Hérault de Séchelles, Marie Jean

views updated

Marie Jean Hérault de Séchelles (märē´ zhäN ārō´ də sāshĕl´), 1759–94, French revolutionary. A lawyer, he became a favorite of Queen Marie Antoinette, but nevertheless joined the revolutionary cause in 1789. A member of the Legislative Assembly and of the Convention and the Committee of Public Safety, he was prominent in shaping the war measures of 1792 and in establishing the revolutionary tribunal that was to be the main instrument of the Reign of Terror. Ironically, he was also chief author of the republican constitution of 1793, which was superseded by the dictatorship of the Terror. He was guillotined in Mar., 1794.