Abstract The Paris Revolutionary Tribunal was a key institution of the Terror during the French Revolution, as evidenced by the show trials of Jacques-Pierre Brissot and Georges Danton. However, the early history of this central cog in the machinery of revolutionary justice merits renewed study. This article combines analysis of the National Convention debates that led to the Tribunal’s creation with the court’s subsequent caseload and daily practices during its first two months in operation. I argue that the Convention surrendered the initiative to other actors, allowing them to influence the record of the new court. These included both the institution’s personnel (e.g. Antoine Fouquier-Tinville, the public prosecutor) and the suspects they were investigating as potential counter-revolutionaries. Defence activity was widespread and influential, and this meant that the developing system of revolutionary justice actually encouraged a culture of resistance to repression, even as it contributed to France’s slide into the Terror. The morning of 23 April 1793 saw crowds streaming into Paris’ newest visitor attraction for a population as yet unsated by the rich diet of political spectacle, cultural innovation and often violent upheaval since 1789: the tribunal criminel et extraordinaire on the Île de la Cité, referred to by contemporaries as the tribunal révolutionnaire. This court’s subsequent reorganization at the height of the Terror, just over a year later, was set out in perhaps the most infamous legislative act of the French Revolution, the Law of 22 Prairial Year II (10 June 1794). That would declare: ‘The penalty for all offences within the revolutionary tribunal’s jurisdiction … is death.’1 The Paris Tribunal (as it will be called for the rest of this article) had been created by France’s elected deputies in the National Convention after a series of impassioned debates in March 1793 on the need for a new judicial apparatus to combat the perceived growing counter-revolutionary threat. The crowds on 23 March were making the most of the fact that, although designed as the centrepiece of a new form of ‘revolutionary’ justice for that spring, this courtroom conformed to many of the innovations that the French Revolution had already brought to the judicial system—including the decision to make all trials open to the public.2 For this, the Paris Tribunal’s eleventh trial since beginning operations two weeks previously, interest was so great that the standing area designated for the general public to watch court proceedings was swamped, and many people were forced to make do with listening from elsewhere in the sprawling Palais de Justice complex.3 The defendant that morning was Lieutenant-General Louis-François-Alexandre d’Harambure. Until his arrest the previous month he had been the commander of a section of the north-western front line in the Haut-Rhin region, France being currently at war with a European coalition including Austria, Prussia and Great Britain. He was the first serving officer to be put on trial since a series of serious military reverses in February and the defection at the start of April of the nation’s commander-in-chief, Charles-François Dumouriez. D’Harambure stood accused of consorting in the dissemination of pro-royalist literature written by the enemy.4 With public faith in France’s officer class at an all-time low, and the Convention ringing with accusations about Dumouriez’s military and civilian co-conspirators, the general therefore found himself in a precarious position.5 In the febrile atmosphere of Paris at this time, with defeat and defection at the frontier compounding the tensions caused by news about the growing threat of civil war in the Vendée region of western France, the accused in such a case could be expected to have had very little room to manoeuvre, and even less cause for hoping to escape lengthy imprisonment or the guillotine. Besides, the trial was taking place at this new Paris Tribunal, which Convention deputies had apparently created in order to facilitate more efficient, tougher prosecutions against a range of ‘counter-revolutionary’ activities. When in early March their efforts had looked like stalling, the populist deputy Georges Danton injected fresh momentum with his famous rabble-placating cry, ‘Let us be terrible so that the people do not have to be’—a reference to the influence of the city’s populace, some of whom had repeatedly and violently intervened in the revolutionary process, most recently in the ‘September Massacres’ of prisoners the previous year. And yet, what the gathered crowds saw in court on this day was a lengthy, strident defence by General d’Harambure and a jury who acquitted him after five hours of deliberation.6 ‘Let us be terrible’: Danton’s laconic, evocative demand of his fellow deputies has long been used by historians as a convenient shorthand both to explain the decision to create a revolutionary tribunal and to describe the fundamental characteristics of the resulting institution.7 It features prominently both in accounts like Sophie Wahnich’s, emphasizing the influence of popular pressure over the Convention’s legislative choice (it provides an eloquent summation of deputies’ fears about the threat of mob justice), and in arguments by the likes of Dan Edelstein, presenting it instead as part of the ongoing battle between rival Montagnard and Girondin factions for political control of the Republic.8 The quote’s ubiquity also helps explain the surprising lack of attention paid by revolutionary historians to the Paris Tribunal’s day-to-day operations once this institutional means of being ‘terrible’ had been set up, a neglect which stands in contrast to the prominence afforded to a limited number of political show trials (including of Danton himself). Evidence that Danton’s plea might not have been fully heard or realized has long been acknowledged, but has never been the focus of historical attention. While the inconsistency of the Paris Tribunal’s overall record (ranging from slow procedures and high acquittal rates in the spring and summer of 1793 through to the rapid trial and execution of large groups of suspects in the late spring of 1794) is no secret, there has been scant interest in pursuing lines of enquiry that do not appear to lead towards the Terror’s bloody finale between 22 Prairial and the fall of Robespierre on 9 Thermidor (27 July 1794).9 This article addresses these issues by refocusing attention on the Paris Tribunal’s early history, combining comprehensive analysis of its archival records with a case study of the d’Harambure trial. My analysis draws on the archival records of all forty-eight cases (involving sixty-five individuals) on which the institution passed a final judgment during the first two months after the swearing-in of its personnel on 29 March 1793.10 It has long been a matter of historical record that the majority of these initial judgments were neither convictions nor death sentences; but the acquittals and pre-trial releases which instead dominated proceedings have never been the subject of sustained historical scrutiny.11 This article’s focus on the entire caseload through to the start of June allows for the rhetoric and legislative ambition of the Convention to be tested against the reality of the system created. In doing so, a countervailing trend at the heart of France’s embryonic system of repression is revealed: defence tactics and a broader culture of contestation and resistance to state-sanctioned violence. This is consistent with the reactions of suspects and other victims of the Terror which I have previously tracked into 1794 through both print culture and the later national system of revolutionary justice centred on the Paris Tribunal.12 The prosecution and defence of General d’Harambure, which we return to in section III, exemplifies how the early dynamics of this institution could simultaneously create and resist this initial phase of the Terror. The deputies who voted to create the Paris Tribunal clearly could have had no idea that the Terror of Year II, with its tens of thousands of judicial and extra-judicial dead and hundreds of thousands of incarcerations, lay beyond that summer’s horizon. Nonetheless, they were already exposed to a similar cocktail of threatening circumstance, hot rhetoric and conspiracy paranoia, and reacted to it by setting up a menacing state apparatus which easily shifted through the gears of repression as the year went on.13 The Paris Tribunal, but also local surveillance committees, the Committee of Public Safety and roving Convention deputies called Représentants du peuple en mission (Representatives of the People on Mission), were all part of a conscious effort by national politicians in the spring of 1793 to counteract what were widely seen to be a constellation of domestic and foreign threats to the young Republic. In due course, they would be recognized by contemporaries as central cogs in the machinery of the Terror of Year II, as evidenced by their starring roles in the anti-Terrorist discourse of the so-called ‘Thermidorian Reaction’ which succeeded it.14 This article will argue that the early history of the Paris Tribunal is not only significant in its own right, as a window on the revolutionary dynamic in the spring of 1793, but also because practices embedded at this point would continue to make an impact on the system of revolutionary justice and the wider Terror into 1794. Demands for a new court were first expressed in the National Convention on 9 March