Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville

Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville

Antoine Quentin Fouquier de Tinville (1746 – 7 May 1795) was a French lawyer during the Revolution and Reign of Terror periods.


Early career

Born in Herouël, a village in the "département" of the Aisne, he studied Law and was originally a "procureur" attached to the Châtelet in Paris. After falling in debt, he sold his office in 1783, and became a clerk under the lieutenant-general of police.

He seems to have adopted revolutionary ideas early on, but little is known of the part he played at the outbreak of the Revolution. Backed by his friend Camille Desmoulins, Fouquier de Tinville became the foreman of a jury established to pass verdict on crimes of Royalists arrested after the "journée du 10 août" (1792).

Public prosecutor

When the Revolutionary Tribunal of Paris was created by the National Convention on 10 March 1793, he was appointed its public prosecutor, an office that he filled until 28 July 1794.

His activity during this time earned him the reputation of one of the most sinister figures of the Revolution. His office as public prosecutor arguably reflected a need to display the appearance of legality during what was essentially political command, more than a need to establish actual guilt. Fouquier de Tinville, like Maximilien Robespierre, was known for his ruthless radicalism, and he seldom failed to secure a conviction; he acted as prosecutor in the trials of, among many others, Charlotte Corday, Marie Antoinette, the Girondist leadership, Antoine Barnave, Jacques Hébert and his supporters, as well as that of the Dantonists.


His career ended with the fall of Robespierre at the start of the Thermidorian Reaction. Although he was briefly kept as the new government's prosecutor, even helping in the arrest of Robespierre, Louis de Saint-Just, and Georges Couthon, and being confirmed by Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac and the Convention on July 28, he was arrested after being denounced by Louis-Marie Stanislas Fréron.

Imprisoned on August 1, he was brought to trial in front of the Convention. His defense was that he had only obeyed the orders of the Committee of Public Safety::"It is not I who ought to be facing the tribunal, but the chiefs whose orders I have executed. I had only acted in the spirit of the laws passed by a Convention invested with all powers. Through the absence of its members [on trial] , I find myself the head of a conspiracy I have never been aware of. Here I am facing slander, [facing] a people always eager to find others responsible."

After a trial lasting forty-one days, he was sentenced to death and guillotined on 7 May 1795, together with 15 of his accomplices.


*1911 "In turn, it cites as references:"
** "Mémoire pour A. Q. Fouquier ex-accusateur public près le tribunal révolutionnaire, etc." (Paris, 1794)
** M. Domenget, "Fouquier-Tinville et le tribunal révolutionnaire" (Paris, 1878)
** George Lecocq, "Notes et documents sur Fouquier-Tinville" (Paris, 1885)
** Jean Maurice Tourneux, "Bibliographie de l'histoire de Paris pendant la Révolution Française", vol. i. Nos. 4445-4454 (1890), an ennumeration of the documents relating to Fouquier-Tinville's trial
** Henri Wallon, "Histoire du tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris" (1880-1882)

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  • Fouquier-Tinville — Antoine Quentin Fouquier Tinville. Antoine Quentin Fouquier de Tinville, später Fouquier Tinville [fukˌjetɛ̃ˈviːl] genannt, (* Juni 1746 in Hérouël, Département Aisne; † 7. Mai 1795 in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fouquier-Tinville — Antoine Quentin Fouquier de Tinville, dit Fouquier Tinville, né à Herouël (Aisne), le 10 juin 1746, mort guillotiné à Paris le 7 mai 1795 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Fouquier-tinville — Antoine Quentin Fouquier de Tinville, dit Fouquier Tinville, né à Herouël (Aisne), le 12 juin 1746, mort guillotiné à Paris …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Fouquier-Tinville — (spr. fukjē tängwīl ), Antoine Quentin, berüchtigter Revolutionär, geb. 1747 in Hérouelles (Aisne), gest. 7. Mai 1795, kaufte sich das Amt eines Prokurators am Châtelet, veräußerte es aber schuldenhalber wieder und diente nun in Paris als… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Fouquier-Tinville — (spr. fukĭeh tängwíl), Antoine Quentin, Revolutionsmann, geb. 1747 zu Herouel (Aisne), Polizeispion, von Robespierre zum öffentlichen Ankläger des Revolutionstribunals gemacht, führte als solcher alle Blutbefehle des Wohlfahrtsausschusses aus,… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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  • Fouquier-Tinville —   [fu kje tɛ̃ vil], Antoine Quentin, französischer Revolutionär, * Hérouel (Département Aisne) 1746, ✝ Paris 7. 5. 1795; wurde durch M. de Robespierre 1793 öffentlicher Ankläger des Revolutionstribunals und machte dieses zu einem Hauptinstrument… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Fouquier-Tinville, Antoine-Quentin — ▪ French revolutionary lawyer born June 10, 1746, Hérouel, Picardy, Fr. died May 7, 1795, Paris       French Revolutionary lawyer who was public prosecutor of the Revolutionary Tribunal during the Reign of Terror.       A friend and relative of… …   Universalium

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