Depositions in Paris 1455–6
[No questions for the Examinations at Paris and Rouen appear in the Rehabilitation Reports, but, as M. Jules Fabre was the first to point out, the numbers appended to the answers correspond with the first thirty-three of the hundred and one Articles of the Act of Accusation.]
Examination of Witnesses
Maître Jean Tiphaine
Priest, Master in Arts and Medicine, Canon of the Sainte Chapelle, Paris.
On the first four Articles, I declare that I knew nothing of Jeanne until she was brought to the town of Rouen for her trial. I was summoned to take part. At first I would not go; but I was commanded a second time, and was present and heard the enquiry and her answers: she made many beautiful answers. When I was present at this Trial, the Judges and the Assessors were in the small hall behind the Great Hall of the Castle; and she answered with much prudence and wisdom and with great bravery.
On the occasion when I was present, Maître Beaupère was the principal questioner; and Jacques de Touraine, of the Order of Friars Minor, also questioned her. I well remember that this Maître Jacques once asked her, if she was ever in a place in which the English were overcome; to which she answered: “In God’s name, surely. How mildly you put it! Why, have many not fled from France and gone back to their own country?”1 And there was a great lord of England, whose name I do not remember, who said, hearing this: “Truly this is a brave woman! Would she were English!” And this he said to me and to Maître Guillaume Desjardins. No Doctor, however great and subtle he might be, had he been questioned by so many Doctors and before so great an assembly as was this Jeanne, but would have been perplexed and upset. With regard to the illness of Jeanne during the Trial, I was summoned by the Lords Judges to visit her, and was brought to her by one named d’Estivet; in presence of this d’Estivet, Maître Delachambre, and several others, I felt her pulse in order to know the cause of the malady, and asked what ailed her and from what she suffered. She replied that some carp had been sent her by the Bishop of Beauvais, and that she doubted this was the cause of her illness. Upon this, d’Estivet, who was present, found fault with her, saying she had spoken ill, and called her “paillarde,” saying: “Thou paillarde! thou hast been eating sprats and other unwholesomeness.” She answered that she had not; and then they—Jeanne and d’Estivet—exchanged many abusive words. Afterwards, I wished to know further as to the malady of Jeanne, and learnt that she had had severe vomiting. Except as to her malady, I gave no opinion.2
Maître Guillaume Delachambre
Master in Arts and Medicine.
I gave no opinion during the Trial, but allowed myself to affix my signature, under compulsion from the Bishop of Beauvais. I made excuses to him that in these matters it did not belong to my profession to give an opinion: however, finally, the Bishop forced me to subscribe as others had done, saying that otherwise some ill would befall me for having come to Rouen. I say, too, that threats were also used against Maître Jean Lohier and Maître Nicolas de Houppeville, who, not wishing to take part in the Trial, were threatened with the penalty of drowning.
Sometimes it was the Abbot of Fécamp who interrogated Jeanne. Once, I saw the Abbot of Fécamp interrogating Jeanne, and Maître Jean Beaupère interrupted with many and divers questions. Jeanne would not reply to them both at once, saying that they did her much harm by thus vexing her, and that she would reply presently. As to her illness, one day the Cardinal of England and the Earl of Warwick having sent for me, I found myself associated with Guillaume Desjardins and other doctors. The Earl of Warwick told us that Jeanne had been ill and that we had been sent for to give her all our attention, for the King would not, for anything, that she should die a natural death: he had bought her too dear for that, and he intended that she should die at the hands of justice, and should be burnt. For this, I and Guillaume Desjardins and others visited her. Desjardins and I felt her pulse on the right side, and found fever, from which we recommended she should be bled. “Away with your bleeding!” said Warwick, “she is artful, and might kill herself.” Nevertheless, we did bleed her, and she recovered. One day, after she had recovered, there arrived a certain Maître Guillaume d’Estivet, who used evil words against Jeanne, calling her … and a paillarde. This abuse upset her to such a point that the fever returned, and she had a relapse. And this being brought to the notice of the Earl, he forbade d’Estivet to abuse Jeanne from that day forth.
I was present at a sermon of Maître Guillaume Érard. I do not remember the sermon, but I remember well the Abjuration made by Jeanne. She was long in doing this. Maître Guillaume Érard decided her by saying that, if she did what he advised her, she would be delivered from prison. She abjured on this condition and no other, and immediately read a small schedule containing six or seven lines on a piece of paper folded in two. I was so near her that, in all truth, I could see the lines and their form.
For the rest, I can only say that I was present at the last discourse made in the Old Market-Place of Rouen by Maître Nicolas Midi. As soon as the sermon was over, Jeanne was burnt, the stake being already prepared. Her pious lamentations and ejaculations made many weep; only some English were laughing. I heard her say these or like words: “Alas! Rouen, I fear me that thou wilt have to suffer for my death.” Shortly after she began to cry “Jesus” and to invoke St. Michael; and then she perished in the flame.
Jean de Mailly
The Reverend Father in God, the Lord, Bishop of Noyon.
I knew nothing of Jeanne before she came to Rouen; and I saw her only two or three times. I do not remember either being present at the Trial or giving my opinion.
I remember that, the day before the discourse at St. Ouen, I was present at an Exhortation addressed to Jeanne; 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 Jeanne. The words of the preacher I do not remember; but I remember well that, either then or on the preceding day, Jeanne 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 Jeanne was ordered to do or say something. I believe it was to abjure; they said to her: “Jeanne, 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 Jeanne. At the end of the sermon the sentence was pronounced which delivered Jeanne to secular justice. After this sentence was pronounced, Jeanne 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 Jeanne. 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.
Maître Thomas de Courcelles
S.T.P., Canon of Paris.
I believe that the Bishop of Beauvais undertook the Trial brought against Jeanne in the matter of the Faith because he was a Counsellor of the King of England, and also Bishop of Beauvais, in which territory Jeanne had been taken captive.
I have heard it said that money was given to the Inquisitor by a certain Surreau, receiver-general, for his participation in the said Trial; but I never heard that the Bishop received anything.
At the time when Jeanne was brought to Rouen, I, being in Paris, was summoned by the Bishop of Beauvais aforesaid to proceed to Rouen for the Trial. I went in the company of Maîtres Nicolas Midi, Jacques de Touraine, Jean de Rouel,3 and others whom I do not remember, to the town of Rouen, at the expense of those who took us, among whom was Maître Jean de Reynel.4
About that time Maître Jean Lohier came to the town of Rouen, and order was given to put him in possession of the details of the Action. And when the said Lohier had seen the evidence, he told me that evidently they ought not to proceed against Jeanne in a matter of Faith without previous information as to the charges of guilt, and that the law required such information.
I remember well that in the first deliberation, I never held Jeanne to be a heretic, except in that she obstinately maintained she ought not to submit to the Church; and finally—as my conscience can bear me witness, before God—it seems to me that my words were: “Jeanne is now what she was. If she was heretic then, she is so now.” Yet I never positively gave an opinion that she was a heretic. I may add that in the first deliberations there was much discussion and difficulty among those consulted as to whether Jeanne should be reputed a heretic. I never gave an opinion as to her being put to the torture.5
Many of the Assessors were of opinion and advised that Jeanne should be put in the hands of the Church, into an ecclesiastical prison; but I do not remember that this subject formed a part of our discussions.
Certain Articles, to the number of twelve, were made and extracted from the confessions and answers of the said Jeanne. They were drawn up, I verily believe, by the late Maître Nicolas Midi. It was on these Twelve Articles, thus extracted, that all deliberations and opinions were made and given. I do not know if there was ever any question of correcting them, or if they were corrected.
