John, Duke of Bedford (1389-1435), third son of Henry TV, was regent of the kingdom on the death of Henry V. He married Anne, sister of Philippe of Burgundy.
The best artisan in the Anglo-Burgundian alliance, this great politician, firm and patient at the same time, worked in France to repair the evils of the war and to repress also and prevent all awakening of the national spirit. Bedford came to understandings with the local nobility, in the Beauvais section, for example, through families attached to the Burgundian party. But he did not count for enough among the French people, the poor people of the countryside. It is not due to Bedford that France did not become English.
He displayed an extraordinary activity in equipping the defenses of Paris in July, 1429; he turned from their destination the English troops that had been levied to send against the Hussites, denounced Charles VII for making use of a "woman of dissolute life in order to abuse his people."
After Jeanne's fruitless assault on Paris, Bedford appeared before Saint Denis to punish its inhabitants. His military and diplomatic initiative was certainly the cause of Jeanne's destruction. He was able to attach the Duke of Burgundy to his cause, -- the Duke was then tacking about in a system of truces-by ceding to him the investiture of Champagne and in offering him a sort of regency over France.
For his own part, he devoted himself to affairs in Normandy and made of Rouen an English citadel and the seat of the English government. It was Bedford's English council that designated Cauchon to claim the Maid as a sorceress, and furnished him the 10,000 livres for her purchase. Although Bedford appeared but once at her trial and then in a singular guise for a noble duke, and although he seemed to have given his hand to Cardinal Beaufort, that violent and orthodox prelate, it is not at all doubtful that Bedford conducted the whole business personally. His spirit is everywhere manifest in it. Percival de Cagny affirms this.
For it is evident that Bedford held the Chapter of Rouen in the hollow of his hand, and Jeanne found there enemies rather than judges. On April 5, 1430, they discussed in chapter meeting the two gold pieces offered by the Duke of Bedford and his wife Anne of Burgundy, at the mass celebrated in the choir of the cathedral.
On the 25th he announced to the Chapter the good news that Henry VI had disembarked at Calais
On October 20 the Duke put on canonical dress and was admitted to the distribution of bread and wine.
On January 13, 1431, processions were held in the church for the prosperity of the Duke and the Duchess. Bedford was buried in the choir of the cathedral, not far from the body of King Henry, among his brothers. We know that Bedford also favored the Carmelites of Rouen very greatly.