THE FIRST INQUIRY: 1449.
[The King’s Rescript, being a Letter of Commission to Maître Guillaume Bouille, was granted by Charles VII., for an Inquiry into the case of Jeanne d’Arc.]
EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES
BROTHER JEAN TOUTMOUILLÉ
As to the feeling of the Judges and those who conducted the Trial of the said Jeanne, I neither assisted nor was I present at the Trial. I can say nothing, therefore, as to what I saw; but the common report was, that they persecuted her from desire of perverse vengeance, and of this they gave sign and appearance. For, before her death, the English proposed to lay siege to Louviers; soon, however, they changed their purpose, saying they would not besiege the said town until the Maid had been examined. What followed was evident proof of this; for, immediately after she was burnt, they went to besiege Louviers, considering that during her life they could have neither glory nor success in deeds of war.
The day when Jeanne was delivered up to be burned, I was in the prison during the morning with Brother Martin Ladvenu, whom the Bishop of Beauvais had sent to her to announce her approaching death, and to induce in her true contrition and penitence, and also to hear her in confession. This the said Ladvenu did most carefully and charitably; and when he announced to the poor woman the death she must die that day, as the Judge had ordained, and she heard of the hard and cruel death which was approaching, she began, in a sad and pitiful manner, as one distraught, tearing her hair, to cry out: “Alas! am I to be so horribly and cruelly treated? Alas! that my body, whole and entire, which has never been corrupted, should today be consumed and burned to ashes! Ah! I would far rather have my head cut off, seven times over, than be thus burned! Alas! had I been in the ecclesiastical prison, to which I submitted myself, and guarded by the Clergy instead of by my enemies, it would not have fallen out so unhappily for me. I appeal to God, the Great Judge, for the great evils and injustice done me!”
After these complaints, the aforesaid Bishop arrived, to whom she at once said: “Bishop, I die through you.” And he began to explain to her, saying: “Ah! Jeanne, have patience; you die because you have not kept to what you promised us, and for having returned to your first evil-doing.” And the poor Maid answered him: “Alas, if you had put me in the prisons of the Church Courts, and given me into the hands of competent and suitable ecclesiastical guardians, this would not have happened: for this I summon you before God.”
This done, I went out, and heard no more.
BROTHER YSAMBARD DE LA PIERRE
Of the Order of Saint Dominic, of the Convent at Rouen.
On one occasion, I, with many others, admonished and besought Jeanne to submit to the Church. To which she replied that she would willingly submit to the Holy Father, requesting to be taken before him, and to be no more submitted to the judgment of her enemies. And when, at this time, I counseled her to submit to the Council of Bâle, Jeanne asked what a General Council was. I answered her, that it was an assembly of the whole Church Universal and of Christendom, and that in this Council there were some of her side as well as of the English side. Having heard and understood this, she began to cry : “Oh! if in that place there are any of our side, I am quite willing to give myself up and to submit to the Council of Bâle.” And immediately, in great rage and indignation, the Bishop of Beauvais began to call out: “Hold your tongue, in the devil’s name !” and told the Notary, he was to be careful to make no note of the submission she had made to the General Council of Bâle. On account of these things and many others, the English and their officers threatened me terribly, so that, had I not kept silence, they would have thrown me into the Seine.
After she had recanted and abjured, and had resumed the dress of a man, I and many others were present when Jeanne excused herself for having dressed again as a man, saying and affirming publicly, that the English had done or caused to be done to her great wrong and violence, when she was wearing a woman’s dress; and, in truth, I saw her weeping, her face covered with tears, disfigured and outraged in such sort that I was full of pity and compassion.
When Jeanne was proclaimed an obstinate and relapsed heretic, she replied publicly before all who were present: “If you, my Lords of the Church, had placed and kept me in your prisons, perchance I should not have been in this way.”