during the reading of a series of reports from the Paris sections about their readiness to volunteer in a new army recruitment drive (official news of the recent defeats in Belgium had just reached Paris). In what was probably a coordinated move by those on the Left, the idea was immediately taken up by deputy Jean-Baptiste Carrier, soon to become one of the most infamous practitioners of the Terror during the suppression of the Vendée rebellion. He immediately sought approval for the idea through a motion that ‘the Convention decrees the principle, that is, the establishment of a revolutionary tribunal’.15 Successive interventions from elsewhere on the Montagnard benches secured a rapid and successful vote on his proposal, but this did not mean that the detail of the project would also be waved through.16 Concerns, led by two prominent Girondins, Jean Birotteau and Jean-Denis Lanjuinais, were soon raised by a number of deputies about what this proposition would mean in practice. At the end of the first day’s discussion the Convention’s Committee of Legislation was given responsibility for coming up with more detailed suggestions for the tribunal’s organization overnight. The following morning the Girondins made use of their majority on that committee to push their own priorities, but this did not stop a more radical draft from being presented alongside it—a process no doubt facilitated by the fact that the Montagnard Robert Lindet was currently serving as the committee secretary.17 The official Girondin-approved proposal was little more than authorization for an additional criminal court, the one novelty being that the Convention itself would have control over the nomination of the judges rather than leaving it to the electoral system mandated elsewhere by the Revolution’s earlier judicial reforms. The rival version, tabled by Lindet, was ferocious. A group of nine judges, selected by the Convention, would be empowered to secure convictions ‘by any means necessary’—and without the inconvenience of a jury.18 ‘Revolutionary’ justice was here envisioned as a parallel system, set apart from the ordinary criminal courts and focused on securing convictions rather than ensuring a fair trial. Furthermore, where the committee version kept to the letter of the previous day’s remit by focusing on technical questions of organization, Lindet’s proposal interpreted its spirit differently: it provided suggestions about who would actually be targeted, including those who had held positions of privilege before the Revolution and anyone committing the vague offence of ‘misleading the people’ through their actions or writing. Lindet’s proposal inspired vociferous opposition that focused successfully during the afternoon on maintaining the practice of trial by jury in any new court. Danton’s intervention came after this, put an end to calls from deputies to close proceedings for the day and forced them to return for what turned into a mammoth nine-hour evening session settling all bar one of the Paris Tribunal’s founding articles.19 By the morning of 11 March 1793, France therefore had her new court, but what did that actually mean in practice? To the extent that it was defined at all, ‘revolutionary’ or ‘extraordinary’ justice was seen as swift, and not to be hampered by an appeal process that would be vulnerable to the chicanery of intriguers and counter-revolutionaries. When debating an appropriate title for the tribunal at the beginning of the first day’s debates, Jacques Thuriot supported the proposal of his fellow Montagnard Julien de Toulouse: ‘it is a good idea to add without appeal and without recourse to the appeal court, because otherwise the dilatory methods would exist for slowing down the execution [of justice] completely’.20 A line can be drawn from early interventions like this through to Danton’s vision of terror later in the day, and indeed there was a vocal cohort of deputies keen to promote the idea of a quicker, harsher and more interventionist judicial system that would ‘finally send every conspirator back into the abyss’, as the firebrand Léonard Bourdon put it.21 In part, this was because deputies speaking on this issue had the September Massacres in mind. Some contemporaries had excused that violence on the grounds that recent attempts to create a new judicial vehicle for punishing the Revolution’s enemies—the Tribunal of 17 August (1792) —had seen cases stuck in a bureaucratic quagmire and suspects acquitted by sympathetic juries.22 Debates about creating new forms of ‘revolutionary’ justice to provide order in choppy revolutionary waters went back to 1789, as did a recurring tension between the more conservative instincts of the political elite and popular pressure for retributive justice.23 The Revolution’s somewhat contradictory record on such matters is a reminder of the need to look beyond what might be called the weaponization of legal concepts and focus instead on the legislation drawn up behind this façade.24 Danton, in the course of the speech which precipitated the final push to complete legislation, asked rhetorically: ‘if it is so difficult to pin down a political crime is it not necessary that extraordinary laws, taken from outside the social fabric, terrify rebels and strike down the guilty?’25 He went on to claim, ‘I cannot see a middle way between ordinary procedures and a revolutionary tribunal’— yet this is exactly the compromise his fellow deputies produced with their new creation. As suggested by its rather clumsy title, this court was born as a hybrid institution. It incorporated elements from the reformed criminal justice system of 1791 as well as features with a more ‘extraordinary’ or ‘revolutionary’ potential. A bench of five judges would be responsible for running the court itself, but the Convention would control the caseload through deputies elected to a commission de six. Cases would then be presented to the court by an accusateur public (public prosecutor), helped in his work by two deputies, and jurors would decide on the guilt or innocence of defendants. The judges would then invoke punishments in accordance with the 1791 Penal Code, which covered threats to national security in some detail, as well as any subsequent legislation that was relevant.26 In terms of creating something akin to Danton’s vision, denying the accused the right to any appeal against the court’s verdict was a concrete step in that direction. Similarly, while radical elements had failed in their attempts to abolish jury trials altogether during the long night of 10/11 March, changes to the way the jury would operate meant the system was no longer weighted so much in the defendant’s favour. Jurors would vote aloud in open court, and a majority of them would have to agree for any acquittal to take place (as opposed to secret voting and the 3–9 minority verdict necessary in standard trials).27 In other areas, however, Lindet’s blueprint for a tribunal composed of all-powerful judges was now submerged in bureaucratic detail, and what was finally approved was structured more like a regular criminal court. The radical idea of freeing it from standard procedural burdens was overturned and the new tribunal was instead integrated into the existing system of criminal investigation and prosecution set out in 1791 and adapted in the area of national security by a decree on 11 August 1792 (the day after the overthrow of the monarchy).28 For example, Articles 8 and 9 confirmed the role that municipal, district and departmental authorities would have in the preliminary investigations of the kinds of cases the Paris Tribunal would ultimately be adjudicating. The articles made it clear that deputies intended the new tribunal to maintain existing standards of investigation, be that how authorities should respond to denunciations, interrogate witnesses or effect arrests. Although the late-night session on 10/11 March had seen a hardening of the Convention’s position with regard to the jury, this was, therefore, not part of a consistent trend. The other main area of contention was the question of which persons or activities should be designated as targets of this tribunal, with the agreed definition to become the first of its founding articles. Lindet’s plan drew on a general statement threatening ‘traitors, conspirators and counter-revolutionaries’ from early on in the debate on 9 March, and focused this on prosecuting military failure, the misdemeanours of state employees and any interventions in the public sphere that the authorities might consider dangerous.29 For some deputies, even these expansive terms of reference did not go far enough. Maximilien Robespierre, in his first recorded intervention regarding the Paris Tribunal, wanted a watchlist of journalists and other writers and action against provincial administrators allegedly in defiance of Parisian authority. The latter claim cut straight to the heart of the Montagnard–Girondin dispute over the balance of power between Paris and the provinces, and Girondin deputies immediately denounced Robespierre’s proposals as the model for a ‘most brazen inquisition’.30 Once again the Montagnards’ rhetoric did not transfer seamlessly into the legislation even though they heavily outnumbered their factional rivals (many of whom had stayed away from the Convention due to security fears) in this final session.31 It was actually a Girondin-penned amendment which became the definitive version of Article 1. This integrated all the general themes mentioned by the Montagnard deputies, but limited