‘The law must never be a game for fair and upright men in a Republic’: revolutionary justice in Lyon 1792–3

‘The law must never be a game for fair and upright men in a Republic’: revolutionary justice... Abstract This article examines escalating civil conflict expressed through new judicial processes in Lyon in 1792–3. National legislation in 1791 had promised a significant new focus on judicial rights of the citizen. One of the central changes was the election of a juge de paix (justice of the peace) in each canton to deliver swift justice in smaller civil and criminal cases and an investigative role in more serious prosecutions heard in the higher courts. Initially, both electors and early incumbents of the position embraced these changes enthusiastically but the magistrates of Lyon soon divided over social and political issues. The transition to a more democratic system of justice exposed deep disagreement about how to advance revolutionary change and led to fears and conflict that contributed significantly to a deteriorating political situation and ultimately to the bloody repression of Lyon. I The case of Jean-Joseph Bertholon, who was arrested on 19 February 1793, marked the point of a significant and public rupture among the citizen magistrates of Lyon. Bertholon (sometimes spelt Berthelon) was one of the few artisans elected to a judicial position in 1792.1 He had been a member of the Central Club of the Jacobins in Lyon but he was believed to have released from gaol a number of prisoners accused of desecrating the club headquarters during a weekend of high drama when republicans in the city had clashed over the election of a new mayor. Bertholon was seen by his Jacobin accusers to be furthering ‘the plots of our enemies’ by his actions on this night.2 Other judges supported Bertholon’s actions, alleging ‘extremist’ Jacobins were attempting to subvert the processes of the law. Until this point most of the elected judges were enthusiastic about the enormous changes recently made to the new judicial institutions and worked tirelessly to implement them. After Bertholon’s arrest, however, juges de paix (justices of the peace) in Lyon took sides in the civic conflict that led to the uprising of 29 May 1793 when the elected municipal government, as well as a number of magistrates, were removed from office by an insurrection of anti-Jacobin sections (formerly quartiers) of the city.3 Key cases conducted by the juges de paix and magistrates of the Tribunal de District suggest that the very men of law who had chosen to participate in the core revolutionary project of legal reform also chose to take action that ultimately led to the ‘Terror’ which was visited on the city. Ever since 1794 historians—like people at the time—have been divided about the origins and purposes of the draconian measures put in place by the National Convention in 1793–4 and labelled collectively as ‘the reign of Terror’ immediately after the execution of Robespierre and his associates in July 1794. The Terror has often been explained as a reaction to the extreme ‘circumstances’ of internal division and foreign war in revolutionary France when, as Annie Jourdan and Peter McPhee suggest, political divisions were transformed, in the latter’s words, ‘into matters of life and death’.4 Others, such as Marisa Linton and Timothy Tackett, have suggested that fears of ‘conspiracy’, so pervasive a part of French history, explained the resort to violence when the political regime changed.5 In contrast, Patrice Gueniffey has argued that, while the ‘official’ Terror commenced on 5 September 1793, when ‘terror’ was made the ‘order of the day’ and violence and ‘exceptional justice’ was sanctioned by the National Convention, it was also a political stratagem that had in fact commenced much earlier.6 Contrary to the moral imperatives Robespierre raised in using ‘terror’ as a justification for violence when uncovering ‘vice’ and ‘corruption’, Gueniffey saw ‘the Terror’ as a tool in an ongoing quest for political power.7 Whether historians have placed emphasis on ‘force of circumstances’ or revolutionary ideology as the cause of terroristic policies, they have agreed that one of the most notorious and tragic examples of civil strife and repression was the subjugation of Lyon in October 1793, when about 1900 Lyonnais were accused of and executed for being ‘federalists’.8 The executions were conducted by guillotine, firing squad, hangings and, in a particularly gruesome example of the nation’s wrath, by cannon. These retaliations were undoubtedly harsh but have to be considered in the wider national and international context of the defiance of the city at a time of existential crisis.9 The crisis has generated a very rich historiography examining the social, political and religious structures of France’s second city in order to capture the potential for civil war and bloody reprisal.10 Recently, for example, Michel Biard has seen the tragic unfolding of events in Lyon from May 1793 as the result of a wrangle between the capital and the city of Lyon where a ‘double blindness’ led to deadly misunderstandings between local and national political groups who each considered themselves ‘republican’.11 Despite the richness of this historiography, however, little attention has been paid to the ways in which civil war in Lyon was also played out in the courts and the new judicial structures. An examination of the reasons for the turn to violence of the magistrates of Lyon is instructive, for they were the leaders on both sides of a civil war that long scarred public life in the city. The divisive struggles amongst the magistrates mirrored the political divisions of the city and reflected the background of social and economic crisis, religious difference and pervasive fear of conspiracy that was crucial in the history of Lyon and the French Revolution. Thus we first need to understand the labels identifying the political orientation of those elected in Lyon from 1791 to 1793. At first ‘Jacobin’ was a widely used term interchangeable with ‘patriot’ and used to signify those willing to further revolutionary change. By July 1791, conservatives in Lyon had broken away from the Jacobin affiliated club. Some of the mercantile elite wanted their own club supportive of the ‘Feuillants’, those who continued to champion the role of the king even after his attempted flight in June 1791. In August 1792 the Central Club of the Jacobins, which had become dominated by radicals, were then able to ally with the Parisian Jacobins.12 Although most elected officials in Lyon kept their distance from the conservative group who had become allied with the ‘idle rich’, many also drew apart from the Jacobins of the Central Club because they suspected that newer members were encouraging social disorder.13 Popular actions in September, including a massacre of prisoners and some days of market riots, dismayed many politicians and magistrates who then identified as ‘Rolandins’ because they supported the more moderate economic and social strategies of Roland de la Platière. Roland had participated in early revolutionary events in Lyon and had later gone to Paris, where he was appointed Minister for the Interior. He advised the Lyonnais authorities, most especially the magistrates, in a letter written in October 1792: When the people see the magistrates are occupying themselves fruitfully with the most pressing interests, those held most dear, they will become calm and more patient of the calamitous circumstances that they well know cannot be prevented.14 However, religious grievances had by then combined with social grievances and, although the riots had subsided, the ‘people’ did not remain calm as Roland had predicted. The Republic was declared on 21 September 1792, but the Third Estate in Lyon had already begun to fracture rather than ‘regenerate’, as the Jacobins had hoped.15 While no one knew what was going to happen, hopes were still high for the promising changes, especially for the new judicial restructure. Elected judges had been given a central public role throughout France towards the end of 1791 and there were many professional men ready to take on these roles in Lyon despite the growing disinterest among merchants and previous men of the law.16 As eligibility for these positions was widened during 1792, however, even more diverse citizens took on the roles and anxieties were excited about how those in the role should conduct themselves. Some came with a political agenda and questions began to be raised about how that improved the outcomes of judicial actions for citizens. Two elected magistrates, Joseph Chalier and Jean-Jacques Ampère, who represented the opposite sides of the divide from February 1793, prepared their arguments. Ampère led the central challenge to the imprisonment of Bertholon who had been arrested after the disturbances of 18–19 February. This positioned him squarely against Chalier, who had been advocating for increased repression of those suspected of counter-revolutionary activity from late 1792. To understand their viewpoints we need to delve into details of significant cases from this earlier period to show the differences that emerged between the Jacobins, led by Chalier, and the anti-Jacobins or Rolandins, led by Ampère. Both became at different times President in the Tribunal Correctionel. Both worked hard in the legal jurisdiction but they also took uncompromising political stands. They make a fascinating contrast because of their early similarities and then the divergences of their revolutionary careers. The Bertholon case clearly exposed the fundamental disagreement amongst the justices as to whether their primary duty was to apply the legal code and prevent social disorder (the Rolandins) or to protect the Revolution itself at a time of internal and external threats (the Jacobins). Were the more democratic ideals of revolutionary justice that had been espoused since 1789 being forgotten and the magistrates playing the old political games of accusatory practice?17 Were they ‘choosing violence’ because of unexpected circumstances of fear and suspicion, as Linton argues happened in the capital, or were they driven by the mentalité identified among revolutionaries by Tackett with its endemic emotions of fear, anger and revenge?18 To understand what was at stake we must first look at the general changes to the judicial institutions brought to France by the Revolution and how they were implemented. II Reforms to the administration of justice were some of the most significant and innovative changes brought by the Revolution. The need to remedy the inefficient and unwieldy judicial system of the ancien régime had been a common theme across the country in the cahiers de doléances prepared prior to the meeting of the Estates-General in May 1789, and suggestions for reform were part of the three different cahiers of the Third Estate in Lyon as well as those of the First and Second Estates.19 Urban dwellers, unable to access reliable and affordable justice because of the system of venality of office, lobbied for change. Peasants in the region suffering under the confusing and patchy system of justice dispensed by the ‘seigneurs’ were convinced that system was skewed against them. Men of law and other bourgeois of the educated elite, influenced by the Enlightenment texts of Voltaire and Cesare Beccaria, had long been questioning the repressive and secretive judgments of the absolutist monarch who stood at the head of the judicial edifice.20 The overwhelming consensus was that change was necessary. Discussion about ‘a general code of laws, simple and clear’ began in the Constituent Assembly on 16–24 August 1790 when the principles of the new judicial order were outlined. A committee was set up to begin the methodical work required to change civil and criminal laws.21 While the enactment of a complete civil code of law was not achieved until the Napoleonic Code of 1804, many popular changes began to be enacted as soon as the National Assembly met. Provisional legislation of 8–9 October 1789 abolished torture, allowed the provision of defence counsel and required reasons to be given for afflictive or degrading punishments.22 The decrees of 20 January to 25 February 1791 went further, establishing the right to have civil demands dealt with expeditiously by a juge de paix elected in each canton.23 The criminal courts were then set up in each district to align with the ‘new civic geography’ and became a ‘core’ revolutionary change.24 Decrees issued between 19 and 22 July 1791 extended the powers of these elected juges de paix to begin criminal proceedings either on their own initiative or following a citizen’s complaint. Citizens were even able to present denunciations against those they considered responsible for criminal action that threatened ‘public safety’.25 The rationale embedded in the decree of the National Assembly was that ‘each citizen [was] a direct adversary of all infractions of the social laws’.26 Three or more juges de paix could sit as members of the Tribunal de Police Correctionnelle to decide on cases that attracted fines of up to 3000 livres or two years’ imprisonment.27 Appeals from this newer court could be sent to the Tribunal de District.28 The later decrees of 16 and 29 September 1791 promulgated the Code Pénal and the establishment of Tribunaux Criminels and their juries.29 These decrees also enabled the most important, quasi-police function, of arrest and interrogation of suspects and witnesses entrusted to the juge de paix. The juges could issue warrants for accused to appear and conduct all the preliminary interviewing of complainants and witnesses within twenty-four hours of an arrest. They were required to send the evidence to the director of the jury d’accusation to determine if there was a criminal case to pursue. The obligation to test the evidence often meant conducting searches of relevant premises and seizing evidence.30 The more serious crimes, those involving ‘major challenges to the social and political order’ such as homicide, rape and rebellion, would be heard first by the Tribunal de District and its jury. Judgment would then be given by three judges sitting as the Tribunal Criminel, with the jury de jugement.31 The Code Pénal, which governed the criminal process, contained a clear listing of offences to be dealt with by the relevant institutions, based on their actual nature, and not, as previously, according to the status of the accused.32 This code and the new courts clearly established the authority and the limits to that authority of the different criminal hierarchies. They also established the anticipated results of judicial change: a more stream-lined and predictable process for legal redress in both the civil and criminal jurisdictions. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Judicial system flow chart at 1792. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Judicial system flow chart at 1792. The role of elected juge de paix was an integral part of the criminal hierarchy and meant a fundamental reorientation in the provision of justice. Although similar in conception to the English justice of the peace, the role was an elected position and could be held by any ‘citizen’. It was an early democratic initiative at the very forefront of the judicial reforms. The official was envisaged as a servant of the state with wide powers to help ensure the provision of criminal as well as civil justice to those who elected him. He was untrained and had none of the trappings of the former ancien régime judicial officers, neither robes nor ceremonial swords. The only insignia of office at this level of justice was a red and blue badge stating ‘La Loi et la Paix’.33 However, this official was actually more powerful in popular imagination than previous judges because he embodied the principles of equality and equity now available to all citizens. Those who voted for the new juges de paix were participating in what Melvin Edelstein and Malcolm Crook have considered one of the most important and innovative steps towards representative democracy in the modern world.34 Incumbents were elected for two years and could be re-elected indefinitely. Although those first elected were predominantly men of law, by 1792 voters made sure their juges de paix came from more diverse backgrounds and were the amateur conciliators that had been envisaged by legislators.35 Many of those elected brought their enthusiasm to this office because it became ‘the symbol of the Revolution’s commitment to a new type of justice’ which was the ‘antithesis of the seigneurial judge’.36 Yet there were challenges as well, most clearly in the way the elected officers conducted themselves in the new roles and what decisions they made. III The early reformers who initially took on the new judicial roles in Lyon included some who would later be elected to positions in the local municipality or as deputies. Antoine Nivière-Chol (elected mayor in 1792) and Jean-Baptiste Pressavin had periods of acting as procureur during 1792.37 Pressavin, the son of a lawyer, had an early career as a doctor and surgeon before becoming a notable in 1791 and being elected to the National Convention in September 1792.38 Nivière-Chol was a silk négociant and then became procureur for a short time until he was elected as mayor. Others elected to perform the initial judicial roles in Lyon were mostly representative of the bourgeois men who were also voted in to political positions or as notables. They were only able to take on the juge de paix position for a short time because of the stricture that no juge de paix could simultaneously hold the positions of municipal officer, departmental administrator or practice as a solicitor or tax collector.39 There were other incumbents of the position of juge de paix in Lyon elected to the various cantons of the city who were particularly interested in judicial reform and worked specifically to expand judicial operations in the spirit of the legislative change. François Billiémas was one of the most active. He considered the role of juge de paix the most significant achievement of the judicial reforms. Billiémas, a founding member of the popular club of August 1790, was often described as a ‘commoner’. Elected in 1790, he remained committed to the role during the entire period to 1793.40 Billiémas worked to ensure the new role was completely different from that held by the venal magistrates of the ancien régime who were ‘used to selling [their office]’, because of ‘a taste acquired from their previous work’.41 This satirical comment was meant to indict those former judges who were only interested in the status of the position but had purchased their office through commercial success. François-Joseph L’Ange was another reformer, an artiste of the silk industry who became a juge de paix in 1792 and simultaneously wrote a treatise about social justice, proposing a way to stabilize the price of bread.42 Lyon thus had an early core of committed practitioners elected to judicial positions and they were soon joined by Jean-Jacques Ampère. The position of juge de paix in the inner-city canton of Halle aux Blés became vacant following a resignation in late 1791. In January 1792 Ampère was narrowly elected, after Jean-André Périsse Du Luc, a former Third Estate deputy, declined to accept his election. At the end of that year, in another vote of the primary assembly of his canton, Ampère was re-elected with a more secure majority.43 This particular juge de paix is an interesting lens through which to view the changes because he was a quintessential representative of the enlightened bourgeois in Lyon, as his extensive library shows.44 Formerly a silk négociant, Ampère was so impassioned by judicial change that he took up the role at the age of 61 when he had retired from this much more lucrative and typically Lyonnais profession. He was sworn in to the Tribunal known as the Police Correctionelle to take his turn in delivering judgments when required to do so and sat with other cantonal juges de paix, with Billiémas as Greffier, and Chalier as President. Chalier had also left a lucrative career in the silk industry by accepting election to judicial office from early 1791, evidently for similar civic and humanitarian impulses. Because the newly elected judges were paid by the state and not according to how long the matter in question could be prolonged, they were held to be inspired by ideals different from those that had motivated the former magistrates trained in legal processes and thus more likely to make sure justice was fair and equitable.45 Criminal justice was a right that the impartial juge de paix could deliver to any citizen who approached him, whether or not they had sufficient assets to pursue any such rights. Pressavin wrote a report to the Conseil Municipal setting out the importance of the new judicial arm of government and applauding the establishment of the Police Correctionnelle which would make known to all the ‘laws decreed for the maintenance of public order, security and tranquillity of all citizens’.46 The Tribunal Criminel, the higher court in the hierarchy, began to operate from early 1792. Its judges were generally drawn from the trained judiciary and unsurprisingly tended to be more conservative. Although some who took on the position in Lyon also appreciated the benefits to justice of the new streamlined system in making actions less expensive and more efficient, many had little in common with the political aspirations of elected juges who now initiated the actions that came before them.47 The presiding judge and public prosecutors of this court were elected for a six-year period by the departmental electoral assembly but three judges assigned from the Tribunal de District were required to sit with him.48 Eligible citizens were now part of the system of juries with the power to decide whether the accused were to be tried for crimes and ultimately whether they should be judged guilty of them. This was one of the most significant changes of the ‘regenerated’ system of justice in Lyon and Pressavin drew up the first list of 30 jurors who would be available to sit in judgment with three judges of the Tribunal Criminel on 31 January 1792.49 However, Pressavin himself soon moved on to other matters of administration. The first tension between elected incumbents was the suspension of Chalier early in 1792 for allegedly over-zealous prosecutions. Chalier, despite being the President of the Police Correctionnelle, was accused of harrassing a citizen and ordered to appear before the Tribunal Criminel. He was unceremoniously removed from his position and went to Paris while his protest was heard, developing links with the city’s radicals.50 During his months out of work he became rancorous about his treatment. Once Chalier was cleared of any wrong-doing and reinstated in his judicial function in Lyon he became one of the judges of the Tribunal de District eligible to sit in the Tribunal Criminel. According to his biographer he continued to work assiduously in his judicial role, writing out his long judgments by hand.51 Ampère remained President of the lower court Tribunal Correctionel and his handwritten judgments also show a similar assiduity.52 Both now faced the new political changes sweeping France. IV Soon after the constitutional monarchy was overthrown in Paris on 10 August 1792, the Republic was declared on 22 September. While the stunning victory of Valmy on 20 September brought optimism to the new National Convention, the intense fears of invasion by foreign troops, ignited by the Brunswick Manifesto of 28 July 1792, still simmered. The continuing dangers of counter-revolution both internally and externally were apparent, especially to the citizens of Lyon, close to the borders of the country and along the important route south towards Italy and Spain. These fears began to impact on the work of the magistrates. Chalier, on his return from Paris, assumed the political leadership of the Jacobin faction in Lyon. He criticized the far-reaching ‘conspiracies’ and the rapacity of the mercantile elites in his speeches at the Central Club. He advocated stronger repressive policies against counter-revolutionaries and in late August 1792 ordered a guillotine be sent to the city. Although aspiring to a more truly political role in the elections of October 1792, however, he lost the mayoral position to the moderate leader, Nivière-Chol. By September 1792 more citizens became eligible for public office with the changes that accompanied the declaration of the Republic. While Ampère, L’Ange, and Billiémas continued to form part of the bench of the Police Correctionnelle, to which they had been sworn in August 1792, they were now often joined by juges de paix, such as Fillon (a wigmaker) and Revol (a printer/publisher) who attended the Central Club now allied to the Jacobin club in Paris.53 From their election in October of that year they too became eligible to sit in judgment on this tribunal.54 At this time François-Auguste Laussel, ex-priest and radical journalist, also a member of the Club, became procureur and Bertholon substitute du procureur (deputy). The Jacobins who had no previous experience of such work saw the roles as little different from other state-paid functions. They tended to be suspicious of the agenda of the more conservative judges. They were not prepared to take a role subordinate to the more experienced judges of the higher courts. The higher courts were also shaken up by new elected judges from the end of 1792. Antoine-Marie Dodieu (a printer by trade) was typical of the new incumbent elected to the Tribunal de District, and even before his election he proclaimed the need to replace ‘the aristocratic and corrupt tribunals’ where ‘sordid interest’ prevailed among complicit judges.55 He joined Chalier as a speaker in the Central Club. They both argued for the need to expedite legal action and expressed a fear that the Jacobins themselves would be pursued because of their role in petitioning for the death of the king.56 Auguste Hidins, another activist in the Jacobin Club and elected to municipal office, claimed in February 1793 that there was ‘a price on his head’, as he thought there was for Chalier and Gaillard (the latter elected as a judge to the Tribunal Criminel) because of their support for this action against the king. The Jacobins, even while officiating in the tribunals, were loudly proclaiming that counter-revolution needed to be ruthlessly excised before the democratic institutions of justice could work effectively. V On 4 February 1793 a case was brought before Chalier as he sat in the District de Tribunal, which strengthened his belief that there was a conspiracy among the conservative judges to curb the power of the Jacobin magistrates. The accused, Jean-François Morand, was the former gaoler of the prison of Roanne. It was alleged that he had allowed four prisoners to escape from the prison while he was operating as the concierge there.57 The case of Morand had been initiated by the arrest warrant of 26 January issued by Ampère, in his role of juge de paix. After a preliminary investigation the papers were then sent to Dodieu who ordered that the accused be gaoled. Dodieu also sent the papers to the Tribunal de District to check that the complicity of Morand’s wife, the citoyenne Besson, and two guards had been adequately dealt with. Ampère had indicated that the crime imputed to the accused was not to be found in the Code Pénal. In the extract of the minutes of the Tribunal de District meeting held on 4 February, the Jacobin judges Chalier, Fernex, Dodieu and Dubessey noted that the crimes however displayed a ‘fatal negligence’ that merited the censure of the court and punishment despite the fact that it was not explicitly covered by the code. The matter against the wife of Morand and the guards was then sent back to the Police Correctionnelle for hearing. On 5 February the Journal de Lyon noted that Morand was still held at the prison and that ‘it appeared his wife had received money to ensure that the prisoners were allowed to escape’.58 However, on 17 February an appeal to the Tribunal Criminel led to Morand being acquitted.59 Although Morand claimed he was not responsible for the escapes because they had happened when he was no longer living at the prison, the Jacobin judges involved in this case were convinced that delays and appeals were being used to protect enemies of the Revolution. The slow progress of cases through the official court system was becoming increasingly evident to many of them. Hidins complained about the difficulty of organizing juries to hear the many important cases brought to the juges de paix. While the beginning of the process was expedited before these judges, the trial itself was delayed until the jury de jugement met. This was usually done on the 15th day of each month but only if this had been organized by the 5th. Hidins suggested that this law regarding the juries was ‘a vice’ and meant in practice that people were held longer in gaol while the necessary time elapsed for the jury to be appointed before their case could be heard.60 Dodieu also observed the starkly different conditions in gaol between those who had money and those who did not—those who still lived the high life and the poor who only had a straw bed.61 These and other issues meant that equality before the law was completely illusory and the Jacobin judges were determined to make changes. Other controversial arrests were upheld by the Jacobin judges but appeared to be outrageously political by the more moderate judges. From 4 February the Jacobins of the Central Club invited the municipal council to order home visits during the night to ‘purge the city of rogues’.62 A secret meeting was held on the night of 5–6 February in the Jacobin-dominated Central Club. Chalier proposed a vote on the creation of a more punitive revolutionary tribunal.63 A number of municipal officers and notables, including Laussel, the juge de paix Revol and Judge Fernex, were present at the meeting. They also spoke of the need for increased repressive action on this night.64 Suggestions were made that the guillotine should be installed and activated immediately on the Pont Morand. Rumours of the Jacobin plans circulated among the propertied classes who feared that the Jacobins were about to initiate a ‘bloody era’.65 Unsurprisingly, this meeting caused the mayor and the departmental authorities mounting anxiety.66 On 5 February Chalier arranged the arrest of hundreds of suspected émigrés or aristocrats and placed them in the prisons of the Hôtel de Ville.67 Although most of the prisoners were released for want of evidence, political fractures continued to increase. On 9 February 1793 Nivière-Chol resigned in protest at the growing factionalism. Civil strife then reached a fever pitch as voting began for a new mayor. On 19 February, after Nivière-Chol had refused to accept his re-election, anti-Jacobin demonstrators gathered in the city square. During the night an attack was made on the Central Club headquarters. The predominantly Jacobin municipality who sat all night in emergency session issued proclamations suspending all political and judicial functions until the crisis had passed.68 The divisions between the Jacobins and those who preferred to be known as the Rolandins were immediately played out in the courts of law when citizens were imprisoned as a result of the disorder and then released in turn by the opposing factions. Bertholon, who had been involved in the release of some accused, was himself arrested for his actions on the night of the 19th. When his matter came before before Judge Dodieu on 16 April testimony was called from a surprise witness who claimed to have gone to the offices of the Tribunal Correctionnel at eight in the evening of 19 February. He had wanted to see how the perpetrators of the attack on the Central Club were being dealt with. Able to enter the audience chamber without seeing anyone, he happened upon a room in which a discussion was being held