Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Trial of Nullification (Rehabilitation)


[No questions for the Examinations at Paris and Rouen appear in the Rehabilitation Reports, but, as M. Joseph Fabre was the first to point out, the numbers appended to the answers correspond with the first thirty-three of the hundred and one Articles of the Act of Accusation.]

MASSIEU : Second Examination, May 8th, 1452. [Additional evidence:]

On one occasion, Maitre Jean de Chatillon, Archdeacon of Evreux and Doctor in Theology, found that Jeanne was being asked questions too difficult for her, and complained of the mode of procedure, saying that they ought not to act in this manner. But the other Assessors told him to let them alone; to which he answered : "I must acquit my own conscience." For this cause he was forbidden, by whom I do not remember, to attend further unless he was summoned.

On Trinity Sunday, in the afternoon, Maitre Andre Marguerie, hearing that Jeanne had resumed her male attire, went to the Castle of Rouen, saying that he must find out why she had done so, and that it was not enough for him merely to see her in this dress. One of the English soldiers, lance in hand, called out to him, "Traitor! Armagnac!" and raised his lance against him, so that Marguerie fled, fearing to be slain, and was in consequence much upset and ill.

At the first sermon, I was on the platform with Jeanne, and read the Schedule of Abjuration to her; at her request and petition I instructed her, showing her the danger that might arise from abjuration unless the Articles were first seen by the Church, to whom she should refer as to whether she should abjure or not.

Seeing this, Maitre Guillaume Erard, the preacher, asked me what I was saying to her, and, when I replied, said : " Read her this schedule, and tell her to sign it." Jeanne answered that she did not know how to sign; she desired that the Articles might be seen and deliberated upon by the Church; [she said] she ought not to abjure this schedule, and requested that she might be placed in the custody of, the Church, and no longer be kept by the English. Erard replied that she had had long enough delay, and that, if she did not abjure this schedule, she should be immediately burned; and he forbade me to speak further with her or to give her more counsel.

I remember that incomplete questions were often put to Jeanne, and many and difficult interrogations were made together; then, before she could answer one, another would put a question; so that she was displeased, saying, "Speak one after the other." I marveled that she could so answer the subtle and captious questions put to her; no man of letters could have replied better.

The examinations lasted generally from eight o'clock to eleven.

I often heard Jeanne say that God would not permit her to say or do anything against the Catholic Faith. I heard her tell the Judges that, if she had ever said or done anything ill, she was willing to correct and amend according to their decision. I heard Jeanne saying to the Doctors who questioned her: "You ask me of the Church Triumphant and Militant. I do not understand these terms; but I am willing to submit to the Church as a good Christian should."

I know that the whole Process was written in French. I believe it was afterwards translated into Latin. [To his account of her resumption of the man's dress he adds:] On the morrow, after she had been seen in the resumed dress, her woman's dress was restored to her.

At the beginning of the Process, Jeanne asked for Counsel in her replies, she said she was too unlearned to reply; but they answered, that she must speak for herself as best she could, for she should not have Counsel.

[He adds to his account of her last Communion the fact that he was himself present.]

Further examined, December 17th 1455, and May 12th, 1456. [Additional evidence:]

Once, when I was conducting her before the Judges, she asked me, if there were not, on her way thither, any Chapel or Church in which was the Body of Christ. I replied, that there was a certain Chapel in the Castle. She then begged me to lead her by this Chapel,that she might do reverence to God and pray, which I willingly did, permitting her to kneel and pray before the Chapel; this she did with great devotion. The Bishop of Beauvais was much displeased at this, and forbade me in future to permit her to pray there.

Many [in the Trial] had a great hate against her, principally the English, who feared her greatly: for, before she was captured, they did not dare to appear where they believed her to be. I heard it said that the Bishop of Beauvais did everything at the instigation of the King of England and his Council, who were then in Rouen.

Among the Assessors there was complaint that Jeanne was in the hands of the English. Some of them said that she ought to be in the hands of the Church; but the Bishop did not care, and sent her away to the English.

Maitre Jean Lefevre, of the Order of the Hermit Friars of Saint Augustine, now Bishop of Demetriade, seeing Jeanne much fatigued with the questioning as to whether she were in a state of grace, and considering that, though her answers seemed sufficient, she was over worried by many questioners, remarked that she was being too much troubled. Then the questioners ordered him to be silent : I do not remember who they were.

