Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

The Trial of Joan of Arc
By W.P. Barrett

Chapter 6: Tuesday, February 27th. Fourth Session

Tuesday, February 27th. Fourth Session

On Tuesday, February 27th, we repaired as on the previous days to the room in the castle of Rouen where the tribunal had been hitherto sitting: there were also present master Gilles, abbot of Ste. Trinité de Fécamp Pierre, prior of Longueville; Jean Beaupère, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Gerard Feuillet, Jean de Nibat, Jacques Guesdon, Maurice du Quesnay, Jean Le Fèvre, Guillaume Le Boucher, Pierre Houdenc, Jean de Châtillon, Erard Emengart, Giovanni da Fano, Denis de Sabrevois, Nicolas Lemire, and Jean Charpentier, doctors of sacred theology; Nicolas de Jumièges, Guillaume de Ste. Catherine, abbots, and Jean Garin, doctor of canon law; Raoul Roussel, doctor of canon and civil law; William Haiton, Nicolas Couppequesne, Guillaume de Baudribosc, Richard de Grouchet, Pierre Minier, Thomas de Courcelles, Jean Le Maistre, Jean Le Vautier, bachelors of sacred theology; the abbot of Préaux Guillaume Desjardins, doctors of medicine; Robert Le Barbier, Denis Gastinel, Jean Le Doulx, Nicolas de Venderès, Jean Pinchon, Jean Basset, Aubert Morel, Jean Duchemin, Jean de La Fontaine, Jean Colombel, Jean Bruillot, Raoul Anguy, bachelors of canon law; Jean Alespée, Geoffroy du Crotay, Gilles Deschamps, Nicolas Caval, Pierre Carel, Nicolas Maulin, licentiates in civil law; Nicolas Loiseleur and Robert Morellet, canons of the cathedral of Rouen.


In their presence we first required the said Jeanne to take an oath to speak the truth on whatever concerned the trial. To which she replied that she would willingly swear to answer truly everything that concerned her trial, but not everything she knew.

Then we required her to swear to answer truthfully everything she should be asked. She replied as before, saying: "You ought to be satisfied, for I have sworn enough."

Then at our instruction, master Jean Beaupère aforementioned, began to examine her. And first he asked her how she had been in health since the preceding Saturday. She answered: "You see well enough how. I have been as well as possible."

Asked if she would fast every day during this Lent, she answered by this question: "Is that in your case?" And as she was answered that it was, she said: "Yes, truly. I have fasted the whole of Lent."

Asked whether since Saturday she had heard her voice she answered: "Yes, truly, many times." Asked if on Saturday she had heard it in this hall, where she was being examined, she answered: "That is not in your case." And then she said she had heard it.

Asked what the voice had said on Saturday, she answered: "I did not altogether understand it, I understood nothing I could repeat to you, until I went back to my room."

Asked what the voice said to her in her room, when she went back she answered: "It told me to answer you boldly." And she said she asked counsel from her voice on the questions we should ask her. She said further that she will gladly tell whatever she has Our Lord's permission to reveal; but concerning the revelations about the king of France, she will not tell without permission from her voice.


Asked if the voice forbade her to tell everything, she answered she did not quite understand that. Asked what the voice said to her on the last occasion, she said she asked counsel of it upon certain points of our interrogation.

Asked if the voice had given her counsel upon these points, she answered that on some she had advice, and on others we might question her and she would not reply without leave. And if she replied without permission, perhaps she would not have the voices for warrant, in French "en garant"; when she had leave from Our Lord she would not be afraid to speak, for she would have a good warrant.

Asked whether the voice which spoke to her was that of an angel, or of a saint, male or female, or straight from God, she answered that the voice was the voice of St. Catherine and of St. Margaret. And their heads were crowned in a rich and precious fashion with beautiful crowns. "And to tell this," she said, "I have God's permission. If you doubt it, send to Poitiers where I was examined before."

Asked how she knew they were these two saints, and how she knew one from the other, she answered she knew well who they were, and easily distinguished one from the other.

Asked how she knew one from the other, she answered she knew them by the greeting they gave her. She said further that a good seven years have passed since they undertook to guide her. She said also she knows the saints because they tell her their names.

Asked if the said saints are dressed in the same cloth, she answered "I will tell you no more now; I have not leave to reveal it. If you do not believe me, send to Poitiers!" She said also that there were some revelations made directly to the king of France, and not to those who question her.


