A trial that has become second in importance only to the Trial of Christ.

Joan of Arc - Jeanne d’Arc (1412 - 1431)
Le Jugemen - Painting by Maurice Boutet de Monvel, 1902-1913

Probably one of the most significant and moving trials ever conducted in human history.

The original transcript of ‘Condemnation and nullification trial’ still exist today. Both can be read here.

The trial of condemnation and the trial of nullification (or rehabilitation) were edited and published for the first time in their entirety by Jules Quicherat between 1841 and 1849. His edition of the condemnation trial was reedited for the Société de I’Histoire de France by Pierre Tisset and Yvonne Lanhers in three volumes published between 1960 and 1971.

The rehabilitation trial was reedited by Pierre Duparc 1. Since his edition, it is customary to refer to the second inquest as the nullification trial. Five copies were made of the official record. Manchon, the notary, wrote three in his own hand: one was given to the Inquisitor, another to the King of England, a third to Pierre Cauchon.

These five copies were signed and authenticated by the notaries Manchon, Boisguillaume and Taquel, and were given the seal of the judges. “Of these five copies,” says Pierre Champion, the greatest modern authority on Jeanne d’Arc, “the one that Guillaume Manchon retained was given to the judges of the Rehabilitation proceedings on December 15, 1455 and torn up by order of that tribunal. According to the testimony of Martial d’Auvergne one of the copies had been sent to Rome; another copy was found at Orléans in 1475. Etienne Pasquier kept one copy for four years. Today there are three copies at Paris:

Trial of Condemnation 1431

Contents: The 1903 English translation (x23)

Trial of Nullification or Rehabilitation 1455

Contents: The English translation from 1903 (x13)

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The Trial Transcripts

The trial of condemnation and the trial of nullification (or rehabilitation) were edited and published for the first time in their entirety by Jules Quicherat between 1841 and 1849. His edition of the condemnation trial was reedited for the Société de I’Histoire de France by Pierre Tisset and Yvonne Lanhers in three volumes published between 1960 and 1971.

The rehabilitation trial was reedited by Pierre Duparc (3 vols., 1977-1989). Since his edition, it is customary to refer to the second inquest as the nullification trial.

Champion, Pierre. Le Procès de condamnation. 2 vols. Bibliothèque du XVe siècle 22 & 23. (Paris: Edouard Champion, 1920-1921).

Doncoeur, Rev. Paul and Yvonne Lanhers, eds. Documents et recherches relatifs à Jeanne la Pucelle. 5 vols. (Melun: d’Argences, 1952-1961; except vol. 5).

-Documents et recherches Vol. 1: La minute française de l’Interrogatoire de Jeanne la Pucelle, d’après le rèquisitoire de Jean d’Estivet et les manuscrits d’Urfé et d’Orléans (1952). A complete and reliable edition of the manuscripts cited, including that of Orléans, which was long considered useless but which has since been proven essential as the closest representation of Jeanne’s own words.

-Documents et recherches Vol. 2: Instrument public des sentences portées les 24 et 30 mai 1431 par Pierre Cauchon et Jean Le Maitre contre Jeanne la Pucelle (1954). An edition of the Latin text produced by the judge and vice-inquisitor with translation and full apparatus.

-Documents et recherches Vol. 3: La réhabilitation de Jeanne la Pucelle. L’Enquete ordonnée par Charles VII en 1450 et le codicille de Guillaume Bouillé (1956). Edition with translation and critical apparatus of Charles VII’s preliminary investigation toward rehabilitation.

-.Documents et recherches Vol. 4: L’enquete du cardinal d’Estouteville en 1452 (1958). The text of the inquest of Cardinal d’Estouteville in 1452 edited, translated, and annotated.

-Documents et recherches Vol. 5: La rédaction épiscopale du procès de 1455-1456 (Paris: Desclee de Brouwer, 196 1). An edition of the “episcopal redaction” of the trial which led to Jeanne’s rehabilitation.

Duparc, Pierre, ed. Procès en nullité de la condamnation de Jeanne d’Arc. 5 vols. CNRS and Société de I’Histoire de France (Paris: Klincksieck, 1977-89). ‘Me definitive, complete edition of the documents relating to the rehabilitation trial. It is in this work that Duparc coins the phrase “nullification process” (Procès en nullité).

Oursel, Raymond, ed. Le procès de condamnation de Jeanne d’Arc. Preface by Michel Riquet (Paris: Club du meilleur livre, 1953). A modem French abridgement of Quicherat and Champion meant for the public at large.

-Le procès de réhabilitation de Jeanne d’Arc (Paris Denoel, 1954). Same as the last work, but for the rehabilitation trial.-Le procès de condamnation et le procès de réhabilitation de Jeanne d’Arc (Paris: Éditions Denöel, 1959). The more easily obtained edition of both of the preceding works.

