Family tree of François RAVAILLAC

political murderer, terrorist

FrenchBorn François RAVAILLAC

French factotum in the courts of Angoulême and a regicide

Born on 1578 in Angoulême, France , France

Died on May 27, 1610 in Paris, France

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Ravaillac was born at Angoulême of not wholly undistinguished origins: François Ravaillac, grandfather of the assassin, was prosecutor of Angoulême (somewhat like a U.S. district attorney), and two of his uncles were canons of the Cathedral of Angoulême. His father Jean Ravaillac however, was a violent man whose many misdeeds were a public scandal which led him to difficulties with the law, whereas his mother Françoise Dubreuil (sister of the canons) was known for her Catholic piety. He began life as a servant, later becoming a school teacher. Obsessed by religion, he sought admission to the ascetic Feuillants order, but after a short probation he was dismissed as being "prey to visions". An application for admission to the Society of Jesus was also unsuccessful in 1606.

In 1609, Ravaillac claimed to have experienced a vision instructing him to convince King Henry IV to convert the Huguenots to Catholicism. Between Pentecost 1609 and May 1610 Ravaillac made three separate trips to Paris with the intent of communicating his vision to the king, and lodged with Charlotte du Tillet, mistress of Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, duc d'Épernon. Unable to meet the king, he interpreted Henry's decision to invade the Spanish Netherlands as the start of a war against the Pope. Determined to stop him, he decided to kill Henry. On 14 May 1610, he lay in wait in the Rue de la Ferronnerie in Paris (now south of the Forum des Halles); when the king passed, his carriage was halted by a blockage in the street, and Ravaillac stabbed Henry to death. Ravaillac was immediately seized and taken to the Hôtel de Retz to avoid a mob lynching, before being transferred to the Conciergerie.


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Geographical origins

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