I often heard from Maître Nicolas Loiseleur that he many times visited Jeanne in an assumed dress; but what he said I know not: and I always counselled him that he should reveal himself to Jeanne, and let her know that he was a priest. I believe he heard Jeanne in confession.
After the first preaching came word that Jeanne had resumed a man’s attire; and immediately the Bishop went to the prison, accompanied by myself, and questioned her as to her reasons for resuming this dress. She replied that she had resumed it because it seemed to her more suitable to wear man’s clothing, being with men, than a woman’s dress.
I was present at the last preaching made in the Old Market-Place, on the day of her death. I did not see her burnt, for, after the sermon and the reading of the sentence, I went away.
Maître Jean Monnet
S.T.P., Canon of Paris.
Three or four times I went to the Trial and wrote out the questions put to Jeanne and her answers, not as notary but as clerk and servant to Maître Jean Beaupère. Among other things, I remember hearing Jeanne say to me and to the other notaries, that we were not writing properly; and often did she correct us. Often, in these questions and answers, when questioned on something which I could see she ought not to answer, she said that she would refer to the conscience of the questioner as to whether she ought to answer or not.
I was present at the preaching at Saint-Ouen, seated on the platform at the feet of Maître Jean Beaupère, my master. When the preaching was finished, and while the sentence was being read, Jeanne said that if she were advised by the clerics and if their consciences approved, she would willingly do as they recommended. Hearing this, the Bishop of Beauvais asked the Cardinal of England what he ought to do in face of this submission of Jeanne. To which the Cardinal answered the Bishop, that he should receive Jeanne to penitence. And therefore he laid on one side the sentence which he had begun to read, and admitted Jeanne to penitence. I saw the Schedule of Abjuration, which was then read; it was a short schedule, hardly six or seven lines in length. I remember well that Jeanne referred to the consciences of the Judges as to whether she ought to abjure or not. It was said that the executioner was already on the spot, expecting that she would be handed over to the secular power. I left Rouen on the Monday or Sunday before the death of Jeanne.
The year that Jeanne came to Chinon I was fourteen or fifteen years old. I was page to the Sieur de Gaucourt, Captain of the Castle. Jeanne arrived at Chinon in the company of two gentlemen, who conducted her to the King. I saw her many times going and coming to the King; there was given her for residence the Tower of Coudray, at Chinon. I resided and lived with her all the time that she stayed there, passing all the time with her, except at night, when she always had women with her. I remember well that while she was living at Coudray persons of great estate came many days to visit her there. I do not know what they did or said, because when I saw them coming I retired; nor do I know who they were. Very often while she lived in this town I saw her on her knees praying; but I did not understand what she was saying; sometimes also I saw her weep.
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. Jeanne 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.
Having arrived near Orleans on the side of the Sologne, Jeanne 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, Jeanne 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 Treasurer7 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 Jeanne 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!”8 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 Jeanne met several of the French wounded, at which she was much disturbed. The English were preparing to resist when Jeanne 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 Jeanne 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 Jeanne 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.
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.9 Jeanne 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 Jeanne was wounded: it was necessary to take off her armour 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 Jeanne 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 Jeanne 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, Jeanne 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 Jeanne 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.
Jeanne, 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.
Afterwards she went with the army to Jargeau, which was taken by assault, with many English, among whom were Suffolk and de la Pole.10 After the deliverance of Orleans, and all these victories, Jeanne 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 Jeanne, 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 Jeanne, 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 swore11 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.
Squire to the King of France.
I was at Chinon when Jeanne came to seek the King, who was then residing in that city. Before this, I knew nothing of her; but henceforward I had more acquaintance with her, for, when I went with the King to the town of Poitiers, Jeanne was also taken thither and lodged in the house of Jean Rabateau. I know that Jeanne was questioned and examined in the town of Poitiers by the late Maître Pierre de Versailles, S.T.P.,—then Abbot of Talmont and, at the time of his death, Bishop of Meaux,—and by Maître Jean Erault, S.T.P. I went with them by the command of the late Lord Bishop of Castres. As I have said, she was living in the house of Rabateau, in which house de Versailles and Erault talked with her in my presence. When we arrived at her house, Jeanne came to meet us, and striking me on the shoulder said to me that she would gladly have many men of such good-will as I. Then Maître Pierre de Versailles told Jeanne that he had been sent to her from the King. She replied: “I well believe that you have been sent to question me,” adding, “I know neither A nor B.”
Then she was asked by them for what she had come. She replied; “I am come from the King of Heaven to raise the siege of Orleans and to conduct the King to Rheims for his crowning and anointing.” And then she asked if they had paper and ink, saying to Maître Jean Erault: “Write what I say to you. You, Suffolk, Classidas, and La Poule, I summon you by order of the King of Heaven to go back to England.” Versailles and Erault did nothing more on this occasion, so far as I remember. Jeanne remained in the town of Poitiers as long as the King did.
Jeanne said that her Counsel had told her she should have gone more quickly to the King. I saw those who had brought her—Jean de Metz, Jean Coulon, and Bertrand Pollichon,12 with whom I was very friendly and familiar. I was present one day when they told the late Bishop of Castres—then Confessor to the King—that they had travelled through Burgundy and places occupied by the enemy, yet had they always travelled without hindrance, at which they much marvelled.
I heard the aforesaid Confessor say that he had discovered in a writing that there should come a maiden who would aid the Kingdom of France.
I do not know whether Jeanne was examined otherwise than as aforesaid. I heard the said Lord Confessor and other Doctors say that they believed Jeanne to be sent from God, and that they believed it was she of whom the prophecies spoke; because, seeing her actions, her simplicity, and conduct, they thought the King might be delivered through her; for they had neither found nor perceived aught but good in her, nor could they see anything contrary to the Catholic faith.
On the day that the Lord Talbot, who had been taken at Patay, was brought to the town of Beaugency, I arrived at that town; and from thence Jeanne went with the men-at-arms to Jargeau, which was taken by assault, and the English were put to flight.
Jeanne assembled an army between Troyes and Auxerre, and found large numbers there, for every one followed her. The King and his people came without hindrance to Rheims. Nowhere was the King turned back, for the gates of all cities and towns opened themselves to him.
It was Jeanne’s intention that the army should go towards the Fort or Bastille of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc: but this was not done; and they went to a place between Orleans and Jargeau, whither the inhabitants of Orleans sent boats to receive the provisions and to take them into the town; and the said provisions were put into the boats and brought into the town. And because the army was not able to cross the Loire, it was decided to return and cross the river at Blois: for there was no bridge nearer within the King’s jurisdiction. At this Jeanne was very indignant, fearing they would not be willing to fall back, and so would leave the work unfinished. Neither could she go with them to Blois; but she crossed the river with about 200 lances in boats to the other bank, and entered Orleans by land. The Marshal de Boussac went that night to seek the King’s army which had gone to Blois; and I remember that shortly before the arrival of the said Marshal at Orleans, Jeanne said to Sieur Jean d’Aulon that the Marshal would arrive, and that she knew well he would come to no harm.
When Jeanne was in her lodging, she, being led by the Spirit, cried out: “In God’s Name! our people are hard pressed.” Then she sent for a horse; and, arming herself, she went to the Fort of Saint Loup, where there was an assault being made by the King’s people on the English: and no sooner had Jeanne joined in the attack, than the fort was taken.
