When the trial of the said Jeanne took place, I was present at one session with Brother Ysambard de la Pierre; and, although we could find no room for ourselves in the Consistory, we seated ourselves at the middle of the table, near to Jeanne. When she was questioned or examined, the said Brother Ysambard advised her as to what she should say, nudging her or making some other sign. After the session was over, I and Brother Ysambard, with Maître Jean Delafontaine, were deputized to visit her in prison the same day after dinner and give her counsel ; we went together to the Castle of Rouen, to visit and admonish her; and there we found the Earl of Warwick, who attacked the said Brother Ysambard with great anger and indignation, biting insults, and harsh epithets, saying to him: "Why did you touch that wicked person this morning, making so many signs? Mort Bleu! villain! if I see thee again taking trouble to deliver her and to advise her for her good, I will have thee thrown into the Seine." At which I and the other companion of the said Ysambard fled for fear to the Convent.
I heard no more, for I was not present at the Trial.
In my opinion, not only those who had charge of instituting and conducting the Trial to wit, My Lord of Beauvais and the Masters sent for from Paris for this Case but also the English, at whose instance the Trial was undertaken, proceeded rather from hatred and anger on account of the quarrel with the King of France, than owing to her support of his party, and for the following reasons:
First, one named Maître Nicolas Loyseleur, a familiar of my Lord of Beauvais, who held altogether to the English side for, formerly the King being before Chartres, he went to fetch the King of England to raise the Siege pretended that he belonged to the Maid's country; by this means he found a way to have speech and familiar converse with her, telling her news of her country that would please her. He asked to be her confessor, and of what she told him privately he found means to inform the Notaries: indeed, at the beginning of the Trial, I and Boisguillaume, with witnesses, were put secretly in an adjoining room, where there was a hole through which we could hear, in order that we might report what she said to Loyseleur. As I think, what the Maid said or stated familiarly to Loyseleur he reported to the Notaries; and from this were made memoranda for questions in the Trial, to find some way of catching her unawares.
When the Trial had begun, Maître Jean Lohier, a grave Norman Clerk, came to this Town of Rouen, and communication was made to him of what the Bishop of Beauvais had written hereon; and the said Lohier asked for two or three days' delay to look into it. To which he received answer that he should give his opinion that afternoon; and this he was obliged to do. And Maître Jean Lohier, when he had seen the Process, said it was of no value, for several reasons : first, because it had not the form of an ordinary Process; then, it was carried on in an enclosed and shut-up place, where those concerned were not in full and perfect liberty to say their full will; then, that this matter dealt with the honor of the King of France, whose side she [the Maid] supported, and that he had not been called, nor any who were for him; then, neither legal documents nor articles had been forthcoming, and so there was no guide for this simple girl to answer the Masters and Doctors on great matters, and especially those, as she said, which related to her revelations. For these things, the Process was, in his opinion, of no value. At which my Lord of Beauvais was very indignant against the said Lohier; and although my Lord of Beauvais told him that he might remain to see the carrying out of the Trial, Lohier replied that he would not do so. And immediately my Lord of Beauvais, then lodging in the house where now lives Maitre Jean Bidaut, near Saint-Nicolas-le-Peinteur, came to the Masters to wit, Maître Jean Beaupère, Maître Jacques de Touraine, Nicolas Midi, Pierre Maurice, Thomas de Courcelles, and Loyseleur - and said to them: "This Lohier wants to put fine questions into our Process: he would find fault with everything, and says it is of no value. If we were to believe him, everything must be begun again, and all we have done would be worth nothing!" And, after stating the grounds on which Lohier found fault, my Lord of Beauvais added: "It is clear enough on which foot he limps. By Saint John! we will do nothing in the matter, but will go on with our Process as it is begun!" This was on a Saturday afternoon in Lent; and the next morning I spoke with the said Lohier at the Church of Notre Dame at Rouen, and asked him what he thought of the said Trial and of Jeanne? He replied: "You see the way they are proceeding. They will take her, if they can, in her words as in assertions where she says, 'I know for certain,' as regards the apparitions but if she said, 'I think' instead of the words 'I know for certain' it is my opinion that no man could condemn her. It seems they act rather from hate than otherwise; and for that reason, I will not stay here, for I have no desire to be in it." And in truth he thenceforward lived always at the Court of Rome, where he died Dean of Appeals. ( "Doyen de la Role "-Court of Appeals at Rome.)
