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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Montcalm de Saint Véran, Louis Joseph, Marquis de

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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 18
Montcalm de Saint Véran, Louis Joseph, Marquis de

MONTCALM DE SAINT VÉRAN, LOUIS JOSEPH, Marquis de (1712-1759), French soldier, was born at Condiac near Nimes on the 28th of February 1712,[1] and entered the army in 1721, becoming captain in 1727. He saw active service under Berwick on the Rhine in 1733, and in 1743, having become a colonel of infantry, he served in Bohemia under Maillebois, Broglie and Belleisle. He became intimate with François de Chevert (1695-1769), the gallant defender of Prague, and in Italy repeatedly distinguished himself, being promoted brigadier in 1747, shortly before the disastrous action of Exilles, in which he was severely wounded. In 1749 he received the colonelcy of a cavalry regiment, and in 1756, with the rank of maréchal de camp, he was sent to command the French troops in Canada. In the third year of his command, having been meanwhile promoted lieutenant-general, he defended Quebec (q.v.) against General Wolfe. The celebrated siege ended with the battle of the Heights of Abraham (Sept. 12, 1759), in which Wolfe was killed and Montcalm mortally wounded. The French commander died two days later, while the place, with which his name and Wolfe's are for ever associated, was still in the hands of the garrison.

Bibliography. — See Canada: History; and Seven Years' War, also Parkman's Montcalm and Wolfe. The chief French authorities are Pinard, Chronologie militaire, v. 616 (1762); Montcalm et le Canada français, by F. Joubleau (Paris, 1874) and C. de Bonnechose (Paris, 1877); Le Moine, La Mémoire de Montcalm vengée (Montreal, 1889).


  1. A younger brother, Jean Louis Pierre (or Philippe) Elizabeth Montcalm de Condiac (1719-1726), was a child of astonishing precocity. At the age of four he read Latin; at six he understood Greek and Hebrew. It was for his benefit that the bureau typographique — a mechanism for teaching children reading, writing and arithmetic at the same time that it amused them — was contrived by their tutor Louis Dumas (1676-1744).