March 13

March 13, 1431

Tuesday, March 13th

The following Tuesday, the thirteenth day of March, we assembled at the same hour in the prison with the venerable and discreet brother Jean Le Maistre, and other venerable and discreet lords and masters above named:

  • Jean de La Fontaine,
  • Nicolas Midi, and
  • Gerard Feuillet, and in the presence of
  • Nicolas de Hubent and of
  • Ysambard de La Pierre, of the order of Preaching brothers.

The said brother Jean Le Maistre, seeing the letters addressed to him by the lord Inquisitor, together with the other circumstances of the matter needing consideration, joined himself with the trial, ready to proceed with us according to law and reason to a further decision of the case.

Of this we charitably informed Jeanne, exhorting her and warning her for the salvation of her soul to speak the truth in the trial on everything she was asked. And then the said deputy of the lord Inquisitor, wishing to proceed further in the case, as Promoter of the Holy Inquisition, appointed master Jean d’Estivet, canon of the churches of Bayeux and Beauvais; as keepers of the prison the noble John Grey, Squire of the Body Guard of our lord the king, and John Berwoit; as executor of his citations and convocations, master Jean Massieu, priest; the aforementioned we earlier deputed and charged to their several offices, as is shown more fully in the letters confirmed with our seals of which the tenor is given above, and in the letters of the said vicar which are described below. And the said officers took oath before the said vicar to fill their offices faithfully.

Follows the tenor of the letters from the Lord Vicar appointing the Promoter

“To all those who shall see these present letters, brother Jean Le Maistre, of the order of Preaching brothers, vicar general of the reverend father, lord and master Jean Graverent of the same order, distinguished professor of sacred theology and Inquisitor of Heretical Error in the kingdom of France, and especially delegated by apostolic authority, greeting in the author and consummator of our faith, Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Whereas the reverend father in Christ Pierre, by divine mercy lord bishop of Beauvais, ordinary judge in this matter and possessor of territory in this town and in the diocese of Rouen, had by his letters patent invited the said reverend father and lord Inquisitor and had summoned and required him in the name of the faith to appear in this city of Rouen if conveniently he could or to please to appoint in his stead us or another suitable person, to conduct, with the reverend father my lord bishop of Beauvais, the trial in matters of faith of this woman commonly known as The Maid, called by the said bishop and in his hands.

And the said reverend father and lord Inquisitor, unable by any means to appear in the town of Rouen, by letters confided to us his powers in this matter, as with other things is shown in his letters also containing the summons and requisition of the said lord bishop, and our commission; and these letters of commission dated the 14th day of March in the year 1430, are signed with the seal of the lord Inquisitor and the sign manual of the venerable master Nicolas Ogier, priest and notary public.

Therefore we, seeking and desiring humbly to fulfill with all our strength the commission of the said Inquisitor to the glory of God and the exaltation of the orthodox faith, as we are beholden to do, with all our power, having taken the counsel and advice of the lord bishop and of many other learned men, versed in sacred theology and canon and civil law, we declare that for the accomplishment of this matter it is needful to constitute and appoint on behalf of the Holy Inquisition a promoter, notaries, and an executor of our ordinances, men both kind and eminent.

Therefore according to the authority we enjoy in this matter both apostolic and that issuing from the said reverend father the lord Inquisitor, having full confidence in Our Lord and being duly informed of the integrity, zeal, adequacy and capacity of the venerable and discreet person master Jean d’Estivet, priest, canon of the churches of Bayeux and Beauvais, we have made, constituted, named, ordained and charged and we do make, constitute, name, ordain and charge the said master Jean our Promoter or Procurator general, to conduct this case and matter generally and particularly; and we convey to the said Promoter and our Procurator general, by the tenor of these present, license, faculty, and authority to sit and to appear in court and extrajudicially against the said Jeanne; to give, send, administer, produce and exhibit articles, examinations, testimonies, letters, instruments, and all other forms of proof, to accuse and denounce this Jeanne, to cause and require her to be examined and interrogated, to bring the case to an end, and to promote, procure, conduct, and exercise, all and every act known to be proper to the office of Promoter or Procurator, according to law and custom.

