Jean, Baron de Batz

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Jean Pierre de Batz, Baron de Sainte-Croix
Jean-PierreBatz.jpg
Jean Pierre de Batz
Born (1754-01-26)January 26, 1754
Died January 10, 1822(1822-01-10) (aged 67)
Occupation French royalist and businessman

Jean Pierre de Batz, Baron de Sainte-Croix, known as the Baron de Batz,[1] (January 26, 1754– January 10, 1822), was a French royalist and businessman. He was born in Goutz-les-Tartas (Gers), and died in Chadieu, near Vic-le-Comte (Puy-de-Dôme).

Biography[edit]

Please note: in the book "Histoire de la Convention Nationale, d'après elle-meme: précédée d'un tableau de la France monarchique avant la révolution", Volume 6 1835 by Léonard Gallois on page 294, this person is clearly called "baron de Bance" NOT "de Batz"

Under the Constituent Assembly, Batz's reputation as a financier got him elected to the liquidation committee, which was responsible for clearing public accounts. At the same time, he became a secret adviser to Louis XVI, in whose employ he received large payments for these services.

After the abolition of the monarchy in 1792 Baron de Batz became one of the leading members of the secret royalist movement in Paris. On January 21, 1793, Batz tried in vain to raise the crowd in boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle to save the king from execution. Going into partial hiding, he continued to speculate on national property and war supplies of war, attending to both leaders of the Paris Commune as conventional as Chabot, Basire, Julien de Toulouse or Delaunay d'Angers; or Swiss and German bankers, including Austrian banker Junius Frey and his brother, Brussels Proli; Gusman Spanish and Portuguese.

After the discovery of the case of the liquidation of the French East India Company, the high committee and the public security committee generally regarded as the leader of a vast conspiracy aimed at delivering the queen, corrupt deputies to pit against the revolutionary government and promote the Counter-revolution using the excesses of the ultra-revolutionaries, including dechristianization. Thus, on March 14, 1794, Hébertistes together with Clootz, Pereira and Proli, were guillotined. Then, on April 5, Danton and his friends were executed with Chabot, Basire, the abbot of Espagnac, Gusman, and the Frey brothers.

Baron de Batz eluded officers of the committees, but saw his relatives and most of his close contacts arrested. On June 17, among the 60 convicted of red shirts, 20 had proven links with the baron.

Coming out of hiding after the 9-Thermidor, he intermingled with the royalist insurrection of 13 vendémiaire an IV (October 25, 1795). After the coup d'état of 18 V fructidor, he found refuge in Auvergne, where he bought a castle. When discovered, he was arrested, but escaped during his transfer to Lyon, and he fled to Switzerland. The Parisian consulate, had him removed from the list of emigrants and he abandoned political activism, moving to live in Auvergne.

Under the Restoration, he was awarded the rank of maréchal de camp and the cross of St. Louis for his services, as well as the military commander of the Cantal, which was revoked after the Hundred Days period.

Living in seclusion in Chadieu he died January 10, 1822.

Literary representations[edit]

  • Jean de Batz is the hero of a series of novels by Juliette Benzoni, The Game of Love and Death.
  • The Baron de Batz appears a few of The Scarlet Pimpernel series of books by Baroness Orczy, playing the most prominent role in Eldorado.
  • He also appears as a major character in Raphael Sabatini's novel, Scaramouche the Kingmaker, and a minor character in The Lost King.
  • The character of the double agent, a supporter of the monarchy and member of a network of Royalist agents in France and abroad whilst masquerading as a staunch Republican, is a stock character in literature set in the French Revolution. Through his activities, his character sent many revolutionaries to the guillotine, having them convicted them of being anti-revolutionaries.
  • Jean de Batz is a lead character in the historic fiction novel, "Seed of Mischief", written by Willa Gibbs 1953. The book revolves around the Dauphin, Louis-Charles (1785-1795).

Sources[edit]

  • Roger Dupuy, « Jean, baron de Batz », in albert Soboul (dir.), Dictionnaire historique de la Révolution française, Paris, PUF, 1989 (rééd. Quadrige, 2005, p. 96-97)
  • Noëlle Destremau, Le baron de Batz un étonnant Conspirateur, Nouvelles Editions Latines.
  • G. Lenotre, Le baron de Batz, Librairie académique Perrin et Cie
  • Baron de Batz, La vie et les conspirations de Jean, Baron de Batz, 1754–1793, - Les conspirations et la fin de Jean, Baron de Batz, 1793-1822, Calmann-Lévy, 1910-1911.