their reach and softened the tone somewhat. Thus, for example, the attack on departmental authorities was removed and the public sphere was left untouched—unless an actual plot against the Republic was involved.32 There were also two absences from both the debates and the final legislation that became important factors in the Tribunal’s subsequent development. First, there was a lack of clarity about who or what would direct the Tribunal. Most of the elements of an institutional edifice were there in the text, but it was unclear what the restrictions would be on who was allowed to help build them up into a coherent whole. Deputies voted themselves the power to select the judges, jury and accusateur public. Their peers elected to the commission de six would examine every case sent the Tribunal’s way by other authorities, decide which should go to trial and oversee the work of prosecutors and judges.33 The potential was clearly there for the Paris Tribunal to be exploited politically, and to become a valuable tool for those who sought the centralization of power. Then again, within a month the Convention had complicated its position by disbanding the commission de six (the Montagnards alleged that it was being used by the Girondins to block the Tribunal’s work) and transferring many of its powers to the parquet (office of the accusateur public) instead.34 What would the Tribunal make of this increased independence? Might municipalities like the Paris Commune or the various departmental authorities (many of which were known to have different political priorities to Paris and the Convention) seek to exploit their control over preliminary investigations to dictate the Tribunal’s direction too? Secondly, deputies completely ignored the role that might be played by suspects themselves within this new institution. The 10 March decree was almost entirely silent on the rights of people under investigation or defendants like General d’Harambure in court. The exception was Article 11 of Title 1, which weakened the rights of the accused to influence the composition of jury lists as compared to standard criminal procedure.35 The fact that both the structure of the Paris Tribunal and the investigative procedures in cases within its jurisdiction were building on existing criminal practice was encouraging for would-be defendants, given that the 1791 reforms were drawn up with the rights of the accused at their heart.36 There was, however, no explicit confirmation that such space for the defence would be granted at this new tribunal. Were suspects to be allowed a defence counsel, as they were in the ordinary criminal system? Would the practice of an interrogatoire (preliminary interview) with a court judge feature, and might this be an opportunity for suspects to present and develop their case? Would suspected counter-revolutionaries be afforded the right to call witnesses or otherwise mount a defence in court? This legislative lacuna, partly filled by suspects themselves in due course, would greatly influence the Tribunal’s subsequent record. The extreme rhetoric heard inside the Convention chamber was not initially matched by the actions of the new tribunal. As Table 1 sets out, the Paris Tribunal did sentence eighteen people to death in the period from the first trial on 6 April through to 2 June 1793, but it acquitted a further seventeen men and women. Twenty-seven others were released (mise en liberté) following pre-trial hearings held before a panel of judges in a smaller chambre du conseil next to the courtroom. There, any case against them was formally dismissed by Tribunal officials. In other words, two thirds of those suspected by the authorities of some kind of ‘counter-revolutionary undertaking’ (the broad category of offences over which the organization had jurisdiction), and who had their cases judged during this formative period for the Paris Tribunal’s personnel and procedures, walked away free. The chambre du conseil remains almost entirely ignored even within specialist literature on the Tribunal, but given these figures it was clearly a crucial part of the institution as a whole.37 Table 1 Judgements at the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal, 6 April–2 June 1793 Judgements Cases Individuals involved Jury trials –acquittal 12 (25%) 17 (26.2%) –conviction, resulting in –death sentence 14 (29.2%) 18 (27.7%) –deportation 1 (2.1%) 2 (3.1%) Chambre du conseil rulings –mise en liberté 20 (41.6%) 27 (41.5%) –case transferred to lower court 1 (2.1%) 1 (1.5%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Judgements Cases Individuals involved Jury trials –acquittal 12 (25%) 17 (26.2%) –conviction, resulting in –death sentence 14 (29.2%) 18 (27.7%) –deportation 1 (2.1%) 2 (3.1%) Chambre du conseil rulings –mise en liberté 20 (41.6%) 27 (41.5%) –case transferred to lower court 1 (2.1%) 1 (1.5%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Note: AN W/268/1–W/273/50. View Large Table 1 Judgements at the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal, 6 April–2 June 1793 Judgements Cases Individuals involved Jury trials –acquittal 12 (25%) 17 (26.2%) –conviction, resulting in –death sentence 14 (29.2%) 18 (27.7%) –deportation 1 (2.1%) 2 (3.1%) Chambre du conseil rulings –mise en liberté 20 (41.6%) 27 (41.5%) –case transferred to lower court 1 (2.1%) 1 (1.5%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Judgements Cases Individuals involved Jury trials –acquittal 12 (25%) 17 (26.2%) –conviction, resulting in –death sentence 14 (29.2%) 18 (27.7%) –deportation 1 (2.1%) 2 (3.1%) Chambre du conseil rulings –mise en liberté 20 (41.6%) 27 (41.5%) –case transferred to lower court 1 (2.1%) 1 (1.5%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Note: AN W/268/1–W/273/50. View Large The sweeping nature of the Paris Tribunal’s jurisdiction meant that nobody could be quite sure who would be forced to enter this new judicial system—or indeed, who might stand the best chance of surviving it. Likewise, the Tribunal’s early caseload shows that contemporary opinion could vary substantially on which individuals and practices should be targeted. Convention deputies began by using the legislation almost exclusively as a new way to resolve an ongoing and high-profile political concern: alleged treason among commanding officers of the French army. Dumouriez’s defection would only compound pre-existing fears of a military conspiracy, and a total of nine high-ranking officers’ cases passed through the Tribunal’s parquet between April and the start of June.38 Nonetheless, such Convention-backed cases were very much in the minority during this period when the institution and its personnel were finding their working rhythm. Table 2 provides a comparison of what I have termed the different ‘trigger events’ behind each of the first forty-eight cases on which the Paris Tribunal passed judgment. For this exercise, I used the surviving documentation in each case dosser to determine (where possible) what caused the preliminary investigation into the individuals in question. The two principal reasons for the entry of these suspects into the new system of revolutionary justice were either denunciations (seventeen cases) or arrests made at the time of an alleged incident (sixteen cases). Between them these factors accounted for two thirds of the cases heard, featuring almost three quarters of the suspects (forty-eight people out of a total of sixty-five). The system was therefore immediately being influenced by a diverse range of opinions and actions from well beyond the political elite who had designed it. For example, twelve of those denunciations came from private citizens rather than anyone working in an official capacity at local or national level. The notion of denunciation as a civic duty had developed during the early days of the Revolution and then been enshrined in the legal reforms of 1791.39 The Paris Tribunal’s case files provide clear evidence of the longer-term effects of this, with members of the public regularly acting as the eyes and ears of the revolutionary authorities, be it spotting the return of long absent individuals—potential émigrés—or reporting verbal indiscretions and suspicious conversation (flagged by the authorities as propos inciviques or propos contre-révolutionnaires, with these terms often used interchangeably).40 Table 2 Trigger events for all cases judged by the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal, 6 April–2 June 1793 Trigger Cases Individuals involved Arrest made at time of alleged incident 16 (33.3%) 25 (38.5%) Denunciations 17 (35.4%) 23 (35.4%) Official investigations 8 (16.7%) 10 (15.3%) Unknown 7 (14.6%) 7 (10.8%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Trigger Cases Individuals involved Arrest made at time of alleged incident 16 (33.3%) 25 (38.5%) Denunciations 17 (35.4%) 23 (35.4%) Official investigations 8 (16.7%) 10 (15.3%) Unknown 7 (14.6%) 7 (10.8%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Note: AN W/268/1–W/273/50. View Large Table 2 Trigger events for all cases judged by the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal, 6 April–2 June 1793 Trigger Cases Individuals involved Arrest made at time of alleged incident 16 (33.3%) 25 (38.5%) Denunciations 17 (35.4%) 23 (35.4%) Official investigations 8 (16.7%) 10 (15.3%) Unknown 7 (14.6%) 7 (10.8%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Trigger Cases Individuals involved Arrest made at time of alleged incident 16 (33.3%) 25 (38.5%) Denunciations 17 (35.4%) 23 (35.4%) Official