Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V14, Page 31 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BARON JEAN GUILLAUME HYDE DE NEUVILLE (1776- 18J7), French politician, was born at La Charite-sur-Loire (Nievre) on the 24th of January 1776, the son of Guillaume Hyde, who belonged to an English family which had emigrated with the Stuarts after the rebellion of 1745. He was only seven-teen when he successfully defended a man denounced by Fouche before the revolutionary tribunal of Nevers. From 1793 onwards he was an active agent of the exiled princes; he took part in the Royalist rising in Berry in 1796, and after the coup d'etat of the 18th Brumaire (November 9, 1799) tried to persuade Bonaparte to recall the Bourbons. An accusation of complicity in the infernal machine conspiracy of 1800–18or was speedily retracted, but Hyde de Neuville retired to the United States, only to return after the Restoration. He was sent by Louis XVIII. to London to endeavour to persuade the British government to transfer Napoleon to a remoter and safer place of exile than the isle of Elba, but the negotiations were cut short by the emperor's return to France in March 1815. In January 1816 de Neuville became French ambassador at Washington, where he negotiated a commercial treaty. On his return in 1821 he declined the Constantinople embassy, and in November 1822 was elected deputy for Cosne. Shortly afterwards he was appointed French ambassador at Lisbon, where his efforts to oust British influence culminated, in connexion with the coup d'etat of Dom Miguel (April 30, 1824), in his suggestion to the Portuguese minister to invite the armed intervention of Great Britain. It was assumed that this would be refused, in view of the loudly proclaimed British principle of non-intervention, and that France would then be in a position to undertake a duty that Great Britain had declined. The scheme broke down, however, owing to the attitude of the reactionary party in the government of Paris, which disapproved of the Portuguese constitution. This destroyed his influence at Lisbon, and he returned to Paris to take his seat in the Chamber of Deputies. In spite of his pronounced Royalism, he now showed Liberal tendencies, opposed the policy of Villele's cabinet, and in 1828 became a member of the moderate administration of Martignac as minister of marine. In this capacity he showed active sympathy with the cause of Greek independence. During the Polignac ministry (1829–183o) he was again in opposition, being a firm upholder of the charter; but after the revolution of July 1830 he entered an all but solitary protest against the exclusion of the legitimate line of the Bourbons from the throne, and resigned his seat. He died in Paris on the 28th of May 18J7. His Afemoires et souvenirs (3 vols., 1888), compiled from his notes by his nieces, the vicomtesse de Bardonnet and the baronne Laurenceau, are of great interest for the Revolution and the Restoration.

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