After the conclusion and end of this session and trial, the Lord Bishop of Beauvais said to the English who were waiting outside: “Farewell! be of good cheer: it is done.” 2Such difficult, subtle, and crafty questions were asked of and propounded to poor Jeanne, that the great clerics and learned people present would have found it hard to reply; and at [these questions] many of those present murmured.
I was there myself with the Bishop of Avranches,3an aged and good ecclesiastic, who, like the others, had been requested and prayed to give his opinion on this Case. For this, the Bishop summoned me before him, and asked me what Saint Thomas said touching submission to the Church. I sent the decision of Saint Thomas in writing to the Bishop: “In doubtful things, touching the Faith, recourse should always be had to the Pope or a General Council.” The good Bishop was of this opinion, and seemed to be far from content with the deliberations that had been made on this subject. His deliberation was not put into writing: it was left out, with bad intent.
After Jeanne had confessed and partaken of the Sacrament of the Altar, sentence was given against her, and she was declared heretic and excommunicate.
I saw and clearly perceived, because I was there all the time, helping at the whole deduction and conclusion of the Case, that the secular Judge did not condemn her, either to death or to burning; and although the lay and secular Judge had appeared and was present in the same place where she was last preached to and given over to the secular authority, she was, entirely without judgment or conclusion of the said Judge, delivered into the hands of the executioner, and burnt it being said to the executioner, simply and without other sentence: “Do thy duty.”
Jeanne had, at the end, so great contrition and such beautiful penitence that it was a thing to be admired, saying such pitiful, devout, and Catholic words, that those who saw her in great numbers wept, and that the Cardinal of England and many other English were forced to weep and to feel compassion.
As I was near her at the end, the poor woman besought and humbly begged me to go into the Church near by and bring her the Cross, to hold it upright on high before her eyes until the moment of death, so that the Cross on which God was hanging might be in life continually before her eyes.
Being in the flames, she ceased not to call in a loud voice the Holy Name of Jesus, imploring and invoking without ceasing the aid of the Saints in Paradise; again, what is more, in giving up the ghost and bending her head, she uttered the Name of Jesus as a sign that she was fervent in the Faith of God, just as we read of Saint Ignatius and of many other Martyrs.
Immediately after the execution, the executioner came to me and to my companion, Brother Martin Ladvenu, stricken and moved with a marvelous repentance and terrible contrition, quite desperate and fearing never to obtain pardon and indulgence from God for what he had done to this holy woman. And the executioner said and affirmed that, notwithstanding the oil, the sulfur, and the charcoal which he had applied to the entrails and heart of the said Jeanne, in no way had he been able to burn them up, nor reduce to cinders either the entrails or the heart, at which he was much astonished, as a most evident miracle.
BROTHER MARTIN LADVENU
Of the Order of Saint Dominic, and of the Convent of Saint Jacques at Rouen.
Many of those who appeared in the Court did so more from love of the English and the favor they bore them than on account of true zeal for justice and the Catholic Faith. In the extreme prejudice of Messire Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, there were, I assert, two proofs of ill-feeling: the first, when the Bishop, acting as Judge, commanded Jeanne to be kept in the secular prison and in the hands of her mortal enemies; and although he might easily have had her detained and guarded in an ecclesiastical prison, yet he allowed her, from the beginning of the trial to the end, to be tormented and cruelly treated in a secular prison. Moreover, at the first session or meeting, the Bishop aforesaid asked and required the opinion of all present, as to whether it was more suitable to detain her in the secular ward or in the prisons of the Church. It was decided as more correct that she be kept in ecclesiastical prisons rather than in the secular ; but this the Bishop said he would not do for fear of displeasing the English. The second proof was that on the day when the Bishop and several others declared her a heretic, relapsed, and returned to her evil deeds, because, in prison, she had resumed a man’s dress, the Bishop, coming out of the prison, met the Earl of Warwick and a great many English with him, to whom he said, laughing, in a loud and clear voice: “Farewell! farewell! it is done; be of good cheer,” or such-like words.
