Return to home1650 Feb 11,
Rene Descartes (b.1596), French mathematician and philosopher: "I
think therefore I am", died in Stockholm. In 1666 his bones were
exhumed for transfer to France. In 2008 Russell Shorto authored
“Descartes’ Bones: A Skeletal History of the conflict Between Faith
1650 Jun, Jean Rotrou (b.1609),
French playwright, died of the plague. In his day he was considered
second only to Corneille.
1650 Oct 21, Jean Bart, French
captain and sea hero, was born. He escaped from Plymouth.
1651 Apr 30, Jean-Baptiste de
la Salle, French priest, theorist, saint, was born.
1651 Aug 6, Francois Fenelon
(d.1715), French theologian and writer (Playing for Time), was born.
"Nothing is more despicable than a professional talker who uses his
words as a quack uses his remedies."
(AP, 11/27/98)(MC, 8/6/02)
1651 Nov 7, King Louis XIV of
France (13) was declared of full age.
1652 Jul 4, Prince of Cond‚
started a blood bath in Paris.
1652 Jul 22, Prince Conde's
rebels narrowly defeated Chief Minister Mazarin's loyalist forces at
St. Martin, near Paris.
1652 Oct 21, King Louis XIV
returned to Paris.
1653 Nov 5, The Iroquois League
signed a peace treaty with the French, vowing not to wage war with
other tribes under French protection.
1653 Paris physician Louis
Morin the thrice-daily temperature and pressure measurements as part
of a short-lived international meteorological network created by the
Grand Duke of Tuscany.
1654 Jun 7, Louis XIV was
crowned King of France in Rheims.
(AP, 6/7/97)(HN, 6/7/98)
1655 Jul 28, French dramatist
and novelist Cyrano de Bergerac, the inspiration for a play by
Edmond Rostand, died in Paris.
1655 In Paris the church of St.
Medard was built. Medard was a 6th century counselor to the
Merovingian kings who bestowed wreaths of roses upon virtuous
(SSFC, 7/28/02, p.C1)
1656 Dec 14, Artificial pearls
were 1st manufactured by M. Jacquin in Paris. They were made of
gypsum pellets covered with fish scales.
1656 French King Louis XIV
charged the architect Liberal Bruant to build a hospital on the
location of a gun powder factory, founding the Hospice de la
Salpetriere in Paris. The building was expanded in 1684.
1657 Feb 11, Bernard
Fontenelle, French scientist, writer (Plurality of Worlds), was
1657 Mar 23, France and England
formed an alliance against Spain.
1657 Charles Chamois, a
military architect, designed the Hotel de Lauzun on the Ile of Saint
Louis for a cavalry commissioner named Gruyn.
(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.35)
1658 Mar 5, Antoine de la Mothe
Cadillac, French colonial governor of America, was born.
1658 Moliere was anointed with
the patronage of King Louis XIV.
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.D2)
1660 Aug 21, Hubert Gautier,
engineer, wrote 1st book on bridge building, was born in Nimes,
1660 Dec 3, Jacques Sarazin
(70), French sculptor and painter, died.
1661 Mar 9, Cardinal Jules
Mazarin (58), the chief minister of France, died, leaving King Louis
the 14th in full control.
1661 Aug 29, Louis Couperin
(b.1626), French composer, died.
1661 Oct 11, Melchior de
Polignac, French diplomat (Anti-Lucretius), was born.
1661 In France Nicolas Fouquet,
treasurer to Louis XIV, invited the king to his new chateau Vaux le
Vicomte. The king, peeved by the wealth of the nonroyal, ordered his
arrest and had him imprisoned for embezzlement. The property was
confiscated and Louis hired Fouquet's architects and designers to
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)
1662 Apr 27, Netherlands and
France signed a treaty of alliance in Paris.
1662 Oct 26, Charles II of
England sold Dunkirk to France.
1662 Moliere authored his
satirical play “The School for Wives."
(SFC, 8/17/05, p.G9)
1663 Apr 10, Samuel Pepys,
London-based diarist, noted that he had enjoyed a French wine called
Ho Bryan at the Royal Oak Tavern. This same year the Pontacs, a top
wine-making family in Bordeaux, founded a fashionable London
restaurant called Pontack’s Head. Ho Bryan later came to be called
Chateau Haut Brion.
(Econ, 12/19/09, p.131)
1663 The Institut de France was
(SFEM, 3/12/00, p.50)
1663-1742 Jean Baptiste Massillon, French
clergyman: "To be proud and inaccessible is to be timid and weak."
1664 May, Benoit Rencorel, a
shepherd girl in the French Alps, alleged that she began receiving
apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Her apparitions continued to 1718.
In 2008 the Vatican officially recognized the “supernatural origin"
of the apparitions and made the site of Notre-Dame-du-Laus an
official pilgrimage site.
(SFC, 5/5/08, p.A13)
1664 Aug 1, The Turkish army
was defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.
1664-1769 The French East India Company was
chartered to carry on trade in the East Indies.
(WUD, 1994, p.449)
1665 Jan 12, Pierre de Fermat
(b.1601), French lawyer, mathematician (Fermat's Principle), died.
His equation xn + yn = zn is called Fermat's Last Theorem and
remained unproven for many years. The history of its resolution and
final proof by Andrew Wiles is told by Amir D. Aczel in his 1996
book Fermat's Last Theorem. "Fermat's Enigma: The Epic Quest to
Solve the World's Greatest Mathematical Problem" by Simon Singh was
published in 1997. In 1905 Paul Wolfskehl, a German mathematician,
bequeathed a reward of 100,000 marks to whoever could find a proof
to Fermat's "last theorem." It stumped mathematicians until
1993, when Andrew John Wiles made a breakthrough.
(MC, 1/12/02)(SFC, 10/2/02, p.D7)
1665 Feb 20, Michel Dorigny
(b.1617), French painter, died.
1665 Dec 4, Jean Racine's
"Alexandre le Grand," premiered in Paris.
1665 Nicolas Poussin (b.1594),
painter, known as the founder of French Classicism, died. He spent
most of his career in Rome which he reached at age 30 in 1624. His
Greco-Romanism work includes "The Death of Chione" (1622-1623) and
"The Abduction of the Sabine Women." [WUD ends his life in 1655] In
1997 Elizabeth Cropper and Charles Dempsey authored "Nicholas
Poussin: Friendship and the Love of Painting."
(WSJ, 2/26/96, p.A-10)(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994,
p.1126)(SFC,11/22/97, p.D5)(WSJ, 11/6/02, p.D8)
1665 In France Louis XIV began
to systematically hollow out formal guarantees to the Protestants
until they became little more than scraps of paper.
(WSJ, 1/11/98, p.R23)
1665 French finance minister
Jean-Baptiste Colbert founded the Saint Gobain company to replace
imports of Venetian glass with home-made wares. The glass was to be
used for the mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
(Econ, 3/25/06, p.71)(Econ, 11/17/07, p.74)
1666 Pierre-Paul Riquet
convinced French finance minister Colbert for a canal from the
Mediterranean port of Sete to Toulouse and the River Garonne. He
oversaw the Canal du Midi project for 15 years and died 6 months
before it was completed.
(SSFC, 1/14/01, p.T9)
1666 The French Academy of
Sciences was founded.
(Econ, 1/9/10, p.57)
1667 Apr 9, 1st public art
exhibition (Palais Royale, Paris).
1667 Jun 15, Dr. Jean-Baptiste
Denys, French doctor, performed the 1st animal to human blood
transfusion. He successfully transfused a few ounces of blood from a
lamb into boy (15). Another experimental transfusion this year
resulted in the patient’s death and Denys was accused of murder. In
2011 Holly Tucker authored “Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and
Murder in the Scientific Revolution."
1667 Sep 24, Jean-Louis Lully,
composer, was born.
1667 Nov 7, Jean Racine's
"Andromaque," premiered in Paris.
1667 In France Louis XIV opened
the 1st stretch of the Champs-Elysees: a short extension of the
Tuileries Gardens leading to the palace at Versailles.
(SSFC, 2/11/07, p.G3)
1667-1668 The War of Devolution was fought between
France and Spain as a result of the claim by Louis XIV of France
that the ownership of the Spanish Netherlands devolved to his wife,
Marie Therese, upon the death of her father, Philip IV of Spain.
France conquered the area, now Belgium, and also seized the
Franche-Comte, a Spanish possession that bordered on Switzerland.
1668 Feb 7, The Netherlands,
England and Sweden concluded an alliance directed against Louis XIV
1668 May 2, Peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle ended the War of Devolution in France.
1668 May 8, Alain Rene Lesage,
French novelist and dramatist, was born. He is best known for his
works "The Adventures of Gil Blas" and "Turcaret."
1668 Nov 10, Francois Couperin,
composer and organist (Concerts Royaux), was born in Paris, France.
1668 Louis XIV of France
purchased the 112 carot blue diamond from John Baptiste Tavernier
for 220,000 livre. Tavernier was also given a title of nobility.
(THC, 12/3/97)(EB, 1993, V6 p.51)
1668 Charles Alphonse Dufresnoy
(b.1611), French artist, died. His work included the painting “The
Death of Socrates" (1650).
(WSJ, 11/24/07, p.W8)
1669 Feb 1, French King Louis
XIV limited the freedom of religion.
1670 May 26, A treaty was
signed in secret in Dover, England, between Charles II and Louis XIV
ending hostilities between them.
1670 Nov 28, Pierre Corneille's
"Tite et Berenice," premiered in Paris.
1670 Cafe Procope, the first
cafe in Paris, began serving ice cream.
(SFC, 11/23/96, p.E4)
1670 Le Notre, the royal
landscaper of Louis XIV, laid out the Triumphal Way in Paris.
(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.C12)
1670s French explorer Rene
Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, explored the Great Lakes region
of the New World.
(SFC, 11/30/96, p.A7)
1671 Apr 6, Jean-Baptiste
Rousseau, French playwright, poet (Sacred Odes & Songs), was
1671-1729 John Law, Scotsman and financier for
France. He controlled France's foreign trade, mints, revenue,
national debt and the Louisiana territory. [see 1694]
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)
1671 Moliere wrote his farce
"Les Fourberies de Scapin" (The Wiles of Scapin or Scapin the
(WSJ, 1/10/97, p.A9)(SFC, 6/15/98, p.D3)
1672 Apr 29, King Louis XIV of
France invaded the Netherlands.
1673 Feb 17, Moliere, [Jean
Baptiste Poquelin], French author (Tartuffe, Le Malade Imaginaire),
1673 May 17, Louis Joliet and
Jacques Marquette began exploring the Mississippi.
1673 Jun 25, French commander
Charles de Batz (b.1611), known as D’Artagnan, was slain in the
service of Louis XIV. He died at the Siege of Maastricht in the
Franco-Dutch War and was one of the musketeers who inspired Dumas’
1673 The Blue Diamond was recut
to a 67 carot stone.
(EB, 1993, V6 p.51)
1674 Aug 18, Jean Racine's
"Iphigenie," premiered in Versailles.
1675 Jun 11, France and Poland
formed an alliance.
1675 Aug 27, The Strasbourg
Agreement, signed between France and the Holy Roman Empire, banned
the use of poison bullets in conflict.
1675 Lully composed "Thesee."
The librettist was Philippe Quinault. This work established the
tragedie lyrique operatic form.
(WSJ, 7/5/01, p.A10)
1675 In France taxes imposed by
Louis XIV led to an uprising in Brittany. Protesters wore bonnets
rouges (red wooly hats).
(Econ, 11/30/13, p.50)
1676 Lully (1632-1687), French
composer born in Italy, composed his tragic opera "Atys."
(SFEC, 1/18/98, DB p.33)(WUD, 1994, p.852)
1677 Feb 15, King Charles II
reported an anti-French covenant with Netherlands.
1677 Racine wrote his drama
Phedre in alexandrine meter. It was based on Euripides’ tragic Greek
tale of Phaedra’s love for her stepson Hippolytus, son of Theseus.
(WSJ, 5/21/97, p.A12)(Econ, 6/20/09, p.89)(Econ,
1678 Louis XIV claimed the
region of Alsace from Germany.
(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.T4)
1679 Jan 31, Jean-Baptiste
Lully's opera "Bellerophon" premiered in Paris.
1681 May 17, Louis XIV sent an
expedition to aid James II in Ireland. As a result, England declared
war on France.
1681-1730 French Protestants, known as Huguenots,
migrated in large numbers to England due to persecutions known as
dragonnades wherein rowdy soldiers were billeted in their homes.
They also lost a semblance of security in the 1685 revocation of the
Edict of Nantes.
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.85)
1682 Apr 9, The French explorer
Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, reached the Mississippi
River. La Salle claimed lower Mississippi River and all lands that
touched it for France.
(AP, 4/9/97)(SFC, 11/30/96, p.A7)(HN, 4/9/98)
1682 May 6, King Louis XIV
moved his court to Versailles, France. The palace of Versailles was
built by Mansart and the gardens were designed by Le Notre.
(HN, 5/6/98)(Hem., 10/97, p.107)
1682 Nov 23, Claude Lorrain,
French painter (also known as Claude Gelée), died. His birth is
variously noted from 1600-1604.
1682 Pere Lachaise, a Jesuit
priest, was confessor to Louis XIV. His order built a house on the
future site of the Paris cemetery named after him.
(SFC, 6/16/96, T-6)
1683 Feb 20, Philip V, first
Bourbon King of Spain, was born. [see Dec 19]
1683 Sep 6, Jean-Baptiste
Colbert (b.1619), French finance minister (1665-1683) under Louis
XIV, died. He pioneered “dirigisme," i.e. state control of the
economy and state intervention in industry. “The art of taxation
consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible
amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing."
p.71)(Econ, 2/22/14, SR p.5)
1683 Sep 25, Jean-Philippe
Rameau, composer, was born in Dijon, France.
1683 Dec 19, Philip V, King of
Spain (1700-24, 24-46), was born in Versailles, France. [see Feb 20]
1683 French King Louis XIV
married Madame de Maintenon (1635-1719), his mistress for the last
11 years, shortly after the death of his wife. The marriage was kept
secret for the next 3 decades.
(Econ, 7/26/08, p.96)
1684 Oct 1, Pierre Corneille,
French lawyer and dramatist (El Cid, Polyeucte), died at 42.
1684 Oct 10, Jean Antoine
Watteau (d.1721), French rococo painter, was born.
(WUD, 1994 p.1614)(AAP, 1964)(MC, 10/10/01)
1684 For one year Paris was the
world's biggest city.
(SFEC, 2/22/98, Z1 p.8)
1684 French explorer Rene
Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, set sail for what is now
Louisiana with 4 ships commissioned from King Louis XIV. On the way
one ship was lost to pirates, another broke apart on a sand bar and
a third returned home. The 4th was sunk in a storm in 1686.
(SFC, 11/30/96, p.A7)
1685 Oct 18, King Louis the XIV
signed the Edict of Fontainebleau, revoking the Edict of Nantes that
had established legal toleration of France's Protestant population,
the Huguenots. The French Parliament recorded the new edict four
days later. The edict signed at Nantes, France, by King Henry IV in
1598, had given the Huguenots religious liberty, civil rights and
security. By revoking the Edict of Nantes, Louis XIV abrogated their
religious liberties. He declared France entirely Catholic again.
