This is from the (unpublished) novel, The Lost Chronicles, The Story Of Joan of Arc, by Virginia Frohlick, edited by Carlyn Voss Iuzzolino. Copyrighted 1997. All rights reserved.
INTERESTING AND UNUSUAL FACTS ABOUT SAINT JOAN'S TIME
CHAPTER 1: The eminent French archeologist Henri Bataille, has spent his entire professional life working on and in the study of the castle of Vaucouleurs. According to his research, the twenty foot height Port of France that is seen today was rebuilt in 1734. The original structure was a watchtower approximately 66 feet high!
CHAPTER 3: It was not to the reign of Charles VIII (Charles VII's grand-son) that the secret between Joan and Charles VII may have been reveiled. Since the sorce is second hand it is hard to know for sure the truth of the matter by it does seem reasonable. The story was reated by one Pierre Sala. He states that in his youth a certan Lord de Boissy, a close friend to Charles VII, related what King Charles VII had told him. One day when he still was Dauphin he had gone apart to pray. In this prayer he asked God to defend and protect him if he was the true and rightful heir to the throne of France. If not that God would allow him the mercy to flee safely to either Scotland or Spain.
Since, if true, this prayer showed Charles to be a coward and doubting his own legitimacy it would be reason enough for Joan to want to conceil this embarissing information from the enemy.
CHAPTER 5: 1) In 1898, the French scholar Leon Gautier, compiled the code of chivalry from his studies of medieval manuscrips. In Joan's day there were no writen code of ethics for a knight. Their behavior was was based on honor, obedience and loyality to their Lord and the Church.
2) Armor was applied in this orderas: first, the foot and leg armor. Second, the backplate and then the breastplate was attached. Thirdly, the plates for the arms and then the gauntlets were applied. Finally the helmet was placed upon the head.
CHAPTER 6: The French were unable to pronounce Glasdale's name correctly. The best they could say was Classidas. The word Godon was the name used by the French when speaking about the English. The French got the term from the English themselves, because the English constantly used the phrase, god damn, in their speech.
CHAPTER 9: 1) The description of the Tourelles' defenses came from the model created by Lucien Harmery for the Center de Jehanne D' Arc Museum, located in the city of Orleans, France.
2) The people of Orleans never forgot what God did for them through Saint Joan's hard work and inspiration. Two years after her death with the help and financial support of Gilles de Rais, the city started celebrating the raising of the siege. Every May eighth, the people have set aside that day in remembrance. This has continued, for the most part, uninterrupted for 565 years! Only the tragedy of the French Revolution halted the festival. For ten years, from 1793 to 1803, the day was not celebrated. Through the urgings of Napoleon Bonaparte, the festival was reinstated in 1803 and has continued ever since through both World Wars and the German occupation! I recommend to all my readers that they attend this annual festive event at least once in their life time!
CHAPTER 14: The release from taxes for the towns of Greux and Domremy lasted until the French revolution.
CHAPTER 16: Although there is no direct evidence that Joan was a member of the 'Third Order of Saint Francis', there is an abundant amount of circumstantial evidence to support this clam.
1) The Franciscan influence was prevalent in the Meuse Valley between Vaucouleurs and Neufchateau.
2) In this area it was a common practice among the people to become members of the Third Order because there was no restriction on who could join, nor was there any penalty of mortal sin if a person chose to leave.
3) Within a five mile radius around Domremy there were two Franciscan Abbeys, that of Brixey to the north and the Hermits of Saint Augustine to the south. Once a month Joan would walk the five miles to the Abbey of Brixey to receive Holy Communion with the orphans who lived there.
4) The members of the Third Order had great devotion to and love for Jesus and Mary and would honored their names. It was a common practice for the friars and nuns to place these Holy Names on their letters. Joan continued this practice in her letters. She also wore a ring inscribed with the Holy Names.
5) The members of the Third Order observed with great piety and devotions the Passion of Our Lord and the feast of the Annunciation, both of which Joan fervantly observed.
6) The members attended Mass and said the 'Angelus' daily.
7) The members wore clothing made from black or gray cloth. On her journey to Chinon Joan wore a black vest and hose with a gray tunic over them.
8) The Franciscan ideals of tending the sick, feeding and clothing the poor and doing unselfish acts in order to help others, found a welcome home in Joan's heart and from her youth she daily lived them out.
2) The reader should not be shocked by the idea that Joan went to the public bathhouse at Bourges. They were not places of ill-repute as they are now. They served a legitimate purpose in the community. Remember that there was no indoor plumbing available in Joan's time and the people then were just as interested in bodily cleanliness as we are.
The bathhouse itself was kept warmer than domestic dwelings and provided the user with warm water for bathing, a steam room and if the coustmer so desired there were herbal massages avalable. There facilities were either just for one sex or it was divided into two sections. If a town could afford only one small bath house, then certain hours were set aside for the women to use it by themselves.
CHAPTER 17: Perrinet Gressart was a Burgundian, brigandine captain who worked for the English. He and his large band of men controlled the two towns of Saint-Pierre-le-Moutier and La Charite. La Tremoille sent Joan out against Gressart with a small, ill-equipped army in hopes that she would either be killed or, at the very least, be captured by Gressart. His stated purpose was, of course, to destroy an enemy of the state. The truth of the matter was that la Tremoille had in the past been a prisoner of Gressart. The duke had been held for a very large ransom, and so he wanted revenge on Gressart! If Joan was able to destroy Gressart and his band, all well and good. But if on the other hand, Gressart was able to killed Joan, la Tremoille would consider his ransom as payment for services rendered.
CHAPTER 22: Joan's protector, Dame de Beaurevoir, died on November 13, 1430. The Count de Luxembourg, after claming his inheritance, let no time pass before he contacted the English. Dame de Beaurevoir was not cold in her grave before Joan was sold to the English for 10,000 gold livres. At the time this was a King's ransom and enought money to buy at least six hundred horses. She was handed over to Bishop Pierre Cauchon and the English guard on November 23, 1430.
CHAPTER 23: The English and Burgundian churchmen of the University of Paris, whose power and authority rivaled that even of Rome, considered Joan to be a heretic and a witch. They felt that she could not have accomplished what she did by ordinary means, but that she needed supernatural help and that help came from Satan! They reached this conclusion because their theology was interwoven with their politics. A challenge to their political beliefs was a challenge to their ecclesiastical authority and religious beliefs and Joan had made such a challenge.
The Bishop of Beauvais, Pierre Cauchon, claimed that Joan had been captured within his jurisdiction and diocese. This claim was totally unfounded as the town of Margny was within either the boundaries of the diocese of Soissons or Toul (Modern scholars cannot find a clear boundary line between these dioceses at the time Joan was captured). Bishop Pierre Cauchon was a former rector of the University of Paris and one of the staunchest defenders of the idea of a dual monarchy, ie., the kingdoms of France and England were one entity. Besides he had a personal score to settle with Joan. Because of her victories and the coronation of King Charles, the faction favorable to King Charles had forced him twice to flee for his life, first from the city of Reims and again from the city of Beauvais. He therefore harbored a bitter resentment toward Joan and undertook the work of this trial as a labor of love that is revenge. Finally, Bishop Pierre Cauchon was an extremely ambitious man. He had his eyes on the Archbishop's seat of Rouen which had been vacant for a long time. The power of this seat rivaled even that of the Archbishop of Reims himself. The English, seeing his greed for this position, used it to gain his help in trying Joan. They dangled it before him as a possible reward for a job well done. Pierre Cauchon promised to hold a model trial that would swiftly and surely give the English the verdict they wanted.., death by fire. The English took no chances on the outcome of the trial. To the English Joan was nothing more or less than a witch, which Bedford called, "a lyme (lamb) of the Feende (Satan) and a demon in fair human guise, something to be execrated, tortured and burned." In the letter that surrendered Joan to the Bishop of Beauvais, Bedford specifically stated: It is our intention to recover and take back to ourselves this Joan, if it occurs that she is not convicted.., of the case of heresy....
Now, the English wanted Joan's death right from the moment they first laid eyes on her. The English in Normandy forced the French people there, through the payment of a heavy tax, to raise the money necessary to buy from the Burgundians, "Jehanne, la Pucelle, said to be a witch and certainly a military personage, leader of the hosts of the Dauphin." In the document used to purchase Joan from the Count of Luxemburg, the English called Joan, "a prisoner of War." As such they should have tried her in a civil 'political' court of law. The English did not want to do this because even if she was convicted in a civil court of law they could only keep her in prison and there in private have her assassinated. Bedford meant to kill Joan but it had to done in such a way that he could obtain his two objectives: the disposal of Joan and the discrediting of King Charles. He knew the only way to do this was to use the Church, that is, the authority of the University of Paris. If the Church tried her as a witch and a heretic, conviction meant death by fire. That would dispose of her and would discredit Charles. If they could condemn Joan as a witch then it would look as if Charles had obtained his crown through witchcraft and his title and claim to the French thrown would be invalid. Bedford then could easily have his six year old nephew, Henry VI, who was already King of England, crowned and anointed as true king of France and of England.
Joan was moved from Beaurevoir to Arras, then to Drugy, to St. Valery, to Eu and to Duppe. Finally, she arrived at Rouen a few days before Christmas. In all her long journey to those many castles and towns, the people flocked to see her, for she had so fired the imaginations of the common people. All went away greatly moved with pity for her.
DESCRIPTION OF HER ROUEN PRISON CELL
The cell in which she was held was hexagonal in shape and about twenty feet in diameter. It was a cold, dark and damp with only two narrow slits in the wall for ventilation. The room was almost bare except for a few wooden stools, for the three guards and Joan's bed. Two other guards were posted outside the cell's door.
She had a hay filled mat on top of a wooden pallet to sit and sleep upon. During the day when she was in the courtroom her feet were fettered together by a short length of strong, heavy chain, allowing her to take only short, halting steps. During the night Joan slept with her legs held by two pairs of irons. Her body was wrapped round by the chain that, crossing the foot of her bed, was fastened to a great piece of wood and locked with a key. In this way her movements were greatly limited and she could not move from her bed. If the English had a worse hole to put her in, I am sure they would have used it!
Joan endured the irons, the chains, the hideous treatment of the guards because she refused to swear that she would not try to escape. This is one more example of her matchless courage. For five months she bore these intolerable things rather than give her faith to any man, rather than abandon the chance of resuming her work for God.
The men who guarded her were cruel and brutal. They constantly bullied, mis-treated and taunted her with threats of being burned at the stake while making intimidating moves toward her, suggesting that they might beat, or worse, rape her. She was always afraid of being raped by these animals and so she slept very little. When she did, her sleep was fitful and easily disturbed.
Her worst fears were realized when, for no apparent reason, the three guards attacked her in a full-fledged rape attempt. Joan fought them off with all her strength. She kicked and scratched at their faces. She pulled out clumps of their hair, and fought with such ferocity that they were forced to retreat. The Earl of Warwick heard about the attack and reprimanded the men and replaced two of them. He strictly commanded them never to attack her physically, but he said nothing about verbal abuse or cruel teasing. He did this not out of love, and certainly not to preserve Joan's virginity. He did it out of fear that she might not survive an attack. He wanted a living person to burn, not a dead one. Thus, the guards resorted to cruel jokes. Their favorite one was to awaken Joan from sleep and threaten her with immediate burning.
THE VALIDITY OF HER TRIAL
Listed below are twenty- three reasons why I believe Joan's trial was invalid from its conception right through to its tragic end.
1) Joan should have been housed in an ecclesiastical prison guarded by women.
2) Bishop Cauchon's authority was in the diocese of Beauvais, not Rouen.
3) The alleged crimes committed by Joan were never committed in the diocese of Beauvais. Therefore, Bishop Cauchon had no right to sit in judgment over her.
4) Bishop Cauchon's trial should never have happened because her earlier trial at Poitiers, headed by the Archbishop of Reims who was Bishop Cauchon's direct superior, declared her to be acceptable in the eyes of the Church. Therefore the authority of the Poitiers court career was greater than that of Rouen.
5) Bishop Cauchon's court suppressed the findings of the Poitiers court.
6) Bishop Cauchon also suppressed the favorable findings obtained at Domremy and elsewhere.
7) Bishop Cauchon suppressed the favorable findings obtained by the Duchess of Bedford that Joan was in fact a virgin, and therefore could not be accused of being a witch or of witchcraft! (It was legally necessary that the findings of the above points i.e. 5, 6, and 7 were to be made part of the trial record. These findings were not publicly produced, nor were they included in the official record thus making the trial invalid.)