The Maid revealed to me that, after her abjuration and recantation, she was violently treated in the prison, molested, beaten, and ill-used ; and that an English lord had insulted her. She also said, publicly, that on this account she had resumed a man’s dress; and, towards the end, she said to the Bishop of Beauvais: “Alas! I die through you, for had you given me over to be kept in the prisons of the Church, I should not have been here!”
When she had been finally preached to in the Old Market-Place and abandoned to the secular authority, although the secular Judges were seated on the platform, in no way was she condemned by any of these Judges; but, without being condemned, she was forced by two sergeants to come down from the platform and was taken by the said sergeants to the place where she was to be burned, and by them delivered into the hands of the executioner.
And in proof of this, a short time after, one called Georges Folenfant was apprehended on account of the Faith and for the crime of heresy, and was in the same way handed over to the secular justice. In this case, the Judges to wit, Messire Louis de Luxembourg, Archbishop of Rouen, and Brother Guillaume Duval, Deputy of the inquisitor of the Faith – sent me to the Bailly of Rouen to warn him that the said Georges should not be treated as was the Maid, who, without final sentence or definite judgment, had been burned in the fire.
The executioner, about four hours after the burning, said that he had never been so afraid in executing any criminal as in the burning of the Maid, and for many reasons : first, for her great fame and renown ; secondly, for the cruel manner of fastening her to the stake for the English had caused a high scaffold to be made of plaster, and, as the said executioner reported, he could not well or easily hasten matters nor reach her, at which he was much vexed and had great compassion for the cruel manner in which she was put to death.
I can testify to her great and admirable contrition, repentance, and continual confession, calling always on the Name of Jesus, and devoutly invoking the Saints in Paradise, as also Brother Ysambard had already deposed, who was with her to the end, and confirmed her in the way of salvation.
BROTHER GUILLAUME DUVAL
Of the Order of Saint Dominic, and of the Convent of Saint Jacques at Rouen
When the trial of the said Jeanne took place, I was present at one session with Brother Ysambard de la Pierre; and, although we could find no room for ourselves in the Consistory, we seated ourselves at the middle of the table, near to Jeanne. When she was questioned or examined, the said Brother Ysambard advised her as to what she should say, nudging her or making some other sign. After the session was over, I and Brother Ysambard, with Maître Jean Delafontaine, were deputized to visit her in prison the same day after dinner and give her counsel; we went together to the Castle of Rouen, to visit and admonish her; and there we found the Earl of Warwick, who attacked the said Brother Ysambard with great anger and indignation, biting insults, and harsh epithets, saying to him: “Why did you touch that wicked person this morning, making so many signs? Mort Bleu! villain! if I see thee again taking trouble to deliver her and to advise her for her good, I will have thee thrown into the Seine.” At which I and the other companion of the said Ysambard fled for fear to the Convent.
I heard no more, for I was not present at the Trial.
MAÎTRE GUILLAUME MANCHON
Canon of the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame d’Audely; Curé of the Parish Church of Sainte-Nicotas-le-Peintiur at Rouen, and Notary of the Ecclesiastical Court; Notary of the Trial of Jeanne, from the beginning up to the end, and with him Maître Guillaume Colles, called Bois-Guillaume.
In my opinion, not only those who had charge of instituting and conducting the Trial to wit, My Lord of Beauvais and the Masters sent for from Paris for this Case but also the English, at whose instance the Trial was undertaken, proceeded rather from hatred and anger on account of the quarrel with the King of France, than owing to her support of his party, and for the following reasons:
First, one named Maître Nicolas Loyseleur, a familiar of my Lord of Beauvais, who held altogether to the English side for, formerly the King being before Chartres, he went to fetch the King of England to raise the Siege pretended that he belonged to the Maid’s country; by this means he found a way to have speech and familiar converse with her, telling her news of her country that would please her. He asked to be her confessor, and of what she told him privately he found means to inform the Notaries: indeed, at the beginning of the Trial, I and Boisguillaume, with witnesses, were put secretly in an adjoining room, where there was a hole through which we could hear, in order that we might report what she said to Loyseleur. As I think, what the Maid said or stated familiarly to Loyseleur he reported to the Notaries; and from this were made memoranda for questions in the Trial, to find some way of catching her unawares.
