The life of Joan of Arc
Though she was a peasant girl, through court testimony, we know a lot about Joan
including her earlier days. What we do not know is what she looked like except vague
descriptions from various sources. Before being won over, Robert de Baudricourt
remarked that she should be turned over to his men-at-arms. It is suggested that she was
manly looking and not attractive which saved her from the troubles of Baudricourt‟s men.
France before Joan’s Birth
From William the Conqueror, the English Kings had always claimed
sovereignty over the greater part of France. Normandy was part of England through
William. Anjou was obtained when William‟s granddaughter married Geoffrey of
Anjou. Maine and Touraine were also part of the deal. Matilda’s son, Henry II,
obtained Gascony, the Limousin, Poitou, the Angoummois along with Aquitaine when he
married Eleanor (of Aquitaine.)
France was embroiled in the Hundred Years‟ War with England. It began in
1337, when the kings of England attempted to unite the two countries under one
The Treaty of Troyes (May 1420)
It was agreed that Henry V of England should:
1. Take the title of regent and heir of France
2. Marry Catherine, daughter of Charles VI (the Foolish) and succeed to the
throne of France- thus uniting France and England.
3. No consideration should be given to Charles “the dauphin”, son of
Charles VI. No treaty of peace was to be concluded with him, without the
consent of “us three” (the kings of England, France and the Duke of
Charles VII was declared a bastard
Henry V and Catherine of France married in June of 1420. Henry V died two
years later (August 1422) and Charles VI died in October of 1422. Both left sons who
were quite incapable of ruling due to the Treaty of Troyes. Henry VI was 9-months old,
Charles VII was 19 years old. Charles was also known as Charles of Valois which was
his family name.
Charles VII’s mother was Isabeau de Baviere. His father in question was
Charles VI. According to a clause in the Treaty of Troyes, Isabeau implied that Charles
“the dauphin” was not the King‟s child. The scandal was that Charles VII‟s real father
was Louis, Duke of Orleans (Charles VI‟s brother.)
Treaty of Troyes takes effect (1422)
Upon the deaths of Henry V and Charles VI, the treaty was in full effect. Henry
VI, 9 months old, was recognized as King of France and England with his uncle, Duke of
Bedford as regent. France divided itself into two different groups. The Burgundians
were allies of the France. Their name came from the territory Burgundy who were loyal
to the English king. Those opposed to the new English king were the Armagnacs. They
got their name from Bernard d’Armagnac who had assumed the leadership of the old
France on behalf of the three young sons of the murdered Duke of Orleans.
In 1407, the Duke of Orleans was assassinated by John, Duke of Burgundy.
This is Louis of Orleans, Charles VI‟s brother who was rumored to have had an affair
with Isabeau. The Burgundians united with the English and the bitter rivalry intensified
between the Burgundians and the Armanacs. John, Duke of Burgundy (John the
Fearless) was then murdered in 1419 at Montereau where he had gone to a meeting with
Charles the Dauphin.
The Burgundians claim Charles was guilty of the murder. The new Duke of
Burgundy, Philip the Good, pledged to never allow his father‟s murderer
assume the crown of France.
Philip the Good gained the support of Isabeau de Baviere resulting in the
Treaty of Troyes.
John of Lancaster
Duke of Bedford and son of Henry IV. His mother was Mary Bohun and King Henry V
was his brother. He was the uncle and godfather of the 9 month old Henry VI. He was
the regent of France at the time of Joan. He had been requested to offer the position to
the Duke of Burgundy- who declined it. He attended the funeral of Charles VI and then
entered power as the leader of France.
April 1423- He made an alliance with Philip the Good (Duke of Burgundy) and
the Duke of Brittany.
John on Lancaster would marry Philip the Good‟s younger sister Anne.
He would refer to Joan as “that limb of the Fiend.”
Joan in Domremy
According to Jeanne‟s statement, Domremy counted only one avowed Burgundian in the
whole of its population, whose head she would gladly have seen cut off, if that had been
God‟s pleasure. She was always called Jeanette at home, and never Jeanne until she left
Her other siblings were Jacquemin and Jean (her two older brothers), Catherine
(who probably died young) and Pierre.
She was born on January 6th, during the Feast of Epiphany. Perceval de
Boulanivilliers, writing to the Duke of Milan, stated: “It was during the night of
the Epiphany that she first saw the light in this mortal life, and, wonderful to
relate, the poor inhabitants of the place were seized with an inconceivable joy.
Still uninformed of the birth of the Maid, they ran one to the other, enquiring what
new thing had happened. For some, it was a cause of fresh rejoicing. What can
one add? The cocks, as heralds of the happy news, crowed in a way that had
never been heard before, beating their bodies with their wings; continuing for two
hours to prophesy this new event.”
Joan believed that the priest that baptized her was Jean Minet.
Jacques d’Arc (also known as Jacquot)
Born at Ceffonds in Champagne in 1375, he married Isabelle Romee of Vouthon. Both
Ceffonds and Vouthon lay within 5 miles of Domremey. Jacques pronounced his last
name a D‟Ay with the “a” short.
Considered a peasant farmer with certain official responsibilities. He was the
“adjucataire” of the local chateau (1419) and sergeant of Domremy (1423)
ranking below the mayor and sheriff.
o He also collected the taxes for the town.
In 1427, he was a delegate for his neighbors in a dispute conducted before the
governor of Vaucouleurs (Robert de Baudricourt).
He was considered pious and a decent man, respected in the community..
When Jacques d‟Arc went to Reims for Charles VII‟s coronation, having received
a present of money from the king, he remained 2 full months at the “Ane Raye
inn.” Was he having too much fun too go directly home?
He could be threatening , saying that, in given circumstances, he would drown is
daughter himself, if her brothers refused to do so.
Is it possible that he had dreams of her going off with armed men instead of
making the comfortable marriage he was arranging for her?
Known by some as “Zabillet.” Of her and her husband, locals testified, “They were good
and faithful Catholics; good working-people of good repute, leading an honest life
according to their condition. (Testimony of Jean Morel)
She is said to have received her surname of Romee from having made a
pilgrimage to Rome- though this can‟t be confirmed.
According to testimony from Geradin d‟Epinal, “She taught Jeanne to be a good
housewife and to take pride in the crafts considered suitable to her sex.”
Their house was modest, if not poor. Her village was far from the major battles
between the English Burgundians and the Armagnac French. Domremy would
see an occasional raid and brawls between the boys of the neighboring villages.
Joan and the Bois Chenu
Visible from Joan‟s house, laid the Bois Chenu (“wood of oak trees”) which was
regarded as a place to avoid. It purportedly was the home of wild boars and wolves, but
more importantly in Joan‟s case, was believed to have fairies.
Joan later denied that she had heard of the legend but added that when she arrived
at Chinon, people asked her of the legend.
