THE TRIAL OF JEANNE D'ARC
March 1st Fifth Session
On Thursday, March 1st we the said bishop repaired to the accustomed place in the
castle of Rouen, where the said Jeanne appeared before us in the presence of the
reverend fathers, lords and masters: Gilles, abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp; Pierre,
prior of Longueville-Giffard, Jean de Châtillon, Erard Emengart, Jean Beaupère,
Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Denis de Sabrevois, Pierre Maurice, Gerard
Feuillet, Maurice du Quesnay, Guillaume Le Boucher, Pierre Houdenc, Jean de Nibat,
Jean Le Fèvre Jacques Guesdon, doctors of sacred theology; Nicolas de Jumièges,
Guillaume de Ste. Catherine and Guillaume de Cormeilles abbots; Jean Garin,
doctor of canon law; the abbots of St. Ouen and of Préaux and the prior of St. Lô;
William Haiton, Nicolas Couppequesne, Thomas de Courcelles, Guillaume de
Baudribosc, Jean Pigache, Raoul Le Sauvage, Richard de Grouchet, Pierre Minier,
Jean Le Maistre, Jean Le Vautier, bachelors of sacred theology; Nicolas de
Venderès, Jean Bruillot, Jean Pinchon, Jean Basset, Jean de La Fontaine, Raoul
Anguy, Jean Colombel, Richard des Saulx, Aubert Morel, Jean Duchemin, Laurent
Du Busc, Philippe Le Maréchal, bachelors of canon law; Denis Gastinel, Jean Le
Doulx, Robert Le Barbier, bachelors of canon and civil law; André Marguerie, Jean
Alespée, Gilles Deschamps, Nicolas Caval, Geoffroy du Crotay,
Pierre Cavé, Nicolas Maulin, licentiates in civil law; Robert Morellet, and Nicolas
Loiseleur, canons of the cathedral of Rouen.
In their presence we summoned and required the said Jeanne to swear to speak
the truth, the simple and absolute truth on what she was asked. She answered
that she was ready to swear to answer truly everything she knew, concerning the
trial, as she said before. She said she knows many things which do not concern the
trial, and there is no need to tell them. Then she said: "Everything I truly know
concerning the trial I will gladly tell." Summoned and required as before, to swear,
she answered: "What I can answer truly, I will willingly tell concerning the trial." And
she took the oath in this manner, with her hands on the holy gospels. Then she
said: "Of what I know concerning the trial I will willingly tell the truth, and will tell
altogether as much as if I were before the Pope of Rome."
Asked what she said concerning our lord the Pope and whom she believed to be
the true Pope, she answered by asking if there were two of them.
Asked if she had not had letters from the count d'Armagnac, to ask which of the
three sovereign pontiffs he should obey, she answered that the said count did write
a certain letter to this effect, to which she replied, amongst other things, that she
would give him an answer when she was in Paris, or anywhere where she was at
rest. And she was going to mount her horse when she gave this answer.
At this juncture we had read in court a copy of the letters from the count and from
Jeanne; and she was examined to see whether this was a copy of her actual reply.
She answered that she thought she had made this reply in part, but not all of it.
Asked if she had professed to know, by the counsel of the
King of Kings, what the count should hold in this matter, she answered she knew
nothing about it.
Asked if she entertained any doubt concerning whom the count should obey, she
answered that she did not know how to instruct him to obey, since the count
asked whom God wanted him to obey. But as for herself, Jeanne thought we
should obey our Holy Father the Pope at Rome. She added that she said other
things to the count's messenger which are not in the copy of the letter; and if the
messenger had not gone off at once he would have been thrown into the water,
but not through her. She said that to the count's inquiry concerning whom God
wished him to obey, she answered that she did not know, but sent him several
messages not put into writing. And as for herself, she believed in Our Holy Father
the Pope at Rome.
Asked why she had written that she would give an answer at some other time,
since she believed in the Pope at Rome, she answered that it had reference to
another matter than the three sovereign pontiffs.
Asked if she had said that she would have counsel on the question of the three
sovereign pontiffs, she answered that she had never written or caused to be
written anything concerning the three sovereign pontiffs. This, she swore by her
oath, she had never written or caused to be written.
Asked if she was in the habit of putting in her letters the names of Jhesus Maria
with a cross, she answered in some she did, and in some she did not; and
sometimes she put a cross to warn some one of her party not to do as her letters
said. The tenor of the letters which the count and Jeanne wrote to one another is
included below among the articles of the prosecutor.
And then she was read the letters that she addressed to our lord the King, to the
Duke of Bedford, and to others.
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The tenor of which letters is to be found below in the articles of the prosecutor.
And then she was asked if she recognized these letters; she answered yes,
excepting three words; to wit where it was written Surrender to the Maid, it should
read Surrender to the king; then there was chieftain of war and thirdly body for
body, which were not in the letters she sent. She added that none of the lords ever
dictated these letters, but she herself dictated them before they were sent; though
they were indeed shown to certain of her party. She said that before seven years
are past the English will lose a greater stake than they did at Orleans, for they will
lose everything in France. She adds that the said English will suffer greater loss than
ever they did in France; and it will be a great victory which God will send the
Asked how she knew this, she answered: "I know by a revelation made to me, and
within seven years it will happen and I am much vexed that it should be so long
postponed." She said also that she knew it by revelation as well as she knew we
were at that moment before her.
Asked when it will happen, she said she knew neither the day nor the hour.
Asked in what year it will happen, she answered: "You will not learn that:
nevertheless I heartily wish it might be before St. John's Day."
Asked whether she said it would happen before Martinmas in winter, she answered
that she had said that before Martinmas in winter many things would be seen; and
it might be that the English would be overthrown.
Asked what she told John Grey, her guard, about Martinmas, she answered: "I
have told you." Asked through whom she knew that this would come to pass, she
answered that she knew through St. Catherine and
St. Margaret. Asked if St. Gabriel was with St. Michael when he came to her, she
answered she did not remember.
Asked if since the last Tuesday she had not spoken with St. Catherine and St.
Margaret, she answered yes, but she does not know at what time.
Asked on what day, she answered, yesterday and to-day; "there is no day but I
Asked if she always saw them in the same dress, she answered she always sees
them in the same form; and their heads are richly crowned. Of their other clothing
she does not speak: of their robes she knows nothing.
Asked how she knew whether her apparition was man or woman, she answered
she knew for certain, she recognized them by their voices, and they revealed
themselves to her; nor did she know anything but by revelation and God's
Asked what part of them she saw, she answered the face.
Asked if the saints which appeared to her had hair, she answered: "It is well to
know that they have."
Asked if there were anything between their crowns and their hair, she answered
Asked if their hair were long and hung down, she answered: "I do not know." She
added that she did not know whether they appeared to have arms or other
members. She saw they spoke very well and beautifully; and she understood them
Asked how they spoke if they had no other members, she answered: "I leave that
to God." She said the voice was gentle, soft and low, and spoke in French.
Asked if St. Margaret spoke in the English tongue, she answered: "Why should she
speak English when she is not on the English side?"
Asked if on the crowned heads there were not rings of gold or other substance,
she answered: "I do not know."
Asked if she herself did not have some rings, she replied to us, bishop: "You have
one of mine; give it back to me." She said the Burgundians have another ring; and
she asked us, if we had her ring, to show it to her.
Asked who gave her the ring which the Burgundians had, she answered her father
or her mother; and she thought the names Jhesus Maria were written thereon;
she did not know who had them written; she did not think there was any stone in
it; and she was given the ring at Domrémy. She said that her brother gave her the
other ring which we had and she charged us to give it to the Church. She said she
never cured any one with any of her rings.
Asked if St. Catherine and St. Margaret spoke to her under the aforementioned
tree she answered: "I do not know."
Asked if the saints spoke to her at the fountain near the tree, she answered yes,
she heard them there, but what they said to her there she did not know.
Asked what the saints promised her, there or elsewhere, she answered that they
made no promises to her, except by God's leave.
Asked what promises they made, she answered: "That is not in your case at all."
And amongst other things, they told how the king would be reëstablished in his
kingdom, whether his enemies wished it or not. She said also that they promised
the said Jeanne to bring her to Paradise, and she had asked it of them. Asked if she
had received any other promise, she answered she had, but she will not tell, since it
does not concern the trial. And she said that in three months she will reveal the
Asked if the voices had told her that within three months
she would be delivered from prison, she answered: "That is not in your case;
however, I do not know when I shall be delivered." And she said that those who
wish to get her out of the world might well precede her.
Asked if her counsel had not told her that she would be delivered out of the present
prison, she answered: "Ask me in three months' time; then I will tell you." She
added: "Ask the assessors, on their oath, if that concerns my trial."
Asked afterwards, when the assessors had deliberated, and unanimously concurred
that it did, she said: "I have already told you that you cannot know all. One day I
must be delivered. But I want leave if I am to tell you; that is why I ask for a
Asked if the voices forbade her to speak the truth, she answered: "Do you want
me to tell you what is the sole concern of the king of France? There are many
things that are not in the trial."
She added that she knows for certain her king will regain the kingdom of France, as
certainly as she knows that we are seated before her in judgment, and but for her
revelation, which daily comforts her, she would be dead.