When the Trial had begun, Maître Jean Lohier, a grave Norman Clerk, came to this Town of Rouen, and communication was made to him of what the Bishop of Beauvais had written hereon; and the said Lohier asked for two or three days’ delay to look into it. To which he received answer that he should give his opinion that afternoon; and this he was obliged to do. And Maître Jean Lohier, when he had seen the Process, said it was of no value, for several reasons : first, because it had not the form of an ordinary Process; then, it was carried on in an enclosed and shut-up place, where those concerned were not in full and perfect liberty to say their full will; then, that this matter dealt with the honor of the King of France, whose side she [the Maid] supported, and that he had not been called, nor any who were for him; then, neither legal documents nor articles had been forthcoming, and so there was no guide for this simple girl to answer the Masters and Doctors on great matters, and especially those, as she said, which related to her revelations. For these things, the Process was, in his opinion, of no value. At which my Lord of Beauvais was very indignant against the said Lohier; and although my Lord of Beauvais told him that he might remain to see the carrying out of the Trial, Lohier replied that he would not do so. And immediately my Lord of Beauvais, then lodging in the house where now lives Maitre Jean Bidaut, near Saint-Nicolas-le-Peinteur, came to the Masters to wit, Maître Jean Beaupère, Maître Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Thomas de Courcelles, and Loyseleur – and said to them: “This Lohier wants to put fine questions into our Process: he would find fault with everything, and says it is of no value. If we were to believe him, everything must be begun again, and all we have done would be worth nothing!” And, after stating the grounds on which Lohier found fault, my Lord of Beauvais added: “It is clear enough on which foot he limps. By Saint John! we will do nothing in the matter, but will go on with our Process as it is begun!” This was on a Saturday afternoon in Lent; and the next morning I spoke with the said Lohier at the Church of Notre Dame at Rouen, and asked him what he thought of the said Trial and of Jeanne? He replied: “You see the way they are proceeding. They will take her, if they can, in her words as in assertions where she says, ‘I know for certain,’ as regards the apparitions but if she said, ‘I think’ instead of the words ‘I know for certain’ it is my opinion that no man could condemn her. It seems they act rather from hate than otherwise; and for that reason, I will not stay here, for I have no desire to be in it.” And in truth he thenceforward lived always at the Court of Rome, where he died Dean of Appeals.4
At the beginning of the Trial, because I was putting in writing for five or six days the answers and excuses of the said Maid, the Judges several times wished to compel me, speaking in Latin, to put them in other terms, by changing the sense of her words or in other ways such as I had not heard. By command of the Bishop of Beauvais, two men were placed at a window near where the Judges sat, with a curtain across the window, so that they could not be seen. These two men wrote and reported what there was in thecharge against Jeanne, keeping silence as to her excuses; and, in my opinion, this was Loyseleur. After the sitting was over, in the afternoon, while comparing notes of what had been written, the two others reported differently from me, and had put in none of the excuses; at which my Lord of Beauvais was greatly angry with me.5Where ‘Nota’ is written in the Process there was disagreement, and questions had to be made upon it; and it was found that what I had written was true.
In writing the said Process, I was often opposed by my Lord of Beauvais and the Masters, who wanted to compel me to write according to their fancy, and against what I had myself heard. And when there was something which did not please them, they forbade it to be written, saying that it did not serve the Process; but I nevertheless wrote only according to my hearing and knowledge.
