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Portrait length color image of Executioner Henry Sanson, by George Stuart.

Executioner Henry Sanson

Portrait by
artist-historian George Stuart.

Courtesy George S. Stuart.
Left close up color image of Executioner Henry Sanson, by George Stuart.gray spacerRight closup color image of Executioner Henry Sanson, by George Stuart.
Text: Signature image of Executioner Henry Sanson, by George Stuart.

Pushed by accident into a short and grisly career for which he became famous.

Henri Sanson (1767-1840) was the son of Charles Henri Sanson, chief executioner, who had guillotined Louis XVI. Henri inherited the position in 1793 and executed Marie Antoinette. As she mounted the steps, she trod on Sanson’s foot and said, “Excuse me sir.” He was reputed to have responded, “No madam, please excuse me.”

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