Pierre Fatio

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Pierre Fatio (7 November 1662 – 6 September 1707) was a politician from the Republic of Geneva. His struggle against the dominance of the aristocracy in the Genevan government led to his execution on charges of conspiring against the State.


Memorial plaque located at the entrance to the Rue Calvin, in Geneva

Matriculated at the University of Basel in 1679 and then again in 1685, he earned a doctorate in law in 1686. Fatio also studied in Valence, Montpellier and Leiden. Back in Geneva, he established his reputation as a lawyer and followed the usual path of young patricians seeking high office in the Republic.

Elected to the Council of Two Hundred in 1688, he held several positions in government: lord of Saint-Victor and chapter in 1691, auditor in 1696 and lord of Peney in 1700. In 1705, his application for the Little Council was rejected in favor of his brother, Jacques-Francois, who did not have his experience in public affairs.

Fatio then became a spokesman for the Genevan bourgeoisie in its struggle against the dominance of the patricians. During the troubles of 1707, Fatio proposed several democratizing reforms, notably requiring the General Council to meet annually. However, this was dismissed by the dominant faction of his own party, who considered Fatio's positions too extreme. Alleging his participation in a conspiracy to overthrow the government, the Little Council, controlled by the patricians, condemned Fatio to death. He was shot in the courtyard of the prison of the bishopric.

Fatio was a cousin and contemporary of mathematician and inventor Nicolas Fatio de Duillier.

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