The Legend


Joan of Arc


Abridged Version Of The Legend

The Hundred Years War undoubtedly went into history. It started in 1337 and finally ended in 1431. It was a War, between England and France, because of the different legal
opinions with regards to the succession of the French throne. The first battle between both countries was in Crécy in 1346s. The Englishmen had one advantage, they had the
Welsh bow. Their arrows simply pierce the armour of the Frenchmen.
In 1356 they completely destroyed the army of John II of France at Poitiers.
He was captured and wasn't freed until 3 years later, after a deal in piece for a ransom of 3 millions gold coins from Brétigny.
France ceded some areas of England.
In 1369, the new King of France, Charles II, started the war against England again and regained a share of the taken areas.
When Charles II died his son Charles VI, who later went mad, ascended the throne.
In 1396 an armistice came into force between France and England, it went on for 28 years. In 1412, shortly before the (again-) outbreak of the 100 year war, Jeanne D'Arc was
born in a little town in Lorraine, Domrémy.
Her family like the rest of the villagers of Domrémy were poor, Jeanne never visited a school, all she was educated in was the faith which her mother taught her. She was devout, maybe too devout for her age, but in great respect for her family!
Back to war - In 1415 Henry V moved again against France in war and crushed the French army at Azincourt.
Burgundy came in on the English side (1416) and accepted the claims of Henry V to the French throne. In 1417 they conquered the English army and gained the whole of Normandy.
The Treaty of Troyes (1420) claimed that the son of Charles VI, the Dauphin, was illegitimate.
Two years later Charles VI died, as did the king of England, Henry V. When Jeanne d'Arc was 13, she heard voices for the first time. She said she saw an angel, St. Micheal, an archangel who brought her messages from God.
Michael told her God chose her to rescue France from the English and to help the Dauphin get his crown.
In the year 1428 the Dauphin's prospects looked bad. With the Burgundians in the east and the English in the north, which occupied the entire region north of the loire. It
was only a matter of time until France was completely conquered.
On the 7th of October the Siege Of Orléans started.
In December 1428 Jeanne was sent from her parents to her uncle in Burey-le-petit, for the time being she was there, but her destination was Vaucouleurs. Robert de Baudricourt,
would send her to the Dauphin, but at first he rejected her. Her voices told her he would grant her audience to the Dauphin on the third request. So it was. She managed to
persuade him, and after and long conversation she equipped herself with a small troop which would take her to the Dauphin in Chinon. In this troop were her future companions,
Betrand de Poulengy and Jean de Metz, who lead the troop. Jeanne got her own horse and a sword and put on men's clothing for the first time.
On the 1st of March the troop reached Chinon. Due to the concern of the Dauphin that this could possibly be an assassin, he spread himself around in his throne room and a
false king was sitting on his throne for a joke.
Jeanne entered the room, ignorant of this agreement and stood in front of the false king. She looked at him and realised the deception.
She found the real Dauphin among all the other people. The Dauphin pointed his finger in the direction of another man who looked richer than him. Jeanne kneeled before him and
said "That is you, and no other one!"
These 'wonders' are open for argument for researchers, too. Jeanne went to a corner with the dauphin and talked to him face to face. We assume that she told the Dauphin a
prayer he had said to God when he was alone. A prayer where he had asked God for help, to tell him if he was illegitimate, and if not, to protect him for a prison sentence and
torture, and he should help him to go to another land, maybe Spain or Scotland! At least old chronicles say that!
The Dauphin kept her in his castle to observe her, and presented Jeanne to the clergymen, widows, courtier's and other people who were in his castle.
Jeanne was a good girl, nice, humble, modest, sincere, honest, and a virgin. They never found anything bad about her.
But the Dauphin was still distrustful. He wanted have her examined by men of the church, and women who could confirm she was a virgin. They brought her to Poitiers and she was
questioned by the doctors and scholar's of the university there. Her virginity was checked by the ladies there. The result was that Jeanne was a humble virgin, and not
possessed by the devil.
It took a long time, but later the king sent her to Tours, there she got armour and had her famous standard made.
In Blois the king formed an army. On the 29th of April she entered Orléans, unnoticed by the Englishmen.