Maître Jean Delafontaine, from the beginning of the Trial up to the week after Easter, 1431, took the place of my Lord of Beauvais, to interrogate her, in the absence of the Bishop; and was always present with the Bishop in the conduct of the said Trial. And when the time came that the Maid was summoned to submit herself to the Church by this same Delafontaine, and by Brothers Ysambard de la Pierre and Martin Ladvenu, they advised her that she should believe in, and rely on, our Lord the Pope and those who preside in the Church Militant; and that she should make no question about submitting to our Holy Father the Pope and to the Holy Council; for that there were among them as many of her own side as of the other, many of them notable Clerics, and that if she did not do this, she would put herself in great danger. The day after she had been thus advised, she said that she wished certainly to submit to our Holy Father the Pope and to the Holy Council. When my Lord of Beauvais heard this, he asked who had spoken with the Maid. The Guard replied that it was Maître Delafontaine, his lieutenant, and the two Friars. And at this, in the absence of the said Delafontaine and the Friars, the Bishop was much enraged against Maître Jean Lemaitre, the Deputy Inquisitor, and threatened to do him an injury. And when Delafontaine knew that he was threatened for this reason, he departed from Rouen, and did not again return. And as for the Friars, they would have been in peril of death, but for the said Lemaitre, who excused them and besought for them, saying that if any harm were done to them, he would never again come to the Trial. And, from that time, the Earl of Warwick forbade any one to visit the Maid, except the Bishop of Beauvais or those sent by him; and the Deputy Inquisitor was not allowed to go without him.
At the end of the sermon at Saint Ouen, after the abjuration of the Maid, because Loyseleur said to her, “Jeanne, you have done a good day’s work, if it please God, and have saved your soul,” she demanded, “Now, some among you people of the Church, lead me to your prisons, that I may no longer be in the hands of the English.” To which my Lord of Beauvais replied, “Lead her back whence she was taken!” For this reason she was taken back to the Castle which she had left. The following Sunday, which was Trinity Sunday, the Masters, Notaries, and others concerned in this Trial were summoned; and we were told that she had resumed her man’s dress and had relapsed; and when we came to the Castle, in the absence of my Lord of Beauvais, there came upon us eighty or a hundred English soldiers, or thereabouts, who spoke to us in the courtyard of the Castle, telling us that all of us Clergy were deceitful, traitorous Armagnacs and false counselors; so that we had great trouble to escape and get out of the Castle, and did nothing for that day. The following day I was summoned; but I replied that I would not go if I had not a surety, on account of the fright I had had the day before; and I would not have gone back if one of the followers of my Lord of Warwick had not been sent as a surety. And thus I returned, and was at the continuation of the Trial, up to the end except that I was not at a certain examination made by people who had spoken with her privately, (This was the Examination called the ‘Acta Posterius,’ which, though included by Cauchon in the Process, is not signed by the Official Registrars, Manchon, Boisguillaume, and Taquel.) as privileged persons; nevertheless, the Bishop of Beauvais wanted to compel me to sign, and this I would not do.
I saw Jeanne led to the scaffold (Jeanne was burnt in the Market Place at Rouen, where an inscribed stone marks the site. It is stated that the execution took place in front of the Church of St. Sauveur, and facing the principal street which leads to the Market Place, thus accommodating a larger number of spectators than was possible in any other part of the Place. There is still some dispute as to the actual spot; but as the Cemetery was religious ground and the execution was, nominally at least, a secular one, the ground chosen must have been on land belonging to the municipality of Rouen. Probably this was in the Marché aux Veaux, as we find an order for the burning of a heretic there in 1522, “lieu accoutumé faire lelles exéculions.”) and there were seven or eight hundred soldiers around her, bearing swords and staves; so that no one was so bold as to speak to her except Brother Martin Ladvenu and Maître Jean Massieu.
Patiently did she hear the sermon right through afterwards she repeated her thanksgiving, prayers, and lamentations most notably and devoutly, in such manner that the Judges, Prelates, and all present were provoked to much weeping, seeing her make these pitifulregrets and sad complaints. Never did I weep more for anything that happened to me; and, for a month afterwards, I could not feel at peace. For which reason, with a part of the money I had for my services I bought a little Missal, so that I might have it and might pray for her. In regard to final repentance, I never saw greater signs of a Christian.
