Battle of Talavera
The Battle of Talavera was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, Spain some 120 kilometres southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War. At Talavera an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid, the French army withdrew at night after several of its attacks had been repulsed. After Marshal Soults French army had retreated from Portugal, General Wellesleys 20,000 British troops advanced into Spain to join 33,000 Spanish troops under General Cuesta and they marched up the Tagus valley to Talavera, some 120 kilometres southwest of Madrid. There they encountered 46,000 French under Marshal Claude Victor and Major-General Horace Sebastiani, with the French king of Spain, the French crossed the Alberche in the middle of the afternoon on 27 July. A couple of later, the French attacked the right of the Spaniards. A strategic hill was taken and lost, finally, a French cannonade lasted until noon when a negotiated armistice of two hours began.
That afternoon, an exchange of cannon fire started ahead of various infantry and cavalry skirmishes. Early in the evening, a major engagement resulted in the French being held off, a cannon duel continued until dark. At daylight, the British and Spanish discovered that the bulk of the French force had retired, leaving their wounded, Wellesley was ennobled as Viscount Wellington of Talavera and of Wellington for the action. On 27 July, Wellesley sent out the 3rd Division and some cavalry under the command of Anson to cover Cuestas retreat into the Talavera position. But when Ansons cavalry mistakenly pulled back, the French rushed in to surprise and inflict over 400 casualties on Rufane Donkins brigade and that night Victor sent Ruffins division to seize the hill known as Cerro de Medellín in a coup de main. Two of Ruffins three regiments went astray in the dark, but the 9th Light Infantry routed Sigismund Lowes KGL brigade, Hill sent Richard Stewarts brigade on a counter-attack which drove the French away.
The British suffered some 800 casualties on the 27th, during the evening of 27th, French Dragoon squadrons were riding close to the Spanish position firing their carbines at Spanish skirmishers. Suddenly, without orders, Cuestas entire Spanish line fired a volley at the French Dragoons. The French were outside the range of the Spanish muskets, four Spanish battalions threw down their weapons and fled in panic. Wellesley wrote, Nearly 2,000 ran off on the evening of the 27th, plundered the baggage of the British army which had been sent to the rear. While a majority of the troops were brought back, many hundreds continued to flee. Wellesleys British army consisted of four divisions, three cavalry brigades and 30 cannon, totaling 20,641 troops
Battle of Wattignies
The Battle of Wattignies saw a Republican French army commanded by Jean-Baptiste Jourdan attack a Coalition army directed by Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After two days of combat Jourdans troops compelled the Habsburg Austrian covering force led by François Sébastien Charles Joseph de Croix, the War of the First Coalition victory allowed the French to raise the Siege of Maubeuge. At a time when failed generals were executed or imprisoned. The village, renamed Wattignies-la-Victoire in honor of the important success, is located 9 kilometres southeast of Maubeuge. Coburgs main army encircled 25,000 French soldiers in Maubeuge while about 22,000 Austrians under Clerfayt were formed in a semi-circle, on the first day,45,000 French soldiers mounted a clumsy attack which was easily repulsed, except near the village of Wattignies. On the second day, Jourdan concentrated half his army at Wattignies and after a tough fight, though the Coalition army was better trained than the French, its units were spread out too thinly and the different nationalities failed to cooperate.
Soon the Coalition army went into quarters, finishing a campaign that started with great promise. Carnot rewrote history so that he and the representatives got most of the credit for the triumph. In the Battle of Caesars Camp, the Coalition army under Prince Josias of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld hustled the French Army of the North out of a position near Cambrai on 7 August, at this moment, the Coalition allies unwisely split their forces. Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany headed west toward Dunkirk with 37,000 British and this was followed by the Battle of Menin on 13 September, in which the French routed a Dutch corps under Prince William of Orange. The Dutch suffered 3,000 casualties and lost 40 field pieces in the disaster, two days later, an Austrian corps led by Johann Peter Beaulieu routed the French and recaptured Menen. Coburgs main army concluded the Siege of Le Quesnoy on 13 September 1793, two French columns attempted to raise the siege but failed, one of the columns being nearly wiped out by Coalition cavalry in the Battle of Avesnes-le-Sec.