Asked what she had done with her mandrake, she answered that she has no
mandrake, and never did have; but has heard that near her village there was one,
though she has never seen it. She said also she had heard it called a dangerous and
evil thing to keep; nor does she know its use.
Asked where the mandrake grows, of which she has heard speak, she said in the
earth, near the tree, but she does not know the spot. She said that over the
mandrake, she has heard, a hazel grows.
Asked what she has heard about the mandrake, she answered that she has heard
it attracts money, but she does not believe it. And the voices never told her
anything about this.
Asked in what form St. Michael appeared, she answered that she did not see his
crown, and she knows nothing of his apparel.
Asked if he was naked, she answered: "Do you think God has not wherewithal to
Asked if he had any hair, she answered: "Why should it be cut off?" She added that
she had not seen St. Michael since she left the castle Crotoy, and she does not
often see him, or know, she added, whether he has any hair.
Asked whether he had his scales, she answered: "I do not know." She said she
was filled with great joy when she saw him; and she felt, when she saw him, that
she was not in mortal sin. She said St. Catherine and St. Margaret gladly heard her
in confession, from time to time, and each in turn. She said that if she was in
mortal sin she was not aware of it.
Asked if, when she made her confession, she felt as if in mortal sin, she answered
she did not know whether she was in mortal sin, but she believed she had not
committed such deeds. "Please God, she said, I never was in such sin, and if it
please Him, I never shall commit or have committed such deeds as burden my
Asked what sign she gave her king that she came from God, she answered: I have
always told you that you will not drag this from my lips. Go and ask him."
Asked if she had sworn not to reveal what was asked concerning the trial, she
answered: I have already said that I will not tell you what concerns or touches our
king; and what touches our king, I shall not tell you."
Asked if she did not know the sign she gave the king, she answered: "You will not
learn from me." And as she was told it concerned the trial, she answered: "What I
have promised to keep secret I shall not tell you." And added: I promised and I
could not tell you without perjury."
Asked to whom she made this promise, she answered that it was to St. Catherine
and St. Margaret, it was shown to the king. She promised it without their asking,
and did so at her own desire, for too many people might have questioned her had
she not so promised to the saints.
Asked if any one else was with them when she showed the sign to her king, she
answered that she thought there was not, although many people were fairly near.
Asked if she saw the crown on her king's head when she showed him the sign, she
answered: "I cannot tell you without perjury."
Asked whether her king had a crown when he was at Reims, she answered that
she thought the king took with pleasure the crown he found at Reims, but a much
richer one was later brought. And he did that to hasten his coronation, at the
request of the people of Reims to avoid the burden of the men-at-arms. If he had
waited he would have had a crown a thousand times richer.
Asked if she saw this richer crown, she answered: "I cannot tell you without
committing perjury. And if I have not myself seen it, I have heard that it is so rich
At this point we stayed the proceedings for the day; and assigned Saturday at
eight o'clock in the morning for their continuation, requiring those present to
assemble together in the same place at the said hour and day.
Saturday, March 3rd. Sixth Session
On the following Saturday, March 3rd, in the aforementioned place the said Jeanne
appeared before us in the presence of the reverend fathers, lords and masters:
Gilles, abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp, Pierre, prior of Longueville; Jean de
Châtillon, Erard Emengart, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Denis de Sabrevois,
Nicolas Lami, Guillaume Evrard, Pierre Maurice, Gerard Feuillet, Maurice du
Quesnay, Pierre Houdenc, Jean de Nibat, Jacques Guesdon, doctors of sacred
theology; Guillaume, abbot of Ste. Marie de Cormeilles, doctor of canon law;
Guillaume Desjardins, Gilles Canivet, Roland L'Escrivain, Guillaume de La Chambre,
doctors of medicine; the abbots of St. Georges and of Préaux the prior of St. Lô;
also Nicolas Couppequesne, Thomas de Courcelles, Guillaume Le Maistre, Guillaume
de Baudribosc, Jean Pigache, Raoul Le Sauvage, Richard de Grouchet, Pierre Minier,
bachelors of sacred theology; Jean Le Doulx, bachelor of canon and civil law; Jean
Duchemin, Jean Colombel, Raoul Anguy, Aubert Morel, bachelors of canon law;
Geoffroy du Crotay, Bureau de Cormeilles, Nicolas Maulin, licentiates in civil law,
and Nicolas Loiseleur, canon of the cathedral of Rouen.
In their presence we required the said Jeanne to answer the simple and absolute
truth to the questions asked of her: to
which she replied: "As I did formerly, I am ready to swear." And she swore thus,
with her hands on the holy gospels.
Whereupon, because she had said that St. Michael had wings, and yet had said
nothing of the body and members of St. Catherine and St. Margaret, she was
asked what she wished to say in this connection. To which she replied: "I have told
you what I know, and I will not answer you further." She said also that she had
seen St. Michael and the saints so clearly that she knew they were saints of
Asked if she saw anything of them besides the face, she answered: "I have told
you all that I know about that: and I would rather have you cut my throat than tell
you all I know." She said that she would willingly tell everything she knew
concerning the trial.
Asked if she believed that St. Michael and St. Gabriel have natural heads, she
answered: I saw them with my two eyes, and I believe it was they I saw as firmly
as I believe in the existence of God."
Asked if she believed that God created them in the form and fashion that she saw,
she answered: "Yes."
Asked if she believed that God from the beginning created them in that form and
fashion, she answered: "You will learn no more from me at present than I have
Asked if she had known by revelation whether she would escape, she answered:
"That is not in your case. Do you want me to speak against myself?"
Asked if the voices told her anything about it, she answered: "That is not in your
case. I refer me to the case. And if everything concerned you, I would tell you
She added that, by her faith, she does not know at what hour or day she will
Asked if the voices had told her anything about it in a general way, she answered:
"Yes, indeed, they told me that
shall be delivered, but I do not know the day or the hour, and that I must boldly
show a cheerful countenance before you."
Asked whether when the first time she came before the king he asked her if it was
by revelation that she had changed her dress, she answered: "I have answered this
before: nevertheless I do not recall whether I was asked. It is written down at
Asked whether the clerks of her own party who examined her, some for the space
of a month and others for three weeks, had not questioned her about the changing
of her dress, she answered: "I do not recall. But they asked me where I took to a
man's dress, and I told them it was at Vaucouleurs."
Asked if the aforesaid masters inquired whether it was through her voices that she
had assumed this dress, she answered: "I do not recall."
Asked if the queen did not inquire, at her first visit, about her taking to a man's
dress, she answered: "I do not remember."
Asked if her king or queen or other people of her party did not sometimes ask her
to put off her man's dress, she answered: "That is not in your case."
Asked whether she was not asked to at the castle of Beaurevoir, she answered:
"Yes, truly. And I answered I would not put it off without God's leave."
She said the Demoiselle of Luxembourg and the Lady of Beaurevoir offered her a
woman's dress, or the cloth to make one, and told her to wear it; and she replied
she had not God's permission, and it was not yet time.
Asked if Messire Jean de Pressy and others at Arras did not offer her a woman's
dress, she answered that he and many others had often asked her to wear it.
Asked whether she believed she would have done wrong or committed a mortal
sin by taking a woman's dress, she answered
answered she did better to obey and serve her sovereign Lord, namely God.
She said if she had had to do it she would rather have done so at the request of
these two ladies than of any other ladies in France, save her queen.
Asked whether, when God revealed to her that she should change to a man's
dress, it was by the voice of St. Michael, or by the voice of St. Catherine or St.
Margaret, she answered: "You will learn no more for the present."
Asked whether, when the king first set her to work and she had her standard
made, the men-at-arms and others had pennons made in the style of hers, she
answered: "It is well to know that the Lords kept their own arms." She added:
"Some of my companions in arms had them made at their pleasure; others did
Asked of what material they had them made, of linen or cloth, she answered: "It
was of white satin, and on some there were fleurs-de-lys." She had only two or
three lances in her company, but her companions-at-arms sometimes had
pennons made like hers, and did so merely to distinguish their men from others.
Asked if the pennons were often renewed, she answered: "I do not know. When
the lances were broken, new ones were made."
Asked whether she had sometimes said that the pennons made like hers brought
better fortune, she answered that she did sometimes say to her followers: "Go
boldly among the English," and she herself would go.
Asked if she told them to bear the pennons boldly, and they would have good
fortune, she answered she had indeed told them what had happened and what
would happen again.
Asked whether she herself threw or had others throw holy water on the pennons
when they were first taken, she answered
"I do not know anything about that. And if it was done, it was not at my
Asked if she ever saw holy water sprinkled on them, she answered: "That is not in
your case; and if I had seen it done I am not now advised to answer you."
Asked if her companions-at-arms did not have written on their pennons the names
Jhesus Maria, she answered: "By my faith, I do not know."
Asked if she herself had borne, or made others bear in procession about an altar or
church, cloth which was to be made into pennons, she answered no, nor had she
ever seen it done.
Asked what it was she wore at the back of her helmet when she was before the
town of Jargeau; and if it was something round, she answered: "By my faith, there
Asked if she ever knew brother Richard, she answered: "I had never seen him
when I came before Troyes."
