François-Désiré Bancel

On this date in 1822, François-Désiré Bancel was born in France. He was educated at Touron and Grenoble, became a lawyer and then a member of the Legislative Assembly in 1849. Bancel was known as one of the most passionate critics of the royalists and clerics. After Napoleon III expelled him in 1852, he moved to Brussels and taught at the Free University.

A deist, according to freethought historian Joseph McCabe, he “gave great assistance in the Belgian Rationalist movement.” Bancel was again elected to the legislature in 1869 upon his return to France. A boulevard in Valence and a street in Lyon bear his name. D. 1871.

Freedom From Religion Foundation