War of the Third Coalition

Execution of Duke of Enghien
Execution of the Enghien by Jean-Paul Laurens ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1804 Mar 21

Execution of Duke of Enghien

Château de Vincennes, Paris, F
French dragoons crossed the Rhine secretly, surrounded his house and brought him to Strasbourg (15 March 1804), and thence to the Château de Vincennes, near Paris, where a military commission of French colonels presided over by General Hulin was hastily convened to try him. The duke was charged chiefly with bearing arms against France in the late war, and with intending to take part in the new coalition then proposed against France. The military commission, presided over by Hulin, drew up the act of condemnation, being incited thereto by orders from Anne Jean Marie René Savary, who had come charged with instructions to kill the duke. Savary prevented any chance of an interview between the condemned and the First Consul, and, on 21 March, the duke was shot in the moat of the castle, near a grave which had already been prepared. A platoon of the Gendarmes d'élite was in charge of the execution. Enghien's execution infuriated royal courts throughout Europe, becoming one of the contributing political factors for the outbreak of the War of the Third Coalition.

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