Asked what manner of greeting he gave her, she answered that the people of
Troyes, she thought, sent him to her, saying that they were afraid she was not a
thing sent from God; and when he drew near her, he made the sign of the Cross
and sprinkled holy water, and she said to him: "Come boldly, I shall not fly away."
Asked if she had seen or had made any images or pictures of herself or in her
likeness, she answered that at Arras she saw a painting in the hands of a Scot; and
she was shown in full armor, presenting letters to her king, with one knee on the
ground. She said she had never seen or had made any other image or picture in
Asked whether at her host's in Orleans there was a painting of three women, with
these words Justice, Peace, Union, she answered that she knew nothing of that.
Asked whether she knew that certain of her party had service, Mass and prayers
offered in her honor, she answered
that she knew nothing of it; and if any service was held, it was not at her
instruction; but if they prayed for her, she felt they had not done ill.
Asked whether her own party firmly believed her to be sent from God, she
answered: "I do not know whether they do, and I refer you to their own opinion;
but if they do not, nevertheless I am sent from God." Asked whether she believed
that by deeming her to be sent from God they believed rightly, she answered: "If
they believe I am sent from God they are not deceived."
Asked if she did not know the feeling of members of her party when they kissed
her feet and her hands and her garments, she answered that many came to see
her gladly, but they kissed her hands as little as she could help; but the poor folk
gladly came to her, for she did them no unkindness, but helped them as much as
Asked what honor the people of Troyes did her when she entered the town, she
answered they did her none. She added that she thought brother Richard entered
Troyes with her, but she does not remember seeing him enter.
Asked if he preached a sermon when she arrived, she replied that she. scarcely
stopped there, and did not sleep at all; and as for the sermon, she knew nothing of
Asked whether she spent many days at Reims, she answered: "I think we were
there four or five days."
Asked whether she acted as godmother to a child there, she answered that at
Troyes she did, to one child; but at Reims she does not recall so doing, nor at
Château-Thierry; and at Saint-Denis she was twice godmother. And she gladly
gave to the boys the name of Charles, in honor of her king, and to the girls
Jeanne; at times she named them as the parents wished.
Asked whether the good wives of the town did not touch
her ring with their own, she answered that "many women touched my hands and
my rings; but I do not know with what thought or intention."
Asked who it was of her company who caught butterflies in her standard before
Château-Thierry, she answered that her party had never done that; but the other
side invented it.
Asked what she did at Reims with the gloves with which her king was consecrated,
she answered that a present of gloves was made to the knights and nobles
present; and there was one who lost his gloves; but she did not say she would find
them. She added that her standard was in the church at Reims; and she thought
that it was fairly near the altar, during the consecration of her king, and she herself
bore it for a short time. She does not know whether brother Richard bore it.
Asked whether, when she was going through the country, she often received the
sacraments of the Eucharist and of Confession when she was in the good towns,
she answered yes, from time to time. Asked whether she received the said
sacraments in man's dress, she answered yes, but she does not remember
receiving them when she was in armor.
Asked why she took the Bishop of Senlis's hackney, she answered that it was
bought for two hundred saluts. Whether he received them or not, she does not
know; but there was an arrangement and he was paid. She also wrote to him that
he could have the horse back if he wished, she herself did not want it, for it was no
good for carrying a load.
Asked how old the child was whom she restored to life at Lagny, she replied that it
was three days old, and was brought to Lagny before the image of Our Lady; she
was informed that the maidens of the town were also before the image, and she
might wish to pray God and the Blessed Virgin to give life to the babe. And then she
went and prayed
with the other maidens, and at last life appeared in the child, which yawned thrice,
and was afterwards baptized: and immediately it died and was buried in
consecrated ground. Three days had passed, they said, with no sign of life in the
child, which was as black as her coat. But when it yawned, the color began to
return. And Jeanne was with the maidens, praying on bended knees, before Our
Asked whether it was said in the town that she had brought about the
resuscitation, and that it was due to her prayers, she answered that she did not
inquire about it.
Asked whether she knew or had seen Catherine de La Rochelle, she answered yes,
at Jargeau and Montfaucon in Berry.
Asked whether Catherine showed her a woman robed in white who she said
appeared to her, she answered no.
Asked what Catherine said to her, she answered that Catherine told her that a
certain white lady came to her, arrayed in cloth of gold, telling her to go through
the good towns with heralds and trumpets which the king would give her, to
proclaim that whosoever possessed gold, silver, or hidden treasure should
immediately bring it forth; and that she would immediately know those who having
any hidden did not bring it forth, and would be easily able to find it; and it should go
to the paying of Jeanne's men-at-arms. At which Jeanne replied to Catherine that
she should go back to her husband, and look after her household (in French "son
mesnage") and care for her children. And to be certain about Catherine, Jeanne
spoke of her to St. Catherine or St. Margaret, who said it was mere folly and
amounted to nothing. She wrote telling her king what he should do, and when she
came to him she said that this question of Catherine was folly and nothing more.
Nevertheless brother Richard wanted to set her to work,
so both brother Richard and Catherine were ill-pleased with Jeanne.
Asked if she spoke to Catherine of going to La Charité-sur-Loire, she answered
that the said Catherine did not advise her to go, and it was too cold, and she would
not go. She told Catherine, who wished to go to the Duke of Burgundy and make
peace, that it seemed to her that peace would not be found, except at the lance's
point. She added that she asked this Catherine if the white lady came to her every
night, saying she would, to see her, sleep in the same bed with Catherine. And she
slept with her, and watched till midnight, saw nothing, and went to sleep. And when
the morning came and she asked Catherine whether the white lady had come to
her, she replied that she had, whilst Jeanne was sleeping, but Catherine had not
been able to awaken her. Then Jeanne asked if the lady would come the following
night, and Catherine answered yes; so Jeanne slept by day, so that she might stay
awake the whole of the succeeding night. And that night she went to bed with
Catherine, and watched all night; but saw nothing, although she often asked
Catherine whether the lady would come, and Catherine answered: "Yes,
Then Jeanne was asked what she did in the trenches of La Charité, and she
answered that she had an assault made, but she neither threw nor sprinkled holy
Asked why she did not enter the aforesaid town of La Charité since she had been
commanded so by God, she answered: "Who told you I was commanded to
Asked if she had not counsel of her voice, she answered that she wanted to come
to France. but the soldiers told her it was better to go first before La Charité
Asked if she was long in the tower of Beaurevoir, she answered that she was there
about four months. She said that when she learned the English were to come and
take her. she
was very angry; and though her voices forbade her to jump from the tower, at
last, from fear of the English, she leaped and commended herself to God and Our
Lady, and in leaping was wounded. And when she had made this leap the voice of
St. Catherine told her to be of good cheer [that she would recover] and the people
at Compiègne would have aid. She said she always prayed with her counsel for
them of Compiègne.
Asked what she said when she had leaped, she answered that some said she was
dead; and as soon as the Burgundians saw she was alive, they told her she had
tried to escape.
Asked whether she said she would rather die than fall into the hands of the English,
she answered she would rather surrender her soul to God than fall into their hands.
Asked whether she was then much vexed, and whether she did not blaspheme the
name of God, she answered that she never blasphemed the saints, and it was not
her custom to swear.
Asked about Soissons, and the captain who had surrendered the town, and
whether she denied God (and said) that she would have the captain drawn and
quartered if she got him, she answered that she never denied the saints, and those
who said or reported that she had, were mistaken.
When all these things were done, Jeanne was taken back to the place which had
been assigned as her prison. Then we, the said Bishop, declared that, continuing
the trial without interruption whatever, we should call certain doctors and men
learned in canon and civil law who would gather from the confessions of the said
Jeanne whatever might be gathered, since her answers have been set down in
writing; and after having seen them and gathered, if there remained any points
upon which it appeared that the said Jeanne should be examined at greater length,
she should be interrogated by deputies
appointed by us, without disturbing the whole number of the assessors; and
everything should be set down in writing so that wherever fitting the said doctors
and authorities might deliberate and furnish their opinion and advice. We then
instructed them to study and inspect, in their homes, the trial and that part of the
proceedings they had already heard, to discover what should in their opinion follow,
and to submit either to us or to our deputies or to reserve their conclusions, in
order to present them after more ample and mature deliberations at a fitting time
and place. We finally forbade each and every assessor to leave the city of Rouen
without our permission before the termination of the trial.
End of the First Part of the Public Sessions. Sunday, March 4th (-9th)
The Sunday next following, the fourth day of the month of March, and the
immediate succeeding days, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,
We, the said Bishop, assembled in our dwelling at Rouen many venerable doctors
and masters versed in divine and canon law, and we collected all that had been
confessed and answered by Jeanne in the inquiries, and also an extract of the
points whereon she had insufficiently answered, and whereon it appeared she
should be further examined. From the points so diligently collected and extracted,
at the advice and deliberation of these learned men, we concluded that we-must
proceed to a further examination of the said Jeanne. But since owing to our
numerous occupations we cannot always attend in person the necessary
examinations, we appointed the venerable and discreet person, Jean de La
Fontaine, master of arts and licentiate in canon law, before mentioned, to pursue
the legal inquiries in our stead; and we charged him to do this on
Friday, March 9th in the presence of the doctors and masters Jean Beaupère,
Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Thomas de Courcelles, Nicolas
Loiseleur, Guillaume Manchon above mentioned.
