September 8, 1429: Joan of Arc at Paris

September 8, 1429: Jeanne, the Maid of Orleans (subsequently called Joan of Arc, though she never used the surname D’Arc during her lifetime) stood before the gates of Paris, waiting for permission to attack.

During the preceding weeks, Jeanne had urged the newly crowned king, Charles the Seventh, to try and retake his capital city, which was then in the hands of the invading English and Burgundians.  Charles refused.  His cousin, Duke Philip of Burgundy, had promised to deliver the city on September 1, but despite the fact that Paris had not surrendered as promised King Charles would not attack.

Frustrated by the King’s willingness to trust a liar, Jeanne attacked Paris without Charles’ consent.  Her standard-bearer was killed in the initial assault, and when the French soldiers could not breach Paris’ substantial moat Jeanne was forced to withdraw.  She intended to resume the attack the next day, but King Charles forced her to stand down and then to retreat.

At her trial for heresy, Jeanne claimed her Voices had told her that if she did not take Paris by the end of the first week in September, she would not take it at all.  They were right.  The English executed her before the French reclaimed control of Paris.