MERLIN, Philippe-Antoine

Philippe-Antoine Merlin, dit Merlin de Douai

b. 30 Oct 1754, Arleux, Nord
d. 26 Dec 1838, Paris

Title: Président de l'Assemblée nationale (President of the National Assembly)
Term: 9 Oct 1790 - 25 Oct 1790
Chronology: 9 Oct 1790, election as president proclaimed by the National Assembly, session of the Assembly, Salle du Manège, Paris [1, vol. XIX, p. 526]
10 Oct 1790, assumed the chair as President of the National Assembly for the first time, session of the Assembly, Salle du Manège, Paris [1, vol. XIX, p. 526]
25 Oct 1790, expiration of term; successor elected and proclaimed [1, vol. XX, p. 20]
Names/titles: Chevalier de l'Empire [from 3 Jun 1808]; comte Merlin, comte de l'Empire (count Merlin, count of the Empire) [from 14 Apr 1810]
Président de la Convention nationale (President of the National Convention) (3 Aug 1794 - 18 Aug 1794) [see details]; Président du Directoire exécutif de la République française (President of the Executive Directory of the French Republic) (25 Feb 1798 - 26 May 1798, 26 May 1799 - 18 Jun 1799) [see details]; Membre du Directoire exécutif de la République française (Member of the Executive Directory of the French Republic) (8 Sep 1797 - 18 Jun 1799) [see details]
Biography:


Son of a prosperous land owner; received primary education in the abbey of Anchin; studied at the Collège of Douai; admitted to the bar in the Parlement of Flanders (1775); elected (4 Apr 1789) as a representative of the Third Estate by the bailliage of Douai to the États-Généraux (Estates-General); deputy of the Assemblée nationale (National Assembly) (1789-1791); proved himself as a brilliant speaker and active lawmaker; President of the National Assembly (9 Oct 1790 - 25 Oct 1790); president of the criminal tribunal of the département of Nord (1791-1792); elected (18 Sep 1792) to the Convention nationale (National Convention), representing Nord (1792-1795); voted for the death sentence in the trial of King Louis XVI; in the rank of commissioner participated in division of Belgium (1793); representative of the Convention to the Army of Brest (30 Apr 1793 - 1 Aug 1793); contributed to elaboration of the Law on the Suspects (17 Sep 1793), providing a legal foundation for the Reign of Terror; following the fall of Maximilien Robespierre, was elected President of the National Convention (3 Aug 1794 - 18 Aug 1794) and later became an influent member of the Comité de salut public (Committee of Public Safety) (1 Sep 1794 - 4 Jan 1795; 3 Feb 1795 - 3 Jun 1795; 2 Aug 1795 - 4 Nov 1795); represented the Convention in Nord and Pas-de-Calais (5 Jun 1795 - 22 Jun 1795); elected to the Corps législatif (1795), but declined the election to serve as justice minister (3 Nov 1795 - 4 Jan 1796, 3 Apr 1796 - 18 Sep 1797) and minister of the general police (4 Jan 1796 - 3 Apr 1796); elected (8 Sep 1797) member of the Directoire exécutif (Executive Directory) to succeed François Barthélemy after the coup d'état of 18 Fructidor, Year V (4 Sep 1797); served two terms as President of the Directory (25 Feb 1798 - 26 May 1798, 26 May 1799 - 18 Jun 1799); accused of corruption, resigned his seat in the Directory (18 Jun 1799) along with Louis-Marie La Revellière-Lépeaux; did not take any part in the coup of 18 Brumaire, Year VIII (9 Nov 1799 - 10 Nov 1799); made deputy commissar of the government in the Tribunal of Appeals (30 Dec 1801); procureur général in the Court of Appeals (appointed 14 May 1804); named a councilor of state for life (18 Feb 1806), member of the Légion d'honneur and raised to the dignity of count (14 Apr 1810) by Emperor Napoléon I; during the Cent Jours (Hundred Days), appointed member of the Court of Appeals with the title of minister of state; elected (10 May 1815) to the Chambre des représentants (Chamber of Representatives) to represent Douai; after the Bourbon Restoration proscribed as a regicide (24 Jul 1815) and went into exile; returned to France in 1830. Biography source: [2] [3] [4] [5]

Elections:

Candidate Votes (9 Oct 1790)
Philippe-Antoine Merlin, dit Merlin de Douai 232
Charles-François, marquis de Bonnay 155
voters 400
Election results source: [1, vol. XIX, p. 526]

[1] Archives parlementaires. Série 1,
[2] Dictionnaire des Conventionnels,
[3] Dictionnaire des parlementaires français 1789-1889,
[4] Dictionnaire des Constituants,
[5] "Un Juriste en Politique: Merlin de Douai (1754-1838)", by Hervé Leuwers (Artois presse université, Collection histoire, 1996).
Last updated on: 04 Oct 2013 12:13:05