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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montyon, Antoine Jean Baptiste Robert Auget, Baron de

< 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica

MONTYON, ANTOINE JEAN BAPTISTE ROBERT AUGET, Baron de (1733-1820), French philanthropist, was born in Paris on the 23rd of December 1733. His father was a maitre des comptes; he was educated for the law, and became advocate at the Chatelet in 17 55, master of requests to the council of state in 1760, and intend ant successively of Auvergne, Provence and La Rochelle. He had repeatedly shown great independence of character, protesting against the accusation of Caradeuc de La Chalotais in 1766, and refusing in 1771 to suppress the local courts of justice in obedience to Maupeou. He was made a councillor of state in 1775 by the influence of Louis de Bourbon, duke of Penthievre, and in 1780 he was attached to the court in the honorary office of chancellor to the comte d'Artois (afterwards Charles X.). He followed the princes into exile, and lived for some years in London. During the emigration period he spent large sums on the alleviation of the poverty of his fellow immigrants, returning to France only at the second restoration. Between 1780 and 1787 he had founded a series of prizes, the awards to be made by the French academy and the academies of science and medicine. These prizes fell into abeyance during the revolutionary period, but were 're-established in 1815. Montyon died on the 29th of December 1820, bequeathing 10,000 francs for the perpetual endowment of each of the following prizes: for the discovery of the means of rendering some mechanical process less dangerous to the Workman; for the perfecting of any technical improvement in a mechanical process; for the book which during the year rendered the greatest service to humanity; the “ prix de vertu ” for the most courageous act on the part of a poor Frenchman-the awards being left as before to the learned academies. He also left 10,000 francs to each of the Parisian hospitals.

Montyon wrote a series of works, chiefly on political economy: Eloge de Michel de l'h6pital (Paris, 1 77); Recherches et considerations sur la population de la France (1778), a share of which is attributed to his secretary, Moheau; Rapport fait d Louis X VIII. (Constance, 1796), in which he maintained in opposition to Cal0nne's Tableztu de l'Europe that France had always possessed a constitution, which had, however, been violated by the kings of France; L'état statistigue du T unkin (1811); and Particularités . . . sur les ministries des finances en France (1812).

See Lacretelle, “ Discours sur M. Montyon, " in the Recueil de l'aca¢lérnie (1820-1829); Quérard, La France littéraire, vol. vi. (1834); and, further, F. Labour, M. de Montyon d'aprés des documents inédits (Paris, 1880); G. Dumoulin, Montyon (Paris, 1884); and especially L. Guimbaud, Auget de Montyon (1909).