between those who were accused of the ‘serious’ crimes committed the night before and two juges de paix. The group was engaged in blatant abuse of the law, according to the onlooker, whereby no procès-verbaux had been taken from the accused but instead their answers were ‘furnished’ by the officers who then cautioned them and let them go. One of the accused had the audacity, the witness claimed, to ‘dictate the interrogation’ to the court clerk (greffier) while Bertholon was present. Bertholon, a former Jacobin president of the Central Club, had earlier promised to apply the ‘rigours of the law’, according to the Jacobin witness.69 Despite the implausibility of his story, the witness attested to the veracity of his report that very night and the document was used as the basis for the prosecution commenced by Dodieu against Bertholon.70 Bertholon did not deny the report. He claimed in his signed statement taken that day that ‘the guilty were interrogated and the innocent given their liberty’. He also asserted that despite the order that was given that night by the corps constitute—the group of Jacobins in the Hôtel de Ville led by Dodieu himself, Hidins and Chalier—article 7 of the Rights of Man and Citizen required that no citizen should be arrested or detained without the due process of the law. Because there was no complaint or procès-verbal establishing a case for their detention, the law required that those arrested on the night of 19 February be released. Bertholon admitted he was in the Police Correctionnelle at the time alleged but claimed he warned the juges de paix who were also there in the following terms: ‘You have the habit of simply letting detainees go but if you are considering letting them go the only thing you must do is give a very strong warning’.71 Bertholon remained in prison. The actions of the Jacobin judges in publishing their document of 19 February and in commencing the denunciation of Bertholon, continuing to hold him in custody for releasing those arrested after the pillage of the Club Central, was the signal for an immediate escalation of conflict between the magistrates. In response to Chalier and Dodieu’s decree and the group of Jacobin administrators who had suspended all court actions, Ampère sent a strongly worded letter to Dodieu. He questioned the unilateral decision Dodieu and other Jacobin ‘clubists’ took to suspend administrative functions, take over the mayoralty and impose a new agenda of repression. He expressed his shock and dismay at the disintegration of law and order in the city that he claimed was caused by the Jacobins’ action.72 The letter was dated 20 February and was thus an immediate and strong reaction to the events and a challenge to the Jacobin judges. This document, unlike the Jacobin document, was not widely published. It was addressed to Dodieu, in his function as Director of the Jury. Ampère expressed disquiet about the suspension of the courts of justice and the impugning of an officer of the court (Bertholon). He stressed that any move to implicate the juges de paix and police officers who had instituted the procedures against those accused on 18 February would reflect badly on all the magistrates. Ampère reiterated Bertholon’s point that the actions taken were the only ones possible because they ‘conformed to the requirements of the law’ and disregard of the law would lead to the ‘paralysing’ of justice and police functions. Ampère’s sentiments expressed a widely held view of the conservative judges that the actions of Dodieu and other Jacobin magistrates were damaging to the operation of the system of justice in the city and were setting the judges apart.73 VI The political stakes were raised amongst the elected justices when a list of the juges de paix who were ‘patriots’ as opposed to those who were ‘aristocrats’ was produced in 1793. Called the tableaux de réforme 1793, the document was unsigned but it is most likely to be in the hand of Chalier and to have been written sometime in February.74 Ampère, Revol and L’Ange were ranged on the ‘aristocratic’ side of the equation as regards juges de paix, with Fillon and Jacob on the ‘patriot’ side. The fact that Revol was included on the ‘aristocratic’ side shows how personal this attack probably was because Revol still identified himself as a Jacobin and was part of the Jacobin Club membership with Fillon on 3 Floreal II.75 The predominant concern for the Jacobins was that those believed guilty of the pillage of the Jacobin club and the associated events of 18–19 February had not been incarcerated. Those judges who opposed the Jacobins were now clearly showing their support for the Rolandin politicians and from this time they began more actively to question the legality of Jacobin decisions, their observance of the due processes of law and other alleged improprieties. A highly placed Jacobin, Hidins, who was the Commissaire National at the time, was arrested and interrogated by Judge Ampère, with Judge Rivolet, on 1 March for his actions and for embezzling funds. In response Hidins tried to impugn these juges de paix and other judges in the system. He wrote a number of letters to encourage the commissaires to pursue instead those who had allowed the guilty of 18 and 19 February escape. He outlined his revolutionary zeal in great detail. He claimed that the President of the Tribunal Criminel (Brochet) was a ‘royalist’, known to favour ‘conspirators’ and his tribunal was full of ‘men of 1788’ who did not recognize the new demands of 1793. He positioned Ampère in a less favourable light than himself by claiming the latter did not sign the petition for the death of the king.76 He also attacked L’Ange for releasing known friends of émigrés with only a warning. It is obvious by this time that he was repackaging an interpretation to put his own actions in the best light. However, this letter also attempted to set out the situation from the Jacobin viewpoint. Hidin’s long explanation of the legal and political crisis began with his assertion that: The law must never be a game for fair and upright men in a Republic. One cannot abuse it without also compromising public well-being … [but] in our unfortunate city … the law is being used in a way that kills its spirit and protects those men who continue to display anti-civic qualities.77 In a further letter Hidins insisted that he had only worked within the law and against those whose civisme was suspect. He said he had not ‘confused the innocent and guilty’—presumably a response to an implicit criticism of Ampère because these were the actual terms used by Ampère in his February letter. Hidins next tried to deflect the criticism of the Jacobin judges, Chalier and Gaillard. He thought they were trying to blacken his name by falsely accusing him of an excess of ambition in aiming to become mayor.78 In the end Hidins did not go to trial. He hanged himself in his cell in early July.79 Dodieu was also interrogated on 2 March about his involvement in the arrests and incarcerations of 18 and 19 February.80 In his questioning before Ampère, Dodieu claimed he had only acted in relation to the duties assigned to him as director of the jury on 19 February. Although he admitted helping the procureur and his friends on the municipality in composing the document made that evening, his function had only been as ‘a scribe with knowledge that he could bring of law and procedure’. He claimed that he had only helped provide members of the comités with information as to the law and thus could not be held accountable for the municipal officers who did not do their duty. This is why he had not instituted any proceedings in his name.81 He was released. VII The growing divisions that we have been exploring in the judicial institutions between the Jacobins and the anti-Jacobins from the beginning of 1793 were an expression of the factionalism evident in local municipal and sectional politics, which ultimately led to the revolt of 29 May of that year.82 On that day Jacobin officials fired on insurrectionists in front of the Hôtel de Ville. A pitched battle erupted when members of the anti-Jacobin sections returned with arms ransacked from the city arsenal. In the aftermath some eighty-three Jacobin officials were arrested and charged with inciting violence against citizens. Those arrested included at least five judicial officers.83 They were remanded until the first date the courts were again able to operate again, on 15 July. With the arrest of the Jacobins the focus on revolutionary change in the courts now became completely subordinate to the need to punish those who were believed by the victors in the local political struggle, the Rolandins, to have caused the troubles. The departmental records of 29 and 30 May summed up the situation as the Rolandins saw it. These claimed that there had been evidence of a Jacobin plot from February, of the formation of a ‘tribunal of blood’ ‘which the Convention had prohibited ‘with horror’, and finally of ‘the most intolerable despotism ever to exist in Lyon’.84 While militant Parisian sans-culottes responded to deep political division among republicans by surrounding the National Convention on 31 May and intimidating it into expelling twenty-nine Girondin deputies, in Lyon the same divisions were resolved in a diametrically opposite way on 29 May, with the arrest of the Jacobin officials. The contrast would have deadly consequences. The legal stance of the Lyonnais became fatally ambiguous immediately when, as Edmonds and Michel Biard have shown, they refused to acknowledge the ‘rule of law’ regarding the decrees of the National Convention after 31 May.85 From this time their concerns became more about justifying their refusal to observe the national decrees than furthering legal reform. The higher courts could not restart their operations until new supplementary judges replaced those Jacobins who had fled or were imprisoned.86 But the juges de paix, as had been the case since the decrees of 1791, still had the initiating function of arrest and interrogation and they began to do the preliminary work associated with the prosecutions much earlier. Those juges de paix who remained in office needed to legitimate proceedings by connecting the Jacobins to the various crimes related to the crisis and especially the firing on the sectionnaires on 29 May. Ampère gradually became a key figure in this process. As President of the Tribunal Correctionnel his signature appears on many official documents bearing the date of early June 1793. He was tasked with developing the arrest warrants against a further fifteen Jacobin officers at the end of the month.87 He helped formulate the legal basis for the ‘crimes’ that would lead to the execution of Chalier, now the most controversial figure held in gaol and awaiting trial. Although Ampère did not live in the canton in which Chalier resided, and so was technically not supposed to pursue the action against him, as Chalier pointed out, Ampère now thought the larger issues were too great to be compromised by minor irregularities.88 He was the only juge de paix able immediately to commence the task of gathering evidence against Chalier. On 1 June, Ampère was delivered a ‘packet of papers concerning Citizen Chalier’ found in his house at 3 a.m. that morning by a member of the Comité de Sûreté et de Surveillance Général.89 On 7 June his mandate of arrest ordered Chalier to be taken into custody and taken before the jury d’accusation and he continued to gather much of the evidence which would be presented on 13 July against Chalier to the final jury, as Chalier himself attested. The acte d’accusation alleged the secret meeting of 6 February of the Club Central founded the prosecution. Chalier was alleged to have then proposed the establishment of a Tribunal Révolutionnaire and participated in the formulation of a plot to ‘slit the throats of many citizens’.90 Chalier in turn complained about his treatment in a letter from prison. He alleged that he was treated ‘like a prisoner of war’ and asked how there could be another judge ‘so barbarous and so dismissive of his oath to uphold the unity and indivisibility of the Republic as to pronounce upon him … a veteran (cheval de bataille)’91. Chalier warned of the ‘biased nature’ of Ampère’s reporting in what he labelled the ‘extravagant’ allegations drawn up.92 He suggested if Ampère was truly acting with probity, with the ‘least ability to look him in the eye [blanc d’oeil], the least principles of justice’, he would have straight away recused himself from the case against his fellow judge.93 He expressed his concern about false testimony and his torment that the ‘real conspirators’, the ‘real traitors’, the ‘real enemies of liberty’ were free while he was brought before the courts. In this latter complaint Chalier was continuing to express the impatience and suspicion that the Jacobin judges had felt while they were in power and their conviction that counter-revolutionaries were being allowed to evade justice and continue to threaten the state by means of the so-called ‘legal processes’ in place. Whilst in gaol Chalier wrote to Gaillard, the former judge, expressing his concern that the gaols were still ‘more like taverns than prisons’, ‘favouring those who had money’.94 Judge Gaillard, also in gaol from 8 June, appealed to Ampère for recognition of his plight in the spirit of fraternity between former co-workers.95 However, Ampère’s main concern now was prosecuting the Jacobins. By the end of the month of June he had delivered to the director of the jury, Renard, the accusations against fifteen Jacobins including the former mayor, Bertrand, held in gaol after the popular uprising of 29 May. Although the task of writing up such accusations was usually the work of the director of the jury it would appear that in this instance it was the work of Ampère. Ampère agreed at his later trial that he was responsible for ‘many instructions against the municipal officers from 21 June and in dealing with those matters required to go before the director of the jury he had done so ‘according to the law in the case of all accused’.96 The primary acte d’accusation against the fifteen Jacobins described a conspiracy involving ‘former municipal officers and notables’, the ‘former judges of the district court’ of the city and other ‘anarchists’ who allegedly commenced the violence on the day. The facts outlined an attempted seizure of power by the Jacobins from 6 February, including the publishing of ‘incendiary placards’, which had ‘provoked murder and pillage’. The Tribunal Criminel was finally convened on 15 July. Chalier was the first Jacobin to be tried. He was condemned to death on 16 July after being found guilty by the jury. The first official use of the guillotine was then necessitated in the city. The execution did not run smoothly because the machine itself was damaged and took three drops of the blade to kill Chalier. His death immediately became the catalyst for the national government to take decisive action against the Lyonnais. National forces converged on the surrounding region and laid siege to the city in August 1793. After two months of bombardment the inhabitants capitulated. Lyon was renamed ‘Ville Affranchie’ (Liberated City) and those who had been actively involved in the civil war became subject to uncompromising repression. VIII What had happened to the ‘fair and upright men’ elected to the judicial institutions of 1792? From the beginning of 1792 we have seen committed new men of the law, such as L’Ange, Pressavin, and Ampère, impelled by powerful motivations of reform, elected to apply the new principles. However, they became focused on the alleged ‘conspiracy’ of their fellow judges when confronted by the unsettling challenges that increased as democratization of the judicial offices increased. After the revolt against the Jacobin municipality they initiated retributive action that they could hardly have imagined when first sworn to office in response to what they saw as the conspiratorial actions of the Jacobins. The more radical Jacobin