where Joan constantly prayed.
13This is said to have been on account of the impression produced on him by Joan's prediction, on February 12th: "To-day the gentle Dauphin hath had great hurt near the town of Orleans, and yet greater will he have if you do not soon send me to him." This "great hurt" proved to be the Battle of Rouvray, in which the French and Scottish troops were defeated by the English under Sir John Fastolf.
14Charles I, the reigning Duke de Lorraine in 1428, was in very bad health, and, having no son, the succession was a matter of some anxiety. He died in 1431, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Réné of Anjou, who had married his only daughter, Isabella. This Réné was a brother of Queen Mary, wife of Charles VII, and father of our own [that is, the English Queen] Queen Margaret, married in 1441 to Henry VI.
15Jean de Novelomport, called de Metz, Bertrand de Poulengey, Colet de Vienne, the King's Messenger, and three servants.
"Robert de Baudricourt made those who went with me swear to conduct me well and safely. 'Go,' said Robert de Baudricourt to me, 'Go! and let come what may!' I know well that God loves the Duke of Orleans; I have had more revelations about the Duke of Orleans than about any man alive, except my King. It was necessary for me to change my woman's garments for a man's dress. My counsel thereon said well. I sent a letter to the English before Orleans,16 to make them leave, as may be seen in a copy of my letter which has been read to me in this City of Rouen; there are, nevertheless, two or three words in this copy which were not in my letter. Thus, 'Surrender to the Maid,' should be replaced by 'Surrender to the King.' The words, 'body for body' and 'chieftain in war' were not in my letter at all.17
16March 22nd, 1428.
17This letter appears below. Joan may have forgotten its contents, as both these expressions occur; or the clerics who acted as her amanuenses may have inserted them without her knowledge.
I went without hindrance to the King. Having arrived at the village of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, I sent for the first time to the Castle of Chinon,18 where the King was. I got there towards mid-day, and lodged first at an inn. After dinner, I went to the King, who was at the Castle. When I entered the room where he was I recognized him among many others by the counsel of my Voice, which revealed him to me. I told him that I wished to go and make war on the English."
"When the Voice showed you the King, was there any light?"
"Did you see an Angel over the King?"
"Spare me. Pass on. Before the King set me to work, he had many apparitions and beautiful revelations."
"What revelations and apparitions had the King ?
18Joan was entertained by command of the King in a small room on the first floor of the Tour de Coudray, within the Castle walls. Her room was approached by a staircase outside the tower. The vaulted roof of the room has fallen in and the fireplace is in ruins, but the room could easily be restored. Joan stayed here from March 8th to April 20th, 1429. She was two days at Chinon before she obtained access to the King.
"I will not tell you; it is not yet time to answer you about them; but send to the King, and he will tell you. The Voice had promised me that, as soon I came to the King, he would receive me. Those of my party knew well that the Voice had been sent me from God; they have seen and known this Voice, I am sure of it. My King and many others have also heard and seen the Voices which came to me: there were there Charles de Bourbon19 and two or three others. There is not a day when I do not hear this Voice; and I have much need of it. But never have I asked of it any recompense but the salvation of my soul. The Voice told me to remain at Saint-Denis, in France; I wished to do so, but, against my will, the Lords made me leave. If I had not been wounded, I should never have left. After having quitted Saint-Denis, I was wounded in the trenches before Paris;20 but I was cured in five days. It is true that I caused an assault to be made before Paris."
"Was it a Festival that day?
"I think it was certainly a Festival."
"Is it a good thing to make an assault on a Festival?"
And as it appeared that enough had been done for to-day, We have postponed the affair to Saturday next, at 8 o'clock in the morning.
Saturday, 24th February, in the same place. The Bishop and 62 Assessors present.
In their presence We did require the aforenamed Joan to swear to speak the truth simply and absolutely on the questions to be addressed to her, without adding any restriction to her oath. We did three times thus admonish her. She answered:
19Charles de Bourbon, Count de Clermont, Governor of the Duchy of the Bourbonnais and the Comté of Auvergne during the captivity of his father in England.
20On September 8th, 1429.
"Give me leave to speak. By my faith! you may well ask me such things as I will not tell you. Perhaps on many of the things you may ask me I shall not tell you truly, especially on those that touch on my revelations; for you may constrain me to say things that I have sworn not to say; then I should be perjured, which you ought not to wish." [Addressing the Bishop:] "I tell you, take good heed of what you say, you, who are my judge;21 you take a great responsibility in thus charging me. I should say that it is enough to have sworn twice."
"Will you swear, simply and absolutely?"
"You may surely do without this. I have sworn enough already twice. All the clergy of Rouen and Paris cannot condemn me if it be not law. Of my coming into France I will speak the truth willingly; but I will not say all: the space of eight days would not suffice."
"Take the advice of the Assessors, whether you should swear or not."
"Of my coming I will willingly speak truth, but not of the rest; speak no more of it to me."
"You render yourself liable to suspicion in not being willing to swear to speak the truth absolutely."
"Speak to me no more of it. Pass on."
"We again require you to swear, precisely and absolutely."
"I will say willingly what I know, and yet not all. I am come in God's name; I have nothing to do here; let me be sent back to God, whence I came."
"Again we summon and require you to swear, under pain of going forth charged with that which is imputed to you."
"A last time we require you to swear, and urgently admonish you to speak the truth on all that concerns your trial; you expose yourself to a great peril by such a refusal."
"I am ready to speak truth on what I know touching the trial."
And in this manner was she sworn.
Then, by Our order, she was questioned by Maître Jean Beaupère, a well-known Doctor, as follows:
21Up to the end of her life, Joan spoke of the Bishop as the person responsible for her trial and death. "Bishop, I die through you," was her last speech to him, on May 30th, the day of her martyrdom.
"How long is it since you have had food and drink?"22
"Since yesterday afternoon."
"How long is it since you heard your Voices?"
"I heard them yesterday and to-day."
"At what hour yesterday did you hear them?"
"Yesterday I heard them three times,---once in the morning, once at Vespers, and again when the Ave Maria rang in the evening. I have even heard them oftener than that."
"What were you doing yesterday morning when the Voice came to you?"
"I was asleep: the Voice awoke me."
"Was it by touching you on the arm?"
"It awoke me without touching me."
"Was it in your room?"
"Not so far as I know, but in the Castle."
"Did you thank it? and did you go on your knees?"
"I did thank it. I was sitting on the bed; I joined my hands; I implored its help. The Voice said to me: 'Answer boldly.' I asked advice as to how I should answer, begging it to entreat for this the counsel of the Lord. The Voice said to me: 'Answer boldly; God will help you.' Before I had prayed it to give me counsel, it said to me several words I could not readily understand. After I was awake, it said to me: 'Answer boldly.'" [Addressing herself to Us, the said Bishop:] "You say you are my judge. Take care what you are doing; for in truth I am sent by God, and you place yourself in great danger."
Maître Beaupère, continuing, said:
"Has this Voice sometimes varied in its counsel?"
"I have never found it give two contrary opinions. This night again I heard it say: 'Answer boldly.'"
"Has your Voice forbidden you to say everything on what you are asked?"
"I will not answer you about that. I have revelations touching the King that I will not tell you."
"Has it forbidden you to tell those revelations?"
22This, and a subsequent enquiry, on February 27th, as to Joan's habit of fasting, would seem to suggest a desire on the part of the questioner to prove that her visions had a more or less physical cause in a weak bodily state resulting from abstinence. As Joan's usual food consisted of a little bread dipped in wine and water, and as she is reported to have had when at home (not in war) but one meal a day, it need hardly be supposed that she suffered much from the results of a Lenten Fast. [Remember that the judges are working within a framework in which there are four possibilities: Joan is telling the truth, she is a faker, she is ill, or she is misled by the devil.]
"I have not been advised about these things. Give me a delay of fifteen days,23 and I will answer you. If my Voice has forbidden me, what would you say about it? Believe me, it is not men who have forbidden me. Today I will not answer: I do not know if I ought, or not; it has not been revealed to me. But as firmly as I believe in the Christian Faith and that God has redeemed us from the pains of Hell, that Voice has come to me from God and by His Command."
"The Voice that you say appears to you, does it come directly from an Angel, or directly from God; or does it come from one of the Saints?"
"The Voice comes to me from God; and I do not tell you all I know about it: I have far greater fear of doing wrong in saying to you things that would displease it, than I have of answering you. As to this question I beg you to grant me delay."
"Is it displeasing to God to speak the truth?"
"My Voices have entrusted to me certain things to tell to the King, not to you. This very night they told me many things for the welfare of my King, which I would he might know at once, even if I should drink no wine until Easter,...the King would be the more joyful at his dinner!
"Can you not so deal with your Voices that they will convey this news to your King?"
"I know not if the Voice would obey, and if it be God's Will. If it please God, He will know how to reveal it to the King, and I shall be well content."
"Why does not this Voice speak any more to your King, as it did when you were in his presence?"
"I do not know if it be the Will of God. Without the grace of God I should not know how to do anything."
"Has your counsel revealed to you that you will escape from prison?"
"I have nothing to tell you about that."
"This night, did your Voice give you counsel and advice as to what you should answer?"
"If it did give me advice and counsel thereon, I did not understand."
"The last two occasions on which you have heard this Voice, did a brightness come?"
"The brightness comes at the same time as the Voice."
"Besides the Voice, do you see anything?"
"I will not tell you all; I have not leave; my oath does not touch on that. My Voice is good and, to be honored. I am not bound to answer you about it. I request that the points on which I do not now answer may be given me in writing."
"The Voice from whom you ask counsel, has it a face and eyes?"
"You shall not know yet. There is a saying among children, that 'Sometimes one is hanged for speaking the truth.'"
"Do you know if you are in the grace of God?"
"If I am not, may God place me there; if I am, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest in all the, world if I knew that I were not in the grace of God. But if I were in a state of sin, do you think the Voice, would come to me? I would that every one could hear the Voice as I hear it. I think I was about thirteen when it came to me for the first time."
"In your youth, did you play in the fields with the other children?"
"I certainly went sometimes, I do not know at what age."
"Do the Domremy people side with the Burgundians or with the opposite party?"
23The fifteen days' respite would coincide with the first Examination held in the Prison, May 10th [sic], the first day on which the Allegory of the Sign was given. [In her private examination of March 13, Joan reported that she had a vision of an Angel carrying a crown, which he gave to an archbishop, who then gave it to the king. The king also saw the angel.]
"I knew only one Burgundian at Domremy. 24 I should have been quite willing for them to cut off his head---always had it pleased God."
"The Maxey people, were they Burgundians, or opposed to the Burgundians?"
"They were Burgundians. As soon as I knew that my Voices were for the King of France, I loved the Burgundians no more. The Burgundians will have war unless they do what they ought; I know it by my Voice. The English were already in France when my Voices began to come to me. I do not remember being with the children of Domremy when they went to fight against those of Maxey for the French side: but I certainly saw the Domremy children who had fought with those of Maxey coming back many times, wounded and bleeding."
"Had you in your youth any intention of fighting the Burgundians?"
"I had a great will and desire that my King should have his own Kingdom."
"When you had to come into France, did you wish to be a man?"
"I have answered this elsewhere."
"Did you not take the animals to the fields?
|24Gérardin of Epinal, to whose child Joan was godmother, is probably the person alluded to; he gave witness in 1455 that Joan had called him "Burgundian." [Burgundian here means a supporter of the Burgundians. The Burgundians, you will remember, were English allies at this point in the war.]|
"I have already answered this also. When I was bigger and had come to years of discretion, I did not look after them generally; but I helped to take them to the meadows and to a Castle called the Island,25 for fear of the soldiers. I do not remember if I led them in my childhood or no."
"What have you to say about a certain tree which is near to your village?"
25A small fortress in an island formed by two arms of the Meuse, nearly opposite the village of Domremy.
"Not far from Domremy there is a tree that they call 'The Ladies' Tree'26---others call it 'The Fairies' Tree'; near by, there is a spring where people sick of the fever come to drink, as I have heard, and to seek water to restore their health. I have seen them myself come thus; but I do not know if they were healed. I have heard that the sick, once cured, come to this tree to walk about.27 It is a beautiful tree, a beech, from which comes the 'beau may'---it belongs to the Seigneur Pierre de Bourlement, Knight.28 I have sometimes been to play with the young girls, to make garlands for Our Lady of Domremy. Often I have heard the old folk---they are not of my lineage---say that the fairies haunt this tree. I have also heard one of my Godmothers, named Jeanne [Joan], wife of the Maire Aubery of Domremy, say that she has seen fairies there; whether it be true, I do not know. As for me, I never saw them that I know of. If I saw them anywhere else, I do not know. I have seen the young girls putting garlands on the branches of this tree, and I myself have sometimes put them there with my companions; sometimes we took these garlands away, sometimes we left them. Ever since I knew that it was necessary for me to come into France, I have given myself up as little as possible to these games and distractions. Since I was grown up, I do not remember to have danced there. I may have danced there formerly, with the other children. I have sung there more than danced. There is also a wood called the Oak-wood, which can be seen from my father's door; it is not more than half-a-league away. I do not know, and have never heard if the fairies appear there; but my brother told me that it is said in the neighborhood: 'Jeannette [Joanie] received her mission at the Fairies' Tree.' It is not the case; and I told him the contrary. When I came before the King, several people asked me if there were not in my country a wood, called the Oakwood, because there were prophecies which said that from the neighborhood of this wood would come a maid who should do marvelous things.29 I put no faith in that."
"Would you like to have a woman's dress?"
"Give me one, and I will take it and begone; otherwise, no. I am content with what I have, since it pleases God that I wear it."
This done, We stayed the interrogation, and put off the remainder to Tuesday next, on which day We have convoked all the Assessors, at the same place and hour.
Tuesday, February 27th, in the same place. The Bishop and 54 Assessors present.
In their presence, We required the said Joan to swear to tell the truth on everything touching her Trial.
"Willingly will I swear," she answered, "to tell the truth on everything touching the trial, but not upon all that I know."
We required her again to speak the truth on all which should be asked of her.
"You ought to be satisfied," she answered. "I have sworn enough."
Then, by Our order, Maitre Beaupère began to question her. And first he inquired of her, how she had been since the Saturday before?
" You can see for yourself how I am. I am as well as can be."
"Do you fast every day this Lent?"
"Is that in the Case? Well, yes! I have fasted every day during this Lent."
"Have you heard your Voices since Saturday?
"Yes, truly, many times."
"Did you hear them on Saturday in this hall, where you were being examined?"
"That is not in your Case. Very well, then---yes! I did hear them."
"What did your Voice say to you last Saturday?"
"I did not quite understand it; and up to the moment when I returned to my room, I heard nothing that I may repeat to you."
"What did it say to you in your room, on your return?"
"It said to me, 'Answer them boldly.' I take counsel with my Voice about what you ask me. I will tell Willingly whatever I shall have permission from God to reveal; as to the revelations concerning the King of France, I will not tell them without the permission of my Voice."
"Has your Voice forbidden you to tell everything?"
"I did not quite understand it."
"What did your Voice last say to you?"
"I asked counsel about certain things that you had asked me."
"Did it give you counsel?"
"On some points, yes; on others you may ask me for an answer that I shall not give, not having had leave. For, if I answered without leave, I should no longer have my Voices as warrant. When I have permission from Our Savior, I shall not fear to speak, because I shall have warrant."
"This Voice that speaks to you, is it that of an Angel, or of a Saint, or from God direct?"
26According to local tradition, this tree stood to within the last 50 years, and was struck by lightning; another has been planted in its place. The house, in which Joan was born, remained in the possession of the De Lys family till the 16th century, when it passed into the hands of the Count de Salm, Seigneur of Domremy. In the 18th century it became the property of Jean Gerardin, whose grandson, Nicolas, gave it up in 1818 to the Department of Vosges; so that it is now preserved as National property.
27This is probably a survival of the Fontinalia, an old Latin festival. The custom of decorating the wells and springs was kept up in England until the last century, and still exists in a few remote villages. The name 'Well Sunday' survives, though the processions of youths and maidens have long passed away. The 'fontaine aux Groseilliers' is still in existence. It is an oblong tank of water, with the original spring flowing through it. The great beech tree stood close by.
28Pierre de Bourlement, Head of the ancient house of Bassigny, and Lord of the Manor of Bourlement. He was the last of his race.
29Merlin had foretold the coming of a maiden out of an Oak-wood from Lorraine; and a paper containing a prophecy to this effect had been sent, at the beginning of Joan's career, to the English Commander, the Earl of Suffolk. There was also an old prophecy (quoted by Joan herself to Catharine Leroyer) that France, which had been "lost by a woman, should be saved by a Maid." The conduct of Isabel of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI., might certainly be said to have fulfilled the first half of this prophecy; and a tradition in the eastern counties that "deliverance should come from a maid of the Marches of Lorraine" must have directed many hopes to the mission of the Maiden from Domremy, though she herself does not seem to have known of the last prediction until some time later. The Oak-wood covers the hills above Domremy to this day. [Poor Isabel of Bavaria came into a great deal of abuse, mostly undeserved. Her husband, Charles VI, suffered from periods of madness (inherited by his grandson, Henry VI of England), and she became extremely unpopular, which led to fights over the regency. The true disaster was probably the marriage of her daughter Katherine to Henry V of England, although it was not one she was responsible for. One English rumor was that Charles VII was not Charles VI's son, that is, that she had committed adultery. This rumor, conveniently spread by those favoring the English, equally conveniently disappeared when Charles VII began winning his war.]
"It is the Voice of Saint Catherine and of Saint Margaret.30 Their faces are adorned with beautiful crowns, very rich and precious. To tell you this I have leave from Our Lord. If you doubt this, send to Poitiers, where I was examined before."
"How do you know if these were the two Saints? How do you distinguish one from the other?"
"I know quite well if is they; and I can easily distinguish one from the other."
"How do you distinguish them?"
"By the greeting they give me. It is seven years now since they have undertaken to guide me. I know them well because they were named to me."
"Are these two Saints dressed in the same stuff?"
"I will tell you no more just now; I have not permission to reveal it. If you do not believe me, go to Poitiers. There are some revelations which come to the King of France, and not to you, who are questioning me."
"Are they of the same age?"
"I have not leave to say."
"Do they speak at the same time, or one after the other?"
"I have not leave to say ; nevertheless, I have always had counsel from them both."
"Which of them appeared to you first?"
30This is the first identification of the "revelations" with any name; Joan had always spoken of her " Voices " or her "Counsel."
"I did not distinguish them at first. I knew well enough once, but I have forgotten. If I had leave, I would tell you willingly : it is written in the Register at Poitiers.31 I have also received comfort from Saint Michael."
"Which of these two appearances came to you first?"
"Is it a long time since you first heard the voice of Saint Michael?"
"I did not say anything to you about the voice of Saint Michael; I say I have had great comfort from him."
"What was the first Voice that came to you when you were about thirteen?"
"It was Saint Michael: I saw him before my eyes; he was not alone, but quite surrounded by the Angels of Heaven. I came into France only by the order of God."
"Did you see Saint Michael and these Angels bodily and in reality?"
"I saw them with my bodily eyes as well as I see you; when they went from me, I wept. I should have liked to be taken away with them."
"And what was Saint Michael like?"
"You will have no more answer from me; and I am not yet free to tell you."
"What did Saint Michael say to you this first time?"
"You will have no more answer about it from me today. My Voices said to me, 'Reply boldly.' Once I told the King all that had been revealed to me, because it concerned him; but I am no longer free to reveal to you all that Saint Michael said to me." [To Maitre Beaupère:] "I wish you could get a copy of this book at Poitiers, if it please God."
"Have your Voices forbidden you to make known your revelations without leave from them?"
"I will answer you no more about it. On all that I have leave, I will answer willingly. I have not quite understood if my Voices have forbidden me to answer."
"What sign do you give that you have this revelation from God, and that it is Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret that talk with you?"
"I have told you that it is they; believe me if you will."
"Are you forbidden to say?"
"I have not quite understood if this is forbidden or not."
"How can you make sure of distinguishing such things as you are free to tell, from those which are forbidden?"
"On some points I have asked leave, and on others I have obtained it. I would rather have been torn asunder by four horses than have come into France without God's leave."
"Was it God who prescribed to you the dress of a man?"
"What concerns this dress is a small thing---less than nothing. I did not take it by the advice of any man in the world. I did not take this dress or do anything but by the command of Our Lord and of the Angels."
"Did it appear to you that this command to take man's dress was lawful?"
"All I have done is by Our Lord's command. If I had been told to take some other, I should have done it; because it would have been His command."
"Did you not take this garment by order of Robert de Baudricourt?"
"Do you think it was well to take a man's dress?"
"All that I have done by the order of Our Lord I think has been well done; I look for good surety and good help in it."
"In this particular case, this taking of man's dress, do you think you did well?"
"I have done nothing in the world but by the order of God."
"When you saw this Voice coming to you, was there a light?"
"There was plenty of light everywhere, as was seemly." [Addressing herself to Maître Beaupère:] It does not all come to you!"
"Was there an angel over the head of your King when you saw him for the first time?"
"By Our Lady! if there were, I know nothing of it; I did not see it."
"Was there a light?"
There were more than three hundred Knights and more than fifty torches, without counting the spiritual light."
"Why was your King able to put faith in your words?"
"He had good signs, and the clergy bore me witness."
"What revelations has your King had?"
"You will not have them from me this year. During three weeks I was questioned by the clergy at Chinon and at Poitiers. Before he was willing to believe me, the King had a sign of my mission; and the clergy of my party were of opinion that there was nothing but good in my mission."
31This Examination at Poitiers had taken place in the Chapel attached to the Palace of the Counts of Poitou, which still exists and adjoins the 'Salle des Pas Perdus,' now the Great Hall of the Palais de Justice. It was conducted under the direction of the Archbishop of Rheims during the months of March and April, 1429, and extended over three weeks. At the conclusion, the assembly sent, as the result of their inquiries, a resolution to the King to the effect that he should follow the Maid's guidance, and seek for the sign she promised him in the relief of Orleans, as a proof of the Divine origin of her mission, "for," they added, "to doubt or forsake her without any appearance of evil would be to vex the Holy Spirit, and to make himself unworyour of the help of God: so saith Gamaliel in the Council of the Jews with regard to the Apostles."
Unfortunately, no trace of this Examination has been found: the 'Book of Poitiers' is referred to several times in the Trial; but it was not forthcoming at the time of the Rehabilitation. It was probably lost or destroyed by Joan's enemies among her own party. The Archbishop of Rheims would have had it in his charge: and he was consistently opposed to Joan throughout.
During her stay at Poitiers the Maid lodged in the house of Jean Rabatier.
"Have you been to Saint Catherine de Fierbois?"32
"Yes, and I heard there three Masses in one day. Afterwards, I went to the Castle of Chinon, whence I sent letters to the King, to know if I should be allowed to see him; saying, that I had travelled a hundred and fifty leagues to come to his help, and that I knew many things good for him. I think I remember there was in my letter the remark that I should recognize him among all others. I had a sword I had taken a Vaucouleurs. Whilst I was at Tours, or at Chinon, I sent to seek for a sword which was in the Church of Saint Catherine de Fierbois, behind the altar; it was found there at once; the sword was in the ground, and rusty; upon it were five crosses; I knew by my Voice, where it was. I had never seen the man who went to seek for it. I wrote to the Priests of the place, that it might please them to let me have this sword, and they sent it to me. It was under the earth, not very deeply buried, behind the altar, so it seemed to me: I do not know exactly if it were before or behind the altar, but I believe I wrote saying that it was at the back. As soon as it was found, the Priests of the Church rubbed it, and the rust fell off at once without effort. It was an armourer of Tours who went to look for it. The Priests of Fierbois made me a present of a scabbard; those of Tours, of another; one was of crimson velvet, the other of cloth-of-gold. I had a third made of leather, very strong. When I was taken prisoner I had not got this sword. I always bore the sword of Fierbois from the time I had it up to my departure from Saint-Denis,33 after the attack on Paris."
"What blessing did you invoke, or have invoked, on this sword?"
"I neither blessed it, nor had it blessed: I should not have known how to set about it. I cared very much for this sword, because it had been found in the Church of Saint Catherine, whom I love so much."
32According to local tradition, this Church was originally founded by Charles Martel in 732, after his victory over the Saracens, whom he here ceased to pursue, and deposited his sword as an offering. This is by some supposed to have been the sword which later Joan sent for; but the legend is not of an early date, and there is no suggestion of the kind in contemporary writings.
According to one authority, the Greffier de la Rochelle, the sword was found in a reliquary, which had not been opened for twenty years or more. The Chronique de la Pucelle and the Journal of the Siege of Orleans state that it was one of many votive offerings, and was recognized by Joan's description of the five crosses on the blade, possibly a Jerusalem Cross. Some of the old Chronicles say that Joan told the King she had never been at Fierbois: but this statement is disproved by her own words in this answer. The suggestion that, having been to three Masses in the Church, she might easily have seen the sword, is to some extent answered by the alleged difficulty of the Priests to find, among the many swords there, the one she had specially described.
Of the ultimate fate of this sword there are many versions, and no two agree exactly as to date. It was certainly broken in striking a camp-follower, one of a class the Maid had forbidden to enter the Camp; but whether this was just after the retreat from Paris or earlier, it does not seem possible to decide. Joan herself says she "had it up to Saint-Denis" and "Lagny," both of which dates would imply the autumn of 1429: but most witnesses tell the story of its being broken in the July preceding, though several different places are mentioned as the scene of the incident.
33On September 13th, 1429.
"Have you been at Coulange-les-Vineuses?"34
"I do not know."
"Have you sometimes placed your sword upon an altar; and, in so placing it, was it that your sword might be more fortunate?"
"Not that I know of."
"Have you sometimes prayed that it might be more fortunate?"
"It is good to know that I wished my armor might have good fortune!"
"Had you your sword when you were taken prisoner?"
"No, I had one which had been taken on a Burgundian."
"Where was the sword of Fierbois left?"
34A small town near Auxerre. In this neighborhood some of the chronicles place the incident referred to of the breaking of the sword. The question may, therefore, have been intended to elicit the story.
"I offered at Saint-Denis a sword and armor;35 but it was not this sword. I had that at Lagny; from Lagny to Compiègne, I bore the sword of this Burgundian; it was a good sword for fighting--- very good for giving stout buffets and hard clouts. To tell what became of the other sword does not concern this Case, and I will not answer about it now. My brothers have all my goods-my horses,36 my sword, so far as I know, and the rest, which are worth more than twelve thousand crowns."
