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François Nicolas Leonard Buzot

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François Nicolas Leonard Buzot (March 1, 1760 - June 18, 1794), French revolutionist, was born at Evreux[?].

He studied law, and at the outbreak of the Revolution was an advocate in his native town. In 1789 he was elected deputy to the states-general, and there became known for his advanced opinions. He demanded the nationalization of the possessions of the clergy, and the right of all citizens to carry arms. After the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, Buzot returned to Evreux, where he was named president of the criminal tribunal.

In 1792 he was elected deputy to the Convention, and took his place among the Girondists. He demanded the formation of a national guard from the departments to defend the Convention against the populace of Paris. His proposal was carried, but never put into force; and the Parisians were extremely bitter against him and the Girondists. In the trial of Louis XVI, Buzot voted for death, but with appeal to the people and postponement of sentence. He had a decree of death passed against the émigres who did not return to France, and against anyone who should demand the re-establishment of the monarchy. Proscribed with the Girondists on June 2, 1793, he succeeded in escaping, and took refuge in Normandy, where he contributed to organize a federalist insurrection against the Convention, which was speedily suppressed. Buzot was outlawed, and fled to the neighbourhood of Bordeaux, and committed suicide in the woods of St Emilion[?] on June 18, 1794.

He was an intelligent and honest man, although he seems to have profited by the sale of the possessions of the clergy, but he had a stubborn, unyielding temperament, was incapable of making concessions, and was dominated by Madame Roland, who imparted to him her hatred of Danton and the Montagnards.

See Mémoires de Pétion, Barbaroux, Buzot, published by CA Daubon (Paris, 1866). For the history of the federalist movement in Normandy, see L Boivin Champeaux, Notices pour servir a l'histoire de la Revolution dans le département de l'Eure (Evreux and Paris, 1884).

This entry was originally from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.

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