Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Jean Beaupere
Church Official at Joan's Trial in Rouen


Joan of Arc at trial before her judges Painting by Monvel
Jean Beaupere was prosecuter in the trial of Joan Of Arc subjecting her to rigorous questioning.

Jean Beaupère, Pulchipatris, was born in the diocese of Nevers. Master of arts about 1397, he finished his first course in the Bible in 1407, after having studied theology. He is referred to as bachelor formé in theology in 141g, and licentiate at the end of that year. He was a man of considerable importance, having been rector of the University in 1412 and 1413. He fulfilled the functions of chancellor in the absence of Gerson. In 1415, one finds him at Constance, with Pierre Cauchon, among the Burgundian ambassadors. On July 30, 1420, by apostolic favor Jean Beaupère was named canon of Nôtre Dame in Paris in place of Jean Charreton: his confrères at first protested against his intrusion in the choir. On June 27, 1420, he took possession at Beauvais of the canonicate of Eustache de Laître; in 1419 he was sent to Troyes with Pierre Cauchon to advise Charles VI. In 1422 he went on an embassy to the Queen of England and the Duke of Gloucester to obtain confirmation of the privileges of the University. In 1423, en route between Paris and Beauvais he was attacked by "brigands" who robbed him and left him for dead. He was badly hurt, and at least deprived of the use of his right hand, and could not occupy his benefices. Jean Beaupère received from Martin V a grant for his canonicates of Besançon, Sens, Paris, Beauvais, and the archdiaconate of Salins (March, 1424). Nominated, on September 6, 1430, canon of Rouen by Henry VI, he received, on April 21 1431, an honorarium from the English government Of 30 livres. In 1432 he was cellarer at Sens, canon of Besançon, Paris, Laon, and Rouen, chaplain of Brie; and he was asking to be, in addition, canon of Autun, curé of Saint-Jean-en-Grève, sacristan of Saint-Merry at Paris, canon of Lisieux, etc.! He left Rouen on May 28, 1431, to go to the Council of Bâle, where he arrived on November 2, 1431 (in 1424 he had been sent to the Council of Sienna). He played a very important rôle there, since he was designated to demonstrate to the Pope the necessity of his coming to Bâle, which he did with vehemence. the Fathers of Bâle sent him as ambassador to Philippe le Bon in 1432; in 1435 we see that he received a fresh testimonial of the gratitude of the English. Having taken part very actively against the Pope, Beaupère who had been disavowed by the Chapter of Rouen in 1438, had to protest his orthodoxy to keep his canonicate at Rouen; and when the city returned to French domination, in 1450, he invoked his title as a good Frenchman. Jean Beaupère resided chiefly at Besan in a country that was not disloyal to the French King. He must have died in 1462 or 1463 at Besançon.

Beaupère, very active in the Trial, a man of authority and tractable at the same time, played a considerable part in this drama. It was he who was sent to Paris to seek the opinion of the University. He testified in 1452 at the time of the preliminary investigations for the Rehabilitation and maintained his opinion on the natural causes of Jeanne's visions, developing the theory of the malice inherent in feminine nature.
(Biography from The Trial of Joan of Arc by W.P. Barrett)

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