1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Delolme, Jean Louis

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DELOLME, JEAN LOUIS (1740–1806), Swiss jurist and constitutional writer, was born at Geneva in 1740. He studied for the bar, and had begun to practise when he was obliged to emigrate on account of a pamphlet entitled Examen de trois parts de droit, which gave offence to the authorities of the town. He took refuge in England, where he lived for several years on the meagre and precarious income derived from occasional contributions to various journals. In 1775 he found himself compelled to accept aid from a charitable society to enable him to return home. He died at Sewen, a village in the canton of Schwyz, on the 16th of July 1806.

During his protracted exile in England Delolme made a careful study of the English constitution, the results of which he published in his Constitution de l’Angleterre (Amsterdam, 1771), of which an enlarged and improved edition in English appeared in 1772, and was several times reprinted. The work excited much interest as containing many acute observations on the causes of the excellence of the English constitution as compared with that of other countries. It is, however, wanting in breadth of view, being written before the period when constitutional questions were treated in a scientific manner. Along with a translation of Hume’s History of England it supplied the philosophes with most of their ideas about the English constitution. It thus was used somewhat as a political pamphlet. Several editions were published after the author’s death. Delolme also wrote in English Parallel between the English Government and the former Government of Sweden (1772); A History of the Flagellants (1782), based upon a work of Boileau’s; An Essay on the Union of Scotland with England (1787), and one or two smaller works.