The next day the French in company with Jeanne went to attack the Fort of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc, and drew near to the island; and when the English saw that the King’s army had crossed the water, they quitted the Fort of Saint-Jean-le-Blanc, and retreated to another fort near the Augustins. And there I saw the King’s army in great peril. “Let us advance boldly in God’s Name,” said Jeanne: and they advanced on the English, who, now in much danger, held their three forts.13 At once, without much difficulty, this fort of the Augustins was taken; and the captains then advised Jeanne to re-enter Orleans; but this she would not do, saying, “Shall we leave our men?” The next day they 268attacked the fort at the end of the bridge, which was very strong and almost impregnable, so that the King’s army had much to do; and the attack lasted the whole day, up to nightfall. I saw the Seneschal of Beaucaire break up the bridge with a bombard. When evening came and they despaired of gaining the fort, orders were given that Jeanne’s standard should be brought to the fort; and this being done another attack was made on the fort, and thereupon without much difficulty the King’s army entered with the standard; and the English fled, in such manner that when they reached the end of the bridge it broke down beneath them, and many were drowned.
The next day the King’s army sallied out to give battle to the English; but they, on seeing the French, fled. When Jeanne saw them in flight and the French following after, she said to the French: “Let the English go, and slay them not; let them go; it is enough for me that they have retreated.” On that day, they escaped from the city of Orleans and turned back on Blois, which they reached the same day.
Jeanne stayed there two or three days; and from thence she went to Tours, and to Loches, where the King’s army was preparing to go to Jargeau; and from thence they went to attack that town.
In war time, she would not permit any of those in her company to steal anything; nor would she ever eat of food which she knew to be stolen. Once, a Scot told her that he had eaten of a stolen calf: she was very angry, and wanted to strike the Scot for so doing.
She would never permit women of ill-fame to follow the army; none of them dared to come into her presence; but, if any of them appeared, she made them depart unless the soldiers were willing to marry them.
She was good not only to the French, but also to the enemy. All this I know of a surety, for I was for a long time with her, and many times assisted in arming her.
Jeanne lamented much, and was displeased when certain good women came to her, wishing to salute her: it seemed to her like adoration, at which she was angered.
Maître Jean Barbin
Doctor of Laws, King’s Advocate.
I was sent to Poitiers, where I saw Jeanne for the first time. When she arrived at the town she was lodged in the house of Maître Jean Rabateau; and while there I have heard the wife of Rabateau say that every day after dinner she was for a long time on her knees, and also at night; and that she often went into a little oratory in the house and there prayed for a long time. Many clergy came to visit her,—to wit, Maître Pierre de Versailles, S.T.P., sometime Bishop of Meaux, and Maître Guillaume Aimery, S.T.P. There were also other graduates in theology, whose names I do not remember, who questioned her in like manner at their will.
I heard from these said Doctors that they had examined her and put many questions, to which she replied with much prudence, as if she had been a trained divine; that they marvelled at her answers, and believed that, taking into account her life and conversation, there must have been in her something divine.
In the course of these deliberations Maître Jean Erault stated that he had heard it said by Marie d’Avignon,14 who had formerly come to the King, that she had told him that the kingdom of France had much to suffer and many calamities to bear: saying moreover that she had had many visions touching the desolation of the kingdom of France, and amongst others that she had seen much armour which had been presented to her; and that she was alarmed, greatly fearing that she should be forced to take it; but it had been said to her that she need fear nothing, that this armour was not for her, but that a maiden who should come afterwards should bear these arms and deliver the kingdom of France from the enemy. And he believed firmly that Jeanne was the maiden of whom Marie d’Avignon thus spoke.
All the soldiers held her as sacred. So well did she bear herself in warfare, in words and in deeds, as a follower of God, that no evil could be said of her. I heard Maître Pierre de Versailles say that he was once in the town of Loches in company with Jeanne, when the people, throwing themselves before the feet of her horse, kissed her hands and feet; and he said to Jeanne that she did wrong to allow what was not due to her, and that she ought to protect herself from it lest men should become idolatrous; to which she answered: “In truth, I know not how to protect myself, if God does not protect me.”
Dame Marguerite La Touroulde
widow of the late Réné de Bouligny, Councillor to the King.
I was at Bourges when Jeanne arrived at Chinon, where the Queen was. In those days there was in the kingdom—especially in that part still obedient to the King—such great calamity and penury as was sad to see; so that the followers of the King were almost in despair: and this I know, because my husband was then Receiver-General, and at that time neither of the King’s money nor of his own had he four crowns.
The town of Orleans was in the hands of the King, and there was no way of help. And in this calamity 271came Jeanne, and I firmly believe that she came from God and was sent for the relief of the King and his faithful subjects, who then were without hope save in God.
I did not see Jeanne until the time when the King came from Rheims, where he was consecrated. He came to Bourges, where was the Queen, and I with her. When the King approached, the Queen went to meet him as far as the town of Selles-en-Berry, and I accompanied her. While the Queen was on the way, Jeanne encountered and saluted her, and was then taken on to Bourges, and by command of my Lord d’Albret lodged in my house, although my husband had said that she was to be lodged with a certain Jean Duchesne.
She remained with me for the space of three weeks—sleeping, drinking, and eating [in the house]. Nearly every night I slept with her, nor did I ever perceive aught of evil in her, but she comported herself as a worthy and Catholic woman, often confessing herself, willingly hearing Mass, and many times asking me to accompany her to matins, which at her request I often did. We often talked together, and I would say to her: “If you do not fear to go to the attack, it is because you know that you will not be killed”: to which she would reply that she had no greater security than other soldiers. Sometimes Jeanne would tell me how she had been examined by the Clergy, and that she had made them the answer: “There are books of Our Lord’s besides what you have.”
I heard from those that brought her to the King that at first they thought she was mad, and intended to put her away in some ditch, but while on the way they felt moved to do everything according to her good pleasure. They were as impatient to present her to the King, as she was to meet him, nor could they resist her wishes.
They testified as others did to the purity of her conduct and influence.
Jeanne told me that the Duke de Lorraine who was ill, wished to see her, that she talked with him, and told him that he was not living well, and that he would never be cured unless he amended; also she exhorted him to take back his good wife.15
Jeanne had great horror of dice.
I remember that many women came to my house while Jeanne was living there, and brought pater nosters and other religious objects that she might touch them; but Jeanne laughed, saying: “Touch them yourselves. Your touch will do them as much good as mine.”
Jeanne was very liberal in almsgiving, and willingly succoured the poor and indigent, saying that she had been sent for their consolation.
… I have no doubt that she was virgin. According to my knowledge she was quite innocent, unless it be in warfare. She rode on horseback and handled the lance like the best of the knights, and the soldiers marvelled.
Burgess of Paris.
Maître Jean Sauvage, of the Order of Saint Dominic, who often talked with me of Jeanne, has told me that he was engaged in the Process against her; but it was difficult to make him speak of it. He did once say, that he had never seen a woman of such years give so much trouble to her examiners, and he marvelled much at her answers and at her memory. Once the notary reporting what he had written, she declared that she had not said what they had made her say, and referred it to those present, who all recognized that Jeanne was right, and the answer was corrected.
I was present at the sermon at Saint-Ouen; and there for the first time I saw Jeanne. I remember that Maître Guillaume Érard preached in presence of the said Jeanne, who was in a man’s dress. But what was said or done in the sermon I know not. I was at some distance from the Preacher. I heard it said that Maître Laurence Calot said to Maître Pierre Cauchon, that he was too slow in pronouncing judgment, and that he was not judging rightly; to which Maître Pierre Cauchon replied that he lied.