35The armor offered at Saint-Denis was the "blanc harnois" she wore during the earlier part of her career. When the church was pillaged by the English troops shortly after, this armor was sent to the King of England; but no further trace of it is known to exist.
36Joan appears to have been a good horse-woman; she rode "horses so ill-tempered that no one would dare to ride them." The Duke de Lorraine, on her first visit to him, and the Duke d'Alençon, after seeing her skill in riding a course, each gave her a horse; and we read also of a gift of a war-horse from the town of Orleans, and "many horses of value" sent from the Duke of Brittany. She had entered Orleans on a white horse, according to the Journal du Siège d'Orléans; but seems to have been in the habit of riding black chargers in war; and mention is also made by Châtelain of a "lyart" or grey. A story, repeated in a letter from Guy de Laval, relates that, on one occasion (June 6th, 1428), when her horse, "a fine black war-horse was brought to the door, he was so restive that he would not stand still. "Take him to the Cross," she said; and there he stood, "as though he were tied," while she mounted. This was at Selles; and local tradition says that, from her lodging (a Dominican Monastery now the Lion d'Or hotel) the old iron town-cross was visible. It stood until about a century ago some fifteen paces in front of the north door of the Church, and was removed when the cemetery was converted into a market place. The Monastery was the property of the monks of Glatigny.
The writers of the letter referred to above, Guy and André de Laval, were grandsons of Bertrand du Guesclin [the Marshal of France]: the letter was dated Selles, June, 1429. The following are extracts:
"...On Monday (June 6th) I left the King to go to Selles en Berry, four leagues from Saint Aignan. The King had summoned the Maid to come before him from Selles, where she then was, and many said this was much in my favour, so that I might see her. The said Maid treated my brother and me with great kindness: she was armed at all points, save the head, and bore lance in hand. After we had arrived at Selles, I went to her lodging to see her, and she called for wine for me and said she would soon have me drink it in Paris. She seemed to me a thing divine, in all she did and all I saw and heard.
"On Monday evening she left Selles to go to Romorantin.... I saw her mounting her horse armed all in white, save the head, a little axe in her hand....And then, turning to the door of the Church, which was quite near, she said in a gentle woman's voice, 'You priests and clergy, make processions and prayers to God.' Then she turned again on her way saying, 'Draw on, draw on!' her standard flying, borne by a gracious page, and her little axe in her hand. One of her brothers who arrived eight days since, left also with her, armed all in white."
"When you were at Orleans, had you a standard, or banner;37 and of what color was it?"
"I had a banner of which the field was sprinkled with lilies; the world was painted there, with an angel at each side; it was white, of the white cloth called 'boccassin'; there was written above, I believe, 'Jhesus Maria'; it was fringed with silk."
"The words 'Jhesus Maria' were they written above, below, or on the side?"
"At the side, I believe."
"Which did you care for most, your banner or your sword?"
"Better, forty times better, my banner than my sword!"
"Who made you get this painting done upon your banner?"
"I have told you often enough, that I had nothing done but by the command of God. It was I, myself, who bore this banner, when I attacked the enemy, to save killing any one, for I have never killed any one."
"What force did your King give you when he set you to work?"
"He gave me ten or twelve thousand men. First, I went to Orleans, to the fortress of Saint Loup, and afterwards to that of the Bridge."
"Which fortress was being attacked when you made your men retire?"
"I do not remember. I was quite certain of raising the siege of Orleans; I had revelation of it. I told this to the King before going there."
"Before the assault, did you not tell your followers that you alone would receive the arrows, cross-bolts, and stones, thrown by the machines and cannons?"
37The banner was painted at Tours, while Joan was staying there, before her march to the relief of Orleans. The account for payment, in the "Comptes" of the Treasurer of War, gives: "A Hauvres Poulnoir, paintre, demourant à Tours, pour avoir paint et baillé estoffes pour une grand estandart et ung petit pour la Pucelle . . . 25 livres tournois."
The description of this banner varies in different authors. The following account is compiled from them. "A white banner, sprinkled with fleur-de-lys; on the one side, the figure of Our Lord in Glory, holding the world, and giving His benediction to a lily, held by one of two Angels who are kneeling on each side: the words 'Jhesus Maria' at the side; on the other side the figure of Our Lady and a shield with the arms of France supported by two Angels" (de Cagny). This banner was blessed at the Church of Saint-Sauveur at Tours (Chronique de la Pucelle and de Cagny). The small banner or pennon had a representation of the Annunciation.
There was also a third banner round which the priests assembled daily for service, and on this was depicted the Crucifixion (Pasquerel).
Another banner is mentioned by the Greffier de la Rochelle, which Joan is said to have adopted as her own private pennon. It was made at Poitiers; and represented on a blue ground a white dove, holding in its beak a scroll, with the words, " De par le Roy du Ciel."
"No; a hundred and even more of my people were wounded. I had said to them: 'Be fearless, and you will raise the siege.' Then, in the attack on the Bridge fortress, I was wounded in the neck by an arrow or cross-bolt;38 but I had great comfort from Saint Catherine, and was cured in less than a fortnight. I did not interrupt for this either my riding or work. I knew quite well that I should be wounded; I had told the King so, but that, notwithstanding, I should go on with my work. This had been revealed to me by the Voices of my two Saints,39 the blessed Catherine and the blessed Margaret. It was I who first planted a ladder against the fortress of the Bridge, and it was in raising this ladder that I was wounded in the neck by this crossbolt."
38May 7th, 1429.
39This prophecy is recorded in a letter written, April 22nd, 1429, a fortnight before the event, by a Flemish diplomatist, De Rotslaer, then at Lyons. Her chaplain, Pasquerel, also states, in his evidence given in 1455, that she had told him of the coming injury on the previous day.
"Why did you not accept the treaty with the Captain of Jargeau?"40
"It was the Lords of my party who answered the English that they should not have the fortnight's delay which they asked, telling them that they were to retire at once, they and their horses. As for me, I told them of Jargeau to retire if they wished, with their doublets,41 and their lives safe; if not, they would be taken by assault."
"Had you any revelation from your counsel, that is to say from your Voices, to know whether it was right or not to give this fortnight's respite?"
"I do not remember."
At this point, the rest of the enquiry has been postponed to another day. We have fixed for Thursday the next Meeting, at the same Place.
Thursday, March 1st, in the same place, the Bishop and 58 Assessors present.
In their presence, We summoned and required Joan simply and absolutely to take her oath to speak the truth on that which should be asked her.
"I am ready," she replied, "as I have already declared to you, to speak the truth on all I know touching this Case; but I know many things which. do not touch on this Case, and of which there is no need to speak to you. I will speak willingly and in all truth on all which touches this Case."
We again summoned and required her; and she replied:
"What I know in truth touching the Case, I will tell willingly."
And in this wise did she swear, her hands on the Holy Gospels. Then she said:
"On what I know touching the Case, I will speak the truth willingly; I will tell you as much as I would to the Pope of Rome, if I were before him."
Then she was examined as follows:
"What do you say of our Lord the Pope? and whom do you believe to be the true Pope?"
"Are there two of them?"
40June 11th, 1429.
41Gallicé: "en leur petite cotte," i.e., with only the light clothing worn under their armor.
"Did vou not receive a letter from the Count d'Armagnac, asking you which of the three Pontiffs he ought to obey?"42
"The Count did in fact write to me on this subject. I replied, among other things, that when I should be at rest, in Paris or elsewhere, I would give him an answer. I was just at that moment mounting my horse when I sent this reply."
At this juncture, We ordered to be read the copy of the Count's letter and of Joan's reply, which are thus expressed:
"My very dear Lady---I humbly commend myself to you, and pray, for God's sake, that, considering the divisions which are at this present time in the Holy Church Universal on the question of the Popes, for there are now three contending for the Papacy--one residing at Rome, calling himself Martin V., whom all Christian Kings obey; another, living at Paniscole, in the Kingdom of Valence, who calls himself Clement VII.; the third, no one knows where he lives, unless it be the Cardinal Saint Etienne and some few people with him, but he calls himself Pope Benedict XIV. The first, who styles himself Pope Martin, was elected at Constance with the consent of all Christian nations; he who is called Clement was elected at Paniscole, after the death of Pope Benedict XIII., by three of his Cardinals; the third, who dubs himself Benedict XIV., was elected secretly at Paniscole, even by the Cardinal Saint Etienne. You will have the goodness to pray Our Savior Jesus Christ that by His infinite Mercy He may by you declare to us which of the three named is Pope in truth, and whom it pleases Him that we should obey, now and henceforward, whether he who is called Martin, he who is called Clement, or he who is called Benedict; and in whom we are to believe, if secretly, or by any dissembling, or publicly; for we are all ready to do the will and pleasure of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
"Yours in all things,
"Count d'Armagnac, my very good and dear friend, I, Joan, the Maid, acquaint you that your message has come before me, which tells me that you have sent at once to know from me which of the three Popes, mentioned in your memorial, you should believe. This thing I cannot tell you truly at present, until I am at rest in Paris or elsewhere; for I am now too much hindered by affairs of war; but when you hear that I am in Paris, send a message to me and I will inform you in truth whom you should believe, and what I shall know by the counsel of my Righteous and Sovereign Lord, the King of all the World, and of what you should do to the extent of my power. I commend you to God. May God have you in His keeping! Written at Compiègne, August 22nd."
Then the Enquiry proceeded thus:
"Is this really the reply that you made?"
"I deem that I might have made this answer in part, but not all."
"Did you say that you might know, by the counsel of the King of Kings, what the Count should hold on this subject?"
"I know nothing about it."
"Had you any doubt about whom the Count should obey?"
"I did not know how to inform him on this question, as to whom he should obey, because the Count himself asked to know whom God wished him to obey. But for myself, I hold and believe that we should obey our Lord the Pope who is in Rome. I told the messenger of the Count some things which are not in this copy; and, if the messenger had not gone off immediately, he would have been thrown into the water---not by me, however. As to the Count's enquiry, desiring to know whom God wished him to obey, I answered that I did not know; but I sent him messages on several things which have not been put in writing. As for me, I believe in our Lord the Pope who is at Rome."
"Why did you write that you would give an answer elsewhere if you believed in the Pope who is at Rome?"
"That answer had reference to other things than the matter of the sovereign Pontiffs."
"Did you say that on the matter of the three sovereign Pontiffs you would have counsel?"
"I never wrote nor gave command to write on the matter of the three sovereign Pontiffs." And this answer she supported by oath.
"Are you in the habit of putting the Names "Jhesus Maria," with a cross, at the top of your letters?"
"On some I put it, on others not; sometimes I put a cross as a sign for those of my party to whom I wrote so that they should not do as the letters said."
Here a letter was read from Joan to our Lord the King, to the Duke of Bedford, and others, of the following tenor:
"King of England; and you, Duke of Bedford, who call yourself Regent of the Kingdom of France; you, William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk; John, Lord Talbot; and you, Thomas, Lord Scales, who call yourselves Lieutenants to the said Duke of Bedford: give satisfaction to the King of Heaven: give up to the Maid, who is sent hither by God, the King of Heaven, the keys of all the good towns in France which you have taken and broken into. She is come here by the order of God to reclaim the Blood Royal. She is quite ready to make peace, if you are willing to give her satisfaction, by giving and paying back to France what you have taken. And as for you, archers, companions-in-arms, gentlemen and others who are before the town of Orleans, return to your own countries, by God's order; and if this be not done, then hear the message of the Maid, who will shortly come upon you, to your very great hurt. King of England, I am a Chieftain of war and, if this be not done, wheresoever I find your followers in France, I will make them leave, willingly or unwillingly; if they will not obey, I will have them put to death. I am sent here by God, the King of Heaven, body for body, to drive them all out of the whole of France. And if they will obey, I will have mercy on them. And do not think in yourselves that you will get possession of the realm of France from God the King of Heaven, Son of the Blessed Mary; for King Charles will gain it, the true heir: for God, the King of Heaven, so wills it, and it is revealed to him [the King] by the Maid, and he will enter Paris with a good company. If you will not believe the message of God and of the Maid and act aright, in whatsoever place we find you we will enter therein and make so great a disturbance that for a thousand years none in France will be so great. And believe surely that the King of Heaven will send greater power to the Maid, to her and her good men-at-arms, than you can bring to the attack; and, when it comes to blows, we shall see who has the better right from the God of Heaven. You, Duke of Bedford, the Maid prays and enjoins you, that you do not come to grievous hurt. If you will give her satisfactory pledges, you may yet join with her, so that the French may do the fairest deed that has ever yet been done for Christendom. And answer, if you wish to make peace in the City of Orleans; if this be not done, you may be shortly reminded of it, to your very great hurt. Written this Tuesday in Holy Week, March 22nd, 1428."
"Do you know this letter?"
42The "three Pontiffs" referred to are Martin V. (Colonna), the real and acknowledged Pope; the schismatic, Clement VIII; and a mere pretender, Benedict XIV, who was supported only by one Cardinal. The Schism was practically at an end at the time of this letter, as Clement had abdicated month earlier (July 26th). Clement VIII is the true title, though called Clement VII in Count d'Armagnac's letter. [The schism had begun in 1378, when a disputed election gave rise to a second election, which chose a different pope. One pope ruled from Rome, the other from Avignon in southern France. The French and Scots recognized the pope in Avignon, while the English and Italians recognized the Roman pope. After various attempts to solve the problem, bishops, abbots, and other church officials from both sides finally met at the council of Constance (1414-18) and agreed upon one pope, Martin V. The purpose of this line of questioning seems to be to test whether Joan gave advice that as a lay person she was not entitled to give.]
"Yes, excepting three words. In place of 'give up to the Maid,' it should be 'give up to the King.' The words 'Chieftain of war' and 'body for body' were not in the letter I sent. None of the Lords ever dictated these letters to me; it was I myself alone who dictated them before sending them. Nevertheless, I always showed them to some of my party. Before seven years are passed, the English will lose a greater wager than they have already done at Orleans; they will lose everything in France.43 The English will have in France a greater loss than they have ever had, and that by a great victory which God will send to the French."
"How do you know this?"
"I know it well by revelation, which has been made to me, and that this will happen within seven years; and I am sore vexed that it is deferred so long. I know it by revelation, as clearly as I know that you are before me at this moment."
"When will this happen?"
"I know neither the day nor the hour."
"In what year will it happen?"
"You will not have any more. Nevertheless, I heartily wish it might be before Saint John's Day."
"Did you not say that this would happen before Martinmas, in winter?"
43The English lost Paris in 1436.
"I said that before Martinmas [November 11] many things would be seen, and that the English might perhaps be overthrown."44
"What did you say to John Gris, your keeper, on the subject of the Feast of Saint Martin?"
"I have told you."
"Through whom did you know that this would happen?"
"Through Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret."
"Was Saint Gabriel with Saint Michael when he came to you?"
"I do not remember."
"Since last Tuesday, have you had any converse with Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret?"
"Yes, but I do not know at what time."
"Yesterday and to-day; there is never a day that I do not hear them."
"Do you always see them in the same dress?"
"I see them always under the same form, and their heads are richly crowned. I do not speak of the rest of their clothing: I know nothing of their dresses."
"How do you know whether the object that appears to you is male or female?"
"I know well enough. I recognize them by their voices, as they revealed themselves to me; I know nothing but by the revelation and order of God."
"What part of their heads do you see?"
"These saints who shew themselves to you, have they any hair?"
"It is well to know they have."
"Is there anything between their crowns and their hair?"
"Is their hair long and hanging down?"
"I know nothing about it. I do not know if they have arms or other members. They speak very well and in very good language; I hear them very well."
"How do they speak if they have no members?"
"I refer me to God. The voice is beautiful, sweet, and low; it speaks in the French tongue."
"Does not Saint Margaret speak English?"
"Why should she speak English, when she is not on the English side?"
"On these crowned heads, were there rings?---in the ears or elsewhere?"
"I know nothing about it."
"Have you any rings yourself?"
[Addressing herself to Us, the Bishop:] "You have one of mine; give it back to me. The Burgundians have another of them. I pray you, if you have my ring, show it to me."
"Who gave you the ring which the Burgundians [now] have?"
"My father or my mother. I think the Names 'Jhesus Maria' are engraved on it. I do not know who had them written there; there is not, I should say, any stone in the ring; it was given to me at Domremy. It was my brother who gave me the other---the one you have." [Continuing to address herself to Us, the Bishop:] "I charge you to give it to the Church. I never cured any one with any of my rings."
"Did Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret speak to you under the tree of which mention has been made?"
"I know nothing of it."
"Did they speak to you at the spring, which is near the tree?"
"Yes, I have heard them there; but what they said then, I do not know."
"What did they promise you, there or elsewhere?"
"They have never promised me anything, except by God's leave."
"But still, what promises have they made to you?"
"That is not in your Case: not at all. Upon other subjects, they told me that my King would be reestablished in his Kingdom, whether his enemies willed it or no; they told me also that they would lead me to Paradise: I begged it of them, indeed."
"Did you have any other promise from them?"
"There was another, but I will not tell it; that does not touch on the Case. In three months I will tell you the other promise."
"Have your Voices said that before three months you will be delivered from prison?"
"That is not in your Case. Nevertheless I do not know when I shall be delivered. But those who wish to send me out of the world may well go before me."
"Has not your counsel told you that you will be delivered from your actual prison?"
"Speak to me in three months, and I will answer. Moreover, ask of those present, upon oath, if this touches on the Trial."
We, the said Bishop, did then take the opinion of those present: and all considered that this did touch on the Trial.
"I have already told you, you shall not know all. One day I must be delivered. But I wish to have leave to tell you the day: it is for this I ask delay."
"Have your Voices forbidden you to speak the truth?"
"Do you want me to tell you what concerns the King of France? There are a number of things that do not Touch on the Case. I know well that my King will regain the Kingdom of France. I know it as well as I know that you are before me, seated in judgment. I should die if this revelation did not comfort me every day."
44Compiègne was relieved early in November; Saint Martin's Day is November 11th.
"What have you done with your mandrake?"45
"I never have had one. But I have heard that there is one near our home, though I have never seen it. I have heard it is a dangerous and evil thing to keep. I do not know for what it is [used]."
"Where is this mandrake of which you have heard?"
"I have heard that it is in the earth, near the tree of which I spoke before; but I do not know the place. Above this mandrake, there was, it is said, a hazel tree."
"What have you heard said was the use of this mandrake?"
"To make money come; but I do not believe it. My Voice never spoke to me of that."
"In what likeness did Saint Michael appear to you?"
"I did not see a crown: I know nothing of his dress."
"Was he naked?
"Do you think God has not wherewithal to clothe him?"
"Had he hair?"
"Why should it have been cut off? I have not seen Saint Michael since I left the Castle of Crotoy. I do not see him often. I do not know if he has hair."
45The mandrake was a part of the accepted paraphernalia of a sorcerer. It was kept wrapped in a silk or linen cloth, and was supposed to preserve its owner from poverty. Brother Richard had recently preached a sermon against them (April, 1429); and many had been burned in consequence. [Mandrake is an herb belonging to the nightshade family. The thick carrot-like root is often separated into two at the tip, like human legs, and sometimes grows "arms" higher up as well. Thus it is an obvious object for sympathetic magic.]
"Has he a balance?"46
"I know nothing about it. It was a great joy to see him; it seemed to me, when I saw him, that I was not in mortal sin. Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret were pleased from time to time to receive my confession, each in turn. If I am in mortal sin, it is without my knowing it."
"When you confessed, did you think you were in mortal sin?"
"I do not know if I am in mortal sin, and I do not believe I have done its works; and, if it please God, I will never so be; nor, please God, have I ever done or ever will do deeds which charge my soul!"
"What sign did you give your King from God?"
"I have always answered that you will not drag this from my lips. Go and ask it of him."
"Have you sworn not to reveal what shall be asked of you, touching the Trial?"
"I have already told you that I will tell you nothing of what concerns my King. Thereon I will not speak."
"Do you not know the sign that you gave to the King?"
"You will not know it from me."
"But this touches on the Trial."
"Of what I have promised to keep secret, I will tell you nothing. I have already said, even here, that I could not tell you without perjury."
"To whom have you promised this?"
"To Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret; and this has been shown to the King. I promised them, without their asking it of me, of my own free-will, of myself, because too many people might have questioned me had I not promised it to my Saints."
"When you showed your sign to the King, were you alone with him?"
"I do not take account of any one else, although there were many people near."
"When you showed this sign to the King, did you see a crown on his head?"
"I cannot tell you without perjury."
"Had your King a crown at Rheims?
"I think my King took with joy the crown that he had at Rheims; but another, much richer, would have been given him later. He acted thus to hurry on his work, at the request of the people of the town of Rheims, to avoid too long a charge upon them of the soldiers. If he had waited, he would have had a crown a thousand times more rich."
"Have you seen this richer crown?"
"I cannot tell you without incurring perjury; and, though I have not seen it, I have heard that it is rich and valuable to a degree."
This done, we put an end to the interrogation and postponed the remainder to Saturday next, 8 o'clock in the morning, in the same place, summoning all the Assessors to be present.
Saturday, March 3rd, in the same place, the Bishop and 41 Assessors present.
In their presence, We required the said Joan simply and absolutely to swear to speak the truth on what should be asked of her. She replied:
"I am ready to swear as I have already done."
And thus did she swear, her hands on the Holy Gospels.
Afterwards, because she had said, in previous Enquiries, that Saint Michael had wings, but had said nothing of the body and members of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, We asked her what she wished to say thereon.
"I have told you what I know; I will answer you nothing more. I saw Saint Michael and these two Saints so well that I know they are Saints of Paradise."
"Did you see anything else of them but the face?"
"I have told you what I know; but to tell you all I know, I would rather that you made me cut my throat. All that I know touching the Trial I will tell you willingly."
"Do you think that Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel have human heads?"
"I saw them with my eyes; and I believe it was they as firmly as I believe there is a God."
"Do you think that God made them in the form and fashion that you saw?"
"Do you think that God did from the first create them in this form and fashion?"
"You will have no more at present than what I have answered."
"Do you know by revelation if you will escape?"
"That does not touch on your Case. Do you wish me to speak against myself?"
"Have your Voices told you anything?"
"That is not in your Case. I refer me to the Case. If all concerned you, I would tell you all. By my faith, I know neither the day nor the hour that I shall escape!"
"Have your Voices told you anything in a general way?"
"Yes, truly, they have told me that I shall be delivered, but I know neither the day nor the hour. They said to me: 'Be of good courage and keep a cheerful countenance.'"
"When you first came to the King, did he ask you if you had any revelation about your change of dress?"
"I have answered you about that. I do not remember if I was asked. It is written at Poitiers."
"Do you not remember if the Masters who questioned you in the other Consistory, some during a month, others during three weeks, questioned you about your change of dress?"
"I do not remember. But they asked me where I had assumed this man's dress; and I told them it was at Vaucouleurs."
"Did the aforesaid Masters ask you if it were by order of your Voice that you took this dress?"
"I do not remember."
46The balance was a frequent accessory to Saint Michael in the French, stained glass windows of the 13th and 14th centuries. A noted example in the Cathedral at Arles represents him weighing the souls of the departed in a balance as big as himself. One of the earliest examples in England is that in a fresco-painting at Preston Manor, Sussex, said to be of the reign of Edward I., in which Saint Michael appears weighing the souls of the faithful, accompanied by Joan's saints, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. [The question is not quite as odd as it seems. The questioners seem to be probing to find out where Joan's "image" of the saint comes from, probably with an eye to arguing that she "made" up her image of the saint from pictures she had seen, not that the conformity of her vision to the depictions of the saint would have proven anything.]
"Did not your Queen ask you,47 the first time you went to visit her?"
"I do not remember."
"Did not your King, your Queen, or some of your party, tell you to take off this man's dress?"
"That is not in your Case."
47Mary of Anjou, wife of Charles VII, daughter of Louis, Duke of Anjou and Yolande of Arragon.
"Were you not so told at the Castle of Beaurevoir?"48
[Here commences the French Version, or Minute, which is collated with the Latin Text.]
48Joan was taken from Beaurevoir early in August, and removed from there, when the negotiations for selling her were complete, about the middle of November.
"Yes, truly; and I answered that I would not take it off without leave from God. The Demoiselle de Luxembourg49 and the Lady de Beaurevoir50 offered me a woman's dress, or cloth to make one, telling me to wear it. I answered them that I had not leave from Our Lord, and that it was not yet time."
49Jeanne [Joan], Countess de Saint-Pol et Ligny, sister to Count Waleran de Luxembourg and aunt to Jean de Luxembourg.
50Jeanne [Joan] de Bethune, Viscountess de Meaux, wife of Jean de Luxembourg. Both these ladies were at Beaurevoir during Joan's captivity, and showed her great kindness, even interceding for her that she should not be sold to the English. [The Burgundians were at this point not so certain that throwing in their lot with the English was the best political idea. In fact, they left the alliance in 1435, which is what permitted the capture by the French of Paris.]
"Did Messire Jean de Pressy51 and others at Arras never offer you a woman's dress?"
"He and many others have oftentimes offered it to me."
"Do you think that you would have done wrong or committed mortal sin by taking a woman's dress?"
"I did better to obey and serve my Sovereign Lord, who is God. Had I dared to do it, I would sooner have done it at the request of these ladies than of any other ladies in France, excepting my Queen."
"When God revealed it to you that you should change your dress, was it by the voice of Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, or Saint Margaret?"
"You shall not have anything more at present."
"When your King first set you to work, and when you had your banner made, did not the men-at-arms and others have their pennons made in the style of yours?"
"It is well to know that the Lords retained their own arms. Some of my companions-in-arms had them made at their pleasure; others not."
"Of what material did they have them made? Of linen or of cloth?"
"It was of white satin; and on some there were fleur-de-lys. In my company I had only two or three lances. But my companions-in-arms now and then had them made like mine. They only did this to know their men from others."
"Did they often renew these pennons?"
"I do not know. When the lances were broken, they had new ones made."
"Have you sometimes said that the pennons which were like yours would be fortunate?"
"I sometimes said to my followers: 'Go in boldly among the English!' and I myself did likewise."
"Did you tell them to carry themselves boldly, and they would be fortunate?"
"I have certainly told them what has happened and what will yet happen."
"Did you put, or did you ever cause to be put, Holy Water on the pennons when they were carried for the first time?"
"I know nothing of it; and if that were done, it was not by my order."
"Did you never see any sprinkled?"
"That is not in your Case. If I ever did see any sprinkled, I am advised not to answer about it."
"Did your companions-in-arms never put on their pennons 'Jhesus Maria'?"
"By my faith! I do not know."
"Have you not yourself carried cloth, or caused it to be carried, in procession round an altar or a church, and afterwards employed this cloth for pennons?"
