4a – Joan of Arc Trial – March 1-12, 1431

The Trial of Jeanne D’Arc

March 1, 1431 Fifth Session

On Thursday, March 1st we the said bishop repaired to the accustomed place in the castle of Rouen, where the said Jeanne appeared before us in the presence of the reverend fathers, lords and masters:

  • Gilles, abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp;
  • Pierre, prior of Longueville-Giffard,
  • Jean de Châtillon,
  • Erard Emengart,
  • Jean Beaupère,
  • Jacques de Touraine,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Denis de Sabrevois,
  • Pierre Maurice,
  • Gerard Feuillet,
  • Maurice du Quesnay,
  • Guillaume Le Boucher,
  • Pierre Houdenc,
  • Jean de Nibat,
  • Jean Le Fèvre
  • Jacques Guesdon, doctors of sacred theology;
  • Nicolas de Jumièges,
  • Guillaume de Ste. Catherine and
  • Guillaume de Cormeilles abbots;
  • Jean Garin, doctor of canon law;
  • the abbots of St. Ouen and of Préaux
  • and the prior of St. Lô;
  • William Haiton,
  • Nicolas Couppequesne,
  • Thomas de Courcelles,
  • Guillaume de Baudribosc,
  • Jean Pigache,
  • Raoul Le Sauvage,
  • Richard de Grouchet,
  • Jean Le Maistre,
  • Jean Le Vautier, bachelors of sacred theology;
  • Nicolas de Venderès,
  • Jean Bruillot,
  • Jean Pinchon,
  • Jean Basset,
  • Jean de La Fontaine,
  • Raoul Anguy,
  • Jean Colombel,
  • Richard des Saulx,
  • Aubert Morel,
  • Jean Duchemin,
  • Laurent Du Busc,
  • Philippe Le Maréchal, bachelors of canon law;
  • Denis Gastinel,
  • Jean Le Doulx,
  • Robert Le Barbier, bachelors of canon and civil law;
  • André Marguerie,
  • Jean Alespée,
  • Gilles Deschamps,
  • Nicolas Caval,
  • Geoffroy du Crotay,
  • Pierre Cavé,
  • Nicolas Maulin, licentiates in civil law;
  • Robert Morellet, and
  • Nicolas Loiseleur, canons of the cathedral of Rouen.

In their presence we summoned and required the said Jeanne to swear to speak the truth, the simple and absolute truth on what she was asked.

She answered that she was ready to swear to answer truly everything she knew, concerning the trial, as she said before. She said she knows many things which do not concern the trial, and there is no need to tell them.

Then she said: “Everything I truly know concerning the trial I will gladly tell.”

Summoned and required as before, to swear,

She answered: “What I can answer truly, I will willingly tell concerning the trial.”

And she took the oath in this manner, with her hands on the holy gospels.

Then she said: “Of what I know concerning the trial I will willingly tell the truth, and will tell altogether as much as if I were before the Pope of Rome.”

Asked what she said concerning our lord the Pope and whom she believed to be the true Pope,

She answered by asking if there were two of them.

Asked if she had not had letters from the count d’Armagnac, to ask which of the three sovereign pontiffs he should obey,

She answered that the said count did write a certain letter to this effect, to which she replied, amongst other things, that she would give him an answer when she was in Paris, or anywhere where she was at rest. And she was going to mount her horse when she gave this answer.

At this juncture we had read in court a copy of the letters from the count and from Jeanne; and she was examined to see whether this was a copy of her actual reply.

She answered that she thought she had made this reply in part, but not all of it.

Asked if she had professed to know, by the counsel of the King of Kings, what the count should hold in this matter,

She answered she knew nothing about it.

Asked if she entertained any doubt concerning whom the count should obey,

She answered that she did not know how to instruct him to obey, since the count asked whom God wanted him to obey. But as for herself, Jeanne thought we should obey our Holy Father the Pope at Rome.

She added that she said other things to the count’s messenger which are not in the copy of the letter; and if the messenger had not gone off at once he would have been thrown into the water, but not through her. She said that to the count’s inquiry concerning whom God wished him to obey, She answered that she did not know, but sent him several messages not put into writing. And as for herself, she believed in Our Holy Father the Pope at Rome.

Asked why she had written that she would give an answer at some other time, since she believed in the Pope at Rome,

She answered that it had reference to another matter than the three sovereign pontiffs.

Asked if she had said that she would have counsel on the question of the three sovereign pontiffs,

She answered that she had never written or caused to be written anything concerning the three sovereign pontiffs. This, she swore by her oath, she had never written or caused to be written.

Asked if she was in the habit of putting in her letters the names of Jhesus Maria with a cross,

She answered in some she did, and in some she did not; and sometimes she put a cross to warn some one of her party not to do as her letters said. The tenor of the letters which the count and Jeanne wrote to one another is included below among the articles of the prosecutor.

And then she was read the letters that she addressed to our lord the King, to the Duke of Bedford, and to others.

The tenor of which letters is to be found below in the articles of the prosecutor.

And then she was asked if she recognized these letters;

She answered yes, excepting three words; to wit where it was written Surrender to the Maid, it should read Surrender to the king; then there was chieftain of war and thirdly body for body, which were not in the letters she sent. She added that none of the lords ever dictated these letters, but she herself dictated them before they were sent; though they were indeed shown to certain of her party. She said that before seven years are past the English will lose a greater stake than they did at Orleans, for they will lose everything in France. She adds that the said English will suffer greater loss than ever they did in France; and it will be a great victory which God will send the French.

