Jacques Roux 1793

Report on the Execution of Louis XVI

Source: Jacques Roux: Scripta et Acta, Textes presentés par Walter Markov. Akademie-verlag, Berlin, 1969;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor;
CopyLeft: Creative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) marxists.org 2004.

Report to the General Council of the Paris Commune: January 21, 1793.

We have come to render an account of the mission we were charged with.

We went to the Temple. There we announced to the tyrant that the hour of execution had arrived.

He asked to be alone for a few minutes with his confessor. He wanted to give us a package to turn over to you; we made the observation that we were only charged with taking him to the scaffold. He answered: “This is proper.” He turned the package over to one of our colleagues, asked that we look after his family, and asked that Cléry, his valet-de-chambre, be that of the queen; hurriedly he then said: “my wife.” In addition, he asked that his former servants at Versailles not be forgotten. He said to Santerre: “Let us go.” He crossed one courtyard on foot and climbed into a carriage in the second. On the way the most profound silence reigned.

Nothing of note happened. We went up to the office of the Marine to prepare the official report of the execution. Capet was never out of our sight up till the guillotine. He arrived at 10 hours 10 minutes; it took him three minutes to get out of the carriage. He wanted to speak to the people but Santerre wouldn’t allow it. His head fell. The citizens dipped their pikes and their handkerchiefs in his blood.

After writing the official report we went to the chamber of the provisional Executive Council, which is now seeking the assassin of Saint-Fargeau. Our only hurry was to give you an account of the events.


Santerre: We have just given you an exact account of what occurred. I have only praise for the armed force, which was extremely obedient. Louis Capet wanted to speak of commiseration to the people, but I prevented him so the king could receive his execution.