"No; and I never saw it done."
51The Sieur de Pressy, in Artois. Present in the Burgundian camp when Joan was taken prisoner, and afterwards at Arras, where she was imprisoned on her way from Beaurevoir to Rouen. The questions seem to suggest that Beaupère had before him some information which has not come down to us.
"When you were before Jargeau, what did you bear at the back of your helmet? Was it not something round?"52
"By my faith! there was nothing."
52This may perhaps refer to a popular belief in a halo, as of a Saint, surrounding the Maid's head. [The implication here, very clearly, is that she had engaged in fakery, that she had attached something "halo-like," intended to mislead, to the back of her helmet.]
"Did you ever know Brother Richard?"53
"I had not seen him when I came before Troyes."
"What countenance did Brother Richard give you?"
"I suppose after the fashion of the town of Troyes who sent him to me, saying that they feared Joan was not a thing that came to them from God. When he approached me, Brother Richard made the sign of the Cross and sprinkled Holy Water; and I said to him, 'Approach boldly, I shall not fly away!'"
"Have you never seen, nor had made, any images or picture of yourself and in your likeness?"
53Brother Richard, a Mendicant Friar; some say, Augustan; some, Cordelier. He was preaching in Paris and the neighbourhood in 1428-9; and said, amongst other things, in a sermon at Sainte Géneviève, April 16th, 1419, that "strange things would happen in 1430." He professed to have been in Jerusalem; and his sermons were so popular that congregations were found to listen to him for 10 or 11 hours, from 5 o'clock in the morning! He was driven out of Paris by the English and went to Troyes, where he joined the Maid.
"I saw at Arras a painting in the hands of a Scot: it was like me. I was represented fully armed, presenting a letter to my King, one knee on the ground. I have never seen, nor had made, any other image or painting in my likeness."54
"In the house of your host at Orleans, was there not a picture in which was painted three women, with these words: 'Justice, Peace, Union'?"
"I know nothing about it."
"Do you not know that the people of your party had services, masses, and prayers offered for you?"
"I know nothing of it; if they had any service, it was not by my order; but if they prayed for me, my opinion is they did not do ill."
"Did those of your party firmly believe that you were sent from God?"
"I do not know if they believed it, and in this I refer to their own feeling in this matter. But even though they do not believe, yet am I sent from God."
"Do you not think they have a good belief, if they believe this?"
"If they think that I am sent from God, they will not be deceived."
"In what spirit did the people of your party kiss your hands and your garments?"
"Many came to see me willingly, but they kissed my hands as little as I could help. The poor folk came to me readily, because I never did them any unkindness: on the contrary, I loved to help them."
"What honour did the people of Troyes do you on your entry?"
"None at all. Brother Richard, so far as I remember, entered at the same time as I and our people; I do not recall seeing him at the entry."
"Did he not preach a sermon on your arrival in the town?"
"I did not stop there at all, and did not even sleep there: I know nothing of his sermon."
"Were you many days at Rheims?"
"We were there, I believe, five or six days."
"Did you not act there as Godmother?" [lever d'enfant."]
54No absolutely authentic portraits of Joan are known. A head of fine work, the portrait of a young girl wearing a casque and of Joan's time, is at the Musée Historique at Orleans. Tradition asserts that when Joan entered Orleans in triumph with the relieving force a sculptor modelled the head of his statue of St. Maurice from Joan herself. This head is a portion of the statue which formerly stood in the church at Orleans dedicated to St. Maurice. The church was demolished in 1850.... An admirable copy maybe seen at the Musée du Trocadéro in Paris [now the Musée de l'homme]...the original is at Orleans, the copy in Paris.
"At Troyes I did, to one child. At Rheims, I do not remember it, nor at Château-Thierry. I was Godmother twice at Saint-Denis, in France. Usually, I gave to the boys the name of Charles, in honor of my King; and to the girls, Jeanne [Joan].54 At other times, I gave such names as pleased the mothers."
"Did not the good women of the town touch with their rings that which you wore on your finger?"
"Many women touched my hands and my rings; but I know nothing of their feelings nor their intention."
"Who of your people, before Château-Thierry, caught butterflies in your standard?"
"My people never did such a thing: it is your side who have invented it."
"What did you do at Rheims with the gloves with which your King was consecrated?"
54[It was an unexceptional custom for a god-parent to name a child after himself or herself, and Joan was herself named after two of her three god-mothers.]
"There were favors of gloves for the knights and nobles at Rheims. There was one who lost his gloves; I did not say he would find them again. My standard has been in the Church of Rheims; and it seems to me it was near the altar.55 I myself bore it for a space there. I do not know if Brother Richard held it."
"When you were going through the country, did you often receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist in the good towns?"
"Yes, from, time to time."
"Did you receive the said Sacraments in man's dress?"
"Yes; but I do not remember ever to have received them armed."
Why did you take the horse of the Bishop of Senlis?"
55The Latin text adds "dum rex suus consecraretur." Tradition asserts that at the Coronation Joan stood on the left and slightly in front of the altar, coming direct from the sacristy of the cathedral. The coronation throne stood in front of the high altar. The cathedral and its painted glass exist as at the Coronation, with the exception of some comparatively recent stonework surrounding the choir. The Coronation of the Kings of France has taken place at Rheims Cathedral since the twelfth century. The King was not to all intents King of France until he had been anointed by the Holy Oil, brought in great state to the cathedral from the more ancient church of St. Remi.
An inscription on the front of the Hotel Maison Rouge, situated near the west entrance of the cathedral, states that the town entertained Joan's father and mother in that house during the Coronation.
[These favors would be gifts from the king on the occasion; the nobles would have been expected to give rather more substantial gifts at this time.]
"It was bought for 200 Saluts.56 If he received these saluts, I do not know. There was a place fixed which they were to be paid. I wrote to him that he might have his horse back if he wished; as for me, I did not wish it, because it was worth nothing for weight-carrying."
"How old was the child you visited at Lagny?"
"The child was three days old. It was brought before the image of Our Lady. They told me that the young girls of the village were before this image, and that I might wish to go also and pray God and Our Lady to give life to this infant. I went and prayed with them. At last, life returned to the child, who yawned three times, and was then baptized; soon after, it died, and was buried in consecrated ground. It was three days, they said, since life had departed from the child; it was as black as my coat; when it yawned, the color began to return to it. I was with the other young girls, praying and kneeling before Our Lady."57
"Did they not say in the village that it was done through you, and at your prayer?"
"I did not enquire about it."
"Have you ever seen or known Catherine de La Rochelle?"
"Yes, at Jargeau and at Montfaucon in Berry."
"Did not Catherine sh0w you a lady, robed in white, who, she said, sometimes appeared to her?"
"What did this Catherine say to you?"
"That a white lady came to her, dressed in cloth-of-gold, who told her to go through the good cities with heralds and trumpets which the King would give to her, and proclaim that any one who had gold, silver, or any concealed treasure should bring it immediately: that those who did not do so, and who had anything hidden, she would know, and would be able to discover the treasure. With these treasures, she told me, she would pay my men-at-arms. I told Catherine that she should return to her husband, look after her home, and bring up her children.
And in order to have some certainty as to her mission, I spoke of it, either to Saint Catherine or to Saint Margaret, who told me that the mission of this Catherine was mere folly and nothing else. I wrote to the King as to what he should do about it; and, when I afterwards went to him, I told him that this mission of Catherine was only folly and nothing more. Nevertheless, Brother Richard wished to set her to work; therefore were they both displeased with me,---Brother Richard and she."
"Did you never speak with the said Catherine on the project of going to La Charité-sur-Loire?"
57[Again, what Joan did was unobjectionable, and because she put it in terms of prayer to Mary, if there was a miracle, it could be credited to Mary and not to her. Any Christian could pray for any lawful purpose (the dead baby could not be baptized, so its resurrection to permit its baptism was important).]
"She did not advise me to go there: it was too cold, and she would not go. She told me she wished to visit the Duke of Burgundy in order to make peace. I told her it seemed to me that peace would be found only at the end of the lance. I asked her if this white lady who appeared to her came to her every night? and I said that, to see her, I would sleep one night with her in the same bed. I went to bed; I watched till midnight; I saw nothing, and then went to sleep. When morning came, I asked her if the White Lady had come. 'Yes, Joan,' she answered me, 'while you were asleep she came; and I could not awaken you.' Then I asked her if she would come again the following night. 'Yes,' she told me. For this reason I slept by day that I might be able to watch the night following. I went to bed with Catherine; watched all the night following: but saw nothing, although I asked her often, 'Will she never come?' and she always answered me, 'Yes, in a moment.'"58
58[This is precisely the problem church authorities worried about in relation to Joan's behavior. She could seem to authorize other women to make similar claims, and in this case, clearly did.]
"What did you do in the trenches of La Charité?"59
"I made an assault there; but I neither threw, nor caused to be thrown, Holy Water by way of aspersion."
"Why did you not enter La Charité, if you had command from God to do so?"
"Who told you I had God's command for it?"
"Did you not have counsel of your Voice?"
"I wished to go into France. The men-at-arms told me it was better to go first to La Charité."
"Were you a long time in the Tower at Beaurevoir?"
59November 9th, 1429.
"About four months. When I knew that the English were come to take me, I was very angry; nevertheless, my Voices forbade me many times to leap, In the end, for fear of the English, I leaped, and commended myself to God and Our Lady. I was wounded. When I had leaped, the Voice of Saint Catherine said to me I was to be of good cheer,60 for those at Compiègne would have succor. I prayed always for those at Compiègne with my Counsel."
"What did you say when you had leaped?"
"Some said I was dead. As soon as the Burgundians saw I was alive, they reproached me with having leapt."
"Did you not say then, that you would rather die than be in the hands of the English?"
"I said I would rather give up my soul to God than be in the hands of the English."
"Were you not then very angry, to the extent of blaspheming the Name of God?"
"Never have I cursed any of the Saints; and it is not my habit to swear."
60The Minute adds: "and I should be cured."
"On the subject of Soissons61 and the Captain who surrendered the town, did you not blaspheme God, and say, if you got hold of this Captain you would have him cut in quarters?"
|61Surrendered July 22nd.|
"I have never blasphemed any of the Saints; those who say so have misunderstood."
This done, Joan was conducted back to the place which had been assigned as her prison.
The Bishop decrees that the Inquiries, if any are thought necessary, shall henceforth be made in private.
Afterwards, We, the Bishop, did say that, in pursuing this Process and without in any way discontinuing it, We would call before Us some Doctors and Masters, experts in law, religious and civil, in order, by them, to gather up and collect what shall seem to them of a nature to be gathered up and collected, in Joan's Declarations, as these have already been established by her own answers set down in writing. Their labor ended, if there should remain any points, on the which it would seem Joan should submit to more full enquiry, We will make, for this supplementary examination, choice of certain Doctors; and in this manner We shall not fatigue all and each of the Masters, who, at this moment, assist Us in such great numbers. These new enquiries shall also be put into writing, in order that the above-named Doctors and other approved men of science may deliberate and furnish their opinion and advice at the right moment. In the meantime, We invite all the Assessors to study at home the Process, and what they have already gathered from it; to search out the consequences of which the affair is susceptible; and to submit the result of their deliberations either to Us, or to the Doctors who shall be appointed by Us---if they do not prefer rather to reserve themselves for the time and place when they shall have deliberated in full maturity; and to give their opinion on full knowledge of the Process.
Nine private examinations followed the public interrogations. The judges seem to have at this point preferred private examinations over public ones, which seem to have been proving unsatisfactory, that is, Joan admitted to unusual behavior but not heretical behavior, the only behavior the church could try her for. These private interrogations led to her to speak more extensively about her visions, but she did not admit to witchcraft or heresy in them.
The examinations, which were a king of private trial, were followed by a more formal, public trial, where the charges were read and Joan was admonished and preached to and urged to recant. Eventually, she agreed to do so. Her sentence and recantation appear below.
Our sentence had thus been already read, in great part, when Joan did begin to speak and said:62
|62There is no note as to when Joan interrupted the Bishop. The Latin gives no hint. It is probable that, during the reading of the sentence, Érard and Loiseleur were trying to induce Joan to recant and sign the schedule, and that her abjuration was the result of their endeavors, not of the Bishop's..|
"I will hold all that the Church ordains, all that you, the Judges, wish to say and decree in all I will refer me to your orders!"63
Then many times did she say:
"Inasmuch as the Clergy decide that the apparitions and revelations which I have had are not to be maintained or believed, I will not believe nor maintain them; in all I refer me to you and to our Holy Mother Church!"
Then, in the presence of all the afore named, in presence of an immense number of people and Clergy, she did make and utter her recantation and abjuration, following a formula written in French, which was read to her; a formula which she did pronounce herself, and the schedule of which she did sign with her own hand, and of which the tenor follows:
"All who have erred and been mistaken in the Christian Faith and, by the grace of God, have since returned into the light of truth and the unity of Our Holy Mother Church, should well guard themselves that the Evil One doth not drive them back and cause them to relapse into error and damnation. For this cause, I, Joan, commonly called the Maid, a miserable sinner, after that I had recognized the snares of error in the which I was held, and [after] that, by the grace of God, I had returned to our Holy Mother Church, in order that it may be seen that, not feigningly but with a good heart and good will, I have returned thereto; I confess that I have most grievously sinned, in pretending untruthfully to have had revelations and apparitions from God, from the Angels, and Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret; in seducing others; in believing foolishly and lightly; in making superstitious divinations; in blaspheming God and His Saints; in breaking the Divine Law, Holy Scripture, and the lawful Canons; in wearing a dissolute habit, misshapen and immodest and against the propriety of nature, and hair clipped 'en ronde' in the style of a man, against all the modesty of the feminine sex; also, in bearing arms in great presumption; in cruelly desiring the effusion of human blood; in saying that all these things I did by the command of God, the Angels, and the aforesaid Saints, and that in these things I did well and was not mistaken; in despising God and His Sacraments; in making seditions; and in being idolatrous, by adoring evil spirits and invoking them. I confess also that I have been schismatic and in many ways have erred from the Faith. The which crimes and errors, from my heart and without lying, I--by the grace of Our Lord, returned into the way of truth, by the holy doctrine and good counsel of you and the Doctors and Masters who have conveyed it to me---abjure as blasphemy and renounce them all, and depart therefrom. And upon all these things aforesaid I submit to the correction, disposal, amendment, and entire decision of our Holy Mother Church and of your good justice. Also I swear and promise to you, to my Lord Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, to our Holy Father the Pope of Rome, his Vicar, and his successors, and to you, my Lords, the reverend Father in God my Lord the Bishop of Beauvais, the religious person, Brother Jean Lemaître, Deputy of my Lord the Inquisitor of the Faith, as my judges, that never, by any exhortation or other manner, will I return to the aforesaid errors, from which it has pleased Our Lord to deliver and take me; but always I will remain in union with our Holy Mother Church and in the obedience of our Holy Father the Pope of Rome. And this I say, affirm, and swear, by God Almighty and by the Holy Gospels.
"And in sign of this, I have signed this schedule with my signature. (Signed thus): Jehanne †."
After her revocation and her abjuration had been, as has just been said, received by us, the Judges, We, the Bishop, did finally deliver our sentence in these terms:
[The sentence then follows as given above up to the words "your Trial," and then proceeds:]
...all that therein occurred, principally your answers, your avowals, and your affirmations; after having seen the most renowned decision of the faculties of Theology and Decrees of the University of Paris; after having also seen the decision of the entire University and the numerous Resolutions of so many Prelates, Doctors, and other Masters, who at Rouen or elsewhere have sent in such great numbers their assertions as to your sayings and deeds; after having had, upon this, advice and mature deliberation of so many Doctors zealous for the Christian Faith; after having weighed and considered all that there is to weigh and consider of what is in the nature of enlightenment; having before our eyes Christ and the honour of the Orthodox Faith, so that our judgment may emanate even from the face of Our Lord: we, the judges, say and decree: that you, Joan, have deeply sinned in pretending untruthfully that your revelations and apparitions are of God; in seducing others; in believing lightly and rashly; in making superstitious divinations; in blaspheming God and the Saints; in prevaricating as to the law, Holy Scripture, and the Canonical sanctions; in despising God in His Sacraments; in fomenting seditions and revolts; in apostatizing; in encouraging the crime of heresy; in erring on numerous points in the Catholic Faith.
But because that, after being many times charitably admonished and long waited for, you have at last, with the help of God, returned into the bosom of the Church, your Holy Mother, with contrite heart, and have openly revoked your errors; because, having solemnly and publicly cast these far from you, you have abjured them by the words of your own mouth, together with the heresy with which you were charged: We declare you set free by these presents, according to the form appointed by Ecclesiastical sanction, from the bonds of excommunications which held you enchained, charging you to return to the Church with a true heart and sincere faith, and to observe what has been already enjoined you and what shall yet be enjoined you by us.
But because you have sinned rashly against God and Holy Church, We condemn you, finally, definitely and for salutary penance, saving Our grace and moderation, to perpetual imprisonment, with the bread of sorrow and the water of affliction, in order that you may bewail your faults, and that you may no more commit [acts] which you shall have to bewail hereafter.
Exhortation made to Joan by the Deputy Inquisitor, in Prison.
And the same day, Thursday, May 24th, in the afternoon, We, Brother Jean Lemaître, the aforesaid Deputy, assisted by the Lords and Masters N. Midi, N. Loyseleur, Thomas de Courcelles, Brother Ysambard de la Pierre, and several others, We did repair to the place in the prison where Joan was to be found.
We, and the persons assisting us, did set forth before her how God had on this day had mercy on her, and how the Clergy had shown themselves merciful in receiving her to the Grace and pardon of Holy Mother Church. In return, it was right that she, Joan, should obey with humility the sentence and orders of the judges and the Ecclesiastics; that she should wholly give up her errors and all her inventions, never to return to them: because, in case she should return to them, the Church could no longer admit her to pardon, and must abandon her altogether. We told her to leave off her man's dress and to take a woman's garments, as the Church had ordered her.
In all our observations Joan did reply that she would willingly take woman's garments, and that in all things she would obey the Church.
Woman's garments having been offered to her, she at once dressed herself in them, after having taken off the man's dress she was wearing; and her hair, which up to this time had been cut "en ronde" above her ears, she desired, and permitted them to shave and take away.
Monday, May 28th, the day following Trinity Sunday.
We, the aforesaid judges, repaired to the place of Joan's prison, to learn the state and disposition of her soul. There were found with us the Lords and Masters Nicolas de Venderès, Guillaume Haiton, Thomas de Courcelles, Brother Ysambard de la Pierre; witnesses, Jacques Cannes, Nicolas Bertin, Julien Floquet and John Gris.
|63The Latin reading is, "Ante finem sententiae, Johanna, timens ignem, dixit se velle obedire ecclesiae."|
And because Joan was dressed in the dress of a man---that is to say, a short mantle, a hood, a doublet and other effects used by men---although, by our orders, she had, several days before, consented to give up these garments, we asked her when and for what reason she had resumed this dress.64
She answered us:
"I have but now resumed the dress of a man and put off the woman's dress."
"Why did you take it, and who made you take it?"
"I took it of my own free will, and with no constraint: I prefer a man's dress to a woman's dress."
"You promised and swore not to resume a man's dress."
"I never meant to swear that I would not resume it."
"Why have you resumed it?"
"Because it is more lawful and suitable for me to resume it and to wear man's dress, being with men, than to have a woman's dress. I have resumed it because the promise made to me has not been kept; that is to say, that I should go to Mass and should receive my Saviour and that I should be taken out of irons."
"Did you not abjure and promise not to resume this dress?"
|64Several versions of the reasons which caused Joan to resume the forbidden dress were given in the evidence taken at the Rehabilitation, all purporting to have come from her. According to Massieu, her woman's dress was taken away while she was asleep, and the English soldiers refused to give it back to her, offering in its stead the man's dress she had previously worn, 'which they emptied from a sack.' She refused to wear it reminding them that it was forbidden her; but at last, at midday, finding them deaf to her remonstrance, she was obliged to rise and attire herself in the prohibited garments. The Dominican Brothers declared that she had been assaulted by an English milord, as she told them, and that she therefore considered it necessary to return to the protection of her old dress; but considering the type of soldier in whose care she was placed there seems no need to seek for any further explanation than her own, as given in the text, and as later corroborated by Manchon and De Courcelles. In the Rehabilitation Enquiry, both Jean de Metz and de Poulengey claim to have suggested the male attire. At Poitiers, Joan herself stated that she had adopted it as most suitable to her work and the company she must share.|
"I would rather die than be in irons! but if I am allowed to go to Mass, and am taken out of irons and put into a gracious prison, and [may have a woman for companion65] I will be good, and do as the Church wills."
And as We, the Judges, heard from several persons that she had returned to her old illusions on the subject of her pretended revelations, We put to her this question:
"Since last Thursday [the day of her abjuration] have you heard your Voices at all?"
"Yes, I have heard them."
"What did they say to you?"
|65This request is found only in the Minute. [Although she does not state so directly, Joan seems to have been afraid of being raped in prison.]|
"They said to me:66 'God had sent me word by St. Catherine and St. Margaret of the great pity it is, this treason to which I have consented, to abjure and recant in order to save my life! I have damned myself to save my life!' Before last Thursday, my Voices did indeed tell me what I should do and what I did on that day. When I was on the scaffold on Thursday, my Voices said to me, while the preacher was speaking: 'Answer him boldly, this preacher!' And in truth he is a false preacher; he reproached me with many things I never did. If I said that God had not sent me, I should damn myself, for it is true that God has sent me; my Voices have said to me since Thursday: 'You have done a great evil in declaring that what you have done was wrong.' All I said and revoked, I said for fear of the fire."
"Do you believe that your Voices are Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret?"
"Yes, I believe it, and that they come from God."
"Tell us the truth on the subject of this crown which is mentioned in your Trial."
"In everything, I told you the truth about it in my Trial, as well as I know."
"On the scaffold, at the moment of your abjuration, you did admit before us, your judges, and before many others, in presence of all the people, that you had untruthfully boasted your Voices to be Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret."
"I did not intend so to do or say. I did not intend to deny my apparitions---that is to say, that they were Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret; what I said was from fear of the fire: I revoked nothing that was not against the truth. I would rather do penance once for all---that is die---than endure any longer the suffering of a prison. I have done nothing against God or the Faith, in spite of all they have made me revoke. What was in the schedule of abjuration I did not understand. I did not intend to revoke anything except according to God's good pleasure. If the judges wish, I will resume a woman's dress; for the rest, I can do no more."
After hearing this, We retired from her, to act and proceed later according to law and reason.
The next day, Tuesday, May 29 th, in the Chapel of the Archiepiscopal Manor of Rouen, the judges and 40 Assessors present.
We, the Bishop, did, in presence of all the above-named, set forth that, after the Sitting held by Us in this same place, on Saturday, May 19th, the Eve of Whitsunday, We had, by the advice of the Assessors, caused Joan to be admonished on the following Wednesday, and had made known to her in detail the divers points on which, according to the decision of the University of Paris, she must be considered to have fallen short and erred; We caused her to be exhorted in the most lively manner to abandon her errors, and to return into the way of truth; up to the last moment she refused to agree to these admonitions and these exhortations, and would say nothing more; the Promoter, on his side, asserted that he had nothing more to bring forward against her. We then pronounced the closing of the Case, and summoned the parties on the following day, Thursday, 24th May next, to hear the law pronounced, all whereof is proved by the documents of the Process Verbal transcribed above.
Afterwards, We did recall what had passed on Thursday, May 24th; how Joan, after having on that day received a solemn preachment and numerous admonitions, did end by signing with her own hand her revocation and abjuration; the whole whereof is at greater length recounted in the preceding document. We did add that, in the afternoon of the same day, the Deputy Inquisitor, Our Coadjutor, did go to seek her in her prison, and did charitably admonish her to persist in her good purpose and to guard herself well against any relapse. Obeying the orders of the Church, Joan did then put off the dress she was wearing, and take that of a woman; all whereof has been likewise set forth at greater length as to time and place.
But since that day, driven by the Devil, behold! she has, in the presence of many persons, declared anew that her Voices and the spirits that appeared to her have returned to her, and have said many things to her; and, casting away her woman's dress she has again taken male garments. As soon as We, the judges, did receive information of this lapse, We were eager to return to her and to question her.
And then, in presence of all the above-named, in the said Chapel of the Archiepiscopal Manor of Rouen, We, the Bishop, did order to be read the declarations and affirmations which Joan pronounced yesterday before us, and which are reproduced above.
After this reading had been made, We asked advice and counsel thereon from the Assessors. Each one has given his opinion, as follows:---
Maitre Nicolas de Venderès: Joan should be considered a heretic: the sentence declaring her to be so, once given by Us, the judges, she should be abandoned to the secular authority, which should be prayed to act towards her with gentleness. ["Rogando eam ut cum velit mite agere," the usual formula for victims sent to the stake.]
The Reverend Father in Christ, the Lord Gilles, Abbot of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Fécamp: Joan is relapsed. Nevertheless, it would be well that the schedule containing her last answers, which has just been read, should be read anew and set forth to her, reminding her once more of the Word of God; afterwards, We, the Judges, should declare her a heretic and abandon her to the secular authority, praying this authority to deal gently with her.
[The remainder of the Assessors agreed in general with this opinion of the Abbot of Fécamp; some added that she should be again charitably admonished, in regard to the salvation of her soul, and should be told that she had nothing further to expect as to her earthly life.]
After having gathered this advice, We, the Judges, did thank the Assessors, and gave orders, that Joan should be afterwards proceeded against, as relapsed, according to law and reason. Mandate citing Joan to appear on Wednesday, May 30th.
"Pierre, by the Divine Mercy Bishop of Beauvais, and Jean Lemaître, Deputy of Maître Jean Graverend, renowned Doctor, appointed by the Holy See Inquisitor of the Evil of Heresy in the Kingdom of France; to all public Priests, to all Curés of this town and of any other place wherever it be in the Diocese of Rouen, to each of them in particular, according as it shall be required: Greeting in Our Saviour. For the causes and reasons to be elsewhere deduced at greater length, a certain woman of the name of Joan, commonly called the Maid, having fallen into errors against the Orthodox Faith-errors which she has publicly abjured before the Church, and to which she has returned---as is established and proved by her avowals and assertions: We command to all of you and to each in particular, by this requisition, without the one waiting for the other, or excusing himself by another, that you cite the said Joan to appear before Us in person to-morrow, at the hour of 8 o'clock in the morning, at Rouen, in the place called the Old Market, in order that she maybe declared by us relapsed, excommunicate, and heretic, with the intimation that it shall be done to her as is customary in such cases.
