Charles-Henri Sanson

Charles-Henri Sanson

Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Death 4 Jul 1806 (aged 67)
Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Burial Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France
Plot Division 20.
Memorial ID 6754 · View Source
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Royal Executioner. Born in Paris to Charles-Jean-Baptiste Sanson and his first wife Madeleine Tronson. He was first raised in the convent school at Rouen until in 1753 a father of another student recognized Charles-Henri's father as the executioner and he had to leave the school, much to the regret of the principal, in order to not ruin the school's reputation. Charles-Henri Sanson was the fourth in a six-generation family dynasty of executioners. His great-grandfather, a soldier in the French royal army named Charles Sanson (1658–1695) of Abbeville, was appointed as Executioner of Paris in 1684. Upon his death in 1695, the Sanson patriarch passed the office to his son, also named Charles (1681- September 12, 1726). When this second Charles died, an official regency held the position until his young son, Charles John Baptiste Sanson (1719 - August 4, 1778), reached maturity. The third Sanson served all his life as High Executioner, and in his time fathered ten children. The eldest of his sons, Charles-Henri known as "The Great Sanson" - apprenticed with his father for twenty years, and was sworn into the office on December 26, 1778. As executioner he came to be known as "Monsieur de Paris" - "Gentleman of Paris". On January 10, 1765, he married his second wife, Marie-Anne Jugier. They had two sons: Henri (1767–1830), who became his official successor, and Gabriel (1769–1792), who also worked in the family business. Charles-Henri Sanson performed 2,918 executions, including Louis XVI. Even though he was not a supporter of the monarchy, he was initially reluctant to execute the king but in the end performed the execution. The Queen, Marie Antoinette, was executed by his son Henri. In his free time he liked to play the violin and cello, listened to Christoph Willibald Gluck, and often met with his longtime friend Tobias Schmidt, a well-regarded German maker of musical instruments who would later build Sanson's guillotine. Charles Henri's grandson, Henry-Clément Sanson, was the sixth and last in the dynasty of executioners, serving until 1847. Charles-Henri died in 1807 in Paris.

Bio by: Shock

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 24 Oct 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6754
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Charles-Henri Sanson (15 Feb 1739–4 Jul 1806), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6754, citing Cimetiere de Montmartre, Paris, City of Paris, Île-de-France, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .