The Trial of Joan of Arc :being a verbatim report of the proceedings from the Orleans manuscript/Torture

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THE THREAT OF TORTURE


9 May


On the Wednesday, IXth of May, in the great dungeon of the castle of Rouen,


Jeanne was led into the presence of her judges, who were accompanied by MaÓtres Jean de Ch‚tillon, Guillaume Erard, the Abbot of Saint Cornille, Guillaume Eston, AndrÈ Marguerie, Nicolas de VenderËs, Aubert Morel, Nicolas Loiseleur and Messire Jean Massieu, Dean of the Christendom of Rouen.


The monitions and exhortations being done,[57]


Jeanne replied to the judges and assessors: Truly, if you were to tear me limb from limb and make my soul leave my body, I would not say to you anything else. [And if you force me to do so], then afterwards I shall say that you made me say so by force.


She said also that on Holy Cross Day[58] she received comfort from Saint Gabriel. And that her voices had told her that it was Saint Gabriel.


She said further that she had asked them whether she ought to submit to the Church, since the churchmen were pressing her strongly to do so, and they told her that if she wished Our Lord to help her, she should wait on Our Lord for all her deeds.


She said that she well knew that Our Lord was always master of her deeds; and that the Enemy never had power over them.


Furthermore she said that she had asked Saint Michael and her other voices if she would be burned; and that the voices had told her that she must wait on Our Lord and He would help her.


Concerning the sign of the crown which she said had been given to the Archbishop of Rheims, being asked whether she wished him to be consulted about it,


She answered: Have him come here, that I may hear him speak; then I shall answer you. He would not dare to tell you the contrary of what I have said to you.


DELIBERATION AS TO TORTURE


12 May


The XIIth day of May, in the house of my lord the Bishop of Beauvais, at the hour of Vespers,


The judges being assembled in the presence of the Vice‑Inquisitor of the Faith: MaÓtre Raoul Roussel, Treasurer of the [Cathedral] Church of Rouen, Nicolas de VenderËs, archdeacon, AndrÈ Marguerie, Guillaume Erard, doctors in theology, Robert Barbery, Denis Gastinel, Aubert Morel, Thomas de Courcelles, Nicolas Couppequesne, Jean le Doulx, Ysambard de la Pierre, and Nicolas Loiseleur, jurists.


After they had been told what had been done the previous Wednesday, they were asked what still remained to be done; and whether it were expedient to put Jeanne to the torture.


They answered as follows:


Firstly, MaÓtre Raoul Roussel said no; in order that the trial which had been held could not be calumniated.


MaÓtre Nicolas de VenderËs said that it was not expedient to put her to the torture as yet.


MaÓtre AndrÈ Marguerie said that it was not expedient at the moment.


MaÓtre Guillaume Erard, in no circumstances should she be put to the torture; that the matter was clear enough without torture.


MaÓtre Robert Barbery said as the afore‑mentioned. But that she should again be admonished, once for all; and then, if she was unwilling to submit to the Church, one should proceed otherwise.


MaÓtre Denis Gastinel said that it was not expedient to put her to the torture in order to know the truth of her falsehoods.


MaÓtre Thomas de Courcelles said that it seemed to him she ought to be put to the torture;[59] and that she should be questioned as to whether she would submit to the judgment of the Church.


MaÓtre Nicolas Couppequesne said it is not expedient that she should be put to the torture; and that she should be admonished time and again to submit to the Church's judgment.


MaÓtre Jean le Douix said the same as Couppequesne.


Brother Ysambard de la Pierre, as the above; but that she should still be admonished to submit herself to the Church Militant.


MaÓtre Nicolas Loiseleur said that it seemed to him that, for her [soul's] health, she should be put to the torment; but that nevertheless he would stand by the opinion of those who had previously [given their views].


MaÓtre Guillaume Haiton, who arrived later, was of the opinion that she ought not to be put to the torture.


MaÓtre Jean Le MaÓtre, Vice‑Inquisitor, was of the opinion that she should be questioned frequently, to know if she would be willing to submit to the Church Militant.


[57] Jeanne was shown the instruments of torture and was told that if she did not answer truthfully she would be put to the torture, in order to procure the salvation of her soul. Many years afterwards, the Master Executioner said: 'On this occasion she answered with such prudence that all present marvelled. I retired without doing anything.'

[58] The Feast of the Invention of the Cross is May 3. In 1431 it fell on a Thursday, the day after the Public Admonition was made to Jeanne.

[59] In his deposition at the Trial of Rehabilitation Courcelles said: 'I never gave an opinion as to her being put to the torture.'