Saturday, March 10th First session in prison
The following Saturday, the tenth day of March, we repaired to the chamber in the
castle of Rouen which had been assigned as the prison of Jeanne, and there, with
the said master Jean de La Fontaine, our Commissary and Deputy, and the
venerable doctors of sacred theology, masters Nicolas Midi and Gérard Feuillet; in
the presence of the witnesses, Jean Secard, advocate, and of master Jean
Massieu, priest, we summoned Jeanne to swear and take oath to answer the truth
to what was asked of her. She replied, saying: "I promise to answer you truthfully
that which touches your case; and the more you constrain me to swear, the
longer I shall take to tell you."
Whereupon master Jean de La Fontaine, specially charged and deputed by us to
this end, interrogated the said Jeanne. And he asked her, by the oath she had
taken, whence she had come when she last went to Compiègne. She answered
that she had come from the town of Crespy-en-Valois.
Asked whether she spent several days at Compiègne. before she made any sally or
attack therefrom, she answered that she came there secretly in the morning; and
entered the town unknown, she thought, to the enemy; and the same day,
towards evening, she made the sally (in French "la saillie") in which she was taken.
Asked whether, when she attacked, the bells were rung, she replied that if they
were, it was not at her order or with her knowledge; she did not think so, or
remember saying they were rung. Asked whether she made the sally at the
instruction of her voice, she answered that in Easter week last, when she was in
the trenches at Melun, she was told by her voices, namely by St. Catherine and St.
Margaret, that she would be captured before St. John's Day; it had to be so; and
she should not be distressed, but take it in good part, and God would aid her.
Asked if since Melun she had been told by her voices that she would be taken, she
answered yes, several times, nearly every day. And she asked of her voices, that
when she was taken, she might die quickly without long suffering in prisons; and
the voices told her to be resigned to everything, that it must so happen; but they
did not tell her when. If she had known the hour, she would not have gone. She
had often asked them at what hour she would be taken, but they did not tell her.
Asked whether, if her voices had ordered her to make this attack from Compiègne,
and had signified that she would be captured, she would have gone, she answered
that if she had known when she was to be taken she would not have willingly
gone; nevertheless she would have done their bidding in the end, whatever it cost
Asked whether, when she made this attack from Compiègne, she had any voice or
revelation to go forth and make it, she answered that that day she did not know
she was to be captured, and she had no other order to go forth: but she had
always been told that she must be taken prisoner. Asked whether when she made
the sortie, she crossed over the bridge of Compiègne, she answered that she went
over the bridge and through the boulevard (in French 'boulovart') and
with those of her company she attacked the followers of lord Jean de Luxembourg,
and twice drove them as far as the camp of the Burgundians, and the third time to
the middle of the highway. Then the English who were there cut off the road from
her and her company; and she, retreating to the fields on the Picardy side near the
boulevard, was taken; and between the place where she was captured and
Compiègne there was nothing but the river and the boulevard with its ditch. Asked
whether the world was painted on the banner she carried, with two angels, etc.,
she answered yes, she had but one. Asked what this signified, to paint God holding
the world, and two angels, she answered that St. Catherine and St. Margaret told
her to take the banner, and bear it boldly, and to have painted thereon the King of
Heaven. She told her king this, much against her will, and she knew no more than
that of what it signified.
Asked whether she had a shield and arms, she answered that she never did; but
her king granted arms to her brothers, namely a shield azure, two fleurs-de-lys,
and a sword between; and in that town she described these arms to a painter
because he asked what arms she bore. She said the king gave them to her
brothers (to please them) without her request and without revelation.
Asked whether she had a horse when she was taken, either a charger or a
hackney, she answered that she was riding a horse then, a demi-charger (in French
"ung demi coursier").
Asked who had given her this horse, she answered her king, or his people from the
king's money, gave it to her; she had five chargers from the king's money, not
counting her hacks, which were more than seven.
Asked whether she had any other riches from her king,
besides these horses, she answered she asked nothing of her king except good
arms, good horses, and money to pay the people of her household.
Asked whether she had no treasure, she answered that the ten or twelve thousand
worth she had was not much to carry on a war with, very little indeed; and that,
she thought, her brothers have. She says that what she has is her king's own
Asked what sign she gave the king when she went to him, she replied it was fair
and honorable, and most credible, and good, and the richest in the world.
Asked why she would not tell and show the sign, since she herself wanted to have
the sign of Catherine de La Rochelle, she answered that she would not have asked
to know the sign of the said Catherine, if it had been as well shown before notable
ecclesiastics, and others, archbishops and bishops, as her sign was, namely before
the archbishop of Reims, and others whose names she knew not; there were
Charles de Bourbon, the Sire de la Trémouille, the Duke d'Alençon, and many other
knights who saw and heard it as distinctly as she saw those speaking and standing
before her there. Moreover she already knew through St. Catherine and St.
Margaret that the affairs of this Catherine were nothing.
Asked whether the sign still exists, she replied yes certainly, and it will last for a
thousand years and more. She said the sign is with the king's treasure.
Asked whether it was gold, silver, or precious stone, or a crown, she answered: "I
will not tell you, no man could describe a thing so rich as this sign; but the sign you
need is for God to deliver me out of your hands, the most certain sign He could
show you." Then she said that when she had to leave to see her king she was told
by her voices: "Go boldly:
when thou art before the king he shall have a good sign to receive and believe in
Asked what reverence she showed the sign when it came to her king, and whether
it came from God, she answered that she thanked Our Lord for her deliverance
from the trouble arising from the opposition of the clergy of her party; and she
knelt down many times. She said that an angel from God, and from none other but
Him, bore the sign to her king, and she thanked God many times for this. She said
the clergy ceased opposing her when they had recognized the sign.
Asked whether the clergy of her party saw the sign, she answered that when her
king and those of his company had seen it and also the angel that bore it, she
asked her king if he were content, and he replied yes. And then she left, and went
to a little chapel hard by, and heard that after her departure more than three
hundred people saw the sign. She added that for her sake and to stop men from
catechizing her, God willed that those of her party who were there should see the
Asked whether her king and she did reverence to the angel when he brought the
sign, she answered that she did, she knelt down and uncovered her head.
Monday, March 12th. The Vicar of the Lord Inquisitor is summoned according to
the tenor of his new commission
On the following Monday, March 12th, there appeared in our dwelling at Rouen the
religious and discreet brother Jean Le Maistre, of the order of Preaching brothers,
vicar of the lord Inquisitor of Heretical Error in the kingdom of France: there were
present also the venerable and discreet lords and masters Thomas Fiesvet,
Pasquier de Vaulx, doctors of decrees, Nicolas de Hubent, apostolic secretary, and
brother Ysambard de La Pierre, of the order of Preaching brothers.
We the said bishop reminded the said vicar that at the beginning of the proceedings
we had instituted in matters of faith against this woman commonly called The Maid,
we had required and summoned him to collaborate with us, and offered to
communicate to him all the instruments, testimonies and other things pertaining to
the matter and trial: but that he had raised certain difficulties which prevented his
collaboration in the trial, since he was appointed for the city and diocese of Rouen
alone, whereas the trial was being held before us, by reason of our jurisdiction of
Beauvais, in ceded territory. Therefore for the greater certainty of the undertaking
and with extreme precaution we, on the advice of learned men, had resolved to
write to the lord Inquisitor himself, urging
him to return to his city of Rouen or at least to appoint his deputy expressly to this
task, and entrust him with complete authority from the lord Inquisitor to undertake
and conclude the trial, as is set forth at greater length in the letters above. Now the
said lord Inquisitor, upon the receipt of our letters, in benign compliance with our
demand and for the honor and exaltation of the orthodox faith, especially
appointed and deputed the said brother Jean Le Maistre to conduct and conclude
the trial in his letters patent secured and confirmed by his seal, of which the tenor
follows. Therefore we summon and require the said brother Jean Le Maistre, in
accordance with the tenor of his commission, to join with us in this trial.
Whereupon the said brother answered that he would gladly peruse the commission
addressed to him, with the documents of the trial signed by the notaries, and the
other things we desired to communicate to him, and would give us, when he had
seen and considered them, a reply conforming to his duty on behalf of the holy
inquisition. But we told him that he had already been present during a great part of
the proceedings, and had heard most of the answers of the said Jeanne, that
however we were content and well pleased to communicate to him the process
and all that had occurred in the matter, for his perusal and examination.
Follows the tenor of the letters of appointment addressed by the Lord Inquisitor
and mentioned above
"To his dear son in Christ brother Jean Le Maistre of the order of Preaching
brothers, Jean Graverent of the same order, humble professor of sacred theology
and Inquisitor of Heretical Error by apostolic authority in the kingdom of France,
greeting in the author and consummator of our faith, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Since
the reverend father in Christ the lord bishop of Beauvais has written to us in
a certain woman of the name of Jeanne, commonly called 'The Maid, in his letters
patent beginning 'Pierre by divine mercy bishop of Beauvais to the venerable father
master Jean Graverent'; and since from lawful impediment we cannot now
conveniently journey to Rouen, we, being confident in your zeal and discretion in all
that concerns our office and the affairs of this woman up to and including the final
sentence, have especially appointed you and by the tenor of these present letters
do appoint you our vicar, hoping that to the praise of God and the exaltation of the
faith and the edification of the people, you will proceed therein with justice and
holiness. In witness whereof the seal of our office is affixed to these present
letters. Given at Coutances, March 4th in the year of our Lord 1431."
