Filippo Giuseppe Maria Ludovico Buonarroti (1761-1837) was born in Pisa, developed connections wth Freemasonry, and declared his commitment to the French Revolution on its outbreak.  He went to Corsica shortly thereafter where he joined a Jacobon Club and formed connections with the Bonaparte family.

After being expelled from Corsica in 1791 he was arrested and imprisoned in Tuscany, and then went to Paris in 1793, where he was placed in charge of organising Italian exiles.  After the fall of Robespierre he was recalled to Paris and imprisoned until October 1795, during which time he met Gracchus Babeuf, and became an enthusiastic supporter of his insurrectionary egalitarian ideaology.  Following the collapse of Babeuf's 'Conspiracy of Equals' in May 1796.  He was sentenced to departation but languished in jail until the Consulate.  He was eventually released and allowed to live in Geneva in 1806.  He remained there for much of the next fifteen years and became active in a number of radical societies. 

His account of Babeuf's project in his Conspiration pour l'egalité dite de Babeuf (History of Babeuf’s 'Conspiracy of Equals) was published in 1828 and became a founding text for insurrectionary movements in Europe.  The distinctive feature of Buonarroti's account was that insurrection was conceived of as instigated and led by a revolutionary élite, rather than as a function of a popular uprising.  This accentuated and legitimized the use of secret societies and conspiratorial methods, and forged a link between the masonic activities of the late 18th century, and the conspiratorial carbonari of the 19th century.

From 1815 he became active in establishing a network of secret soieties across Italy, France, Switzerland and Germany through the Sublimes Mâitres Parfaits, whose activities were exposed to the Austrian authorities in 1821.  Buonarroti was ordered to leave Switzerland, but remained under a false name before leaving for Belgium in 1824.  He set up a further set of societies and remained there until the revolution of 1830, when he went back to Paris.  He was arrested briefly in 1833, but remained in France and died there in 1837.

J. M. Roberts, describes Buonarroti as 'a pest to European policemen' in his The Mythology of the Secret Societies (London, 1972) p. 233.