Therefore, to whom it may concern, we require obedience, submission, goodwill, towards the said Jean in the exercise of his office, and counsel, help, and aid. In witness of which we have ordered our seal to be affixed to these present letters. Given and signed at Rouen in the year of Our Lord 1431, Tuesday, March 13th.”

Signed: Boisguillaume. Manchon.

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Here follows the tenor of the letter by which the said Vicar of the Inquisitor constituted Jean Massieu, priest, executor of the convocations and summons necessary in this case

“To all those who shall see these present letters, brother Jean Le Maistre, of the order of Preaching brothers, etc., we, having full confidence in Our Lord and being duly informed of the integrity, zeal, competence, and capacity of master Jean Massieu, priest, dean of the Christendom of Rouen, appointed and constituted in this trial executor of the commands and convocations of the said lord bishop, we have appointed, retained and ordained him executor of the commands and convocations emanating from us herein; and we bestow and have bestowed on him by these present letters all authority thereto.

In testimony of which we have had our seal affixed to these present letters. Given and signed at Rouen in the year of Our Lord 1431, Tuesday the 13th day of March.”

So signed: Boisguillaume. Manchon.

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And when this was done as is indicated above, we the said bishop and brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the Inquisitor, thereupon proceeded together to examine and have examined the said Jeanne, in the manner earlier begun.

And first at our command Jeanne was examined upon the sign she gave her king, to which she replied: “Would you be content if I perjured myself?”

Asked whether she had sworn and promised St. Catherine not to tell this sign,

She answered: “I have sworn and promised not to tell this sign, of my own accord, because I was too much pressed to tell it ” And then she promised to herself not to speak of it further to any man. She says that the sign was that an angel assured her king by bringing him the crown and saying he should possess the whole and entire kingdom of France, by the help of god and the labors of the said Jeanne; and he was to put Jeanne to work, that is to say, to give her men-at-arms, else he would not be so soon crowned and consecrated.

Asked whether she had since yesterday spoken with St. Catherine,

She answered she had heard her since then, and notwithstanding was told many times to answer the Judges boldly what they should ask her touching the case.

Asked how the angel brought the crown, and whether he placed it on the king’s head,

She answered that it was given to an archbishop, namely the archbishop of Reims, so it seemed to her, in the presence of her king: and the said archbishop received it and gave it to her king; and Jeanne herself was present. And the said crown was put in the king’s treasure.

Asked about the place where the crown was brought,

She answered that it was in the king’s chamber in the castle of Chinon. Asked on what day and at what hour,

She answered that of the day she knew nothing, and of the hour, it was late; beyond that she could not recall the hour. And it was in the month of April or March, she thought. She said that in the present month of March or next April it will be two years ago, and it was after Easter.

Asked whether the first day she saw the sign her king also saw it,

She answered yes, and he himself received it.

Asked what the crown was made of,

She answered it was good to know it was of pure gold; and the crown was so rich and precious that she did not know how to count or appreciate its riches; and it signified that her king would gain the kingdom of France.

Asked whether there were precious stones in it,

She answered: “I have told you what I know of it.”

Asked whether she had held or kissed the crown,

She answered no.

Asked whether the angel who had brought this crown had come from on high, or from the earth,

She answered: “He came from on high,” and she understood that he came by Our Lord’s command: and he entered the room by the door.

Asked whether the angel who brought the crown came from earth,

She answered that when the angel came before the king, he did the king reverence by bowing before him and pronouncing the words of the sign that Jeanne said above. And with this the angel recalled to the king the sweet patience he had shown in the many great tribulations which had befallen him. And from the door the angel stepped and walked upon the ground and moved towards her king.