Quicherat, Jules-Étienne-Joseph, ed. Procès de condamnation et de réhabilitation de Jeanne d’Arc. dite la Pucelle. Publiés pour la premiére fois d’après les manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale, suivis de tous les documents historiques qu’on a pu réunir et accompagnées de notes et d’éclaircissements. 5 vols. Société de l’Histoire de France (Paris: Jules Renouard, 1841-1849; reprinted, New York: Johnson, 1965). The classic, exhaustive edition.

Tisset, Pierre and Yvonne Lanhers, eds. and trans. Procès de condamnation de Jeanne d’Arc. 3 voIs. Société de I’Histoire de France (Paris: Klincksieck, 1960-1971) An update and revision of Quicherat’s condemnation segment-a continuation of the work begun by Pierre Champion.

Preliminary inquiry

With the words “Here begin the proceedings in matters of faith against a deceased woman, Jeanne, commonly known as the Maid”, the trial records announce the start, on January 9, 1431, of the judicial inquiry into the case of Jeanne d’Arc.

The first order of business was a preliminary inquiry into Jeanne’s character and habits. An examination as to Jeanne’s virginity was conducted some time prior to January 13, overseen by the Duchess of Bedford Insæt kode: 2. The Duchess announced that Jeanne had been found to be a virgin. At the same time, representatives of the judge were sent to Jeanne’s home village of Domremy and vicinity to inquire further into Jeanne’s life, her habits, and virtue, with several witnesses being interviewed.

The result of these inquiries was that nothing could be found against Jeanne to support any charges against her. The man who was commissioned to collect testimony, Nicolas Bailly, said that he “had found nothing concerning Jeanne that he would not have liked to find about his own sister”. This angered Cauchon, who was hoping for something he could use against her. He accused Bailly of being “a traitor and a bad man” and refused to pay him his promised salary.

Interrogation

In a letter dated 20 February 1431 and sent to the assessors and others summoning them to appear the morning of the following day for the first public interrogation session of Jeanne, Pierre Cauchon cited the grant of jurisdiction within the city of Rouen by the chapter of the cathedral of Rouen for the purpose of conducting the trial against Jeanne. Without such a grant, he would have been unable to conduct the hearings as he was not in his native diocese. He also stated that Jeanne was “vehemently suspected of heresy” and that “rumors of her acts and sayings wounding our faith had notoriously spread”. This was the basis for the diffamatio, a necessary ingredient in the bringing of charges against a suspect. He also alluded to the expected absence of the Vice-Inquisitor for Rouen, Jean Le Maistre, whose presence was required by canon law in order to validate the proceedings. Lemaitre’s absence was later explained during the appellate trial by four eyewitnesses, who said Le Maistre had objections to the trial and refused to cooperate until the English threatened his life. The postwar appellate court would later declare these points to be violations of the Church’s rules.

In response to the summons of Bishop Cauchon on this same date, priest and bailiff Jean Massieu reported that Jeanne had agreed to appear in court, but she requested that ecclesiastics of the French side be summoned equal in number to those of the English party (as required by the Church’s rules), and she asked that she should be allowed to hear Mass. In response, promoter (prosecutor) Jean d’Estivet forbade Jeanne to attend the divine offices, citing “especially the impropriety of the garments to which she clung” according to the Trial transcript (Barrett translation). Her soldier’s clothing would increasingly become an issue as the trial progressed and the tribunal failed to find other grounds for a conviction. Several eyewitnesses later said she had been wearing a soldier’s outfit which had a tunic, hosen, and long boots that went up to the waist, all of which were tied together with cords, which she said she needed to protect herself from being raped by her guards (i.e., fastening the three items of clothing together made it difficult for the guards to pull her clothing off, but a woman’s dress would leave her more vulnerable since it was open at the bottom).

Ordinary trial

The ordinary, or regular, trial of Jeanne began on March 26, the day after Palm Sunday, with the drawing up of the 70 articles (later summarized in a 12 article indictment). If Jeanne refused to answer them, she would be said to have admitted them. On the following day, the articles were read aloud and Jeanne was questioned in French. The next two days, the extensive list of charges were then read to her in French. The Ordinary Trial concluded on May 24 with the abjuration.

1456 – Procès de réhabilitation de Jeanne d’Arc [LATIN 5970]

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Credits & Resources:
International Joan of Arc Society – Medieval Sourcebook – Medieval History Sourcebooks – Wikipedia

Footnotes

  1. (3 vols., 1977-1989)
  2. (the wife of John, Duke of Bedford, and regent in France of the boy-king Henry VI of England)