17th,1793), aristocrat with no
wealth, French patriot, was born in Les Champeaux, a
hamlet about five kilometers from Vimoutiers.
Descended from the dramatist Pierre Corneille, on her mother line, adept of the
philosophs Plutarch, Tacitus and Rousseau, sympathizer of the moderates, or
Girondists, during the French Revolution, she determined to kill Jean-Paul Marat, a supporter of the radical
Jacobins, whom she held responsible for the
Reign of Terror. Charlotte went to Paris, she gained
admittance to Marat's house on the pretext of disclosing to him the
names of Girondins in the city of Caen. Marat suffering of skin
problems, used to work in a bath. Charlotte is admitted in the room,
and here stabbed him to death while he was in his bath. Charlotte was
captured by Marat's friends before she could escape, and condemned by
the revolutionary tribunal.
In Lower Normandy ...
amid orchards and pastoral lands ...
To fly over this area in the XVIIIth century, from
the map of Cassini :
click the aeroplane
La Ferme du Ronceray
Charlotte's birthplace where she lived
until she was 13-years-old.
Further to the division of France into departements and communes -
1789/1793 - the parish of Les Ligneries was split as follows :
Le Ronceray joined to Les
Champeaux and the Church of
Saint-Saturnin-des-Ligneries to Ecorches.
Church of Saint
Saturnin des Ligneries
Charlotte Corday was baptized in the tiny
church of Saint-Saturnin-des-Ligneries
on July 28, 1768.
Manoir de Glatigny
The family would often stay in
Le Manoir de Glatigny,
near Saint Gervais des Sablons,
less than 1 km from the Farm, and the
eldest line of the Cordays's property ...
... and le Château
near Le Mesnil-Imbert,
Charlotte's paternal grandfather's
L'abbaye aux Dames
After her mother's decease,
from 1782 to 1791 Charlotte is educated in the
Ladies' Abbey, a convent in Caen,
founded in 1060 by Matilda of Flander, William of Normandy/the
Bastard/the Conqueror's spouse.
Rue Saint Jean
convents are closed ... the Revolution, church properties placed "at
the disposal of the Nation", ... and Charlotte retires at an old
aunt's, Madame Coutellier de Bretteville,
she shares a secluded life.
... in Caen ...
imagination stirs and her readings inspire her with republican
ideologies. She meets the Girondins, sheltered in the city and
thenceforth conceives the idea of helping them.
Inn in Lisieux
In July 1793, Charlotte is determined. In Lisieux,
the inn where she stayed on the 9th, on her way to Paris where she will
Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes, France
Death of Marat
On July 13, 1793 "Death of
18 rue des Cordeliers in Paris.
Painted by Jacques-Louis
Museum of Versailles
She is conveyed to the Prison de l'Abbaye, close to
Marat's house. In her clothes, a "Letter to the French patriots,
friends of laws and peace ... I showed you the path ... "
Charlotte's last adieu to her father
Letter written in the Prison
On July 16, Charlotte is transferred to the prison
of La Conciergerie in Paris,
In the yard, window of the dungeon where Charlotte
"Charlotte Corday en prison"
"The Last Toilet of Charlotte Corday"
Steel engraving - EM.Ward RA PinX - L. Stocks RA
Sculpt. D. Appleton & C° New York
"The last hours of Charlotte"
Pastel by Hauer,
Lambinet museum in Versailles
Designed on Charlotte's request, this portrait was
started in the courtroom, then completed in her jail within her last
On the 17th of July, 1793
circa 7pm, Charlotte is guillotined ...
she was less than 25 years of age
Baptism record :
vingt-huit de juillet mil sept cent soixante-huit, par nous
soussigné curé, a été
baptisée Marie-Anne-Charlotte née d'hier du
légitime mariage de messire Jacques-François de
Corday, écuyer, seigneur d'Armont et de noble dame
Marie-Jacqueline de Gautier, son épouse, de cette paroisse;
le parrain, messire Jean-Baptiste-Alexis de Gautier, écuyer,
seigneur de Mesnival; la marraine, noble dame
Françoise-Marie-Anne Levailant de Corday; le père
Ont signé : Levaillant de Corday, de Gautier de Mesnival,
Corday d'Armont, J.L. Pollard, curé des Ligneries"
The above transcription is the one which was given
to Charlotte for her admittance in the Ladies's Abbey in Caen in 1782.
parents were Jacques-François de Corday and Marie-Jacqueline
godfather was Baptiste-Alexis de Gautier, her godmother was
Françoise-Marie-Anne Levailant de Corday.