A Stage for Political Crimes

Assassination of Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau by Pâris, in Février’s Cellar, a Restaurateur at 113, Palais Royal, on January 20, 1793

Seen as the main rendezvous site for revolutionaries in Paris, the Palais-Royal had a bad reputation with opponents to the Revolution. It was here on January 20, 1793 that the former king’s bodyguard Pâris assassinated the deputy Louis-Michel Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau who had just voted for the king’s death. Six months later, on July 13, 1793, an unknown woman named Marie-Anne-Charlotte de Corday d’Armans, better known as Charlotte Corday, bought a knife so she could kill the Parisian deputy and journalist Jean-Paul Marat and subsequently sew panic among the sans-culottes.

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The assassination of Louis-Michel Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau

On January 20, 1793, after having voted for the death of King Louis XVI, Louis-Michel Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau went to the Café Février, in the Valois gallery of the Palais-Royal. He did not have long to live. Suddenly, a stranger jumped out at him and stabbed him with a saber. This was Philippe-Nicolas-Marie de Pâris, one of the king’s former bodyguards, who had remained loyal to Louis XVI and was scandalized that a former noble like Lepeletier could be regicidal. Gravely hurt, the deputy was taken to his private mansion on the Place des Piques (currently the Place Vendôme), where he died the next day, becoming the first official martyr of freedom. As for the murderer, he was arrested and killed after having attempted to flee to England.

A cutlery maker like no other (#177)

The Death of Marat, July 13, 1793

On July 13, 1793, a young, well-dressed woman bought a small table knife at Badin’s store located at number 177 in the Valois gallery. She was not going to use it for cooking however, but to assassinate the Paris deputy and famous journalist Jean-Paul Marat, whom she held responsible for the Revolution’s violence. Several hours later, she succeeded, provoking outright stupor throughout Paris. Charlotte Corday’s attack was then used as a pretext to strengthen the young Republic’s state of emergency.

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