(HN, 4/13/98)(HN, 10/18/98)(AP, 10/18/07)
1685 Sylvestre Dufour published
"Traitez Nuveaux et Curieux de Cafe, du The, et du Chocolat."
(WSJ, 7/7/98, p.A14)
1686 Jan, A storm arose and
sank the French ship “La Belle," of explorer Rene Robert Cavelier,
Sieur de La Salle, in Matagorda Bay, Texas. La Salle was off
searching for the Mississippi River. This ended La Salle’s plan for
a French colony and opened the door to Spain to come and occupy
Texas. Archeologists found the ship in 1995 in 12-feet of water and
began a recovery project. In 1996 a skeleton was bound onboard. In
2014 the remains of the ship were transported to the Bullock State
History Museum in Austin.
(SFC, 11/9/96, p.A12)(SFC, 11/30/96, p.A7)(SFC,
8/16/12, p.A7)(AP, 7/18/14)
1686 Feb 15, Jean Baptiste
Lully's opera "Armide," premiered in Paris.
1687 Feb 22, Jean-Baptiste
Lully, composer, died in Paris. Lully, Paris Opera director, had
stabbed himself in the foot with a baton and died of blood
(SFC, 8/21/99, p.B3)(MC, 2/22/02)
1687 Mar 19, French explorer
Robert Cavelier (b.1643), Sieur de La Salle, the first European to
navigate the length of the Mississippi River, was murdered by
mutineers while searching for the mouth of the Mississippi, along
the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in present-day Texas.
1687 Aug 12, At the Battle of
Mohacs, Hungary, Charles of Lorraine defeated the Turks.
1687 Dec 31, The 1st Huguenots
departed France to the Cape of Good Hope.
1688 Nov 26, Louis XIV declared
war on the Netherlands.
1688 Dec 11, King James II
attempted to flee London as the "Glorious Revolution" replaced him
with King William (of Orange) and Queen Mary. James attempted to
flee to France, first throwing the Great Seal of the Realm into the
River Thames. He was, however, caught in Kent. Having no desire to
make James a martyr, the Prince of Orange let him escape on December
23, 1688. James was received by Louis XIV, who offered him a palace
and a generous pension. In 2007 Michael Barone authored “Our First
Revolution: The Remarkable British Upheaval That Inspired America’s
1688 Dec 23, English King James
II fled to France.
1688 Dec 23, Jean-Louis Lully
(21), composer, died.
1688 Dec 25, English king James
II landed in Ambleteuse, France.
1688 French writer Pierre
d'Ortigue de Vaumoriere published anonymously his book, “The Art of
(WSJ, 5/13/05, p.W6)(http://tinyurl.com/d8tac)
1688 In France a blind
Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon discovered the fermentation
process that led to champagne. [see 1662] He later devised a cork
stopper to hold the bubbles.
(WSJ, 10/16/98, p.W13)(Hem., 10/97, p.103)(WSJ,
1689 Jan 18, Charles Louis de
Montesquieu (d.1755), French philosopher and writer (Letters
Persanes), was born. "In most things success depends on knowing how
long it takes to succeed." He authored "The Spirit of the Laws," the
1st great comparative study of civilizations.
(AP, 4/13/99)(WSJ, 11/1/00, p.A24)(MC, 1/18/02)
1689 Apr 15, French king Louis
XIV declared war on Spain.
1689 May 11, The French and
English naval battle took place at Bantry Bay.
1689 May 12, England’s King
William III joined the League of Augsburg and the Netherlands. The
"Grand Alliance" was formed to counter the war of aggression
launched by Louis XIV against the Palatinate states in Germany. This
is known as The War of the League of Augsburg (1689-97) also The
Nine Years' War, and the War of the Grand Alliance.
1689 Aug 4-5, War between
England and France led them to use their native American allies as
proxies. In retaliation for the French attack on the Seneca in 1687,
one thousand, five hundred Iroquois, with English support, attacked
Lachine down river from the mission of the Mountain of Ville-Marie
(Montreal), killing some 400. They put everything to fire and
axe. Some suggest that this is a gross exaggeration and that
only 24-25 were killed and likely 90 were captured by the Iroquois,
but never returned.
1689 Aug 25, Battle at
Charleroi: Spanish and English armies chased the French.
1690 Feb 8, French and Indian
troops set Schenectady, NY, settlement on fire.
1690 Mar 16, French king Louis
XIV sent troops to Ireland.
1690 May 11, In the first major
engagement of King William's War, British troops from Massachusetts
seized Port Royal in Acadia (Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) from the
French, their objective was to take Quebec.
1690 Jul 1, Led by Marshall
Luxembourg, the French defeated the forces of the Grand Alliance at
Fleurus in the Netherlands.
1691 Jul 12, William III
defeated the allied Irish and French armies at the Battle of
1692 May 29, Battle at La
Hogue: An English & Dutch fleet beat France.
1692 Aug 3, French forces under
Marshal Luxembourg defeated the English at the Battle of Steenkerke
in the Netherlands.
1693 Jul 4, Battle at
Boussu-lez-Walcourt: French-English vs. Dutch army.
1693 Jul 29, The Army of the
Grand Alliance was destroyed by the French at the Battle of
Neerwinden in the Netherlands.
1693 Aug 4, Dom Perignon
invented champagne. [see 1688]
1693 Heidelberg was torched by
the troops of Louis XIV in a dispute over a royal title.
(SFEC, 9/26/99, p.T8)
1694 Nov 21, Francois Marie
Arouet Voltaire (d.1778), French philosopher, historian, dramatist
and essayist, was born. Born to middle class parents, he later
attended the Jesuit college of Louis-le-Grand in Paris. The
environment exposed him to the world of society and the arts. After
the success of his tragedy "Oedipe" in 1718, he was pronounced the
successor to the great dramatist Racine. He adopted the pen name
Voltaire, though its exact origins and meaning are uncertain. The
author of "Candide" (1759) and the "Philosophical Dictionary"
(1764), Voltaire's works often attacked injustice and intolerance
and epitomized the Age of Enlightenment. He wrote that "Self-love
resembles the instrument by which we perpetuate the species. It is
necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure and it has to be
concealed." "All styles are good except the tiresome sort." "Love
truth, but pardon error." "The great errors of the past are useful
in many ways. One cannot remind oneself too often of crimes and
disasters. These, no matter what people say, can be forestalled."
S.G. Tellentyre said on Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but
I will defend to the death your right to say it."
(WUD, 1994, p.1600) (G&M,
2/1/96, p.A-22)(AP, 7/17/97)(SFEC, 1/4/98, Z1p.8)(HNQ,
10/1/98)(SFEC, 10/11/98, Z1 p.8)(HN, 11/21/98)(HNQ, 11/8/00)
1694 John Law, Scotsman, fled
England after killing rival Edward Wilson in a duel. He traveled in
Europe, played the casinos and studied finance. He set up a
bank in France and issued paper money and established the
Mississippi Company to exploit the French-controlled territories in
America. [see 1720] In 2000 Janet Gleeson authored "Millionaire," a
pseudo-biography of Law.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)(WSJ, 6/30/00, p.W9)
1695 Apr 13, Jean de la
Fontaine (73), French poet (Fables), died.
1695 Sep 3, Pietro Antonio
Locatelli, Italian violinist and composer, was born.
1695 The Comediens Italiens
were expelled from Paris for indiscretion in their opera parodies.
The fair theaters took up where they left off with the use of
vaudevilles and comedia dell'arte characters.
(PNM, 1/25/98, p.4)
1696 Nov 19, Louis Tocque,
French painter, was born.
1696 Jacques Ozanam, a
visionary Frenchman, 1st proposed a “self-moving vehicle."
(Econ, 2/5/05, p.77)
1697 Apr 1, Abbe Prevost,
French novelist, journalist (Manon Lescaut), was born.
1697 Sep 20, The Treaty of
Ryswick was signed in Holland. It ended the War of the Grand
Alliance (aka War of the League of Augsburg,1688-1697) between
France and the Grand Alliance. Under the Treaty France’s King Louis
XIV (1638-1715) recognized William III (1650-1702) as King of
England. The Dutch received trade concessions, and France and the
Grand Alliance members (Holland and the Austrian Hapsburgs) gave up
most of the land they had conquered since 1679. The signees included
France, England, Spain and Holland. By the Treaty of Ryswick, a
portion of Hispaniola was formally ceded to France and became known
as Saint-Domingue. The remaining Spanish section was called Santo
1697 Charles Perrault first
penned "La Petit Chaperon Rouge" (Little Red Riding Hood) as a
sexual morality tale for the loose ladies of Louis XIV's court. In
2002 Catherine Orenstein authored "Little Red Riding Hood Uncloaked:
Sex, Morality and the Evolution of a Fairy Tale."
(WSJ, 8/7/02, p.D14)(NW, 8/26/02, p.57)
1698 Oct 23, Ange-Jacques
Gabriel, French court architect (Place de la Concorde), was born.
1699 Apr 21, Jean Racine (59),
French playwright (Phèdre), died.
1699-1799 Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin, French
(WSJ, 7/6/00, p.A24)
1701 Sep 7, England, Austria,
and the Netherlands formed an Alliance against France.
1702 Apr 27, Jean Bart (51),
French captain, sea hero (Escape out of Plymouth), died.
1702 Oct 12, [British] Admiral
Sir George Rooke defeated the French fleet off Vigo.
1703 Sep 30, The French, at
Hochstadt in the War of the Spanish Succession, suffered only 1,000
casualties to the 11,000 of their opponents, the Austrians of Holy
Roman Emperor Leopold I.
1703 Nov 19, The "Man in the
Iron Mask," a prisoner in Bastille prison in Paris, died.
1703 Francois Boucher, French
painter, was born. He painted "Diana."
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.174)
1704 Feb 24, Marc-Antoine
Charpentier, French composer (church music), died.
1704 Aug 13, The Battle of
Blenheim, Germany, was fought during the War of the Spanish
Succession, resulting in a victory for English and Austrian forces.
The Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Austria defeated the
French Army at the Battle of Blenheim. In 1705 Joseph Addison wrote
the poem "The Campaign" for the Duke of Marlborough to commemorate
the military victory over France and Spain at the Battle of
Blenheim: "Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and
directs this storm."
(AP, 8/13/97)(HN, 8/13/98)(SSFC, 1/21/01, p.A6)
1705 Feb 15, Charles A. Vanloo,
French painter, was born.
1705 Dec 29, Prosper Jolyot's
"Idomenee," premiered in Paris.
1705 The French began the
construction of Fort George on Grenada. It was completed by the
(SSFC, 12/11/05, p.F5)
1706 May 23, Battle of
Ramillies: Marlborough defeated the French and 17,000 were killed.
1706 Dec 28, Pierre Bayle (59),
French theologist (History of Criticism), died.
1707 Apr 25, At the Battle of
Almansa, Franco-Spanish forces defeated Anglo-Portuguese.
1707 Sep 7, George-Louis
Leclerc (d.1788), Comte de Buffon, French naturalist and theoretical
biologist. He commented on the origins of marine invertebrate
fossils in the hills of France. He also wrote a 35 volume work
titled "Histoire Naturelle, Generale, et Particuliere," that was an
attempt to record all that was known of the world of nature.
(DD-EVTT, p.114)(WSJ, 8/28/97, p.A12)(MC, 9/7/01)
1708 Jul 11, The French were
defeated at Oudenarde, Malplaquet, in the Netherlands by the Duke of
Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy.
1708 Thomas Corneille mentioned
Camembert cheese in his geographical dictionary.
(Econ, 7/26/03, p.79)
1709 Jul 5, Etienne de
Silhouette, French minister of finance, outline portrait artist, was
1708 Dec 21, French forces
seized control of the eastern shore of Newfoundland after winning a
victory at St. John's.
1709 Sep 11, John Churchill,
Duke of Marlborough, won the bloodiest battle of the 18th century at
great cost, against the French at Malplaquet.
1709 Oct 20, Marlborough and
Eugene of Savoy took Mons in the Netherlands.
1709 Nov 19, Pierre Leclair,
composer, was born.
1709 Dec 8, Thomas Corneille
(74), French dramatist, died.
1709 Representatives of the
Comedie-Francaise tore down the loges at the Foire de Saint-Germain.
The loges were quickly rebuilt and the Comedie-Francasie people came
back enraged and burned them. The theaters were rebuilt in a week
and plays resumed.
(PNM, 1/25/98, p.4)
1710 Feb 15, Louis XV (d.1774),
King of France, was born. He ruled from 1715-1774.
(HN, 2/15/98)(WUD, 1994, p.848)
1711 Sep 22, French troops
occupied Rio de Janeiro.
1711 Marin Marais, a great
French virtuoso on the viola da gamba, composed a pair of suites.
(SFC, 6/10/98, p.D1)
1712 Feb 8, L. Joseph de
Montcalm de Saint-Veran, French general in America, was born. [see
1712 Feb 29, Marquis Louis
Joseph de Montcalm, Commander of French Forces in North America
during French and Indian War, was born. [see Feb 8]
1712 Jun 28, Jean-Jacques
Rousseau (d.1778), writer and philosopher, was born in Geneva,
Switzerland. His books include "The Social Contract" (1762) and
1713 Mar 15, Nicolas Louis de
Lacaille, astronomer who mapped the Southern Hemisphere, was born.
1713 Apr 11, The Peace of
Utrecht was signed, France ceded Maritime provinces to Britain. The
French colony of Acadia, now Nova Scotia, was ceded to Great
Britain. The Acadians had come from western France to fish and farm.
Those who would not swear allegiance to the crown were deported.
Many of these deportees went to the bayou country of Louisiana.
(WUD, 1994, p.7)(WSJ, 9/4/96, p.A12)(HN, 4/11/98)
1713 Apr 21, Louis Duke de
Noailles, marshal of France, was born.
1713 Oct 5, Denis Diderot
(d.1784), French encyclopedist (Dictionnaire Encyclopedique), was
born in Langres, Champagne, France. Age of Enlightenment
philosopher, writer who with his friend Voltaire, scoffed at
organized religion, ultimately bringing on the French Revolution.
1714 In France Dom Perignon
invented champagne. [see 1688]
(SFEC, 2/1/98, Z1p.8)
1715 Jan 26, Claude Helvétius,
French philosopher, was born. He advanced the theory that sensation
is the source of all intellectual activity.
1715 May 4, A French
manufacturer debuted the first folding umbrella.
1715 Sep 1, Louis XIV (b.1638),
"the Sun King," king of France (1643-1715), died of gangrene. His
wife was Madame de Maintenon, founder of the convent academy Maison
St. Cyr. In 2006 Antonia Fraser authored “Love and Louis XIV."
1715 Sep 30, Etienne B. de
Condillac, French philosopher (sensualism, Cours d'etudes), was
1715-1770 France reneged on the terms of its debt
five times during this period. Britain never missed an interest
(Econ, 12/24/05, p.104)
1715-1774 In France Louis XV, great-grandson of
Louis XIV, ruled as king.
