Biography of Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738-1814)

French doctor born in Saintes (Charente) may 28, 1738 and died in 1814. He/She was a Deputy in the States General and took part in the drafting of the Declaration of the rights of man.

Son of Joseph Alexandre Guillotin and Catherine Agathe Martin, Joseph Ignace was a premature infant. His childhood was quiet, and was soon revealed as a pupil with a certain religious vocation. However, religious vocation you was short-lived and he/she moved to Paris to study Medicean. He/She graduated in 1770 and quickly acquired a reputation for good doctor. In 1789 he/she was elected as Deputy for the third estate, which automatically became a man of the revolution that broke out that year.

With the outbreak of the revolution Guillotin acquired some notoriety in the States-General thanks to his brilliant speeches. It was there where, on 10 October 1789, Guillotin passed into history, because his idea of executions of death sentences is humanizasen. Guillotin proposed the construction of a machine that decapitara inmates of rapid, safe and painless, and that end with errors that it produced the traditional decapitation made by hand by an executioner, which sometimes increased the agony of the accused to not cause death immediately. Such a machine would be later known as the guillotine. However, Joseph Ignace Guillotin was not the constructor of such appliance. Three years later, in 1792, the Legislative Assembly adopted this measure and entrusted the execution of the machine to a prestigious physician, Antoine Louis, perpetual Secretary of the Academy of surgery. This worked on the Commission along with a resident German mechanic in Paris called Schmitt. Between them they ended up developing the machine proposed by Guillotin, and that in honor of this name was given. In fact this machine was not a new invention but the evolution of other artifacts that already existed in Europe as the Italian mannaia. Guillotin was not as the inventor of the guillotine, but promoter of his creation. The idea of Joseph Ignace was the unifying by law all death sentences, even the of prisoners common and plebeian, by means of a painless, quick and efficient.

After a series of experiments on cadavers, in order to develop the invention, the first public execution carried out under this method took place on 25 April 1792, the convicted person was a bandit accused of assaulting several proceedings. Between 1792 and 1794, coinciding with the regime of Terror, the guillotine became a disastrous symbol of the era.

In 1793, after the executions of Luis XVI and MarĂ­a Antonieta, the invention, which had not yet been baptized in any way, received the name of Louisette. Finally, about 1800, won the final name of guillotine.

Joseph Ignace Guillotin died in 1814, at the age of 76.