- Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier
Jean-Mathieu-Philibert Sérurier, 1st
ComteSérurier ( December 8, 1742— December 24, 1819), was a French soldierand political figure who rose to the rank of Marshal of France.
Laonto middle-classparents, he became a lieutenantof the Laon militia, and then entered the French royal army, served in the Seven Years' Warcampaigns in Hanover(1759), Portugal (1762), and against Pasquale Paoliin Corsica(1771). At the beginning of the French Revolutionhe had attained the rank of major, and in its course he became colonel, brigadier-generaland finally "général de division".
Revolution and Empire
He fought in the
French Revolutionary Warsunder François Christophe Kellermannand Barthélemy Schérer in the army of the Alps in 1795, and under Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian Peninsulain the battles of Vico, Mondovì, Castiglione and in the siege of Mantua.
He also showed great administrative talent as governor of
Venice(1801) and Lucca(1798). He helped Bonaparte to carry out his 18 Brumaire Coup (November 1799), and had an impressive career under the First French Empire, when he was made senator, count, marshal, and governor of Les Invalidesin Paris, where, in March 1814, upon the arrival of the Sixth Coalitionarmies, he destroyed the 1,417 captured enemy flags and personally burned the sword and sash of Frederick the Great as to not let them fall in the allies' hands.
Nonetheless, Sérurier voted for the downfall of Napoleon that April, and under the
Bourbon Restorationwas made a Peer of France. He joined Napoleon during the Hundred Days, when he briefly returned to power; this caused him to lose his post at the Invalides after Napoleon's second downfall. Despite his Bonapartist sympathies, as Peer Sérurier voted in favour of the death penaltyfor Marshal Michel Ney.
Sérurier died in retirement and was buried at
Père Lachaiseuntil his body was transferred to the Invalides in 1847. A statue has been raised to his memory at Laon.
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