1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Mallet du Pan, Jacques

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MALLET DU PAN, JACQUES (1749-1800), French journalist, of an old Huguenot family, was born near Geneva in 1749, 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 H.S.N. 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. His son John Lewis Mallet (1775-1861) spent a useful life in the English civil service, becoming secretary of the Board of Audit; and J. L. Mallet’s second son, Sir Louis Mallet (1823-1890) also entered the civil service in the Board of Trade and rose to be a distinguished economist and a member of the Council of India.

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).