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> Breton History, Spring 1795: The Events at Quiberon
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Posted: 14-May-2005, 04:22 PM
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Here is another installment of my series on Breton History. It was found at:


Spring 1795, The events at Quiberon

On the 17th of June 1795, twenty thousand Chouans acclaim the six thousand five hundred emigrants, headed by the white flag of the Royalists, who tread the beach of Carnac. It was thanks to the English that the emigrants could finally look forward to an end of their exile.

The English supplied the logistics as well as a small army of seventeen thousand men on three warships, ten frigates and about ten other vessels. It was time to put and end to this revolution which had gone on too long. Among them, one found nobles, republican prisoners, prelates including the bishop of Dol, Monseigneur Hercé. However, they weren?t all there, a great number of Princes were waiting in the capitals of Europe to see what direction the events would take, before becoming more involved.

The landing was commanded by the duo of the Count of Puissaye and Count of Hervilly. Their antagonism was one of the sources of the collapse that was to follow. The two men disagreed continually and lost precious time. The Convention got wind of the project : the preparations being to long and the chattering of the emigrants, put the expedition in danger. The result was that General Hoche united thirteen thousand men for the troops and forced the royalists to retreat to the peninsula of Quiberon, and then encircled them in a net from which they were unable to escape. "Les anglo-émigrés-chouans sont dans la ratière et moi, avec quelques gros chats, à la porte" ("The anglo-emigrant-chouans are in the rat-trap, and I, along with several big cats, am at the door") cried the convention. On the 16th of July, the Royalist army tried to get out but finds itself under fire from the Blues. Hoche went on the offensive and decimated the rebels. The survivors were obliged to capitulate, since they were unable to get back to their armada due to the fact that it could not approach the coast because of the heavy swell. The remaining emigrants in the Fort of Penthièvre, under the crossfire of the French and the English, decided to surrender to Hoche on the beach of port Haliguen.

All those nobles who escaped were executed by a firing squad at Auray and Vannes. Some peasants were spared from this to avoid a burning of the Breton countryside.

In the place known as Toulbahadeu, near the marsh of Kerzo, stands a chapel in memory of the 953 emigrants and Chouans who were shot. This place is called the field of the martyrs.

Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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