THE PRIVATE EXAMINATIONS BEGIN
(In the text footnotes are in bold)
Deliberations March 4th through the 9th.
March 4th: 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 Jeanne’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 Jeanne should submit to more full inquire, 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 inquiries 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.
In the meantime, We expressly forbid all and each to leave Rouen without Our permission before the full completion of the Process.
Meeting at the Bishop’s house of several Doctors.
Sunday, March 4th, and the Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th of the same month, We, the Bishop, assembled in Our dwelling, many grave Doctors – and Masters-in-law, sacred and civil, who were charged by Us to collect all that has been confessed or answered by Jeanne in these Inquiries, and to extract therefrom the points on which she answered in an incomplete manner, and which seem to these Doctors susceptible of further examination. This double work having been effected by them, We, the said Bishop, by the advice of the said Doctors, decide that there is occasion to proceed to further inquiries. But because Our numerous occupations do not permit Us to attend ourselves, we appoint, to proceed therein, the venerable and discreet person, Jean Delafontaine, Master of Arts and Licentiate in Canon Law, who will interrogate the said Jeanne in Our name. (1)….(In spite of this assertion, the Bishop was present at four out of the nine Examinations.) We have for this appointed the 9th March, in presence of the Doctors and Masters, Jean Beaupère, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Thomas de Courcelles, Nicolas Loyseleur, and Guillaume Manchon.
THE FIRST PRIVATE EXAMINATION
Saturday, March 10th, We, the Bishop, repaired to the part of the Castle of Rouen given to Jeanne as a prison, where, being assisted by Maitre Jean Delafontaine, the Commissary appointed by Us, and by the venerable Doctors and Masters in Theology, Nicolas Midi, and Gerard Feuillet (witnesses: Jean Fécard, Advocate; and Maître Jean Massieu, Priest).
We summoned Jeanne to make and take oath to speak the truth on what should be asked of her. She replied:
“I promise to speak truth on what touches your Case; but the more you constrain me to swear, the later will I tell you.”
Afterwards, the examination of Jeanne by Maître Jean Delafontaine took place as follows:
“On the faith of the oath you have just taken, from whence had you started when you went the last time to Compiegne?”
“From Crespy, in Valois.”
“When you were at Compiegne, were you several days before you made your sally or attack?”
“I arrived there secretly early in the morning,(2)….(On May 23rd, 1430.) and entered the town without the enemy knowing anything of it; and that same day, in the evening, I made the sally in which I was taken.”
“When you made your sally, did they ring the bells?”
“If they did ring them it was not by my order or knowledge; I do not think it was so, and I do not remember to have said they rang.”
“Did you make this sally by command of your Voice?”
“During the Easter week of last year, being in the trenches of Melun, it was told me by my Voices – that is to say, by Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, ‘You wilt be taken before Saint John’s Day; and so it must be : do not torment thyself about it: be resigned; God will help thee.’ ”
“Before this occasion at Melun, had not your Voices ever told you that you would be taken?”
“Yes, many times and nearly every day. And I asked of my Voices that, when I should be taken, I might die soon, without long suffering in prison; and they said to me : ‘Be resigned to all – thus it must be.’ But they did not tell me the time; and if I had known it, I should not have gone. Often I asked to know the hour: they never told me.”
“Did your Voices command you to make this sally from Compiegne, and signify that you would be taken if you went ?”
“If I had known the hour when I should be taken, I should never have gone of mine own free-will; I should always have obeyed their commands in the end, whatever might happen to me.”
“When you made this sally from Compiegne had you any Voice or revelation about making it ?”
“That day I did not know at all that I should be taken, and I had no other command to go forth; but they had always told me it was necessary for me to be taken prisoner.”
“When you made this sally, did you pass by the Bridge of Compiegne?”
“I passed by the bridge and the boulevard, and went with the company of followers of my side against the followers of my Lord of Luxembourg. I drove them back twice against the camp of the Burgundians, and the third time, to the middle of the highway. The English who were there then cut off the road from me and my people, between us and the boulevard. For this reason, my followers retreated, and, in retreating towards the fields, on the Picardy side, near the boulevard, I was taken. Between Compiegne and the place where I was taken there is nothing but the stream and the boulevard with its ditch.”