There was a legend that a young girl would come from that area who would work
wonders. Joan‟s comment was, “I never gave it any credence.” She would also
comment, “I hold all that to be sorcery.”
During the trial, the judges asked her about a magical tree called the “Arbre des
Dames” (the Fairies Tree). It was also known as “le Beau May.” It was a large
beech tree standing near a fountain.
o She had heard and seen, people with fevers go to the fountain to drink but
did not know whether there were cures.
o She had heard that sufferers when restored to health had got up and
walked to the tree. One of the legends was that fairies had conversations
in the tree.
o Joan‟s godmother claimed she had seen fairies near the tree but Joan did
not know whether it was true or not.
o She did know that girls hung garlands on the branches and she had
participated in that activity. She also said that as she got older (12 or 13),
she had taken as little part as possible. She could not recall dancing near
the tree but may have sung.
Joan and the Saints
She could not or would not say whether St. Catherine or St. Margaret had ever spoken to
her beside the tree. She did say, without hesitation, that the voices HAD spoken to her by
the fountain but could not remember what they had said.
Joan admitted freely that she had helped in the domestic duties of her father‟s
house, and even boasted that she feared no woman in Rouen as a rival at the
needle or spindle. Later in the trial, she wished God would allow her to return to
her father and mother, to keep their sheep and their cattle, and to do that which
she had been accustomed to do.
o At what time would a daughter not be obligated to her parents?
o At what time would a girl officially be recognized as a women?
Testimony from her godfather Jean Morel was that sometimes when her parents
believed her to be in the fields, she was somewhere else…at the shrine of Our
Lady of Bermont.
During a deposition, Jean Waterin and Mengette Joyart claimed Joan was teased
for being too pious.
Jeanne claims that she first heard voices when she was in her 13th year (making her 12).
The first to speak to her was St. Michael and the year would have been approximately
Perceval de Boulainvilliers and Joan’s Voices
In a letter to the Duke of Milan, he writes:
“…a luminous cloud appeared before her eyes, and out of the cloud came a voice,
saying „Jeanne, you are destined to lead a different kind of life and to accomplish
miraculous things, for you are she who had been chosen by the King of Heaven to restore
the Kingdom of France, and to aid and protect King Charles, who has been driven from
his domains. You shall put on masculine clothes; you shall bear arms and become the
head of the army; all things shall be guided by your counsel.‟
Night and day similar visions appeared to her, renewing and repeating their
words. She kept her own counsel; to none, save to her priest, did she speak; and in this
perplexity she continued for her space of five years.”
Joan‟s Account: “I was in my thirteenth year when God sent a voice to guide me. At
first, I was very much frightened. The voice came towards the hour of noon, in summer,
in my father‟s garden. I had fasted the preceding day. I heard the voice on my right
hand, in the direction of the church. I seldom hear it without seeing a light. That light
always appears on the side from which I hear the voice.”
After she had seen her vision several times, she decided that it was St. Michael.
Asked how she had finally decided on his identity, she replied that she recognized
him at last because he spoke with the tongue of angels.
o He taught her and showed her so many things, that she came to believe
entirely in his identity.
o He started by telling her that she must be a good girl, and that God would
help her. Later, he told her she must come to the help of the King of
France, warning her that Saint Catherine and Margaret would also appear.
She also claimed to have seen Archangel Gabriel and several hundred other
o She would weep when they left her, wishing they would have carried her
away with them. They came always accompanied by the cloud of
heavenly light. She could touch them and embrace them.
o They spoke to her in French, addressing her as “Jehanne la Pucelle, fille di
o “Why should they speak English, she asked, when they were not on the
o They smelt good, and wore beautiful crowns. She could not, or would not,
describe their clothes.
o “Was Saint Michael naked?” She retaliated by asking her accusers
scornfully whether they imagined that Our Lord had not the ability to
o She alluded that Michael had hair. For Catherine and Margaret, she
replied, “C‟est bon a savior.”
The judges were curious about their hair possibly because Joan had
cut hers short.
o She could not say whether their hair was long and she could not say
whether they had arms or other limbs.
o Saint Michael had wings but she could not tell about the bodies of
Margaret and Catherine. In this case she knew the answer but would not
tell the judges.
o They all spoke very well and beautifully, with soft and humble voice.
o They appeared to her several times a day bringing guidance…especially if
she were in the woods. She appeared to hear the voices when the church
bells would ring.
An inhabitant of Domremy: “When she was in the fields, and heard
the bells ringing, she bent her knees.”
At the age of 16, Joan made her first effort to find the dauphin. She had reached the age
of marriage. Her father, uninformed of Joan‟s strange experiences, begun having
disturbing dreams about her.
One such dream, around the 14th year of Joan‟s life, was that his daughter would
go away with soldiers. Jacque told Isabelle of the dream who relayed it to Joan.
They kept stricter control of her after this incident.
Joan claimed that her mother told her about a conversation that Jacque had with
her two brothers:
o “If I believed that the thing I have dreamed of her should come to pass, I
should want to drown her; and if you did not do so, I would drown her
Uncle Durand Lassois (Laxart)
He is actually the husband of her cousin. He is 16 years older than her and out of respect,
she calls him “Uncle”.
She took his clothes from him and returned them when she wanted to.
He was well known to both Jacque and Isabelle. He lived in the town of
Burey-le-Petit, two miles away from Vaucouleurs.
o Joan chose to go to Vaucouleurs because it was the nearest place held
in the name of the dauphin. It was 12 miles away from Domremy.
The commander of Vaucouleurs was Robert de Baudricourt.
Robert de Baudricourt
Commander of the town Vaucouleurs, which was part of the land held by the dauphin.
He once had tried to marry two wealthy widows in succession.
He came from a respectable family. His mother was Marguerite d‟Aunoy of
Blaise and his father was Liebault de Baudricourt.
He can be described as good-natured, practical, muscular.
Joan‟s father may have met Baudricourt in March of 1427. The citizens of
Domremy were obliged to pay a yearly tax to him in return for his protection.
In a deposition, a witnessed stated, “She recognized Robert through her voices, the voice
having told her who he was.”
The argument has been made that she probably would have heard her father
speaking of Baudricourt when he saw him because it would have been a big
event. She may also have heard the accounts of other people who had caught
a glimpse of the governor giving rise to the notion that she would have heard
enough about him to pick him out of a crowd.
o Joan‟s voices assured her that Baudricourt would give her an escort to
go into France. She also relayed in detail the prophecy of France
being restored by a girl.
Joan‟s voices told her that she should go to her “Uncle”. The first visit to her
cousin Jeanne Lassois and her husband Durand took place in 1428 around
May 13th. The visit lasted a week. The request by Joan for an escort must
have been startling to Durand- a simple peasant laborer. She proposed to
vanquish her claim with references to current prophecies.
o France, having been lost by a woman (Isabeau) would be restored by a
girl from the Lorraine area.
