Jacqnes Rene Hebert, a French revolutionist, known also under the assumed name of Pere Duchesne, born in Alengon in 1755, executed in Paris, March 24, 1794. Of low parentage and education, he went when very young to Paris, where he led an obscure life, generally supporting himself by dishonest means. When the revolution broke out he took to pamphlet writing, and soon established a scurrilous newspaper called Le Pere Duchesne, which had considerable popularity among the lowest classes, and was instrumental in exciting several insurrectionary movements. After Aug. 10, 1792, he was one of the most active members of the self-constituted revolutionary commune, and received the appointment of substitute to the procureur syndic. The Girondists having obtained from the convention an order for his arrest, he was liberated in consequence of a violent outbreak of the mob, and became more popular than ever. He was a member of the commission to examine Marie Antoinette, and uttered the most outrageous calumnies against her. In conjunction with Chaumette, Anacharsis Clootz, and others, he established the worship of the "goddess Reason;" and, relying upon the support of the commune and the club of Cordeliers, organized the ultra-revolutionist party known as the Hebertists or enrages.
The committee of public safety, controlled by Robespierre, had them arraigned by virtue of a decree of the convention; and on the night of March 13, 1794, Hebert, Chaumette, Montmoro, Ronsin, Clootz, and 14 others, were conveyed to prison. Hebert evinced great cowardice on his trial, and was executed amid the jeers of the populace. The circulation of his paper had been immense. During the year 1793 he received from the government 180,000 francs for copies gratuitously distributed. He published several pamphlets of a similar character to his journal, Les vitres cas-ses, Catechisyne, Cantique seculaire, Almanack, etc, all of them signed "Le Pere Duchesne."