Asked if the saints are the same age, she answered that she had not leave to say.

Asked if the saints spoke at the same time, or one after another, she answered: "I have not leave to tell you; nevertheless I have always had counsel from both."

Asked which one appeared first, she answered: "I did not recognize them immediately; I knew well enough once, but I have forgotten; if I had leave I would gladly tell you. It is written down in the register at Poitiers." She added that she had received comfort from St. Michael.

Asked which of the apparitions came to her first, she answered that St. Michael came first.

Asked whether it was a long time ago that she first heard the voice of St. Michael, she answered: "I do not speak of St. Michael's voice, but of his great comfort."

Asked which was the first voice which came to her when she was about thirteen, she answered that it was St. Michael whom she saw before her eyes; and he was not alone, but accompanied by many angels from heaven. She said also that she came into France only by the instruction of God.

Asked if she saw St. Michael and these angels corporeally and in reality, she answered: "I saw them with my bodily eyes as well as I see you; and when they left me, I wept; and I fain would have had them take me with them too."

Asked in what form St. Michael appeared, she answered "There is as yet no reply to that, for I have not had leave to answer."

Asked what St. Michael said to her the first time, she answered: "You will get no further reply today." She said the voices told her to answer boldly. She said she had indeed once told her king everything that had been revealed to her, since it concerned him. She said, however, that she had not yet leave to reveal what St. Michael said. She added that she


wished her examiner had a copy of the book at Poitiers, provided that God desired it.

Asked if the voices told her not to tell her revelations without their permission, she answered: "I will not answer you further about that; and what I have permission to, that I will gladly answer. If the voices forbade me, I did not understand."

Asked what sign she gives that this revelation comes from God, and that it is St. Catherine and St. Margaret who speak to her, she answered: "I have told you often enough that it is St. Catherine and St. Margaret; believe me if you will."

Asked if it is forbidden for her to tell, she answered: "I have not quite understood whether that is permitted or not."

Asked how she can distinguish such points as she will answer, and such as she will not, she answered that on some points she had asked permission, and on some points she had received it. Furthermore she said she would rather be torn asunder by horses than have come to France without God's leave.

Asked if God ordered her to wear a man's dress, she answered that the dress is a small, nay, the least thing. Nor did she put on man's dress by the advice of any man whatsoever; she did not put it on, nor did she do aught, but by the command of God and the angels.

Asked whether it seemed to her that this command to assume male attire was lawful, she answered: "Everything I have done is at God's command; and if He had ordered me to assume a different habit, I should have done it, because it would have been His command."

Asked if she did it at the order of Robert de Baudricourt she said no.

Asked if she thought she had done well to take man's dress, she answered that everything she did at God's command she


thought well done, and hoped for good warrant and succor in it.

Asked if, in this particular case, by taking man's dress, she thought she had done well, she answered that she had done nothing in the world but by God's commands.

Asked whether, when she saw the voice coming to her, there was a light, she answered that there was a great deal of light on all sides, as was most fitting. She added to the examiner that not all the light came to him alone!

Asked whether there was an angel over her king's head, when she saw him for the first time, she answered: "By Our Lady! if there was, I do not know and did not see it."

Asked if there was a light, she answered: "There were three hundred knights and fifty torches, without counting the spiritual light, and I seldom have revelations but there is a light."

Asked how the king gave credence to her words, she answered that he had good signs, and through the clergy.

Asked what revelations the king had, she answered: "You will not learn them from me this year." She said that for three weeks she was examined by the clergy, at Chinon and Poitiers; and her king had a sign touching of her mission before he believed in her. The clergy of her party held that there was nothing but good in her mission.

Asked if she had been to Ste. Catherine de Fierbois, she answered yes; and there she heard Masses three times on the same day; and then went to Chinon. She said she sent letters to her king, to the effect that she was sending to find out if she should enter the town where her king was; and that she had journeyed a good hundred and fifty leagues to come to his aid, and that she knew many things to his advantage. And she thought these letters said she would be able to recognize the king among all others. She said she had a sword which she took to the town of Vaucouleurs. She added that when she


was at Tours or Chinon she sent for a sword which was in the church of Ste. Catherine de Fierbois, behind the altar; and immediately it was found there all rusted over.

