Jean CHOUAN

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FrenchBorn Jean COTTEREAU

French counter-revolutionary, an insurrectionist, and a staunch royalist

Born on October 30, 1757 in Saint-Berthevin, France , France

Died on July 28, 1794 in Olivet, France

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Much of the biographical material on Jean Chouan is based on the work of Jacques Duchemin des Cépeaux, in a work written in 1825 at the request of the king, Charles X, who ruled France from 1824 until 1830. Cépeaux is unapologetically a royalist partisan, and he presents a number of claims that may be unfounded. The story of Jean Chouan is, therefore, almost certainly, in large part, legendary. The persistence of the legend can be explained by the fact it has been continuously nourished by a small faction of Catholics and royalist-legitimists who have remained active up to the present day.



So, Chouan's role in history is, at best, questionable, and archives, even those belonging to aristocrats living in the region, indicate that he was completely unknown prior to the Bourbon restoration in 1814. One thing is certain: the republicans, in their effort to quell the insurgency, contributed to the birth of the legend. The name, Jean Chouan, may, in fact, have been invented by republican authorities who were unable to name the true leaders of the insurrection against their own 1789 revolution, the revolution that had unseated the royal house of Bourbon in the first place.

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Geographical origins

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