I was also at the second preaching, on the day that Jeanne was burnt, and saw her in the flames calling out in a loud voice many times “Jesus!” I believe firmly that she died a Catholic and ended her days well in good Christian estate; and this I know from what I had from the monks who were with her in her last hours. I saw many—the greater part of those present—weeping and bewailing for pity, and saying that Jeanne had been unjustly condemned.
When Jeanne arrived at Chinon, I was at Saint Florent. One day, when I was hunting quails, a messenger came to inform me that there had come to the King a young girl, who said she was sent from God to conquer the English and to raise the siege then undertaken by them against Orleans. It was for this reason that I went on the following day to Chinon, where I found Jeanne talking with the King. Having approached them, she asked me who I was. “It is the Duke d’Alençon,” replied the King. “You are welcome,” she then said to me, “the more that come together of the blood of France the better it will be.” The next day she went to the King’s Mass; and when she perceived him she made a profound salutation. After Mass the King took her into his private room, where he kept me with him, as well as the Sieur de la Tremouille, after having sent away all the others. Jeanne then made several requests to the King—amongst others that he would make a gift of his kingdom to the King of Heaven, because the King of Heaven, after this gift, would do for him as He had done for his predecessor, and reinstate him in all his rights. Many other things were said, up to the hour of dinner, which I do not remember. After dinner the King went for a walk; Jeanne coursed before him, lance in hand. Seeing her manage her lance so well I gave her a horse.
Following on this the King caused her to be examined by the Clergy. Choice was made of the Bishop of Chartres, the King’s Confessor; the Bishop of Senlis17, Mende and Poitiers; Maître Pierre de Versailles, since Bishop of Meaux; Maître Jourdin Morin, and many others whose names I do not recall. They questioned her in my presence and asked why she had come, and who had caused her to come to the King? She replied that she had come from the King of Heaven, that she had voices and a Counsel which told her what she was to do; but I do not remember if she made known what those voices told her.
One day when dining with me she told me that the clergy had examined her well, but that she knew and could do more than she had told them. The King, when he had heard the report of his commissioners, wished that she should still go to Poitiers, in order to submit to another examination. I did not assist at this examination; I only knew it to be afterwards reported to the Council, that the examiners at Poitiers held the opinion that there was nothing in her contrary to the Faith, and that the King, considering his extreme necessity, might make use of her assistance.
On receiving this news the King sent me to the Queen of Sicily18 to prepare a convoy of supplies for the army, which was then being directed against Orleans. I found with the Queen the Sieur Ambroise de Loré,19 and the Sieur Louis—his other name I do not remember—who prepared the convoy: but money was lacking, and in order to obtain it I returned to the King, to whom I made known that the supplies were prepared, and that it only remained to procure the necessary money to pay for them and for the army. The King then sent people who delivered the necessary sums; so that in the end soldiers and supplies were ready, and there was nothing more to be done but to gain Orleans, and try to raise the siege.
With this army Jeanne was sent. The King had caused armour to be made for her.20
The King’s army started with Jeanne. What happened on the way, and afterwards in Orleans, I know only by hearsay—for I was not present, not having then gone to Orleans—but I went there shortly after, and saw the works which had been raised by the English before the town. I was able to study the strength of these works; and I think that, to have made themselves masters of these—above all, the Fort of the Tourelles at the end of the Bridge, and the Fort of the Augustins—the French needed a real miracle. If I had been in either one or the other, with only a few men, I should have ventured to defy the power of a whole army for six or seven days: and they would not have been able, I think, to have mastered it. For the rest, I heard from the captains and soldiers who took part in the siege, that what had happened was miraculous; and that it was beyond man’s power.
I did not see Jeanne from the time she left the King until after the raising of the siege of Orleans. After this siege, we succeeded in assembling as many as 600 lances, with which we decided to march on Jargeau, then occupied by the English. That night we slept in a wood. On the following morning we were joined by another division, under the guidance of the Sieur Bastard of Orleans, the Sieur Florent d’Illiers,21 and many other captains. When we were all joined together, we found ourselves to number about 1,200 lances. There was then contention among the captains: some were of opinion that the attack should be made; and others opposed it, seeing the great strength of the English and their large numbers. Jeanne, seeing us thus divided, said: “No, do not fear their numbers; do not hesitate to make the attack; God will conduct your enterprise; if I were not sure that it is God Who guides us, I would rather take care of the sheep than expose myself to such great perils!” On these words we marched to Jargeau, counting on gaining the suburbs that day and passing the night there. But on the news of our approach, the English came to meet us and at first drove us back. Seeing this Jeanne seized her standard and began the attack, telling the soldiers to have good courage. We succeeded so well that we were able that night to camp in the suburbs. I think truly it was God Who was leading us; for, in the night that followed, we kept no guard; so that, had the English made a sally, we must have been in great danger. The next morning we prepared artillery and had the machines and bombards placed in position. Then we consulted for some time as to what should be done against the English in Jargeau in order to take the town. While we were deliberating, we were told that La Hire was in conference with the English Lord Suffolk. I and the other captains were much provoked at this, and sent for La Hire, who came at once. The attack being resolved upon, the Heralds-at-Arms began to sound, “To the Assault!” “Forward, gentle Duke, to the assault!” cried Jeanne to me. And when I told her it was premature to attack so quickly: “Have no fear,” she said to me, “it is the right time when it pleases God; we must work when it is His Will: act, and God will act!” “Ah! gentle Duke,” she said to me, later, “art thou afraid? dost thou not know that I promised thy wife22 to bring thee back, safe and sound?”
And indeed when I left my wife to come with Jeanne to the head-quarters of the army, my wife had told me that she feared much for me, that I had but just left prison23 and much had been spent on my ransom, and she would gladly have asked that I might remain with her. To this Jeanne had replied: “Lady, have no fear; I will give him back to you whole, or even in better case than he is now.”
During the assault on Jargeau Jeanne said to me: “Go back from this place, or that engine”—pointing out an engine of war in the city—“will kill you.” I retired, and shortly after that very engine did indeed kill the Sieur de Lude in that very place from which she told me to go away. On this account I had great fear, and wondered much at Jeanne’s words and how true they came. Afterwards, Jeanne made the attack; in which I followed her. As our men were invading the place, the Earl of Suffolk made proclamation that he wished to speak with me, but we did not listen, and the attack continued. Jeanne was on a ladder, her standard in her hand, when her standard was struck and she herself was hit on the head by a stone which was partly spent, and which struck her calotte.24 She was thrown to the ground; but, raising herself, she cried: “Friends! friends! come on! come on! Our Lord hath doomed the English! They are ours! keep a good heart.” At that moment the town was carried; and the English retired to the bridges, where the French pursued them and killed more than 1,100 men.