Asked what space there was between the door and the place where her king then was,

She answered that as far as she knew, there was the space of a good lance-length; and the said angel went out by the way he had come. She said that when the angel came she accompanied him and went with him by the stairs to the king’s chamber; and the angel went in first, and then she herself; and Jeanne said to her king: “Sire, here is your sign; take it.”

Asked in what place the angel appeared to her,

She answered: “I was nearly always praying that God would send the king’s sign, and I was in my lodging, in the house of a good woman, near the castle of Chinon, when the angel came; and afterwards we went together to the king; and the angel was well accompanied by other angels whom no one saw.” And she added that had it not been for love of her and to release her from the distress of them that opposed her, she thought that many who saw the angel would not have seen him.

Asked whether all who were there with the king, saw the angel,

She answered that she thought the archbishop of Reims, the Lords d’Alençon, de la Trémouille, and Charles de Bourbon saw him, and many churchmen and others saw the crown who did not see the angel.

Asked of what appearance and size the said angel was,

She answered she had not leave to tell that, and she would answer on the morrow.

Asked if all the angels who were in the company of the angel were of the same appearance,

She answered that some of them were fairly like one another, and some were not, as far as she could see; some had wings or were crowned, others were not; and in their company were St. Catherine and St. Margaret who were with the said angel and the other angels up to the very chamber of the king.

Asked how the angel left her,

She answered that he left her in a little chapel; and she was much vexed at his leaving; she wept and would gladly have gone with him, that is, her soul would have gone.

Asked whether at the angel’s departure she remained happy [afraid or in great terror],

She answered that he did not leave her in fear, or trembling; but she was vexed at his leaving.

Asked whether it was for any merit of hers that God sent her His angel,

She answered that he came for a great purpose, in hope that the king would believe the sign, and men would cease opposing her, and to help the good people of Orleans; and he came also for the merits of her king and the good Duke of Orleans. Asked why he had come to her rather than to another,

She answered that it pleased God so to do by a simple maid, to drive back the king’s enemies.

Asked whether she had been told whence the angel had taken the crown,

She answered that it was brought from God and no goldsmith on earth could have made one so rich and fair; but as for where the angel had taken it from, she referred herself to God, and knew nothing concerning it beyond that

Asked if the crown had a good odor, and whether it glittered,

She answered that she did not remember, and would think it over. Afterwards she said that it was of good odor and would always be so, as long as it was well and duly guarded and it was in the form of a crown.

Asked whether the angel had written her letters,

She an answered no.

Asked what sign the king had, and the people who were with him and her, to persuade them it was an angel who brought the crown,

She answered that the king believed it by the teaching of the clergy who were there, and by the sign of the crown.

Asked how the clergy knew that it was an angel,

She answered that they knew it by their learning and because they were clerks.

Asked about a married priest and a lost cup which she was said to have pointed out,

She answered that of all this she knew nought, nor had ever heard talk of it.

Asked whether when she went before Paris she had a revelation from her voices bidding her to go there,

She answered no, but she went at the request of nobles who wanted to make an attack, in French “une escarmouche”, or an assault-at-arms; and she intended to go beyond and cross the trenches of the town of Paris.

Asked whether she had any revelation concerning her going before the town of La Charité,

She answered no, she went at the request of the soldiers, as she answered elsewhere.

Asked whether she had any revelation concerning her going to Pont l’Evêque,

She answered that after it had been revealed her at the trenches of Melun that she would be captured, she usually deferred to the captains upon the questions of war; yet she did not tell them it had been revealed that she would be captured.

Asked whether it was right to attack the town of Paris on the day of the Festival of the Blessed Mary,

She answered that was good to observe the Festival of the Blessed Mary; and it seemed to her in her conscience good to keep the Festival of Our Lady from beginning to end.

Asked whether she had not said before the town of Paris: ‘Surrender this town, in Jesus’ name!” she answered no, but she had said “Surrender it to the king of France”.

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