Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Trial of Nullification (Rehabilitation)

BROTHER YSAMBARD DE LA PIERRE: Second Examination, May 3rd, 1452. [He makes the following additions:]

The room in which Jeanne was confined was rather dark.

I was at the sermon of Maitre Guillaume Erard, who took as his theme, "A branch cannot bear fruit except it abide in the Vine," saying that in France there was no monster such as this Jeanne: she was a witch, heretic, and schismatic; and that the King who favored her was of like sort for wishing to recover his kingdom by means of such an heretical woman.

The Bishop of Beauvais held with the English. I believe it was he who, at the beginning of the Process, ordered her to be kept in irons, and deputized the English as her keepers, forbidding any to speak with her unless by leave from him, or from the Promoter, Benedicite.

When I was holding the Cross before her, she begged me to descend, as the fire was mounting.

When she spoke of the kingdom and the war, I thought she was moved by the Holy Spirit; but when she spoke of herself she feigned many things: nevertheless, I think she should not have been condemned as a heretic. When the Bishop asked if she would submit to the Church, she inquired, "What is the Church? So far as it is you, I will not submit to your judgment, because you are my deadly enemy." She complained that the Bishop would not allow them to write anything in her excuse, but only what was against her. When she was asked whether she would submit to the judgment of the Pope, she replied that, if they would take her to him, she would be content.

She was adjudged relapsed because she had resumed her man s dress. After she had recanted, she resumed a woman's dress, and begged to be taken to the ecclesiastical prisons; but it was not permitted. I heard from Jeanne, herself, that she had been assaulted by a great lord; and for that reason she had resumed her man's dress, which had been perfidiously left near her. After her resumption of this dress, I heard the Bishop, with some of the English, exulting, and saying publicly to the Earl of Warwick and others : "She is caught this time!"

Third Examination, May 9th, 1452.

Some of the Assessors, such as the Bishop of Beauvais, proceeded of their own pleasure; some-to wit, the English Doctors out of malicious spite; some, Doctors of Paris, from desire of gain; some were induced by fear, as the aforesaid Sub-Inquisitor and others whom I do not remember.

The Process was instituted by the King of England, the Cardinal of Winchester, the Earl of Warwick, and other English, who paid all the expenses. I remember well that Jean, Bishop of Avranches, for having refused to give his advice in the Process, was threatened by the Promoter d'Estivet; and Maitre Nicolas de Houppeville, who would not attend the Trial nor give an opinion, was in danger of exile. After the first sermon, at which Jeanne recanted, I, Jean Delafontaine, and Maitre Guillaume Vallee, of the Order of Saint Dominic, went to the Castle by order of the Judges to counsel Jeanne that she should persevere in her good purpose. Seeing this, the infuriate English threw themselves upon us, with swords and sticks, and violently drove us out of the Castle. On this occasion, Jean Delafontaine escaped, and left the town and did not return. Also I suffered many reproaches from the Earl of Warwick, because I had told Jeanne she should submit to the General Council. [On the day that she said she would submit] Messire Guillaume Manchon, the notary, asked whether he should write down the submission? The Bishop replied, No, it was not necessary. Then Jeanne said to the Bishop: "Ah! you will certainly write what is against me, and will write nothing that is for me." This submission was not registered, and there ensued in the assembly a great murmur.

The examination of Jeanne sometimes lasted three hours in the morning; and sometimes she was examined in the afternoon as well as in the morning; I heard her often complain of over-much questioning.

During the greater part of the Process, when she was asked to submit to the Church, she understood by that term the assembly of Judges and Assessors there present. It was then expounded to her by Maitre Pierre Maurice; and, after she knew, she always declared that she wished to submit to the Pope and to be conducted to him.

She was brought in a cart to the cemetery of Saint-Ouen. After the preaching [at the Old Market] there was a long waiting, and then the King's clerks conducted her to the stake, I and Brother Martin Ladvenu accompanying her up to the end.

