Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Trial of Nullification (Rehabilitation)

Closeup of statue of Joan of Arc on horseback in Vaucouleurs

JEAN DE NOVELEMPORT, Knight, called Jean de Metz.

When Jeannette was at Vaucouleurs, I saw her dressed in a red dress, poor and worn; she lived at the house of one named Henri Leroyer. 'What are you doing here, my friend?" I said to her. " Must the King be driven from the kingdom; and are we to be English?" " I am come here," she answered me, "to this royal town, ("Ad cameram regis.") to speak to Robert de Baudricourt, to the end that he may conduct me or have me conducted to the King: but Robert cares neither for me nor for my words. Nevertheless, before the middle of Lent, I must be with the King - even if I have to wear down my feet to the knees! No one in the world - neither kings, nor dukes, nor the daughter of the King of Scotland, (Margaret, daughter of James I of Scotland, who was betrothed to Louis, afterwards Louis XI.) nor any others - can recover the kingdom of France; there is no succor to be expected save from me; but, nevertheless, I would rather spin with my poor mother - for this is not my proper estate: it is, however, necessary that I should go, and do this, because my Lord wills that I should do it." And when I asked her who this Lord was, she told me it was God. Then I pledged my faith to her, touching her hand, and promised that, with God's guidance, I would conduct her to the King. I asked her when she wished to start. "Sooner at once than tomorrow, and sooner tomorrow than later," she said. I asked her if she could make this journey, dressed as she was. She replied that she would willingly take a man's dress. Then I gave her the dress and equipment of one of my men. Afterwards, the inhabitants of Vaucouleurs had a man's dress made for her, with all the necessary requisites; I also procured for her a horse at the price of about sixteen francs. Thus dressed and mounted, and furnished with a safe-conduct from the Sieur Charles, Duke de Lorraine, she went to visit the said Lord Duke. I accompanied her as far as Toul. On the return to Vaucouleurs, the first Sunday in Lent, (February 13th, 1428.) which is called 'Dimanche des Bures '-and it will be, if I mistake not, twenty-seven years from that day to the coming Lent (1455.) I and Bertrand de Poulengey, with two of my men, Colet de Vienne, the King's Messenger, and the Archer Richard, conducted the Maid to the King, who was then at Chinon. The journey was made at the expense of Bertrand de Poulengey and myself. We traveled for the most part at night, for fear of the Burgundians and the English, who were masters of the roads. We journeyed eleven days, always riding towards the said town of Chinon. On the way, I asked her many times if she would really do all she said. "Have no fear," she answered us, "what I am commanded to do, I will do; my brothers in Paradise have told me how to act: it is four or five years since my brothers in Paradise and my Lord - that is, God - told me that I must go and fight in order to regain the kingdom of France. On the way, Bertrand and I slept every night by her - Jeanne being at my side, fully dressed. She inspired me with such respect that for nothing in the world would I have dared to molest her; also, never did I feel towards her - I say it on oath - any carnal desire. On the way she always wished to hear Mass. She said to us: "If we can, we shall do well to hear Mass." But, for fear of being recognized, we were only able to hear it twice. I had absolute faith in her. Her words and her ardent faith in God inflamed me. I believe she was sent from God ; she never swore, she loved to attend Mass, she confessed often, and was zealous in giving alms. Many times was I obliged to hand out to her the money she gave for the love of God. While we were with her, we found her always good, simple, pious, an excellent Christian, well behaved, and God fearing When we arrived at Chinon, (March 6th, 1428.) we presented ourselves to the King's Court and Council. I know she had there to submit to long inquiries.

DURAND LAXART, of Burey-le-Petit.