faction elected to the judicial sphere in October 1792, led by Dodieu, Chalier and Gaillard, had begun to suspect that reform was not deep enough. They questioned and challenged the hidden prejudices and privileges they thought were being prioritized in the courts. Although they too had accepted elected office in a role intended to give the citizens new civil and criminal rights, they rejected the notion of ‘legal’ justice and agitated for their own political concept of justice. They became convinced that the mere observance of legal procedure would not protect revolutionary gains and tried to prosecute those like Bertholon and Morand whom they thought were part of a conspiracy to ensure justice was denied. This examination of some crucial court cases conducted by the juges de paix and the judges of Lyon during the deteriorating political climate of 1792–3 has thus exposed the heady emotions of fear and anger that encouraged divisive political alignments. Those alignments and feelings were reflected in the decisions we have seen in the legal sphere when fellow judges were impugned in their professional work and themselves subjected to the condemnation of the law. Both groups of magistrates reacted to the conspiracies they suspected by a ‘political’ rather than a ‘legal’ conception of justice and expressed their anger at the compromised motivations of their opponents. Although the democratic election of the juge de paix was one of the most anticipated and popular changes brought by the Revolution, the enthusiasm for men of law to be both fair and upright became less and less achievable as their decisions became clouded by political concerns. By adopting the political factionalism of the Lyonnais more generally, the magistrates compromised the ideals of liberty and equality that had originally motivated them. A study of their decisions has clearly shown that political divisions overrode the initial mutual enthusiasm for judicial change and led to fatal recriminations being pursued in the courts of justice. The decisions of the juges de paix contributed directly to civil strife, to the use of the guillotine and, ultimately, to the terrible repression visited on the city. This article expands on sections of her PhD thesis undertaken from 2013 until 2017 at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The author wishes to acknowledge the help of the staff of the Archives départementale du Rhône and also the benefit of the ongoing support of her thesis supervisors, Professor Peter McPhee and Dr Julie Fedor and travel scholarships provided by the university. Footnotes 1 M. Edelstein, The French Revolution and the Birth of Electoral Democracy (Farnham and Burlington, 2014), 282. 2 A[rchives] D[épartementale du] R[hône] 36 L 57: testimony of a witness at the hearing on 16 April 1793 before Judge Dodieu. 3 The popular uprising and the ensuing events have been analysed by C. Riffaterre, Le Mouvement antijacobin et antiparisien à Lyon et dans le Rhône-et-Loire en 1793, 29 mai-15 aôut, vol. 1 (Lyon, 1912), 84. More recently they have been discussed by W. D. Edmonds in his Jacobinism and the Revolt of Lyon, 1789–1793 (New York, 1990). 4 A. Jourdan, ‘Les discours de la terreur à l’époque révolutionnaire (1776–1798): étude comparative sur une notion ambiguë’, Fr. Hist. Stud., 36 (2013), 51–81. Jourdan says the word ‘terror’ was a rhetorical device used to frighten enemies during a time of external and interior war. That it is now used to define the Robespierrist period was testament to the effectiveness of the Thermidorian categorization of the period by the use of the word: P. McPhee, Liberty or Death (London, 2016), 272. 5 P. Campbell, T. Kaiser and M. Linton focused on the fear of ‘conspiracy’ in the new ‘transparent political system’ of elected government. P. R. Campbell et al. (eds), Conspiracy in the French Revolution (Manchester, 2007). Linton’s later work on virtue and denunciation among the revolutionaries went further and suggested that public officials claiming the ‘moral legitimacy’ of ‘political virtue’ interpreted the actions of their fellow officers as motivated by ambition and dissimulation and were then able to justify policies of ‘Terror’: M. Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution (Oxford, 2013), 7–8, 48, 75; T. Tackett, The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2015). 6 P. Gueniffey, La Politique de la Terreur: Essai sur la violence révolutionnaire 1789–1794 (Paris, 2000), 15. 7 Ibid., 338. 8 The most comprehensive analysis of the ‘federalist’ revolts which suggests they were neither ‘federalist’ or ‘royalist’ in their original motivation is contained in P. Hanson, The Jacobin Republic Under Fire: The Federalist Revolt in the French Revolution (PA, 2003), 100. 9 McPhee, Liberty or Death, 186. 10 C. Simien and P. Chopelin have most recently added the importance of religious divisions to the history of Lyon. Trénard and M. Garden have established the importance of long-standing social and economic factors linked to the reliance of the city on the manufacture of silk, which industry had been in crisis since at least 1782. 11 M. Biard, 1793: Le Siège de Lyon: Entre myths et réalités (Clermont-Ferrand, 2013), 5, 89. 12 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 102. 13 W. D. Edmonds, ‘The rise and fall of popular democracy in Lyon 1789–1795’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library (1984), 404–49, 421. 14 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 129. 15 Ibid., 115. 16 Edmonds shows the growing occupational diversity of those elected to municipal and judicial office at the end of 1791, Jacobinism, 313. It was only in Lyon and Marseille that artisans and professionals achieved a majority in municipal elections by the end of 1792. Edelstein, The French Revolution and the Birth, 282. 17 C. Lucas, ‘The theory and practice of denunciation in the French Revolution’, Accusatory Practices (Chicago, 1997), 26, asks whether the revolutionary practices had not become like the Old Regime in the unresolved contradiction between the practices of denunciation (dénonciation) and informing (délation). P. R. Campbell et al., Conspiracy raised similar questions when they looked at the tendency of both Jacobin and more moderate revolutionaries to revert to a focus on the old idea of ‘conspiracy’ in new judicial actions. 18 Linton, Choosing Terror, 24. 19 The relevant cahiers are in the A[rchives] P[arlementaires] Cahier des doléances, Sénéchausée de Lyon and Ville de Lyon. The document of the Bourgeois of the Third Estate of Lyon (Ville) proposed extensive changes to the judicial system. 20 Cesare Beccaria originally published his treatise in Italian in 1764 but it was later available with an introduction by Voltaire: http://www.constitution.org/cb/crim_pun.htm. 21 J. L. Oates, ‘The Influence of the French Revolution on Legal and Judicial Reform’ (MA dissertation, Simon Fraser University, February 1980). This dissertation by the legally qualified author provides an interesting technical analysis of the various decrees and laws that established the French judicial administration in place from the end of the ancien régime to the Napoleonic era. 22 Ibid., 60. 23 R. Allen, Les Tribunaux criminels sous la Révolution et l’Empire 1792–1811, trans. J. S. Bryant (Rennes, 2005), 21. 24 I. Woloch, The New Regime: Transformation of the French Civic Order, 1789–1820 (New York, 1994), 356. 25 Allen, Les Tribunaux, 26. 26 Ibid., 29. 27 A. Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales of Justice: Local Courts and Rural Society in Southwest France, 1750–1800 (University Park, PA, 2000), 138–40. 28 Ibid., 203–5. 29 Allen, Les Tribunaux criminels, 21. Also Oates, ‘The Influence of the French Revolution’, 41, 63–8. Oates observed that the new code replaced the 366 regional codes of law in France previously operating at the time of the Revolution. 30 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales,199–203. 31 Allen, Les Tribunaux, 18. 32 Ibid., 24. 33 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales, n. 141. 34 Edelstein, The French Revolution; M. Crook, Elections in the French Revolution: An Apprenticeship in Democracy, 1789–1799 (Cambridge, 1996), 45, 67. Crook suggests that the initial novelty of attendance at the elections of judicial personnel did fall off but not before many ‘modest peasants and wealthier artisans’ were elected. 35 Edelstein observed that the position of juge de paix was so successful it lasted until 1958, although the electoral frequency and number of incumbents was changed in 1795. Edelstein, The French Revolution, 191–9. 36 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales, 135–6. 37 Pressavin was involved in implementing many of the religious reforms as a supplementary officer of the Municipality in 1791 and would be elected as a deputy to the National Convention in September 1792. Nivière-Chol became mayor in 1792–3. 38 A. Kuscinski, Dictionnaire des constituants, 1789–1791 (Paris, 1991), 506–7 says he was elected as ‘substitut du procureur’ sometime after December 1791. Edmonds shows the procureur was Luc Antoine Champagneux in the December 1791 election and François-Auguste Laussel in the 1792 election, Jacobinism, 313. However, Champagneux was temporarily suspended from this position in early 1792 and also spent some time in Paris. During this time Pressavin and then Nivière-Chol then took on the position before the elections of 1792. Their signatures are appended to some cases in 1792; ADR 41 L 7. 39 Edelstein, The French Revolution, 193. 40 Edmonds, ‘The rise and fall’, 419. 41 As quoted in Edmonds, Jacobinism, 23. 42 François-Joseph L’Ange, Adresse à mille français de Lyon (Lyon, 1792). 43 ADR 35 L 18 and 19: Procès-verbaux des séances des corps municipaux records the Assemblée Primaire note the election of 24.12.1792 when Ampère achieved a ‘pluralité absolue’ with 194 votes from 361 voters. 44 Ampère had seventeen volumes of the Encyclopaedia of D’Alembert and Diderot in his library as well as many other pre-Revolutionary Enlightenment texts. Catalogue prepared by Michel Dûrr held in the Fonds Ampère at the Archives de l’Académie des Sciences, Paris. Chemise 391. 45 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales, 132. 46 Pressavin, ‘Rapport fait au Conseil de District de Lyon 1792’, Divers Écrits de Lyon sur la Révolution, National Library of Australia, 11. 47 P. Dawson, Provincial Magistrates and Revolutionary Politics in France: 1789–1795 (Cambridge, MA, 1972), 285. 48 Wolloch, The New Regime, 359. 49 ADR 39 L 12. 50 A[rchives] M[unicipale de] L[yon]1 CM 3. 51 Eynard, Joseph Chalier: Bourreau ou martyr, 1747–1793 (Lyon, 1987), 47. 52 Ampère judgments in the Tribunal Correctionnelle are part of the archival records of ADR 41 L7 and 41 L 8. 53 These juges de paix and their occupations were noted in the order of the ‘Representatives of the People’ sent to Lyon which also recognised them as friends of Chalier and Gaillard and true patriots after the siege. ADR 1 L 466. 54 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 123. 55 Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 6. 56 Quoted from a letter held in the B[ibliothèque] M[unicipale] L[yon] Fonds Coste, Ms 582 by Edmonds, Jacobinism, 160–1. Riffaterre also writes about the fear of a conspiracy that Hidins claimed was planned at the Hotel d’Artois with the specific aim of eliminating those who had voted for the death of the king. Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 13. 57 ADR 36 L 57 and 39 L 27. 58 ADR 1 L 460 (Presse). 59 ADR 39 L 60. 60 Lettre Hidins, Commissaires, février 1793; BML Fonds Coste Ms 558. 61 BML, Fonds Coste, Ms 559. 62 AML 1 CM 3. 63 É. Herriot, Lyon n’est plus: Jacobins et Modérés, vol. 1 (Lyon, 1937), 154. 64 Ibid., 155. 65 Alexandrine des Écherolles, Une Famille noble sous la terreur (Paris, 1879), 62–3. This memoire described the author’s experience as a young girl of the terror of the increasingly frequent night visits, the secret meetings of the Jacobins and the threat to eliminate a great number of the inhabitants of the city by guillotine and cannon placed on the bridge. 66 Herriot, Jacobins et modérés, 155–60. 67 The Jacobin comités were in fact operating well in advance of the national decree of 21 March 1793 authorizing comités de surveillance. P. Chopelin ‘Un Cancer politique? Vies et morts des comités de surveillance de la ville de Lyon (1792–1795)’, in Les Comités de surveillance. D’une creation citoyenne à unde institution révolutionnaire, ed. D. Pingué and J.-P. Rothiot, 170–97, 172–3. 68 BML, Fonds Coste Ms 549. 69 Unfortunately, the signature is illegible, but this denunciation was officially presented as evidence in the hearing against Bertholon on 16 Apr. 1793; ADR 36 L 57. 70 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 132. 71 Ibid. The interrogation of 5 March, signed on each page by Dodieu and Bertholon, also became part of the court record of 16 April. 72 This letter appears as part of the scant records of the Tribunal Correctionnel preserved from 1793: ADR 41 L 8. 73 Edmonds notes that at this time the judges of the Tribunal de District, including Chalier, Dodieu, Dubessey, Gaillard, Bussat and the Commissaire National Hidins were considered to be a ‘stronghold of the most extreme radicals’: Edmonds, Jacobinism, 132. 74 ‘Tableaux de Réforme—probablement de la main de Chalier; 1793’. Ms Fonds Coste: 609. This document is mentioned in a footnote: Edmonds, Jacobinism, 132. 75 Table of the Jacobin ‘Noyau’ in Longfellow, 27. 76 Herriot, Jacobins et modérés, 197–8. 77 Hidins Lettre. BML Fonds Coste, Ms 558. 78 Ibid. 79 E. Fayard, Histoire des tribunaux révolutionnaires de Lyon et de Feurs (Lyon, 1888), 31–2. 80 ADR 41 L 7. This case before the Tribunal Correctionnel appears to have been misfiled with the 1792 cases rather than those of 1793. The widow Hidins was fined 200 livres in late March for having extorted money from prisoners and paid it in bribes to some Jacobin judges and sentenced to eight days in gaol: ADR 41 L 8. 81 ADR 41 L 7. 82 Edmonds, Jacobinism,101–2. 83 Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 182. 84 Ibid. 85 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 202–3. Biard, 1793. 86 Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 256. 87 Many of the documents and cases are contained in the archival records of the Police Correctionnelle, ADR 41 L 6 (1791); 41 L 7 (1792); 41 L 8 (1793) but some are also in found in the records of the Tribunaux Révolutionnaires; ADR 42 L 62 or in the originating documents in the various files of the Tribunal de District. The ‘Acte d’accusation contre des officiers municipaux’, 30 June 1793, was made available from the collection of the Gadagne Museum of Lyon in 2016. 88 Ampère’s canton of Halle aux Blés did adjoin the canton of Chalier and was in fact in 1795 renamed as the Canton Chalier. The fact that he did not technically operate in the same canton meant he should not have been the relevant juge de paix as Chalier noted in his complaint from prison of 16 June. This letter is included in the archives with the papers used to establish the crime of Ampère by the Tribunaux Révolutionnaires: ADL 42 L 56. 89 Ibid. 90 Fayard, Histoire des tribunaux, 31. 91 Ibid. 92 Chalier, Lettre 16 juin. ADR 42 L 56. 93 Ibid. 94 Ibid., 258. 95 Gaillard managed to escape to Paris again where he described his terrible experiences in gaol after he was arrested on 8 June. He then returned to Lyon after the siege with Collot d’Herbois when he was appointed to the comité de surveillance. In 1795 he resigned from this position and killed himself while in a depressed state: A. Salomon de la Chapelle, Documents sur la Révolution; Lyon et ses environs sous la Terreur 1793–1794 (Lyon, 1885), vii–viii. 96 ADR 42 L 62: Interrogatoire de J-J. Ampère. © 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: journals.permissions@oup.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) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French History Oxford University Press