Signed: N. Ogier.
The same Monday, March 12th, in prison
This same Monday morning, we the aforesaid bishop repaired to the chamber
assigned as jail for the said Jeanne, where similarly were assembled at the same
time the venerable and discreet lords and masters Jean de La Fontaine, our
appointed commissary, Nicolas Midi and Gerard Feuillet, doctors of sacred
theology, and witnesses Thomas Fiesvet and Pasquier de Vaulx doctors of canon
law, and Nicolas de Hubent, apostolic secretary, aforementioned.
In their presence we required the said Jeanne to swear to answer truthfully what
should be asked her. She replied that "on what touches your case," as she had
formerly said, she would willingly speak the truth. And in this manner she took the
Then she was examined at our command by the said master Jean de La Fontaine:
and first whether the angel that brought
the sign to her king, as beforesaid, did not speak, she answered: "Yes, he told the
king to set me to work so that the country might be forthwith relieved."
Asked whether the angel that brought the sign to the king was the same that first
appeared to her, or whether it was another, she answered: "It is always the same
one, and he never fails me."
Asked whether the angel did not fail her in respect of the good things of fortune,
when she was taken, she answered that she thought that since it pleased God, it
was better for her to be taken prisoner.
Asked whether the angel did not fail her in respect of the good things of grace, she
answered: "How should he fail me, when he comforts me every day?" And she
believes, as she says, that this comfort is from St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
Asked whether she calls St. Catherine or St. Margaret or whether they come
without being called, she answered: "They often come without my calling," and
sometimes if they did not come, she would pray God to send them.
Asked whether she sometimes called them without their coming, she answered
that she had never needed them without having them.
Asked whether St. Denis sometimes appeared to her, she answered no, as far as
Asked whether she spoke to, Our Lord when she promised Him to keep her
virginity, she answered that it ought to be quite enough to promise it to those who
were sent from Him, namely St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
Asked what persuaded her to summon a man from the town of Toul for breach of
promise, she answered: "I did not have him summoned; it was he who summoned
me; and I swore before the judge to tell the truth." And moreover, she said, she
had made no promise to this man. She added that
the first time she heard her voice she vowed to keep her virginity as long as it
should please God; and she was then thirteen years old, or thereabouts. She said
her voices assured her that she would win her case at Toul.
Asked if she had not spoken to her priest or any other churchman of the visions
which she claimed to have she answered no, save to Robert de Baudricourt and to
her king. She added that her voices did not compel her to conceal them, but she
was afraid of revealing them, afraid that the Burgundians might hinder her journey;
and in particular she feared that her father would stop it.
Asked if she believed it was right to leave her father and mother without
permission, when she should honor her father and mother, she answered that in all
other things she was obedient to them, except in this journey; but afterwards she
wrote to them, and they forgave her.
Asked whether she thought she had committed a sin when she left her father and
mother, she answered that since God commanded, it was right to do so. She
added that since God commanded, if she had had a hundred parents, or had been
the king's daughter, she would have gone nevertheless.
Asked whether she asked her voices if she should tell her father and mother of her
going, she answered that as for her father and mother, the voices were well
pleased that she should tell them, but for the difficulty they would have raised if she
had done so; and as for herself, she would not have told them for anything. She
said the voices left it to her to tell her father and mother, or be silent.
Asked whether she did reverence to St. Michael and the angels, when she saw
them, she answered that she did, and kissed the ground where they had stood
after they had gone.
Asked whether the said angels were long with her, she answered that they often
came among the Christian folk and
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were not seen, and she often saw them amongst the Christian folk.
Asked whether she had had letters from St. Michael or from her voices, she
answered: "I have not leave to tell you: within a week from now I will gladly tell
you what I know."
Asked if her voices did not call her daughter of God, daughter of the Church,
daughter great-hearted, she answered that before the raising of the siege of
Orleans, and every day since, when they have spoken to her they have often called
her Jeanne the Maid, daughter of God.
Asked why, since she calls herself, daughter of God, she will not willingly say the
Paternoster, she answered that she would willingly do so, and that on other
occasions when she refused, it was with the intention that we the aforesaid bishop
should hear her in confession.
The afternoon of the same Monday, in prison
This same day, Monday, in the afternoon, there were present in the place of the
prison of Jeanne the aforementioned lords and masters, Jean de La Fontaine, our
commissary, Nicolas Midi and Gerard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology; Thomas
Fiesvet and Pasquier de Vaulx, doctors of canon law, and Nicolas de Hubent,
The said Jeanne was examined at our order by the said de La Fontaine, and firstly
concerning the dreams she declared her father had had before she left his house.
To which she replied that whilst she was still with her father and mother she was
often told by her mother that her father spoke of having dreamed that Jeanne his
daughter would go off with men-at-arms; and her father and mother took great
care to keep her safely, and held her in great subjection: and she was obedient to
them in all things except in the incident at Toul,
the action for marriage. She said she had heard her mother tell how her father said
to her brothers: "In truth, if I thought this thing would happen which I have
dreamed about my daughter, I should want you to drown her; and if you would
not, I would drown her myself." And her father and mother almost lost their senses
when she left to go to Vaucouleurs.
Asked whether these thoughts and dreams came to her father after she had her
visions, she answered yes, more than two years after she first heard the voices.
Asked whether it was at the request of Robert de Baudricourt that she first took to
a man's dress, she answered that it was of her own accord, and not at the request
of any man alive.
Asked whether the voice ordered her to wear a man's costume, she answered:
"Everything I have done I have done at the instruction of my voices; and as to the
dress, I will answer that another time; at present I am not advised, but to-morrow
I will answer."
Asked whether she thought she was doing wrong in taking to male attire, she
answered no; and even at this moment, if she were back with her own party it
seems to her that it would be to the great good of France for her to do as she did
before her capture.'
Asked how she would have delivered the Duke of Orleans, she answered that she
would have taken enough English prisoners to ransom him; and if she had not
taken enough on this side, she would have crossed the sea and fetched him from
England, by force.
Asked whether St. Margaret and St. Catherine had told her absolutely and
unconditionally that she would take enough prisoners to ransom the Duke of
Orleans, who was in England, or that she should cross the sea to fetch him [and
within three years bring him back], she answered yes: and she told the king to let
her have her way with the English lords who
were their prisoners. She adds that if she had gone on without hindrance for three
years she would have delivered the Duke. She says that to do this three years
were more than were necessary, and one was too little; but she does not
remember it now.
Asked what the sign was which she gave her king, she answered she would take
counsel from St. Catherine concerning it.
Tuesday, March 13th
The following Tuesday, the thirteenth day of March, we assembled at the same
hour in the prison with the venerable and discreet brother Jean Le Maistre, and
other venerable and discreet lords and masters above named: Jean de La
Fontaine, Nicolas Midi, and Gerard Feuillet, and in the presence of Nicolas de Hubent
and of Ysambard de La Pierre, of the order of Preaching brothers. The said brother
Jean Le Maistre, seeing the letters addressed to him by the lord Inquisitor, together
with the other circumstances of the matter needing consideration, joined himself
with the trial, ready to proceed with us according to law and reason to a further
decision of the case. Of this we charitably informed Jeanne, exhorting her and
warning her for the salvation of her soul to speak the truth in the trial on
everything she was asked. And then the said deputy of the lord Inquisitor, wishing
to proceed further in the case, as Promoter of the Holy Inquisition, appointed
master Jean d'Estivet, canon of the churches of Bayeux and Beauvais; as keepers
of the prison the noble John Grey, Squire of the Body Guard of our lord the king,
and John Berwoit; as executor of his citations and convocations, master Jean
Massieu, priest; the aforementioned we earlier deputed and charged to their
several offices, as is shown more fully in the letters confirmed with our seals of
which the tenor is given above, and in the
letters of the said vicar which are described below. And the said officers took oath
before the said vicar to fill their offices faithfully.
Follows the tenor of the letters from the Lord Vicar appointing the Promoter
"To all those who shall see these present letters, brother Jean Le Maistre, of the
order of Preaching brothers, vicar general of the reverend father, lord and master
Jean Graverent of the same order, distinguished professor of sacred theology and
Inquisitor of Heretical Error in the kingdom of France, and especially delegated by
apostolic authority, greeting in the author and consummator of our faith, Our Lord
Jesus Christ. Whereas the reverend father in Christ Pierre, by divine mercy lord
bishop of Beauvais, ordinary judge in this matter and possessor of territory in this
town and in the diocese of Rouen, had by his letters patent invited the said
reverend father and lord Inquisitor and had summoned and required him in the
name of the faith to appear in this city of Rouen if conveniently he could or to
please to appoint in his stead us or another suitable person, to conduct, with the
reverend father my lord bishop of Beauvais, the trial in matters of faith of this
woman commonly known as The Maid, called by the said bishop and in his hands.
