Joan of Arc



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Jehanne: Portraits of a Saint


Her Signature

Joan of Arc's signature 11/9/1429


Joan of Arc's signature 3/16/1430 Joan of Arc's signature 3/28/1430

November 9, 1429

original document with Joan of Arc's signature
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March 16, 1430

original document with Joan of Arc's signature
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March 28, 1430

original document with Joan of Arc's signature
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This is the first known example of Joan of Arc's signature. She is believed to have signed her name at the bottom after dictating this letter to the people of Riom:


This is the second known example of Joan of Arc's signature in a reply to the people of Rheims fearing an eminent siege by the English:


This is the last known example of Joan of Arc's signature in a letter dictated to the people of Rheims just months before she was captured:


"To my dear and good friends, the men of the Church, burgesses, and inhabitants of the town of Riom

Dear and good friends, you well know how the town of Saint-Pierre-le-Moutier was taken by assault, and with God's help I intend to clear out the other places which are against the King. But because so much powder, arrows, and other war materiel has been expended before the said town, and because myself and the lords who are at this town are so poorly provisioned for laying siege to La Charité, where we will be going shortly, I pray you, upon whatever love you have for the welfare and honor of the King and all the others here, that you will aid the siege and immediately send powder, saltpeter, sulfur, arrows, strong arbalests and other materials of war. And do this so that it will not be prolonged for lack of the said powder and other war materials, and so that no one can say that you were negligent or unwilling. Dear and good friends may Our Lord protect you.

Written at Moulins, the ninth day of November.

translated by Allen Williamson


"To my very dear and good friends, the churchmen, burgess, and other townsmen of the town of Rheims

Very dear and well beloved, whom I much long to see, I, Jehanne the Maid, have received your letter making mention that you fear you will be besieged. Please know that you will not be, if I can meet with them very shortly. And if it should happen that I do not meet with them and they should come before you, then shut your gates, for I shall very shortly be in your neighborhood. And if they are there I shall make them put on their spurs in such haste that they will not know where to find them, and raise the siege, if it is begun, so shortly that it will be very soon. I write no more now, except: be you ever good and loyal. I pray God to have you in his keeping.

Written at Sully, the sixteenth day of March.

I would send you some further news, with which you would be most joyful, but I fear this letter may be taken on the road and the said news be seen.


"To my very dear and good friends the men of the Church, magistrates, bourgeois, and inhabitants and laborers of the good town of Rheims

Very dear and good friends, may it please you to know that I have received your letters, which described how word had been brought to the king that there were many evil people in the good city of Reims. If you wish to know the truth, he was told that there were many who belonged to a conspiracy which would have betrayed the city and brought in the Burgundians. But thereafter the King well knew otherwise because you had sent him assurances. He is therefore well pleased with you. And know that you are much in his favor, and if you will have to fight, he will aid you in the event of a siege. And he well knows that you have endured much suffering from the hardships which your enemies the treasonous Burgundians have inflicted on you; so he will deliver you, if it pleases God, very soon. That is to say as soon as is feasible. I beg and require, very dear friends, that you defend well the aforesaid good city for the king and that you keep good watch. You will soon receive my good news more directly. I will not write any more for the present except to say that all of Brittany is French and the Duke must send three thousand soldiers to the King, paid for six months' service. I commend you to God, may He watch over you.

Written at Sully on the 28th of March.

translated by Allen Williamson


the only portrait of Joan of Arc completed in her lifetime by Clement de Fauquembergue"As to my schooling, I learned my faith, and was rightly and duly taught to do as a good child should." In Her Own Words, p. 3

Joan is thought to have been illiterate, obtaining no former schooling except what she learned from her mother, Isabelle. She often dictated her letters to her page Louis de Contes and her priest, Father Jean Pasquerel. Her dictated letters show tremendous passion, devotion and compassion, even for the enemies of France. When it came to signing her name, her signature evolved from a simple "X" to her first name, Jehanne.

Except for one elementary line drawing rendered while she was alive, these signatures are the closest tangible things we have of Joan of Arc herself. They are believed to be the only surviving elements from her own hand. All three of these letters exist in their original forms and have been archived. Other direct personal relics have not survived through the ages.


go on to Her Prophecies >>

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