This prophecy was uttered by Marie d‟Avignon. Joan would
repeat this prophecy to Baudricourt.
She did tell Lassois about her plan to crown the dauphin.
Durand did speak about Joan‟s meeting with Baudricourt; “Robert told me
several times that I should take her back to the house of her father, and should
give her a smacking.”
Bertrand de Poulengy
A second eye witness to Joan‟s meeting with Baudricourt. He was 36 years old and
would become one of Joan‟s most loyal followers. He knew of her for he had been to the
d‟Arc house before. He heard her tell Baudricourt that she “approached him in the name
of her Lord, in order that he (Baudricourt) should send a message to the Dauphin to
conduct himself with discretion, and not to engage in battle with his enemies, because her
Lord would give him help after mid-Lent.”
When asked what she meant by “her Lord”, she replied “The King of Heaven.”
Joan’s Second Visit to Baudricourt
He had instructed Lassois to take her back home for punishment and joked that he might
hand her over to the pleasure of his soldiers.
The first visit was in May of 1428. The second visit was from the beginning of
January into February, 1429. It was under the pretext that Lassois‟ wife (her
cousin) was having a baby and needed a helping hand.
o Saint Margaret is the protector of women in childbirth and of peasants.
There is no record of how Jacque reacted when Joan returned to Domremy after
her first visit. Domremy at the time was in danger from Burgundian attacks. The
inhabitants had to flee to a neighboring village, Neufchateau which would raise
some issues at her condemnation trial.
1. Her parents and her stayed with a Madame la Rousee, who according
to her accusers, ran a prostitution house.
2. An unnamed man had taken her to a local court because she broke a
contract to marry him. She told her accusers that the voices had told
her that she would win her case and that she had pledged her virginity
to God. (The issue sometimes comes under the word “Toul”)
In January of 1429, at the age of 17, Joan left Domremy for good. Without saying a
word to her parents, and few words to her friends, she left for Vaucouleurs.
o “My parents nearly went out of their mind when I left them. “She also made
reference that if not for God‟s command, she would rather be torn to pieces
than go on the mission.
Could an average child, having confronted luminous clouds and unknown voices,
kept the secret for years? Or is she silent because she realizes that she‟s different?
Leaving Parent Against Their Will
In January, she departed to Burey to help Jeanne Lassois. When the judges asked
her whether she thought she had done right in leaving without the permission of
either parent, she replied that, “I have obeyed them in all things, save this matter.”
Since then, she did write to them and they had forgiven her.
o Had she no thought of sinning in leaving them? “Since God ordered it, I
would have gone, even if I had had a hundred fathers and a hundred
mothers, even had I been the daughter of a King.”
o The voices left it to her whether to them or not, but made it quite clear that
she might tell either to her father or her mother, otherwise she must keep
Why did she choose to be silent? She had hesitated to reveal them,
lest the Burgundians should prevent her journey, and more
especially, lest her father should prevent it.
There were friends who testified that she had said goodbye to them
including Mengette Joyart, Jean Waterin and Gerard Guillemette.
Her Stay at Vaucouleurs
Joan stayed for approximately 6 weeks in Vaucouleurs before departing to Chinon
to see the dauphin.
o She apparently stayed in the house of Catherine le Royer. Lassois claims
that Joan stayed in his house at Burey for six weeks.
The position of France was becoming more desperate. Since October of 1428, the
city of Orleans had fell under a siege by the Burgundians.
o Baudricourt had become more uncertain of his future and of Vaucouleurs.
Jean de Metz
Also known as Jean de Nouvilonpont, Novelompont or Nouillompont.
He was a soldier who was one of the first to believe in Joan. He was part of
Baudricourt‟s army and was made a noble in 1449. He was 28-31 years old when
he met Joan.
o He had gotten into slight problems before she arrived- swearing
obscenities at someone and throwing an award of money on the ground.
Bertrand de Poulengy
He was a soldier who was one of the first to believe in Joan. Little is known about him.
He was born a noble. He was in his mid thirties when he met Joan.
Before Joan had arrived, Poulengy had got into slight trouble for helping someone
escape from prison.
He was present at Joan‟s first meeting with Baudricourt.
Jean de Metz’s First Meeting with Joan
The first meeting took place at the house of Catherine le Royer. She was wearing,
according to Metz, a poor red dress. At his testimony, he states that she said, “I have
come to this royal town to ask Robert de Baudricourt either to lead or to send me under
escort to the King. He takes no notice of me or my words; I must be on my way to the
King, even if I must wear out my legs to the knees. There is no one in the world, neither
King, nor duke, nor daughter of the King of Scotland (Charles VII‟s son, Louis XI would
marry Margaret of Scotland in 1436…He was 13 years old), nor any other, who can
regain the Kingdom of France; There is no help for the kingdom but in me. I should
prefer to be spinning beside my poor mother, for these things do not belong to my station;
yet it is necessary that I should go, and do these things, since God wishes that I should do
When asked if she wanted to go on her journey dressed in her own clothes, she
replied that she would gladly adopt masculine garments.
o She was thus fitted with clothes and boots belonging to Metz‟s servant.
Both Metz and Poulengy arranged for the people of Vaucouleurs to equip
her upon her arrival.
o Was this all done as a precaution because she was a woman and would be
traveling through enemy territory?
Baudricourt/Joan: the second visit
It is not known what Joan was wearing for her second encounter with Baudricourt.
Not wanting to send a fool or witch to the dauphin, Baudricourt along with a
prince named M. Jean Fournier, went to the house of Catherine Royer to see Joan.
o Catherine testified: “Jeanne told me that the priest was wearing his stole,
and that he abjured her to keep away from them, if she were an evil thing;
but that if, on the other hand, she should be good, she should approach
them.” Jeanne told me that she had crept towards the priest, even to his
knees; she added that the priest had not acted properly towards her,
because he had already heard her in confession.
o Later, it appears that Catherine was allowed to enter the room.
“When Jeanne saw that Robert would not send her, I heard her say
that it was imperative that she should go to the place where the
Dauphin was saying „Have you not heard the prophecy?”
We do know that the interviews between Baudricourt and Jeanne lasted multiple
sessions. She did reveal her secret about the voices to him, in private, though we
do not know what in particular was said. It seems that this was the final
convincing for Baudricourt.
Baudricourt‟s letter to the Dauphin and his court was met with skepticism and
with hope, but it was decided to allow her to make the trip to Chinon.
Joan’s Curious Meeting with Charles II, Duke of Lorraine
While waiting the response from Charles, the Dauphin, she is summoned by the Duke of
Lorraine, a supporter of the English/Burgundian alliance.
She traveled to Nancy to see him. It appears that one of the reasons for his
inquiry was that he was ill and looking for a cure.
She asks him for his son and men to go into “France”, with the Duke denies.
o Curiously, he gives her 4 francs (which she turns over to Durand Lassois)
and a black horse to pay for her expenses during her visit.
He became the duke of Anjou at the age of 10. Though Anjou was aligned with the
Anglo-Burgundian alliance, he would commit himself to Joan, Charles VII and France.
Joan’s Prediction of Orleans
On February 12, Joan apparently sought out Robert de Baudricourt while still in
Vaucouleurs. She announced to Baudricourt that Orleans was suffering great losses and
that she needed to see the Dauphin quickly.
Some historians have suggested that news of Orleans reached Baudricourt a
few days later. When found to be what Joan had predicted which sped up the
decision to send her. She left for Chinon on February 23.
Colet de Vienne
He was the messenger sent from the Dauphin in Vaucouleurs that would escort her to
Chinon. Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy would also make the journey.
Joan equipped for Chinon Visit
Poulengy leaves a brief description of what she was provided with: “…a man‟s tunic,
spurs, a sword and boots.”
Another eye-witness claims she was provided with a horse, which cost them
o Though Joan seemed to protest to Saint Michael about her inability to
ride, she was rather particular about the quality of her horses.
She rejected a horse from the Bishop of Senlis as not being
good enough for her purposes.
The journey from Vaucouleurs to Chinon would be 350 miles across France.
During her travels, Poulengy asked her if they would accomplish what she had
promised. She said that they should be without fear; that her brothers in
Paradise advised her as to what to do; that God Himself, had already told her
that she must go to war in order to recover the Kingdom.
Joan and Possible Advances by Men
Traveling by day or night, the soldiers had plenty of opportunities to take advantage of
Jean de Metz testified, “each night during the journey, Betrand, myself, and la
Pucelle, we lay side by side, la Pucelle next to me, with her upper and nether
garments closely shut; I felt such respect for her that I would never have dared to
make her an unseemly proposal, and I declare under oath that I never felt an evil
desire towards her, nor was aware of any sensual thought.
On the road to Chinon
Speculation is that they stopped on their second night of travel at St. Urbain. The local
Abbot, named Arnould d‟Aulnoy, was related to Robert de Baudricourt. It had been
known as a sanctuary for ill-doers as far back as 1132.
They next traveled to Auxerre where she attended Mass. Their next visit was
Gien, which was finally territory that was loyal to the Dauphin.
They next traveled to Fierbois. This was a very important stop for her because a
shrine of St. Catherine was there and it allowed her to take Mass three times in
o While in Fierbois, she wrote the Dauphin a letter informing him that she
knew a great many things for his good and that she would be able to
recognize him amongst many others.
She arrived in Chinon on March 6th, 1429.
Charles VII (the Dauphin)
He was the 11th child and 5th son of Isabeau. Also known as the “comte de Ponthieu”
(Duke of Pontieu), he had three cradles and three screens to shelter him from drafty air.
He was also provided with a harp.
Joan always referred to him as her “gentle Dauphin.” It seems that he would have
been happy as simply a Duke before the Kingdom of France was thrusted upon
o It is suggested that Charles would have liked to have been left alone in
peace and that he did not care much for France so long as he might retain a
few agreeable provinces and palaces in which to lead a life of pleasure and
There were many descriptions of Charles‟ physical features along with his mental
o “His limbs were so thin and frail that it gave people a shock to see him
without his ennobling cloak.”
o “…very ugly, with small grey wandering eyes, his nose thick and
o His own subjects called him “la Falot” which means clown, droll, and
He was poor, having to borrow money from his cook at one point. He had to
pawn the crown jewels.
He allowed himself to be insulted by his subjects and by his enemies. At the time
of Joan‟s arrival, he had fallen under the influence of 4 advisors two of which
o One of the 4 advisors was Regnault de Chartres, the Archbishop of
Isabeau de Baviere
Was once thought of as a beautiful woman. She gave birth to 12 children between the
years 1386 and 1407.
1. Charles-died @ 3 months
2. Jeanne- died @ 2 years
3. Isabelle- died @ 20 years
4. Jeanne-died @ 40 years
5. Charles-died @ 9
6. Marie- died @ 45
7. Michelle- died @ 27
8. Louis- died @ 17
9. Jean- died @ 17
10. Catherine- died @ 37
11. Charles (VII)- died @ 57 (outlived them all)
12. Philippe- died at birth
She became so large and suffered gout, spending most of her time in a wheelchair.
She knew Charles VII was weak and possibly mentally twisted and had referred to
him as “a bastard.”
Joan’s Meeting with Charles VII
Historians suggest that the time period of Joan was ripe with visionaries, superstitions
and devout faith. Charles himself was devoted to the Church.
Jeanne found lodgings near the castle of Chinon. Because it was Lent, she was
fasting according to her habit. It should be noted the fasting was not obligatory at the
age of 17.
Fasting means that you may eat only one full meal a day, excluding meat. No
one under 21 or over 60 is bound to fast.
Waiting for two days, the Dauphin sent messengers to interview her to see what her
purpose was. She reluctantly told them that the King of Heaven had sent her with a
1. To raise the siege of Orleans.
2. To lead the Dauphin to Reims for his coronation.
As Jeanne entered the castle of Chinon, where the Dauphin awaited, a man on
horseback stopped his horse and stare at her saying, “…Is that not the Pucelle? If I
could have her for one night, I would not return her in like condition.”
o Joan‟s response: “Ha! En nom Dieu, you deny Him, and you so near to your
death!” Within an hour, the rider had fallen into water and drowned. This
according to the testimony of Jean Paquerel.
The Dauphin disguised himself among his court, having a noble play his part. As she
entered the court, she walked through the crowd, and went straight up to him saying,
“Gentle Dauphin…the King of Heaven sends me to you with the message that you
shall be the lieutenant of the King of Heaven, who is the King of France,”
o This also comes from Jean Paquerel. Other witnesses have slight variations to
the same message. There were approximately 300 visitors there.
o According to Jean Chartier, Charles VII responded to Joan saying, “It is not I
who am the King Jeanne.
“THERE is the King, In God‟s name, noble prince, it is you and none
The Secret Revealed to Charles VII
According to an anonymous author, Joan spoke the following words in private with
Charles VII to convince him of her mission.
“Sire, do you not remember that on last All Saints‟ Day, being alone in your
oratory in the chapel of the castle of Loches, you requested three things of God?”
o He answered “yes.”
The first request was that it should be God‟s pleasure to remove your courage in
the matter of recovering France, if you were not the true heir, so that you should
no longer be the cause of prolonging a war bringing so much suffering in its train.
