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Charlotte Corday


Charlotte Corday

Charlotte Corday

Adapted from an image in the public domain. Modifications © 2004 Jone Johnson Lewis.

About Charlotte Corday:

Dates: July 27, 1768 - July 17, 1793

Occupation: assassin

Known for: killing Jean Paul Marat in his bath, during the French Revolution period

Also known as: Marie Anne Charlotte Corday D'Armont, Marie-Anne Charlotte de Corday d'Armont

Background, Family:

  • Father: Jacques-Francois de Corday d'Armont, a noble with a family connection to playwright Pierre Corneille
  • Mother: Charlotte-Marie Gautier des Authieux (died April 8, 1782)
  • Siblings: Charlotte Corday was fourth child


  • Abbaye aux Dames (1782- 1791) - a convent in Caen

More About Charlotte Corday:

Fourth child of a noble family, Charlotte Corday was living in Caen, Normandy, with her aunt or cousin, after the convent school she had been attending closed. She and her sister, Eleonore, had been sent to the convent school right after their mother died.

Charlotte Corday had, like her father, supported the monarchy, but as the Revolution unfolded, cast her lot with the Girondists. The moderate Girondists and the radical Jacobins were opposing Republican parties. The Jacobins banned the Girondists from Paris and began executions of members of that party; many Girondists fled to Caen in May, 1793.

Charlotte Corday decided to kill the Jacobin publisher, Jean Paul Marat, who had been calling for the execution of Girondists. She left Caen for Paris on July 9, 1793, and while staying in Paris wrote an Address to the French Who Are Friends of Law and Peace to explain her planned actions.

On July 13, Charlotte Corday bought a wooden handled table knife and then went to Marat's home, claiming to have information for him. At first she was refused a meeting, but then she was admitted. Marat was in his bathtub, where he often sought relief from a skin condition.

Corday was immediately arrested, and then quickly tried and convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal. Charlotte Corday was guillotined on July 17, 1763, wearing her baptismal certificate pinned to her dress so that her name would be known.

Corday's action and execution had little if any effect on the continued executions of Girondists.

Places: Paris, France; Caen, Normandy, France

Religion: Roman Catholic


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