Wednesday 18 June 2014

From Revolution to Suicide: The Death of François Buzot

François Buzot (François Nicolas Léonard Buzot; Évreux, France, 1st March 1760 – Saint-Émilion, France, 18th June 1794)

François Buzot, 1889
François Buzot, 1889

And so we find ourselves once more in Revolutionary France, this time to witness the end of François Buzot, a radical member of the National Convention and avowed Girondist. He lobbied hard for the death penalty for the king, as well as those who supported the monarchy or advocated sparing their lives, making many powerful enemies on the way.

When the Girondists fell during the insurrection that began on 31st May 1793, the radical Buzot fled Paris, hoping to find sanctuary in Normandy. At a trial held in his absence, Buzot was sentenced to death for supposedly conspiring to overthrow the Revolutionary government and with his colleague, Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve, he went on the run once more. 

Eventually the men hid themselves away in Saint-Émilion near Bordeaux, in abject terror for their lives. Here they remained for long months as one by one, the Girondists who had been their colleagues and friends went to the guillotine and for the two men, there was no hope of escape.

Eventually, in utter despair, the pair left their hiding place and went out into the farmland around Saint-Émilion. Here they shot themselves; their corpses were undiscovered for several days and when they were found, had been partially devoured by the wolves who roamed the area. It was an ignominious end for a man who had once moved at the highest levels of the Revolutionary government, is influence stripped like so many others who had stood alongside him.


DL NELSON said...

Another early morning delight.

Catherine Curzon said...

Complete with wolves!

Gem Twitcher said...

Me thinks that Madame has a deliciously dark side to her character?

Catherine Curzon said...

That may very well be the case!