The second request was that you alone should be punished, either through death
or any other penance, if the adversities and tribulations which the poor people of
France had endured for so long were due to your own sins. The third request was
that the people should be forgiven and God‟s anger appeased, if the sins of the
people were the cause of their troubles.
Was Charles VII the Illegitimate son of Louis of Orleans?
Louis of Orleans was the brother of Charles VI. Charles VII was born on February 22nd.
1403. Therefore, he must have been conceived some time in the middle of May. Charles
VI was known to have entered one of his periods of madness just before May 14th. Prior
to that he was fine, competing in a two-day tournament on May 10th. His bout of insanity
could have begun, therefore on the 13th, possibly due to exertion during the jousting
tournament. The bout of insanity lasted until the beginning of June. Furthermore, the
Queen spent practically the whole month of May in his palace of St. Paul in Paris.
However, his insanity would have allowed her to leave his presence.
Duke of Alencon (John II)
Cousin of Charles VII, he was 23 when it was reported to him that a peasant girl
had arrived at Chinon. He arrived at the castle the next day to greet Joan. Her
first words to him: “The more that are gathered together of the royal blood of
France, the better.”
o He was married to the daughter (her name was also Joan) of Charles the
Poet, the Duke of Orleans. Charles is the son of Louis, Duke of Orleans.
Charles the poet was being held captive in England.
o It was at Chinon, becoming friends with her that he gave her a horse after
admiring her jousting skills.
In the coming days, Joan went with the Duke to stay at his house in
Saint Florent with his wife and mother.
Louis, Duke of
Charles VI Orleans
Charles the Poet
John II, Duke of Alencon
Her Stay at Chinon
Though she was a guest of the Dauphin, she was kept under constant surveillance.
Either her page Louis de Contes (Minquet) was with her or she was being
o At one point, two women, Madame de Treves and Madame de Gaucourt
conducted an examination to determine her sex.
She was escorted, with the Dauphin, to Poitiers for religious examinations. She was still
in her boy‟s suit, having refused to put on any other.
She stayed at the house of Jean Rabateau.
The record of her examination was lost before she stood trial in Rouen.
The head of the examination board was the Archbishop of Reims- though he did
not interrogate her in person.
We do know that she made four points:
1. The English would be destroyed after Orleans had been relieved and freed
of their presence.
2. The Dauphin would be crowned at Reims.
3. Paris would be restored to its allegiance.
4. The Duke of Orleans would return to France out of captivity.
According to Frere Seguin, “We decided that, in view of the imminent necessity
and of the danger of Orleans, the King might allow the girl to help him and might
send her to Orleans.”
After Poitiers, she was sent to Tours and Blois for more examinations.
o The Queen of Sicily (the Dauphin‟s mother-in-law) was put in charge of
the second examination. They attested to her virginity. It was thought
that if she were a virgin, the Devil could have no possible dealings with
John Dunois, Bastard of Orleans
The son of Louis of Orleans and Mariette Enghien. He first enters Joan‟s story when
hearing of the Maid in Chinon, sent two representatives to inquire about her.
Having not met Joan yet, the population of Orleans gathered to hear the news
from the representatives.
“…the most honest man in the French army” according to the Bastard. On orders
from the Dauphin, he was detailed for her services.
Preparing for Orleans
She was given two heralds and two servants. Her brother Pierre (and possibly
Jean) came from Domremy to join her.
She was also given Jean Paquerel as her own confessor so that she could hear
Mass as often as she wished.
On the Dauphin‟s order, she was given a complete equipment of armor, a banner,
and a horse.
o She was also allowed to dispatch a letter to the English which had been
dictated at Poitiers. It is dated Tuesday in Holy Week, March 22nd, 1429.
Though outfitted with all she needed, Joan would not take a sword. She, through
her visions, requested a sword that was buried in the Church of Saint Catherine at
o A letter was dictated and addressed to the priests of Saint Catherine asking
them to find the sword and send it.
o The sword was engraved with five crosses and was very rusty. As soon as
the church people started to clean it, the rust fell off with ease.
The church people were so impressed that they gave her a sheath
for the sword. The people of Tours likewise gave her a sheath but
she used a third one made of leather. The other two were made of
crimson velvet and a cloth of gold.
Had she heard of the sword as she had passed through
Why would she have had to write to the church officials
Her standard was white and fringed with silk. It had a representation of the
world, supported by two angels with a portrait of Our Lord and the words, “Jhesus
o She was, in her words, instructed by Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret to
make it. The instructions had been specific as to the color and symbols.
o She claimed that she loved her standard “forty times better” than her
sword though on another occasion, said she loved her sword because it
had been found in Saint Catherine‟s church.
o When asked why she carried her standard in battle she replied that it was
in order to avoid killing anybody with her own hands. She added that she
had never killed any man.
The Words Jhesus Maria and her Rings
Appearing on her standard along as the heading of letters she had dictated. She
also had two rings; one had been given to her by her brother, the other by either
her mother or father. The words appear on both rings.
o She claimed that she did not know how the words had been engraved, She
had never used the rings to effect cures.
o When captured, her enemies took the rings. One was handed over to the
Burgundians and the other retained by the Bishop of Beauvais (Cauchon).
A Letter from Gui de Laval
Written on June 8th, 1429 to his mother and grandmother, he says:
“I saw her mount a black charger, a little axe in her hand…The horse, which was
making a great fuss before the door of her lodging, would not allow her to mount,
so she said, „Lead him to the cross.”
The English Siege of Orleans
The English had begun their siege in October of 1428. Led by the Duke of
Bedford, he was already writing that the siege would not be successful without
o The Duke of Burgundy pulled his men out after a disagreement with the
Duke of Bedford.
o The English could not entirely prevent food, money and men from
entering the city. They had only enclosed the city ¾ of the way.
When Joan arrive at Orleans on April 29th, she had approximately 3,000 men. By the
time reinforcements arrived, she had five to six thousand men.
Orleans consisted of nearly 30,000 individuals of which 5,000 would be able to
o The English had about the same number of men.
Escorting her were Jean de Metz and Poulengy. Both of her brothers, Pierre and
Jean also rode with her. Also accompanying her were some of the most famous
French captains: the marechal de Sainte-Severe, the marechal de Rais, Louis de
Culen (Admiral of France) and Gascon, Etienne de Vignolles (known as La Hire.)
o She was NOT in command of the army. She did however, exert her will
in other areas. She made all of her men go to confession, and to leave
behind their mistresses.
According to testimony from Louis de Contes, Joan slept in the fields. She was
“unaccustomed to the weight of the armor which she refused to remove, awoke
bruised and weary.”
On Thursday the 28th, she encamped at Ile Saint Loup, a mile beyond the city of
Orleans. She was upset that she was encamped on this islet and would have to
cross the Loire river.
o The Bastard of Orleans crossed the river to finally meet her. He left this
report of his first encounter with La Pucelle.