Though Coburg might have easily seized Cambrai and Bouchain, which had stripped of their garrisons to form the relief columns. For these defeats, Houchard was arrested on 23 September and incarcerated in a common prison, denounced as a coward and a traitor by the Revolutionary Tribunal, he was executed by guillotine on 16 November. His predecessor in command of the Army of the North, Adam Philippe, Jean-Baptiste Jourdan had been wounded at Hondschoote and was named to lead the Army of the Ardennes on 9 September 1793. He was appointed commander in chief of the Army of the North on 22 September 1793. When Jourdan protested that he lacked the experience to command the 104, 000-man army, the new commander found that he must respond to the Coalitions move against Maubeuge. Coburgs army began the Siege of Maubeuge on 30 September, on 1 October 1793, Jourdans large army was distributed across a broad front in four great masses, starting at the North Sea and running southeast
Limoges is a city and commune, the capital of the Haute-Vienne department and the administrative capital of the Limousin in west-central France. Limoges is known for its medieval and Renaissance enamels on copper, for its 19th-century porcelain and for its oak barrels which are used for Cognac, some are even exported to wineries in California. Scarce remains of settlements have been found in the area of Limoges. The city proper was founded as Augustoritum by the Romans, around 10 BC, the foundation was part of the reorganization of the province by the emperor Augustus, hence the new name. The Roman city included an amphitheatre measuring 136 x 115 metres, a theatre, according to tradition, a temple consecrated to Venus, Diana and Jupiter was located near the modern cathedral. The city was on the typical Roman square plan, with two main crossing in the centre. It had a Senate and a currency of its own, a sign of its importance in the imperial age, Limoges was evangelized by Saint Martial, who came to the city around 250 with two companions and Austriclinienus.
However, in the late 3rd century it was increasingly abandoned, the population was concentrated instead in a more easily fortifiable site, the modern Puy Saint-Étienne, which is the centre of the modern Limoges. Starting from the 11th century, thanks to the presence of the Abbey of St. Martial and its large library, Limoges became a flourishing artistic centre. It was home to an important school of music composition. In the 13th century, at the peak of its splendour, the town proper, with a new line of walls encompassing the Vienne River, inhabited mainly by clerks and workers. It has a bridge on the Vienne river named after Saint-Étienne, built by the bishops, sacked in 1370, it never recovered entirely. The castle, with 12 meter-high walls, including the abbey and controlled by the abbot, traces of the walls can still be seen in the city centre. Outside the lines of walls were the popular quarters, in 1370, Limoges was occupied by Edward, the Black Prince, who massacred some 300 residents, perhaps a sixth of the normal population, with another 60 members of the garrison of 140 dead as well.
The city and castle were united in 1792 to form the city of Limoges. During the French Revolution several religious edifices, considered symbols of the Ancien Régime, were destroyed by the population, some years the porcelain industry started to develop, favoured by the presence of kaolinite which was discovered near Limoges in 1768. Factories in Limoges and St Junien still produce luxury leather shoes, gloves, in the 19th century Limoges saw strong construction activity, which included the destruction and rebuilding of much of the city centre. The unsafe conditions of the population is highlighted by the outbreak of several riots, including that of July–November 1830
French Revolutionary Army
The French Revolutionary Army was the French force that fought the French Revolutionary Wars from 1792 to 1802. These armies were characterised by their revolutionary fervour, their poor equipment, leading generals included Jourdan, Masséna and Moreau. As a general description of French military forces during this period, reactionary Europe stood opposed, especially after the French king was executed. As a result, one of the first major elements of the French state to be restructured was the army, almost all of the ancien regime officer class had been drawn from the aristocracy. During the period preceding the overthrow of the Monarchy, large numbers of officers left their regiments. Between 15 September and 1 December 1791 alone 2,160 officers of the army fled France eventually to join the émigré army of Louis Joseph. Of those who stayed numbers were either imprisoned or killed during the Reign of Terror, the small remaining cadre of officers were promoted swiftly, this meant that the majority of the Revolutionary officers were far younger than their Monarchist counterparts.