At the beginning of the Trial, because I was putting in writing for five or six days the answers and excuses of the said Maid, the Judges several times wished to compel me, speaking in Latin, to put them in other terms, by changing the sense of her words or in other ways such as I had not heard. By command of the Bishop of Beauvais, two men were placed at a window near where the Judges sat, with a curtain across the window, so that they could not be seen. These two men wrote and reported what there was in the charge against Jeanne, keeping silence as to her excuses; and, in my opinion, this was Loyseleur. After the sitting was over, in the afternoon, while comparing notes of what had been written, the two others reported differently from me, and had put in none of the excuses; at which my Lord of Beauvais was greatly angry with me. Where 'Nota' (On the Minute of Manchon, which was in the hands of the judges of the Rehabilitation in 1455.) is written in the Process there was disagreement, and questions had to be made upon it; and it was found that what I had written was true.
In writing the said Process, I was often opposed by my Lord of Beauvais and the Masters, who wanted to compel me to write according to their fancy, and against what I had myself heard. And when there was something which did not please them, they forbade it to be written, saying that it did not serve the Process; but I nevertheless wrote only according to my hearing and knowledge.
Maître Jean Delafontaine, from the beginning of the Trial up to the week after Easter, 1431, took the place of my Lord of Beauvais, to interrogate her, in the absence of the Bishop; and was always present with the Bishop in the conduct of the said Trial. And when the time came that the Maid was summoned to submit herself to the Church by this same Delafontaine, and by Brothers Ysambard de la Pierre and Martin Ladvenu, they advised her that she should believe in, and rely on, our Lord the Pope and those who preside in the Church Militant; and that she should make no question about submitting to our Holy Father the Pope and to the Holy Council; for that there were among them as many of her own side as of the other, many of them notable Clerics, and that if she did not do this, she would put herself in great danger. The day after she had been thus advised, she said that she wished certainly to submit to our Holy Father the Pope and to the Holy Council. When my Lord of Beauvais heard this, he asked who had spoken with the Maid. The Guard replied that it was Maître Delafontaine, his lieutenant, and the two Friars. And at this, in the absence of the said Delafontaine and the Friars, the Bishop was much enraged against Maître Jean Lemaitre, the Deputy Inquisitor, and threatened to do him an injury. And when Delafontaine knew that he was threatened for this reason, he departed from Rouen, and did not again return. And as for the Friars, they would have been in peril of death, but for the said Lemaitre, who excused them and besought for them, saying that if any harm were done to them, he would never again come to the Trial. And, from that time, the Earl of Warwick forbade any one to visit the Maid, except the Bishop of Beauvais or those sent by him; and the Deputy Inquisitor was not allowed to go without him.
At the end of the sermon at Saint Ouen, after the abjuration of the Maid, because Loyseleur said to her, "Jeanne, you have done a good day's work, if it please God, and have saved your soul," she demanded, "Now, some among you people of the Church, lead me to your prisons, that I may no longer be in the hands of the English." To which my Lord of Beauvais replied, "Lead her back whence she was taken!" For this reason she was taken back to the Castle which she had left. The following Sunday, which was Trinity Sunday, the Masters, Notaries, and others concerned in this Trial were summoned; and we were told that she had resumed her man's dress and had relapsed; and when we came to the Castle, in the absence of my Lord of Beauvais, there came upon us eighty or a hundred English soldiers, or thereabouts, who spoke to us in the courtyard of the Castle, telling us that all of us Clergy were deceitful, traitorous Armagnacs and false counselors; so that we had great trouble to escape and get out of the Castle, and did nothing for that day. The following day I was summoned; but I replied that I would not go if I had not a surety, on account of the fright I had had the day before; and I would not have gone back if one of the followers of my Lord of Warwick had not been sent as a surety. And thus I returned, and was at the continuation of the Trial, up to the end except that I was not at a certain examination made by people who had spoken with her privately, (This was the Examination called the 'Acta Posterius,' which, though included by Cauchon in the Process, is not signed by the Official Registrars, Manchon, Boisguillaume, and Taquel.) as privileged persons; nevertheless, the Bishop of Beauvais wanted to compel me to sign, and this I would not do.
