Source 2

‘The London Gazette’ – Saturday 18 July – Tuesday 21 July, 1789 (ZJ 1/85)


In the Evening a Detachment with Two Pieces of Cannon went to the Bastile, to demand the Ammunition deposited there.  A Flag of Truce had been sent before them, which was answered from within; But nevertheless, the Governor (the Marquis de Launay) ordered the Guard to fire, and several were killed.  The Populace, enraged at this Proceeding, rushed forward to the Assault, when the Governor agreed to admit a certain Number, on Condition that they should not commit any Violence.  A Detachment of about Forty accordingly passed the Drawbridge, which was instantly drawn up, and the whole Party massacred.  This Breach of Faith, aggravated by so glaring an instance of Inhumanity, natuarlly excited a Spirit of revenge and Tumult not to be appeased.  A Breach was soon made in the Gate, and the Fortress surrendered.  The Governor, the principal Gunner, the Jailer, and Two old Invalids, who had been noticed as being more active than the Rest, were seized, and carried before the Council assembled at the Hotel de Ville, by whom the Marquis de Launay was sentenced to be beheaded, which was accordingly put in Execution at the Place de Grêve, and the other Prisoners were also put to Death.

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2. Look at Source 2. This is an extract from the London Gazette from Saturday 18 July to Tuesday  July 21, 1789.

  • Why were the people outside the Bastille so outraged when the Governor gave the order to fire on them?
  • Some were then allowed in – on what condition?
  • What happened to the 40 who went into the Bastille?
  • What happened to the Governor?