Giuseppe Marco Fieschi - Encyclopedia

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GIUSEPPE MARCO FIESCHI (1790-1836), the chief conspirator in the attempt on the life of Louis Philippe in July 1835, was a native of Murato in Corsica. He served under Murat, then returned to Corsica, where he was condemned to ten years' imprisonment and perpetual surveillance by the police for theft and forgery. After a period of vagabondage he eluded the police and obtained a small post in Paris by means of forged papers; but losing it on account of his suspicious manner of living, he resolved to revenge himself on society. He took lodgings on the Boulevard du Temple, and there, with two members of the Societe des Droits de l'Homme, Morey and Pepin by name, contrived an "infernal machine," constructed with twenty gun barrels, to be fired simultaneously. On the 28th of July 1835, as Louis Philippe was passing along the boulevard to the Bastille, accompanied by his three sons and a numerous staff, the machine was exploded. A ball grazed the king's forehead, and his horse, with those of the duke of Nemours and of the prince de Joinville, was shot; Marshal Mortier was killed, with seventeen other persons, and many were wounded; but the king and the princes escaped as if by miracle. Fieschi himself was severely wounded by the discharge of his machine, and vainly attempted to escape. The attentions of the most skilful physicians were lavished upon him, and his life was saved for the stroke of justice. On his trial he named his accomplices, displayed much bravado, and expected or pretended to expect ultimate pardon. He was condemned to death, and was guillotined on the 19th of February 1836. Morey and Pepin were also executed, another accomplice was sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment and one was acquitted. No less than seven plots against the life of Louis Philippe had been discovered by the police within the year, and apologists were not wanting in the revolutionary press for the crime of Fieschi.

See Proces de Fieschi, precede de sa vie privee, sa condamnation par la Cour des Pairs et celles de ses complices (2 vols., 1836); also P. Thureau-Dangin, Hist. de la monarchie de Juillet (vol. iv. ch. xii., 1884).

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