The town taken,25 Jeanne and the army went to Orleans; then from Orleans to Meung-sur-Loire, where were the English under the command of ‘the child of Warwick’ and Scales. Beneath the walls of Meung, I passed the night in a Church with a few soldiers, and was in great peril. The day after the taking of Meung, we went to Beaugency; and in the neighbourhood of this town we rallied to us a part of the army with which we attacked the English who were in Beaugency. In consequence of our attack the English abandoned the town and retired into a camp which we had watched during the night for fear they should beat a retreat. We were there when the news reached us that the Constable was coming to join us: Jeanne, the other Captains, and I myself were much troubled by this news, and wished to retire, because we had orders from the King not to receive the said Constable into our company. I told Jeanne that if the Constable came I should retire. The next day, before his arrival, we learned that the English were marching upon us in great number, under the command of Talbot.26 Our men immediately called “To arms!” and, seeing that I wished to retire because of the arrival of the Constable, Jeanne told me that we must help one another. The English surrendered their camp by agreement, and retreated by a safe-conduct which I gave them: for I was then Lieutenant to the King, and thus in command of the army. We thought they had retired, when a man of La Hire’s company told us they were marching upon us, and that in a moment we should have them before us, to the number of a thousand men-at-arms. Jéanne asked what this messenger had stated; and when she knew what was going on she said to the Lord Constable,27 “Ah! fair Constable, you have not come by my will, but now you are here you are welcome.” Many were in fear and said it would be well to await the arrival of the cavalry. “In God’s Name!” exclaimed Jeanne, “we must fight them at once: even if they were hanging from the clouds we should have them, because God has sent us to chastise them.” She assured us she was certain of obtaining the victory, saying in French: “The gentle King shall have to-day the greatest victory he has ever had. My Counsel has told me they are all ours.” Without great difficulty the English were beaten and slain, and Talbot made prisoner. There was a great slaughter. Then the army went to Patay, where Talbot was brought before me and the Constable in the presence of Jeanne. I said to Talbot that in the morning I had never expected what had happened. “It is the fortune of war,”28 he replied. Afterwards we returned to the King, and it was decided to direct our way towards Rheims for his coronation and consecration.
Many times in my presence Jeanne told the King she would last but one year and no more; and that he should consider how best to employ this year. She had, she said, four duties to accomplish: to beat the English; to have the King crowned and consecrated at Rheims; to deliver the Duke d’Orléans from the hands of the English;29 and to raise the siege of Orleans.
Jeanne was a chaste maiden; she hated the women who follow in the train of armies. I saw her one day at Saint Denis on the return from the coronation, pursuing one of them sword in hand: her sword was broken on this occasion. She was very vexed if she heard any of the soldiers swear. She reproved me much and strongly when I sometimes swore; and when I saw her I refrained from swearing.
So far as I could judge, I always held her for an excellent Catholic, and a modest woman: she communicated often, and, at sight of the Body of Christ, shed many tears. In all she did, except in affairs of war, she was a very simple young girl; but for warlike things—bearing the lance, assembling an army, ordering military operations, directing artillery—she was most skilful. Every one wondered that she could act with as much wisdom and foresight as a captain who had fought for twenty or thirty years. It was above all in making use of artillery that she was so wonderful.
The first time I heard of Jeanne, and that she had come to find the King, I was at Anche,31 in which town was her mother32 and some of those who had accompanied her thither. One day, they invited me to go with them and see her, and told me they would not leave me till I had seen her. I came then with them to Chinon; then to Tours, in which town I was at that time Reader in a Convent; and there we found her lodging in the house of a citizen named Jean Dupuy,33 a burgher of Tours. My companions addressed Jeanne in these terms: “Jeanne, we bring you this good father; when you know him you will love him much.” “I am very glad to see you,” she said to me; “I have already heard of you; I should like to-morrow to confess myself to you.”
The next day, indeed, I heard her in confession, and recited Mass before her. From that day onward, I always followed her and was always with her as her Chaplain, until Compiègne, where she was taken prisoner.
On her arrival at Chinon, I heard that she had been visited on two occasions by women. The Lady de Gaucourt and the Lady de Trèves, it is said, were those who visited her.
Afterwards, she was taken to Poitiers, to be examined there by the Clergy of that University as to what should be done with regard to her. Maître Jourdin Morin, Maître Pierre de Versailles, since deceased as Bishop of Meaux, and many others, after having questioned her, came to the conclusion that, in view of the necessity which weighed upon the Kingdom, the King might make use of her aid, and that they had found nothing in her contrary to the Catholic Faith. She then returned to Chinon, and thought she would be allowed to speak with the King; but it was not yet to be. At last, by the advice of the Council, she was permitted an interview with the King. The day on which this interview was to take place, just as she entered the Castle, a man, mounted on horseback, said, “Is that the Maid?” He insulted her, and swore with horrid blasphemy. “Oh! in God’s Name,” she said to him, “dost thou blaspheme God, thou who art so near thy death!” And, an hour after, this man fell into the water and was drowned. I report this fact as I gathered it from Jeanne and from many others, who said they had been witnesses of it.
It was the Sieur Count de Vendôme who brought her into the King’s apartment. When he perceived her, the King asked her her name. “Gentle Dauphin,” she replied, “I am called Jeanne the Maid; and the King of Heaven sends you word by me that you will be consecrated and crowned at Rheims, and that you will be the 283lieutenant of the King of Heaven, who is King of France.” After the King had asked her a number of questions, she said to him, “On the part of My Lord, I tell thee thou art true heir of France and son of the King34; and He sends me to lead thee to Rheims to the end thou mayst receive thy crowning and thy consecration, if thou wilt.” At the close of this interview, the King said that Jeanne had confided to him secrets which were not known and could not be known except by God, which gave him great confidence in her. All this I heard from Jeanne, but without having been witness of it.
She told me she was not pleased at so many examinations; that they prevented her carrying out the work for which she was sent, and that it was quite time for her to act. She told me she had asked from the Messengers of her Lord—that is to say, God—who appeared to her, what she ought to do; and they had told her to take the banner of her Lord. It was for this she had her banner made, on which was painted the image of Our Saviour seated in judgment on the clouds of Heaven, with an Angel holding in his hand a fleur-de-lys which Christ was blessing. I was at Tours with her when this banner was painted.35
A short time after Jeanne departed with the army to the succour of the town of Orleans, which was then besieged; I went with her, and did not leave her until the day when she was taken at Compiègne. I acted as her Chaplain, confessed her, and sang Mass for her. She was, indeed, very pious towards God and the Blessed Mary, confessing nearly every day and communicating frequently. When she was in a neighbourhood where there was a Convent of Mendicant Friars, she told me to remind her of the day when the children of the poor received the Eucharist, so that she might receive it with them; and this she did often: when she confessed herself she wept.
When Jeanne left Tours to go to Orleans, she prayed me not to forsake her, and to remain always with her as her Confessor; this I promised to do. We were at Blois about two or three days, waiting for the supplies with which the boats were to be loaded. At Blois she told me to have a banner made, round which the Priests might assemble, and to have painted thereon the Image of Our Saviour crucified. I had it done, as she required of me. As soon as this banner was made, Jeanne, twice a day, morning and evening, charged me to assemble the Priests around this banner: they then sang anthems and hymns to the Blessed Mary. Jeanne was with them, permitting only the soldiers who had that day confessed themselves to join her; she told her people to make confession, if they wished to come to this assemblage. There were Priests always ready to confess those in the army who wished to apply to them.
On leaving Blois to march to Orleans, Jeanne made all the Priests assemble round this banner; and in this wise they marched at the head of the army. They departed, thus assembled, from the side of the Sologne, singing the “Veni Creator Spiritus” and many other anthems. On that and the two following days, we slept in the fields. On the third day, we arrived at Orleans, where the English held their siege right up to the bank of the Loire: we approached so close to them that French and English could almost touch one another. The French had with them a convoy of supplies; but the water was so shallow that the boats could not move up-stream, nor could they land where the English were. Suddenly the waters rose, and the boats were then able to land on the shore where the [French] army was. Jeanne entered the boats, with some of her followers, and thus came to Orleans. As for myself I returned to Blois, by Jeanne’s command, with the Priests and the banner. Then, some days after, accompanied by the whole army, I came to Orleans by way of the Beauce—always with this same banner surrounded by Priests—meeting no obstacle. When Jeanne knew of our approach, she came to meet us; and together we entered Orleans without difficulty, bringing in the provisions in sight of the English. This was a marvellous thing; for the English were in great number and strength, all prepared for fight. They had opposite them our army, very inferior to theirs: they saw us; they heard our Priests singing; I was in the midst of the Priests bearing the banner. The English remained immovable, never attempting to attack either the Priests or the army which followed them.
