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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 684 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JOSEPH MICHEL ANTOINE SERVAN (1737-1807), French publicist, was born at Romans (Dauphine) on the 3rd of November 1737. After studying law he was appointed avocat-general at the parlement of Grenoble at the age of twenty-seven. In his Discours sur la justice criminelle (1766) he made an eloquent protest against legal abuses and the severity of the criminal code. In 1767 he gained great repute by his defence of a Protestant woman who, as a result of the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, had been abandoned by her Catholic husband. In 1772, how-ever, on the parlement refusing to accede to his request that a present made by a grand seigneur to a singer should be annulled on the ground of immorality, he resigned, and went into retirement. He excused himself on the score of ill-health from sitting in the States General of 1789, to which he had been elected deputy, and refused to take his seat in the Corps Legislatif under the Empire. Among his writings may be mentioned Reftexions sur les Confessions de J.-J. Rousseau (1783) and Essai sur la formation des assemblees nationales, provinciales, et municipales (1789). His tEuvres choisies and Euvres inedites have been published by De Portets. His brother JOSEPH SERVAN DE GERBEY (1741–1808) was war minister in the Girondist ministry of 1792. See " Lettres inedites de Servan," in Souvenirs et memoires (vol. iv., Paris, 1900).
End of Article: JOSEPH MICHEL ANTOINE SERVAN (1737-1807)

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