Hauviette de Sionne testified that "...Jehanne was older than I,
as they said, by three or four years." There has always been some
debate about Hauviette's age, since she estimated that she was
"around 45 or so" when asked during her testimony (i.e., if she really had been
45 in 1456 it would mean that she was roughly Jehanne's age); but the
problem can be easily cleared up: her estimated age was, as with all of the
other witnesses, merely a guess (few commoners knew their age in
that era, and by the time such a person reached their forties no one
would be able to determine their age with any exactitude), whereas
her statement about being "three or four years"
younger than Jehanne was based on comments made by people in
the village who had witnessed the birth of both girls. It should
also be noted that Hauviette herself would have been able to tell,
during her childhood, whether there was such a marked age difference between
the two: there's a noticeable distinction between a 12 year old and a 16
year old, after all, so if Hauviette came to believe that they were
really that far apart then such a fact must have been obvious when they
were young. Therefore, it's likely that Hauviette was 40 or
41 during her testimony, and her response of "around 45 or so" was
simply a round number given as an estimate.
For the quoted portion of her testimony as it appears in the original, see DuParc's "Procès en Nullité...", Vol I, p. 275.
For translations, see Oursel's "Les Procès de Jeanne d'Arc", p. 220, and Pernoud's "The Retrial of Joan of Arc", p. 72.
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