31st Annual North Branch Golf Classic - April 26, BandFair 2024 - May 5

The Joan of Arc Trial

On September 24th, the middle school students staged a mock trial of Joan of Arc. Students prepared for weeks and played parts such as lawyers, royalty and townspeople who knew Joan. The 5th and 6th graders served as the jury. Here is a summary of the trial:

In May of 1430, while holding off Burgundian troops at the Battle of Compiegne so the French townspeople could flee, Joan was captured by John of Luxembourg. Joan was so popular and such a valuable symbol to the pro-Charles side (the Armagnacs) that the English and Burgundians knew killing her immediately would cause an outrage and create a martyr. Instead, they enlisted the church to discredit her first.

After two escape attempts, including a leap from sixty-foot tower, Joan came to trial under Bishop Pierre Cauchon for suspected heresy and witchcraft. Cauchon, who continually tried to make her admit that she had invented the voices, found her guilty of heresy. Before being handed over to secular authorities, Joan signed an abjuration admitting that her previous statements had been lies. But after a few days, she said she hadn’t meant the abjuration, and she was sentenced to burn at the stake. Only nineteen, Joan was burned on May 30, 1431.

Here is a video of the trial. It’s kind of long, but there were twenty-four kids to include! The beginning music is a French ballad from The Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453).

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