I saw Jeanne led to the scaffold (Jeanne was burnt in the Market Place at Rouen, where an inscribed stone marks the site. It is stated that the execution took place in front of the Church of St. Sauveur, and facing the principal street which leads to the Market Place, thus accommodating a larger number of spectators than was possible in any other part of the Place. There is still some dispute as to the actual spot; but as the Cemetery was religious ground and the execution was, nominally at least, a secular one, the ground chosen must have been on land belonging to the municipality of Rouen. Probably this was in the Marché aux Veaux, as we find an order for the burning of a heretic there in 1522, "lieu accoutumé faire lelles exéculions.") and there were seven or eight hundred soldiers around her, bearing swords and staves; so that no one was so bold as to speak to her except Brother Martin Ladvenu and Maître Jean Massieu.
Patiently did she hear the sermon right through afterwards she repeated her thanksgiving, prayers, and lamentations most notably and devoutly, in such manner that the Judges, Prelates, and all present were provoked to much weeping, seeing her make these pitiful regrets and sad complaints. Never did I weep more for anything that happened to me; and, for a month afterwards, I could not feel at peace. For which reason, with a part of the money I had for my services I bought a little Missal, so that I might have it and might pray for her. In regard to final repentance, I never saw greater signs of a Christian.
I remember that at the sermon given at Saint Ouen by Maître Guillaume Erard, among other words were said and uttered these: "Ah! noble House of France, which had always been the protectress of the Faith, have you been so abused that you would adhere to a heretic and schismatic? It is indeed a great misfortune." To which the Maid made answer, what I do not remember, except that she gave great praise to her King, saying that he was the best and wisest Christian in the world. At which Erard and my Lord of Beauvais ordered Massieu to "Make her keep silence."
I was at the Trial of the said Jeanne on every occasion when she was present before the Judges and Clerics; and, on account of my office, I was appointed a Clerk to
Maître Jean Benedicite, (Cognomen given to the Promoter, d'Estivet.) Promoter in this Action. I believe, from what I saw, that the proceedings were taken out of hatred and in order to abase the honor of the King of France whom she served, and to wreak vengeance and bring her to death, not according to reason and for the honor of God and of the Catholic Faith. I say this, because when my Lord of Beauvais, who was Judge in the Case, accompanied by six Clerics namely, Beaupère, Midi, Maurice, Touraine, Courcelles, and Feuillet, or some other in his place first questioned her, before she had answered one of them, another of those present would interpose another question, by which she was often hurried and troubled in her answers. And, besides, as I was leading Jeanne many times from her prison to the Court, and passed before the Chapel of the Castle, at Jeanne's request, I suffered her to make her devotions in passing; and I was often reproved by the said Benedicite, the Promoter, who said to me "Traitor! what makes thee so bold as to permit this Excommunicate to approach without permission? I will have thee put in a tower where you shall see neither sun nor moon for a month, if you do so again." And when the Promoter saw that I did not obey him, the said Benedicite placed himself many times before the door of the Chapel, between me and Jeanne, to prevent her saying her prayers before the Chapel, and asked expressly of Jeanne : "Is this the Body of Christ?" When I was taking her back to prison, the fourth or fifth day, a priest named Maître Eustace Turquetil, asked me: "What did you think of her answers? will she be burned? what will happen?" and I replied: "Up to this time I have seen in her only good and honor; but I do not know what will happen in the end, God knows!" Which answer was reported by the said priest to the King's people; and it was said that I was opposed to the King. On this account, I was summoned, in the afternoon, by the Lord of Beauvais, the Judge, and was spoken to of these things and told to be careful to make no mistake, or I should be made to drink more than was good for me. I think that, unless the Notary Manchon had made excuses for me, I should not have escaped.
