Joan of Arc, Letter to the People of Troyes; July 4, 1429





Joan of Arc's Letter to the People of Troyes; July 4, 1429

This is a letter sent by Joan on July 4, 1429, dictated at St. Phal and sent to the citizens of Troyes as the Royal army approached the city. The city leaders responded by sending a copy of this letter to their fellow Burgundians in Rheims, asking for military aid (in a dispatch sent on the 5th).

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, Mary +n1
Very dear and good friends - if you don't mindn2 - lords, bourgeois,n3 and inhabitants of the town of Troyes, Joan the Maidenn4 sends word and makes known to you, in the name of the King of Heaven, her rightful and sovereign Lord, in whose royal service she remains each day, that you should render true obedience and recognition to the noble king of France, who will be at Rheims and Paris quite soon, regardless of whomever may come against us; and [will be] in his towns of the holy kingdom with the help of King Jesus.n5 Loyal Frenchmen, come before King Charlesn6 and let there be no failing; and do not worry about your lives nor your property if you do so; and if you do not do so I promise and guarantee upon your lives that we will enter, with the help of God, into all the towns which should be part of the holy kingdom, and make there a good durable peace,n7 regardless of whomever may come against us.
I commend you to God; may God protect you, if it pleases Him.
Reply soon.
Before the city of Troyes, written at St. Phal,n8 Tuesday July fourth.

Note 1: "Jesus, Mary" was a standard phrase used by her, appearing on her battle flag, her ring, and most of her letters.
Note 2: I.e., if they, allied with the Duke of Burgundy, didn't object to such friendship.

Note 3: The term "bourgeois" then referred to a free townsman.

Note 4: "The Maiden" or "Virgin" ("la Pucelle") was her chosen nickname, explaining that she had promised her saints to maintain her virginity "as long as it pleases God". Like most female saints, she would be canonized as a "Holy Maiden".

Note 5: "King Jesus" was the appellation she often used for Christ, appearing (for example) in her letter on 17 July 1429 ("King Jesus, King of Heaven and of all the world, my rightful and sovereign Lord").

Note 6: The citizens of Troyes would decide to resist for a few days before sending a delegation to negotiate on July 9th.


Note 7:
She would similarly call for a lasting peace in her
letter to the Duke of Burgundy on 17 July 1429.

Note 8:
The army had stopped at St. Phal, about a dozen miles southwest of Troyes, before marching on to the city itself on July 5th.

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