As soon as we entered Orleans, the French sallied from the town at Jeanne’s urgent entreaties, and went to attack the English, who were shut up in the Fort of Saint Loup. After dinner the other Priests went with me to seek Jeanne at her residence. When we arrived, we heard her calling out: “Where are those who should arm me? The blood of our people is falling to the ground!” And, so soon as she was armed, she sallied from the town and made for the Fort of Saint Loup, where the attack was taking place. On the road she met many wounded soldiers; the sight of them distressed her much. She went to the assault, and did so well, that by force and violence the fort was at last taken, and all the English who were there were taken prisoners. I remember that this took place on the Eve of the Ascension of Our Saviour.
When the Fort of Saint Loup was taken, the English died there in great numbers. Jeanne was much afflicted when she heard that they had died without confession, and pitied them much. On the spot she made her confession. She ordered me to invite the whole army to do likewise, and to give thanks to God for the victory just gained. Otherwise, she said, she would help them no more, but would abandon them. On this day, the Eve of the Ascension, she predicted that within five days the siege would be raised, and that not a single Englishman would be left within the walls of Orleans.36 And so it was: for on this Wednesday, as I have already said, the Fort of Saint Loup was taken, which formerly had been a convent.37 More than one hundred men of distinction were found there, all well armed, not one escaping. In the evening, when Jeanne returned to her lodging, she told me that on the following day, the Ascension of Our Saviour, she would not fight, nor even put on her armour; and that she wished, out of respect for the Festival, to confess and to receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist. And this was done.
On Ascension Day, she ordered that no one should go out of the town to the attack on the same day without first making confession, and forbade women of bad reputation to follow her, lest, on account of sin, God should cause us to lose the battle. All these orders were carried out. It was on Ascension Day that she wrote to the English, entrenched in their forts, a letter thus couched:
“You, men of England, who have no right in this kingdom of France, the King of Heaven orders and commands you by me, Jeanne the Maid, that you quit your strong places, and return to your own country; if you do not I will cause you such an overthrow as shall be remembered for all time. I write to you for the third38 and last time, and shall write to you no more.
“Jhésus Maria, Jehanne la Pucelle.”
“I would have sent you this letter in a more suitable manner, but you keep back my heralds: you have kept my herald Guyenne; I pray you to send him back, and I will send you some of your people who have been taken at the Fort of Saint Loup,—for all were not killed there.”
As soon as this letter was written, Jeanne took an arrow, on the point of which she fastened this letter with a thread, and ordered an archer to shoot this arrow towards the English, crying out, “Read! here is news!” The English received the arrow with this letter, which they read. After having read it they began to cry out with all their power: “It is news sent to us from the … of the Armagnacs!” At these words Jeanne began to cry, shedding many tears, and prayed the God of Heaven to come to her aid. Soon she appeared to be consoled, having had, as she said, news from her Lord. In the evening after supper, she ordered me to rise earlier than I had done on Ascension Day, because she wished to confess very early in the morning: and this she did.
The next day, Friday, I rose very early; confessed her, and sang Mass before her and all her followers: she then started with them at once for the attack, which lasted from morning to evening. On this day the Fort of the Augustins was taken, after a great assault. Jeanne, who was accustomed to fast every Friday, could not do so on that day because she was too troubled, and she took supper. After this supper there came to her a noble and valiant captain, whose name I do not remember. He told her that all the captains were assembled in Council; that they had taken into consideration the small number of their forces in comparison with the large forces of the English, and the abundant grace which God had granted them in the success already obtained: “The town is full of supplies; we could keep it well while we await fresh succour, which the King could send us; it does not seem,” he ended by saying, “expedient to the Council that the army should go forth to-morrow.” “You have been to your Counsel,” Jeanne answered him, “and I have been to mine; and believe me the Counsel of God will be accomplished and will succeed; yours on the contrary will perish.” And addressing herself to me who was near her: “Rise to-morrow morning even earlier than you did to-day; do your best; keep always near me; for to-morrow I shall have yet more to do, and much greater things; to-morrow blood shall flow from my body, above the breast.”
On the Saturday, therefore, very early in the morning I rose and celebrated Mass; then Jeanne went to the attack of the Bridge Fort, in which was the Englishman, Clasdas.39 The attack lasted from morning to sunset without interruption. At this assault, after dinner, Jeanne, as she had predicted, was struck by an arrow above the breast. When she felt herself wounded, she was afraid, and wept; but she was soon comforted, as she said. Some of the soldiers seeing her severely wounded wished to “charm” her; but she would not, saying: “I would rather die than do a thing which I know to be a sin; I know well that I must die one day, but I know not when, nor in what manner, nor on what day; if my wound may be healed without sin, I shall be glad enough to be cured.” Oil of olive and lard were applied to the wound. After the dressing, she confessed herself to me, weeping and lamenting. Then she returned in all haste to the attack, crying: “Clasdas! Clasdas! yield thee, yield thee to the King of Heaven! Thou hast called me … I have a great pity for thy soul, and for thy people.” At this moment Clasdas, fully armed from head to foot, fell into the Loire, where he was drowned. Jeanne, moved to pity at this sight, began to weep for the soul of Clasdas, and for all the others who, in great number, were drowned, at the same time as he. On this day, all the English who were on the other side of the bridge were taken and killed. The next day—which was a Sunday—before sunrise all the English who were still in the plains around Orleans grouped themselves together, and came to the foot of the trenches of the town. From thence they departed for Meung-sur-Loire, where they remained for several days. On this Sunday40 there was in Orleans a solemn procession and a sermon. It was then decided to go and seek the King; and Jeanne went thither. The English entrenched themselves in Jargeau, which was soon taken by assault. Finally, they were entirely defeated at Patay.
I often heard her say of her work that it was her mission; and when people said to her: “Never have such things been seen as these deeds of yours. In no book can one read of such things,” she answered: “My Lord has a book in which no Clerk has ever read, how perfect soever he may be in clerkship!”
In war and in camp, when there was not enough provision, she would never eat stolen food. I firmly believe she was sent from God on account of her good works, and her many virtues; even on the poor English soldiers she had so much compassion that, when she saw them dying or wounded, she had them confessed. So much did she fear God, that for nothing in the world would she displease Him. When she was wounded in the shoulder by an arrow—which went through from one side to the other—some spoke of “charming” her, promising in this manner to cure her on the spot. She replied that it would be a sin, and that she would rather die than offend God by such enchantments.
I marvel much that such great Clerks as those who caused her death at Rouen should have dared such a crime as to put to death so poor and simple a Christian, cruelly and without cause—sufficient at least for [the penalty of] death: they might have kept her in prison or elsewhere; but she had so displeased them that they were her mortal enemies; and thus, it seems, they assumed the responsibility of an unjust court. Her actions and her deeds are all perfectly known to our Lord the King and to the Duke d’Alençon, who knew certain secrets which they might declare if they would.
As for me I know no more than what I have said, unless it be that many times Jeanne expressed to me a desire that, if she were to die, the King would build a Chapel, where the souls of those who had died in defence of the kingdom might be prayed for.
Maître Jean de Lenozolles
Priest, of the Order of St. Pierre Celestin.