Jeanne was of the family of Jeanne, my wife. I knew Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle, his wife, the parents of Jeanne the Maid: they were good and faithful Catholics, and of good repute. She was a girl of good disposition, devout, patient, loving the Church, going often to confession, and giving to the poor all that she could. I can attest this, having been witness there of, both at Domremy and at my own house at Burey, where she passed six weeks. (This covers the period of several visits, made between May 1428, and February 1429.) I went to fetch her from her father's and brought her to my house; she told me she wished to go into France, to the Dauphin, to have him crowned. "Was it not foretold formerly," she said to me, "that France should be desolated (The mother of Charles VII., who denied the legitimacy of her own son, being Burgundian at heart, and ratified the iniquitous Treaty of Troyes, so disastrous for France.) by a woman, and should be restored by a maid?" She told me she wished to go, herself, and seek Robert de Baudricourt, in order that he might have her conducted to the place where the Dauphin was. But many times Robert told me to take her back to her father and to box her ears. When she saw that Robert would not do as she asked, she took some of my garments and said she would start. She departed, and I took her to Vaucouleurs [i.e. Saint-Nicolas]. (In the text Vaucouleurs is an obvious misprint for Saint-Nicolas.) Thence she returned, and went with a safe-conduct to the Sieur Charles de Lorraine. The Duke saw her, spoke to her, and gave her four francs, (He also gave her a horse; cf previous depositions.) which Jeanne showed to me. She came back to Vaucouleurs; and the inhabitants bought for her a man's garments and a complete warlike equipment. Alain de Vaucouleurs and I bought her a horse for the price of twelve francs, which we paid, and which was repaid to us later by the Sieur Robert de Baudricourt. This done, Jean de Metz, Bertrand de Poulengey, Colet de Vienne, together with Richard the Archer and two men of the suite of Jean de Metz and Bertrand, conducted Jeanne to the place where the Dauphin was.

All this, as I now say it, I told to the King. I know no more, except that I saw her at Reims at the King's crowning.

CATHERINE, wife of Leroyer.

Jeanne, when she had left her parents, was brought to our house at Vaucouleurs by Durand Laxart, her uncle; she wished to go to the place where the Dauphin was. I had occasion to know her well; she was an excellent girl, simple, gentle, respectful, well conducted, loving to go to Church.

She lived with us at Vaucouleurs, at different times about three weeks. She spoke to the Sieur Robert de Baudricourt, that he might have her conducted to the Dauphin, but Sieur Robert would not listen to her. One day, I saw Robert de Baudricourt - then captain of Vaucouleurs - and Messire Jean Fournier, our Cure, come in to our house to visit her. After they were gone, she told me that the Priest had his stole, and that, in presence of the said captain, he adjured her, saying : "If you are an evil spirit, avaunt! If you are a good spirit, approach!" Then Jeanne drew near the Priest and threw herself at his knees: she said he was wrong to act so, for he had heard her in confession. When she saw that Robert refused to conduct her to the King, she said to me that, nevertheless, she would go and seek the Dauphin. "Do you not know," she said, "the prophecy which says that France, lost by a woman, shall be saved by a maiden from the Marches of Lorraine?" I did indeed remember the prophecy, and remained stupefied. Jacques Alain and Durand Laxart took her to Saint-Nicolas, (Saint-Nicolas-du-Port - then a celebrated center of pilgrimage - near Nancy. As both Poulengey and Laxart connect this pilgrimage with her visit to the Duke de Lorraine, whose residence was at Nancy, it is clear that Saint Nicolas-du-Port is meant, and not the Chapel of St. Nicolas near Vaucouleurs.) then came back with her to Vaucouleurs.

HENRI LEROYER, cartwright, formerly of Vaucouleurs.

Jeanne, when she came to Vaucouleurs, lodged in our house. She said to us, "It is necessary that I should go to the noble Dauphin; my Lord the King of Heaven wills that I should go; I go in the name of the King of Heaven; even if I have to drag myself thither on my knees, I shall go!" When she arrived at our house, she was wearing a woman's dress, of a red color. At Vaucouleurs she received the gift of a man's dress and a complete equipment; then, mounted on a horse, she was conducted to the place where the Dauphin was, by Jean de Metz, Bertrand de Poulengey, and two of their servants - Colet de Vienne, and Richard the Archer. I saw them depart, all six, and Jeanne with them. When she spoke of leaving, she was asked how she thought she could effect such a journey and escape the enemy. "I fear them not," she answered, "I have a sure road: if the enemy are on my road, I have God with me, Who knows how to prepare the way to the Lord Dauphin. I was born to do this."

ALBERT D'OURCHES, Seigneur of Ourches, near Commerey.

I saw Jeanne at Vaucouleurs when she arrived to be taken to the King. Many times I heard her then say that she wished to go to the King, and that some one would conduct her to him, for it would be to the great benefit of the Dauphin.

This maiden always seemed to me very well behaved. I should have been well pleased to have had a daughter as good as she.


