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were drownings superintended during the Reign of Terror
The Reign of Terror , also known simply as The Terror , was a period of violence that occurred after the onset of the French Revolution, incited by conflict between rival political factions, the Girondins and the Jacobins, and marked by mass executions of "enemies of...
Nantes is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast. The city is the 6th largest in France, while its metropolitan area ranks 8th with over 800,000 inhabitants....
, between November 1793 and January 1794, by the attorney Jean-Baptiste Carrier
Jean-Baptiste Carrier was a French Revolutionary, known for his cruelty to his enemies, especially to clergy.-Biography:...
, the representative-on-mission.
The drownings were carried out by cramming some 90 priests in a flat-bottomed craft under hatches, and drowning them in mid-stream after scuttling the boat at a signal given, followed by another in which some 138 persons suffered like "sentence of deportation"; of these drownings there are said to have been no fewer than 25.
It is not certain exactly how many people Carrier had executed in this manner. While it is popularly believed that around 2,000 died in the Loire
Loire is an administrative department in the east-central part of France occupying the River Loire's upper reaches.-History:Loire was created in 1793 when after just 3½ years the young Rhône-et-Loire department was split into two. This was a response to counter-Revolutionary activities in Lyon...
estuary, one member of Carrier's committee placed the number at over 6,000.
One of the gruesome features of the noyades were what have been termed the 'underwater marriages', where a priest and a nun would be tied together before they were drowned. The drownings were also referred to as 'republican baptisms' or republican marriage
Republican marriage was a form of execution that allegedly occurred in Nantes during the Reign of Terror in Revolutionary France and "involved tying a naked man and woman together and drowning them"...