Empire Collections

Cart with barrel and horse

Reference : NC4

Charrette avec tonneaux et cheval attelé

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  • Nicaise Charrette web.jpg

The plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise, also known as the Machine infernale plot, was assassination attempt on the life of the First Consul, Napoleon Bonaparte, in Paris on 24 December 1800. It followed the conspiration des poignards of 10 October 1800, and was one of many Royalist and Catholic plots.

The name of the Machine Infernale, the "infernal device", was in reference to an episode during the sixteenth-century revolt against Spanish rule in Flanders. In 1585, during the Siege of Antwerp by the Spaniards, an Italian engineer in Spanish service had made an explosive device from a barrel bound with iron hoops, filled with gunpowder, flammable materials and bullets, and set off by a sawed-off shotgun triggered from a distance by a string. The Italian engineer called it la macchina infernale.