I remember that at the sermon given at Saint Ouen by Maître Guillaume Erard, among other words were said and uttered these: “Ah! noble House of France, which had always been the protectress of the Faith, have you been so abused that you would adhere to a heretic and schismatic? It is indeed a great misfortune.” To which the Maid made answer, what I do not remember, except that she gave great praise to her King, saying that he was the best and wisest Christian in the world. At which Erard and my Lord of Beauvais ordered Massieu to “Make her keep silence.”
MAÎTRE JEAN MASSlEU
Priest, Curé of one of the Divisions of the Parish Church of Saint-Caudres at Rouen. Formerly Dean of the Christendom of Rouen.
I was at the Trial of the said Jeanne on every occasion when she was present before the Judges and Clerics; and, on account of my office, I was appointed a Clerk to
Maître Jean Benedicite, (Cognomen given to the Promoter, d’Estivet.) Promoter in this Action. I believe, from what I saw, that the proceedings were taken out of hatred and in order to abase the honor of the King of France whom she served, and to wreak vengeance and bring her to death, not according to reason and for the honor of God and of the Catholic Faith. I say this, because when my Lord of Beauvais, who was Judge in the Case, accompanied by six Clerics namely, Beaupère, Midi, Maurice, Touraine, Courcelles, and Feuillet, or some other in his place first questioned her, before she had answered one of them, another of those present would interpose another question, by which she was often hurried and troubled in her answers. And, besides, as I was leading Jeanne many times from her prison to the Court, and passed before the Chapel of the Castle, at Jeanne’s request, I suffered her to make her devotions in passing; and I was often reproved by the said Benedicite, the Promoter, who said to me “Traitor! what makes thee so bold as to permit this Excommunicate to approach without permission? I will have thee put in a tower where you shall see neither sun nor moon for a month, if you do so again.” And when the Promoter saw that I did not obey him, the said Benedicite placed himself many times before the door of the Chapel, between me and Jeanne, to prevent her saying her prayers before the Chapel, and asked expressly of Jeanne : “Is this the Body of Christ?” When I was taking her back to prison, the fourth or fifth day, a priest named Maître Eustace Turquetil, asked me: “What did you think of her answers? will she be burned? what will happen?” and I replied: “Up to this time I have seen in her only good and honor; but I do not know what will happen in the end, God knows!” Which answer was reported by the said priest to the King’s people; and it was said that I was opposed to the King. On this account, I was summoned, in the afternoon, by the Lord of Beauvais, the Judge, and was spoken to of these things and told to be careful to make no mistake, or I should be made to drink more than was good for me. I think that, unless the Notary Manchon had made excuses for me, I should not have escaped.
When Jeanne was taken to Saint-Ouen to be preached to by Maître Guillaume Erard, at about the middle of the sermon, after she had been admonished by the words of the preacher, he began to cry out, in a loud voice, saying, “Ah! France, you art much abused, you have always been the most Christian country; and Charles, who calls himself thy King and Governor, had joined himself, as a heretic and schismatic, which he is, to the words and deeds of a worthless woman, defamed and full of dishonor; and not only he, but all the Clergy within his jurisdiction and lordship, by whom she had been examined and not reproved, as she had said.” Two or three times he repeated these words about the King; and, at last, addressing himself to Jeanne he said, raising his finger: ” It is to thee, Jeanne, that I speak, I tell thee that thy King is a heretic and schismatic !” To which she replied: “By my faith ! sir, saving your reverence, I dare say and swear, on pain of death, that he is the most noble of all Christians, and the one who most loves the Faith of the Church, and he is not what you say.” And then the preacher said to me: “Make her keep silence.”
