1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Marbot, Jean Baptiste Antoine Marcelin, Baron de
MARBOT, JEAN BAPTISTE ANTOINE MARCELIN, Baron de (1782–1854), French soldier, son of General Jean Antoine de Marbot (1754–1800), who died in the defence of Genoa under Masséna, was born at La Rivière (Corrèze), on the 18th of August 1782. He joined the republican army as a volunteer in 1799, rose rapidly to commissioned rank, and was aide-de-camp to Marshal Augereau, commanding the VII. corps, in the war against Prussia and Russia in 1806–7. After this he served with great distinction in the Peninsular War under Lannes and Masséna, and showed himself to be a dashing leader of light cavalry in the Russian War of 1812 and the German campaign of the following year. After a slow recovery from the wounds he had received at Leipzig and Hanau, he was promoted general of brigade by Napoleon during the Hundred Days, and took part in, and was wounded at, the battle of Waterloo. He was exiled at the second restoration and only returned to France in 1819, after which, however, his intimacy with the duke of Orleans secured him important military positions. After the July restoration he was made maréchal-de-camp, and in this rank he was present at the siege of Antwerp in 1832. He was promoted lieutenant-general in 1836. From 1835 to 1840 he served in various Algerian expeditions, and in 1845 he was made a member of the Chamber of Peers. Three years later, at the fall of Louis Philippe, he retired into private life. He died at Paris on the 16th of November 1854. Marbot wrote two pamphlets, Remarques critiques sur l’ouvrage de M. le général Roguet, intitulé Considérations sur l’art de la guerre (1820), and La Nécessité d’augmenter les forces militaires de la France (1825), but his fame rests chiefly, if not indeed wholly, on the fascinating Memoirs of his Life and Campaigns which were published in Paris in 1891 (Eng. trans., 1902). To ordinary readers and to students of history alike these give a picture of the Napoleonic age of warfare which for vividness and romantic interest has never been surpassed.
His elder brother, Antoine Adolphe Marcelin de Marbot (1781–1844), was born at La Rivière, on the 22nd of March 1781, entered the army at an early age, obtained commissioned rank in the revolutionary wars and became aide-de-camp to Bernadotte. In 1802 he was arrested on the ground of being concerned in a plot of the Republicans against the Consulate, but he was released, though Napoleon continued to regard him as an opponent of the established régime. After a term of duty with the army in Santo Domingo he participated in the campaigns of 1806–7, and from 1808 to 1811 he was employed in the Peninsular War. In the Russian War of 1812 he was wounded and made prisoner. At the end of two years of captivity he returned to France at the general peace, was aide-de-camp to Marshal Davout during the Hundred Days, and thereafter passed into retirement, from which he did not emerge till 1830. He attained the rank of maréchal-de-camp under Louis Philippe, and died at Bra, near Tulle, on the 2nd of June 1844.