Joan of Arc was born in the village of Domrémy in the province of Lorraine. Her parents Jacques D'Arc and Isabelle Romee owned a modest farm. The region was part of the duchy of Burgundy during that era. Joan's own village and a few nearby communities formed an isolated patch of territory that remained loyal to the French crown.
Joan had her first vision in 1424. She reported that St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret told her to drive out the English and bring the dauphin to Rheims for his coronation. At the age of sixteen she asked a kinsman, Durand Lassois, to bring her to nearby Vaucouleurs. She petitioned garrison commander count Robert de Baudricourt for permission to visit the royal French court at Chinon. Baudricourt's sarcastic response did not deter her. She returned the following January and found supporters in two men of standing: Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulegny. With their support she gained a second interview where she made an apparently miraculous prediction about a military reversal near Orléans.
Joan of Arc - Career
Baudricourt granted her an escort to visit Chinon after news from the front confirmed her prediction. She made the journey through hostile Burgundian territory in male disguise. Upon arrival at the royal court, she won Charles's confidence in a private conference. He verified her morality with background inquiries and a theological examination at Poitiers. Charles's mother-in-law Yolande of Aragon financed a relief expedition to Orléans at that time. Joan of Arc received permission to travel with the army. Her armor, horse, sword, equipment, and entourage were all donations. She had no funds of her own.
Joan arrived at the Orléans on 29 April 1429. Jean d'Orléans, the deputy of the Orléans ducal family, excluded Joan from war councils. She appealed to the town's population and the common soldiers, and she often disregarded the war council decisions. The extent of her military leadership is a subject...