During the battles of Orléans, the English bastion fell one by one.
The French crowd followed Jeanne's triumphal march and rejoiced her everywhere. Jeanne continued to motivate the troops as much as she could, and always fought at the front.
She always had a priest with her troops. She was still fighting, even when an archer hit her with an arrow in her breast. On the 8th of May Jeanne forced the retreat of the
Englishmen. Orléans was free!
In June started the Loire campaign, in one week Jeanne won back Jargeau, Meung and Beaugency. On the 18th of June the battle of Patay was decisively won! Jeanne wanted to go
to Reims, as fast as possible, to crown the Dauphin. For the time being she advanced with her army to Troys. The Town refused to surrender. Jeanne stepped forward alone before
the English troops; she told them that they have to surrender, for goodness sake!
Later on the town surrender without a battle.
Later, Châlons and Reims surendered. The Dauphin was crowned king of France on the 17th of July in Notre Dame. After the coronation the kings decided on an armistice. Jeanne's
plan to go to Paris would be foiled.
Jeanne was very discontented; she said the war would, "Only be won by force of arms". The King prolonged the armistice as a peace offering.
Jeanne started more and more of her own "private battles", which didn't please the courtier's and adviser's of the king. Jeanne's pushing behaviour ruined the king's acquired
offers of peace agreements and written negotiations.
Due to the surprising attacks of the Burgundians, the French had to withdraw at Compiégne; Jeanne was cut off and was captured by the Burgundinas. The English tried to affect
the delivery of Jeanne d'Arc. After two failed escape attempts, she was handed over for a ransom of 10,000 Francs to the English. During her time in prison, Jeanne got food
poisoning from a carp. The Englishmen, for their part, handed over her of the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church. On the 9th of January 1431 In Rouen they brought Jeanne to
trial due to violation of several laws of the church, the process was lead by bishop Cauchon. The judgements of the court had been fixed. Although Jeanne supplied for the time
being with her intelligence and ready wit no weak spot, so she put on record, that she refused to swear an oath, because she didn't know what will be asked of her and she was
maybe not allowed to answer, all what concerned her voices and the secrets she told her king.
She was told by her voices that she could confront the court without fear because God would help her. Jeanne's answers were intelligent and exceedingly skilful. For example
she was asked the question, why she went away from home, without saying something to her parents, they would have permitted her. The bible says, "You have to honour your
parents." Jeanne said; that is the most important to obey God as the parents, and if God it wants, it doesn't matter if hundred mothers and hundred fathers will be forbid, she
would go. Or the court would set a trap for Jeanne, they asked, if she believed to be in the mercy of God. The trap: If she said 'yes' she would claim to know the ways of God,
if she said 'no' she will tell herself. Jeanne said, "If I'm in the mercy of God, he should preserve me in it, if I'm not, he should transfer me to it. I would be the saddest
person in the world, if I would know that I'm not in his mercy!"
The judges were so surprised by this answer, that there wasn't anything more on this day. The process ran over weeks, but the crucial error fort him, next steps of her
conviction for herself. In the opposite of her judges and recording clerks she's was going to be more and more malicious. But that's insignificant; Jeanne was the victim of a
political murder. The court accused Jeanne of the heresy. Charles VII couldn't risk being connected with a "Witch" and didn't do anything, to help Jeanne. Also for the
importance of Cauchons, pretty process was the matter of Jeanne's clothing, worn not only for war, but also daily she wore the newest male fashion. Then, Jeanne was really
weakly and afraid of the fire; her judges could elicit her signature, for an abridged version of her conviction. As Jeanne was sorting herself out, she took her male clothing
again and retracted her submissiveness. Jeanne said, she was afraid of the fire, and the Holy Magarete and the Holy Catharina was very disappointed in Jeanne, because she
denied God and her mission to rescue her own body.
Jeanne was officially relapsed.
They found her guilty of heresy and blasphemy and she was burned at the stake on the 30th of May 1431 at the marketplace in Rouen aged only 19.
In Arras 4 years later came a peace agreement between France and England. In 1456 a trial was held in Rouen, to restore the honour of Jeanne d'Arc.

500 years later, Jeanne was canonized by the Vatican.


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