François Chabot

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Francois Chabot. FrancoisChabot.jpg
François Chabot.

François Chabot (23 October 1756 – 5 April 1794) was a French politician.


Early life

Born in Saint-Geniez-d'Olt (Aveyron), Chabot became a Capuchin friar in Rodez before the French Revolution, while continuing to be attracted to the works of philosophes - the reason for which he was banned from preaching in the respective diocese.

Saint-Geniez-dOlt Part of Saint-Geniez-dOlt-et-dAubrac in Occitanie, France

Saint-Geniez-d'Olt is a former commune in the Aveyron department in southern France. On 1 January 2016, it was merged into the new commune of Saint-Geniez-d'Olt-et-d'Aubrac. The theologian and encyclopédiste Jean Pestré (1723–1821) was born in the village.

Aveyron Department of France

Aveyron is a department located in the north of the Occitanie region of southern France named after the Aveyron River.

The Order of Friars Minor Capuchin is an order of friars within the Catholic Church, among the chief offshoots of the Franciscans. The worldwide head of the Order, called the Minister General, is currently Roberto Genuin.

After the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, he got married and continued to act as constitutional priest, becoming grand vicar of Henri Grégoire, bishop of Blois; he was also the founder of the Jacobin Club in Rodez. He was later elected to the Legislative Assembly, sitting at the far left, and forming with Claude Bazire and Antoine Christophe Merlin the " Cordelier Trio". [1]

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was a law passed on 12 July 1790 during the French Revolution, that caused the immediate subordination of the Catholic Church in France to the French government.

A vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior. Linguistically, vicar is cognate with the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy". The title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but also as an administrative title, or title modifier, in the Roman Empire. In addition, in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar".

Henri Grégoire French bishop

Henri Jean-Baptiste Grégoire, often referred to as Abbé Grégoire, was a French Roman Catholic priest, constitutional bishop of Blois and a revolutionary leader. He was an ardent abolitionist of human slavery and supporter of universal suffrage. He was a founding member of the Bureau des longitudes, the Institut de France, and the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers.


Re-elected to the National Convention for the département of Loir-et-Cher, he voted for the execution of King Louis XVI, and opposed the proposal to prosecute the authors of the September Massacres, as there were heroes of the Battle of Jemappes among them.

National Convention single-chamber assembly in France from 21 September 1792 to 26 October 1795

The National Convention was the first government of the French Revolution, following the two-year National Constituent Assembly and the one-year Legislative Assembly. Created after the great insurrection of 10 August 1792, it was the first French government organized as a republic, abandoning the monarchy altogether. The Convention sat as a single-chamber assembly from 20 September 1792 to 26 October 1795.

Loir-et-Cher Department of France

Loir-et-Cher is a department in the Centre-Val de Loire region, France. Its name is originated from two rivers which cross it, the Loir on the North and the Cher on the South. Its prefecture is Blois. The INSEE and La Poste gave it the number 41.

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government-sanctioned practice whereby a person is killed by the state as a punishment for a crime. The sentence that someone be punished in such a manner is referred to as a death sentence, whereas the act of carrying out the sentence is known as an execution. Crimes that are punishable by death are known as capital crimes or capital offences, and they commonly include offences such as murder, mass murder, terrorism, treason, espionage, offenses against the State, such as attempting to overthrow government, piracy, drug trafficking, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, but may include a wide range of offences depending on a country. Etymologically, the term capital in this context alluded to execution by beheading.

In March 1793, Chabot arrived in Aveyron as one of two Representatives-on-mission to the department of Aveyron and the Tarn, the other being Jean-Baptiste Bô. As their first act, Chabot and Bô instituted a special commission for military recruitment from the region. Several days later, a war tax was instituted on the aristocrats and wealthy bourgeois. In an attempt to quell the specter of urban revolts (seen as parts of a single movement, and labelled by the Parisians as “federalism”), the two proceeded to suspend the democratic system, reserving the right to suspend or dismiss officials lacking in 'civic zeal'. Combined with crackdowns on local churches and the lifting of restrictions on governmental search and seizure, Chabot and Bô were infamous as two of the most activist Representatives-on-Mission in the country. On 5 May 1793, Chabot and Bô left their Aveyron commission; Chabot was reassigned to Toulouse, where his administration was quite similar. [2]

In November 1793, François Chabot was denounced by several members of the Convention, notably Fabre d'Eglantine, Jacques-René Hébert, Louis Pierre Dufourny de Villiers, on the grounds that he had attempted to falsify the finances of the French East India Company, offering bribes to various elected representatives in the process. Chabot claimed to Robespierre that he had been, of his own initiative, infiltrating a pre-existing plot to meddle with the finances of the French East India Company. The plot, Chabot claimed, was hatched by the known royalist, the Baron de Batz, with Hebert, Dufourny, and Claude Basire, a fellow Cordelier, as key accomplices, with the plot’s ultimate originator being William Pitt. Robespierre allowed Chabot to present his case before the Committee for Public Safety, from which he had been removed on suspicion of corruption one month earlier. [3]

French East India Company Defunct French trading company

The French East India Company was a commercial Imperial enterprise, founded in 1664 to compete with the English and Dutch East India companies in the East Indies.

Claude Basire French politician

Claude Basire was a French politician of the Revolutionary period.

William Pitt the Younger 18th/19th-century British statesman

William Pitt the Younger was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He became the youngest UK Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24. He left office in 1801, but served as Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of his time as Prime Minister. He is known as "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, called William Pitt the Elder or simply "Chatham", who had previously served as Prime Minister.

Little evidence was brought against Chabot in the counter-denunciation; the greater part of Dufourny’s speech on the floor concerned Chabot’s marriage to Leopoldine Frey, sister to Austrian-Jewish banker Junius Frey. Her nationality, along with the substantial dowry which Chabot received, was key in the discrediting of Chabot’s testimony. To quote Dufourney's testimony:

Moses Dobruška, German: Moses Dobruschka, alias Junius Frey was the first cousin once removed of Jacob Frank, the founder of the Frankist sect who claimed to be the Jewish messiah. Dobruška was an alchemist, writer, and poet. On 17 December 1775 he converted from Judaism to the Catholic faith and took the name of Franz Thomas Schönfeld.

When Antoinette was on trial before the revolutionary tribunal, when the nation was at its maximum of execration for foreigners, when our brothers who were [fighting] on the frontiers left us widows to console, sisters and family to succor, it was then that Chabot made a marriage of interests with an Autrichienne! [4]

In Dufourny's version of the East India scandal, Chabot and his close associates were working with the Baron de Batz, who had previously been accused of offering a bounty for the rescue of Marie Antoinette, on behalf of members of the Austrian royalty.


Compromised both in the falsification of the decree suppressing the East India Company and in the plot to bribe certain members of the Convention, Chabot was arrested and brought before the Revolutionary Tribunal. He was sentenced to death and guillotined at the same time as the Dantonists, who protested their association with a fripon ("loafer"). [1]

Claude Basire and Fabre d'Eglantine, accused by Chabot of involvement in the East India Company Scandal, and Chabot's brother-in-law Junius Frey were also executed alongside him.



  1. 1 2 3 Chisholm 1911, p. 785.
  2. Jones 1988, p. [ page needed ].
  3. Hampson 1976, pp. 1-14.
  4. Kaiser 2003, p. [ page needed ].

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