At the time when Jeanne was at Rouen, I was in the service of Maître Guillaume Érard, with whom I came from Burgundy. After we had arrived, I heard talk of this Trial; but of what was done therein I know nothing, for I left Rouen and went to Caen, and stayed there until the feast of Pentecost; at this feast I returned to Rouen to meet my master, who told me that he had a heavy task—to preach a sermon for this Jeanne, which much displeased him. He said he would he were in Flanders: this business disturbed him much.
I saw Jeanne at the second sermon; and in the morning before the sermon I saw the Body of Christ carried to the said Jeanne with much solemnity, and the singing of Litanies and intercession “Orate pro eâ,” and with a great multitude of candles; but who decided or ordered this, I know not. I was not present at the reception, but I afterwards heard it said that she received It with great devotion and abundance of tears.
President of the Council.
The year in which Jeanne came to seek the King was the very year in which the King sent me as ambassador to Venice. I returned about the month of March, at which time I heard from Jean de Metz, who had conducted her, that she had visited the King. When Jeanne came to Chinon, there was discussion in the Council as to whether the King should hear her or not. And first she was questioned as to why and to what end she had come; and she began by replying that she would answer nothing except to the King. She was compelled, by order of the King, to state the cause of her mission.
She said she had two commands from the King of Heaven: the one to raise the siege of Orleans, the other to conduct the King to Rheims for his coronation and anointing.
Hearing this, some of the King’s Council said that the King ought not to put faith in this Jeanne; others said that, as she declared she was sent from God and commanded to speak to the King, the King ought at least to hear her. The King desired that she should first be examined by the Clergy and Ecclesiastics, and this was done; after many difficulties it was arranged that the King should hear her. I have heard the Seigneur de Gaucourt relate that, when she was at Orleans, the King’s people had decided it was not well to make the attack. This happened on the day when the Fort of the Augustins was taken and he, de Gaucourt, had been commissioned to guard the gates of the town that none should go out. Jeanne, discontented with the orders of the generals, was of opinion that the King’s soldiers with the people of the town should go out and attack the fort; and many of the soldiers and people of the city agreed with her. Jeanne told de Gaucourt that he was a bad man, saying to him: “Whether you will or no, the soldiers shall come; and they will succeed this time as they have succeeded before.” And, against the will of the said Lord de Gaucourt, the soldiers left the city and marched to the assault of the bastille of the Augustins, which was taken by force. My Lord de Gaucourt added that he had come that day into great peril.
The King made a treaty with the people of Troyes, and entered the town of Troyes in great array, Jeanne carrying her banner by his side. Shortly after, the King left Troyes and went with his army to Chalons, and thence to Rheims. When the King feared to find resistance at Rheims, Jeanne said to him: “Have no fear! for the burghers of the city will come out to meet you;” and she said that, before he got near the city of Rheims, the burgesses would meet him. The King feared their resistance because he had no artillery or engines for carrying on a siege, in case they should prove rebellious. Jeanne told him that he must go forward boldly and fear nothing, for if he would go forward like a man he would soon obtain all his kingdom.
Knight, Seigneur de Termes, bailiff of Chartres.
I knew nothing of Jeanne until she came to Orleans to raise the siege made by the English, in the defence of which town I was in the company of my lord of Dunois.
I afterwards saw her at the assault of the Forts of Saint Loup, the Augustins, Saint-Jean-le-Blanc, and at the Bridge. In all these assaults she was so valorous and comported herself in such manner as would not have been possible to any man, however well versed in war; and all the captains marvelled at her valour and activity and at her endurance.
I believe that she was good and worthy, and that the things she did were divine rather than human. She often reproved the vices of the soldiers; and I heard from a certain Maître Robert Baignart, S.T.P., of the Order of Saint Dominic, who often heard her in confession, that Jeanne was a godly woman, that all she did came from God, that she had a good soul and tender conscience.
After the raising of the siege of Orleans, I with many others of the army went with Jeanne to Beaugency, where the English were. The day that the English lost the battle of Patay, I and the late La Hire, knowing that the English were assembled and prepared for battle, told Jeanne that the English were coming and were all ready to fight. She replied, speaking to the captains: “Attack them boldly, and they will fly; nor will they long withstand us.” At these words, the captains prepared to attack: and the English were overthrown and fled. Jeanne had predicted to the French that few or none of them should be slain or suffer loss: which also befell, for of all our men there perished but one gentleman of my company.
Apart from affairs of war, she was simple and innocent; but in the conduct and disposition of troops and in actual warfare, in the ordering of battle and in animating the soldiers, she behaved as the most skilled captain in the world who all his life had been trained in the art of war.
Raimond, Sieur de Macy
I knew nothing of Jeanne until I saw her in prison, in the Castle of Beaurevoir, where she was detained for and in the name of the Count de Ligny; then I saw her often and many times talked with her: she would allow no familiarity, but repelled such with all her power; she was indeed of modest bearing, both in words and deeds.
She was taken to the Castle of Rouen, where she was placed in a prison facing the fields. Whilst she was there, in this prison, came the Count de Ligny, on whom I was in attendance. The Count de Ligny desired to see Jeanne, and came to visit her, in company of the Earls of Warwick and Stafford, the present Chancellor of England, then Bishop of Thérouanne, the brother41 of the Count de Ligny, and myself. He said to her: “Jeanne, I have come to ransom you, if you will promise never again to bear arms against us.” She answered: “In God’s Name, you mock me, for I know well that you have neither the will nor the power;” this she repeated often, because the Count persisted in his statement. “I know well,” she ended by saying, “that the English will do me to death, thinking after my death to gain the kingdom of France; but if they were a hundred thousand more ‘godons’42 than they are at present, they would not have the kingdom.” Indignant at these words, the Earl of Stafford half drew his dagger to kill her, but the Earl of Warwick withheld him. After this, while I was still at Rouen, Jeanne was taken to the Place St. Ouen, where a sermon was preached to her by Maître Nicolas Midi,43 who, amongst other things, said, in my hearing: “Jeanne, we have great compassion for thee; it behoves thee to revoke what thou hast said, or we must give thee up to the secular judges.” She answered, that she had done no evil, that she believed in the Twelve Articles of the Faith and in the Ten Commandments of the Decalogue; adding, that she referred herself to the Court of Rome, and that she wished to believe all things in which Holy Church believed. Notwithstanding this, they pressed her much to recant, to which she answered: “You take much pains to seduce me;” and, to escape danger, she said at last that she was content to do all they required. Then a Secretary of the King of England there present, named Laurence Calot, drew from his pocket a little written schedule, which he handed to Jeanne to sign. She replied that she could neither read nor write. Notwithstanding this Laurence Calot, the Secretary, handed Jeanne the schedule and a pen to sign it; and by way of derision Jeanne made some sort of round mark. Then Laurence Calot took her hand with the pen and caused her to make some sort of signature,—what, I cannot remember.
I believe her to be in Paradise.
Wife of Pierre Milet.
I first knew of Jeanne when she came to Orleans; she was lodged in the house of one Jacques Bouchier, where I went to visit her. Jeanne continually spoke of God, saying, “My Lord hath sent me to succour the good town of Orleans.” I often saw her attend Mass with great devotion, as a good Christian and Catholic. During the time she was at Orleans, for the raising of the siege, Jeanne was sleeping in the house of her host, Jacques le Bouchier; on the Vigil of the Ascension, she suddenly awoke, and, calling her page, Mugot,44 said to him: “In God’s Name! This is ill done. Why was I not sooner awakened? Our people have much to do.” Then she asked for her armour, and armed herself, her page bringing round her horse; then, all armed, she mounted, lance in rest, and began to ride along the main street so rapidly that the stones struck fire. She made straight for Saint Loup; and gave order, by sound of trumpet, that nothing should be taken from the Church.
