Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Was Joan of Arc Tortured?


Donjon tower at Rouen Castle where Joan of Arc was threatened with torture
Donjon Tower at Rouen Castle where Joan of Arc was taken to be tortured

On May 9, 1431, Joan of Arc was taken to the donjon tower in the castle of Rouen and threatened with torture. Whether or not Pierre Cauchon and the other judges involved actually intended to torture Joan or were merely trying to scare her into saying what they desired is anyone's guess. But Joan was taken to this part of the castle where the instruments of torture were waiting as well as the men who would apply the torture. When Joan saw what awaited she famously cried out:

"Truly, if you were to tear me limb from limb and separate my soul from my body, I would not say anything more. If I did say anything, afterwards I would always declare that you made me say it by force!"
Joan was then questioned but was never tortured. At Joan's Trial of Nullification (Rehabilitation) Mauger Leparmentier, one of the men who had been ordered to the Donjon Towwer to apply the torture related what occured that day: "We were ordered there, my companion and me, to put Joan to torture. She was examined and comported herself most prudently in her answers, so well that the assistants were in wonder. Finally my companion and myself retired with out having touched her person."

Three day later Cauchon met with thirteen of the judges about what next should be done and they voted as to whether or not to torture Joan. Fortunately the majority voted against torture so Joan of Arc was never actually subjected to torture by the Inquisition.
Read Description of this episode in the official trial records HERE

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