Jeanne never had any Counsel.(At the beginning of the Trial, Jeanne had asked for counsel, and it had been refused.) I remember that Loyseleur was one appointed to counsel her. He was against her, rather deceiving than helping her. The said Erard, at the end of his sermon, read a schedule containing the Articles which he was inciting Jeanne to abjure and revoke. To which Jeanne replied, that she did not understand what abjuring was, and that she asked advice about it. Then Erard told me to give her counsel about it. After excusing myself for doing this, I told her it meant that, if she opposed any of the said Articles, she would be burned. I advised her to refer to the Church Universal as to whether she should abjure the said Articles or not. And this she did, saying in a loud voice to Erard: ” I refer me to the Church Universal, as to whether I shall abjure or not.” To this the said Erard replied: “You shall abjure at once, or you shall be burned.” And, indeed, before she left the Square, she abjured, and made a cross with a pen which I handed to her.
At the end of the sermon, I advised Jeanne to ask that she might be taken to the prisons of the Church and it was right she should be taken to the Church prisons, because the Church had condemned her. And this thing was asked of the Bishop of Beauvais by some of those present, whose names I do not know. To which the Bishop replied: ” Take her to the Castle whence she came.” And so it was done. That day, after dinner, in the presence of the Counsel of the Church, she took off her man’s dress and put on a woman’s dress, as she was commanded. This was on the Thursday or Friday after Pentecost; and the man’s dress was put in a bag in the same room where she was kept prisoner, while she remained guarded in this place, in the hands of five of the English, three of whom stayed all night in the room, and two outside the door of the room. I know of a surety that at night she slept chained by the legs with two pairs of iron chains, and fastened closely to a chain going across the foot of her bed, held to a great piece of wood, five or six feet long, and closed with a key, so that she could not move from her place. When the following Sunday came, being Trinity Sunday, and when it was time to rise, as she reported and said to me, she asked the English guards: “Take off my irons that I may get up.” Then one of the English took away from her the woman’s garments which she had on her, and they emptied the bag in which was her man’s dress, and threw the said dress at her, saying to her: “Get up, and put the woman’s dress in the bag.” And, in accordance with what he said, she dressed herself in the man’s dress they had given her, saying: “Sirs, you know it is forbidden me ; without fail, I will not take it again.” Nevertheless, they would not give her the other, inasmuch that the contention lasted till mid-day, and, finally, she was compelled to take the said dress; afterwards, they would not give up the other, whatever supplications or prayers she might make.
This she told me on the Tuesday following, before dinner, on which day the Promoter had departed in company with the Earl of Warwick, and I was alone with her. Immediately I asked her why she had resumed a man’s dress, and she told me what I have just related.
I was not at the Castle on the Sunday, but I met near the Castle those who had been summoned, much overwhelmed and affrighted. They said they had been furiously driven back by the English with axes and swords, and called traitors, and otherwise insulted. On the following Wednesday, the day she was condemned, and before she left the Castle, the Body of Christ was borne to her irreverently, without stole and lights, at which Brother Martin, who had confessed her, was ill-content, and so a stole and lights were sent for, and thus Brother Martin administered It to her. And this done, she was led to the Old Market-Place, and by her side were Brother Martin and myself, accompanied by more than 800 soldiers, with axes and swords. And being in the Old Market-Place, after the sermon, during which she showed great patience and listened most quietly, she evinced many evidences and clear proofs of her contrition, penitence, and fervent faith, if only by her pitiful and devout lamentations and invocations of the Blessed Trinity and the Blessed and Glorious Virgin Mary, and all the Blessed Saints in Paradise naming specially certain of these Saints: in which devotions, lamentations, and true confession of faith, she besought mercy also, most humbly, from all manner of people of whatever condition or estate they might be, of her own party as well as of the other, begging them to pray for her, forgiving them the harm they had done her, [and thus] she persevered and continued as long a space of time as half-an-hour, and up to the very end.