(WUD, 1994, p.848)(PCh, 1992, p.279)
1716 May 29, Louis J.M.
Daubenton, French zoologist, was born.
1716 John Law established a
private bank called Law & Co. with the promise that his notes
were redeemable on demand for coin.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B1)
1717 Aug 4, A friendship treaty
was signed between France and Russia.
1717 Nov 17, Jean Le Rond
d'Alembert (d.1783), French mathematician, philosopher and
physicist, was born. He and Denis Diderot (1713-1784) designed and
edited the "Encyclopedie," a massive reference work and polemical
attempt to reform French society. In 1998 Andrew Crumey authored the
novel "D'Alembert's Principle: A Novel in Three Panels."
(SFEC, 12/27/98, BR
1717 Watteau drew "Two Studies
of a Flutist and a Study of the Head of a Boy."
(WSJ, 12/9/99, p.A24)
1717 The French notes of John
Law's bank were made receivable for taxes and other royal revenue.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1717 In France John Law
proposed a company with exclusive rights to trade with and exploit
the resources of the Mississippi territory and to pay down the
government's debt from company profits. The regent and Parliament
approved and the Companie d’Occident (Company of the West) was
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.63)
1717 Louis Liger (b.1658),
French writer, died. His 1700 book “Oeconomie Generale de la
Campagne, ou Nouvelle Maison Rustique" included a chapter on French
1717-1718 Voltaire (1694-1778), French writer, was
imprisoned in the Bastille for his lampoons of the Regency.
1718 Nov 18, Voltaire's
"Oedipe" premiered in Paris.
1718 John Law's Bank was made
the state-royal-bank. The Law bank bought the French tobacco
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1718 The Paris Meridian was
first plotted. It was recalculated in the early 1800s by Arago.
(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.C12)
1718-1719 The French artist Watteau, known for his
draftsmanship, created "Woman in Black" and "Head of a Man."
(WSJ, 12/9/99, p.A24)
1719 Apr 7, Jean-Baptiste de la
Salle (67), French priest, explorer, saint, died.
1719 Apr 15, In France Madame
de Maintenon (b.1635), the wife of former King Louis XIV, died. In
1930 Maud Cruttwell authored the biography “Madame de Maintenon." In
2008 Veronica Buckley authored “Madame de Maintenon: The Secret Wife
of Louis XIV."
p.P10)(http://tinyurl.com/32xq5o)(Econ, 7/26/08, p.96)
1719 Sep, John Law announced
that he would buy the entire debt of France.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1719 Dec 2, Pasquier Quesnel
(85), French theologian (La Foi), died.
1719 The fair theaters were
closed through the intrigues of their enemies.
(PNM, 1/25/98, p.4)
1719 The French government gave
the Law company the right of coinage. By this time John Law
controlled the mint, public finances, the bank, the sea trade,
Louisiana, tobacco, and salt revenues.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1719 The French captured and
burned the Spanish settlement Presidio Santa Maria de Galve (later
Pensacola, Flordia), but handed Pensacola back to Spain three years
later. Hurricanes forced the Spanish to repeatedly rebuild.
1720 cJan, John Law was
appointed France's comptroller general.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 Feb 27, The government
ordered that no person should have more than 500 livres in coins or
ingots to reduce the demand for coinage.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 Mar 24, In Paris, banking
houses closed in the wake of financial crisis. The "Mississippi
Bubble" burst as panicked investors withdrew their money from John
Law's bank and Mississippi Company [see South Sea Bubble, Jan,
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)(HN, 3/24/99)(WSJ, 7/19/00,
1720 May 21, The government
issued an edict that devalued all the notes and shares of the Law
company and fixed their prices. The edict was repealed after a week
but the economy was severely damaged and John Law resigned as
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 May 25, "Le Grand St.
Antoine" reached Marseille, plague killed 80,000.
1720 Jun 1, The French state
bank closed for 10 days.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 Jun 10, The French state
bank reopened and some people were crushed to death in the rush to
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 Jul 17, Barricades, placed
at the state bank, incited a crowd and 12 people were killed.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 Nov 27, John Law's bank
closed for the last time.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 Dec, John Law left France
and returned to England.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1720 Paris, France, had 380
coffee houses by this time. Due to strict curbs on the press
handwritten newsletters were exchanged there and government spies
(Econ, 12/20/03, p.90)
1720-1725 Francois Lemoyne, artist, created his
work "Study of a Nude Woman."
(WSJ, 12/9/99, p.A24)
1721 Jul 18, Jean Antoine
Watteau (b.1684), French rococo painter, died. His work included "Le
(WUD, 1994 p.1614)(MC, 10/10/01)(MC, 7/18/02)
1721 Dec 29, Madam Jeanne
Poisson de Pompadour, influential mistress of Louis XV, was born.
She was later blamed for France's defeat in the Seven Years' War.
1721 The 10-volume Theatre de
la Foire, containing plays by Lesage, Fuzelier, Dorneval and later
Carolet began to be printed.
(PNM, 1/25/98, p.5)
1721 The bandit Cartouche (The
Cartridge) took refuge in a Belleville cabaret, Le Pistolet. He was
captured while sleeping and was hung at the Place de Greve in the
center of Paris.
(SFEC, 6/28/98, p.T8)
1722 Three disgruntled
playwrights, Lesage, Fuzelier, and Dorneval, bought a dozen
marionettes and set themselves up at the Foire de
Saint-Germain to give plays of their own composition.
(PNM, 1/25/98, p.4)
1722 A French Jesuit got into
the Jingdezhen, a gated porcelain producing city in China, and sent
home detailed letters on porcelain production. Within decades France
developed its own porcelain production plant at Sevres.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)
1725 Jean-Baptiste Greuze
(d.1805), French artist, was born.
(WSJ, 1/15/98, p.W11)(WSJ, 5/14/02, p.D7)
1726 Jan 25, Guillaume Delisle
(50), French geographer (Atlas geographique), died.
1726 Sep 7, Francois-Andre
Danican Philidor, French composer and chess champion, was born.
1726 The puppet show "La
Grandmere amoureuse" by Fuzelier and Dorneval was a spoof on French
opera based on Lully's tragic 1676 opera "Atys." It was revived in
1998 by the SF Bay Area team of Magnificat and the Carter Family
Marionettes. It made reference to a current dispute between the
physicians and surgeons of Paris.
(SFEC, 1/18/98, DB p.33)(PNM, 1/25/98)
1726 St. Louis-en-l'Ile Church
was built on the Ile St. -Louis on the Seine in Paris. It was
vandalized during the French Revolution.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.T8)
1726 Michael-Richard de Lalande
(b.1657), French composer, died. He served as the court composer for
(SFC, 3/20/04, p.E1)(Internet)
1727 Apr 29, Jean-Georges
Noverre, French dancer, choreographer (ballet d'action), was born.
1727 May 10,
Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, French minister of Finance, was born.
1728 Oct 3, Charles G.
Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont, French duelist, spy and transvestite,
1728 The French Count de
Boulainvilliers wrote a life of Muhammad that described him as "an
enlightened and wise lawgiver."
(WSJ, 12/12/01, p.A15)
1729 Ruinart, a French
Champagne house, was founded. In 2006 it remained the oldest
Champagne house in the world.
(SFC, 10/13/06, p.F2)
1729 Scotsman John Law (58),
gambler, financier, and former French comptroller general, died in
Venice. An inventory of his wealth included 488 paintings with works
by Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.B4)
1730 Aug 10, Sebastien de
Brossard (74), French composer, died. He authored the "Dictionnaire
de musique" (Paris, 1703).
1730 Jean Baptiste Oudry and
Pierre-Josse Perrot, artists in the court of King Louis XV, created
a drawing for the wall tapestry "Le Coq et Le Perle." The tapestry
was made by French weaving house Savonnerie and went on auction in
1997 for $300-400 thousand.
(WSJ, 2/21/97, p.B10)
1731 The ship Diligent left a
Breton port to pick up some 250 slaves for Martinique. 1st Lt.
Robert Durand kept a diary that turned up in 1984. In 2002 Robert
Harms authored "The Diligent."
(WSJ, 2/26/02, p.A22)
1732 Jan 24, Pierre Caron de
Beaumarchais (d.1799), French dramatist, was born. He was best
remembered for his plays "Barber of Civil" and "Marriage of Figaro."
He was a conduit for French gold and arms to American Revolution,
persecuted by mob during French Rev. "It is not necessary to
understand things in order to argue about them."
1732 Apr 5, Jean Honore
Fragonard (d.1806), France, painter, was born. He painted "The Shady
Grove." Hubert Robert was a painter friend and the painting "La
Jardinaire" was painted by one or the other.
1964)(WSJ, 2/19/99, p.W12)
1732 Aug 13, Voltaire's
"Zaire," premiered in Paris.
1732 The playwright Marivaux
wrote "Le Triomphe de l'amour." In 1997 it was redone as the musical
"Triumph of Love."
(WSJ, 10/29/97, p.A20)
1733 Sep 11, Francois Couperin,
French composer (Le Grand), died at 64. [see Sep 12]
1733 Sep 12, Francois Couperin
"Le Grand", French composer, died at 64. [see Sep 11]
1733 Oct 10, France declared
war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.
1733 Voltaire authored his
"Lettres Anglaises" in which he hailed England as a "nation of
(WSJ, 12/5/00, p.A24)
1733 The opera "Hippolyte et
Aricie" by Rameau had its premiere. The libretto was by Abbe
Simon-Joseph Pellegrin and was based on Racine's 1677 drama Phèdre.
(WSJ, 5/21/97, p.A12)
1733 In Paris the pompiers
began fighting fires on the initiative of Louis XV.
(Econ, 12/11/10, p.66)
1734 Apr 1, Louis Lully (69),
French composer, died.
1735 Chardin painted "A Lady
(WSJ, 7/6/00, p.A24)
1735 A French expedition to
South America was led by Charles-Marie de la Condamine. It produced
the earliest maps of the northern part of the continent and led to
the introduction of platinum and rubber to Europe. In 2004 Robert
Whitaker authored “The Mapmaker’s Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder,
and Survival in the Amazon." It was an account of Jean Godin
(d.1792), the expedition’s mapmaker, and his wife, Isabel Grameson.
The couple married in Quito in 1741.
(Econ, 5/15/04, p.81)(ON, 5/05, p.1)
1736 May 26, British and
Chickasaw Indians defeated the French at the Battle of Ackia. In
northwestern Mississippi the Chickasaw Indians, supported by the
British, defeated a combined force of French soldiers and Chocktaw
Indians, thus opening the region to English settlement.
(AHD, 1971, p.11)(HN, 5/26/98)
1736 Nov 26, Charles-Joseph
Panckoucke, French publisher (Mercure de France), was born.
1737 Feb 20, French minister of
Finance, Chauvelin, resigned.
1737 The French annual art
exhibition known as the Salon was inaugurated.
(WSJ, 11/19/03, p.D12)
1737 Frenchman Jacques de
Vaucanson created a mechanical, flute playing “android."
(Econ, 3/26/05, p.17)
1738 May 28, Dr. Joseph Ignace
Guillotine, French inventor of the guillotine, was born.
1738 French inventor Jacques de
Vaucanson built a mechanical duck that could quack, flap,, paddle,
drink, eat and “digest" grain.
(SFC, 1/23/15, p.A10)
1738 Jacques de Vaucanson
exhibited a mechanical flute player that actually breathed.
(WSJ, 8/23/02, p.W8)
1740 Feb 7, Adam-Philippe
Custine, French earl, general, MP, was born.
1740 Jun 2, Donatien Alphonse
Francois (d.1814), writer, Marquis de Sade, was born in Paris. He
was the French nobleman who was imprisoned for holding orgies in
which he whipped and sodomized prostitutes. He wrote "The 120 Days
of Sodom" and "Justine."
(WUD, 1994, p.1259)(WSJ, 2/7/96, p.A-12)(WSJ,
11/5/98, p.A20)(WSJ, 2/7/96, p.A-12)(HN, 6/2/99)
1740 Jul 8, Pierre Vigne
(b.1670), Frenchman, died. He founded the Congregation of Sisters of
the Most Holy Sacrament. In 2004 he was beatified by Pope John Paul
1740 Aug 26, Joseph-Michel
Montgolfier, French inventor, born. He and his brother
Jacques-Etienne invented the hot air balloon in 1783.
1741 May 8, France and Bavaria
signed the Covenant of Nymphenburg.
1741 Nov 20, Melchior de
Polignac, French diplomat and clergyman, died.
1741 Voltaire, French
playwright, wrote the play “Fanaticism, or Mahomet the Prophet." He
used the founder of Islam to lampoon all forms of religious frenzy
(WSJ, 3/6/06, p.A10)
1741-1788 Count Laperouse. He attempted to
circumnavigate the globe in 1785 and was cut short by a typhoon near
the Solomon Islands.
(WSJ, 5/7/02, p.D7)
1742-1752 Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau served as
the inspector general of the navy.
(WSJ, 5/7/02, p.D7)
1743 May 24, Jean-Paul Marat,
French revolutionist, was born. He advocated extreme violence and
was assassinated in his own bath.
1743 Jun 27, King George of the
English defeated the French at Dettingen, Bavaria. English armies
were victorious over the French at Dettingen. This event was
celebrated by Handel in his composition "Dettingen Te Deum."
(BLW, Geiringer, 1963 ed. p. 317)(HN, 6/27/98)
1743 Aug 19, Marie Jeanne Becu
Comtesse du Barry (d.1793), last mistress of Louis XV, was born.
1743 Aug 26, Antoine Laurent
Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, was born. He discovered
"dephlogisticated air" which he called oxygen and was executed by
the revolution in 1794.
(HN, 8/26/99)(RTH, 8/26/99)
1743 Sep 14, Nicolas Lancret,
French artist, died. He was a brilliant depicter of light comedy
which reflected the tastes and manners of French society under the
regent Orleans. His work included “Study of a Woman Seated on the
Ground" and “Study of a Man."
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Lancret)(SFC, 7/13/13, p.E3)
1743 Sep 17, Marquis Marie Jean
de Condorcet, French mathematician and philosopher, a leading
thinker in the Enlightenment, was born.
1743 Joseph Nicolas Pancrace
Royer created the opera-ballet: "Le Puvoir de l'Amour." Royer was
later remembered for his harpsichord works.
(WSJ, 3/12/02, p.A24)
1743 In France Louis XV
commissioned an elevator installed at Versailles to link his
apartment to that of his mistress.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)(SFC, 8/23/08, p.F4)
1743 French champagne maker
Moet was founded.
(Econ, 3/6/04, Survey p.6)
1744 Feb 9, Battle at Toulon:
French-Spanish faced the English fleet of Adm. Matthews.
1744 Feb 21, The British
blockade of Toulon was broken by 27 French and Spanish warships
attacking 29 British ships.
1744 Aug 1,
Jean-Baptiste-Pierre-Antoine Monnet de Lamarck, French zoologist,
1744 Fort Richelieu was built
in Sete on the Mediterranean coast of the Languedoc region.
