During The Reign Of King Louis XIV, A Mysterious Man Who Never Took Off A Black Velvet Mask Was Imprisoned In Various Jails, And His Identity Has Perplexed People For Centuries

JoshuaMark - - illustrative purposes only

For centuries, French history and legend have speculated over the identity of a mysterious masked prisoner who was held in various jails, including the Bastille, during the reign of King Louis XIV.

No one knew what he looked like because he wore a black velvet mask that covered his face and was never caught taking it off.

The first documentation of him in written records appeared in the correspondence of Saint-Mars, who was the governor of several prisons. He mentioned that a masked prisoner had been transferred under his guard.

When the French philosopher and writer Voltaire described the masked figure in his book, the story of the prisoner gained prominence. He became referred to as “the man in the iron mask.”

Although there was no evidence to indicate that his mask was made of iron, Voltaire’s writings helped spread the myth. An author named Alexander Dumas also influenced the rise of the masked man into popular culture.

The anonymous prisoner died in Bastille on November 19, 1703. Before his death, he was kept in a number of different jails. He was first imprisoned at Pignerol sometime before 1681.

He jumped from prison to prison until he was finally transferred to the Bastille in Paris, France, on September 18, 1698. After his death, he was buried in the cemetery of Saint Paul under the name “Marchioly.” He was around the age of 45 when he died.

Over the years, theories about his identity have emerged. One of them claimed that Ercole Matthiole, an Italian count, was the masked man. Matthiole was abducted and jailed after he attempted to betray Louis XIV in the late 1670s during political negotiations.

He was imprisoned for a while, and his name was similar to “Marchioly.” Louis XV and Louis XVI also both stated that the masked man was an Italian nobleman.

JoshuaMark – – illustrative purposes only

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