1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Clavière, Étienne

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4731951911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 6 — Clavière, Étienne

CLAVIÈRE, ÉTIENNE (1735–1793), French financier and politician, was a native of Geneva. As one of the democratic leaders there he was obliged in 1782 to take refuge in England, upon the armed interference of France, Sardinia and Berne in favour of the aristocratic party. There he met other Swiss, among them Marat and Étienne Dumont, but their schemes for a new Geneva in Ireland—which the government favoured—were given up when Necker came to power in France, and Clavière, with most of his comrades, went to Paris. There in 1789 he and Dumont allied themselves with Mirabeau, secretly collaborating for him on the Courrier de Provence and also in preparing the speeches which Mirabeau delivered as his own. It was mainly by his use of Clavière that Mirabeau sustained his reputation as a financier. But Clavière also published some pamphlets under his own name, and through these and his friendship with J. P. Brissot, whom he had met in London, he became minister of finance in the Girondist ministry, from March to the 12th of June 1792. After the 10th of August he was again given charge of the finances in the provisional executive council, though with but indifferent success. He shared in the fall of the Girondists, was arrested on the 2nd of June 1793, but somehow was left in prison until the 8th of December, when, on receiving notice that he was to appear on the next day before the Revolutionary Tribunal, he committed suicide.