Asked how she knew this,

She answered: “I know by a revelation made to me, and within seven years it will happen and I am much vexed that it should be so long postponed.” She said also that she knew it by revelation as well as she knew we were at that moment before her.

Asked when it will happen,

She said she knew neither the day nor the hour.

Asked in what year it will happen,

She answered: “You will not learn that: nevertheless I heartily wish it might be before St. John’s Day.”

Asked whether she said it would happen before Martinmas in winter,

She answered that she had said that before Martinmas in winter many things would be seen; and it might be that the English would be overthrown.

Asked what she told John Grey, her guard, about Martinmas,

She answered: “I have told you.” Asked through whom she knew that this would come to pass,

She answered that she knew through St. Catherine and St. Margaret. Asked if St. Gabriel was with St. Michael when he came to her,

She answered she did not remember.

Asked if since the last Tuesday she had not spoken with St. Catherine and St. Margaret,

She answered yes, but she does not know at what time.

Asked on what day,

She answered, yesterday and to-day; “there is no day but I hear them.”

Asked if she always saw them in the same dress,

She answered she always sees them in the same form; and their heads are richly crowned. Of their other clothing she does not speak: of their robes she knows nothing.

Asked how she knew whether her apparition was man or woman,

She answered she knew for certain, she recognized them by their voices, and they revealed themselves to her; nor did she know anything but by revelation and God’s command.

Asked what part of them she saw,

She answered the face.

Asked if the saints which appeared to her had hair,

She answered: “It is well to know that they have.”

Asked if there were anything between their crowns and their hair,

She answered no.

Asked if their hair were long and hung down,

She answered: “I do not know.” She added that she did not know whether they appeared to have arms or other members. She saw they spoke very well and beautifully; and she understood them very well.

Asked how they spoke if they had no other members,

She answered: “I leave that to God.” She said the voice was gentle, soft and low, and spoke in French.

Asked if St. Margaret spoke in the English tongue,

She answered: “Why should she speak English when she is not on the English side?”

Asked if on the crowned heads there were not rings of gold or other substance,

She answered: “I do not know.”

Asked if she herself did not have some rings,

She replied to us, bishop: “You have one of mine; give it back to me.” She said the Burgundians have another ring; and she asked us, if we had her ring, to show it to her.

Asked who gave her the ring which the Burgundians had,

She answered her father or her mother; and she thought the names Jhesus Maria were written thereon; she did not know who had them written; she did not think there was any stone in it; and she was given the ring at Domrémy. She said that her brother gave her the other ring which we had and she charged us to give it to the Church. She said she never cured any one with any of her rings.

Asked if St. Catherine and St. Margaret spoke to her under the aforementioned tree

She answered: “I do not know.”

Asked if the saints spoke to her at the fountain near the tree,

She answered yes, she heard them there, but what they said to her there she did not know.

Asked what the saints promised her, there or elsewhere,

She answered that they made no promises to her, except by God’s leave.

Asked what promises they made,

She answered: “That is not in your case at all.” And amongst other things, they told how the king would be reëstablished in his kingdom, whether his enemies wished it or not. She said also that they promised the said Jeanne to bring her to Paradise, and she had asked it of them. Asked if she had received any other promise,

She answered she had, but she will not tell, since it does not concern the trial. And she said that in three months she will reveal the other promise.

Asked if the voices had told her that within three months she would be delivered from prison,

She answered: “That is not in your case; however, I do not know when I shall be delivered.” And she said that those who wish to get her out of the world might well precede her.

Asked if her counsel had not told her that she would be delivered out of the present prison,

She answered: “Ask me in three months’ time; then I will tell you.” She added: “Ask the assessors, on their oath, if that concerns my trial.”

Asked afterwards, when the assessors had deliberated, and unanimously concurred that it did,

She said: “I have already told you that you cannot know all. One day I must be delivered. But I want leave if I am to tell you; that is why I ask for a delay.”

Asked if the voices forbade her to speak the truth,

She answered: “Do you want me to tell you what is the sole concern of the king of France? There are many things that are not in the trial.”

She added that she knows for certain her king will regain the kingdom of France, as certainly as she knows that we are seated before her in judgment, and but for her revelation, which daily comforts her, she would be dead.

Asked what she had done with her mandrake,

She answered that she has no mandrake, and never did have; but has heard that near her village there was one, though she has never seen it. She said also she had heard it called a dangerous and evil thing to keep; nor does she know its use.

Asked where the mandrake grows, of which she has heard speak,

She said in the earth, near the tree, but she does not know the spot. She said that over the mandrake, she has heard, a hazel grows.

Asked what she has heard about the mandrake,

She answered that she has heard it attracts money, but she does not believe it. And the voices never told her anything about this.

Asked in what form St. Michael appeared,

She answered that she did not see his crown, and she knows nothing of his apparel.

Asked if he was naked,

She answered: “Do you think God has not wherewithal to clothe him?”

Asked if he had any hair,

She answered: “Why should it be cut off?” She added that she had not seen St. Michael since she left the castle Crotoy, and she does not often see him, or know, she added, whether he has any hair.

Asked whether he had his scales,

She answered: “I do not know.” She said she was filled with great joy when she saw him; and she felt, when she saw him, that she was not in mortal sin. She said St. Catherine and St. Margaret gladly heard her in confession, from time to time, and each in turn. She said that if she was in mortal sin she was not aware of it.

Asked if, when she made her confession, she felt as if in mortal sin,

She answered she did not know whether she was in mortal sin, but she believed she had not committed such deeds. “Please God, she said, I never was in such sin, and if it please Him, I never shall commit or have committed such deeds as burden my soul.”