(SSFC, 6/17/01, p.T10)
1745 Jan 7, Jacques Etienne
Montgolfier (d.1799), French inventor, was born. He and his brother,
Joseph (1740-1810), launched the first successful hot-air balloon in
(HN, 1/7/99)(WUD, 1994 p.928)
1745 Apr 20, Philippe Pinel
(d.1826), French physician and founder of psychiatry, was born.
(WUD, 1994, p.)(HN, 4/20/98)
1745 May 11, French forces
defeated an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army at Fontenoy.
1745 Jun 17, American New
Englanders captured Louisburg, Cape Breton, from the French. The
ragtag army captured France's most imposing North American
stronghold on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia.
(HN, 5/17/98)(WSJ, 10/5/99, p.A24)(MC, 6/17/02)
1745 Nov 28-29, French troops
attacked Indians at Saratoga, NY.
1745 Jean-Philippe Rameau wrote
the lyric comedy "Platee." It was an amalgam of song, dance and
spectacle based on a simple plot where Jupiter tries to cure Juno of
her jealousy. It was a parody of late-Baroque opera. It was staged
on the occasion of the Dauphin Louis' marriage to Princess Maria
Teresa of Spain. It was about a lovesick frog.
(WSJ, 10/1/97, p.A20)(SFC, 1/20/98, p.E1)(SFEM,
6/7/98, p.8)(WSJ, 6/16/98, p.A17)(WSJ, 10/30/01, p.A21)
1745 The renowned Champagne
house of Moët & Chandon was established in the city of Epernay.
1745 Richard Hennessey arrived
in France from Ireland as an exile from wars with England.
(SSFC, 10/16/11, p.N4)
1746 Sep 20, Bonnie Prince
Charlie fled to France from Scotland.
1746 Sep 21, A French
expeditionary army occupied Labourdonnais. Colonial governor Joseph
Francois Dupleix occupied Madras.
(PCh, 1992, p.298)(MC, 9/21/01)
1746 Parisian book publisher
Andre Francois Le Breton hired Denis Diderot (32) to work on a
project called the Encyclopedie. The plan was to produce a French
translation of Ephraim Chamber’s 1728 Cyclopedia. In 1747 he named
Diderot co-editor with Jean D’Alembert.
(ON, 4/05, p.8)(WSJ, 6/29/05, p.D8)
1746 Nicholas de Largilliere
(b.1656), French painter, died.
(WSJ, 10/30/03, p.D10)
1746-1818 Gaspard Monge, Comte de Peluse, French
mathematician. He served with Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier on the
revolutionary commission to devise the metric system.
(WUD, 1994, p.924)(NH, 12/98, p.24)
1747 Jul 2, Marshall Saxe led
the French forces to victory over an Anglo-Dutch force under the
Duke of Cumberland at the Battle of Lauffeld.
1747-1830 Madame Dorothee Deluzy, French actress:
"We believe at once in evil, we only believe in good upon
reflection. Is this not sad?"
1748 Aug 30, Jacques-Louis
David (d.1825), Neoclassical painter (Death of Marat), was born. He
painted "Madame Hamelin." He also painted a portrait of Napoleon
crossing the St. Bernard Pass on a rearing horse. Jean Ingres began
his career as a pupil of David.
(AAP, 1964)(WUD, 1994, p.369)(WSJ, 5/19/97,
p.A16)(WSJ, 5/28/99, p.W12)(MC, 8/30/01)
1748 Henri Louis Duhamel du
Monceau, inspector general of the navy gave his ship models to Louis
XV, which helped start the Musee National de la Marine.
(WSJ, 5/7/02, p.D7)
1748 Henri Francois
d’Aguesseau, chancellor of France, granted an official license for
the new Encyclopedie following a presentation by Denis Diderot.
(ON, 4/05, p.8)
1749 Mar, Jean Godin, French
geographer, left Quito, part of the Viceroyalty of Peru (later
Ecuador), in an attempt to reach France to settle his family estate.
He traveled by an eastern route across South America and became
stranded in French Guiana for over 20 years. In 2004 Robert Whitaker
authored “The Mapmaker’s Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and
Survival in the Amazon." It was an account of Jean Godin (d.1792),
French mapmaker, and his wife, Isabel Godin. They managed to reunite
(Econ, 5/15/04, p.81)(ON, 5/05, p.4)
1749 Mar 23, Pierre-Simon
Laplace (d.1827), French mathematician, astronomer, physicist, was
1749 Jun 19, Jean-Marie Collot
d'Herbois, French revolutionary (Committee of Public Safety), was
1749 Jul 24, Denis Diderot was
arrested in Paris during a government crackdown on writers and
publishers of subversive books. He was released Nov 3 to continued
his work on the Encyclopedie.
(ON, 4/05, p.8)
1749 Sep 10, Emilie du Chatelet
(b.1706), writer and mathematician, died from an infection that
followed a pregnancy. Her work included a translation of Newton’s
Principia from Latin to French. She met Voltaire in 1733 and they
soon began living together. In 1957 Nancy Mitford authored “Voltaire
in Love." In 2006 David Bodanis authored “Passionate Minds: The
Great Enlightenment Love Affair" and Judith P. Zinsser authored “La
1749 Rameau's composition
"Zoroastre," a lyric tragedy, was first performed in Paris. It did
not do well and the composer reworked it with his librettist, Louis
de Cahusac, for a Les Arts performance in 1756.
(WSJ, 4/13/98, p.A20)
1750 Jun 15, Marguerite De
Launay, Baronne Staal, French writer, died.
1750 Jul 28, Philippe Fabre
d'Eglantine, poet, satirist, politician, was born in France.
1750 Aug 24, Laetitia
Bonaparte-Ramolino, mother of Napoleon, was born.
1751 Jul 28, In France the 1st
volume of the Encyclopedie, edited by Diderot and D’Alembert, was
published with a print run of 1,625.
(ON, 4/05, p.8)
1751 Dec 23, France set plans
to tax clergymen.
1751 Voltaire published
"Micromegas" in which he mentioned "aliens from outer space." This
is believed to be the first mention of such aliens in literature.
(SFEC, 1/25/98, Z1 p.8)
1752 Feb 7, Publication, sale
and distribution of the 1st 2 volumes of the Encyclopedie were
summarily forbidden by order of King Louis XV. Chretien de
Malesherbes, the French director of publications, managed to broker
a compromise that included a layer of censorship and a 3rd volume
was published by the end of 1753.
(ON, 4/05, p.9)
1752 Oct 18, The opera "Le
Devin du Village" by Jean-Jacques Rousseau premiered.
1753 Mar 9, Jean-Baptiste
Kleber, French general, architect, was born.
1753 Mar 25, Voltaire left the
court of Frederik II of Prussia.
1753 May 6, French King Louis
XV observed a transit of Mercury at Mendon Castle.
1753 May 9, King Louis XV
disbanded the French parliament.
1753 May 31, Pierre V.
Vergniaud, French politician, Girondin orator (guillotined in 1793),
1753 Jul 4,
Jean-Pierre-Francois Blanchard (d.1809), French balloonist, was
born. He made the 1st balloon flights in England and US.
1753 Dec 14, French Captain
Jacques Le Gardeur rejected the pretensions of the English to
ownership of the Ohio Valley, but promised to forward Virginia Gov.
Dinwiddie’s letter of trespass to his superiors in Canada.
(ON, 9/05, p.2)
1754 Feb 2, Charles Maurice de
Tallyrand-Perigord (d.1838), minister of foreign affairs for
Napoleon I, was born. He represented France brilliantly at the
Congress of Vienna.
(WUD, 1994, p.1450)(HN, 2/2/99)
1754 Apr 2, A small
expeditionary force of 159 men under Lt. Col. George Washington
arrived at Will’s Creek and learned that the French had taken over
the new Fort Prince George at the Forks of the Ohio from British
soldiers and frontiersmen and renamed it Fort Duquesne.
(ON, 9/05, p.2)
1754 May 28, Col. George
Washington led a 40-man detachment that defeated French and Indian
forces in a skirmish near Great Meadows, Pa.
(ON, 9/05, p.3)
1754 Jul 3, George Washington
surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity (later Pittsburgh) in
southwestern Pennsylvania to the French, leaving them in control of
the Ohio Valley. This marked the beginning of the French and Indian
War also called the 7 Years' War. In 2005 Fred Anderson authored
“The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian
(HN, 7/13/98)(Arch, 1/05, p.46)(WSJ, 12/14/05,
1754 Aug 2, Pierre Charles
L'Enfant, French engineer who designed the layout of Washington,
D.C., was born.
1754 Aug 23, Louis XVI
(d.1793), King of France (1774-1793), was born at Versailles.
During the French Revolution he met his fate at the guillotine. He
was the grandson of Louis XV and married Marie Antoinette.
(AP, 8/23/97)(HN, 8/23/98)
1754-1824 Joseph Joubert, French moralist.
"Kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve." "To be
capable of respect is today almost as rare as to be worthy of it."
(AP, 3/22/97)(AP, 1/22/99)
1754-1838 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord,
statesman, served as the minister of foreign affairs during the
reign of Napoleon.
(WUD, 1994, p.1450)
1755 Apr 1, Jean Anthelme
Brillat-Savarin, French lawyer (Fisiologia del Gusto), was born.
1755 Jul 8, Britain broke off
diplomatic relations with France as their disputes in the New World
1755 Jul 9, General Edward
Braddock was killed when French and Indian troops ambushed his force
of British regulars and colonial militia, which was on its way to
attack France's Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). Gen. Braddock's troops
were decimated at Fort Duquesne, where he refused to accept
Washington's advice on frontier style fighting.
(A & IP, ESM, p.11)(HN, 7/9/98)
1755 Aug 23, Jean Baptiste
Lislet-Geoffroy, French geographer, was born.
1755 Sep 8, British forces
under William Johnson and 250 Indians defeated the French and their
allied Indians at the Battle of Lake George, NY.
(HN, 9/8/98)(SSFC, 4/23/06, p.G6)
1755 Sep 13, Bertrand Barere,
French Revolutionist, was born in Tarbes.
1755 Oct 24, A British
expedition against the French held Fort Niagara in Canada ended in
1755 Nov 2, Marie Antoinette
(d.1793), Queen of France, was born. She was the daughter of Maria
Theresa and Francis I; and wife of Louis XVI in 1770 and thus Queen
of France. She was arrested by the Revolutionary Tribunal and
beheaded on Oct. 15.
(CFA, '96, p.58)(HN, 11/2/98)
1755 Nov 17, Louis XVIII, 1st
post-revolutionary king of France (1814-24), was born.
(HN, 11/17/98)(MC, 11/17/01)
1755 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
wrote his "Discourse on the Origin of Inequality," in which he
denounced private property as the root of all evil.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1756 Apr 15, Jacques Cassini
(b.1677), French astronomer and cartographer, died.
1756 May 17, After a year and a
half of undeclared war Britain declared war on France, beginning the
French and Indian War. England hoped to conquer Canada. The final
defeat of the French came in 1763 with the British victory at the
Battle of Quebec on the Plains of Abraham.
1756 Aug 14, French commander
Louis Montcalm took Fort Oswego, New England, from the British.
1756 Aug 31, The British at
Fort William Henry, New England, surrendered to Louis Montcalm of
1756 Fussier French Sevres
porcelain, under the patronage of King Louis XV, gained the upper
hand in porcelain production over Meissen. Its trademark pictured
cobalt-blue crossed swords.
(WSJ, 8/28/98, p.W10)
1756-1763 The Seven Years War. France and Great
Britain clashed both in Europe and in North America. In 2000
"Crucible of War" by Fred Anderson was published. France, Russia,
Austria, Saxony, Sweden and Spain stood against Britain, Prussia and
Hanover. Britain financed Prussia to block France in Europe while
her manpower was occupied in America.
(V.D.-H.K.p.223)(SFC, 7/7/96, BR p.7)(WSJ,
1757 Jan 4, Robert Francois
Damiens made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate King Louis XV of
1757 Aug 9, English Ft. William
Henry, NY, surrendered to French and Indian troops.
1757 Sep 3, Charles X, Duke of
Prussia, was born in Versailles, France.
1757 Sep 6, Marie Joseph du
Motier, Marquis de LaFayette, French soldier and statesman who aided
George Washington during the American Revolution, was born in
1757 Oct 9, Charles X, last
Bourbon king of France (1824-30), was born.
1757 Nov 5, Frederick II of
Prussia defeated the French at Rosbach in the Seven Years War.
1757 Denis Diderot published
his play "Le Fils Naturel."
1758 Jan 2, The French began
bombardment of Madras, India.
1758 May 6, Maximilien F.M.I.
de Robespierre (d.1794), a leader of the French Revolution, was
born. He was known as the "Sea-Green Incorruptible" from his sallow
complexion. He decreed death for all those he considered enemies of
(V.D.-H.K.p.231)(HN, 5/6/99)(SSFC, 10/28/01,
1758 Jul 8, During the French
and Indian War a British attack on Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, New
York, was foiled by the French. Some 3,500 Frenchmen defeated the
British army of 15,000, which lost 2,000 men.
(HN, 7/8/98)(AH, 10/02, p.27)
1758 Jun 23, British and
Hanoverian armies defeated the French at Krefeld in Germany.
1758 Jul 26, British battle
fleet under Gen. James Wolfe captured France's Fortress of
Louisbourg on Ile Royale (Capre Breton Island, Nova Scotia) after a
7-week siege, thus gaining control of the entrance to the Saint
(HN, 7/26/98)(MC, 7/26/02)
1758 Sep 18, James Abercromby
[was] replaced as supreme commander of British forces after his
defeat by French commander, the Marquis of Montcalm, at Fort
Ticonderoga during the French and Indian War.
1758 Nov 25, In the French and
Indian War British forces under General John Forbes captured Fort
Duquesne. George Washington participated in the campaign. Forbes
renamed the site Fort Pitt after William Pitt the Elder, who
directed British military policy in the Seven Years' War of
1756-'53. Before his arrival, the French had burned the fort and
(AP, 11/25/97)(ON, 9/05, p.5)(HNQ, 7/17/98)
1759 Mar 8, French King Louis
XV revoked the license of the Encyclopedie as the 8th volume was
about to be printed.
(ON, 4/05, p.9)
1759 Apr 8, Francois de La
Croix (76), composer, died.
1759 Apr 13, The French
defeated European Allies in Battle of Bergen.
1759 Apr 23, British seized
Basse-Terre and Guadeloupe in the Antilies from France.
1759 May 8, Hearing of his
appointment in the west, General Napoleon Bonaparte left for Paris
in order to obtain a different posting.
1759 Jul 25, British forces
defeated a French army at Fort Niagara in Canada. During their 7
(HN, 7/25/98)(SC, 7/25/02)
1759 Jul 26, The French
relinquished Fort Carillon in New York, to the British under General
Jeffrey Amherst. The British changed the name to Fort Ticonderoga,
from the Iroquois word Cheonderoga (land between the waters).
(HN, 7/26/98)(AH, 10/02, p.26)
1759 Aug 1, British and
Hanoverian armies defeated the French at the Battle of Minden,
Germany. The marquis de Lafayette was killed by a British cannonball
and his son, Gilbert du Motier (2), inherited the title. In 1777
Lafayette joined the American Continental Army.