On this same occasion, the Bishop of Beauvais wept. A certain Englishman, a soldier, who hated her greatly, had sworn to bring a faggot for the stake. When he did so, and heard Jeanne calling on the name of Jesus in her last moments, he was stupefied, and, as it were, in an ecstasy at the spectacle: his companions took him and led him away to a neighboring tavern. After refreshment, he revived. In the afternoon, the same Englishman confessed, in my presence, to a Brother of the Order of Saint Dominic, that he had gravely erred, and that he repented of what he had done against Jeanne. He held her to be a good woman, for he had seen the spirit departing from her, as it were a white dove, going away from France.

In the afternoon of the same day, the executioner came to the Convent of the Dominicans, saying to them and to Brother Martin Ladvenu, that he feared he was damned because he had burnt a saint.

MAÎTRE PIERRE CUSQUEL, Citizen of Rouen. First Examination, before Cardinal d'Estouteville, May 3rd, 1452.

I saw Jeanne brought in by the English.

I did not see her taken to prison, but I saw her two or three times in a chamber in the Castle of Rouen, near the back entrance.

At the time of the Trial, I was in the habit of entering the Castle, thanks to Johnson, master of the masons. Twice I entered her prison and saw her, with her legs shackled and fastened by a long chain to a beam. In my master's house was hung a great cage of iron, in which, it was said, she was to be shut up; but I never saw her in this cage.

I heard that Jeanne was made prisoner in the diocese of Beauvais, and on this account the Bishop undertook the Process against her.

Second Examination, May 9th, 1452. [He adds to his evidence:]

The room [where Jeanne was imprisoned] was situated under the stairs, towards the fields.

Maitre Andre Marguerie, or another, said he had inquired as to Jeanne's change of dress, and by some one I know not whom-was told that he was to hold his tongue, in the devil's name.

I twice entered Jeanne's prison and spoke with her, warning her to speak prudently, and that there was question of her death. The iron cage, which I saw, was intended to detain her in an upright position.

I was not present at the last preaching and condemnation and execution of Jeanne, because my heart could not bear it, for pity of her;but I heard that she received the Body of the Lord before her condemnation.

Maitre Jean Tressart, when he returned from the execution, groaning and weeping sadly, lamented to me what he had seen at this place, saying to me: "We are all lost; we have burnt a Saint"; adding, that he believed her soul was in the hands of God because, when she was in the midst of the flames, she constantly called on the name of the Lord Jesus.

Third Examination, May 11th, 1456. [Additional evidence:]

I had heard of the visitation ordered by the Duchess of Bedford, but did not know if it were true.

After her death, the English had her ashes collected and thrown into the Seine, because they feared that some might believe she had escaped.

LADVENU: Second Examination, May 3rd, 1452. [He adds the following to his earlier testimony..]

I often saw her in the Castle of Rouen, under the custody of the English, ironed and in prison.

I heard Jeanne, by license of the Judges, in confession; I administered to her the Body of Christ; she received it with great devotion and tears which I cannot describe.

The resumption of her man's dress was one of the causes of her condemnation.

Third Examination, May 9th, 1452. [Additional evidence:]

I was present at the greater part of the Process, with Brother Jean Lemaitre, then Sub-Inquisitor. I saw Maitre Nicolas de Houppevillehe who would not assist in the Process-taken to prison. I know well that

Jeanne had no director, Counsel, nor defender, up to the end of the Process, and that no one would have dared to offer himself as her Counsel, director, or defender, for fear of the English. I have heard that those who went to the Castle to counsel and direct Jeanne, by order of the Judges, were harshly repulsed and threatened.

Directly Jeanne was abandoned by the Church, she was seized by the English soldiers, who were present in large numbers, without any sentence from the secular authority, although the Bailly of Rouen and the Counsels of the Secular Court were present. I know this because I was with her, from the Castle to her last breath.

