Notable Historical Trials IV – The Duc de Praslin

This chapter in the Folio Society‘s collection of historical trials takes place in 1847.  The fe of the Duc, the Duchesse de Praslin was found dead, with more than forty wounds.

The obvious suspect was the Duc, and there was plenty of evidence.  He had blood on him, the cut bell pull rope was stuffed in his clothes, the weapon was in his rooms.  The two had not gotten on well in recent years, and this was made worse by the governess of their children, who she felt was behaving improperly with the Duc.

She had dismissed the woman, and the Duc was apparently due to intercede with the Duchesse to get her a recommendation for a new job that day.  I suppose the request did not go over well.

Before the trial was complete the Duc killed himself.

Why was this trial (or partial trial important?  The Duchesse was popular, and this gory murder was one of a number of incidents that discredited the monarchy of Louis Philippe and the Aristocracy.  The Ambassador to Naples cut his own throat, the Prince d’Eckmuhl stabbed his mistress to death, Comte Mortier tried to kill his children, and the Keeper of the Seal committed suicide.  It seemed to many that the ruling class was no longer fit to rule.  Within months unrest grew and the last King abdicated and fled.  The government set up a republic under Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, who soon became the Emperor Napoleon III until his ouster in 1870 during the debacle of the Franco-Prussian War.

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One thought on “Notable Historical Trials IV – The Duc de Praslin

  1. Pingback: Notable Historical Trials IV – Dr. William Palmer | Kilobooks

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