Biography of Pétion, Jérôme - Archontology
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Pétion, Jérôme

Jérôme Pétion, dit Pétion de Villeneuve

b. 2 Jan 1756, Chartres, Eure-et-Loir [1]
d. 18 [?] Jun 1794, Saint-Magne-de-Castillon, near Saint-Émilion, Gironde [2]

Title: Président de la Convention nationale (President of the National Convention)
Term: 20 Sep 1792 - 4 Oct 1792
Chronology: 20 Sep 1792, elected, assumed the chair immediately upon the proclamation of election, session of the Convention, salle des Cent-Suisses, Palais national des Tuileries, Paris [3]
4 Oct 1792, ceased to exercise the functions of office upon the election of a successor [4]
Other offices: Président de l'Assemblée nationale (President of the National Assembly) (4 Dec 1790 - 21 Dec 1790) [see details]
Born in the family of an avocat and judge at the Présidial court in Chartres; attended the collège of Chartres along with Jacques-Pierre Brissot; pursued a career in law, practicing in Chartres; was made subdelegate to the intendant of Orléans in the 1780s; his work, Les Lois civiles et l'administration de la justice, was forbidden by the censors in France and was published in London (1782); elected (20 Mar 1789) representative of the Third Estate to the États-Généraux (Estates-General) from the bailliage of Chartres; deputy of the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly) (1789-1791); showed himself a radical leader; was elected President of the Assembly (4 Dec 1790 - 21 Dec 1790); served as president of the criminal tribunal of Paris (1791); appointed one of three commissioners sent to Varennes to escort King Louis XVI and his family back to Paris (21 Jun 1791) after an attempt to flee the country; president of the Jacobin Club (3 Aug 1791 - 29 Aug 1791, 24 Sep 1792 - 8 Oct 1792); elected president of the criminal Tribunal of Paris (15 Jun 1791); elected (16 Nov 1791) mayor of Paris and served from 18 Nov 1791 to 15 Oct 1792; allowed the mob to overrun the Tuileries Palace and to insult the royal family (20 Jun 1792); was suspended (6 Jul 1792) from his functions; reinstated by the National Assembly (13 Jul 1792); headed the delegation of the Parisian sections, demanding the deposition of Louis XVI in the presence of the National Assembly (3 Aug 1792); elected (5 Sep 1792) to the Convention nationale (National Convention) as a representative of the département of Eure-et-Loir (1792-1793); served as first elected President of the National Convention (20 Sep 1792 - 4 Oct 1792); served as a member of the constitution committee (from 24 Sep 1792); re-elected as mayor of Paris (4 Oct 1792); remained neutral in the early period of the Convention, but remained closer to the Girondins; voted for the death sentence in the trial of Louis XVI; in a Montagnard coup d'état, was put on a list of the deputies subject to arrest (2 Jun 1793); placed under custody in Paris, but escaped (23 Jun 1793); discharged as a member of the Convention and replaced by an alternate (14 Jul 1793); arrived to Caen, where led an insurrection against the Convention; escaping the arrest, fled to Gironde; was found dead (26 Jun 1794) in a field near Saint-Émilion.
Biographical sources: Dictionnaire des Conventionnels, 485-488; Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1789-1889, 4:604-606; "La proscription des Girondins (1793-1795)", by Claude Perroud (Paris: F. Alcan, 1917) (web site)

Candidate Votes (20 Sep 1792)
Jérôme Pétion, dit Pétion de Villeneuve 235
voters 253
Source of electoral results: Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 52:67.

[1] Pétion was born 2 Jan 1756 and baptised 3 Jan 1756 as as is evident from his baptismal record preserved in the Archives of the Eure-et-Loir département, register of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parish of Saint-Saturnin, Chartres, 1754-1759, E 2/43, fol. 1. It was also published in Dictionnaire des Conventionnels, 485: "L'an mil sept cent cinquante-six, le 3 janvier, a été baptisé par nous, prêtre licencié en droit, curé de cette paroisse (Saint-Saturnin), Jérôme, né d'hier du légitime mariage..."
[2] "La proscription des Girondins", op. cit., 198.
[3] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 52:67.
[4] Archives parlementaires - Série 1, 52:318.
Image: portrait by Jean-Urbain Guérin, 1792.