And the said reverend father and lord Inquisitor, unable by any means to appear in
the town of Rouen, by letters confided to us his powers in this matter, as with
other things is shown in his letters also containing the summons and requisition of
the said lord bishop, and our commission; and these letters of commission dated
the 14th day of March in the year 1430, are signed with the seal of the lord
Inquisitor and the sign manual of the venerable master Nicolas Ogier, priest and
notary public. Therefore we, seeking
and desiring humbly to fulfill with all our strength the commission of the said
Inquisitor to the glory of God and the exaltation of the orthodox faith, as we are
beholden to do, with all our power, having taken the counsel and advice of the lord
bishop and of many other learned men, versed in sacred theology and canon and
civil law, we declare that for the accomplishment of this matter it is needful to
constitute and appoint on behalf of the Holy Inquisition a promoter, notaries, and
an executor of our ordinances, men both kind and eminent. Therefore according to
the authority we enjoy in this matter both apostolic and that issuing from the said
reverend father the lord Inquisitor, having full confidence in Our Lord and being duly
informed of the integrity, zeal, adequacy and capacity of the venerable and discreet
person master Jean d'Estivet, priest, canon of the churches of Bayeux and
Beauvais, we have made, constituted, named, ordained and charged and we do
make, constitute, name, ordain and charge the said master Jean our Promoter or
Procurator general, to conduct this case and matter generally and particularly; and
we convey to the said Promoter and our Procurator general, by the tenor of these
present, license, faculty, and authority to sit and to appear in court and
extrajudicially against the said Jeanne; to give, send, administer, produce and
exhibit articles, examinations, testimonies, letters, instruments, and all other forms
of proof, to accuse and denounce this Jeanne, to cause and require her to be
examined and interrogated, to bring the case to an end, and to promote, procure,
conduct, and exercise, all and every act known to be proper to the office of
Promoter or Procurator, according to law and custom. Therefore, to whom it may
concern, we require obedience, submission, goodwill, towards the said Jean in the
exercise of his office, and counsel, help, and aid. In witness of which we have
ordered our seal to
be affixed to these present letters. Given and signed at Rouen in the year of Our
Lord 1431, Tuesday, March 13th."
Signed: Boisguillaume. Manchon.
Here follows the tenor of the letter by which the said Vicar of the Inquisitor
constituted Jean Massieu, priest, executor of the convocations and summons
necessary in this case
"To all those who shall see these present letters, brother Jean Le Maistre, of the
order of Preaching brothers, etc., we, having full confidence in Our Lord and being
duly informed of the integrity, zeal, competence, and capacity of master Jean
Massieu, priest, dean of the Christendom of Rouen, appointed and constituted in
this trial executor of the commands and convocations of the said lord bishop, we
have appointed, retained and ordained him executor of the commands and
convocations emanating from us herein; and we bestow and have bestowed on
him by these present letters all authority thereto. In testimony of which we have
had our seal affixed to these present letters. Given and signed at Rouen in the year
of Our Lord 1431, Tuesday the 13th day of March."
So signed: Boisguillaume. Manchon.
And when this was done as is indicated above, we the said bishop and brother Jean
Le Maistre, vicar of the Inquisitor, thereupon proceeded together to examine and
have examined the said Jeanne, in the manner earlier begun.
And first at our command Jeanne was examined upon the sign she gave her king,
to which she replied: "Would you be content if I perjured myself ?"
Asked whether she had sworn and promised St. Catherine not to tell this sign, she
answered: "I have sworn and promised not to tell this sign, of my own accord,
because I was too much pressed to tell it " And then she promised to herself not
to speak of it further to any man. She says that the sign was that an angel assured
her king by bringing him the crown and saying he should possess the whole and
entire kingdom of France, by the help of god and the labors of the said Jeanne; and
he was to put Jeanne to work, that is to say, to give her men-at-arms, else he
would not be so soon crowned and consecrated.
Asked whether she had since yesterday spoken with St. Catherine, she answered
she had heard her since then, and notwithstanding was told many times to answer
the Judges boldly what they should ask her touching the case.
Asked how the angel brought the crown, and whether he placed it on the king's
head, she answered that it was given to an archbishop, namely the archbishop of
Reims, so it seemed to her, in the presence of her king: and the said archbishop
received it and gave it to her king; and Jeanne herself was present. And the said
crown was put in the king's treasure.
Asked about the place where the crown was brought, she answered that it was in
the king's chamber in the castle of Chinon. Asked on what day and at what hour,
she answered that of the day she knew nothing, and of the hour, it was late;
beyond that she could not recall the hour. And it was in the month of April or
March, she thought. She said that in the present month of March or next April it will
be two years ago, and it was after Easter.
Asked whether the first day she saw the sign her king also saw it, she answered
yes, and he himself received it.
Asked what the crown was made of, she answered it was good to know it was of
pure gold; and the crown was so rich and precious that she did not know how to
count or appreciate
its riches; and it signified that her king would gain the kingdom of France.
Asked whether there were precious stones in it, she answered: "I have told you
what I know of it."
Asked whether she had held or kissed the crown, she answered no.
Asked whether the angel who had brought this crown had come from on high, or
from the earth, she answered: "He came from on high," and she understood that
he came by Our Lord's command: and he entered the room by the door.
Asked whether the angel who brought the crown came from earth, she answered
that when the angel came before the king, he did the king reverence by bowing
before him and pronouncing the words of the sign that Jeanne said above. And
with this the angel recalled to the king the sweet patience he had shown in the
many great tribulations which had befallen him. And from the door the angel
stepped and walked upon the ground and moved towards her king.
Asked what space there was between the door and the place where her king then
was, she answered that as far as she knew, there was the space of a good lance-length; and the said angel went out by the way he had come. She said that when
the angel came she accompanied him and went with him by the stairs to the king's
chamber; and the angel went in first, and then she herself; and Jeanne said to her
king: "Sire, here is your sign; take it."
Asked in what place the angel appeared to her, she answered: "I was nearly
always praying that God would send the king's sign, and I was in my lodging, in the
house of a good woman, near the castle of Chinon, when the angel came; and
afterwards we went together to the king; and the angel was well accompanied by
other angels whom no one saw." And she added that had it not been for love of
her and to release her
from the distress of them that opposed her, she thought that many who saw the
angel would not have seen him.
Asked whether all who were there with the king, saw the angel, she answered that
she thought the archbishop of Reims, the Lords d'Alençon, de la Trémouille, and
Charles de Bourbon saw him, and many churchmen and others saw the crown who
did not see the angel.
Asked of what appearance and size the said angel was, she answered she had not
leave to tell that, and she would answer on the morrow.
Asked if all the angels who were in the company of the angel were of the same
appearance, she answered that some of them were fairly like one another, and
some were not, as far as she could see; some had wings or were crowned, others
were not; and in their company were St. Catherine and St. Margaret who were
with the said angel and the other angels up to the very chamber of the king.
Asked how the angel left her, she answered that he left her in a little chapel; and
she was much vexed at his leaving; she wept and would gladly have gone with
him, that is, her soul would have gone.
Asked whether at the angel's departure she remained happy [afraid or in great
terror], she answered that he did not leave her in fear, or trembling; but she was
vexed at his leaving.
Asked whether it was for any merit of hers that God sent her His angel, she
answered that he came for a great purpose, in hope that the king would believe
the sign, and men would cease opposing her, and to help the good people of
Orleans; and he came also for the merits of her king and the good Duke of
Orleans. Asked why he had come to her rather than to another, she answered that
it pleased God so to do by a simple maid, to drive back the king's enemies.
Asked whether she had been told whence the angel had taken the crown, she
answered that it was brought from God and no goldsmith on earth could have
made one so rich and fair; but as for where the angel had taken it from, she
referred herself to God, and knew nothing concerning it beyond that
Asked if the crown had a good odor, and whether it glittered, she answered that
she did not remember, and would think it over. Afterwards she said that it was of
good odor and would always be so, as long as it was well and duly guarded and it
was in the form of a crown.
Asked whether the angel had written her letters, she an answered no.
Asked what sign the king had, and the people who were with him and her, to
persuade them it was an angel who brought the crown, she answered that the king
believed it by the teaching of the clergy who were there, and by the sign of the
Asked how the clergy knew that it was an angel, she answered that they knew it
by their learning and because they were clerks.
Asked about a married priest and a lost cup which she was said to have pointed
out, she answered that of all this she knew nought, nor had ever heard talk of it.
Asked whether when she went before Paris she had a revelation from her voices
bidding her to go there, she answered no, but she went at the request of nobles
who wanted to make an attack, in French "une escarmouche", or an assault-at-arms; and she intended to go beyond and cross the trenches of the town of Paris.
Asked whether she had any revelation concerning her going before the town of La
Charité, she answered no, she went at the request of the soldiers, as she
Asked whether she had any revelation concerning her going
Pont l'Evêque, she answered that after it had been revealed her at the trenches of
Melun that she would be captured, she usually deferred to the captains upon the
questions of war; yet she did not tell them it had been revealed that she would be
Asked whether it was right to attack the town of Paris on the day of the Festival of
the Blessed Mary, she answered that was good to observe the Festival of the
Blessed Mary; and it seemed to her in her conscience good to keep the Festival of
Our Lady from beginning to end.
