Fauchet, Claude

Fauchet, Claude commonly known as the abbe' Fauchet, and a prominent Girondist in the French Revolution, was born at Dornes, in the department of Nievre, Sept. 22, 1744, and was guillotined at Paris Oct. 31, 1793. After his ordination he became one of the priests of St. Roch, at Paris. When scarcely 30 years of age he delivered a panegyric on St. Louis before the French Academy, and was soon thereafter appointed grand vicar to the archbishop of Bourges then one of the court preachers, and abbot of Montfort Lacarre in Brittany. In a sermon delivered -in 1788 at the fete da la Rosiaire at Surenes, he manifested so strongly his sympathy with the revolutionary tendency that his name was stricken from the list of court preachers. Thenceforth an outspoken and zealous champion of the new political doctrines, he was active in the popular meetings in Paris, a participant in the movements against the Bastile, was named a member of the Commune de Paris, and assisted in the reorganization of the Church by composing the treatise entitled Religion Nationale, and was one of the editors of the Bouche de Fer (Iron Mouth). In 1791 he was made constitutional bishop of Calvados, from which department be was chosen a deputy to the Assembly and the Convention, where, though a zealous Republican, he opposed the extreme measures taken in regard to the king and the Church, supporting by his pen in the Journal des Amis the positions maintained by him in the Legislature. He consequently incurred the hatred of the Jacobins, and was included in the list of 21 Girondists proscribed by that party; was accused of federalism and complicity in the crime of Charlotte Corday, though the only ground on which this last charge was based was the accidental fact that Corday, coming to Paris an entire stranger, had applied to him, as the bishop of her province, for an introduction to the tribunes. He was, however, adjudged guilty, and executed with his fellow-Girondist deputies. The statements as to his repentance and recantation of Republican doctrines in prison, made by the. abbe Lothringer (letter in vol. iv of Annales Catholiques), and of his venality by De Molleville (Memoires, ii, 355-6), rest upon too questionable grounds to be accepted as true. In addition to the discourses and writings above mentioned, he published funeral orations in honor-of the duke of Orleans, the archbishop of Bourges, and the abbe de l'Epee; a eulogium of Franklin, three discourses on liberty, and one on the agreement of religion and liberty, a treatise in favor of the agrarian law, and a portion of the text of the Tableau de la Revolution.-Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Gener. xviii 163L5;

Lamartine, History of the Girondists; Jarry (l'abbe Valmeron), L'Abbe Fauchet peint par luimeme, etc. (Jersey, 1791); Vie de I'Abbe Fauchet (Paris, 1791); Alison, History of Europe. (J. W. M.)

 
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