1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Guadet, Marguerite Élie

GUADET, MARGUERITE ÉLIE (1758–1794), French Revolutionist, was born at St Émilion near Bordeaux on the 20th of July 1758. When the Revolution broke out he had already gained a reputation as a brilliant advocate at Bordeaux. In 1790 he was made administrator of the Gironde and in 1791 president of the criminal tribunal. In this year he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as one of the brilliant group of deputies known subsequently as Girondins or Girondists. As a supporter of the constitution of 1791 he joined the Jacobin club, and here and in the Assembly became an eloquent advocate of all the measures directed against real or supposed traitors to the constitution. He bitterly attacked the ministers of Louis XVI., and was largely instrumental in forcing the king to accept the Girondist ministry of the 15th of March 1792. He was an ardent advocate of the policy of forcing Louis XVI. into harmony with the Revolution; moved (May 3) for the dismissal of the king’s non-juring confessor, for the banishment of all non-juring priests (May 16), for the disbandment of the royal guard (May 30), and the formation in Paris of a camp of fédérés (June 4). He remained a royalist, however, and with Gensonné and Vergniaud even addressed a letter to the king soliciting a private interview. Whatever negotiations may have resulted, however, were cut short by the insurrection of the 10th of August. Guadet, who presided over the Assembly during part of this fateful day, put himself into vigorous opposition to the insurrectionary Commune of Paris, and it was on his motion that on the 30th of August the Assembly voted its dissolution—a decision reversed on the following day. In September Guadet was returned by a large majority as deputy to the Convention. At the trial of Louis XVI. he voted for an appeal to the people and for the death sentence, but with a respite pending appeal. In March 1793 he had several conferences with Danton, who was anxious to bring about a rapprochement between the Girondists and the Mountain during the war in La Vendée, but he unconditionally refused to join hands with the man whom he held responsible for the massacres of September. Involved in the fall of the Girondists, and his arrest being decreed on the 2nd of June 1793, he fled to Caen, and afterwards hid in his father’s house at St Émilion. He was discovered and taken to Bordeaux, where, after his identity had been established, he was guillotined on the 17th of June 1794.

See J. Guadet, Les Girondins (Paris, 1889); and F. A. Aulard, Les Orateurs de la législative et de la convention (Paris, 2nd ed., 1906).