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

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Deliberation on Future Proceedings

27 March

On the Tuesday after Palm Sunday, which was the XXVIIth of March, in the year MIIIIXXX,

The afore‑mentioned day, the promoter at this trial made a request contained on a sheet of paper which he held in his hands, asking that he might be allowed to put the charges against Jeanne, who was present, in the manner of Articles to which she might answer.

Those present were then asked what should be done, and whether the matter should be further proceeded with.

To which they answered;

And first, MaÓtre Nicolas de VenderËs said: As to the first article, she should be compelled to take the oath and swear to tell the truth; and in the event of her refusing to do so she should be excommunicated; but if she was willing to answer the censures, then one should proceed against her in accordance with the law.

MaÓtres Jean Pinchon, Jean Basset and Jean Guerin were of opinion that the Articles should be read.

MaÓtre Jean de la Fontaine was of the opinion of the said de VenderËs.

MaÓtre Geoffroi du Crotoy was of the opinion that one should grant a delay of three days before excommunicating her; since in a civil trial three delays are allowed for the swearing De Calumpnia.

MaÓtre Jean le Doulx was of the same opinion.

MaÓtre Gilles Deschamps was of the opinion that the Articles should be read, and that a day should be appointed for her to appear and answer them.

MaÓtre Robert Barbery was of the same opinion.

The Abbot of FÈcamp said that it seemed to him that she has no option but to tell the truth in matters that touch her trial. And, if she will not see reason, she should be granted sufficient delay to enable her to do so.

MaÓtre Jean de Ch‚tillon said that she had to give truthful answers, seeing that it was a question of fact.

MaÓtres Evrard Emengard and Guillaume Le Boucher, [said] the same as Ch‚tillon.

The Prior of Longueville said that, as to questions to which she does not know the answer, she is not constrained to answer as to whether or no she believes them.

MaÓtre Jean BeaupËre said that she is compelled to answer and tell the truth in all matters whereof she is certain, and which are her own doing. Concerning other things, one ought to allow a delay, if she asks it.

MaÓtre Jacques de Touraine was of the same opinion.

MaÓtre Nicolas Midi, the same; and with regard to constraining her, they should refer to jurists.

MaÓtre Maurice du Quesnay is of the opinion of the aforesaid Abbot of FÈcamp.

MaÓtre Jean de Nerbat said that with reference to the Articles, they should refer to jurists; but added that she ought to tell the truth in matters touching her trial; and if there are any questions to which she finds it difficult to reply, she should be granted a delay, if she asks it.

MaÓtre Jean Fabri[50] refers to the jurists.

MaÓtre Pierre Maurice said that she is compelled to answer in matters that are well‑known.

MaÓtre Girard said that she is compelled to answer and to swear.

MaÓtre Jean Guedon is of the same opinion.

MaÓtre Thomas de Courcelles said that she is bound to answer to each of the Articles; and if she ask a delay, they ought to grant it her.

MaÓtre AndrÈ Marguerie is of opinion that she ought to swear as to what touches her trial; and concerning matters of which she is in doubt, they ought to grant her a delay.

MaÓtre Denis Gastinel said that she ought to swear, and that the promoter was right in demanding the oath. As to proceeding further if she refused to swear, he would like to see the books[51] before giving his opinion.

MaÓtres Aubert Morel and Jean du Chemin are of opinion that she ought to swear.


After the aforesaid opinions were given, the promoter at this trial took the oath De Calumpnia, that he was moved neither by favour nor shame nor fear but only by zeal for the Faith in proceeding against Jeanne.

Jeanne was then informed that she must answer and tell the truth about such things as touch her trial; and that it was essential that she should do so, since the doctors were of this opinion; and that the promoter had taken the oath De Calumpnia.

The Bishop of Beauvais explained to her that the aforesaid doctors were all men of the Church, learned in law both human and divine, all kindly and merciful, desiring to proceed in this matter with gentleness and pity, without demanding vengeance or bodily punishment, but only wishing to teach her and lead her into the way of truth and salvation, if there be some fault in her faith. And since she was not sufficiently learned in letters and such high matters, it was necessary to advise her of what she ought to do, wherefore the said Bishop of Beauvais and the Vice‑Inquisitor asked Jeanne to choose one or more of those present to advise her, or if she were unwilling to do so or did not know whom to, choose, they would appoint as many counsellors as she wished to advise her as to how to answer.

To whom Jeanne answered:

Firstly, as to what you tell me of my good and of our Faith, I thank you and all those present also. And for your offer of counsel, I have no intention of departing from the advice of Our Lord. And as for the oath that you wish me to take, I am ready to swear to tell the truth in everything touching your trial.

