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Foullon, Joseph Francois

FOULLON, JOSEPH FRANCOIS (1717-1789), French administrator, was born at Saumur. During the Seven Years' War he was intendant-general of the armies, and intendant of the army and navy under Marshal de Belle-Isle. In 1771 he was appointed intendant of finances. In 1789, when Necker was dismissed, Foullon was appointed minister of the king's household, and was thought of by the reactionary party as a substitute. But he was unpopular on all sides. The farmers-general detested him on account of his severity, the Parisians on account of his wealth accumulated in utter indifference to the sufferings of the poor; he was reported, probably quite without foundation, to have said, "If the people cannot get bread, let them eat hay." After the taking of the Bastille on the 14th of July, he withdrew to his estate at Vitry and attempted to spread the news of his death; but he was recognized, taken to Paris, carried off with a bundle of hay tied to his back to the hôtel de ville, and, in spite of the intervention of Lafayette, was dragged out by the populace and hanged to a lamp-post on the 22nd of July 1789.

See Eugène Bonnemère, Histoire des paysans (4th ed., 1887), tome iii.; C.L. Chassin, Les Elections et les cahiers de Paris en 1789. (Paris, 1889), tomes iii. and iv.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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