On the morning of 14 July 1789, the city of Paris was in a state of alarm. The partisans of the Third Estate in France, now under the control of the Bourgeois Militia of Paris, had earlier stormed the Hôtel des Invalides to gather arms and were mainly seeking to acquire the large quantities of arms and ammunition stored at the Bastille. There were over 13,600 kilograms of gunpowder stored in the Bastille, but it was nearly empty of prisoners! There were, in fact, just seven prisoners to be liberated: counterfeiters Jean Antoine Pujade, Bernard Laroche, Jean Béchade and Jean de la Corrège; Count Gabriel-Charles-Joseph-Paulin-Hubert de Solages accused of sexual deviancy; mentally unstable Irish nobleman Jacques-François-Xavier de Whyte de Malleville; and long-term inmate Auguste Tavernier, conspirator against the Crown imprisoned in 1757.

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