(HN, 8/1/98)(ON, 2/09, p.1)
1759 Aug 18, The French fleet
was destroyed by the British under "Old Dreadnought" Boscawen at the
battle of Lagos Bay.
1759 Sep 3, Pope Clement XIII
officially placed the French Encyclopedie on the Vatican’s Index of
(ON, 4/05, p.9)
1759 Sep 13, During the final
French and Indian War, the Battle of Quebec [Canada] was fought.
British Gen. James Wolfe's army defeated Commander Louis Joseph de
Montcalm's French forces on the Plains of Abraham overlooking Quebec
City. "Measured by the numbers engaged," wrote historian Francis
Parkman, the Battle of Quebec "was but a heavy skirmish; measured by
results, it was one of the great battles of the world." Fought on
the rainy morning of September 13, 1759, the armies of England and
France clashed outside the walls of Quebec City and altered the
balance of power of an entire continent. The battle on the Plains of
Abraham lasted less than half an hour. By the time the rain had
washed away the blood, Quebec had surrendered to the British. Four
years later, the Treaty of Paris gave England sole dominion over
most of the land that Quebec City had governed, from Cape Breton
Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Mississippi River.
(CFA, '96, p.54)(SFC, 7/7/96, BR p.7)(AP,
1759 Sep 14, Louis Joseph,
Marquis de Montcalm, French general died at 47 on the Plains of
Abraham in Canada.
1759 Sep 18, Quebec surrendered
to the British and the Battle of Quebec ended. The French
surrendered to the British after their defeat on the Plains of
(AP, 9/18/97)(HN, 9/18/98)
1759 Sep 18, British commander
James Wolfe died at the Battle of Quebec.
1759 Oct 20, Marie Jean Herault
de Sechelles, French author, politician, French Revolutionary, was
1759 Oct 26, Georges Jacques
Danton, French Revolutionary leader, was born. He was an impassioned
orator and minister of Justice. He was also the last hope of the
moderates during the French Reign of Terror and his execution led
directly to the overthrow of Robespierre in 1794.
1759 The philosopher Voltaire
wrote his novel Candide.
(WUD, 1994, p.216)
1759 France eliminated the
public practice of sitting on the stage during theater and opera
(SFC, 3/9/07, p.E8)
1759 Britain triumphed over
France in the naval victory at Quiberon Bay.
(WSJ, 3/14/00, p.A28)
1759-1771 Emiland Gauthey, Burgundy canal
engineer, remade Givry, France, over this period.
(SSFC, 12/5/04, p.F5)
1760 Apr 28, French forces
besieging Quebec defeated the British in the second battle on the
Plains of Abraham.
1760 May 10, Claude-Joseph
Rouget de Lisle, soldier, author, composer ("La Marseillaise"), was
1760 Jul 31, Ferdinand, Duke of
Brunswick, foiled last French threat at Warburg and drove the French
army back to Rhine River.
1760 Sep 8, The French
surrendered the city of Montreal to British Gen. Jeffrey Amherst.
[see Sep 18, 1759]
(HN, 9/8/98)(MC, 9/8/01)
1760 Nov 23, Gracchus Babeuf,
French agrarian agitator, politician and writer, was born.
1760 Nov 29, Major Roger Rogers
took possession of Detroit on behalf of Britain. French commandant
Belotre surrendered Detroit.
(HN, 11/29/98)(MC, 11/29/01)
1760 Giovanni Battista Torre
started a Paris shop selling books and prints. The shop was best
know for its fireworks displays. In 1775 Torre’s son Anthony along
with Paul Peter Colnaghi moved to London and established themselves
as sellers and publishers of prints. In 2010 “Colnaghi: the History"
was published as part of a 250 year anniversary celebration.
(Econ, 6/19/10, p.87)
1760s Louis XV and Madame de
Pompadour built the La Petit Trianon at Versailles as a retreat. She
died before it was finished. Louis XVI later gave it to Marie
(SFEM, 8/9/98, p.26)
1760-1960 The textbook "France in Modern Times:
1760-1960" was one of the works of Prof. Gordon Justin Wright
(d.2000 at age 87). His other books included "The Reshaping of
(SFC, 1/20/00, p.C3)
1761 George-Louis Leclerc
(1707-1788), Comte de Buffon, French naturalist and theoretical
biologist published the 9th volume of his 35 volume work titled
"Histoire Naturelle, Generale, et Particuliere," an attempt to
record all that was known of the world of nature. This volume
expanded on his “theory of American degeneracy," his view that all
animals in America were smaller than their European counterparts.
(http://tinyurl.com/7yspryd)(ON, 4/12, p.9)
1762 Jan, In France Diderot
published the 1st volume of illustrations for his Encyclopedie.
(ON, 4/05, p.10)
1762 Feb 5, Martinique, a major
French base in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, surrendered
to the British.
1762 Mar 10, Jean Calas, a
French protestant (Huguenot), was tortured and executed in Toulouse
on the charge that he had killed his son in 1761 to prevent him from
converting to Catholicism. Voltaire took up the case believing that
Catholic judges were biased. He wrote pamphlets and letters to
support his case and urged high-placed friends to place the case
before the Great Council of Louis XV. On March 9, 1765, Jean Calas
and his family were acquitted and the death of the son was ruled a
(ON, 4/06, p.10)(SFC, 3/9/07, p.E8)
1762 Oct 29, Andre-Marie
Chenier, French poet (Elegies), was born.
1762 Nov 3, Spain acquired
Louisiana. [see Dec 3]
1762 Dec 3, France ceded to
Spain all lands west of the Mississippi- the territory known as
Upper Louisiana. [see Nov 3]
(CO, Grolier's, 11/10/95)(HN, 12/3/98)
1762 Jean-Jacques Rousseau
published his didactic novel "Emile," which spelled out his idea of
his "natural system," and his work of political philosophy "The
Social Contract." The books were banned in France and he was forced
(WSJ, 2/18/97, p.A18)(SSFC, 1/4/04, p.M2)
1763 Feb 10, Britain, Spain and
France signed the Treaty of Paris ending the French-Indian War.
France ceded Canada to England and gave up all her territories in
the New World except New Orleans and a few scattered islands. France
retained the sugar colonies of Martinique and Guadeloupe.
(HN, 2/10/97)(AP, 2/10/97)(AP, 2/10/08)(SSFC,
1763 Feb 12, Pierre de
Mariveaux (b.1688), French novelist and playwright, died.
1763 Jun 23, Josephine
Martinique, empress of France (1804-14), was born.
(HN, 6/23/98)(MC, 6/23/02)
1764 Jan 1, Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart (8) played for the Royal Family at Versailles, France.
1764 Feb 11, Marie-Joseph de
Chenier, French poet (Cajus Graechus), was born.
1764 Sep 12, Jean Philippe
Rameau, French composer (Castor en Pollux), died at 80.
1764 Nov 26, France banned
1764 Voltaire [Francois Marie
Arouet] (1694-1778), French philosopher, historian, dramatist and
essayist, authored the "Philosophical Dictionary."
1764 Catherine the Great hired
Etienne-Maurice Falconet (1716-1791) of France to create a statue of
Peter the Great (d.1725). In 2003 Alexander M. Schenker authored
"The Bronze Horseman: Falconet's Monument to Peter the Great."
(WSJ, 12/18/03, p.D6)
1764 The French established the
1st settlement on the Falkland Islands.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.36)
1765 Mar 7, Joseph N. Niepce
(d.1883), French lithographer, inventor (photography), was born.
Photo etching was invented by Joseph Nicephore Niepce early in the
19th century. He also invented photography. His partner, L.J.M.
Daguerre, perfected Niepce's process and popularized daguerreotypes
as the first commercial photographs.
(V.D.-H.K.p.273)(I&I, Penzias, p.114)(MC,
1765 Sep, Printing of Diderot’s
complete Encyclopedie was finished despite unauthorized edits by Le
Breton, his chief publisher. The French government prohibited
distribution in Paris or near Versailles.
(ON, 4/05, p.10)
1765 Richard Hennessey, an
exile Ireland, founded a spirits export business in the Cognac
region of France.
(SSFC, 10/16/11, p.N4)
1765 La Compagnie des
Cristalleries de Baccarat, a glass factory, opened in France.
(SFC, 2/22/06, p.G6)
1766 Mar 5, Spanish official
Don Antonio de Ulloa arrived in New Orleans to take possession of
the Louisiana Territory from the French.
1766 Nov 16, Rudolphe Kreutzer
(d.1831), a leading French composer and violinist. Beethoven's
"Kreutzer" Sonata was dedicated to him. His Stradivarius violin sold
for $1.58 mil. in 1998.
(WUD, 1994, p.795)(SFC, 4/2/98, p.E4)(MC,
1766 France handed its
settlement on the Falkland Islands over to Spain.
(Econ, 7/15/06, p.36)
1766-1769 The French expedition of Louis Antoine
de Bougainville sailed on a voyage to circumnavigate the globe.
Botanist Jeanne Baret, disguised as a man, likely collected a flower
(bougainvillea) near Rio de Janeiro that was named after the
1766-1817 Germaine de Stael, French author: "There
are only two distinct classes of people on this earth: those who
espouse enthusiasm and those who despise it."
1767 Mar 25, Joachim Murat
(d.1815), Napoleon's brother in law, was born in Labastide-Murat. He
was a French marshal and became king of Naples (1808-1815).
(WUD, 1994, p.941)(HN, 3/25/99)(HN, 3/25/99)
1767 Oct 23, H. Benjamin
Constant, [de Rebeque], French politician and writer, was born.
1767 Fragonard (1732-1806)
painted "The Swing."
(SFC, 2/7/03, p.D2)
1768 Mar 21,
Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Fourier (d.1830), French mathematician,
physicist and Egyptologist, was born.
(HN, 3/21/98)(WUD, 1994, p.561)
1768 May 15, By the Treaty of
Versailles, France purchased Corsica from Genoa.
(SFC, 12/3/96, p.A1)(HN, 5/15/99)
1768 Jul 27, Charlotte Corday,
French patriot who assassinated Jean Paul Marat, was born.
1768 Sep 4, Vicomte François
René de Chateaubriand, French writer, novelist (Atala) and chef who
gave his name to a style of steak, was born.
(HN, 9/4/98)(MC, 9/4/01)
1768 Oct 28, Michel Blavet
(68), French court flautist and composer, died.
1769 Jan 10, Michel Ney, French
marshal (Waterloo), was born.
1769 Apr 22, Madame du Barry
became King Louis XV's "official" mistress.
1769 Aug 15, Napoleon Bonaparte
(d.1821), Emperor of France (1804-1813, 1814-1815) and continental
Europe, was born on the island of Corsica.
(WUD, 1994, p.950)(AP, 8/15/97)(HN, 8/15/02)(MC,
1769 Henri Louis Duhamel du
Monceau published "Histoire Des Poissons."
(WSJ, 5/7/02, p.D7)
1769 Gluck completed his opera
"Paride ed Elena." It was the last of 3 collaborations with
librettist Raniero de’ Calzabigi. It deals with the seduction of
Helen by Paris.
(WSJ, 7/14/04, p.D14)
1769 The Parc Monceau in Paris
was created on the property of the Duc de Chartres, father of future
King Louis Philippe.
(SFEC, 3/26/00, p.T12)
1770 May 16, Marie Antoinette
(14), married the future King Louis XVI of France (15).
(AP, 5/16/97)(HN, 5/16/98)
1770 Dec 26, Pierre earl de
Cambronne, French general (Waterloo, Elba), was born.
1770 Francois Boucher (b.1703),
French painter, died. He painted "Diana."
(Econ, 10/9/04, p.79)
1771 Nov 4, Carlo Goldoni's "Le
Bourru Bienfaisant," premiered in Paris.
1771 Dec 26, Claude A.
Helvétius (56), French encyclopedist (L'esprit), died.
1772 Feb 10, Louis Tocque (75),
French painter, died.
1772 The Paris Faculty of
Medicine declared potatoes to be an edible food.
(SSFC, 10/5/08, p.A15)
1772 The French Veuve Clicquot
champagne was first produced, but the first bottles were laid down
for ten years.
1773 Augustin Pajou, sculptor,
completed his bust of Madame du Barry.
(WSJ, 3/18/98, p.A20)
1773-1827 Elizabeth de Meulan Guizot, French
author: "Much misconstruction and bitterness are spared to him who
thinks naturally upon what he owes to others, rather than on what he
ought to expect from them."
1774 Apr 19, Gluck's opera
"Iphigenia in Aulis," premiered in Paris.
1774 May 10, Louis XV (64),
King of France (1715-74), died of smallpox and was succeeded by his
grandson Louis XVI (19). Louis XVI soon appointed Charles Gravier,
comte de Vergennes, as his new foreign minister.
(AP, 5/10/97)(HN, 5/10/99)(PCh, 1992, p.318)(AH,
1774 Sep 13, Tugot, the new
controller of finances, urged the king of France to restore the free
circulation of grain in the kingdom.
1774 Dec 16, Francois Quesnay
(b.1694), French economist, died. He was the first to think of the
economy as a system of interacting parts to be judged by the
necessities and conveniences it produces. Quesnay wrote his Tableau
Économique (1758), renowned for its famous "zig-zag" depiction of
income flows between economic sectors.
1774 Dec, In Paris nearly 100
feet of the Rue d'Enfer ("street of Hell") collapsed to a depth of
(Hem., 3/97, p.129)
1774 Kaspar David Friedrich
(d.1840), German painter and master of numinous landscapes, was
born. He painted "Wreck of the Hope."
(AAP, 1964)(WSJ, 7/16/98, p.A16)
1774-1792 King Louis XIV ruled.
(WUD, 1994, p.848)
1775 Dec 18-1775 Dec 27, In
Philadelphia Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and Francis Daymon, members
of the Committee of Secret Correspondence, met 3 times at
Carpenter’s Hall with French agent Chevalier Julien-Alexandre Achard
de Bonvouloir regarding French support for American Independence.
1776 Mar 1, French minister
Charles Gravier advised his Spanish counterpart to support the
American rebels against the English.
1776 Apr, Charles Gravier,
comte de Vergennes, the French foreign minister, enlisted Pierre
Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, playwright and French spy, to
establish a commercial firm to supply America with arms, munitions
(AH, 2/06, p.59)
1776 May 12, Turgot, French
minister of Finance, resigned.
1776 Jun, Pierre-Augustin Caron
de Beaumarchais established Hortalez et Cie, a fictitious company,
to facilitate the transfer of arms to revolutionaries in America. It
facilitated the transfer of weapons and munitions from France and
Spain to the Americans. Under the scheme, France and Spain each
loaned funds to the company for the purchase of munitions and the
Americans would in turn pay for the material with rice, tobacco and
other products. The scandal-plagued operation continued after the
signing of the Franco-American alliance permitting open shipments of
military aid between the two countries.
1776 Jul 27, Silas Deane
(1737-1789), secretly sent to France as America’s first official
envoy, wrote a letter to the US Congress informing them that he has
been successful beyond his expectations. Deane had served as the
Connecticut delegate to the Continental Congress.