Asked what sign she gave her king that she came from God,

She answered: I have always told you that you will not drag this from my lips. Go and ask him.”

Asked if she had sworn not to reveal what was asked concerning the trial,

She answered: I have already said that I will not tell you what concerns or touches our king; and what touches our king, I shall not tell you.”

Asked if she did not know the sign she gave the king,

She answered: “You will not learn from me.” And as she was told it concerned the trial,

She answered: “What I have promised to keep secret I shall not tell you.” And added: I promised and I could not tell you without perjury.”

Asked to whom she made this promise,

She answered that it was to St. Catherine and St. Margaret, it was shown to the king. She promised it without their asking, and did so at her own desire, for too many people might have questioned her had she not so promised to the saints.

Asked if any one else was with them when she showed the sign to her king,

She answered that she thought there was not, although many people were fairly near.

Asked if she saw the crown on her king’s head when she showed him the sign,

She answered: “I cannot tell you without perjury.”

Asked whether her king had a crown when he was at Reims,

She answered that she thought the king took with pleasure the crown he found at Reims, but a much richer one was later brought. And he did that to hasten his coronation, at the request of the people of Reims to avoid the burden of the men-at-arms. If he had waited he would have had a crown a thousand times richer.

Asked if she saw this richer crown,

She answered: “I cannot tell you without committing perjury. And if I have not myself seen it, I have heard that it is so rich and precious.”

At this point we stayed the proceedings for the day; and assigned Saturday at eight o’clock in the morning for their continuation, requiring those present to assemble together in the same place at the said hour and day.

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March 3, 1431

Saturday, March 3rd. Sixth Session

On the following Saturday, March 3rd, in the aforementioned place the said Jeanne appeared before us in the presence of the reverend fathers, lords and masters:

  • Gilles, abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp,
  • Pierre, prior of Longueville;
  • Jean de Châtillon,
  • Erard Emengart,
  • Jacques de Touraine,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Denis de Sabrevois,
  • Nicolas Lami,
  • Guillaume Evrard,
  • Pierre Maurice,
  • Gerard Feuillet,
  • Maurice du Quesnay,
  • Pierre Houdenc,
  • Jean de Nibat,
  • Jacques Guesdon, doctors of sacred theology;
  • Guillaume, abbot of Ste. Marie de Cormeilles, doctor of canon law;
  • Guillaume Desjardins,
  • Gilles Canivet,
  • Roland L’Escrivain,
  • Guillaume de La Chambre, doctors of medicine;
  • the abbots of St. Georges and
  • of Préaux the prior of St. Lô;
  • also Nicolas Couppequesne,
  • Thomas de Courcelles,
  • Guillaume Le Maistre,
  • Guillaume de Baudribosc,
  • Jean Pigache,
  • Raoul Le Sauvage,
  • Richard de Grouchet,
  • Pierre Minier, bachelors of sacred theology;
  • Jean Le Doulx, bachelor of canon and civil law;
  • Jean Duchemin,
  • Jean Colombel,
  • Raoul Anguy,
  • Aubert Morel, bachelors of canon law;
  • Geoffroy du Crotay, Bureau de Cormeilles,
  • Nicolas Maulin, licentiates in civil law, and
  • Nicolas Loiseleur, canon of the cathedral of Rouen.

In their presence we required the said Jeanne to answer the simple and absolute truth to the questions asked of her:

to which she replied: “As I did formerly, I am ready to swear.” And she swore thus, with her hands on the holy gospels.

Whereupon, because she had said that St. Michael had wings, and yet had said nothing of the body and members of St. Catherine and St. Margaret, she was asked what she wished to say in this connection.

To which she replied: “I have told you what I know, and I will not answer you further.” She said also that she had seen St. Michael and the saints so clearly that she knew they were saints of paradise.

Asked if she saw anything of them besides the face,

She answered: “I have told you all that I know about that: and I would rather have you cut my throat than tell you all I know.” She said that she would willingly tell everything she knew concerning the trial.

Asked if she believed that St. Michael and St. Gabriel have natural heads,

She answered: I saw them with my two eyes, and I believe it was they I saw as firmly as I believe in the existence of God.”

Asked if she believed that God created them in the form and fashion that she saw,

She answered: “Yes.”

Asked if she believed that God from the beginning created them in that form and fashion,

She answered: “You will learn no more from me at present than I have told you.”

Asked if she had known by revelation whether she would escape,

She answered: “That is not in your case. Do you want me to speak against myself?”

Asked if the voices told her anything about it,

She answered: “That is not in your case. I refer me to the case. And if everything concerned you, I would tell you everything.”

She added that, by her faith, she does not know at what hour or day she will escape.

Asked if the voices had told her anything about it in a general way,

She answered: “Yes, indeed, they told me that shall be delivered, but I do not know the day or the hour, and that I must boldly show a cheerful countenance before you.”

Asked whether when the first time she came before the king he asked her if it was by revelation that she had changed her dress,

She answered: “I have answered this before: nevertheless I do not recall whether I was asked. It is written down at Poitiers.”

Asked whether the clerks of her own party who examined her, some for the space of a month and others for three weeks, had not questioned her about the changing of her dress,

She answered: “I do not recall. But they asked me where I took to a man’s dress, and I told them it was at Vaucouleurs.”

Asked if the aforesaid masters inquired whether it was through her voices that she had assumed this dress,

She answered: “I do not recall.”

Asked if the queen did not inquire, at her first visit, about her taking to a man’s dress,

She answered: “I do not remember.”

Asked if her king or queen or other people of her party did not sometimes ask her to put off her man’s dress,

She answered: “That is not in your case.”