The executioner, in my presence, gave his testimony that she had been unjustly put to death.

Maitre Guillaume Erard, at the sermon which he pronounced at the Cemetery of Saint-Ouen, exclaimed: "Oh, House of France! you have never till now nourished a monster in thy bosom; but now you art disgraced by thy adhesion to this witch, this heretic! this superstitious one!"

Fourth Examination, December 19th, 1455, and May 13th, 1456. [Additional statements:]

I have heard it said that the Bishop, and others concerned in the Process, wished to have letters of guarantee from the King of England, and received them; and these are the letters now shown, signed with the sign manual of Maitre Lawrence Calot, whose signature I know well. Maitre Jean Lemaitre, Sub-Inquisitor, who was concerned in the Trial and who often went with me, was compelled to attend. Brother Ysambard de la Pierre, who was a friend of the Inquisitor, desired on one occasion to direct Jeanne, but was told to hold his tongue, and that, if he did not henceforward abstain from such interference, he would be thrown into the Seine.

On the day of her death I was with her until her last breath. One present said he wished his soul might be where he believed Jeanne's soul was.
After the reading of the sentence, she came down from the platform on which the preaching had been, and was led by the executioner, without any sentence from the secular Judges, to the place where the pile was prepared for her burning. The pile was on a scaffold, and the executioner lighted it from below. When Jeanne perceived the fire, she told me to descend and to hold up the Cross of the Lord on high before her that she might see it.

When I was with her, and exhorting her on her salvation, the Bishop of Beauvais and some of the Canons of Rouen came over to see her; and, when Jeanne perceived the Bishop, she told him that he was the cause of her death; that he had promised to place her in the hands of the Church, and had relinquished her to her mortal enemies.

Up to the end of her life she maintained and asserted that her Voices came from God, and that what she had done had been by God'scommand.
She did not believe that her Voices had deceived her: [but that] the revelations which she had received had come from God.

MESSIRE NICOLAS TAQUEL, Priest, Rector of Basqueville, in the Diocese of Rouen: First Examination, May 8th, 1452.

About half-way through the Process I was called by the two notaries to assist them. I saw Jeanne in a prison in the Castle of Rouen, in a certain tower near the fields. I never perceived any kind of fear, nor did I know of prohibitions or coercion by the English. I do not remember that she asked to have Counsel, or that they were offered to her; I was not at the opening of the Case. I knew well that Jeanne was in prison. I saw her there, in irons, notwithstanding her weakness. There was an Englishman who had charge of her in the room, without whose leave no one, not even the Judges, might have access to her.

Jeanne was about twenty years of age; though she was as simple as any girl of her age, she could speak well on occasion, sometimes varying her answers, and sometimes not replying to the questions. I certainly heard in the town, that at night, the English, in the absence of the Judges, disturbed her much, saying sometimes that she would die, sometimes that they would kill her; but I do not know if it was true. I was present when some of the Judges put very difficult questions to her, to which she answered that it did not concern her to reply to them. Some of the Doctors present sometimes said to her, "You say well, Jeanne." Sometimes Jeanne, wearied with so many questions, begged for delay till the morrow; and it was granted. Many heard the statement referred to, made by Jeanne, that she would say and do nothing against the Faith. I believe this is written in the Process. I do not remember to have seen any English at the Examinations of Jeanne, with the exception of the guards; nor do I remember any restrictions upon what was done in the Process, although the Judges said it was forbidden to write anything which was not contained in the Process. I do not know that the words of the Seventy Articles were inserted in the Process, nor do I remember that Jeanne, during the whole Trial, said she would not submit to the Ecclesiastical authority, although I occasionally saw her somewhat disturbed ; then the Doctors who were present advised her, and sometimes postponed the matter till the morrow.