Joan: “Is it you who are the Bastard of Orleans?”
Dunois: “I am, and I rejoice in your arrival.”
Joan: “Is it you who advised them to bring me here by this bank
of the river, instead of sending me straight to Talbot and his
Dunois: “I and others believe it to be the best and wisest.”
Joan: “The council of Our Lord is wiser and better than yours.
You thought to deceive me, but you have deceived yourselves, for
I bring you the finest help that ever was brought to knight or city,
since it is the help of the King of Heaven.”
Prophecies in Orleans
The first order of business was to relieve the citizens of Orleans. The Bastard developed
a plan to borrow citizen boats in Blois and float cattle down the Loire river. The wind
however, made it impossible to sail upstream to get the cattle. According to Jean Dunois,
Jeanne told them to wait and the wind would change direction- it changed and the ships
sailed upstream to retrieve cattle.
o She had already predicted to the Dauphin and her own confessor, Jean Paquerel,
that she would receive a wound in the battle for Orleans.
o A month before the battle, a Flemish envoy living at Lyon wrote home to
Brussels describing in detail the occasion on which Jeanne knew she
would be wounded.
Joan and the Battle for Orleans
May 6th (Thursday)
This was a holy day (Ascension) and Jeanne decreed that there should be no fighting.
After going to confession, she issued a proclamation that no one should emerge from the
city to take part in battle.
o Also, women of ill repute should be rigorously dismissed from the army.
Otherwise, God would bring defeat on them by reason or their sins.
o Jean had her third letter written to the English demanding that they leave France.
Since one of her heralds was being held captive from an earlier delivery, this
letter was sent by arrow.
o She added a post script suggesting an exchange of prisoners.
May 7th (Friday)
The day began as the French took control of two forts: Saint Jean le Blanc and les
Augustins. Jean d‟Aulon testified that Jeanne and La Hire had charged the English with
their lances. By the end of the day, she limped home, for she had been wounded on the
foot by a “chausse-trappe” (a small iron hedgehog.)
o That night at dinner, she was told that they would wait to further attack the
English until the Dauphin sent re-enforcements.
o “You have been with your council and I have been with mine. Believe me
my council will hold good and will be accomplished; yours will come to
naught.” (Quote from Joan told by Jean Paquerel)
May 8th (the attack of Tourelles)
Tourelles was the name given to the English fort consisting of two stone towers near the
o The day started with someone bringing her a sea-trout to eat in the morning. “We
will not eat it until supper, when we have recrossed the bridge and have brought
back a „godon‟ who will eat his share.”
o A „godon‟ is a bad translation of “Goddam” which the French supposed to
be the favorite oath of an English soldier.
o The battle would last all day, from 7:00a.m. to 8:00p.m. Towards midday, Joan
was hit by an arrow just above the left breast, penetrating 6 inches. She wept.
o With the English about to surround her, the sieur de Gamaches gave her
his horse to be led away from the battle.
o It is said that she pulled out the arrow with her own hands. Soldiers seeing
this, wanted to recite charms to cure her. She stated that she would rather
die than do anything that she believed to be a crime or contrary to God‟s
They dressed her wound with olive oil and lard.
o With the battle going no where, the Bastard called for the sound to retreat. Jean
D‟Aulon, in his own words says that Joan begged him for more time…it was
o She rode off to a nearby vineyard and prayed for about a quarter of an
o The story is confusing at this point as to whether Joan returned with her standard
to lead the charge or if the French captains thought it reckless to retreat.
Nevertheless, the Tourelles was taken. Every single English soldier was either
killed or taken prisoner.
o Joan wept for the English souls.
o That night, “Joan retired to her lodging, having her wound dressed. She refreshed
herself with four or five slices of bread dipped in wine mixed with a great deal of
water; it was all that she had eaten or drunk during the whole day.” (Jean Dunois)
o The English captain, Sir William Glasdale, had his body fished up out of the
Loire, cut into pieces, boiled and embalmed. Eventually they were sent back to
England for burial.
o The Duke of Bedford‟s reaction: “…they had a disciple and limb of the Fiend,
called the Pucelle, that used false enchantments and sorcery.”
o Does this suggest that the Duke of Bedford recognizes the power of Joan?
May 9th (Sunday)
What could be considered a military error, Joan forbade the French troops to follow the
retreating English and engage them in battle. Being Sunday, she made the troops hear
Mass while the English retreated to the town of Meung.
Joan Meets with the Dauphin…Again
On May 10th, 1429, Joan with standard in hand entered the city of Tours to meet up with
o Charles was reluctant to go to Reims to be coronated and instead went to his
castle at Loches. While in his quarters, Jean Dunois testified that Joan went to
him and clasped him around the knees.
o “Gentle Dauphin, do not hold such long and wordy councils, but come to
your coronation at Reims. I am most eager that you should go there. I
have no doubt but that you shall be anointed in that city.”
o Why the reluctance? Some of his council thought the English should first be
driven out of Normandy. The Dauphin thought, along with others, that Jeanne
should be asked to say what her voices had told her, yet they hesitated to ask for
fear of annoying her.
o Charles VII finally agreed to travel to Reims as long as they took back
cities along the Loire on the way.
Duke of Mencon was appointed as the lieutenant-general of
Battle of Jargeau
With the Duke of Alencon in charge, Joan along with the Bastard and La Hire rolled
through English strongholds.
o Joan was never in command of an army. The first town to fall was
o When attacking the English the next day, the Duke of Alencon was to
testify later that Jeanne had said to him, “Move from this place or that
piece of ordinance on the rampart will kill you.” Apparently a few
minutes later after that, a soldier was struck and killed by the same gun on
that very spot.
o According to the “Journal dusiege”, Joan shot an Englishman in the chest
so that he fell dead, backwards, into the town.
o She then was on a scaling-ladder, with standard in hand, when a
stone struck the flag, rebounded on to her helmet, broke into
pieces, and knocked her to the ground. She quickly got on her feet
yelling, “Our Lord has condemned the English; they will be ours
within the hour; be of good heart.”
The Battle for Meung
After being victorious at Jargeau, Joan returned to Orleans to receive a present from the
captive Duke of Orleans still in England. It was a red cloak and a green tunic. The army
left for Meung on June 15th.
o At Meung, they only took a bridge from the English. They were more
concerned with Beaugency- a major stronghold between Meung and Blois.
o The English allowed the French to take the fort unopposed. The
English were allowed to return to Meung on the condition that they
not fight for 10 days.
The Battle of Patay
The two sides met at an open plain. The English, sensing they were at a disadvantage,
sent two heralds with an offer to say that they had three knights willing to fight them if
the French had the courage to come down off the hill they possessed.
o The request was denied. The battle was a total victory for the French.
o According to Louis de Contes, Jean‟s page, she wept for an English soldier who
had broken his neck, taking him into her arms and hearing his last confession.
