Research Subjects: Biographies


Newspaper Accounts of the Pardon of General César-Alexandre Debelle: 7 April 1816

By Susan Howard

These articles are taken from the archives of the The Times of London of 1815. They are mainly translations from the French newspapers with some private correspondence and leader articles. The articles were printed uncensored, though possibly shortened. There are places where the translation is clumsy: they were usually translated and printed within 24 hours of the papers being received from France. Some of the print quality is poor and I have had to guess at some words; where I have been unable to do this, I have marked them [illegible]. I have preserved the archaic punctuation and inconsistent spelling but have altered the layout to make it easier to read - the original was compressed into narrow columns. Any notes of mine are in italics in square brackets: all other italics are in the text.

The Times

PARIS April 7

At the Solemn audience of yesterday, the Cour Royale of Paris registered the letters of pardon granted by his Majesty to General Debelle, and commuting his punishment to ten years imprisonment.

Gen. Debelle expressed himself in the following terms:

            "Gentlemen - I have been guilty of great crimes against the best of kings. If it had been my lot to suffer, I should have wished that my death, by furnishing a great example, should have become useful to the repose of the state: but his Majesty has condescended to display his clemency towards me. I pray heaven that this spectacle of the paternal goodness of the King may rally around his throne all seduce d Frenchmen; and that, if ever the calm promised to France should be disturbed, I shall be permitted to shed all the blood which is left me in the service of our good King.

            "Be pleased, Mr. President, to lay at the feet of his Majesty the expressions of my profound gratitude, and my oath of fidelity until death."

General Debelle was then taken back to the Abbaye, and afterwards transferred to La Force.

Placed on the Napoleon Series: September 2006


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