1776 Oct 29, Benjamin Franklin
departed for France one month to the day after being named an agent
of a diplomatic commission by the Continental Congress. He served
from 1776-1778 on a three-man commission to France charged with the
critical task of gaining French support for American independence.
1776 Dec 23, Continental
Congress negotiated a war loan of $181,500 from France.
1776 Augustin Pajou, sculptor,
completed his "Monument to Buffon."
(WSJ, 3/18/98, p.A20)
1777 Feb 13, The Marquis de
Sade was arrested without charge and imprisoned in Vincennes
1777 Jul 27, The Marquis of
Lafayette arrived in New England to help the rebellious colonists
fight the British.
1777 Aug 16, France declared a
state of bankruptcy.
1777 Dec 17, France recognized
1778 Jan 27, Nicolo Piccinni's
(1728-1800) opera "Roland" premiered in Paris.
(WUD, 1994 p.1088)(MC, 1/27/02)
1778 Feb 6, The United States
won official recognition from France as the nations signed a treaty
of aid in Paris. The Franco-American Treaty of Alliance bound the 2
powers together "forever against all other powers." It was the first
alliance treaty for the fledgling US government and the last until
the 1949 NATO pact. Benjamin Franklin signed for the US.
(WSJ, 6/17/96, p.A15)(AP, 2/6/97)(AH, 2/06, p.59)
1778 Feb 6, England declared
war on France.
1778 May 30, Voltaire (b.1694),
French writer born as Francois-Marie Arouet, died. His books
included Candide (1759).
1778 Jul 2, Jean-Jacques
Rousseau (b.1712), Swiss-born writer and philosopher, died in
France. He was considered part of the French Enlightenment
along with Voltaire and Diderot. In 2005 Leo Damrosch authored
“Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Restless Genius."
1778 Jul 10, In support of the
American Revolution, Louis XVI declared war on England.
1778 Jul 27, British and French
fleets fought to a standoff in the first Battle of Ushant.
1778 Dec 19,
Marie-Therese-Charlotte, daughter of King Louis XVI and
Marie-Antoinette, was born.
1778 Benjamin Franklin, on a
diplomatic mission in France, approved a plan by John Paul Jones to
disrupt British merchant shipping along Britain's undefended west
(ON, 2/04, p.6)
1778-1781 Under the Treaty of Commerce and
Friendship, France aided the American revolutionaries. Some 44,000
French troops served during the American War of Independence.
1779 Apr 24, Mr. H. Sykes, an
English optician living in Paris, wrote to Ben Franklin and
explained a delay in sending an order for special spectacles,
complaining that he was having difficulty making them. Franklin is
believed to have ordered his first pair of bifocals from Sykes.
1779 Jun 18, French fleet
occupied St Vincent.
1779 Jul 4, French fleet
1779 Jul 24, The Siege of
Gibraltar by the Spanish and French was begun. It was finally lifted
on Feb 7, 1783.
1779 Dec 6, Jean-Baptiste
Simeon Chardin (80), French still life painter, died.
1779 Dec 19,
Auguste-Gaspard-Louis Desnoyers, engraver, was born in Paris,
1779 Benjamin Franklin
presented his credentials to the French court, becoming the first
American Minister (the 18th American century equivalent of
ambassador) to be received by a foreign government.
1780 Mar 21, The Marquis de
Lafayette set sail for the US aboard the Hermione after persuading
French King Louis XVI to provide military and financial aid to
support George Washington’s troops.
(SSFC, 4/19/15, p.A2)
1780 Aug 24, King Louis XVI
abolished torture as a means to get suspects to confess.
1780 Aug 29,
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (d.1867), French painter, was born.
His work included the "Portrait of Monsieur de Norvins" and
(WUD, 1994, p.731)(WSJ, 7/1/96, p.A11)(MC,
1780 A communal grave at the
Cemetery of the Innocents in Paris cracked and spilled into the
cellars of adjoining houses and prompted its closure.
(Hem., 3/97, p.129)
1780 Guillaume Raynal, a French
historian, proclaimed Puerto Rico to be "in proportion to its size
the very best island in the New World."
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.A3)
1781 Apr 29, French fleet
stopped Britain from seizing the Cape of Good Hope.
1781 Aug 30, The French fleet
arrived in the Chesapeake Bay to aid the American Revolution.
1781 Sep 5, The British fleet
arrived off the Virginia Capes and found 26 French warships in three
straggling lines. Rear Adm. Thomas Graves waited for the French to
form their battle lines and then fought for 5 days. Outgunned and
unnerved he withdrew to New York. The French had some 37 ships and
29,000 soldiers and sailors at Yorktown while Washington had some
11,000 men engaged. French warships defeated British fleet, trapping
Cornwallis in Yorktown.
(NG, 6/1988, p.763)(SFEC,11/23/97, Par p.19)(MC,
1782 Apr 12, The British navy
won its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American
Revolution at the Battle of Les Saintes in the West Indies off
Dominica. A British fleet beat the French.
(HN, 4/12/99)(MC, 4/12/02)
1782 May 26, British officer
Capt. Charles Asgill (20), a captive from Yorktown, drew a short
straw and was thereby selected to be executed should Capt.
Lippincott not be turned over to the Patriots for trial. Asgill was
spared following an appeal by French foreign minister Comte de
1782 Sep 13, The British
fortress at Gibraltar came under attack by French and Spanish
1782 Nov 30, The United States
and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the
1782 Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
authored his novel “Les Liaisons dangereuses" (The Dangerous
Liaisons). In 1988 a historical drama film of the same name was
based upon Christopher Hampton's play Les liaisons dangereuses, an
adaptation of the novel. In 1994 composer Conrad Susa (1935-2013)
and Philip Littell created an opera of the same name based on the
p.C10)(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A20)
1782 The Comedie Francaise
installed benches in the pit to prevent a mob-like atmosphere.
(SFC, 3/9/07, p.E8)
1783 Jan 20, The fighting of
the Revolutionary War ended. Britain signed a peace agreement with
France and Spain, who allied against it in the American War of
(HFA, '96, p.22)(HN, 1/20/99)
1783 Jan 23, Stendahl (d.1842),
[Marie Henri Beyle], French critic and writer (Le Rouge et de Noir),
was born. In 1997 Jonathon Keates published his book
"Stendhal," which covers the writer's life story. "Beauty is the
promise of happiness." "One can acquire everything in solitude,
(WSJ, 3/25/97, p.A16)(AP, 12/4/97)(AP,
1783 Feb 7, The Siege of
Gibraltar, which was pursued by the Spanish and the French since
July 24, 1779, was finally lifted. [see Sep 13, 1782]
1783 Apr 10, Hortense E. de
Beauharnais, French queen of Netherlands (1806-10), was born.
1783 Jun 4, The Montgolfier
brothers launched their 1st hot-air balloon (unmanned) in a
10-minute flight over Annonay, France.
1783 Aug 27, The 1st hydrogen
balloon flight (unmanned), made by Professor Jacques Charles,
successfully completed its inaugural flight in Paris.
1783 Sep 3, The Treaty of Paris
between the United States and Great Britain officially ended the
Revolutionary War. The Treaty of 1783, which formally ended the
American Revolution, is also known as the Definitive Treaty of
Peace, the Peace of Paris and the Treaty of Versailles. Under the
treaty, Great Britain recognized the independence of the United
States. The treaty bears the signatures of Benjamin Franklin, John
Adams and John Jay.
(AP, 9/3/97) (HNQ, 7/19/98)(HN, 9/3/98)(MC,
1783 Sep 19, Jacques Etienne
Montgolfier launched a duck, a sheep and a rooster aboard a hot-air
balloon at Versailles, France.
1683 Sep 24, King Louis XIV
expelled all Jews from French possessions in America.
1783 Oct 15, Francois Pilatre
de Rozier (Jean Piletre de Rozier) made the first manned flight in a
hot air balloon. The first flight was let out to 82 feet, but over
the next few days the altitude increased up to 6,500 feet. [see Jun
(HN, 10/15/98)(MC, 10/15/01)
1783 Oct 29, Jean-Baptiste Le
Rond d'Alembert (66), philosopher, mathematician, died. He
co-compiled the Encyclopedia with Denis Diderot.
1783 Nov 21, Jean-Francois
Pilatre de Rozier (1754-1785) and the Marquis d’Arlandes made the
first free-flight ascent in a balloon, to over 500 feet, in Paris.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Romain)(NPub, 2002, p.2)
1784 Jan 14, The United States
ratified a peace treaty with England, the Treaty of Paris, ending
the Revolutionary War.
(HFA, '96, p.22)(AP, 1/14/98)
1784 Feb 29, Marquis de Sade
was transferred from Vincennes fortress to the Bastille.
1784 Apr, The idea of resetting
clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall
was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in his essay "An Economical
Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light," published in the Journal
de Paris, as a way to save electricity.
1784 May 20, Peace of
Versailles ended the war between France, England, and Holland.
1784 Jun 4, Elizabeth Thible
became the first woman to fly aboard a Montgolfier hot-air balloon,
over Lyon, France.
1784 Jul 30, Denis Diderot
(b.1713), French philosopher, critic, and encyclopedist, died. "Men
will never be free until the last king is strangled with the
entrails of the last priest."
(WSJ, 6/15/99, p.A16)(
1784 Pierre-Augustin Caron de
Beaumarchais wrote "The Marriage of Figaro," the sequel to "The
Barber of Seville." A 1997 film, "Beaumarchais," was a look at the
artist, who was also a womanizer, a spy and an arms runner.
(WSJ, 12/19/96, p.A16)(SFEC,11/23/97, DB p.14)
1784 King Louis XVI appointed a
French commission to examine the theory of “animal magnetism,"
developed by German Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). The
commission, which included American ambassador Benjamin Franklin,
branded Mesmer a fraud.
(WSJ, 12/8/04, p.A1)
1784 Virginia Congressman
Thomas Jefferson (41) became the US Commissioner and Minister to
France. He continued there to 1798 and negotiated commercial
treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John
1785 Jan 7, The first balloon
flight across the English Channel was made. Frenchman Jean-Pierre
Blanchard and the American Dr. John Jeffries crossed the English
Channel for the first time in a hydrogen balloon.
(HN, 5/15/98)(HN, 1/7/99)
1785 Mar 27, Louis XVII,
Pretender to the throne (1793-1795) during the French Revolution,
was born. His father may have been Marie Antoinette's Swedish lover,
Count Axel von Fersen.
(HN, 3/27/98)(SFC, 4/20/00, p.A18)(MC, 3/27/02)
1785 May 23, Benjamin Franklin
in Paris spoke of his invention of bifocals in a letter to friend
and philanthropist George Whatley.
1785 Jun 15, Two Frenchmen
attempting to cross the English Channel in a hot-air balloon were
killed when their balloon caught fire and crashed, in possibly the
first fatal aviation accident.
1785 Jul 17, France limited the
importation of goods from Britain.
1785 Aug 15, French Cardinal De
Rohan (51), Bishop of Strasbourg, was arrested in the affair of the
diamond necklace. He was accused of forging the queen’s signature to
gain possession of a necklace containing 647 diamonds. In 2014
Jonathan Beckman authored “How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette,
the Stolen Diamonds, and the Scandal that Shook the French Throne."
(PC, 1992, p.335)(Econ, 7/12/14, p.76)
1785 Sep 28, Napoleon Bonaparte
(16) graduated from the military academy in Paris. He was 42nd in a
class of 51.
1785 Thomas Jefferson succeeded
Benjamin Franklin as US ambassador to France.
1785 Marie-Joseph de Condorcet
(1743-1794), French philosopher and mathematician, wrote the “Essay
on the Application of Analysis to the Probability of Majority
Decisions," one of his most important works. This work described
several now famous results, including Condorcet's jury theorem,
which states that if each member of a voting group is more likely
than not to make a correct decision, the probability that the
highest vote of the group is the correct decision increases as the
number of members of the group increases.
1786 Apr, The process of moving
the bones from the Cemetery of the Innocents to the new site in the
limestone quarries began. The process took 2 years. The
Revolutionary Government of Paris had decided to relieve congestion
and improve sanitary conditions by emptying the city cemeteries into
an official ossuary. The Cemetery of the Innocents and other church
cemeteries were moved to the limestone quarries south of the city.
(Hem., 3/97, p.129)(SSFC, 11/12/06, p.G3)
1786 Jul 24, Jean-Louis
Nicollet, French explorer, was born.
1786 Aug 8, Jacques Balmat and
Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard became the first men to climb Mont Blanc
(HN, 8/8/98)(ON, 4/04, p.1)
1786 Sep 14, Two French ships
appeared off the coast of Monterey, the first foreign vessels to
visit Spain's California colonies. Aboard was a party of eminent
scientists, navigators, cartographers, illustrators, and physicians.
For the next ten days Jean Francois de La Pérouse, the commander of
this expedition, took detailed notes on the life and character of
the area. Perouse’s notes were later published under the title “Life
in a California Mission: Monterey in 1786: The Journals of Jean
Francois De LA Perouse."
1786 Sep 26, France and Britain
signed a trade agreement in London.
1786 Nicolas-Edme Restif de la
Bretonne began writing in a new genre, the nighttime prowl. His "Les
Nuits de Paris ou Le Spectateur nocturne" was a rambling account of
1,001 nights wandering the streets of Paris.
(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.35)
1786-1859 Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, French
actress and poet: "Who will give me back those days when life had
wings and flew just like a skylark in the sky."
1787 Jul 2, The Marquis de Sade
shouted from Bastille that prisoners were being slaughtered.
1787 Jul 30, The French
parliament refused to approve a more equitable land tax.
1787 Aug 2, Horace the Saussure
reached the top of Mont Blanc.
1787 Sep 4, Louis XVI of France
1787 Nov 18, Louis-Jacques
Daguerre, French painter (daguerreotype), was born.
1787 Nov 29, Louis XVI
promulgated an edict of tolerance, granting civil status to
(HN, 11/29/98)(WSJ, 11/1/01, p.A19)
1787 Quatremiere de Quincy
coined the term "Baroque" and defined it as absurdity carried to
(WSJ, 8/18/99, p.A17)
1787 Thomas Jefferson toured
Bordeaux while serving as US ambassador to France. He purchased
cases Haut-Brion, d’Yquiem, and Margaux for himself and George
(WSJ, 9/1/06, p.A9)
1788 May 29, Jacques Aliamet
(61), French etcher, engraver, died.
1788 Jul 6, Ten thousand troops
were called out in Paris as unrest mounted in the poorer districts
over poverty and lack of food.
1788 Jul 15, Louis XVI jailed
12 deputies who protest new judicial reforms.
1788 Jul 19, Prices plunged on
the Paris stock market.
1788 Jul 20, The governor of
the French colony of Pondicherry, Vietnam, abandoned plans to place
King Nhuyen Anh back on the throne.
1788 Aug 8, King Louis XVI
called the French States and Generals together.
1788 Aug 8, Louis FAD Duke de
Richelieu (92), French marshal, died.
1788 Aug 27, Jacques Neeker was
named French minister of Finance.