She was imprisoned in the Castle of Rouen in a room on the second floor, to which one ascended by eight steps. There was a bed in which she slept and a great piece of wood to which she was fastened by iron chains.

There were five English of wretched estate [horse pailliers] who kept guard over her; they much desired her death and often derided her, and with this she reproached them.

I learnt from Etienne Castille, locksmith, that he had constructed for her an iron cage in which she was held by the neck, hands and feet, and that she was in this state from the time she was first brought to the town of Rouen until the beginning of the Process. I never saw her in this cage, for, when I fetched her, she was always out of irons.

I know that, by the order of the Duchess of Bedford, a visitation was made by matrons and midwives, among whom were, notably, Anna Bavon and another matron whose name I do not remember. She was found to be virgin, as I have heard from the said Anna. The Duchess of Bedford forbade the guards to offer her any violence.

When Jeanne was questioned, there were with the Bishop six Assessors, who also questioned her in such wise that, when she was occupied in replying to one, another interrupted her answer, so that she often said to them: "Fair sirs, speak one after another."

[To the story of the signing of the abjuration he adds:] Erard, holding the Schedule of Abjuration, said to Jeanne, "Thou shalt abjure and sign this schedule," and passed it to me to read, and I read it in her presence. I remember well that in this schedule it was said that in future she should not bear arms or male attire or short hair, and many other things which I do not remember. I know that this schedule contained about eight lines and no more; and I know of a certainty that it was not that which is mentioned in the Process, for this is quite different from what I read and what was signed by Jeanne. While they were pressing Jeanne to sign her abjuration, there was a great murmur among those present. I heard that the Bishop said to one of them, "You shall pay me for this," and added, that he would not go on unless satisfaction were done him. During this time I was constrained to warn Jeanne of the peril which threatened her if she signed this schedule. I saw clearly that she did not understand it, nor the danger in which she stood. Then Jeanne, pressed to sign, said: " Let the clerics of the Church examine this schedule. It is in their hands I ought to be. If they tell me to sign I will do it willingly." Then Maitre Guillaume Erard said: "Do it now, otherwise you will end in the fire today." Jeanne replied that she would rather sign than burn; and there arose a great tumult among the people, and many stones were thrown, but by whom I know not. When the schedule was signed, Jeanne asked the Promoter whether she were to be placed in the hands of the Church and where she was to be taken. Then the Promoter replied, that she was to be conducted back to the Castle of Rouen, which in fact was done, and she was put into woman's clothes.

On the morning of Wednesday, the day on which she died, Brother Martin Ladvenu heard her in confession, and afterwards sent me to the Bishop to tell him this fact and that she prayed the Sacrament of the Eucharist might be brought to her. Thereupon, the Bishop convoked some of the Assessors and at the end of their deliberation he told me to inform Brother Martin that he might take her the Sacrament and whatsoever she desired. Then I returned to the Castle and told this to Brother Martin.

Afterwards, she came out dressed in woman's clothing, and Brother Martin and I led her to the place of execution.

At the end of his sermon, Maitre Nicolas Midi said to her: "Jeanne, go in peace; the Church can no longer defend thee; she leaves thee to the secular arm."

She commended herself to God, to Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and all the Saints.

I heard it said by Jean Fleury, Clerk to the Bailly, that the executioner related how, when her body was burnt and reduced to powder, her heart remained whole and bleeding. I was told that her ashes and all that remained of her were collected and thrown into the Seine.

MAÎTRE NICOLAS CAVAL, Priest, Licentiate in Law, Canon of Rouen: First Examination, May 8th, 1452 [Agreed with previous statements.]

Further examined, December 19th, 1455, and May 12th, 1456. [Additional evidence:]

Jeanne had a good memory, for sometimes when she was asked a question she replied, "I have already answered in such a form," and she insisted that it should be ascertained from the notaries on what day she so answered; on which it was found to be as she said, without addition or change: and at this was there much marvel, considering her youth.

MAÎTRE GUILLAUME DU DESERT, Canon of Rouen: Examined May 8th, 1452.