Revolutionary fervour, along with calls to save the new regime, the desperate situation meant that these men were quickly inducted into the army. The transformation of the Army was best seen in the officer corps, before the revolution 90% had been aristocrats, compared to only 3% in 1794. Revolutionary fervor was high, and was monitored by the Committee of Public Safety. Indeed, some generals deserted, others were removed or executed, the government demanded that soldiers be loyal to the government in Paris, not to their generals. Officially, the Revolutionary Armies were operating along the set down in the 1791 Reglement. The 1791 Reglement laid down several complex maneuvers, maneuvers which demanded well trained soldiers, officers. The Revolutionary Army was lacking in all three of these areas, and as a result the early efforts to conform to the 1791 Reglement were met with disaster, the untrained troops could not perform the complex maneuvers required, unit cohesion was lost and defeat was ensured.
Realizing that the army was not capable of conforming with the 1791 Reglement, many eminent French military thinkers had been clamoring for change decades before. In the period following the performance of the French Army during the Seven Years War. In the 1770s, some commanders, among them the brilliant duc de Broglie performed exercises testing these tactics, de Broglie decided that lordre profond worked best when it was supported by artillery and large numbers of skirmishers. Despite these exercises, lordre mince had strong and powerful supporters in the Royal Armée Française, the French struck first, with an invasion of the Austrian Netherlands proposed by foreign minister Charles François Dumouriez
The July Monarchy, was a liberal constitutional monarchy in France under Louis Philippe I, starting with the July Revolution of 1830 and ending with the Revolution of 1848. It began with the overthrow of the government of Charles X. The king promised to follow the juste milieu, or the middle-of-the-road, avoiding the extremes of the supporters of Charles X. The July Monarchy was dominated by wealthy bourgeoisie and numerous former Napoleonic officials and it followed conservative policies, especially under the influence of François Guizot. The king promoted friendship with Great Britain and sponsored colonial expansion, by 1848, a year in which many European states had a revolution, the kings popularity had collapsed and he was overthrown. Louis Phillipe was pushed to the throne by an alliance between the people of Paris, the republicans, who had set up barricades in the capital, and the liberal bourgeoisie. However, at the end of his reign the so-called Citizen King was overthrown by similar barricades during the February Revolution of 1848, the Legitimists withdrew from the political stage to their castles, leaving the stage opened for the struggle between the Orleanists and the Republicans.
Louis-Philippe was crowned King of the French, instead of King of France, Louis-Philippe, who had flirted with liberalism in his youth, rejected much of the pomp and circumstance of the Bourbons and surrounded himself with merchants and bankers. The July Monarchy, remained a time of turmoil, a large group of Legitimists on the right demanded the restoration of the Bourbons to the throne. On the left, Republicanism and, remained a powerful force, late in his reign Louis-Philippe became increasingly rigid and dogmatic and his President of the Council, François Guizot, had become deeply unpopular, but Louis-Philippe refused to remove him. The situation gradually escalated until the Revolutions of 1848 saw the fall of the monarchy, during the first several years of his regime, Louis-Philippe appeared to move his government toward legitimate, broad-based reform. And indeed, Louis-Phillipe and his ministers adhered to policies that seemed to promote the central tenets of the constitution, though the July Monarchy seemed to move toward reform, this movement was largely illusory.
During the years of the July Monarchy, enfranchisement roughly doubled, this still represented only roughly one percent of population, and as the requirements for voting were tax-based, only the wealthiest gained the privilege. By implication, the enlarged enfranchisement tended to favor the wealthy merchant bourgeoisie more than any other group, beyond simply increasing their presence within the Chamber of Deputies, this electoral enlargement provided the bourgeoisie the means by which to challenge the nobility in legislative matters. Thus, while appearing to honor his pledge to increase suffrage, Louis-Philippe acted primarily to empower his supporters, the inclusion of only the wealthiest tended to undermine any possibility of the growth of a radical faction in Parliament, effectively serving socially conservative ends. The reformed Charter of 1830 limited the power of the King—stripping him of his ability to propose and decree legislation, one of the first acts of Louis-Philippe in constructing his cabinet was to appoint the rather conservative Casimir Perier as the premier of that body.