I saw nothing in Jeanne contrary to a good Catholic. She asked, in my presence, whether she might receive the Sacrament; but I was not permitted to be present at its reception. It was told me that, before she arrived at the place of execution, she made many and devout prayers to God, to the Blessed Mary and the Saints, so that many present were provoked to tears, and, among others, Maitre Nicolas Loyseleur, Promoter (Note by Quickerat: This is an error of the witness. [The Promoter was d' Estivet.]) to the cause, who, leaving her in tears, met certain English in the court of the Castle: these took him to task, calling him traitor, which frightened him so much that, without more ado, he went to the Earl of Warwick to beg his protection; and, had it not been for the said Earl, I think that Loyseleur would have been killed.

After the sentence of the Church had been read, I with many other ecclesiastics retired. I was not present at the execution; but I heard that Jeanne died piously and as a Catholic, calling on the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Second Examination, May 11th, 1456. [Additional evidence:]

I was one of the notaries, but not at the commencement. I was not there during the time when the Process was carried on in the Great Hall, but only when the sittings were held in the prison. I was first concerned in the Process on the 14th of March, 1430, as appears in my commission, to which I refer; and, from this time to the end of the Process, I was present as notary at the interrogations and answers of Jeanne: I was not permitted to write, but I listened and referred, for the writing, to the other two notaries, Boisguillaume and Manchon, both of whom wrote, especially Manchon.

The said Process was put into its present form a long time after the death of Jeanne, but at what time I do not know. For my labor and trouble I had ten francs, though I had been told I should have twenty; and these ten francs were handed over to me by a certain Benedicite [d'Estivet], but whence the money came I know not.

I heard it said among the notaries that certain Articles were to be made; but as to who drew them up I know not. They were sent to Paris; but whether they were signed or no, I do not remember: I think they were not signed, but, yet, I remember that once somethingwas signed, which was neither Process nor sentence.

[A note of April 4th, 1431, was then showed to Maitre Taquel, containing the Twelve Articles in the form in which they were sent for correction.] He confirmed the handwriting of Manchon, and said he believed he was present on the occasion. He thought no corrections were made.

When the preaching was made at the Place Saint-Ouen, I was not upon the platform with the other notaries. But I was quite close, and could see and hear all that was said and done. I remember well seeing a schedule of abjuration read to Jeanne by Massieu. It was about six lines of large writing; and Jeanne repeated it after Massieu. This letter of abjuration was in French, beginning, " Je, Jeanne," etc. After the abjuration, she was condemned to perpetual imprisonment, and conducted back to the Castle ; and after this I was commanded to attend another inquiry; but a tumult arose, and I do not know what happened afterwards. There was another sermon: on that day Jeanne died, and on the morning of the day Jeanne received the Body of Christ. At this last preaching I was present to the end of the sermon; and at its conclusion Jeanne was handed over to the secular authorities. This done, I retired.

MESSIRE PIERRE LEBOUCHIER, Priest, Cure of the Parish of Bourgeauville

Examined May 8th, 1452.

An English clerk, Bachelor in Theology, Keeper of the Private Seal of the Cardinal of England, being at the sermon of Saint-Ouen, said these words, in my presence, to the Bishop of Beauvais : "Have done! You favor her overmuch!" Annoyed at these words, the Bishop threw the Process, which he had in his hand, to the ground, saying that he would do nothing more that day, and that he would not act except according to his conscience.

Jeanne was alone, seated upon a chair; I heard her reply without Counsel. I do not know whether she asked for any or if it were denied her.

She was in prison in the Castle of Rouen. I do not know if she were in irons. No one might speak to her without leave from the English who had charge of her. I did not see her leave the Castle. There were with her certain Englishmen who, I believe, were shut up with her in the same room, to which there were three keys one kept by the Lord Cardinal or the aforesaid secretary, another by the Inquisitor, and another by Messire Jean Benedicite, the Promoter: for the English feared greatly that she would escape them.

I was not present at the Process; but, after the preaching at Saint-Ouen, Jeanne, with her hands joined together, said in a loud voice that she submitted to the judgment of the Church, and prayed to Saint Michael that he would direct and counsel her.

