Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Last Months of Louis XVI

From Madame Gilflurt:
On the last evening of his life Louis said his farewells to his family; more than anything he wished to spare his children the agony of knowing they would never see their father again and told them that he would visit them again in the morning, a meeting that was destined never to happen. At dawn on the day of his execution he celebrated mass and then, all hope of mercy gone, prepared to journey by carriage to the scaffold where a crowd of thousands waited.

When Louis left his bed at five o'clock on the morning of his execution, he was greeted by a cold, wet and miserable day in Paris. He spent the early hours in contemplation and prayer until he was taken from the tower at around eight o'clock, to find a guard of over one thousand horseguards who had been appointed to escort the prisoner on the long journey from the prison to the place of execution in the Place de Louis XV. At Louis' request it was agreed that he would be accompanied by Father Henry Essex Edgeworth, an Irish priest who had made his home in France and served as confessor to Madame Elizabeth.

During the carriage ride Louis remained utterly composed, praying with Father Edgeworth and apparently unaware of the vast crowds of citizens who lined the route, any sound they might make drowned by by innumerable drummers who walked ahead of the procession. (Read more.)
Louis' death is also described in the novel Trianon. Share

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