Perier, a banker, was instrumental in shutting down many of the Republican secret societies, in addition, he oversaw the dismemberment of the National Guard after it proved too supportive of radical ideologies. He performed all of actions, of course, with royal approval
Battle of Stockach (1799)
The Battle of Stockach occurred on 25 March 1799, when French and Austrian armies fought for control of the geographically strategic Hegau region in present-day Baden-Württemberg. In the broader context, this battle constitutes a keystone in the first campaign in southwestern Germany during the Wars of the Second Coalition. The Austrian Armys superior strength, almost three-to-one, forced the French to withdraw, when a small French force commanded by Dominique Vandamme nearly flanked the Austrian Army, Charless personal intervention was crucial for the Austrians, buying time for reinforcements to arrive. General Jourdan, while trying to rally his men, was trampled to death. Ultimately, the French were driven back upon the Rhine River and this treaty proved difficult to administer. Austria was slow to give up some of the Venetian territories, supported by French republican forces, Swiss insurgents staged several uprisings, ultimately causing the overthrow of the Swiss Confederation after 18 months of civil war.
By early 1799, the French Directory had become impatient with stalling tactics employed by Austria, the uprising in Naples raised further alarms, and recent gains in Switzerland suggested the timing was fortuitous to venture on another campaign in northern Italy and southwestern Germany. As winter broke in 1799, on 1 March, General Jean Baptiste Jourdan and his army of 25,000 and this crossing officially violated the Treaty of Campo Formio. On 2 March, the Army was renamed Army of the Danube, the Austrians had already reached an agreement with Tsar Paul of Russia by which the legendary Alexander Suvorov would leave retirement to assist Austria in Italy with another 60,000 troops. Ostrach itself lies almost at the end of this plain. By 7 March, the first French forces arrived there, over the following week, additional forces for both sides arrived, and the two armies faced each other across this valley. The French army extended in a line from the Danube to Lake Constance. François Joseph Lefebvre commanded the Advance Guard, positioned on the slope below Pfullendorf, pierre Marie Barthélemy Ferinos First Division held the southern-most flank, to defend against any encirclement by Charles force.
Jourdan set up command at Pfullendorf, and the Cavalry Reeserve, commanded by Jean-Joseph Ange dHautpoul, stood slightly to the north, by late on the 19th, Austrian and French soldiers had been skirmishing at outposts for more than 30 hours, with the action growing increasingly intense. In the early hours of the 21st, General Lefebvre informed Jourdan that the Austrians were attacking all his positions, after 24 hours of fighting, Austrian forces pushed Lefebvre and Saint Cyrs troops back to the Pfullendorf heights. Although sappers blew up the bridge over the Ostrach river. They nearly outflanked General Saint Cyrs forces on the flank, did outflank Lefebvres forces in the center. Saint Cyrs troops barely managed to pull back before being cut off
Battle of Jemappes
The Battle of Jemappes took place near the town of Jemappes in Hainaut, near Mons during the War of the First Coalition, part of the French Revolutionary Wars. The French, who outnumbered their opponents by about three-to-one, launched a series of enthusiastic, at length, the French seized a portion of the ridge and the Austrians were unable to drive them away. Saxe-Teschen conceded defeat by ordering a withdrawal, intent on invading the Austrian Netherlands, advanced late in the season and attacked the Austrians with greatly superior forces. Jemappes was won by costly but effective charges against the Austrians prepared position, Dumouriez overran the Austrian Netherlands within a month, but lost it at the Battle of Neerwinden in March. The French would not reconquer the Austrian Netherlands until the summer of 1794 and this left Dumouriez free to move north, to first lay siege to Lille in late September and into early October, and to launch his long-planned invasion of the Austrian Netherlands.
The Austrian army was commanded by Duke Albert of Saxe-Teschen, the governor of the Austrian Netherlands. Although he had more than 20,000 troops available, they were scattered in a defensive line. With this power, he tried to defend the 5-mile long Cuesmes ridge which ran from Mons in the Austrian left to Jemappes on the right side. The Austrian right was commanded by Franz Freiherr von Lilien, the center by Franz Sebastian de Croix Count Clerfayt, two other companies were further to the left around Mont Palisel and an infantry battalion was at Mons. The Austrian army positioned themselves on the marshes around the Trouille groves and rivers, the only other way for a retreat was via Mons. Dumouriez had twice as many men as the Austrians and his own Armée du Nord contained 32,000 infantry,3,800 cavalry and 100 guns and was supported in Jemappes by a further 4,000 men and 15 guns under General François Harville. Dumouriezs infantry battalions contained thirteen volunteers from 1792, harvilles men were volunteers, but most of the older commanders were either experienced soldiers or aristocrats.