investigations 8 (16.7%) 10 (15.3%) Unknown 7 (14.6%) 7 (10.8%) Total 48 (100%) 65 (100%) Note: AN W/268/1–W/273/50. View Large Charged with enforcing revolutionary legislation, local authorities also took up cases on their own initiative. Concerns about law and order were a recurring theme, as when the municipal officers of St Maixent (Deux-Sèvres department) had to deal with a drunken local farmer, Jean Bonnifait, disrupting their already unpopular army recruitment efforts in March. The local prosecutor requested his arrest for seizing the mayor’s hat (used for the drawing of lots) and ripping up the slips of paper bearing the names of potential recruits.41 The prevalence of denunciations and operational arrests as triggers extended the range of offences brought to the attention of the Paris Tribunal—and loosened contemporary definitions of the concept of ‘counter-revolutionary’ crimes in the process. In some instances, notably on the issue of émigrés, local authorities were adopting a similar approach to the Convention and using the Tribunal as an additional weapon to address long-standing concerns. Here, a clear line can be drawn to the original calls for a ‘revolutionary’ court that would ‘put an end to the audacity of the most serious criminals and of every enemy of the public good’.42 Elsewhere, such calls had been made with a very loose definition of the idea of ‘the enemy’ in mind. In Paris, what is most notable is the extent to which general civic unrest was deemed to merit the attention of the new tribunal. Public demonstrations, scuffles with the police and fights in section assemblies all led to collaboration between Paris section and commune authorities in sending alleged participants to the new institution.43 There was also an immediate willingness to take action against individuals accused of propos inciviques.44 However, such broad interpretations were not automatically endorsed by the very institution set up to punish ‘all counter-revolutionary undertakings’. Bonnifait himself was set free via the chambre du conseil after the parquet noted his drunkenness and clarified that, rather than attempting to halt recruitment altogether he had merely confused matters by calling for a spontaneous rush to battle by everyone.45 The judgments from thirteen completed cases relating to speech crimes at the Paris Tribunal saw nine people released before trial, one tried and acquitted—and only five convicted and sentenced to death.46 Such a range of decisions was possible because of the supplementary decree regarding the institution on 5 April, which had not just disbanded the commission de six but also transferred most of its powers to the Tribunal. This gave the institution’s personnel the ability to shape the daily reality of the new organization, and so to fill in the somewhat hazy outline drawn by deputies back in March. The man elected by the Convention to shoulder these growing responsibilities was Antoine Fouquier-Tinville, the Paris Tribunal’s public prosecutor. He ensured that the powers conferred upon the Tribunal by the April decree were exploited from the outset—as well as securing the parquet’s role as the beating bureaucratic heart of the institution.47 Fouquier-Tinville was a former barrister who secured a prominent position in revolutionary judicial politics as director of the grand jury for the Tribunal of 17 August. He was subsequently appointed deputy public prosecutor at the Paris department’s criminal court. Even his least complimentary biographers admit that he was extraordinarily hard-working, while the fact that he was a member of the Paris Jacobin Club (albeit an inactive one) would help explain his immediate dedication to his new position. The combination of legal experience, Jacobin credentials and innate bureaucratic skill meant that Fouquier-Tinville was ideally suited to lead the Paris Tribunal’s parquet, especially given that his assistants, Donzé-Verteuil and Lescot-Fleuriot, did not come from legal backgrounds.48 Crucially, the decree of 5 April meant that the parquet and the judges now had the responsibility to decide which cases should be sent to trial and which should be dropped, and they would continue to fulfil this role until tighter oversight was introduced over a year later through the Law of 22 Prairial. If the parquet decided to prosecute then an indictment was drawn up, and once this had been approved by a Tribunal judge the preparations for a trial began. Otherwise, the parquet could signal a desire to drop the charges through a mise en liberté ruling. A copy of the Tribunal judges’ endorsement of the same, drawn up at a hearing in the chambre du conseil, would then be used to free the suspect concerned. In doing so, the Paris Tribunal could be quite critical of the authorities’ decisions to send it particular cases.49 The parquet also frequently led the judges towards acknowledging the value of defence documents, in particular the statements of support which many suspects were receiving from within their local communities.50 These twin tracks of activity—prosecution and release—were both important parts of the early Tribunal’s identity, and this continued to be the case into 1794. As late as February of that year, almost a quarter of its judgments were pre-trial releases (39/164), and overall this work in the chambre du conseil would account for 17 per cent of all its verdicts between April 1793 and the Law of 22 Prairial II, at which point it was stripped of this capability.51 These additional responsibilities encouraged the spectacular growth of a Tribunal bureaucracy around the investigation of suspects brought to its attention. Such work was punctuated by a series of formal procedures that bore witness to the Paris Tribunal’s mixed legal heritage and some ambiguous elements within the Convention’s legislative design. The Tribunal, from its inception and in the absence of any formal guidance from deputies, obeyed many of the formal requirements of the criminal justice system as set out in the decree of 16 September 1791: judges conducted an interrogatoire (preliminary interview) with every suspect; suspects were informed of their right to legal representation; and written subpoenas summoned witnesses to court, including for pre-trial statements. The interrogatoire formed a central guiding point for many of the Paris Tribunal’s investigations, and otherwise represented an important stage in the management of its ever-increasing caseload. It has generally been dismissed by historians as legal window dressing.52 However, while the procedure undoubtedly became more perfunctory later in the Terror, such generalizations have deprived historians of a useful perspective on the institution’s work, particularly during its early months. Exchanges between suspect and interviewing judge could be recorded at considerable length, with Léopold Penne’s account running to eight pages.53 Furthermore, the quality of the documents would appear to compare favourably to those of other courts operating at the same time, where transcripts could be reduced to little more than the stock phrases of tired clerks supposedly recording them.54 At the Paris Tribunal we can still read General Miranda’s extravagantly patriotic answer to the question of where he lived: he ‘had no other home in France except the army’.55 Subtler still, its archives preserve General Lanoue’s keen awareness of the dangers of self-incrimination with regard to his serving as an officer under the command of the traitor General Dumouriez: [The judge] asked him if he had been employed in Dumouriez’s army. [Lanoue] replied yes and that this was so even before general Dumouriez.56 Indeed, it is striking how the interrogatoire presented opportunities for suspects, even as it fulfilled the requirements of the parquet and potentially drove a case closer to trial. Fundamentally, an interview presented an opportunity for suspects to challenge the allegations being made against them, as happened in the lengthy exchanges with Penne. There, the interview provided a rebuttal of accusations about the suspect’s counter-revolutionary sympathies, including a claim that he had recently made a financial donation in support of his section’s latest army recruits. Tellingly, the final transcript in that case was listed with other defence documents in the mise en liberté ruling, rather than in the interrogatoire’s usual place alongside other official items produced by the investigation.57 Such defence tactics were even encouraged by the style of some of the questioning. In only the second case that the Paris Tribunal brought to trial, two of the three defendants were specifically asked at their interrogatoire if they could provide evidence of their good character. Charles Gallet and Auguste Briançon were able to point to certificates from their municipality, proofs of honourable service in the army and their links to the Paris Jacobin Club.58 The latter had in fact responded to their arrest by organizing a deputation to seek an explanation from the authorities and bear witness to their patriotism. The club wrote to Gallet, Briançon and a third individual, Étienne Espéroux, to keep them abreast of the actions being taken on their behalf and provide them with a certificate bearing witness to their patriotism. All three were acquitted on 9 April.59 Defence space was therefore being carved out at the heart of this new system of revolutionary justice, even though the Convention never mentioned the possibility of input from suspects. Furthermore, the very