‘The law must never be a game for fair and upright men in a Republic’: revolutionary justice in Lyon 1792–3

French History , Volume Advance Article (2) – May 22, 2018

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Abstract

Abstract This article examines escalating civil conflict expressed through new judicial processes in Lyon in 1792–3. National legislation in 1791 had promised a significant new focus on judicial rights of the citizen. One of the central changes was the election of a juge de paix (justice of the peace) in each canton to deliver swift justice in smaller civil and criminal cases and an investigative role in more serious prosecutions heard in the higher courts. Initially, both electors and early incumbents of the position embraced these changes enthusiastically but the magistrates of Lyon soon divided over social and political issues. The transition to a more democratic system of justice exposed deep disagreement about how to advance revolutionary change and led to fears and conflict that contributed significantly to a deteriorating political situation and ultimately to the bloody repression of Lyon. I The case of Jean-Joseph Bertholon, who was arrested on 19 February 1793, marked the point of a significant and public rupture among the citizen magistrates of Lyon. Bertholon (sometimes spelt Berthelon) was one of the few artisans elected to a judicial position in 1792.1 He had been a member of the Central Club of the Jacobins in Lyon but he was believed to have released from gaol a number of prisoners accused of desecrating the club headquarters during a weekend of high drama when republicans in the city had clashed over the election of a new mayor. Bertholon was seen by his Jacobin accusers to be furthering ‘the plots of our enemies’ by his actions on this night.2 Other judges supported Bertholon’s actions, alleging ‘extremist’ Jacobins were attempting to subvert the processes of the law. Until this point most of the elected judges were enthusiastic about the enormous changes recently made to the new judicial institutions and worked tirelessly to implement them. After Bertholon’s arrest, however, juges de paix (justices of the peace) in Lyon took sides in the civic conflict that led to the uprising of 29 May 1793 when the elected municipal government, as well as a number of magistrates, were removed from office by an insurrection of anti-Jacobin sections (formerly quartiers) of the city.3 Key cases conducted by the juges de paix and magistrates of the Tribunal de District suggest that the very men of law who had chosen to participate in the core revolutionary project of legal reform also chose to take action that ultimately led to the ‘Terror’ which was visited on the city. Ever since 1794 historians—like people at the time—have been divided about the origins and purposes of the draconian measures put in place by the National Convention in 1793–4 and labelled collectively as ‘the reign of Terror’ immediately after the execution of Robespierre and his associates in July 1794. The Terror has often been explained as a reaction to the extreme ‘circumstances’ of internal division and foreign war in revolutionary France when, as Annie Jourdan and Peter McPhee suggest, political divisions were transformed, in the latter’s words, ‘into matters of life and death’.4 Others, such as Marisa Linton and Timothy Tackett, have suggested that fears of ‘conspiracy’, so pervasive a part of French history, explained the resort to violence when the political regime changed.5 In contrast, Patrice Gueniffey has argued that, while the ‘official’ Terror commenced on 5 September 1793, when ‘terror’ was made the ‘order of the day’ and violence and ‘exceptional justice’ was sanctioned by the National Convention, it was also a political stratagem that had in fact commenced much earlier.6 Contrary to the moral imperatives Robespierre raised in using ‘terror’ as a justification for violence when uncovering ‘vice’ and ‘corruption’, Gueniffey saw ‘the Terror’ as a tool in an ongoing quest for political power.7 Whether historians have placed emphasis on ‘force of circumstances’ or revolutionary ideology as the cause of terroristic policies, they have agreed that one of the most notorious and tragic examples of civil strife and repression was the subjugation of Lyon in October 1793, when about 1900 Lyonnais were accused of and executed for being ‘federalists’.8 The executions were conducted by guillotine, firing squad, hangings and, in a particularly gruesome example of the nation’s wrath, by cannon. These retaliations were undoubtedly harsh but have to be considered in the wider national and international context of the defiance of the city at a time of existential crisis.9 The crisis has generated a very rich historiography examining the social, political and religious structures of France’s second city in order to capture the potential for civil war and bloody reprisal.10 Recently, for example, Michel Biard has seen the tragic unfolding of events in Lyon from May 1793 as the result of a wrangle between the capital and the city of Lyon where a ‘double blindness’ led to deadly misunderstandings between local and national political groups who each considered themselves ‘republican’.11 Despite the richness of this historiography, however, little attention has been paid to the ways in which civil war in Lyon was also played out in the courts and the new judicial structures. An examination of the reasons for the turn to violence of the magistrates of Lyon is instructive, for they were the leaders on both sides of a civil war that long scarred public life in the city. The divisive struggles amongst the magistrates mirrored the political divisions of the city and reflected the background of social and economic crisis, religious difference and pervasive fear of conspiracy that was crucial in the history of Lyon and the French Revolution. Thus we first need to understand the labels identifying the political orientation of those elected in Lyon from 1791 to 1793. At first ‘Jacobin’ was a widely used term interchangeable with ‘patriot’ and used to signify those willing to further revolutionary change. By July 1791, conservatives in Lyon had broken away from the Jacobin affiliated club. Some of the mercantile elite wanted their own club supportive of the ‘Feuillants’, those who continued to champion the role of the king even after his attempted flight in June 1791. In August 1792 the Central Club of the Jacobins, which had become dominated by radicals, were then able to ally with the Parisian Jacobins.12 Although most elected officials in Lyon kept their distance from the conservative group who had become allied with the ‘idle rich’, many also drew apart from the Jacobins of the Central Club because they suspected that newer members were encouraging social disorder.13 Popular actions in September, including a massacre of prisoners and some days of market riots, dismayed many politicians and magistrates who then identified as ‘Rolandins’ because they supported the more moderate economic and social strategies of Roland de la Platière. Roland had participated in early revolutionary events in Lyon and had later gone to Paris, where he was appointed Minister for the Interior. He advised the Lyonnais authorities, most especially the magistrates, in a letter written in October 1792: When the people see the magistrates are occupying themselves fruitfully with the most pressing interests, those held most dear, they will become calm and more patient of the calamitous circumstances that they well know cannot be prevented.14 However, religious grievances had by then combined with social grievances and, although the riots had subsided, the ‘people’ did not remain calm as Roland had predicted. The Republic was declared on 21 September 1792, but the Third Estate in Lyon had already begun to fracture rather than ‘regenerate’, as the Jacobins had hoped.15 While no one knew what was going to happen, hopes were still high for the promising changes, especially for the new judicial restructure. Elected judges had been given a central public role throughout France towards the end of 1791 and there were many professional men ready to take on these roles in Lyon despite the growing disinterest among merchants and previous men of the law.16 As eligibility for these positions was widened during 1792, however, even more diverse citizens took on the roles and anxieties were excited about how those in the role should conduct themselves. Some came with a political agenda and questions began to be raised about how that improved the outcomes of judicial actions for citizens. Two elected magistrates, Joseph Chalier and Jean-Jacques Ampère, who represented the opposite sides of the divide from February 1793, prepared their arguments. Ampère led the central challenge to the imprisonment of Bertholon who had been arrested after the disturbances of 18–19 February. This positioned him squarely against Chalier, who had been advocating for increased repression of those suspected of counter-revolutionary activity from late 1792. To understand their viewpoints we need to delve into details of significant cases from this earlier period to show the differences that emerged between the Jacobins, led by Chalier, and the anti-Jacobins or Rolandins, led by Ampère. Both became at different times President in the Tribunal Correctionel. Both worked hard in the legal jurisdiction but they also took uncompromising political stands. They make a fascinating contrast because of their early similarities and then the divergences of their revolutionary careers. The Bertholon case clearly exposed the fundamental disagreement amongst the justices as to whether their primary duty was to apply the legal code and prevent social disorder (the Rolandins) or to protect the Revolution itself at a time of internal and external threats (the Jacobins). Were the more democratic ideals of revolutionary justice that had been espoused since 1789 being forgotten and the magistrates playing the old political games of accusatory practice?17 Were they ‘choosing violence’ because of unexpected circumstances of fear and suspicion, as Linton argues happened in the capital, or were they driven by the mentalité identified among revolutionaries by Tackett with its endemic emotions of fear, anger and revenge?18 To understand what was at stake we must first look at the general changes to the judicial institutions brought to France by the Revolution and how they were implemented. II Reforms to the administration of justice were some of the most significant and innovative changes brought by the Revolution. The need to remedy the inefficient and unwieldy judicial system of the ancien régime had been a common theme across the country in the cahiers de doléances prepared prior to the meeting of the Estates-General in May 1789, and suggestions for reform were part of the three different cahiers of the Third Estate in Lyon as well as those of the First and Second Estates.19 Urban dwellers, unable to access reliable and affordable justice because of the system of venality of office, lobbied for change. Peasants in the region suffering under the confusing and patchy system of justice dispensed by the ‘seigneurs’ were convinced that system was skewed against them. Men of law and other bourgeois of the educated elite, influenced by the Enlightenment texts of Voltaire and Cesare Beccaria, had long been questioning the repressive and secretive judgments of the absolutist monarch who stood at the head of the judicial edifice.20 The overwhelming consensus was that change was necessary. Discussion about ‘a general code of laws, simple and clear’ began in the Constituent Assembly on 16–24 August 1790 when the principles of the new judicial order were outlined. A committee was set up to begin the methodical work required to change civil and criminal laws.21 While the enactment of a complete civil code of law was not achieved until the Napoleonic Code of 1804, many popular changes began to be enacted as soon as the National Assembly met. Provisional legislation of 8–9 October 1789 abolished torture, allowed the provision of defence counsel and required reasons to be given for afflictive or degrading punishments.22 The decrees of 20 January to 25 February 1791 went further, establishing the right to have civil demands dealt with expeditiously by a juge de paix elected in each canton.23 The criminal courts were then set up in each district to align with the ‘new civic geography’ and became a ‘core’ revolutionary change.24 Decrees issued between 19 and 22 July 1791 extended the powers of these elected juges de paix to begin criminal proceedings either on their own initiative or following a citizen’s complaint. Citizens were even able to present denunciations against those they considered responsible for criminal action that threatened ‘public safety’.25 The rationale embedded in the decree of the National Assembly was that ‘each citizen [was] a direct adversary of all infractions of the social laws’.26 Three or more juges de paix could sit as members of the Tribunal de Police Correctionnelle to decide on cases that attracted fines of up to 3000 livres or two years’ imprisonment.27 Appeals from this newer court could be sent to the Tribunal de District.28 The later decrees of 16 and 29 September 1791 promulgated the Code Pénal and the establishment of Tribunaux Criminels and their juries.29 These decrees also enabled the most important, quasi-police function, of arrest and interrogation of suspects and witnesses entrusted to the juge de paix. The juges could issue warrants for accused to appear and conduct all the preliminary interviewing of complainants and witnesses within twenty-four hours of an arrest. They were required to send the evidence to the director of the jury d’accusation to determine if there was a criminal case to pursue. The obligation to test the evidence often meant conducting searches of relevant premises and seizing evidence.30 The more serious crimes, those involving ‘major challenges to the social and political order’ such as homicide, rape and rebellion, would be heard first by the Tribunal de District and its jury. Judgment would then be given by three judges sitting as the Tribunal Criminel, with the jury de jugement.31 The Code Pénal, which governed the criminal process, contained a clear listing of offences to be dealt with by the relevant institutions, based on their actual nature, and not, as previously, according to the status of the accused.32 This code and the new courts clearly established the authority and the limits to that authority of the different criminal hierarchies. They also established the anticipated results of judicial change: a more stream-lined and predictable process for legal redress in both the civil and criminal jurisdictions. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Judicial system flow chart at 1792. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Judicial system flow chart at 1792. The role of elected juge de paix was an integral part of the criminal hierarchy and meant a fundamental reorientation in the provision of justice. Although similar in conception to the English justice of the peace, the role was an elected position and could be held by any ‘citizen’. It was an early democratic initiative at the very forefront of the judicial reforms. The official was envisaged as a servant of the state with wide powers to help ensure the provision of criminal as well as civil justice to those who elected him. He was untrained and had none of the trappings of the former ancien régime judicial officers, neither robes nor ceremonial swords. The only insignia of office at this level of justice was a red and blue badge stating ‘La Loi et la Paix’.33 However, this official was actually more powerful in popular imagination than previous judges because he embodied the principles of equality and equity now available to all citizens. Those who voted for the new juges de paix were participating in what Melvin Edelstein and Malcolm Crook have considered one of the most important and innovative steps towards representative democracy in the modern world.34 Incumbents were elected for two years and could be re-elected indefinitely. Although those first elected were predominantly men of law, by 1792 voters made sure their juges de paix came from more diverse backgrounds and were the amateur conciliators that had been envisaged by legislators.35 Many of those elected brought their enthusiasm to this office because it became ‘the symbol of the Revolution’s commitment to a new type of justice’ which was the ‘antithesis of the seigneurial judge’.36 Yet there were challenges as well, most clearly in the way the elected officers conducted themselves in the new roles and what decisions they made. III The early reformers who initially took on the new judicial roles in Lyon included some who would later be elected to positions in the local municipality or as deputies. Antoine Nivière-Chol (elected mayor in 1792) and Jean-Baptiste Pressavin had periods of acting as procureur during 1792.37 Pressavin, the son of a lawyer, had an early career as a doctor and surgeon before becoming a notable in 1791 and being elected to the National Convention in September 1792.38 Nivière-Chol was a silk négociant and then became procureur for a short time until he was elected as mayor. Others elected to perform the initial judicial roles in Lyon were mostly representative of the bourgeois men who were also voted in to political positions or as notables. They were only able to take on the juge de paix position for a short time because of the stricture that no juge de paix could simultaneously hold the positions of municipal officer, departmental administrator or practice as a solicitor or tax collector.39 There were other incumbents of the position of juge de paix in Lyon elected to the various cantons of the city who were particularly interested in judicial reform and worked specifically to expand judicial operations in the spirit of the legislative change. François Billiémas was one of the most active. He considered the role of juge de paix the most significant achievement of the judicial reforms. Billiémas, a founding member of the popular club of August 1790, was often described as a ‘commoner’. Elected in 1790, he remained committed to the role during the entire period to 1793.40 Billiémas worked to ensure the new role was completely different from that held by the venal magistrates of the ancien régime who were ‘used to selling [their office]’, because of ‘a taste acquired from their previous work’.41 This satirical comment was meant to indict those former judges who were only interested in the status of the position but had purchased their office through commercial success. François-Joseph L’Ange was another reformer, an artiste of the silk industry who became a juge de paix in 1792 and simultaneously wrote a treatise about social justice, proposing a way to stabilize the price of bread.42 Lyon thus had an early core of committed practitioners elected to judicial positions and they were soon joined by Jean-Jacques Ampère. The position of juge de paix in the inner-city canton of Halle aux Blés became vacant following a resignation in late 1791. In January 1792 Ampère was narrowly elected, after Jean-André Périsse Du Luc, a former Third Estate deputy, declined to accept his election. At the end of that year, in another vote of the primary assembly of his canton, Ampère was re-elected with a more secure majority.43 This particular juge de paix is an interesting lens through which to view the changes because he was a quintessential representative of the enlightened bourgeois in Lyon, as his extensive library shows.44 Formerly a silk négociant, Ampère was so impassioned by judicial change that he took up the role at the age of 61 when he had retired from this much more lucrative and typically Lyonnais profession. He was sworn in to the Tribunal known as the Police Correctionelle to take his turn in delivering judgments when required to do so and sat with other cantonal juges de paix, with Billiémas as Greffier, and Chalier as President. Chalier had also left a lucrative career in the silk industry by accepting election to judicial office from early 1791, evidently for similar civic and humanitarian impulses. Because the newly elected judges were paid by the state and not according to how long the matter in question could be prolonged, they were held to be inspired by ideals different from those that had motivated the former magistrates trained in legal processes and thus more likely to make sure justice was fair and equitable.45 Criminal justice was a right that the impartial juge de paix could deliver to any citizen who approached him, whether or not they had sufficient assets to pursue any such rights. Pressavin wrote a report to the Conseil Municipal setting out the importance of the new judicial arm of government and applauding the establishment of the Police Correctionnelle which would make known to all the ‘laws decreed for the maintenance of public order, security and tranquillity of all citizens’.46 The Tribunal Criminel, the higher court in the hierarchy, began to operate from early 1792. Its judges were generally drawn from the trained judiciary and unsurprisingly tended to be more conservative. Although some who took on the position in Lyon also appreciated the benefits to justice of the new streamlined system in making actions less expensive and more efficient, many had little in common with the political aspirations of elected juges who now initiated the actions that came before them.47 The presiding judge and public prosecutors of this court were elected for a six-year period by the departmental electoral assembly but three judges assigned from the Tribunal de District were required to sit with him.48 Eligible citizens were now part of the system of juries with the power to decide whether the accused were to be tried for crimes and ultimately whether they should be judged guilty of them. This was one of the most significant changes of the ‘regenerated’ system of justice in Lyon and Pressavin drew up the first list of 30 jurors who would be available to sit in judgment with three judges of the Tribunal Criminel on 31 January 1792.49 However, Pressavin himself soon moved on to other matters of administration. The first tension between elected incumbents was the suspension of Chalier early in 1792 for allegedly over-zealous prosecutions. Chalier, despite being the President of the Police Correctionnelle, was accused of harrassing a citizen and ordered to appear before the Tribunal Criminel. He was unceremoniously removed from his position and went to Paris while his protest was heard, developing links with the city’s radicals.50 During his months out of work he became rancorous about his treatment. Once Chalier was cleared of any wrong-doing and reinstated in his judicial function in Lyon he became one of the judges of the Tribunal de District eligible to sit in the Tribunal Criminel. According to his biographer he continued to work assiduously in his judicial role, writing out his long judgments by hand.51 Ampère remained President of the lower court Tribunal Correctionel and his handwritten judgments also show a similar assiduity.52 Both now faced the new political changes sweeping France. IV Soon after the constitutional monarchy was overthrown in Paris on 10 August 1792, the Republic was declared on 22 September. While the stunning victory of Valmy on 20 September brought optimism to the new National Convention, the intense fears of invasion by foreign troops, ignited by the Brunswick Manifesto of 28 July 1792, still simmered. The continuing dangers of counter-revolution both internally and externally were apparent, especially to the citizens of Lyon, close to the borders of the country and along the important route south towards Italy and Spain. These fears began to impact on the work of the magistrates. Chalier, on his return from Paris, assumed the political leadership of the Jacobin faction in Lyon. He criticized the far-reaching ‘conspiracies’ and the rapacity of the mercantile elites in his speeches at the Central Club. He advocated stronger repressive policies against counter-revolutionaries and in late August 1792 ordered a guillotine be sent to the city. Although aspiring to a more truly political role in the elections of October 1792, however, he lost the mayoral position to the moderate leader, Nivière-Chol. By September 1792 more citizens became eligible for public office with the changes that accompanied the declaration of the Republic. While Ampère, L’Ange, and Billiémas continued to form part of the bench of the Police Correctionnelle, to which they had been sworn in August 1792, they were now often joined by juges de paix, such as Fillon (a wigmaker) and Revol (a printer/publisher) who attended the Central Club now allied to the Jacobin club in Paris.53 From their election in October of that year they too became eligible to sit in judgment on this tribunal.54 At this time François-Auguste Laussel, ex-priest and radical journalist, also a member of the Club, became procureur and Bertholon substitute du procureur (deputy). The Jacobins who had no previous experience of such work saw the roles as little different from other state-paid functions. They tended to be suspicious of the agenda of the more conservative judges. They were not prepared to take a role subordinate to the more experienced judges of the higher courts. The higher courts were also shaken up by new elected judges from the end of 1792. Antoine-Marie Dodieu (a printer by trade) was typical of the new incumbent elected to the Tribunal de District, and even before his election he proclaimed the need to replace ‘the aristocratic and corrupt tribunals’ where ‘sordid interest’ prevailed among complicit judges.55 He joined Chalier as a speaker in the Central Club. They both argued for the need to expedite legal action and expressed a fear that the Jacobins themselves would be pursued because of their role in petitioning for the death of the king.56 Auguste Hidins, another activist in the Jacobin Club and elected to municipal office, claimed in February 1793 that there was ‘a price on his head’, as he thought there was for Chalier and Gaillard (the latter elected as a judge to the Tribunal Criminel) because of their support for this action against the king. The Jacobins, even while officiating in the tribunals, were loudly proclaiming that counter-revolution needed to be ruthlessly excised before the democratic institutions of justice could work effectively. V On 4 February 1793 a case was brought before Chalier as he sat in the District de Tribunal, which strengthened his belief that there was a conspiracy among the conservative judges to curb the power of the Jacobin magistrates. The accused, Jean-François Morand, was the former gaoler of the prison of Roanne. It was alleged that he had allowed four prisoners to escape from the prison while he was operating as the concierge there.57 The case of Morand had been initiated by the arrest warrant of 26 January issued by Ampère, in his role of juge de paix. After a preliminary investigation the papers were then sent to Dodieu who ordered that the accused be gaoled. Dodieu also sent the papers to the Tribunal de District to check that the complicity of Morand’s wife, the citoyenne Besson, and two guards had been adequately dealt with. Ampère had indicated that the crime imputed to the accused was not to be found in the Code Pénal. In the extract of the minutes of the Tribunal de District meeting held on 4 February, the Jacobin judges Chalier, Fernex, Dodieu and Dubessey noted that the crimes however displayed a ‘fatal negligence’ that merited the censure of the court and punishment despite the fact that it was not explicitly covered by the code. The matter against the wife of Morand and the guards was then sent back to the Police Correctionnelle for hearing. On 5 February the Journal de Lyon noted that Morand was still held at the prison and that ‘it appeared his wife had received money to ensure that the prisoners were allowed to escape’.58 However, on 17 February an appeal to the Tribunal Criminel led to Morand being acquitted.59 Although Morand claimed he was not responsible for the escapes because they had happened when he was no longer living at the prison, the Jacobin judges involved in this case were convinced that delays and appeals were being used to protect enemies of the Revolution. The slow progress of cases through the official court system was becoming increasingly evident to many of them. Hidins complained about the difficulty of organizing juries to hear the many important cases brought to the juges de paix. While the beginning of the process was expedited before these judges, the trial itself was delayed until the jury de jugement met. This was usually done on the 15th day of each month but only if this had been organized by the 5th. Hidins suggested that this law regarding the juries was ‘a vice’ and meant in practice that people were held longer in gaol while the necessary time elapsed for the jury to be appointed before their case could be heard.60 Dodieu also observed the starkly different conditions in gaol between those who had money and those who did not—those who still lived the high life and the poor who only had a straw bed.61 These and other issues meant that equality before the law was completely illusory and the Jacobin judges were determined to make changes. Other controversial arrests were upheld by the Jacobin judges but appeared to be outrageously political by the more moderate judges. From 4 February the Jacobins of the Central Club invited the municipal council to order home visits during the night to ‘purge the city of rogues’.62 A secret meeting was held on the night of 5–6 February in the Jacobin-dominated Central Club. Chalier proposed a vote on the creation of a more punitive revolutionary tribunal.63 A number of municipal officers and notables, including Laussel, the juge de paix Revol and Judge Fernex, were present at the meeting. They also spoke of the need for increased repressive action on this night.64 Suggestions were made that the guillotine should be installed and activated immediately on the Pont Morand. Rumours of the Jacobin plans circulated among the propertied classes who feared that the Jacobins were about to initiate a ‘bloody era’.65 Unsurprisingly, this meeting caused the mayor and the departmental authorities mounting anxiety.66 On 5 February Chalier arranged the arrest of hundreds of suspected émigrés or aristocrats and placed them in the prisons of the Hôtel de Ville.67 Although most of the prisoners were released for want of evidence, political fractures continued to increase. On 9 February 1793 Nivière-Chol resigned in protest at the growing factionalism. Civil strife then reached a fever pitch as voting began for a new mayor. On 19 February, after Nivière-Chol had refused to accept his re-election, anti-Jacobin demonstrators gathered in the city square. During the night an attack was made on the Central Club headquarters. The predominantly Jacobin municipality who sat all night in emergency session issued proclamations suspending all political and judicial functions until the crisis had passed.68 The divisions between the Jacobins and those who preferred to be known as the Rolandins were immediately played out in the courts of law when citizens were imprisoned as a result of the disorder and then released in turn by the opposing factions. Bertholon, who had been involved in the release of some accused, was himself arrested for his actions on the night of the 19th. When his matter came before before Judge Dodieu on 16 April testimony was called from a surprise witness who claimed to have gone to the offices of the Tribunal Correctionnel at eight in the evening of 19 February. He had wanted to see how the perpetrators of the attack on the Central Club were being dealt with. Able to enter the audience chamber without seeing anyone, he happened upon a room in which a discussion