When she was given over by the Church, I was still with her; and with great devotion she asked to have a Cross: and, hearing this, an Englishman, who was there present, made a little cross of wood with the ends of a stick, which he gave her, and devoutly she received and kissed it, making piteous lamentations and acknowledgments to God, Our Redeemer, Who had suffered on the Cross for our Redemption, of Whose Cross she had the sign and symbol; and she put the said Cross in her bosom, between her person and her clothing. And, besides, she asked me humbly that I would get for her the Church Cross, so that she might see it continually until death. And I got the Clerk of the Parish of Saint-Sauveur to bring it to her; the which, being brought, she embraced closely and long, and kept it till she was fastened to the stake. While she was making these devotions and pious lamentations, I was much hurried by the English and even by some of their Captains, who wished me to leave her in their hands, that she might be put to death the sooner, saying to me, when I was trying to console her on the scaffold: “What, Priest! will you have us dine here?” And immediately, without any form or proof of judgment, they sent her to the fire, saying to the executioner “Do your office!” And thus she was led and fastened [to the stake], continuing her praises and devout lamentations to God and His Saints, and with her last word, in dying, she cried, with a loud voice: “Jesus!”
MAÎTRE JEAN BEAUPERE
Master in Theology, Canon of Rouen.
With regard to the apparitions mentioned in the Trial of the said Jeanne, I held, and still hold, the opinion that they rose more from natural causes and human intent than from anything supernatural; but I would refer principally to the Process.
Before she was taken to Saint-Ouen, to be preached to in the morning, I went alone, by permission, into Jeanne’s prison, and warned her that she would soon be led to the scaffold to be preached to, telling her that, if she were a good Christian, she would say on the scaffold that she placed all her deeds and words in the ordering of Our Holy Mother Church, and especially of the Ecclesiastical Judges. And this did she say on the scaffold, being thereto requested by Maitre Nicolas Midi. This being noted and considered, she was for a time sent back, after her abjuration; although some of the English accused the Bishop of Beauvais and the Delegates from Paris of favoring Jeanne’s errors.
After this abjuration, and after taking her woman’s dress which she received in prison, it was reported to the Judges on the Friday or Saturday following that Jeanne had repented of having put off a man’s dress and had taken a woman’s dress. On this account, my Lord of Beauvais sent me and Maitre Nicolas Midi to her, hoping that we should speak to Jeanne and induce and admonish her to persevere in the good intent she had on the scaffold, and that she should be careful not to relapse. But we could not find the keeper of the prison key, (There were three keys to the prison, one being in the possession of the Promoter, one of the Inquisitor, and one belonging to the Cardinal.) and, while we were waiting for the prison guard, several of the English, who were in the courtyard of the Castle, spoke threatening words, as Maître Nicolas Midi told me, to the effect that he who would throw both of us into the water would be well employed. And, hearing these words, we returned; and, on the bridge of the Castle, Midi heard, as he reported to me, like words used by others of the English; at which we were much frightened, and went away without speaking to Jeanne.
As to her innocence, Jeanne was very subtle with the subtlety of a woman, as I consider. I did not understand from any words of hers that she had been violated.
As to her final penitence, I do not know what to say, for, on the Monday after (May 28th.) the abjuration, I left Rouen to go to Basle, (To what would end up to be a schismatic council, then being held at Basle.) on the part of the University of Paris. Through this I knew nothing of her condemnation until I heard it spoken of at Lisle in Flanders.
- (Examined, 5th day of March), 1449. (Old style is adopted throughout: thus 1449 is given instead of 1449/1450.)
- The word is given in English in the text. Cauchon prided himself on his knowledge of this language.
- Jean de Saint Avit, formerly Abbot of Saint-Denis, and, about 1390, Bishop of Avranches. In 1432, he was imprisoned at Rouen, on suspicion of complicity with the French, who wished to get possession of the town.
- ("Doyen de la Role "-Court of Appeals at Rome.)
- (On the Minute of Manchon, which was in the hands of the judges of the Rehabilitation in 1455.)