"Given in the Chapel of the Archiepiscopal Manor of Rouen, Tuesday, May 29th, the year of Our Lord, 1431."
On the following day, Wednesday, 30th of May, Joan, by virtue of the preceding mandate from Us, was cited for the same day, in order to hear the law pronounced, as is proved at greater length by the tenour of the following relation, done for us by the Executor of our mandates:
|66In the margin, the Registrar has written against this answer: "Responsio mortifera." ["A deadly response.].|
"To the reverend Father and Lord in Christ, the Lord Pierre, by the Divine Mercy Bishop of Beauvais, and to the venerable and religious person Brother Jean Lemaître, Deputy of Maître Jean Graverend, renowned Doctor, by order of the Holy Apostolic See Inquisitor of the Faith and of the Evil of Heresy in the Kingdom of France: your humble Jean Massieu, Priest, Dean of the Christendom of Rouen67 sends earnest Greeting, with all protestations of obedience and respect. This is to inform your Reverend Paternities, that I, Massieu, in virtue of your mandate sent to me, to which these presents will be annexed, have cited, speaking to her in person, this woman, commonly called the Maid, to appear before you this day, Wednesday, May 30th, at the hour of eight in the morning, at Rouen, in the place of the Old Market, according to the form and tenour of your said mandate, and to that which I have been ordered to do. All the which, thus done by me, I signify to your Reverend Paternities by these presents, signed by my seal.
"Given in the year of Our Lord 1431, on the aforesaid Wednesday, at 7 o'clock in the morning.
SENTENCE OF DEATH
Final Sentence given before the People, Wednesday, May 30th, towards 9 o'clock in the morning
We, the judges, repaired to the place of the Old Market, in Rouen, near the Church of Saint Sauveur.
We were assisted by the reverend Fathers in Christ the Lords Bishops of Thérouanne and Noyon; and by a number of other Lords, Masters, and ecclesiastical personages.
Before Us was brought the said Joan, in presence of the people, assembled in this place in an immense multitude.
She was placed upon a scaffold or platform.
For her wholesome admonition and for the edification of the whole multitude, a solemn address was made by the renowned Doctor, Nicolas Midi, who took for his text those words of the Apostle in the first Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter xii., "If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it."
|67An appointment equivalent to a Rural Dean.|
This address ended, We, the Bishop, did once more admonish Joan to look to her salvation, to reflect on her misdeeds, to repent of them, to have a true contrition for them. We exhorted her to believe hereon the opinion of the Clergy, of the notable persons who have taught and instructed her on all that treats of her salvation. We did particularly exhort her to believe the good advice of the two venerable Dominicans68 who were at that moment beside her, and whom we had sent to her to converse with her up to the last moment and to furnish her in all surety with wholesome admonitions and counsels profitable to her salvation.
Afterwards, We, the Bishop and Vicar aforesaid, having regard to all that has gone before, in which it is shewn that this woman has never truly abandoned her errors, her obstinate temerity, nor her unheard-of crimes; that she has even shewn the malice of her diabolical obstinacy in this deceitful semblance of contrition, penitence, and amendment; malice rendered still more damnable by perjury of the Holy Name of God and blasphemy of His ineffable Majesty; considering her on all these grounds obstinate, incorrigible, heretic, relapsed into heresy, and altogether unworyour of the grace and of the Communion which, by our former sentence, We did mercifully accord to her; all of which being seen and considered, after mature deliberation and counsel of .a great number of Doctors, We have at last proceeded to the Final Sentence in these terms:
In the Name of the Lord: Amen.
At all times when the poisoned virus of heresy attaches itself with persistence to a member of the Church and transforms him into a member of Satan, extreme care should be taken to watch that the horrible contagion of this pernicious leprosy do not gain other parts of the mystic Body of Christ. The decisions of the holy Fathers have willed that hardened heretics should be separated from the midst of the just, so that to the great peril of others this homicidal viper should not be warmed in the bosom of pious Mother Church. It is for this that We, Pierre, by the Divine Mercy, Bishop of Beauvais, and We, Brother Jean Lemaître, Deputy of the renowned Doctor, Jean Graverend, Inquisitor of the Evil of Heresy, specially delegated by him for this Process, both judges competent,in this Trial, already, by a just judgment, have declared this woman fallen into divers errors and divers crimes of schism, idolatry, invocation of demons and many others. But because the Church closes not her bosom to the child who returns to her, we did think that, with a pure spirit and a faith unfeigned, you had put far from you your errors and your crimes, considering that on a certain day you did renounce them and did publicly swear, vow, and promise never to return to your errors and heresies, to resist all temptations, and to remain faithfully attached to the unity of the Catholic Church and the communion of the Roman Pontiff, as is proved at greater length in a writing signed by your own hand. But after this abjuration of your errors, the Author of Schism and Heresy has arisen in your heart, which he has once more seduced, and it has become manifest by your spontaneous confessions and assertions---O, shame!---that, as the dog returns again to his vomit, so have you returned to your errors and crimes; and it has been proved to us in a most certain manner that you have renounced your guilty inventions and your errors only in a lying manner, not in a sincere and faithful spirit. For these causes, declaring you fallen again into your old errors, and under the sentence of excommunication which you have formerly incurred, WE DECREE THAT YOU ARE A RELAPSED HERETIC, by our present sentence which, seated in tribunal, we utter and pronounce in this writing; we denounce you as a rotten member, and that you may not vitiate others, as cast out from the unity of the Church, separate from her Body, abandoned to the secular power as, indeed, by these presents, we do cast you off, separate and abandon you;---praying this same secular power, so far as concerns death and the mutilation of the limbs, to moderate its judgment towards you, and, if true signs of penitence should appear in you, [to permit] that the Sacrament of Penance be administered to you.
Here follows the Sentence of Excommunication, [the introductory part being word for word the same as the previous sentence, read on May 24th, up to the words "We, the judges, say and decree"; after which follows:] ...that you have been on the subject of your pretended divine revelations and apparitions lying, seducing, pernicious, presumptuous, lightly believing, rash, superstitious, a divineress and blasphemer towards God and the Saints, a despiser of God Himself in His Sacraments; a prevaricator of the Divine Law, of sacred doctrine and of ecclesiastical sanctions; seditious, cruel, apostate, schismatic, erring on many points of our Faith, and by all these means rashly guilty towards God and Holy Church. And also, because that often, very often, not only by Us on Our part but by Doctors and Masters learned and expert, full of zeal for the salvation of your soul, you have been duly and sufficiently warned to amend, to correct yourself and to submit to the disposal, decision, and correction of Holy Mother Church, which you have not willed, and have always obstinately refused to do, having even expressly and many times refused to submit yourself to our lord the Pope and to the General Council; for these causes, as hardened and obstinate in your crimes, excesses and errors, WE DECLARE YOU OF RIGHT EXCOMMUNICATE AND HERETIC; and after your errors have been destroyed in a public preaching, We declare that you must be abandoned and that We do abandon you to the secular authority, as a member of Satan, separate from the Church, infected with the leprosy of heresy, in order that you may not corrupt also the other members of Christ; praying this same power, that, as concerns death and the mutilation of the limbs, it may be pleased to moderate its judgment; and if true signs of penitence should appear in you, that the Sacrament of Penance may be administered to you.
"I, Boisguillaume, Priest, Registrar above qualified, affirm that I have duly collated the foregoing document with the original Minute of the Process; for which reason I have marked this present copy with my sign manual, the which will be done after me by the two other Registrars, I signing in this place with my own hand.
"And I, Guillaume Manchon, Priest, of the Diocese of Rouen, Apostolic and Imperial Notary, I affirm that I assisted in the collation made of the aforesaid Process, with the Registrars signed above and below; I affirm that this collation of the present copy with the original Minute of the Process has been duly made. For which, in the same way as the two other Registrars, I have subscribed the present copy with my own hand, affixing thereto my sign-manual, to this required.
"And I, Nicholas Taquel, Priest of the Diocese of Rouen, sworn Imperial Public Notary and of the Archiepiscopal Court of Rouen, called as Registrar to a part of the foregoing Process, I affirm that I have seen and heard the present copy collated with the original register of the said Process; I affirm that this collation has been duly made. For which, with the two other Registrars preceding, I have subscribed with my own hand the present Process, affixing thereto, here, my sign-manual, to this required.
(Signed) "N. TAQUEL."
[Here follow the seals of the two judges, marked in red wax on the original copies of the Process, prepared to the number of five.]
After Joan's execution, a number of further depositions were taken, all from members of the clergy, as to her state of mind. The purpose seems to have been to determine whether or not she was crazy, for her execution would have been legal only if she were sane.
There matters rested until 1450, when the first of the rehabilitation inquiries took place. Joan's family and friends had been agitating for some time to have her case reopened, but politically, this was difficult earlier. In 1450, most of France was once again under French control, and Charles VII had captured Rouen, where Joan had died. The investigator was the Rector of the University of Paris, whose theological faculty held a special place in the medieval world, authorized by a letter of Commission from the king. The conclusion drawn from these early depositions was that Joan's condemnation had been illegal, but the matter did not go forward into the ecclesiastical courts which had been responsible for her condemnation. Some of the testimony from that inquiry is given below. The inquiry was carried out and written down in French.
|68Brothers Ysambard de la Pierre and Martin Ladvenu..|
BROTHER JEAN TOUTMOUILLÉ, of the Order of
Saint Dominic, (Examined, 5th day of March), 1449.69
The day when Joan was delivered up to be burned, I was in the prison during the morning with Brother Martin Ladvenu, whom the Bishop of Beauvais had sent to her to announce her approaching death, and to induce in her true contrition and penitence, and also to hear her in confession. This the said Ladvenu did most carefully and charitably; and when he announced to the poor woman the death she must die that day, as the Judge had ordained, and she heard of the hard and cruel death which was approaching, she began, in a sad and pitiful manner, as one distraught, tearing her hair, to cry out: "Alas! am I to be so horribly and cruelly treated? Alas! that my body, whole and entire, which has never been corrupted, should to-day be consumed and burned to ashes! Ah! I would far rather have my head cut off, seven times over, than be thus burned! Alas! had I been in the ecclesiastical prison, to which I submitted myself, and guarded by the Clergy instead of by my enemies, it would not have fallen out so unhappily for me. I appeal to God, the Great Judge, for the great evils and injustice done to me!"
After these complaints, the aforesaid Bishop arrived, to whom she at once said: "Bishop, I die through you." And he began to explain to her, saying: "Ah! Joan, have patience; you die because you have not kept to what you promised us, and for having returned to your first evil-doing." And the poor Maid answered him: "Alas, if you had put me in the prisons of the Church Courts, and given me into the hands of competent and suitable ecclesiastical guardians, this would not have happened: for this I summon you before God."
This done, I went out, and heard no more.
BROTHER YSAMBARD DE LA PIERRE, of the Order of
Saint Dominic, of the Convent at Rouen.
After she had recanted and abjured, and had resumed the dress of a man, I and many others were present when Joan excused herself for having dressed again as a man, saying and affirming publicly, that the English had done or caused to be done to her great wrong and violence, when she was wearing a woman's dress; and, in truth, I saw her weeping, her face covered with tears, disfigured and outraged in such sort that I was full of pity and compassion.
When Joan was proclaimed an obstinate and relapsed heretic, she replied publicly before all who were present: "If you, my Lords of the Church, had placed me and kept me in your prisons, perchance I should not have been in this way."
|69[Until the end of the sixteenth century, the year did not generally begin on January 1 in most parts of Europe, but on various dates, usually March 25 (the Feast of the Annunciation).].|
After the conclusion and end of this session and trial, the Lord Bishop of Beauvais said to the English who were waiting outside: "Farewell!70 be of good cheer; it is done."
Such difficult, subtle, and crafty questions were asked of and propounded to poor Joan, that the great clerics and learned people present would have found it hard to reply; and at [these questions] many of those present murmured.
|70The word is given in English in the text. Cauchon prided himself on his knowledge of this language.|
I was there myself with the Bishop of Avranches,71 an aged and good ecclesiastic, who, like the others, had been requested and prayed to give his opinion on this Case. For this, the Bishop summoned me before him, and asked me what Saint Thomas said touching submission to the Church. I sent the decision of Saint Thomas in writing to the Bishop: "In doubtful things, touching the Faith, recourse should always be had to the Pope or a General Council." The good Bishop was of this opinion, and seemed to be far from content with the deliberations that had been made on this subject. His deliberation was not put into writing: it was left out, with bad intent.
After Joan had confessed and partaken of the Sacrament of the Altar, sentence was given against her, and she was declared heretic and excommunicate.
I saw and clearly perceived, because I was there all the time, helping at the whole deduction and conclusion of the Case, that the secular Judge did not condemn her, either to death or to burning; and although the lay and secular Judge had appeared and was present in the same place where she was last preached to and given over to the secular authority, she was, entirely without judgment or conclusion of the said judge, delivered into the hands of the executioner, and burnt---it being said to the executioner, simply and without other sentence, "Do your duty."
Joan had, at the end, so great contrition and such beautiful penitence that it was a thing to be admired, saying such pitiful, devout, and Catholic words, that those who saw her in great numbers wept, and that the Cardinal of England and many other English were forced to weep and to feel compassion.
As I was near her at the end, the poor woman besought and humbly begged me to go into the Church near by and bring her the Cross, to hold it upright on high before her eyes until the moment of death, so that the Cross on which God was hanging might be in life continually before her eyes.
Being in the flames, she ceased not to call in a loud voice the Holy Name of Jesus, imploring and invoking without ceasing the aid of the Saints in Paradise; again, what is more, in giving up the ghost and bending her head, she uttered the Name of Jesus as a sign that she was fervent in the Faith of God, just as we read of Saint Ignatius and of many other Martyrs.
Immediately after the execution, the executioner came to me and to my companion, Brother Martin Ladvenu, stricken and moved with a marvellous repentance and terrible contrition, quite desperate and fearing never to obtain pardon and indulgence from God for what he had done to this holy woman. And the executioner said and affirmed that, notwithstanding the oil, the sulphur, and the charcoal which he had applied to the entrails and heart of the said Joan, in no way had he been able to burn them up, nor reduce to cinders either the entrails or the heart, at which he was much astonished, as a most evident miracle.
BROTHER MARTIN LADVENU, of the Order of Saint
Dominic, and of the Convent of Saint-Jacques at Rouen.
The Maid revealed to me that, after her abjuration and recantation, she was violently treated in the prison, molested, beaten, and ill-used; and that an English lord had insulted her. She also said, publicly, that on this account she had resumed a man's dress; and, towards the end, she said to the Bishop of Beauvais: "Alas! I die through you, for had you given me over to be kept in the prisons of the Church, I should not have been here!"
When she had been finally preached to in the Old Market-Place and abandoned to the secular authority, although the secular judges were seated on the platform, in no way was she condemned by any of these Judges; but, without being condemned, she was forced by two sergeants to come down from the platform and was taken by the said sergeants to the place where she was to be burned, and by them delivered into the hands of the executioner.
And in proof of this, a short time after, one called Georges Folenfant was apprehended on account of the Faith and for the crime of heresy, and was in the same way handed over to the secular justice. In this case, the judges---to wit, Messire Louis de Luxembourg, Archbishop of Rouen, and Brother Guillaume Duval, Deputy of the Inquisitor of the Faith---sent me to the Bailly of Rouen to warn him that the said Georges should not be treated as was the Maid, who, without final sentence or definite judgment, had been burned in the fire.
The executioner, about four hours after the burning, said that he had never been so afraid in executing any criminal as in the burning of the Maid, and for many reasons: first, for her great fame and renown; secondly, for the cruel manner of fastening her to the stake---for the English had caused a high scaffold to be made of plaster, and, as the said executioner reported, he could not well or easily hasten matters nor reach her, at which he was much vexed and had great compassion for the cruel manner in which she was put to death.
I can testify to her great and admirable contrition, repentance, and continual confession, calling always on the Name of Jesus, and devoutly invoking the Saints in Paradise, as also Brother Ysambard has already deposed, who was with her to the end, and confirmed her in the way of salvation.
BROTHER GUILLAUME DUVAL, of the Order of Saint
Dominic, and of the Convent of Saint-Jacques at Rouen.
I heard no more, for I was not present at the Trial.
MAITRE GUILLAUME MANCHON, Canon of the Collegiate
Church of Notre Dame d'Audely; Curé of the Parish of Church of
Sainte-Nicolas-le-Peinteur at Rouen, and Notary of the Ecclesiastical
Court; Notary of the Trial of Joan, from the beginning up to the end,
and with him Maître Guillaume Colles, called Bois-Guillaume.
First, one named Maître Nicolas Loyseleur, a familiar of my Lord of Beauvais, who held altogether to the English side---for, formerly the King being before Chartres, he went to fetch the King of England to raise the Siege-pretended that he belonged to the Maid's country; by this means he found a way to have speech and familiar converse with her, telling her news of her country that would please her. He asked to be her confessor, and of what she told him privately he found means to inform the Notaries: indeed, at the beginning of the Trial, I and Boisguillaume, with witnesses, were put secretly in an adjoining room, where there was a hole through which we could hear, in order that we might report what she said to Loyseleur. As I think, what the Maid said or stated familiarly to Loyseleur he reported to the Notaries; and from this were made memoranda for questions in the Trial, to find some way of catching her unawares.
|71Jean de Saint Avit, formerly Abbot of Saint-Denis, and, about 1390, Bishop of Avranches. In 1432, he was imprisoned at Rouen, on suspicion of complicity with the French, who wished to get possession of the town.|
When the Trial had begun, Maître Jean Lohier, a grave Norman Clerk, came to this Town of Rouen, and communication was made to him of what the Bishop of Beauvais had written hereon; and the said Lohier asked for two or three days' delay to look into it. To which he received answer that he should give his opinion that afternoon; and this he was obliged to do. And Maître Jean Lohier, when he had seen the Process, said it was of no value, for several reasons: first, because it had not the form of an ordinary Process; then, it was carried on in an enclosed and shut-up place, where those concerned were not in full and perfect liberty to say their full will; then, that this matter dealt with the honor of the King of France, whose side she [the Maid] supported, and that he had not been called, nor any who were for him; then, neither legal document nor articles had been forthcoming, and so there was no guide for this simple girl to answer the Masters and Doctors on great matters, and especially those, as she said, which related to her revelations. For these things, the Process was, in his opinion, of no value. At which my Lord of Beauvais was very indignant against the said Lohier; and although my Lord of Beauvais told him that he might remain to see the carrying out of the Trial, Lohier replied that he would not do so. And immediately my Lord of Beauvais, then lodging in the house where now lives Maître Jean Bidaut, near Saint Nicolas-le-Peinteur came to the Masters---to wit, Maître Jean Beaupère, Maître Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Thomas de Courcelles, and Loyseleur---and said to them: "This Lohier wants to put fine questions into our Process: he would find fault with everything, and says it is of no value. If we were to believe him, everything must be begun again, and all we have done would be worth nothing!" And, after stating the grounds on which Lohier found fault, my Lord of Beauvais added: "It is clear enough on which foot he limps. By Saint John! we will do nothing in the matter, but will go on with our Process as it is begun!" This was on a Saturday afternoon in Lent; and the next morning I spoke with the said Lohier at the Church of Notre Dame at Rouen, and asked him what he thought of the said Trial and of Joan? He replied: "You see the way they are proceeding. They will take her, if they can, in her words---as in assertions where she says, 'I know for certain,' as regards the apparitions; but if she said, 'I think' instead of the words 'I know for certain' it is my opinion that no man could condemn her. It seems they act rather from hate than otherwise; and for that reason, I will not stay here, for I have no desire to be in it." And in truth he thenceforward lived always at the Court of Rome, where he died Dean of Appeals.72
|72"Doyen de la Rote"---Court of Appeals at Rome.|
At the beginning of the Trial, because I was putting in writing for five or six days the answers and excuses of the said Maid, the judges several times wished to compel me, speaking in Latin, to put them in other terms, by changing the sense of her words or in other ways such as I had not heard. By command of the Bishop of Beauvais, two men were placed at a window near where the Judges sat, with a curtain across the window, so that they could not be seen. These two men wrote and reported what there was in the charge against Joan, keeping silence as to her excuses; and, in my opinion, this was Loyseleur. After the sitting was over, in the afternoon, while comparing notes of what had been written, the two others reported differently from me, and had put in none of the excuses; at which my Lord of Beauvais was greatly angry with me.73 Where Nota is written in the Process there was disagreement, and questions had to be made upon it; and it was found that what I had written was true.
In writing the said Process, I was often opposed by my Lord of Beauvais and the Masters, who wanted to compel me to write according to their fancy, and against what I had myself heard. And when there was something which did not please them, they forbade it to be written, saying that it did not serve the Process; but I nevertheless wrote only according to my hearing and knowledge.
Maître Jean Delafontaine, from the beginning of the Trial up to the week after Easter, 1431, took the place of my Lord of Beauvais, to interrogate her, in the absence of the Bishop; and was always present with the Bishop in the conduct of the said Trial. And when the time came that the Maid was summoned to submit herself to the Church by this same Delafontaine, and by Brothers Ysambard de la Pierre and Martin Ladvenu, they advised her that she should believe in, and rely on, our Lord the Pope and those who preside in the Church Militant; and that she should make no question about submitting to our Holy Father the Pope and to the Holy Council; for that there were among them as many of her own side as of the other, many of them notable Clerics, and that if she did not do this, she would put herself in great danger. The day after she had been thus advised, she said that she wished certainly to submit to our Holy Father the Pope and to the Holy Council. When my Lord of Beauvais heard this, he asked who had spoken with the Maid. The Guard replied that it was Maître Delafontaine, his lieutenant, and the two Friars. And at this, in the absence of the said Delafontaine and the Friars, the Bishop was much enraged against Maître Jean Lemaître, the Deputy Inquisitor, and threatened to do him an injury. And when Delafontaine knew that he was threatened for this reason, he departed from Rouen, and did not again return. And as for the Friars, they would have been in peril of death, but for the said Lemaître, who excused them and besought for them, saying that if any harm were done to them, he would never again come to the Trial. And, from that time, the Earl of Warwick forbade any one to visit the Maid, except the Bishop of Beauvais or those sent by him; and the Deputy Inquisitor was not allowed to go without him.
|73On the Minute of Manchon, which was in the hands of the judges of the Rehabilitation in 1455.|
At the end of the sermon at Saint Ouen, after the abjuration of the Maid, because Loyseleur said to her, "Joan, you have done a good day's work, if it please God, and have saved your soul," she demanded, "Now, some among you people of the Church, lead me to your prisons, that I may no longer be in the hands of the English." To which my Lord of Beauvais replied, "Lead her back whence she was taken!" For this reason she was taken back to the Castle which she had left. The following Sunday, which was Trinity Sunday, the Masters, Notaries, and others concerned in this Trial were summoned; and we were told that she had resumed her man's dress and had relapsed; and when we came to the Castle, in the absence of my Lord of Beauvais, there came upon us eighty or a hundred English soldiers, or thereabouts, who spoke to us in the courtyard of the Castle, telling us that all of us Clergy were deceitful, traitorous Armagnacs and false counsellors; so that we had great trouble to escape and get out of the Castle, and did nothing for that day. The following day I was summoned; but I replied that I would not go if I had not a surety, on account of the fright I had had the day before; and I would not have gone back if one of the followers of my Lord of Warwick had not been sent as a surety. And thus I returned, and was at the continuation of the Trial, up to the end, except that I was not at a certain examination made by people who had spoken with her privately,74 as privileged persons; nevertheless, the Bishop of Beauvais wanted to compel me to sign, and this I would not do.
|74This was the Examination called the Acta Posterius, which, though included by Cauchon in the Process, is not signed by the Official Registrars, Manchon, Boisguillaume, and Taquel.|
I saw Joan led to the scaffold;75 and there were seven or eight hundred soldiers around her, bearing swords and staves; so that no one was so bold as to speak to her except Brother Martin Ladvenu and Maître Jean Massieu.
Patiently did she hear the sermon right through---afterwards she repeated her thanksgiving, prayers, and lamentations most notably and devoutly, in such manner that the judges, Prelates, and all present were provoked to much weeping, seeing her make these pitiful regrets and sad complaints. Never did I weep more for anything that happened to me; and, for a month afterwards, I could not feel at peace. For which reason, with a part of the money I had for my services I bought a little Missal, so that I might have it and might pray for her. In regard to final repentance, I never saw greater signs of a Christian.
I remember that at the sermon given at Saint Ouen, by Maître Guillaume Érard, among other words were said and uttered these: "Ah! noble House of France, which has always been the protectress of the Faith, have you been so abused that you do adhere to a heretic and schismatic? It is indeed a great misfortune." To which the Maid made answer, what I do not remember, except that she gave great praise to her King, saying that he was the best and wisest Christian in the world. At which Erard and my Lord of Beauvais ordered Massieu, "Make her keep silence."
MAÎTRE JEAN MASSIEU, Priest, Curé of one of the Divisions of the Parish Church of Saint-Caudres at Rouen, formerly Dean of the Christendom of Rouen.
|75Joan was burnt in the Market Place at Rouen, where an inscribed stone marks the site. It is stated that the execution took place in front of the Church of St. Sauveur, and facing the principal street which leads to the Market Place, thus accommodating a larger number of spectators than was possible in any other part of the Place.|
I was at the Trial of the said Joan on every occasion when she was present before the Judges and Clerics; and, on account of my office, I was appointed a Clerk to Maître Jean Benedicité,76 Promoter in this Action. I believe, from what I saw, that the proceedings were taken out of hatred and in order to abase the honor of the King of France whom she served, and to wreak vengeance and bring her to death, not according to reason and for the honour of God and of the Catholic Faith. I say this, because when my Lord of Beauvais, who was Judge in the Case, accompanied by six Clerics---namely, Beaupère, Midi, Maurice, Touraine, Courcelles, and Feuillet, or some other in his place---first questioned her, before she had answered one of them, another of those present would interpose another question, by which she was often hurried and troubled in her answers. And, besides, as I was leading Joan many times from her prison to the Court, and passed before the Chapel of the Castle, at Joan's request, I suffered her to make her devotions in passing; and I was often reproved by the said Benedicité, the Promoter, who said to me: "Traitor! what makes you so bold as to permit this Excommunicate to approach without permission? I will have you put in a tower where you shall see neither sun nor moon for a month, if you do so again." And when the Promoter saw that I did not obey him, the said Benedicité placed himself many times before the door of the Chapel, between me and Joan, to prevent her saying her prayers before the Chapel, and asked expressly of Joan: "Is this the Body of Christ?" When I was taking her back to prison, the fourth or fifth day, a priest named Maître Eustace Turquetil, asked me: "What do you think of her answers? Will she be burned? What will happen?" and I replied: "Up to this time I have seen in her only good and honor; but I do not know what will happen in the end, God knows!" Which answer was reported by the said priest to the King's people; and it was said that I was opposed to the King. On this account, I was summoned, in the afternoon, by the Lord of Beauvais, the judge, and was spoken to of these things and told to be careful to make no mistake, or I should be made to drink more than was good for me.77 I think that, unless the Notary Manchon had made excuses for me, I should not have escaped.
