Abbé Edgeworth de Firmont- Confessor to the King

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On the 21 January 1793, as he faced the guillotine, Louis XVI, King of France, was attended by an Irish-born priest, Henry Edgeworth, known in France as Abbé Edgeworth de Firmont. Writing of the grim events of that day, René de Chateaubriand wrote bitterly, ‘a foreigner sustained the Monarch at his last hour – it seemed as if there were not a single Frenchman left who was loyal to his sovereign’. There was, however, somewhat more to the story than that.

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John Hedigan