On this day 19 Nov 1703 The man in the iron mask, a political prisoner famous in French history and legend, died in the Bastille.
French L’homme Au Masque De Fer, political prisoner famous in French history and legend who died in the Bastille in 1703 during the reign of Louis XIV. There is no historical evidence that the mask was made of anything but black velvet (velours), and only afterward did legend convert its material into iron.
He was first imprisoned at Pignerol (Pinerolo, in Piedmont) sometime before 1681, then at other prisons before finally being transferred to the Bastille in Paris on Sept. 18, 1698; he died there on Nov. 19, 1703. Buried the next day in the parish cemetery of Saint-Paul, he was registered there under the name of “Marchioly,” and his age was given as “about 45.” His several moves during his lifetime corresponded with the successive postings of the prison governor Benigne D’Auvergne de Saint-Mars, in whose charge he was evidently especially committed.