first interrogatoire also provided immediate official acknowledgement of the legitimacy of a ‘defence’ side to revolutionary judicial proceedings by informing Louis Desmaulans of his right to legal representation.60 In doing so the Paris Tribunal was again following the 1791 directive on criminal procedure to the letter, and almost every interview conducted subsequently by the organization ended with an enquiry as to whether the suspect had chosen a conseil or défenseur officieux (the terms seem to have been interchangeable).61 If not, the Tribunal would offer to nominate one instead. This practice only ended with the banning of any form of representation for the defendant in court when the Tribunal was reorganized on 22 Prairial II. The title of défenseur officieux had been created back in January 1791 as a result of the Assemblée Nationale’s desire that the accused should have complete discretion when organizing their defence, destroying the corporate privileges of the Order of Barristers in the process. Although it was a formal legal office, there was no restriction on who could practise and no qualifying requirements: anybody could defend anyone.62 In practice, the Paris Tribunal’s own recommendations came from a short list of individuals, a number of whom are known to have come through the ancien régime legal system—although suspects did also make their own selections, particularly in 1793.63 The role of such défenseurs remains neglected: appearing as little more than a footnote in Godfrey’s study they have not resurfaced since.64 The position is also understudied across the wider judicial system, but if Robert Allen’s findings are representative the Paris Tribunal does well in comparison. Allen documents quite high levels of failure in the new system of representation, with 12 per cent of defendants at the Rhône criminal court tried without a défenseur between January and September 1793, rising to 25 per cent during Year II.65 By contrast, I am not aware of any cases where a defendant at the Paris Tribunal was without representation in court up until the Law of 22 Prairial suppressed the role altogether. These défenseurs had an immediate impact on the daily rhythm of the Paris Tribunal, working within this new system to facilitate defence activity and thus create a positive response to the lack of clarity in the March legislation regarding the input a suspect could have with regard to their own investigation and potential trial. Their actions included the collection of evidence, the drawing up of petitions and the presentation of the defence case in court—as will be explored in detail for d’Harambure’s case in section III of this article. The rapid integration of such defence practices into the overall routine of the Tribunal is no better illustrated than in the parquet’s early habit of writing release recommendations on the very petitions being sent in by suspects’ défenseurs.66 Such work helped to manufacture space within the Tribunal’s bureaucratic structures that could be exploited by suspects and their supporters, space which would in time contract but still endured throughout the Terror. For example, on 17 Pluviôse II/5 February 1794, one Citizen Pantin wrote to Fouquier-Tinville in his capacity as the imprisoned Claude Frézard’s chosen défenseur to ask the Tribunal to communicate any formal indictment in a timely fashion. This letter was complemented by a variety of written documents by the suspect himself, his family and supporters in Frézard’s local community.67 Such practices mirrored wider societal reaction to the encroaching suspicion, denunciations and arrests of the Terror, where victims used the printed word to publicize individual and collective acts of protest.68 Similar patterns can be seen in the procedures the Paris Tribunal developed for cases taken to trial, both in terms of the hybrid nature of the resulting institutional activity and the space afforded to and manufactured by the defence. In cases where the parquet decided to mount a prosecution, suspects became defendants in jury trials. The outline form of the Paris Tribunal trials was taken directly from the 1791 decree on criminal procedure, and in the many areas where the Convention had not given any legislative lead the Tribunal was clearly set up to conform (or appear to conform) with Titles VI and VII of that decree.69 Trials opened with the formal identification of the accused, following which the clerk of the court read out the indictment. The prosecution then elaborated on this by calling witnesses and presenting any material evidence, which would often be read out to the court. The president, the accusateur public or one of his deputies, and jury members were allowed to question witnesses, while the accused was usually asked to comment after each deposition. At the end of these debates the prosecution made a closing statement, to be followed by the defence. The Tribunal president and the judicial bench then closed out proceedings and gave directions to the jury ahead of the latter’s deliberations. 70 It is clear that this trial structure afforded considerable space to the defence side. Defendants and their défenseurs officieux are recorded in numerous cases as having made lengthy speeches, incorporating extensive biographical material, the reading out of letters and other documents and direct challenges to the prosecution case itself. A previously unrecognized document, a printed ‘Defence speech for General Miranda’, purports to record the case presented by this soldier’s défenseur, Chauveau-Lagarde, at his trial in May 1793. At sixty-three pages in length, it would be easy to dismiss as an elaboration, written either before or after the event (it is itself undated) if it were not for clear evidence that such practices were entirely normal in this opening phase of the Tribunal’s history.71 Its own semi-official newspaper of record, the Bulletin du tribunal criminel révolutionnaire, indicates the amount of time that could be spent by the defence: for General Blanchelande, three hours (15 April 1793); for General Custine, one and a half hours by the accused himself, at which point his défenseur took over (27 August 1793).72 Other trial sources point to the emergence of another defence resource: witnesses. The trial records show that it was possible for defendants to call others to testify on their behalf, again in accordance with standard criminal procedure.73 Significantly, although there was no formal provision in any criminal legislation that would have obliged the Tribunal to become involved in this aspect of the defence, intermittent evidence indicates that such moves were sanctioned. On 25 April, the Tribunal president consented to a request from General Miaczinski’s defence counsel for a two-week delay in the start of his client’s trial ‘in order to get hold of the documents necessary for his defence’.74 When the trial did finally start, Miaczinski’s defence had been developed to the extent that a total of twenty-five supporting witnesses were called, although this was still not enough to prevent his conviction and execution as Dumouriez’s accomplice.75 The evidence available from that case does not show how such witnesses reached the Tribunal. However, the dossier of another general, Philippe Devaux, shows a direct link to the parquet itself. In preparing for his trial in May, Devaux addressed a note to Fouquier-Tinville with ‘the names of the people who I wish to be called in my defence’. 76 The five people on an accompanying sheet of paper all appeared as trial witnesses. The Paris Tribunal was therefore partly coordinating the defence campaigns of those it was prosecuting. Study of the later history of the Tribunal shows that ordinary French men and women remained receptive to calls from suspects to speak in their defence as trial witnesses, and the Tribunal made no concerted efforts to stop this. Even when Fouquier-Tinville was warned by a fellow prosecutor from the Meuse department about a horde of émigré sympathizers scheduled to descend on the Paris Tribunal for a trial in April 1794, they were still allowed to enter the court and dispute the prosecution narrative about illegal communication with the Prussian army.77 Indeed, the cooperative elements on display in the Tribunal’s early practices lingered on after the reforms of 22 Prairial. One of the (probably unintended) consequences of that law’s ban on défenseurs representing suspects tried at the Paris Tribunal was that the parquet seemed to take over responsibility for calling defence witnesses, with no distinction being made in the trial records between them and those from the prosecution side. The potential for abuse was clear, but in a minority of cases we are instead presented with the curious spectacle of the parquet undermining its own indictment by the presentation to the jury of witnesses who were on record as previously making statements sympathetic to the accused.78 Let us now rejoin the crowds in the Paris Tribunal on 23 April 1793 and examine what happened in the trial of General d’Harambure that day. The defendant’s preliminary investigation and suspension by Convention commissioners supervising the army had taken place on 6 March, just as news was reaching the capital about the Belgian defeats which contributed to the pressure for the creation of the Paris Tribunal. The resulting paperwork was sent on from the Convention to the commission de six before its demise, and subsequently used by Fouquier-Tinville as the basis for an indictment which was presented to