1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Merlin, Antoine Christophe

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MERLIN, ANTOINE CHRISTOPHE (1762–1833), French revolutionist, called “ of Thionville ” to distinguish him from his namesake of Douai (see next article), was born at Thionville on the 13th of September 1762, being the son of a procureur in the bailliage of Thionville. After studying theology, he devoted himself to law, and in 1788 was an avocet at the parlement of Metz. In 1790 he was elected municipal officer of Thionville, and was sent by the department of Moselle to the Legislative Assembly. On the 23rd of October 1791 he moved and carried the institution of a committee of surveillance, of which he became a member. It was he who proposed the law sequestrating the property of the émigrés, and he took an important part in the émeute of the 20th of June 1792 and in the revolution of the 10th of August of the same year. He was elected deputy to the National Convention, and pressed for the execution of Louis XVI., but a mission to the army prevented his attendance at the trial. He displayed great bravery in the defence of Mainz. He took part in the reaction which followed the fall of Robespierre, sat in the Council of the Five Hundred under the Directory, and at the coup d'état of the 18th Fructidor (Sept. 4, 1797) demanded the deportation of certain republican members. In 1798 he ceased to be a member of the Council of Five Hundred, and was appointed director-general of posts, being sent subsequently to organize the army of Italy. He retired into private life at the proclamation of the consulate, and lived in retirement under the consulate and the empire. He died in Paris on the 14th of September 1833.

See J. Reynaud, Vie et correspondance de Merlin de Thionville (Paris, 1860).