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English Cast

King Henry V

Born in 1387, Henry V was the oldest son of Henry IV and Mary Bohun. His reign over England lasted from 1413-1422. As King, he broke the traditional Plantagenet goal of simply maintaining French possessions, and attempted to conquer France. He was successful in occupying half of France, a feat which, from a military standpoint, marked the high point of the war for the English. Henry V depended on his alliance with Burgundy and on the Burgundians' naval power. He attacked and garrisoned towns in Northern France and won a major victory at the battle of Agincourt. The fall of Rouen completed his conquest of Normandy, following which he advanced into France and negotiated with Charles VI to arrive at the Treaty of Troyes. The Treaty arranged his marriage to Charles VI's daughter, Katherine, and Henry became the heir to the dual monarchy of France and England. Henry ruled until 1422, when he died of dysentery at the age of 45.

Henry VI

Henry VI was born in 1421, nine months before his father's death in 1422. He was raised by his mother, Katherine, and his uncles, Cardinal Beaufort and Humphrey, duke of Gloucester. His uncles ruled for him until he came of age. By the time he became an active ruler in 1436, his kingdom had been reduced to the duchies of Normandy and Antiquaine.

In 1445, Henry VI married Margaret of Anjou. When Henry went insane in 1453, Queen Margaret controlled the kingdom without much success. In 1460, Henry VI was captured at Northampton by York's allies and was forced to accept York as his heir.

Edward IV took over the kingdom, and had Henry VI imprisoned in the Tower. However, he was restored to the throne in 1470, only to be murdered in 1471. His body was buried at Chertsey Abbey, and then transferred in 1484 to Windsor.

Thomas Montacute (Montagu), 4th Earl of Salisbury

One of the English commanders during the Hundred Years' War. Joan never met or fought against Thomas Montacute, but against the siege that he began at Orléans. The siege began on October 12, 1428. One the 27th, the chronicler Mostrelet reports that :

"[Salisbury] studied the land around that fort carefully to imagine how he could take that city. While he was at the window, the stone of a cannon from the aforesaid city struck the window where the earl was, at the noise of which he pulled back; nevertheless, he was wounded most grievously and mortally and had a large part of his face carried away by it." (Mostrelet, Chroniques)

The date of Salisbury's death is reported as November 3, 1428 in Meung.

Born in 1388, Salisbury was granted part of his father's estate in 1409, and finally received the remainder in 1421. This was due to the support of Richard II by John, the 3rd earl of Salisbury. He was knighted by the Order of the Garter in 1414 and began his service in France shortly thereafter. Salisbury fought at the battle of Agincourt, and participated in the sieges of Caen, Harfleur, and Rouen. In 1419 he was named lieutenant general of the king and remained in France. Salisbury was also part of the making of the Treaty of Troyes, and later became the governor of Champagne. He returned to England for a year's visit, and arrived in France to begin the campaign of Orléans in July 1428.

John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury

Chief commander of English forces during the Hundred Years' War. Talbot was born to Richard, the 4th Baron of Talbot around 1373. He served in campaigns in Wales (1404-1413) and Ireland (1414-11419) before fighting in France. He fought at Verneuil in 1424 and thus earned the Order of the Garter. He was among the English in the unsuccessful siege of Orléans in 1429. Talbot did earn respect from the French, however, for waging war in an honorable fashion, and is mentioned often in the French documents of Orléans. He continued to defend Meung and Beaugency after the siege. Talbot was taken by the French at Patay in June 1429. After his release in 1433, he continued fighting for the English. Among his victories were Clermont, Le Crotoy, and Harfleur.

In 1442 Talbot became the Earl of Salop, which he called Shrewsbury. Shortly thereafter he left France for a two year period as lieutenant of Ireland. After his return, the French captured Shrewsbury and held it hostage in 1449. England then gave up its hold on Normandy and began to lose Aquitane. Talbot died on July 17, 1453 while trying to relieve the siege of Castillon without artillery cover for his forces. Without Talbot , the English began to yield most of their French holdings, and this became one of the last battles of the Hundred Years' War.

Richard Beauchamp, 5th Earl of Warwick

The jailer of the Maid during her trial. Joan was lodged in the castle of Bouvreuil when she was taken to Rouen on December 23, 1430. Beauchamp was among those who paid the judges at Rouen, but he did look out for the welfare of his prisoner. His interventions when Joan was attacked by her guards and also during her illness show this.

Beauchamp was born 1380 at Salwarpe in Worcestershire. At the age of sixteen he was given the Order of the Garter. Following his father's death in 1401, he was given knighthood in the Order of the Bath. Beauchamp led a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land in 1408, and became a member of the King's Council upon his return. He helped arrange the marriage of Catherine of France to Henry V. Other duties included the captainship of Calais and the chief lay representative at the council of Constance. Due to his faithful service and close friendship to Henry V, Beauchamp was named as the young Henry VI's mentor and protector by his dying father. Both Beauchamp and the young king were in France during the trial of Joan, and Beauchamp himself was present during the trial and execution.