I was present at the first preaching at Saint-Ouen, where I saw and heard the recantation made by Jeanne, and that she submitted to the decisions, the judgments, and the commands of the Church. A certain English Doctor who was present, being much displeased that the abjuration was received because Jeanne was laughing when she pronounced the words-said to the Bishop of Beauvais, the Judge, that he was doing wrong to admit this recantation, since it was a mere farce. The Bishop, irritated, told this person that he lied: for, as Judge in a cause of faith, he must seek rather her salvation than her death.

At this sermon, I heard Jeanne submit to the judgment of the Church.

MAÎTRE RICHARD GROUCHET, Priest, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Theology, Canon of the Cathedral Church of La Saussaye in the diocese of Evreux: Examined, May 9th, 1452.

Maitre Jean Pigache, Pierre Minier, and I myself, who was with them, gave our opinion only under terror of threats. We stayed to the Trial, but had thoughts of flight. I many times heard from Pierre Maurice that, after the sermon at Saint-Ouen, he had warned Jeanne to hold to her good purpose; and the English, much displeased, threatened to strike him.

I think the notaries wrote with fidelity. I saw and heard that the Bishop of Beauvais bitterly upbraided them when they did not do as he wished: the whole affair, so far as I saw and heard, was carried on tumultuously. So far as I saw, no one was permitted to instruct or counsel Jeanne, nor did I see that she either asked for or was offered Counsel: but I am not sure of this. I do not know whether any one was in danger of losing his life by defending her, but I know well that when difficult questions were put to Jeanne, whoever wished to direct her was harshly reproved and accused of partiality, sometimes by the Bishop of Beauvais and sometimes by Maitre Jean Beaupere, who told those wishing to advise, that they should leave her to speak and that the business of interrogation was theirs.

Jeanne was in prison, in the Castle of Rouen, where she was guarded and brought backwards and forwards by the English; but as to fetters and chains I know nothing, though I have often heard that she was harshly and tightly bound.

I saw and heard at the Trial that when Jeanne was asked if she would submit to the Bishop of Beauvais and others of the Assessors then named, she replied that she would not, but she would submit to the Pope and the Catholic Church, praying that she might be conducted to the Pope. When she was told that the Process would be sent to the Pope for him to judge, she replied that she did not wish this, because she did not know what might be put in this Process, but that she wished to be taken herself and interrogated by the Pope.

I did not know, nor did I ever hear, that there was ever any secular sentence pronounced against Jeanne. I was not present, but the public voice and rumor said that she had been violently and unjustly done to death.

MESSIRE JEAN LEFEVRE, Bishop of Demetriade, of the Order of Saint Augustin in the Convent at Rouen, S.T.P.: Examination, May 9th, 1452.

When Jeanne was asked if she were in the Grace of God, I, who was present, said it was not a suitable question for such a girl. Then the Bishop of Beauvais said to me, "It will be better for you if you keep silent."

Jeanne answered with great prudence the questions put to her, with the exception of the subject of her revelations from God: for the space of three weeks I believed her to be inspired. She was asked very profound questions, as to which she showed herself quite capable; sometimes they interrupted the inquiry, going from one subject to another, that they might make her change her purpose. The Examinations were very long, lasting sometimes two or three hours, so that the Doctors present were much fatigued.

MESSIRE THOMAS MARIE, Priest, Bachelor in Theology, Prior of Saint Michael, near Rouen, of the Order of Saint Benedict: Examined, May 7th, 1452.

Jeanne had done marvels in war: and, as the English are commonly superstitious, they thought there was a fate with her. Therefore, in my opinion, they, in all their counsels and elsewhere, desired her death.

[When asked how he knew the English were superstitious, he answered that it was commonly so reported, and was a popular proverb.]

I heard from a certain locksmith that he had made an iron cage high enough to allow her to stand upright. [When asked if she were ever put into it:] I believe so; I knew nothing of her keepers.

I have heard, that after the first preaching, when she was taken back to the prison of the Castle, she was the victim of so many oppress ions that she said she would rather die than remain with these English.

Where the judgment is not free, neither Process nor sentence is of value; but whether in this Case the Judges and Assessors were free, I know not beyond what I have before stated.

I heard from many that they saw the name Jesus written in the flames of the fire in which she was burnt.

