1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Le Bon, Joseph

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LE BON, JOSEPH (1765–1795), French politician, was born at Arras on the 29th of September 1765. He became a priest in the order of the Oratory, and professor of rhetoric at Beaune. He adopted revolutionary ideas, and became a curé of the Constitutional Church in the department of Pas-de-Calais, where he was later elected as a député suppléant to the Convention. He became maire of Arras and administrateur of Pas-de-Calais, and on the 2nd of July 1793 took his seat in the Convention. He was sent as a representative on missions into the departments of the Somme and Pas-de-Calais, where he showed great severity in dealing with offences against revolutionaries (8th Brumaire, year II. to 22nd Messidor, year II.; i.e. 29th October 1793 to 10th July 1794). In consequence, during the reaction which followed the 9th Thermidor (27th July 1794) he was arrested on the 22nd Messidor, year III. (10th July 1795). He was tried before the criminal tribunal of the Somme, condemned to death for abuse of his power during his mission, and executed at Amiens on the 24th Vendémiaire in the year IV. (10th October 1795). Whatever Le Bon’s offences, his condemnation was to a great extent due to the violent attacks of one of his political enemies, Armand Guffroy; and it is only just to remember that it was owing to his courage that Cambrai was saved from falling into the hands of the Austrians.

His son, Émile le Bon, published a Histoire de Joseph le Bon et des tribunaux révolutionnaires d’Arras et de Cambrai (2nd ed., 2 vols., Arras, 1864).