When Joan was taken to Saint-Ouen to be preached to by Maître Guillaume Érard, at about the middle of the sermon, after she had been admonished by the words of the preacher, he began to cry out, in a loud voice, saying, "Ah! France, you are much abused, you have always been the most Christian country; and Charles, who calls himself your King and Governor, has joined himself, as a heretic and schismatic, which he is, to the words and deeds of a worthless woman, defamed and full of dishonor; and not only he, but all the Clergy within his jurisdiction and lordship, by whom she has been examined and not reproved, as she has said." Two or three times he repeated these words about the King; and, at last, addressing himself to Joan he said, raising his finger: "It is to you, Joan, that I speak, I tell you that your King is a heretic and schismatic!" To which she replied: "By my faith! sir, saving your reverence, I dare say and swear, on pain of death, that he is the most noble of all Christians, and the one who most loves the Faith of the Church, and he is not what you say." And then the preacher said to me: "Make her keep silence."
76Cognomen given to the Promoter, D'Estivet.
77It is unclear whether they are hinting that they will drown him, or that they will torture him by pouring water into his stomach (which would, in the long run, kill him).]
Joan never had any Counsel.78 I remember that Loyseleur was one appointed to counsel her. He was against her, rather deceiving than helping her.
The said Érard, at the end of his sermon, read a schedule containing the Articles which he was inciting Joan to abjure and revoke. To which Joan replied, that she did not understand what abjuring was, and that she asked advice about it. Then Érard told me to give her counsel about it. After excusing myself for doing this, I told her it meant that, if she opposed any of the said Articles, she would be burned. I advised her to refer to the Church Universal as to whether she should abjure the said Articles or not. And this she did, saying in a loud voice to Erard: "I refer me to the Church Universal, as to whether I shall abjure or not." To this the said Érard replied: "You shall abjure at once, or you shall be burned." And, indeed, before she left the Square, she abjured, and made a cross with a pen which I handed to her.
At the end of the sermon, I advised Joan to ask that she might be taken to the prisons of the Church: and it was right she should be taken to the Church prisons, because the Church had condemned her. And this thing was asked of the Bishop of Beauvais by some of those present, whose names I do not know. To which the Bishop replied: "Take her to the Castle whence she came." And so it was done. That day, after dinner, in the presence of the Counsel of the Church, she took off her man's dress and put on a woman's dress, as she was commanded. This was on the Thursday or Friday after Pentecost; and the man's dress was put in a bag in the same room where she was kept prisoner, while she remained guarded in this place, in the hands of five of the English, three of whom stayed all night in the room, and two outside the door of the room. I know of a surety that at night she slept chained by the legs with two pairs of iron chains, and fastened closely to a chain going across the foot of her bed, held to a great piece of wood, five or six feet long, and closed with a key, so that she could not move from her place. When the following Sunday came, being Trinity Sunday, and when it was time to rise, as she reported and said to me, she asked the English guards: "Take off my irons that I may get up." Then one of the English took away from her the woman's garments which she had on her, and they emptied the bag in which was her man's dress, and threw the said dress at her, saying to her: "Get up, and put the woman's dress in the bag." And, in accordance with what he said, she dressed herself in the man's dress they had given her, saying: "Sirs, you know it is forbidden me; without fail, I will not take it again." Nevertheless, they would not give her the other, insomuch that the contention lasted till mid-day, and, finally, she was compelled to take the said dress; afterwards, they would not give up the other, whatever supplications or prayers she might make.
This she told me on the Tuesday following, before dinner, on which day the Promoter had departed in company with the Earl of Warwick, and I was alone with her. Immediately I asked her why she had resumed a man's dress, and she told me what I have just related.
I was not at the Castle on the Sunday, but I met near the Castle those who had been summoned, much overwhelmed and affrighted. They said they had been furiously driven back by the English with axes and swords, and called traitors, and otherwise insulted. On the following Wednesday, the day she was condemned, and before she left the Castle, the Body of Christ was borne to her irreverently, without stole and lights, at which Brother Martin, who had confessed her, was ill-content, and so a stole and lights were sent for, and thus Brother Martin administered it to her. And this done, she was led to the Old Market-Place, and by her side were Brother Martin and myself, accompanied by, more than 8oo soldiers, with axes and swords. And being in the Old Market-Place, after the sermon, during which she showed great patience and listened most quietly, she evinced many evidences and clear proofs of her contrition, penitence, and fervent faith, if only by her pitiful and devout lamentations and invocations of the Blessed Trinity and the Blessed and Glorious Virgin Mary, and all the Blessed Saints in Paradise, naming specially certain of these Saints: in which devotions, lamentations, and true confession of faith, she besought mercy also, most humbly, from, all manner of people of whatever condition or estate they might be, of her own party as well as of the other, begging them to pray for her, forgiving them the harm they had done her, [and thus] she persevered and continued as long a space of time as half-an-hour, and up to the very end.
When she was given over by the Church, I was still with her; and with great devotion she asked to have a Cross: and, hearing this, an Englishman, who was there present, made a little cross of wood with the ends of a stick, which he gave her, and devoutly she received and kissed it, making piteous lamentations and acknowledgments to God, Our Redeemer, Who had suffered on the Cross for our Redemption, of Whose Cross she had the sign and symbol; and she put the said Cross in her bosom, between her person and her clothing. And, besides, she asked me humbly that I would get for her the Church Cross, so that she might see it continually until death. And I got the Clerk of the Parish of Saint-Sauveur to bring it to her; the which, being brought, she embraced closely and long, and kept it till she was fastened to the stake. While she was making these devotions and pious lamentations, I was much hurried by the English and even by some of their Captains, who wished me to leave her in their hands, that she might be put to death the sooner, saying to me, when I was trying to console her on the scaffold: "What, Priest! will you have us dine here?" And immediately, without any form or proof of judgment, they sent her to the fire, saying to the executioner: "Do your office!" And thus she was led and fastened [to the stake], continuing her praises and devout lamentations to God and His Saints, and with her last word, in dying, she cried, with a loud voice: "Jesus!"
MAÎTRE JEAN BEAUPÈRE, Master in
Theology, Canon of Rouen.
Before she was taken to Saint-Ouen, to be preached to in the morning, I went alone, by permission, into Joan's prison, and warned her that she would soon be led to the scaffold to be preached to, telling her that, if she were a good Christian, she would say on the scaffold that she placed all her deeds and words in the ordering of Our Holy Mother Church, and especially of the Ecclesiastical judges. And this did she say on the scaffold, being thereto requested by Maitre Nicolas Midi. This being noted and considered, she was for a time sent back, after her abjuration; although some of the English accused the Bishop of Beauvais and the Delegates from Paris of favoring Joan's errors.
|78At the beginning of the Trial, Joan had asked for Counsel, and it had been refused.|
After this abjuration, and after taking her woman's dress which she received in prison, it was reported to the judges on the Friday or Saturday following that Joan had repented of having put off a man's dress and had taken a woman's dress. On this account, my Lord of Beauvais sent me and Maître Nicolas Midi to her, hoping that we should speak to Joan and induce and admonish her to persevere in the good intent she had on the scaffold, and that she should be careful not to relapse. But we could not find the keeper of the prison key,79 and, while we were waiting for the prison guard, several of the English, who were in the courtyard of the Castle, spoke threatening words, as Maître Nicolas Midi told me, to the effect that he who would throw both of us into the water would be well employed. And, hearing these words, we returned; and, on the bridge of the Castle, Midi heard, as he reported to me, like words used by others of the English; at which we were much frightened, and went away without speaking to Joan.
As to her innocence, Joan was very subtle with the subtlety of a woman, as I consider. I did not understand from any words of hers that she had been violated.
|79There were three keys to the prison, one being in the possession of the Promoter, one of the Inquisitor, and one belonging to the Cardinal.|
As to her final penitence, I do not know what to say, for, on the Monday after the abjuration,80 I left Rouen to go to Basle,81 on the part of the University of Paris. Through this I knew nothing of her condemnation until I heard it spoken of at Lisle in Flanders.
A second inquiry took place in 1452, by order of Pope Nicholas V, to whom Joan's mother had appealed. Charles seems to have permitted this petition, which allowed him not to get involved in the process. Two sets of questions were were prepared, one consisting of twelve questions, the other of twenty-seven questions. All those examined were ecclesiastical personnel. Nicholas V, in the end, did not want to offend the English and thus held off ratifying the findings of this inquiry.
In 1455, however, Calixtus III granted permission for a third hearing (thereby signifying his willingness to permit a different conclusion). Most of the main actors at the trial in 1431 were already dead, and their families didn't want to drag out proceedings; they pleaded honest error and vigorous English persuasion as mitigating factors. The results were an almost foregone conclusion: in 1456 Joan was declared innocent of the charges for which she had been executed.
The excerpt contains some of the depositions taken at Domremy in 1455; the deposition of Jean, the Bastard of Orléans, who served with her during the wars, also taken in 1455; the deposition of the Bishop of Noyon at Paris in 1455-6; and of a page who served with her, also given in Paris in 1455-6. The last excerpt is the sentence of rehabilitation.
DEPOSITIONS AT DOMREMY: 1455
Twelve questions were prepared for information to be taken in the country of the late Joan, commonly called the Maid.
EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
JEAN MOREL, of Greux, laborer.
81To the Schismatic Council, then being held at Basle. [That the council was schismatic is a retrospective judgment--at the time this wasn't clear.]
Joan was born at Domremy and was baptised at the Parish Church of Saint Remy, in that place. Her father was named Jacques d'Arc, her mother Isabelle---both laborers living together at Domremy. They were, as I saw and knew, good and faithful Catholics, laborers of good repute and honest life. I lived much with them, I was one of the godfathers of Joan. She had three godmothers---the wife of Etienne Thévenin, Beatrix, Widow Estellin, both living at Domremy; and Jeannette, widow of Thiesselin of Viteaux, living at Neufchâteau. From her early youth, Joan was brought up with care in the Faith, and in good morals; she was so good that all the village of Domremy loved her. Joan knew her Belief and her Pater and Ave82 as well as any of her companions. She had modest ways, as beseemed one whose parents were not rich. Up to the time she left her parents she followed the plough and sometimes minded the cattle in the fields. Also she did the usual duties of women, such as spinning, and other things. I know she liked to go often to the Hermitage of the Blessed Marie of Bermont, near Domremy; I often saw her go there. She was there when her parents thought her with the plough or in the fields; and when she heard the Mass-bell, if she were in the fields, she would go back to the village and to the Church, in order to hear Mass. I have been witness of this many times. I have seen her confess at Easter-tide and other solemn Feasts. I saw her confess to Messire Guillaume Fronte, who was then Curé of the Parish of Saint Remy.
|82[The prayers "Our Father" and "Ave Maria," which all Christians, regardless of their level of education, were expected to know after the late thirteenth century.]|
On the subject of the Fairies' tree, I have heard that the Fairies came there long ago to dance; but, since the Gospel of Saint John has been read under the tree, they come no more. At the present day, on the Sunday when in the Holy Church of God the Introit to the Mass 'Laetare Jerusalem' is sung,83 called with us 'the Sunday of the Wells,' the young maidens and youths of Domremy are accustomed to go there, and also in the spring and summer and on festival days; they dance there and have a feast. On their return, they go dancing and playing to the Well of the Thorn, where they drink and amuse themselves, gathering flowers. Joan the Maid went there, like all the other girls at those times, and did as they did; but I never heard say that she went there alone, either to the tree or to the well---which is nearer to the village than the tree---or that she went for any other purpose than to walk about and play like her companions. When Joan left her father's house, she went two or three times to Vaucouleurs to speak to the Bailly. I heard it said that the Lord Charles, then Duke of Lorraine, wished to see her, and gave her a black horse.
|83[The fourth Sunday of Lent.]|
I have no more to say, except that in the month of July I was at Chalons, at the time when it was said that the King was going to Rheims to be anointed.84 I found Joan at Chalons and she made me a present of a red dress she had been wearing. I know nothing of the enquiry made at Domremy. When Joan went to Neufchâteau on account of the soldiers, she was always in the company of her father and mother, who stayed there four days, and then returned to Domremy. I am sure of what I say, because I went with the rest to Neufchâteau and I saw Joan there with her parents.
MESSIRE DOMINIQUE JACOB, Curé of the Parish
Church of Montier-sur-Saulx.
BEATRIX, widow of Estellin, laborer, of Domremy.
JEANNETTE, wife of Thélvenin, cartwright [gave evidence similar to the preceding, as did] JEAN MOEN, of Domremy, cartwright, living at Coussey, near Neufchâteau, [and] JACQUIER OF SAINT AMANCE, near Nancy.
MESSIRE ÈTIENNE OF SIONNE, Curé of
the Parish Church of Roncessey-sous-Neufchâteau.
JEANNETTE, widow of Thiesselin of Vileaux, formerly clerk at Neufchâteau.
|84Joan's father went also to Rheims for the coronation. There still exists in the old accounts of the town an item for his expenses at the inn; and, in the Compte of the Treasurer Raguier there is also an entry of 60 livres tournois, paid Joan to give to her father. On the day after the coronation, Joan obtained from the King an exemption from taxes for the village of Domremy and Greux: this document, dated July 31st, 1429, still exists in the Archives of France. This exemption from taxes has now lapsed.|
I often saw her confess to Messire Guillaume Fronte, the Curé of the parish. She never swore, and, to affirm strongly, contented herself with saying, "Without fail!" She was no dancer; and, sometimes when the others were singing and dancing, she went to prayer. Joan was fond of work, spinning, looking after the house, and, when necessary, taking her turn at minding her father's cattle. There is a tree by us called the Ladies' Tree, because, in ancient days, the Sieur Pierre Granier, Seigneur de Bourlement, and a lady called Fée85 met under this tree and conversed together: I have heard it read in a romance. The Seigneurs of Domremy and their ladies---at least, the Lady Beatrix, wife of Pierre de Bourlement, and the said Pierre---accompanied by their daughters, came sometimes to walk round this tree. In the same way, every year the young girls and youths of Domremy came to walk there, on the Laetare Sunday---called 'the Sunday of the Wells': they ate and danced there, and went to drink at the Well of the Thorn. But I do not remember if Joan were ever under this tree. I never heard anything evil said about her on account of this tree.
LOUIS DE MARTIGNY, Squire, living at
Martigny-les-Gerbonveaux, near Neufchâteau.
THÈVENIN LE ROYER, cartwright, a native of Chermisey, near Neufchâteau, residing at Domremy, husband of one of Joan's God-mothers [evidence similar to the preceding].
BERTRAND LACLOPPE, thatcher, of Domremy.
|85["Fairy." A lot like Lanval, isn't it?]|
One day, a man86 of Burey-le-Petit came to seek Joan at Domremy, and took her to speak with the Bailly of Vaucouleurs: I heard say that it was this Bailly who sent her to the King. The soldiers having come to Domremy, all the people of the village went to take refuge at Neufchâteau. Joan and her parents did as the others did: she stayed there about four days, always in their company.
PERRIN LE DRAPIER, of Domremy, Churchwarden of the
Parish Church and Bell-ringer.
GERARD GUILLEMETTE, laborer, of Greux.
HAUVIETTER, wife of Gerard of Syonne, near Neufchâteau.
|86Durand Laxart, her uncle.|
She was a good girl, simple and gentle; she went willingly and often to Church, and Holy places. Often she was bashful when others reproached her with going too devotedly to Church. There was a tree in the neighborhood that, from ancient days, had been called the Ladies' Tree. It was said formerly that ladies, called Fairies, came under this tree; but I never heard any one say they had been seen there. The young people of the village were accustomed to go to this tree, taking food with them, and to the Well of the Thorn87 [Ad fontem Rannorum, or, "ad Rannos"] on the Sunday of 'Laetare Jerusalem,' called the Sunday of the Wells. I often went there with Joan, who was my friend, and with other young girls on the said Sunday of the Wells. We ate there, ran about, and played. Also, we took nuts to this tree and well. I did not know of Joan's departure: I wept much; I loved her dearly for her goodness and because she was my friend. Joan was always with her father and mother at Neufchâteau. I also was at Neufchâteau, and saw her there all the time.
JEAN WATERIN, laborer, of Greux.
GERARDIN, laborer, of Epinal.
SIMONIN MUSNIER, laborer, of Domremy.
ISABELLETTE, wife of Gerardin, laborer, of Epinal.
I often saw her at confession, for she was my gossip, and god-mother to my son Nicolas. I was often with her, and saw her go to confession to Messire Guillaume, who was then our Curé. When all was well at the château, the Seigneurs and their ladies often came to walk beneath the Ladies' Tree, on the Sunday of Laetare, which we call 'the Sunday of the Wells', and on certain other days, in fine weather, they brought with them the village boys and girls. The Seigneur Pierre de Bourlement and his lady, who was from France, took me there on the said Sunday of the Wells many times in my childhood, with other children. It was the custom to go every year, on this Sunday, to play and walk round this tree. Joan went with us, we each brought provisions, and, the meal ended, went to refresh ourselves at the Well. The same thing takes place now, with our children.
MENGETTE, wife of Jean Joyart, laborer.
MESSIRE JEAN COLIN, Curé of the Parish
Church at Domremy and Canon of the Collegiate Church of Saint Nicolas
de Brixey, near Vaucouleurs.
COLIN, son of Jean Colin, laborer.
JEAN DE NOVELEMPORT, Knight, called Jean de Metz.
|87This is also called the "Fontaine aux Groseilliers"; the Latin name is probably intended for Rhamnus, the Buckthorn.|
When Joan was at Vaucouleurs, I saw her dressed in a red dress, poor and worn; she lived at the house of one named Henri Leroyer. "What are you doing here, my friend?" I said to her. "Must the King be driven from the kingdom; and are we to be English?" "I am come here," she answered me, "to this royal town,88 to speak to Robert de Baudricourt, to the end that he may conduct me or have me conducted to the king: but Robert cares neither for me nor for my words. Nevertheless, before the middle of Lent, I must be with the King---even if I have to wear down my feet to the knees! No one, in the world---neither kings, nor dukes, nor the daughter of the King of Scotland,89 nor any others---can recover the kingdom of France; there is no succour to be expected save from me; but, nevertheless, I would rather spin with my poor mother---for this is not my proper estate: it is, however, necessary that I should go, and do this, because my Lord wills that I should do it." And when I asked her who this Lord was, she told me it was God. Then I pledged my faith to her, touching her hand, and promised that, with God's guidance, I would conduct her to the King. I asked her when she wished to start. "Sooner at once than to-morrow, and sooner to-morrow than later," she said. I asked her if she could make this journey, dressed as she was. She replied that she would willingly take a man's dress. Then I gave her the dress and equipment of one of my men. Afterwards, the inhabitants of Vaucouleurs had a man's dress made for her, with all the necessary requisites; I also procured for her a horse at the price of about sixteen francs. Thus dressed and mounted, and furnished with a safe-conduct from the Sieur Charles, Duke de Lorraine, she went to visit the said Lord Duke. I accompanied her as far as Toul. On the return to Vaucouleurs, the first Sunday in Lent,90 which is called 'Dimanche des Bures'91---and it will be, if I mistake not, twenty-seven years from that day to the coming Lent92---I and Bertrand de Poulengey, with two of my men, Colet de Vienne, the King's Messenger, and the Archer Richard, conducted the Maid to the King, who was then at Chinon. The journey was made at the expense of Bertrand de Poulengey and myself. We travelled for the most part at night, for fear of the Burgundians and the English, who were masters of the roads. We journeyed eleven days, always riding towards the said town of Chinon. On the way, I asked her many times if she would really do all she said. "Have no fear," she answered us, "what I am commanded to do, I will do; my brothers in Paradise have told me how to act: it is four or five years since my brothers in Paradise and my Lord---that is, God---told me that I must go and fight in order to regain the kingdom of France." On the way, Bertrand and I slept every night by her---Joan being at my side, fully dressed. She inspired me with such respect that for nothing in the world would I have dared to molest her; also, never did I feel towards her---I say it on oath---any carnal desire. On the way she always wished to hear Mass. She said to us: "If we can, we shall do well to hear Mass." But, for fear of being recognized, we were only able to hear it twice. I had absolute faith in her. Her words and her ardent faith in God inflamed me. I believe she was sent from God; she never swore, she loved to attend Mass, she confessed often, and was zealous in giving alms. Many times was I obliged to hand out to her the money she gave for the love of God. While we were with her, we found her always good, simple, pious, an excellent Christian, well-behaved, and God-fearing. When we arrived at Chinon,93 we presented ourselves to the King's Court and Council. I know she had there to submit to long enquiries.
MICHEL LEBUIN, laborer, of Domremy.
88"Ad cameram regis."
89Margaret, daughter of James I of Scotland, who was betrothed to Louis, afterwards Louis XI. [They married in 1436; after her death, Louis married Charlotte of Savoy.]
90February 13th, 1428.
91[Known in Latin as Brandones, Borae, Burae, Bules, or Embers, as the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday following the first Sunday in Lent were Ember days, or seasonal fast-days.]
93March 6th, 1428.
I knew Joan from my earliest youth. Of Joan's departure for Vaucouleurs I knew nothing. But, one day---the Eve of Saint John the Baptist94---she said to me: "Between Coussy and Vaucouleurs there is a young girl, who, before the year is gone, will have the King of France consecrated." And, in truth, the following year the King was crowned at Rheims.95 When Joan was a prisoner I saw Nicolas Bailly, Notary of Andelot, coming to Domremy, one day, with several other persons. At the request of Jean de Torcenay, Bailly of Chaumont for the pretended King of France and England, he proceeded to make enquiries into the conduct and life of Joan. But he could not induce the inhabitants of Vaucouleurs to depose. I believe that they questioned Jean Begot, at whose house they were staying. Their enquiry revealed nothing against Joan.
GEOFFROY DE FAY.
94June 23rd, 1428.
95July 17th, 1429.
I saw Joan the Maid when she came to Maxey-sur-Vays.96 When Joan came to Maxey, she came sometimes to my house. I always thought her a good girl, simple and pious. Many times I heard her speak; she said that she wished to go into France.
DURANT LAXART, of Burey-le-Petit.
Joan was of the family of Jeanne [Joan], my wife. I knew Jacques d'Arc
and Isabelle, his wife, the parents of Joan the Maid: they were good
and faithful Catholics, and of good repute. She was a girl of good
disposition, devout, patient, loving the Church, going often to
confession, and giving to the poor all that she could. I can attest
this, having been witness thereof, both at Domremy and at my own house
at Burey, where she passed six weeks.97 I went to
fetch her from her father's and brought her to my house; she told me
she wished to go into France, to the Dauphin, to have him crowned. "Was
it not foretold formerly," she said to me, "that France should be
desolated98 by a woman, and should be restored by a
maid?" She told me she wished to go, herself, and seek Robert de
Baudricourt, in order that he might have her conducted to the place
where the Dauphin was. But many times Robert told me to take her back
to her father and to box her ears. When she saw that Robert would not
do as she asked, she took some of my garments and said she would start.
She departed, and I took her to Vaucouleurs [i.e. Saint-Nicolas99].---Thence
she returned, and went with a safe-conduct to the Sieur Charles de
Lorraine. The Duke saw her, spoke to her, and gave her four francs,100
which Joan showed to me. She came back to Vaucouleurs; and the
inhabitants bought for her a man's garments and a complete warlike
equipment. Alain de Vaucouleurs and I bought her a horse for the price
of twelve francs, which we paid, and which was repaid to us later by
the Sieur Robert de Baudricourt. This done, Jean de Metz, Bertrand de
Poulengey, Colet de Vienne, together with Richard the Archer and two
men of the suite of Jean de Metz and Bertrand, conducted Joan to the
place where the Dauphin was.
All this, as I now say it, I told to the King. I know no more, except that I saw her at Rheims at the King's crowning.
CATHERINE, wife of Leroyer.
97This covers the period of several visits, made between May 1428, and February 1429.
98The mother of Charles VII, who denied the legitimacy of her own son, being Burgundian at heart, and ratified the iniquitous Treaty of Troyes, so disastrous for France.
99In the text Vaucouleurs is an obvious misprint for Saint-Nicolas.
100He also gave her a horse; cf. previous depositions.
She lived with us at Vaucouleurs, at different times about three weeks. She spoke to the Sieur Robert de Baudricourt, that he might have her conducted to the Dauphin, but Sieur Robert would not listen to her. One day, I saw Robert de Baudricourt---then captain of Vaucouleurs---and Messire Jean Fournier, our Curé, come in to our house to visit her. After they were gone, she told me that the Priest had his stole, and that, in presence of the said captain, he adjured her, saying: "If you are an evil spirit, avaunt! If you are a good spirit, approach!" Then Joan drew near the Priest and threw herself at his knees: she said he was wrong to act so, for he had heard her in confession. When she saw that Robert refused to conduct her to the King, she said to me that, nevertheless, she would go and seek the Dauphin. "Do you not know," she said, "the prophecy which says that France, lost by a woman, shall be saved by a maiden from the Marches of Lorraine?" I did indeed remember the prophecy, and remained stupefied. Jacques Alain and Durand Laxart took her to Saint-Nicolas,101 then came back with her to Vaucouleurs.
HENRI LEROYER, cartwright, formerly of Vaucouleurs.
ALBERT D'OURCHES, Seigneur of Ourches, near Commerey.
This maiden always seemed to me very well behaved. I should have been well pleased to have had a daughter as good as she.
