Alexandre de Beauharnais

Alexandre François Marie, Viscount of Beauharnais (28 May 1760 – 23 July 1794) was a French political figure and general during the French Revolution. He was the first husband of Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, who later married Napoleon Bonaparte and became Empress of the First Empire.

Alexandre was arrested in March 1794 and, following his sentence of death during the Reign of Terror, was executed by guillotine in Paris's Place de la Révolution.


Portrait by Georges Rouget (1834)
Birth nameAlexandre François Marie
Born28 May 1760
Fort-Royal, Martinique, France
Died23 July 1794 (aged 34)
Paris, France
Allegiance Kingdom of France
 First French Republic
Years of service1776 – 1793
RankDivisional general
UnitPavillon royal de France.svg French Royal Army
Tricolour Cockade.svg French Revolutionary Army
Commands heldArmy of the Rhine
Battles/warsFrench Revolutionary Wars (1792–1802)
Other work


Alexandre was born in Fort-Royal (today's Fort-de-France), Martinique. On 13 December 1779 in Paris, he married Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, the future Empress of France. They had two children:

Alexandre fought in Louis XVI's army in the American Revolutionary War. He was later deputy of the noblesse in the Estates-General, and was president of the National Constituent Assembly from 19 June to 3 July 1791 and from 31 July to 14 August 1791. Made a general in 1792 (during the French Revolutionary Wars), he refused, in June 1793, to become Minister of War. He was named General-in-Chief of the Army of the Rhine in 1793.

On 2 March 1794, the Committee of General Security ordered his arrest. Accused of having poorly defended Mainz during the Siege of Mainz in 1793, and considered an aristocratic "suspect", he was jailed in the Carmes prison and sentenced to death during the Reign of Terror. His wife, Josephine de Beauharnais, was jailed in the same prison on 21 April 1794, but she was freed after three months, thanks to the trial of Maximilien Robespierre.

Alexandre was guillotined, together with his cousin Augustin, on the Place de la Révolution (today's Place de la Concorde) in Paris, only five days before the deposition and execution of Robespierre.

Through his son, he is an ancestor of the current monarchs of Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Luxembourg.


His paternal grandparents Claude de Beauharnais (1680–1738) and Renée Hardouineau (1696–1744) were married in La Rochelle during 1713. His father François de Beauharnais, Marquess de la La Ferté-Beauharnais (1714–1800) served as Governor of Martinique. Alexandre was the third of three sons born to him by his first wife Marie Henriette Pyvart de Chastullé (1722–1767) - the first died in infancy, and the second was Francis VI of Beauharnais. His father was remarried in 1796 to Eugenie de Tascher de la Pagerie (1739–1803).

External links

  • Marek, Miroslav. "A listing of the descendants of the Beauharnais family".


was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar, the 1794th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 794th year of the 2nd millennium, the 94th year of the 18th century, and the 5th year of the 1790s decade. As of the start of 1794, the Gregorian calendar was

11 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Alexandre (given name)

Alexandre is the French, Portuguese, Catalan and Galician form of the masculine given name Alexander. Notable people with the name include:

Alexandre Aja (born 1978), French film director

Alexandre Baptista, Portuguese footballer

Alexandre de Beauharnais, French political figure and general during the French Revolution

Alexandre Bilodeau, Canadian skier

Alexandre Brasseur, French actor

Alexandre Dupuis (born 1990), Canadian football player

Alexandre Dumas, French writer

Alexandre Farnoux, French historian and Minoan archaeologist

Alexandre Gaydamak, French businessman, co-owner & Chairman of Portsmouth F.C.

Alexandre Herculano, Portuguese novelist and historian

Alexandre Lacazette, French footballer for Arsenal F.C.

Alexandre Lippmann (1881–1960), French 2x Olympic champion épée fencer

Alexandre Sarnes Negrão, Brazilian race car driver

Alexandre José Oliveira, Spanish-Brazilian football player

Alexandre O'Neill, Portuguese poet

Alexandre Pétion, Haitian President

Alexandre Pato, Brazilian footballer

Alexandre Quintanilha, Portuguese scientist

Alexandre de Serpa Pinto, Portuguese explorer

Alexandre Alves da Silva, Brazilian football player

Alex Song, Cameroonian football player

Alexandre Sperafico, Brazilian driver

Alexandre Trudeau, Canadian filmmaker and journalist

Alexandre Vauthier, French fashion designer

Alexandre Yokochi, Portuguese swimmer

Philippe Alexandre Autexier (1954–1998), French music historian and masonic researcher

