Charles-André Merda

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Arrest of Robespierre and his followers. At the centre of the image, gendarme Merda fires at Robespierre. (Colour engraving by Jean-Joseph-François Tassaert after the painting by Fulchran-Jean Harriet - Musée Carnavalet).

Général de brigade Charles André Merda, baron Meda (10 January 1770 – 8 September 1812) was a French soldier. A National Guardsman in the Parisian National Guard from September 1789, then a gendarme from 1794, he participated in the arrest of Maximilien de Robespierre on the night of 9/10 thermidor Year II (27 July 1794) and claimed to have fired the pistol shot which broke Robespierre's jaw.

Under the First French Empire he was made a baron and changed his surname to Meda (sometimes spelt Méda). Whilst fighting as colonel of the 1er régiment de chasseurs à cheval (France), he was mortally wounded by a musket ball at the battle of Borodino and was made a general on his deathbed. He was survived by his wife and 2 sons.


  • (in French) Jean-François Fayard, Alfred Fierro et Jean Tulard, Histoire et dictionnaire de la Révolution française 1789-1799, Robert Laffont, Paris, 1998, p. 981.
  • Michael J. Sydenham, Leonard Bourdon. The Career of a Revolutionary. 1754‑1807, Waterloo (Ontario), Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1999.