8) If Bishop Cauchon's court failed to condemn Joan, in all justice, she would have to be set free. If that had occurred, the English would not have obeyed the order to free her but would have illedgally continued to hold her prisoner.
9) The outcome of the trial had already been decided by Bishop Cauchon and the English before the trial ever began.
10) The judges and churchmen who participated in the trial were either pro-English, paid by them, or feared them. This made them unfit to sit in judgment of her.
11) The members of the court were not free to give their honest opinions.
12) The charges filed against her were either totally false, gross distortions, or half-truths.
13) On more than one occasion Joan was judged on the evidence of persons who had never confronted Joan and whose names were unknown to her.
14) Since King Charles was implicated in the trial, he or his representative should have been called to give evidence.
15) No counsel was called to help Joan answer the court's questions.
16) The English and/or Bishop Cauchon threatened with imprisonment or death any one who tried to assist Joan in answering the questions put before her.
17) The court tried to harass and browbeat Joan by asking her subtle and difficult questions in rapid succession without giving her time to answer.
18) The questions were purposely mixed and confused so as to entrap her in contradictions.
19) Trials in Joan's time were generally not orderly procedures. Joan had up to fifty-seven judges hearing her case. Each judge had the right to ask her a question at any time and Joan was expected to answer all their questions. Before she could answer one question, another judge would ask her another, while still another would interrupt that judge. Her replies were interrupted at almost every word and the secretaries of the English King recorded her replies as they pleased, writing down those responses that showed her in a bad light, while ignoring those favorable to her. Manchon, the chief court clerk, had stated that he would give up his position as court clerk if this chaos was not stopped.
The ability of Joan's mind to answer all their subtle questions as well as she did is miraculous! Not only was she able to avoid their traps but she was also able to remember all the questions that were asked her throughout the trial! This feat of memory alone is astonishing and worthy of praise and contemplation.
20) The court tampered with the records of the trial. They ordered the chief clerk, Father Manchon, to change the phrasing of her answers or to set down garbled testimony or omit answers that did not please the court. This he refused to do. The court decided instead to conceal scribes in an adjacent room to write down her answers without her explanations. They wrote down those replies that showed her in a bad light, while ignoring her favorable replies.
21) They denied her request to be taken to Rome which was her legal right of appeal.
22) By condemning Joan, with broad legal charges, the court showed itself to be vindictive and fanatical in their condemnation of her. They were not interested in finding out the truth in defense of the Church, but only in doing the bidding of their political masters, the English. The Church can accuse a person of being an Idolater: one who worships idols, and an Apostate: someone who once was a Christian but now no longer believes in Christ. The Church can accuse a person of being a Schismatic: believes in Christ but does not want to be under the authority of the Holy Father. A Heretic: believes in Christ but not in all the doctrines of the Catholic Church. When Joan's court accused her of all the above charges, it showed itself to be illogical as these charges are mutually exclusive.
23) All during her trial Joan was refused permission to go to Mass and receive Holy Communion. She was even prevented from praying before the entrance of the castle's chapel! Yet after Joan was wrongly condemned to burn at the stake and was technically excommunicated from the church, Bishop Pierre Cauchon granted Joan permission to receive Holy Communion. This was a grievous mortal sin committed on his part, for if he truly believed Joan guilty of heresy and witchcraft, he was obligated to protect the Blessed Sacrament from sacrilege. Thus, he was guilty of desecrating the Blessed Sacrament. If on the other hand, if he did not believe the court's verdict, than he was guilty of murder for condemning an innocent woman to death.
Perhaps, he tried to justify in his own mind, his decision to allow Joan to receive Holy Communion by erroneously assuming that when she went to confession before her death, she had confessed all the charges levied against her. If he did this, he was only deceiving himself and would still be culpable before God!
I strongly suspect that this problem he had with his conscience over Joan's receiving Holy Communion before she died caused him to create the false June 7th document in which he shows Joan confessing to her crimes.
CHAPTER 26: 1) Every year in Rouen on the anniversary of Joan's death, young girls dressed in white assemble on the spot where her ashes were cast into the river. In memory of Joan the girls throw flowers into the water.
2) In France by 1910, there were 20,000 statues of Joan in churches and public places, not counting all the stained glass windows!