NICOLAS BAILLY, tabellion (Notary) and Deputy Royal at Andelot.
|101Saint-Nicolas-du-Port---then a celebrated centre of pilgrimage---near Nancy. As both Poulengey and Laxart connect this pilgrimage with her visit to the Duke de Lorraine, whose residence was at Nancy, it is clear that Saint-Nicolas-du-Port is meant, and not the Chapel of St. Nicolas near Vaucouleurs.|
As Tabellion I was appointed by the Sieur Jean de Torcenay, Knight, then Bailly of Chaumont, by the authority of the pretended King of France and England, and, with me, the late Gerard Petit---then Provost of the said Andelot102---to proceed to an enquiry on the subject of Joan, at that time detained in prison at Rouen. Many times, in her youth, I saw Joan before she left her father's house: she was a good girl, of pure life and good manners, a good Catholic who loved the Church and went often on pilgrimage to the Church of Bermont, and confessed nearly every month---as I learned from a number of the inhabitants of Domremy, whom I had to question on the subject at the time of the enquiry that I made with the Provost of Andelot. When I and the late Gerard made this enquiry, we examined twelve or fifteen witnesses. Afterwards, we certified the information before Simon de Thermes, Squire, Lieutenant of the Captain of Montclair.
GUILLOT JACQUIER, of Andelot, King's Sergeant; [evidence similar to the preceding.]
|102The village of Domremy, although in the territory of Lorraine, belonged to France, not to Lorraine; for administrative purposes it was a dependance of Champagne.|
BERTRAND DE POULENGEY, Squire.103
MESSIRE HENRI ARNOLIN, of Gontrecourt-le-Château, near Commercy, Priest; [testimony of no importance].
MESSIRE JEAN LEFUMEUX, of Vaucouleurs, Canon of the Chapel of Saint Mary at Vaucouleurs, and Curé of the Parish Church of Ugny.
103[Squire was a title by the end of the Middle Ages, as well as a job-description. Those who were eligible for knighting, but had not been dubbed, were squires. There is some evidence that by the fifteenth century, those eligible were often foregoing the expense of becoming knights.]
104May 13th, 1428.
105See the deposition of Jean Morel.
I know that Joan came to Vaucouleurs, and said that she wished to go to the Dauphin. I was then young, and attached to the Chapel of the Blessed Mary at Vaucouleurs. I often saw Joan in this Chapel; she behaved with great piety, attended Mass in the morning, and remained a long time in prayer. I have also seen her in the crypt of the Chapel106 on her knees before the Blessed Mary, her face sometimes bent to the ground, sometimes raised to heaven. She was a good and holy maiden.
JEAN JACQUARD, laborer, of Greux; son of Jean, called Guillemette; [evidence similar to the preceding].
|106This Chapel in the crypt may still be seen at Vaucouleurs.|
JEAN, Bastard of Orleans, Count de Dunois.107
I think that Joan was sent by God, and that her behavior in war was a fact divine rather than human. Many reasons make me think so. I was at Orleans, then besieged by the English, when the report spread that a young girl, commonly called the Maid, had just passed through Gien, going to the noble Dauphin, with the avowed intention of raising the siege of Orleans and conducting the Dauphin to Rheims for his anointing. I was then entrusted with the care of the town of Orleans and was Lieutenant-General of the King in affairs of war. In order to be better informed on the subject of this young girl, I sent to the King the Sieur de Villars, Seneschal of Beaucaire, and Janet de Tilly,107 who was afterwards Bailly of Vermandois.
They returned from the King, and reported to me publicly, in presence of all the people of Orleans [assembled] to know the truth, that they had seen the Maid arrive at Chinon. They said that the King at first had no wish to listen to her: she even remained two days, waiting, until she was permitted to present herself before him, although she persisted in saying that she was come to raise the siege of Orleans, and to conduct the Dauphin to Rheims, in order that he might be consecrated; she at once asked for men, arms and horses.
Three weeks or a month elapsed, during which the King had her examined by Clergy, Prelates, and Doctors in Theology, as to her words and deeds, in order to know if he might receive her with safety. Then the King assembled an army to conduct to Orleans a convoy of supplies.
106Jean, a natural son of Louis, Duke d'Orléans, was brought up with the family of Orléans, and acknowledged by Valentine, the widowed Duchess, after the murder of his father in 1407. At 25 years of age, in company with de Gaucourt, he defeated the English under Warwick at Montargis in 1427, and afterwards defended Orléans till its relief in 1429. He was created Count de Dunois, in 1439.
107Then Captain of Blois.
Hearing the opinion of the Clergy and Prelates that there was no evil in this Maid, the King sent her with the Lord Archbishop of Rheims,108 then Chancellor of France, and the Sieur de Gaucourt, then Grand Steward, to Blois, where those were who had the charge of escorting the convoy---that is, the Sieurs de Rais109 and de Boussac, Marshals of France; de Coulent, Admiral of France; La Hire; and Ambroise de Loré, who was afterwards Governor of Paris. All, at the head of the army transporting the convoy, came, with Joan, in good order, by way of the Sologne, to the Loire, facing the Church of Saint Loup. But the English were there in great number: and the army escorting the convoy did not appear to me, nor to the other captains, in sufficient force to resist them and to ensure the entrance of the convoy on that side. It was necessary to load the convoy on boats, which were procured with difficulty. But to reach Orleans it was necessary to sail against the stream, and the wind was altogether contrary.
Then Joan said to me : "Are you the Bastard of Orleans?" "Yes," I answered; "and I am very glad of your coming!" "Is it you who said I was to come on this side [of the river], and that I should not go direct to the side where Talbot and the English are?" "Yes, and those more wise than I are of the same opinion, for our greater success and safety." "In God's Name," she then said, " the counsel of My Lord is safer and wiser than yours. You thought to deceive me, and it is yourselves who are deceived, for I bring you better succor than has ever come to any general or town whatsoever---the succor of the King of Heaven. This succor does not come from me, but from God Himself, Who, at the prayers of Saint Louis and Saint Charlemagne,110 has had compassion on the town of Orleans, and will not suffer the enemy to hold at the same time the Duke111 and his town!"
108Regnault de Chartres.
109Gilles de Laval, Seigneur de Rais, notorious for the horrible excesses which brought him to the scaffold in 1440. [Giles de Rais may be the historical foundation for "Bluebeard," the nobleman who murders many wives before being brought to justice. He was accused of raping, torturing and murdering a large number of children; however, it was for heresy that he was convicted and hanged--he had reportedly become interested in Satanism. His confession was elicited under torture.]
110[Charlemagne was canonized by the anti-pope Pascal III in 1165, but this did not prevent his cult from becoming official in some places.]
111The duke was then a prisoner in England. [He had been captured in 1415 and was not released until 1440. This is the famous poet, Charles d'Orleans.]
At that moment, the wind, being contrary, and thereby preventing the boats going up the river and reaching Orleans, turned all at once and became favorable. They stretched the sails ; and I ordered the boats to the town, which I entered with Brother Nicolas de Geresme, then Grand Prior in France of the Order of Rhodes.112 We passed before the Church of Saint Loup in spite of the English. From that time I put good hope in her, even more than before. I had begged her to cross the river and to enter the town, where many were longing for her. She had made a difficulty about it, not wishing, she said, to abandon her army or her followers who were duly confessed, penitent, and of good will; and on their account she refused to come. Thereupon, I went in search of the captains who had charge of the convoy and the army, and besought them, for the welfare of the King, to allow Joan to enter Orleans at once, and that they should go up the river---they and the army---to Blois, where they should cross the Loire so as to return to Orleans, for there was no nearer place of crossing. They consented; and Joan then came with me. She had in her hand a banner, white in color, on which was an image of Our Lord holding in His Hand a lily. La Hire crossed the Loire at the same time as she, and entered the city with her and ourselves. All this was much more the work of God than of man: the sudden change of wind immediately Joan had announced it; the bringing in of the convoy of supplies in spite of the English, who were in much greater force than all the King's army; and the statement of Joan that she had seen Saint Louis and Saint Charles the Great praying God for the safety of the King and of the City.
Another circumstance made me think these deeds were the work of God. I wished to go towards the army which had turned back on Blois and which was marching to the relief of Orleans; Joan would not wait for them nor consent that I should go to meet them: she wished to summon the English to raise the siege at once on pain of being themselves attacked. She did, in fact, summon them by a letter which she wrote to them in French, in which she told them, in very simple terms, that they were to retire from the siege and return to England, or else she would bring against them a great attack, which would force them to retreat. Her letter was sent to Lord Talbot. From that hour, the English---who, up to that time, could, I affirm, with two hundred of their men, have put to rout 800 or 1,000 of ours---were unable, with all their power, to resist 400 or 500 French; they had to be driven into their forts, where they took refuge, and from whence they dared not come forth.
There is another fact which made me believe she was from God. The 27th of May,113 very early in the morning, we began the attack on the Boulevard114 of the bridge. Joan was there wounded by an arrow which penetrated half-a-foot between the neck and the shoulder; but she continued none the less to fight, taking no remedy for her wound. The attack lasted throughout, from the morning until 8 o'clock in the evening, without hope of success for us: for which reason, I was anxious that the army should retire into the town. The Maid then came to me, praying me to wait yet a little longer. Thereupon she mounted her horse, retired to a vineyard, all alone by herself, remained in prayer about half an hour, then, returning and seizing her banner by both hands, she placed herself on the edge of the trench. At sight of her the English trembled, and were seized with sudden fear; our people, on the contrary, took courage and began to mount and assail the Boulevard, not meeting any resistance. Thus was the Boulevard taken and the English therein put to flight: all were killed, among them Classidas115 and the other principal English captains of the Bastille, who, thinking to gain the Bridge Tower, fell into the river, where they were drowned. This Classidas was he who had spoken of the Maid with the greatest contempt and insult.
The Bastille taken, we re-entered the town of Orleans---the Maid and all the army---where we were received with enthusiasm. Joan was taken to her house, to receive the care which her wound required. When the surgeon had dressed it, she began to eat, contenting herself with four or five slices of bread dipped in wine and water, without, on that day, having eaten or drunk anything else.
The next day, early in the morning, the English came out of their camp and placed themselves in order of battle. At this sight, Joan got up and put on a light coat of mail; she forbade the English to be attacked or in any way molested but [gave orders] that they should be allowed to depart, which they did, without any pursuit. From that moment the town was delivered.
After the deliverance of Orleans, the Maid, with myself and the other captains, went to seek the King at the Castle of Loches, praying him to attack immediately the towns and the camps on the Loire, Mehun, Beaugency, Jargeau, in order to make his consecration at Rheims more free and sure. This she besought the King often, in the most urgent manner, to hasten, without longer delay. The King used the greatest haste possible, and sent, for this purpose, the Duke d'Alençon, myself and other captains, as well as Joan, to reduce these towns and camps. All were reduced in a few days---thanks alone, as I believe, to the intervention of the Maid.
After the deliverance of Orleans, the English assembled together a numerous army, to defend the aforesaid towns, which they occupied. When we had invested the camp and bridge of Beaugency, the English army arrived at the camp of Meung-sur- Loire, which was still under their control. But this army could not come to the help of the English besieged in the camp of Beaugency. At the news of the taking of this camp, all the English divisions joined together into one complete army; and we thought they would offer us battle: we made our dispositions accordingly. In presence of the Constable, myself, and the other captains, the Duke d'Alençon asked Joan what was to be done. She answered thus, in a loud voice: "Have all of you good spurs?" "What do you mean?" asked those present of her; "are we, then, to turn our backs?" "Nay," she replied, "it is the English who will not defend themselves, and will be beaten; and you must have good spurs to pursue them." And it fell out thus, as she had predicted: the English took to flight, and of killed and prisoners there were more than 4,000.
1137th of May.
114Antiquarians state that the Café le Bœuf at Orleans covers the ancient "Boulevard" captured by Joan d'Arc. This redoubt adjoined the "Tourelles" and was close to the bridge of Orleans. Many steps below ground, and entered from the Café le Bœuf, is a room of carefully constructed masonry, being the interior of a tower, with embrasures for cannon, and iron rings to which cannons were attached.
115i.e., William Glasdale, Bailly of Alençon. He was Captain of the Fort of the Tourelles, called here the Bridge Tower.
At Loches, after the raising of the siege of Orleans, I remember that, one day, the King, being in his private room with the Sieur Christopher d'Harcourt, the Bishop of Castres,116 his Confessor, and the Sieur de Trèves, who was formerly Chancellor of France,117 Joan and I went to seek him. Before entering, she knocked at the door; as soon as she had entered, she knelt before the King, and, embracing his knees, said these words: "Noble Dauphin! hold no longer these many and long councils, but come quickly to Rheims to take the crown for which you are worthy!" "Is it your Counsel who told you this?" said Christopher d'Harcourt. "Yes," she answered, "and my Counsel urges me to this most of all." "Will you not say, here, in presence of the King," added the Bishop, "what manner of Counsel it is which thus speaks to you?" "I think I understand," she said, coloring, "what you want to know; and I will tell you willingly." Then said the King: "Joan, will it please you to say, in presence of the persons who are listening to us, what has been asked you?" "Yes, Sire," she answered. And then she said this, or something approaching it: "When I am vexed that faith is not readily placed in what I wish to say in God's, Name, I retire alone, and pray to God. I complain to Him that those whom I address do not believe me more readily; and, my prayer ended, I hear a Voice which says to me: 'Daughter of God! go on! go on! go on! I will be your Help: go on!' And when I hear this Voice, I have great joy. I would I could always hear it thus." And, in repeating to us this language of her Voice, she was---strange to say!---in a marvelous rapture, raising her eyes to Heaven.
116Gerard Machet, according to the Chronique de la Pucelle; he was not Bishop until after the death of Joan.
117Robert le Maçon, Chancellor, in 1418, was harassed by the opposition of the Burgundian faction and the favorites of the Dauphin. He retired in 1421, and acted henceforward as a simple Councillor.
After the victories of which I have just spoken, the nobles of the Blood Royal and the captains wished the King to go into Normandy, and not to Rheims. But the Maid was always of opinion that it was necessary to go to Rheims, that the King should be consecrated, giving as a reason that, if once the King were consecrated and crowned, the power of his adversaries would decline, and that in the end they would be past the power of doing any injury, either to him or to his kingdom. And all consented to her opinion. The place where the King first halted, with his army, was under the town of Troyes; he there took counsel with the nobles of the Blood, and the other captains, to decide whether they should remain before this town, in order to lay siege to it, or whether it would not better avail to pass on and march straight to Rheims, leaving Troyes alone. The Council were divided in opinion, and no one knew which course to pursue, when Joan suddenly arrived, and appeared in the Council. "Noble Dauphin," she said, "order your people to come and besiege the town of Troyes, and lose no more time in such long councils. In God's Name, before three days are gone, I will bring you into this town by favor or force, and greatly will the false Burgundy be astounded." Then Joan, putting herself at the head of the army, had the tents placed right against the trenches of the town, and executed many marvelous maneuvers which had not been thought of by two or three accomplished generals working together. And so well did she work during the night, that, the next day, the Bishop118 and citizens came all trembling and quaking to place their submission in the King's hands. Afterwards, it was known that, at the moment when she had told the King's Council not to pass by the town, the inhabitants had suddenly lost heart, and had occupied themselves only in seeking refuge in the Churches. The town of Troyes once reduced, the King went to Rheims, where he found complete submission, and where he was consecrated and crowned.
Joan was accustomed to repair daily to Church at the time of Vespers, or towards evening; she had the bells rung for half-an-hour, and collected together all the Mendicant Friars who were following the army. Then she began to pray, and had an anthem in honor of the Blessed Mary, Mother of God, sung by the Mendicant Friars.
When the King came to La Ferté and to Crespy-en-Valois, the people ran about him, crying "Noel!" The Maid was then riding between the Archbishop of Rheims and myself: "This is a good people," she said to us; "I have seen none elsewhere who rejoiced as much at the coming of so noble a King. How happy should I be if, when my days are done, I might be buried here!" "Joan," then said the Archbishop to her, "in what place do you hope to die?" "Where it shall please God," she answered; "for I am not certain of either the time or the place, any more than you are yourself. Would it might please God, my Creator, that I might retire now, abandon arms and return to serve my father and mother and to take care of their sheep with my sister and my brothers, who would be so happy to see me again!"
There was never any one more sober. I often heard it said by the Sieur Jean d'Aulon, Knight, now Seneschal of Beaucaire, who had been appointed by the King to watch over her, as being the wisest and most worthy in the army, that he did not think there had ever been a more chaste woman. Neither I nor others, when we were with her, had ever an evil thought: there was in her something divine.
|118Jean Leguise, ennobled by Charles VII for his share in the surrender of the town.|
Fifteen days after the Earl of Suffolk119 had been made prisoner at the taking of Jargeau, a writing was sent to him containing four lines, in which it was said that a Maid should come from the Oak-wood who would ride on the backs of the archers and against them.120
Although Joan sometimes spoke in jest of the affairs of war, and although, to encourage the soldiers, she may have foretold events which were not realized, nevertheless, when she spoke seriously of the war, and of her deeds and her mission, she only affirmed earnestly that she was sent to raise the siege of Orleans, and to succor the oppressed people of that town and the neighboring places, and to conduct the King to Rheims that he might be consecrated.
119William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, Grand Steward of the King of England.
120The prophecy of Merlin, as it appears in MS. 7301 of the Bibliothèque Nationale, runs: " Descendit virgo dorsum sagittari et flores virgineos obscultabit."
LOUIS DE CONTES.121
Shortly afterwards she was taken to Poitiers; then to Tours, where she resided with a woman called Lapau. In this place the Duke d'Alençon made her a present of a horse, which I saw at the house of the woman Lapau. At Tours I became her page; with me also was one named Raymond. From that time I remained with her, and was always with her as her page, at Blois, as well as at Orleans, and until she reached the walls of Paris.
While she was at Tours the King gave her a complete suit of armour and an entire military household. From Tours she went to Blois with the army, who had great faith in her. Joan remained some time with the army at Blois; how long I do not remember. Then it was decided that she should go to Orleans by the Sologne. She started fully armed, accompanied by her men-at- arms, to whom she said without ceasing that they were to put all their confidence in Our Lord and to confess their sins. On the way I saw her during this journey receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
|121Louis de Contes was brother-in-law of Beauharnais, the Bourgeois of Orleans. He was a son of Jean de Contes, Captain of Châteaudun, and Chamberlain to the Duke d'Orleans.|
Having arrived near Orleans on the side of the Sologne, Joan with many others and myself were conducted to the opposite side of the Loire, on which side is the city of Orleans; and from thence we entered the said town. In her journey from Blois to Orleans, Joan had been all bruised, because on the night of the start from Blois she had slept fully armed. At Orleans she lived at the house of the Treasurer122 of the Town, facing the Bannier Gate; and in this house she received the Sacrament. The day after her arrival she went to seek the Sieur Bastard of Orleans, with whom she had an interview. On her return I saw she was quite vexed that, as she told me, the captains had decided not to attack the English on that day. She went nevertheless to a Boulevard which the French were occupying, opposite to one garrisoned by the English, and there she spoke with them, telling them to retire in God's Name, or otherwise she would drive them away. One of them, called the Bastard of Granville, assailed her with many insults: "Do you wish us," he said, "to surrender to a woman?" At the same time, he called the Frenchmen who were with her "maquereaux mescreans." Then Joan returned to her lodging, and went up into her chamber: I thought she was going to sleep: shortly afterwards, there she was, coming down from her chamber; " Ah, bloodthirsty boy," she said to me, "you did not tell me that the blood of France was being shed!"123 And she ordered me to go and look for her horse. At the same time she was being armed by the lady of the house and her daughter. When I returned with her horse I found her already armed: she told me to go and seek her banner, which had been left in her chamber: I passed it to her through the window. Immediately she rode hastily towards the Burgundy gate, whither the lady with whom she lodged told me to follow her, which I did. The attack took place against the Fort of Saint Loup; and in this attack the Boulevard was taken. On the way Joan met several of the French wounded, at which she was much disturbed. The English were preparing to resist when Joan advanced against them in all haste. As soon as the French saw her they began to shout aloud; and thus was the Fort of Saint Loup taken. I heard it said that the English ecclesiastics had taken their ornaments, and had thus come before her; that Joan had received them without allowing any harm to be done them, and had had them conducted to her lodging; but that the other English had been killed by the people of Orleans.
In the evening Joan returned to supper in her lodging. She had always most sober habits: many times I saw her eat nothing during a whole day but a morsel of bread. I was astonished that she ate so little. When she was in her lodging she ate only twice a day.
123["Ha! sanglant garçon, vous ne me dyriez pas que le sanc de France feust repandu!"]
The next day, towards 3 o'clock, the soldiers of the King crossed the Loire to attack the Fort of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc, which they took, as also the Fort of the Augustins.124 Joan crossed the river with them, and I accompanied her: then she re-entered Orleans, and went back to sleep at her lodging with some women, as she was in the habit of doing: for every night, as far as possible, she had a woman to sleep by her, and when she could not find one in war, or in camp, she slept fully dressed.
The following day, in spite of many Lords pretending that it was exposing the King's followers to too great a danger, she had the Burgundy gate opened, and a small gate near the great tower: she then crossed the water with some of her followers to attack the Fort of the Bridge, which the English still held. The King's troops remained there from morning to night, and Joan was wounded: it was necessary to take off her armor to dress the wound but hardly was it dressed when she armed herself afresh and went to rejoin her followers at the attack and the assault, which had gone on from morning without ceasing. And when the Boulevard was taken Joan still continued the assault with her men, exhorting them to have a good heart and not to retire, because the fort would very soon be theirs. "When," she told them, "you see the wind drive the banner towards the fort, it will be yours! "But the evening was drawing on, and her followers, seeing they made no way, despaired of success; yet Joan persisted always, assuring them they would take the fort that day. Then they prepared to attempt a last assault; and when the English saw this they made no resistance, but were seized with panic, and nearly all were drowned; nor did they during this attack even defend themselves. Those who survived retreated the next day to Beaugency and Meung. The King's army followed them, Joan accompanying it. The English offered to surrender Beaugency by agreement, or to fight; but on the day of combat they retired again; and the army began afresh to pursue them. On this day La Hire commanded the vanguard, at which Joan was much vexed, for she liked much to have the command of the vanguard. La Hire threw himself on the English, and the King's army was victorious: nearly all the English were slain.
Joan, who was very humane, had great compassion at such butchery. Seeing a Frenchman, who was charged with the convoy of certain English prisoners, strike one of them on the head in such manner that he was left for dead on the ground, she got down from her horse, had him confessed, supporting his head herself, and comforting him to the best of her power.
|124Cœlestinorum, in the text.|
Afterwards she went with the army to Jargeau, which was taken by assault, with many English, among whom were Suffolk and de la Pole.125 After the deliverance of Orleans, and all these victories, Joan went with the army to Tours, where the King was. There it was decided that the King should go to Rheims for his consecration. The King left with the army, accompanied by Joan, and marched first to Troyes, which submitted; then to Chalons, which did the same; and last to Rheims, where our King was crowned and anointed in my presence---for I was, as I have already said, page to Joan, and never left her. I remained with her until she arrived before Paris.
She was a good and modest woman, living as a Catholic, very pious, and, when she could, never failing to be present at the Mass. To hear blasphemies upon the Name of Our Lord vexed her. Many times when the Duke d'Alençon swore or blasphemed before her, I heard her reprove him. As a rule, no one in the army dared swear or blaspheme before her, for fear of being reprimanded.
She would have no women in her army. One day, near Château-Thierry, seeing the mistress of one of her followers riding on horseback, she pursued her with her sword, without striking her at all; but with gentleness and charity she told her she must no longer be found amongst the soldiers, otherwise she would suffer for it.
I know nothing more, not having seen her after Paris.
The Reverend Father in God, the Lord JEAN DE
MAILLY, Bishop of Noyon.
I remember that, the day before the discourse at St. Ouen, I was present at an Exhortation addressed to Joan; but what was said or done I do not remember. I was present also on the day after, when a sermon was given at St. Ouen by Maître Guillaume Érard. There were two galleries or scaffolds: on one were the Bishop of Beauvais, myself and others; and on the other the preacher, Maître Guillaume Érard, and Joan. The words of the preacher I do not remember; but I remember well that, either then or on, the preceding day, Joan said that, if there had been aught evil in her words or deeds, whatever of either good or ill had been in her speech or action came from herself alone, and not from her King. After the sermon, I perceived that Joan was ordered to do or say something. I believe it was to abjure; they said to her: "Joan, do what you are advised. Would you cause your own death?" These words verily moved her to make her Abjuration. After this Abjuration, many said that it was a mere trick, and that she had acted only in derision.
I remember to have heard---from whom I cannot recall---that the man's dress was returned to her by the window.
For the rest, I was present at the last sermon on the day she was burnt. There were three galleries or scaffolds: one where sat the judges, one where many Bishops sat, myself among them, and one where wood was prepared for the burning of Joan. At the end of the sermon the sentence was pronounced which delivered Joan to secular justice. After this sentence was pronounced, Joan began to make many pious exclamations and lamentations; and among other things she said that nothing she had done, either good or ill had been suggested by the King. Thereupon I left, not wishing to see the burning of Joan. I saw many of the bystanders weeping.
As to certain letters of guarantee which the King of England gave to the Bishop of Beauvais and others concerned in this Trial, in which I, the Bishop of Noyon, am mentioned as having been present, I can well believe that it was so, though I do not remember much about it.
SENTENCE OF REHABILITATION
In the name of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen!