Asked whether she was not asked to at the castle of Beaurevoir,

She answered: “Yes, truly. And I answered I would not put it off without God’s leave.”

She said the Demoiselle of Luxembourg and the Lady of Beaurevoir offered her a woman’s dress, or the cloth to make one, and told her to wear it; and she replied she had not God’s permission, and it was not yet time.

Asked if Messire Jean de Pressy and others at Arras did not offer her a woman’s dress,

She answered that he and many others had often asked her to wear it.

Asked whether she believed she would have done wrong or committed a mortal sin by taking a woman’s dress,

She answered she did better to obey and serve her sovereign Lord, namely God.

She said if she had had to do it she would rather have done so at the request of these two ladies than of any other ladies in France, save her queen.

Asked whether, when God revealed to her that she should change to a man’s dress, it was by the voice of St. Michael, or by the voice of St. Catherine or St. Margaret,

She answered: “You will learn no more for the present.”

Asked whether, when the king first set her to work and she had her standard made, the men-at-arms and others had pennons made in the style of hers,

She answered: “It is well to know that the Lords kept their own arms.” She added: “Some of my companions in arms had them made at their pleasure; others did not.”

Asked of what material they had them made, of linen or cloth,

She answered: “It was of white satin, and on some there were fleurs-de-lys.” She had only two or three lances in her company, but her companions-at-arms sometimes had pennons made like hers, and did so merely to distinguish their men from others. Asked if the pennons were often renewed,

She answered: “I do not know. When the lances were broken, new ones were made.”

Asked whether she had sometimes said that the pennons made like hers brought better fortune,

She answered that she did sometimes say to her followers: “Go boldly among the English,” and she herself would go.

Asked if she told them to bear the pennons boldly, and they would have good fortune,

She answered she had indeed told them what had happened and what would happen again.

Asked whether she herself threw or had others throw holy water on the pennons when they were first taken,

She answered: “I do not know anything about that. And if it was done, it was not at my instruction.

Asked if she ever saw holy water sprinkled on them,

She answered: “That is not in your case; and if I had seen it done I am not now advised to answer you.”

Asked if her companions-at-arms did not have written on their pennons the names Jhesus Maria,

She answered: “By my faith, I do not know.”

Asked if she herself had borne, or made others bear in procession about an altar or church, cloth which was to be made into pennons,

She answered no, nor had she ever seen it done.

Asked what it was she wore at the back of her helmet when she was before the town of Jargeau; and if it was something round,

She answered: “By my faith, there was nothing.

Asked if she ever knew brother Richard,

She answered: “I had never seen him when I came before Troyes.”

Asked what manner of greeting he gave her,

She answered that the people of Troyes, she thought, sent him to her, saying that they were afraid she was not a thing sent from God; and when he drew near her, he made the sign of the Cross and sprinkled holy water, and she said to him: “Come boldly, I shall not fly away.”

Asked if she had seen or had made any images or pictures of herself or in her likeness,

She answered that at Arras she saw a painting in the hands of a Scot; and she was shown in full armor, presenting letters to her king, with one knee on the ground. She said she had never seen or had made any other image or picture in her likeness.

Asked whether at her host’s in Orleans there was a painting of three women, with these words Justice, Peace, Union,

She answered that she knew nothing of that.

Asked whether she knew that certain of her party had service, Mass and prayers offered in her honor,

She answered that she knew nothing of it; and if any service was held, it was not at her instruction; but if they prayed for her, she felt they had not done ill.

Asked whether her own party firmly believed her to be sent from God,

She answered: “I do not know whether they do, and I refer you to their own opinion; but if they do not, nevertheless I am sent from God.”

Asked whether she believed that by deeming her to be sent from God they believed rightly,

She answered: “If they believe I am sent from God they are not deceived.”

Asked if she did not know the feeling of members of her party when they kissed her feet and her hands and her garments,

She answered that many came to see her gladly, but they kissed her hands as little as she could help; but the poor folk gladly came to her, for she did them no unkindness, but helped them as much as she could.

Asked what honor the people of Troyes did her when she entered the town,

She answered they did her none. She added that she thought brother Richard entered Troyes with her, but she does not remember seeing him enter.

Asked if he preached a sermon when she arrived, she replied that she. scarcely stopped there, and did not sleep at all; and as for the sermon, she knew nothing of it.

Asked whether she spent many days at Reims,

She answered: “I think we were there four or five days.”

Asked whether she acted as godmother to a child there,

She answered that at Troyes she did, to one child; but at Reims she does not recall so doing, nor at Château-Thierry; and at Saint-Denis she was twice godmother. And she gladly gave to the boys the name of Charles, in honor of her king, and to the girls Jeanne; at times she named them as the parents wished.

Asked whether the good wives of the town did not touch her ring with their own,

She answered that “many women touched my hands and my rings; but I do not know with what thought or intention.”

Asked who it was of her company who caught butterflies in her standard before Château-Thierry,

She answered that her party had never done that; but the other side invented it.

Asked what she did at Reims with the gloves with which her king was consecrated,

She answered that a present of gloves was made to the knights and nobles present; and there was one who lost his gloves; but she did not say she would find them.

She added that her standard was in the church at Reims; and she thought that it was fairly near the altar, during the consecration of her king, and she herself bore it for a short time. She does not know whether brother Richard bore it.

Asked whether, when she was going through the country, she often received the sacraments of the Eucharist and of Confession when she was in the good towns,

She answered yes, from time to time. Asked whether she received the said sacraments in man’s dress,

She answered yes, but she does not remember receiving them when she was in armor.

