Augustin Robespierre

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Augustin de Robespierre (Album du Centenaire)

Augustin Bon Joseph de Robespierre (21 January 1763 – 28 July 1794) was the younger brother of French Revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre.

He was born in Arras, the youngest of five children of the lawyer Maximilien-Barthelemy-François de Robespierre and Jacqueline-Marguerite Carraut, the daughter of a brewer. His mother died when he was one year old, and his grief-stricken father abandoned the family to go to Bavaria, where he died in 1777. He was brought up by an aunt and trained as a lawyer. Like his brother, he was a radical during the Revolution.

At the outset of the Revolution, he was prosecutor-syndic of Arras. In 1791, he was appointed Administrator of the département of Pas-de-Calais. In September 1792, he was elected to the National Convention, where he joined his brother in The Mountain and the Jacobin Club.

Becoming Député-en-Mission to the Army of Italy in 1794, he used his influence to advance Napoleon Bonaparte's career, after reading Napoleon's pro-Jacobin pamphlet titled Le souper de Beaucaire.

With the fall of Maximilien Robespierre in the coup d'état of 9 Thermidor (27 July 1794), those associated with him were subjected to a witch-hunt-like series of attacks from the Thermidorians. (Napoleon's relationship with Augustin led to Napoleon's imprisonment in Fort Carré on 6 August 1794 until he was cleared two weeks later.)

Augustin was one of the five most famous victims of 9 Thermidor. He demanded to be arrested with his brother in the National Convention, saying, "I am as guilty as him; I share his virtues, I want to share his fate. I ask also to be charged". After taking refuge in the Hôtel de Ville, he tried to escape capture by leaping out of a window. He failed, however, breaking both his legs, and was guillotined on the same day as his brother.

Further reading

  • Alexandre Cousin, Philippe Lebas et Augustin Robespierre, deux météores dans la Révolution française (2010). (French)
  • Marisa Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • Sergio Luzzatto, Bonbon Robespierre: la terreur à visage humain (2010). (French)
  • Martial Sicard, Robespierre jeune dans les Basses-Alpes, Forcalquier, A. Crest (1900). (French)
  • Mary Young, Augustin, the Younger Robespierre (2011).

External links

  • "L'enfance de Maximilien", in L’association Maximilien Robespierre pour l’Idéal Démocratique bulletin n° 45. (French)