Jean Paul Rabaut Saint-Etienne - Encyclopedia


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RABAUT SAINT - ETIENNE, Jean Paul (1743-1793), French revolutionist, was born at Nimes, the son of Paul Rabaut, the additional surname of Saint-Etienne being assumed from a small property near Nimes. Like his father, he became a pastor, and distinguished himself by his zeal for his co-religionists, working energetically to obtain the recognition of the civil rights which had been granted to them by Louis XVI. in 1788. Having gained a great reputation by his Histoire primitive de la Grece, he was elected deputy to the States General in 1789 by the third estate of the bailliage of Nimes. In the Constituent Assembly he worked on the framing of the constitution, spoke against the establishment of the republic, which he considered ridiculous, and voted for the suspensive veto, as likely to strengthen the position of the crown. In the Convention he sat among the Girondists, opposed the trial of Louis XVI., was a member of the commission of twelve, and was proscribed with his party. He remained in hiding for some time, but was ultimately discovered and guillotined on the 5th of December 1793.

See J. A. Dartique, Rabaut St-Etienne a l'Assemblee Constituante (Paris, 1903); and A. Lods, "Correspondance de Rabaut St-Etienne" in La Revolution francaise (1898), "L'arrestation de Rabaut St Etienne" in La Revolution francaise for 1903 (cf. the same review for 1901), and "Les debuts de Rabaut St-Etienne aux Etats Genbraux et a la Convention" in the Bulletin historique de la Societe de l'histoire du protestantisme francais (1901), also an Essai sur la vie de Rabaut Saint-Etienne (1893) separately published. An edition of the Ouvres de Rabaut Saint-Etienne (2 vols., 1826) contains a notice by Collin de Plancy.

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