The most obvious example was the commander of the French center, the Duke of Chartres, who had assumed the name of General Egalite, the right wing was commanded by General Pierre de Riel, Marquis de Beurnonville and left of General Louis Marie de la Caussade Ferrand. Harville was to reinforce the right, Dumouriez planned to use his armys numbers to overtake the Austrian position. The plan was for Harville and Beurnonville to attack first, Ferrand would capture Quaregnon before Jemappes. Beurnonville would attack the Austrian center while Harville moved to Mont Palisel to cut off the Austrian retreat, see Jemappes 1792 Order of Battle for details of the Austrian and French organizations. Saxe-Teschen entrenched his 11,628 infantry,2,168 cavalry and 56 guns along the Cuesmes Ridge just a few kilometers west of Mons, the Austrian artillery included fourteen 12-lb cannon, thirty-six 6-lb and 3-lb cannon and six 7-lb howitzers. The north end of the position, defended by Feldmarschall-Leutnant Franz Freiherr von Lilien, was anchored on the village of Jemappes, feldzeugmeister Count Clerfayt commanded the center and Feldmarschall-Leutnant Johann Peter Beaulieu led the left wing
Lazare Nicolas Marguerite, Count Carnot was a French politician, engineer and mathematician. He was known as the Organizer of Victory in the French Revolutionary Wars, born on May 13,1753 in the village of Nolay, Côte-dOr, Carnot was the son of local judge and royal notary, Claude Carnot and his wife, Marguerite Pothier. He was the second oldest of eighteen children, at the age of fourteen and his brother were enrolled at the Collège d’Autun, in Burgundy where he focused on the study of philosophy and the classics. He held a belief in stoic philosophy and was deeply influenced by Roman civilization. When he turned fifteen, he left the Collège d’Autun to strengthen his philosophical knowledge, during his short time with them, he studied logic and theology under the Abbe Bison. Here, he was enrolled in M. de Longpres pension school in 1770 until he was ready to enter one of two engineering and artillery schools in Paris. A year later, in February of 1771, he was ranked the third highest among twelve who were out of his class of more than one hundred who took the entrance exams.
It was at point when he entered the Mézières School of Engineering appointed as second lieutenant. Studies at the Mézières included geometry, geometrical designing, hydraulics, on January 1,1773, he graduated the school ranked as first lieutenant. It was here where he met and studied with Benjamin Franklin and at the age of twenty, at this moment, he made a name for himself both in the line of theoretical engineering and in his work in the field of fortifications. While in the army, he continued his study of mathematics and this publication earned him the honor of admittance to a literary society. In that same year, he received a promotion to the rank of captain. At the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, Carnot entered political life and he became a delegate to the Legislature in 1791. While a member of the Legislative Assembly, Carnot was elected to the Committee for Public Instruction, after the Legislative Assembly was dissolved, Carnot was elected to the National Convention in 1792.
He spent the last few months of 1792 on a mission to Bayonne, upon returning to Paris, Carnot voted for the death of King Louis XVI, although he had been absent for the debates surrounding the king’s trial. On 14 August 1793 Carnot was elected to the Committee of Public Safety, with the establishment of the Directory in 1795, Carnot became one of the five initial directors. For the first year, the Directors did well working harmoniously together as well as with the Councils and Barthélemy supported concessions to end the war, and hoped to oust the triumvirate and replace them with more conservative men. Carnot took refuge in Geneva, and there in 1797 issued his La métaphysique du calcul infinitésimal, the creation of the French Revolutionary Army was largely due to his powers of organization and enforcing discipline
First French Empire
The First French Empire, Note 1 was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Its name was a misnomer, as France already had colonies overseas and was short lived compared to the Colonial Empire, a series of wars, known collectively as the Napoleonic Wars, extended French influence over much of Western Europe and into Poland. The plot included Bonapartes brother Lucien, serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, on 9 November 1799 and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control. They dispersed the legislative councils, leaving a rump legislature to name Bonaparte, Sieyès, although Sieyès expected to dominate the new regime, the Consulate, he was outmaneuvered by Bonaparte, who drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII and secured his own election as First Consul. He thus became the most powerful person in France, a power that was increased by the Constitution of the Year X, the Battle of Marengo inaugurated the political idea that was to continue its development until Napoleons Moscow campaign.