Asked why she took the Bishop of Senlis’s hackney,

She answered that it was bought for two hundred saluts. Whether he received them or not, she does not know; but there was an arrangement and he was paid. She also wrote to him that he could have the horse back if he wished, she herself did not want it, for it was no good for carrying a load.

Asked how old the child was whom she restored to life at Lagny,

She replied that it was three days old, and was brought to Lagny before the image of Our Lady; she was informed that the maidens of the town were also before the image, and she might wish to pray God and the Blessed Virgin to give life to the babe.

And then she went and prayed with the other maidens, and at last life appeared in the child, which yawned thrice, and was afterwards baptized: and immediately it died and was buried in consecrated ground. Three days had passed, they said, with no sign of life in the child, which was as black as her coat. But when it yawned, the color began to return. And Jeanne was with the maidens, praying on bended knees, before Our Lady.

Asked whether it was said in the town that she had brought about the resuscitation, and that it was due to her prayers,

She answered that she did not inquire about it.

Asked whether she knew or had seen Catherine de La Rochelle,

She answered yes, at Jargeau and Montfaucon in Berry.

Asked whether Catherine showed her a woman robed in white who she said appeared to her,

She answered no.

Asked what Catherine said to her,

She answered that Catherine told her that a certain white lady came to her, arrayed in cloth of gold, telling her to go through the good towns with heralds and trumpets which the king would give her, to proclaim that whosoever possessed gold, silver, or hidden treasure should immediately bring it forth; and that she would immediately know those who having any hidden did not bring it forth, and would be easily able to find it; and it should go to the paying of Jeanne’s men-at-arms. At which Jeanne replied to Catherine that she should go back to her husband, and look after her household (in French “son mesnage”) and care for her children. And to be certain about Catherine, Jeanne spoke of her to St. Catherine or St. Margaret, who said it was mere folly and amounted to nothing.

She wrote telling her king what he should do, and when she came to him she said that this question of Catherine was folly and nothing more. Nevertheless brother Richard wanted to set her to work, so both brother Richard and Catherine were ill-pleased with Jeanne.

Asked if she spoke to Catherine of going to La Charité-sur-Loire,

She answered that the said Catherine did not advise her to go, and it was too cold, and she would not go. She told Catherine, who wished to go to the Duke of Burgundy and make peace, that it seemed to her that peace would not be found, except at the lance’s point. She added that she asked this Catherine if the white lady came to her every night, saying she would, to see her, sleep in the same bed with Catherine. And she slept with her, and watched till midnight, saw nothing, and went to sleep.

And when the morning came and she asked Catherine whether the white lady had come to her, she replied that she had, whilst Jeanne was sleeping, but Catherine had not been able to awaken her. Then Jeanne asked if the lady would come the following night, and Catherine answered yes; so Jeanne slept by day, so that she might stay awake the whole of the succeeding night. And that night she went to bed with Catherine, and watched all night; but saw nothing, although she often asked Catherine whether the lady would come, and Catherine answered: “Yes, presently.”

Then Jeanne was asked what she did in the trenches of La Charité, and

She answered that she had an assault made, but she neither threw nor sprinkled holy water.

Asked why she did not enter the aforesaid town of La Charité since she had been commanded so by God,

She answered: “Who told you I was commanded to enter?”

Asked if she had not counsel of her voice,

She answered that she wanted to come to France. but the soldiers told her it was better to go first before La Charité

Asked if she was long in the tower of Beaurevoir,

She answered that she was there about four months. She said that when she learned the English were to come and take her. she was very angry; and though her voices forbade her to jump from the tower, at last, from fear of the English, she leaped and commended herself to God and Our Lady, and in leaping was wounded. And when she had made this leap the voice of St. Catherine told her to be of good cheer [that she would recover] and the people at Compiègne would have aid. She said she always prayed with her counsel for them of Compiègne.

Asked what she said when she had leaped,

She answered that some said she was dead; and as soon as the Burgundians saw she was alive, they told her she had tried to escape.

Asked whether she said she would rather die than fall into the hands of the English,

She answered she would rather surrender her soul to God than fall into their hands.

Asked whether she was then much vexed, and whether she did not blaspheme the name of God,

She answered that she never blasphemed the saints, and it was not her custom to swear.

Asked about Soissons, and the captain who had surrendered the town, and whether she denied God (and said) that she would have the captain drawn and quartered if she got him,

She answered that she never denied the saints, and those who said or reported that she had, were mistaken.

When all these things were done, Jeanne was taken back to the place which had been assigned as her prison.

Then we, the said Bishop, declared that, continuing the trial without interruption whatever, we should call certain doctors and men learned in canon and civil law who would gather from the confessions of the said Jeanne whatever might be gathered, since her answers have been set down in writing; and after having seen them and gathered, if there remained any points upon which it appeared that the said Jeanne should be examined at greater length, she should be interrogated by deputies appointed by us, without disturbing the whole number of the assessors; and everything should be set down in writing so that wherever fitting the said doctors and authorities might deliberate and furnish their opinion and advice.

We then instructed them to study and inspect, in their homes, the trial and that part of the proceedings they had already heard, to discover what should in their opinion follow, and to submit either to us or to our deputies or to reserve their conclusions, in order to present them after more ample and mature deliberations at a fitting time and place. We finally forbade each and every assessor to leave the city of Rouen without our permission before the termination of the trial.

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March 4-9, 1431

End of the First Part of the Public Sessions. Sunday, March 4th (-9th)

The Sunday next following, the fourth day of the month of March, and the immediate succeeding days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, We, the said Bishop, assembled in our dwelling at Rouen many venerable doctors and masters versed in divine and canon law, and we collected all that had been confessed and answered by Jeanne in the inquiries, and also an extract of the points whereon she had insufficiently answered, and whereon it appeared she should be further examined.

