Robespierre, Maximilien (17581794)

Robespierre, Maximilien, leader of the Jacobins in the French Revolution, born in Arras, of Irish origin; bred to the bar; became an advocate and a judge; he resigned because he could not brook to sentence a man to death; inspired by the gospel of Rousseau, became a red-hot Republican and an Incorruptible” (q.v.); carried things with a high hand; was opposed by the Girondists, and accused, but threw back the charge on them; carried the mob along with him, and with them at his back procured sentence of death against the king; head of the Committee of Public Safety, he laid violent hands first on the queen and then on all who opposed or dissented from the extreme course he was pursuing; had the worship of reason established in June 1794, and was at the end of the month following beheaded by the guillotine, amid the curses of women and men (17581794).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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