1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Marcel, Étienne
MARCEL, ÉTIENNE (d. 1358), provost of the merchants of Paris under King John II., belonged by birth to the wealthy Parisian bourgeoisie, being the son of a clothier named Simon Marcel and of Isabelle Barbou. He is mentioned as provost of the Grande-Confrérie of Notre Dame in 1350, and in 1354 he succeeded Jean de Pacy as provost of the Parisian merchants. His political career began in 1356, when John was made prisoner after the battle of Poitiers. In conjunction with Robert le Coq, bishop of Laon, he played a leading part in the states-general called together by the dauphin Charles on the 17th of October. A committee of eighty members, constituted on their initiative, pressed their demands with such insistence that the dauphin prorogued the states-general; but financial straits obliged him to summon them once more on the 3rd of February 1357, and the promulgation of a great edict of reform was the consequence. John the Good forbade its being put into effect, whereupon a conflict began between Marcel and the dauphin, Marcel endeavouring to set up Charles the Bad, king of Navarre, in opposition to him. The states-general assembled again on the 13th of January 1358, and on the 22nd of February the populace of Paris, led by Marcel, invaded the palace and murdered the marshals of Champagne and Normandy before the prince’s eyes. Thenceforward Marcel was in open hostility to the throne. After vainly hoping that the insurrection of the Jacquerie might turn to his advantage, he next supported the king of Navarre, whose armed bands infested the neighbourhood of Paris. On the night of the 31st of July Marcel was about to open the gates of the capital to them, but Jean Maillart prevented the execution of this design, and killed him before the Porte Saint-Antoine. During the following days his adherents were likewise put to death, and the dauphin was enabled to re-enter Paris. Étienne Marcel married first Jeanne de Dammartin, and secondly Marguerite des Essars, who survived him.
See F. T. Perrens, Étienne Marcel et le gouvernement de la bourgeoisie au xiv e siècle (Paris, 1860); P. Frémaux, La Famille d’Étienne Marcel, in the Mémoires of the Société de l’histoire de Paris et de l’Île de France (1903), vol. xxx.; and Hon. R. D. Denman, Étienne Marcel (1898). (J. V.*)