Jean-Andoche Junot

Jean-Andoche Junot
General Jean Andoche Junot.jpg
Jean-Andoche Junot
Born 24 September 1771 (1771-09-24)
Bussy-le-Grand, France
Died 29 July 1813 (1813-07-30) (aged 41)
Montbard, France
Allegiance France France
Rank général de division

Jean-Andoche Junot, 1st Duke of Abrantès (24 September 1771 – 29 July 1813) was a French general during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Junot was born in Bussy-le-Grand, Côte-d'Or, son of Michel Junot (1739–1814, son of François Junot, d. 1759, and wife Edmée Laurain, b. 1703 and d. 1784) and wife Marie Antoinette Bienaymé (1735–1806, daughter of Guy Bienaymé and wife Ursule Rigoley), and studied in Châtillon. He was studying law in Paris when the French Revolution started, he joined a volunteer battalion, was twice wounded and made sergeant. He first met Napoleon Bonaparte during the Siege of Toulon in 1793 when he became his secretary.

Italian campaign

He distinguished himself in Italy but received a serious head wound at Lonato, which some claim led to a permanent change in his character, reduced the quality of his judgement and made him rash and temperamental. He was made a general of brigade at the beginning the Egyptian campaign but was injured in a duel and captured when he was returning as an invalid to France. He later participated in the coup of 18 Brumaire. He married Laure (Laurette) Martin de Permond in 1800. He was briefly ambassador to Portugal before hurrying back to serve under Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz (2 December 1805).

Peninsular War

Junot's major command was during the Peninsular War. He commanded the invasion of Portugal in 1807, setting out in November from Salamanca he captured Lisbon in 30 November or early December and was granted the ducal victory title of Duc d'Abrantès and made Governor of Portugal.

But when the British arrived in August 1808, the French were beaten at Vimeiro (21 August) and Junot was almost cut off; only the signing of the advantageous Convention of Sintra allowed him to avoid capture, taking however with him all "the weapons and baggages" the army had managed to gather — an expression that later became famous in Portuguese usage. He returned to France in October, narrowly escaping a court martial. He returned to the Iberian peninsula in 1810 as part of the army under Marshal André Masséna and was badly wounded.

Later years

In the Russian campaign Junot's record was erratic; he was blamed for allowing the Russian army to retreat following the Battle of Smolensk (17 August), but at the Battle of Borodino (7 September 1812) he commanded the 8th Corps competently.

In 1813 he was made Governor of the Illyrian Provinces but his growing mental instability led to him be returned to France. He committed suicide in Montbard.

Children

He had two daughters and two sons:

  • Joséphine Junot d'Abrantès (Paris, 2 January 1802 – Paris, 15 October 1888), married in November 1841 to Jacques-Louis Amet
  • Constance Junot d'Abrantès (Paris, 12 May 1803 – 1881), married in 1829 Louis Antoine Aubert (1799 – 1882), and had issue
  • Louis Napoléon Andoche Junot, 2nd Duc d'Abrantès (Paris, 25 September 1807 – Neuilly[disambiguation needed ], 20 February 1851), who died unmarried and without issue
  • Andoche Alfred Michel Junot, 3rd Duc d'Abrantes (Ciudad Rodrigo, 25 November 1810 – killed in action at Brescia, 19 July 1859), married firstly on 2 April 1845 Marie Céline Elise Lepic (9 October 1824 – 6 June 1847), and married secondly on 10 January 1853 Marie Louise Léonie Lepic (19 July 1829 – 17 August 1868), both sisters, daughters of Joachim Lepic, 1st Baron Lepic, and wife Anne-Marguerite Pasquier, and had:
    • Jeanne Joséphine Marguerite Junot d'Abrantès (Paris, 22 May 1847 – Lasray, 21 March 1934), married in Paris, 16 September 1869 Xavier Eugène Maurice Le Ray (Sèvres, 15 July 1846 – Paris, 1 December 1900), who was created 4th Duc d'Abrantès in 1869, and had issue extinct in male line in 1982
    • Jérôme Napoléon Andoche Junot d'Abrantès (Paris, 16 June 1854 – Paris, 10 March 1857)
    • Marguerite Louise Elisabeth Junot d'Abrantès (Paris, 25 January 1856 – 1919), married in Paris, 11 November 1883 César Elzéar Léon Vicomte Arthaud de La Ferrière (1853 – 1924).[1]


In Popular Culture

Junot was portrayed by actor Christopher Neame in the 1974 mini-series Napoleon and Love. Junot is shown as a close friend and confidant to Bonaparte, and in a pivotal scene becomes the first person to tell a naive Napoleon of Josephine's numerous infidelities with Paul Barras and Hippolyte Charles.

Notes

References

  • Chartrand, René. Vimeiro 1808. London: Osprey Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-309-8
  • Haythornthwaite, Philip. Napoleon's Commanders (1) c1792-1809. London: Osprey Publishing, 2001. ISBN 1-84176-055-2

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