On the way to Reims
Joan traveled with the Dauphin as they passed Troyes, Champagne, Chalons and finally
o The Archbishop of Reims was part of this entourage.
o While in Chalons, she met up with two people from her hometown of Domremy.
One was Jean Morel, her godfather, who Joan gave her red dress to. The other
was Gerardin d‟Epinal who stated that Jean spoke of him of her only
The Coronation of Charles VII
Saturday, July 16th was the day they finally arrived. The Archbishop of Reims, who had
held that title for 20 years, made his first appearance in the actual city early morning.
o A few hours later, the Dauphin and Joan arrived. The next day, July 17th would
be the coronation. Joan was present in full armor, holding her standard.
o The Duke of Alencon was also present, knighting the Dauphin.
o Jacque D‟Arc was in Reims, at the town‟s expense and he had forgiven
Joan. At Joan‟s request, Charles VII made all debts in Domremy null and
void and passed a law that its citizens would not have to pay taxes. This
would last until the 1700‟s. Jacque was given 60 livres from Charles
The English Stall for Time
Joan was ready to move on Paris the next day. She had written the Duke of Burgundy a
second letter, demanding that he give up Paris.
o To delay, the Duke of Burgundy sent representatives to Reims to negotiate a
peace or truce. While this was occurring, the Duke of Bedford‟s army rode to
Paris to prepare for the French.
o Four days later, they left Reims and reached Soissons. Charles even
bypassed the town of Compiegne, which was willing to surrender without
A 15 day truce was signed by Charles and Philip, Duke of
Burgundy. No fighting was to occur and on the 15th day, Paris
would peacefully surrender to Charles.
The Duke of Bedford Challenges Charles VII
Having time to reinforce his troops due to the truce, the Duke of Bedford writes a
personal letter to Charles challenging his army.
o He states that Charles was not the King of France and calls him a murderer (guilty
of the assassination of the late Duke of Burgundy.)
o On August 23rd, Charles signs another truce with the Duke of Burgundy stating
that the French would be allowed to attack Paris but that the Duke was allowed to
defend the city with Burgundians troops.
o Charles even attempted to bribe the Duke by giving him the city of
Compiegne. The citizens of the city refused, wanting to remain loyal to
The French Attack Paris
On September 8, the French begin an assault of Paris. By all accounts, it was not a full
fledged attack. Joan accompanies the troops, but was not divinely inspired by her voices.
o She receives a wound from an arrow in the thigh. The archer was said to have
yelled, “Paillarde!” (“Loose-living woman”)
o She was taken away from the battle. The next day, Charles sent a
messenger to have them disengage and join him at St. Denis.
A bridge had been constructed across the Seine that, on their way
to St. Denis, they could invade Paris. Charles had the bridge
Due to the lack of money, Charles has the army disbanded. Joan
leaves her armor in the cathedral of St. Denis.
o For nine months, Joan stood idly by at the king‟s court, officially being
blocked for action while the truce with the Duke of Burgundy was still in
Joan seems to take a more submissive role and is not the
demanding messenger of God.
Catherine de la Rochelle
Another woman claiming to be inspired by voices, Joan had met her twice. They had met
at Jargeau and at Montfaucon-en-Berri.
o Seeing her as an imposter, Joan told her to go back to her husband and look after
her house and her children.
o At one point, she had spent two nights with Joan awaiting her “white lady dressed
in cloth of gold.”
o The first night, Joan stayed up until midnight waiting before going to bed.
Catherine said the “white lady” had come later but that she was unable to
awaken Joan. Joan therefore slept most of the day to be able to stay awake
through the night. The “white lady” did not come.
The year of 1429 ended with Joan, her father and mother, her brothers, and all their
posterity being awarded nobility by Charles.
The Beginning of 1430
On January 10th, 1430, The Duke of Burgundy celebrated his third marriage. Described
as the richest prince in Christendom, he has three wives, twenty four mistresses and
sixteen illegitimate children.
o His third wife was Isabella of Portugal.
In March of 1430, she was allowed to rejoin an army. While in the town of Melun, she
received a vision from St. Catherine and St. Margaret. They spoke to her warning that
before the feast of St. John came around, she would be taken prisoner.
o Her voices came to her nearly every day after that, repeating the same prophecy.
o She must be taken.
o She must not be surprised.
o She must take everything as it came and God would help her.
On May 23, 1430, she would be taken prisoner at Compiegne.
The Battle at Lagny
Joan‟s army had a small skirmish with the English which proved to be successful. A few
interesting incidents arose while at Lagny that would be brought up in court.
o Joan had captured a Burgundian soldier name Franquet d‟Arras. She made
arrangements for a prisoner swap to secure the release of a Paris landlord.
Hearing that he died before he could be exchanged, Joan said, “Since my man is
dead, whom I wanted, do with this man that which is required by justice.”
o He was executed the next day.
o The sword of Fierbois, that she miraculously found is broke when she apparently
hits a soldier over the back with it.
o She is also credited with the miracle of restoring a dead baby to life.
Joan the Prisoner
Her first visitor when she was captured was the Duke of Burgundy. She was being held
in the custody of John (Jean) de Luxembourg. Luxembourg was a vassal to the Duke of
Burgundy. The question was what type of prisoner was she…a church prisoner or a
prisoner of England?
o Luxembourg would be paid 6,000 francs to hand Joan over to the English.
o Her first prison was at Beaulieu.
She was allowed to keep d‟Aulon to serve her. Later, she was to be held at
Luxembourg‟s castle of Beaurevoir.
o Here, three woman were put in her care.
o Jeanne de Luxembourg, the aged aunt
o Jeanne de Bethune, John‟s wife
o Jeanne de Bar, his step-daughter
o They tried to get her to wear woman‟s clothing, offering a dress or material to
make one. At the trial, she said she would kindly of done it but that God would
not permit it.
Joan’s Attempted Escape from Prison
o As she became aware that she would be sold to the English, she began to
contemplate escaping. Her voices sought to restrain her. St. Catherine assured
her that she would not be delivered until she had seen the King of England.
o For days she had discussions with her voices and finally elected to throw
herself off the top of the castle tower.
There is no record of the height of the tower but most believe it to
be around 70 feet high.
o She was unable to eat for 2-3 days after her attempt, which, when she landed she
laid unconscious. She records that when the Burgundians saw that she was alive
they told her that she had leaped.
o She receive no injuries. St, Catherine instructed her to ask God for
Pierre Cauchon (Bishop of Beauvais)
Cauchon was a bishop who favored the English. He received an income of 1,000 pounds
as a member of the Council of Henry VI.