was being held between those who were accused of the ‘serious’ crimes committed the night before and two juges de paix. The group was engaged in blatant abuse of the law, according to the onlooker, whereby no procès-verbaux had been taken from the accused but instead their answers were ‘furnished’ by the officers who then cautioned them and let them go. One of the accused had the audacity, the witness claimed, to ‘dictate the interrogation’ to the court clerk (greffier) while Bertholon was present. Bertholon, a former Jacobin president of the Central Club, had earlier promised to apply the ‘rigours of the law’, according to the Jacobin witness.69 Despite the implausibility of his story, the witness attested to the veracity of his report that very night and the document was used as the basis for the prosecution commenced by Dodieu against Bertholon.70 Bertholon did not deny the report. He claimed in his signed statement taken that day that ‘the guilty were interrogated and the innocent given their liberty’. He also asserted that despite the order that was given that night by the corps constitute—the group of Jacobins in the Hôtel de Ville led by Dodieu himself, Hidins and Chalier—article 7 of the Rights of Man and Citizen required that no citizen should be arrested or detained without the due process of the law. Because there was no complaint or procès-verbal establishing a case for their detention, the law required that those arrested on the night of 19 February be released. Bertholon admitted he was in the Police Correctionnelle at the time alleged but claimed he warned the juges de paix who were also there in the following terms: ‘You have the habit of simply letting detainees go but if you are considering letting them go the only thing you must do is give a very strong warning’.71 Bertholon remained in prison. The actions of the Jacobin judges in publishing their document of 19 February and in commencing the denunciation of Bertholon, continuing to hold him in custody for releasing those arrested after the pillage of the Club Central, was the signal for an immediate escalation of conflict between the magistrates. In response to Chalier and Dodieu’s decree and the group of Jacobin administrators who had suspended all court actions, Ampère sent a strongly worded letter to Dodieu. He questioned the unilateral decision Dodieu and other Jacobin ‘clubists’ took to suspend administrative functions, take over the mayoralty and impose a new agenda of repression. He expressed his shock and dismay at the disintegration of law and order in the city that he claimed was caused by the Jacobins’ action.72 The letter was dated 20 February and was thus an immediate and strong reaction to the events and a challenge to the Jacobin judges. This document, unlike the Jacobin document, was not widely published. It was addressed to Dodieu, in his function as Director of the Jury. Ampère expressed disquiet about the suspension of the courts of justice and the impugning of an officer of the court (Bertholon). He stressed that any move to implicate the juges de paix and police officers who had instituted the procedures against those accused on 18 February would reflect badly on all the magistrates. Ampère reiterated Bertholon’s point that the actions taken were the only ones possible because they ‘conformed to the requirements of the law’ and disregard of the law would lead to the ‘paralysing’ of justice and police functions. Ampère’s sentiments expressed a widely held view of the conservative judges that the actions of Dodieu and other Jacobin magistrates were damaging to the operation of the system of justice in the city and were setting the judges apart.73 VI The political stakes were raised amongst the elected justices when a list of the juges de paix who were ‘patriots’ as opposed to those who were ‘aristocrats’ was produced in 1793. Called the tableaux de réforme 1793, the document was unsigned but it is most likely to be in the hand of Chalier and to have been written sometime in February.74 Ampère, Revol and L’Ange were ranged on the ‘aristocratic’ side of the equation as regards juges de paix, with Fillon and Jacob on the ‘patriot’ side. The fact that Revol was included on the ‘aristocratic’ side shows how personal this attack probably was because Revol still identified himself as a Jacobin and was part of the Jacobin Club membership with Fillon on 3 Floreal II.75 The predominant concern for the Jacobins was that those believed guilty of the pillage of the Jacobin club and the associated events of 18–19 February had not been incarcerated. Those judges who opposed the Jacobins were now clearly showing their support for the Rolandin politicians and from this time they began more actively to question the legality of Jacobin decisions, their observance of the due processes of law and other alleged improprieties. A highly placed Jacobin, Hidins, who was the Commissaire National at the time, was arrested and interrogated by Judge Ampère, with Judge Rivolet, on 1 March for his actions and for embezzling funds. In response Hidins tried to impugn these juges de paix and other judges in the system. He wrote a number of letters to encourage the commissaires to pursue instead those who had allowed the guilty of 18 and 19 February escape. He outlined his revolutionary zeal in great detail. He claimed that the President of the Tribunal Criminel (Brochet) was a ‘royalist’, known to favour ‘conspirators’ and his tribunal was full of ‘men of 1788’ who did not recognize the new demands of 1793. He positioned Ampère in a less favourable light than himself by claiming the latter did not sign the petition for the death of the king.76 He also attacked L’Ange for releasing known friends of émigrés with only a warning. It is obvious by this time that he was repackaging an interpretation to put his own actions in the best light. However, this letter also attempted to set out the situation from the Jacobin viewpoint. Hidin’s long explanation of the legal and political crisis began with his assertion that: The law must never be a game for fair and upright men in a Republic. One cannot abuse it without also compromising public well-being … [but] in our unfortunate city … the law is being used in a way that kills its spirit and protects those men who continue to display anti-civic qualities.77 In a further letter Hidins insisted that he had only worked within the law and against those whose civisme was suspect. He said he had not ‘confused the innocent and guilty’—presumably a response to an implicit criticism of Ampère because these were the actual terms used by Ampère in his February letter. Hidins next tried to deflect the criticism of the Jacobin judges, Chalier and Gaillard. He thought they were trying to blacken his name by falsely accusing him of an excess of ambition in aiming to become mayor.78 In the end Hidins did not go to trial. He hanged himself in his cell in early July.79 Dodieu was also interrogated on 2 March about his involvement in the arrests and incarcerations of 18 and 19 February.80 In his questioning before Ampère, Dodieu claimed he had only acted in relation to the duties assigned to him as director of the jury on 19 February. Although he admitted helping the procureur and his friends on the municipality in composing the document made that evening, his function had only been as ‘a scribe with knowledge that he could bring of law and procedure’. He claimed that he had only helped provide members of the comités with information as to the law and thus could not be held accountable for the municipal officers who did not do their duty. This is why he had not instituted any proceedings in his name.81 He was released. VII The growing divisions that we have been exploring in the judicial institutions between the Jacobins and the anti-Jacobins from the beginning of 1793 were an expression of the factionalism evident in local municipal and sectional politics, which ultimately led to the revolt of 29 May of that year.82 On that day Jacobin officials fired on insurrectionists in front of the Hôtel de Ville. A pitched battle erupted when members of the anti-Jacobin sections returned with arms ransacked from the city arsenal. In the aftermath some eighty-three Jacobin officials were arrested and charged with inciting violence against citizens. Those arrested included at least five judicial officers.83 They were remanded until the first date the courts were again able to operate again, on 15 July. With the arrest of the Jacobins the focus on revolutionary change in the courts now became completely subordinate to the need to punish those who were believed by the victors in the local political struggle, the Rolandins, to have caused the troubles. The departmental records of 29 and 30 May summed up the situation as the Rolandins saw it. These claimed that there had been evidence of a Jacobin plot from February, of the formation of a ‘tribunal of blood’ ‘which the Convention had prohibited ‘with horror’, and finally of ‘the most intolerable despotism ever to exist in Lyon’.84 While militant Parisian sans-culottes responded to deep political division among republicans by surrounding the National Convention on 31 May and intimidating it into expelling twenty-nine Girondin deputies, in Lyon the same divisions were resolved in a diametrically opposite way on 29 May, with the arrest of the Jacobin officials. The contrast would have deadly consequences. The legal stance of the Lyonnais became fatally ambiguous immediately when, as Edmonds and Michel Biard have shown, they refused to acknowledge the ‘rule of law’ regarding the decrees of the National Convention after 31 May.85 From this time their concerns became more about justifying their refusal to observe the national decrees than furthering legal reform. The higher courts could not restart their operations until new supplementary judges replaced those Jacobins who had fled or were imprisoned.86 But the juges de paix, as had been the case since the decrees of 1791, still had the initiating function of arrest and interrogation and they began to do the preliminary work associated with the prosecutions much earlier. Those juges de paix who remained in office needed to legitimate proceedings by connecting the Jacobins to the various crimes related to the crisis and especially the firing on the sectionnaires on 29 May. Ampère gradually became a key figure in this process. As President of the Tribunal Correctionnel his signature appears on many official documents bearing the date of early June 1793. He was tasked with developing the arrest warrants against a further fifteen Jacobin officers at the end of the month.87 He helped formulate the legal basis for the ‘crimes’ that would lead to the execution of Chalier, now the most controversial figure held in gaol and awaiting trial. Although Ampère did not live in the canton in which Chalier resided, and so was technically not supposed to pursue the action against him, as Chalier pointed out, Ampère now thought the larger issues were too great to be compromised by minor irregularities.88 He was the only juge de paix able immediately to commence the task of gathering evidence against Chalier. On 1 June, Ampère was delivered a ‘packet of papers concerning Citizen Chalier’ found in his house at 3 a.m. that morning by a member of the Comité de Sûreté et de Surveillance Général.89 On 7 June his mandate of arrest ordered Chalier to be taken into custody and taken before the jury d’accusation and he continued to gather much of the evidence which would be presented on 13 July against Chalier to the final jury, as Chalier himself attested. The acte d’accusation alleged the secret meeting of 6 February of the Club Central founded the prosecution. Chalier was alleged to have then proposed the establishment of a Tribunal Révolutionnaire and participated in the formulation of a plot to ‘slit the throats of many citizens’.90 Chalier in turn complained about his treatment in a letter from prison. He alleged that he was treated ‘like a prisoner of war’ and asked how there could be another judge ‘so barbarous and so dismissive of his oath to uphold the unity and indivisibility of the Republic as to pronounce upon him … a veteran (cheval de bataille)’91. Chalier warned of the ‘biased nature’ of Ampère’s reporting in what he labelled the ‘extravagant’ allegations drawn up.92 He suggested if Ampère was truly acting with probity, with the ‘least ability to look him in the eye [blanc d’oeil], the least principles of justice’, he would have straight away recused himself from the case against his fellow judge.93 He expressed his concern about false testimony and his torment that the ‘real conspirators’, the ‘real traitors’, the ‘real enemies of liberty’ were free while he was brought before the courts. In this latter complaint Chalier was continuing to express the impatience and suspicion that the Jacobin judges had felt while they were in power and their conviction that counter-revolutionaries were being allowed to evade justice and continue to threaten the state by means of the so-called ‘legal processes’ in place. Whilst in gaol Chalier wrote to Gaillard, the former judge, expressing his concern that the gaols were still ‘more like taverns than prisons’, ‘favouring those who had money’.94 Judge Gaillard, also in gaol from 8 June, appealed to Ampère for recognition of his plight in the spirit of fraternity between former co-workers.95 However, Ampère’s main concern now was prosecuting the Jacobins. By the end of the month of June he had delivered to the director of the jury, Renard, the accusations against fifteen Jacobins including the former mayor, Bertrand, held in gaol after the popular uprising of 29 May. Although the task of writing up such accusations was usually the work of the director of the jury it would appear that in this instance it was the work of Ampère. Ampère agreed at his later trial that he was responsible for ‘many instructions against the municipal officers from 21 June and in dealing with those matters required to go before the director of the jury he had done so ‘according to the law in the case of all accused’.96 The primary acte d’accusation against the fifteen Jacobins described a conspiracy involving ‘former municipal officers and notables’, the ‘former judges of the district court’ of the city and other ‘anarchists’ who allegedly commenced the violence on the day. The facts outlined an attempted seizure of power by the Jacobins from 6 February, including the publishing of ‘incendiary placards’, which had ‘provoked murder and pillage’. The Tribunal Criminel was finally convened on 15 July. Chalier was the first Jacobin to be tried. He was condemned to death on 16 July after being found guilty by the jury. The first official use of the guillotine was then necessitated in the city. The execution did not run smoothly because the machine itself was damaged and took three drops of the blade to kill Chalier. His death immediately became the catalyst for the national government to take decisive action against the Lyonnais. National forces converged on the surrounding region and laid siege to the city in August 1793. After two months of bombardment the inhabitants capitulated. Lyon was renamed ‘Ville Affranchie’ (Liberated City) and those who had been actively involved in the civil war became subject to uncompromising repression. VIII What had happened to the ‘fair and upright men’ elected to the judicial institutions of 1792? From the beginning of 1792 we have seen committed new men of the law, such as L’Ange, Pressavin, and Ampère, impelled by powerful motivations of reform, elected to apply the new principles. However, they became focused on the alleged ‘conspiracy’ of their fellow judges when confronted by the unsettling challenges that increased as democratization of the judicial offices increased. After the revolt against the Jacobin municipality they initiated retributive action that they could hardly have imagined when first sworn to office in response to what they saw as the conspiratorial actions of the Jacobins. The