Asked whether she had not said before the town of Paris: 'Surrender this town, in
Jesus' name!" she answered no, but she had said "Surrender it to the king of
Wednesday, March 14th. The Vicar of the Lord Inquisitor appoints a notary
The following Wednesday, the fourteenth day of the month of March, we, brother
Jean Le Maistre above named, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, having confidence in the
industry and integrity of the venerable and discreet person master Nicolas Taquel,
priest of the diocese of Rouen, notary public by imperial authority, and sworn
notary at the archiepiscopal court of Rouen, and having full confidence in Our
Saviour, we retained, elected and ordained the said Nicolas notary and secretary in
this trial, as is shown in more detail in our letters patent, sealed with our seal and
bearing the sign manual of our notary public, of which the tenor is transcribed
below. And the next day in the prison of the said Jeanne, where we had assembled
and where we required him faithfully to exercise his office, the said master Nicolas
took oath before us in the presence of master Jean de La Fontaine, of Nicolas Midi,
of Gerard Feuillet, and of many others.
Follows the tenor of the letters appointing the said notary
"To all those who shall see these present letters, brother Jean Le Maistre of the
order of Preaching brothers, having full confidence in God and the integrity, zeal,
competence and aptitude of the discreet person master Nicolas Taquel, priest of
the diocese of Rouen, we have retained, elected and ordained the said master
Nicolas, sworn notary of ourselves and the lord Inquisitor, and by these present
letters we retain, elect and ordain him our secretary and notary, giving him license,
faculty and authority to visit the said Jeanne and all other places where she shall
be, to question, or hear her questioned, to swear in any witness produced, to
examine the confessions and statements of the said Jeanne and other witnesses,
to set down in writing, for our benefit, the verbal opinions of the doctors and
masters; to put in writing each and every one of the occurrences of the trial, and
to draw up in due form the entire proceedings, performing everything pertaining to
the office of notary, whenever and wherever possible. In witness whereof we have
affixed our seal to these present letters. Given at Rouen March 14th in the year of
Our Lord, 1431,"
Signed: Boisguillaume. G. Manchon.
The same day in the prison
The same day in the presence of master Jean de La Fontaine, commissary
appointed by us the aforenamed bishop and by brother Jean Le Maistre aforesaid,
in the prison of the said Jeanne in the castle of Rouen; and in the presence of the
assessors, venerable and discreet lords and masters Nicolas Midi and Gérard
Feuillet, doctors of theology; and also of Nicolas de Hubent, apostolic notary, and
of brother Ysambard de La Pierre, witnesses, Jeanne was examined.
And first why she jumped from the tower at Beaurevoir.
She answered that she had heard that the people of Compiègne all of them to the
age of seven years, were to be put to fire and to the sword, and she would rather
die than live after such a destruction of good people. That was one reason why she
jumped: the other was that she knew she had been sold to the English, and she
would have died rather than fall into the hands of her enemies the English.
Asked whether the leap was made at the counsel of her voices, she answered that
St. Catherine told her almost every day not to jump, and God would help her, and
the people of Compiègne too. And Jeanne told St. Catherine that since God was
going to help the people of Compiègne she wanted to be there. And St. Catherine
said: "You must be resigned and not falter; you will not be delivered until you have
seen the King of the English." Jeanne answered: "Truly I do not want to see him,
and I would rather die than fall into the hands of the English."
Asked whether she said to St. Catherine and St. Margaret these words: "Will God
let the good people of Compiègne die so wretchedly?" she answered that she did
not say so wretchedly, but "How can God let these good people of Compiègne die
who have been and are so faithful to their Lord?" She said that after falling from
the tower, for two or three days she was without food, and so injured by the leap
that she could not eat or drink; yet she was comforted by St. Catherine who told
her to confess and ask God to forgive her for having jumped out, and the people
of Compiègne would have succor before St. Martin's Day in winter without fail.
Then she began to get well, and to eat, and soon afterwards recovered.
Asked whether when she leaped she expected to kill herself, she answered no, for
as she leaped she commended herself to God. And she hoped that by the leap she
would escape and not be delivered to the English.
Asked whether when she regained her speech she denied God and His Saints, since
this is stated in the evidence, she answered that she did not remember that she
had ever denied God and His saints, or blasphemed, there or elsewhere.
Asked whether she wished to abide by the evidence, she answered: "I leave it to
God and none other, and a good confession."
Asked if her voices wanted delay in which to answer, she said that St. Catherine
sometimes answered her but that she, Jeanne, failed to understand on account of
the noise of the prison and the tumult made by her guards. And when she makes a
request to St. Catherine, then she and St. Margaret take the request to God and
then by God's order they give answer to Jeanne.
Asked whether when the saints come to her there comes a light with them, and
whether she did not see the light when she heard the voice in the castle, and did
not know whether it was in her room: she answered that there is not a day when
they do not come to the castle, nor do they come without a light. And as to the
voice in question she does not remember whether she saw a light, or St. Catherine
either. She says that she asked three things of her voices: one was her
deliverance; the second was that God should aid the French and keep the towns
which were under their control; and the third was the salvation of her soul. She
asks that if she is taken to Paris she may have a copy of the questions and of her
replies, so that she may give them to the people at Paris and say to them "Thus
was I questioned at Rouen, and here are my replies," and may not be worried
again over so many questions.
And then since she had said that we the aforenamed bishop were exposing
ourselves to great peril, in French "en grant dangier", by bringing her to trial, she
was asked what that meant, and to what peril or danger we exposed ourselves,
we and the others. She answered that she had said to us the aforesaid bishop,
"You say that you are my judge; I do not know if you are; but take good heed not
to judge me ill, because you would put yourself in great peril. And I warn you so
that if God punish you for it I shall have done my duty in telling you."
Asked what that danger or peril was, she answered that St. Catherine told her she
would have aid, and she does not know whether this will be her deliverance from
prison, or if, whilst she is being tried, some tumult might come through which she
can be delivered. And she thinks it will be one or the other. And beyond this the
voices told her she will be delivered by a great victory; and then they said: "Take
everything peacefully: have no care for thy martyrdom; in the end thou shalt come
to the Kingdom of Paradise." And this her voices told her simply and absolutely,
that is, without faltering. And her martyrdom she called the pain and adversity
which she suffers in prison; and she knows not whether she shall yet suffer greater
adversity, but therein she commits herself to God.
Asked whether, since her voices had told her that in the end she should go to
Paradise, she has felt assured of her salvation, and of not being damned in hell, she
answered that she firmly believed what the voices told her, namely that she will be
saved, as firmly as if she were already there.
Asked whether after this revelation she believed that she could not commit mortal
sin, she answered: "I do not know; but in everything I commit myself to God." And
when she was told that this was an answer of great weight, she answered that she
held it for a great treasure.
The same Wednesday afternoon in the prison
The same Wednesday, in the afternoon, there appeared in the said place the
venerable and discreet persons the lords and
masters above named, Jean de La Fontaine, appointed by ourself and by Jean Le
Maistre, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, the assessors Nicolas Midi and Gérard Feuillet,
doctors in theology; and there were present also brother Ysambard de La Pierre
and Jean Manchon.
And the said Jeanne first answered, concerning the immediately preceding article
relative to the certainty she felt of her salvation, upon which she had been
examined in the morning, that she intended the reply in this way: provided she
kept her oath and promise to Our Lord, that is, to keep safe her virginity, of body
and of soul.
Asked whether she need confess, since she believed by the revelation of her voices
that she will be saved, she answers that she does not know of having committed
mortal sin, but if she were in mortal sin, she thinks St. Catherine and St. Margaret
would at once abandon her. And she believes, in answer to the preceding article,
that one cannot cleanse one's conscience too much.
Asked whether since she has been in this prison she has not denied or blasphemed
God, she answered no; but sometimes when she said in French, 'Bon gré Dieu or
'saint Jehan,' or 'Nostre Dame,' those who reported the words may have
Asked whether it was not mortal sin to take a man at ransom and to put him to
death, a prisoner, she answered that she had not done that.
And since mention was made to her of a certain Franquet d'Arras, who was put to
death at Lagny, she answered that she was consenting to his death if he had
deserved it, since he had confessed himself a murderer, a thief, and a traitor. She
said his trial lasted a fortnight; and he had for judges the Bailly de Senlis and a jury
of the people of Lagny. And she said she had asked to have Franquet exchanged
for a man from Paris, the
landlord of the Bear Inn; and when she heard of the death of the landlord and the
Bailly had told her she would be doing great wrong to justice by delivering this
Franquet, she said to the Bailly: "As the man I wanted is dead, do with this fellow
as justice demands."
Asked if she sent money, or had money sent, to him who had taken the said
Franquet, she answered that she is not Master of the Mint or Treasurer of France
that she should pay out money.
And, when she was reminded that she had attacked Paris on a Feast Day; that she
had had the horse of the lord Bishop of Senlis; that she had thrown herself from
the tower at Beaurevoir; that she wore a man's dress; that she was consenting to
the death of Franquet d'Arras; she was asked whether she did not believe she had
committed mortal sin; she answered firstly, concerning the attack on Paris, "I do
not think I am in mortal sin," and if she were, it is for God, and the priest in
confession, to know it.
