Robespierre, Maximilien

Maximilien-Marie-Isidore de Robespierre, dit Robespierre aîné

b. 6 May 1758, Arras, Artois [1]
d. 28 Jul 1794, Paris

Title: Président de la Convention nationale (President of the National Convention)
Term: 22 Aug 1793 - 5 Sep 1793
Chronology: 22 Aug 1793, elected, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [2]
24 Aug 1793, assumed the chair, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [3]
5 Sep 1793, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the election of a successor [4]
Term: 4 Jun 1794 - 19 Jun 1794
Chronology: 4 Jun 1794, elected, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [5]
5 Jun 1794, assumed the chair, session of the National Convention, salle des Machines, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [6][7]
19 Jun 1794, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the election of a successor [8]
Names/titles: Baptismal record of Robespierre contains the following prénoms: Maximilien-Marie-Isidore; in some sources, the prénoms appear in different order with occassional additions of François and Joseph; the use of the preposition de, when indicating nobility (referred to as la particule), was discontinued during the republican period [from 1792]
Biography:
The son of a lawyer in Arras, former capital of Artois; was educated by the Oratorians at Arras and attended the Collège Louis-le-Grand in Paris (1769-1781); demonstrated outstanding knowledge of philosophy and legal disciplines, graduating with a degree in law (1781); settled in Arras, where became a respectable lawyer; was appointed a judge (9 Mar 1782) with jurisdiction over local diocese; admitted to the Académie des Belles Lettres d'Arras (1783); criticized royal absolutism and electoral system in his essays; was elected (26 Apr 1789) as a representative of the Third Estate of Artois to the États-Généraux (Estates-General), served as deputy of the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly) (1789-1791); was a frequent speaker in the Assembly, where he spoke for more than 500 times; joined the Jacobin Club, dominated audience as one of the principal speakers; served as public prosecutor at the tribunal of Paris (1792); published journals, Le Defenseur de la Constitution and Les Lettres à ses commettants; was elected to the Convention nationale (National Convention) (1792-1794) as a deputy for Paris; assumed a key position in the Montagnard faction and was accused of aiming at the dictatorship by his political opponents, the Girondins; voted for the death sentence in the trial of King Louis XVI; called for insurrection, which resulted in destruction of the Girondins (31 May 1793 - 2 Jun 1793); served as President of the National Convention (22 Aug 1793 - 5 Sep 1793, 4 Jun 1794 - 19 Jun 1794); was elected a member of the Comité de salut public (Committee of Public Safety) (27 Jul 1793 - 27 Jul 1794), which received almost dictatorial powers as a revolutionary government after 10 Oct 1793; was responsible for intensifying the Reign of Terror (1793-1794); opposed the factions that threatened the government (Hébertists, Cordeliers, Enragés, Indulgents); advocated a civic religion and the cult of the Supreme Being, decreed by the National Convention (7 May 1794); survived an assassination attempt (22 May 1794); retired from the National Convention and the Committee of Public Safety (after 28 Jun 1794); reappeared at the Committee of Public Safety (23 Jul 1794) and at the National Convention (26 Jul 1794); in the course of the coup of 9 Thermidor, Year II (27 Jul 1794), was prevented from speaking before the Convention and was indicted together with his brother, Augustin, and three of his associates, including Georges Couthon and Louis Saint-Just; was seized at the Hôtel de Ville (27 Jul 1794) and guillotined (28 Jul 1794).
Biographical sources: Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1789-1889, 5:161-167; "La jeunesse de Robespierre et la convocation des États généraux en Artois", by Auguste-Joseph Paris (Arras: Rousseau-Leroy, 1870) (web site).
Elections:

Candidate Votes (22 Aug 1793)
Maximilien-Marie-Isidore Robespierre, dit Robespierre aîné 143
Pierre-Joseph Cambon 54
Jean-Jacques Régis de Cambacérès 29
Jean-Pierre Couturier 1
François Chabot 1
voters/absolute majority 226/114

Candidate Votes (4 Jun 1794)
Maximilien-Marie-Isidore Robespierre, dit Robespierre aîné 485
voters 485
Source of electoral results: Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 72:638; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 19:160; Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 91:330-331; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 39:30.

[1] "Le six de may mil sept cent cinquante-huit, a été baptisé par moy soussigné Maximilien-Marie-Isidore, né le même jour sur les deux heures du matin, en légitime mariage de M. Maximilien-Barthélemy-François de Robespierre, avocat au Conseil d'Artois, et de Delle Jacqueline-Marguerite Carraut." (La jeunesse de Robespierre, op. cit., p. 14)
[2] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 72:638; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 19:160.
[3] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 72:691.
[4] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 73:442; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 20:102.
[5] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 91:330-331; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 39:30.
[6] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 91:332.
[7] Being occupied with the matters of the Committee of Public Safety, Robespierre did not exercise the functions of the president in full capacity; the session minutes were normally signed by Pierre-Antoine Laloy as ex-président; Jean-Henri Voulland chaired the session of 11 Jun 1794, Jean-Jacques Bréard chaired on 15 Jun 1794, Jacques-Alexis Thuriot chaired on 16 Jun 1794 ( Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 91:332ff).
[8] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 92:32; Procès-verbal de la Convention nationale, 40:29.
  Image: portrait by anonymous artist, Musée de Louvre.
Last updated on: 04 Oct 2013 12:16:25