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45
LOUIS XVII.

during which time she remained ignorant of the fate which had befallen her parents. She died on the 19th of October 1851. Her life by G. Lenotre has been translated into English by J. L. May (1908).

See the articles FRENCH REVOLUTION and MARIE ANTOINETTE. F. X. J. Droz, Histoire du régne de Louis X VI. (3 vols., Paris, 1860), a sane and good history of the period; and Arsene Houssaye, Louis XVI. (Paris, 1891). See also the numerous memoirs of the time, and the marquis de Ségur's Au couchant de la. monarchies, Louis X VI. et Turgot (1910).

For bibliographies see G. Monod, Bibl. de la France; Lavisse et Rambaud, Hist. Univ., vols. vii. and viii.; and the Cambridge Modern History, vol. viii. (R. A.*)


LOUIS XVII. (1785-1795?), titular king of France, second son of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, was born at Versailles on the 27th of March 1785, was christened the same day Louis Charles, and given the title of duke of Normandy. Louis Charles became dauphin on the death of his elder brother on the 4th of June 1789. It is only with his incarceration in the Temple on the 13th of August 1792, that his history, apart from that of his parents, becomes of interest. The royal party included, beside the king and queen, their daughter Marie Therese Charlotte (Madame Royale), the king's sister Madame Elisabeth, the valet Cléry and others. The prisoners were lodged at first in the smaller Tower, but were removed to the larger Tower on the 27th of October. Louis Charles was then separated from his mother and aunt to be put in his fatber's charge, except for a few hours daily, but was restored to the women when Louis was isolated from his family at the beginning of his trial in December. On the ZISI of January 1793 Louis became, for the royalists, king of France, and a week later the comte de Provence arrogated to himself the title of regent. From that moment began new plots for the escape of the prisoners-from the Temple, the chief of which were engineered by the Chevalier de Jarjayesf the baron de Batz,2 and the faithful Lady Atkynsf' On the 3rd of July the little dauphin was again separated from his mother, this time to be given into the keeping of the Cobbler Antoine Simon* who had been named his guardian by the Committee of General Security. The tales told by the royalist writers of the barbarous cruelty inflicted by Simon and his wife on the child are not proven. Marie- Jeanne, in fact, took great care of the child's person, and there is documentary evidence to prove that he had air and food. But the Simons were obviously grotesquely unfit guardians for a prince, and they doubtless caused much suffering to the impressionable child, who was made on occasion to eat and drink to excess, and learnt the language of the gutter. But the scenes related by A. de Beauchesne of the physical martyrdom of the child are not supported by any other testimony, though he was at this time seen by a great number of people. On the 6th of October Pache, Chaumette, Hébert and others visited him and secured from him admissions of infamous accusations against his mother, with his signature to a list of her alleged crimes since her entry in the Temple, and next day he was confronted with his sister Marie Thérése for the last time. F. A. Regnier de Jarjayes (1745-1822). See P. Gaulot, Un Complot sous la Terreur.

Jean, baron de Batz (1761-1822), attempted to carry off the dauphin in 1794. See G. Lenotre, Un Conspirateur royal isle pendant la Terreur, le baronde Batz (1896).

° Charlotte Walpole (c. 1 785-1836), an English actress who married in 1779 Sir Edward Atkyns, and spent most of her life in France. She expended large sums in trying to secure the escape of the prisoners 0; the Tgmple. See F. Barbey, A Friend of Marie Antoinette (Eng. e 1906 .

4 Antoine Simon (1736-1794) married Marie Jeanne Aladame, and belonged to the section of the Cordeliers. They owed their position to Anaxagoras Chaumette, procurer of the Commune, and to the fact that Simon had prevented one of the attempts of the baron de Batz. Simon was sent to the guillotine with Robespierre in 1794, and two years later Marie Jeanne entered a hospital for incurables in the rue de Sevres, where she constantly affirmed the dauphin's escape. She was secretly visited after the Restoration by the duchess of Angouléme. On the 16th of November 1816, she was interrogated by the police, who frightened her into silence about the supposed substitution of another child for the dauphin. She died in ISIQ) See G. Lenotre, Vieilles maisons, vieux papiers (2nd series, 1903 .

