London Times on the September Massacres
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London Times on the September Massacres
The September Massacres of the French Revolution were “horrid transactions in France; (most) dare not write (about) (London Times, 1792).” On September 12, 1792, the London Times released an article on the news in France, titled “Imprisonment of the King and Queen, and the late Massacre.” These massacres that happened in the streets, killing thousands of prisoners, happened on September 2-4.

The London Times article was written via the account of an escaped prisoner whom “escaped…under the disguise of an English maid servant (1792).” The massacres were a result of a patriotic mentality after the overthrow of the Monarchy in Paris. Within the city, a mob of radical French citizens, especially a party called the Jacobins, began murdering prisoners due to fear that the political prisoners might rise up and start a revolution. The Jacobins were the most radical group constantly fueling the fire of the French Revolution and were namely led by a man named Maximilien de Robespierre. Robespierre was glorified as the center for many of the riots and killings that went on during the revolution.

On September 2, the killing commenced. The London Times writes on behalf of the escaped prisoner that mobs began forming and ordering prisoners with evil plots of murder suicide amongst themselves. In one instance, a mob “ordered one of the Swiss Sold(i)ers to dress the hair of a young Swiss officer…and when it was done, they ordered him with a handsaw to take off his head,” but both soldiers refused and were “immediately cut to pieces (1792).” Many of the prisoners that were murdered were Catholic Priests not willing to accept the ideals of the French Revolution. In one case, a mob stripped a mother and her two children of their clothes, “washed (them) with oil, and burned (them) alive (1792),” however, a young man listening to the prayers of the older daughter shot her to end her suffering and was immediately thrown into the fire. After the mother “was roasted, the mob brought six priests to the same fire…and ordered the priests to eat (the mother’s body) (1792).”

The London Times went on with multiple anecdotes of murder in order to publish the horrific realities that were happening in Paris. The newspaper stated that a theme amongst the mobs during a murder is to have the body stripped and “sometimes (the mobs) fight for the spoil (1792),” depicting the Jacobin mobs

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London Times And Mob Of Radical French Citizens. (April 3, 2021). Retrieved from