And thus she swore on the Holy Gospels.

[At the trial, the promoter read the text of each Article to which Jeanne was then asked to reply. According to Courcelles, the promoter also read out certain of Jeanne's answers to earlier interrogation in support of each Article. In fact d'Estivet almost certainly did nothing of the kind. Orleans omits both the substance of the Articles and the previous answers. In this edition, a prËcis of the Articles is included where necessary, so that the reader may follow the thread of the argument. It has not been felt necessary to repeat Jeanne's previous answers.]

This being done, MaÓtre Thomas de Courcelles began to explain the Articles contained in the libellus, at the command of the bishop and the other judges:

[I] To the First Article [concerning the competence of the court to punish heresy]:

She said that she is well aware that our Holy Father the Pope of Rome, the bishops and other ecclesiastical persons exist to protect the Christian Faith and to punish those who fall away from it. But for herself and her deeds, she will only submit them to the Church in heaven, that is to say to God, the Virgin Mary, and the saints in heaven. And she firmly believes that she has not failed in the Christian Faith, and that she would not therein fail.

[II] To the Second Article, concerning the sorceries, superstitions and divinations of which she is accused [She has åbeen guilty of many superstitious practices; she has been deified, and allowed herself to be adored and venerated; she has invoked demons and evil spirits, and has made pacts with them.']:

She formally denies them.

And with regard to the adoration which it is said was shown to her,

She declares that, if any persons have kissed her hands or her clothing, it was not through her or by her wish, and that she prevented it as far as possible.

[III] To the Third Article, [stating that she has uttered heresy]:

She denies it, and affirms that she has upheld the Church with all her power.

[IV] As to the Fourth Article; [giving the names of her father and mother and the place of her birth; stating that she was not taught the Christian Faith, but instead was taught magic and sorcery; and that her godmother was a witch and sorceress]:

She said the names of her father and mother and the place of her birth are true.

Concerning the second part of this Article, she denies it.

As to the fairies mentioned in the Article,

She knows nothing of the matter.

As to her [religious] instruction,

She said that she had learned her Faith and been well taught and instructed as a good child should be.

Concerning her godmother,

She referred to what she had said previously.

Being ordered to repeat the Creed,

She said: Ask my confessor, to whom I said it.

[V] As for the Fifth Article, concerning the tree and the spring:

She refers to what she has previously said.

For the rest, she denies it.

[VI] For the Sixth Article [accusing her of frequenting the tree and the spring, often at night, or by day during the times when Divine Office was being celebrated, of dancing and chanting spells, and of hanging garlands on the tree which next morning had disappeared]:

Similarly she refers to what she has already said.

For the rest, she denies it.

[VII] For the Seventh Article, mentioning the mandrake:

She denies it entirely.

[VIII] For the Eighth, [accusing her of going to Neufch‚teau without her parents' permission and of staying in La Rousse's house, insinuating that she had there led an immoral life]:

She referred to what she had previously answered, and denies the rest.

[IX] As for the Ninth, mentioning marriage, [insinuating that the young man at Toul had refused to marry her owing to her immoral life]:

She has already replied, and refers to what she then said.

For the rest, she denies it.

[X] For the Tenth, mentioning the apparitions and her departure from her home without leave:

She answered as above, that is to say she referred to what she had already said.

[XI] As for the Eleventh, [stating that she had told de Baudricourt at Vaucouleurs that she would have three sons, of whom one would be Pope, the second Emperor, and the third a king]:

She answered as to the preceding Article.

[XII] And as for the Twelfth, [referring to her male dress]:

She refers, as before, to what she had previously said.

And when questioned whether she had taken man's dress and arms and armour by God's command,

She also referred to her previous answers.

[XIII] As to the Thirteenth, accusing her of blasphemy [in saying that it was at God's command that she put on male clothing, 'violating canon law, to the scandal of her sex and womanly modesty, and to the perversion of all decent behaviour.']:

She answered: I have blasphemed neither God nor His saints.

And after it was explained to her that according to canon law and the Holy Scriptures the taking by women of man's dress and the taking by men of woman's dress is an abomination before God, they asked her whether she had taken the said dress by God's command,

She said: You have been answered as to this before: and if you wish me to answer again, then grant me a delay, and I will answer you.

Being asked whether she would take a woman's dress so that she might receive her Saviour at Easter,

She answered that she would not leave off her [man's] dress either to receive her Saviour or for any other reason. She added that to receive her Saviour neither man's nor woman's dress made any difference; and It ought not to be refused her on account of this dress.