As soon as the sentence had been read by the Ecclesiastical Judge, [at the Old Market,] she was conducted to the platform of the Bailly by the King's followers, on which platform were the Bailly and other lay officers. She remained there some time with them; and what they did or said I know not, only that she was taken back and given over to the fire after they had departed.

While they were tying her to the stake she implored and specially invoked Saint Michael. She seemed to me a good Christian to the end the greater number of those present, to the number of ten thousand, wept and lamented, saying that she was of great piety.

I think the English feared Jeanne more than the whole of the rest of the army of the King of France, and that this fear it was which moved them, in my opinion, to bring the Process against her.

MAÎTRE NICOLAS DE HOUPPEVILLE, Bachelor in Theology, of the diocese of Rouen:

First Examination, May 8th, 1452.

I never thought that zeal of the Faith, nor desire to bring her back to the right way, caused the English to act thus.

Jeanne was brought to the town of Rouen by the English and imprisoned in the Castle; and the Process was, I believe, instituted by them. As to the question of fear and pressure, I do not believe it, so far as it affected the Judges. They acted voluntarily, principally the Bishop of Beauvais, for I saw him on his return from the negotiations about Jeanne speaking of it with the Regent and the Earl of Warwick: he was exulting and rejoicing in words which I did not understand. He went apart thereupon with the Earl of Warwick; but what was said I know not.

In my judgment, the Judges and Assessors were for the most part un-coerced; for the rest, I believe many were afraid. I heard from Maitre Pierre Minier that he had tendered his opinion in writing, but it was not pleasing to the Bishop of Beauvais, who sent him away, telling him that, as a theologian, he was not to meddle any more in the matter, but to leave it to the lawyers.

I was once called at the beginning of the Process. I did not come, being prevented. The second day, when I came, I was not admitted.I was even driven away by the Bishop, because, talking one day with Maitre Michel Colles, I had told him that it was dangerous for many reasons to take part in this Process. This was repeated to the Bishop; and for this cause he had me shut up in the King's prison at Rouen, whence I was delivered only by the prayers of the Lord Abbot of Fecamp: and I heard that some, whom the Bishop summoned, advised that I should be exiled to England or elsewhere beyond the bounds of Rouen, had I not been delivered by the Abbot and his friends.

It was reported in the city of Rouen that some one, feigning to be a soldier of the King of France, was secretly introduced to her, persuading her not to submit to the authority of the Church. There were rumors that, on account of this persuasion, Jeanne afterwards wavered in her submission to the Church.

I saw her coming out of the Castle, weeping much, and led to the place of execution by a troop of soldiers, to the number of 120, some with swords and some with clubs. Touched with compassion at this sight I could go no further.

Re-examined, May 13th, 1456.

At the beginning of the Process, I was at several consultations, in which I was of opinion that neither the Bishop nor those who wished to take part with him were in the position to act as Judges; I could not see how they could properly proceed, because those opposed to her were acting as Judges, and she had already been examined by the Clergy of Poitiers and the Archbishop of Reims, the Metropolitan of the Bishop of Beauvais. Owing to this opinion I incurred the wrath of the Bishop, who cited me to appear before him. When I appeared, I told him that I was not his subject, nor was I under his jurisdiction, but in that of Rouen: and so I left him. But when, for this reason, I wished to appear in the Case and presented myself to the authorities of Rouen, I was arrested and taken to the Castle and to the King's prisons. When I asked the cause of my arrest, I was told it was by order of the Bishop of Beauvais. Maitre Jean Delafontaine, my friend, wrote to me that I was arrested in consequence of the Opinion I had given in this Process; and he warned me, at the same time, of the anger of the Bishop. Thanks to the intervention of the Abbe' of Fe camp, I ended by being set at liberty.

[He adds, to his previous statement, that the man who feigned to be a soldier on the side of the King of France was Nicolas Loyseleur.]

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