Marie-Anne-CHARLOTTE de CORDAY d'Armont


Website map


 of Pays d'Auge


Geo Visitors Map

Jean-Paul MARAT's destiny


Charlotte Corday (July 27th,1768/July 17th,1793), aristocrat with no wealth, French patriot, was born in Les Champeaux, a hamlet about five kilometers from Vimoutiers. Descended from the dramatist Pierre Corneille, on her mother line, adept of the philosophs Plutarch, Tacitus and Rousseau, sympathizer of the moderates, or Girondists, during the French Revolution, she determined to kill Jean-Paul Marat, Montagnard and radical Jacobins, whom she held responsible for the Reign of Terror. Charlotte went to Paris, she gained admittance to Marat's house on the pretext of disclosing to him the names of Girondins in the city of Caen. Marat suffering of skin problems, used to work in a bath. Charlotte is admitted in the room, and here stabbed him to death while he was in his bath. Charlotte was captured by Marat's friends before she could escape, and condemned by the revolutionary tribunal.


The childhood The exaltation The murder In jail, the trial The guillotine Videos/CLIP/film Historical background





Prison de l'Abbaye



July 13, 1793 : Charlotte arrested and hold in the prison de l'Abbaye*, appears before the Revolutionary Tribunal. Charlotte acknowledges the facts, all the facts. To the president of the Revolutionary Tribunal, Jacques Bernard-Marie Montané who asserts that "she won't convince anyone that a person of her age and sex have conceived such a crime", Charlotte replies : "That shows a poor knowledge of the human heart. It is easier to carry out such a project upon the strength of one's own hatred than upon that of others."

*(desmolished in 1854, previously prison abbatiale du monastère de St-Germain des Prés)


Charlotte's last adieu to her father



July 15 & 16, 1793 : Charlotte writes two letters, one of them to Charles Jean Marie Barbaroux deputy at National Convention, sheltered in Caen, and the other one to her father "Dernier adieu" ... "Forgive me my dear Father ... The shame lies in the crime, not in the scaffold ...I am to be judged to-morrow at eight o'clock..." Charlotte's letters never reach those to whom they were adressed. They were placed on file with the the official papers connected with the trial.

Letter to Barbaroux in english "You desired..."

"Adieu" English translation

[Lettre d'adieu autographe de Charlotte Corday à son père, du 16 juillet 1793, paraphé le 17 juillet par le tribunal criminel révolutionnaire. Archives nationales. AE/II/1368]



La conciergerie



July 16, 1793 : Charlotte is transferred to the prison de la Conciergerie and the trial starts on July 17th, 1793 at 8 am. Louis-Gustave Doulcet de Pontécoulant, the defender chosen by Charlotte is absent, he was not warned in time. The president appoints Chauveau-Lagarde. The Public Accuser is Antoine Fouquier-Tinville, whose name goes down in history as the paragon of a violently inquisitorial intellectual, without respect for the Rights of the Accused.


Revolutionary Tribunal audience July 17

Acte d'accusation et interrogatoire de Marie-Anne-Charlotte Corday

Trial - English translation


La Conciergerie nowadays




Charlotte in prison



"I have killed one man to save 100.000"


by Charles-Louis Muller



"The dungeon"


After reading the indictment, twenty witnesses are heard. Charlotte confirms each statement by these words "it's true" ... The jury unanimously sentence her to die ... Before returning to her cell, she expresses a last wish : that her portrait is executed ...



"The last hours of Charlotte Corday"


... Her request is granted and the portrait, began in the courtroom is completed in her cell during her last two hours.


Pastel by Jean-Jacques Hauer


... >>> Charlotte Corday next : 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5



Enigmatic, fascinating indeed, Charlotte Corday was and remains one of the most emblematic figures of the French Revolution

The childhood The exaltation The murder In jail, the trial The guillotine Videos/CLIP/film Historical background




Charlotte's Baptism record :

"Ce vingt-huit de juillet mil sept cent soixante-huit, par nous soussigné curé, a été baptisée Marie-Anne-Charlotte née d'hier du légitime mariage de messire Jacques-François de Corday, écuyer, seigneur d'Armont et de noble dame Marie-Jacqueline de Gautier, son épouse, de cette paroisse; le parrain, messire Jean-Baptiste-Alexis de Gautier, écuyer, seigneur de Mesnival; la marraine, noble dame Françoise-Marie-Anne Levailant de Corday; le père présent.
Ont signé : Levaillant de Corday, de Gautier de Mesnival, Corday d'Armont, J.L. Pollard, curé des Ligneries"


The above transcription is the one which was given to Charlotte for her admittance in the Ladies's Abbey in Caen in 1782.

Her parents were Jacques-François de Corday and Marie-Jacqueline de Gautier,

Her godfather was Baptiste-Alexis de Gautier, her godmother was Françoise-Marie-Anne Levailant de Corday.