Asked if she had it by revelation or by command of God to wear this dress,

She said that she had answered, and that she referred to what had been written down.

And she afterwards added that she would answer on this point to‑morrow.

She also said that she well knew who has caused her to take this dress; but she did not know whether she ought to reveal it.

[XIV] As for the Fourteenth [concerning her refusal to leave off this dress save by God's express command]:

She said: I do not do wrong to serve God. To‑morrow I will answer you on this.

[XV] To the Fifteenth Article, [as to her refusal to leave off male dress to receive the Sacrament]:

She answered that she would rather die than turn back on what she had done by Our Lord's command.

Asked if she would leave off man's dress in order to hear Mass,

She said that she would not yet leave off the dress she was wearing. And that it was not in her power to give the date when she would leave it off.

She said moreover that if the judges refused to allow her to hear Mass, it was in Our Lord's power to let her hear it without them, whenever it so pleased Him.

As for the remainder of the Article, she confesses that she has been admonished to leave off male dress.

But as for irreverence and the rest, she denies them.

[XVI] To the Sixteenth, [saying that at Arras and Beaurevoir, though repeatedly asked to wear woman's dress, she obstinately refused]:

She admitted that at Arras and Beaurevoir she had been repeatedly asked to wear a woman's dress; which she had refused and still refuses.

And as for womanly duties,

She said there were enough other women to do them.

[XVII] To the Seventeenth Article, [concerning the promises she made to the Dauphin including the fact that she would kill his enemies by her magic arts]:

She replied that she confessed she brought news from God to her king; and that Our Lord would restore his kingdom to him, have him crowned at Rheims, and drive out his enemies. And that she was God's messenger in telling him that he must put her boldly to work, and that she would raise the siege of Orleans.

She said also that she had said: All the kingdom. And that if my lord of Burgundy and the other subjects of the realm did not come to obedience, the king would make them do so by force.

And, with regard to the end of the Article, concerning her recognizing Robert [de Baudricourt] and her king,

She said: I hold to what I have previously said.

[XVIII] As for the Eighteenth Article, referring to peace [and charging her with dissuading the king from negotiation and inciting her party to murder]:

She said that she had required the Duke of Burgundy, both by letters and by ambassadors, to make peace. As for the English, they must return to their own country of England.

As for the remainder of the Article, [charging her with saying that peace could only be procured by the sword]:

She says that she has answered it [already], to which [answer] she refers.

[XIX] As for the Nineteenth, [saying that by consulting demons and employing spells she had sent for the sword found at St Catherine de Fierbois]:

She refers to what she has said.

And for the rest of the Article, [that she herself had previously hidden the sword there]:

She denies it.

[XX] As to the Twentieth, [charging her with having put a spell on her ring and her standard]:

She referred to what she had previously said.

And she said further that in what she did there was no sorcery or witchcraft.

And concerning the good fortune of her standard,

She says that she refers herself to the fortune with which Our Lord endowed it.

[XXI] As for the Twenty‑first, [accusing her of putting the names of Christ and Our Lady in letters containing matters contrary to the Faith]:

She says that as for her letters she never did this through pride or presumption, but at the command of Our Lord; and accepts the contents of these letters as correct, except for three words.

[XXII ] As for the Twenty‑second, [concerning the letter she wrote to the English before relieving Orleans]:

She says that if the English had believed her letter, they would have been wise; and that they will well understand this before seven years have passed. And as to what she had written to them, she refers to her previous answer.

[XXIII] And as to the Twenty‑third Article, stating that what she had done [in the matter of these letters] was done by the advice of evil spirits,

She denies it.

And otherwise as to these Articles, XXII and XXIII, and also to XXIV, [stating that she used the sign of the Cross in her letters as an instruction to those who received them to do the opposite of what she ordered them in the letters]:

She referred to her previous answers.

[XXV] As to the Twenty‑fifth, [charging her with spilling human blood, and falsely saying it was by God's command]:

She said that she had first required them to make peace. And that, if they were unwilling to make peace, then she was prepared to fight.

[XXVI‑XXX] As to Articles Twenty‑six, Twenty‑seven, Twenty-eight and Twenty‑nine [and Thirty]: [These Articles charged her with answering a letter from the Comte d'Armagnac asking in which of the three claimants to the Papacy trust should be placed.]

She referred to what she had previously said.


28 March

On Wednesday the XXVIIIth day of March, in the year MCCCCXXX,

She was required to take the oath,

To which she answered that she would gladly tell the truth in whatever concerned her trial,

And took the oath to this effect.