I can well believe that if the English had had such a woman, they would have honored her much and not have treated her in this manner.

MAÎTRE JEAN DE FAVE, Master of Arts, Licentiate in Law, living at Rouen; Commissary: Examined, May 9th, 1452.

After the first preaching, when she was taken back to prison, some of the soldiers insulted her, and their chiefs allowed them to do so. Some of the leaders of the English-as I heard-were angry with the Bishop of Beauvais, the Doctors, and the other Assessors in the Trial, because she had not been convicted and condemned and taken to execution; and I heard it said that some of the English, in their indignation against the Bishop and the Doctors, would have drawn their swords to attack them, if not to slay them, saying that the King was wasting his money on such as they. I also heard that when the Earl of Warwick, after this first sermon, complained to the Bishop and the Doctors, saying that the King was in a bad way, for Jeanne had escaped them, one of them replied: "Take no heed to it, my lord; we shall soon have her again.

The English were discontented with Maitre Guillaume Manchon, the notary: they held him in suspicion as favorable to Jeanne, because he had not been willing to come to the Trial, and did not conduct himself to their liking.


MAÎTRE ANDRE MARGUERIE, Archdeacon: First Examination, May 9th, 1452. Further examined, December 19th, 1455, and May 12th, 1456.

I heard Jeanne say, that she would believe neither Prelate nor Pope nor any other in [contradiction to] what she had received from God. I think this was one of the reasons why she was proceeded against, so that she should recant.

I was present at the final preaching but not at the execution, for very pity of the deed. Many of those present wept, among others the Cardinal de Luxembourg, then Bishop of Therouanne.

I know nothing about her devotions; but she said, " Rouen, Rouen, must I die here?"

I can well believe that some of the English acted from hate and fear, but of the more notable ecclesiastics I do not think this. A chaplain of the Cardinal of England, present at the first preaching, said to the Bishop of Beauvais, that he was showing too much favor to Jeanne; but the Bishop said to him, "You lie! For in such a case I would show favor to no one." The Cardinal of England reproved his chaplain and told him to be silent.

MAÎTRE JEAN TIPHAINE, Priest, Master in Aris and Medicine, Canon of the Sainte Chapelle, Paris.

On the first four Articles, I declare that I knew nothing of Jeanne until she was brought to the town of Rouen for her trial. I was summoned to take part. At first I would not go; but I was commanded a second time, and was present and heard the inquiry and her answers: she made many beautiful answers. When I was present at this Trial, the Judges and the Assessors were in the small hail behind the Great Hall of the Castle; and she answered with much prudence and wisdom and with great bravery.

On the occasion when I was present, Maitre Beaupere was the principal questioner; and Jacques de Touraine, of the Order of Friars Minor, also questioned her. I well remember that this Maitre Jacques once asked her, if she was ever in a place in which the English were overcome; to which she answered: "In God's name, surely. How mildly you put it! Why, have many not fled from France and gone back to their own country ? " (See decrees of Henry VI against fugitives, "terrificatos incantationibus puellae.") And there was a great lord of England, whose name I do not remember, who said, hearing this: "Truly this is a brave woman! Would she were English!" And this he said to me and to Maitre Guillaume Desjardins.

No Doctor, however great and subtle he might be, had he been questioned by so many Doctors and before so great an assembly as was this Jeanne, but would have been perplexed and upset. With regard to the illness of Jeanne during the Trial, I was summoned by the Lords Judges to visit her, and was brought to her by one named d'Estivet; in presence of this d'Estivet, Maitre Delachambre and several others, I felt her pulse in order to know the cause of the malady, and asked what ailed her and from what she suffered. She replied that some carp had been sent her by the Bishop of Beauvais, and that she doubted this was the cause of her illness. Upon this, d'Estivet, who was present, found fault with her, saying she had spoken ill, and called her "paillarde," saying: "You paillarde! you hast been eating sprats and other unwholesomeness." She answered that she had not; and then they-Jeanne and d'Estivet exchanged many abusive words. Afterwards, I wished to know further as to the malady of Jeanne, and learnt that she had had severe vomiting. Except as to her malady, I gave no opinion. (Nevertheless, his name appears as having agreed with the Abbot of Fecamp in his opinion of the Condemnation.)

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