When Jeanne was taken to Saint-Ouen to be preached to by Maître Guillaume Erard, at about the middle of the sermon, after she had been admonished by the words of the preacher, he began to cry out, in a loud voice, saying, "Ah! France, you art much abused, you have always been the most Christian country; and Charles, who calls himself thy King and Governor, had joined himself, as a heretic and schismatic, which he is, to the words and deeds of a worthless woman, defamed and full of dishonor; and not only he, but all the Clergy within his jurisdiction and lordship, by whom she had been examined and not reproved, as she had said." Two or three times he repeated these words about the King; and, at last, addressing himself to Jeanne he said, raising his finger: " It is to thee, Jeanne, that I speak, I tell thee that thy King is a heretic and schismatic !" To which she replied: "By my faith ! sir, saving your reverence, I dare say and swear, on pain of death, that he is the most noble of all Christians, and the one who most loves the Faith of the Church, and he is not what you say." And then the preacher said to me: "Make her keep silence."
Jeanne never had any Counsel.(At the beginning of the Trial, Jeanne had asked for counsel, and it had been refused.) I remember that Loyseleur was one appointed to counsel her. He was against her, rather deceiving than helping her. The said Erard, at the end of his sermon, read a schedule containing the Articles which he was inciting Jeanne to abjure and revoke. To which Jeanne replied, that she did not understand what abjuring was, and that she asked advice about it. Then Erard told me to give her counsel about it. After excusing myself for doing this, I told her it meant that, if she opposed any of the said Articles, she would be burned. I advised her to refer to the Church Universal as to whether she should abjure the said Articles or not. And this she did, saying in a loud voice to Erard: " I refer me to the Church Universal, as to whether I shall abjure or not." To this the said Erard replied: "You shall abjure at once, or you shall be burned." And, indeed, before she left the Square, she abjured, and made a cross with a pen which I handed to her.
At the end of the sermon, I advised Jeanne to ask that she might be taken to the prisons of the Church and it was right she should be taken to the Church prisons, because the Church had condemned her. And this thing was asked of the Bishop of Beauvais by some of those present, whose names I do not know. To which the Bishop replied: " Take her to the Castle whence she came." And so it was done. That day, after dinner, in the presence of the Counsel of the Church, she took off her man's dress and put on a woman's dress, as she was commanded. This was on the Thursday or Friday after Pentecost; and the man's dress was put in a bag in the same room where she was kept prisoner, while she remained guarded in this place, in the hands of five of the English, three of whom stayed all night in the room, and two outside the door of the room. I know of a surety that at night she slept chained by the legs with two pairs of iron chains, and fastened closely to a chain going across the foot of her bed, held to a great piece of wood, five or six feet long, and closed with a key, so that she could not move from her place. When the following Sunday came, being Trinity Sunday, and when it was time to rise, as she reported and said to me, she asked the English guards: "Take off my irons that I may get up." Then one of the English took away from her the woman's garments which she had on her, and they emptied the bag in which was her man's dress, and threw the said dress at her, saying to her: "Get up, and put the woman's dress in the bag." And, in accordance with what he said, she dressed herself in the man's dress they had given her, saying: "Sirs, you know it is forbidden me ; without fail, I will not take it again." Nevertheless, they would not give her the other, inasmuch that the contention lasted till mid-day, and, finally, she was compelled to take the said dress; afterwards, they would not give up the other, whatever supplications or prayers she might make.
This she told me on the Tuesday following, before dinner, on which day the Promoter had departed in company with the Earl of Warwick, and I was alone with her. Immediately I asked her why she had resumed a man's dress, and she told me what I have just related.
