November 19th 1703: Man in the Iron Mask dies


On this day in 1703 the French prisoner known as the ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ died. He was arrested under the name Eustache Dauger in 1669/70 and was in prison until his death, and died under the name Marchioly. He was in the custody of one jailer, Bénigne Dauvergne de Saint-Mars, for his whole imprisonment. The prison official at the Bastille, where the man was held, Lieutenant Etienne du Junca, recorded on November 19th 1703 the death of an “unknown prisoner, who has worn a black velvet mask since his arrival here in 1698.” Many theories exist as to his identity, including that he was an illegitimate brother of King Louis XIV, the son of King Charles II of England, an Italian diplomat, and a French general, but none have ever been confirmed. 


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