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ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

ELEVENTH EDITION

VOLUME VI


CHÂTELET (from Med. Lat. castella), the word, sometimes also written castillet, used in France for a building designed for the defence of an outwork or gate, sometimes of great strength or size, but distinguished from the château, or castle proper, in being purely defensive and not residential. In Paris, before the Revolution, this word was applied both to a particular building and to the jurisdiction of which it was the seat. This building, the original Châtelet, had been first a castle defending the approach to the Cité. Tradition traced its existence back to Roman times, and in the 18th century one of the rooms in the great tower was still called the chambre de César. The jurisdiction was that of the provostship (prévôté) and viscountship of Paris, which was certainly of feudal origin, probably going back to the counts of Paris.

It was not till the time of Saint Louis that, with the appointment of Étienne Boileau, the provostship of Paris became a prévôté en garde, i.e. a public office no longer put up to sale. When the baillis (see Bailiff and Bailie) were created, the provost of Paris naturally discharged the duties and functions of a bailli, in which capacity he heard appeals from the seigniorial and inferior judges of the city and its neighbourhood, keeping, however, his title of provost. When under Henry II. certain bailliages became presidial jurisdictions (présidiaux), i.e. received to a certain extent the right of judging without appeal, the Châtelet, the court of the provost of Paris, was made a presidial court, but without losing its former name. Finally, various tribunals peculiar to the city of Paris, i.e. courts exercising jurisdictions outside the common law or corresponding to certain cours d’exception which existed in the provinces, were united with the Châtelet, of which they became divisions (chambres). Thus the lieutenant-general of police made it the seat of his jurisdiction, and the provost of the Île de France, who had the same criminal jurisdiction as the provosts of the marshals of France in other provinces, sat there also. As to the personnel of the Châtelet, it was originally the same as in the bailliages, except that after the 14th century it had some special officials, the auditors and the examiners of inquests. Like the baillis, the provost had lieutenants who were deputies for him, and in addition gradually acquired a considerable body of ex officio councillors. This last staff, however, was not yet in existence at the end of the 14th century, for it is not mentioned in the Registre criminel du Châtelet (1389–1392), published by the Société des Bibliophiles Français. In 1674 the whole personnel was doubled, at the time when the new Châtelet was established side by side with the old, the two being soon after amalgamated. On the eve of the Revolution it comprised, beside the provost whose office had become practically honorary, the lieutenant civil, who presided over the chambre de prévôté au parc civil or court of first instance; the lieutenant criminel, who presided over the criminal court; two lieutenants particuliers, who presided in turn over the chambre du présidial or court of appeal from the inferior jurisdictions; a juge auditeur; sixty-four councillors (conseillers); the procureur du roi, four avocats du roi, and eight substituts, i.e. deputies of the procureur (see Procurator), beside a host of minor officials. The history of the Châtelet under the Revolution may be briefly told: the Constituent Assembly empowered it to try cases of lèse-nation, and it was also before this court that was opened the inquiry following on the events of the 5th and 6th of August 1789. It was suppressed by the law of the 16th of August 1790, together with the other tribunals of the ancien régime.  (J. P. E.) 


CHÂTELLERAULT, a town of western France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Vienne, 19 m. N.N.E. of Poitiers on the Orleans railway between that town and Tours. Pop. (1906) 15,214. Châtellerault is situated on the right and eastern bank of the Vienne; it is connected with the suburb of Châteauneuf on the opposite side of the river by a stone bridge of the 16th and 17th centuries, guarded at the western extremity by massive towers. The manufacture of cutlery is carried on on a large scale in villages on the banks of the Clain, south of the town. Of the other industrial establishments the most important is the national small-arms factory, which was established in 1815 in Châteauneuf, and employs from 1500 to 5500 men. Châtellerault (or Châtelherault: Castellum Airaldi) derives its name from a fortress built in the 10th century by Airaud, viscount of its territory. In 1515 it was made a duchy in favour of François de Bourbon, but it was not long after this date that it became reunited to the crown. In 1548 it was bestowed on James Hamilton, 2nd earl of Arran (see Hamilton).


CHATHAM, WILLIAM PITT, 1st Earl of (1708–1778), English statesman, was born at Westminster on the 15th of November 1708. He was the younger son of Robert Pitt of Boconnoc, Cornwall, and grandson of Thomas Pitt (1653–1726), governor of Madras, who was known as “Diamond” Pitt, from the fact of his having sold a diamond of extraordinary size to the regent Orleans for something like £135,000. It was mainly by this fortunate transaction that the governor was enabled to raise his family, which was one of old standing, to a position of wealth and political influence. The latter he acquired by purchasing the burgage tenures of Old Sarum.

William Pitt was educated at Eton, and in January 1727 was entered as a gentleman commoner at Trinity College, Oxford. There is evidence that he was an extensively read, if not a minutely accurate classical scholar; and it is interesting to know that Demosthenes was his favourite author, and that he diligently cultivated the faculty of expression by the practice of translation and re-translation. An hereditary gout, from which