Joseph-Ignace Guillotin

Joseph-Ignace Guillotin
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Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (Musée Carnavalet, Paris)
Born(1738-05-28)28 May 1738
Saintes, France
Died26 March 1814(1814-03-26) (aged 75)
Resting placePère Lachaise Cemetery
NationalityFrench
EducationIrish College, Bordeaux
Reims University
University of Paris
OccupationPhysician
Known forProposing a painless method for executions, inspiring the guillotine

Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (French pronunciation: ​[ɡijɔtɛ̃]; 28 May 1738 – 26 March 1814) was a French physician, politician and freemason who proposed on 10 October 1789 the use of a device to carry out death penalties in France, as a less painful method of execution. Although he really did not invent the guillotine, and in fact opposed the death penalty, his name became an eponym for it. The actual inventor of the prototype was a man named Tobias Schmidt. working with the kings physician Antoine Louis.

Early life and education

Guillotin wrote an essay to get the degree of Master of Arts from the University of Bordeaux. This essay impressed the Jesuits so much that they persuaded him to enter their order and he became a professor of literature at the Irish College at Bordeaux. However, he left after a few years and travelled to Paris to study medicine, becoming a pupil of Antoine Petit. He gained a diploma from the faculty at Reims in 1768 and later won a prize given by the Paris faculty, the title of Doctor-Regent.[1]