Beauchamp's first wife was Elizabeth Berkeley, an extremely rich young woman of England. One of their three daughters, Margaret, married John Talbot. His second wife was Isabel Despenser, another wealthy heiress. A son and a daughter were born of this marriage. Due to these marriages, Beauchamp handsomely enlarged his estates in England. He died in Rouen on April 30, 1439 and was buried in the castle chapel in Warwick, England.

French Cast

Robert de Baudricourt

A loyal supporter of the Dauphin Charles. This nobleman served the Dauphin as captain of Vaucouleurs. He was one of the first to meet Joan, and the one of the first who had to believe in her.

Upon their first meeting, Baudricourt demanded that Joan be returned to her father and slapped for such impudence. But this was not enough to daunt Joan. She took up lodgings with a local wheelwright and his wife, and continued to seek an audience with Baudricourt. When she finally met with him, Joan told Baudricourt that she had been sent to help the Dauphin to win Orleans. Uneasy that perhaps this girl had been sent by the devil, Baudricourt had a priest question Joan on whether the devil sent her or not. He then sent her to the duke of Lorraine for consultation. Fortunately this all was enough to convince him to send Joan to Chinon to see the Dauphin Charles with a letter of introduction. This was not a light undertaking by any means. Baudricourt was sending his approval of this maid to the face of his Dauphin. That was certainly courage and faith in the girl who would change the state of war for the French.

Baudricourt also served as the bailiff of Chaumont in 1415, succeeding his uncle Guillaume. He also became a counselor to René of Anjou, who later became the duke of Bar.

Georges de la Tremoille

The grand chamberlain of France and the Dauphin’s lieutenant general for Burgundy. Trémoïlle was Joan’s enemy at court simply because she did not agree with his interests. Due to his great influence at court, he was able to use Joan against Perrinet Gressart. It is reputed that Trémoïlle also convinced Charles VII not to aid Joan after her capture at Compeigne.

Two years after Joan’s death, Trémoïolle’s continuing unpopularity caused an attempt on his life. In 1439 he was a part of the failed Praguerie, the attempt to overthrow the aristocracy. His banishment from court finally occurred in 1453. Trémoïlle died in 1466 still an unpopular man.

Bertrand du Gueselin

Arthur de Richemont

Gilles de Rais

Jean Le Charlier de Gerson

Christine de Pizan

John of Luxembourg

Perrinet Gressart

Philip the Good of Burgundy

Raoul de Gauourt

The governor of Orléans in Joan’s time. He is first recorded as a squire in the service of Charles VI and entering battle in 1396. After being named the chamberlain of Louis, duke of Orléans, Gaucourt participated in the siege of Harfleur. His capture sent him to England for six years and nearly ruined him financially. All Gaucourt retained after paying his ransom were property holdings in Touraine and Berry that belonged to his wife. From 1404 onward he fought against the English, even at the side of La Hire in the battle at Montargis. Charles VII gave him the captaincy of Chinon and also the bailiff of Orléans by 1428. Gaucourt eventually became a member of the royal council, and was the liaison to Pope Calixtus III in arranging the review of Joan’s original trial. He was eighty years of age when testifying in the nullification trial, and the records of his statement are surprisingly complete.

Poton de Zaintrailles

One of the mercenary captains who aided Joan in raising the siege of Orléans. He fought under the Burgundian banner in 1424 at Hainaut, but then joined the Maid on the Armagnac side at Orléans. Poton became a prisoner at the Battle of the Shepherd, and was brought to Rouen on August 11, 1429 just like Joan. The next day records indicate that Poton was received at the table of Richard Beauchamp, whereas Joan was not. This does indicate the attitude taken toward the Maid versus her companions.

On November 14, 1429, it is recorded that Poton was sent to Dieppe, and then on to Calais on January 23 of the following year. It is assumed that Poton was on the ship that disembarked for England on February 9 since he does not appear in French documents for quite some time. He does appear again in 1435 among a band of mercenaries. However, Charles VII had other plans for this particular captain, and made Poton the bailiff of Bourges. He later became an esquire and was sent on a campaign to Germany in 1444. This war effort changed Poton, and settled him into full and faithful service to the king thereafter.

Étienne de Vignolles, also know as 'La Hire'Gilles

The word ‘hire’ in French means ‘anger’ and expresses well the character of this captain who supported Joan. Infamous for his extreme use of vulgar language, La Hire changed this trait after spending time around Joan. Due to this influence of the Maid and God, La Hire only swore "on his baton." He is also remembered for his prayer: "May you do for La Hire what you would like La Hire to do for you, if you were La Hire and La Hire was God."

La Hire was one of the captains whom Joan led in the relief of Orléans. Because of his moral conversion, he also became one of the Maid’s most faithful companions on the battlefield. Born as a Gascon, La Hire was involved in the war and the military since childhood. He fought for the Dauphin as a mercenary captain alongside his companion Poton de Xaintrailles. La Hire was captured at Dourdan, and therefore was unable to aid Joan before she was burned at the stake. He died on January 12, 1442 while fighting to regain the southwest of France.