To the King of England, Duke of Bedford, William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk; John, Lord of Talbot; and you, Thomas, Lord Scales, who call yourselves Bedford’s lieutenants. The King of Heaven orders you, through me, Jehanne the Maiden, to leave your battlements and return to your own country. Do right for the King of Heaven and give up all the towns you have stolen from France. I have come here in God’s name as a Commander of the Dauphin, Charles the VII1 of France to take back the territories you have stolen, and will do so in his name and with his support. I will allow you to leave peacefully and avoid a direct siege under the following condition. You may go without opposition if you make amendments to the towns you have pillaged and do not interfere with any French towns on your return trip. To the soldiers and nobles who are around Orléans2, in the name of the King of Heaven, leave and return to your own land. If you will not leave peacefully, I, as a commander will strike you down with a clash of arms that will ring through centuries to come. King of England, wherever I come across your troops in France, I will make them leave. If they are not willing, I will wipe them out, life for life. Those who are willing to leave will have my mercy as I am sent here in God’s name to remove you from France. The King of Heaven, will send a great force in the favour of me and my good soldiers, as I am his envoy. If you believe that you can challenge my army, we shall clearly see who is in the right and who is in the wrong. In the fight we will see who truly has the right to the throne3 in the eyes of God4.
Jehanne la Pucelle
Written during Holy Week
Dauphin Charles VII,
I have delayed the siege of Orleans to give the English a chance to surrender peaceably. The King of Heaven surely wishes to give the men a chance to redeem themselves and leave the city, avoiding any bloodshed. I have sent one letter already and my Herald has not yet returned, so I plan to have to one I have written shot into their ramparts. As I am confident in my soldiers’ abilities, I sent this in an effort to reduce the amount of fighting that has to be done. I prefer to ride in the battle with my banner in my arms and the King of Heaven at my side rather than my sword. This series of letters reflects God’s compassion, and should not be taken lightly by then English. Should they remain ignorant of my attempts however, I will be forced to take up arms against them.
Jehanne the Maiden.
Thanks be to Friar Jean Pasquerel for scribing this.
1 The first name. Charles the VII was denied his throne by the English (his mother switched sides and denounced him) and Jehanne d’Arc
2 Jehanne is known for taking Orleans back from the English
3 Maybe not a proper noun, but this shows her knowledge of the cause of the Hundred Years War. (The hereditary right to the throne of France.)
4 Both sides being religious at the time believed God to be on their side.