Jacques Mallet du Pan

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Jacques Mallet du Pan

Death: May 10, 1800 (50-51)
Richmond, Surrey, England (United Kingdom)
Immediate Family:

Son of Etienne Mallet
Father of Jean Louis Mallet

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Jacques Mallet du Pan

Jacques Mallet du Pan (1749 – 10 May 1800), French journalist, was from an old Huguenot family. He was born near Geneva, the son of a Protestant minister.

He was educated at Geneva, and through the influence of Voltaire obtained a professorship at Cassel. He soon, however, resigned this post, and going to London joined HSN Linguet in the production of his Annales politiques (1778-1780). During Linguet's imprisonment in the Bastille, Mallet du Pan continued the Annales by himself (1781-1783); but Linguet resented this on his release, and Mallet du Pan changed the title of his own publication to Mémoires historiques (1783).

From 1783 he incorporated this work with the "Mercure de France" in Paris, the political direction of which had been placed in his hands. On the outbreak of the French Revolution he sided with the Royalists, and was sent on a mission (1791-1792) by Louis XVI to Frankfort to try and secure the sympathy and intervention of the German princes. From Germany he travelled to Switzerland and from Switzerland to Brussels in the Royalist interest.

He published a number of anti-revolutionary pamphlets, and a violent attack on Bonaparte and the Directory resulted in his being exiled in 1797 to Berne. In 1798 he came to London, where he founded the Mercure britannique. He died at Richmond, Surrey, on the 10th of May 1800, his widow being pensioned by the English government. Mallet du Pan has a place in history as a pioneer of modern political journalism. In 1771, at a time of mounting opposition to the oligarchic rule of the upper class, he wrote what was considered by the ruling council in Geneva to be an inflammatory pamphlet entitled Compte rendu de la défense des citoyens bourgeois'. It was condemned by the Council and burnt in the main square.

His first son Jean Louis Mallet (1775-1861) spent a useful life in the English civil service, becoming secretary of the Board of Audit.

Mallet du Pan's Mémoires et correspondance was edited by A Sayous (Paris, 1851). See Mallet du Pan and the French Revolution (1902), by Bernard Mallet, son of Sir Louis Mallet, author also of a biography of his father (1900).

Jacques Mallet du Pan is known for coining the adage "the Revolution devours its children", which originally appeared as "A l'exemple de Saturne, la révolution dévore ses enfants" in his widely circulated 1793 essay Considérations sur la nature de la Révolution de France, et sur les causes qui en prolongent la durée His works were translated into English during Mallet du Pan's lifetime and were known to have been read by William Pitt, influencing his views.

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Jacques Mallet du Pan's Timeline

May 10, 1800
Age 51
Richmond, Surrey, England (United Kingdom)