Why was Joan Of Arc burned at the stake?
- 7 years agoFavorite Answer
~Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon was out of marshmallows (actually, they hadn't been invented yet) and she was the handiest substitute.
For anything more intelligent or complete, you'll have to read up on the Hundred Years War, the status of English lands as French fiefs following the Norman Conquests, the claim of Edward III of England to be King of France after French King Philip VI confiscated Edward's lands in Aquitaine, the rules of succession of both England and France at the time and the constant civil wars between the French Burgundians and Armagnacs and Orleanists.
Oversimplified though it may be, Joan (or, more correctly, Jeane d'Arc - actually, her birth name was Jehanne) was executed for political reasons by the Burgundians and their English allies as a means to discredit her and French King Charles VII, whose coronation was largely attributable to her military success against the Burgundian and English forces. The actual charges against her contained in, ultimately, a 12 count indictment. Originally, there had been some 70 counts but most were excised after the preliminary examinations for want of proof. Contrary to the mythology surrounding her, the trial was neither conducted by the Church nor condoned by it and it was illegal for several reasons under both civil and Church law - which is why she was later exonerated by the Church. Well, that and the fact the Charles VII hounded the Church to clear her because if he rose to the throne with the help of a convicted heretic, his reputation and that of the Church would suffer.
The immediate reason for her execution was that after her abjuration, she resumed wearing men's apparel. She did so, according to the trial record, because her guards had taken her female clothing from her, leaving her with only the male garb. She wore the male clothing while imprisoned in the first place to protect herself from rape by her male guards and agreed to dress in "proper woman's clothes" if transferred to a Church prison, where she would be guarded by nuns and, in theory, safe from rape. [It was not uncommon in the day for women to wear armor (which was designed, as was Johanne's, to custom fit their female anatomy) or "male" clothing, or even to lead armies and Jahanne was one of the more benign female commanders in the field - she never carried a weapon but instead carried her banner into battle at the head of her troops and there is no evidence that she ever killed any opposing soldier or even inflicted any injury.] Appearing before the court in men's clothes after the abjuration, she was declared a relapsed heretic and, as was the norm in such cases, burned at the stake. She had also renounced her visions and the voices, but thereafter recanted her renunciation. That all fell in with the plans of her captors, since only a relapsed heretic could be burned under the laws of the day.
To truly understand the trial and execution, you need to read and understand the surrounding history as well as the trial record itself. For example, she was captured by French Burgundian troops, not by the British (or the English, since Great Britain did not then exist), and transferred to the English by those captors when Charles VII refused to ransom her. The trial was conducted at the direction and under the authority of French Bishop of Beauvais Pierre Cauchon, not by the English who took no official role in it (they didn't need to, since Cauchon was their staunch ally and lackey and probably went further and stretched the law and rules farther than English would have or could have done). She was burned by her French accusers, not by the English.
- RachelLv 57 years ago
The British burned her for heresy. She came to lead many French soldiers when she claimed that God had told her to do so. When she was captured by the British and put on trial as a heretic, she was given the option to repent and say that the voices from God were lies, or burn at the stake. She stood by her word and was shortly after burned for it.
- judicator2000Lv 57 years ago
For wearing men's clothes. Seriously, that's what they nailed her on. She recanted her beliefs after her initial trial and was sent to prison. The guards stole her clothes, leaving only men's clothing to wear. The English then said she had relapsed and used it as an excuse to burn her.
The whole thing was a sham from the beginning. The English were never going to let her live from the moment they captured her.
- ammianusLv 77 years ago
To discredit her claim that she had taken up arms against the English and Burgundians after being directed by God to do so.
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- HiLv 77 years ago
Because she was the great French saviour and the British captured her.
- BobbyLv 77 years ago
Heresy. She claimed that the voices of angles were guiding her.