Marie Antoinette Online Forum ally to the queen?
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Author:  Vive [ Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:00 am ]
Post subject: ally to the queen?

Most of us know Hebert as the man during Marie Antoinette's trial who had invented the spurious charge of incest. So I was particularly surprised to find this passage in a book by Norman Hampson, in a chapter analyzing the different charges that were weighed against different revolutionaries. Hampson was trying to evaluate how much was truth and how much was pure invention from opposing parties, so not even he swears by the following, but I thought it was worth sharing. What do you all think?

The evidence against Hebert...mostly concerns his alleged involvement in attempts to secure the escape of Marie Antoinette. Since Bouchotte was supplying the army with [Hebert's newspaper], Hebert was presumably not short on money. The abbe Edgeworth, who accompanied Louis XVI to his execution, told the dead king's brother that a Mrs. Atkins went over from England and bribed Hebert to let her see the queen, to whom she passed a note. More seriously, the comte de Rochechouart repeated the account printed in a letter to the Moniteur in 1795 that Hebert had accepted from his mother a bribe of a million livres to save the queen. This story was also repeated by Mallet du Pan, who knew the duchesse de Rochechouart. Chabot, in his denunciation [of Hebert], claimed that the duchess herself told him that she had induced Hebert to request Marie Antoinette's transfer from the Conciergie to her former prison of the Temple, for which the Commune was responsible. Such evidence might be dismissed if Hebert had not, in fact, made this rather curious proposal to the Jacobins on 27 September and admitted his contact with the duchess, although he claimed to have witnesses to his having driven out the vielle pecadille (fr) who had been sent to corrupt him. The duchess was certainly a royalist and probably worked with Batz, so Hebert's explanation could possibly be true - although it would not explain his motion in the Jacobins. Chabot's further charge that Delaunay had often told him that Hebert was corrupt is hearsay at best and both men were thoroughly untrustworthy.


Furthermore, I have seen other historians speculate that Hebert's 'incest charge' had been invented specifically to rally support around the Queen.

I know it sounds far-fetched, but does anyone else know more about this?

Author:  baron de batz [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: ally to the queen?

Could you let me know the name of this book please?

I know qutiit a lot about Mrs Atkins, I think I spoke of her here at some stage. She did reach the Queen apparently and wanted to change clothes with here and stay in her cell, in her place. Though quite how this would have been possible I don't know as the Queen was constantly watched especially when with visitors. There are so many myths bandied around when it comes to MA in the Conciergerie. It is not impossible that Hébert accepted money to secure access for others to the Queen, but he probably did so cynically as there was little chance of anyone getting her out. Batz apparently did manage somehow to get her to an outside gate and the plan then failed, but there's no certainty that this was true. De Rougeville simply managed to get her a message in the famous carnation. Personally I think that Hébert wanted MA dead, as Lenin wanted the Tsar's family dead. He was a revolutionary and believed there was no future without wiping out all traces of the past. And like Lenin he believed that there was no possible advance to be made without violent bloodshed. After all at the meeting of the Comité de surété génerale he asked very threateningly for her head to give to the "sans culotes"....!

Author:  Vive [ Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: ally to the queen?

The book is "The Life and Opinions of Maximilien Robespierre."

And I agree with what you said about Hebert - at least about her wanting Marie Antoinette dead. Indeed, one of the rallying points of the great Hebertist rising of 1793 was the scheduling of Marie Antoinette's trial. But I think you are giving the man too much credit, with a tangible Revolutionary ideology fueling his bloodlust. Rather, from everything I've read about him (which admittedly usually has a Robespierrist, Dantonist, or Royalist bias - and none of the trinity are fond of a Hebertist), Hebert always seemed the archetypal demagogue, courting the crowd for nothing more Utopian than raw power. The crowd wanted Marie Antoinette's head. If Hebert could give the crowd Marie Antoinette's head he would idolized by them - or so he thought. But I'm sort of talking myself out of my earlier thesis, or at the very least my final speculation over the incestuous charge to rally support for Antoinette.

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