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Pierre CauchonPierre Cauchon

Life: 1371-1442
Birth Place: Rheims, France
Historical Role: Bishop, Religious
Titles: Bishop of Beauvais
Primary countries affected: France
Secondary countries affected: United Kingdom
Events: Hundred Years War (1337-1453), Trial of Joan of Arc (1431)


Pierre Cauchon was born in Rheims to a middle class family, he studied at the University of Paris, and eventually became a priest. Cauchon was looking for noble patronage in order to advance himself, so he fell under the wing of Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy, and his son after him Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy. Pierre Cauchon's first step in his career was taking part in 1407 in a French mission to try and reconcile the two popes during the great Schism. Cauchon was important for the Duke of Burgundy who made him his ambassador. Cauchon opposed King Charles VII and played a leading role in getting Joan of Arc from the Burgundians to the English. When this was achieved, Joan of Arc was put on trial for heresy by the English, since the trial was going nowhere and Joan was defending herself quite well. The Duke of Bedford was becoming impatient and Cauchon was the one who finally got her to confess, he threatened her with immediate execution if she didn't confess to heresy, out of fear she confessed, but later recanted and was burned by the English on May 30th 1431. Cauchon spent the rest of his years negotiating for the Burgundians and the English.


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