In May , Joan made her way Vaucouleurs, a nearby stronghold of those loyal to Charles. Initially rejected by the local magistrate, Robert de Baudricourt, she persisted, attracting a small band of followers who believed her claims to be the virgin who according to a popular prophecy was destined to save France. After sending off a defiant letter to the enemy, Joan led several French assaults against them, driving the Anglo-Burgundians from their bastion and forcing their retreat across the Loire River. She and her followers escorted Charles across enemy territory to Reims, taking towns that resisted by force and enabling his coronation as King Charles VII in July The Anglo-Burgundians were able to fortify their positions in Paris, and turned back an attack led by Joan in September.
The Burgundians took her captive, and brought her amid much fanfare to the castle of Bouvreuil, occupied by the English commander at Rouen. In the trial that followed, Joan was ordered to answer to some 70 charges against her, including witchcraft, heresy and dressing like a man. The Anglo-Burgundians were aiming to get rid of the young leader as well as discredit Charles, who owed his coronation to her.
In May , after a year in captivity and under threat of death, Joan relented and signed a confession denying that she had ever received divine guidance. On the morning of May 30, at the age of 19, Joan was taken to the old market place of Rouen and burned at the stake. Her fame only increased after her death, however, and 20 years later a new trial ordered by Charles VII cleared her name. Long before Pope Benedict XV canonized her in , Joan of Arc had attained mythic stature, inspiring numerous works of art and literature over the centuries and becoming the patron saint of France.
A statue inside the cathedral pays tribute to her legacy. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! As the intrigues with the Burgundians came to a head, Charles first met with the young Joan of Arc Jeanne d'Arc at his court in Chinon. Meeting with Joan on March 8, he sent her to Poitiers to be examined by clerics and Parliament.
While Dunois mounted a divisionary attack, the supplies were barged into the city. Over the next few days, Joan assessed the situation while Dunois departed to Blois to bring up the main French army. This force arrived on May 4 and French units moved against the fort at St. Though intended as a diversion, the attack became a larger engagement and Joan rode out to join the fighting. Shrewsbury sought to relieve his beleaguered troops, but was blocked by Dunois and St. Loup was overrun.
The next day, Shrewsbury began consolidating his position south of the Loire around the Les Tourelles complex and St. Jean le Blanc. Spotting this, the garrison at St. Jean le Blanc withdrew to Les Augustins. Pursuing the English, the French launched several assaults against the convent through the afternoon before finally taking it late in the day. Dunois succeeded in preventing Shrewsbury from sending aid by conducting raids against St. His situation weakening, the English commander withdrew all of his forces from the south bank except for the garrison at Les Tourelles.
Moving forward, they began assaulting the barbican around AM. Fighting raged through the day with the French unable to penetrate the English defenses. In the course of the action, Joan was wounded in the shoulder and forced to leave the battle. With casualties mounting, Dunois debated calling off the attack, but was convinced by Joan to press on.
After praying privately, Joan rejoined the fighting. The appearance of her banner advancing spurred on the French troops who finally broke into the barbican.
That same day she wrote to the duke of Burgundy, adjuring him to make peace with the king and to withdraw his garrisons from the royal fortresses. On August 2 the king decided on a retreat from Provins to the Loire, a move that implied abandoning any plan to attack Paris. In fact, on August 6, English troops prevented the royal army from crossing the Seine at Bray, much to the delight of Joan and the commanders, who hoped that Charles would attack Paris.
Everywhere acclaimed, Joan was now, according to a 15th-century chronicler, the idol of the French. She herself felt that the purpose of her mission had been achieved. Near Senlis , on August 14, the French and English armies again confronted each other. Joan, however, was becoming more and more impatient; she thought it essential to take Paris.
Wounded, she continued to encourage the soldiers until she had to abandon the attack.
At Gien, which they reached on September 22, the army was disbanded. Joan went with the king to Bourges , where many years later she was to be remembered for her goodness and her generosity to the poor. The supplies arrived too late, and after a month they had to withdraw. Joan then rejoined the king, who was spending the winter in towns along the Loire. Late in December Charles issued letters patent ennobling Joan, her parents, and her brothers. Early in the duke of Burgundy began to threaten Brie and Champagne. She arrived at Melun in the middle of April, and it was no doubt her presence that prompted the citizens there to declare themselves for Charles VII.
With them she went on to Soissons , where the townspeople refused them entry. The next afternoon, May 23, she led a sortie and twice repelled the Burgundians but was eventually outflanked by English reinforcements and compelled to retreat. Remaining until the last to protect the rear guard while they crossed the Oise River , she was unhorsed and could not remount. Charles, who was working toward a truce with the duke of Burgundy, made no attempts to save her.