After her departure from her father's roof, I often saw Jeanne at Vaucouleurs and during the war. I remember often to have heard this Ladies' Tree spoken of. I have even sat beneath it, but that was a dozen years before I saw Jeanne. Jeanne came to Vaucouleurs, I think, about Ascension Day. (May l3th, 1428.) I saw her speaking to the Captain, Robert de Baudricourt. She told him that "she came to him in the name of her Lord; that the Dauphin must be compelled to persevere and to give battle to his enemies, that the Lord would give him succor before the middle of Lent; that the kingdom belonged not to him, the Dauphin, but to her Lord; that her Lord would have the Dauphin/King and hold the kingdom in trust; that she would make him King, in spite of his enemies, and would conduct him to his coronation." "But who is this Lord of whom you speak?" asked Robert of her. "The King of Heaven," she replied. That time she went back to her father's house, accompanied by one of her uncles, named Durand Laxart. Later, towards the commencement of Lent, she came back to Vaucouleurs to seek companions, so as to go to the Dauphin. Then Jean de Metz and I offered to conduct her to the King - at that time Dauphin. After a pilgrimage to Saint-Nicolas, she went to seek the Lord Duke de Lorraine, who had sent her a safe-conduct and asked to see her. She then returned to Vaucouleurs and lodged in the house of Henry Leroyer. Then Jean de Metz and I, aided by many others of Vaucouleurs, so wrought that she put off her woman's dress, which was of a red color : (See Deposition of Jean Morel.) we procured for her a tunic and man's dress spurs, leggings, sword, and such-like - and a horse. Then we started with her to seek the Dauphin, together with Julian, my servant, Jean de Honecourt, servant of Jean de Metz, Colet de Vienne, and Richard the Archer. On starting, the first day, fearing to be taken by the Burgundians and the English, we traveled all night. Jeanne said to me and to Jean de Metz, while we were journeying, that it would be well for us to hear Mass; but while we were in the enemy's country, we could not, for fear of being recognized. At night, Jeanne slept beside Jean de Metz and myself, fully dressed and armed. I was young then; nevertheless I never felt towards her any desire: I should never have dared to molest her, because of the great goodness which I saw in her. We were eleven days on the road, during which we had many anxieties. But Jeanne told us always that we had nothing to fear, and that, once arrived at Chinon, the noble Dauphin would show us good countenance. She entirely abstained from swearing. I felt myself inspired by her words, for I saw she was in deed a messenger of God; never did I see in her any evil, but always she was as good as if she had been a saint. We took our road thus, and, without many obstacles, gained Chinon, where the King - then Dauphin - was staying. There the said maid was presented to the nobles in the King's suite, to whom I refer for the actions of the said Jeanne.

MESSIRE JEAN LEFUMEUX, of Vaucouleurs, Canon of the Chapel of Saint Mary at Vaucouleurs, and Cure of the Parish Church of Ugny.

I know that Jeanne came to Vaucouleurs, and said that she wished to go to the Dauphin. I was then young, and attached to the Chapel of the Blessed Mary at Vaucouleurs. I often saw Jeanne in this Chapel; she behaved with great piety, attended Mass in the morning, and remained a long time in prayer. I have also seen her (This Chapel in the crypt may still be seen at Vaucouleurs.) in the crypt of the Chapel on her knees before the Blessed Mary, her face sometimes bent to the ground, sometimes raised to heaven. She was a good and holy maiden.

HUSSON LE MAITRE, of Viville, in Bassigny, Coal Merchant.

I knew nothing of Jeanne until she came to Reims, for the King's coronation, in which town I was then living. Thither came also her father and her brother Pierre, both of whom were friendly with me and my wife, as we were compatriots; and they called my wife "neighbor."

I was in my own neighborhood when Jeanne went to Vaucouleurs, to Robert de Baudricourt, that she might get an escort to go to the King. I then said it was by the grace of God, and that Jeanne was led by the Spirit of God. Jeanne requested the said Robert to give her an escort to conduct her to my lord the Dauphin.

I heard, at the time when she was taken from Vaucouleurs to the King, that some of the soldiers who conducted her feigned to be on the other side, and, when those who were with her pretended to fly, she said to them: " Fly not, in God's Name! they will do us no harm." When she came to the King, she recognized him, though she had never seen him before; and afterwards she took the King without hindrance to Reims, where I saw her; and from Reims the King went to Corbignac, and afterwards to Chateau Thierry, which was surrendered to the King. And there arrived news that the English were come to fight against the King; but Jeanne told the King's people not to fear, for the English would not come.

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