“Did you not have on the banner you carried a representation of the world, painted with two angels, etc.?”
“Yes; and I had no other.”
“What did this signify, to paint God holding the world, and these angels?”
“Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret told me that I was to take my banner and to carry it boldly, and to have painted on it the King of Heaven. I told my King, much against my will: that is all I can tell of the signification of this painting.”
“Have you not a shield and arms?”
“I never had one; but my King has granted arms to my brothers, that is to say, a shield azure, two fleurs-de-lys of gold, and a sword betwixt. These arms I described in this town to a painter, because he asked what arms I bore. The King gave them to my brothers, [to please them,] (3)….(In the Minute only.) without request from me and without revelation.”
“Had you, when you were taken, a horse, charger, or hackney?”
“I was on horseback; the one which I was riding when I was taken was a demi-charger.”
“Who had given you this horse ?”
“My King, or his people, from the King’s money. I had five chargers from the King’s money, without counting my hacks, of which I had more than seven.”
“Had you any other riches from your King besides these horses?”
“I asked nothing from my King, except good arms, good horses, and money to pay my household.”
“Had you no treasure?”
“The ten or twelve thousand I was worth is not much treasure to carry on war, very little indeed ; and such goods are my brothers’, in my opinion; what I have is my King’s own money.”
“What was the sign that came to your King when you went to him?”(4)….(Note in the Minute. Latin text reads : “quod dedit regi suo dum vernit ad eum.”)
“It was beautiful, honorable, and most credible; the best and richest in the world.”
“Then why will you not tell it and show it, since you wished to have the sign of Catherine de la Rochelle?”(5)….(The “sign,” i.e. the appearance of “the White Lady.”)
“I might not have asked to know the sign of the said Catherine, had that sign been as well shown before notable people of the Church and others, Archbishops and Bishops, as mine was before the Archbishop of Reims and other Bishops whose names I know not. There were there also Charles de Bourbon, the Sire de la Tremouille, the Duke d’Alencon,(6)….(Jean, Duke d’Alencon : son of the Duke killed at Agincourt. He was of the blood-royal of France, and had married a daughter of the Duke d’Orleans. Jeanne was on very friendly terms with him, and always called him her ” Beau Duc.”) and many other knights, who saw and heard it as well as I see those who speak to me today; and, besides, I knew already, through Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, that the doings of this Catherine were as nothing.”
“Does this sign still last?”
“It is well to know it; it will last a thousand years and more. My sign is with the King’s treasure.”
“Is it gold, silver, precious stones, or a crown?”
“I will tell you nothing more about it. No man in the world could devise so rich a thing as this sign; but the sign that you need is that God may deliver me from your hands; that is the most sure sign He could send you. When I was about to start to see my King, my Voices told me: ‘Go boldly; when you art before the King, he shall have a sure sign to receive thee and believe in thee.’ ”
“When the sign came to your King, what reverence did you make to it? Did it come from God?”
“I thanked Our Lord for having delivered me from the trouble that I had with the clergy of my party, who were arguing against me; and I knelt down several times. An Angel from God, and from none other, sent the sign to my King; and for this I have many times thanked Our Lord. The priests of that party ceased to attack me when they had recognized the sign.”
“The Clergy of that party then saw the sign?”
“When my King and those who were with him had seen the sign and also the Angel that brought it, I asked my King if he were satisfied. He answered, Yes. Then I left, and went to a little chapel close by. I have since heard that, after I left, more than three hundred persons saw the said sign. For love of me and that I should not be questioned about it, God permitted certain men of my party to see the sign in reality.”(7)….(The allegory of the Angel sent with a crown, here first given to avoid “perjury,” i.e., breaking her promise to preserve the King’s secret, is explained by Jeanne herself, on the last day of her life, to mean her own mission from Heaven to lead Charles to his crowning.)
“Your King and you, did you do reverence to the Angel who brought the sign?”
“Yes; I made a salutation, knelt down, and took off my cap.”