Le Chevalier de La Barre was torture
d and burnt
when he was 19, for not having saluted a procession. During his trial, collusion between the bishop and the prosecution was clear.
Jean-Francois de La Barre was born in 1745 in Férolles-en-Brie. As poor orphans, the brothers La Barre were adopted by their aunt in her abbey
in Willancourt. She held a salon
. The kids were noisy, and anticlerical
On august 9, 1765, the wooden cross on the Pont-Neuf was knifed. The emotion of the people of Abbeville
was canalized by Monseigneur de la Motte, bishop
, who ordered them to reveal everything they might know about the affair to secular judges, under pain of excommunication
Every sunday, pastors harrassed the churchgoers, and pressure rose. Nobody had seen anything, but several persons remembered young hippies who didn't take off their hats when a procession passed. Three names were cited : Gaillard d'Etallonde, Jean-François de La Barre and Moisnel.
Facing menaces, Gaillard d'Etallonde fled to Holland. La Barre stayed, where could he have gone without money ? Besides, he had an alibi for the 9th. But when they searched his room in his aunt's abbey, they found three forbidden books
, amongst them Voltaire
's Dictionnaire Philosophique
. The had the ideal suspect.
His aunt used her relationships, the chevalier filed for appeal in Paris, but nothing helped. On June 4,1766, the parliament of Paris
, ruled on the case. Moisnel, aged 15, was fined, d'Etallonde was still away, they only have the Chevalier left.
On July 1, 1766, after being questionned (tortured) once again - they cut his tongue for singing lewd
songs, they cut his head off and threw him in the flames with Voltaire's book.
Voltaire tried to have him rehabilitate
d but he didn't succeed. He was rehabilitated by the Convention
on Brumaire 25, II (November 15, 1794).
Years later, the catholics (the bastards) built the cathedral of the sacre-coeur
on the Butte Montmartre
to "expiate the crimes of the Paris Commune
". Then in 1905
, a statue of the Chevalier was built in front of it. It was to be removed afterwards in 1941
, when the vichy government
was gathering metal for the German war effort
. Statues of saints, kings and queens were spared.