Jean-Jacques Duval d'Eprémesnil
(5 December 1745 – 22 April 1794), French
magistrate and politician, was born in India
at Pondicherry, his father being a colleague of Dupleix
Returning to France in 1750 he was educated in Paris
for the law
, and became in 1775 conseiller
in the parlement
of Paris, where he soon distinguished himself by his zealous defence of its rights against the royal prerogative. He showed bitter enmity to Marie Antoinette
in the matter of the diamond necklace, and on the 19 November 1787 he was the spokesman of the parlement in demanding the convocation of the states-general.
When the court retaliated by an edict depriving the parlement of its functions, Eprémesnil bribed the printers to supply him with a copy before its promulgation, and this he read to the assembled parlement. A royal officer was sent to the palais de justice to arrest Eprémesnil and his chief supporter Goislard de Montsabert
, but the parlement
(5 May 1788) declared that they were all Eprémesnils, and the arrest was only effected on the next day on the voluntary surrender of the two members.
After four months imprisonment on the island of Ste Marguerite, Eprémesnil found himself a popular hero, and was returned to the states-general as deputy of the nobility of the outlying districts of Paris. But with the rapid advance towards revolution his views changed; in his Réflexions impartiales ...
(January 1789) he defended the monarchy, and he led the party among the nobility that... Read More