10 Horrific Episodes From One Of History’s Bloodiest Revolutions

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8. The Lynching Of Berthier de Sauvigny

Berthier de Sauvigny, a Paris administrator, was the son-in-law of Joseph Foullon de Doue. As fate would have it, de Sauvigny was being escorted to trial when he and the soldier accompanying him suddenly encountered the delighted mob that had hanged Foullon. The mob followed them to the Hotel de Ville, where they were met by the mayor of Paris.

While the mayor and de Sauvigny were talking, the mob demanded that de Sauvigny be taken to the lampposts, where they intended to hang him like his father-in-law. As the frenzied crowd forced their way into the building, the mayor handed the prisoner over to his guards for safe transport elsewhere.

Before they left, however, the mob seized de Sauvigny and carried him to the same place where Foullon had been hanged. Trying anxiously to defend himself, de Sauvigny snatched a musket from a member of the crowd and swung it at his attackers. But his frantic effort was in vain. He suffered bayonet wounds all over. Even worse, one of the soldiers slashed open his chest and flung his heart out. Then de Sauvigny’s head was torn off like that of his father-in-law.

While some crowd members carried the severed heads on pikes, others in the angry mob dragged the headless bodies through the streets. The soldier who had torn out de Sauvigny’s heart later showed it to the mayor at the Hotel de Ville. But the soldier’s triumph didn’t last long. He was killed that same night by a fellow soldier who was disgruntled by the murder.

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