Georges Cadoudal (1771-1804), leader of the Chouans during the French Revolution, was born in 1771 near Auray. He had received a fair education, and when the Revolution broke out he remained true to his royalist and Catholic teaching. From 1793 he organized a rebellion in the Morbihan against the revolutionary government. It was quickly suppressed and he thereupon joined the army of the revolted Vendeans, taking part in the battles of Le Mans and of Savenay in December 1793. Returning to Morbihan, he was arrested, and imprisoned at Brest. He succeeded, however, in escaping, and began again the struggle against the Revolution. In spite of the defeat of his party, and of the fact that he was forced several times to take refuge in England, Cadoudal did not cease both to wage war and to conspire in favour of the royalist pretenders. He refused to come to any understanding with the government, although offers were made to him by Bonaparte, who admired his skill and his obstinate energy. From 1800 it was impossible for Cadoudal to continue to wage open war, so he took altogether to plotting. He was indirectly concerned in the attempt made by Saint Régent in the rue Sainte Nicaise on the life of the First Consul, in December 1800, and fled to England again.
In 1803 he returned to France to undertake a new attempt against Bonaparte. Though watched for by the police, he succeeded in eluding them for six months, but was at length arrested. Found guilty and condemned to death, he refused to ask for pardon and was executed in Paris on the 10th of June 1804, along with eleven of his companions. He is often called simply Georges.
See Procès de Georges, Moreau et Pichegru (Paris, 1804, 8 vols. 8vo); the Mémoires of Bourrienne, of Hyde de Neuville and of Rohu; Lenotre, Tournebut (on the arrest); Lejean, Biographie bretonne; and the bibliography to the article Vendée.