the Tribunal’s judges on 21 April, triggering the trial two days later. D’Harambure’s case centred on two royalist pamphlets from Germany which had reached the accused from an unknown source and had then immediately been passed on by him to the local authorities in Neufbrissach. The printed items in question were extremely politically sensitive. They advertised the new powers of the comte de Provence as Regent of France (his elder brother Louis XVI having been executed by the revolutionary authorities in January 1793) and outlined a plan to spring his young nephew (viewed by royalists as the new Louis XVII) from the Temple prison in Paris where the royal family had been confined since the overthrow of the monarchy.79 Fouquier-Tinville argued in the indictment that in sending this counter-revolutionary material on to the local municipality, d’Harambure had intended for it to be registered (and thus to receive some measure of official approval or publicity) as part of a duplicitous plan to set up a personal insurance policy against any future defeat at the hands of France’s enemies. His ambiguous cover letter to the authorities, it was claimed, would have been used by the general to convince an invading army that he had already been acting in their interests.80 The reading out of that charge sheet was the first action of the trial. The defendant was next interrogated by the Tribunal president, Jacques Montané, and the foreman of the jury, but in navigating this challenge d’Harambure could draw on the experience of the detailed examination he had already undergone back in March—as well as the more recent Tribunal interrogatoire led by the same judge d’Harambure was now answering in court.81 The latter had ended with Montané affording the defendant a lengthy opportunity to put his side of the story, and so by the time of the trial d’Harambure would have been well versed in how to present his key arguments verbally to an audience. According to the most detailed surviving account, his responses ‘left no doubt about his innocence’.82 After the prosecution had then summed up its case, d’Harambure seized the platform granted to defendants at a trial’s conclusion in order to make his case. In common with other defendants brought before the Paris Tribunal, d’Harambure had not been alone since entering the courtroom that morning: his two défenseurs officieux, Mutel and Vincent, were there too. These three had probably been in conversation for several weeks already, since the documents produced by d’Harambure ahead of the trial bear the hallmarks of legal input and d’Harambure had travelled to Paris voluntarily on 15 March to construct and publicize a defence of his actions. Indeed, when the time came for d’Harambure and his défenseurs to address the court and the assembled crowds, the team was drawing on arguments and evidence already presented to the Parisian public via a thirty-two-page printed pamphlet.83 In this, d’Harambure offered an alternative narrative about his move to register the two counter-revolutionary pamphlets which had raised such suspicion: it was, he argued, part of an honest practice of information-sharing in response to the routine threat posed by such pro-royalist material. D’Harambure had explained that enemy forces at the front made use of their proximity to French officers to target them with anti-republican propaganda in a bid to secure defections. He maintained that he had therefore taken the patriotic precaution of establishing channels with local authorities through which to send anything he himself received, and so dispel any suspicion about where his true loyalty lay.84 Defence teamwork was also evident in the production of manuscript items targeting the commission de six and the Paris Tribunal during the time d’Harambure had limited his ability to act independently by handing himself over to the authorities on 17 March for voluntary imprisonment at the notorious Abbaye jail.85 He remained in prison throughout the pre-trial period and was therefore dependent on his défenseur intermediaries (or other contacts and friends) to help with the coordination of his efforts to clear his name. As noted in section II, such defence networks were making a regular impression on the Paris Tribunal’s daily routine during these early months. The defence’s summing up at trial was split into three parts. First, the defendant drew attention to that voluntary imprisonment as proof of ‘the purity of his conscience’.86 D’Harambure had worked hard to contextualize the incident in question by presenting it as part of a long-standing dialogue with the civilian authorities in his region of command. The act of passing on the royalist pamphlets was therefore simply ‘a continuation of the open and loyal dialogue he had maintained with [these] public bodies’, as he argued to the deputy commissioners on 5 March, or part of an ‘almost daily dialogue about any item which could alarm or provoke outrage among the civilian population or the troops’ with ‘administrative bodies, his brothers in arms, and the Minister of War’, as he told President Montané at his interrogatoire on 16 April.87 D’Harambure may also have tried to sway the court as he had his investigators and wider public opinion by alluding to the enemies he had made during his work to improve the behaviour of the soldiers under his command and strengthen military resources in the Haut-Rhin. Back in early March, he had denounced the local mayor, Citizen Bouché, to the deputies conducting the preliminary investigation. Bouché was accused of deliberately misinterpreting d’Harambure’s intention when sending the pamphlets to his municipality because he wanted to punish the general for interfering in various schemes to siphon money out of the army for personal gain.88 In the second part of the summing-up, d’Harambure’s défenseurs took over and led the court through every single item of correspondence that served ‘to establish [the defendant’s] loyalty, his civic-mindedness, his vigilance, his indefatigable efforts to stop the invasion of French territory’. 89 In doing so, the defence was again making use of well-rehearsed arguments, as just such a collection of correspondence had already been printed in the pre-trial pamphlet. There the material had ranged from d’Harambure’s letter to the president of the Convention objecting to the false rumours about his arrest (15 March 1793) through to statements of support from an officer under his command (11 March) and some of the local population under his protection (9 March).90 But it was another item in this collection which the défenseurs may have felt best addressed both the indictment and wider public anxiety about the French army’s loyalty and efficacy. D’Harambure had already publicly admitted to correspondence with the enemy, but in a neat inversion of the charges against him it was of a kind that would enhance his patriotic reputation rather than diminish it. Back in October 1792, d’Harambure had received a note from Brigadier Loehsenberg of the Austrian army threatening to return with interest any breaches by France of a new, informal understanding to limit the exchange of fire between opposing outposts on the front line. D’Harambure immediately rejected the idea that there had been any such arrangement with the enemy, and his sabre-rattling response in this minor diplomatic spat would have played far better in the courtroom than with its original recipient: It is I, commander of forty-two leagues of territory, who gave the order […] to stop such ineffective shooting five months ago […] Sir, you have made a grave error, in believing that you would fire six shots against any one of ours; I say to you that here in the Haut-Rhin there are more than forty thousand men, armed with rifles, totally committed to preventing a single foreigner getting through, or meddling in our own laws which everyone observes over here anyway.91 Finally, the lawyer Mutel rounded off the defence with a colourful address to the court, pinpointing the key arguments in d’Harambure’s favour and finishing with a direct appeal to the jury and judges.92 Mutel mined the information already drawn together by d’Harambure in his interviews and manuscript and print defences—but then added the rhetorical flourishes more appropriate to a listening audience. After a long list of anonymized and heroic actions to further the war effort, which were lifted from d’Harambure’s own accounts of his military conduct, his lawyer manufactured a dramatic reveal of the country’s unknown saviour: ‘There is someone who has conducted himself thus, someone who manifestly cannot be suspected of treason; and that man, citizens, is d’Harambure.’93 After five hours of deliberation the jury returned a unanimous acquittal verdict and the judges declared d’Harambure’s immediate release; but the drama did not end there. Once he had been declared a free man, d’Harambure immediately walked over to the jurors on the opposite side of the courtroom and expressed his pleasure at being tried at their hands; he swore to return to his duties in the military and give ‘the last drop of my blood’ to the war effort. Lescot-Fleuriot weighed in with his own congratulations from the prosecution side, echoing the potential benefits of d’Harambure now being able to rejoin the fight against ‘the tyrants who are making war against us’.94 Constant applause followed the general as he made his way out of court and through a packed Palais de Justice. After being repeatedly lost in a sea of bodies as people clamoured to get near him, d’Harambure emerged to give one final reprise of the self-image he had been developing over the last six weeks as the patriotic military servant of the Revolution: ‘Citizens, come and surround me on the frontier like you are doing right now, and I give you my word that the enemy will never set foot in the Republic.’ He was then escorted back to his lodgings by the celebrating crowds. 95 Nobody involved in the creation of the Paris Tribunal had spoken of it as a potential site for scenes such as these. After all, this was supposedly a new judicial institution with one purpose: to root out and destroy counter-revolutionary threats. However, the natural corollary of doing so within a legal framework—regardless of the debate over how skewed in favour of the prosecution this may have been—was that competing dynamics developed in response to the targeting of specific individuals. As this article has shown, these might come from the individual actions of defendants, or from the development of general practices of defence once other parties such as défenseurs officieux became involved, or from the Paris Tribunal itself once the latter had (within days of commencing operations) shown through its judgments that acquittals and the release of prisoners were just as much a part of its institutional DNA as were convictions. Deputies involved in the debates of March and April had completely ignored these eventualities. Their opposing arguments shared the underlying assumption that only one thing really mattered: whether and how counter-revolutionaries were to be investigated and punished. The possibility that those caught up in this system either as suspects under investigation or defendants in court could—or should—have any influence was entirely ignored. Likewise, there was no discussion of the implications of acquitting alleged counter-revolutionaries, or whether and to what extent the defence should have space within the new tribunal or the wider framework of revolutionary justice. These alternative dynamics were further encouraged by the 5 April decision to hand over responsibility to the Paris Tribunal to decide whether to proceed with a case to trial, since the resulting decision not to do so simultaneously gave it the power to release them pre-trial—and the defence an additional sphere of influence within the institution. The fact that fully two-thirds of judgments in the period covered by this article led to the freeing of suspects is a further reminder that the translation of deputies’ rhetorical bombast into a fully functioning system of revolutionary justice was a complicated and unpredictable process. Indeed, these early months of the Convention’s newly forged judicial weapon have longer-term significance because they reveal the complexities and apparent contradictions at the heart of one of the principal elements of a Terrorist system that would develop through the summer and autumn of that same year. The Paris Tribunal, this ‘capstone of the revolutionary edifice’ as one historian called it, immediately encouraged the development of defence practices alongside the responsibilities of investigation and prosecution.96 As such, France would enter the Terror of Year II with a system of revolutionary justice that encouraged two interlocking cultures of repression and resistance—not just the former. He would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their perceptive comments on this article. Parts of this research were funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy, to both of which he is very grateful. Footnotes 1 See http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k56373g. All translations are my own. 2 I. Woloch, The New Regime: Transformations of the French Civic Order, 1789–1820s (London and New York, 1994). 3 Bulletin du tribunal criminel révolutionnaire, vol. 2 (Paris, 1793), no. 16, 62. 4 A[rchives N[ationales], Paris W series/carton 269/dossier 17 Acte d’accusation (21 April 1793). 5 For deputies’ reactions to Dumouriez’s betrayal: Louis-Prudhomme in Révolutions de Paris, 196 (6–13 April 1793), 89–95. On the impact of Dumouriez’s defection: M. Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship, and Authenticity in the French Revolution (Oxford, 2013), 162–8; Fadi El Hage’s recent work presents the same as the revolutionary dénouement to much longer-term trends within French society in ‘“Cela peut se dire au coin du feu, mais ne s’écrit pas”: the criticism of generals in eighteenth-century France’, Fr. Hist., 30 (2016), 31–50. 6 The fullest account available of the trial can be read in the Bulletin, no. 15, 58–60 and no. 16, 61–2. 7 Most recently, D. Edelstein, ‘What was the Terror?’ and M. Linton, ‘Terror and politics’, in The Oxford Handbook of the French Revolution, ed. D. Andress (Oxford, 2015), 454 and 472; T. Tackett, The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution (Cambridge, MA, and London, 2015), 267–8. 8 S. Wahnich, La Liberté ou la mort: essai sur la Terreur et le terrorisme (Paris, 2003); D. Edelstein, The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (Chicago and London, 2009), 133–9. For the Montagnard and Girondin factions: Linton, Choosing Terror, chs 4–6. 9 A. Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Mapping the Terror: the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal and the development of a national system of revolutionary justice’, Euro Hist Q, 44 (2014), 5–32. The statistical variations in the Tribunal’s record have been available since the 1950s: J. L. Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice: A Study of the Organisation, Personnel, and Procedure of the Paris Tribunal, 1793–1795 (Chapel Hill, NC, 1951). For the standard historiographical focus: F. Furet, ‘Terreur’, in Dictionnaire critique de la Révolution française, ed. F. Furet and M. Ozouf (Paris, 1988), 156–70; A. Jourdan, ‘Les journées de Prairial an II: le tournant de la Révolution?’, La Révolution française, 10 (2016), http://lrf.revues.org/1591; A. Simonin, ‘Les acquittés de la Grande Terreur. Réflexions sur l’amitié dans la République’, in Les Politiques de la Terreur 1793–1794, ed. M. Biard (Rennes, 2008), 183–205; Linton, Choosing Terror, 287. 10 The records are held as separate case dossiers in the Tribunal archives: AN W/268/1–W/273/50 (judgments 6 April–2 June 1793). Two of the dossiers were excluded because they concluded after 2 June. The end date was chosen because events of that day (the Girondin faction being purged from the Convention), while not impacting directly on the Paris Tribunal’s work, signalled an important shift in revolutionary politics. 11 All the basic statistics have been available since Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice, and the information has been available in a more qualitative format since at least H. Wallon, Histoire du tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris, avec le journal de ses actes, 6 vols (Paris, 1880–2). 12 A. Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Defence, collaboration, counter-attack: the role and exploitation of the printed word by victims of the Terror’, in Experiencing the French Revolution, ed. D. Andress (Oxford, 2013), 137–54, and Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Mapping the Terror’. 13 As historians frequently note, ‘the Terror’ is difficult to pin down to a precise period. There was a clear acceleration in repression from autumn 1793, but Terrorist practices can and have been profitably traced back at least as far as the aftermath of the Revolution of 10 August the previous year: J. R. Censer, ‘Historians revisit the Terror—again’, Jl. Soc. Hist., 48 (2014), 383–403. 14 Billaud-Varennes jugé par lui-meme (Paris, an. III (1795?)) and Portraits exécrables du traitre Robespierre et ses complices … (Paris?, n.d. (1795?)). 15 A[rchives] P[arlementaires]. Recueil complet des débats législatifs et politiques des chambres françaises imprimé par ordre du corps législatif, 1st series, 82 vols (Paris, 1867–1990), lx, 3 (9 March 1793); emphasis in the original text. 16 AP, lx. 4. 17 É. Seligman, La Justice en France pendant la Révolution (1789–1793) (Paris, 1913), ii, 508–10. 18 AP, lx. 60 for the rival proposals. 19 AP, lx. 62–3. 20 AP, lx. 4. 21 AP, lx. 3. 22 Pierrette Girault de Coursac, ‘Un précurseur de la justice révolutionnaire. Le tribunal criminel du 10 août’, Revue internationale de criminologie et de police technique, 29 (1976), 353–66. 23 Barry M. Shapiro, Revolutionary Justice in Paris, 1789–1790 (Cambridge and New York, 1993). 24 Carla Hesse makes a similar point in explaining her approach to the judicial Terror: ‘La preuve par lettre. Pratiques juridiques au tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris (1793–1794)’, Annales. H.S.S., 51 (1996), 629–42 (630). 25 AP, lx. 62. 26 Carla Hesse has tracked the proliferation of ‘revolutionary’ laws (eighty in total) dealing with issues of treason and conspiracy against the state via their registration at the Paris Tribunal during its lifetime, 1793–5: Carla Hesse, ‘La logique culturelle de la loi révolutionnaire’, Annales. H.S.S., 57 (2002), 915–33. 27 The full text of the 10 March decree is available at http://bit.ly/2uxihsN as a printed broadside. For detail on the elaborate voting procedures: R. Allen, Tribunaux criminels sous la Révolution et l’Empire, 1792–1811 (Rennes, 2005), 45. 28 J.-B. Duvergier, Collection complète des lois, décrets, ordonnances, réglemens, et avis du conseil-d’état, 148 vols (Paris, 1824–1949), iv, 295–6. 29 AP, lx. 64. The 9 March element comes from AP, lx. 4. 