Her desire to escape became so great that she jumped from the top of a tower, falling unconscious into the moat. She was not seriously hurt, and when she had recovered, she was taken to Arras, a town adhering to the duke of Burgundy. News of her capture had reached Paris on May 25, The next day the theology faculty of the University of Paris , which had taken the English side, requested the duke of Burgundy to turn her over for judgment either to the chief inquisitor or to the bishop of Beauvais, Pierre Cauchon , in whose diocese she had been seized. The university wrote also, to the same effect, to John of Luxembourg; and on July 14 the bishop of Beauvais presented himself before the duke of Burgundy asking, on his own behalf and in the name of the English king, that the Maid be handed over in return for a payment of 10, francs.
The trial was fixed to take place at Rouen. Joan was moved to a tower in the castle of Bouvreuil, which was occupied by the earl of Warwick, the English commander at Rouen. Though her offenses against the Lancastrian monarchy were common knowledge, Joan was brought to trial before a church court because the theologists at the University of Paris, as arbiter in matters concerning the faith, insisted that she be tried as a heretic. Her beliefs were not strictly orthodox, according to the criteria for orthodoxy laid down by many theologians of the period.
She was no friend of the church militant on earth which perceived itself as in spiritual combat with the forces of evil , and she threatened its hierarchy through her claim that she communicated directly with God by means of visions or voices. Further, her trial might serve to discredit Charles VII by demonstrating that he owed his coronation to a witch, or at least a heretic.
Summoned to appear before her judges on February 21, Joan asked for permission to attend mass beforehand, but it was refused on account of the gravity of the crimes with which she was charged, including attempted suicide in having jumped into the moat. She was ordered to swear to tell the truth and did so swear, but she always refused to reveal the things she had said to Charles.
Cauchon forbade her to leave her prison, but Joan insisted that she was morally free to attempt escape. Guards were then assigned to remain always inside the cell with her, and she was chained to a wooden block and sometimes put in irons.
Between February 21 and March 24 she was interrogated nearly a dozen times. On every occasion she was required to swear anew to tell the truth, but she always made it clear that she would not necessarily divulge everything to her judges since, although nearly all of them were Frenchmen, they were enemies of King Charles.
The report of this preliminary questioning was read to her on March 24, and apart from two points she admitted its accuracy. When the trial proper began a day or so later, it took two days for Joan to answer the 70 charges that had been drawn up against her. Perhaps the most serious charge was of preferring what she believed to be the direct commands of God to those of the church.
On March 31 she was questioned again on several points about which she had been evasive, notably on the question of her submission to the church. In her position, obedience to the court that was trying her was inevitably made a test of such submission. She did her best to avoid this trap, saying she knew well that the church militant could not err, but it was to God and to her saints that she held herself answerable for her words and actions.
The trial continued, and the 70 charges were reduced to 12, which were sent for consideration to many eminent theologians in both Rouen and Paris. Meanwhile, Joan fell sick in prison and was attended by two doctors.
She received a visit on April 18 from Cauchon and his assistants, who exhorted her to submit to the church. Joan, who was seriously ill and thought she was dying, begged to be allowed to go to confession and receive Holy Communion and to be buried in consecrated ground.
She answered that even if they tortured her to death she would not reply differently, adding that in any case she would afterward maintain that any statement she might make had been extorted from her by force. In light of this commonsense fortitude , her interrogators, by a majority of 10 to three, decided that torture would be useless.
Joan was informed on May 23 of the decision of the University of Paris that if she persisted in her errors she would be turned over to the secular authorities; only they, and not the church, could carry out the death sentence of a condemned heretic. Apparently nothing further could be done. Joan was taken out of prison for the first time in four months on May 24 and conducted to the cemetery of the church of Saint-Ouen, where her sentence was to be read out.
After the sermon was ended, she asked that all the evidence on her words and deeds be sent to Rome. Her judges ignored her appeal to the pope and began to read out the sentence abandoning her to the secular power. Hearing this dreadful pronouncement, Joan quailed and declared she would do all that the church required of her. She was presented with a form of abjuration, which must already have been prepared.
In any case, the judges required her to return to her former prison. They then pressed other questions, to which she answered that the voices of St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. These admissions were taken to signify relapse, and on May 29 the judges and 39 assessors agreed unanimously that she must be handed over to the secular officials. The next morning, Joan received from Cauchon permission, unprecedented for a relapsed heretic, to make her confession and receive Communion. There she endured one more sermon, and the sentence abandoning her to the secular arm—that is, to the English and their French collaborators—was read out in the presence of her judges and a great crowd.