I was not at the Castle on the Sunday, but I met near the Castle those who had been summoned, much overwhelmed and affrighted. They said they had been furiously driven back by the English with axes and swords, and called traitors, and otherwise insulted. On the following Wednesday, the day she was condemned, and before she left the Castle, the Body of Christ was borne to her irreverently, without stole and lights, at which Brother Martin, who had confessed her, was ill-content, and so a stole and lights were sent for, and thus Brother Martin administered It to her. And this done, she was led to the Old Market-Place, and by her side were Brother Martin and myself, accompanied by more than 800 soldiers, with axes and swords. And being in the Old Market-Place, after the sermon, during which she showed great patience and listened most quietly, she evinced many evidences and clear proofs of her contrition, penitence, and fervent faith, if only by her pitiful and devout lamentations and invocations of the Blessed Trinity and the Blessed and Glorious Virgin Mary, and all the Blessed Saints in Paradise naming specially certain of these Saints: in which devotions, lamentations, and true confession of faith, she besought mercy also, most humbly, from all manner of people of whatever condition or estate they might be, of her own party as well as of the other, begging them to pray for her, forgiving them the harm they had done her, [and thus] she persevered and continued as long a space of time as half-an-hour, and up to the very end.
When she was given over by the Church, I was still with her; and with great devotion she asked to have a Cross: and, hearing this, an Englishman, who was there present, made a little cross of wood with the ends of a stick, which he gave her, and devoutly she received and kissed it, making piteous lamentations and acknowledgments to God, Our Redeemer, Who had suffered on the Cross for our Redemption, of Whose Cross she had the sign and symbol; and she put the said Cross in her bosom, between her person and her clothing. And, besides, she asked me humbly that I would get for her the Church Cross, so that she might see it continually until death. And I got the Clerk of the Parish of Saint-Sauveur to bring it to her; the which, being brought, she embraced closely and long, and kept it till she was fastened to the stake. While she was making these devotions and pious lamentations, I was much hurried by the English and even by some of their Captains, who wished me to leave her in their hands, that she might be put to death the sooner, saying to me, when I was trying to console her on the scaffold: "What, Priest! will you have us dine here?" And immediately, without any form or proof of judgment, they sent her to the fire, saying to the executioner "Do your office!" And thus she was led and fastened [to the stake], continuing her praises and devout lamentations to God and His Saints, and with her last word, in dying, she cried, with a loud voice: "Jesus!"
With regard to the apparitions mentioned in the Trial of the said Jeanne, I held, and still hold, the opinion that they rose more from natural causes and human intent than from anything supernatural; but I would refer principally to the Process.
Before she was taken to Saint-Ouen, to be preached to in the morning, I went alone, by permission, into Jeanne's prison, and warned her that she would soon be led to the scaffold to be preached to, telling her that, if she were a good Christian, she would say on the scaffold that she placed all her deeds and words in the ordering of Our Holy Mother Church, and especially of the Ecclesiastical Judges. And this did she say on the scaffold, being thereto requested by Maitre Nicolas Midi. This being noted and considered, she was for a time sent back, after her abjuration; although some of the English accused the Bishop of Beauvais and the Delegates from Paris of favoring Jeanne's errors.
After this abjuration, and after taking her woman's dress which she received in prison, it was reported to the Judges on the Friday or Saturday following that Jeanne had repented of having put off a man's dress and had taken a woman's dress. On this account, my Lord of Beauvais sent me and Maitre Nicolas Midi to her, hoping that we should speak to Jeanne and induce and admonish her to persevere in the good intent she had on the scaffold, and that she should be careful not to relapse. But we could not find the keeper of the prison key, (There were three keys to the prison, one being in the possession of the Promoter, one of the Inquisitor, and one belonging to the Cardinal.) and, while we were waiting for the prison guard, several of the English, who were in the courtyard of the Castle, spoke threatening words, as Maître Nicolas Midi told me, to the effect that he who would throw both of us into the water would be well employed. And, hearing these words, we returned; and, on the bridge of the Castle, Midi heard, as he reported to me, like words used by others of the English; at which we were much frightened, and went away without speaking to Jeanne.
As to her innocence, Jeanne was very subtle with the subtlety of a woman, as I consider. I did not understand from any words of hers that she had been violated.
As to her final penitence, I do not know what to say, for, on the Monday after (May 28th.) the abjuration, I left Rouen to go to Basle, (To what would end up to be a schismatic council, then being held at Basle.) on the part of the University of Paris. Through this I knew nothing of her condemnation until I heard it spoken of at Lisle in Flanders.