And secondly, concerning the horse, she answered that she firmly believes she did
not therein commit mortal sin against God; for the horse was valued at 200 gold
saluts, of which he received the assignment; nevertheless the horse was sent back
to the Sire de la Trémouille to restore it to the Bishop of Senlis; nor was the said
horse of any use to her for riding. Moreover it was not she who took it from the
bishop. She added that for another thing she did not wish to keep it, since she
heard that the bishop was displeased that his horse had been taken, and besides
that, the horse was useless for men-at-arms. Finally and in conclusion Jeanne
knew not whether the bishop was paid the assignation made to him, nor whether
his horse was returned to him; she thought not.
And thirdly, concerning her fall from the tower at Beaurevoir, she answered: "I did
it not out of despair, but in hope of
saving my body and of going to the aid of many good people in need." And after
the leap she confessed herself and asked pardon of God. And this she received,
and she believes it was not good, but rather wrong, to make that leap. She knew
had been forgiven from a revelation of St. Catherine's at her confession, at whose
advice she confessed herself.
Asked whether she received any great penance, she answered that a large part of
her penance was the hurt she did herself in falling.
Asked whether she thought this wrong she did herself to mortal sin, she answered
that she knows nothing about the and refers herself to God.
And fourthly, concerning' the man's dress she wears, she answered: "Since I do it
by God's command and in His service I do not think I do wrong; and so soon as it
shall please God to command I will put it off."
Thursday, March 15th in prison
The morning of the Thursday next following, the fifteenth day of March, in the
prison of the said Jeanne, master Jean de La Fontaine, our appointed commissary,
Ourself, and brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the Inquisitor, presiding; with the
venerable Nicolas Midi and Gerard Feuillet, doctor of sacred theology, and in
presence of Nicolas de Hubent, apostolic notary, and brother Ysambard de La
The said Jeanne was charitably exhorted, admonished, and required to be willing to
refer to the decision of Our Holy Mother the Church, as she ought, in the event of
her having done anything contrary to our faith. She answered that her replies
should be seen and examined by the clergy, and then she should be told if there
were anything contrary to the Christian faith: she will be able to tell certainly what
it is, and then she will tell what she learned from her counsel. Moreover if there
were any evil against Christian faith advanced by Our Lord, she would not wish to
sustain it, and would be grieved to be in opposition.
Then the distinction between the Church Triumphant and the Church Militant was
declared to her, what the one was, and what the other, and she was required
therefrom to submit to the decision of the Church whatever she had said or done
whether good or evil. She replied: "I will not give you any further answer for the
Jeanne was required, upon the oath she had sworn, to tell how she expected to
escape from the castle of Beaulieu between two pieces of wood: she answered
she was never a prisoner in any place but she would gladly escape; and being in the
castle she would have shut up her keepers in the tower, had not the porter seen
and encountered her. She saw that it seemed that it did not please God to have
her escape on that occasion, and she must see the English king, as her voices had
told her, and as it is written above.
Asked if she had leave from God or from her voices to escape from prisons
whenever it pleased her, she answered: "I have often asked for it, but so far I have
not obtained it."
Asked whether she would go now, if she saw her opportunity, she answered that if
she saw the door open she would go; and it would be God's permission. And she
firmly believes that if she saw the door open, and her keepers and the other English
unable to resist, she would take it as her permission, and that God had sent her
aid; but without leave she would not go, unless she made a forcible attempt, in
French "une enterprise," to discover whether God was pleased, giving as reason
this proverb in the French tongue: "Aide toy, Dieu te aidera." And this she said so
that if she escaped none could say she did so without leave.
Asked, since she had wished to hear Mass, whether it did not seem to her more
fitting to be in female costume, and which she would prefer, to wear a woman's
dress and be at the Mass, or to keep to a man's dress and not hear Mass, she
answered: "Promise me that I may hear Mass if I wear a woman's dress, and I will
Then the examiner said to her: "I promise that you may hear Mass, if you are in a
woman's dress." She answered: "And what do you answer, if I have sworn and
promised to our king not to put off this dress? Yet I will tell you: have made
for me a long dress reaching down to the ground, without a train, and give it to me
to go to Mass; and then, on my return, I will put on once again the dress I have."
Asked once and for all, whether she would wear a woman's dress and go to hear
Mass, she answered: "I will have counsel on it, and then I will answer you."
Moreover, she urged us that for the honor of God and of Our Lady she be
permitted to hear Mass in this good town.
Whereupon she was told by the examiner that she should take a woman's dress,
simply and absolutely. She replied: "Give me a dress such as the daughters of your
burgesses wear, a long houppelande [and also a woman's hood] and I will wear it
to go and hear Mass." She added that as urgently as she could she besought us to
permit her to hear Mass in the dress she wore, without any change.
Asked if, on that which she had said and done, she will submit and commit herself
to the decision of the Church, she answered: "Everything I have said or done is in
the hand of God, and I commit myself to Him. And I certify to you that I would do
or say nothing against the Christian faith; and, if I had said or done anything, or if
anything were found on me which the clergy should declare to be against the
Christian faith established by Our Lord, I would not uphold it, but would cast it out."
Asked if she would submit herself therein to the ordinance of the Church, she
answered: "I will not now answer you more; but on Saturday next send me the
priest, if you do not wish to come, and I will answer him this with God's aid, and it
shall be set down in writing."
Asked whether when her voices came to her she bowed down to them altogether,
as to a saint, she answers yes; and if sometimes she had failed to do so, she had
afterwards asked forgiveness. Nor could she do them the reverence proper to
them, for she firmly believes them to be St. Catherine and St. Margaret. And she
said likewise concerning St. Michael.
Asked whether, since candles were commonly offered to the saints of Paradise,
she has not burnt candles or other things, in church or elsewhere, or had Masses
said, to the saints who visit her, she answered no, except at Mass, in the priest's
hand, and in honor of St. Catherine. She believes it to be one of them who appear
to her; nor has she lit as many candles to St. Catherine and St. Margaret as she
gladly would, firmly believing it is they who come to her.
Asked whether when she puts the candles before the image of St. Catherine she
does it in honor of her who appears to her, she answered: "I do it in honor of God,
of Our Lady, of St. Catherine who is in heaven, and I make no difference between
St. Catherine who is in heaven and her who appears to me."
Asked if she always did or accomplished what her voices bade her, she answered
that with all her might she accomplished the behest which Our Lord spoke through
her voices, as far as she could understand. And they bade her nothing without the
good pleasure of Our Lord.
Asked if in battle she had done anything without the permission of her voices, she
answered: "You have my answer to this. Read your book carefully, and you will
find it." Yet she said that at the request of men-at-arms she made an attack
before Paris and also before La Charité at her king's request. This was neither
against nor according to the command of her voices . Asked if ever she did
anything contrary to their command and will, she answered that she did what she
could and knew, to the best of her power. And as for her leap from the tower at
Beaurevoir, she did it against their bidding, she could not help herself; and when her
voices saw her need, and that
she could in no way hold herself back, they lent aid to her life and prevented her
from being killed. Moreover, whatever she did in her great ventures, they succored
her, and this is a sign that they are good spirits.
Asked if she had any other sign that they were good spirits, she answered: "St.
Michael certified it before they came to me."
Asked how she knew it was St. Michael, she answered: "By the angels' speech and
tongue." She firmly believes that they were angels.
Asked how she recognized that they were angels, she answered she believed it
very soon and had the desire to believe it. And she said further that St. Michael,
when he came to her, told her that St. Catherine and St. Margaret would come to
her, that she should follow their counsel, and that they were instructed to lead her
and advise her what she had to do; and that she should believe what they said, for
it was at Our Lord's Command.
Asked how she would tell if he were a good or bad spirit if the Enemy put himself in
the form and guise of an angel, she answered that she would certainly know
whether it was St. Michael or a counterfeit in his likeness.
At first she said she had grave doubts whether it was St. Michael; and the first time
she was afraid; and she saw him many times before she knew it was St. Michael.
Asked how she knew then rather than on the first occasion that it was St. Michael
who had appeared to her, she answered that the first time she was a young girl
and was afraid; since then St. Michael taught her and showed her so many things
that she firmly believed it was he.
Asked what doctrine he taught her, she answered that in all things he told her to be
a good child and God would help her; and, among other things, he told her she
should go to
the aid of the King of France. A great part of what the angel taught her is in this
book, and the angel told her of the pity that was in the Kingdom of France.
Asked about the height and stature of this angel, she said she will reply on
Saturday with the other matter, namely what shall please God.
Asked if she does not believe it to be a great sin to anger St. Catherine and St.
Margaret who appear to her, and to do contrary to their bidding, she answers yes,
but she knows how to atone for it; what angered them most of all [in her opinion]
was the leap at Beaurevoir; wherein she asked their forgiveness, and for other
offenses she had committed against them.
Asked if St. Catherine and St. Margaret would not take bodily vengeance for this
offense, she answered that she does not know, and has not asked them.
Asked why she formerly said, that for speaking truth one is sometimes hanged,
and if she knew of any crime or fault in her through which she might or ought to
die, were she to confess, she answered no.
Taken from The Trial of Jeanne D'Arc. Translated into English from the Original Latin and French
Documents by W.P. Barrett. French Translation into English by Coley Taylor and Ruth H. Kerr
(Gotham House, 1932). Courtesy of the Medieval Sourcebook.