From the points so diligently collected and extracted, at the advice and deliberation of these learned men, we concluded that we-must proceed to a further examination of the said Jeanne. But since owing to our numerous occupations we cannot always attend in person the necessary examinations, we appointed the venerable and discreet person, Jean de La Fontaine, master of arts and licentiate in canon law, before mentioned, to pursue the legal inquiries in our stead; and we charged him to do this on Friday, March 9th in the presence of the doctors and masters

  • Jean Beaupère,
  • Jacques de Touraine,
  • Nicolas Midi,
  • Pierre Maurice,
  • Thomas de Courcelles,
  • Nicolas Loiseleur,
  • Guillaume Manchon above mentioned.

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March 10, 1431

Saturday, March 10th First session in prison

The following Saturday, the tenth day of March, we repaired to the chamber in the castle of Rouen which had been assigned as the prison of Jeanne, and there, with the said master Jean de La Fontaine, our Commissary and Deputy, and the venerable doctors of sacred theology, masters Nicolas Midi and Gérard Feuillet; in the presence of the witnesses, Jean Secard, advocate, and of master Jean Massieu, priest, we summoned Jeanne to swear and take oath to answer the truth to what was asked of her. She replied, saying: “I promise to answer you truthfully that which touches your case; and the more you constrain me to swear, the longer I shall take to tell you.”

Whereupon master Jean de La Fontaine, specially charged and deputed by us to this end, interrogated the said Jeanne.

And he asked her, by the oath she had taken, whence she had come when she last went to Compiègne.

She answered that she had come from the town of Crespy-en-Valois.

Asked whether she spent several days at Compiègne. before she made any sally or attack therefrom,

She answered that she came there secretly in the morning; and entered the town unknown, she thought, to the enemy; and the same day, towards evening, she made the sally (in French “la saillie”) in which she was taken.

Asked whether, when she attacked, the bells were rung, she replied that if they were, it was not at her order or with her knowledge; she did not think so, or remember saying they were rung. Asked whether she made the sally at the instruction of her voice,

She answered that in Easter week last, when she was in the trenches at Melun, she was told by her voices, namely by St. Catherine and St. Margaret, that she would be captured before St. John’s Day; it had to be so; and she should not be distressed, but take it in good part, and God would aid her. Asked if since Melun she had been told by her voices that she would be taken,

She answered yes, several times, nearly every day. And she asked of her voices, that when she was taken, she might die quickly without long suffering in prisons; and the voices told her to be resigned to everything, that it must so happen; but they did not tell her when. If she had known the hour, she would not have gone. She had often asked them at what hour she would be taken, but they did not tell her.

Asked whether, if her voices had ordered her to make this attack from Compiègne, and had signified that she would be captured, she would have gone,

She answered that if she had known when she was to be taken she would not have willingly gone; nevertheless she would have done their bidding in the end, whatever it cost her.

Asked whether, when she made this attack from Compiègne, she had any voice or revelation to go forth and make it,

She answered that that day she did not know she was to be captured, and she had no other order to go forth: but she had always been told that she must be taken prisoner. Asked whether when she made the sortie, she crossed over the bridge of Compiègne,

She answered that she went over the bridge and through the boulevard (in French ‘boulovart’) and with those of her company she attacked the followers of lord Jean de Luxembourg, and twice drove them as far as the camp of the Burgundians, and the third time to the middle of the highway.

Then the English who were there cut off the road from her and her company; and she, retreating to the fields on the Picardy side near the boulevard, was taken; and between the place where she was captured and Compiègne there was nothing but the river and the boulevard with its ditch. Asked whether the world was painted on the banner she carried, with two angels, etc.,

She answered yes, she had but one. Asked what this signified, to paint God holding the world, and two angels,

She answered that St. Catherine and St. Margaret told her to take the banner, and bear it boldly, and to have painted thereon the King of Heaven. She told her king this, much against her will, and she knew no more than that of what it signified.

Asked whether she had a shield and arms,

She answered that she never did; but her king granted arms to her brothers, namely a shield azure, two fleurs-de-lys, and a sword between; and in that town she described these arms to a painter because he asked what arms she bore. She said the king gave them to her brothers (to please them) without her request and without revelation.

Asked whether she had a horse when she was taken, either a charger or a hackney,

She answered that she was riding a horse then, a demi-charger (in French “ung demi coursier”).

Asked who had given her this horse,

She answered her king, or his people from the king’s money, gave it to her; she had five chargers from the king’s money, not counting her hacks, which were more than seven.

Asked whether she had any other riches from her king, besides these horses,

She answered she asked nothing of her king except good arms, good horses, and money to pay the people of her household.

Asked whether she had no treasure,

She answered that the ten or twelve thousand worth she had was not much to carry on a war with, very little indeed; and that, she thought, her brothers have. She says that what she has is her king’s own money.

Asked what sign she gave the king when she went to him,

She replied it was fair and honorable, and most credible, and good, and the richest in the world.

Asked why she would not tell and show the sign, since she herself wanted to have the sign of Catherine de La Rochelle,

She answered that she would not have asked to know the sign of the said Catherine, if it had been as well shown before notable ecclesiastics, and others, archbishops and bishops, as her sign was, namely before the archbishop of Reims, and others whose names she knew not; there were Charles de Bourbon, the Sire de la Trémouille, the Duke d’Alençon, and many other knights who saw and heard it as distinctly as she saw those speaking and standing before her there. Moreover she already knew through St. Catherine and St. Margaret that the affairs of this Catherine were nothing.

