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On the Criminal Seat

Accused of a crime punishable by the death penalty, Angélique is interrogated on the criminal seat, a mandatory step in a criminal trial in which the offence is punishable by death.This procedure was meant to intimidate the accused by having her sit on a very low wooden bench while she was being interrogated.

Between the two interrogations on the criminal seat, Angélique was confronted with her mistress, widow De Francheville, whom she had not seen since the fire. In view of the widow's refusal to see her slave again, the prosecutor had had to compel her to appear before the court under threat of imprisonment.

The interrogations on the criminal seat took place in the presence of the judge and four counsellors selected by the Court. These counsellors were notaries practising in Montréal and to whom the details of the trial had been transmitted prior to this procedure.

Court Documents