Army of Mainz

The Army of Mainz or Army of Mayence (Armée de Mayence) was a French Revolutionary Army set up on 9 December 1797 by splitting the Army of Germany into the Army of Mayence and the Army of the Rhine. Part of it split off on 4 February 1799 to form the Army of Observation, though part of that army then re-merged as the Army of Mayence on 28 March that year. The remainder formed the Army of the Danube. In 1793, the French soldiers captured in the Siege of Mainz were paroled by the Prussians with the promise not to fight against the First Coalition for one year. As their parole conditions did not prohibit them from fighting French rebels in the interior, the troops were sent to fight in the War in the Vendée under the unofficial name "Army of Mayence". This body was absorbed into the Army of the West on 6 October 1793.

Army of the Rhine (1791–1795)

The Army of the Rhine (Armée du Rhin) was formed in December 1791, for the purpose of bringing the French Revolution to the German states along the Rhine River. During its first year in action (1792), under command of Adam Philippe Custine, the Army of the Rhine participated in several victories, including Mainz, Frankfurt and Speyer. Subsequently, the army underwent several reorganizations and merged with the Army of the Moselle to form the Army of the Rhine and Moselle on 20 April 1795.

Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer

Barthélemy Louis Joseph Schérer (18 December 1747 – 19 August 1804), born in Delle, near Belfort, became a French general during the French Revolutionary Wars and on three occasions led armies in battle.

Claude de Beauharnais (1680–1738)

Claude de Beauharnais (22 September 1674–15 January 1738) was a French nobleman. He was sieur de Beaumont et de Bellechauve, captain des vaisseaux du roi, and a knight of the Order of Saint Louis. He was the son of François IV de Beauharnais, seigneur de La Boische and his wife Marie Marguerite-Françoise Puyvart de Chastullé.

In 1713, Claude de Beauharnais married Renée Hardouineau (daughter of Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière and his wife Renée Le Pays de Beauville). They had two children:

François V de Beauharnais (February 08, 1714 - June 18, 1800), seigneur de Beaumont et de Bellechauve, marquis de la Ferté-Beauharnais.

Claude de Beauharnais, 1st comte des Roches-Baritaud (1717–1784), who in 1753 married Anne Mouchard de Chaban (1738–1813) (three children, including Claude de Beauharnais).Through his son François, Claude became grandfather of Alexandre de Beauharnais, great-grandfather of Eugène de Beauharnais and Hortense de Beauharnais. He is also the direct ancestor of Nicolas de Leuchtenberg.

Claude de Beauharnais (1756–1819)

Claude de Beauharnais (26 September 1756, La Rochelle – 10 January 1819, Paris) was a French politician.

Empress Joséphine

Joséphine (French: [ʒo.ze.fin də‿bo.aʁ.nɛ]; born Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie; 23 June 1763 – 29 May 1814) was the first wife of Napoleon, and the first Empress of the French after he proclaimed himself Emperor.

Her marriage to Napoleon was her second; her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she was imprisoned in the Carmes Prison until five days after his execution. Her two children by Beauharnais became significant to royal lineage. Through her daughter, Hortense, she was the maternal grandmother of Napoleon III. Through her son, Eugène, she was the great-grandmother of later Swedish and Danish kings and queens. The reigning houses of Belgium, Norway and Luxembourg also descend from her. She did not bear Napoleon any children; as a result, he divorced her in 1810 to marry Marie Louise of Austria.

Joséphine was the recipient of numerous love letters written by Napoleon, many of which still exist. Her Château de Malmaison was noted for its magnificent rose garden, which she supervised closely, owing to her passionate interest in roses, collected from all over the world.

Eugène de Beauharnais

Eugène Rose de Beauharnais, Duke of Leuchtenberg ([ø.ʒɛn də‿bo.aʁ.nɛ]; 3 September 1781 – 21 February 1824) was the first child and only son of Alexandre de Beauharnais and Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, first wife of Napoleon I.

He was born in Paris, France, and became the stepson and adopted child (but not the heir to the imperial throne) of Napoleon I. His biological father was executed during the revolutionary Reign of Terror. He commanded the Army of Italy and was Viceroy of Italy under his stepfather.

Historians consider him one of the ablest of Napoleon's relatives.

