Family tree of Henri DE LA ROCHEJAQUELEIN

French Revolution & Empire, 19th Century


The youngest general of the Royalist Vendéan insurrection during the French Revolution

Born on August 30, 1772 in Saint-Aubin-de-Baubigné, France , France

Died on January 28, 1794 in Nuaillé, France

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Born in the Château de la Durbellière, Saint-Aubin-de-Baubigné, near Châtillon, La Rochejaquelein fought for the first time defending the Tuileries Palace on the 10th of August attack of 1792, as an officer of the Constitutional Guard of King Louis XVI.

Returned to his home province, he refused to apply for the levée en masse called by the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, he joined his cousin Louis-Marie Joseph Lescure on the latter's estates in Poitou.


Soon after, they started fighting the troops of the French Republic with Maurice-Louis-Joseph Gigot d'Elbée and the Marquis de Bonchamps from April 1793. There, he gave famous order "Mes amis, si j'avance, suivez-moi! Si je recule, tuez-moi! Si je meurs, vengez-moi!" ("Friends, if I advance, follow me! If I retreat, kill me! If I die, avenge me!").

Leading a few thousands Vendéan peasants, La Rochejaquelein gained his first victory over the French Revolutionary Army on April 13, took part to the taking of Bressuire on May 3, of Fontenay-le-Comte on the 25th, and of Saumur on June 9.

In August, in Luçon, he regrouped the Vendéan army, which was on the verge of being disbanded, and won the battle of Chantonnay in September. He had to retreat across the Loire after being beaten in Cholet, on October 17.

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Geographical origins

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