ROUEN TESTIMONY PART 3
EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES.
[No questions for the Examinations at Paris and Rouen appear in the Rehabilitation Reports, but, as M. Joseph 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.]
MASSIEU : Second Examination, May 8th, 1452. [Additional evidence:]
On one occasion, Maitre Jean de Chatillon, Archdeacon of Evreux and Doctor in Theology, found that Jeanne was being asked questions too difficult for her, and complained of the mode of procedure, saying that they ought not to act in this manner. But the other Assessors told him to let them alone; to which he answered : “I must acquit my own conscience.” For this cause he was forbidden, by whom I do not remember, to attend further unless he was summoned.
On Trinity Sunday, in the afternoon, Maitre Andre Marguerie, hearing that Jeanne had resumed her male attire, went to the Castle of Rouen, saying that he must find out why she had done so, and that it was not enough for him merely to see her in this dress. One of the English soldiers, lance in hand, called out to him, “Traitor! Armagnac!” and raised his lance against him, so that Marguerie fled, fearing to be slain, and was in consequence much upset and ill.
At the first sermon, I was on the platform with Jeanne, and read the Schedule of Abjuration to her; at her request and petition I instructed her, showing her the danger that might arise from abjuration unless the Articles were first seen by the Church, to whom she should refer as to whether she should abjure or not.
Seeing this, Maitre Guillaume Erard, the preacher, asked me what I was saying to her, and, when I replied, said : ” Read her this schedule, and tell her to sign it.” Jeanne answered that she did not know how to sign; she desired that the Articles might be seen and deliberated upon by the Church; [she said] she ought not to abjure this schedule, and requested that she might be placed in the custody of, the Church, and no longer be kept by the English. Erard replied that she had had long enough delay, and that, if she did not abjure this schedule, she should be immediately burned; and he forbade me to speak further with her or to give her more counsel.
I remember that incomplete questions were often put to Jeanne, and many and difficult interrogations were made together; then, before she could answer one, another would put a question; so that she was displeased, saying, “Speak one after the other.” I marveled that she could so answer the subtle and captious questions put to her; no man of letters could have replied better.
The examinations lasted generally from eight o’clock to eleven.
I often heard Jeanne say that God would not permit her to say or do anything against the Catholic Faith. I heard her tell the Judges that, if she had ever said or done anything ill, she was willing to correct and amend according to their decision. I heard Jeanne saying to the Doctors who questioned her: “You ask me of the Church Triumphant and Militant. I do not understand these terms; but I am willing to submit to the Church as a good Christian should.”
I know that the whole Process was written in French. I believe it was afterwards translated into Latin. [To his account of her resumption of the man’s dress he adds:] On the morrow, after she had been seen in the resumed dress, her woman’s dress was restored to her.
At the beginning of the Process, Jeanne asked for Counsel in her replies, she said she was too unlearned to reply; but they answered, that she must speak for herself as best she could, for she should not have Counsel.
[He adds to his account of her last Communion the fact that he was himself present.]
Further examined, December 17th 1455, and May 12th, 1456. [Additional evidence:]
Once, when I was conducting her before the Judges, she asked me, if there were not, on her way thither, any Chapel or Church in which was the Body of Christ. I replied, that there was a certain Chapel in the Castle. She then begged me to lead her by this Chapel,that she might do reverence to God and pray, which I willingly did, permitting her to kneel and pray before the Chapel; this she did with great devotion. The Bishop of Beauvais was much displeased at this, and forbade me in future to permit her to pray there.
Many [in the Trial] had a great hate against her, principally the English, who feared her greatly: for, before she was captured, they did not dare to appear where they believed her to be. I heard it said that the Bishop of Beauvais did everything at the instigation of the King of England and his Council, who were then in Rouen.
Among the Assessors there was complaint that Jeanne was in the hands of the English. Some of them said that she ought to be in the hands of the Church; but the Bishop did not care, and sent her away to the English.
Maitre Jean Lefevre, of the Order of the Hermit Friars of Saint Augustine, now Bishop of Demetriade, seeing Jeanne much fatigued with the questioning as to whether she were in a state of grace, and considering that, though her answers seemed sufficient, she was over worried by many questioners, remarked that she was being too much troubled. Then the questioners ordered him to be silent : I do not remember who they were.
She was imprisoned in the Castle of Rouen in a room on the second floor, to which one ascended by eight steps. There was a bed in which she slept and a great piece of wood to which she was fastened by iron chains.
There were five English of wretched estate [horse pailliers] who kept guard over her; they much desired her death and often derided her, and with this she reproached them.
I learnt from Etienne Castille, locksmith, that he had constructed for her an iron cage in which she was held by the neck, hands and feet, and that she was in this state from the time she was first brought to the town of Rouen until the beginning of the Process. I never saw her in this cage, for, when I fetched her, she was always out of irons.
I know that, by the order of the Duchess of Bedford, a visitation was made by matrons and midwives, among whom were, notably, Anna Bavon and another matron whose name I do not remember. She was found to be virgin, as I have heard from the said Anna. The Duchess of Bedford forbade the guards to offer her any violence.
When Jeanne was questioned, there were with the Bishop six Assessors, who also questioned her in such wise that, when she was occupied in replying to one, another interrupted her answer, so that she often said to them: “Fair sirs, speak one after another.”
[To the story of the signing of the abjuration he adds:] Erard, holding the Schedule of Abjuration, said to Jeanne, “Thou shalt abjure and sign this schedule,” and passed it to me to read, and I read it in her presence. I remember well that in this schedule it was said that in future she should not bear arms or male attire or short hair, and many other things which I do not remember. I know that this schedule contained about eight lines and no more; and I know of a certainty that it was not that which is mentioned in the Process, for this is quite different from what I read and what was signed by Jeanne. While they were pressing Jeanne to sign her abjuration, there was a great murmur among those present. I heard that the Bishop said to one of them, “You shall pay me for this,” and added, that he would not go on unless satisfaction were done him. During this time I was constrained to warn Jeanne of the peril which threatened her if she signed this schedule. I saw clearly that she did not understand it, nor the danger in which she stood. Then Jeanne, pressed to sign, said: ” Let the clerics of the Church examine this schedule. It is in their hands I ought to be. If they tell me to sign I will do it willingly.” Then Maitre Guillaume Erard said: “Do it now, otherwise you will end in the fire today.” Jeanne replied that she would rather sign than burn; and there arose a great tumult among the people, and many stones were thrown, but by whom I know not. When the schedule was signed, Jeanne asked the Promoter whether she were to be placed in the hands of the Church and where she was to be taken. Then the Promoter replied, that she was to be conducted back to the Castle of Rouen, which in fact was done, and she was put into woman’s clothes.
On the morning of Wednesday, the day on which she died, Brother Martin Ladvenu heard her in confession, and afterwards sent me to the Bishop to tell him this fact and that she prayed the Sacrament of the Eucharist might be brought to her. Thereupon, the Bishop convoked some of the Assessors and at the end of their deliberation he told me to inform Brother Martin that he might take her the Sacrament and whatsoever she desired. Then I returned to the Castle and told this to Brother Martin.
Afterwards, she came out dressed in woman’s clothing, and Brother Martin and I led her to the place of execution.
At the end of his sermon, Maitre Nicolas Midi said to her: “Jeanne, go in peace; the Church can no longer defend thee; she leaves thee to the secular arm.”
She commended herself to God, to Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and all the Saints.
I heard it said by Jean Fleury, Clerk to the Bailly, that the executioner related how, when her body was burnt and reduced to powder, her heart remained whole and bleeding. I was told that her ashes and all that remained of her were collected and thrown into the Seine.