We Brits conveniently forget that, over the course of history, there have been a handful of great Europeans who can only be described as, well, French.
Oh, that's right, Antoine Lavoisier, I was going to write about Antoine Lavoisier!
Antoine Lavoisier wasn't your typical Frenchman. He was a tip-top scientist, most noted on this side of La Manche for performing le coup de grâce on the frankly silly (although I rather like it) phlogiston theory, and naming (but most definitely not discovering) the elements hydrogen and oxygen (the latter theme later being developed by Lavoisier's compatriot, Jean-Michel Jarre).
Phlogiston wasn't the only crap theory debunked by Lavoisier. With the help of Joseph-Ignace Guillotin (after whom they named the guillotine—of which, more later) and Benjamin Franklin (of reckless kite-flying fame), he comprehensively debunked Franz Mesmer's totally bonkers theory of animal magnetism.
So, all-in-all, a thoroughly good chap, whatever his nationality.
Why am I telling you all this science stuff? Because, on this very day in 1794, during France's 13-month Reign of Terror, Antoine Lavoisier was tried, convicted and executed by guillotine in one fell swoop (and one foul swipe). His capital crime: being a tax collector.
Hey, now there's an idea to conjure with!
Afterthought: If anyone has any idea why we say beheaded and not de-headed, please post them in the comments.