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D'Albertas, his assassination... and the mummified murderer

The square | Lsmpascal / CC-BY-SA
Street District Homicide Execution Mummy Place d’Albertas

A quiet square...

In front of the D’Albertas town house, this is the D’Albertas square, laid out between 1745 and 1746 by Jean-Baptiste d’Albertas (Henri Reynaud d'Albertas' son, the one who raised the d'Albertas' house), based on Parisian squares as Vendôme or Victoires.

He built it on the foundations of the old house which used to belong to Paulhe family. You know what?

This family was pressed for time to sell it to the d’Albertas, so they entirely recovered their façade with a thick coat of black paint: like that, the D’Albertas was forced to buy this horrible house in order to demolish it quickly and raise the square!

... and an awful news story

Jean-Baptiste d’Albertas died tragically, on July 14th 1790... Our chap organized a party in Gemenos (Bouches-du-Rhônes), in the park of one of his estate, to celebrate the Federation Day...

When suddenly, a man jumped on him and assassinated him!

They finally found the monster. His name? Anicet Martel. Why did he do this? He declared he "satisfied a kind of hatred" that he had since several years. Well, well, well...

Martel, you’ll go to the scaffold! On August 2th 1790, he was sentenced to be break on the wheel in Aix. The story tells that some friends of him organized his escape.

When Martel was brought to his torture, his accomplices started to throw stones on the executioner: completely panicky, this one ran away! So did Martel, but they caught him on time.

They found the hangman, who was hiding in a church... So the torture began... By the way, it was the last time that the wheel was used, in France!

But wait a little... our story goes on! Freemasons picked up Martel’s body years after that, in order to display it in their lodge, an ink-pot in his hand, at the entrance of their "Thoughts study": the place where future Freemasons made their initiation and wrote their "philosophical will".

Just imagine their faces when they saw this strange scarecrow, a creepy mummy in fact, who offered them the ink-pot, thanks to a complicated system of springs... And above all, his face was terrible, awful and ugly...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!