Asked whether the sign still exists,

She replied yes certainly, and it will last for a thousand years and more. She said the sign is with the king’s treasure.

Asked whether it was gold, silver, or precious stone, or a crown,

She answered: “I will not tell you, no man could describe a thing so rich as this sign; but the sign you need is for God to deliver me out of your hands, the most certain sign He could show you.” Then she said that when she had to leave to see her king she was told by her voices: “Go boldly: when thou art before the king he shall have a good sign to receive and believe in thee.”

Asked what reverence she showed the sign when it came to her king, and whether it came from God,

She answered that she thanked Our Lord for her deliverance from the trouble arising from the opposition of the clergy of her party; and she knelt down many times. She said that an angel from God, and from none other but Him, bore the sign to her king, and she thanked God many times for this. She said the clergy ceased opposing her when they had recognized the sign.

Asked whether the clergy of her party saw the sign,

She answered that when her king and those of his company had seen it and also the angel that bore it, she asked her king if he were content, and he replied yes. And then she left, and went to a little chapel hard by, and heard that after her departure more than three hundred people saw the sign. She added that for her sake and to stop men from catechizing her, God willed that those of her party who were there should see the sign.

Asked whether her king and she did reverence to the angel when he brought the sign,

She answered that she did, she knelt down and uncovered her head.

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March 12, 1431

Monday, March 12th. The Vicar of the Lord Inquisitor is summoned according to the tenor of his new commission

On the following Monday, March 12th, there appeared in our dwelling at Rouen the religious and discreet brother Jean Le Maistre, of the order of Preaching brothers, vicar of the lord Inquisitor of Heretical Error in the kingdom of France: there were present also the venerable and discreet lords and masters Thomas Fiesvet, Pasquier de Vaulx, doctors of decrees, Nicolas de Hubent, apostolic secretary, and brother Ysambard de La Pierre, of the order of Preaching brothers.

We the said bishop reminded the said vicar that at the beginning of the proceedings we had instituted in matters of faith against this woman commonly called The Maid, we had required and summoned him to collaborate with us, and offered to communicate to him all the instruments, testimonies and other things pertaining to the matter and trial: but that he had raised certain difficulties which prevented his collaboration in the trial, since he was appointed for the city and diocese of Rouen alone, whereas the trial was being held before us, by reason of our jurisdiction of Beauvais, in ceded territory.

Therefore for the greater certainty of the undertaking and with extreme precaution we, on the advice of learned men, had resolved to write to the lord Inquisitor himself, urging him to return to his city of Rouen or at least to appoint his deputy expressly to this task, and entrust him with complete authority from the lord Inquisitor to undertake and conclude the trial, as is set forth at greater length in the letters above. Now the said lord Inquisitor, upon the receipt of our letters, in benign compliance with our demand and for the honor and exaltation of the orthodox faith, especially appointed and deputed the said brother Jean Le Maistre to conduct and conclude the trial in his letters patent secured and confirmed by his seal, of which the tenor follows.

Therefore we summon and require the said brother Jean Le Maistre, in accordance with the tenor of his commission, to join with us in this trial. Whereupon the said brother answered that he would gladly peruse the commission addressed to him, with the documents of the trial signed by the notaries, and the other things we desired to communicate to him, and would give us, when he had seen and considered them, a reply conforming to his duty on behalf of the holy inquisition.

But we told him that he had already been present during a great part of the proceedings, and had heard most of the answers of the said Jeanne, that however we were content and well pleased to communicate to him the process and all that had occurred in the matter, for his perusal and examination.

Follows the tenor of the letters of appointment addressed by the Lord Inquisitor and mentioned above

“To his dear son in Christ brother Jean Le Maistre of the order of Preaching brothers, Jean Graverent of the same order, humble professor of sacred theology and Inquisitor of Heretical Error by apostolic authority in the kingdom of France, greeting in the author and consummator of our faith, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Since the reverend father in Christ the lord bishop of Beauvais has written to us in connection with a certain woman of the name of Jeanne, commonly called ‘The Maid, in his letters patent beginning ‘Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais to the venerable father master Jean Graverent‘; and since from lawful impediment we cannot now conveniently journey to Rouen, we, being confident in your zeal and discretion in all that concerns our office and the affairs of this woman up to and including the final sentence, have especially appointed you and by the tenor of these present letters do appoint you our vicar, hoping that to the praise of God and the exaltation of the faith and the edification of the people, you will proceed therein with justice and holiness.

In witness whereof the seal of our office is affixed to these present letters. Given at Coutances, March 4th in the year of our Lord 1431.”

Signed: N. Ogier.

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The same Monday, March 12th, in prison

This same Monday morning, we the aforesaid bishop repaired to the chamber assigned as jail for the said Jeanne, where similarly were assembled at the same time the venerable and discreet lords and masters

  • Jean de La Fontaine, our appointed commissary,
  • Nicolas Midi and
  • Gerard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology, and witnesses
  • Thomas Fiesvet and
  • Pasquier de Vaulx doctors of canon law, and
  • Nicolas de Hubent, apostolic secretary, aforementioned.

She replied that “on what touches your case,” as she had formerly said, she would willingly speak the truth.

And in this manner she took the oath.

Then she was examined at our command by the said master Jean de La Fontaine: and first

whether the angel that brought the sign to her king, as before said, did not speak,

She answered: “Yes, he told the king to set me to work so that the country might be forthwith relieved.”

Asked whether the angel that brought the sign to the king was the same that first appeared to her, or whether it was another,

She answered: “It is always the same one, and he never fails me.”