On the morning of the day that the Fort of the Bridge was taken, Jeanne was still in the house of her host when a fish was brought to her: on seeing it she said to her host, “Take care of it till the evening, because I will bring you back a ‘godon’ and I shall return by the bridge.”
Jeanne was very frugal in eating and drinking. There was nothing but modesty in her conduct, in her actions, and in all her manner of life. I believe firmly that her deeds and actions were rather the works of God than of man.
Clerk to the Electors of Paris.
Soon after she came to Orleans, she sent to the English, who were besieging the town, and summoned them in a kind of simple schedule written in her mother-tongue, which I read myself, notifying that it was the will of God that they should depart:
[“Messire vous mande que vous en aliez en vostre pays, car c’est son plaisir, ou sinon je vous feray ung tel hahay….”45
Maître Aignan Viole
Licentiate in Law, Advocate of the Court of Parliament.
On the Sunday after the taking of the Forts of the Bridge and of Saint Loup, the English were drawn up in order of battle before the town of Orleans, at which the greater part of [our] soldiers wished to give combat, and sallied from the town. Jeanne, who was wounded, was with the soldiers, dressed in her light surcoat. She put the men in array, but forbade them to attack the English, because, she said, if it pleased God and it were His will that they wished to retire, they should be allowed to go. And at that the men-at-arms returned into Orleans.
It was said that Jeanne was as expert as possible in the art of ordering an army in battle, and that even a captain bred and instructed in war could not have shown more skill; at this the captains marvelled exceedingly.
She frequently confessed, often received the Holy Sacrament, and, in all her deeds and conversation, bore herself most worthily, and in everything save in warfare she was marvellously simple.
- See decrees of Henry VI. against fugitives, “terrificatos incautionibus puellae.”
- Nevertheless, his name appears as having agreed with the Abbot of Fécamp in his opinion of the Condemnation.
- Not mentioned elsewhere.
- Secretary to the King of England.
- It is, however, stated that, on being consulted, he did advise the extreme measure of putting Jeanne to the torture.
- Louis 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’Orléans.
- Jacques Bouchier.
- [“Ha! sanglant garçon, vous ne me dyriez pas que le sanc de France feust repandu!”]
- Cœlestinorum, in the text.
- John de la Pole, Captain of Avranches, brother of the Earl of Suffolk.
- Jeanne’s hatred of swearing is noticed by many of her followers, and in her hearing they endeavoured to abstain from it. La Hire, whose language was apparently the most violent, was permitted by her to employ the mild expletive ‘Par mon martin,’ ‘By my baton,’ an expression she herself is constantly reported to have used.
- A nickname of Poulengey.
- These three forts were on the left bank of the Loire; the fort of the Tourelles, of the Augustins, and of Saint-Privé were further west.
- A woman called “la gasque d’Avignon,” whose predictions made much stir at the beginning of the fifteenth century.
- The devoted Margaret of Bavaria, who was separated from him on account of his evil life.
- Jean, Duke d’Alençon, son of the Duke killed at Agincourt. He was of the Blood Royal, descended from Philip II.
- The Bishop referred to is Simon Bonnet, Bishop of Senlis at that time, not the partisan of the English who occupied the seat in 1429.
- Yolande, daughter of John I. of Aragon; wife of Louis XI., Duke of Anjou, and titular King of Sicily. She was the mother of Mary, wife of Charles VII., and grandmother of Margaret, afterwards wife of Henry VI.
- A captain of some repute, exchanged for Talbot after the Battle of Patay.
- In the Accounts (formerly kept in the Chambre des Comtes at Paris), of Maître Hemon Raguier, Treasurer of War, there is an item relating to this suit of armour: “To the Master Armourer, for a complete harness for the said Pucelle, 100 livres tournois.”
- A street in Orleans is still called after d’Illiers, then Captain of Châteaudun.
- Jeanne, daughter of the Duke d’Orléans.
- The Duke d’Alençon, at the age of eighteen, had been taken prisoner at the battle of Verneuil, in 1424, and kept for five years in the Castle of Crotoy, where Jeanne herself was afterwards imprisoned.
- Head-covering without visor, “chapeline casque léger en forme de calotte sans masque.”
- Jargeau was taken on June 11th, 1429.
- John Talbot, afterwards Earl of Shrewsbury. He was exchanged for Ambroise de Loré and killed while attempting the relief of Châtillon, then besieged by Dunois.
- Arthur, Count de Richemont, Constable of France, brother of the Duke of Britanny. He was one of the Princes of the Blood taken at Agincourt, but was released on parole; and Henry V. dying soon after, he claimed his freedom, saying he had given his word to the King alone. He married a sister of the Duke of Burgundy and widow of the late Dauphin. Although friendly to the French cause, he was distrusted by Charles, and, at this time, was in disgrace. He was uncle to the Duke d’Alençon, his sister Mary having married the preceding Duke. He succeeded to the Duchy of Britanny in 1453, but died childless.
- It was after this battle of Patay that Sir John Fastolf, one of the English captains, was deprived of the Garter, for his conduct in retreating before the French army.
- Louis, Duke d’Orléans, taken prisoner at Agincourt, in 1415, was imprisoned in England until the year 1440, when he was ransomed at the price of 54,000 nobles (about £36,000), the negotiations being carried out on the English side by Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais.
- Of the Order of Hermit Friars of Saint Augustin, living at their Convent in Tours in 1429, and at Bayeux in 1456.
- There is some doubt as to the identity of this town. The text gives “Aniciensis,” which would refer to Puy-en-Valais; but this, Quicherat says, is unlikely, owing to the distance, and proposes to substitute “Anceinsi,” i.e., Anche. Fabre, following Simon de Lune, is in favour of the former reading, as the town was one noted for pilgrimages; and, in the Lent of 1429, there was an unusual number of pilgrims, in honour of the special feast of La Vierge Noire de Puy, which, in that year, fell on Good Friday. This fact might account for the presence of Jeanne’s mother at Puy, and of the men-at-arms, who had escorted the Maid to Chinon.
- Quicherat prefers to read, “brother.”
- Probably the husband of the woman named Lapau, mentioned by Louis de Contes.
- Doubt had been thrown on the fact here stated, since Charles VII.’s mother, Queen Isabeau, had denied her son’s legitimacy.
- The account for this banner appears in the 13th Compte of Maître Hemon Raguier, Treasurer of War: 25 liv. tour. were paid to “Hauves Poulnois, painter, living at Tours, for painting and procuring materials for a great standard, and a small one for the Maid.”
- The siege was raised on the 8th of May.
- Established on the site of a convent in the previous December.
- The first letter was sent on March 22nd, 1429: of the second nothing is known.
- i.e., Glasdale.
- 8th May. The commemoration of the relief of Orleans was made a national festival by Louis XI. and confirmed by Richelieu. This day is still kept in the town with great rejoicings and religious processions: it has been celebrated, excepting during the Revolution, ever since the relief of the city.
- Louis de Luxembourg.
- “Godon,” or “goddam,” a common term for the English in the Middle Ages and to the present day.
- An error; the first sermon was by Érard.
- Louis de Contes, called “Imerguet” and “Mugot” by his companions.
- The phrase is left thus unfinished in all the MSS. It is quoted in the Latin texts in the original French, as above.