30 AP, lx. 64–5. 31 Reports of a new popular insurrection were circulating, and Girondin printing presses had been attacked the previous day: Anne-Marie Boursier, ‘L’émeute parisienne du 10 mars 1793’, Annales historiques de la Révolution française, 44 (1972), 204–30; Seligman, La Justice, 516–17; Journal de Célestin Guittard de Floriban, bourgeois de Paris sous la Révolution, ed. R. Aubert (Paris, 1974), 234 (13 March 1793); Vergniaud speech denouncing said (failed) insurrection, AP, lx. 161–6 (13 March). 32 AP, lx. 65 (intervention of Maximin Isnard). 33 Title 1, Articles 8, 9 and 10 of the final text of the law creating the Paris Tribunal, AP, lx. 95–6. 34 AP, lxi. 334–47. Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice, 14–15. 35 AP, lx. 95. 36 Allen, Tribunaux criminels, 23–53; Woloch, New Regime, 355–64. 37 Godfrey’s neglect is typical of treatment both before and since: Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice. For the national dimension to the Tribunal’s jurisdiction: Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Mapping the Terror’. 38 AN W/268/6 (Blanchelande), W/269/17 (D’Harambure), W/269/21 (D’Esparbès), W/271/26 (Lanoue), W/271/30 (Miranda), W/271/31 (Miaczinski), W/271/35 (Thuring), W/271/36 (Devaux), W/272/41 (Stengel). Only three (Blanchelande, Miaczinski and Devaux) were actually convicted. 39 ‘De la police de sûreté’, Title VI (16–29 September 1791), Duvergier, Collection complète, iii, 333–4; Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Mapping the Terror’, 18–22; J. Guilhaumou, ‘Fragments of a discourse on denunciation (1789–1794)’, in The French Revolution and the Creation of Modern Political Culture, vol. 4: The Terror, ed. K. M. Baker (New York, London and Tokyo, 1994), 139–55; C. Lucas, ‘The theory and practice of denunciation in the French Revolution’, Jl. Mod. Hist., 68 (1996), 768–85. 40 AN W/268/13 Letter, Aux Citoyens composant le Comité de sureté générale … (n.d., c. March 1793). For French revolutionary attitudes towards public expression: C. Walton, Policing Public Opinion in the French Revolution: The Culture of Calumny and the Problem of Free Speech (Oxford, 2009), 97–136. 41 AN W/307/389 Extrait du registre des dénonciations (15 March 1793). 42 AP, lx. 3 (9 March 1793) (intervention from general assembly of the Louvre section). 43 AN W/268/4, W/269/25, W/271/29. 44 AN W/268/15 (investigation opened 28 March), W/268/8 (investigation opened 8 April), W/271/39 (investigation opened 12 April). 45 AN W/307/389 Paris Tribunal judgment, chambre du conseil (5 January 1794). 46 AN W/269/15, W/271/33, W/271/34, W/272/39, W/272/42, W/272/43, W/272/46 (pre-trial releases); W/268/8 (acquittals); W/268/4, W/268/10, W/268/11, W/269/20, W/269/19 (convictions). 47 The powers of the Paris Tribunal parquet were more clear-cut and exploited earlier and more consistently than those of parquets in the wider judicial system. É. de Mari, ‘Le parquet sous la Révolution, 1789–1799’, in Histoire du parquet, ed. J.-M. Carbasse (Paris, 2000), 221–55. 48 Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice, 32–3. For Fouquier-Tinville’s role in the Terror: P. Labracherie, Fouquier-Tinville: accusateur public (Paris, 1961). 49 AN W/271/26 and W/271/29 (Chambre du conseil rulings dated 10 and 15 May 1793 respectively). 50 AN W/268/5, W/269/18, W/271/33 (Chambre du conseil rulings dated 9 April, 25 April and 20 May 1793 respectively). 51 There were 393 pre-trial releases out of a total of 2284 judgments. These figures were compiled from my analysis of Danis Habib’s updating of a list of the Paris Tribunal’s judgments first drawn up by Émile Campardon in the nineteenth century: http://www.archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/chan/chan/series/serieW.html. After 22 Prairial, the Tribunal could only make recommendations pending the approval of the Committee of Public Safety. The 39/164 figure is drawn from the statistics in Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice, ch. 7. A. Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Reassessing revolutionary justice: suspects, the Paris Revolutionary Tribunal and the Terror in France, 1793–1794’ (PhD thesis, Queen Mary University of London, 2012). 52 É. Campardon, Le Tribunal révolutionnaire (Paris 1866), i, 29; Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice, 118. 53 AN W/272/46 Interrogatoire, Paris Tribunal (11 May 1793). 54 A. Wills, Crime and Punishment in Revolutionary Paris (Westport, CT, 1981), 84–5. 55 AN W/271/30 Interrogatoire, Paris Tribunal (20 Apr. 1793). 56 AN W/271/26 Interrogatoire, Paris Tribunal (21 Apr. 1793); my emphasis. 57 AN W/272/46 Judgment, chambre du conseil (2 June 1793) and Interrogatoire, Paris Tribunal (11 May 1793), 5. The donation claim was all the more pertinent to Penne’s cause as his arrest followed his attendance at an anti-recruitment demonstration. 58 AN W/268/2 Interrogatoires, Paris Tribunal (7 April 1793). 59 AN W/268/2 Untitled certificate from the Societé des deffenseurs … aux Jacobins (n.d.). 60 AN W/268/1 Interrogatoire, Paris Tribunal (4 April 1793). 61 ‘De la justice criminelle et de l’institution des jurés’, Title VI, Article 13 (16–29 Sep.1791), Duvergier, Collection complète, iii, 338. 62 M. P. Fitzsimmons, The Parisian Order of Barristers and the French Revolution (Cambridge, MA, and London, 1987), 52 and 76–7; Woloch, New Regime, 325–8, and I. Woloch, ‘The fall and resurrection of the civil bar’, Fr. Hist. S., 15 (1987), 241–62. 63 Fitzsimmons, Barristers, 254. 64 Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice, 118. 65 Allen, Tribunaux criminels, 99–101. For similar problems in Paris: Wills, Crime and Punishment, 53–4. 66 AN W/268/3, W/268/4, W/271/26, W/271/27, W/271/33, W/271/34, W/271/39, W/272/38. 67 AN W/335/590. Frézard was acquitted by the Paris Tribunal on 18 Ventôse II/8 March 1794. 68 Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Defence, collaboration, counter-attack’. 69 ‘De la justice criminelle et de l’institution des jurés’ (16–29 Sep. 1791), Duvergier, Collection complète, iii, 337–40. 70 There are varied accounts in the Bulletin across this period. Many of the printed forms used to record the outline of each of the Paris Tribunal trials have survived in the trial dossiers, though they do not include accounts of trials themselves. 71 British Library F.1224/1 Plaidoyer pour le général Miranda … (Paris, n.d. (1793?)). 72 Bulletin, no. 10, 38, and no. 95, 389. Other accounts of detailed defences mounted during the summer of 1793 can be seen in Bulletin, no. 75, 304 (22 July 1793) and no. 79, 319 (2 Aug. 1793). The Bulletin was a continuation of a newspaper enterprise which had begun with the creation of the Tribunal of 17 August 1792 mentioned in section I of this article: Bulletin du tribunal criminel établi par la loi du 17 août 1792, pour juger les conspirateurs (Paris, 1792). 73 ‘De la justice criminelle et de l’institution des jurés’, Articles 3–11 of Title VII (16–29 Sep. 1791), Duvergier, Collection complète, iii, 338–9. 74 AN W/271/31 Untitled note (25 Apr. 1793). 75 AN W/271/31 Procès-verbal, Paris Tribunal trial (17 May 1793). 76 AN W/271/36 Letter, L’Adjutant Général philippe deVaux [sic] au citoyen Fouquet Tinville (n.d.). 77 AN W/347/683/part 2. For the local prosecutor’s warning: letter to the accusateur public (21 Germinal II/10 April 1794). Five days later the Tribunal condemned the two main accused but acquitted two associates. 78 For a case study: Fairfax-Cholmeley, ‘Mapping the Terror’, 26. 79 A copy of one of the offending items, the Déclaration du regent de France (n.p., n.d. (1793)), can be viewed at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k57116040/f1.image. 80 AN W series/269/17 Acte d’accusation (21 April 1793). 81 AN W/269/17 Interrogatoire, Paris Tribunal (16 April 1793). An annotated transcript of the commissioners’ interview is reproduced elsewhere in the dossier Mémoire justificatif du Lieutenant-Général d’Harambure … à ses concitoyens (Paris, n.d. (1793)), 18–20. 82 Bulletin, no. 15, 58. Coverage did extend to other newspapers but with far less detail apart from the post-acquittal scenes: Réimpression de l’ancien Moniteur (1789–1799), vol. 16 (1840), 217 (26 April 1793); Le Courier français, 114 (24 April 1793), 440; Révolutions de Paris, 198 (20–7 April 1793), 189. 83 AN W/269/17 Mémoire justificatif. 84 AN W/269/17 Mémoire justificatif, 2. 85 AN W/269/17 Letter ‘Aux représentants du peuple’ (27 Mar. 1793) and Unaddressed letter and Oppinion [sic] du Général d’Harambure (7 Apr. 1793). 86 Bulletin, no. 15, 58. 87 AN/269/17 Mémoire justificatif, 19, and Interrogatoire. 88 AN/269/17 Mémoire justificatif, 19. 89 Bulletin, no. 15, 58. 90 AN W/269/17 Mémoire justificatif, 30, 24, 23, 22, 25 and 26–7 respectively. 91 AN W/269/17 Mémoire justificatif, 26 (Letter dated 15 Oct. 1792). 92 Bulletin, no. 15, 58. 93 Bulletin, no. 15, 59. 94 Bulletin, no. 16, 62 (both quotes). 95 Bulletin, no. 16, 62 (both quotes). Variations on D’Harambure’s post-acquittal speeches appeared elsewhere in the press, for example: Réimpression de l’ancien Moniteur (1789–1799), vol. 16 (1840), 217 (26 Apr.1793); Le Courier français, 114 (24 Apr. 1793), 440. 96 Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice, 54 (‘capstone’). © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for the Study of French History. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
French History – Oxford University Press
Published: Apr 3, 2018
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