Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V18, Page 693 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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DUKE OF CONEGLIANO BON ADRIEN JEANNOT DE MONCEY (1754-1842), marshal of France, was the son of a lawyer of Besancon, where he was born on the 31st of July 1754. In his boyhood he twice enlisted in the French army, but his father procured his discharge on both occasions. His desire was at last gratified in 1778, when he received a commission. He was a captain when, in 1791, he embraced the principles of the French Revolution. Moncey won great distinction in the campaigns of 1793 and 1794 on the Spanish frontier (see FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS), rising from the command of a battalion to the command in chief of the Army of the Western Pyrenees in a few months, and his successful operations were largely instrumental in compelling the Spanish government to make peace. After this he was employed in the highest commands until 1799, when the government, suspecting him of Royalist views, dismissed him. But the coup d'etat of 18. Brumaire brought him back to the active list, and in Napoleon's Italian campaign of 1800 he led a corps from Switzerland into Italy, surmounting all the difficulties of bringing horses and guns over the then formidable pass of St Gothard. In ,8o, Napoleon made him inspector-general of gendarmerie, and on the assumption of the imperial title created him a marshal of France. In 18o5 Moncey received the grand cordon of the legion of honour, and in 18o8 the title of duke of Conegliano. In the latter year, the first of the Peninsular War, Moncey was sent to Spain in command of an army corps. He signalized himself by his victorious advance on Valencia, the effect of which was, however, destroyed by the disaster to Dupont at Baylen, and took a leading part in the emperor's campaign on the Ebro and in the second siege of Saragossa in 1809. He refused. to serve in the invasion of Russia, and therefore had no share in the campaign of the grande armee in 1812 and 1813. When, however, France was invaded (1814) Marshal Moncey reappeared in the field and fought the last battle for Paris on the heights of Montmartre and at the barrier of Clichy. He remained neutral during the Hundred Days, feeling himself bound to Louis XVIII. by his engagements as a peer of France, but after Waterloo he was punished for refusing to take part in the court-martial on Ney by imprisonment and the loss of his marshalate. He was reinstated in 1816, and re-entered the chamber of peers three years later. His last active service was as commander of an army corps in the short war with Spain, 1823. In 1833 he became governor of the Invalides. He died on the loth of April 1842.

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