The Providence of the Eternal Majesty, the Savior Christ, Lord God and Man, has instituted, for the rule of His Church Militant, the Blessed Peter, and his Apostolic Successors; He has made them His principal representatives, and charged them, by the light of truth, which He has manifested to them, to teach men how to walk in the paths of justice, protecting the good, relieving the oppressed in the whole universe, and, by a reasonable judgment, bringing back into the right road those who have turned therefrom:
Invested with this Apostolic authority for the matter in question, we Jean of Rheims, Guillaume of Paris, and Richard of Coutances, by the Grace of God Archbishop and Bishops, and Jean Bréhal, of the Order of Saint Dominic, Professor of Sacred Theology, one of the two Inquisitors of the Heretical Evil for the Realm of France, all four judges specially delegated by our most Holy Lord the Pope actually reigning:
Having seen the solemn Process brought before us, by virtue of the Apostolic Mandate addressed to us, and by us respectfully accepted:
In the Case concerning the honest woman, Widow Isabelle d'Arc, mother, Pierre and Jean d'Arc, brothers german, natural and legal, of the deceased Joan d'Arc, of good memory, commonly called the Maid:
The said Case brought in their name,
Against the Sub-Inquisitor of the Heretical Evil for the Diocese of Beauvais, the Promoter of the Officiality of the said Diocese of Beauvais, and also the Reverend Father in Christ and Lord Guillaume de Hellande, Bishop of Beauvais, and against all others and each in particular who might be thought to be therein interested, all together respectively Defendants, as well conjointly as separately:
Having seen, in the first place, the peremptory citation and the execution of this citation made against the said Defendants, at the request not only of the said Plaintiffs but of the Promoter of our Office appointed by us, sworn and created, to the end that the said Defendants might see the carrying out of the said Rescript, hear the conclusions against them, and answer themselves; and to proceed, in one word, according to right:
Having seen the request of the said Plaintiffs, their deeds, reasons, and conclusion set down in writing under the form of Articles, putting forward a declaration of nullity, of iniquity, and of cozenage against a certain Process in a pretended Trial for the Faith, formerly done and executed in this city against the above-named woman, now deceased, by the late Lord Pierre Cauchon, then Bishop of Beauvais, Jean Lemaître, then Vice-Inquisitor of the said Diocese of Beauvais, and Jean d'Estivet, Promoter, or having at least acted in this capacity; the said request putting forward and inferring further the breaking down and annulling of the Process in question and of all which followed it, to the justification of the said Deceased, and to all the other ends therein enumerated:
Having seen, read, re-read and examined the original books, instruments, means, acts, notes and protocols of the said Process, shown and sent to us, in virtue of the compulsory letters, by the Registrars and others whose signatures and writings have been, as a preliminary, acknowledged in our presence:
After having studied at length all these documents, not only with the said Registrars and other officials appointed in the said Process, but also with those of the Counselors who were called to the same Process, those, at least, whom we have been able to bring before us:
And after having ourselves collated and compared the final text, with the Minute itself of the said Process:
|125John de la Pole, Captain of Avranches, brother of the Earl of Suffolk.|
Having considered also the Preparatory Enquiries,first, those which were conducted by the Most Reverend Father in Christ the Lord Guillaume, Cardinal Priest under the title of Saint- Martin-les-Monts,126 then Legate of the Holy Apostolic See in the Kingdom of France, assisted by the Inquisitor, after the examination which had been made by the said Cardinal-Legate of the books and instruments then presented:
Having afterwards considered the Preparatory Enquiry conducted at the beginning of the actual Process by us or our Commissaries:
Having considered also divers treatises which had come from the Prelates, Doctors, and men of learning, the most celebrated and the most authorized, who, after having studied at length the books and instruments of the said Process, have separated from these books and instruments the doubtful points which they would have to elucidate in their said treatises composed afterwards and brought to light, whether by the order of the most Reverend Father aforesaid or of us:
Having considered the Articles and Interrogations to be submitted to the witnesses, presented to us in the name of the Plaintiffs and of our Promoter, and after many citations admitted in proof by us:
Having considered the depositions and attestations of the witnesses heard on the subject of the said Articles and Interrogations on the life of the said Deceased in the place of her birth;---on her departure; on her examination before several Prelates, Doctors, and others having knowledge thereof, in presence notably of the Most Reverend Father Reginald, then Archbishop of Rheims and Metropolitan of the said Bishop of Beauvais: an examination made at Poitiers and elsewhere, on several occasions; on the marvelous deliverance of the city of Orleans; on the journey to the city of Rheims and the coronation of the King; and the divers circumstances of the Trial, the qualifications, the judges, and the manner of proceeding:
Having considered also letters, instruments, and measures, besides the letters, depositions and attestations Just mentioned, sent to us and produced in the course of law
Having afterwards heard our Promoter, who, considering these productions and these sayings, declares himself fully joined with the Plaintiffs:
Having heard the other requests and reserves made by our Promoter, in his own name as well as in that of the Plaintiffs, the said requests and reserves admitted by us and received at the same time as certain reasons of law briefly formulated, of a nature also to impress our minds:
After the Case had been concluded, in the Name of Christ, and this day had been assigned by us to give sentence:
|126Guillaume d'Estouteville: Enquiry of 1452.|
After having, with great matureness, weighed, examined, all and each one of the aforesaid things, as well as certain Articles beginning with these words "A certain Woman, &c.,"127 which the Judges in the first Process did pretend to have extracted from the confessions of the said Deceased, and which have been submitted by us to a great number of staid persons for their opinion; Articles which our Promoter, as well as the Plaintiffs aforesaid, attacked as iniquitous, false, prepared without reference to the confessions of Joan, and in a lying manner:
That our present judgment may come as from the Face of God Himself, Who weigheth the spirits, Who alone infallibly knoweth His revelations, and doth hold them always at their true value, Who bloweth where He listeth, and doth often choose the weak to confound the strong, never forsaking those who trust in Him, but being their Support in their sorrows and their tribulations:
After having had ripe deliberation, as much on the subject of the Preparatory Enquiries as on the decision itself, with persons at the same time expert, authorized, and prudent:
Having considered their solemn decisions, formulated in the treatises written out in a compendious manner, and in numerous consultations:
Having considered their opinion, written or verbal, furnished and given, not only on the form but also on the basis of the Process, and according to which the actions of the said Deceased, being woryour of admiration rather than of condemnation, the judgment given against her should, in form as well as in basis, be reprehended and detested:
And because on the question of revelations it is most difficult to furnish a certain judgment, the Blessed Paul having, on the subject of his own revelations, said that he knew not if they came to him in body or in spirit, and having on this point referred himself to God:
In the first place, we say, and, because justice requires it, we declare, that the Articles beginning with the words "A woman," which are found inserted in the pretended Process and Instrument of the pretended sentences, lodged against the said Deceased, ought to have been, have been, and are, extracted from the said pretended Process and the said pretended confessions of the said Deceased, with corruption, cozenage, calumny, fraud and malice:
We declare, that on certain points the truth of her confessions has been passed over in silence; that on other points her confessions have been falsely translated---a double unfaithfulness, by which, had it been prevented, the mind of the Doctors consulted and the judges might have been led to a different opinion:
We declare, that in these Articles there have been added without right many aggravating circumstances, which are not in the aforesaid Confessions, and many circumstances both relevant and justifying have been passed over in silence:
We declare, that even the form of certain words has been altered, in such manner as to change the substance:
For the which, these same Articles, as falsely, calumniously, and deceitfully extracted, and as contrary even to the Confessions of the Accused, we break, annihilate, and annul; and, after they shall have been detached from the Process we ordain, by this present judgment, that they be torn up:
In the second place, after having examined with great care the other parts of the same said Process---particularly the two sentences which the Process contained, designated by the judges as "Lapse" and "Relapse"---and after having also for a long time weighed the qualifications of the Judges and of all those under whom and in whose keeping the said Joan was detained:
We say, pronounce, decree, and declare, the said Processes and Sentences full of cozenage, iniquity, inconsequences, and manifest errors, in fact as well as in law; We say that they have been, are, and shall be---as well as the aforesaid Abjuration, their execution, and all that followed---null, non-existent, without value or effect.
Never the less, in so far as is necessary, and as reason doth command us, we break them, annihilate them, annul them, and declare them void of effect; and we declare that the said Joan and her relatives, Plaintiffs in the actual Process, have not, on account of the said Trial, contracted nor incurred any mark or stigma of infamy; we declare them quit and purged of all the consequences of these same Processes; we declare them, in so far as is necessary, entirely purged thereof by this present:
We ordain that the execution and solemn publication of our present Sentence shall take place immediately in this city, in two different places, to wit,
To-day in the Square of Saint Ouen, after a General Procession and a public Sermon:
To-morrow, at the Old Market-Place, in the same place where the said Joan was suffocated by a cruel and horrible fire, also with a General Preaching and with the placing of a handsome cross for the perpetual memory of the Deceased and for her salvation and that of other deceased persons:
We declare that we reserve to ourselves [the power] later on to execute, publish, and for the honour of her memory to signify with acclaim, our said sentence in the cities and other well-known places of the kingdom wherever we shall find it well [so to do], under the reserves, finally, of all other formalities which may yet remain to be done.
This present Sentence has been brought out, read and promulgated by the Lords judges, in presence of the Reverend Father in Christ the Lord Bishop of Démétriade, of Hector de Coquerel, Nicolas du Boys, Alain Olivier, Jean du Bec, Jean de Gouys, Guillaume Roussel, Laurent Surreau, Canons; of Martin Ladvenu, Jean Roussel, and Thomas de Fanouillères.
Maitre Simon Chapitault, Promoter; Jean d'Arc and Prevosteau for the other Plaintiffs.
Done at Rouen in the at the Archiepiscopal Palace in the 7th day of the month of June in the Year of our Lord 1456.
|127Namely, the Twelve Articles [to which Joan confessed].|
From Enguerrand de Monstrelet, Chronicles of Enguerrand de Monstrelet, trans. Thomas Johnes, vol. 1 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853).
Enguerrand de Monstrelet was from a noble family, and was probably born in the late thirteenth century. He followed a military career and may have been Enguerrand mentioned as the captain of the count of Saint-Pol in 1422. He retired to Cambrai in 1436 and died in 1453. He was an active participant in the last phase of the Hundred Years War. This phase of the war began after the death of King Charles VI in 1422.
When Charles died, most of northern France was either in English hands or in the hands of England's Burgundian allies. The dukes of Burgundy, who were also became the counts of Flanders through a marriage alliance, were offshoots of the French royal house, but it seemed possible for a time that they would successfully build an independent state between France and Germany, a new kingdom of Burgundy. This did not happen, however. In 1429 Joan of Arc successfully rallied the French, and although she was executed in 1431, Charles VII "the Victorious" continued to build on his gains until 1453, when the war effectively ended with a nearly total French victory. After his win, Charles VII and his son Louis XI then turned their attention to their Burgundian kin. The decisive factor, however, was the death of Charles the Bold of Burgundy in battle in 1477. He left only a daughter as his heir and his lands were divided between the German Empire and France.
Throughout the Hundred Years war and the Burgundian attempt at independence, historians participated on both sides. de Monstrelet wrote on the Burgundian side, as did Thomas Basin, while Matthew d'Escouchy wrote on the French side. However, de Monstrelet began his chronicle in 1399, where an earlier French chronicler, Jean Froissart, ended his account, and d'Escouchy picked up from de Monstrelet. Therefore, although historians wrote propaganda for one side, they were acutely aware of what the other side was producing. De Monstrelet was highly successful as a historian; there are many manuscripts of his work and his history was printed very early in the history of printing.
De Monstrelet was in a particularly good position to give an account of Joan of Arc, because he was present when she was interrogated by Philip the Good of Burgundy/Flanders, and he had ample opportunity to talk to eyewitnesses of other phases of the war which he did not personally witness.
CHAPTER LVII---A Maiden named Joan waits on King
Charles at Chinon where he resided---The King retains her in his service
She remained about two months in the king's household, frequently admouishing him to give her men and support, and that she would repulse his enemies, and exalt his name. The king and council in the mean time knew not how to act; for they put no great faith in what she said, considering her as one out of her senses; for to such noble persons the expressions she used are dangerous to be believed, as well for fear of the anger of the Lord, as for the blasphemous discourses which they may occasion in the world. After some time, however, she was promised men-at-arms and support: a standard was also given her, on which she caused to be painted a representation of our Creator. All her conversation was of God, on which account great numbers of those who heard her had great faith in what she said, and believed her inspired, as she declared herself to be.
She was many times examined by learned clerks, and other prudent persons of rank to find out her real intentions; but she kept to her purpose, and always replied, that if the king would believe her, she would restore to him his kingdom. In the mean time, she did several acts which shall be hereafter related, that gained her great renown. When she came first to the king, the duke d'Alençon, the king's marshal, and other captains were with him, for he had held a grand council relative to the siege of Orleans: from Chinon the king went to Poitiers, accompanied by the Maid.
Shortly after, the marshal was ordered to convey provisions and stores, under a strong escort, to the army within Orleans. Joan requested to accompany him, and that armour should be given her, which was done. She then displayed her standard and went to Blois where the escort was to assemble, and thence to Orleans, always dressed in complete armour. On this expedition many warriors served under her; and when she arrived at Orleans great
feasts were made for her, and the garrison and townsmen were delighted at her coming among them.
CHAPTER LVIII.---Ambassadors are sent by King Charles, and the burghers of Orleans, to Paris, to negotiate a treaty with the regent, that the town of Orleans may remain in peace
|1Robert lord of Baudricourt and Blaise, bailiff of Chaumont, and Captain of Vaucoulcurs. His son John became a mareschal of France.|
At the beginning of this year, the duke of Burgundy arrived at Paris with about six hundred horse, and was most joyfully received by the duke of Bedford and the duchess his sister. Soon after came thither Poton de Saintrailles, Pierre d'Orgin, and other noble ambassadors from king Charles, with envoys from the town of Orleans, to negotiate with the duke-regent and king Henry's council2 for that town to remain in peace, and that it should be placed in the hands of the duke of Burgundy, for him to govern it at his pleasure, and to maintain its neutrality. It was also pleaded, that the duke of Orleans and his brother, the count d'Angoulême, who had for a long time past been the right owners of the town, were now prisoners in England, and had been no way concerned in this war.
The duke of Bedford assembled his council many times on this matter, but they could not agree respecting it. Several urged the great expenses king Henry had been put to for this siege and the great losses be had sustained of his principal captains,---adding, that the town could not hold out much longer, for it was hard pressed for provision, and that it was a place more advantageous for them to possess than any other, supporting what they said by several weighty reasons. Others were not pleased that it should be put into the hands of the duke of Burgundy, saying that it was unreasonable, when king Henry and his vassals had supported all the risks and danger, that the duke of Burgundy should reap the profit and honor, with out striking a blow. One among them, called master Raoul le Saige, said, that he would never be present when they should chew, for the duke of Burgundy to swallow. In short, after much debating of the business, it was finally concluded that the request of the ambassadors should not be granted, and that the town should no otherwise be received in favor than by its surrender to the English. The ambassadors hearing this, made a reply, which they had not however been charged with, that they knew well the townsmen of Orleans would suffer the utmost extremities rather than submit to such conditions. The ambassadors then returned to Orleans, to report the answer they had received.
The duke of Burgundy was very well pleased with their conduct in this matter, and would not have disliked, had it been agreeable to the regent and council, to have had the government of Orleans, as much from his affection to his cousin of Orleans as to prevent it suffering the perils likely to befall it; but the English, at that time, in full tide of prosperity, never considered that the wheel of fortune might turn against them. The duke of Burgundy, while at Paris, had made many requests to his brother-in-law the regent, for himself and his adherents, which, however, were but little attended to. Having staid at Paris about three weeks, he returned to Flanders, where he was attacked by a severe illness, but by the attentions of able physicians he recovered his health.
CHAPTER LIX.---The Maid with many noble French Captains
of great renown reinforce and revictual the town of Orleans and
afterwards raise the siege.
On the morrow, which was a Thursday, Joan rose early, and addressing herself to some of the principal captains, prevailed on them to arm, and follow her,---for she wished, as she said, to attack the enemy, being fully assured they would be vanquished. These captains and other warriors, surprised at her words, were induced to arm and make an assault on the tower of St. Loup, which was very strong, and garrisoned with from three to four hundred English. They were, not withstanding the strength of the block house, soon defeated, and all killed or made prisoners, and the fortification was set on fire and demolished. The Maid, having accomplished her purpose, returned with the nobles and knights who had followed her to the town of Orleans, where she was greatly feasted and honored by all ranks. The ensuing day she again made a sally, with a certain number of combatants, to attack another of the English forts, which was as well garrisoned as the former one, but which was in like manner destroyed by fire, and those within put to the sword. On her return to the town after this second exploit, she was more honored and respected than ever.
On the next day, Saturday, she ordered the tower at the end of the bridge to be attacked. This was strongly fortified, and had within it the flower of the English chivalry and men-at-arms, who defended themselves for a long time with the utmost courage; but it availed them nothing, for by dint of prowess they were overcome, and the greater part put to the sword. On this occasion were slain, a valiant English captain named Classendach, the lord Molins, the bailiff of Evreux, and many more warriors of great and noble estate.
The Maid, after this victory, returned to Orleans with the nobles who had accompanied her, and with but little loss of men. Notwithstanding that at these three attacks Joan was, according to common fame, supposed to have been the leader, she had with her all the most expert and gallant captains who for the most part had daily served, at this siege of Orleans, mention of whom has been before made. Each of these three captains exerted himself manfully at these attacks, so that from six to eight thousand combatants were killed or taken, while the French did not lose more than one hundred men of all ranks.
The ensuing Sunday, the English captains, namely, the earl of Suffolk, lord Talbot, lord Scales and others, seeing the destruction of their forts, and the defeat of their men, resolved, after some deliberation, to form the remains of their army into one body, march out of their camp, and wait prepared for any engagement, should the enemy be willing to offer them battle, otherwise they would march away in good order for such towns as were under their obedience. This resolution they instantly executed on Sunday morning, when they abandoned their forts, setting fire to several, and drew up in battle-array, expecting the French would come to fight with them; but they had no such intentions, having been exhorted to the contrary by Joan the Maid. The English, having waited a considerable time for them, in vain, marched away, lest their forces might be further diminished, without prospect of success.
The townsmen of Orleans were greatly rejoiced on seeing themselves, by their dishonorable retreat, delivered from such false and traitorous enemies, who had for so long a time kept them in the utmost danger. Many men-at-arms were despatched to examine the remaining forts, in which they found some provision, and great quantities of other things, all of which were carried safely to the town, and made good cheer of, for they had cost them nothing. The whole of these castles were soon burnt, and razed to the ground, so that no men at arms, from whatever country they might come, should ever lodge in them again.
CRAPTER LX.---The King of France, at the requests of
the Maid Joan and the noble captains in Orleans, sends them a large
reinforcement of men-at-arms to pursue his enemies
the first person summoned was the Maid, for she was now in high reputation. At length, on the 4th day of May, the siege of Orleans having been raised, the French took the field with about five or six thousand combatants, and marched straight for Gergeau, where the earl of Suffolk and his brothers were quartered. The earl had sent frequent messages to the regent at Paris, to acquaint him with the misfortunes that had happened at Orleans, and to request speedy succours, or he would be in danger of losing several towns and castles which he held in Beauce and on the river Loire. The duke of Bedford was much angered and cast down at this intelligence; but seeing the necessity of immediately attending to what was most urgent, sent in haste for four or five thousand men from all the parts under his dominion, whom he ordered toward the country of Orleans, under the command of Sir Thomas Rampstone, the bastard de Thian and others, promising very soon to join them with the large reenforcements which he was daily expecting from England.
CHAPTER LXI.---The Maid Joan, with the constable of
France, the duke d'Alençon, and their men, conquer the town of
Gergeau.---The battle of Pataye, when the French defeat the English.
Thus was the town and castle of Gergeau won by the French, who after their victory refreshed themselves at their ease. On departing thence, they went to Mehun, which soon surrendered; and the English who were in la Ferté-Imbaut fled in a body to Beaugency, whither they were pursued by the French, always having the Maid with her standard in front, and they quartered themselves near to Beaugency. The whole report of the country now resounded with praises of the Maid, and no other warrior was noticed.
The principal English captains in Beaugency, observing that the fame of this Maid had turned their good fortune, that many of their towns and castles were now under the subjection of the enemy, some through force of arms, others by composition,---and that their men were panic-struck by their misfortunes, were very desirous of retiring into Normandy. They were, however, uncertain how to act, or whether they should soon receive succor; and thus situated, they treated with the French for the delivery of the town, on condition that they might depart in safety with their property. On the conclusion of this treaty, the English marched away through Beauce toward Paris; and the French joyfully entered Beaugency, whence they resolved, by the advice of the Maid, to advance to meet a party of the English, who they heard were marching to offer them combat, They again took the field, and were daily reinforced by new-comers.
|2Henry VI of England. Henry had a regent, because he was still a child. Because Henry's mother was Charles's sister, Henry was Charles's nephew. The Hundred Years War was a war among relatives.|
The constable ordered the marshal de Boussac,3 La Hire, Poton, and some other captains, to form the vanguard; and the main body, under the command of the duke d'Alençon, the bastard of Orleans, and the marshal de Raix,4 amounting to eight or nine thousand combatants, to follow it close. The Maid was asked by some of the princes, what she would advise to be done, or if she had any orders to give. She said, "that she knew full well their ancient enemies the English were on their march to fight with them,---but in Gods name advance boldly against them,---and assuredly they shall be conquered." Some present having asked, "where they should meet them?" she replied, "Ride boldly forward, and you will be conducted to them."
The army was then drawn up in battle array, and advanced slowly, for they had despatched sixty or eighty of their most expert men-at-arms, mounted on the fleetest horses, to reconnoitre the country and gain intelligence of the enemy. They thus marched for some time, until they came within half a league of a large village called Pataye. The men-at-arms who had been sent to reconnoitre put up a stag, which ran straight for the army of the English, who were assembling their men together, namely those who had come from Paris, as has been mentioned, and those who had marched from Beaugency,---and the English seeing the stag dash through them, set up a loud shout, not knowing the enemy was so near; but this shout satisfied the scouts where the English were, and a moment afterward they saw them quite plain. They sent back some of their companions with intelligence of what they had seen, and they desired that the army might advance in order of battle, for the hour of business was at hand. They immediately made every preparation with great courage, and were soon in sight of the enemy
The English, observing the French advance, made also their preparations with diligence for the combat. Some of the captains proposed that they should dismount where they then were, and take advantage of the hedge rows to prevent being surprised on their rear; but others were of a contrary opinion, and said they should be better off on the plain. In consequence they retreated about half a quarter of a league from their former position, which was
full of hedges and bushes. The French were very eager to come up with them; and the greater part dismounted, turning their horses loose.
3John de Béosse, lord of St. Sève and Boussac, marshal of France in 1424.
4Marshal de Raix is Giles de Laval, marshal de Retz, afterward burned for sorcery, and other infamous crimes. [See above for more about Gilles de Rais.
The vanguard of the French were impatient for the attack, having lately found the English very slack in their defense, and made so sudden and violent a charge that they were unable to form themselves in proper order. Sir John Fastolfe5 and the bastard de Thian had not dismounted, and, to save their lives they, with many other knights, set off full gallop. In the mean time those who had dismounted were surrounded by the French before they had time to fortify themselves, as usual, with sharp-pointed stakes in their front; and without doing any great mischief to the French, they were soon completely defeated. About eighteen hundred English were left dead on the field, and from one hundred to six score made prisoners, the principal of whom were the lords Scales, Talbot, Hungerford, sir Thomas Rampstone and several more. Some of the great lords were killed, and the rest were people of low degree, of the same sort as those whom they were accustomed to bring from their own country to die in France.
When the business was over, which was about two o'clock in the afternoon, all the French captains assembled together, and devoutly and humbly returned thanks to their Creator for the victory. They were very gay on their good fortune, and lodged that night in the village of Pataye, which is two leagues distant from Anville in Beauce; and this battle will bear the name of that town forever.
On the morrow, the French returned to Orleans and the adjacent parts with their prisoners. They were everywhere received with the utmost joy; but the Maid especially seemed to have acquired so great renown, it was believed that the king's enemies could not resist her, and that by her means he would soon be acknowledged throughout his kingdom. She accompanied the other captains to the king, who was much rejoiced at their success, and gave them a gracious reception. Several councils were held in the presence of the king; and it was resolved to collect as many men-at-arms as possible from all parts under his dominion to pursue his enemies.
On the day of the battle of Pataye, before the English knew that their enemies were so near, Sir John Fastolfe one of the chief captains, and who fled without striking a blow, assembled a council, when he remonstrated on the losses they bad suffered before Orleans, at Gergeau and other places, which had greatly lowered the courage of their men, and on the contrary raised that of the French, and which made him now advise that they should retire to some of their strong towns in the neighborhood, and not think of combating the enemy until their men were more reconciled to their late defeats, and until the reinforcements should be sent them which the regent was expecting from England. This language was not very agreeable to some of the captains, more especially to lord Talbot, who declared that if the enemy came he would fight them.
|5[This John Fastolfe is the model for Shakespeare's Falstaff.]|
Sir John Fastolfe was bitterly reproached by the duke of Bedford for having thus fled from the battle,---and he was deprived of the order of the Garter:6 however, in time, the remonstrances he had made in council, previously to the battle, were considered as reasonable; and this, with other circumstances and excuses he made, regained him the order of the Garter. Nevertheless, great quarrels arose between him and lord Talbot on this business, when the latter was returned from his captivity. Prior to the battle of Pataye, Jacques de Milly, Gilles de St. Simon, Louis de Marconnay, Jean de la Haye, and other valiant men, were made knights by the French.
|6[The order of the Garter was created in the previous century by Edward III of England (1327-77); it was the second of the chivalric orders to be founded (in 1348; it was preceded by the Castilian order of the Band, c. 1330). The French king John II (1350-64) founded the order of the Star in 1351. Generally, to be a member of one of these orders, one had to be noble and beyond reproach, that is, one cannot be known to have committed an act considered contrary to one's honor.]|
CHAPTER LXII.---The duke of Burgundy, at the request of
the duke of Bedford comes to Paris, when they renew their alliances.
The duke complied with their request, and promised to be at Paris within a few days. He instantly assembled from seven to eight hundred combatants from his territories in Artois by whom he was escorted to Paris. His arrival gave great joy to all ranks, and for many days he and the regent held constant councils on the present state of affairs, at the end of which they entered into the following mutual engagement, namely, that each would exert his whole powers to resist their adversary Charles de Valois, and then solemnly renewed the alliances that existed between them. When these things were done, the duke of Burgundy returned to Artois, and carried his sister the duchess of Bedford with him, whom he established with her household at Lens in Artois. The duke of Bedford despatched messengers to England, with orders to send him, without delay, as large a body of the most expert men-at-arms as could be raised. In like manner he called to him the different garrisons in Normandy, and from other parts under his government, with all nobles and others accustomed to bear arms.
Some little time before, about four thousand combatants had been sent from England to the regent, under the command of the cardinal of Winchester, who crossed the sea with them to Calais, and thence marched to Amiens. The cardinal went from Amiens to Corbie, to meet the duke of Burgundy and his sister-in-law the duchess of Bedford, who were on their return from Paris. After they had conferred together some time, the cardinal went back to Amiens, and conducted his men to the regent, who was much rejoiced at their arrival. In these days, John, bastard of St. Pol, was sent to the duke of Bedford with a certain number of men from Picardy, by orders of the duke of Burgundy. The regent appointed him governor of the town and castle of Meaux in Brie, and gave him the sovereign command of all the adjacent country, to defend it against the power of king Charles, who was daily expected in these parts.
|7Philip III "the good" (1419-67).|
CHAPTER LXIII.---King Charles of France takes the field
with a numerous body of Chivalry and men-at-arms.---Many towns and
castles submit to him on his march.