And firstly, as for the Article concerning her dress and arms,

She answered that the dress and arms she wore, she wore by God's direction.

And in the matter of being asked to leave off this dress,

She replied that she would not leave it off without Our Lord's leave; not even if they were to cut her head off. But if it were pleasing to Him, she would put on [woman's dress] immediately.

[XXXI] As to the Thirty‑first, [concerning her refusal to explain her visions sufficiently]:

She answered that in the matter of revealing the sign referred to in this Article, she may well have said that she will not reveal it.

And she added that in confession made at other times she had stated that she would not reveal it without Our Lord's leave.

[XXXII] To the Thirty‑second, [that in view of the above, the revelations must be considered to proceed from evil spirits]:

She replied: that what she had done was by revelation from Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. And this she will maintain until death.

She said also that she had been advised by some of her party to put JESUS MARIA on her letters; which she did on some, and not on others.

She stated that where in her letter it was written: Everything she did was by the advice of Our Lord, it should have been: Everything good that she did.

Questioned as to whether in attacking La CharitÈ she did well or ill,

She said that if she has done ill, she will confess it.

Asked whether she did well in making an attack on Paris,

She replied that the nobles of France wished to attack Paris. It seemed to her that they did well in attacking their enemies.

[XXXIII] As for the Thirty‑third, [that she boasted of her powers of divination] inasmuch as it concerns the revelation of the sword;

She said that it is for Our Lord to reveal this to whomsoever He pleases, both in the matter of the sword and in other things to come. What she said about it was by revelation; and she refers to what she has [previously] answered.

[XXXIV] As for the Thirty‑fourth, [that she affirmed that she could recognize God's angels] especially touching the end of this Article concerning rashness and pride;

She refers to Our Lord, her judge.

[XXXV] As for the Thirty‑fifth, [that she is able to tell whom God loves and whom He hates], and of what she formerly said of the king and the Duke of Orleans,

She said that she is certain that God loves the king and the Duke of Orleans better than any others; this she knows by revelation.

[XXXVI] As to the Thirty‑sixth, [which refers to her claim that she hears voices];

To this and to other matters as well, she has already answered.

[XXXVII] As to the Thirty‑seventh, [which refers to her confession that she sometimes disobeyed her voices]:

None the less she said that as to her leaving Saint Denis, she had permission.

Asked whether in disobeying the command of her voices she had not mortally sinned,

She answered: I have already replied to that. And I refer to that reply.

And as to the conclusion of the Article, [as to her erroneous opinions as to man's free will]:

She waits upon Our Lord.

[XXXVIII‑XLVII] As to these Articles, [covering among other points her claim that all she had done was at God's bidding; that she had never committed mortal sin 'notwithstanding that she has in fact performed all the actions customary to men of war, and even worse'; that she had declared that her voices were not on the side of the English 'affirming that the saints in glory detest a Catholic realm, to their shame'; that she boasted that her voices assured her of salvation if she kept her virginity, and that she is so assured; that she blasphemed and denied God and the saints]; in answer to many questions which were put to her,

She replied that she will refer to what she has previously said,

And of the conclusion, [in which she was charged with blasphemy against God]:

She referred to Our Lord.

[XLVIII] Being questioned as to the signs, [In fact this Article charged that she believed the spirits which appeared to her were sent from God, though she gave no signs in proof of this, and had sought no spiritual advice on the point]:

She said: I have [already] answered, and refer to what is written down. As for signs, if those who ask for them are not worthy, she could not help it. And she has often prayed God that it may please Him to reveal it to some of her party.

She added that she asks no advice of bishop or curÈ or anyone else as to belief in her revelations.

She says also that she believes it was Saint Michael, by reason of the good doctrine he taught her.

Asked whether Saint Michael said to her: I am Saint Michael,

She said: I have already answered that.

And as for the conclusion of the Article, [that she hid her revelations from the clergy],

She answered: I have already answered this, and wait upon Our Lord.

She said also that she believes as firmly as she believes that Our Lord suffered and died to save us from the pains of hell, that [her visions] were Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, whom Our Lord sent her to comfort and advise her.

[XLIX‑L] [charging her with idolatry in venerating her voices and with invoking demons]; and concerning two other questions:

Firstly, she said: From the very beginning I answered this.

As to the second, she said that she had already replied. And she will call them [her voices] to her aid as long as she lives.

Asked how she calls them,

She answered: I beg Our Lord and Our Lady to send me counsel and help, and they send it to me.