Asked how she knew that this sword was there, she answered that the sword was in the ground, rusted over, and upon it were five crosses; and she knew it was there through her voices, and she had never seen the man who fetched it. She wrote to the clergy of the place asking if it was their pleasure that she should have the sword, and they sent it to her. Nor was it buried deep behind the altar, but she believed she wrote saying it was behind. She added that as soon as the sword was found the priests rubbed it, and the rust fell off at once without effort; a merchant, an armorer of Tours, fetched it. The local priests gave her a scabbard, as did those of Tours also; they made two in all, one of crimson velvet, in French "de velous vermeil", and the other of cloth of gold. She herself had another made of very strong leather. She added that when she was captured she had not this sword with her.

She said also that she carried it continually from the time she obtained it until her departure from St. Denis, after the assault on Paris.

Asked what blessing she said or asked over the sword, she answered that she neither blessed it herself, nor had it blessed; she would not have known how to do it. She loved the sword, she said, since it had been found in the church of St. Catherine, whom she loved.

Asked if she had been to Coulange-la-Vineuse, she answered she did not know.

Asked if she ever put her sword on the altar, and if she did so to bring it better fortune, she answered no, as far as she knew.

Asked if she ever prayed for her sword to have better fortune, she answered: "It is well to know that I could have


wished my armor (in French "mon harnois") to have good fortune."

Asked if she had her sword when she was taken, she answered no; but she had one which had been taken from a Burgundian.

Asked where this sword was, and in what town, she answered that she offered a sword and armor at St. Denis, but not this sword. She said she had this sword at Lagny; and from Lagny to Compiègne she had worn the Burgundian's sword, which was a good weapon for fighting, excellent for giving hard clouts and buffets (in French "de bonnes buffes et de bons torchons"). But she said that to say where she had lost it did not concern the case, and she would not answer now. She added that her brothers have her goods, her horses and swords, as far as she knows, and other things worth more than 12,000 crowns.

Asked whether, when she went to Orleans, she had a standard or banner, in French "estandart ou banière" and what color it was, she answered she had a banner, with a field sown with lilies; the world was depicted on it, and two angels, one at each side; it was white, of white linen or boucassin, and on it were written, she thought, these names, Jhesus Maria; and it was fringed with silk.

Asked if these names Jhesus Maria were written above, or below, or at the side, she answered, at the side, she believed.

Asked which she preferred, her standard or her sword, she answered she much preferred her standard to her sword.

Asked who persuaded her to have this painting on her standard, she answered: "I have told you often enough that I have done nothing but by God's command." She said also that she herself bore the standard, when attacking the enemy, so as not to kill any one; she never has killed any one, she said. Asked what force her king gave her when he set her to [


work, she answered that he gave her 10 or 12,000 men; and she went first to Orleans, to the fortress of Saint-Loup, and then to the fortress of the Bridge.

Asked to which fortress she ordered her men to retire, she says she does not remember. She added that she was confident of raising the siege of Orleans, for it had been revealed to her, and she had told the king so before going there.

Asked whether, when the assault was to be made, she did not tell her men that she would receive arrows, crossbolts and stones hurled by catapults or cannons, she answered no; there were a hundred wounded, or more. But she had indeed told her men not to fear and they would raise the siege. She said also that at the assault upon the fortress of the Bridge she was wounded in the neck by an arrow or crossbolt but she received great comfort from St. Margaret, and was better in a fortnight. But she did not on account of that give up her riding or work.

Asked if she knew beforehand that she would be wounded, she answered that she did indeed, and she had told her king so; but that notwithstanding she would not give up her work. And it was revealed to her by the voices of the two saints, namely the blessed Catherine and Margaret. She added that she herself was the first to plant the ladder against the said fortress of the Bridge; and as she was raising the ladder she was wounded in the neck with the crossbolt, as she had said.

Asked why she had not concluded a treaty with the captain of Jargeau, she answered that the lords of her party replied to the English that they would not get the delay of a fortnight which they asked for, but must go away, they and their horses, immediately. She added that for her own part, she told the people of Jargeau to retire if they wished, with their doublets or tunics, and their life safe; otherwise they would be taken by assault.


Asked if she had any conversation with her counsel, that is to say with her voices, to find out whether or not to grant the delay, she answered she does not remember.

At this point the examination was postponed to a later date, and we fixed the following Thursday for the continuation of the inquiry and subsequent interrogations.



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