1788 Sep 19, Charles de
Barentin became lord chancellor of France.
1788 Sep 23, Louis XVI of
France declared the Parliament restored.
1788 Sep 24, After having been
dissolved, the French Parliament of Paris reassembled in triumph.
1789 Jan 21, Baron Paul Thierry
d’Holbach (b.1723), a French-German author, philosopher,
encyclopedist and a prominent figure in the French Enlightenment,
died. In 2010 Philipp Blom authored “A Wicked Company: The Forgotten
Radicalism of the European Enlightenment," the story of the Paris
salon run by Baron Paul Thierry d’Holbach.
1789 Feb 2, Armand-Louis
Couperin (63), French composer, organist at Notre Dame, died.
1789 May 5, In France the
Estates General, summoned by King Louis XVI, convened to repair the
national finances. It sat for several weeks in May and June, but
came to an impasse as the three Estates clashed over their
respective powers. It was brought to an end when many members of the
Third Estate formed themselves into a National Assembly, signaling
the outbreak of the French Revolution.
1789 Jun 10, Bernard-Jordan de
Launay, military governor of the Bastille, suspended the prisoners'
daily supervised walks outside the Bastille walls.
(ON, 4/01, p.1)
1789 Jun 17, The Third Estate
in France declared itself a national assembly, and undertook to
frame a constitution.
1789 Jun 20, Oath on the Tennis
Court in Versailles, France, bonded members of the Third Estate to
resist eviction until they have a new constitution.
1789 Jul 9, In Versailles, the
French National Assembly declared itself the Constituent Assembly
and began to prepare a French constitution.
1789 cJul 11, Just days before
the Bastille was taken the tavern keepers and wine merchants of
Belleville, angered by levies on food and drink, sacked the local
tax collector's office.
(SFEC, 6/28/98, p.T8)
1789 Jul 13, Parisians rioted
over an increase in price of grain. The mob plundered the armories
and opened the prison gates of St. Lazare. The King at Versailles
refused to withdraw his troops from Paris.
1789 July 14
, Bastille Day. Tens of thousands of the citizens of Paris stormed
the Bastille, the Paris fortress used as a prison to hold political
prisoners, and released the prisoners inside at the
onset of the French Revolution. Over 100 rioters were killed or
wounded. The average Frenchman was 5 foot 2 and weighed 105 pounds.
France’s Louis XIV made a diary entry that read “Rien" (nothing).
Historian Francois Furet (1927-1997), a leading writer on the French
Revolution, was best known for his work: "Critical Dictionary of the
French Revolution." He refuted Marxist interpretations of the events
that preceded and followed the fall of the monarchy. In 1939 W.
Higgins edited "The French Revolution Told by Contemporaries."
(AP, 7/14/97)(HN, 7/14/98)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
p.R12)(ON, 4/01, p.1)(Econ, 6/25/05, p.52)(SFC, 7/15/97, p.A18)
1789 Jul 14, The French
Revolution. "It was not the literate and cultured minority of
Frenchmen who brought down the government, as had been the case in
England and America. Instead it was the common people, who marched
upon the king and queen in their palace at Versailles. The Jacobins
promulgated a Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen that
went beyond the American Bill of Rights in affirming, "Nothing that
is not forbidden by Law may be hindered, and no one may be compelled
to do what the Law does not ordain," for "Liberty consists in being
able to do anything that does not harm others."
(V.D.-H.K.p.230-231)(SFC, 6/23/96, Z1 p.2)
1789 Jul 15, The electors of
Paris set up a "Commune" to live without the authority of the
1789 Jul 18, Robespierre, a
deputy from Arras, France, decided to back the French Revolution.
1789 Jul 23, The Great Fear
swept through France as the Revolution continued.
1789 Aug 4, The Constituent
Assembly in France dissolved feudal system by abolishing the
privileges of nobility.
(HN, 8/4/98)(MC, 8/4/02)
1789 Aug 21, Augustin-Louis
Baron Cauchy, French mathematician, was born.
1789 Aug 26, The Constituent
Assembly in Versailles, France, approved the final version of the
Declaration of Human Rights.
1789 Aug 27, French National
Assembly issued "Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen."
1789 Sep 13, Guardsmen in
Orleans, France, opened fire on rioters trying to loot bakeries,
1789 Sep 16, Jean-Paul Marat
set up a new newspaper in France, L'Ami du Peuple (The Friend of the
(HN, 9/16/98)(ON, SC, p.7)
1789 Oct 10, In Versailles
France, Joseph Guillotin said the most humane way of carrying out a
death sentence is decapitation by a single blow of a blade.
1789 Nov 2, The property of the
Church in France was taken away by the state.
1789 Nov 5, French National
Assembly declared all citizens equal under law.
1789 Dec 3, Claude-Joseph
Vernet, French seascape painter, died.
1789 Dec 13, The National Guard
was created in France.
c1789 The Marquis de Lafayette
wrote the original version of the Declaration of the Rights of Man.
He was appalled by the excesses of the revolution and fled to
Austria where he was imprisoned for 5 years.
(WSJ, 1/15/97, p.A12)
1789 A French decree allowed
wine and coffee to be served on the same premises.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.105)
1789 Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes, a
delegate to the Estates General, said the third estate is
everything, has nothing but wants to be something.
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.65)
1789 In 1999 Rachel Wright
authored "Paris: 1789," an informative children's book of Parisian
life on the eve of the Revolution.
(SFEC, 5/9/99, Par p.8)
1789 The French dwarf Richeborg
stood 23 inches and was costumed as a baby in diapers during the
French Revolution. In the arms of innocent girls he could eavesdrop
on sensitive conversations and carried secret dispatches in and out
(SFC, 6/23/96, zone 1 p.2)
1789 The bankruptcy of the
French government brought banks across Europe to their knees.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R48)
1789 Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier
(1743-1794), French nobleman and chemist, presented a paper on the
geology of the Earth that proposed that sea level had oscillated
over time, as opposed to a stationary sea with linear sedimentation.
1789 Pierre Ordinaire, French
chemist, invented absinthe as a digestive or all-purpose tonic. It
quickly caught on as an apéritif. It was popularized by Henri-Louis
Pernod, who opened his first distillery in Switzerland before moving
to Pontarlier, France, in 1805.
1/22/99, p.W8)(SFC, 3/24/00, p.A3)
1789-1914 In 2006 Michael Burleigh authored
“Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe from
the French Revolution to the Great War."
(Econ, 2/25/06, p.87)
1790 Jan 21, Joseph Guillotine
proposed a new, more humane method of execution: a machine designed
to cut off the condemned person's head as painlessly as possible.
1790 Feb 6, The last stone of
the Bastille, torn down by order of the revolutionary leaders, was
presented to the National Assembly.
(ON, 4/01, p.3)
1790 Feb 26, As a result of the
Revolution, France was divided into 83 departments.
1790 Mar 31, In Paris, France,
Maximilien Robespierre was elected president of the Jacobin Club.
1790 May 21, Paris was divided
into 48 zones.
1790 Jul 3, In Paris, the
Marquis of Condorcet proposed granting civil rights to women.
1790 Jul 12, The French
Assembly approved a Civil Constitution providing for the election of
priests and bishops.
1790 Jul 26, An attempt at a
counter-revolution in France was put down by the National Guard at
1790 Sep 4, Jacques Necker was
forced to resign as finance minister in France.
1790 Oct 21, Alphonse-Marie
Louis de Lamartine, writer (Rene), was born in Macon, France.
1790 Oct 21, The Tricolor was
chosen as the official flag of France.
1790 Dec 23, Jean François
Champollion, French founder of Egyptology, was born. He deciphered
the Rosetta Stone.
1790 US Minister to France,
Gouverneur Morris, said that the French "have taken Genius instead
of Reason for their Guide, adopted Experiment instead of Experience,
and wander in the Dark because they prefer Lightning to Light." In
2000 Susan Dunn published "Sister Revolutions: French Lightning,
(SFEC, 5/7/00, Par p.28)
1790 The celerifere bicycle
appeared in Paris about this time and was a two-wheeled,
un-steerable vehicle that the rider propelled by striking his feet
on the ground. This was improved upon with a bar to steer the front
wheel in 1816 by Baron von Drais of Germany, and was called a
draisine. The ordinary, which had a high front wheel, wire-spoked
wheels and solid rubber tires, was developed in the 1870s.
1790-1792 Sans-culottes (French for without
knee-breeches) was a term created during this period by the French
to describe the poorer members of the Third Estate, according to the
dominant theory because they usually wore pantaloons (full-length
trousers) instead of the chic knee-length culotte. The term came to
refer to the ill-clad and ill-equipped volunteers of the
Revolutionary army during the early years of the French
Revolutionary Wars, but, above all, to the working class radicals of
1790-1799 The revolutionary tide that swept Europe
during this period was later covered by R.R. Palmer in his book “The
Age of the Democratic Revolution."
(WSJ, 8/25/07, p.P9)
1790-1869 Alphonse Marie Louis de Prat de
Lamartine, French poet, womanizer, historian and statesman.
(WUD, 1994, p.803)(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T5)
1791 Mar 10, Pope condemned
France's Civil Constitution of the clergy.
1791 Apr 18, National Guardsmen
prevented Louis XVI and his family from leaving Paris.
1791 Jun 20, King Louis XVI of
France attempted to flee the country in the so-called Flight to
Varennes, but was caught.
1791 Jun 21, King Louis XVI and
the French royal family were arrested in Varennes. In 2003 Timothy
Tackett authored "When the King Took Flight," an examination of the
political culture during this period of transformation.
(HN, 6/21/98)(SSFC, 5/18/03, p.M6)
1791 Jul 13, The bones of the
greatest French satirist, philosopher, and writer, Voltaire
(Jean-Marie Arouet) were enshrined in the Pantheon in Paris.
1791 Jul 16, Louis XVI was
suspended from office until he agreed to ratify the constitution.
1791 Jul 17, National Guard
troops opened fire in Paris on a crowd of demonstrators calling for
the deposition of the king.
1791 Jul 24, Robespierre
expelled all Jacobins opposed to the principles of the French
1791 Sep 3, The French National
Assembly passed a French Constitution passed.
1791 Sep 9, French Royalists
took control of Arles and barricaded themselves inside the town.
1791 Sep 13, France's King
Louis XVI accepted a constitution.
1791 Sep 14, Louis XVI solemnly
swore his allegiance to the French constitution.
1791 Sep 26, J.L.A. Theodore
Gericault, French painter, was born.
1791 Sep 27, Jews in France
were granted French citizenship. Jews were granted religious and
civic rights in 1791.
(HN, 9/27/98)(WSJ, 8/7/00, p.A13)
1791 Oct 1, In Paris, the
National Legislative Assembly held its first meeting.
1791 Englishman Thomas Paine
wrote the “Rights of Man" in Paris, promoting the French Revolution.
It defended the French Revolution against Edmund Burke's attack in
“Reflections on the Revolution in France" (1790).
1791 French Comte de Volney
(1757-1820) authored “The Ruins, or a Survey of the Revolutions of
Empires," a treatise on why civilizations fell and what men should
do to find happiness.
(Econ, 12/21/13, p.128)
1791 Legend says the Harel
family began making Camembert cheese before this time. The family
had given a priest refuge, who in gratitude gave them the recipe. In
2003 Pierre Boisard authored "Camembert: A National Myth."
(SSFC, 7/27/03, p.M3)
1792 Feb 15,
Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Delambre (42), astronomer and surveyor, was
elected to the French Academy of Sciences to help establish the
length of a proposed new unit of measurement, the meter.
(ON, 2/09, p.8)
1792 Mar 20, In Paris, the
Legislative Assembly approved the use of the guillotine.
1792 Apr 14, France declared
war on Austria, starting French Revolutionary Wars.
1792 Apr 20, France declared
war on Austria, Prussia, and Sardinia, marking the start of the
French Revolutionary wars.
(AP, 4/20/97) (HN, 4/20/98)
1792 Apr 24, Capt. Claude
Joseph Rouget de Lisle, an officer stationed in Strasbourg, composed
"La Marseillaise," which later became the national anthem of France.
(AP, 4/24/97)(HN, 4/24/98)
1792 Apr 25, Highwayman Nicolas
Jacques Pelletier became the first person under French law to be
executed by guillotine.
(AP, 4/25/97)(HN, 4/25/98)
1792 May 21, Gustave-Gaspard
Coriolis (d.1843), French engineer and mathematician, was born. He
became first person to describe the Coriolis force.
1792 Jul 18, American naval
hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45. His body was preserved
in rum in case the American government wished him back. In 1905 his
body was transported to the US and placed in a crypt in Annapolis.
In 2003 Evan Thomas authored "John Paul Jones: Sailor, Hero, Father
of the American Navy."
(AP, 7/18/97)(SSFC, 6/22/03, p.M3)
1792 Jul 30, The French
national anthem "La Marseillaise" by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle,
was first sung in Paris.
1792 Aug 10, Some 10,000
Parisians attacked the Tuileries Palace of Louis XVI at the
instigation of Georges Jacques Danton (33), after Louis ordered his
Swiss guard to stop firing on the people. The mob massacred some 600
guardsmen. The king was later arrested, put on trial for treason,
and executed the following January.
(PC, 1992, p.345)(AP, 8/10/07)(ON, 2/09, p.8)
1792 Aug 11, A revolutionary
commune was formed in Paris, France.
1792 Aug 13, Revolutionaries
imprisoned the French royal family, including King Louis XVI and
Marie Antoinette. [see Aug 10]
1792 Sep 2, Verdun, France,
surrendered to the Prussian Army.
1792 Sep 2, In the "September
Massacres"- French mobs removed nobles and clergymen from jails, and
(Econ, 7/18/09, p.80)
1792 Sep 3, In France Princess
de Lamballe (b.1749), the best friend of Marie Antoinette, was
killed and her body mutilated by an angry mob. Her head was
displayed under the window of Marie Antoinette, interned in Temple
1792 Sep 5, Maximilien
Robespierre was elected to the National Convention in France.
1792 Sep 21, Collot D'Herbois
proposed to abolish the monarchy in France. The French National
Convention voted to abolish the monarchy. 1st French Republic formed
(AP, 9/21/97)(MC, 9/21/01)
1792 Sep 22, The first French
Republic was proclaimed.
1792 Nov 6, Battle at Jemappes:
French army beat the Austrians.
1792 Dec 11, France's King
Louis XVI went before the Convention to face charges of treason.
Louis was convicted and executed the following month.
1792 The crown jewels of France
were stolen including the 67 carot Blue Diamond.
(THC, 12/3/97)(EB, 1993, V6 p.51)
1793 Jan 9, The first US manned
balloon flight occurred as Frenchman Jean Pierre Blanchard, using a
hot-air balloon, flew between Philadelphia and Woodbury, N.J. He
stayed airborne for 46 minutes, traveled close to 15 miles and set
down at the "old Clement farm" in Deptford, New Jersey. [see Jun 23,
1784, Mar 9, 1793]
(WSJ, 3/31/98, p.A1)(AP, 1/9/99)(ON, 6/09, p.2)
1793 Jan 19, French King Louis
XVI was sentenced to death. [see Jan 21]
1793 Jan 21, Louis XVI (38),
last of the French Bourbon dynasty, was executed on the guillotine.