The king on his march reduced two towns to his obedience, Gergeau and St. Florentin, the inhabitants of which promised henceforward to be faithful to him, and to conduct themselves as loyal subjects should do to their lord: and they obtained the king's promise that he would rule them justly, and according to their ancient customs. He thence marched to Auxerre, and sent to summon the inhabitants to surrender to their natural and legal lord. At first, the townsmen were not inclined to listen to any terms, but commissioners being appointed on each side, a treaty was concluded, in which they engaged to render similar obedience to what the towns of Troyes, Châlons, and Rheims, should assent to. They supplied the king's army with provision for money, and remained peaceable, for the king held them excused this time.
The king marched next to Troyes, and encamped his men around it. He was three days there before the inhabitants would admit him as their lord: however, in consideration of certain promises made them, they opened the gates and permitted him and his army to enter their town, where he heard mass. When the usual oaths had been received and given on each side, the king returned to his camp, and caused it to be proclaimed several times throughout the camp and town, that no one, under pain of death, should molest the inhabitants of Troyes, or those of the other towns which had submitted to his obedience. On this expedition, the two marshals, namely, Boussac and the lord de Raix, commanded the van division, and with them were, la Hire, Poton de Saintrailles, and other captains. Very many great towns and castles submitted to king Charles on his march, the particulars of which I shall pass over for the sake of brevity.
CHAPTER LXIV.---King Charles of France, with a noble
chivalry and a numerous body of men-at-arms, arrives at Rheims, where
he is crowned by the archbishop of Rheims.
8[René's daughter, Margaret, was to marry Henry VI of England.]
9Bertrand count of Pardiac, second son to the constable. He married Eleanor de Bourbon, heiress of la Marche, and became in her right count of la Marche, and afterwards duke of Nemours.
10[The Augustinian friars began as various groups of hermits in northern Italy. After several unsuccessful attempts to organize these hermits into an order, they were brought together in 1256 and ordered to minister to townspeople. They adopted as their guide the Rule of St. Augustine, also the rule of the Dominican Friars.]
The men of Rheims carried their resolution of submitting to king Charles into effect, as you have heard, through the instigation of the archbishop,11 who was chancellor to king Charles, and some others. The king made his public entry into Rheims on Friday, the 6th day of July, attended by a noble chivalry; and on the following Sunday he was crowned by the archbishop in the cathedral of Rheims, in presence of all his princes, barons, and knights, then with him.12 In the number were, the duke d'Alençon, the count de Clermont, the lord de la Trimouille, his principal minister, the lord de Beaumanoir, a Breton, the lord de Mailly, in Touraine, who were dressed in coronation-robes, to represent the noble peers of France absent at this ceremony.13 They had been, however, called over at the great altar by France king-at-arms,14 in the usual manner.
When the coronation was over, the king went to the archiepiscopal palace to dinner attended by his princes and nobles. The archbishop was seated at the king's table, and the king was served by the duke d'Alençon, the count de Clermont, and other great lords. The king, on his coronation, created, while in the church, three knights, of whom the youth of Commercis was one. On his leaving Rheims, he appointed sir Anthony de Hollande, nephew to the archbishop, governor; and on the morrow of his departure, he went on apilgrimage to Corbeni, to pay adoration to St. Marcou. Thither came deputies fmm Laon, to submit themselves to his obedience in the manner other towns had done.
From Corbeni, the king went to Provins and Soissons, which places, without hesitation opened their gates to him. He made La Hire bailiff of the Vermandois, in the room of sir Colart de Mailly, who had been appointed to that office by king Henry. The king and his army next came before Château-Thierry, in which were the lord de Châtillon, John de Croy, John de Brimeu, and other great lords of the Burgundian party, with about four hundred combatants. These gentlemen, perceiving the townsmen inclined to submit to the king and not expecting any speedy succour, and being withal poorly provided for defence, yielded up the town and castle to king Charles, and marched away with their effects and baggage undisturbed. They went to the duke of Bedford at Paris, who was then collecting a sufficient body of men-at-arms to combat the French.
CHAPTER LXV.---The duke of Bedford assembles a large
army to combat King Charles.---He sends a letter to the King.
11Renaud de Chartres, archbishop of Rheims, made chancellor in 1424, and again in 1428---cardinal in 1439---died October 4, 1445.
12[In earlier centuries, the kings of France were crowned anywhere they liked, by any bishop they chose to name. However, the Capetian lineage (987-1792), to bolster its legitimacy, promoted the cult of the "Holy Vial" of St. Remigius of Rheims, and came to be crowned there. By the time of Charles VII "the Victorious" (1422-69), coronation there was obligatory. Although Charles's father, Charles VI "the Beloved" died in 1422, Charles was not considered king, but only the dauphin (crown prince), until his coronation in 1429.]
13[While succession in France was by heredity, there was a theoretical notion that the king was elected by the nobility of France. This had actually happened in 987, when the first Capetian, Hugh Capet, became king.]
14[That is, the royal herald.]
"We John of Lancaster, regent of France and duke of Bedford, make known to you Charles de Valois, who were wont to style yourself Dauphin of Vienne, but at present without cause call yourself king, for wrongfully do you make attempts against the crown and dominion of the very high, most excellent and renowned prince Henry, by the grace of God true and natural lord of the kingdoms of France and England,---deceiving the simple people by your telling them you come to give peace and security, which is not the fact, nor can it be done by the means you have pursued and are now following to seduce and abuse ignorant people, with the aid of superstitious and damnable persons, such as a woman of a disorderly and infamous life, and dissolute manners, dressed in the clothes of a man, together with an apostate and seditious mendicant friar, as we have been informed, both of whom are, according to holy Scripture, abominable in the sight of God. You have also gained possession, by force of arms, of the country of Champagne,15 and of several towns and castles appertaining to my said lord the king, the inhabitants of which you have induced to perjure themselves by breaking the peace which had been most solemnly sworn to by the then kings of France and England, the great barons, peers, prelates, and three estates of the realm.
"We, to defend and guard the right of our said lord the king, and to repulse you from his territories, by the aid of the All-Powerful, have taken the field in person, and with the means God has given us, as you may have heard, shall pursue you from place to place in the hope of meeting you, which we have never yet done. As we most earnestly and heartily desire a final end to the war, we summon and require of you, if you be a prince desirous of gaining honor, to take compassion on the poor people, who have, on your account, been so long and so grievously harassed, that an end may be put to their afflictions, by terminating this war. Choose, therefore, in this country of Brie, where we both are, and not very distant from each other, any competent place for us to meet, and having fixed on a day, appear there with the abandoned woman, the apostate monk, and all your perjured allies, and such force as you may please to bring, when we will, with God's pleasure, personally meet you in the name and as the representative of my lord the king.
|15[Of which Rheims is the provincial seat.]|
"Should it then please you to make any proposals respecting peace, we will do every thing that may be expected from a catholic prince, for we are always inclined to conclude a solid peace, not such a false and treacherous one as that of Montereau-faut-Yonne, when, through your connivance, that most horrid and disgraceful murder was committed contrary to every law of chivalry and honour, on the person of our late very dear and well-beloved father duke John of Burgundy, whose soul may God receive!16 By means of this peace so wickedly violated by you, upwards of one hundred nobles have deserted your realm, as may be clearly shown by the letters patent under your hand and seal, by which you have absolutely and unreservedly acquitted them of every oath of loyalty, fealty and subjection. However, if from the iniquity and malice of mankind peace cannot be obtained, we may each of us then with our swords defend the cause of our quarrel before God, as our judge, and to whom and none other will my said lord refer it. We therefore most humbly supplicate the Almighty, as knowing the right of my lord in this matter, that he would dispose the hearts of this people so that they may remain in peace without further oppressions; and such ought to be the object of all Christian kings and princes in regard to their subjects.
"We, therefore, without using more arguments or longer delay, make known our proposals to you, which should you refuse, and should further murders and mischiefs be, through your fault, committed by a continuation of the war, we call God to witness, and protest before him and the world, that we are no way the cause, and that we have done and do our duty. We therefore profess our willingness to consent to a solid and reasonable peace, and, should that be rejected, then to resort to open combat becoming princes, when no other means can accommodate their differences. In testimony whereof, we have had these presents sealed with our seal.
"Given at Montereau-faut-Yonne the 7th day of August, in the year of Grace 1429. Signed by my lord the regent of France and duke of Bedford."
|16[John "the Fearless" of Burgundy was murdered in 1419.]|
CHAPTER LXVI.---The armies of Charles king of France
and of the regent duke of Bedford meet near to Mont Epiloy.
King Charles, in the meanwhile, advanced to Crespy, where he had been received as king, and, passing through Brie, was making for Senlis, when the two amies of the king and the duke came within sight of each other at Mont Epiloy, near to the town of Baron.
Both were diligent in seizing the most advantageous positions for the combat. The duke of Bedford chose a strong post, well strengthened, on the rear and wings, with thick hedge-rows. In the front, he drew up his archers in good array on foot, having each a sharp-pointed stake planted before them. The regent himself was with his lords in one battalion
|17[The Île de France, the region around Paris.]|
close to the archers, where, among the banners of the different lords, were displayed two having the arms of France and of England: the banner of St. George was likewise there, and borne that day by Jean de Villiers, knight, lord of Isle-Adam. The regent had with him from six to eight hundred combatants from the duke of Burgundy, the chief leaders of whom were, the lord de l'Isle-Adam, Jean de Croy, Jean de Crequi, Anthony de Bethune,18 Jean de Fosseux, the lord de Saveuses, sir Hugh de Launoy, Jean de Brimeu, Jean de Launoy, Sir Simon de Lalain, Jean bastard de St. Pol, and other warriors, some of whom were then knighted.19 The bastard de St. Pol received that honour from the hand of the duke of Bedford, and Jean de Crequi, Jean de Croy, Anthony de Bethune, Jean de Fosseux, and le Liegeois de Humieres,20 by the hands of other knights.
When these matters were ordered, the English were drawn up together on the left wing and the Picards, with those of the French in king Henry's interest, opposite to them. They thus remained in battle-array for a considerable time, and were so advantageously posted that the enemy could not attack them without very great risk to themselves; add to which I they were plentifully supplied with provision from the good town of Senlis, near to which they were.
King Charles had drawn up his men with his most expert captains in the van division, the others remained with him in the main battalion, excepting a few posted, by way of rearguard, toward Paris. The king had a force of men-at-arms with him much superior in numbers to the English. The Maid was also there, but perpetually changing her resolutions; sometimes she was eager for the combat, at other times not. The two parties, however, remained in this state, ever prepared to engage, for the space of two days and two nights, during which were many skirmishes and attacks. To detail them all would take too much time but there was one very long and bloody, that took place on the wing where the Picards were posted, and which lasted for an hour and a half. The royal army fought with the utmost courage, and their archers did much mischief with their arrows, insomuch that many persons thought, seeing the numbers engaged, that it would not cease until one or other of the parties were vanquished. They, however, separated, but not without many killed and wounded on each side. The duke of Bedford was very well pleased with the Picards for the gallantry and courage they had displayed; and when they had retreated, he rode down their ranks, addressing them kindly, and saying, "My friends, you are excellent people, and have valiantly sustained for us a severe shock, for which we humbly thank you and we entreat, that should any more attacks be made on your post, you will persevere in the same valor and courage."
Both parties were violently enraged against each other, so that no man, whatever his rank, was that day ransomed, but every one put to death without mercy. I was told, that about three hundred men were killed in these different skirmishes; but I know not which side lost the most. At the end of two days, the armies separated without coming to a general engagement.
CHAPTER LXVII.---King Charles of France sends
ambassadors to the duke of Burgundy at Arras.
These and other remonstrances from the archbishop were kindly listened to by the duke and his council; and when he had finished speaking, one of the duke's ministers replied.
"My lord and his council have heard with attention what you have said; he will consider on it, and you shall have his answer within a few days." The archbishop and his companions now returned to their hotel, much respected by all ranks, for the majority of the states were very desirous of a peace between the king and the duke of Burgundy. Even those of the middle ranks, although there was neither truce nor peace, came to the chancellor of France at Arras, to solicit letters of grace and remission, as if the king had been in the full possession of his power,---which grants, however, they obtained from the archbishop as chancellor.
The duke of Burgundy held many consultations with those of his privy council, which much hastened the conclusion of this business.
CHAPTER LXVIII.---The lord de Longueval conquers the
castle of Aumale from the English
The castle of Torcy was also put into the hands of the French by some of the country people, who had connections with the English, and who betrayed it to the enemy. Thus in a short time were four of the strongest castles of the enemy recovered; and in consequence of their capture, those parts were very much harassed, both by the French and English.
CHAPTER LXIX.---The town of Compiègne surrenders
to the French.---The return of the French embassy which had been sent
to the duke of Burgundy.
About this time, sir Lyonnel de Bournouville, who had lost his town and castle of Creil, requested some men-at-arms from the duke of Bedford to reconquer one of his castles called Breteictre, which the French had won. His request was granted, and he took the fort by storm, putting to death all within it,---but he was so severely wounded himself that he died soon after.
18Anthony de Béthune, lord of Mareuil and Hostel, killed in 1430 by the commune of Laon. He was the eldest son of John lord of Mareuil, killed at Agincourt [in 1415]; and had three brothers, Robert, Guy, and Jacotin of whom the former became lord of Mareuil after his death.
19[Knightings just before a battle or just after were increasingly common in the 15th century. Those knighted before were generally noble; those knighted after had generally distinguished themselves in battle and might be noble or not, although if they were not noble, they were consequently ennobled by being knighted.]
20Qy. Dreux, lord of Humieres, son of Philip and brother of Matthew, second lord of Humieres, and John of Humieres, who defended Corbie in 1431.
CHAPTER LXX.---The king of France makes an attack on
the city of Paris.
It was at length determined that on Monday, the 12th day of the month, the city should be stormed, and, in consequence, every preparation was made for it. On that day, the king drew up his army in battle-array between Montmartre and Paris; his princes, lords, and the Maid, were with him; the van division was very strong; and thus, with displayed banner, he marched to the gate of St. Honoré, carrying thither scaling-ladders, fascines, and all things necessary for the assault. He ordered his infantry to descend into the ditches; and the attack commenced at ten o'clock, which was very severe and murderous, and lasted four or five hours. The Parisians had with them Louis de Luxembourg, the bishop of Therouenne, king Henry's chancellor, and other notable knights, whom the duke of Burgundy had sent thither, such as the lord de Crequi, the lord de l'Isle-Adam, Sir Simon de Lalain, Valeran de Bournouville, and other able men, with four hundred combatants. They made a vigorous defense, having posted a sufficient force at the weakest parts before the attack began. Many of the French were driven back into the ditches, and numbers were killed and wounded by the cannon and culverines from the ramparts. Among the last was the Maid, who was very dangerously hurt; she remained the whole of the day behind a small hillock until vespers, when Guichard de Thiembronne came to seek her. A great many of the besieged suffered also. At length the French captains, seeing the danger of their men, and that it was impossible to gain the town by force against so obstinate a defense, and that the inhabitants seemed determined to continue it, without any disagreement among themselves, sounded the retreat. They carried off the dead and wounded, and returned to their former quarters. On the morrow, king Charles, very melancholy at the loss of his men, went to Senlis, to have the wounded attended to and cured.
The Parisians were more unanimous than ever, and mutually promised each other to oppose, until death, king Charles, who wanted to destroy them all. Perhaps, knowing how much they had misbehaved by forcing him to quit Paris, and by putting to death some of his most faithful servants, they were afraid of meeting with their deserts.
[In chapters 71-82, de Monstrelet treats other matters concerning the war, but does not mention Joan.]
CHAPTER LXXXIII.---The duke of Burgundy lays siege to
the castle of Choisy, which he conquers in a few days.
When the duke of Burgundy had remained for about eight days in Noyon, he departed, to lay siege to the castle of Choisy sur Oise, in which was Louis de Flavy, holding it for sir William de Flavy. The duke's engines did so much mischief to the walls of the castle that the garrison capitulated, on being allowed to march away with their baggage in safety. So soon as they had quitted the castle, it was demolished and razed to the ground. The duke built a bridge over the Oise, to enable himself and his army to cross toward Compiègne on the side of Mondidier. During this time the lord de Saveuses and John de Brimeu had been appointed to guard the suburbs of Noyon, with their men, and those of the lord Montgomery and of other English captains quartered at Pont l'Evêque, to prevent the garrison of Compiègne from cutting off the supplies from the duke's army.
It happened on a certain day, that those in Compiègne, namely, Joan the Maid, Sir Jaimes de Chabannes, Sir Theolde de Valperghue, Sir Regnault de Fontaines, Poton de Saintrailles, and others of the French captains, accompanied by about two thousand combatants, came to Pont l'Evêque between day-break and sun-rise, and attacked the quarters of the English with great courage. A sharp conflict took place; and the lord de Saveuses with John de Brimeu, with their men, hastened to their support, which renewed the vigor of the English; they together repulsed the French, who had made good progress in their quarters. About thirty were killed on each side,---and the French retreated to Compiègne, whence they had come. The English from that day strengthened their position on all sides, to avoid a similar attack. Shortly afterward, John de Brimeu, going to the duke of Burgundy with about one hundred combatants, was suddenly attacked by a party of French in the forest of Crespy in the Valois, who had come from Attichy for this purpose, and to seek adventures, and without much defense made prisoner. The reason of his being thus taken was because his men followed in a file, and were unable to form into battle-array until the attack had commenced. He was put into the bands of Poton de Saintrailles, who, in the end, gave him his liberty on paying a heavy ransom.
When the duke of Burgundy had demolished the castle of Choisy, he quartered himself in the fortress of Coudun, within a league of Compiègne, and Sir John de Luxembourg was lodged in Claroi. Sir Baudo de Noielle war, ordered to post himself with a certain number of men-at-arms on the causeway of Marigny, and the lord Montgomery and his men were quartered along the meadows of La Venette. The duke was joined by some reinforcements from his different countries, having the intention to besiege the town of Compiègne, and reduce it to the obedience of king Henry of England.
CHAPTER LXXXIV.---Joan the Maid overthrows Franquet
d'Arras, and has his head cut off.
CHAPTER LXXXV.---René duke of Bar lays siege to
Chappes, near to Troyes in Champagne.
The duke, knowing of their coming, was drawn up ready to receive them, when the Burgundians were soon thrown into disorder, and returned to their own country. About sixty were killed or taken: of the latter number were the lord de Plansi and Charles de Rochefort. The lord d'Aumore was also made prisoner, with several of his men, when sallying out of the town to support his friends. His brother was likewise taken, and he was forced to deliver up the castle to the duke of Bar, who completely destroyed it.
CHAPTER LXXXVI.---The Maid is taken prisoner by the
Burgundians before Compiège
The French were very near to Marigny, before the greater part of the men who were unarmed could prepare themselves; but they soon collected together, and a severe conflict commenced,--- during which the cries of " To arms!" were echoed through all the English and Burgundian quarters. The English, who were encamped on the meads of Venette, formed themselves into battle-array against the French, and were near five hundred men. On the other hand, Sir John de Luxembourg's men quartered at Claroi, hastened to the relief of their lord and captain, who was engaged in the heat of the skirmish, and under whom the most part rallied. In this encounter the lord de Crequi was dangerously wounded in the face.
After some time, the French, perceiving their enemies multiply so fast on them, retreated toward Compiègne, leaving the Maid, who had remained to cover the rear, anxious to bring back the men with little loss. But the Burgundians, knowing that reinforcements were coming to them from all quarters, pursued them with redoubled vigor, and charged them on the plain. In the conclusion, as I was told, the Maid was dragged from her horse by an archer, near to whom was the bastard de Vendôme, and to him she surrendered and pledged her faith. He lost no time in carrying her to Marigny, and put her under a secure guard. With her was taken Poton the Burgundian, and some others, but in no great number. The French re-entered Compiègne doleful and vexed at their losses, more especially for the capture of Joan: while, on the contrary, the English were rejoiced, and more pleased than if they had taken five hundred other combatants, for they dreaded no other leader or captain so much as they bad hitherto feared the Maid.
21John II, lord of Montmorency, Escouen, and Damville, grand chamberlain before 1425.---So faithful to the royal cause, that he disinherited his two sons for being Burgundians.
22[Medieval Paris was very much smaller than modern Paris; some of the places mentioned as villages outside of Paris are now part of the city (Monmartre, for example).]
23[This would seem to be about the time that Christine de Pisan wrote her poem about Joan of Arc.]
The duke of Burgundy came soon after from Coudun to the meadows before Compiègne, where he drew up his army, together with the English and the troops from their different quarters, making a handsome appearance, and with shoutings and huzzas expressed their joy at the capture of the Maid. After this, the duke went to the lodgings where she was confined, and spoke some words to her; but what they were I do not now recollect, although I was present. The duke and the army returned to their quarters, leaving the Maid under the guard of sir John de Luxembourg, who shortly after sent her, under a strong escort, to the castle of Beaulieu, and thence to that of Beaurevoir, where she remained, as you shall hear, a prisoner for a long time.24
[De Monstrelet deals with other matters in chapters 87-104,]
CHAPTER CV.---The Maid of Orleans is condemned to be
put to death and burnt at Rouen.
"Most dear and well-beloved uncle, the very fervent love we know you to bear, as a true Catholic, to our holy mother the church, and your zeal for the exaltation of the faith, induces us to signify to you by writing, that in honor of the above, an act has lately taken place at Rouen, which will tend, as we hope, to the strengthening of the Catholic faith, and the extirpation of pestilential heresies. It is well known, from common report, and otherwise, that the woman, erroneously called the Maid, has, for upward of two years, contrary to the divine law, and to the decency becoming her sex, worn the dress of a man, a thing abominable before God; and in this state she joined our adversary and yours, giving him, as well as those of his party, churchmen and nobles, to understand that she was sent as a messenger from Heaven,---and presumptuously vaunting that she had personal and visible communications with St. Michael and with a multitude of angels and saints in paradise, such as St. Catherine and St. Margaret. By these falsehoods, and by promising future victories, she has estranged the minds of persons of both sexes from the truth, and induced them to the belief of dangerous errors.
|24De Monstrelet returns to Joan only in chapter 105.|
"She clothed herself in armor also, assisted by knights and esquires, and raised a banner, on which, through excess of pride and presumption, she demanded to bear the noble and excellent arms of France, which in part she obtained. These she displayed at many conflicts and sieges; and they consisted of a shield having two flower de luces, or, on a field azure, with a pointed sword surmounted with a crown proper.25 In this state she took the field with large companies of men-at-arms and archers, to exercise her inhuman cruelties by shedding Christian blood, and stirring up seditions and rebellions of the common people. She encouraged perjuries, superstitions, and false doctrines, by permitting herself to be reverenced and honored as a holy woman, and in various other manners that would be too long to detail, but which have greatly scandalized all Christendom wherever they have been known.
"But Divine Mercy having taken pity on a loyal people, and being no longer willing to suffer them to remain under such vain errors and credulities, permitted that this woman should be made prisoner by your army when besieging Compiègne, and through your affection she was transferred to our power. On this being known, she was claimed by the bishop in whose diocese she had been taken; and as she had been guilty of the highest treason to the Divine Majesty, we delivered her up to be tried and punished by the usual ecclesiastical judges, not only from respect to our holy mother the church, whose ordinances we shall ever prefer to our own, but also for the exaltation of our faith. We were unwilling that the officers of our secular justice should take cognizance of the crime, although it was perfectly lawful for us so to do, considering the great mischiefs, murders, and detestable cruelties, she has committed against our sovereignty, and on a loyal obedient people.
|25Two gold fleurs-de-lis on a blue background, with a crown at the top, supported by a sword.|
"The bishop having called to his aid in this matter the vicar of the inquisitor of errors and heresies in the faith, with many able doctors in theology and in the canon law, commenced with much solemnity and gravity the trial of the said Joan. After these judges had for several days interrogated her on her crimes, and had maturely considered her confessions and answers, they sent them for the opinion of our beloved daughter the university of Paris,26 when they all determined that this Joan was superstitious, a sorceress of the devil, a blasphemer of God and of his saints, a schismatic, and guilty of many errors against the faith of Jesus Christ.
"To recall her to the universal faith of our holy church, to purge her from her pernicious errors, and to save her soul from perpetual damnation, and to induce her to return to the way of truth, she was long and frequently charitably preached to; but that dangerous and obstinate spirit of pride and presumption, which is always endeavoring to prevent the unity and safety of Christians, held the said Joan so fast bound that no arguments nor exhortations could soften the hardness of her heart, so that she boasted that all which she had done was meritorious, and that it had been done by the command of God and the aforesaid holy virgins, who had personally appeared to her. But what was worse, she refused to acknowledge any power on earth but God and his saints, denying the authority of our holy father the pope, and of the general councils of the universal church militant.
"The ecclesiastical judges, witnessing her obstinacy and hardness of heart, had her brought forth before the people, who, with the clergy, were assembled in great numbers, when she was again preached to by an able divine. Having been plainly warned of the doctrines of our holy religion, and the consequences of heresies and erroneous opinions concerning it to the welfare of mankind, she was charitably admonished to make her peace with the church, and renounce her errors, but she remained as obstinate as before. The judges, having considered her conduct, proceeded to pronounce sentence upon her, according to the heinousness of her crimes; but before it was read her courage seemed to fail her, and she said she was willing to return to the church. This was heard with pleasure by the judges, clergy, and spectators, who received her kindly, hoping by this means to preserve her soul from perdition.
"She now submitted herself to the ordinances of the church, and publicly renounced and abjured her detestable crimes, signing with her own hand the schedule of her recantation and abjuration. Thus was our merciful mother the church rejoiced at the sinner doing penance, anxious to recover the lost sheep that had wandered in the desert. Joan was ordered to perform her penance in close confinement.
"But these good dispositions did not last long; for her presumptuous pride seemed to have acquired greater force than before,---and she relapsed, with the utmost obstinacy, into all those errors which she had publicly renounced. For this cause, and that she might not contaminate the sound members of our holy communion, she was again publicly preached to; and proving obstinate, she was delivered over to the secular arm, who instantly condemned her to be burnt. Seeing her end approach, she fully acknowledged and confessed that the spirits which had appeared to her were often lying and wicked ones; that the promises they had made to set her at liberty were false; and that she had been deceived and mocked by them. She was publicly led to the old market-place in Rouen, and there burnt in the presence of the people!"
This notice of her sentence and execution was sent by the king of England to the duke of Burgundy, that it might be published by him for the information of his subjects, that all may henceforward be advised not to put faith in such or similar errors as had governed the heart of the Maid.
|26[The university of Paris faculty of theology had been held as the authoritative body in the church since the middle of the thirteenth century, when Paris was declared to be the "Mother of Knowledge (parens scientiarum)" by the pope.]|