In 1429, his English friends were driven out of Beauvais and he lost his bishop
seat. He fled to Rouen (where Joan‟s trial would take place) having lost his
possessions as a result of Joan‟s victories.
The Duke of Bedford gave him the authority to conduct the trial. 80,000 pounds
were raised for the transfer of Joan into English hands. She was moved to Arra
and then later to Rouen.
o She first stayed at the castle of Drugy and then at the castle Crotoy.
Captivity at Rouen
She was now denied the privilege which should have been accorded her which was to be
kept in a church prison since it was a church (ecclesiastical) trial. Instead of being in a
room for woman and guarded by woman, she was locked in a common cell.
Most agree that her feet were chained. Others add that the chain was fastened to
the prison wall.
A doctor (Jean Tiphaine) who attended to her during an illness testified that she
had a bed. Manchon says she did not have a bed.
Jean Massieu testifies that she was guarded by 5 English soldiers who “tormented
and mocked her.”
o Guillaume Manchon testified that he heard her complain to the Bishop of
Beauvais and to the Earl of Warwick that they had several times attempted
to rape her.
It appears that Warwick reprimanded the guard severely and
replaced the offenders with new guards.
o There is significant evidence that an iron cage was made to hold her but no
eyewitness could testify to seeing her in the cage.
During the trial, Joan several times made appeals to be taken before the Pope.
She was always mocked.
There were English church officials who tried to help her, or at least make it a fair
trial. They were quickly released from the trial or threatened with imprisonment.
o Frere Isambard de la Pierre testified later that he offered to have her
submit to the authority of the General Council of Basle which was made
up of church officials from other countries.
“Oh! Since there are some of our party, I will willingly go and
submit to the Council of Basle.”
Pierre Cauchon quickly stopped the proceedings telling de la
Pierre, “if you do not hold your tongue, you will be thrown into the
The preliminaries of the trial began on January 9th lasting until February 20, 1431.
On Wednesday, February 21st, at 8:00 a.m., she was brought before the court for
her first public sitting.
o Some of the judges who sat in on the trial had also been present at
Poitiers- yet they would remain silent about those results.
On the question of men’s clothing
She stated that she was in less danger of being raped than if she went around
dressed as a woman.
The Church Militant (the authority of the Church)
The Church Militant is considered God‟s representatives on earth. In taking
council of her voices above the judgment of the church, she would be violating a
major law of the church.
It was a well-known fact back in those times that the Devil could exert no power
against the protective purity of a maid.
Joan Gives in to the Judges
After months of testimony, Pierre Cauchon finally took the trial outside in the
cemetery, erecting two stands for witnesses and having an executioner on hand.
He ten spoke these words, “For these reasons (not submitting to the will and
authority of the church) we declare you excommunicate heretical, and pronounce
that you shall be abandoned to secular justice.”
o Seeing and hearing all this, Joan broke down claiming that she would
defer to the judges and the church. She would no longer support or
believe in the apparitions and revelations she had pretended to have.
o The church secretary produced a pen and a document for Joan to sign.
She stated, “I know neither how to read nor write.” She ended up drawing
a round “O”. This episode is known as the Act of Abjuration.
Other witnesses claim that she drew the sign of the cross.
An interesting theory was advance later as to why she didn‟t sign
her name. By signing it with an “O”, she, in her mind was saying
it meant absolutely zero. The cross was how she would sign
documents when she intended for them to be read in exactly the
Having saved herself from excommunication, her sentence was to be life in
prison. She then said to Loiselleur, who had passed himself off as a shoemaker
when in fact he was an English priest, “take me to your prison, that I may no
longer be in the hands of these English.”
o Cauchon jumped in saying, “Take her back to the place you brought her
On the way back to the prison, she was verbally abused by the English soldiers
who were upset that Cauchon had let her off the hook and had not been found
guilty and executed.
Joan Remains a Prisoner
She was chained back up and guarded by 5 male English soldiers, three of who
spent the nights inside the cell with her.
o She was brought woman‟s clothing to wear and she allowed them to shave
her head to remove the men‟s cropped haircut.
A few days later, Pierre Cauchon was notified that she was again wearing men‟s
clothing. He alerted two bishops to bring her to her senses. They were stopped
by English soldiers from seeing her.
o There was numerous testimony from the French clerics that they were
physically threatened by the English soldiers at Rouen.
Jean Massieu, who escorted her to and from the prison and had the most access to
her testified later what Joan told him in privacy.
o She told him after the abjuration, when she put on the woman‟s dress
which was provided, her own clothes (the man‟s dress) were bundled into
a sack. The guards stripped her of her woman‟s clothing, leaving only the
male dress in the cell.
Cauchon would visit the next day. According to the official record (which he was
in charge of) she spoke as to why she had put on the men‟s clothing, risking death
o “I took it on my own fee will. No one constrained me to take it. I prefer
the dress as a man than as a woman…I never understood that I had sworn
not to resume it…I resumed it because you did not keep your word to me,
that I should go to Mass and receive my Savior, and that I should be taken
out of irons. I would rather die than be in irons, but if you will let me go
to Mass and take off my iron, and put me in a pleasant prison, and let me
have a woman, I will be good and do whatever the Church wants.”
o Cauchon: “Since last Thursday, have you heard the voices of Saints
Catherine and Margaret?”
o Joan: “Yes.”
o Cauchon: “What did they say to you?”
o Joan: “They told me that, through them, God sent me His pity of the
betrayal to which I consented in making the abjuration and revocation to
save my life, and that in saving my life I was damning myself…It was fear
of the fire which made me say that which I said…”
The Last Day of Joan
The church had but on opinion of Joan which was “relapsed heretic.” Although
the Church could neither shed blood nor put her to death, they did excommunicate
her- which meant that they also couldn‟t protect her from the English government.
o Jeanne was formally ordered to appear Wednesday (May 30th) morning at
8:00 a.m. She received communion in her cell, “with great devotion and
many tears.” She was informed that she would be burned at the stake,
which was her biggest fear. “I would rather be beheaded seven times, then
thus be burnt.” Turning to Cauchon, she said, “Bishop, I die through
In front of the crowd, she kneeled and prayed, forgiving all of those who had done
her harm. Many of the judges and soldiers began weeping. Some left, unable to
o Jean Massieu handed her the crude little cross made for her out of two
pieces of wood. Isambard de la Pierre held the cross for her to see as they
set fire to the wood.
o John Tressart, secretary to the King of England, “We are lost; we have
burnt a saint.”
o The executioner said that he was damned, having burnt a saint, and that
God would never forgive him. He told the priest that, in spite of all the
oil, sulphursulphur, and fuel he had used, he could not reduce her entrails
or her heart to ashes.
o Some English soldiers claimed to see a white dove fly out of the flames
and head in the direction of France.