The vote in the National Convention for execution for treason won by
a margin of one vote. The Great Terror followed his execution.
(WUD, 1994, p.1677)(V.D.-H.K.p.231)(NH, 6/97,
1793 Feb 1, France declared war
on Britain and the Netherlands.
1793 Mar 4, French troops
conquered Geertruidenberg, Netherlands.
1793 Mar 10, In France, on a
proposal by Georges-Jacques Danton (1759-1794), the National
Convention decreed that there should be established in Paris an
extraordinary criminal tribunal. The news of the failure of the
French arms in Belgium had given rise in Paris to popular movements
on March 9 and 10, 1793. On Oct 20 the extraordinary criminal
tribunal received by decree the official name of the Revolutionary
1793 Mar 18, The 2nd Battle at
Neerwinden: Austria army beat France.
1793 Mar 26, Pro-royalist
uprising took place in Vendée region of France.
1793 Apr 6, In France all
executive power was conferred upon a Committee of Public Safety.
Georges-Jacques Danton was one of the nine original members.
1793 Apr 14, A royalist
rebellion in Santo Domingo was crushed by French republican troops.
1793 Jun 2, Maximillian
Robespierre, a member of France's Committee on Public Safety,
initiated the "Reign of Terror," a purge of those suspected of
treason against the French Republic. Months of the Great Terror,
followed the Revolution in France as thousands died beneath the
1793 Jun 24, The first
republican constitution in France was adopted.
1793 Jul 13, Pierre Dupont de
Nemours was ordered arrested in Paris on charges of plotting with
rebels against the French Revolutionary National Assembly.
1793 Jul 13, French
revolutionary writer Jean Paul Marat was stabbed to death in his
bath by Charlotte Corday, who was executed four days later. In 1970
Marie Cher authored "Charlotte Corday, and Certain Men of the
(AP, 7/13/97)(ON, SC, p.8)
1793 Jul 23, The French
garrison at Mainz, Germany, fell to the Prussians.
1793 Jul 24, France passed the
1st copyright law.
1793 Jul 27, In France,
Robespierre became a member of the Committee of Public Safety.
1793 Jul, Napoleon Bonaparte
published a pro-republican pamphlet that made a good impression on
the Jacobin faction that had seized power in Paris.
(ON, 2/12, p.5)
1793 Aug 14, Republican troops
in France laid siege to the city of Lyons.
1793 Aug 22, Louis Duke de
Noailles (80), marshal of France, was guillotined.
1793 Aug 27, Maximilien
Robespierre was elected to the Committee of Public Safety in Paris,
1793 Aug 28, Adam-Philippe
Custine, Duke de Lauzun (French duke, general, fought in American
Revolution, hero in both countries), was guillotined in Paris.
1793 Sep 5, The Reign of Terror
began during the French Revolution as the National Convention
instituted harsh measures to repress counter-revolutionary
activities. One delegate, claiming that the middle class Girondist
(moderates) leaders be sentenced to death cried, "It is time for
equality to wield its scythe over all the heads. Very well,
Legislator, place Terror on the agenda!" The delegates agreed to
arrest all suspects and dissenters, try them swiftly in the kangaroo
courts known as the Revolutionary Tribunals, and sentence them
uniformly to death.
(MC, 9/5/01)(AP, 9/4/07)
1793 Sep 6, French General Jean
Houchard and his 40,000 men began a three-day battle against an
Anglo-Hanoverian army at Hondschoote, southwest Belgium, in the wars
of the French Revolution.
1793 Sep 17, Captain Napoleon
Bonaparte reached Toulon and presented himself to his new commander,
General Carteaux, a former house painter and policeman.
(ON, 2/12, p.5)
1793 Oct 10, The rebellious
French city of Lyons surrendered to Revolutionary troops.
1793 Oct 16, During the French
Revolution, Marie Antoinette was beheaded. Prosecutors claimed she
had sexually abused her son and financially abused the French
Monarchy. In mourning for her husband, Louis XVI, who had been
guillotined the previous January, clad in rags, her once-dazzling
locks shorn by the executioner's assistant, she even suffered the
indignity of a crude sketch by the great French painter, Jacques
Louis David. Antoinette bore herself with a regal indifference to
her martyrdom. Madame Tussaud used her severed head as a model for
her wax bust death mask. In 2001 Antonia Fraser authored "Marie
Antoinette: The Journey."
(SFEC, 11/17/96, p.T5)(AP, 10/16/97)(WSJ,
1793 Oct 19, Captain Napoleon
Bonaparte was promoted to chef de bataillon (major) giving him
greater voice in the councils of war and the siege of Toulon.
(ON, 2/12, p.5)
1793 Oct 20, In France an
extraordinary criminal tribunal received the official name of the
Revolutionary Tribunal by a decree. The news of the failure of the
French arms in Belgium gave rise in Paris to popular movements on
March 9 and 10, 1793, and on March 10, on the proposal of Danton,
the Convention decreed that there should be established in Paris an
extraordinary criminal tribunal.
1793 Oct 31, Execution of 21
Girondins (moderates) in Paris, stepping up the Reign of Terror.
Pierre V. Vergniaud (40), French politician and elegant, impassioned
orator of Girondins, was guillotined.
1793 Nov 8, The Louvre opened
in Paris as a museum. It was originally constructed as a fortress in
the early thirteenth century.
(HN, 11/6/98)(MC, 11/8/01)
1793 Nov 10, France outlawed
the forced worship of God.
1793 Nov 12, Jean-Sylvain
Bailley (53), French astronomer and mayor of Paris, was guillotined.
1793 Nov 19, The Jacobin Club
was formed in Paris. Robespierre (1758-1794), Jacobin leader:
"Terror is nothing but justice, prompt, severe and inflexible."
(SSFC, 10/28/01, p.C5)(MC, 11/19/01)
1793 Nov 26, Republican
calendar replaced the Gregorian calendar in France.
1793 Nov, Philippe Aspairt, a
hospital porter, ventured alone into the limestones quarries south
of Paris, site of the new cemetery, and got lost. Workmen found his
bones 11 years later.
(Hem., 3/97, p.119)
1793 Dec 6, Marie Jeanne Becu,
Comtesse du Barry, flamboyant mistress of Louis XV, was guillotined
1793 Dec 19, French troops
recaptured Toulon from the British. Napoleon Bonaparte led the
intense shelling of British positions. This led to his promotion to
(ON, 2/12, p.6)
1793 Jacques-Louis David
painted "Death of Marat."
(SFEC, 3/21/99, BR p.5)
1793 Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
(1758-1823) painted "Cupid Laughs at the Tears He Causes."
(WSJ, 4/8/98, p.A20)
1793 Augustin Ximenez
(1726-1817), Marquis of Ximenez, a Frenchman of Spanish origin,
wrote a poem with the line “Attaquons dans ses eaux la perfide
Albion," which means "Let us attack perfidious Albion in her
waters." The poet of perfidy later lectured French soldiers that “Il
est beau de perir," which means “it is beautiful to perish."
(SSFC, 1/14/07, p.M4)(http://tinyurl.com/ye6bd7)
1794 Feb 4, France’s First
Republic (Convention) voted for the abolition of slavery in all
French colonies. The abolition decree stated that "the Convention
declares the slavery of the Blacks abolished in all the colonies;
consequently, all men, irrespective of color, living in the colonies
are French citizens and will enjoy all the rights provided by the
Constitution." Slavery was restored by the Consulate in 1802, and
was definitively abolished in 1848 by the Second Republic, on Victor
1794 Mar 28, Marie-Joseph de
Condorcet (b.1743), mathematician (Theory of Comets) and
philosopher, died as a fugitive from French Revolution Terrorists.
1794 Apr 5, Georges-Jacques
Danton (b.1759), French revolutionary leader, was guillotined along
with Marie Jean Herault de Sechelles, French author, politician, and
Camille Desmoullins, popular journalist. In 2009 Jonathan Cape
authored “Danton: The Gentle Giant of Terror."
1794 May 6, In Haiti Toussaint
Louverture (L’Ouverture), Haitian rebel leader, ended his alliance
with the Iberian monarchy and embraced the French Republicans. An
order followed that led to the massacre of Spaniards.
1794 May 8, Antoine-Laurent
Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry (identified oxygen), was
executed on the guillotine during France's Reign of Terror. In 2005
Madison Smartt Bell authored “Lavoisier in the Year One: The Birth
of a New Science in the Age of Revolution."
(AP, 5/8/97)(SSFC, 7/3/05, p.E1)
1794 May 10, In France
Elizabeth (30), the sister of King Louis XVI, was beheaded.
(HN, 5/10/99)(MC, 5/10/02)
1794 May 18, The 2nd battle of
Bouvines was between France and Austria.
1794 Jun 1, English fleet under
Richard Earl Howe defeated the French. (MC, 6/1/02)
1794 Jun 4, Robespierre was
unanimously elected president of the Convention in the French
1794 Jun 8, Maximilian
Robespierre, French Revolutionary leader, worried about the
influence of French atheists and philosophers, staged the "Festival
of the Supreme Being" in Paris.
1794 Jun 15, The Guillotine was
moved to outskirts of Paris.
1794 Jun 26, The French
defeated an Austrian army at the Battle of Fleurus. The French used
a tethered balloon to observe the battlefield and direct artillery
1794 Jul 8, French troops
captured Brussels, Belgium.
1794 Jul 13, Robespierre
boycotted the Committee of Public Safety and the National convention
after being denounced as a dictator.
1794 Jul 23, Chaos and anarchy
were averted temporarily when Robespierre joined conciliation talks
1794 Jul 26, After remaining
uncharacteristically silent for several weeks, Robespierre demanded
that the National Convention punish "traitors" without naming them.
1794 Jul 26, The French
defeated an Austrian army at the Battle of Fleurus in France.
1794 Jul 27, French
revolutionary leader Maximilien Robespierre was overthrown and
placed under arrest; he was executed the following day.
1794 Jul 28, Maximilien
Robespierre, a leading figure of the French Revolution, was sent to
the guillotine. Robespierre had dominated the Committee of Public
Safety during the "Reign of Terror." He asserted the collective
dictatorship of the revolutionary National Convention and attacked
factions led by men such as Jacques-René Hébert which he felt
threatened the government's power. Factions opposed to Robespierre
gained momentum in the summer of 1794. Declared an outlaw of
the National Convention, Robespierre and many of his followers were
captured and he—along with 22 of his supporters—were guillotined
before cheering crowds.
(AP, 7/28/97)(HN, 7/28/98)(HNQ, 11//00)
1794 Jul 29, Seventy of
Robespierre's followers were guillotined.
1794 Aug 21, France surrendered
the island of Corsica to the British.
1794 Sep 28, The
Anglo-Russian-Austrian Alliance of St. Petersburg, which was
directed against France, was signed.
1794 Nov 3, Thomas Paine was
released from a Parisian jail with help from the American ambassador
James Monroe. He had been arrested in 1893 for not endorsing the
execution of Louis XVI and thus offending the Robespierre faction.
While in prison Paine began writing his "The Age of Reason"
1794 Nov 22, Strasbourg,
Alsace-Lorraine, prohibited circumcision and the wearing of beards.
1794 Napoleon's occupying army
in Maastricht, Netherlands, took back to France a giant dinosaur
head that was found in a dark recess of St. Peter's mountain in
1780. It was named the Mosasaurus and roamed the seas some 70
million years ago. The head was lugged to the home of Theodorus
Godding, a canon at the local church. The French say that he swapped
it to Napoleon for 600 bottles of wine. Records however seem to
(NYT, 6/7/96, p.A4)
1794 A French inventor mixed
ground graphite with clay and water and fired it to make strong
(WSJ, 11/24/00, p.A1)
1794-1815 An anthology of first hand reports on
the naval war between France and Britain was edited by Dean King and
John B. Hattendorf and published in 1997.
(SFEC,11/2/97, Par p.10)
1795 Feb 4, France abolished
slavery in her territories and conferred slaves to citizens.
1795 Feb 21, Freedom of worship
was established in France under constitution.
1795 May 4, Thousands of
rioters entered jails in Lyons, France, and massacred 99 Jacobin
1795 May 6, Dr. Pierre-Joseph
Dessault visited the incarcerated 10-year-old dauphin, the heir to
the French throne. He found the dying child in abject misery. The
boy died June 8.
(WSJ, 10/18/02, p.W9)
1795 May 15, Napoleon entered
the Lombardian capital of Milan in triumph. After taking Milan he
released his troops on the townspeople who became victims of an orgy
of destroying, raping and killing. The events are described in the
1998 biography "Napoleon Bonaparte" by Alan Schom.
(SFEC, 1/18/98, BR p.9)(HN, 5/15/98)
1795 May 16, In the Treaty of
Basel France compelled Spain to withdraw from the anti-France
coalition and Spain ceded the eastern portion of the island of
Hispaniola making the entire island French territory.
1795 Jun 8, In France the
Dauphin (Louis XVII), son and sole survivor of Louis XVI and Marie
Antoinette, died at age 10 after succumbing to tuberculosis in the
Temple prison. His heart was cut from his body when he died in
prison, pickled, stolen, returned, and DNA-tested two centuries
later. In 2002 Deborah Cadbury authored "The Lost King of France."
(SFC, 4/20/00, p.A14)(WSJ, 10/18/02, p.W9)(AP,
1795 Jul 7, Thomas Paine
defended the principal of universal suffrage at the Constitutional
Convention in Paris.
1795 Jul 14, "La Marseillais,"
written in 1792, became the French national anthem.
1795 Jul 22, Spain signed a
peace treaty with France and ceded Santo Domingo to France.
1795 Sep 23, A national
plebiscite approved the new French constitution, but so many voters
sustained that the results were suspect.
1795 Sep 23, Conseil of the
Cinq-Cents (Council of 500), formed in Paris.
1795 Oct 4, General Napoleon
Bonaparte led the rout of counterrevolutionaries in the streets of
Paris, beginning his rise to power. France was in the midst of
economic disaster—a factor that aided royalist
counterrevolutionaries in their attempts to incite rebellion against
the young republican government. Bonaparte, looking for a new
command while on half pay in Paris, joined the defense of the
Convention against overwhelming odds.
(HN, 10/4/99)(HNQ, 10/26/00)
1795 Oct 5, The day after he
routed counterrevolutionaries in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte accepted
their formal surrender. Napoleon takes charge.
1795 Oct 11, In gratitude for
putting down a rebellion in the streets of Paris, France's National
Convention appointed Napoleon Bonaparte second in command of the
Army of the Interior.
1795 Oct 26, Napoleon
Bonaparte, second-in-command, became the army's commander when
General Paul Barras resigned his commission as head of France's Army
of the Interior to become head of the Directory.
1795 In Paris the Place de la
Concorde, a public square designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755,
was renamed Place de la Revolution.
1795 France adopted the metric
system. France had begun moving to base ten in the 16th century
after using a vigesimal, base 20, system.
(Econ, 11/5/11, p.62)