Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

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

Chapter 14: The Statements are Presented to the Assessors

Passion Sunday, March 18th. The statements are presented to the assessors

On the Sunday of the Passion of Our Lord, the following day, March 18th before Us and brother Jean Le Maistre, Vice-Inquisitor, in our episcopal dwelling at Rouen, and in the presence of the reverend brothers and masters, Gilles, abbot of Fécamp, Pierre, prior of Longueville, Jean Beaupère, Jacques de Turon, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, and Gerard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology, and of Raoul Roussel, doctor of canon and civil law; Nicolas de Venderès and Jean de La Fontaine, licentiates in canon law, Nicolas Couppequesne and Thomas de Courcelles, bachelors of sacred theology; we, the said bishop recalled how the said Jeanne had been interrogated for many days and that many of her confessions and answers had been put down in writing, and asked the assessors to lend us their deliberation and counsel touching the manner of our further procedure in this matter. And we had read to them certain assertions extracted by different lawyers at our order from the replies which the said Jeanne had made so that they might more clearly view the matter and more certainly deliberate upon what was to be done.

These lords having heard this exposition solemnly and maturely deliberated. After having heard all their opinions we concluded and agreed that they should each one examine and


diligently study and consult in authoritative books the opinions of doctors on these statements so that the following Thursday we might confer thereon, bringing each one his opinion; and that meanwhile certain articles should be drawn up from the examination and replies of the said Jeanne which should be preferred against her in court before us her judges.

Thursday the 22nd of March. Decision to extract a smaller number of articles from the statements

The following Thursday the twenty-second of March, in our episcopal dwelling at Rouen, before us, and before brother Jean Le Maistre, Vice-Inquisitor, there appeared the venerable lords and masters Jean de Châtillon, Erard Emengart, Guillaume Le Boucher, Pierre, prior of Longueville, Jean Beaupère, Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Maurice du Quesnay, Pierre Houdenc, Jean de Nibat, Jean Le Fèvre, Pierre Maurice, Jacques Guesdon, and Gérard Feuillet, doctors of sacred theology; Raoul Roussel, treasurer of the church of Rouen, doctor of canon and civil law; Nicolas de Venderès, archdeacon of Eu, and Jean de La Fontaine, licentiates in canon law; William Haiton, Nicolas Couppequesne and Thomas de Courcelles, bachelors of sacred theology; Nicolas Loiseleur, canon of the church of Rouen; and brother Ysambard de La Pierre, of the order of Preaching brothers.

To those who were met before us certain reports on this matter were communicated, compiled, drawn up and put forward by learned doctors and lawyers. After having seen and heard the opinions of each one and having at length considered them, we concluded and decreed that what had been extracted from the register of the confessions of Jeanne should be drawn up in a smaller number of articles in the form of statements and propositions, the which articles should then


be given to each of the doctors and lawyers so that they might more easily give their opinions. As for the rest, to wit whether Jeanne should be examined and interrogated further, we should proceed in such a way that by God's help the matter should be conducted to the praise of Our Lord and to the exaltation of the faith, so that our trial might be without flaw.

Saturday the twenty-fourth of March. The interrogations are read in Jeanne's presence

The following Saturday the twenty-fourth day of March in Jeanne's prison, before master lean de La Fontaine, the commissary appointed by ourselves, the said bishop and brother Jean Le Maistre, vicar of the lord Inquisitor, and in the presence of the venerable lords and masters Jean Beaupère, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Gerard Feuillet, doctors; of master Thomas de Courcelles, bachelor of sacred theology, and master Enguerrand de Champrond, official of Coutances; the register containing the interrogations and replies of the said Jeanne was read before her in French by Guillaume Manchon the undersigned notary. But before the reading was begun the Promoter appointed by us and named above, who was present, undertook to prove (in the event that the said Jeanne should deny having made certain of the replies collected in the register) that everything it contained, the questions as well as the replies, had been truly said and done. After this Jeanne took oath to add nothing but the truth to her replies.

Then whilst this was being read to her she said that her surname was d'Arc or Rommée and that in her part girls bore their mother's surname. She asked also that the questions and answers should be read consecutively to her and that which was read without contradiction on her part she allowed to be true and confessed.

She added these words to the article touching her taking


woman's dress: "Give me a woman's dress to go to my mother's house, and I will take it." This she would do to escape from prison, and when she was outside she would take counsel concerning what she should do.

Finally, after the contents of the register had been read to her the said Jeanne confessed that she believed she had spoken well according to what had been written in the register and read to her, and she did not contradict any other saying from the register.

Palm Sunday, March the twenty-fifth. Jeanne asks permission to hear Mass

On the following Sunday morning, Palm Sunday, the twenty-fifth day of March, in Jeanne's prison in the castle of Rouen, we the abovenamed bishop spoke with her in the presence of Jean Beaupère, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, doctors, and Thomas de Courcelles, bachelor of sacred theology. And we said to Jeanne that many times, particularly the day before, she had asked that by reason of the solemnity of these present days and this time she should be permitted to hear Mass on this Palm Sunday; therefore we asked her whether if we allowed her she would abandon male costume and put on a woman's dress, as she had been wont in the country of her birth and as women of her country were wont to do.

To which Jeanne replied by requesting us to permit her to hear Mass in the male costume which she wore and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist on Easter Day. Then we told her to answer our question, whether she would abandon man's dress if she were given that permission. But she answered that she had not had counsel thereon and could not yet wear woman's dress.

And we asked her if she would take counsel of her saints to wear woman's dress, to which she replied that it might


well be permitted her to hear Mass as she was, which she sovereignly desired, but as for changing her dress she could not and it was not in her.

After the said lawyers had exhorted her by all the goodness and piety which she seemed to have, to wear a dress fitting to her sex, the said Jeanne answered that it was not in her to do it; and if it were it would soon be done.

Then she was told to speak with her voices to discover if she could once more wear woman's dress to receive the Eucharist at Easter. To which Jeanne replied that as far as in her lay she would not receive the Eucharist by changing her costume for a woman's; she asked to be permitted to hear Mass in her male attire, adding that this attire did not burden her soul and that the wearing of it was not against the Church.

Of all this Jean d'Estivet, the Promoter, asked an account be drawn up, in the presence of Adam Milet, king's secretary, William Brolbster and Pierre Orient of the dioceses of Rouen, of London, and Châlons.



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