François VI de Beauharnais

François, marquis de Beauharnais (VI), (1756, La Rochelle - 1823) was a French nobleman. He was the son of Francis V of Beauharnais, baron de Beauville, marquis de La Ferté-Beauharnais, and of his wife Henriette Pyvart de Chastillé. This made him the elder brother of Alexandre de Beauharnais and the uncle of Napoleon's stepchildren Eugène and Hortense.

He represented the nobility of États Généraux of 1789, but later emigrated to join Condé's army as a major general. However, he later rallied to the First French Empire, which sent him on various diplomatic missions. Francis VI of Beauharnais was one of the great-grandfathers of the family Eslandoost de Beauville.

François V de Beauharnais

François V de Beauharnais (16 January 1714, La Rochelle - 18 June 1800, Saint-Germain-en-Laye) was a French nobleman, soldier, politician, colonial governor and admiral. He was baron de Beauville, 1st marquis de la Ferté-Beauharnais, chef d'escadre des armées royales, and governor of the French colony of Martinique. He was the son of Claude de Beauharnais (1680–1738), comte des Roches-Baritaud and his wife Renée Hardouineau. Francis V of Beauharnais was one of the great-grandfathers of the family Eslandoost de Beauville.

Hortense de Beauharnais

Hortense Eugénie Cécile Bonaparte (French pronunciation: ​[ɔʁtɑ̃s øʒeni sesil bɔnɑpaʁt]; née de Beauharnais, pronounced [də boaʁnɛ]; 10 April 1783 – 5 October 1837), Queen consort of Holland, was the stepdaughter of Emperor Napoléon I, being the daughter of his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais. She later became the wife of the former's brother, Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, and the mother of Napoléon III, Emperor of the French. She had also an illegitimate son, The 1st Duc de Morny, by her lover, the Comte de Flahaut.

Maximilian de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg

Maximilian Joseph Eugene Auguste Napoleon de Beauharnais, 3rd Duke of Leuchtenberg, Prince Romanowsky (2 October 1817 – 1 November 1852) was the husband of Grand Duchess Maria Nikolayevna of Russia and first cousin of Emperors Napoleon III of the French and Francis Joseph I of Austria. He was a grandson of Napoleon I's first wife, the Empress Josephine, by her prior marriage to Alexandre de Beauharnais.

Nicolas de Leuchtenberg

Nicolas de Leuchtenberg (Nicolas Alexander Fritz; born 12 October 1933, Munich) is a claimant to the Dukedom of Leuchtenberg. He is the son of Nicolas Nicolaïevitch de Leuchtenberg and his wife Élisabeth Müller-Himmler, and is thus a direct descendent of Alexandre de Beauharnais, Joséphine de Beauharnais, and of Eugène de Beauharnais, first Duke of Leuchtenberg.On 24 August 1962, he married Anne Bügge (born 1936), with whom he has two children:

Nicolas Maximilien de Leuchtenberg (1963–2002), died unmarried and without issue

Constantin de Leuchtenberg (born 1965), unmarried and without issue

Sergei Georgievich, 8th Duke of Leuchtenberg

Prince Sergei Georgievich Romanowsky, 8th Duke of Leuchtenberg (4 July 1890 – 7 January 1974) was the son of Prince George Maximilianovich Romanowsky, 6th Duke of Leuchtenberg and his second wife Princess Anastasia of Montenegro. He succeeded his half-brother Alexander Georgievich as Duke of Leuchtenberg from 1942 until his death.

Siege of Mainz (1793)

In the Siege of Mainz (German: Belagerung von Mainz), from 14 April to 23 July 1793, a coalition of Prussia, Austria, and other German states besieged and captured Mainz from revolutionary French forces. The allies, especially the Prussians, first tried negotiations, but this failed, and the bombardment of the city began on the night of 17 June.

Within the town the siege and bombardment led to stress between citizens, municipality and the French war council, governing since 2 April. The city administration was displaced on 13 July; this increased the stubbornness of the remaining population. Since a relief army was missing, the war council was forced to take up negotiations with the allied forces on 17 July; the remaining soldiers capitulated on 23 July.

Nearly 19,000 French troops surrendered at the end of the siege, but were allowed to return to France if they promised not to fight against the allies for one year. Consequently, they were used to fight French royalists in the Vendée region of France. They left the town singing La Marseillaise (also known as the Chant de guerre de l'Armée du Rhin).

