Re­mem­ber­ing less fa­mous French Joan

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - NEWS -

She may not be as in­ter­na­tion­ally fa­mous as Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc), but in her home town of Beau­vais Jeanne Ha­chette is just as revered.

In 1472, when the town in the Oise dé­parte­ment in North­ern France was be­ing be­seiged by the Bur­gun­di­ans, an in­vader man­aged to scale the bat­tle­ments and plant the Bur­gan­dian ban­ner atop them. Jeanne, only 16 at the time, grabbed an axe and swept the sol­dier from the wall to the moat be­low, be­fore hurl­ing his ban­ner af­ter him. Her act of val­our acted as a spur to the de­fend­ers’ morale and they went on to win the bat­tle.

Jeanne’s name Ha­chette means ... well axe.

Now each year, Beau­vais cel­e­brates with a week­end of fes­tiv­i­ties, with a me­dieval fair, a pageant re-en­act­ing a pro­ces­sion given her by the then King of France Louis XI to cel­e­brate her mar­riage, and a grand fire­works dis­play at­tended by thou­sands of peo­ple.

Beau­vais is Maid­stone’s twin town and this year 10 mem­bers of the Maid­stone Beau­vais Twin­ning As­so­ci­a­tion, led by Cllr Wendy Hin­der, plus the new Mayor Cllr Dave Naghi, joined the French for their cel­e­bra­tions.

For­tu­nately, un­like Joan of Arc, whose bat­tles were with the English, and whom we later burnt at the stake, we were un­in­volved in Jeanne Ha­chette’s trou­bles - so the vis­i­tors from Maid­stone were able to fully par­take in the fes­tiv­i­ties.

David Pick­ett, one of the English con­tin­gent, said: “It re­ally is quite a spec­ta­cle, and the French made us feel very wel­come.

“It’s im­por­tant, es­pe­cially with Brexit, to still en­cour­age these in­ter­na­tional links.”

Maid­stone Mayor Dave Naghi vis­it­ing Beau­vais

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.