Calas, Jean


Calas, Jean

▪ French historian
born March 19, 1698, Lacabarède, Fr.
died March 10, 1762, Toulouse

      Huguenot cloth merchant whose execution caused the philosopher Voltaire to lead a campaign for religious toleration and reform of the French criminal code.

      On Oct. 13, 1761, Calas's eldest son, MarcAntoine, was found hanged in his father's textile shop in Toulouse. Anti-Huguenot hysteria broke out among the local Roman Catholic populace, and Calas was arrested and charged with having murdered his son to prevent or punish his conversion to Catholicism. At first he attributed the crime to an unknown intruder, but he later insisted that his son had committed suicide. Found guilty by the local magistrates, he was condemned to death by the Parlement (appellate court) of Toulouse on March 9, 1762. The following day he was publicly broken on the wheel, strangled, and then burned to ashes. His son was buried as a martyr to the Catholic faith.

      Influential friends of the family in Geneva interested Voltaire in the case, and through a vigorous press campaign the philosopher convinced large segments of European public opinion that Calas's judges had allowed their anti-Huguenot prejudices to influence their verdict. As a result, a 50-judge panel was appointed to review the case. The panel reversed Calas's conviction on March 9, 1765, and the government paid the family an indemnity. The Calas affair greatly strengthened the movement for criminal law reform and religious toleration in France, but the actual reforms were not instituted until the 1780s.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Calas, Jean — (1698 1762)    merchant    Born in Lacabarède, near Castres, Jean Calas was a Calvinist merchant. Following the suicide of his eldest son, Calas tried to hide the fact but was accused of killing him to prevent his conversion to Catholicism. Jean… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • CALAS, JEAN —    a tradesman of Toulouse, whose son committed suicide, and who was charged with murdering him to prevent his going over to the Catholic Church; was tried, convicted, and sentenced to torture and death on the wheel (1762); after which his… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Jean-François Lefèbvre — Jean François Lefèbvre, chevalier de la Barre (* 1746 in Férolles Attilly; † 1. Juli 1766 durch Hinrichtung in Abbeville/Somme) war ein französischer Adeliger, der Opfer eines religiös motivierten Justizmordes wurde. Sein Fall wurde in ganz… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Calas — Calas, Jean, ein reformirter Kaufmann in Toulouse, durch den an ihm verübten Justizmord berühmt. 1761 nämlich erhängte sich aus Schwermuth ein Sohn des C., das Gerücht, er habe ihn erwürgt, weil derselbe dem Beispiele eines Bruders folgen und… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Jean Calas — (1698 ndash; 1762) was a merchant living in Toulouse, France, famous for having been the victim of a biased trial due to his being a Protestant. In France, he is a symbol of Christian religious intolerance, along with Jean François de la Barre… …   Wikipedia

  • Jean Calas — Der große Calas, Kupferstich von Daniel Chodowiec …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Elie de Beaumont — Jean Baptiste Jacques Élie de Beaumont Jean Baptiste Jacques Élie de Beaumont, né à Carentan en 1732 et mort à Paris le 10 janvier 1786, est un avocat français. D’une vieille famille protestante de Normandie, Élie de Beaumont fut reçu au barreau… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Élie De Beaumont — Jean Baptiste Jacques Élie de Beaumont, né à Carentan en 1732 et mort à Paris le 10 janvier 1786, est un avocat français. D’une vieille famille protestante de Normandie, Élie de Beaumont fut reçu au barreau en 1752 et avocat au parlement de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-baptiste-jacques élie de beaumont — Jean Baptiste Jacques Élie de Beaumont, né à Carentan en 1732 et mort à Paris le 10 janvier 1786, est un avocat français. D’une vieille famille protestante de Normandie, Élie de Beaumont fut reçu au barreau en 1752 et avocat au parlement de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Élie de Beaumont — Jean Baptiste Jacques Élie de Beaumont, né à Carentan en 1732 et mort à Paris le 10 janvier 1786, est un avocat français. D’une vieille famille protestante de Normandie, Élie de Beaumont fut reçu au barreau en 1752 et avocat au parlement de… …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.