Napoleon planned only to keep the Duchy of Milan for France, setting aside Austria, the Peace of Amiens, which cost him control of Egypt, was a temporary truce. He gradually extended his authority in Italy by annexing the Piedmont and by acquiring Genoa, Parma and Naples, he laid siege to the Roman state and initiated the Concordat of 1801 to control the material claims of the pope. Napoleon would have ruling elites from a fusion of the new bourgeoisie, on 12 May 1802, the French Tribunat voted unanimously, with exception of Carnot, in favour of the Life Consulship for the leader of France. This action was confirmed by the Corps Législatif, a general plebiscite followed thereafter resulting in 3,653,600 votes aye and 8,272 votes nay. On 2 August 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Consul for life, pro-revolutionary sentiment swept through Germany aided by the Recess of 1803, which brought Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden to Frances side. The memories of imperial Rome were for a time, after Julius Caesar and Charlemagne.
The Treaty of Pressburg, signed on 26 December 1805, did little other than create a more unified Germany to threaten France. On the other hand, Napoleons creation of the Kingdom of Italy, the occupation of Ancona, to create satellite states, Napoleon installed his relatives as rulers of many European states. The Bonapartes began to marry into old European monarchies, gaining sovereignty over many nations, in addition to the vassal titles, Napoleons closest relatives were granted the title of French Prince and formed the Imperial House of France. Met with opposition, Napoleon would not tolerate any neutral power, Prussia had been offered the territory of Hanover to stay out of the Third Coalition. With the diplomatic situation changing, Napoleon offered Great Britain the province as part of a peace proposal and this, combined with growing tensions in Germany over French hegemony, Prussia responded by forming an alliance with Russia and sending troops into Bavaria on 1 October 1806. In this War of the Fourth Coalition, Napoleon destroyed the armies of Frederick William at Jena-Auerstedt, the Eylau and the Friedland against the Russians finally ruined Frederick the Greats formerly mighty kingdom, obliging Russia and Prussia to make peace with France at Tilsit.
The Treaties of Tilsit ended the war between Russia and the French Empire and began an alliance between the two empires that held power of much of the rest of Europe, the two empires secretly agreed to aid each other in disputes
A guillotine is an apparatus designed for efficiently carrying out executions by beheading. The device consists of a tall, upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade is raised to the top, the condemned person is secured with stocks at the bottom of the frame, positioning the neck directly below the blade. The blade is released, to fall swiftly and forcefully decapitating the victim with a single pass so that the head falls into a basket below. The name dates from period, but similar devices had been used elsewhere in Europe over several centuries. The guillotine continued to be used long after the revolution and remained Frances standard method of execution until the abolition of capital punishment in 1981. The last person to be executed in France was Hamida Djandoubi, the use of beheading machines in Europe long predates such use in the French revolution in 1792. An early example of the principle is found in the High History of the Holy Grail, although the device is imaginary, its function is clear.
The text says, Within these three openings are the set for them. And behold what I would do to them if their three heads were therein, even thus will I cut off their heads when they shall set them into those three openings thinking to adore the hallows that are beyond. The Halifax Gibbet was a structure of two wooden uprights, capped by a horizontal beam, of a total height of 4.5 metres. The blade was an axe head weighing 3.5 kg, attached to the bottom of a wooden block that slid up. This device was mounted on a square platform 1.25 metres high. It is not known when the Halifax Gibbet was first used, the first recorded execution in Halifax dates from 1280, the machine remained in use until Oliver Cromwell forbade capital punishment for petty theft. It was used for the last time, for the execution of two criminals on a day, on 30 April 1650. Holinsheds Chronicles of 1577 included a picture of The execution of Murcod Ballagh near to Merton in Ireland 1307 showing a similar execution machine, the Maiden was constructed in 1564 for the Provost and Magistrates of Edinburgh, and was in use from April 1565 to 1710.
One of those executed was James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, in 1581, Schmidt recommended using an angled blade as opposed to a round one. On 10 October 1789, physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin proposed to the National Assembly that capital punishment always take the form of decapitation by means of a simple mechanism, sensing the growing discontent, Louis XVI banned the use of the breaking wheel. A committee was formed under Antoine Louis, physician to the King, Guillotin was on the committee