Primary Source

EXECUTION OF THE QUEEN (16 OCTOBER 1793)

Annotation

At the conclusion of her trial, the Queen was found guilty and sentenced to death. The newspaper of record, the Moniteur, reports the Queen’s response to the verdict and her execution the next morning with a good deal of sympathy and respect.

Text

During her interrogation, [Marie] Antoinette maintained almost invariably a calm and self-assured demeanor. During the first few hours, she kept running her fingers along the arm of her chair in an absent-minded way as if she were playing the pianoforte.

When she heard her sentence pronounced, no trace of emotion appeared on her face and she left the court without uttering a word or addressing the judges or the public.

It was then half-past four in the morning on the 25th day of the first month [of the revolutionary calendar] (16 October, old style) when she was led back to the condemned cell in the prison of the Conciergerie.

At five o'clock recall was sounded in every section and by seven, the armed forces were at their posts. Cannons were placed at the ends of the bridges in the squares and at the crossroads from the Palace all the way to the Place de la Revolution. By ten o'clock, numerous soldiers were patrolling the streets.

At eleven o'clock, Marie Antoinette, the widow Capet, wearing a white morning dress, was led to the scaffold in the same manner as other criminals. She was accompanied by a constitutional priest dressed as a layman, and was escorted by numerous detachments of mounted and dismounted police.

Credits

Le Moniteur, no. 36 (27 October 1793), 145–46.

How to Cite This Source

"EXECUTION OF THE QUEEN (16 OCTOBER 1793)," in World History Commons, https://worldhistorycommons.org/execution-queen-16-october-1793 [accessed August 7, 2022]