The Incredible Morbid Lying Arsonist Watchmaker Scapegoat of France.
Now… if this doesn’t promise a tale… then nothing does. I rank
this title to be equal to “Once upon a time…” for both titles say:
“This better be good.”
Oh. What a way to end the year. He was a watchmaker from Rouen,
France. He was presumed to be a simpleton. He was talented. He
confessed–probably under torture–to something he did not do… to
something the judges knew he did not do… and he was hanged for it.
His name was Robert Hubert.
Here’s what happened in an abbreviated telling. It was around the
2nd to the 5th of September 1666 when a fire broke out in Pudding
Lane in the city of London in the house of a baker. Hubert, having
learned of the fire, confessed to throwing a fire grenade through the
window and then to working with accomplices by shutting off the water
cocks in order to sabotage any efforts to quell the flames.
However… his confession was never convincing. The fact of it was
that he was not even in the country at the time of the outbreak. He
did not arrive in England till two days after the fire had started…
and–as a little addendum–the windows of the bakery through which
Hubert claimed to have thrown his little incendiary device were
non-existent. That’s right folks… the bakery had no window.
Alas… England needed a scapegoat. The country was in turmoil.
Someone had to pay for this crime… and if this poor said little
blithering idiot of a man was willing to confess to it… well then
by George… he would have to pay the ultimate price. Unlike the
ideal world in which we live today… justice did not always rank
supreme. Rather… expediency led the ever growing ranks of those who
needed someone… anyone… upon whom to place blame. This would
never happen today… would it?
In any case… I have an image of one of Hubert’s rather morbid
looking timepieces. It’s interesting. And made–I would say–by
rather talented hands. Wanna see?
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and then click on it in order to view a watch
created by a pseudo-arsonist-watchmaker named Robert Hubert.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.