Asked whether the angel did not fail her in respect of the good things of fortune, when she was taken,

She answered that she thought that since it pleased God, it was better for her to be taken prisoner.

Asked whether the angel did not fail her in respect of the good things of grace,

She answered: “How should he fail me, when he comforts me every day?” And she believes, as she says, that this comfort is from St. Catherine and St. Margaret.

Asked whether she calls St. Catherine or St. Margaret or whether they come without being called,

She answered: “They often come without my calling,” and sometimes if they did not come, she would pray God to send them.

Asked whether she sometimes called them without their coming,

She answered that she had never needed them without having them.

Asked whether St. Denis sometimes appeared to her,

She answered no, as far as she knew.

Asked whether she spoke to, Our Lord when she promised Him to keep her virginity,

She answered that it ought to be quite enough to promise it to those who were sent from Him, namely St. Catherine and St. Margaret.

Asked what persuaded her to summon a man from the town of Toul for breach of promise,

She answered: “I did not have him summoned; it was he who summoned me; and I swore before the judge to tell the truth.” And moreover, she said, she had made no promise to this man.

She added that the first time she heard her voice she vowed to keep her virginity as long as it should please God; and she was then thirteen years old, or thereabouts. She said her voices assured her that she would win her case at Toul.

Asked if she had not spoken to her priest or any other churchman of the visions which she claimed to have

She answered no, save to Robert de Baudricourt and to her king. She added that her voices did not compel her to conceal them, but she was afraid of revealing them, afraid that the Burgundians might hinder her journey; and in particular she feared that her father would stop it.

Asked if she believed it was right to leave her father and mother without permission, when she should honor her father and mother,

She answered that in all other things she was obedient to them, except in this journey; but afterwards she wrote to them, and they forgave her.

Asked whether she thought she had committed a sin when she left her father and mother,

She answered that since God commanded, it was right to do so. She added that since God commanded, if she had had a hundred parents, or had been the king’s daughter, she would have gone nevertheless.

Asked whether she asked her voices if she should tell her father and mother of her going,

She answered that as for her father and mother, the voices were well pleased that she should tell them, but for the difficulty they would have raised if she had done so; and as for herself, she would not have told them for anything. She said the voices left it to her to tell her father and mother, or be silent.

Asked whether she did reverence to St. Michael and the angels, when she saw them,

She answered that she did, and kissed the ground where they had stood after they had gone.

Asked whether the said angels were long with her,

She answered that they often came among the Christian folk and were not seen, and she often saw them amongst the Christian folk.

Asked whether she had had letters from St. Michael or from her voices,

She answered: “I have not leave to tell you: within a week from now I will gladly tell you what I know.”

Asked if her voices did not call her daughter of God, daughter of the Church, daughter great-hearted,

She answered that before the raising of the siege of Orleans, and every day since, when they have spoken to her they have often called her Jeanne the Maid, daughter of God.

Asked why, since she calls herself, daughter of God, she will not willingly say the Paternoster

She answered that she would willingly do so, and that on other occasions when she refused, it was with the intention that we the aforesaid bishop should hear her in confession.

The afternoon of the same Monday, in prison

This same day, Monday, in the afternoon, there were present in the place of the prison of Jeanne the aforementioned lords and masters,

  • Jean de La Fontaine, our commissary,
  • Nicolas Midi and
  • Gerard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology;
  • Thomas Fiesvet and
  • Pasquier de Vaulx, doctors of canon law, and
  • Nicolas de Hubent, apostolic notary.

The said Jeanne was examined at our order by the said de La Fontaine,

and firstly concerning the dreams she declared her father had had before she left his house.

To which she replied that whilst she was still with her father and mother she was often told by her mother that her father spoke of having dreamed that Jeanne his daughter would go off with men-at-arms; and her father and mother took great care to keep her safely, and held her in great subjection: and she was obedient to them in all things except in the incident at Toul, the action for marriage.

She said she had heard her mother tell how her father said to her brothers: “In truth, if I thought this thing would happen which I have dreamed about my daughter, I should want you to drown her; and if you would not, I would drown her myself.” And her father and mother almost lost their senses when she left to go to Vaucouleurs.

Asked whether these thoughts and dreams came to her father after she had her visions,

She answered yes, more than two years after she first heard the voices.

Asked whether it was at the request of Robert de Baudricourt that she first took to a man’s dress,

She answered that it was of her own accord, and not at the request of any man alive.

Asked whether the voice ordered her to wear a man’s costume,

She answered: “Everything I have done I have done at the instruction of my voices; and as to the dress, I will answer that another time; at present I am not advised, but to-morrow I will answer.”

Asked whether she thought she was doing wrong in taking to male attire,

She answered no; and even at this moment, if she were back with her own party it seems to her that it would be to the great good of France for her to do as she did before her capture.’

Asked how she would have delivered the Duke of Orleans,

She answered that she would have taken enough English prisoners to ransom him; and if she had not taken enough on this side, she would have crossed the sea and fetched him from England, by force.

Asked whether St. Margaret and St. Catherine had told her absolutely and unconditionally that she would take enough prisoners to ransom the Duke of Orleans, who was in England, or that she should cross the sea to fetch him [and within three years bring him back],

She answered yes: and she told the king to let her have her way with the English lords who were their prisoners. She adds that if she had gone on without hindrance for three years she would have delivered the Duke. She says that to do this three years were more than were necessary, and one was too little; but she does not remember it now.

Asked what the sign was which she gave her king,

She answered she would take counsel from St. Catherine concerning it.

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