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
Rousseau, sympathizer of the moderates, or
Girondists, during the
French Revolution, she determined to kill
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.
In jail, the trial
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]
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
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
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 :
Baptism record :
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
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.
parents were Jacques-François de Corday and Marie-Jacqueline
godfather was Baptiste-Alexis de Gautier, her godmother was
Françoise-Marie-Anne Levailant de Corday.