Thursday, 6 March 2014

Antoine-François, Comte d'Andréossy: The Life of a Soldier

Antoine-François, Comte d'Andréossy (Castelnaudary, Aude, France, 6th March 1761 - Montauban, France, 10th September 1828)

Antoine-François, Comte d'Andréossy

We are still in France today to meet a military man of noble birth. From an illustrious military career to his high-flying political roles, Antoine-François, Comte d'Andréossy fought with Napoleon, allied with the Bourbons and ended up memorialised on the Arc de Triomphe.

Andréossy was born to a noble family and set his sights on a military career, enrolling in the Metz artillery school where he enjoyed enormous success. Once he obtained his commission there was no stopping the young man and he was in active service at the age of 20, as Lieutenant. In 1787 he was captured by the Prussians whilst serving in Holland but his captivity was short and eventually the young soldier was exchanged for Prussian prisoners and awarded his freedom.

Antoine-François, Comte d'Andréossy

It was his unstinting service to Napoleon at Arcole and Mantua that really brought Andréossy to the attention of the powers that be and he was soon singled out as a man to watch. In recognition of his successes he rose rapidly through the ranks and by 1797 was Brigadier General, serving in Egypt with Napoleon. In fact, when Napoleon decided to return to France, he personally selected Andréossy to join him.

In 1800 Andréossy was promoted to Général de Division and he took command of a number of artillery divisions throughout France, enjoying a highly-decorated career. Eventually though Andréossy left his military career behind to serve as ambassador to the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1803, following this with further diplomatic postings until, on 24th February 1809, he was created a Count. When Napoleon fell it was Andréossy who was charged with leading negotiations with Wellington and in later years he allied with the Bourbon cause, calling for the restoration.

Antoine-François, Comte d'Andréossy by Mattheus Ignatius van Bree
Antoine-François, Comte d'Andréossy by Mattheus Ignatius van Bree

Throughout his life, the Count was fascinated by science and mathematics and found the time to publish papers on the subjects; with his wife, Marie Stéphanie de Fay de la Tour Maubourg, he had one son who died at the age of 24 after an accident whilst horse riding. Andréossy passed away as a result of brain fever and is remembered to this day, his name inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile.

No comments:

Post a Comment