The Republic of Mainz, the first democratic state on the later German territory, was subsequently dissolved. Mainz received a Prussian commander to administer the city. The bombardment had left devastating traces in the townscape: some civil buildings and aristocratic palaces like the comedy house, the electoral pleasure palace Favorite, the House of the Cathedral Provost, Liebfrauen- and the church of Society of Jesus had been destroyed, as well as St. Crucis, the Benedictine abbey St. Jacob on the citadel and the remains of St. Alban's Abbey. The cathedral had been heavily damaged.

The biggest impact of the occupation and siege was that the city's part in the old imperial electoral structure finally came to their end. Thus the events of the year 1793 also marked the end of Aurea Moguntia, the Latin nickname for the city: "Golden Mainz". The city lost its status as the electoral residence.

The shelling of Mainz was widely discussed in Europe. Many people gathered round the town in order to view the siege. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe assisted Duke Carl August of Saxe-Weimar during the siege and wrote a famous book about it.

St. Michael's Church, Munich

St. Michael's is a Jesuit church in Munich, southern Germany, the largest Renaissance church north of the Alps. The style of the building had an enormous influence on Southern German early Baroque architecture.


Tarrare (c. 1772 – 1798), sometimes spelled Tarare, was a French showman and soldier, noted for his unusual eating habits. Able to eat vast amounts of meat, he was constantly hungry; his parents could not provide for him, and he was turned out of the family home as a teenager. He travelled France in the company of a band of thieves and prostitutes, before becoming the warm-up act to a travelling charlatan; he would swallow corks, stones, live animals and a whole basketful of apples. He then took this act to Paris where he worked as a street performer.

At the start of the War of the First Coalition, Tarrare joined the French Revolutionary Army. With military rations unable to satisfy his large appetite, he would eat any available food from gutters and refuse heaps but his condition still deteriorated through hunger. He was hospitalised due to exhaustion and became the subject of a series of medical experiments to test his eating capacity, in which, among other things, he ate a meal intended for 15 people in a single sitting, ate live cats, snakes, lizards and puppies, and swallowed eels whole without chewing. Despite his unusual diet, he was of normal size and appearance, and showed no signs of mental illness other than what was described as an apathetic temperament.

General Alexandre de Beauharnais decided to put Tarrare's abilities to military use, and he was employed as a courier by the French army, with the intention that he would swallow documents, pass through enemy lines, and recover them from his stool once safely at his destination. Tarrare could not speak German, and on his first mission was captured by Prussian forces, severely beaten and underwent a mock execution before being returned to French lines.

Chastened by this experience, he agreed to submit to any procedure that would cure his appetite, and was treated with laudanum, tobacco pills, wine vinegar and soft-boiled eggs. The procedures failed, and doctors could not keep him on a controlled diet; he would sneak out of the hospital to scavenge for offal in gutters, rubbish heaps and outside butchers' shops, and attempted to drink the blood of other patients in the hospital and to eat the corpses in the hospital morgue. After being suspected of eating a toddler he was ejected from the hospital. He reappeared four years later in Versailles with a case of severe tuberculosis, and died shortly afterwards, following a lengthy bout of exudative diarrhoea.

Ancestors of Alexandre de Beauharnais
16. Jean de Beauharnais, seigneur de La Boische et de La Chaussée
8. François de Beauharnais, seigneur de La Boische
17. Marie Mallet
4. Claude de Beauharnais, comte des Roches-Baritaud
18. Jacques Pyvart
9. Marguerite Françoise de Pyvart de Chastillé
19. Catherine Thierry
2. François de Beauharnais, marquis de la Ferté-Beauharnais
20. Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière
10. Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière
21. Madeleine Milsonniau
5. Renée Hardouineau de Laudanière
22. Gaspard Pays
11. Renée Le Pays de Beauville
23. Renée Jarry
1. Alexandre, vicomte de Beauharnais
24. Jacques Pyvart de Chastullé
12. Jacques Pyvart de Chastullé
25. Catherine Thierry
6. François Jacques Pyvart de Chastullé, seigneur de Chastullé
26. François de Beauchesne
13. Madeleine de Beauchesne
27. Marie Picualt
3. Marie Anne Henriette Françoise de Pyvart de Chastullé
28. Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière
14. Pierre Hardouineau, seigneur de La Laudanière
29. Madeleine Milsonniau
7. Jeanne Hardouineau de Laudanière
30. Gaspard Pays
15. Renée Le Pays de Beauville
31. Renée Jarry
1st generation
2nd generation
3rd generation
4th generation
5th generation
6th generation
7th generation
8th generation
9th generation

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