Jacques Roux (1752 – 1794) was a radical Roman Catholic priest during the French Revolution. Preaching his ideals to the working class and the sans-culottes, he became a leading figure of the Enragés.
Roux was born in 1752 to an infantry lieutenant. In 1779, he was ordained and served as a lowly vicar in the diocese of Saintes. Roux encouraged members of the anti-feudal peasant movements to come to the parish to which he ministered. His radical views gained him the nickname the "red priest". Roux was soon removed from his parish and took refuge in Paris. There, he preached to the Cordeliers club following the outbreak of the French Revolution, and his rhetoric became increasingly volatile, earning him the moniker of "little Marat".
In the summer of 1792, the Templar Order began hoarding grain in order to incite further civil unrest and frame the royal family for the act. In response to the food shortages, Roux and others led violent riots in which merchants were killed for their supposed hoarding of grain. On 25 February 1793, Roux encouraged the looting of shops. All of his actions focused on the subsistence of the starving working class, which made up the vast majority of the French population. Roux petitioned for the punishment of speculators, usurers and employers who exploited the workers. Throughout this period, he became increasingly radical, and started developing a psychotic and homicidal behavior.
On 25 June 1793, Roux proclaimed his Manifesto of the Enragés to the National Convention, and was kicked out. By 28 June, the revolutionary leader and Templar Maximilien de Robespierre violently denounced him, and had him expelled from the Cordeliers. Jean-Paul Marat turned against Roux as well, dismissing him as a false patriot and a criminal in his newspaper, L'Ami du peuple. Following Marat's death, Roux took over the newspaper, berating the slowness of the guillotine and the lack of any actual social measures.
Due to his psychotic and homicidal behavior, Roux was deemed too dangerous and unpredictable for the Templars to control. As a result, they kidnapped Roux during one of the latter's speeches. He was imprisoned at the Sainte-Pélagie, where he continued to write his journal. He was later moved to the Salpêtrière Hospital, an insane asylum.
Predicting the fall of Robespierre and his Reign of Terror the Templars prepared to release Roux and have him rally his men to bring the Terror to new heights. The Assassin Brotherhood sent three Assassins to kill Roux. They failed however, and were imprisoned in the asylum as well. In response, Roux began killing guards who had come to visit him for confession, his paranoia causing him to mistake them for Assassins come to finish the job.
As Roux was released on 10 February 1794, he prepared to begin his work. In the meantime, Arno Dorian and a team of Assassins freed their kin and killed Roux. Roux's death would later be attributed to suicide by sharp instrument. Although the "preacher of the sans-culottes" had failed to develop an applicable political system, he had nevertheless been the voice of the oppressed masses. Following Roux's death, the Assassin Council sent Arno to assassinate Roux's lieutenant at the Hôtel de Cluny, before he could incite a violent riot.
- Roux can be seen at the beginning of the memory "The Food Chain", killing a merchant during the riots caused by the Templars.