XVII. 45

Sirnon's wife now fell ill, and on the Igth of January 1794 the Simons left the Temple, after securing a receipt for the safe transfer of their prisoner, who was declared to be in good health. A large part of the Temple records from that time onwards were destroyed under the Restoration, so that exact knowledge of the facts is practically impossible. Two days after the departure of the Simons the prisoner is said by the Restoration historians to have been put in a dark room which was barricaded like the cage of a wild animal. The story runs that food was passed through the bars to the child, who survived in spite of the accumulated filth of his surroundings. Robespierre* visited Marie Thérése on the 11th of May, but no one, according to the legend, entered the dauphin's room for six months until Barras visited the prison after the 9th Thermidor (July 27, 1794). Barras's account of the visit describes the child as suffering from extreme neglect, but conveys no idea of the alleged walling in. It is nevertheless certain that during the first half of 1794 he was very strictly secluded; he had no special guardian, but was under the charge of guards changed from day to day. The child made no complaint to Barras of his treatment, probably because he feared to do so. He was then cleansed and re-clothed, his room cleaned, and during the day he was visited by his new attendant, a .creole and a compatriot of Josephine de Beauharnais, named Jean Jacques Christophe Laurent (1770-1807), who had from the 8th of November onwards assistance for his charge from a man named Gomin. The child was now taken out to walk on the roof of the Tower. From about the time of Gomin's entrance the prisoner was inspected, not by delegates of the Commune, but by representatives of the civil committee of the 48 sections of Paris. The rare recurrence of the same inspectors would obviously facilitate fraud, if any such were intended. From the end of October onwards the child maintained an obstinate silence, explained by Laurent as a determination taken on the day he made his deposition against his mother. On the 10th of December 1794 he was visited by three commissioners from the Committee of General Security-J. B. Harmand de la Meuse, J. B. C. Mathieu and J. Reverchon-who extracted no word from him. On Laurent's retirement Etienne Lasne was appointed on the 31st of March 1795 to be the child's guardian. In May 1795 the prisoner was seriously ill, and a doctor, P. J. Desault, well acquainted with the dauphin, having visited him seven months earlier, was summoned. Desault died suddenly, not without suspicion of poison, on the ISL of June, and it was some days before doctors Pelletan and Dumangin were called. Then it was announced that on the 8th Louis Charles died. Next day an autopsy was held at which it was stated that achild apparently about ten years of age, “ which the commissioners told us was the late Louis Capet's son, ” had died of a scrofulous affection of long standing. He was buried on the 10th in the cemetery of Ste Marguerite, but no stone was erected to mark the spot.

The weak parts of this story are the sudden and unexplained departure of the Simons; the subsequent useless cruelty of treating the child like a wild beast and keeping him in a dark room practically out of sight (unless any doubt of his identity was possible), while his sister was in comparative comfort; the cause of death, declared to be of long standing, but in fact developed with such rapidity; the insufficient excuse provided for the child's muteness under Gomin's regime (he had answered Barras) and the irregularities in the formalities in attending the death and the funeral, when a simple identification of the body by Marie Thérése would have prevented any question of resuscitated dauphins. Both Barras and Harmand de la Meuse 5 In a bulletin dated May 17-24, Paris, and enclosed by Francis Drake (June 17, 1794) at Milan to Lord Grenville, it is stated (Hist. MSS. Comm. Fortescue Papers at Dropmore, vol. ii. 576-577) that Robespierre in the night of 23-24 May fetched the king (the dauphin) from the Temple and took him to l/leudon. “ The fact is certain, although only known to the Committee of Public Safety. It is said to be ascertained that he was brought back to the Temple the night of 24~25th, and that this was a test to assure the ease of seizing him.” This police report at least serves to show the kind of rumoul then current.