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Thibaudeau, Clair Antoine, Comtz

THIBAUDEAU, CLAIR ANTOINE, COMTZ (1765-1854), French politician, was born on the 23rd of March 1765, the son of Antoine de Thibaudeau (1730-1813), a lawyer of Poitiers and a deputy to the States-General of 1789. He was admitted to the bar in 1787, and in 1789 accompanied his father to the States-General at Versailles, When he returned to Poitiers in October he immediately set up a local revolutionary dub, and in 1792 was returned as a deputy to the Convention.

Thibaudeau joined the party of the Mountain and voted for the death of Louis XVL unconditionally. Nevertheless he incurred a certain amount of suspicion because be declined to join the Jacobin Club. In May 1793 he was on a special mission in the west and prevented his department from joining the Federalist movement. Thibaudeau occupied himself more particularly with educational business, notably in the organization of the museum of the Louvre. It was he who secured the inclusion of Tom Paine's name in the amnesty of Girondist deputies. Secretary and then president of the Convention for a short period, he served on the Committee of Public Safety and of Generaly Security. After the insurrection of 13 Vend6- Consulate for life, and his appointment as prefect of the Bouches du Rhone, with consequent banishment from Paris, was a semi-disgrace.

A peer of the Hundred Days, he fled at the second Restoration to Lausanne. During his exile he lived in Vienna, Prague, Augsburg and Brussels, occupying himself with his Mtmoires sur la Contention et le Directoire (Paris, 2 vols., 1824); Mtmoires sur le Consvlat: par un ancien conseiUer d'etat (Paris, 1827); Histoire generate de Napoleon Bonaparte (6 vols., Paris and Stuttgart, 1827-28, vol. iii. not printed); Le Consvlat et f Empire voL i. of which is identical with voL vi. of the Histoire de Napoleon (10 vols,, 1834). The revolution of 1830 permitted his return to France, and he lived to become a member of the Imperial Senate under the third empire. He died in Paris on the 8th of March 1854 in his eighty-ninth year.

The special value of Thibaudeau's works arises from the fact that he wrote only of those events of which he had personal knowledge, and that he quotes with great accuracy Napoleon's actual words. His Memoircs sur le Consvlat has been translated into English, with introduction and necessary notes, by G. K. Fortescue with the title of Bonaparte and the Consulate (1908). Among the papers left by Thibaudeau were documents entitled Ma Biographie and Memoires avant ma nomination & la Convention. These were published in a small volume (Paris and Niort, 1875) which includes a list of his works and of the narrative of his life.

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

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