Charlotte Corday

Photo added by Linda Hough

Charlotte Corday

Ecorches, Departement de l'Orne, Basse-Normandie, France
Death 17 Jul 1793 (aged 24)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial* Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France

* This is the original burial site

Memorial ID 3238 · View Source
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Jean-Paul Marat Assassin. Born in Les Champeaux, France, the fourth child of a provincial noble family, and given a classic education in a Roman Catholic convent in Caen, she supported the Republicans and the moderate revolutionists, called Girondins, when the French Revolution began in 1789. More radical revolutionists, called Jacobins, wanted to destroy the monarchy and the aristocracy. Jean-Paul Marat, a leader in the Paris faction of the Jacobins, wanted the King and his family executed, and all monarchists killed. Believing that the only way the revolution would succeed would be in blood, Marat demanded a purge of the Girondins, including them in with the monarchists. Corday believed that France was headed for Civil War, and that the only way to stop it was to kill Marat, the most outspoken of the Jacobins. She prepared for her act, writing a long paper, "Speech to the French who are Friends of Law and Peace," which explained the actions she was about to take. On July 13, 1793, Charlotte Corday requested an appointment to see Marat at his home; by stating she had information to give him about the Royalists in Caen. Marat was taking his daily bath, where he sat to treat a skin disease, when Corday was shown in. Using a table knife, she stabbed Marat in the heart, killing him. She was arrested immediately, and at her trial, confessed to the crime, indicating that only she had planned this murder; she had no conspirators to help her. She was executed by guillotine on July 17, 1793 in Paris at the age of 24. Despite her efforts to avert Civil War, the Jacobins, led by Maximillian Robespierre, used Marat's murder to justify the deaths of numerous Girondins and Monarchists, and to start the "Reign of Terror." Marat's death was immortalized in a romantic painting by Jacques-Louis David (a close friend of Marat who arrived just hours after his death), entitled "The Death of Marat," and accurately captures the death scene. The painting is now considered a classic piece of art, despite its subject. Vergniaud, a Girondin, was notified of Marat's death, and realizing that her act would result in the suppression of the Girondin cause, stated, "She has killed us, but she has taught us how to die."

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson



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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 22 Jul 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial 3238
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charlotte Corday (27 Jul 1768–17 Jul 1793), Find a Grave Memorial no. 3238, citing Chapelle Expiatoire, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .