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COMTE DE THOMAS ARTHUR LALLY

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Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 96 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COMTE DE THOMAS ARTHUR LALLY, Baron de Tollendal (1702-1766), French general, was born at Romans, Dauphine, in January 1702, being the son of Sir Gerard O'Lally, an Irish Jacobite who married a French lady of noble family, from whom the son inherited his titles. Entering the French army in 1721 he served in the war of 1734 against Austria; he was present at Dettingen (1743), and commanded the regiment de Lally in the famous Irish brigade at Fontenoy (May 1745). He was made a brigadier on the field by Louis XV. He had previously been mixed up in several Jacobite plots, and in 1745 accompanied Charles Edward to Scotland, serving as aide-de-camp at the battle of Falkirk (January 1746). Escaping to France, he served with Marshal Saxe in the Low Countries, and at the capture of Maestricht (1748) was made a marechal de camp. When war broke out with England in 1756 Lally was given the command of a French expedition to India. He reached Pondicherry in April 1758, and at the outset met with some trifling military success. He was a man of courage and a capable general; but his pride and ferocity made him disliked by his officers and hated by his soldiers, while he regarded the natives as slaves, despised their assistance, arid trampled on their traditions of caste. In consequence everything went wrong with him. He was unsuccessful in an attack on Tanjore, and had to retire from the siege of Madras (1758) owing to the timely arrival of the British fleet. He was defeated by Sir Eyre Conte at Wandiwash (176o), and besieged in Pondicherry and forced to capitulate (1761). He was sent as a prisoner of war to England. While in London, he heard that he was accused in France of treachery, and insisted, against advice, on returning on parole to stand his trial. He was kept prisoner for nearly two years before the trial began; then, after many painful delays, he was sentenced to death (May 6, 1766), and three days later beheaded. Louis XV. tried to throw the responsibility for what was undoubtedly a judicial murder on his ministers and the public, but his policy needed a scapegoat, and he was probably well content not to exercise his authority to save an almost friendless foreigner. See G. B. Malleson, The Career of Count Lally (1865) ; " Z's " (the marquis de Lally-Tollendal) article in the Biographic Michaud; and Voltaire's 'uvres completes. The legal documents are pre-served in the Bibliotheque Nationale. LALLY-TOLLENDAL, TROPHIME GERARD, MARQUIS DE (1751-1830), was born at Paris on the 5th of March 1751. He was the legitimized son of the comte de Lally and only discovered the secret of his birth on the day of his father's execution, when he resolved to devote himself to clearing his father's memory. He was supported by Voltaire, and in 1778 succeeded in persuading Louis XVI. to annul the decree which had sentenced the comte de Lally., but the parlement of Rouen, to which the case was referred back, in 1784 again decided in favour of Lally's guilt. The case was retried by other courts, but Lally's innocence was never fully admitted by the French judges. In 1779 Lally-Tollendal bought the office of Grand bailli of Etampes, and in 1789 was a deputy to the states-general for the noblesse of Paris. He played some part in the early stages of the Revolution, but was too conservative to be in sympathy with all even of its earlier developments. He threw himself into opposition to the " tyranny " of Mirabeau, and condemned the epidemic of renunciation which in the session of the 4th of August 1789 destroyed the traditional institutions of France. Later in the year he emigrated to England. During the trial of Louis XVI. by the National Convention (1993) he offered to defend the king, but was not allowed to return to France. He did not return till the time of the Consulate. Louis XVIII. created him a peer of France, and in 1816 he became a member of the French Academy. From that time until his death, on the 11th of March 183o, he devoted himself to philanthropic work, especially identifying himself with prison reform. See his Plaidoyer pour Louis XVI. (London, 1793) ; Lally-Tollendal was also in part responsible for the Memoires, attributed to Joseph Weber, concerning Marie Antoinette (1804); he further edited the article on his father in the Biographie Michaud; see also Arnault, Discours prononce aux funerailles de M. le marquis de Lally-Tollendal le 13 mars 1830 (Paris) ; Gauthier de Brecy, Necrologie de M. le marquis de Lally-Tollendal (Paris, undated) ; Voltaire, CEuvres completes (Paris, 1889), in which see the analytical table of contents, vol. ii.
End of Article: COMTE DE THOMAS ARTHUR LALLY
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