- Jacques Lauriston
Jacques Alexandre Bernard Law, marquis de Lauriston (
February 1, 1768- June 12, 1828), was a French soldierand diplomatof Scottish descent, the son of Jacques François Law de Lauriston (1724-1785), a general officer in the French army, and was born at Pondicherry, India.
He obtained his first commission about 1786, served with the artillery and on the staff in the earlier Revolutionary campaigns, and became
brigadierof artilleryin 1795. Resigning in 1796, he was brought back into the service in 1800 as " aide-de-camp" to Napoleon, with whom as a cadet Lauriston had been on friendly terms. In the years immediately preceding the first empire Lauriston was successively director of the Le Fere artillery school and special envoy to Denmark, and he was selected to convey to Englandthe ratification of the peace of Amiens(1802).
In 1805, having risen to the rank of general of division, he took part in the war against
Austria. He occupied Veniceand Ragusain 1806, was made governor-general of Venice in 1807, took part in the Erfurtnegotiations of 1808, was made a count, served with the emperor in Spainin 1808-1809 and held commands under the viceroy Eugène de Beauharnaisin the Italian campaign and the advance to Vienna in the same year. At the battle of Wagramhe commanded the guard artillery in the famous "artillery preparation" which decided the battle.
In 1811 he was made ambassador to
Russia; in 1812 he held a command in the Grande Armée and won distinction by his firmness in covering the retreat from Moscow. He commanded the V army corps at Lützen and Bautzen and the V and XI in the autumn campaign, falling into the hands of the enemy in the disastrous retreat from Leipzig.
He was held a prisoner of war until the fall of the empire, and then joined Louis XVIII, to whom he remained faithful in the
Hundred Days. His reward was a seat in the house of peers and a command in the royal guard. In 1817 he was created marquisand in 1823 marshal of France. During the Spanish War he commanded the corps which besieged and took Pamplona.
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