Joan of Arc's letter to Tournai (June 25, 1429)




Joan of Arc's Letter to the People of Tournai; June 25, 1429

This is a letter sent to the city of Tournai on June 25, 1429, describing her recent victories during the Loire Valley campaign. The copy in Tournai's archives was preceded by a paragraph which reads: "And because we know that you always desire to hear good tidings of the condition and well-being of the King our lord, we have caused copies to be made of the letters which the Maiden, who is currently with the King our lord, has sent to us, consisting of the following..."

An English translation is on the left; commentary on the right. A transcription of the original language is also available.


English TranslationNotes and Commentary
+ Jesus + Maryn1
Noble loyal Frenchmen of the town of Tournai,n2 the Maiden informs you of the tidings from here: that in eight days she has driven the English out of all the places they held on the River Loire, by assault and otherwise, where there were many killed and captured; and she has defeated them in battle. And know that the Earl of Suffolk, La Pole his brother,n3 Lord Talbot, Lord Scales, and my lord John Fastolfn4 and many knights and commanders have been captured and the Earl of Suffolk's brothern5 and Glasdalen6 are dead. Stand fast loyal Frenchmen, I pray you. And [crossed-out word] I pray and request you to be ready to come to the anointing of the noble king Charles at Rheims, where we will be soon. And come to us when you learn that we are approaching. I commend you to God; may God watch over you and grant you grace so that you can maintain the good cause of the Kingdom of France. Written at Gien the 25th day of June.
To the loyal Frenchmen of
the town of Tournai.

Note 1:
"Jesus, Mary" was a standard 'slogan' used by her, appearing on her battle flag, two of her rings, and most of her letters.

Note 2:
Tournai was a semi-independent city within the Duke of Burgundy's County of Flanders.

Note 3:
This refers to Sir John de la Pole, brother of William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, both of whom were captured at Jargeau on June 12.

Note 4:
Talbot and Scales were captured at Patay on June 18th; concerning Fastolf, Joan is here relaying the standard initial report also found in many other Armagnac ("French") sources, although they would later learn that Fastolf actually eluded capture and made it to the safety of Etampes.

Note 5:
The Earl's other brother, Alexander, who was killed at Jargeau.

Note 6:
Sir William Glasdale, who died at Orleans on May 7.

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