William Godwin's Diary


Polignac and three other ministers of Charles X who had signed the July ordinances were captured trying to flee France and the people of Paris demaded their execution. Louis-Philippe and his government were keen to avoid such a move, aware that it would alienate other European powers and might precipitate a republican revolution. On 17 October the Palais-Royal was besieged by crowds incensed by Louis-Philippe’s attempt to abolish the death penalty. The mob tried to storm the Chamber of Peers and the following day marched to Vincennes, where the prisoners were being held. There they were stopped by the Napoleonic veteran General Daumesnil, who told them that if they came any further, ‘I’ll blow myself up with the castle and we’ll all meet in the air’.

See Munro Price, The Perilous Crown: France Between Revolutions, 1814-1848 (London: Macmillan, 2007), pp. 207-9.