Jehanne and Chivalry

Jheanne was a whole-hearted believer In the Christian Faith and in Chivalry. Chivalry to her meant one's duty to God, which include defending the innocent; faithfulness to the Church; championing good; defending the right; generosity to the poor; duties to his King and lord. Chivalry was seen by her to be the ideal, she demanded that her chivalrous attitude be emulated in camp and in battle. In the below example she revived the Truce of God.

...On a certain Sunday I saw those of Orleans preparing for a great conflict against the English, who were drawn up in order of battle. Seeing this, Jeanne went out to the soldiers; and then she was asked, if it were well to fight against the English on that day, being Sunday; to which she answered that she must hear Mass; whereupon she sent to fetch a table, and had the ornaments of the Church brought, and two Masses were celebrated, which she and the whole army heard with great devotion. Mass being ended, Jehanne asked if the English had their faces turned toward us; she was told no, that their faces were turned towards Meung. Hearing this, she said: "In God's Name, they are going; let them depart; and let us give thanks to God and pursue them no further, because it is Sunday..." Jean De Champeaux, confirmed by Pierre Jongault, Pierre Hue, Jean Aubert, Guillaume Rouillanrt, Gentian Cabu, Pierre Vaillant, and Jean Coulon, and all the burghers of Orleans, Trial of Rehabilitation.

In accordance with the chivalry an opponent which defied the code, was considered dishonourable. To capture the Lord of a place, such as Orleans, and then besiege that place was considered a breach of Chivalry.

...This succor does not come from me, but from God Himself, Who, at the prayers of Saint Louis and Saint Charlemagne, has had compassion on the town of Orleans, and will not suffer the enemy to hold at the same time the Duke and his town!.."Jehanne the Maid before Orleans to Jean, Bastard of Orleans, Comte Dunois

Because of her devotion to chivalry it was required of her to first allow the English to leave Orleans with out a battle, and failing that to tell them what would befall them, in a letter she wrote outside of Orleans she wrote...

Jhesus, Marie

King of England, render account to the King of Heaven of your royal blood. Return the keys of all the good cities which you have seized, to the Maid. She is sent by God to reclaim the royal blood, and is fully prepared to make peace, if you will give her satisfaction; that is, you must render justice, and pay back all that you have taken.

King of England, if you do not do these things, I am the commander of the military; and in whatever place I shall find your men in France, I will make them flee the country, whether they wish to or not; and if they will not obey, the Maid will have them all killed. She comes sent by the King of Heaven, body for body, to take you out of France, and the Maid promises and certifies to you that if you do not leave France she and her troops will raise a mighty outcry as has not been heard in France in a thousand years. And believe that the King of Heaven has sent her so much power that you will not be able to harm her or her brave army.

To you, archers, noble companions in arms, and all people who are before Orleans, I say to you in God's name, go home to your own country; if you do not do so, beware of the Maid, and of the damages you will suffer. Do not attempt to remain, for you have no rights in France from God, the King of Heaven, and the Son of the Virgin Mary. It is Charles, the rightful heir, to whom God has given France, who will shortly enter Paris in a grand company. If you do not believe the news written of God and the Maid, then in whatever place we may find you, we will soon see who has the better right, God or you.

William de la Pole, Count of Suffolk, Sir John Talbot, and Thomas, Lord Scales, lieutenants of the Duke of Bedford, who calls himself regent of the King of France for the King of England, make a response, if you wish to make peace over the city of Orleans! If you do not do so, you will always recall the damages which will attend you.

Duke of Bedford, who call yourself regent of France for the King of England, the Maid asks you not to make her destroy you. If you do not render her satisfaction, she and the French will perform the greatest feat ever done in the name of Christianity.

Done on the Tuesday of Holy Week (March 22, 1429). HEAR THE WORDS OF GOD AND THE MAID.
See this link for a breakdown and explaination of the letters.

Another such breach was the capture of a herald. Jheanne was honoured with a quite extraordinary privilege of two heralds, most likely pursuivants,: Ambleville and Guyenne. Their actual names will probably never be known. Ambleville belonged perhaps to Julien des Essars, husband of Isabeau de Vendôme (2nd sister of Jean de Vendôme, vidame of Chartres, and companion of the Maid) who was Lord of Ambleville in Vexin, member by alliance of a family of an exemplary faithfulness to Charles VII and to the Duke of Orleans. As to Guyenne, he was without doubt part of the king’s household. It was however a provocation to carry this name by an officer of French-arms because the Lordship of this province was claimed by the King of England, as a descendant of Eleanor of Aquitaine.

The term heralds of arms was used to describe in every general manner an intricate collection of "officers of arms" who, in the Middle Ages, played a particularly important role both in the field of heraldry and genealogy and in the military and political fields. In time of war they exercised a function of messenger for which they enjoyed a sort of diplomatic immunity. Their person as a result was sacred and inviolable. (1)

(2) ...I remember that two heralds were sent on the part of the Maid to Saint-Laurent, one named Ambeville, and the other Guienne, to Talbot, the Earl of Suffolk, and Lord Scales, telling the English in God's name to return to England, or evil would come to them. The English detained one of these heralds, named Guienne, and sent back the other Ambeville to the Maid, who told her that the English were keeping back his companion Guienne to burn him. Then Jeanne answered Ambeville and assured him in God's Name that no harm should happen to Guienne, and told him to return boldly to the English, that no evil should happen to him, but that he should bring back his comrade safe and sound... Jaques L'Esbahy, trial of rehabilitation.

Jehanne's code extended to her the spiritual well being of her troops,

...I have seen Jheanne, at the Elevation of the Host, weeping many tears. I remember well that she induced the soldiers to confess their sins; and I indeed saw that, by her instigation and advice, La Hire and many of his company came to confession... Maître Pierre Compaing, Priest, Licentiate in Law, Canon of Saint-Aignan. Trial of Nullification

...I remember well to have seen and heard, one day, a great lord, walking along the street, begin to swear and blaspheme God; which, when Jeanne saw and heard, she was much perturbed, and went up to the lord who was swearing, and, taking him by the neck, said, "Ah! master, do you deny Our Lord and Master? In God's Name, you shall unsay your words before I leave you. " And then, as I saw, the said lord repented and amended his ways, at the exhortation of the said Maid... Recinald, widow of Jean Huré.

...She was in the habit of confessing frequently and hearing Mass daily... and ...She was accustomed, before going to an assault, to take account of her conscience, and to receive the Sacrament after hearing Mass... Charlotte, wife of Guillaume Havet

These excerpts from the Trial of Nullification which are repeated here show narratives by eyewitnesses and attest to he piety, and devotion to chivalry.


(1) Two heralds of note were those of Henry V and Charles d'Albret at the battle of Agincourt. During the battle the English and the French herald, (Montjoie), watched the battle together from a nearby hill; both agreed that the English were the victors, and Montjoie provided King Henry V, who thus earned the right to name the battle, with the name of the nearby castle.

(2)Heralds are sometimes represented like this, holding in their hands a broken chain. The precise meaning has been lost but may indicate that the bearer is neutral. Many American newspapers have taken the name Herald to indicate that they too are neutral.

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