Jean-Marie Roland (1734–93,) in full Jean-Marie Roland de La Platière, was a French industrial scientist who, mainly through Madame Roland, his wife’s ambition, became a leader of the moderate Girondin faction of bourgeois revolutionaries during the French Revolution. He served as a minister of the interior in King Louis XVI’s government in 1792.
Born near Villefranche-sur-Saône, Roland became a leader of the Gironde, with Jacques Pierre Brissot, Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve and François Buzot. In March 1792, Roland became Minister of the Interior, but he was dismissed three months later.
Roland was recalled after King Louis XVI’s removal to the Temple. He became unpopular with the Jacobins when he protested against the September Massacres (1792) and took part in the last struggle of the Girondins. On 31 May 1793, he was arrested, but he escaped and fled to Rouen, unsuccessfully attempting to organize an insurrection.
Madame Roland was imprisoned for five months and guillotined on 8-November-1793. Two days later, Roland committed suicide.
If the world despises hypocrites, what must be the estimate of them in heaven?
—Jean-Marie Roland de la Platiere