Asked in what words she prays,

She replied that she prays in this manner:


And they come immediately. And she added that from her voices she often has news of the Bishop of Beauvais.

Asked what they say about him,

She answered: I will tell you privately.

She adds that they came to‑day three times.

Asked whether they were in her room,

She replied: I have told you so. And I hear them clearly.

She said also that Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret told her how she ought to answer concerning her dress.

[LI] [Concerning the angels and the bringing of the crown]:

She said she had already answered about the angel who brought the sign.

As for what the promoter suggests concerning a thousand million of angels,

She says that she does not recollect having said it, that is, the number. She did say that she was never wounded without receiving great help and comfort from Our Lord, and from Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret.

Concerning the crown,

She said she had already answered.

And concerning the conclusion of the Article [that her visions were invented lies], which the promoter puts in a way contrary to the facts,

She waits upon God Our Lord.

And as to where the crown was made,

She refers to Our Lord.

[LII] [Concerning veneration shown to Jeanne]:

She said, as to the beginning of the Article: I have already answered,

And at the end of the Article, she says she refers it to Our Lord.

[LIII] Questioned as to having been a war commander,

She said she had previously answered; and that if she had been a commander in war, it was in order to fight the English.

And as for the conclusion of the Article,

She refers to Our Lord.

[LIV] Asked who governed her, [that is to say looked after her and her household, and charging that 'she wished to employ only men to serve in the private offices of her room']:

She replied that her government was through men. But when in a house she usually had a woman with her. And when she was fighting, she lay fully dressed and armed, if there was no woman to be found.

As for the conclusion of the Article [that she desired to employ only men],

She said: I have already answered this.

[LV] [Asked as to the riches she had gained] and the gifts made to her brothers,

She answered that whatever the king had given them was of his bounty, without any request from her.

As for the charge made by the promoter, [that she misused her revelations, turning them to worldly advantage],

She refers herself to Our Lord.

[LVI] [To the charge that Catherine de la Rochelle had made against her, that she would escape from prison with the Devil's aid],

She said that she held to what she had previously answered.

As for her counsellors at the spring,

She does not know what is meant by this. But she believes that she did once hear Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret there.

And for the conclusion of the Article,

She denies it, and affirms on oath that she would not wish the Devil to drag her out of prison.

[LVII] [Charging her with giving false promises of military success, of which she said she had been assured by her voices, at Paris, La CharitÈ, Pont l'EvÍque and CompiËgne],

As for the beginning of the Article,

She has previously answered. And if she is further advised, she will gladly answer.

And as to the end of this Article, in which it is said that she said that God had failed her,

She denies it.

[LVIII] [Concerning her standard and her coat‑of‑arms],

She has already answered.

And as to the promoter's suggestion [that this was vanity and ostentation],

She refers to Our Lord.

[LIX] [That she placed her armour in the church that it might be venerated as a relic; and that she poured melted wax on children's heads, telling their fortunes, which was an enchantment]:

As for the armour, she has already answered.

As for the lighted candles [for melting the wax for divination],

She denies it.

[LX] Asked why she has asked for a delay,

She said that she had only done so in order that she might answer the questions the more surely.

And also she requested the delay in order that she might know whether she ought to answer what they asked her.

And as for the king's counsel, since it did not concern the trial, she did not wish to reveal it.

And she told the sign given to the king because the churchmen forced her to tell it.

[LXI] Asked if she would submit to the Church Militant,

She said she would desire to show it all the reverence in her power.

But concerning her deeds, she refers to God, Who caused her to do them.

Asked whether she will submit her actions to the Church Militant,

She answered: Send me the clerk on Saturday next, and I will answer you.

[LXIII] [Charging her with lies, and therefore being a false prophet, since Christ said: By their fruits ye shall know them]:

As to the conclusion of this Article,

She refers to Our Lord.

[LXVI] Questioned concerning the Faith,

She said she was a good Christian.

And of all the charges in this Article, [of enchantments, heresy, rashness and sedition], she says that she has never committed the sins with which the promoter charges her.

[LXIX] [Accusing her of refusing to reform her ways]:

Asked, if she had done anything contrary to the Christian Faith, whether she would be willing to submit to the Church and to those to whom correction belongs,

She said that she would answer on Saturday, after dinner.

[The Articles which are omitted from the Orleans manuscript are in effect only recapitulation or enlargement of earlier Articles]

[50] Fabri is the Latin form of the name Lefиvre.

[51] This presumably refers to the regulations as to the conduct of trials by the Holy Office.