more radical Jacobin faction elected to the judicial sphere in October 1792, led by Dodieu, Chalier and Gaillard, had begun to suspect that reform was not deep enough. They questioned and challenged the hidden prejudices and privileges they thought were being prioritized in the courts. Although they too had accepted elected office in a role intended to give the citizens new civil and criminal rights, they rejected the notion of ‘legal’ justice and agitated for their own political concept of justice. They became convinced that the mere observance of legal procedure would not protect revolutionary gains and tried to prosecute those like Bertholon and Morand whom they thought were part of a conspiracy to ensure justice was denied. This examination of some crucial court cases conducted by the juges de paix and the judges of Lyon during the deteriorating political climate of 1792–3 has thus exposed the heady emotions of fear and anger that encouraged divisive political alignments. Those alignments and feelings were reflected in the decisions we have seen in the legal sphere when fellow judges were impugned in their professional work and themselves subjected to the condemnation of the law. Both groups of magistrates reacted to the conspiracies they suspected by a ‘political’ rather than a ‘legal’ conception of justice and expressed their anger at the compromised motivations of their opponents. Although the democratic election of the juge de paix was one of the most anticipated and popular changes brought by the Revolution, the enthusiasm for men of law to be both fair and upright became less and less achievable as their decisions became clouded by political concerns. By adopting the political factionalism of the Lyonnais more generally, the magistrates compromised the ideals of liberty and equality that had originally motivated them. A study of their decisions has clearly shown that political divisions overrode the initial mutual enthusiasm for judicial change and led to fatal recriminations being pursued in the courts of justice. The decisions of the juges de paix contributed directly to civil strife, to the use of the guillotine and, ultimately, to the terrible repression visited on the city. This article expands on sections of her PhD thesis undertaken from 2013 until 2017 at the University of Melbourne, Australia. The author wishes to acknowledge the help of the staff of the Archives départementale du Rhône and also the benefit of the ongoing support of her thesis supervisors, Professor Peter McPhee and Dr Julie Fedor and travel scholarships provided by the university. Footnotes 1 M. Edelstein, The French Revolution and the Birth of Electoral Democracy (Farnham and Burlington, 2014), 282. 2 A[rchives] D[épartementale du] R[hône] 36 L 57: testimony of a witness at the hearing on 16 April 1793 before Judge Dodieu. 3 The popular uprising and the ensuing events have been analysed by C. Riffaterre, Le Mouvement antijacobin et antiparisien à Lyon et dans le Rhône-et-Loire en 1793, 29 mai-15 aôut, vol. 1 (Lyon, 1912), 84. More recently they have been discussed by W. D. Edmonds in his Jacobinism and the Revolt of Lyon, 1789–1793 (New York, 1990). 4 A. Jourdan, ‘Les discours de la terreur à l’époque révolutionnaire (1776–1798): étude comparative sur une notion ambiguë’, Fr. Hist. Stud., 36 (2013), 51–81. Jourdan says the word ‘terror’ was a rhetorical device used to frighten enemies during a time of external and interior war. That it is now used to define the Robespierrist period was testament to the effectiveness of the Thermidorian categorization of the period by the use of the word: P. McPhee, Liberty or Death (London, 2016), 272. 5 P. Campbell, T. Kaiser and M. Linton focused on the fear of ‘conspiracy’ in the new ‘transparent political system’ of elected government. P. R. Campbell et al. (eds), Conspiracy in the French Revolution (Manchester, 2007). Linton’s later work on virtue and denunciation among the revolutionaries went further and suggested that public officials claiming the ‘moral legitimacy’ of ‘political virtue’ interpreted the actions of their fellow officers as motivated by ambition and dissimulation and were then able to justify policies of ‘Terror’: M. Linton, Choosing Terror: Virtue, Friendship and Authenticity in the French Revolution (Oxford, 2013), 7–8, 48, 75; T. Tackett, The Coming of the Terror in the French Revolution (Cambridge, MA, 2015). 6 P. Gueniffey, La Politique de la Terreur: Essai sur la violence révolutionnaire 1789–1794 (Paris, 2000), 15. 7 Ibid., 338. 8 The most comprehensive analysis of the ‘federalist’ revolts which suggests they were neither ‘federalist’ or ‘royalist’ in their original motivation is contained in P. Hanson, The Jacobin Republic Under Fire: The Federalist Revolt in the French Revolution (PA, 2003), 100. 9 McPhee, Liberty or Death, 186. 10 C. Simien and P. Chopelin have most recently added the importance of religious divisions to the history of Lyon. Trénard and M. Garden have established the importance of long-standing social and economic factors linked to the reliance of the city on the manufacture of silk, which industry had been in crisis since at least 1782. 11 M. Biard, 1793: Le Siège de Lyon: Entre myths et réalités (Clermont-Ferrand, 2013), 5, 89. 12 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 102. 13 W. D. Edmonds, ‘The rise and fall of popular democracy in Lyon 1789–1795’, Bulletin of the John Rylands Library (1984), 404–49, 421. 14 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 129. 15 Ibid., 115. 16 Edmonds shows the growing occupational diversity of those elected to municipal and judicial office at the end of 1791, Jacobinism, 313. It was only in Lyon and Marseille that artisans and professionals achieved a majority in municipal elections by the end of 1792. Edelstein, The French Revolution and the Birth, 282. 17 C. Lucas, ‘The theory and practice of denunciation in the French Revolution’, Accusatory Practices (Chicago, 1997), 26, asks whether the revolutionary practices had not become like the Old Regime in the unresolved contradiction between the practices of denunciation (dénonciation) and informing (délation). P. R. Campbell et al., Conspiracy raised similar questions when they looked at the tendency of both Jacobin and more moderate revolutionaries to revert to a focus on the old idea of ‘conspiracy’ in new judicial actions. 18 Linton, Choosing Terror, 24. 19 The relevant cahiers are in the A[rchives] P[arlementaires] Cahier des doléances, Sénéchausée de Lyon and Ville de Lyon. The document of the Bourgeois of the Third Estate of Lyon (Ville) proposed extensive changes to the judicial system. 20 Cesare Beccaria originally published his treatise in Italian in 1764 but it was later available with an introduction by Voltaire: http://www.constitution.org/cb/crim_pun.htm. 21 J. L. Oates, ‘The Influence of the French Revolution on Legal and Judicial Reform’ (MA dissertation, Simon Fraser University, February 1980). This dissertation by the legally qualified author provides an interesting technical analysis of the various decrees and laws that established the French judicial administration in place from the end of the ancien régime to the Napoleonic era. 22 Ibid., 60. 23 R. Allen, Les Tribunaux criminels sous la Révolution et l’Empire 1792–1811, trans. J. S. Bryant (Rennes, 2005), 21. 24 I. Woloch, The New Regime: Transformation of the French Civic Order, 1789–1820 (New York, 1994), 356. 25 Allen, Les Tribunaux, 26. 26 Ibid., 29. 27 A. Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales of Justice: Local Courts and Rural Society in Southwest France, 1750–1800 (University Park, PA, 2000), 138–40. 28 Ibid., 203–5. 29 Allen, Les Tribunaux criminels, 21. Also Oates, ‘The Influence of the French Revolution’, 41, 63–8. Oates observed that the new code replaced the 366 regional codes of law in France previously operating at the time of the Revolution. 30 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales,199–203. 31 Allen, Les Tribunaux, 18. 32 Ibid., 24. 33 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales, n. 141. 34 Edelstein, The French Revolution; M. Crook, Elections in the French Revolution: An Apprenticeship in Democracy, 1789–1799 (Cambridge, 1996), 45, 67. Crook suggests that the initial novelty of attendance at the elections of judicial personnel did fall off but not before many ‘modest peasants and wealthier artisans’ were elected. 35 Edelstein observed that the position of juge de paix was so successful it lasted until 1958, although the electoral frequency and number of incumbents was changed in 1795. Edelstein, The French Revolution, 191–9. 36 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales, 135–6. 37 Pressavin was involved in implementing many of the religious reforms as a supplementary officer of the Municipality in 1791 and would be elected as a deputy to the National Convention in September 1792. Nivière-Chol became mayor in 1792–3. 38 A. Kuscinski, Dictionnaire des constituants, 1789–1791 (Paris, 1991), 506–7 says he was elected as ‘substitut du procureur’ sometime after December 1791. Edmonds shows the procureur was Luc Antoine Champagneux in the December 1791 election and François-Auguste Laussel in the 1792 election, Jacobinism, 313. However, Champagneux was temporarily suspended from this position in early 1792 and also spent some time in Paris. During this time Pressavin and then Nivière-Chol then took on the position before the elections of 1792. Their signatures are appended to some cases in 1792; ADR 41 L 7. 39 Edelstein, The French Revolution, 193. 40 Edmonds, ‘The rise and fall’, 419. 41 As quoted in Edmonds, Jacobinism, 23. 42 François-Joseph L’Ange, Adresse à mille français de Lyon (Lyon, 1792). 43 ADR 35 L 18 and 19: Procès-verbaux des séances des corps municipaux records the Assemblée Primaire note the election of 24.12.1792 when Ampère achieved a ‘pluralité absolue’ with 194 votes from 361 voters. 44 Ampère had seventeen volumes of the Encyclopaedia of D’Alembert and Diderot in his library as well as many other pre-Revolutionary Enlightenment texts. Catalogue prepared by Michel Dûrr held in the Fonds Ampère at the Archives de l’Académie des Sciences, Paris. Chemise 391. 45 Crubaugh, Balancing the Scales, 132. 46 Pressavin, ‘Rapport fait au Conseil de District de Lyon 1792’, Divers Écrits de Lyon sur la Révolution, National Library of Australia, 11. 47 P. Dawson, Provincial Magistrates and Revolutionary Politics in France: 1789–1795 (Cambridge, MA, 1972), 285. 48 Wolloch, The New Regime, 359. 49 ADR 39 L 12. 50 A[rchives] M[unicipale de] L[yon]1 CM 3. 51 Eynard, Joseph Chalier: Bourreau ou martyr, 1747–1793 (Lyon, 1987), 47. 52 Ampère judgments in the Tribunal Correctionnelle are part of the archival records of ADR 41 L7 and 41 L 8. 53 These juges de paix and their occupations were noted in the order of the ‘Representatives of the People’ sent to Lyon which also recognised them as friends of Chalier and Gaillard and true patriots after the siege. ADR 1 L 466. 54 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 123. 55 Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 6. 56 Quoted from a letter held in the B[ibliothèque] M[unicipale] L[yon] Fonds Coste, Ms 582 by Edmonds, Jacobinism, 160–1. Riffaterre also writes about the fear of a conspiracy that Hidins claimed was planned at the Hotel d’Artois with the specific aim of eliminating those who had voted for the death of the king. Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 13. 57 ADR 36 L 57 and 39 L 27. 58 ADR 1 L 460 (Presse). 59 ADR 39 L 60. 60 Lettre Hidins, Commissaires, février 1793; BML Fonds Coste Ms 558. 61 BML, Fonds Coste, Ms 559. 62 AML 1 CM 3. 63 É. Herriot, Lyon n’est plus: Jacobins et Modérés, vol. 1 (Lyon, 1937), 154. 64 Ibid., 155. 65 Alexandrine des Écherolles, Une Famille noble sous la terreur (Paris, 1879), 62–3. This memoire described the author’s experience as a young girl of the terror of the increasingly frequent night visits, the secret meetings of the Jacobins and the threat to eliminate a great number of the inhabitants of the city by guillotine and cannon placed on the bridge. 66 Herriot, Jacobins et modérés, 155–60. 67 The Jacobin comités were in fact operating well in advance of the national decree of 21 March 1793 authorizing comités de surveillance. P. Chopelin ‘Un Cancer politique? Vies et morts des comités de surveillance de la ville de Lyon (1792–1795)’, in Les Comités de surveillance. D’une creation citoyenne à unde institution révolutionnaire, ed. D. Pingué and J.-P. Rothiot, 170–97, 172–3. 68 BML, Fonds Coste Ms 549. 69 Unfortunately, the signature is illegible, but this denunciation was officially presented as evidence in the hearing against Bertholon on 16 Apr. 1793; ADR 36 L 57. 70 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 132. 71 Ibid. The interrogation of 5 March, signed on each page by Dodieu and Bertholon, also became part of the court record of 16 April. 72 This letter appears as part of the scant records of the Tribunal Correctionnel preserved from 1793: ADR 41 L 8. 73 Edmonds notes that at this time the judges of the Tribunal de District, including Chalier, Dodieu, Dubessey, Gaillard, Bussat and the Commissaire National Hidins were considered to be a ‘stronghold of the most extreme radicals’: Edmonds, Jacobinism, 132. 74 ‘Tableaux de Réforme—probablement de la main de Chalier; 1793’. Ms Fonds Coste: 609. This document is mentioned in a footnote: Edmonds, Jacobinism, 132. 75 Table of the Jacobin ‘Noyau’ in Longfellow, 27. 76 Herriot, Jacobins et modérés, 197–8. 77 Hidins Lettre. BML Fonds Coste, Ms 558. 78 Ibid. 79 E. Fayard, Histoire des tribunaux révolutionnaires de Lyon et de Feurs (Lyon, 1888), 31–2. 80 ADR 41 L 7. This case before the Tribunal Correctionnel appears to have been misfiled with the 1792 cases rather than those of 1793. The widow Hidins was fined 200 livres in late March for having extorted money from prisoners and paid it in bribes to some Jacobin judges and sentenced to eight days in gaol: ADR 41 L 8. 81 ADR 41 L 7. 82 Edmonds, Jacobinism,101–2. 83 Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 182. 84 Ibid. 85 Edmonds, Jacobinism, 202–3. Biard, 1793. 86 Riffaterre, Le Mouvement, 256. 87 Many of the documents and cases are contained in the archival records of the Police Correctionnelle, ADR 41 L 6 (1791); 41 L 7 (1792); 41 L 8 (1793) but some are also in found in the records of the Tribunaux Révolutionnaires; ADR 42 L 62 or in the originating documents in the various files of the Tribunal de District. The ‘Acte d’accusation contre des officiers municipaux’, 30 June 1793, was made available from the collection of the Gadagne Museum of Lyon in 2016. 88 Ampère’s canton of Halle aux Blés did adjoin the canton of Chalier and was in fact in 1795 renamed as the Canton Chalier. The fact that he did not technically operate in the same canton meant he should not have been the relevant juge de paix as Chalier noted in his complaint from prison of 16 June. This letter is included in the archives with the papers used to establish the crime of Ampère by the Tribunaux Révolutionnaires: ADL 42 L 56. 89 Ibid. 90 Fayard, Histoire des tribunaux, 31. 91 Ibid. 92 Chalier, Lettre 16 juin. ADR 42 L 56. 93 Ibid. 94 Ibid., 258. 95 Gaillard managed to escape to Paris again where he described his terrible experiences in gaol after he was arrested on 8 June. He then returned to Lyon after the siege with Collot d’Herbois when he was appointed to the comité de surveillance. In 1795 he resigned from this position and killed himself while in a depressed state: A. Salomon de la Chapelle, Documents sur la Révolution; Lyon et ses environs sous la Terreur 1793–1794 (Lyon, 1885), vii–viii. 96 ADR 42 L 62: Interrogatoire de J-J. Ampère. © 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: journals.permissions@oup.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)

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French HistoryOxford University Press

Published: May 22, 2018

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